Thursday, December 1, 2011

Photo Card

Skiing Penguin Christmas
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

October pictures

Kai kicking out hunger

fundraiser for local food pantry

Jana & Karley on

Karley school field trip

to the local Farm

Jana & Karley supervising

Julian carving the pumpkin

The finished product

My pretty princess

in her school parade

Halloween night

Before the trick or treating

Once they were all done

Our October snow storm

before Halloween

Julian & Baxter

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Some recent photo's

June 2011- Kai, Karley, Julian & Jana

Jana July 2011

Jana's 1st Gotcha Day July 2011

Kai, Karley & Julian August 2011

Jana, Julian, Karley & Kai-

vacation August 2011

Mary, Nick, Jana
Karley & Marissa

Bach Party August 2011

Kai & Karley

Boardwalk August 2011

Silly faces

Boardwalk August 2011

Kai, Karley, Julian & Jana

On the beach
August 2011

Having fun in the rain

at Julian's soccer game

August 2011

Baxter- our new addition

Boy's 1st day of School
August 2011

Karley 1st day of school

September 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Trying to catch up

I had really thought I would be able to keep up with this blog but being a Mom to 4 active children is proving much more hectic than I ever dreamed but I wouldn't change a single thing about it.

The time is just flying by. Since last I posted we celebrated Jana's 1st Gotcha Day, her 2nd birthday, her referral day, enjoyed a great summer vacation, adopted a dog from a shelter, the boys went back to school, Julian & I celebrated our birthday, soccer season is back in full swing & Karley started pre-school. It's been super busy at our house and I love it that way.

When we adopted Baxter, a 2 year old Cocker Spaniel most people thought we were nuts but believe it or not only having 1 dog made things feel out of balance. Now Gypsy is happy having a companion and Baxter didn't take long at all to settle in and make himself completely at home. Just like everyone else to join the Stewart family he was meant to be and fit in perfectly.

I face daily challenges with parenting as I'm sure does most families. I can't help but wish I had the secrete to keeping everyone happy at all times but I know that's impossible. Watching the children grow so quickly and become more & more independent is both amazing and scary. It's Amazing to watch the confident, secure people they are growing into and scary to think that they are growing and maturing too fast. Letting go is not easy.

This weekend will be 3 years since Karley came home and I just can't believe where the time has gone. She started pre-school this week and she loves it. She can't wait to get there and is anxious for me to leave so she can start her day. I'm thankful for getting the one on one time with Jana but at the same time I can't wait to go pick Karley up every day. I realized the other day when I dropped Karley off that next year will be here before I know it and Jana will be starting pre-school. Wasn't it just 10 years ago yesterday? How did that much time fly by me?

Each year as we remember 9/11 it has 2 different meanings for me. It will always be the day our lives changed forever, the day when we lived thru a horrific part of history but it will always be the day that started as an incredible memory for me. On Sept 10th 2001 we sat in our Adoption Agency's meeting room for a day long seminar and discussed with a group what it would mean to become and inter-racial family. We discussed what adopting form another country would mean to us and our future child. We gained insight on how our loves would soon be changing forever. And the next day on 9/11 we submitted the last piece of paperwork for us to move forward with our homestudy and our dream of becoming parents/a family at last. The day started off with amazing hope and promise but it wasn't long before that hope changed to terror. I'm so thankful for my faith because without it I'm not sure how much more difficult life would have been.

I'm incredibly thankful to my family and friends but most especially God for taking us down the path we have traveled the last 10 years and for the love and support that has helped us along the way.

Need to run for now but hopefully I can post pictures soon. And to my follower from Korea I so wish you would let us know if you are one of our foster families or birth families or just someone who likes to follow our journey. You can always email me at if you want additional contact.

Wishing all a blessed day.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Today I grieve

Today I grieve...

Casey my baby. My girl who helped me through so many difficult times in my life and got me from those dark days to holding our first baby. Somehow she always knew when it was a bad day and when I needed love the most. The last 13+ years I have been blessed by you. I wasn't ready for you to go but I'm glad your at peace. It's so hard to believe that just 5 weeks ago we found out you were sick and now your gone.

You truly were a gift from God to get me though the tough times. :(

Monday, May 16, 2011

Referral Day ( May 15th)

3 years ago yesterday we received Karley's referral. I remember it like it was yesterday.

Karley's referral wait was especially hard for many reasons. We had known when we finalized Kai's adoption that we would like a daughter but the program was very popular and there was a waiting list. We submitted the application the day we finalized Kai's adoption then we waited almost 2 years.

