Monday, March 18, 2013

John and Lora are Hoping to Adopt!

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Lora is Spencer’s cousin and she and her husband John are some of the kindest people.  When we were first beginning the approval process, they had us over for breakfast and we talked about adoption for a couple of hours.  John and Lora were blessed to find their sweet little Maya through adoption. 

We learned so much from their perspective and experience when we were first starting out on our own journey.  Now, John and Lora are hoping to adopt again. 

Please take a moment to visit their blog, take a peek at their adoption profile, or maybe share their information. 

Lora is hosting a month long adoption bonanza, where she will be sharing adoption information, factoids, and challenges.  So far she has written about: their families adoption journey, adoption etiquette, and all of the requirements to be approved for adoption. 

Lora is an excellent writer and I think you will learn a lot by reading her words.  I asked her if I could interview her about her adoption experience, and she graciously agreed. 

Could you give us just a quick intro about your family?

Quick intro: John and I have been happily married for seven years. He always tells people he fell in love with me at first sight and then took a year to convince me. :) John is a black belt in Taekwondo and works as an engineer at a Utah-based company. Lora taught elementary school for five years before staying home with Maya. She loves scrapbooking, photography, blogging, and reading (you can literally always find a stack of books on her night stand). Maya is our energetic three-year-old. She loves to play with friends, run, jump, and be a mommy to her dollies. We just started her in Taekwondo, and I do believe that she is the cutest Little Dragon I have ever seen, ever!

What were the hardest moments when you went through the adoption process the first time? What were the best?

I think the hardest moments during our first adoption was the waiting. Always the waiting. There is no control in waiting. The best moments were meeting Maya's birth parents and then then having them choose us while her birth mother was in labor. We had two days to get ready for a new baby, and they were the craziest, busiest, happiest, most exciting days ever. It was like taking nine months of pregnancy and condensing it into two days (crazy emotions included).

What was something you didn't know about adoption, or maybe a misconception you had about adoption before you adopted Maya?

Before adopting Maya we were crazy, stupid scared of open adoption. We just couldn't fathom how it would be ok to still have contact with the birth family after placement. Now that we have Maya, we understand. The birth family is an important part of who she is, and we wouldn't want to loose that. It's also fun to see traits that Maya shares with her birth mother and father.

I'm always on the hunt for good adoption literature, do you have a favorite children's book about adoption?

I don't actually have any children's books on adoption. *Gasp!* I am hoping to write one myself. :)

You talked a little bit in one of your recent blog posts about adoption etiquette; how do you encourage others to use positive adoption language (especially in front of your daughter)? The older my kiddo gets, the more I think about ways to respond to inappropriate adoption questions. I would love to hear your input.

I think the best way that we can encourage positive adoption language is to talk about it, blog about it, and use it ourselves. I also go to local high schools and middles schools to give an adoption presentation in connection with FSA, and that is one of the topics that we discuss. I love it! I get to teach for a day about a subject that I am passionate about. I think the best solution that John and I have found to deal with inappropriate adoption comments is a sense of humor. I am pretty sure that 99% of the time people say something inappropriate or offensive it is unintentional because they aren't familiar with the intricacies of adoption. I just know that we are going to encounter comments, situations, and conversations that a typical family wouldn't have to deal with (especially since Maya doesn't look like us). We also plan on being very open with Maya about adoption, so that she can grow up understanding her story and how to respond to comments she might get. Describe your open adoption relationship.

There is a whole spectrum of openness. Some adoptive families only correspond annually, while others see each other on a weekly or daily basis. John and I enjoy an open adoption with Maya’s birth families. We e-mail them frequently, post regularly on our family blog, and visit in person a few times a year. When Maya's birth parents come to visit, their parents (Maya's birth grandparents) usually come too. This girl is very loved.

Do you have any adoption role models?

Adoption role models? Hmmm? I admire any adoptive couple that can stay positive through the hard moments and the waiting. I also really admire our friends and family who have embraced this new culture along with us and have tried to understand our sorrows and joys connected with adoption.

Thanks so much for sharing, Lora!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pick Your Pumpkin


I decided that we needed some new fall decorations, so I made a happy little batch of pumpkins and dressed them up with tulle, doilies, and pearls.   


Right now they live on top of our piano.  Which still needs some work to get it up to its full festive potential.  But it’s a start. 


My punkin’ with the punkin’s. 


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Help Them Find Their Baby: Daniel and Christy


If you wander around Daniel and Christy's house you'll find some big clues about what it is they love and do.


You'll find TONS of books, many of them seem to feature Star Wars, drawing, and photography. Up in a cabinet, sit a stack of 12x12 scrapbooks that chronicle the last nine years of their life together with everything to camping trips, family get-togethers, and Disneyland adventures to photographs of quiet moments and journal entries about life's big questions.

