Friday, November 8, 2013


WOW! We are blown away by the outpouring of support, love, and encouragement over the past few days! It brings tears to my eyes as I type this!

We felt led to have 48 hours of non-stop prayer for Layla, ending with the leaders of OCC laying hands on her November 11th - 13th. In less than 24 hours, all 48 spots are FULL! Many have signed up to pray for at least 1 hour, several have chosen to pray 2 or even 3 hours! We believe strongly in the power of prayer! God commands us to pray..not just pray, but to lay hands on, anoint with oil and pray, to pray without ceasing. God tells us to ask and we will receive. He tells us that "when two or three are gathered in His name, that He is there with them." Matthew 18:20

"Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord." James 5:14

We don't take these scriptures lightly! We believe that every scripture written in the Word of God, is completely God breathed! We don't have to do this alone..we don't have to have all the answers..we don't have to try and figure out what we are supposed to do, because God clearly tells us in His word.

In 2 Chronicles 16:12, King Asa was afflicted with a foot disease, but the scripture says that "though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did NOT seek help from the Lord, but ONLY from physicians and he died."

In John 14, Jesus says, "Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in Me WILL do the works I have been doing, and they WILL do even GREATER things than these."

Colossians 1:27 "tells us that Christ LIVES IN YOU!!!" and verse 29 "that's why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ's mighty power that works WITHIN ME."

We REALLY believe this!!

Everyone that came to Jesus was healed, delivered and set free! We believe that His power lives in every person that has accepted Him, who walks by FAITH and NOT by sight, and BELIEVES!

As you can tell this gets my passion juices flowing because for far too long many churches have set back and have not gone there! Why? Why do we shrink back from what scripture clearly says?! God is moving folks! He is healing people all over the world through HIS PEOPLE! His power is here today just like it was 2,000+ years ago! I have heard so many excuses of why we aren's seeing His power more in America today and the truth is we are, but we could see it so much more!

In Matthew 13:58, we see that Jesus, "only did a few miracles there because of their UNBELIEF!" Hmmm...does our American culture have a problem with UNBELIEF????

The Lord specifically said, " If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain move and it would move." Was He just joking around? NO!!!

God is moving and a movement is coming where church leaders will no longer shrink back from HIS TRUTH, that ALL THINGS are possible to those who BELIEVE! Do we really believe that?

I know I do, and I'm asking that you join with us in believing that in our lives, for our daughter! We believe that God will heal her in His timing and we ask you to come to the front lines with us, to ASK on our behalf for a miracle, to BELIEVE that God IS going to do it. Please pray with us from Nov.11-13th and don't stop there...keep praying! God hears the prayers of His people!!!

Thank you all so much who have agreed with us on this, who are praying, and waiting for a miracle!

" This sickness will NOT end in death. It is for the GLORY OF GOD!" ~ John 11:4

Love you all,

Friday, October 18, 2013

Reuters - We NEED our voices heard! We NEED services!

A few days ago, I spoke with a Reuters Journalist who wants to publish some of our story. She is writing an article with the Voices of adoptive families who are struggling and are fighting for their children..and the services they are struggling to find. I was very aprehensive about this:
#1 because this is not only my story, but also my daughter's
#2 I am pro-adoption..these children need families and I don't want to aid in scaring people away
#3 Of course, I don't want my words to be twisted or 1/2 stated into something I didn't intend

After a couple days of prayer and asking others to cover this is prayer, I have decided I HAVE to use my voice! I have to! I have to speak on behalf of other families that are struggling just like us. I have to let them know they are not alone. I have to fight to get better services for these children and their families. I have to help educate others so they can be prepared or can support their friend or family member. Of course I'm very careful about what I say. I do not in ANY shape or form want to expose my daughters behaviors on her worst days. The VERY HARD details, she can share one day if and when she is ready. I tried to put myself in her shoes as a teenager. What do I think she would want? I think she would want other children like her to get the help they need. I think she would want these children to be able to stay with their families...and I think one day she will look back and say LOOK WHERE I AM NOW! LOOK WHAT GOD HAS DONE! I believe one day she will be shouting from the rooftops to anyone who is willing to listen. If this sways people from adopting, then maybe they shouldn't adopt. I know that may sound harsh..but Hey this is MY blog. If you are scared away from the HARD, the bad, the ugly..then maybe adoption is not for you. You have to be willing to FIGHT with every ounce of being inside you. The majority of adoptions do not have these severe issues..but we do and I have to be a voice to others that do too. Yes, there is a chance that my words will be twisted or half stated, although, I felt good about the journalist I spoke with. If that happens, all I can say is that I tried. I gave it my best shot and thats all that I can do!

