Thursday, September 20, 2012

Saylor’s Room Reveal

Being that we have been in process for 2.5 years, you wouldn’t think it would come down to the wire to get her room done.  The reality of it is that when the wait started to get longer and things slowed down, so did the work on the nursery.  It honestly was hard to walk in there not knowing when we’d know who she is.  Once we got our referral, all that changed and it gave us a new charge to continue working on it.

Now, Amber and I have a pretty good relationship in doing projects/rooms here at the house.  Except for the fact that I usually do all the work! :)  The way it normally plays out is that she has this “idea” but it’s not concretely formed yet.  I will then do what I’m good at … researching … to help her formulate that idea.  We agree, get a plan and then I will usually execute the project.  I really do like working on these projects but I never feel like I have the time to devote to them.  And top that off on it taking 3x longer than it should and adding some perfectionism in all that, projects take alot longer than they should.

Throughout this adoption, God has used the sparrow and birds in general as a sign to Amber that He would faithfully carry us through this adoption.  His hand has been ALL over it and He has been merciful to us to physically show us through His creation how much He cares for our daughter and cares for us.  So, it was no surprise that this theme would play a big influence in the design of the room.

So, let us walk you through the room and give you the history on some of the hows/whats/whys in the room.  Before I begin, I need to say that my wife is a big fan of Etsy and Pinterest.  And so some of the things you see here will have been significantly influenced from what we found there and the supporting DIY blogs, etc that explain those projects.

Here is the straight-on view from the doorway.


And here is a view from the doorway looking to the right…


Yes, her room is about as large as Silas’ is.  We honestly wish the upstairs was laid out differently to give us more rooms up there but we now see them as good room-sharing rooms :)   We chose to go with a pale yellow for the walls to keep it bright and airy in there (and a great color for a bird-inspired room).

The overall setup of the room is “similar” to Silas’ layout which y’all saw 3.5 years ago (man, that’s crazy to write).  OK, ready for the tour?  We’ll take you on a wall by wall tour to show all the little details that makes this room special to us (and Saylor soon!).

Crib Wall (left wall when walking into the room)


The great thing about the room is the large walk-through closet.  The two doors are entries into the closet behind the crib and the closet runs the full length of the room.  We really want to have a large rug in the room to add color and break up the big floor space but don’t/can’t shell out the $$$ they want for those rugs and it’s downright hard to buy a rug online that you feel will match the room.


We are using Silas’ crib for her crib.  At the beginning of the year, Silas upgraded and is now “King Silas” in his large queen sleigh bed (that was a guest bed in Saylor’s room before).  He loves his bed and I love it too as every night I can lay with him, chat about whatever we want, pray with him and let him know that I will love him always and forever.


Amber’s mom made all her bedding.  She and Amber picked out the fabric and her mom took it home and did it all.  Amazing job!  And we know how much work and how difficult that was and we are so appreciative of her taking the time for her granddaughter to do it.  See the bird pillow? :)


These are the wall words above her crib. “His eye is on the sparrow & I know He watches me.”  The theme continues…and what an amazing promise that He is always watching over her…

Dresser Wall (wall straight ahead when walking into the room)


This wall stays with our simple style as you will see as we will go around the room. 


Amber actually bought a shower curtain for her curtains.  She found this curtain at Target and quickly thought it would go well in the room.  Enter Amber’s mom again who split it and cut them to size.  So thankful for her skills and love…


This dresser was Silas’ as well (he also got the guest room dresser when he upgraded his bed.  We will use the dresser for the changing area.


This is the board above the dresser - a very simple and cheap project.  I took a board I already had and painted it with a sample jar of paint from Lowe’s.  Amber bought the clothes pins for $1 so the actual total cost of it was under $5.  It will also hopefully give Saylor something to stare at while we change her diaper and keep her from squirming around. :)


The first item hanging is a cross with Africa on it.  We want to keep her culture alive in so many ways and this is just a small way to do just that.


