Saturday, November 6, 2010

oh hello there, blog. it's been a while...

i am probably the worst blogger ever. it seems that sooo much is going on, and when i start to think of all i really should be writing about, i get overwhelmed and just don't do it. i kinda have the same attitude about housecleaning. but my messy house is really more of an unfortunate situation than my neglected blog.

first of all, i must say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who came to the 147 party a few weeks ago. it was a huge success, thousands of dollars were raised, and so many people learned about the 147 ministry and the orphan crisis. God worked (and is still working) miracles through this adoption. i can't wait for little miss to get here so i can tell her about her God that loves her and about all of her friends and family that loved her before they even knew her!

we just found out last week that our home study received its first approval and is on its way to getting its second (and i think final) approval! we are so excited and ready to hit the ground running on our dossier! apparently someone thought i needed to learn patience because sometimes this whole thing seems to be taking FOREVER! but, we are learning every day how to rely more and more and God and trust in His timing. i have to keep reminding myself of isaiah 40:31 - "but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength..." it also talks later about running and not growing weary. now wouldn't that be a miracle?

also new in our life...i just started a new job. i got a part-time job at williams-sonoma, and it will probably be just for the holidays. but who really knows? i had my first shift this past week, and i LOVED it! i mean, the whole purpose of the store is cooking, and the whole purpose of cooking is eating, so why wouldn't i love it? i will probably end up buying too much stuff to make working there even worth it, but "so what? who cares?" it really is a dangerous store for me to have access to.

oh also a big announcement...the cutest little blond haired boy ever is now a whole year old!!! last weekend we went to mr. cody's big boy birthday party, and we had the best time. i really have the most precious nieces and nephews ever. i really don't think i am being biased. if we took a vote, i really think they would win.

God has taught me so much over the past few weeks. there has been some really tough stuff going on, stuff you wish would just go away but you know it probably never will. but, God has been faithful. God has given us a family. God has given us some really, really good friends. God has given us peace and rest. God is helping us strengthen our faith.

while we don't know the outcome of this situation or really any situation, we do know this: God has the power to do ANYTHING. and, He loves us.

that pretty much rocks.

Friday, October 8, 2010

party time!

before i say anything about anything, i must show you this:

i have some of the most wonderful friends that ever were. it's really amazing that i have friends who are so good to me, because i really am not that good of a friend. i am not nearly as thoughtful as most of my friends are...but God has blessed me with some precious angels in my life!

one of my dear, dear friends leigh ellenburg (if you say her name real fast when you talk about her people think you are talking about someone named leigh ellen) is hosting a "party with a purpose"...and the proceeds help brent and me bring home our sweet girl!!!

when leigh emailed me and told me she was doing this, i was floored. i wasn't surprised that she would be so sweet, but i was just so humbled at the priceless people God has put in my life!

anyway, anyone who wants to come to this fun party (and the best part is you get to buy things for yourself!) is so welcome to come shop!!! just be sure to check out to see all the great items that will be there! thank you leigh for your sweet heart!

this whole "fundraising" thing is a little new to me, and it is also a little hard for me...i actually sat with leigh and cried in chick-fil-a because i was so overwhelmed and scared at the thought of someone feeling pressured to give us money. i would never, ever, ever want anyone to feel pressure. however, i am unbelievably thankful for those people who have already given (you know who you are) and for those who have said they would do anything to help us get our girl home. i can't explain what that does to a girl's heart! so many people have offered hugs, prayers, encouraging words, housecleaning services (more on that later), and even a listening ear...i mean, brent and i have been given sooooo much more than we deserve. God is so so so so good - and i learn that more and more every day. thank you to all of you who have supported us - you are priceless!

just a few questions i have been pondering lately:

why do i think my house looks fine most days...but then panic over every little thing when i know my social worker is making a visit? (btw, this is the reason my precious momma and my sweet sister laura and my wonderful m-i-l vicki offered to come help clean.)

why do people who hear you are going to be a mother make a face when they find out you are adopting (rather than being pregnant)?

why is God so good to me even when i am so selfish and neglectful and gossipy and totally not mindful of Him?

why do i sometimes cry my eyes out over a commercial?

why does hair grow fast when we want it to be short and not grow at all when we want it to be long?

