“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…”

James 1:27

Our cell phone number in Ukraine is: +38 097 828 9477. We are 8 hours ahead of Texas time. We can receive text but cannot send them. You can also reach us by email at joniredding@hotmail.com.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

We had a great Christmas this year!  This post might be long because we’ve had a lot going on this past week.
Last weekend, we went on a Mission Trip to Quemada, Texas – it’s a very small town right on the border.  We could actually see Mexico across the river.  My uncle has a ministry and they provide gifts for underprivelaged children every year.  This year we were able to go with them to hand out the gifts at a big birthday party for Jesus. 
It was really impactful for our kids to see how blessed we are.  Ellie made some really sweet friends.  A couple of the girls were able to come over and play games with us at the church that night.
We got home on Sunday and AnnMarie and the kids came to visit for a few days.  We won’t see them until the 29th so it was fun to have some cousin time before Christmas.  We baked and decorated cookies for Santa.  Fun!
They left on Wednesday and we had a couple of days to be at home and play with friends.  Jody was off all week so he took the kids to the skate park a couple of times.  They love to go and ride their ripsticks there.  I’ve never been but it sounds dangerous.  So far, no serious injuries. 
Thursday night, I told the kids they could sleep in our room on the floor.  I made the mistake of referring to it as a “campout”.  The next thing I know, they’ve moved the furniture and are putting the tent together (Jody’s idea)!  Life would be pretty boring for the Redding kids if they didn’t have a super fun dad!  I didn’t make them stop but the whole time I was thinking of the mess I would have to clean up the next day in the midst of all the cooking, cleaning, gift wrapping, and last minute shopping I needed to do.  Oh well, I did have to clean it all up but they had so much fun I guess it was worth it! 


We went to Granny and Grandaddy’s house for Christmas Eve dinner.  The kids were dying to open presents  so we let them open a couple. I thought they might be disappointed with snuggies instead of toys but they loved them! 

We hurried home to get in bed so that Santa wouldn’t pass our house.  We read the Christmas Story and our favorite Christmas book (besides the real story) called "The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snithcher."  The kids went right to sleep.  Jody and I stayed up late and the kids woke us up at 4:30 am to tell us that Santa had come.  They were so excited!  Granny and Grandaddy came over at about 7 am and we opened gifts. 
Santa gave Cole a new bike.  I bet it took him forever to put that together Winking smile
Poor 3rd child, Jacob isn’t used to being the center of attention so when he is, He goes wild!  He found a new way to open his presents!
Jacob is so fun to buy things for because he gets so excited and LOVES everything anyone gives him.
This picture is a little far away but you can see Ellie singing with her new microphone and stand.  She entertained us all morning!
Ryan had a great day watching football with his dad and Grandaddy!
I decided to monogram the kids snuggies around 10 am so Cole was sitting there talking to me and then I looked over at him and he had fallen asleep in the chair.  So, here is another picture of Cole sleeping!
We had a nice relaxing day with cold weather.  It was great!  Oh, almost forgot.  The kids got me a Ripstick for Christmas!  It is so much fun!  I still don’t think I will be joining them at the skate park!  I guess that's about it.  The kids are all spending the night at Granny's house tonight.  Jody is in the superbowl for fantasy football so we might go on a date to eat somewhere where we can watch football.  If he wins, he wins $500 and we can add it to our adoption fund!  He's been in the Superbowl of fantasy football 3 times already and he's never won so he really wants to win!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fingerprints and Medical Exam