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In the hamper, you'll likely find a lot of running clothes in exactly Christy's size. Running shoes are tucked under the left side of bed.

There's a green bag that usually hangs out near the living room couch with sketch paper, pencils, and watercolor paints. Some of the best drawings have Daniel's initials and the date in the lower right hand corner.

In the hallway there are tennis balls rolling around and sometimes a few muddy paw prints near the back door.

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You'll also find a nursery. It has children's books with colorful illustrations on a shelf and little onesies tucked away in the dresser drawer. There's a rocking chair with a handmade quilt hanging off the back near the window. It is perfectly still, no evidence of used burp rags or an runaway pacifier. It's clear this room is waiting for someone special.


Daniel and Christy are eagerly waiting for the blessing of adoption in their lives. There are so many things that this family loves, but they would love nothing more than a sweet little baby to welcome home. Daniel and Christy can't wait to see what new little clues will be left around the house as that little one grows!


Please stop by their adoption website here

Or take a look at their profile here

Their adoption video is SUPER cute, so be sure to check that out while you’re visiting their website.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Our Wish Come True Page


Here’s another page from Mason’s baby scrapbook. 

Believe it or not, we actually got those fortunes the day Mason came home from the hospital.  Crazy huh?  It had been the longest, most amazing, spiritual, difficult, beautiful, joyful, EMOTIONAL day ever.  I’ve decided not to share too many details beyond that about placement day.

But I will say that when we left the hospital with Baby Boy, we were elated.  I rode home in the backseat so I could look at him for the entire car ride.  He was perfect. 

We stopped and got dinner before going to Spencer’s Mom’s house (where we were staying until paperwork cleared and we could return to our home in Idaho).  I had been too excited to eat much all day (I’ll be honest, the past couple of days) and we were both starving.  So we grabbed some Chinese food. 

I am not superstitious.  I don’t believe in fortunes.  But I do believe in tender mercies.  And I did find the messages to be a happy little coincidence.  We HAD Just witnessed a miracle.  The greatest of our lives.  And our dearest wish HAD finally come true.

And now here we are three months later, and I’m watching our little miracle sleep.  Our family is so blessed.   

Thursday, June 14, 2012

April Page

April best

Another page for my little guy’s baby book!  I love the photo on his announcement where he is winking because he does that ALL the time!  Often and especially when he’s eating he’ll just open one eye.  Silly boy. 


Monday, June 11, 2012

Photo Booth


I love love love a photo booth!  I am probably the last person in the world to discover this website, but it is super cool!  I think my friend Katie shared it on her blog a while back, but I couldn’t find the exact post it was in.  Sorry Katie!  I have been having waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much fun playing with it since.  So in case you were living under a rock like myself, I thought I would share it here too.  Go take pictures!

Sunday, June 10, 2012


You may or may not remember this photo.  It was posted on this blog a long time ago (here), but was taken long before that.  In fact, it was taken over three years ago at this point. 

{Photo by Lynely}

I love it.  It reminds me of my dear friend, Lynley.  One of my most favorite people in the whole wide world.  We have been through some pretty rough times together.  In fact, when we had the above little photo shoot, there were a lot of hard things going on in both our lives.  At that time, Spencer and I were just in the beginning stages of discovering that we may never be able to bear children.  It was a heartbreaking time for me. 

But my sweet Lynley and I adopted a little motto to get us through.  “Things are looking up!”  We would repeat our mantra to each other every day.  Even though sometimes one or both of us was hurting, we would remind each other that things would work out.  We were going to be happy.  Heavenly Father had good things in store. 

Fast forward three years.  Spencer and I had just adopted our little boy.  And as we drove around the town that I had called home some years earlier, I couldn’t help but marvel at where life had taken me.  When we drove past the cheerful wall that had been such a symbol for Lynley and me, I begged Spencer to stop so we could get out and take a few pictures.  

hot air balloon wall 2

hot air ballon baby
(Clearly Baby Boy was just as delighted as I was to be taking a picture in front of the hot air balloon wall :))

I could have never known during my times of sorrow what joy awaited me. 


Just recently, I had two different friends share the same scripture with me.  They were truly both inspired to have shared the same thing, because it is something that I have given a lot of thought to since.  Thank you, both of you, for sharing your thoughts along with this scripture. 

Alma 36:

19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my apains bno more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.

20 And oh, what ajoy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!

21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.

I had never before thought of this scripture in the context of my struggle with infertility.  And now I will never be able to read it without thinking of my experience. 

Exquisite.  There couldn’t be a better word to describe it. 

