Our Adoption Journey

The Thrashers are seeking to adopt a baby. This God-given plan comes with a huge barrier: We expect to pay about $29,000 to bring our baby home. To help with these huge costs we are doing what we can to raise extra funds. And we invite you to become a part of our journey. Follow our adoption story here on the Thrasher Home blog to see why and how much your contribution matters.

Fundraising, Favors And Festivities :: Our Adoption

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That’s us, the Thrashers.

Fundraising or not? Is it tacky, insensitive, desperate? If we decided to raise funds for our adoption, does that mean we don’t trust God to provide? Does that mean, we should not have embarked on this adoption journey to begin with? Are we making our friends uncomfortable or are we giving them an opportunity to actively participate in our journey?

A few years ago, Mr. Thrasher declared war against all debt: Paying off Paul’s student loan and our car, and limiting our credit card use to emergency expenses only (like unforeseeable car repairs or vet bills) helped us eliminate all debt. Our Dave Ramsey-like diligence lead us to believe that we could follow our dream to adopt without going into the red. Our plan to finance our adoption consisted of responsible household budgeting and saving, brainstorming creative ideas to generate extra income (occasional wedding planning gigs, selling modern handmade crafts), applying for adoption grants and asking Santa and birthday fairies for money in leu of gifts. Oh, yeah, and pray to God for provision. We knew that if this adoption was truly part of God’s plan for our family, He would show us a way. He would provide.

Eventually, prayers concluded that it was okay to reach out to our community for (financial) support. While we had a humble yard sale benefiting our adoption at the beginning of the year, it wasn’t quite the attraction and thus participation and profits were sparse. It was a garage sale after all and we didn’t have much to offer besides our junk treasures and Emma’s adorable lemonade stand.

This time around, we wanted to celebrate our progress and bless our friends to thank them for their support. So we decided to do what we do best: throw a party. First and foremost, we wanted to celebrate the completion of our homestudy. Secondly, we wanted to share our story, advocate for adoption and clear up a few adoption myths. The fundraising part of our event was supposed to be more entertainment than a cry for cash help. A silent auction seemed to be perfect. A crockpot chili dish also didn’t do our guests justice. Instead, a spread of delicious food, desserts, wine and beer seemed more appropriate to give back to our friends. Let’s not forget that Thrasher Events was the creative mind behind this celebration.

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Our Silent Auction.

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Beautiful friends donated beautiful items for our Silent Auction.

Facts and figures for our Thrasher Adoption Celebration:

Who came?
61 adults. 34 kids. 24 volunteers.

Money Talk
Silent Auction $1,500. Checks $1,750. Cash $360. (Expenses $500.)
Total $3,110.

Silent Auction Sponsors

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More Silent Auction Sponsors
Ana M., Caroline R., Hannah W., Holly D., Jen + Jon C., Katie Buehler Photography, Laura M-F, Lisa Monda @Sublime Salon, Mary R., Ryan N., Sharon K., Steve + Toni B., Vanessa C.

Event Photography

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Who made it all happen?
Craft Team: Allison C. + Jessie H.
Food + Desserts: Regina N., Anna W., Leah N., Lori + Allyn B., Kym F., Candace R.
Setup Crew: Candace R., Karen M., Lori B., Kym F., Nita T., Iman H.
Media + Playlist: Candace R.
Childcare: Iman H., Kirsten P., Melene N., Amy C., Natalie M., Anna K., Kaitlyn D. // Coordinator: Amber W.

Venue generously provided by our awesome church:

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Menu:
Appetizers:
Cheese Platter. Tomato-Basil-Mozzarella Skewers. Potato Chips (in Kraft paper bags).

Mains:
Simple Meatballs. Mac and Cheese. Sausage Bites. Salad w/ Peaches + Grated Parmesan. Caesar Salad Dressing. Raspberry Vinaigrette. Tomato Bisque w/ Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.

