Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Would It Be Like to Have a Mormon in the White House? Round 1

What would it be like if Mitt Romney eventually won the Presidential election? What would it be like to have a Mormon in the White House? A lot of people have pondered this. As a Mormon myself, I have my own questions.

Would the Elders Quorum show up to help the Romneys move in?

What calling would Brother Romney hold in his new ward? Maybe something simple, like a home teaching supervisor. Wait, maybe that would be a bit awkward. “Um, hi, Brother Romney? Yeah, I didn’t get my home teaching done this month. I was just too…busy. No. No, sir. Not busier than you, sir. You’re at 100%? That’s amazing. I bet no one ever turns you down for a visit, do they? I guess when you put it that way...”

What if he were a Young Men’s leader? Would Scout Camp be at Camp David?

When the president of Italy comes for a state visit, will he be surprised when Ann Romney forgoes wine and serves Kool-Aid mixed with 7-Up?

Will President Romney need secret service to accompany him to the temple? Will he need secret service in the temple? Does that mean he will need to have Mormon secret service agents?

When the home teachers come to visit the Romneys every month, will they come to the White House or will there be an undisclosed location? Maybe via Skype?

Will Mitt and Ann replace old paintings of George Washington with MormonAds

P.S. These questions are rhetorical and asked in good humor. :) I already have more questions brewing. Stay tuned for round 2.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Joci's Prayer Tonight

I have to jot this down before I forget.

Every night before bed, we coax Joci to say her prayers. Some nights take more coaxing than others. She has a memorized routine that she cruises through. Occasionally she will throw something in original and I love getting glimpses into her brain. Tonight's prayer was precious.

A couple things first. She helped me make chocolate chip cookies tonight. She ate about 1/4 of the dough and kept snagging cookies, even after we brushed teeth. She stole her daddy's cookie too - he didn't have the heart to tell her no.

During bath time today, I told her that her cousin Haiden would get a new baby in his house soon (my sis-in-law is due in the next few weeks). She threw a tantrum and said she didn't want a new baby to come to Haiden's house, she wanted a new baby to come to her house.

Okay, on to the prayer.

I coaxed her through the first few lines.

Me: Bless Grandma because she had surgery
Joci: Bless Grandma because of Audrey. And Bless Camden. (Audrey and Camden are siblings and Joci's cousins). Bless I eat cookies. Bless I get a baby at my house....Amen.

Awww! She will get a cookie for breakfast and hopefully she won't be waiting too long on that baby.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Planning a Nursery with My Heart Unguarded

I have not felt nearly the same amount of anxiety with this adoption as I did with Jocelyn's. It's a double-edged sword. I have been a bit lackadaisical about getting my stuff together on one hand. On the other hand, I have completely let myself get baby fever. Which is fun. And scary because my heart is unguarded and I could get really hurt should the wait be long or we go through a failed adoption.

The situation is what it is, though.

I find myself doodling baby names non-stop. And I have started planning the nursery.

I don't have a true "before" picture. But here is the home of our future nursery. It used to be the guest room - but we are in the process of moving that downstairs. So far, we've moved the bed. And stored a lot of other junk in it. But this is what the room looks like now.

I will eventually remove the wallpaper, repaint, get a crib and decorate a nursery. I have it narrowed down to two themes: bumblebee colors and peacock colors. I want the nursery to be gender neutral and have good contrast for early visual development (in other words, I am not a fan of pastel nurseries).

Thanks to Pinterest and Google in general, I have some ideas I am playing with.

Bumblebee: yellow, black, and white.

Or peacock. Maybe not the animal per se, but the colors - teal, bright green, vivid blue, purple, gold, and tan.

What do you think?

