Thursday, December 20, 2012

My “Want” List

**WARNING: If you are hoping to read some uplifting post, you may want to exit out. I’m just sayin…

Today is tough for me. I wasn’t expecting it to be, but it has been. I want to be home with my boys. Actually, I want to be home with my boys (all 3) and my baby girl. I want to be on leave from work. I want to be tired from getting up during the night, and I want there to be a combination of Transformers and baby dolls to wrap and put under the tree. I want to rewash all the baby clothes that we washed and put into a suit case, but I want to rewash them because they’ve been worn.

That is really want I want.

But since that’s not possible, here’s want I want in place of those things.

I want someone to come and tell me what to do with all the baby clothes that we have. Actually, I want someone to just come take care of them for me, because right now it hurts less to leave them lay on my bedroom floor than it does to have to pack them up.

But then here’s the other place that my head and my heart go:

I want the chance to bring a few special gifts to Brooke. I want to sit and visit with her and see how it’s going. I would love to be able to visit with her about Christmas and Christ and the one True Love. I would love to be able to tell her how many people have lifted her, her sweet baby and our family up in prayer. I would love to hug her and encourage her and let her brag about her beautiful baby. I would love to read Ephesians 3 to her and explain what that has meant in my life.

Hey, at least I don’t ask for much, right?

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. Psalm 106:1

Friday, December 14, 2012

Exposed Hearts

The danger in exposing your whole heart is that sometimes you feel like it’s being torn. Those times, however, when we think it’s being torn, maybe it’s actually just being stretched and shaped to make room for blessings you just don’t know about yet.

Thank you, God, for seeing the big picture. Please, please reveal just a little bit more to me.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12/12/12 – A Day I Won’t Forget

Let me start not on 12/12, but back a while.

October 15th

I’m at work, and I get an email. When I see Heidi’s name (our social worker) come up on my email list, my heart stops and my palms sweat. Immediately. It’s a pretty amazing reaction, actually. Anyway, I quickly scanned her email as I dialed Brent’s phone number.

I told him the situation and told him we could talk about this. I said that I was open to it, even though it was a situation that we initially had said we were not open to. He said there was no use in talking, then, because he was open to this, too. I immediately emailed Heidi back and said we would love our book to be shown.

Well, a few missed meetings and a lot of prayers later…

November 12th

I had a meeting over lunch. Brent knew that. He tried calling me when we were on our way back to the office. We were just about back, so I just hit the “ignore” button and figured I’d call him back when I got to my desk. No more than 10 seconds later, my phone was ringing again. We were in the parking lot, so I answered the phone as I got out of Lori’s truck.

Brent was in the parking lot, and he needed me to come sign some 401K paperwork. So, I quickly went to his truck and hopped in. Instead of paperwork, he handed me a pink little sleeper and asked how I thought that would look on our baby girl.

WE HAD BEEN CHOSEN! And a girl? A girl!

I just remember sitting there and saying, “What?” Every detail he would tell me, I would respond by saying, “What?” in complete shock and disbelief.

We had so much fun telling family and friends. But most of all… we could not wait to get home and tell the boys! They were so excited (to say the least).

Kristi came with me to pick out fabric. I made a baby blanket. I finished sewing the crib bedding that I had started earlier in the adoption process.

November 29th

Brent and I tried to go in to work for a little while. This day was far too exciting, though. This was a day that I had dreamed about so many times. Not all couples that adopt get to experience this, and I felt blessed beyond words to be meeting the birthmom. Brent and I met Heidi (social worker) and Brooke (the birthmom) at a restaurant. For two hours we sat and talked to her and got to know her. We talked about our hopes and dreams, and she told us hers. We felt like we completely bonded with her.

That brings us to 12/12/12.

We had been packing our stuff for about a week. Brody and I had packed the baby’s suitcase a couple nights before. It was fun to go through all those clothes. I had bought a little outfit for Christmas day. I imagined all the people coming and wanting to see her. I had dreamed about all the Christmas pictures of her with the boys. Karter asked if I would bring her to school on the day that he had the share bag.

