Thursday, March 31, 2011

Making a Difference: Blog Style

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." ~Ghandi

In my struggle to "make a difference" in this world, I have come to the realization that by blogging regularly and doing so about real topics, both encouraging and difficult.... about adoption and life in general, that I can start making a difference in a small way. Even when I feel that I am not doing "enough" in other ways, I can do this. Maybe I will never know who it helps but all I can do is try.....try and be real, be honest, be passionate. I have heard from so many people that they read this little blog, though they do not comment....and if you do not comment, no worries. Keep stopping by, hopefully taking something away with you or sharing with others.

Here are the plans I have coming for the blog...I wanted to do several mini topics. Of note, when I write about such things, please know I do not consider myself an expert, a gifted writer, or sufficient mother. I feel highly inadequate on the regular and am seeking the face of my Savior for help more times than not.... So here they are:

Living for Others, Living for God:
(many of these will have overlapping messages)
1) Encourage Others
2) Serve Others
3) Give to Others
4) Love Others

Adoption Fundraising, Revisited:
1) Making a Plan, Enlisting help
2) Dare God
3) Ideas Ideas
4) Paying it Forward
*I would love people to email their fundraising ventures over for the paying it forward day so that I can share them with my readers.

God's Family Tree:
1) Roots: The major players...your past, your presen.t
2) Trunk: Relationships needed to survive adopting.
3) Fruit: What will your family look like to the world?
4) Branches: Who will your family reach?

**Don't Worry, I will still mix this up with a few guest blogs, funny Tedi stories, general life in the crazy Henderson world and of course pictures. These are 12 involved posts that I hope to share between now and July 3.... Why? July 3rd is Tedi's first Gotcha Day anniversary and I think that is an apt day to celebrate and an appropriate day to be talking about who your family will reach.

Bible Verses for Kids

JT's best friend 's wife Abby Mullins has recently moved to Texas for her husband's job.  They are the parents to three beautiful girls, Annie, Amelia and Evie.  Abby has recently started a new business making booklets for children to learn Bible verses.  I think this is awesome and can't wait to get one for Tedi.... Why is this is good for me?  Though I grew as a southern baptist GA (girls in action), card carrying youth group member, teaching bible verses to little ones is not the easiest task.  Not only are these cute but also a great idea.  Below is a picture of one for her daughter.  Check out her website where you can order.  Also check out her blog for giveway options.

We miss the Mullins family here in Kentucky but glad that they are enjoying Texas!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Promoting Friends

"If there is any secret to this life I live, this is it: the sound of what cannot be seen sings within everything that can. & there is nothing more to it than that." ~storypeople

You may be able to tell by reading my blog, but in case you can't.... I love people.  I love my boys, JT and Tedi, but there is a special place in my heart for my girl friends...old friends, friends that are in my past that I may not talk to, and friends now.  They all have made such an indelible mark on my life....because I love my girl friends, I would like shamelessly promote one.....

I would like to take a minute and brag on my friend Elizabeth.  My beautiful, dedicated and talented friend took a huge step of faith this week (well it has been in the works for awhile now but it was announced today)....she trusted God and has made the step to grow her photography business...I can not imagine the financial and personal fear such a major step like this could cause in her generous heart.....BUT she is having FAITH that God will provide.... 

She welcomed Nathan Morgan (and his cute family) to Lizzie Loo Photography as a second photograher..... I do not know the Morgan family, YET, but knowing my friend and who she is, they must be good people.  She is offiering a special in honor of this big step and hiring (posted below).  Check our her blog,, for more pictures, Nathan's pricing (and hers) and to learn more about their business. 

 I am nervous in sharing this because Elizabeth and I became friends after our family's photo session through Celebrate Adoption and I do not want anyone to take my friend...... totally kidding, I SHARE.  But for sure check out her special and her website!

******Check out Elizabeth's Etsy Store (um, I own the cards....Love them)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Break My Heart for What Breaks Yours

Last night I laid in bed thinking about Tedi's mom.  Was she hungry? Did she miss him?  Was she alive?  Were his siblings alive?  Is her face etched with evidence of a trying life, her lines and hurts unable to be covered by Clinique like mine? As I cuddled up next to my husband under my duvet comforter, did she miss her husband, deceased from typhoid (a preventable disease if only their water was clean)? If I don't carry Worknesh's battle scars, even in my heart, will anyone else?

I sit at work today and tell a family their son may have cancer.  I stare into the face of a battered baby.... both physical battle scars wondering where this, the tragic misfortune that they did not choose, will leave them.  My heart breaking....breaking as it did last night thinking of Tedi's mother. 

The funny thing is... I do not often cry, at least outwardly and unless you know me, like really, you would think maybe I am cold.  But in effort to "keep it real", here I open book.  I hurt for my patients....I cry on the inside for them.  I am shattered over and over and over by their pain and the hurt of others....  Because I have the nerve to sing the lyrics to myself.... "Show me how to love like you have loved me; Break my heart for what breaks yours." ...which leaves me here, in an office chair in the seventh floor of a hospital, shedding heart tears over children I do not know but hold on my lap and sing Old McDonald while dancing like a crazy lady....  which leaves me laying in bed at night wanting to hold Tedi's birth mother's hand, like I would that of my dearest bestie and show her pictures and comfort her aching heart and laugh over chinese food  injera.  These lyrics leave my heart continually asking God (and more days than not my husband and close friends):

"What else God....what more could I be doing?  How can I make a difference...How can live beyond myself?  Where else am I needed....where I can best serve you?"

