Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A journey I didn't see coming until now

So I'm finally able to share!!  Here we go...   

If someone would have said "you will be adopting a precious little blond-haired, brown-eyed boy with Down Syndrome from another country" 4 years ago. Shoot. Even 4 months ago-I would have said YOU ARE CRAZY!  As I've been reflecting on how my husband and I reached this point in our lives, I now see the plan God has slowly been revealing to us over time.  He has gently introduced people, experiences, struggles, and joys bit-by-bit to soften our hearts and prepare us for Blake.
You see, my personal journey began about 4 years ago.  I was introduced to Amy.  Amy has Down Syndrome.  Amy was considered obese and her family had tried desperately to motivate her to lose weight for fear that her life would end all too soon.  That's where I came in.  Her family hired me as her personal trainer to get her on track with her eating and exercise.  Amy and I began to meet two times a week.  Slowly her weight began to fall off, pound by pound.  Within the first year, she lost almost 88 lbs!  But much more than that, I began an endearing, personal relationship with Amy.  She shared her desires, hopes, and dreams with me.  We became dear friends.  Soon Amy introduced me to her other friends.  Not long after I was providing exercise sessions for many of Amy's friends.  Those in wheelchairs, those with Autism, Down Syndrome, Genetic disorders, and much more.  I now base my wellness business solely on serving those with special needs.  These are my best friends. No. They are my second family. I no longer see their disabilities, but their capabilities, their motivation, and their joy.  They have changed my life more than I could ever change theirs.

This change is probably the single most effective factor in bringing Blake into our family.
So, thank you Amy and Amy's friends.  You know who you are. You don't know what an impact you are having on my life, but also on improving the life of our soon-to-be son, Blake.

I can't wait to share the details of the journey that brought us to this place.

The only way to explain it is...it has been all God.  Nothing humanly possible could have created this opportunity for our family.

  Go to: http://reecesrainbow.org/sponsorwoods to read more, familiarize yourself with the other orphans..be careful they will melt your hearts!  I will be holding several fundraisers in the next few months to raise funds and awareness for these children!  Including my next 21-Day Workout Challenge.  More to come.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Little Nadine

Meet Nadine.  

She is pretty cute.  Despite having just been woke up.  This little gal has a special place in our home because we have been assigned "Prayer Warrior's" for this baby girl.  Our constant prayers are for someone to see her as their own and become her Forever Family.  This little gal lives in an orphanage in Eastern Europe.  She will never celebrate her birthday, never know of a holiday, never get hugs and kisses, never get gifts, or spoiled by a grandparent...unless someone steps out in faith and brings her into their family.  

Leah and I make a point to pray for her every night. 

Amidst the prayers for her teddy bear, Ken and Barbie...

For new monkey bars.  

For a warm day to go to the pool. 

For her friends Rylie, Savannah...her daddy, etc.

She utters a simple, innocent prayer of "and help baby Nadine know you have the whole world in your hands."

Baby Nadine wasn't the only one who needed that reminder tonight.  

So did I...and I imagine, so do we all.


Girl, born June 2010

What a gift to be able to list another little one before her first birthday!
Nadine has Down syndrome and  congenital heart disease, for which she has already had surgery!   Truly, this is one lucky little girl!  Even if she wasn't happy they woke her up for pictures :)

These children are blessed to be in an excellent orphanage, however this region typically requires 3 trips.  This is a great orphanage and the children receive excellent care, and there is minimal travel in-country.  This orphanage is close to the Capital city, so it's fantastic for sight-seeing.
We have had many successful adoptions from this orphanage, and families are willing to share their experiences.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Just a hint.

Thoughts about the evening. 

Autum was in bed. Hope she sleeps through the night.

Jerad was planted on the couch.  Feet up.  Watching Rambo. Wish I had time to do that.  But I hate Rambo.  So wouldn't want to sit down and watch that anyway.

Leah was quiet.  Wow, she's being really quiet.  Wait a minute. . . Uh oh.  Not a good sign when she's that quiet.  Leah? Where is Leah?

Well this is what I found her doing.
Coloring this picture. 
It almost made me cry. 
Not because my body is two times the size of Jerad's...but because this picture represents so much more than a 5-year old drawing of her mommy and daddy. 
It represents a notebook that I hope to be able to share the contents of over the next few weeks.  I will also show you the picture on the back that is just as sweet.
Stay tuned.

Friday, May 27, 2011


     Most people associate me with exercise, fitness, running, and working out. Which is okay, because I think it is an image I tried so hard, for so long, to portray.  Let me tell you something, trying to be something you are not is hard.  Don't get me wrong.  I love fitness and helping others change their lifestyles to more healthy ones.  But this is the difference, it is something I love and am passionate about.  But it no longer defines me.  God has been changing my heart and I hope to share that journey with you as we go along.  Just know that until recently I did not know what this change was all about-or that it was even taking place.  But it all makes sense now.
But for now we are headed out to Leah's first horseback riding lesson.  Could be interesting.  I grew up around horses and learned responsibility at a young age.  I hope to instill that in Leah.  But I'm not sure how that is going to go...she's changed her clothes three times this morning and we still have 3 hours until we go.  Responsibility is not even on our radar at the moment, only "can I wear flip-flops?"  "can I wear a hat?" "what about a skirt?" I'll try to post some pictures later.
As we were headed out the door, I said "what color of horse do you think you will ride?"
And Leah replied, "I don't know! But I sure hope she has a unicorn.!" At that moment, I realized we need to get out to the farm more often...

Leah and Mary Kay! (both red-heads)