Our spare bedroom is a very pale shade of mint green.  We painted it back when we turned it into a scrapbook room.  I wanted something with just a tinge of color in it and something that would work if we ever had to turn the room back into a bedroom.

I decided to accent the mint green walls with a bright pink stripe.  I talked about it here.  Well, the other day, Thanksgiving to be exact, I finally pulled off the blue painters tape to see our beautiful pink stripe.  Imagine my surprise (and not the good kind) when I found this:
You see the "fuzz" at the top and bottom?  It was ALL the way around.  I was devastated.  And in looking at it, I didn't think it was wide enough.  It is 4 inches wide and to me, it looks too much like a racing stripe.  So, we planned to retape the stripe and make it wider, in an attempt to cover up the "fuzz" and the corner runs.  Because we had none of the leftover mint green paint (that we had specially  mixed), this seemed to be the only choice.

Today, we stopped by Home Depot to pick up something and I told Steve to ask someone there about how to do this the right way.  He came out with what we hope will be the golden ticket to a perfect stripe.

Anyone ever used this?  The lady in Home Depot actually demonstrated this for Steve and he was amazed.  But when we asked a professional painter, he said it was a waste of money.  So Steve took it back and got something else.  We are going to make the stripe several inches wider and try again.  Wish us luck!


Christmas Ornaments

As most of you know, my best friend Rachel and her family are adopting a little girl from Ethiopia.  I feel so blessed to be going through this adoption journey with her.  She has kept me sane many-a-day.

In order to offset the cost of their adoption, they are making these Christmas ornaments BY HAND.  Not only are they each handmade, but the backs can be personalized with any name you want.

And the price is unbelievable.  Only $5 each.  You can't buy a handmade personalized ornament this cheap anywhere!  I ordered two.  If you are interested in purchasing one, leave me a comment or email me and I'll put you in touch with the ornament-maker herself!


I forgot to post that Saturday I checked our bank account balance and it showed that the USCIS has cashed our check!  This is good news in that at least someone has gotten our application and it's moving along in the appropriate channels of the government. 

We seems to be stalled out on iPad ticket sales at about 1/3 of the way through.  I really want to draw on December 18, but I'm starting to think I might not reach our 350 goal by then.

So if you haven't purchased yet, please do so.  And if you have, THANK YOU.  Encourage your friends and family to also support us!


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

At the time of this post, we have not yet completed our Christmas decorating, but we are getting there.  As for our new tree, it started out looking a little rugged, but it only needed a little shaping. 

Then yesterday we went out to take advantage of some of the good deals for our new tree.  Kirklands has just opened in our area and we found this sweet deal which might be my new favorite Christmas decoration.  At least we can be constantly reminded of the Reason for the season!

We picked up a few things from Joanns, Hobby Lobby, Kirklands, and Kohls. 

And last night while shopping I picked up a little something for Jenna's room....she LOVED it and has now decorated it appropriately!

And I may or may not have picked up yet something else for our future use...
OK, not sure why it will not flip the picture the other way, but it won't.
I used to sing "You Are My Sunshine" to Jenna from the day she was born.  In fact, I have a permanent reminder of that little fact.  I've been wondering what special thing I'd have with our other daughter.  As soon as I saw it, I knew it was perfect!  It's from the book "Guess How Much I Love You". 

There are a few other decorations, but since we are no where near being done, you'll have to wait a little longer for the finished product.  I can tell you that we decided to clean out our Christmas decorations, so we'll have a nice mixture of new and sentimental stuff.  I can't wait to see how it turns out. 

Stay tuned!!!


Black Friday Night Shopping

Outside of Steve's random run to Kohls at 3am (which he claims he hardly remembers), we are NOT Black Friday shoppers.  I can't stand crowds and people who are too busy gazing at things to get themselves and their buggies out of the middle of the aisle so the rest of the people can walk through.  Oh and while I'm at it, WHY would you take your kids shopping with you on a day like Black Friday?  I mean, I of all people, get not having someone to watch them, but last night we encountered multiple screaming, not just crying, SCREAMING little ones.  You could just tell they had already had enough.  Anyway, I digress.

And up until fairly recently, I never ventured out on Black Friday.  However, I have always liked doing my Christmas shopping in one weekend or day.  I've been known to travel to Gatlinburg with friends and do it there, though that has been years ago.  But a few years ago, boredom overtook me and thus began the tradition of Black Friday Night shopping.  You can read about how that tradition came to be here.

