Friday, January 30, 2009

Double Standards

I received the following email from Catholic today.I know, I know. I should not be surprised by the media's double standards. I know it is long, but it is worth the read. I will try to stop posting such long posts.:) The commercial they are talking about is the one I shared with you before the inauguration.

Dear Member,

We broke this news yesterday, but wanted to make sure you have the full story - NBC has slammed the door on running our ad during the Super Bowl!

After several days of negotiations, a representative in Chicago told us that NBC and the NFL are not interested in advertisements involving ‘political candidates or issues.’

We were in the midst of raising the money needed, and had confirmed interest from several very generous pro-life benefactors. Airing the ad would have been very expensive, and a 'Super' opportunity.

But NBC’s rejection is calling even more attention to the ad. We have been appearing on radio programs across the country for the past two days, and NBC’s New York affiliate (imagine the irony), is covering the controversy. Bill O’Reilly of the FOX News Channel featured the ad on his program Wednesday night calling it “brilliant” and “genius.” His show alone reached nearly 4 million people.

All of this is driving more traffic to the commercial online. We reached almost 1 million online views in less than two weeks!

So why did NBC reject the ad?

The network claims that they do not allow political or issue advocacy advertisements during the Super Bowl, but that’s simply not true.

The network was willing to air an ad by PETA, which is definitely an advocacy group, if PETA would tone down their ad’s sexual suggestiveness.

Also, the first ad scheduled to run during the Super Bowl is a creative spot about Pedigree’s pet adoption drive. The ad ends with the line: “Help us help dogs.”

In recent years, some Super Bowl advertisements have caused controversy. But there’s nothing objectionable about our positive, life-affirming advertisement. We show a beautiful ultrasound, something NBC’s parent company GE has done for years. We don’t attack Barack Obama, but focus on him becoming the first African-American President. We simply ask people to imagine the potential of each human life.

What now?

We’re not intimidated by NBC. We plan on getting this ad out so that many millions of Americans can imagine the potential of each human life. Here are some things you can do:

We are preparing a virtual protest of NBC’s decision. We want other networks to know that hundreds of thousands of people want to see this ad aired, and we will not give up easily. Stay tuned for our plan on this in the next few days.
The Catholic television station EWTN will be airing the commercial before, during and after the Super Bowl. Feel free to turn your channel to EWTN during halftime and watch our ad there.
You can still share the commercial with friends and family. Tell them to go to and watch the ad NBC doesn’t want them to see! Heck, show it at your Super Bowl party!
We’ve been humbled by the donations we’ve received to help get this ad out. We are especially grateful to the group of very generous benefactors that agreed to help if we got air time for the Super Bowl.

We aren’t certain they will still help, but we will use any funds we receive from you and others to air the ad in the most prominent and cost-effective venues available.

Perhaps the ad should run during the Academy Awards or maybe American Idol, which is popular with the youth. Maybe we should run it following President Obama’s first State of the Union address?

If you have ideas, tell us what you think.

Brian Burch

P.S. You may recall that this is the first ad in our new “Life: Imagine the Potential” campaign. We are having a huge impact with our campaign already! Our message is positive, life affirming, and hope-filled. And it is reaching audiences that normally don’t listen to us.

We are grateful for all your support and prayers.

It is All So Overwhwlming

I promised you all a better introduction to Micah when this was all over. It is not over yet, but we are feeling a little more comfortable at sharing him. The problem is that there are so many people involved and it is not my place to share their stories.I have also stated before that we have been guilty of sharing too much about Isaac. When they are little it is hard to remember that when they are older it may be embarrassing for them to have everyone know their story. I am sure I will not do it justice, but I will try and share as much as I can. It is very long. I just want a permanent record of it. I do not blame you if you do not read it all.

