Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fashion Show!

This year Munni and I were honored to be the cover family for the Cincinnati Children's Hospital fundraiser for the International Adoption Clinic.  Dr. Staat is responsible for saving Munni's life so this was an emotional experience!  I can't say enough about how amazing Dr. Staat is!  Munni of course, was thrilled to be in a fashion show :)

This is program.  The invitation was the same!  The photo was taken by my talented cousin, Anne Gregoire
First, we went to the salon to get her hair done…

This little girl was all smiles from the moment we walked into the salon!  Thank you Molly for styling Munni's hair so beautifully!

Next, we headed to the event so the children could have a dress rehearsal.  If you live in the greater Cincinnati area, I strongly encourage you to attend this event!  The silent auction has so many wonderful gifts and the raffle is amazing too!  My dad won a raffle by putting all of his tickets in one basket :)  He won the Valentine's Day basket which he ended up giving to us since Valentine's Day is our Forever Family day :)
This year's theme was India.  The drinks were a Taj Mahal (a delicious concoction of liquor and fruit juices!) and a shandy.  The food was "around the world" theme and uh-mazing.  They also had a woman there from Mumbai doing Henna.  My mom, my sister, my niece and I all got henna tattoos.
This woman was amazing and whipped these designs out in less than 5 minutes!
After the appetizers and silent auction were finished, it was time for dinner and the main event!
Munni was the first one on the catwalk!  She was a little disappointed that she didn't get to do her little hip fling and hair toss that she had been practicing all day lol!  But that didn't stop her from looking adorable :)  I made the hard decision to NOT bring my camera…I wanted to be able to be in the moment and I can get carried away when taking pictures so these are all from the event photographer.

She was so in her element!
I did run to the front of the stage to video it though….I couldn't help myself.

This is her glam shot :)

We had SUCH a wonderful time and I can't wait until next year when Baby R can join in the festivities!
If you are in need of a year end tax write off, I can't say enough about the International Adoption Clinic at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.  Literally, ^^^that beautiful, smiling, happy girl is proof positive of the amazing work they do!

I hope everyone who celebrates has a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with the ones you love the most!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Orphan Sunday 2014

Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.”  -David Platt
She was ignored.  
Passed over many times.  
Too scary.  
Too many unknowns.  
And yet,


This is what was lying underneath, waiting to be discovered.  Waiting to be loved to the point that she could blossom.  Waiting for a family that would allow her a safe place to finally let go and become all that God intends for her to be.  Hoping for a day when she could live a life that every child should live- with a family.  

Munni and Marleigh -  BFFs :)
Munni was 6 years and 9 months old when we became a family forever.  In the year and 9 months since she's been home, she's grown 6.5 inches, gained 14 lbs, and went from an 11/12 shoe size to a size 2.  She has gotten straight A's in school and has made many friends.  She's involved in soccer, swimming, tennis, golf, art, and floor hockey.  She has flourished in so many ways, but it has not been without struggles, pain, and difficulties.  However, you will never, ever hear from me that she wasn't worth it.  The agonizing wait, the gazillion hurdles, the emotional healing, the medical unknowns…. SHE WAS WORTH ALL OF IT.  Anyone who has followed our story - you have seen the amazing transformation that has taken place in Munni.  

That kind of transformation is still out there.waiting. for the 160 million orphans worldwide today.
I know that number is staggering and at least for me, impossible to grasp.  You hear that number and I get why it's easy to ignore it because it feels so overwhelming.  How can I make a difference with a number like that?  Well, you can.  ALL of you who supported me whether through prayer, monies, encouragement, hugs, emails, letters, ALL OF YOU made a difference.  You made a difference in Munni's life.  And because of that, her life has made a difference in countless others.

This year, I am advocating for a sweet, precious, Chinese girl who goes by the screen name of "Jessalin."  She will be 5 next month.  I became aware of her late last winter.  I, along with many others, advocated for her.  There is something so sweet about this little girl that has grabbed our hearts.  And yet, she is so sad.  She reminds me so much of how Munni was when I found her.  Every time I look at Jessalin's sad eyes, it breaks my heart because I KNOW there a scared, lonely child in there who NEEDS to find her forever family quickly.  Two families have come forward for her in the past but due to unexpected circumstances, both families had to stop their adoptions.  I pray for this little girl daily- hoping that she will find her family soon.  What I would give to be able to see her transformation into a beloved daughter.  Her official diagnosis is that she is Hep B +.  She was also visited by a western doctor last June who thinks she may also be suffering from Speech Apraxia.  I have pictures and videos of this sweet girl.   Are you her family?  Do you know someone who you think could be her family?

