Monday, December 12, 2016

Three Best Letters....


Which stands for No Objection Certificate

6 LONG weeks of waiting for this came to an end today!

Next up is court, passport, and then...


We can't wait to put our arms around our precious Jujube!

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Simon was running up and down the fence like a possessed dog.  
"Wow, you've got a great looking boxer!" the gutter guy exclaimed.  Just as he finished complimenting my insane dog, Honeybee walked out the back door.  "Oh! you've got two!  One of the foster homes where I lived had an amazing boxer.  I loved that dog."  

Foster home.  

Somewhere along the way in his childhood, he experienced profound loss and trauma.

We talked about how great boxers are and in general, dogs.  He told me he has a boxer/pit.  He told me how much his dog loves his 8 month old baby boy.  His first child.  Pride beamed from his eyes.

We continued with small talk as he cut the gutters for my house.  I felt like I was supposed to ask him more.  So I did.

"How long were you in foster care?"
"Nine years.  The first family I was with abused me.  It was a f#cked up situation.  From there, I was in and out of different families and group homes.  When I turned 18, I messed up and went to prison for 4 years.  But I learned a lot from my time in and I knew I never wanted to go back.  If it weren't for the last foster family I was with, I would be in prison for life.  They never gave up on me.  When I got out, my dad helped me get this job.  They allowed felons to work with them.  I started at the bottom, but I've been with the company for 3 years now and I've worked my way up to cutter.  I've got  a stable life now for my son."

I couldn't help it.  The tears just fell.  

We started talking about the system and how flawed it is.  We talked about how he had hoped for seven of the nine years that he would get adopted.  That never happened.  We talked about his family's struggle with addiction and how he's lost 9 family members to drugs.  He told me that he was one of the lucky ones because 88% of foster kids end up in prison for life or worse.  

Through my tears, I shared with him my heart for the girls in India.  I shared my heart for children to be in families.  I shared with him the adoptions of my two, beautiful girls and how close I am to bringing Jujube home.  He told me about how he watched a documentary on the red light district in India and how messed up it was the way those women and children were treated.  He told me he watched the whole movie.  We agreed that absolutely nothing comes even close to replacing family. 


The foundation for every person's life.  He told me how as a child, he saw his mom pass out from heroin every single day.  He told me that there ain't no way his son will ever know that feeling.  
I believe him.  
When he talked about his sweet, baby boy, his whole face lit up like the sun.  So much love for his child.

He went about his work quickly and efficiently.  We joked about how old my gutters were.  We talked more about dogs and how they just have a sense with people.  We talked about how dogs have been there for both of us in ways that people could not.  We talked about the love and protection they offer us.  We talked about how this will be his baby's first Thanksgiving and Christmas.  He told me he and his girl aren't buying him any gifts because her mom is going to spoil him rotten.  He told me that his baby is loved by everyone.  He told me that his son is named after his brother who passed and her dad who passed.

As he finished putting away his tools and packing up the truck, I needed to say one more thing to him.

"B, thank you for sharing your story with me.  You have really touched my heart.  I can't begin to grasp all of the pain you have experienced in your life, but what I can tell from talking to you is this:  you have wisdom most people never gain in their lifetime.  Even though it came at such a horrible cost, what you have is a gift.  Your life, your love and dedication to your son, the way you talk about your future - it's a beautiful testimony of overcoming all the odds.  I am blessed to have met you today.  I will be praying for you and your family.  I'm very happy for you that you get to have these firsts with your precious baby boy!"

Tears running down my face, we hugged it out.  He thanked me for the prayers and wished me a Happy Thanksgiving.  He told me that he hopes I get to travel soon to bring Jujube home.  He got in his truck and drove away.  I immediately went inside and called the company.  I asked to speak to the manager and proceeded to gush about what a fine employee they have and what a great job he did today.
The manager was quiet for a moment.  He told me that they never get calls like mine.  He thanked me and told me he would pass it on to B.
I hung up the phone and prayed.  I prayed that God would bless B and his family.  I thanked God for crossing our paths.  I thought about all of the people with whom we come into contact and how connected we all truly are. 
I thought about my Munni Bird and Roopa Joy.  I thanked God for the miracles he performed to make us a family.  I thanked God for Jujube and prayed for that day to come soon where we can all embrace each other and boldly proclaim that we are family.

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours :)


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Article 5!!!!

Best thing ever is waking up to emails from the embassy in a far away land :)

Article 5 has been sent to CARA.

Next is NOC and then court.

We are coming for you soon Baby Jujube!!!!  We love you!

Saturday, August 13, 2016



Baby Jujube has a name and the most beautiful face!  We are THRILLED!!!  We have been praying for her since March - that God would bring the right child to our little family.   Well let me tell you, she is PERFECT in our eyes and we can't wait until she is home with us!

