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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Miracles Can and Do Happen

There is SO much to catch up on - but in short, our prayers have been answered in the form of a handsome baby boy!  

Monday, August 19, 2013

Friday, July 5, 2013

Set them Up, Knock them Down

"Set them up, knock them down" seems like such an appropriate description of our journey.  It also happens to be a cute catch phrase on the top of Sunnybrook Bowling Alley's webpage.  (alluding to bowling pins, of course!)  Check out the image below to learn about a fun bowling event in September:

I feel like John and I have been "set up" and "knocked down" so many times in our effort to bring home a baby.  Each month and each cycle doing fertility treatments were certainly a roller coaster.  "It has to work this time.... we're trying this new tactic."  But then guess what... we got knocked down again.  I don't want to rehash all that heartbreak - you can flip through past blog entries to get the gist of it.  The important thing is that we are SET UPRIGHT again.  We are so grateful for our friends and family who have continued to support us. We are not always "ourselves" - we're tired, stressed, sad, anxious, and probably a zillion other emotions that are hard to name.  

I've thought a lot about what we've endured together, and I'm grateful for the silver lining of it all.  I've found so much comfort in our church and in God, and in my bond with John.  I wouldn't wish that we lost babies all over again (you know that saying, "I wouldn't change a thing..") but I can see the good parts and be happy for them.  I can also look forward to getting the phone call... rushing to the hospital, sharing tears with a brave, kind, gracious birthmother, and bringing home our baby.  It will happen, God has our child picked out, we're just waiting on His timing.  If we do what we can, He will take care of the rest.  

Sunday, June 16, 2013


"Adoption is redemption. 
It's costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous.
 Buying back lives costs so much.When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him"

Friday, May 31, 2013

Messy and Not Perfect

Yesterday, as I was waiting on an oil change for my car I felt inspired to put down some thoughts for our adoption profile.  Just thoughts, nothing cohesive that we can use yet.  The pressure of appearing "perfect" has been rolling around in my head, raising my shoulders to my ears in stress, and making me irritable.   I read about this idea in one of our required reading books for the homestudy.  Prospecitve adoptive parents are under so much pressure to prove that they will be "SUPER PARENTS" complete with a flowing cape (even when there is no wind).  No spit up is too gross, no temper tantrum too loud, we can handle it all, flawlessly.  Wow, talk about pressure! 

But, you know what?  Things get messy.  Maybe our house isn't spotless... we do live there, with two giant monsters (aka Riggs & Gunner) 
Side note: our kiddo won't be scared of monsters because he'll always think of them as big furry pups with wagging tails!   See, not perfect - my thought train is all over the place. 

 It's OK to mess up -- how else do you learn.  It's certainly OK to not be perfect.  Perfect is annoying and boring.  All good movies follow a hero or heroine who has a problem.  Something bad happens and you really pull for that person to overcome.  It makes the story great. 

John and I are far from perfect.  I've cooked the Thanksgiving turkey with the bag of parts still inside the bird; we've called the butterball hotline for help!  John once made a beautiful rustic shelf..but it was too heavy to pick up, let alone hang on a wall.  Both are funny memories.  In John's wedding ring, I had "remember the time when we...." engraved.  That's how we roll, always doing something, always trying, and all the while cherishing the stories we write together.  Life is messy, and that's OK.  I figure if we were perfect, it means we aren't trying to do anything new or outside our comfort zone.  Snoooze fest!

Adoption is way outside our comfort level; after all the "perfect" family is Mom + Dad + 2.5 kids.  Adotpion is adding more people to the equation - a social worker, a birth mom, and lots of supporters (since we've put ourselves out there).  It's bound to be messy, but also adds a fantastic dimension to our story.  The more quirky characters the better.  We don't know how this is going to turn out, but we are going to enjoy the experience. 

