Mommy at Heart

In December, the day before Cort’s 33rd birthday, a plane landed in Grand Rapids with his sister, his brother-in-law, and his two nephews…fresh from Ethiopia.

I’ve mentioned the adoption many times on facebook and twitter and have linked to MacKenzie’s blog so you can read about their journey.

Adoption is not new in the Sluiter Family.

Cort’s Grandpa and Grandma Sluiter fostered children while raising eight of their own children.

Cort’s Aunt and Uncle have seven adopted children and one biological.

Another Aunt and Uncle adopted a son after raising three biological children to high school age.

After my second miscarriage, Cort and I prayed a lot about what to do next.  We held hands as I told him I had one more try left in me.  If that resulted in miscarriage I simply did not have any room left in my heart for pregnancy.  It was too painful.  And so, the summer of 2008 we prayed the question, “baby by pregnancy or adoption”

And the Lord sent us Eddie.

In 2010, shortly before Eddie turned a year old, MacKenzie and Dave sat with us and told us they felt called to start a family…through international adoption.

You can read their story, but I literally jumped out of my chair and mauled MacKenzie with hugs and love.

They felt their children were in Ethiopia, and they were right.

Cort and I haven’t let the idea of adoption go completely just because we have been blessed with two healthy biological sons, but it’s not up for discussion right now either.

Even though we are not necessarily ever going to adopt, we are still active in advocating for adoption and children’s charities. I have participated in fundraising for MacKenzie and Dave, but also for my friends Kacia and Diana.

And recently, ever since reading about how Beth Anne’s family sponsors a child, I have been praying about doing that too.

While it has been on my heart, I got an email from Reece at Mommy At Heart. All she asked of me was a possible facebook post or a tweet or two about their super cute mom shirts that help to raise money for different charities, this month, Brittany’s Hope Foundation.

As I poked around the sites, my heart exploded.

While yes the shirts are super cute…

What’ll ya have, Mac? I mean, Ed?

…but I after reading about how $5 of each sale goes to a charity, and then spending an almost embarrassing amount of time on Brittany’s Hope Foundation’s site, I immediately emailed Reece back that I really, REALLY wanted to share this on my blog.

It’s too important to me.

Please check out Mommy at Heart, and maybe get a shirt.  You can get 25% off your order with the code KATIES00READERS093 from now through August 31st.  Every shirt you buy sends $5 to Brittany’s Hope Foundation and helps orphaned children all over the world.

And then I encourage you to take one step further and check out Brittany’s Hope Foundation.  Just look around. They are not an adoption agency, but they do help orphans who are waiting for a forever home.  Maybe by visiting, your heart will be moved to do more than buy a T-shirt.  Maybe you will feel the tug I do…to do more.

The Legal Stuff: I was not compensated in any way for this post.  Mommy at Heart asked for a tweet, and I gave a blog post.  That is how important this is to me.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

you belong with us

I just realized that I have been doing Recruits for over a year.  It all started last April with Nichole.  Can you believe that?

Anyway, I have been giddy with excitement to bring you today’s Sluiter Nation Recruit.  I asked her awhile ago not knowing what she would say.  I am not sure she considers herself a blogger even though she blogs.  But she has it.  That thing…you know what I’m talking about…that makes for an amazing blogger.

And she’s related to me.

MacKenzie, author of Stepping Stones, is my sister-in-law.  Cortney’s sister.

Both of us are the only girl in our families.  Neither of us had a sister until I married her brother.

Over the past seven years of being her sister (and specifically since we both became mothers), I have felt a bond that is so very different than I have with my brothers.

The day she told us they were starting the adoption process, I cried with joy.  Not only was she going to make us an aunt and uncle, but she was opening her heart and home to save a child.

Little did we know it would be TWO children.

Since their arrival in December, MacKenzie has made me so very proud.

Grab a tissue and read her letter to her boys, Kingston and Kyrie.

*************

My Sweet Babies,

I can’t even begin to tell you how much my life has changed since you entered it.  Everything I’ve known for the past 30 years has been turned upside down.

You made me a mommy.

You taught me how to live on 2 hours of sleep or less a night.

And still function.

You showed me that I can love in a way I never knew about.

You helped me learn 100 tricks to getting food in your belly without it being spit right back out at me, followed by your giggles.

You have changed my life so very much.  And I know this is only the beginning.

But then I think about your sweet little lives.  In the seven months of your lives before you knew me and daddy, you have experienced so much.

