Saturday, August 30, 2008

Beads & Braids

I know it's been too long since I last wrote on here. Things got a little crazy around here and we also had the awesome privilege of having a dear college friend and her fiance come visit us from the east coast. We had way too much fun and their presence was such an encouragement to me personally. Just so all my friends back home know...I miss you tremendously!

So, I thought I'd do a little mommy bragging this post. I have a few more meaningful posts waiting in the wings, but this one's just pure bragging.

Pvt Boo's hair has really thinned from losing alot of her baby hair, but it is starting to grow out again. I was really struggling with what to do on the back of her head because although it was of it were really long. So I decided to try my hand at beading. My first try looked ok and Boo actually did really well with sitting mostly still for me.
Now, that I had figured out how easy it really was to do, I thought I'd try again and focus a bit more on what I was doing. After several rounds of Sesame Street, we ended up with an awesome set. I LOVE LOVE LOVE how this one came out. She looked so cheerful and I got alot of comments from people when we'd go out in public. Here it is:
I also found a wrap for her hair at night. I wasn't sure how she would do with it, but she kept it on really well and it has made a huge difference in the softness of her hair. It has also done a great job of keeping the styling from coming out. My African Queen:

I just redid her braids and beads in Camo colors for the Major's big opening weekend at the University ROTC program. I'll post those pics later. Suffice it to say, she is the star of the show in her camo braids and ACU jumper.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pearls of Africa

Many of you have asked about the latest adoption adventure we're involved in now. Since we have made it official as of yesterday, I thought I would jot a quick note today about how God brought us to this point.

The Major and I have begun the process to adopt a sibling group of 3 children under the age of 7yrs from Uganda, Africa. I know, I probably think we're crazy. That's the usual response we get from people. Or we hear "Are you sure you can handle that?" To be honest, no, I don't know if I can handle it and we probably are crazy, but Love makes you act that way sometimes.

Even while we were courting, the Major and I discussed our desire for a big family and how adoption would be a part of that equation. When God closed my womb we realized that we had been given an incredible opportunity to impact children's lives from around the world who may never know what the word "family" means. As the time approached to finalized Shiloh's adoption we began to discuss our next addition to the family. We both wanted to go international this time. The Major wanted to focus on war orphans and I wanted to bring home a sibling group since they usually had a harder time being adopted. As we began to pray for God to guide us to where...Rwanda was placed on hearts. After doing a ton of research and making connections, the door to Rwanda shut. We were confused and not sure where to go from there. We had felt pretty sure that we were supposed to focus on that area of the world. We went back to God and asked again.

Within a few weeks, we had 3 totally different people mention Uganda to us. I did some research and was horrified at the situation going on in that country. I found myself angry that our media was so blatantly ignoring this country and grieved at the suffering of my brothers and sisters there. If you want more information check out: & And you can read the book: Girl Soldier by McDonnell & Akallo

The Major and I became really excited about this possibility, but were once again confused and frustrated when we found out that the government requires you to live in Uganda for 3 years before you can adopt. Then God stepped in and put us in touch with an organization here in our area that is working with an NGO group in Uganda to facilitate adoptions. As we emailed back and forth, we began to realize that God was throwing open this door and it was an amazing opportunity to adopt from a country with real needs where very few people were willing to go.

Yesterday, we met face to face with the head of the agency we are working with and handed in our first round of paperwork officially starting the process. It will take some time, but we are excited and trust that God will provide everything we need emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially for this adventure.

I will keep you all posted on each step of the journey. Hopefully, I'll get some time in a later post to explain exactly how the process will go, so you can be praying with us through each step. Thank you all again for your love and support of us through this. We look forward to meeting the African children God has chosen for our family!

Live Brave & Love Crazy!! =)

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Sweeter Song

Last night I was reading through my blog list and came across a post that had me in tears and I'd thought I'd share some of my thoughts here.

First, here's a portion of the post from her blog:
I recalled a quote I read years ago in a Max Lucado book (ironically, I think the title has something to do with a storm...). It told the story of a very young girl who was playing her violin at a concert and there was no question she was a prodigy, gifted well beyond her years. But while her fingers danced on the strings, a man in the audience leaned over to his friend and said, "Can you imagine how beautiful it will be once she's had her heart broken?"

I don't know why, but after reading that last quote my mind turned to my infertility. It isn't something I think about alot, but for some reason this specific quote really hit me hard... "Can you imagine how beautiful it will be once she's had her heart broken?"

It's true. I think about my life and specifically my desire to have children and it would have been beautiful and amazing to have been able to give birth to our children. BUT it has been even more beautiful wallking through the adoption journey that brought us to Pvt Boo and will eventually lead us to our other recruits. It hasn't been easy and there have been many tears shed in the process. In fact, I had to be broken first in order to be able to receive this gift.

Sorrow is not something we run after. It's not something we purposefully pray for, but when it does come into our lives, we need to trust that the Lord is doing something in us that only brokenness can bring about. A pitcher that has been broken and put back together again will have cracks that leak water...and so our lives when broken and put back together by the Lord leak His presence and blessings all over those we come in contact with.

And just like the man observed...I hope that my song, the song the Lord is playing through me, is a sweeter song because of the brokenness I have experienced.

Friday, August 15, 2008

She's Ours!!!

