It’s Been a While…Adoption Update

At the Post Office mailing off our final paperwork

Friends, it has been a while. And by a while I mean a year since I have posted here. Ha! I am way more active on Instagram and Facebook with our more up-to-date life happenings. But let’s catch you up on what all has happened since my last post here…

We have experienced a lot of growth- personal, spiritual, adoption, and our kids! Cam and EmmaLee-Tyler have grown in every way imaginable. They are very much alike and very much different from one another. Their personalities are polar opposites and we are seeing that more and more each day. They amaze me with how much they are learning and how they listen to us more than I think so-ha! Cam’s hair is shorter now and Em’s has grown SO MUCH. I feel like I’m constantly having to change out clothes sizes and buy more shoes. Whew! And they are more than ready to add Casper to our family and talk about him all throughout the day!

My business is growing and it is something I am truly proud of! I am honored and love to educate my team that the Lord has entrusted to me to take care of. I never thought that I would have a business, but I love learning and sharing my passion of wellness with others. It’s a true blessing!

And we decided to take a leap of faith in October. We know, trust, and believe that adoption is what the Lord has called us to. We have been fundraising for over a year now and although we didn’t have all the money we needed we knew we needed to move forward and step out on faith. We put in our application with Faithful Adoption Consultants (FAC) and started our home study process! It turned into a whirlwind of couple of days of fundraising and the Lord providing minute by minute and hour by hour for the funds we needed. There were a lot of tears of joy and gratitude shed that weekend. God was so faithful to us raising the money for our contract and more!

After being approved by FAC, we finished up our home study and our social worker, Sara, was (and still has been) absolutely amazing! She has also adopted with FAC so she knew how to prepare us with our home study for the paperwork needed for FAC, too! We were home study approved in mid-November! Major praise for that!!

After becoming home study approved, we dove into applying for grants and more fundraising. We are still waiting to hear from grants on if we have been awarded any yet. Praying that we will receive several and we would love for you pray for that alongside of us. (Please and thank you!) And in mid-January we sent in our final paperwork to FAC to become an active family.

Tim traveled to New Orleans for 2 weeks in January for his last 2 classes of his doctoral program and that put a bit of a snag in things because of still needing to finish our clearances for Texas. But we got that done and were approved for Texas earlier this week (this doesn’t mean that we will travel or get our baby from Texas but we are ready to go there and get him if we are matched there!) and are currently waiting to be assigned a consultant to go ACTIVE! Whooooo!!!

One step of faith has led us to this point. It was hard to do, but I am SO thankful we were obedient because it’s led us to this point. God has gone before us and prepared our way…we need only to obey and follow Him. I’ll try my best to keep our blog updated with everything in the process moving forward.

#WeTheVillage T-Shirt Fundraiser

#WeTheVillage

What does this mean? We have been saying since before we even started the adoption process that it would take a village, our village, to get our next baby home. It is going to take a lot of prayer, support, encouragement, and money to make this happen for us. We know it won’t be easy and it is a process BUT with your help it WILL happen!

So, #WeTheVillage was born. We included it on our next fundraiser, which is our t-shirts! By you buying this shirt, you are helping us raise money to bring home Baby Mathis #3, saying that you are a part of our village, and bringing awareness to adoption by wearing this shirt wherever you go.

The back of the shirt has an outline of the United States because our little baby will come from somewhere within the lines of this map. And within the map we have a heart where Alabama would be to represent us and our family and the Bible verses Ephesians 1:4-6, which says: “In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”

As far as this super cool t-shirt goes, we tried our best to make it as gender neutral as possible while also making it stand out and look awesome! This shirt is available in youth sizes through adult sizes. The cost is $20 and if you’re not local to us then $2 will be added for shipping purposes. Please let me or Tim know if you want one, how many, and what sizes you will need! Orders will be taken until February 14th!

