our first ultrasound {homestudy complete!}

If you have ever been pregnant, you know what those first few months of anticipation are like. You can feel things changing. You can know in your head things are happening. Your outlook on life, home, work, etc. has shifted. However, all that you typically have to show for it is tighter pants and the absence of certain foods. Then the day comes for your first ultrasound. No one can prepare you for what it is like to see that growing baby on the screen. You can imagine. You can go off the stories of others. But you really just can’t comprehend it until you are in that moment.

Last week our homestudy agency called to say our homestudy was finalized and I could come pick up the copies. I’ve heard a lot about homestudies, but never really understood what they were. In a basic sense it is every aspect of your life detailed out in a several page report (ours was 16 pages single spaced). It is like a family biography. When I got in the car and opened up the envelope holding our homestudy…it felt like being in the doctor’s office for that first ultrasound.

Suddenly the past few months of working, gathering, preparing and feeling change happening felt real. It wasn’t a black and white picture of a little jumping bean, but it felt the same. I held in my hands something tangible that represented our family is growing. I’d be tempted to frame it and show it off to all our friends and family, but pretty sure they already think I am crazy enough.

One copy heads to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service to begin an approval process there. I had the envelope ready to go once I picked up the homestudy.

I wanted to make the envelope cute (think Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde)…but I was guessing the government might frown upon that. Simple white envelope, at least what was inside was exciting. I attempted to get big sister to pose with it, but she was less than thrilled with the idea.

While I was attempting a picture, I noticed my friend Cindy’s car in the parking lot. She happened to be at the post office mailing things for her adoption too…she took a pic for me.

So that is where we are at in the process right now…waiting on the USCIS. I’m guessing it will be a couple of months..then it will be time to mail off our dossier. If you remember my post about our family homestudy visit, my oldest told the social worker we didn’t have any rules in our family. When I asked him later why he said that, he told me at school they have the rules posted on the wall. We don’t have any rules posted. Then, I asked him if I needed to post the rules. He smiled and said an emphatic “No”.

Well, last week I posted some rules. They aren’t really ‘rules’, but more things we hope are happening in our home.

After I framed it, I had the boys come in and read the list. My 5 year old’s favorite part was “dance crazy”. He went on to demonstrate it.

So…yep, we got our first ultrasound (I bet I threw some of you off with that post title). One more step down. A whole lot more to go.


My poster is compliments of Alexander Creative. They are letting me give one away today to one of you!

Giveaway Details

Giveaway is now closed

One winner chosen at random

Prize: one poster of winner’s choice

Giveaway open until October 19th, 2011 8:00pm US Central

To enter: Leave a comment today πŸ™‚

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  • Lisa Johnson - congratulations on your “ultrasound!” I am so excited for all of you!

  • andy - definatelly thrown off with the title but love it
    i love the rules. i have seen some like this and want some for out home.
    excited for you guys
    can’t wait to hear more

  • Kim Inge - Such an exciting journey. Thanks for sharing it. Also, I love the poster. Would love to win one. πŸ™‚

  • Melissa - Love how your home constantly changes and grows.

  • Allison - Congrats girl!! So excited for a hopefully speedy process!!! Prayers going up!!

  • Erin A. - this would be fun to win!

  • Melanie - I was just looking at that poster last night at her etsy store!

  • Lynn - Congrats!!! What an exciting time for your family!! We have been meaning to post some rules too but I like this idea way better!!

  • Sara - Love the “ultrasound” love the poster. πŸ™‚

  • Tara Hersh - LOVE that print!!! And your blog πŸ™‚

  • keely - I love that sign!

  • Erin - Ashley- So excited for you and your family! The way you raise your kids is such an inspiration. Love your intentionality!

  • Jes - Congrats on such a big step! I LOVE the poster. Our “Family Rules” (be kind, be grateful, be a good listener) are written in marker on a big scrap of paper. This would look much more professional–and there are some good ones to add.

  • RachelC - I’ve never had a “real” ultrasound, but I have had the envelope kind. As the “kids” say these days ……It is kind of a big deal. Sharing in your joy today. Just one step closer to your sweet girl. Yay!

  • Amanda J. - What an exciting time! I also love the family rules poster, definitely words to live by!

  • Kathleen - I love how you are documenting all the details of your adoption story. Thanks for taking me along for the ride!

  • Beth P. - What a great poster. And congratulations on your homestudy being all done and in the mail. Prayers for your waiting time.

  • Sarah - congratulations!! Wishing a speedy process for your family!

  • Melanie - Congratulations on your ultrasound!

    I love the “rules!” As my husband and I discuss when to start growing our own family, I’d love a copy of the “rules” for us and our future children to have in our home.

  • Jen - Congratulations!! What an exciting time for your family! And what a great set of ‘rules’ to live by!

  • Katie - Love the poster!!! Congrats on the “ultrasound”!

  • jean - congratulations on the ‘ultrasound’! i’m so inspired by your blog in so many levels!

  • Erin - We’re mailing off a copy of our “ultrasound” this week for consideration for help with funding from Lifesong. Congratulations on this big step in the journey. Praying the Lord would continue to draw you near as you learn more and more of His character through the process.

  • Deb A. - LOVE your blog and that print! Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  • Jenny K. - i love your style and i love that print!!

  • Jaima - Beautiful!!! Continuing to pray for your journey and the baby that you will hopefully bring home soon!!!

  • Emily B. - Ooh! So fun! Thanks for sharing your life with us!

  • Rebecca T. - Love the print! How excited you must be to be moving along in the adoption process! Best wishes!

  • Michelle - How exciting for your family! Congratulations!!

  • Connie Y - Yay for little ones! I know that the emotional process of adoption is almost harder than pregnancy. God speed. I will be praying that your little one arrives safe, soon.

  • Pamelotta - So excited about your adoption process. It really is like a pregnancy. Never thought about that.

    Thanks for the giveaway! The only rule I’d have to go easy on is the bad idea one. My kids don’t think any of their ideas are bad! πŸ˜‰

  • Erin - Congratulations on moving one step closer to your dream! Love the poster–good rules to live by!

  • Jana Rogers - Best set of family rules!

  • colleen from alabama - So excited for you! I love your “rules”… especially the “say what you’re sorry for”. This is a big deal in our family (stating the offense). Thanks for sharing!

  • Candy Foster - I so enjoy hearing about your adoption journey.

  • Marisa - So exciting! And love the poster (it’s on my wishlist for sure)!

  • Angie M - Congratulations on moving a step closer. It is so amazing how God orders our steps!

  • Suzanne M - Love the poster and would love to have it in my house!

  • Ali Thompson - i love that poster! so fun & unique πŸ™‚

  • Katherine Bach - So excited for you and your adoption. LOVE the print… I definitely need to get some house rules posted! I love your son’s reasoning on why you had no house rules. Cute.

  • Cottage Gal - Congratulations – what a big step in the process! Just love your rules!

  • Abigail - What an exciting day πŸ™‚
    great rules!

  • Clayre Turner - How exciting! Love the rules!

  • Tammy - I love the sound of “big sister” for your sweet little gal! Can’t wait to see more!!!

  • Debbie C - Love that poster! As my daughter gets old enough to understand “home rules”, it will come in so handy! Also, congratulations on your “ultrasound” :). How exciting to be a step closer!

  • Rebecca - Love, love, love following you on this adoption journey!

  • jay - Your pictures are excellent. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  • Stephanie - Congrats sweet friend. Praying for you all in the wait…

  • deb pereira - Awesome! Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Meg of I like it, I love it! - So excited for you! My friend is at the same stage and I know how stressful it can be. Oh and I LOVE the poster print. Hope I win!

  • Sarah D. - What an exciting step to cross off the list! Yay!

  • jody - Your site – I check it every morning – such a bright moment of my day! Enjoy the journey you are on….

  • Whitney Benson - How exciting! Thanks for sharing the process with us!

  • Katie - I can’t even IMAGINE how excited your family is right now! Now the offical waiting game begins – we’ll be praying for you!

  • Katie - I can’t even IMAGINE how excited your family is right now! Now the real waiting game begins – we’ll be praying for you.

  • Kelsey R - I am so glad that you guys are able to do this! God Bless!

  • Gina - Love hearing about your adoption story as it unfolds! Congrats!

  • sarah W. - This is all so exciting!
    I love that your friend was there at the same time and you were able to be in an important picture.
    I say it every time… you always bring me to tears. (an already mushy emotional type, who is pregnant, reading sweet family stories… is just asking for tears, really.)

  • Gina - Love hearing about your adoption story as it unfolds! Congratulations!

  • Katie @ explanationrequired - I love that poster!! Such wonderful sentiments the whole way through. And congrats on the “ultrasound”! It’s got to be supremely exciting to be have accomplished another step in the process.

  • Joanna - can’t wait for your little one to arrive! also…i would love a poster!!

  • Catherine - what a wonderful day! congratualtions on your ‘ultrasound’ and your growing family. thanks for including us all in your story.

  • Catherine - What a great poster and an even better ultrasound! What an apt way to describe it.

  • TLL - Congratulations!

  • Alice Sears - Love those “rules.” So cute. Those are exactly the same things I hope for in my family.

  • Alice Sears - Love those rules. So cute!

  • amanda - I love the family rules poster. Congratulations on making it to this step of your journey! Praying that this process goes quickly for your family.

  • Mariah - love it!

  • Shan Hope - I am so excited for your family!The ultrasound was beautiful can’t wait to hear if its a boy or a girl πŸ˜‰

  • Lydia - cute poster!

  • BriBedell - Love that poster! So happy for your family & your new journey πŸ™‚

  • Benzie - Thanks for sharing your life with us! Really -love your story. And hope to win the poster! πŸ™‚

  • Maria - Praying for a wonderful “pregnancy”!

  • Giana - Wonderful post! Wonderful poster!

  • Jamie - Congrats on your first sonogram! You should do a quick photo shoot, with your kids holding up ‘sonogram size cards’ with words like, “can’t wait to meet you”! and they can even draw a little face on it! Thought it might be fun for all!
    Also, keeping fingers crossed for the giveaway!

  • amy - i’m love hearing about your adoption journey!!

  • Annie - I have to say, I love when you show pics of your kids refusing to cooperate with pictures–it makes me feel better about my little grouches:) Congratulations on the “ultrasound!”

  • Maria - Praying for a peaceful and fast “pregnancy”!

  • cami - I would LOVE that poster. My kids need to “see” the rules too. πŸ™‚

  • Bailey Jean - I am so excited for you! It is so encouraging and inspiring to see you taking such joy in each step of the process. God is going to bless your faithfulness and patience! And those rules are wonderful. Great way to display them!

  • cami - and P.S. (not trying to enter twice here. just realized I only commented on the poster. I’m an adoptive parent too and the paperwork right up to the delivery of the child is no less thrilling that the traditional way. Congrats on your journey. It’s a BEAUTIFUL one that I will never forget as long as I live.

  • Andrea Cooley - Congratulations! Would love one of the “rules” posters in our house

  • Nicolle S - Congratulations on taking one step closer to meeting your new baby girl!