Rachel was going to accompany last night for the annual BFN shopping and she brought along our friend Lindsey C.  Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of BFN shopping with anyone because if they have an agenda, and you have an agenda...well, you can see how it could become more of a burden than fun.  I can assure you, THERE WAS NO BURDEN TO THE COMPANY I KEPT LAST NIGHT!  Rachel and Lindsey were all, "We'll go wherever you go".  And holy cow they did.  Nary a complaint (at least until I was out of earshot!)

We hit Target, Kirklands (oh yes.  I'm going back there today.  I *may* have gotten stuff there that was more of a Christmas present for me than anyone else!) and then Kohls.  I got almost everything I needed for Jenna except one pretty expensive game she's been wanting for a couple years.  It was on sale at ToysRUs for $55, but target was supposed to have it for $49 and they had a $10 off coupon.  But of course, the down side to shopping BFN was they were all gone.  I bought some other things and got a $5 Target gift card so I figured I could come home and buy it at Target online with the gift card and coupon and be none worse for the wear.  However, Target AND TRU was sold out of it online.  On a fluke, I checked Amazon, knowing I might have to pay more for it.  But no...it was IN STOCK and on sale for $49!  And I picked up a few other things on Amazon and got free shipping. 

All that to say, I have a few more things to get and of course all the stocking stuffers (which will come much later) and I'm done.  Now comes the chore of wrapping it all.  But I've got to get this house decorated first.  And that's on the agenda for today.

Look at one of the items I picked up for future use:
I just think it will be SO cute with a picture of Micah, Jenna and their little sister at some point.  I LOVE IT. 

And just so you know, we have officially decided on a name.  It will be on our Christmas cards this year and that's how we are announcing it. 

OK, off to finish the laundry....it's not gonna do itself.  :)


I would have lost...

If you remember from this post, we've been on the hunt for a decent Christmas tree.  Last year, we bought a real tree and it was all we could do to keep the stupid thing alive until Christmas.  Seriously, I think the day after Christmas, we chunked it.

So, yesterday, while perusing the sale papers for Black Friday, Steve spotted pre-lit Christmas trees on sale at Kohls for $69.  The catch is, as all you seasoned Black Friday shoppers know, is that you had to get there when the store opened to be ensured to get one for that price.

And I'm sure you all now know what time Kohl's opened?  3am.  And Steve decided he was going to do it.  He was giong to be at Kohls at 3am to get us the 7ft Christmas tree.  This from the man that, when the alarm goes off at 8am will roll back over and go back to sleep because it's just too early.  Many evenings he's set his clock to get up and be somewhere in the morning only to shut the alarm off and decide not to go when the time actually came to get up.  What can I say?  The man loves his sleep!

All yesterday I kept telling him he wasn't going to go.  I asked him why he would try and make himself believe he was actually going to a) get up at 2:30 b) drive in the cold and c) fight the craziness that is Black Friday for this Christmas tree.  And he maintained he was going to do it.  If I'd had anything to wager, I would have bet against him getting up.

So.  The alarm goes off...

And he's out the door and at Kohls by:

And he returns from Kohls at:
This man, actually rolled out of bed at 2:30am this morning.  Got himself dressed.  Got Katie dressed because it was not only raining but cold enough to be SLEETING!  And drove to Kohls (we do have one in our little city).  And sat in the truck until 3am when the chaos began.  And he said it was crazy.  Parking lot was full (however, Target, which opened at 4am is next door) and the people were everywhere.

And do you think he succeeded?  In getting our new tree for $69???

Why yes he did!  Mission accomplished!  Happy Black Friday!


Happy Thanksgiving

On this day to remember all my blessings, here are just a few of the things I'm thankful for (in no particular order!).

1.  A God that pursues.  One that loves and provides for me even when I don't talk to Him.

2.  My husband.  I read on another blog that she thought she had the best husband, but I'll put my husband up against hers anyday.  He loves me for who I am, not what I'm not or who I want to be.  Really.  And that's hard to come by.

3.  A very expensive, (but worth every penny a hundred times over) successful IVF.  Jenna is the light of my world and God broke the mold when He created her.

4.  Station Hill Church.  Enough said.

5.  My friends.   Friends that buy 100 iPad tickets and post it on their Facebook, blogs and tweets.  I have the best friends a girl could ever ask for.  They keep me sane.  Well, relatively speaking.

6.  My family.  From both the Taylors and my side.  

7.  A million financial provisions.  In the year Steve's been out of work, God has provided a million financial blessings.  I started writing them all down, but there were so many, I just lost track.

8.  My job.  So many people are unemployed right now.  I have a job I love, a boss I love and co-workers that make working 40+ hours a week actually enjoyable.

