Monday, April 30, 2012

Attack of the Squash! (and a little more)

Posted by Angie at 7:00 AM 1 comments
1. Remember our little garden we started?  This is what it looked like 3 weeks ago.  We thought the squash/zucchini on the right was done for...

And this is what it looked like this past Friday night!  Attack of the squash/zucchini!!  And for real, it has grown even MORE since this picture.  We asked our gardening friend if we should try to transplant some of them, but he recommended nature play its course.  This is going to be interesting...

2.  My darling grandma (mother's mother) mailed us the cutest baby blanket.  What a fun surprise :-)

3.  It's the end of the semester, which means lots of writing and grading.  Dasher is such a help, as you can see here.

4. This new version of blogger is not letting me automatically set my posts to go up.  Anyone else having this issue?  So frustrating when I write something late at night and just want to set it to go up first thing in the morning!

5.  Papers arrived from TECO last Friday, ready to go!!!

6.  Instead of a Wednesday post, I will be posting tomorrow a Friends for Adoption post tomorrow, woo hoo!

Much love,
Future Mama

Friday, April 27, 2012

While I'm Waiting

Posted by Angie at 10:39 AM 2 comments
Still waiting.  But while I am, this is what I strive for (courtesy of John Waller):

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait

I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord

Because after all, our child will be worth the wait.
From my Pinterest
Much love,
Future Mama

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

His Computer

Posted by Angie at 8:50 AM 0 comments
This morning, I had already packed up my laptop when I realized I needed to check something before I headed to work.  I quickly ran upstairs to my husband's computer.  When I opened it, this is what I saw as his desktop image...
Taipei, Taiwan's Capital
Looks like I'm not the only one dreaming about the months to come!!
And little surprises like this make my heart so happy.

Much love,
Future Mama

Monday, April 23, 2012


Posted by Angie at 1:29 PM 6 comments
Purchasing four cashiers checks, at two different banks, only to discover that they are ALL for the wrong amount = frustrating
Racing through big city traffic to the Secretary of State's office = stressful
Making copies at 10:30 on a Friday night = exhausting

Knowing that all your paperwork is signed, sealed, and will be delivered today to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office today?  PRICELESS!

Another step closer baby!!!

Make that two steps closer...another referral went out last Thursday :-)
Meet Maddox Christian, the Clayton's newest Taiwanese blessing (with Holly, one of the His Hands founders)!  We are SOOO happy for them!
Much love, 
Future Mama

P.S. If you haven't seen our big news that our adoption is FULLY FUNDED, check it out!  The post was supposed to go up Friday, but for some reason didn't show up until Saturday...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fully Funded!

Posted by Angie at 11:52 AM 16 comments
On Tuesday afternoon, April 17th, at 4:15 pm, we found out that our adoption was fully funded.  FULLY FUNDED!  And I have been so excited to share!!  But let me back up a little.

When Future Papa and I first began discussing adoption as a serious option for "now," instead of later, one of our biggest concerns was the money.  We felt led to an international adoption, and an international adoption is expensive.  But when God tugs at your heart, opens your eyes, and gives you a sign, it's hard to say no, so we decided to step out in faith and begin this journey.  But we were scared.  Fundraising is scary.

The first few months of this blog, we started small.  I added a donate tab to share our story and I asked for fundraising ideas.  Our first major fundraising effort was in February 2011, with an online auction.  We raised $1016 and were thrilled!  From there, I started to get more creative.  We started a "Twenty for Taiwan" campaign and got our blog button posted on as many blogs as we could.  We also founded Leaves of Love for adoptive families, and raised a little money with our own tree.  Little by little, we gained donations!

But I still struggled with fear.  The amount we needed was large.  I blogged about my fears and my husband and I shared our fear, and our faith, at an adoption conference.  Though most supported our adoption as a mission, which many fund-raise for, we also attracted some verbal attacks for trying to raise money for adoption fees.  Future Papa and I saved every penny we could (examples being my "dates" anniversary gift, the "I love you because" birthday gift, and the wedding ornaments Valentine's Day gift).  We continued to fund-raise as opportunities presented themselves, like our partnership with Home for Hire.

