Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A little empty...

This week we have a lot to celebrate, we are almost done with the home study, we have a new fundraiser going on and Jacob is finally eating again after that nasty 5 day tummy sickness! But for some reason today I am a little...empty. We have been going non-stop for the last few weeks and it’s been awesome helping me keep my mind occupied. The house is cleaner, the remodels are done, the home study paperwork is done and the dossier paperwork is slowly getting done. But for some reason today I can't stop thinking about my babies I can't hold yet.
About a month ago we cleaned out the 3rd bedroom and now at that’s left in there is a desk that will be moved this weekend. I’m going to tell you a little secret, not even Chris knows, some nights I go in the room and just stand there and look at the empty room. I have visions of a little girl’s room with purples and grays or an older little boy’s room with toys all over the floor. I think about all the memories waiting to happen in that room. We are happy and blessed and we love our son so much, but I can’t help having that feeling like we are missing a few family members.
Monday I got an email from a family member that kind of hurt. In reply to us emailing her about our decision to adopt from Ethiopia, she stated that “If it is God’s will that you adopt, I will pray that He changes your heart to adopt in the USA and NOT a foreign country. We have a lot of babies here that need a loving home.” Ouch. I will state first that I agree with her last sentence, there are a lot of babies in the US that need homes…and there are MILLIONS of babies around the world that need loving homes, I don’t chose who I help by where they live but instead where I feel GOD leads me too. But besides all that, he statement hurt because to me we are expecting from Ethiopia (heck we will call it pregnant if you will) and if our “hearts change” it will be HEART BREAK! My babies are in Ethiopia, my children who I pray for and already love are in ETHIOPIA. Asking me to change where I am adopting from is like asking me to give up my kids! Still don’t get it? Praying for me to change the location we adopt from is like telling me that you are going to pray for a pregnant me to not be pregnant anymore. Overdramatic? Maybe, but this is how I feel.
Can I ask you to do me a favor? Can you pray for our brown-eyed babies? Can you pray with me that they are being loved on and cared for since we can’t yet? I know right now they are going through the worst pain they are ever going to face and I wish I could be there to dry their tears and hug them like only a mommy can.


Proverbs 16:9 "The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps."

Monday, November 28, 2011

Home Study scheduled and another fundraiser!!

Our home study meetings are scheduled!! We are meeting with our social worker THIS WEEK!! AHHHHH!! How amazing is that?!? We are meeting with her on Friday and Sunday!! Wow when God says move He means MOVE!! Everyday we are getting closer to holding our new child(ren)!

Also, here is another fundraiser we are doing!! My sister, Hannah, who is a Thirty-One consultant, has offered to do a fundraiser for us!! 100% of her commission will go toward our adoption fund when purchased under this party! Please note this party ends NOON, Dec. 12 which is both the cut off day for Christmas delivery guarantee and the end of the current special.

Thirty-One is a fun & unique line ...of products. Browse through the catalog to find everything from signature purses and totes to storage solutions that help organize your life. There's a little something for everyone. There's a fun special going on right now!! For every $31 you spend, get one All-In-One Organizer, Soft Wallet, Cinch Sac, Zip-Up Pencil Pouch or Flat Iron Case for ONLY $5! These items are originally valued from $10-$22! Buy gifts for others and keep these for yourself! Shop at and make sure to shop from "Abbey's Adoption Fundraiser"!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

We are moving forward again!!

Hello!! First I wanted to say sorry to anyone who actually reads our blog! Things have been kind of busy and crazy and I felt the need to step away from the blog for a little while. But, I’m back! Today we FINALLY mailed off our huge home study packet!!!! YAY!!! Ok so maybe we took a little longer than expected (um by a few MONTHS) but I feel like God was slowing us down for a reason. When I took a step back I started listening to what God had planned for this adoption. I’m not going to lie; I didn’t do this on purpose. I got really negative and sad and even refused to pray because at one point I wasn’t sure what to pray about anymore. I even went as far as researching other options because it just seemed like we weren’t moving forward at all. Between repairs at home, financial issues and our schedule, I just felt like we were never going to be “home study ready”. Looking back, I know the slowdown was important. Slowing down forced us to look at our own motivations for this adoption and listen to God’s plan for this adoption. Since starting the adoption process, so many of our desires have changed and our hearts are slowly beginning to want what God wants. I will blog more about this later!

About three and a half weeks ago our home study social worker emailed us about a home study seminar that will count as one of our four required meetings…awesome right?? I thought about it and then forgot about it because I was certain that we had to have our packet in by then and I was certain that we would NOT have it ready yet. Thankfully an awesome adoptive mom Beth (check her out at messaged me, encouraging me to go to the seminar and informed me that we could go BEFORE we turned in our paperwork! The funny thing is that for the last two years, I have consistently felt God telling me to wait, even when I felt God pushing us to start the adoption, He still reminded me to wait. When Beth encouraged us to attend the seminar I suddenly stopped hearing the “wait” and instead heard the “hurry!”! Friday we went to the seminar and TODAY we sent in our home study PAPERWORK!!! Thank you Beth for letting God use you to encourage us! I’m so excited (and nervous) to begin the home study meetings!!


Isaiah 43:2 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire,you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


A year ago I didn't think about Africa, orphans or really even poverty really. Its not that I didn't care or didn't see it, I just didn't think about it. I felt like no matter what I did, I couldn't make a difference. I was so stuck in my world with my problems (which was at the time infertility) that I just kind of ignored the needs of others. I mean, someone will help right? It doesn't have to be me right now. Wow was I wrong. God calls all His people to help the "orphans and the widows" ( James 1:27) and to give generously (1 Timothy 6:18). I didn't truly start to wake up to the orphan and poverty crisis in the world until after reading "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan and started thinking about adoption.

