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This blog is about our faithful footsteps and finding JOY in the journey God has laid before us!

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Some Updates!



Hey guys! I just wanted to catch up with you and post a few updates. First, I wanted to let you know that our last minute Christmas Ornament Fundraiser was very successful!  We are happy to announce that after we paid for our expenses and shipping costs, we made $1000 total!!! We are simply amazed and so grateful for your support! We are excited to be saving and moving toward our next adoption!! And speaking of our adoption, we are making small strides toward that as well. Just over the weekend, we had a conversation with an adoption consulting company and are excited about a new opportunity that had been revealed to us! Right now, B and I have a plan! We are leaning very heavily in one direction, however, we aren't so convinced that we want to share too many specifics with everyone at this point. Our plan over the next few months is to 1.) PRAY and 2.) Start raising money. First and foremost, we feel strongly that we want to follow God's will, so we are fervently praying that he would open the right doors and make obvious His plan for us! All the while, we are moving forward with our "adoption plan" by raising the money we need to get started. We are needing to raise our agency start up fees as well as our home study fees. I am working on a fundraiser through Getty Art Studio and will hopefully have that up soon! God willing, by this spring, we will have raised enough money to start the process and we can share with you our adoption plan! Please join with us over the next few months in praying for God to continue to show us His will in our next adoption! Thank you!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

New Ornaments Available!



New ornaments are available!!! This is a great opportunity to get a last minute Christmas gift while also helping our family with our next adoption. They are handmade with images on 3 to 4 inch real cherry tree wood slices and 100% of proceeds go toward adoption expenses! Photo ornaments are $25, and painted ones (initials, verse, picture) are $20 shipped donations! Please contact me here to place an order or email me HERE! I will be taking orders until this Saturday, Dec. 19th!







Saturday, December 5, 2015

An Adoption Update and Christmas Fundraiser!



An Adoption Update and Christmas Fundraiser!

Merry Christmas Yall! We are so excited to let you know we are finally taking a step toward our next adoption! Crazy enough, it's almost been a year since we announced we wanted to adopt! We figured we would get right into everything, but God had different plans for us. Like I mentioned before we got distracted a little in the spring and summer with selling our house and we were hoping to pick things up in the fall. Well, turns out, our fall has been even more distracting! I was offered an illustration job that I decided to take, but this took up a lot of my time as I had a deadline I had to meet. All the while, Jack was and is still having a difficult time adjusting to PreK, so these past few months have been very hard for us.  I will be honest with you, I have been simply overwhelmed at the thought of starting the adoption process all over again. I mean it's A LOT of work to adopt, and I just didn't think I had the mental capacity to do it, much less, think about what the first step should be.

Well, over Thanksgiving, we really thought about it and realized even though we still aren't sure of where we would adopt from yet, we definitely know we want to adopt. It may not be as clear for us this time, but we are realizing that waiting for the perfect timing and being "ready" probably isn't going to happen. If we were ever presented with the option of adopting a child, we wouldn't even be considered to adopt them because we aren't home study approved. In both domestic or international adoption, this is the first step. Once we have an approved home study, we can be considered for adoption.  So, just like before, we are taking a step in faith! We don't know how we are going to do this, but God does!

We have already done the research and found a local agency that we would like to work with. They would be a great option for us for either direction we are led to take (domestic or international). This is a three to four month process, so we figured we should go ahead a start this as soon as possible. But before we start, we are going to need some major help again in raising funds for the home study itself. Unfortunately, it is not a cheap first step. :( With all the start up fees and home study costs, it will be around $3000! So, this is why we decided to do a last minute Christmas fundraiser!

Our Christmas Ornament Fundraiser


So, here are the details of what we are doing. It's pretty simple really! I have these 3 to 4 inch cherry tree wood slices. They were the perfect size to make ornaments out of and I would love to make one for you! Here is what we were thinking. For the next two weeks (until December 19th), I am going to take orders for these personalized ornaments. I can transfer any image you send me onto these large wooden slices.  Whether it's your initials, favorite team logo, a photo of your wedding, ultrasound, or pet, I can do it. :) These ornaments are real wood slices and the image is actually transferred on the surface, not cut and pasted. It will also be sealed and protected for many years to come! For a minimum donation of $25 plus $3 shipping, I can send it to you before Christmas! If you are local, you do not need to pay for shipping as I can arrange to meet you. That's it! If you ever wanted to get a great little personalized gift while helping a great cause, this is a perfect opportunity to help us with our adoption (home study expenses)! Please fill out the Contact Form on side or email HERE or message me on facebook if you have any questions and would like to place your order. Thank you in advance for your support! Here are some more pictures below of the one I did of our family...







