Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tee Shirt Fundraiser!

We are selling tee shirts to help fund our adoption and need everyone's help! The shirts come in charcoal and hot pink and are only $15 for sizes S-XL, add an extra dollar for every X beyond an XL.
If you would like to order just email me at jburt0104@gmail.com and let me know the size and color you would like. Also, if you need shipping please add $3 to your total and include your address. For payment just click the donate button on the right side of this page.
If you have any questions just let me know. Thank you so much for your support in bringing our little one home to her forever family! God Bless!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day 2012

We had a great Father's Day weekend!  Friday night our dear friend's the Johnson's came over and had dinner and it was so much fun!  We talked and let the kids play, the dad's even got their gloves and ball out for some catch.  Let me just say, I think they still have it!  Saturday was our day to celebrate Josh as a family of four.  We relaxed, went out to lunch, went to Orange Leaf and just enjoyed our time together.  Sunday was great, but honestly felt like two days rolled into one.  We visited a new ABF class, that we loved : )  Then went to worship, had lunch with the Johnson's again (They are moving very soon, so we are trying to hang out as much as we can!) and then came home for the kids to take a nap.  The pictures are of our Father's Day cookout.  It was so nice being all together, but my poor hubby did have to grill with an umbrella out in the rain!  He was such a good sport.  I think everyone had fun.  Will did NOT want to get his picture taken, but he didn't want to stop playing to go home either.  Cousins are a wonderful thing!
I am so thankful God blessed me with a husband that truly loves being a father and tries to live out his faith daily for our family.  I'm so proud to be his wife. As we move toward adding another child to our family I know that, our once orphaned daughter will have a daddy of her very own that will treat her like the treasure she is.  That's a good thing to know.  It gives you a security and a peace that comes right from the Lord.  My dad stepped up for me and was a father to the fatherless and I am so grateful.  He is an amazing dad and person and I love him so.  He taught me how to work hard, do things for myself, and to put your own needs behind the needs of those you love.  A daddy's girl, I will always be.

 My sister Katie's first cake!
 Papaw and Hadley Boo
 Chucky and Will
 Chucky, Will, and Kim
 My crew!  Our sign says, "We love Dad"  but we were having some trouble!
 My Dad and his kiddos, minus Jessie who had to work
 Group photo!
 Papaw and his girls
 Daddy and his girls
 Uncle Chris being the baby whisperer for our sleepy girl
 Camy giving Josh the gift she made him
Melts my heart!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Our Dossier No Longer Lives Here!

I am very happy to announce that our dossier was mailed yesterday!!!  It will not get to Ethiopia for a few weeks because it must first go to West Sands in Utah, be authenticated, and then make it's way to Africa but the point is, it is no longer in Kentucky, and that my friends does my heart all kinds of good : )  Once it does get to Ethiopia we will officially be put on the "List" and will be awaiting our referral, i.e. a picture of our DAUGHTER along with all the other information available about her.

For documenting purposes I will tell this story, because I know that God has a purpose and a plan for things not going how I  wanted and for them going exactly how He had planned.  We were hoping to mail our dossier shortly after our last home study interview on May 3.  We knew it would take our social worker some time to write our home study and for it to be approved but after that all the other paperwork was ready and waiting at Lifeline to be sent out.....or so I thought.  Our home study was approved on May 21 but after reviewing our dossier they found the marriage license and Josh's birth certificate to be insufficient.  Apparently Jefferson Co. never mailed our marriage license to the state so when I went through Vital Check in March to get it they couldn't find it.  I called the county and they gave me a certified copy.  This was fine for our home study, but apparently Ethiopia wants the real deal.  I receive an email saying to call Lifeline and found out we are going to need to get the official state copy and we need a more recently issued copy of Josh's birth certificate, because obviously it may have changed from a few years ago and now (insert sarcasm and rolled eyes).  I call the county again about our marriage license and they tell me to come downtown and they will issue me one with a state seal on it so I could avoid waiting for the county to mail the license to the state and the state mailing it to me.  So I take both girls downtown and get a new copy from the county with a state seal.  Our directer checks out my new copy and says we can try but she's not sure if Ethiopia will accept it.  Well, there's no point in sending all our stuff over there if it's not right so Frankfort was my next phone call.  For government employees everyone I spoke to was extremely nice and helpful.  They got it to me as quickly as they could and I am very grateful, because I thought it would take over a month. Josh's mom took care of getting the new birth certificate for him since they live in a small town and Vital Check wanted me to send in a DNA sample just to get a copy from Indiana (insert more sarcasm, LOL).  So thanks to Deb and some kind ladies in the department of vital statistics all is well.

