"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows that we know, and holds us responsible to ACT"...Proverbs 24:12

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Officially Waiting!

Finally!  We are actually on the 'child refferal' waiting list!  I think most people probably assumed that we were already waiting for a child but in actuality we were just getting the paperwork ready and gathering up the 1st set of fee's.  The tagsale did it for the most part...but there was a small remainder that we needed and it took Alot longer for us to gather than I thought it would.  So the post title doesn't suit me because these last couple months I have been 'waiting' (rather impatiently I admit) to just get on the waiting list!  We got a phone call today from our adoption agency and she said we are approximately #55.  That means that there are about 54 other families that are adopting a baby through WACAP right now. 
She said that we should expect to be matched with a child in 10 months...no more than12 months.  Sometimes she does see refferals come in earlier- never later though. If she is correct that means that we would be matched w/ a child next fall. Oh man that feels so long!  I guess the timeframes I had in my head got pushed back because we weren't really rushing along our homestudy and gathering the documents, and even the tagsale I scheduled was in the late fall so that I would have enough time to gather things. 
However, she said that most of those families waiting before us are requesting 'healthy' children (even though every child coming home from Ethiopia is actually not healthy-almost all have parasites and are malnourished.)  We stated that we were open to either healthy or special needs children.  It's a possibility that our wait time can be bumped up a bit because of this.

Ultimately, I know that God is sovereign and completely  in control of this adoption.  During my 'sad' times this past month of waiting to get on this stinkin 'waiting' list- truly, the only comfort I found was putting my focus back of God.  He told us to do this- He already has a child that will be needing us in mind.  I know that this will be a trying time for my patience- but I'm going to use it as a growing tool.
I will be a better woman because of what I am about to enter in.
Well it's either that or I will turn into a crazy loon, but that's not really an option that my awesome husband deserves or whom my 3 kiddos want to spend there day with.
So I'm amping myself up to use this year to prepare for this blessing to come yet relish this sweet time w/ my 'little' family.  :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010



This is the 'Dossier.'  It's the compiled paperwork to complete an Ethiopian adoption.  In it includes our marriage liscense, birth certifiactes, medical forms, police clearences, homestudy approval, fingerprinting, letters of recomendations, financial papers, and lots of other forms that I barely understand the purposes of :)  All notarized and then appostiled by the secretary of the state (thus the snazy gold seals.)
Honestly- this one was sooooo much less work than India....so very glad about that!
  The paperwork for India was absolultely  incredible- I think it's one of the hardest countries to adopt from...so it's pretty much a miracle that we decieded to do this again ;)
We were plesantly surprised w/ Ethiopia's requirements- and they are truly known as one of the easiest countries to adopt from...thank heavens!

So the copies have been made and the packet has been sent to our agency.  They will then send this to Ethiopia once we get our last fingerprinting back from homeland security and we save up/ sell more stuff ($1,000) then we will be put on the child refferal list...Horray!
Oh, I just cant wait for that day to come- it will just feel more real. 
 It will come.

the cousins fall hike

 Anyone remember these!?  I LOVED these 'spoolies' as my mom called them :)  I would go to bed the night before 'special occasions' with soft misted foam curlers on my head and would dream of my curls to come.
I had them in the cabinet (not sure why- havent used them since 5th grade) but Sova begged to try them out.  Her hair is still a bit too short so it just gave it some bounce- but I loved watching her sleep in these!  So cute.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bring on November

So lets see...
The tagsale was a huge success!  We have raised over $3,500.  With some large donations and money that we have been saving we are nearing $5,000.  Over the next month or so I will be ebaying/craigslisting some really great items that just never ended up going.  (like the tons of baby stuff...I may just do better online anyways?)  On Monday we have to go to an Immigration office in Hartford to get 'fancy' fingerprinting done...once the govt Ok's those and sends them back to us (taking a few weeks?) we can go on the child refferal list. 
THis was quite an experience and I've learned alot from tagsalers.
 1st of all- I want to become a tagsaler...what they walk away w/ for the price they paid is seriously incredible.  It was hard to figure this whole thing out.   So there were 2 types of people I figured out:  the hard core tagsalers that live for this and they expect the cheapest of the cheap- when I say $1 they actually put the bundle of glasses down and raise their eyebrows. I was selling clothes for 50 cents...a lady pointed out a stain so we said 25 cents...she still wasnt satisfied!  The 1st day I had a custumer tell me that I would never sell anything! 
On the other scale we had just random stoper by's- people who dont do tagsales often but just decieded to stop- these people, when I say a price their eyes bulge and say, 'wow...ahhh...ok.'  I had a custumer laugh at my low price and he offered me $10 more than I was selling something for!  I also had a custumer who kept telling me that my prices were too low.  So you cant really win I guess...

Interesting stats here though:  I had at least 4 people ask to use my bathroom...and yes I kid you not...one man asked to use my nailclippers, walked around the tagsale clipping away, gave back the clippers and then walked away w/out paying.  (I think that may have been is tactic- stun and run!)
I had a few people give us doantions w/out even buying someing, even strangers.  I still can not believe this but a man walked up our driveway, asked me if I was Jill Turner, shook my hand and introduced himself as an adoptive father himself who saw the little blurb in the paper about how this was an adoption fundraiser, and then he handed me a wad of cash and walked back to his car.  A stranger- a man I cant even remember what his name was, went out of his way to hand us $100.  That man will forever inspire us to love and to give and to bless others generously. 