Hope.  We have so much hope for our kids.  And all the children in Ethiopia.  And across the world.  The hope that someone would love them enough to share Jesus with them.  That one day, they would have an earthly family and be told about their spiritual family.  The hope that one day they could receive a hug that would shout out a love that would be always and forever to them.


This is a simple cardboard letter we got at Michaels and Amber spent time wrapping it in jute.  She then added a little fabric flower to it that her mom and her made a few weeks ago.


So, how cute is she (and for $2 at a consignment sale!)?!  Amber’s mom made the outfit from fabric used in the room and put her name on it.  Somehow, I see this being THE doll that Saylor may carry around like Silas does his monkey.


This rocking chair was my grandfather’s and unfortunately, I don’t know the story or history on it.  We had someone at church refinish it because when we got it, springs were shot in it and it had the 70s orange fabric on it.  We are still debating but will we probably move Silas’ glider into her room and put this rocking chair into Silas’ room for when we read to him (which is multiple times a day).

Bookshelf Wall (right wall when walking into the room)


So this is a super long wall with 3 main interests along it…




This bookshelf was made out of a cable spool.  Amber had seen this guy on Pinterest and the rest was just history.  I will probably do a separate post on how I built this but let’s just say, it was MUCH more difficult than the picture on Pinterest (mainly due to the custom-built middle shelf).  The spool we got was so much taller than the other one and we wanted to utilize the space the best we could so the middle shelf was added.  At the end of the day, we really love this piece and it will provide great storage for her.


Amber and her mom bought this lamp at Target and then they dressed it up with a few fabric flowers and lined the shade with the same fabric that is on the window seat below.


These are the wreaths (nests) hanging above the bookshelf.  Amber and I bought these when we stayed in a bed & breakfast up in Kentucky last fall.  We just spray painted them the same color as the blue in the bookshelf and the blue in the window seat below.


This is the window seat/toy box that I built into the dormer area.  For Silas’ room, we just had the seat come out half the dormer space.  We realized that the rest of that space is unusable and it would be much better to just use it for the window seat.  So this seat is about 45” square and it is a great place to climb up on and read books.  Silas already loves going in there and having us read to him.  I can’t wait until they are both up there with us … it’s big enough to have all 4 of us have a reading party up there!


This bed used to be in Silas’ room as well.  We had it in there in case we needed to sleep up there but also as a guest bed.  That way, we can have family visit and either Saylor can sleep in our room in her pack ‘n play or Silas could sleep in this bed and our visitors sleep in his room.  We were going to buy new bedding but decided not to spend the money at this point.  But this is a great space for an extra bed for anyone that wants to come visit once we’re settled in (hint/hint).

OK, so at this point, we thought we were done.  I asked Amber about the long wall on the left of the bed.  I felt it needed something since none of the 3 walls around the bed had anything.  She agreed.  So, the next project hunt began.  We got inspiration from here and here and this is what we ended up building.…



We LOVE this sign.  We made it using fence boards from our local Lowe’s that I spent a few hours making look old/weathered/distressed/.  Man, who knew it would take so long to beat something up to look old!?  But there is definitely an art to it.  We then traced the words onto the boards and painted them.  Amber added the fabric pennant to the corner to tie it all together with the rest of the room.  The boards are about 48” wide by 27” tall and fill the space perfectly.  This project was really cheap as well.  The boards were about $10, we already had the stain, fabric, and jute.  The orange paint was another sample jar from Lowe’s for about $3.

Finally, I almost forgot.  Our ceiling light fixtures – we have 2 of them plus our ceiling fan that has lights on it.  The light fixtures we had up before had 3 spotlights on each of them.  Amber’s never really been a big fan of them – they were functional to get light into the big room but that’s about it.  So, when this room started to get converted into a nursery, she suggested the lights go because she didn’t want our baby girl laying on the floor, looking up, and being blinded.  So, enter Pinterest/Etsy again.  She started to find people who made light “coverings” out of old wire baskets, etc.  I got an idea of what she was wanting and started doing my own searching.  I found something we both agreed upon…here is how they turned out.



