Saturday, December 18, 2010

Time for New Partner Families!

The last three months have been a blur. But blurry in a good way! More on that in a later post. :) As we close out 2010 we have several exciting announcements. First, the Go. Seek. Love. store will be taking a winter vacation during the month of January. This will allow us to catch our breath and do some much needed maintenance on the website. Second, we are super excited about a new partnership with another orphan care ministry. More details later! Lastly…

We are ready to partner with more adoptive families!

From now until Saturday January 1st at 12:00PM, we will be accepting applications for our next 5 partner families. Each family will receive all of the profits from Go. Seek. Love. T-shirt sales for one month beginning in February.

The requirements are:

1. Your family must be in the process of adopting a child from Africa

2. Your application to an adoption agency has been approved

3. You have not yet completed the court process

4. Your family has an active blog that has been in existence for at least 3 months and is regularly posted to a minimum of 6 times a month.

To “apply”:

1. Send an email to with “Partner Family” in the subject line.

2. In the email include the following:

a. Your names

b. What town and state you live in

c. Brief family bio (number of kids, years married, occupations, etc). Nothing extensive. Just a few sentences will do. The last thing adoptive families need is more paperwork!

d. Brief reason your family is adopting (Again, you don’t have to write a novel. We want to make this as easy as possible)

For a complete FAQ on being a partner family go to

The job of the partner family is just MARKETING. Blog about it, offer giveaways, send out email blasts to your friends and family, and write about the T-shirts on Facebook and Twitter. Your profits will depend on how well you promote your cause. We do all the printing and the order fulfillment. At the end of the month we send you a check for 100% of the net proceeds along with a list of people who purchased shirts.

We will notify all applicants by January 10th. Check out the FAQ if you have any questions. If there’s something that’s not covered there, feel free to shoot us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

Daniel and Sarah

Sunday, December 12, 2010

FREE Shipping and a NEW PRINT!

We are offering FREE SHIPPING today and tomorrow only (December 12th and 13th) on all Go. Seek. Love. orders. Hurry and get your order in to support the Matheny family! The 13th is the last day that we can guarantee delivery before Christmas. So place your order now!

ALSO... We we have a new product that we only be available for a limited time! Go. Seek. Love. prints to hang on the wall! We actually created these because I wanted one for Benjamin's room, and we ended up loving them so much that we created them in every color of the rainbow so that others could enjoy them too!

(The print does not come framed. Sorry)

They are 5X7, printed on heavy card stock, and available in 7 different colors. We have four in each color, and when they are gone, they are gone. So get your order in NOW if you want one!

Seriously, these are perfect framed in an adopted child's bedroom, and you can pick the color that best matches your decor. All the colors look great, but I must say - pink is a personal favorite. :)

Available colors - pink, orange/peach, (brown is actually not available - it's too dark), light purple, cream, light yellow, light green, and light blue

Order right here on my blog. All prints are $10 each, and 100% goes to the Matheny family's adoption! Just let us know in the "special instructions" area which color you prefer.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sweet Potato Rolls

One child is napping, the other one is out with Daniel running errands, and I am happy as can be - busy in the kitchen whipping up a double batch of these babies. :)

Sweet Potato Rolls

makes 12 to 18 rolls

1 sweet potato, baked
1 cup milk
1/2 cup white or brown sugar
3-4 cups all-purpose flour (I use half whole wheat and half white flour)
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Bake the sweet potato for approximately 45 minutes at 375. Remove the oven and let cool.

Combine the sweet potato, sugar, and milk and stir to make a paste. Mix in 2 cups of the flour, the salt, the yeast, and the spices until thoroughly combined. Add more flour a quarter cup at a time. Mix in after each addition until you have a dough that is tacky but which you can handle with wet hands.

When you hit the proper consistency, remove from the bowl and knead by hand for 5 to 10 minutes. (Or do it all with your KitchenAid mixer like I do.)

Set the dough aside to rise in a covered bowl for 45 minutes to an hour. Divide into a dozen or so pieces, shape, and then again allow to rise until they have roughly doubled in size, another hour or so.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Daisy Aday

My good friend Gillian is selling precious dresses for little girls to raise money for their family. They have just moved several states away to enter into full-time ministry. They have cute jumpers like this one, and peasant-style dresses too. Check out her blog and watch the "Smilebox" video to see all of the fabrics available. I love Madeline's cow jumper!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Our Ethiopian-American Family

So this is what dinner-time sometimes looks like at our kitchen table:

Sloppy joes on injera! And it was AWESOME!

