Her Dreams Gives Us Freedom

And just like that she is off to the Marines. My heart is in a twist of emotions. I am happy that she is chasing her dreams, but it was just yesterday our parents brought home my little sister. It was just yesterday……

We were doing sleep overs at grandmas,

She would make me blizzards and we’d watch tv,

She was on the basket ball team,

She was in my wedding,

She graduated college,

and now she is gone. 

Growing up our mom always said “You’re a missionary everywhere you go. Everyone’s field looks different.” I guess Jenny’s is the Marines. 

Marines has always been a dream of hers. Because of her dream my child doesn’t have to hear the sound of guns or bombs blowing up, due to an attack. My child doesn’t have to see people running for their lives daily from pillagers, or breath in the ash of the park we once strolled. Because of her dream we are free. 

Friends and family I ask for prayers of encouragement as Jenny begins her journey. 

Pray for:

 Her faith grows more each day as she seeks the Lord.

That she will make good Christian friends.

That those around her see Christ shining through her. 

Image may contain: Jenny Chamberlain, smiling, standing, hat, eyeglasses and outdoor




Why My Heart Was Heavy On My First Mother’s Day

I think about it often but on Mother’s day I think about it the most. 

I think of the strongest moms out there.

The moms who have dealt with loss. Whether that’s through death of  a miscarriage or after birth, failed adoption, or infertility.  As I feel possible kicking in my belly from baby this day my heart is heavy. You are in my constant prayers. 

Not only for your loss but also for the journey you are on. People forget that today is just another day for you.  They don’t know what to say so they pass in silence. When all you really want is to be heard. 

I hear you strong mamas loud and clear. I am interested in your journey. Your journey does not need to be a journey of painful silence and it shouldn’t be. Ignoring or putting you in silence does not take away the hurt. It only steepens it. Your journey should be echoed and prayed for. Because God hears the broken hearted and so should the rest of us. 

Strongest mamas you are loved, you are prayed for, and you are heard.

What Is A Heart Baby?


A heart baby is a baby an adoptive mom prays for while she waits, wanders and loves baby even before they meet. Just as a biological baby grows in their tummy, her love for baby grows. 

When we choose to be parents of any sort biological or adoptive we are putting ourselves in a vulnerable position. Our hearts are on the line for as long as we step into the realm of parenthood. I have dragged my feet for fear of my heart being shattered. I know grief. But I also know love. 

Beginning our adoption journey my mind has been filled with questions. What will she be like?

Who will she become?

Will she choose to love the Lord?

I peak in the nursery as my mind wanders.

This is her growing in my heart. 

She is my heart baby. I don’t know her. But as we wait we pray. 

Some babies grow in mommies tummies and some grow in mommies hearts.







Adoption Is Plan A

 For us adoption is plan A. It is not us choosing it as a second resort.  Regardless of having biological kids or adopting they are both a blessing. These are children and lives we are talking about, neither hold higher value because they are coming to us differently.  

Even if we have biological children, adoption is still a hope for us. 

Not many understand why adoption is plan A for us. But the world doesn’t have to understand. In the hurt of this world it is hard to recognize God’s love for us and why adoption is beautiful thing. 

Even before Peter and I were dating he knew that I had a desire to adopt someday.  So we started our marriage off with our dream to adopt.

We did not start doing foster care to join in with the government system and support the way they house hop children. We started with intentions with a hope to adopt and get out. After doing respite for six children now we know we do not want to stay in the system very long. But we will stay as long as it takes until we get our girls. 

Thank you all who are praying and supporting us on our journey. 



My Child Is Not A Gossip Session

It does not surprise me when people ask what is the story behind each baby we get in our home. But it still irritates me when they ask. Knowing their stories isn’t going to benefit them in any way and it is not ours to share to begin with. 

Conversations usually start like this: 

Them: “Do you know anything about the child’s background?”

Us: “Yes we do and we keep it private. Knowing it helps us meet the child’s specific needs.”


Them: “Did the mom do drugs?”

Us: “We keep all our babies story private.”


Them: “What’s the story on mom and dad?”

Us: “We are not aloud to share that.”


The questions usually stop coming after that.

 Every baby we get in our home has their own story and it is theirs to share not ours.

As an adoptee I can tell you not every adoptee is comfortable with sharing their story. It’s a matter that reaches people to the core. The only one who knows my story is my husband. Over time I have shared bits on this blog  and with others only if I see it as an opportunity to share Christ. But it took me about twenty years to get to that place. I would be horrified if people talked about my story as if it was a gossip session. 

Because it’s not!  

The matter is so private and close to the heart that even after we adopt (the hope) we will keep the story between us and our children. We do not mind curiosity from others. We see it as an opportunity to share our journey and teach people about foster care and our mission, but not their personal story. 



Let Me Make Mistakes

Dear Judging Mamas,

When did it become a society where we police each other in parenting? Where we feel the need to voice our opinion on our parenting style on other moms. To think that its right or “helpful”. When in reality it’s hurtful.

The thing is I am going to make mistakes being a mom, and you have made them too.

