Wednesday, December 9, 2015

searching for bliss - adoption status update

people have lately asked us how things are going with the adoption.  are we still waiting?  any news?  have you heard anything?  when do you think it will happen?

today i was reminded it's been 6 months.  6 months since we became an active waiting family for this second adoption.  6 months since our book was available for review.  6 months since our profiles were put into the mix for any matching opportunities.  6 months since we've been ready.

even though 6 months have passed we don't know anything more than we knew back in june.  we pray for our sweet baby every day and we hope that she and her tummy mommy are well and protected from harm's way.  we pray that God helps the sweet baby that He has intended for us to raise find their way to us.

we think about her often.  we even talk about what she will and won't like, if she'll like a certain song, or to play a certain game.  dax will say - you think she like it?  i say, yes, yes - i think she'll love it.

however, regardless of how long we wait - we know that its God's timing and not ours.  while we'd like to have her here with us now and we dream about having her here for Christmas, or the new year, or will's birthday, etc. - we know that it's going to happen when it's supposed to happen and we find comfort in knowing that.

God knows best and he knows yesterday, today and tomorrow.  when He's ready for her to be here - she'll come home.

Monday, November 9, 2015

happiest of the happy birthdays

the sweetest boy in the whole wide world has been four years old for less than 24 hours now.  dax was so excited for his birthday party.  he's been talking about it since my birthday back in september.  the suspense of having the party, getting some presents, and hanging out with friends and family were all he needed to keep him going.  every time he'd want a toy from a store we'd tell him to add it to his list.  the list kept getting longer and longer, but it included a theme of products including trucks, cars, spider man toys, and anything concerning the paw patrol.  luckily everyone had him covered.

thursday evening all of the family started to arrive to begin dax's week-end long birthday celebration.  we went to dinner with my dad that evening and dax was a total ham.  people kept asking if they could come to his birthday party and he'd give his classic answers of late: "maybe a morrow" or "we already did that last night".  both answers are interchangeable, and have no truth or reason to them.  he cracks up like he thinks it's so funny, just like when he tells you that "you're giving" him "a heart attack!"  he came up with this from when we scared daddy at hide and seek a few weeks back.  now he uses it all of the time, and even springs it on a waitress at dinner.  oh mercy!

friday we celebrated national adoption month by speaking at our agency's quarterly meeting for adoptive hopefuls.  will and i were on the other side of the tables about five years ago, and we'll still never forget that meeting.  this time we were lined up front with some other adoptive parents and our son's birth mother.  what a special time.  we got to indirectly and directly speak our love for each other in our roles as daxton's family.  we are so honored to have dax's birth mom in our lives and for her to be able to watch him grow, learn, and change.  we made each other a little teary when we expressed our heartfelt feelings for each other.  it was a special time that i'll never forget.

friday evening we were greeted with will's parent's arrival and the arrival of my mom and granny.  dax was excited for everyone to arrive and to even see a giant spider-man balloon left for him on the front porch!  it was just about as tall as he was, and it did almost give me a heart attack when i found it outside!  we all enjoyed dax's favorite pizza dinner and dax kept asking over and over if he could open the presents!  we told him he just had to wait one more sleep for the party day!

saturday morning we woke up to the sound of pouring rain.  the sky was dark, the fog was thick, and the rain was steady.  we all loaded up into the car and drove 45 minutes into down town raleigh to meet up at the museum of natural science for dax's school friends party.  we were glad to see that some of his besties showed up, despite the yucky weather.  dax and his friends enjoyed learning about animals, making collages, meeting and petting a bug, a bullfrog, a dove, and a bunny.  they were amazed with the little creatures!  the kids had fun dancing and hopping like bunnies!  after all of the fun dax got to hear the happy birthday song he's been singing to himself all week and the kids enjoyed the birthday cake and ice cream.  after they were all hopped up on sugar the boys played a game that had them running after each other around the room.  dax and lucas had a blast just running around like crazy men!  kendall watched the boys and thought they were quite silly.  everyone had a good time.

