Monday, April 29, 2013

Happy Happy Happy

Yes, Daniel loves Duck Dynasty...

On to bigger and better things... :)

Last Thursday, Daniel and I got to go on a real-to-life actual date!  Uh yeah... awesome!  We usually get 2 dates a year - one for my birthday and then usually a random day sometime throughout the year.  Since my birthday was in December, its been about 4 months since we have been alone together.  We always have at least one child with us... always.

So we went to a concert in Birmingham... and nope, for all you local folk, that is not a misprint - we did not go see John Mayer in Tuscaloosa (for all you non-locals, Tuscaloosa is on the way to Birmingham).  We got to see one of our most favorite singers ever - Chris Trapper (lead singer of the The Pushstars) in this super tiny venue.  It was amazing!   There was maybe 20 people there, which I know is crazy, but yeah, him and Jesse Terry sang sets and they talked about each song and we got to chat with them after the show.... one of the best concerts ever.  And even better, we got in free b/c we offered to do the merch table.  Yay for us.

We didnt get into the bed until 1 AM (and had to be back up at 6 AM)... but so totally worth it!

Daniel did promise to take me to see Gatsby for Mothers Day, since Ive been waiting for it to come out since last year after I read the book, but since we are saving money for the adoption, I dont know.... but I do know that it will most likely be our last day for over a year - once Willow gets here, we dont expect her to leave our side for awhile.

Otherwise, we had a busy weekend full of friends and meetings and school stuff....

Im super tired, but Im here....

Hope yall had a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


So either no one is reading or no one cares or no one wants me to know they are reading.... most likely a bit of all 3.... so I guess I will just keep doing what Im doing, at least for now.

So the story continues.... apparently, Wallace's teachers have gotten all huffy and decided to take their ball and go home, but in this case "the ball" is Wallace's communication notebook.

Because Wallace is non-verbal, there is a notebook left in his bookbag every day so the teachers can write how his day went, what happened if he was bad, if he got hurt, etc, etc..... and we also write in it if we notice any behavior changes or if wallace had a bad night, etc, etc.

Apparently they didnt care for what I wrote the other day, so they decided just to ignore us and turn off the communication by confiscating his notebook.... and when Daniel sent a note in his folder yesterday asking where it was, it got confiscated as well.

It actually becomes pretty comical to a point..... until hopefully they realize that it isnt us that they are hurting.  Its Wallace.  He is the one that benefits from us having this notebook.... makes you wonder, doesnt it?

They still have yet to schedule a time for me to come visit, but at this point, Im thinking that its not even worth the effort. 

We are counting down the days to be done.  And now, its less than a month.


In adoption news, we are on day 36 of LOA wait.  Still praying for a miracle and that it would come this week so we could travel early.... and so I can show you pictures - such a doll-baby!

We are also down to only needing $7,000-9,000 before we travel.... that is still alot but its slowly coming down so we are rejoicing in that.... (the $2000 difference in numbers is b/c we dont know how much plane tickets will be until we get closer to travel, so hopefully they will be on the lower side.)

Not too much else to post on the adoption... just waiting and fundraising.  Once we get LOA, then things will start speeding along again.


I felt like the kids had been growing lately, so I pulled out the boards that we use to measure their birthday heights and sure enough, all three have grown an inch or more (since August and November)... Gabe is now up to my chin at 8 years old... crazy!

Ok, thats all I got for now... does anyone have any questions?

Friday, April 19, 2013


Dear people of Wallace's school (which I havent named since this is a "public forum") - I didnt know yall were so interested....

Guess Im more popular than I thought.  So what say you, good readers, should I go private with this blog?  What would you do?

Have a good weekend!

Why Am I Not Surprised?

As I tell this story, I feel like I need to remind everyone that Wallace is in a full inclusion kindergarten class and also is perfectly fine physically - he can do absolutely everything Gabe and Emma can do physically (when he wants to!).

If anyone was thinking that we were being overly sensitive to how the school and his teachers treat Wallace, then this may change your mind.

Yesterday, we got a note home from school saying that Wallace had slept for over an hour during the day, not wanted to eat lunch and they hoped he felt better.  (I later learned that they couldnt call us to come pick him up b/c he didnt have a fever)


I cant even tell you how angry this makes me or how much this absolutely breaks my heart. 