  • Andrea Cooley - Congratulations! Would love one of these rules posters in our house

  • Hannah - LOVe,love,love the poster and you wonderful blog!

  • Allie - I love the poster – I like the idea of it as family rules too! It is so nice watching you go through the adoption process – The child who comes to join your family will be so blessed!

  • Danyelle - You are one step closer! The pictures at the post office are adorable.

  • Christy - Your “rules” totally made me tear up. I absolutely love them. Did you come up with that list? I really want something like that in our home.
    Also, thank you so much for all your sharing regarding the adoption process. We are looking into foster parenting and it is surprising how much there is to go through when you know that there is a baby that needs you now, but following your story helps others be motivated to fill that need and hopefully the waits will continue to get shorter and shorter.
    : )

  • Christina G - I love that poster! Huge congrats on your “ultrasound”. I know this is such an exciting time and that just makes it a little more real. πŸ™‚

  • Rebecca - Good Luck and enjoy the journey.

  • Christy - I’m excited for your family! And I’d love to win the poster:)

  • alamama - i have to admit i am a bit jealous. adoption has been on my heart since chilhood, not hubby’s.

  • Beth - This makes me so, so happy for you! We’ve adopted in the US twice and it is so exciting to finally feel like something is happening… We are waiting for word this week that our home study is completed – then we tell our friends and family that we are “paper pregnant.” Thanks for sharing. : )

  • racheld - what an amazing process to be in! Love the rules πŸ™‚

  • Macy - Congratulations! I have loved reading your adoption story. I will continue to pray for a fast adoption. I love the family rules and would love a copy in my home!

  • Jenna - Congratulations and good luck with the rest of your journey. Loving the framed poster!

  • Cameron Mora - So excited for your family and the giveaway is rad too.

  • Hannah Osborn - I knew it was going to be about adoption : ) so excited for you guys! and excited for me, if i win!

  • Michelle - Love the ultrasound! and love the poster too!

  • Carrie - fantastic “rules”!

  • Betsy - Congrats! What a beautiful story your child will have to share!

  • Lindsey - Oh me, how I enjoy reading this blog each morning–such an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing! I can’t help but be super excited for your family and the new addition to come.

  • Christy K - What an exciting time for you and your family! Hope all goes smoothly from here on out, I will keep you all in my prayers! : )

  • Robyn Lee - I love the poster and I love the post! How exciting!

  • Ashley Sisk - How exciting – love that poster. I can definitely see that in my home!

  • Mrs. Tuttle - Oh me, how I enjoy this blog each morning–such an inspiration. I can’t help but be super excited for your family and the new addition to come. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Brittaney - What great “rules.” My favorite part is dance crazy too!

  • Abby - Great “rules” poster! Hope I win!

  • Gina De Hoogh - Congratulations on being this far in the adoption process! Hoping your little one is snug in your family’s arms soon! And I wanna win the poster! πŸ™‚

  • Suz McA - congratulations!!! btw – i adore the last photo of your son in this post. precious!

  • Kezia - What an exciting time for you guys! I hope every thing moves quickly for you and you will soon be holding your baby in your arms!

  • Kim Bernhardt - I love those “rules!”

  • cailan - Oh the anticipation! Such cute pictures of that little guy – love the “rules”. I think we need some in our home too. πŸ™‚

  • Julie - Wow, very exciting! I love that we’re getting to read about this process as it happens.

  • Anna Marie - Congratulations Ashley! I have never gone through an adoption process but I have gone through 2 births and I know it is very exciting. I am happy for you! God bless!!!

  • Valaried - How exciting for your family!! What a lucky little girl you have waiting in China!!

  • ASHLEY - Would be perfect RULES for my house full of boys!

  • Jen - love it so much! i’d love to win!

  • amy - oooo…can’t wait to hear that you’ve received a picture of your little one!!! always loved when i had something concrete to look at, to prove what was on its way.

  • Jenny B. - How exciting! And how perfect that your friend was at the post office at the same time. πŸ™‚ I’ve been eyeing those posters lately. Love it!

  • Paige - How exciting for your family! I will continue to keep you in my prayers throughout the rest of this process!

  • Leigh - I have been eyeing that very print for weeks!! I have the perfect spot just waiting for it!

  • Caroline - love the poster and congratulations on your “ultrasound”!!!

  • Madaline Meatte - Congrats to you and the family!

    I love a good poster!

  • allison d. - Love that sign!

  • Jena - Best wishes for a speedy delivery! πŸ™‚

  • Jessica Anderson - Congrats…this is soo exciting. Im so happy for you and your family!

  • Jill - Congratulations! I love all of your rules.

  • Jennifer Trout - WoW! congratulations ! πŸ™‚

  • giozi - Each time you do a one step more and your baby is closer to you.

    Your little boy is so handsome, love the photo with your feet πŸ˜€

    A question. What the weather like there? Here is really hot to be fall.

  • Kelley - so excited for you!! LOVE the “rules!” Would love to hang that in our home!

  • Stephanie B. - Very cute idea!

  • Alyssa Jones - This is so fun! I read your blog every day. Love it.

  • jen - The poster is great! I’ve been looking at subway posters and I think everything this one says is perfect:) A HUGE congratulations for baby #5!

  • Ashley H - Congratulations! Such an exciting time for you and your family!

  • Larisa - Congratulations on a huge step in your adoption process. I would LOVE to win that poster – it’s so perfect! & looks great in front of the cork!! πŸ™‚

  • Jens - Love the poster! And love your blog, too!

  • jennifer g. - Love following your adoption journey! We have friends who adopted from China almost two years ago and they have submitted their paperwork to go back again. πŸ™‚ Very exciting! So it is neat to follow someone else’s journey too! Our family is very open to adoption as well! But we know God’s timing is perfect! πŸ™‚ Anyway, thanks for the give-away! I LOVE these “rules”! πŸ˜‰ Perfect!

  • Kristin - Love the “rules”…what a great way to live life!

    Hope the next few months fly by for you!

  • Roianne - Love this poster. I’ve seen ones like it on Pinterest πŸ™‚

  • Leslie @ {Tiny Wings} - How exciting! I hope your adoption journey is smooth and joy-filled! You’re in my prayers!

  • Kimberlee Jost - I love it that you ran into Cindy and that she took YOUR picture!

  • Deb M - Congratulations! I love the poster–what we all want for our kids and ourselves.

  • Beth Lehr - Can’t wait to see your family grow πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!!

  • Beth Lehr - Can’t wait to see your family grow! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Misty - Just added those “rules” to my wish list this past weekend after I stumbled upon Meg’s version on her blog via pinterest. Crazy! And congratulations sweet, Mama. So honored to share the journey with you and your precious, growing family.

  • Anne - Yay for every step closer! and I want to win the poster, pleeease!

  • Meg - Yeah congratulations! I’m so excited to hear about your adventure… and yes the title threw me off!


  • Amanda - Congrats Ashley! One step closer…
    I love how you document all of these moments in time, big and small. We’re gearing up for a move next week and you’ve inspired me to make sure I have my camera out and ready!

  • Ruth - So excited for you in this adoption process and what God has planned for you!!

  • Dana - My mom worked for Dillon for many years and there are some fantastic people there. You’re in great hands. Thanks for letting us all be a part of your journey, Ashley!

  • Jenny - What you’re doing is amazing, so excited for your family! I love that poster too and winning is fun πŸ˜‰

  • Jade Cook - love the family rules! i’ve been wanting something like this for a while now!

  • Becky Zuithoff - COngratulations on the completed homestudy! What a blessing.

  • Bri Schaaf - Love your families “rules”…good stuff! I would love one!
    We are in the process of adopting domestically. Its such a “process”… trying to enjoy every step!

  • Karyn - I love this poster … I keep coming across it various places. What a perfect summary of what family is all about!

  • elle - Love the rules!

  • Rachel - Beautiful family! Love the poster!

  • allison - Congratulations! It really makes me happy to read about how you all are getting closer to bringing home the rest of your family.

  • Christine - Congratulations! I am glad to hear that you are one step closer πŸ™‚

  • Becca C - we learned in elementary education classes to only have 4 “rules” if you even want to call them “rules”….I don’t think these are rules, just family goals. love it.

  • Lauren H. - How exciting!! Congratulations!

  • Kim - Yay! And the title totally threw me off!

  • Sandy - I’m so happy for you!! My youngest nephew was adopted and he is such a blessing to our family! Couldn’t imagine our life without him. I got a phone call from him just last night and it warmed my heart to hear him say, “I love you Aunt Sandy”!!! I love your “rules” and would love to win a prize today!!

  • amy - congrats! the next year will be quite an adventure!

  • Kristy C - I’m so excited for you and Cindy! As a teacher, I’ve wondered what rules I have would have posted in my home and that poster is perfect!

  • Lyanna - Congratulations on the progress! It must be easier to see another step crossed off ‘the list’. You’re rules are great too! Would love to win one. The title did throw me off, it seems like everyone in bloggyland is pregnant now or just had a baby.

  • amy - congrats! this next year will be quite an adventure.

  • Tonya - I’m so excited for you! Love the blog!

  • Crissy - I love the poster…and the post. Congratulations.


  • Ashley - I totally love those rules! I have seen several, but that is a great balanced list!!!! I hope I win!

  • Tonya - Love the post caption! Haha. Keep everyone guessing.

  • Sara W - Congratulations on being another step closer.
    I LOVE this poster and I know exactly where I would hang it.

  • blair - love your “house rules”. so sweet!

  • Darci - Love this! Love love. Hope I win!

  • Jennifer B - Such exciting news! So happy for your family!

  • Stacy - I don’t even remember how I found your blog, but I have you in my RSS reader and enjoy your posts. Congrats on the adoption! What a blessing! I love the family “rules” and have been contemplating something similar in our home.

  • megan - i definitely fell for your post title….so gullible. love the print and think a similar one would be great for a classroom. good thing I’ll have one soon πŸ™‚

  • Stephanie Claire - Congratulations on this exciting news – You’re one step closer πŸ™‚ I pray that the Lord would bless you, your family, and your little one with abundant love, joy, and peace. Numbers 6: 24-26 πŸ™‚

  • tara - congratulations on your first ultrasound! ♥

  • Lauren - Love this post and your family rules! What a fun family to be a part of!

  • Trinity - Fun Post! Very exciting to get one step closer! LOVE the poster!!!

  • Meghann Rollinger - So excited for you and your family! What an exciting time for all of you!!!

  • Laurie - Love your posts!!! So inspiring!

  • Rachel Hove - How wonderfully exciting for your family πŸ™‚

  • Katie G - Yay Ashley!! That is awesome!!! And I love the family rules you posted πŸ™‚

  • Jody - So excited for you! We have 3 adopted siblings from social services, along with our 2 “birth” children. We wouldn’t be the same without them! The fact is, we didn’t change their lives, they changed ours!

  • Melissa - The title threw me off! I LOVE that poster πŸ™‚ So excited for your growing family.

  • Lora - I love your rules! And how exciting for your family to be one step closer to having another member. πŸ™‚

  • Amy M - Haha, was totally thrown by the title of the post πŸ˜‰ You’re such an inspiration!