I know that not everyone is called to adopt and I know that not everyone is in a place where they are able to adopt.  But there are many other ways that you can help.  Here are a few:

Advocate!!  Get the word out!  If you know someone who is adopting, help spread their story!
Pray! I can't emphasize this enough :)
Encourage- notes, messages, texts…. they mean more than you will ever know.
donate money
donate  your stuff - I know many families who were able to raise a ton of money through garage sales!
donate your time - once they are home, life is CRAZY.  Help walk their dogs :), rake their leaves, etc
If you are creative, help them brainstorm fundraising ideas!

Adoption is not easy- by any means.  It literally takes a village.  I would have been completely lost without all of the support I had.  YOU are invaluable to a child who still waits for his/her family.  How will you change the world for one today?  Let's stop ignoring that huge number and instead focus on making a difference - one child at a time.  Let's link arms and raise our voices together to advocate for these precious ones.  If you are interested in Jessalin or know someone who might be, please contact me for more information.  Let's join forces and fight for these children who are so worth it.  Every. Single. One.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The BEST Three Letters in Indian Adoption!!!


WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!  Her birthday is Thursday- what an AWESOME gift!!!  

Next up is court and then passport and then…..TRAVEL!!!!!!!!!!

Please keep praying that things would keep moving!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Dear Ayah

Dear Ayah,

I think about you every day.  I wonder, how many times you have held Sweet Baby R in your arms?  Did you kiss a boo boo today?  Did you laugh as she accomplished something new?  Did you hug her?  Did you sing to her as you combed her hair?  You see, I knew you existed but ever since I've seen a picture of you with Baby R, you are more "real" to me.  My prayers for you have taken on new meaning and deeper sentiment.  I constantly waiver between feelings of jealousy and being overwhelmed with gratitude for the love you have showered upon her.  I covet the fact that as you cradled her, you breathed in her infant skin.  When she cried, your touch was a soothing balm.  You were there when she first cooed.  I wonder, does she call you mama?  You witnessed her healing and incredible growth.  I visualize you encouraging her as she rolled over for the first time.  I'm quite certain you were holding a toy in hopes to lure her into crawling towards you.  You were the one to first hear her giggles and see her first smiles.  I try to imagine the sound of your voice encouraging her to take her first steps and the look on her face as she excitedly made her wobbly way towards you.  I hope you scooped her up and kissed her when she finally crashed into your arms.

I can tell from the photos of you two together that you love her very much.  I hope that one day R will trust me the way she obviously trusts you.  I long for her to bury her head in my knees the way she did with you.  You are her safe place.  She feels your love.  You are her home.  I confess that I am jealous because those special moments that you witnessed are treasures that I will never call my own.

And then, my heart breaks for you when I let myself dwell on the magnitude of the gift you have given me by loving her well, and the price you will pay when the day comes that you place her in my arms.  I will never be able to repay you for the offering of love that you have bestowed upon us.

Geographically and culturally there is a great abyss between us.  However, love is the bridge that crosses that expanse.  Love is the catalyst that binds us together; each of us pouring out our hearts upon a child with whom neither of us share blood.  They say that blood is thicker than water, but I say that love is thicker than blood.

 Dear Ayah, it doesn't matter that we don't speak the same language.  Even if we did, I would never be able to find the words to express the affection I have for you and the enormity of the sacrifice you have made for R.  I have been praying for your heart.  Praying that God will comfort you in a way that no other can.

 You saw photos of me and now can picture my face when you think of R's new family.  You have seen pictures of Munni as well.  I hope that your heart is filled with joy when you think of R playing with her new sister.  I pray that thoughts of two Indian princesses united by love will quell the pain of goodbye.

Dear Ayah,  you and I are forever joined by the choices we made to love this beautiful, precious, baby girl who is so deserving of a mother's love.  Different color skin.  Different languages.  And yet, we are kindred spirits.  I pray that we don't lose touch.  I pray that you will see this beautiful child grow into all that is intended for her.

