Here Fishy Fishy Fishy!!

We know that we have been pretty quiet on here in the last few months…I guess time flies when you are having fun and when there isn’t a whole lot of updates out there! We are still anxiously awaiting for the DRC to lift the suspension of exit letters. This letter is the last piece of paper we need!! While we are waiting for our little girl to come home we pay a substantial monthly fee for her care. We have been so fortunate to have the funds to pay this from our previous fundraisers but as you can imagine it has added up quickly. With that we are SO excited to announce our next fundraiser!
……DRUM ROLL PLEASE>>>>>
We are so excited to be partnering with Fred’s Alaska Seafood to bring our Texas friends some wild Alaskan Salmon. This fundraiser brings us great joy to be able to combine our friends, our hometown and future.
Fred’s Alaska Seafood is owned and operated by our best friends in Alaska (Steve and Tesa Sturman).
They catch the fish, have it processed and immediately it is flash frozen. This is as fresh as you can get salmon without being in Alaska!
We will be getting 200lbs of salmon delivered this week!
If you want some tell us now, we have high hopes of it going fast!!
The salmon will be $16 per pound. We encourage you to pre order because once this 200lbs is gone it’s gone!! To pre-order let us know how much you want by: commenting below, messaging Jesse or Jeanette on Facebook, emailing Jesse (jesse_tapley@yahoo.com) or Jeanette (jeanettetapley@yahoo.com), or by texting/calling.
We cannot wait to share this little bit of home with you!!

You are not alone….

It’s hard to explain and really put into words all the steps and emotions of adoption. Right now we are stalled in the process, just waiting for more. That’s how it always seems, and I feel like I tell people that a lot, “We are waiting for _______. Patiently waiting.” I know a few other adoptive parents that I talk to that really understand and get it. They know the ins and outs and hurts and joys just an email or phone call can bring to our days. And in all reality we have people who ask and care about us and the process a lot! But lately this journey has been lonely. I think a lot of it is my fault; I don’t share when maybe I should, and I maybe just assume I…I don’t know..I assume it’s my fight and I don’t wan to burden them with all of it…I know that’s silly…just keep reading!
This week I was at a friends house for lunch and on my way out she asked for an update. I love this friend So So Much, and I knew I could bear my heart. I told her that we aren’t stuck yet but it’s getting sticky (I’ll explain all of this at the end). I told her that with Chosen coming up I was thinking that it would be our last year to have a team. She asked me why, and I went on to explain to her that fundraising is hard…and how many times can we ask people to run for us?? This was her response: “Jeanette, we are in this with you until the end.” I smiled, well, let’s be honest I cried and ran out the door to go pick up the boys from school. What she said stuck with me all day and even as we continued prep for the Chosen race (which was this morning.) Yesterday evening we invited our Tapley Ever After Chosen team over for dinner and while they were here I marveled at them. I love these people! I know they love our family so much and they are anxiously waiting the arrival of Zoe almost as much as we are!! It reminded me of what my friend said, “We are with you….”.
So then this morning The Chosen Full and Half Marathon was finally here. Our team met us with lots of hugs, selfies, group pics and questions of why we are crazy enough to run all this way!?. Right before the gun went off I saw a dear friend who is in the process of adopting two little boys from the DRC, we hugged and cried then laughed and hugged again. She knows…oh she knows my heart so so well…I just love her! During the run, with a sea of people around me I was reminded again, “We are with you…”. Today I ran with strangers, fellow adoptive parents, people who may not care about adoption at all but just like to run, but in my heart and with me all the way were my people…My friends. And let me tell you!! They are awesome, crazy fast, determined and some of the best darn cheerleaders I’ve ever met…I want to be just like them! Nope. I am not alone…they are with me and even better than that, I know the Lord is with me. He called us into this journey and I believe He will see us out. Sometimes though, I need a little reminder.
SO…Where are we now?! We are waiting for a Visa for Zoe, however we cannot get her visa without her passport, and the passport office is not issuing passports while the DGM (immigration) is closed. Zoe is not stuck in the DRC yet…but things are getting sticky! How can you pray?? Pray that DGM would open. That they would begin to issue Exit Permits again. The exit permit is the last piece of paper that a child needs to get out of the country with their parents. We are so close!

Our Friends!! Support in many different ways!

Our Friends!! Support in many different ways!

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Thanks for reading, Friends. We cherish your love, support and your prayers!

Woah! It’s been a while!

I cannot believe it has been so long since I last blogged. So much has happened, yet so much has stayed the same. I’m going to do my best at recapping our major moments without going on forever. However this could turn into a sort of series of posts so…just bare with me!!

