I'm a married mother of "3 1/2" ;) and the loves of my life are my faith and my family. I've grown in my faith over the last two years since my daughter's adoption, she is the reason why I started this blog in the first place, and I'm so looking forward to watching God move in my heart, and the hearts of others who follow along on our journey towards bringing home one of "the least of these". Special needs adoption is my mission field, whether I'm adopting a child myself, or helping other families get funded, or shouting for waiting children who need families to find them, and I hope you'll come along for the ride and watch what God can accomplish when we say yes to His command to care for the orphan, and go out into the world to be His hands and feet.

Apparent Project Fundraiser

Apparent Project Fundraiser

Hello :)

Hello :)

My Better Half

My Better Half

The Crew

The Crew

The New Guy

The New Guy

Before Adoption

Before Adoption

Two Years After Adoption

Two Years After Adoption

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Is it just me, or does the "need" to blog seem to come in waves? I can go for weeks without updating this blog once, or updating it with just a sentence or two in an effort to fend off the guilt of not keeping people up to date on what's going on with our Kenzi. She is the core reason why this blog exists, so when I don't post, I feel like I'm letting people down!

So, let me get everyone caught up a bit, and I promise to post pics soon! Jack has misplaced the connector I need to upload pics...so I'll be searching for that this weekend. :)

Ok, so here is an update! We are inching ever closer to meeting our princess. It's been tough watching our first travel date get pushed back again and again, but it's all in God's time, so we aren't stressing. Everything has gone off without *much* of a hitch so far, even though there have definitely been road blocks, or attempts to create road blocks. In the end though, what's meant to be will always find a way, regardless of what people attempt. :)

I'm so amazed that I've been able to pull this off so far. I'm not the most organized person, so for me of all people to schedule homestudy visits, run around gathering paperwork, getting things notarized, certified, apostilled...downloading forms, mailing, faxing, fedexing...and somehow keeping track of all of this stuff...that alone is a miracle. I'm nervous about getting the court dossier together, but I know I can do it! :)

We're starting to get the house ready for Ms. Sassy Pants (her nickname...based off the limited info we have about her spunky personality!). The boys are going to share a room, and we felt it would be nice to do a make over for them, so their room is being painted a very soothing sky blue. They love it, and so do I....which rocks because Dylan and I often disagree on...everything. :) Once their room is painted, it will be decorated with a space theme. Moons, stars, planets...maybe a UFO...it's going to be fun! 

Kenzi's room is going to double as a play area for the littles, so aside from her bed and changing table, we'll just have toys in there. Her room is mint green on top, pale pink on the bottom, and David is going to install a chair rail. We already have her changing table, and we haven't settled on a crib yet...I keep changing my mind. :)BUT...we do have a theme!!! OWLS!!! I love owls, actually...I'm a bit obsessed. So, we have her bedding, valances, wall decor, and a rug...so we're getting there! It feels so strange having all this stuff back in the house, and to have girl stuff feels REALLY weird. Her closet is stocked. It's downright disgusting how many clothes she has, and shoes, and toys, and leggings, blankies, lovies, books...it's crazy but she deserves to be spoiled absolutely rotten. :)

I think that's about it! I can't wait to post pics of her new outfits, her room when it's finished, etc...I'm so grateful to everyone who has donated to our fund, bought crafts, prayed for us, asked us how things are going, it's really heartwarming so please keep us in your thoughts and prayers!!

Much love <3 ~Cilla

Friday, April 27, 2012

Losing My Religion

This is a very hard post for me to write, since it is the revelation of how I've abandoned my entire belief system. Quite shocking, I know...how can a person do that? How, after 28 years, can someone just turn away from everything they've ever been taught about their  religion?
Well, you see...that's the thing. I finally figured out that religion, and faith, isn't about what you've been taught, or how you've been preached at...it's about striking out on your own and learning how to apply your beliefs, your core values, your morals, to your everyday life. It isn't about how many hours you log in a church, that has zero to do with "religion".

But, as I said in the title...I lost my religion, and I even know WHERE I lost it...it was on I-40W somewhere between mile marker 140 and 94. We were driving home from Nashville, I was listening to Casting Crowns on my ipod, the boys were asleep, it was late, and I was completely lost in thought. It is very rare that I find myself in a position where I can do nothing. My kids were asleep, they didn't need me...Dave wasn't in the mood to talk because he was tired, I couldn't clean since I was strapped into the car, and I had no cell service so I couldn't check email, do adoption research, etc., and it was too dark to read. I was literally trapped with my own brain and forced to think, and what I started thinking about was the crisis of faith I have been dealing with for months.

