Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August Adoption Family

I am so excited to introduce you to my first Rodan + Fields, From Faces to Family, family!! When I started this business in 2013 I had the dream of helping others bring home their children by way of adoption.
It's only fitting that our first family is just that, family! Peter's cousins are in the process of bringing home their third and fourth child!! I am so excited to share their story with you today.

Here is their amazing adoption story!!


We began our adoption journey in 2006 when we started the process to adopt from China. We had no idea that once we entered the program, the wait for a referral would continue to increase for the next several years. While we were waiting, our agency offered a "concurrent adoption" program. In 2009 we began the process of also adopting from Ethiopia, and 16 months later we brought home 16 mo old Natalie Grace in June 2010. Then, 2 years later (Sept 2012), our first China adoption was finally completed when we adopted Josie Noelle, an adorable 17 month little girl who had recently had heart surgery.
As we approached Josie's one-year post placement report, we decided to begin adoption number 3. Initially, we thought we would adopt another infant girl. We quickly learned that greatest need was for families willing to adopt little boys through the "special needs" program. Soon, we were on the path to adopting (we thought!) one infant boy. God continued to guide and redirect. Fve weeks ago, we officially accepted TWO referrals for TODDLER boys in China. The oldest is 2.5 and will require corrective surgery once he is home. The littlest is 19 months old, just 8 months younger, and had a difficult infancy with severe malnutrition and pneumonia, among a few other things. So, adoption number 3 became adoptions number 3 AND 4!!
We are currently waiting for our "official" approval letter from China and then will complete more paperwork to receive our travel approval. We are hoping and praying that we will travel this fall!

***
I just love Cory & Terri's heart for Jesus and for children!! I am SO excited for them as they expand their family even further!!

Fifty percent of our profits from Rodan + Fields this month will go towards bringing those sweet baby boys home!!!

Interested in helping them out?  
You can.....purchase from me at laura.euler.myrandf.biz
You can.....share this post via Facbook, your blog, Instagram, Twitter...you name it!
You can...pray for Cory, Terri, Natalie, Josie & their two boys!
You can...partner with them financially with a gift (email me for details)

Can't wait to see what the Lord will do through this amazing family!!



Monday, August 11, 2014

Seattle Birthday Excursion

I asked Stafford what he would like to do for his birthday and he said the zoo.  So we headed up to the Woodland Park Zoo.  Peter was off all last week since he was gone for the 2 weeks prior.  It was so fun to be able to spend this special day together!



Checking out the Bear

Riding the Komodo Dragon


He sits down all the time now and asks for a picture...


Checking out the Fremont Troll


He was amazed at all of the fish at Pike's Market


The waterfront


Seattle's Great Wheel.  We hesitated to go up because Stafford is very timid of heights but he loved it!!!


Kelsey came too!


Gorgeous views!


Mama and the birthday boy


He was SO excited to spot a jellyfish.  It was the first thing he told his teacher at summer camp on Friday.


Love!


We were getting tired at this point!


We've mastered the selfie....almost!


Happy Fourth Birthday to my sweet Stafford!!!  I'll be doing another update but just wanted to share these fun shots!

All the Poor & Powerless





Lately I've been feeling a little lost.  Tired.  Frustrated.  Alone.

I think some of stems from knowing we are moving.  It's easy to start pulling back to protect your heart.  It's easy to believe the lies.  

Women believe a lot of lies.  Mamas in particular.  Obviously I'm including myself in that group.  I've heard enough and read enough to know that most Mamas as some point in time feel lost.  Lonely.  Broken.  Not good enough.

When I'm tired it's so easy to seem my job as a little hopeless.  No matter how hard I work to avoid it we seem to lose at least one box of Cheerios to the floor a week.  Our house is never as clean as I want it to be.  My kids are never as well behaved as I think they should be.  We don't do enough crafts.  We watch too much TV.  I feel exasperated...defeated...not good enough.

July was a hard month for me.  I'm not sure why.  I feel like the Lord was just saying over and over again....I AM enough for you.  And the devil was screaming in the other ear...Laura you are NOT enough.  You will never be enough.  A good enough mom.  A good enough wife.  A good enough business owner.  A good enough friend.  You will never ever be enough.

Day after day I felt like this message was being pounded into my head and a few Sunday's ago I went to church just broken.  

