Friday, August 27, 2010

Another Country Closes its Doors...

Yesterday Rwanda closed its doors to new dossiers being submitted at this time, while they focus on becoming a part of the Hague Convention.  Two weeks ago it was Nepal, and now it is Rwanda.  There are several bloggers that I follow who were on the path to adopt from Rwanda.  Some had their dossier submitted (which it seems they will still process).  Some were only weeks, even days, away, after months of preparing and waiting on paperwork to be finalized. 

I can only imagine the heartache these families are feeling.  Please pray for these parents who were dreaming of the faces of their little ones.  Especially pray for the little ones in Rwanda who still need homes and loving families.  And while it seems that nothing goes quickly in the world of adoption, pray that the Rwandan government moves quickly to restore the adoption process.

This most recent closure reminds me once again of how uncertain this process can be.  It reminds me that our faith cannot be placed in any government, agency, or country, or any child that we hope to call our own.  My life belongs to the savior of this world.  And come what may, I must trust in his unfailing love and goodness.  If every possible avenue for us to bring a child into our home falls to pieces, will I still declare God's goodness?  Will I still run the race set out for me?  How tightly do I hold my future children in my hands?  What if it doesn't turn out quite how I expected (that's happened plenty already!)?  What if instead, God told me that he was going to send us to a place like Rwanda or Ethiopia, and we would care for orphans and widows there?  What if we didn't have a piece of paper that said we were the rightful parents to those children, and yet they all called us Mother and Father?  Does it still mean as much?  Yes.  And while I don't anticipate this adoption falling to pieces, I am reminded again that not everything may turn out the way I expected.  And my babies don't belong to me.  They belong to my Father, just as I do.  I will call them my own, and yet I know their lives are not in my hands, but in the hands of the one who saved me. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Make a guess, Win a prize...

This is my sad, furrowed brow face.  Aren't I a vision?  :)
Okay, so today I'm feeling kinda dumpy.  I think I'm just a little over-worked right now (wedding season=14 hour work days), so I'm a little tired, and not thinking completely clearly.  So it is on days like these, that I can't stand the wait.  Don't worry.  I'm not depressed or losing it.  Just feeling a little sad for the moment.  It will pass in a little while, and I'll feel fine, but for now, I'll just let it happen.  :) 

So to make me feel a little more chipper, I am going to let you all play a game.  It's called, "Guess the Referral Date!"  Yes, I want you all to make some excellent guesses on when we get our referral.  I know that at least 40 or 50 of you drop by each day, so seriously, leave a comment, because I need the encouragement of knowing people are reading this blog.  AND, if you guess right, I might just send you a little surprise in the mail after it happens!  And don't worry, I won't punch you if you guess way far out (but I may choose not to believe it! lol).

I will give you a little help.  I kind of got the feeling that our referral could come any day now.  Having said that, you never know.  It could be another month or so.  But the feeling I got from our agency was that it was going to be sooner than later.  We'll see.

So please, brighten my day and leave a guess below.  I'll start.  My guess is for September 1st.  Happy Guessing!

*And to make things a little more interesting and fun, feel free to guess the gender and age.  Your clues are:  We are open to either gender, 0-18 months old, or twins.  It is VERY unlikely that we will get a girl, since boys are much more prevalent.  But you never know.  :)  
**Oh, and if some of you guess the same day, I will just pick your names out of a hat for the prize!

Friday, August 20, 2010

3 months waiting...but really 5 years....

Hooray!  3 months ago today, our dossier flew away to Ethiopia.  

It seems like the first month was the most difficult.  I'm not quite sure why.  Perhaps it was because up until then, everything had been moving toward that moment...that goal of sending our dossier to Ethiopia.  Or maybe it was just before wedding season started, and I hadn't gone insane with busyness yet, and had more time to think about the wait.  Who knows.  These last two months have been much better.  Don't get me wrong...I have definitely had really hard days, but for the most part, I've been pretty upbeat.  I may say every other day, "I REALLY need our referral," but still I'm not bogged down by sadness.