Dessert Bar:
Blueberry Cream Cheese Cupcakes. Coconut Cupcakes. Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Fruit Salad.    

Photo Credits: Jan Faye Captures Moments

Do you think fundraising amongst friends is appropriate? When does it become and annoying? What kind of fundraising ideas are fun and entertaining? Tell me, how do you really feel about fundraising?

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The Home Study :: Our Adoption

We have just completed the first interview for our home study. Now, friends and family are asking “how did it go?, “did you hear back already?” and we don’t really have a response. So let me shed a bit more light into the adoption process and explain the purpose of the home study or family assessment.

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This is not what our interviews look like.

Actually, there are three purposes:

  1. Educate and prepare the adoptive family for adoption.
  2. Evaluate the fitness of the adoptive family (and by fitness they are not looking at my love handles and Mr. Thrasher’s abs).
  3. Gather information about the prospective parents that will help a social worker connect the family with a birthmother/birthparents whose needs/requirements they can meet.

To kick off our home study, we had to plow through a massive pile of paper work. In my post “What’s Next :: Our Adoption” I’ve roughly explained the complete adoption process.

From A for Affidavit of Health Insurance to C for Criminal Records to L for Live Scan Prints (fingerprints) to P for Physicals for Mr., Mrs. and Baby Thrasher to Z for ‘Z’ertified copies of marriage license and birth certificates for every member of the Thrasher Clan (they didn’t ask about our dog though) – we had to provide information we didn’t even know existed. Gasp!

We received the package with all the forms on May 11, 2013. It took as more than a month and $1,000 in fees until we finally sealed and shipped a big, padded envelope including every little detail about our lives and a check for $2,500. No matter how quickly I gathered documents and information, there were a lot of things that were completely out of my control. (Oh, how I hate that!) Such as getting an appointment for physicals, finding a day for Paul to take off work so we could get our fingerprints, obtaining the results from our blood work (for said physicals), finding a date where we could get a babysitter so we could attend a First Aid/CPR course and so on. You can imagine why we celebrated when we dropped off the package at the UPS store.

During our interviews our social worker is asking more in-depth (read: very personal) questions about our marriage, our childhoods, our health, and our struggles. Did you have any marital problems? If yes, how did you overcome them? How were you disciplined as a child? Did you experience physical or verbal abuse in your home as a child? Explain your finances. Do you have cancer in your family, a history of depressions or mental illnesses? What did you parents say when you told them you are seeking to adopt? Was everyone supportive?

The level of intimacy in these questions appears almost intrusive. Thankfully, our social worker is sweet and fun so these meetings feel a lot more like we’re getting to know a new friend.

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Might have to clean up the house a bit before the home visit.

We have two more meetings in the calendar: Individual interviews where Paul and I won’t be together and a home visit where our social worker will take a look around Thrasher Home to ensure that our home offers a safe and child-friendly environment. She will also check in with us about our plans to accommodate our newest addition to the Thrasher family.

Once our home study is completed, our social worker will write a report and hopefully approve our family for adoption which is the requirement to legally adopt a child.

On to my last update: our finances. The bad news: We still need $11,000 to reach our adoption fund goal of $29,000. The good news: We only need $11,000 to reach our adoption fund goal. It really depends on how you look at it. I choose faith and gratitude. A few more weddings, a few more months of saving and hopefully a few more donations and we will have made it.

Please join us in prayers for our baby, its birthparents, our family and God’s favor over our finances and one birthmother’s decision to choose us. Thanks for being on this journey with us, friends!

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Called To Care :: Our Adoption

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We are adoptive parents. We are not just talking, blogging, praying or thinking about it. After completing yet another application and attending an all-day seminar at our adoption agency (read here about our choice of agency), we made our first payment to the agency. Not that we are excited about spending money but this step marks another milestone in our adoption process. We are officially in their system as adoptive parents.