Yesterday we were able to accomplish 2 big things with NO complications!  Wow!  We went and had our fingerprints taken and sent off to somewhere so that we can receive our police clearance.  We had to go to a gun store to do it so now Jody is really wanting a gun and some kind of course to go with it.  I managed to get  him out of there without a purchase which was good.  Also next door was a new Crossfit gym.  Jody wanted to check it out and was convinced that he needed a membership when we left.  They say that a good salesman is an easy sale and that is so true!  It was a pretty cool program that someday he might try, but not while we are saving money for our daughter’s adoption.  If I wasn’t there, Jody could have come home with a new gun, signed up for some kind of gun class, and signed up for a year membership at Crossfit (because of course a year membership is a significant discount compared to the monthly rate Smile ).  Good thing he wasn’t alone!  Anyway, the fingerprinting was a super easy process and one of the less expensive – $50.   Later, we both had our medical exams with our Dr. and friend Jason Nelson.  It was easy and we are fasting this morning so we can go back and get our blood work today.  There are some test they require for the adoption and they are also going to check our cholesterol.  We decided that we have been eating terrible so we are going back to our “Eat to Live” eating (great book by the way) and then we will check our cholesterol again and see if it has improved.

Another accomplishment – after hours and hours of trying to figure it out, I can now scan documents to my computer!  Yay!  I needed to do this so I can email all of our documents to our adoption consultant so that she can check them before we have them notarized.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Home Visit

We leave today for our Mission Kiddos trip.  We are excited but I’ve got so much to do!!!  I wanted to give a quick update.  We had our home visit last night and it went GREAT!  The social worker was so nice and easy to talk to.  The kids did great.  She asked them a lot of questions about how they feel about the adoption.  Ellie was so excited to answer the questions.  We had the kids go play while Jody and I talked to her by ourselves for a while.  Cole kept changing costumes and then he would come down, crack the door, and stick one arm in and wave until we noticed him.  Then when we told him to go play, he would open the door and ask us some silly question just so we could see his costume and then run off.  He ended up as Mr. Incredible at the end of the evening.  The social worker asked Jody and I about our childhoods, marriage, and kids.  Then she asked the kids to show her around the house.  While Ellie was showing her around, our doorbell rang and it was a bunch of our friends from the neighborhood Christmas Carolling.  How perfect!  Not only that, my mom had just brought us some reindeer cookies so I had treats to pass out to them!  PERFECT!!!!!  When she left we found our friends and joined in the Christmas Carolling.  Cole went as Mr. Incredible.  The timing of the carolling was so perfect it almost seemed staged.  It reminded me of a time when Ryan and Ellie were little.  Jody had gone out of town and for some reason we decided to have a welcome home party for him when he got back.  For Christmas Jody had paid for someone to come and clean my house every other week – which is probably the reason I felt like having a “Welcome Home Party.”  Keep in mind that I had never done this before and I haven’t done it since.  Jody travels all the time so I have lots of opportunities but this is the ONE time we did it.  So, we made a cake that said “Welcome Home” and some cookies and lemonade.  My house was so clean (which is not usually the case)!  My friend Kris stopped by to bring me something just a little bit before Jody was supposed to be home and here we were!  We were all dressed and the house was spotless.  The table was decorated with our cake and cookies.  She came in and sat down so I offered  her some cookies and lemonade!  She was very impressed.  It was so funny because that was her first time to visit so that was her impression of us and it was soooooooooooo not how we really are!  Most days if you stop by our house, there will be kids running here and there, mud tracked in on the floor, shoes and toys in random places, dishes in the sink and on the counter, papers and mail spread out in the kitchen, ect.  While she was there, I felt like such a fake!  Of course, I told her that this was far from being the “true” me!  Anyway, just  a funny memory!  Kris and I still laugh about that!  Here are a couple of carolling pictures.




Not only did he have on a costume for carolling, it’s 4 sizes too big for him!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Paperwork continued

