Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's Just Not True

I feel I need to dispel some commonly held myths...

  1. I have not fallen off the face of the earth.
  2. I have not given up blogging.
  3. I am not a pathological liar
  4. Neither am I avoiding writing my post about our first week in Uganda

Now, I know you thought all of those things were true...but seriously they are not. It is just that life happens around here at break neck speeds...and I have had my plate beyond full.

I just dropped my mom off at the airport. We thoroughly enjoyed her WAY too short visit...and I miss her already.

I am STILL working on our taxes...April 15 is still weeks away...right??? At any rate I am thrilled that it APPEARS, at this time, my check to the IRS this year will NOT CONTAIN A COMMA....oh the joy!!!! While we will still be be writing a check..the fact that it lacks a comma is simply a miracle.

Yesterday was my birthday...and I have some of the sweetest and best friends a gal could have. They came to my house picked up my mom and I, and took us out for some yummy Mexican food. They sweetly obliged my craving for a chimichunga, EVEN THOUGH they all wanted to go some place much more refined and eat some silly salad....I won't hold it against them though :) Cause I love them all so much....and they gave me cool gadgets for herb preparation and cooking.

I am about to get on the doctor treadmill again...we will have five doctors/dentist appointments this week...um...I thought we didn't go to the doctor at our house????? At any rate can you guess why I call it a treadmill????? Think REAL hard, I bet you can.

Speaking of doctors and STRANGE medical anomalies...which we have a multitude of around here...any of you adoptive mama's have issues with blisters...well I guess any mama really...Marissa gets blisters...pretty big ones too. They look like burn blisters, but she has not been burned. Looking for some direction to point the doctor to when we go...so maybe that visit will actually produce some results. ANYONE????

Did I mention that I got to spend some much needed time with my much missed friend, Emily? Ah, it was so nice to hang out with her again. I love friends that you can see rarely and it still feels like you never missed a day....although I prefer friends I can see whenever I want :) So she should move back here...or something like that anyway.

Post about Uganda coming soon...I PROMISE!!!

This is the last day for you to donate to the Guant family adoption fund for a chance to win and ipod touch....you can still give after today...but you aren't gonna have a chance to win this nifty little gadget...that to be honest with you I just don't understand...but I hear people want them??? So get in while you can...and GIVE and help bring two children home...help to give them a forever family...store up for yourself a little treasure that will last :) Keltie and Blake will draw the winning name tomorrow...so HURRY it's almost too late....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Laughter Lives Tuesday

Laughter LivesThis post is part of "Laughter Lives! Tuesday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check our their blog to read everyone else's "Laughter Lives!" post.

When my daughter was about two, she loved to put on lotion...or ocean as she called it. She was constantly hunting down my bottles of lotion and slathering her self with it.

One day I put her down for a nap in her room. I went into check on her a bit later, and sure enough she was sound asleep. Although her room smelled heavily of Elmer's glue. Upon closer inspection I found an open and empty bottle of glue, and my daughter fast asleep glued to her bed. I had to peel her off the sheets and clean her up. When I asked her why she put glue all over her body, she simply smiled and said, "Ocean."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Plea for Help

The Gaunt family received VERY discouraging news today. You can read about it here. Long story short, the are officially out $23, 000. They have lost two children they love, and an enormous sum of money. Now they have two other children waiting for them, and because of this they cannot go and bring their children home. Please, if you can, hit that donate button over there on the right and give to help them bring their children home. It is only $15...that's it. It isn't much, but when we all chip in it makes a world of difference. I know many of you are adopting yourselves, and I KNOW first hand how expensive that is... but would you please consider giving. $15 will most certainly not make a difference at all in bringing your children home...but when we all work together it WILL make a huge difference in Keltie's children coming home. Please, pray for this family, and please consider giving.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Birthday to My Grandma

Today is my Grandma's birthday...my mother's mom. I adore this woman. I was going to post a picture so the world could see how beautiful she is, but sadly, I discovered all my pictures from December have been deleted, so I don't have one handy.