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But first things first: Thanks to another wedding planning job and an anniversary gift from Grandma we were able to reach half of our adoption fundraising goal. Hallelujah. (On that note: Please do recommend my affordable yet excellent wedding planning services to that friend of yours who just got engaged!)

By now, Paul and I have read several books on domestic infant adoption, completed online classes, attended informative conference calls, and last Friday we drove out to the Central Valley of Northern California to join other adoptive couples for a seminar at our adoption agency. We would also meet our social worker for the first time. I was excited and a bit nervous.

We had planned to leave early but still just made it on time. (A classic disagreement between husband and wife: For Him, being on time means arriving when the event begins. For Me, it means arriving at least 15 minutes early.) Entering the conference room, I quickly noticed the melting pot of ethnicities and socio-demographics our intimate group of “parents to be” formed. A seminar-typical icebreaker exercise got us all quickly to chat and bond over our joint adventure. By lunch time, we were all friends.

Often couples turn to adoption after suffering through infertility. We (thankfully) can’t relate to the grief and feelings of loss that surface as couples struggle with infertility. Mr. Thrasher and I simply have a strong desire to grow our family through adoption. One may say God planted that dream in each of our hearts and our marriage was created to lead us to adopt. Too spiritual? Stay with me.

A calling is God’s personal, individual invitation to carry out the unique task He has for you.

As agency workers, a birth mom and a panel of adoptive parents shared information and stories, I had a revelation of the ministry adoption really is. Yes, we will have to pay a scary amount of money for the adoption but I can now see even clearer how this money is used to do God’s work. Along with the heartache, grief and darkness of adoption, comes healing, new life, a clean slate, an abundance of love and (sometimes) salvation. Not just for the children. But also for the birth mothers. And even for the adoptive parents.

That day, God’s voice spoke to us louder than ever. We know His calling for us to adopt will bring great challenges, doubt and frustration. We know not all of our friends are committed to supporting our adoption. (And that’s ok.) We know some family members still have lots of questions. (And so do we.) We know we are required to trim our spendings even more. (Can we ask friends and family to donate money while we still occasionally pay $4 for a latte or buy new shoes?) We won’t succeed at this task on our own. Only through the constant guidance and reassurance of the Holy Spirit will we be able to carry out this mission.

We left the meeting with more conviction, more faith, more courage, and more love for our new baby, its birth mother and her family.

And for one another.

On our drive home we made plans for teaching Emma about adoption, prayed over our next steps and were giddy like teenagers in love. We still don’t have a timeline and we never will but we know we are expecting, our family is growing and God is with us.

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P.S.: If you are a follower of Jesus, will you join me in praying this prayer?

I pray that the church will be called to care for orphans in a way that leads more Christian families to adopt, to support other families who adopt, and to fight for legislation that makes adoption more accessible. By God’s grace, may every child who needs a permanent home become part of a loving family. In Jesus’ mighty name, we pray. Amen.

