Thursday, June 30, 2011

Friends for Adoption

Posted by Angie at 9:55 PM 1 comments

"Minus One Orphan, Plus One Friend"

We know the adoption process is a journey filled with bumps, twists, turns – it’s just one unpredictable and sometimes incredibly difficult ride.

Friends For Adoption is a “buddy system” that links adopting families together so that they can encourage each other.

Once a month, you and your Friend For Adoption will mail each other something encouraging. It may be a fun card, a book on the country they are traveling to, perhaps a box of “stress snacks” for those days when only chocolate will do. It’s all about having fun, encouraging our buddy, and blessing each other through giving and receiving.

On the 1st of each month, Friends For Adoption creators Brooke and I will share what we sent each other last month and encourage you to do the same! That post will also serve as a “reminder” post, because you have until the 15th of the month to get your surprise in the mail to your Friend For Adoption! We also plan to provide you with some fun ideas too, just in case you’re “stuck” on what to do.

How simple and fun is that!

I can’t think of a single person on this journey who couldn’t use a little cheering up!

So, ready to get started? Here is how…

1. If you already have a friend you want to partner with, e-mail Brooke {bannessa52508@gmail.com} your names and blog addresses - be sure you CC your friend! We will add you to the list on the Friends of Adoption Home Page!

2. Don't have a particular Friend in mind? No problem! Just fill out the short questionnaire below, e-mail it to Brooke, and we will match you as soon as we see a good fit.

Where are you adopting from?
Where are you in the process?
Do you have any other children?
Are you a Christian?

And now, a few last minor details:

1. Show your support for this program by becoming a follower of both Brooke and my blogs! Trust me, you will want to see the goofy things we end up getting for one another.

2. If you have a blog, PLEASE include the Friends For Adoption button on your blog so that other people will see it and join the fun. Once you are all signed up, we will provide you with the button code!

3. When you blog about Friends for Adoption, please include a link to the Friends for Adoption Home Page so that other people can get involved.

4. Your gifts should be small, fun, encouraging, and under $15! We are all saving money for an adoption, after all. If you want to get your Friend something that costs more, you could always just save your money and send a card the month before.

5. If your Friend For Adoption reports that they have not received their surprise by the 15th of the following month on more than two occasions, we will have to remove you from the Friends For Adoption List. Sorry! 

That's about it!  Let me know if you have any questions.  Have fun!!
 
Much love,
Future Mama

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Writing Ramblings

Posted by Angie at 10:19 AM 12 comments
"So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys - to woo women - and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do."
~Dead Poets Society (1989)

So true.

Words have great power.  The power to hurt.  The power to inspire.
The power to change.

Many of you witnessed the explosion of comments on the Better After blog post (the post has since been deleted by the blog author).  For those of you who missed it, the post shared both our adoption story and our Twenty for Taiwan campaign.  As a design blog, a wide variety of people shared their thoughts on adoption.  I wish I could say that only the positive ones brought me to tears, but I can't.  I'm human.  We all are.  But what I want to talk about here is the love, hope, and support in the adoption world.   

This post is geared towards my fellow adopting mamas.  

We all go through highs and lows.  That is why this journey is often referred to as a roller coaster.  Today I want to share some words of encouragement.  These are words shared to me, but I feel like they are applicable to all of us, especially those adopting internationally.  The happy tears brought on my these messages washed away all the negative tears I cried.  Hopefully they will provide you all hope as well when you need it most.  And for those of you who have been commenting, e-mailing, and messaging me, thank you.  I am so blessed by you all.