We did get some things done this week.  We got everything we needed to send in our passport applications.  I think the lady at the County Clerk’s office was disappointed that we had everything and she didn’t get to tell us we had to come back.  I’m really not kidding.  That was not a good experience.  Why can't people just be nice?  We hoped to get our fingerprints done so that we can get our State Police Clearance but after driving 3 different places with different people telling us different things each time, we made an appointment for next Monday.  I also went downtown and got copies of our marriage license which was a really easy process.  We finished our paperwork for the Home Study and we have our home visit scheduled for tomorrow  evening.  On the paperwork it asked if we had ever been arrested.  Of course I checked no but Jody had to check yes!  He was arrested about 10 years ago.  He got a speeding ticket – no big deal, he’s had quite a few.  He didn’t realize that in Live Oak, TX  you only have a couple of weeks until your court date.  So he missed the court date and a warrant went out for his arrest.  THE SAME DAY the warrant went out he got pulled over in the THE SAME CITY (a city that you only drive through for about 2 miles on your way to San Antonio) for not wearing his seat belt.  They arrested him and I had to go and bail him out of jail.  Humiliating! He had just started his new job and they impounded his company car.  It’s funny now but it wasn’t funny that day.  I cried and we both worried that he would get fired.  He didn’t and now its just a funny memory.  Hopefully the social worker who does our Home Study will also think it’s funny!

Christmas Time

I want Christmas to be a time where we reflect on the birth of Our Savior and spend time honoring and praising Him for all He has done for us!  But I find myself being so busy that I don’t have time to stop and be thankful.  I am working on that.  I’ve been so busy buying gifts, making gifts, monogramming, organizing school parties, trying to keep my house clean, ect. that I go to bed at night feeling like I’ve once again failed at teaching my kids to celebrate Christ first during this season.  We are leaving Friday to go on a Mission Trip to a town close to Mexico.  I am hoping and praying that this will be a great time for God to open our eyes to what’s really important.  The kids each chose a child to buy gifts for and we are going to deliver them.  My uncle has organized all of this and he’s selected a very poor school and had people buy a box full of gifts and clothes for each of the 125 students.  We will have a birthday party for Jesus where we will share the Christmas story and then give them the gifts.  My kids are super excited.
Ellie was in a play at our church on Sunday.  She was “Granny” and she did a great job.  She sang a solo and it was really good!  It was her first play where she had a big part and she loved it.  After her solo she was supposed to climb back on the top riser.  Another little girl was trying to help her up and she completely fell off and landed very loudly.  Poor Ellie.  No, she thought it was hilarious!  We have it on video and she shows everyone she can.  It was a very “Granny” thing to do.  I was thinking that maybe we can send the video in to Americas Funniest Home Videos and win enough money to pay for the adoption!  I love that she can laugh at herself like that!  Jody always says that she will fall at her wedding and that does seem likely!  Here are a couple of pictures of Ellie as “Granny”.
Oh, another neat thing was that after the play our pastor showed a video of “The Christmas Linebacker” (made like “The Office Linebacker”).  It was so funny.  I didn’t realize it but my dad leaned over and told me that it was Derwin Gray who he coached in high school.  Here is the link to check it out: http://www.sermonspice.com/videos/3859/christmas-linebacker
Jacob had a school play last night and it was really cute, but it added a lot to my busy week.  His teacher sent home a note last week that he needed to have a yellow sweatshirt, yellow sweatpants, and yellow mittens for the play.  Not gloves, mittens.   These things do not exist in stores.  I went everywhere I could think of.  My friend had to find white mittens for her son so she searched too.  No luck.  My mom went to Academy and found a yellow shirt, yellow shorts, and yellow baseball socks.  He was the cutest lion ever!  For the mittens, we decided to make them.  So we stayed up late sewing mittens the night before the play but they turned out great.  The play was called “The Mitten” and the white mittens I made were the star of the show! 

Check out the mittens!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dog Drama

