Sunday, November 28, 2010

Catch Up

We have been consumed with getting our house "in order" to be officially listed. A crazy amount of work has gone into this place in the past couple weeks and it is looking amazing! Hopefully someone else thinks so too! (local, and looking for a starter home that is CHEAPER than renting(2 bed, 2 bath, 1241 sq. ft.? CONTACT ME!)

We will be live on the MLS on Friday and prayers for a quick sell would be greatly appreciated. We have to sell(and buy) before we can continue on our journey to adoption. There are some great properties for sale in the area we are looking at, with UNBELIEVABLE prices. A lot of square feet for not a lot of money, and perfect for large, growing families. (I should mention the prices are unbelievable for our area, which is Ohio... if you live in another part of the country these prices would hardly buy you a shack. Actually I think it is less than a shack would cost in Vancouver, BC.)

Since we have been busy on mundane house stuff, I have been neglecting a few of my other duties a little more than I like, namely photo editing, and filling custom orders from our shop. But good news, I will be caught up tomorrow and items will be shipped out Tuesday morning at the latest. If you are waiting on an item from me, THANK YOU for being so patient! We have been so blessed with orders from strangers and friends alike. Those of you who are waiting just may be finding a little extra goodie in your box to make up for the delay!

And what is a post without a picture? (Which sadly too many of mine are without, I hope to remedy that!) Here is one of my favorites of a recent shoot that I just edited only minutes ago. For more go here. There is still time to fit in a holiday session with "rush delivery". I will even upload some favorites same day to your printer of choice so you can have your Cards delivered before Christmas! As always 100% of your fees go directly toward our adoption fund.

Is that not the most beautiful picture ever? LOVE IT, Baby and Momma snuggling after some nursing time, so sweet.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

MBM(or tuesday...) {HE..}

(So not really kicked out as much as graduated... But I am one happy and proud momma to a perfectly on target little boy. Take that "may never roll over"!)

For part 1 of this story read here. We are linked up over at A Place called Simplicity, go and check out all of the awesome stories that make up "Memorial Box Monday" (or Tuesday in this case!).

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Oh how we love our zoo. Love. Love. LOVE. It is huge, and consistently ranked among the top zoo's in the nation. Every winter they have Wildlights where they put up millions(billions? anyone know the number?) of lights everywhere. This weekend was the first weekend of them, and we took advantage of the not too freezing weather and went to check them out!

I also love this lovely baby-wearing fleece vest called a Peekaroo. It fits over most carriers including the moby, Beco, Ergo, slings, and mei-tais. I scored one at a local natural kids store at 75% of this spring, which made this picture possible. Those things aren't cheap!

Friday, November 19, 2010

So I stumbled upon this fund raising raffle and I thought I would share. Are these dolls not ah-maz-ing? It is taking everything in my power not to click over to that Etsy shop(which part of the proceeds benefit Ethiopian Orphans) and snatch one up for Lizzy. (although if anyone in the blog world wants to get her one I would not complain... she has requested the red hair one, "Just like me!")

Anyways back to the point. This family is raffling off one of these custom dolls (made to your liking) for a simple 5 dollar donation. So skip your Starbucks, enter to win this for one of your kids, or a special little one in your life, and help bring home an orphan.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Too much stuff!

5 bags of trash.

4 bins "curb alerted" on Craigslist.

4 larger bins packed for storage.

Just today.

And I feel like I haven't made a dent.

(side note we are looking for "helpers" this weekend for some projects... any takers?)

Monday, November 15, 2010

MBM {Sweet Words}

Week 2, aren't we all proud? Memorial Box Monday actually isn't up, the original blog has had some family stuff going on, so I'm guessing it will be posted late. Oh well, I wasn't going to miss week two of my new venture!

This week has been a crazy one. Getting our house ready to sell just seems like a daunting task, one that I feel like is being "taken advantage of," if you get my drift. It would be sooooo much easier to hang up our hats on this whole thing, give up, and stay put for a while longer.

But that is not what we are called to do, we are not called to be comfortable, but rather step out in faith. Even if the current "stepping out" is emptying "junk" and painting.(Anyone local want some junk?) But I digress.

In the midst of this week, my little girl decided that she needed to do a "picture time" (aka photo shoot) of her "Ack and Echo". So she proceeded to find a blanket, lay it out, pose her babies, and start snapping away with her little Nikon. (We teach 'em young around here!)

And in the midst of all of the action she looked up at me and said, "Mommy, your my best friend". Oh precious girl, stay this age forever!

