It Hasn’t Been Easy {Hosting/Adoption Update}

Hey friends!

I sneaked (snuck?  I think it is “sneaked” but “snuck” sounds so much better) out of the house early this beautiful Saturday morning to get some work done on my computer.  Having all of the kiddos home on summer break makes blogging very difficult.  And then add on top of that, the fact that we are hosting our little girl, went to the Haven Conference, and exciting stuff going on with Jonathan….this momma is hanging on by a thread!  

Okay, maybe I am being a little dramatic.  

I’ve been know to do that a time or two.  {wink}

But it has been a very busy, exciting, and exhausting summer. Praise the Lord that I have had amazing blog friends guest post for me this summer or my blog would probably be completely silent.  crickets.

I wanted to give you an update on how our hosting is going! 

IMG_6086It has been wonderful and tiring and amazing and exhausting and fun and stressful and joyful and just plain hard at times.  Actually, it has been a lot like having a new born baby! :)

It hasn’t been easy.

I was talking to my blog friend, Beth, at the Haven Conference, and we were talking about how many times adoption looks super wonderful and almost like a fairy tale online.  I have read so many other bloggers and friends’ online adoption stories.  I have cried with joy at their “gotcha” videos, and have smiled ear to ear at all of the precious pictures of their new little ones’ faces.

But the truth is, adoption is hard.   It isn’t a fairy tale.  

We have not adopted our precious little girl, but we are in the process.  She is an orphan.  She has had a rough start in life, and she  has needs and challenges that my boys will never have.  She acts out in ways that make it really hard on our family, but I don’t blame her.  I would probably act the same way if I had been given the start to life that she was given. 

I actually see her as brave and strong and amazing!  I love her strong will and her determined spirit!


When talking to Beth, I started thinking that maybe our online story sounds like a fairy tale?…. 

“Blogger Mom of four boys hosts beautiful little orphan girl for the summer,

gets to shop in the girly sections and buy lots of PINK, 

and it’s nothing but smiles and holding hands!”



I know that all of you realize that I am not able to share everything about our little girl online.  I can’t share her “story.”  I’m not going to air out her “issues” here in this space.  It would’t be fair to her.  

But I do want to be real with you and let you know that it hasn’t been a fairy tale.  There are have been tears and hard times throughout the past four weeks.  Yet those tears have taken us deeply into places where we have been stretched and challenged to see God’s hand in all of this.  Our hearts have been emotionally worn out, but in some weird way, it has felt wonderful.


Many sacrifices have been made to have this little girl in our home this summer, especially by my boys.  They have had to “share” their parents and be very patient with her.  Sometimes I have worried about that, but in the end, I think it will make my boys even more amazing young men.  :)  It is my desire for them to understand that life is not all about them.   Most of the time, life is about others.  It is about sacrifices.  I want my boys to have hearts that put others above themselves.  Eyes that look past others’ flaws to see into their hearts.





It has definitely been an adjustment to have this sweet little girl in our home, but we all feel it has been worth it.  I am so proud at how sweet and patient my boys have been with her. 

She only has one more week with us before she has to fly back home.   Please pray for our hearts.  The boys are already upset about it, and we can’t even talk about it without tearing up.  We have made some very special memories together this summer!


I am going to put together a little photo album for her of pictures from this summer so she can take it home with her.  It is our prayer that Cy and I will fly over to get her this fall.  We are hoping it goes by as quickly as possible because we already cannot imagine life without her!  Please pray that the paperwork and all of the “legal stuff” goes smoothly and quickly. 

We have no guarantees that this will all work out as we hope, but we are trusting God through it all.  

Thank you for letting me share this journey with you!  I love you ALL!!





  1. God bless your family Tracey! Praying for you all that your adoption journey goes smoothly and quickly.

  2. God bless you and your family. I don’t “know” you or your boys or your precious girl. I don’t know how I came across you out here is cyber space, but I’m grateful to have found you and your tender heart. From seeing your beautiful family at the airport four weeks ago, I have prayed for you. About two weeks ago I began to worry. I knew you were coming up on the ‘going over the hump’ of the time you had your sweet little girl with you and I began to ache for the day when she leaves for home. I know you and your family have brought so much joy to her little world, and she to yours, and I pray that I would have the strength and courage to do what you have done. I will continue to remember each of you in my prayers. Your boys certainly are special and I see great things on their future. Thank you for making our world a better place.