So with my heart completely on the chopping block, I am having fun anticipating a new baby.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

When Shopping Sales Isn't Worth It

{Written two days ago.}

The pinstripe black dress pants I am wearing today are too short. Even though I only wear them with flats, I still have to shimmy them down my hips a bit so it doesn’t look like I am waiting for a flood. And that makes the crotch sag a couple inches lower than in should, which makes me look dowdy overall. And even though I can’t see myself from behind, I am quite certain these shimmied down pants aren’t doing my derriere any favors. I only have one pair of flats (I am 5’2”—I wear heals a lot) and they are scuffed beyond embarrassment. I hate the bottom half of my outfit today.

But I opted for these pants over the black pants I got at GAP that have such a high waist they go around my ribs (I am 5’2”—I am quite short-waisted and unless a pair of pants has a very short rise, my ribs are in a bear hug). They have this rough, denim-ish texture to them that I don’t like. They are uncomfortable. And they collect every piece of lint and hair in a five-foot radius. I must keep a lint roller at the ready.

And those are my two new pairs of pants.

My older, trustier pairs of black pants both have broken flies (just wear a long top and no one can tell they aren’t done up, right?). One has major cuffs, which aren’t flattering to petite shorties like moi. And the other pair is a pinstripe skinny paint—can’t wear that with everything.

So I have FOUR pairs of black dress pants and I hate them all.

I also have a pair of cream-colored dress pants that are so ginormous they won’t stay on my body.

Why do I have such terrible pants? I’ll tell you why. It’s because I shop sales.

Instead of shopping for things that actually fit and flatter, I shop for the best deal. The cheapskate in me gravitates to the clearance rack and won’t look at anything else. In this frame of mind “almost fits” is good enough. At least at the moment.

(This phenomenon isn’t limited to pants. I happens a lot with shoes. About 5 years ago I bought a $60 of leather boots that I wore the crap out of. They are now scuffed and dumpy looking. I replaced them with a clearance pair worth $100 but I only paid $6. I hardly ever wear them because I don’t like them as much. I still long for my $60 old pair.)

And then for the next six months, year, two years, or however long I last until I break down and buy a new pair, I hate my clothes. I hate my body. And I kind of hate myself. This hatred bleeds over. And I start to hate other people. You know, those people with “perfect” bodies and chic clothes. And then I hate the world.

See? Shopping sales is a really, really bad, damaging thing.

I am going to stop.

At least when it comes to clothing essentials.

My motto used to be “Never pay full price for anything.”

Time for an addendum. When it comes to clothing essentials where quality and fit is key, and it’s an item that will get much use, do it right. Buy the right size. Get it tailored. It’s not just frivolous spending. It’s an investment in a hate-free world. 

And so I went out and bought these at full price:

And I love them!

Monday, January 23, 2012

How 'Bout a Post About My Cutie Patootie?

"How 'bout this one?" Joci says as she hands me a glass bottle of dill.

I take it from her, unscrew the lid, and pretend to shake it in the frying pan, standing so my body blocks Joci from seeing that I am not really adding the spice. I hand the dill back to her and she puts it back on the spice rack.

"How 'bout this one?" Her dexterous little hands pass me a bottle of nutmeg. I repeat my mime.

This is a pretty common scene when it's dinner time at my house. Joci loves nothing better than to help me. I will set her on the counter and give her little jobs--sometimes they are pertinent to what I am doing, and sometimes they just keep her occupied safely while I use a sharp knife or stir something boiling.

This winter has been largely snow-free. While it's been nice for driving, it has felt wrong. Today we finally got some snow. Such a pretty snow fall. Tiny sharp flakes that shimmered like cut crystal in the street lights as they fell from the sky, casting prismatic rainbows in the night.

Joci was thrilled. Since it was dark when we got home, I didn't want Joci playing outside. However, I did let her play in the garage where she played with the snow on the car. We made hand prints and giggled. We tasted it and giggled. We threw it and giggled.

We love this little outfit. Justin picked it out in New York City. Love the way that the tutu bounces when she walks with her little 2 year old swagger. 

Chocolate pudding for dessert.

After a few minutes of unsupervised painting I found this: a blank piece of paper and painted lips and hands. 