how can i have my own radio show (not really my own, but with some of my FUNNY friends)?

and these, my dear readers (all 2 of you), are the questions of my life this week. if anyone has an answer to any of them (or an answer to another, totally unrelated question), please feel free to comment.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

are we ready for this?

this past weekend my sister and her family came in town for the holiday (even though they left before the holiday which i don't understand but it had something to do with my brother-in-law's having to work on monday so really it wasn't a holiday for them so i don't know why they can't come every weekend).

anyway, amie, tom, caroline, and charlotte came to stay at my parents house, and their visits always mean that we not only get to see them but we also get to spend time with laura and her family (because it's more fun to go over to mom and dad's house when they have people in town). we had a super fun time, but then we cried a little because buffies and justin weren't there.

one of the things i love about family being in town is going to church together. sometimes my heart just aches because i don't worship at the same church as any of my sisters. sometimes my heart just aches because we don't all live next door to each other. i love worshipping with my family. it takes me back to antioch days when we were young and life was simple and i wasn't responsible for paying any bills.

church with family is much much different now then it was then, though. now we have all of us adults and four kids under the age of four. and they are such messes. but they are the best messes that ever existed. plus, these are cousins, and everybody knows that the mischief level of normal children raises by 45% when they come in contact with their cousins.

brent and i were right in the middle of the fun on sunday morning, and i was loving every minute of it. every 5 minutes some 2 year old would decide he or she needed to sit on the other end of the pew and step on everyone's toes in the process. the 10 month old would NOT sit still, but some water in a sippy cup and some puffs (whatever the heck those are...they seem a little suspect to me) would occupy him for about 10 seconds at a time. toys were being dropped, water and puffs spilled (and don't forget toes stepped on), but it really was just a normal worship service with kids. about 15 minutes into it, brent looks at me and whispers (with a very stressed out look on his face), "i don't think i am ready for this" i said, "well you better get ready." (i am about as supportive as a training bra.)

i can't say that i haven't had those same thoughts/feelings. there isn't a day that goes by that i don't wonder if i am too young/inexperienced/spacey/unorganized/lazy/you fill in the blank to be a mother. like, do i really know what i am getting into?

here is what i have settled on:
yes, i am too young/inexperienced/spacey/unorganized/lazy/you fill in the blank/and a million other things to be a mother.
no, i don't have any idea what i am getting into.

but, i won't be the youngest mother that ever was. (according to, the youngest mother ever was like 5 years old. umm, gross.) i won't be the most inexperienced mother that ever was. i won't be the spaciest or the most unorganized or laziest or whatever (it would be kind of fun for someone to make a list of who those women were/are. how awful though if your name ended up on that list!).

and, has any mother ever really known what she was getting into? no matter how many classes you attend, books you read, or doctors you talk to, no one can ever really prepare you for being a mother.

we went to a training last night at our adoption agency, and we talked for 2 hours about how to do the right things for your child once you bring him/her home. overwhelming would be a mild way to describe this training. i know we were supposed to leave there feeling more prepared, but i think we just left there realizing how much we don't know. there are all these things you have to think about when it comes to attachment, things that are different than when you have a child biologically. the lady that was running the meeting said, "if we don't get attachment right, nothing else matters." wow. no pressure or anything.

i have come to the realization that i cannot be a good mother. i cannot figure out this attachment stuff. i cannot raise my child the way she needs to be raised. i cannot love her and care for her the way she needs to be loved and cared for. all i will do is totally screw things up.

however, GOD can give me the strength and knowledge i need to be a good mother. GOD has this attachment stuff down, and HE already has a plan for our attachment with her. GOD loves her and is taking care of her and will continue to love her and take care of her and will give me the love and tools i need to love her and take care of her. and when i totally screw things up, GOD will show me how to clean up the mess (or HE will just clean it up for me - like HE does all the time).

i guess brent was right. we really are not ready for this. but God is.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


today i am praying:

that God will drive my dad's car for him.

that God will take away Rick's fears.

for peace for my grandmother.

that hard hearts will be softened.

that God will fill hearts with love and forgiveness, not fear and superiority.

that brothers and sisters will learn to get along.

for reconciliation and recovery.

for all of those Rick is leaving behind.