As a child, like all kids, I adored my grandma. I loved spending time at her house. Thankfully I got to spend plenty of time over there because we would go over there every Friday night. I loved her as a child for all the normal grandma type reasons. She was kind, gentle, a great cook, and she loved me. As I grew up I began to see her in a very different light. I still thought she was all those wonderful things, but I began to think more about her life, and gained a whole new respect for her.

You see she has known her share of struggles and hardship. She raised six children, for the most part, by herself. She worked hard to provide for them, and worked diligently to teach them to always do what's right. She knows the deep pain of loosing a child, and having to face life when you just don't want to. I am amazed at what she has accomplished. While she might not say she has accomplished much, I see a woman who has accomplished much more than most could ever hope to. She has accomplished those things which matter most. I can honestly say I have absolutely zero negative memories of my grandma. She has always been cheerful and kind. I can't ever remember seeing her loose her temper. She has set an example of hard work and perseverance. She has made me laugh and loved me when I was entirely unlovable. Now that I am a woman, with a large family of my own, I am even more in awe of her. She has set for me an example of a life well lived. A life laid down for those around her. A life given in sacrifice. Not to mention she gave me my mommy...whom I love dearly. I have watched her stand by my mom and love her through the most difficult time in her life. My grandma is strong and loving as ever.

I am sad that you can't see her in all her silver haired beauty. I am even more sad you haven't been blessed to know her as I have.

Happy Birthday Grandma...I love you so very much.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Revisiting Uganda

It has been a while since I posted about our experience in Uganda. When last I wrote, it was our first day in Uganda, and we had just met our children for the first time. Why did I quit writing you ask? I know all you mama's waiting on your call to go are wondering why I stopped, and are hungry for info. Well, I'll tell you why...because my first week in Africa was hard. Real hard. Like having a nervous breakdown, loosing it hard. The rest of the time wasn't a walk in the park, but that first week was brutal. I haven't known how to put it all down in writing...but I am going to try. Because I need to, and because I keep telling my friend Laura that this is hard. I want her to be prepared for when she leaves to bring her little people home. My spoken words often times fail, so I want to write them out for her, myself, and anyone else who might experience similar feelings during their adoption process. So in the next week or so I hope to get through that first week...but first a little detour...sort of.

Did you know that pain during child birth (stay with me here, I promise it applies and is good) is actually is an integral part of the mother bonding with her child? It's true, the pain of labor builds up a ton of hormones, and once you deliver, that flood of hormones is released. Once those hormones are released, they help the mother feel all lovey toward this person who was just the cause of the most indescribable pain they will ever experience. Studies have actually been done that show when mothers do not feel that pain, and therefore the hormones are not released, bonding can be and often times is inhibited to some extent. It is really just another amazing design by our infinitely wise and awesome God.

What does this have to do with adoption you ask?


While we were in the midst of our USCIS drama, thinking just maybe this adoption wasn't going to happen, I watched a documentary called The Business of Being Born. This film talked briefly about that flood of hormones that the pain of child birth brings on. Those hormones that cause mothers to think that red, screaming, squished up baby with a pointy head is the sweetest thing on earth. Right there in the middle of watching this documentary on giving birth, it seemed like the Holy Spirit was saying to me, "See, this is my plan. It works, this pain you are feeling now, this hurt, is only going to serve to bond you with these children. If this were easy, if there were no pain, you would never love them they way I want you too." I cried. I was beginning to understand the gift in adoption being heart wrenching. I remember telling our home group one night, after the kids were home that adopting these children was so unnatural and yet so natural at the same time. Another great paradox of faith. Nothing in my flesh, would ever want to travel half way around the world, pay tens of thousands of dollars, leave behind my home and children, and struggle and fight for five weeks in a third world country, to bring home a raise children that I did not give birth to. That is why it so good that this happens because of the grace of God, not my flesh. All I know is this....all that pain, all that waiting, all that we endured in Africa only served to help me to love these children to bond me to them. You don't easily give up on someone you have fought so hard for. Please realize that I am not saying had it been easy I could have walked away...that is not at all what I am trying to get across. I am simply trying to convey, that the difficulties only helped to make me stronger as well as ready to be a mama to these children.

