Monday, December 26, 2016

Music Monday: I have this Hope by Tenth Avenue North

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
Today is I Have This HOpe by Tenth Avenue North



Hope you enjoy!

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

In the Advent of Adoption

Lord, thank you for a fresh reminder that Advent,the period of waiting, not only defines who we are waiting for, but also defines us...the people who wait.  We experience this season by expecting and preparing our hearts and hopes for the arrival of your son.  O Lord, will you give me wonder and...Advent Prayer:
This season, I realized something that I hadn't realized before:  We are in the Advent of our adoption.
Now what does that mean, you might be wondering... And even if you aren't, I'll still be telling you.

Advent, which is normally associated with the 4 weeks of waiting before Christmas. is a defined time frame, in which we as Christians remind ourselves of the world waiting for the Messiah to come to Earth for our Salvation.

For Mike and I, we are in the advent of our adoption.  We are still waiting to be able to start.  We know it is coming (eventually), but getting there is a journey.  Just like Elizabeth and Zechariah waited and waited for a child that came much later than either expected.  Just like Hannah waited for God to give her Samuel for her to give him back up to the Lord.  There was a wait that each had to go through: Their own personal Advent.

And that is what we are experiencing right now: the advent.

So in the coming months, we will be working hard to actually get to our adoption.  Between upcoming fundraisers, selling things, and working REALLY hard at work to get that money, we are going to work really hard to learn what our Advent towards Adoption has to teach us.

Merry Christmas!

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Monday, December 19, 2016

Music Monday, Christmas Edition: Veni Veni (O Come O Come Emmanuel) by Mannheim Steamroller

Today is the last Monday before Christmas, and I wanted to share one of my favorite songs from Advent.


 

Hope you enjoy!  And Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones!

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Monday, December 12, 2016

Music Monday: Storyteller by Morgan Harper Nichols

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
Today is Storyteller by Morgan Harper Nichols

Hope you enjoy!

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Monday, December 5, 2016

Music Monday: Blessings by Laura Story

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
Today is Blessings by Laura Story

Hope you enjoy!

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Turkey Day!

Two turkeys out for a Sunday drive, unlikely! It is probable that these guys know what's coming and are leaving town in their classic automobile. The sender of the vintage postcard is obviously the on
From Our Family to Yours,
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


Mike & Cana

#FindingOurCrayons

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Break Away

So because of how close to the holidays we are getting to, we are going to take a break with posting every week.  

We will see you after the New Year. 

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Monday, November 21, 2016

Music Monday:While I'm Waiting by John Waller

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 

Today is While I'm Waiting by John Waller




Hope you enjoy!

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Will Crochet For Adoption... And the People You meet.



While buying yarn for one of the many crocheted cocoon cardigans, I met a woman and her grandson.  We had a nice talk about yarn, and where to find a very specific kind for my cocoon project.  

She then asked me what I was making.  I showed her what it was, and told her that I'm doing it because my husband and I are trying to adopt.  

She then told me just snippets of her life:  That she was adopted, and that one of her children had just adopted through the adoption consultants that we are planning on going.  She advised me that I need to be ready, because when the match happens we might not have time to get things.  

I smilled.  It is amazing the people we meet because of what we journey we are taking to grow our family.

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Monday, November 14, 2016

Music Monday: I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
Today is I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz




 Hope you enjoy!

Cana

#FindingOurCrayons

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

National Adoption Month


November is National Adoption Month. As many of you know, my wife and I want to grow our family. As it turns out, I have some issues which hamper that wish. After considering and praying on a gamut of options, Cana and I feel called to adopting.

The adoption process is neither quick nor inexpensive. Your love, support, and prayers help bolster our patience. We thank you all for helping us carry the emotional strain that comes with waiting.

Financially, we need help as well. Please keep in mind, we are not asking anyone to pay for the entire process, but any little bit helps. Below is a link to our GoFundMe, but that is far from the only way to help. We also have a CafePress store (http://www.cafepress.com/thebrownsadopt) and my lovely and talented wife #willcrochetforadoption (https://www.facebook.com/willcrochetforadoption/).


We appreciate the love, support, caring, compassion, well wishes, prayers, and good vibes more than any of you will ever know. And, should you feel called or compelled to help us financially in our adoption as we are growing our family and #findingourcrayons, we thank you so very much.

Mike
#FindingOurCrayons

Monday, November 7, 2016

Music Monday: Fighter by Jamie Grace

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
Today is Fighter by Jamie Grace


Hope you enjoy!