About a year and half ago we had a few of Bruce's online families who were in town over for dinner. In talking with them it came out that Isaac wanted a "brown brother" and we wanted to adopt again. One of the mothers sitting there had just found out the homeless teen they had taken in was pregnant. We just kind of acknowledged, "Wow, what if?" and moved on. A few months later we talked again and realized they were serious about adoption and we had to decide if we wanted to throw our names into the hat. At first we really did not know and decided to answer the long list of questions from the mother and just see what happens. We did not sell ourselves very well, as I did not think my husband was very serious. The next day, after I submitted our answers, he says something like, "If we are serious we need to look into the home study process, finances, etc." I could have killed him. I rushed through those answers thinking he was going to say no anyway! Well, she did not pick us at first. It was sad, but thankfully we believe in a sovereign God and did not blame ourselves for not taking the time to really do a good job on the questions. Fast forward a few weeks. Bruce had to speak with the father of the student about something school related and just thew in that if things did not work out with the other family, we were still interested. A couple of weeks later we received an email asking if we would be interested in taking the baby. Of course, we were! We rushed into adoption mode with not a lot of time. We spent time getting to know the birth mother through email and made plans for me to spend an unknown amount of time in Hawaii. I flew in the night before labor was induced. I met her the next day in the hospital. We hit it off at once. We shed a few tears and spent the day wishing her labor would move faster. I went back to the house I was staying in to get some rest and got a call at about 2am that he had been born. Originally the plan was for her to be alone with him for a while and then she would hand him over to me. I had already told her that I knew it would be hard for her to be right down the street from him while I was waiting for the state to say I could leave, so I did not mind if we spent time together while we were still there. So, the three of us spent 3 days in the hospital together. She did not want to be alone and I had never left a child at the hospital, so it just seemed natural to be there with him. I pulled out my cot right beside her bed and it was a little like a sleep over. I will cherish that time forever. She and I had some very emotional talks and became so comfortable with each other. She was able to feed him and take care of him. I even had her pick out is going home outfit. She never did change a diaper, though! She told me how much it meant to do those things because now she would never have to wonder what it would be like to feed him, or hold him while he slept, or any of those things we mothers take for granted everyday. Bruce joined me a few days later. We left Hawaii knowing we would see her again in a few months. Things started to unravel once we got home. We were told our adoption was going to take a few months longer than we anticipated. Things were weird since we were a continent apart. We know now the judge never wanted it to be said that the birth father did not have a fair chance because of the distance. After a few months it was a few more months and then it grew into almost a year. In the meantime the birth mother, the people who took her in as family and us were trying to move on with life. This past year has been difficult for a lot of people. But we are all rejoicing now! Her attorney was trying to call her from the courthouse on Tuesday. He looked at me and asked if I wanted to be the one to tell her. I was so excited, but got her voicemail.You may ask why would it be exciting to share this with her. Wouldn't it be sad for her that parental rights had been terminated? The great thing about her is that she never forgets who is the most important person in all of this. It is so vital to her that Micah does not experience everything she has had to experience. She has said more than once that she is so happy for the life he is going to get to have. That night I finally got her and it was so good to hear her voice and share that moment with her. Another thing that I never want to forget.

There is so much I left out. Like I said it is not only my story to tell. The thing that is so overwhelming in all of this is how close our son came to living a life that I had only experienced on movies or TV shows. You see, God chooses to take certain children out of deplorable situations and places them in Christian, covenant homes. How overwhelming is that? If I could tell you more you would know I have not exaggerated. I am going through the phase right now of realizing what could have been and it is heartbreaking and joyous at the same time. And then I wonder why God chose us to raise this child. Why did God choose Micah? I do not have the answers but I do know that when people say the price (literally and emotionally) is not worth it, I just want to scream. I know it is a calling and God does not call us all to bring these children into our homes, but to be a part of this miraculous work that God has done is an honor.

So, please let me introduce to you Micah Samuel Makana Etter. The cutest baby who never cries and has the most beautiful smile ever. Yes, I can say these things because he does not come from my gene pool.