I was approved to receive a referral on her birthday!  My caseworker had her eye on this little peanut and said that every time she prayed about it, she just knew that this little girl was supposed to be in our family!

We are overjoyed and of course now we want to move at warp speed :)

Once I pass court and she is legally mine, I will be able to share her gorgeous name and face, but for now, you will just have to imagine her preciousness :)

We would love prayers for our new little Pune Princess!

Based on the region and previous cases, her process should move much more quickly than both Munni and Roopa's processes did.  Munni has stated repeatedly that she would LOVE for Baby Jujube's gotcha day to be on her birthday in May.  I'm thinking I would love to make it a trifecta and travel again in February when it's not blazing hot!  Either way, we are hoping and praying that we will be home before next summer so that we can have that time to bond as a family without any time commitments.  Also, we DEFINITELY want to celebrate her second birthday in our home as a family of four!

Thank you!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Greatest of These is LOVE...

The one thread that has been consistently woven throughout my adoption journey is Love.  Jesus is love and his plans for our lives are filled with this powerful message.

Love does matter most.

Love is what drove me to pursue my girls.

Love is what kept me going when the battle was overwhelming.

Love is what filled my heart the very first time I laid eyes on both of them.

Love is what pulsed through my body the first time I held them.

Love is what pierced people's hearts to root for us, to pray for us, to give lavishly to us, to encourage us, and to carry us home.

Love is what motivated Dr. Jon and Dr. Greg to perform outstanding procedures for my daughters so that they might move forward with confidence in life.

And Love is what continues to move me to extend the meaning of family to our precious Baby Jujube.

Love really does matter most and when we do our part to spread more love everywhere we go, love wins.

Here is the link to see our follow up on The Doctors.  The segment was done in two parts -for Roopa and for Munni.  Both links are below.  We are blessed because Love is indeed, the greatest of all.

The Doctors -Roopa
The Doctors - Munni

If you would like to spread more love to help bring Baby Jujube home, please consider purchasing one of our amazing t-shirts.  I pray that you would wear a smile each time you wear it and that you would brighten the day of those whose paths you cross.  Thank you!!!
There are styles for the whole family! Regular crew necks, ladies v neck, and youth.  Click here to order yours :) 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Spreading More Love!

They're BACKKKKKK!!!!!  Several people missed the Love Matters Most - Spread More Love t-shirts campaign the first time so they're back!  They will be on sale until Memorial Day Monday, May 30th!  They are American Apparel and SUPER soft and comfy!  The Campaign page lists the links for both adult and youth sizes YAY!  Also, there are fun summer colors:  lime green, raspberry, teal, black, grey, and black :)

All proceeds go towards Baby Jujube's adoption!  Please consider buying a shirt and know YOU are changing the world for one!!

Click here to purchase your shirt!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Love Matters Most

Back on the fundraising train!!  I get filled when trepidation whenever I start fundraising. That fear turns into humbleness and pure joy at seeing all those who step up to help change the world for my girls!!!  I hope our littlest coconut is surrounded by the same love!!

This t-shirt is American Apparel and SUPER comfy!  The campaign runs through April 25, 2016.  You can purchase one here!

In the climate of our culture today, I think  this message of love is more important than ever.  I hope you buy a t-shirt and spread more love everywhere you go 😀.  

Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Modern Twist...

Here's the story
Of a lovely lady
Who was bringing up three very lovely girls
None of them had hair of gold
Like their mother
The youngest one she longed to hold...

We are excited to share that we are adding one more chickadee to our family nest!  Munni, Roopa, and I are thrilled to be on this journey one last time to complete our family!

I am about 3/4 of the way through the home study and half way through the dossier.  There are so many exciting things for us on the horizon, and this littlest princess is at the top of the list!  I am not yet matched with a child but we pray for Baby #3 everyday.  Summer will be a very exciting time for us!  We would appreciate your prayers as we embark again on this amazing journey to bring home our precious, awaited baby girl!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Reflections and New Horizons

The last 5 or so months have been incredible in regards to the truths that Christ has been teaching me.  He has also been preparing me for a new season.  He has reminded me of all that he has accomplished in my life and is giving me glimpses of some things to come.  He is calling me to step out in faith in a way I've never done before.  And it's scary.  I will save the details for later but in the meantime, I hope to encourage anyone who may be in a similar season :)

Two books in particular have been instrumental in getting me to the place where I am now - ready to free fall for God.  Imagine Heaven: Near Death Experiences, God's Promises, And The Exhilarating Future That Awaits You is a book unlike anything I have ever read.  He interviewed over 3,000 people from all walks of life and all places who experienced Heaven and then had to come back.  It's amazing to hear the similarities that they described.  It's a book I would recommend for anyone to read - you will finish it and yearn for Heaven!  The second book is Restless:  Because You Were Made For More.  Whoa!  This book could not have come at a more perfect time in my life.  Again, you will be changed by this book and your relationship with Jesus will never be the same.

