Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Poem for Waiting.


I stepped into her room today
Knowing she's not there
This waiting for referral
Is more than one can bear

But taking in the moment
I sit down on the floor
And dream of her here with me
When waiting is no more.

A little giggle fills the air
As I rub her feet
I place my hand upon her heart
To feel its every beat.

A song is sung so very soft
Her eyes begin to close
She’s meeting me in dream land
A place where love still grows.

My vision now is very blurred
The tears stream down my cheeks
I’ve dreamed of her quite often
Throughout these past few weeks.

Suddenly a sound is heard
The phone rings in the hall
Waking up I quickly pray
Please let it be "The Call."

Tom Fisher
© July 19, 2005

Fundraising Fever

It's safe to say that we are behind the masses when it comes to fundraising.

In fact...with the exception of Journey of Love.....(which has been amazing--thank you all so much!)

We haven't exactly done. anything. really.

With graduate school and keeping up with Journey of Love and working full-time and..and..and...

We just didn't have the time to plan or organize anything.

That, however, didn't mean we had all the funds we needed to complete this adoption just sitting in our savings account.

Nope, not even close.

Rabbit trail: Some people have a really hard time asking for help when it comes to building our own families. I would EASILY fit in that category. I understand that typically, for people to build their families, it doesn't require fundraising efforts, donations, or anything close to a village. It took me a long time to realize that this was SO MUCH more than just our family growing (although we DO get the immediate blessing of parenting this child). This was about so many different people standing up and doing something about the orphan epidemic in our world. There are millions and millions of children. They NEED the love of a family. And if you aren't in a position to bring them in to yours, please help somebody else...This is a global crisis. No child deserves to spend even one day in an orphanage and I had to realize, that WE may not like to ask for help..but this journey was never about us. This has always been about God's pursuit of his child and in that.....we know God will use as many of his children as possible in that journey because only then do they get the blessing of being involved in something so much bigger than themselves.

So, here were are--looking down the barrel of a referral (we hope) coming any day now...

Knowing that the REAL expenses (anyone priced flights to Ethiopia x's 2 for two/three people lately???) are about to hit us head-on.

And all of the sudden, I was hit with the fundraising fever! Imagine that?

First and foremost, we have a HUGE yardsale extravaganza coming up April 30th!!

To say that we've been blessed by friends, family, and even strangers would be a MASSIVE understatement!!

We are believing God for $4000.  We know that's big, but so is our God!

Second {and that which I am most excited about today} is our puzzle piece fundraiser and raffle which will run from May 1st to May 30th. Our full 7th month on the waiting list.

Ya'll wouldn't believe some of the beautiful prizes I have been given (and if you have something you are willing to donate--we are still asking for prize donations, so email me please!!!)

I can't wait til we unveil the prize list, but here's a sneak peek at the puzzle we will be putting together, one puzzle piece at a time!! This will be framed in glass and hung in our home as a constant reminder of all the people who were instrumental in bringing our family home together!

We are heading off for Florida this weekend and are heading straight to NWA when we return for the big extravaganza! If you don't hear from me before we get back, please keep us in your prayers!! We know God wants to do big things through this fundraiser and we can only hope that people answer His call!

Til I return tan and exhausted,

*Ashley Lou*

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Much of our process pursuing Little Smith has been.....


challenging. (to say the least)

Like this point, early in the process, where I realized the irony of the "hurry up and wait" philosophy.

Or, how about when I caved--despite my best efforts to remain strong and look "cool"!

Or even the lessons I have learned in Patience (over and over and over again) and Pursuit.

In fact....God never once told us this journey would be easy..We expected it to be somewhat painful...and possibly even make us a little crazy.

But this? This business of taking my phone with me to the bathroom everywhere I go just in case we get "The Call"?

Yelling at Telemarketers for using valuable phone time during which my agency may be trying to call me (and may God help you if I miss their call because I am on the phone yelling at you)?

Well, that's?

just a whole new level of crazy...

Don't forget to keep your guesses coming! =)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Adoption Poll

I am full of original ideas.

This is NOT one of them =)

I stole this from several other blogs I follow...

but with all the anticipation and talk in Adoption-land about referrals moving...

And with my renewed anticipation after Saturday's LOVELY gathering with past-present-future adoptive families...

I have decided to do my own poll.

I mean, technically we are smack-dab in the window.

And we are prayerfully optimistic, that it will be sooner rather than later!!! 

The winner of the poll? Will get her (or his, I suppose..though I have never had a dude post on my blog before) choice of any of the items created and sold for our Journey of Love fundraiser!!

Friends, that's what I call a "win-win" :-)

So here it goes...

Comment on this post with the following information:

  • Boy or Girl
  • Age at referral (Remember, we just up'd our age range to include up to 4 years old)
  • Date you think we'll get a referral
  • And (for fun) the name you think we will (or should) give our child (in addition to keeping Little Smith's Ethiopian name, of course)

Once we actually get our referral, After the screaming, sobbing, calling my mom and then everyone I have known since elementary school, jumping up and down with excitement, and shouting from the rooftops).....

I will go back through the comments and declare a winner!!

(Don't forget to make sure you put your name, if you aren't using an account)

Alright. Well, let the guessing game begin!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


This is what it looks like when you finish your Masters program with a 4.0 GPA!

Friday, April 1, 2011


We continue to wait for our little one. 6 months DTE* today. And with waiting, we are also...


Wondering what we might be missing in our child's life.

Praying that we can hold Little Smith soon.

Hopeful that we will bring him/her home this year.

Thankful that the caretakers are nurturing, kind, warm, and loving to our baby.

Dreaming of what his/her personality will be like.

