Thursday, April 26, 2012


That is how many orphans there are in Oklahoma.

Right now.

I was okay with this number, until I put faces with the number. Then it became not just a number. But a sweet, innocent child, that only wants love. We introduced two in our homes for a short time over Easter and we are forever grateful that we did.

We immediately started paperwork to start the foster/adopt process. We were warned it would be a long process which can be disheartening, but then we think of those innocent faces (one of which is our child) and we continue to push on.

On our flight home from Boston, we got a call from DHS asking for our help. They said that the shelters were so overcrowded that they were about to be shut down by the fire marshall.

So many children were in DHS custody that all the beds were taken and the rooms were over capacity. There were 60 toddlers and babies in the TULSA shelter alone.

They asked us if we would be willing to take a child from Thursday evening until Sunday night while they found placements for the children.   We aren't certified, but that's how badly they needed emergency homes. Of course, we agreed and we took home a beautiful 3 year old girl.

She looked like Goldilocks with her blonde hair that naturally curled on the ends. Her baby blue eyes were crystal clear and her laugh was contagious. She looked like any other normal 3 year old, except her baby blue eyes showed her sadness and fear.

When we read in the papers that there are not enough DHS workers to complete the appropriate paperwork in a reasonable time for all of the families that want to HELP and foster and/or adopt it's discouraging.
Then we meet another child that needs our help and we know that we are fighting the good fight and we will fight for the long haul.

So we march on. We completed all our paperwork and did our background checks (I called/emailed every day to make sure we didn't "fall through the cracks"...I don't care about being the annoying lady). We were approved and so we completed our next step by getting our fingerprints done at the Sheriff's office.

Izzy is a lot of help at the sheriffs office

We are set up to start our month long classes to educate ourselves on what to expect and we should be expecting a call from a worker to schedule our home visits.
The home visits could be a bit tricky, since we are planning on moving soon.

There are obstacles, but we know that just shows that what we are doing is right.

I just finished a Beth Moore study on the Book of James. It changed my life. Most likely, I am going to be the first woman to ever say these words but...I am not a HUGE fan of Beth Moore. I love her studies and I love her on paper but I don't just jump up and down to hear her speak. Maybe, I'm just a weirdo and I hate being calling, "girlfriend"...okay, I'm a weirdo.
One of the things she said that I constantly am reminding myself through this process is,

"We will miss the greatest adventures of our calling if we remain compelled by comfort. We will be bored stiff and wonder why God never called us to anything. How willing are we to just flat out GO for God? And it is important to remember that in order to go anywhere, we first have to leave someplace else (usually that means our safe place, our comfort zone). If we choose comfort to motivate us we will risk our callings....because this I can promise you--your calling will always be WAY outside your comfort. God is a whole lot more interested in your calling than your comfort."-Beth Moore

I am glad that I am being called out of my comfort zone. I hate leaving the shelter in tears. I hate saying goodbye to children that I can't promise I'll see again. I hate explaining why we have to bring them back. I hate hearing my daughter ask where they are and me not be able to give a response.
But I know that this is what God is calling us to do.
So we will continue to fight the good fight.

James 1:27

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

So What! Wednesday

Today I am linking up with Shannon for a little So What! Wednesday. Come on and join us and get a few things off your chest.

This week I am saying So what!

That I haven't had a "normal" weekend (i.e. in town, with just the three of us) in I don't know how long AND I don't know when the next time will be when we do have a regular ol' weekend.

If I am going to Nashville for 10 days without Mr. T to watch my nephew while my sister and brother in law are out of town and I am a little scared about doing it all alone. Single moms ALWAYS amaze me!

If we are putting our house on the market this week and we are expecting to do our "home visits" for DHS anytime so that we can foster/adopt ON TOP of all our other life adventures right now. This should be hectic just a blast.

If I don't know what this whole thing is about: #. The hash tag has always been a little bit of a waste of a symbol to me and now it just confuses me. I assume it just means you put the hash tag and then you follow it with something clever. #IamanoldladyandIdon'tcarewhoknowsit.
Is that how it works?

