Tag Archives: braces

Brace Face #5



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This week Brandon joined the ranks of brace-faced kiddos at Patchwork Farm. For the next two years he will wear his orthodontic grill with pride as it moves and molds his smile into the grin of his dreams.

When Brandon moved in two months ago one of our first appointments was to the orthodontist to have him evaluated for braces. The orthodontist confirmed what we already suspected, that Brandon’s bite needed some major adjustment, so plans were made to add him to the ranks of past and present McCleery “Brace Faces.”

Grace and Rusty both needed braces and received orthodontic care through Gulland Orthodontics.

In the last 6 months, Tyler and Ozzie both began their orthodontic care at Spokane Orthodontics, an orthodontist 40 minutes closer to home who also accepts their insurance.

It was at Spokane Orthodontics that Brandon was evaluated for orthodontic care and found to be in need of braces.

Last Wednesday was the big day and he was very excited!


Brandon is self conscious about his smile and was thrilled to find out he was approved for braces. His appointment was scheduled for Halloween. We arrived at the office at 8:00am for his appointment and for the next two hours his teeth were cleaned, dried, glued, and wired until I was called back to see the finished product and we received instructions about the care and cleaning of braces.

Luckily, I am an old hat at the braces thing, having parented 4 other children through the unique dietary restrictions and hygienic care of brushing, flossing and caring for teeth shrouded in metal…

Despite having never worn braces myself.

Brandon was eager to show off his new smile.

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After his appointment, but before returning him back to school, we made a quick stop at the grocery store for soft foods and pain killers. I’ve learned that the days following the application of braces are painful ones and chewing is near impossible, so we loaded up on soups, mashed potatoes, smoothie ingredients and ice cream, and then made sure he had Advil in his system before I took him back to school.

By the time he arrived back home he was hurting but managed to rally enough to enjoy our Halloween festivities,


And he even faced the candy restrictions (that come with braces) with happy acceptance. As the kids dumped their candy and began the beloved tradition of sorting and divvying up the Halloween treats collected during trick-or-treating, Brandon, Tyler and Ozzie laid claimed on the chocolate treats that were braces-friendly.

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It was a monumental day for our newest addition…

His first Halloween at Patchwork Farm AND braces.

It was an October 31st for the memory books!

Brace Face #4


On Monday our day began with an early morning orthodontist appointment. Ozzie was the next in line for braces. Like Tyler, he will be a patient of Dr. Spokane, due in part to the closer proximity and thus greater convenience  than our beloved Dr. Gulland who was the orthodontist to Grace and Rusty, but mostly because Tyler and Ozzie’s insurance is accepted at Dr. Spokane’s.

Ozzie approached this pending appointment with the typical mix of excitement and anxiety with anxiety winning out as the stronger of the two emotions. He was nervous that the procedure would hurt or something would go terribly wrong resulting in the accidental loss of some of his teeth. Speaking to his siblings who had experienced braces and lived to tell the tale with no major dental calamities, lightened his worries a bit.

The part he was most excited about was the acquisition of the office t-shirt and the resulting monetary rewards that come from wearing it to office visits.


He was also excited about getting to pick the colors that would go on his brackets and decided before arriving that his first decorative color scheme as a new orthodontic patient would be purple and pink. He felt they were good summer colors.


We arrived and they took him back to begin the 90 minute appointment while I filled out paperwork and waited to be called in for my website tutorial.

Dr. Spokane’s office relies heavily on its online portal for communication and appointment management. One of the gals walked me through logging into the patient portal and navigating the site. From the portal we can confirm appointments, look at the boy’s before and after x-rays and photos, and watch his reward account grow with points earned through good brushing, good grades, on time appointments, etc.

Ozzie was excited to hear about their reward system which allows their patients to earn gift cards to 100 different stores through positive orthodontic (and life) choices.

After my tutorial I returned to the waiting room to wait for Ozzie’s big reveal. I was soon called back to see Ozzie’s new brace-face as they went over the rules and guidelines of orthodontic care. Ozzie was taught how to brush with braces and was given his list of restricted foods. We were soon sent out the door with instructions to get ibuprofen in him as soon as possible and stick to soft foods until the initial pain, that accompanies new braces, passes.

It was a big day for Ozzie. He left Dr. Spokane’s office excited to show off his new grin to the other kids.


