Monday, July 30, 2007

Josh update

7/30 11:21 pm

Sorry for the late delay....we got a few minutes of rest and Ms. Maggie is sitting here nursing like a champ (pray for Ali's boobs....seriously!)

Neurologist did a full assessment and easiest way to say it is that he felt Josh was very responsive but that he did notice that he was having some short term memory issues (repetitive cycles and yet couldn't remember those cycles a few minutes later)but that could be many different things, especially considering how early we are in this ball game. He felt that with as far as Josh has come today and his age, he should make a nice recovery. They will be doing some tests either tonight or first thing tomorrow morning on his brain and I will do an update first thing in the morning.

Mom and dad will be here at 7am to take Ali to the hospital as we prepare for our movers at 9am. We went and walked through the house tonight and although it is a bit dirty, cleaning can come later!

Alison told me to tell this wonderful group of people that she loves you so much, is so thankful for your thoughts and prayers and especially to the members of Long Hollow....the people who have shown up tonight who don't even know them and yet have loved them. THANK YOU! They have only been visiting our church and yet you have made her and Josh feel loved and supported more than you will ever know.

Pray for that restful sleep....Alison has decided she doesn't want us to move but we told her she can shack up in the prayer pit til her man gets home!!! For those of you that don't know, we have a full finished basement in the new house and we have decided that it is the greatest room for having prayer time for each other. My best friend Angie wants it to the be the scrapbooking pit, but hey, there is plenty of room for all of that right!?!?!?


Josh update

7/30 7:34pm

As I told many of you today, I will do my absolute best to keep this site updated with any news, changes of Josh's condition. Jonathan and I just came home as Dad and Mom decided to stay with Alison and Maggie until the last visitation in the ICU is over (9-11pm) Rachel (Alison's friend) brought dinner for all of us which was wonderful. Josh was able to sit up in a chair and the nurse even got a wheelchair and brought Josh out of the ICU to see Maggie. He was so happy to see her, but Alison said he had trouble remembering it a few minutes later. Right now, they are just wanting to keep him stable and we are all hoping he and Alison can both get a decent night's sleep. They plan to do another CT scan first thing Tuesday morning to see if they can get a better idea of what caused this. They are also hoping to get the reads from the box that shocked Josh's heart. I can't remember what this is called, but it is the newer version of the paddles you see in the movies except this box actually can sense what is going on in Josh's body based on the leads they hooked him up to while he was here at home. Right now we are waiting for word from the brain doctor (sorry I don't have the fancy name for him, I am tired) but other than that the other doctors have made their rounds for tonight. Once I hear word from this doctor, I will post again tonight and then do an update post first thing in the morning. Don't stop praying OR believing in miracles!!! We witnessed one today!

What can you do???

Josh Harris, my brother in law-husband to Alison-daddy to Maggie, had a seizure this morning at 1 am. He struggled to breathe and as waited for the ambulance to arrive, Alison saved his life by administering CPR. He was shocked 4 times and successfully the GRACE OF GOD he had his breathing tube removed a few hours ago and although it will probably be a long road to recovery, Josh is alive and knows his wife and family. I write this quickly because I want all those prayer warriors to know what we need prayers for:

1. FOR JOSH...pray that the ultimate healer will continue to heal his heart. That doctors and nurses can figure out why Josh's heart stopped and can correct the problem. Pray for his salvation, that he knows that the Lord loves him so much that he chose him to be an example to others.....that Josh will know that the GREAT PHYSICIAN saved his life, not luck.

2. FOR ALISON....for her strength as she recovers from a C-Section and is still nursing Maggie (the super sucker) like a pro.

