Sunday, April 29, 2012


As part of our effort to fundraise for our adoption, we are selling t-shirts. They will be faded blue (heathered indigo is the official color...very fancy) with white print. All of the profit from sales will go directly toward funding our adoption.

The shirts cost $20 each and are available from size youth small on up. If you would like to order one, please email me at or message me on facebook. I will need to know how many you would like, which size(s) and an address for you if you don't live nearby. When you message me, I will reply with our address so that you can mail in your payment.

We will be taking orders until June 9. You can pay with cash or check. If you would like to pay with a check, please just make it out to "Baylor Knott." We are going to collect all of the orders and then submit one great big order for the shirts. As soon as the shirts come in, we will let everyone know and get work on getting your shirts to you.

Thank you so much for supporting us as we work to bring Baby Knott (wow....first time I have typed that) home to us forever!


Great Few Days!

These last few days have been wonderful! A lot has been going on, and most all of it has been good! My mom flew in for a visit on Wednesday afternoon, and we have had an amazing time together. We have also scheduled our first interview and been contacted by the social worker who will be conducting our home study.

First things first... Mom came to visit! It was so, so, so good to have her in town for a few days. We went shopping, tried out some new restaurants, went for walks in some of the parks around Birmingham, talked on and on about the adoption (so grateful to have such supportive parents!) and worked on Bible studies for Honduras this summer. I still cannot get over what a miracle it is to have her here. The Lord blessed me with a wonderful mom, and I have always been so very grateful to have her in my life. But since "the incident" in January of this year, each time I look at her, I am reminded of God's incredible sovereignty. He truly is the Lord of all.  
                                               Look how beautiful she is! 

Mom and I were in the car together on Friday when I got an exciting phone call. Our social worker! She sounds oh-so sweet, and we are super excited to meet her. Our first interview is scheduled for this Wednesday night via cellphone. This will be with the Lifeline Ethiopia representative (also an incredibly sweet woman, who has been unbelievably helpful and patient with me and my one million and one questions). From what I understand, this will be an orientation interview during which we will become more acquainted with the Ethiopian adoption process and during which the Ethiopia program will learn more about us. We will also be speaking with our social worker toward the end of the week about setting up more times for our other interviews and looking at exactly how the home study process will work. 

Mom's flight left this morning, and we (Adam and I) spent the better part of the day working on our online adoption training. We are pleased to announce that we both finished the course! It is amazing to think about how much goes into an adoption, and we have definitely learned a whole lot during just this one course. It is really easy to idealize what this whole process will look like and even how our sweet baby will react to us at first. This training really helped to open our eyes to what life is like for children who are orphaned around the world, and I think we are now going to do a better job of walking in with our eyes open. Still, we ultimately trust in our Heavenly Father, who has His mighty hand over this entire thing, who already knows our sweet angel and who will guide us until we bring him/her safely home. 

Adam and I are thrilled beyond words to be in the midst of this incredible journey. Please pray that God would sustain us and energize us, as we have some long months ahead. Please pray that when we start to feel overwhelmed that we would turn to God and rely on Him and not our own strength. We know that the Lord will be the One to carry us through this part of our lives. 

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31


Sunday, April 22, 2012

The First of Many...

Sleepless nights! I think I just had my first adoption-anxiety-filled night. And now I am exhausted! Adam and I had planned to spend some time this weekend working on our adoption paperwork, of which there is much. So on Friday night, we put on some comfy clothes, ate dinner at home and then got down to business.  
                                                                      The girls working hard! 

                                                                           Typing away!

We sat in the office (and future baby room) for HOURS answering questions and writing our autobiographies. And we are not even finished. While it was a ton of work, it felt so good to be doing something, and answering all of those questions really turned on our insight to why we want to become adoptive parents. It was also very interesting to work on my autobiography. Talk about being thorough; it is seventeen pages, typed, single-spaced. Yikes! I had been working on it for several days, about a week, and I was able to finish it on Friday night. I have not spent a lot of time reflecting back on my childhood and upbringing, but I had to in order to answer the questions I was being asked, and I ended up really enjoying thinking back on fun memories with my mom, dad and sister. 

Anyway, we finally called it quits around midnight, and I was feeling very tired, so I had high hopes for a good night of sleeping ahead with nothing to wake me up early the next morning. At around 12:45, I was still wide awake. I could not get my brain to turn off. At 2:00, my eyes were still wide open, and it felt like my mind was moving at warp speed. I think that because we are so early on in the process and there is still so, so much ahead of us that I was feeling completely overwhelmed by the entire thing. And so on Friday night and on into Saturday morning, my mind was trying to cover too many things at once. I was jumping from idea to idea without actually accomplishing anything. I tried to tell my brain to be quiet, but it would not listen. So there I was, laying in my bed, exhausted, but feeling like I had just downed a triple espresso on an empty stomach. What could I do? 