Anyway, back to 12/12. We were all upstairs. We were packing bags. It takes a lot of organization to be gone (and away from our boys) for up to two weeks. This was our attempt. We felt like it would be any day, and we needed to feel like we were somewhat prepared.

Then the phone rang. Now, I told you how I reacted when I got an email from Heidi. But let me tell you… when your social worker calls… you stop in your tracks.


(sigh), “Oh, Kelli.”


I just stood in shock as she told me that the baby was born earlier that day, and now Brooke was rethinking things. Heidi told us that we needed to pray. We needed to stop what we were doing and pray that God’s will be done.

And that’s what we did. As soon as we got off the phone, we sat on the floor of our bedroom, with tiny pink clothes all around us, and Brent prayed. He’s amazing. He prays passionately and honestly. We didn’t try to keep the boys still. Brody sat with his hands covering his ears, because he didn’t want to listen. Karter laid down and sobbed. I sat and struggled to breathe.

My heart was breaking. I was pretty sure of it. Heidi had told us that Brooke hadn’t made a decision yet. She thought that she would maybe make that decision on Thursday or Friday. When that decision was made, Heidi would call us.

Now what? What are we supposed to do? We did the only thing we could think of. We called our family and friends, and we asked them to join us in prayer. We knew they would, too. We snuggled with our boys. In fact, we fell asleep in their beds, and we loved every second of it.

December 13

I was hoping I would wake up today and this would all have been a terrible dream. I woke up wishing it all to go away. It didn’t. Should we be hopeful or realistic? It felt like those were my options. I wanted them to be the same thing. My wish would not come true.

Late this afternoon Heidi called back to say that she had heard from Brooke. Brooke had decided to parent this child. This baby that we had named, together with Brooke, would never fall asleep on Brent’s chest. She would never get to go to Karter’s class. She would never get to sleep in Brody’s bed, like he had been talking about for so long. And my arms, that don’t just long to hold any baby, but specifically for that baby… they would remain empty.

We are numb. We are trying to walk through this with our boys, and our families, and our prayer partners. All day long we received texts from friends and family. People that cared enough to send Bible verses and that called to just make sure we were OK.

We know that God put us on this path, and we believe that He will bring our baby home, even if it’s not the baby that we thought it would be.

We covet your prayers, for Brooke, for the baby, for Karter and Brody, and for Brent and myself. We are so thankful for an awesome social worker that gets it.

Here’s a picture that Karter drew for us. I guess it sums it up pretty well. It says, “I am sorry our little girl maybe won’t come home.”


Sunday, November 4, 2012


Karter’s votes:

- Boy Name: Toby (I think someone watches too much Good Luck, Charlie!)

- Girl Name: Ashley

Brody’s votes:

- Boy Name: Pencil

- Girl’s Name: Pencil

Hmmm… we’ll see what happens. Good thing we started this process before placement!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ephesians 3: An Adoption Update

God is so good. (Duh, right?) Brent and I are trying really hard about spending time in The Word. I love how I can read a verse that I have read many, many times before, and use it to speak to me in new ways each time.

My life verse is found in Ephesians 3, specifically verses 18 & 19. Actually, I have a hard time saying exactly which verse it is, because I just love the whole chapter. Click HERE to read that chapter on

Tonight, with adoption on my mind, I lean particularly on verse 20.

“God is able to do much more than we ask or imagine through His power working in us.”

Oh, the peace that brings me.

- When I’m not sure if I can wait one more minute to get a baby in our arms… God is able. It’s in those moments that I get a hug from the boys. And I must say, my boys give the best hugs!

- When I’m not sure where the money will come from to pay the placement fee… God is able. He provides fundraiser opportunities, and we continue to be amazed at the support we receive from friends, family and complete strangers.

- When I’m not sure how to answer Karter’s questions… God is able. He is able to work in the hearts of our boys. I love that they already have a heart for the orphans, and I pray that they never stop hearing God’s call to care for the orphans.

- When Satan gets through to me and makes me wonder if we can really do this; if we’re really cut out to be the parents of three kids… God is so much bigger than Satan! God provides family and friends that understand and are willing to pray for us.