Today the Veterans of America truck came and carted the leftovers away.  They did not take any furniture- so we have to just figure out what to do w/ that...thinking maybe the curb but it's alot of stuff so Im a little leary.  I have a huge load of stuff to sell at Once Upon A Child too.  We finnaly have the tables at least down, the circus looking tent is still up, there are tarps all over our back yard trying to dry out, and there is a really big ugly pile of wet cardboard and garbage to be carted to the dump...Im praying before winter comes!  It's not too pretty here at the Turner's to say the least! 

In the midst of breaking down the tagsale, Mike had to move his office out of the garage and into a 'shop' across town.  I honestly dont think that we have ever been in a crazier time!  We try to laugh through it and take it one day at a time.  Although I must say that my expectations are usually to high...meaning my
 to- do lists for the day have been taking me a week to get through!  I should just write down, 'coffee- feed kids-clean-repeat.'  The Turner's dont like unorganized caous. Yes, there is a difference:  caous we can handle, hey we love kids and want more right?!  But the type that is going on here well we keep telling ourselves that this is just the 'season' that we are in.  This may sound contradictory but last night we were both saying how we cant wait for this baby to come home so that our lives can get back to normal!  Mike actually used the word 'organized!'  I know it sounds funny- (baby's do NOT bring organization into the home) but I totally know what he meant- My mind is in a million places at once right now and busy w/ stuff that I dont like being busy with (if that makes sense!)
Too much skimping down on school, too many skipped playdates and homeschool group, not enough yummy homemade meals, too much movies for the kids and not enough movies for the adults...
I hope I'm not complaining- this is something we seriously love doing- Im just Really happy for November to come! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Memoirs of a Tagsale

 Yes, my driveway looked like a 'Once Upon A Child' store.
Where were all those baby's?  We have sooo much baby gear (some looks brand new!) and I think only a couple sold...hopefully next weekend the people w/ babies will come :)

A yard full of clothes...I thought they would never get organized- but they are all labeled now thanks to Pam!  We already sold garbage bags full of clothes!

 Under the tent
 Books, books and books

rows and rows of tables...boxes of stuff under the tables too!

PHEW...is all  have to say.

I was brought to tears many times this weekend...only once or twice from actual exhaustion....but for the most part it was the good tears.

I can write a long blurb about how hard this was and what a crazy amount of stuff we had and how we feel like we aged a few years in several days, but Im not going to :)

Yes, many many times while Mike and I were carting heavy loads into an already stuffed basement we felt a little insane but we had our slogan, 'this is a sacrifice of love hunny!'

Thursday- returning home from the hospital after 2 days w/ Jacob I look around at my basement and seriously wondered if this would really happen.

Let me tell you that it would not have, with out the love and support of so many.

Mike and I were thinking back over this weekend and we are simply blown away.

We are grateful that God answered our prayers and the 'nor'easter' of strong winds and rain that was forecasted for Friday was over by dawn and we were able to open Friday AM.

We are so grateful to sooooo many who went out of their way to gather and drop off items for our tagsale...we never imagined it to be this big!

As hard of a week it was, I am glad we went through it...seeing what other people did for us truly inspires us to be more giving of ourselves!

Here's what I see:

a friend in my driveway at 5am, knowing full well that she had less than 5 hours of sleep,

people sacrificing hours even days of their time helping us out, people cancelled appts, got babysitters, and skipped school (opps did I say that?) to help us, people showing up at our door armed w/ meals to feed my family (tears)

at one point, I ran inside my house for a quick second only to find a friend at my sink washing probably 2 days worth of dishes, my disaster of a home was now sparkling clean and she gave the kids the credit...now that really brings the tears!

We were thankful for the oppurtunites to talk w/ some cusumers about adoption and to be able to listen to their stories of how they were touched by adoption, we were given a couple oppurtuities to share our faith too.

We are just so thankful for everyone!!

And now the drum roll....everyone is asking how we did...

Our 1st financial goal was $6,000.

We have been steadily progressing up the adoption ladder and we are now at the point of being able to have our names on our agencies 'child referral' list. Now that's craziness! So, in order to be on that list we need to pay the 1st set of fee's...(which is the above goal)

This 1st weekend of the tagsale we made, $3,000. We are quite excited about that. Because we have soooo much stuff and people are offering to drop off some really great items even this week- we are going to have the tagsale for 1 more weekend.

This Friday Oct. 22 and Saturday Oct. 23 from 8-4. 111 Oak St. Southington

It's all tarped up and ready to go!

Please keep the weather in prayer and for even more people to come on out...there is still soooo much great stuff!

Thanks to so many, this is so worth it.

As my daughter said to me this weekend, "wow mommy, you did this for me too?!"

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Being Honest.

Sometimes it just blows my mind to see a tiny glimpse in God's enormous plan- it's so crazy:

Now, we do not deny that God has called us to missions. He has and by doing that he has shaped our lives differently. It's truly is amazing to think about (stay w/ me here)...

as teens we go on a mission trip and really feel like this is our life calling- we feel God calling us to missions and specifically we receive a burden for the country of India, we get married have a baby and move 1/2 way across the county to get missions training- still focusing on India,

when we came home I really thought that we would go overseas w/in a couple years. I wanted to Go so baddly- I love my family and friends but when God puts something on your heart...your heart takes over.