One of Joci's favorite Christmas presents was this set of Disney princess shoes from her grandparents. They come just about everywhere with us. She is pretty OCD about how they go back in their box. It's funny. I get in trouble all the time for putting the "Belles"  on the second shelf and the "Cindercrellas" on the first shelf when clearly it should be the other way around. 

Joci likes to copy Daddy when it comes to shaving (no worries--it's a butter knife)

I love checking on Joci every night after she falls asleep. There is always a lot of fun evidence of what she does before falling asleep. On this night she had apparently had a birthday party for Santa Claus.

Eating chips and clam dip. Yum. 

Story time!

We do a lot of paint projects with hand prints. I left Joci alone to paint once and found this - forehead prints. :)

This little girl keeps us laughing! We're so lucky to have her in our lives.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Women, Take Control of Your Cash!

I recently wrote an update about our financial journey. As I have blogged about before, I think transparency in finances is really important. It gives us more knowledge and more education for our own financial decisions, which only gives us more power. Money is like fire—a very important and useful tool, but when it’s out of control, it can be very destructive.

The Huffington Post cited a survey posed specifically at women. Seventy-six percent of the survey respondents feel out of control with their money. Ouch! That’s a lot of big, destructive fires raging.

I feel quite in control right now and it is the BEST FEELING EVER. I prefer this feeling to the feeling of a new pair of boots or a new expensive toy. I get a high off this feeling. I no longer feel left out because I don’t own a flat screen TV. I am constantly stoked by my financial control and progress.

According to the article, people make six to ten financial decisions every day. That’s six to ten opportunities to stoke the raging fire or six to ten opportunities to feel in control. My high school economics class taught me how to write a check, how interest accumulates, how the stock market works, and how much the teacher really liked football (it seems like high school coaches always teach economics or history, right?).

I didn’t really learn the ins and outs of daily expenses. I didn’t learn it in college either. My parents gave me a fighting chance, but I am not sure they always felt in control of their finances either.

So I am fighting for control. I am fighting to spread knowledge so others can get control too. Especially women.

This article about women and money had some really interesting facts about how women’s financial needs are different than men’s. Let me paraphrase a few.
  • Women live longer than men, so they need TWENTY PERCENT more money for their golden years.
  • On average, women earn 25% less than men. 
  • Because of time taken off to care for children and ailing parents, women take off approximately 11 years more from work than men. 
  • Because women work less and earn less, their social security benefits are about half of men’s.
  • Almost 1 in 4 women are broke within two months of a husband passing away.
  • Over 75% of all women will be widowed. The average age of becoming a widow? 56.
  • Eighty-seven percent of poverty-stricken elderly are women.

I was shocked by these statistics. When it comes to finances, women have an uphill battle. It’s seems scary, but knowledge is power. It’s the truth, and just because you ignore doesn’t make it go away. The best you can do is learn the truth, educate yourself, and grab a fire extinguisher and take control. Money is power—make sure it’s in your hands.

Normally, I kind of roll my eyes when someone has seven different blogs for every aspect of their life. I roll it all into this one. But I've thought about creating one strictly about finances. What do you think? Would you be interested in something like that? 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Racism in Adoption

As a hopeful adoptive parent, I am constantly researching new ways to network to increase our chances of finding our baby. I am listed with an adoption agency, but I check out other agencies and adoption networking sites all the time to see if it would benefit me to use them.

There are a few--quite a few, to be honest--that cross a line I am not willing to cross. The have a fundamental flaw in their business that I cannot overlook. Plenty of Lifetime movies paint adoptive parents as so desperate for a baby they will do anything, absolutely anything no matter how despicable, for a baby.

Not true of me.

So what is the deal breaker for me?

Different adoption prices for different races.

As much as we all want to believe that we live in a "post-racist" society with a black/biracial President and black Oscar winners, and black billionaires, and whatever else, it is obvious that racism is alive and well if an agency can charge a premium for a white baby (or alternatively, offer a deep discount for a black baby in order to entice business).

