"If I were to ask God why He lets poverty and injustice exist, why there are so many orphans and why He does nothing about it, I am SURE He would ask me the same ..."

author unknown

About Us

My name is Jessica and my dear sweet hubby is Kelly. We have three beautiful girls, big sis and little sis plus our newest little baby sis :) Welcome to our site where we will blog about our journey to grow our family through adoption in Africa.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blogging is hard...

when I'm not even sure of what exactly is going on in life or in my own head with adoption.  I haven't blogged since I had a dream about being pregnant, because well, I am pregnant.  It's so bitter sweet to write those words on this blog.  Because, as my little tracker says above, we decided to adopt a sweet little boy 2 years, 6 months, 3 weeks, and 4 days ago......

and here we are.

I would like to be transparent, but we (I) didn't want to tell the general public this time that we were pregnant because I didn't want to answer the questions of what about our adoption, and then, even with the explanation that we were still adopting, people would judge or say "yeah, right" in their own heads.

It's awful to realize how important the approval of man is.

It's one of the lies I believe on the regular basis...that that approval is important...a priority even.

I know with my head that my audience is of One, I know that He is sufficient, I know that we are told the world will hate me at times because the world first hated Him.

But my heart, well, it's nice to have approval, isn't it?

I'm a work in progress...

On to adoption stuff....we have heard from the attorney one or two times about birth moms that were right on the cusp of our family needs, but it hasn't been our child.

We've told the attorneys that we are pregnant, so that they can disclose that to birth moms.  I have no idea if a birth mom would pick us in this season of life, but I would love to have makeshift "twins."

There it is, the update....there is so much more going on in my head, what God is whispering to my heart and orchestrating in my family, but it's all too raw and uncertain to write for public eyes.

If you think of us, please pray for direction and guidance.

P.S. We are all ecstatic about this new baby due in February...it's another girl! ;-)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A strange dream

Last week I had a really strange dream and I had really wanted to write about it before I forgot all of it, but alas, the kids have swim practice every day, so it's been a little crazy around here.

Anyway...the dream...I was pregnant, young, high school, maybe college, but the main thing was this, I was alone and I wanted to give up my baby for adoption. The main two themes I don't want to forget about my dream is this:

 First, I was afraid, scared of the whole thing, having a baby, giving the baby away, I was seriously afraid.

Second, it was hard. I'm not talking about actually giving the baby away (I didn't get that far in my dream), I'm talking about finding the adoption office. I was looking and looking and it seemed everywhere I went, someone would tell me I had the wrong place and then give me new directions. It's so interesting to me that these were the main themes in my dream.

 Fear and obstacles...are these the things that grip birth mothers hearts as they make this decision?

 Fear of giving birth, fear of making the wrong or right decision, fear of the unknown. I wholeheartedly believe that a birth mom should not be pushed into the decision, but I can see where it might be the best thing for baby AND mom to choose adoption. I also love that this is an option in polar opposition to abortion, the rampant "fix the problem" solution of our country and this generation.

 I had someone say that birth mothers choosing to give their baby up was really a selfish decision. Yes, I can see how that might be the perception, BUT, in light of what the world sees as the easy fix, adoption is hard, and in my eyes, not a selfish decision at all for a birth mom. It's a hard choice to make. Hard work to follow through. Picture the birth mom who has to think of all the pieces of the puzzle and come to this decision. Maybe she truly can't take care of herself, let alone a baby. Maybe the birth father pushes her towards abortion, but she pushes back. Then later in the pregnancy, her mother finds out and pushes her to keep the baby...

fear, obstacles.

 Then she actually has made her decision and she's faced with choosing a family based on a letter and some pictures. These are the people that will be raising the child growing inside of her. What if they turn out to be mean, terrible people? What if they make terrible parenting choices she has no way of predicting looking at their picture While she's sitting in an attorney's office?

 Fear...obstacles... Obstacles...fear...

 So, this week, I have been praying and thinking about birth mothers, not just ours, but all of them, all over the country, right now that are trying to make a decision. I cannot even imagine what it must be like for this to be the final option...but in the end... it could have been many of us. It could have been me.

 Had my sweet husband been not so sweet 11 years ago, what would I have done? Would I have tried to raise a baby on my own? Or would I have looked up adoption agencies in the yellow pages?

 God had plans for my family, what have turned out to be wonderful and beautiful plans, I am so thankful that I don't know personally what it's like to entrust my child to someone else to raise.

 But I am also thankful for the courage of the mothers that choose that as the best option for their child. I am thankful they choose life over death, I am thankful that the enemy loses every time that choice is made. Trust me, he'd like a different outcome.

