Birthday Princess

Happy Birthday to Moriah Joy — our three-year-old princess!

I snapped a couple pictures of her and Daddy playing with her new LeapPad tonight. We plan to limit her “screen time” and let her play the learning games only while she gets her hair done. Today, of course, was an exception…

IMG_1470a IMG_1471b

.

We had a great weekend celebrating her life — we are thankful that she is our daughter! She had two requests for her family party: brownies and some cheese! Haha! She helped Mommy make lunch and prepare the cake and brownies for the get-together. She’s so special!

We cannot remember her birth date with remembering her first mother and praying for her today. She will always have a special place in our hearts.

.

.

.

- – – -

Joey and Elaine are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio. They hope to complete their family by adopting again. Learn more about Joey, Elaine, and Moriah.

.

.

.

.

.

1st Day of Fall

.IMG_0947a

.

This little lady is enjoying the (slightly) cooler weather so she can play outside longer! I didn’t intend to photograph her pants so I let her wear sweats… oh well. ;)

IMG_0948a IMG_0969bw

IMG_0985a

IMG_1050a IMG_1055a IMG_1073a IMG_1104a

.

.

.

.

I made a digital scrapbook page for her album:

dbd_laidout7_repartee_3rdBd

Credits:
Repartee Full Kit and Repartee Wood Flairs and All Laid Out – Vol 7 template from Dawn by Design
Fonts are Pea Elaine, Pea Eleanor, WaterBrushROB, Traveling Typewriter

.

.

.

- – – -

Joey and Elaine are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio. They hope to complete their family by adopting again. Learn more about Joey, Elaine, and Moriah.

.

.

.

.

.

wedding hair

IMG_0508a

Since Plan A didn’t work out for Moriah’s flower girl hair, we went with an afro. I used a curl defining product on most of her hair (applied in layers, a.k.a. “shingled”), and I added 3 flat twists on the side so I could clip two satin/tulle bows to the front. It worked — and she looked nice all day.

.

These photos were snapped before the wedding as the girls got ready. Moriah loved playing with the other flower girl.

IMG_0490a

IMG_0498a IMG_0499a IMG_0518a IMG_0520a IMG_0551a IMG_0564a

.

Of course, Aunt MaryAnn looked GORGEOUS! We are glad she’s now a part of our family!

.

The reception was casual and country. It was perfect for the new couple.

IMG_0606a IMG_0607a

IMG_0626a IMG_0628aIMG_0650a

IMG_0681a IMG_0611bw IMG_0611d IMG_0621a IMG_0721a IMG_0724a IMG_0591a IMG_0592a IMG_0593 IMG_0668a IMG_0671a .

.

.

- – – -

Joey and Elaine are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio. They hope to complete their family by adopting again. Learn more about Joey, Elaine, and Moriah.

.

.

.

.

.

unworthy

Last night I thought about how hard it is to show gentleness, kindness, and patience with those people “unworthy” of love. You know, the people who make life really difficult.

It’s tough to swallow that we actually think certain human beings are unworthy of love. Humans: those Christ died for! Me! You! We were still in our sin when Christ gave His perfect life as a ransom payment for people who did not want Him.

And, if I’m honest, I still struggle with that me-centered thinking. I often want to cry out, “Give me only easy things, God. Ok? Oh, and I still want to make a difference please. Thanks!” My own selfish intents are evident. I fight my flesh to yield to His ways, not mine.

As a foster parent, I am always thinking about the children and families we know and those we don’t know – yet. I often wonder who will be in our home next month or next year. How long will we be foster parents? Will we adopt again? I remembered 104,000 children in foster care are waiting to be adopted. Many of those “hard to place” children are teens or have disabilities. Children with cognitive delays. Children with physical needs that require lifelong treatments and care. Children who will wait for a permanent family due to neglect or abusive early in life.

I believe all life matters. I wonder if one of those waiting children is the “right” fit for our home.

Then I got an email this morning about a special needs toddler who needs a forever family. “Give me only easy things, God. Ok? Oh, and I still want to make a difference please. Thanks!”

Can we do this? Should we do this?

I ask questions. I wait. I pray. I am reminded that I was once unworthy but the Rescuer changed me. He made me ready to serve. And so I continue to wait and pray but I am now saying, “Use me, Lord.”

adoptuskids.