  3. I pray that you will feel God’s presence thru the ups and downs of these next several months. God is in control!

  4. I am sure it isn’t easy. God is with all of you. He will give you the guidance you need and show you the way and carry you through the challenges. Hang in there! It will be tough when she leaves next week. But He will continue His blessings upon you. She will be back soon to be a part of your family forever.

  5. Traci – I am praying for you during this process. I too have read so MANY stories that make it all look so easy and wonderful. No one ever discusses the heartache of the setbacks or failed adoption process. We have been there and without going into a lot of detail, after going thru multiple home studies and opening up every inch of our personal lives and the things we have overcome in our personal lives and marriage to a case worker and an agency, we were rejected. I can’t even describe the pain. We eventually fell out of place with friends our age because we did not have the same experiences because of not having children. Oh, and baby showers for your friends and family? YEAH, that was excruciating. One of the hardest parts was not being able to or feel like you could tell why you were rejected. We finally just came up with the line that “its not easy and it didn’t work out for us” and we left it at that. We refused to give the details, we needed our wounds to heal and not having to relive the rejection over and over. Our personal lives and mess was ours and It was hard not to place blame and hard to understand why – even to this day 15 years later. Yep, God is in control. Do I understand why he closed the door for us, Nope, never will here on earth. It has been hard to keep trusting HIM at times- unanswered prayers. But there are times, that I do believe HE has made it very clear that it would have been tough – health scares, care of elderly parents etc.

    I will be praying for you and Cy and the boys during the next few months and pray that you will have peace, I will also be praying for this little girl as she travels back. You have made a difference in her life already. Thank you for your post today and opening up your heart.

    Much Love to you,
    Marilyn C.

  6. Praying for you all Traci. My eyes filled with tears just reading your post. I can only imagine what you all are going through. My cousin adopted 2 girls from China… It’s not easy, that’s for sure. But I know our Lord is faithful and “if HE brought you to it, HE will get you through it”! I’m so glad you all are trusting in our Savior. So proud of your boys too!! Blessings to you all!

  7. Thank you for sharing the journey with us. Each day when I pull up your blog, I’m hoping there will be some news of your adventures together. I appreciate your candor, and your heart for this special child. I’m praying for you! xox

  8. My husband was adopted at the age of 5. His life story is one that brings God glory and is quite powerful. This little one’s life can be the same. Email me personally if you’d like to hear what it can mean for the one adopted who remembers many unpleasant memories but who can now rejoice how God intervened to mend and heal his attitude towards his birth mother. Only God Almighty can orchestrate such an event.

  9. Having been a foster care/adoptive caseworker I know your challenges are hard but to be expected. Your family is full of love and God’s blessings and He will guide you.

  10. God bless and keep you&Cy and your many loving efforts. Praying with you for speedy procedures until you all hold this little one in your arms again.

  11. Traci, We have walked the adoption walk. You are right, it is difficult. It is not a fairy tale as many tend to think. It’s work, but it’s the work of the disciple we are all called to do. Our two beauties came to live with us when they were 2 and 3. Can you imagine two at once? What on Earth was the Holy Spirit thinking when he laid this on our hearts? Time flies by ~ now 17 & 18 ~ I can honestly say things will get easier. Praying for your beautiful family. Lisa

  12. You are more amazing than you could ever realize! Sending prayers and good vibes your way. You rock!

  13. Hang in there Traci! We adopted both of our daughters and you are right, there are definitely parts of the process that are difficult. Adoption is like childbirth in the sense that in very short time one forgets all of the temporary pain and becomes overwhelmed with the love and joy that children bring to our lives.

  14. Letting go of her, even for a short while, is going to be so difficult for all of you. My prayer is that the adoption process is completed quickly and that in a few short weeks she will be your “forever” daughter and sister. I admire you for moving ahead even though there have been difficulties with her adjustment. She is so blessed to have you, Cy and the boys in her life and you are blessed to have this opportunity to bring her into your family. God speed! She is a little beauty and I can’t wait to see “real” photos of her!

  15. A close childhood friend adopted a few years ago and shared her journey on-line and it had a bazillion bumps and heartaches! Like you, they held on to the blessings and the love and what the spirit put in their hearts. Their first few years were so “real”. I especially remember their trips to the dentist being beyond anything I could imagine and it broke my heart to imagine why a child so small would be so afraid of a dentist when supposedly they had had no previous dental care. Continued prayers for ya!