 Make no mistake, he comes to steal, kill, and destroy....even if it's the smallest person.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Yes, we are still adopting...and no, we have not heard anything....

I want a shirt that says that. I do love that people care enough to ask....


 It's like the last month of pregnancy when everyone is so anxious for you to have the baby...but trust me, no one is more anxious than you.

 That's where I am with it. I haven't felt like blogging, because there's nothing to write. Honestly, I barely can read half of anyone else's adoption blog before I humph and close the window and open up a book or Facebook. Blah, it's sad that I'd rather read Facebook than an adoption blog, I dislike Facebook more and more, not because it's bad, but because it's a huge time waster. At least if I'm wasting time on an adoption blog, I'm learning more on attachment, orphans or just cheering on another family, but Facebook! Total waste, and most of the time, I've learned nothing other than so and so's off on a vacation that I am now envying....waste of time and it makes me feel like crap...

 Okay, sorry for the rant, not sure where that came from. Back to adoption, we are just waiting, waiting for an undisclosed amount of time until the perfect birthmother thinks we are the perfect family and picks us...no pressure....

 So if you see me, and you think you'd like to ask how is the adoption going...stop and ask yourself if you see a sweet little boy in my arms. If not, nothing has probably changed, and it depresses me... If not, instead, just let me know you are thinking of our adoption and praying for us that it will all be in God's perfect time....and that I won't lose my mind while I wait ;-)

 In the mean time, I keep deciding to tell Kelly to take down the extra crib in the baby's room, and then I chicken out, cause you know...we might get called tomorrow.

 We've also been hard at normal life, like homeschooling and trying to finish strong (we are not fooling anyone, we are getting just as much done as your public school kids did their last two weeks of school). Planet Earth anyone?

 Baby Sis and I can't decide if she needs one nap or two. We just about decide on one nap and she is so cranky that she clearly needed two, then I decide we are sticking with two naps for a while longer and she refuses to take one of two naps, never sticking to the same nap that she wants to skip. There is nothing quite like a cranky, I should have taken another nap-toddler crying at your legs, pulling/pushing you away from the kitchen counter as you are (trying)to cook dinner and the big sisters don't think she as cute as she was this morning so they are so over entertaining her.

 Fun times!

 No really, she is still the easiest one we have had so far. I'm just about convinced it has to do with me being more relaxed and having the attitude of "hey, I know what I'm doing this time around!" But who knows? She is still so stinkin cute, we don't know what to do with her, unfortunately that means she has the potential to get away with a ton, you know, cause she's the baby AND she's cute!

 So we are waiting and doing normal life, and waiting :-)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Some thoughts

I have wondered what people are thinking since I put on here our changes.  Since NO ONE has said ANYTHING, my flesh worries that everyone is judging.

That's fine.

In the mean time, I have had some thoughts going around in my head and we have even asked some of these questions of ourselves. I stumbled on this old post of another blog, so I wanted to share her thoughts as they are almost exactly what is in my head.

See what Suzanne said here.

I had a similar conversation some months ago with a friend.

Who are we to decide which orphan has the greater need?

Is it the one in Ethiopia who might die at the age of 3 of a treatable disease?

Is it the down syndrome child in Eastern Europe that will go to a mental institution at the age of five to suffer unimaginable abuse and probably die shortly after the move?

Is it the child in Ch*na that thanks to a c*mmunist country they will be fed and cared for in a foster care family or an orphanage, but will probably NEVER know who Jesus Christ is?

Is it the foster care child in the US that will be bounced from home to home, KNOWING that no one wants them?

Is it the newborn African American born to a single mother who can't rub 2 pennies together, let alone raise a baby all by herself?

Why do we think we know what the greatest need is?  Shame on us....

Friday, February 17, 2012

Changes that have been a long time coming...

To say that we have been on the adoption roller coaster is an understatement.  We started this wonderful process 2 years ago.  We looked at the international options and came up with Ethiopia.

And I fell in love.

with the country,
with the people,
with the children.

Then we got pregnant with Alyssa.  I won't lie, I cried huge, sobbing tears when I found out I was pregnant.  Huge sad ears because I knew it would be that much longer till I had my adopted son, huge happy tears, because God had given me what my heart had desired, another baby to carry in my womb.

I just knew we had messed up God's plan for our adoption, yet, my head knew that God is sovereign and He was in control over this pregnancy.

We settled in for the long wait for the adoption and we got ready for our new tiny bundle...another girl...big surprise....he, he, he!
(wouldn't change her for the world!)

Then, we got the exciting news that we could come back to the program earlier than expected.  I was so excited and had high hopes that since we had much of the leg work, our paper chasing wouldn't take that long.

