Saturday, September 5, 2009

Yucky Money!

Money... YUCK! I hate money! I hate how much this whole process costs! I hate that we have to pay close to $25,000 to just bring a child home - and that doesn't include buying him clothes or a bed! We have applied for 3 grants that hopefully will put a dint in our costs. However, we just got a "lovely" email from one of the organizations telling us that due to the economy - people had stopped giving and they had no funds to give to parents who wanted to adopt! Seriously? I don't know how God will provide for our little one to come home, but I know He will! I trust that He will! I have to trust - I don't have a choice! He is the only one who can provide for us. If you know of any grants for adoptions, or would love to contribute - or know any one who would like to contribute - please email me! Your prayers are SO needed at this time. Pray for our little one(s), pray for AAI that they can take care of them until we get to Ghana! Pray for their birth mom and family, for comfort - for the chance to meet us when we're in Ghana. Pray for us, that God will prepare us, that He will provide for every detail needed to bring this child home. And pray for patience for ME! That I can patiently wait on God and His timing! xoxo, B

Our Little Guy!

This week has been filled with many wishful daydreams about our little guy. On September 1, at 9:30am CA time, I got this overwhelming feeling that I needed to pray for our child's birth mom. God didn't give me clear insight about anything... just that I needed to pray for courage for her. The thought crossed my mind, that maybe she was at the Eban House, our orphanage, giving her child(ren) to AAI (our agency) to take care of. I don't know - but that picture is such a hard picture. For me to make a child one of my own children, they have to lose their mother/parents/family and a mother has to give up her child. It breaks my heart for everyone involved. But our family will love that child, already LOVES this child so much, because he/she is also ours!

I am using she/he, child(ren) because we don't have an official referral yet. We are open to a boy or girl, and to one child or 2 siblings. Who knows what God will do - but I just want him to do it NOW. I ache, literally ache to hold this child of ours, to kiss them, play with them, read to them...

And then, last night I had the most beautiful dream! I dreamed about him. He was a year old, chunky little boy, with full cheeks and a little afro! He was ours. And, Anita - our placement agent, called me to tell us that she had our son in Ghana! He was ours and we could go to him! For some reason, we didn't have to wait the 6-8 months for his visa to go through, his adoption to go to court - we could just go and get him!! A dream, I know... but it felt so good. When will this happen?? I NEED it sooner than later! Yes, I'm selfish - but I'm also his mom and he needs to be with his family. I love you, little man!

Adalee's Birthday!

We had so much fun celebrating our daughter's ONE YEAR bday! I can't believe for ONE year already we have been able to hug her, kiss her, snuggle her, play with her, pray with her, and just be with her! She is such a joy to have, and I can't believe God chose US to be her parents!

She has never had any processed sugar! What did I start? Actually - Jesse had to put it in her mouth, she really didn't like it. =)

We were so blessed to have 50 of our friends and family come and join us for this fun party! She received so many wonderful books, many books from different cultures - WHICH I LOVE, a couple of black baby dolls - another favorite of hers, wooden blocks, handmade dresses, bows, toys, clothes, and... a CELL PHONE - smile smile smile.

The phone is actually for us - my parents put us on their plan so we can text with them, call them for free, ect! It's actually a great great idea because we had so few minutes on our plan, that we weren't able to talk to them as much as we would like. They live all the way in Oklahoma, 1500 miles away. =( But this way, Adalee NEVER has to worry about not talking to them. She LOVES to talk on the phone with them and SKYPE with them. It's almost an every day occurrence.

Our friends and family, at her party, had the chance to pray over our little girl too - what a blessing. I am so happy that we get to raise Adalee with people who LOVE her so much. I really do believe that it takes a village to raise a child - that's what I HATE about this culture! Why does everyone believe that they can or are supposed to do it on their own? We can't do it on our own. I am happy that we do have our little own village that is helping us raise her. So thank you to our "village!" We love you! And thank you for loving our baby!

Dear Lord, Thank you for my little Adalee Maiah! Thank you for sparing her little life from Cystic Fibrosis. Thank you for filling her with joy, energy, and love for every little thing. You have blessed us far beyond what I could imagine. Thank you for teaching me how much you love me through the love you have given me for my daughter! Help us to raise her to know you intimately. Grow her faith. Bring her people in her life that speak truth to her, that will love her for her. Bring her friends - good girl friends. Give her a husband one day that is just like her daddy is to me. One who treats her like a queen. One that loves her like YOU love us. One that is gentle and kind and that LOVES YOU! Give us many, many more memories with her! And prepare her for our new little one(s) you will be bringing us from Ghana. Help her to be a GREAT sister, and bond them LORD.

