Monday, February 24, 2014

Healing and Finding Hope Again

After our failed adoption I felt I couldn't even think about our future baby anymore. The hurt was too raw from losing our would-be son. Purchases were returned to Target and Pinterest boards were deleted. For a while I felt like I wouldn't ever be able to move on and keep hoping.

source


I think hope is like a seed though. Gavin planted a seed with a private comment he made after our failed adoption and it planted a seed of hope in my hurting heart. Without realizing it, the seed was nourished by my efforts to find happiness in my every day life again. And for me, as my hope grew my heart was able to heal. I was able to contact the birth mother and wish her the best on her upcoming delivery. That was a huge step in my healing. We enjoyed a little bit of chatting and parted friends. I am so glad. I am grateful. Afterwards I felt like I could finally move on from the pain. And I have. I have begun to daydream about decorating our nursery again, cuddling a newborn at night, losing lots of sleep, and having our home feel full. Right now I acutely feel that someone is missing. Their presence is missing. Their noise is missing. And we're all praying faithfully that we'll find them soon.

Also, Nathan occasionally pretends to play with an imaginary little girl that he calls the only girl name Gavin and I agree on. I don't think we've ever said the name in his presence and rarely even say it at all. So now I'm super interested in what the gender of our next child is. I admit, I don't feel qualified to raise a girl. But I know I DO want to raise a girl that is strong, who is sure of herself and her worth, and is not afraid to wear a tutu AND play football with her brother. I'll have to blog sometime what our parenting philosophies are and what we hope for our children. We talk about it often. I'll work on that post this week.

In the meantime, thanks again for all your prayers and positive thoughts you send our way! I can feel your prayers! Hopefully Baby Holt will arrive soon!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Just Keep Swimming!

I took a break from blogging after our huge social media event. Thanks again to everyone who participated! It means a lot to us that you care!

hanging out on Valentine's Day
I've been thinking a lot about faith lately. It's one of those things that during the good times in life you feel sure you have a lot of. Then trials come and you dig deep for that faith. 

Last month our water heater needed to be replaced. If you're a home owner you know how pricey that is! (but let's acknowledge that hot water is worth every penny!

Over the weekend we discovered a leak in our roof. As we called our insurance company, I couldn't help but wonder at the timing of all these events. For most adoptive couples, there's a lot of financial planning involved and each of these events has been setting us back. So that's why over the weekend I had a little break down on the timing of all this. 

I turned to God in prayer and admitted that I felt kind of lost with all that's going on. I went to church Sunday and my soul was filled with great faith building testimonies and understanding by friends. 

I think the hardest part of adoption, or life in general, is the not knowing. But after church yesterday I feel like I can adopt Dori's mantra and "Just keep swimming!" I know God has a plan for our family and trials are but beautiful opportunities to see His hand in our lives.

In other news, we had a great Valentine's Day! Gavin went 45 minutes out of his way in a snow storm to get my my favorite cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory on his way home from work. So that added well over an hour to his commute home. Love him! 

I took Nathan to the aquarium for our special date and we had a blast! He loved seeing the sharks, penguins, and jelly fish! The last time I took him here he was 10 months old, not walking and I had a lot more equipment needed to go anywhere. It was SO fun to pal around like real pals with no stroller or diaper bag! Just me and my little man! 


Monday, February 10, 2014

Spread the Word, Spread the Love : Winners!












We've had a great several days in spreading the word 
for these three families, ours included!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

It's time to announce the winners of our contest!


Janelle and Emma!

Janelle you've won the chocolates!

Milk Chocolate Mania - Truffle Assortment by Karma in the Kitchen

Emma, you've won the Good Night book pack!
These are some of our favorite bedtime books!

I will ship these prizes to you today!

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Please continue to share these links!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Spread the Word, Spread the Love : Final Thoughts













Our February social media campaign is coming to a close this evening.
Thank you again to all who have participated!
God has a plan for each of our families and each of you have helped that this week!

I wanted to end with a little more information on each family.
Hopefully this will be shared throughout the web!



We're a family thanks to the blessing of adoption, and we are hoping once more for a miracle.
We are a happy bunch, and with two silly little boys life is never dull at our house. Some of our favorite things are being outside, games, hiking, movies,  and food. Lance loves sports, and especially loves to play basketball and go golfing. He also loves to cook and I love when he and the boys whip up masterpieces for dinner. I love to run and do yoga. It's a good thing too because I also love to bake and I looove candy!