.

- – – -

Joey and Elaine are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio. They hope to complete their family by adopting again. Learn more about Joey, Elaine, and Moriah.

.

.

.

.

.

Plan B

“The best-laid [hair] plans . . . often go awry” or something like that.

We have a family wedding this weekend. We are excited! Dad, Mom, and Moriah all have roles in the bridal party. A few weeks ago, we decided that–to make life easier–we would get Moriah’s hair twisted professionally. Mommy was comfortable styling it; however, we wanted something that would look good all day without much fuss. The twists that Mom does usually last about 3 days. If we got synthetic hair added, the twists could last 3 weeks!

Sign us up.

To prepare her hair, we washed, conditioned, oiled, sealed, detangled, and banded (to stretch her hair) on Monday night before bed. It dried in the bands and she slept on them two nights.

hair1_banded

.

We took the bands out at the salon on Wednesday morning. Her hair was completely dry and still moisturized. It was perfect.

hair2_stretched

.

Now, she just needed to sit still for a few hours while the stylist worked! Haha!

That didn’t turn out so well.

We ended up leaving the salon after an hour.

The stylist was patient but it takes a long time to do that style right. After an hour, she had only 8 twists completed. I knew Moriah would not last another 5 hours! Eek! And, ultimately, who wants to fight with a non-compliant toddler… over hair?! Not me. Thank you; we’ll try again later. On to Plan B (just give me time to think of a new plan).

hair3_twists started

.

So we paid her half the rate she would have received and used the other half to buy new styling products for an at-home session.

hair4_twists removed hair5

.

I still don’t know what we’re going to do for the wedding. Probably an afro with a big bow.

Regardless, the wedding isn’t about her. She’s just the flower girl. And, realistically, she is a two-year-old who will probably be just as grumpy walking down the aisle as she was in the salon today.

IMG_0460 IMG_0464

I will be bribing her with Starbursts on that day, too. ;)

.

.

.

- – – -

Joey and Elaine are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio. They hope to complete their family by adopting again. Learn more about Joey, Elaine, and Moriah.

.

.

.

.

.

brown skin tone band-aids

Our toddler has an obsession with adhesive bandages. She will invent “boo-boos” to wear one. I regularly hear:

  Mom, I NEED a “ban bain”… please, Mommy. See my boo-boo?

She will point to a random part of her body (with no boo-boo evident). I’ll question her, “I think it just itches, Sis.” But she insists.

Basically, she just wants to put stickers all over herself.

The “ban bains” don’t stay on very long. She peals them off and reapplies them until the adhesive weakens or they get folded over. However, every once in a while, she has an actual boo-boo and our options are cartoons or peach colored.

When I saw that Tru-Colour Bandages would be launching this fall, I requested samples right away. And they sent me two colors (one dark and two medium brown shades). They are fabric and nice quality.

IMG_0096a IMG_0086a

(You can’t even see the darker one here! YAY!! Isn’t that the point?)

.

This sassy thing can use both. Right now — at the end of summer — she needs the darker shade. But the skin under her arms is closer to the medium shade (which will likely be the color of her skin in the winter). IMG_0111a IMG_0123a .

Here we are both sporting the medium shade:IMG_0138a .

.

I put on a Band-Aid brand fabric bandage to compare (it’s the lightest one below). Moriah did the same thing. I LOVE THE OPTIONS! IMG_0184a IMG_0199a

.

I’m looking forward to being able to conceal her boo-boos better!

Seriously. These needed to be invented about 50 years ago.

1553188_767256739993982_6735125946666596518_o.

.

.

- – – -

Joey and Elaine are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio. They hope to complete their family by adopting again. Learn more about Joey, Elaine, and Moriah.

.

.

.

.

.

Zoo Trip

We enjoyed a day at the zoo recently. Moriah was desperate to see an alligator (“al-der-day-der”) — she talked about it the whole way there! :-) Even after she saw the alligators in person, she did not want to leave. I tried to convince her that other animals would be more interesting to watch (more active), but she couldn’t be convinced.

IMG_9772a IMG_9776 IMG_9774

.

She tolerated seeing the other animals mostly. They were not the “main attraction” in her mind.