These two books, the bible, and a ton of prayer time have imbedded these truths in my heart:

1) God loves you more than anything you could possibly imagine.  Nothing you do, have done, or are planning to do can change that.  You can't earn his love.  You can't lose his love.  You can be a heroin addict or tee totaler.  You can be the most honest person alive or the biggest liar.  You can be a murderer or a life saver.  It doesn't matter because His love is not conditional on you and your actions.  His love is because of his essence and who he is - Love.  No matter how bad you may think you've messed up, STOP.  That is a lie from the pit of hell.  Nothing, and I mean nothing will change his love for you.

2) Having faith in Jesus and stepping out of the boat for him will ALWAYS look/seem/appear absolutely insane to our culture and world.  This is purposeful on God's part.  The more you grow and step out, the more the unimaginable will be accomplished through you so that we can boldly say, "Only God."

3)  He created you to be AMAZING!!!  In each of us, he deposited unique gifts and talents that only we can use to accomplish his purposes!  We are vessels for his love.  He wants to use your uniqueness to spread his love to those who cross your path in this life.  You are the only one who is you.  I am the only one who is me.  I have this conversation with Munni all the time.  I tell her to look at our flower garden and ask her, "How boring would it look if we only had roses?"  What makes our garden beautiful is the variety of flowers - all different shapes, sizes, color, and fragrances!

I am humbled today reflecting on what Jesus' resurrection means for me ~ the things he endured so that I might live and spend eternity with him.  He can take anything and bring new life to it.  The one thing I always wanted was to be a mom.  I made crappy relationship choices and found myself at a point in my life where the "traditional" way to have children was not an option.  But you know what?  God put that dream of being a mom in my heart and he brought it to fruition.  What I thought was dead, he resurrected.  And not only did he resurrect it, he made me a mom in a way that was beyond ANYTHING I could EVER have imagined!  My girls are the biggest blessings to me and a constant reminder that God is the master of the impossible!

I hope to encourage anyone who may feel God tugging at their heart to take that step of faith ~ whatever it may be ~ to know that He will accomplish something so amazing and unique through you that when you get to the other side, you will wonder why you ever hesitated!


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Life Lessons and Honeybee

We have a new member in our family!  This is Honeybee :)

She has such a sweet face!

She is a 14 year old boxer who was on the verge of going to a shelter where undoubtedly, she would meet Mr. Sleepy :(

And then God intervened because he wasn't finished with her yet :)

Last year was an incredible year and  I will never be able to articulate all of the emotions I have felt.  We have had the highest highs and the lowest lows.  I am beyond blessed that I get to be my girls' mom and I am eternally grateful that I am privileged to walk through life with them.

My adoption journey started in June of 2009 when I prayed all summer for clarity if I should move forward to adopt as a single.  That fall, I started researching and praying about where to adopt from and by my birthday in March, I was in process to adopt from Nepal.  From that point on, my faith took a journey like the wildest roller coaster I could ever imagine.  Six and a half years later, I sit here and try to process everything.  I have met so many amazing people through this journey and have made beautiful friendships with other adoptive moms.  We have wept together, prayed together, ate cheese popcorn together, laughed together, celebrated together, gone crazy together, and most importantly, grown in our faiths together.

I was talking to one of these dear friends the other day and we came to the conclusion that the adoption process was a refining fire to help prepare us for the actual gig of parenting a child with trauma.  We have battle scars from fighting for our children.  It has taken a toll on all of us.  Jesus tells his disciples to count their costs and pick up their cross in order to follow him.  The cross was not easy.  It was painful - excruciatingly so - and heavy to bear.  At one point, the soldiers had to force Simon to pick up the cross and help Jesus.  Notice that Simon did not volunteer.  Everything the cross represented, no one wanted to be a part of it.

For the past month or so I've been learning so much about myself.  I feel like Jesus has been stripping me of baggage that I've been carrying around for too long.  He's been opening my eyes like never before to the way I want to live my life.  Becoming a mom has impressed upon me even more how important my daily words and actions are.  One of Munni and Roopa's favorite games to play is what they affectionately call, "Mommy daughter."  One of them is me and the other rotates being the daughter.  It's very sweet to watch.  Until  you start hearing some of your words come out of their mouths and see some of your actions re-enacted.  It makes me cringe.  But I'm thankful that God shows me these things because it encourages me to continue to strive to be a better mom.  I was thinking about the cross and how my adoption journey and motherhood is my cross.  It might sound weird to say this, but I couldn't be more thankful for this cross I bear.  It has exposed my selfishness in a way that nothing else could.  And isn't that the root of all sin?  Putting ourselves before Christ?  I want to live my life selflessly.  I want to love in ways that will be a blessing to others.  And that type of love costs.