Our goal was to pay off debt and go. Mike got layed off and we both felt it was timing for him to open up his own electrical co. For years he has wanted to do this but this time I really felt it to. It was a God thing and his business explodes. At that same time God puts adoption very strongly on our hearts. It was one of those things that we could not ignore. We picked India because we really thought we would be living there one day as missionaires...why not blend in a little better w/ an Indian child? ;) (hmmm...trying to pay off debt to Go and God tells us to adopt...not your normal way of going)

Now, this whole time- even in the midst of adopting we were still thinking Missions...just maybe a couple More years now?

Then Sova has been home for 1 year and it happens again...an overwhelming burden for orphans. Specifically the country of Ethiopia was bombarding our brains...I kid you not...sleepless nights and all. At the time the kids were 6,5, and 3...I thought surely God is not calling us to adopt again? So like I mentioned in another post- I started looking into doing a short term missions trip to Ethiopia. But we both knew it wasnt that. So we waited a few months to see what would happen...but yup- it was still there...we are adopting from Ethiopia. Now please dont get me wrong- we are truly very excited, we cant wait for this new little one- But the fact that this will be #4 changes things. It made us have to really really really pray hard and know for sure that this was God. Because remember now- up until then we still had our 'missions' plan. I have told only a couple people this and here's where the honesy comes in...it was a very difficult decision for me. Two weeks after Mike told me to start the paperwork for this adoption I realized that I didnt want to touch it and that obviously bothered me...why was I not excited to start this?

Finally I could not take it anymore. Mike was working on the computer so I planned on going into my bedroom to do some 'wrestling' prayer. Those few weeks I was praying for God's direction but I never took the time to sit and listen! So I was going to purpose myself before God and I wanted answers! You see the reason I was terrified was because for the last 10 years of our lives we were thinking 'missions.' I knew that adding a 4th child could quite possible sabatage change this... and I did not like that idea.

But what was confusing to me was that it was God who said missions and then God who said Adopt. (hmmm...could He have a plan with this?)

I was scared to pray because I already knew the answer.

Back to the story.. While walking to my bedroom I find Sova standing in the kitchen looking like a dear caught in headlights. It was 11 pm and she was still up...impossible- this girl falls asleep in seconds! But it just so happened that one of our chickens died that day and she was scared to go sleep. Reluctantly I took her into my bed thinking that she was thwarting my prayer attempts. So here I am sitting up in my bed praying quietly while Sova is drifting off to sleep with her arms wrapped tightly around me.

At this moment I am asking God some serious stuff and I see Him standing before me gently nodding his head yes to my questions. He is strong before me yet so warm and gentle...I was in His presence and I was a wreck. I then look down at Sova who is still laying in my lap...the one who only 10 minutes ago I thought was going to 'hinder' my prayer time- I now look down and weep for her. I weep out of the pain I feel for not having her with me for her 1st 4 years of life and I weep out awe and rejoicement that He called me to be her mother. I think of what if I never adopted her. Ya see I was wrestling w/ God.

God of course knew that I was scared and right then and there He spoke a scripture verse to me,

Isaiah 40:11, "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young."

That alone will carry me on...I took that as my personal promise from Jesus. He said,' Jill my lamb- you are in my arms- I will carry you close to my heart- I will personally lead you...will you take up one little lamb for me?' The fears the devil pushed into my mind about adopting another child where shattered, smashed forever to pieces- Love truly does conquer all things. The fears that I once thought were big, now looked ridiculous and petty in the face of Love. At that moment I believe I would have said yes to adopting a whole colony of lepers! But in His graciousness all He asked was for one...one child...one life. And that is sooooo miniscule ....sooooo small in comparison to the millions of orphans. Last year it depressed me... I would think- what's the point in adopting one when that wont solve the problem? I'm not denting the orphan crisis- a child will fill my child's bed the second we go get them! I felt like throwing my hands into the air, "God, deal with that!" So since then he has done just that. He asked us to go do it. I ask- '1 doesn't do a dent though God- shouldn't we adopt more...what about siblings?' He speaks- 'I am asking you for one. That one does count, that is my child ...will you do it for me?'

Come on now- the fact that we were born in the US and own 2 cars in a world where only 8% of people own cars! Should I ask God why does he not ask the Christians who are fleeing for their lives in other countries from persecution? Or what about 1.3 billion people who are living on less than $1 per day- why dont you ask them? or the 800 million in the world suffering form hunger and malnutrition? You get my point...my family is not hungry, my kids have too much clothes and toys, God has blessed us here in the US not to just kick up our feet and rest while others in the world suffer. I am not saying everyone should adopt- but I believe everyone should do something about something...passions are given for a reason.

It is just the first step of Faith that is always the hardest. Like when I was a teenager and I heard the powerful message of the Cross for the 493rd time. I 100% believed in Jesus and yet I did not want to completely surrender my life to him...just yet. The lump in my throat was all too familiar to me. I needed to make my move but I knew it would change my lifestyle and possibly be uncomfortable for a bit. This is no different. My Christian walk did not arrive and end the same day. It is a life choice...I lay down my life for Him because the one who gave His life for me deserves no less! That very same day I read in Romans about Abraham- 'the father of faith' and how he stepped out and believed and walked even before he saw. This is no different. It is something that we 100% believe in but we have a lump in our throats because we are human and it is scary to walk out into something new. And your right- we may not exactly be new to adoption and the miracles that God did financially in bringing Sova to us but it sure does feel that way. And yes it will be new to us to have 4 kids and all the responsibilities that come w/ that number. We can be hesitant and insecure about many things but the moment we cast our eyes back to Him and remember that there is no better place to be than in the will of God-than that is where we want be .