  • Kari C - Congratulations on getting everything sent off to USCIS! That is such a great feeling. We have done it twice. πŸ™‚ I would love to win this poster! Awesome!

  • Sarah A - Love the poster! And CONGRATS on having another step down toward your Little One! It is so exciting to think that he/she is just waiting for you. Soon and very soon you will all be together. I love that thought. I sure hope we are able to walk through this process sometime soon… all in God’s will and timing…

  • The Prairie Hen - Dear Ashley,
    This whole process is so amazing to me… Thank you so much for sharing as I know so little about how this all works but I have had it in my heart for ages to adopt…. I don’t know if it will ever happen but I pray about it and we”ll see what God has in store for our family.

    Good luck!
    Raimie Lu

  • Christi - I already pinned this on Pinterest because it’s my favorite family rules!!

  • Kari C - Congratulations on getting everything mailed to USCIS. That is a great feeling. We have done it twice! I would love to win this poster! Awesome!

  • Amy - OOOh I am so excited for you and your growing family. I love that poster and would love to win it on my 15th wedding anniversary. Wink!

  • Cory - Great giveaway! I would love this!

  • Sarah A - Love the poster! And CONGRATS on having another step down toward your Little One. It is so exciting to think that he or she is just waiting to be united with you. Soon you’ll all be together! I love that thought. I sure hope we are able to walk through this process sometime soon… praying about it and waiting for God’s will and timing…
    PS Hope this posts, it didn’t the first time… and if it posts twice, sorry! I’m not trying to cheat and enter twice, really! πŸ™‚

  • Christie - Congrats, Ashley and co. That is so exciting!
    This poster is so great! I’d love one!

  • Kristie C. - This would be a great reminder for me and my kiddos.

  • Nancy Barr - Congratulations!!!!! AND the art is way cool! Would love to get for my children!!!

  • Amy - Oh I am so excited for you and your growing family. I love the poster too. I would love to win it on my 15th wedding anniversary (the 19th) Thanks for sharing your “ultrasound” πŸ˜‰

  • Charity - How exciting for you. I’ve never been through the process of adoption, but my brother has, and I know each step closer is very exciting.

    Your “rules” are awesome. I love the wording and how there is serious thrown in with silly. Thanks for the chance to win!

  • meredith - exciting!! love the poster too πŸ™‚

  • jenn3466 - i love this print, it is the best set of “rules” i’ve seen! thanks for the giveaway!!

  • Dorothy - I love that print!

  • Kristen - congrats! love the family rules!

  • Courtney Henson - Congrats on getting to this stage! How exciting! Love that poster, I’m seeing it everywhere right now and I want one too! Love how you framed it!

  • Noelle - That is so awesome! I love reading about this adoption journey! Can’t wait to hear about the next step!

  • Bernice - Love the poster, what a great set of family rules to live by!!

  • Marit - Congrats! I have butterflies in my stomach for you!
    I LOVE these rules and my kids would, too!

  • Melissa F - It seems like the first step is typically the most memorable for a lot of things in life especially when it comes to our children:-) Congrats! And when your little ones have those “rules” to live by you know their life will be blessed!

  • mary - Congrats on the next step of the adoption.
    Would love the “rules” in our home. Great reminders for the kids and grown ups πŸ™‚

  • Dana @ Bungalow'56 - We like to dance crazy at our house too, so this poster would suit us just fine. Congratulations on your journey.

  • Dana @ Bungalow'56 - We like to dance crazy too. The poster would suit us just fine at the Bungalow.

  • amanda - thanks for offering this great giveaway! good luck to you and your family!!

  • Gina f. - Yay on the one step of many!! I have seen this poster before and love it! Have a great day.

  • Kristen B - My household needs some “rules” too! Love reading about your adoption adventure!

  • Jude - great photos to document the journey! thanks for the chance to win one of those posters!

  • andiejaye - so exciting that your family is one step closer to having your family completed πŸ™‚ that rules poster is so darling!

  • Lynette - love the poster

  • Mary Kay Rott - so glad you finally have some rules! kids are so funny

  • Aubrey - Great update! We are rejoicing with you.

  • mindie - Love the sign!

  • Lori L. - What an exciting journey for you and your family! Can’t wait to hear more! Thanks for the giveaway….love it!

  • Laura M. - Love the poster. Love your site. Love your photos.

  • Gwen - What a great poster!!

  • bethany - LOVE the poster. I’ve been eyeing them ever since I saw the link on Pinterest. Congrats on your next step. So excited for you and your family.

  • brooke - love it!

  • Andrea - I would love to win!!

  • Mirys - You can ALWAYS touch me! With your pictures! With your words!!!
    Sending the best wishes ever from Brazil to your family of 7!!

    And… yes! I do want that poster! Someone just like yours! Because IΒ΄m pretty sure my 7 years old boy will LOVE the “dance crazy” part… LoL

    Kisses and blessings.
    (from Brazil)

  • Jennife - I love the confusion about “rules” not being posted on the wall! I also love the “family rules” poster–I would love to win! Oh, and congratulations on your progress with child #5!

  • Mrs. Tidyman - Lovely.

  • amber - Congrats to you guys:)! I’m having so much fun seeing the process through your eyes, knowing one day we’ll be there. So exciting for your family. And…I’ve been wanting one of these posters! The giveaway ends on my 30th birthday…yikes. Thanks for the chance!!

  • Lauren - Congrats to your family! Love the poster.

  • lexie - I have been following your blog for a while now and I am excited to see your family growing! I simply love the poster…I think those rules should be posted in every home!


  • Shauna - love, love it.

  • Jennifer - so excited for you guys…

  • erica - love the “rules” and how did you make that photo collage above the fireplace? is that just one big print? LOVE IT!!

  • alexis - love the simple black and white letters of the poster. it says some great stuff! want one!

  • Stephanie - I love the dance pictures.. They make me laugh. I think you guys should dance every time you complete a step of your adoption journey!

  • Jill - Funny that you called it your first ultrasound. I remember when we were going through the adoption process with our daughter; I said several times that I felt like I was laboring for her. I felt like the labor process with her was harder and more painful than delivering my birth children. I would lay in her bed at night and pray for her and ask for God to give her a feeling of peace in that very moment that she would recognize the instant she laid her head in the bed she belonged in; the bed I was laying in. I love how God parallels this birth process. All the best to you.

  • becca g - great words for the kids! and me too.

  • Jenny - I have seen this poster before and LOVE it! It is a wonderful Family Mission Statement if I ever heard one.

    PS Thrilled that your family is one step closer to being complete!

  • Tela - you did throw me with that title. but congratulations!

  • Mandy Kimsey - I want these “rules”/guidelines for my home…

  • Mandy Kimsey - I would love to have these “rules” or guidelines for my home!

  • Manda - What a special moment! Every day, I can’t wait to read your stories.. I have a 22 month old daughter and Firecracker reminds me SO much of her. We are in the ‘not cooperate for mommy’s pictures’ stage right now. I suppose she’s had enough of my pictures πŸ™‚ Congratulations on the next big step in your adoption! I bet it feels wonderful!!

  • Deanna - How very exciting….enjoy reading ALL of your posts…this one especially. Glad you have the rules of the house on the wall now…Everyone needs one of those!

  • Megan - Wow! You are really on your way in your adoption process! Big congratulations!! I’ve got friends who adopted just about a year ago (how time flies!) and he is just the sweetest little guy that somehow, someway, seems to be like he was always meant for their family.

  • ashley gee - congratulations!!! xo

  • Stephanie - love. love. love.

  • Danielle - SO excited for you! God is so good! This poster is on my Christmas list! Love it!

  • Jennifer - I’m glad you told me where you got that poster. I love it!

    And congrats on one step closer.

  • Melissa - Congrats on getting your home study mailed off!

  • Hannah C - Ooh I love that poster. What a fun way to post “rules” up!

  • Jaclyn - Congrats! I am hoping everything goes smoothly for you and your family. My DH and I have talked about adoption but have not begun the process. It is fun to follow your journey!

  • Kristen - Congrats on the progress! And I love the rules…easy to follow and beautiful to boot. Fingers crossed

  • Amanda - Congratulations!! what an exciting next step. best wishes for speedy feedback. oh the waiting…

  • Julianne Mills - I love the home rules, and adore your blog! I hope you have a speedy adoption process!

  • Emmy A - Yay for adoption and yay for your family!!!!!!

  • Paige - I would love a poster! So creative! And yes, lve the title of your post……..

  • Haylie - Congrats! I hope the time flies by for you!

  • Becca R - So excited for you and the family as you go through this adoption process!! Can’t wait to see who God has waiting for you!

  • Kathryn - Love the print. LOVE your blog. Thanks for sharing your adventure!

  • Jill R - Congrats on being one step closer!

  • leah case - LOVE these family rules!!!!

  • leah case - LOVE this poster!

  • Amy Ellis - I hope I win… absolutely love it.

  • molly - pick me! pick me!

  • paige rodriguez - Oh, I’d LOVE to win this poster!! It’s perfect! Awesome post, too!

  • Ashley - I really hope the adoption process goes quickly and smoothly for your family. And the poster is great, I wouldn’t mind one of my own!

  • R B - I really NEED these rules posted in my house as a reminder!

  • mamabirdy4 - I’ve been thinking we need to post ‘rules’ at our house too! Would love to enter for the poster.

  • Kristine - Love the poster! Makes me think what “rules” I should start instilling into my kids.

  • Nicole - Congratulations!! Love the poster “rules”, too!

  • mia - congrats being one step closer! love the poster!

  • Stefanie - LOVE the poster!

  • Tiffany - This is a GREAT one!!!!!

  • wendy - Haha!! Yes, your title definitely threw me… good one! Congrats on the ‘ultrasound’ πŸ™‚
    And the rules look great… I’d love to have that up in my house. We can all use the reminders sometimes!

  • Cassie - Wow, the comment numbers really jump up for those giveaways, don’t they? πŸ™‚ Love the poster, so sweet. Can’t wait for the next “ultrasound!”

  • Suzette Mahoney - Oh man…..I have had this print in my etsy cart for a while. I love everything about it.

  • Pam K - Congratulations! Love the poster!

  • Natalie V. - I love this post! Shows so well that no matter if your children are biological or adopted, the love is equal and all the same. PS, I would love to win a poster as we are in the process of purchasing our first house and growing our family!

  • Sarah @ Redhead in Ruffled Flats - I love reading your perspective on everything. It is just like an ultrasound!

    Love the rules and the crazy dancing!

  • karenchae - congratulations!

  • Breeana - Congrats on your steps forward! Thanks for the chance to win. I’ve seen around the web and love all it says!

  • Alice H - What an amazing ultrasound! I am so impatient and I cannot imagine how hard the waiting process would be. Thanks for the giveaway. I think these are the best family rules!

  • V Smith - this is my favorite post of yours ever . . . so far away. love the poster and the idea. the pictures are great also, as usual

  • krwsmum - I love this as our family “rules” Would look great by the back door! Love you blog btw!

  • tracy a - I love that poster! i’m going to pin it (i know, i know…but i was browsing around pinterest yesterday and saw a few of your other household lovelies…so fun!)
    glad to know the process for your new arrival is moving forward. Praise God!