I prayed. A lot. 

Now, please do not think I am some super holy person whose first inclination is always to pray. I wish I was that way, and I have a feeling that, through this whole process, God might be working on turning me into a person whose first reaction is to pray. But on Friday night/Saturday morning, it was only after a few hours of hopeless fretting that I turned my focus and attention to God. I began to ask Him to calm my heart and to fill me up to the brim with His peace. I confessed my anxiety to Him, my worry about all of the snags that could happen during our adoption process (many of them completely out of my control). I told Him about how desperately I want to be a mom, how I feel like this is the thing that I was made to do. I thanked Him for calling us to adoption, for the blessing that our little angel will be in our lives. I asked Him to show us His glory through this process. I pretty much poured my heart out right there in bed with Adam sleeping soundly only a foot away. And I realized two things. First, I am so glad that God already knows my thoughts and worries, because I was praying so fast that I am not sure my own tongue could have kept up with my mouth had I been praying out loud. And secondly, I am so very grateful that we serve a God who loves us, who waits up with me at night while I stubbornly try to sort things out on my own, because He knows that a few hours later, I will turn my heart to Him and cry out for His help and His love. 

I don't think I ever got to the "Amen" of my prayer that night, because I talked to my Heavenly Father, and He answered. He filled me with His peace, and He quieted my troubled heart, and He calmed my anxious mind. And then it was morning and the sun was up. I fell asleep still talking to Him, and I know He was awake long after our conversation was over. 

So while I do not relish the idea of spending nights tossing and turning in bed because I am filled with worry and anxiety, I am beyond grateful that we serve a God who loves us deeply, more deeply and more fully than we can ever imagine, a God who does not leave us to figure it out on our own. On the contrary, He asks that we give Him our worries and our troubles. He longs to carry these for us, because He knows that we cannot do it alone. It is an overwhelming thing to consider: The God of the universe, the Creator of all that there is, wants to, longs to, desires to take on our burdens. Why? Because He cares for us. He loves us. He loves you, and He loves me. And it is not just with a generic "oh yeah, God loves everyone" kind of love. It is so much more than that. He loves you with a personal love, a love that is specific and unique to you, and He loves me with a personal love, a love that is unique to me. 

That truth will knock us off our feet if we let it. 

"Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." I Peter 5:7


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Even the Sparrow

I have spent a lot of time praying for our little angel over the last few days, and I always end up having way more to pray about than I thought I would. When I start praying, my intention is to ask the Lord to please, please watch over our little one, and if he/she is not born yet, then to please surround his/her birth mother with protective angels. Inevitably, this leads to prayer for his/her birth family, and the care givers at the orphanage where he/she will stay until we bring our baby home and for the court system, that God would grant them wisdom in placing our child, and most of all, for our little one to be kept safe and healthy while waiting for us to bring him/her home. 

By the time I am finished praying, I have covered a lot more ground than I thought I would, and then it dawns on me just how incredibly sovereign God is. I fast forward to the day that our little angel comes home with us, and I am overwhelmed by how many things had to go a certain way for him/her to even end up in our arms. In that moment, I am reminded that God is not some distant figure who dwells up in the heavens, unconcerned with our lives. He is quite the opposite. God is involved in every aspect of our lives. He is the One who allows every little detail in our lives to transpire, and He is the One who prevents all sorts of unknown evils from overcoming us on a daily basis. We serve a great big God! 

God is not only involved in our lives, He is actually invested in the outcome. He wants good things for His children. Sometimes it is easy to think that we are insignificant and that God does not notice us or have time for us. But nothing could be further from the truth. He has His heavenly eye set right on each of us and is concerned with and sovereign over our every move. Oh, He loves us so much more than we can imagine!

My mind goes to Matthew 10:29-31: "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." 

God is big enough to care for each of us and powerful enough to watch over and manage each of our lives. This is a huge source of comfort for me as we wait to have our child home with us. If I did not know God and did not know how infinitely wise and powerful He is, I am not sure that I would have the strength of will to adopt. In fact, I am pretty sure that I would not, because there are just so, so many "what ifs?" I think I would drive myself crazy trying to work through all of the possible scenarios in my mind. But instead, only by the grace of my Lord, I am able (with His help) to rest in the fact that the Lord already knows exactly who our little angel is and exactly how he/she will come to us. Praise God for that comfort. Without it, I would be driving myself crazy. But with it, I am filled with God's peace, because I know that He loves our child far better than we will ever be able to. 