On August 1, 2008, Pvt Boo officially became our daughter with all the rights and privileges thereto. It was a day of celebration and thanksgiving. While we know in our hearts how hard it was for Boo's mom to release her to us, we know it was the right decision and we are rejoicing in the beauty of God's plan for her life.

The actual court ceremony itself was pretty special. I wasn't sure what to think, and didn't think it would be that big of a deal. Surprisingly, I found myself getting quite emotional as I listened to the Judge and had so many emotions running through me that I wasn't sure what to do with them. Even now, I am still "unpacking" that day and trying to cherish those memories in my heart as Mary did with her experiences with Jesus.

After being sworn in, the Judge asked us a series of questions and then talked a little bit about Boo and our duty to her. He then asked us to sign the official sheet making her our daughter. After pronouncing us a family, he gave Boo a special teddy bear. It was an amazing feeling to be on the other side of this journey.

What I found most interesting is that as we were getting ready to leave, I looked around that courtroom and had the distinct feeling that we would be back there adding more recruits to our tribe. Who knows????

Signing our commitment to our daughter.

One big family with the Judge...our dear friends the Grazors & our most awesome babysitter and fellow adoptee joined us for this special occasion. Our babysitter extraordinaire was adopted in this same building 18 yrs ago.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sergeant Sunshine

And then there's me...Sgt Sunshine. I am incredibly blessed to be a part of this nomadic tribe. As keeper of the tents and provider of nourishment...I find myself fully engaged in life. I love making our tents a place of refuge and peace from the outside world for all who enter. I try to create an atmosphere where others are refreshed and feel the presence of the Lord surrounding them.

I am currently focused on Pvt. Boo full time. Between her and the Major's work with the cadets, my home is revolving door of people needing loved, fed, encouraged, and challenged. It keeps you on your toes. With the increase of cadets to 50 this semester, it will be interesting to see how busy it will actually get around here.

We're doing a new activity this semester...I had so many girls ask me to teach them to cook, that I am doing a once a week open house/cooking class. They will cook the meal for the evening and the others that want to come study, visit, or swim . I hope it goes will be an interesting experiment.

When I'm not loving my daughter and husband, I try to find time to work on digital scrapbooking, sewing different projects, and dabbling in my Doula work. I know this is a short season though...once the new recruits arrive I will be fully engaged in tying heart strings and homeschooling.

Well, this is a good start to this blog...I'll try to update more later on actual events in our lives. Until then, LIVE BRAVE! =)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Private Boo

Private Boo is our first "recruit" to this crazy journey that we're on. She is our blessing from God and we are treasuring every moment we have with her. Her smile is the first thing we see in the morning that lights up our day. She has taught us so much about ourselves in the short amount of time that she has been with us. She is a delight and joy and we look forward to many years together as God allows.

PVT Boo's favorite activity right now is crawling and exploring. She is starting to get into everything and "training" has begun on what is allowed and what is NOT allowed. Thankfully, she is a fast learner and lessons don't usually need to be repeated often.

Boo has also recently gotten very interested in books and loves us to read to her. Each night we have some time together on her new bed reading stories. I'm hopeful our girl will continue this love for books as she grows older.

Although we don't own a television and I don't want our recruits to watch alot of shows, etc. I have just recently allow Boo to watch certain episodes of Sesame Street. She loves the muppets and watches them intensely...every once in a while giggling at something they did that she thinks is funny. She especially likes when they sing...her current favorite song is Ernie singing "Do De Duck". It's pretty cute and even The Major got into it one time.

So that's a little intro on our Boo...I'm sure you'll hear a lot more about her in late posts. As always...Live Brave!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Major

The Major is the rock and leader extraordinaire of our little tribe. He's the joy of my heart and my hero. He is truly a man after God's own heart.

In our current journey the Major is focusing on several different areas. He is working with the US Army training new officers in a local university through the ROTC program. Within that job he is discipling several of the young men. We both love our work with these cadets and are thoroughly enjoying the youthful enthusiasm and chaos that they bring to our lives.

The Major is also on a steep learning curve on what it looks like to be a Daddy...and he is doing an awesome job! His daughter (Private Boo) is totally in love with her Papa and gets so excited each evening when he comes home. Mornings have become a special time for the two of them. Papa feeds his little girl and reads her the Bible for a little devotional. I hope this becomes a habit for them that will lead to precious memories and sharing in the future. He is learning early to tie the heart strings of his daughter to his own.

Last, but not fact it is his favorite thing to do right now, is being a student in the Word of God. The Major is continuing his studies in seminary and loving every minute of it. This summer he dove into "Gladiator Greek". It's an intensive 8 weeks of learning to read and comprehend Biblical Greek. His times in the Word this last year were very special and I always looked forward to his homecoming. His eyes would be shining and usually he had something to share that he had learned.

There is much more to the Major, but for now this is a great overview of who he is and what he's currently up to. Hopefully, I'll get the other introductions written this week as well. Until then, LIVE BRAVE!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Where we are now

Well, I've tried to start this several times and for some reason decided to really make it work this time. We are entering a new adventure here and I really want to be able to share it with others.

We are currently in California and are as settled as this nomadic family can become. At present, it looks like we will be here for a few years. It's hard to imagine though. I've moved 4 times in the 3.5 years that we've been the thought of staying in one place for more than 2 years sounds almost like a dream.

I will try to write more later and introduce each of the current members of our tribe and how they're keeping busy. Until then, may you continue to keep your eyes on the Pillar of Fire and move when it moves, rest when it rests, and trust in His leading.