Welcome to our adoption blog. It is our deepest and most heartfelt wish to be parents. We would like to share our journey with you and invite you to participate in making our wish come true. Most believe that the stork brings the baby, but in our case, we believe the cranes will!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving! We can hardly believe that so much time has passed since our last post. Today I awoke early with a heart full of gratitude. Today (and every day) we give thanks for the blessings we have received and are about to receive. We have been filled with gratitude for all of the prayers, love, and light we receive every day from all of you who are with us on this journey. We give thanks for the possibility of starting a family very soon. We give thanks for our beautiful home, our dear friends, our loving families, and jobs that provide us income to make our dream come true. The list goes on and on, really.

When I was growing up and starting to feel a little down or negative, my dad always reminded me to "make your gratitude list". It always worked! I have not been feeling down, but I realize that I am always making this list in my mind. I am thankful for all of the abundance in our lives; and for the roads we have traveled. It takes a lot to be able to say that because many have not been smooth and we have experienced great loss - but I am!

I reread some of the pages of a daily mandala journal that I made during the months that we were in the process of having a surrogate carry our child. I was taking hormones, she was taking hormones, she was far away and we knew it was probably our final effort to have a child that was biologically ours. We had lost two children already and I had almost died. This felt like our last chance. I made a drawing every day and then wrote about it. It was a way for me to be present in the process and to stay connected to what was happening when things sometimes felt so surreal. Reading through them recently, I saw the word "hope" over and over - on almost every page. It is no accident that we named our blog "hoping4baby". One of the paintings I did after a very disappointing loss is entitled "Window of Hope". Throughout all of the adversity in the past seven years, Tony and I both have remained hopeful that one day we will be a family. We decided that "hope" will part of our baby's name when he or she arrives because through our hope, our baby has been with us all this time.

We are thankful that God has always provided us with the hope we needed and we pray that soon our baby Hope will come to be with us and make us a family. We are grateful that our hope has already made us stronger. May God bless each of you with what you need and may you always live with hope in your heart.

With love and hope,
Tamara and Tony

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dream Big

Our pastor taught a lesson recently about "Dream Big". There was a time when our pain outweighed our dreams and now we know it really is important to dream and to believe- just like the Marianne Williamson quote:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Dreaming big allows us to invite and accept God's will and the miracles that are available. We pray for this miracle and hope, with active faith, that our baby will come to us soon. We believe this to be true and know that by doing this we are liberated from our fear of not being parents. We will be parents soon! Our dreams are big; including Tamara staying home for a while to be with baby and Tamara breastfeeding (this is possible without being pregnant), practice babywearing, and sharing our baby with all of our loved ones.  Thank you all for your supportive actions, sentiments, and prayers.

With love and hope,
Tamara and Tony

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Trust the Process

We have a saying in the expressive arts that might have derived from Shaun McNiff, one of our expressive arts pioneers, it says....Trust the Process.

Well, we are in the process and have not had a lot of time to blog about it lately, sorry. We anticipated being finished with the home study process much sooner, but we are still doing it and have just a few things left to finish up. It will feel great to have that part finished :).

Thanks for hanging in there with us as we continue on this journey.  Tonight we will do a teleseminar to find out how to do things a little more quickly, less expensively, and with less heartache. Nicole Will at The Adoption Consultancy in Tampa is offering it. She specializes in helping couples like us adopt with the best possible circumstances and outcomes. I met her at a conference this spring and was very impressed. We'll see what she says tonight :).

We are also still folding cranes and sending thank you's for all of the amazingly generous people who have helped us to raise over $7,000 so far!!! Wow!!! Thank you a hundred times over!!

With love, hope, and gratitude,

Tamara and Tony

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Awesome Fundraiser

We had an incredible time last night with the most amazing people at our Hoping4baby fundraiser!! It was heartwarming, humbling, and exhilirating all at the same time. Thank you to John and Mallie for organizing this amazing event and for ALL of the long hours of work that you put into it. We had friends everywhere helping and we just can't thank you all enough. The feeling of having you all in "our corner" is one of the precious gifts of this process of adoption. We feel touched by each of you and your generosity in a way that we just don't know how to describe. Although insufficient, we just want to says THANK YOU!
We were able to raise over $2,200 and it was FUN! After our baby is with us, won't it be great to have a party like that every year to honor all of you who helped us achieve our dream? It will be an honor to share our baby with each of you.

