To say that this post is overdue is quite the understatement.  So much has happened, and there is much to tell...and still so little time.  Josiah entered this world October 2, healthy and reminding us once again what a special miracle life really is.  His big brothers have shown nothing but love, tenderness, admiration, and delight over him.  He has plumped up rather nicely, and we cannot get enough of his big toothless grin and giggles.  We are enjoying the wonder of his new discoveries such as...his hands, the ceiling fan, and his funny brothers.  Josiah really is a treasure to each of us; we are so thankful for this little surprise the Lord planned for us.

Daniel Isaac's brain still baffles us, and he makes us...and just about everyone he comes into contact with laugh.  Like.it's.his.job.  We celebrated his 6th birthday Army style, and he continues to enjoy activities such as sword fighting, wrestling, fighting, paper airplane making and flying, ninja fighting, cops and robbers fighting, word play, jokes, beat boxing, and break dancing.  He's really good at all of the above.  We're just trying to direct the love for action in the right direction.  Daniel Isaac loves people- he is out-going and friendly.  He is a precious, bright gift that we continue to thank the Lord for.

Noah David's tender heart continues to shine through.  He is tender and compassionate.  He loves his family something fierce.  He randomly tells each of us all the time, "I love you,"...and he usually flashes the sign language sign for it.  He shares hugs, snuggles, and kisses with Josiah and the rest of us so generously.  He "reads" the Bible to Josiah because he wants to "teach him about God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit."  Noah David is strong and holds his own really well with the aforementioned fighting practice.  His imagination is brilliant and takes us on all types of trips and adventures each day.  Noah David thinks and talks about heaven a lot...he's got a depth to his soul beyond his years.  We praise the Lord for giving us our shining Noah David.

Daniel continues to work extremely hard here in Birmingham's Lifeline Children's Services office.  He loves what he does, and although I'm very partial, he is extremely gifted and good at all he does.  Daniel is our patient, loving, caring rock.  The boys have grand admiration for him, and my respect for him runs deep.  We love him and are so thankful the Lord gave him to this family as our leader.

Me?  Ha.  We don't have near the time to stretch out on the psychiatrists lounge chair to cover what my past few months have looked like.  But I'll sum it up.  I've been sick a lot.  I've gotten discouraged more than I've remembered Who I really serve.  I've worried more than I've remembered my True Provider.  And you know what?  The joy of the Lord really IS my strength.  He is worthy...and He restores.  He has filled my heart with peace, and He has lovingly held me in His arms and never ever turns His loving bright shining face from me no.matter.what.  Grace, I love the taste of His Grace.  Oh how thankful I am to serve this Father!

Our adoption....I wish so deeply within my heart that I had any news.  We have remained #8 on the Uganda waiting list going on 4 months now.  And I could go into all the reasons for this and how Uganda adoptions have slowed down and the reasons for that, but really, ultimately, the Master of the universe and His timing and planning are perfect, and we are trusting Him in that.  We are actively, passionately seeking Him and His plan for our family, and we would really love your prayers for guidance and wisdom on this.  We started this process two years ago this month, thinking we would've been home for several months already with our precious Uganda child in arms.  Obviously, this is not the case.  Our hearts long for the child the Lord has planned for us, and our main desire is to simply remain open to what He has in store and to always be ready and willing to say "yes" to whoever and whatever that may be.

We are giving thanks.


Josiah's story (pre-birth)

Josiah was quite the little surprise to us to begin with, and I love that he already has such a powerful story before even making his grand entrance into this world.  

I went for my regular check up (38 weeks) week before last and assumed it would be in and out as usual.  After being there all day...an ultrasound, concerning results, heart monitoring for Josiah, seeing a high risk specialist, another ultrasound with no concerns except him being breech, two OBs offering to go ahead and do a c-section....I finally got to come home.  The good news was that Josiah's heart rate was healthy, my amniotic fluid was normal...the bad news was that Josiah was breech, and at 38 weeks, it's extremely unlikely for him to turn on his own.  I asked the high-risk OB if he could turn him (the other two OBs had already told me "no, it's going to have to be a c-section"), and he confidently said, "Sure.  I have a 3 out of 4 success rate with this procedure."  I was already so thankful to have been sent to him and that he was willing to try the version to turn this fella.  We scheduled it for 7:00 a.m. Monday morning, which meant I went home determined to try every single googled at-home method for getting a breech baby to turn.  So all weekend....I'll let you look up all the methods and leave the details off the blog, but I sure tried.  Sunday night as I was sitting on Noah David's bed while he was falling asleep, I still felt Josiah's head pushing into my right rib cage.  I was anxious and dreading the possibility of having a c-section and these two other energetic boys to care for along with a newborn.  But by Sunday evening, the Lord had sent people all weekend...through facebook messages and conversations who had either been through the same thing or had medical experience...and I was encouraged.  Not encouraged that it would definitely work and I'd get my way but that He really was in control and really does care and really is going to take care of me and take care of our family.  Why do I ever forget that?  