that i can learn to bite my tongue.

for wisdom.

that God will take away anger and pain.

for motivation.

for safety.

for my parents.

that God will give courage to those who need to stand up for what's right.

that God will help me forgive.

that Rick knows he is loved.

that Satan will lose this battle.

for our baby.

that God will be glorified through our words, our actions, and through Rick's victory.

praise God that we can pray. praise God for always hearing our prayers. praise God for loving us. praise God.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


so this past weekend brent and i went to hotlanta for a meeting for bc's work. this was kind of a funny weekend for us because brent's job used to be my job. after i decided to come work at bhcc, my former boss asked brent to come work in his office. it has been an unbelievable blessing for both of us. brent is way better at the job than i was, and we are both loving what we are doing now. God really has been good.

anyway, this meeting we went to is called a retreat. what it really consists of is a lot (and i mean a lot) of work so that this group of people can drive several hours to some exotic location (like atlanta, birmingham, or huntsville) and spend less than 24 hours together. the group seems to enjoy it, though, and it has given brent and me a reason to take a little road trip for the past 3 years.

it was a funny weekend, though, because i am not working there anymore, but less than a year ago i was working with/for all of these people. so i was worried that i would be that awkward girl standing around not knowing what to do. and i was. but that's ok because i got to be with brent and stay in a hotel and someone else made my king-size bed and cooked my breakfast and lunch and dinner and gave me clean towels.

one great part of the retreat was seeing a good friend, leigh. leigh is a lady whom i have known for many years, and her husband and brent work together. when leigh found out a few weeks ago that we were adopting, she called me and was almost hysterical on the phone. she has been so happy for us and supportive of us - she is a blessing in our lives. she is a constant source of encouragement and love.

another great part of the retreat was sharing our news with friends we hadn't seen in a while. i just love telling people about this journey, and everyone has been so supportive.

after the retreat was over we got to go see our two favorite girls in the world...caroline and charlotte! i am so happy to be an aunt, and seeing brent with those two girls just made me giddy about how great of a dad he is going to be. they really are so fun and hilarious. caroline is smart! she says things and you're like, "how the heck did you know that?" charlotte is just a nut. she is funny, funny, funny. she is always happy and loves to play.

so we had a fun time with them and amie and tom...we went swimming, had a tea party, played with the fireworks on brent's ipad, played with woody, jessie, and buzz lightyear (and a bear who has been named as the evil emperor zurg - of course he was invited to the tea party so i don't know how evil he really is), went to their new church, and to top it all off we went to mimi's cafe (in honor of our mimi) and ate din din with buffies and justin.

being in the car with brent gave us a lot of good time to talk. i was reminded this weekend about how much i just love him. even though we are not always perfect together, we really do just love being together.

one of the conversations we had in the car worried me, though:

me: you know, we are really gonna have to make sure you know how to cook some stuff before the baby gets here. i mean, in case i am not home one night and you are in charge of dinner. she is going to need food.

brent: wait, i am gonna be home alone with her?

i really do think he is going to be a great dad, though.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

unexpected encouragement

so i know it has been forever since i posted last. i don't know how you have been standing the wait. i know you count on me for your entertainment, and it is really irresponsible of me not to post. i promise to do better about posting in the future. it's just a lot of pressure to have so many people breathing down your neck (judy c. would understand).

so anyway, now that summer is coming to an end (hallelujah) and most of our trips are over (we have saved the most fun for last...a board meeting for bc's work!), hopefully i can have more time to write. well, i should say that i have been doing plenty of writing...just not fun writing. i have been working on my thesis (which, incidentally, i present this afternoon and am not finished with...can you say procrastination?). have i mentioned that i am in grad school? i love to talk about being in grad school. it gives me the opportunity to remind everyone about what a big deal i am.

there is lots to update on (although anyone that reads this blog already knows all of this - however, i write for posterity's sake).

we have officially decided on ethiopia! after lots of prayer and discussion, we really feel that God is leading us to this wonderful country. that is the country our case worker was so excited about, that is the country for which we were dispositioned with no concerns, and that is the country where our hearts are. we are still very much in the paperwork process (don't you just love paperwork?), but we are moving forward every day. hopefully, before too long, we will fly across the atlantic ocean to addis ababa, ethiopia, and meet our beautiful daughter. God already knows who she is, and we are praying for her every day.