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Welcome to the Marathon

$5.00 Bible Verse Print - Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you, He will neither fail you nor abandon you. Deuteronomy 31:8  That’s our Father for you! What a blessing it is to know that we never have to be afraid because He will go before us and fight our battles. Amen to that! - Different size options available. #bebrave:

Time to be honest.  I have become discouraged the past couple of months.  And it is so early in the pre-game, that it might not make sense.  

I currently following the consultants that we plan to use once we raise the money we need to start the adoption.  And every few days (sometimes twice in one day), I'll see them posting how current clients were matched with a bio mom, or got their baby today.  Every time I see this, I break inside a little.  I mean, it does give me hope, but it feels like it is one less chance that we will have to adopt a child (And yes, I know how ridiculous that sounds...But sometimes the brain doesn't think right).  

Every time I see the post, I do tell Mike.  In some ways, I hope he will feel like I do, as it reminds me that I am not alone.  Yet, my Positive Patty of a husband just says that it is just more affirmation that they will be the help that we need to grow our family.  

And really, I do realize that I have had not enough time to truly complain.  I have friends that have been in this process for YEARS (I'm look at you E family), waiting for the moment that they would get their little boy or girl.  And yet, I feel so discouraged with what I have experienced already within this journey, and we aren't even to the actual process of the adoption (i.e. paperwork filled out, money all together, home study, lawyer, birth mother interviews, etc.).

I mean, we've had several failed fundraisers, while still working on others that we hope won't fail.  Trying to remember that no family is immediate, it still is a struggle to find the hope we need to continue.  

So I have been praying.  Not for patience, and not specifically about our adoption (though I do pray about it), but instead I have been praying for every family I see on the consultants website.  I'm praying because I hope one day, my family will be one of those posts.  I'm praying because each of those families has been where we are now (wondering how we will get the funds together), and, some how, made it to the goal.  And I'm praying that their journey has been worth it, and that they feel the love, encouragement and hope to keep them on their path. And I pray for hope.  

Because there is hope.  There is a chance to grow. And whatever lesson is to be learned through this, I hope I learn it well.  Because through it I hope to give hope, encouragement, and love because of it.

So today, may you feel hope in your life with whatever you are struggling with.  And if you don't have any struggles right now, may you feel the hope of the future.

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Monday, October 31, 2016

Music Monday: Funky Jesus Music by TobyMac

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
Today is Funky Jesus Music by TobyMac

Hope you enjoy!

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

No Shirt, No Service

As you know (or if you don't, you will learn very soon), we are trying to adopt.  And you know that we are trying a lot of things to try and raise money.  

One of the things we are doing is selling t-shirts that Mike has designed (Yep, my awesome, talented husband designed these lovely shirts!). 

  

Not only are these shirts beautiful, but I think they are a great way to tell our story.
Our Family is more than blood, because our friends are our family just as much as the family we were born to.  


And just to give you a close up of the heart, look at those words.  This is what adoption means to us.
mainImg
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The shirts are available in multiple colors and sizes at http://www.cafepress.com/thebrownsadopt, will be available as long as we are trying to raise the money. 

Please consider purchasing one of these shirts to help us reach our goal for the adoption.

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Monday, October 24, 2016

Music Monday: Hope Is Rising by Downhere

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
Today is Hope Is Rising by Downhere

Hope you enjoy!

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Update: Yard Sale

So, as you know, we had our yard sale on Saturday.  

This is about 2.5 hours into the yard sale... a few things sold

We didn't sell much by the end of the yard sale, but we did make about $64 day of.  Plus with a few things sold outside of the yard sale, by the end of the week, we should have over $100.  

Not bad for our first official adoption yard sale!  Especially when you consider how we live in a rural area.  

Rest assure, we will be having more yard sales.  We still have a lot of items still left over from this yard sale, and we will be continuing to sell all these items until we either get the money together or we sell it all.  Whichever happens first.  

We really appreciate all your help, prayers, and donations.  We couldn't have done it without y'all!

Mike & Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Monday, October 17, 2016

Music Monday: Love Never Fails by Brandon Heath

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 

Today is Love Never Fails by Brandon Heath



Hope you enjoy!

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Pass It Around: Brown Family Yard Sale!

THIS SATURDAY, 10/15/2016, 7AM to 1PM
We are having a YARD SALE**!  

We are selling everything from appliances, wedding decor, clothes, dvds, blu-rays, and sooooo much more!

Below are some pictures that are just samples of what we are selling.







So, come on out, send your friends and family. We greatly appreciate all your help with pulling this off! 