In late February/ early March we received all of our court documents making us a family of five! It was a crazy day seeing “Rosette Zaina TAPLEY” on documents! It was unlike any feeling I’ve ever known, Jesse and I sort of just smiled and cried (well I cried) knowing it was official…we have a daughter!! She has our last name!! She is a Tapley!! It’s beautiful and I still get teary eyed thinking about it. Right about that same time, some friends from Austin traveled to the DRC to visit their little boy, and they were so kind and went to visit her! For the first time ever we received VIDEO of our daughter! Video of her smiling, playing and being a little girl. It was amazing and it meant so much to us to get to see her home, to see how well she is cared for, but really…to see her smile. Y’all. She has THE PRETTIEST smile! Our friends showed her our pictures and did their best to tell her we love her and are waiting for her.😀 It was in February too that we finished our puzzle fundraiser! It was all over Facebook but I never put it on here! The puzzle is now complete, so beautiful and just shows us how loved our family is. THANK YOU for helping us complete it!!

Spring was a whirlwind between soccer games, races and visitors. It flew by so fast! My mom and dad come to the “main land” as they and the other local Hawaiians refer to the states. We had an awesome visit full of the San Antonio Zoo and Natural Bridge Caverns. It is always so special to spend time with them. On my birthday Jesse organized a surprise party which was super fun, then the door bell rang and my best friend from Alaska was standing at my door, with her whole family!! It was such an amazing surprise! Our families have been very tight for a while now and it was so much fun to just be together again. And then Jesse’s parents moved here! His dad took a job in San Antonio and they are now living in the same town as us. It has been such a blessing to have them so close again!

As Spring came to an end we were excitedly looking forward to summer! Schlitterbahn, summer camp, and the pool were on the schedule along with friends and as the boys so sweetly put it, “Helping Gramma and Papa settle in.” The boys got to go to TBarM Camp here in town for a week long day camp. They had such a good time, and while they did that I was able to go to Camp Buckner for YoungLives camp. I was gone for a week with some awesome friends and some very cool teen moms; a week I will never forget! Summer is so fun for us! We love the sunshine and the heat, but it’s also birthday season at house!! Titus turned six in July and Zeke turned eight in August. They are both growing into such sweet boys, I love watching them get older and seeing their personalities develop more and more!

That brings us to fall, school is in session…God Bless Teachers!! I’m so thankful that the boys love school and that they are such good students! Zeke has decided to branch out and try a different sport this fall so he will be playing his first season of basketball soon, and Titus told us that he didn’t want to play soccer either, but instead would like to run with me and try out a triathlon like his daddy, so we will be signing up for a 5k and running that together. Speaking of triathlons Jesse just finished his second olympic tri last week, and he killed it! I have been doing half marathons just about once a month for our Run for the One fundraiser, but I am going to update on all that in a different post!

This year has been full…(and it’s not even over yet) and while its full we are definitely missing our little girl who is half way across the world. Things in the DRC still aren’t great but we are praying everyday for kids to come home!
Sorry for such a long and much over due post, I will be better at it! Until next time!

-The Tapley Family

Such a Beautiful Mess!

This past month has been a doozy! I have come to the realization it is a beautiful mess. Such a beautiful mess I’m in!

One I wouldn’t trade for anything! Our adoption process is moving! We are plugging a long… I could tell you all the paperwork that we’ve gotten in the past few weeks but it really doesn’t make sense to me, so to type it all probably won’t make sense to all of you! The good news is there is movement! We are praying for the DRC and that they will begin issuing Exit Letters again soon…like very soon. I have been clinging to the verse Exodus 14:14 THE LORD HIMSELF WILL FIGHT FOR YOU. JUST STAY CALM. So that’s what I’m doing…praying and staying calm!

Earlier this month Titus so simply and beautifully asked Jesus to come live in his heart. It was a beautiful moment on the way to school, and his faith astounded me. When we talked about it later he was so sure, “Yeah Mom, Jesus lives in my heart now.” Jesse and I are so proud!

We have been practicing sign language and often play, What’s the sign for? both boys are gaining a lot of ground and their vocabulary is growing…again I’m just so impressed by them!! We have a lot to learn but we are all working on it and are anxious to teach and learn with our sweet girl!

Sunday (Feb 2nd) is race number 2 in the Run for the One fundraiser/ run-a-thon! This is a race I’m very excited about since it starts in one of the local caverns. Its going to be such a fun run! For this race we have 5 sponsors! WOW!! Thank you so much! And remember you can sponsor after each race too, a dollar a mile..or more if you so please!! My big sister has decided to join in on this crazy endeavor! She too is running 14 halves this year and is being sponsored by some very sweet and awesome friends of hers!

