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!

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,