This was a pretty busy week with Jody gone.  We were glad he got an extra day home and we were hoping to get started on our paperwork Tuesday morning before he left.  We thought we would at least have time to get our passport applications completed.  Jody needed to leave at 10 so I told him we could definitely get it done before then.  We went to get our pictures and Walgreens was too busy so we had to find somewhere else.  We went to the UPS Store and they were fast, the pictures were awful but it was fast.  Oh well, who cares what your passport photo looks like anyway, right?  Then we went to the County Clerk’s office where we had to fill out this long form.  They had only pencils so I assumed that it should be filled out in pencil.  WRONG!  They must be filled out in pen.  So we started to fill out our 2nd forms but then the lady said “You do have a check or money order, correct?”  Incorrect, we only have cash or debit card!  Great!  At this point Jody started to become very annoyed and began to roll his eyes and breath really loud.   It reminded me of trying to get Ellie to do her homework.  Not fun!  The lady at the desk somehow found pleasure in telling us that we didn’t have everything we needed and we would have to come back.  Jody had a 7 hour drive to Louisiana so we gave up and decided to try again next week. 
Our drama for the week was when Bebe (new dog) finally had enough of Miley’s biting her and she swatted her out of the way.  Her nail cut Miley behind the ear and I have never seen so much blood.  We didn’t know what was bleeding but there was blood everywhere.  Ellie was crying and panicking and had blood all over her too. It was about 4:30 so we (me and all 4 kids) rushed to the vet.  They checked her and found only a small cut.  No stitches, just an antibiotic and some pain medicine.  $91!!!!!!  Seriously?  I don’t even pay that much for my kid’s emergencies.  I was too embarrassed to tell them we didn’t really need pain medicine.  She could tough it out.  I thought that at least Miley might learn her lesson and be nicer to Bebe.  She didn’t!
The rest of the week was pretty normal – school, homework, practices, playing with friends, giving Miley her medicine.  We didn’t make much progress with adoption paperwork but we are going to work really hard next week!

Monday, December 6, 2010


I’ve heard people refer to their international adoption as “birth by paperwork” and have never really understood it until today.  We received our Dossier Packet today.  I can’t imagine how long it is going to take us to complete it.  I am going to have to learn how to be patient throughout this process.  It’s really hard to be patient when I look at our sweet little girl’s picture and I want her here with  us right now.  I want to be there to say her prayers and tuck her in to bed tonight. I want to fly there right now and bring her home to her family.  I wish it were that easy.  But it’s not, and that is just the way it is.  We are going to work on the paperwork as quickly as we can and leave the rest up to God.  Even thought we are just starting to handle all of these little details it is so easy to get caught up in them.  I start to have tunnel vision and forget about the big picture and Who is in control.  I start worrying about how long it will take to get our passports, or how we will pay for all of these immediate expenses.  What if someone gets there before we do and adopts her?  I worry about how I can handle a child that doesn’t speak English while still being the mom I want to be to my other 4 kids. What if she has more serious special needs than what we know?  What if we find out that she has siblings?  What if she doesn’t want to be adopted by us?  What if Ukraine decides to close for adoptions?  I could go on and on about all of the scary things and possibilities but in the end I know that God is in complete control of this.  The Creator of the Universe is orchestrating this adoption!!! He knows what He is doing!  I wish I could just tell myself that once and be completely transformed, but I feel like I am going to need a lot or reminding!
Jody is going to be gone all week this week.  Yikes!  He’s going to the home office in Louisiana.  He actually left around noon today.  He just happened to call the office when he was in Seguin to see what time his meeting started on Tuesday.  They told him that it didn’t start until Wednesday so he turned around and came home. Good thing he was only 15 minutes away!  We were excited to be able to spend one more day with him! 
It’s so cold outside.  We put the dog’s crates inside and are letting them sleep there while it’s freezing.  Tonight Jody took Bebe up to Ryans room and she is sound asleep right beside him.  Jody thinks she will be fine but he’s not the one who would have to clean dog pee out of the carpet!  It is pretty sweet though.  Ryan loves her and she follows him around everywhere he goes!  Jody made me go upstairs to see how cute it was with the dog cuddled up with Ryan.  When I went up, I checked on Cole and he was sound asleep in his Mr. Incredibles costume!  He is really hilarious!  Always in costume.  Last week he was Davey Crockett, today Mr. Incredible.  Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!  Here he is, asleep once again!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I’m Honored!

