Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Free Printable: Waiting

Posted by Angie at 7:15 AM 6 comments
I found the following free printable on This Classical Life and wanted to share it.


You can get the free printable PDF here.
And you know I pinned it on my pinterest!
May it bring peace, strength, and hope to us all :-)

I know I don't usually post on Thursdays, but tomorrow is September 1st, which means I have a Friends for Adoption post coming your way!  Stay tuned...

Much love,
Future Mama

P.S.  Another adopting mama brought an awesome new ministry to my attention yesterday.  The ministry, named Because Every Mother Matters, is raising 20k for an ambulance in Ethiopia.  Here is a link to her post about it.  It's great stuff and I really encourage you to check it out!

Monday, August 29, 2011

August His Hands Baby

Posted by Angie at 7:05 AM 2 comments
Stop telling God how big your storm is.
Instead tell your storm how big your GOD is.
-unknown

All you have to do is take a glance at their timeline (left side of their blog) to see that the Johnson family's adoption journey was filled with storms.  An adoption for a waiting child that fell through.  A lack of funds forcing them to change paths yet again.  Paperwork sagas.  And now, after months of waiting, I am pleased to announce that another His Hands baby has a home!

{all pictures from His Hands Facebook Page}
  Selah PingChen Johnson,
You are loved!!

Much love,
Future Mama

July Babies:

Friday, August 26, 2011

One Less: Another Referral Story

Posted by Angie at 7:15 AM 2 comments
As a waiting mama, I love referral stories and I love adoption travel stories.  
They fill my day dreams, my thoughts, my prayers.  

As I type, another His Hands family is currently traveling to Taiwan to pick up their little one.  This is her blog, if you want a sneak peak before I showcase them officially, like I did for this family and this family.

In the midst of my dreams about travels and the busyness of this week, another one of my close bloggy friends got their referral!  
Desiree and her family are adopting from Ethiopia. 
 
Their referral story is a powerful one about trust.

Today I am celebrating and praising God that in 9-12 months, one more little boy will leave an orphanage for a family!

This is the link to her adoption fundraising shop, Hannah James.  
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Join her journey (and brighten her day) by checking the shop out!  You just might find the perfect Labor Day gift.  What, Labor Day isn't a holiday worthy of gifts, you say?!  Says who ;-)

Have a great weekend everyone! 

Much love,
Future Mama

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Running.

Posted by Angie at 7:45 AM 4 comments
Not this kind....
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But the kind of running around that makes me want to do this...
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Spent the weekend puppy sitting = didn't catch up on laundry, cooking, or anything else.
I am blessed to have a weekend of puppy kisses and cuddles.

Sick cat = an unplanned vet visit.
I am blessed to be able to afford medicine to ease the pain of an animal.

Second week of classes = reading and assignments have begun in full force.
I am blessed to be a PhD student with a job that pays my tuition.

My house is a mess.
I am blessed to have a home.

All of this = one overwhelmed Future Mama.
All of this = one blessed Future Mama.

I know y'all are busy too.  Hang in there!!!

Much love,
Future Mama

Monday, August 22, 2011

Our August Date

Posted by Angie at 7:47 AM 7 comments
So, I explained what I was doing here...

Now to tell you about our first date!

But first, something to make you giggle.
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Yep, my husband and I are huge Harry Potter fans.

I talk a lot about our adoption and the infant years on this blog, but let me share about some fun we are planning for the childhood years.
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We are excited for our child's eleventh birthday, which is the year Harry's adventures begin.

That night, after a day of celebrating our child, we are going to creep into his or her room with the first Harry Potter book and read a chapter aloud.  Hopefully, our child will fall in love with the series just as we did.  As a family, we will read the series a chapter a night, reliving our own childhood and watching our own child(ren) come discover the excitement a book can bring.
 
I know some Christians are wary about Harry Potter...and after reading the books ourselves, reading the articles of some biblical experts (many of whom are pro-Harry Potter), and praying on it, we believe there is a lot to be gained from these stories.  For those of you who have not read the series, themes in the books include good versus evil (spoiler alert: good always wins), love shown through selflessness and self-sacrifice, facing fears and finding courage, loyalty and friendship.  We'll also highlight the biblical elements woven into the stories.  For example, when Harry visits his parents' graves, the tombstone reads "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" (1 Corinthians 15:26) while on another tombstone (that of Dumbledore's mother and sister) reads, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:19).  :-)

But now what you really want to hear about...the date!  Future Papa opened his first envelope just a few days before the 1st of August (he couldn't wait) and it contained a letter from a professor at Hogwarts, complete with the school crest at the top of the page.  It read:


Dear Mr. (Future Papa),

We are pleased to inform you that while you have not been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, you and your wife have been deemed worthy to attend a matinee showing of the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2).  Muggle theaters will expect your attendance in August 2011.  We await your owl for confirmation of invitation receipt.