So many questions.  But here is what I have decided.  I keep asking God to break my heart...because if not, I become a cold, disenchanted resident...then doctor with a heart not like my Father's.... I become a wife and mother more consumed with said job leaving me unable to serve my family.... I become a friend too into myself to embrace the needs of sister friends.  I become a human being existing to merely serve myself and not serve others.

But what does the "breaking" do...???  It is null and void unless it spurs action, causes change.....change in me evident to those around me...causing them to want to act.  What will I do?  What do I DARE you, CHALLENGE you to do?

1) Ask: Plead with God to break your (my) heart...I once heard someone say that when we ask God to do this, we often find our calling... Mine...well, it is obviously broken for children, hence my profession, heart cry, my passion.  BUT I do not feel we are called to one thing...unless that one thing is making difference....  God continues to break my heart in so many other ways but I having to remind myself to ask. 

2) Love: When people are difficult, love them.  When they stare at your black child and your white skin and ask ignorant questions, love them.  When they look different, love them.  When they hurt you, love them.  Love when it hurts in spite of the pain.  I say this because I struggle daily with this....There are some people that I just do not feel that I can love...people who hurt their children, people who hurt my friends and family, people who just down right suck.  Yep, I said it.  Some people suck.  But....BUT, we do not get the option to not love them...  because we were loved by someone greater first.  If you need inspiration to love, check out Mother Theresa and her awesome quotes.  My favorite "I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”   It boils down to this....if we are not loving these people, people who might suck, there may be no else loving them.  If no one else loves them and we don't, who will.....because the sucky people are the ones Jesus really wants us to love.... THEY are the ones He loved.

3) Act: Do something.  Anything.  Hold a baby with bruises and scratches on her face.  Hold your friend's hand for no reason.  Buy someone's adoption shirt that you will never wear but merely to support them.  Take a bag of $1 Junior Cheeseburgers from Wendy's under the bridge to feed the homeless men.  Pay for the coffee of the person behind you.  Send a card to someone you may have hurt.  Sponsor a child.  But for goodness sake, just act.... you, me, all of us...what a difference we could make if we all did something.  Something small...

I will update on my progress with these....there are specific people I am having trouble loving....actions I need to take and ways to be more daring in my asking.... WHAT ABOUT YOU?  If I am looking inward for answers, I feel I should issues challenges outward.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute." Proverbs 31:8

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Forget the Frock, Feed the Orphans (Guest Blog)

Below is my first guest is written by one of my dearest friends.  I respect her as a mom and a wife and covet each moment I spend with her.... Her family was a stronghold and supportive force during our adoption... I love this lady and her words below are amazing and will make all you adoption fence straddlers really think. (Her blog is

If you grew up as a little girl in the South you know what I am talking about when I say… “Easter Dress” or “Christmas Dress.” Maybe your family were devoted church-goers or maybe these two holidays were the only time your family attended church, either way chances are you (and your siblings) endured just a little extra spit and shine for these Sundays.

Then again maybe it’s just this little former Southern Baptist, GA (Girls in Action) card carrying Kid, who had her frilly dress, white gloves, pearls and Easter hat laid out for her every Easter Sunday, that has the “Easter Dress” mentality. Now before you walk away huffed because you think I’m attacking anyone for buying a new outfit, rest assured I adore a cute new ensemble as much as the next person. But listen for just a moment to a recent moment of conviction that I felt…

Recently one of the Grandmas purchased my girls some adorable little dresses and instantly I thought “Sweet, here is their… (You guessed it) Easter Dresses.” Later that week during a “Quiet Time” session in the house I sat down at the computer (a bit obsessed if I am honest) to begin completing the “Easter Ensemble.” Thoughts began to race through my mind… I needed the perfect Hair bows, cute shoes, and of course a cardigan as to be prepared for the ever-changing Kentucky weather. As the electronic “Shopping Cart” began to fill up my phone made that little high pitched “Tri-Tone” notifying me I had a text message.
I looked down to see the sweetest picture of a young girl who truly is changing the world. ( This was the 3rd time God had thrown her in my face…

1st time – I hear of her story from a family member, my lame reaction, “Oh wow, that’s awesome."

2nd time – I hear her story from Nat and JT, my reaction, “Oh yes, I’ve heard about her… isn’t her story awesome.” I read her blog and although brought to tears I produce no reaction. (Ouch)

This time as I look down and see her face my heart is moved to click away from my shopping experience and checkout the latest on her blog. It is now that I read of her latest quest to help an orphanage secure their rent fees for the upcoming year and her challenge to readers to donate just $4 to de-worm children for an entire year or purchase a t-shirt to feed an orphan for an entire month!