Later I was talking to a friend about the movie...not what I felt the Lord was telling me, just about the how cool God's design is. She began to cry, and told me how beautiful it was the the Lord was doing the same thing for me in our adoption. Allowing pain, so that the bond would be strong. Totally blew me away. Confirmation that what I was thinking and feeling earlier was real.

God is constantly preparing us for what is to come. He knows exactly what we will need, when we will need, and is the Great Provider. He knew the difficulties I was going to endure, and knew exactly what I needed to press on. In His faithfulness, He prepared me, like He has so many times before.

Adoption is hard. I don't have to tell any of you who have been though it or who are in the midst of it that truth. You already know it all too well. You also know that no matter how hard it is, God meets us. He provides grace in abundance. Be encouraged, and take heart. The pain of the labor, to bring your children home, is indeed a gift. Those of you right now who have breaking hearts, wondering when you will have your children in your arms...rest in the arms of your Heavenly Father. He will finish what He began. His will cannot be thwarted. His plans are exceedingly wonderful and His love exceedingly extravagant.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happy Birthday to My Beloved

Oh, what a day. A day I am so thankful for. March 12, 1973. The day my beloved came screaming into this world. I love this guy, and not just because I have to.

I am so blessed to have been chosen as his bride. I cannot even begin to count all the ways he has blessed me. Those of you reading this who know me in real life, know that this man adores me in ways that I do not deserve. He truly does his best to daily love me the way Christ loves the church. He is ever so patient with me...and believe me that is a feat.

I have had the joy of watching this man fall in love with Jesus and as a result reaped so many rewards. I am constantly amazed at the work the Lord has done in his life.

His father died when his mother was just five months pregnant with him. He never knew him. Despite this, the Lord has shaped him into a wonderful father, who adores his children. As my sons are getting older, I see in them the example of their dad. They are respectful of women, kind and compassionate, have a witty sense of humor, are not afraid to try new tasks. They are hard working, and are constantly coming up with new ideas never afraid of failure. All traits passed on to them by their father. I am thrilled to look at them, and know that the example they have as young men is of one who loves the Lord and strives daily to bring Him glory in all he does.

Richard is not often loud and boisterous about his faith. He just has a quite resolve to know and enjoy God. He trusts the Lord whole heartily, and often has humbled me with his faith.

My beloved is however very outspoken about about what he believes is right. He is never afraid to stand up for what he believes in.

He is such a hard worker. He would prefer to spend his days with his wife and children, but knows he can't make a living doing it..so he goes out day after day, doing back breaking work, to provide for us, and making a way for me to stay at home and do the work I so dearly love.

He puts up with my wild out bursts, my political frustrations, my mood swings, my lack of faith, and my temper. He laughs at my jokes. Is an endless source of encouragement. Always points me back to my Savior. He is my dearest earthly friend and he is a hottie too. I am so thankful for this man, my husband, the father of my children, my beloved.

The greatest part of all, is that when he reads this, he will simply reply, "It is all the Lord's work in me. What a Savior I have, to love me enough to save me and change me."

I love you Stitch...even though you snore....Happy Birthday :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


The other day I totally rocked on the Wii ski. Got first place I did. Cheering myself on, I said to William, "Oh yeah William, who rocks!!??" To which he replied, "Jesus!"

My sweet Grace lost three more teeth this past week. Cuteness personified. My friend Kori was right, no awkward stage for this girl.

My Ugandan children love the Sound of Music. Marissa cracks me up, she can act out nearly every scene. Now if it would only help her language skills.

I attended one of the best weddings I have ever been to on Saturday. All I can say is wow...this is how a wedding should be. Complete with an awesome worship time, a God honoring sermon, and the pastor calling the groom an idiot. Doesn't get any better than that. Loved it, made me want to get married all over again. This time with a clue of what marriage is supposed to be about. Giving the world a picture of Christ and His church.