Yours sincerely,

Minerva McGonagall
Deputy Headmistress


We were going to see Harry Potter in theaters!  A real treat for us.  And we loved it.  (For those of you who saw it, yes, I cried too).

And because there are so many great images out there...enjoy some more :-)
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Hope you all enjoy some special time with your significant other this month!!!

Much love,
Future Mama

Friday, August 19, 2011

You have seen me excited

Posted by Angie at 8:03 AM 2 comments
You have seen me excited when babies go home.

You have seen me excited when families are made.

You have seen me excited to share that we are adopting through His Hands.

You have seen me excited to share their mission to love and support Taiwanese mothers.

Yesterday, His Hands posted a new picture to their face*book page.

And it makes me excited.


"Here the moms go to check out their future home. The owner of this large building is considering keeping a section of rooms just for young moms who wish to keep their babies."

Birth mothers/Natural mothers/First mothers, or whatever you choose to call them, given a choice.  A real choice.  What a blessing.  They are young, unwed, and immersed in a culture that completely accepts and often encourages abortions.  They are strong for taking the time to decide for themselves what life they want for both themselves and their children.  Some will choose to raise their children.  For some, adoption will be their decision.  Praise God that ministries like His Hands are working to make it just that...their decision.

Much love,
Future Mama 

Need encouragement for your adoption right now?  I highly recommend you read this beautiful post by Jen Hatmaker.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My (affordable) Anniversary Gift: A How To

Posted by Angie at 9:01 AM 21 comments
Future Papa and I just had our 6 year anniversary last month.  Six years?!  Where does the time go?

To celebrate, I made him a little something.  We are keeping gifts small as we save up for the biggest gift of all coming our way (the new baby), so I knew I would need to keep costs down.  My inspiration came from this, which I stumbled across on pinterest:

{source}
It's a basket full of date envelopes, one a month for a whole year.  Lately, I have noticed that when we go out, usually it is with friends.  When I cook something extra special, usually it is because we have family coming into town.  And when I put on that super cute outfit, often we are running out the door to meet and greet with some work colleagues.  Life will always be busy.  

With that in mind, I have planned 12 dates, one a month, just for us.  I started with these super cute envelopes and stickers that I found 50% off at Micheal's.

 
Then, I put the dates inside and labeled my envelopes.  


I can't wait to go on them!  Each one costs little-to-no money, is relatively simple, and has the potential for a lot of laughs.  Some date sheets have themes, some have corny poems, and almost all have silly images.  The plan is to open each one on the first of each month and pick a date for our date!

In case of emergency, I also made these:


Spur of the moment dates for anytime!  The catch is, if we open one, we have to do that date right there, right then. Hehe. 

The envelopes were sealed with a kiss...


...and now they are ready to go!

One of the best bits of advice a seasoned adopting mama gave me is to not become so focused on the adoption that you forget about yourselves, as a couple.  I think it's great advice not only as we work through this adoption journey, but as we enter parenthood. 

Of course, I'll be sharing all about our dates each month so y'all can get a good laugh too.  August is a fun one.  More on that soon!

Much love,
Future Mama

Monday, August 15, 2011

Our Tree

Posted by Angie at 8:32 AM 0 comments
Leaves of Love tree update time!

The package arrived!  I was so excited, I opened up the tube without a single picture.  And then I took all my pictures without a flash.  Whoops.  Nonetheless, I am thrilled to introduce you to our very own Leaves of Love tree.
Sigh.  So pretty.  
So full of promise.  
See those two little green leaves?  
Those are the prints of the wonderful designers who made our tree possible. 

And the inks are just as pretty.
before unwrapping
the top
the bottom
all unwrapped and ready to ink!
YAY!

Our tree will serve many purposes.  Certainly, it is a fundraising tree.  But it is also a prayer tree, ready to be filled with verses for our child.  And it is a reminder tree, for us, to remind us of God's love and promise, as this blogger so eloquently put it.