If I have a feeling you will see me on the news someday with the headline, "Mom gets all momma bear on another person who was smoking at the park while standing right next to tons of kids playing." It really, really makes me angry and want to fight when parents smoke and hang their cigarettes in their hands where kids could get burned!
 Also annoying? People that cheer at MARATHONS and smoke. Why would that ever be a good idea? Sure, smoke. But please don't smoke on me while I'm grasping air #thankyouverymuch. (I'm getting better!)

If I haven't run in over a week to give my body a break  because I was told I really need to be drinking tons of water and re hydrating because my insides took a beating during the marathon. I am not running, but I am also not drinking water. Lots and lots of Dr. Pepper re hydrates right?

If I am using this post to get EVERYTHING off my chest. Sometimes I need to clear the air. Sound good?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


That's what we are calling our trip to Boston since this is (hopefully) the last getaway before we welcome another family into our family (not "hopefully" like I didn't enjoy it, but "hopefully" like we want to be approved to take a child home this summer...fingers crossed).

It was so nice to travel with just the two of us, especially because we depended on mass transit to go everywhere we wanted to go. This girl figured out she is NO city girl after a few days of having to rely on taxi's, trains, and subways to get everywhere. Carrie Bradshaw makes it look so easy...

We did have a blast exploring the city. Boston is such a neat town and one of my favorite big cities that I've ever been to. There was so much to see and even though I walked like a war victim after the marathon, we managed to walk a lot of the city (and take a trolley around...mass transit was my friend then).
I don't know why Mr. T. is still so sad about the Boston Massacre....I guess it was because it happened on the year that he was born.
 "Where everybody knows your name"

"And they're always glad you came"
You're welcome for getting that song in your head.

We also got tickets to see the Red Sox play the Texas Rangers (I think this is just about the whole reason Mr. T. wanted to come) in Fenway Park. I will admit, it was a lot cooler than I thought it would be. Plus, the beer was cold and only cost your first born to get one.

We had a blast and were so proud of ourselves for making it out of the park fast and on to the subway and then the train without any problems...until our Taxi driver stranded us at the train station for an hour and a half at Midnight. Cinderella was p'd off. Her glass slippers were killing her and her skin was on fire from the wicked sunburn from the previous days marathon.

Our final day was spent enjoying the last of the city. We also got to check this little number off my To Do list:
 Tattoo time!
 The easy part. What you don't sweating and my heart racing. Tattoo artists are so cool. I'm so not.
The finished product. 

So now, I am officially giving my poor feet a break.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Boston Recap

We had a great trip to Boston. Have you been there? The city is amazing and we had such a blast exploring. The one downfall?
The Marathon.
Look away from my face. I forgot makeup the entire trip and I was exhausted. Just look away!

I don't know if you heard, but it was hot. Not just a little warm for Spring, but HOT like Oklahoma summer time, hot. Like record heat for the race.
It was 87 degrees at the start and 90 degrees at the 10k.

I was sweating by the time the gun went off. I am trained for a sub 3 hour marathon, but I knew this would not be the day for me to run that. Upon hearing about the weather, I decided my new goal would be to get a medal and finish.
I achieved my goal, but it wasn't pretty.
That's me in the white tank!
This is at mile 6 when I was still alive. 
I went out about 30 seconds per mile, slower than my goal pace and I felt completely relaxed until about mile 16. I had a little sip of water or gatorade at each water stop and threw water down the back of my neck every chance I could. I did all I could to beat the heat, but at mile 16 I suddenly stopped sweating and starting getting tunnel vision.

I knew at that point that I was in trouble.

So I decided to relax and WALK (which I never do) at every water stop to try and calm my body down and hopefully take in more fluids. People were passing out or quitting left and right. The sounds of ambulances was white noise during the race.

At mile 20 I started throwing up ALL of my fluids. At first, I just thought maybe the sweet gatorade was upsetting my stomach, but after 4 miles of vomiting about every half mile, I knew it was more than sweet gatorade.

Boston is known for it's AMAZING crowds. The people are awesome and cheer every step of the way. On a good day, this is great. When you are constantly vomiting and wanting some privacy to die alone....the crowd is hell.

