OUR LITTLE NOODLES: The Stever Family Adoption

Welcome to our adoption journey. We are so blessed with our five daughters. Now we embark on the worldwide journey of a lifetime - adopting a special needs child. Please join us for this adventure!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Prayers & Support

This family really struck a chord with me. They really do set an example for all of us - an example of faith, love, nurturing, and answering God's calls - all of them! They are a wonderful family with 10 children from age 13 down to newborn. Their family blog is as gorgeous as their children! Courtney, the mother, is a talented photographer. Just like many of us, they are facing tough times; however, they are very positive and trust in God to bring them through all hardship.

Would you all please take a look at their blog and at Courtney's Etsy Shop? The links are below:


I love how this community of adoptive families pulls together to support one another. I hope we can put our arms around this family as well and pray for them. Thank you Courtney for your inspirational posts about your wonderful family. We continue to follow along with you with hope and support.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Big Family Benefits

I visited a family blog today that I follow. She had an article from Matthew Archbold. Here is a copy of it:

Why big families are easier:

Patience. I never have to teach patience. My children know that I can’t drop everything for them if I have a baby in my arms.

Work Ethic. My children have learned to work because there are always chores to do in a small house packed with little messy lunatics. And they all learn quickly that sometimes they have to clean up a mess even though they didn’t make it.

Humility. My children have learned it’s not always their turn. They’ve accepted they can’t always get their way because other people have to get their way sometimes. They’ve learned that some children are better at certain things than they are.

Foreign language skills. You can learn a lot of Spanish by watching ten years of Dora the Explorer that you just can’t pick up in two. And now with the Diego spin off I’m practically fluent.

Laughter. The children have learned to laugh at the insane non sequiturs of younger siblings. They’ve learned that laughing just feels better when seven people are doing it along with you.

Competition. Do I really need to go into this? Everything is a competition in big families. The children compete over who reads faster, who drinks their milk faster, who gets to the bathroom first…etc. Everything is a competition and they’re all keeping score.

Balance. The floor of the front room of my home is a minefield of toys and childhood paraphernalia. Just walking through the room requires great skill and balance. I’m absolutely convinced my two year old will be a favorite for Gold on the balance beam in the 2016 Olympics. (She might have to lay off the cookies a little but I’ll deal with that later.)

Life isn’t fair. Sometimes you just give it to the baby because you want a little quiet. Not all the time. But sometimes.

Just say “No.” Being able to say “no” may be the most undervalued skill in this world. The need to be liked is pervasive. The need to be cool even more so. Having brothers and sisters teaches children to say “no” about 143 times a day. It’s a good skill.

Praying. They learn that nothing beats praying together as a family.

Nature/Nurture. Having many children has taught me that nature has a lot more to do with who my kids are than nurture. This is helpful, especially when your children misbehave you don’t have to feel bad about it. Just say “Stupid nature!!!” and blame your spouse’s genes.

Namecalling. You can occasionally call your child by the wrong name and still not be considered a terrible parent. They know who you mean just from your tone. Sometimes if you need something done you can call the wrong name and someone will still show up. That helps.

Spying. My children have learned that they can’t get away with anything. I have spies who look a lot like them who are willing to drop the dime on them for anything. Even at school I’ve got a child in just about every grade. If they do something I’ll hear. That keeps them nervous. And I like keeping my kids a little nervous.

Friendship. The children have many friends. They’ve got girly friends, crying friends, fun loving friends, consoling friends, and crazy friends. And they all have the same last name. And they’ll be there forever for each other. No matter what.

Love. I think my children have learned to love because there are others around them to love and who love them. I honestly can think of no better way to teach children to love than siblings.

I could not have said it all better myself. This is so true. The link is here:

The Boyd Family blog is a great one! They are a big family! I have learned more from their blog than any adoption class yet! Visit it here:
Blessings to all the Big Families out there!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Adoption - Not Abortion

I am issuing a challenge to all Christians! I was raised hearing mottoes like these! As Pro-Life advocates, we have all advocated picketing abortion clinics, holding rallies, adopting rather than aborting, and organizing events to promote saving the unborn child. As Christians, this is an important ministry. However, I am finding that many people have no problems doing all of the above. The problem arises when we are called to ACT on our beliefs. For example, if you believe that adoption should be an option to an unwanted pregnancy because abortion is wrong, then are you actively supporting adoption? By this I mean are you actively supporting a family's adoption journey? Are you donating to this family? Are you praying specifically for them and their child? Are you helping with fundraising efforts? You see, it is fairly easy to state one's belief in something. I am urging you as a fellow Christian to ACT! Let's stand up and stand out! Let's do more than simply state, "We are against abortion. We believe in adoption as an alternative." Let's put our money and our support where our mouth is! I am challenging all Christians to actively support an adoptive family TODAY! You decide how you will accomplish that goal - by donations, prayer, fundraising, networking....whatever. Be an example - not just a mouthpiece - for adoption.