3. FOR MAGGIE....that she will continue to have patience with her mommy and daddy as they focus on each other

4. FOR THE UNBELIEVERS AND THE ONES WHO DON'T HAVE A LOVING RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR HEAVENLY FATHER!!! I always wondered if my faith would be tested in a time of tragedy and today I learned that HE gave me more strength and peace than I could ask for. He brought a miracle forth and I think so many have given up on miracles. If you don't know Christ today and are reading this blog OR you long to be closer to him, stop reading this blog and hit your knees and talk to your daddy. He loves you....and he is always there for you. He doesn't want his relationship with you to only be there in times of tragedy...he wants us to LOVE HIM ALL THE TIME....unconditionally and non-questioning. He wants to show his miracles but we can't see them if we are lost in doubt and fear. Talk to your daddy, ask him to take over your heart and life and start living your life in HIS WILL.

THANKS for your prayers...I'll update as I have time.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Maggie's Home

Maggie, Ali and Josh came home from the hospital today so we are officially a family of 8 living in this house (9 if you count Dexter the dog)...until Tuesday that is!

I snapped this pic just a few minutes ago:

Friday, July 27, 2007

We're Approved!!!

Oh, how I have longed to hear those words! I can't believe I got to type it!

Now our "official" wait begins.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Another pic of Maggie

Sorry I still don't have the best ones...we are using Josh's camera and it is still at the hospital. Mom and baby are doing great!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Introducing Maggie Holland Harris

My sister went in for a scheduled induction this morning at 6am. At 6:30pm tonight she had still only progressed to 2 cm so they decided to go ahead with a c-section. Maggie was born at 7:11 p.m. and is doing great. Ali and Josh did great as well....

Maggie weighed 7 lbs. 10 ozs. and was 19" long. She has a ton of dark hair and wanted to eat the minute she came out. This is not the best picture as she was hungry (notice her sticking her tongue out) and hadn't been cleaned up yet, but trust me, she is a keeper (she even has dimples on both cheeks!) SO CUTE!! I will get more photos of her on here tomorrow.

Jonathan and I just got home and we are going to bed. I will post more tomorrow night.

I can already tell I am going to love being an aunt!

Friday, July 20, 2007

So much to blog YET...

so little time! The consignment sale mania is getting into full swing. The next few weeks I will be answering emails, phone calls, picking up stores (I buy past season children's boutique clothing to put in the consignment sale), tagging and trying to juggle 3 kids so life gets a tad crazy the three weeks before a sale.

I have SO MUCH to blog but because of lack of time tonight, I will give you a taste of things to come!

1. My friends Kim and Chris found out they are having a BOY today! Big sister McKinley has her two year old birthday party tomorrow!

2. Anna and I got to go visit baby Norah and her mom Alison yesterday. This baby is PRECIOUS so if you haven't checked out her site, you MUST go. I have to bum some pics from Alison to show you how sweet Anna was with this precious little girl so I will try to get those posted soon! THANKS Alison for having us!!!

3. I did get my Suburban and she has a name that my sister thought of......

SHEILA the SUBURBAN....just think, "Oh...oh, Sheila" (it will be stuck in your head the rest of the night!)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Jonathan is sad....

It's funny that we have been married 10 years and we know each other so well and yet sometimes we shock each other. When I got the email that we hadn't been picked, I felt completely at peace (normally I would be in upset, crying, etc) and Jonathan admitted tonight he was sad (normally he would be completely at peace).

This adoption thing is one said it would be easy, but we finally got our first taste of it. Everyone likes to ask me what I have learned so far so here goes:

1)If I have it my way, I NEVER want to know that our profile is being shown to a mom again. Call us when she picks us. It is really hard knowing that you don't know anything...does that make sense?

2)That God is completely in control and only by his grace did I have peace today.

3)It's been a rough week.....sister/hubby/dog moving in, Jonathan having the wreck, shopping for a new car, brother-in-law in the hospital, finding about profile being shown AND YET....I have peace, serious peace. Am I tired? YES! Am I behind on stuff? YES! But I have peace that is wonderful, calm and for that I am grateful. I am so thankful that I have my relationship with the Lord.

