Being thankful and family updates


I love November. I love seeing all those posts that people share about being Thankful. We have much to be thankful for. I have made running lists in the past, sometimes daily posts about being thankful for the month of November but this year much of our time is consumed with many doctor visits and it is hard to keep up with everything that needs to be done.  If you have read my blog for any length of time you know that we have adopted three of our five kids and they have special needs. One of them seems to struggle more than the others and yes here we go again with this child, a new trial.  I call it a trial because the bottom line is I know God has this. This child has always overcome and I believe this is no different. The doctors have told us there is something wrong with his liver. Much testing and many doctors are involved – hence all the time spent at the doctors offices.  He has missed a lot of school, there have been weeks when we are at a lab or doctors’ office three out of five days! If his tests on the first week of December don’t look better, they will do a liver biopsy on him. Because my children have special needs and are adopted I never post their names online but God knows who he is so if you choose to say a prayer for my boy I would deeply appreciate it. I am confident that this child will yet again triumph over what was done to him in the womb.


I am sharing today my first bible journaling page – it took me a while to get over the idea of drawing in the bible,  I had to get a new bible specifically for this purpose. I think it’s a good thing, the whole time you spend creating,  you are meditating on that word. Since November is National Adoption Awareness Month  I picked out this scripture for that purpose. I am thankful for my family – it doesn’t matter how it comes together~ adoption, blended families, close friends that are just as much family as blood – family is family and I am blessed to have them in my life.  You should be thankful for family too!



Adoption Announcement!

One of the things I am so thankful
for especially this time of the year is adoption.
We have been blessed three times over by adoption.
 We brought home two of our children in November
(different years) and one in September so these are
special times of the year. This year is no different
 and today we added a new member to the family… meet Spencer!!!
The kids ran him all over the yard and my camera
 of course was no where to be found!
Uggh so mad I missed those first shots!
 This evening he was exhausted
but very willing to  pose for pictures –
he is fitting in already!
 This is a bad pic but they looked so cute I included it anyway!
Yep – the Barakats finally have a dog after all these years!
I know, I can hardly believe it myself but look at that face!
Besides my heart was moved as he was living in a foster home,
we were even tempted to take in his sister but I am
overwhelmed at the thought of just training one puppy !
I am very tempted to send out adoption announcements –
this was definitely the easiest adoption we ever did!

Don’t forget about my giveaway!!
It’s not too late to enter!

Hot off the press!
Just finished this layout today for a contest at  Treasured Scrapbooking!

I did this contest last year and it was so fun I had to enter it again! This is my layout for round two.

The hidden Journaling:

I always knew that one day I would adopt a child, not just any child but a child that needed a home; a child that was in the system – to save them from a life of foster care. Well I met hubby and he had same ideas – that was good. So after baby #2 we figured we’d better get on this if we were going to make it happen. We had ideas; big ideas on what this would look like. We did some research and decided we thought we could and could not handle. Boy, were we wrong. We look back now and know that God saved us from ourselves in certain situations and waited for us to mature to handle other situations. The biggest hurdle was ours in the making; we didn’t care about race, or sex or physical handicaps, drugs, neglect were ok, but not Fetal Alcohol… don’t know why we thought this, because it bears to reason that if a birth mother did drugs while pregnant, she probably drank too…

Fast forward…We now have five children and some have various disabilities including Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Had we gotten that diagnosis in the beginning we may have stopped at one; maybe. But God knew what He was doing and by the time the third adoption came around we knew going into it that she had FAS. Now we know that she is not the only one of our children that has it. Even with all the struggles, I cannot imagine our lives without kids. We are blessed to be a part of their lives and we have seen God do great miracles in their development.

Things I’ve learned about myself through adoption: God never gives me more than I can handle, I can handle more than I thought (with His help of course), I need to keep an open mind because God always has a bigger plan than I can ever imagine. Adoption was the right call for us.

(Supplies: Pattern Paper – Websters Pages & Bo Bunny, Acrylic lg shape – Clear Scraps, Rub Ons – Bo Bunny, Flowers – Prima, Alphas – American Crafts,Glitter – Stickles, Metal Heart, Distress Ink – Ranger,Other – paper clip )

So I bet you think I forgot about My little giveaway!…um no But it’s been a couple of days so I need to add to my loot – or yours if you are lucky! 😉
So how about …

                   Sunday  I will probably add to it again and Monday I will I will be a part of this…


That will be a crazy day so I will not be counting those comments in my giveaway – but you do want to come and participate because this is something new from GCD and it is really cool – you will not want to miss this!!! 
Have a good weekend and see you on Sun!