Once again I made my biweekly call to our agency.  It always seems to put me in a better mood.  Again, I don't know why this is.  She didn't give me any clue as to when a referral might come.  She just said that she wanted it to be a surprise.  Well, that's a given.  :)  I know that we are all waiting, and we all know that one day we WILL get that call.  But I guarantee you, that even with all that expectation, I will be bouncing off the walls with excitement once we actually do get that call.  And in all actuality, we have been waiting 5 years for this.  It was 5 years ago this month that the doctor told us we could start trying to get pregnant.  A year later they found cancer.  Then we waited for a miracle.  Then we tried foster care.  Then we tried Nepal.  And now we are here, waiting on our Ethiopian miracle.  I simply can't wait!

So as most adoptive parents-to-be do, we are celebrating the three month anniversary of waiting.  So, we decided to go Mexican tonight, and use my rusty Spanish skills to be goofballs in the latest version of "Musings from a Car."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Heart Behind Our Business...

I'm not really going to talk about adoption today, but I did want to mention that yesterday marked 11 months since we started the international adoption roller coaster ride.  Wow.  I can hardly believe it.  That's how long we spent trying to make things work with the foster care system.  Ugh.  Well, hopefully we'll have good news soon. :)

Today we revealed our new logo for our photography business.  I am SUPER excited about it, mainly because not only does it reflect the business we have with our brides, grooms, moms, dads, kids etc., but it also reflects our heart for the nations, adoption, the needy, the hurting....  I am thrilled!  So if you want you can swing by our photography blog and see the new logo, and the explanation behind it.  Stop by if you're curious!  :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Oh would "the day" just come...

Today is just one of those days where my heart longs to see our baby's face.  Oh, please come soon....and then I will sing you this song.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


So today, the package I have been waiting for since last week, arrived.  My first pair of TOMS!  Yay!  AND, our baby's first pair of TOMS too!  I was inspired by my blogger buddy, Bex, who purchased the same pair of Tiny TOMS recently.  I think she has eagerly been waiting the arrival of mine too!  :)  What's awesome about these shoes is that for every pair you buy, they give a new pair to a child in need.  You need to check them out!  So, since I am a photographer, and sometimes I can't stop taking pictures, I am posting a few of our new shoes.  These are all taken with my iPhone 4 and edited with Kubota Actions. 
When Wes got home and saw these, he said he got choked up looking at the little ones.  Oh I just can't wait for this little pea to come home!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Beauty in the midst of Alopecia...

So I won't be talking about Alopecia here on this blog, because I have just posted it up on our photography blog. Please stop by and read Alli's story. She lost all of her hair when she was 5, but it eventually grew back. 15 years later, Alopecia struck again, but this time she struck back. She is the guest blogger on our photography blog, and she tells a beautiful story. Click HERE to read all about it!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Little Surprises...

Today I walked out to the mailbox and discovered an overstuffed envelope in it.  When I opened it up, I knew immediately who it was from:  my parents.  I have a feeling my mom was the main force behind this purchase, but my dad is just as excited as my mom.  I'll ask later.  For now, I am just posting a pic of the goodies within the envelope.  If you can't tell, there seems to be a lot more girl clothes than boys.  Chances are pretty high that we will get a referral for a little boy.  But that doesn't stop my mom from hoping.  She will be happy with a boy too, but she REALLY wants a girl.  I was actually surprised she managed to get any boy clothes in there at all!
By the way, my mother seems to call me every other day crying, because she has either watched someone's gotcha day video, or she is reading an adoption blog. She tells me that she has never felt this way, and can't figure out why she is emotional all the time. She asked if it will go away once we have our babies (she is waiting on the two my brother and sister-in-law are adopting, and the one or two we are adopting). I told her that it probably will not. Do you think she has caught the orphan/adoption bug? I think so. Love you Mamma!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lucky Enough to Get Messed Up....

Beautiful Brihaney.
Meet Brihaney.  Brihaney is 14 years old, and he lives by a landfill in the village of Korah, in Ethiopia. His father died, and his mother has leprosy.  It is most likely that he has spent most of the first 14 years of his life looking for food and other items in the landfill in order to survive.