We made sure to keep on top of his pain meds all day because he had an evening of fun ahead of him. All of our recent visits with Tyler’s biological brother, Brandon, has left Ozzie missing his biological sister so we made plans for a get-together. I let Ozzie plan the evening and he threw himself into the planning whole heartedly. He decided he wanted to take his sister to our local fireman’s fair to ride rides together. His plan was to begin their get-together with dinner at Brighton Hot Dog Shop. He loves the hot dog shop and wanted to share the place with his sis in case she had never had the pleasure of dining at one of their locations before.


The kids filled up on hot dogs and fries before heading to the fair.

(Not the best planning on my part!)


Carnival rides tend to only spin in circles…a bad motion following a hot dog dinner.


Ozzie approached the first ride with unbridled enthusiasm but after a few rides was looking a little green and opted to watch his sister ride while his stomach settled.



Eventually he recovered enough to give it another go and spent the remainder of the evening soaring and spinning with his sister.


It was a monumental day for Mr. Brace Face, the great and powerful OZ!

Brace Face #3


Well it is official, we are on to our third child in braces.

This time it was Tyler’s turn.

When we adopted Tyler I was tempted to check out his bite, much like an old time horse trader. Having just stepped into the world of orthodontics with Grace I knew how expensive a cute but crooked smile at age 6 could end up costing at age 12, but despite the potential orthodontics seen in the tarot cards we took the plunge, fully and completely smitten with that little man and his crooked smile.  😉

Tyler, now down to two baby teeth left in his mouth, was ready for an evaluation at the orthodontist office, and while Dr. Gulland has been our go-to orthodontist in the past we found ourselves in a different situation with Ozzie and Tyler because their health insurance (the health insurance they brought with them as previous foster children) does cover the cost of braces, but only through certain orthodontist offices. This gave us the financial incentive to consider someone other than Dr. Gulland for the boys’ orthodontic needs. I hated to say good-bye to the incredible staff at Dr. G’s office but couldn’t justify staying, simply out of loyalty, at a cost of $6000 per kid.

Luckily one of the approved providers on the list was Dr. Spokane, an orthodontist just minutes from our house. Two months ago we made our first visit to his office and found the 8 minute drive far more convenient than the 45 minutes we drove to our Dr. G appointments in Hermitage.

That appointment confirmed all that our dentist had been saying. Tyler, indeed, was a candidate for braces. In fact they deemed it medically necessary due to two impacted adult upper canine teeth that are turned sideways and unable to come down on their own.

tyler braces

Once the treatment plan was sent to the insurance company and approved we scheduled Tyler’s appointment to become Brace Face #3 at Patchwork Farm.


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The “Before” picture

Yesterday we arrived at his appointment at 11:15 am. He was excited and a bit nervous as we waited for him to be called back. The days leading up to the appointment were filled with inquiries as he peppered Grace and Rusty (the braces experts at our house) with questions about what life would be like as a “brace face.”

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He was then called back and while I waited a staff member went over all the information I needed to know as a Spokane family. She walked me through the appointment reminder system, showed me how to navigate the website, and explained the reward system they use with patients that allows the kids to earn gift cards by making good decisions during their orthodontic journey. Much like Dr. G’s office, they are rewarded for things like good oral hygiene, arriving on time for appointments, and wearing their Spokane t-shirt. They also are offered other fun incentives to earn points that collect and can be cashed in for gift cards to places like Amazon.

I was soon called back to check out Tyler’s new smile and boy was he cute!

The staff member then went over the guidelines and directions for braces care with Tyler and I and gave him his kit of supplies that held things like braces floss and wax to place on the metal where it rubs in his mouth.

We left with our next appointment scheduled for 6 weeks out, when Tyler will return for his second appointment, and Ozzie will be seen for the first time for his initial evaluation.

When we left Tyler was feeling great. The doctor encouraged us to grab some lunch right away before Tyler’s mouth started hurting and to get some pain medication in him at the same time.

As we drove home Tyler kept admiring himself in the mirror, loving his new colorful smile. (He chose red and white bands.) He informed me that he now matched his buddy Carter and that his other buddy, Jonathan, would be getting braces soon as well.

“And then we will all be Braces Bros,” he declared with a grin.

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The “After” picture

By nighttime he was feeling the effect of having a mouth full of metal pulling on his teeth. Dinner consisted of a milkshake, as chewing was too painful. Grace and Rusty were helpful and encouraging as they explained that the pain and drooling would be short lived and in a few days his mouth would get used to the braces. After a second dose of pain meds he was able to finally fall asleep.