9.  Facebook, email, blog.  I saw this on another friend's blog.  Even though it's not nearly as personal as a phone call or visit, these modes of communication have given me the ability to revive friendships and network in ways I never dreamed.

10.  A mother...somewhere in China...who, while her heart is breaking, will give her child up so that our family will be complete.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


Almost a third of the way there!

I'm thankful for all the friends who have bought iPad tickets or forwarded our blog address to friends!  My site meter tells me my visits have more than tripled!

Right now, I am 19 tickets shy of being a 1/3 of the way to the goal!  I think that's great progress!  If you haven't bought your ticket (or tickets) yet, now is the time!  And get your friends and family to buy!  I know we are a super long way from being able to double the goal and give away two iPads, but if everyone bought a ticket and asked 5 people they know to buy, then we'd be there in a snap!

Until then, I'm thankful for you, my readers...Happy Thanksgiving y'all!


It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

We haven't started Christmas decorating at our house yet, but it's not for lack of desire.  We'll hopefully get to it this weekend.  The looong weekend, praise Jesus!

Until then, I saw this on a blog I read frequently and I thought it would be a good way to usher in the season.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? HOT CHOCOLATE! 

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?  Well up until JG started noticing that Santa used the same wrapping paper as us, they were wrapped.  Now they are mostly unwrapped because I'm too lazy and busy to try and figure out different wrapping paper.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? I think we prefer white on the house and tree.  But we have gone back and forth over the years.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope.  Never.  Don't need it.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Thanksgiving weekend.  If I don't get it done while I'm off work, it might NEVER get done.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? I'm a huge fan of the appetizer/finger food.  I do like sausage balls.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Christmas Eve with my family and waking up Christmas morning.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? 3rd grade.  Jamie Daniel.  He was the first one to put the thought in my mind and the light bulb just went off.  I never told my parents I didn't believe, but somewhere along the way they figured it out.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Every Christmas as a child and I've carried that tradition on.  Usually JG opens up PJs on Christmas Eve.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? With lots of frustration.  One day I'm going to have the perfect tree and a bunch of perfect ornaments to make the process easier.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it as long as I don't have to drive in it.  And even then, it's OK as long as I can come home and play in it like a kid.

12. Can you ice skate? That depends on your definition.  I try not to.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? One year in my early teenage years, I asked for a Nintendo and a leather jacket....knowing I would only get one "expensive" gift.  Somehow both ended up under the tree.  It was a banner year.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Trying to teach my daughter about the REAL reason for the season.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Hmmm...chocolate something.  Maybe homemade chocolate covered cherries.  Oh, but I do love my chocolate chip cheese ball

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Spending Christmas Eve with the Millsaps.  I know one day, they might actually have to spend it with their own family, but for now, it sure does fill a void for me.

17. What tops your tree? Usually a star.  I don't mean to sound sacreligious but I really am not a huge angel-atop-the-tree fan.

18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? Both.  I mean, who doesn't love to receive gifts?  I especially like it when it's something homemade from Jenna or something that Steve thought of himself (without having me put it on a list).   But there is NOTHING like giving someone else THE gift.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? O Holy Night. 

20. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum? Depends, but usually yum.

21 Favorite Christmas Movie? National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.  Christmas just wouldn't be complete without it.  And then tied for first is Love Actually.  I watch this movie while I wrap presents and it makes that chore all the more enjoyable. 

22. Saddest Christmas Song? Mary Did You Know.

OK, your turn!


What do these things have in common?

This past weekend, part of what I wanted to do was work on the spare bedroom to prepare for our little girl.  I know it's going to be a pretty good while before she comes home, but I'd just feel better if the room was ready because until it is, my house is going to be a wreck.  We are rearranging everything and so things are just sitting everywhere and I can't stand the chaos.

We painted the room kind of a mint green about a year or so ago when we turned it into my scrapbook room.  We have no interest in repainting so soon, so I thought maybe adding some pink would be perfect.

This is what the scrapbook room looked like once upon a time.

I have located a sweet woman to make me a valance and blind for the one window in the room.  So Saturday, we made a trip to Joanns to see if we could find some fabric for the curtain.  I couldn't find what I wanted with a green in it that matched the wall.  It took me forever to find something I liked, but here's what I came up with.
The cupcakes will be the valance and the green will be the shade cover below it.  I know it's hard to imagine, but I'll be sure to post the finished product.

Anyway, we wanted to spice the room up, so we decided to paint a pink stripe around the middle of the room.  And so we needed the fabric to be able to match the stripe color to a color in it.  Well, when we got to Lowe's and they weren't able to use the fabric to match the paint because the pink in the cupcake was too small for the sensor eye to read.  We checked every paint swatch in Lowes and just couldn't find the exact one.