**All Proceeds go towards Mike & Cana's Adoption fund**


Mike & Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Monday, October 10, 2016

Music Monday: Drops In The Ocean by Hawk Nelson

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
Today is Drops In The Ocean by Hawk Nelson


Hope you enjoy!

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

While Waiting To The Fullest

Life Quotes // Enjoy live:

We wait a lot in life.  We wait at traffic lights, for vacations, holidays, and even bathroom breaks at work.  And in the everyday, mundane waiting, we still live our lives.  What becomes hard is learning to live life when you are waiting on something special.  

In my case, I have been struggling to live life while waiting for us to get to our child(ren) through adoption.  There are some days that my life is completely consumed with the hows, whens, and wheres with the adoption.  There are some days that I try to avoid human beings and their families because it just reminds me what we are trying to get.  There are days that I question using our paychecks to pay for things that are necessary, but not necessarily exactly what we need.  And there are days I wish everyone would just stop living life with me.  

Yes, I have gone to the grocery store and figured out what a month of nothing but ramen and tuna would cost so I could put the rest of the grocery money towards the adoption...  Now, I haven't gone that far yet, I really like food, and I really don't like ramen.  BUT, I have considered it. 

Trying to live life is hard when the one thing that you desperately want seems so far out of reach.  So how do you learn, or re-learn, how to live in the waiting?  I mean, there is no real, easy answer.  It something that you have to decide to do.  Put the other thoughts on the back burner, and focus on those you love.  Find those activities that you loved to do before the whole waiting started.  Plan vacations.  Plan parties.  

And that is hard.  Trust me, I am preaching to myself as much as I am hoping to give hope to those of you who are in the waiting process.  It isn't easy.  But it will be worth it.  Because your friends, your family, your world will not stop living while you do.  

So, wherever you find yourself today in the waiting game, and for whatever you are waiting for, don't forget to keep living life.  

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Monday, October 3, 2016

Music Monday: Beautiful Day by Jamie Grace

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
Today is Beautiful Day by Jamie Grace
Hope you enjoy!

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

#FindingOurCrayons

Hello to everyone!

Today isn't a post about what we are thinking, how we are feeling, but rather, an update on something we are doing to share our journey.

You have probably seen it on our Facebook group, and on our blog, but we have been using a new hashtag: #FindingOurCrayons.  We are working sharing our journey of our adoption to the world, and one of the best ways is by using a hashtag.

So if you search for us with this hashtag, or share our hashtag, you and anyone else will be able to see our journey!

Again, we love all of you, and are so thankful for all the support and encouragement that you share with us.

Mike & Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Monday, September 26, 2016

Music Monday: What You Want by Tenth Avenue North

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
Today is What You Want by Tenth Avenue North

Hope you enjoy!

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Happy Anniversary (And an Update)



Today is our wedding anniversary! And we have had a lot of changes in the last year. 

Besides the obvious (getting married), we have bought a house in a different town, moving a lovely 20 minutes away from Anderson, SC.  Cana changed jobs, leaving one that she had been at for almost a decade.  And we started saving up money for our adoption.  

At this point in the process of just saving for the adoption, we have been saving and gathering funds now since Mid-June.  We are at a whopping 28% towards our goal in just 3 months!  Part of that was using from former job paying out my  PTO, but some of that was from our loving friends and family!  As you know, we have already started with some basic fundraisers (t-shirt sales and and gathering items for the yard sale) and Mike trying to shave his head if we raise $1,000 before September 30th, but stay on the look out for the other fundraising events we will be starting after the new year.  

We want to thank all of you that are helping us, both financially and with the love and encouragement that y'all share with us. 

Mike & Cana
#FindingOurCrayons


Monday, September 19, 2016

Music Monday: Still My Soul Be Still by Keith & Kristyn Getty

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
Today is Still My Soul Be Still by Keith & Kristyn Getty

Hope you enjoy!

Cana
#FindingOurCrayons

Monday, September 12, 2016

Music Monday: Dear Younger Me by MercyMe

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
 
Today is Dear Younger Me by MercyMe
 


Hope you enjoy!

Cana

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Painting In Faith

As people of faith, we are called to walk by faith, not by sight.  And as the semi-pessimist, semi realist, and rarely optimist person I am, I sometimes find the idea of walking by faith to be hard. 

And it is even harder when the one thing you want seems so very far away. 

At this point, I have been called out about that. A LOT.  So I'm taking some steps of faith without any promises towards the goal.  Those who have been following me on Facebook know that I'm re-doing the room that will be Baby Brown's bedroom, and for those who didn't know, here is the glorious journey of just painting ONE wall.  