  • christa - That is an AWESOME sign!

  • Kimberly - LOVE this post!! I’m so excitied for you and your family=) LOVE the poster too! My house needs one of those:)

  • karen brown - poster…love it!

  • Onarpos - So cute! Love the family rules.

  • Lynn Brown - Congrats on your ultrasound! The title DID throw me off at first. Love the poster! I’ve been looking for something like this lately…sort of like subway art. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Andrea - Love it! And congrats! Such a big step!

  • Brandy - What a great give-a-way!

  • Kirin - Congratulations–so excited for you and your family! Oh, and I love the poster too.

  • Christina - It’s fun to read about this journey. I love the house rules!

  • JULIE - I have wanted one of these for SOOOO long! I hope I am lucky enough to win!

  • Amanda - Aww…congratulations! I really thought you had received an ultrasound picture of the child you are getting. Good luck to you and your sweet family πŸ™‚

  • ruth@gracelaced - Amen to your list! Those pretty much sum it up!

  • tami - I keep trying to win this poster! Love it! oh and congrats on another step closer!

  • tami - I so want this poster!
    Congrats on another step closer!

  • Courtney - Congratulations, you and your family are amazing!

  • holly - I love to think about the little girl whose destiny it is to be your daughter. what a story she will and already has! congratulations!

  • Adrienne fincher - Yay I’m sO excited for you guys! I love how you make the seemingly small things so important and big:) I lOve the poster!

  • Michelle Wear - i adore this poster. this should be applicable to every family. hope to win!

  • niki - This would be great for soon to be expanding family!

  • Michelle Wear - i adore this poster

  • Tina I. - Bought this poster in red/white and love it! It summarizes all the unwritten “rules” we try to live by to maintain some semblance of order with 5 kids. Congrats on your 5th. Can’t wait to hear (read) all about it!

  • sarah - LOVE it. I am so excited for your growing family!! I cant wait to see you with one more little one in your pictures.

  • Nicole - I can only imagine how exciting that must be! Congratulations on this big step!

  • emily mancini - Your title definitely drew me in this afternoon πŸ™‚ Congrats on the next step!

  • Kristi - I would LOVE one of those posters!

  • Lorilei - I love that poster. πŸ™‚

  • Jess - So exciting! Thanks for letting us in on some of your adoption details. Can’t wait to “meet” your sweet girl. The poster is great too!!

  • Robin - what wonderful rules for EVERY age of life…we all need reminders πŸ™‚

  • Brandi - Congratulations on your next step. I wish I had taken more pictures through the process. I was so overwhelmed. Can’t wait to see you past the next step!

  • Jessica - I love that poster! And I enjoy reading your blog. πŸ™‚

  • Kelli - Totally digging that poster and would love to win one!

  • Lauren - The picture of Firecracker and her baby doll made me laugh out loud at my desk… it looks AGONIZING to pose with the envelope. πŸ™‚

  • Jina - It is exciting to be done with that stage. Congrats! Oh, and I love your new “rules”.

  • Jodi - Would love one of those for our home of 3 boys!

  • Elizabeth - Love the new family “rules”!

  • Kendall - Congrats! I love the rules poster. I have one little boy, and I would love for him to learn those rules!

  • Delaney - I love that poster. Cute. I thought it was hilarious when your son said you didn’t have any rules. Riiight.

  • Leslie - Love that poster!!! Sign me up πŸ™‚

  • Erika C. - Congratulations! I absolutely LOVE how you are documenting the process!

  • Heather - Love it! Would look great on my wall. Congratulations to your family!

  • Beth H. - Prefect house rules for our growing family too! Hope to win! And, I love how you are capturing all the details of your adoption process. Your little one is sure to appreciate it some day!

  • Jenn D - I’m so excited for you and your family as you go through this adoption process. I bet you are counting the days until you have your new little one with you. I have always had the desire to adopt, and can’t wait until the Lord gives me the go ahead… but for now, i’ll pray and wait patiently.

  • Regan - Way to document the anticipation on the arrival of the new addition! Love the poster, too πŸ™‚

  • Sarah Madgwick - This is exciting stuff! I’m excited to watch this process unfold for your family.
    Love the poster, btw!

  • Auburn - Congrats to the whole family!! Love you guys!

  • kim h. - I love that you guys are adopting. My husband and I adopted our daughter, who is now 6 weeks old. I remember the days of paperwork and waiting. It was exciting and tedious and frustrating at times. Enjoy your journey… it’s a wild one!!

  • bess - congratulations on another step closer!!

  • heather - what wonderful news!!
    one step closer to filling that empty chair.

  • amanda - oh, wonderful news and excitement all around. congrats – looking forward to tagging along in your adoption adventure. πŸ™‚

  • Jen G - Congrats!!

  • Allison - How exciting!

  • kate george - I love that poster. Great “rules” for a cute family!

  • Sarah K - How exciting! I hope that one day when my husband and I start having kids that we’ll go through the adoption process as well. And I love your house rules : )

  • Megan - Love the poster and the pretty fabric and frame with it!

  • Heidi - What an awesome feeling that must have been to put that in the mail!

  • Angela - love the “house rule” poster. want to post it at my home too. πŸ™‚

  • Ali Harris - Congratulations! Love your family rules!

  • Katie Sellers - So happy for your family! I love sharing this journey and exciting time with you. I love those family rules, have seen them many times now on Pinterest, I would love to win a copy for our “crazy dancing” family!

  • Darcie - I love that your nickname for FireCracker could change to “Big sister” in the future! And she’ll be the only big sister. So cool. How exciting for you and your (growing) family. I saw one family/pregnancy type photo shoot that was a woman holding a beach ball in front of her tummy (at differing levels of inflation) to show their waiting period for adopting. So cute!

  • Jamin - So excited to watch how your adoption process is moving forward! I love that poster ideaβ€”great way to keep your expectations in front of your kids. Makes me wonder what sort of “Rules” my wife & I would like to have for our household. Thanks for sharing!

  • Christie - One step closer! So excited for you guys! Thanks for the “family rules” giveaway!! Great one!

  • Amanda Balzer - it’s been fun following your adoption story! So exciting for you and your family! and I love the rules sign!

  • Katie - Ashley, I love how you share (rule #3 and #11 to some extent. GOOD JOB!). I hope that with your soon-to-be-expanded family you will still have the time to grace us with your outlook on life. It like to think it is reflected by your readers and increased exponentially!!

  • Rachael - I think it’s cool you and your friend were at the post office at the same time mailing your adoption items.
    I’d LOVE to win the “rules.” I’ve been looking at similar ones for a long time.

  • Krista B. - Can’t wait to read more of your journey….

    Love this poster!

  • Kristine - I remember when I taught and the importance of having the rules visible. Never thought of that in the home. πŸ™‚

  • Emily Shackelford - I feel like every home needs a sign like this.

  • Jenny - What a big step on your adoption journey! Congrats!
    And love love the print.

  • Nichole - Love it! I’ve been hanging a lot of scripture in our new house. How perfect it would be to have more rules. πŸ™‚

  • Julie - Thanks for updating us, I had been thinking about you. I’m off to check out that link, I love that poster of rules and think our family needs one πŸ™‚

  • christy stout - How exciting!

  • Lia - Congrats on the next step! Your family is beautiful and I am so excited for your future new addition. I’d love a print to spruce up our home. Thanks!

  • linda (burlap+blue) - Best of luck to you all on your journey…and I love the poster, too…would love to win one!

  • Stacy Littlejohn - LOVE the poster! Love the updates about your growing family as well. <3

  • Christina - LOVE the house words of life! Is there a way for us to purchase the print? Thanks!

  • Kathie M - Love it!! Would love to win that amazing poster!! πŸ˜€

  • Keilah - What a great idea! I love the poster.

  • Tara - You have the sweetest little family…can’t wait to see pictures with your new addition!

  • Jenna - Congrats on the “Ultrasound”!! What an exciting time! The poster is cool too!

  • Heather - Dance crazy is my favorite too!

  • Melissa Jaimes - Yes, you definitely threw me off with the ultrasound! Love the “rules”!

  • Amber - Yay for the ultrasound! So hope I win the poster… I’ve been eyeing them and wondering where I would put one. =)

  • Ashley Latham - EXCITING!

  • julie r - i adore that poster! and congrats on one more step!!

  • Kelly - Love what the poster says and what it represents! Thrilled for your “one step closer” to the newest member of your family πŸ™‚

  • cassie - Those rules would work very nicely in our house too!

  • Ashley - You have a great blog! It’s people like you that make me strive to be more creative in my every day life!

  • Crystal O. - Such a wonderful sets of “rules” to live by!!

  • Awnya - Exciting post!!!

  • Sarah - I suppose we need some “rules” in our home as well πŸ™‚ Happy first US day!

  • Corey Villicana - Oh I would love a set of house rules! Thank you for the opportunity! xoxo C

  • crystal - Oh, I’ve had my eye on those posters! I think the “rules” are awesome, and it would be a great reminder. I know you and your family are so excited to have one more step in the adoption process taken care of!

  • Michelle - Did you make the rules poster or is there somewhere we can get one???? πŸ™‚ Love it!

  • Chelo - I would Love hanging that pΓ³ster on my wall

  • Lauren Klouda - I love your post today. And the poster! All I can say is I really wish I had thought of that first (making a poster of family “rules). If I don’t win it I will have to make a version of my own to hang on the wall!!! Love it!

  • Jess - You have a beautiful family and your new additional is blessed to be coming into such a loving home. Good luck with the adoption process!!

  • Jessica J. - Congrats!! We’re having trouble trying to conceive, but I look forward to the day I get to have that first ultrasound. It sounds amazing!

  • Christina - Always good to remember the basics!

  • Crystal O. - Such%20a%20wonderful%20sets%20of%20%22rules%22%20to%20live%20by!!

  • Krystina - Congratulations! That is so exciting! I loved the title of your post, btw.

  • Felicia - Your title definitely got me! An exciting time for you and your family. Congrats!

  • Jessibee08 - I think it is amazing that you are adopting! We have 2 and soon to be 3 nieces and nephews who were adopted and they are SUCH blessings and to see how their mom and dad were “fathers to the fatherless” just like Jesus is pretty incredible! Love the house rules, my fave was also the dance crazy and I demonstrated from behind the computer screen; the only place it is allowed since I crossed into the 30s! πŸ™‚ j/k

  • Krystina - Congratulations! That is so exciting!I loved the title of your post btw.

  • Edie S. - My family needs that poster, especially the “hands are for hugging, not hitting” part! Your boy’s sweet grin reminds me so much of my own little fella’s smile! I’m going to miss those tiny cute baby teeth so much when my son gets old enough for the tooth fairy to visit!

  • Erika Matuszek - love that poster!! …and today is my birthday – would be nice to win!

  • Jeannette - I found that same poster on Etsy recently and even “pinned” it so I would remember to order it. Love it!! The post office pic is great – way to go Cindy!

  • Carly - I believe people who adopt are a true gift from god. Congratulations!

