Thursday, June 27, 2013

Twenty-Three and Counting

Between vacation Bible school, visiting with friends, and swimming until our skin shrivels up, 
we have been all kinds of busy this week. 
Just wanted to pop in with a little t-shirt update. 

As of today, our shirts will soon be headed to TWENTY-THREE states!
If that's not the best way EVER to teach our kids about geography and the love of others, then I don't know what is. I am so so so in awe of how God is using people from all over to pour His love onto our family. 
And while we are so very thankful for our friends who have supported, we are even MORE amazed by the complete strangers who have placed orders to help bring our girl home. 
Saying thank you could never possibly express the way we feel. 

We are planning on placing our first order on MONDAY, 
so if you haven't ordered yet and would like to, there's still time! 

And again, wow. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Just Like Hotcakes

The past two days have totally blown my mind. 
When I prayed for our shirts to sell like hotcakes, God delivered.....big time. 

I have always said that the best way someone can express love for me is to love my kiddos. 
Needless to say, you have surpassed my expectations.

So far, we have sold SEVENTY-SIX SHIRTS...
since Wednesday night. 
Our shirts will soon have homes in FOURTEEN states. 

Just wow. 

In case you've not yet heard, we are selling shirts, prints,
and bracelets to help bring our daughter/sister home from Africa.
We are hoping to order our first batch of shirts by next week. 

And Libby's video? Funny what a video can do. It was a YouTube video that God used to first get my attention for Africa three years ago. And while I thought this video was fun and upbeat, I've had several people message me and say they cried after watching it. God is good. And to think that He may use our story to stir something in someone's heart brings the BIGGEST smile to my face. He is so, so good.

And don't forget!
I'm giving away a shirt both on my blog AND on Instagram

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU... I could say it all day long, and it wouldn't be enough.

Thank you for helping to make my daughter one less orphan in this world. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

BE THE CHANGE {T-shirts are HERE and a GIVEAWAY}

As you probably know by now, we are adopting a little girl from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
You probably also know that between court fees, mailing fees, social worker fees, homestudy fees, travel fees, orphanage  fees...need I go on?...that adoption costs big bucks.

And since announcing our adoption, I've been two questions more times than I can count:

1. When is she coming HOME?

2. How can I HELP?

Well, while only God knows the answer to question #1, I have the answer for question #2: 
 to help offset some of those expenses, we are hosting our first fundraiser and are selling these super cute, gender neutral t-shirts.
  You can pre-order your shirt today.
Once a good many orders have been placed, we'll place our order and get your shirts to you via mail or delivery (if you're local).

And all shirts come with FREE SHIPPING! 

"Be the change you want to see in the world."  - Mahatma Gandhi

I just love this quote and what it means in terms of the idea that we can all do something to make a change for the better. Not everyone feels called to adopt, and that's okay. God calls us all to serve in different ways. But we are ALL called to do something.  It's not enough to simply be unhappy with the problems of this world; we are called to take action. I love that this shirt applies to adoption and so much more. 

The shirt was designed a high school friend with some madd skills,
 is super soft (Gildan soft style to be exact),
and I absolutely cannot get enough of it. 

It's navy blue and available in kid sizes!

You can order yours here
(Or simply click on the globe on my sidebar....easy as pie.)

And I want to give one away to one of  YOU!

Will you help us spread the word?

Here's a little video we made for you:

Let's sell these shirts like hotcakes and #BRINGEMILYHOME !

Share, share, share about our shirts and help spread the word!
Enter to win a free shirt using the Rafflecopter giveaway below.
The giveaway will end the night of Wednesday, June 26. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

As of Late

Last week Lib took a trip to summer camp. 
My girls LOVES camp. 
She gets it honestly; it was my all-time favorite place growing up. 
She's already asking to go back. 
That's my girl. 

Little sister made the most of her time as an only child last week. 
She discovered the joy that is Candyland and now may or may not be addicted. 
And last night when I changed her sheets, she told me that new sheets are her favorite. 
Me too, Hollyn. Me too. 

Yesterday we went all out for Father's Day. 
By ALL OUT, I mean we went to church, came home, and laid on the couch. 
We're real party animals around here, let me tell ya. 
We did tell him multiple times how much we love him. 
Glad he loves us and all our craziness. 

McCall (that's me): 
I'm quickly learning that adoption isn't for the faint of paperwork and hoping to start our first fundraiser soon (by soon I mean, I'm hoping for today or tomorrow). I'm also hoping that the stars will align, and that I'll get to see my two college besties this summer in spite of the fact that chances are looking pretty slim. A girl can hope, right? This whole 'we live many hours apart and only see each other on occasion' thing just isn't doin' it for me. Can I get an Amen? 

Here's hoping summer is treating you well and that you have endless supplies of popsicles and sunscreen. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mixed Tapes Make Me Happy {adoption playlist}

Music is my thang. 
And mix tapes are my jam. 

Well, maybe I should say WERE my jam...considering we no longer live circa 1990. 
But seriously...THIS lives in my car. 