And I daresay that I could never have felt such pure happiness had I not experienced the years of sorrow first.  The lows make the highs that much sweeter. 

Of course I would have been happy had my little boy and I found each other right away.  But I do think there are fewer moments together that I take for granted.  Every single second together is a gift.

I think often of my friends who are still waiting.  I wish I could tell you when your patience would be rewarded too.  I feel like I haven’t talked as much about waiting lately.  I wouldn’t want my words to sound trite because my wait is over.  I realize that it is easy for me to say from where I stand now that things will work out.  But keep looking up!  They will! 

Elder Holland said it best.

“Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come.” 

And when they come, I know that you too will remember your pains no more.      

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

1 Week Old Page

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I have been having SO much fun lately working on my little guy’s baby scrapbook!  I haven’t had lots of time to sit down and work for long stretches of time, so I’ve been stealing away to my craft room here and there when I get the chance.

I still kind of really hate my handwriting.  I don’t know how the heck my handwriting still looks like a sixth graders, but I am trying my very hardest to get over it because my family will probably one day appreciate my imperfect handwriting more than a perfect typed up journaling spot.  That’s what I keep telling myself anyway. 

The other night I stayed up way late to work for a while, because I was having so much fun I couldn’t stop. 

It sure helps that I have such a cute subject matter to scrapbook.

And he has continued to perfect that impish little smile of his. 

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He’s getting pretty darn good at it. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Brian and Amanda: Help Them Find Their Baby


Brian loves... chocolate chip cookies, browsing in a bookstore, taking  drives through the country, nights with pizza and popcorn, breakfast for  dinner, listening to music, drawing, playing tennis, the first day of  the year that really feels like fall, when it snows on Christmas, and  going out to eat with Amanda.

Amanda loves... baking, pinterest, finding cute clothes for an awesome  deal, Sunday naps, checking things off of a list, her beautiful cat, the  smell of TIDE, getting a mani/pedi, diet coke with ice, a deep tissue  massage, and going to the movies with Brian. 


We have been married for 8 1/2 wonderful years. We love and adore  children and can't wait to have a family of three! After five years of  trying to have a baby, our hearts are turned to adoption. We dream and  pray for a little baby to come to our home. We know that through  adoption, our dream will become a reality. We pray for our potential  birth parents as well. That you may find peace and strength in whatever  decision you make. We know that our perfect match is waiting for us.

our ldsfs profile:
our adoption blog:
our email:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Family Photo Shoot: The Satkos


Take a look at this cute family!  My sister and her family came to visit us for a few days.  It was so fun to see them!  Of course we had to take a few family photos while they were here. 


My sweet little niece, Evelyn has discovered her toes.  She kept poking her foot up in every picture.  I love it though!  It is so her!  


I love her dress.  It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!!!  IT’S SO FLUFFYYYY!!! (10 points)


I adore her smile.  Pretty much, for Ev, smile = open your mouth as wide as you possibly can.  Cutie. 


Thanks for coming to visit guys!  We miss you already!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Little Artist

lil artist 4

I sure hope that one day he enjoys creating as much as I do. 

lil artist 5


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Don’t Ignore Infertility

So this week is National Infertility Awareness Week, and RESOLVE (an organization which promotes infertility awareness) is sponsoring a blogging challenge.  This years theme is: Don’t Ignore Infertility.

I actually feel like what I wrote about last year was in line with this very topic.  And as I re-read it, I have had a difficult time coming up with what I wanted to say.  I sometimes worry that I harp too much on the best way to approach someone struggling with infertility.  I wouldn’t want to seem bitter.  Nor would I want to seem like I sit around waiting for people to say the wrong thing.  I’m not.  I don’t. 

I do think that infertility is just one of those trials that is hard to approach.  Because it involves a couple’s intimate life, the subject becomes somewhat taboo.  For that reason, lots of people don’t approach it at all.  This makes it a very isolating experience.  My hope is (by sharing my perspective as a woman who struggles with infertility) that I can help others who don’t have to experience this trial first hand know how to reach out to those who do. 

Infertility is excruciating.  It is so hard to lose the baby you hoped for.  It is hard to lose your fondest dream of becoming a parent, of creating a child with you sweetheart.  Imagine it: one of the greatest gifts that God has given his children is to procreate.  And you are not able to participate.  

Along with the obvious pain of being unable to conceive, there are more subtle losses as well.  Those who struggle with infertility may struggle with identity issues.  I was raised knowing that the most important role I would ever fill would be that of mother.  Particularly within the church, parenthood is emphasized strongly and constantly.  Rightly so, for there is nothing more important in this life than families.  Of course the principles of righteous parenting should be taught frequently.  But when you are unable to be the person you thought you would be, it can be difficult to know where you fit in.  You are reminded continually that what you so desperately desire is just out of reach.  And you worry that no matter how hard you try, you will always fall short of the person you were meant to become. 

