Sunday, December 31, 2017

Looking ahead to 2018...

Looking back at 2017

This year has been a challenging one for many reasons.  We started the year with our two new children (still in foster care) having just moved in our house in late 2016.  We had numerous social worker visits for seven months until finalization proceedings could begin. The adoption of Br@yden and K@celynn was finalized on August 1st.

Br@yden had a total of five hospitalizations mainly for breathing complications due to his mitochondrial DNA disorder.  One hospitalization was an adenectomy.  He also had his G-tube replaced with a GJ-tube.  Because of Br@yden's disorder, we have gotten to know his numerous pediatric specialists (neorologist, gastroenterologist, pulmonogist, ENT specialist, physiatrist, cardiologist, opthomologist).

Getting used to these two additions has been extremely challenging for our family, and has stretched us in ways that were unimaginable.  Here we are at the end of the year, and we still have a long ways to go.

As a result of this adoption, we lost friends that just didn't understand why we were doing what we were doing.  We also gained new friends that are supportive of our situation.  We switched churches as well late in the year.  Unfortunately, the church that we had been attending for many years was not supportive of our adoption.  It was not equipped to minister to a child like Br@yden.  Numerous folks that we had regularly interacted with there for years stopped talking to us.  Luckily, we have found a new church that is equipped to minister to our entire family, including Br@yden.

In late August, we traveled with all six kids down to South Florida to our favorite Gulf Coast destination. This was a much-needed time away for all of us.

We spent the entire year debt-free and didn't make a single debt payment to anyone (with the exception of Seth's $1.50 library fine).  It's been a great feeling to track our progress as we head towards financial independence.

Our major home project consisted of pulling out all of our flooring (carpets and hardwoods) and installed all new flooring upstairs and downstairs.  It took nearly five months, but it's finally complete.

Looking ahead to 2018

Here are my goals for our family this year:

1.  Step up savings and investments significantly.

2.  Focus on my family and continue to acclimate our two new children into our family.

3.  Read thirty books and track them at

4.  Get back in the Bible and read it again cover-to-cover (archaeological Bible that Kristie gave me a long time ago).

5.  Increase passive income streams.

6.  (Carryover from 2017 Goals) Take steps towards writing our adoption journey.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016!!

Image result for 2017 beachAs the sun sets on 2016, I reflect back on this eventful year.  We lost Kristie's Dad in November, but  it seems like most of the year was put on hold as we cared for him after his stroke in August.  While he was struggling, we were having visits with our new kids on the weekends.  

As usual, here are the results of my 2016 goals:

1.  Travel.  Kristie and I traveled to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in February.  This was an amazing, beautiful part of the world.  Also, we took a long-needed vacation with the kids in September to Captiva Island, FL.  

2.  Read thirty-five books and track them at Malachi-Books.  I didn't quite get there, only reading 22.

3.  Complete our domestic adoption.  We were officially matched in August with two children in foster care.  They moved in on December 17th.  We will finalize hopefully in June, 2017.

4.  Pay off our house.  Done!  on December 23rd.  Debt free!  Goodbye Chase Bank forever...!

5.  Begin steps to writing our adoption experience.  Not done.

2017 Goals:

1.  Read twenty-five books and track them at Goodreads

2.  Begin steps to writing our adoption experience.  

3.  Now that we are completely debt-free, I plan on really stepping up saving and giving.  Increase net worth by 20%.

4.  Others...

Saturday, October 22, 2016


It's been a while since I have blogged.  To say "we have been busy" is an understatement...!  I wanted to give an update on our adoption.

Image result for adoption heart
After meeting our case worker at FF for the first time in April, we proactively searched for potential adoptive children.  We were particularly seeking special needs children and sibling groups.  On several occasions, we read biographies of children that we wanted to inquire about.  Inquiring did not lead to any matches.  We felt that our agency wasn't doing very much in the way of seeking out potential adoptive children on our behalf.  That is until, we were asked by them about our interest in a certain special-needs sibling set in metro-Atlanta that needed a new home.

After much prayer and discussion, we said 'yes' to learning more about these two children...a three year old girl and a four year old boy.  The boy is non-verbal and has severe medical challenges.  Saying 'yes' kicked off a flurry of activity...
  • July 26th - Presentation.  Meeting with our agency to learn about the children.
  • August 24th - Staffing meeting. We met the foster mom, (5) people from DFCS and (3) social workers from our agency to learn more about the children.
  • August 29th - We were officially 'matched' with the children.
  • September 22nd - First visit with children in the foster home.
  • October 22nd - Visitation officially began.