What about the children?

On the last day of the month I wanted to remind you of the blessing of adoption. I had a neighbor come talk to me the other day about adoption as she and her husband are considering adoption. One of the questions I am often asked is what if there is something wrong with the child? How can I be sure it will be OK. I have heard horror stories… Well there are no guarantees that something wouldn’t go wrong with your biological children. If your children develop something you deal with it, help them the best way you know how. The honest truth is that there are no guarantees in life- no matter who you are. But I know that a child in the system- even one day is going to need unconditional love. If your bio kid develops something you can’t send them back… These kids have never had stability, if you are not sure.. get more info. Maybe you are not called to adopt but to stand by a family that has. What can you do?

We are incredibly blessed by many people who do what they can in their own way. I have one friend who doesn’t feel like she can handle all of them but will take one out at a time. For ice cream or whatever. I have another who prays for our family everyday – I cannot tell what a comfort that is to me. I have one person that gives my son a ride home from youth group – and is keeping him accountable. Having Christian adults as mentors for our kids is invaluable! One friend will take any kid at the drop of a hat- or all if needed. I have a lady who gives us hand me downs, they are in beautiful condition. These people have been such a blessing to our kids and to us as a family.

I believe anything you can do in the life of a child is so important – volunteer your time, your resources, your talents…I promise you, you can make a difference!
Here is the hidden journaling for this page:
If we can make a difference in the life of a child you can change the world – I believe that. I took this picture in August at an outreach for inner city kids. I was so proud of my kids (the kids I work with). I have worked with some of these kids for four years and they are amazing. I put them on the spot- a friend of a friend needed help at the last minute with an outreach she was doing. One of the teachers didn’t show and she needed something to fill in. I talked to my kids about and they were willing; within minutes they were teaching the hula! Just for fun, something they had just learned themselves but here they were reaching out to these kids.
(Papers, Alphas and Trim: Websters)
If if this hasn’t touched you so far, how about this song?

“What about the children?” sung by Yolanda Adams

Tears streaming down, her heart is broken
Because her life is hurting, so am I.
He wears a frown, his dreams are choking
And because he stands alone, his dreams will die.
So, humbly I come to you and say
As I sound aloud the warfare of today
Hear me, I pray…
(chorus)What about the children?
To ignore is so easy
So many innocent children would choose the wrong way
So what about the children? Remember when we were children
And if not for those who loved us and who cared enough to show us
Where would we be today?
Sir, where is your son, where lies his refuge?
And if he can’t come to you, then where can he run?
Such a foolish girl, yet still, she’s your daughter
And if you will just reminisce your days of young…
You see, it’s not where you’ve been, nor what you’ve done
Because I know a friend who specializes in great outcomes
See, His love overcomes
What about the children? Don’t just turn and walk away!
What about the children? They need our love and help today!
What about the children? Remember when we were children and if not for those who loved us
and who cared enough to show us, where would we be today?
Where would we be today? What about the the children? Please listen..This is one of my most favorite songs, this could very well be my theme song. I have had so many amazing people who spoken into my life and now I get to do that for others. I hope you are blessed by that song. Have a great night- or morning depending on where you are!

"We cannot do great things on the Earth only small things with great love."

Something new, well new for me at least. I have loved seeing all the cardboard backed layouts and finally I got around to trying one! I love the texture!! So fun and easy to work with! I even made a tutorial for Scrapbooking From the Inside Out! Of course this is from the Generosity kit this month, I love the dark rich colors. I did add some things to this layout that weren’t in the kit because this was actually the last layout I did. The flowers (Prima)and the netting were not in the kit. The bling and the ribbon (Websters) were from a previous kit. If you see the other layouts you will see that Rachel includes lots of Primas and other pretty embellishments in all her kits. Oh yeah – using and loving my new Martha Stewart punch!

How cute is my baby girl! I am not biased at all!! Those little leaves surrounding the Prima flowers were cut with my Cricut.

This is a quote by Mother Teresa that I love – I had to cut off her name , it didn’t fit! The background is actually photo paper. I use this technique a lot – I spray it with Moon Glow spray in copper and Orange, let it dry then print my journaling on it. Love that Moon Glow stuff!

The upper right hand corner is Texture paste – the same kind the use on walls with stencils.

