Tuesday, December 28

32 Week Check Up, 8 Weeks to Go!

Jared and I went to our 32 week check up today with Dr. Gregory. All is good! McBaby's heart beat is around 130 bpm. My platelets look good but I'm still slightly anemic. My tummy is measuring 1cm small, Gregory says anything within 3cm is normal so no worries.

My What to Expect App says my baby is as big as a Honeydew (19 in, 4.5 lbs). Here is our Honeydew:

Mommy News:

I'm feeling so ready!! I hurt and am not getting much sleep so I'm just pure sunshine to be around! :) I'll spare you what all hurts and just say EVERY inch of me! I did experience my first round of Braxton Hicks contractions last week... ouch, but not as bad as I thought they would be.

McBaby is really active! You can see him moving if you look at my tummy for a bit... I love it when he pushes on my tummy and leaves his, hand/elbow/foot/knee there for me to tickle.
While leaving the hospital I asked Jared if he thought Mary had to tinkle as much as I do... I bet they had to pull that donkey over every 5 minutes!

54 days to go!! Yay! :)

Bradford/Hamilton Thanksgiving 2010

This year we had Thanksgiving at Mom's house because of the Alabama vs. Auburn game. Codie's boyfriend's (see past post, Ed's First Sawgrass Adventure) family was able to join us later on. Here are a few pics from our fun day!

Uncle B, Papa Grandaddy, Andy and Calli's back (I received a bit of grief for taking a picture during the prayer but it was a picturesque moment!)

 Clint's back, Calli, Nonnie, Grandmother, Papa and Grandaddy getting their meal, yum!

 Clint, Codie and Calli

 Luke, Chase and Joe

 Joe, Papa, Uncle B, Uncle Andy and Grandaddy... Papa showing them how he is the master of the iPhone now. :)
 Chase and Colton

 Prego shot of me.

 Me, Calli, Codie, and Aunt Teresa
 Mom and Me

 Aunt Teresa and Mom

Luke and Cade

Miami found a friend!

 Nonnie and Uncle B

 Jared helping Calli with her Accounting homework

Just hanging out.

 Joe and Andy give us a concert.

Uncle B, Papa, Nonnie, and Grandma Punders listening to Joe and Andy play

Foursquare time!! They wouldn't let my pregers self play... :( So, I took pics!
 Chase, Jared, Calli and Colton

 Brian, Jared, Colton and Clint

 Brian, Jared and Chase

 Colton, Brian, Clint and Codie... not sure if it was in or not. ;)

 On lookers, Teresa, Mr. Marynowitz, Mrs. Marynowitz and Mom

 Mrs. Marynowitz, Mom and Grandaddy

 Brian and Codie

 Ed was able to make it for a little while! (This pic turned out fuzzy.) :)

Marynowitz family pic!

I didn't get our family to take a group shot over Thanksgiving but I did for Christmas... coming soon. :)

Thursday, December 16

Join Us Monday for a A Worship Celebration of Christ's Birth

“Silent Night”
A worship celebration of Christ’s Birth

 Monday, December 20, 2010,
Gathering at 6:45 pm. Worship begins at 7:00.

Homewood Church of Christ

Please be our guests and join us for a special worship service celebrating our Savior’s birth. The wonderful story of Christ’s birth will be shared through a cappella music, hymns, scripture reading, drama and time for prayer and meditation on God’s greatest gift.

Plan to remain after the service for seasonal refreshments and fellowship.
For a video clip from last year, please visit:
Childcare available: nursery to 1st grade.

In the beginning God separated the light from the darkness and said "it is good". But when darkness entered the world through sin, God sent a new "light" to help us see His love, mercy and grace. When the "light" arrived, some welcomed the light, some hid from the light, and others didn’t understand it. Which one are you? ____

I'll be in the saprano section on the front row, 3rd from the left. So far I have had to take at least one bathroom break each rehersal... let's see if I can make it through the entire show with out running to the bathroom! Please pray that McBaby doesn't kick me from 7:00 to 8:30ish Monday night! :) 


Tuesday, December 14

30 Weeks Pregnant and 10 Weeks to Go!

Jared and I went to see another doctor in Dr. Gregory's practice, Dr. Favor, yesterday. I really enjoyed meeting her! Dr. Favor let me know that McBaby is right on track! My tummy is measuring at 30 cm which is exactly where he is suppose to be and his heartbeat is strong. If she had to guess McBaby will probably be a 7 1/2 pound baby if he comes on time! Jared and I were both 7 something babies so... Yay!