We desire for everyone to be involved in our adoption in whatever way that may be-praying for us, the birth mother, and our new little one, sending words of encouragement our way, helping us connect with other adoptive families, and taking part in our fundraisers. And as always, please feel free to ask questions you may have about our adoption and we will be happy to answer!

A Little Q & A

I wanted to answer a few questions that other have been asking us since announcing that we are adopting. And please feel free to ask any and all questions because we would love to answer them!

Also, we would love to thank everyone that has pledged money per mile for our first fundraiser! Every single cent given helps to bring the next Mathis baby home to us!

So… let’s get started!

Are we planning to adopt domestically or internationally? This adoption will be a domestic adoption. And if you don’t know what that means, that’s totally okay! That means that our baby will come from somewhere in the U.S.!

How much will our adoption cost? We are looking at a total of $38,000 to $43,000 plus our application fee and traveling expenses of getting our new and sweet little one. This price covers agency fees, legal fees, care for the birth mother, and hospital costs.

Will we be specific in any area of what baby we want to adopt? We are planning on being gender specific in adding another precious boy to our tribe, but we are open to all races.

What age will our sweet one be? We hope and desire to adopt a newborn. We would love to travel to the hospital and be there while he is born or at least shortly after.

Will be having any other fundraisers? Yes, and soon after Tim completes the Dopey Challenge/ Dopey For Dough Fundraiser! We plan to have t-shirts for sale, a silent auction/dinner, a 5k/fun run, and more!

I think those are the main questions we have had so far, but like I mentioned earlier here..please do not hesitate to ask us any questions. You guys are our village and this will only happen with your love, prayers, and support!

And if you are wanting to help with our first fundraiser, Dopey For Dough, you can go to this link and fill out the form there: bit.ly/dopey4dough.

 

Dwelling in Him,

Tim, MaeLee, Cam, & EmmaLee-Tyler

We’re Adopting!!

Before MaeLee and I ever met, the Lord placed a burden in both of our hearts for the ministry of adoption. It’s such a clear picture of the Gospel. In Ephesians 1:3-6 Paul talks about the adoption we have received from God. We were spiritual orphans, unable to fend for ourselves, and God intervened by doing what we couldn’t; Taking away our sin. When we adopt, we are able to show others that love God showed us when he sent his son Jesus. For whatever reason we both sensed that God was calling us to adopting in our future.

So it didn’t take long when we began courting to get around to the question of children, and more specifically, adoption. One of the ways we were confident God was leading us towards marrying one another was because of this common bond. All that to say adoption has been on our radar for a long time. We have watched and supported friends go through that process and have been waiting for the right time to embark on that journey ourselves. Through many conversations and prayers we are confident this is our time to start the process of adopting. We plan to adopt through Faithful Adoption Consultants (FAC). We have heard great testimony from those who have used their services. You can see there website [https://www.faithfuladoptionconsultants.com/]. Needless to say this is going to be a long road filled with twists and turns and we will need our strong support system of family and friends to help us along the way. One of the biggest helps we will need along the way is financial support. The adoption process is an expensive one and there is no way we can do it alone. Those of you who help us along this journey will truly be a part of our family forever!

First Support Opportunity 

As you may know I have been training for several months now for something called the Dopey Challenge. The Dopey Challenge consist of four races over the course of four days (January 4-7) totaling 48.6 miles (that’s a 5k, 10k, half-marathon, and full marathon). We have decided to make this our first fundraiser for our adoption. We are asking people to pledge money per mile I complete in these runs (i.e. $1 per mile would be a total donation of $48.60, assuming I finish each race). If you would like to pledge money per mile you can fill out this google form http://bit.ly/dopey4dough or private message MaeLee or me. Also, feel free to contact either of us if you have any questions!

We’re looking forward to you coming along this journey with us!

Counting all things loss,

Timothy, MaeLee, Cam, and EmmaLee-Tyler

EmmaLee-Tyler {6 months}

We are almost 7 months in with having 2 kids so I figured it was time to do an update on our sweet daughter, EmmaLee-Tyler.

