Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Kiddo Convo (2)

I haven't been with my Columbia kiddos in a while, but I will get to see them tonight. However, I got to spend some time with the Carson kiddos last night, and as usual they did not disappoint with their comments. I brought them Christmas presents because in the upcoming weeks it's going to be a little hard to see each other. These are some of my favorite quotes.

Me: Well I'm going to go.
Micah: No! Why?
Me: Well you have to get ready for bed and brush your teeth, and I have to go home and do the same.
Micah: But, I wanted you to use my toothpaste.
(this is the first time I have ever gotten this request, so I thought it was funny. But, like any good friend does, and yes this little guy is my friend, I said:)
Me: Well... next time I'll bring over my tooth brush, and I'll use your toothpaste.
Micah: Yeah then we can have a teeth brushing party.

Sometimes I'm a little confused by Avery's convos because communication can be difficult still, but this is what happened, and I thought it was hilarious:
 Avery: Hear that?
Me: What is it?
Avery: Daddy loud, I'm going to spway him.
Me: Spray his with what...
Avery: (runs to the top of the stairs mumbles something then laughs)
Me:  (laughing) did you spray him.
Avery: uh huh (laughs)

As I walked in the door to the kitchen:
Micah: Uh... are those presents?
Me: Yes.
Micah: For us?
Me: Yes.
Micah: Can I have them now?
Me: You have to wait for a moment.
Micah: But Kelso I'm so excited inside I can't wait.
Me: Well you have to wait for your dad to comeup.
Micah: ok... I'll wait. (maybe 10 seconds later) Kelso, now?
Me: Be patient.
Micah: (frowns) You've told me that before, and I don't like it. I just don't think you understand. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Nathan S.

This is Nathaniel, he goes by Nathan. He's 13, and he is very eager to meet a forever family that is willing to adopt him. Nathan, at first, can seem shy and a little bashful, but he opens up quickly. Once Nathan has opened up he is very talkative. Nathan, like any 13-year-old, is very energetic, loves sports and video games. Nathan really enjoys one-on-one time, taking and intreating. Nathan currently has no pending family for adoption.  If you are interested in learning more about Nathan or others like him please visit or email 

Information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Jessica Lamb-Rosa

Saturday, November 17, 2012


The mom I want to be, but really the mom I'm probably going to be! My mom said a great truth about this: "Yeah, you always have this great idea in your mind then the kids derail it." 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Jeff City Adventures

What does a girl have to do to get some Indian food in Jeff City? That's all I wanted last night when I got off work. I had been craving it for a while, but I had suppressed the desire because I know cooking it would mean stinking up the house, and I'm pretty sure the family I live with wouldn't really appreciate it. But, yesterday they left, and I knew they would be gone for a few days. Perfect timing, I thought! So, when I got off work a little early, and I didn't have to babysit, I knew all signs pointed to go!
I went to Walmart to buy some necessary things that you need to have the proper Indian meal: parathas, these kind of look like tortillas but different, some needed spices and of course Indian style rice. Well, I struck out there, so I went to Hyvee. No luck. Same for Schnucks. I got desprate, pulled out the trusty Iphone and googled "international food store." An answer to my Indian food dilemma! There was one on the other side of town!
So I was off in Gladys, my trusty minivan, to find this international food store. I hit Jeff City rush hour but nothing would stop me from getting my goods. Nothing, except for the food store no longer being in existence! I was a defeated. My hunt had failed, so like any good book worm does, I went to a used book store to sooth my broken heart. However, on my way to the store, out of the corner of my eye, right next to the Little Ceasers and 60's Love (which reecked of... well I bet you can just guess) I saw a little place called Taste of India. Oh yes, this was it! I didn't stop though, I went to Nancy's Trade a Book and then even to Hastings.
See, I didn't stop because I have a small fear of eating in places alone. Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous, but it's a fear I have. I'm not really sure when it developed or why, but it's there. When I moved to Jeff City I vowed to work through it. At one time I wouldn't even go to fast food places alone. But, I can now go into places like Chipoltle or Taco Bell and eat all by myself, like a 22-year-old should be able to do.
I had never ventured out to the sit-down-serve-you type places and that's just what Taste of India was. After my Hastings visit, it had been decided, I was going to go and do it alone! I drove, parked and got out of the car. As I walked to the door my mouth went dry when I saw there was NO ONE else eating in the restaurant. (side note, this may scare some people, but if you are not familiar with Indian places their busiest time of day is lunch because they have a buffet and it's a little cheaper. It doesn't mean the foods bad) I got to the door, and I almost turned around to go back to the van. There was a carry out number on their sign, and I thought about chickening out and doing it. No, I was going to be brave. I went in and of course the waiter, who's name was Joshua and we had a good conversation, asked if I would be the only one dinning. He sat me in a booth and took my order. I got my food, and I ate alone.
Now, because I'm a white girl in an Indian restaurant. when I begin to eat with my hands it draws attention. But, my Indian friends in college taught me well, and they made me promise to the rule, when you eat Indian food you must eat with your hands because it tastes better, plus it's cultural. So, I kept the pact. The ladies that worked at the restaurant were, what I would call, gawking at me. I think I must have gotten stage fright because suddenly I was no longer hungry, but I finished what I had put on my plate. I asked for a to go box, paid and then had a lovely conversation with the lady at the register. By the time I made it home I was hungry again, so I finished my leftovers at home. I'm still counting it though! I was there for 25 minutes, and I actually ate alone.
My next step is to eat somewhere like Olive Garden. It still makes my mouth dry to think about that, but I'm working on it. You never know, I may just work up to going to the movies alone...Yeah, I agree, probably not!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ash V.