Such is Life

We have been asked if we are celebrating this week. We decided to take the week off of school and just try to rest. We are so tired. We have been drifting through these last few weeks and just needed to soak it all in and revamp. Well, Sarah is now in the third day of vomiting, excruciating headaches, and a fever. The doctor says it is viral and could last a few more days. They said she was borderline at being admitted for IV fluids. That is not unusual for Sarah. She has nothing extra and she goes downhill really fast when she gets a stomach bug. The thing I hate is if she is that close to IV's, can't they just do it? Our pediatrician in VA always gave her Zofran so she could at least hold down fluids. She is being a little stubborn. If it tastes bad coming back up (which is everything), then she wants nothing else to do with it. So, Popsicles, Gatorade, etc. are hard to get her to take now. We are now threatening her with lots of needles hanging out of her arms. She is finally sipping on Ginger Ale. Any suggestions?

I am off to hold her and try to help her stay warm. Here's to praying the other 4 do not get it. If it takes this long to go through every child we will be doing this for a few weeks!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Good News

Parental rights were terminated today!! There is a 30 day window for an appeal, but based on what we say today no one thinks it will happen. What a year this has been! As we were sitting in court waiting, my husband asked what we would have done differently. I could not really think of much that really would have mattered. He then said, "The really crazy thing is I think we would do it again." No, we are not saying we want more children, but do not let our situation make you afraid of adoption. We aren't.

Today is the Day

Today is our next court hearing. Please pray this will not be continued again and the judge will see the truth of the situation.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It is All So Confusing

We turned the inauguration into something educational here in our homeschool. Just like a lot of other homeschoolers we had the children watch it and Isaac had to write a 3 point paragraph. I heard him tell his sister something like this, "I wish I did not have to write this stupid paragraph. Now I have to actually pay attention." After chuckling to myself because this is so Isaac, I went on to tell him that as black boy this day should mean something to him. He may not realize it now, but when he is an adult he will be happy that I made him pay attention to something that changes the course of his life. He then told me how confused he was. He says we don't like him, but yet I am supposed to be happy that he is apart of this historical moment. You see, my husband and I are of the camp which believes Barack Obama could very well be God's judgement on our nation. Call us extreme, but that is where we are. Back to Isaac. We explained how blessed he is, as a black person, to be growing up now and not during the time of slavery or even 50 years ago when he truly did not have equal rights. We had never really talked with him about any of this. We explained that this election meant black men could rise to the top in our country and in this particular instance was treated much better the those running against him.Yes, I know there is the camp that says, "But he is half white!" The truth of the mater is in our nation when you are even part black, everyone sees you as all black. My son is half Dominican. Even when I point that out to people, he is still just black. I have no problem with that. I am just saying racism does not stop if you say I have some white in me. I was thankful when we heard an interview with Bill Cosby and someone else. I can not remember his name. Isaac could hear from them things which I cannot say. They both basically said this election meant no more excuses. No more expecting handouts. No one is entitled to anything. We have a black president who was raised by a single mother, whose father deserted them, and so on. They also pointed out that he is a black man who appears to be a loving and responsible husband and father. The man who I cannot remember went on to say Barack Obama has broken the stereotype and there are no more excuses and the black leaders who have spent their time preaching entitlement need to back up and re-work their positions. I am still not sure that Isaac gets what it all means, but I do hope when he is a young adult he will remember the day for what it was and especially remember the interviews we watched.

What She Said

As we have all seen, our new President has already done some pretty scary and sad things just in his first few days. He has said things which are completely different than what he campaigned with. Unfortunately, he has also followed through on other things. I know, I know we are not surprised. Fox News is calling him out on a lot of things. I decided to just look to see what CNN was saying about him. I have to admit my surprise at this quote from Campbell Brown.

That basically means they are saying, we will mostly put tough new restrictions on lobbyists, except when we won't. Really? Is this how it is going to be?Please, please don't make us all any more cynical than we already are, Mr. President.If you have no intention of abiding by your new rules, then don't make new rules. That would be "actual" transparency.

