Monday, March 25, 2013

time with my mama

my mom came to spend a few days with me
while rob was out of town. 

it was wonderful. 

we started our time together at the salon. we both got a cut.
and I got a color. 
it was loooong overdue. 
I was lookin' rough. 

then we shared some yummy Mexi food 
and headed back to my casa.
where we got busy working. 

here's something I realized this weekend:
I get more done when my mom is around. 

I think I already knew this. 
in high school I used to beg her 
to come sit on my bed and talk to me while I cleaned my room. 

which, by the time I got around to cleaning it, 
was usually a disaster.
my house cleaning skills have really improved since then. 
on most days any way. 

I just liked having her company while I cleaned. 
talking. laughing. 
and usually she could be talked into folding a few things while she sat there :)

she's beautiful, huh?
I've got a good mama.

so this weekend we painted the entire basement.
and filled in the cracks on the great wall of paneling. (this involved a lot of sanding!)
and sanded/primed the basement ceiling.
AND got caught up on all the laundry. Hallelujah!
AND we cooked a meal for the 3 college boys living in the basement.

oh, and for the record,
in case you ever hear my husband argue differently,
I did at LEAST 4 loads/sink-fulls of dishes this week. at least.

productivity at its finest, folks.
brought to you by my dearest mother.

thanks for coming to stay with me. 
I loved my 1on1 time with you.
it was good for my heart.
and my house. 
I am so incredibly thankful for you.

I miss you already. 

your O&O :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Just Love Coffee

We love us some coffee in the Haude family. 
We come by in naturally. 
Rob's dad drinks coffee 
even if it is 110 degress. 
no lie. 

Rob and I tend to be just-one-cup-in-the-morning kind of people. 
unless we make it to big city where there is a fancy coffee shop, 
at which point we like to treat ourselves to something in the afternoon. 

I worked in a coffee shop while in grad school. 
did you know that? 
well, now you do. 
and I can tell you the difference between a latte and a machiatto. 
and what breve, cappucino and all that fancy stuff means. 
I could even do latte art back in the day. 
yep. fancy-schmancy 'round these parts. 

So, do you love coffee?
or do you have someone in your life who does?
If so, we have a GREAT way for you to fuel you/their caffeine addiction  love for coffee

our first fundraiser :) 

 here's how it works:

click on the SHOP & SUPPORT button.

and shop away! 

If you want to know how much we get from each purchase, go HERE for a list of proceed amounts.
we're SO GLAD you stopped by :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

answers to questions we hear often these days

I figured it was time to give a few more details regarding our adoption.

I'm guessing there may be at least a few of you out there that wonder what in the world is going on?!

since adoption is something I have been interested in for a long time,
I have spent countless hours reading up on the different types and steps involved.
but I get that not everyone stalks adoption blogs or reads up on attachment issues in their free time :)
so, it only seemed fair to answer some questions.

here are some of the most frequently asked questions we field these days:

"Are you adopting domestically or internationally?"

which is followed quickly by a, "Why?" 
Honestly, once we made the decision to adopt, deciding where to adopt from was the most difficult question for me to settle in my heart. We felt really overwhelmed by the task of "selecting a child," which is what it felt like we were doing. Then a really wise friend  (who also happens to be an adoptive mama) encouraged us to approach this decision by asking:  

What child do you feel that you and Rob are 
best equipped to parent at this point in your life? 

and this question was a game changer for us. While I was working as a therapist in residential treatment, I saw how desperately older children need families. But I also saw how difficult and unpredictable parenting those children could be. I desperately see the need and there is something in my heart that longs to meet that need. But we had to be realistic about where we are currently at, and since we are going to be new to this whole parenting thing, we are going to have enough unpredictability on our hands. ha! So, for us--at this point in our life--it settled that we wanted to adopt as young as possible. 

so. and "infant" it is. 
you hear infant and you think fresh from the womb. 
well, in the world of adoption, and infant is really any baby 12 months or younger. 

the question then became WHERE.
we spent time reading about different countries that currently have adoption programs with the United States, as well as, researching infant adoption in the US. For whatever reason, God really led us toward international adoption. That is where our attention was focused and where we felt our hearts were leading us. After looking into different program requirements and the ages of children available, we settled on Ethiopia. 