Every mom has their own style and their own reasons for parenting the way they feel is best for their child. Peter and I have began our foster care journey  and I have gotten plenty of unnecessary advice and questioning as to why we are not pregnant instead. To these women we are not doing things the way they would do it so it is considered wrong. These are the women who have the “perfect children” with the perfect picture lives. 

 Believe me “perfect moms” I will forget things. 

I will be late. 

And I will lose things too. 

Not on purpose. 

But because just like you I am learning and growing just as you were. Mistakes will happen and that is part of the process. I refuse to be caught up in the lies society tells us. I refuse to carry a blanket of guilt on myself for every mistake I make. Parenting is hard and takes time to adapt to as both you and the child grows.

Instead of using our lazer judging eyes lets bring the unite in motherhood meaning to life. Lets give  an extra diaper to the mama who is down to their last. Lets pass the sunscreen. Bring a coffee to a friend who is just having one of those days.

Because lets face it…..

We have all forgotten.

We have all spilled.

We have all let our emotions get the best of us.

We have all made or will make mistakes on the journey of motherhood. 

Our Christmas Letter 2017

Where to begin….2017 was filled with many unpredictable events. 

This year we learned a lot about God’s provision and how we can have joy in every circumstance. 

-February: we got our little pet bunny, Duke. He was my Valentines day gift. 

 -May: we decided to slowly begin our adoption journey through foster care. 

-June: we had another huge success in blessing Samiton with the Ultimate Frisbee tournament. 

-The Summer was filled with a fun trip to Minnesota and Kauai for our second anniversary. We were also able to take a Montana trip in the Spring and a Pullman trip in the Fall. 

-This fall we are beginning our second year of Bible school,  continuing in the youth ministry and Peter is doing drums on Sundays.

-October: we had a fun time setting up the Trunk or Treat event together, blessing the community for Halloween. 

-December: was the fifth year of Christmas Project Hope. 

-We are ending the year off with taking in little blessings whenever the foster care system needs us. Peter is continuing his job as a welder at the shipyard and I have opened my schedule to full-time ministry and nannying for Norah. 

When the year began we never expected our year to unfold like this. But through it all we have fallen more in love with each other and the Lord. 

Merry Christmas, and many Blessings to you from the both of us,

Peter and Mihaela Echols 

Little Feet At 4 a.m.


It’s four in the morning. You hear the little feet heading to your bedroom, or the cry for you.

Mama you are safe.

You are hero.

You are home not matter where your located.

Some dread the middle of the night cries. Very few are eager to get up. When my sister was a baby my mom said this. “I don’t mind getting up for your sister in the middle of the night. If I could I would have for all of my children who I couldn’t go to. ” Being adopted at an older age no one came for my cries. 

She gave me a perspective that I wish many would have. It is a blessing to adopt, to do foster care, to give birth, and be a mom someday. Children are a blessing not a nuisance. Our lives are changed but not ruined. 

Many women have “warned” me that when Peter and I start getting babies 

Saying things like: “Enjoy your sleep now” or “your going to be so cranky” or “good luck because your going to hate it.” 

I respond shaking my head saying ” You make it sound so bad.” 

First of all shame on you. Simple fact: babies cry. They need you. The specific babies we are getting don’t know I am safe. So yes they may cry longer and harder then most. Why? Because they don’t know that I am safe, and I too can be hero and home. Snuggles are foreign to them. As I rock  my bunny in our nursery I say a prayer for all the children who do not have safe arms to rock them back to sleep. 

Mamas I encourage you in the lack of sleep to cherish the moments. 

Hug a little longer. 

Count it as a blessing. 

They don’t stay this small forever. 



How Our First Placement Went

After getting back from vacation we unpack and settle. The phone goes off.

“Would you like to take a placement for a three year old girl?”

My mind spins. The plan was babies. But this felt right. 

I look at Peter he says “yes.”

Without much more to say I say “Yes” We knew nothing about her. 

The next day arrives. I did not know what to expect. When it comes to pick up or children I don’t have expectations. I just go with the flow of the day and stay in prayer. I pray I can be mindful of what’s going on with the child and that we can be in tune with behaviors and how we can react in a way that will benefit them the most. 

I pick her up. She came with me just fine. No fear, just said hi and jumped in my car. 

She was very good with Duke “Brown Bunny goes hop hop” she squeals. 

I was told she was active so I took her to Ahoy Kitsap play area where she could climb and run. I saw her shut down after about ten minutes of playing. I knew it was finally sinking in for her. She is not with mommy. Although, she called me mommy through out the day children know. I gave her space. Letting her process. Asked her if she wanted to play or go back to Miss Hyla’s. Angrily she runs away. So I continued to give her space. Then I set a 10 min timer told her she can do what she wants for 10 min. and then we go.  Transition went really well. She sat on a bench. Looked at me. Smiled and played some more.  By the end of the night she was sitting in my lap reading stories with me.  

me and ARianna for blog
Me reading to her. Sitting on the floor giving her space. Before she warmed up to me.


You see with foster care it’s about their emotions and us being flexible. It’s not that she didn’t like me. It’s the reality of me not being a familiar face. Each child is different. This isn’t us impressing our parenting styles on them It is us simply showing them God’s love.