Category Archive: Family



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My Loves

When Nate goes out of town or is gone for a night I have some weird traditions. I like to eat waffles for dinner (comfort food) drink wine after the kids are in bed and read a book/watch ridiculously sappy movies. AKA Hallmark movies. Tonight I chose the latter as Nate enjoyed his Wilco concert night out. In honor of Mother’s Day fast approaching every hallmark commercial had me in tears. Such a sap I am. I have been a mother for essentially five years (because I definitely include the 10 months of pregnancy)!!! Five years! I often think what is God thinking allowing me to be a mother to TWO little INCREDIBLE people. I mean seriously. I fail so much in just one day, but they are always there with love, hugs, smiles, and kisses to reconcile my countless wrongdoings. There are no words.  They are amazing. So I will indulge my sappy motherhood Movie watching night with way too many pictures of my prides and joys. They are everything along with my beautiful, strong, sincere, loving husband. Jesus’ unconditional love has never been so tangible.IMG_8344.JPGIMG_8286.JPGIMG_5734.JPGIMG_7510.JPGIMG_8193.JPGIMG_7667.JPGIMG_7863.JPG






Our Adoption

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Fritzel Number 4 Updated

When I originally wrote our adoption story of Baeya I was so filled with excitement and joy that my post didn’t exactly come out the way I intended. So in honor of Baeya’s birthday and the weekend that made our lives SO MUCH MORE I thought I would do a better job of capturing the weekend Baeya was born, brought into our lives, and became part of us.

Nate, Owen, and I went to the OU/Texas Tech game on Saturday for our annual family rivalry game and had a great time minus a little rain, well… I had a great time;)
I left the game a little earlier than Nate to get Owen back to my brothers and in bed. While we were winding down; hanging out with my nephew, mom, and sister-in-law I got a call from our social worker. She wanted to let us know that they were showing our adoptive parent scrapbook page to a couple who had already had their baby. The baby was born the night before at 10:54 pm. I figured I would wait to tell Nate when he got back. This was the second time that we had received one of these phone calls. Obviously we were not chosen the first time so I didn’t feel in too big of a rush to share the anxiety-inducing news with Nate.

Exactly one hour later at 8:20 p.m. we got another call from the social worker, and my heart about leapt out of my chest. Let me just say that when you are not chosen you definitely don’t get a callback an hour later telling you the bad news. I ran into the other room to speak with her in private. Meanwhile my sister-in-law and mother had caught on pretty quickly that something big was happening. I was then told that the birthmother and birthfather had CHOSEN US. WE HAD ONLY BEEN WAITING THREE WEEKS! They told us to expect 18-24 months. This had nothing to do with Nate and I and everything to do with God’s timing. Nudging us the whole way, and we barely made it.

Our social worker was telling me about the risk involved which can include things like if the baby has Native American blood and of course the potential of the birthparents changing their minds before relinquishing their rights etc.  I was just sitting on the bed with my mouth open trying so hard to hear what she was saying, except all I could think was, I may have a daughter out there right now. Nate luckily walked in about 1 minute after I got off the phone.

Telling Nate that we were selected to adopt a baby girl was pretty overwhelming. I could barely get it out without bursting into tears. There were a few more conversations with the social worker over the phone, once Nate was in the know, and an email sent with some more information about the birth family. By the time we had read and discussed everything it was 10 pm. We then had to decide when we were leaving for Beaumont.

Owen had still yet to go to sleep due to the craziness and we contemplated just putting him in the car but decided against it. And thank goodness we did because when we “woke” at 6:20 a.m. Owen was coughing the bark cough. Like the kind that tells you, this baby is SICK. By the way, I put “woke” in quotes because I am sure you can imagine how much we slept knowing that we were about to be united with our soon to be second child. So we put Owen in the car and headed home making lots of phones calls and “googling” the whole way. Thank goodness for smart phones!

We learned that Beaumont is a 6 hr drive from home. I also made Owen an appt. that morning in Keller at an urgent care for kids, and spoke with Nate’s mom about potentially keeping him for us. We ran home pulled out every attic box in order to find newborn clothes, bottles, burp cloths, blankets, car seat, and anything else we could think of and were able to get a load of baby laundry done.

We ended up leaving Owen in Ft. Worth because the doctor thought it was best. Paula (Nate’s mom) came to get Owen and we packed up the car and headed to the airport. When we landed there were a several  issues that we encountered. The first obstacle was getting a rental car. Not one place in Beaumont rented cars on Sunday. We had setup a rental car for the airport we were flying into but mid flight we realized there was a much closer airport and we flew into that one. (BTW-Nate’s dad has his private pilots license and has a plane for his company. We wanted to get down there as quickly as possible so he graciously flew us and stayed with us there throughout the adoption process.) So when we got to the new airport we realized that they did not have rental cars available. We ended up taking a cab to the hotel, but on the way to the hotel realized that Nate had booked the wrong hotel on accident. Which meant that we weren’t within walking distance to the hospital like originally hoped.