It’s hard, and it’s not hard. Makes perfect sense, right? We’ve been a waiting family since May, and sometimes that’s hard. 5 months? Some people don’t even wait 5 days. And then other days I can’t believe that it’s really been that long. It seems like it was just a couple weeks ago that we got the email from our caseworker saying we were officially a waiting family. Oh, the emotions. That’s where we are now, though. We are waiting. 

Here’s what’s on my heart today: Somewhere out there is a woman that is making some life changing decisions. Not just life changing for herself, but for a child and for our family. I can’t imagine being in that spot. I must say, I am in awe of her already. I pray for her and for the people in her life. Then God speaks, “Kelli, do you have no faith? You pray for a sense of peace, the strength to get her through this time. I can do so much more than that. Do not limit Me.”

I do that. I limit God. Why do I ask for just enough strength to get through this (whether it be for me or for someone else)? So today, here’s my prayer…

God, You are a God of Love. I am in awe of how you love your own. Please, I’m begging that you use this situation, this circumstance. Use this to glorify you, like only You can do. By our own efforts, this will never work. Without you, no Mom could handle these decisions. No one could hand over a baby they just delivered to someone else and ask them to parent that child. God, it is simply by your strength. Tonight I ask you to be with every birthmother out there. I ask that they are simply overwhelmed by your love. I ask that, like it says in Ephesians 3, they may understand how wide and how long and how high and how deep Your love is. You are amazing, and I am so grateful for your love! Amen.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My New Love

On a whim, quite a long time ago, I bought a sewing machine. Nothing fancy, nothing new, just an old used sewing machine. I thought I would make bibs, spit rags, and other cute gift items. My end goal was to do this to help raise money for our adoption. Well, the machine sat in the box for a while. Then I found some random project that I wanted to try. So, I got the sewing machine out of the box and plugged it in. I cut my material and was excited to get going. I sat at my machine.

Ummm… How do you thread this beast?

I tried everything I could think of, but I could not get that thing threaded. Talk about feeling dumb.

So, I invited my mom over for Sunday dinner. After we got all the dishes cleaned up, I begged her invited her  to come help me thread my machine… you know, just to see if she still remembered how. Oh, thank heavens! She got it!

So she left, and I sat down and was all prepared to whip out at least my one project, maybe more. What? I have the wrong color thread? Oh, I’m sure I can get this.

Is one hour later too soon to invite my mom back? Cuz I can’t figure this dumb thing out AGAIN!

Finally Brent got sick of me yelling at my machine, so he went to Walmart and got me a new one. (He is truly the most thoughtful guy!)

Well, it’s been slow-going, and I’m kind of just learning as I go, but here’s a few things that I’ve made.

Baby bibs


Baby blankets




A little dress (not for my boys)


Personalized Superhero capes (this one was for my nephew, Eli)


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Big Yellow Bus

I don’t know what is going on, but some big yellow bus just came and picked up my baby. He got on it, and they drove away. And I just know that when he comes back… he’s not going to be a baby anymore. I’m going to look at him differently, and he’s probably going to look at me differently. I’ll have to ask him things like, “Do you have any homework?” or “What was your favorite class today?” or “Why were you in the principal’s office?”

Last night was the Open House at Kinsey Elementary. I really think that this was so good for Karter. He got to see his teacher, Mrs. Dahm. This wasn’t the first time they met. He had her as a teacher for Kindergarten Round Up, and he really liked her. He was very excited when he found out that she was his Kindergarten teacher. Honestly, so was I! I think their personalities will work really well together.

It was also good for him to walk through school again and find his room. There was a bus parked outside, and we could take him on there and talk through the process of riding the bus. That is the one part that Karter is worried about… riding the bus. He’s worried about big kids picking on him, not finding a seat, and getting on the wrong bus.

He really did very well getting on the bus this morning, though. He was a little reluctant. It helped that Brent left work to come watch him get on the bus. I love having such a caring husband! (And I greatly appreciate that his boss let him leave for a few minutes).