You had to lose your birth family in order to join ours.  Which is something that even though you were infants, I know you felt.  I know you grieve.

You then lived in an orphanage.  And were cared for by a new set of people.

Only to be moved to another place.  Where you met your special mothers.  Woman who became special to you.  That you grew to trust.  Maybe even love and bonded with.  You spent the majority of your life there before meeting us.  And I think you probably thought you were finally home.

But you weren’t.

And then what had to be the hardest transition of your life happened.

You met your mommy and daddy.

And we swept you away from everything you knew and loved.  We took you from your beautiful country.  From the sweet brown faces you were familiar with.  From your friends.  From all the smells, sights and sounds you were used to.

And into Michigan.

I know it was hard, my darlings.

I know you were unsure of us.  Of our unsteady hands.  Of mommy’s tears for no reason.  There were lots of times I cried right along with you.  Sometimes out of happiness.  Other times because I didn’t know what to do for you.

You were unsure of the changing formula, and the doctors visits.  The antibiotics.  The tummy aches. The sleepless nights.

Slowly and surely, we found our rhythm.  You found comfort in my arms.  And slowly (OH SO SLOWLY) you started to sleep better.  You beat out your tummy troubles, and we finally got rid of that nasty parasite.

And every day you learn more.  You laugh and play.  You are both crawling EVERYWHERE.  And fast.  And Kingston, you’re walking more every day! You get into everything you shouldn’t get into.  And you look me straight in the eye before you do it, you silly boy.   You capture a room with your adorable expressions.  Kyrie, you laugh at everything.  Especially when I tell you no.  You shoot your hands straight up in the air to show me how big you are, and with SUCH confidence.  And the stories you tell me.  I cannot WAIT until I understand your babbles.  Because I already know you are hilarious.

But my loves, I often wonder about your hearts.  Do you know I will love you forever and ever?  Do you know that no stranger will ever come and take you away again?  I worry that you do not know.

Because you still have not lived with us for longer than you’ve lived without us.

And at one point, we were the strangers that took you away from what you knew.

And sometimes at night, you cannot be soothed unless you are in my arms.  And if I even think about putting you down once you are asleep, you wake up immediately and cling to me.

Oh, how on these nights I never want to let you go.

I promise I’ll never let you go.

I want you to know we are your forever family.  You are home.  We love you with every ounce of our hearts, and a little bit more.

I will always kiss your tears away.  I will always cuddle you.  I will always let you snuggle up next to me at night when you cannot sleep without me.  I will protect you, no matter what.

I’m your mommy.  Now, and always, darlings.  I’m your forever mommy.

*************

I might be partial, but not only are those boys some of the cutest ever (not counting my boys of course), but MacKenzie is one of the most kick ass moms ever.

And she’s a pretty flippin’ awesome sister too.

a whole new world

This weekend our hearts were filled.

Friday was “coming home day” for our adopted nephews, Kingston and Kyrie, from Ethiopia.  And I am excited to share photos of them FINALLY with you.  These are compliments of their proud momma, my sister-in-law, MacKenzie.

Kyrie is up front and Kingston is in the back.

This photo was taken in Ethiopia just weeks before they came home.  They are fraternal twins who are about seven months old.  Needless to say, Cort and I are very proud uncle and auntie.  And Eddie loves to look at pictures of his new cousins (“babies cuz-ins” as he calls them).

I promise to post, tweet, and facebook links when Kenz gets a chance to up date her blog.  If you haven’t read their amazing journey, now is a good time.  Your heart will be filled too.

We were able to visit with the new family on Friday evening for a bit.  And let me tell you what…

Remember that part in A Christmas Carol where Scrooge is looking at a former version of himself?  Yeah that.

New Mom Self.

Oh my beautiful sister has it.

It suddenly hit me in the face that it does not matter if you adopt or push that baby out of your body, as a new mom you are just not ready for the hardness…for the reality check of having a baby full time. And MacKenzie and David have TWO.

There were other family members there, but I wanted to just grab her and wrap my arms around her and tell her it will be Ok.

She was sleep-deprived from new babies and over 24 hours of traveling.

She hadn’t looked in a mirror all day (although I thought she looked stunning.  Motherhood is gorgeous on her!).

She jumped each time one of the boys peeped.

She refused food and then thought she should have some only to just sort of pay attention to it.

She burst into tears easily.

My heart just leaped from my chest into hers.  I wanted to grab her and tell her how it would be fine.