By this time it was a Sunday at about 3 o’clock and baby girl was born Friday night. I was pretty much frantic to get to the baby, but we then found out that the hospital would not allow us to hold or see the baby unless the birthmother was present. The problem was the birthmother had checked out of the hospital the day before and lived in another town about 30 mins away. So our social worker had called and asked the birthmother to meet us at the hospital and came and picked us up from our farther away hotel. (Thank goodness for those Social Workers;) She took us to the hospital where we were able to meet birthmom and birth gma. We were then able to hold the baby for 2 hours while we got to know the birth family. They are wonderful people!

After having to say goodbye that night we were to meet up at Buckner’s office the following day at 11 to sign the paperwork and take sweet baby home. We walked to a rental car place the next morning and were able to go to Walmart and buy some formula and a couple of clothing items before heading to the adoption agency. Unfortunately due to problems with the hospital, the social worker wasn’t able to check baby out without the birthmother which didn’t get done until 3:30pm. We had waited all day to see her and were overjoyed when they finally walked her through the doors. We also had a few other hurdles with photo id’s and notary publics so the paperwork finally was signed at about 6:30 pm. We weren’t too upset waiting at this point due to the adorable baby girl we got to hold the whole time. After the paperwork was signed we did the entrustment ceremony and shed many tears together. Baby Girl’s birthparents were there and able to say goodbye (for now). They had named sweet baby girl Hope which seemed very fitting to all of us. Nate had come up with the top three baby names with Baeya being the favored. After speaking with the birthparents and seeing their reaction to the name Baeya, it was a done deal. We had to spend another night due to the craziness of last night, so we are on the plane headed home now. Can’t wait to introduce little Baeya to her big brother Owen. I should also say that I am forever greatful to my wonderful father-in-law who flew us down there and experienced all the ups and downs with us along with my mother-in-law, mother, and sister who took good care of big brother Owen anxiously waiting on news the whole time.

So welcome home Fritzel number 4, we have been faithfully awaiting your arrival;) God is so Good!

Hope: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

Nate's Iphone 877 Nate's Iphone 895 Nate's Iphone 906 Nate's Iphone 908 Nate's Iphone 909






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Florida getaway


Nate and I hadn’t taken a trip with Nate’s family in several years. In fact, the last vacation we took was probably before Owen was born. We do go to Illinois to visit Nate’s extended family usually once a year but as far as vacations it just hadn’t happened in a while, until this year. I also am not counting wedding weekends because those are VERY frequent in Nate’s extended family. He has a lot of cousins!
Nate and I had taken Owen to Destin last year and fell in love so when his mother asked us if we would like to take a trip we immediately said Destin. His parents rented a beautiful 4 bedroom house in Sandestin that my vacation-planning husband found. It had two golf carts so you could pretty much go anywhere in them which is nice not having to deal with car seats. (Don’t judge, yes Baeya rode in a golf cart in a golf cart community). We had so much fun and are pretty sure we haven’t been on an actual 7 day vacation since our Jamaican honeymoon eight years ago. We had many days of pool, beach, guys golfing, shopping, movies, restaurant eating, and two boat rides. Unfortunately Nate’s brother and fiancé didn’t get to join us but the kids got their papa and grandma to themselves for a week and their own rooms. (Which was nice for mom and dad considering the little one still doesn’t exactly sleep through the night). Of course the dolphin cruise and the pirate cruise were Owen’s two favorites. Since we have been home both kids have been sick with ear infections but that hasn’t stopped Owen from reciting his new mantra, “We are the crew from the bucc-a-neer, yo ho ho and a bottle of root beer” incessantly. I believe that Captain Hook is definitely the top contender for Halloween this year. Thanks Mike and Paula for a great trip!





























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Sorrells Family Vacay

07.26.14 Rangers vs A's_072714_G52RQ_0154

Every summer my family plans a vacation, but let me be more specific, we don’t just plan and go, we talk and plan pretty much all year long. We meet up every 2-3 months or so for OU football games, kid bdays, etc. and inevitably the family vacay gets brought up. This has been my whole life. If there is not a vacation (or OU football) on the horizon my whole family is in a bad mood. Nate has somehow adapted this mentality as well (substituting OU for Tech football of course). So we are constantly scheming cheaper getaways.
As I have mentioned I have a brother in Moore, OK and a sister in Austin, and my parents live about 10-15 mins. from us. Between the three of us “kids” and our spouses we have 7 children. The oldest, my brother’s daughter, is turning 11 in a few days and his son is turning 7 next month. The other five kids are 3 years old and under. Needless to say, our trips have gotten a lot more interesting in the last three years.