And there is the loss of relating with your peers.  Should you pause and really listen, you might be surprised to note just how often topics such as breastfeeding and toilet training come up when a group of women get together.  Naturally these things would be discussed.  When you are mother whose world revolves around her children, of course they would be the topic of conversation.  I’m not saying that they shouldn’t be.  But I am saying, I know what it feels like to sit and smile politely because I don’t have a labor story to swap.   I know what it feels like to melt into the background when the conversation turns to how many children to have and when to have them. 

Infertility is a lonely road.  The kindest thing you could possibly do for a friend who is struggling with infertility is to walk with them.  Please don’t ignore them.  Please don’t ignore their pain.

Maybe you could remember to give them a hug on mothers day. 

Maybe you could tell them in a private, quiet setting that you are expecting baby #3.   

Maybe you could be mindful of the blessing you have been given to carry children.  I think one of the most heartbreaking things a person struggling with infertility has to bear is listening to others complain about being pregnant.  I understand pregnancy is difficult.  By all means complain to your husband, mother, and other fertile friends.  But please, oh please do not complain to someone who’s infertile about weight gain or morning sickness.  I would give anything for that, and so would many others like me.  Complaining about being pregnant to someone who struggles with infertility is like complaining of a broken leg to someone who is paralyzed from the waist down. 

Maybe you could tell them you are praying for them. 

These gestures are simple to offer, but HUGELY appreciated.  No one likes to be ignored. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Where I’ve Been

(Recognize those ‘shrooms?)

Lately I have been snuggling with this little gnome. 

There simply hasn’t been time for much blogging.  You see, the most alarming thing has happened.  Since the moment he was placed in my arms, time has sped up.  I can’t believe he’s three weeks old already. 

There doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to smooch that double chin and play with those little toes.  Every time I look at him he’s different. 

All that waiting for his arrival has made me really want to relish each moment we have together.  I have been really trying to focus on being present.  On giving him my full undivided attention when I feed him, burp him, change him, or hold him.  On enjoying the moments he’s wrapped up tightly in my arms or making cute little slurpy noises while I give him his bottle.  Because I know they’ll be gone all to soon. 

Creating quilts or scrapbook pages or clothes will have to wait.  Right now I’m creating memories. 

Things might be a bit quiet around this little blog for a while.  But I do hope to write a post for National Infertility Awareness Week (which is going on right now).  And I have been trying to record all of the details surrounding our sweethearts birth.  You can read all about that here.       

I feel like I say this a lot, but I really do feel so grateful to all my friends who have shared the journey with me.  We have felt so much love and support for our little family these past weeks.  The well wishes, sweet little gifts, and encouraging words have meant the world to us.  We just feel nothing but gratitude.  Thanks so much for celebrating with us! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chevron Table


So my sister gave me this cheerful little yellow table.  I think she got it at a consignment sale, but decided it was taking up more room than it was worth.  So I delightedly took it off her hands. 

It was originally solid yellow.  The paint job was deceptively easy to do.  I had the masking tape and leftover white paint from our baby’s changing table and rocking chair on hand.

I made a couple quick charts to hopefully help you get what I’m talking about.  So to create these stripes I started by drawing a light pencil dot in the very center of the table.  I wouldn’t just eyeball it; I would measure.  Then I created a grid pattern by spacing several more dots about 5 inches apart from each other.  Like so:

It’s important that you start from the center so that your stripes are centered when you’re all finished. 

Then connect the dots with masking tape making a zig zag.  Like so:


Then, just fill in every other stripe.  Keeping in mind that what is covered will be yellow and what is yellow will be white: 



I know the colors all wonky.  I took this at night in my garage.  But you get the idea.  Oh, and I taped up the sides of the table too.  The legs detached thank goodness. 

Paint. Paint. Paint.  Un-tape.  Enjoy.


Cute, no? 


Oh, and how do you like them ‘shrooms?  I sculpted those for a little project I have coming up.  But for now they look pretty cute just chillin’ on the table. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hard At Work


I have been SICK SICK these past few days, but am finally on the mend and excited to finish up some projects I’ve started. 

Spring is finally here and I’m so happy I can’t stand it.  Laying with my humidifier and trusty ole bag of throat lozenges was pure torture when that sunshine was streaming through my window begging me to come outside and play. 

Lots of exciting things coming up, I can’t wait! 

In the meanwhile, here’s a picture of my man and my pup.  Cutely sitting on the craft room floor probably reading about football or dinking around on Facebook.