Wayward: self-willed; rebellious; unruly; impulsive

Monday, September 16, 2013


There are a ton of things I could write about today. So much to share about what we're up to and how the kids are doing. Maybe later this week...maybe.

My heart today, is in Ethiopia. Last week the country celebrated the Ethiopian New Year! Our baby boy started the year 2005 as an orphan but ended it with a waiting family. Doesn't that bring joy to your heart? What a great God we have, who sets the lonely in families! Our prayer is that Biya rang in 2006 knowing that he has a family waiting and will end 2006 in our arms!

We're also celebrating the long awaited USCIS approval to adopt an orphan. Finally! We danced and sang and praised God when that letter finally arrived. What a relief! Now we're sending all of the paperwork we've gathered over the last year to our agency in TN. They'll review it and send it to Ethiopia. There it will be translated and submitted for approval by the Ethiopian government. After they approve us to adopt we'll receive a court date and travel overseas! We've still got about 5 months or longer before that happens though. In the mean time, we'll begin fundraising for the remaining $10,000 in fees. Please pray for God's provision!

Now on to the good stuff...SO exciting!!!

Today I want to finally introduce y'all to our 3rd child. I've wanted to do this for so long but didn't want to break any rules. I started seeing others in the same phase of the process introduce their children in this way and have decided that it's time for all of you to meet the little boy you've been praying for. It's just so exciting!

Carey and I, along with big sis and big brother, proudly introduce our sweet Biya!!!

Isn't this just the most adorable little guy you've never met??? I mean seriously, don't you want to scoop him up and squeeze him to pieces? It kills me, folks. Just kills me. I could gush over him all day. I really could. But I won't because now that you can see his precious little curls and fingers and toes, you can gush for yourself. Please do, gush and pray to bring this sweet baby boy home!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Furry Friends

This will be a short post...unless the emotions and words start flowing freely, which is highly unlikely. I knew one day I would be able to write about how we lost Cash, our sweet and precious 5 year old Great Dane in May. I had no idea I would also be writing about the passing of my very best four legged friend, Emma. My sweet Emma passed away unexpectedly 3 days ago and it will be awhile before I can write about this heartbreak. God is so good though and has given us a peace about it all. For now, don't forget to love on the furry friends God has blessed you with!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Immigrations Round #1

Today we received our updated home study. Yep, that's right, revisions were needed. Let me inform you about this step in the adoption process called Immigrations Round 1. When your home study is approved, the case worker writes everything up in a long report that hits all of the specific points our government and the foreign government is concerned about. Things like mental health, financial stability, ability to overcome difficulties, and willingness to seek professional help when needed. You need the approved home study report in order to move on to the next step in the process-Immigrations. The completed Application for Advanced Processing of Orphan Petition (I-600a) along with brand new state certified copies of our birth and marriage certificates (an unexpected expense) had been sitting on the counter waiting for the home study to arrive. I had gone through the checklist several times, but the excitement got to me on the day the home study arrived and I rushed to send our stuff to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office without including the (hefty) processing fee. About midnight I realized my mistake and got to UPS first thing in the morning to overnight the check and an explaination. A week or so later we received our rejection due to improper payment notice from the Department of Homeland Security. A few days afer that we received our check. Bummer. If at first you don't succeed, pay another overnight fee. You better believe I got it right the second time. 

A few weeks passed before we received notification that USCIS was reviewing our application. It also stated that we should expect to receive a biometrics appointment date within 2 weeks. Sure enough, the appointment letter arrived explaining our June 28th fingerprint appointment. The four of us enjoyed a trip into the city, an adventure among towering buildings, and a visit into a federal building. They scanned our fingerprints and sent us off within 10 minutes. It was a breeze.

A month later a little envelope from the Department of Homeland Security found itself in our mailbox. I wanted to be overwhelmed with excitement, but 3 words stamped at the top assured me this wasn't the envelope I was waiting for. It seemed odd that "Return Service Requested" would be necessary if we were approved. It turns out, Carey's fingerprints weren't clear and he would need to try again. At least this time we didn't have to wait for another letter to give us the appointment date, it was included. Luckily the grumps at the USCIS office were overpowered by someone who must have been God-sent because the next day they squeezed Carey in without an appoitment. The angel even called Carey that evening to assure him that this time, the FBI accepted his prints. Have you ever heard of someone in a governemnt office calling a perfect stranger after closing time on a Friday? Just to reassure him things went well? That is beyond crazy. That is God.