But I know that wouldn’t help.  So many people told me it would be fine and I STILL had to figure it out on my own.

What I hope for her is some sort of semblance of a schedule.

For an ease in her bond with her new boys.

For that click when you get their little signals and you know what to do about it.

For a comfort that she is being loved and prayed for.

For the knowledge that she can lean on me…hard…when things get rough.  Because they will.

For the assurance that she can talk about the difficult stuff and not keep it bottled up so it doesn’t turn into post adoption depression syndrome (because I wouldn’t wish depression on my worst enemy, let alone my loved ones).

The New Mom Self is going to stick around awhile.  And that is Ok.

You only get to do “New Mom” once.

And other than the tough moments, being a New Mom can be so sweet.

I can’t wait for her to have those “Oh my word…they are MINE” moments.

A new world just spread itself before MacKenzie and Dave.

A rugged, unexplored, beautiful world.

We can’t wait to celebrate this journey with them!

finally…forever can start

I had a post that I was going to write today.

But then…

an email…

a voicemail…

tears flowing down my face in the middle of teaching English….

my students concerned faces…

my smile as I blurt out, “my nephews.  in ethiopia.  they are coming HOME.  next week.  HOME.”

Home.

Their forever home with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law.

Part of our family forever.

Home.

*******

Catch up on their journey to this place–home–here.

when it just feels right

I know it’s not Wednesday yet, but I couldn’t resist bringing my new friend, Jason (aka ihubby on twitter) into the Nation today.  Cort introduced me to Jason telling me I should follow his tweets because “if we knew him in real life, we would so hang out with this guy, Kate.”

He was right.  Jason is AWESOME (and his wife is quite hilarious too).  They would definitely be a friend couple we would hang with.

After following Jason’s tweets, I started reading his blog and found out that he is a cancer survivor.  He had testicular cancer, but had it removed and is here to tell about it today.

However, he and his wife want children, and this is why I asked him here today.  Because I enthusiastically agreed to put a little badge over there on the right for him.

Please give him some Sluiter Nation love as he explains….

*************

Anytime I blog about the subject of adoption I get very flustered. I can sit down in front of my computer and talk about something completely off the wall (movies, music etc..) and not have any problem. When I speak about the subject of adoption it brings up the past and what my wife and I have been through this far and it hits me hard.

I have been reaching out to fellow bloggers and twitter friends and seeing if they have room on their sites to post a badge. When I asked Katie to post the badge, she asked me to guest post on her site about it. What’s so great about the badge? Well, I like to think it’s for a good cause. Long story short, I had cancer and now I can’t have biological children. You can read about my journey cancer here and here. My wife also wrote an amazing post on it here.

Clicking the badge directs you to our ChipIn page. Our friend Amy created the page to help fundraise for our adoption. Amy told me that our story touched her so much that she wanted to do everything possible to help us get a child. When Amy sent me the link for the first time I cried. Not because I was sad but because I was so touched that someone would go out of their way for us. We have never met this person in real life (though we will be soon) and she cares for us enough to do this. I was just beside myself.

When my wife and I found out I was infertile, we knew fairly immediately that adoption would be our next step. We didn’t want to waste time and money on IVF, cause we weren’t sure if it would work and also we didn’t want to use donor sperm. We talked about it and came to the conclusion that we wanted to open our family and arms to a child that needed a family and a home. You know when something just feels right? Well, that’s how we feel about adoption. We had also considered the idea of adoption before we found out I was infertile. We had talked about it at great lengths and had always talked about how we wanted to adopt a child even after we had our own kids. I guess it is something that has been in our heads most of the time and now we are trying to make that dream come true.

So why am I posting about all of this on Sluiter Nation? The main reason is adoption is pretty darn expensive! My cancer and all the chemo, tests and scans involved with it just wiped out all of our savings we had. The adoption has us starting at square one, and while there are grants and other forms of help for the adoption process, we aren’t eligible for them because we don’t have an approved home study. To get the home study, we have to raise about $4,000 more.

That is where you come in. Please donate to our adoption fund if you can. Regardless of how much you give, we are grateful for what you are donating. You are helping us to get one step closer to bringing a child into our house. You are helping us come one step closer to having a child of our own.

I want to thank Katie for letting me guest blog and to tell my story. I also want to thank her for posting the badge to our ChipIn page.

If you want to post the badge on your site or if you have ANY questions concerning our process of adoption or the ChipIn page, please feel free to email me at theihubby@gmail.com or my wife at dashleysteele@gmail.com.