We found these candle lanterns (interesting, they are not selling the large lanterns anymore) and even though they were more than we wanted to pay (even with a 10% off coupon), we bit the bullet and got them.  We cut out the bottom where the candle would go and also removed the handle for them.  We then bought a $9 light fixture from Home Depot, spray painted it white and then attached the lanterns to them.  We finally bought globe light bulbs to go in them.  Overall, the light fixtures cost us about $50 each.

So there you go … that’s our daughter’s room.  There are still a few minor things to do to it but we are very happy with it and hope that she will grow up to know how much love and effort went into it.  Without a doubt, she was worth every second of it.  Saylor, we cannot wait until you are home and we get to hang out in your room playing, reading you books and being able to love on you.  Soon, baby girl, SOON!

Travel Dates Confirmed!

The US Embassy emailed this morning and let us know that we have an interview for next Wednesday the 26th.  We will be arriving in Addis Ababa on Monday and will be back home on Saturday the 29th - AMBER'S BIRTHDAY!!  So much to do in the next 40 hours! God is so good and gracious.  Please continue to pray for the health of Saylor and save travels for all of us as we bring her home.  Also pray for Silas has he has fun hanging out with family while we're gone.  Thank you!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


As you know from my last post, yesterday was the birth family embassy date in Ethiopia.  We received a call from our caseworker saying that the Ethiopia staff for our agency felt like the interviews went well, but we had no word on whether we were cleared yet.  She also informed us that Saylor has atypical pneumonia.  Needless to say, we were a little disheartened by the uncertainty of our clearance and our daughter being ill; however, we vowed that we would continue to trust God because He has been faithful each step of this process.  This morning we received another call from our caseworker and this time she had AMAZING news……WE. WERE. CLEARED!!!  I cannot tell you all the emotions of the past two and a half years(to the day…it was exactly 2.5 years ago today that we began the journey to bring our daughter home) that rushed through me when I was delivered this news.  I cannot believe I will forever be holding the sweet girl we have hoped for, dreamed about, prayed daily for, and loved endlessly very soon!  God is so good!

We should find out tomorrow morning when we fly out to bring Saylor home.  Our agency has requested our embassy date to be Wednesday, September 26 which means we would leave this Saturday.  If not, we will leave next Wednesday.  Of course, I am rooting for this Saturday which means we would return the following Saturday…which is September 29…..AND my birthday.  I cannot think of a better gift then to land on US soil with our daughter that day.  It’s not much longer now, Saylor, that mama and daddy will be there to bring you home forever!

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“God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful”  1 Corinthians 1:9

Monday, September 10, 2012


We have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of this date:



On this date, our birth family embassy appointment will be held.  If everything goes smoothly, we could be cleared to bring Saylor home at the very end of this month or early October.  Please join us in praying that every detail falls into place that day, and that we would receive our adoptive family embassy appointment shortly thereafter. 

We had a fun playdate with good friends that we had not seen for awhile even though they only live about a mile from us!

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Mammaw came down for a last minute visit over Labor Day weekend.  Silas always enjoys having her visit, and we appreciated the help she provided with Saylor’s  nursery.

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As I alluded to above, Troy and I have been finishing up Saylor’s nursery.  I know you are thinking we have had PLENTY of time to work on it, but yes we procrastinated. In Troy’s defense, he has been so patient with all my crazy Pinterest and Etsy ideas that I wanted to incorporate into her room.  I hope to do a blog post with pictures in the next couple of weeks. 

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We celebrated the Ethiopian New Year at a local Ethiopian restaurant with good friends last night.  It was so much fun and the workers got a kick out of Silas’ Amharic words he was trying out on them.  I was proud of him because he ate everything we ordered this time although the injera was by far his favorite!

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Thanks for checking in on us, and I pray you have a blessed week.  Please remember to keep all the 9/11 victims and their families in your prayers tomorrow.  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7