Sunday, February 28, 2010

Great motivation for Fathers



I found this great video on another family's blog and thought that I'd share it with you guys as well!

Good reading...


So last night Michael and I put Ezra to sleep then had our nightly ritual of watching The Office on Netflix in bed. After we watched a couple episodes we still weren't tired so Michael went off to read Glen Beck's book, "Arguing With Idiots", and I started reading "From Ashes to Africa", a memoir written by the Bottomly family, a couple who battled infertility and eventually adopted a baby boy from Ethiopia. When I finished the last page at 1:30 a.m I couldn't believe I had already read the entire thing. The quotes and scriptures mentioned were like food for my soul.
My mom had come over to visit and we were talking about our concerns about potentially entering into the "foster to adopt" program. What if the child has FAS or RAD, or is affected by drugs, etc... All these "what ifs"... then I read a quote from a fellow adoptive father in the book that said, '"we have learned how to spell faith: "R-I-S-K"'. This statement just screamed out at me b/c that is what I keep trying to tell Michael. That the Lord would not give us any more then we could handle and that to truly trust in Him we have to let go of our fear. I'm typically ready to jump in and wade through the waters and my long term plan is just to be ready for what life throws at us and stay positive, Michael is the realist and is much more cautionary so it's REALLY difficult for me to wait on him to get his mind and heart committed. So when I read this passage it also really spoke to me:

"God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity
in the hearts of men, yet they cannot fathom what God has done from the
beginning to end."
Ecclesiastes 3:11

This passage serves as a reminder to me that I am not living in "my time", it's His time and His will. It's easy for me to tell Michael that he needs to be more faithful by trusting the Lord that this is the right step for our family, but maybe I should be telling myself that I should trust that maybe the Lord needs more time to mold Michael to accept this calling.
I've never been good at waiting. When I want something I usually do whatever it takes to make it happen. I see our fellow adoptive parents moving on to second and third adoptions and my eyes turn green with envy! I adore being a mother and it makes me sick to think that right now somewhere there is a child that doesn't know love, is dirty and sick, is hungry and alone. There was another quote from their book that brought tears to my eyes:

"As far as I am concerned, the greatest suffering is to feel alone, unwanted, unloved. The greatest suffering is also having no one, forgetting what an intimate, truly human relationship is, not knowing what it means to be loved, and not having a family or friends."
- Mother Teresa

I've looked into the blank faces of these children. Nothing to lose, and everything to gain. There is no future, there is only surviving today.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

64 Days left...



Thanks so my lovely "Ste-Bo" for representing South Carolina in our Adopt Africa magnet fundraiser!
We still need representation from MANY states so check the right hand column and see if you can help to spread adoption awareness in your state :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sneak Peak at our new Adopt Africa fundraiser!!!

Photobucket










I have LOTS of ideas and will be making several tees with non-African type themes as well. Monograming will be an additional cost and I haven't worked out pricing yet but I can't tell you enough how adorable these tees are in person. The colors are very vibrant which unfortunately doesn't come across here. I will be doing bibs, onesies, and tees as of right now. Since everything has to be drawn then made into a stencil then cut out and assembled making one shirt takes a LONG time but they are so worth it! So though I'm not yet taking orders keep us in mind for the next week or so and I'll let you know when we have our "Grand Opening!" :)
***ALL PROCEEDS WILL GO TOWARD OUR NEXT ETHIOPIAN ADOPTION

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

476!!!!!!

476 - That is the number of people that have viewed our blog since I put up a site counter a few days ago!! YEA! I always wondered if anyone looked at this thing other then our family and I guess you do! Thanks!!
Wow, that's a lot of "!!!!" I'll try to lay off for a while, but then again if you actually read this then I'm sure you're used to the exclamations and caps lock right. :)
So I am thrilled with this new fundraising venture I began at like 2:30 this afternoon and finished my first "prototypes" at around 10pm. I was reading a DIY blog yesterday and saw a really wonderful idea for making cute tees w/o needing to know how to sew! My prayers were answered so I've got loads of ideas and I don't want to post the pics of my finshed product just yet b/c I want to really make a BANG when I post them on the web :) So check back here over the next week for my new AMAZING goodies!!!