As we are standing there debating on what to do, Jenna wonders aloud whether "that plant" would match.  We turn around and sure enough, there's a pink flowering plant for sale right behind us.  I plucked one of the droopy petals and I could hardly believe my eyes, but it was a PERFECT match. 

We got the room cleaned up and the stripe all taped out.  Here's the "during" picture...

We have to paint the stripe still, but I'm praying that it doesn't end up looking more like a racing stripe than what I have envisioned.  I will keep you posted.


Thanksgiving Lunch

As is our tradition each year, Steve and I trekked to Jenna's Thanksgiving lunch at school.  I think the school is onto something because you park, go in, pick up your child, go through the line and eat all in about 45 minutes.  I'm all about Thanksgiving with the family, but there's something to be said for efficiency!

The food was good for cafeteria style Thanksgiving and Jenna loved having us there which is always nice.  As a treat, she got to leave after lunch and go home.  So it was like a 1/2 day for her.  Steve was glad he didn't have to drive all the way back to Nashville a second time.

Jenna's class had made a list of the things they were thankful for.  I think the turkey is super cute so I took the opportunity to get a picture of her with Dad and Katie.
Now, take a closer look at her "thankful" list.  Which by the way, had to spell "THANKFUL" with the words...
You can click to enlarge, but it says...

Terrific Laffy Taffy (because sure, who wants crappy Laffy Taffy?)
Holy Bible (great thinking!)
Awesome God (see a theme going here)
Nice parents (hmmm...just "nice"....why couldn't we have been awesome and God been nice???)
Cute Mittens (even our cat made the list)
Kind Marines (shout out to her Marine brother, Chase)
Funky teacher (Ok, so better to be 'nice' than 'funky'.  I hope the teacher took it as a compliment!)
Unbelievable Jesus (I guess considering what He did for us, it is kinda unbelievable)
Loving family (this is EVERYONE else)

I mean, a pretty good job at telling us what she's really THANCKFUL for.  :)  I think she intentionally misspelled it just so she could get Mitten in there.  Oh that girl.

If I look a little worn out, I had been battling largyngitis apparently caused by a pretty severe sinus infection that I never got over from when I returned from South Africa.


Welcome to My Crazy Adoption Readers!

If you linked here from My Crazy Adoption post, THANK YOU!  It's so nice to meet you.  I'm so excited to tell me story again and I can't wait to hear yours!

The story of how we began our adoption journey starts here.  Actually it's starts way back before this blog even began, but you'll get the general gist!

We have just completed our home study and sent the USCIS package off, so now the beginning of the waiting begins.

So, welcome to Just Haven't Met You Yet.  Please feel free to browse my blog, enter to win the iPad (the link is just over there to the right), and become a follower (add me to your Google Reader!)  I'm what I affectionately call a "blog 'ho".  I LOVE reading blogs.  So if you have a blog, leave me a comment below and I'll add you to the ever expanding list of blogs I read.

Thanks for visiting!  I hope you'll keep coming back!

Saturday's to-do list

This is what my list looks like for today.  What about you?


More waiting...

I picked up our completed home study last night and the final letter we needed from AWAA arrived via FedEx this afternoon.  Steve drove it all the way to Nashville to be included in our package to the USCIS and off it went this afternoon.  Overnight air for Monday delivery!  Just in the nick of time before prices went up!

OK, if you look REALLY close, you can see this is a FedEx package that came to me.  I forgot to photograph the REAL package, but you get the idea!  Besides, all blog posts are more interesting with pictures!!

For those non-adoptive families, the USCIS portion of international adoptions is a big deal because it is the FBI background check and fingerprinting ensure your suitability to adopt a child from a Hague convention country.  You have to send in the application to the Department of Homeland Security along with your home study, your birth and marriage certificates along with a few other documents (and a hefty fee!).  They review all of this and then send you a notice of when you have to go in to have your fingerprinting done.  Usually this can take up to two months.  So, there is a pretty lengthy delay just waiting on the government to do their thing.  So the faster you get it to them, the faster you can start waiting.  :) 

The problem is you can't send the application in until your home study is done and of course, it's taken us about 3 months to get our study completed.  We have a few little things to do in the meantime, but once those fingerprint records come back, everything goes to the State Department in DC to be certified and then Chinese Embassy in DC to be authenticated.  After everything is authenticated, our dossier goes to China!  And then the real wait begins!


This just in....