Another monumental day at Patchwork Farm packaged in pain and drool!


You’re never fully dressed without a SMILE


Thursday was a BIG day at Patchwork farm. It was a day filled with so much to report that I must break our day into three posts. The first big event of the day revolved around Rusty.

It was Molly’s 16th birthday, and much was planned for her special day, but before we could begin celebrating the birthday girl we first had an appointment to keep…

With Dr. G, our well loved orthodontist.

After two years of being a “brace face” Rusty’s pearly whites were being set free from their metal shackles, and it was time to see what our big bucks paid for.

It was an early morning appointment. His appointment was at 8:10 but we had to leave by 7:10. Before leaving we gave him his “Your braces are finally off” gift, a basket filled with sticky, chewy candy and gum that he has had to abstain from for the last two years, as well as a new toothbrush and floss to go with all those sugary treats. 🙂

He put on his Dr.G shirt, gathered two years worth of Chuck Bucks, and we drove to our appointment. I knew he was facing the removal of his braces with mixed emotions. He was excited to have the braces removed but a bit nervous about the actual procedure to remove the brackets.

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When we arrived Rusty checked in and was quickly whisked back to a chair to begin his transformation.

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Soon I was called back for the reveal and to go over follow-up instructions and retainer care.

I couldn’t believe how his looked had transformed. He looked so different from the 12 year old he was when the braces went on, not to mention the transformation from thirty minutes earlier as my son with braces.

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Rusty age 12.


Dr. G, you do beautiful work!

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Then Rusty was given a treat bag and allowed to fill it with previously “forbidden” candies the staff had laid out in buckets by the front desk for the patients that were having their braces removed that day.

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Then it was time for Rusty to cash in his Chuck Bucks.

Chuck Bucks are:

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Rather than spend his Chuck Bucks on smaller prizes Rusty decided to save his up for the last two years. He had 100 bucks to spend and he knew just what he was going to cash them in for…

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A $25.00 ITunes gift card.

He has been wanting the Walt Disney World Official Album  (a soundtrack to all the music that plays on the various rides at Disney World- Rusty’s favorite place on earth!) for months now and just needed the funds to purchase it. His Chuck Bucks made the purchase possible and he was thrilled!

After we were done at the orthodontist’s office we headed to the grocery store for some post-braces purchases. I asked Rusty a few weeks ago what foods he has missed eating most since he has been in braces. He told me the top three foods he missed were:

Eating apples (uncut), corn on the cob, and popcorn.

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So we picked up those three items for his celebration lunch.

Then it was home to show off his new smile to the other kids.

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Lookin’ good, Russ!

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Showing off his new retainers 🙂

Managing blessings


There are two teams of players in the game of life…the “glass half fulls” and the “glass half empties”. Some people fall naturally and easily into one position or the other. Many however find that their place on the sidelines depends on more factors than simply what fate has dished out. While I would consider myself a glass half full person by nature there are certain trends I have noticed in my day that quickly change my outlook from positive to negative. Things like fatigue, stress, worry and fear are all triggers that can alter my glass half full outlook to viewing my glass as practically empty. It is during those emotionally vulnerable moments that I forget the truth, that I lose sight of each blessing and only see the struggle of that moment. I focus on the hardship instead of all the goodness. I hear only the thunder and lose sight of each blessed drop of life-sustaining rain. It is easy to get in habit of resenting the very gifts that God has blessed us with. This week I have found myself struggling with seeing life through half empty glasses. I have struggled with frustration, fatigue, self-doubt and dread. I know how easy it is to quickly spiral out of control once I start down that road so I have made a valiant effort to refocus on the blessings. This isn’t always easy in the midst of the storm. When lighting is flashing and thunder is crashing it can be hard to count the raindrops… but we must count them, one by one, because that is how we see them.


When I’m focused on the task of washing a mound of dirty dishes when all I want to do is go to bed…I count the blessing of having the food to eat that dirtied those dishes.

When I am focused on the frustration of having to deal with yet another temper tantrum…I count the blessing of being able to adopt these two precious souls into our forever family.

When I am focused on the bills that need paid…I count the blessings of having reliable electricity and a working phone to keep in touch with those I love.

When I am focused on the bowl of cereal that was spilled on the rug…I count the blessing of a working washer and dryer in my own home.