So back to that little glimpse that blows my mind...what if...what if God called us to missions and put India on our hearts because he knew we would go and he knew there was going to be a little girl at that same time who needed us? And what if he called us to missions and gave us such a love for other cultures so that our hearts and eyes would not be closed to the monstrous needs of Africa and would not be scared to cross racial barriers in bringing one of their children into our home?
And what if God called us to missions so that we can instill this in our children and take them to these countries on summer mission trips and opening up their eyes? And what if we took our whole crew to serve overseas one day or mike and I go when they are older? Im not sure...but I can rest in knowing the One who does.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Homestudy? check!

Well our homestudy has been approved and we are now what is called "homestudy ready!" Quite exciting- now things can really roll along :)

Again the homestudy has nothing to do w/ the actual adoption agency. It's the state okaying us. Our adoption agency reveiwed it today and said it looks great and to send it on over!

So whats next:
* Our 1st set of Immigration papers can now be mailed out and in a 2-3 months the we get a paper from the gov't Okaying us to adopt internationaly.

* We also are finished gathering our paperwork for ethiopia called the 'dossier.' We are notarizing tons of papers this week and hopefully next week I will go to the secretary of the states office- drop off the dossier- and then she 'Apostiles' those documents...basicaly she is notarizing the notaries! I think that I can get those back in a couple days. Then I make copies of the dossier and send it off to our agency. Once our agency recieves our 1st set of fee's they will send that dossier off to ethiopia and we can begin the waiting game.

What's the waiting Game?
Sova was considered an older child and was what they call a 'waiting child' so we never waited for a child refferal...every thing happened so fast!
Because my brain will not funtion properly if we take in a "talking" child  ;)  we are adopting a baby anywhere from 0-12 months. To even things out around here and to make Sova-Grace stop complaining about NOT being able to share a room w/ someone we are adopting another girl. (every gal needs a sister right?)

So once those inital fee's make it in they say the expected wait for a 'child refferal' is between 4-12 mos. I have been monitoring my agencys stats though and I have never seen a refferal take 12 months yet...our guestimate is that we would be traveling by the end of next summer?

What we are waiting for
* The 1st set of fee's is $5,700. Breathe people- yes, it's alot...and yes I know that's not what tagsales normally make  :)
So no...we dont know how that will get paid BUT we DO know this:
God told us to start this adoption...we did.
God has all the silver and gold...and He Will provide for us.
Please keep out tagsale/ adoption finances in prayer!

Also, now that we have a homestudy we can apply for adoption grants. (just when I thought the paperwork was over...these grants are almost worse!)
We are also trying to set up a matching grant fund- where whatever a donor gives toward the adoption, the company will match!
Very Cool...

So there you have it :)
Babystep #2 is checked off...and we are that much closer to holding our daughter!
 Lot's of work ahead of us but that's what keeps life exciting right?!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Albertine

(see song list- 'Albertine')  This song is about the artist's visit to Africa and her connection she made to an orphan named Albertine who survived the genocides in Rwanda.
Her lyrics (mostly scripture) resonate in me:

"Now that I have seen, I am responsible, Faith w/out deeds is dead; now that I have held you in my arms, I cannot let go till you are;
I am on a plane across a distant sea, but I carry you in me; I will tell the world, I will tell them where I've been, I will keep my word, I will tell them Albetine."

India is my Albertine.

This little girl in the red dress is my Albetine.
This day that I anticipated for a whole year- I could not wait to spend the day at Sova's orpahnage and see where she grew up. I am embarresed to say- once we got Sova I couldnt wait to get out of there. It wasnt even the conditions, the heat, or the over crowdedness- it was the Other Children. I was so focused on getting Sova that I guess I wasnt prepared to spend the day w/ orphans that were Not going home ...it was a horrible feeling.

This little girl (red dress) wandered in our room right as we met Sova. She stood in the doorway and watched us.

Even though I was fully in the moment and thrilled to be holding my daughter- I could not get over the fact that there was this little orphan who stood near by watching Mike and I love on her little friend. Sova was getting the hugs and love she has been longing for but then...what about this other girl...why was she not being held and doted upon...it really hurt. You can see in the pics- she was trying so hard to get in our family moment and feel wanted too.

Here the same girl is 20 minutes later... in a small, loud playroom with 20 other preschoolers...passed out from either exhaustion or possibly sadness

Looking back I know we were in process overload and shock- our senses where being ambushed, but I still regret not loving on the other children more...that is one mistake we will not make in Ethiopia!

At the orphanage, children were craving our attention calling out "mommy" "mommy" to me. Once I answered a little boy's 'mommy' call and he froze- beamed and then held up a picure he was drawing for me to compliment him on.
The children love visitors but we could not help not to feel horrible for coming for only one child. Over and over again Mike and I would repeat to eachother, 'I wish we can take more home.'

You cant experience something like this and then go home and forget.
I dont want to forget either.
Sova has not forgotten...it is so ingrained her her memory I dont think she ever will, nor will she let us forget. Tonight she once again told me that she was crying for me in India...2 years home and still wondering what took us so long...

"Now that I have seen, I am responsible, faith without deeds is dead."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

T-Shirt time!

Well the link itself is pretty self expainitory.
We found another cool company that helps out w/ adoption expenses.
(Where were these 2 years ago?)

It's really simple...if you purchase a t-shirt from www.adoptionbug.com/turner (or just use the side link on blog) that company handles the shirt purchases, we get notified of the purchaser (just like the coffee) and then a portion of the proceeds go into our adoption account. For the proceeds to get to our account you would have to purchase one of the 6 shirts on our Turner family page.