Note: I am taking on this challenge as well. Even though we are on our own adoption journey, I am becoming a stronger advocate for adoption. I am supporting my fellow adoptive families in every way possible. I am taking on more responsibility for promoting adoption in several different ways. I refuse to stand quietly behind a statement of belief any longer! I am going to ACT because isn't that what God calls us to do? I know that He is not satisfied with my actions yet! Please pray for me as I continue to pray for all of you!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Positively Soaring!

I read this from my daily prayers. It goes something like this: "The concept of positive thinking is something that many people fail to do regularly. When things are going well, it is easy to think and act positive. However, when situations occur that are unfavorable, the idea of positive thinking has been replaced with doubt, confusion, and negativity. It is a shame that so many people allow situations and circumstances to dictate whether they will be happy, secure, and successful. In order for people to overcome this feeling, there must be a liberating of the mind.
Let us stop thinking negatively and start reflecting on what God has done and continues to do in our lives. Now this is a positive thought."

I lecture myself every day on this concept. I even say it out loud - BE POSITIVE. It is not for the faint of heart - being positive takes action and it is quite exhausting sometimes. BUT - it is so worth it! We are going to continue on our journey of adoption no matter what is thrown in our path. This typically manifests itself in negativity from outside sources - friends, family, colleagues. We just fight the battles one at a time. We will be victorious because of one thing: GOD. God is on our side.

A scripture for today because I just like it! "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
(Matthew 7:7-8 -NIV)
I like this because if you never knock, or ask, or search, or put yourself out there - you will never succeed. You will never know what huge, cool things God had in store! We were in our safety net - comfortable and complacent. What a bore! Now we are soaring because we have answered a calling to serve and it feels so good!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Unconditional Love & Friendship

Something very special happened today - something that I was not ready for. We received a donation from one of our dear friends. This young military family has five children. They are a faithful, Christian family that we admire very much. They live in another state, yet they have kept in touch with us much better than we have with them. They are truly an example for our family, and they have taught me what real, unconditional love means. They took that chance on us - that risk. They are like most average middle-income families these days. That makes their donation even more heartfelt to us. We do not deserve their friendship, but we accept it and ask them to pray for us.

This donation evoked strong emotions from me that were very unexpected. I had feelings of unworthiness, guilt, happiness, relief, and fear. It has made me look at the things in our life that are really, really important. Not money - but rather friends and supporters and children and our Almighty Father. He graciously showed me a sign - a sign of faith. It is so comforting to feel that we are supported. We know that we are following God's call to adopt one of His precious children. Not everyone understands this call and that is okay. We just have one request: please pray for us and support us in this journey.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Another New Fundraiser!

Yes - you read it correctly! We are starting a new fundraising program that I read about from another adopting family. It is Just Love Coffee and I DO! This is a wonderful opportunity! The company is set up to give $5 profit for every bag of coffee we sell by order or online from our personalized web store. There are other products that pay commissions also such as T-shirts, mugs, etc. This company was started by a family adopting from Ethiopia. It is a truly amazing story that I invite all of you to read about. Just click on my link to the left of the blog! I really do think these people are the greatest! I am truly blessed to have found out about them. They also have a Fan Page on Facebook that you can check out! As always, thank you for your support during this adoption process. We could not do this without the support of all of you!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Making Time

Today has been stressed-filled to the max! Then, I read my daily devotional and had an , "AH HA!" moment.

"Do you ever find yourself slipping up in your prayer life? God knows you're busy, but He wants you to carve out some meaningful time with Him. A powerful prayer life equates to a life full of blessings. Sincere prayer will cause God to move in your life and in the lives of those around you. Prayer that is not all about you will permit you to rise above thinking about yourself and placing the needs of others before your own. Prayer will give you peace in the midst of any storm. If you refuse to set aside devoted prayer time to God, how do you expect God to speak to you? "

These words really affected me. I have not given God the time He deserves from me. Yet I have been moaning about fundraising being a slow process and other everyday stresses. I can do much better than this. Today I pray for all of the orphans who are without families and for all of the families who are struggling along beside me trying to bring their children home too. May God bless each one of you.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Preparation For What Is Coming

In order for us to get out of our problem, situation, and/or circumstance, we need to move and allow God to take over. God knows what to do, but we must allow Him to do what He needs to do. Whenever we are about to go through something uncomfortable, God equips us with what we need to endure it. Whenever we go through discomfort, it's to help us, not kill us. Our trial is preparing us for what is ahead.

