Friday, June 29, 2012


As you know, adoption is expensive.

And this adoption, well it kind of caught us by surprise. 

The result of those two statements combined = fundraising.

I just received an e-mail this morning from Wild Olive Tees. Have you heard of them?

They create awesome t-shirts.

And if you buy one in the next two months (and enter a special code for our family: KAEB629), you help us bring little boy home!

An awesome t-shirt for you, your son or daughter, your mom or sister or friends; one step closer to bringing little boy home for us!

A win-win-win (as my buddy Michael Scott once said).

To check out the adoption fundraising t-shirts, go here and make sure you enter KAEB629 in the coupon code or you will remove one of the wins and our account won't get credited.

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns or problems. And, if you want to share this post with your facebook and twitter friends I won't stop you.

As an FYI, we are in the process of setting up an account with Lifesong for Orphans as well. This will allow those who wish to contribute to our adoption fundraising in a more direct fashion the chance to do so in a tax-deductible kind of way.

Is it too early to say Thank You!
We so appreciate your support whether it comes as a comment, prayer or donation.
We could not do this alone.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Special Anniversary

Two years ago today,
we met a beautiful little girl in a red dress.

It was an upsetting day for her. 
She was leaving behind everything she had ever known.
It was also, oh-so-sweet, even though she didn't quite know what family meant yet.

Two years later she continues to bring joy and Suhn-shine to our lives.
She is ours and we are hers.
What would we do with her?

Happy "Gotcha" Day Suhn!

Monday, June 25, 2012


We lost puppy last week.

I'm not sure how it happened, but Tuesday night I was tucking Sean into bed and he asked for puppy as he has most nights for the last two years. I looked all over the house and couldn't find him. So I found a substitute puppy and told Sean we would find puppy in the morning.

But we didn't.

By Friday puppy was still missing. I started to get a sick feeling in my stomach.

I thought puppy was gone for good.

We decided to retrace our steps. We looked at the park. We looked at the gym. We looked at the doctor's office.

Still no puppy.

Sean was sure puppy had been eaten by a monster.

And then, on Sunday morning, we were getting ready for church when we heard a shout from Mya's room. She found puppy. In her closet.

And there was much rejoicing in the house. 

What was lost had been found.

It was a glorious reunion.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Checkout lane philosophy 101

I was waiting to pay for my groceries the other day. There was one older man in front of me with a minimal number of items to buy, which is exactly why I picked the line I found myself standing in.

The cashier asked the obligatory, "How are you doing today?"

To which he replied, "Every day I wake up is a good one."

He probably answers that way to everyone. Maybe so often that he doesn't mean it anymore, the words just spill out. His pat answer. (Is it cynical of me to think this way?)

Regardless, he got me thinking.

"Every day I wake up is a good one."

Hmmm, what a way to live. I've heard it before: Every day is a gift. Enjoy the moment. Live in the present, etc., etc. etc.

I'm still thankful for the reminder.

Whether he actually meant it or not.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Momumental Winner

Thanks for your comments everyone.

The winner is...

Jenny G.!

Jenny if you could send me an e-mail (see my sidebar) with your address I would love to send you your prize!

How You Can Help

Would you consider partnering with us as we pursue this call God has on our lives?

Here's How:

1. Lifesong for Orphans has generously offered us a Matching Grant of $3,000 to help us as we raise the monies needed to bring our son home.  If you would like to help us financially, please send your tax-deductible gift between now and October 3rd to the address listed here. You can also give on-line here (Please preference how the donation might be used by writing “Kaeb #2976 adoption” in the memo section of your check or on the on-line form.)

(Note:  In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to the named non-profit organization. This organization retains full discretion over its uses, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.)

 Lifesong is a trusted organization administering the funds on our son’s behalf, and will pay the adoption expenses out of the funds received.  100% of the funds received by Lifesong for Orphans will go directly to cover adoption costs. Nothing is taken out for administrative purposes.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Thank you for partnering with us whether that partnership is through prayer, finances or encouragement.

We are so thankful for the community of support God has given us as we work to bring our son home. He has guided our steps and we trust in his provision along the way.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Motherhood refines

“It’s weird having those kids up there. Were our kids that blasted clumsy? And did they eat that much?”
“Sure,” Sairy said.
“I guess my brain pretty much forgot all that,” Tiller said. “Do you think we were good parents?”
Sairy turned to look at him. “Of course we were, once we made our mistakes and got over worrying so much. Sometimes I think we were just getting really good at it when all of a sudden those kids were grown up and gone. Maybe that’s why it seems easier to me now… I figure we know what to expect and we know how to love kids.”
Quote take from Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech

It was interesting reading your comments on why you love being a mom…  many of you wrote about the refining process motherhood has created in your life. My personal experience has been the same. Motherhood has a way of highlighting the selfishness and impatience and…

It most definitely makes me dependent on Him. It is one crazy-hard job!

I love the quote above from a little gem of a book titled Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech. It is a book I found in the youth section of our library. It is about two orphans who move for a summer to Ruby Holler with an empty nest, older couple.  The quote is a conversation between the couple Tiller and Sairy.

Sairy is so patient with the kids. She doesn’t let their clumsiness and mistakes addle her. She expects it. Tiller is not so patient, but he hides it.