Justin and I are open to adopt from all races. I could look at opportunities like this and say, "Hey! This is great! I have no problem adopting an African American baby and we can save money. Win/win!" But I just can't. I refuse to support any agency that has a fee schedule based on the color of a baby's skin.

I get that people have preferences and limitations. I get that racism exists on an individual level. But it's flabbergasting that in today's world, blatant racism--with a price tag attached--exists on a corporate level. That businesses build racism into how it makes money. Why can't they charge the same price and if individuals have issue with children of certain races, they can pass up potential matches? (Actually, plenty of agencies work this way, too. I only list with agencies that have the same price for all matches.) I get the whole "supply and demand" aspect of doing business. But these are people. Babies. Not dress socks.

It makes me fume.

By the way, happy Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.

P.S. I have had a lot of comments saying that ultimately the purpose of this is to get as many children as possible in forever homes. That is totally legit, and I totally get it. It doesn't make the practice any less racist. It doesn't mean agencies are practicing racism, but rather catering to racism in the general populace. There is realism vs. idealism. Realism has it's place because it's, well, realistic. In this scenario, I recognize that I am being idealistic. I just won't use my money to support a practice I don't believe in. Like people who won't spend money at an organization that sells fur because they are vegan or whatever. I don't condone the practice, no matter the justification. I am not that Machiavellian. Maybe it is good that others are more pragmatic, but I just can't be in this scenario.

Adoption Update: Profile Is Active

I realized I haven't given an adoption update in a little while. Last time I wrote about it, we were still waiting to get on the waiting list.

We officially got on the waiting list in early December. Getting our profile together has been slow going. The holidays fell upon us and time seemed to vanish. I did work on the copy though and hired a professional designer to design my profile. We did this last time too. It will end up looking like a short catalog. I love how they turn out. Totally worth a little extra cash - our agency uses our old one as an example all the time. Anyway, I got the copy to the designer and of course she was busy with holidays and with work and all. I haven't been rushing it though. Last time our profile wasn't even shown for six months so I figured it was okay not to rush it.

Last Friday I got a call from my caseworker Cara. "Where is your profile? I have someone I want to show it to." Oops. I talked with the designer and she got me an electronic file on Monday so I could email a PDF to Cara on Monday. I finally stopped dragging my feet and comparing my life to The Bachelor and got my online profile ready to go.

After lots of stressing, I chose to put this picture on our online profile because it is our favorite.  

Click here and scroll to the bottom. So pretty, right? :)

I still had some changes to my physical profile, so while the agency has a PDF, I still made a few revisions. Soon the designer will finalize those changes and I will get the profiles printed and sent off to the agency.

I've been giving pass along cards to anyone who will take them. I handed a bunch out at church yesterday. Do you want some? :)

Last week a high school friend messaged me on Facebook and asked if it was okay if she shared my information with her brother-in-law who is an adoption attorney. I said yes. Friday, I got a call from him and he explained how he facilitates adoptions. Sounds good! So he is going to share our info with the potential birth mothers he comes across as well.

So even though nothing has really happened, there has been some buzz in our home lately and we are excited.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Brightly Beams Give Away Winner

And the winner of the Come What May and Love It print from Brightly Beams give away is Meagan S. Congratulations!

I'll be in touch to get it sent out.

For everyone who didn't win, remember you can get 20% off by using the code TAKE20OFF

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Memory Lane Through the Eyes of My Checkbook

Justin rustled up an old checkbook register last night. It was from the first year of our marriage and it brought back so many memories. I am surprised by how we spent our money revealed. Here are a few lines:

4/06/2002  Desert View Animal Hospital     $25.00    
          We had taken our new puppy to get her shots
4/06/2002  Conoco Gas Station                  $15.07  
           A tank of gas
4/19/2002  Deposit                                     $143.96  
           Wow - we made next to nothing
4/19/2002  Movie Theater - Scorpion King $12.50    
          One movie ticket costs this much now
4/30/2002  Wal-Mart - Friends Season 1    $69.72    
           These were VHS. We always splurged on Friends. This was half a paycheck!
5/09/2002  Dell Financial Services               $150.00  
           Our first computer. It was nice!
5/12/2002 Wal-Mart                                  $12.29    
            I wish I only spent this much at Wal-Mart today!
5/15/2002 Grand America Hotel                 $283.00  
           We spent our first anniversary at the nicest hotel
5/20/2002 Chesbro's Justin                         $8.30    
           A gift for Justin's 22nd birthday
6/06/2002 MCI Phone card recharge          $14.75    
          We always used a calling card - no cell phones
6/06/2002 Deposit for our Malibu               $40.00    
           The deposit on our first car
6/25/2002 U-Haul                                      $94.34  
          Our move from Wyoming to University of Idaho
7/16/2002 HF 37 hair growth                      $55.99  
         A dumb purchase on pills to make my hair grow
8/05/2002 rent                                            $430.00  
         First time we ever paid rent. It was a crap hole
8/15/2002 deposit                                       $429.90  
        A great commission paycheck from my sales job

These memories of our first year of marriage are precious. I wish I could still fill up my gas tank for $15. I wish my household needs (and my self-discipline) allowed me to only spend $12 a week at Wal-Mart. But I am glad my paychecks are a little bit bigger than they were back then. :P

Justin (on the far right) performing in Into the Woods in 2002

Justin's 22nd birthday

Justin shaving for his first job in Moscow, Idaho, at McDonald's, 2002

On campus at the University of Idaho 2002 
(What the heck am I wearing? Cropped pants with socks?)

For some reason, the memories this checkbook register bring back are different than those jogged by a picture. I guess because they are hidden...forgotten. It was a fun trip down memory lane. Not one that will likely be repeated since I don't really keep a check register anymore.

Ah, the good old days.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Brightly Beams Print Give Away

I love decorating my home in stylish things that have personal meaning to me. 

Brightly Beams Prints has the coolest, artistic prints that have meaning. Love them!! When I had the chance to do a give away, I had a hard time choosing which print to give one of my readers. But I finally decided on this one:

I love this quote by Joseph B. Wirthlin. In his talk, Elder Worthlin explained further: 
The way we react to adversity 
can be a major factor in how happy and how 
successful we can be in life. 

So true! 

Trials plague us all. No way around it. But finding a way to embrace our trial-pocked life, paste on a smile, and learn to genuinely laugh during this crazy ride makes such a difference. I'm learning this. I am a big, big cheerleader for positive thinking (and my degree is psychology so I am an expert!).

Love the monochromatic look in the white frame (frame not included). 

If you want to enter the give away for this custom-designed print, here's what you do;

Leave me a comment with your email address and tell me your favorite meat/meat dish.

For additional entries:
Share this give away on Facebook and leave me a comment telling me you did so.
Follow my blog and leave me a comment telling me you're a follower.

I will take entries until 8:00 a.m. Friday the 13th (oooh, spooky) and announce the winner later that day.

Annnnnnd...there is some really good news for all my readers. If you don't win, you can still score big because Brightly Beams has given me a code to share with all of you for 20% off! Just type in the code TAKE20OFF for your exclusive savings.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

How I Improved My Finances by $17k Last Year

Last fall my husband and I began the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover. We mapped out our debts and our discretionary income and found some wiggle room. We planned to have all our commercial debt paid off by the end of 2011. I’ll be honest, that didn't happen. But we did pay off 70% of it. I am still really proud of that. So I wanted to illustrate what we did, what went wrong, and what went right.

We got $1,000 in the bank in less than a month. When it came to our extra money, we would spread it out among our financial needs—an extra $20 to savings, an extra $50 on a credit card, an extra $15 on a different credit card, etc. Our savings seemed to hover around the $500 range. I always wanted it to be more but I wasn’t sure how to make it happen. We focused our attention on getting our account to $1,000 in four weeks. We did it!