Help me to always see her how YOU see her!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


I originally started this blog to share our adoption journey and what a journey it has been so far. But, it got me thinking... I love having this blog to talk about our future kid, but I also wanted to include you in our current life: Jesse, myself, and our precious little Adalee!

Jesse and I were talking, and we, well I, must really need to learn how to be a better journey"er." I really hate journeys and am I definitely a destination person. Tell me the destination and then I will enjoy the journey - but not knowing the destination, kills me! However, I have a feeling that God really wants to teach me to trust HIM throughout the entire journey even though I may not have a clear picture of the destination He is leading me to. I can't tell you I'm happy about not being able to see the end result before I get there, but I can tell you that there is freedom in letting go and focusing on today and not tomorrow.

Once Jes and I found out we were expecting, we also found out that both of us were carriers to a terminal genetics disorder, Cystic Fibrosis. There is no Cystic Fibrosis that runs in either of our families and no one knows if they are or are not a carrier - one of my parents is and one of Jesse's parents is - but no one knows who.

It was a very scary pregnancy, not knowing if my little baby would have this disorder (we opted out of the amino test). I didn't want to get to attached to this little one growing in my belly because there was a one if four chance that I would have to bury her sometime in my life on earth. But, when you feel them kicking and moving around in your big belly - you can't help but to love them! We had a great community of support and prayer around us which was so comforting, because when I felt like I couldn't utter another prayer, I knew that there was someone praying that God would spare little Adalee.

When Adalee was born (her name means God is my refuge - which I found myself being reminded of daily - HE is HER, MY, OUR refuge) she was so perfect - not knowing yet if she had the disorder or not - I fell in love again with her! I didn't care if she did or didn't, I just cared that I was holding my baby who was prayed over for so long, in my arms. They took the blood work and 2 weeks later, we found out that she did not have Cystic Fibrosis.

My husband shared our good news at our leadership meeting at church, with about 500 people, and I knew what it meant THEN when people said that they would carry our burden with us. The whole room was silent as Jesse was speaking, and then you heard a huge verbal SIGH of relief - it sounded like 500 people were able to breath again! That was the exact response I had when our doctor called us, I had rediscovered my lungs and I heard the whole room at church do the same thing. It was THEN I was reminded of how much we are loved by our community.

It's hard to believe that our little miracle, our healthy baby girl, will soon be a toddler, on August 26, 2009! (Not to be confused to when we're celebrating - August 22!)

However, it's not the scary journey of the possible Cystic Fibrosis that led us to adopt. Any child we have through birth will have the same 1 in 4 possibility of having CF. But hear me when I say, they are two totally unrelated issues! I talk about our call to adopt in our first post. I feel God has called us to be a family to an orphan, but I don't believe He has called us NOT to have another. Right now, I don't know if He has called us to have another biologically - but I know if He does call us to create human life, He is in charge, and we TRUST HIM with all life: ours', our daughter's, our new kiddo in Ghana, and any future children we may have through birth or adoption. God is SO good and He is WORTHY of our trust!

Here are a couple of recent pictures we took of Adalee!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Democracy is ALIVE!

Wow! I feel important now. I just witnessed democracy first hand! Jesse and I called our representative and both senators and asked them to please co-sponsor the FACE Act. They actually listened (well, their office listened). We told them why it hit home for us and gave them the bill number and they told us that they would inform our congressmen!! It's such a shame that our generation doesn't utilize our rights to change government - The United States is a democracy, so please for our son's sake, CALL! Look at my FACE post below for all the info.



There is this new act, the FACE Act, that if passed will immediately grant US citizenship to our little guy in Ghana when we pass court. This would be HUGE for him, and for us, and for the others who are adopting internationally. The children wouldn't have to have visas to come home. I know in our little town we're adopting from, the visa man who runs the paperwork through, happens to misplace or lose all together the paperwork of children being adopted internationally. What is supposed to take no longer than 30 days is taking 90 days, and even longer. And right now, even though these kids have new homes, they can't go to them until they have their visas. And, if this act passes, then these kids will have all of the same rights as US citizens - we can tell our little guy he can become President one day if he wants to.

