Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Introducing: Bree Anna Hayes

On October 1, 2010, this precious little baby girl entered our family by way of foster care in the home of Lindsey and Walter {my sister and brother-in-law}.

And today, Lindsey and Walter said "YES" to their sweet daughter in front of many family members, the case worker, the attorneys, and the judge.
So, {FINALLY} after One year, One month, and Twenty-Eight Days of having her in their home and hearts, she is theirs FOREVER!!



What an amazing day...Bree is such a blessing to our family!

Another beautiful reminder of why Adoption Rocks! ;)

Aunt Jen loves you, Sweet Bree!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rethinking Black Friday:A Shopping Guide

For the first time since the referral of our sweet boy, I'm going to write about something else.  {Don't worry...he's still on my mind 24 hours a day! ;)}

This week is all about giving thanks, and boy, do we have SO MUCH to be thankful for, but this post isn't about that, either. 

This post is about something else that is on many peoples' minds this week...Black Friday shopping. 

For many years {6, to be exact}, I HATED Black Friday.  In fact, as an employee at Target in Joplin, it was for me the absolute worst day of the year.  I vowed to NEVER shop on Black Friday.  And, I kept that vow for at least a couple of years.  However, I have warmed up to Black Friday and have become quite the shopper on the day after Thankgiving.  In fact, I count it a successful year when I conclude the last Friday of November with all the presents our family will give for Christmas.

This year, though, I have really begun to rethink Black Friday {and Christmas shopping in general}.  One major part of the new line of thinking is making purchases with purpose.  Have you decided the same?  If so, here are a few ideas for your Christmas shopping this year:

1. A Road Home is a blog I've been following since the beginning of our adoption journey.  Erica is doing her 12 days of Christmas again this year, which is basically 12 days of giveaways of awesome products.  I love this, of course, but what I really love is that Erica choses 12 humanitarian aid companies/organizations to spotlight for this event that she does.  Each of these companies are so inspiring and any of them would be great choices for Christmas shopping!
A Road Home
Also, Erica was the one who introduced me to Sseko sandals.  And, speaking of Sseko sandals...

2. Sseko sandals are a total obsession for me.  I basically have one pair of shoes I wear if it is 70+ degrees...my Ssekos!!  I love their products, but I also love their mission and it feels so amazing to advocate for them when people compliment me on my shoes {and they do, despite my imperfect feet!}.  Sseko is running an AMAZING deal for Christmas, so if someone on your list has Ssekos on their list, now's the time to snatch them up! :)
The Stocking Stuffer Package

3.  My friend, Christy Gladheim is a fellow adoptive mama who adopted a precious little boy from Ethiopia through our agency.  She is an amazing woman with a huge heart for orphans and she is a part of an organization called The Perpetual Change.  Each year they have a holiday sale with all sorts of awesome products.  All the products have been donated, so 100% of the profits go to benefit orphan care and adoption assistance programs.  Plus, they have items for every budget...definitely worth checking out! 

4. I read about Adoption Advocates International on an adoption group on facebook.  They sell amazing, authentic African items and the profit goes to advocate for hard-to-place orphans based on one or more criteria {age, location, sibling group status}.  The items are VERY reasonably priced and one cool thing you can do is donate formula to an orphanage from their site.
Wooden Puzzle

5. Toms are pretty popular these days and most people know about their one-for-one campaign.  I usually stay away from things that have so much hype, but I really was touched by a blog post that I read where the family had actually worked a Toms event in NorthEast Africa.  So, I'm sold and I want a pair {I'm really not the last person on the planet that doesn't own a pair, right?!}
Now to choose which ones...

So, there you have it...some ideas of ways that you can make shopping more than just a thing you do for Christmas.  You can make a difference in peoples' lives, too.  I realize this is not a comprehensive list and that some of you probably have some other ideas of how to make a difference for Christmas this year.  Please leave a comment and share your ideas with me!! :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dear Baby Bekele,

Dear Baby Bekele,

As I prepare for bed tonight, it's 10:30 p.m. here, which means it's 7:30 a.m. in Ethiopia, where you lay in your tiny crib on the other side of the globe.  You've probably enjoyed a full night's sleep and I envision you stretching and yawning, fluttering those big beautiful eyelashes as your mezmorizing brown eyes catch the first rays of morning.