Still, I am overwhelmed by the needs out can my little gifts, the little amount that we can afford, help enough people to make a difference? Well it may or may not make a big difference in the world, that's just the way life works. I saw a quote today that kind of made me stop to and think ‎"Never get tired of doing little things for others, sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts". Wow. You see the "burden" that is poverty and orphans is not a burden but a face...millions of faces actually! What if my dollar gives a mom one more day with her baby? What if my dollar made a child feel safe and loved? What if my dollar helped a woman escape human trafficking? Or, what is I kept my dollar and it did nothing? These are the things I think about now. My heart is restless to DO something, GO somewhere, LOVE on someone, to make changes! Right now the best I can do is GIVE and I want to give generously, I want to give in a way that makes me a little uncomfortable. When we give generously we take the power away from money and wealth and its hold on us (ok I might have stolen that from Dave Ramsey, we are doing FPU in our small group and I feel like I remember him saying something like that) and we save lives and hearts. I want to share some of the places and people that have helped build this fire in my heart and who I want to advocate for. Each of these organizations and people have a passion for helping those that can't help themselves and to love the fatherless:

Because Every Mother Matters -

Their mission is to reduce the occurrence of maternal and infant mortality by providing sterile birthing kits, holistic childbirth and development centers, and sponsorships of mothers in East Africa. I talked about them in a previous blog post but I wanted to get the word out about them again! Organizations like this are vital to stopping the orphan crisis! Right now they are trying to fund an ambulance that will help 24 villages in Ethiopia save many lives. Can you help them?

Delicate Fortress -
Shop with purpose! Delicate Fortress sells items that are made by refugees to help stop human trafficking, extreme poverty and modern day slavery. They are unique and well made. Check them out and do a little guilt free shopping!

Give1Save1 -

I think this is said best in their words "every monday i’m going to ask you for a dollar. i’m going to tell you who it’s going to and what it’s being used for. we’re mostly funding african adoption for the people, by the people. we’re just going to rain down a crazy blessing on a family, organization, orphanage, or project and we’re going to do it every week. we’re going to get huge. and the world will be changed for lots of people because of your generosity. that sounds exciting, doesn’t it?! let’s do it.
i’ll tell you who we’re sponsoring and where to send your dollar. you’ll need a paypal account to play. if you don’t have a paypal account, you just need one. it’s time. so go ahead and set one up and meet me back here. i’ll link a button to the paypal account that we’ll be blasting. then once you’ve donated your dollar spread the word to get some more dollars in here. if you have a voice, an email account, a blog, a facebook page, a twitter account or a pinboard USE IT! the only way we can make a big difference is to make it viral!
and your dollar will be saving and restoring lives in all kinds of ways. in ethiopia one in six children don’t live to be five years old. there is a desperate need for basic food, clean water, and medicine. removing a child from an orphanage gives that child a family and a future, something everyone needs. it also frees up a bed in an orphanage for a street child. your dollar will change lives and save lives in ways you may never know." Um, this is super cool and it was started by an adopting Mom!! Yeah she pretty much rocks! Every week they will spotlight someone different and you can expect $1 a week to go to a family adopting a baby, an older child, siblings, and a project. Super cool...Can you give a dollar a week? Or what about a dollar a day? Think about it, pray about it!

Sweet Sleep/Jenn and Chris Verme - and

"Sweet Sleep is a faith-based nonprofit organization which provides beds to the world’s orphaned and abandoned children, demonstrating God’s love for them and improving their quality of life.
Sweet Sleep’s vision is for every orphaned child in the world to lie down in their own bed reminding them they are loved, protected and cared for with hope for the future through Jesus Christ.
According to UNICEF, there are more that 210 million orphans worldwide. Today, 5,760 more children will become orphans.
Orphaned and abandoned children around the world suffer from lack of sufficient or healthy places to sleep. These children often sleep on old, broken and soiled beds or have no beds at all – forcing them to sleep on paper-thin mats or cold, hard floors, making them susceptible to crawling, biting insects and disease. In these conditions, it is nearly impossible to get a good night’s sleep and the effects are staggering:
1 in 5 of all childhood deaths is caused from malaria.

90% of these children are in Africa alone.
A sagging or misshapen mattress may add tension to a child’s joints because their bodies rest on the mattress for hours at a time.

Even if a child sleeps well on a bad mattress, these injuries to their bodies only make them weaker.
Old mattresses or scraps of foam are breeding grounds for bed bugs and allergens that contribute to startling increases in respiratory diseases, including asthma as well as rhinitis, eczema and bed bug bites.
When children continuously do not get enough sleep it affects their health, makes them tired during the day, hinders their ability to do well at school and leaves them more prone to disease.
Sweet Sleep’s provision of mosquito nets to orphanages is literally life-changing to children who live in fear of death by malaria. With your help, we are able to get sweet orphaned and abandoned children around the world into healthy, comfortable new Sweet Sleep beds."

Jennifer and Chris went to Ethiopia and Rwanda last month and visited the Noel Orphanage, which is home to over 600 children. Many of these children sleep 2 and 3 to a bed. Right now, Noel needs 50 new bunk beds for the girls and 20 new cots for the toddlers. Each bunk bed cost $135 and each toddler cot cost $65. Can you help a child sleep safely tonight?? You can donate on either the Give1Save1 site, Jenn and Chris' blog or straight to Sleep Sweet's site.

Ok that's all I have right now! There are MANY more organizations out there to help, all you have to do is look.