************

Adoption is very close to our heart as well.  Some of you even follow Cort’s sister, MacKenzie and her husband Dave’s adoption journey.

And you know that cancer research and support is important to us as well.  Cancer is such a thief…even for those who survive.

So if you can give, please do.  Their children are waiting for them.

just right

Sometimes…

it’s the little things…

like gifts from friends…

O Canada...how i love your treats...

freshly painted toenails and sipping wine with your husband…

do these feet say "let me entertain you?" like the color's name says?

trips to the bookstore…

i may have a wide variety of interests right now

tiny reminders…

yeah, I know. I just have to open my laptop!

lunch with no flying food or tantrums…

mmmm...best. bread. ever.

my favorite flowers…

and yes, I kissed him on his two-lips when he gave these to me.

little hands wanting to make letters…

E...D...D...I...E...

a reminder that someone is getting a cousin (or two) very soon!

hooray for cousins...

wait...does this mean I have to share Granny?

And my two very best guys…

handsome and cutie

…to make me feel like everything in this world is just the way it’s supposed to be.

that everything is just right.

——-

interested in the journey and adventure of Eddie’s cousin(s) coming home?  Check out Cort’s sister’s blog for more details.

Sponsor Highlight: m9 design

Remember how I said friends are awesome about support?

Yeah.  They so are.

This guy here today has been my friend for something like 15 years (good Lord that makes me feel old).

And he is pretty much a genius.

Mat is Cortney’s best friend and the brainchild behind m9 design.

m9 design is Mat’s freelance graphic design/painting business.

We have worked with Mat many, MANY times.

For one, he designed the header and button for this blog right here!  You like?

He also did this painting for us that hangs in our dining room:

It’s of the Public Market in Pike’s Place in Seattle.

We loved it so much, that each time one of our siblings got married?  We gifted them with a painting.

MacKenzie and Dave got Comerica Park (because they spend a LOT of time there!)

Mike and Ashley got the Chicago skyline (because that was their first trip together)

Cody and Liz got London (it was a big trip they took together as well)

Soon, Chris and Sarah will get to pick a painting!

Mat almost always works in acrylics on wood or board, but he can do canvas if requested.  His favorite size to work in is 2’x4′, but he can do any requested size as well.

So blog design and paintings…but wait!  that is not all!

Hey also does a lot of graphic design work…T-shirts are one we love!  He did this one for a fundraiser for MacKenzie and Dave’s adoption!

pssst.  if you like this shirt and you like to support adoption–specifically of Eddie’s cousins?  You can go here and purchase one to help the cause.

Ahem.

Personalized gifts make people happy for Christmas.

m9 design can help you.

Mat is currently located in Denver, CO, but will work out shipping costs with you.

He’s very nice and friendly.

So go check out his site and do some browsing!

Um…in case you haven’t heard?  Top Ten Tuesdays is Top Ten Christmas List Wishes: Internet Edition.  I really want you to hook up.  A) because I may just have some fun discounts to share with you and B) I want to know YOUR lists so I can steal some ideas.  You know you were thinking the same thing about my list.  See you Tuesday.

Blessings

This day…today…amazed me.

I am left sitting here typing this an aching, emotionally drained, physically exhausted pile of whine.

So pooped that actual wine doesn’t even sound good to me.

I KNOW!

Anyway, let me go back….

You all know that Cort’s sister and brother-in-law are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia, yes?  If by chance you don’t know what I am talking about, you REALLY should go to their blog, Stepping Stones, and read about their journey.  It’s lovely.  Go ahead.  You can go read now.  I’ll wait….

tappity….tappity…tappity…oh, you’re back.  Ok…

So, they are adopting from Ethiopia and we REALLY wanted to help out.  It all started months ago when they asked if I could contribute something crafty to their online auction.  I didn’t have the time or the supplies, but I SOOO wanted to help.

Fastforward to me volunteering to do a garage sale to get rid of our stuff.  And then asking for donations.  It got huge, people.  I am telling you…it took over our basement and part of our garage.

This is only part of it.  We had started moving things to the garage already at this point.  See?

On Thursday MacKenzie (my sis-in-law), our friend Trisha, and I organized everything into categories in the garage and then priced it all.  Friday, more stuff was dropped off, so I went through all that:  sorting and pricing.  Oh, and it was about 1000 degrees with 100% humidity.  It was like organizing in a sauna.