The journalist asked me to write out our whole story from adoption until today...This is what I sent her. So, we will see how much of this is actually published. Wanted to share it so that prayerfully a mom will see it who is struggling and she will know she is not alone. Prayerfully this will help us who are struggling get more services.

Since the time I was a teenager, I knew that I was called to adopt one day. I went on my first international mission trip to Honduras at 16 years old. It was there that a lady asked me to take her newborn baby back to America because she couldn’t take care of her. I knew then that “adoption” was what I was supposed to do one day. I knew there were so many children out there that needed loving families that could provide for their needs.

Before marrying my high-school sweetheart, we talked about adoption and foster care and knew that one day we would welcome children in our home that needed forever families or a safe place to stay. We welcomed our 2 biological sons into the world in 2004 and 2005, all while I devoured every adoption article, adoption blog, and researched countries that were welcome to adoption, rules, regulations, costs, etc. In 2007, when our youngest son reached his second birthday, we decided it was time to move forward with adoption. We looked into many countries…Russia, Ukraine, China, and Zambia… but we landed on Ethiopia. Although Africa was a continent my husband and I had never been, the need in Ethiopia was great. 6 million orphans in a country the size of Texas. Many people dying of Aids, preventable diseases, and malnutrition. Not only was the need great, but also this was one of the only countries that we met the requirements regarding age, family size, income, and they did not require a long travel stay. We decided because our sons were still so young and I wanted another “baby” that we would adopt a girl, 0-12 months old. In our minds, adopting an infant would prevent any exposure to our sons of behaviors they were not ready for. (Although now research shows that the younger the child when the trauma occurs the harder it is for the child to heal and repair the brain..Huge misconception in the adoption is better for a child mentally to receive love their first months of life then loose it, then to not receive it in beginning and then have it).
We submitted all our paperwork, completed home studies, and paid the fees needed to bring our daughter home. In May 2008, we got a call for a referral of a 3-month-old baby girl. We were sent 2 photos of her via email. The minute I saw her tiny little face and big brown eyes, I knew she was meant for us. She was ours! It was almost as if I had just given birth, but could not hold her. Her pictures melted every heart that looked at them. I spent many hours, over the next few weeks before traveling to bring her home staring in her eyes and even then, what I saw was hurt and pain…even from a picture..I could see it. We sent her medical history to an international adoption specialist to look at to see if there was anything to be concerned about. The Dr. could see from her labs and body weight/height, that she had been extremely malnourished…weighing 5 pounds at 3 months old. What concerned her the most, was that her length and weight were proportionate which you usually only see in premature infants, or a child that has stopped growing (she was not premature). The Dr. believed that with proper nutrition, she would quickly catch up. Regardless of what the Dr. said, we knew this was our child NO MATTER WHAT! We would do whatever it took to care for her and give her all she needed. WE WERE GOING TO BRING HER HOME!

July 23, 2008, the day we had longed for had finally arrived. An orphanage nanny laid her in my arms, and I knew then that I would never let go. She was a tiny little thing, still having newborn reflexes, and not yet holding her head up.

We brought her home and and friends were over the moon excited to welcome her. The first 6 months home was a piece of cake. I had read the horror stories of hard adjustments, infections, and diseases..but she was so easy. She quickly began sleeping through the night, rarely cried, and seemed content. We rarely ever put her down! The only thing that concerned us in those first few months home was her eating habits. Her little tummy could only hold 3 ounces at a time, but she would eat a full bottle, throw it up and then cry for more and eat a whole other bottle…and the cycle continued. This went on for weeks until we found a pacifier that suited her and would calm her instead of the bottle. We knew this was because of her lack of food over the past 5 months, and believed that it would go away with time.