Read the whole thing here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

To Re-sign Up or Not

So, I have been frustrated with my son in his online classes. He is only 10 so, it means I have to sit with him or at least be within earshot and constantly redirect him to pay attention. Let me say that he has almost 0 attention span. It is REALLY bad. I knew it would be difficult, but I thought he needed to extra reinforcement since our days are so choppy with the little ones running around. I have been very happy with the instruction. They are doing a phenomenal job. My frustration has been with my lack of organizational skills. I am a planner, but tend to procrastinate when it comes to follow through. It is quite common for us to wake up, start our day, and then remember that he has a class in 30 minutes and I forgot to have him do his homework. You can imagine the chaos that follows. Well, as I am taking a look at next year(Registration is just a couple of weeks away.) I decided to really watch and take note if I thought the classes were good for him or not. After talking with him about the possibility of not doing them anymore he has done his homework without me telling him for the last two weeks. I am so thrilled he is learning that. Also, this is exam week. For a 10 year old it takes logistical help from mom.(Downloading, uploading, typing) After waking up dreading the day(I knew it would take most of our day.), I am so pleased with him. He did so well on them and they were not easy. Some of the questions stumped me. I was so pleased with this mid-year evaluation that I am considering making up exams for the rest of his subjects and Sarah's too. As a matter of fact she is taking the one I gave to my history class now. Anyway, all of that to say I think we will stay with online classes for him. I think they are teaching us both to be better managers of our time and I am so pleased with his progress.

Life: Imagine the Potential

Somehow I am on the email list for Please read the email I recieved from them today. And do watch the video. It is quite powerful.

Dear Member,
According to the Financial Times, a ‘Super Bowl’ type audience is expected to tune in to coverage of the Inauguration of Barack Obama tomorrow.

To mark this occasion, we are proud to announce the release of a new commercial that will be airing all day tomorrow in select markets on Black Entertainment Television. Our newest ad is just the beginning of a year-long campaign that will include a series of commercials for use on the web and on broadcast TV.

Check out our new ad here –

I don’t want to spoil the surprise, so be sure to check out our new ad, and then tell your friends about it. After watching the short commercial, I hope you will appreciate our purpose. The message of is universal and transcends candidates and political parties. Even in difficult times, the truth about the dignity of every human life must be proclaimed.

We at had hoped that the first African-American president would be pro-life. Sadly, that’s not the case. While we urge you to pray earnestly for his conversion on abortion, we’re not going to waste this historic opportunity to witness to life.

Our newest ad seeks to both educate and inspire – the same elements that helped make our election season film the most-watched political ad on the Internet during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Finally, I suspect there will be a lot of talk about hope in the next couple of days. The purpose of our multiple-commercial campaign is to creatively reach new people who don’t always agree with us about the amazing gift of every human life. Simply put, abortion is the enemy of hope.

Friday, January 16, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday

There is so much to post about, but so little time. I keep thinking tomorrow will be less busy, but it never is. So, I guess I will copy Anne and do this 7 Quick Takes thing. At least I can share a little of what I have been thinking.

1. We finally have the new computer hooked up and running. I was quite disappointed with myself to see how lost I was to not have access to the computer whenever I wanted it. A few years ago we decided to move the television to the basement. We did not like it being in the main area where we spend all of our time. It was too tempting to watch it constantly. Well, the basement is only partially finished.It is cold and not very attractive. I rarely go down to watch anything. What I found out this week was I just replaced that time with the computer. I am making a promise to myself to spend way less time on the computer.

2. WE also got a new toilet! A two year old, who shall remain nameless, has now cost us almost $2,000 in plumbing bills. This time it was too bad to fix. We just had to get a new toilet. We knew he had put something in the toilet. We walked in to find him shoving something down with a toothbrush. He said it was Daddy's golf ball. The plumber did not find a golf ball, but he did find a rubber ducky. And yes, we did throw the toothbrush away.

3. We have been placed in a couple of advice giving, counseling type situations in the past few weeks. I have learned that there are so many people having REAL problems. I need to be reminded more often to lift up people in prayer. I have learned from myself over the past year and these people over the past few weeks when people withdraw or seem overwhelmed there is probably more than exhaustion going on and we should really seriously pray for them.