Adoption is expensive and we dont expect to fund this through t-shirts and coffee BUT we think it's a fun way for people to get involved in this adoption and at the same time get some cool stuff :)

We for one cant wait to sport these shirts to advocate adoption BUT for those of you who arent 't-shirt' people...they can make cozy jammys or gym clothes!
We will also be bringing clothes to donate to the orphange- and what's cool about one of theses shirts is that it is in their language...I definatly want to bring some of these w/ us to doante.

I'm also glad to see that they have a woman's 'fitted' shirt option.
There are 6 different designs...enjoy!

And just like the coffee (link on side)
please help spread the word to your friends & family...Thanks for being part of this!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Day One

So today was not the greatest of starts to a homeschool year...but the ending is better.

I woke up still trying to deciede if 'today would be the day' to start our school year. When I heard of the hot temps I was seriously contemplating doing our
1st 'hookey day' and calling it a beach day :)
Jacob made the decision for us because he slept in and would refuse to budge (which was totally weird- never happened before in his life...that was my 1st time experiecing pulling a kid out of bed...totally weird!)
So my 'schudule' was all ready thrown off. Sova was so excited to start the day- she brushed her teeth and dressed and was asking to start math durring her breakfast :)

Violin is definatly the harderst so I made Jake 'get that over with.' (I know....so bad huh?)
I bought a really fun science curriculm and we did that next. My kids are nature and science lovers so this will be fun. We learned about 'the air around us' and did 2 experiments...sucess :)
Then we took our 1st 'feild trip' to my grandparents house for a quick visit and then headed up to a local farm becasue I thought it would be fun and I really wanted some honey. Quickly remembered how much we stand out being out durring school hours and have to answer the ?'s of 'no school yet?' and then being looked at as if I head 2 heads ;)

Caleb was seriously Chased by a rooster...poor kid zig zagged screaming to me which made sova practaiclly jump on my head. The rooser was relentless- it was then coming after me with 2 kids hanging off my body screaming. We got the farmer to come out though and she threatend to clip the roosters wings.

On way home- we saw mikes van- got out and 'worked' w/ him in a new construction house for a bit.

Today was Caleb's 1st time sitting down formally doing school. He was so proud to have his own handwriting book! I was going to start phonics w/ him but he put himself down for a nap (I know...amazing- he loves to sleep!)

Next up...Sova, who sadly forgot so much of her letter formation- I was pretty mad at myself for not keeping that up this summer. So this will be a month of reveiw for her. She did start her 1st math program and she was so proud.."look jake...Im doing math!"

One more to go...
Jacob pretty much continued to roll along except he started Cursive handwritng. Now it was his turn to be excited about something. He thought it was so cool. And I realized what a crazy good reader he is...no picture chapter books now!

Finished with our day at 4pm.

I never go to the gym in the evening- especialy when the kids are still up, but I practiacally ran to the car when I got a chance.
When I came home I found all 3 kids at the table doing...school...on their own.
Jacob showed me a paper w/ beautiful cursive writing on it...he was practicing! He then begged me to move ahead to the next days lesson in his book- so he did it- and then moved on again...I told him to stop or else he would complete 2nd grade before Christmas ;)
Then Caleb hung on my leg and begged for school again...then Sova chimed in. So 8:30 pm- w/ my workout sneaks still on- the kids and I sat down and did more...because they begged for it!
I then beamed proudly over to Mike who was shaking his head in the other room...(I believe my chin was a litle higher and I soaked in that moment- pretending to be superwoman!)

I will not lie- today I was exhausted and quite stressed...I felt like I was rushing and cramming knowledge in these little brains all day- praying it stays in there.
I know that the scheudule will tweak itself out within a couple weeks.
I love homeschooling. There are a hundred reasons why- which I may save for another post...but even after what I thought was a 'rough start' and could have let my mind stray to 'what if's' (Im doing something wrong ect..) I got my confirmation that Im doing something right: the kids think school is fun, they love to learn, they want to learn...they stayed up too late doing just that...together as a family...
This mama is not 2nd guessing herself this year...off to a good start...maybe we will celebrate at the beach tomorrow ;)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Jill's book reveiw, "There is No Me Without You"
One Womans Odyssey to Rescue Africa's Children by Melissa Fay Greene

Ok so this book kinda changed my life..ok well, the inside of me, like my mind...maybe not outwardly yet.

Anyways I think is should be required reading. Orginally I read it because I heard everyone adopting from Ethiopia 'has' to read it because of the huge history it gives about the country. This book rocked me- I finished it a few weeks ago and I still cry...yes a little peice of my heart is there but I think it should affect everyone. Here's some blurbs that you can ponder on...

(these are various quotes taken from the book)

Dr. Mark Rosenberg
"My colleagues compare AIDS in Africa to the Holocaust. They imagine we will be asked by future generations, 'What did you do to help?'

AIDS- killed more than 21 million people including 4 million children
13 million children orphaned from it..12 million is from sub Saharan Africa. Ethiopia was #2 country hit

25-50 million orphans in Africa alone

The numbers are completely ridiculous- human beings are not wired to absorb 12 million or 25 million bits of information- the ridiculous numbers wash over most of us.

We who have read the histories of the Armenian genocide, and of the holocaust, stalins Gulag, the epic killings in Cambodia, Bosnia, and Rwanda, find our selves once again safely tucked away.