  16. I found your blog when I saw a friend of mine had pinned a picture of yours that showed a 40390 pillow. Since that is the zip code of my hometown, I had to check it out! I have enjoyed reading your blog and am so glad to see your are in the process of adopting. I am an adoptive mom as well. I will be praying for your hearts and that things go smoothly so that you can have her home permanently soon. Thanks for sharing!

  17. I am not a very religious person (though I believe in God), but I admire your attitude and your devotion to life and the people you love around you!
    I wish you all the best for your adoption process and lots of strength to overcome the challenges ahead. With your way of dealing with your life and the amount of love you are able to generate and pour out, I am sure you will do just fine! You show me every day how to work hard to become a better person. Thanks for sharing this so private matter!

  18. I love you sweet friend. Praying for you and miss you fiercely! It was a blessing to be able to meet your girl and to share our hearts in persons once again! Once a year just isn’t enough.

  19. My grandmother adopted 2 little girls as a single women over 100 years ago. I envy her strength. I couldn’t imagine all that she went through to become a parent in that day and age. Parenthood always has it’s challenges and with those challenges comes blessings. Hope your adoption journey moves quickly to family. There will be bumps but blessings beyond belief.

  20. Thanks for sharing Traci. I’m sure it has to be an emotional roller coaster when you have a child that has gone through so much at such an early age. But you’re right – I think there are some great life lessons to be had in the process. What a sweet family you have!

  21. We are in the process of adopting as well and I will be praying for all of you. I simply cannot imagine this not going through and not having my daughter. She has completed our family and made us whole and, for sure, a part will be missing if this does not work out. But God has plans that we may never comprehend and although trusting Him is hard in these circumstances, it is ALWAYS worth it!!

  22. Praying for your family! I see such beauty and grace in opening your home. Offering a home to a beautiful girl who suprisingly looks like one of your own is truly a placement by God. May all the daily graces you need be showered on your family.

  23. It’s not all easy; there are so many trying moments that bio families don’t go through, times when you question if an issue is an “adoption thing”, but the love our families have is worth every tear. God bless.

    Mom to two incredible boys from Kazakhstan

  24. God bless you and your family! As an adoptive mother of two, the adoption process is far from a fairytale, but so worth the ups and downs. Praying for allo f you that your adoption journey goes smoothly and quickly.

  25. The head on the shoulder picture got me instantly, that thru all the ups and downs over the past couple of weeks, she feels loved. I will pray that all goes well with the paperwork and that the adoption goes thru quickly so that this little girl can come back to your family. May the grace of God go with her knowing that your family is praying for this to be so.

  26. Adoption isn’t easy, but so worth it. We adopted our 2 daughters from Russia 19 years ago, then aged 5 and 7. One is now married. But every now and again, their negative start in life shows up in little things. It’s been a tough road at times, lots of tears like you. But never have i ever regretted it. The social worker asked at the time why did we want to adopt. My answer. Because it makes us a family, and because it gives a future. That future was so present the day my daughter got married this year.

    Best wishes

  27. When I was teaching I saw families struggling with their adopted children. As a teacher I struggled with them too. I felt like they were always testing me to see if I would still love them if they misbehaved this way or that. Those kids stole my heart! They stand out the most in my memory & my prayers. I can’t imagine how hard it will be to say goodbye.

  28. prayers and God bless you and your family and all the paperwork and other challenges connected with this beautiful journey.

  29. Traci, I have been in your shoes and know the fears and hopes that come with adopting an older child. We adopted our now 21 year old son when he was 9 years old. We adopted him through a program similar to what your family is doing. He came to live with us for about a month in the summer and then had to return to Russia. I remember being mentally and physically exhausted. About 6 months later, we flew there, went through the court adoption and brought him home to live with us. There have been many joyous times, but also many stressful times. He has had to have a lot counseling, and we have too, to learn to relate to him and know the best way to handle his past. He works a full time job now and lives out on his own in the same town we live in. He’s a very sweet child, and we know that if we had not adopted him, his mostly likely would have had a very tough future. We feel like with time and maturity, he will better deal with his past. When we were struggling with the decision of whether to adopt him, I was driving down the highway, and passed a billboard that said “If God Brought You To It, He’ll Get You Through It”. That was very comforting to me. One thing that has helped us so much is that we have a great support group of other families that adopted the same time we did. Thanks for being honest and sharing your struggles. Best wishes to your family on a smooth transition!