SERIOUSLY?!?!? Forget the hair bows forget the shoes, forget the dainty little cardigans… FORGET THE ENTIRE EASTER FROCK… I delete the shopping cart...The Fox Family is going to Feed the Orphans with our Easter attire this year!
I can’t tell you how much Joy I received from clicking around on the "Feeding the Orphans" website and placing our “Feeding the Orphans” t-shirt order knowing that 100% of the profits go to feeding an orphan! SQUEAL... it was by far the most rewarding shopping experience EVER.

I’ll be completely honest and say that unlike many of you who read this blog I have not always had a heart for orphans, whether it was ignorance or even worse a hardened selfish soul, it just simply didn’t pierce my heart. Of course I let out the occasional “ohh… isn’t that sad” when I heard of their stories but it didn’t move me to action. So even as I write this I am so incredibly intimidated by the fact I am writing a post that will be read by many who are TRULY taking care of the “least of these” and may find frustration in the fact that all I did was buy a few t-shirts and think I saved the world.

Rest assured in the fact I know that my little purchase was tiny compared to the daily challenges many of you conquer to advance the Kingdom. But also know that people like you (for me Nat and JT) have provided a REAL example of life-changing love. You see, maybe the reason I had such non-chalant responses to stories of orphans and the impoverished for so many years is because it just wasn’t a REAL part of my life. That was of course until January 2010 when my phone once before made that “Tri-Tone” alarm and produced a picture of an espresso skinned little boy with huge sad eyes and a runny little nose named “Tedros”… that day the idea of an orphan became REAL and now after sharing in the life of “Tedi Henderson” for over a year, it has changed our way of thinking right down to our “Easter Dress.”

“We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes…” – David Platt, “Radical”

Happy Easter Ya'll... now go love some Orphans!

"There was a boy with skin as dark as the earth & a girl with eyes as blue as the deep & they loved each other so well that people could not tell them apart, for in their hearts, there was no difference between them." ~StoryPeople

Pictures of Tedi with Emily's oldest daughter Stella
Gotta LOVE the differences in girls and boys that is even seen in moments that stand still....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I usually don't post lots of videos (other than ones I make of pictures). I finally watched this after seeing it on several blogs and facebooks. I just love the end of it when they take off their shirts.... WAIT. That sounds wrong.....when they show their t-shirts...because it is true. Whether we are living with family in which we were conceived or the one that brought us into their home.....It is where we are loved that is HOME. And who loves us that is FAMILY... . We are, thus, all Adopted, in many ways, but also by Christ. Watch and think....Watch and Enjoy...

Monday, March 21, 2011

I am THAT mom....

....not the mom who has the cute yoga outfit and perfect makeup in target with a daughter in Cinderella shoes and a son walking silently beside the cart, not touching things...You have ALL seen her, met her, known her...I am NOT her....(I wear yoga pants that are too long and the same aqua zip up and the makeup is normally from the day before, as is the pony tail...oh, and I am the one with the son touching everything and pouting because he is required to sit in the cart)

....not the one who bakes cookies and cleans like Merry Maids and washes dishes and kisses all boo boos and gets up super early chipper and with breakfast on the table  (I normally get the bottom of the cookies too brown and hate cleaning and tell him to "suck it up" because I have seen worse it will be okay when he is hurt, and I like sleep)

....not the one who irons all our clothes and wears a size 6 and remembers every one's birthdays and says the right thing all the time... (I hate ironing and do not own an ironing board but am open to accepting one as a gift; I wear something with two digits and try to always send birthday cards and often put my foot, or even proverbial foot, in my mouth.)

But let me tell you a great story about the mom I AM...the one who bounces is a hilarious story.

Yesterday afternoon, I was dressing Tedi for church and drying him off after a bath.  I was using the towel to wipe the extra lotion off his face and noticed his bottom gum was bleeding.  That is weird, I thought.  Well, early this morning I was thinking about it and how strange it was.  Then again tonight, I thought about it as we were playing outside...about the bleeding gums. Sitting on the porch stairs, I yelled for Tedi to come here... and what do you know, he lost his bottom tooth (yes tooth, singular, as he did not have many to start with) here I am, the mom who knocked out her son's tooth 24 hours ago and did not realize it.  THAT IS ME....  What do I do?  Do I panic? (maybe a little on the inside)  Do I beat myself up? (um, some)  After about 5 minutes of silently swinging on the porch swing debating if I am going to mommy hell for missing my son's first tooth fairy experience because I knocked it out and didn't know it.... I decide to go look for it... and there in the middle of Radiator Springs (on the rug in his floor from the movie Cars) was a little tooth.  Man, was he pumped ?!?!  When I asked him what he was going to do with the tooth (even after trying to explain the tooth fairy) he said in all seriousness, "I will put it back in." We both lost it (JT and I).... so now he sleeps, tooth under pillow, awaiting a surprise for the morning.  Sooo, I am THAT mom...the one who loves my son, the one who bounces back....I will take that for now!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


~ from Kung Fu Panda

Yesterday afternoon JT, Tedi and I went to the airport to welcome home two families and their newly adopted children from Ethiopia.  In my typical way, no tears were seen but I was welling up on the inside.  It is a beautiful moment, despite the yelling secuity guards making the 50+ people to move back.  I get this ache each time I am at airport watching new families come ache that I can not quite treat with rest or distance or staying away.  It is the feeling of needing to do more....and yet I am not sure what more is.  Is it adopting again (yes but when) or giving more $$ or speaking out more or blogging more or .....  Thankfully I have a few Godly reminders in my life that set me straight me and remind me.... "there are no accidents.." translated to Christianity....God's timing is better than ours....He works out the smallest details in our lives and thus can work out the biggest...  So Master Uguay had it right "there are no accidents". 