We took her to her first Dr. visit after she had been home for a week at an Adoption Clinic. She was seen by an Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, and Dr. She had lots of blood drawn, measurements, and the works. They found that because she was still so small..Only 10 pounds, and also based on her length, & head circumference that she was “Failure To Thrive” We came to know the meaning of this term as an infant or toddler that stops growing. In her case because of malnutrition and neglect. They literally “give-up” and stop trying to survive. The Dr. told us to keep a close eye on her growth and development and that she would be “at-risk” for sensory issues in the future. Having a Child Development background was definitely a plus. I pulled out all my charts and began charting and tracking her growth and development. She quickly began catching up. She was growing and gaining weight fast. She nearly doubled her weight the first month home! Developmentally she was catching up too. Sitting up at 8 months, crawling at 11 months, and walking at 15 months. Around a year, I began noticing changes in her. She started becoming chronically fussy and ONLY when I was around. I would go through the typical things of..Is she hungry? No. Is she sleepy? No Does she need a diaper change? No…I would hold her most of the day because that was all that seemed to help, and that became difficult with a 3 and 4 year old at home. Then, when she began eating solid food, she wanted to eat all the time. She would stand at the fridge if I wasn’t holding her and ask for “cheese-sticks”. I began to let her carry a cheese-stick in each hand to comfort her as well as leaving a bowl full of cheerios on the table where she could reach. Around 15 months she began throwing tantrums over little things, and to me it didn’t seem like a “typical” tantrum for a toddler…nothing I had ever seen with our sons. It was an out of control "survival" tantrum. Almost as if she were a little bitty baby again not getting food - "Survive or Die" kind of tantrum. I began talking to a few people about what I was experiencing and heard a lot of “This is just a phase, she will grow out of it”, “She’s just spoiled.” “You just need to be a little more stern.” I wanted badly to believe all these things were true. That this was just a phase and she would grow out of it or if I were just a little more stern it would actually help her. Unfortunately nothing changed. I started emailing other adoptive moms who had adopted infants to see if they were having problems and they were doing just fine. I searched blogs and social media only to see lots of smiling faces and “happy” posts of their joys in adoption. I began to believe that I was the problem because she acted like a typical toddler when she was with others. Everyone that would spend time with her when we would have “date” nights or meetings would talk about how well behaved and content she was. Nothing like what I was experiencing at home. I decided when she was 18 months old after I had stayed home with her for a year that I would begin working in the hopes that if “I” were the problem that this would help her, but I did not speak of this to anyone. I could not bear to hear the words come out of my mouth, Could I really be the problem? My close friend provided childcare for some of our church family and I knew she was a great mom… “Maybe just maybe, this would help my daughter. Obviously nothing I was doing was helping….I must be doing something wrong.” In the back of my mind. I heard “attachment issues”, and even though I had learned all about the attachment cycle in college and how important it is in the first few months of life, I still thought it was irrational of me to think that 5 short months could have caused this. The problem must be me. I began working and my daughter went to my friend’s home for childcare. Of course, there were no issues there other than a typical strong-willed toddler. In the evenings after work, nothing changed. She was still fussy, still hoarding food, and still throwing tantrums.

At 2 years old, we moved to Georgia from Ohio to plant a church. For a couple weeks after the move, everything was great. She seemed normal. Then the honeymoon wore off and she realized this move was permanent and the real major issues surfaced. She became more and more aggressive and controlling, mainly with me and occasionally with her brothers. She stopped sleeping..Went three months without sleeping at all at night. She would raid the fridge while we slept until we put up a baby gate in her room. She wasn’t sleeping so Momma wasn’t sleeping either. I began researching like crazy to see if I could find anything that might help her. I started seeing stuff about attachment therapy and read up on some techniques to do with a raging child. Most of our days were filled with major meltdowns and tantrums and me holding her in a “cradle” hold like a baby trying to keep her close and let her know that she was safe with me. These rages could last anywhere from 30-60 minutes. I had to hold her to keep her from hurting herself, our belongings, or me. I would sing Jesus Loves Me over and over to her, hoping that she would believe it. I would pray as she screamed and raged. That God would heal the hurt in this little girl’s heart that went so deep. During this time we began seeing some signs of sensory issues, such as, spinning, swinging, rocking, toe-walking, an over-reactive startle response to noise, and would get out of control when we would go into a public place like the mall or a restaurant. She would hide under the table or start spinning. It absolutely broke this mommas heart into. I knew I had to help her, but how?!