Setting up her shot.

"Cheese" Got it!

They got a little cranky, time for a paci break.

Kneeling down, getting on her babies level. All about perspective!

Taken with my camera, using the view finder, holding it all by herself. Is Christmas too early to get her her first DSLR? :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Another Christmas Link up

These are EVERYWHERE, and I am so very thankful that they are! This brings great traffic to our blog which means more prayers and more support! Wohoo! So if you are one of my faithful readers, forgive me for some of the redundancy, part of the rules are a new post :)

If you are new WELCOME! We are so glad you stopped by, and even more honored if you choose to do some of your Christmas shopping with us! We are a young family of four, just starting out our journey to adopt from Ethiopia. We cannot tell you how excited we are about this. For more information about us feel free to read the foundational posts up in the top left.

And now to the good stuff, our fundraisers! We have the norm, coffee, ordinary hero shirts (mention garrett family adoption in the memo), and hand adorned shirts(we are sporting these in our family picture up top!). We also have some that are a little more out of the box!

We have teamed up with Delcotto Designs for a Christmas Card Fundraiser. For more information about this and links to the company, check out this post that describes it in more detail. The product is amazingly cute, custom, and has very affordable options!

We are selling Shaklee products, they are green, they are safe, and they always work! If you have never heard of Shaklee check out the button on the right that says "Support Malot's Hope". Here you will find nutritional supplements, skin care, and amazing cleaning products.

And our "crown jewel" is our Etsy shop! Here you will find our previously mentioned shirts. Reusable "green" items(such as reusable snack bags, tissues, "paper towels", and baby wipes.) We also have great gifts for kids. Personalized hooded towels, wooden car sets, blankets and super hero capes! A great post with some pictures of our more recent items is found here!

So thanks for checking us out, and if you haven't already be sure to check out the other people linked up at the Road Less Traveled, we all have the amazing opportunity to help bring these children home with our Christmas purchases!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


We are going deeper and deeper into the "doll phase" over here, Lizzy is in love. She is in her room "napping" right now and has her babies with her, I can hear her telling them a story :)

But the names she has picked are the best...
"Eckha"(shown) and "Ack"(almost sounds like a clicking noise, similar to what you would image from a tribal language).

Oh and they, of course, are from "Aprica". She said she "needed to be their mommy because they didn't have a mommy or daddy."

Gotta love how they are always learning from us, my prayer is that I will be a good example!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Featured on We are Grafted In!

Kelly, over at We are Grafted In, left me a comment a while back about being added to their fundraising family site, and of course I was overjoyed. She then contacted me to see if we were interested in being one of their featured fundraising families, which was a complete no brainer, where do I sign up?
So head on over and check us out, and while you are there check out the other families as well. Just another place to help with your Christmas shopping :)
If this is your first time here, WELCOME, and we would love for you to be a part of our journey! Check out our "foundational posts" at the top left, as well our fundraisers on the right! More than anything we desire your prayers as we realize that it is only through God any of this can happen!
Ephesians 1:5 He predestined us for adoption to sonship, through Jesus Christ, in accordance to his pleasure and will-

Monday, November 8, 2010

Memorial Box Monday

I love the idea of a Memorial Box, a place where you can be thankful for what God is doing and has done in your life. So here goes nothing, my first entry to our memorial box, here's hoping I can keep it up, "day of the week" posts are not my strong suit! Be sure to check out the other "memorial box's" linked up over at A Place Called Simplicity

I will preface this to say that I NEVER thought I would be in this place, only by God's grace...

My memorial box entry is this, our sweet boy, the way he entered into our life and what happened to him while he was in the womb. The short of it, for those who are new is he began his short life in the NICU, after extensive birth trauma, and we subsequently found out he had a stroke in the womb resulting in significant brain damage. The long version is found here.

You see our life was on a much different course. Not a bad one, just different. We were sure we were to head overseas asap(for missions). It kinda was what we were holding onto, it was our end, and even an idol at times. What ended up happening though is we were in a constant state of transition, never truly settling down, as we would eventually be leaving this all behind.

Noah changed this all. He has doctors upon doctors, and appointments upon appointments, making life outside of a developed nation (or even away from a larger city) unrealistic. This really was the salt in the wound for a while. Our son may never sit up(what we were told roughly a year ago) AND we would never realize the dreams we have had since getting married. Honestly I NEVER thought I would get back to the point where I was excited about what God was doing in our life, that I was able to trust Him, and that I believed with my whole heart that he is good.

