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Dear Family & Friends,
We’re at just under a week until the trial to determine Mac’s custody takes place (we’re scheduled for Wed & Thurs May 26-27). There is still every chance that we will get bumped, but we may not know until that morning (trust me, you’ll know if we get bumped!). We are trusting that we will go before the judge in God’s timing – be it this month or later in the summer. Our attorney thinks it will be favorable results regardless, but it would be a little easier with a different judge later this summer. So if you’re so inclined, pray for us to get pushed back to later this summer. While we would be a little disappointed in having to wait longer, if that’s the plan, that’s fine by us.
However – if this month is when we are to go before the judge, we are prepared. We have some wonderful friends prepared to act as witnesses for us. Also pray for our testimonies and those of the social workers and guardian ad litem. Please be in prayer that everyone will answer all questions honestly and to the satisfaction of the judge. And please pray that the love we have for our children shines through.
For a while now, I’ve felt led to fast in the days leading up to the trial. Marshall will be joining me in this. My “last meal” will be this coming Sunday after church, giving me 3 days of fasting leading up to the trial. In that time I will not eat solid foods during daylight hours so that I can devote that time to prayer and purification.
I’m drawing this from Esther’s fast before going before the King. “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” – Esther 4:16 NIV.
And also from David’s fast over the illness of his child. “David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.” – 2 Samuel 12:16 ESV.
In addition to fasting from food, I will also not be on Facebook or any internet in that time as well (you can get ahold of me by phone, using the Upstate SC area code (you can google it) with 245-1379). I will update FB from my phone that morning if we do NOT go into court. So if you don’t hear anything, we’re in.
Now, I would never ask you to fast as well, but I am asking you to pray.
“Announce a time of fasting; call the people together for a solemn meeting. Bring the leaders and all the people of the land into the Temple of the LORD your God, and cry out to him there.” – Joel 1:14
For those days, when you sit down to eat – think of us and pray for Mac’s case.
In this coming week, please send out a prayer request across your friend list, across your church, at work – everywhere – and ask that everyone be in prayer for a sweet little boy to end up where God wants him, and selfishly, that it be with us. We also need tremendous prayer for this judge to have (uppercase!) FOCUS and clarity during this trial.
The more people we have praying for our family, the more peace we do and will feel. And the more assured I am that Mac won’t be going anywhere.
For as Christ himself said, “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:19-20 NIV)
We covet your prayers and appreciate them to the fullest. Your encouragement and love has meant so much to us and we can only hope that our prayers are answered!
My life is stressful right now. Go figure.
So I thought I could stand to go over what I’m thankful for…
1.A savior who died for me! Even if I was the only one – he still would have done it and that humbled me!
2. My loving husband who adores me and lets me be crazy when I need to be.
3. My mother who helps me out when I’m running from appointment to appointment.
4. Wonderful friends who are a constant source of encouragement and love.
5. My children who are challenging and loving all at the same time.
7. The ability to laugh hilariously while yelling “POOP” at the top of my lungs like a juvenile child (while with my juvenile children, of course).
9. Having a party for no reason (or even better – a good reason).
10. I’m thankful for the ability to pray and seek God’s counsel and know that I will always be answered. True, some of those answers are not what I necessarily wanted to hear, but I’m thankful for all answered prayers regardless of how them come.
This is the month we will find out of our son gets to stay our son. I know in the past, when something major with the case has come up, I have typed out long posts about it.
But this time, I simply ask for you to cover us with prayer. The trial is scheduled for the last week of this month. Pray for the judge to have FOCUS (yes, with all caps) and do what’s best for Mac – not anybody else. Thank you.
If you recall – about a year ago I posted this entry. It was based on Hebrews 12:1. “Therefore, having so vast a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, and throwing off everything that hinders us and especially the sin that so easily entangles us, let us keep running with endurance the race set before us.”
I have been running this race for well over a year now. As it draws to a close, I found this verse to compliment the first:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” ~ 2 Timothy 4:7-8
You have been a blessing my friends. Thank you for cheering me on in this race. Please keep us lifted up in this home stretch!
And – for your enjoyment…the kids swimming in the lake last night…
We had a wonderful weekend at the beach. It was such a great time.
Be very surprised – I went to the beach. Melissa took the kids a few times, but I am not a beach person and I don’t go to the beach for the purpose of “beach” – ever. This was the first time I went in probably almost 5 years. I enjoyed the company, but think we could have done that in an air conditioned area just as well. LOL
We also did all the regular Easter stuff – church, egg hunt and family time! We had a blast!
And I got to see my FAVORITE cousin Heather and her beautiful family. Madison is now 13 and I can’t believe my baby is a teenager. She’s turned into such a…teenager! She’s growing up and I miss seeing her all the time!
So, I couldn’t coordinate for the life of me to get the kids’ Easter pictures done with my good friend Tina. Just never worked out…
I called KidShots with some hesitation and reservation. Tina has always done my kids’ pictures. Since they were brought into our family… And Tina was my inspiration to adopt thru DSS… how could I abandon her like that? Much like how you don’t use another hair dresser, you don’t use another photographer. And *gasp* what if she FOUND OUT? Horrors.
So with my eyes squinting and my mom as back-up, we went to KidShots with promises of pizza for SB and pasta for Mac. I just wanted one single picture of them together and I would be happy. They didn’t even have to be smiling. Or looking. Or anywhere near each other. Just in the same frame.
Let me tell you how utterly amazed I was. The girl who did their pictures, Melissa, was amazing. She got SB to warm right up (with me shouting PIZZA! behind her), she got Mac to look at the camera and and they smiled. Together. In the same picture.
It was an Easter Miracle, I’m telling you. I think the heavens parted and the angels sang on my children that morning.