What’s Next? :: Our Adoption

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Sometimes, I think it’s hard for friends and family to relate to our adoption because we don’t have a due date. We don’t even have a timeframe to share. And besides me getting bigger from eating a lot, it’s not visible that we will have another baby. The adoption process involves many steps, requires lots of paperwork and is not necessarily easy to follow. Someone once said: It’s like going through a divorce, moving countries all by yourself, battling a rare disease or running your own business – if you haven’t had to deal with it, you simply can’t know what it feels like. So I want to shed a bit of light and give you a better understanding of how we are preparing for adoption, where we stand, how much every step costs and what’s supposed to happen next. (Take a look at my posts about Adoption Myth Busters Part One and Two to gain further understanding of the complex process of adoption.)
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We submitted a pre-application to our agency (read more about our choice of adoption agency here) and attended an orientation meeting (via conference call). Currently, Paul and I are completing a list of education requirements: Read books, take online courses and watch videos while completing exercises. Once all books are read, courses completed and questionnaires filled out, we will submit an official application to our agency along with $500. Considering that we will get approved, we then move on to the family assessment or home study.
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Home studies differ by agency, state and country. For us, the home study consists of home visits by a social worker, interviews (joint and separate), training, health statements, income statements, lots of document gathering action, background checks, a day-long Education Seminar and references. The above steps then conclude with a home study report written by the social worker. On average, the home study takes between 3 and 6 months to complete and will cost us about $3,000 (including document processing and such). In addition, the administrative agency fee of $10,500 is due. At this time, we will be able to apply for adoption grants.
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All throughout our adoption (and likely even after a baby is placed with us), we will be raising funds to cover all of our adoption fees and expenses. Adopting – whether domestically or internationally – is incredibly expensive. We are looking at roughly $29,000. Only by faith and with the generous help of others, we will be able to afford our adoption. We have saved up a decent amount of money but are far from having all the funds we will need available to us. Our fundraising efforts are proving to be a great bonding experience for Mr. Thrasher and I. Even Emma has been excited about helping out. (Emma’s Lemonade Stand is now famous in our neighborhood.) And we believe that it opens up the opportunity for friends and family to get involved and become a vital part of our adoption journey. Even if you can’t donate, you can share our story, educate others about adoption or simply pray for us, our baby and the expectant mother who will be choosing us to raise her child. Find out what else you could do to help us make a home for a baby and visit our Fundraising page.
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Soon enough it will be time to prepare our adoptive family profile. This will be one of the most important first impressions we will ever make on any expectant mother/parent who is considering to make an adoption plan. It will address expectant mothers/parents talk about our likes, our goals and dreams, how we met, how we raise Little Thrasher, why we want to adopt, how we celebrate holidays, who our friends are, what our home, our church, our city looks like and much more. It will be an introduction to the expectant mother/parents and allows them to get to know us as a potential forever family for their child. It basically has to accomplish two things:
  1. Share relevant information about our family and
  2. Paint a picture of what a life with the Thrashers would be like for a child.
Once we have written, designed, printed, shared, uploaded and sent out our family profile, we will be officially ‘a waiting family’. Waiting to be chosen to give a baby a loving home and family.
(to be continued)

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Living A Life That Matters :: But Where Do I Begin?

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Image Source: Motivationblog.org

What am I doing with my life? Where are my passions? How can I make a difference?

One day, I want to look back at my life and know that it counted. That I did something that mattered. Something besides loving my husband, raising my child(ren), respecting my parents, caring about my friends and volunteering for a few good causes.

But what is that “something that matters”? And how and where do I start?

Ha, there it was! The first obstacle. I am contemplating and pondering way too much. My friend Lindsey once said:

Analysis leads to paralysis.

We often tend to worry about the if’s and but’s so much that we are already scared before we even got off our couch.

First, it obviously helps to have a dream or a crazy-heaps-of-faith-required desire to change the world. Grab a piece of paper and start right there:

  • What would you want to do with your life if you didn’t have to worry about resources, time and energy? Write down whatever comes to mind.

Here are the first thoughts that came to my mind:

  • A family for every child: no more orphans or children without families
  • Education for all: excellent, affordable education for everyone
  • No more heartbreak: Reconcile every broken relationship

I barely have the capacity to make dinner for my family of three at the end of a day, we have to ask others for help as we are raising funds for our adoption, and I can’t even reconcile my own relationships.

Today, during our moms small group meeting, I was reminded that it’s better to do something than to do nothing at all. Every person of influence had to start small. We read about those role models today or wear t-shirts with their inspiring quotes because they once took the first step.

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Today, I was also told about a book called “Refuse To Do Nothing“. It’s about the brutal worlds of human trafficking and modern-day slavery. But even more so, it is a call-to-action and answers the question: But what can I do?