Her pediatrician referred us to a child psychologist, who did a pre-evaluation. She determined that our daughter showed signed of being on the Autism Spectrum and that she likely had Asperger’s Syndrome. The Dr. encouraged me to do my research on Asperger’s, see if it fit, and when she turned 3 to set up an appointment at our school system to be evaluated for special education. She felt it would be helpful for her to be socialized in a pre-school setting. AUTISM?!?!…My husband and I were shocked. I had worked with numerous children with Autism and I never thought this could be a possibility. I researched every site possible on childhood Autism and symptoms of Asperger’s. Yes there were some things that fit like the sensory issues (spinning, rocking, etc..)..But something just wasn’t right. There were many things that did not fit at all…she was social. She made eye contact, she participated in pretend play. She had friends..etc. Even though I wasn’t convinced I was desperate to get her help.
We waited 6 months for her to turn 3 and got her in for an appointment at the public school system. She was evaluated and did not qualify for any services. The school professionals said she was on target in all developmental domains and did not show any signs of Autism or Asperger’s and thought maybe some “strong” parenting courses may help me. I felt devastated and so discouraged! Was this problem REALLY me? What was I doing wrong? I had parented 2 other children that were completely normal, well behaved, well adjusted boys! I began to realize as the rages and behaviors got worse that this went much deeper. We took the advice of the Dr. and put her in a great pre-school program where she did very well. She made friends. She obeyed the teachers and the rules. NO problems what so ever…that is until I would walk in the door. It just didn’t make sense to anyone and of course again…it had to be me! I must be the problem! How can a child act nearly perfect around everyone else and be completely out of control with the mom unless the mom is the problem?! I just knew this is what everyone was thinking! I felt judged even if no one said a word. I felt as though I could not take my daughter anywhere without getting stares and head shakes at her acting out and me not being able to do anything to control it other than carry her out kicking and screaming.

We got her into a therapist for children and began going to therapy once a week. The therapist would leave me in the waiting room while she did play therapy with my daughter. My daughter loved it and because I was off in another room, she did great. No meltdowns, No acting out. A “perfect” well-behaved child. We then went to a psychiatrist who asked me about 10 questions, saw our daughter for about 10 minutes, and informed me that she had a mood disorder and needed to be put on Lithium to help stabilize her moods. A 3 year old on Lithium!!! I was NOT ready for that…and a mood disorder? Yes, she did fit SOME of the symptoms, but she was ONLY like this with me! Can you turn mood disorders on and off depending on whom you are around? These were my thoughts. My husband and I decided against putting our 3 year old on a medication she would have to be on the rest of her life when we still weren’t sure exactly what was going on. I kept searching. I knew this wasn’t right. I then spoke with a lady at the Attachment and Trauma Network who finally pointed me in the right direction. She told me about Developmental Trauma Disorder and RAD..and assured me that children even in infancy can develop these.

I once again was fighting for answers. We went to another therapy service for children where we finally got the RAD diagnosis. We started going to a different therapist who understood that my daughter and I needed to be together during therapy. Our therapist was very nice and well meaning, but most of her advice was that of typical parenting..Everything we had already tried…sticker charts, stern voice, consistency, time-out, taking toys away (we even cleaned out every toy in her room), and positive reinforcement. We had TRIED EVERYTHING…even good old fashioned spanking (YEAH I KNOW. Shoot me). Everything that had worked so well with our sons was NOT working with her. She would cycle..often going a week with no major meltdowns and we would think we were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, only for her to spin out of control again. Our therapy sessions mainly consisted of me holding my raging daughter while the therapist gave me suggestions of other things to try..All things I appreciated, but all things I had already tried and didn’t work. I began bringing my therapist books to read about RAD and attachment therapy because she seemed at a loss as to what to do. I began to realize that this was a waste of time and we stopped going, but I was NOT done fighting for my daughter!

I finally found an Attachment Center that got rave reviews from many parents and so we went and they GOT IT! They actually GOT IT! They were wonderful and knew exactly what to do…they listened and for the first time did not judge my parenting skills…they explained to a T everything that was going on in my little girls brain. She had endured trauma in her very young life and her brain was not the same, but it could be healed with proper therapy and skills! WOO HOO!!!! At last! I went home so excited to finally get some help. Then I opened the packet they sent home…$200 an hour and they did not accept insurance. BUMMER! There was NO WAY we could afford that and my husband was still very skeptical after being to all these therapists and still no real answers. We were back at square 1! Discouraged and feeling like we could not help our child.

I then realized if healing was going to happen for my daughter that “I” was going to have to figure out how ON MY OWN! I read every book, spent countless hours devouring the Internet and began seeing some hope. I began going through video attachment training through Nancy Thomas at and learning what to do. I started putting more of those things into practice and we started seeing small glimpses of healing. We started seeing empathy. We started seeing longer periods without rages. We started seeing less of the dis-regulated fact that improved dramatically.