This blog post has been in the works for months, not on paper, but in my head. I've been searching for a way to write this without sounding "judgy"...because that is in no way my intention. I am *convinced* that the majority of people in this world have good intentions, and that they don't try to be harsh, or hypocritical, or down right mean, in the name of God...but often times, that is what happens, and I've been seeing it more and more and it really irks me.

I guess it would help for me to lay out my core value system, since this is what my beliefs should center around. I believe that the Bible is the actual word of God, I believe that God sent his son, Jesus, to earth to be born and die on a cross, and that my understanding that Jesus died on the cross to pay for the sins of all mankind, is my "ticket" into heaven. It's a blind faith, and that's what I like about it. It's cut and dry, no frills, no penance, no confession, no whatever...you can never "do" enough to earn it, because it was a gift...it's really beautiful when you think about it.

So, that's the foundation...what happens next is where I lose my religion. I was raised in a Baptist church, and I'm not anti-baptist...I'm not anti any denomination, but I can honestly say that I have always felt quite ostracized by fellow Baptists for not being "christian enough" or some other ridiculous term, because of my ideas about faith. I tend to take the word "christian" very seriously. If you are proclaiming to be a christian, you are also proclaiming to be "like Christ" and that is a pretty big proclamation. I don't think warming church benches a couple times a week and saying grace before you eat is enough to entitle you to throw that word around. Yes, you might have accepted Christ, but acceptance, and being "like" Him...very different in my book.

In the Bible, you can tell that Jesus marched to the beat of his own drum. He wasn't hooked on stereotypes, he didn't turn a blind eye to those in need then make himself feel better by going to a church service, he didn't choose to only associate with those who were like him, he was pretty notorious for hanging out with the lowest of the low...when is the last time you saw a "christian" befriend a prostitute? 

That's what I'm talking about.

I'm tired of sitting in a cushy church, surrounded by well dressed middle class or higher people as they discuss how to spend money fixing up the church when not a mile away a family that they all know is nearly homeless. 

I'm tired of listening to people make announcements about how they want to send money to a missionary, but no one wants to get out in the trenches and actually do the work themselves. 

I'm tired of hearing more gossip than gospel inside of the church. Is it really necessary to judge someone because they watch a certain tv show, or went to a certain movie, or you think they're skirt is too short, or whatever? Go do something productive with your time, seriously.

I'm tired of being judged by "christians" for adopting a special needs orphan, even though the Bible commands us to care for the orphan.

I'm tired of hearing, and seeing "christians" cut down people for being gay. It's not your place to judge. Love each other the way Christ loved the church...if you aren't building someone up, you must be tearing them down. Don't be that guy...that's not very Christ-like. Same goes for girls who have abortions. "Christian's" love to target them, and it's sad...especially now that I've seen the flip side of how they completely abandon you when you choose to adopt. Pick a side people, either you want women to have abortions, or you want people to adopt the unwanted kids, you can't have it both ways.

But most of all, I'm tired of feeling like I'm the bad guy for thinking outside the box, for actually calling people out on their blatant hypocrisy, for not being "ok" with showing up to a service, applying nothing I've heard, and going back to business as usual on Monday. That isn't faith in my book, and if that's what religion is supposed to be, then I've definitely lost mine, and I'm at peace with that. I'm having a blast getting out, meeting people who NEED to see God's love, people who would never feel comfortable stepping foot in a church. Have you ever baked cookies for a bunch of guys in a halfway house? They really dig that, if you're ever so inclined to do so.

I just think it's more important to get out in the world and be God's hands and feet...be the change you want to see in the world. Maybe that's my new religion. :)

But if we are the body
Why aren't His arms reaching?
Why aren't His hands healing?
Why aren't His words teaching?

And if we are the body
Why aren't His feet going?
Why is His love not showing them
There is a way? -Casting Crowns

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Quick Update

Sorry it's been a while! I've been really sick! I had the stomach flu, followed directly by food poisoning. Ugh! 

Just wanted to post a quick update. Things are coming along! We filed our USCIS paperwork and got our receipt from them! We filed our dossier as well! We're expected to be submitted on May 18th and we're looking at a travel date on or around June 8th! (If I did my math right!) We are SO EXCITED!!!!

Fundraising is going slow, but we know God's got this so I can't worry about it too much!!! :) Our coin drive ended yesterday, so if you had a sippy cup, or if you were just collecting on your own, you can mail a check to us, or you can use the FSP or chipin to contribute the amount you raised! It wouldn't be very cost effective for you to mail us a sippy full of change but if you want to you're more than welcome! Thank you to everyone who participated, it means the WORLD to us!!! 