Yes. we know that this means we will become a multiracial/multicultural family. 
Yes. we know there are challenges that will come from being a multiracial/multicultural family. 
Yes. we recognize that not everyone will necessarily "agree" with this decision. 

and YES we are sure. 
this does not mean that there are not moments when I feel anxious about being able to parent children that look different from me. Sure. I do. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't have moments of doubt.
but I also KNOW that God is in this and that growing our family through adoption and becoming a diverse family will be beyond beautiful. 

We recognize that we have a lot to learn and will need to rely on others to help educate us and our children in this area. That is part of what excites me--learning and loving and being open a community bigger than us. 

"Do you have a baby picked out for you yet?"
No. We have not been matched with a baby.
We are still several months from being ready to receive a referral.
Here is a general timeline for families adopting with our agency right now.
As of now, we have been told that the following time frames are "average"

this picture is of the hubs and I the morning we sent off our application and contract to IFS. eek!

Step 1: Choose an agency, apply with agency and be accepted. Check!
Step 2: Complete Home Study & Dossier
(read: spend countless hours completing massive amounts of paperwork). It usually takes around 2-3 months for this step to be completed. We are days into this step... so pray for us!

Step 3: Send Dossier (with home study) to Ethiopia where it is translated and processed by the Ethiopian government (MOWA).

Step 4: REFERRAL! From the time our dossier arrives in Ethiopia until we receive a referral will be any where from 2-4 months (again, we are working with averages, people. and this could change. we know that.)

Step 5: Accept referral and pay the remainder of our program fees. EEK!

Step 6: Court date in Ethiopia! Travel to Ethiopia where we will appear before Ethiopian court and the adoption will be finalized. We will officially be parents! From referral to court date is approximately 3-5 months.

Step 7: The child, though adopted, can not leave Ethiopia until the case is cleared by the Embassy. Once the case passes the Embassy, we will bring our babes home! Average time from court date to Embassy clearance is anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months. So, we'll be counting on you all to be praying. hard. that it is closer to 6 weeks. :)

Which means that we are about 10-12 months from having them home with us. 
We are holding this timeline very loosely, as we know that there are several factors that are out of our control, but we are also praying that this would be close to the truth.
Either way, we have a lot of waiting ahead of us. 
and paperwork. 

"How old will your child be when they come home?"
At the time of referral a child can be as young as 2 months, which means that they are anywhere from 8-10 months old when they come home for good.

"If you don't mind me asking, how much does adoption cost?"
I certainly don't mind you asking! In fact, I think it is important to educate people on ALL things adoption--including that it is a major financial and emotional and physical investment.

The rough estimate for international adoption is around $30,000.
Yep. It's a lot.
But we serve a really BIG God. 
And we are trusting in HIM to make this happen.
We will have fundraisers.
We will pinch pennies.

We will apply for grants.
We will pray for hearts to be led to give.

and we will give HIM all the glory.

We welcome your questions.
Please feel free to send me an email ( with questions about our adoption process, how you can get involved, or adoption things in general.

I am in no way an expert...yet :)...but I'm learning a lot each day.

thanks for reading. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

29 before 30

another birthday came and went this weekend.


i'm really not that wigged out about 30.
the hubs is 30 already, and I think it looks good on him.
though he does complain more of aches and pains these days :)

last year i really struggled with my birthday.
we were a year+ into trying for children and i felt anxious about getting "older"
i was tired of all the questions about "when are you going to have children..."
and was fearful of being an old mom.
i let my cultures' expectations get the best of me.

during the last year i have made peace with the fact that my road to motherhood will likely look different from that of most of my friends.
but that doesn't make is less beautiful. 

with less than 365 days until I reach the big 3-0,
I decided to make a list of 29 things I'd like to do before 30.

here they are.

looking forward to one last year of being a 20-something :)
let the good times roll.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

a saturday song

rob and I are training for a half marathon.
saturdays are our long run days.
and I never feel like going.
well, at least I haven't so far.

today I had all kinds of reasons not to go :)
but he was going and I knew that I would be glad that I went.
so we went.

