Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sisters = Love.

Since Payton was born, I have blessed to meet so many amazing people... many of whom are now my closest friends. When we were in process to adopt Nika... I met Charissa online. At the time, she and her husband were in process to adopt Ava... a little girl with Down syndrome from Ukraine.

I think the thing that struck me most about Charissa was that she did not have a biological child with Down syndrome. And at first... things were not how she imagined they would be when she first met Ava. I remember sitting in front of my computer and just crying over her words and her fear... just praying that she could see past the orphan. And did she ever... she embraced Ava and loved her and brought her home.

Last week... I finally got to meet Charissa, Ava and the rest of their family... which now includes two additional children that they adopted. They rock.

Some of the crew... it was hard to wrangle 10 kids at once.

I will never forget reading these words from Charissa's husband... John... with regard to their adoption of Ava...

When Charissa came to me and asked me, "Can we adopt a little girl with Down Syndrome?" I didn't say anything. I just thought.

Then she said, "... there is a little girl in Ukraine that needs a family." I didn't say anything except.. mmmm.

I began to go over and over in my mind how MY life would change. How would this affect ME. What if this happened what if that happened. How would this little girl integrate into our family?

So, here is a list of questions I asked, prayed over and meditated on for several days:
- This is a huge commitment
- Will she talk, eat, walk
- What will Word of Faith folks think of me having a child with a disability
- How will my life change with this little girl
- Will my kids accept her
- Will my kids rebel
- Will my kids be safe while I am half way across the world
- Can I afford this
- and many other thoughts

Then I had this thought.. What is this little girl thinking:
- When is my daddy going to come kiss my neck and throw me in the air?
- When is my daddy going to come help me get my eyes fixed?
- When is my daddy going to help me learn how to eat, walk, talk?
- When is my daddy going to take me out of this crib and put me on his shoulders?
- When is my daddy going to hold me close at night before he puts me to bed?
- When is my daddy going to tell me he loves me?
- When is my daddy coming to get me? Why's he taking so long? I'm ready!

God defends the orphan! He will defend me and my family..

What a blessing little Ava has been in my life! I just cannot imagine life without that little girl. Jesus will increase your ability to love every child you bring into your home. He'll work miracles in your heart and in the hearts of a whole lot of other folks too.

Don't be afraid to LOVE! Love heals.



Speaking of people I have met over the past several years... and when I say met... I often mean met online... as um, weird as that sounds. Ha. Anyway... I just got home from the Juice Plus+ conference in California... and while I was there... I was able to meet up with some amazing mommas.

la jp conf
Some of our awesome team... Kristen, Linda, Debby, yours truly, Mandy, Rachel... MIA Kristin

After conference... Linda and I got to crash Ella's birthday party and meet some more awesome mommas... Cheri, Heather, Stephanie, Cammie and so many more. I forgot my camera, so I got nothing to show. Boo.

Then... Linda and I drove to Los Angeles for a couple days. That was interesting... and so much fun. We toured the city in the torrential downpour like teenagers... sadly we did not see anyone famous, which of course was our main goal. Yes... teenagers, I know. Ha... but it was so fun.

Kodak Theater, Hollywood sign behind the fog, Rodeo Drive

We were able to meet up with Darlena for lunch at Universal Studios City Walk in the torrential downpour... love her. Seriously... what up with the massive storms slamming SoCal the one time in my life I am there?

la lunch darlena
The shadows in this place were not nice to me.

And then... we got to have dinner at this little French bistro that Linda seriously loved loved loved with more Down syndrome momma friends... they are all such awesome girls and could quite possibly allow me to consider moving to California. Ha.

LA dinner
Kristin, Linda, yours truly, Cheri, Jen, Brenda



I really hate traveling without my babies... the older I get, the worse it gets. It seriously makes me anxious. I was so happy to see them when I got home.


Love me some lip puckers.


Nika is getting it down... sideways and all.





Hmm... what is that bubble doing hanging on there?


I could kiss those little lips


Sisters = Love.


  1. I hope you dont mind me linking to your post. Been working through the bonding and attachment phase of adoption. Seeing light at the end of the tunnel! YAY!

  2. I just have to say I LOVED meeting up with you here in Cali and everytime I drive on THE 101 or THE 405 I will think of you and Linda! ;)

    You are such an inspiration to me and to so many others out there! Blessings to you my friend. Xoxo


  3. i remember you posted about Ava's dad on your blog, and thats how i began reading The Urban's blog :)

    lovely pics! lovely girls :)

  4. hey long time no meet {wink}! I can't believe how grown up Payton is. I am pretty sure she just grew up over night!

    ps. I am pretty sure it would take all my will power to not smooch those bubble blowing lips! Gorgeous girls!!

  5. Loved getting to meet you and that you made the journey out to Ella's party. I know it was a long one. It was also fun following your trek through LA even though we never caught up with you guys. Darn rain!!! Who knows...maybe someday I will get to the East Coast.

  6. so fun!!! I am so jealous! I want to meet all those girls too....and you too!!! I used that same post from that dad on my blog at the first of this journey....i LOVED it when I found it on your adoption blog!!! It was so perfect!!!

  7. So happy you came out to CA! And that I was able to get soaking wet with ya! Lol....that sounds funny but hey it was funny! Bethany have been such an inspiration to me and I love following your families journeys! You're such a true and beautiful person inside and out!
    LOVE the bubble pictures too! Such beautiful girls!

  8. Love the Urban clan! Love your clan! Love everything! Feel the love~

  9. Jealous! Do you think Oprah would sponsor an international playdate?

  10. Thanks so much for reaching out to me! I love following your blog! Your family is absolutely gorgeous!

  11. Aw Bethany. Your blog always makes me smile and cry. Can't believe you turned those pictures on a cold dreary day, with our grungy crew, into a beautiful portrait. However do you do that? I sure did love meeting you. My only regret is that I couldn't have hopped on the plane with you the next morning for a girlfriends retreat.LOL.

  12. LOVE the dad's post...thanks for sharing. and your girls, oh my. i can definitely see why you want to kiss those lips non-stop :)

  13. what was up with us and not having our cameras handy.... rats! Let's do a do over... come out again next week and let's do it all over again!! Had so much fun with you! xoxo