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God knew exactly what he was doing when He blessed us with this precious girl! She is the most smiley little thing you will ever come across. When she smiles she does so with her whole little body! She can light up a room with her pretty gummy grin with 2 little white (and sharp) specs sticking straight up on her bottom gums!

Cam makes her laugh everyday with doing something of his silly nature. She is starting to love to talk and make her little voice known around our house. When she does fuss it isn’t loud at all, which I think is representative of her whole self. She’s generally quiet is comparison to Cam. It’s so fun to see two completely different children come from genes of the same parents, but at the same time that usually get along great even though they are very different.

EmmaLee-Tyler loves to play with her toys, roll around the floor, play in the bath tub, jump in her exersaucer and jumper, and eat! This girl has an appetite and knows how to eat. Anytime we are eating she thinks she should too even if she’s already ate. 🙂 She is also learning to feed herself and loves to put anything to her mouth whether it is food or not.

She usually smiles at everyone, but she is most definitely a Mommy’s girl! 🙂 As far as her growth she weighed 6 lbs 10 oz at birth and was an even 17 lbs at her 6 month check up. Em also was 19.5 inches at birth and was 25 1/4 inches at her last check up! She’s definitely growing like a weed! She is 6-9/9 months clothes right now and size 3 diapers.

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I know she’s only been with us a short time but it truly feels like she’s been here all along! She is the perfect fit for our little family and we love all the sweetness she brings to us!

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•Cam- 2 Years Old•

I know I’m overdue on an update on Cam, but life with kids and in ministry is always busy and when I have down time I want to spend it with Tim and the kiddos.

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But this is an update on our TWO YEAR OLD little boy! Did I really just say that? How it possible that 2 years have already flown by with him?

He’s our little ball of energy and I’m sure most 2 year olds are! Cam is our “Mr. Personality” as I like to call him. When he walks into a room, rides in a grocery cart, or sees anyone he tells them “Heyyy!” Or “Byeee!” with a huge smile across his sweet face. He loves people and playing with all the big kids! He’s also quick to give high fives and fist bumps to anyone who’s willing to receive them. He loves to make us laugh and is the king on making his little sister laugh when no one else can.

Cammy Cam has a head full of beautiful blonde curls! I love his hair and we like to keep it a little long. He’s had 3 haircuts since he was 18 months old and each time his hair only gets curlier and thicker. 🙂

He also ALL BOY! He’s rough and likes to wrestle with me and his Daddy. He loves all things cars, trucks, trains, and anything else with wheels! He loves to “race” and “run” around the house and down the hallway with us!

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He is learning so much and is SO smart! He’s smarter than we give him credit for too. He knows all his primary colors and recognizes the difference between letters and numbers. He can say his name but refuses to the majority of the time. He also says it with a British accent so that’s pretty funny!

He still has a deep love for Toy Story and I’m guessing he always will at this point. Ha! Cam also enjoys watching Cars, Planes, Mickey Mouse, and Winnie the Pooh currently.

As far as his growth, this kid is going to be so tall and have ginormous feet!! His head circumference was greater than 99% at his 2 year checkup. He has LOTS of brains!! And he was in the 90-something percentiles for weight and height. He wears a 10-10.5 size shoe! You guys..we cannot keep the boy in shoes! He wears 2T-3T clothes now.

We are so thankful that God blessed us with silly and sweet son of ours!

