Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas Blessings

Noah and his new Diego bike
Hannah Grace and my mom-And of course, SAMANTHA!

Carlton and I at my Mom's

Shoes just like Mommy!

A tractor movie from Daddy

Leaving cookies and milk for Santa

A Birthday Cake for Jesus
Hello Friends!
We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! We really enjoyed being at home on Christmas morning. It was a little crazy getting the kids out of the house and away from all their new toys, but...we got packed up and out of the house and off to Mississippi by 1:00pm. It was so good to be back at home with family. My mom had promised not to "over-do" it this year with presents..but once again...we were spoiled! It was total chaos for at least an hour. We tried to do this business about "one at a time". Well, that didn't work out too well. The kids were nuts..ripping open paper...screaming...running around on a complete sugar high. Oh, what great memories! Afterwards, we all piled up on the couch and watched the Griswold's Christmas Movie. Eddie always makes me laugh, year after year. I think we can quote the entire movie now. We spent Christmas with Carlton's family on the 28th. Over 30 people were there this year!

We have wonderful news! Karla called us the day after Christmas and told us that our fees that were due in December were paid! Thank you Lord! It is just truly amazing how the Lord is providing for our sweet Lily. Here is where we are in the process... Our homestudy had to be re-written to include Sophie, that has delayed us about 3 weeks. It looks like we will be getting our dossier off to China around the first of March. This is (DTC for short). This is a BIG step...and yes, we are going to have a party the day it is mailed to China. :) We are looking for a Log in Date (LID) around May. We are praying for our referral to come soon. Please pray that Lily will be on the April/May Referral list (or sooner!!!!). There is actually a waiting list to adopt a Special Needs child from China. Lifeline is receiving a new list in Jan./Feb. and we are getting very close to being on the top of the waiting list. Our next chunk of fees will be for travel (about $6000), and Fees in China ($5000). We know with confidence that the Lord has called us to this amazing journey of adopting Lily, and we know that He will provide a way for us to do this. It's so awesome to look back to May of 07 when we decided to follow God's call and begin this journey of adopting Lily. Little did we know, at that time, the road that would lay ahead of us. But, we know that this is all part of God's amazing plan for our lives. He has chosen to use this time in our lives to grow us in Him in an intense way. It has been hard, but each day we are being refined to be more like Him. This whole process (the past 8 months) has taught me so much about real faith. Its about giving up total control and allowing God to do His work in my life.

Please continue to pray:
-A speedy referral from Lifeline, we can hardly wait to see our little girl's face
-Hannah Grace and her understanding of our circumstances.
-God's wisdom regarding decisions being made for Sophie Ann
-Clear mind for Carlton when he is studying

Will write again soon,
Aimee
Carlton and I have decided that it's best for us right now to have a sign-in for our blog. PLEASE e-mail me your e-mail address if you would like to be added to our list of blog viewers. Once you sign-in the first time, your computer will "remember you" and you won't have to sign-in each time you acces our blog. Please e-mail me this week, if possible. Thanks!
Please remind me who you are. :)




Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bundled up and ready to see ZOO-LIGHTS in Birmingham

From Beside Still Waters, Charles Spurgeon
"The safest part of a Christian's life is during a trial. How we pray in adversity! We cannot live without prayer. We carry our burden to the mercy seat again and again.

When we are depressed, ,we read our Bibles, we do not care for deceiving light literature. We want the solid promise, the strong meat, of God's kingdom.

In adversity, we listen, we do no care for flowers and fine bits of rhetoric. We want the Word. We want the naked doctrine. We want Christ. We cannot be fed on whims and fancies now. We care less about theological speculation and ecclesiastical authority. We want to know something about eternal love, everlasting faithfulness, and the dealings of the Lord of hosts with the souls of His people. We walk lightly in the world and hold it with a loose grip. We expect to be often in the way, and we hope to be out of the way, because the world has lost its attraction. I greatly question if we ever grow in grace unless we are in the furnace.

This is the way it should be: the joys and blessings that God gives in this life should make us increase in grace and gratitude.

These joys should be sufficient motivation for the highest form of consecration. As a rule, however, most of us are only driven closer to Christ in a storm. There are blessed and favored exceptions, but most of us need the rod. We do not seem to learn obedience except through the Lord's chastening."


I am including this video about a mother who went through a similar experience as I am facing. It was a blessing to me, but grab a few tissues first. Click on the link below.




~Thank you for your continued prayers. Please pray that God will give us wisdom as we make decisions regarding Sophie's birth plan.

Aimee

Thursday, December 13, 2007




Our church's home school group had an "Open House" this past weekend. Hannah Grace invited several friends from church to attend. The kids sang some Christmas songs and each child did something special like reciting Bible verses, singing, or playing the piano. I was amazed at how brave these kids were. All the mothers jokingly agreed that maybe our home school kids didn't have the limelight enough, so they took full advantage of it! It was a great night. We were able to eat together in the fellowship hall afterwards and the children had lots of their school work displayed for everyone to see! I enjoyed being able to see what other fun projects the other students are doing. I learn so much from other moms who have "been there" a lot longer than me! Homeschooling has worked well for us so far this year. Carlton and I take homeschooling on a year to year basis and consider what is best for our child for that year. This year, teaching Hannah Grace at home has been a blessing. I have been able to pick and choose what curriculum is best for her. Being a former school teacher, I really enjoy going to the curriculum fairs. I was able to grab bits and pieces of many different curriculums and combine them all together for a perfect fit for Hannah Grace. We use Saxon math, Abeka Reading, Rod and Staff Reading and Spelling, and Rod and Staff for Science and Social Studies/Geography. We also take full advantage of our public library for unit studies and independent reading. I can't keep her out of those American Girl books! But, I have read a few, and I really like them! So, YAY!
For all those that were unable to attend the Open House...you really missed a treat. Hannah Grace played "What a Mighty Fortress is Our God" and "The First Noel" on the piano and then she did her Bible verses. She got very timid when she went to the microphone to say her verses and big alligator tears started to fall. I motioned for her to come and sit down. Well, about 10 minutes later, she was begging Carlton and I to let her try again. So, she went back up to the stage and bless her heart...she started crying again. It was BREAKING my heart! I motioned for her to come and sit down. I kept saying, "Its OK, you did great." BUT..this time she refused to sit down. She was so determined to say all 8 verses. What a brave little girl.. she stood at the microphone and said all of the verses! Everyone clapped for her and I don't think there was one dry eye in the room! I was so proud of her. I couldn't believe that she had the guts to get back up there and be so determined. I have a lot to learn from my 5 year old.
Please continue to pray for us and little Sophie. I am currently almost 28 weeks along and starting to feel really pregnant! She is constantly moving and flipping around. Please pray that she will not stay breech. I can't imagine her staying in any position with all the flipping thats going on in there. We go back to see Dr. Daniel next Tuesday, can you believe its been 3 weeks? It seems like that's all I do, go to the Dr. Also, pray for Carlton. He lost his grandfather this past week. He preached his service on Wednesday and it was wonderful. But, it was hard because all we could think about was Sophie. We know the Lord is going to sustain us through whatever may come. By his grace alone, are we able to be strong. We know we have some tough days ahead of us. But, we know we serve a God who will never leave us or forsake us.
Will write again soon,
Aimee