I can’t wait to pick Karter up at the end of the day and see how his first day went.



Friday, August 17, 2012

Here we go…

This is it. This is my last week as a parent with no kids in school. Well, last year Karter was in preschool, but that meant he was still little, right? Nope, not anymore. Next week, I will get my two babies boys ready to go. Brody will still go to Gretchen’s house, just like he has 5 days a week for since he was 2 months old (insert sigh of relief from this Mama). Karter, on the other hand, will get dressed in his new clothes, his new shoes, and his new backpack, and he will enter a brand new phase of his life.

Yep… Karter is heading to Kindergarten. One week from now he will officially be a Warrior! He is so excited to have the same teacher that he had the day of Kindergarten Round-Up (which I’m very excited about, too, because I just know that her personality will be perfect for Karter). He already knows a few of the kids that will be in his class, but he’ll also have the chance to make a lot of new friends. He gets to ride a bus (which he’s dreading) to and from school.

I’m so sad and so excited that we’ve reached this point. As much as I would love it if my little fellas could stay little… I love the fact that they’re growing up. I love the people they’re becoming, and I’m so excited to see what God has in store for them.

Karter – I am so proud of how you are growing. I love your heart, little boy (just let me call you that, ok?). I love that you still miss Kevin, the dog, because it shows me how much you love others. You are funny without trying to be. You know sarcasm (which scares me), and you use it appropriately (which scares me even more). You are kind and respectful (when you want to be). Even though you like the Lions more than the Bears… I’ll keep you around. Mom loves ya buddy!

Brody – You are three (for another month and three days), so please stop acting like you’re 8. You are one crazy little kid, and I LOVE it! You can not get enough of your Daddy (I don’t blame you), and I think it’s awesome. Almost every morning you wake up talking about animals, and it shows me where your heart is. I love how passionate you are. I know you’ll miss your big brother when he’s in school, but you have good buddies at daycare and you’ll have a great time! But seriously… stay little a little bit longer, k?  You’re my baby, and I love you!

God, thank you for the opportunity to send our kids to school and day care. Some people long for these days and don’t get to experience them. May I never take these milestones for granted.

** Don’t worry… pictures are coming… soon.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Overwhelmed and Thankful

I know I haven’t talked about about our adoption on our blog. That shouldn’t surprise anyone… because I haven’t talked about anything on our blog. I simply haven’t blogged. It’s because we’ve been busy, and I’ve been overwhelmed. But today I really want to talk about our adoption. Today is a new chapter in our adoption story, and I really just want to tell everyone.  So here goes (please don’t read too closely, because I am not even going to proof read this before I hit publish)….

On November 9, 2009 I wrote this post about not being able to have more kids naturally. Ever since then Brent and I began to feel the adoption seed growing in our hearts, and it became more and more clear that this is what God had planned for us. We sent off for our very first adoption application. It didn’t take long before we heard back from the agency. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the news we wanted to hear. They explained in the letter that there would need to be extra research due to the Leukemia. The part we focused on was that they said that we could be told no or asked to wait a couple years. After reading this, we gave ourselves time. Time to grieve the option of having more kids naturally. Time to get Brent’s health under control. Time to be a family of 4 before worrying about being a family of 5. Quite honestly… after being told that we couldn’t have more kids naturally, I simply couldn’t take being told no to adoption, too. Brent and I each struggled with this (without really knowing that we were doing this), and God was faithful and protected us. In fact, that’s part of why I didn’t blog about it. I felt like if I just didn’t talk about it, and if I didn’t send in our application… well then I couldn’t be told no. I felt like that made me in control. Well, God had another plan. He put people in our lives that have adopted or that have a heart for adoption, and He used them to make it very clear to us what His plan was for our family.

Well, finally on February 6, 2012 we completed our adoption application and sent it off. It was a leap of faith, and we were ready to make it. In only one short week, we heard back from the agency. We had been approved to move to the next step in the process. Since that time we have completed our home study and our profile books. In fact, just today a box arrived at our agency in Blue Earth, MN (New Horizon Adoption Agency). It included 5 copies of our profile book, a thumb drive with pictures to put on their website and our next payment.

