My mother has been bothering me for years to write a blog. Every year I have the same answer… “What would I have to say that people would want to read?” I tell her when I have an answer for that question, I will write a blog. I seriously don’t know how people have time to write them. I don’t even have time to take a shower. Literally. It’s a problem. I don’t know how all these women out there write blogs. Not only are they writing blogs, they are writing blogs about all the crafts and food they make. How are they finding time for that? And most of them have more than one child. I only have one, and I need a shower, badly.
Now, I have something to write about. It’s been a long time coming and I stay up at nights thinking about it. I have been waiting for the perfect time, and I realized, there is no perfect time. I have to stop wasting time and do it …now. Four years ago, I went to Africa. Four years ago I made promises to people there that I would not forget them, that I would tell their stories. Four years ago. What have I done in four years?
My mom thought of the title “Before and Africa” and I actually love it. There are a lot of things my mom and I agree on, but usually when she has an idea “for” me, I politely turn her down. But this title struck a chord in me. I thought about all the blogs out there about style and fashion and craftiness and I thought about how my blog would probably be the antithesis of that. Maybe I do always buy the same long sleeved shirts at the GAP every three years when the old ones get holes in them. Maybe I do still have the same tennis shoes I bought for 30 bucks 6 years ago. Maybe I do only get my hair cut once a year. Maybe I am in desperate need of a style makeover, but I think this blog is more of a before and after of my soul. My soul before and now my soul (after) Africa…
So thanks mom, for the title and for recognizing there has been a change in me and that even though I have a hard time finding the words, it’s time to start trying.

Monday, April 29, 2013


Sometimes being a parent is just…..hard.  Really hard.  Maybe I am just at my limit today of tantrums, biting and whining.  There are days I really miss sitting on the couch all day doing nothing.  Tony and I talk about the days when we would work so hard all week long and then have two days to do absolutely nothing.  It gave us just the right amount of energy to start all over again the next week.  But now, at the end of a really long day…we still have to be parents to a two year old who talks our ears off with jibberish, and throws food, and toys, and whatever else he can get his grubby little hands on when he’s mad.  And at the end of a long week we really don’t get a “weekend”.  It’s just more time-outs, freak-outs, and lots and lots of playing.  And playing for a two year old boy is seriously PLAYING.  It’s jumping off things and wrestling and getting dirty…it’s literally exhausting. 

BUT….When we tuck him in at night, and he is still jabbering about all the things he did that day…I don’t want to be anywhere else.  And I can’t wait to wake up and do it all again.  And again and again. 

We are about to do this whole thing all over again…are we crazy? Yes.  We are literally out of our minds.  We were finally able to send out the first check for the adoption today.  We filled out the first of thousands of papers, wrote our check, prayed over it and then dropped it in the mail.  I am giddy.  I know we still have a long road but I could just pee my pants thinking about another baby right now. 

SO…if we can’t go out to dinner with you for awhile, we hope you’re not offended…and if we start asking every two weeks for money…we hope you’re not annoyed.  Our main goal right now is to give a child a home, we hope you are as excited as we are to give this little one a chance to thrive.  So be prepared to be bombarded with fundraisers for the next year, because that’s basically all we will be doing.  Thanks to everyone who has already supported this little one.  You are impacting a child’s life for eternity and we are so grateful that you are. 

Oh and side note....Tony and I just went to see a documentary on adoption called STUCK.  It may be coming to a city near you so go and support a great cause...but bring your kleenex, because if you are anything like me you will sob the entire time.  

Also go to this website

and sign the petition to make international adoption an option for more families.  
The petition looks like this: 

We demand change NOW and call upon:

The President of the United States, Members of Congress and the Secretary of State:
- To establish the United States as an effective, proactive champion for every child's right to a permanent loving family, and
-To remove barriers to international adoption.

Leaders of all world governments and directors of international child welfare organizations:
-To prioritize the need to find permanent loving families for orphaned, abandoned and relinquished children as a basic human right, and
-To support international adoption as an appropriate and viable solution for children living outside of family care.

Jennifer and Tony Schmid (insert your name!!!)
It only take a couple seconds and they hope to get a million signatures.  This could impact so many kids lives. Please take the time to make a difference in our lives and in so many other families lives!