Returning to Ethiopia

Ah, the neglected blog…..sorry. Life is crazy, and chaotic and by the time I manage working full time, cooking, running to athletic events and just managing life, there has not been much time for blogging.

But there is cause for celebration! Five days from now we will be winging our way to Ethiopia – the WHOLE family!

We’ve been dreaming of doing this for years. We told Beza & Luke we would someday take them back. And the day is near at hand.

They will get a chance to visit extended family, including their grandmother. Noah and Natalie will have a chance to see where their siblings are from and experience the beautiful country that their father jets off to several times a year for work.

We’ve been saving and planning and waiting for a deal. And boy did we find one – on Emirates Airlines of all things – supposedly the best way to fly.

It includes a 22 hour layover in Dubai on the way there during which we have a “Bedouin Village” experience planned out in the desert before returning to a hotel, getting a good night sleep and continuing on to Addis.

We’ll have about 4 days in country. It’s not a long time but we will pack as much as we can into the time and then collapse when we return.

We’d appreciate your prayers. As one could imagine there are a lot of emotions and anxiety on the part of all the kids, each for their own reasons.

I’ll try to post while we’re gone, and certainly my Instagram feed will be busy as wireless can be found :-)

“You Can Adopt Without Debt” – New book NOW AVAILABLE!

NowAvailableIt’s launch day! Approximately 2.5 years in the making, I’m beyond thrilled to have “You Can Adopt Without Debt: Creative Ways to Cover the Cost of Adoption” finally available!!

The book was written with one goal in mind – to equip families wanting to adopt with the tools and ideas to make their dream come true and do it without going into debt. Unlike my previous book,” You Can Adopt Without Debt” is designed to even help someone just beginning to think about adoption. It explores the different kinds of adoptions, gives pros and cons to each, guides you through choosing an agency, what to expect during the process and the wide range of costs.

Then, of course, it delves into the nitty gritty of paying for adoption should you choose private domestic or international adoption. (Adoption from the foster care system is generally free or VERY inexpensive.)

It’s filled with tons of practical fundraising and income-producing ideas with varying levels of time commitment and return. (Don’t let the word “fundraising” scare you off – you don’t necessarily need to flat out ask for donations as you’ll see.)

(A Table of Contents is at the end of the post so you can see all the information we crammed in!)

SPREAD THE WORD: I would love it if you would help spread the word about the book! I’m giving away 3 signed copies and there are lots of ways to enter at the bottom of the post!!

BOOK HUNT: Of course the book is available at all the major online retailers BUT I’m wondering where else it’s going to be. The first person to find it in a brick ‘n mortar store and take a selfie in front of shelf it’s on wins a special awesome prize from me. (Email pic to julieATjuliegummDOTcom.)


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christian Book | Cokesbury


Table of Contents (*completely new chapters)


  1. The Adoption Adventure*
  2. Our Story
  3. What Type of Adoption Is Right for You?*
  4. Choosing an Agency or Attorney*
  5. What to Expect in the Process*
  6. Considering the Cost*
  7. The Debt-Free Approach*
  8. Adoption Debt: Wrong or Right?*
  9. It Starts with Sacrifice
  10. Adoption Grants
  11. Employer Benefits*
  12. Sacrifices and Second Incomes
  13. Fund-Raising
  14. Event Fund-Raisers
  15. Sales-Driven Fund-Raisers
  16. Social Media Fund-Raising*
  17. Debt-Free Adoption Is Possible*
  18. Adoption Tax Credit*
  19. Giving Back*
  20. Our Journey to Ethiopia


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Seasons of change … and waiting

As the leaves fall from the trees here in beautiful Northwest Arkansas, we have passed a major step in our season of change.

Our Phoenix house is sold. While it seemed like forever, in all it only took 10 weeks to get a buyer. And interestingly enough the day we accepted the offer our realtor got another call from someone who wanted to make an offer. Sometimes God provides in abundance.

So now we can turn our attention to house hunting. We love living in a small town but that does mean the inventory is somewhat limited. Especially for a family our size. While we don’t need a mansion by any means we do need space – and bathrooms. Living in a two bathroom house the last 6 months has provided some interesting challenges. That half bath makes a huge difference in the morning routine of getting 5 people out of the house.

So it may take us awhile.

God provided an amazing rental house for us and of course, we are truly grateful. Yet to be honest I am struggling with patience.

The waiting.

I don’t do that so well.

It was the hardest part of our adoption. Waiting. Giving control over to God. Of course it is also where I learned the most, and where I grew as a person.

I think maybe God thinks I need a refresher course.

So we wait. For the right house, the right neighborhood, the right price.

I know God will provide something amazing and perfect. It is fairly easy for me to have faith in that.

I just would like it sooner rather than later :-)