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Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011


a day at the park with friends!
wow! muscles!
Turkey feast at school!
duck hunting!


Nina and Frazier brought home Anaya

As I look over the past year, my eyes brim with tears. I have watched the LORD move in a mighty way...in many DIFFERENT ways.

Gwen and I have had front row seats to MULTIPLE children that have come home through 147 Million Orphans. When the work load is heavy and the tasks at hand to keep this thing running feels dauntingly IMPOSSIBLE...the children's eyes that we have seen go from dark to light make it all worth it. Their little hearts going from empty and lonely to full of love make all of the hard work a joy instead of hardship. when its your passion, its not really work after all huh?

I am watching my oldest daughter, Grace (almost 16 years), blossom from an awkward teenager into a young lady. Her heart to care and advocate for the orphans of the world puts a smile on my face and joy in my heart. I cherish my time spent with her. The change in Michaels (13 years) diet (gluten free)has been an adjustment to say the least. It has been a little bit of an emotional roller coaster, but are adjusting and he is handling it great. He is the most loving BIG brother that I have ever seen. He knows when to tumble with the boys and when to hug on Josie Love. Annabelle's (10 years) heart is SO SO tender. The Lord has gifted her with so much compassion that it hurts. I have loved watching her grow and thrive in ANYTHING that she attempts physically. She can blend with the older ones, or lead the younger ones.....what a blessing she is! Where would I be without MillerAnne's (8 years) organizational skills? She gets the job done! IF I go out of town, she gets the little ones ready, lunches made, backpacks packed and waiting by the door for them to grab as they exit. She will definitely run a large company one day! My sweet, tender hearted Joshua is now in kindergarten! He is maturing in so many ways. He would surely die without physical touch. Socially, emotionally, and physically he is thriving! Josie Love(almost 6) is thriving also. Strangers can now understand her speech. Her agility is better than i could have EVER imagined. She ACTS like a school girl. She LOVES the structure and the social side of school. not to mention that her life is MIRACULOUS. And last, but certainly not least, Caleb (4 years). He is trying to transition from mama's baby boy to a BIG boy. His emotions are all over the map, and i am praying for patience each and every day! haha Oh how he fills my heart:)

Mike and I are closer than ever. We rely on each other more than I ever thought possible. For those who think the bond of marriage has anything to do with happiness, it doesn’t. These last few years have not been “happy” each and every day. Some days have been just downright crappy. The honest truth is sometimes just bitter to the taste, we’ve found a new normal…much greater than the cheap and often-temporary emotion of happiness. We have discovered a level of joy and gratitude that has reconstituted our marriage, our family, and us.

What a great feeling. For our hearts to feel SO full, that they are overflowing. To rely on HIM for JOY instead of "happiness" that our time here on earth might or MIGHT NOT bring. A NEW NORMAL...OUR normal, that no one else shares. It creates a bond that can never be severed.

While 2011 has brought some heartache, it has brought MUCH more JOY. I am SO thankful for health and LOVE that only comes from our Father. Happy New Year!!!





Friday, December 23, 2011




I dont know about ya'll but my house is OOZING with excitement. MillerAnne is sick, so I have been staying home with her while my "sweets" (father/hubby of the year) has been taking everyone else to all of the "festivities!" Some of you saw the pics of Josie Love with Santa on FB. The host of the party sent me pics and said that Josie's interaction with Santa was without doubt the highlight of the party. She rounded the corner and saw Santa and her eyes got as big as saucers! "Santa?!?! Is that you Santa? Are you coming to my house Santa?" when Santa replied "I AM coming to your house!" She started bouncing like Tigger all over the room, squealing, SO EXCITED that Santa was coming to HER house! I sat with tears flowing down my cheeks, while the party came to a halt in amazement at this little girl that was bubbling over with excitement. Caleb and Joshua wouldn't have ANYTHING to do with the white haired man that their sister had very obviously fallen head over heels in love with. Josie's response to Santa....as if to say "really? MY house? why Me?" I couldn't help but think of Mary and how she must have reacted the same way when the angel appeared to her and told her that she would carry the Messiah. Just a normal young girl called to do THE most important thing EVER to happen in the history of our world. WOW. All it takes is saying "yes" to the journey that HE has for you rather than what YOU have planned for you. I pray that in 2012, we ALL say "yes" to his plan for our lives this year...who knows?! you might all end up with a Josie Love:) could we all be so lucky?

Merry Christmas from my home to yours!



Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas crazies...




Rejoice on these days when you drag yourself out of bed, feeling sluggish and inadequate. Tell yourself that it is the perfect day to depend on HIM in childlike trust. If you persevere in this dependence as you go through the day, you will discover at bedtime that Joy and Peace have become your companions!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Ornaments!


