Our growing family

Our growing family

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The American Dream...

Big house, white picket fence, two nice cars, money in the bank, 2.5 kids...this is what we as Americans live for right?...what makes us happy right?...after all, this IS the American Dream right? That is what Todd and I thought for several years until last summer...

Todd and I have never had what some might call a BIG house or really nice cars but we definitely don't live in the pits either. We have always had money in the bank for "just in case". We never had specific conversations about needing or wanting the "American Dream" but somehow before we even blinked we had it in just five short years of marriage. Last summer on our anniversary trip, we began discussing what we had "accomplished" in our marriage so far and we both mentioned the "material things" in our lives that most couples in America have by at least their 30's. Of course, we also mentioned our two adorable HEALTHY children too! On the outside, most people would say "We had it all!" but somehow we felt like something was missing...this life was TOO EASY...our "things" were not making us THAT happy.

A month later, Todd and I both started reading VERY CHALLENGING books that tested everything we had ever done or thought about our lives. Todd began reading RADICAL by David Platt and I began reading RED LETTERS by Tom Davis. We quickly realized that we wanted and needed more than the "American Dream". We felt that as Americans and most definitely as Christians that we needed and wanted more in our life...we wanted to help others and be changed through and by it! We wanted our children to grow up living out the ole' saying "It is better to give than receive." We wanted our children to see God's love through not only our words but our actions too! Two months later, God called us on our adoption journey to Ethiopia. We have learned in less than a year that adoption is not for the weary...it is a long and emotional road. We have not even seen our sweet child's face but already tears have been shed for him/her...sacrifices have been made to bring our child home...questions have been answered over and over again about why and how...this is OUR new American Dream! We don't want "things" to define us anymore but what we do and say for Christ.

This past week I have thought a lot about the "stuff" we have in America and how much we take even the little things for granted. We are cleaning out all of our "stuff" and making room for the two new little ones coming into our lives in the next year or so and we are selling as much as we can to raise money for our adoption. We have so much "stuff" just sitting at our house...not being used...we didn't even remember some of the things we had boxed up in our attic. Why do we hold onto "stuff"...do we think it defines who we are...do it make us greater the more we have? I watched a video about the drought happening in Africa...specifically in Ethiopia right now. The video showed women literally unsure how they were going to feed their children today or any day in the future. They were thirsty for just one glass of water. They had no house or job. Children lost their parents to famine and disease. It broke my heart and literally made me sick to my stomach. I have never gone a day of my life without food, water, clothes, shelter...and yet often I say "we don't have enough money". We have plenty of money! Our children never worry over their basis needs.

My hope is that OUR new "American Dream" will be to serve others first and foremost...to give to those in need instead of spending unnecessary money on ourselves...to teach our children the value of loving others despite their economic status or race...for life to never be "too easy" again.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We have a name!!!

So our little boy has a name now!!! PRESTON TUCKER DUFRIES:) Ironically, he will be named after a Florida baseball player in this year's college world series. Go Gamecocks! Todd and I watched ALL of the games at the college world series this year. There was a really good player on the Florida gators team named Preston Tucker. Everytime we both heard his name, we would look at each other and say that we really liked his name and how it sounded. We both agreed that if we had a boy then that would be HIS name too! There was one little hiccup...we also have close family friends who have a son named Preston as well. We felt like we needed to make sure they didn't mind us using the name and it wouldn't be ackward for them. So, a few weekends ago we asked them and they were fine with us using the name...YAY!!! So, PRESTON TUCKER DUFRIES will arrive sometime at the beginning of December.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Jay Tyler turns 2!

It is so hard to believe that my little man turned 2 yesterday. It just seems like we brought him home from the hospital. Jay Tyler has brought so much joy, adventure, and a little mischief:) into our lives over the last two years. We love him so much! We partied hard on Saturday and Sunday with so many friends and family members!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New haircuts:)

Everyone in our little family has needed haircuts for awhile now so last Saturday we decided to head out for a little family haircut adventure. We had coupons for all of us so we got four haircuts for only $23 (including tips)!!!

Leah's "before" shots...

After...her new "big girl" look

Mommy's boring look...
The new look...not sure how I feel about it though:/

Todd is sporting the "Michael Roth" look
Jay Tyler was REALLY excited about taking pictures:)

My handsome "little man"...can't believe he will be 2 this month:(