We'll post some pictures soon :) Thank you again!!

With love, gratitude,and hope,
Tamara and Tony

Thursday, September 15, 2011

2 Days Away

It's only 2 days now before our big fundraiser!! We are working hard to get everything ready - raffle, auction, cornhole (we call it bags) tournament, tables, chairs, and of course FOOD! It is going to be a fun time. Our friend Mike downloaded 10 hours of rocking dance music, the bounce house is going up, Cornhole tournament starts at 6:30 and everyone is invited! We already have over 100 RSVP's and they keep coming.
We feel so loved and supported that it woke me up early the other morning. Those who know me well know that I love to sleep :). Well, yesterday morning I woke before my alarm which is set for 6am. It was dark and the birds were not awake yet. As I was waking, I saw an image clearly in my mind. The funny thing about images is that they come from within your body, so when you are present to them, they are really more than a visual picture. This image was also a feeling, an awareness and a message.
I "saw" myself cradling our newborn baby in my arms. Tony had his arms around me and all around the three of us, I saw what was like a sea of hearts. I don't really mean literally hearts, although that is how my mind assigned a visual image to it after a moment, but beings, hundreds upon hundreds of people, souls?, surrounding us like ripples in a pond surround the pebble that falls in the center.
An absolutely beautiful tide of gratitude rose up within me and spilled out as tears.
A dear friend shared this verse with me this week.
For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you'. -Isaiah 41:13
I can feel His grace through all of you. Thank you for your help with bringing a baby into our lives.

With love, hope, and gratitude,

Friday, September 9, 2011

Parents Moving Down

We are excited this week because we will soon get to be with my parents MUCH more! My parents announced this week that they are going to move to Florida! I could not be happier - this is amazing news. I always imagined having my mom around when I had a baby - and now I will! Of course, the timeline on both counts is still uncertain, but it will be sooner than later in the long run. It has been 12 years since we lived in the same town and it is LONG enough!
While learning about grief and loss in teh adopted child, I revisit some of the grief and loss that I experienced as a child because since I was five and my parents were divorced, I always lived away from at least one of my parents. It's a challenging thing to make sense of when you're a child. I know that it all worked out for the best in the long run (they are both still married to the wonderful people they met after they broke up). I would not trade ANY of my parents (and I'm blessed to have 4) for anything. I can only say that being apart from ALL of them these past 12 years has been difficult for me and I feel already, with the prospect of them moving closer, a little gap closing inside. A healing begin. A soothing spring cleansing something inside.
Our baby will be blessed to have four grandparents right here in Sarasota and for that, my eyes tear up and my chest heaves. It is an amazing blessing!
And looking at this picture from a few years ago - it will be much warmer for them and the "critters". :)

With love and hope,

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cranes in the Mail

Yesterday evening, I invited our friends over to visit and we found a box on the front porch! The return address said, "Everyone...Ferndale, WA". We opened it up and Oak squealed because the colors were so beautiful. He begged me to dump the box out so we could look at them all. It was wonderful to feel the incredible energy that poured from the box as we looked at each one and decided which ones were our favorite. Three year olds are wonderful :).  He decided how some of them were related based on their colors - "this one is the baby, this one is his mommy and his daddy" and so on. Many many thanks to Susan, Mom, and Everyone in the family in Ferndale!!! We are so blessed to receive such a beautiful box of hope cranes. Thank you.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Gratitude Blossoms

Saturday morning
Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.
Henry Ward Beecher

This quote describes the feeling  that overcame me this afternoon - day 2 of our yard sale - when a wonderful mother of five came and purchased some toys for her children. She bought $50 worth of items and was so kind. I had to step away for a bit and cry with a friend because I am so humbled by the generosity of those who came to our sale, by those who organized it all and made it happen for us, and by those who are generously supporting us from afar, too! Thank you to our dear friends (who are really like family to us) and all of the people who donated items for our benefit - asking nothing in return.

Our hearts are like gardens that are blossoming in the spring of our journey toward parenthood. I believe that the summer and the abundant harvest that ensues in that season is closer than ever. We will continue to shower nourishment on the seeds we have planted and look forward to what will come.

We made our goal of $1000 for the weekend and surpassed it by $100 with the generosity and kindess of Laurie and Troy who came at the end of the day to purchase all that had not been sold. They took it all for $150 - which was Mallie's brilliant idea by posting on Craigslist - great idea!  We pray that the items will bless them with abundance as well.