"Even the sparrow finds a home." Psalm 84:3


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Yard Sale Fun

We cannot thank you all enough for all of your sweet and encouraging words. Adam and I are so excited to see what God has in store for us over the next several months. We know that this is going to be a long process, but we are ready to see Him at work! 

One of the things we are planning for is a yard sale up here in Birmingham to help us raise some funds to bring our sweet angel home. We are looking at having this take place some time in July. Soooo...if you are planning on doing some spring cleaning, instead of taking your throw aways to Good Will or the local thrift store, call us! We will gladly come pick up anything you are looking to get rid of. Seriously, it does not matter how big or how small. We will take clothes, furniture, electronics, yard tools, appliances. You name, we will take it! 

If you are interested in helping us in this effort, please let me know (email, call or comment below), and we will come to you to pick everything up. 

We are so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people who love us and are supporting us and praying for us as we walk this road. Thank you for being God's blessing to us! 

"I thank my God every time I remember you." Philippians 1:3


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Signature Practice!

I think we have perfected our signatures! We received our adoption manuals via email yesterday (talk about some serious reading!) and have been busy reading and signing both last night and today. It has been super exciting, though, to learn more about what this process will look like. There is so much information to go through, and we are enjoying working our way through it. 

Lots of reading to do!

Sign here, and here, and here! 

One of the things we have to do for our home study is read a book called The Connected Child. I bought it this morning on my Kindle (love that thing) and am already 70% through it. I am attributing part of that to me being nerdy English teacher who loves to read, and I am attributing the rest of it to the fact that this is a REALLY great book! I strongly recommend it to anyone who is considering adopting or fostering. It is full of excellent information and practical applications for situations that are likely to arise post-adoption. 

Truly enjoying this!

This week has been full of blessings from God. It seems that with each day that passes, He is confirming again and again that this is the right path for us. He is so, so good. Adam and I are experiencing such a peace about this whole process, which is incredible when we think about how much it entails, but we know that our God is faithful, and we feel so blessed to be embarking on this journey with Him. 

All of this is really causing me to reflect on what God did for me by sending His Son to die for my sins on the cross. I amazed by His great love, and my mind is drawn to Ephesians 1:3-6 "For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, he predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will--to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves." WOW! 

God chose to adopt us into His family. It was His "pleasure and will." Meaning that He wanted to do so; it delighted Him to do so. What an incredible God we serve! That He chose to do this does not mean that it was easy. In fact, our adoption as sons and daughters came a great cost: the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Still, God chose it. He loved (loves) us enough to purposefully endure pain in order to allow us to spend our eternity with Him. Talk about a loving Father! 

And so the more I pray and consider these things, the more I am assured that God is holding us right in the palm of His almighty hand. And from His hand, we cannot ever be snatched! 

On a different note, we have started an adoption timeline. You can click on the tab at the top of the home page to check it out. Not a whole lot to see yet, but more will be added soon! 

"The Spirit, Himself, testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." Romans 8:16



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Process Begins...

We finished our Lifeline application for Ethiopia last night, and I am going to send it in after work today. Yay! It feels crazy to actually be starting this whole process, knowing that a year from right now there could be a precious son or daughter living in our house. Forever.

I have to admit that things are not going exactly the way I thought they would (see previous post). I always thought we would have biological children and then expand our family through adoption. And, who knows? That may still be the plan, but right now it looks like our first child will be a sweet beautiful baby from Ethiopia. It is difficult to explain how that makes me feel. I am thrilled that God has called us to adoption-we, ourselves are adopted (Ephesians 1:3-6) and it is an honor to be called to adopt orphans-like we once were-into our family. So while I am over the moon to be getting the adoption wheels rolling, my heart is snagged on a tough thought: What if we are never able to have biological children? If I am completely honest, the thought terrifies me. You see, the desire to adopt children and the desire to bear children are equally powerful within my heart. The thought of losing either one fills my heart with more sadness than I can explain. And it is there, in the center of that sadness, that I think God is going to do a mighty work in my heart and in our lives.