Walled up!

Monday morning the new contractor came to wall up the arch in the loft/3rd bedroom. They did a great job and finished it in one day! Now I just have to texture and paint the wall on the livingroom side and texture and prime the bedroom side (don't want to paint until we know who is going in there). Here are the before and after pictures. Sorry they aren't that great...both are cell phone pics and I completely forgot to take good ones!

The before picture (there was a railing there but the contractor popped it out before I got a picture of it)
The after...not great because it hasn't been painted, but you get the idea!

We are so relieved that this is finished! Not only did we make an extra room for our kids, but we just uped the value of our house because it is now a 3 bedroom house! Our contractor is awesome! He gave us a discount (He and his wife are adopting from China!) and he added an outlet in the bedroom and patched up 2 other holes without us asking! He is truly a God send!! Did I mention we found him at church?? His wife serves in the elementary ministry at our church with Chris! If you live in the League City/Southeast Houston area and need a contractor, let me know and i will give you his info! Now we just have to finish the bathroom remodel and we can submit our homestudy paperwork!!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Busy Busy Busy

Im exhausted! We have been so busy over the last two weeks that I'm kind of starting to feel like Im sleep walking! About a week and a half ago Chris and I both realized that we felt God pushing us to change our request from one child to two children! Yay! We are so excited to see where God is leading our family! But this brings another challenge for us. You might remember our concern about the lack of rooms we talked about here and the fact that we only have 2 bedrooms and a loft that has a huge arch opening. Thankfully the loft has a window, 2 closets and a doorway with a door so if it didn't have the huge archway, it would be a true bedroom. Chris and I just figured we would figure out how to afford this after Christmas when we would be close to sending off our dossier. Thankfully I decided to contact our social worker about our change in request just to see if there was anything we needed to do and she informed me that we had to have the archway walled up before we could be approved for another child over 2. Dangit! I kind of wanted to cry (ok fine, I DID cry) and I started to think that maybe this was a sign that we aren't ready for siblings yet. I mean, how were we going to afford another big chunk of money when we are already struggling to afford the adoption all together! And we had to have it in a week! Well again I will say, what God favors, God provides for! My very sweet parents let us borrow the funds to afford the remodel! Praise God! Now I know that this does not insure that we will be approved for siblings but at least I know that we are doing all we can to bring them home!

To add to all the mental and emotional battles that we are fighting, we are also physically exhausted! About a year and a half ago, we started to remodel our upstairs bathroom which is supposed to be Jacob's bathroom. We had no choice, the toilet was leaking, the bathtub was leaking and well the bathroom was just ugly! We started out thinking that we could do it ourselves and quickly realized we needed help! Instead of hiring a professional (ie expensive) contractor, we hired a "friend" who has been doing side contractor jobs for years. Win win right?? Fast forward a year and a half and we have a halfway remodeled bathroom and zero faith in our "friend" because he never calls when he decides he doesn't want to come over to help (um and get paid!). Ugh! Against our better judgement, Chris and I decided to give this guy another chance and offer a pretty nice chunk of change that we had been saving for this project to finsh the bathroom and a few other quick fixes around the house. Friday he even talked to me, face to face, about bringing some donations for another future garage sale when we comes on Saturday. Sadly by 10am on Saturday we still had not heard from him and he refused to answer our texts. I was crushed! What the heck are we going to do?!? Poor Jacob has gone sooo long without an actual bathroom (ok we still clean him in the shower, but come on, every kid needs a bath! ;) and no one is going to approve us without a working guest bath!! Another UGH! We spent the next 20 minutes angry, confused and crying (ok well I cried), debating about what to do. My husband, my rock, decided that WE were going to finish it! What?!? I know we are kinda handy and there isn't THAT much to do...but drywall, and door framing, and floor laying?? I've never done that! I've watched a lot of HGTV but I hardly think that makes me a trained professional!! After a little prayer I decided that well, we didn't really have a choice. So, armed with our TWO home improvement how-to books and YouTube (hey, you can learn a lot on YouTube!) we dove head first into bathroom remodeling 101! I would love to show the before and after pics but the after isn't finished yet! We busted our behinds all weekend long (did I mention how thankful I was that it was a 3 day weekend?!? GOD IS GOOD!) and learned A LOT but we are slow (hey, learning takes time!) and we still have a little left. We are hoping and praying that we can have it done this weekend and we can move on to the next thing on our "getting the house ready for the homestudy" todo list!

I will leave you with a cute pic of Jacob from this weekend

I am so blessed to have a sister (who is also my best friend!) who took care of Jacob all weekend long so we could concentrate on the remodel without distractions! Here he is with his "friends" watching a movie at Aunt Hannah's house!


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Because Every Mother Matters

Its no secret to most people that know me now, I love adoption. I think adoption is beautiful and a blessing to both the parents and the children. But what if there wasn't a need for adoption? Huh? What if there weren't any orphans? What if parents were able to stay well and be able to care for their children? I LOVE adoption but I really wish there wasn't a need for it! Last Friday I came across an awesome organization, Because Every Mother Matters, that is trying to help reduce the amount of orphans in the world by helping mothers around the world stay healthy! Isn't that awesome?!?! I also found our that they are doing a fundraiser to fund an ambulance that will service 10,000 people and save 20 lives a month! But thats not it! With this fundraiser they are also donating to 11 adopting families!! Here are the details:

THE CURRENT PROJECT: raise $20k for a 4 wheel drive vehicle, that will save mother's lives, and prevent further orphans from entering the world.
THE BENEFIT FOR ADOPTIVE FAMILIES: If you or anyone you know donates $20 for this cause, you will be entered to be gifted 25% of what we raise thru this initiative, up to $10,000. You could be given up to $2,500 toward your adoption!
if we reach the $10k mark, the rules change a little bit for the remainder of funds... for every $1k we raise, you will be entered to be gifted 50%! if we make our goal of $20k, that is 10 families who could be given $500 toward their adoption!
that is 11 chances to win!!!
WHAT IF I AM NOT ADOPTING? CAN I STILL GIVE? absolutely! if you are not adopting but know someone who is, you can donate the $20 in their name, and they will be entered for the $ gift. if you don't know anyone who is adopting that is fine too, you can still donate toward the ambulance!
FUTURE PLANS: we at BEMM are all about helping mamas. there are women, in ethiopia who need our help all the time. if this campaign is successful, we will do adoption $$ give aways on a regular basis!!!
CONCLUSION: the more $$$ raised, the more $$$ going toward the ambulance, and the more $$$ going toward bringing home a current orphan! it is a win/win for everyone!!!
spread the word! tell your family, friends, co-workers, teachers, barrista, whoever! you only have one more week to enter!!!!

This is such an awesome fundraiser! Can I ask you to donate toward this? This fundraiser ends 9/4 (this Sunday) and they NEED this ambulance to save mothers and babies. If you like you can enter our names in the comment section to add us into the drawing, but if not thats ok, I just REALLY support this! Just go to the link above and click on the "donate" tab. In the "notes to seller" tab enter "ambulance Chris and Abigail Newton"!

You can also get more info from their blog at


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I know, I know...

I know no one wants to hear even more about money but well I have decided that you can rarely talk about adoption without talking about money. Stinks I know. But since this IS an adoption blog its only fitting to talk about money right?? (Blech!) As I said in our last post, our home study is completely funded (YAY!) and while we are ecstatic about this we now have to move on to MORE fundraising. I'm learning quickly that in the adoption world you have many hills to conquer and you only have a minute to celebrate each one because the next hill is bigger and badder. Well our next hill is $7700! Yep you read that right! The $7700 is for the dossier submission that we are hoping to do in January. (please refer to for the adoption costs breakdown) And on top of that there was a mistake with our taxes (my error...) and we owe about $2800 by October 15. Thankfully I am already saving for the taxes but it so hurts my heart that I have to subtract that from the adoption funds! So why am I telling you this?? Well as I have said before (and I will keep proclaiming), God funds what God favors and He uses His people to do so. No that was NOT a guilt trip I promise, instead it is a plea to help us bring Z home! ANY amount helps (remember the coin jar...) and we have been sooooo blessed by all our donations so far! Also all of our fundraisers benefit our donors too by being able to buy good quality products! Here is a list of our current fundraisers:

Just Love Coffee: Love Roasters takes the two passions of its founder, ORPHANS and FAIR TRADE COFFEE, and incorporates them into one company. Their mission is to offer quality Fair Trade coffees and to use these coffees to help orphans and their forever families. They have created a fundraising program where we are able to set up our own online store! I have tried it and it is VERY good! With each bag sold, $5 will go directly towards our adoption. Your coffee is delivered to you by USPS and you get to help us adopt or child (or children)!Proceeds to Our Adoption:• Coffee: $5 will go towards our adoption• T-Shirt: $5 will go towards our adoption• Travel Mug: $3 will go towards our adoption• Tote Bag: $3 will go towards our adoption• Hat: $3 will go towards our adoption• Coffee Scoop: $1 will go towards our adoption

A Novel Idea Crafts: I have been making jewelry for about a year and now all proceeds goes into our adoption fund!

Scentsy: A friend of mine did a Scentsy fundraiser for us last month to raise funds for our adoption and now I have joined her team and am a Scentsy consultant! All commissions go into our adoption fund!

Simply Love T-shirts: In June I decided that I wanted to sell t-shirts to help raise more funds AND to orphan care awareness! Thanks to Kari at we are selling Simply Love T-Shirts to help bring our child home! We originally offered totes, hats, and shirts but after about a month with only 2 requests we decided to narrow it down to just shirts. I now have these in hand and are available ASAP!

Here is the Men's green shirt (the back says "Man up. Protect and love the fatherless") I have 2 Smalls, 5 Mediums, 7 Larges, 7 XL and 2 XXL. You can order them with the Paypal link to the right.

Here is the Women's black unisex shirt. I have 5 smalls, 6 Mediums, 7 Larges, 2 XL and 2 XXL. You can order them from the Paypal link on the right.

We are so blessed by all the support we have from our friends and families. It overwhelms me some days and I am humbled. Please know that we are pinching from our budget everywhere we can and we don't ask for donations without first taking from ourselves. In fact the thermometer to the right is not just donations but donations PLUS our own savings. No monetary sacrifice it too much to bring our sweet Z home!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Some updates

Sorry for being kind of MIA! I tend to do that when I feel a little discouraged and I've been feeling that way for the last few weeks. I just feel like we are taking FOREVER to submit the homestudy stuff. I've seen a lot of other families do this way faster than us and I feel like its all our faults. But I know that things are going at the speed they are supposed to go (or atleast I hope so!). Also it seems like we are ALWAYS busy and when we finally have a break to work on the paperwork, we decide to be lazy instead. No more though, its crunch time because I am happy to say that our homestudy is FULLY FUNDED!! Whoohoo! Its really funny because a few weeks ago i was really upset because we weren't able to save as much as I thought (from our own income) and I was certain we were almost a month away from being about to pay for the homestudy. But God is awesome and over the weekend we received a few donations from various places and BAM we are over funded!! Praise God!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Adoptive Families for Famine Relief...Update!