The room started out with this horrendous pinkish-reddish monstrosity of a carpet and pinky-beige walls.  Nice, neutral, pinkish colors and I really hated it.
This beige room with the reddish-pink carpet... Bleh!
Also, the carpet was old, smelly, and stained, so Mike agreed with me to get rid of the carpet.... Actually, he said, "Whatever you want, baby." So I came home from work one day and started removing it.... :-)

Primed the floor, removed the baseboard.  What lovely whiteness
After several weekends of removing carpet, padding, staples, tacking, and everything else, Mike removed all the baseboards. And then I primed the floor white. *And the floor will be covered and not just stay white... I mean, there will be children in this room eventually, I know better than to leave it white ;-)!*

When deciding on what color to paint the actual walls, I went through a number of paint chips.  But then I saw this variegated color set.  And I automatically thought mountains.  I mean, it would be beautiful!  So grab a total of 30 sample jars of the paint colors I wanted, and started painting.

Four weeks later, the end result is just magical:

Finished product!
 Mike has dubbed the wall as the Teal Ridge Mountains.  And I must admit, that I absolutely LOVE it.  The next goal is to finish painting the room in the palest color, Valspar's Sprinkles.

Once the room is finished being painted, then I'll finish the floor, and continue to work at getting little things for the room.  Like curtains, curtain rods, little knickknacks and such.

So keep an eye out, I'll be posting more about Baby Brown's bedroom more in the near future as I continue to work in faith.


Cana

Monday, September 5, 2016

Music Monday: Diamonds by Hawk Nelson

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
 
Today is Diamonds by Hawk Nelson
 


Hope you enjoy!

Cana

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Reaching Out Through The Struggle


So this past Sunday, we have visited the same church now for 4 weeks.  The other 3 weeks, service was ended with communion.  This Sunday was different.  There was a baptism.  

He was such a cute little boy, and the sacrament of baptism is always special.  

And I was hurting.  

Watching a happy family celebrating such a special moment, hurts sometimes.  But I did make it through the service without crying... I only sniffled a little and had some watery eyes.  

It was what happened afterwards that got to me most though.  

J*, a pastor's wife, had been one of the first people to great us and to try to get to know us in the short time there is at a Sunday morning service.  She looked at me after service, and she told me that she knew how special the baptism was, but she knew that I was hurting through our wait.  That she hasn't gone through what we are experiencing, but she has been there for others who have.  And she hugged me.  

To be honest, I was shocked that someone had taken the time to recognize that it is hard for anyone going through adoption to see a happy family with children.  She didn't belittle me or my feelings, but reached out to remind me that this wait is only temporary.  

So today, on this lovely Wednesday, I want to encourage you to reach out to those you know are hurting.  Show them that they aren't alone.  Remind them that there is someone there, whether it is to listen or just to give a hug.  

Cana

* All identities are preserved until I'm given permission to use their names.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Music Monday: Eye of the Storm by Ryan Stevenson w/ GabeReal

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
 
Today is Eye of the Storm by Ryan Stevenson w/ GabeReal
 


Hope you enjoy!

Cana

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Whole Lot of Shaking Going On

So, I'm taking a break this week, because, well, it's my BIRTHDAY WEEK!
Yep, I'm turning a lovely shade of 32 years old, and will be celebrating all week.
But be sure to come back on Monday, with some lovely posts and updates!

Cana

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Fundraisers and My Patience Level (or Lack there of)

If you know anything about me (That is, Cana), then you will know patience is not my virtue.  Just ask Mike, I have no patience.  I don't wait well, I never have.  I do a bit better if I have a timeline, but sometimes it just makes things worse.

But that is the thing about adoptions, there is no time frame on which everything will be completed.  No 9 month time line there. But, I guess after YEARS and YEARS of avoiding asking God to grant me patience, He decided to give me a lesson in it anyways.

So we started working on what fundraisers we are going to do to help me focus on something other than the wait,  and raise money for the adoption.  We already had the GoFundMe.com page, but we realized that there are some people who won't use that to help.  So, we then looked at other options and started working on the next 2 fundraisers: Yardsale and T-shirt Sale!

For the t-shirts, we are using Bonfire, a site that allows a campaign for up to 21 days...


We picked the primary to be in Tahiti Blue (Because Tahiti is a magical place! *Geeky Smile*), but we also have Espresso Brown, Light Pink, Heavy Metal Gray, and Cardinal Red.  If you are interested in a t-shirt, click here!