But my dear Ayah, if it should happen that one day communication slips through our fingers and fades away,  my hope is that on the other side of eternity, I will have the honor of placing a crown on your head; a reward for your heart and your incredible decision to choose love.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Origami Owl

If I've said it before, I've said it a thousand times - the community of fellow adoptive mamas has been the biggest support system that continues to blow me away.  I "met" Sara through the Congo adoption group.  I had the privilege of watching Sara bring home from the Congo her beautiful daughter Emily a few months before I was finally on a plane to meet Munni Bird for the first time.  Sara has been such an incredible supporter in both of my adoptions.  So when she approached me a few weeks ago and asked if I would like her to throw me a fundraising party, I couldn't scream YES loud enough!!!!  Sara has such a beautiful heart for adoption and has been involved in many projects that help orphans.  Recently, she became a Designer for Origami Owl Jewelry.  She wants the business to help families raise money for their adoptions.  Isn't that amazing??!!!!!  So here's the deal:  This online "Party" will be open until Saturday, August 30th at 8 p.m. - short and sweet :)   20% of anything you purchase will go directly towards the last part of Baby R's adoption- THE TRAVEL PART!!!!  But here's where it gets even better.  If you purchase ANY part of one of the two Signature Pieces, I will receive 30%!!!!  Isn't that incredible?  Origami Owl has so many beautiful pieces and the possibilities and combinations are endless :)

I am going to get the girls matching "Gotcha Day" necklaces with charms of the elephant and their birthstones.  If you are in the process of adoption and haven't figured out your Gotcha Day gifts, maybe you could create something meaningful  here!  Just please be sure to use this link when purchasing or else I won't get the credit :(

Here are the two Signature Pieces:

Or this one:

In case you were wondering what these pieces mean and why they are important to me :
Elephant- for those of you who know me well, you know that I've been crazy about elephants ever since I can remember. It probably sounds corny, but I have this strange connection to them  Anyway, India is known as "The Land of Elephants"
The Heart- Spread More Love  Last spring when I was praying about adopting again from India, God put that phrase on my heart one morning while I was in the basement taking clothes out of the dryer. God uses the most spectacular moments to speak  It was a moment where I knew it was from him. I went and googled "Spread more love" and immediately popped up Mother Teresa's famous quote, "Spread more love wherever you go" Obviously, Mother Teresa had a huge connection to India serving and loving the orphans there 
Milagro ~ One of my favorite words in Spanish. It means "Miracle." I started speaking Spanish when I was 26 and taught Spanish for 14 years. These two girls have been the biggest miracles to ever happen to me! 
There it is!!!  Thank you for all the support and encouragement you have given to me throughout this journey.  It means more than I will ever be able to express in words!
~ Love to all of you!!!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014


The community of fellow adoptive mamas that I've met through this whole process has been a HUGE blessing in my life.  They have been extremely supportive and beyond encouraging.  I love how we rally around each other, holding each other up and at times, dragging each other through the deepest, darkest of pits.  We do whatever we can to have each other's backs and that is a beautiful thing to witness!

I was so honored when one these amazing mamas asked if she could interview me for her blog.  It was a great experience for me.  I was able to pause and reflect on all that I have experienced and learned throughout Munni and Baby R's adoptions.  I hope that my story will encourage others ~ wherever they are in the process.

Please check out the interview on Lucy's blog and also see how God has been writing their beautiful story!  You can see it all HERE!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

One Step Closer!!!!

LOOOOOOVVVVVVEEEEEE starting the week off with good news!

My cw called me to tell me that I have the state level clearance!!!  WOOOHOOOOOO!!!

She said to expect the federal clearance in about 2 weeks.  After that, my case goes to court and passport.  This step could be anywhere from 3-6 months.  So…. travel could be anywhere from December to March.  But again,  as I've learned from the past, all things are subject to change :)

For today, Munni and I are going to celebrate that we just passed another huge hurdle and are one step closer to bringing her baby sister home!

