Phone Photo Friday





Flat Tire Perspective



On my way to work yesterday I ran over a nail. I had just pulled off the interstate to meet my mother-in-law at our usual meeting place near my office. When I pulled off the street I thought my van sounded a little funny but it wasn’t alarming. I transferred Ali over to her Nana and we chatted for a while, standing right beside my van. When I got back in and began to drive to work, I immediately recognized the sound of a flat tire. I pulled into the gas station across the street, thankful for a safe place to park. It was a perfect fall day—clear and sunny with a breeze. My tire was completely flat. I texted my boss and then Jason and then my dad to cancel our lunch date. Then I called AAA and requested assistance to put the spare on. Then I went into the gas station and bought a drink and some snacks (because baby Froggie makes me hungry ALL THE TIME). The repair tech didn’t take long to show up and did his job. Set up with the spare, I took the long way on back roads to our favorite neighborhood mechanic. They were able to patch it up quickly and it only cost me $15. I got to work almost exactly 2 hours late. What could have been a dangerous or uncomfortable experience was actually a kind of fun morning adventure. I just kept thinking over and over again about all that I was thankful for:

• Beautiful weather, not too hot or too cold to sit outside

• I was at a gas station with a convenience store full of yummy snacks

• The flat didn’t occur on the interstate where I had been minutes earlier

• My three year old was already safely with her Nana

• We have AAA so it just took one phone call and someone was there to assist me in less than an hour

• I have a cell phone and a charger to contact help, notify my work and look up a route to the mechanic

• I discovered a new route back to my neighborhood from my office thanks to the “avoid highways” button on my Google maps app

• Social media kept me from getting bored while I waited

• Our mechanic is reliable, quick and inexpensive

• The whole ordeal only took two hours

• I dealt with it all by myself (Girl Power!)


It’s good to have perspective. I have so much to be thankful for and a little nail puncture in my tire isn’t enough to ruin my day.


A Room for Baby… or Whoever Arrives Next – Part 2


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Yesterday I moved some furniture around to start pulling this room together. The baby side is pretty much set. I am going to sell the green dresser and move Ali’s vintage mid-century modern dresser in here just as soon as we get a bigger dresser for her room. I don’t plan to have all of that stuff in/under the crib. I would like to replace the curtain above with a light blocking one. This works OK but it’s actually a shower curtain and I’d like to get something simpler. Other than that, this area is mostly done.

Here’s the shameful side of the room. The blue crib needs a new home but I’m too emotionally attached to it right now. I need to figure out where to hide it before Jason gets home. This bed will move into Ali’s room and we’ll put a double bed and a night stand in it’s place. I taped the floor to show where the double bed will sit. It’s going to be tight but I think it’ll work. I’m also planning on adding another rug at the side of the double bed. When we have guests we can move the crib, changing pad and changing supply cart out in less than 5 minutes. Once I sat in the rocker I realized adding a footstool would be too crowded and not necessary since I can put my feet up on the end of the bed if I want to recline.



A Room for Baby… or Whoever Arrives Next (my current mood board and floor plan for this room)

Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids (this room a year and a half ago before it was occupied by Buzz and then later Bee and Firefly.)

Preparing a Bedroom for Foster Kids: Furniture & Decor (planning our first bedroom for foster children at our last house)

Preparing for Foster Kids: Bedroom Tour (photos of the above mentioned room that ended up generating a lot of interest on Apartment Therapy)


A Room for Baby… or Whoever Arrives Next


I call it “the next kid’s room” when it’s not in use. It’s our foster kid’s bedroom and it will most likely be our baby’s room. Much like our next kid, it is in a state of flux. Meaning: I’m not sure if our next kid will be the one I’m carrying or if we’ll get a call for another foster placement before then. I suspect we will get a placement soon since the longest we’ve ever waited between placements was 4.5 months. (We’re just shy of 3 months now.) We have a twin bed in here that I want to move into Ali’s room, a dresser I want to replace, and a crib we don’t need anymore. I plan to move a couple pieces of furniture (dresser and night stand) in from Ali’s room when I move the twin bed frame into her room. I want to replace the current curtain with a light blocking one. Jason and I decided that we’re going to put a double bed in the next kid’s room so that it can be a more suitable guest room option. All of these changes are so fun for my planning addiction and my interior design hobby. I’ve pinned everything I plan to purchase to the Nursery board on my Pinterest. I put together a mood board last week to help visualize all the pieces are parts coming together.

nursery+guest+foster mood board

I’ve also been planning where to put the furniture to make it all fit. I have a plan that I’m pretty excited about.

nursery+guest+foster floorplan

Now to plan our next IKEA shopping trip…


Room to Grow: Making a Bedroom for Foster Kids (this room a year and a half ago before it was occupied by Buzz and then later Bee and Firefly.)

Preparing a Bedroom for Foster Kids: Furniture & Decor (planning our first bedroom for foster children at our last house)

Preparing for Foster Kids: Bedroom Tour (photos of the above mentioned room that ended up generating a lot of interest on Apartment Therapy)


Phone Photo Friday


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Tuesday was this handsome guy’s birthday—my very best friend, the man I have the honor of partnering with through ever adventure life brings us. Words could never express the fullness of my love and thankfulness for my Jason.


Where are all the adoptable toddlers?