We got a lot of wonderful pictures, but alas, I could only choose eight. Here are those eight by order of Together – SB – Mac…
So, I think we’ll visit KidShots again and see if we can repeat the miracle.
(And for those of you who ask why *I* don’t their pictures, it’s because I am anal retentive and wayyyy to critical of my own work to even attempt to take pro pics of them. Just not gonna happen.)
My little girl is growing up and I can’t seem to stop it.
Each night we read a few books before bed. I love it – SB loves it. Mac has always been our reader, not SB, so I love that she’s been enthralled lately (that’s fancy for interested).
Lately her FAVORITE thing in the world to read are Fancy Nancy periodicals (that’s fancy for book). Currently we have three. If you feel led to donate more to the cause – we would appreciate it because we’re about sick of the three we have. Her favorite of those is Fancy Nancy’s Pajama Day. I love Fancy Nancy because it teaches great vocabulary words (fancy words) like excluded, unison and alfresco (SB’s favorite).
So this week, Sarah Bradley said she was going to read it herself. Yay – a night free for me! Listen here, folks. My 3 year old read/recited the ENTIRE book verbatim (that’s fancy for word for word). I was so amazed (fancy for excited).
She’s growing up so much and part of me can’t wait to see what’s next and part of me wants to hold her right where she is. Since I can’t do the latter – I suppose I will have to settle for watching as she continues to astound me.
I’m one pleased, jubilant, joyful, ecstatic mommy! (That’s fancy for happy.)
I am about to be a basket case. In about 12 hours we will be arriving at the court house for our pre-trial hearing. I know it’s not the trial – but they will hopefully set the trial at tomorrow.
Tomorrow I will know when my life will change forever – either for the good or for the ugly. I will try to praise God regardless!
I didn’t think I would be nervous about the pre-trial… and in truth I’m not. I’m not at all nervous about tomorrow – it’s what tomorrow brings that I’m scared to death about.
Saturday marks 1 year since Mac’s social worker called and said that elderly biological relatives wanted him back. The very people he was taken from and placed into care because of (after being removed from the parents and put into their care, he was then taken from them as well and put into foster care).
One whole year of constant worrying over whether or not my son would stay my son.
I told the social worker then that if they were going to wind up taking him away from me to take him right then, I would pack him up. Not that I wanted to, mind you, but because I didn’t want there to be any more attachment just to lose him. I didn’t want Sarah Bradley to be able to remember him. I didn’t want to fall more in love with him. I was told that DSS would not voluntarily place him back in their home. We waited.
I was assured that when we countered, they would back off. They didn’t. I was told that when they realized how much this would cost, they would back off. They didn’t. I was told that depositions usually scared people into stopping. They didn’t. Since July they’ve had twice monthly visitation with Mac. Mac just thinks he’s going to play with his social worker. He asks for her all the time – never them.
Thankfully, the entity of DSS is in favor of adoption “by the foster/adoptive parents.” All social workers, guardian ad litems, supervisors and the foster care review board are pushing for us to be able to adopt Mac. Nobody is on their side (which is sad, I’ll be honest), and I’m thankful for that.
But what’s more amazing is the prayers we’ve received over the last year in this battle – and the last almost 3 years since we decided to adopt via foster care! People’s generosity, support and prayers have been received, felt and more than appreciated. I am so thankful for your outpouring of love and encouragement.
I don’t know what to pray for tomorrow. Two pro-biofamily judges are retiring in June. They apparently tend to side with the biofamily regardless of the child’s well-being. While we want this to end, I’d rather wait and get the results we want than rush things. We’ve been told that one of the new judges is very pro-adoption. Our prayer is to be seen before this judge for the trial. Whoever hears our case, we pray that they’ll see that Mac IS home.
And regardless of the outcome when we do go to trial, it is my humble prayer that everybody who sees me will see Christ’s reflection in me. This is my greatest witnessing tool and I pray it will reach those who need it.
Thanks for your prayers for tomorrow and throughout this ordeal.
Hello friends! Some of you I see often and some of you I haven’t seen in a while… but I’d like to change that!
In the next few weeks I will be starting up as a consultant for Thirty-One Gifts. Yes, it’s another of those Tupperware, Avon, Pampered Chef-type home show deals… but this one sells purses, bags and wonderful items for baby, child and home! And it’s all personalizable (the best part!).
Why am I doing this, you might ask? Well, as many of you know, we have been in the process of trying to adopt our son Mac thru foster care. He’s been home 14 months and is such a joy. But for almost a year now we’ve been fighting elderly biological relatives for custody. While these people seem nice; their age, health and history make them a poor choice to raise such a rambunctious two-year-old. Because of the legal battle we’ve been fighting, our almost-free adoption has turned into $10,000 in legal fees (and still rising). My photography business just isn’t generating the income we need, so I’m going to start selling these terrific products.
I’m looking to you, my old and new friends, to help me out. Would you be willing to host a show in your home? Invite your church friends, life group, co-workers, family, friends and anyone else. In fact – you could host multiple shows (one for church, one for work, etc)! Hostesses receive terrific gifts and discounts on some wonderful items.
Thirty-One is a Christian-based organization that started up about seven years ago. Products range from $5 to $89 – so there’s something just about everyone can afford. And if you can’t afford it – host a show and you can get terrific discounts and free products! These are perfect gifts for baby showers, weddings, housewarmings and just gifts for all the hard work YOU do for your family!
Here’s a link to their online catalog: http://www.thirtyonegifts.com/catalog.htm. They have a general catalog as well as one for baby/child and one for teens. There’s something for everyone!
Please let me know if you would be interested in hosting a show in March or April (and beyond). I ask that you consider it to help us keep our little boy and because you know you want the beach tote on page 5!
Thank you for reading this and considering hosting a show!