4)That we definitely want another child. I have thought to myself several times the last few days that we are nuts....but when I found out today we didn't get picked, wow, I felt that void in my heart. I can't wait to have another baby/toddler/child....I don't think I will take it for granted this time. I hope I don't wish they will hurry up and grow up like I think I unintentionally did with my first three. I couldn't wait until they could talk, walk, etc. and now I would give anything to turn back time just so I could remember. It's true what they say....they do grow up so fast.

It was a NO...

We didn't get picked and I am completely ok with that. I just found out so I wanted to post here for all of you that have been praying.

I did however find Betsy's replacement today so that is exciting. We bought a 2001 Suburban from a local guy that has had it since it was new. It is the EXACT same color as Betsy (how random is that) and the same mileage. Only difference is it has a sunroof and a DVD player. YEAH! Now maybe my kids will be quiet while in the car.....HA HA HA HA HA

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Betsy's Replacement

Well, believe it or not, I don't think I have bought a vehicle yet. I just don't have that peace of mind about the Suburban I drove today. I can't put my finger on it, but the more I pray about it, the more I think I need to take it back to Mike. Is it a GREAT DEAL? YES!!! (Heather, are you reading this?)

We are probably going to spend some $ and keep the rental car until I find the "perfect" vehicle. There is part of me that says "It's just a car" and the other part of my brain says "yes, but it is a lot of $" I guess I feel like I will know it when I find it.

So on that note, I will be taking down the poll. I have loved the phone calls of "WHAT IS OHSAHA?" Well, my friends....Ohsaha is the reason I am married to Jonathan. My friend Aaron (who introduced us without knowing it) used to be silly in high school and call himself Ohsaha. Words can't describe to you how funny this great guy was doing his Ohsaha...and I knew it would make me smile every time I said it.

P.S. No word yet on the birthmother and her decision.

My Prayer Last Night

"Lord, if it is your will, let tonight be the last night I spend without our baby"

I know that sounds crazy as I don't even know what baby it is....but I know that God's plan is perfect and I will do my best not to question it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

More Updates

Yes, the news here never ends....

My sister went for her OB appointment today and they are going to induce her next Tuesday, July 24th. Maggie weighed in at almost 8 lbs today so she is going to be a whopper. The best part was that we got to see her on ultrasound again today and she has 1 inch of hair!!! They moved in with us last Tuesday and things are going great here EXCEPT that her husband Josh had to be admitted to the hospital on Sunday for an infection in the fluid around his heart. He's doing ok though and hopes to be home in the next few days.

Still no adoption updates, although I did talk to Amanda and she confirmed that we are not yet approved. Other things have come up in the office that got us pushed back, but hey that is ok with us....I just feel blessed that our profile got shown even though we aren't yet approved.

Betsy is officially gone. Jonathan went and removed plates and personal effects today and we will be picking up a new Suburban tomorrow thanks to Mike Cady at Dixie Motors! I'll put some pics on here tomorrow of the new beast and although I had planned to open up votes on names for this one, I am already leaning towards a new name, so we'll just see what she feels like when I drive her tomorrow.

I just realized I have never talked about the kids consignment sale I run! It is called Encores and More North Children's Consignment Sale and it is coming up soon (August 18-25) You can visit our website at to read more about what children's consignment is. I put this in here b/c I will probably be talking more and more about consignment over the next few weeks and I am even considering linking this blog to the website because we have so many friends through consignment that want to be kept up to date on the whole adoption adventure.

That's it for now folks....believe it or not, I actually have a migraine tonight that I have fighting off all day, but it is time to give in and go to bed. We have a busy week here so keep us in your prayers and I will post as soon as I know one way or the other from Amanda about what the birthmother decided.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Sweetest Thing

Johnny is Luke's best friend. He is a stuffed bear that came on a box of Valentine candy years ago. Johnny goes everywhere with Luke and he gets yucky after a while. Today Johnny needed a bath.

Who Knew?