Thank you for the prayers!!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Land of the Never Ending Wait

One year ago today I was officially matched on the C*RINGS website with Sweet Baby R.
One month ago, my cw verified in person that the committee who is responsible for issuing the state level clearance had everything they needed for my case.
I need the state level clearance to move forward to the federal level clearance and I need the federal level clearance to move on to court and I need court to get the written orders and I need the written orders to get Baby R's passport and I need Baby R's passport so I can make travel plans.
That run on sentence is exactly what my wait feels like right now.
Still no news.

Please don't tell me about God's perfect timing.  I wrote a whole post about that here.
There is nothing more frustrating than have everything regarding your child be in someone else's hands.  And I think every adoptive parent will agree that those "someone else's hands" don't move anywhere near the speed we would like :)

So I continue to pray.  I pray that people will feel moved to address my case and get us through the next step.  I pray that I won't get discouraged.  I pray that I will be present in each and every day with Munni Bird.  This summer has been sooooo good for us.  I know this is the last summer we will have together, just MommyMunni, so I've been losing myself in our time together.  That's the beautiful thing about having a child while you are in process of adopting another.  I love every moment of our time together because I know I will never get it back.  And at the same time, I imagine what next summer will be like with the three of us :)  

I admit that I am sad and disappointed because I really thought she would be home by her 3rd birthday. Instead, it will be another birthday that Munni and I will celebrate without her.  We will take pictures so that one day, she will see the two birthdays we celebrated with her in our hearts.

In the meantime, I've been taking a ton of pictures of Munni.  It never fails to amaze me the amount with which she has and continues to change.  I can't wait to photograph her with her sister :)
But for now, I will continue to wait on the Lord and pray.

…and photograph my beautiful Princess!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Beautiful Story

When Munni first came home, she would talk about her friends from her room.  I was able to piece together that there were 4 little girls who formed a "family" while living in the orphanage.  One of them was still there when I brought Munni home and I advocated for her on Orphan Sunday.  Recently, it has been confirmed that she has a family!!!  She is not home yet but there is indeed a family pursuing her!  The oldest of the Fab Four arrived home in January 2012.  They were kind enough to take pictures of Munni when they were there to pick up their daughter.  Those were the first pictures I ever saw of Munni Bird smiling :)

 And then there was Meena :)  She was the youngest of the bunch.  Munni must have said her name 100 times a day.  It was to the point that I called my caseworker and asked her about Meena because I seriously considered adopting her if she was available.  It was clear that Munni had an incredible bond with her and that she was like a little sister to Munni.  I found out that she too, was already home with her family.  Turns out that her family is very similar to mine - another single mama who is also a teacher.

I learned that Meena is deaf.  Munni told me that Meena couldn't talk.  And yet, Meena was Munni's best friend.  Even though they couldn't use words to communicate, it was obvious from the way Munni talked about her, that they loved each other very much.

Well, one thing led to another and I was able to find Meena's mama, Colleen, on Facebook.  It was so incredible to be able to show Munni pictures of Meena with her family!  We found out that she also has an older brother!  We connected via telephone and talked for hours.  I was able to share with Colleen details about the orphanage that she had never been able to learn from Meena.  She also shared with me that Meena was never taught any sign language at all while living at the orphanage.  Munni had told me that Meena didn't go to school, but I thought that was due to her age because she is 3 years younger than Munni.  Here was this beautiful, spitfire of a little girl, just languishing in an orphanage with absolutely no language.  Colleen is a teacher for the hearing impaired and is deeply entrenched in the deaf community where they live.  Once she got Meena home, they hit the ground running teaching her how to sign.  Turns out this little peanut is brilliant!

Fast forward to last autumn.  A couple of weeks into the school year, I discovered that there was a hearing impaired boy in Munni's class.  He had a full time interpreter with him.  Munni was stuck to her like glue.  Every day Munni would come home and show me a new sign she had learned.  She would incorporate the sign she was learning into our conversations.  In fact, she has learned more sign language than Spanish!

About two weeks ago, Colleen and I talked and figured out that we could meet halfway for a reunion.  Once we had everything confirmed, I told Munni.  She was ecstatic!  Every day she would ask me when we were going to see Meena.

That day was Tuesday.