Fast forward another 10 days. An envelope from the Department of Homeland Security arrives. This time I could see pink paper inside. Pink paper is only good for baby shower invitations, folks. This was an invitation to try again...again. We were rejected because our home study states we had never been the subjects of an unfavorable home study and did not clearly state that we had never been rejected as potential adoptive parents. Isn't that the SAME THING??? Whatever. You say tomato, I say God is in control. 

Our home study agency said this was the 2nd time they've ever had this issue with the exact wording of the phrase. They were on it and would have our revision to us by the end of the week. Except that our case worker was on vacation and it was actually a week and a half later before we received our new and improved home study report. 

That brings us to today. Home study in and right back out, overnight of course, to USCIS. They've raked over our application and probably tapped our phones. Maybe they'll be consistant and send us our approval in 10 days.   :)

PS-no grammar or spell check. I apologize, friends.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Little Man

Hayes is our little man now. He lives up to every expectation of raising a boy: covered in dirt, prefers sticks over toys, can't get him inside, best friend has fur and 4 legs. This rough and rowdy kid has a soft side though, particularly for his momma and sister. He asks about his Biya Brother all the time and cant wait to share his new farm-themed bedroom with him. Hayes also continues to mourn the loss of his best bud, Cash. 

2 years old-almost 3!
Favorite song: Old McDonald and Nothing But the Blood (of Jesus). I couldn't make that up if I wanted to folks.
Favorite Color: orange
Favorite Book: Good Night, Good Night Construction Site and a series of tractor books
Wants to be a daddy when he grows up. 
Loves: Guns, tractors, farm animals, legos
Won't hardly wear it if it isn't camo or tractor attire. He got blue tropical print swim trunks as a gift-refuses to even look at them. Plaid? If I beg and plead. I had to buy him black Wranglers to wear in Aunt T's wedding because there was no way he'd get into a suit. This kid is country, even in Ohio where country isn't cool. 
Weird fact: He has always hated pillow cases. I put them on his pillow, he takes it right off. Who does that???

He got a short hair cut in June because he was so sweaty and his hair was in his eyes. He hates it. When I try to fix his hair he asks me if I can make it long and in his face again. 

Still sucks that thumb-which he insists is NOT a finger.

Friday, August 16, 2013

I'm a BIG kid now!

These kiddos I have are growing fast. Time is here and gone before I slow down long enough to realize it. My sweet Aisley just turned 5 and we're taking another year with her before sending her off to kindergarden. I'm so thankful for this last year before all-day school begins. She'll continue at her preschool but will make a jump from 3 afternoons to 5 afternoons in school. I have to cherish these mornings we have together and will be making a list of the things we want to do while we still can-like go to the zoo on a week day, and have a lunch picnic in the park, those things that you take for granted the 5 years before all-day school begins.

For her birthday she got a new kitty. This cat is a saint. The kind of saint that tolerates being shoved into a baby stroller, carried around like an infant all.day.long, and ornery little brothers dragging him around the house by 1 paw. A saint. Forget miracles after his death, if you knew what this cat endured you would agree.

Let me tell you about Aisley:
Plays with: Littlest Pet Shop, Barbies, baby dolls, My Little Pony, dress up
Listens to: K-Love and sings along with all the song (yay!) and instrumental
Reads: Junie B. Jones, Fancy Nancy, Amelia Bedila (with mommy, of course)
Wants to be a singer when she grows up. Sometimes she wants to be a mommy too, but sometimes mommies are mean and she doesn't want to be mean ;)
She loves doing random acts of kindness for all of our neighbors, but it could kill her to do one for her little brother.
Adores animals, especially cats. Mr. Kitty was her adoption choice from the animal orphanage. 
Loves dancing, riding her bike (with training wheels), and will sit for hours if you'll scratch her back. Touch is this girl's love language and it's obvious by the way she needs to be held, cuddle, tickled, and loved on. 
A sweet, sweet blessing is she. My little princess.