Until we sang.  And then the words of this song.  And the truth.  And the love of Jesus literally just washed over me.  I couldn't hold back my tears as I sang.  I just cried and cried.  And thanked Jesus for being enough for me.  Because with Him I AM enough.  I will never be the Mom or Wife or Sister or Daughter or Friend I want to be.  I'll never be perfect, but with Him I'll be enough.

All the poor and powerless
And all the lost and lonely
All the thieves will come confess
And know that You are holy
And know that You are holy

And all will sing out
Hallelujah
And we will cry out
Hallelujah

All the hearts who are content
And all who feel unworthy 
And all who hurt with nothing left

Will know that You are holy

And all will sing out
Hallelujah
And we will cry out
Hallelujah

Shout it
Go on scream it from the mountains
Go on and tell it to the masses
That He is God
We will sing out
Hallelujah
And we will cry out
Hallelujah> 

As a Mom I constantly hear or read about other Moms feeling unworthy.  Broken.  Like they have nothing left.  And I just want you to know that you are not alone.  There's a Mom out there that you admire and when it all comes down to it she feels broken...lost...even lonely at times.  There is a Mom that seems to have it all together that is falling apart at the seams.  And ultimately we ARE all lost...broken...poor...powerless.  

In John 15:5 Jesus tells us that apart from Him we can do nothing.  And I have to remind myself of that day after day after day.  You'd think that after 30 plus years of getting it wrong that I would wake up and say....I clearly can't do this day...but over and over I am always trying to do things my way.  

My prayer for myself is that when I would wake up I would say...I can NOT do this day alone.  Give me Jesus.  Give me Jesus ever morning.  Every afternoon.  Every temper tantrum.  Every dirty diaper.  Every box of spilled Cheerios.  Give me Jesus!

No matter how broken...or lost...or lonely...I will cry out...you are HOLY God.  HOLY.  And that will be enough.



If you are feeling broken today please know you aren't alone!  I would love to talk to you or pray for you!  Just send me an email!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Stafford & Reedisms

Clearly I'm struggling to keep up with life lately.  My house is a mess.  My blog is neglected.  My boys are wild.

Not really.  But they do some awfully funny things and I want to record a few of my favorites lately so I don't forget.

When we drive down "our hill" (36th street) they think it's a roller coaster.  We have to "put our hands up" each and every time we go down.  It's hilarious.  Tonight I forgot and Reed told me "Mama put your hands up!!"  Then they exclaim "Wheeeee....whoohooooo" the entire way down.

Recently the boys decided to "take a bath" in the sandbox.  They filled it to the brim with water. What a mess!  At least they are creative?


We've been calling S the S-man for some time now.  Recently he has been calling everyone else by the letter of their first name as well.  Peter is the D-man (Daddy) and I'm the M-girl.  It's pretty cute.  When we hangout with someone he tries to figure out what we should call them.

This afternoon I heard Reed's little voice yell..."Come on D-man let's go!"  Monkey see, monkey do!


They love to get dirty!


Stafford likes to sleep in his "other bed" sometimes.

A few days ago I went upstairs and found a smiling and laughing Kelsey on the floor.  This guy had apparently taken her out of her bed, unbuttoned her pjs, taken her diaper off and then left her.  When I asked him what he was doing he said "I was changing her diaper!"


This guy has been potty training lately.  It hasn't gone quite as smoothly as I hoped but we are making progress.  Tonight after emptying the dishwasher Peter paid the boy for their work.  Reed only had underwear on and he tried to put his money "in his pocket".....I about fell over laughing!!  This isn't the first time he has done that....last week I found him trying to put something there too!


Those eyes.  They are killer.  And the dimples!!  I know I have to tell this kid no but I sure hate doing it.  He is such a doll.  Apparently he is constantly growing because all day long all you hear from him is "sooooo hongray....sooooo hongray, Mama".  


Love watching these two grow.  They are best friends and wonderful big brothers.  Never knew I could love two little guys this much!!


I finally went back through all of my facebook posts from the past year and recorded them....I hope you enjoy.  The go from current things back to probably last August.  Love these funny boys!

Me-Stafford we are going on vacation today. We are going to the zoo...we'll get donuts. 

S-I know!! We can make a pattern. Donuts. Ice cream. Donuts. Ice cream

**

A few weeks ago I asked Stafford what he was watching on the ipad. His answer?

The polar bear express

**

Reed calls his blanket his banquet. 

**

Told Stafford to put on underwear. His response? I'll wear them tomorrow. 

