Monday, January 31, 2011

Adoption T-shirts.

Valentine's Day is approaching as is my birthday shortly thereafter and there are few shirts out there that I really like.  This is JT's (and whoever else) not so subtle hints.  This is not that I do not love other shirts or am not supporting others.  These are just ones out there I support for friends' adoptions and others floating out there that I want to get my hands on...just a disclaimer

Feeding the Orphans
My friends over at just put out their new shirt to support their feeding program in Ghana.  My main attraction: COLOR.  I love green.  Well, honestly, I love any adoption t-shirt that is colored because so many are brown, white or black.  So the green really grabbed me! 

Below are the Ordinary Hero family.  I love their shirts (esp the blue but they are out of it currently)  I have been looking at these shirts for months and months.  Love them!! 

Happy Valentine's Day from my 147 gals!
These ladies have the best stuff.  It is normally more than I will pay.  However, this shirt is so special.  Check out their website for the awesome story.  All the proceeds go towards Project Hopeful and HIV adoption awareness.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Baseball with Daddy

I can not sit here and say with complete honesty that these moments were completely fun or a complete success. Tedi and JT are both a bit ADD.  In addtion, Tedi is the kind of kid that if he can not do something perfect, he does not want to do it at all... ie..writing his name, now using a baseball glove to catch...  Nevertheless, it made for some very adorable pictures.  Enjoy

 though we do not catch well, he has a great arm
 where the glove and ball spent a lot of time
learning from daddy

Friday, January 28, 2011

Celebrate Adoption

So because I am awake and feeling well enough to blog again AND because I am not quite ready to write about today's funeral experience (maybe next week)......  For now, I will blog about my fabulous friend and re-visit my pro-adoption blogging. 

In September of this year, I was reading my friend Amy's adoption blog ( and admired her pictures taken of her newly adopted son.  Through conversation, Amy told me she found her photographer through Celebrate Adoption, an organization of photographers who help/support adoptive families through photography.  Being in journalism, Amy bee-bopped her way to all the Kentucky listings before I could punch the keys on the keyboard to ask her the question.  Ironically, of the only four participating photographers in the state, one was in Somerset (where we used to live) and the other just outside of Louisville.  Adoption is such an integral and everyday part of my life that I wanted the person who was gifted the opportunity to shoot our family pics to appreciate our son and experience. 

I contacted her in my awkward, you don't understand my work schedule kind of way.  And then stressed for weeks about what to wear.  Then didn't understand why Tedi couldn't wear white...(something about contrast of colors...I don't really know :-) So I am sure on the day she met us she was thinking, "This is the cutest boy ever.  The husband is pretty awesome... This girl is a hot mess and needs to Chill out."  Everything went well and Tedi participated with the help of suckers and Lightening McQueen.

A few weeks later on a random Monday after a stressful lunch at the Cheddar Box (we had to wait 45 minutes for a table and Tedi was runny everywhere) we met Elizabeth at her studio in Shelbyville. Being former NYC residents, JT and I were/are both in love with the studio and her Westie, Leila.  (Not to mention, we loved our pictures.) When you go, you will love it as well.... HOWEVER, I was so scared Tedi would break something that I was holding my breath the entire time. 

Fast Forward to now.  Elizabeth is a very dear friend to me. She volunteered her time to take photos for JT's non-profit event....  She watched Tedi so that JT and I could do dinner in December.  Along with our friends Sarah and Brittney, Elizabeth helped to watch Tedi throughout our recent family death and the arrangements thereafter.  (And even after I type this, I realize it seems like she is doing all the giving.  I really hope it isn't as one sided as it sounds.)  Most importantly, Elizabeth has a huge heart for Jesus and therefore a passion for adoption... and I see this every time she is with Tedi.  But, even if I did not call her friend, I would still recommend her photographic ability.  Her work speaks for itself.

SO FOR YOU..... for those around here, I love my friend Elizabeth and highly recommend you use her for your adopted family pics!  She has an amazing heart for adoption and will love on your kids like not everyone will.  Email ( me if you are interested and I will send you her way.  Her website is to see all of her pictures.  She also took pics of another family that is connected to my blog who have adopted from the Congo (  Check them out!
If you are not in KY, check out the Celebrate Adoption (  And lastly thank you Amy Post for a simple conversation months ago that has led to such a fun and fulfilling friendship. 