When I’m focused on the frustration of teaching  phonics to a seven-year-old who would rather be anywhere else doing anything else I count the blessing of being able to home school my children and spend my days with the people I love most.

When I am focused on the fullness of my calendar, all that is looming, all that needs done…I count the blessing of a full life because although my days are busy they are busy with wonderful things. Each appointment is the manifestation of the very blessings we enjoy.

One author expressed it eloquently when they said:

“Most of our problems are simply aggravations that come with managing so many blessings.”

There are so many blessings.

Wednesday was my Dad’s surgery. I drove out to Ohio to be with my parents. He checked in at 6:00 am. The surgery began at 8:00 am. For four hours we waited in the waiting room praying for a good report from the doctor. At noon we were called back to meet with the doctor while my Dad was taken to recovery to wake up from the anesthesia. The doctor was pleased with how it went. The cancerous mass was larger than expected and as a result the doctor took his time to slowly scrape and remove all the cancerous cells that he could. He is cautiously optimistic that he got them all. Tissue samples were removed during surgery and were sent to pathology. We will receive news from pathology next week. Finally around 3:00pm we were able to see my Dad. It was difficult seeing my strong, healthy father looking weak and in pain. As the anesthesia wore off he became more alert and had better color but we could tell that he just wanted to go to sleep. My mom and I left him to rest while we went home to take care of the barn chores. We returned in the evening to visit for a bit before we said our good-nights. He has a long road ahead of him as he heals but the surgery itself could not have gone any better. This was one of those glass half full or glass half empty days. We could focus on the fear, the unjustness of a 58-year-old man battling a very aggressive form of prostate cancer, the frustrations and fatigue OR we could count the blessings as they dropped from Heaven..

The blessings of:

A day of uninterrupted Mommy/daughter visiting in the waiting room,

The affordability and deliciousness of hospital food 🙂

The diligence of a doctor that was determined to do it right the first time,

The blessing of Wooster Community Hospital having the technology of robots to do the precision work needed,

The gift of a husband who would take off work and be Mr. Mom so that I could be with my parents,

The many prayers being said on our behalf,

The wonderful staff…desk clerks, anesthesiologists, lab technicians, cafeteria workers, gift shop volunteers and nurses who all blessed us with smiles, laughter and peace of mind as we waited for news.

The  Nurse Bait we used to thank all the wonderful staff that came and went from my Dad's room all day long.

The Nurse Bait we used to thank all the wonderful staff that came and went from my Dad’s room all day long.

It was a long day, a hard day, an emotional day, but also a blessed day.

While I was with my parents Toby stayed home with the kids and took on the daunting list of errands, appointments and school work that were scheduled for that day. The big appointment of the day was Rusty’s appointment to get braces on. I felt bad that I couldn’t be with Russ for his big day but Toby shined as “Father of the Year.” He even thought to bring Gracie’s camera so that he could share the day with me. Isn’t he wonderful?!

Rusty "before."

Rusty “before.”

Assume the position..

Assume the position..

Dr. G putting the braces on.

Dr. G putting the braces on.

Braces installed!

Braces installed!

Rusty's new brace face :)

Rusty’s new brace face 🙂

When life gets hard or busy or overwhelming we just need to remember that we are… managing blessings.

Don’t believe me?

Just start counting!

“The rhythm of motherhood will always be set to a slightly chaotic beat. I can be rattled to the core by the unpredictability of it all. Or I can choose to laugh, dance, and remember that I am managing blessings.” – Lysa Terkeurst


Grace is no longer “Brace Face”



It has been a long road…about a year longer than expected due to some stubborn 12 year molars that waited until Grace was 15 to make their appearance but the day has finally come…

Grace is no longer Miss Brace Face.

Wednesday night Miss Grace was dealing with mixed emotions as she prepared for bed. As excited as she was to have the braces off she was feeling a bit sad and scared. It wasn’t the process of having them removed that upset her, or fears that she wouldn’t like the result.. she just felt like she was saying goodbye to a part of herself. They were such a big part of her look for so long that she just couldn’t imagine not seeing them when she looked into the mirror.

I understood what she was saying. The day before she had her braces put on I felt the same way. I didn’t want her to lose her “Gracie” look and I was afraid that by altering her smile we would lose the look God gave to her. It sounds so silly but I could understand what she was saying. Her is Miss Gracie’s initial intake photos at Dr. G’s office.