I slept well that night, and I was completely unaware that my Daniel had stayed up praying with his hands on my belly much later.  

Monday morning came, and sweet Noah David crawled in bed with us in the wee hours...and there's nothing the Lord knew my heart would enjoy more than starting off that pivotal morning with this sweetness breathing deep in dreamland right there next to me.  We got to the hospital before seven, and I was greeted by a wonderful nurse.  She did all the prep...an IV (yes, in case of an emergency, which wasn't likely but a definite possibility), drew blood, and got all of my information into their system.  The high risk OB and his nurse practitioner came in later to get this baby flipped.  As he was getting the ultrasound machine plugged in, the nurse gave me an injection of some medicine to relax my uterus to prevent the procedure from sending me into labor (and it's main side effect is to make you feel very jittery and anxious and heart beat increase...nice).  Dr. Gonzalez did the ultrasound, laughed, and said, "Yep, this is why we always check, he is already head down."  And sure enough, his head, clear as day on that screen was no longer in my rib cage but down where it needed to be.  I was so extremely excited and thankful.  This was absolute best case scenario!!  

Later that Monday evening (the medicine made me feel like I had been hit by a train, but I'll take that any day over the other options!), Daniel shared with the boys and me....

"Boys, I want to tell you about what God did for Josiah and Mommy.  Last night when Mama was sleeping, I held my hands on her belly, and I prayed and prayed.  I asked God to turn Josiah.  I asked him to then use Josiah to turn the hearts of people to Himself, the same way that God used King Josiah to turn people to Him.  And He did!"  

Wow, seriously?  How amazing.  I had no idea.  I mean, we were all praying.  Our wonderful new church family were calling and praying with me over the phone, texting their prayers, assuring us with their prayers.  Our family and friends were doing the same.  I was begging the Lord.  But I knew when I went to bed Sunday night, there was still a baby head in my rib cage.  And I just didn't know what His plan was.  And then He did something even more amazing then I would've thought to ask.  Apparently, a baby that's almost 8 pounds in the womb would be a very obvious feeling for him to turn.  And I never felt him turn...perhaps because I was sound asleep, fully relaxed and resting while Daniel asked the Lord to turn him.  

I love that the ruler of the universe is knitting together Josiah in my womb...that His hands are literally on him.  I love that the King of Kings knows and loves my boy and turned him.  I love that the Almighty Father is going to use this precious life for His Names' Sake and that his story began before he even knew it. I pray Josiah and all of our children will not go a day without knowing Who to turn to and Who to live for.  

(And a side note:  Noah David demonstrated for Josiah several times what he needed to do.  ND would stick his bottom up in the air, head down, and talk loudly to my belly saying, "Look, Josiah!  Turn!  Put your booty up and your head down like this!  Just do what I'm doing, Josiah, okay?!"  So ND, while he appreciated Daddy's story, definitely believes that he played a key role in helping Josiah figure out what to do.  I love him.)

(Another side note:  Apparently because of all the baby positioning talk and prayers, it's been on the minds of both of our boys.  When I went to Daniel Isaac's school for his parent-teacher conference last week, which happened to be awesome and I'm super proud of my kindergartener, DI repeatedly patted my very lower belly declaring to his friends, "See?  Right here!  This is where his head is!  Waaaay down here!  Isn't that funny? He's head down with his booty way up here!"  Thank you, DI, and to any of the parents of kindergarteners in his class who weren't quite ready to answer baby positioning/delivery questions, my apologies.)



As usual, I have about a million blog posts brewing in my head, complete with pictures, but they just have not made it out.  We have celebrated, Daniel Isaac's preschool graduation, Noah David's 3rd birthday, the discovering we are having our third son, and moving all since the last post!