There is so much more on my heart to write about now, but I am not quite ready to put it in writing.  For those of you who have emalied me about praying for your adoption process, I am doing so daily as are the friends in bible study.  Please do not hesitate to continue emailing me.  I know the road is long and stressful and I have been there.  (

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Little Leprechaun

Yes!  This is him.  Can't you tell he is Irish...  His daddy his Irish...a long line of Mulloys.  We thought it appropriate that, like father like son, Tedi should wear an Irish tshirt.  He spent the afternoon with his Aunt Neece who captured the first picture...the other one is Tedi wearing the leprechaun ears he made at school.  It was hilarious, him standing there in boxer briefs, an under shirt and leprechaun ears.  I love this boy... 

"The first time his laughter unfurled its wings in the wind, we knew that the world would never be the same."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Here are the words that JT spoke today at his grandmother's funeral...He is such a handsome, well spoken man whom I love dearly.  In his words there are lessons to be learned...they are not just about his mamaw so enjoy. 

"It is a difficult task to take a few short minutes and sum up someone’s life. It is especially difficult if that person has left an indelible mark on so many people and lived an incredibly full life. Mamaw has five children; nine grandchildren; sixteen great-grandchildren; and one great-great-granddaughter. What a legacy this amazing and beautiful woman leaves. To honor her, I want to share a few lessons Mamaw taught me. If she could speak to us today, other than “Why don’t you all go get something to eat. You look hungry” and “Stop making a fuss over me. Why did you go to this trouble?” I think she would talk about these things:

Choose happiness:

If there was anyone among us who had a justified reason to be bitter and be a complainer, it was Mamaw. At an early age, she lived through the Great Depression and went to work in a Laundromat to help support her family. She had the unenviable task of burying her husband, her eldest son, her baby girl, a beloved son-in-law, and a great grandson. Yet this remarkable woman chose to spend her life singing and dancing. She did not blame her circumstances and life’s pitfalls on God or others. She made a choice to be joyful and happy.

Laugh loudly and laugh often- especially at yourself:

Everyone here knows that Mamaw’s sense of humor is legendary. She was especially adept at poking fun of herself. Anyone new to the family has heard about her lawsuit against the city of Louisville . She loved to make fun of the fact that she was very short. I have a picture of Mamaw with Chris Marcus, a former NBA player who was 7’1” that I worked with at WKU; she literally came up to his waist in this classic picture. I encourage you to ask Uncle Ronny about Mamaw’s take on Sunday, the Sabbath. I will always remember the stash of PG13 and R-rated greeting/birthday cards she hid in her bedroom. Whenever I would visit she would give me one and swear me not to tell Aunt Linda or my Mom where I got it. Her laugh and sense of humor was a treasure.

Live everyday to its fullest:

Mamaw was one of the smartest people I ever met while only possessing a 6th grade education. She realized you only get one shot at life and she squeezed as much life out of 95 years as anyone ever has. I would sit amazed at her working crossword puzzles with relative ease. Did anyone else ever get swindled to take one of her short walks? By the time you got home, you had covered all of Portland twice in record time. Man, she could move for a short lady. She enjoyed this life and all it had to offer.

Family is the most important thing:

Mamaw was a great family member because she always had our back. She was so admirable because of how precisely she raised her children and ran her home. She sacrificed for her family. I never saw her buy herself anything other than the absolute necessities. I see so much of her in so many different people in this room. And that is her legacy. She, and the life she led, lives in and through us. Though we have lost the lynchpin and matriarch of this family, her life teaches us that this life is to be lived fully and family far too important for petty disagreements and differences to come between us. I urge this family to use this event to draw closer together as a unit, not separate. Staying together, through good and bad, is the way she would want things.

To Love with all you have:

Mamaw loved us all unconditionally. The most vivid example I can give of this is during our adoption of Tedi. Mamaw grew up in a time where my son would not be able to enter the same restaurants, places of business, even houses of worship just because of the color of skin God gave him. Sadly, many people Mamaw’s age still hold firm to these shallow and antiquated thoughts. Not our Mamaw. Her treatment of others different from her was very progressive and one of her most prominent Christ-like features. When Natalie and I first told her she would have a black great-grandson who was born 7500 miles away and would have no common DNA with our family, her words were: “I don’t care if he’s black, white, yellow or purple. He’s mine and I love him.” He’s mine and I love him.

