Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I'm sitting here in the hospital, waiting to be released.  A flood of emotions is kind of coming over me.   4 days ago I thought I was going to die.  I had passed out on the hospital floor 3 times before they realized how bad I was.  Finally I was sent for a cat scan...I remember crying out in pain from breathing or the least little movement.   I remember laying on the hospital bed shaking uncontrollably, bright lights in my eyes, doctors and nurses all around me, hearing how dangerously low my blood pressure was and how much blood I had lost.   As I was laying there, in and out, the doctor was trying to prepare me for what was going to happen.  All that I could think of was that I didn't tell my boys goodbye or that I love them.  I wanted to scream out for them but I couldn't.  I thought of our kids in Africa...I didn't want them to lose another mommy.   I just kept begging God..."please don't let me die, please don't let me die" .    Then I woke up to someone telling me that I had ben pregnant with twins and one was tubal and had ruptured.  Wow...I've lost 2 babies.  There was instant rush of questions just like when I lost the first one.   Would they be boys/girls/both?   What would the look like? etc.   I feel like I'm missing out on so much.   As I think about the fact that I could be dead.  It's such a strange feeling. My life is so fragile...yet, He holds it in His hands.  I thought I had been learning to let go...but, man...the thought of leaving my children.   It's almost unbearable.   Now, learning to let go of the children I have lost.  It's hard.   But, I'm still so thankful.   I'm thankful to even be alive.   I'm ready to go be with the blessings God has allowed me...and it's more than I deserve.

I'm so thankful for everyone has been praying, bringing food, cleaning our house, etc.   I honestly don't know what we would do without it.  Chad and I are both pretty useless right now.  It's almost laughable.   Pray we glean everything from this time that he wants us to.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


This was written by Chad on Sunday:

Yesterday was a good day. I (Chad) have been immobile because of my broken foot, but considering that, we all had a great day as a family. Somewhere around 6pm, Stephanie said that she needed to lay down for a few minutes, because she wasn't feeling well (I was already laying down, foot elevated, on ice). She said that her stomach was bothering her, and it went from being very uncomfortable to excruciating pain quickly. I asked her to try to describe the pain, and she could hardly talk through her tears and being out of breath. She said that it was pain like she had never had before. We knew that it was serious.

Just 10-12 days prior we found out that we lost our baby through miscarriage. Although we were confident that everything had "passed" from the miscarriage, we were now starting to wonder if this stomach pain episode was related to it. We made the decision to go to the ER. Thank God Stephanie's mom Lola was there since neither one of us were able to drive. I stayed home with the boys.

Well... after several hours of waiting, with no word about anything, Lola offered to come and pick me up. My Mom came to watch the boys. We had hoped to be back at the hospital before the doctor told Stephanie the results of her CT Scan.... but we were too late. We asked her if she had heard anything and she said that she has internal bleeding. That definitely is not what we had hoped to hear. Her blood pressure was 78/40. Those two are definitely not a good combination. Especially when you don't know what the source of the internal bleeding is.

After the doctors and nurses did very extensive questioning to try to get an idea of what could have possibly triggered this, the only thing that we kept coming back to was the recent pregnancy. The doctor said that "theoretically" it is possible that a pregnancy in the uterus, like we had, which miscarried, could have had a twin, which didn't make it to the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg does not make it to the uterus by traveling through the fallopian tube, but instead latches on to the fallopian tube. It becomes a ticking time-bomb because of its location, and eventually the fallopian tube ruptures.

The odds of having twins are about 3 in 100. The odds of having an ectopic pregnancy is 1 in 50 (both stats taken from The doctor said that the odds of having twins, with one being in the uterus and the other being ectopic is about 1 in 10,000. He had never known it to happen before, just knew that it was a very faint possibility.

They wanted to start the surgery as soon as possible. They knew that she had lost a whole lot of blood, and they sent for her to have some blood transfusion units from the blood bank. The blood bank said that it would not be able to get the blood to us as quickly as the doctor needed it, so they had to go into the emergency blood bank, which is Type O Negative (universal) blood, that they had on-site.

