The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The Five of Us, Spring 2014

Since You Asked...

This is a two-way street, right? So, I thought I'd respond to an email question I received as well as some of your comments.

First of all, several of you mentioned how "fresh" I look in the photos. (And, Amy--everyone used to say my mom and dad looked like bro and sis! How scary is that?!) So, I'll let you in on my beauty secret. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the MyChelle line of facial care. It's all natural and makes my skin look GREAT! It gives me that "dewy glow" everyone wants, really great color to my skin, and I think I look younger since using it. I used to use Mary Kay and was pretty loyal, but now that I've discovered MyChelle, I'll never use anything else. In every one of those photos, I'm wearing no makeup except mascara. Even around town here at home, I no longer feel the need to throw on a little foundation and color before going out. Mascara and I'm gone!

I buy my products at the local natural foods place, but their website is comprehensive and the same prices I get at my store. You can even buy an all-in-one trial/travel kit or individual samples.

So, between that and loving and being loved, you too can have that fresh look even when trolloping around West Africa!

Now, to the question. Anna wrote: "I should just leave you a message on your blog but some things I'm still not so techno-savy with so I'll stick with what I know. I've had a nagging question and I'm the type that just asks what's on my mind so here's my nagging question. Why did you choose to adopt from Liberia? Why not here? Just wanted your thoughts because you're such an open book on your blog."

Good question, and, of course, I'm happy to answer for you and others who might have wondered. I guess part of being "an open book" is not being able to make a long story short. So tuck in for a little "Story-time with Rae." :)

I suppose I'll start with a little about why we're adopting in the first place. Before we were married we discussed what each of us would want to do in the face of infertility. I was pretty set against infertility treatments for myself for a myriad of reasons and it would have been a deal-breaker for me if a potential husband felt he couldn't live without biological children. It was something I was unable to promise and would have ended the relationship at that point. Fortunately, Aaron said if it was his problem, he would probably seek treatment, but that he wouldn't argue with his wife if she didn't want to. Each of us considered adoption a viable way of growing a family and a privilege.

Well, we had no trouble conceiving the Punk, so we thought we would never have trouble. But, when we started trying for "#2," we were unable to conceive. During this time, several things about adoption "just happened" to cross our paths. For the first time, I realized that, not only are all of us adopted into God's family, but He even allowed His only Son to be adopted by a human father. Even Jesus was adopted. Even God was a "birth-parent" who relinquished His rights to His own Son. There were other influences, but that realization was perhaps the most fundamental and important to me. We began to desire adoption, rather than seeing it as "the next avenue" of building our family.

However, I felt strongly through about the sixth to ninth month of infertility that God had me in a "holding pattern." I heard Him clearly saying to me, repeatedly, "Wait." So, we continued to attempt pregnancy (without any "outside" intervention"), and gathered information about adoption, but made no further moves.

At the end of the ninth month, we attended an information seminar at a local adoption agency. At this point, we weren't sure that God was leading us to adopt; we were just gathering information. We hadn't made any decisions about anything related to adoption--we were wide open. On the was to the seminar, I asked God to hold some families back so that it would be an intimate time where we could be honest about our situation and have our questions answered. Well, it turned out that we were the only family in attendance! So, we had the Director of the agency to ourselves. We told her where we were at and she began to give us an overview of all of the different programs they are involved with--domestic, Thailand, China, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Russia, etc. As she was winding down the list, she said, "Oh, and we're just developing a relationship with an agency in Liberia, West Africa."

Neither of us knew the first thing about Liberia. We couldn't have located it on a map. We really had basically never heard of it. BUT, at those words from the Director, we both welled up with tears. It was very strange. The Director went on to describe the process in Liberia, the needs of the children, and Acres of Hope, the agency they were working with in Liberia. She got side-tracked and went on to talk about something else, while our tears dried up. Then, she came back to Liberia, and the tears started flowing again. This happened three times during our discussion. She finally said, "I'm guessing we might want to focus on Liberia for the rest of our time here?" We nodded through the tears.

On the way home, we looked at each other and asked, "Do you think that was the Holy Spirit?!" We prayed and asked that, if He was indeed speaking to us, that He would make it clear and increase our desires to adopt and to adopt from Liberia over the next two weeks. Or, if it was just a fluke, that He would make it clear and remove the desire. The desire increased and our counsel and parents were all for it, so we moved ahead.

Well, now, really, I had better get back to packing before Aaron gets out the whip!

(Ooops! I just remembered you asked for Rock Hill photos--next packing break!!!)


Scott and Katy said...

I love to hear how families arrived at AoH. Would you have ever guessed you would be future employees during your discussion w/ SW?


Bingaling said...

And a testimonial, too! Ok, Rae...I just placed an order for some MyChelle skincare products. I have been searching, searching, searching for something all natural to use on my face. And I've been having terrible luck finding something I like that is relatively affordable. I've been break-out central lately, and I am REALLY sick of it.

I've loved reading about your trip! I'm glad you've found some time in your busy schedule to keep us updated! I can't wait for you to be heading back to Liberia to pick up your two sweet babes.

I'm looking forward to hearing all about your move (once its completed). You'll be closer to my "neck of the woods" then. Iowa...Wisconsin. We'll practically be neighbors!

Best of luck with everything! I'm thinking about you...

My Man and Me

My Man and Me
married 7/7/2001


ours through biology, born 7/25/2004, home 8/1/2004


ours through adoption from Liberia, West Africa, born 7/15/2005, home 10/25/2007


ours through domestic adoption, born 1/15/2011, home 2/10/2011, final 8/3/2011

Talk To Me

I blog for myself and my kids and I would do it even if no one else cared, but I do like to hear from you (and think it's a wee bit creepy of you to voyeurize us without my knowing it). So, please leave a comment from time to time, or email me anytime at Much obliged, I'm sure.

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Round Two Timeline

  • 9/24/08 Home study update home visit for Ghana adoption
  • 10/15/08 Dossier sent to AOHG
  • 10/15/08 I600A application sent to USCIS
  • 10/30/08 First heard about possible domestic private adoption
  • 11/18/08 Last spoke with contact about possible domestic adoption; expected to hear back about meeting with birthmother
  • 12/3/08 Withdrew application from AOHG
  • 1/6/09 Found out another family had been chosen for possible domestic adoption
  • 1/21/09 USCIS fingerprinting appointment
  • 1/8/09 Received USCIS fingerprinting appointment notice
  • 4/11/09 Sent Pre-Application to Covenant Care Adoptions for Domestic Infant Adoption program
  • 6/8/09 Social worker visit to update home study from International to Domestic
  • 7/24/09 Received completed home study update
  • 8/25/09 Went "on the list" for birthfamilies to choose from
  • 4/28/10 Found out a birth mom had chosen us
  • 5/8/10 Met the birth mom
  • 5/11/10 Got the call that birth mom changed her mind
  • 5/19/10 Birth mom's scheduled c-section
  • 11/30/10 Visit from DSS sw about foster parenting
  • 11/30/10 Got the call that another birth mom had chosen us
  • 12/21/10 Met with the birth mom
  • 1/15/11 @1:42 PM BB was born!
  • 1/19/11 ICPC (interstate) paperwork sent to GA for approval
  • 1/31/11 ICPC Clearance Approved
  • 2/10/11 Placement Ceremony and Pup comes home!!!!
  • 8/3/11 It's Official! Pup's Adoption Decree was issued