Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Wallace family knows how to have a smashing time!

Collecting cans is definitely our new hobby!! We drive across town to take walks... to collect cans. We drive a different way home from church... to collect cans. We drive around dumpsters... to collect cans. Today when Andrew got out of his Sunday school class he had a can. I said, "where did you get that?" He said, "I found it on the playground while we were outside playing". I said, "did your teacher not tell you to throw it down?" he said, "I hid it in my shirt b/c I wanted to give it to you".. hehe.. I'm telling ya, we LOVE us some aluminum cans around here. I've attached a pic of Piper helping and a video of some can smashing;). 
If you're in the central Arkansas area, we'd LOVE for you to help us collect cans to raise funds to bring our baby home from Ethiopia. Heck, if you're not in the area but want to save your cans and cash them in and send us the money, we'd love that, too! We actually have about 75 people collecting for us so far. Several from Texas and a very special family from Canada! Won't you join us?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

No diaper for Piper ;0)

Okay, so we're still using a couple diapers but she is doing a great job potty training. Piper turns 19 months tomorrow. We've used John Rosemond's parenting advice for both the boys and it was a cinch. Andrew was trained at 27 months and Parker at 21 months. Rosemond believes the window of opportunity is between 18-24 months (sometimes not until around 20 for boys). We thought since I was off all week we'd give it a try. I'm not gonna lie, it was not easy in the beginning. We were WAY too involved and hovering over her way too much. When we backed off and had confidence that she COULD be potty trained it was amazing the difference.
Here is John Rosemond's article, he's written several articles and answered tons of potty training questions on his website It actually cost a yearly fee to be a part of his website and have access to all the q and a's and articles but it's some of the best $ we've ever spent!
Here's some specifics on what we're doing with Piper. We have a potty sitting in the dining room. As soon as she wakes up, we tell her she needs to sit on the potty until she goes pee pee or poo poo. At first she cried and didn't want to sit. We were firm and matter of fact and said, "no, you can't get up. you need to sit on the potty" We did have to spat her leg (very softly but it definitely hurt her feelings:( a couple of times. She then knew we meant business. At first she would sit for a LONG time and then finally go potty. Now she usually can go not too long after sitting on the potty. It's like she knows what she needs to do to get off of there. We have been using a potty timer. We usually set it to go off every 30-40 minutes and then have her sit. It's KEY to keep them drinking fluids so they'll have a lot of practice using the potty. Another biggy is to not make a big deal about accidents. Just calmly say, "that's not where pee pee goes, next time sit on the potty". Cameron and I were considering throwing in the towel the second day b/c we just didn't think she knew when she was needing to go. When we read Rosemond's article again and changed our attitude, it made all the difference.

Beco Giveaway on Simple

They're giving away a Beco carrier on Simple. I'd love to have one of these for when Joleigh is here! Go sign up to win (and then give it to ME;) hehe.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Life is Full!

Things around the Wallace house are good. Andrew and Parker have really enjoyed having the week to play together since Andrew has been out of school! Piper is all over the place. She constantly wants someone to be singing so she can dance to the beat;). They each fill our house with joy, joy, joy! Cam is currently awaiting a position to open up for interviews at HP and in the meantime, he's playing Daddy Daycare;). I told him he can't call it daycare when he's only watching his own. Prayers greatly appreciated with this awaited interview!
The adoption has kept us busy over the past 6 weeks. We have been on the great adoption paper chase and it is exhausting. We have been watching Hague adoption videos and taking quizzes. We have learned so much. It has been quite the journey and we're just beginning. God has proven Himself so real through the process already. During the decision making process, and sometimes still to this day, we have had questions and doubts. Some of those are:
1. Will this baby feel at home in our "oh so white" family?
2. How will the children be treated b/c we are an interracial family?
3. Are we ready for 4 children?
4. Are we ready to face the unknown challenges?
5. Will we be able to fund this adoption?
6. Will we learn how to fix this baby's hair?

Satan constantly throws these questions in my mind. In the beginning of the decision making it was really hard. One day I knew it was the right thing, the next day... I felt confident it was a mistake. It was as if Satan and God were warring over this decision, well, they were!
Every time I would gain His perspective I would remind myself that EVERY reason I had to doubt had nothing to do with HIM! It had nothing to do with eternal issues. God has been so good to remind me of His promises and bless me with His perspective.
1. This baby (Joleigh) will be part of our family and we are more than capable to care for her.
2. God will be glorified through this adoption... He already has been in many, many ways!
3. Our children will learn greater lessons through this blessing than we will ever know!
4. Joleigh will know she is loved beyond measure! Although we only have 3 children under our roof, there is no doubt there are 4 living in my heart. I can barely think of her without a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.
5. God has GREAT plans for our family and will give us many opportunities to praise and glorify Him.
6. We will learn to cling to Him through the waiting and praise Him through the storms.