Stephanie was taken to surgery at approximately 1am. She was terrified (so was I). I would have given anything to trade places with her. The last time that she had surgery was with Luke's C-Section, which was not a good experience at all (once again, that's a whole other story). We prayed over her, with the surgeon present, and it was comforting to hear an "Amen" from him.

We waited in the Surgery Waiting Room for about 2 1/2 hours. There was lots, and lots, and lots of prayer. In and out of the waiting room. It is a very hard thing to surrender something. Especially something that you love. Especially something that you cherish and hold dear. Life without Stephanie is something that I cannot even allow my thoughts to explore. She is such an amazing wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. And although I wouldn't want to experience one minute of life without her, I had to give her to Jesus.

I did this in faith. I did it in faith that God is faithful. I did this knowing that three doctors were operating on my best friend with the odds of what they were looking for being 1 in 10,000. Although those numbers are not very good, I know that God is VERY GOOD. He is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we could ever ask or think.

The good doctors came to the waiting room and gave us the news that she was in fact 1 of the 10,000. I think she's more like 1 in 1,000,000. The fallopian tube had ruptured. They vacuumed out 6 pints of blood that she had lost from internal bleeding. That's just an outrageously high amount of blood to lose. They had to remove one of her fallopian tubes. That was basically it. The surgery was very successful.

They gave her 3 pints of blood from transfusion. They said that she's young and healthy enough to come up with the other 3 on her own. It has just now been a little over 24 hours from when the initial pains began. Steph hadn't eaten since lunch yesterday, but she just finished an all-liquids dinner. She's looking much, much better as time progresses. She's getting color back. She looks alert. She's wanting to sit up.

The doctor said that leaving tomorrow is a possibility, but a more realistic day would be Tuesday. It all depends on her blood count levels getting back up to where they need to be, and her ability to keep regular foods down.

I cannot thank you enough for those of you who spent most of your night last night petitioning Heaven with me for Jesus to rescue my precious wife. He certainly did, and He is worthy of all praise and thanksgiving.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Faith of a Child

I love my boys so much.  They bring so much joy to my life.  I'm so thankful I'm their mama.   Lately, Ethan has really challenged me.  God has really used him to speak exactly what I needed to hear.    A few weeks ago my car broke down in Georgia.  It was beyond repair...or way more than we could afford or thought the car was worth.   On our way home, Ethan asked, "mama, when do you think we'll know why our car broke down?".   I told him we'd have to wait to hear from the mechanics and they would tell us what was wrong with it.   He said, "no, I mean, why do you think this is happening?   Do you think God has a reason for it?" .    Just the reminder I needed. :)

Well, today, we got bad news.  Chad is not being allowed to return to work until his foot is all better, which the dr thinks will be about 12 weeks.   We were shocked and it was quite a blow.    Well, a couple of weeks ago I found out I was pregnant and then I lost the baby.  Ethan was devastated...he was already coming up with names and talking to my belly.  It was hard on him. he said, " know how the baby died?   And now daddy's foot is broken?   Well, now you can go to Africa and daddy can't.   If that hadn't happened no one would be able to go pick up C and B.".    It was a precious reminder to get my eyes on God.   I don't know why all of this is happening...but, I do know that I need to have the faith of my 7 year old.   Just knowing that God is working.   

Luke has also been so his own way, of course.   My mom is staying with us until she leaves for Africa.   She's staying in C's room.   Well, anytime my mom dares to call it "my room", Luke quickly and as serious as can be says, "it's not your's C''re just visiting."    It's so funny.  I love that he is already protective of his sister!   

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Boys

This is Luke...he is so fun!  Look at him...he's literally scaling the walls!
His quote of the day was a comeback to Ethan..."oh yeah?  Well...I see a stink bug in your ear....and it's POOPING!".