The authors? Two women. With kids. Full-time moms who juggle busy schedules and manage their homes. Moms who kept wondering how they could make a difference for those who are suffering while folding laundry, cheering on their kids from the sidelines of a soccer field and being stuck in line picking up their kids from school.

I guess my first step should be to read said book.

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A topic I care deeply about. Image Source: StyleTails

As my friends and I continue to talk about how we as stay-at-home moms can lead a life with purpose, I kept asking myself how and where will I actually be able to make a difference. Then, we followed this simple exercise:

  • Think about your dreams. What desires did God put on your heart? If you don’t believe in God: Ask yourself which topics stir you up, get your blood boiling, make you angry/sad/contemplative? What do you fight for, believe in?
  • Think about what you can do in the next…
    • 10 minutes
    • 10 days
    • 10 months
  • Find your partners in crime. Some of my best friends are those who hold me accountable without judgement. Best friends don’t laugh about your dreams or think you’ve lost your mind. They pray with you, encourage and motivate, share their own dreams and hopefully even walk with you. Stick to those people in your life and ask them to help you stay on task.

Now, off to…doing something.

What is your crazy dream? How did you get started? Is there something that is holding you back?

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The Agency :: Step Two :: Our Adoption

Mr. Thrasher and I took the first step towards adoption when we made our decision to adopt. Which, we strongly believe, originated as a God-given dream in both of our hearts. (Read all about our adoption decision here.) 

Step Two was to choose our adoption agency. Our main criteria was that our agency should be a Christian agency. God had to be in and all over this process and we needed our agency workers to speak the “same language”, understand the power of prayer and share the love and compassion of Jesus Christ. We also knew that we wanted to adopt domestically, ideally from California. After hearing only great things from our friends, we decided to contact Bethany Christian Services.

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We strive toward a world where every child has a loving family. ~Bethany Christian Services

After a few calls, asking lots of important questions, and discussing our fears and concerns, we submitted our pre-application and attended an information meeting where we learned more about adoption in general. Bethany cares first and foremost for the birthmothers. They love and care for them before, during and after the adoption. Bethany encourages long-lasting, open relationships between birth and adoptive parents. Paul and I now understand that we will not just be welcoming a baby into our family but that we will forever be bound to a loving, courageous mother who selflessly decided that her baby should be raised by us. My heart breaks for her, I’m overwhelmed by empathy for her and astonished by her sacrifice. Our prayers are no longer just about our baby. We pray for the well-being of our baby’s mother. We pray for her emotional stability. For her safety.
adoption-logoToday, we received Bethany’s “Next Step” package. A plain brown envelope on our door step filled with forms, questionnaires, fee schedule (yikes!) and a list of education requirements. Besides a bunch of paperwork, this envelope also contains hope, excitement and joy.

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Being Still Vs. Being Still :: Another Adoption Update

I read this somewhere: “Remember if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it!” Isn’t this encouraging?

Shortly after posting my recent adoption update, friends started asking me why we decided to start fundraising for our adoption? They were confused because I had just told everyone that we would “be still and wait” (for God). So all this activity around our garage sale, the “Make A Change By Giving Change” baby bottles and our fancy, new PayPal donation button, came as a surprise to some.

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I designed this logo for our adoption.

For us “being still” doesn’t mean sitting on our couch, twiddling our thumbs and waiting for God to bring us a miracle. It simply means to be faithful, to not panic and to trust Him. It means “having peace, being calm”. While we feel peace about our situation and know that God has us covered, we also believe that faith without action is dead. I don’t think God can move if we don’t move.

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. ~James 2:17

That said, we are kicking off our adoption fundraising campaign but won’t be stressing out about it. As someone who struggles with high expectations, I might need you to remind me to be ok with whatever the outcome will be. I do believe that part of God’s provision are the many friends who are, have been and will be supporting us on our way to making a home for a baby.