It is so humbling to have so much support! I honestly don’t think I can say THANK YOU enough!

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Here is a list of the races that we are planning!!

Jan 4th River Road Run **DONE!!**

Feb 2nd Natural Bridge Caverns & Feb 16th Austin City 1/2

March 2nd Moes Better 1/2 & March 23rd Alamo 1/2 & March 29th Women Rock Dallas

April 12th Zooma Texas 1/2

May 3rd Biggest Loser 1/2

June 8th Wounded Warrior 1/2

July 20th Orange Leaf 1/2

August VIRTUAL RACE

September 27th Salt Lake City Chosen 1/2

October New Braunfels Chosen 1/2

December Illumination 1/2

If you read all of those… then yes, you saw 3 in March and none in November…That was kinda on purpose. Busting 3 out in the beginning gives us a little wiggle room whens it comes to the timeline of all the other races! Just looking at these makes me tired…is that a bad sign?! Nahhh!!!

We hope that the crazy weather hasn’t gotten you down and that you and your families are all well! Friends, be still…The Lord is fighting for you!!

You can Sponsor all 14 races here:

You can Sponsor individual races here just leave a note as to which one!:

Run for the One – A Year Long Run For Her Life – 2014 Run-A-Thon

As I have made it known I, Jeanette, love to run…some days more than others, but when it comes down to it, running is my favorite!

My amazingly crazy running friends had the “great” idea to run 12 1/2 marathons in 2014…well then we were challenged by another runner to do 14 in ’14! So obviously we were like “Heck Yes! That’s a great idea!!” The majority of us ran the full Chosen marathon in October, so we all needed a new challenge…well here it is. Fourteen half marathons in 2014. It’s doable!…Right?!

After Chosen and knowing how much running for a purpose spoke to my heart just running races for no reason really seems…blah. So here’s my thought: A 2014 Run-A-Thon. I will run 183.4 race miles in 2014. Would you sponsor me? $1 a mile( or more😉 )? Would you consider sponsoring a race or two or maybe the whole season (all 14 races?!) Every dollar raised will bring us one ‘mile’ closer to our sweet girl. For those of you that may not know, we are adopting a little girl from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We have been matched with a 2 1/2 year old girl who is deaf. We are super excited about this adventure and are so happy to have all of you along for the ride with us!

Here’s a tentative list of the races I’m looking into as of right now: River Rd 1/2 (this one is this Saturday 1/4/13!!) …Natural Bridge Caverns 1/2…Austin 1/2 …Moes Better 1/2…Alamo 1/2…Dallas 1/2…Orange Leaf…Chosen 1/2 …That’s 8 and theres some virtual races that I will look into as well!

This will kick off THIS SATURDAY!! Race #1 is in 3 days!! *What was I thinking?* This will be fun…challenging and some times really really dumb. But I am very excited to challenge myself, my running friends and most of all “Run for the One”.

Here’s how it will work…for now please use the ‘donate’ tab here on the blog or donate via PayPal ( jesse_tapley@yahoo.com ) and leave a note on which race(s) you would like to sponsor. Whoever sponsors all 14 races will receive their choice of a Tapley Ever After T-shirt. This is a year long fundraisee so we apologize in advance if you tire of hearing about this…😉 We are so thankful to you all and appreciate your support in all of this!!

I'm ready to run these races as well as this adoption race!

I’m ready to run these races as well as this adoption race!

2013 What a ride!

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Looking back on 2013 I see God’s hand and favor upon us.

Jesse has jumped out of his comfort zone and began teaching the youth at our church as well as teaching a cycle class at our gym. Next year he will  begin teaching BodyCombat at the gym and looks forward to many youth group adventures.

Ezekiel finished Kindergarten and began first grade like a champ! He loves school and loves to read. This summer he was a little fish and if we weren’t in or near the water he was asking when we would be. He played soccer in the spring and fall and is getting a good understanding of the game all while making some good friends!

Titus started Kindergarten in the fall and is thriving in it! He loves school! He too LOVES summer and loves being in the water. He also played soccer this year and is learning a lot about ball control. Titus loves to draw and color and is very talented!

With both boys being in school I have been able to get involved in some new ministry opportunities that I have really loved being a part of. I have gotten to meet some great new people and have really been taught a lot! I am looking forward to this year and what God has in store for us! HOPEFULLY a trip to Africa and new Tapley!

2014 holds a  lot of unknowns…What we do know is that there will be a lot of signing in this house in 2014…”What does that mean Jeanette!?” I’m glad you asked! We are excited to tell you that we have been matched with a little girl!! She is a doll!! And we are very excited to pursue and love on her!! One little side note is, that she is deaf.