That a little baby pool that a friend of mine gave me because it didn't sell in her yard sale would be such a big hit? Hannah (Anna's best friend), Alexandra (Angie's daughter), Luke, Isaac and Anna LOVED IT!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Can you imagine....

what this birthmom is going through trying to make a decision about who is best suited to raise HER child?

Yet Another Adoption Update....

I went in today to pick up our profiles (we need to update the cover page) and I got to see our social worker Amanda. My sister was with me so she got to meet her as well.

She told us that the birthmother does have our profile (and I guess the other ones as well) and that we probably won't hear anything until Tuesday or Wednesday of next week so keep praying!

I am going to try to scan our profile to put it on here so you all can see it!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My Friends Are SO Talented

Ok, so I have to brag on some friends of mine...

First, my friend Kim's husband Chris is a great guy....SUPER funny and always trying a new venture. He works for Dave Ramsey and is the guy who introduced me to Which Wich (great food by the way). Check out his newest gig here (I'm adding his link to my blog roll as well!)

Also, my friend (AND boss at Gymboree) Beckie's husband has made it onto a reality TV show that will be on TV this fall. He is a great songwriter and singer and an amazing cook. Last weekend they went home to PA to visit family and while there, the local news asked him to do an interview. Check out Jason Kabler's interview and remember to vote for him on Songwriter's USA this fall!

Good job guys!

A Quick Update...

Not a word from our social worker....we figure one of several things could have happened. The birth mother didn't come in today to view profiles, they are viewing profiles tonight instead of today (we assumed it was today), or she has looked them over and hasn't made a decision. We have had a billion phone calls today, thanks for the prayers and be assured, we will post on here the MINUTE we know something.

As for Betsy, we received word this afternoon that she has officially been totaled so I am now car hunting. Our good buddy Mike Cady has got a white suburban I am going to hopefully check out the meantime, we are driving a Nissan Sentra that does not comfortably seat our family.

Keep on praying for us...and thanks for all of your love and support!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

ATTN: All Prayer Warriors

We got THE first call....asking us if we wanted our profile to be shown tomorrow to a birthmother. All we know is that the baby girl was born June 29th and they are hopeful she will be in to view profiles tomorrow. She asked that the family already have children so that is why we were called. Please pray for this birthmother....that if she chooses to parent that she be blessed with the resources, if she chooses an adoptive family that she be at peace with her decision. That she pick the perfect family for her baby....

I am not asking you to pray that we are the family. God has already decided where this child will be raised. We are not important in this process, the baby is.

We will keep you posted!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I am so thankful for my husband....

God reminded me yet again today how thankful I am for my husband. He is my soulmate, my best friend, a great dad and a great spiritual leader for our household. I am glad you are ok from your wreck this morning....and I'm glad you didn't kill the lady who hit you because I wouldn't want to visit you in jail (trust me, Jonathan doesn't get angered easily....but he was NOT a happy man this morning)

The Fray

Oooh, I love the Fray (they are a band for those of you that don't know)

The played at the GEC in Nashville last night and I really wanted to go. Started watching craigslist for tickets and was about ready to buy some when my friend Angie told me she had won a pair off the radio. THANKS Lightning 100.1!!!!

For those of you that really know me, I typically listen to Christian, talk radio (Dave Ramsey), jazz and Lightning 100.1 here in Nashville. I discovered the Fray from Grey's Anatomy, but really loved their whole CD once my hubby downloaded it.

So off to the Fray we went (after some PF Chang's of course)

It was really good and I took this horrible pic from my cell phone. THANKS Angie for taking me....I needed a good, fun night out!

Funeral Arrangements for Betsy

Yes, sad but true, but Betsy the Beast has gone on to a better place (actually, she is sitting in a towing lot in Nashville)

This morning my dear husband drove her to work because today was bike day at summer camp (this is the last full week for the kids to go). After dropping them off at camp, he proceeded to work. On his way, a lady hit him. He is ok...really he is...but the lady is at the hospital with neck/back pain. The police determined the wreck was her fault. I picked him up at Mrs. Winner's where the police dropped him off and we went to the visitation of Betsy at the tow in lot. She ain't pretty.

