a divine appointment

Our typical HEB grocery shopping trip: J-man's in the front basket of the shopping cart, he's hamming it up with his debonair smile and irresistible coos, other shoppers can't resist but to come and chat with him for a moment. 

This particular shopping trip was beginning to look like all the rest. At our first stop, the produce aisle, J-man happened to lure over a very sweet lady who was very kind to talk with him for a few minutes, reminding him (as if he didn't already know!!) of how very cute he was. Our shopping trip continued with some others stopping and exchanging smiles with him. A few aisles down, we ran into the first lady yet again! She and I shared a quick smile and "hello again" and then went on our merry shopping way. This meeting-up probably happened about 3 other times throughout the store! Coincidence? Probably not. Finally when we met up yet again in the far end of the store, we finally stopped and had an actual conversation.

Name: Jocelyn
Background: Former foster child, oldest of 3 biological siblings, adopted by her foster parents, she has 4 "adoptive siblings". Yep, 3 bio + 4 adoptive + herself = 8 kids in her family! She now works for an insurance firm and has a little girl of her own.

Maybe that's why the Lord had us meet.
I will not soon forget much of her thoughts that she shared. She felt like she was rambling, I was taking in her every word spoken from experience. Some of her thoughts she shared:

- She remembered the abuse and why she was removed. She still has harsh feelings toward her biological mom who has recently tried to make contact again. Jocelyn is working through the pain towards healing.
- She said that she appreciated that her foster/adoptive parents didn't give her any special treatment because of her situation. She felt that it was valuable for her growing up years to just be "part of the family", not be given special "outs" since this is how the real world will treat you.
- She remembers being teased by her peers because she looked different from the rest of her family. It bothered her at the time, but she felt that this only grew her stronger as a person.
- She wished that her parents had taken the time to help expose her to other African Americans who shared her culture and her heritage. She said that it really wasn't until high school that she was able to explore this side of herself.

I'm so glad that J-man was able to meet a kindred spirit!!


flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone!

Drum roll, please... that's right... we're expecting! J-man is going to be a big brother!

Due date: 10.08.11

Bart and I have had to shift our thinking- this one stays with us, no visits with bio parents to take them to, no official background checks for babysitters, no monthly updates, no court dates, and no regular visits from ad litems, case workers, etc. Weird! We won't know what to do with ourselves!

Will we continue being foster parents? Absolutely.

J-Man announces the big news to our families!

"Children are a gift of the Lord..." Psalm 127:3a


j-man heads to the volunteer state

Another round of firsts for this cutie-patootie! J-man came with us as we traveled east for my sister's wedding in Nashville. We had a great time, and [we] includes J-man!

More firsts:
- First airplane ride! It went well, all except the dreaded descent. That change in pressure sure does a number on a little guy's ears. That aside, he provided endless entertainment for all the other passengers- the social butterfly that he is!

Bart does some last minute prep before the plane ride. The plane ride that includes a bouncy-baby in his lap.
 - Met new family members! He was passed around and loved on all weekend. Don't you know, he crashed all day Monday and Tuesday after we got home. This guy was exhausted from all the fun! Entertaining the masses is hard work.

Mamaw, aunts, and cousins all gave J-man lots of lovin'!
- "Rode" a horse! We're thinking that he may have thought it was a very large dog. Thanks, Papaw for the riding lesson!
First encounter

Getting ready to rope and ride!
- Witnessed his first wedding ceremony. How wonderful that it was his Auntie N and Uncle Charlie's wedding!
The bride!

Off they go! Husband and wife!

- Played with his cousin, Mason! Now that he is older, he can hang with the "big kids"!

Bubble-blowing to send off the bride and groom!
- First taste of icing (compliments of Aunt Wendy). He's never going back to his mashed up veggies again.

I also had such a great time with my side of the family! Great memories.

Mom, Nikki, Cassie, and Me!
Check out Jamie's website for some more great shots from the wedding!