  • maggie hurder - What an exciting step in your adoption process. To have your family story on paper must be a real treasure. Love the poster…….I think all families need these rules! Thanks for sharing.

  • Amy - I’m just so excited for y’all!!! And I LOVE reading all about it. πŸ˜‰ Praying for your journey & your growing family. And I need those family rules!! Love them!

  • Kirra Sue - LOVE it. all of it. that your little one is hopefully one step closer to being in your arms & those desires & hopes for your family.

  • Carly - You are a true gift from god. Congratulations.

  • Edie S. - My family needs that poster, especially for the “hands are for hugging, not hitting” part!
    Your boy’s sweet smile reminds me so much of my own little fella’s grin. I’m already mourning the loss of those itty-bitty baby teeth, and my son still has a few years before the tooth fairy starts to visit!

  • Jami - love the poster!

  • Emily - Congrats on moving one step closer to your little one! Love that poster and your 5 y/o is TOO cute.

  • Lindsay Witwer - I would love to win this! Perfect for our family! Prayers for your family πŸ™‚

  • Lindsay Witwer - I would love to win this! Perfect for our family! Prayers for your family πŸ™‚

  • Cassandra Raney - Yippee! Baby #5’s first ultrasound πŸ™‚ Congrats for this huge achievement!

  • Molly - How exciting! I am getting ready to send off our homestudy to USCIS TODAY. We are in a different situation, though. Trying to bring our little one home as fast as possible because of her medical needs. We started on September 26th and home to have her home by February!

  • Erin S. - I LOVE this poster of “rules”. I would love to have it for my home! Love your blog!

  • Julie - Congratulations!! And I love the “rules”

  • carrie - LOVE LOVE LOVE! the child you will be adopting is going to be so blessed to have you for a mommy!

  • Beth - I have been spotting that poster around and love it! You have a beautiful blog. I just recently stumbled across it and have become a reader.

  • Jenny - What%20a%20big%20step%20on%20your%20adoption%20journey!%20%20Congrats!

  • Lindsay Witwer - I would love this for our family! Praying for you and yours πŸ™‚

  • becca - wow — what a cute poster!! excited for y’all getting a little bit closer to your adoption!

  • Becca R - i am loving that poster! πŸ™‚ what a sweet post.

  • Amber Grover - So excited for your family. What a beautiful gift this precious child will be!

  • Danielle - Have been in love with these posters, and I love your rules as well! You have to follow those!

  • emmybrown - woooo whooo!!!! I’m so excited for you!!! LOVE those pictures of crazy dance! πŸ™‚ And, would love to win that poster! πŸ™‚

  • Heather M. - wow, so exciting! and i love the list of ‘rules’. πŸ™‚

  • Hilary - stumbled on your blog today – love it. i could spend a lot more time looking, but i guess i should pick my kids up from school on time instead! looking forward to looking some more. LOVE the rules board – i made something similar, but i *LOVE* the size and everything that’s listed. . . too fun. *good luck*.

  • Shayla - I love your analogy and the poster is too cute! I would love one hanging in my home!

  • Mary Lynne Jones - So excited for your family & the child God sends to be part of your family!! LOVE the poster as well. πŸ™‚ think we all need visual reminders of our “rules”.

  • Heather - Oh my goodness, I had been looking at a “House Rules” wall hanging that I liked, but I LOVE yours because it starts with Jesus! Also, thanks for sharing your “sonogram”. We are blessed to be a family made complete through adoption.

  • Trista - This is the best “rules list” I have ever seen! Love the beginning, “LOVE JESUS” ! Great post too; so happy for your family! Trista

  • Launi - I love the rules or family guidelines. As soon as I read it I thought that’s perfect where did she get that?! Thank you for sharing. Congrats on the ultrasound.

  • Tina Watson - How exciting for you and your family! Love the poster…it’s a good way to post these lovely rules in your home. God bless!

  • Emilie - A dear friend has been dealing with a long-time struggle with infertility and has considered adoption. I have sent her various posts of yours and this is a great one. I want her to know that motherhood does not only mean the child comes from her body. Thank you for your encouraging words. And the poster is great too! I have just the spot for one in our house!

  • Lauren F. - I would love to win a poster and congratulations on your “ultrasound”!! I love the rules!

  • Sarah - love it! (adoption process AND poster)

  • Jasie P - The title did throw me off. I knew you were going through the adoption process, but I thought I had missed something. p.s. I’m bringing a friend to the Christmas Gathering. I hope you’re contributing!

  • Holly - I love that print! I have it in my foyer but would love to win another for a great friend of mine!

  • Valerie - Awesome story! So great that you are adopting and expanding your family. It takes special people to adopt. Congratulations!

  • Amy C - Congratulations on your “ultrasound”. I love the rules poster. Definitely need one for my house. πŸ™‚

  • Kim - I love that print!

  • Katie - So exciting that things are moving along! Beautiful family and love the rules. So Pinterest. πŸ˜‰

  • Kelly - I’m so excited for your growing family!! We are anxiously working on little brother or sister for my “mini me” right now so our anticipation is somewhat at the same level! LOL!

  • Andrea B. - congrats on your step closer! great rules!

  • Bree K - I am blessed by your faith. I am blessed to pray for you. We are out there praying for those on the front lines:)

  • jen - so excited for you on your “ultrasound”!!! i have seen posters like this before and always want to create one for our family, but get too busy. i would love to win one πŸ™‚

  • Lauren Battershell - Love the print! So excited your family is growing!

  • Martine - I love the rules.

  • ashlee - Such exciting news and anticipation!

    I love that poster. Sums things up perfectly.

  • Renee Pullings - Love Love Love this poster!!! And, congrats on the “ultrasound” – so so very exciting!! πŸ™‚

  • Brittany - That is SO great for your family! And I love the rules! Would love them in my house!!

  • Amber McGinnis - What an awesome day for you! Crazy dancing is a rule in our house too!

  • Lauren Johnson - Oh my goodness this post has me in tears. I am so excited for you and your family. You cracked me up with wanting to decorate the envelope. I SOOO get you!

  • Allison - I always wanted to know about the adoption process…thanks for sharing! And I LOVE the rules. Rules for everyone to live by!

  • APRIL TAYLOR - Congratulations! A step big or small is progress.

  • Paula Koziol - LOVE it!!! If I don’t win I will immediately need to buy one anyway!

  • Amelia "Amy" Showalter - How wonderful! Will be thinking of you all! I love your home, from the sneak-peek I just saw… the mantle, etc.! The print is awesome too, lovely!!

  • katherine - love the sign — and would love to win! πŸ™‚

  • Jenny - I love that poster. I think I might go ahead and buy that for our entryway. It’s perfect!

  • Amanda - Congrats! I have 2 friends here in Fayetteville, Ar who are adopting from Africa! May God bless you in this season!

  • christine - thank you for sharing this very personal family journey with us.
    love the poster!

  • Meredith - Thank you for sharing your amazing journey with us – I’m so happy for y’all! Thanks for a great giveaway!

  • Stephanie F - Love the Crazy Dance pictures. We have a lot of that around our house these days. The poster is Awesome.

  • Christy - Love the rules! So fun to document the process of adoption.

  • CharlaL - Love this post, Love the Sign….Are you gonna drop any battle creek Gathering hints? I am sure you are up to something AMAZING!

  • Shelley G - That’s awesome Ashley! We actually went to the post office today too to mail off our large packet to DHS!

  • Rachael Schepemaker - I love your sign Ashley!

  • regan - Congratulations on the great news, what a wonderfully exciting time! I love the poster, it’s gorgeous, as are all of your lovely photos! Sending warm thoughts your way πŸ™‚

  • Jacalyn Anderson - Love the poster! I’ve got 3 boys that could really use this…

  • Mindy - adoption is exciting stuff. my bff just adopted, and my other bff is praying for her china baby girl!!!

  • beth - That poster is amazing. I need to write down the things we want our family to be aware of on a daily basis. i love how BIG and FIRST “love Jesus” is. You are so very talented and it’s amazing that you not only get the idea, but also carry through with it. I really have trouble seeing a project through. Hey, maybe you could share how you actually finish so many projects?! πŸ™‚ Thankful you shared your next step of adoption journey with us. I’m praying for that little one across the world.

  • Devon - What a sweet post. Love the pictures of your little guy. It is so fun to hear about the process…. I am getting excited for you and your family. LOVE the new family rules!

  • Nicole - LOVE that sign!

  • Maegan - Yay for another step! So exciting. And love the poster.

  • anne - we have some friends adopting from moscow…they leave for their first trip on the 22nd. we will keep your family in our prayers!

  • Kendra - Seen this poster around on the web, would love to win one!

  • Cyndi B - What an exciting time. Love your blog & the content of your posts, love the pics (so beautiful) and love the house rules – so awesome! ;o)

  • joy faber - HOORAY for your “ultrasound” – thanks for inviting us to celebrate with you!

  • Stacey Banks - Awesome news! Great *rules* poster too!

  • Kathryn - I thought your post about the home visit was so hilarious that I read it to everyone at home! I can’t wait till you get to meet your new addition! And the family rules are great.

  • tonpia - I love reading your family journey. I love that you keep us posted. It’s kind of you to let us share your excitement, even though we’re strangers. And I love that family rules sign.

  • Lindsay - LOVE that poster πŸ™‚
    And congratulations on your “ultrasound” – I hope everything goes smoothly from here on out!!

  • amanda torres - I’m curious to hear which is more ‘birth’ required more faith for you and Chris. After listening to so many adoption stories, I am convinced adoption takes more. One of my friends said she was waiting on her little elephant to come home, because her waiting period was so close that of and elephant’s gestational period. Praying for your child to have a safe and speedy delivery to your family! Congrats again.

  • Valerie D. - I am so happy for you and your family in the continuing of your adooption process! I love that Poster as well!

  • Lisa - I love the picture with your sneakers in it.

  • Laurie P - Reading your blog is a highlight in my day!

  • Amy - I’m excited for your family (and I love the poster).

  • Stephanie George - Love the poster and would LOVE to win!

  • Virginia B - SO cute! I recently commissioned my photoshop-saavy hubby to make something similar for our family, but I have a special friend in mind that I would LOVE to give this to! <3 fingers crossed!

  • Andreea - I’d love to have the poster!

  • Fran - Love this!!!!

  • Virginia B - SO cute! I recently commissioned my photoshop-saavy hubby to make something similar for our home, but I have a special friend in mind that I would LOVE to gift this to! <3 fingers crossed!

  • Carrie - I absolutely LOVE reading about your adoption process! My husband was a ward of the courts growing up and was raised by his grandparents. I can from a loving Christian home and my parents are coming up on 30 years! I was never closed minded towards adoption but wasn’t sure I would ever actually want it. For my husband its a “no brainer”, he’d do it in a second. Recently, especially through your wonderfully encouraging journey, I have such a burning passion for adoption now! Rather then wonder if its right for us we are praying the Lord reveals the date and time to receive that precious child of God, wherever he/she may come from! Thank you for including us in your journey! ♥ btw, love the poster!

  • Jen - What a great idea and sign! Would love one for our home!