For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. . . - Psalm 37:28



Friday, December 7, 2007

Our visit to UAB was...well, let's say informational. I was able to ask a lot of questions...and I did. I wanted to know everything there was to know. I learned from a medical perspective, that after Sophie was conceived, one of the chromosomes was "sticky" and hung around when it wasn't supposed to. Basically, the dad gives 23 chromosomes and mom gives 23. Well, this time mom (or dad) gave 24. This is basically a "complete fluke". My doctor(at UAB) has seen one other case this year. And that's what he does all day...high risk pregnancies. Its extremely rare, that is to carry a child to term with a chromosome abnormality. Actually, chromosome abnormalities are very common, however, most end in miscarriage. He encouraged us to think about another future pregnancy, that our risk for recurrence is less than 1%. I think he was a little confused as to why we chose to carry to term... as most women terminate immediately. But, this was never even an option for us. Sophie has been created by God, and her life is in His hands. He will be glorified through her life and her death.
We were also told Sophie's case is very severe (we already knew this), but her heart is healthy and he believes I will carry to term because of this. Sophie Ann is already 2 pounds and is measuring right on track. Sophie is amazing to have made it this far. She is such a fighter. Carlton said she is just like her mama...strong-willed and stubborn. I have to say, when I set my mind to something...I put my all into it, I give it 110%. And I believe Sophie has set her little mind to hanging on so that we can hold her and cherish her time here. No matter what the outcome, or how long we have her with us...it will all be worth it. 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days or Lord willing, longer. She will be worth every minute.
In retrospect, I am glad I opted for another meeting with the doctor and another sonogram. I hope that our life and our view of life had an impact on the medical staff at UAB. I pray that the doctors see how special each life is and that terminating a pregnancy is not the answer. Just because a child is not "acceptable" in the world's eyes, doesn't mean that the child is not precious in the sight of God and every child deserves a chance to be held and loved. God formed Sophie with His own hands and she is perfect.

For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from Thee, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Thy book they were all written, The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. (Psalms 139:13-16)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Christmas Traditions

Hannah Grace, cousin Isabella, and Noah
at my mom's for Thanksgiving.


I am so sorry for taking so long to post. We have been so busy lately..traveling home for Thanksgiving.. Carlton' s big 3-0 birthday, getting ready for Christmas. I talked Carlton into being Clark Griswald for the day, and he hung icicle lights for us outside (for the first time!). The kids ooh and ahh every night when we turn them on. Such little things can bring such great joy to children.

As many of you know, I am a big fan of family traditions. Sophie's little life has taught us so much about how valuable and precious our time is together and we have made our family traditions even more special this year. A special friend gave us a box of ornaments that are numbered 1-25. Each ornament has a verse written on it and a devotion to go with it. So, beginning tonight (Dec. 1), we will sit around the table and Carlton is going to do a family devotion. We will sip homemade hot chocolate and after our "mini-sermon" (is that possible with Carlton?? :) , we will hang the ornament on the tree. Sometimes, I will surprise the kids with small gifts to be opened. I am excited about this new tradition in our family.

Another change we have made is we have decided to slow down with our traveling and be at home on Christmas morning. My mom has moved her Christmas party to Christmas night and Carlton's family will celebrate on the 28th this year. I couldn't be more excited about being at home on Christmas morning! Hannah Grace and I are going to cook a big meal with everyone's favorite on Christmas Eve. She has really gotten in to American Girl books, so we might even whip up some recipes that are from the early 1900's. I look forward to this Christmas season. Jesus is ever so sweet this year!

Please pray for Carlton and I on Thursday. We have decided to return to UAB for another Level II sonogram and to talk to a genetic counselor. The last time we were at UAB, we were so stunned and shocked, we were unable to ask any questions. We already know that Sophie's diagnosis is not hereditary. The amnio confirmed this. According to medical science, this is a "fluke." Something that is not supposed to happen, a 1:12,000 chance. Of course, we know that this was all part of God's amazing plan for our life. I know this, and knowing God allowed this to happen, has made this process so much easier. Who better to be in control, but the God of the universe! BUT, at this point I just want to know the details of how this all happened medically. You know, from the very beginning, give me exactly what happened. Its just where I am in this process, I need to know medical facts. Dr. Daniel was supportive and immediately scheduled an appointment for me. I know this is going to be hard. I know I will have a bad day. I know this. But, its something I need to do. So, please, I am asking you to pray that I will be a reflection of God's glory and he will sustain me through our visit. We will be seeing a different genetic specialist this time. Thanks so much, and I will post again later next week after our sonogram.

"For if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. " Romans 14:8


Please continue to pray that our adoption process will continue to go smoothly. Our homestudy is currently with DHR.






Monday, November 19, 2007

Giving Thanks...

Hannah Grace's words of Thanksgiving

This time of year has always been a time our family reflects over the things in our life that we are so truly thankful for. This year, I have so much to be thankful for and it seems like this Thanksgiving, Christ is even more the central focus. Usually, as a family we will go around and talk about things that we are thankful for...many years it will include: our family, our health, our home, our church, our friends and so on. This year, God has proven to us that He is a faithful God who loves us dearly. I am so thankful for my sweet Savior who loves me and desires for ME to be like Him. How unworthy I am of that task. I just don't understand why he loves me so. But in His lovingkindness, he has sought fit to use life's tragic circumstances to draw me into a sweet relationship with Him. I have never known Him to be so real. He truly is a God of mercy and kindness. He loves His children and nothing will separate His children from Him. There is nothing that I can do that would separate me from the love of Christ. God has been so faithful to me over the last 9 weeks. I never imagined I could go on with life...but with each morning, He lavishes the grace that I need for each day. I do not fear the future, but I cling to the promise that my life is in His hands. I actually find a lot of hope in the future. I know that He has something wonderful in store for me and my family. During this Thanksgiving season, I am so thankful for Christ and His amazing love.

"How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you."
Psalm 31:19

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever."
Psalm 107:1






















Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thoughts on Sophie and Eternal Life.. From her Daddy

As a father, it is a dark nightmare to even write these words: My daughter is dying.
There is nothing that can be done for her by doctors, her parents, or any other person to prevent her death. I cannot express the pain that is in my heart and mind at this moment. One of the issues that rises in your heart when it is your child that is dying is, "How do I know that my child will have eternal life?" Most of you just read that sentence and thought, "Why would you think about that? Everyone knows that babies go to heaven." When you have never faced the death of your own child it is easy to just blindly accept that others teach that babies are covered by a special grace until an age of accountability, but trust me when it is your child that is dying, other people's teaching and belief is not enough to bring you comfort and peace. I believe that Sophie, and other children who die, are saved and given eternal life. Why do I believe that? I base what I believe not on the fact that Sophie is innocent of sin, because she is born in sin. I do not base my conviction on an age of accountability, because the Scripture does not teach any such age. Why then do I believe that my daughter will live and reign with Christ forever? I believe that Sophie will be saved by God through the sacrifice of Christ applied to her life by faith alone. The simple way to say it is that she will be saved the same way I am saved. My belief is based on the passages that speak about this subject (Psalm 139, II Samuel 12:15-23, Jeremiah 31:15-20, and Matthew 18:1-14). God is merciful, gracious, sovereign, and just. My conviction about Sophie's salvation comes from my understanding of God's character. I hope in him and him alone! One day I will see my little one again. When I see her she will be praising her savior Jesus Christ. I think of it this way. When I get to heaven if I ask her, "Sophie, how were you saved?" She will say something like this, "Dad, I was not saved because I was a baby when I died. God saved me because he chose to be gracious to me and merciful. God saved me through the blood sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ. God saved me through giving me faith in Christ as my savior. And Dad, the best part is.. he saved me forever! I am His child and all of the kingdom is my inheritance because of who Jesus is for me. Jesus is the treasure that we all praise for now and through eternity!!!" Those thoughts bring me great joy because they are rooted in God and his character, not tradition or other's opinion. I know this has been a brief explanation without alot of Scripture references, but if you would like me to send you some more detailed explanation please post a comment and ask me for a more in depth answer. I want you to be comforted by God, Christ, and the Word. Sophie is my daughter and I love her deeply. My heart will hope in Christ who is the captain of our salvation!