We refinanced our house. In November 2010, we dropped nearly 3% of our interest rate on our house payment by refinancing (too bad we didn’t wait a year—the rates are so good now! Haha). We were excited to have close to $200 extra to put toward our efforts.

Next, we paid our lowest debt. Our Discover card had the lowest balance of any of our debts. Since we weren’t spreading out our extra money in five different directions, we wacked it out pretty fast. Even though this wasn’t our highest interest debt, it had the lowest balance so we could get a taste of success fast. It helped a lot. We continued paying off our debts, focusing on the lowest balance. We “snowballed” the minimum payments of debts we had already paid off and kept putting our extra in one place.

Surprise expenses. A month after we refinanced our house, Justin got a sizeable pay cut. The money we saved from our refinance went right back into our budget instead of being “extra.” While it was frustrating not to have the “extra” we were hoping for, it worked out okay so we weren’t struggling after a significant pay cut. Some other surprises: Justin had unexpected surgery; both our cars needed new tires within a month; my car needed several expensive repairs all at once; Justin had an MRI for a medical issue; and we had to buy a new window for my daughter’s room.

Justin's surgery in February

In July, I won a trip to New York City. While a lot of the expenses were part of the winnings, food and spending money were not included. So, we saved up for that. It’s the first trip in a while where we haven’t put a penny on a credit card, so even though it derailed our pay down efforts, we felt financially successful.

In Central Park 

Also, we felt it was time to start our adoption process again, even though we didn’t plan on doing it until 2012. So we spent a good chunk of change on the homestudy, program application, etc.

Two steps forward, one step back. Our surprise expenses set us back about $10,000. Three times, we used our $1,000 savings reserve and had to build it up again. I was glad to have it there, though. It’s funny; I hate spending that reserve. I would rather swipe my credit card than touch my precious savings, so I had to remind myself that’s why it’s there and I could always build it back up. We did use our credit card for one set of tires and a little bit of the car repairs, adding on about $2,000. I am madder about that than anything else because we are obviously going in the wrong direction if we are accumulating debt. Argh!!! But at least out of $10,000 of surprise expenses, only $2,000 went on credit. That’s something to be proud of, right? I think so.

Our gazelle-like intensity waned after about six months. We had to fight to get it back at times. I know we could’ve been a little more passionate and made more progress, but I am pleased with what we have accomplished, and I am also pleased that we could still enjoy good things in life like the unexpected trip to New York—we didn’t scrimp on that. We could have, but we decided to take advantage of possibly the only time we would go there.

In the end, we paid down $17,000 worth of debt: our Discover card, a line of credit (adoption), two 401k loans (adoption), and both of our cars.

My car - officially mine

Our next step in 2012 is expanding our savings. I know, I know, Dave Ramsey says don’t worry about having more the $1,000 in savings until all commercial debts are paid off. BUT…we need more money to pay for an adoption and a maternity leave. We will accumulate debt this year because of the adoption. There is no way around it for us. But hopefully it won’t be the entire adoption like it was last time. Oh, and Justin applied for a student loan repayment program that will hopefully pay off his grad loans sometime this year which will be heavenly. Another child will definitely hit our discretionary income, but since we no longer have car payments and credit card payments, the new expense should actually be fairly manageable.

So, here’s to a profitable 2012!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pass Along Card Guest Post by Brittany

If you got a Christmas card from my family, you got a handful of pass-along cards with instructions to pass them along to clergy, doctors, lawyers, or anyone else who may regularly come across women with unplanned pregnancies that might think about adoption. I also said to keep at least one in your wallet just in case a conversation ever comes up.

It's important for us to spread the word any way possible because about half of all adoptions happen by word of mouth referrals rather than getting matched at an agency.

Not sure if something like this can work? Meet Brittany; a friend who I have not had the pleasure of meeting in real life yet. Here is her story.


When my husband and I were going through years of infertility trials, we kept it a secret.

When we started looking into adoption, we kept it a secret.

When we went to our adoption classes and found out that we needed the help of our family and friends to make our adoption happen, we panicked.