  • Rachel - This is such a sweet post and I love hearing about your adoption journey. I can’t wait until your little one comes home! Boy or girl? Do we know yet?

  • Jen - Love this! Congrats on completing the next step. (and I’ll admit, you did trip me up there for a minute!)

  • Jodi - This is my first time commenting on your blog. I am in your snapshop course and I was intrigued by the blog section of the course. I am enjoying your course so much and I hope I win the poster!

  • Julie riggs - That poster is AMAZING!!!! Love!!!!

  • Megan - congrats on moving thru the next step. we will keep y’all in oour thoughts and prayers during this “waiting” phase.
    would love to post the same “rules” at our house!!

  • Debbie in OK - Love this poster! Congrats on being one step closet to holding your new little one. πŸ™‚

  • Ashleigh Rose - Congratulations! I think you are a great example of Christ-like attributes. I hope all goes well on your adoption journey. I’d love to win the poster, I need to do something like this even if I don’t win so thanks for the idea! Last but not least, is that a cork board wall I see above your stairs? How cool! Best of luck! Congrats again! -Ashleigh

  • Amanda - That is so great!!! I hope I win, to save me the trouble of trying to make one myself:)

  • Kesha Osmond - I love our church’s love for the fatherless! So glad to see u guys going thru such an amazing journey!

  • Monica - That is so nice to tell the process of adoption. Love your home rules!

  • amber P - Your children are so beautiful! I cannot wait until we see your new baby!
    I absolutely love this poster! Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Robyn - love the poster! what a fun idea!

  • monique - wow! i would love a similar poster (with some modefications!) thanks for articulating what are many of our family’s rules!

  • Jennifer - what an exciting post πŸ™‚ love that you are going through this journey; we hope to one day ourselves!
    and those family rules are so awesome. Love to have that!!

  • BritneyD - A big poster? Yes, please! Also, we’re just about to start the process of adoption, too.

  • katy - oh i would love that print!!! πŸ™‚

  • kathryn mouchette - Thanks for demystifying the adoption jargon for everyone, so exciting; love your home rules!

  • Julie - congrats on the “ultrasound”. I would love one of those posters for our house. I’ve been considering getting one for our home too. I like the hands are for hugging, not hitting comment ’cause not like we have that problem here or anything.

  • Gevay - Such an awesome step in your adoption process. Congratulations!

  • Stephanie O - I’m so excited for you and your growing family. Congratulations!

  • Rachel B. - What a privilege to pray for you and your family during this time!

  • Heather R. - Congratulations! I know what a life-giving blessing adoption can be; my two little brothers were adopted when they were 3 and 4 years old. That was 20 years ago and I am certain that God put them in our lives with a purpose. I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without those goofy boys chasing after me.
    Adoption is so exciting!

  • lyn - great post! Glad you are getting closer to having your newest member of the family home! Also love the poster and would love to win one.

  • Stefanie - I Am in love with this poster!! Totally what we want for our home ! Would love to win !!!!

  • Cayla R. - Yep! You’re title threw me! πŸ™‚

  • Kate G - love the print! GREAT “rules” for the family

  • natalie - You are such an inspiration as a mother, crafter and friend. Thanks!

  • MaryBeth - Oh the anticipation! My sister and her hubby finally “officially” adopted their little one last weekend after 18 months of waiting. It is a hard journey, but oh so worth it.

  • Stacy P - So cute. I love your rules

  • Karen - Love this poster! I saw it on the “Whatever” blog.. and wanted to purchase it! Definitely a good set of rules (especially the first one)! πŸ˜‰

  • Shelly - Such a cool poster! And I love your son’s literal interpretation of the “Do you have any rules?” question. Such a kid thing to say!

  • Amanda K - Congratulations. I have that poster on my wish list! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the update and the give away!

  • Brandi - How fun! Love the photos. πŸ™‚

  • Joy Frameworks - I was just thinking how can I get those set of rules! Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Brenda Bare - How exciting! Praying for you and your family in this venture.

  • heather - I’d love that for my family room…to fun!

  • Kim S - Ashley when I saw your title I knew exactly what was up. One step closer, one week down, more to go! Praying for your family! We just got a bigger vehicle for our growing brood. So excited! Love the photos of your son, especially the last one. Definitely a keeper! And I love the poster too!!! Thank you for blogging!

  • Suzanne - Love the Rules!!!! Every household needs a set πŸ™‚

  • Brooke - Very excited for you! Love the “rules”, this would be fun to win. I catch myself saying a lot of these things.

  • Jennifer Monroe - What lovely “rules.”

  • Gianna - thats great, so happy for you guys!!

  • Jessica Lawler - What an amazing feeling for you and your family! Love the poster too…great “rules” to live by πŸ™‚

  • Ruthy T. - How can I love a family of total strangers?
    Hee hee I look forward to reading your blog every week.
    So happy for your “Ultrasound”
    Love the poster message!

  • nicole @ deliajude - love the family/house rules. we’ve been thinking about that a lot since house rules poster seem to be popping up everywhere.
    i love that Jesus is first!

  • Sydney - So exciting!!

  • Whitney - What an exciting day! I would love the poster. That would be a great reminder for me and my twin boys once they are old enough to read!

  • Dawn - I love your poster! I hope win!!!

  • Robin - Love the rules poster. I saw when similar on e “whatever” blog a few weeks back and have been wanting one ever since. πŸ™‚

  • Emily - I was going to ask where the poster was from πŸ™‚ This is so exciting for your family!!!

  • betsy berre - i had just seen this family rules poster somewhere else too! i love it. i want it at our house

  • Robin - Whoa…..not sure what happened to my previous post. Weird!

  • wishcake - What a special day for you and your family! Can’t wait to follow your journey. πŸ™‚

    And that poster is perfection. You have the most gorgeous home! I adore your style.

  • Kylie Horn - I LOVE those rules. I need to remember the “fun” ones more often! With 4 kiddos of my own and a daycare…it would be perfect to review our rules each day πŸ™‚ Congrats on the adoptions process! What a blessing you are!

  • Amanda - Praying for you and your sweet family πŸ™‚

    So excited that you’re one step closer!!

  • Theresa G. - I’m loving the “Dance Crazy” photos! =D

  • Crystal Marshall - What a lovely poster, I know just the family to give it to for Christmas! – Crystal

  • bethany_may - So excited for your family! Love following you in this journey : )

  • Renata - Very sweet. Love the post office pic.

  • Kasie - Congratulations…. how exciting!!! I look forward to your posts every day. Thanks for sharing your life and awesome ideas with us!

  • Mary Beth - So exciting! Thank you for sharing this process. Prayers for a speedy and painless process – which is exactly what we all hope for in a birth too!

  • Julie - You are very lucky and blessed and I am so glad you know it : )

  • Kim - You have so many comments, and I want to win! haha! I have seen this poster before, and I’m determined to make one for our family!
    I actually thought you had an ultrasound of your newest addition! haha! I guess that would be jumping the gun alittle? πŸ˜‰ Continuing to pray for you and yours through this process!

  • Brook S. - Wishing you well on your amazing adoption journey!! And love you”crazy dancer”! πŸ™‚

  • Sarah - Congrats on your adoption journey…I love that you are marking the milestones. And I love that poster. Always a good idea to remind them every once in awhile πŸ™‚

  • Sandi - I wish you all so much happiness in this journey.

  • Kristi Garwood - Love your site.. can’t wait until you get to post the pics of your newest blessing.

  • Michelle - Congrats on the next step in the process! Can’t wait to hear what is next for your family… πŸ™‚

  • Amber - Congrats on the completion of another step that brings you closer to your new sweet child!

  • Mayna Lu - I frequent your blog on a daily basis and absolutely love your posts! It’s becoming an addiction. Anyhoo, I’m glad your adoption process is finally goin..wish you all the best!

  • Kina - What a wonderful poster! I never win anything … but it’s worth a shot for such a perfect list of rules, prioritized so nicely! I just love reading your stories! Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Christina - Congratulations! We’re just a tiny bit ahead of you in the China process- we just got our USCIS approval and we are just about to get our dossier off to China. We’re going to wait for a referral until we’re logged in with our dossier- it sounds like you are doing that too. I highly recommend the Waiting Children SN china yahoo group- lots of great info and featured kiddos on that. Maybe we’ll see you in China!

  • Emily - Love this print. Sums our family up perfectly.

  • Jessica H. - So excited that your homestudy is done! That’s super exciting! I also love that poster! Thanks for the opportunity to win one!

  • Amy Jaeger - So excited for your family! And what an awesome poster…. a great visual reminder of what kind of people we want to be! We definitely need one of those in our home! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  • Patty - Ashley, you truly do inspire me! Wow!! I am in LOVE with this new “rules” poster. I just love all of the positive sayings on it. Even if I don’t win I’m getting it. πŸ™‚

  • Salena Santos - Can’t wait to see what God has in store for your family!! Love the house rules:)

  • Jessica P - Oooh…I love your poster! And I love this post. Congratulations on the amazing journey your family is taking.

  • Naomi - beautiful way to document your growing family.

  • Lisa - If I don’t win it, I’ll be buying a print! Absolutely love it!

  • serena - oh that is so exciting!! …. love that poster!!

  • Emily Schultheis - I had my first ultrasound 7 months ago now. I loved the anticipation! Praying it happens quickly for you!!!

  • Alisa Biggs - I would love to win this!

  • Brandi - Congratulations–those last two pics are so precious!

  • debbie - your kids are just the cutest!

  • Katherine - What an exciting milestone! We are keeping your growing family in our prayers!

  • Jennifer - first congratulations to your family. very exciting, very inspiring.
    second i love this poster, funny thing is i tried to make a similar project this past weekend, had the board primered, painted, went to put the vinyl letter on and realized they weren’t cut out letters, rather white square stickers with black letters, bummer!
    Hope to win!!!

  • Kate - An exciting step in the process…hope the rest goes smoothly and quickly!

  • Heather Mattos - Love it! Specifically, we are working on sharing in your siblings’ joy!

  • Katie B. - Congrats on this step…I’m excited with your for your addition! Love the poster as well!

  • Jamie Leigh - would love to win this!!

  • Jenny J - Yay for your “ultrasound”! Yay for giveaways!

  • Josi - Wow! 563 comments already!
    I know its a slim chance but I’d like to win too.
    I love how you are sharing these parts of your adoption. I’m pregnant now so I can relate (early exciting milestones).
    I love the pics of your little guy dancing!

  • Stephanie - You had me fooled πŸ™‚ The poster is lovely!

  • Sara C. - Love your blog and I’d love to win one of these posters!

  • Ellie Born - would love to hang this in our home!

  • Holly F - Very exciting! Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Andrea B. - What a great list!

  • Amy - Yea! Congrats on your ultrasound! :). We’re just a few steps ahead of you in the process, and we actually looked at Dillon! So I totally get it… I posted photos on my blog (which our agency wanted me to make private or I’d link it up) of our cute file box holding all our adoption paperwork, and called it my baby bump/maternity shots :). A few tips that our agency gave us and you may already know… You can go get fingerprints as soon as they send you an appointment time (we went 3 weeks before our given appointment, and they were happy to do it!) so we saved 3 weeks. And the other tip is our agency told us to call USCIS 4 weeks after you get fingerprinted to check on the status of your application and bug them to get a move on it! Thankfully, our approval was already in the mail when I called. Hopefully your’s moves that fast! Anyway, thanks so much for sharing your adoption story here. Praying for baby Campbell!