Please don't forget our spaghetti dinner! We really need to sell these tickets! :)

Thanks again for all the love, help, support, and prayer. We love you all!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I would like to introduce everyone to my arch nemisis....

...the giant green crayon.

You may be asking yourself "geez lady....what did that huge green crayon bank ever do to you?!" and I guess that's a fair question...I mean who in their right mind gets offended by a crayon bank??

Well, here's the story behind the love/hate relationship I have with this bank.

It is the adoption fund bank.

All money that we save, and all money that we raise that does not go into paypal or our FSP ends up in this bank. Right before we wrote the $2,655 check to our agency to submit out preliminary dossier, this bank weighed about 40 pounds. I LOVED this bank that day! :) But, now we're starting all over again with a very sad, very empty crayon bank! It is sitting in my room, an ever present reminder of how much we need, and how little we have to meet those needs! It's depressing, but I firmly believe God has a plan!

Today we made $223 at our HaliHannigan's Cupcake Day!! Tomorrow we pick up the money for the wonderful people who made the event a success, so tomorrow the crayon is being fed a pretty hefty meal, but not all days are so grand. We put all of our change, and any money we can spare into the crayon, but it's a slow moving process, and it needs to be a FAST MOVING process! All I can do is pray that our fundraising picks up steam!

Tomorrow Dave and Dylan are going to walk the neighborhood attempting to sell Spaghetti Dinner tickets, and on April 25th, our coin drive ends! I'm excited to see how well that does! I'm starting to see that sometimes God moves mountains in a BIG way to get families funded, but other times, he moves mountains small boulder, by small boulder. I think that is His plan for us, because I know I could personally learn a few lessons about patience, so maybe this is God's opportunity to say "I've got this, all in MY time...not yours!" and I'm ok with that.

Please keep us in your prayers, our dossier paperwork was received, it is traveling with another family to Moscow for translation, and we should be receiving travel information soon. Prayers and support are much needed right now!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Quick Update

It's late and I'm SO TIRED but I wanted to post a little update!

The partylite fundraiser that our friend Drea hosted for us ended and we did ok! I had a lot of fun and I'm excited to get the candles that Dave bought me for mother's day. :) Thank you so much Drea for helping us raise money for our princess!

Tomorrow (well...today since it's after midnight!) we are having our Halihannigan's cupcake day, so...if you're in the Jackson, TN area...please stop by, have a cupcake, and enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card! Every purchase gets an entry! Whoo hoo!

Hope to see you all there tomorrow!

Halihannigan's hours are 10am-6pm, and please go "like" their facebook page as a thank you for helping us get our girl home!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Kenzi's Kraft Korner...up and running!

I've been trying for 3 weeks to get a fundraiser facebook page up and running but between getting sick myself, and having a sick toddler, and a super hectic schedule...it was kind of put on the back burner, but now it's finally up and running and as of noon today, it has it's official first "like"...which was me! haha!!

I tried making a blog page for all the hairbows and crafty stuff but it proved to be a little too much upkeep with all the pictures and everything, so I thought facebook would be the better place to post everything. 100% of all the proceeds go towards our adoption costs, and Kenzi's heart surgery once she's home.

Who is Kenzi??

Haha...I get that question a lot so I thought I would address it really fast. We have decided to officially name our little lady: McKenzie Natasha ...Natasha was the first name, now it's the middle name, and if you want to keep using Natasha that's totally fine, I say Tasha 97% of the time myself but I'm trying to get used to saying Kenzi, which will be her nick name. :)

Ok, that's cleared up, back to this facebook page business! I took pictures of all the bows I have, categorized them by price, and I'm in the process of taking pictures of bow holders, and other bow related items, different crafts, etc...so please check back often because whenever I get a few spare minutes, I make more items. :)

I really hope you'll hop over and take a look and "like" the page...it looks kind of pitiful with only one person "liking" it! LOL

Have a great day everyone and here's the link:


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Giveaway Time!

I am so excited to post about this giveaway!!!
(giveaway info is at the bottom of this post!)

As I've blogged about in the past, we are having a spaghetti dinner on May 19th from 5:30-7:30 pm at Fellowship Bible Church in Jackson, TN...

At this spaghetti dinner we will also have our silent auction!

We have over $3,000 worth of items that will be up for grabs during this auction, so you won't want to miss out!!!

Here are just SOME of the items we will have up for auction!