Normal time for a paper chase....4-6 months

Time since we re-entered the program....9 months.....

Does anyone else see a problem with that??!!

Now, some of this has been us dragging our feet, but not all.

Some of it has just been road block.....

after road block.....

after road block....

Now, through us dragging our feet and our involuntary pauses, we have had some stirrings.

I mean.... confusing, I don't know what we are supposed to be doing stirrings.

I had questioned so many things, where we should adopt from, who we should adopt, what age, what special needs, I have questioned and questioned.

One thing I have never questioned though, and that is the decision to adopt.

We are still adopting.  At least, if that's God's will.  And I beg Him often that it is still His will.

So, what are these changes, you ask???

Well, after much praying, seeking God, and discussion with Kelly, we are actively seeking to adopt domestically.  We didn't become aware of the huge need for domestic adoption of African American and bi-racial babies until after we started the process with Ethiopia.  We are looking into this for several reasons, but most importantly, because we feel God has laid this on our hearts and this seems to be the path He keeps putting in front of us.  We have seen first hand how some of these children could end up living if they were to stay with their birth parents.  We know for a fact, that many of these children, if not for willing adoptive families could have been aborted.

We love Ethiopia, and the children of Ethiopia, but right now we are giving Ethiopia to God and trusting that He knows best.  We are praying that He swing doors wide that He'd like us to walk thru and slam doors that we should stay away from.

The two biggest changes in this decision are time and money.

We could still wait awhile for our baby, BUT, when we do get him, we could have only a few days or weeks notice.

As for the money, we will be paying significantly less than Ethiopia, but again, the time we need the money in could be very short.  Thankfully we have just had the Trot (more info on final amounts to come soon) and our taxes just came in and went straight to the savings.  We are not sure if we will have another fundraiser or not, so please be praying with us that God will provide what we need it in just the right time.

We have decided to go the word of mouth method and have our profile on with 2 different adoption attorneys that place babies all year long.  So, if you hear anything...about a baby up for adoption, a birth mother needing a family, let us know, give us a call, keep us in mind.


A couple weeks ago, I took a break from all adoption talk/work to do some nesting.  I really wanted to not only make the nursery suitable for both boy and girl, but I really wanted to make Baby Sis her very own space.  She inherited the craft room/play room and it still had left over stuff that had no other home.  So, I'll have pictures to come, I can't wait to show you, it's SO cute!

Anyways, that's it for now...my longing for my little boy is strong, but I am trying to enjoy my girls!

Please pray that God's hand will guide us through this new part of adoption of lawyers and birth mothers.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Holding me Together

Turn off the music at the bottom! :-)

Royal Tailor - Hold Me Together

Can you hold me together
Can your love reach down this far
Can you hold me together
Cause without You holding my heart
I'm falling apart
Falling apart

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In case you missed it the first time around!

Our big girls have a little message for you...


You need to turn off the music at the bottom of this page FIRST! :-)

Click on the donate button to the right to sponsor Big Sis or Little Sis.  You can leave a comment with your Paypal payment or leave a comment here.  

Thanks so much!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Have you asked people to sponsor your run?

Don't forget, if you are running or walking for the Trot on Saturday to ask people to sponsor you.  Every single dollar helps, so no amount is too small.  

Who can you ask?
your mom
your grandma
your neighbor
your brother
your aunt
your great uncle
people at work
people at church

You get the idea!  Now go get some sponsors!

You can download your sponsor form here, and attach an envelope to keep everything together.

Remember to bring your sponsor money Saturday morning.

We will have PRIZES for the top fundraisers!

If you haven't registered yet, it's not too late, click here.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Today is the Day!!!

Today is the day!  The Trot-to-Adopt is 9 days away! You need to register by noon tomorrow in order to guarantee you’ll get one on race day, January 28th.  

If you don’t live in the Augusta area but would still like to participate, you can register for the race online, raise sponsors right where you are, and we’ll mail you your shirt!  Please help us spread the word and if you’re already registered, start asking all your friends, family, and neighbors to sponsor you as you run for a precious little boy in Ethiopia!  

The top fundraisers will win great prizes!  

We are praying that God would use this race to spread awareness about adoption and help us raise the rest of the money we need to bring our sweet baby Caleb home.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Reminder, Trot to Adopt Prizes

1st place prize for the runner or walker that raises the most sponsor money 
iPad 2

2nd place
iPod Nano

Print your sponsor form here and get started today!

Don't forget, bring your form and all money collected to the race on Jan. 28th, rain or shine.