So, now we have about $25,000 more to go!!! We can do this, I know we can. The fun-raiser is just three weeks away on Sept. 17 and then we will have another sale in October. We have a few more ideas as well and FAITH.
I'd like to share something our friend Meg shared with me today (thank you Meg):
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.    Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)
With gratitude, faith, and love,
Tamara and Tony
Last load - made our goal and our day!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Truck of Donated Toys

Thank you Debi, Andrew, and Braden for your generous donation!

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Yard Sale Success

Our Yard Sale was a success today! Wow, what an amazing day - our friends Mallie and Meg and Mom Peggy all did SOOO much work!! Thank you! Friends came - and even strangers donated A LOT to make the sale successful. We hoped to raise $1,000 and we almost made it with $700, so we are going to be there again tomorrow with the hope of selling the couches, microwave, "Smart Cycle" and more :).
Thank you to all of our readers who came out to support us. We also heard many hopeful stories from others about their family members' adoptions. It was truly inspirational. There are so many that are touched by infertility and adoption. I feel blessed to be able to share my experience with others at this point in our journey as well as to hear the stories of so many others. One woman shared this story with us:
Her sister prayed for a baby after years of trying and being unsuccessful. She prayed that she would be able to be a mother before her 40th birthday, which came and went while they were in the process of trying to adopt. When they finally brought their baby home, they learned that he was born the day BEFORE her 40th birthday!!!
I had chills when she told me this story - I know that God is working in our lives and our baby is coming very soon. The generosity and kindness that so many people have shown us is humbling and heartwarming. This whole process is such a smorgasboard of emotions! :)

With love, gratitude, and hope,
Tamara and Tony

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sale is Saturday

Once school started and I got into the swing of things, time flew by! It's been over a week since I posted. Yikes!
We did have our second visit for the home study and it was great. It really helps to talk about what we think could happen and imagine what we might be able to expect from being parents. Of course, we really have NO IDEA, but imagining is good! Having hope allows me to "go there" and I love that- wow. It's been a while since I've allowed myself to think such concrete hopeful thoughts as "I'd like to nurse my baby" or "We will use time out as a way to manage our child's behavior." Those things feel REAL and that is amazing and wonderful.
This week we are preparing for the yard sale and we are humbled by the efforts our friends are putting into making this all happen. Some friends have dropped off donations of things, left things behind for us to pick up, and then some are making the signs and pricing while I am at work! I just don't know how we will ever be able to express our gratitude.
We have all kinds of great things at the yard sale - couches, crockpots, lamps, microwave, treadmill, children's stuff, clothing, end table, antique mirror, etc etc. The list goes on - and our pile was small! Our friends, parents' friends, coworkers, friends of coworkers - it is remarkable, really. Thank you to all who have helped to make this happen!! We are so excited and will share how much we are able to raise. (This Saturday, August 27 8:00am 4500 Bent Tree Blvd- see link on the right)
As far as the home study goes, we have both had our fingerprints and background checks done, now we have a few more things/documents, doctor visits, etc to do and we will get it all in to the agency so we can get our completed homestudy. Woohoo! We'll keep you posted.

With love and hope,
Tamara and Tony

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Little Shoes

I just have to share this! The other night our friends were over with their precious little boys. We LOVE spending time with all of them; they are so much fun. Oakley is three and he likes to take his shoes off when he comes in the house :). He walked in and removed his shoes and socks, then while walking toward our bedroom door asked me, "Where are your socks?" I was wearing flip flops, so I said, "I'm not wearing any." He then said, "Where are Tony's socks?" I said, "Well, I guess in the closet." Then he disappeared in my bedroom for a few minutes.

I didn't really think too much about it and we had a fun visit. They left a little late and carried Oakley to the car, so he didn't put his shoes back on before he left.

The next morning, I woke up and went into my closet to get dressed. This is what I saw:

I laughed OUT LOUD!! So precious.At the same moment, my heart filled with the warmest and most delightful feeling - hope! All I could think of (other than how hilarious and wonderful this little boy is in our life) is one day we will have little shoes in our house. The "guest room" will be our child's room and there will be little shoes in his or her closet! This is so exciting. I just can't wait!

We had our second home study visit and finished two out of three of our courses. We started learning about attachment and what to expect after the adoption. It is becoming more and more real. The little shoes helped, too :). Thanks, Oak!