I got this email yesterday, and I would really encourage you, to take 5 minutes to respond. Think of it as your little way to help adoptive families bring their children home sooner. Think of it as helping bring our little guy home sooner. So... take a look below!

Thank you for signing the FACE Act Petition. Since the petition was launched on June 30th it has received over 1600 signatures! Please take a moment and continue to support the FACE Act legislation (S.1359 and H.R. 3110) by calling your Senators and Representative on Tuesday (today), Wednesday and Thursday. It is imperative that they hear that this legislation is important to you, their constituents.

Read below for how to make your voice be heard.
FACE Act - Call to Action On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday call your three Members of Congress (two in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives).You can find your Representative at can find you Senators' at to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff For maximum effect, we are asking you to make these calls within this 72-hour window!

What should you say or write to your Members of Congress? This is an issue that is critical to our internationally adopted children, so speak from your heart. Tell them why internationally adopted children of American citizens need automatic U.S. citizenship from the time their adoption is final and why this is so important to you!

Ask your Senators and Representatives to become a Co-Sponsor of the FACE Act. If you are speaking to a Senate office, provide them with the bill number S.1359.

If you are speaking to a House member, provide them with the bill number H.R. 3110.

Please feel free to use the following text as a guideline when speaking with your Members of Congress.

"As a constituent of we are requesting that you support the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act (FACE Act) by becoming a Co-Sponsor of the legislation. For information on becoming a Co-Sponsor, please contact Senator Mary Landrieu, Senator James Inhofe, Representative Diane Watson or Representative John Boozman. Thank you for representing your constituents by becoming a Co-Sponsor of the FACE Act."

Friday, July 17, 2009

And HE DID Provide!

I just got a call from our church, and they are giving us a HUGE amount towards our adoption! Praise God!! Their donation will pay for our adoption agency processing fee, our first immigration fee, and our first installment to the Ghana government! This means that within a couple of months, God willing, we will find out who are little one is. Thank you, Jesus.

God Provides in NOT my way!

Well... We just got a call to clear up a question about our income that was on our adoption grant... Jesse had put both our our incomes down on this grant form, but for the form for his school grant, he only puts his income as it indicates on the form. So as you could imagine, they were quite surprised by the 2 different amounts. All is taken care of though - but it was sad because I had to tell them that the school I was teaching at just let me know yesterday that enrollment did not go up, so I wouldn't have a job with them next year. OKAY GOD! A LITTLE SCARY!! Well, when they minus my income from our household income - hopefully that will show more need?? Who knows.

It is a little scary that right now we are living only off of Jesse's income - which is okay, but when we were counting on mine too especially for this adoption and all the costs - it is quite overwhelming. I know that God provides, and it's easy to see Him providing when He is doing it in the way that you expect, but this isn't exactly what we expected. We actually expected that my school's enrollment would go up so that they would need me, which would then bless us in return with my income which we would put towards our adoption, etc.... YIKES! is all I can say. I'm trying to have peace about it. Trying to TRUST HIM and have NO FEAR for fear and worry is not of the Spirit. I sure hate blindly trusting. But, nonetheless, God will provide for us, for our little guy, and for his homecoming!

I pray that our church is able to help us out some with resources that will enable our little man to come home SOON. I have so many days when I just sit and long for him to be here with us. I just feel like a member of our family is missing, because he is. It will be good to have him home with us, for him and little Miss A to play together, and for us all to snuggle up together to say prayers at bedtime. My heart hurts because he's not with us, but I have to trust that God loves him even more than I do, because God does!

So Lord, KISS my little guy's knee when he falls down and hurts it, MAKE FUNNY FACES so he'll laugh, PROVIDE him the meal he needs to keep his little tummy full, HUG him when he's feeling sad, TEACH him to share with his friends, HELP him to be grateful for what he does have, READ him a bedtime story and SAY PRAYERS with him before he goes to sleep, CUDDLE him when he wakes up from a scary dream, WAKE HIM with the hope and joy of YOU, and SQUEEZE HIM TIGHT to tell him that his mommy and daddy and little sister are coming for him soon, LET HIM FEEL LOVE - because Lord, I can't do any of this, so I NEED you to, until I can.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fashionalbly Late??

Well... yes, I am fashionably late in writing this blog. YIKES! I have many excuses, but all they are, are excuses.

