Meet the Family

Welcome back to part 2 of Meet the Family, this time it’s all about ME (Tiffany). I am going to tell about where I grew up, how I got to where I am today and a few other things along the way.

I am originally from the small town on Fair Grove, Mo population 1,200. Myself, 2 brothers and sister, mom and dad lived out in the country on a few acres of land. My grandparents lived across the field behind our house so we spent a lot of time over there as well. We also spent a lot of time helping my grandpa with various projects. My grandpa isn’t your typical grandpa. Most grandpas teach you simple things and proably tell you good job even if it’s not such a great job. Not my grandpa, my grandpa taught you how to use heavy duty powertools,taught you how to take criticism, that your best can always improve, and to get paid what you are worth. I could on and on, but we know deep down there somewhere he has a heart and he loves us. Otherwise he would of let us be satisfied with a lack luster performance while using the table saw, don’t worry no one lost any fingers while working with Grandpa. Grandpa was a very successful contractor so going over to grandma and grandpa’s house on Saturday usually meant some form of physical labor, and the same till holds true today, but at least grandma gives you cake. Still to this day we all enjoy going over to grandma and grandpa’s house. You have to be prepared to be teased rentlessly, or to be told your most recent DIY project was a diaster. Either way it was really a blessing to get grow up so close to my grandparents.

Aside from my grandparents, I grew with three other siblings and my parents. I am the oldest of two girls and two boys, and somehow managed to also be the shortest. My first “little” brother who tops that height chart at 6’8 is Justin. Justin was always athletic, played basektball, football, baseball and threw shot in track in high school. In college he was the skinnest offensive lineman you had ever seen, but he had success at Southwest Baptist University. Justin started as a walk on, and ended as a scholarshiped started for the offensive line. After college he went on to be a State Trooper. Justin and his wife Jennifer have two kids my nephew Dallas who is in the 1st grade and Charlotte. Charlotte is 3, and the best way to describe her is walking hurricane. The girl is a force to reconed with…good luck with that one. My sister Amie, also played about every sport possible in high school, which did her good as she now teaches and coaches in Aurora, Mo. She coaches middle school students in basektball, track, and volleyball and then also manges to run K-2nd grade physical education. Amie and her husband AJ live in the Carthage, Mo area where Aj is also a State Trooper. The youngest brother, is a Marine. He attended Southwest Baptist like the rest of us did and then choose to join the military. He is currently stationed in Kings Bay, GA with his wife Seiler and their two German Shepards.

All four of my siblings graduated from the same high school and university. A feat I am sure not many accomplish. I started and finished my public school education there in Fair Grove. There were a total of 52 kids in my graduating class, and about 80% of them also went to the Fair Grove from kindergarten all the way to graduated seniors. While I enjoyed growing up in a small rural town, I didn’t quite realize how ready I was to leave until I left. I wasn’t one of those can’t wait to get out here and never look back kids, I was more of a once I got out I didn’t have strong desire to go back. There are lots of things that I still miss about Fair Grove, especially the annual Heritage Reunion Festival or “Fall Festival” as it was called in Fair Grove. I miss the stillness, closeness, and the everyone knows everyone aspect of Fair Grove, but I was ready to go, and I did.

After high school graduation I went a whopping 25 miles away to attend college at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo…go bearcats! It should also be noted that I only applied to one college, I don’t know why, I just wanted to go SBU and so I did. I also didn’t take my ATC till I was a senior, barely squeaked out a score high enough to get my extra scholarships and then called it good. I also had no idea, concept or clue of what an Athletic Trainer was or did, and I for sure did not want to be one. I originally wanted to be a Physical Therapist that worked with athletes (insert face palm here), I wanted to be an Athletic Trainer I just didn’t know it. I got signed up for the course Intro to Athletic Training, applied for the program and made it. I would say the rest is history but that’s not quite it.

All through my undergrad degree I still pursued the career path to be a Physical Therapist, I even re-took physics! I went through the whole process, I shadowed people, and I hated it. I hated Physical Therapy inpatient rehab, neurology was pretty cool, but overall I was bored to death, but I still kept at it. I applied to PT school as a senior in undergrad and didn’t get in right away, so I started working.

