Adoption through the Eyes of a Five Year Old Many pages in this blog have been dedicated to the antics of our almost kindergartener.For a while there, I referred to him as “Pilikia,” which is just a fancy word for trouble that I got from one of those word of the day calendars.But Pilikia generally fits as this little boy is rarely still, and If he’s quiet, you better be wary! When we started our adoption journey, he was a year old.This summer, he’ll turn six.He’s grown up with a fundraising, spare change saving, adoption-talking family, but it’s just been in the last year that he’s started to absorb any of it. The first time we completed our home study, the social worker couldn’t really interview Pilikia because he was only two and didn’t have a lot to say about the matter.When we updated it last year, he hid in an upstairs room and refused to talk to her because he was afraid to talk to the weird lady with purple streaks in her hair!

But at home, when it’s just us, his little mind is whi…
“Have I not commanded you?Be strong and courageous.Do not be terrified.Do not be discouraged.For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:9
That has been my favorite Bible verse from the time I was a teenager.I still remember Ms. Kennedy teaching it to our church’s daycare children as part of a devotional one summer morning.I happened to be there as a volunteer and learned it along with them as it could be sung to the tune of “Jesus Loves Me.”Shortly thereafter, I went off on a big adventure and clung to it with all my might, and periodically it comes back to mind when I need it.
To be sure, being terrified comes as naturally to me as music ever did.I rediscovered that old friend when we started the adoption journey with a calling, no money, and no direction.But time in Haiti radically changed my reactions to fear, and that is not often the battle that brings me to my knees these days.
It’s the next phrase I struggle with.“Do not be discouraged.”I remember a sermon ou…
Some things are surprising, like when your ten year old gets in the car on a Wednesday night after church and asks to hear Tom Jones songs.  (It's Not Unusual)
Or, when the five year old asks to say prayers after the family bedtime Bible story, and remembers to pray for the sick, and even mentions your sponsored child in Guatemala by name.  I didn't know he was even paying attention to that part!
Or how much fun it is to play with a fidget spinner.  That's seriously entertaining!
Or when the closest thing you can find to a healthy breakfast item in the Kansas City airport is something called "dirty fries."
Some surprises are not so pleasant, like when your adoption agency announces they are again extending the estimated wait time for a referral - this time to twenty four to thirty two months.  While that one wasn't earthshattering, it was nonetheless disappointing.  (I note here that the wait time is not within the agency's control, but is based entirely…
Puzzle 3.0
     Yes, that's right, Puzzle 3.0!
     A week ago yesterday I posted a tell-all piece about lessons we've learned during the first two weeks of our puzzle fundraiser.  If you missed it, the main take away is that we launched a puzzle fundraiser a few weeks ago.  We have a 1,000-piece puzzle.  For every five dollars donated to our adoption fund, through Pay Pal or by cash or check, we add one piece to the puzzle, with the donor's name on the back.  In the end, our daughter will have a super cool keepsake to hang in her room with a picture on the front, and the names of all the people who helped bring her home on the back.  We'll frame it with glass on both sides so we can enjoy either side.
     Someone asked me if we were going to suspend it in the middle of her room so that both sides would be visible at once.  I replied that I was fairly certain our middle son would find a way to turn that into a backboard and hang a rim off it and totally ruin the look…
Lessons Learned In the First Two Weeks of Puzzle Fundraising      In case you haven't heard, the Shelton family is adopting a little girl from Haiti!  If you've been following this blog for any length of time, you know this is a long, long story, but most importantly, you know that we're in line for a referral, and thus we are back in the fundraising game again.  A couple of weeks ago, we launched our puzzle fundraiser.  We purchased a 1,000 piece puzzle to put together and hang in our daughter's room.  We'll be framing it in a double-sided frame that will display the puzzle picture on the front.  On the back will be the names of the people who helped to bring her home by sponsoring a piece of the puzzle.  Every five dollar donation equates to one piece of the puzzle.  So when it's said and done, we'll be $5,000. closer to the total amount needed to pay the adoption fees.
     That is the end of the infomer…

Fast Breaks and Outtakes

It is safe to say that the Shelton family is now basketball crazed - especially the twelve and under crew!  If the big boys aren't practicing or playing an actual game, they're getting their virtual fix with NBA 2k, watching a game on TV, or keeping up with the stats on my phone.  We are now just over halfway through the basketball season and any given weekend you'll find Steve and I warming the bleachers somewhere, cheering for someone, and keeping the concession stand in business.  Don't ask me how it happened, but I somehow have turned into a basketball mom - purely by accident, I assure you!  As much as I would like to deny this, I did show up to work on a Monday morning a couple weeks ago with a Gatorade and a kid's jersey in my purse - and no make-up.  Oh the humanity!
This is the first time we have had all three boys playing a sport at the same time - and in two different leagues at that.  Two are very competitive and great contributors to their teams.  The…

Haiti Baby - One Step Closer

Four and a half years ago, I began this blog, announcing that the Sheltons were adopting, which was a surprise to most of our readers.  I wrote pretty regularly for a while there about our decision-making progress, life events, working through a home study, fundraisers, and the like.  And then....well, there just wasn't anything to say.  We had done all we could do and were waiting for the paperwork to move from one place to another.  Today, however, I am very pleased to tell you that the dossier has completed its journey and has at last been formally submitted to  the IBESR - meaning we have moved officially into the line of families waiting for a referral!  We are no longer waiting to wait in line, we are actually in the line!
     Enjoy that bit of good news.  Savor it and chew on it a while, because there won't be any other big news for a long time.  Currently, it takes eighteen to twenty four months to get a referral.  Haiti is making strides to potentially speed up…