1. He slept for over an hour yesterday during class!!!!!  Yall!  You would never ever let a student sleep through class for over an hour - please tell me one teacher that would let a student do this!  Why did they let him sleep through class, why did they not care, why did they not wake him up and give him something to do?  Why - b/c it makes their job easier to have one less kid in their class they dont have to worry about.... ugh, that makes me sick! 

There was no reason for him to sleep for over an hour.  He was and is not sick..... there is no excuse for letting a child sleep through class.  It tells me also that they could care less if he is actually learning anything - hey, he is the special need kid who is too stupid to learn anyway, and he is going to be in a special ed class for the rest of his school-life, why bother wasting our time on him?

Even though Wallace is non-verbal, this is a huge thing he is trying to say.  By sleeping in class, he has disengaged and "checked out".   This absolutely breaks my heart more than anything.  I saw this first hand when I visited his room last year and he was not the same boy we had at home - I wanted to slap his teacher who told me everything was fine.  This also means that either they are ignoring Wallace/he is not getting attention or they arent giving him anything to do - which makes me sad and angry.  Wallace thrives on attention and having a task - and he can follow directions very well.  If he is falling asleep on you, then that means he is seriously bored and is completely disengaging.

And apparently his teachers dont even care.... they see it first hand and would rather him sleep then to actually engage him in learning.... just so sad.

2. He didnt eat lunch so they assumed he was sick.

Im sorry but everyone has their off days.... Wallace made it clear that he didnt want to go to school yesterday morning - he is just like any other kid, but for some reason, his school cannot understand that.  Just b/c a kid doesnt want to eat or doesnt eat, doesnt mean anything is wrong with him.... he is just having an off day.

I cannot understand how people who work with children day in and day out can refuse to understand this concept.

3. So yes, because he didnt eat his lunch, they sent him down to the nurse to have his temp taken b/c they wanted to send him home.

Yeah, you read that right - they wanted to send him home b/c he didnt eat his lunch.... after they let him sleep for over an hour.

Anyone want to argue that the school and his teachers actually give one crap about Wallace.

I have a hard time imagining that they send EVERY SINGLE kid who doesnt eat his lunch or doesnt eat that much down to the nurse's office to get their temp taken.... b/c they dont do that at my other kid's school.

Actually, I dont think anyone with any common sense would make the connection: this kid didnt want to eat lunch so they must be sick

Does that make sense to anyone out there?  Really?

So yeah, anyone want to tell me that his teachers arent singling Wallace out?

I just dont get what his teachers are doing?  Ugh, it makes me sick to know that Wallace has to deal with this every day - and who knows how they are treating him or what they are doing or not doing... since he is non-verbal, we have no way to know.... but you can bet that we are counting down the days until school is out.

I am ashamed that people can act this way and sleep at night.... it is just so sad.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I did a beach wedding on Sunday.... 6 hours away from home... except it rained on Sunday, so it got moved inside.... and b/c everyone in the wedding party was from out of town, it all had to be done on Sunday... we had the rehearsal at 3:30 and the wedding at 4:30... it was crazy madness, but thankfully I had the sweetest couple to work with, and their friends and family were incredible.... but no less, I was on my feet for 8 hours on Sunday, riding for 6 hours on Monday and editing for 12 hours yesterday.... I feel like Ive been run over by a truck - maybe a few times... :)


Yesterday, Wallace came home with a note from school about a play they are doing in his kindergarten class.... this is the gist of what it said...

Our kindergarten class is doing the play "The Wedding of Q & U" (or something like that, I dont remember the exact name).... your child: Wallace     , has been given the role of: handing out programs    .  We have costumes at school for most of the children, but we are asking everyone to wear a white shirt and khaki pants for this very special occasion.  Parents are invited to attend.

So... yeah....

what do you guys think? 

I would like an outsider's opinion.... how would you feel if your child (special needs or not) came home with this?

Keep in mind that Wallace is in a full-inclusion kindergarten class....

Friday, April 12, 2013


I gotta take a minute and thank Daniel's mom for buying 80 tickets from our puzzle fundraiser - awesome and so appreciated.... that puts us up to 449 pieces sold - so almost halfway!

And Willow's birthday is coming up this month.... helping to get her family to her would be a great birthday present.

Daniel and I sat last night and figured out all the expenses that we still have and all the savings and money that we are getting soon (tax refund, booked weddings, etc) and we still need about $8-10K before we travel.... not exactly sure how that is going to happen.... but we MUST get to our daughter.