The more I worked as an ATC the more I liked it, but I was really holding on to being a Physical Therapist, it didn’t help that I was living and working in the same town that my classmates from undergrad were attending graduate school to earn their Doctorate of Physical Therapy, or that I saw them often at the YMCA where I was working. I worked at the YMCA as well as a part time Athletic Trainer, one day I decided I wanted to work one job, and get paid well for doing it. I got on to the job search site for the Athletic Trainers found the posting for a job in Siloam Springs, AR, applied, interviewed and then it was packing up to move.

It really happened about that fast, from the time I applied to the time I moved and started a new job was less than a month. It was during this time that I got a letter saying I was acccepted in to a Physical Therapy program, the thing I had been wanting for so long was literally in my hands. I could of said sorry to my new boss, and gone to school, but I couldn’t. I was to happy, too excited, and too ready to move on with being an Athletic Trainer, I also remembered how much I did not enjoy my job shadowing experience, and how much I did enjoy my time as an Athletic Trainer on the sidelines of basketball, football, and other events. So I moved to Siloam Springs, and started working as an Athletic Trainer.

During my time in Siloam Springs, I pursued a Master’s degree, it was always a goal of mine to have a graduate degree. It took a while to find the right one for me, but the University of Alabama offered just what I wanted. I feel I need to publically apologize to Brian Nitz for having textbooks, papers, and computers all over the car on the way to multiple football games. It was interesting being a full time online grad student the same time I was working full time, but at least I always had plenty of volunteers to proof read papers. Honestly it helped a lot that I had students on a regular basis who were complaning about doing homework, or projects. It pushed me to be the best example I could be for them, and a lot of the time they saw me putting finishing touches on papers and projects in the training room when I had a few rare minutes to spare.

Aside from pursuing professional goals, I also greatly enjoy travelling to as many places as possible. I have had the opportunity to travel to Serbia in college for a mission trip, St. Lucia, Panama, Antigua, and lots of other areas such as Souther California, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, and my all time favorite, Wickes, AR for AWANA Camp. Not really sure how I got the travel bug, but I have never once regretted taking the time to go somewhere new. This summer we are taking a much anticipated trip to Colorado! While there Caleb and I will hike, tent camp, and enjoy the beauty of Colorado. I am very excited to have this opportunity.

I love to travel, I also love to bake, I can crochet, and I enjoy just being out and about. You can often see me walking in the neighborhood with our two dogs Emma and Little Bear. I also have have two cats, Sundae who I got from my grandma’s house as a stray, and then Spartacus who I rescued from the side of the road on Progress Ave in Siloam Springs.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about me. The next and last Meet the Family Blog post will feature the pets! Be prepred for fluffy cuteness.

Amie, Tiffany and Jennifer when we all went to the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile, we then went to Owasso to meet Ree at a book signing

Summer 2018, when I traveled to Southern California for my brother’s Marine Graduation. I was able to catch a sunset at Sunset Cliffs Park, hike Torrey Pines National Park, visit La Jolla Beach, and go to the San Diego Zoo
May 2018, I graduated from an the University of Alabama with a Masters of Art in Health Studies, and passed my exam to be a Certified Health Education Specialists.
Summer 2017, Caleb and I got to travel to Antigua where we swam with Sting Rays. We had a great time, and Caleb didn’t get sunburned!!
Me and my youngest brother Aaron at his Marine Graduation in San Diego, CA June 2018.
My sister Amie and myself on her wedding day! .
Me and Justin at the rehearsal dinner for my wedding. Take note the creeper stash, and yes he kept it for wedding pics as well…..

Meet the Family

Introducing to you for the first time via WordPress blog….Caleb Evans!