Two years ago we celebrated my parents 40th wedding anniversary in Florida (with four grandkids), last year it was just a trip to San Antonio with five grandkids, and this year it was sort of a week long staycation with all seven. My parents did rent a beautiful house on Lake Bridgeport for two nights throughout the “staycation”. In case you are wondering it was a six bedroom house and there were several babies sleeping in closets. Those “Texas-sized” walk-ins have saved our sleeping on several vacations. For the most part though we were in ft. Worth. Next year we are doing Disneyworld (yes all 15 of us….assuming no one has/adopts anymore) so we decided to be low key this summer. I will say it was right after I started The Connected Child so we were still working out the technique kinks and the behaviors were subpar (for my two). There was a lot of swimming, boating, eating, board games, and one rangers game. I also learned that B may be a bit of a bully when it comes to her younger (by 6 weeks) cousin. She tends to think of Maddie as her personal play thing. Our saving grace are my brothers oldest two, Aubree and Brody, they keep those babies entertained like no one else can. Owen is the next oldest and he has a very strong relationship with my sister’s oldest Ella. Strong in that they love deeply and fight often.

One morning when we were at my house I heard a little 2 year old voice through the monitor say, “Hello, Hello Owen open the door.” Then I hear my son saying, “I can’t”. Again the other little voice, “JUST OPEN THE DOOR”. About that time I walked up and saw my niece. No one was awake so on later confirmation from her mother I learned that she had scaled the pack n’play for the first time, opened the doors to the media room where she had slept, and walked downstairs to help Owen escape. Little did she know that we keep a child proof door knob on Owen’s room due to past escapee events. While these two are consistently up to no good and Baeya is climbing little Maddie every chance she gets, little Casen, who turned one in March, spends his time observing the crazy older four and ignoring the “babies”. Aside from a missing shoe and some missing wood chips for the big green egg, I think it was a pretty great week. Looking forward to some more crazy episodes next year in Orlando.















Our Home

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Parenting The Connected Child

Last year when we were doing our Individual Interviews for B’s adoption my social worker asked me how we were going to deal with discipline.  I think everyone knows how truly opinionated I am here but for some reason I have not jumped onto any specific parenting style. I had read several parenting books: Bringing up Boys; What to expect in the first year; Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby; Happiest Baby on the Block; etc. and have taken numerous child development classes throughout my undergrad/grad school/CEU history. I just don’t have super strong opinions on things like co-sleeping, breastfeeding, baby wearing, time-outs, or spankings. Don’t get me wrong I never wanted to spank as a punishment, but I also am fully aware that in the parenting world you NEVER SAY NEVER.

When our SW asked us this question we had just crossed over into full blown “terrible 2’s” and I was a little at my wits end. Owen had been getting time-outs since 18 months old, but they had started to not work quite as well. My fuse is long but the explosion ain’t pretty. She recommended a book called The Connected Child. So being the huge book nerd that I am, I immediately downloaded it on my kindle app. I was about 30% of the way through when we got the call about Ms B. Needless to say I quit reading it and didn’t think about it for months.

Then two months ago I received an email from this adoption group that I follow. It was offering a women’s book study specifically on this book. I thought, now that’s weird. Owen had escalated his bad choices right about this time conveniently when B started crawling (and getting to his toys). So I emailed some adoptive/foster mom girlfriends and we jumped on. This discipline style is so tough especially for an exploder like myself. It sounded a little hokey in the beginning. Connecting and then correcting the behavior. Constant nurture along with constant structure. Time-In’s instead of time-outs. Stopping and thinking about why I am saying no and if I can turn it into a yes. Choices with opportunities to compromise, but I cannot deny it COMPLETELY works. Owen is a much happier, easy to comply child when I am on my Connected Child game. He listens better and is much easier to take no as an answer when it is surrounded by loving yes’.

The book study ended about 2 weeks ago and I have been slacking big time. Owen’s behavior has gotten a little worse but I am comfortable in the fact that I know what to do. I am no parenting expert and use to cringe at my elementary school when parents asked me for advice, but I can answer those questions now with a little more confidence. I don’t know if this will work for every kid or even if it will work for Baeya, but I am on board. We have signed up for another book study including the fathers and I am anxious to see how much more we can curb those bad behaviors as a parenting team. So if you are in a place similar to where I was 6 months ago and you are open to a complete overhaul on parenting techniques please please check it out.