Gracie's intake photos at Dr. Gulland's office. She looks so little.

Gracie’s intake photos at Dr. Gulland’s office. She looks so little.

The next morning Grace woke up more excited and less unsure. We dropped off Ozzie at school and headed to the orthodontist. There was time for a quick “before photo” before Grace was called back.  We waited in the waiting room for 1 1/2 hours as Gracie had her braces removed and was fitted for a retainer. I was called back to meet with Dr. G and go over instructions and follow-up care. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the end result of three years of work. What a beautiful smile! After we received the information we needed we headed back into the waiting room where Molly had a gift to give Grace that she bought a few weeks ago. Knowing how much Grace has missed chewing gum Molly bought her a pack of her favorite flavor.


After her appointment we made one more stop before we had to drive home for piano lessons. When I asked Gracie what foods she missed most while having braces she said, “corn ON the cob, salt water taffy and caramels.” Since we are in the wrong season for good corn on the cob we stopped at the candy store for a bag of caramels. Gracie ate one as soon as we got back to the car and declared it the best thing she has ever eaten.



After piano lessons we left to pick up Ozzie and head to Rusty’s Taekwondo lessons. Molly and Tyler stayed home for some special one on one time. After getting Rusty settled I drove Gracie and Ozzie to Great Clips to get hair cuts. Gracie decided that she was going to grow her hair out while she had braces and then get it cut, for a dramatic new look, on the day her braces came off.  She was growing it out so that she could donate it to Locks of Love, a charity that takes donated hair and makes wigs for children undergoing chemotherapy. The donated hair must be at least ten inches long. Gracie was nervous that her hair wouldn’t be long enough to donate but it was plenty long.

Gracie's hair bound with rubberbands and ready to be cut.

Gracie’s hair bound with rubber bands and ready to be cut.

The end result was adorable!

Grace with her hair donation.

Grace with her hair donation.

When we arrived home she was eager to show Toby. He thought she looked pretty but wasn’t thrilled about how grown up she looked…spoken like a real dad. 🙂

For school Grace had to submit a photo for the yearbook. The deadline was yesterday but she wanted to wait until her braces were off and her hair was cut so at 8:30 at night we were doing a photo session so that she could submit her yearbook picture before the 9:00pm deadline.

Here is the result… Gracie’s 9th grade yearbook picture.

My Gracie...beautiful inside and out.

My Gracie…beautiful inside and out.

A look back at our vacation with Dr. G!


Last week we had a blast vacationing with cousins but they weren’t the only ones we knew at the shore..we also had Gracie’s orthodontist popping up at many of our vacation destinations.

Hey there, Dr. G!

Hey there, Dr. G!

We love Dr. G!  He and the staff at Gulland Orthodontics are always coming up with fun activities, community service projects and monthly contests to make the “braces experience” a bit more fun. This summer they are having a “Doc on a Stick” contest. We were given a Dr.G face on a stick, reminiscent of Flat Stanley, that we then photograph while on our summer adventures. There is a cash prize offered for the top three photos so Dr. G joined us on vacation and had all sorts of crazy fun!


Here are some of the places he popped up at this week..

At the shore:


Hey there, Dr. G!



On the rides at the Ocean City boardwalk. He was quite the thrill seeker!




On a rainy day at the Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum:


Dr. G  “photo bombing” a poor old lady. He is such a ham!


..and her husband 🙂


It seemed everywhere we went he would pop up!


We even stumbled across him at the beach. He was buried in the sand, enjoying the sun.


Well, Dr. G, it was a blast. We laughed.. we cried.. we ate boardwalk fries. Thanks for the memories! 🙂


Braces and Blessings



Tuesday morning I walked into my room to discover a flower next to my bed. I left my room, carrying the tulip, as to inquire who left it for me. When I asked the kids who it was Tyler smiled at me and told me that he had picked it for me. “It’s so you know that I love you so, so, so much!” he said. What a gift..both from Tyler and God! We have had a few wonderful days with Tyler. He has been very affectionate, happy and positive. My heart melted into a puddle of happy tears at his declaration of love. That began a day full of blessings.

After schoolwork and a social visit in the morning we left for a visit to the orthodontist. Grace had an appointment to have her brackets changed but Molly and Rusty had an appointment as well; a consultation to see if braces were in their future. The orthodontist that we see has two offices. In an attempt to make scheduling easier on us they scheduled all three appointments for one afternoon but that meant we couldn’t go to their regular office. We had appointments at their other office, about an hour and a half from where we live. We couldn’t have asked for a better day for a car trip. The sun was shining and flowers were blooming as we drove through the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania on the way to our appointments.