That's a lot of music. 

And since adoption and our daughter are on my mind non-stop these days,
 I've made a little playlist to help me focus on God's promise found in John 14:18: 

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."

We are coming for you, baby girl. 
And in the meantime, we will trust while we wait. 

My adoption playlist: 

1. Emily by: Francesca Battistelli
2. To Find My Way to You by: Bebo Norman 
3. Boat Song by: JJ Heller
4. Love Come to Life by: Big Daddy Weave
5. Wait and See by: Brandon Heath
6. 10,000 Children by: Dave Barnes
7. Home by: Phillip Phillips
8. Long Way Home by: Steven Curtis Chapman
9. This Love by: Mandi Mapes
10. Better by: Evan Wilson
11. Light Up the Sky by: The Afters
12. Kings and Queens by: Audio Adrenaline
13. Ho Hey by: The Lumineers
14. This is Love by: MoZella
15. Your Love Oh Lord by: Third Day
16. Beautiful Things by: Gungor
17. This Little Light of Mine by: Addison Road

Any other adoptive mamas out there know of any songs I should add? I'd love to hear your suggestions.
Oh, and today I'm guest posting on the Created for Care blog about our adoption. Check it out?

Follow me on Bloglovin'? All the cool kids are doing it. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Crafternoon Delight.

This past weekend, the hubby away working a Christian retreat...
you know, molding young minds and whatnot. 

I realize that when some women's husband's are gone, they catch up on some girlie TV, eat bon bons, and sip margaritas. I am clearly NOT one of these women. 

You see, I am a crafter. 
But my hubby hates it. 
He doesn't hate the finished products; he hates the in-between phase..when there are paintbrushes overrunning our kitchen sink and canvases covering the table. 

So when he's gone, I craft like crazy and try to squeeze in as much as possible. 
Make sense? 
I thought so. 

So, within about an hour of Dad heading out, we got to work. 

We started with a few Father's Day gifts that I can't show you yet because the hubs reads the blog. 

Sorry, Lee, you'll have to be patient. 

And then, I tackled this project that I've been wanting to get to for forever:

We hung the springs from my baby bed on Libby's wall,
 complete with a little banner action I threw together last week. 

She can use little clothes pins and clip pictures, etc. to it. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. 

We also threw together a little collage on her wall. 

Yes, those are small clip boards. 
And that piece to the top left says LET THE WILD RUMPUS of my favorite quotes ever. 

This piece was my favorite. 
It's made from the top of a shoe box, some scraps, and some pieces I printed off of the computer. 

Easy and cheap is my favorite craft combo. 

And for the finale: 

On Friday, this was a bench that sat in our carport. 
It had spent years in my grandfather's workshop. 
It was special to me but too unstable to sit on anymore. 

So, we removed the legs, worked a little magic, and made it into a very special shelf for Hollyn's room. 

And that, my friends, is what I like to call a Crafternoon Delight. 

Happy Tuesday to you and you and you. 
Libby is spending this week at camp, so we're busy watching Hollyn enjoy her time as a an only child and remembering the days of just one kiddo. Two is such a different world. And I can only imagine that three will be quite the adventure. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Our Daughter Has a Name.

If you've been around our blog since Hollyn was born, you may recall that we had a heck of a time naming her, as in I was seriously concerned that I would have to try to name her while all drugged and loopy in the hospital. But when we decided to adopt and come up with a name for our daughter, it was as easy as could be. Yes, to some this may seem hasty, as we only officially announced our adoption last week.
 But God has been stirring our hearts towards adoption for over two years; this news is in no way new to us.

 Now you may be wondering why we would feel the need to name a girl we haven't been matched with yet...and what about her Congolese name? 

 Most orphans in Africa expect to receive a new name. This may or may not be the case with her; we shall have to wait and see. Also naming her now helps us, specifically Libby and Hollyn, bond with her in the absence of a growing belly. It's quite possible that we will be expecting her twice as long (hopefully not longer) as I was pregnant with my girls, and I can only say 'the baby' so many times. And since we are now expecting her, we felt no need to wait to name her, seeing as how we named both of our other daughters before we met them as well. 

And most importantly, we want to pray for her by name. 
We've actually been praying for her by name for months now.
She is not a child with no family; she simply hasn't met us yet. 
And she deserves a name. 

We do plan to keep her African name as either her middle name or first name, depending on what it is, her response, who gave it to her, what it means, her age, etc. 

But we knew from the start, that she will be our....

Why Emily? 

Easy, easy, easy. 

There are several Emily's I love dearly, but this girl here takes the cake. 

She is determined, hard-working, and adventurous. 

Her heart beats to serve others and spread the Gospel to all the nations. 

And she is, hands down, the most Godly girl I know. 
She inspires me to draw nearer to God and lives to serve Him like no one else I've ever seen. 
And I pray my daughter has some of her wisdom, determination, and desire to serve others for Jesus.

And it doesn't hurt that Emily means TO STRIVE or EXCEL. 
I truly pray that my daughter is able to do both of those things one day soon.