We are getting settled in Birmingham, and so far we love it!  I'm learning my way around, and Daniel already loved his work with Lifeline and just gets to do more that we are here.  The boys are still trying to figure out that we can't just "go see" grandparents down the road, but overall, they are doing really well and enjoying it here.

We hope and pray we find a church home quickly, and we have loved seeing our Birmingham friends and look forward to many more gatherings and play dates.

Basically, we are extremely thankful.  Overwhelmed with gratitude for all of the help we received packing and moving here from church family, friends, and family.  Overwhelmed with gratitude for our friends who came in 106 degree heat to help us unload our very large pile of belongings down the steep driveway into our new home.  Overwhelmed with gratitude for the journey the Lord is leading us through.

With every kick in my womb from Josiah, I am reminded of the child waiting for us in Africa.  And I am deeply thankful for the Lord's Hand and planning in every step of this adoption journey.  I couldn't do it without knowing He cares and He has a plan.

Daniel Isaac and Noah David tell EVERYone who comments on Josiah and them being a big brother, "Yes, that is Josiah AAAANNNNNDDD we have ANOTHER baby!  In Africa!"  I love that our baby in Africa is a constant in their thought process.  I love that they are proud big brothers of both siblings...and hopefully more to come.  :)  It's so sweet, and the Lord uses it every single time to bless my heart.

Please pray for us as we are getting settled here in Birmingham.  As we unpack and prepare for life in a new city, finding a new church, starting a new school, and bringing home new babies.  Pray that our eyes will stay fixed and focused on the Author of it all, and that He will continue to keep gratitude at the forefront of our hearts and minds.

Giving thanks,


Baby in my tummy

We had the miraculous experience of having our ultrasound yesterday.  Both boys played hooky from preschool and came with us.  Noah David snuggled up next to me in the dimly lit room on the stretcher, and Daniel Isaac eagerly sat at my feet.  Daniel stood right there, eyes on the screen.  My eyes shifted from screen, to ultrasound tech (I always tend to look at her face because I think I can read her if something were wrong), to my boys, to Daniel.  The boys were fascinated and had lots of questions.  Daniel was so joyful, and being the outstanding father that he is...he easily juggled (literally...Noah David was hanging upside down from his shoulders for half of the time) being interested and tuned in to each of us, including baby on the screen.  He loves us so well.  DI and ND were most eager to find out if we were having a brother or sister, and we were all excited to hear we are having another brother!  We know just what to do...baby super hero capes will be sewn soon.  Josiah Solomon Taylor is due to arrive October 3.  We love our son's name.  Josiah means "God saves" or "Yahweh hears".  And Solomon was Daniel's great grandfather's name, on top of being a wise king in the Bible, and means, "peaceful."  We really love Josiah's story...to read the full account, go to 2 Kings 21 & 22, but here's my favorite to sum him up from 2 Kings 22:1-2...

"Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath.  And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all the way of David his father, and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left."

We hope and pray for each of our children that they will always focus on what is right in the eyes of the Lord, not man...and that they will walk with Him, unwavering.  That their confidence will be found in the only real consistent, True Being...the Lord God.  The one who hears, saves, loves, protects, gives.  We are thankful; we are excited.  Everything looks healthy and growing well.  And now we get to pray for Josiah by name.  

Tonight as I was praying with the boys and got to, "Father, please be with our baby in Africa..." I trailed off and could barely speak with the lump swelling in my throat and tears flowing.  Daniel Isaac said, "Mama, why does your voice sound like that?"  Noah David went from his wiggling 2 year old bottom up-to-avoid-settling position to still and snuggle right on my shoulder.  I replied, "Mommy is sad that we don't know our baby in Africa.  I'm sad that we don't know them by name yet and that we don't know how they are doing."  Daniel Isaac's precious self said softly, "It's ok, Mama.  God will take care of our baby in Africa."  And those were some of the wisest, reassuring words I could've ever heard, and they struck me to my core.  

Mommy is sad.  I'm sad that our baby sometimes feels forgotten...never by us, but that he/she seem so far away.  So out of reach...     That we don't know if he/she is healthy....  That we don't know what pregnancy was like for birth mother......   That we don't know how scared and alone he/she has been.  

We are asked often if "we are still planning on going through with the adoption."  And while I believe this question is innocent and means no harm, it feels like being asked, "will you still parent your child or will you leave them abandoned and fatherless and hopeless?"  It feels the same as if someone asked us, "So will you still go through with this pregnancy?"  Of course!  Our baby in Africa has been sought after and prayed over for over a year now and is not an idea or a nice thing we're doing.  It's our child.  It is a humbling, beautiful calling that the Lord has strongly placed on our hearts.  This child is our own.  

