Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in pictures!

What in the world happened to this year? Where did it go?  What in the world did we DO for 12 months?!?! :-)

We thought we would hi-lite yet another memorable year in pictures... In no particular order...

We had so much fun with far-away cousins... who all suck their thumb or have a paci :-) 

We wore paper hats...

Love from Nee & Tata!

Licked the spoon with belly hanging out... the ONLY way to properly lick the spoon.

 Second birthdays!!
 Lion bouncy houses!
 Learned to "smile" on command!
Wore bowl hats...

Wore shrugs without a shirt underneath... NOT the way to properly wear a shrug if you're over the age of 3, FYI :-)

Loved on Daddy

Swam with Mommy

 Love from Mommy and Daddy
More FUN cousins came to visit!

 Wore show-girl sunglasses... and wore them well!
FUN visit from Ghee!

 Loved on Bentley...
 Took out the trash with Daddy... in style!
Mommy and Daddy loved each other, too :-)
Wore more paper hats...
Wore tutu's... and made monkey faces
Played in the new ball pit with Daddy!
Sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus!

Ok Ok... so we like paper hats...

Ate cupcakes... Funfetti, to be exact. YUM!
"Cleaned the kitchen" ...with milk...

Wore our sunglasses up-side-down
Wore Zebra masks...

 Went to Costco with friends... and shared a shopping cart!
Loved each other!!

 Loved my Mom!
 Wore furry boots and sunglasses...
Dear 2010~
We loved you so much... but there's a huge possibility that we'll love 2011 even more!! BRING IT ON!!

Joey, Lindsay & Hannah

Coming soon...

I'm working on a post to bring an end to 2010 but it appears that the uploading tool on Blogger has decided to take New Years' off... who does it think it is?! :-)

For now, head over to our Facebook page and 'like' us... we're only 9 people away from 200! This doesn't mean a lot but statistically for every 1 person who 'likes' a page, 10 more have seen it... this means that potentially 2000 people are aware of our deep desire to adopt again! WOW! We know for a fact that God is already using our page to bring us closer and closer to bringing home our newest family member/members. God works in mysterious ways and He certainly does know the desires of our hearts...

Start 2011 believing that God knows your hopes, dreams, and desires... we sure are! In the mean time, we are praying fervently for our next baby/ babies and for his/her/their birth parents... for health, happiness, lots of support for them, and the knowledge of how much we already love them all, even if we haven't met them yet.

Stay tuned for the longest blog-post (in hilarious pictures) with the longest blog-post title... and an AWESOME video, courtesy of Miss Hannah :-)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Philadelphia Double Chocolate Cheesecake


We hope everyone had a very merry Christmas that was full of fun, food, and lots of family! Ours sure was :-) (Emphasis on the 'food'!!) I thought I would let you know what I'm working on tonight... It doesn't take a chocolate lover to covet this dessert!

Philadelphia Double Chocolate Cheesecake

24 crushed Oreo cookies
2 Tbsp. melted butter
4 packages softened Cream Cheese
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
8 ounces semi-sweet melted chocolate chips
4 eggs
1/2 cup blue-berries
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar

** optional: 1/4 cup Hazelnut-flavored liqueur added to the melted chocolate

* Pre-heat over to 325 degrees
* Mix cookie crumbs and butter and press into the base of a spring-form pan- Bake 10 minutes
* Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour & vanilla
* Add melted chocolate chips, mix well
* Add eggs one at a time, mixing on medium until each one is blended
* Pour mixture over crust
* Bake 45 minutes or until center is set
* Cool completely and refrigerate 4 hours
* Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with berries

I'm making this for our huge family dinner tomorrow night so I'll be sure to report back on how everyone likes it... but since I know my family well, I know it'll be a hit! :-)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

From Our Family to Yours

From our family, to yours!!

We are so thankful for every one of you and for your support... we hope you had a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Will You Like Us, Pretty Please?

Hi Friends!

We have been truly humbled by the response we've gotten to our Facebook page. Our goal in starting the page is to simply spread the word as far as possible about our desire to adopt. We have already received emails and Facebook messages from attorney's, nurses, agencies, and friends of friends who want to know how they can help! It's been so exciting!

We only need 15 more 'likers' on our page to reach 200... can you believe it?? Have you 'liked' us yet? Would you consider helping us spread the word?  We think it would be fun to reach our 200 mark before 2011. If we do, we're considering doing a giveaway that includes the people who follow our blog and 'like' our page... what'd you think? Just as a small way to thank all of you who are supporting us in prayer and by word of mouth... we're so exciting that you're all along for this journey!

Also, feel free to join the discussions on our page, too! We know that some people are weary of using Facebook to spread the word but we're also convinced that our responsibility is to utilize every possible resource that is available to us and leave the rest up to God.... plus, it's just a really exciting thing to see how many people, lots we know and lots we don't, are rallying to support and encourage us.

Do you have a blog or Facebook page that we can follow or 'like' to help you spread news of your journey, too? Let us know... we'll do all we can to help!