At mile 24 I had lost all of my liquids and was going at about a 20 minute per mile pace. I wasn't thinking clearly, but I just kept wanting to get close enough to see the famous CITGO sign, because then I knew I was almost done.
After I was on my last throw up, a Fireman made me sit down on a chair (this sentence makes me sound like I was in Vegas or something) and he checked my pulse and said I needed to immediately go to the Medic Tent. Before I knew it, the medic was at my aide and making me lay down. They had me hooked up to an IV and had Mr. T on the phone before I could really figure out what was going on.

After a trip to the ER doctors told me I had heat exhaustion (DUH!) and hooked me up with more fluids, I was feeling a tad better. I could walk on my own, I hadn't thrown up in a while and I had finally pee'd so I decided the only thing to do was FINISH THE RACE.

When I was pulled out of the race at mile 24, I could practically taste the finish line. I had Mr. T drop me and my Aunt (who happens to be a nurse and was with me the whole time I was sick) off so I could walk the remaining 2.2 miles.
What the finish line really looks like
The desolate finish line by the time I crossed.

The last two miles took me a while to finish and wasn't easy on my body, but I was so proud to actually finish. I went to Boston to get a medal and I was going to get it!
 Mr. T has a special talent. He can capture someone running at a snail place and make them blurry so it looks like they're going fast. Thanks Mr. T!
                  As you can see, the crowd is dying with anticipation on who will cross the finish line first.... Me, or the chip bag wrapper that's blowing in the wind.

I finished! I had about a 3 hour split break in my time.
But I finished.
Plus, I had the cutest cheerleader in the world to come home to.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Welp, this is just great.

I received this beautiful little email this morning:

Last year I ran a marathon in Dallas and had to stop at mile 16 because of heat exhaustion (self diagnoses..) and it was 80 degrees that lovely afternoon as well.
I have been training in the middle of the afternoon, pushing Isabelle in her stroller, trying to heat train so hopefully some of that will pay off.

Either way, I'm going to try and have a good time. It's a long trip, but I won't lie and say I am not looking forward to traveling without a child. For tiny humans, they come with a TON of stuff! Plus, I get to finish reading this amazing book:

It's a memoir about a girl that grew up in the foster system and was later adopted. It's a tough read, but it's giving me a great insight to how the CHILD can feel during this tough phase and how we can help. Any other adoption books you would recommend?

So I sign off until next week! Hopefully, I come back with, a fast time, a new tat, a Plymouth Rock souvenir, and a belly full of sea food.

Have a good weekend and think lovely thoughts about me on Monday morning!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

{Embrace the Camera} April 12th


This year Isabelle was able to actually participate in the egg hunts for Easter and all her practicing paid off! She was a master hunter!
 I'm a tad excited because I know she can't eat that means I'm left with the chore of disposing it.
And a flashback of LAST Easter at Church. She was a little more bald and I was a lot more blonde. Oh the good ol' days.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Take Heart

Thank you all for your amazing words of encouragement. Mr. T and I were overwhelmed by the support and it eased the pain to know that the Lord is working in our story to, hopefully, help others in their journey's and encourage us along the way.
I can't say thank you enough.
We have turned in our paperwork, but as most of you know, that is just the beginning. The process is long, tedious and full of mountains to climb but we can't wait to bring our child home and introduce Isabelle to her new sibling(s).... because sister was made to have lots of siblings.

White man CAN jump..(especially when he's standing next to 8 year olds). 

Of course we will keep you informed on how everything is going and I will continue to ask for your prayers for a smooth process for us. We are putting our house back on the market in a few weeks and we would LOVE for it to sell quickly so we can move into a house that will have more room for our future family. We also will be out of town for most of April. So our lives right now are hectic (to say the least).

Our Boston trip is coming at a perfect time for a little getaway with just Mr. T and I. It will be nice and relaxing to explore the city (minus the whole marathon thing I'm running) and cross off one of my "bucket list" activities.