This is Ash! He's 12. Ash is very eager to meet an adoptive family, and he wants family that he can consider his friends, too. Ash enjoys skate boarding, bike rides and garage and yard sales, that's my kind of kid! He has a very captivating personality, and he has a very relaxed demeanor. Ash says that he wants a family who loves him for him. He currently has no pending family for adoption. If you are interested in getting more information about Ash or other children like him visit or email at

Information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Ed Vaughn 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hakeem M.

 This is Hakeem, he's 17. Hakeem is looking for what we call a forever family, who are willing to support him beginning in his teenage years and will stay with him for life. Hakeem likes movies and video games, but he loves sports. On his basketball team he is one of the major stars, and though he's good at basketball he wants to be a professional pro-wrestler. He has a great sense of humor and a sweet spirit. If you are interested in learning more about Hakeem or others like him please visit or email at

Information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Lourie Nowling 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The End that's the Beginning

There have been a lot of moments in my life where I have reached an end that I never thought was coming. The end seemed so far off but really it was just around the corner. Like:

  • High school graduation, realizing what I had known for 12 years was over. 
  • When I got off the plane in China, I never thought I was going to get there. All the preparation that the trip took, I thought it would never come. 
  • When I had my first conversation in Chinese. I had been there for over a month. It was at a little shopping market I went to every day to get food. I was stunned, and I'm pretty sure the lady was stunned too. 
  • The first batch of bread I cooked while in college. I think I tried about 7 times before they actually turned out. 
  • Learning to drive a stick shift. 
  • Trying to figure out how to manage a budget. 
  • Trying to figure out how to get around by myself without getting lost in St. Louis
  • Graduating college. Going into the "real world" after 4 years of classes, exams and late nights that I sometimes didn't know if I would make it through.
Those are just a few examples that come to my mind when I think about 'ends' in my life. Really though, they were new starts. They all led to something else. I had another end today, that will just lead to another something else. I finished the last class in foster care. Really, I wasn't sure if I was actually going to reach the end. There were some Saturdays I would have rather slept in or when I asked if this was really what I was supposed to do. But, I finished. Now it means the real work begins. Actually getting placed with children, and not just children teenagers! Well, it'll be a new beginning, yet again. I'm excited, nervous, anxious and a slew of other things. Yes, I know there are verses for those things in the bible and believe me I probably will wear them out just by my eyes running over them, if I haven't already. But, though I know there will be struggles, I know there will be great victories. There's going to be MUCH learning through these next steps in life, I mean there already has been. But, I look forward to sharing them with you. For now, I finished this leg of the race, I can't wait for what the next will be! 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Daisy D.

This is Daisy D. I love the name, such alliteration! Daisy is 15, and she likes doing what every teenage girl likes, talking on the phone and being with friends. Daisy is really outgoing, and she loves to smile! Daisy wants to be a lawyer when she gets older, and right now one of her passions is debate class. Daisy has started her own cupcake business to make some money. The business is called "Daisy's Diva Cupcakes," which I think is fitting a teenage personality. Daisy currently does not have any pending family for adoption. If you would like to know more information about Daisy or others like her please go to or email

Information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Staley Wessell

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Kiddo Convo (1)

Well I stole this from a great friend who post convos between her daughter and herself. I loved the idea, and I wanted to post convos from the kids I interact with because I'm honestly amazed by most of the things that come out of their mouths. Here on some from last night:

Me: Alright put your play clothes on to go outside.
Reg: Whoa Miss Kelso.
Me: What?
Reg: Your hair isn't looking crazy for once.
Me: (tying to decide to laugh or not)
Reg: I'm just sayin, maybe you should wear it like that more.