In December we received a wonderful surprise--we were nearing the top of the list!  Nearly a year earlier than expected!  As we worked on our home study, we began to look into grants for adoptive families.  The number of grants is a bit overwhelming, quite frankly.  Eventually we stumbled across the JSC Foundation and felt they might be a perfect fit for us.  The application was lengthy, including recommendation letters, an interview with our pastor, numerous financial forms, and more.  We pulled together all the information, sealed it with a prayer, and mailed it off in March.

And on Tuesday afternoon, April 17th, at 4:15 pm, we found out that our adoption was fully funded.  When I opened the e-mail, I began to cry in my office.  I could hardly believe how God had provided for us.  Thousands and thousands of dollars He provided to create our family.  Quite honestly, I still get teary about it.  We hoped and prayed that they would award us something for our adoption, but never thought that JSC would be willing to pay for the remainder of our orphanage fees!  

Of course, we still have our flights, our hotels, our food, and some paperwork fees to pay.  But thanks to the money we have already saved (and will continue to save in the coming months, according to our budget) and raised, we are going to be able to complete our adoption debt-free!  Praise God!

I share our story to encourage those adopting and considering adoption.  Future Papa and I could have been one of those couples who said "We'd like to adopt, but we can't afford it."  But, through a lot of hard work, though faith, through prayer, through the generosity of so many friends and family, and through this grant, we now come to you with an adoption that should be FULLY FUNDED.  We are so blessed, so thankful, and so in awe of all God has done for us.

Much love,
Future Mama

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

She changed her mind

Posted by Angie at 7:15 AM 7 comments
After my mom officially placed her bet by mailing us a pink baby outfit for Valentine's day (and thereby declaring herself on team girl, as far as predictions go), she decided to change her mind.  Look at what we got in the mail...

See the little guitars?  Adorable!  Looks like grandma can't make up her mind...and would be thrilled to have a boy OR girl!  Come on referral!!!  

Much love,
Future Mama

Monday, April 16, 2012


Posted by Angie at 7:23 AM 3 comments
NOTE: This post was actually written about 8 months ago.  After hearing that I planned to share this story publicly, my mother forbade me from posting it, for fear that our social worker would refuse to come to our house.  Now that it has been 8 months, with no more sightings, I think we are safe... 

Did you click on this post thinking that I had some clever analogy about how adoption stings like a scorpion?  Or perhaps you thought that I found something really cute on pinterest about these little critters?

Sorry to disappoint.

But no.

This post is literally about scorpions.

Squeamish readers, click away.  Future Mama, aka Bug Warrior, is scared. Real scared.

I read a blog post a month or so ago about Christian families whose worlds' fell apart as soon as they began their adoption process--cars breaking down, expensive home repairs, unexpected medical bills, etc.  I remember finishing the post and seeing dozens of comments from adopting families saying that similar things happened in their lives.  I said a silent prayer of gratitude that we had yet to be attacked in such a way. I wish I had a post to link too--I feel like one of you mentioned the post in one of your blog posts--anyone remember?

Well.  We under attack. By scorpions.  Lord help me!

Let me remind you, I live in the South.  Not the West.  Not even the Southwest.  We are as South as South can be and have the grits-cookin' skills to prove it.  And in all my years, I have never seen a scorpion.  I think we all know where this story is going.

It all began a couple of weeks ago when darling Future Papa had his own first scorpion sighting.  While cleaning up (what a good husband I have), he picked up a shirt off our stairs and a scorpion fell out.  I'm sure he screamed like a little girl promptly removed the critter without even flinching.  Ha.  Anyway, I was not home, so I did not get to witness the adventure.  We scrubbed the house that weekend and deemed the castle protected.