Please pray our dossier is treated with kit gloves and makes it to Ethiopia as quickly as possible.  Once I get FedEx confirmation it has arrived we can take a breath of relief and begin the big wait.  Please pray for our patience, our daughter's health and protection, smooth processes in Ethiopia, and for us to draw nearer to God during this time and give Him glory for everything! Thank you all so much!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Different Perspective

I found this on line today and I had to repost it.  For many people adoption is a vague concept and the only real image they have for it is Angelina Jolie.  They seem to think she is just collocting kids and that everything is easy in the life of the rich and famous.  I have no idea what her life is like, but I do know that adoption, although beautiful, stems from a tragedy.  Extreme pain and brokeness is found in the heart of every adopted child because God did not design the world to be this way.  Because of sin we have orphans, but even in this sinful world God has promised to set the lonely in families and that He himself would be a father to the fatherless.  By following God's command to care for orphans and adopting them into our families we must also cling to His promises.  He will never leave us nor forsake us.  He will equip us and use us as vessels to heal the hearts of our adopted children.  This passage taking from http://www.rainbowkids.com/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=418, gives us a way to relate to the life of an orphan and the loss they suffer repeatedly.  Even the smallest child, all though they may not specifically remember the events, has implicit memories and grieves these losses.  God is the healer of all these hurts, so even though it is tempting to be overwhelmed by the job of taking care of a child from such a hard place, there is HOPE.  So to those who think adoption is a "fad", educate yourself.  I know after 19 hours of required education, along with countless other hours spent researching, that adoption is not for the faint of heart and it is certainly not like getting the latest hand bag.  I'm humbled that God chose our family for this journey and my prayer is that He will work in us and that each day I will see less and less of me and more and more of Him.

Imagine for a moment....

You have met the person you've dreamed about all your life. He has every quality that you desire in a spouse. You plan for the wedding, enjoying every free moment with your fiancée. You love his touch, his smell, the way he looks into your eyes. For the first time in your life, you understand what is meant by soul mate, for this person understands you in a way that no one else does. Your heart beats in rhythm with his. Your emotions are intimately tied to his every joy, his every sorrow.

The wedding comes. It is a happy celebration, but the best part is that you are finally the wife of this wonderful man. You fall asleep that night, exhausted from the day's events, but relaxed and joyful in the knowledge that you are next to the person who loves you more than anyone in the worldthe person who will be with you for the rest of your life. The next morning you wake up, nestled in your partner's arms. You open your eyes and immediately look for his face. But it's not him! You are in the arms of another man. You recoil in horror. Who is this man?

Where is your beloved?
You ask questions of the new man, but it quickly becomes apparent that he doesn't understand you. You search every room in the house, calling and calling for your husband. The new guy follows you around, trying to hug you, pat you on the back. . .even trying to stroke your arm, acting like everything is okay. But you know that nothing is okay. Your beloved is gone. Where is he? Will he return? When? What has happened to him? Weeks pass. You cry and cry over the loss of your beloved. Sometimes you ache silently, in shock over what has happened. The new guy tries to comfort you. You appreciate his attempts, but he doesn't speak your language-either verbally or emotionally. He doesn't seem to realize the terrible thing that has happened...that your sweetheart is gone.