Family picture June 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

God's Faithfulness

Today I want to focus on God’s faithfulness. You may remember that we started our adoption journey against all odds. Timing was tricky because Carey only had these 2 research years to get in the 1st trip to Ethiopia. Both parents have to be present in court for the 1st trip but only 1 parent has to be present for the 2nd and final trip. We need to travel before July of 2014. We’re still pushing this and are fully relying on God. Finances were even trickier. Read http://waywardwatsons.blogspot.com/2012/09/areas-of-concern.html to get a full understanding of where we began. A year ago we began our 1st research year with $20,000 worth of credit card debt. God provided all we needed to pay off our debt in less than a year. Did you hear that, folks? GOD WAS FAITHFUL. We were also able to pay the $200 background check fees, $890 immigration approval fee, and $6,000 agency fee. WOW. Isn’t that unheard of?!? I’m still in shock. Carey worked like a dog doing extra moonlighting shifts and we had everything we needed to pay the agency fee required before we could be given our referral. All the details were taken care of, God provided for everything! We want to be sure to give him all of the praise!

Monday, August 12, 2013


We disappeared for a few months, but we’re back stronger than ever! This week I’ll spend time going through general updates on the kiddos, Carey’s research, TFI, and our adoption. You can also find all of our previous adoption updates on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/watsonadoption.

I’ll begin with the adoption.

In May I went with my TFI family to the Christian Alliance for Orphans annual conference. On my way out of town we got word that we needed to update our medical forms before our home study could be finalized. The forms can’t be more than 6 months old and the kids’ medical exams were expiring within a day or two. My husband being the superstar that he is was able to take care of all of this while watching the kiddos for the first extended amount of time.

The conference was in Nashville, the same place our agency Small World Adoptions, is located. Since we’ve never met them face to face, my inner Duck Commander came out and this Momma hunted them down. I’m pretty sure they thought I was stalking them-who is this weird lady waiting at our booth at 7:45 in the morning? My goal was to simply introduce myself and finally put a face to a name. It turned out to be a much more meaningful interaction. During the months we worked on completing our home study we felt God preparing us more and more for a special needs adoption. We always felt led that direction, but were confused when no special needs children were coming through our agency. I’d spent much time in prayer on the matter and honestly was frustrated with God when I wasn’t seeing my answer. But standing in that huge room surround by hundreds of people, I was surprised when the question slipped out:

“Are there any special needs children waiting?”

It felt like time stood still while Jimbo thought about his answer.

“The only special needs we have are HIV+.”

I was surprised when my heart sank. HIV is modern-day leprosy and we all know how Jesus felt about that. (If you don’t know, Jesus was known to heal lepers. He seemed to have a heart for outcasts ;)

“Oh wait!”

My heart leaped. I was clinging to this “wait”. This “wait” could be my son or daughter. It’s funny how in those moments everything really does seem to fade away. I’ll never forget my head spinning with dozens of thoughts, the crowds of people pushing by me turned into a blur, and my heart pounding through my chest. I didn’t expect to be so caught up by this question and I certainly wasn’t prepared for an answer. Ready or not…

“ a little boy named Biya”

Jimbo searched his memory for more.

“He’s 9 months old, cutest little guy… and has some sort of partial paralysis.”

Maybe he had you at “hello”, but he had me at “partial paralysis”. I’m weird like that. It must have been written all over my face because Jimbo just kept gushing about this baby. My baby. Before I walked away from their booth I made sure Jimbo knew that we were 1st in line for that boy and that he would have our finalized home study waiting on him when he got back to the office. I knew there was a good chance someone could sweep Biya away before we were given the official referral, but as I walked away from the conversation I found myself fighting back tears of joy. I knew I only wanted the child God had been preparing us for, but I sincerely hoped Biya was the one.

Bless Carey; he missed out on that one. His first introduction to our potential son came through a slur of text messages ending in excessive exclamation points. I’m pretty sure he was just as surprised and amazed as I was. Neither of us expected a possible referral at this stage of the process and I was pleasantly surprised when he seemed to have fallen in love with this little Biya.

We received the official referral for our Biya on May 21 and promptly consulted with the International Adoption Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. After several days of prayer and reviewing the info gathered by the medical team, we signed the intent to adopt this sweet little guy.

Stay tuned for more about Biya’s medical condition, to see how God did amazing things for us financially, and to learn more about the process after the referral.