Mike also created a CafePress store to sell a t-shirt design he came up with for our adoption.
This one is my favorite style shirt... 
The great thing about CafePress, there is no time limit on how long you can sell something.  But is more than just shirts too... So you probably need to just check it out in all it's glory.  For the CafePress Store, you can Click Here!

But, we also decided we are going to do a yard sale.  Because we live so far out in the middle of no where, we are trying to figure out if the Jockey Lot will be our best option, or if someone will loan us their yard for the yard sale.  Also, anyone who might have items to donate, we would appreciate it as well.  Our goal is to do the yard sale in October.

And these are just the fundraisers that we could think of that we could easily do. We are hoping between now and January, we will come up with the next set of fundraisers for the new year, if we haven't reached our total goal.

So while I am starting to learn what patience really means, I wanted to let all of y'all know how thankful I am for all your help, support, and thoughts/prayers.  And even if you can't help financially or with a donation of items, I know that you are thinking of us, lifting us up in prayer, and giving us support in the ways that you can.


Cana

Monday, August 15, 2016

Music Monday: Thrive by Casting Crowns

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
 
Today is Thrive by Casting Crowns
 


Hope you enjoy!

Cana

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

This is My Theme Song

Everyone one should have a theme song.  I mean, we watch wrestlers, politicians, even some churches have a theme song, so why shouldn't we?

And I picked one.  



The lyrics are absolutely beautiful.  Remembering that we aren't alone.  And even when the journey is finished, and we have our child, we still won't be alone.  Our friends and family will be there, helping us out. We aren't alone. We aren't an island... We are a tribe.

So don't feel like you are facing anything alone.

Cana

Monday, August 8, 2016

Music Monday: Mended by Matthew West

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
 
Today is Mended by Matthew West
 


Hope you enjoy!

Cana

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Random Thoughts, Thanks Sermon.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.  By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. Hebrews 11: 1-3, 8-12
We visited a new church this past Sunday.  We really enjoyed it, and we are planning on returning there for another visit next Sunday.  
The scripture I have posted was part of the sermon.  One of the most well know chapters that talks about faith.  We talk about it a lot as believers.  We walk by faith, not by sight (I'm pretty sure it is lyrics to a number of Christian songs, to remind us of this very fact).  And though it is great to say that, over and over, sometimes it is hard to do that.  
What got me about the sermon though, was when the pastor talked about Sarah & Abraham.  She pointed out that everyone around them was having children, and yet they couldn't.  And even in their old age, they still had that desire to have children.  God had promised them that they would have children.  And they had faith that God would fulfill that promise.  
But when I decided to re-read Sarah's story, I was reminded that her faith wasn't as strong as we always seem to make it out to be.  She actually laughed at God's promise of children because of her age:
Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?” Genesis 18: 10-12
She laughed!  And I mean, can you blame her for laughing?  She was well into her 90's.  No one biologically was having children at that age.  She had come to accept it, and in some ways, I can't help but think that it hurt Sarah when she heard the heavenly visitor say that she would have a child.  She didn't have children, her time had already passed.  She had watched her friends, family, neighbors, and total strangers grow their family, and God just brought up the sorest point in her life and said it would change!  (Honestly, the fact that she laughed showed that she was much better had handling her emotions that I... I might have punched the visitor, or curled into a ball and cried.)
I can relate.  Not that God has promised me children, or that I'm 90 and having children that late in life (God, please don't take this a challenge to show Your glory through... I really don't want to be 90 and pregnant).  But as I have watched, and continue to watch, many people around me grow their families, I keep thinking about all that I have to do before we will have our own children.  
Between figuring out fundraisers, putting out coin jars to collect spare change (which if you are interested in one, please let us know), and saving all the money we can, filling out paperwork, gathering required paperwork, and all the rest of everything that is needed to even start the process, it is hard to remember that by faith we take the steps forward that will hopefully lead us to our children. To have faith that God will fulfill His promises, both the ones we know of and the ones we don't.  
This is what I am working on.  This is the first step.  
Cana

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Let's Play Ball!

Truth!:

Growing up in my youth group, I remember my youth minister using this quote... A LOT! So much so that when I went to college, I laughed at the movie for my college orientation was: a League of Their Own


On a side note: Yep, I laugh every time.  I can't help it.

 So where am I going with this? 

Communication! 

What? 

I told you, communication!

So take the quote that I put up (no, not the gif, the quote at the very top). Replace the word "it" with "communication".

"Communication is suppose to be hard.
If communication wasn't hard, everyone would do it.
The hard is what makes communication great."