I filmed the girls when they first saw each other again.  To see Meena running joyfully towards Munni made me cry :)

We spent the day at the conservatory and gardens- watching the butterfly release, splashing in the water, climbing in trees, running across open fields.  It was a perfect day for childhood memories to be made!

Beautiful Meena!

The key hole was a big hit, can you tell?

Meena has the perfect "duck" face- the envy of all selfies!

Beautiful girls, beautiful friends!

I think Meena was climbing something when this was taken!  Colleen and Connor!

Beautiful family!
 Colleen and I kept saying to each other how blown away we were to watch Munni and Meena.  They were running around, squealing with delight, and beaming with joy!  These two precious girls who had been passed over time and time again.

Guess what?  God put them in their perfect families for them :)

 Meena has some serious upper body strength!  I couldn't believe all that she could climb!

I am still in awe of how God continues to write this story for these two beautiful princesses!  And I love how he cares more than we could ever imagine.  The fact that Munni was in a classroom learning sign for a year, just blows me away.  To be able to see these two friends finally be able to communicate in the same language was nothing short of beautiful!  Even when I thought the story was "over" by Munni being home, God was not finished.  He showed us how much he loves these girls - that he would bring things to pass so that one day they would see each other again, they would talk, and they would know that their friendship will continue for years to come!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Please Pray! :)

I can't go into details but there is a big possibility that there could be some forward movement in R's adoption in the next couple of weeks.  I am hopeful that I will be crossing one major hurdle and really praying that it will be 2!!!  Please pray that the information requested gets to the appropriate hands in a QUICK manner and that the next step can be completed!!  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!  I'm praying that my next post will have some great news!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


It's been one year and 5 months since the day Munni and I met for the first time.  I recently got a new phone for my long, overdue upgrade so I saved the pictures from my old phone to my computer.  Going back through those pictures was like watching one of those science films that is sped up to show the growth of a seed into a  plant, into a bud, and finally into a beautiful, showy bloom.  Munni has definitely blossomed into her own!

And yet…

The pain of her past is deeply imbedded within her.  I was alarmed at the amount of information she remembered.   Late at night, when we were snuggled in bed, she would whisper the horrors of her past to me.  Each time she dared to open the vault that held those secrets, she would release more details of her horrendous past.  She did it in small pieces, as if she knew the weight of knowing it all at once  would crush me.

I spent many nights sobbing after she drifted off to sleep.  I don't care how many books you read or how many classes you take, nothing will prepare you to hear in your own child's words what they endured before they were yours.

I post a lot of pictures of Munni and they are almost always pictures that paint a joyful world in which she lives.  Yes, I would say that Munni is happy.  But there is also an underlying anxiety that plagues her.  She does so well the majority of the time that even I forget.  Until she blindsides me.   It's never expected and always feels like a punch to the gut.  In her beautiful innocence, she doesn't realize the crushing blows she doles out with her questions or observations.

One night we were watching a popular show on the Food Network.  We were laughing, having a great time and then she stops.  "Mommy- that person sitting at that table looks like X."  Her whole demeanor changes and I start to feel like the air has been sucked out of the room.  At this point I pray for divine knowledge to handle validating her and keeping my own emotions in check.  What I want to do is go freaking ballistic on X.  Instead, I rewind the program.  "Show me baby.  Which one."

We are driving to a birthday party talking about all the presents this person is going to get and what a fun party it's going to be.  "Mommy, will I ever see X?"
I think to myself, oh my God, where is this coming from?
"No baby, you will never see X."
"But what if X finds me?"
"Baby, X will never find you.  And if somehow X made it to America, Mommy will never, ever let anything happen to you ever again.  And you know what else?  ALL the people who love you will never let X see you again.  Do you understand how many people love you?  That's a lot of people who will make sure you are safe. And Simon, well Simon would rip X into 100 pieces.  He would never let X get between you and him."
She halfheartedly giggles and tells me she understands, but in the rearview mirror I see her face.  And in her eyes it's there.  Ever so small, but present.  A hint of doubt.  A sliver of fear.  In my mind, I simultaneously pray for healing and cuss like a rapper filled with rage.  I realize my knuckles are white from gripping the steering wheel.  What I would give to have 5 minutes….. I stop myself.  I can't go down that road because it leads to nowhere.  I tell myself that hurt people hurt people.  Only Jesus can give me the strength to forgive X.  Anger and bitterness lead to death, not life.  I slow my breathing.  I ask God to help me in my unbelief because right now, I have unbelief that I will ever truly forgive.