This is super exciting news and catapults us into the next stage of waiting.  Now that the home study is done, the next step is to apply for fingerprinting clearance through the USCIS.  To do this, I have to have a copy of the home study and a letter issued by our agency (among other things).  To get ahead, I already filled out the paperwork and gathered all the other documents for the application so all I have to do is add the home study and the letter.  The agency is kindly overnighting the letter to me today so I will have it tomorrow.  The social worker has to print the home study (3 copies) and have them all notarized, so not sure how quickly she can do that.

I'm in a hurry because the fees for USCIS go up on November 23 and that doesn't leave very much time for me to get it in before they increase.  But either way, the home study is done and that is a huge relief!


A China Surprise

After a long day at work, I came home to a little package in the mail.  Can you guess what was in it?

It was a little outfit from China from my friend Christy.  I've mentioned her on the blog before.  I met Christy in 8th grade when her family was here on furlough from their mission field in the Philippines.  Our friendship grew fast and furious and when she left, I thought I would never stop crying.  We managed to keep in touch the rest of the time they lived overseas.  After a while, her parents moved back to the US and we somehow lost touch.  And through nothing short of a miracle of God (that is another post entirely), I caught up to her dad and then to her.  We've been in touch ever since.

In fact, her oldest daughter was born not too long before Jenna.  Christy has always been a wonderful support even though she lives all the way in Arizona!

The story of the outfit was that her sweet parents bought this outfit for her kids when they were visiting China and now she was handing it down to us for our little girl.  I can't think of a sweeter, more thoughtful gift!  It's our very first outfit for our girl and I cannot wait to get her in it!

So, THANKS CHRISTY!  We love it and we can't wait to get pictures of our girl in it!  A very special gift to us indeed!

Christmas For a Cause

Please join us for
Christmas for a Cause
Holiday Open House

Thursday, December 2
5916 Robert E. Lee Drive, Nashville

Items for sale include Uganda beads, notecards, handmade decorative cookies, T-shirts*, cookbooks, Christmas ornaments, and more! 

Make your Christmas shopping count as you give gifts that give back!  Proceeds benefit adopting families and other benevolent organizations.

Cash or check only, please.

Kelly Berry
Ashley Miller
Lynn Rutledge
Chris Anne Sciortino
Megan Thompson

*I will have hot-off-the-presses adoption shirts in which all proceeds go to fund our adoption.  I will also be selling raffle tickets for the iPad at this event.  If you have already supported us, THANK YOU.  Please come out and support the other very worth organizations who will be represented at this event!


First a quick update on the adoption and related iPad giveaway...we are up to about 65 iPad tickets sold.  For not having been out there even a week yet, I'd say that's pretty good!  So, SO many of you have posted the link on your Facebook, tweeted about it or even blogged about it for us and I can't thank you enough.  I've had several donations from complete strangers and that's all due to YOU.  My site meter told me that I had nearly 300 hits last week.  I normally run about 80-90 hits, so that is excellent traffic!

I'm going to have an opportunity to increase ticket sales in early December at Christmas for a Cause.  I'll post more information about that later, but it will be, I hope, a wonderful event for us to fundraise more money for our adoption.  We have another fundraiser coming soon, so stay tuned!

As for the actual adoption, we have literally 2 tiny things that still have to be done before it's final.  The issue is that these last two items are beyond our control.  We are again waiting on someone else.  Just pray that it will go quickly and we'll get the home study issued quickly.  We have to have that before we can apply to the USCIS and the fees there increase next week.  I'm starting to think we aren't going to make that deadline.