The boys were so sweet the other day.  They brought a little "get well" gift and balloon home for Chad.   They are really missing him since he's stuck in bed all day.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I'm Not OK

This past few weeks have been kind of crazy around car had to be scrapped due to burning up the motor, found out I was pregnant and then after a roller coaster of a few weeks, I lost the baby, and then, this weekend Chad broke his foot.   I'm tired...physically and emotionally.   I've been tempted to have a pity party.   I feel sorry for myself that I've had to go without a car for a few weeks.   It's been heartbreaking to lose a baby.   It was a lot harder than I even imagined.   Now...Chad is in constant pain and I'm his caretaker along with my boys.   We don't know if he'll be able to work and if not...for how long?   In case no one had noticed...this is REALLY bad timing because we're trying to bring our two other kiddos home.     But, that pity party gets crashed very quickly when I am reminded how blessed I really am.   When I look at the plight of people around me and around the world....suddenly things don't seem so bad.   I have a car! I don't have to walk miles to get water for my kids to drink.   I have a God who comforts me in my grief and He has surrounded me with friends who are such a huge support.    I have a healthy husband with a good job!  And....I have a God who is a faithful provider.  HE is our all in all...not our employer.   Sheesh!  I feel so foolish and selfish when God puts it all into perspective for me.      How am I doing???   I've been asked this question so many times lately and I feel this "poor me" mentality start to rise up.     I just want to get my eyes off of myself.   I think about my kids in a home a world away.  My heart is breaking more everyday.  I don't know how long I can wait for them.  I feel like I just need to go grab them up RIGHT NOW.   It breaks my heart to think of the fact that they are waiting too.   How are they handling this waiting?   I think of all of the children in such desperate food or water, sickness and disease, sickening abuse, and so much more.   And this is happening all around the world....and not so far from our back door.   
Sometimes I want to feel sorry for myself because of the people around me that are hardened by prejudice and are hurtful and negative about adoption.   When compared to the millions of orphans who have literally been abandoned and have NO ONE, or who have been sold into slavery by their family.....I think I'll be ok.   

I don't want to be ok!   I'm not ok with the way things are!   I think it probably disgusts God  to see me go about my daily life, in my comfortable home, with my fridge full of food, my kids toy boxes overflowing with toys, my dog eating better than a lot of people, my excessive waste of water.....when every 4 seconds someone dies of hunger.   I'm not ok and I don't want to be.   I don't want my kids to be.   Lord break my heart!  Move me to action!   

"It is estimated there are between 143 million and 210 million orphans worldwide (recent UNICEF report.) The UNICEF orphan numbers DON’T include abandonment (millions of children) as well as sold and/or trafficked children. The current population of the United States is just a little over 300 million… to give you an idea of the enormity of the numbers…
According to data released in 2003 as many as eight million boys and girls around the world live in institutional care. Some studies have found that violence in residential institutions is six times higher than violence in foster care, and that children in group care are almost four times more likely to experience sexual abuse than children in family based care.
Every day 5,760 more children become orphans
Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…
Each year 14, 505, 000 children grow up as orphans and age out of the system by age sixteen
Each day 38,493 orphans age out
Every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out with no family to belong to and no place to call home
Studies have shown that 10% – 15% of these children commit suicide before they reach age eighteen
These studies also show that 60% of the girls become prostitutes and 70% of the boys become hardened criminals
Another study reported that of the 15,000 orphans aging out of state-run institutions every year, 10% committed suicide, 5,000 were unemployed, 6,000 were homeless and 3,000 were in prison within three years…
An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked every year; (THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S CHILDREN 2005)
2 million children, the majority of them girls, are sexually exploited in the multibillion-dollar commercial sex industry. (THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S CHILDREN 2005)"

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Never a Dull Moment

This weekend had had it's great moments....and some not-so-great ones.

This week was homeschool week at Wonderworks in Pigeon Forge.   We went up there Friday night and stayed for hours.  It was a blast.   They have so much fun stuff for the kids and the adults.  We went through the whole place once and then went all the way back to the beginning.    I'm so thankful they do homeschool week because we get in super cheap!

Now for the bad news.....yesterday we were helping my mom move out of her house.   Chad was up on the tailgate of his truck.  When he stepped down he heard several cracks and felt LOTS of pain.   After going to the ER, it was confirmed that he has broken his foot.  We will find out this week if he  needs surgery or not.   Just praying he doesn't need surgery and trusting God that He will provide and bring a quick healing!   

