Guest Post: My Foray Into Homemade Baby Food

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We are so excited to read Crystal’s take on introducing solids to her son. A few months ago we shared our own experiences: Grace’s baby-led weaning approach, and Amanda’s choice to buy organic baby purees. Crystal went another route with … Continue reading

Adoption Awareness Month: The Cordell Story

November is Adoption Awareness Month, so we asked around to some friends and family if they could share their experiences with adoption. Anna shares their story of adoption through foster care. 


The Cordell Story

This is our story about how God has directed us since we were teenagers to become parents to our three wonderful sons.

My husband, Shane and I met when we were 16 years old at a cousin’s house and dated for a short time before going seperate ways. We crossed paths again in 2006, and were soon engaged. During our engagement I mentioned to Shane that I had always wanted to adopt a child, and to my surprise he was excited about the idea and even said one of his cousin was a foster child that was adopted. In 2008, We were married and moved to a new area the summer of 2009. In the midst of moving we picked up the local paper and noticed an ad in there for foster parents needed. We discussed becoming foster parents and decided to wait one year before looking into it. The following Spring we were trying to decide whether to go through Foster Care or a private agency to adopt, when a friend introduced Shane to his son that he was in the process of adopting from foster care and mentioned that our town was really in a need of foster to adopt parents.

So in the Summer of 2010, Shane and I were going to the fertility doctors to figure out why we weren’t having any luck at having a biological child and we enrolled in classes to become foster parents. We thought the worst thing that could happen is we have two children at the same time. That summer we discovered that we could not have any biological child and were very thankful that we had started the process to become foster parents. At our last class to become licensed, we happened to meet this little girl and Shane and I just kept thinking about her and wondering if we were meant to ask about her. Less then a month after being licensed to become foster parents to at most two children less then 4 years old (our request), I received a phone call about helping out a foster family and keeping a little 5 year old boy for an extended weekend. I talked to Shane and said sure. I picked this little blond haired boy up the next day after school and his foster mom tells me she can’t keep him much longer and also that he is the brother of the little girl we met on our last day of training. Shane called our social worker the following Monday after keeping him and Dustin officially moved in
that week.He was adopted a year later.


Once Dustin’s adoption was final, I began to bug our social workers about when we were going to get another placement. In Spring of 2012, while I was at work sitting in a 3rd grade class I noticed that DSS was calling but I couldn’t answer the phone and then my phone begins to vibrate, I had a texted from Shane to call him ASAP. I stepped out of the class and called Shane and our social worker. I was informed that they had a 4 year old boy that needed a placement that night! I ran around telling the different teachers I worked with that I probably would not be at work the next day, waited for the final bell to ring, ran to get Dustin, sped home to fix the extra bedroom up for a little boy and Layland arrived at 8 o’clock that night.20131115-012545.jpg

Then in June, while hanging out at the neighborhood beach with Dustin and Layland, I noticed I had a message from DSS that said call us immediately. I called and couldn’t believe what they were calling about. They asked if we were interested in taking in Layland’s seven week old brother! A week later we picked up our youngest little guy.



Now they are all Cordells and our family is complete.


According to the CCAI and The AFCARS Report No. 19, 400,540 children in the U.S. are living without permanent families in the foster care system.  115,000 of these children are eligible for adoption, but nearly 40% of these children will wait over three years in foster care before being adopted.

Q&A with a Doula

Allison attended Jolie’s birth as my (Grace’s) doula. She was a very important part of my labor and delivery, and Viktor and I would have been lost without her. If you are interested in having a natural birth I suggest you find a doula in your area. Here is a mini “interview” with Allison:

Why did you become a doula?

I have always loved the birthing process. I just think it is such a miracle. I love the chance to support couples or women while they are going through this process, especially if they are trying to do it naturally or if they have no other support system. I felt by becoming a doula, it was the best way to be able to support in the birthing process. I also feel that so many women are not educated about their choices when it comes to childbirth. Sometimes I feel like women are forced into making decisions in the hospital that they have no time to research, or they feel pressure to go with a choice that they may not have wanted for themselves or for their baby.

How many births have you attended?

I have attended at least 10, as either a doula or a nursing student, not including my own. As a doula, I have supported 6 labors.

What was the most exciting birth you attended? Scariest?

I believe all births are exciting. The miracle of birth is exciting, whether it is a c-section or a vaginal birth. The scariest birth I have attended was one where the baby got “stuck,” also known as shoulder dystocia. I know it has got to be scary for the mom to not know what is going on, and things have to happen so quickly that it is hard to explain what is going on until afterwards. I tried to just comfort the mom the best while everything was going on.

What are some tips for husbands to help their wives through natural labor?

The best thing for the husband to do is just to be supportive, both emotionally and physically. The partner can never take anything personally and needs to know that the woman may go through several cycles of emotions and mood swings. The partner should tell the woman that she is strong and be encouraging that she can do it. Also give massages where the woman says she needs pressure or a massage. If there is a doula present, let the doula not only support the woman, but support the partner by being the “coordinator” of different positions, or even just letting the couple have some time alone if needed. The doula should always be in the background, not the foreground, giving suggestions when wanted and desired, but never becoming the “partner.”

What is your favorite part about being a doula and helping a mom through labor and delivery?

My favorite part is when the woman realizes just how amazing and strong she really is. Even if things don’t go as planned, the woman usually gets an overwhelming sense of accomplishment when done that is so beautiful. One of my favorite parts as well is educating the couple beforehand of the choices that come with the whole birthing process and helping the couple come up with their birth plan. Of course, the birth, itself, makes me cry every time!

What advice do you have for women thinking about unmedicated natural birth?

Educate, Educate, Educate. Find out what your choices are at the place you are going to give birth. Realize you do have rights and you have choices. Find a doctor or midwife who is going to support your decisions. Think about having a doula. Realize that sometimes things don’t go as planned, and be willing to be flexible if it is necessary. Don’t be hard on yourself if you are unable to have an unmedicated birth. Remember, the desired outcome is always a healthy baby.