  • I saw that you are looking to adopt, and I think that is absolutely wonderful.  I was adopted into a Southern family too, and I believe it saved my life.  I wasn't in danger before I was given away, but I am glad my birth mother realized that she could not give me the life that someone else could give.  I am so thankful every time I see loving parents who are excited, eager and hopeful to take in a child that is not their own blood.  I have not met my birth parents, but the people who I consider my parents are the ones who met me when I was ten days old.  I know that you received a great deal of negativity from people who read the blog, and I hope you are able to stand firm in your decision.  I am so thankful that you are able to see past a "brand" of child, and see a person, a child who needs to "eat their veggies" as you said on your blog.  Open hearts are always gifts from God.  I pray that you and your husband are fortunate and blessed with a beautiful child.  Without people like you, there wouldn't be people like me.  We need you!!!  
  • A friend told me this once and it's always stuck with me.  Imagine your in a crowded room, an your going to get your child. Your there in Taiwan, at the nursery, all these people...friends, family, strangers, and everyone is talking and trying to tell you something. "This is wrong" "Too much money" "You should have your own" "What about foster care?" "Don't you love your husband enough to make a baby with him?" "Fundraising? For a child?" "You can still back out" WHATEVER! But they are all just STATIC! Because on the other side of the room is your child...the little one God chose for you, that you've been waiting for. So you walk through the mess...you walk through the pain, the hurt, the obstacles...and you take that baby in your arms.  Any time you get discouraged, or feel sad...just envision that...envision going through the mess...and getting your child! 
  • I personally have known seven families that have journeyed through (or are journeying through) adoption, both domestic and international. Only ONE of those families was affluent to begin with. The rest of them needed help through donations and fundraisers, family members and church members. And I'm pretty sure NONE of the people that donated to their cause has had a moment of regret about it, especially after seeing how adoption transforms peoples lives and makes a family...I'd venture to guess that the complainers have never known what it's like to be a part of the family of God, where we are encouraged... 
  • I just wanted to encourage you today.  Please don't let the uneducated comments of others get you down.  My husband and I are in the process of adopting 2 children from the Congo, and yes it is very expensive. Like most adoptive parents we are doing what we can to fund this ourselves, but we feel an urgency to help these children.  It is incredulous that many said wait until you can afford it.  Every day I wait another child goes hungry or is abused or dies.  How can we possibly wait.  If God has called you to this journey He will see you through to the end. I will pray for you and your child to be.  God bless. 
     
    And to think, this is just a sampling of the messages I received over the past few days.  God bless you all.
Much love,
Future Mama

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Gal. 6:9

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ladies, Behold!

Posted by Angie at 9:03 AM 5 comments
I know you had trouble deciding what to wear yesterday morning.

Fear not.

I have your solution.

{source}
I reckon I should start selling these to raise money for the adoption.
Who wants to be my first order? :-)

Much love,
Future Mama

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Check it out!

Posted by Angie at 10:49 AM 8 comments
**Note: the blog post described below has since been deleted by the blog's author, due to the controversy it caused.

Today we are thrilled to announce that we have been featured on Better After, a design blog that is truly inspiring.  I mean really, check out this example of one of the transformations!
{source}
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 Wow, right?!  If you are a Better After reader swinging over here for the first time, hiiiii!  Welcome to our cozy little corner in blog land.  We are so glad you are here!

There is a vibrant discussion about adoption taking place in the comment section of the post, I encourage you all to check it out and weigh in.

Have a beautiful Sunday everyone!

Much love,
Future Mama

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Dream Come True...

Posted by Angie at 8:59 AM 5 comments

Ring a bell?  

It may not, sadly, because at some point in the last couple of months, my darling Leaves of Love slipped just out of my focus.  Life pulled me in a million directions and the little ministry sat waiting, twiddling its electronic fingers, swinging its young feet in its little space in blog land, just waiting for me to bring it back into the sunlight again.  