Makes sense, doesn't it?  We talk all the time, we send messages, tweets, statuses, and post pictures.  But communicating is so hard. 

And as we walk this journey of adoption, we are having to learn a whole lot about communicating.  Communicating with each other about our feelings through this journey. Communicating with our friends, family and coworkers about our needs in this journey.  And this is just the beginnings of the process.  In the near future, we are going to be communicating with lawyers, birth mothers (or even birth families), our adoption consultants, social workers, and so many others.  And that thought is so daunting. 

As the social butterfly, the idea of communicating with so many people shouldn't be that scary, but it is. It shouldn't be that hard, but it feels like it. 

It is the hard that makes it great

And that is what I keep reminding myself.  I hope that you too remember that it is the hard that makes it great.  So whatever journey you are experiencing, I hope this entry gives you some hope. 

Cana

Monday, August 1, 2016

Music Monday: Just Be Held by Casting Crowns

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
 
Today is Just Be Held by Casting Crowns



Hope you enjoy!

Cana

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

#NotAshamedOfInfertility

Let's talk about something we don't like to talk about.  



Infertility...Say it out loud.  Shout it even.  And what happens is that people get uncomfortable.

We don't want to talk about it.  We don't want to mention it to those we see every day. Those that do know that you struggle with it might try to make you feel better about it with kind words and optimism.  Some days, those that struggle with it feels that it defines them.  It feels like it runs their lives.  They are the man or woman that can't make/carry/have a baby.  And in the end, we feel ashamed.  

We can't have what our heart desires.  We can't give our spouse what they desire.  

And with those thoughts it is so easy to feel that we are alone, even with our spouse walking right beside us.  We feel that there is no one out there that understands our pain, our struggle, our journey.  

To be honest, there are days that I want to climb to the very top of a mountain and scream at the top of my lungs.  IT'S NOT FAIR!  WHY ME? WHY US? WHY CAN'T WE HAVE A CHILD WHEN THERE ARE CHILDREN BEING KILLED, ABUSED, AND NEGLECTED BY UNFIT PARENTS?  WHY IS IT THAT DRUNK TEENAGERS CAN GET PREGNANT, WHEN WE CAN'T?

But I realized something.  Maybe we aren't going through this because of something we did or because it will help us grow (though it will).  Maybe we are going through this because we need to understand what someone else is going through.  

Isn't that what Jesus did for us?  

It wasn't that God needed to know what it was like to hunger, thirst, or need sleep.  But He, in His infinite wisdom, sent His Son down to Earth to learn what it meant to be human, to understand our struggles.  

Now, I am in NO WAY trying to compare myself to Jesus.  I'm a pessimistic, smart-mouthed, anxious, and sometimes mean, person.  I struggle with my sins just like anyone else.  But what I am trying to see is the bigger picture: That though the struggle seems unfair and though the journey seems long, maybe Mike and I are traveling it because there is someone else out there who needs us to truly understand.  

Know that where ever you find yourself today, no matter what struggles you are facing, we are there for you.  We might not be on the same journey, we might not be experiencing the same things, but know that you aren't alone.  

#NotAshamedOfInfertility #TellYourStory

Cana

Monday, July 25, 2016

Music Monday: Shake by Mercy Me

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
 
Today is Shake by Mercy Me
 


Hope you enjoy!

Cana

Friday, July 22, 2016

This Is My Story, This Is My Song

This is SO true in #recovery. When we share our stories, we break the stigma surrounding addiction.:
Stories can be full of heroic acts, divine intervention, and miracles.  They can also be the things that give us courage to step off of the ledge to fly to our next destination.  Stories can make you sad, excited, lonely or full of hope.  And when you tell your story, you find others like you, some already finished with the struggle, and some that are going through the struggle.

The adoption consultants we are going to be working with to help us through our adoption told us that one of the reasons that people don't use them is because they don't want to tell their story.  They don't want people to know who they are, what they have struggled with, and why they are adopting.  And that thought keeps coming to me: I need to tell my story.  And honestly, I can only tell half of the story, because my husband is the other half of it.

So, like any good story, it has a beginning...


I'm the oldest of 4 children, and the oldest of 6 grandchildren.  My parents were both told that they would never have bio children, but God obviously had other plans.  A year and month after my parents were married, I was born.  So, my parents named me after Jesus' first miracle (John 2:1-11), because I was their first miracle.  And after me, my parents ended up with 3 more bundles of joyful and feisty children.

I have pretty much always wanted to have children.  And for the most part, I wanted to have quite a few children.  For a little while as a teenager, I kind of despised children, but I will blame that on the hormones and having siblings that were several years younger than me.