We also had a call with our agency today and discovered that from the point we get a referral, it will be 1-3 months before we get the final acceptance from China and then another 10-14 weeks before we get travel approval.  So, that's 7-8 months from the time we first get her picture to the time we can bring her home.  This is relatively short in terms of international adoption, but I'm sure it will seem like an eternity when the time comes and all we can do is wait.
On a non-adoption note, if you'll remember, I have had quite a busy few months and part of my committment is to kind of trim down some of my activities outside the home and spend more time with Jenna and God and Steve.  Part of the changes I made was to go upstairs with Jenna at 8pm every night and read with her until her bedtime at 8:30.  Usually, she is reading her school book (she has a super high reading goal) and I'm doing a devotional or my Bible study.  Currently, she's reading CS Lewis', The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.  It was one of the first books I read to her as a newborn and she's seen the movie numerous times.  But every night at 8:30 it's a struggle to get her to stop reading.  But last night, I let her finish the chapter she was on and told her to get in bed while I put the book by the stairs (to remember to take down when I went) and I went to comb out my freshly washed hair.  I sat the book by the stairs and put my cell phone on top of it and went on to my bathroom.  Oddly enough, when I went to Jenna's room, the book was gone, but my cell phone was still there.  When I confronted Jenna, she pulled the book from it's hiding place and begged me to let her stay up and read just a little more!  Now, of course, that little sneak was going to read after I told her goodnight.  But I was secretly happy that she loved reading so much that she wanted to stay up late to finish. 
It's that time of year again...the weather changes and I get a good solid case of laryngitis.  Since I was a teenager, I have gotten it twice a year every year.  Typically, it starts the same way...sore throat from drainage.  Day 2 comes with relief from the sore throat, but quite the thickness in my throat.  Day 3 -4 I'm usually started to get pretty hoarse.  Day 5 is usually the worst with me sounding like a boy going through puberty with all the squeaking.  Then it starts to go the other way with my voice getting better.  For several years, I only had it once a year and then lately, I've gone probably 2-3 years without getting it at all.  But for all those years it missed, it's back this year with a vengence!  It started Friday with the notorious sore throat.  Sunday night I was a little hoarse, but yesterday morning I woke up with NO VOICE.  I mean, no more than a whisper.  I haven't lost my voice completely like that in a LONG time.  And it definitely came on faster than usual.  Today I've had an in/out voice meaning sometimes I can squeak something out and when I do, it's with my sexy voice and sometimes it just comes out as a whisper.  The good news is that although I sound HORRIBLE, I feel just fine.  I'm on the upside and the only downside to the upside is the coughing that comes with breaking this up. 

Well, that's it.  That's what's up with the Taylors.


iPad Giveaway Update

I just wanted to keep everyone posted on the iPad giveaway which is helping to fund our international adoption...

In the last about 30 hours we have sold approximately 30 tickets!  That is a great start!  However, we have a very long way to go!

I'm asking all of you to do several things:
a) Do NOT procrastinate!  Buy your ticket now!
b) If you have a Facebook account, please link to my blog in your status!
c) If you have a Twitter account, Tweet about this and then ask your friends to retweet.
d) If you have a blog, post about it on your blog.
e) Email the link to everyone in your email address book!

You can win a brand new iPad worth $500 for just $10!  Trust me, if this were anyone else, I'd be entering too!

For more information, just click on the iPad on the right sidebar and ENTER NOW!  And keep checking back to see how we are doing!


Win an iPad! Enter Here!

You can enter to win an Apple 16GB iPad with Wi-Fi right here on my blog!!

This is going to be one of the several adoption fundraisers we are doing to bring our daughter home from China.  We have to raise quite a bit of the funds for the process and we have to have each fee before we can move on to the next step.  I'm really excited about this so let's get right to the details. 

I have a brand new, never-been-opened Apple 16GB iPad for one lucky person.  You may purchase a ticket (or 2 or 10!) to be entered into the drawing to win this fabulous prize.

How Much are Tickets?  Tickets are $10 each.   You get one entry for every ticket you purchase.  If you purchase 10 tickets ($100), you will get 10 entries and there's no limit on how many tickets each person may purchase.  Ticket purchases are not tax-deductible.

How do I Purchase?  To purchase, you can click on the Paypal "donate" button to the right under the heading "Bring Our Little Girl Home".  Even if you don't have a Paypal account, you can use any of the major credit cards to pay.  Once your payment is made, you will get a confirmation from Paypal and your name will go into the drawing.  If you see me in person, I will take cash from you and give you a receipt confirming your entry.  If for some reason you are unable to use Paypal and don't live in my area, but want to enter, email me and we'll work something out. 

Who can Enter?  Anyone!  You do not have to know us to enter.  You also do not have to live in the state of Tennessee.  If you enter from another state and win, I will ship the iPad (insured) to you.

When is the Drawing?  The drawing will be the morning of Saturday, December 18, 2010.  What a nice Christmas present this will be for someone!  I will video the drawing and have a friend or two there to help me.  I'll have the winner posted on my blog by 12 noon on the 18th.

What's the Catch?  There is really no catch.  This is simply a quick, easy and hopefully fun way to raise money for our adoption.  The only rule to this contest is that I won't draw for a winner until I sell at least 350 tickets.  To make sure the drawing happens before Christmas on the 18th, you need to a) buy MULTIPLE tickets :) and b) tell EVERYONE you know about this.  There will be frequent updates on my Facebook so be sure and repost.   Send the link to my blog to everyone you know.

An Added Bonus!  If  I sell double the tickets (700 tickets for those non-math majors) by December 15th, I will give away ANOTHER iPad!

