3 months and 1 month


It’s been a month since Precious*  was placed with us and she’s now 3 months old. (*not her real name, thank God.) It’s amazing to see how much she has changed in 1 month! Here are some things she’s doing now that she wasn’t doing a month ago:

• squealing

• conversing with “goos” (she’ll go back and forth with us for a while)

• holding her head up steadily

• rotating 90 degrees in her crib overnight

• sucking her thumb, usually her right thumb

• smiling at us from several feet away

• tracking us as we walk around the room

• saying “gee!” when she’s hungry

• sleeping all the way through the night (she hasn’t woken up for an early morning—5 or 6am—feeding in over a week)

• rolling over on to her side

• staying awake for a couple hours at a time

Precious is a wonderful baby. We couldn’t be more thrilled with her. Jason and I even think her sneezes (she sounds like she’s saying “achoogie”) and her rare cries (we call her “goat baby” because she as a vibrato) are the cutest things in the world. She is so easy-going. We give her a last bottle around 10pm (occasionally waking her up to do so) and she sleeps until 8:30 or 9am. When she wakes up she sucks on her hands and whines and complains a little bit but doesn’t cry. Once we finally get in to get her up, she’s all smiles…in no rush to eat. It seems like she just wakes up and she gets bored. Everywhere we take Precious people comment on how beautiful, happy or easy-going she is. She’s often sleeping through errands in her car seat or in a Moby wrap. She’s been to my office to hang out with me three times and all three times she’s had her big daily blow-out and stunk up the place. But she’s so adorable, no one can hold it against her. She’s being treated for thrush (which she had when she came to us) so we’re currently not using any pacifiers, sterilizing bottles everyday, and she’s on 2 medications. It’s a bit of an inconvenience but it’s clearing up well. Precious is such a joy to us. It’s truly a gift to get to be her mommy.

Weekend in the Smokies


Sorry for disappearing for a few days. Plates are spinning around here. Still. (And Merry-Go-Rounds.) Instead of formulating a thoughtful blog post, here is a recap of our weekend. Thursday afternoon Jason and Precious picked me up from work, we dropped off Lucy at his parent’s house, and we headed over to Pigeon Forge, TN where we stayed until Sunday night. Jason was playing a marathon weekend with Guy Penrod at Dollywood—3 concerts a day for 3 days in a row—and all the wives and children came along. There were 6 families in our party; 12 adults and 18 kids…most of which are Guy’s. They are such a fun and sweet bunch of people. Precious was definitely the center of attention through most of the weekend with everyone oohing and ahhing about how beautiful and easy-going she is. Seriously, she was a travel champ! One of Guy’s sons said, “I hope I have a baby just like her when I’m older” and insisted that she was THE most beautiful baby in the world. Another one of his boys said, “I can’t wait until I have my own baby someday,” while he was feeding her a bottle for me. She got so much love this weekend.

We also ate lot of good food. Uncle Guy got to snuggle Precious to sleep before the food came out at Cracker Barrel one night.

The shows at Dollywood were fun. Precious and I watched about half of them. Sometimes she watched, sometimes she slept on my lap, and sometimes she napped down in the dressing room.

We watched one of the shows from backstage while she was sleeping in a Moby wrap.

Speaking of Moby wrap, Jason was talked into trying it on while we were walking around going on rides. We got a pretty cute family picture of the three of us… I wish I could show you the whole picture. Maybe someday.

Speaking of someday… please continue praying about Precious’ situation. We are still uncertain about whether or not we will be given the first choice of adoption for her. There is someone else in the picture who is not legally kin but has a relationship with two of Precious’ half siblings. We’re basically competing with her—which is awkward—and we won’t know more until we have another team meeting and then ultimately a judge makes a decision…in a couple months? Then the earliest the adoption would be finalized would be in March or April. Either way she will be going to a good place but we’re crazy about her and would hate to let her go. Not without a fight, you can be sure.

Phone Photo Friday




Not the most exciting news in the world, but I thought I’d point out that I made some updates around the ole’ blog. I updated the House Tour and Family links at the top of the page.

I changed the widgets on the left side of the page, changed the order of things, updated the INSPIRING BLOGS and FRIENDS BLOGS.

A Precious Update


I haven’t said much about the case of Precious, what we’re expecting to happen for her or how everything has been going. It’s been 3 weeks—is that all?!—and we’ve fallen completely, hopelessly in love with this little 13.5 pound bundle of slobbery smiles. I mentioned that a lot of sadness was stirred up initially as we realized how much we were still missing Ladybug. That has improved. We still think about her everyday and I’m sure we’ll always have a hole in our hearts from the chunk our first child took with us when she left. But we’re doing better.

There is some exciting news about Precious. She needs to be adopted! However, we’re not the for-sure top choice for her. All of the options have to be presented and ultimately a judge will make the decision about what he thinks is best for her. The decision is very “legal”… by that I mean, it’s not like the judge is going to look at who we are and compare that to someone else and decide who would be the best fit or be able to offer her the most ideal life. It’s more like “does this person have any stronger biological ties than this person” and “is there a necessary cause to move her out of the home she’s already in” and “does she already have a relationship with these people.” That’s my take on it anyway.

So… that’s exciting. And nerve-wracking. And it’s one of the precipices I was referring to on Monday. Sounds like there is a pretty good chance—75% maybe?—that we will have the opportunity to adopt her. Someone asked me the other day, “Are you ready for that?” which puzzles me a little bit. Are we ready for that? I don’t think adopting her is going to be any harder than fostering her… I mean, I have been fondly referring to foster parenting as “the torture program” lately. Fost-adopt parents please enlighten me… is parenting an adopted child harder than foster parenting? Is anything? Just kidding.

Welcome to the Fam!


I have a new niece! Her name is Iris Kathleen and she was born Sunday 10/9/11 at 4:31 pm weighing 6 lbs. 14 oz. I’m so happy for my sister Jess and her husband Jeff. I wish I didn’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to meet my adorable little niecey. She’s the first baby to be born among my siblings, which is super special.

Welcome to the family, Iris! Your Auntie Martina can’t wait to spoil you. 😉

Winds of Change


There is so much whirring around in my head but I can’t seem to organize any of it into a well packaged blog post.

There is everything and there is nothing.

Sorting through it is overwhelming.

I take a deep breath and keep going. Everyday.

One day at a time.

Looking too far ahead makes the butterflies in my tummy start flapping.

Reflecting on the past sometimes stirs up more pain than joy.

So I try my best to keep my head and my heart in today.

To be present.

To savor every moment I have with the people I love.

Last spring I wrote a post called On The Precipice as we were about to take the plunge into foster parenting. Right now, I feel like our toes are up to the edge of four different cliffs. It’s exciting times for our little family. And it’s a lot to take in. Jason’s mind is as full of spinning thoughts as mine…but it seems like when he’s pondering one thing, my brain is consumed with another. We’re doing our best to encourage and support each other. In some ways it feels like we’ve been disconnected lately with all that’s flooding in around us (or maybe just preoccupied) but at the same time, our foundation is as strong as ever and we’ve been holding each other up through each day. I’m so thankful to have my best friend right by my side.

It’s a strange season we’re in… or maybe it’s the change of seasons we’re feeling right now. Funny how the natural sometimes lines up with the spiritual. Driving to work through the park near our house one day last week, a shower of orange and yellow leaves rained down on my car as I drove under the trees. The beauty of it brought tears to my eyes. I love how God made the process of leavings dying into such a beautiful show.

(Image found through Google from here.)