You wouldn’t know it by reading my blog now, but back then, I was very reserved. We were going through a very isolating, heartbreaking and private trial. I didn’t want everyone “knowing my business.”

There was a time when I pictured us walking into church one day with a baby. And that was how I was going to tell our congregation we had adopted.

Finding out we had to tell people was frightening. It meant everyone would knoweverything. (At that point we had told our parents that we were looking into adoption, but got a prickly reception from a few of them. The thought of telling more people and risking that kind of reaction was something I was not looking forward to.)

No, no no. I was going to be the one who, after getting our profile up on itsaboutlove.org, would be quickly chosen by a birth mom. Itsaboutlove was how we were going to be found.

As with many things in my life, the Lord had a different plan for me than what I did. A better plan.

A few months after the adoption classes I was getting more adjusted to the idea of telling people. I had also started my adoption blog which helped me open up even more. One day I was reading blogs like therhouse and our local FSA blog and I saw posts about Pass Along Cards. I remembered in our classes how they mentioned them and that couples should look into getting some made. The example cards I saw on the blogs were really cute and fun. I thought “What the heck? I might as well.”

The problem was, I had no idea how to go about getting Pass Along Cards made.

My friend and neighbor, Jill, had just started up her own business. She was making our Christmas cards that year so I asked her if she could make me some Pass Along Cards. I told her what I wanted, she made some up and I loved them! I decided to throw caution to the wind and send them out in a mass-mailer along with a letter explaining our hope to adopt. (I also put the link to our adoption blog on our Christmas cards.)

In the spring, I gave out some cards to a friend of mine the night we went out together to eat. The next day she went to get her hair done and the topic of adoption came up with her hairstylist. The stylist said her roommate was pregnant and was interested in adoption, so my friend gave her our card. At that time, the pregnant roommate walked into the salon and started talking to my friend. As this was happening, another stylist walked over and said she had gotten a pass along card from her client earlier that day and wanted to give it to the stylist whose roommate was pregnant.

It was another copy of our card.

The other client was my mom who, unknowingly, went to the same salon that my friend did. And who happened to go in on the same day. And who happened to have the topic of adoption come up. So she gave her stylist our card.

That’s right, our birth mom got 2 copies of our pass along card from 2 separate people on the same day.

Do you believe in coincidences? I don’t.

During the time our birth mom was trying to find prospective couples, she never looked at the couples on itsaboutlove.org once.

The Lord knew that.

He knew that she wasn’t going to find us unless we put aside our fears and put forth effort and faith to help Him help us.

Our birth mom kept our 2 Pass Along Cards in the driver’s license window of her wallet for months. She was meeting with other couples at that time but she said she would look at our picture and think to herself “But I still have to meet Que and Brittany.” And the rest, as they say, is history.

Our son’s birth mom, me, my mom, my friend, & her hair stylist. This was taken at a baby shower my friend threw for me and of course, I had to invite our birth mom and her roommate/stylist! –2009

We love our son and our birth mom very much and are so grateful for those people in our life who were brave enough to share with others our hope to adopt. Without them (and without Pass Along Cards), we wouldn't be a family!

Brittany, Que, Brie (birth mom) and baby Liam, 2009

We are proof that Pass Along Cards work!


And here is our pass along card. I think it turned out super cute.

So, if you got a few of our cards, now you know what to do. If you would like some of our cards, please leave me a comment with your email address. I'll get in touch with you and send you some. Here are ways to pass them along:

  • Give them to church leaders
  • Give them to family lawyers
  • Give them to doctors, hospitals, and clinics
  • Give them to counselors and social workers
  • Give them to high school teachers/counselors
  • Pin them to bulletin boards in the foyers of businesses
  • Leave them with the tip when you go out.
  • Drop one in the envelope when you send a bill payment
  • Keep one in your wallet - if the topic ever comes up with ANYONE, show the card

Thanks for your help! And thanks, Brittany, for sharing your story.


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