I am sitting here feeling so honored that God has called us to adoption.  I’m so thankful that this is in His plan for us!   Seriously I’ve dreamed of adopting since 1982 when I watched the movie “Annie” which is still one of my favorites.  I was only 6 years old!  My dream was to open an orphanage (who knows what God has in store for our future?) AnnMarie and I used to beg my mom to adopt a baby.  I just can’t believe this is really happening!  Nothing new has happened since I last blogged but I’ve had some time to think about this and my heart is overflowing!  I am just amazed at the peace I feel even though so many things are uncertain.  This is truly the “peace that passes all understanding” like I’ve never experienced it before.  I don’t have an unrealistic idea about this whole experience,  I know all of the risks involved.  I do have a peace that God knows what He is doing when He is leading us down this road – whatever that may bring.  I’m so excited to see what He is going to teach us through this process and I’m praying that we will embrace those lessons and see His hand in everything.   Check out our “How you can help” page to see specific ways that you can pray for us during this adventure!
It was only a few days ago but I’m not sure how much information I shared so forgive me if I’m being repetitive.  We had a tough time deciding how to proceed with our adoption.  Jody found this precious little 8 year old girl on a website and she just touched our hearts.  We have some really good friends that have an organization that helps with international adoptions and we really wanted to use them.  But we couldn’t let this little girl go.  We have decided to go through that agency so that we can pursue this little girl specifically.  There is no guarantee that we will be able to adopt this specific child.  If we get to Ukraine and she isn't available we trust that God has another child for our family.   We know that God is using her sweet face to lead us in this direction.  It could be that we will adopt her (the plan I am in favor of) or something else (the plan I have to be open to) – maybe He could be leading us to a certain orphanage or a certain time frame.  I don’t know but I do know that He is in control of all of this.   We don’t have much information about this little girl.  We know her name and her birthdate.  We also know that she is in an orphanage because of neglect and she does not have any siblings.  She is doing good in school but because of the neglect has some speech delays.  I’m not sure what that means.  She is absolutely precious.  Email me and I will give you the link to a photo and a short video clip of her.  I don’t think I should post it on this blog but I would love for you to see her!  I hope and pray that she will be my daughter soon!  In Ukraine a child is available to Ukrainian citizens for 14 months before they become available for international adoption.  She is available for international adoption in April 2011.  There is a chance that she could be adopted before we get there but we know if this happens, it is God’s will.  We have the opportunity to start communicating with her once our application is approved.  The idea is that once we start communicating with her by sending letters and packages she would decline other families that wanted to adopt her.  We aren’t sure what to do about this.  We would not want to create any stress for her or get her hopes up and then things not work out.  Please pray that God will show us what to do and say.  Right now, I think our plan is to correspond with her in generic terms.  We will tell her how much God loves her and that we are praying for her.  If anyone has already experienced this, we would love to hear your advice.  This is one of those situations that I start over analyzing and I have to remind myself to put it all in God’s hands.  Isn’t it great that The One who holds the future is in control of all these details?
My plan was to go to bed at 9:00 tonight and here I am, still up.  I have been reading adoption blogs and other information on the internet until early morning for several weeks now.  I was falling asleep tonight while Jacob was reading to me.  By the way, I can’t believe how he can read!  He is good!  The kids are all really excited about their new sister.  Ellie watches the video clip several times a day and she is praying for her sister already!  She was so disappointed when she realized how long this process takes.  We are most likely looking at 8 – 12 months.  Pray that things go smooth and we can do it quickly.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Cherise colored my hair for the last time for a while today.  I told her we had to cut back on our budget to save money for the adoption so she gladly told me what to buy to color my own hair.  I had to go with all over color because I know I can’t do highlights by myself.  It is REALLY dark!  It’s darker than I’ve ever had it in my life.  My kids said I look like Amer.  I think it’s so dark that I look Goth.  I am hoping that it will lighten up some and I will get used to it.  It scares me every time I walk by a mirror.  Jody loves it so I guess that's all that matters, right?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Not my greatest parenting moments

We had some friends over the other night for smores.   There were a bunch of kids all making smores in the backyard and jumping on the trampoline.  I realized that I hadn’t seen Cole in a while (somewhere between 10 and 45 minutes).  We started looking for him everywhere.  I was yelling his name everywhere inside the house.  Right before I got really worried I walked through the kitchen and here he was, sound asleep half-way under the table in his Spiderman Costume.