When we received notice that we could move forward we were not ready to do so and we waited some more. Finally we received our paperwork and started working on it. I remember we were on vacation visiting my sister when I got a call from our caseworker letting me know that the Korean program was making some changes and if we wanted to move along with this adoption we needed to do so right away. At the time we had some recent financial changes and I had no idea how we could do so at that time. After many conversations and lot of praying we believed we were to take a leap of faith and put the money issues in God's hands and so we did. There were many times when my faith struggled not knowing how the money would come together but then we would pray again and again and each time we needed money it would work itself out.

We ended up waiting 13 months for our referral. I remember the day the call came, I was filled with so much joy I just couldn't believe it. I couldn't wait to get home and get on my computer to see our daughter's picture. Once we got it I emailed it to Julian's teacher & asked if she would share it with him as I couldn't wait for him to find out. She called me and asked if I would come to school with the picture and show him and his class mates. Kai and I ran right over and it was so great to be able to share this moment. Then his teacher let him go visit a few of his friends in other classes to share his news.

Our next wait was even harder because Karely never came home for 4 1/2 more months but we now get to enjoy every day of her life together as a family. God has been so amazing to us and had blessed our family so abundantly.

Today I praise God for Karley and always for all he has given us and all he has not.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Finalization Day

It's been a really long day but an amazing day it was.

Today we finalized Jana's adoptions and thus closed this chapter
of our lives.

I really need some sleep so I'll post more later.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

2 days & April Fundraisers

In 2 days we finalize Jana's adoption. It's so hard to believe she has been home over 9 months but it also feel like she has been with us forever.

On Friday morning she will officially be ours and we will close this chapter of our lives and move on to the next one.

God is glorious!

April Fundraisers:

As the Tilghman family approach ever nearer to meeting their blessed Daughter Olive please consider visiting their fundraising site and make a donation to help them bring home Big sister Judah sibling. Thank you for your consideration.

And as with every month I'll suggest you visit and look on their fundraising page. They have over 130 families and many organizations who desperately need your help.

Please think about helping a family make their dreams come true. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your consideration.

Time is flying

Wow I can't believe it's April and the month is almost over.

Life in our home is hectic to say the least. I don't know why I can't get more done. A friend told me this week that my expatiation's are too high. Is that possible? I beat myself up for not getting enough done in a day and for what everyone else seems to be able to accomplish in a day that I can't. Is that a part of being a parent or is it just me. I feel like everyone else is able to accomplish so much more than me. And I'll say it, life seems much more challenging now than it did when we brought Jana home 9months ago, could that be possible?

I have a friend who has 4 children and always seems to have it together. I know she has her challenges and struggles but to look at her, she's just a pro, I wish often I had what she does. Maybe that's my problem, I often want to be someone else, always comparing myself to those I feel are "doing it better". I often wonder what people think of me once I leave a room, store, etc. I'm not trying to please them but do they think WOW she's a mess.

Although I struggle with my self and beat myself up I do try my best and I love my kids, all 4 of them. I wouldn't change a thing either. Although I'm not living up to my own standards I am always trying and I have a great amount of love to give, which I do to those who allow me to.

Moving on to more positive things:

Kai has a concert tonight at school. He is so excited he has been talking about it for 2 months now and he just told me he has a solo of sorts. He didn't give any details just said I'll have to wait until tonight. We are so excited to see him & his classmates. I feel blessed to have some family members who are making it a point to be there tonight. Most of my family lives about an hour away so for them to rush here to see Kai just makes him feel like a superstar.

On Friday we will be finalizing Jana's adoption. I can't believe we are about to close this chapter of our lives. It does make me a little sad but when I look around me and see all that God has blessed us with I can't even explain the overwhelming feeling of joy and love I have.

Well I'm off there is always so much to do and so little time but I have a private tea party with a little someone that is about to start. :0)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Catching up

My fundraising thought for March are to visit and look under their current fundraising page. There are so many families who could really use help.

Life here is hectic but hectic is our normal speed.

The kids are growing way too quick for me, it's all a blur. I really wish there was a way to slow some things down but knowing that's not possible we continue on.

Julian is doing well in school. He was in the school spelling bee and made it to the 4th round. He is now working on an invention for his PEN class. In April his group with join with the other groups from the school district and they will have an Invention Convention, it's all very exciting. Also we celebrated Julian's Gotcha Day this month. This one especially had me emotional because I took a good look around to see how far we have come in the last 9 years.