We have a wonderful international market in Nashville that sells injera made at a local Ethiopian restaurant. We try to stop by about once a month or so. Doesn't it look lovely in the injera basket that we bought at a little village while we were in Ethiopia?

Here is a photo of the lady who made it!

The funny thing is, everyone in our family loves injera except for Benjamin. We won't give up, though. We'll keep forcing it on him until he learns to like it. :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Then and Now

This was first day that we met Benjamin, five months ago. (He was sitting on my lap and looking at me in this photo.)

Benjamin and mama now.

What a difference a few months makes! The first few days together (really the first couple of months) it was sometimes hard to feel sure that we were doing the right thing for Benjamin. He was sad. His eyes look so unsure and afraid in those first photos. We didn't know him and he didn't know us.

When I look at those old pictures now I can read and interpret the looks and expressions that he was making. But at the time I could not. It is so hard to not know your baby, a baby who has already experienced over nine months of life. I read in a book the other day that adoption is a lot like opening a book in the middle and starting to read. It's hard for everyone to figure out what is going on for a while.

But when I look at the photo above, it fills my heart with joy. Yes, he is really my baby now and I am his mama. He knows me and I know him. He is at home, and he is thriving.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pumpkin Yumminess

I have a husband who loves anything made with pumpkin. And I am a person who loves to bake! So over the years I have tried many different pumpkin-themed recipes for everything from pies to brownie-like bars with cream cheese icing, breads, and even soups. Here are our two favorite pumpkin goodies that I always make this time of year.

Pumpkin Muffins (reasonably healthy)

1 can pumpkin
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 Tbs. oil
1 & 2/3 cup flour (I use one cup whole wheat and 2/3 cup white)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 cup raisins

In a mixing bowl, beat the pumpkin, applesauce, egg, egg whites, and oil. Add sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves and beat again. Add flour and beat just until mixed. Stir in raisins.

We like mini-muffins around here, but if you prefer the full-sized variety or a loaf bread that works fine too.

For mini-muffins, bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Pumpkin Yo Yo's (Nothing healthy about this one but the pumpkin. But Daniel is giddy when he sees that I am about to make these sandwich cookies. They are a once a year treat. :)

Pumpkin Cookies
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
Cream Cheese Filling
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
Beat eggs, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in pumpkin. Add spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat again. Add flour and beat again until smooth.

Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto ungreased cookie sheets and use the back of the spoon to flatten each one slightly. Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

To make the frosting/filling: Beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar a half cup at a time until frosting is thick, but spreadable.

After cookies have cooled, turn half over, spread a generous amount of the cream cheese filling on each one, and top with a second cookie.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Meet the Mathenys

Philip, Sara, Emily, and Titus Matheny

Although I haven’t seen them in person for about eight years now, this family has a very special place in my heart. The seed for adoption was first planted in my heart by Philip and Sara.

We went to the same college as Philip and Sara, and although we were never the best of friends, we had many common friends and always knew each other. I had a great deal of respect for them back then just because of what I knew about them from others.

Then Sara and I were paired together to do a project in a Bible class (we went to a small Christian college). We were told to research and present a ministry that we were passionate about and would like to be involved in in the future. Sara suggested that we do our presentation on foster care. She and Philip had spent the previous summer living and working with a family who cared for many foster children, and they were interested in doing the same someday down the road when they were married. It wasn’t something that I had ever really considered before, but I wanted to be agreeable so I said OK.

As I researched foster care , studied what the scriptures said about caring for the fatherless, and interviewed a few people who had served as foster parents the idea of caring for children who needed parents stuck with me. Over time I became convinced that Daniel and I would probably become foster parents someday when our children were older. Gradually that dream changed and God led us in the direction of adoption.

Anyway, this blog post isn’t supposed to be about me. My point is, that I am so very excited and honored to be partnering with the Matheny family this month. They are a precious, godly family, and they are adopting from the West African country of Burkina Faso.

For the months of November and December 100% of the proceeds for all Go.Seek.Love. shirts and note cards will benefit the Matheneys’ adoption.

Here’s what they have to say about their family:

We are Philip and Sara Matheny. God planted the seed of adoption in our lives through a foster-adopt family during the summer of 2001. When we married the following year, we knew that adoption would be a part of our family. A couple of times we tried to pursue it and each time He said, “Wait.” After we were blessed with the births of Emily and Titus, we began to believe adoption as something we do “someday” in the distant future.