We found out this week that a tentative placement date in our home is December 5th.  We will have weekend visits with the children up until the time they move into our home in December.

Kristie and I are thankful that the Lord has opened up many doors along the way.  We will continue to walk through them one at a time.  We know that the road ahead will be extremely challenging, and will stretch us in ways that we haven't ever been before.  We are thankful for the support that we have from friends and family.

Please be in prayer for us and this adoption.  Additionally, Kristie's dad has been in the hospital for over two months, so we are dealing with all that goes in to helping a sick parent.

We do need help as we get ready for these children to move in, so I am simply putting it out there on this blog.  We have not had a toddler in the house for many years, we will need supplies, diapers, sippy cups, etc.   Also, we will be making numerous trips to see these children for visitation over the next 6 weeks.  This will require tons of gas and patience with Atlanta traffic.  Also scheduling will be extremely challenging.  I am praying that GOD will take care of our schedules and work out all of the details.  I have no doubt that He will make it happen.

Thanks again for everyone's support and prayers during these next few months.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

BVI and Books...

I don't believe I ever posted my blog for our trip to Tortola last February.  I'll try to add more pictures soon.  So here it is for all to see...

Also, here is my updated book list...

Friday, April 22, 2016


Kristie received a blog post written by Craig Greenfield, founder of Alongsiders International.  It couldn't have come at a better time.  Here are some highlights:

"But some of God’s children suffer greater pain, poverty, and oppression than others on this earth. Through no fault of their own, by the simple fate of birth, some were born into broken families, dysfunctional communities, or war-torn nations. They struggle with abuse, addiction, mental illness, lack of opportunity, or awful living conditions."

"The Israelites faced this same question of allegiance when they used the safety of their children as an excuse not to obey God and enter the Promised Land (Numbers 14:3)."

"God called them out on their wrong priorities, and because of their disobedience they had to spend forty years in the wrong place. The desert may have been safer, and maybe it had better schools, but it was clearly not where God had called them to go."

"The children of the Israelites finally entered the Promised Land, but without their parents."

"For Jesus subverts the status quo.  He turns things and people upside-down."

"He uses the most unlikely among us. The overlooked. The weak. The vulnerable."

"He even uses you and your children."

Update on our Current Process:

March 31st, 2016 - Homestudy was approved by F.F. and submitted to the state of GA.

April 22nd, 2016 - Met our case worker for the first time.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Our Current Process...

Many people followed us on this blog and in other places during our first adoption  We are (and were) extremely thankful for all of the support then.  Since 2013, I have kept this blog open to the public, but have not written very much.  Few people know about our current process, why we chose to start it again.  Some that are aware have been asking questions about the timeline.  So here it is

  • July 18-19, 2015 - IMPACT Training #1 in Atlanta, GA
  • Aug. 8-9, 2015 - IMPACT Training #2 in Atlanta, GA
  • August, 2015 - Very large packet of paperwork submitted to our agency
  • Dec., 2015 - Matt - CPR/First Aid Class (Kristie keeps her's current!)
  • Jan. 25, 2016 - Homestudy Visit #1
  • Feb. 3, 2016 - Homestudy Visit #2

What kind of adoption is it?  Domestic (open to all 50) states, "special needs" children, foster-to-adopt.

How many kids?  As many as we can get.

What is considered "special needs"?  Sibling groups in the foster care system, a child with medical challenges, a child that has been in the foster system for a long time.

Why are you going through this again?  Why not?  James 1:27

What does it cost?  $Zero in the state of GA (if we end up adopting out of state, there could be some legal fees).

Where are you going to put more kids?  The Lord has provided us with a nice house with some room for a few more.  We can put a boy on Seth's top bunk, and we can fit a couple of girls in the bonus room with Daughters #2 and #3.

For more information, visit

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Home Study

We received word today that our home study will begin on Monday, 1/25.  We have waited for so long, and now it looks like things are starting to move.  According to the Program Manager, our "adoption specialist"  (case worker) is new with our agency, but has a ton of experience writing home studies.  So, it looks like a weekend full of cleaning, organizing and making sure our house is child-proof...

Our agency...