Zac is an extremely energetic almost 4 year old who keeps us on our toes. We never cease to be amazed at his intelligence, he learns everything so easily and sucks it up like a sponge. Ty is almost two and is our mellow man and sunshine. He is much more serious and shy, but he has the best laugh in the world and you can't help but be happy around him.

We're hoping these two handsome guys will get to be big brothers soon 
and would love YOUR help to spread the word!

Thanks so much for your help! We are so thankful everyday for the joy adoption has brought to our lives!

PS I love this candid of Julie's family! 

We love Superman in our house too!


hello friends!  we are the shumway family.  we have been blessed once by adoption which brought our spunky little ginger, harley, into our family.  nothing would make us happier than to add another little one to our family.
first there is josh.  he's the best buddy in the world according to harley and the best dad according to kenna. he is finishing up his second year at north east ohio medical university, with two more to go in their pharmacy program.  when he isn't studying he is playing monster trucks, hide 'n' seek, or reading books with harley.  he loves to play any sport and is always excited for basketball night on wednesdays. 
 josh loves his family and is excited for a new addition!
kenna is the heart of the family and loves her boys deeply.  her days are filled with construction paper, kissing scrapes, and making sure all sandwiches are free of the bread crust.  she also attends kent state university and is so excited to be graduating with her degree in psychology.  kenna loves soccer and music and had a dream come true getting a piano for christmas!  she can't wait for harley to start soccer in the spring so she can cheer him on and bring orange slices.
harley is the happiest little man on the planet.  he is full of sass and has the most awesome red hair.  he loves going to school, painting, being a chef in his new play kitchen, and being a rescue hero.  he is constantly leading his two dogs to safety!  more than anything, harley is excited to be a big brother.  he practices on his stuffed penguin rico, rocking him to sleep, tucking him into bed, and making sure he is taken care of.  harley will be the best big brother a little one could ask for!

we are so excited to grow our family through adoption.  
it's been a blessing and we know it will continue to be in our lives.  

PS I LOVE this photo of Kenna's family! 

It brings a smile to my face! They have an awesome sense of humor!


Hello! Thank you for taking time to get to know us better! 
Our family has been blessed by adoption once before with Nathan and now we're hoping for another miracle and to welcome another child into our loving family!

Gavin is the Daddy and Nathan's role model. 
Nathan wants to be just like him which melts my heart! 
He wears hats like him, likes to work with tools just like him, and eats his food all gone at dinner time so he can grow big and strong, just like Daddy! 
Gavin is a mechanical engineer here and gets to work with airplanes. 
Nathan and I happen to think this is pretty awesome (ie the coolest job ever). 
Gavin loves soccer and college football. No NFL for this guy. 
He loves airplanes and can't help but tell you all it's mechanics when you're on one! 
Shauna is the Mommy and Nathan is her shadow during the day.
She loves to bake and do fun crafts with Nathan. She loves the outdoors and feels blessed to have a son who loves to go on adventures with her. She loves to read and dreams of finishing her degree in English one day so she can teach. Her family is her life and they come first. She currently helps teach preschool for Nathan and his buddies. She loves watching sports with Gavin and to talk politics. She also likes to pretend she's handy around the house and 
anytime she gets to fix anything she feels like Tim the Tool Man!
Nathan is our joy. 
He is full of energy and curiosity! He loves to follow Mommy around all day and loves to call Daddy while he's at work. He loves cars, airplanes, being outside, and anything with art supplies. He loves Mommy and Daddy to read him stories. 
He is very helpful and always trying to find ways to help Mommy and Daddy. 
He loves being a big boy and is excited to become a big brother!

Thank you again to everyone who has been sharing and spreading the love!

The contest ends TODAY Saturday night at midnight Eastern time!
Comment ON THIS POST when you share to enter!
Winners will be chosen at random and announced Monday, Feb 10th. 

First Prize: my favorite chocolates in the world!

Milk Chocolate Mania - Truffle Assortment by Karma in the Kitchen


Second Prize: Good Night Book Pack 
These are some of our favorite bedtime books!

Go HERE to leave a comment to enter!

Spread the Word, Spread the Love : Dads are Important












It has been an amazing couple of days on this blog.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts 
to everyone who has participated in sharing!

This is the last day to enter the contest.
I've seen so many sharing on social media sites but haven't entered the blog contest.
To them I say thank you and you want the chocolate! Enter!

I wanted to highlight these families again before the contest ends. 

These Dads are amazing. 
Lance with Zachary and Ty

Josh with Harley

Gavin with Nathan

To these guys, their family is everything.
They work hard and play harder with their boys.
They love God and serve him by serving their families.
I've met Lance and Josh and I would be thrilled if either of them were to be a Scout leader for Nathan or a role model. And it goes without saying that I think the world of Gavin.