While playing outside and the trash man was picking up trash:
Me: What are you guys doing? Don't lay on the curb like that you're practically in the street.
Ken: Kelso, shhh. We're pretending to be trash to see if he picks us up.
Me: Why in the world...
Ken: Shhh!!! Here he comes, you'll give us away.
Me: (watching)
Trash man: Umm....
Me: Yeah it's typical.

While playing a card game:

Don: I'm a little kid. I'm only 8.
 Me: oh don't play that card
Don: you're 16!
Me: well thank you but I'm way older than 16.
Don: ok fine 20
Me: 22
Don: see! You're 100 years older than me and...
Me: (dying laughing)

While getting onto Reg for not listening and doing opposite of what I asked 3 times:
Me: Why aren't you listening very well tonight?
: Well you see my bike is a mountain bike so I can't go up the hills because the tires can't handle that much weight.
Me: What? What does that have to do with my question?
Reg: I have a mountain bike and...
Me: (putting my hand up) I get it.

Michael M. and Stacha B.

Michael (6) and Stacha (11) are a sibling group through Missouri Heart Gallery. Michael prefers to be called Mikey, which I think it just precious. He's a pretty outgoing little boy, and he likes what most 6-year-old boys that I've been around lately like, riding his bike, playing with neighborhood kids and board games. Board games are few and far between though because Mikey loves the outdoors so much. Stacha is also an outgoing child, but she's really relaxed. She loves music, which she loves to share with people she meets. So, her iPod is her life! These two currently have no pending family for adoption. If you would like more information about Mikey and Stacha or other children like them please visit  or email

Information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Melissa Pfannenstiel

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How to get Started

Happy Adoption Month!! I have had some people contact me and ask about how to start finding out how they could adopt, so what better way or time than now? It's excited to have people asking me those questions! There are so many different ways, so I wanted to just give you some links to find more information about the process. I will give more links than just Missouri Heart Gallery links because there are a lot of different ways to do it in Missouri. There's also the option of international adoption, which I will like one thing here because if you are interested in that I want you to have an outlet to start as well! Hopefully these helps some of the questions that have been asked! Don't hesitate to email if you would like even more information!

Missouri Heart Gallery  This will take you to how to get started or look at getting started to be an adoptive parent through them. They have a little bit of a different way of going through the adoption process than some other organizations. 

Missouri Adoption Services This site has some more linked sites and information if you would want to go through the state agency. They talk about the different options that are offered to you as an adoptive parent through the state. They also have private agencies linked from this website that you can look at as well. 

American Adoption Agency This agency is for more than just Missouri. I wanted to put an option on here for if you were looking out of the state of Missouri but still in the U.S. This website can be a little confusing because it's for mothers who want to sign up for giving their babies up for adoption as well. Just go to the "Become a Family" tab and it will take you were you need to go. You can also just request some free adoption papers to give you a taste of what the process will be like. 

Adoption Network Law Center I have not read a lot about this agency personally, but I have heard them talked about a lot in the private adoption realm. You can request a free consultation with a case worker and free information. 

Missouri Alliance  This is the agency I am going through to be a foster parent. I have met some people in my classes that are just going to adopt and they are not going to be foster parents. The specific adoption classes start the first week of December. 

Nelson Family  These are some friends of mine that are currently going through the adoption process and are trying to adopt a baby. Check their blog out, it talks about the process they are going through, and I know they would answer any questions you have about their specific agency. 

Holt International I'm pretty familiar with this organization. They allow you to sponsor children, but their true focus is to get children adopted and to help international adoption flow smoothly. You can check out their website and begin to apply for adoption through them. 

Compassion International You could always look at this website if you would like to help out with a child but cannot commit to fostering or adoption. It's a great organization to help children that are in great need!

I know that's a lot of option but hopefully it helps. Again Happy Adoption Month and if you are beginning the journey, I wish the best to you!

Deja F.

This is Deja, she's 12. Deja loves to be a girl, and by that I mean loves to get dressed up and look pretty, but what girl doesn't like that! She like to swim, do art and take trips. Deja is polite and she loves spending one-on-one time with people. She likes structure and redirection because she can sometimes easily get distracted. Deja currently has no pending family for adoption. If you would like more information about Deja or others like her please visit or email them at  

Information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Kelly Dunsford

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Little Listen

I love music. I just wanted to share this group that I can't stop listening to right now. I love celtic music, and if you're like me and listen to it a lot, these guys are nothing new to you. Hope you enjoy. :) 

Kala S.