We're not getting it- we'll have a cumulative total of 100 million deaths and infections by the end of the year 2012 and we call ourselves an advanced civilization.

Ethiopia- out of poverty, drought, famine, TB, malaria, HIV/AIDS, autocracy, skirmishes and war...is running low on adults.

ethiopian doctor patient ratio- worst in world...1 to 34,000 people (US is 1 to 142)

Who is going to raise 12 million children?
adoption is not the answer to HIV and aids in Africa...for every orphan turning up in a northern hemisphere learning to rollerblade- 10 thousand African children remain behind.

(Halefom -head of ethiopian childrens commission)
"Adoption is a last resort, historically our country had very few orpahns because orpahned children were raised by their extened families. THe HIV/AIDS pandemic has destroyed so many of our families that the possibility no longer exits to absorb all of our ethiopian orpahns.
I am deeply respectful of the families who care for our children, but I am also very interested in any help that can be given to us to keep the childrens parents alive. Adoption is good, but children, naturally would prefer not to see their parents die."

3/4 of children born to HIV mothers- do not carry the virus (hence the orphan crisis)

(In the US- people are rarely dieing of AIDS now...we have the wonder drugs and people w/ HIV can live long healthy lives- getting married...having children. HIV is no longer a death sentence but a condition you learn how to live with.)

The meds have a 'lazurs effect'- a person can be on the brink of death and within days be practically back to 'normal.'

Patents: (the word now causes my blood to boil) the pattented drugs cost $15,000 per patient per year- although production costs are closer to $200. universl treatment would not be an option for africans.
in fact our govt worked hard to keep prices up by limiting exports to third world countires and vigorousley enforcing patents...their argurment- 'drug firms need the profits to finance the research on new wonder drugs.'
But at what point does the human benefit to desperate, destitute countries outweigh strict adherence to patents and profits?
They blame hurdels of- 'lack of sophistication to manage complex meds.' (sickening)

Our stragedy empheszes prevention to the exclusion of treatment...ofers no hope to tens of millions of human beings. In fact, it passes a death sentence on them. WE may have to sit by and just see these millions of people die.

both the Brazilian and Indian generic companies signal their willingness to export low cost generic versions of the drugs to poor countries

2006- $275 billion spent on war in Iraq...worldwide aids programs could have been completely funded for 27 years with that amount of funding

Some activists long to see drug industry executives and political leaders-tried for crimes against humanity."

OK- I know this was long...if you read this all...Thanks..I hope your eyes have been opened like mine were...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Turner Cafe' ;)

We've just partnered with Just Love Coffee, a fair-trade coffee roaster whose mission is to support caring for orphans worldwide! When you purchase coffee through our storefront, $5 of every bag sold will be given directly to our fund each month. 100 people buying coffee= $500!! Visit our link here: https://www.justlovecoffee.com/turner
(any coffee item bought go towards our adoption...not just the few shown on the opening page)

The owners of Just Love Coffee are adoptive parents of two children from Ethiopia. Roasting Fair Trade Specialty coffees, Just Love Coffee uses proceeds to help an Ethiopian orphanage and families adopting not just from Ethiopia, but from anywhere in the world. I LOVE what they are doing for orphans around the globe.

Please Spread the word to your coffee loving friends...this is the good stuff!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Adoption Yard Sale!

Ok- sooo while we are awaitng our homestudy to arrive in September I've been doing some thinking...
We are hoping to do a really HUGE tagsale at the end of September. We do have quite a bit of stuff in our basement that I'm excited to sell BUT we are doing a little shout our here...
"Got some stuff?" :)
In order to make this worth it- we have to go BIG...tagsales are alot of work- and not always worth it.
I LOVE decluttering my house and simplifying from time to time- getting rid of things that are just taking up space, things we dont use, and especially combing through the growing amount of toys! A rule of thumb- if I havent touched it in a year...out it goes.

Soooo...if anyone out there has ANYTHING (*ok- disclaimer here...obviously not broken or 'junk' that we will have to order a dumpster for afterwards ;)but anything that you would like to donate to our tagsale would be GREATLY appreciated...small stuff- large stuff...no differnce at all.

And Please spread the word!
If you know of any family or friends who have piles that they have been saving for goodwill or something- send them our way! Mike has a truck so if anyone needs help getting it to us that is not a problem...just let us know.

I know of a family who did a mass tagsale- basically her whole neighboorhood got involved...and that practically covered the adoption!
Come on people...let's go big here!
We really appreciate it!

We are starting to take donations for the tagsale Now- conatact us if you need our address...you are welcome to just drop off stuff on our deck...THANKS!

See...God really can do this...Nothing is Impossible for Him (waitng for Sova)

Thursday, June 17, 2010


So what's next?