Kai tested for another belt in Karate and is moving right on up. He is also doing well in school and continues to make us proud just as his big brother does. The boys are a challenge at times but I wouldn't change a single minute.

Karley is just amazing, she wants to learn everything possible and has an amazing imagination. Before I know it she will be off to pre-school and OH is she ready to go. She gets her little back pack daily and tells me she is going to school. I'm so not ready for that.

Jana is progressing good. Although she is still not walking she is making great improvement. Jana just likes to do things her way and walking on her knees is her thing. This week she has been walking alot behind her shopping cart though which is a good sign. I continue to do physical therapy with her and when shes ready she'll do it.

We got our court date yesterday to finalize Jana's adoption but we need to reschedule it. We are just so close to the end it's hard to imagine that our very long road is about to end. This makes me wonder what the next chapter is going to be.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February's Fundraiser's

The following link is for the Tilghman family. They are fundraising to bring their daughter Olive home from Korea. Olive is a sibling to the Tilghman's daughter Judah. I hope you will consider making a donation to their cause.

Of course I want to give a shout out to , love this company for many reasons.
1)They are Christians
2) They provide fundraising with heart for adoptive families.
3) The quality of their products are great
4) The owner goes above and beyond...
these are just a few of the reasosn's.

Please check out their website and look under fundraisers at family or organization fundraisers.

Hope if your reading this you'll find it in your heart to help one of these families.

Thank you.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Please support Davids get to his forever family

Please consider making a donation in any amount to help the Kilgore family raise the remaining funds needed to bring Davids home.

You now can follow Davids and Peter's story on their forever family's blog at

There are 147 Million Orphans out there alone in this world. Please consider helping a family make one of these children theirs. If Davids story doesn't touch your heart please consider checking out and look under the fundraising tab for a family or organization to support.

Thank you for your prayerful consideration.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Trying to help those in need of adoption funds

After learning about Davids this week I have been thinking alot about how many children are just like him. How many children around the world age out of a program and go on never to be adopted? Then I started thinking about how many families there may be who have the love to give a child but just can't afford the funds to get to them..

I've decided to blog and facebook post about 1 family or child each month. I will post links to your blog, website, facebook page etc to help you get the word out. I am only one person and I have no idea how many people I reach but I am so passionate about adoption and hope my efforts will some how help the families I support.

I have no idea how I will choose each family/child but since I usually make decisions based on my faith and my heart I'm believing God will direct me to those who could use the help.

So if your reading this post and you yourself want me to help you spread the word or you know someone who needs help spreading the word about their fundraiser or you need some fundraising ideas please email me at .

January is dedicated to Davids from Latvia please click her for more information

Thank you for reading and I hope you will all pass on the word about funds needed for Davids. Every dollor will help this boy so please consider giving.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Will Be A Carrier: Davids' Story: URGENT NEED!!!

I Will Be A Carrier: Davids' Story: URGENT NEED!!!: "Contacts for more information about Davids: 1)LeAnn Dakake (New Horizons for Children) 678-313-8321 cell dakake (a..."

How big can my heart grow

There are days (most lately) that I wonder how God thought I could possibly raise 4 children. I am overwhelmed and feel like I can't get anything completed. I wonder if I'm making the right choices and feel like a complete failure. But then one of them hug me for no reason or tell me how much they love me or thank me just out of the blue and it always seems to be at that moment that I think I just can't do one more thing.

I often watch the kids sleep at night and wonder why God blesses us so abundantly. I look at each and every one of my amazingly beautiful children and my heart swells with so much love. I admit each time we waited for placement of our children I wondered if I could love them enough. It started with Julian wondering if I had enough love to be a mother then Kai wondering how I could possibly love him as much as I did Julian but he quickly took my heart and then as we waited for Karley I wondered how any little girl could fine a place as big as "my boys" in my heart. Little did I know what I was missing. There are many days that I wonder how I lived without a daughter and then there was Jana, so completely unexpected and I wondered where she would fit in and with her strong personality she busted right into her place. I love each and every one of these children with my whole being. I think that is what God gave me The heart to love abundantly.

So in those moments that I think I can't go on, that life is just too difficult I pray that God helps me remember how much I have to be thankful for. Our life certainly has been a challenge for more years that I can count. Nothing has ever come easy to us but I think that is why I appreciate all that we do have and dare I say more than most. I look at others and and can't help but think how they take so much for granite. I think most do including me but I'm thankful for all the times I realize how blessed we really are.