Friday, June 24, 2011

Big Changes

Life has felt much like a three-ring circus over here for the last 2 weeks. My husband and I have never raised a puppy this young, so I'm not sure we quite knew what we were getting into. We studied hard before Layla arrived, and we thought we had all of our ducks in a row, but much like babies...every dog is different, and we've had a lot of learning and adjusting to do along the way. Today, however, I feel much more in control than I have in a while, so things are looking up!

Enough about the dog...I have some significant updates to share about Emmy as well. Emmy has been growing and maturing more quickly these last couple of weeks than ever! She seems more like a kid and less like a baby every day, and we're having lots of fun! She rolls over like it's nothing these days. She giggles. She smiles. She "sings." She pats me on the shoulder. She wants to stand on my lap ALL the time. She's beginning to seem much more like Zizi than Miss M, and I know it's only a matter of time before she keeps me just as busy as Zizi did each day!

It's been a unique experience having Emmy around. Since the beginning, the situation has been very hush-hush. Since she isn't visiting with anyone, Emmy has felt much more like a permanent fixture in our lives. We have prayed through it regularly, however, and have really never allowed ourselves to entertain the idea that we might be given the opportunity to be a permanent home for this little one. Thank the Lord that He has guarded our hearts in this way, because we got word at the end of last week that a relative has come forward and offered to accept Emmy into his home. It's all very sudden and very peculiar after the information we've been receiving over the past 2 months. However, we are preparing ourselves for the possibility that Emmy may not be with us much longer.

  • Please pray over the home study process for this family member. Pray that the case workers would be thorough and discerning. We want Emmy to be with family, but more importantly, we want her to be safe and stable in her permanent home.
  • Pray for my husband and I as we cope with the stress of our hectic life coupled with the emotion that is sure to come over the next month or two as we prepare to receive the news about Emmy's permanent placement.
  • Pray that my husband and I will be able to carve out time to spend together and to give each other our undivided attention for a while.
  • Pray that Layla won't pull my attention away from Emmy too badly. This has really been a struggle the past few days, but today is far better.
  • Emmy has a couple of important doctor's appointments on Monday and Wednesday of this week. Pray that all reports are positive!
  • Continue to pray for Emmy's mom - her health, her faith, her support system, and her safety.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Enter Layla

Meet Layla, the newest addition to our already busy household! She comes with a lot of work but even more fun :)

I don't have much time to update right now (as you can imagine with both a 5-month-old baby girl and a 2-month-old puppy in the house), but I will tell you about a little challenge we've given ourselves. We want this puppy to be the most well-socialized, well-behaved dog on the block, so we have challenged ourselves to have at least 100 people visit her at our house before July 5, when she turns 3 months old. Please come visit us!! She's adorable and fun, and this will really help her learn to love people...a special invitation to kids and men!!

Also, seems like a silly thing to ask, but we would appreciate prayers. We got Layla because we love dogs, but I also am 100% convinced that there is therapeutic value when people in stressful situations interact with sweet puppies. I so want Layla to serve that function for foster children who enter our home, and I might like to finally achieve my goal of training this dog to be a certified therapy dog. We feel the weight of this even more heavily sense our situation with Peanut, so pray that we get rest and pray that we do a good job in this crucial month of her little life!

Things with Emmy are good. This weekend obviously threw her routine for a loop, but hopefully tomorrow will be the beginning of a more normal week for her. Continue to pray diligently for her mother. The updates I receive get more and more dire every day.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Say Cheese!

After many requests, I wanted to post what photos I can of these precious girls. It's a shame I can't post photos of their beautiful faces, but you can get a glimpse of what life has been like lately!


Story time with dad. We never got through more than a few pages with this girl. 

Zizi had lots of fun with Bebe! I think Bebe had a pretty good time as well :)

Translation: " you even see what she is doing with my bells?? 
Are you going to do nothing about this?"

Zizi loved Peanut!

Big buddies :)

At this point, Peanut was pretty starved for love and attention. Sweet thing!

We started to do motorboats with Zizi's bottom lip. 
Smart girl got the hang of it and started to return the favor!

Miss M.

Miss M spent many evenings like this. I don't think either of them minded it one bit!

Miss M's first visit to the church nursery with some very excited volunteers.


Peanut really watched over Emmy. It was always cute to watch...always wanted to stay close.

One of the few times I had the TV on...muted, no less...and Emmy was glued to it. 
Maybe we need to get this girl a racquet!

Foster agency pool party! Have I mentioned that I adore our agency??

Emmy LOVES the pool :)

That's all I've got so far. Unfortunately, we have far more to post of Zizi than the other two. When they're not moving around just yet, we rarely catch photos that don't show those gorgeous faces!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Oh How He Loves Us

"And we know that in all things God works 
for the good of those who love him, 
who have been called according to his purpose." 
Romans 8:28

I have cried more tears over the past few weeks than I can remember crying in quite some time. Many of you have witnessed this as I have struggled to hold it together in the hall, at the park, or on the phone. Thanks for being my shoulders to cry on!

The tears originally stemmed from shock and disbelief. Then, they stemmed from fear of the unknown. They were angry tears for a little while, but today, I finally have tears of joy.

Allow me to give you a timeline of how the end of our week went:

On Wednesday, a sweet couple who we did not yet know lost their only pet, their pet hamster. 

On Thursday morning, that couple decided they might want to adopt a dog. 

On Thursday afternoon, my husband and I finally broke down and sent e-mails and posted fliers to find a home for Peanut. We had sent several e-mails and Facebook messages through friends and family, but we figured it was about time to do some advertising of our own.

On Thursday evening, my husband and I (foolishly) decided to go visit a dog we had found on We know we're crazy. If you're a dog lover, you understand! It just doesn't quite feel like home without a dog curled up at our feet!

As we got in the car on Thursday evening, we received a message from the aforementioned sweet couple who said they were interested in meeting Peanut.

They came Saturday and took Peanut home today (Sunday).

We couldn't be happier with Peanut's new home, but we are understandably sad about the hole that it leaves in ours. More than anything, we are thankful that we serve a God who cares about us so deeply - even the silly things in life that others might see as insignificant. Our dog was important to us, and the Lord was so faithful to hear our prayers and provide exactly what we needed. 

When I spoke with the lady from one rescue agency, she was blown away that we had found a home so quickly. What a sweet opportunity that was to boast in the Lord.

Thank you for praying with us. Be encouraged that the Lord loves you more than you could ever imagine. Of this we can be sure.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Zizi!

We're having such a fun time thinking of Zizi today and how much more grown-up she must be since she was with us 3 months ago. I'm sure she's walking by now. She was awfully close in March already! I am sure she is as spirited as ever, talking and laughing up a storm. I hope she is being celebrated and loved on all day today.

We were so fortunate to get a fun update last week. The DFACS supervisor for Emmy's case is the same lady who supervised Zizi's case, so I took the opportunity to ask if she had heard any news from Zizi in Chicago. She was thrilled to report that Zizi seems to be doing very well with her dad. She had just closed out her Georgia paperwork, so no more updates from here on. Now she will be overseen by the state of Illinois, but what a good note to end on!

Zizi, we love you girlfriend, and are celebrating YOU today! Maybe I'll find a way to sneak some green peas into our dinner tonight in honor of you, or maybe we'll all wear shower caps at dinner :) Maybe I'll start teaching Emmy to Patty Cake, or maybe I'll sing another rousing version of "I like to eat, eat, eat eeples and beneenees!!" I'll certainly give your buddy, Peanut a big hug for you.

We are so thankful that you were born!

"The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace."
Numbers 6:24-26