And speaking of Willow... we got our update this morning.... I was so, so excited!
- I cannot wait to show you pictures - she is an absolute doll-baby....
- She is perfectly healthy
- She is living with a foster family and has been living with them for almost a year and has formed attachments to them - this is hugely encouraging and it means she is getting one on one care
- She has already started potty training
- She is walking and walking well
- She is talking in 2-5 word sentences

I felt like we won the lottery this morning when I saw the pictures and read the update.... I cant tell you... I was about to burst.... I feel like I need to cry just to let out some of the emotions that have built up, but work is not the right place for that....

I cannot wait to get to her.... cannot wait.

So, if you could, please pass along this next part to anyone who will listen...
- I am now offering 50% off any wedding package if you book before May.... HUGE discount, if youve ever looked into wedding photography... and 100% of the profits are going to our adoption.
website is, photo blog is and email is

PLEASE please PLEASE help us to make this a reality... :)

Thank you.... :)

We are still on week 3 of our LOA wait... really praying for it to happen in week 5... and once it happens, I get to share pics with yall.... so exciting!

Hope yall have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


I have alot of things on my heart and mind lately... not sure exactly how much I will share and how much I want to share.

I am feeling very restless lately, but also very peaceful... which doesnt make alot of sense.

Thankfully with this adoption, we have the blessing of hindsight from our first adoption.  Although I absolutely cannot wait to have my daughter here, I know the upheaval and turmoil that accompanies the joy.  I know that when we bring her home our lives will be completely flipped upside down and in those moments it will feel like we are drowning under a frozen pond - wishing for just a small breath, but not able to reach it - banging on the underside of the ice, but not knowing if anyone will risk their own lives/comfort to save yours.

So right now I am cherishing the time when it is quiet (as if its ever quiet at our house!) with only 3 to care for at the moment, with a few extra minutes with my husband here and there, with sleep at night... with time to nest until my littlest is here with me.

Willow's birthday is coming up this month and it makes me want to hold her so bad.... to know my child will be turning two and I will be missing it... it pains my heart... it makes me want to cry... but I have to surrender and know that I am doing all that I can right now.

There are other things that I thought I wanted to talk about, but I am just not brave enough right now... I dont know that i will ever be.

We sent in a request for a update on Willow and new pics... it could be a few days or a few weeks before a response... we are hoping for the few days, but not holding our breaths... :)  I am eager to see how much she has changed since the one and only update we have of her.... they change so much and so fast in the first few years... I wonder if I will still recongize her.

Still waiting on LOA/LSC - we hit 3 weeks of waiting yesterday... we really need it to come on week 5 to travel in July.  So its actually more of a possibility than it has ever been, but we shall see... nothing is guaranteed and some have waited 12 weeks before.  Its all a waiting game of Russian Roulette... some days it is really hard. (LSC is also when we finally get to post a pic for yall to see!)

We are still lacking about $13,000 that we will need to travel. I have no idea where it will come from and it makes my faith waver at times.  (I started to type something out here but decided it is better left unsaid).

In the end, it will all be what it will be.... this is where I am lately.... restless but at peace.

Weird, I know.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Lions and Tiger and Bears, Oh My!

This weekend was packed full... :)

Recently, Daniel and I discovered that we actually work well as a team when it comes to big projects that both of us care about (ie: its not one that one of has to be the leader and tell the other what to do on)... that was when we rearranged the kids rooms to move the bunk beds to the girls room - we got alot accomplished that day and got alot of clutter out as well.  So I am all about the big project now... :)

And it was supposed to be up in the 70s this weekend, which meant I wanted to be outside... so I had a great idea...

Lets clean out the garage!

We cleaned out the garage last year, but since then, it had become a landing place for pretty much anything and everything and was now a maze that likely would result in someone getting hurt if you went in there.

And you know what... it only took about 5 or 6 hours.... which sounds like a lot, but this is a two car garage packed FULL!  We took out everything that needed to be thrown away, organized all the stuff for a yard sale and put up all the odds and ends floating around.... so exciting... and I felt SO accomplished by the end of the day.

Although, there was one mishap that happened... and it scared me to death...

It was me, Daniel and Wallace at the house and we stopped cleaning the garage for a bit to have lunch... we all ate lunch and rested for a few minutes.  Then Wallace asked to go back outside which was fine b/c we were heading out there right behind him... and we live at the end of a dead end street so there arent that many cars that come down that far.  He went outside and hopped straight on his bike and took off.  Wallace is only allowed to ride on the little part of road that is right in front of our house unless Daniel or I is out there - and he knows that very well - there is a part of the road that goes across that marks where he cant cross.  He has never passed this mark without someone watching him (and him watching them watching him).