***FOUR Park Hopper Passes to WALT DISNEY WORLD in Orlando Florida***
value: $582

***Admission for two at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN***
value: $120

***American Girl Doll "Kit" Gift Basket featuring 2 Kit Mini American Girl Dolls, books, and DVD***
value: $100

***Wheel of Fortune Gift bag with autographed memorabilia PLUS 4 VIP passes to a taping of the show in Culver City, CA***
Value: Priceless if you're a big "Wheel" fan! :)

***Biggest Loser "30 Day Jump Start" book autographed by the Season 11 cast, an autographed photo of Marci (season 11 contestant), and a 1 month pass to Gold's Gym***
Value: $80/priceless to a Biggest Loser fan! :)

***2 0ne month passes to Gold's Gym***
value: $70

***Admission for EIGHT to Wilderness at the Smokies in Sevierville, TN***
value: $240

***Green Mountain Coffee Company $25 Gift Certificate***

***Two General Admission Tickets to Kings Island in Mason, OH***
value: $106

***Wine Gift Basket from Crown Winery in Humbolt, TN***
value: $100

***Four reserved seating tix to the Jackson Generals PLUS $20 gift certificate to Cheddar's Restaurant***
value: $60

***Four tickets to the Memphis Red Birds PLUS Dinner for four at Steak 'n Shake***
value: $75

***Nashville Weekend Getaway: 2 nights at Homewood Suites-Hilton, admission for two at Frist Center for Visual Arts, and $45 gift certficate to Outback Steakhouse***
value: $300

***$50 gift certficate to Lenny's Sub Shop***

***Four buffets at Casey Jones Village and four admissions to Casey Jones Train Museum PLUS VIP tour led by Casey Jones Grandson***
value: $75/priceless

***TWELVE free kids meals at Chilli's***
value: $50

***Ceiling Fan donated by Lowe's***
value: $100

***Porch Lamp donated by Lowe's***
value: $100

***"Life-Like" Doll***
value: $100

***John Travolta Gift Basket w/autographed photo***
value: $100/priceless

***Multiple Avon Gift Baskets***
value: $75-$150 (each)

***Yankee Candle Gift Basket***
value: $50

***Stampin' Up Scrapbook Gift Basket***
value: $200

***Hair 'Bow'quet***
value: $50

and much, much more!!!!

Ok, so for the giveaway part!!

We have 250 tickets to sell for our Spaghetti dinner, and we need YOUR help to sell them!

The tickets are only $5 so it shouldn't be too hard, especially since that $5 gets you spaghetti, bread, salad, dessert and a drink!!!

We will have TWO separate giveaways.

Giveaway #1:

Everytime you repost this blog post to facebook, twitter, etc...then come back here and comment on THIS blog post about your repost...you'll be entered one time into giveaway #1. If you write a blog post of your own about our dinner/auction, and link back to this blog post, you'll be entered FIVE times into giveaway #1. That's it. No donating, just reposting! The winner will have their choice of 2 prizes, each with a value over $25

Giveaway #2:

The person who solicits the most ticket sales will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. Ticket buyers can pay through paypal, and in the notes section have them write YOUR NAME so you get credit for their purchase. You can enter YOUR OWN name one time, no ticket purchase necessary but the more ticket sales with your name attached to them, the better off you'll be! :)


We are partnering with local groups to DONATE meals purchased by out of state/city/etc buyers. The number of "unclaimed" dinners (i.e. you bought a ticket but didn't come to eat) will be donated to people who are either sick and can't cook for themselves, or can't afford a hot meal. How awesome is it that just FIVE DOLLARS can work to not only bring home a beautiful little girl, but also feed someone who otherwise would have gone without a hot dinner that night. :)

So there it is guys!!! Please repost and sell those tickets!

Ticket sale money can be sent to: rescueaprincess@gmail.com on paypal

Thank you!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spaghetti Dinner...with a twist!

We are having a spaghetti dinner and silent auction on May 19th here in Jackson TN at Fellowship Bible Church from 5:30-7:30 pm. Tickets are $5 and kids under 2 are free! If you would like to purchase tickets please email me at Priscilla.morse@gmail.com or comment on this post! :)

Now for the twist...

If you live out of town, out of state, or you're busy that night...you will still have an opportunity to be part of something wonderful...you can purchase tickets for $5 through paypal/chipin/FSP/mailing a check or money order...and your meal will be DONATED to a person in need. A card will be placed on top of their to go container that reads "this meal was lovingly donated by (enter your name here)". Can you imagine how thrilled a person will be to have spaghetti, bread, salad, and a dessert delivered right to their door? You will not only be showing our sweet little girl love and support, but you'll be helping her story to touch other people and families in need. Beautiful!!

Please consider being part of something amazing. :)