What do you think about fundraising? How would you find ways to raise money?
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Get Involved And Make A Difference :: Adoption Fundraising

Baby Bottle Bank (on-going) 

adoption_babybottlefundraiserThis is how everyone – even Emma’s little friends – can make a not-so-small ¢hange: A baby bottle serves as a piggy bank. All of our loose and randomly found change goes straight into that baby bottle. It seems too small to make a difference but before you know it, you’ll have a few dollars saved up.

If you’d like to replace that catch-all at your front door where you put your change, we’ll bring you a baby bottle too. Just toss your spare change into that bottle, let us know when it’s full and we’ll come pick it up or switch it with an empty one!

This has been a lot of fun for Emma to learn the idea of “putting money aside and saving it”. If you’re interested in getting a baby bottle, contact me at thrasherhomeblog [at] gmail [dot] com or leave a comment (with your email address).

Pancake For A Purpose (Fall)

For one month, we will be serving all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast including coffee or juice for you and your little ones. Kids eat free. More info about location, time, price and menu will follow.

Online Donations (on-going)

See the PayPal button on the right side of this page? Just click and donate securely via PayPal.

Thanks for making a difference for a child!
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Be Still, And Know That I Am God :: A Long Overdue Adoption Update

“Be still, and know that I am God.” ~Psalm 46:10

Serenity found in Maui, HI.

Psalm 46:10 encourages us to reflect on what God can do in the face of what we are unable to do. Sounds pretty much like the headline of our adoption story which, at this time, is not necessarily a story yet. It’s more like a draft or outline.

Most of the times, our desire to adopt seems so unrealistic, so unreachable, so impossible. Last year, we thought, we’d be in a great position to get started with the adoption process: Attend the workshops and online classes, read the obligatory materials, submit our application and maybe even complete our homestudy. You might have followed my Adoption Awareness Blog Project or joined our excitement when we announced that We Are Expecting Again. Then, Thrasher Home went awfully quiet all of last year, very few posts, no word about our adoption. Dear friends, I owe you an update:

A call to the adoption agency of our choice in January of last year made us slow down, rethink our approach and finally turn to God for advice. We were told by a very sweet agency worker that it may not be a wise decision to start the process considering the little funds we had available to us. It may not work in our favor if we had to interrupt the process while trying to save or raise more money to move on to the next step. With only one income and a tight monthly expense budget, we were only making small progress towards our adoption savings goal of $29,000. When we called the agency, we had merely $4,000 in our savings account. (Just reading these numbers again makes me nauseous.)

While I was disappointed and sad, Paul received a word from God that Sunday in church. God told him that we need to be still and trust His timing. Certainly not a mind-blowing revelation but as usual God’s timing was perfect: Paul’s regained confidence, helped me understand that we were trying too hard to force our own agenda. We were desperately trying to control the situation.

Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for him. ~Psalm 37:7 (GWT)

There it was.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” [...] ~ 2 Corinthians 2:9

Yes, more of that, please.

Family peace.

The most important thing Paul reminded me off is that this adoption will happen. We will add to our family through adoption. Only God knows when. In the meantime, we must not be discouraged but be faithful. And surrender.

The American evangelist D.L. Moody once said that “If you partner with God, make your plans big!”. Our plans are big indeed…

Do you have any big plans that require someone like the Almighty as a partner? How did you surrender? Did you already reach the end? Do share. We appreciate any words of encouragement, prayers and stories.
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Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012.

The year 2011 at Thrasher Home in words and pictures:

A very eventful 2011 for the Thrashers

January

  • The year couldn’t have begun with a bigger blessing: We brought our precious daughter Emma home from the hospital. Throughout the year, we continued to be amazed by the most adorable addition to the Thrasher family. We had many first’s like smiling, rolling over, first domestic flight, first cross-Atlantic flight, first road trip, first ferry ride, first time dipping toes into the ocean, sleeping through the night, swimming, crawling, cruising, eating solids, teeth, walking, climbing, self-feeding, and so much more.