Thank you Lord for your faithfulness! We are so undeserving and you are so gracious! Thank you for allowing us to praise You... what greater blessing could we have? Please use our family to bring you glory. Keep our children close to You and open their eyes to Your goodness!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cans for Joleigh

I have the hardest time coming up with fundraising ideas b/c I REALLY, REALLY don't like to ask people for things! Now, when we were raising money to build the school for the kids in Uganda, I would practically BEG for donations but when it's for us, it's a totally different story. We have a couple of ideas about how to raise some $ later on but to begin we decided to do an aluminum can drive. I know... not much money in collecting cans BUT we have a lot of awesome friends who are willing to help us. I started a facebook event page and have over 30 people so far who are willing to help us by collecting cans. How exciting is that? I love it b/c people are going to be actively involved in changing Joleigh's life. I'm going to make some little magnets to send to those helping us to remind them to save their cans and especially pray for Joleigh. God has been so good to us. This is His plan for Joleigh to be with us and He will provide.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bless him...

Andrew was sick with the bug last week and Parker got it this week. He was REALLY sick. He hadn't kept anything down for DAYS. Yesterday he was very lethargic so we took him to the doc and they admitted him to the hospital overnight for IV fluids. It was SO hard for him. They couldn't get the IV in the first try (which took several minutes). They finally got it in on the other arm but dug around quite a while. This was a very hard night. It made us so very thankful for healthy kids. It made us so sad for parents who have children with medical conditions and it made us heartbroken for the orphans worldwide who would've died without the medical attention Parker got. Parker is feeling MUCH better and we are so thankful for that!
When daddy told Andrew that Parker was going to go the hospital Andrew said, "really??? Oh, bless him" so sweet!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

any ideas??

Cam and I are exploring fundraising ideas for our adoption. So far we've thought about selling our autographs, but I don't know. ;) We have considered having a spaghetti super and silent auction or something. The estimated cost is around $25,000.00. There's a tax credit but it expires at the end of 2010, which we probably won't be able to take advantage of UNLESS it is extended which would be fabulous. There are also several adoption grants, which will apply for, but I'm not sure we'll qualify or get any. We know God will provide! We're just trying to be creative and come up with some ideas... got any ideas for us?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Home study visit

Today was our first of two home study visits. It went really well. The kids were great! Our social worker is a really sweet lady. She has actually adopted a child from Guatemala so she understands what we're going through. As soon as the door shut on her way out Parker said, "when are we going to get our baby?" It was so sweet!
I'm just guessing ... but I think we're probably 6 weeks or so from having our dossier completed. We've really done all we can do, just waiting on all the official stuff to be cleared.
We are VERY excited! It's been less than a month since we submitted our application but there's already been a whirlwind of emotions. Today someone asked how old our baby would be when we got her and I said, "9-18 months or so". Then I immediately got tears in my eyes as I said, "so, she's probably already been born" uggghhh! gut wrenching thought. Where is she? Who is she with? Is she being held? Is she being fed? Oh, I cannot even fathom what the next year or so is going to be like but I know that it is going to be a journey! God will get us through it and bless us in the end. We are so excited. Our hearts long for our little girl.
Here's a picture Andrew drew. He said, "look it's Africa and I drew a heart where our little sister is" :). How true of a statement. A piece of my heart has never left Africa from when I taught there years ago and now a piece of all of our hearts is in Africa.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fall pictures

We needed some 5X7 pictures for a long frame we bought to over our bed so we had a little photo shoot today outside:) They aren't the clearest pics b/c we were in the shade the whole time, but they'll work;) I love the sweet ones of little Piper.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A journey of faith, passion and obedience....

Not quite sure where to begin.... Cameron and I have felt a burden on our hearts for many years to adopt. We are in awe of the fact God adopted us into His family and feel it would be an honor to adopt a child of His. We have begun the process to adopt a baby girl (9-18 month old) from Ethiopia:) We are very, very excited about this blessing and know it will be a faith stretching experience.
Why Ethiopia?
Several reasons. The most obvious reason to us is the need. There are approximately 147,000,000 orphans in the world. Over 40,000,000 of those orphans are in Africa and 5,000,000 of those are in Ethiopia. It's easy to look at those "numbers" and see the numbers but we look at them and see children. When asked "why not America?" my response is.. "if a child is an orphan in America, they will live. If a child is an orphan in Ethiopia they most likely will not". God has also burdened my heart for Africa because of my time teaching in Rwanda. Oh my heart aches and hopes for Africa! Literally!
Cameron and I have chosen Children's Hope International for our adoption agency and Grace adoptions for our local agency. Our home study will be November 21. The timeline for the adoption is approximately 6-9 months after our dossier is completed we will receive a referral then we will be allowed to travel in approximately 4 months. We are anticipating the dossier documentation to take a few months. We covet your prayers through this experience. It's already been a roller coaster of emotions and I know this is just the beginning. We are very, very excited and cannot wait to meet our new little girl:)