And I wonder so much about you, baby. 

I wonder what your day will hold.  Will you be cared for today...fed when your tummy growls, changed when your diaper is full, picked up when you cry?  Will anyone kiss your amazing full lips today or tell you that you're loved?  Will someone stroke your hair or bathe your body?  Will you be held, rocked, nuzzled, spoken to?

I wonder what your personality is like.  Do you coo when you're spoken to?  Are you a serious child or do you smile and entertain {we have yet to receive a smiley picture!}?  Do you cry a lot?  Is it easy to distinguish between your cries when you're hungry, wet, bored, or just generally upset?  Are you a content baby over all?

I wonder how you feel.  Do you feel alone and isolated?  Do you feel loved?  Are you bonding to one particular nanny or are there several nannies you enjoy?  Are the other babies in the orphanage your buddies?  Do you and baby Moses baby talk about your mamas like your mamas constantly talk about you?  Were you sad when Natalie and Caleb and Charlie got to leave with their forever families this week?  Were you confused by the happy tears?  Do you feel the peace that God has given you, allowing you to rest comfortably in His arms while you wait for ours? 

Most of all I wonder if you're ok.  Do you know you have a family waiting for you?  Is there the slightest idea that you have a mommy and a daddy and a brother and a sister and a Nana and a Papa and a Granny and a Poppy and a hundred aunts and uncles and cousins and friends praying you home?  Do you know that you are wanted and longed for in a way that we never realized was possible?  Do you know that WE LOVE YOU more than words can express?

I can't wait to hold you, baby.  To whisper in your sweet ear that we love you so much and that you are so wanted.  To have some of my questions answered and to discover who you are.  To kiss those sweet cheeks and to breathe in your baby smell.  We haven't even met you, baby, and yet, you are already such a part of who we are.  We are praying, praying, praying, sweet boy, for you to get to come home quickly.

And so, as I lay down for bed tonight, I'll close my eyes and dream of your sweet face and all my questions will fade into the distance as I rest knowing that God is in control and is caring for you while I wait for you to be in my arms.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


There are three common questions that people have asked when we've told them our good news:

1. What's his name?
2. How old is he?
3. What's next?

So, this post will answer those questions. :)
Trevor and I looked long at hard at names over the course of our wait list months.  We wanted to give him a name that  ties him to his heritage, yet isn't too difficult to pronounce.  So, our baby's name is {drumroll, please}...


Bekele means "he has become or he has grown".  We will keep at least part of his given name {which we are unable to reveal quite yet} as his middle name, and we plan to call him "Bek".

Bek is
7 1/2 months old 

I'll blog about this later, but we are praying that he'll be home by his 1st birthday this Spring.  It would basically take a miracle for that to happen, but we believe in the God of miracles!! 
Will you please join us?!
Let me just begin this one with a *sigh*.  We are still over-the-moon excited to be at this point in the process, but I would be lying if I said that this next part is going to be easy.
We have officially accepted our referral and our agency received our official acceptance on Thursday.  So, our dossier should be either on the way to Ethiopia or already there.  The paperwork will then be translated and things will be prepared for our court date.
According to our agency, our court date should be 2-3 months from our official date of acceptance, so we should be traveling in January or February.  This trip will be super quick, as in around 5 days from leaving American soil to getting back home.  During the trip, we will be able to be with Bek for about two days and will spend one day at court.
Then, the incredibly hard part...we have to leave our baby boy in Ethiopia and come home to wait indefinitely.  Truly, we have no idea how long we will be home between trips.  Our paperwork says that due to the many changes in Ethiopia adoptions over the last several months, it is not possible to predict how long it will take for the U.S. Embassy to approve our case and give us an appointment to stamp our little man's visa.  This is the point at which we're hoping it will be quick and he'll be home by his birthday!
So, here's where you come in:
Please pray!  Specifically, we'd appreciate prayer for the following:
  • Baby Bek's health and wellbeing for this time we're away from him.
  • The Nannies who are taking care of him day-to-day.
  • Patience for us! :)
  • That all the pieces will fall into place and that Bek is home by his 1st birthday!!

