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Dear friends,

It has been a while since we have published an update on the house, the adoption, and life in general. As I write we (the world) are all under quarantine, a shelter-in-place order, due to the pandemic known as COVID-19 or the coronavirus. I'm attempting to work multiple jobs from home, while Randy continues to go to school during the week to provide lunches for the students in our community. But we've discovered that there is a lot that home remodeling, adoption, and life in general can teach us about how to quarentine.


For example, today is the final day that our drywall crew will be at the house.

Which is what they have been saying for the past three weeks.

Just one more day...



Home remodeling always takes longer than you think it will. And so does a quarentine. Every day the news is the same: we need more time. But you know what. The extra time in the home remodeling has been worth it. Because we've taken the time to do things right the first time around, …

OUR ADOPTION STORY

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Randy and I have entered the Home Study phase of the adoption! The first step in the Home Study process is a study of our hearts. We were asked to write a personal statement about our motivation for adoption. This was a powerful exercise, challenging us to look deep into our hearts and our histories, to uncover a story that God has been weaving all along. This is our story.

OUR ADOPTION STORY

My (Katie) mother was a kindergarten teacher for 25 years. During that time she often shared her concern for the children that she taught, and how her heart made her want to bring many of them home to experience the love and care that every child deserved. This planted a seed in my heart at an early age for the many children in the world whose biological parents can’t take care of them.
When I became an adult myself, a few months shy of graduating from college (March 2002), I became pregnant. I always assumed I would have children of my own, and was thrilled at the prospect of becoming a mom. I w…

OCTOBER

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October was a busy month, filled with new adventures! I took on two part-time jobs, starting on the same day!

One of those positions came with the title, “Wilmington Yearly Meeting Coordinator”. Coordinator does describe some of what I do – coordinating meetings for the Quakers in Ohio and Tennessee. But “informer” and “encourager” feel like more important roles as I get started. Like most U.S. denominations, the Quakers have experienced a series of splits in the church over our position on gay marriage. Some Friends (as Quakers are affectionately called) believe we must declare a position one way or another. Other Friends believe that each congregation should be able to decide for themselves whether or not to perform a marriage in their church. Regardless of the denomination, regardless of whether they side “for” or “against”, churches have been filled with pain and loss and distrust. And we’ve realized we don’t really know one another. Which is where I come in! 
My role in my first…

SEPTEMBER

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On Saturday, September 14, my husband Randy and dad Tom were finishing putting soffits under the eaves of the second story of our house. Dad was on his way down the ladder and Randy was up above him on a walkboard. The ladder where Dad was standing buckled, folding beneath him. He said it felt like the ladder was ripped right out from under him. That is the last thing he remembers.


Randy also remembers feeling like the floor was pulled out from under him. He fell 20+ feet, landing squarely on top of my dad. This perfect landing saved Randy's life and spared him from major injuries. Dad, taking the brunt of both their falls, sustained 8 broken ribs and a punctured lung.


We spent the next 15 hours at one hospital and then another. Dad had a chest tube for three days, draining the fluid from his lungs. He has been home since the 18th, but returns to Miami Valley Hospital today to see if his lungs and ribs are showing signs of healing. Please join us in praying that he gets a positive…

AUGUST

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This month I completed a writing/editing project I have been working on about how to triumph when you are going through life's inevitable trials. Apparently saying "yes" to this project was akin to praying for patience: I was given plenty of opportunities to "practice". (If you've never prayed for patience before, do so carefully!)

During this period of writing about how to triumph over trials, my ex-husband died. My mom got E.Coli ... twice. My husband took a staple-gun to the face. My step-daughter was in a car accident. My niece broke her wrist (on my watch, no less). My brother-in-law had a heart attack, followed by a stroke. My aunt injured her back. Another family member went into temporary foster care. Both our dogs have been sick. I ended up in the clinic after an encounter with a rusty nail. And those are just the trials in my immediate family that I know about! Sheesh! Would someone please pray that my next project is on prosperity?!

Chances are t…

JULY

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July was a month of goodbyes for me. Some goodbyes were harder than others. Some were expected and others came out of the blue. Some I handled well and others not so much. 
Goodbyes are never easy. They often come with regret, with longing for the past, with wondering if you've made the right decision. 
One goodbye that Randy and I have been discussing for a while now is letting go of the motorhome we inherited when his mother died in November of 2017. While it is sad to let that piece of her legacy go, that sense of adventure and exploration and discovery, it was a necessary next step. 
The money we got from selling the motorhome will help us continue progressing in the adoption process, and show that we are committed to providing a stable environment for the boys. (The adoption lady wasn't impressed that we have had 6 different addresses in the 5 years we have been together, and many more months with no address at all. And while it was an incredibly fun and necessary part o…

JUNE

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There are some days, weeks, months, years when you feel like you have nothing to show for your hard work. And then there are months like June of 2019 when you put an entire second story on your house and all of that hard work suddenly becomes visible!

This was our house in APRIL... just one story, pouring cement footers and creating a front entryway.


And MAY... tearing out the old trusses and setting floor joists so we could put on a second story!


During the first week of JUNE we put on the floor for the second story and Randy put in a staircase and started building walls!


On June 13, we invited friends and family over to raise the exterior walls. (Thanks Tim, Darlene, Eric, and Dad!)


And then we let our nieces put up the interior ones. (Thanks girls!)


A week later the new trusses were delivered... (Thanks David!)



And in a matter of 3 days we had all of them set in place too! (Thanks Dad!)


Randy then framed out the bathroom (I can't believe I didn't get photos of us using a ma…