Adopting Baby Smith Number 2

Promote Your Page Too

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mary- The Quintessential Birthmom

I've written this post several times. No joke: there are 3 posts waiting to be edited and they all have the same title. Mary gets to me. I've never given her much thought. She's the only woman in the Bible that I haven't studied. I'm not sure why but this Christmas she's been on my mind but I've realized that without this precious woman, the entire New Testament, the ENTIRE second half of the Bible wouldn't exist. So I've been wondering why I haven't given her more thought. I'm disappointed in myself.

In all of my recent reading on Mary, Jesus' Mom, I'm realizing that she is the quintessential birthmom. Perfect. To the 'T'.

What are the facts?

Mary finds out that she's pregnant
She's carrying the Son of God
His name will be "Jesus"

What does this mean for this young, soon-to-be married woman and now, Mom?

Her child is not her own
His destiny, she has little to no control over
She will love Him like she loves no other
She will sacrifice her own perfect plans so that His perfect plan can come to fruition
She will love Him regardless of those who deny Him... or her
She will ache for Him when He is gone
She will cry, she will hurt, she will pray...
and she will never stop.

Mary's love for her child is unconditional. She sacrificed her social status, her reputation, her relationships, her future, and her own plans for a child whom she knew from day 1 would not fully belong to her. She carried Him. She HAD Him. She loved Him... 

And then she lost Him.

I've had the honor over the past few years to have numerous personal relationships with many precious, beautiful birthmoms. One of them is my daughter's first Mom. I've never made the connection before but in the most recent relationship with a sweet birthmom, I was floored by the similarities I saw between her thoughts, feelings, and circumstances, and those of Mary. 

I am a Mom because of a woman just like Mary. A woman who only wanted what was best for her child but who knew, from day 1, that this precious, innocent child was not hers forever. She sacrificed her own plans for the life of this child. I love my daughter with everything that is in me. I will never take her for granted. I will love her unconditionally. But I'm still not sure that I will ever understand the sacrificing, unconditional love of a birthmom. 

A love like Mary's.

** Would you like to learn more about Mary with me? I've been reading the Book of Luke :-) **

I think Joseph deserves a closer look, too...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

To: You. Love: Hannh

I'm working on my Mary post... slowly but surely.

I thought that in the mean time I would brighten your day with a conversation that I had with Hannah the other day:

Me: "Hannah, who's birthday is coming up?"
Hannah: "JESUS!"
Me: "Yes! Um... where is Jesus?"
Hannah: "Jesus is up high (pointing to the sky)"!!!
Me: "That's right! He's in Heaven! And how old is Jesus going to be on His birthday?"
Hannah: "TWO (jumping up and down)!!!!"

~ If only we could all just stay 2 :-)

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Social Network Christmas

I've never given Mary much thought.
I've never studied her.
I've never been in her shoes.
That's changed this year.
I have lots of thoughts about her.
I have a lot to share.
For now, please don't miss watching this video...

Friday, December 17, 2010


I'm actually making Chicken Tacos for dinner tonight but I have to share this recipe for Jambalaya with you! Here it is:

Vegetarian Jambalaya (keep reading if you're not Vegetarian... we aren't either and this is a FAMILY favorite!)

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1 large chopped onion
1 medium chopped bell pepper
2 chopped garlic clove (I've used minced garlic and it worked fine)
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 can vegetable broth
1 frozen corn
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 can drained and rinsed black eyed peas
1 can stewed tomatoes- drained
** Optional: 1-2 links cooked sausage

- Heat oil, cook onion, pepper, garlic for 3-5 minutes
- Stir in rice, cook 3-5 minutes until rice is brown
- Stir in broth. Boil and simmer 15 minutes
- Stir in all remaining ingredients, cover & simmer 5-10 minutes
** Stir in cooked sausage**

This dish has become a family favorite across states for us... colorful, filling, and so healthy. UH.MA.ZING! :-)

So! Try this and let me know what you think... I know you'll love it!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I have a lot of trouble being transparent. I guess you could also say that I have trouble trusting people. No... you could definitely say that.

I've spent so much time comparing this experience of waiting to bring home our next precious baby to the time 3 years ago when we were waiting to bring home Hannah. There are so many similarities but it's the differences that amaze me.

When we were waiting for Hannah, we kept most everything that we were going through to ourselves. It seemed so much easier to go through the infertility treatments, home study, stress, and tears on our own... together. In a way, I guess we avoided lots of questions and inquisitive people...but we also missed out on a lot of support. No, we missed out on TONS of support... all because we were afraid to let people in. We didn't know how to be transparent without it looking like we were seeking sympathy or attention.

This seemed like a good idea for a while. On the outside everything was normal. On the inside we were slowly falling apart, grasping for answers, and hanging on to our faith when we really wanted to question God and ask "WHY?!". What ended up happening is that the flood-gates burst one night while we were meeting in our living room with our incredible small group from church. I mean... they BURST! We're lucky that it happened when we were with these people. Let's flash-back to February 7, 2009...