What Do I Do Now?  ENTER!  TELL YOUR FRIENDS!  ENTER AGAIN!  And of course, call me or leave a comment if you have any questions.  This is exciting!  I can't wait to make someone's Christmas special with a new iPad!

And thank you in advance for your help in bringing our little girl home!


The Golden Letter

Just wanted to let everyone know who has been following the crazy drama of getting the last doctor's letter complete...WE GOT THE LETTER TODAY!  I sent a fax to them yesterday basically begging them to get it done this week.  I guess the staff had mercy on me because she sent it downstairs last night to be notarized.

I picked it up at lunch today and sent it on to the agency and it was accepted.  So what does this mean?  We have all of the items for our home study to be completed and finalized.  Because this was the very last thing we were lacking for the home study, the agency was kind enough to go ahead and start reviewing it.  So, now that the back up is in, I am guessing it won't be long before the report is issued and notarized. 

From there, we can file for our USCIS application (which can take up to 2 months to get an appointment etc.) and then go through the certification process of all our documents.  I'll post again when I get final notification that the home study is complete. 

But today, we celebrate another step!

Oh, and stay tuned...especially if you'd like to win an iPad.  :)


What Church Is...

Dictionary.com defines "church" this way..."a building for public Christian worship, the whole body of Christian believers, public worship of god or a religious service in such a building".

Let me tell you how the Taylor dictionary defines Church and more specifically The Church at Station Hill:

1.  Friends who prayed me through a major freak out before the surgery.  Thanks Amy K. and my Tuesday night Bible study.

2.  A friend and deacon showing up at the hospital at 8am to pray before Steve went in to surgery.  Thanks Ryun V. 

3.  Texts or calls regarding Steve's well being all day long.  Thanks Jeremy B., Ryun V., Rachel M., Leigh Ann M. and Brandon A. (and numerous other family and friends)

4.  A word that things will get better soon from someone who knew.  Thanks Maribeth J.

5.  2 hours of almost solid laughter, giving me some much needed comic relief.  Thanks Abbott Lifegroup.

6.  A friend who will pick up my child for school at 6:30am to ease my burden of driving to Nashville 30 times in a day.  Thanks Rachel M.

7.  A couple friend who texted at 6:45am in the morning to not only offer to take Steve to/from his doctor's appointment, but who actually DID bring him home to Spring Hill.  Thanks Rachel and Zach VG.

8.  Friends who prayed us through this entire long weekend.  Thanks Church at Station Hill.  YOU are what Church is all about.


18 Years

18 years ago I was 18 years old (quick calculation will tell you how old I am). 

18 years ago, my world was changed forever.

18 years ago, the mother who had raised me died.

And 18 years later, it sometimes still feels like yesterday.  I remember that cold November day.  It was a Saturday.  We knew It was coming.  We were waiting for It.  They said she had about a week left.  It had been 6 days.

She died about 11am. Rachel was there.  My home church pastor (who has since joined my mother) was there.  Rachel's mom, a nurse and one of my mom's best friends was there.

And just like that...she was gone.

But life has moved on.  I can't believe it's been 18 years.  I have lived WITHOUT my mother as long as I lived WITH her.

For those of you who still have your mother, mother in law or stepmother...tell them you appreciate and love them. 

Because there are women like me who would give ANYTHING to trade places with you.


Thoughts on Adoption

Tomorrow is Orphan Sunday.  Churches around the nation will recognize this day as will my church.  Up until recently, this day did not mean as much to me as it does now. 

As this day has approached, I've been doing a lot of thinking about adopting and reflecting on the reactions and comments I have heard and even received about our decision to adopt.

I will admit, there are people who I thought would be WAY more supportive of our decision who have barely acknowledged it.  They don't ask how it's going and if we bring it up, they act very indifferent about what we are going through.  And to be honest, I'm surprised and a little hurt.  For the most part, these are the ones I really thought would be our biggest cheerleaders.  I have tried to give the benefit of the doubt in these instances.  So if you are wondering if it is PC to ask us about how the process is going, the answer is YES!  We love to talk about what we are going through.  We are not embarrassed or shy.  For those that aren't familiar with adoption, it is OK to ask.

Then there are those people that I never thought would give a hoot either way who have surprised us with honest and intense interest.  Each time we talk to them, via email, phone or in person, they ask how things are going, what the next steps are and what certain things mean.  I have been pleasantly surprised at these friends.  They aren't necessarily people I thought wouldn't care, but they are folks I never thought would be that interested.  And I LOVE IT!