In 2009, we began to realize that God was planning to bring our next child into our home through adoption. We chose to pursue adoption from Burkina Faso because our extended family is already in love with the country. Though we have not yet been there ourselves, twelve members of the Matheny family have lived in or traveled to Burkina. Our family and friends join us in excitement for bringing Little Matheny home! Emily started a change jar last year and collects all the money she finds (and even gifts she is given) to help bring her little brother home. Titus prays daily that his little brother will come home soon.

Throughout the adoption process, God has been guiding us to “Listen. Trust. Obey.” He taught us to live simply and has provided abundantly. He has given us a passion for Himself and for families and we are thankful for the opportunities He gives us to love others as He has loved us. You can follow our journey as we bring our son home from Burkina Faso at

And by the way, their awesome photos were taken by Sara Darling, another mom in the process of adopting from Ethiopia!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Benjamin Update

I guess it's about time that I write an update on family life. It's been too long. That's the problem. When I get behind on something, or when I feel overwhelmed, I tend to shut do
wn. Starting feels too hard when there is so much to write. How do I summarize the complexity and busyness of the last couple of months without just making some generic statement about how "life is great"? I suppose I should just take it one chunk at a time. For starters, here is an update on the most recent addition to our family:

Benjamin is now fourteen months old, and I thank God that he has now been with us for one-third of his short life. When I look at the photos from his first days with us I realize how much he has changed and grown during that time. What a big boy he is getting to be! The clingy and insecure wailing baby of the first couple of months is gone. We now have a son who crawls at lightning speed around the house, forcing me to chase him down because he has become so independent. He is at the INTO EVERYTHING stage: emptying drawers, pulling things over on top of himself, tossing everything he encounters in his mouth without discernment. We call him the Roomba - you know, the vacuum that bounces around the room sucking up everything in its path. That's our boy.

He started crawling around his first birthday (August) and can now pull up just about anywhere. He's also just starting to "cruise" a little bit. I don't expect to see his true first steps for a couple more months, and that is just fine with me! He is already into everything as it is! Madeline didn't walk until almost seventeen months, and so he fits right in at our house.

His personality has seriously mellowed out. We don't hear nearly as much screaming, and his temper is not as extreme. He has actually become quite a tender little guy and gets his feelings hurt pretty easily these days. When we tell him no, he often looks hurt and begins to cry instead of getting mad and throwing himself on the floor like he used to.

He is absolutely in love with his daddy. Now don't get me wrong, he loves his mama. But he REALLY loves his daddy. In the morning if I am the one to get him out of bed, he looks at me and says, "Whuh dada?" When he gets up from his afternoon nap, he asks the same question. And when Dada finally walks in the back door at supper time, he is so out-of-his-mind excited he can hardly stand it.

The language part of his brain woke up one day a couple of weeks ago, and he suddenly started learning new words every day. He constantly points at things and asks, "What's that?" Actually it sounds more like, "uh sat?" So cute. He understands way more than he can say, and so we are starting to feel like we can really communicate with him. I LOVE it.

B is so friendly it cracks me up. He flags down people at the grocery store to wave and say hi. And he acts just as secure as any other kid his age now. We leave him in the church nursery and with a babysitter sometimes, and after the initial protest at the indignity of being left behind, he is just fine.

He is seriously the best sleeper ever. To say that I am thankful for that is an understatement. He sleeps from 8 pm till 7 am and never (never!) wakes up during the night. Then he takes a one hour nap in the morning and a THREE (or sometimes more!) hour nap in the afternoon. He definitely makes life easy on his mama in this way.

We have been struggling with some digestive issues. For the past couple of months he has had chronic diarrhea, and we just can't quite seem to figure out what the problem is. (I have lots of
graphic, entertaining yet stomach-turning stories that I could share about this, but you probably would never read my blog again if I did.) He has tested negative for various parasites or other problems that could cause it, and we have ruled out lactose intolerance. If anybody out there has any insight because of personal experiences with an Ethiopian child, I would love to hear from you! But the boy certainly has an appetite. He easily eats twice as much as Madeline does. At some point, we just have to stop feeding him. He doesn't ever really stop on his own. And he eats everything!

We are so thankful to God for the prayers that we have seen answered over the past several months. Benjamin has come so far, and we have grown in faith and maturity as we struggled through those early days. Every day we are more in love with our boy. And he truly is now - he is ours.

Meet Ferris

Me: Madeline, what do you think we should name our pumpkin?