4. The new perfect puppy turns out to be not so perfect. Seems as though we picked a breed that is hard to house break. I'm not giving up though!!

5. Our court date is just a week and half away, Jan 27. I have gone from ignoring it to get through Christmas to being all I can think about. No, I am not sleeping well.

6. Because I am not sleeping well, my back is all messed up. I am thinking of going to a Chiropractor.

7. The kids first basketball games are tomorrow. We have games from 8:30 to 3:00 every Saturday for the next two months. What in the world was I thinking when I signed them up?!?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I'll Be Back Soon

My computer has been infected with something bad.The virus blocks any adware or spyware so, we are being told the best thing to do is just get a new computer. My husband is on our other computer way too much for me to fit in blogging time. I will be back in a couple of days with lots to say.

By the way, for those of you waiting for the Mexican Pie recipe, a friend brought it to us to put in the freezer for when we needed it. I will ask for the recipe.

Now We Know

So, the Health Department called today. Evidently, the company who makes this peanut butter has ties to the peanut butter we use. It looks like our whole salmonella mess came from the PB&J.

Monday, January 5, 2009

This Week's Menu

This is what will be appearing on our table this week. What about yours?


Barbecue Sandwiches
Cole Slaw


Chicken Tortilla Soup


Apricot Pork Chops
Green Beans
Baked Apples

Mexican Pie


Red Beans and Rice

Friday, January 2, 2009

Things I Have Learned

We received a Christmas card from a friend and on it he wrote, "Wow! What a year for you guys." Yes, it has been quite the year. When I think about 2008 I can not ignore the fact that a lot has happened. It has been a year of tremendous growth and learning for all of us. Some of you have seen me at my weakest and it has been humbling and at times embarrassing. I am thankful for those of you who have held us up in prayer, cooked us meals, spoiled my children when I had no energy left, brought good food, diet Dr. Pepper, and kept me company when I was isolated in a hospital room with my baby (Yes, literally isolated. When they found out it was salmonella they taped our room off and everyone had to dress in gowns.), cried with me through all of the ups and downs of this adoption, sat with us through what seems to be never ending court hearings, and above all not deeming me crazy when I have hit the breaking point.We have depended on friends more than ever this year and we are so grateful for them.

While thinking this all through I am making a list of all of the things we learned this year. Here goes.

We have learned...
-Complete strangers on the other side of the Continent can be so kind and giving. They can set you up for a 3 week stay while going to get your baby and taking care of you the whole time. Giving you a free place to stay, a car to drive, trips to the hospital in the middle of the night when you were learning your way around, dinners at incredible restaurants, etc. Most important, God used them to keep our child safe and protected. For that we will forever be thankful beyond words.
-Going to a tropical climate in the winter makes the following winter seem unbearable.
-Even though 3 attorneys, a judge and two adoption social workers say your adoption should be a piece of cake, still prepare yourself for the worst. It happens.
-Friends are the best.
-I love being with my children.
-My husband is my earthly rock. He makes me laugh when I think I can not laugh anymore. He tells me to get over it when I need to hear it. He is the best father ever. He rarely gets angry. He knows my limits and does his best to keep those limits from being tested.
-I love being with my husband 24/7. His working from home has been the best!
-When birth mothers choose to put a baby up for adoption instead of aborting them the law becomes against them and they loose their rights. I am convinced that until this changes we will not see a major drop in abortion.
-Hearing the 2 yr old brother say to the the 5 yr old brother "You are my best friend." and then watching the 5yr old give him a hug is just plain beautiful.
-Having my 10 year old son say, "Mom, I want to take you out to dinner and work on the way I treat you" is the best gift ever.
-God loves my children more than I do.
-We serve a sovereign God who is never surprised. I need to remember that more often.
-Never to take a group of 200 to Washington D.C.
-A new baby and high maintenance dog at he same time goes way past my limit.

I could definitely go on, but I will stop here. This year has been one to remember, but not only for the stress. God has humbled us, He has sanctified, and He has taught us to rely on Him.He has proven His faithfulness so many times. Those are some pretty great things to learn.