I also sprayed the cardboard (after I ripped it up) with the Moon Glow.
This being National Adoption Awareness month I found that quote quite fitting. Not everyone is called to adopt but everyone can help in the life of a child directly and indirectly.
Did you know that if you are interested in adopting but don’t have thousands of dollars to pay for a private adoption you could do a special needs adoption in our own state and they have programs to help you not only adopt but with medical needs of the child as well. * Can I quickly say somethng about special needs adoption? There are no perfect children, even when you have a biological child you are taking a chance that something could go very wrong. Don’t get distracted because they might be “special needs” they are all children in desperate need of a good home and a loving family – it might be yours!
Here is a good place to start. Here are some listings by state
If you want to adopt overseas and need help or would like to help financially you could check this out
If adoption is not for you and you cannot give financially you can help out a family who has adopted – babysitting, a meal, a listening non judgemental ear… We have a friend who always buys our kids backpacks each year – something so simple makes a world of difference. If they have alot of kids and you feel like it’s too much for you perhaps you can take one at a time for ice cream or something? Think out of the box! Reminds me of this other quote
“To the world, you may be one person; but to that one person you may be the whole world.”
I don’t know who said this but I know that YOU CAN make a difference in the life of a child! (and bonus, God will bless you for it! 😉 )

Loss…Scraptoberfest Part 4

Ok now this layout is very different for me- no picture. Yep different I know but if you read the journaling you will know why. I have been wanting to do this layout for a long time, it is very important to me. If you dont know , now you know that three of our five children are adopted and this layout is about some feelings that I did not know I would have. If you have gone through the adoption procees, or have children I am sure you can relate to some or all of this. I do scrap happy – but I feel that it is just as important to scrap all parts of our lives. I scrapped this for me, but also for my son – it is his legacy as well.

In case it’s hard to read:
I remember it like it was yesterday.
We got our sweet baby boy at two months and when we took him in we knew it was a gamble. We wanted to adopt and he needed a home. The parental rights had not yet been terminated. For almost a year we waited hoping that we would not get a phone call that someone wanted him back. He was such a sweet baby, the only time he really cried was in his car seat- he hated being on his back.
Finally after a year of being in the foster care system we got a court date for termination of parental rights. You cannot adopt a child until a judge grants termination of the parental rights – which is a long tedious procedure.
On the court date we came early and I brought a camera in case bio mom showed up. I wanted her picture for my son, should he ever ask. At the same I hoped that she would not show up and try to fight this case. (If she did the judge could give her another shot at doing right by her child.) We had never been through this before and weren’t sure what to expect. We had been told that we would have to testify on how our son was doing and if anyone else came forward they too would be allowed to speak. I was so nervous and expected to feel relief when it was all over. Bio mom never came and I did not expect the feelings that came with that.
I felt a tremendous amount of grieving for my son. I felt anger too- how could she not fight for her son! This was a beautiful innocent baby with so much love and life, how could she not at least make a last desperate effort to get him back? I mean I was relieved that she didn’t come, and that her rights were terminated because then he was available for adoption but I was so devastated by her actions (or lack of actions)! I was appalled and so sad for my boy. I cried for his loss, it broke my heart and left me feeling despair and hope at the same time. Hope for a good future with our family, we love him so much and yet despair; even now there is heaviness in my heart when I think about this day.

It has been years and it still bothers me, makes me sad and angry – even sad for her, bio mom. He is amazing in all ways and such a blessing, we are fortunate to be a part of his life. God takes the mistakes we make and turns them into good things, even better than we could have imagined.

I created this with the “Loss” kit at Scrapbooking From the Inside Out. The letters here were actually raw chipboard letters that I altered by using Brilliance ink in brown and black and then spraying them with Moon Glow spray. I did the same thing with the frame adding Sunburst spray in red hot poker orange in addition to copper. The frame is not in the kit , it was just laying around in my scrapbook room and it seemed perect for the picture that never was- it was originally hot pink!

Don’t forget to leave me a comment to enter my running contest for the month of October! ( details on the previous post!)


I’ve decided I’m not very good at titles – not very creative. Usually one word sums it up, today the word is never. Never will I leave you, never will I give up on you or us…

Here is the journal up close…
This is one of the layouts I did for a contest at Treasured Scrapbooking! There have been 5 rounds so far, I made it to round six which happens to be the final round. They started with 37 scrapbookers and have narrowed it down to three! So if nothing else I made the top three – that’s pretty good considering how many talented ladies there are! This particular round part of the challenge was using recycled items. You also had to do some stitching.

Since I made this layout we figured out that our little guy was worried about the well being if his birth parents. We told him that he could pray for them, and he seemed relieved. That very night he went into another room by himself to pray for them. It has been a couple of weeks and he is feeling much better, not obsessing at all! Gotta love small victories! One day at a time!