About Us

As you may have noticed, I have decided to give the members of our family nicknames. I am in the process of changing all the old posts from the nicknames, etc, so hang in there if you see our old names. :)  Tex and I were married in 2007. We got Carousel in 2010, and officially adopted her in 2011.

What's with the character names in old posts?

Woody and Buzz: our first foster kiddos, and we thought we were going to be able to adopt them. No such luck. We miss them very much. :)

Briar Rose: a daughter we were planning on adopting next, but we decided to keep Sweet Caroline an only child. :) {there is no real little girl behind this name- it was always in hopes of our next little girl}

Nemo: a little boy we almost adopted, but decided against- which was good because he ended up being reunified with family after all.

Our Adoption Journey
My dad was adopted, so adoption was never foreign in my life. When I was 18, (fall of 2004), I was at a Steven Curtis Chapman concert. He spoke about his adoptions, and shared how important it was to adopt. From that day forward I knew I would adopt one day.

I met my husband online, (April 06). I saved some of our first conversations, (I.M) and looking back I found out something pretty amazing...

ML: what is your out take on adoption

TB: actually, I want to have kids of my own and adopt some too. My dad was adopted... but I just really like the cause... I was at a Stephen Curtis Chapman concert last year and he speaks worlds for adoption. He has 3 of his own and he has adopted 3 as well. I think that's awesome... he has a great testimony

ML: cool. I always thought that I would adopt even if I was single.. there are a lot of kids that really need a home... the head staff member of Campus Crusade adopted two Russian kids

TB: yeah... I know... one of the dads at my work wasn't married at 40, but he wanted a fam so he adopted one, which turned into 3 and he just adopted 4 more... 7 boys... from 3 diff families.. he is awesome!

ML: wow, that's cool. I just figured I would ask, some women don't really go for adoption

TB: well I have the "mommy gene" definitely, but I need to first have my own, and adopt as well. I have to experience the whole joy of motherhood.. pregnancy, birth, everything.. then adopt! actually I am very close with a few of my kids and if anything happened to their parents I would adopt them today...no questions asked... I don't care if I am only 19.... I love these kids too much!

Looking back, I love that we talked so early about adoption. As you saw, I desperately wanted birth children first. God had other plans.

You see, after we were married I starting ignoring God. I became disobedient to God's leading on that in my life. He wanted total surrender, but that was too hard for me. So, I would surrender a little, "Ok, I'll have all the birth children I want, then I will adopt however many you want to give me... No? Ok, I will have 2 or 3 birth children and adopt the rest.... No? Ok, I will have only one child, then adopt the rest."

See, I never totally submitted to Christ's Call. I did what I felt comfortable with. You see, when it got down to "I'll have only one and adopt the rest," I was really praying, "God, please please please let me have one! I have to have one! How terrible would that be to never have a birth child?!" I knew what God really wanted, but it wasn't easy to swallow.

Then in July 2008, we went to Church camp with the youth, and God spoke to me loud and clear.... so much so that I couldn't pretend to be obedient any longer, total surrender was expected! David Nasser was the speaker, and he said, "there are 200,000,000 orphans in the world, and if only 7% of THE CHURCH would adopt, there would be no need for orphanages!"

At that moment I realized my disobedience, and understood why God had called us to this life of adoption. 7% of a people is not much, and it isn't even 7% of the world! No, it is 7% of the Believers in the world! Wow! That means it won't take that many to wipe out the orphanages! Also, I found a quote: "1.1% of the population has adopted." WOW! Isn't that terrible, especially in light of the statistic from David Nasser?

I prayed about what God had put on my heart for the next 48 hours. I cried and pleaded and prayed. Am I strong enough to be this obedient? I finally approached my husband and told him what God had said to me.

"I think we need to adopt all of our children. We should not have birth children. I have been feeling God calling me to this for awhile now, but I have been ignoring Him."

I waited, in tears to see how he would react.

"If that is where you see God calling us, then it is fine with me."

All the tears, grief and anxiety left immediately. I was finally at peace since I was finally obedient.

I also told him at that moment to help me out. I knew I would have to go through a grief period, and I would need his understanding through that time.

By the Grace of God I did not have to endure the grief period I imagined. At first I was a little bummed when I saw girls who were unmarried become pregnant.

"Come on God! That is not fair! Why do they get to have birth children, and here I am married, and I don't get to!"

Luckily, any desire to be pregnant was taken from me very quickly. My husband and I were both immediately at peace with never having birth children.

After that summer we began and "on again, off again." relationship with adoption. We were just trying to figure out God's will for us.

That January, we found out about twin boys that would be up for adoption soon through foster care. I spoke with their foster mom, and before we met them she informed me that she had decided to adopt them. We were sad for like 10 seconds, then we were OK because we knew they were her children, not ours.

We always found new children on the TARE website that we considered adopting, and luckily they always got adopted.

Last year when the earthquake hit Haiti, we had 2 opportunities to take in orphans from the quake, both fell through.

If you are keeping track, I had desired adoption for 6 years at that point, and we had pursued adoption for 2 1/2 years. We still had not adopted yet. I was emotionally exhausted. I was ready to be a mommy!

March 2010 we FINALLY, officially began the adoption process. We were going through an agency called Arrow that adopts kids out of the foster care system.

That same month we provided respite for 2 foster boys. We fell in love. For the next months, we went through the adoption training and spent more and more time with the boys. In July they were going to move in with us- termination was imminent! The day before they moved in we got word they were now pursuing reunification with mom. We were heart broken. We welcomed the boys into our home with hopes that mom could still mess up, or at least they wouldn't be going home until about October at the earliest.

One week later we got word that they wanted the boys home by the beginning of school. More heartbreak, but we knew we could at least love them until the end of August.