Praise God over $4000 was raised for famine relief!!!! In one day!! This is amazing!!Approximately $190 went to the World Food Programme, $425 to Doctors Without Borders, $1,085 to Children's HopeChest (most of that earmarked for the well at Trees of Glory), and $2,195 for World Vision. A few donations went to Samaritans Purse and Catholic Relief Charities. Thank you soooo much to everyone that gave!! The website is still up for anyone that still wants to support the organizes we have listed!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Adoptive Families for Famine Relief

Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya are currently in the grips of the worst drought and famine in decades. Today, more than eleven million people are in need of food assistance, and unfortunately, the situation is only expected to get worse in the coming months. It is estimated that at least 29,000 children under the age five have died in the last 90 days in Somalia due to this horrible drought!

Another adoptive mom has put together a website to help provide relief for Africa from this horrible drought they are experiencing. It breaks my heart to think of my child over there right now suffering along with so many others. We are asking that you help us by donating to one of the recommended organizations on the website below. Several families (including us) have donated items for you to chose from if you donate $25 or $50. This drive is only for Thursday, August 11 and ends tomorrow night. Please give if you can!!

For more info about the drought check these links:


Monday, August 1, 2011

Running to Z

I'm going to be honest, I have no idea how this post is going to end up, maybe a ramble or maybe I will actually compose something that makes sense to others? Who knows but I feel the need to write, to get some feelings of my chest as well as some updates. First I will say that we are so thankful for all the support we have had so far! I know a lot of people in the adoption community that have had some bad reactions to their decision to adopt and I can honestly say that we have not had that experience! We are surrounded by such amazing people! I know that we will have opposition for the rest of our lives but with the support system we have, I know we will get through it.
Right now our adoption process has kinda stalled. Yes we are still moving forward and nothing has really changed, it just seems that suddenly we are at a place where we have to wait. We have to wait on a few things before we can keep moving and it kind of feels like our feet are glued to the ground. Like no matter how hard we are trying to make a forward step, we just can't move. Thankfully though I know this is just temporary. I know we will very soon have the funds to send our social worker the check to pay for the home study, the doctor will re-fill out and re-sign our medical forms and Chris' social security card will arrive in the mail (well I hope it will!). But until all these things happen we can't move forward with our home study and this means we must wait. Anyone that knows me well knows I am horrible at waiting, seriously I'm BAD at it! I'm even worse at it if I think that I could be doing something about but can't. The worst part about my impatience is that I start to close up, especially to God. As I pull myself further from God I realize that a lot of the feelings that God has shielded me from are starting to creep back in. This scares me, I don't want to be back in that place. I KNOW what God wants for our family, for our future but slowly I feel like I'm forgetting. The feelings of loneliness and inadequacy have been trying to steal my joy about our future, trying to make me feel like adoption will never be "good enough" for me, that I will never be satisfied until I have a little baby in my tummy again. This saddens me for many different reasons, I WANT to adopt and I don't want anything holding me back from our future children, future as a family and from God and His plan. I want this to be more then just about us and our family! I just wish I wasn't so human! But even as I am writing this I can feel God's loving grace surrounding and reminding me of not only what I want but what HE wants (ha no joke the song that just came on my iPod is "Running to You" by Newsboys).
One of the few things that does help me with waiting is to have a tangible goal. Well of course with adoption there is a tangible goal, but right now the "goal" in my mind is a faceless, nameless child and well that hurts my heart! I want so badly to see his/her face and hear their voice. I'm so tired of say "his/her" so instead we are calling them Z! Yep Z! Why Z? While trying for baby #2 Chris and I were pretty set on girl name and a boy name but for some reason as we have transitioned into the adoption process, I keep coming back to a different boy name, Zachary (Zoe is the same girl name but for a different reason) and finally we decided that we will keep these names when we finally bring Z home. Both have great meanings and I feel are perfect for our child. Zachary comes from Zachariah which means remembered by God. I want our child to know that even though at one time he was an orphan, he was remembered and loved by God. Zoe means life and I want my child (well all children of course) to LIVE a life of love and fulfillment!
Something I keep saying and keeping trying to remind myself of, is that adoption, through God's lead, will ALWAYS happen on God's timeline. Every holdup and stall is for a reason. Our child will come home when God is ready for them to. I can either let it hold me down or I can use this time to prepare for the race ahead of us by praying and drawing closer to God. I choose to run to Z!!


"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Newton Family Scentsy Fundraiser - Ends Aug 17

A week and a half ago a friend of mine, who is a Scentsy consultant told me that she wanted to use Scentsy to help us fund raise for our adoption. She mentioned this during the garage sale/rain craziness and I wasn't able to get back to her until later that day. Jonna, being the awesome person that she is quickly set everything up and started the online Scentsy party without me asking and without my help! How awesome is that! I am soooooo thankful to her for doing this for our family. Please check it out, I've heard great things about Scentsy (my order is in route!) and they have a great selection! Here is the link and just join the Newton Family Fundraiser party!

Also, anyone that orders in the first $1000 orders is automatically entered into a drawing to win a free fullsize warmer!

Remember that the online party has been extended till August 17th, so if you are interested in ordering, get your orders in by August 17th!

We thank you for your support!!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Don't forget to check out the Made with Love Event!!

Just a reminder to check out the Made With Love Event going on on a friend's blog. Our shop, A Novel Idea Crafts, is a sponsor and you can enter to receive a $15 gift certificate from our shop! There are also some really cool shops that you can check out and you can enter their giveaways too! Check it out :

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Im healthy too (for the most part)!