Friday night to celebrate this fundraiser and to get a little taste of what Ethiopia is like, MacKenzie and Dave took us to GoJo in East Town (Grand Rapids). GoJo is family owned and the owner, Sam, waited on us and chatted it up with Kenz and Dave–they are regulars now!

Many families who are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia or who have adopted come to eat here.  It’s amazing the sense of community there is even with only one other table of diners in there besides us.  I just felt that this was a familiar place for people to come.

Pictures of children who have found their families lined the windows and Sam knew right where his customers were in their own processes.  He even mentioned to Dave and Kenz that he heard they had waiting list numbers now!

The experience was super unique to anything I have had before–the only thing I can compare it to is digging in to and appetizer, but it was the table’s meal.

The food is family style and the diners get NO utensils or plates.  You simply grab your Ethiopian flatbread and dig in to the lamb, beef, chicken, collards, salads, and lentils.  The platter we ordered was pretty darn spicy, but it can be milder.  The flavor?  Was SO worth the “after burn” in my mouth.  Even though I knew I would get a fire mouth?  I kept going for more!

Even Eddie liked some of the milder tastes!  I can definitely say we will be back!  Such a great experience!

So armed with Ethiopian food in our bellies, we met Saturday morning with determination to make some cash at the garage sale!

In fact, I was hanging signs at 7:15am (the sale started at 8am), and a couple stalked me down in their minivan to ask me if we would open early.  Garage Salers?  Are serious.

The night before I made all these cute little business cards with the Stepping Stones blog address on them to give to people as they bought or donated so they could follow the adoption journey.  It was definitely a hit!

So we waited for the crowds.  We got a few in the first hour, but by 9:30 I was all panicky that people weren’t going to come.  Shouldn’t we have had a morning rush?

So I called my mom and asked her if she was coming.  My mom?  said she wasn’t “planning on it”.  I begged her to come so that we wouldn’t have NO one here…even if she didn’t buy anything, she could play with Eddie.

Apparently that call was the trick!  After that, we were steady until around noon!  My mom even ended up buying a little bike for Eddie!  Hooray for Grandma!  And Granny showed up too and bought Eddie some books!  Yay!  Grandmas are the BEST!

My favorite thing of the day, though, was when Kenzie’s BFF, Alicia was here with her two kids, Ruthie and Lewis.  Lewis spotted a soccer ball he wanted and Alicia tried to tell him they had one at home already.  Needless to say, Lewis REALLY wanted the soccer ball.

Then Alicia said, that soccer ball?  Was one she has donated to the sale.  Luckily, HER mom was there and bought the ball back for Lewis.

Again, Grandmas for the win!

We worked hard today.  Cortney and I met a LOT of our neighbors (in fact, we met the guy Cort has secretly been calling Mr. Jones and trying to keep up with…get it?  His real name is Steve and his wife bought a ton.).

We also learned that many of our neighbors have also adopted.

In fact, one?  Is in the process of adopting from Ethiopia too!  We heard many lovely stories of adoption and God’s love for all children.  It made the day pretty emotional.

Cort’s dad once told me how glad he was to have me in the family.  I have NEVER forgotten that.  He was glad to have me.

And today, even though so many people told me it was great that Cort and I were helping, I really didn’t feel like we were doing anything special.

I felt like the people who donated and who were shopping were doing the special things.

Kenz and Dave are doing something special for children they don’t even know yet, but already love more than life.

Not us.  Not me.  But I remembered what my father-in-law said. He welcomed me in even though I wasn’t technically his own.  He felt I was good for something.

Today, I felt I was living up to what he meant.  I don’t need thanks.  I really don’t want it.  I just want him to be proud.  And I want Kenz and Dave to look at their children and be glad. 

And it made Cort and I VERY glad to give them the $500 that was earned at the garage sale!  Never once did it cross our minds that that money could be ours.  Never.  In fact, someone said we should get a receipt at Good Will for the rest of the stuff, but you know what?  Most of that stuff was donated.  It wasn’t ours.  We don’t feel right getting a receipt for it.  So it will just be another donation.  It’s the least we can do for all the blessings that continue to come our way.

I cannot WAIT to meet my niece, nephew, or both!  I can’t.  I love being an aunt.  Love it.  Almost…ALMOST as much as I love being a mom!

Reaching Outside the Nation

Today, I am sending you all to MacKenzie and Dave’s blog (Cort’s little sis and bro-in-law) to check out the online auction they have there to raise some money to bring their child(ren) home from Ethiopia. 