In closing, I believe there is a DAV in heaven and that she has already walked there numerous times and bought herself nothing. I would bet she has drug Aunt Margie and Eli there also. She may have even convinced Uncle Bobby and Papaw to go with her once. We love you Mamaw. Thank you for blessing our lives so richly for so long. We are the lucky ones. We cannot wait to get to heaven to party with you again. I hope you have a bowl of chilli waiting for me. "

Monday, March 14, 2011


I was having a hectic today.  Busy with work, frustrated about not being at the funeral home to support JT (and see my father who visited)...this was just "topped off"but getting reamed out by a parent over an issue that started before I arrived and having to deal with it.  BUT, tonight I sat with my patient and filled out an NCAA bracket...if he wins, I owe him an O'Charley's gift certificate and $5...if I win, he owes me $5 (which I OBVIOUSLY I will not take).  It was the highlight of my day to sit and laugh and talk sports trash and watch a normally sad boy smile...  Then I had time to sit and read an email from my friend, Sarah.  It reminded me of the day I had...and why I do what I do...

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
- Mother Teresa

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Death Yet Again

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”  Job 1:21

Yesterday was the fifth death in our family since September.  JT's mamaw, a lady he loved so dearly who was so full of life until the last year or so, took her last breath.  She was such a cool the nine and a half years of knowing her, I have tons of fun stories.  I say fun because she only wanted two things from those around her: for you to laugh and for you to eat.  You could tell her you were dieting or you had just did not matter.  Even last week when we were there and she sat, refusing to eat herself, she made us eat.  When we told her we were going to adopt Tedi, we were nervous that someone born in 1916 may have issues with race (because many people born many years later did).  Her response.  "I don't care what color he is.  He will be mine and I love him."  That speaks volumes of her character.  I will save the stories, though, for JT to tell.  He will likely be speaking at her funeral and I will let him write about it himself. 

But in these sad times, I must still stop and thank God....for the sunrise and Tedi's laugh and how my Grandma would have loved watching Kentucky play in the SEC Championship and how JT's mamaw made the best chili and telling a boy his cancer is gone and the random phone calls from my sister and cards from my friends and the comfort of hearing JT's breath while he sleeps.  God truly gives the blessings, the comforts in life.  And during the sad times, He is the only to give the peace as well.  A few posts ago, I wrote about the song Blink....and this is yet another example.  Things change in the blink of an eye...because just yesterday JT's mamaw was telling me this joke the first time I met her...

Mamaw: Dear, did you know I have a lawsuit out against the city of Louisville?
Me: Oh no, Why? (a little confused?)
Mamaw: Because they are building the sidewalks too close to my ass? (she was 4'8") 

Below are pictures of the family members we have loved and lost in the last several months....

Margaret Mulloy Smith
February 4, 1916 - March 12, 2011

Elijah James Folden
January 16, 2011 - January 23, 2011

Thomas Eugene Stewart
March 25, 1913 - September 22, 2010

Virginia Audaley Morris
February 9, 1930 - September 25 , 2011

Margaret "Margie" Gail Folden
  1954 - September 17, 2010
(Margie is holding the flowers and Mamaw is in the middle)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Henderson's Week and Ethiopia Thoughts

1) I would like to comment on Ethiopia.  Yes, there are rumors coming out that they are going to drastically cut the processing of adoptions coming out of Ethiopia.  If I were still in the process and waiting for Tedi to come home, I would be an emotional basket case.  I was a crazy lady last year when they began talking about extending the trips and adding two trips and the mess that was last year.  Having tread the waters through international adoption, I want to offer encouragement and families who are in process, thinking about adopting or somewhere on either side....  When we and you are called to international adoption, or adoption in general, ease is not something that is promised.  Simplicity and a flat fairway are not in the cards.  But we are not called in vain....God wants His orphans to be cared for and while it may not make sense and while I know it is easier for me to write about it while my son sleeps in the next room, please know I have walked the road, am praying for you, and mostly praying for the best interest of "the least of these" to be the primary concern of everyone involved.  If you would like our family to keep you in our prayers by name, please shoot me an email ( and let me know!  We would love to support you during uncertain, stressful times. 

2) Though I do not often talk about my work, or really ever, I had the opportunity yesterday while on call to tell a family and a teenage boy that his cancer was in remission.....a small victory in his long, arduous road.  I got cold chills when I got the news and felt giddy as I said the words.  I was holding back happy tears.  Mixed into a very stressful day, this news made my heart smile.

3) Tonight we took Tedi to our friend's horse farm...  He loves Bullseye, the horse from Toy Story, and just finished a lesson on farm animals at school.  So tonight with some down time (and a new "premie" horse was born today) we headed out to the Lauer's farm.  Tedi was a nervous wreck at first....scared to touch the horses or feed them peppermints.  He liked watching Elizabeth and Abby feed the little horse with a bottle.  We then went to see other young horses where he finally decided to pet one...Cupcake.  He was so excited!  I am anxious to hear how he retells the stories tomorrow once he wakes up!  Plus, JT has not been in too many barns in his lifetime, so he had fun too!

4) So excited for a busy weekend....going with Jacqueline to pick up her wedding dress tomorrow and spending time with her family...visiting with my mom and her friend tomorrow night.... One of my besties, Emily, and her family are coming to Louisville, visiting our church with us, and taking Tedi home with them to spend two nights and play with his friends Stella and Vivian....Emily is braver than I am...thankfully she will discipline him and won't let him get away with anything!  Plus, he loves Mr. Jason! After church on Sunday, my bible study girls are coming over...we have added two new people so it should be fun...appetizer night!