Is this our path??


So Michael and I have gone back and forth about what country to pursue our adoption of a baby girl. We both agreed on Nepal but then we found out that they need proof of infertility which isn't the case for us so that made that country a "no go". Before we adopted Ezra we talked a lot about the "foster to adopt" program but we were both scared that we'd get a child, fall in love, and have it taken away so we didn't go that route. Well I have been thinking about this program for months now and was quite surprised when last night I asked Michael if he thought we should just look into going that route for our baby girl and he said "sure!". WOW I did NOT expect that. So this morning I couldn't wait to get up to call and find out more. I have filled out an "interest form" and now I'm just waiting for someone to contact me. Our request would be for a girl less than 12 months that is very "low risk" (meaning little chance of being taken back). We don't care about the ethnicity so hopefully that will open up our options a bit. My main concern aside from losing her would be how long we'd have to wait to be placed with a child. So anyway... that's why I need to find out more to make an informed decision on what will happen next and what we can expect time wise b/c I don't want to wait a year and then finally decide to adopt internationally again and have to wait another 2 years. Waiting is NOT my strong point :) Fingers are crossed that this is the path the Lord wants us to walk and that our baby girl awaits!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Post has been removed...

It has been brought to my attention that it may be illegal to post a montage of photos of the children of AHOPE w/o consent b/c it would be basically making public their medical information.
In my last post my intent was just to show that children living with HIV are no different (for the most part) from other children and they can live long happy lives if they can get the proper medications. The number of HIV + children in Ethiopia is expected to rise w/in the next few years b/c of poor rain fall and increased traffic to rural areas due to all the building going on. My only hope was to spread awareness that innocent lives are being forfeit and it doesn't have to be this way.

This could be quite interesting...



I saw this trailer on-line and am quite intrigued.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

71 days left...

Thank you to the Bates Family for becoming our Illinois representatives for our Adopt Africa fundraising campaign :) YEA! We love you guys and appreciate you very much!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

73 days left...

A HUGE thankyou to Emily Cochran for being our Georgia supporter of our Adopt Africa magnet fundraiser :) Thank you, thank you , thank you so much girlfriend!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

74 days left



I am super happy to report that we now can add North Carolina to our list of states where our Adopt Africa magnet can be found! Thanks Jackson family :)
I'm so super excited to be doing this fundraiser and it's been fun for me to get e-mail notifications and see where I'll be sending a magnet off to next. I'm also happy to see another southern state come on board :) Now I just need to recruit Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky people.

We went to church tonight for Ash Wednesday and had a funny run in afterwards at McDonalds (I know total crap but we only try to eat there like 3 times a year or so). Anyway.. the guy taking the money was staring at me funny and Michael's like what's his deal, finally I realized that he couldn't figure out why were were in public with big black crosses on our foreheads. I just adore Ash Wednesday b/c I think it's so great to see people "wearing" their faith. I used to be embarrassed about it as a young girl and but now for me it's like a badge of honor. I'm so happy that I am able to stand up for what I believe in proudly and glorify the Lord. Even though it's a little thing and it's only one day of the year and though the ashes get washed away I think it's almost like being baptised again in a way. Now the hard part begins... 40 days of sacrifice. Michael said he is giving up MEAT!!! I don't know how he's going to accomplish that one. Meat is like the main staple in my diet :) I am going to give up soda, and try to focus more on what I can add to my daily life as opposed to what to subtract from it. Last year I went to daily mass but this year the schedule has changed so I'm working for every daily mass unfortunately. I'll have to do some thinking I guess.

Too Cool!!!

I saw this video on my friend and fellow adoptive mom, Kari's Crazy adoption blog. These are just too cool and honestly in a place like Ethiopia where the streets are pretty much rocks, this may not be the best option, I think these "hippos" are AMAZING!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Laissez les bon temps rouler!