0814141131a IMG_9756

IMG_9731a IMG_9759 IMG_9770 0814141132a

IMG_9717a IMG_9682a 0814141137ba 0814141451a IMG_9618 IMG_9626 IMG_9633

IMG_9615a IMG_9656 IMG_9672a IMG_9747

 

.

She also got to ride the train and carousel while at the zoo. We spent time with friends, too.

IMG_9778a IMG_9796ab IMG_9799a photo 1a

.

.

.

- – – -

Joey and Elaine are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio. They hope to complete their family by adopting again. Learn more about Joey, Elaine, and Moriah.

.

.

.

.

.

Let Justice Roll Down

racial-reconciliation-mural

When I hear accounts of racial profiling and discrimination across America, I pray hard about how to talk with my brown skinned toddler about injustice. I have the task of training her and imparting certain knowledge that I don’t have as a white woman — and, truly, may not even know I am lacking. (I have written previously about the considerations that we must make as a multiracial family.)

As tensions escalate, I sense that the more significant force behind this unrest is not on whom to place blame for particular incidents, but rather who has the power to change a culture of prejudice.

“How might a transracially adopted black child gain a healthy identity when the world that you’ve created in your home or community does not match this world we live in where . . . [many] don’t care if they grew up in a stable and loving adoptive family? Their skin is still black and according to some, that in and of itself is a crime,” wrote Angela Tucker, a transracial adoptee.

My heart is heavy. All life matters to the Creator.

I am grieved for the mothers of black sons, who — suddenly — upon entering adolescence are no longer cute little boys. They are now profiled as threats.

Thabiti Anyabwile, a father, wrote: “I don’t care about the color of the hands that pull the trigger. They could be pink, brown, sandy. What I care about is the value of my son’s life. What I care about is the dignity and life-destroying devaluing of his life because in this country he is ‘black.’ And the absurdity of it all is that he’s not ‘black’ in every country. Only his own. In Cayman, he was Titus. In Cayman, he was free to be Titus. In the States, he’s ‘a little black boy’ long before he’s ‘Titus.’ And that calculation, the ‘racial’ attribution that happens at the speed of sight, is deadly. It’s deadly.”

Racism and hatred are not new to humanity. Prejudice and arrogance can be inclinations of any culture, heritage, or skin tone.

These are hard, real-life issues of sin. With consequences.

Oh, I long for peace. For shalom – complete peace, wholeness, harmony.

.

John M. Perkins writes in his classic book Let Justice Roll Down:

. . . But I think many of us want forgiveness without repentance. I sense this so much as I try to establish relationships with my white brethren in the South. I find that they want my relationship, but they want more to quickly forget the brutality and the injustice that their people put upon many of us . . ..

Ours is not a story of bitterness — it is a story of love and the triumphs of the God of love. But it is a story carved out of the realities of violence and poverty, ending not in some sugarcoated sense of brotherly love but the deep conviction that only the power of Christ’s crucifixion on the cross and the glory of His resurrection can heal the deep racial wounds in both block and white people in America.

.

“Reconciliation,” Matthew Henry’s Commentary points out, “is our indispensable duty.”  This ministry, of course, is not possible for those who are not regenerated.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace — Sar Shalom (Isaiah 9:6). I am reminded that reconciliation may be needed in every single relationship at some point (often daily). Christians are compelled to seek reconciliation with one another.

Restoration.

Unity.

Shalom.

The only hope for mankind is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray for grace to train Moriah to love as she ought and to see what matters most.

.

42b7cd3201824c3133f43a29f20f1305

.

- – – -

Joey and Elaine are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio. They hope to complete their family by adopting again. Learn more about Joey, Elaine, and Moriah.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

almost three

August10, 2014 bw

.

This is little girl will be 3 years old next month! She is growing and changing every day — we are thankful to know her and raise her.

.

This week we had VBS at church. On the first night, Moriah talked all the way home about how great it was. I heard every detail — she even had to mention that she spilled her juice at snack time (and pushed her friend at some point)! Her favorite part was singing, dancing, and watching the puppets.

She decided Daddy is probably “too old” to like puppets. I asked her, “How old is Daddy?” She replied matter-of-factly, “3 ounces.”

Haha! That sure is a big number :)

.

.

.

.

 

- – – -

 

Joey and Elaine are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio. They hope to complete their family by adopting again. Learn more about Joey, Elaine, and Moriah.

 

.

 

.

.

 

.

 

.