Fast-forward.  This weekend, Future Papa and I are on watching the pilot episode of Up all Night (a bit crass, but funny look into our future).  The lights are off.  Our sweet puppy slept peacefully at our feet.  By the flickering light of the laptop, I see something creeping across our rug.  What in the...



I'm standing on the couch before I realize it.  Yelling.  The dog jumps on the couch to join the fun (worthless protection).  Future Papa is flipping out too, up on the couch, not sure were it is.  Am I screaming because it is across the room?  Or am I screaming because it is up his leg?

"Where?!  Where where?!  TURN ON THE LIGHT!" he yelled.

I, of course, am still in my squealing frenzy.  Looking at this.

Y'all, this wasn't no little scorpion.  It was at least two inches.  Future Papa, who had to battle the beast, claims it was at least three.  It was not on rocky soil, like above.  It was on MY rug, in MY house! AH!

I run to the kitchen.  The dog follows me happily (again, he is so worthless).  Future Papa took care of things with an extra large shoe.  The cat rubbed against my leg.  I jumped 27 feet in the air.

Next, I did what any certifiably-insane person would do.  I looked up scorpions online.  Did you know they can live months without food?  Did you know they give birth to approximately 30 live baby scorpions at a time?  Did you know they are nocturnal?  Sweet dreams, all!

According to "scorpions can adapt to just about any habitat. They usually make their homes in earthy areas where they find dark places to hide."  Lovely, just lovely.  Let's continue, shall we?  "The problem with having scorpions in a house, especially if scorpions have established themselves and multiplied, is that it isn't easy to get rid of them. The best way to keep a house scorpion-free is to take prevention before hand." Great.  What does 2 scorpions, in a spotlessly clean house, in one month, mean?

So, I then immediately e-mailed our landlord a long and detailed version of our trials.  She responded in two sentences--pest control is the tenant's problem.

We are preparing for battle.  Future Mama vs. Scorpion(s).  The story of the year.  Coming soon to a computer near you.  But hopefully not too soon.

Much love,
Future Mama 

**UPDATE:  We are 8 months without another scorpion sighting.  Knock on wood!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

March Date

Posted by Angie at 8:15 AM 1 comments
Adoption involves a lot of waiting!  To help pass the time, I planned 12 dates for my husband and I.  Some are goofy, some are sweet, all are inexpensive (many are free).  So far we have enjoyed our adventures, in our August date, September date, October date, November date, December date, and January Date!  February's date still needs to do we keep getting behind?!

For March's date, I decided to go with something that Future Papa and I both love.  Sushi!  There are lots of places to get it in our town and it is all so good, but one of our favorite places has a "dollar menu."  Yes please!  In theory, it would mean we would try all the different varieties since they are so affordable, but in reality we have our favorites and usually order the same thing every time.  Yum!  When Future Papa opened up the date card this month, this is what he saw.

Isn't that an adorable baby?!  So cute.

We actually completed this date in two parts.  One night we enjoyed the sushi and then this past weekend, Future Papa surprised me when I got out of the shower with our bedroom set up for the!  He knew I would want a couple pictures to record the event and snapped a few himself.

I won the first round and he won the second, in case you are curious.  We decided to call it quits after that ;-)

Hope you all are enjoying your dates!

Much love,
Future Mama

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Our Garden

Posted by Angie at 7:11 AM 0 comments
The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.  ~Hanna Rion

On Saturday, Future Papa and I started our first garden.  It was something we always wanted to try some day, and after a visit to our local farmer's market in the morning, we felt inspired.  So, we began work!  Because our soil is not the best, we decided to create a partially raised bed.  Because our backyard is hilly, a beautiful wooden (and expensive) bed was out of the question.  So after reading a few articles, we decided to use cinder blocks instead!