You find it difficult to sleep. The new guy tries to comfort you at bedtime with soft words and gentle touches, but you avoid him, preferring to sleep alone, away from him and any intimate words or contact. Months later, you still ache for your beloved, but gradually you are learning to trust this new guy. He's finally learned that you like your coffee black, not doctored up with cream and sugar. Although you still don't understand his bedtime songs, you like the lilt of his voice and take some comfort in it. More time passes. One morning, you wake up to find a full suitcase sitting next to the front door. You try to ask him about it, but he just takes you by the hand and leads you to the car. You drive and drive and drive. Nothing is familiar. Where are you? Where is he taking you?

You pull up to a large building. He leads you to an elevator and up to a room filled with people. Many are crying. Some are ecstatic with joy. You are confused. And worried. The man leads you over to the corner. Another man opens his arms and sweeps you up in an embrace. He rubs your back and kisses your cheeks, obviously thrilled to see you. You are anything but thrilled to see him. Who in the world is he? Where is your beloved? You reach for the man who brought you, but he just smiles (although he seems to be tearing up, which concerns you), pats you on the back, and puts your hand in the hands of the new guy. The new guy picks up your suitcase and leads you to the door. The familiar face starts openly crying, waving and waving as the elevator doors close on you and the new guy. The new guy drives you to an airport and you follow him, not knowing what else to do. Sometimes you cry, but then the new guy tries to make you smile, so you grin back, wanting to get along. You board a plane. The flight is long. You sleep a lot, wanting to mentally escape from the situation.

Hours later, the plane touches down. The new guy is very excited and leads you into the airport where dozens of people are there to greet you. Light bulbs flash as your photo is taken again and again. The new guy takes you to another guy who hugs you. Who is this one? You smile at him. Then you are taken to another man who pats your back and kisses your cheek. Then yet another fellow gives you a big hug and messes your hair. Finally, someone (which guy is this?) pulls you into his arms with the biggest hug you've ever had. He kisses you all over your cheeks and croons to you in some language you've never heard before.

He leads you to a car and drives you to another location. Everything here looks different. The climate is not what you're used to. The smells are strange. Nothing tastes familiar, except for the black coffee. You wonder if someone told him that you like your coffee black. You find it nearly impossible to sleep. Sometimes you lie in bed for hours, staring into the blackness, furious with your husband for leaving you, yet aching from the loss. The new guy checks on you. He seems concerned and tries to comfort you with soft words and a mug of warm milk. You turn away, pretending to go to asleep.

People come to the house. You can feel the anxiety start to bubble over as you look into the faces of all the new people. You tightly grasp the new guy's hand. He pulls you closer. People smile and nudge one other, marveling at how quickly you've fallen in love. Strangers reach for you, wanting to be a part of the happiness. Each time a man hugs you, you wonder if he will be the one to take you away. Just in case, you keep your suitcase packed and ready. Although the man at this house is nice and you're hanging on for dear life, you've learned from experience that men come and go, so you just wait in expectation for the next one to come along.

Each morning, the new guy hands you a cup of coffee and looks at you expectantly. A couple of times the pain and anger for your husband is so great that you lash out, sending hot coffee across the room, causing the new guy to yelp in pain. He just looks at you, bewildered. But most of the time you calmly take the cup. You give him a smile. And wait. And wait. And wait.
-Cynthia Hockman-Chupp

It's Official!

On June 2nd we headed south for a very special wedding.  Josh's brother Justin and his fiance Miranda had a Hitchin' Party!  This wedding was special for many reason's including my new sister in law and aunt for the littles, and the happiness that it means for their new family.  But, my absolute favorite part of this long awaited union.....my four new nieces and nephews!  I really love these kids.  Don't get me wrong the grown ups are loved too!  Admittedly, I am a bit akward with adults and take awhile to come out of my shell, but with kids I feel right at ease.  I love to listen to them talk and ask a million questions, and I love watching them play.  Kids are just humanity in it's purest, and most desirable form, period.  So, to get four new kiddos to love on, get to know, and watch grow makes me smile.
We are so happy for Justin and Miranda and the entire "Burt Bunch".  You guys make a great couple and I don't think Justin could have asked for a more beautiful bride. I can't wait to make lots of family memories with all of you. Congrats and we love you!