With love and hope,

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Home Study

Hello! It was a busy week and we had many challenges with spotty internet access at home, so I have not blogged as much as I thought about it. We started our home study a couple of weeks ago by meeting with the agency representative, Sharon, but his week she actually came to visit our home and interview us. This is an interesting process. There are several "hoops" to jump through as well, such as background checks, fingerprints, physicals, HR letter stating employment, put up a pool fence, buy a fire extinguisher, install another smoke alarm, 5 reference letters, 6+ hours of online courses, etc. Although it sounds like a lot at first, I was thinking to myself, "if everyone who has a child naturally actually went through all of these steps, they might feel a bit more prepared - or at least parenting would be a conscious act".  The pool fence will be put in later this week and the rest is in the works, too. Baby step by baby step, one foot in front of the other.

One of our courses was called "Missing Steps: Grief and Loss in the Adoptive Child". I attended two funerals this week, so grief and loss are in the forefront of my mind. Life is so precious. What more can be said? Except we learned that the grief of an adopted child is different from grief caused by death - how? Adoption is a combination of events, not a single event such as a death, that add up to when a child is placed in the care of others. All of the questions and losses come at different times, for different reasons and impact the child over time. I am sure that our child will wonder "why didn't my mommy want me? and what happened?". We pray that we will provide a home where our child is safe to express his or her feelings, to explore the landscape of his or her losses and know that they are loved beyond measure by SOOOO many people. I trust that they will know this. Although it is challenging to consider all that lies before us, we feel so grateful to also know it as a reality now! We are on our way and believe it will happen soon. It just takes some time, patience, and money.

Our dear friends are putting together a "party" for us to kickoff our fundraising efforts and we have been working to get the word out. I will post the announcement. We invite all of our friends and their friends to join us on September 17, 5-9 to help us meet our goal. We anticipate the adoption to cost $30,000 or so when all is said and done. We have saved/raised $3,000 so far and have now spent or promised $1,900...so that leaves a little bit more to get our profile done, printed, pay an application fee or two.

We also are holding a yard sale on August 27 at another friend's house to raise money. We are so blessed to have such loving and supportive friends!!!  Thank you :)

The schedule is getting full as I prepare to go back to school on Tuesday. Tomorrow I will run around to do my fingerprints, etc and get as much done as possible before the school year starts up in full force.  We'll keep you posted!

With love and hope,

Saturday, August 6, 2011

It's a Beautiful Thing

"Suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us." Romans 5:3-5

I read this on a friend's facebook post today. As I look forward in hope on this day, this statement is so true for me.  My hope since starting hoping4baby has not disappointed me, either. We have saved almost $3,000!, started our home study, and feel the momentum building toward having the family we have been dreaming about. Here is a picture of some of the cranes I've folded that are going out to those who have helped us so far - THANK YOU!!! Each time I fold one, my hope is renewed...it's a beautiful thing.

With hope and love,


Friday, August 5, 2011


This morning I realized I haven't written since Monday - yikes. I was reflecting on why and realize just how FULL my life is. It's great! I have had some time with friends, met with my dear business partners, done some "work" for both the business and for my classroom, started the home study, folded cranes (Yeah!!), laundry, skyped with my mom :) and I am sure some other things. I am gearing up to go back into the classroom and have been feeling the pace of summer kick in to "work mode". Usually at this time of year I feel a sense of dread (although I hate to admit it publicly) because of the looming school year start date. This time, however, I feel GRATITUDE!! Isn't that great? I am so grateful that my life is FULL and I have a good job, a wonderful business in the expressive arts, and good relationships with friends and family - and soon A BABY. Wow. As the t-shirt says, "Life is good".

I hope your life is feeling good today and the fullness is decorated with gratitude glitter.

All the best,

Monday, August 1, 2011

Key of Hope

I spent a lovely day at the Ringling Art and Circus museum with some new friends - a young girl and her aunt. It was delightful and fun to remember the many times I have been there with my grandparents, parents, students, and friends. It is truly a beautiful place. I dream of one day taking our child there to see the miniature circus and historical art galleries, stroll through the rose garden and sit under the banyan trees. I feel so hopeful that we will be doing that soon!
On the way home, I stopped at a local gift shop that carries all sorts of things, including some origami peace cranes. I reread the story of Sadako and am reminded that life is precious, that each of us has a particular gift (or gifts) that we are here to offer, and that we have a choice of how to use these gifts. I pray each day that I am guided to be the best steward of that which I am given. We have many blessings for which to be grateful and tonight we are humbled by the generosity of our cousins and loved ones near and far. Thank you for your loving and abundant support. The cranes that Sadako folded when she was praying for peace and healing are the same cranes that we are folding to symbolize hope. They are just symbols, representing something much greater than ourselves in which we believe. May they be received with the intention of hope, peace, and love that is in our hearts for each of you.