Fast-forward to my adult years, I was 18+, wasn't dating, hadn't met anyone that I wanted to date let alone marry.  I started looking into adoption as an option for children.  I honestly wasn't expecting to ever get married.  I expected to be the crazy old cat lady who took in children and fur babies.


And then I met Mike.  We started out as friends, but it grew into so much more.  3.5 years later, we got married.  I thought that adoption might be something that we would do later, or maybe not at all.  I mean, we were getting married.  We would have bio kids....

But from the start, we saw that there was something preventing us from getting pregnant.  We didn't try to prevent getting pregnant. We tracked my fertility & cycle.  We tried things that I had read about to help us get pregnant (i.e., diet, exercise, etc.).  We tried and tried to get pregnant, but it wasn't happening (Now I know, some of you reading this are going, "but it's hasn't been long enough... There is still time to keep trying."  BUT, remember I'm only giving part of the story. The part that is mine to tell).  So 3 months into our marriage, I started looking into adoption, because I realized on at least one level that adoption was quite possibly the only way that we would grow our family.

It still took several more months before Mike and I were on the same page about adoption.  He had hopes that the issue would be resolved and we would be able to get pregnant.  And to be honest, I still held out hope too.

This is not to say that I still don't struggle with the idea of not being able to have bio children.  The fact is, there are some days that I do struggle with it.  And sometimes I wish God would give me an explanation on why we will only have beautiful children brought to us through adoption and not through birth. 

But today is a new day.  I'm sharing my story.  I'm sharing this so that I know (and you can know) that we aren't alone.  Our highs, our lows, the surprises we find, the losses we have, the adventure of it all, we need to share with others.  Life is full of stories.  So no matter how insignificant you think it is or how painful it is to tell it, share your story.  Because I truly believe there is someone out there that needs to hear it.

Cana

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Start of Something New

As many of you know, we are adopting (if you are new to following our blog, then this might be a surprise.  For those of you that have been in any contact with us here on the blog, facebook or in person, you know this already!)

We have been saving up for the adoption now for a couple of months.  And we will continue to save until we reach our goal.  It is slow going, but we are working hard to reach it. 

A lot of y'all have been asking about us having a GoFundMe campaign. 

And here it is!




If you want to go to our GoFundMe campaign, Click Here

Please know that we are not asking for your money.  If you want to donate, please feel free to. 

We greatly appreciate all your love and support as we travel this path towards growing our family!

Mike & Cana


Monday, July 18, 2016

Music Monday: Dream for You by Casting Crowns

Happy Monday!

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
 
Today is Dream For You by Casting Crowns
 


Hope you enjoy!

Cana

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Someday by Alison Mcghee & Peter Reynolds

Ask Mike, and he will verify this.  When we go into a store that carries books, I always go and look.  I will scan and take pictures of books I want for myself. But something I have been doing for the past year and a half is looking for our future child's library.  And I have officially bought the first book for Baby Brown's library!

Image result for someday book
 
Someday is a book that is for both parents and children, no matter how you have them.  And I love that.  It is about a parent imagining their child growing from infant to an old adult.  From counting their tiny toes to the child remembering their mother and father. 

But for me, it is more than just a story to tell our child.  For me it is a book of hope. Someday all this waiting will be over.  Someday we will have a least one child.  Someday we will tell our children the story of how they came to be, how they were always meant to be in our family.

Until then, I think I'll leave this beautiful little book out for all to see.  Just a reminder of someday.

Cana

Monday, July 11, 2016

Music Monday - If We're Honest

So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
 
Today is If We're Honest by Francesca Battistelli



Hope you enjoy!

Cana

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Penny Saved Is a Penny Earned

“God Knew that it doesn't matter how your children get to your family.  It just matters that they get there."  Kira Mortenson

When you think about adoption, about your children that are out there, just waiting for you, you know it doesn't matter what you have to do to get them.  It only matters that in the end they are with you.

What is hard to accept is the cost of adoption.  There is no such thing as a free adoption.  On average, adoptions range between $18,000-60,000 depending on where you adopt from and how quickly the adoption takes place.  That cost doesn't count what you pay for outside of the agency.  Things like home renovation aren't accounted for in those costs.  And still for us, it doesn't matter.

Now, that is not to say that I'm not stressing over where that money will come from.  Because, I totally am stressing at times.  I mean, $18,000 is a LOT of money.  I don't think I've ever seen that much money in one place at one time.  So we did something to help me not stress so much about the money.