Whattoexpect.com says McBaby is the size of a head of lettuce (18 in, 3.2 lbs). His brain is working overtime and he can now perceive information from all five senses... although he won't be able to smell until he is outside of the amniotic fluid.

Since Jared and I decided not to do a 4D ultrasound, I thought I would share this pic that my friend Stephanie sent me from her recent trip to the Chicago Science Museum.

This is what a baby would look like at 26 weeks and 4 days.

Mommy News:
I'm doing good besides the fact that I've never been more uncomfortable with my own body!
He kicks and punches all the time now, I seriously think he gave me a fist pump yesterday... so cool!Although he does like to kick me in this one nerve that gives me a shooting pain... so when I jump from it anyone near me looks at me like I'm crazy!
We finally registered at Buy Buy Baby, Babies R Us and Target last weekend! I would advise anyone to register online first and then go check out if you want to make changes at the stores!! Registering is so overwhelming but lucky for me I have a super organized friend, Jamie, who gave us a big boost! Jared posted on FB "Our registry looks eerily similar to yours. If there was such a thing as registry plagiarism, Rachel would be guilty."  I love that he posted that but just to give you a clear picture of how our registry adventure went... we would be looking at something and trying to decide which one we want and Jared would say, "look at Jamie's, what did she get?" :)
Our nursery has been dreamed up but we have done nothing! So, hopefully we will begin putting all that together soon!

Thanks for all your prayers, keep them coming!

Tuesday, November 30

28 Weeks Along, 12 Weeks Left and a Glucose Test

I had my doctor's appointment yesterday. McBaby is measuring on schedule and his heart beat is still strong! Yea!! One of my newsletters says he is as big as a small cabbage (17 in., 2.9 lbs) but another says he is as big as an eggplant, here is our eggplant.

Yesterday, I started my morning with a bigger breakfast than my usual pop-tart while running out the door. I fixed myself French toast, yum. However, while I was waiting in the doctor's office Jared said it probably wasn't a good idea since syrup is pure sugar... oops. That got me nervous and I was sure to fail and have to take the 3 hour Glucose test next time... but I don't.

I received all my results today:
  • Glucose test was 74 which is good (over 135 is not good).
  • Red Blood Count - Hematotrit (I had my nurse spell this but can't find it so I might have misspelled her spelling, I did find Hematocrit) was 32.8 which is low (over 35 is good) so I need to start taking an iron pill... I'm only slightly anemic.
  • Red Blood Count - Hemoglobin was 11.1 which is fine (over 11 is good), since it was close they'll run this lab again next time.
  • Platelets were 149 which is slightly low (over 150 is good), they'll run this lab again next time.
Mommy News:
I'm feeling like I have more energy, which is great! I have a dozen projects in my head that I want to get done before we start on the nursery... classic nesting syndrome, I know, I'll post on one of the funny/frustrating project once we've recovered from it.
Dr. Gregory says my weight is on track but I feel she is just being nice. I feel ginormous! :)
McBaby is kicking like crazy on the lower left side of my tummy so his head is to the right. It only hurts when he kicks my bladder and a nerve... sharp pains, ouch!
I don't sleep much but I feel like I'm getting through the day better with little sleep. For those who don't know, I am a TRUE tummy sleeper. I don't even sleep on a pillow, just flat mattress.  I am still able to sleep on my stomach with a pillow between my legs mostly on my left so I don't crush McBaby's head... which is the only way I can fall asleep after getting up umpteen times to tinkle. TMI... :)

Thank you all for your prayers and keep them coming! 82 days left! :)

Friday, November 12

100 Days Left!

One hundred days until February 20th!
I will be 26 weeks on Sunday with 14 weeks to go!

My What to Expect App says McBaby is the size of a cucumber (15 in., 2.2 lbs.).

This is a google cucumber image... so cute! 