I hope everyone has a great weekend.  Stay tuned... I plan to do several upcoming posts on fundraising....(taking questions and suggestions)  Plus I have a few friends working on their guest blogs!  Fun fun!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I have written before about the song entitled "Blink" by Revive.... I will re-post the lyrics here (I encourage you to listen to it).
Teach me to number my days
And count every moment before it slips away
Taking all the colors before they fade to gray
I don't want to miss even just a second more of this

It happens in a blink
It happens in a flash
It happens in the time it took to look back
I try to hold on tight, but there's no stopping time
What is it I've done with my life
It happens in a blink

When it's all said and done
No one remembers how far we have run
The only thing that matters is how we have loved
I don't want to miss even just a second more of this

It happens in a blink
it happens in a flash

it happens in the time it took to look back
I try to hold on tight but there's no stopping time
What is it I've done with my life
It happens in a blink

Slow down, slow down
Before today becomes our yesterday
Slow down, slow down
Before you turn around and it's too late

It happens in a blink
it happens in a flash
it happens in the time it took to look back
I try to hold on tight but there's no stopping time
What is it I've done with my life
It happens in a blink

This song reminds me how fast things change, move and pass before our eyes.... Like the three inches Tedi has grown or the loss of the little Amharic words he would use or the years that continue to pass with JT or coffee dates with friends or Christmases with family.... This song reminds me to be more Deliberate with each experience....and appreciative of each breath, each moment. 

Below are some of the pictures over the last few weeks.  Because I use my blog to not only share about adoption but to record our lives, my life for the future... I don't want these pictures, these moments to disappear in a "blink".  So here are some pictures....the first few are from the last several days with Tedi followed by some pictures of my birthday and of Tedi taken by Elizabeth.  All of these pictures are so special to me.  Accompanying each picture is a quote from one of my favorite website,  I have mentioned this website before and love their words.  I hope you enjoy. (Of note, if you have been trying to post a comment without success, please let me know at  I apologize and am trying to fix it.)

"this is a special balancing trick that requires a small child to stay completely still (so it's still only theoretical)" 

"I sometimes wake in the early morning & listen to the soft breathing of my children & I think to myself, this is one thing I will never regret & I carry that quiet with me all day long."

"There has never been a day when I have not been proud of you, I said to my son, though some days I'm louder about other stuff so it's easy to miss that."

"Everything changed the day they figured out there was exactly enough time for the important things in their lives."

"Some days I wonder how my kids will turn out, but most of the time I'm just figuring out how to survive them right now."

Standing by the window watching his father go off to run the world.

"someone asked them to be quiet, so it's just a matter of time before all hell breaks loose"

"I didn't listen to her because she was my mother & wouldn't know anything until I was
 much older."

"She turned to me & whispered, don't you just love it when you get so excited you forget to breathe? & the thought of her smiling eyes still makes me laugh."

"feels like some kind of ride but it's turning out just to be life going absolutely perfectly "

"When do you get to be a grown-up? she said. When you can read & write & lie without laughing, I said & her eyes got big & she said she didn't know it was that hard"

"Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life."

"I always wanted to invent something that would move around & make funny noises & would change the world as we know it & I forgot all about that until we had kids & now I see I came pretty close."

"The most important thing you leave behind is the stuff that turns into treasures when
children find it."

"He wanted to be big so he could do all the fun stuff but small was better when it came to getting out of work."
"There are lives I can imagine without children but none of them have the same
laughter & noise."

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Challenge: Lent

Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. Matthew 26:74-75

27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. Matthew 27:27-31

How often do we mock our Jesus.... How often do we; we as Christians like Peter, deny our Jesus? Not outright in words....but in our forgetting Christ's sacrifice for us or at least compartmentalizing it until a Sunday in April (sometimes March). Do we put on our nice clothes each day and focus on our outer image the world sees rather than the state of our hearts...denying Him until convenient to use Him? Are we just like the guards, mocking Christ?

How much more painful is it when someone close to you says hurtful things about you, forgets your birthday, or turns their back on you compared to a single punch in the arm? I am sure our daily actions, denying Christ and in the same breath/action mocking Him, are equally more painful than the thorns on His head.... Our denial cheapens His sacrifice.

So let me begin with saying that I am only qualified to write this because I am the line leader of those denying Christ, standing on those nails with my stilettos. The challenge I will issue below is mine as well.

I am not Catholic. I was raised Southern Baptist. But since college, I have found special meaning in the season of Lent. I found that act of sacrifice to be one that is too often absent in my life. In college, I chose to give up an hour of sleep each morning to workout and do a Bible study. In med school, I gave up soda during the lent season. Last year, while we waited to pass court and become Tedi's parents, we decided to fast 24 hours straight, from dinner on Tuesdays to dinner on Wednesdays, only having liquids and gum. I did not talk about this because I feel that it was best kept private at the time. However, it was a lesson in sacrifice, a way to re-focus. I must say, during those five months of difficult waiting, fasting forced me to draw close to Christ. I can say honestly that I was never closer to the Cross and It's sacrifice. I am not there now....

How do I....How do we..... crawl closer to the foot of the cross? Thought I am not Catholic, I find the sacrifice of lent to be one that all Christians should participiate in....Because everytime you stop and say "no, I am giving this up", you are reminded WHY you are doing so... No matter how small or seemingly insignificant the sacrifice, you will remember.

