Saturday, August 1, 2015

Maxisms #3


And the winner is...

I was so excited to find out who was the winner, I stayed up last night to draw a name at midnight. Without further ado...




Jenny and I have been Facebook friends for a couple of years. She's a fellow adoptive mama, and also has twin boys and a baby girl. She lives on a blueberry farm, in a gorgeous farmhouse that I've offered multiple times to live in. What an honor my handiwork will be a part of her beautiful home! Thank you, Jenny, for being a part of our story. 

Jenny blogs at Hop on over to read about the amazing work she's doing for kiddos in the Democratic Republic of Congo and to see pictures of her beautiful home and gorgeous babies. 

Thank you, each and every one of you, for helping us bring our baby girl home. We are so thankful for y'all! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

$5 Magazine Fundraiser!


I love magazines. If I had endless free time, half of it would be spent in a hot bath with a good home decor magazine and a cup of coffee.

For a short time, we are offering $5 magazine subscriptions for those of you who share my affinity! To sweeten the deal, through July 31 if you buy two or more subscriptions, you automatically get entered into our quilt giveaway. All profits go toward adoption expenses!

*please note a few are $7, not $5.

To order, select your magazines from the list below, email me at with your choices, your address and payment method. You can pay through Pure Charity or through Paypal to I can also invoice! Just let me know in your email. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

$5 magazine choices:
All You
Cigar Aficionado
ESPN The Magazine
Essence (12)
Florida Trend
Golf Digest
Golf Magazine
InStyle/Entertainment Weekly
Men's Health
Money/Golf Magazine
New York Magazine
People en Espanol
People StyleWatch
Sports Illustrated/Golf Magazine
Sports Illustrated/Sports Illustrated Kids
Sports Illustrated Kids
The Wall Street Journal
Western Horseman
Wine Spectator

$7 magazine choices: 
Better Homes and Gardens|
Ever Day with Rachael Ray
Travel + Leisure
Yoga Journal

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Adoption Day Playlist


If you're like me, and every other mom in the world, certain songs make you think of your kids. We used Michael Franti's Let It Go in the video we made when fundraising to adopt Mikey. Nearly two years after creating the video, I still cannot hear it without choking up. And whenever Ray LaMontagne's You Are The Best Thing pops up on Pandora, Max invariably says "This song makes you think of your babies!"

So last week, on the morning of Mikey's adoption finalization, I began compiling all the songs that make me think of my little people when I hear them. I also asked some adoptive mama friends which ones they love too. The result was a pretty amazing playlist for Mikey's adoption day party.

  • Home -- Phillip Phillips
  • You Are The Best Thing -- Ray Lamontagne 
  • Signed, Sealed, Delivered -- Stevie Wonder
  • Let It Go -- Michael Franti
  • Say Hey (I Love You) -- Michael Franti 
  • Keep You Safe -- JJ Heller 
  • I Will Walk With You -- John Fogerty 
  • Ho Hey -- The Lumineers 
  • Home -- Edward Sharp & The Magnetic Zeroes
  • That's What's Up -- Edward Sharp & The Magnetic Zeroes or Lennon & Maisy
  • A Thousand Years -- Christina Perri 
  • Where You Lead -- Carole King 
  • This Year's Love -- David Gray 
  • Be Mine (remix) -- David Gray 
Hit random and you're set! What songs make you think of your kiddos? Did you make an adoption day playlist too? Share in the comments below!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Maxisms #1


Why China? -- Letting go and allowing the dream evolve

I was 8 years old when I decided I'd adopt a little girl from China some day. I'd heard about the one child policy in China and how girls were routinely abandoned or selectively aborted because having a boy is so strongly preferred. My 8-year-old heart broke. How could they not see the value in these little girls?


In January 2011, after years of infertility struggles, Dan and I went to our local Bethany Christian Services office to get more info about their adoption program in China. At 28 years old, we knew we were too young, but were wondering if we could begin the home study and dossier process and submit when I turned 30. We went into the meeting with this plan and came out with both of us feeling God very clearly call us in a different direction -- domestic infant adoption.

In June 2012, 18 months after that meeting, we got a call from our social worker saying we'd finally been chosen. Five hours after that call, our baby was in our arms. He was a beautiful, tiny one week old African American boy, our Max Rudy. It was one of the most gloriously surreal days of my life.

Dan and I decided early on after Max's adoption we wanted to adopt another child of African descent. We felt it was the best decision for Max, to grow up with a sibling that looks like him. Kiddos who are adopted already have so much to wrestle with in terms of feeling like they don't belong; why add to that unnecessarily?

Our feelings about adopting another black child were confirmed when we saw Michael's face. We knew he was the one. Our gorgeous Ugandan boy came home in August 2014 and became a big brother.

Throughout Michael's adoption, and especially while in Uganda, we talked a lot about adopting another Ugandan child some day. We hoped and prayed that Michael would grow up with a sibling from his birth culture, one who could relate to his life there, one who would share in his joy when we return for visits. We imagined spending time in Uganda with Max and Michael while going through the adoption process again, seeing friends, visiting places we love with them.

We've prayed. We've begged God. We've asked the powers that be repeatedly. And for reasons unknown to us, God's answer, at least so far, has been "no."

My heart was so heavily burdened by this I did the only thing I could think of to do, I let go. I said to God "I do not understand this, but I trust you" and I let go.

While exploring options and waiting to hear if we could adopt from Uganda again, our social worker messaged me and said that based on our criteria, a child under age 3 with special needs, she thought China would be a good fit. I was taken aback. I imagined suggestions of domestic infant or another African country. China wasn't even on my radar. I mean, we have two black sons. Put simply, I thought we'd only adopt black children.

But I began to pray. And I kept hearing God say to me "you've let go of your dream before and trusted me. Will you do it again?"

I began thinking about how I'd always imagined I'd adopt a little girl from China. I have imagined her so much I can practically see her face and the little dress she'd wear. The dream was so alive and so vivid.

But I knew when God was calling me to walk away from that dream. Had I not trusted Him, I wouldn't have said "yes" to Max, I wouldn't have said "yes" to Michael, these two precious boys who are my heart and soul.

So I let go. I let go of my dream and handed it over to Him, knowing His dream for me is far better than anything I could ever imagine.