Some of my favorites (of the many) that you may have seen already in the fall but I wanted to highlight here again....  Love them!

And one of the best...Tedi with his friend "miss E-liz buth".... We all love her!

Monday, January 24, 2011

 "There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go." ~Anonymous

In light of the death of Elijah James, I can not help but to be drive slower....and soak in each moment, conversation, kiss, each goodbye.  While I want death's sting to subside with time, I do not want to lose life's depth perception that the loss of an infant can bring.  I have found that mourning a baby is more in the loss of what could have been rather than what was.  And yet this is why, in some ways, it makes us stop to appreciate each moment more because there is no lamenting the past but rather grieving the loss of a future. 

So while I can not fathom the loss of my boy but in someone else's loss I can be less impatient, kiss him more, enjoy the rise and fall of his hot breath in my face, re-enact every Toy Story scene that is without exhaustion.  I can remember to hug my friends and tell them I love them. I can do the little things to please JT and tell him how much he completes me.  I will try to call my parents more and my sister. 

What do you say in a time like this?  Nothing.  You say nothing.  But you learn.  Love.  Appreciate.  And live today.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Living Job,
Goodbye Elijah James
Our family members would say the same thing.... the difference in a year. JT's cousin, Richie, must feel like he is living the life of Job. At twenty-six years old with a wife and young son, his career is growing. This summer he learned he was going to have another baby. After the loss of a pregnancy last year...this was fabulous news. Then there was September (see my sept posts). Richie's mom (JT's aunt) died suddenly at 56 years old. Now without his mom, the hope of the baby, now known to be boy, was sustaining their immediate family. Elijah James Folden was born seven days ago. Today, he lays in a hospital bed at Kosair Children's Hospital (where I spend all of my work days) status post craniotomy for a brain bleed. Now, they are removing life support from his tiny life that never had a chance to grow. Where does this leave Richie, his wife Brooke, his father Rick? I am praying it leaves them at the feet of Jesus looking up. I am can not fathom their pain, their loss. It is beyond my scope.

I see death almost daily. I come and go through the doors our Intensive Care Unit....and yet it never has been so palpable until with my family. Please pray for this family, my family through marriage who I love as my own. Pray to God, thanking Him for the our blessing that stared at us one year ago and pray for the deep grief of they are feeling.

So now we say goodbye to Elijah James Folden (little brother to Grant, son to Brooke and Richie, Grandson of Rick) who is now being rocked by his Mamaw Margie at the feet of Jesus.  (below is a picture of Elijah and Grant on their first day together)

One year ago today, on my mother's birthday, we were handed this picture and asked if we would be interested in parenting this little boy.  Well, indeed we said yes.  It surreal that one year ago we were sitting in classroom at Highview Baptist church for adoption education classes, holding one single picture of a sad little boy.  Now this little man is building a lego house for Tokyo Mater with his daddy wearing an arygle sweater while watching Green Bay vs Chicago.  The difference a year makes....

Saturday, January 22, 2011

When Mommy's Away

1) The night before I was on call I was wantin to spend so much time with Tedi.  However, at 8:30p he fell asleep on his daddy's lap like this.I won't lie before I put him in his bed I let him lay with me and cuddle for 10 minutes.  Nothing is better than feeling his chest rising and falling arms. 
"He laid on my chest & her breathing filled me almost to beyond what I could hold."