Treasuring Christ for Eternity,

Carlton

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Cookies and more...



Dear Friends,


I know I say this on every post, but I want to thank you for letting me know how Sophie is changing your walk with Christ. It does give me comfort to know that her little life is having such a huge impact on so many people. I have truly been overwhelmed by your stories. It also convicts me to know that her life is having such a impact on the kingdom, yet I look at my own life and wonder why I am not bolder in my walk with Christ. What an amazing little girl. The name "Sophie" means wise and she is far wiser than any of us. God is using Sophie to display His glory and I am humbled that He would choose my child for His great purpose. I mentioned to a friend today at church how I struggle with being joyful in seeing those come to Christ and grow closer to Him through Sophie's life, yet on the other hand, my flesh cries out, "I don't care about your salvation, I want my baby! Please God, use somebody else's life to display your glory!" But, when I look at this life and think of eternal things, I am truly joyful at the end of the day.

I am posting some pictures of the scarecrow cookies we made this past week. We had so much fun doing these cookies! They tasted great too! The recipe came from Family Fun magazine.
Aimee
Cookies- Sugar wafers(hat), Fiber One Cereal (hair), mini-chocolate chips (eyes), candy corn (nose), Chocolate sprinkles (mouth), and a cookie with icing!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sophie's little hand.
Sophie crossing her legs


We had an ultrasound on Monday. It went OK. Pretty much the same as what we were told at 15 weeks. Nothing has changed as far as abnormalities. She has grown and is measuring correctly. I thought I was ready to see her on the screen, but it seems like every time we go in for a doctor's appt., I take two steps back. It was hard to look at her little body and know my time is limited with her. We don't really know how much time the Lord is going to give us, but we know that if we even have a week, we will be blessed. We plan to spend every moment with her and loving her. We have prayed and we will not take drastic measures to prolong her life (life support etc.). We trust our God to take her when He is ready. I want with all my heart to keep her with me, but it would be truly selfish of me to keep her from her creator's arms. She will safe and perfect with Him, and I know that heaven will be a sweeter place because I have a daughter who will be waiting for me. Until then, I will cherish the moments I have with her. She is quite a kicker and has kept me up at night kicking so hard! I have a few pictures to post. She was laying face down so we couldn't see her that well. The lady who did our sonogram was precious and let us look at her for about an hour. Dr. Daniel was also right there with me. How I thank God for him each day. I can't imagine this process without the love and support from a doctor who loves the Lord. He is just incredible. He is not only my doctor, but a friend and prayer warrior for our family. He is so patient with me and lets me ask him as many questions as I can think of. I ask him at every visit, "You mean you have never seen this before, I am your only one?" He always tells me, "Yep, precious, you are my one and only." Carlton also asked Dr. Daniel to be part of Sophie's services. He was very emotional and graciously accepted. Please continue to pray for us. Please pray for me this week. Its always hard to go back to the doctor. Specifically, pray that I would not worry about her suffering and that the Lord would be merciful and take her peacefully.


Enjoy her beautiful pictures,


Aimee

Saturday, October 27, 2007

After His Own Heart

Noah (with his train hat) and Hannah Grace
Fall Festival 2007

Dear Friends,
Thank you for your continuing prayers. You have been faithful to remain in constant prayer for us. There are many days when I am so tired and your prayers have been carrying me through. This week has been good. One of my close friends took me to a spa and it was incredible. I was completely pampered for 3 hours! We had a great time laughing together. Its amazing how a little pampering will lift your spirits! The kids and I spent some time Friday night making cookies (from scratch!) for our church's fall festival. Noah and Hannah Grace had a great time pretending to be little chefs. Can you believe I didn't even care that my kitchen was a complete disaster?? Or that my mixer blew the breaker! We tried to make pumpkin cookies, but they turned out looking like blobs and tasting like dough balls. We have never laughed so much! Hannah Grace said the cookies tasted like "healthy cookies." Not really what you are going for when cooking for kids! We are looking forward to going to the fall festival tonight. Noah can't wait to ride the "Thomas" train. I will be sure to take some pictures. Please keep us in your prayers on Monday. We have an another ultrasound. I am looking forward to seeing Sophie's sweet little face. But, I am dreading hearing any more bad news. Sometimes, I think, "how much worse could it get? What can they tell me that I don't already know?" It's also hard to hear it again and again. It seems like when I get myself on solid ground, we have a test result come back or its time for another ultrasound. But, I know whatever the news, it is ALL part of God's great plan for us and for Sophie. I will be sure to get lots of pictures of Sophie and post them on Monday night.

I will leave you with a short devotion from a book a good friend gave me. Its from "Beside Still Waters", by C.H. Spurgeon.

After His Own Heart
-When your faith endures many conflicts and your spirit sinks low, do not condemn yourself. It was David in haste who said, "I am cut off from before your eyes" (Ps. 31:22). Yet there is David now in the blessed heavenly choir, for even here on earth he was a man after God's own Heart. (Sam. 13:14)
There is a reason for your season of heaviness. Great soldiers are not made without war. Skillful sailors are not trained on the shore. It appears that if you are to become a great believer, you will be greatly tested. If you are to be a great helper to others, you must pass through their trials. If you are to be instructed in the things of the kingdom, you must learn from experience. The uncut diamond has little brilliance, the unthreshed corn feeds no one, and the untried believer is of little use or beauty. There are great benefits to come from your trials and depression.
Many people have a comparatively smooth path through life, but their position is not the equal of the tested believer. The one who is much plowed and often harrowed will thank God if the result is a larger harvest to the praise and glory of God by Jesus Christ. If your face is now covered with sorrow, the time will come when you will bless God for that sorrow. The day will come when you will see great gain from your losses, your crosses, your troubles, and your afflictions:
From all your affliction His glory shall spring,
And the deeper your sorrows, the louder you'll sing.