  • Holly M - That print is awesome! Other great stuff on the etsy site too!

  • Emily V. - Congrats on the “ultrasound”! Can’t wait for the next step in your process! Love the poster too!

  • sarah k - love the news–and the rules!

  • victoria - hope to win :o)

  • victoria - hope to win!

  • laryn - sooooooo excited and happy for your family!

  • Bernadette - Congratulations. What a wonderful and precious time in your family’s life.
    Love those House rules. I’ve been looking for something to help guide our family. this looks perfect.

  • Jessie Risner - My house NEEDS this!!!! now:)

  • Pleasant - Great post! And I would love to win a poster. So cute!

  • Lorena - what a lovely poster – love to win!

  • Michele - Congrats! Love your posts and pictures always! Good thoughts sent your way!

  • Michele - Congrats! Love your pictures and posts. Good thoughts and prayer coming your way!

  • Amanda Keeys - How very exciting! I hope it all goes well and smoothly for you from this point onwards.

    That poster is cute too!

  • Becky - I loved that time of anticipation for my both of my kids. Congratulations for your family on this exciting adventure.

  • Katie - Love love the poster! With 3 boys of my own I think this would be perfect on my walls πŸ™‚

  • allison - i’ve had my eye on that poster for a while.

  • Marissa - This would be perfect in our kitchen as we are starting to say things like, “In this family we…” to our two year old!

  • Gina Blevins - Congratulations again! Such a fun and exciting time for your family. Waiting has to be so hard. Love the “rules”. What a wonderful idea!

  • sarajane - love it!

  • Lindsey - Congrats! Would love to have the print!!!!

  • Melissa - Love it! Congrats on getting one step closer. Love that poster!!

  • Sandy W - Congratulations! I love the dancing crazy pictures.

  • myra - I have seen these posters and thought they were cute , but overdone….until I saw this one. LOVE IT! Love Jesus! Congrats on adpotion process

  • Stacy - Always an encouragement to read your blog…the poster is so perfect too, love all that it says!

  • Brianne Pitts - I would love to win this. Not only is it a good reminder for the kids but for me as well. LOVE your blog, good luck with your adoption. Any child would be lucky to have you and your husband as parents.

  • Emily S. - I’m so encouraged reading about your adoption journey and home “rules”!:)

  • Lili - I want one!

  • Donna - Congratulations! I’m excited for your family. And I love your new {rules}.

  • Kristy - Would love to win! Love hearing about how God is expanding your family thru adoption!

  • Emily S. - I’m so encouraged reading about your adoption journey and your home “rules”!:)

  • Cortney - So glad to hear that soon you will have 5 of the cutest kids on the planet living under your roof:)

  • Jennifer Greven - I’d love to win this poster!!

  • erin c. - Congrats on your “ultrasound”. My husband and I hope to adopt in the near future. I’m looking forward to reading your journey!

  • erin c. - Congrats! So exciting that you are starting this journey. My husband and I hope to adopt in the near future. I’m excited to read as your family goes along this road.

  • vina sanchez - I love the first rule. Love JESUS….if that’s first the rest will surely follow. =)

  • Michelle D. - Yay! How exciting!

  • stephanie - I love your website!

  • carrie c. - Yay! And your house rules are so much easier to decipher than the features of a first ultrasound would be :). Thanks for taking us along on your adoption journey–these posts are inspiring.

  • eheddings - I would love to hang this poster in our front room….right where all our guest would see the “Love Jesus” rule.

  • Crystal - Beautiful! Both the adoption process and the poster!

  • jodie - I haven’t commented before but I just had to because I love that you’re documenting this journey! I can’t wait to see your baby in your arms!

  • Jen - Love this! Way to go mama!

  • Rose E. - I like that poster a lot. πŸ™‚ I’ve seen some on Etsy that are similar but they didn’t have the important things (love Jesus).

  • Kristin - Love this <3

  • Marie-Claire - Exciting news Ashley! And best rules ever! Thanks for the chance to win!

  • ginah - Love the poster! Your children are beautiful!

  • Kristi Rediske - I love those ” rules” I would love to post them in my home.

  • Becky - Love it!

  • amy - I love your post, esp how you emphasize “love jesus”, “have fun”..in the largest font size. I wish to have one hanging on the wall. thanks for sharing. I’m also so excited for your adoption process.

  • hydeeann - love it – great rules! and the dance, too.

  • hydeeann - congrats on your 1st “peek.” love the rules – awesome! great poster. and the happy dance – too cute. what a good little rule keeper.

  • Courtney - Oh I just LOVE that poster! And my favorite may be the dance crazy too πŸ™‚

  • Maureen@Loving This Life - I love this poster! And I have a little boy who’d be dancing crazy right alongside yours!

  • amy h - i love this poster! “hands are for hugging not hitting” a life mantra! (-:

  • Lisa - Praying for the sweet child that is going to join your beautiful family.

    I’ve been wanting one of his posters for a long time. Absolutely love it!

  • Jenn - love it! love it! love it!

  • Heather - I first saw this poster at a junking show and have wanted it ever since! I have the perfect spot for it too!

  • jenny - Oh, I love this! i have been wanting something like this in our home and keep thinking I will make one myself, but my list of things to make is getting SO long and all of the sweet babies being born around me and birthdays….well, those projects always come first and rightly so. πŸ™‚
    So, I would LOVE to just win this one! πŸ™‚

    So excited for your family. One step closer!

  • monet - exciting and wonderful times for your family. congratulations.

  • Jolie - That is an awesome ultrasound – and when you read your homestudy results, did you find any unexpected surprises about your family and the way it works together, coming from a different perspective as the case worker would have been? (I’d be all for framing it – this is momentous stuff!!!!)

    I love the print – and the crazy loud singing and dancing would be my 2 to a tee as well…there’s a dance party here as I write!

  • Annie - I LOVE the poster!! Great reminder!!!

  • Annie - I LOVE the poster!!! Great reminder!!!

  • deb osmon - what a great poster!

  • Maloree - Congrats! Love the Rule Poster!

  • Claudia Ochoa - So happy for you and your family! I love the poster and the intentions it suggest. Best wishes to you and yours!

  • marla - haaa, not posted on the wall. love it!

  • Amanda - Congratulations!! How exciting for you and your family. I would love those rules to hang in my house for my husband and son to follow. Thank you for the great giveaway!

  • e l l a - Awesome! I’d love to win πŸ˜‰

  • Emma! - I neeeeed this!!!

  • Tara Daukas - So excited for your all’s adoption!! Congrats on this milestone!

    Totally in love with your new print… thank for the tip on Alexander Creative and the giveaway! Here’s hoping πŸ™‚

  • Savannah Pfister - Thank you for this opportunity. I love the blog.

  • Savannah Pfister - Thanks for this opportunity. I love your blog.

  • Jennifer Tyner - I love your house, and how you displayed the rules. Clever! I typed our rules, similar to yours, out and put it in a frame on our mantle, but you can’t read it (too small) and it is really make shift until I can afford to buy a bigger version. So….funny I ran across this chance at a free one. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • wendy ward - congratulations on your adoption process. The sign is gorgeous, would love one for my house. πŸ™‚

  • Melissa W. - Congratulations on your progress with the adoption. πŸ™‚ I’m praying for you! And fun entry too, thanks for thinking of all of us. πŸ˜‰ Your house rules, or maybe live-life-by-doing-these-things, sound a lot like ours. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the entry!

  • Ali - Congrats on one step closer in your process! Thanks for sharing! Love the rules print!

  • Ashley - I adore the poster. Congratulations on the progress with the adoption! xo

  • Nicole - Love this word art; complete awesomeness!!

  • wendy - congrats, ashley and family! love your family rules-perfect! =)

  • Jessica - LOVE the print!!!

  • Marykay - Congratulations!!!! The poster is awesome too, I would love one

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh Ashley, I am so happy for you! How wonderful that Cindy was at the post office, too! That is great that you have a picture!

  • Brooke - Love it.
    Your exciting journey and the house “rules”.

  • Rebekah - congrats Ashley, so exciting!!!

  • Diana - I found you blog today from a photo on Pinterest of spraypainted pinecones from your 10/10/10 post and now I am in love with your blog! Not only did it make me emotional to read your adoption post but also the words on the poster you made of things you want for your family, and things you want them to live by. I wish you the best of luck and send you and your beautiful family lots of love. xoxo

  • Andrea - The “rules” poster is wonderful! Congrats on your “ultrasound” I hope the next few months of waiting go quickly for your family:)

  • Sarah Turner - LOVE the poster! “Hands are for hugging, not hitting” would really apply to oldest 3 girls right now.

  • Sara Torbett - What a neat process! The posters neat, too. πŸ™‚

  • JEwels - I happened upon your blog and I am so blessed I did! I loved skimming through your giftedness! Thank you for sharing! I am in the process of putting the finishing touches on something similar to your “rules” or great reminders! I love how that turned out! I would love to get your insight about how you created etc. Thank you! jewelscprice@yahoo.com

  • JEwels - i just saw the link! πŸ™‚ Thanks! I would would be blessed by this! Thanks for the opportunity! Pray for a speedy process and a quick arrival for your child on the way!

  • Carol Van Boening - LOVE your family through this blog. Memories of doing all this for the adoption of my sweet Grandaughter from Kazakhstan 5 years ago. What a beautiful way to grow a family! One of our own rules…”If it cries, love it!” God Bless you all.

  • Von - So happy for you all πŸ™‚
    And the poster pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it?! Gorgeous.

  • Jaimie - Congratulations! One step closer to adding a new little joy to your beautiful family.

  • Dianna - So fun to be on this journey with you!
    I would love to win that print! πŸ™‚
    Thanks~ Dianna

  • dellie - Congratulations and I’d love to win, Ive seen this several times and have it on my wish list!

  • michele sprague - How can a set of rules make me cry? Well, you had me at Love Jesus. He is coming soon.

  • annie - Beautiful! What a wonderful, exciting time for your family!

    We’ve had family rules posted in our kitchen for a few years now – they are a nice reminder for ALL of us each day. I have them next to our kitchen table – which seems to be the one place we all live. I LOVE this poster and it embodies all of our goals and more (I like the dancing suggestion!) it would be a fantastic addition to our busy, but full of love kitchen!

  • Emili - How exciting that you are getting closer and closer to having #5! I LOVE the rules!

  • Jessica - Ashley Ann, I want to be you some day when I grow up!

  • Betsy - love the poster! so excited for you guys!

  • Tracey O - awesome, congrats on the ‘ultrasound’! now please pick me for the poster winner!

  • Jennifer - It’s a beautiful poster – I’ve been looking for something like this for our family – thanks for the opportunity

  • Caitlin - Aww, so exciting! Yay!

  • Hanna - Happy Belated birthday and love that poster. I booked marked it as a potential Christmas present if I don’t win.