Mommy News:
I'm moving right along and he hardly ever stops moving! Which is pretty cool, I must say. I'm feeling drained but excited. I so can't wait to meet him! I do have major pregnant brain syndrome issues and am getting even more clumsy then usual; see past post that highlights my uncoordinated self, The Ugly Truth of Tennis.
Jared and I still don't have a definite name picked out but last week in the car he "un-vetoed" Cade Thomas, which is my second favorite name… progress! Unfortunately, for him, I am still being super stubborn because Mcbaby is such a Dean Thomas to me! So I am planning to call him Cade Thomas for a week and see if I might be able to convince myself that McBaby is a Dean... I mean Cade. :)

Tuesday, November 2

Right On Schedule

Jared and I were told at our last check-up that we were going to start to meet with other doctors in Gregory's practice so we met with Dr. Sparks yesterday for our 24 week check up. Compared to Dr. Gregory we waited twice as long as we usually do but I guess everyone has those days where they are behind.
When Dr. Sparks pulled out his measuring tape he said I should be around 50 cm and when he measured my tummy I was right at 50 cm. We got to hear McBaby's heart beat, loved that, 150 bpm and believe it or not my weight is even on schedule!

Here are some ultrasound pics that I forgot to post after our last ultrasound appointment.

 He started opening and closing his mouth right before she took this image.

Here is a great profile shot. :)

Mommy News:
I'm doing great! I feel huge and need to post some baby bump pics but I haven't taken any... bad me, I know. Jared and I have been out of town every weekend the past two months so me being a bit pooped is probably because we have been busy! I'm still sleeping on my stomach... I have found a way but don't know how long it will last. I eat everything in site but am trying to eat several small meals. TUMS are a must and I keep them with me all the time. I feel McBaby kicking sporadically throughout the day and am absolutely loving that! I don't feel his hiccups yet but have been told they are coming.
I'm counting down the days, 110, until I meet McBaby!! I can't wait! :)

Google Analytics and Your Blogger Blog

Here is a YouTube video on how to add Google Analytics code to your Blogger blog for all your tracking needs.

If you are not comfortable working with hard html code then allow someone else to do this for you. Friends are welcome to comment that they want me to do it for them, let me know your email address and I'll follow up with an email on what I need from you. I can show you a few reports that have been helpful to me as well. :)

Thursday, October 28

Yes, Us Webbed Toe People Can Have Pedicures!

Ok, I'm going to show my dorky side, I sometimes check to see what keyword phrases people type into google to find my blog...

Someone actually googled "can people with webbed toes get pedicures"? Seriously? Wow! In case anyone else is curious, the answer is yes! :)

My freshly pedicured toes are on the right. :)

Tuesday, October 12

Kicking My Bladder and a Miracle Pill! 21 Weeks

I guess I've been feeling Mcbaby for a couple of weeks now but last Sunday I was sure of it and yelled for Jared to come feel him! He kicked a few times for his daddy but since then Mcbaby has found it more amusing to kick my bladder making my bathroom run count RIDICULOUS!

babycenter.com says:
Your baby now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long — the length of a carrot. You may soon feel like he's practicing martial arts as he initial fluttering movements turn into full-fledged kicks and nudges. You may also discover a pattern to his activity as you get to know her better. In other developments, your baby's eyebrows and lids are present now, and if you're having a girl, her vagina has begun to form as well.

Mommy News: 
  • While I have way more energy then the first trimester I do get tired quickly.
  • I've never slept well but it has gotten worse with my many tinkle trips and having to be careful when sleeping on my stomach. 
  • I experienced my first case of heartburn!! OMG! I thought I was dieing and since Jared nor I have ever had heartburn we didn't have any TUMS in the house. So one night last weekend from around 9:30 PM until 3:00 AM I was in agony! Needless to say we are now fully stocked in that miracle pill, TUMS! :)

PS. I keep finding out more and more friends are pregnant so if you haven't told me yet please let me know when your due date is and what your having! We'll add you to our prayer list! :) 

Tuesday, October 5

I'm Half Way There, 20 Wks!

We had our 20 week ultrasound and doctors appointment this week. This "would be" when we find out the gender but we cheated and went to Virgina College, see A Tiny Penis is Growing Inside Me. (BTW> Don't tell real ultrasound people you went to Virgina College to get a free ultrasound... they get a little scrappy!) Mom, Papa and Katie came to the big show! We are so glad they came, we ran into Dr. Gregory in the elevator so they were able to meet my doctor too! :)

He is a confirmed BOY!