Caleb was born and raised Arkansas, born in Mtn. Home, AR he spent most of his growing up years in Springdale, AR where his dad, David was the pastor of the small Spring Creek Baptist Church, his youngest sister still attends. Caleb is the second of four kids in his family. His oldest sister Emily and her husband Nathan are currently. She is a hard worker and truly started at the bottom of Mercy Hospital and has worked her way to the top. Nathan has become involved in their church, is a whiz in the kitchen and keeps their four kids, Ethan, Anthony, David, and Natalie, on top of things. All of their kids are outstandingly great kids, ornery, but we love them to pieces. Caleb’s younger brother Samuel and wife Krystin live in Russellville, AR. Samuel is the IT Director for Pope County, he makes sure everything is working smoothly to keep 911 dispatch up and running. Samuel also severed in the Army Reserves, in the area of technology and was deployed in 2013. Krystin taught and performed in various dance styles for years while she was growing up and in college, after college she worked in the pre-school for Russellville School District. She has recently become a stay at mom to Luke who will be turning 1 in July, Luke is pretty laid back little guy who is growing up quick. Caleb’s youngest sister Elisabeth, or Betsy and her husband Kris live in Rogers, AR, Elisabeth is currently working toward her Master’s degree in Counseling, she also work as a Customer Service Manager. Kris also works in management with the Harp’s grocery chain. Kris and Elisabeth are mom and dad to Olivia, and Levi and a new addition is coming soon in September.

While growing up Caleb also attended Elmdale Baptist Church where he was involved in the AWANA program, AWANA has played a large part in both of our lives. We actually met at AWANA Camp in Wickes, AR! Caleb has earned his AWANA Citation Award, participated in numerous events such as bible quiz, Summit, attended camp and served as camp counselor.

While Caleb was home schooled till his Sophomore year of high school he did attend Ambassadors for Christ Academy, it was a private Christian school located in Bella Vista, AR. There Caleb played basketball and soccer, and was named Kiwanis Boy of the Year his senior year. Caleb graduated from high school in 2004, after graduation in 2004 Caleb attended Northwest Arkansas Community College, he then transferred to Arkansas Tech University where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Journalism.

Caleb always tells me the story of when he was attending NWACC, him and a classmate would go to the Mexican restaurant Maria’s and order the same thing every Thursday, they became such regulars that the Maria’s wait staff would have their plates fixed and ready to go as soon as they walked in. Caleb then told me “I never told them I was leaving, I bet they missed me.”

Aside from attending college, Caleb joined the United States Army as a Combat Engineer. Caleb served in the Army Reserves from 2005-2013, he was deployed to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom from April 2008 to June 2009. Caleb says the Army has a lot to do with the way he is today, he says he choose to join the Army after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. During his deployment Caleb was a squad leader, and continued to fill that role even once his unit was back home in Conway, Ar. While I know that he earned several awards and accommodations during his time in the Army, he says “that’s not why I joined the Army,” so even though I want to recognize him for his awards in his words “that’s not why I joined the Army.” He has told me multiple times “I joined the Army because I wanted to serve my country.”

Caleb has become very involved during our time in Siloam Springs. He serves as AWANA Game Director, he tries hard every week to come up with games that all the kids can play. As he says “I know who is fastest and most athletic, but I need games that make kids think, it has to be fun for everyone.” Caleb has also coached little league baseball for three years. His team “The Nightmares” took second place overall his second year as coach. This year he decided to pursue umpiring, while also serving on the youth league baseball board. I think it is safe to say he enjoyed his time as baseball umpire and will continue to pursue it once we move to Hot Spring. In addition to his love of sports, Caleb LOVES the Razorbacks! We try to go and catch Razorback events at least once a year, especially when the OmaHogs are in town.

While the Razorbacks rank #1 in his heart, he is also an Atlanta Braves fan, he watched them growing up on TBS and has cheered them on ever since. Last summer we vacationed in Atlanta and checked out the new SunTrust Park. We also caught the Braves vs the LA Dodgers, sadly the Braves lost, but Caleb got to see Freddie Freeman play in person, and spend the day checking out all the Atlanta Braves memorabilia that was present since we where there during Chipper Jones induction to Hall of Fame.