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The Men Who Shaped Me

There are probably only a couple of people in my life who know my whole story of my past and what my childhood was like. The earliest memory that I have is the night my father left my mom, me and my brother. Father’s Day always makes me think about that night because it is a night I will never forget.
It was a very pivotal moment in my life. I will never forget the yelling, pushing, and fighting that I saw. I will never forget my PawPaw knocking on our door unexpectedly, yet thankfully, in midst of the chaos that was happening. I will never forget my Gran-Gran hurriedly walking me and my brother across the road to her house during all that so we wouldn’t watch the rest of it unfold. I will never forget waiting for my Mom to come to my grandparents’ house to make sure she was okay and telling me that my father had left for good.
I was just three years old when this happened but yet I remember it so well and it has shaped a lot of who I am today. My parents divorced later that year.
Thankfully my grandparents lived right across the road from us because after that night my Mom had to depend on them for a lot the next couple of years. My PawPaw was/is one of the best father figures that me and my brother could ever have. I’m so grateful that he stepped in like he did and loved us so well!
With divorces come visitation rights and weekend visits. Sometimes our visits went well and other times me and Ethan would sit out on the front porch waiting for someone who never came for us or our visits wouldn’t be good because of all that went on during our time there. It was unfortunate for sure.
Fast forward a couple of years later and my Mom met a wonderful man that had a little boy that was right between mine and Ethan’s ages. A few weeks before I turned 7 they married. I remember calling them as they were traveling to their honeymoon destination and asking “Mr. Craig” if I could call him “Daddy” now? And every day since then that’s what I have called him. I never refer to him as my “step-dad” and for good reason.
My Daddy has never felt like a step-dad to me. He has always treated and loved me as his own and never shown any differentiation in his love for me and Ethan versus Trey. I’m beyond grateful for that! God gave me an earthly father that has shown me the type of love that He has for me.
After I became a believer at the age of 9, I realized even more so how the Father loves His children and just how blessed I was to be a child of God! A good Father loves his children, disciplines his children, and teaches his children very important lessons. The same should go for our earthly fathers and I can truly say that I have had that with my Daddy. God is so good to have given me a grandfather and Daddy as such great earthly examples of the love that my Heavenly Father has for me!
So, fathers remember your children this Father’s Day. Think of the example you are setting for them. Think of the love you are showing them or should be showing them. Are your actions towards your wife and children pointing to your heavenly Father?

Father's Day 2016

Happy Father’s Day!

Parental Learning

I think it may be it is a combination of things..maybe…probably…most definitely.

My sweet little boy is on the verge of turning TWO, he has a undeniable sin nature (just like the rest of us), he has a B I G personality, and he also has some anger issues that he has inherited through his genes. Sounds like the perfect storm for tantrums, right?

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I found myself with my hands in the air in frustration with him multiple times this week. I have asked myself and God why parenting has to be so hard?! Sure, people warn you about the sleepless nights (BOTH OF MY KIDS SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT LAST NIGHT–Win!), the gas pains, the multiple feedings, and how they grow up too quickly…BUT no one tells you that you may have a strong-willed child and how to parent them in the right way and how to nurture them to become the natural-born leader that they are.

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Yesterday was the day that the Lord reminded me through Cam that THIS is how I am with Him. I disobey, I get frustrated with Him, I get angry, I’m selfish and want things to go my way, and most importantly I *need* Him!! Thankfully God gives me grace and His mercies new every morning! Lamentations 3:22 says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never cease so; His mercies never come to an end”. I’m so grateful for this truth that we have. My children have seriously been my greatest teachers of the Lord’s love, grace, and forgiveness. Being their mother has been the most sanctifying job I’ve ever had! I’m also so thankful that we have God as our guide through this parenting journey. Without Him we would definitely be lost and keep our hands in the air all of the time!

On another note, Cam is the absolute sweetest and best big brother that there has ever been. He loves to play with “sister”, help burp her, wipe her mouth, bring her a paci, and give her endless hugs and kisses. He is very protective of his little sister so you better not think of grabbing any of her things while he is around because he is quick to tell you “that baby’s!!” 🙂

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Cam is also currently loving all things that involve cars, trains, and planes! He loves counting to three and then running. He says, “two, two, three, go!” I promise he learns a new word every. single. day. He surprises me with how much he learns and picks up on things I didn’t realize he was paying attention to. His favorite question is “what’s that?” as he is trying to figure everything out in this big world. Finally, his big personality also comes with a big smile and laugh!! I love when he bends over with hands on his knees belly laughing!!