If you haven't registered yet, head over to the Trot blog to register as a runner or for the Family Fun Run.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Remembering 2 Years

On the anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, I thought I'd repost my thought from last year.

This is the post

The Event that Changed it All.

So, I have been thinking about the people in Haiti recently, not just because of the anniversary of their earthquake, but because of the significance that earthquake has had on my family.

First off let me say that I am praying for peace and stability for that country.....just the other day I read an news article about the rampant rape crimes that are happening because of poor lighting and poor security in the communities that many people have lived in since the earthquake. It's sad to know that this is happening and that even when a woman is brave enough to come forward, nothing is done about it.

The story said that children as young as 2 were at risk.....

I have no words for that.....

I have to give it to the Lord and hug my girls a little tighter.

So what changed for our family with the earthquake you ask?

Well, you may know that a year ago, I desperately wanted to be pregnant. My dear sweet hubby and I had traveled all the way to Texas to have a vasectomy reversal in November. The doctor was very encouraged and I just knew that I would be pregnant in no time. But, as it was, in January, I was not pregnant and I was very anxious about whether or not the surgery was successful. Kelly saw that stress, he saw my tears over wanting a baby, knowing that we were supposed to be a bigger family and wondering if that would ever happen.

And then this tragic earthquake happened.....

people all over where killed, families separated or completely left alone, children orphaned.

God used this tragedy to soften his heart, to open his eyes. You see, every time I would even mention adoption, the answer was always no...No, my husband felt like he could not love a child that did not come from him.....No, we didn't have enough money to adopt a child....No

But, with the combined sadness that Kelly saw in me that January and thousands upon thousands more orphans that were created in the blink of an eye, Kelly could suddenly see the need, he could suddenly see that he could love a child not of his body, he suddenly saw that this could be something that our family could do.

The change did not happen the day or even the week of the earthquake. But within the month following it, as we watched the news unfold, as we heard about the plane full of orphans who had already had adoptions completed came home to the US,

my husband changed.

What a difference a year has made. We do not have our referral and we actually feel like we are just sitting on our hands as far as our adoption goes. That's okay, God has His timing, I don't understand it, as I have said before, I don't always like it, but I am going with it!

So here we are, a year later, because of an earthquake in a tiny country called Haiti, we are praying and longing for a little boy, somewhere in Ethiopia, maybe born, maybe still growing in his birthmother's womb, who one day will join our family, one day he will be spoiled rotten by his big sisters, who one day...we will call Caleb, our mighty warrior, our child born not of our bodies, but in our hearts.

We still wait and pray for you Caleb.  We still talk about you often and wonder how old you are, or will be when you get to us.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

We are approved!

Ha!  Who knew?!  Just kidding... I wasn't worried about any problems with our FBI fingerprints, but we are glad that part is behind us.  As I mentioned before, the actual process was quite painless, the price ($) not so painless...  I just have to remind myself it's all part of the ransom for my child, a child I have never laid eyes on, but one that I pray for and think of.  The one I plan for (yes, the hubby wanted to know what I had bought so many Christmas place mats...you know...for the future!), and the one I long for.

I wonder, will his face be long and slender, or chubby and round?  Will his skin be dark chocolate or a light coffee color?  I wish he was with us as we celebrate family this week, even with all the sickness and go, go, go of the holiday, I wish he was with us.  I wish the matching cribs were set up in the baby room.

But, he's not.  It makes me sad, but I am clinging to the truth that God has a better handle on the details, the timing, and all the things in-between than I do.

So, we have a 1-171H

Now we just need all the money that goes with the dossier.....

I am claiming this and praying it over our adoption.

Jer. 29:11 
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Will you sponsor us?!

Our big girls have a little message for you...


You need to turn off the music at the bottom of this page FIRST! :-)

Click on the donate button to the right to sponsor Big Sis or Little Sis.  You can leave a comment with your Paypal payment or leave a comment here.  

Thanks so much!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

We need to submit our dossier!

Can you help?

Please pass this on!

Trot Prizes!

Who wants to win some prizes??!!

Fundraising really isn't that hard.  Just register to run or walk on Jan. 28th, then ask a couple people if they'd like to sponsor you.

How much money in sponsorships do you think you can raise?

$75     Easy
$100    Just $10 from 10 people
$200    Come on, the girl scouts can do it!
$300    I want to win an iPad 2!!!!!

Go to the Trot to Adopt Blog and register under the Cote Family too to guarantee a t-shirt. (Sneak peak coming soon!)

1st place prize for the runner or walker that raises the most sponsor money 

2nd place

Print your sponsor form here and get started today!

Don't forget, bring your form and all money collected to the race on Jan. 28th, rain or shine.
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