So living in TX I totally forgot to that today is Mardi Gras! WOW, the time flies by doesn't it! So tomorrow I go back to work after this lovely break b/c of the power outages and snow fall. It will likely be pretty crazy with all the catching up I'll need to do. I have had so much fun being off and working on the blog! Hopefully people actually read this thing and I'm not just doing it all for myself :)
I spoke with a girlfriend of mine doing her THIRD adoption and she said that with the new changes since the last time we adopted that we need to have at least $10K by the time we want to turn in our dossier - yikes! So our fundraising efforts will need to be increased significantly but I've got some ideas and hopefully they are productive.
To all my Louisiana people, have a great day today, be safe, and Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Best Cake Ever!

So Michael makes some of the BEST desserts in the world, and when we were snowed in he decided to make a German Chocolate Cake. Now I will say that every single cake the man has made looks like the one you see below. They are usually falling apart or have holes in them where the icing has sunk into the actual cake, BUT they are lip smacking good! So here are some photos of his most recent creation. By the way this cake called for SEVENTEEN eggs and TWO boxes of butter! Watch out Paula Dean :)


Our blog gets a facelift :)

So yesterday Ezra somehow deleted our old blog's template or something (like I know what I'm talking about right...) as I was trying to create a "button" for the blog. I had a temporary moment of panic and was very overwhelmed to think that I would have to start over from scratch, BUT I found out about this web site www.kevinandamanda.com and it's AMAZING! I don't know how to take pictures with my phone or even text but yesterday Amanda's tutorials on her blog had me changing embedded code in my HTML! Yes, I know, I'm speaking techno babble, it's incredible! So anywho... I then became addicted to makeing our blog the bomb and finding cute little exras, etc. to add on. I'm still light years away from where I want it to be but at least I'm learning and my vision doesn't start to get all blurry when I start seeing computer code any longer. So in my quest to make my own headers, buttons, etc. I made a couple pics that people can add to their posts or sidebars if you're interested.

These 2 are to spread awareness of the sacrifice and our love of birthmothers:



These are to spread awareness of HIV/AIDS:





If anyone is interested in a particular image just let me know and I can send you the url to paste in your side bar for that image or images. Just comment me and let me know where to send it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

78 Days Left...



Thanks to Amber Wing we now have OHIO to add to the list of states!

Friday, February 12, 2010

"Snowmageddon" in TEXAS

Michael and I are having so much fun with this heavy snow fall in TX. Ezra is not too sure about it. He's fine for a little while but then wants to go inside. We on the other hand are having a blast making snow men, snow forts, and the best SNOW ICE CREAM - yummy :)
We only worked a 1/2 day yesterday b/c the roads were so bad near my work and today there was no power so I got to spend time cleaning the house, organizing photos, etc. basically doing all the stuff I'd been putting off for a while. Sadly the snow is melting pretty fast and even though I'm sure it will take 2-3 days to melt completely we're trying to make the most of it while it's here.

This is a SNOW covered CACTUS --- wild, I know!







79 Days left...



I am THRILLED to report that we have THREE new states to add to our list:
Wisconsin
South Dakota
Florida

YEA!! Thanks so much to the Fulmer, Rovang, and Sullivan families for their support!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Introducing Baby Maddox Joseph Primeaux

This weekend Michael, Ezra, and myself traveled down to Abbeville, LA to visit my new nephew! Here are some of the pics we took while there of him and the long ride home when sleep deprivation and insanity kicked in :)

Michael and Maddox




The Ride Home




AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS...



As a new fundraising idea I've decided to try and get our "Adopt Africa" magnets around the world in 80 days!!! Even just around the U.S would be nice :) So far our magnets have been purchased by a person or persons in the following states:

North Carolina
Indiana
Hawaii
Louisiana
Texas
California
New York

My goal is to get at least one magnet in each of the 50 states and maybe even abroad to spread adoption awareness. Maybe there is a couple somewhere contemplating adoption and they are praying for a "sign" then the Lord puts your car in front of theirs and BAM... "ADOPT AFRICA"! That may be the little push that they need to commit to adoption. Please share this post with your friends and family. All of the proceeds from the magnets are going toward our next adoption and we have LOTS of magnets to sell :) I will keep updating the list of states so people can follow along! The magnets can be seen just to the right of this post and we have a pay pal account set up as well.
Thanks for your support in this project!