On Sunday, Tony and I went to church with some friends. Pastor Larry spoke of  the key of hope. He said:
           Living without hope is like trying to drive a car forward
           and only looking in the rear view mirror."

The road we have traveled is full of bumps and turns around which we could not see. Saturday it will be three years since my uterus ruptured and we lost our second pregnancy. Just two and half years since a dear loved one tried to carry our third child for us and then lost it. These are the reasons we took the "adoption" exit on our road. We remember how our parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends were by our sides the whole time. I cannot even type this without wells of gratitude and humility forming in my eyes and heart. There are no sufficient words. Although I think we have always moved forward, sometimes we were looking back. It is time to look out of the front windshield now so we can drive our car forward on this road to parenthood. So, we called to begin our home study and can hopefully move through it without too many bumps or detours. Maybe some great tunes on the radio will make the drive easier, too. Thanks for taking this road trip with us; here we go!

With hope, love, and peace,

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Three Cranes

Getting in the car last night, I looked up at the three cranes hanging from my rearview mirror and realized just how long it has been since we have had this intention to be parents. I learned to make origami cranes six years ago and hung my first crane with two others on a wire with some beads from the rearview mirror. Their colors are a bit faded now, but they still represent for me the same they did then - Tony, myself, and the child we have always hoped to bring into the world. Every time I look at them, that is what I think. (It sometimes helps me find my car in the parking lot, too)

The power of intention is great and ours has been magnified by including all of you through our blog. Thank you for the positive thoughts and faith filled prayers. When we started trying to have a baby, we never dreamed we would travel the road we have. Many of you know some of the details of the path we've been on and for others, we will share more along the way but right now, I just want to say that only God could lead us through this; creating twists and turns that we never imagined possible. The only thing left to do is surrender to the process and take each step as consciously as we can.

Each time I fold a crane, an intention is made; An intention for whom I fold and an intention to bring our baby home. It's a beautiful thing; I'm folding two more today!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Figuring Things Out

This morning when I wandered over to the computer, I had an inbox full of beautiful and kind messages of support! Thank you! It means a lot to us to have so many cousins and friends around the country who believe in us. We need all of these positive messages as we figure things out. One message said the "support" button didn't work - so I've been figuring that out today. Not quite there, yet, but will be soon. We are at the beginning of the adoption process, so I imagine that the "support" button is only one of many things that we will be figuring out as we go along. Our next step is to figure out what to write in our profile. We'll be choosing photos this week and will begin writing the story of our life together - what it looks like and what it would be like for our child to live in it. What an interesting inventory and a fun process.

Thank you for your comments and kindness and patience as we figure out the technology. We'll keep you posted!

Tamara and Tony

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Welcome to our adoption blog. It is our deepest and most heartfelt wish to be parents. We would like to share our journey with you and invite you to participate in making our wish come true. Most believe that the stork brings the baby, but in our case, we believe the cranes will!

"In Japan, it is commonly said that folding 1000 paper origami cranes makes a person's wish come true." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thousand_origami_cranes

A few years ago, Tamara taught all of her fourth and fifth grade art students how to fold them and they created a sculpture of 1,000 colorful origami cranes with the intention of promoting peace and good health for the school community. Since that time, origami cranes have held a special place in her heart.
Our heartfelt wish is to have the honor to be parents of a healthy baby. We have had a long journey together and will share more of that with all of you along the way. Our journey includes many challenges and we have always had the support of many loved ones and friends. For this we are deeply grateful. It can be a lonely road to travel when you are struggling with infertility and difficulties with pregnancy, but we have been blessed to have many people to love and care for us along the way through words of kindness, hugs, listening ears, sincerity, and love. As a result, our faith has only grown and our hope has extended itself again and again. With every donation, we will create a crane in your honor and to also bring good fortune upon yourself. We thank you in advance for the love and support in your hearts and cannot wait to become parents.

With Hope and Love,
Tamara and Tony