He stayed asleep while Jody carried him to bed and slept until about 9 the next morning.  With cousins here all weekend and spending the night at Granny’s they didn’t get much sleep.   Jacob woke up Monday morning and got ready for school.  I walked in the bathroom and he had big tears in his eyes telling me he wanted to stay with me and didn’t feel like going to school.  So, knowing that he wasn’t sick I let him stay home.  It is kindergarten after all.  I did make him go lay back down.  He fell asleep immediately and slept until 10:30.  That made me feel a little better about skipping.   After he got up we went to Costco to look at toys and get Christmas ideas.  Then we went to the mall to see Santa.  Cole was so funny.  He has been wearing his coonskin hat and vest since Friday when we went to the Alamo with his cousins and I even let him wear it to see Santa.  This is where I get bonus points because I have come such a long way.  Ryan would NEVER have been able to wear that unless it was Halloween.  Cole is almost always in some kind of costume.  My mom took a picture of him so I’ll post it soon.  While we were walking to see Santa, Ellie called me from school.  She said “Mommy, I’m the last one here.”  Oops!  I forgot to tell Jody to pick her up from school.  I had planned on being back in time but didn’t make it.  I had called to make sure he would be home when Ryan got off the bus but forgot I was picking Ellie up.  Then I called Jody to tell him to  hurry and pick  her up and I couldn’t get a hold of him.  Thankfully Dannett answered and picked her up for me.  Thank God for good friends!  It showed how easy-going Ellie is because she wasn’t even upset.  She had to wait in the office which she thought was really fun.  She even got a little of her homework done. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Beginning the Adoption Process

We are so excited that tomorrow we will officially be beginning the adoption process.  We are calling to begin our Home Study and sending in our application and 1st payment to the adoption agency.  The payment part is what is a little scary.  I know God will provide.  I am researching ways to get assistance.  I do know that there is a $13,000 tax credit for families who adopt.  The total cost should be between $22,000 and $24,000.  We hope to be able to borrow the $13,000 because we know we can pay it back quickly.   I’ve read that there are organizations who offer interest free loans for this purpose.  I just have to figure out where they are.  I guess I need to start thinking about fundraisers.  This is the part that I’m terrible at.  I never have parties – like Pampered Chef or Southern Living because I hate making people feel obligated to buy things.  I hate asking for donations, even for church or PTA.  Seriously, it makes me sick at my stomach.  We’ve been looking at our budget and finding ways to cut.  For example, I have a hair appointment this week and I know that is somewhere I can save.  I’m hoping the girl who does my hair will give me some good pointers on how to do my own color because I know that has to go.   Any little bit will help.  I didn’t realize how much has to be paid at the beginning.  The first payment to the agency is $1500 and you have to pay another $2500 within 30 days.  They estimate a Home Study to be $1500 – $2000 which will be paid in the next few weeks.  I am curious to find out how long the loan process takes.  If it is fairly fast, I could use that for these initial costs and then save and use fundraisers after that.   Wouldn’t it  be great if we just ended up with a $15,000 tax return?  Ok, I know that this is where we need to pray and trust that God will provide.  He is faithful and equips us to do what He calls us to do.  We are certain that this calling is from Him so we just have to trust Him!!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Meet Beatrice (BeBe)–Thanksgiving pics

We adopted a dog!  The boys have been begging for a dog  forever so we went to the Animal Defense League on Tuesday and found Beatrice.  She is really pretty.  Surprisingly she is full blood Australian Sheppard.  She loves playing with the kids and they love it too.  The shelter required that we bring Miley in on Wednesday so we could “socialize” them.  Miley just ignored Beatrice but Beatrice loved Miley.  Miley hasn’t been too nice since we brought her home.  I was relieved to look outside yesterday and see them cuddled up together.  Am I really blogging about our dogs?????