2. Tedi stayed with his Aunt Neece on Friday while JT and I both went to work.  Aunt Neece has two dogs, Maggie, a big chow mix, and Riley, a Yorkie.  Tedi loves to play with Riley.  Well, when Neece came out of the bathroom, she found Tedi in Riley's cage trying to get Riley to get in the cage with him..... He is so silly.  (As you can see it is not latched)

3.  I continued to work but JT and his brother Daniel (Neece's husband) went to visit their 95 year old grandmother.  JT's mom and Tedi's Granna, Sharon, was at Mamaw's house for the weekend.  Tedi was so happy that she played cars with him "kind of".  Because Sharon was staying with her mother, we are keeping one of their dogs, Asia.  Keep reading below

4.  Asia was our dog.  We adopted her from the Hendersonville, TN animal shelter one month after we were married in 2003.  However, when I moved to the Caribbean, but more so when we moved to NYC, Asia stayed with Granna and Pop, JT's parents.  Well, they fell in love with her and Asia loves that there is someone there almost all the time.  When Tedi first came home, he was terrified of all dogs.  Each day was progress.  Fast Forward to this weekend.  He informed us that "his Asia" was coming to stay with us.  Below they are watching TV together.  JT overhead him say "Asia you can sit there.  That is mommy's seat but she at work."

5.  Next JT looked up to see Asia and Tedi looking out the window.  Tedi said "That is Daddy's car.  Mommy's car at work."

6.  Just before bed, JT looked down to see Tedi and Asia sharing his Crystal Light popsicle.  He is a mess.  Now, you can see, he loves this dog...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Moments at Home

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tedi Talk

1) Yesterday as I was trying not fall asleep on the couch.  He crawled on top of me and planted a big kiss on my cheek and said,
       "Mommy, I miss you when you not at house."

2) On the way to the bookstore tonight, he was telling me that he was going to see his Aunt Neece and Uncle D tomorrow.  JT said that Uncle D is his brother.  He said that NO, D and Neece go together.  I explained to him the following...
Me: "D and Neece are married.  Just like Mommy and daddy are married."
Tedi (in an almost scared tone): "Then what about me Mommy? What about me?"
Me: "You are my baby.  Some day you will have geelo (girl) and she will be your wife."
Tedi: "NOOOO, Mommy.  You're Silly!" as he giggled.

3) While making graham crackers with peanut butter as a snack for school tonight, he said;
Tedi: "We make ham sandwiches for school."
Me: "No.  These are peanut butter sandwiches."
Tedi: "No...Ham."
Me: "No, peanut butter."
Tedi with a sigh: "OOOkay, mommy.  Peanut butter."
Bend and Not Break
(a rambling blog, so be warned)

Some of you out there may recognize the title....a song title by Dashboard Confessional....that I have taken out of the context of the song because the words of the title explain the way I am feeling on the inside.  I ventured to my old blog ( to enjoy my playlist of music while I did some computer work at home (I couldn't stay at the hospital another second to do it.)  The music was a welcomed friend and break because while I am not musically gifted in the least, I thoroughly enjoy listening to it..... everything from Sister Hazel to Mariah Carey to Kutless to Sugarland to Jay-Z and much more...(check it out if you need something to listen to while you browse) So this is where the title of today's blog comes in.  Also, revisiting my med school blog reminded me of, the source of some of my favorite quotes.... below are some of my favorites, a quirky way to remind me(you) of real life....

"Sometimes I can't wait to leave, but not when my boys are wishing I could stay"
"Everything changed the day they figured out there was exactly enough time for the important things in their lives."
"He laid on my chest & her breathing filled me almost to beyond what I could hold"
"He loved her for almost everything she was & she decided that was enough to let him stay for a very long time."
"This is a giant block of whatever is most difficult for you to carry & trust me on this, you'll carry it more times than you can count until you decide that's exactly what you want to do most & then it won't weigh a thing anymore."

So why am I bending and trying not to has been a tough month.  I am exhausted beyond measure from work....I come home from the hospital and still have computer work to do because I just could not take being at the hospital any longer. I can barely hold my eyes open at home. When this happens, I start feeling inadequate.... Inadequate as a wife, a friend, a Christian, a mother, a life.  I do not want to clean our house or cook (which is not really different than when I am well rested)  I do not give cards to my friends, call them or text them enough.  I do not pray enough, have the motivation to be at church...when I need to the most.  I do not call my family enough.  And I am not as active with Tedi, wanting to play or wrestle or read.  Thus, in my exhaustian...I let inadequacy begin to creep in and chip away at my energy, my soul, and my self worth.  Thankfully, I have had two dear friends encourage me immensely today, showing me with their words, as mothers, wives, hard workers, that I am not alone and that Satan would like me to focus only on the above inadequacies and the many many unwritten ones... So I write this with a heavy, but transparent heart... from a girl who wants it be a doctor, a beautiful, respected wife, dedicated mother to a son who knows I will come home to him, loyal and trusted friend, but I just can't seem to get it quite right...