February

  • As we welcomed more babies to our family, we had to say goodbye to our cousin Michael who left this world way too soon due to a tragic accident. Inspired by Michael who saved eleven lives with his healthy organs, I signed up to be an organ donor. (I encourage you to register here.)

April

  • During our adventurous trip to Germany, we introduced a three-months old Emma to her great-grandmother, astonished by the age difference of a hundred years. And I reunited with my cousin whom I haven’t seen in over 20 years.
  • The start-up Mr. Thrasher had been working for got bought by a media company. Paul now works for said fast-growing company and is (thankfully) still loving the challenges his job brings every day.

May

  • Mr. Thrasher and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary. I love you, Mr. Thrasher!
  • We celebrated my first (official) Mother’s Day together with my mother-in-law.
  • Despite a loving husband, a wonderful baby daughter, good health and a cozy home, I hit rock bottom and can’t even start to describe how depressed and angry I was with myself, God, the world and everyone in it.

June

  • Emma honored her Papa with an adventurous outing with friends for his first Father’s Day and he took us to the state capital for the day.

July

  • The Thrashers headed to SoCal for Emma’s half-year birthday and Fourth of July celebrations with Paul’s family. It was so adorable to see Emma play with our cousin’s kiddos.
  • For our wedding anniversary, Paul gave me (us) a weekend stay at a nice bed & breakfast as a gift. It was our first short overnight trip with Emma and Griffin. Let’s just say it was far from being a romantic getaway.

August

  • We celebrated Emma’s dedication with friends, family and her godparents Allyn and Lori. Unfortunately, her godparents Jen and Joe couldn’t join us but we knew they were there in spirit.

September

  • I celebrated my sixth San Franniversary.
  • We left the church where we got saved, baptized and married to join a new church. It felt a bit like a break-up but as we’re getting more involved in our new church community, we feel more and more at home there.

October

  • My amazing mother finally retired and we celebrated her career and achievements as a passionate pharmacist with a ‘Retirement Care Package’. Hand packed by her granddaughter. Mama, you truly deserve to sit back and enjoy life to the fullest with a loving husband by your side! I am very proud of everything you have accomplished in your career – especially during those years where you raised my sister and I as a single mom while slaving in your own pharmacy and paying for our way-too-expensive boarding school education.
  • Mr. Thrasher and I made an important decision about adding another baby to the family. Read all the details about our Adoption Decision here.
  • Paul went on his first official business trip to NYC and Emma and I were all by ourselves for a whole week!
  • Emma experiences her first Halloween. Dressed up as a cow. Too cute! She also hosted a fun baby Halloween party. She just loves to entertain. Just like her Mama.

November

  • Several adoptive parents and bloggers from all over the U.S. and Canada joined me on Thrasher Home for the Adoption Awareness Blog Project, an effort to raise awareness for the need of forever families for millions of children all over the world.
  • For Thanksgiving, we are travelling to SoCal to be with the rest of the family. Emma had her first Thanksgiving turkey and loved every bite!
  • After weathering a hefty storm, our marriage is now stronger and sexier than ever. Thanks to Shauna, author of Living It Up and wife of our awesome pastor at Epic Church, for introducing me to The Love Dare. That book and without a doubt God’s unfailing love saved our relationship.

December

  • Emma’s first Christmas or Christnachten is a huge deal for me her. I’m not surprised that she actually figured out how to unwrap gifts and loved tearing all the paper and ribbon apart.
  • Emma turns 1. We survived the first year in the parenthood are graduating to toddlerhood.
  • We successfully maneuvered through a year of me being a stay-at-home mom - financially and emotionally a big adjustment.
  • Another year has gone by where my own father still refuses to connect with me and has shown no interest in meeting his granddaughter. Even Emma’s beautiful birth announcement couldn’t warm his heart.
The Thrashers are ready for 2012. God is good and this year is going to be amazing. What was your most memorable adventure in 2011?