There is so much on my heart right now: our journey, how miraculous these people are, my desire to point you to hope… We have been drowning for about five years now. Around 2014 we began to see that there was something foundationally wrong in our family, something vital was missing in our relationship with our adopted kids. As much as we loved them, and as much as we tried different parenting techniques, counseling, therapies, medications, as much as we read about how to help them and prayed over them, we were broken. We tried it all, and nothing worked. In the midst of the struggle to understand, God called us to adopt again, and somehow things became even more stressful, even more constricted, even more wrong. We were in a horrible, dark place. I carried so much guilt around for years, thinking that my kids’ brokenness and inability to give and receive love was somehow my fault. It was a heavy weight to carry. Thank the Lord that He freed me of that weight as I began to learn about how trauma and attachment issues can impair a person’s ability to love and bond for life. The neglect and lack of stability and trauma that they suffered before coming into our family (yes, even as infants!) had wired their brains so that they were not able to relate to others normally, they had an underlying sense of worthlessness, and they could not give and receive love. They had Reactive Attachment Disorder, and it was tearing us apart. Keith and I worried over their futures and their hearts, and dragged ourselves through each day. Then a few months ago, a friend shared a therapy program that she had successfully used to help her adoptive children with RAD. She claimed that it had actually CURED them. In everything I had read, I had never come across a cure for RAD. It was managed, not cured. But we were desperate and willing to try anything. So for the last twelve weeks, we plunged into this therapy. It is not easy or quick, and it most definitely is not for the faint of heart. But for us, deciding that we were willing to sacrifice just about anything - possessions, sanity, reputation - to heal our children, has changed everything. (Cont'd in comments)


Life is crazy. I'll tell y'all all about it sometime. Right now, this. πŸ’•


Wishing you all peace and joy this Christmas! "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons." Gal 4:4-5 #merrychristmas #itook133photos #thiswasthebestwecoulddo πŸ˜‚


One year ago, this sweet girl and I boarded a plane in Addis Ababa on her birthday and said goodbye to everything she had ever known. We landed the next day and celebrated both her homecoming and her birthday, still jetlagged and shell shocked. After the hardest, most stressful, most sanctifying year of our lives, we are giving thanks to God for this precious girl and for all the wonderful progress we have made in a year. Through it all, God has shown his faithfulness, His lovingkindness, and his great mercy. I am honored to be Yasmin's mama, and can't wait to see what God has in store for us in the year to come. #adoptionrocks #Godisgood #happybirthday Yasmin!


Happy birthday, my sweet Nolie! I am thankful every day to be your mama. You are so compassionate, nurturing, and affectionate, and we all adore you! #happybirthday #twoyearsold


New year, new school. So thankful for how God has brought us to this point, and so hopeful for the year ahead. #Godisgood #adoptionrocks #backtoschool


Hope you had as much fun this fourth as we did! #allthecousins


We're on Zulily today and tomorrow! Some of our favorites are included in this sale, and they're offered at a great discount! As always, 50% of profits go straight to orphan prevention, orphan care, and adoption charities. Link in bio!


In addition to his wavy hair and smiley eyes, this sweet boy was born with a unibrow. 😊 We haven't really said anything to him about it, but I may have waxed it a few times (maybe I even snuck in to wax it once or twice while he was sleeping)😜. The other day in the car, Yasmin noticed it and said something about how he only has one eyebrow. At first he argued that he had two like everyone else. Then yesterday out of the blue, he very proudly proclaimed "Look, mama! I have ONE REALLY BIG eyebrow!" Clearly I need to learn a thing or two about confidence and perspective from Hammie πŸ˜„ #unibrowproud #icantbelievetheresnounibrowemoji


My parents are amazing. Last week my fruit bowl broke, and my mom got my dad to work on a new (much more special and amazing and gorgeous) one. I love that it has so much character and it's extra special because my dad made it. Thanks, mom and dad! Y'all are the best! (And yes, that is just a week's worth of fruit for us 😳)


I'm trying to document all the things this Christmas... and this is how 98% of our photos are turning out πŸ˜‚ I love that this captures reality and I hope it makes me smile in twenty years just like it does now πŸ˜„ Thanks @allenoliver for the memory!

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Christmas with cousins! You wouldn't believe what we had to do to get this photoπŸ˜‚ #matchingjammiesforthewin

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These two are celebrating 38 years of marriage. I am so thankful for their dedication, their love for each other, and their example. They are such a blessing to me and seeing them as grandparents to my kids is the best. Happy anniversary, mom and dad! #andmanymore

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I just added a couple of new growth charts to the shop, including this colorful swan. I had so much fun designing these, I hope y'all will enjoy them too! Right now through Christmas I'm offering 20% off your entire purchase with coupon code JOY20. Our growth charts make wonderful gifts, and as always, 50% of profits go straight to program care and prevention. #shopsmall #giveback #buyhandmade #orphancare #orphanprevention #etsy

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This girl has incredible determination, and in eight short weeks has learned to ride a bike, rollerblade, play the piano a bit, and (almost) swim without a float. All while learning a new language, new family, new food, new school, new everything. I've decided Ephesians 3:20-21 is our verse, as it describes God's great grace to all of us in this tough (but totally worth it) time, and our hope that Yasmin will glorify him with her life. "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." #byhisgrace #forhisglory #adoptionrocks

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The kids are back in school after a weeklong break πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰ #currentmood

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Oh goodness. #thatsmilethough

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Happy birthday to my beautiful seven year old! We love you, Gigi!

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More sweetness in the midst of the struggle. This photo was Yasmin's idea, and captures just a bit of our crazy. πŸ’• #ilovethese #adoptionrocks

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Yasmin is doing amazingly well. She is the sweetest with little ones, and all of her brothers and sisters adore her, but these two are something special. It makes my heart so happy. I keep thanking God again and again for bringing her into our family. #adoptionrocks #ethiopiaadoption

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