This is Kala. She's 16 and she's in 10th grade right now. I would say that Kala is the typical teenager. She enjoys movies, dancing, art, gym and of course the computer. Kala is a hard worker and she has gotten awards from school for that and also for the respect she shows other people. She's great with kids, and she said that she wouldn't have a problem with being the oldest is she were adopted by a family. She currently has no pending family for adoption. If you would like more information about Kala or others like her please visit or email

Information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Scott Chapin

Monday, November 5, 2012

Wrecked or Maybe Just Wreckless

"A few months ago I met this lady. She had everything going for her. Great family. Nice house. Lots of control over her day. But she had this little voice in the back of her head telling her to get involved with foster kids. It had been there for a long time, and every once in a while she would explore her options. Attend a class. Sign up for more information. That sort of thing. Then everything changed. She heard about a kid that didn't have anywhere else to go. Who desperately needed a family. She mentioned it to her husband, and he didn't hesitate. She made the phone call, and the next thing you know, their family grew.
To a casual observer, she may come across as reckless. After all, getting involved with this kid will take time away from her family. Will cost her some money and some tears. Will mess up her schedule. But the truth is, she isn't reckless at all. She is simply wrecked. She can't stand the idea of a kid who has no mom. Can't imagine a teen who has no home. Can't tolerate knowing about foster kids without doing something about it. Her heart is wrecked. Or, perhaps you could say that she is WRECKLESS. I wonder if Webster will add that one to the dictionary." (Fostering Hope Day 18 Deb Shropshire)

I can relate with this woman. I understand that voice. I get having control over my day. I took a class over the weekend called "peaceful intervention." The fist slide you ask? Oh it was good, it was encouraging, it had a lot of great things to say. What were these encouraging words? "What to do in case your child comes at you with a weapon." Yeah, are you laughing? Maybe even looking at the screen in shock? I did both. I looked at the ladies around me, and they all avoided eye contact, I guess that's what happens when you laugh out loud after your case worker talks about something that's not so funny. After that wave of awkwardness went away I said a silent prayer/question, which God is probably very used to getting from me. 'Are you sure this is what you were and are asking of me?' For some reason this scripture came to my mind in that moment: "And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5.5 
I wasn't particularly sure why that was the verse. I pondered for a moment. I have been reading a lot of Romans 5 lately, I just can't seem to stop rereading it, writing it and thinking about it. I guess in that moment it related to the hope that I have for these kids to feel love and to really know the true love of the Savior. I hope that they see that He wants to save them from what this world has to offer and that they know the true hope the Holy Spirit gives.
It's easy to think what I'm doing is reckless. I sometimes laugh before God because it sounds utterly reckless, and it's against what's ordinary. But, He's wrecked my heart, and I believe He is wrecking the hearts around me for His children that have been left with their lives in shambles. I can't deny that this is what He's asked me. And, I think sometimes people say things like "You know this isn't going to be easy, right?" or "Have you thought about how hard this is going to be?" because they really think I haven't thought about it. That's not the case. I've thought about it, and I've weighed the options of not doing it. Honestly, it would be easier: my schedule wouldn't be interrupted, I would have control, money wouldn't be that tight. I've thought about it, but God really continues to wreck my heart.
I asked a long time ago for Him to give me His eyes and to give me His heart. Well, He answered that loudly, and I can't run away from it. So, I guess that "peaceful intervention" will become part of my life. Maybe it'll even become the new normal. I can only imagine what God will then do to make another out-of-the-ordinary, normal in my life. Whatever it is I can guarantee that it'll be even more wreckless than this one!

John H. and a celebration

Before I talk about John today,  I just wanted to rejoice a little bit! I have had some people contact me about adoption! Not only for Missouri Heart Gallery but other organizations! Thank you Lord for that! That's the entire reason I started this! Just wanted to share that large celebration with you! Thanks!

This is John H.! Rocking the basketball, he already has my heart! John is 11, and he loves sports. He loves to laugh, and I hear the laughter he brings makes others laugh right along with him. He's a really curious child, and he loves asking questions. He always has questions to ask, but what little boy does? John loves movies and some of his favorites are adventure and scary movies. He currently has no pending family for adoption. If you would like more information about John or others like him go to or email

Information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Ginger Weselech 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Donald J.

Donald is 14, and he's really outgoing! Donald loves the outdoors, it allows him to be closer to animals, which he loves as well! Donald is looking for a mother or a father, but would love both if there is a family with both willing to take him. Donald is someone who needs encouragement. There are not pending families for Donald at the moment. If you would like more information about Donald or others like him please visit:

Information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Mark Stephens