I'm thankful to have such joy and such grief all at once.  And since I am pregnant, I have even more excuse to cry "for no reason".  But there is such reason.  Josiah will have been celebrated by us, family and friends his whole life just as our other boys have been.  Our child in Uganda may or may not have had any type of earthly celebration over his/her life before we meet him/her.  It's heart breaking to me.  And our baby in Uganda is worth our grief and so much more.  And we are going to party like it's 1999 when we receive that first picture.  And when we meet him/her.  And when we finally embrace him/her and bring them home!


Deuteronomy 10:18..."He executes justice for the fatherless......."

Psalm 68:5..."Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in His holy habitation..."

Psalm 82:3...."Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute..."

Psalm 146:9...."...He upholds the widow and the fatherless...."

Isaiah 1:17...."...bring justice to the fatherless..."

John 14:18, from the mouth of Jesus Himself to us...."I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."

(above from the ESV Bible)

And we will come to you sweet baby.  Daddy, Mommy, big brothers Daniel Isaac and Noah David, and baby brother Josiah.  We will come to you and celebrate you and love you.  We've been praying and hoping and trusting and celebrating your wonderful life.  

In Him, we have hope.  I have hope that He will see through to completion what He has called us to.  I have hope that little Josiah will grow into a Christ-loving passionate follower of Him alone.  I have hope that His grace really is sufficient for all of my insufficiencies and that His power really is made perfect in my weakness.  

There you have it.  Baby in my tummy.  Baby in Africa.  And we are all in His hands, His care, under His watch.  And that feels so good and safe and reassuring that no matter what...He is.  



It's a lot of words....and no pictures...but please hear our hearts and share.

I just received a phone call from Kelly Brown with Heart of the Bride Ministries (www.heartofthebride.org) letting us know that they are giving us a $3000 grant towards our adoption.  I am more overwhelmed with emotion than normal over this, as I'm not normally "a crier" and tend to see things rationally and more "black and white".  And the thing is, the rationale of this wonderful gift is that our Heavenly Father sees and has not forgotten our little one in Uganda.  He is still providing, still caring, and still preparing.  

The baby He gave us in my womb as a big surprise from Above around 16 weeks ago (we're still not sure of an accurate due date until two weeks from now when we have our ultrasound) is easy to see as my middle is quickly growing.  It's easy for others to relate and celebrate.  No one questions "why?", and no one shows disdain or disapproval.  Yet, when we pray, our hearts still cry out for two babies...the one here and the one there...all the way in Africa.  It's been incredibly emotional thinking about the difference in the two lives' beginnings, and to be really honest, it's been a struggle to have our sweet one in Uganda on my heart at least as much if not more than the one wiggling within yet him/her seeming so forgotten at times.  Mommy, Daddy and brothers haven't forgotten...the boys still ask about Africa daily and are currently really hoping to see a King Cobra while we're there.  The truth is, the Lord placed a desire and a child on our hearts years ago, and when we applied to adopt in January of 2011, that seed that had been planted began to really grow.  And it's a hard thing to describe that we have a child somewhere across the ocean and half a continent who has experienced only the Father knows what who could be waiting...or could still be in his/her family and the tragedy has yet to occur.  It's hard to think about our child having to experience such pain.  His/her mother may not have even had food during her pregnancy.  I get to eat whatever I crave, and she probably struggled to survive...likely without even clean water.  Baby could've been born on a dirt floor or in a jungle, not a sterile hospital with multiple professionals and eager family and friends eagerly awaiting his/her arrival.  And then....he/she became or will become an orphan.  Motherless.  Fatherless.  Family-less.  Sadness is the most accurate description for what my heart feels for our baby.  Paired with the sadness comes great hope and comfort in knowing that we serve an Almighty God who doesn't let pain go to waste...He uses it, and He molds and shapes us from every good and bad experience.  He makes all things beautiful.  How deeply thankful I am for Him.  We take great comfort in our Sovereign God knowing each detail, it's still hard.