Madeline: (pausing to think carefully about this important decision) Ummm, Ferris.

Me: (racking my brain to think of anyone that we know or anyone that Madeline might have heard of with that name) Wow, that's a great name! Do you know anybody named Ferris?

Madeline: Yes

Me: Oh really? Who is named Ferris?

Madeline: The pumpkin.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation, so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?
When the evil one comes to devour me, when my enemy and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.

The one thing I ask of the Lord - the one thing I seek most - is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord's perfections and meditating in his temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
He will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Then I will hold my head high above the enemy who surrounds me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music.

Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me!
My heart has heard you say, "Come and talk with me." And my heart responds, "Lord I am coming."
Do not turn your back on me.
Do not reject your servant in anger.
You have always been my helper.
Don't leave me now; don't abandon me, O God of my salvation!
Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.

Teach me how to live, O Lord.
Lead me along the right path, for my enemy is waiting for me.
Do not let me fall into his hands, for he accuses me of things I've never done;
with every breath he threatens me with violence.
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord's goodness while I am here in the land of the living.

Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cute Kids

Perhaps I'm a little partial, but you've got to admit that these guys are pretty cute. :)

(the surprised look)

(the offended look)

(the just plain sweet look)

We tried very hard to get a good shot of Benjamin in his traditional Ethiopian clothes. This was the best we could do.

Most of them looked like this

...unless he had a cracker in his mouth

And a good picture of both kids together? Not a chance. Oh well.

Madeline in her traditional Ethiopian dress

Life is good. :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Meet the Cox Family

Well, I have fallen off the blogging wagon lately. I guess that is obvious. Life is FULL. Full of fun, full of work, full of joy, full of kids hanging onto my legs at all times. My heart is full and my days are full. More about that later, but for now:

I am honored to introduce you to the Cox family! They are the Go. Seek. Love. partner family for the month of October, and I have been horribly remiss to not introduce them until the month is half over.

Jason, Summer, Elijah (6), and Judah (2) Cox

For the month of October 100% of the proceeds of all Go. Seek. Love. sales will go to this sweet Texas family. Summer is offering a different cool giveaway each week this month. Check out her blog for the details. I know that we all love giveaways!

Here is more info about their family:

We are Jason and Summer Cox. We have been married for 8 years and live in Fort Worth, TX. We met in the Aggies for Christ on a mission trip while in college and were married 2 years later. We have two sweet boys: Elijah, age 6 and Judah, age 2. Jason is employed for Chase Bank and Summer is a stay at home mom & part-time teacher at our church's preschool. God is at the center of our marriage & family. We strive to live our lives in obedience to Him and the calling He has put on each of our lives. We talked about adoption several years before our second son was born and felt like it was something God was calling us to do at some point. We had heard of the poverty and hopelessness in Africa and felt a burden & tug on our hearts to do something to help. We also felt a biblical responsibility to care for the orphan and spread the word about adoption so others can help too. Thispast summer we felt God telling us it was time to start the process, so we did. We are very excited about it and know very clearly that we are on the path God has chosen for us. We have been on the wait list since July 1, 2010 and can't wait to bring our baby girl home from Ethiopia!

So head over to and buy a t-shirt to support their adoption. Our new design has been selling like crazy. You know you want one!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

T-shirts Are Shipping!

T-shirts are shipping out tomorrow morning! To those who have been waiting a long time to receive your order, we apologize. The new ladies burn out shirt has been back ordered. Evidently it is a popular shirt, but we hope that this will not be a problem in the future.

We have been screen printing all evening, and the shirts look great! It is so exciting to mail these out to people because I know that
everyone is going to be pleased with them. :)

I realize that the small script on the new Go. Seek. Love. shirt design is hard to read in the photograph that I posted, so I wanted to share here what all the words are because they are so meaningful.

each other
those who hurt you
the fatherless
the outcast
the unloveable
those who are different
the weak
without condition
because God love you
the Kingdom of God
and you will find
the lost
the good of others
without stopping
with all your heart
to all the world
without looking back
where it's not safe
with intent

By the way, if you are an adoptive family interested in having T-shirts printed for a fundraiserthe prices listed on are NOT the prices that you will have to pay. Adoptive families will pay significantly less than the amounts on the website. Please email us to let us give you a quote. We are not trying to make money. We just want to bless others!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

We Are In The Screen Printing Business!

About a month ago I alluded to a surprise that we would be sharing soon….Something that we have been praying about and scheming toward for months…..Something that is going to allow us to bless more adoptive families using the skills and knowledge that God has given us.