What am I doing.... starting tomorrow?
1) No more soda..... this does not consume my life or affect my closeness to the Cross, but having done this before, I know that the reminder is needed...especially now on an overnight shift on call or in the ER when the temptation is great...I will remember.  (though I am guzzling my last coke zero as I type)

2) One lunch per week....though not at the level of a full fast, one lunch devoted to prayer or serving others rather than food is a reminder... the pang will be there..
3) Encouragement to others: I would like to sacrifice $0.41 (I think that is the cost of a stamp) each week to send a card to others offering them encouragement.

Though I like even numbers, I think three things are both attainable and yet a good jumping off point. So I ask you, what will you do? What will you sacrifice? What are you going to sacrifice? Once you decide, whether you comment or not (which the latter is most likely), I encourage you to share with someone.... someone to hold you accountable and someone to encourage you and pray for you and with you. (didn't Jessu take His friends with Him to Gethsemane to pray with Him/for Him knowing of the sacrifice He was on the brink of making....just a thought)

Are you going "lent"? What will you sacrifice to remind you of the Great Sacrifice?

Monday, March 7, 2011

If Not Us Then Who?

I need you to click this link. Project Hopeful.  Go ahead...take the three minutes.  The Twietmeyer family adopted six Ethiopian children, two of which have HIV.  I want you to watch their story that was featured this morning on the TODAY show....yes, national news that positively highlighted adoption.... can you believe it....not negative press. 

Their message, "If not us then who?", does not only apply to adopting a child from Ethiopia or China or the Ukraine or here with HIV....  But if we really think about, it applies to so much more.....

If we/I don't adopt a child, who will?
If we/I don't financially support orphans, who will?
If we/I don't speak out for those without a voice (orphans, the poor, the less fortunate), who will?
If we/I don't encourage our friends and family and challenge their mindsets, who will?
If we/I don't force our churches to focus on serving others rather than building fund or pew colors, who will?
If we/I don't love others without regard to race, religion, income, home size, jean size, who will??
If we/I don't share Jesus' love with our coworkers, families and those around us, who will?

We, this includes me and my family, need to stop half one foot wanting to make a difference and one foot not wanting upset anyone, seeking approval from others. We must live different lives from those around us if we expect those around us to change.  Wasn't it Ghandi that said "We must be the change we want to see in the world." ???? Though this is not in the gospel, it is a quote that should be lived as such.  If we want our world and our world's perspective to change, we must be the example; we must be the change

So, how do we do this?  Thankfully the Bible has given us some great examples:

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  Matthew 19:14

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.”  Matthew 12:31

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.  James 1:27

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Matthew 6:19-21

"Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause."
Isaiah 1:17

So where do you and I go from here?  What changes will you make?  As for our family, God is challenging us on our serving others....financially and in time.  He is challenging us to change to face of adoption in our family in hopes to change the perspective of others.  What is He shaking you to do? I dare you to comment on my share what you/your family is going to try to do?  You never know, you may encourage someone else...Proverbs 27:17 says "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." I know commenting puts you out there, makes you vulnerable, takes five minutes...but let's take a minute to "sharpen" and challenge one another, to grow the world, one blog family at a time.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Top 5

Natalie is on call today/tonight at the hospital.  She went in at 6am Sunday morning and will get off at noon Monday.  In her absence, I wanted to fill in on the blog.

In Natalie's honor, I give you the Top 5 Reasons I Love My Wife...

5. She is great at her job.  My wife is a great physician.  She works harder that anyone I have ever met and does a great job of balancing her career and family life.  She is an inspiration to every woman who aspires to be great at home and in the workplace. 

4.  She loves bad TV as much as I do.  Not many women can seemlessly go from watching a basketball game to a sitcom to an MTV reality shwo and stay enagaged.  I love her very much for this.

3.  She chooses to be happy.  In the midst of our inability to concieve, Natalie never stayed down too long.  Instead, we view that time as God setting the table to turn our attention toward orphan care.  This would not have happened if we were able to have biological children.  I love the fact that Natalie has never let our lack of ability to have a biological child define us.

2.  She chooses to love me.  Even in my ugliest and messiest (figuratively- I am a neat freak) moments, she is there to support me.  I never have to wonder about her intentions and loyalties.  We truly have a blessed marriage!

1.  She loves Jesus and is committed to teaching our kids and others about Him!!! 

So, here's to you Natalie.  I hope you have a great call night.  Tedi and I love you.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

30 Days.....

....Yes, it has been thirty days.  I have successfully blogged for thirty straight days.  Seriously, I did not think I could do it....I thought I would let a night slip away into the midnight hour and miss it but feel too guilty to cheat.  BTW~ I did not cheat.  So what now for the blog.... I would like to mix in a few new things.  I want to have several "guest bloggers"...starting tomorrow will be JT, my hubby!  I am still thinking of a few more people to ask.  (if you are interested in participating, let me know.. the post could be on adoption, family, friendships, growth. just drop me an email:  Moving on to the real post. 