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Caleb a little better, keep on scrolling to check out some pics.

Caleb’s official Army portrait. Before Caleb deployed for Iraq, his dad asked him what he wanted to do Caleb said ” I am going to be in a dessert for a year, and I want to see just the opposite” so he and his dad went on cruise together before Caleb deployed for Iraq.

Elisabeth, Caleb, Samuel and Emily at Nana’s house in Huntsville, AR. Emily is always so good at taking pics at family get togethers.

Caleb, Samuel, Elisabeth, and Emily visiting when Caleb’s mom was in town, I believe this was just after Elisabeth’s oldest Olivia was born

The Turpin Twins and Caleb at an Army Christmas party back in the day. Alex and Andrew have been with Caleb through a lot of life events. They served as best men in our wedding, Caleb has served as best man in both of their weddings, and their mom Amy stepped in and filled the role as a bonus mom for Caleb when he was in high school. So while they aren’t related to us by blood they are considered family.

While Alex and Andrew have pursued very successful careers in the military, it was Caleb who talked both of them into signing up for the Army. They went through boot camp together in Fort Leonard Wood, MO and served out of the same unit in Coway, Ar together during Caleb’s time in the Army. While we don’t get to see Alex, Andrew and their families often they have been a second family to Caleb, and we could not be more grateful for their friendship through the years and distance.

Olivia and Levi in their finest Easter attire. Olivia is 3 and Levi just turned 1!

Emily and Nathan with Anthony, Natalie, David and Ethan. Just a great looking family!

Here is Samuel and Krystin’s little boy Luke! ,

Check back soon for Meet the Family Part 2 and 3!!

Just keep swimming

“just keep swimming, just keep swimming….what do we do, we swim, swim, swim.” Dory the Fish. I know you all just read that in Dory’s voice, or at least I did as I was typing it, but it’s a good description as to where I feel we are right now. We have made the big announcement that we are adopting, we made the announcement that we are moving, we even rented a storage unit and took a load down last weekend (it was rainy, and miserable) and now we just keep swimming.

We just keep taking it one day at a time. Our super cute 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, corner lot great location home with 1,876 square feet with amazing natural light, and freshly painted kitchen and bathroom cabinets is on the market (link provided at the bottom just in case). We are waiting for viewings for our current home, for the right buyer to come along and make an offer, we are waiting to find our new forever home in Hot Springs, and we are waiting to complete the transition. This time requires faith, something I am currently lacking, or at least it feels this way. I am just swimming day to day, going about my normal routine, expect for the fact that nothing feels normal.

I know my time is limited in the Siloam Springs High School’s field house, I know I have limited baseball, softball, and soccer games left to watch and cover, I know I will soon have new athletes in a new school. For as normal as it seems on the outside it is quite the opposite on the inside. I find myself wanting to swim in a certain direction or to catch the East Australian Current and be in new place ready to complete my objective, but I am just swimming.

Waiting still accomplishes something, it accomplishes opportunities to have more faith. Waiting accomplishes the possibility of challenges, hopefully it’s less painful than swimming through a jelly fish field, but challenges mean my faith will have to strengthen and grow. I admit just typing that I have a knot in the pit of my stomach, which is just one more opportunity to take a few moments and turn my anxieties, stress, and worries over to the All Mighty.

This evening in small group we visited the story of Martha and Mary. Two sisters who were hosting Jesus and other guests. Martha was working like a mad woman to make sure everyone’s immediate needs were met, while Mary was plopped down at the feet of Jesus listening to what He was saying. Martha, exasperated I am sure, walks up to Jesus and basically says “Look at all that I have done, look at how hard I am working for you and others while Mary just sits at your feet, will you please ask her to get up and help?”, Jesus’s reply is “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice and it will not be taken away from her” Luke 10:41-42.