But I am there. This past week I have been marveling at how everything is working for the good of His Glory. We would never be considering adoption at this point would it not be for Noah and his birth. We wouldn't be moving if not for the adoption. We would not be going back to an amazing church had we not be moving. Our family and marriage is stronger. Our false pretenses with God have been ripped away. There is more, what seems like millions of small things are lining up, showing how there was indeed a plan all along. And we are forever grateful.

And just for those who are wondering, our sweet "special needs" boy is doing amazing. (The quotes are there because while he will always be special needs by diagnosis, I no longer view him as such.) He is hitting all of his milestones, and no longer has a delay. A memorial box entry all on it's own!

So there you have it, our first Memorial Box Monday, and a huge part to how we have gotten here!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Orphan Sunday

The most jaw dropping statistic EVER. If 7% of those who call themselves Christian's would ADOPT just ONE, the current orphans would all be in homes **. Today is Orphan Sunday.

Let's Stop.



Get OFF out Bums.





Change the life of a CHILD. Make a difference for ONE.

Because after all, we too are ADOPTED.

I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you. John 14:16

**I realize that adoption is not the complete answer, and adopting all of the current orphans is not feasible for various reasons. The statistic is more for the illustration, as it was for me when I first read it, that we as a collective group can really make a difference! For a more detailed explanation, see the wonderful comment by Haley.**

Friday, November 5, 2010

Be still my beating heart

I was reading and came across an adoption turned special needs blog. The most recent post was about surgery for spasticity, so I just assumed the little boy had CP(Cerebral Palsy). I'm not sure if he technically does or not, I never saw the diagnosis listed, but I didn't look either. Neither matters really.

When I started reading, and saw spasticity at all, a little whisper in the back of my head said, I wonder if he had a stroke...

So I clicked on the link that lead to his story of how they found out(linked above) and among other things the doctors think this poor little guy had MULTIPLE strokes in the womb. When he was taken home he was developmentally delayed, but that was thought to be from living in an institution.

I sat in shock, and anger, and gratitude, and a sense of unworth at reading this. I am so very blessed by what has happened with Noah. The best medical care. Every specialist under the sun. Therapies, conventional and alternative on a regular basis. And on the other side of it all, a little over a year later, is a MIRACLE. Babies who have strokes in the womb RARELY survive to start out with, but my little man is "graduating out" of some of his therapies, he's developmentally on track!

But this is because he was born in the United States. (Yes, we have prayed, and I don't question that the Lord has worked in him as well)He has access to medical care, simply because of where he was born. The thought of how far he would have to catch up after living in an orphanage for a significant part of his first year is mind boggling. And while I am obviously grateful he is doing so well, at the same time I am upset for babies who are not so fortunate.


I don't know, I can't even begin to describe the sadness I have for these kids who are deemed "special needs" in other countries, but not even the sadness, the anger.

My kiddos they have it so good, special food, special soaps, more supplements than any one person should take. Access to doctors and medicine. And around the world there are little boys and girls with similar situations, but because they didn't get the care they have much bigger mountains to climb.

Our family will fight, all kids deserve medical care, and all kids deserve a family. (Little known fact about me, when I was in high school I wanted to be a doctor, and spend a portion of the year working overseas with orphans. This was before I was a follower of Jesus, funny how seeds are planted!)

Musings on homes...

Your home study is a key part of adoption. A social worker comes(after you pay thousands of dollars) to your house numerous times, interviews the family, separately and together, inspects your home, and basically is the deciding factor on if you get to adopt, how many, and what ages. It's kinda a really big deal.

Some of you know that we have been looking to build a house to house our larger family. Currently we are in a 2 bedroom closet(whoops, I mean condo) with no basement or garage. It's a tight squeeze to say the least! The simple fact is, there is a good chance that we would not pass the home study for having more children in our home, and even if we passed for one, the door would most likely close for the option on adopting more than one. (We like keeping that option open!)

So we were going to build, which would put us moving in around 8 months or so from now, in plenty of time to be settled before the new addition(s) to the family.

Or so we thought.

We had our "prescreening" interview with the agency 2 days ago, and beside this minor glitch, it went great! But the glitch is this, YOU CAN'T MOVE DURING THE ADOPTION PROCESS. Ouch.

What is a family who feels like "now" is the time to adopt supposed to do?