I didn't take pics during our yummy brunch at Another Broken Egg so oh well... it was funny that we all ordered different things. The Eggs Benedict (an English muffin, our finest ham & two medium poached eggs, covered with our creamy hollandaise & chopped chives) and Cinnamon roll french toast (thick slices from our cinnamon roll, grilled w/ our famous french toast batter, layered with warm cream cheese icing, topped w/ banana’s foster sauce, a mix of warm berries & whipped cream) were delicious!

I'll upload the ultrasound pics later... Jared left them in Papa's truck after they played golf. :)

Monday, September 27

Legally Blonde the Musical

Codie, Alicia and I went to see Legally Blonde the Musical this weekend at the BJCC. It was so funny! I love it!

Here is my favorite song. I love the role Emmett plays in the musical!

Thursday, September 2

A Tiny Penis is Growing Inside Me

Jared and I scheduled a free ultrasound at Virgina College today! It's a boy! I was hoping for a little girl to dress up but I've been bracing myself (I actually wrote most of this post yesterday, I just had a feeling).

We were Jennifer's (our ultrasound student) final exam. She did a great job and the best part was that we got to watch him for a long time! He would flip from side to side, kick, hiccup, and suck his thumb. Jennifer said she has never seen a baby suck his thumb the entire time like ours. He was very ok with posing for her because at one point she asked him very nicely to stretch out his leg and he did! :)

Here he is sucking his thumb :)

Jared lit up when she said "here is his little turtle"  
Our baby boy's middle name is "Thomas" because it is Jared's middle name and his dad's first name but the first name is still up in the air... What do yall think, 1, 2, or 3?
  1. Caleb Thomas (I've always loved the name "Caleb" but it has gotten really popular.)
  2. Cade Thomas (Love the name but Luke named his dog "Cade.")
  3. Dean Thomas (This is my favorite name but Jared says "Dean" is a girl name.)
My cousin Codie reminded me of a Sex and the City quote that made me laugh...
Carrie (to Miranda): Do you realize you're growing a teeny tiny penis inside you? That is so sci-fi!

Please continue to pray for our baby boy! :)

Tuesday, August 31

15 Weeks

Jared and I had another visit yesterday morning with Dr. Gregory. We didn't get an ultrasound (sigh) but we got to hear the strong heartbeat. We told Gregory that we decided to not get any genetic testing done but I still haven't decided what my birth plan will be. Believe it or not I’m leaning toward no epidural but I DO RESERVE THE RIGHT to chicken out! … I’ll let you know. :)

Best quotes of our visit:
Gregory (whilst checking for the heartbeat): Here she is... here she is again... She's just all over the place!
Jared (glancing at me with an accusatory look and sarcastically replying): Great!
Me (laughing hysterically): That means she's like me!
Gregory: What do they say... You pay for your raising!

I'm now 15 weeks (the size of an apple or orange)! 174 days to go! :) Here is a slightly disturbing yet cool video of an animated baby at 15-20 weeks.

Babycenter.com's update on baby: "Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). She's busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she's likely to move away from the beam."

Mommy News:
I'm feeling much better overall! I have more energy which is fabulous! :)
No new weird cravings... just milk and McDonald's. However I do eat ALL THE TIME!

Our next doctor's appointment with an ultrasound is October 4... but I just got an appointment to get a free ultrasound at Virginia College this Thursday!! So, we'll know if we are having a boy or a girl this Thursday! Yay! :) SO SO SO excited!!

Please keep us in your prayers!

Friday, August 27

Gender Predictions

Since I'm only 14 weeks pregnant and my next apt will be August 30 (only 15 weeks pregnant) I probably won't know the gender until the end of September. So why not try some gender prediction tools for fun! :)

Here are the tests and the results that I found:

Chinese Pregnancy Calendar - Boy

Old Wives Tales (I'm not quite far enough along to answer some of these but here it goes):

Q: If you prefer sleeping on your left side, you'll have a boy. Right side? Girl.
A: I sleep on my stomach still but mostly have my head facing the right side. Girl