Secrecy can eat you alive!

Until now, only a handful of people know of our struggle trying to conceive. I feel guilty about our secrecy from even our close family and friends but the truth is, I'm just not ready to divulge the intimate details yet; not that we have all that much to tell as all tests point to "normal"l whatever the heck that means.

Though the last 14 months have been the most difficult of our lives, it has been somewhat more difficult to keep our struggle from our small group; the people who open up to us on a weekly basis, and who rely on us for prayer and encouragement. I want so badly to pray for them, support them, and know when they are struggling so I can offer to help but when it comes to me being transparent with them, I just can't. Will they blame me like I've so often blamed myself? Will they tell us we're over-reacting? So many fears!

Vulnerability has never been my strong-suit. Have you ever been burned? You know the kind I'm talking about. I've been burned so many times by people whom I confided in. In the end, transparency has never come out on my side. Because of this, I am the most independent and private person, in every sense of the word, however I have learned that even I can only stand to be this way for so long. This time, I endured 14 months and was ready to bust!

Though we did not plan it, we told our small group tonight about our struggle and asked them to pray for and with us. As soon as Joey started talking, I lost it. This was a million times worse than 'the ugly cry' people! I was hit with a mix of relief and dread at the same time. Relief to finally be open and honest with our best friends and dread because we were now risking the spread of our intimate struggle. I knew I couldn't handle that yet.

I should have given these precious friends more credit. I was overwhelmed by their response. They, both men and women, cried with us, prayed with us, and were sensitive to our feelings. God is faithful and it helps to know that our second family is praying for and with us and can celebrate with us when God blesses us with a baby! I cannot wait to see what God has in store for us.... and I am SO thankful for friends and their unconditional love for us!

Every one of those friends were among the very first to celebrate with us when we brought our sweet baby girl home. They respected our privacy but we knew that they were praying us through the darkness that we were in... and I know now that being vulnerable with them was one of many steps we had to walk up before we could bring home our baby. Less than 7 months later, that's exactly what we did!

I'm still learning how to be vulnerable. I've been burned many more times since February 2009 but I have to keep trusting. I have to keep making myself trust the people who care about me. How can I expect them to do the same with me if I don't trust them myself? This blog is one more step for me in trusting the people that God has placed in our lives... all of you. I've always envied people who blog. I never thought that I could put my most private thoughts and feelings out on a public forum like this. But I have. And I know that when we bring home our next Baby Smith, you will all be rejoicing with us because you will know the path we've walked and every struggle we faced along the way.

Have you experienced heartache? Infertility? A miscarriage? Infidelity? A failed adoption? Have you lost your job?

Have you told someone? Try it... trust those whom God has placed in your life. Give them the gift of being able to celebrate with you when you do get pregnant, find the person you're meant to be with forever, get the job you've been waiting for, or bring home your baby. I can't promise that you won't regret it, because there are times that I have... but you will learn from it and you will be taking one more step toward your dream.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Going All In!

Well, if you're going to go in, you might as well go all in, right?!

We've started a Facebook page to simply promote the fact that we are in the process of adding to our family once again through the miracle of adoption. If you'd like to, please use the link the the left to 'like' us on Facebook. If you don't want to, that's ok, too :-)

We wish there was a rule book to tell every waiting family and every birth-mom what to do and at what point to do it in the adoption process. Well, there isn't... so we're all doing the best we can. The events of the past few weeks have taught us that God can use every seemingly insignificant situation to ultimately fulfill His purpose for our lives. We still have the responsibility to UTILIZE the resources that He has provided for us.

We are thankful for every one of you and we are so excited to invite you along in the journey of adding to our family. Our experience with bringing Hannah home was unique and perfect and amazing. Even so, we want to keep her story her own and we look forward to creating a new perfect and amazing story for our next precious baby or babies.  Thank you for coming along for the ride... we're positive that it will be incredible!

If you're new here, feel free to start from the beginning :-)

Sweet Wavy

Can you believe that Christmas is only 10 days away?! What happened to January through November?

I've been MIA from my blog because I have been journaling the old-fashioned way... with a pen and paper :-). I have learned some of the most difficult lessons of my life in the past 2 weeks and I will slowly, but surely, try to unwind and unwrap these couple of weeks for you... and me.  I have been painfully stretched beyond the limits of what I thought I could handle. My family has been through some of the darkest times. We have experienced the power of Satan in ways I didn't even think I believed in before now. We have experienced the power of the Lord in ways I knew were possible but never thought I would experience in my life-time. I am still thankful for every second.

I absolutely hate to come back to you all with doom and gloom. If you know me, that's now how I am, nor how I want to be. But for now, with future promises of some funny stories and yummy recipes, I am asking you to once again please pray for this family. They are experiencing darker times than I can ever imagine. I believe in a God who can perform miracles. He reminds me of this each and every day when I look at our daughter. SHE is a miracle. Every child is a miracle and proof of His greatness.

 Please pray for them. Please pray for a miracle.