after the museum party we headed back home and it had finally stopped raining.  we were so thankful since we were planning on having a cookout for about twenty people!  it all worked out and we got to spend the afternoon enjoying will's great grilled offers and a coffee bar in celebration of dad's belated birthday.  all of the caffeine kept the adults awake and ready for a full day of partying.  after lunch dax began opening gifts.  he got 50 matchbox cars, two race tracks, a giant chase - paw patrol - dog, some new clothes, a spider man toy, and some new books.  he was very excited to open every single package!  
after playing with his gifts for the afternoon we got a great visit from dax's birth family.  we were so ecstatic to hang out with dax's birth mother, birth father, half brother, and cousins.  the kids were having a blast playing together and it was so special to watch dax play his racetrack with his birth father.  the only other time we'd hung out with him before was when dax was about 6 months old and dax screamed bloody murder the entire time!  this was much more pleasurable!  we saw so much of dax in our interactions with his biological dad.  they have the same sense of humor, personable and friendly personalities - sounds of laughter always flowing out - and then that huge smile!   we love spending time with our extended family and hope that we'll get to continue to do that as long as we shall live!

this morning we headed out for dax's birthday pancakes.  the boy knows what he likes, and he wanted pancakes and pancakes!  so, we all loaded up and went out for blueberry pancakes.  the waitress delivered the pancakes with candles in them and the entire dining room sang happy birthday to dax.  he was smiling ear to ear!  he ate his entire breakfast and was very happy with all of the fan fare.  after the breakfast we wished will's parents well on their journey home and we took a family nap.  dax slept in the middle of our bed and will and i snuggled up to him on each side.  who knows how many more moments we'll have like these, since dax keeps reminding us how he's a big boy!

daxton - at four years old
  • loves to get ready by himself.  can put on his own underpants, pants, socks, shoes, and most shirts.
  • loves to go potty by himself.  can get the pants down, get the pants up, wash the hands, dry the hands.
  • can write his name all by himself.  he prefers to do a "D" then an "X" and then a backwards "a".
  • loves to open doors all by himself and hold them opened for others behind him.  everyone is always impressed by his doorman skills.
  • loves to apologize each night for anything that he's sorry about (its a sort of confessional).  he sometimes says he is sorry for making a mess, having an accident, hitting the dog, making someone mad or upset etc.  it's a sweet little thing he does.
  • loves to sing to music while riding in the car with mommy.  he loves christian radio and belts out all of the songs he knows.  (he also loves a little jason aldean, no problems there.)
  • loves disney movies.  loves to go to the movies, loves to rent dvds, loves to watch them over and over and over again!
  • still loves to go to the big city!  loves going to town to see where daddy works and to try new restaurants.
  • loves to smile, giggle, joke around, and laugh - laugh - laugh!  he keeps us laughing and smiling because his behaviour is infectious!
  • loves going to preschool!  he has lots of friends in his class and often talks about connor, joshua, and lucas.
  • loves his neighbor - dylan - and they constantly call out for each other to come swing or go swimming!
  • loves his awana class every wednesday night.  we've been very impressed by his memory verse skills and how it's helped us help him understand the love of Jesus.
  • still loves halloween.  dax looks forward to halloween all year.  its a special day for us since it's when we got the call about his match, and we just sometimes wonder if he knows how special this day is for all of us.  it's really the beginning of our joyous journey of his sweet little life.
  • still loves pizza, pasta, popcorn, crackers, apples, oranges, mango, fruity ice creams, vanilla cake, pancakes, and most other carbohydrates!
  • loves to play on his swing set out back.  he loves to slide his toys down the slide and watch them reach the bottom before he can race to pick them up.  he loves being pushed on the swings and is working on getting himself going on the swings.
  • loves swimming!  he did great with swimming lessons this year and everyone was impressed this summer about how well he was doing in the pool and at the beach.  we hope to keep him swimming through winter at the indoor pool.
  • loves that he got to welcome one of his auntie's to the carolinas this fall.  now aunti conti and keek live just about ten minutes away.  dax is looking forward to family meal times being a little bit bigger and also looking forward to a slumber party at conti's house and watching a movie on her giant new television!
  • loves dancing to songs like "i like to move it, move it" or "kick the dust up" - there's a little something for everyone!  we love to watch him do his "break dancing".
  • loves saying his prayers every night.  he talks to God and tells him all that he's thankful for and prays for his friends, his teachers, the preschool director, and his little baby sister that he hopes will come soon!
  • dax still loves raffie and sleep with him every night.
    • he sometimes takes him on car rides, to school, and always on long road trips.
four years old is going to be amazing.  he's so sweet and sensitive.  sometimes you'll just get an "i love you momma".  melts the heart.  dax's speech is getting much easier to understand and he's really voicing his likes and dislikes.  he can tell us when he wants to do something or when he'd rather not.  most things don't present as a battle anymore, unless you try to convince him to go potty right in the middle of an activity that he really wants to partake in.  we love spending time with him and helping him grow, learn, and love.  he's a people person and loves meeting people and charming them right in with his personality.  everyone loves dax.  no doubt about it.  we know we said last year that three was the best, but even though we are now 24 hours into four, i can already guarantee that this year is going to be our best.  love, love, love, love, love you sweet dax.  my baby. er - i mean big boy.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