The following week we got a call, "they are picking them up tomorrow at 9 AM." What!? What we thought would be a very long transition and careful deliberation, turned into 2 weeks. I hate to say that the system failed the boys, but it did.

Now, I know it was God's will for the boys to go home, but they deserved a longer transition. Mom needed to prove herself to be changed, something she had never done.

We were told there was a good chance they would end up back in care, so we decided to pursue a baby girl while we waited for their return, (age 0-3 to stay in birth order with the boys).

In August, I got a phone call from our agency and they said they had a sibling group of 3 for us- all blonde hair, blue eyes, all under the age of 4. Doesn't get more picture perfect than that, huh? Well, to us it wasn't- to the world it was. I agreed to meet them because we did not want to pass up an opportunity, but we were not 100%. {Don't forget we would have had 5 children if the boys came home and we took these kids.}

The next day I received an email from the foster mom of the twins from 2 years earlier. She had a 9 month old baby girl that, "would bless someone someday."

I turned her down because I felt like I was committed to the sibling group or something.

By the Grace of God again, I met with our boys' former foster mom that day. I told her about the sibling group of three and as I was about to leave, I told her about the baby. She told me I was crazy for passing so quickly, and encouraged me to meet her regardless of the other children.

I immediately called her foster mom, praying she hadn't read my email. She had not. I spoke with her for awhile, and I was at total peace. I knew I had found our daughter.

So, I went and met her on a Tuesday. I knew she was mine, and I had to have her.

That Wednesday, I got the call for the sibling group again to set up our meeting time. I had to TURN DOWN 3 CHILDREN. SO HARD! The next day was the day my husband got to meet his little girl and we got to meet her lawyer. When I spoke with her CPS worker that day, she asked if I could take in a sibling group of a 2 year old and 2 month old. I had to SAY NO. AGAIN. SO, in 24 hours, I turned away 5 CHILDREN. You think it is hard passing up puppies on doggie adoption day at Petco? What about not giving an extra dollar to Chili's for St. Jude's? Yeah, try turning away 5 children in 24 hours. NOT EASY.

The day I met our daughter, a little boy at the home caught my eye. He was a month older than her, absolutely gorgeous, and in love with his foster sister. I had to have him too.

Case closed, we were adopting (pretty much), twins.

In October, we were waiting for her placement, and I got a call for a newborn baby girl. I begged and pleaded with my husband. I knew I could handle 3 babies. He said OK. Once again, by the Grace of God, I called her foster mom for advice. She told me that by law I could not have more than 2 kids under 18 months in my home. I once again had to turn down a baby. {Then I came to reality and realized I was insane thinking I could handle 3 babies. lol}

October 29th was our Sweet Caroline's Gothca Day.

December 2nd we got termination, and this spring we will get to adopt her. She has Spina Bifida, so no one wanted her. Let me tell you, she is amazing! She is the easiest, happiest baby ever, and she is so funny! If you are hesitant in adopting a child with special needs, please contact me. I would love to talk to you about it!

We nicknamed the boy Nemo on our blog, because how fun is it to call him, "him," or, "the boy?" We thought he would be placed with us in early November.

It wasn't until February that my prayers were answered. Monday March 14th, Nemo had a court date where they would terminate parental rights. We were finally getting our son!!

I was ecstatic. I starting registering for clothes and a double jogging stroller. I had to practice massive restaint on decorating. I had his room planned since August, but had been wiating since it was so unsure. Eventhough it was looking definite, I wanted to wait until the 14th.

Then on March 8th, our joy ended. We got word that Nemo, (16 months old), had the brain of a 4 month old and will always have a brain of a 4 month old. We are not shy about special needs children, (our daughter has Spina Bidifa and we thought he had Cerebral Palsy). The issue now was not the special need, it was the severity of his special need. If he was our only... if Sweet Caroline was older. IF, IF, IF.

In the end we made the heartbreaking decision to pass on Nemo. Heartbreaking is an understatement. We were finally getting our son, and less than a week before termination, we had to decide to pass on him. As painful as it is, I know it is the best thing for him and for Sweet Caroline. 

While we were waiting for Nemo, I knew that even if we never got him, I was meant to want him. You see, he kept me from taking that newborn baby girl. With a baby with SB, there is no way I could also have a newborn right now. Also, in November, I got a call for another newborn, this time a boy. I once again turned him down.

Nemo has kept me on track with Sweet Caroline, and if that was God's purpose for me loving him then so be it. I still wish he was meant to be my son. BUT as God would have it, Nemo ended up being reunited with family, and we were spared the pain of that loss.

We have had many ups and downs on our adoption journey, but let me tell you: they are all worth it. Every minute I spend with my Annie is an amazing gift from God.

I hope my story of no birth children is an encouragement to those of you ladies struggling with infertility.

NEVER in my life did I think I could be okay with not having birth children. But, I find my joy In Christ, not in getting pregnant. I am happy to be a mommy, period. Who says being a mommy= pregnancy? There are many women out there that had birth children, but they are terrible mothers. Think of all the children that are beaten across the world. No, blood doesn't mean anything! It is a heart matter! Let me leave you with this, (on this subject): as Christians, we are Brothers and Sisters in Christ. That means that if you have an unbelieving family member, then you are more family to me than you are to them. It is the truth, people. So, in reality, when I said blood doesn't matter, I wasn't entirely correct. Our family blood does not matter... the blood of Christ does!

While our adoption journey has been bumpy, it is far from over. Our plan right now, (God is in control so these are subject to His changing), is to adopt from overseas in a few years.

I hope my story has comforted and maybe even inspired some of you. I am very open to speaking with any of you on this subject.