This year, that is about to change.  A couple of weeks ago, Wes and I were praying, and asking God to show us some ways we can serve Him by serving the poor and those who have real need.  We wanted to go beyond what was financially comfortable in our lives.  We wanted to be stretched.  We want to do more for the Kingdom, simply because we love Jesus so much.  One day Wes came home from work, and out of the blue he said, "I want to sponsor another child."  On that very same day, I had been reading about the children of Korah, and my heart was being stirred up for them.  And it just so happened, an organization called Project 61, was looking for people to sponsor children from the village of Korah.  I knew this was more than just happenstance, though.  This was the Holy Spirit's clear leading.  He was giving an answer to our prayers.  He was providing a way for us to love and serve and be changed.

I immediately wrote Project 61 and asked how we might go about sponsoring a child.  They responded that very same day, told us the costs, and after thinking about it for about 20 seconds more, Wes and I both agreed there was no need to pray any further about this.  This was obviously God, and we didn't want to hesitate any more.

Six days later, we got this one simple picture of Brihaney along with a few details about him and his family.  And now we get to send him a few gifts that will be delivered directly to him.  SO excited!
Okay, so maybe we are trying to gain a UK fan.  Who can blame us?

And here are a few of the dorky pictures of ourselves, that we are sending Brihaney.
Oh yeah.  We are definitely too cool for school.

                            This is me with our beloved Blue.        And this is Wes with Sati. Himalaya was a little too shy.
Again, we are a little Kentucky Basketball crazy, but that's just part of the quirkiness that is us.

This is what Project 61's website shares about what a sponsorship can do to change a child's life.

"Currently, $700 per year removes a child from a city landfill and places them into a private boarding school. But, the altered living conditions are only the beginning. The relationship your family develops with your sponsored child is vital. Project 61 begins with altering their physical conditions but understands that emotional connections are the key to a healthy child."

Even more incredible is the fact that we will soon be able to meet Brihaney when we go to meet our son or daughter for the first time.  We are hoping that will be some time in November of this year.  I can't wait!

I can't tell you how moved I am by the work that Project 61 and others are doing in Korah.  I haven't even been there, and yet my heart is moved to action.  My heart is being flooded by compassion and love-overflowing.  And once again, I have to say how thankful I am that I am lucky enough to get messed up in such a good way.  Some of you may may prefer to use the word blessed.  I don't really care how you say it.  I just know that God has been so good to me.  I feel like I have won some kind of prize, or that I must be His favorite, because what other explanation is there for why He has allowed me to experience such a special part of His heart?  It is so utterly awesome.

So, if you want to see just a little piece of what is going on in Korah, and the lives that are about to be changed, please please please watch this video.  It is so beautiful.  

Ordinary Hero~ A day in the trash dump in Ethiopia from Kelly Putty on Vimeo.

*P.S.  And if anyone was wondering, we don't feel this is the end of how God wants to use us to serve the orphan, widow, poor, and needy.  We can't wait to see what else we are lucky enough to be a part of.  

Friday, August 6, 2010

Heartache in the midst of Joy...

If you have not already heard, the Department of State has issued a statement declaring a suspension on all future Nepal adoptions.  This means that any parents who have a dossier in Nepal, but do not have a referral yet, will not be able to adopt from Nepal.  They make no mention of a time frame for the suspension to be lifted, but if it is like other countries that have been suspended, it probably won't be any time soon.

You can read the statement here.
There is also a Q&A here.

This comes at a time when so many families were feeling hopeful about the new movement in adoptions in Nepal.  Several referrals were given out just last week!  So for so many adoptive parents, this was a sucker punch to the gut.  It sucks.

For Wes and I, we can find solace in the fact that we are expecting a little one from Ethiopia.  There is great joy and comfort there.  But for so many other families, whose only country was Nepal, there will be a great amount of tears and heartache today and beyond.  Please pray for these families.  Pray that they will not lose hope, and that God would lift up their hearts and spirits in His hands.  I am thankful that we serve a great and beautiful Father, and He cares for every heartache.  He knows us inside out, and if we call on Him, He will lift us up.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Feelin' Hopeful...