pumpkin patch '15


today was the day.
if you've read this blog for any length of time you know that the pumpkin patch is our thing.

today we got to take conti with us, so this was a special treat.  we geared dax up for several weeks, reminding him that this was on the schedule.  he got super excited today when he woke up and remembered that today was pumpkin patch day.  he had a blast jumping on the moon bounce pillow, running through mazes, doing duck races, going down the giant slide, watching goats and rabbits, riding the choo-choo train, taking a hayride, running through fields of pumpkins, and eating kettle corn, soft pretzels, and funnel cake.  

we all had a great time just watching this boy grin from ear to ear all day long.  sweet boy's personality was on fire today.  he was hamming it up all afternoon long.  when we went to the pumpkin field dax thought we should probably take home all of the pumpkins, even though there were about a thousand to choose from.  he had a hard time narrowing down the field.  we let him pick our four pumpkins and he selected a wide range from bumpy to green speckled to stemless to lumpy.  they'll be carved up later this week before the big festivities.

so glad we got to spend this day with our sweet boy making more happy memories together.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

...and it came to be

in the past three days i've caught dax in what appeared to be thought pondering.  once was in the bathtub and the other in the car today.  in both instances he was staring off into space but yet still in deep focus.  when asked what he was thinking about he, on both instances, said he was sad that his baby sister (he calls her by name) was not there with him.

we pray for a baby sister and talk about her occasionally, but it is not something we discuss with him often because we just don't know when it will happen.  adoption is hard because of the uncertainty.  most mommies with babies growing in their bellies have at least some sort of rough estimate as to when the new baby might be delivered, but we just have no clue.  there's no countdown.  there's no warning.  it could be tomorrow.  it could be two years from now.  we just don't know.  try explaining all of that to a three year old.

however, it's amazing to know that God blessed us with a precious boy who is going to make a great big brother.  he's so sensitive and concerned with loving his little sister before she's even known.  it's the same love we had for him while we prayed in waiting for him to come.  we didn't know if we'd be welcoming a boy or a girl, a newborn or a three month old, or when he'd arrive.  yet, all the while - as we waited - we prayed and we loved.  we prayed that God would locate the child that was perfect for our family and bring us to him - and he did.  

we're so thankful to have sweet dax in our lives.  he's recently been memorizing verses for his awana class and this week's verse was:

"Psalm 33:9 - For He spoke and it came to be."

i cannot help but ponder over how fitting this verse is for all that's been running through my mind as of late.  it's like dax already has a connection with his sister.  a bond that will be inseparable.  a connection that only he and she will understand.  one day sweet boy she'll be here - and when she does we won't be able to contain our jubilation.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

second year of pre-school and the happenings

our sweet boy just started his second year of preschool on september 8th.  he's still in love with his school, his friends, and his teachers.  we couldn't have asked for better.  every night he prays for all three when it's his prayer time.  so sweet.  we also recently signed him up for Awana and he is in the cubbies class.  this past week he had to learn his first memory verse:

1 John 4:10 - God loved us and sent His son.

we were all kind of shocked that he could learn this verse so quickly and were very proud of his efforts.  he very proudly displayed his booklet with his signature and completion sticker when he came home that night.  

it's amazing how much growth he's shown in his speech progression with his bi-weekly therapy appointments and we're so glad that he's not gotten discouraged or felt left out for not being exactly on point with the difficulties he faces in this area.  his teachers for both his preschool and his Awana class are very patient, understanding, and willing to work with him on it, and for that we are very thankful.

as of late sweet dax loves playing basket ball with his uncle keek, playing choo choo with auntie conti, playing on his playground outside with his daddy, and cuddling with mommy on her lap.  he loves his ipad and wants to constantly be playing lego games or puzzles.  we make him go technology free at various points of the day, week, and weekend so we can pry it from his clutches.  if he had his way he'd likely take it to bed.  

he still loves spaghetti, macaroni, crackers, (anything carbohydrate), all fruits (except cantaloupe - who can blame him), and will even try most everything we put on his plate.  he is no longer given any sort of "pass" on dinner and has to eat whatever we've fixed.  he will now try things like brussels sprouts, cabbage, zucchini, broccoli, squash, corn, sun dried tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.  

he's being treated for asthma now and has been on a q-var inhaler for over 3 months now and it has nearly cured all of his previous "allergy" issues.  he breathes much better, has much less nasal drainage, and gets a good night's rest when he lays down.  the team of doctors (primary, asthma, ent, and a speech therapist) all agree that it may be beneficial to have his tonsils removed.  we'd not heard this from anyone until three weeks ago, and now almost everyone seems to be on board with thinking this could help his snoring when he sleeps and possibly/maybe help him with some speech delays.  however, his routine therapist disagrees and says it likely won't make a change with his speech, and so she did not recommend it.  so, this puts us in a quandary and we just have to pray on it and see where the good Lord leads us on this journey.

we're all over here still praying for dax's baby sister.  he sometimes mentions her name in an off-hand kind of way and it makes me wonder if he knows something we don't.  but it's rather sweet to hear him pray for her by name, say she'll be his best friend, and hear him tell others whose room that is upstairs.  he loves her already, just as much as mommy and daddy do, even though we haven't yet met her.   we did finally learn that we raised $1000 on our texas roadhouse fundraiser we did back in august.  we are pumped about those extra funds and some money given to us by namaw and poppie which has helped to bring up our funds quite significantly.  we're so grateful for everyone's support, love, and prayers. we'll keep you posted should we hear any news, but until then, we'll just keep waiting on God's perfect timing and keep searching for Bliss!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

searching for biologicals

have you ever wanted something so badly for someone but felt helpless in the process of trying to help them?  

that's how we feel in trying to help our sweet sister find any of her biological relatives.  she was adopted after being in foster care in the mid-seventies.  we are just looking for one shred of information, one tiny detail, one little link in the chain - something, anything, just to get us one step closer to obtaining any sort of information that could help her locate a biological relative.

she's the reason we have an open adoption with our son's birth family.  nobody should have to yearn their entire life to know this information.  

if anyone sees this and can pin it, copy it, paste it, share it - in any capacity we'd sincerely appreciate it!  you never know who you'll reach - someone who knows somebody who knows someone who knows something!

e-mail any information to:

Thursday, July 9, 2015

adoption fundraising

we're excited that texas roadhouse agreed to partner with us to do a fundraiser night.  they generously offered to create an account with with our adoption agency and to have a night where 10% of all receipts (placed in a bucket) would be donated to our account to aid in our second adoption.  we created the above flyer, which can be found in full format here.  we're been sharing it on social media with friends, family, and our local community.  we're hoping to have a good turn out that day.  it's going to be a fun fundraiser because none of the guests have to spend anything extra, and there's no craft projects that come along with it!  we'll be manning a table, handing out flyers, and urging and encouraging everyone to put their receipt in the bucket!