I recently read this blog post from Attempting Agape and said, yes, yes, yes. These are questions I was wondering about 4 years ago and the investigation is part of what lead me to foster parenting. (Also, it was seeds God had planted in my heart from my childhood and a timely comment from a fellow blogger who was a foster mom.) Often people who are interested in adopting domestically look through the waiting child lists that are posted by most states and also through the U.S. program When I was doing that years ago I was curious why there weren’t any babies or young kids on the lists. In a nutshell, it’s because—if they come into care that young—they’re stuck in the limbo of the foster care system for several years before they end up on a waiting list. And most never make it to the waiting lists (thankfully!) because they’re adopted by their foster parents or a community member before that point. Jason and I realized that as foster parents we could be on the front lines of helping kids in need, rather than coming in right at the end of their exhausting, traumatic foster care journeys.

If you are are wondering what you can do to help even one child, consider becoming a concurrent foster placement for a child or sibling group.
Yes, its risky for your heart. Oh so risky. I understand, I do. I’ve done it. I’ve lived it. I’ve cried over kids returned to birth parents, I’ve ached. But, I also know that it is worth it. It is so worth it.
Read the whole post Why Can’t I Adopt a Young Child From Foster Care?? | Where are all the toddlers??.


Phone Photo Friday


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Introducing: Froggie


When I saw our baby for the first time on the ultrasound screen my first thought was: a heartbeat! My second thought was: it looks like a little frog! Our belly baby has a nickname: Baby Froggie. The actual ultrasound pictures don’t look like much. The ring is the yolk sac and the baby is below, head on the left about equal size to the body on the right side. The ultrasound measured 7w1d, which means yesterday I was 8 weeks, due around April 21, 2015.


I prefaced showing Ali the photos of her new baby brother or sister by explaining that the baby is still very small, the size of a blueberry, and the photo is hard to make out. She excitedly looked as I pointed out what’s what in the photo and said, “Awe! It’s so cute!” What a sweet big sister. She’s currently thinking the baby will be a little sister.


Later that night I had to laugh when I saw this tiny little frog, not much bigger than our baby right now, clinging to our back door. God has a great sense of humor! We’ve had frogs visit before but never one this tiny.



On Belly Babies and Adoption and Things of that Nature



If you read my last post, you know that we’re expecting a baby. This time, the baby is in my belly. What?! I’ve spent a lot of time in disbelief the past few weeks. Not that I didn’t think it was possible but I just hadn’t really gone there mentally. I just wanted to be a mother; whether it happened biologically or through adoption didn’t matter to me. Even just being a foster mom was so fulfilling to me. Once we adopted our sweet Alianna in 2012 my mom-heart was totally content. But in the back of my mind there was a small hope for a forever sibling for her—one that she could grow up in our home with and grow old with.

I’m super excited to have a baby, another child—and particularly one that will be a part of our family forever, one that won’t leave. In other words, I’d be just as excited if we were adopting again. There is no difference in my heart. But this time, we get 9 months to prepare! In the past we’ve only ever had hours to prepare for a new kid. We get to name this one, too—from scratch! That’s pretty special. I’m confident in caring for a child—I’ve had five, including a teeny preemie. However…

I’m pretty nervous about the whole reality of being pregnant and giving birth. I’m kind of a wimp. So far I haven’t been too uncomfortable. It’s been more like mild PMS symptoms that have lasted four weeks.I’m tired and I basically need to eat all day—at least every two hours—and then I feel pretty good. I’ve been hot a lot of the time—very unusual for me! I have to pee approximately 15 times a day. The idea of a little person living inside of my body is amazing and also freaking weird. It has always seemed like such an alien concept to me. Lord, help me to have peace about it before I start to feel our baby moving.

“You know that always happens. You adopt and then you get pregnant!” I burst out in laughter when Jason said that to me shortly after we high-fived and hugged and stared some more at the positive pregnancy test. “What are you going to say when people say that?” he asked, “Because you know they will.” I told him I’d probably laugh just like I did then. I laugh because it’s so far from reality. Our reality is that we were actively preventing pregnancy from before we adopted our daughter up until earlier this year. I hate those kind of comments because it’s heartbreaking for people who have struggled with infertility before pursing adoption then adopt and still don’t get pregnant. One is certainly no guarantee of the other. I know lots of those moms and they’re my sweet friends. My biggest problem with the above statement is that it implies that pregnancy is what we really wanted all along but we settled for adoption. That’s not our story. We actively pursued foster parenting. It was hard work. It wasn’t a back up plan. We chose to become foster parents as our first way of becoming parents. We fought hard to adopt Alianna. As I mentioned above, being her mother as well as being a foster mother—a mother to many—has filled all of my dreams for motherhood. I have no regrets or unfulfilled longings. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

That said, we really are excited about this belly baby. As much as I was in shock originally, this baby is totally and completely wanted and welcome. All three of us are very excited. Alianna was such a wonderful big sister to baby Firefly and I’m really excited that she’ll get to be a big sister again, this time for good.

[Quick note: Several people have asked how this will affect us foster parenting. We have no plans to quit foster parenting. We’re still on the list of available homes, waiting for a call that could come at any moment. We may consider taking a year off around the baby’s arrival and then reevaluating. But as of right now, nothing has changed.]


New Placement


We said yes to a placement of a newborn. Not sure yet if it’s a boy or a girl.

Estimated arrival: April 2015

The biological parents and big sister are all pretty excited.

Oh, I should probably mention, this baby—about the size of a blueberry—is in my belly.