I'll miss you Betsy, but you know what, you are just a car.....and I am so thankful that my husband is ok.

Now to find a new car and a new name, sounds like fun huh?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

When it rains, it pours...

After posting my super depressing notes on Monday, several things happened. I had a great conversation with my mom....I had assumed she was calling after reading my blog, but she hadn't. It was an awesome time of talking about how much we have learned through this process, with or without a baby. How AWARE we are of racism now, more so than the whole family will be impacted. It was a good chat.

Then, on Tuesday, I got to go to my sister's doctors appointments and got to see a 3D ultrasound of Maggie. I know, I know...I STILL haven't posted pics yet but hey, I am not a big digital buff so I am relying on a CD from my fam to get these uploaded (HINT HINT!)

After seeing those beautiful chubby cheeks on my niece, I checked voicemail and my boss from the clinic had called. I returned his phone call only to find out I had been laid off. YUCK!

I LOVE my job....I know you can't always tell from my posts, but I do. I love the people (even the crazy ones), I love the insane pace, etc. What is really a GOD thing is that while crying my eyes out I realized that I would have to pull the kids out of summer camp since my part time gig footed the bill, and suddenly the part time gig is GONE! Instead of being frantic, I had a great peace and realized that this was God's way of saying, "spend some good quality time with the kiddos before they all go to school" I felt ok...and then I read the comments on my last post and it seems that all of you were praying for the same thing for me. Peace and more quality time with my kiddos before the new Freeman arrives.

So, yes, it poured some more after Monday, but hey, rain brings growth and I am ready to grow in GOD so bring on the rain.

Believe it or not, the kids are really excited about no more camp. Don't get me wrong, THEY LOVE IT and beg to go every morning but I think they are excited to explore some new adventures with mom and I am too!

P.S. My social worker is back in town...have I mentioned I LOVE her. I told her about the situation we were presented with and that we had turned it down. I think she was really impressed that we kept our cool in that tough decision we had to make...

Monday, July 2, 2007

Ok, so I can admit it....

I am STRUGGLING here....really, I mean it...this isn't Brea being cute...I am STRUGGLING!

This adoption thing is kicking my butt and I think it is because I am such a hand's on kind of gal. When I am in the midst of doing something, I read books about it, I google it, I live it.

Our social worker is on vacation, we are still not officially approved (which is driving me nuts b/c other people in the adoption forums act as though we should already have our approval letter based on their experiences with Bethany), and they have already cashed our $2,000 check.

On top of that, because I am a reader, I keep getting emails about "available situations" that are not through our agency. Today I got one about a little girl that is a year old and the mother is due with her sibling in September.....

my heart is heavy, my mind is overwhelmed, and I am trusting God although it is really hard right now. How can I feel so much love for a child I haven't met? AND I DO....the void in my heart that God has created for this child is so real and yet, I know that he is teaching me patience through this journey.

So if I haven't returned a phone call, haven't answered an email, or don't have that usual pep in my step...bear with me...this is the hard part of adoption. The waiting....waiting on everyone else and having no control. What doesn't kill me will make me stronger right?!?!?!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Stephanie McMinn

Years ago, when Jonathan and I met at First Baptist Greenbrier, we started a bible study that another couple at our church, Tom and Stephanie McMinn, were hosting in their home. To be honest with you, I can't remember what study we did, but I vividly remember how much Jonathan and I admired their marriage, their faith and their love of us. We became instant friends although they were just a bit older than us and they really took us under their wing and mentored us in the beginning stages of our marriage. Soon after we married in 1997, Stephanie was diagnosed with breast cancer and the journey of a lifetime began. Though they moved away from Greenbrier, we have always kept in contact with them over the years via email.

Recently, Stephanie set up a caringbridge site because she was having issues with her emails being reached by the hundreds (if not thousands) of people that have followed her story. Today, I knew it was time to share it with you. Please lift this family up in prayer daily if you can.