I hope maybe at least one person made it through the rambling.  Despite my aforementioned feelings, I do know and appreciate every little blessing I have and I don't want anyone to think otherwise.  Sometimes it is just nice to admit you do not have it all together.  Thankfully for me, I have loving friends and a Savior who have my back, even when I am pushing them away!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January Happenings,
Avoiding Complaints,
Loving my friends and family

This is a rough month for me in terms of work....30 hours shift sleeping at the hospital every fourth night.... I get exhausted but I must say that despite this, my month has been great so far.... So with the goal of avoiding complaining, I am going to highlight some of the fun things and positive highlights of January and cool things we have planned soon...

  1. The Caper (Family and Children's Place):  This is the place where JT is employed..... and job, I must say, that he loves.  It is a non-profit organization that helps raise funds and awareness for children of sexual and domestic abuse.  JT works in the development department, which organizes the fundraising aspect.  This past weekend was their largest fundraisers of the event, The Caper, that involves a silent auction, live auction, UofL basketball players signing autographs, food is a big event where about 600-700 people attended.  I was so proud both OF and FOR JT.  The event raised a good amount of money for a fabulous cause and my husband's organization skills prevailed in executing a great event.  Though we were both exhausted afterwards, it was a successful, fun event.
  2. Family: We have great family, both JT and me.  This weekend JT's mom as well as my mother and stepfather came to JT's event (see above).  I love it when people support my husband and we appreciated this support so much.  My mom and stepdad also kept Tedi over this past weekend so that I could catch on sleep that I am losing on my 30 hour call month.  It was nice to have a break for the weekend.  I can not finish this paragraph without a shout out to my father-in-law who keeps Tedi everyday during his "retirement" years.  His support and help is invaluable (well, maybe the gas he uses has a value) and I can never thank him enough.
  3. Friends: So the only thing that is getting me through the rough work hours and busy days at the hospital are my friends (both at work and at outside of work).  My upper level resident at work is a great guy with whom I love working...we have a great and hard-working med student.  I am also working with several girls that I love dearly and are making the month much better (Thanks Erica, Shivani, Nitya, Robin and Christina)         
  4. Outside of work, my dear friend Sarah helps me hold it together and is like a sister to me.  She and her boyfriend Zach attended JT's event, helped me with Tedi and are always there for us....whether it   is for pizza and wine or to help us move.  I have also been growing my friendship with Elizabeth, the lovely gal who took our family pictures (   She volunteered her services to  photograph JT's event on Saturday....she has a heart for giving back and I love this girl.  Jacqueline, one my best friends, is getting married in May and is encouraging me in my weight loss journey....and also giving me the opportunity to wear fabulous dresses and peacock hair pieces (a good motivator for weight loss).  Our friends, Emily and Jason (aka Stella's parents) are a constant in our world for prayer, laughter, support, and love....and they are going to Indy with us for a mini vacation in Feb (can not wait!!!)
  5. Weight Loss: So I promised to keep little updates on the blog...I am pretty much on pace for 2 pounds per week it seems.  I have lost 5 pounds since starting this.  I am working being more controlled when eating unhealthy foods.  My struggle right now is adding exercise.  Being a wife, mom and working my hours, exercise is about seventh on my list of things to my goal is to step it up next month when I have some vacation and easier hours.  So there it update. Project Black Cocktail Dress, my new name for the diet.
Below are a few fun pictures from the last week or so...I am going to work at getting more in the upcoming few vacation, pics from JT's event, and so on!

 waiting to meet my mom at the Galt House
 with Zach at The Caper
 being silly with Elizabeth
 in the ottoman, aka "the box"
he really fell asleep like this

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Melkin Yelidet Beaal!!
Ethiopian Christmas (and a few pics from USA New Year)

Monday, January 3, 2011

6 Months Home....Yes, you read that correctly.
Let's Celebrate the Beauty of Adoption

I am ALMOST speechless.  I can barely fathom that Tedi has been home six months.  The changes are vast and amazing... In honor of six months home, a picture from each month is posted below (choosing is very very very tough).  Also, I have posted six of the biggest/neatest/most fun changes that have occurred in Tedi and our family during this time.  Lastly, I will post six phrases most used by Tedi right now.