I then made the difficult decision to quit my job to focus on her healing. It would just be her and I everyday while my sons were at school. I held her back from her Kindergarten year just to try to form that bond she so desperately needs. We do a lot of holding, eye contact games, theraplay, and try to have fun together. Many days are met with control battles, meltdowns, and rages..But I’m not giving up! I keep focused on the good days…the healing that is taking place..the smiles..the giggles..the I’m sorry’s…It is slow..but it is happening and I have to keep moving forward for my daughter.

While she is healing and we are making progress. I have desperately needed an attachment therapist along side of me that could encourage and give suggestions that will work. I just need someone to tell me exactly what to do in certain situations like when she refuses to brush her teeth. If I let her teeth fall out, I would be charged with neglect, but if I physically force her I will be charged with abuse. You CANNOT make a child do something! You just can’t. Typically developing children have a secure attachment to their primary caregiver and they naturally want to please them and consequences if they don’t actually work! When you get into the world of RAD…they want to do the opposite. They want to push you away to see if you will leave them, and then pull you close b/c they get scared that you may. They feel as though they can’t trust anyone but themselves and so they try to control everything. Even if it seems chaotic to everyone else.. THEY are in control of the chaos. It is so sad! They live in fear all the time and no form of typical parenting punishment or consequence works with these children!

We are now saving the money to go through with an intensive weekend with 2 attachment therapists. It will be 9 hours of intensive therapy with a brain scan and neuro-feedback. It’s a lot of money, but my husband and I have came to the conclusion that if this were cancer or a bad disease, we would do everything in our power to help her…no amount of money is too much when saving the life of your child. Her brain is sick and needs to be healed. This is not a cure, but this is supposed to stimulate the parts of her brain that are not working correctly so that it can start healing.

The stories of disruption and re-homing are heartbreaking. I feel for these children and these families who have to face this decision. When there is a traumatized child there is a traumatized family. Everyone suffers. These children are NOT the problem! The parents are NOT the problem! The child’s ill brain IS the problem and the brain CAN heal with proper services and training. We NEED more services for families like mine. Attachment and Trauma Services that accept insurance and Medicaid. Therapists who have been trained in attachment therapy. Teachers and education professionals who realize that parents are NOT the problem..It is not always lack of discipline when you have a child with behavior issues. We need more respite care providers that are trained and can give these very stressed, overwhelmed, often depressed and grieving families a MUCH NEEDED break! We need better pre-adoption training and post-adoption services. I grieve for these families because if it weren’t for my faith in God, husband, family and friends, I don’t know where we would be today. Our family has driven 12 hours round trip to come help out, to give us a night or weekend away. We have had church family bring meals on hard days to lighten our load. We have had friends help pay for very expensive services that don’t accept insurance. My husband standing by my side even though he doesn’t witness the rages has helped keep me going. Not everyone has these luxuries. Many families in the trenches go through divorce from the stress, they isolate themselves because they can’t take their child in public for fear of a meltdown, they get depressed because they do blame themselves, their friends and family feel they just need to toughen up or discipline better and judge them, and many go through extreme financial difficulties because some services are so expensive. More than anything my faith in God has got me through.. I know he chose us for our daughter, He knows what He is doing, and He is going to get us through this. I believe that our daughter will one day be healed and whole. She is a work in progress!

These children NEED NEED NEED families that are willing to fight to the end. Who go into adoption knowing this is a possibility and are ready with training and services lined up. The majority of adoptions do not have these severe issues, but all adoptive families need to be ready for anything! This would prevent cases like we are seeing in the news. These horror stories would not be happening if there were more services available and education out there.

My advice to families in the trenches: KEEP FIGHTING!!! PRAY! PRAY! PRAY! Speak LIFE over your child! God is HEALER!

My advice to families considering adoption: Adoption is WONDERFUL! So many children need homes. Be prepared, do your research, and have services lined up. GO FOR IT!

My advice for onlookers: DO NOT JUDGE! You never know what a family is going through in their homes. You never know their situation. The child may look normal, they may seem sweet, they may hug you and seem to really like you and you can’t figure out what is going on with the mom or whoever…Do not judge until you walk in their shoes. Give support! Give encouragement! Give hugs! Listen! Babysit! Do your research on attachment/trauma disorders. Fewer families would walk away from their children if they had support!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Has it REALLY been 5 YEARS?!?!