This is one of they boys Christmas gifts.  We are also giving them obedience training classes (for the dogs, not the kids)

Thanksgiving was really relaxing this year.  My parents, AnnMarie and her family, and my cousin Kaydee were here.  We just cooked all day and the kids just played and played.  They had a lot of fun with Bebe.  Kaydee brought her camera so we went out to the Clark’s house to take some pictures.  I’ll post a few.  I’ve already printed one for my mantle (FINALLY!!!! We were sad to see that stranger’s picture go.  She was starting to feel like family!) and I ordered Christmas cards!  Yes, I am determined to send Christmas cards this year.  I’m afraid that if I don’t send them nobody will have my new address.  My plan is to start addressing them tomorrow so we’ll see.  Here are some of my favorite pictures that Kaydee took.  Oh, and she also showed me this cool website where you can do all sorts of fun things with your pictures.  It’s called picnik.  So fun!


This was the best we could do with all the kids.  We took a ton and they just took turns moving or looking away from the camera.



Ellie and Callie.  I put this one in the big frame in Ellie’s room.  Yes, I’ve also had that one for about a year with strangers in it!



Cole is pretty cooperative for picture taking!  He chose this pose all by himself!


My cute niece and nephews!

Friday, November 26, 2010

My 1st Post - Exciting News!

It happens to me all the time.  I will be talking to a friend or my sister and they will point out something funny that one of my kids did a few years earlier.  I have a terrible feeling thinking that I would never even have remembered that if they hadn't brought it up.  I want to write down all of the things that are going on in our lives so we can look back and remember!
So, what's going on in our lives?  ALOT!  I'm so excited that I haven't even been able to sleep for the past week or so!  We have decided to add one more player to the Redding Team!  Jody and I (with the kids approval too) have decided to pursue adoption.  God has really amazed me lately!  Most people who know me have heard me say that I want to adopt.  I always said it thinking that it would never happen because Jody never wanted to do it.  Jody is so compassionate that I knew if he actually saw an orphan and a chance to change their life he would want to do it, but I really felt like it would never happen for our family.  Ellie and I always joke about her needing a sister and there being too many boys around this house.  We need to even things up a bit.  Several years ago, I was buying Christmas stockings and I wanted to buy 7 instead of 6, just in case.  Jody looked at me like I was crazy.  Now I'm wishing I would have bought it anyway.  So, a couple of weeks ago Jody was out of town and he watched a special on Fox about adoption.  It was the girl from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."  He came home talking about it and was even checking out some websites about it.  While he was out of town I watched several episodes of "16 and Pregant" on MTV and I found myself being more interested in adopting also.  I even wished I could adopt one of the 16 year olds whose mom kicked her out of the house when she found out she was pregnant and refused to have an abortion.  I thought Jody's interest would go away in a couple of days.  Well it didn't.  He looked and looked and looked and looked.  Then he found this website with a precious little girl from Ukraine (I'm not sure if you say someone is from "The Ukraine or just Ukraine").  He emailed the agency who specializes in children with special needs and older children.  She is around 8.  Anyway, her picture just spoke to our hearts.  Now we realize that the chances of us adopting that little girl are VERY slim, maybe even impossible.  But God has drawn us to her for some reason.  Who knows??  Only Him!  We feel certain that God has already used that sweet little face to help us make the decision that we are ready to do this and we are mostly thinking of Ukraine.  Isn't our God amazing?  Psalm 37:4 says "Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."  He has certainly given Jody some new desires!  We are so excited to see what God has in store for us.  We know there will be many challenges and it will test our faith, but we can't wait!  We are praying that our hearts will be unified in every decision throughout this process.  There are so many decisions.  Right now, we are planning to pursue Ukraine but we are also open to Domestic adoption.  I'm so excited that I feel like I just found out I'm pregnant!  There are so many things to think about that I feel like I am constantly having to remind myself that God has called us to do this and He is going to take care of all of those details.  I just want to keep my focus on Him!