Let's see...
Paperwork, Paperwork, and more Paperwork. (this was India's...I wish that was what our's looked like now...all done :)

This is actually great timing. It is the start of summer and even though I vowed to school the kids somewhat all summer (so they dont forget basically everything like last year!) It is still quite a lighter schedule and it's not everyday either- (Basically- when Jack's around...no school...if I hear, "mom, Im bored...it's school :)

So the main thing right now is the 'Homestudy.'
We work w/ a state social worker who does a home visit- last time she wanted to see our fire extiguisher and our fire evacuation plan...no joke. So now that we have our extinguisher this time around I feel ready for her :)
Actually we are using a different homestudy agency this time- homestudies somewhat expire after 1 year- and we are supposed to pay for a whole new homestudy. Amazingly enough- the woman is allowing us to pay just a little more than what an 'update' would cost because so much of our history never changed she can use alot from our old homestudy. THis is shocking to me because nobody does that- we will be saving $450...yahoo!
So now we write our auto biographies, gather references, fingerprints, bloodwork, physicals, and kids Dr. forms. Then she askes us a bunch of ?'s- deciedes whether we are should be 'approved' to adopt a child- and then she writes a 7 page Homestudy on us. Oh yeah- and we have to take on-line adoptive parenting classes where we learn how to become a 'transracial family' for 10 documented hours (and having done this already- doesnt even count.)
THis is where every adoption has to begin.
We can not be accepted into the Ethiopia program until they have our homestudy.
We meet w/ our social worker in 1 week and if nothing is delayed we can be what is called, "homestudy ready," possibly by the end of the summer ?
From there we become 'logged into the Ethiopia program' were we wait for a child referal (more explaination on this another time.)

While the homestudy is being written I will be gathering a whole other set of paperwork (called your 'Dossier') for our actual adoption agency (which is WAPCAP.) India is known as a harder country to adopt from- more paperwork than others...and yes I felt swarmed last time. Ethiopia is on the opposite side- it is known to be a easier- less paperwork. I have the paperwork infront of me and although all my efforts right now is the homestudy- I occasionly flip through it and it look's ALOT BETTER than India's...I am totaly Not overwhelemd at all...horray!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

7 Years!

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Happy 7th Birthday Jacob!
You bring incredible joy to our lives, you are so full of life and love.
You love people and you are so loyal. You amaze us everyday!
7 Amaing years...what a blessing you are!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Before we left for India I was feeling upset about leaving the boys for 10 days and how they would do and what would be going on in their little minds all that time- they were only 2 and 5! But then a friend of mine reminded me that God was not only preparing Mike and I for this adoption, and he was not just preparing Sova'a heart for us to come- but of course He new that the boys were part of this picture too and for sure we was preparing them and working in their hearts too!

That was so true- and looking back I see so many things now that God has used our 3 kids in getting His will for us accross! It's almost like they knew what was to come before us!

For almost a year now Jacob has been asking/begging if we can adopt a child from China. I'm not feeling it from China but it has always made me feel better that Jacob loves having siblings and would even want more. As he said when he was 5, "I think we should knock down this house and build a bigger one for even more orphans." Well, I would have never believed it then- but it's kind of true-we'll have to knock down some walls to make some more room for this newest addition!
Jacob is a giver- whenever he finds money or gets money he drops it right in his 'Haiti' donation jar (he made himself after the earthquake) instead of his own piggy bank. His piggy bank never has money in it...he does not allow money in it...he would rather give. He has even convinced Sova and Caleb to put all their money in the Haiti jar. The kid understands how the kingdom of God works- maybe even believes it more than most too. I have learned from him.

Her words now ring in my ears. The first time she said it- it did impact me but now I come back to her heart felt message she spoke to me in her broken English just months after being home, "Mommy, I have more room in my bed...(throwing her own special stuffed animals/dolls down to make even more room) See! I have lots of room and lots of stuff to share with more kids. We need more kids, please send daddy to go get more kids and I will give them my things because I have too much stuff!"

And my dear Caleb:
The baby who kept me up at night for 16 months straight- is the one that shot my heart with grief for all the other babies up at night crying...but no one coming for them....
I will never forget the tears we shared in that rocking chair in the wee hours that night...you my son, never forget that God used yes-' even the least of these' to do the mighty works of your Father in heaven. You my dear are called to work for 'Justice.'

I believe God used everyone of our children in getting His point across to us.

One rainy Saterday morning- all the kids were jumping on Mike in the bed and cuddling- I thought, 'perfect oppurtunity to tell them the news.' We had to repeat the news like 4 times- because we thought that maybe they werent hearing us? THey kept on laughing and playing and would kind of give us the 'oh ya- cool' thing...not exactly what I pictured but I LOVED it because it just showed us that this is 'normal' to them. They werent surprised at all because we talk about adoption, we pray for the orphans- they are so aware of the sistuation that it was kind of like, 'of course we are adopting again, why wouldnt we?'

They always talk about, 'when I grow up' stuff- where each of the kids state their future professions (which are currently J- a spy and part time worker at cousin Jacks car shop, S- a baby Dr. and C- the owner of 'Summer Bay' resort in FL :)
but Each also state that they are going to adopt their children...Jacob is currently promising me 7 Chinese grand babes! I love it!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Adoption #2: The Beginning