I am not a theologian by any means, but I picture Jesus reaching for Martha’s hand or at the very least speaking these words to Martha as softly as he could, not to call her out on the mis-order of her priorities, not to chastise her, but to calm her, to slow her down so she can see there are others things more important. Actually “one thing is necessary”, we only need one thing in life, Christ. I am sure Jesus was grateful for the work she was doing, but Martha was allowing that work to be placed before the important fact that she was in the presence of Jesus. Jesus is physically in this woman’s home, and she is losing it, I tend to be a Martha, so I totally get this feeling. I understand on a deep level the need and desire that Martha must of been feeling to make sure everything went smoothly, but Jesus wanted Martha to recognize the significance of being in His presence. Jesus wanted Martha to focus her attention on Him and the significance of who He is, and not on if the place settings looked good. This was a good reminder that in the midst of all that I have going on, I only truly need on thing, Jesus. So while waiting is hard, and while the Martha in me wants to do all that I can to ensure that it all goes as smoothly and efficient as possible, I am missing out on the presence and significance of Jesus. I am missing out on significance of the time I have left in Siloam with my athletes, coaches, co-workers, and friends. I learned that I need to slow down and sit at the feet of Jesus, to just enjoy His presence, He will take care of the rest.

Feeling like Jonah.

Many are familiar with the Old Testament Bible story of Jonah and the whale. Jonah is commanded by God to travel to Nineveh, and Jonah is to preach against the brutality and sin that is taking place there. Jonah 1:1-2 states ” The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai “GET UP”, go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it because their evil has come up before me.” Verse 3, “Jonah got up to flee to Tarshish…” As soon as Jonah found out where he was going he fled, no hesitation, no second thought, he just flat out fled.

As we know from the Bible, Jonah was soon on a boat to Tarshish, and the boat was soon engulfed in a terrible storm. Knowing that he was fleeing the Lord’s presence and command Jonah offered himself up to be thrown overboard, after a short debate the other sailors happily agreed, and over the side of the boat Jonah went. Jonah is then swallowed up by a “great fish”, it is during his time on the inside that Jonah sought out God’s forgiveness, recognized His mercy, and vowed to fulfill the Lord’s command. While I wasn’t worried about a “great fish” coming and swallowing me whole for three days, I was struggling to let go of the direction our lives were moving. I put myself in the belly of a fish by not being willing to follow the plans God had laid out.

In February when I first applied for the job at Lakeside High School, I knew, I didn’t want to admit it, but I knew in my gut I was going to accept this position. While I didn’t physically flee, I began to work hard to try and create something out of nothing. I was trying to flee from God’s will, much like Jonah. Also like Jonah it happened about as quickly too. I applied for the job at Lakeside, and immediately started to work toward staying in Siloam. I wouldn’t let go, I was in my own boat trying hard to not get thrown overboard. Wouldn’t you know it as soon as I accepted that I would be leaving Siloam, as soon as I willingly acknowledged that this new position was clearly the one I needed to take and “jumped overboard” the seas calmed. The inner turmoil was gone, the inner peace was overwhelming.

I had stopped in the high school office one more time to ask if there was anything that could be done, I was clinging to empty hope that something would of worked out for me to remain, but it didn’t. I drove away from the high school in tears, not because I was sad about the outcome, all along I knew what it was going to come down to, I knew the storm wasn’t going to get any better and I had to offer myself to be thrown overboard. I had to fully accept in that moment, I would soon drive away from Siloam Springs High School for the last time. I pulled in my driveway sat for a few minutes accepting the change, and soon I felt better. I felt lighter, I physically felt myself accept I would be leaving Siloam Springs and began to embrace Lakeside High School.

Like Jonah I wanted to go somewhere comfortable, but a wise friend told me “comfortable is just that, it does not allow for growth.” He was right, I am meant to grow and develop spiritually as a Christian, physically as person, and professionally as an Athletic Trainer. Embracing the fact that this move was going to grow me in all these areas was hard, I didn’t want to, I wanted to stay in the town I had become comfortable in, but that’s not the plan. I am learning that letting go is harder than it seems, I am appreciating the time I have left. Appreciating that I have a town that I have grown to love and have called home for the past 6 years. Letting go is a process, it’s a process that sometimes catches you by surprise, but each time I let go, I grow.