fundraising is hard work, and it's basically my second job at the moment.  there are some weeks that i focus on it quite a bit, and others where i just don't have time.  however, last time we adopted we did not do any fundraising and we really got underwater with all of the expenses.  we're hoping to go about this in a more educated fashion this time.  

we're so grateful to all who have helped us by purchasing books, shopping in our Etsy store, ordering t-shirts, shopping with our amazon link, and just making cash donations.  every little bit adds up and we'll be at our goal before we know it!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

searching for bliss

we got great news this week - our profile has gone active with bethany!  it's pretty amazing how things all work out.  we were reminded by facebook that we went active on our first adoption on june 10th of 2011.  it's crazy that they're so close together!  it's hard to believe that time has just flown by since we were last in process and waiting.  this time around we really drug our feet a lot more on getting paperwork turned in etc. just because we have sweet dax to devote our time to.  however, we're all super excited to be a waiting family that will be welcoming a new addition into the home when God's timing is right.  we're praying for our sweet baby and their tummy mommy and we cannot wait to meet the little one that God has planned to join our family.

while we wait we'll be finishing up the nursery, working on little art projects for the room, and continuing to raise money on Etsy, through the sale of Mommy's Freckles, through donations, and an upcoming fundraiser night at Texas Roadhouse.

to view our online profile just click the link below.

online profile

our online family video will be added to our profile shortly.  in the meantime, here is the link for that as well:

online video

Friday, May 15, 2015

on a potty

sweet boy posing for pictures at Easter.
dax is growing up so quickly!  every day we look at him and just wonder where did our baby go?  he is such a handsome fellow!  

last week was our first major focus on potty training and we knew dax was ready.  we'd half heartedly tried before, but it just wasn't sinking in.  we'd previously gotten him to go pee pee in the potty, but it would take him a very long time to get the job done and he'd never alerted us to the fact he needed to go.  this time we let him pick out a toy and he selected "fred" from big hero 6.  we let him buy the toy and then we put it on our mantle so it could stand for some motivation.  we explained to him that if for the next week he tried his best to go pee pee in the potty all week long that one week later he could get "fred".  the very next morning was sunday.  he decided after breakfast that he'd like to wear big boy underpants to church.  will and i were slightly unsure, but we know that our boy has determination.  we reminded the sunday school teacher that this was his first outing in big boy undies and they noted they'd frequently remind him.  

it was a long two hours during church and sunday school.  i was just curious how our little one was doing and i was praying things were going well for him.  when ss was over i rushed through the halls and was excstatic to see him in the same shorts we dropped him off in!  after we picked him up will took him potty at church and then on then we headed out to the playground so he could burn off some energy.  after playing he told will he needed to go potty so we went back inside the church to let our big boy go once more.  he did so well on his first outing so we let him go to school on monday in big boy pants.
our handsome boy at Easter.
he had a couple of accidents after school early that week, but none at school.  thursday and friday he had zero accidents and now frequently asks to "go a potty"!  after he'd done so well all week long he asked for "fred" on friday night while we were working on the nursery together.  i told will i thought it was definately well deserved, even 12 hours early.  we let him get "fred" off the mantle and we ceremoniously unwrapped and presented him to dax.  he was giddy happy.  he calls "fred" his fire toy since he shoots fire from his belly.  since last friday time he's only had a handful of accidents and has done amazingly well at alerting us and holding it.  we could not be more proud of his accomplishments!

for now we're still using diapers at night time when he goes to bed, but we'll be working on that next.  we're in the home stretch so we can save diapers for the baby that's working its way to our family!

Monday, May 11, 2015

where we're at in process

we had our homestudy visit mid-april and our social worker told us it would take about a month to get it written up.  she also needed to meet with a pastor from our church to include in the write up.  while we waited on that to be completed we worked to finalize most of the nursery so we could get a picture included in our profile book.  

this past saturday husband finished folding all of the origami doves to be included in the baby's mobile that hangs over her crib.  it was a labor of love and one that i have not patience for.  thankfully husband is great at origami and once again reignited the fuel that helps those fingertips fold, crease, fold and repeat.  after the doves were completed i threaded them with fishing line and then strung a series of gold or silver beads on each one before hanging them on a branch from the trimming of our crepe myrtle trees.