Aimee

Monday, October 22, 2007

Lessons from Sophie


Dear Friends,

Another week has come and gone and the Lord has gotten me through each day. Its hard to believe it will be 5 weeks on Friday since finding out about our little Sophie. Part of me rejoices in the fact that the time has picked up past a crawl, but the other part (I know this is strange), marvels in this time that I am having with the Lord. God is so good and His mercies are new every morning. For the first time in my Christian walk, I have had to be totally dependent on God each and every moment of the day. Its when I let my guard down, and try to handle it on my own, I fall. Sophie's life has forced me to become dependent on my Heavenly Father. And I pray, that this will become a life habit of mine. I thank God for allowing me to cling to Him. Its my personality to be independent and try to control the situation on my own. But, it feels so good to cast my burdens on my God and trust Him with my every need. What a relief! Why haven't I been doing this all along? I never knew the God of all creation could be so intimately connected with every fiber of my being. God has also taught me this week about how I can use my suffering to comfort other people. As Carlton and I were walking late one night, I told him about how I felt so helpless around others who were suffering in the past. I think I have only been to two funerals in the past 10 years, because I have literally been afraid to be around those who were suffering. How can you comfort someone if you haven't "been there". You can't. All you can do is say "I'm sorry", take them some food, etc. I am not saying you have to go through the same trial, but you have had to suffer to a point where your whole body has to cry out to God each morning, so that you survive the day. There is something about the comfort of others who have also suffered. I want to be around them, I want to talk to them, I want to listen to their words of wisdom. I know God is preparing me for circumstances down the road when someone will need a shoulder to lean on, someone to talk to. I am thankful that I can now be that person. I am not afraid of suffering, death, etc. I now know that God really WILL get you through it. I never truly believed this before. When I heard of tragedies, I would turn my cheek and think that would never happen to me because God knows fragile Aimee couldn't survive. Well, by God's grace alone, I wake up every morning and my life goes on. Yes, Sophie has taught me so much about life and how short and precious it is. I catch myself often staring at my children and looking at their perfectly formed features, but now I give God the glory! I don't think, "Oh, what a cute little nose and what pretty blue eyes like your Daddy", I now think. "The God of the universe formed you with His hands and made you beautiful. I will enjoy you today more than yesterday. I will teach you about your Creator. I will stop doing the laundry and cleaning the house... I will sit with you and sing to you, and read you that story for the 15th time. And I will rejoice in every minute of it." Thank you my sweet little Sophie, for teaching me the value of life and drawing me closer to our mighty God, the maker of heaven and earth.

I will write again soon,
Aimee

"All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. " 2 Cor. 1: 3-4

Monday, October 15, 2007

For God's Glory







We recieved news on Monday from UAB that the amnio confirmed what we had been told from the start. Sophie has a fatal chromosomal abnormality. I have actually dealt with the news better than I thought. Carlton has had a harder time this week. Looking at the amnio papers with all the little photocopies of her chromosones puts everything into reality. This is not a bad nightmare, its real. I have come to terms with it, and now I am beginning to enjoy every little minute I have her with me. I know this time is precious and I am determined to enjoy all the time I have with her. Only God knows when it is time for Sophie to be back in His arms, so we are trusting in His perfect timing. Carlton and I will begin in the next few weeks to start working on a birth plan. We want to make sure all the nurses are aware of just how we want things. Dr. Daniel has been more than a doctor. He has become a very close friend and prayer warrior for our family. I have never known a doctor like him. His love for the Lord is evident each time we meet and pray with him. He has been a rock for us. He is going to be right there with us through the entire pregnancy and birth. He is going to make sure all of our requests are followed closely, as we will only have a short amount of time and we want all of Sophie's time spent with us and our immediate family.


Last night, I picked up the book that we are reading in our Tuesday morning Mom's Bible Study. I haven't been able to go for the past 3 weeks, so I took a wild guess that they were reading chapter 6 this week. I flipped open the book and the title of the chapter 6 was "God Never Makes a Mistake." So, I propped myself up in my bed because it was obvious I needed to read this chapter...tonight! At the beginning of each chapter is a "chapter verse". It read,"Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right." 1 Peter 4:19. What comfort came while I was reading this...to know that my suffering is the will of God. As Christians, we are not promised a life free of suffering. But, we can have the assurance that God has allowed our suffering and it is for a specific reason. This is not a "fluke" or some random cosmic event, God ordained this before the foundation of the world. This is not a surprise to Him. He is using this to shape and mold us. He is using Sophie to bring others to Him. It's all about God and His glory. And I am happy with that. God is God and I trust in His soveriegn plan over my life. I will close this week with the words to a song we sang in church Sunday. The words never struck me like they did this past Sunday.




"Its all about you... Jesus.


And all this is for you, for your glory and your name.


It's not about me.


As if you should do things my way.


You alone are God, and I surrender... to your ways."




Continue to pray for us. Your prayers are helping us get through each day. Thank you again for all your precious cards and comments on our blog. We are keeping all our blog posts and comments/cards/letters/e-mails in a binder so we will have them many years from now. I will try to post again soon.


Love, Aimee and family




Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Dear Friends,
We are so blessed to be surrounded by so much love and prayers during this time. I am encouraged daily by your sweet comments, cards and messages. We do check our e-mail daily and our blog. This has been the best way to communicate for us. We have also heard all of your phone messages and we thank you for those. We apologize for not returning all the calls. We have to return to some state of "normalcy", so we have been letting our answering machine collect messages as we spend time as a family.
Carlton has been very busy painting the new room upstairs where his office will be for the next several months. He put up some bookshelves and a friend gave him a desk. It looks really nice and its very quiet up there. Noah has been getting ready for a big boy bed. We ordered it while we were visiting family in Columbus and it should be here in a couple weeks. Hannah Grace has been busy with her school work. She is usually all finished by 10:30. She is starting to get interested in American Girl chapter books. I am hoping that this is good reading, I have yet to sit down and read one! We make several trips to the library during the week. She is also enjoying her piano lessons from Ms. Debbie and her dance classes. I have returned to tutoring, and it has been wonderful. It forces my brain to think and I need that! It also gives me routine and that is helpful.
I still have good days and not so good days. Some days, I feel like I am in some kind of time-warp, hours seem like days... With every kick from Sophie's little foot, I am reminded of our situation. I am learning to cherish the moments I have with her, but it can be hard. I know that the more I bond with her, the harder the loss will be. I am reminded of what Christ did for us. God knew His son would die. He knew it. He suffered for us, for me. What a small price for me to pay, especially when He is using my baby to bring others to HIM! And He has been so gracious to see me through this, from the beginning, He has not forsaken me.... He has done everything but call me on the telephone to say "Aimee, I am right here with you, You are not alone!." He knows I am so hard-headed. He knows my faith is small. He knows he has to go out of His way to make me believe. Well, He has.
I also thank God for loving me enough to allow me to go through this trial. I am learning so much at such a young age. He cares enough about me to change me now! I thank Him that I am not learning these great lessons 30 years down the road. Somehow, I might look back on a wasted life. I can't imagine. I know He has great plans. I trust Him and know His plans are much better than Aimee' s plans. Knowing God is soveriegn over all things is what gets me out of the bed. Knowing God is soveriegn over all things is what gets me through the day. Knowing God is soveriegn over all things is what allows me to sleep at night.
I wanted to share with you a short section of the book that I have been reading. Just this past weekend, I had time to sit and read the last chapter. God had been saving it just for me. Its from Noel Piper's, "Faithful Women & Their Extraordinary God." Helen Roseveare was a missionary who gave her whole life to serving Christ in the Congo. She suffered much persecution, but had an amazing ministry. Her ministry is still running strong today.
"In 1989, 120 young people sat cross-legged in the Piper living room and dining room, covering nearly every square inch of the floor space. They had accepted our open invitation to anyone who thought missions might be in his or her future.
As Helen Roseveare stood by our fireplace and looked into thier faces, she reached backward toward the mantel and eased a long-stemmed rosebud from a tall vase. As she spoke, she broke off the thorns, the leaves, the petals, the green outer layer of the stem-every element that makes a rose a rose. All that was left was a a lithe, straight shaft. The peices that lay on the floor were not bad things. But, she explained, they had to be removed if she were going to make an arrow. God does this to us, she says. He removes everything, even innocent, good things-that hinders us from being the arrows that he will shoot for his purposes at his intended target."