Unfortunately, for the last two months it has waited in vain, hoping and wishing for attention.  But where I failed, this blog succeeded, saying it better than I ever could.  This post is a dream come true for me:

I recently read the book, No Ordinary Home, The Art of Christ Centered Homemaking by Carol Brazo.  In the book she talks about having items in your home that remind you of God's faithfulness in specific seasons of your life.  We may have never seen more of God's faithfulness than in this season of our family’s life!  So, on that note, I have been really thinking and praying about what I wanted to do to document all of the love and support we have received throughout the whole adoption process so far.  I have thought of so many things, but nothing really seemed to hit the mark until I came across Leaves of Love, and when I saw it I knew that was what I had been looking for!  Also, when you purchase from Leaves of Love you are helping another adoptive family bring home their child...it is a win-win situation!  Now we have everyone’s name on a "leaf" on the tree that has supported us through prayers, financially or with encouraging words.  This will be something that our family can cherish forever and be able to share with J as he gets older!  A testament to God's faithfulness! Every time I look at it I can't help but well up with tears thinking of the beautiful body of Christ coming together to obey God's call to care for the orphans.

This is their beautiful tree:
{source}
And I would have missed it too, if I had not clicked over to the statistics section of the blogger dashboard, only to notice a curious amount of traffic coming from that address.

I officially ordered my tree about a week ago and it just came in.  My husband texted me a picture, since I am not home.  It's blank and beautiful.  It's full of promise.  I plan to give it a proper photo shoot 4th of July weekend.  And then, we will see how our tree, along with the Leaves of Love Ministry, can grow.

Much love,
Future Mama

If you want to read what other people are saying about Leaves of Love, click here.
If you are interested in writing a feature blog post about Leaves of Love, e-mail me!
If you want to be a part of OUR Leaves of Love Tree, click here!
And if you have no idea what a Leaves of Love tree is, you can click here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Lord's Prayer

Posted by Angie at 9:26 AM 2 comments
For your daily dose of cuteness :-)



Much love,
Future Mama

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dinosaur vs. the Potty

Posted by Angie at 9:30 AM 0 comments
Yesterday, Future Papa celebrated his first Father's Day!  Sadly, we celebrated it apart (I'm busy battling bugs, remember), but that didn't stop him from receiving his very first Father's Day gift!  The future little one (with a little help from me) bought and mailed him 2 children's books.  This one...
{source}
...and this one!
{source}
Why these books, you may be wondering.  Or, you may be remembering this post and this post and be worried that our home will be overwhelmed with adorable crazy dinosaurs.

Well, back when Future Papa and I were first talking about having kiddos, we saw Dinosaur vs. the Potty at Tar*get.  One of us picked it up (probably me) and we started flipping through it.  And we laughed.  And laughed.  And laughed.   

So now we own it, as a little reminder from that day.  I think he likes them :-)  I also bought something else adoption-related (free shipping if you spent over $25!) but I am still waiting for that to come in.  Can't wait to share it with you when it does!

Hope all the papas in your lives had great days yesterday!

Much love,
Future Mama

Friday, June 17, 2011

Pinterest :-)

Posted by Angie at 9:03 AM 10 comments
What does this colorful mobile

 and this cozy tent

and this special print

have in common?

They are all pinned to my shiny new Pinterest boards!  I received an invitation to join from Rachel at In His Hands yesterday and I have had so much fun filling my boards with pretty little things.  I love having all my internet inspirations in one place!  So if you want a sneak peak on what I am thinking about for the nursery...check out my "Baby Love" board!

If you have never used Pinterest before:
  • You can hover over a picture you like with your mouse to
    • Leave a comment,
    • Like the image,
    • Or re-pin it to your own board!
  • You can click on the image to
    • See it bigger
    • See what website it came from
That's about it!  Easy peasy!

I have some invites left {you either need to be invited by a friend or wait for Pinterest to accept your request to join, which I hear can take a while} so if you'd like one, leave your e-mail address in the comment section below and I'll get you all set up!

Are y'all pinning?  If so, leave me a link to your pinterest boards in a comment so I can check them out!

Much love,
Future Mama

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Future Mama AKA BUG WARRIOR!!!