I was just telling a friend tonight how I want to live more deliberately, even about the little details and events of life (being organized and making better decisions). I want my interactions with patients, friends, Tedi, JT, acquaintances, family to be carried out with purpose.  I am not saying that every detail of each moment spent should be planned, but more so appreciated, showing those people they are loved and valued.  Making the most out of even what seem to be the most mundane and ordinary days. 

So moving beyond euphemisms.... how will I become more deliberate?  Well, after making my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days, I will admit that I have been more specific about doing certain things (ie...blogging for 30 days in a row, sending a card per week, and such).  However, I would like to be even better, make more deliberate, God consulted decisions...

1) Goals for work that I want to meet each month: board prep questions, research planning
2) House buying: save monthly for a down payment
3) Family Planning: praying daily about God's plan for our next child. 
4) Intentional Marriage: monthly date nights, yearly vacation alone
5) Strong Parenting: weekly Bible stories to learn, read parenting books, pray diligently for my son (and future children)
6) Dedicated friend: continue to send cards, make phone calls, dedicate time weekly for emails and time with them
7) Diet/Exercise: Each bite I take/each step I run will or will not get me to my goal.... (as I eat a few Doritos and know I shouldn't, though I did run 4 miles today)

I realize all of this seems vague and without specifics.  But think about it, think about specifics of everyday life.... what differerence could you or I make if we made a decision to be deliberate, to live life on purpose.  I am going to work on it...will you?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fab Five Friday

It is back.... at least for this Friday....  Things that I am loving and are making my week lovable, tolerable and much more fun.  I hope you enjoy...I think tomorrow will be 30 days in a row of blogging...I can not believe it.  Stay tuned, I will try to end the streak on a strong note....

1) My NEW Saucony running shoes: When I decided to start running again a few weeks ago, I began having tremendous pain in my left foot.  I was like "Geez, I am a doctor and have no idea what is going on with my foot."  Well, after consulting several friends, I decided new shoes were a must.  We headed down to Swags for new running shoes.  LOVE THESE SHOES... no more foot pain with running.  (the old shoes were able to be folded in half...they exist no more)
 2) Fancy, Re-vamped Blog:  I mean, isn't it awesome.  I can hear you answer yourself, "Yes."  Well I think it is pretty awesome.  I am fond of the toolbar that helps to clean everything up and make it more user-friendly.  I love the family mission statement JT developed for the section about us... I think the header is quite fabulous.  All of this re-design was the brain-child of my dear friend Elizabeth (the same friend who took our family pics and the ones of Tedi from the last post)  I am so pleased with it....Hope you enjoy like I am....(and you if you need your blog sproused up, drop her an email)

3)  My Men: Aren't they handsome?!?!?!    I love these two guys....they make coming home from work the best part of my day.  I sometimes wonder why I have been given so much that I do not deserve.  For that I am thankful!

4)  Note Cards:  If know me, you know I love cards.... sending them, receiving them, buying them...  I guess it started in high school when my friends and I would incessantly write notes to one another.  We would see if we could fold them in cool ways or encode secret messages.  It kept going in college when I would send my friend Emily cards.  Then in med school, my friend Lisa loved cards as much as me and it continued....  For my birthday, my friends and family listened.  Below are the note cards I have been given and purchased of late.  Don't you love them?!  If you want to know where to get awesome cards like these, just let me know.  Also, if you need a pick-me-up or some other encouragement, send me your address...I love sending cards and would love to drop one your way.

5) What I am Reading:  I decided about a month ago that I do not know one thing about boys.  Yes, I am married to one, one that is well-trained by his mother and by me (sorry, JT).  However, raising a boy is different thing all together.  I did some research and found two books to start with.  Currently I am reading "That's My Son" by Rick Johnson.  Growing up with a sister and living with my mom most of the time, I never really experienced life with boys in my house.  I am not used to the noise, the smells, the overall loudness, energy and all that comes with little boys.  This book is providing great insight for me...not just with raising Tedi but also how to better relate with my husband.  I would also recommend it to women without sons who want to understand men better.  Great read and I hope to finish soon! 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

8 Months Home

Can you believe it?  I know that I can't..... Honestly, tonight, we did not even realize it had been eight months.  I went to update the blog and realized it was March 3.... Eight months ago I picked up Tedi and JT at the airport.  I gave him his first bath, read him his first bedtime story, and he ate a piece of Mediterranean pizza from Papa Murphy's.  Tonight, we took Tedi to the waterfront to play on the playground...though he preferred to just run....we finished the night with a little Kung Fu Panda, tilapia and cuddling on the couch. 

JT and I sat tonight laughing and almost crying about how far Tedi has well as us as parents...  I remember him standing in the hallway at night, staring into our room and making this sad noise.. to now, running down the hall screaming "My mommy, my daddy, WAKE UP!" He was quiet and withdrawn for several days... and now, well now, that is not the case. 

I thank God each day for my little blessing, for the gift of Tedi and what he does done for so many people....  You can not be down or sad or question the mere existence of God once you have been with Tedi.... We are so blessed .... there are days that are more difficult than others but I am enjoy the lessons we are learning on the way...

Our first book.... "You are My I Love You"
Our First Family Picture 7/3/2010

8 Pictures for 8 Months home (taken yesterday by Elizabeth)

OH, how things change...