This morning I received a call from our doctor's office letting me know that but follow up blood work came back and things look great...except that my thyroid levels are stil a little high. She said its no biggie and I will just need to take a pill once a day and re-check it in 8 weeks. Though Im a little upset that I didn't get that "clear bill of health", I am VERY thankful that it is something small and won't stall our medical exams. Our doctor should be signing our forms today and tomorrow we get to check another thing off out list!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chris is healthy!

During all the garage sale craziness last week, I forgot to update that Chris received a call last week that his follow up bloodwork came back normal!! Praise God!! We are waiting for the doctor to have time to finish filling out the form and sign it (thankfully they have a notary on staff!). Today I went it to get my follow up blood work done and I should know something later this week. Praying it comes back normal and we can move on! Thankfully I have already been told that I was barely abnormal last time and I may just have to manage it with meds...still hoping for a completely clear bill of health though! We are getting closer to being able to turn in our homestudy packet!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Blessed Beyond My Worth

I am blessed. Over the weekend I received MANY blessings and I am still processing them. unfortunately sometimes with blessings come attacks too. Today I am being emotionally attacked and it has been keeping from truely appreciating my blessings. I am tired and weak. I feel so unworthly of all the blessings we have received and honestly its kind of hard to write this post because I just keep thinking Im not even worthy enough to write it! But I am blessed!! In the last week it has literally been one thing after another, so much that Im having a hard time keeping track (and remembering to thank!). Some of our blessings are:

  • An order for jewelry which ended up being almost twice what I usually charge because they wanted me to add sterling silver components

  • A donation from another adopting family who is still trying to raise funds for their adoption.

  • Three other orders from our etsy shop!

  • More donations for our garage sale

  • A friend commiting to monthly donations AND letting me know that her small group is praying for another state!

  • Raising $713 during our garage sale even though it rained for most of the 2nd day (people just kept coming!)

  • A blogging mommy friend reviewing one of our etsy items on her blog (check out the Made with Love Event on her blog )

  • A friend hosting a Scentsy party to help us raise funds

  • And all the help, support and prayers from family and friends

So many times during this weekend I felt defeated (like when we had just finished bringing all the donations out into the yard and then heard thunder) but God reminded me that all of this is bigger than me and He could do more than I could ever even imagine. For example, we had 4 pieces of big furniture and no one had even inquired about them when the thunder started. I knew that we could easily cover and store the other items if the rain started, but not the furniture. I panicked, then prayed (ok more like begged) and within an hour each piece was sold! I have more to say on this but I don't think I can write it as eloquently as I'd like right now. Just know that you are loved and God can do more than you could ever imagine! (Oh yeah and check out the Scentsy party!!)


Isaiah 55:8 "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts" says the Lord. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Getting Stuff Done and Closer to Home Study!

So now that the initial shock of all the paperwork has finally subsided, Im feeling pretty confident that we CAN do all this and I know that everything is going to happen in God's timing, no matter how fast I try to make it happen. Already we have hit a few "bumps" in the road (medical abnormalities and being tested further, missing documents, etc) but Im strangely ok (after a little prayer of course), knowing that our child just isn't ready yet. I'm excited though because we already have quite a few items checked off the check list! Here's a list to give an idea of what we have finished and what we still have left to do!


  • Proof of home ownership

  • Guardianship Statement Form

  • Birth Certificate Photocopies

  • Marriage License Photocopies

  • Pet Vax Proof

  • 1040 Tax Form copy

  • Reference Letters given to awesome people :)

  • Driver's License copies

  • Reading Agreement

  • Health Insurance Coverage Proof

Waiting on:

  • Chris' Social Security Card

  • Medical Exam form

  • Floor Plan Sketch

  • Pics of Yard areas and home

  • Employment Verification.

  • Home Study Questionaires (all 180 questions each!)

  • 10 Forms to fill out/sign

  • The Rest of the Home Study to be funded

As you can see we aren't doing too bad! Now let's just pray that all our medical retesting comes back ok and they can just write a simple note about it and be done with it! Ok I have more to say but I will write another blog post later!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Simply Love Fundraiser!!!! *Updated & Extended*

We have a new fundraiser to share with yall! Thanks to Kari at we are selling Simply Love T-Shirts to help bring our child home! Because I have to buy these shirts in bulk, we are going to do a 2 week selling blitz. A selling blitz means these shirts will be available to purchase for 2 weeks and after the deadline I will order them. You should receive the shirts about 7-12 days after the deadline. Wait, we aren't just offering shirts, we are offering hats and bags! Just click the "buy now" buttons on the right side bar! Proceeds from each shirt will go toward our adoption! Let me know is you have any questions! Here are the Simply Love items.

*Women's shirts can be ordered in Unisex or Junior Fit! Junior fit run small so we advise that you order ONE size UP from your regular t-shirt size! Leave a note telling me which fit you would prefer when you checkout!*

Simply Love 2 Week Blitz June 29 - July 28 (EXTENDED)

Brown Unisex or Junior Fit Shirt with Pink and White Pattern - $25 + $2 Shipping

S, M, L, XL and XXL (+ $1.50)

Black Unisex or Junior Fit Shirt with Blue and White Pattern - $25 + $2 for Shipping
S, M, L, XL and XXL (+ $1.50)

Grey, Black or Blue Unisex Men's shirt with Red and White Pattern - $25 + $2 for Shipping

S, M, L, XL and XXL (+ $1.50)

Kids Grey Shirt - $20 + $2 for shipping

YXS (2-4), YS (6-8), YM (10-12), YL (14-16), YXL (18-20)

Simply Love Purse Tote in Blue, Brown, Pink or Black - $30 + $2 for Shipping

Brown Distressed Hat with Cream Wording - $22 + $2 for Shipping

Women's Military Style Hat in Brown, Khaki or Black - $22 + $2 for Shipping

*Buy Now Buttons are up! *

We are diving in!