Okay, so this week has been great. I'm not quite sure why, but I've felt this supreme amount of motivation. Not the kind of motivation where you feel like you can just work and work and work. It's like I'm motivated about life. There have been some exciting opportunities in my business that have come up, and some of them may not even come to pass, but I'm still excited about them. Very unusual for me. I usually don't get too excited unless I know for SURE that it's going to happen. Not this time. I've also been hopeful about our adoption. This also includes me lying down in bed the other night and saying to Wes, "I really need a referral soon!"  I know this sounds more desperate than hopeful, but believe me, it's hopeful, because I am not sad or discouraged when I say it.  I'm just excited, and so ready for something to happen.

I spoke with the gal at our agency today, and was asking her some questions about court dates, and then I moved on to the referral wait time topic.  You see, our agency website claims that referrals will come within 30 days of your dossier getting to Ethiopia.  Of course, this has not been the case since we've been with the agency (since March).  There have been so many families waiting for 7,8, 9 months (mainly those waiting for girls).  This is a pretty normal wait for most agencies, but when your website says 30 days, it can get a little frustrating.   Of course, I think there have been major slowdowns across the board with the new 2 visits rule.  But things are starting to pick back up.  So back to my point...I asked her what their new expected wait times were.  She replied with, "Oh things are happening quicker than ever (implying that things are moving just as fast as before if not faster)!"  I laughed and said, "Uh, our dossier went to Ethiopia 2 months, 2 weeks, and 2 days ago!  I don't think that's faster!"  She said, "I knew you were going to say that! (with equal amounts of humor) But things are picking back up now!"  Me: "Well, when are we getting our referral then?!"  (Our agency does not tell us where we are in line, so I knew very well that she was not going to's still fun to ask, though!)  Her:  "Well, all I can say is that you are in a very good place."  Me:  "Hey my friends and family are asking what that means!   And all I can say is that doesn't mean much until we get our referral!"  We laughed, and even though I had no answers, I felt a sense of hope.  It felt like perhaps something might actually happen soon.  Who knows, but it's good to feel this right now.  I can't predict what tomorrow or next week will bring as far as emotions are concerned, but right now life is good.

So, in completely unrelated events, as is very customary for Wes and I, we got a hankerin' for some Outback Steakhouse, and we indulged our hankerins and went.  As usual, it was completely delicious.  I had the 6oz Outback Special like I always do, along with a house salad with mustard vinagrette (no crutons or cucumbers please!), and fresh steamed veggies (Outback is the only place I get this because their veggies ROCK!).  Wes likes to get crazy and order something different every time.  He got a cheeseburger today.  So not exciting, but whatev'.... ;)

After that we went over to Marshall's just to browse around for a few minutes.  We got over to the baby clothes and started browsing more intentionally.  We looked only at the boys clothes because let's face it, it's very likely that we will get a boy.  We found two outfits.  Wes was pushing for the woodsman winter vest outfit, but I couldn't get over this adorable Carter's outfit (I seem to love all things Carter's).  

And if you have done any shopping with me (rather browsing), you'll know that I don't like cheesy boys outfits that have some weird picture of a modern day cartoon character, or onesies with lame sayings on them like, "I'm spoiled rotten," or "Born to shop."  Although this onesie kind of cracks me up:
  I can almost hear Justin Timberlake's falcetto voice singing..."I'm bringing chubby ba-ack!"

So yeah, we ended up with my choice this time, and I just think it is so cute.  Can't wait to put it on our little pea.  Yeah, maybe I'll start calling him Baby Pea....just trying it on.  We'll see.
Well, signing off for the night.  I love our blog community.  Have I mentioned that lately?  I truly love all of you who write and share all your experiences with the rest of the world.  Wow....It truly does fill my heart.  Good night.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

More from Korah...

I can't seem to stop thinking about Korah.  Of course, that is probably due in part to the fact that it is in Ethiopia, and that is where our baby will come from, and I just long to see his/her face.....Oh how I long for that day.  This video just popped up, and it shows a tiny piece of the lives of those in Korah.  My heart is so moved....