I have to reread these thoughts over and over again lately! We are "stuck" in our adoption process. It is hard to swallow because it is simply a lack of funds. It is so hard to sit idly by while children are suffering! I know that God's plan is perfect, but it is so difficult to wait. Please pray for our adoption process to MOVE forward! Or just to MOVE! We have lively spirits that do not want to be still! We are continuing to fundraise and network with everyone we encounter!

I am so pleased to read about all of the families who are successfully moving forward in their adoptions. We pray every day for these families because they are part of our families too! Bless all of you who are on this journey with us!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Puzzle Fundraiser

Our Puzzle Fundraiser is going strong! Thank you all for starting us out with a big bang! We are humbled and honored that so many have blessed us with their friendship and support. This means the world to us. May God bless all of our family and friends who have become a part of bringing home our future child. We love all of you and pray for you as well.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentines Day Everyday

I have never been a fan of Valentines Day. I know I know. I am not a party-pooper I promise. I love roses as much as the next woman! However, I love them for any other time of the year. I did read something today that grabbed my attention. It said that we should not forget that God is our true love. God is love and deserves our best!

Everyday we wake up, it's Valentine's Day because we have an opportunity to show God how much we love Him. For those of you who are fortunate to have someone special in your life, I encourage you to do something special with them - pray together for God's guidance over your life. Express love daily and allow God to be manifested in your life.

That being said - I wish all of you love and peace today and every day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Disappointed but not discouraged

When life has you down, you don't have to stay down. Learn from what went wrong and make up your mind to improve what you're working on or working towards. I read somewhere that with every disappointment you face, you're one-step closer to where you need to go. For every disappointment, God will make it up to you through His blessings. Isn't that powerful stuff? A friend once told me that every now and then, God has to withhold some things from us because He knows what's best. We may get upset and even question God about His decision, but God sees what ahead of us and has a way of preparing us to receive our blessings.

I love this positive way of thinking. God is all-knowing. He is preparing our path. We just get impatient and selfish and want things when, how, and where we want them! I am struggling with this right about now! I want funds to complete our home study and commit with our agency. I get so tired of waiting and not knowing how and fundraising! I want to bring home our beautiful babe now! BUT - God knows what He is doing. This is all making me stronger and introducing me to families that are facing the same hardships. They are truly worthy of God's favor - more so than I am.

So, I am praying for all the families that struggling to raise funds during this difficult time. I am praying that they will receive all the blessings that they so deserve.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Daily Prayer: What do you do when you're faced with a situation that seems hopeless? Do you throw up your hands and give up or do you roll up your sleeves and fight? It's so easy to quit at something that seems hopeless because the possibilities are slim. Possibilities appear slim when we look at things from the natural eye.
Doing the right thing will cause you to be placed in situations that are going to test your faith. Simply put - things will test you but won't prevail. Understand that God's working something out on your behalf and won't allow you to be defeated.
God loves you so much that He'll allow the enemy to become so cocky in his planning that the enemy will err. Let's all laugh at the enemy because he was stupid enough to allow you to read this message. Because of the enemy's stupidity, you're about to be set free. God takes what the enemy meant for evil and turns it into your good.
Take your eyes off what you see in the natural and focus on the spiritual. In a real sense, stop looking at what may seem obvious and place your hope and trust in God to do the impossible. Always remember, God's in control. Don't allow the enemy to destroy your future. You weren't created to quit; but to overcome. A positive attitude will take you to new altitudes. Real power comes from God working in you and through you. Do you believe it? I do! Let us take a moment to give God some praise. With God, we are guaranteed victory!

Friday, February 5, 2010


This is not an inspirational post. You will find no profound messages today. I really must rant so that it clears my system and I can move forward. Why do people ask why? "Why do you want to adopt? You have 5 healthy children." Really? Is that how many it is? "Why do you want to adopt from another country? We have need here!" But you are not adopting from here either now, are you? "Why a special needs child? What does that mean anyway?" To all this I just answer back - WHY NOT? Call me crazy (I am some days) but I am not counting the days until my children grow up and move away. I actually LIKE my kids and I LOVE being with them and taking care of them.