while there is so much excitement and joy in my heart about this whole thing, there are some days i feel very stressed and overwhelmed. i tell myself that we are not getting our paperwork done quickly enough, or i think of all the things that could go wrong. this past week i have felt like that pretty much every day. i don't know if it is just exhaustion, or if i am just stressed about my paper (did i mention that i am in grad school), or if it just pms. whatever it is, it has been really discouraging to me.

i was reminded yesterday of what an incredibly awesome God we serve.

several weeks ago, before we had even officially decided on ethiopia, a good friend of mine (shout out to amy b.!) shared a youtube video with me. the video is about a family's "gotcha day" (the day they went to pick up their daughter). it is actually just the mom that goes (the dad was at home taking care of 4 other kids!), but the video shows her going to ethiopia to meet her sweet little girl. i have watched this video many, many times, and shared it with my whole family. it has been a real source of inspiration for bc and me.

so yesterday i was at chick-fil-a with my dad (which was really unusual - not to eat with my dad but for us to meet for lunch at chick-fil-a), and we were walking out the door when i saw her - the lady from the video! i knew it was her because i had watched it so many times - and she had her little girl with her! i was like, omgoodness! i could not believe it. i walked over to her (i couldn't help myself), and said, "i am so sorry to interuppt your lunch, but i just had to meet you. i have seen your video so many times." i started crying and told her that my name was katie, and that my husband and i were trying to adopt from ethiopia, and that she had been such an inspiration to us. she was actually with another woman with her new son from ethiopia and another couple who were talking to her about adoption (they are thinking about it). it really made my day.

i know God put all of us in that place at that time. i continue to be amazed by what He does - He is so good to me! it was just what i needed - and of course He knew that!

so, go watch the video (search for "lucy lane's gotcha day" on youtube), because i think it is so encouraging and inspirational. hopefully she and i will cross paths again.

at the end of the video, they use this quote, which i have fallen in love with:

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do. - Hellen Keller

in case you wanted to know, i had the spicy chicken sandwich at chick-fil-a. it's good, but it is hot!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

wishin and hopin and thinkin and prayin

plannin and dreamin, too!

so yesterday we had a meeting with our case worker. first of all i must say, we LOVE our case worker. she is so wonderful, and has really been a strong supporter of us from the very beginning. she is one of those people who you just want to hug the second you see her, and what really makes me happy is that she always gives me a hug every time she sees me. :)

so we were with our rock star case worker, seeing if we could figure out our options. when you decide to adopt (at least this is how it works with our agency), you have to decide which countries you are interested in pursuing. then you have to be "dispositioned," which basically means approved to pursue. they base this really on the surface details (age, length of marriage, income, etc.). so, we had already been dispositioned for the country that we were originally pursuing (the one where the little girl is from), but we wanted to be dispositioned for two more countries that had really been on our hearts.

anyway, back to our meeting...we where with our case worker, and we told her that we were not limited to the countries for which we were already dispositioned. so she brought out her list of countries and started talking about all the options. what was funny, though, was that she was only mentioning one of the countries we were most interested in. she had never said anything about the other country. so i just blurted out, "well we are interested in _____________ ." i know you are reading this and your jaw just dropped to the floor at the thought of me blurting out anything. i am usually so soft spoken.

well, when i said the name of that country, she just got so excited! she said, "oh my goodness that is awesome! i would definitely recommend that country. i think you should go for it." it pays to blurt.

so, we went for it. we requested to be dispositioned for both of the countries. and today we got word that we had been dispositioned for both countries!!!!

so now we are thinkin and prayin and wishin and hopin. we both feel pretty strongly right now about which country we are planning to pursue...but we just want to leave it with God for a little bit. we know He will guide us and lead us to our child.