Thank you so much for loving us and for sharing in our excitement.  What a crazy, amazing journey this is! :)



Tuesday, November 15, 2011


November 14th, 2011 was just a Monday...really a bit of a "Manic Monday" if you will {Oo, oo, oo}. 

It started out just like pretty much every morning since December 23rd, 2010 with a faint tummy flutter at the thought...could this be the day we see our next babe's face?  But, like every other day since our "wait listed day", the feeling faded as I kicked off the covers in my not-a-morning-person-thank-you-very-much kind of way and went about our frantic morning routine.  We actually got out of the house pretty early and I was feeling good about how we were starting the day until I walked with Camden into his daycare and noticed that he was the only one not wearing jammies.  So, I left him there and drove like a maniac back home to get his jammies, brought them back to him, dropped Melia off at the back door of her school {since we were too late for me to walk her to class}, parked my van in my school's parking lot, and ran to the front door, narrowly missing stepping on a snake!  Like I said, a bit Manic!

The rest of the morning calmed down a bit and I was just living life as an Intermediate School Counselor with one burning question in the back of my mind...could this be the day we see our next babe's face?  But when 11:00 rolled around, then 12:00, then 1:00 {following an always-eventful hour of lunch duty}, I had pretty much resolved to the fact that it would be at least one more day before we got "the call." 

Around 1:30 or so, a lady I work with {who is a fellow adoptive mama} asked how I was doing and I expressed that I was kinda down...that the adrenaline rush we experienced with the realization that we were #1 for a boy had really subsided and I was just doing "ok".  She gave me some words of encouragement and we parted ways.

At 2:30, I headed down to a 4th grade class to give the "respectful girls respect themselves and each other" talk.  The talk was going really well and we were making some real breakthroughs when I heard it...
"Mrs. Chase, please call the office" and then, even before I'd had a chance, "Mrs. Chase, your husband needs you to call him RIGHT NOW!"  I gasped...I knew the time had finally come...this was the day we would see our next babe's face! 

I ran frantically {in heels!} to my office and grabbed my cell phone.  I had two missed calls...one from a 314 number and the other from Trevor and then I really knew!  I called Trev back and he said the most beautiful words that have ever come out of his mouth {with the exception of "I do", of course! ;)} "We got the call."
I let him in the back door since he had driven over to my school and we ran back to my office where he called Nicky back and put her on speaker phone.

"Are you having a good day?" she asked.  When we replied that we were, she said "Well, I'm about to make it even better!  I have your referral!!"  She proceeded to give us information and I wrote everything down through tears and shaking.  The conversation was quick and we hung up with the promise that an E-mail was on its way.  The E-mail seemed like it took FOREVER, but it was really probably just a couple of minutes.  We called our parents and texted our friends and family while we waited to see his face. 

And then, it happened...we saw our next babe's face!  And it was amazing!  And all the worry, frustration, anxiety, and tears melted away at this one glimpse of our baby boy's face.  We instantly fell in love.  The same way that we fell in love with our other two babies when we saw their sweet faces for the first time.  The feeling that he was ours enveloped our whole beings and we {again} got to experience what I believe Christ must experience when we accept Him and He sees us as His own.  There really are not sufficient words to describe that feeling!

And so, there it is...our referral story.  The longest awaited story I've ever longed to tell.  A story of Christ's grace and sufficiency in the lives of His humble servants.  We are so blessed!

Coming up: What's next?!







Stay tuned! :)


Today Children's Hope International will receive some paperwork from Team Chase that says
to our son!

What an amazing feeling!!

P.S. I promise to give all the details of our Referral Day and What's Next soon {just waiting on info regarding what I can and can't share! :)}.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lucky 13 and the BEST. NUMBER. EVER.