Future Papa with our blocks

Starting the digging (with Dasher's help)
More digging
Ready for good dirt and plants!
Ta da!!!!
We planted herbs and marigolds around the edges in the actual blocks (to try to deter bugs) and then tomatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, zucchini, jalapeno peppers, and red, yellow, and green bell peppers in the center.  In pots on the porch we have some garlic and strawberries (not in the same pot) as well!

As I mentioned in my last, we are trying to live life through the waiting for a referral.  This is just one little way to give us something else to look forward to this summer.  With water, fertilizer, and a little luck, maybe our future child will be able to enjoy some fresh pureed veggies in the future!

Much love,
Future Mama

Monday, April 9, 2012

This time last year...

Posted by Angie at 7:03 AM 2 comments
Last Easter, I oohed and aahed over His Hands' babies in their Easter outfits in this post.

This year, I was looking forward to doing it again!  
And I was not disappointed.  
Just look at this...
From His Hands Taiwan Facebook Page
Part of me is overjoyed to see this picture and part of me aches.  Wouldn't I love to be able to point to one of those darlings and say "that's my child!"  Yes.  But I am trying (hoping, praying, wishing) to be more patient, to enjoy the present, to not waste the days and weeks of waiting.  Future Papa and I completed a fun project on Saturday to give us something else to look forward to this summer.  I'm still getting the pictures off my phone and on to my computer.  Stay tuned for Wednesday...but until then...may we all enjoy the present, which is a gift in itself.

Much love,
Future Mama  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Favorable Determination!

Posted by Angie at 7:05 AM 3 comments
It's barely been a week since I wrote this post about our biometrics appointment...and I am pleased to report that on Monday we received a favorable determination from USCIS!  That means that once we get a referral, our paperwork should move smoothly through the US side of the court system, because we are pre-approved.  Woo Hoo!

So now what?

Well, now we currently have in our possession every single piece of paper we need to complete our adoption.  And we wait.  For a referral.  Once we receive one, His Hands will mail us some paperwork to sign, we will take all that paperwork to the nearest Taiwan Economic and Cultural Affairs Office (TECO) for certification, and then back to Taiwan it goes to make its way through the court system.

I know I said I was ready before...but now I am REALLY ready.  I mean, when pictures like this constantly show up on the His Hands' facebook page, how can you not be?!  This is one of His Hands' baby girls all dressed up for Palm Sunday this past weekend...

Much love,
Future Mama 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

March Swap

Posted by Angie at 7:02 AM 1 comments
Friends for Adoption is a "buddy system" that links adopting families together so that they can encourage each other through the twists and turns of the process.  Each month, you and your Friend send and receive encouragements (with a $15.00 limit) in the mail.  This post is about my gift to Brooke.  Even though my husband and I are saving up for our own adoption, we believe we should support others financially, with prayer, and with encouragement as we are able.  Find out more about Friends for Adoption, including how to sign up, here

Brooke is home sweet home with her adorable baby girl!  As I mentioned in my last Friends for Adoption post, I wanted something special to be waiting for her when she pulled into her driveway.  Thanks to Kate over at The Adopt Shoppe, something was waiting!  This month, Brooke received a beautiful, one of a kind creation to celebrate her new role as a mother.

Don't you love it?!  Then I have to mention that Kate, a fellow His Hands mama-to-be, is running a special right now at The Adopt Shoppe:  Anyone who pins one of my items from my shop to one of their PINTEREST boards gets a coupon code for FREE SHIPPING! Just e-mail me ( with the link to your board with one of my items pinned to it and I'll e-mail you the code!!

So, this post is a reminder to all of you involved in Friends for's now April!  No joke!  Which means you have 2 weeks to get your encouraging gift/letter/package of smiles ($15 or less) in the mail to your Friend!   Wow...April...I said it last month and I will say it again...will this be the month we get our own referral?

Want to see what Brooke got me?  Then head on over to her blog!

Much love,
Future Mama
Want to catch up on our past swaps?  Need some gift ideas?  Here's the July's swap, August swap, September swap, October Swap,  November Swap, December Swap, January swap, and February swap!
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