  30. My parents adopted 2 little girls from Russia after I got married. They have been blessings to our family and also have brought some of the biggest challenges in my parent’s lives. My mom has not got them the professional help they have needed as she feels love heals all. Unfortunately, the trauma they experienced and their “RAD” requires not only unconditional love but also professional help… ongoing. It’s been hard because my mom likes to be in denial and my dad likes to be naive and neither take advice from us. My oldest sister who has now been with us for 12 years is now addicted to drugs, alcohol and lives with boyfriends (changes boys monthly). It’s painful.
    Anyway, the reason I tell you these stories is that if/when your adoption goes through ( God willing) PLEASE get her the ongoing psychiatric help she needs. The trauma is unreal for these orphans and they can’t work through all the emotions without help. I know there are many who succeed and I can see you being a success story because of the love & patience you have. BLESSINGS TO YOU ALL! God will bless you for your willingness to do His will.

    1. Good advice! Having seen it so many times in my former jobs, I agree with you totally. Prayer and love go a long way but professional help is needed also.

    2. Robin, thanks so much for sharing your story and the advice. I love hearing what’s been best for each adoption family and learning a little from each.

  31. Traci~ I’ve enjoyed reading all about your whole process of bringing this sweet little girl into your family. I’ve followed your blog for many years and when you first wrote about your (God’s) plan to adopt, I prayed for you and your family and this sweet addition. I’m the mother of four biological boys. When we thought we were done, God had a different plan. He put it in our hearts to adopt two little girls from Kazakhstan. You can read all about it here We’ve had the girls for ten years now and the memories and trials have been numerous. We know God has a plan for each person in my family. I have seen a tender side to my boys I would have never seen if we hadn’t adopted the girls. But the difficulties have also touched the boys’ hearts. Every day we rely on God for wisdom to handle every wonderful and exhausting moment!! I’ll be praying for you that you become even closer to God through everything!! Love, Linda

  32. Thank you so much for sharing Tracy. I couldn’t help but cry while reading this. I know you have an amazing heart for the Lord and I clearly heard it loud and clear while reading! I will be praying for you and your family! What a lucky little girl!! 😘😘

  33. I too was touched by the picture where she fell asleep and leaned on your son. Can you imagine how hard it must be for her to let her guard down and learn to trust? I pray that the adoption goes smoothly and that she can learn how special a family can be and that you all and God really do love her. And I second the counseling. I had a rough childhood and it has helped me tremendously.

  34. Bless you and your family. I’m sure it’s not easy to do what you are doing. Thank goodness there are people in this world like you and your family. You are awesome.

  35. My heart aches just thinking about this being y’alls last week together (for a while.)

    She is such a beautiful little girl and I bet she has felt more loved and at home in these past four weeks than she ever has.

    I do pray that she will be back home with y’all soon!

    And, I love you, too!!!

  36. This brought me to tears! Thank you SO much for your honesty. She is a beautiful girl and you are a champion momma. I can only pray that I will be as top notch as you when I parent my own littles. <3

  37. Thanks so much for the update. You’ve been in my prayers this summer. As a mom of three boys (who are now grown) I think I was one who was seeing the little girl fairy tale. Thank you for being real. God is growing you all through this. I’ll be praying for you this coming week and that you will be reunited with your little girl soon!

  38. My heart goes out to you! I’ve had 3 exchange students and I can share a little about what is going on. The difference is that all of my exchange students spoke english. We still had adjustments but we loved every moment of it, so please just enjoy her finial days. God Bless you and your family. <3

  39. I’m a mother of 5 (4 international) adopted children. Adoption is not for the faint of heart but oh so worth the trials and tribulations. Hang in there. God is blessing your family!

  40. Wow. I saw a sideboard on Pinterest I liked and it led me to your blog. I have been reading your hosting story and crying.
    What a touching and uplifting story.

    Johannesburg, South Africa

  41. My husband and I have adopted twice. I know every feeling you are having all too well. I hope your story has the happy ending ours did. God bless you all.

  42. Tracy,
    I have no clue what you are going through!
    I pray by now it is over and she is family.
    You and your family sound incredible, I know it will be O.K. When a child feels loved and secure, it gets better every single minute. She may have PTSD and that is why things get trying at time. I can tell you and your family already do, but at those really rough times is when she needs the most love and understanding, but at the same time, clear and understandable rules and guidance.
    She needs to know there will be boundaries, she will make mistakes BUT you and your family will love her, accept her, treasure her and not throw her away.
    I applaud you and your family for your selflessness and hearts, you are an incredible role model, thank you, love Sheila

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