Munni and I still co-sleep.  She told me the other day that she wants to sleep with me forever.  I told her  that she can sleep with me as long as she wants.  When people give me disapproving looks upon finding out that Munni is still in my bed, I wonder why they even care.  I will do whatever it takes to make Munni know that she is loved, cared for, and safe.

The thing about adoption is that many times, these children come from hard places.  Places that you will never hear the parents sharing the details in their pursuit of protecting their child.  We remain vague.  BUT IT IS PAINFUL AND LONELY.  Sometimes her revelations wreck me for days afterwards.  Other times, I am successful at compartmentalizing my pain.   I cry a lot when I talk about Munni and how much she's changed over the last year.  There are deep wells of emotion within me because I know what a miracle she is.  I know what she has overcome.  I know what still lies ahead.  I pray prayers that no parent would ever want to pray.

If you know someone who has adopted and maybe one day they seem "off,"  please just give them a hug.  Things might look rosy on the outside but it's quite possible that a bomb went off the day before.  There have been many, many days where I could have used a hug.  I don't have any trouble asking for affection, it's the reason behind it that makes it difficult :(

Adoption has made me a more compassionate person.  It's easy to make judgments, comments, or comparisons about how people parent their children.  I used to do that.  I wasn't even a parent but in my "expertise" I would "never do such and such."  What a joke.  I was so insensitive and prideful in my naivety of non-parenthood.  Life has a funny way of teaching you lessons.  Now, experiencing what I have experienced has taught me that every parent could use a friendly smile and support; a sense of solidarity in this whole parenting thing.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Let's Spread More Love :)

I've been dying to write this post!!!  Seriously, I am overwhelmed by the way God continues to work in Sweet Baby R's adoption and in my unbelieving heart :)  On top of that, I just found out that my caseworker will be going to visit Sweet Baby R!!!  She is going to get videos and lots of pictures for me!!  We are also hoping that the visit will be a catalyst for the state approval I'm waiting for.  Please pray that this will happen!

O.K., let me give you the quick back story before I showcase all the goods for the fundraiser!

When I got the Article 5, it was a huge relief and also a dive into the unknown since now everything will be on Ind*a's timeline.  I have been praying since last summer that this summer Munni and I will be able to go and bring R home.  It would be amazing on so many levels, including not having to take another 12 weeks of unpaid leave.  That's kind of rough when you are the only breadwinner :)  Traveling to bring her home will cost about $8,000.  That includes all of the plane tickets ( two round trips, 3 in -country, and a one way back to the US!) the lodging in two cities, guide, meals, transportation, and embassy fees.   I had been praying about doing another fundraiser and knew that God was leading me away from just relaunching the previous t-shirt.  I will admit that I had a serious case of the doubts.  I went to the OT like I always do when I'm struggling and landed in the book of Numbers.  Now, I know it was the Lord because seriously?  Who just randomly says, "Today I'm going to read out of the book of Numbers."  Anyway, chapter 14 hit me like plank over the head.  God had just parted the Red Sea and led them to safety and now they were freaking out about whether or not they would be able to eat.

"The Lord said to Moses, 'How long will these people spurn me?  And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in the midst?'" - Numbers 14:11

 I am so like the Israelites.   God parted the Red Sea for Munni's adoption and He continues to do it again for R.  And yet, I flounder.  I get scared.  I worry.  I stress.  I start looking at the natural instead of focusing on the supernatural.  I read that verse and knew He was telling me to trust him.  So I kept praying that he would lead me to the right fundraiser.
And boy, did he!
I ran across this company on a Congo mama's page and when I clicked on her link, I got that "buzzing" feeling.  I knew I was onto something.  Linda, the woman who started the company, Tees With a Purpose is also a fellow adoptive mama.  Here is her statement:

"My passion is adoption and God's heart for the orphan.  As a mom of 3 adopted girls, 2 that are home (China and Ecuador) and one that we pray will be home soon from The DRC, I would consider it a privilege to work with other adopting families as they move towards bringing their child or children home.  I would love to come alongside of you as you consider fundraising to meet the financial goals that lie ahead of you.  My commitment to you is that I will make your experience through Tess and More With a Purpose easy and stress free so that you can begin to fund raise without any money out of your pocket."