So before I go to grow in Lakeside School District know that I couldn’t of made this move without the support of Siloam Springs, you all did a good job of helping me grow while I was here, now it’s time for me to go and do the same with others.

The “fun”raising process: Part 2

Fundraising is challenging, we were trusting an individual who we have only known for a few short weeks to guide us and lead us through the fundraising process for an adoption. I was skeptical, I couldn’t figure out how a puzzle was a good fundraiser idea, I couldn’t figure out how I was going to market selling puzzle pieces to people so that we can hopefully cover just 1/3 of the total cost of our adoption. It didn’t make sense, but that is faith. Faith a lot of the time does not make sense. Every step of this process is going to be a step of faith.

I wanted to take some time to let you all know what we are planning to do to pay for our adoption fees. The first phase you already seen on our Facebook page. Fundraising, our goal is to try and sell all 150 envelopes. Once all the envelopes are sold/sponsored the funds will total just over $11,000 dollars, which is enough for the first 1/3 of our adoption fee. The first 1/3 of the money is used to start the home study process. While it is important to bring a newborn baby into a nice home with the normal at home amenities, Abba Adoption believes it is equally important to bring a newborn into a home that is lead by strong Christian individuals. The home study looks not just at the dynamics of the home such as finances, stability, safety and security, but also the relationship dynamics between husband and wife and the discipleship of faith in the home. Along with a healthy home needs to come healthy parents (and fur siblings) so there is some health checks, more intense background checks, and getting the house as “baby proof”as possible. The home study process is also when the adoptive couple is officially presented to potential birth mom.

This means that when a birth mom contacts Abba Adoption to help them find a forever home for their child, Abba Adoption shows them profiles of adoptive parents. The birth moms get to go through and choose several couples who they think would be the best fit for their child’s forever home. It is during the home study phase that the birth mom and adoptive parents are able to meet one another and decide if they will be a good fit for one another. After the an adoptive couple and a birth mom are paired together the second 1/3 of the money is due.

As you can tell there really isn’t a direct timeline for the when the second payment of adoption funds is due. It could be three months, three years, three days after an adoptive couple enters the home study phase of their adoption. Which makes developing a timeline for raising funds for the second phase of adoption pretty much non existent. For this reason once Caleb and I are in the home study phase we do intend to run another fundraiser as well as begin applying for as many grants as possible. The reason why grants aren’t available before the second or home study phase of adoption is because many grants do not apply to individuals and couples who are not already in the home study phase. Makes sense, many organizations who offer adoption grants are non-profit organizations, so its important to ensure that the funds go to an individual or couple who committed.

The last option would be to get a loan. There are loans that are available for the sole purpose of covering adoption fees, while Caleb and I would like to avoid this as much as possible the fact is if we have to get a loan we will get a loan. At the end of the day it’s all about faith.

The not so “fun”raising process

When it came to the subject of adoption, the subject of cost followed almost every time. How are we going to pay for this, can you take out loans, do we qualify for grants, how much does it cost to adopt??? In all honesty the financial commitment to becoming adoptive parents is sometimes scarier than the actual becoming parents part. The immediate weight of having to provide financially a rather substantial amount of money before the kid is even yours, and then you have to actual financially support them once they are yours left me reeling more times that I would like to admit.

The realization that we are going to have to fund raise was terrifying to me, but the reality was it is something we needed to do. The fact is adoption is expensive. The agency has to be able to pay for all the lawyers and legal fees that come with the adoption process, run background checks on adoptive parents, provide services for the birth mom both before and after birth. The agency also has the responsibility to pay it’s employees who know all the ins and outs of the court system to make things go smoothly for both the birth mom and the adoptive families. No matter how you sliced it, all these services cost money, and we didn’t have the resources to do these things on our own. Regardless of which agency we spoke to the cost of adoption is between $25,000 and $30,000, this does not include the expenses that the birth mom takes on during her pregnancy. While most birth moms are on a form of state or federal health insurance; in the state of Arkansas once a birth mom is paired with adoptive parents and the home study is complete the adoptive parents help the birth mom with her costs of living.