Craig Morgan sang:  "You might have a few less scars, but I'll have better stories"  Great song...! 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Stella & Dot? Why on Earth… ? There’s a REALLY good reason…

Never would I have imagined I’d sign up to sell anything, let alone be a stylist of any kind.  Here I am, a brand new Stella & Dot Stylist!  First, I like jewelry and Stella & Dot has a lot of very cute items!  Celebs have been wearing some of the pieces but it’s also very affordable too.  There is the solid empowering feeling that comes along with something like this– meeting new people and feeling the enthusiasm the Stella & Dot network has.    

Secondly, and most important, is my motivation for earning some extra income – my husband and I are pursuing adoption!!  The road to building a family is not for the faint of heart for unlucky infertile couples.  We’ve been poked and prodded and more people have seen my ‘pieces’ than have been blocked by Dikembe Mutombo!!  (a nod to that Geico commercial that cracks me up every.single.time.).  After several heartbreaking losses we’ve determined that our family will be built through adoption.    Everything has its way of working out – John and I are closer than ever, walking this road has sure made us a team.  However, this team needs some serious sponsorship!  

Adoption, when going through an agency, is a very expensive endeavor.  It will all be worth it in the end, when we bring home our bundle of joy.  If I need to throw some parties and put pretty women in some pretty necklaces… I’m willing to do it! 
A very good friend introduced me to Stella & Dot as a fun opportunity to fill a need… if you are interested in hosting a party or maybe even becoming a stylist yourself, I’m all ears and willing to help you do this too!
Visit my Stella & Dot page

Friday, April 26, 2013


Cuffs @ Granny & Grandpa's farm in 2004 (ish)

Dear Baby

Your Daddy and I love animals. We pray that this fancy for our four-legged friends is passed along to you. We haven’t met you yet, but we wanted to give you a chance to know about an adorable beagle pup that you will undoubtedly see pictures of around our house.

Cuffs, who we later started calling “Beagle” or just “Beag’s” was Dad’s faithful companion before he met me. He found her at a shelter and fell in love as she jumped up on the fence to get his attention. She had a rough start in life. Given a different name, she was locked in a closet with cats before she was rescued. The day Dad brought her home, he was in his cruiser and she kept hitting the button to turn on the lights!! This is how she earned her name! He used his handcuffs from her collar to the door handle to keep her safely in place.

Cuffs helped Dad to win over my heart in the very beginning. I thought a handsome police man who loved his dog had to be a great catch (and I was very right)! It wasn’t long until Dad & Cuffs and I & Fizzgig became a family. (Fizzy, as we called him, was my little shih-tzu pup named for the Dark Crystal that I had from the time I was 16 until he left us at 13 years old). Cuffs and Fizzy got a long really well. For a long time it was just the four of us until we bought our house in WV. The story of the other fur-kiddos is for another time though. But as we added dogs to the household, Cuffs transformed into Beag’s. We nicknamed everyone.

Beag’s absolute favorite game was hide and seek. She only played it as the seeker though, and only with Dad. All I had to say was “Where’s Dad?!?” and she would get excited and start searching for him. He could never hide long, that beagle nose always led her straight to him.

She’s love to bark her special “wooooo” bark/howl at us whenever we came home. She would speak on command, and no one could sneak into the house or the yard. Sometimes it was like she was yelling at a passerby or the other dogs. You could hear her for miles!

She’d do tricks and do almost anything for food. She knew exactly where the treat jar was and loved to train us. She’d come in from outside and sit right by the counter where the treat jar was and look at it, then us, then back and forth again. Smart little monster! She also had her chore… she was the pre-washer of the dishes. She would lick all the dishes off as we put them into the dishwasher. All we had to do was open the door and she’d come running to do her job.

Beag’s also loved horse poop. Yes… horse poop, much to our dismay! We used to take her to Grammy & Grandpa's farm and she would run out into the pasture and chow down. So very gross! We’d wind up having to chase her because she wouldn’t come back when we called… why would she? It was a glorious buffet to her! Yuck!