We are changing our housing plans. This might seem kinda crazy/ stupid to some, but not to us. You see the house we were going to build was a means to an end, the end being the ability to adopt. We didn't feel particularly "called" to the area, or to the house. It wasn't a God thing, it was a way to walk forward in the God thing we are following. So instead of waiting, saving more, and renting our current place out, we are selling, saving the profit(we got an AMAZING deal on our current place), and buying an older, cheaper house.

We are really thrilled with this "new plan", and feel more peace about it overall. We are looking at the community surrounding our old church that we absolutely LOVE(Westerville and Vineyard Columbus if you are local). It is in a diverse area, with both African Americans, and Africans in large supply. We have recently found out that the church has a decent sized community of families who have adopted from Ethiopia! Visions of multi cultural play dates dance in my head.

So if you are praying for us, please please pray for our housing situation! We need to get ours ready, sell, find a great house(with hopefully 4 bedrooms so we can keep a dedicated guest room for visitors, a basement or "extra" space for a playroom and storage, kitchen with counter space, and hopefully a wood burning fireplace or two to cut down on heating costs), and get it for a GREAT price(under 150,000). We cannot move past our YWAM Application without being into our new house, so we are hoping to have all of this done by the beginning of 2011(January- February, March at the latest).

Prayers against opposition would be great too, already in our short journey we feel significantly more attacked, maybe even more so now, because we are not "committed" yet in the form of thousands of dollars. This would be the easiest time for us to "quit" and the enemy knows it!

God is already showing he is faithful as well. A few times after tough days, I have prayed that I need a little boost, a little hope that we aren't in this alone, and sure enough those next days are the days someone tells us that they are praying for us and excited for what we are doing, or they have formula for us, or orders come in from strangers for our Etsy shop. Just small little reminders, that may not seem huge to the people doing them, or to anyone looking in, but that are HUGE to me! (If you are praying for an adoptive family us or otherwise, TELL THEM, and often too! This is not a journey for the weak hearted, and it is LONLEY more than not. Most of the world(Christians included) think you are absolutley insane and asks quetions that they would NEVER ask if you were pregnant with your biological child. So if you support us or another family, tell them, it is MORE IMPORTANT than financial support!)

Side note, I'm getting ready to do some maternity shirts, 23 a piece. They will be on comfy Old Navy long sleeve maternity "perfect" tee's. If you are interested please leave me a comment/ email with the size/ color(white, black, coral, pink, light teal).

With Love,
The Garretts

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ordinary Hero

If you have yet to hear of Ordinary Hero, you are missing out. Some seriously amazing work. I could go on and ramble, attempting to put into words their mission, but quite frankly their website does a perfect job of it.

"The Ordinary Hero Foundation is a nonprofit, child advocacy
organization. Our goal is to encourage and provide a way
for every person to make a difference in the life of a
, as well as bring worldwide public awareness to the orphan
in the world. We strive to be a connector between those
looking to make a difference and the child that needs your help by promoting and providing outreach opportunities, adoption
awareness and availability. We believe every child needs
a hero
, wants a hero, and is looking for a hero. We believe that hero just might be you."

So this month is adoption awareness month, and in honor of that Ordinary Hero is giving away all of their T shirt profits to adopting families, 10 dollars per shirt! If you head on over to their site, they have all of their shirts listed on the right hand side. Below are a few of my favorites. I have had my eye on a few of the designs, and now just gives me the perfect "excuse" to buy!

Men's/ Unisex shirt, coffee, black, and blue are the color choices

Women's fitted, white only

The most perfect little kids shirt ever! Reads "I'm going to change the world". Smallest size available is a 2(T). Can we all guess what my kiddos are getting under our Christmas tree. Now if we can only get Lizzy to say it as well...

So head on over to Ordinary Hero's Blog, even if you aren't interested in shirts. It is encouraging, challenging, and makes you think. And if you do order a shirt, be sure to mention "Curtis and Amy Garrett Adoption", so that the money is credited back to us!

Monday, November 1, 2010

New Shirts!

Our most recent shirts, and women's shirts are now listed in the shop! For now if you are interested in a men's shirt, just order under the womens tab, and let me know what you want! They are the same price. All kids sizes 15, all adult 20. 100% of purchase price goes to Malot's Hope{Adoption Fund}! Want one just like you see, just order the "name".

The "Andrew"

"The Jer"

I LOVE our new heart shirts!
This is the "Amy". Can be made on a long sleeve as well. This one(size small, fitted) is up for grabs in the shop!
These women's shirts are an athletic fit, and are very long. Perfect for layering!

The "Lydia"