Jesse and I have always had heart for the deaf community, but never knew how God would use us in it. We are excited to jump in this way. As of right now the boys and I are learning ASL while Jesse quizzes us! We appreciate the love and support we have gotten this far, because let’s be honest…this is all a little bit scary!!

As the year comes to a close we are forever thankful to all of you who have made this adoption process possible! We have an amazing “Village”🙂

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We hope and pray that 2014 will find you happy, healthy and blessed!

It’s a marathon not a sprint…

For the past five months I have been training for my very first marathon. I have been running and enjoying it since the boys were born,. My big sister turned me onto it. She told me that as a mom running is an awesome way to get out and refocus, and for a solid 5 years running has really been my escape. On days where I am grumpy Jesse has sweetly asked, “Do you want to go out for a run?” He knows me so well🙂 It has often been a time for me to pray, a time for me to really refocus and just a time to run. It is really freeing!

When we moved down here to Texas, running was a little harder not only because of the crazy heat and humidity, but also because of the change in our schedules. Zeke started school, Jesse’s new job was a “normal job” where he worked 9-5 so my running took a back seat. I did push Titus some in the jogging stroller, but he weighed like 40lbs and we live in a hilly area. Needless to say it wasn’t really fun running with him. My escape wasn’t much of an escape while pushing him.

Luckily, our gym has a run club that I got to join! I started running with them in April, and at that same time we decided that we would have a team for the Chosen Marathon. I have done 6 half marathons and told Jesse that if we were going to ask people to run for us then I felt like I had to run my first full marathon. He responded, “Yeah, I don’t feel that way.” So he is going to be running the half, and good for him! So that was that. I told my super marathoner friend I wanted to do the full, and I was committed. Then I sweetly talked a few more of our running friends into the full. Why? Because misery loves company of course! Over the past 5 months we have suffered, sweated, ached and mostly just ran together. These friends showed up at 5am on Sundays to log crazy miles, we shared running tips and the mutual disgust for this crazy decision! But every once in a while when I would complain…because yes, I am the team complainer…. “Who’s idea was this? Running is dumb! Why are we even doing this!?” They would kindly remind me, “This was your bad idea. Yes, running is in fact dumb, but we are running to bring your daughter home.” I would remember, yes there is a reason, a beautiful reason. These friends have sacrificed so much and I am so thankful to them.

As you can imagine there is a lot of time to think during these runs. Sometimes I listen to music but for the most part I am running quietly with a friend, (because my lungs can’t handle talking!) so I think, and I pray and during one run I decided I would compare this adoption process with a marathon, Here is what I came up with….

It’s a marathon not a sprint…So so true, international adoption is not fast. I’m really not sure there is a quick way to do it. It takes time, time to collect paperwork, time to have that paperwork processed, time to wait and see what will happen next. It is a very hurry up and wait deal.

It’s one foot in front of the other…over and over and over again. Like running, which is one foot in front of the other, adoption comes with many steps. Follow those steps and you will be successful, step by step…one foot in front of the other that’s the way to the finish line.

You will hit the dreaded “wall”….We have tried our best to train and prepare for this wall… this wall sucks! But when you hit the wall in the adoption you can’t quit! There is a child for you, you must push past the wall press on push forward there is a race to finish. I am a SUPER slow runner and I by all means have no desire to win, but I do have a goal… finishing well in both adoption and marathon.

You need support…With out the support of these running friends I wouldn’t have done long runs. If my sweet friend hadn’t picked me up at 4:30am (Yes A.M.!! WE ARE CRAZY!!!) I wouldn’t have gotten up, I like sleep! These friends have pushed me, encouraged me and strengthened me. I am so lucky to say that we have the same support and love with our adoption. Our church family is even supporting us by having a water table in the race…I just love them!! We would be lost without support.

There is reward when it’s all said and done…I’m not talking about just the bragging rights (but I will focus on the fact that I ran twice as much as Jesse for a while) but it’s an accomplishment, I have trained for this. Now the medal at the end of the race won’t be as sweet as the precious face of my daughter when the adoption is complete, but I think anything we wait for or anticipate can bring us joy.

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This is just a part of the BEAUTIFUL scenery we get to run on Saturday!

So Saturday morning all four of us will be participating in the 4th annual Chosen Marathon/Half Marathon. Like I may have mentioned, Ill be doing the full marathon 26.2 miles, Jesse will be running the half 13.1miles and the boys will be running their first race ever the Kids Fun Run. They too have been training and Zeke is taking this pretty seriously! It’s awesome. I hope he loves running! Please pray for us!!

And Thank you again to all of our TEAM TAPLEY EVER AFTER team mates, your support means so much to us!

The boys and I out for a run!

The boys and I out for a run!