Posted by Angie at 8:17 AM 12 comments
It was dusk.  I walked to the kitchen window and saw the sun just setting and the world filling with shadows.  I'm a bit hungry, I thought, as I walked over to the fridge.  Ah, leftover shrimp fried rice.  My stomach gurgled happily in agreement.  Walking back to the sink to wash my hands, I turned on the faucet with one hand underneath. 

AND A BUG FELL IN MY HANDS!!!!!

I about died.  Before you start doubting my cleanliness, perhaps I should mention that I am currently not in my house, but am traveling for work.  The house I am staying in is over 200 years old, historic, beautiful, but about the scariest place you can spend the night.  Lace curtains on the windows turn to ghosts and creaky floorboards into the moans of ghouls.  Did I mention I am staying here by myself?  Ah yes, fun.  But this haunted house is a story for another day.  I digress.

The bug fell in my hand.  I looked down.  I screamed and threw it in the sink basin.  I ran around the kitchen flailing my hands.  I breathed loudly.  Chills ran up and down my spine.  Finally regaining some composure, I grabbed about 20 paper towels.  I placed them over the bug, wadded it up, and threw it in the trash.  Was it squished?  Probably not.  Let's all pray it doesn't crawl back out.

How did this happen to me?  I used to be great with bugs.  It came with the territory of being the big sister to two younger brothers.  Ah, but then I got married.  And when you are married to Future Papa, you no longer have to kill bugs.  You just have to yell a name and run away. 

What kind of bug attacked me?  I have no idea.  Well, it wasn't a roach like we have in the South, or I probably would not be alive to tell you the tale.  It was a round bug.  It was bigger than a quarter.  It was gross.

All that matters is that we met for battle and I emerged victorious.  Give me a badge and call me ready to adopt.  I can now protect a child from non-roach bugs the size of a quarter.  You may henceforth refer to me as Future Mama, Bug Warrior.

{source}
 At least, until I am home with my husband again, and he can take over the bug-squishing duties.

Much love,
Future Mama

P.S.  Do not type "scary bug" into google images when trying to find a picture for a blog post.  Now, in addition to the ghosts, I have a whole other slew of critters to haunt my dreams.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Do you know Sung-bong Choi?

Posted by Angie at 8:25 AM 6 comments
Have any of you heard of Sung-bong Choi?
{source}
Well, I had no idea who he was until yesterday, when Kathleen, from Grace Falls Like Rain, commented on my Bachelorette post.  After seeing her comment I went on over to her blog to see what was new with her.  Her latest post is something I am so glad I read/watched.

Sung-bong Choi is a 22 year old manual worker who took the stage last week on Korea's Got Talent.  His voice is beautiful.

What is making him an internet sensation?  Like most reality stars, he's got a story.  But this one breaks my heart.  He was orphaned at five years old, abused by orphanage workers, ran away, and lived on his own ever since.  To get by, he lived in public bathrooms and sold energy drinks and gum on the street.

His story, combined with his amazing voice, reduced the judges and audience to tears.
{source}
(Of course, it reduced me to tears as well, but that should come as no surprise to y'all!)

Can Americans vote for Korea's Got Talent?
Because if so, Sung-bong Choi has got a fan in me :-)

Much love,
Future Mama

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Orphanage on the Bachelorette

Posted by Angie at 8:30 AM 13 comments
Did y'all see the Bachelorette last night?

What did you think?

Not surprisingly, I bawled.

For those of you who missed it, the group date for the week was in the Ban San Fan Orphanage, located in the Phang Nga province in Southern Thailand. The cameras followed the bachelors around as they painted walls, planted flowers, and put up soccer nets.

And then, of course, they brought out the kids.
{source}
 Kids who were excited to have new toys.
{source}
Kids excited to have someone play with them, just for a day.
{source}
Kids excited to share smiles and talk.
{source}
And I bawled.  Happy to see their smiles.  Heartbroken that while they had new toys and bedding, they still did not have a daddy to teach them how to kick a soccer ball or a mommy to tuck them in and kiss their foreheads.