Hard to believe it has been 5 years!

After a wonderful weekend of being reminded of all that God has done and reading through this blog, I have decided to continue it. If not for anything else, to keep a picture journal that I can always look back on. Its crazy how fast you forget isn't it?!

My oh my... so much has happened in 5 years!!! Lets see..we moved from Ohio to Georgia...

we started a church and have followed God through the Good, Bad, Hard, and Harder...

we moved 3 times all in a 10 mile radius...

we home-schooled the boys and then moved into public school and Layla went to Pre-K...

Matt is now pastor, teacher, wrestling coach, student,and one AMAZING Daddy...

the kids have participated in basketball, brazilian jiu-jitsu, golf, ballet and gymnastics...

We have left many close friends and made many new ones...

We got to witness new life...

We were blessed to travel and see lives being transformed...

We got to love on a precious little newborn for a few weeks....

We have laughed alot and we have cried ALOT!

We have watched our boys become the most loving, giving, compassionate little fellas on the planet.

We can now write a book...maybe many books on Attachment and Trauma Disorders..and I can probably name all the therapists in our community and a few more. We have had three years filled with words like Autism, Aspergers, Mood Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder, and Sensory Processing Disorder, but have been so blessed to get to know some of the strongest, most genuine, caring child/family advocates EVER! We have watched as our sweet Layla has struggled to overcome the voice of the enemy...rejection, abandonment, fear...and have had the absolute priviledge and blessing of having a front row seat at God's REDEMPTION taking place in our living room. A front row seat as she is beginning to learn to listen to the voice of God inside her...its's the little things.... "Are you ok, Daddy?" she asked when Matt hurt his back. "Can I help you Mommy?" as I do laundry. It's the hugs, the snuggles, the I love you's, I'm sorry's, "I'll try again tomorrow" It's her love for orphans, the poor and her birth country. It's that deep hillarious belly laugh that WILL make you laugh even on the worst day. It's the sound of her sweet small voice as she recites The Lord's Prayer.

I sit on the front row and watch my boys love.. REALLY LOVE...not the easy kind of love...the HARD kind of love. The love that gives when you don't get anything in return. The love that puts others needs in front of yourself. The love that goes above and beyond your years. The love that forgives over and over again. The love that perserveres even on the hardest days. The kind of love that it takes many a lifetime to learn. The kind of love that ONLY comes from God! The hardest days make the good days so much sweeter.

MY, how are lives have been FOREVER changed. Changed for the better. Changed for HIS GLORY so that His power may be revealed. It is HARD...really hard, but I would not have it any other way. When God changes you..the process is never fun, never easy, and it usually never happens overnight. It's the journey. The journey of reliance completely on Him. The journey of giving up control. The journey of transparency and vulnerability. The journey of sacrifice. The journey of His strength being made perfect in our weakness. The journey of laying down our desires for His. The journey of hanging on when everything inside of you wants to let go. The journey of forgiveness. The journey of setting aside our "good" for His best. The journey of living by faith and not by sight. The journey of trusting even when it doesn't make sense. The journey of saying "YES" wherever God leads. The journey of realizing this world is not our home and living in such a way that our lives SCREAM that to everyone willing to take a look. It is then and only then that we fulfill our purpose for this generation.

If we knew then, 5 years ago, what we know now, would we have said Yes? I pray that we would have. I never would have dreamed this is where we would be, but its so much HARDER and so much BETTER than I could have ever imagined. Funny how God works like that huh?! How can something be good and hard at the same time? When God is changing you through it THAT IS HOW ... and when you take a look around... and know this is what you were created for!


Friday, September 5, 2008

Last Post

I'm sorry to say that this will be my last official post. Since we got home from Ethiopia, I just don't have time to keep up with it anymore. However, if you would like to receive pictures and updates of Layla and our family, please send an email to me at I also post pictures on facebook.
Layla is doing well! She is getting so strong. She is trying to sit up on her own and loves to bounce in her jumparoo. She is eating jar food and is getting better with the tongue reflex. She takes a bottle about every 3 hours and her tummy is still so small, she can only take 4oz. at a time. Layla loves to talk and squirm! She is such an active baby!! The boys are loving her! She has no choice but to be rotten, she gets so much attention.
I have loved keeping this blog and meeting so many families through this process. I will pray for all adoptions, that they will continue to go smoothly and that God would Bless You!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We are leaving Sunday!!!