Anyone been to Boston? Anything in particular we should see/do? I would like to see Harvard and maybe run into Mark Zuckerberg or something? Maybe borrow a few bucks from him? That would also take care of another bucket-lister.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter and a Heavy Heart

This Easter was spent a little different than most. We started last week with Easter festivities with my Nashville family that went perfectly. We had an early egg hunt, we dyed eggs, and we had my first Noonday Party. My Nashville family left to go back to Tennessee on Friday and enjoy their Easter parties there.

That's when our lives changed.

Let me back up my story. I have told you guys a few times before that I am not feeling ready to be pregnant and have a baby. Mr. T and I decided that we would start "trying" to get pregnant after I run the Boston Marathon (NEXT WEEK), but that time is just about here and I still don't feel ready to get pregnant. That doesn't mean that I don't want a child or I want Isabelle to be the ONLY child. I just felt God pulling on my heart, to hang on and not get ahead of myself.

For a long time I have been drawn to adoption (and so has Mr. T), but we always thought we would adopt after our kids were older. We have always prayed about it and lately God has laid it on my heart that our Plan A is adoption NOW. Now, I don't know if this comes across in my blog or not, but I am not good at surprises. I love my life planned out and I love to know what the next step is going to be but every time I think I have it all figured out God shows us that He is in control.

He's done it again.

To wet our feet with this whole adoption thing, we decided to join The 111 project to support OTHERS with their journey through foster and adoption care. We explored all of the options and attended a 7 week class at our church about how we could help and what to expect. I also read  other amazing blogs that were motivating and inspiring.

God continued to work in our hearts.

After we felt comfortable with the idea that maybe our next step would be adoption instead of pregnancy we decided to fill out paper work to maybe take a child home for Easter so they can enjoy Easter festivities and aren't left alone in a shelter (Our local shelter has a program to take children home for the day during holidays...please check your local shelter if you are interested. It's an amazing program that will change that child's life and change YOUR life. I promise).

We had a social worker come to our house and ask us a few questions, look around our house and just chat with us about what to expect.

We were told that we would be able to pick up the child on Easter morning and then bring them back Easter night.
We were told it would be hard.
We were told we would get attached.
We were told the child would get attached.
We thought we were prepared.

We were wrong.

We met two amazing children one night when we volunteered that were 3 and 5 years old. We were immediately drawn to them and asked our social worker if it would be possible to take BOTH of them home with us for Easter. He was excited we had chosen TWO and told us that they would be a great fit for us! We thought, "Perfect! This will be great and we will have fun with them all Sunday!"

Thursday afternoon we got a call saying that we could pick the children up FRIDAY afternoon and have them all weekend.

Are you serious? We weren't prepared for that, but we were ecstatic! We were so excited to share our lives with them for a whole weekend!
We didn't do anything out of the ordinary with them. We took them to the park, we took them to Target to get some new Easter gear, we went to dinner, on a walk, to Church, to Bass Pro (if you know Mr. T., you know this is the norm), and to our family brunch.

Going from 1 toddler to 3 kids, at times, was a challenge. But a challenge that we loved.
The kids were amazing. They didn't ask for a million things at the store, they didn't ask to go see the Easter bunny or for anything specific. They lit up when you told them they were smart. She glowed when you told her she looked like a princess. He smiled and laughed when you told him how strong he was and in a natural boy fashion, didn't want to be called "handsome."

They are normal kids. Normal kids that only want what they don't and stability.

We decided right then and there that even though we may not be able to give them a brand new first car, or every new toy around we could give them what they really wanted and needed. I was born into a loving family. I didn't ask for it. I didn't deserve it, but it was given to me. Ephesians 1:5
They didn't ask for their situation either.

In a matter of 3 days, they changed our lives. We had to bring them back on Sunday evening and it was the hardest thing we've done in a long while. We were powerless. We couldn't keep them. We would have done anything to change that, but we can't.

We came home and immediately began the paperwork to foster/adopt. It will be MONTHS before everything goes through, but we are starting now. I don't know if those kids will still be in the shelter (my prayer is that they're not and that they are in a loving home. Not a shelter). But I know that my child is out there and now I just need to go get them.

We will continue to Walk in Faith.
Because that's all that we can do.