Well, here it is!

Surprise! We are now the owners of a six-color, professional-grade screen printing press, as well as all of the other equipment that goes with it. We are officially professional screen printers!

You see, Daniel did screen printing for several years in high school. He loves the process, and he has always wanted to do more of it. We have spent the last month working with the press and getting our ducks in a row to open our new little business. Now we are ready to go.

So here is our goal: We want to print shirts (or tote bags or whatever) for adoptive families and/or ministries who want to hold T-shirt fundraisers. We will offer the best deal that we possibly can, making little or no profit ourselves, so that they can SAVE and make more money on the sale of the shirts!

We plan to continue to sell Go. Seek. Love. shirts just as we have been, giving 100% of the profits to an adoptive family and assigning each family one month to sell the shirts on their blog, etc. We have been able to give almost $4,500 in profits to other adoptive families since we started doing this. That is in addition to the $2,000 we earned for our own adoption selling the shirts. We really enjoy doing it – Daniel and I have had lots of great conversations while printing T-shirts, by hand, late at night. However, now we are able to print them using our screen printing press, and a batch of shirts can be processed in one evening instead of it taking an entire weekend to get them ready to ship.

It has been extremely rewarding to bless other adoptive families, asking nothing from them in return, the same way that we were blessed by so many when we were raising funds for our adoption. It makes us want to do more, and that is why we are so excited about this screen printing press. We hope to be able to help tens, possibly a hundred, adoptive families and non-profits to raise money with this gift that we have been given.

We had dreamed of being able to do this for a long time, but screen printing equipment is expensive! Plus we had nowhere to put it in our house – no garage or basement or bonus room. The equipment is big! It didn’t seem like something that was going to happen anytime soon. Then along came the Great Flood of 2010. The water never touched our house (read my post about how God’s hand was on us), but our large-ish shed in our backyard was flooded. Since then we have been forced to empty the space, find new homes for the things that used to be stored there, and replace the rotting floor. And that is how we found the space to open up our new screen printing studio!

Daniel watched Craig’s List for months to find the right deal. We prayed that if this is what God wanted us to do, then he would show us how to do it cheaply. Finally he found a bargain in Asheville, NC, and off we went on a fun weekend trip to pick up our new equipment.

So now we are ready to go! All we are waiting on is your orders. If you have been considering holding a T-shirt fundraiser, please contact us. We want to help you! We can’t wait! We will give you a quote, help you pick out your T-shirts, and help you figure out how many you need to order. (We’ve been selling shirts long enough to have an idea of what sells, what sizes you need, etc.)

Please email us at

And by the way, to help us to pay for the equipment we are also wanting to do some commercial work as well. We would love to pick up some small to medium size printing jobs. If your church group, sports team, or office needs T-shirts, please, please give us a shout. Do us a favor and pass the word along to your youth group leaders and little league coaches. We have a website set up for the commercial side of the business with detailed info about pricing. Check it out!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Welcome Home Elijah!

About a year ago we met the Stavnes family through our adoption fellowship group. Amy has become my good friend since then, and it brought us such joy to see them bring their son, Elijah, home from Ethiopia. We got to be at the airport on the day that they arrived back from their trip and watch as their growing family of six was united for the first time. Such fun!

Amy has created a touching video of their journey to Elijah. Take a few moments and watch what God has done in their family over the last year and a half.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sheep Print

In June of last year I posted this:

Black Baby, White Mama

Last week while we were at the Shaker Village, we saw this:

It made me cry.

Sometimes I have doubts about adopting transracially. I wonder if we are doing the right thing. Some say that it is not "natural" for a white family to raise a black child. They argue that there are just too many differences between the races. Having never been there, it is hard not to wonder if they are right.

Then God comforted me with the gift of this image. Even in nature, he reminded me, he gives black babies to white mamas. They are both sheep. They are exactly the same on the inside. It just so happens that the wool of one is a different color than the wool of the other. There is nothing weird or unnatural about it. They are a family, just the way that God intended.

Lord, make us a family with the child that you have called us to love. Help us to see no difference but the color of our "wool."

I had been planning for a while to frame the photograph above to put on the wall in B's bedroom. Instead my creative hubby offered to do something better for me. He made me this beautiful image:

He used hand carved stamps and made it using the "block printing" technique. This image still makes me cry.

Underneath, I put one of my favorite verses these days, one that I cling to often:

"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young."
- Isaiah 40:11