Daylight savings time sucks, it takes me forever to adjust.

My three oldest men are gone to the youth retreat. I am missing them, but noticed despite the fact that my two big helpers were gone...the house stayed remarkably clean. Hmmm.

Our lawyer told us yesterday that our mediator is a very generous Jewish man, that loves to wear sweaters. Can't wait to meet him.

I get to take care of several of my dear friend's children this week. I am so excited to have them. I am going to talk one of them into learning how to do corn rows while she is here. Plus I get to be mama to 10 children this week...I'll have to see how well I can handle it :)

Cold front is a comin'. Whoo hoo for what will probably be the last one we get for a VERY long time.

I talked Richard in to taking me to watch Slum Dog Millionaire the other day. He wasn't real thrilled with the title, and thought for sure he was going to hate it. Especially when Jake told us it was a musical...because all movies about India are musicals. Fabulous movie, loved it. Gives you a great picture of what life is like for the children in the slums of India. Richard loved it too...especially when he realized it was not a musical.

Our neighbor just sold their house in less than two months for their asking price. Gives me high hopes that we will be able to sell ours quickly, and not loose too much money on it.

Several people have donated to the Gaunt family for their adoption of two Ugandan cuties...don't forget to donate, and get entered to win an ipod touch.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Give and Win an ipod Touch

Continue reading to find out how to win an ipod touch.

I know you thought I forgot about my giving Thursday post...but I didn't.

This Thursday I wanted to highlight a way to give that is very near and dear to our hearts. Giving to help give children families. Adoption is expensive. Some would argue that it shouldn't be as costly as it is, that things have gotten out of control. There is some truth to that, but it does not provide an excuse not to adopt or not support those who are. The expense of adoption is a huge barrier for most families. I know when you are looking at adoption expenses that reach five digits it can be so overwhelming. Most of us never have a clue how God is going to bring the money. Sometimes He provides through income increases, sometimes it is a windfall of money, sometimes people obtain loans, sometimes He provides through His people.

Scripture is so clear that we ARE to care for orphans and widows. We are all in some way to be involved in visiting them in their distress. While some may open their hearts and homes others can make their call a reality by giving financial support. I believe I can say with certainty, that the blessing that the adoptive parents and children receive on earth, pales in comparison to the reward those who give will receive in heaven. The financial gifts make it possible for children to have a family, and I believe that this is PLEASING to the Father. This is one of the many ways that God gives us the opportunity to store up treasure in Heaven. I remember one day at home group, Gabriel (a sweet little guy who is five years old) came running up to us excited as can be. In his hand he held some change. He gave it to us with such joy. He wanted to help, in his words, "Bring our black babies home." I proudly deposited that change into our adoption account knowing that Jesus was well pleased with little Gabriel's giving. It may not of been much in an earthly sense, but I am thinking all of heaven rejoiced at this little boys obedience and faith. I believe one day he will receive a rich reward from his Heavenly Father for helping to give two orphans a family. I just want to encourage everyone to do the same. Find an adoptive family to support with prayers and some of what God has blessed you with.

In light of this weeks idea for giving, I wanted to have a contest for a particular family. I have a friend, whom I have never met, but love nonetheless. We share the common bonds of shared faith and a passion for orphans. Her name is Keltie and her blog can be found here. Her and her husband are in the process of their second adoption, and like their first adoption, this one has been filled with numerous challenges and disappointments. During this adoption they have lost a referral of two children they had grown to love and had to choose another adoption organization to work with. As you can imagine, they have lost a lot of money during this process. Our family has wanted to do something to help theirs for quite some time.

A while back I came across this website. This story has left a permanent impression on me. Long story short, this pastor preached a sermon on the parable of talents and then gave everyone in the congregation a small amount of money, based on their age. He encouraged them to use their talents, to grow them. Then they would bring the money back in six months and see what God had done. They had given out $16,000 and six months later
had $280,000. They used this money to start an adoption ministry. This is quiet a story and I encourage you to read it in it's entirety. This story coupled with another woman who raffled off an ipod on her blog, was the inspiration for this idea.

