“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.

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!