Q: Extreme nausea means you are having a girl.
A: I have major nausea! Girl

Q: If your hands are dry, you are having a boy; soft -- expect a girl.
A: More dry, but I thought that was because I have to tinkle all the time so I wash my hands way more times a day than normal. Boy

Q: If you're craving citrus, you're having a girl.
A: I do love me some oranges! Girl

Q: If your skin breaks out, expect a girl.
A: My skin hasn't been to bad but worse then normal. Girl

Q: If you feel graceful during pregnancy, you'll have a girl. Clumsy? It's a boy.
A: I'm super clumsy anyway and have NEVER felt graceful. Boy

Q: If you gain weight in your face, it means you're having a girl.
A: I don't think so. Boy

Q: Craving salt? Expect a boy. A little something sweet? You're having a girl.
A: I've never been a sweets lover... I'd pick french fries over cake any day! Boy

Q: If your right breast is larger than the left, you are having a girl. If the left is larger, a boy.
A: No idea. Inconclusive

Q: Feeling extremely moody? Expect a girl.
A: I'm super spacey but I don't think I've been moody... Jared thinks I have. Girl
Try These Scenarios

Q: Dangle a chain with a charm over your palm. It is swings back and forth: boy. In a circle: girl.
A: Back and forth. Boy

Q: How would you show someone your hands? Palms up? It's a girl. Down? A boy.
A: If someone asked me to show them my hands I would show them palms up. Girl

Q: Hang a ring on a chain over your belly. Swings back and forth? It's a girl. In a circular motion, a boy.
A: Circular. Boy

Q: If a toddler boy shows interest in your belly, you'll have a girl. If he ignores you, it's a boy.
A: My nephew ignored my belly a few weeks ago. Boy

Q: Guess the baby's sex by eating garlic. If the smell seeps out of your pores -- boy. No scent -- girl.
A: No thanks! Inconclusive

Q: If you pick up a key by the round end, you're having a boy. If it's by the long end? A girl.
A: Long end. Girl

Conception Clues

Q: If your age and year of conception are both even or odd, it's girl. One even, one odd means a boy.
A: 26 and 2010. Girl

Q: If the baby's heart beats more than 150 times per minute, you'll have a girl. Less than 150, a boy.
A: High 150s. Girl

Q: A child tends to be of the same sex as the parent who is less stressed at the time of conception.
A: No idea. Inconclusive

Q: If you dream about having a girl, you will wind up having a boy and vice versa.
A: In all my dreams I'm just pregnant. However I did dream that I had a dog the other day and went to see Dr. Gregory highly ticked off because the ultrasound shows a human... I wasn't really worried about if the dog was a male or a female. I woke up crying! Inconclusive

Amazingpregnancy.com/oldwivestales - 80% chance of a boy and 20% chance of a girl. Girl

Drano Test - Q: The drano test combines a tablespoon of Drano and urine together. If the mixture turns green, it’s a girl. If it turns blue, it’s a boy.
A: So, when I read how to do this it grossed me out. Inconclusive

Branches - Q: The eye test is when a “V” or “branches” appear when you pull down the skin under your left eye. If you see a “V” or “branches” in the white part, you’re having a girl.
A: I see branches! Girl

Headaches: - Q: If you are having headaches, you might be carrying a boy.
A: Many a headache. Boy

Baby Names - Q: It is said that when you can only think of specific names for a boy or a girl, you will have that particularly baby.
A: We only mostly agree on a boy name. Boy

Childbirth.org - 33% boy and 66% chance of having a girl (this is mostly Inconclusive because I'm not far enough along to answer some of these questions.)

Girl Total = 12
Boy Total = 10

This is really close... but I think I'll rely on the ultrasound results!

Tuesday, August 24

100 Days Pregnant!

We are excited to announce that we have been pregnant for 100 days! Yay! At 14 weeks I am in my second trimester. I'm due February 20th. :) 

Our little bean's debut during my 7th week (about the size of a blueberry) on July 8th. This was so amazing! We could hear the baby's heartbeat which was going really fast. (You'll notice on the ultrasound pic there is a dark spot, about the size of the baby, which is a fluid sac... Dr. Gregory said that more times then not this should just go away but women who have these are more prone to a miscarriage. Gregory scheduled another ultrasound 4 weeks later so she could keep an eye on the fluid sac. Thank God this did go away and a perk was that we got an extra ultrasound to see the baby again!)

