family picture

family picture
We "want our very serve as HIS signature to all mankind so that all may know His work," Job 37:7

Sunday, June 26, 2011

You Know You Gotta Have One!

Well folks, we are knee deep chest deep over our head in adoption paperwork.  As we get closer to completing another phase of paperwork we come closer to another fee payment.  Ethan and I walked into this adoption knowing that we would have to raise the funds for some of the expenses.  So below you will find some of the things we are selling.  Each item is 20 dollars.  I plan to make a order on Thursday so lets get those orders in, You know you want one or 100!! If you are not able to purchase then there are still ways you can help. 
  • Pass on to all of your freinds (post a link to the blog or on your fb or the good ole fashion way by calling a few freinds on the phone)
  • Pray that God will continue to provide for our family as we pursue this adoption
First up on our fundraising tour is this lovely Ugandan beaded necklace hand made from recycled paper.  This purchase helps a women make a sustainable income for her family and helps bring home our child.
You can wear them several different ways.

 I love these and wear them a lot.  I also will wrap them around my wrist about 5 times for a bracelet. 

Second is a Navy t-shirt.  It is great for guys and gals.  I love that you get to spread the message of the orphan crisis while staying comfrotable.  I think it is most awesome. 

Last but certainly not least is a ladies t-shirt.  I heart this one too and while I was trying it on for the picture I decided this is what I will be wearing tomorrow.  So don't be surprised when you see me in this outfit. (Unless I spill coffee on it or get kid crazy on it).

So since I know you want one let me tell you how to make one of these pretties yours. Just send me an e-mail @ with the subject "Adoption Fundraiser" then let me know your order and your plan of payment.  I hope in the next few days I will post some buttons on the side so that you can make your purchases there. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Some of my readers might find this as old news and some might find it new but either way it is time to post that Ethan and I are expecting.


I realize that this is not the ultrasound you were expecting but we are not your typical expecting.  We are adopting!!!! 
When I was only 9 years old my mother decided to open up our home to foster children.  Ever since those sweet babies were in my home I have been forever changed.  That experience opened up my heart for adoption and I have often made comments to Ethan, "that I wanted to adopt".  After Elaina was born I started researchining adoption knowing Ethan was not thinking adoption was in our future.  I tucked those thoughts away in my heart and continued on with the life that we had been blessed with.  Over the next few months and years we discovered, our oldest daughter had a nerodevolpmental disorder called Rett Syndrome, we were blessed with two more children and struggled through job changes.  During this time I did not know if adoption was in our future but I kept praying.

After our fourth child, Leila was born I started praying more fervently about adoption and asked God that if this was not His will then please take this desire away from me.  Instead, God fueled my passion for adoption and the orphans and widows.  God changed my mind set about adoption and started molding my heart to see the orphans the way He sees them not the way Kara sees them.  I started to see my own adoption in God through Christ.  God worked on my heart, molding me and growing me closer to Him.  This also grew my passion for adoption for our family.  Still not knowing where Ethan was I knew that God would have to work in his heart as well.  I prayed and God answered again in ways that only God can.  I saw Ethan starting to struggle and wrestle with God over adoption for our family.  After praying together and asking close friends to pray for us Ethan also felt that adoption was God's call to our family.  We are stepping out in faith to follow God what we believe is God's will for our life.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

Over the past year we have come to realize that we were being prepared and asked to live a radical life.  Though God doesn't ask everyone to adopt He does command us to take care of those less fortunate and in trying to live an obedient life we prayed and said how does God want us to respond to the widows and orphans in this world?  It was this question that led us to start seeing adoption as a perfect picture of how our heavenly father adopted us into His eternal family through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus.  We "want our very serve as His signature to all mandkind so that all may know His work," Job 37:7.  Adoption is providing a way for us to spread the gospel, minister to the less fortunate and show the love of Christ.  We have decided to follow our Heavenly Father through growing our family through adoption as well as journeying through an experience and trusting that we will grow in our relationship with Christ and bring Him all the glory.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Famous Last Words...