At any rate, this post isn't meant to make everyone feel like they need to FB, email, call or ask me in person how the adoption is going.  It's simply my thoughts based on my observation.  I am working on not taking it personally if someone acts like they don't really care.  I am old enough to know the world doesn't revolve around me and other people might have a little something else going on in their lives.  Lord knows I know how THAT feels.

Anyway...thanks to all of you who have inquired and prayed for Steve. He maintains this has been the hardest surgery he has ever been through and this is something like number 15.  I have figured out, of the people who have endured this same sinus surgery, there are 2 groups. The first is the group that had no pain, but just a lot of pressure which made them "uncomfortable."  The second group are those that had excruciating pain and say it's the worst pain ever.  However, both groups, it seems, agree that after it's all done with, the results are worth it.  The jury is still out on how Steve will feel, but right now, this surgery is going to have to make him 10 years younger to be worth it.

He is recovering though so thanks for your prayers.  They have been felt and thank God for good pain medicine!

And for those that DO want to know...we are stalled out in the same place with the adoption.  The ONE letter from Steve's doctor is still not ready.  I went by Friday to pick it up after getting Jenna from school and the letter was perfect.  But it wasn't notarized.  So, I had to take it back.  This will be the third attempt, but you know, they say third time is the charm.  We'll see.  We have to have this letter before we can move forward at all now.  Wish us luck.  :)


My Bucket LIst

So many times I think of things that I want to do either a) before I die or b) when we have money again.  To help me remember what these things are (because they pop up at totally random times), I decided to start a list.  They will be short to start out with, but I'm good with that. 

Without further ado, this is the start of my Bucket List (in no particular order):

1.  Take my adopted daughter back to China and experience her birthplace together (that is, if she wants to).

2.  Go on a mission trip with my daughters and experience the things God will do in her life.

3.  Have lunch with Beth Moore - yes, I know this is high and lofty but after going through her studies, I just think it would be marvelous to sit down and have lunch with her.

4.  Go back to South Africa.

5.  Meet Steven Curtis Chapman.  I have listened to his music since I was a teen.  I have such wonderful memories that I associate with his music.  I would love to meet him in person and tell him how I appreciate his musical work.

6.  Spend Christmas in New York City.  Not sure if this goes on the Bucket List or the list for when we have money again, but I think it fits here.  I don't actually want to be there on Christmas day, but want to go and spend a long weekend during December.

There's more but that's it for now. 


All about Jenna

Jenna was out of school today which was smart planning on someone's part (seeing that yesterday was Halloween).  Anyway, Steve's not been feeling well, so she had to pretty much fend of herself for part of the day as he rested and recovered.

I say that to bring your attention to my Facebook status several of you saw earlier today...
I'm writing this post at 9:30pm, so if you do a quick calculation, you can see that this status update was made about 3:30pm this afternoon while I was at work.  At first, that might not seem odd, but I was in a meeting at work at 3:30 not to mention Facebook is blocked at work for obvious distraction reasons.

Not only is the time of the update unusual, but the fact that "our" is misspelled in this context as "are".  It didn't take me long to figure out some little someone had hijacked my Facebook account and updated my status for me.  I would have never known this at all except that my friend Carrie texted AND emailed me wanting to know what the heck was up and how my adoption moved along that quickly over the weekend.  Thank God for friends who are paying attention!

I immediately updated my status (from my phone) and Steve followed up with a comment.  I called Jenna to find out what was going on.  Here's how that conversation went:

Me:  Jenna, did you get on my Facebook?!
Jenna:  (in a tiny voice) I was trying to talk to you.

Now, what she meant was she was trying to instant message me.  I explained how serious this situation was because now a whole bunch of people thought we were on our way to China to pick up her little sister.  She said, "I'm sorry, I didn't know".  I grounded her from the computer for a few days, but I really couldn't be mad at her.  At least she's excited and that makes me LOOOOOVE her all the more!

As I mentioned earlier, Steve's been really feeling under the weather and just like her older sister, Jenna worries about Steve when he isn't feeling well.  She calls me at work about 1:45 and says that she has googled how to make a cold go away on ehealth.com (or some medical website) and it said to eat chicken noodle soup.  All we had was cream of chicken but she already had it out and was just wondering how to cook it.  She managed to get the can open, put it in a microwave safe bowl, cook it and serve it to Steve all by herself.   I mean.  What a sweet and loving heart my baby girl has.  And she did that after researching colds on the internet.  I love that child!

As an FYI, Steve is having sinus surgery on Thursday.  I am VERY nervous about it because I have heard only horrible scary things about the surgery.  I just hate to see Steve or Jenna sick or in pain and not be able to help or make it stop.  If you think about it, just say a quick prayer for all of us on Thursday and this weekend.