  • Alicia - I love the poster and the rules! great job. Isn’t it nice that in adoption you can still appreciate each little milestone just like a pregnancy…wonder which step will lead you to post..”the baby just kicked”… that’ll be REALLY exciting =)

  • Brittany - So excited for you. Congrats!

  • Susie Yarbrough - Congratulations on your adoption! We’ve SO been there :O) We adopted through Buckner Internation before it became Dillon. We just celebrated our 10 years gotcha day with our daughter from Russia.

    Anyhow, came here from Pinterest on that Sweater pillow – so smart!

    Congrats again! It’s such an amazing time.

  • Bethany - So excited for your family and I love that your oldest said you didn’t have rules because they weren’t posted. πŸ™‚

  • cynthia - You totally had me for a moment. πŸ™‚ Wishing you the best on your journey. Love the pics and giveaway opp. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  • Jill R. - Wow, what a story. A few tears here:-) I hope those months are really only days for you!!! You have beautiful spirit(& family)!

  • Angela - I would really love to win these house rules

  • tanya S - What a fun twist on “rules”. Congrats on the family addition! It’s so close…

  • shelley - super fun print! love what it says!

  • Jennifer Baker - I love reading about your adoption process. I cannot wait until you get to bring that baby home! (Also, love the rules!) How funny – we don’t have rules because they aren’t posted. Kids are so literal!

  • Rachel McKenna - I love this poster!

  • Flossie - LOVE that poster. Would love to personalize one of my own…or just win that one. πŸ™‚

  • Desiree - I love your blog. Always puts a smile on my face.And I love the poster. It is my family written all over it.

  • Desiree - love your blog.always puts a smile on my face. and the poster is perfect for my family!

  • Momma Sadler - I love this poster. We just sent off our dossier yesterday….be ready for the emotional roller coaster after you hand over your LIFE in an envelope and they just haphazardly throw it into a bin to be picked up later. I really thought someone with white gloves would come out and roll out a red carpet when we told them it was adoption papers. I guess not. πŸ™‚

  • Kyla - I love the famiky rukes! So cute!

  • Susan - Congratulations!

  • Julia Anderson - What a great post! We are planning on adopting in the coming years and your posts on adoption always get my heart beating stronger and faster for our sweet kiddo we’ve yet to meet. Thank you! Great poster too!

  • Mary Beth - Just stumbled upon your blog. It’s too cute! And, I love that poster… πŸ™‚

  • Krista H - I love the poster! I have the perfect spot in the house for it;) One step closer on your adoption journey. Congrats!

  • Katie R - Congratulations! So exciting to being one step closer to seeing your new kidlet.

    The poster is fabulous–I have it bookmarked on etsy and I think it would be perfect in our home!

  • Jennifer - Love the poster! Congrats on your adoption!

  • Sheridan - Very excited to see your family grow in bigger way! Thanks for always sharing tiny bits of your life. Love the poster also!

  • keli - our family is considering the same kind of journey….we’ll love to watch yours!

  • keli - our%20family%20is%20considering%20the%20same%20kind%20of%20journey….we’ll%20love%20to%20watch%20yours!

  • Amy - What wonderful rules to live by!

  • molli - ahhh!! I love that poster and have been wanting something like that for quite some time:)

  • Lyn-de-lou - Oh – seen this a few times now – must be a ‘sign’ I need one πŸ˜‰

  • Heldine - When I first saw the poster, I immediately wanted to know where you got it. I am even more excited now that I know you are giving one away! XD

  • Jessica - Blessings on your adoption journey–very exciting to see who God brings your way!

  • Amy Arroyo - Yay! It’s so great that things are really moving along!!

  • Sara Cartwright - Congratulations! Love your rules poster, they are great rules to live by and we try to teach our son those everyday and soon he will have a little sibling of his own to teach them to.

  • Jennifer S. - I love your ‘first ultrasound’ post!! I am exciting right along with you! πŸ™‚
    I do love that rules poster as well! It is so right on! πŸ™‚

  • Mindy - Congratulations! I would love to win the subway art. I have marked that shop as a favorite on Etsy. If I don’t win, I will definitely be checking it out.

  • Heather - Your journey is so inspiring to read… I LOVE the poster.

  • Regina - i am DROOLING over this sign ~ i want to win! i’m also drooling over your mantle & fire place!!

  • Cindy - How appropriate that LOVE JESUS is first – it shows in more ways than just your poster:-) Blessings to your family on this journey!

  • Eva Scott - I love, love, love, love, love this!!!

  • Karen Davis - such a great poster πŸ™‚

  • Randi - i love how you’re documenting your adoption process. such a sweet picture in front of the post office. and the RULES, i love.

  • Sara Hasstedt - Love that poster Ashley! I’ve already pinned it on my pinterest. πŸ™‚ I’ve seen other similar things before but the content of yours resonated more with me than any others I’ve seen. πŸ™‚

  • Elizabeth - I saw the “rules” on pinterest and thought they were perfect for my little family as well! I’m excited for you as your adoption process moves along, thanks for bringing us along with you!

  • mandi@herbanhomestead - Thank you for sharing! We are adopting domestically and I’ve been very curious to hear about the international procedures. LOVE that set of family rules!

  • JanelA - Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
    James 1:27
    Bless you and your growing family!

  • Jen - Oh we need that exact poster!!!!

  • Megan - Love your post-we need RULES in our house, too.
    LOVE these rules your chose for your family

  • Lisa H. - ~Just recently found your site and I love it!!??? Sweet poster and I even have the perfect spot for it!!! πŸ™‚

  • marie - I would love a chance to win a poster…especailly one just like your poster. There’s just not enough crazy dancing going on…that’s a great rule!!
    Thanks for sharing your first ultrasound…such sweet news!

  • Anne - This is perfection. LOVE IT!!!

  • Jennifer - How cute! I was just about to pin your poster on pinterest because I like it so much. Maybe I’ll win it instead!

  • stephanied - such a treat to watch your family grow!

  • Carla - I love all that this poster says…. thanks for the chance to win.

  • Carla - I love everything that poster says. Thanks for the chance to win.

  • Shauna - I love your rules. Makes me contimplate what my rules are…basically the same.

  • Melissa K - What wonderful rules! I would love that reminder in my home. God’s blessings on the expansion of your family!

  • april's craft nest - congrats!!! yup, one more step down, lots to go, but you will get through it! love the poster!

  • Kelly O - Congrats! Love the house ‘rules’ too. πŸ™‚

  • Sherri Ernst - You are living my dream…to adopt. So inspirational. -Sherri

  • Jamie - I’ve been a lurker here for a while. But you’ve brought me out of the shadows. So excited for you and your adoption. It must be so exciting to be taking those baby steps that will eventually lead to baby steps! Congratulations!

  • Jennifer - love the print. Happy birthday!

  • Alisha - Congratulations! How exciting for all of you!

  • SAB - Wow! So excited – Thank you for sharing your adoption process with the world! My in-laws have been through it 3 times, and then once more for the 4th and they thought they were done, but low and behold, God had bigger plans and added 2 more to the mix! The last 3 are all half-siblings. Praise God for keeping them all together!

  • nissa - I saw this poster on another site a couple weeks ago…love it. Have decided to order if i don’t win a free one πŸ™‚

  • Sara H - This is just what my family needs πŸ™‚

  • tracy thomas - What a wonderful blessing you have received and are teaching your family! Thank you for sharing your journey!

  • Jill - Great post. Love the poster! Love it!

  • Amy S. - I love these “House Rules”!! They are so perfect and fun, too. I am so excited for your family as you travel this journey of adoption. Praying that the details work out in His perfect time!

  • Misty Schluchter - So excited for you and your family!! LOVE the print!

  • Misty Schluchter - So excited for you and your family!! Congrats on the completion of your home study! LOVE the print!!!

  • Kimberly - I always get so emotional when I read your posts. You’re pictures speak a million words. One of these days I’m going to pick up my camera for those days OTHER than ‘Special occasions’ and client sessions and just start clicking away. You’ve taught me so many lessons since I started reading your blog. The one I repeat the most to myself (and others) is ‘This Too Shall Pass….Be Present’ (I have a 6 & 4 year old so this truly fits my life right now). Thank you for sharing such intimate details of your life. You are an inspiration! Happy Belated Birthday!

  • Stephanie - Love that poster. What an exciting time for you and your family! Congratulations!!

  • Erica - Love your blog…and your pictures. Thanks for the opportunity to win something! πŸ™‚

  • Ceri - Hi Ashley I am a newer reader of your blog. I love it. I really like that rules poster! Contras on your “ultra sound moment” can’t wait to see how your adoption story unfolds.

  • Dee - I adore the print! So happy for you & your family!!!

  • Stephanie - What a joy to hear! Adoption is a beautiful thing. We got a chuckle out of the rules story. Thanks for the giveaway! I’d surely display that one!

  • Louise in NE OK - Congratulations on the ‘baby step’! Love the poster.

  • Siobhain - I love this and having been unsuccessuflly working on one of my own, I especially like the sharing each other’s joy. This is a tough one we are working on right now.

  • merran tatum - exciting step for you guys…congrats! i hope time flies and you get that sweet sweet child soon…. aaaaaannnnndddd…i would love to win a house rules poster. i’ve always wanted one!

  • Diane Wagner - I LOVE it! We need those rules posted at our house, too!

  • Diane Wagner - Am so excited for your family. Can’t wait to see a picture of the child when you can share. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the “rules”!

  • Elizabeth - That is so exciting! Congratulations on your growing family. :o)

  • Ruth V. - What an excellent poster! Also, congratulations on finishing your homestudy! What an exciting time for your family πŸ™‚

  • Mandy Petty - I’m a new follower of your blog, and just want to say how much I enjoy reading your posts, seeing your pics and great crafts/projects. Love your reminders to slow down and enjoy the little things in life with our kids. As a new second time mom, I need that reminder often. So anyway, thanks for sharing your life…

  • jdzjane - Pretty cool you are giving one away. I was just thinking I really need one of those for my house! So you could totally pick me if you’d like! πŸ˜‰

  • Thalita Dol - Oh, I really want that poster!!

    congratulations for your “ultrasound”!! =)

    hugs from Brazil!

  • Jess H - Not sure if I’m too late (couldn’t remember our time difference! ha!) but, I do LOVE the poster…I have been “pinning” some like that recently πŸ™‚ great stuff!!

  • JoanE - Ashley…where did that awesome list of rules come from? Love it. Love your work, love your photos….


  • rachel - so awesome that you guys are adopting from china! my husband and i are adopting from ethiopia – we just got assigned to our social worker and will be preparing for our home study hopefully soon!

    i also LOVE your rules … i might steal that idea for the future!! your blog is inspiring in so many ways.

  • JoanE - Ashley…where could I get one of those “house rules” prints? It’s the best!
    Love what you do…love your story, as a week from today, my son goes before the Ethiopian officials
    w/hopes of adopting a little girl, Aziza. His three kids will be with Mimi (me)and Papa Tom (my husband) for ten days while he travels with his wife to Ethiopia.

    With you in Spirit!

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