I want to be more like that.

Motherhood has presented many, many opportunities to practice patience. Daily I have the choice to show grace or respond with frustration and irritation. I wish I made the right choice more often.

But hey, it’s a refining process.

It’s not going to happen in a day, or even year. Frankly, it’s a process that will not be finished in this lifetime.  BUT if I let God use this Motherhood thing to refine me, MAYBE, with each year that goes by I can become a little more patient and a little less selfish. I can learn from my mistakes and get over worrying so much. I can learn to expect mistakes and clumsiness from my kids and show more grace when they do.

And, MAYBE, when my kids grow up and are gone, I will look a little more like Jesus than when I began. I’ll know what to expect and I’ll know how to love kids.

PS There is still time to win a copy of Momumental! Just leave a comment on that post and you are in the drawing. I will pick a winner tomorrow.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Momumental - A Book Review and Giveaway

When I was asked to read and review a copy of the book Momumental:Adventures in the Messy Art of Raising a Family, I said yes, in part because the title was just so familiar. The “Messy Art of raising a family”:  yes, I can relate.

The book arrived, and I was reminded that I had read a book by this author before, and enjoyed it. (“Love you More” by Jennifer Grant is an adoption memoir that I would recommend if you are interested in adoption, but you can read more of my thoughts on that here.) Our previous history, gave me another reason to want to dive into Jennifer’s newest release.  And once I did, I discovered a pleasant, relevant tale of mommyhood.

In this memoir-style book, Jennifer looks back over her years of family experience, from her dreams of what family should look like as a little girl to the reality of what her family became as a mom and adult. She shares many of her family’s sweet, funny, and real-life moments as well as the lessons she learned along the way.

This book would be a great gift for a first-time mom, applicable for a mom in the midst of the preschool years, or grade school years or beyond. Motherhood can sometimes be a lonely job and any reminder that you are not alone should be grabbed at. This is one of those reminders. Jennifer is a talented writer and it was a pleasure to read her newest work, Momumental.

As an added bonus, I am excited to give away one copy of this book to one of you. To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment sharing why you love being a mom, or why you love your mom. I will announce a winner on Friday.

***DISCLOSURE NOTICE: A free copy of this book was supplied to me for the purpose of review by publisher. No monetary exchange was given. All comments and wording in this review are purely my own. 

Friday, June 08, 2012

Waiting for an Answer

It's funny how one answer can change the course of a life.

Monday morning Kory and I found ourselves waiting in a small brightly colored room. We were waiting for a doctor to answer one question.

A couple months ago we found a small lump on my thyroid. My doctor told me not to lose sleep over it. 90% of the time these nodules, which are very common, are non-cancerous. A biopsy was taken and found inconclusive. The next step was surgery to remove the lump. 

The surgery was completed last week and the wait for pathology results coupled with recovery began. A positive result (the lump being benign) meant life would go on as normal. A negative result would mean more surgery (to remove the entire thyroid) and (my biggest fear) would jeopardize our adoption process. China does not allow people who have had cancer to adopt unless they have been cancer-free for a certain number of years.

So, even with the odds very much in my favor, I spent my recovery week wavering between trust and worry, doubt and trust and in general trying to put the whole thing out of my mind via prayer and the BBC drama Lark Rise to Candleford. (Side note: I made it through season 1 and most of season 2 and in the process fell in love with the characters, found myself thinking in a British accent and calling my parents “mar” and “par.”)

I know "adoption” doesn't seem to fit in a “thyroid cancer scare” post, but this waiting week for me has been more about learning to trust that He called us to adopt little boy than it has been about my health. In a strange way, it has been one more confirmation that this step we took to adopt is the right one.

I’m sure you’ve guessed: there was no cancer.

In hindsight, the fear seems out of place.

Hindsight will do that for a person.

Walking out of the doctor’s office we both breathed a HUGE sigh of relief and then…
We plunged back in to everyday life, thankful for the privilege to do so.

“the Lord’s plans stand firm forever;
his intentions can never be shaken.”

Psalm 33:11

Sunday, June 03, 2012

To Plunge

It’s hot out.

Even in the shade.

I, however, am in a lucky position. A few hops and a jump and the heat would vanish in a spray of sparkling blue. Unlucky for me, the sparkling blue is deceiving. It looks refreshing, but one dip of the toe proves the water temperature to be a little on the freezing side.

Funny, the kids don’t seem to notice the stark temperature differences. They plunge in, willing to be uncomfortable for a minute in order to splash.

I try. I put my foot in followed by my leg. Do I dare let the water reach my waist?

Maybe next time.

A little splash is enough to drive the heat away for a few minutes at least. It allows me to experience a little relief from the heat without the uncomfortable cold.

I don’t like to be that kind of uncomfortable. I’d rather endure the hot than risk the cold. Even if the end result of the plunge turns uncomfortable cold into refreshing cool.

This reminds me of something I know to be true: 

Sometimes the greatest rewards in life require a risk that brings on the uncomfortable.  
Sometimes, by refusing the risk we restrict ourselves to a life of enduring.
And sometimes, we need to put aside our comfort, take the risk and plunge.