I will write again soon.
Love, Aimee and Family


LILY UPDATE: Our homestudy is going to immigration in the next 4 weeks. We have a home walk-through on Oct. 17th, that is the last section of the homestudy. Medicals are complete!!!!!!! We passed with flying colors! Karla is expecting to mail our Dossier on our original set date, Dec 9th. We are pretty confident that Lily will be here by Christmas 2008, and possible sooner, depending on the referral lists. Continue to pray that everything will go smoothly.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Weeds in the Garden




First of all, thank you so much for your prayers, letters, food, ect. Your love for our family has been overwhelming. I thank God everyday for our family, friends and our precious Grace Fellowship family. We have been truly blessed beyond measure with the people at Grace. You love us like family and we know you are suffering with us. God is continuing to show us what marvelous plans he has for our Sophie. I have recieved numerous calls about how God has changed your life. It is amazing. Some of you have made serious "life-changing" decisions. I see that Sophie's life is not wasted. God is changing hearts and souls as I type this.


Please continue to pray for me. I have good days and bad days. The good days are when my mind is focused on Christ. My bad days are mostly thoughts of self-pity, anger, and why me? When my friend, Jaime, went through this about a year ago, I thought to myself, "How did she survive?" "How did she go on with life?" Now, I see, that no matter the circumstance in life, God will supply you with grace upon grace. I recall seeing Susan Fleming at her son Micah's funeral. I walked up to her and looked her right in the face and said "How did you do this? I could never do this. " I will never forget her response. She said," Aimee, you would get through it. God will give you grace like you have never experienced." Oh, how her words are true. You don't understand God's grace until you suffer. You really don't. You don't grow leaps and bounds in your walk with Christ unless you suffer. Suffering makes you depend on God alone. There is nothing inside of me to muster up. I am totally, completely dependent on my creator. I have wanted this dependence on God for a long time. I never imagined this is how I would truly come to know my savior. Oh, how I wish this could have been different, but in some strange way, I am thankful that God has brought me to this point. I don't think I would know him this way without suffering at this level.


“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away,
our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is
preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we
look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen. For the
Things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2COR 4:16-18


We had Noah's birthday party on Saturday. That was my goal for the weekend. My little boy and his truck party. He had a great time. I will include some pictures for you to see. After the party, we put up a fall scene in the yard and I planted some pansies for the fall. God was so good to me. While I was weeding out the flower bed, I thought about what God was doing in my life. Just like those weeds, He is pulling out things in my life that need to be gone! As I pulled the weeds, I thought "Here comes pride, selfishness, greed, self-pity, anger, bitterness, no love for the lost..." I knew I had to get to the root of those weeds. It was hard, but I dug and dug until I got to the root. I did not want them to come back! At one point, I had to get Carlton to help me. Some weeds had roots that were so deep!!! Then the dirt was clean and beautiful. There were no more weeds. As I planted the pansies, I thought about how God is planting things in my life that will bear beauty and life. Many of those pansies, I don't know about. I know God has many beautiful things in store for my life. I have to trust in Him and His plans, not my own.


I will write again soon.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Family and Friends. We need your prayers.

Dear Family and Friends:

Aimee and I are writing you this letter because we want to encourage each of you with the work that God is doing through his grace in our lives. Friday, September 21, 2007 is a day that will forever mark our lives. This was the day our loving Lord chose to reveal to us the precious gift he planned for us before the foundation of the earth. It was on this day that we were told by sonogram that we were having a little girl, Sophie Ann, and it was also on this day that we were told that Sophie appeared to have a serious genetic anomaly. Our dreams of a healthy child were dashed in the blink of an eye. The pain was very acute for Aimee and I, but little did we know what God had in store for us.
I want to type a couple of passages that have ministered to us in this last week. I Peter 4:12-19 says, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s suffering, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And ‘If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?’ Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” Peter continues on this theme in 5:6, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.
These words are absolutely true. Aimee and I have experienced the God of all grace over the past week, and he is a good and Sovereign God. Sophie Ann has been diagnosed with a chromosomal anomaly. The world’s statistics say this only happens in 1:10,000 births, but we know that God has hand-picked us for this task. This condition has been verified as fatal. Our expectations are that she will either be stillborn or go to Christ in the first hours after her birth. She is a “wise gift from God.” He knows what our family needs to grow in our faith. We now know some truths more personally than before. God is sovereign and good and merciful. We understand much more about prayer because of our struggle with him for the past few days. Aimee and I have sensed his very real presence, and our lives seem to be more focused than ever on the glory of Christ and his righteousness!
We need you to help us in several ways. First, we covet your prayers. Pray that God gives Aimee strength and grace as she carries our little girl. Pray that Sophie experiences his mercy. We do not want her to remain in this world and suffer.
Also pray for Aimee as she continues to tutor her students. Aimee is an absolute wonderful teacher and is very dedicated to her students. Many of her students look to her as much more than just a teacher, but also as a friend and confidant. They also bring her much joy. Pray that I will be to Aimee as Christ is to his church. I am going to need to suffer for her as much as possible, and I am asking God to give me patience and grace in this process. Pray that God will not let this little trophy of grace be wasted! Pray that his glory extends to the community and the world through her little life.
Many of you have asked us about our plans to continue to adopt Lily from China. When we began our adoption process in May of this year, we knew we felt extremely compelled to adopt from China. We now can see the mercy of God in his plan for our life. In no way, will Lily ever replace our Sophie, but thinking about Lily has brought some glimmer of brightness in a very sad time in our life. God has been so sweet. After coming home from our Ultrasound at UAB, we were stunned to find in our mailbox that Aimee’s fingerprints had come back from the state of Alabama and FBI as CLEAR! Many of you know, her first sets of fingerprints were rejected because they could not read them clearly. We felt sure that she was going to be one of the rare few that just can’t fingerprint! God was so good to allow us to get that letter in the mail on the same day as our tragic news. We can now move forward with our paperwork.
Aimee started a blog about 6 months ago to update friends and family about our adoption process. We plan to use this blog as a place to share our thoughts and prayers during this difficult journey ahead. We encourage each of you to check the blog for updates and please use the blog to share your own thoughts and comments. Aimee will leave the comment section open to the public. We would love to hear how Sophie is changing you and your walk with Christ. We would also love to hear any words of encouragement. Aimee will try to update the blog as often as possible.

Here is the address:
www.weathersfamily2007.blogspot.com
Or Google: Weathers family blogspot


Laboring together for His Glory,



Carlton and Aimee




This is a letter we wanted to include for your encouragement. Aimee wrote this on Tuesday before we had our Level II Ultrasound on Wednesday. Thank you ladies for praying for my wife.