What does that mean? We are officially a waiting family. They will now start showing our books to birthmothers.

I am overwhelmed.

Every since last Sunday, Mother’s Day, my heart has been so heavy just thinking about the amazing person who will give birth to a child and then, for whatever reason, will give that child to us. I watched a youtube video yesterday (link) about birthmothers and adoption. I just can’t get it out of my head. They talked about how they didn’t give up the baby because they didn’t want to be a mom, but they made that choice because of their great, great love for their child. So today, I am so overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed that God has put us on this path, and that someday we (hopefully) will get to meet the person that will give us their child, the exact child that God has picked for our family. I’m overwhelmed and extremely thankful to be walking this path.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mini Caramel Rolls


Link to original post:

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 15 min.

  • Yield: 12 Servings


  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons 2% milk
  • 1 tube (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Pour into a greased 9-in. pie plate; set aside.
  • Separate crescent dough into four rectangles; gently press perforations to seal. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over rectangles. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seams to seal.
  • Cut each into nine slices; place cut side down in prepared pie plate. Bake at 375° for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pie plate for 1 minute before inverting onto a serving plate. Yield: 12 servings.

Nutritional Facts 3 rolls equals 155 calories, 9 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 13 mg cholesterol, 189 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

We’re Adopting

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.           James 1:27

We are following God’s call to adopt, and we couldn’t be more excited.

There, it’s on the blog… so that makes it official, right?

All Things Brody (again, pull up a chair)

Oh, my little Brody Alan Hooyer. How is it that you’re getting so big already? How is it that you’re 3 years old already (in a couple weeks it will be 3 1/2, but I’m not giving you that satisfaction yet). You, my little buddy, are quite something.


(We had to quick take pictures while there was some snow, because there wasn’t much this year.)

You keep us busy, and that’s OK. You have an attitude, that’s for sure, but I love your spunk.

You usually know exactly what you want, and you don’t give up until you get it. The other day you were bound & determined to ride your bike. Unfortunately, it wasn’t very nice outside. So, you dressed yourself and headed out… dressed in your shorts, sweatshirt, winter coat (with gloves, of course) and your flip flops. And guess what… you rode your bike!

You snuggle with me. If it was up to you, either Mommy or Daddy would snuggle you to sleep every single night. You’re all boy. You like to play in the mud. Here’s some proof…

You got lots of sun that day. You had white spots all over your back from when you were splattered with mud.

Here’s some of our more recent pics of you:


In this last picture, you were upset because we weren’t going to lay with you up in bed. So you snuck downstairs (or you thought you were being sneaky), and you fell asleep at the bottom of the stairs. There, that was better than laying in your comfortable bed, huh?

Brody, you are so loved. And I love that you love us, too.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

All Things Karter (long post… I’m one proud mama)

So, the last time I posted was the day before I dropped my Karter Henry off at preschool. Like I said, he was nervous, maybe even scared.

Well, that didn’t last long. We are now 1/2 way through the year, and he LOVES preschool.

On January 9, that same little Karter Henry turned 5 years old. I can not believe it. I felt all those same emotions that I did the day before bringing him to school for the first time.

Here are a few fun pictures of my (once) little boy.

Tubing with Uncle Brian…


Exploring on Grandma Langstraat’s farm…


First day of school…


Captain of the day…


5th birthday party

This was the first time that we invited friends to a birthday party, and they had a GREAT time bowling. (Pictured below are Brody, Eli, Karter, Kyle Kooi, Jakson Gillespie)



Yes, the picture below was taken in a bar. It’s the only place at the bowling alley that we could eat cake and open presents. (Normally I would wait until their 6th birthday before booking a bar for the party.)


Last night, I was reading a blog about a little baby that died. Karter was asking me what I was reading, so I started telling him about it. I said to him, “Isn’t it sad that this baby died?”

Without thinking he said, “I don’t think it’s sad at all. I think he’s in Heaven with Grandpa and God, and I don’t think that’s sad.”

Keep that kind of faith, Karter. That is my prayer for you.