So after he goes out, I go to the bathroom and head outside.  And Wallace is not there.

He is not hiding behind one of the cars... he is not in the neighbors driveway, he is not on the side of the house, he is not our other neighbors yard.... and then I hear a child laugh... whew!

Except it was our neighbor's grandchildren and not Wallace.

(let me remind you that Wallace is pretty much non-verbal and unaware - he doesnt know to get out of the road when a car is coming, he cant tell a stranger where he lives, he cant even cry out for help if he falls off his bike)

So panic sets in.

Daniel checks in again on our neighbors property, and I start running down the road.

And I finally see him..... all the way at the end.

I have no idea how he got that far so fast.... and he was in no hurry to get back home either.

So thankful that no cars came at that time and no one snatched him up.

When I finally got to him, I noticed he wasnt even wearing his helmet (another big no-no! that he knows) and he didnt think he had done anything wrong.

Honestly, I wanted to rip him off that bike right then and there and give him a really big spanking (normally we dont spank wallace, he gets a swat every once in a while for outright disobedience, but thats it).... but I was so relieved that he was ok and we had found him, that we just had a good talk and he had to sit in time out for a while when he got home... his bike also had to sit in time out for the rest of the day.... which was way more upsetting to wallace when he wanted to ride it about an hour later.

So thankful... but talk about scary.


After all that garage cleaning, I got to go do a fun senior session with a really sweet girl.... so that was a great way to end the day.

Sunday,  I spent all day editing the senior session and then met with a sweet family that evening for another session... fun!

We rounded out the day as a family in front of the tv watching Anne of Green Gables... since the Bible is finished coming on, we still wanted to keep that ritual of us all gathered together for a little bit to end the week.


This weekend is a really fun wedding that Ive been looking forward to for awhile... so no cleaning, but lots of work and fun still!

Hope yall had a great weekend!

Friday, April 5, 2013


Thank you Lannie... :)


I dont know about yall but I am so glad its Friday... and around here, the weather is going to be perfect, so double-awesome... :)

Sorry I havent posted much... mostly due to the fact that Wallace's school (or rather one person in particular at his school) is not playing nice again.... again Wednesday, he was sent home with a fever - a fever that they have on paper as going down while he was there at school... a fever that magically cured itself when the babysitter went to pick him up at school.... and a fever that was no longer there for the rest of the day - kind of like if it never existed in the first place.

I had a hard time believing this certain person would pull this stunt again when we just met with Central office at the beginning of this year.

Sorry, Charlie... we are not the parents you are going to bully... just not going to happen.

Ugh... Ill be so glad when this school year is over.


In other news, I just found out that when its time to fill out our I800 and DS230, that our agency fills that out for us... so all we have to do is sign it and mail it back in.... awesome!!!

That will be a huge timesaver.... hurray!


Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What's in a name?

So you may remember back a few posts, when I was stressing out about naming our little girl...

Well, it has been confirmed.... God has named our little girl....


Isnt that beautiful?

I told a friend that I had asked for prayer from, and she sent me this verse...

“‘He took one of the seedlings of the land and put it in fertile soil. He planted it like a willow by abundant water, and it sprouted and became a low, spreading vine. Its branches turned toward him, but its roots remained under it. So it became a vine and produced branches and put out leafy boughs.

Ezekiel 17:5-6

That makes my heart leap...

I cant wait to see who our little girl becomes!

Monday, April 1, 2013


Thank you Lannie!


Its been 15 days since we were DTC (documents to China), and LID (log in date) comes shortly after that, well, the average has been about 9 days for most people, so instead of waiting like I did with our first adoption, I decided to be pro-active and just ask about it.

Turns out, we got our LID on March 19th (4 days!) and no one told us.

So yeah.... definitely celebrating today!

According to timelines, the average travel date for us is July.... WHAT?!!!  Did you read that?  July?  For real?

Now... that is awesome, but Im not holding my breath... that is just the average timeframe, so in order to go in July, everything would have to be super-duper-smooth sailing from here on out.

Although, one thing going in our favor is that we already have PA (pre-approval) for our little girl, so thats one less thing we have to wait on.

July.... amazing!