How can you say no to this face??? :)



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"Jugoo" And More


Hello everyone! Just wanted to give a little update about what's been going on with our family. We are just wrapping up the summer and made lots of memories. My hubs is a teacher, so we are so blessed to get to spend the whole summer with him! We went camping, visited family in South Carolina, had a (half) birthday celebration for Jack, and spent lots and lots of time together! :) Here are a few pics from the summer...

Who needs a selfie stick when you are married to Bry!? :)


Picnic at the lake.

Camping at Vogel State Park

LOVES his new bike!

Summer of Legos!

Learning at Daddy's tennis camps.

Jack's Half Birthday Celebration

Slip and Slide!

Fun with friends!

Hiking to Anna Ruby Falls


Blueberry Pickin with Cousins.

Motorcycle fun!

Nothing beats a ride in Papa's trailer!

Facing his fears in the water. :)

Fun with family!

Jack has officially started PreK already and LOVES it! Mommy was a little bit of a mess when she left him and came home on the first day, but since then it has gotten better. Knowing Jack is excited and looking forward to school makes it so much easier on me! :)


With Jack at school, I have noticed that I am able to multitask much easier! It's probably because I don't have a certain little guy asking me a question EVERY FIVE MINUTES. ;) I do love my inquisitive guy, but I also enjoy being able to process my thoughts now! :) This last week and a half with Jack at school, I have been able to get a lot of things accomplished, including preparing to reopen my studio. I did decide to take the summer off with my family, so I am still just in the beginning stages. My plans are to try to open in the fall, but it might be late fall. Pray for me as I get discouraged from time to time as I struggle with doubting myself. I really want God to lead me through this process and help me make the best decisions for my business.  Here are some fun ones I did this summer for my friends and family...








And finally we come to Jugoo. What's Jugoo you ask? Well, it is the name our son has given to our next child. :) He was drawing our family the other day on his chalkboard and he decided to add his little brother/sister to it. I asked him what his name is and he said without hesitation, "Jugoo." So, there you go! We officially have a name (nickname that is) for our next child!


Ever since then, Jack has been referring to Jugoo in all different types of situations. He explains that Jugoo will need his/her own car seat and he will have to help him get in it.  He talks about sharing a room with Jugoo and that he might cry at first because he can't talk yet. I cannot tell you how much this has excited me! Before, whenever we would talk about Jack being an older brother with him, he seemed less than thrilled at the idea. So much so, it discouraged me and made me doubt if we should even go forward with the adoption. I began to wonder if I was up for the whole process again and really letting Satan attack my thoughts. Becoming my typical Negative Nellie, Bryan encouraged me and we kept praying about it. Now, it seems, God has been working on Jack's little heart. Jack still may not be thrilled with the idea, but at least he is showing some interest now! God is good!

As far as our adoption of "Jugoo," we have not taken any steps toward any process yet. We had a major hold up with trying to sell our home in Charleston, and we wanted to do this before we could really focus on our adoption process. Again, God was good, and by the end of July, we were finally able to close on our home! We were kinda sad to see it go and officially say goodbye to our Charleston life, but we are also looking forward to our next adventure with "Jugoo." :)

Goodbye Charleston Home! :(
Please keep praying for us and we figure out which direction to go for our adoption. We still have not felt led yet with what to do on that regard. Thank you, as always, for praying for our family!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

What's Up?


So, we've been getting a lot of questions lately about where we are at with our adoption process and I thought I would give an update since it's been a while.

Our Adoption:


When we decided to adopt the first time, it didn't take long for us to know exactly what we were going to do. Even though it took longer than we anticipated to finally have Jack in our arms, God had made clear our adoption path. Once our options were presented, Korea was the best fit for our family at that time and we never looked back. Fast forward 5 years, we feel very led to expand our family through adoption again, but like I mentioned before, this time, we still haven't felt led yet by which way to do that! There are a lot of options out there and they only seem to overwhelm us: What about domestic adoption? Should it be an opened or closed adoption? Should we use a local agency or national agency? Should we adopt through the foster system? What about networking and doing a private adoption? Should we consider an infant, older child or special needs child? Should we adopt out of birth order? Should we do international adoption again? Which country? Should we only consider international children in foster care or children that are institutionalized? What about adoption through hosting? What about our racial or sex preferences? And how are we going to afford this!?! Actually, that last one I'm not too worried about. I know God will provide the funds for our adoption, no doubt. Our doubt lies in the decision process.  We are just really feeling the weight of this decision a little more this time around because of our experience with Jack and how all this will affect him. We are more open to many options because of what we have gone through with Jack. Adoption is a great thing yes, but it also comes from great brokenness, especially when you are considering an older child or special needs adoption. Only God's love and time can help an adoptive family work through this healing process. We know it's hard, but we also know it's worth it!  We also want Jack to have input in the process. Jack has stated that he wants us to adopt another Asian like him. We know he sometimes struggles with being the only Asian in our family and asks when God will make him Caucasian. :( Although he is still young and we work hard to show him his beauty and the uniqueness in all of God's creations, there is no doubt that having a brother or sister with the same race (or different race than mommy and daddy's) would be a great comfort to him. However, as much as we would like to go with whatever Jack wants, we want to make sure we know that is what God wants first and foremost. So, that's where we are. Even though we are a little overwhelmed and feel the pressure to start something soon, we know that this is all part of the process. I know there is purpose in this. God hasn't made it clear to us yet, because He doesn't want it to be clear to us yet. So, we keep praying and wait again. But this time (because of our journey to Jack), we are waiting with a little more patience and assurance in His plan than we did before. ;)