The other day I had a heart to heart talk with Munni.  We have a family bed and the girls rotate who sleeps next to me.  Usually, it's fine.  Lately however, Roopa has been struggling with fear and just needing to sleep next to her mommy.  Without me even having to ask or suggest it, Munni has told us that Roopa can have Munni's turn.  I told Munni when we were talking about it later that I was so proud of her because THAT is the kind of love that Jesus talks about when he tells us to lay down our lives for others.  I told her that I know that sleeping next to me is so precious to her and it's something that she REALLY wants, so for her to sacrifice that in order that her sister will feel comfort, just completely blows me away!  I can see in her sweet face and the tears in her eyes that it costs her greatly.  However, the life lesson that she is gaining from this is huge.  I pray every day that my girls will have tender hearts and compassion for others.  I hope to model this for them.  I want our little family to be a blessing to others.  It's easy to have compassion when it's convenient, but what about when it disrupts life?  What about when it comes at a personal cost?  In those circumstances, I hope that we will choose to be compassionate.

So how does all of this relate to an old dog?  I get alerts from a boxer rescue site.  Right around Christmas, I was scrolling through their page and I saw Honeybee's photo.  I read her description and my heart sank because I thought there is no one who will take a 14 yr old dog.  I thought about how hard it would be to become attached and then lose her in a relatively short amount of time.  People usually don't like to sign up for that kind of pain.  I went on with my day and the rest of the holiday season.  However, God was using all I had been learning and brought it to fruition a few weeks later.

Last week, I bought the book Imagine Heaven.  It has been an incredible read.  It's a compilation of over 1,000 interviews of people who have had near death experiences.  The author compiled all of the similarities that these people experienced in their interaction with Heaven.  One commonality was the panoramic movie of people's lives.  While watching this movie, they described seeing how each of their actions - both good and bad - affected other people.  This really struck a chord with me.  I'm in a season where I'm trying to be acutely aware of my words and actions.  I thought back to my conversation with Munni and her sacrifice of love for her sister.  I thought about the effect of her compassion for Roopa and how beautiful it is.  Then I thought about the cross and how Jesus completely changed everything it used to represent.  Through his sacrifice and resurrection we are redeemed.  In place of death, we now have redemption and hope.  I thought about how my girls have been redeemed through adoption.  It made me realize on such a deeper level that through heartache and sacrifice, something so much greater can be born out of it.

The next day, I received another alert from the rescue site.  Honeybee was still listed.  I got a twinge in my heart and I knew we needed to take her into our family.  I had a long discussion with both of the girls explaining that because of her age, she probably won't be with us for long.  I told them that she will probably have accidents in the house, which will require us cleaning it up.  I told them that she might not be able to take normal walks.  But I finished by telling them that we have an opportunity to give this sweet dog in her last days a family who loves her.  Roopa told me, "Mommy, let's make her happy!"  Munni said she would feed her and clean up her messes.  She also told me that she wanted to change her name to Honeybee because she was too pretty for the name she currently had :)  I became obsessed.  I emailed.  I waited 30 seconds and then texted.  I waited another 30 seconds and then called and left a message because I wasn't sure if it was a landline or not.    A long 45 minutes later, I received a text back.  Yes, she was still available!  We exchanged information and set up a pick up time at Ikea - the halfway point.  They also sent me another picture of her.
She looks so sad :(

When we finally met Honeybee, I was shocked at how thin she was.
She probably needs to gain between 12 and 15 lbs

It's painful to look at her
The first night in our house, she was completely stressed.  I was heartbroken for her.  She had 3 immediate accidents even after going potty right before coming inside.  She had the long drool and refused to eat any of her food.  We ended up going to bed early and she managed to snuggle between Roopa and me.

Roopa was so excited to snuggy with her!

The next morning, I woke up and took a shower.  About 30 minutes later, Munni woke up and Honeybee with her.  She came out of the bedroom and greeted me with the signature boxer wiggle!!  I was ecstatic because with that wiggle, I knew she was going to be ok.  The only problem was that she still wouldn't eat her food.  I tried giving some of Simon and Rollie's and she wouldn't eat that either.  I did a ton of research and ended up buying some high caloric gel and a rotisserie chicken.  Jackpot!  Then I found out about "satin balls."  We bought the ingredients and whipped some up and again, success!  These are high calorie meatballs made for malnourished doggies.  I then tried a can of chicken chunk dog food and she ate that as well.  I feel so at peace that we found her some nutritious food that will hopefully help get some weight back on her.  She is the sweetest little lady and Simon and Rollie have been perfect gentlemen.  She is such a little blessing to our family and she is a daily reminder that even if it's inconvenient, the return on compassion is love.

They are becoming fast friends!

Living the dog's life... passed out on my lap :)