Dear Ladies of Grace Fellowship,

First of all, I am so sorry that I am not there, I am physically tired and I don’t think I can bear anymore crying at this point. But know, that I am on my knees at home praying with you. You will never know how much it means to have you praying over my family. I ask that you would take this precious time and beg God for a miracle, but above all, that Christ would be glorified. I want His will, and not my own. I also would ask that you would arrange your schedule tomorrow and put all things aside and pray like you have never prayed before for Carlton and I during our appointment in Birmingham. Our appointment is from 3:45-until. We have been warned that the clinic is very sterile and there will be zero compassion. To them, my child is a glob of cells. Pray that I remain strong, pray that the doctors will see the glory of Christ on our faces and that their lives would be changed. Pray that they would be able to tell us what is going on. I can’t take the waiting anymore. Pray that I would continue to trust God after the information they give us. Pray that my little girl, Sophie, would live, pray for my sweet little Hannah Grace and my bundle of joy Noah. Hannah Grace is very aware that her little sister is sick. But, she trusts Jesus will all her soul. If only I could have faith like my Hannah Grace. Noah is not aware of what is going on, but God has been so sweet to us through him. Noah is the ONLY thing that has made me laugh the past 4 days. He brings us so, so , so, much joy. And last but not least, pray for my husband. What a rock he has been. He is carrying so much of my pain. What a blessing to have a husband who lives out his faith.

I want to share with you some of my thoughts and things that God has shown me and taught me over the last 4 days. Many of you don’t know this, but I have shared this with some close friends and family. God, in his merciful kindness, told me that my child had this particular problem 5 days after I saw the positive on that pregnancy test. Debbie and I prayed many, many times that God would take away my worry and my concern. At six weeks, I even made a special appointment with my OB/GYN to tell him. I told him specifically what was wrong with the baby. Dr. Daniel encouraged me not worry over this. Carlton spent many nights and mornings with his hand on my shoulder praying for me. He fasted several times also. This went on for about 13 weeks. God was so good to me. He comforted me like never before. For the first time in my life, I felt the power of prayer. I knew He was listening. Now, looking back, I see his goodness. He loved me so much, he had spoken to me! HE SPOKE TO ME! He spoke to a worthless sinner like me. He knows me so well, he knew I needed time to prepare myself for this, and I also needed to learn how to pray and to really believe in the power of prayer. I have always felt so unprepared as a pastor’s wife and have often asked God to grow me spiritually and now He has answered my prayer. I have never known God like this. I knew about him from reading about him, but I have “tasted and seen” that the Lord is good. Everything about me has changed. I will never be the same. Life has new meaning. Things that worried me before, are meaningless. I look at my children, and I see that they are not mine, but God’s. I will never place my children, family, husband, above my relationship with Christ. He really is all you need. He is all you have.

I am trusting God for a miracle tomorrow. But, whatever the outcome, He will be glorified. Sophie has already touched people’s lives. My sister, wrote me an e-mail, yesterday and Carlton and I wept over it. Sophie is already a blessing. God is using MY baby girl to bring others to him. I am honored that he would use her. I am also honored that he hand-picked Carlton and I for this task. We WILL be a display to God’s glory. This will not weaken our faith. It will strengthen it. If this is an attack from Satan to test our faith, well, he has already lost. Satan, you have been defeated. We belong to an almighty God who is completely sovereign over all things. And God is holding our little girl in His hands, not you. God will bring us through this, and we will be changed. I don’t know how I will make it, but I will. Please don’t be afraid to talk to me. And please do not pity me. I am OK. I am still the same feisty Aimee that I have always been. I need your support and friendship to help me through this. But, above all, I need your prayers. God hears our prayers. Thank you again for coming together to pray.

Please read these scriptures aloud:

Hebrews: 12:6-11 Discipline means “training”

1 Peter: 4:12-19 and 1 Peter 5:6-11

Psalm 139

Isaiah 49: 1-6

Trusting Him,
Aimee

Thursday, September 20, 2007

OK.....WHO IS OUT THERE?????

Hey Friends,
We are getting so many hits on our blog, so can you do us a favor??? Could you please sign up to leave a comment, and let us know you are enjoying our blog. Its a little freaky to get so many hits and not know! AND>>>>>>>>>>Who sent Noah's Cook's Pest Control Jingle to the Advertising department at Cook's???? Thanks, they really enjoyed it, and they are sending him a surprise packet in the mail. He thinks he is a movie star. Imagine that... Noah with an ego????
Now, go and Comment so I know who you are!
Just click OTHER and type in your name if you don't have a Blogspot account.
Then type your comment and click publish comment. See, how easy???

Monday, September 17, 2007

Noah and his Cook's Pest Control Commercial

OK, this kid cracks me up everyday. He is always saying something that has us laughing until we hurt. BUT, I had to get this one on video. He is such a joy to our family. Hope this video works, its the first time I did a video on my camera!
By the way, Noah is doing well at school. He asks me everyday if its a school day. He is going 3 days a week. He loves carpet time and of course, snack time. His teachers say that he makes them laugh all day. Double Click on the play button.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Roll Tide!!!!



Here is Carlton on the Quad

Carlton and I had a much needed day-long date on Saturday. We were offerered 2 tickets to see our favorite team play. Boy! What a great game! We had great seats and we had a blast. I have been craving wings and ranch dressing....so that's what we ate for lunch. Its really weird, I have NEVER liked wings before, but now it's all I can think about. The atmosphere on campus is soooooooooooooooo much different this year. The stadium was so loud, I had to put my fingers in my ears. It was sooooooooooooooooooo loud, so loud. But, very exciting. It was good to be able to be just the two of us.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

NOAH'S First Day Of Pre-school

After taking Noah, HG and I went to the coffee shop to Homeschool. (Coffee-house-school :) )
Noah's classroom (he loves that reading loft in the back!)

He found a puzzle that he really liked!


He has already made a buddy.



Hmmmm..we don't have this book at home.

Noah's Teacher "Mrs. Carter"
( I think he might be a little nervous!)

A picture before we leave home.


My big, big boy.

Okay, I survived. Somehow, I made it through the first day of pre-school. Why have I turned into such a mom as this???? I was never like this with Hannah Grace... maybe its because he is my youngest. Today, I was the type of mom that I always DISLIKED when I taught school. You know the mom who just CAN"T leave!!!!!!! Well, I walked him in (they usually pick them up from the car) but I had a GOOD excuse.... I needed to make sure he knew where the potty was. So, I showed him where the potty was and then I just followed him around. I know, I am nuts. I kept saying "Noah, are you going to be OK? Noah do you want to play this, do you want to play that? " Then, I was taking like a bazillion pictures. Anyway, he had a great day. He made lots of friends and really loved playing outside. Hey, I have a great idea, I will just blame today's insane mommy behavior on pregnancy hormones.
Enjoy the pictures. (I know there are way too many!)













Monday, September 10, 2007

Getting ready for the first day of pre-school.