 The Bride and her handsome escort Hayden
 Hannah with Karrington making their way down the aisle.  She is an awesome big sister!
 The Completed Family
 The only acceptable place for Camy to sit : )
 Halle and Hadley
 Kare Bear, Camy, and Hadley
The gang's all here!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dancing Queen

 Hot Stuff : )
 Mamaw curled her hair and boy did she have a lot of it!
 Trophy time
 Her cute little dance class
 Photo's were not allowed so this is the only one I got with no flash!
(Don't worry we have video)
 She got flowers from Mamaw, Nana, and Aunt Jessie
 Daddy and his Princess
We were so proud of her!

Last week Cameryn had her first dance recital and it was so stinkin cute!  She started classes in January and they learned a ballet routine to "Over the Rainbow" and a tap routine to Zipadeedoodah.  We were beaming with pride as she took the stage both times and about died laughing too.  I don't know if it's because the song is slower, but for the ballet routine she was just in her own world and when the girls all moved to the left she went with them, but when they started to go back to the right again she kept on going left!  We thought she was going to leave the stage but she came running back out : )  If I can figure out how to load the video on here you all can see what I mean.  It was hilarious!  We were so grateful that so many people came to support her.  My mom, dad, Rod, Jessie, Katie, their friend Katelyn, Kim, Deb, and Ted were all there so she had her own little cheering section, it was awesome!
She started taking classes in January and we got to know the sweet little girls in her class and their parents.  Overall, it was a good experience and something we will never forget.  I'm not sure if she is going to keep dancing or not, but her first recital was great!  Mommy and Daddy are so proud of you Camy Lynn!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mayberry Will Never Be the Same

On May 19, 2012 my sweet Aunt Bee went to be with the Lord.  She was an amazing, strong, funny, smart, and spunky woman and she will be so greatly missed.  Since my grandma on that side of the family passed away when I was 8 and she was about 12 years older than my dad Aunt Bee filled that role in my life and the lives of my siblings and cousins.  Every family event was at her house and she made sure it was great.  We had food to feed all of us three times over and she cooked it all.  She never wanted people to bring a dish, she always said, "Just bring yourself."  She would stay up all night cooking so that we could be together.  Family was so important to her and she made us all feel important and special.
 As I got older and had the girls she was always there for me with advice, encouragement, and truth.  You could count on her to be honest with you.  She taught me how to sew on a button one night while we were having coffee and talking for hours.  Those moments were so precious then and are especially precious to me now.  She would tell me old stories about  my dad and our family and you could feel her love for our entire family in those stories.  No one could ever take her place and I am, selfishly, so sad to know that she is no longer part of this world, even though I know she is in a much better place.
My Aunt Bee loved Jesus.  One night towards the end I spent the night with her and we read Psalms and she would pray.  She wanted so badly to be healed and see her next grandbaby be born, but she always clung to the Lord's Prayer and asked that His will be done.  Being a believer at a time like this I have to cling to God's word a lot.  I know His ways are good and I can't understand Him and that He loves my Aunt Bee more than I do.  That is the truth.  All my feelings and questions can be satisfied with that.
I am so thankful to have had an Aunt who loved me like a daughter and loved my little family.  I wish I would have spent more time visiting and calling.  Walking in to her house the first thing you did was take off your shoes and then you would hear, "Hey, baby!"  and you  knew you had a place at the table with her.  I know one day when I get to see Jesus she will be there with a "Hey, Baby!" for me.  Until then I am going to do my best to be like her and love the Lord and the family He has given me.  I want my neices and nephews to know how special they are to me and always have my junk drawer stocked with goodies and coffee ready to go.
I love and miss you Aunt Bee!