We received emails from both our family coordinator AND our AWAA social worker (in Texas AWAA does the home study) and WOW I'm overwhelmed!! There is soooo much paperwork! To give you an idea, we received 10 attachments from our social worker and 16 from our FC! Ive always heard that the paper chase for the dossier was long and hard but so far I think its much worse for the home study!! And we need to get this stuff in ASAP because it could take 3-4 months to finish the home study AFTER we submit all the paperwork! We've only been at this for 2 days and I'm already tired and do people do this??? OK sorry had to vent a little! One of our biggest issues right now is that Chris and I are not very organized. We have a habit of leaving important documents in random places instead of in the fire safe at home. For example I can not seem to find my birth certificate or Chris' social security card...wtheck?? It make no sense that they would be missing but they are! Ive already had 2 panic attacks about it but I have to keep reminding myself its no biggie and an easy fix (um I'm kind of dramatic!). So today I went ahead and ordered the certified copies of our birth certs which we will need for the dossier anyway and Chris is going to deal with the social security card tomorrow. Tonight after group we are going to organize every piece of paper we can find in our house!

Ok sorry I got a little side tracked but hey I'm a little less stressed now that I got that off my chest. Eventually I will write a blog with all the items we have to have for the home study and dossier but right now I will just tell you that there are 27 items on the checklist for the home study and so far we have finished 6 of them. Thankfully half of the items are in the HUGE packet that we received via email and really only require us to fill them out and sign. The items left that we actually have to go and get are copies of social security cards, medical exams,copies of all 3 birth certs (oh yeah did I mention I can't seem to find Jacob's either!!), financial statement, floor plan sketch (Chris is actually pretty excited about this), pics of our house/yard areas and employment verification. Most of that list is actually pretty easy I just have to get to work!

I can already tell that I am going to love our social worker. In the attachments she gave us there is a tip sheet with tips about some of the items on the list of documents and in the last tip she reminds that "If God brings me to it, He will bring me through it!" and I couldn't agree more! In the last 24 hours I have let the stress get to me and I forgot that this is not about us, its about HIM. He WILL help us with all this. I just have to keep remembering that this is ALL in His timing not mine. Now if we can just get through the medical exam next week without Chris fainting :)!


“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!” -Luke 12:22-24

Friday, June 24, 2011

I thank Him

I have to admit that I have a lot to be thankful for on a regular basis. I'm thankful for my family, my job, my friends, etc. But lately I'm REALLY thankful for God changing me. I keep remembering where I was a year ago, or even worse six months ago, and I am so thankful that I'm not there anymore. A year ago I was depressed and bitter. Even though I didn't want to admit it, I knew God was saying "not yet" and I refused to listen. I wanted another child so bad (and selfishly what I thought our family should look like) that I just ignored Him. Thankfully my God is much more stubborn than I am and He saved me from myself. I am so thankful that now I can rejoice when a friend finds out she is pregnant instead of cringing in jealousy. I can look at ultrasounds and little babies without pain and bitterness. Sure there is still longing for another child but now my longing is more in line with God's longing. Now I don't just want another child to add to our family, but also another child to add to God's kingdom. I don't just dream about our kids growing up, but also about orphans all around the world getting fed and loved on. God took my pain and my longing and turned it into something beautiful. He freed me from my selfishness and broke my heart for what broke His. I'm not perfect but I am changed!

Something else I have to thank God for is freeing me from my stubbornness about my weight. Its pretty obvious that I need to get healthy, not just for myself but for my family too. But I am VERY stubborn and if I can find a reason not to do something then I am pretty set in my ways. Thats how I have been about my weight since we first started trying for kids. I have always known that losing weight would make it easier to get pregnant, but my stubbornness would kick in and I figured, whats the point? Im going to get pregnant soon and just gain it all back. Ok I admit this logic was stupid but I was so stuck in my ways that I couldnt find a way out. Well, now what the heck is my excuse?? NOTHING! For the first time since we have been married, I am actually hoping to not get pregnant (yeah yall that know me knew I pushed Chris into having kids, thankfully he loves being a daddy and forgave me ;) so I have NOTHING standing in my way! So, Im gonna do it! I feel that God is asking me to fix a lot of areas of my life and this is one of them! I am a goal oriented person so I am going to set a goal for myself to lose 100lbs in 1 year! Yep, Im crazy. That means 2lbs a week! But Im tired of living with excuses, like "I can't because its too hard" or "I don't have enough time". I CAN do this and I CAN make time. I NEED to do this. I owe this to my husband, to Jacob, our future kids and to my family! So its been 2 weeks since Ive started this goal and Im not doing so great with only losing 2.5lbs, but I figure I need a week or 2 get used to our new lifestyle. No more excuses and no more laziness. Im looking forward to the "new me" that God is creating inside and out.
So, is God asking you to "stop making excuses and start making changes"? Don't ignore it!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Common Objections to Adoption

Ok sorry for posting 3 posts in one day but I just saw this video and HAD to share it! I think God for putting a line through my reasons to not adopt now!

Agreement Sent Off!!

We mailed our signed AWA agreement (and other forms) and Initial Program Fee today!! We are soooo blessed because without the garage sale, we wouldn't have been able to do this for a few weeks!! We were so excited about taking this BIG step that I wanted to document it with some pics...