As promised, this week is supposed to be about our adoption {as if I could talk about anything else!}.  But, before I share what's been going on, I want to give you a little glimpse into the beautiful Ozarks in the Fall as viewed from my room this week at the Missouri School Counselor's Association conference. :)

Snapbucket,Original,Filter: Vintage,Frame: Stamp
Isn't it gorgeous?!  Ah, Tan-Tar-A...how I love a little get-away to learn new stuff! :)

OK, now for the main show...

So, on Monday, there was ANOTHER referral in our agency.  This time, it was a 6 1/2 month old boy.  We were ecstatic to realize that this means we've moved up to


However, that excitement quickly turned to crazy, over-the-moon, hyperventilating anticipation after we realized {through a chain of events}, that we are number

for a boy!! 
WE ARE AT THE TOP of our journey to a son!!! 
Basically, if there is any boy under age 3.5 years for our agency to refer, he will be ours!
The only way we would get a girl is if there are 8 girls before there is 1 boy {we're thinking that's not likely} and the only way we'd get siblings is if there are 6 sets of siblings before 1 boy {again, not gonna happen}.

We are all feeling like this 
all. the. time.

We are so close, friends...SO CLOSE!

PLEASE join us in praying that it's soon...I'm not sure how long I can hold my breath like this without passing out!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

TC:4&C Blog Schedule

First of all, thank you, thank you, thank you for your input on our blog poll.  Based on the results and the ideas I've got brewing, here's what I'm thinking:

I am going to loosely schedule my blog each month to reflect the following:

Each weekend, I will pick one picture {or two} and do a Wordless Weekend (I follow several blogs that do this and LOVE it!)
Then, the weeks will be structured with an emphasis as follows:
Week 1: Our Adoption
Week 2: Creative Endeavors
Week 3: A Global Worldview {Reaching the World through Adoption, Missions, and Other Means}
Week 4: Team Chase Miscellaneous {Parenting, Spiritual Discoveries, Recipes, Hobbies}

Please note:
  • This is a LOOSE schedule {which is an accurate reflection of our lives!}.  I am reserving the right to post as many or few times as I have time for each week and will interrupt structure when pressing news occurs. :) 
  • I'm committing to try this for the next eight weeks to see if I like it and if you like it.  I will be asking for input at the end of that time, so be prepared to share!!
  • If you are willing to "guest post" about any of the given topics (particularly if you want me to feature an event or you'd like to share a something during the Global Worldview), PLEASE comment here with your E-mail address, blog address, or any other pertinent information.  I love to feature others and broaden my horizons! :)
Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sweeter than Cotton Candy

...is the fact that this girl is one step closer to being a big sister again!Photobucket

Yep, there was another referral today {second 5 month old baby girl in 5 days!}.

So, for the weekend, we're sitting at number

We are beyond excited!

And, in case you're wondering, the soccer ball is in reference to the soccer game our little family of four went to a couple of weekends ago {where the kids had cotton candy for the first time}.

Have a happy weekend!


My parents went to my "Big Uncle Charles'" Southern-plantation-turned-ministry-retreat earlier this week and brought home 50 pounds of pecans (not sure if that was an exaggeration or a real weight!).  So, I am about to be blessed with lots of pecans.

Because I am inept in the kitchen, I need your

Please comment with your best, easiest, yummiest recipes for pecans! :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Welcome Back, Butterflies!

Have you ever had butterflies in your stomach?

You know the kind...sometimes it's from nerves, sometimes from excitement...

{For those of you who have had a baby, sometimes it's the first little flutter of movement.}

 When we changed our preference WAY back in March, the stomach butterflies began.  EVERY. DAY.  Every time my phone rang, I lept to see if it was CHI, calling us with our referral. 
{Somehow I was convinced that it would be any time since we were open to a child up to age 3 years.}

And then...the lull. 
The butterflies left my stomach.  I'm not sure how or when it happened...maybe all at once
maybe like the monarch migration in the Fall, the leader of the butterfly kaleidoscope headed out and slowly, the rest followed.

 However it happened, it happened.  Though I remained hopeful, the excitement had faded.

I am happy to report that the butterflies have returned...the excitement is back.
It's a good feeling.

P.S. Please take our poll on the sidebar to let me know what you like to read on our blog! :)