On August 2 during my 11th week (size of a lime) our prayers were answered, no sac! This is a pic of baby looking like she is sucking her thumb. :)

Our sweet ultrasound person (not sure of the technical name) turned on the 4D and took a pic. The entire time we watched baby she was kicking her feet and waving her arms... she'll either be a dancer or a cheerleader! If by some chance she is a he... he'll be a very rowdy golfer! :) Her heartbeat is still strong and she is measuring 3 days bigger than her due date.

Mommy News

  • Nonprego I hate milk, the taste is just disgusting to me but now I love it and can't get enough.
  • Most days I ACHE for McDonald's, my sis calls the baby "Mcbaby" (Grey's fans will like that... like, McDreamy and McSteamy).
I'm starting to show! I have always liked baby doll or empire waisted tops and dresses so a lot of my clothes already look maternity-ish but all my work pants are quite snug!

I have had some true crying time devoted to the fact that I cannot ride horses for another 180 days plus recovery time... sigh. :( I am having major with drawls and we have a Sawgrass trip planned this weekend! I haven't fallen off a horse in years but because there is a strong possibility my doctor said it was not a good idea... my planning to still ride but just walk the horses was quickly squashed when Jared more emphatically said I'm not allowed to chance it. So, this blog will be full of news of our life after the PLUS sign the next 26ish weeks instead of fun horse stories... I may have to tell some old stories from back in the day to keep it interesting. :)

A book the hospital gave us also says I can't play tennis because it is considered a very "jarring" sport. These type sports could possibly detach the baby from the placenta. So, no more posts on my tennis progress... if you could call it that. :)

Please help us pray for baby Woodward's progress and our soon to be parenting skills! :)

Tuesday, July 13

Church helps families with adoptions

This is a heart pulling article from the Tuscaloosa News this past Sunday about my home church, University Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa.

Church helps families with adoptions

University Church of Christ ministry helps families with the adoption process
By Tiffany Stanton Special to The Tuscaloosa News Published: Sunday, July 11, 2010 at 3:30 a.m.

Logan and Lindsey Thrasher know enough about international adoption law to teach a class.

By May they’d already been preparing to wait at least a year and make some extended visits abroad to bring home the one-year-old boy they’d expected to adopt from Uganda.
But last week, the Northport couple filled an unfinished nursery with twin girls born May 4. And Lindsey Thrasher says she’s not sure how she and her husband would have handled the twists and turns of their adoption experience without the prayers and support of the 13 other families at their church who were also in the process of adopting.

“When the opportunity to adopt the girls came up, we had many people on their knees in prayer,” Thrasher said, recalling the way others involved in University Church of Christ’s orphan care ministry responded to their news. “They were so encouraging and also challenged us to be putting our beliefs into practice.”

The other families in the group knew that she and her husband had decided to adopt from Uganda. The couple had shared their progress as they completed the paperwork and research necessary for an international adoption.

So when Thrasher received a phone call on May 3, asking if she and her husband would like to adopt twins expected in July, the other families were able to help the couple make their decision. And when the twins were born the very next day, they urged the Thrashers to search their hearts and Bibles for an answer.

That’s exactly what Duane Dixon, the church’s campus minister, hoped would happen when he brought the families together in the ministry, created to help adopting couples keep their faith in God. Dixon said the process is one Christians are called to endure.

“Faith-filled churches must take the lead, and should be the No. 1 advocate for children without families,” he said in a recent e-mail. “The very scriptures which should direct our lives as Christians could not be more clear — the people of God, as described in the Bible, are charged to care for orphans.”

He says he became convinced of the need — and of Christians’ call to fill it — after a night of prayer in spring 2009, when his wife, Jenny, said she wanted to adopt. He wasn’t so sure, until he awoke that morning convinced that the care of orphans was a Christian duty as well as a joy.

In the following months, as he, his wife and three biological children began the process of adopting an infant girl from Ethiopia, he discovered that several others in their church were also adopting.

“It wasn’t like a bunch of us got together and said ‘Let’s all adopt,’ ” said Tesney Davis, who, along with her husband, comprised one of the first couples to join what had originally been a support group. “It was many of us just realizing that we were all going through the same thing at the same time. And I strongly believe it’s the Holy Spirit working.”