1) Ummmm..... Maaay--=bbeee.  (when asked to make any decision)
2) I need to show you sumpen (something).... (while dragging you by hand wanting your attention)
3) I need kiss you... (used to be a way to delay going to bed but now is said anytime you kiss him)
4) Not....  (when the answer is no or he does not want to do something... we are Not sure where he got this)
5) My mommy, my daddy. What you doing? (said breathlessly as he runs from his room for no reason)
6) IIIIII can do it...  (on every single thing we do on a daily basis (getting dressed, turning on lights, opening doors, buckling his car seat, you name it)

1) Physical Appearnce: no joke, the boy has grown 2 INCHES in six months.  He has only gained 3 pounds but I am amazed at two inches... His 3T clothes are HIGH WATERS.
2) Object and Person Permanence:  Tedi now knows that when mommy and daddy go to their bedroom we will be there when he wakes (unless I am on a night shift).  He will occasionally wake up and come to our room and check in on us, but it is not happening 3-4x/night like it did at first.  He also does not have to wear his clothes all the time or be possessive of each article of clothing.  He understands that when clothes are dirty, they will get washed and return to only him. 
3) Trusting who we trust: Tedi now trusts other people who we trust.  What do I mean by this?  If we are going to see someone or they are coming over, we try to "talk it up" and prepare him for it.  Once we knows that we are excited about this person/people being around, he is equally excited and feels comfortable with people.  I wish I had better words to articulate this.... However, if you can grasp what I mean, you will understand how beautiful it is!
4) Laughter: JT and I laughed a lot before Tedi came home, but now we are perpetually laughing....even when we get frustrated or disappointed with his behavior, we find ourselves laughing.  Moreover, Tedi LOVES to laugh and his laugh is infectious.  Every report we got from people who had met him in the orphanage was how quiet and sad and withdrawn he was.  Well, if you have met him now, you know this is not the case!  What a joy he is!
5) Fear: When he first arrived home, Tedi would stand at the door and sob when JT left for work.  JT was the first person to whom he attached and it broke his heart to see him leave, regardless of the fact that his aunt Denise or Pop were staying with him.  Now, he walks into Sunday School class, to school, to my parents or JT's parents.....without looking back..because he knows we will be back for him. The transformation, though not quick, has been beautiful to watch and to live.
6) Family: We are now a family.  I never really knew what it would be like to have children and now, I can not really remember it any other way.  Also, there have been changes in other family members.  People that did not support our adoption initially or were not excited are now in love with this curly-haired boy.

July 2010: A scared little boy hooked to Dum Dums and a soccer ball 
 August 2010: his first trip to Lake Cumberland, and yes holding Granpa's chewing tobacco
 September 2010: first football game and loving his daddy
 October 2010: with JT's Mamaw as Buzz Lightyear
 November 2010: Happy 4th Birthday, boy does he love his Lightening McQueen Car
December 2010: Happy Birthday Jesus

```` I had such a hard time picking pictures (I mean there were soccer games and pumpkins and all kinds of pics), but I hope these hit the highlights.

Upcoming in the next few months....
~ JT's big event at work:  He is charge of planning the major fundraiser for his business, Family and Children's Place, and it takes place on January 15th after a UofL men's basketball game.  He is very nervous so please pray for his confidence and calming of his nerves.  Tedi and I know he will be successful
~Vacation: I Have my second 2 week vacation at work during the first two weeks of February.  We have several doctors appointments and tax appointments scheduled but would love to get away for a few days if anyone has suggestions....we are taking them
~My birthday: no big plans but it is coming in February
~Cars 2 comes to theaters (yes, Tedi will love this more than we will).
~And most importantly, praying daily for where, when, how God wants to use us for adoption or to adopt.