We have a COMPLETED HOMESTUDY! Yay!! Definition of homestudy: a social worker comes into your home 4 times to get to know you to see if you're qualified to adopt a child. Well... we passed! There was much anxiety before our social worker came - both Jesse and I thought that this would be a huge invasion by this big, mean, state monster - but MUCH to our surprise, our social worker was a wonderful, warm, kind, MOM! She was great and made us feel so comfortable. We thank God for our social worker, Allyson!

With our completed homestudy, we are FINALLY able to apply for adoption grants to help us finance our adoption. We did an estimate of costs and it will be right around, $24,000. But, we have a mighty GOD who will provide in HIS ways - which are NOTHING like we imagine them to be like.

We have one grant application in the works right now, from our church. They are supposed to have a meeting this week, so we're praying and could use your prayers too, that our church will see our need and help us along.

We have 2 financial hurdles to overcome immediately so our adoption can continue. 1) $2000 for our adoption agency, which provides us a lawyer, help with our dossier, GIVES US A CHILD, etc. And 2) $800 for our I600-A, an immigration paper that grants us permission to adopt from Ghana, which includes fingerprinting for us both, again - I feel like every step of this adoption, we need fingerprints - so... now we're in the SYSTEM, better not do anything criminal, or they'll find us! =) Unless, we're really good and don't leave fingerprint... hmmmm... JUST KIDDING!

I feel like our adoption is taking some movement toward progress after being in slow-mo for a couple of months. Praise God!!

To conclude - I will do my best at keeping this updated more regularly, like once a week.

xoxo, B

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Well, I haven't written in a week and a half because there's really nothing new that is going on. We did hand in ALL our final paperwork to our homestudy agency with a lovely $2000 check. As soon as the check went out in the mail - we went, AHHH! Why didn't we pay with credit card to earn $2000 worth of airline miles?? Jes called and of course they were super understanding and sent back the check and took our cc! Yay! I think $2000 in airline miles can get us like 10 miles, well maybe a little further, but every bit helps!

So here's where we are: We are waiting to be assigned a social worker to come and "invade" our home making sure we'll be able to be good parents. Man, I hope they find us suitable, or otherwise Adalee's in trouble. =) We still have to pay our placement agency, who works with our orphanage and Ghana $3000, to move to the next step. Here's the deal... we can't move on with our placement agency until that $3000 is paid, but we can't pay it now, especially since we just paid another $2000 to our homestudy agency. Once our homestudy is complete though, then we can start applying for grants that will hopefully help with the cost. Our total cost is estimated around $20,000!! I know that God is going to provide, but sometimes it is SO hard to completely trust. I just want to bring my little boy home, like yesterday!! All prayers for our $3000 would be so appreciated. Also, it's around7:15pm in Ghana, so prayers that our little guy is having a great day today and feeling loved, is even more appreciated. "Mommy and Daddy hope you are having a great day our little guy, and know that God will bring us to you soon!" xoxo, Mommy

Friday, April 17, 2009

Paperwork, Paperwork, How I LOVE thee Paperwork!

Do know that when you decide to adopt, your other full time job besides being a mom, and working, is filling out paperwork! I feel like I have been filling out paperwork for 4 months straight. And, I have so much left to do. Jes is great at doing his fair share, however, he can't do my 4 page essay, single spaced, on who I am and why I want to adopt. He has to do his though. I'm glad that our state and Ghana make people fill this stuff out so they can weed out the crazy people, but WE'RE NOT CRAZY!! Well, some would have to think about that. =) I have been doing paperwork today, on my last day of spring break before I go back to teaching, for 3 hours! WOW! I am a professional now. Although, I feel like I'm losing it - I'm eating ice cream and having a glass of wine while finishing - but I'm determined - IT WILL GET DONE!!

Okay, enough ranting on paperwork! Little boy, mommy wants you to come home terribly!! We went to have Adalee's pictures made today and I saw an adorable picture of 2 girls with their arms around each other, one white and one black, and I thought of Adalee and her brother and how I can't wait to get their pictures taken together! It's almost midnight there in Ghana, I hope my little guy is sleeping well. Hugs and kisses little man.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ghana, so you say...