Then we get a phone call like today.  And it's so much more than a monetary amount that's going to help out.  It's $3000 closer to being able to bring him/her home...forever.  And even more than that, it was a gentle, loving reminder from the Good Shepherd that He has not forgotten.  He knows and He cares and He is still providing and caring and loving each of us.  He's done it over the past couple of weeks as donations for our adoption have filed into Lifesong (www.lifesong.org).  $100.  $3000.  $25.  Every cent He uses to show us that those around us care, and that He cares.  I couldn't do this without him...not motherhood, not adoption, not life.  He's my Everything, and I am so deeply thankful today.  Rejoicing in His tender care.

{Please check out Heart of the Bride Ministries at www.heartofthebride.org.  They are a wonderful organization who ministers to orphans in many ways.  If you are an adoptive family or know an adoptive family in need of grant money, you can email Kelly Brown for their grant application at kelly@heartofthebride.org}

{We currently have an adoption account with Lifesong, a wonderful orphan care who does many things, one being help adoptive families raise money.  They are giving us a $3000 matching grant.  Your gift to them is tax-deductible and then goes towards our adoption.  Visit their website at www.lifesong.org.  We are Taylor/#2456 for donations.}

And it sounds so cliche to say, but it's the deep honest truth...your prayers for our precious baby are appreciated more than anything.  To know that you have not forgotten our wee one and all that he/she will face means the world to us.  Thank you.


You know you're a mama of boys when...

You know superhero names and their secret identities....and what super powers they posses.

You say, "Please stop wrestling...not so rough....be careful," at least 427 times a day.

Their "love language" is watching them play games on cell phones....and they're cute enough and convincing enough to get their 94 year old great grandmother to watch.

It's perfectly normal for them to use the bushes more than the toilet...

It becomes second nature to instantly think of dramatic bad-guy/good-guy situations that provide opportunity for them to be the heroes that they are.

Your heart melts over gifts like little dirty feathers, shells, flower petals, sticks, twigs, berries and rocks....and a super hero item causes heart explosion.

Your toy box, house and car resemble mini arsenals with neon-tipped guns, knives and swords.

Sending them on laps and random exercises through the house to burn energy is an every-evening activity.

You recognize the importance of calling them by their self-given and decided super hero name of the day.

You become accustomed to the smell of little wet puppy dog when they come inside from playing.

You wish and hope and dream that they will always want to snuggle, hold hands and hug and share kisses all the time but know deep down inside that a time is coming when that will fade and they will become very cool...

They are boys. They are strong. They are brave. They are wild with energy and imagination and passion. They are hilarious. They are fun. They are so very smart. They are handsome. They are creative. They are delightful. They are sensitive. They are tender. They are aware. They are so loving. They are compassionate. They are thoughtful. They are arrows....and I will enjoy them, soak them up, breathe them in while they are in my quiver. I will do everything I can to sharpen them and shape them so that when it is time to release them to the wild and crazy world, they will be ready, equipped and fierce with love for their Father and others.


Dear Baby,

Dear Baby,

You are so far away yet so close in our hearts.  We don't know you, your birth family, your caregivers...  We don't know what you've experienced or will experience before we meet you.  We don't know if you're fed, clothed, or held.  We don't know if anyone hears you or answers you when you cry.  We miss you, though.  There's a very obvious hole in our family where you belong.  We talk about you all the time.  We pray for you all the time.  Your big brothers love you so much.  They ask to come to Africa to get you regularly.  Right now we are just waiting.  Waiting on the Lord to show us who you are and when we will be able to come get you.  We're getting ready for you.  We're moving to a new house in Columbus where Daddy works soon and will have your spot all ready for you.  We're raising money to be able to come get you when it's time.  So many friends and family who already love you are sharing money with us to be able to come get you!  We think about you constantly.  Mommy wears a necklace with a picture of Africa and a heart over Uganda on it.  It has your brother's birth stones and a pearl for you since Uganda is called the "Pearl of Africa", and you will certainly be our pearl.  Mommy rubs her necklace with her thumb and pointer finger so many times a day thinking about you and wishing I could touch you, hold you, kiss you, rock you, feed you.  Everyone at Lifeline, the agency who will help us get you and the place where Daddy works, is working really hard to find you and many many others who don't have a mommy and daddy come home to their forever family.  I just want you to know that the same Father who assures us with peace is holding you and watching over you.  He knows when we will get to come hold you and bring you home forever with us.  He loves you.  He loves you so very much.  We adore you and can't wait to have you home.  Our love for you is bursting in our hearts and we can't wait to share it with you!

Love always and forever and ever,