If any of you haven't read my mom's post below about Ugandan adoption and my tree (which gives some background to this post), go check it out!

If you're looking to buy some super cute Christmas ornaments that give back, these make great gifts and fabulous decorations for the tree :-)


These two are 10$ each, and help the McKnight's adoption from Ethiopia. They come in several different funky patterns and colors...love love LOVE mine! They look great on the tree. http://desireemcknight.blogspot.com/p/fundraisers.html



I bought two of the ornaments below and gave one as a gift to my best friend for her tree! We both LOVE them. "These are fully customizable, you pick the country, placement of the heart, fabric choice, and personalization on the back side. Each ornament is filled with coffee beans from Ethiopia and is detailed with handmade paper beads, also from Ethiopia." You can buy one for 15$, or 2 for 25$. They are helping Kim and her family bring home TWO from Ethiopia! http://alittleloveinyourheart.blogspot.com/p/fundraising-shop.html


The two ornaments below are both sold on etsy.com and the money goes to another family adopting from Ethiopia. They sell a ton of awesome ornaments and other trinkets too! http://www.etsy.com/shop/ethiopiadad?ref=seller_info#



Merry Christmas!!!!

Love, Grace
Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ugandan Adoption/Merry Christmas!


Hello blog world! I am still alive...life has been busy lately so social media has taken a backseat....sorry! If you want to follow me on twitter, I am becoming a friend of it because it is fast and easy to empty my thoughts:)

i have had MULTIPLE emails about Uganda adoption. I even received one comment that just asked if I would blog about it, so here it goes...

Uganda is NOT HAGUE approved. There are really no "adoption laws". Sometimes the process runs really smooth, other times it is REALLY rocky. You will either need to travel twice and stay two weeks each time, or go and plan to stay 4-6 weeks.

There are several different ways to adopt from Uganda: 1) There are several agencies in the US that you can go through: LIFELINES and . You call the agency, they send you paperwork, you finish it all, and wait until they match you with a child. 2) google "childrens homes in Uganda," email them, and ask them if they adopt out. The few that I know that DO adopt out are: WELCOME HOME, REDEEMERS HOUSE, SANYU,GOOD SAMARITAN, GOOD SHEPHERDS FOLD, and SONRISE BABIES HOME. You might email and they say that they ARE accepting applications right now, or they might say that they are NOT accepting applications. THey typically only do a certain amount each year and then they close their application process. Some of them have attorneys that they use in country and they walk you through the process. This is how I brought Josie Love home.

There are a few "private adoptions." People that know someone living in Uganda, a child needs a home, and the people living over there get it all done. This is rare, and one of the reasons that Uganda is slowing and might close (in my opinion).

Uganda adoption is NOT for the faint at heart. It is difficult. Many days there is no rhyme or reason to how anything is done. You might get a court date, travel over to attend, and the judge decide he/she doesnt want to work that day and they reschedule you for the next week...YEP! CRAZY! Most countries have a "system" that you follow and you go through the process and bring your child home.....NOT SO MUCH with Uganda.

You will hear "easy" stories, and then there are MULTIPLE families who are LIVING in Uganda for three years in order to bring him/her home. If your paperwork is not written out just perfectly then they can stamp " no" and you are stuck there for three years. It is vital that the attorney that you use knows how the system works.

SO, there it is in a nutshell. there are many children that need a mommy and daddy in Uganda. But, if you are one that needs structure, and KNOW for certain what the process is going to look like......stay away from Uganda. it is HARD. no ifs, and, or buts.

okay, so I am going to brag on my daughter just a little bit. Mike was headed to Wal-mart the other day and Grace asked him to get her a "little Christmas tree" for her room. he looked at her a little perplexed, but came home with a "little tree" under his arm. Later that night we were sitting by the fire and Grace was on the computer just "googling" like crazy. I asked her what she was doing and she said "I am looking for ornaments with a cause..I want to fill my little tree up with ornaments that either help bring a child home, feed a child, or have SOME purpose." WOW. Why havent I thought of that? thinkin' that might be a project to do throughout the year (collecting) so it will be ready for 2013:)

While my stockings are hung and my head is spinning. I am LOVING/feeling overwhelmed/trying to relax and enjoy this CHRISTmas season. Wishing you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!





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suzanne
I am a lover of Jesus. I have the most fabulous husband that anyone woman could ask for. The Lord has blessed us with 7 beautiful children. I started this blog so that friends and family could follow our trip to Uganda to visit Katie Davis. I have decided to keep blogging to help bring orphan awareness to the world around me.
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