 

imageI’m so glad I have all of these wonderfully good things throughout my days to outweigh the hard and difficult things of this parenting adventure. I’m thankful for grace that the Lord gives me and I’m so very thankful that He gave me my beautiful and wonderful children to raise up to one day, Lord willing, follow Him!

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Motherhood Series: Meet Kem

On our last day of the #MotherhoodSeries I would like for you to get to know Kem Jackson. She writes what being a grandmother means to her! Kem is the wife to Al, mother to Josh, Hannah, and Naomi, and Mimi to nine wonderful grandchildren! Her husband Al is the pastor at Lakeview Baptist Church in Auburn, Alabama. Kem spends her time discipling young women, visiting with her children and grandchildren, investing in the intern/seminary wives at Lakeview, and is actively involved with the women’s ministry at Lakeview. She and Brother Al mean a great deal to me and Tim and we are forever thankful for the wisdom they have instilled in us!

Kem

 

Our firstborn was getting married soon. I sat him down to have a serious talk. “I think I know what I want for my 50th birthday (I was about to be 47),” I said. He looked at me strangely and said what?! I paused, then said ‘a grandbaby’! I want a grandbaby for my 50th birthday! “Mama,” he said! I responded, “you’ll be finished with law school and in your first year of practice! It will be perfect!” He was surprised I know! But you ‘have not because you ask not’! My request (my dream) came true as by my 50th birthday I had a precious grandson!

Fast forward 14 years and now my husband and I have 9 grands ages 14-2. They are a delight to my heart! Nothing makes me happier than to spend time with them! I look all year long for special treats to put in their Christmas stockings or special surprises to take when I visit them. I love to cook things they love to eat or maybe they cook with me when they come.

There is a small, pink book I keep by my bedside table. In it I have, with dates, those sweet cute things they say. I didn’t do this for my own children so I am making sure I remember these jewels. Some are rewarding. Like after family vacation when Sam said, “these have been the best days of my life”! Or cute phrases they say that become part of our vocabulary, like the ‘wetter and dryer’ or ‘that’s crazy and amazing’! They love for me to get the book out to hear what they or their cousins said when they were little.

Prayer is very important in grandparenting so I write some of mine in the margin of my bible. I am praying for beautiful feet for them (Romans 10:14-15). And their names are all around the page of Ephesians 2:8-9 for salvation, as each enters the years God calls them to Himself. I love to pray for them! As I get older and so do they, I know I can always be part of their lives through prayer. Their world is changing and they are growing up with many temptations, but this grandmother knows where to turn. The bible relieves my worries and fears for their future. It says, ” Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Ephesians 4:6

To see my own children and their spouses raise my grandchildren to know and walk with our God is joy to my heart. It is my privilege to join them in that, to encourage and pray for them to be wise in parenting.

Oh the fun I have…playing ball, having tea parties, trying to beat them at board games (Sorry is my fav!), reading books and having devotions. Yes, my dream came true. The sweetest words I know are ‘Mimi, I love you’!

Motherhood Series: Meet Jennifer

On our next to last day of this #MotherhoodSeries, I would like for you to get to know my friend Jennifer Meyers. Jennifer is the wife to John and mom to Mackenzie and Noah. Jennifer keeps busy by working, spending time with family, and being actively involved at our church in so many ways. I hope you are encouraged as much I was by Jennifer’s words!