HIV/AIDS The Facts...

After my recent trip to Ethiopia visiting HIV positive orphans I have come home to lots of questions and frustration as the amount of misinformation and people who think they know the facts but their facts haven't been updated since HIV/AIDS was first discovered and doctors really weren't sure about the exact details of the virus. Today there is SO much information out there for people to educate themselves that I decided that a post is much needed on the REAL facts about HIV/AIDS. Even my own mother said, "oh she is so beautiful but she will never be able to get married or have babies." We have had the "talk" before and I thought I'd explained about transmission statistics, etc. well but I guess not good enough to knock the old teachings out and put the new stuff in, so this is my attempt to really bring home the fact that HIV is absolutely manageable and treatable. NOT cureable but darn close.

Isn't HIV contagious? HIV is a very fragile virus, and there are very specific ways that it is transmitted. HIV is only transmitted when the virus enters the bloodstream. This only occurs through sexual contact; through the use of contaminated needles or other sharp instruments, or receiving a transfusion of HIV-infected blood products; and from a mother who is HIV-infected to her child during pregnancy, childbirth, labour and delivery, and breastfeeding. HIV transmission does not occur with normal household contact. It is not transmitted through tears, saliva, mucous or other bodily fluids. It is considered a "communicable" disease - meaning you can't simply "catch" it. In addition, when an infected person is on treatment, the levels of HIV in the blood are brought so low that they are considered undetectable - meaning the possibility of transmission - even through contact with blood, semen, or vaginal fluid - is that much more remote.

Aren't these children going to die after their families bring them home? Many people don't realize that the prognosis for children on treatment for their HIV is excellent. They are expected to live long, normal lives. In fact, in the west, HIV is now considered a chronic illness rather than the terminal disease it used to be. Sadly, this isn't the case for those HIV infected children living in resource-poor settings, where 50% of infected and untreated children are not expected to live past the age of two.

Is it true that you can have HIV and not develop AIDS? Absolutely! There are over 20 medications approved by the FDA for the treatment of HIV, and more are in development. These medications bring the levels of the virus so low in the body that the virus can be considered undetectable in the bloodstream. Patients receiving treatment for HIV can expect to live long, healthy lives without developing AIDS.

What about all of the children who don't get adopted? We recognize that adoption is only a band-aid answer. It is one small piece in a big puzzle - we seek to partner with organizations providing holistic, sustainable care for HIV+ orphans in-country.

What if I catch HIV from my child? Many people don’t know that HIV is a very fragile virus. As soon as it leaves the body, it begins to die. There are no documented cases of HIV transmission through casual household or school contact. HIV+ children can (and do!) share cups, baths, pools, dishes, bathrooms, etc.! In addition, when children are on treatment for their HIV, the amount of the virus in their bloodstream can be brought so low that it is considered “undetectable” – meaning the amount of the virus in the blood, even through contact with blood, has been brought so low that the possibility of transmission has become even more remote.

What if no insurance company will cover my child? Here’s the great news! It is a legal requirement that all adopted children be added to group insurance plans without pre-existing condition clauses in all 50 states! And many states also require that private insurance plans do the same! In addition, all 50 states have funding programs that will assist with the costs of HIV treatment within specified income guidelines. For specific information on your state's programs and insurance requirements, please request our State Fact Sheet for your state.

America World Rocks!



Monday, February 8, 2010

SAINTS WIN!!!!!


I still can't believe the Saints won the Superbowl!!! YEA! We brought Sarah's baby, Maddox, home today from the hospital and he watched the game with us :) What a memory to be able to share with him when he gets older.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Lazarus Effect

More photos from my trip to Ethiopia