Cuffs would hop right in the bathtub anytime for a bath. She was so good, but she didn’t love swimming in the lake. She could swim like a champ but it took a lot of coaxing to get her out into the water. However, we took her with us on a vacation to Emerald Isle, NC one year with friends who had a boat. I’ll never forget her and Fizzy being on the shore, while John and I waded out to the boat for something. We turned around and both of them were swimming their way behind us! I guess they were afraid they were going to be left behind.

Beag’s started to slow down in the last year. She had a tumor on her spleen and had to have
Cuffs in March 2012 at the vets, after her splenectomy
it removed in March of 2012. She bounced back fairly well after the surgery, but was slower and a little grumpier when the big dogs wanted to play. At Christmas time we took her and the big dogs with us to visit Nana and Papa in Michigan. She started to get very picky about her food. We bought all kinds of different foods just to get her to eat. Well… fast forward and sparing you any gory details, we had to say goodbye to Beag’s on Sunday April 21st, 2013. Dad and I sat with her to the end. We know that she is no longer in any pain.

She was a very good dog, a faithful friend. We’re sad that you aren’t able to pet her very soft velvety ears, or see the white tip of her tail wagging for you, but we’re so glad to be able to share memories of her with you.

Love always,


Daddy & Cuffs NYE 1/1/09

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Everything You Can Wish On

Dear eyelashes, wishbones, dandelions, pennies, shooting stars, 11:11, and birthday candles:  
DO YOUR JOB!  Make our wishes come true!  

Love Dee & John

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

For the Record...

... after all, this is a record account of our crazy roller coaster ride to parenthood.  (Wait, isn't parenthood itself supposed to be the hairpin turn and death defying drops ride of our lives... maybe we're just getting a preview!)

I wanted to simply capture the Adoption Journey page we posted (to save for our record).  Friends, Family, and even people we don't know have been so generous! We are BLESSED to know such wonderful people.  We know times are tough, for everyone right now.  That's why we stepped out on a limb and put up a donation page; in hopes that a couple of dollars from the people who love and support us won't be a hardship to them, but added up can be a HUGE help to us.  You should know we really, really debated about putting ourselves out there.  However, we aren't shy, we are confident walking down this path, and we feel God is walking beside us on this. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Hey all...!  
After everything we've been through and tried to do medically to start our family, we've spent a lot of capital - emotionally, physically, and financially.  We're actively working to raise some money to help pay for the the adoption.  One brilliant idea of John's... was to list a lot of his collectibles on eBay.  If you know him, you know he's got a wide sentimental streak.  So for him to list his collection of badges and patches is so sweet and endearing to me.  So if you're in the market for some police collectibles - or other items, stop "buy" on eBay! 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Turning down a new road....

It's funny how things turn out... we tried so hard for so long to become pregnant and carry our child.  God has other plans.  Through an ironic twist of fate, we've been led directly into adoption.  The notion of adoption has been there for quite a while, but it's cool how it's come to pass.

Tax time... blech, yeah, so we had someone help us with our taxes this year.  While speaking with him, the question we hear so often comes up - "do you all have any kids?"  We shared a bit of our story and he told us how his wife has been involved in adoptions and homes tudies, and that she'd be happy to talk with us!  During my call with her, she shared about a new agency starting up in Martinsburg, that she's heard very good things about it.  We checked out Bethany Christian Services on the web, and requested an information packet.  They reached out to us because they were having an information session that very Friday afternoon.  Oddly, we later find out that it was a one-time session - not during their usual cycle.   We go, and run into another couple there... and this is the amazing twist... 1) they've already adopted thru Bethany Christan Services before and are very happy, 2) we have a mutual friend in common, and 3) he is in law enforcement too!!  Talk about divine timing!!! 

We felt so great after leaving that meeting; this is what we are supposed to do! Adoption has also been a catalyst for us to become more involved with church.  In the last month we've met so many wonderful people and have learned so many wonderful things.  It's true, there's always a reason, even if we can't understand it at the time.  This journey, has been heart wrenching, but John and I are more of a team than ever.  And we just can't wait to become a trio... or more! 

View our Adoption Page