Lastly, we would like to ask once again that you will PLEASE keep us in your prayers during this time. We are praying that we ultimately seek God's will in all this and that He make this decision clear despite what our feelings say and what others tell us.

Getty Art Studio:


Some of you know that I used to have a painting business to help us fund raise before we got Jack. God had always given me a passion for art and the orders I would receive through this business brought me much joy and provided me great fulfillment. Once Jack was home, though, I knew I needed to put my business on hold to make bonding with Jack our priority.  These past three years being at home with my Jack Mack have been amazing and I've loved every minute of it, but now the time has come that Jack will be enrolling in preschool in the fall. I am so sad to lose my buddy at home, but we know that, socially, this is best for our little guy. I'm sure I will only cry the first month or two. ;) Despite my studio not being open and us not needing money for Jack's adoption anymore, I was still overwhelmed by people still interested in orders. So, now that I have the extra time and the hub's support, I happily announce that I will soon be opening up my studio once again! I have learned a lot along the way and will be implementing some changes that will benefit me as well as my customer. :) I'm slowly working on getting things going but I'm super pumped about painting again and the new changes that are coming!  I'm hoping Getty Art Studio will be up and running by fall but hopefully sooner. We will see how things unfold with this and the adoption process, but I'm so excited to see what God holds for our family. As always, we will keep you updated with things! :)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Here We Go AGAIN!!!





Here We Go AGAIN!!!

Well, here we are again! Five years ago, Bryan and I officially began our adoption journey to Jack! As much as we tried to prepare ourselves, these years were not what we anticipated. Through our journey we experienced many disappointments and deep heartache along the way. BUT...in the end, God drew us close to Him, and we experienced a love we could not have imagined and sense of completeness with our sweet Jack! He could not have been more perfect for our family and we simply couldn't imagine life without him. Even with all those valleys, we would do it again and again for this little man! So, with much excitement, Bryan and I (and Jack) anticipate our next journey to child #2! We are adopting again, but this time, its a little different. Before when we decided to adopt, God made clear the path on which we go on...South Korea. This time, however, we aren't sure what God wants us to do. Our journey with Jack has opened our eyes to different possibilities this time. Before we didn't know what to expect, but now, after what we have gone through, we are definitely more open to other options.  We are looking at international and also domestic. We decided to go ahead and announce our decision to expand our family, so that we may ask for your prayers during this time for us. We know that God knows exactly who this child is and what way we will come to him/her.  We trust in God's leading, timing, and provision in this journey, because He did it for us before. We are so excited and hope that you will, once again, follow along in our journey, and see how God shows up!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Fabulous Month of May




The month of May brought many special days for our family.  May 1st was our first special day! It officially marked having Jack longer than any of his foster families did in Korea! Jack's last foster family had him for 11 months, so we knew it would be an awesome milestone to celebrate once he had been with us that long. Bryan had just sprained his ankle playing basketball, so we didn't have a lot of options in celebrating. We decided since we don't eat out much, going out to Moes seemed special enough for us! :)

Celebrating Having Jack the Longest!
May was very nostalgic for me. May 16th came, which was the anniversary of our travel call last year!  I don't know if it was the weather or what, but throughout the whole month, I would suddenly get those butterflies in my stomach that I had this time last year as we were preparing for our trip to Korea. When I would have these feelings, I would just smile. I would smile because I was relieved that all that planning, packing, traveling was over and in the past. But mostly I would also smile because I would be reminded of the fondness of being in Korea, experiencing the culture and meeting my son for the first time!
Mother's Day was very special for me this year. I had been dreaming about being a mom for six years. Seven Mother's Days went by with the stabbing pain of not being one, but FINALLY, this year I got to celebrate it!  In fact, Jack, unknowingly, made Mother's Day extra special to me. I'm sure everyone has seen the tear jerking Publix commercial for Mother's Day...