"I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths." - Proverbs 4:11

Friday, June 18, 2010


this is going to sound like complaining for a few minutes...just deal with it.

this week has been crazy, and i am absolutely exhausted! the work week started on sunday right after lunch...and on friday night it's still not over. bhcc just finished vbs 2010 (a stellar success, by the way), camp starts a week from sunday (omg), and the honduras brigade leaves in less than a month. it was one of those weeks when i got to work in the morning and about 10 minutes later it was 8:30 top it all off, this is a class weekend for me (of course), so that means thursday and friday were super rushed.

so i have been thinking all day about how tired i am and how i have felt busier than a one-armed paper hanger this week. i sometimes could be accused of being dramatic and pitiful, and this afternoon i was having a blow-out of a pity party.

after about two hours of wallowing it hit me: God is so good.

this week had the potential to be a really, really sad week in our house. after we found out on friday evening that she wouldn't be ours, i couldn't even look at her picture without bursting in to tears. my heart just ached. it was all selfish, i know that, but it was still very much a disappointment for us.

but here is the amazing thing...i have not had time to think about the sadness this week. God has kept me busy all day, every day! He has taken such good care of me, and He has given me the chance to celebrate, laugh, love, and be loved this week. yes, i am exhausted and the only thing keeping me going is the thought of a nap this sunday afternoon. but this has been one of the best weeks i have had in a long time!

i think the next few weeks are only gonna get better!

please pray on monday. we have a meeting with our case worker to discuss our options for moving forward. we are so excited to see what God has in store.

God is so good. God is so good. God is so good. He's so good to me.

Monday, June 14, 2010

the beginning of a journey

"The LORD your God has blessed you...He has watched over your journey through this vast desert...the LORD your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything." - Deuteronomy 2:7

so many things have been going on lately, and i don't even know where to start. we are definitely at the beginning of a journey, the kind of journey with an unknown destination. part of that is very exciting - we consider ourselves pretty boring people, so anything that shakes up the norm is usually welcome. however, part of that is very, very scary. we had reached a point in our life that was so comfortable and blessed - we both absolutely love our jobs, we are both about to finish grad school, we have never been happier together, and we have great friends, wonderful family, and a nice place to live. God has been so good to us, and we have definitely seen and felt his blessings in our lives. so, the norm was feeling pretty good, and a shake up was very unexpected.

brent and i have always known we wanted kids - that has never been a question. we want a house full of them! we also have always known that adoption is something we were very interested in. we never knew exactly what an adoption would look like for us (domestic, international, baby, special needs, etc.), but we were just open to God's leading. we didn't know how or when, but we just knew that was something we wanted for our family.

the day after mother's day, may 10, 2010, God put a burning in our hearts - a burning we could not ignore (nor did we want to ignore it). God sent us a picture of a little girl, and we both wanted more than anything to bring that little girl home. i have never felt that way about a child - it was so unbelievable. i love love love my nieces and nephews and would do absolutely anything in the world for them. but this was different. i could not get this child off my mind. all i wanted was to pray for her, know more about her, and know what i could do to take care of her. i loved - and still do love - that little girl. so many questions were unanswered, so many things about it seemed crazy, but brent and i felt so much peace about the whole thing. we knew there was a reason we had seen her picture, and we knew that God was giving us this love for her and this peace in our hearts.

we dove head first (and wholeheartedly) into the mountain of paperwork that comes with any adoption. we submitted our first application, our second application, references, medical paperwork, psychological evaluations (which we were both sure we had failed!), and much more. we told our families (who were more than ecstatic about the whole thing), our bosses (who were both unbelievably supportive), and a few friends (who have loved and stood by us no matter what) and just waited until the first "cut." we knew that nothing was guaranteed, but we also knew that this was happening for a reason, and we really couldn't help the way our hearts felt about that little girl.

on friday, june 11, we got word that this precious little girl was going to be adopted by another family. praise the Lord for providing a family for her. they are in our prayers, and we are so thankful for the love they have for their new daughter.

however, we are heartbroken. we are sad and we are heartbroken. we have never wanted anything more than we wanted to be that girl's mommy and daddy. besides the unending love and comfort from the Almighty God, the only way we have gotten through the past 4 days is by reminding ourselves that she has a family - a family that is going to love her and take care of her.

so, now what? we don't know exactly what to do now. we are gathering information about all of our options, praying for wisdom and guidance, and seeking counsel and support from our families.

this is truly the beginning of a journey. we don't know the destination. we don't know what all will happen along the way.

what we do know is this: God knows the exact destination. God knows exactly what all will happen along the way.

praise Him for that.