Yes, Ghana! It's quite the God story - as all of this is really. After we knew that we had to find our son, is was mere days before we knew that he was from Ghana. I started doing research. Little did we know that to adopt you have to fit into this pretty, little box that each country has determined to be best suited for a child. Well... many of these boxes, US included, had stipulations such as: the adoptive parents had to be 30 years old, (which we clearly have a couple good years before we hit 30) your child at home must be 2 years old before you start the process (Adalee's only 7 months), and you had to be married for at least 5 years. (Well, we're at 4 years). So clearly we were not "suited" by many countries to bring home another child - but we had a friend who recently adopted from Liberia and she didn't fit into this typical box either, so I gave her a call.

It turns out that most of Africa is happy to adopt a child to you if you promise to love the child (well, not quite so easy - but their box is MUCH bigger than most). I contacted her agency, in January, and seriously that week the president had just shut down international adoption to make it safer for their children to be adopted, which is understandable, but we weren't willing to wait the 3-5 years before it reopened. This agency had told us that they had orphanages in the Congo (but advised us against adopting from there because of their current political situation - very dangerous) and then their other in Ghana. (however, they suggested us NOT to use them because Ghana adoption was fairly new and they were having difficulties getting children into their adoptive home and didn't want us to become frustrated) So I then went to the great resource - GOOGLE!

When I googled GHANA ADOPTION one main site came up and it had me enter our information and then they sent that info to all the agencies that were working with Ghana adoption. The next day I received about 15 emails from different agencies with about 30 attachments! VERY OVERWHELMING!! I started sifting through them to learn that I had NO idea what they were talking about. And then the ONE came. It was a simple email from an agency - very personal, but short. It said, "Brandi and Jesse, I am so glad that you are interested in Ghana adoption. I know it can be very overwhelming, but don't let that scare you. I have one attachment, an overview, for you to look at. Please call me after you look at it with any questions. And her phone number began with a 918!! Could it be, that all the way in Orange County, CA, I found an agency from my hometown of Tulsa, OK?! It was true my friends, and not only is this agency great - but the woman, our placement agent who helps us find our son - is a BELIEVER!! And, she has not only walked in our shoes - they brought home a son a year or so ago, but they are currently walking in our shoes - they are getting ready to bring home a little girl from there. God is SO good and we know that our little man is in Accra, Ghana waiting for his mommy and daddy with his new sister to come and get him. "Hold on baby boy. Mommy, Daddy, and little Ads are coming for you! We love you." We don't know his name yet, but we do know that he will be between the ages of 0-4 years. So, please pray for our little guy and that God uses our placement agency to match us up with him SOON!

Until the next blog... xoxo, B

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We're having a BOY!

No, I'm not pregers! But, just as exciting - we're adopting a little boy from Ghana, Africa. What a journey it has been - and we have just begun. I'm excited to invite you all to be a part of our journey. I know we could use your prayers and support as this is a very lengthy process over which I really can't control, and I like to control things - did you know that?

Well - I thought I'd answer the obvious questions up front to save you the wondering... (No, we're neither Madonna or Angelina Jolie - so DON'T ASK!)

About 4 months ago, we were at church and during the response time I felt God whisper, "bring up adoption to Jesse," and "get ready." "Ready for what?" I thought. But, after church I asked Jes if he had ever thought about adopting and he replied, "not really, why?" And much to his and my surprise, I told him I thought God was asking us to - but I didn't even know what that meant. He said he would pray about it daily to see if God had anything to reveal to him - that's why I LOVE my husband, he so quickly goes to God about the unexpected stuff instead of a knee jerk reaction of "You're Crazy, Bran."

About 2 weeks after the initial conversation, when Jes and I were doing a devotional, God gave me a vision (no - this NEVER happens to me). The vision was of a little boy running towards me and knocking me down with his powerful hug and us just laughing and laughing. At that moment - it became a necessity to find this boy, our son, that God had shown me. I looked over at Jes with tears in my eyes and said, honey - we HAVE to find our son - he's out there and waiting for us to bring him home. Later on, Jes told me that during his quiet time devotion, he had asked God to reveal to him the meaning of adoption and of course God did. He showed Jes that even though adoption is not the norm these days, we are all adopted children of God and we're called to take care of the orphans of this world. The fears that might come along with adopting a child were not legitimate enough to even consider, because if God is for us, then who can be against us? - so instantly Jesse knew then too that we were meant to bring in a child and make him ours. SO THERE YOU HAVE IT!

WHY GHANA? Well, that's another story for a different day. Stay tuned...