They have some REALLY great stuff on there for everyone:  hooded toddler towels, burp clothes, jewelry, handmade cups and a cutting board, Cubs tickets, Tigers tickets, and so SO much more!

So please go check it out at Stepping Stones, and maybe bid on something!  Help Eddie’s cousin(s) come home!

Sluiter Nation Home Tour: The Room That Almost Wasn’t

UPDATE:
I just found out that I have guest posts running over at Back to the Basics for my friend, Julie AND at Not Super…Just Mom for my friend, Miranda.  So after you read this post, head over and show some love on their blogs!!

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Last week Tuesday, I unveiled my intent to show you all around Sluiter Nation, MTV cribs-style (mom, that means giving a tour).  I started with the Master Bedroom. This week, I am taking you to my favorite room in all of Sluiter Nation:  The Nursery.

 Come in, come in.  The baby is not sleeping.  This is his view though when he pushes that door open to his very own room.  The room that almost didn’t happen.

Don’t get me wrong, the room itself has always been there.  It was finished and ready for something when we bought the house almost six years ago.  First it was an office/guest bedroom.  I painted it this green color knowing I wanted it to be a nursery someday and I wouldn’t want to repaint.  And it was a GREAT guest bedroom.

When we found out we were pregnant the first time, we started getting rid of the bed and other things that made it a guest bedroom.  Then we weren’t pregnant.  It was still an office, but more of a “cloffice” as DesignHerMomma would call it.  It was a place for everything and nothing.  It got worse after our second miscarriage.  It was just piles, a computer, and occasionally? Me.

But then Eddie stuck.  He decided he was going to be our son.  And we turned this room of broken dreams into a warm, room of his own.  I have never put so much effort into decorating and placing things in a room.

It needed to be apparent whose room this was–in case anyone forgot.  And there needed to be a theme.  All the pretty nurseries had themes (by the way, no other room in my house has a theme.  Those rooms?  Are a mishmash of things collected over time).  This room was planned and thought out in my heart.

It needed books.  My son would love books.  He would be a lifelong reader like his mom.  I collected books.  Books and animals.  As I mentioned here, Cort and I had been collecting animals for this room since before we were married.  Every zoo we went to was another animal added to my “nursery pile.”  So we (and by “we” I mean “I”.  Cort totally indulged me however he could in this.  I am eternally grateful for his compassion and understanding that I needed this room to be perfect) filled his room with books and animals.

Animals and books and comfort and safety.  This is his space.  This is his place to be.  This is his.

And after all that planning and “putting” and rearranging?  After all those hours that I sat in the room by myself with my big pregnant belly and read the books aloud to my growing baby?  He was there.  And we put him in his room.

Toys in a toy box.  Crumpled up jammies waiting for the evening routine.
snugly blankies and soft friends waiting for naptime or bedtime.

His first friend on the wall by his changing table.  Even in the midst of crabby colic, this elephant got smiles and coos. I’ve often given this elephant the stink eye wondering what he had that I didn’t back then.  He just smiles knowingly back at me.  Jerk.

Little shoes waiting for outside play.  Resting from all the adventures of the morning.
And our spot.  OUR spot.  Where Eddie and I (and Eddie and daddy) spend countless hours rocking and rocking and singing and reading and rocking.
Eddie’s room.  I still find myself sitting in the rocking chair looking at the room from that view (above) and trying to remember how the room used to be.  But the memory escapes me.  Memories never escape me.  But that one is fading.  And I am ok with that.  I love this room.  I love what this room means. This room?  Means we are a family.  We are Three.

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BIG NEWS!  Tonight we found out that all the paperwork went through for Cortney’s sister, MacKenzie and her husband, David for their adoption!  They are officially on waiting lists!  You can read about their journey at their blog Stepping Stones

They will be holding an Adoption Auction Fundraiser over at their blog from Thursday, July 29-Sunday August 1st.  There are TONS of great things going up for auction to help them raise the gazillion dollars it costs to bring their child(ren) home from Ethiopia.  The auction is open to the whole wide world as far as I know and I think they are still accepting any donations for items/services to bid on.

ALSO, for those who are local?  Sluiter Nation will be having a HUGE yard/garage sale on Saturday August 14 that we have named Kids in the Yard (Sale).  All proceeds will go to Kenz and Dave to help bring our little family members home.  If you would like to donate stuff to be sold, let me know and we will arrange to get it.  Otherwise, we hope to see you there!!!

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