Dixon said he’s modeling the church’s orphan care ministry after one begun at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.

The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham also has an orphan care program, Dixon said. But he says he doesn’t know of any others, and he’s hoping that University Church of Christ might help lead the way.

“Many families choose not to adopt because the task simply seems too daunting,” he said. “This new ministry team hopes to blaze a new trail and create a support network that makes adoption completely possible for many more.”

Lindsey Thrasher said the group’s prayers and support alone might have been enough to carry her and her husband through their adoption experience.

But the families in the ministry went a step further, buying two new cribs and a roomful of nursery necessities for the twins, then lending the couple a van so they could bring both girls home from North Carolina. And Dixon says the group has started a fund so they might be able to help others with the costs of the adoption itself.

Davis hopes the ministry will introduce many more Christians to the idea of adoption and convince some to make a commitment. She wants more people to think about adopting children with special needs, as and her husband Greg are doing. The child they’re adopting lives in Russia and has Down syndrome. Davis and her husband are waiting for the documents they will need to set a date and meet him, but they’ve been at this point before — and it’s a story Davis isn’t not sure she wants to tell.

“It’s tough, because we don’t want to scare people away from adoption,” she said. “But I think that one of the things that is most true about adoption is that it’s a rollercoaster ride, and a group like what we’ve started here is a wonderful thing, and makes the ride so much easier, because we have the support of others who are going through some of the same things.”

The Davises were eight months into the process of adopting a little boy named Sergey when they received a phone call. Tesney Davis said they were excited to hear the phone ring.

“We got the call, and we thought it would be our travel date,” she recalled. “But it was our agent telling us that the adoption had fallen through.”

She said it felt as though she’d experienced a death, and they were crushed. They grieved for days, but the support came pouring in, as did reminders that they were doing this for a higher purpose.

“We really feel that adoption is close to the heart of God, and Satan does all he can to make the process difficult,” Davis said. “So we face it with that kind of mentality, as a group prepared for challenges.”

Families in the orphan care ministry called, emailed and prayed for the Davises. Their encouragement helped the couple, who have a biological son, decide to try again with another child from the same area.

“I think God takes care of things,” Davis said, describing the feeling of peace she said she’s felt ever since. “You’ll face difficulties and hiccups, but God will sustain you.”

The Thrashers agree.

Lindsey Thrasher said she and her husband are thrilled with the way things turned out, and hope to continue in their effort to adopt a boy from Uganda once the twins are settled in. But the couple has realized that even good news can turn the world upside down.

“We had learned so much about international adoption, and we were prepared for a long wait,” she said of the day a distant relative called to tell her that she knew a young girl who was looking to place twins. “It was a little shocking, but the more we prayed about it, the more we realized we wanted to pursue it.”

She and others in the ministry said they hope their adoption stories will educate the community about the ups and downs of adoption. And Dixon wants to spread the word about what he sees as a world crisis.
His night of prayer opened his eyes, he says, and led him to conduct extensive research and make a congregational confession regarding orphan care.

He discovered that, according to some estimates, 12 million orphans are added each day to the 145 million that exist throughout the world. As he read his Bible, he said he saw more evidence that Christians are charged with their care.

Psalm 10:14, for instance, told him, “The helpless put their trust in you. You defend the orphans.” Psalm 68:5 says “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy.”

His reading also convinced him that by caring for orphans, Christians are imitating God.

Deuteronomy issues the reminder, he says: “True justice must be given to foreigners living among you and to orphans ... always remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God redeemed you from Slavery.”

“We believe God has adopted us into his family through the work of Jesus,” Dixon said. “And so, if we are to imitate our creator, we must be people who adopt and show concern for orphans. How can we not? It’s our own story.”

Monday, June 28

Super Suppers with Friends

Martina won a free dinner where she got to invite ten couples! It was so fun and yummy, we also got to make two dinners to take home and two side dishes!

Martina, Jamie, Cortney and me

Me and Jamie

Dinner is served... Trey, Cortney and Jamie fixing a plate.

Jared watching as Camron and Trey made their take home dinners.

Me, Jamie, Cortney and Martina in our Super Suppers aprons.

Jared and me

The group.

What a cool concept read more about Super Suppers!