Libby, Hollyn, and Emily? Yes, please. 

Our daughter has a name. 
And I am one happy mama.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Libby: Second Grader No More

I can't believe my little one is officially a third grader. 
How did that happen? 
I must have blinked again.
Darn you, Father Time. 

She keeps taunting me with the fact that she will be nine on her next birthday. 
Nine is half way to eighteen.
That is not okay. 

I also cannot believe how much she's grown since we did this last year. 

So proud of my Libby. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

ADOPTION: Your Questions Answered, Part 1

Last week, we revealed to the world our huge news.
In case you missed it, we are ADOPTING A BABY FROM Congo.

First thing first, let me just say THANK YOU for all of the blog post comments, Instagram comments, phone calls, text messages, etc. We were truly overwhelmed with all of the positive words of encouragement that came our way. 

And I know you have questions.

Here are the answers to some of the things you might be wondering:

1. How long will the process take?
This question is notorious in the adoption world. It's also very hard to answer. Rules and timelines are changing daily. We are just going to do our part to be as on the ball as possible
 and leave the timeline to God. We have NOT yet been matched with a child, and I PROMISE I'll be shouting from the rooftops as soon as that happens.

2.Why are you adopting a girl instead of a boy?
We prayed hard about this, but at the end of the day, we just feel called to a girl. We in no way believe girls are more deserving of a home; we just believe God has a little girl waiting for us. 

3. What are the chances that the baby will be healthy?
Before our adoption is finalized, our daughter will be examined by a doctor. She will be tested for HIV, AIDS, malaria, etc. And while it's possible that she will develop a problem later, need glasses, etc., we are just as likely to bring a healthy baby home from Congo as we were to bring a healthy baby home from the hospital. There is always the possibility of the unknown, whether your baby is born in the United States or not. Dealing with and facing these unknowns as they come is all part of being a parent.

4. How old will the child be?
That's a good question as well. When you apply for adoption, you are allowed to request a child from a certain age group. Lee and I prayed about this and talked about this, and while I love infants, I also believe that those people who struggle with infertility should have first priority when it comes to the new babies. Lee and I have been blessed to bring two healthy, beautiful baby girls home from the hospital as infants, and this go round we are open to welcoming an older child into our family. Our ideal age is between eighteen and thirty-six months old. Can you say WE LOVE TODDLERS? We can.

5. How do we think this process will affect our family, especially Hollyn and Libby?
Well, seeing as how I spent six of my nine months sick as a d-o-g while I was pregnant with Hollyn, I think this is a much better way to grow our family into a family of five. I feel very strongly that Libby and Hollyn will be blessed and grow in their faith while watching God move mountains and reveal Himself and His plan while we go through the adoption process. Libby is OVERJOYED at the thought of having another sister, and Hollyn knows that her little sister grew in her "udder mama's belly in Aprica". 

6. Will we have to travel to the Congo?
Yes, and we CANNOT WAIT!

7. How much will it cost?
A Congolese adoption, on average, costs approximately $30,000. I know; it's a lot. But God gave me a heart for fundraising a LONG time ago. God has also given me  real peace about the money part of the adoption. I am 100% positive that this is what HE wants us to do. Therefore, I also have to believe that He will provide the money to bring our child home. God is so much bigger than $30,000.

8. WHY CONGO?????
This was easy. 
Not only do I believe God is calling us to Congo, 
but I am certain that God is calling us SPECIFICALLY to adopt from the Congo. 
There are several reasons I feel this way.

 First, the statistics are overwhelming:

- At war from 1998 – 2003
- 1,500 people die per day in DRC because of the conflict
- Deadliest conflict since WWII
- Over 5.4 million people have died since 1998
- Life expenctancy is 46 years
-over 5.2 million Congolese children receive no education
-over 1.2 million people are infected with HIV-almost 60% of those infected are women
-Malaria kills 400 children a day
-the sexual violence against women and female children is the worst anywhere in the world

-Congo has been named the hardest place in the world to be a woman

-20% of children will not live to their 5th birthday 

-Only 45% have access to safe drinking water 

-the Congo has been called the rape capitol of the world 

And if that wasn't enough, 
God has revealed that Congo is the place for us in more ways
 than I can possibly count in the past year. 

I will write a whole post on this very, very soon, but for now I'll direct you  this video:

This was one of the very first ways that God worked to get my attention and to connect a string from my heart straight to the Congo.

I hope this helps and that you're starting to wrap your mind around all that this entails.
In addition to a post on how I know God has Congo chosen for us, I will also write a post soon on our thoughts on bringing a black baby into our white home, because I know many of you are curious about how this will work. It's okay to be curious, but it's not okay to seek to know while making assumptions, at least not in our house.

Other than that what else do you want to know? While I don't believe that adopting a baby from Congo is in God's plans for everyone, I do think most people know very little about the whole process, and while I'm still learning myself, I'd love to know your questions. Please feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail. 
I will do my best to answer them.

Happy Monday to you and you and you.