**

Peter had been teaching Stafford that the Sound had salt water. After driving by some water the other day that was green in color Stafford asks...Is this pepper water?

**

Tonight Stafford told me that Millie was growing bigger and bigger in his tummy (she has apparently taken up residence there since Kelsey was born). Then he said...she is going to come out and I'm going to go get her at the post office!

**
S--Congratulations Mama!

L--Why are you congratulating me?

S--I'm cheering for you!

L--Why?

S--For me. Cause I went potty in the bathroom. 

**

Asked Reed what he wanted for lunch and without hesitation he replied....

Butter.

**

Attention Mama!!

We need the crane. The dump truck has dumped a large load and is now stuck in the mud. 

Can you get the crane for us? You have long arms. 

**

Stafford told us he had "too much to do" to go with us to church this morning. He also plans to take care of Reed since clearly we are going to leave the two of them home alone.

**

The baby just sneezed and I hear Reed...

Uh oh! happened Mama?

**

S--where are we going?

L-to get mama a treat. 

S-but it's not your birthday!

**

Stafford is concerned lately when driving especially if there is a drop off of any kind beside the road. Yesterday he asked me multiple times about not going off the road. I assured him I was a safe driver and would keep him safe. His response?

If you say so, Mama.

**

Listening to the boys play hide n seek is hysterical. 

Stafford tells Reed to hide and not to peep. (I think he means peek...even though he is hiding). 

Reed counts 1 2 3 5...and them yells out...NOT!!!

**

Taking his cue from his Daddy Stafford just told me "Love you, Beautiful!!" as I left the house. 

**

Overheard one day...

Reed can you say digger?

Mama that is my favorite plane. The one with the star and the long propeller.

That's earth. (when asked what planet was on his sticker)

See that American flag Mama? It's on that planes rudder. 

Daddy we saw 2 C-17 planes take off. That's the runway. When I grow up I want to be a C-17 pilot. But right now I'm just a big boy. I'll grow when I'm 10.

That's a cement mixer. It pours concrete.

See that Mama? It's a skid steer.

I'm outta here (as he left the dentist). 


**

Oh. My. Word. Stafford just told me bye because Peter is taking the boys hiking. He told me...

Have a fun time at my house Mama!!
Don't get into anything in the kitchen!!!

**

Today Reed got out of his sleepsack, climbed out of his crib and ran into our bedroom and yelled "Ta-da"!!!

**

Things I have caught Reed saying in the last week...

"I did it! or Did It"

"GogogoLaugh" (all seems to be one word)

"I see you!" (After I say peek a boo!"

"Fee Fi Fo Fum"

**

Peter is teaching the boys about basketball. He banked a shot in and said "the bank is open!!" Now every time Stafford shoots he screams, "Ahhhhh!!! The bank is open!!!!"

**

We had a mouse last month so I've been trying to be super vigilant about crumbs etc. today Stafford accidentally spilled cereal on the floor and as we were pitying it back into the bowl I reminded him we had to be careful so we didn't get creatures in the house. 

S--What kind of creatures Mama?

L--Oh, bugs and mice and other creatures. 

S--And elephants?

**

I bought the boys some beautiful handmade scripture memory cards and decided today we would start working on a verse.

My plans were thwarted when Stafford insisted that Micah 6:8 says "Love PERCY" instead of "love mercy".

Time for a Thomas the Train hiatus.

**

While waiting in the drive through today Stafford informed me he needed to go potty. I asked him of he could wait until we got home. He looked out his window and said...No. I'll just go here in this dirt. That sounds like a great idea!

**

Our sweet friends took care of the boys tonight so we could have a night out. Before they came I told Stafford that Mrs. Pam & Mr. Greg were coming to play. 

Stafford stares at me with a scared look on his face.
"Who?" he asks,

"Mr. McGregor??"

Apparently we've been reading too much Peter Rabbit

**

Stafford got out of bed. He knows he isn't supposed to. To avoid getting in trouble he tells us with a sad face...

I've run out of oil.

**

Took the boys to try to get a good picture of them down by the water after church. After we finished Stafford said...

This is a disaster. 

Precisely.

**

Me-I need a shower. I'm so gross.

Stafford-You're not gross!! You're just a girl!

**

Conversation after Stafford pours a bucket of water on the floor while taking a bath. 

No!! Stafford what were you thinking?

I don't know Mama. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Evidently not.