I can actually pin point this story's beginning when we started Sova-Grace's adoption.
We were gathering the documents for India in 2007 when I first learned about Ethiopia...The crisis they were having with orphans there...an overwhelming need- starvation, disease and a very low child expectancy life rate. I was bothered that I was thinking about Ethiopia when we were picking up a little girl in India who was so clearly brought to us by God. So I tucked the thoughts away for 'later.'
Near the end of 2009, a year after we brought Sova home, my heart was being completely wrecked for the orphans of the world again. Mike and I watched a documentary on street children in Russia and I could not get those images out of my head. I literally felt sick. Information on Ethiopia's crisis would somehow always reach my eyes while on the computer. Seriously- blog links to Ethiopian adoptions and headlines would just pop up before me! I became burdened with the thought of this nation where I would literally weep at night. I would hold back tears just talking about the subject with friends. I knew God was doing something in my heart but I did not know what it was. I thought maybe I should just go there! And so I set off on emailing a contact I know who goes there frequently to work in orphanages and I was invited to join her. I really thought- maybe this is it...I just have to go. Mike and I prayed about it but as soon as I really prayed about it- that deep urge and desire to go completely lifted. I knew that was God because I Really wanted to go...and then all of a sudden I just knew that I shouldn't and that was ok with me.
So 2010 comes along and I felt something. I knew there were some big choices and decisions to be made this year about our future. Mike and I were talking about these choices while driving to the airport and we both said we would pray about them.
So we were standing in Disney World, waiting in a long hot line for, 'It's a Small World After All,' surrounded be hundreds of whiney tired kids when Mike turned to me and in a serious matter of factly way, he said, 'when we get home I think that we should start another adoption.' I thought, 'maybe he has heat stroke or has just gone completely mad-did he really just say that?' I mean- yes we have talked about it and we knew that we would do it again but I guess it was just the circumstances- standing in a line surrounded by strangers- that threw me off! Those words to adoptive parents have similar emotions to the words, 'I'm pregnant!' I remember the exact moment where Mike and I decided to pursue Sova's adoption- we were giddy laughing together at the fact that were embarking on this journey to India to pick up this little girl. So yes, we were hugging in the line all lit up and glowing like a newly pregnant couple :) 'It's a Small World After All' now has a special place in my heart ;)

So besides our own personal conviction that Ethiopia is where we need to adopt from here's some more info:

Why Ethiopia?
The needs of children in Ethiopia are staggering.
Here are a few facts:
• There are 5,000,000 orphans in a land 1/2 the size of Texas.
• Nearly 15% (800,000)of children are orphans due to AIDS.
• Four out of five people in Ethiopia live on less than $2 per day.
• Ethiopia is listed in the top 10 countries for the worst human development index worldwide.
• Only 6% of births are attended by a trained attendant.
• One in every 10 Ethiopian children dies before reaching a first birthday.

The Ethiopian Aids Campaign lists 5.4million orphans in Ethiopia for 2007.
If the 147 million orphans of the world stood side by side they would wrap around the earth 4 times.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Disney Part 2 :)

Soooo where did we leave off?

Oh ya- it's vacation... and that means cookies in bed!

And a very long paddle boat around our little lake

And Swimming School once again...

Oh my do they LOVE to swim! When we were not at a park we swam ALL day long! Caleb enjoys playing on his own in the water best. For hours we would just wade in the kiddy side and play w/ a tube or a water squirter.

Jacob Loved making friends this year. There was a certain boy he played w/ alot- they were so excited everytime they saw eachother it was sweet. But the really funny thing is that Jacob seems to make friends where ever he goes... THe first day I spot him swimming near the stairs where a group 40-50 yr. old woman were sitting- he was carrying on a conversation for a very long time- Mike and I finnaly go over there and come to find out the women know all about us- our names, mikes profession, where we live, even our church name! When we left Jacob had to run over and 'say bye to my friends!' THe next day I see him in the hot tub w/ a retired man shooting the breeze for 15 minutes! He cracks me up.

Sova really wanted her swimmies off - this summer they will be off- she loves swimming w/out them but we still have to be right there because she goes under 'occasionaly' :)

Lego Dogs

Yay Epcot I Love! Here we found the lines the longest- one was over 80 minutes of barely ever moving...Thank God for Very Large Lolipops! I dont know if we went on more rides or more bathroom visits- it was pretty incredible...3 times we were in Very hard to get out of lines when the potty called...one was when we litteraly were the next ones to get on the 80 min. wait ride- and that little girl I knew would be soakin wet in 30 seconds if we didnt take her- It was like the 6th grade 50 yard dash all over again for me!

Caleb was very leary of the Big Dudes dressed up- 1/2 the time he would not even take a pic. w/ the other kids...

My little man was quite the sensitive one...He was scared of almost every single ride. He made me hold him throughout the line and he would ask over and over again, "Is it scary, is it dark, is it wet, is it fast, does it drop, are there spookey eyes....on and on and on."

He did do every ride his height allowed...including Splash Mt! But he ran out of the Tiki Bird's line screaming- I looked like a kidnapper chasing my child- finnaly cornering him while he is screaming 'no'!' Poor kid- probrably will never bring his kids here!

Animal Kingdom was fun- very hot day though...Jacob loves flamingoes and added a new one to his collection

Aaaaaa....Magic Kingdom was quite magical to bring the kids to... I was so excited for them- I felt like a kid jumping in the seat of my car entering the park :)

As a kid we skipped parades and shows because of the crowds but I found the parades and shows to be one of the best parts! We broke out the Mega lolipos and plopped down in the front of the castle to watch all the princesses preform w/ Mickey Mouse.

This princess was in process overload...for her to not be licking a lolipop means something! She just sat through the whole thing frozen - taking it all in -that the real Princess' are dancing and singing in front of her eyes! At the end of the week she said that was her favorite part.

(Sova is dressed up as Tinker Bell:)

Yup- we crammed them all in! That thing was great!

Another typical look of concern on Caleb's face durring a ride...

Animal Kingdom Safari- 'Lioness of Pride Rock'

snake/ bird show

Worlds Best Kids :) They did great on this trip- it was exhausting the 1st and 2nd day home- we all kind of crashed but it was worth it all!

So yes...This cute little man

and this precious little girl,

and this handsome young boy....give the thumbs up...

to the World's Best Daddy....

For making this one Very Memorable- Super Special- Awesome=
Turner Family Disney Vacation! :)