Friday, February 26, 2010


My favorite man took me to see my favorite gal last night...REBA! He bought us the tickets for my Valentine present. He is SO smart (with some help from my favorite sister)!! We had a great night on the town just the two of us cruising around in the vette watching one of the most amazing women on earth. I just love Reba and have for YEARS. I think she is just great, and yes she does happen to have a child named Shelby too :) Oh and George Strait was there too. Good thing they aren't married or their would be another Shelby Strait-HA!

I don't listen to much country music anymore, but I still love Reba. She did alot of her old stuff which is what I know and love. Turns out country music can be kind of depressing and talks a lot about divorce, sin, and generally pain in life. I guess that explains why I don't listen to it much anymore! My life is much more happier than that :)

Turns out LeeAnn Womack was there too. (Strange name coincidence night for sure... Strait, Shelby, Leeann) Anyhow she did one of her new songs called There Is A God, WOW! Here it is for your listening pleasure. All around great night spent with my hubby!

PS: No children were harmed in the production of this date night. They were in the great care of their Aunt Sheila who survived the whole night without killing one of them. Although I am still not sure if there was any alcohol involved (with her or the children)?!?!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

One of "Those" Families

I just stole this post from here today. I really enjoyed reading it since we now seem to be one of "those families" now. I never imagined being one of "those" families, but I am SO glad that we are now! I will admit that it is alot of work, especially when you have a husband that is not home during the week :( However, as you can see below, the rewards are GREAT for everyone in the entire family!!

Why big families are easier:

Patience. I never have to teach patience. My children know that I can’t drop everything for them if I have a baby in my arms.

Work Ethic. My children have learned to work because there are always chores to do in a small house packed with little messy lunatics. And they all learn quickly that sometimes they have to clean up a mess even though they didn’t make it.

Humility. My children have learned it’s not always their turn. They’ve accepted they can’t always get their way because other people have to get their way sometimes. They’ve learned that some children are better at certain things than they are.

Foreign language skills. You can learn a lot of Spanish by watching ten years of Dora the Explorer that you just can’t pick up in two. And now with the Diego spin off I’m practically fluent.

Laughter. The children have learned to laugh at the insane non sequiturs of younger siblings. They’ve learned that laughing just feels better when seven people are doing it along with you.

Competition. Do I really need to go into this? Everything is a competition in big families. The children compete over who reads faster, who drinks their milk faster, who gets to the bathroom first…etc. Everything is a competition and they’re all keeping score.

Balance. The floor of the front room of my home is a minefield of toys and childhood paraphernalia. Just walking through the room requires great skill and balance. I’m absolutely convinced my two year old will be a favorite for Gold on the balance beam in the 2016 Olympics. (She might have to lay off the cookies a little but I’ll deal with that later.)

Life isn’t fair. Sometimes you just give it to the baby because you want a little quiet. Not all the time. But sometimes.

Just say “No.” Being able to say “no” may be the most undervalued skill in this world. The need to be liked is pervasive. The need to be cool even more so. Having brothers and sisters teaches children to say “no” about 143 times a day. It’s a good skill.

Praying. They learn that nothing beats praying together as a family.

Namecalling. You can occasionally call your child by the wrong name and still not be considered a terrible parent. They know who you mean just from your tone. Sometimes if you need something done you can call the wrong name and someone will still show up. That helps.

Spying. My children have learned that they can’t get away with anything. I have spies who look a lot like them who are willing to drop the dime on them for anything. Even at school I’ve got a child in just about every grade. If they do something I’ll hear. That keeps them nervous. And I like keeping my kids a little nervous.

Friendship. The children have many friends. They’ve got girly friends, crying friends, fun loving friends, consoling friends, and crazy friends. And they all have the same last name. And they’ll be there forever for each other. No matter what.

Love. I think my children have learned to love because there are others around them to love and who love them. I honestly can think of no better way to teach children to love than siblings.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dads For Adoption

Stole this off of Gwen's site. Go grab your hubby and ask him to watch it with you! And then pop over to her other site and buy a T-shirt or two :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Perfect Match

I am thrilled to announce that another little one is coming home soon! I just love watching these babies find their mommy and daddy :)
I have to share some of Sharon and Scott's story since they happen to be a little piece of Shelby's Red Thread too. You see S & S (Sharon and Scott) just so happened to be the very FIRST couple we ever met actively adopting from China. We met them at our very first meeting with CCAI way back in January 2007. They were the couple sitting right next to us as we listened to our orientation on "How to adopt from China".

Scott made a HUGE impression on CJ since Scott was an already done that parent. You see S&S had only been home from China for one year when we met. They were actually at the orientation for their second adoption. Scott went on to tell CJ all about it and how wonderful it was and all about the trip to China, etc. etc. Scott made sure that he convinced CJ right then and there that we should definitely take the boys with us to China. I still use Scott's advice to others..."When else in life will you get another chance to spend 2 full weeks with your family? No work, no cell phone, no interruptions, just time with your entire family!" So you see Scott made a big difference in our adoption to Shelby and I don' think he even knew it ;)

So of course I began to follow S&S on their blog and continued to stalk them from afar. Small world is the adoption world, so luckily I was able to see S&S through a mutual friend at parties and such. Little did I know that I would get the phone call from them to help them find a SN waiting child! I always know that if someone is actually willing to pick up the phone and call me, then they are ready to go to China. I got that call from Sharon, and let's just say the rest is history :)

That little Red Thread sure does have an awesome way of weaving itself through the lives of our children from China!!

Making Your Kids Happy?

Just read an awesome post that I stole from a friend. Go ahead and take the 2 minutes to read. It just might change your life and your kid's! Click here to read.