on long run days I usually have to listen to music to get me through.
today as I was running this song came on.
and it sums up the last couple of days.
so I thought I would share.
I'm guessing I'm not the only one out there that has days that make you question everything.
thankful that even on those days,
there can be peace.

it feels like chaos but somehow there's peace.
Also, we mailed our application, contract, and first payment to IFS today.
(insert wide-eyed, excited but terrified face)

Friday, March 8, 2013


at one point, not that long ago,
having biological children first was Plan A.
but today, becoming parents through adoption has become Plan A.
deep in my soul.
this is my first choice.
our first choice.
God changed us.
and we are excited about that.
and we know that the changing and transforming has only begun. 

and honestly,
adoption wasn't God's first choice for these children either.
that may really rock some people's theology.
but it's what I believe when I read Scripture and look at the world.

let me explain:
I believe that God's perfect plan, in a perfect world would be that all children are raised by their biological parents and grow up knowing how much they are loved.
enter sin and broken world.
because this world is broken, and there are things like death, poverty, war, & sin,
some children are left without parents.
and God sees those babies (and couples who can't have children)
he reaches down and redeems what has been lost and broken.
just like he did with me.
I was lost and broken and separated from the One who created me.
He redeemed me.

and the REALLY exciting part is that after He redeemed me,
He invited me to be a part of His redemptive work here on earth.

and that, my friends, is what adoption is about.
it's taking what was not originally Plan A,
and making it Plan A.
it's taking what was (and is) broken,
and proving a way of healing and hope.

it's beautiful. 

and writing this post this morning is a beautiful reminder for me of why I am jumping into months of paperwork, waiting, fundraising, and emotionally taxing experiences.

I needed this reminder today. 

so, thanks for reading.
and for jumping in with us.
we're going to need you.
(those of who you knew me 5 years ago, will know how HUGE that last sentence was for me to type! ha!)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

something brewing

have you sensed that something was coming?
that something has been brewing in our life?

did you even notice that I hadn't blogged in awhile?  wait. don't answer that. :)

after I posted about 2013 and all the things I wanted more & less of--
one of those being to write more--
I went off the air for a bit.

sometimes I just need to hold things near to my heart.
so that I know that I'm listening to my heart instead of the opinions of others.
so I can tell if what I'm hearing is actually the Holy Spirit stirring, or if I just have anxiety.
I hold things near so that I can tell whose opinion and voice I'm listening to--God's or the worlds.

I've learned that this is important because I can get wrapped up in the opinions of others sometimes.
this might be a surprise to those who know me in real life,
because I am fairly independent and confident.
but the honest truth is that I still struggle with worrying about what others think.

so I've spent the last few weeks holding things close.
I am happy to report that I have been writing more. 
in my journal.
with a pen.
and cute curvy letters.

and after several weeks of writing,
talking with the hubs,
praying some more,
and dreaming up some BIG things,

we have an announcement.

one that I am beyond excited to share with you.

Rob and I are answering the call to adopt. 
yep. you read that correctly.
we are adopting!!!

isn't that exciting?!?!
we think so. :)
we are extremely excited.
and slightly terrified, as well, but mostly just really, really ready to bring home our babe.
(I know, I know....I have lots of waiting ahead of me....)

remember when I wrote this post in September 2011?
God is so cool.
He has been stirring this in my heart-our hearts-for a long time.

in the coming days and weeks I'm going to share lots of adoption stuff.
so get ready.
like it or not, here it comes.
considered yourself warned.

I'll share about telling our family and friends.
I'll share about how God brought us to this place and how/why we are so stoked to be growing our family in this way.
I'll share details and timelines.
I'll give you information on fundraising and how you can come along side us during this time. 
I'll probably post some videos and stories of other families that are growing their families through adoption.

I'll also share my fears,
my joys,
my questions,
and what I'm learning as we walk this path.

it is a journey. 
an adventure. 
but isn't that what following Jesus is all about?!
so, I invite you to come with us on this journey.
we'd be delighted to have you :)

will you?
will you share with us in this journey that will result in us being parents and an orphan finding a forever family?
we sure hope you will.
we can't wait to share it with you. 

with love,
rob and erica