It was this commercial and many others that Publix made that used to make this day so hard for me for many years. Way to go Publix! ;)  This year when the commercial aired, I had Jack by my side. Jack watched intently as he always does when commercials were on. Then at the end, when the girl jumps down to the mama's belly and whispers "You are really going to love mom," Jack came over to me and put his head on my tummy and gave me a quick hug and then just walked away. This simple act of love made me burst into tears. Bryan was there and smiled at what he observed. Jack may not have understood everything in that commercial, but he knew I was his Mama and that's what meant so much to me! He then continued to do this every time the commercial would air, and every time, that was okay with me! :)
On the actual Mother's Day, our church was having a dedication day as well. They showed a few pics of Jack on the screen in front of the church, and then we read a bible verse that is important to our family. Our family verse was Ephesians 1:4-5...


"For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will."



We chose our verse not because it mentions the word "adoption", but rather that it explains the heart of the gospel; that God adopted His children. I have read that the deepest and strongest foundation of adoption is located not in the act of humans adopting humans, but in God adopting humans.  We ultimately wish for Jack to understand this, and also want our family to be a reflection of that message of love! 


Both sets of Jack's grandparents came to celebrate this special day with us. Along with his Aunt Gretchen and Uncle Brock and his cousins, Jordan, Getty, Finn, and Amelia.  After church, we picked up some KFC and headed to the park. It was a beautiful, sunny day and we were so excited to have them visit us for the day!

Dedicating Jack at our church.
Happy Dedication Day! May 13, 2012
First Mother's Day!
Cousins make every celebration more fun!


The Whole Gang
Mother's Day Kisses. :)


We also planned our vacation to be this May. It was the first vacation we had been on in three years and I CANNOT begin to tell you how excited I was about it! And what better way to celebrate our one year together as a family! The plan was to go to St. Simons Island, GA. My parents go there every year for a conference, so we decided to join them and extend the stay a little bit. Jack had been to the ocean at the end of the summer last year and loved it. I thought he would be such a dare devil in the pool and jump right in when he saw it. I guess over the the past few months, Jack had become a little more reserved when it came to swimming.  He was a little nervous at first, but we eventually got him to trust us and soon he loved it. He didn't swim much on his own, but he did like to jump into Dada's arms. He would say, "ready...set...GO!" and jump in! As soon as he hit the water, he would say, "Gout! Gout!" (which meant, "get out!") so he could jump in again.
At the beach, Jack enjoyed putting sand in the bucket and taking sand out of the bucket. Seriously, that's all he did the first day we went. ;) The second day, we made a little pool for him there so he spent most of his time in it. We ate out a lot and went to the parks, walked the shops, but mostly just enjoyed time together and making memories as a family. It was perfect!



Had to stop and say hi to Mater on the way!


He held on to that ball so tight. :)



Going out with Pop and our matching shirts!


Ah! And there's a smile! :)




Saying cheese while eating cheese. ;)




Fun with Dada!


He loved the sand!


He never knew all that sand was up there. :)


Looking cool!


"Reaady...Seeet...Go!"








Yummy seafood!




Loved having his Gigi and Pop there!







Once we got home from vacation, it was May 25th! Jack's Gotcha Day! One year previous, we held sweet Jack in our arms for the first time. It is a day I will never forget! To celebrate Jack's Gotcha Day, we decided to make Jack a special breakfast, “GOTCHA” chocolate chip pancakes and then spend the day together. Charleston has a Spoleto festival celebrating the arts every May, but usually we are out of town. This year, we got to go for Jack's Gotcha Day! It was pretty fun to hear all the music and see all the artwork everywhere. We even got lunch at a Korean restaurant called Mama Kims.

Gotcha Day Pancakes!




Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC



Ummm, who's that white guy mom?
Lunch at Mama Kims!


Yummy Korean Food!






While we were there eating, I got that nostalgic feeling come over me again. I looked at my son and my hubby and was so proud of how far we have come this last year and all the years leading up. It has been quite the journey of us becoming parents. We've been through trials and hardships that I never thought we could endure. It was so tough to walk through our journey in the moment; we were battered and bruised, but the Lord lifted us up and pushed us through. Even once we finally got Jack, we still battled attachment and healing issues before we could ultimately see the perfect package God laid before us...A forever family that has been strengthened through trial and mended by love! People would always say to me (and I struggled to believe), “It will be worth it...the wait...the heartache and countless tears...the financial worries and spiritual battles...” And now, I can testify, it was!!! There is not a moment I have gone through that I wouldn't do again and again for our son, Jack! He has brought us so much joy that my heart overflows! Now that we have him, I can hardly remember what life was like without our Jack. He is the perfect fit for our family. And God knew that all along. How could I have ever doubted! I can look back now and see God's mighty hand at work, and I have grown more confident in His plans for us. God may have many more battles in store for our family, in fact, I can probably guarantee it, but I now try to look at them differently. Even in a death situation, God can draw us close to Him and bring us peace that surpasses understanding. His plans may not always be easy, but I know, they are ALWAYS good! We are so blessed and I only hope that God will continue to grow us and others close to Him in our journey of life!