Ready to help our tree sprout?  Here is how!
Option 1: "Leaf" a bible verse for our future child and we will add your name and the verse to a fingerprint on our empty tree!  You can send me the notation either in a comment or by e-mail.
Option 2Purchase your own Leaves of Love Tree and we will add a print to our tree, as a thanks and a prayer for your own fundraising efforts.
Option 3: Donate to our adoption.  All money goes directly to bringing our baby home.  Every little bit helps!

I can practically see our tree framed on the wall in our future child's room.  A reminder of the love, the tears, the joy, and the work that went into getting this baby home.  (Adoption brings a whole new meaning to "labor pains," doesn't it?!)  This tree, overflowing with the fingerprints of family, friends, and blog readers, each accompanied by a name, a signature.  This tree is going to take our breath away every time we walk past the room.  Our child is going to be able to look up and see all the people who loved him or her even before he or she arrived home.  Isn't that a beautiful thing?

Much love,
Future Mama

Friday, August 12, 2011

Babymoon: Part Three

Posted by Angie at 7:15 AM 1 comments
I had grand photography plans for our road trip.  My camera is nothing special, but I was hoping to get some great shots on vacay.  Unfortunately, we only got one that I really liked that was inspired by the other shots.

Here's the original.
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And here's our version.

I like it, but I don't love it.  Lucky for me, we got some other great pictures that could work for my grand master plan.

What grand master plan, you ask?

Hmmm...I'll share!  I want dedicate one of our walls to vacation pictures and need one great shot for the center to anchor the other images.  We have a lot of great shots of us individually, but together...well...they often look like this:

 

You know, the awkward "one of us holds the camera as far from our faces as we can" shot.  Can be cute, but not center-of-a-wall cute, in our experience. 

Especially since I want it to have the phrase "Oh darling, let's be adventures on it."  Like this version I made from when we were camping in New Mexico a couple of summers ago.


Or like this one of Future Papa, also in New Mexico.

But I think I want both of us to be in it.  So I played around with one of our trip pictures and came up with these:

Hmmm...definitely has some potential...

And thus concludes the road trip catch up.  It's Friday y'all!  Hope you have some grand plans!  As for me, I'll be gearing up for a fall semester of teaching and learning :-)

Much love,
Future Mama

See our trip from the beginning!  Here we chat about planning the trip, here is post one and here is post two.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Babymoon: Part Two

Posted by Angie at 7:45 AM 14 comments
Define: Babymoon
n. a planned period of calm spent together by a just-born baby and its parents; occasionally, time spent by parents without their baby; (hence) a vacation or holiday taken by a pregnant woman and her partner.

Future Mama:  I am so excited about our babymoon!
Future Papa:  I'm not calling it that.  I'm calling it a vacation.

Like many adoptive parents, I struggle with optimism.  Just how optimistic should we be about our timeline?  Should we overestimate everything, to prevent disappointment?  Or should we allow ourselves the excitement in this exciting time in our lives?  Going into our trip, I decided to call it a babymoon.  God willing, this will be the last major trip we take without a little one.  Future Papa chose to call it a vacation, anticipating a longer adoption journey.  I'm hoping our next babymoon will fall under the first part of the definition above, not the latter!

Well, y'all already know about the bear, so I am going to share some other pictures from our trip, so the future little one can come back and see what mommy and daddy were up to during the wait.  Besides trying to paddle to Taiwan to get them. 

So settle back and enjoy a virtual vacation with us!  {it will be a lot less buggy and much cooler (thanks to your AC) than the actual trip, I promise!}

Our trip begins in the capital of our nation, Washington, D.C.

And it will involve a lot of camping in the heat.

The food will be pretty good, though.

The bugs and sweat are worth it...because on a road trip you get to see a lot of neat things!
Like a beach in Delaware.

You can take funny pictures.

Why not visit Jamestown, if it is on your way?

What about Appomattox, were General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army in 1865?

Maybe you like ancient history better.  Making goofy faces with dinosaurs, anyone?

Check out that Natural Bridge!

Man, it's hot!  Let's go into the deepest caves in the eastern US to cool off.
 

It's wouldn't be a road trip without some good ole diner food!

I don't think I can top the deliciousness of that last picture, so I'll stop here.  There you have it, how to have a babymoon on a budget!  With some camping, strategic food planning, and research, anyone can have a great vacation without robbing a bank!  I have one more little trip update to share, but I'll save that for Friday.  I'm too busy dreaming about that pie to think straight now...

Much love,
Future Mama

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