We are leaving Sunday for Ethiopia! WooHoo!! I am still in shock a little bit. Erin (our case-worker), called on Monday, and asked if we could be in Addis next week. Absolutely!! This week has been such a whirlwind trying to get everything together and still make time for my family. So, to all those who haven't traveled yet, don't put packing off!! 
We should be back on Tuesday, July 29th!!! We are so overjoyed! God IS GOOD!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Baby Shower!!!

I had my first official Baby Shower on Sunday. What fun it was! I got the best gifts including Layla's Life Book! What a special time it was to spend with friends who all can't wait to bring Layla Brooke home! Layla's closet is now full of clothes in every size. We have a new stroller, carrier seat, and swing. She has EVERYTHING! We are so blessed! Thanks to all! We love you so much!! A SPECIAL THANKS to Leah, Tammy, Joyce, Ginger, & Janet! You are such special people in our lives!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

We have a COURT DATE!!!

We received an email today informing us of our court date on July 8th!!! Yipee!!!! I was beginning to get worried bc I thought we were going to get one 2 weeks ago. Please pray that everything goes smoothly and there are no delays. If all goes well, we should be leaving on July 28th and coming home on August 6th. Thanks for your prayers. This week has been rough!
The Robison's

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Some gifts I have received...
Ruffled panties! How cute!
I Love this bib
Layla's first doll from Momaw
Thanks to everyone who has been so generous and loving! You are so special to us. We are so blessed!
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Birthday/Pre-Baby Shower

I'm so blessed to have so many people in my life that are so good to me! Last night at CIY, Matt, had a surprise birthday party for me. He had cake, balloons, and streamers. It was so nice. Also, the youth leaders got me a Birthday/pre-baby shower gift. The huge gift bag was filled with Dr. Brown's bottles (the best), bibs, onesies, clippers, head thermometer (got to have), and a soft pink blankie. I am thrilled!!! The youth group sang Happy Birthday to me way off tune, but it's the thought that counts...sorry guys, you sounded horrible! It was such a fun night. I'm so lucky to have so many good friends in my life that are so generous.

Oh...I almost forgot. My mother in law, Beth, is with me helping with the boys while we are at CIY. She is wonderful! When she got to our house on Saturday night, before we left, she also gave me a huge gift bag filled with baby goodies that she got from some ladies at her retirement party. Everything was personalized with Layla's name. A blanket, bibs, burp cloths, ruffled panties, swim suit, and the list goes on and on. Everything is so precious! She already has everything that she needs, thanks to you! 

I will post pictures when I get home.

We are so blessed!!!

Waiting on a Court Date...

Hi fellow bloggers & blog stalkers: We are still waiting on a court date. We thought for sure we would get one last week, but it didn't happen. The court is moving a little slower bc of the severe drought. We are praying that we receive a court date this week!!! We are keeping our fingers crossed. Please pray!
This week we are at a "Move" Christ in Youth Conference in Anderson, IN. It has been an amazing experience. This is my 13th year coming to CIY. I started in the youth group, but now attend as a youth leader. 
This year the theme is "move". Are we going to move and make a difference in this world of lost, hurting, and dying people?? What can I do to make a difference in this world?? The speakers have really challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and do something amazing for Christ. I am beginning to pray that God will use me beyond what I can physically do on my own. That little me can somehow make a difference in this world. I don't know exactly what He is leading me to do, but I can't wait to find out!

Seeking Him,

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Layla's Room!!

This is Layla's room just waiting for her!
We have actually had it done for a while, but added a few finishing touches today. I got the bedding set from ebay. It was brand new, still in package from pottery barn for only $60! I thought I got a steal. I still need curtains and a rug, but for the most part, it's done. The two oval pictures are paintings of flowers that Matt's gramma painted in antique frames. The rocking chair is also an antique that was passed down to us.It has been so fun working on her room. Just knowing she will soon be in it is exciting!

"A Prayer for My Child"
May you be safe and sleep soundly through the night,
May you be safe as you wake to the morning light.
May you feel love from far away,
May it comfort and protect you throughout each day.
We will pray for you, our little one,
Until our time of waiting is done.
We will pray that the Lord keeps you safe from harm,
Until the child of our hearts becomes the child in our arms.
We love you little Layla!
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