Oh, my little boy, is having his first day of pre-school tomorrow. Here are some pictures of him getting a hair cut for his big day. He loves to get his hair cut. He loved it so much, that last time, he fell asleep right in the chair. It was hilarious. Tomorrow morning, I am sure... I will be teary-eyed as he struts into that classroom with his big boy bookbag. I just can't believe he is big enough to go to school. He is my baby, and, well, I guess he always will be. Carlton tells me often, I baby him too much and "Let him grow up...be a man!" Well, I just can't. He looks at me with those blue eyes, and I nearly turn to mush. I can remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. I have been smitten ever since. Say a prayer that "I" will survive tomorrow. Don't worry about Noah, he can't wait to cut paper, use glue and glitter, sing and dance, and play on the big playground!!!!!!!!!

I will try to post some first day of school pics tomorrow~

Sunday, August 26, 2007

We have a little one on the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Carlton, Hannah Grace, Noah and I are happy to announce we have a baby on the way! God is so good to bless us again with a precious child. Our little one will be 12 weeks tomorrow. I am so ready to find out what it is! My gut says "Boy!" and Carlton thinks its a girl, sooooooo... who knows, but God! I will have to wait 8 more LONG weeks to find out! During this pregnancy, I have thought so much about Lily. Its almost like I am pregnant with two! I know it won't be long before our sweet Lily is in our arms. She is going to have so many brother(s) and sister(s) that are going to love her to pieces! Even though she is not "in my belly", I pray for her many times throughout the day. Please keep our new baby in your prayers and continue to pray for our journey to Lily. One specific prayer request: my fingerprints were rejected (very common for women with dry hands! ), please pray that this new set will be accepted. Fingerprints can take a long time and can delay our adoption process. Thank you!
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,the fruit of the womb a reward.4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth.5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127:3-5

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tiny Dancer
















My sweet little Hannah Grace has turned into a little dancer. She has really taken to the dance classes she started a couple weeks ago. Her teacher has been really impressed with how quick she has learned. I never knew I had a little toe tapper! Well, except for the fact that the practicing on the kitchen floor is driving me bananas. Noah thinks he can tap too. Its quite funny to see him trying to keep up with her. Boy, he really needs some football lessons, soon. :) Bless his heart, his mommy and sister are too girly. Here are some pictures from her class this week.








Sunday, August 12, 2007

China Family Reunion Picture

Here is a picture from the China Family Reunion. Ya'll always hear me talking about Karla, well, here she is. From Left to Right:Karla, Me and Kimberly. Karla is a god-send. Lifeline has the BEST social workers. Karla is very open and honest and keeps me level-headed. I honestly didn't expect an "employee" to care or love each Lifeline family. Its obvious that her job is not a "job" but a calling from the Lord. She has become such a good friend of mine and Carlton. And next to me is Kimberly, my new friend. We have lots in common, we are both getting a sweet little girl from China. She chose a little girl with a special need, Anna Brooke is ADORABLE!!!!! They will be going to get her really soon. I will post her blog so you can follow along on her journey! Kimberly and I just happen to "run-into" each other at the reunion. I think we were the only Paperchasing family there. So, we immediately had a connection. She and her husband, Jonathan, love the Lord and so our bond is much bigger than our China adoption!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Thought you might enjoy this! I mean, how true is this, jeans/pants are the hardest thing to buy!! Guys have it so easy....... Oh, by the way, I changed the settings on the comments. So.....you should be able to comment without being a member...I hope it works for you! Hear from you soon!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

China Family Reunion

http://web.mac.com/bradtuckman/iWeb/maya%20tuckman/Gotcha%20Day%202.html

We had such a great time at the China Family Reunion. I was a little overwhelmed at all the children. There were about 43 families with children adopted from China. Hannah Grace was in heaven. She kept running up to me saying, " Mommy, her name is Lily too, or look at her, look at her" I caught Noah flirting with most of the little girls. He can be such a charmer. Carlton and I met another sweet couple who is also going through the paperwork process. We hope to keep in touch with thier journey. Well, I have a link posted for a video.
One of the sweetest "Gotcha Day" videos I have seen. Sit back and grab a tissue. It worth the 10 minutes......... But, I am warning you again, its a tear-jerker.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Summer update


Nocalulla Falls
We rode this train at least 6 times!

Granny had a great time too!


WHOA! It has been so long since we have posted! This summer has just flown by. Granny came to stay with us for a couple weeks and that is always fun! I have been taking some classes at JSU in order to keep up my certification and projects and busy work has consumed the little spare time I have! We spent one week with Carlton in Louisville at Southern Seminary. He his half-way through with his doctorate. The kids and I visited every book store in that town to pass the time! Back in Jacksonville, Carlton has been very busy with the new church building plans! Our quest for our little girl, Lily, is still going strong. We are finishing up our homestudy and our plan is to get our dossier in the mail 3 days before my 30th birthday. (12-9-07) Looks like China has really slowed down with thier referrals and that can be a little discouraging. But, we know the Lord is completely sovereign and he will give us Lily in His time. We will be attending Lifeline's China Family Reunion this next weekend. There, we will meet others who are going through paperwork, and families with children from China! I am really looking forward to this. One sweet note>While we were in Louisville, we saw a BUNCH on children who were adopted from China. One little girl was in the book store and Hannah Grace was completly infatuated with her. She basically stalked the girl. (OK, I admit, I did too) I am sure the mom was a little freaked out by our staring. Hannah Grace continued to follow her around and while I was reading she said, "Oh, Mama, I nearly got the chance to touch her!" That night, in the hotel, I heard her crying. I went to her room and she said,"Mama, I can't take it anymore, I need Lily now. I can't wait any longer." Honestly, I thought my heart would just break into. But, I sat down with her and we prayed for God to speed up the process and to protect Lily wherever she may be. I left her room and I thought I would have a complete "cry fest" by myself (carlton was gone studying). Well, I did have a little one. But, I realized, not only is my heart aching for Lily to be home, but her sister's heart is also. Pray with us that God will give us patience and strength during this lengthy process.



Saturday, June 9, 2007

Beach Pictures 2007



We had a wonderful vacation this past week. The kids were at a great age this summer and they really turned into little beach bums! We spent Monday at gulf world, that was a blast! Hannah Grace got to shake hands with the dolphins. It was great being able to get away and spend time with our family. My mom and her family and my grandmother were also at the beach with us! Noah really got spoiled by Granny. One morning, I went into the kitchen and he was eating Cheetos, Cookies, and a popcicle for breakfast! Hannah Grace had a great time with her cousin Isabella. Carlton and I got to spend lots of time together too. We celebrated our 9th anniversary at the beach. We went out to dinner and ate shrimp until we were about to pop! Well, back to the real world....... Oh, its not so bad! :)

Oh, you can click that button on the bottom of the slide show to speed it up or slow it down!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fingerprints and Pedicures.....






Last night, Hannah Grace and I had some "girl time". We both went and had our toes painted! Hannah Grace got a special treat from the lady and ended up with flowers on her toes! She was grinning from ear to ear!!!!!!!! We had so much fun.
We also had our fingerprints done for our homestudy. Yeah! One more thing to check off the LONG list! We met with our social worker today for our first visit. It went really well. We were able to ask her all of our questions. She mostly asked us about how we met, what is our family like ect.. I am a little down today. She warned us that the wait time has increased. Looks like Lily might not be here for 36 months beginning Dec. 2007! But, with China, things could change at any time. That will be our prayer over the next 3 years! Please pray with us!



Monday, May 28, 2007

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!