It has been my experience, especially lately, that God gets us to the point where we feel like there is no earthly hope, and then He kicks down the door of impossibility and triumphs over it. The incredible part is that the things which seem so impossible to us are a piece of cake for Him. He does not have to figure out a way to solve our problems. He is the solution! This is the God we serve, the God Who is worthy of all our praise. He is sovereign over everything that exists. There is not a drop of rain that falls to the earth without his knowledge and permission. And so, surely, the same God Who manages the winds and the tides and the rotation of the earth, that same God is able (and willing) to manage our tiny little lives.

So it is here that we must walk by faith and not by sight. It is here that when fear and doubt assail us we stand firm, not because we are strong-for, in fact, we are weak vessels-but because we know Whom we serve. I have to realize that it is not about my plans or what I thought would be best. Who am I? Not the Creator of the universe...that's for sure! God's plans are infinitely better than mine. His are perfect; mine are not. When I look back at my life, I am horrified to think what might have happened if we had followed my plan instead of God's.

For this reason only, I am resolving-through MUCH prayer-to move forward, fully trusting in our great God. Unfortunately, resolutions like this are always followed by Satan's attacks, so I know I will need to be prayerful and watchful. My prayer is that God would remind me, remind us, that there is no reason to fear; He already knows exactly how many children we will have, what their names will be, what their personalities will be like. So, hopefully, there will be no more wallowing around covered by a cloud of self-pity for me. Hopefully, prayerfully, God will give me (us) the strength and courage to walk with blind faith, knowing that the One Who is leading me is infinitely and only good.

And so today is a day of celebration for us. We are one step closer to meeting one of our precious children! Praise to the Lord!

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1



Step one! 

A Bit of Background

I suppose the best thing would be for me to start out by explaining why in the world I am taking the time to create a blog. I will be the first to admit that I have been a little blog-judgy in the past. Who has time to write about their lives? Why would anyone want their lives out on display for the whole world to see? Can you hear me scoffing? Well, my sincerest apologies to all of you dedicated bloggers out there. We (Adam and I) have decided to start this online journal detailing our journey through adoption. So, I will begin at the very beginning...a very good place to start. 

Several years ago, three to be exact, Adam and I were sitting in our church in Birmingham, minding our own business, listening to an incredible sermon on the book of Ruth. I have always loved the story of Ruth. There is something about her dedication to Naomi and her absolute trust in God that draws me to her. Ruth walked away from everything she had ever known in order to serve Naomi; she gave up what was comfortable and familiar to look after her mother-in-law, now a widow. Talk about sacrifice. Ruth walked by blind faith, trusting in a God she had not grown up knowing. God asked her to do something that sounds insane to my ears. But she did it, and she grew in her faith because of it. 

In the middle of the sermon, the Lord began to speak to my heart, telling me that at some point in our lives, He wanted us to adopt children into our family, just as He had adopted us into His family. Now, adoption is something I have been interested in since high school, but Adam and I had never talked about it. This is where the story takes a crazy, super-natural turn. Right at that moment, right there in church, my husband turned to look at me and said, "How would you feel about adopting children into our family?" WHAT? Stuff like this does not happen to us very often. Tears...immediate tears. I told Adam that I had just been thinking the same EXACT thing. Oh, God is good. So we talked about it that day-and on a lot of days thereafter. We decided that, yes, God was definitely calling us to adopt. But from where? We felt drawn to China and to Africa, but we knew it was not yet time. Adam was still in PT school at UAB and had about two years left. So we decided to pray about it on a regular basis until we felt like God was telling us to move things forward. It is a strange feeling to pray for your children who are not yet born and will be born on the other side of the world. But God is so good, and He has walked right alongside us through this. 

Now, I am a planner. I am a teacher, so, quite literally, every single day of my life has a plan. So, naturally, I began to plan exactly how our family would look and when everything would happen. And, oh, it was a perfect, problem-free picture! Ha! Silly, silly me. We always thought that we would have some (two, to be precise) biological children and then adopt some (two to be precise) children. Well, life has not gone according to my feeble, human plan. We began the family-starting process in early 2011, thinking, of course, that we would have kids right away. Not in God's divine plan for us. In December of 2011, Adam and I decided that we would pray very intentionally, and if we were still not on the way to having a biological child by March of 2012, then we would begin the adoption process. Well, here we are. Yes, things are not happening in the sequence we planned for, but we know that our God is faithful and all-powerful and that His plans for us are always, always good. For that reason, we are trying to step out in faith and trust that God is Who He says He is and will do what His what His Word says He will do. 

We are both so excited and honored to be called to adoption, and we cannot wait to see what God has in store for our family! 

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves." 
Ephesians 1: 3-6


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