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When you ask what it means to me to be a mom, a million things go through my mind. There is no way to express every single little thing, nor does MaeLee have that much room available for the blog. But I can tell you this:

It’s hard. Really hard. Being a mom is absolutely positively the most difficult thing I have ever done (and will continue to do, Lord willing) in my entire life. There is not a “how to” class that exists on the face of the earth that can fully prepare anyone for being a mom. There are more days than I care to count when I feel like a complete failure as a mom for one reason or another. There are days when I wonder if God really designed me to be a mom. There are so many things that I struggle with. I don’t do teeth. I am not good with blood. I am not good with vomit. I am not a very patient person. I struggle with the fact that I work full time outside of the home and right now drive about an 1 hr 15-20 min to work and then home again which adds up to almost an extra 3 hours away from my family each Monday through Friday. I struggle with the comparison game. I struggle with ball field dirt on my floor. I struggle with trying to be everything to everybody and it’s not gonna happen. I struggle with the fact that there is not enough time in the day to get everything done that I think needs to get done to take care of my family. I still struggle with selfishness sometimes. In fact, I never knew how selfish I was until I had children. Sad to say it that way, but it’s true. There are so many things that you sacrifice as a mom for your kids. Lots and lots of time. And plenty of sleep deprivation. Lots and lots of sleep deprivation actually (I really like, I mean need my sleep). The list is never ending. But they (children) are worth it. I struggle with sassiness from the almost tween child. I struggle with the child who may not always have a good self-esteem. Being a mom can be heartbreaking. The first time I trimmed my daughters fingernails, I cut too much and made her little baby finger bleed. She cried, I cried. It broke my heart that she was hurting. It still breaks my heart when either of my children are hurting. I want to fix it. When they are sick, I want them to be better. When something is difficult for them, I want it to be easy. Knowing when to step in and help and when to let them learn by trial and error is tough. Being a mom is scary. My son had nosebleeds a lot when he was younger. One morning when I was getting him up (he was about 2-3 yrs old), he was covered in blood. His whole face, sheets, pajamas. Blood was everywhere. Needless to say I freaked out. He was fine though. Are you getting the picture? Being a mom is really really hard and I barely touched the surface of the difficulty list.

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Being a mom is rewarding. Despite all the difficulties, my kids are forgiving. When I mess up, they love me anyway. They love me in spite of all the selfish imperfections that exist in my mind. They don’t see them. I love the random “I love you mom”. I love the “just one more hug”. I love that my son still wants me to tuck him in bed at night. I love holding hands with my kids. I love that my daughter is my “mini me”. I love the fact that the first time I watched the movie Mom’s Night Out was with my kids cuddling on the couch with me laughing so hard I cried. I love praying with them. I love their hearts. I love the personalities that they have (even if they sometimes drive me crazy). I love that my daughter loves to read like I do. I loved seeing them learn to walk and talk. I loved seeing them start the learning process in preschool. I love seeing the accomplishments that they are making in school. I love seeing them play Upward Basketball, softball, baseball, doing gymnastics. I love being there and being one of their biggest cheerleaders. I love knowing that they need me. It is humbling to know that two little lives that I am pouring into are able to teach me lessons that I never knew I needed to learn. I love seeing them learn about Jesus. I love hearing them say Bible verses from memory. I love singing Jesus music in the car with them.

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Being a mom is an awesome responsibility. I mean, think about it. God chose me, me of all people, to be the mother of two kids. I was able to experience the miracle of carrying a baby for 9 months and delivering a little human being into this world. I get to share the task of raising two kids with my husband. We are the temporary caretakers of two amazing kids. We bear the responsibility of raising them to know and serve God. To share Jesus with those around them. God is awesome. He doesn’t make mistakes. God knows how I feel each and every day. He knows the struggles I have as a mother. He knows my weaknesses. But somehow, by God’s grace, each day He gives me what I need for that day. And each day, I have to go back to God and seek Him and His wisdom to prepare me to raise the little lives that He has chosen to bless me with. And God was so wonderful and gracious to bless me with a husband who is right there every step of the way and goes above and beyond when I am not able to. God knew what He was doing when He gave me John. For some reading this, a husband may not be in the picture for whatever reason. But God is. God is sufficient. When I am not (which is a lot), He is. I hear Him say to me, “I AM.” End of story. Just as my kids depend on me as a mom, I have to depend on God. There is no other way.

“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9a