All three men have been dealt the challenge of infertility.
Whether through their spouse or their own diagnosis, 
they've suffered just as much as us women through this.
And they've all remained rock solid in the hope that God would bless them with children through the miracle of adoption.
I personally don't know how I would have gotten this far without God and Gavin and I know that Julie and Kenna must feel the same way. 

Last call for the contest!
Please continue to share these blog posts and the links below!


Every share helps us get closer to those amazing women that are praying for our families.

God has a plan for each of our families and you could be one of the links in bringing us together!

The contest ends TODAY Saturday night at midnight Eastern time!
Comment ON THIS POST when you share to enter!
Winners will be chosen at random and announced Monday, Feb 10th. 

First Prize: my favorite chocolates in the world!

Milk Chocolate Mania - Truffle Assortment by Karma in the Kitchen


Second Prize: Good Night Book Pack 
These are some of our favorite bedtime books!


Again, contest ends at midnight Eastern Time TODAY Saturday Feb 8th
Ready, set, SHARE!

Thank you everyone! 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Spread the Love, Spread the Word : Brothers or Sisters Please!












We've had a great first day today in spreading the word for these three families, ours included! 

Thank You to everyone who has participated!

All three of these families are different. We have had different experiences through our adoption journey. But one thing that is the same is that we all have boys! 

And these boys want brothers or sisters! 


















These adorable, energetic boys are ready to take on the role of big brothers!
I mean look at those faces.
Seriously.
I just want to squish them all in a huge hug!


Every share helps us get closer to those amazing women that are praying for our families.
God has a plan for each of our families and you could be one of the links in bringing us together!

And don't forget! The contest ends Saturday night at midnight Eastern time!
Comment ON THIS POST when you share to enter!
Winners will be chosen at random and announced Monday, Feb 10th. 

First Prize: my favorite chocolates in the world!

Milk Chocolate Mania - Truffle Assortment by Karma in the Kitchen


Second Prize: Good Night Book Pack 
These are some of our favorite bedtime books!


Again, contest ends at midnight Eastern Time on Saturday Feb 8th
Ready, set, SHARE!

Thank you everyone! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Spread the Love, Spread the Word - Let's Get Started!

It's time to start our media blitz 
"Spread the Love, Spread the Word!"

If you are reading this, then you can help!
All you need is the internet and to click that share button!
I'm even throwing prizes in to make it even more fun!
Let's party!

For the next couple of weeks I'm going to ask that you help share links, photos, etc of us and 2 other amazing families hoping to adopt.

Will you help us?

First let me explain why we need your help.
All three families are pursuing identified adoptions.
DefinitionAn identified adoption may also be called a parent initiated adoption. In this type of adoption, the adoptive parents and birth parents identify, find, or already know each other, and then use the services of an adoption agency or an independent adoption social worker or other facilitator, to arrange and finalize the adoption.

Between the three of us, we have found 4 children through family and friends spreading the word.
It's amazing what can happen when we all help each other!
So we need your help!



What to do:
This is a media blitz! In the fabulous age of social media 
we can spread the word far and wide with just a few clicks!
So I ask that as you're sharing things on the 'net during the day, please include links to 
our blogs, adoption profiles, and links to blog posts we write!

All of us have found our children through word of mouth so your efforts DO help!

Starting tonight until Feb 8th at midnight Eastern Time you can leave a comment here whenever you share this blog post or any of the links above on any social media site!
Yes you can leave a comment per share to increase your chances of winning!
Winners will be chosen at random and announced Monday, Feb 10th. 

First Prize: my favorite chocolates in the world!

Milk Chocolate Mania - Truffle Assortment by Karma in the Kitchen


Second Prize: Good Night Book Pack 
These are some of our favorite bedtime books!


Again, contest ends at midnight Eastern Time on Feb 8th
Ready, set, SHARE!

Thank you everyone!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Sharing is Caring - Welcome to February 2014!

This month is usually seen as the Love Month thanks to Valentine's Day. 



This month I want to focus on real love; the love of family! 



Not only are we hoping to adopt, but 2 of our awesome friends are too. 

This month I'm asking for your help in spreading the word!

Over the next week I'll be posting about all 3 of our families.

I need your help in sharing links, photos, etc on social media.

Let's get the word out!

There will be prizes throughout the month for sharing. More details to come!

one of the prizes! Delicious chocolates from Karma in the Kitchen!

Thanks in advance everyone!

Adoption & February is about LOVE!


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