And then I felt angry.  Unhappy because I know that that orphanage was one of the better ones, even with its white walls and flat mattresses.  This glossy image of the orphan crisis.  How many don't have safe walls or bunk beds?  Clean water?  Diapers?  And my heart broke more.

"At least they are doing something," my husband tried to console me, "at least one more person will have seen a bit, even if it is just a bit, of the orphan crisis." 

Here ABC's article on the episode, and a link to their donate button.

Immediately after the episode, a commercial ran about Wendy's Wonderful Kids.  On Father's Day, if you buy a Frosty, they will donate 50 cents to support, "a signature program...which finds permanent adoptive families for children in foster care waiting to be adopted."  Not surprisingly, I cried more.

It was followed by a new McDonald's commercial, which shows lots of adorable Asian children to advertise Kung Fu Panda Happy Meals.

Whatever happened to mindless tv?

Much love,
Future Mama

Monday, June 13, 2011

Changing Directions

Posted by Angie at 9:00 AM 1 comments
So, as I mentioned here, I was flattered when I discovered that my little blog was nominated to run in the Top 25 Adoption Blog race.  And let me tell ya, there are some great blogs on this list, many of which I love to read.

One of these is my dear bloggy friend Brooke, from Taking the Road Less Traveled.

We "met" back in March, in a way that only God could have orchestrated.  It was a normal morning when I was reading this post on The Minus One Project and I saw this comment (click it to make it bigger):


Feeling draw to her comment, I went to Brooke's blog and posted this 
(click it to make it bigger):

I'll save you the play by play, but basically Brooke did e-mail me, and then I e-mailed her, and then she e-mailed me...and God led her to Taiwan too!  In fact, they are about halfway up the waiting list to get an application for His Hands Taiwan, the orphanage that we are adopting from.

Why am I telling y'all all this?  Besides the fact that I think it is an awesome story?  Because she is rockin' the polls for the Top 25 Blog List!  This girl, in addition to being smart, pretty, and funny, knows how to work face*book to her advantage and is really bringing in the votes!  I would love to see her up in that Top 25, so forget about my blog, take a moment, click here, and click like, repeat daily.  As she said so eloquently in an older post, if adoptive mamas don't support one another, who will?    

So glad God brought you into my life, Brooke, so that we can walk this road less traveled together!

Much love,
Future Mama

Friday, June 10, 2011

You Just Might Pee Your Pants

Posted by Angie at 10:30 AM 0 comments
Since I have been a bit on the serious side this week, as evident here and here, let's end the week with a bit of fun!  And since this week seems to be the week of sharing, today let me share with you today one of the FUNNIEST blogs on the internet.

For real.

It cracks me up.

Like these pictures of laughing animals do.
{source}
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 But enough horsing around (why yes, I am referencing the middle picture above), let's get down to business.

Who: The Meanest Mom
What:  Every mother has moments with her children that she would just as soon forget. This blog reclaims the feelings of desperation, frustration, anger, and humiliation that we experience on a daily basis. In doing so, it reminds us that what doesn't seem funny at the time, really is.
Where: Right Here
When: Anytime you want to cry, but need to laugh.  But warning, you just may laugh so hard you end up crying anyway.
Why:  Because life needs laughter!

The Meanest Mom

So go ahead, laugh a little.  Start from the top, or start with some of my favorite posts, here, here, here and here.

And since I love laughing animals, here is a picture of my favorite two boys, Future Papa and our pup Dasher.
Hehe.
Pretty funny, right?!

Much love,
A giggling Future Mama

P.S. 11 More Days.  Click Here, Click Like.  Repeat Daily.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

We Can Do Something: A Powerful Post

Posted by Angie at 8:57 AM 2 comments
Blog posts can have tremendous power.

Posts that can make you gasp, laugh, cry, and, most importantly, think.