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Today was a good day.  I've not been out of the house for a couple of days and my mom picked us up and took us to the mountains.   I needed the distraction.  I find that things hit me the hardest when I'm alone and have nothing to do.  I start to think about the events of the past week.   Then, I start to think about our kids in Africa.  I'm getting so impatient lately.  I just want them home now.  It's been really frustrating....just waiting and being helpless...knowing what they're going through.   While today was a good seems like there is a huge hole in our family...even in our day to day routines.  I cannot wait until we can  make these trips as a whole family.   This being still and knowing He is takes practice!

We went to Cades was great!  It drizzled the whole time so it wasn't too busy.  We didn't see much except for  7 bears!   There were two mama bears and 5 cubs.   All but two were way up high in an oak tree.   I couldn't believe how high they could get or how far out on the limbs of that tree.  I kept waiting for one to fall or for a branch to break.   It was also really neat to watch the mama on the ground.   She kept walking a circle around the tree...kind of marking her territory.   One of the cubs kept jumping to the ground and she would snort at it and it would jump back up on the tree really quickly.   It was so cute and kind of reminded me of me and my kids sometimes.   The boys stood and just watched for a long time.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011



Today...I'm trying to be still and KNOW He is God.  I've been sad, frustrated, and angry today.  Frustrated and angry with others and myself.   But, God has brought me close.  He's been so good.  I'm more thankful for His grace than ever.   Right now I feel like I don't know anything.  I don't know what's going to happen or why.  But I know He is God...and that's enough.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Am I JUST waiting?

First, I just want to say that we are so blessed!  What we are going through at this time pales in comparison to the things that people we know have gone through or are going through.   Nonetheless, this is where God has us and we are going through some things that are painful and tough for us and for our kids.

A friend of mine gave me "Streams in the Desert" last week when we got some bad news.   In reading,  God's been showing me some things about myself.   I already knew that I don't like to wait!   I like to make something happen and not wait one more second than absolutely necessary. have no choice.   We are in some situations in life right now where I have no choice but to WAIT.   I can say...."We're just waiting on God....".   But, in all reality....I'm waiting...because I have to, but, going crazy in the has nothing to do with God!  

Waiting is not RESTING.  Resting is what I should be doing.   Waiting doesn't necessarily mean I'm trusting God.   Waiting doesn't mean that I'm developing character in a hard time.   Right now, I'm helpless.   There is nothing I can do.  AT. ALL.   But, I have a choice.   I can choose to do what I do myself...and my husband....crazy and wear myself out.    Or I can rest.    Rest in God.   Rest in the fact that He's got all of this.   Rest knowing that He is sovereign.   Rest because He loves us and all of our children.  Rest because He knows exactly what's going on and He is SO much better at this than I am!     Rest because He is my God.

I'm learning to rest.  Life is so much better when I'm resting.   I think that experiencing God in a new and fresh way has come from learning to rest.  I think resting has meant stopping my insanity and allowing God to comfort me.   To just be with Him....that's resting.


Psalm 37:4 and 7

Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act.

Psalm 62:1,2

I wait quietly before God, for my salvation comes from Him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.

Psalm 63
verse 2:
I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory.

Strength comes from quietness and confidence in Him.

Isaiah 30:15

This is what the Sovereign Lord,
      the Holy One of Israel, says:
   “Only in returning to me
      and resting in me will you be saved.
   In quietness and confidence is your strength.
      But you would have none of it.

Psalm 131

 Lord, my heart is not proud;
      my eyes are not haughty.
   I don’t concern myself with matters too great
      or too awesome for me to grasp.
 2 Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself,
      like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk.
      Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
 3 O Israel, put your hope in the Lord
      now and always.

This passage has really convicted me.   It is prideful to think that I can handle these matters.    There is so much joy and freedom when you stand in awe of God and choose to rest in Him.     I'm seeking His grace to live with childlike faith and resting in Him.