We have this jar on our dining room table.  It is a simple, blue mason jar that I bought for our wedding, with one of my scrapbook stickers on it.  Mike chose what the jar would be labeled as, and wrote it on the jar.  He calls it the "Goodbye Geek Room Jar".  I call it our "baby jar".  But in all reality, it is one of our adoption funds. 


Protected by the T.A.R.D.I.S and a Dalek

It is simple and plain.  It isn't very full, but we put in what change and cash we have.  We have jars on our desk at work, and our loving co-workers have helped by putting coinage in the jars too.

It isn't our only funds for our adoption, (No, we have our savings accounts that we are trying to line with the money needed for the adoption) but it is the most visible one.  For me, it is a beautiful, physical reminder that one day, in the place of that simple blue mason jar, we will have a child sitting at our table. 

And that is what helps us keep saving.  We are only 15% towards our first of 2 goals. Once we have reached the first goal, we can start the paperwork, and go through the home study.  And it seems so far away, especially, when you think that 15% is still so far from 100% of just goal #1. 

In the mean time, we are going to keep preparing our hearts and our home for our future child. 

Cana

Monday, July 4, 2016

Music Monday -- Trust In You

Welcome to Music Monday! 
 
So for those who know me, music is a big part of my life.  So as we have started going through the process of adopting, I have actually created a play list for me to listen to when I'm up or down about the whole journey. 
 
Today is Trust In You by Lauren Daigle. 




Hope you enjoy!

Cana

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Rocks, The Hard Places, The Frying Pans, And The Fires.

Yes, that is my long-haired fur baby, Sweetpea, in the corner. 
A lot is going on in our life right now. My job changes, fridge is acting up, struggling to find balance in our life as a married couple.  And if that wasn't enough, we discovered that the job I'm going to be starting in less than a week and a half, doesn't give maternity leave for those adopting.  Period. 

I would have to take MFLA, which means a minimum of 6 weeks of no pay.  That's a lot to take in.  Not only do we now need to save for the adoption itself, which could be anywhere from between $9,000 to $35,000, we also need to figure out how to save up a minimum of 3 paychecks (thinking of a biweekly pay schedule).  When you think of that, that's a LOT of money.  That is almost 2 paychecks worth of money. 

And honestly, I broke down.  Why does this have to be so hard?  Why can't we just be able to get pregnant?  Teenagers, drug addicts, and people who don't want children seem to get pregnant so easily, why can't we?

My mood didn't help my husband.  We are both struggling with the idea of my pay changes, change of schedule, and now the news about what extra money we will have to save.  Knowing all of this, knowing that it might take a whole lot longer than we expected to be able to become parents hurts honestly.  And it is hard to keep that hope that we will one day have children alive. 

On Monday (which is when HR told us that lovely news), my friend KL had sent Mike & I a gift.  We had opened the package, saw it's lovely contents, but didn't go further with it.  Until this morning. 

We have had a hard two days.  And looking at the Adoption Encouragement Jar (I'll post an entry later next week about our lovely jar), I felt the need to open it.  I need encouragement today.  Mike needed encouragement today.  I didn't know if what I would pick out of the jar would help, but it couldn't hurt.  And this is what it said (for those who can't read the words in the picture):

"Adoption is hard. 
Don't be afraid of something because it looks impossible. 
That is how God most easily shows His might;
by presenting you an opportunity to glorify Him,
then carrying you through it, and by leaving your testimony for the benefit of all."

Wow.  It hit the spot.  Adoption is hard.  A lot harder than I ever thought it would be.  And in some ways, I feel it shouldn't be hard (This is where Mike and I differ.  He feels that if it is worth doing, it should be hard.  I think we will continue to agree to disagree on that matter).  But that little scrap of paper is right.  By it being hard, by our struggles, others will know that they can get through the rocks, the hard places, the frying pans, and the fires.

To make things better, another friend, BE who is at the middle of their family's adoption process (They have the child, just waiting on TPR), called to tell me of the lawyer she had found. The price of the lawyer and home study was the lowest cost I had heard of yet. 

And it gives me hope.  Maybe we can do this.  Maybe it won't be so hard as it feels right now.  Maybe, just maybe, it will all be alright. (Hey, I'm not an optimist!  That is as good as you are going to get :0P).

So I want to encourage you today, just as I have been encouraged.  Take whatever struggle you have today, and make it an opportunity.  I can't promise it will be easy. I know it isn't.  But when we look back on these moments, how can we not be surprised and delighted that we survived with stories to tell and help others survive. 

Cana