**

Stafford must be extra tired from all the time he spent playing in the "desert" today. Aka...the ball field at a local park.

**

I complimented Reed in his clean up skills tonight calling him a "good cleaner upper". Stafford, who wanted no part of cleaning up played with a truck and told us he was a "player".

**

Stafford just told me he was "disappoint" about having to go to bed and was "too busy."

**

S as we sat down to dinner..

Stafford-Stop we need to pray. 

Peter- Ok, do you want to pray?

Stafford- Yes. (Holds hands out for us to grab.) Thank you God for juice. Thank you God for apples and peanut butter. In Jesus name, Amen. 

Peter-thank you buddy

Stafford- You're welcome. Anytime.

Kelsey's Three Month Update



Dear Kelsey Jane,

Sweet sweet girl you are growing way to quickly.  Our days seem to pass by in a whirlwind and in a snap you are a month older!

You are THE best baby.  You wake up happy and go to bed happy.  You rarely fuss and when you do you are easy to calm.  You LOVE to talk.  (Clearly you take after you Father..you'll get that joke when you're older).  You will just talk and talk to me or your Daddy.  We love just getting you started and listening to you.  You are most talkative in the mornings and evenings.  But you will often talk or smile at others when they talk to you as well.

I finally moved you into size 1 diapers and into all your 0-3 clothes.  You are so tall!!  I think you will grown out of your 0-3 size much faster than the newborn clothes.  I'm anxious to see how tall you are at your 4 month appointment!


You went with us on our first little family vacation this month.  We went to Portland and then to the Olympic National Park.  You were a great hiker and car rider.  We took along your Rock N Play and you slept in the hotels just like home!  It was a great time.

You are still a great sleeper.  We tend to have such a random schedule that you aren't really on much of one during the day.  I think as you start to sleep longer at night that will happen.  You go to bed now anywhere between 8 and 10 and then get up between 6-8.  I am so thankful for that!


I am so thankful for you sweet girl.  I already pray that the Lord will give us a strong bond with one another.  That you will smile and talk to me always just as you do now.  You are precious to us dear one!  We love you so very much!

Love,
Mama & Daddy
(and the boys too....because they are crazy about you!!)

The Perfect Day


Well it's here.  That time when all my posts start to revolve around the fact that we are moving and that I'm literally DEVASTATED about it!!  Let me start by staying I am thrilled to be moving closer to my parents, in-laws and other family.  I absolutely love my own family and adore Peter's family as well.  I am incredibly blessed to have two fabulous families who love us so much.

But...

I.  LOVE.  TACOMA.

If you've been a blog reader for long (first of all thank you since I've practically fallen off the face of the internet world) you know I hate that weird "put a period after every word in a sentence" punctuation.  But this time it's necessary.  Because seriously,

I.  LOVE.  TACOMA.

This place has become home.  And it is so bittersweet to leave.

I'm already at the "I get teary" point.  Everyday.  Every.  Single.  Day.

I think about our start here (planning to detail that in another post).  Our two sweet sweet babies born here.  The friendships made.  The losses we've experienced while living here.  The growth. The beauty.  All a sweet sweet gift from our heavenly Father.

As each day passes I try to etch the people...the smells...the water...all of it on my mind.  To share with my kids when they want to know what Tacoma was like.  And to savor myself...when my heart feels like it's going to break from the pain of leaving.  Of starting over again.  That fresh start, so full of possibilities, but so empty of familiarity.  Of people.  Of home.

We had a perfect day today...perfect days aren't really perfect.  But they are made up of lot's of perfect moments.  Sweet glimpses of heaven.  Sweet blessings.  Sweet memories....etched away in my heart.

We camped.....


We read...


We cooed....


We looked cool....


We swung as high and as fast as Daddy's underdog would take us.  And giggled, saying "Again, Daddy, again!!" over and over.


We played tag with strangers.  Calling ourselves the fast blue whale....and running until we could no longer.


We practiced our selfies....


Chased harbor seals.....


Awed at mountains....


And sunsets....


Climbed rocks....


And "camped" for the night.


Thank you Lord for this perfect day.  For sweet children's laughter.  For hugs and kisses.  For coos and cries.  For mountains of majesty.  For the murky smell of the water.  For sweaty boys.  And sweet girls.  For sweet friends.  For a supportive spouse.  For going before us as we move.  For Jesus.  For love.  For freedom from ourselves.  For hope in You.  

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