So now we wait for AWA to receive our packet and assign us a family coordinator who will give us a list of documents to get for our dossier and our home study social worker. Also we need to complete our 8 hour online training course for adoptive parents. Yay for moving faster than we thought!


Adoption Fundraising Garage Sale = SUCCESS!!

Our adoption fundraising garage sale was a success!! We had our garage sale June 17 and 18 and my goal was $500 for the whole weekend and we received $900!!!!! Enough (added with our savings) to send in the first fee!! Wow and praise God! In the first hour we made $120 and we made more on Friday then we did Saturday(which really surprised me!). We had a lot of fun, even in the 100 degree weather and even got a few donations. The most awesome part was getting to meet 3 adoptive families that stopped by because of our signs. We still have a lot of stuff left so we are planning to do a few more garage sales in the next few months but we need more donations, so if you have anything you don't want/need, just email me and I will pick it up! Here are some pics from our garage sale (2nd day):

Thanks again for everyone helped out, we really could not have done this without yall!!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Who are we??

So I realized the other day that we are probably going to have a lot of random people viewing this blog from the garage sale, AWA yahoo group (well when we get the info from our FC), etc. and I thought it would be a good idea to give yall an idea of who we are. I’m Abbey and I am married to one of my best friends, Chris. We live in Houston, TX and have been married for 4.5yrs. We have a 2yr old, Jacob and he has truly changed our lives. We love soccer and the Houston Dynamo, hanging out with friends and family, and we try to put God as the center of our family. Jacob is outgoing, social, talkative and goofy. He is rarely shy and will hug a stranger (seriously he has hugged a waitress or 2!). He calms us with his sweet nature and reminds us to laugh with his goofy tendencies (he got that from his daddy!). I am head over heels in love with my husband and I really don’t know how I keep him! He is gentle, loving and selfless but also is my rock and keeps me grounded when my dreams try to float me away. And who am I? Well I’m not that good at describing myself but I think you will learn soon that I am stubborn and a dreamer. I let very few things stand in my way, as long as someone is rooting for me! Ok enough talking; instead I will share some recent pictures of us instead!

Well I hope that gave you a little idea of who we are! Welcome, I hope that this blog helps you where ever you are in you life! More than anything I hope that this blog is not about us but about God and His mercy and His faithfulness. Now who are YOU? Leave me a comment so i can get to know you a little better!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

We got accepted!!! Our paper pregnancy begins!

Yesterday we got the call from America World saying we got accepted into their Ethiopia program!! Yay!!! We applied Friday June 3 and I planned to write a huge blog about the experience and how I felt so moved by God and how I just knew things were going to work out..blah blah blah, etc. But after we clicked "send application" I didn't feel excited or moved, I felt deflated! When we started the application it seemed like one thing after another kept going wrong. My computer was having issues, then the internet suddenly stopped working and once the internet started working again, the picture that we needed to send AWAA was too large and I couldn't find one to fit except one that was over 6 months old (ok not that big of a deal I know but at that time it was!) AND we were running really late for our weekly dinner out with our friends. But really those weren't the main reasons for my deflated was once again our finances! There is a part of the application that asks for our Net worth, not good when you factor in our debt! At this point I was defeated and done! I suddenly started to worry that maybe I was all wrong in this, maybe I heard God wrong (as one person keeps telling me). Thankfully God is awesome and led me to marry an awesome man that is stronger than me! When I was ready to just give up, Chris reminded me that this IS what God wants us to do and that if the financial stuff is an issue then we will just work on it, but we needed to move forward. So, while still a little deflated, we filled out the rest of the application, paid our money and left for dinner. Tuesday (June 6) we received an email from the AWA intake coordinator asking us to explain our financial situation. Again I felt deflated. Thankfully again, I was reassured by my wonderful husband and my awesome God that we were going to be ok and just needed to keep going forward. Thanks to, I was able to show her our budget for the rest of the year and explain our debt (and how we aren’t ever using credit cards again!!). Again I couldn’t help but feel a little defeated. Thursday morning we received an email saying that they ask for more information from most families and that we should hear from her by the end of the week! When no call came Friday I was disappointed but my sweet husband reminded me that in this case, no news really is good news. Fast forward to yesterday, I had finally given up for the day around 3pm (4Est) and forced myself to work on actual work. At 3:34pm we got the call and the lady informed me that this was our call to congratulate us into the Ethiopia program!!! I immediately started saying “thank you thank you” and tried not to cry! According to Hannah, I was giggling a lot too! I wanted to update our blog immediately but we had to leave work right after work to work out on the soccer field with some friends and then drive to Pearland and Pasadena to get donations for our garage sale this weekend!

So what now? Well first we have to return the signed AWAA agreement packet and the first installment of the program fee ($1500) and then we will be assigned a Family Coordinator who will help us start building our dossier! We think we will be able to send in the agreement packet and the fee in about 2 weeks (unless we do really well on the garage sale!). We are Paper Pregnant!!

What the heck is a dossier?? A dossier (Doss-e-a) is huge packet of paperwork that will basically contain our life story! It will contain the home study report, Homeland Security forms, legal documents and more. I will post a list when we get the list from our FC. We will send it to Ethiopia for review and they will basically make their decision on whether we are fit enough to adopt or not from it. This process will take about 4-6 months and I am hoping that we will send it off by Jan 1st!

I wanted to get a cute picture of us filling out the application but I was too bummed and forgot, but I did get this pic...

Thank you everyone for your support we have received A LOT of donations for our garage sale this weekend and I am pretty encouraged by it all. I can’t wait to have our new little one home! Oh and by the way, we are asking for a girl or boy age 0-2yrs old, Jacob is going to be so excited!