Grateful that God is bigger than our circumstances.

Certain that He is going before us in this and won't leave us or forsake us.

Humbled by the outpouring of support.

and always....always...always...

in pursuit of our little one.


May we all learn a thing or two about true pursuit in our lives.

*Dossier to Ethiopia

Once Upon A Time...

This story is completely unrelated to anything going on in my life and is on loan to me from Mrs. Clover. I laughed three times this week when thinking about poor Shadrack!


Once upon a time, there was a boy named Shadrack. Shadrack was a confident boy of four years old. Full of life, and very good-looking.

Shadrack had a good life. A life in which clothing was optional, boys ruled and girls drooled and pre-kindergarten was right around the corner.

Yes, life was very good for Shad.

And then it happened. The day came when all the pre-kindergarteners would gather together, exert their dominance by show of force (or by who made the best gun noises) and laugh and play at the McDonald's playplace.

The playplace. 

Where all your dreams come true. 

At least, that was what Shadrack had always heard. And the anticipation was killing him! This was going to be HIS day for glory!

Everything was going great for a while. Shadrack was king of the playplace, running from side to side. Climbing higher and higher. He wasn't even afraid. Not even a little bit. Occasionally, in a show of confidence, he would wave proudly out the plastic window to his adoring mother, down below.

Yes, he was King of the castle, today.

But it was getting warm.

"Is anyone else hot in here?" he shouted as sweat poured off his dashing face.

No answer. Maybe he was alone? Maybe the other kids couldn't cut it up here in his castle.

But he wouldn't give in...No sir. He was a fighter!

So, Shadrack did was any fighter would do.

He started removing the clothing that was hindering his ability to play freely, taking care of the restrictions that sweaty, hot clothing commanded. Plus, he needed to cool down so he could play without requiring water... These were strategic decisions. Necessary losses in his battle for victory!

He knew, if he left this amazing castle, he would be forced to sit and eat. His mom would probably wipe his face down with a wet one. He shuddered at the thought. What would the other pre-kindergartners think of him then? All dominance would be lost in that moment.

He couldn't sacrifice all that he'd worked so hard for.

But it was still really hot.

"That's okay, though" he thought to himself " There's more clothing that can be removed". As long as there is clothing that can come off, there is play that can be had!

And then the time came. He knew...there was nothing else to do besides make his way back down to the group. He had so enjoyed his unrestricted play! He was carefree frolicking in the joys of the playplace.  Of course, it was still hot. And it appeared everyone else had already gone down. 

He had solidified his place as the playplace champion. Plus, he was hungry. The food was down there. His mom, whom he loved dearly, was down there. 

It was time to relinquish his throne.

And so, Shadrack began his dissent out of the castle. Making his exit down the tall slide (in the fashion of a true champion).

In all his glory.

But without any of his clothes.

Time stopped.

You could have heard a pin drop.

Shadrack froze. What was going on?

Why was everyone staring at him?

Where were his clothes?

His mind started racing......back through the playplace that he had taken as his was hot...he remembered it being SO hot up there.....When he began his journey, he was fine. His clothes were dry...Yes, it must have been the heat. His clothes were wet with sweat...His eyes were shifting back and forth around the playground. To the parents. To the kids. Where was his mom? Staring at him..Yes, she too was staring at his arrival.....where were his clothes?.

Shadrack couldn't move.

He couldn't speak.

He was frozen in time. In space.

Grieving the loss of his recent victory in the playplace.

He could never return to that place. That was then. His new reality was here.

On the ground.

With his mother.

And without any of his clothes.

Yes, this was his life now.

No glory.

No dominance.

No victory.

Just chicken nuggets.

And then he was snapped out of his stages of grief:

"Shadrack!!! You have to go get your clothes!!!" His father was demanding he return to the place of his demise? How could he ever show his face in that place again? He couldn't.

He wouldn't.

Over and over again, his father was demanding he return to retrieve his clothing. It was getting dark. 

Mr. Clover would have to go for him.

He watched as his father returned to the place he once was king.


The first thing Mr. Clover noticed was the heat.

As sweat boiled down his face, he thought...."It must be 80...maybe even 85 degrees up here"

Mixed with the frustration of having to contort his body into a playplace designed for his 40 lb son, the sweat and heat were enough to drive him crazy.

He started shouting out demands..

"Has anyone seen Shadrack's clothes?"  "Can anyone help me?"

Moving through the barrage of tunnels and boxes...occasionally glancing out the seaport style windows, he couldn't help but feel for his son.

His was so....wet....

"How could they let children play up here in this heat?" he started thinking. He would argue on his son's behalf when all of this was said and done. Heck, he wished he could disrobe too, up here in the Sauna in the Sky.

Finally a response...

"Mr. Clover....I think his socks are over here" a sweaty and red-faced preschooler shouted.

"Yeah, here are his pants, too" came from the other side of the playplace.

A clearer picture was developing of how this situation occurred.

One by one, as the heat tormented his child, Shadrack was removing an article of clothing at a time.

One by one, he was insisting that play was more important than comfort.

And one by one, his father was able to collect all of his clothing...

Minus one sock.....

Collateral damage, they would call it.

If they ever spoke of this day again.

He came down the playplace in the same glorious fashion as his sweaty, red-faced, naked-as-the-day-he-was-born, son....on the slide.

and returned to him, his clothing.


Valuable lessons were learned on this hot July afternoon day.

Lessons about pride and stature.

Lessons about knowing when it's time to rest.

Lessons about the value of indoor, air-conditioned playplaces.

And most importantly, lessons about our cultures demand that you wear clothing in public.

All hard lesson for a four-year old to learn.

But important lessons, just the same.

The End.