Friday, February 19, 2010


He is such a great babysitter ;)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010


We had a wonderful snow storm here in Hotlanta. It is a rare treat for us deep southerners :) The kids had a great time playing in it ALL day. Faith absolutely loved it and couldn't get enough. Every time I made her come inside to warm up and dry off, she cried. CJ let the boys loose on the 4 wheelers too. Travis had a blast doing donuts over and over and over again. Fun day for all!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Message from Shelby

Now if I told you what she says here that would be cheating. I will at least say that I cut her off on the filming, so I will give away that her first statement was "Don't forget....", then hopefully you can understand the rest. Her last surgery is really paying off!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Changes Coming

Just read this post from RQ. Doesn't sound good for the Waiting Child program if you ask me. Hopefully this just means all the kids will now strictly go up on the Shared List, but who knows. I sure hope the viability of the China Adoption Program stays strong! Oh my!!

Due to changes in the CCAA?s Waiting Children Program referral policies, the CCAA has asked all agencies to return any agency specific referrals that have been assigned to the agency for over 3 months as well as any referral files that are not currently under review by a family. Therefore, XXX will be returning these referrals on Friday, February 19th, 2010...all waiting families will also receive details on other recent changes to the CCAA?s referral policies.

If you are currently LID and don't want to start a new dossier and are with an agency that does NOT use the shared list, you better find your child NOW as in this week!! Maybe I can help you :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I was just asked this morning, "So how are your two together? Are the girls good together, do they play together?" So of course my immediate answer was YES!!

I have no idea how to explain it, but from day ONE, Shelby has been wonderful with Faith. Now Shelby was definitely attached to me and spoiled rotten by me by the time we went to China to get Faith. Shelby used to really fight the boys for my attention as well. She never wanted the boys to sit with me or anything. (She obviously had to get over that, but it was a big issue in the beginning.) Shelby was definitely a "Mommy's Girl" before Faith arrived. So of course I expected some true jealousy and turmoil once Faith arrived, but nothing except love has come out of Shelby for "her baby".

Hard to explain for sure. The first big change we noticed was in China when Shelby started letting CJ do more and more things for her instead of me. Now Shelby of course still has a preference for me, but she will let CJ fill in for me anytime. She even chooses to stay with him alot of times now if I am going somewhere quick. Big big change from the beginning.

So how are the girls together? GREAT! They typically will play together, sing together, dance together, etc. etc. Sounds like a fairy tale doesn't it?! Well I don't know any other way to tell it, but it is true. Shelby always says Faith is her baby because she is from China too :) True love is all I can say, given straight from above to my sweet little girls. They are the perfect sisters!!

PS: Now I do realize I may eat my words down the road, but for now I am going with it :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Check Check and a Final Check

I am SO happy to announce that finally ALL of my adoption paperwork is DONE!! We went to court to finalize Faith's adoption in the state of GA last week. We met with the same crabby judge as we did with Shelby, but at least this time she was a little less crabby. Anyhow she managed to get off of me one of my original sets of white papers that I wasn't too happy about giving up, but in exchange I got her signature. So now we have to sit and wait for her new birth certificate to arrive in the mail. The main thing here is that I am PAPERWORK FREED!!!! (Yeah, I know not really a word;)

Heaven knows I am not a big fan of all the ridiculous amounts of paperwork involved with adoptions. I personally think it is their way of weeding out the idiots and the unorganized adoptive parents. To put up with this much paperwork, you have to really WANT to adopt!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Choosing Your Child

One thing that I don't read alot about on blogs is how you "choose" your child. Most of the time you hear things like "perfect match", "gift from God", "always meant to be in our family", etc. etc. Well all of those things may actually be true for you and your child; however, this isn't always the story behind the scenes. You see when you choose to adopt a waiting child from China, you get to "choose" your child. So what most people don't bother to mention, is the fact that sometimes you have to "un-choose" your child.

I can still remember the first file I ever requested. It was a little 16 month girl with a cleft lip and palate. She was SO cute in her pictures. I poured through her file over and over again trying to take in each and every word. I kept asking myself over and over again too..."Is she mine, is she mine?" Needless to say, I can still also remember me telling the agency, NO.

No, she wasn't mine, no I will not adopt her, no I will not be giving her a much needed mommy and daddy, no I will not give her a home to live in forever. It sounds awful when you write it all down, but all of it is very true. This is the part no one really wants to talk about. The special needs route is not for the faint of heart. It is tough to turn down files, oh I mean children! These "files" equal a child's life. When you hold their file in your hands, you have the chance to change their lives, or to not change their lives. The choice is yours. Unfortunately the choice you have to make is not always an easy one.

It doesn't mean that you are a bad person, that you don't care about the child, that you don't really want to make a difference in their life. It just means that that particular child is NOT yours! That child's file came to you for some reason, only heaven knows why. However, I know that I have figured out the "why" on a few occasions after the file has passed through my hands. It could be just for education, or just as a stall until that child's parents would be ready for the file, or it could be for you to pass along that file to another family that you know would make a perfect fit for the child. I am sure there are several reasons as to why a file may end up in your lap. Prayer is one of the only ways I know of to figure out some of the "whys".

So just to wrap this up, sometimes you have to say NO. It isn't easy or fun. It is sometimes just the right thing to do. Just be aware if you are on this SN adoption roller coaster, you better put your big-girl panties on before you step on the ride.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Latest Addition to the Family

I personally think I should get Wife of the Year for this one! Most men have to wait until they are old and divorced to get to own one of these. Still not sure how he is going to fit all 4 kids in there though ;)