 we're really happy with how it came out and dax thinks its swell!  he tries to jump and reach the birds every day.  he told us he thinks the baby will like it.  so glad he approves.

we still have to find an old dresser to re-purpose into a changing table, but i'm kind of picky with what i am looking for - so it may be a while until we find just the right thing.  once that's in place we're going to hang about 20 paintings and pictures on that wall and then we'll get this wrapped up.

aside from that we've got some continuing education credits to complete as well as working on a profile slide show to go online.  once we're given the green light on our profile book we'll work on the slide show so as to not overlap the photos we select.  almost there!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

building a profile book and a nursery

things are moving in the phases of our next adoption, but they are moving slowly.  we're happy with where we're at right now, but it's definitely a slower pace than we experienced last time.  last time we spent every waking moment pushing things along, and this time we're just letting them happen as they do with no added pressure.  we submitted our last round of paperwork mid-november and got a letter last week confirming it was all processed and verifying that we accept the fee terms. 

while we wait for our homestudy appointments to be scheduled we're working on the nursery so that we can complete our profile book.  today we had the nursery painted cathedral gray (i love gray) and this weekend we'll be working on rebuilding the crib and setting it up.  we've still got to order curtains, but a crib bumper is on the way, and the crib skirt is already here.  i'll be painting a large painting for one wall and then will is going to create some origami doves to hang for a mobile.  i love decorating, so this is the fun part to me.  will is a good helper, but i am sure he'll be glad when this part is all over.

i love having our nursery prepared well before the baby comes home.  for starters i love being prepared and i think i'd go a little whack-a-doodle if i brought a baby home and they didn't have a room.  secondly i love to go into the nursery and just sit and and think about and pray for the baby that will one day call this their room.  however, most importantly i love to put pictures of the nursery into the profile book so that expectant parents who review our book can visualize what the baby might be coming home to.  i know i'd want to see it, so i think whomever chooses us would like to see it too.

the profile book is just about complete, save for the two pages dedicated to the nursery photos.  i love creating profile books, but i agonize over every picture, every word (and then will agonizes over every word too), every page layout, font, colors, etc.  it gets obsessive at times.  i complete a mock up and then i review it and edit it multiple times over a month or longer.  we want to be 100% happy with it before i share it with anyone and before we submit it to our agency for approval and ordering.  

we saved a copy of the profile book we created when searching for dax and now it rests in his closet with the rest of his other books.  we still love it.  we hope he'll save it as a memento of a chapter of our waiting process and search for him.  hopefully the next little one that finds their way to us will also treasure theirs too.

Friday, February 27, 2015

fundraiser thanks

we're fundraising to help cover the costs of all of the application and processing fees of our second adoption.  fundraising isn't easy and sometimes feels like a second job.  however, it's a necessary for us this time around since we didn't do it the first time and the tax refund laws have changed.  some of the things we've been doing are selling our "searching for bliss" t-shirts, selling my book "mommy's freckles", raising money through our amazon link, and selling other hand crafted items in the etsy store.  

recently a sweet online friend messaged me and offered to conduct a jamberry fundraiser for us.  we took her up on her gracious offer and she kicked off our fundraiser in the middle of the month.  the fundraiser raised $200 for our adoption fees!  we were very impressed!

we're just so thankful to everyone who purchased, prayed, and participated in these efforts.  we're so grateful to our sweet friend ashley for doing this for us.  what a sweet heart!  she and her beautiful family were also built by adoption and they're also in the waiting stage for their second adoption.  please help me to pray for this sweet family in hopes that they find their next sweet child soon!  also, if you need any jamberry nails, please be sure to check out ashley's page!  she has tons of great options and all of the new spring designs!  if you've never checked them out - you totally should!

we're done with all of our paperwork and medical forms and recently we've been working on our profile book.  so, coming up shortly we'll have the cost of ordering four copies of our book and our homestudy process that's soon to begin.  the homestudy payment is one of the largest fees until the final payment.  all of this fundraising is certainly help us stay on track in our Search for Bliss!

sincerest thanks!