I wanted to share one excerpt from her site that had me in tears at my computer. It makes me realize once again how fragile this life is and also, how much our DADDY in heaven loves us. It also shows us what an amazing testimony Stephanie is.....

As you read this, keep in mind that her daughter Molly is only a year older than my Anna.

TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2007 08:51 PM, CDT
Molly and I had a really special 'teachable moment' this week. I have struggled for years in knowing how to prepare a child for one's own death. God is so good! He is faithful. I have a HUGE notebook with copies of all my emails from the beginning of my journey. It begins with a letter to Molly explaining that when she feels she is old enough and ready to take the journey, it's there for her to do so. (I completed a Mother's Keepsake book for her telling her about my childhood and I have numerous scrapbooks with pictures galore with journalling around the pictures.) In time, she probably WILL forgot exactly what I look like, and what my voice sounds like. That's only human. And she's so young. That will be okay. I've just wanted to leave her things so that she can go back through and have an identity with me and hopefully answer some questions. My greatest fear is not that she won't remember me. What worries me the most and just burdens me so, is that my death will effect her relationship with Jesus. I don't want her to question or be so confused why her momma was taken from her at such an early age. I don't want her to wander through life and be looking for answers that she just can't accept. Sure there are questions and there aren't answers. They have to be accepted by faith. It's okay that's she's sad, mad, angry as a hornet, confused, etc. But, I just pray she can work through it and trust Jesus' love for her and that He loves me much that he died for us. I look for moments. I have to. This is our life. Over the last few years Molly and I stop on occasion at a church cemetery we pass on our route to school. We like to look and figure out how old the people were when the died (good math lesson, too) and see some that died in the 1800's where not very old adults and some, sadly, were even children. Some families are hard to figure out. We try and figure out where one wife may have died, and was buried and then the husband must have remarried and the second wife was buried by him as well. I try to make it a non-threatening place. We talk about how everyone must eventually die. Molly asked me once if everyone of those people that died were in heaven. It gave me a great opportunity to tell her TRUTH. No, they have a choice just like you and I do to accept Jesus or not. We talk about how the bodies were buried there but that the people are not there. The Bible says there IS a heaven and a hell. One night Molly and I were home by ourselves and she asked to see my scar. She commented how glad she was that I didn't die then. My heart jumped a beat as I realized it was a teachable moment that I had to grab if I wanted to or not. I reminded her that I still have cancer and that I would probably still die without God taking the cancer away from my body. I told her that I was fighting with everything I could possibly do to stay alive and that I would never choose to leave her. I told her God could take the cancer completely from my body, but that if He didn't, it was due to a bigger plan that we may never understand. We discussed how much Jesus loves us.I explained to her that the Bible does not say that I will be able to see her after I die and that it does not say I will be her personally guardian angel protecting her, giving her strength, etc. I explained that only Jesus can give her that guidance and strength. I will be in heaven and excited after she has lived a long life and arrives so that we can spend eternity together. She told me that she would cry and cry when I die. I told I understood and that I would be the same way. I told her it will be very sad and that she may want to cry a lot and that she can for a long time afterwards if it makes her feel better. We talked about her sharing her feelings with Daddy and others. She mentioned she was concerned with Daddy getting remarried. (I think she thinks he will the next week.) I told her it will probably take a while and that I want him to and that it will be good for her to love another woman as a mother. She will need someone in her life to guide her into being a woman. She has such a wonderful Daddy. They are such buddies. They laugh and laugh together and have so much fun. They are a true joy to observe. I explained to her that her Heavenly Daddy desires that same kind of relationship from her. One that she can enjoy spending time with in prayer and Bible study. God loves her and he has set out boundaries for her in Scripture just like her Daddy has set rules and regulations for her. They both love her very much. One would do all that he could to reach her wherever she is if she needed him to comfort her. The other one will ALWAYS be there. In Christ Alone, Stephanie