Friday, May 25, 2007

"Dear Sweet Daughter"
As a girl I had a common dream to be a mom someday. My baby would have eyes of blue and hair the hue of hay. But now my dreams have been transformed. New visions fill my head. Now the tresses that I long to stroke are raven black instead. And in my dreams those eyes are not so big or blue or round Now in my dreams they're almond shaped and colored cocoa brown. And in my dreams my arms can stretch across enormous seas. They reach half way 'round the world and hold you close to me. As you grow in your mother's womb, carefully knit together, you're also growing in our hearts where you'll stay forever And in my dreams the moment that your mother says goodbye, I'll be right there to comfort you and hold you as you cry. Our features may not look alike: We're different as can be. But still I know the Father has created you for me. And though I've not yet seen your face, or held your tiny hands. And though we're half a world apart in very different lands, I'll be right there to get you just as soon as God allows. But til he says the time is right, I give to you this vow. I'll pray for your protection every day on bended knee. For God to hold you in His arms until you're here with me. written by: Gayle Leubecker

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

BIG NEWS!


BIG NEWS! After much prayer, the Lord has led us to adopt a baby girl from China! We will be journaling our journey on this blog. Please pray for us during this long journey (about 2 1/2 years, hopefully sooner!) We have chosen to name our daughter, Lily, which means God's vow. We are in the beginning stages, collecting massive amounts of paperwork. It can be overwhelming. If anyone reading this blog has been through this, please feel free to give us any tips or encouragement! Yesterday, the Fed Ex man arrived with our China Manual. I was so excited, I took a picture of him! Then later, I nearly cried when I saw how much paperwork we had to do. We are so thankful for Karla, our social worker, she answers ALL our questions and is guiding us each and every step. Carlton and I are so excited, we can hardly stand it. We can't wait to hold our little girl and bring her home to meet her family! Warning:::: these links I have added about china adoptions are addicting.....beware, they might consume hours of your time!


Monday, May 21, 2007

Noah was Hannah Grace's biggest fan at swimming lessons. He would yell,"Jump, Sissy, Jump!"


Here is Hannah Grace about to jump! She has gotten to be such a brave little girl. Swimming lessons have come to an end for this year. Hannah Grace did so good this year. She is almost swimming on her own.!


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Bunches of Blessings

Our little blessing is fourth from the left. Of course in many ways all of the children in this picture are a blessing to our family. Hannah Grace and her friends presented a memorization from Scripture and two songs to encourage the congregation at Grace Fellowship today. It never ceases to amaze me at the ability of little children to learn, memorize, and comprehend the Word of God. I know that the Father has a special plan for these children who are being raised in the love of the Lord. We are a small church with about 60 children. This is an awesome responsibility. Hannah Grace and Noah are blessed to be a part of a fellowship of believers that love them, pray for them, and seek to train them to know the Lord. We are so proud of all that is being done in the name of the Lord! -Carlton

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Motherhood and the Second Child

It wasn't until my second child that I resorted to bribery. With Hannah Grace, my first-born, I did everything by the book. People were amazed that she could go into Wal-Mart and never ask for a single thing. She sat in the buggy (in the front part where she is supposed to, as opposed to Noah who has to ride in the back because he thinks its a train) and was as content as could be. I could shop for hours on end. I thought to myself... I got this parent thing figured out. Well... Noah arrived and things soon changed. My whole mindset became "What can I do to keep these kids happy, so I can buy some milk and bread." It all started when he was about 6 months. I would stock my purse with cheerios, crackers, you name it. If he would fret, I pulled out the food. Hannah Grace was 2 at the time, and I also started packing things to make her stay happy. Its been 2 years, and the bribery is now part of life. We never leave the house without our "prizes" in my purse. And there is acutally a game plan. I have to mentally think how long we will be "out and about" and carefully time each prize. When our prizes run out, its time to go home. I wonder if other moms do this? I have learned with Noah not to sweat the small stuff. A couple lollipops will not cause eternal tooth decay. Lollipops can actually be compared to good therapy, they keep you from going nuts.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Birthday Pics for family who couldn't make it!

A new big girl bike. We made this cake together. (That's fruit roll-ups for the ribbon! And Sprees for polka dots!)


On my way to a meltdown. Just one more spoonful of icing.



All the girls in thier aprons. A before picture. :)

Me and my little cook.

I have had a request for birthday pictures. As you all know, Hannah Grace is obsessed with Rachel Ray. She watches the food network all the time! So, of course, we had to have a cooking party! We had our party in the playroom so we didn't have to worry about the mess! I made aprons for all the girls, they made pizzas and decorated cookies with all kinds of pretty colored icing and sprinkles! I sent there cute cookies home in bakery boxes along with a recipe book just for kids. The kids had a blast. Sorry, to the parents, for all that sugar! Hope there wasn't too many meltdowns! Double Click on picures to enlarge.






A Perfect Mother's Day


Hannah Grace learning how to swim!


A big kiss from Daddy!
Today was the perfect Mother's Day. We decided to hold off on going to Olive Garden, the wait I am sure was horrific! Carlton really wanted to make the day 'perfect' by doing something special. But, being at home with my family is what I desire most! I am most content when all my little "chicks" are under my wings! After church, we swam in our little pool and just 'hung out'. It was a great day. I wanted to share a quote that I read recently. Hope you all had a great Mother's Day.
“That she has trained her children for heaven, rather than for earth, for God, rather than for man--she is the parent that will be considered wise at last. Train with an eye to my children's souls. We are made what we are by training. Our character takes the form of what mold into which our first years were cast. The path of obedience is the way in which He gives blessing. Determine to make your children obey you, though it cost you much trouble, and cost them many tears. Obedience is the only reality. The mark of well-trained children is that they do whatsoever their parents command them - cheerfully, willingly and at once." John Ryle 1888





Saturday, May 12, 2007

For all you Bama Fans!


This one is for you, dad. Thought you might like to see a special gift Hannah Grace received from the man himself. Mr. Sprayberry pulled some strings, as Coach doesn't do autographs. We are sending Coach Saban a copy of this picture. After attending the A-Day game in Tuscaloosa, going to the Bear Bryant museum, I felt like I was "officially" initiated as a tried and true Bama fan. Honestly..if Alabama never wins another game, I will always scream "Roll Tide"! Not to be arrogant or prideful in any way... but somehow I feel sorry for those who have never experienced the Bama tradition. I finally understand Carlton's Crimson Passion...(it only took 12 years. :) )
Posted by Picasa

Hannah Grace's Pre-school Graduation


Family pic at Hannah Grace's pre-school graduation. I was so proud of her when she read her book to the audience. I just couldn't believe my shy little girl actually did it! She was so brave and confident! I am really having a hard time with my baby turning five. She read the book: "Look Out Kindergarten Here I come!" A sweet note: During graduation, Noah ran up to HG and hugged and kissed her. It was priceless. Yes, its on video. I look forward to next year(Kindergarten), her being home with me. What an honor to teach my own child! I am sure we will make memories that will last a lifetime. I am starting to get that silly feeling that all teachers get when its back-to-school time. I can't wait to be her teacher! I feel honored and truly blessed to be able to be a full-time mommy/teacher/cook/wife/nurse/well.....the list goes on and on on! :)
Posted by Picasa