Every step of the adoption process is a step of faith, in the end regardless of funds raised, or not raised we know what we as a coupled are called to become parents. We had to recognize that Satan was using the financial uncertainty to cause us to second guess bringing a child into a Christian home. We had to recognize that the process of adoption will not just expand our family it will cause us to rely and trust on Christ in the times of uncertainty, (so like all the time). We have to step boldly, even when we don’t know what is ahead of us it is not our job to have all the answers it is our job to have faith and continue through the process piece by piece.

In The Beginning

In the beginning, like 10 min after we were married, people asked “When are you having kids?”, and it made me mad. At that time I didn’t feel like having kids, I didn’t want kids, I wanted to go to Mexico on my honeymoon. Right after our first anniversary, we moved to Siloam Springs, AR, and it was easy to give a reason why we weren’t having kids, the next year we bought a house, but eventually I ran out of excuses as to why we didn’t have kids. The question was still asked, and I didn’t know what to say, the truth was I didn’t want to have kids.

I never had that “Oh, I want to have kids” bug, the thought of pregnancy was just terrible in my mind. I had no desire to go that route, and it made me feel guilty. Actually, I let it make me feel guilty. I let the question “When are you having kids?”, really get to me, especially being a Christian in a smallish city, my husband and I were the odd ones out. We were close to 30, been married for five plus years and no kids, but I still had no desire to have my own children. I can tell you it was during this time, I wanted to have friends and fit in and be involved, but I used the fact I didn’t have kids to distance myself from those my age who did, because eventually the question would come up, and it was the last question on Earth I wanted to answer. It wasn’t just that I had to answer the question, it was that I felt like I couldn’t just tell people, I don’t want kids.

I am an Athletic Trainer responsible for taking care of 7th-12th graders in all sports on a daily basis, and I love my job. I felt like I was really hitting my stride an Athletic Trainer when my husband and I were discussing expanding our family, and I didn’t want to be unable to do my job. I am a worker, it’s what I do, even my fun hobbies are work to most people. My ideal vacation is hiking as many mountains as possible till I am so physically exhausted I can’t move, it’s great. I truly love moving and being active and working. The thought of baking my own human for 40 weeks still makes me cringe, it’s just the way I am created.

Time ticked on, many discussions went by, and while we never hard core actively tried to create our own human, it didn’t happen naturally. This lead to more discussions, several doctors visits, and in the struggle and battle what did come naturally to us was adoption. I remember a late night dorm room conversation with my suite mates, “I think I will adopt kids”, I didn’t know that almost 10 years later that is the exact route I would take. I honestly always thought that eventually something would make me want to have my own biological child, but that still isn’t the case.

I could easily see that my husband was and is dad material (the man already has an arsenal of dad jokes), and overall I tend to fair pretty well with kids. All my nieces and nephews managed to survive my care for some extent of time, so I felt like we both had what it takes to be parents, but still NO desire to have my own biological child. So we began our adoption process. The process started slower that a turtle walking through molasses, but we eventually pursued adoption through DHS, to make a long story short, it was very clear very fast that was not our route. Then a quick Google search had us on the website of Abba Adoption, and from the first few minutes on the site I knew they were the agency I wanted to work with.

Abba Adoption, is based out of Benton, AR. Ran by a lovely lady named Kandi, whose passion and life’s purpose is to partner birthmoms and adoptive parents together. Abba seems pretty normal, the exception is Abba is 100% Christian owned, operated, and partners exclusively with Christian couples seeking to adopt a child. It was too obvious, this is who we were supposed to work with. Kandi came to our home in late January, and spent about two hours getting to know us, and our relationship with Christ. Ever since then it has been adjusting to the idea and concept of adoption. It’s been discussing different potential names, boy or girl, both, or twins. It’s been an emotional roller coaster to be honest, but the one thing that has really kept us grounded and on the path is the amount of support we have received from family and friends.

So welcome to our adoption journey, we look forward to growing spiritual, physically, and as a family with you.