So, today I want to share this post from Babe of My Heart.  Wow.  I highly recommend reading it

Posts like this remind me of the tremendous power of a blog.
Orphans in Thailand {source}
I often feel overwhelmed.  The orphan crisis is simply overwhelming.  I know adoption is not for everyone, but loving, caring, supporting, and protecting orphans should be.  We can do something.  Orphans have hunger, heartbreak, fear, and loneliness, but we have prayer, financial donations, time, and love.  And that is a powerful thing.

I end this post the way Andrea, author of Babe of my Heart did, because she says it better than I ever could:

John 16:33 “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” May you each find that something He is calling you to…and may you be filled with His strength as you pursue His will at all costs. Do not lose heart or give up on what He has called you to! We run this race together…and I am so encouraged by so many of you!

Much love,
Future Mama

P.S. Did you see that we were nominated to potentially be one of the Top 25 Adoption Blogs?  WOW!  Voting ends June 21, so if you like Expecting a Blessing, please click here, scroll down to the bottom, and then just click like.  That's it!  So easy!  You can vote once every day ;-)

P.P.S  Looking for more thought-provoking reads?  Check out this and this.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Vote!

Posted by Angie at 12:41 PM 3 comments
Hiiiiii y'all!!

I just found out that I have been submitted to run in the Top 25 Adoption Blogs race!



So if you like what I write, click here, then go to "recently added," then hit like :-)

You can vote once each day!

Much love,
an excited Future Mama

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What a Papa!

Posted by Angie at 8:16 AM 0 comments



**note: you may need to scroll down and pause the Mark Richt adoption video first before you play this one so you can hear it!

I saw this video back in January on this fabulous lady's blog.  The situation in Vietnam is not unlike that in Taiwan.  So many children in need of bedtime stories and a goodnight kiss...

Oh how my heart aches to bring our little one home!

Much love,
Future Mama
*please support us through our journey with your prayers, advice, and donations.  help us bring our child home.  see our donate tab

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Nursery: Early Thoughts

Posted by Angie at 7:45 AM 3 comments
Our baby's nursery.  

Something I am just so excited to start putting together.
On a budget.
Hello DIY projects!
Comfy, clean, cozy, cute, and cheap nursery...here we come!

Does our baby need a special nursery?  Honestly...no!  He or she will have spend the first 6 to 8 months of his or her little life in a room of cribs, shared with all the other little babies who are waiting on mommies and daddies.  Moving from an orphanage to a home will be an adjustment in itself for our little one. 

So are we making a special nursery?  Yes :-)  What can I say, I am a victim of the "first-time-parent" syndrome!  I want the cute little room with the bright colors and bows.  But, I refuse to pay big bucks for it.   
This little project is going to help me get through the waiting.

We are designing a gender neutral nursery, since we don't know yet if we will be referred a boy or a girl.  Once we receive the referral, I can always tweak the room by adding a pink throw pillow here...
{source}
 ...or a red truck there.
{source}
Another key factor:  the nursery will be doubling as a guest room...kinda.  Our house only has 2 bedrooms, so we will be keeping a double bed in the nursery.  But we won't actually have our guests entertain an infant roommate when they come to stay!  My husband and I will stay in the nursery/guest room while the guests enjoy our quiet bedroom.  Happy baby, happy parents, happy guests.

Some nursery tips I have received so far:
  • Don't overspend on bedding.  The baby is just going to cover it will drool and other bodily discharges.
  • Sneak as much storage into the room as possible.  
  • Keep it simple and practical.  Cute accessories will need to be moved as soon as our darling bean is walking and simply require more dusting (which I am told I will not have time to do, hehe).
  • Decorate for yourself.  Babies aren't picky!  Don't pick a nursery theme that you will have to change when the baby becomes a toddler.  When you walk in the room for a 2 am feeding, it should be decorated in a way that will make you smile.
What tips would you add to my list?

Much love,
Future Mama
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