Plus...isn't it about time we DO something? We have been living our safe little lives with our beautiful daughters trying to save money and get to a certain point in life so that we can .....blah blah blah! Can you even begin to put a price tag on a child's life? I for one cannot. And I will not turn a deaf ear to God any longer when He whispers " Feed My children, give My children a home, clothe My children."

What am I living for really? I want to give glory to our Father. We are all God's children. I want to love these children just as our Father loves us. I think the comments are going to come more frequently now because more and more people are becoming aware of our intentions. It is not just "talk" now. It is action. We are asking for help. Many people do not feel comfortable with this concept at all. It makes us look inside and take stock of ourselves.

I challenge my fellow man to MAKE A CHANGE! Do something drastic for the life of a child! Take the plunge! Stand up and stand out! So, to those of you who did not already get it:

God willing, we are adopting a special needs child from the Ukraine. We are proud and honored and totally unworthy! But we are following God's plan for our family and we are trusting in Him to provide the rest!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Never Stop Learning - Strive to be Better

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:1-2 -NIV)

In our spiritual journey, we should never take for granted what God has given us. I believe that God created me for motherhood. I have longed for a family of my own with a loving husband and many children playing around me. God has blessed me with just that! Now I must be ready to do my part for Him. I am so excited to see what God has in store for our family!

Side Note: A beautiful, innocent angel in the Ukraine finally has a family who has committed to her! I have streaming tears of joy for that family. May god shower every blessing upon their heads for bringing home this precious child. Even though we could not make her part of our family, we feel a bond with this family because they are God's instrument.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Five Beautiful Noodles

I spend most of my time posting about our adoption journey and the ups and downs we face every day. Please let me write a post about my five wonderful biological daughters who are my inspiration and my heart.

Morgan is beautiful, intelligent and independent. She owns her own home and is planning her wedding (yes, wedding) coming up this June. We invited her to go to dinner with us last weekend at a pizza joint and she said, "Yes. Only you cannot talk about the adoption! I am planning a wedding you know!" This made me take a step back and share in her moment.

Alex is my feisty, gorgeous senior in high school. She absolutely hates school! She has a temper and is very emotional as well! She is graduating this year. She is also the most tenderhearted girl and loves her little sisters to death. I have to make an effort to keep up with her high profile life.

Avery is the self proclaimed "big sister" of the youngest three. She is so smart and is the spitting image of her father. She makes up new names for herself because she is tired of the name "Avery!" And I mean original names! Jalayla is her latest! She also loves her Grandma.

Kennedy is a cute and goofy little sweetie. She has her own language that even we do not understand sometimes. She is not afraid to turn on the tears if she needs to do so! She always says, "I sorry Momma, I sorry Avvry." She loves toughing and cuddling.

Miss McKinley is a mess! She has been so quick to learn everything early because she has two sisters to watch and learn from. She prefers to learn to stand - crawling is just a waste of time! She has had the hardest time of any of my children with teething. She loves her sisters and her Daddy who calls her, "Junior" to my disdain!

These are the lights of my life! They are part of the reason that we are adopting. We love them so much and are so proud of everything little thing they accomplish. Thank you for being the best daughters a mother could ever ask for! We love you all so much and cannot wait to see what you will become and what you will accomplish!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Waiting On You

A blog that I follow called "Finding Our Butterflies" posted this song by John Waller. This family is an inspiration and I am "borrowing" the lyrics to post here because they inspire me. It is painful waiting for funds. AND God's time is not our time. So true! I hope this touches your hearts as well. Please visit their family adoption blog also at www.findingourbutterflies.blogspot.com

I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting
I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord"

Monday, February 1, 2010

Our Labor Is Not In Vain

I tend to beat myself up because I don't believe what I'm doing is making a difference. I read today, "People are looking for immediate results without understanding they're planting seeds." God is working everything out. As long as I do my part, God will handle the rest. I must not allow the opinion or success of others deter me from doing God's work. I get physically tired and emotionally drained, but I always lean on the everlasting arms of God. My life isn't in vain and neither is my work.

We are doing something really important. We are so unworthy of what God has in store for us but we will accept His plans for us and live the best lives we can. Thank you Dear God for calling us - Your servants - to parent one of Your beautiful children. Inspire the hearts of our family, friends, and colleagues so that they will support our cause and lift us up in prayer.