“Very Good”

When I was in a singing group in college, we would travel around the country and eventually come around to each member’s hometown for a few days. I loved when I got to bring the gang back to my house and meet my parents and sing for my church. My girlfriends that stayed at our house picked up quickly on a little phrase that my dad says a lot in conversation: “Very good!” He’s a pretty positive and supportive person, and he just had lots of reason to say it!

Well, after the hot mess that was last week, this week I’m feeling like giving a happy sigh and saying “Very Good!” Here’s a few reasons.

First, many of you long time readers know Rory and Lee, dear high school friends of mine. They have a HUGE passion for adoption and have been overwhelming in their support of ours. I knew they had started the adoption process twice before and then became pregnant! So I was not shocked to learn that they have decided to adopt! This announcement less than 2 months after their 4th daughter was born. 🙂 Yep. People are going to think they are crazy. People are going to CALL them crazy. And I have ZERO doubt that they? Will. Not. Care. This is a family who follows God’s leading NO MATTER WHAT. I’m so excited for them! Rory is a great blogger, but hers is not public. I KNOW if you leave a comment on this post with your email address, she’ll invite you to the blog and you can follow along on their process.

Then, over Cmas break, I got a call from a good friend of mine here in town that they were strongly considering adoption. As she told me about how God had been working–no BREAKING their hearts for the cause of caring for orphans, I could not stop grinning, even as tears were falling down my cheeks. See, Amy and Josh were DONE with having kids. Done, done, done! We all knew this. They have several friends who have or are adopting, many of them are doing so after being unable to have biological kids. She said “I’ve seen adoption as a logical and wonderful way to have a child. I never thought of adoption as simply: obedience to God.” I remember that feeling so strongly, pretty much exactly one year ago, when I had an almost physical heaviness about this same thing. The consuming sense that “My child is THERE and I need to bring him home.” I could relate so well to what they were feeling, and praising God that He had moved the hearts of both husband AND wife. We finally got to sit down yesterday and talk and encourage and cry and talk about the scary cost, and I had the feeling I had when I was pregnant and one of my friends was pregnant too. I’m so excited to walk this path with them! You can follow along at Amy’s new blog: http://www.livingaradicallife.blogspot.com/

Oh and also? BOTH Rory’s family and Amy’s family are adopting a baby from Ethiopia through All God’s Children International!

Then, lastly, a moment of full disclosure: we are going to Disneyland. This week. I haven’t wanted to make a big deal about it, because the timing is not ideal: asking everyone for money to support our adoption while we party at the Happiest Place on Earth. The coincidence was accidental. So, “lemme ‘splain.” Many months ago, Trent and I decided we wanted to take one last special trip with our 2 kids–our last vacation as a family of four. Next year, it will be ALL about going to Thailand, and I know every last penny will go toward that. The focus will be HEAVY on child #3. We wanted this memory for Carson and Sydney and to celebrate them. Some very special friends gifted us timeshare points so we have lodging. For Christmas we asked for money for Disneyland passes. We took that gift money, along with a small honorarium I got for speaking at the women’s retreat and it covered our tickets. Then I got 7 sub jobs in one month (I usually get 1 or 2). We are absolutely not taking a penny from our own family money that has been set aside for adoption fees. We are only paying for gas and food, and we’re taking our collapsible cooler and bringing our picnic lunch into Dland every day! It’s “Disney on a Dime.” I may write an advice column about it afterwards. 😉

So, having said that: we are EXCITED! We’ve been looking at the website every day and pumping the kids up. (Mainly Carson.) We’ve collected all our coloring books, DVD’s and snacks to prepare for the 2 day drive (both ways). We leave on Thursday morning at 4am. I considered just not blogging about it at all, in order to avoid offending our generous and gracious friends who are, perhaps as I write this, writing checks to help us bring our baby home. But then someone pointed out to me that the gracious and generous friends who joyfully want to help our Thai baby also do that because they love us. And they’ll understand.

Thank you for understanding, for giving, for praying, and stay tuned for some ridonculously adorable pictures of my first 2 children.


  1. I am going to miss you at M2M (if I make it there). But have a wonderful time celebrating your first 2 kids! You all deserve to have some special family time together because the next year is going to be amazingly, awesomely busy. I’ll try to hold out on having this girl until you get home, but no promises. 🙂 Love ya, friend!

  2. I think it’s great! We took a “last hurrah” trip to Disneyland just over a year ago, for the same reasons. And yes, it was on a dime! We stayed at my brothers house and ate picnics 🙂

    By the way, I’m wondering where you live, because if it takes you 2
    days to get to Disneyland, there’s a chance you might be passing through our town… you can email me @ joshangielinn@yahoo.com

  3. Yay Jen, I forgot you guys were going so soon! I hope you have a wonderful time and yes you deserve it all …for yourselves and for C-dog and syd. You are very loved and yes.. this is very good.(; A little Roy Bunch for ya. We’ll need to plan for a playdate when you guys get back.

  4. Hey there!!! Congratulations on Disneyland!! So excited for you!! It is great to have a fun family last hurrah!!! Thank you for posting this about your friends!!! I would love to follow their blogs. My email is catiejoyce22@gmail.com I will be praying for these families as they start this amazing journey and rejoice that God is continuing to call families to adopt children and bring them home to their families!!!! We ALMOST went with All God’s Children’s Ethiopia program. It is a GREAT organization!! You made my day by sharing it!!
    PS Give me your email address and I can give you tips on doing Disney the cheap way. Also there is a great book called the Unofficial Guide to Disney. It is great to have a plan when you are doing it with kids! I was skeptical but it is great! 😉 So excited for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Have so much fun!! I don’t think anyone will be offended…at least, they shouldn’t be! I have been wanting to go back to Dland so badly! I hope you have a blast with your family! 🙂

  6. I would also love to follow your friend, Rory (who I think went to FBCS after I already was gone)! My email is teachermahnke@yahoo.com. I used to read her before she went private, and then was afraid to pursue it thinking she might think I was a stalker or something! 🙂 Oh, and HAVE FUN at Disneyland! We went last summer for the same reason! It was wonderful!

  7. Jen, I was seriously blown away when I read this. You are too good a friend to me! You caught this pajama-clad mama off-guard and reduced me to tears. Nice work, Bunch. You’ve still got it.:) It was such an encouraging word for me. Thank you. And as far as Disneyland goes? I hope you get to go there, the Bahamas, Vegas, New York…whatever your little heart desires. To step out in adoption is a HUGE family commitment and sacrifice, and a vacation is not a splurge in the least. It’s a necessity for you guys as you prepare to become a family of 5 soon. SOON!:) I hope you go and have the time of your lives. And YES I am happy to have ANYONE directed to my blog. I felt bad when I went private that some folks might’ve been reading and then got cut off–it was not intentional! Just let me know who I need to add when all is said and done and I will send email invites, even if it’s someone I don’t know. I love meeting new friends through the blogs and reconnecting with old ones. Love ya!

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