As I said, Richard and I really wanted to give something to this family, even before they had the problems that they recently encountered. It seemed to us though, that while our small donation would help (and I know they would be incredibly grateful), in the grand scheme...the big picture of that 5 digit number, it seemed that our money wasn't even going to be a drop in the bucket. We wondered how we might "multiply our talents." Thus the idea was born, that we would take the money we were going to give them, and purchase a prize that would be given way via my blog.

So here is the scoop:

I have brand new, never been out of the box, 8GB ipod touch I would like to give away to someone. On the side bar of this blog will be a button so that you can donate to help this family bring home their two beautiful children from Africa. For every $15 you donate to their adoption fund, I will place one ticket with your name on it, into the drawing. If you give $15 you get one ticket, $30 two tickets...and so on. I will run this contest until midnight March 31. On April 1, 2009 I will have the drawing to pick the winner of the ipod touch, and announce the total amount raised as well as the winner on this blog. I am not sure how I will do the drawing just yet, but I know it will be in a group setting, so that everyone knows that the drawing was fair. Make sure that your name and email are included in the note when you donate, so that I know who the tickets belong to, and so I can email you for your address should you be the blessed winner of this very cool prize...an ipod touch!!

Here is where I need your help (well I need you donate too), you see that blog button on the top right of your screen(thank you to my eldest for making that for me), it is big on purpose. I am asking you to put that on your blog too. Maybe even write a post about this contest, and send people over to donate to the this family's adoption. The blog badge is integral, because once I post a new post, the old ones rarely get looked at. So in order to keep people giving for the full duration of the contest, we have to get the word out and keep it in the forefront, so that people can continue to give...and get more chances to win this ipod touch. If you link to this contest on your blog, by placing the button at the top of your page, email me your blog, and I will enter your name into a separate drawing for the book "There is No Me Without You." Sorry, no ipod for linking to the contest, only a chance to win a fantastic book.

So one more time here are the rules: For a chance to win an ipod touch

  • Donate and get 1 ticket in the drawing for every $15 donation

  • 1 winner will be drawn on April 1, 2009

  • No one who lives in my house is allowed to join in this contest (much to their dismay)

  • ipod touch will be shipped to the winner on or before April 4, 2009

  • Include name and email in the note of your donation

Rules to win a copy of the book There is No Me Without You

  • Place the blog button at the top of your blog and leave it there for the duration of the contest, and get one ticket in the drawing to win the book.

  • Write a blog post about the contest and receive another ticket to win the book.
  • Post about it on your facebook account and get another ticket.

  • Email me your blog address so I can confirm you have posted.

  • Winner for the book will be drawn on April 1, 2009

  • Book will be shipped on or before April 4, 2009

  • No one who lives in my house is allowed to join this contest either

Please remember that I am just one woman, trying to do the best I can. I will do all I can to run this contest with the up most integrity in an effort to serve the God I love so very much. If you have questions or need to let me know you have posted the contest link on your blog, you can email me at burpeefamily@yahoo.com

To donate and enter to win click the donate button, on the top right of this page. You do not have to have a pay pal account to donate. At the left there is a place to click if you don't have a pay pal account.

Thank you for your participation! We are looking forward to watching what God will do through His people.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


  • Adoption fundraiser for my friend Keltie, coming up. Stay tuned to find out how you can win a fabulous prize....and how you can help! Details tomorrow.

  • Conversation in the truck on the way to church
Grace: "William, say Connor really loud so mommy can hear you."
William: "Connor really loud so mommy can hear you."
The entire car, well everyone but William, erupts with laughter.
William: "Hey, whatsa so funny bout dat!"
  • Amour thyroid people...it ROCKS!!!!!!! I have been taking synthroid for years. My hair still falls out, I still feel like poop, my skin is still dry...the symptoms go on and on. 1 week on Armour and I feel FABULOUS!!!!!!! Man, I should have listened to my friend a year ago and switched then. Seriously, I feel like a new woman...I am ready to take on the world!!! Or at least the laundry pile.