You know how God has a way of redirecting you?  The days that followed the last post was just that, a total redirection, reprioritizing, moving, scolding and changing of my heart.  You see when I posted last I was in a little bit of of a complaining mood.  I had spent many days in very small exam room with all 4 children. This family had 2 cases of strep, 1 REALLY bad year infection, a horrible cold, a check up with a gastrointerologist, 4 OT, 6 communication therapy, and 2 PT appointments and numerous other appointments, activities and responsibilites that I decided and scheduled for this family. I was tired, cranky and selfish.  To add to the chaos of the month on April 15 just 10 houses down there was a tornado that came through it was small compared to the damage of recent storms but it was really close and a little concerning to me.  My friend and fellow blogger MK had some damage and you can check out her posts about  here.  All to say I wasn't in the most relaxed state of mind.  Then that "redirection" I spoke about happened. 
You see just 2 days later on April 27th I woke up at approximatly 5:12 a.m to tornado sirens.  I jumped up litteraly jerked kids out of bed and threw them in the hallway.  E was not at home and my heart was pounding and my mind was in the same state as the weather, a tornado.  I kept a calm exterior and just kept trying to reassure the kids over, and over again.  By 5:45 we were okay but a neighborhood about 15 minutes from here had been hit and there were several people injured, and lost homes.  Someone from my church lives in that neighborhood and has started picking up the pieces.  We then began the wait.  You see we were scheduled for more tornados that afternoon.  I was a nervous wreck.  My heart never stopped pounding as the local weather men and women became very serious and our state decided to go into a state of emergency BEFORE the weather came.  All of the information we were given was preparing us for conditions that were favorable for "Extreme Devestastion".  But what "Extreme Devestation" meant was completely left up for your interpretation. Schools and business were closed and very little activity was going on around town even though it was a beautiful day.  Breakfast came and went....Beautiful.  Lunch came and went....Beautiful.  I attempted to get the kids down for a nap since we had been awake since the break of dawn but it was hard with the air being filled madness and mayhem tension.  Shortly after lunch we WATCHED a tornado rip through the small town Cullman.  I decided at that time it would be best for us to weather out the storm in the basement of a sweet neighbor and fellow church family.  Josiah does not like storms to begin with and I could tell he was having a rough time dealing with the situation.  Well, to be transparent I was too.  I was a wreck inside. I had even seriously thought about driving south and trying to miss all of the storms but I feard that E would think I was a nut job so I stayed and waited. Since E was still not home and was in lots of meetings in another state he was oblivious to what we were dealing with.
Our town was scheduled to start seeing things at approximatly 4:30 p.m.  At 4:00 p.m. I packed up a bag of snacks, toys and other things to occupy the kids and headed down the street.   Approximatly 12 hours after being awakened by the tornado sirens I sit in the basement watching images from a tower camera. I couldn't believe my eyes.  A tornado, a BIG TORNADO.  It was unreal.  I was amazed, shocked and somewhat disbelieve.  I tried to text Ethan but was unable. I watched it come down 15 street (approximatly 2 miles from my home) and then we lost power.  We moved to the safest place in the basement putting the kids under a table, trying to remain calm.  We listened in on a battery powered radio but due to the basements structure we were struggling to get a signal.  After 15 to 30 minutes my phone starts going off.  Txt message after text message.
  • Jamie: Were are You?
  • Hanna: Are you okay?
  • Madison: Are you okay?
  • Mom: Are you okay?
  • Kevin: Were are you are you okay?
  • Kelsey: Are you okay?
  • Lisa
  • Stacey
  • On and on
Then the missed calls,
  • Mom
  • Nana (MIL)
  • Hannah
  • Jamie
  • Casey
I tried desperatly to return calls and texts but couldn't.  What was going on? I had no communication and had no idea what those people were seeing but they were freaking out.  Shortly after that first band of text messages and missed calls another wave came through, except this time the seriousness and tension had increased.  I couldn't get out any information to anyone.  Finally after about 45 minutes I decided to leave the basement and head to my home quietly praying, PLEASE don't let there be any damage.  I tried the first and quickest way but was blocked by a tree and as I was backing out I noticed the the sounds. There was only a faint sound of ambulances.  That's IT!!!  I turned around and headed out and around my neighborhood and noticed a few more down trees.  I then got to my house and found not even a limb, pinecone or leaf.  I walked in and started trying to feed the kids it was past 6:30 and I needed to start coming up with a plan. 
1st : Are the kids and I safe.
2nd: I need to contact these people and let them know I am okay the number of people looking for me is now in the 20's
3rd: Are we gonna stay here and where do we go.
No more than I get these thoughts together when my cell phone rings.  I jumped because I am amazed that it is even working.  I look down and see "E". It is then I fall apart.  I answer and give him a very quick run down.  I also ask him to call everybody and let them know I am okay.  I can tell from his voice that there is part of him that thinks I am blowing this out of proportion.  He is up north and he does not have any information about the goings on here.  Well, over the next few minutes as I wait in my now dark house with 4 kids who-know-something-has-happened-but-are-unaware-to-the-magnitude run around playing with flashlights, E discovers the distruction.  TUSCALOOSA IS LEVELED.  With every call he makes he is given more info.  One of his calls was with his boss who has a daughter at the University.  They were not able to get in touch with her and did not know if she was okay.  E informed him that I was having horrible problems with communication and tried to comfort them.  When he called me back he told me he was glad that we were finding a way to communicate because his boss had not been able to communicate to there daughter.  I quickly said, "She is fine she was able to get me a text after the storm asking me if I was ok." E replied with a little passion, "Are you sure it was after." After I confirmed it was after he pretty much hung up on me to call his boss. 

These are the moments that culminated after the devestating tornados ripped through Tuscaloosa. 

What is left of my church.  (1.5 miles from my home)

looking at the church from a couple of blocks away (usually block by homes and business)

The Hobby Lobby (2.25 miles from my home)

Twenty three families from my church lost everything they owned another 2 dozen had severe damage to there homes.  This is our new life: Rubble.  It has been 41 days since the tornado and much about my life and daily routine has changed.  I don't even know how to explain it.  The first couple of weeks the kids bombarded me with questions.

  • "Mom did Chuckie Cheese get hurt by the tornado?"
  • "Mom did our church get built yet?"
  • "Mom can we go to Taco Casa?"
  • "Did (insert a friends name here) house get hit by the tornado?'
  • "Mom are there gonna be another tornado?"
  • "Mom why did God send the tornado?"
  • "Mom what do you mean God allowed the tornado?"
Oh so many questions!!! 

This is hard.   This is redirection.  There are many needs that need to be met and my church family and I are in for the long haul trying to literally sift though the rubble and pick up the pieces while asking God to to guide us and show us what he wants us to do.  So I ask you two questions.
What are you gonna do? 
Do you know Him?