Well, we hit it off immediately.  I shared R's story with her and she said to me, "We are going to bring your daughter home!"  I started crying because to have a stranger I had just met rally the battle cry for this last phase of R's adoption completely blew me away.  On top of that, she arranged it for me to partner with Melissa & Doug on some extremely cute items!!

So here's the deal.  These items will be for sale through my blog until 12 midnight on May 18th :)  Once I tally all of the orders, Linda will place the order.  It will take about two weeks for the items to get printed and dropped shipped to me.  I will then sort and ship everything to everyone.  All in all you should receive your items about 3 weeks after the sale ends on May 18th.

So.......... Here they are!!!!  I hope you love them as much as I do!!  The prices include shipping except for international orders, which will need to add an additional $5.00.

I'm am so excited about the women's t-shirt!!!  I wanted a shirt I could wear with my "skinny" jeans and heels - one that would be figure flattering and super cute!

Women's Next Level V-neck Slub crossover blend in White, Grey, Yellow, or Blue - $25  
sizes S-2XL

I apologize that the white, yellow, and blue photos are not as sharp… I had to doctor them myself to save money and was dealing with lo-res files but I want you to be able to see the different colors with the logo on it!

Next Level Unisex Tri-Blend Long-Sleeve Hoodie in Blue, Grey, and White - $35 
Sizes XS-2XL

Too bad the model doesn't come with the hoodie ;)

Real Men Spread More Love :)
Men's Jerzees Blend in White, Grey, California Blue, and Vintage Blue - $20
Sizes S-5XL

California Blue

Vintage Blue

Don't forget to include the littles!
Jerzees Youth Heavyweight Blend in Columbia Blue, Grey, White, Pink, and Yellow - $16
sizes XS-XL
Columbia Blue


Munni insisted we have pink :)

Butter yellow
Be green and Spread More Love at the same time with this super cute tote that is made from 50% recycled material!  
Comes in Grey, Bright Yellow, Turquoise, Pink, and Light Tan - $28


light tan


Bright yellow
These will all look amazing in person---much better than all of my photoshopped samples!
I'm excited to think about everyone wearing their Spread More Love gear and being a part of bringing Sweet R home!  I hope that every time you put one one, it makes you smile- knowing that you are playing a huge part in this sweet little girl's life!

And here are the amazing Melissa & Doug products!  How cute are they??

Melissa & Doug Toy Stacking Truck - $25 (cute toddler not included!)
I love this truck!  I love the letters, I love the animals, I love it all!  

Melissa & Doug Magnetic Responsibility Chart  - $32  
Munni has told me that this will make doing her chores "fun!"  I'm banking on that!

Melissa & Doug Happy Giddy Sideline Chair - $28
Those antennas crack me up!

Melissa & Doug Butterfly Sideline Chair - $28

Melissa & Doug Happy Giddy Umbrella  - $18
Seriously----those antennas!!!

Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Umbrella  - $18
Munni has already informed me that she "has" to have her  fashionista ways!

How it works:
Once you decide what you would like to purchase you will:
1) click on the "Paypal Donate" button at the top right hand side of my blog, directly above Simon's majestic picture :)
2)  Please add up and put the total dollar amount of the items in the donation amount box.
3)  In the comments, please tell me how many of what you would like.  For example, if you are buying several shirts, please write "1 W shirt size M in blue; 1 M shirt size L in grey; 1 Y shirt size xs"
3)  Also, please make sure if your shipping address is different from the address verified through paypal, that you indicate to where you would like the items shipped.
4)  If you live outside of the continental United States, please add an additional $5 to cover the extra shipping costs.

Below, I am posting the size charts and product specs.  Hopefully these will be helpful in making your decisions.

Women's V-neck:

Unisex Tri-Blend Hoodie:

Men's short sleeve crew:

Youth Tee:


I am THRILLED that the Lord led me to Linda and her amazing company!!  I truly hope that this campaign Spreads More Love and that all of you who participate will be blessed beyond measure for your generosity, love, and support!  THANK YOU!!!!!!!!