On our way there the kids began discussing their futures and how many children they would like to have when they are married. Gracie said that she would like three biological children and two adoptive, Tyler informed us that he thought he might like fifty kids, and Rusty said that he would like two boys and two girls. I told him that when I was young I often had this same discussion with my sister and she always said that she wanted two boys and two girls as well…

Upon hearing that Tyler asked, “Well, did she get them?”

“No,” I told him, “she had three boys and one girl.”

“She can have another girl,” Tyler said.

“But then she’d have five kids instead of four,” Rusty pointed out.

Tyler thought about that and came up with a solution..”I know! She can just have twins!” he then continued, “You know, like me and Rusty!”

Rusty looked at him and pointed out the obvious, “We are not twins.”

“Of course we are, Rusty,” Tyler answered, “we like to play together and we both have big ears.”

Well there you go, long-lost twins separated at birth by five years. My heart was smiling as I listened to their exchange..just another sign of the bond that God is growing in Tyler’s heart.

When we arrived at the orthodontist Molly and Rusty were thrilled to see their names hanging on a sign in the waiting room that welcomed the office’s newest friends.

Welcome Molly and Rusty!

Welcome Molly and Rusty!

Gracie went back first and had her work done. They then took Rusty and Molly back, one at a time, to take x-rays and pictures. When they were done we were taken back to an office where we met with one of the staff members and Dr. G to examine the kids and go over his findings and recommendations. As we waited for the doctor to finish with another patient we had a good visit with Dr. G’s assistant. She was telling us about her daughter, who was a senior and graduating, when she mentioned that her daughter was adopted. I told her that we were in the process of adopting Tyler. We had a wonderful visit as she shared her adoption story with us. For her the journey was not smooth..it was eight years of infertility treatments, failed foster placements and disappointments before God led them down the road to international adoption. As she shared how God opened one door after another for them (financially, legally, etc.) it confirmed my testimony of God’s hand in our own adoption journey. We first began exploring the idea of adoption when Rusty was just a baby. We had applied through two other agencies over the years, initially focused on infant adoption, before God led us to our current adoption agency. There were so many obstacles in our way that over the last ten years I often questioned if we were even meant to adopt. I finally reached the point of surrender and gave it to God. I figured if God was calling us to adoption then He would move the mountains that stood in our way…and He did. I have learned through this process that the obstacles are often the most important part of the journey because if the mountains weren’t there, blocking our path, then we wouldn’t get to witness the miracle of God moving those mountains.

I had a friend share with me these words of wisdom as we were beginning our journey with Tyler, “If this is the child that God is calling you to raise there is nothing that will stand in the way of your adoption but if this is not your child it won’t matter how ideal your home, paperwork, interview, etc. are because it is not God’s plans for you.”  That was my mantra through this process. When I found myself battling fear, or allowing the “what-ifs” to steal my joy I would remember her wise words and give God control.

Soon Dr. G walked in and was probably wondering why his assistant and patients’ mother were in tears but he didn’t ask. 🙂  He sat down and went over his findings and shared with us the good news: Molly won’t need braces, and the not so good news: Rusty will. The blessing, though, is that he doesn’t want to do anything  now so we have a year until we need to make decisions (much to Rusty’s relief.)

Braces news= happy Molly, sad Rusty

Braces news= happy Molly, sad Rusty

When we were leaving I realized how close we were to the Pymatuning Spillway, a place we had been introduced to by friends. It is a place where you can go and feed carp that are so abundant in that small area that the ducks just walk across their backs. We thought Tyler would get a kick out of that so we stopped at the store for old bread and drove over to the spillway. Tyler was excited to see the seagulls as soon as we climbed out of the car but then got very excited when he saw the carp. There was nobody else there so we had the place to ourselves. Tyler loved the fish and the birds that battled to get a piece of his bread. When it was time to leave he didn’t want to go. I think he would have gladly spent hours staring down over the railing if I had let him.

My twins!

My twins!

My beautiful girls!

The carp at the Spill Way.

The carp at the Spill Way.


As I sat on the bench watching the kids throw bread to the fish on that beautiful spring day I counted my blessings..1…2…3…4. God is good!

My blessings!

My blessings!