BIG LOVE BLOG- Our story of love and family


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I Need Africa More than Africa Needs Me

Something to think about as we open gifts, celebrate with family, love each EVERY person.
Remember we are all here for a purpose.
I need Africa more than Africa needs me...
God Bless you today. And we live for a better tomorrow
Love Chantelle

Thursday, December 18, 2008


This year's holiday card...Okay, please don't be bummed if you did not get one. (Could still be in the mail)...And maybe I did not get one to you and if not I am sorry. Prices way up from the "do-it-yourself" Walgreen photos I sent out so often when Bianca first came home. I TOTALLY underestimated how many I needed when I ordered, and once it was time to order even more, I was busted on the budget! (I rarely talk budget, but it can get crazy!)
Know that we love and adore our peeps.
Isn't Bianca a little doll?
Much Love, Chantelle, Eric, & Bianca

Monday, December 15, 2008

A LITTLE bit of news!!!!

Snowglobe custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more -
I heard through the grapevine today that we have moved up 2 spots to #3 on the waiting list for Little Miss Sunshine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is huge!!!! It has been a long time coming and it looks like there has finally been some movement. Now, I am pretty sure this is fact, as I read several posts about it on our adoption agency forum. There were some major changes last week in staffing so I am not surprised I did not get a call. And no big deal...Good news is always welcome!
So, I have not called everyone for an update because I have been a bit under the weather the past 24 hours. And we are still 3 spots away from our referral, but that is still awesome!!!! So for those of you who would love to know when we will have a referral, I still have no idea. I will post just as soon as I know! And I will post as we move up to #1! Praise God! 2 families from our agency were placed with their baby girls...How awesome. There is nothing sweeter than a family coming together.
Thanks for caring and following our journey....We thank you love and appreciate all of your prayers for Little Miss Sunshine. I pray someone loving is holding her right now and loving on her. And that God is giving her comfort in knowing she will have a family soon.
Big Love-Chantelle, Eric & Bianca

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Well, ever since Bianca turned 2 and got her new Jeep, I can hardly keep her at home. She was off to STL in it on this day. Big sale at the Lucky Brand store, no doubt. ha ha It is hoot to watch her attempt to drive it. She is great at hitting the gas pedal...and not so great steering it!

She also loves a romp in the leaves...EVERY time we go toward the car...That is fun for the first 20 times...then momma gets a little tired of it~ but not Bianca!

Gettin' er done at the tree farm! Another COLD night! We were in and outta there in no time! Bianca seemed to love it!

This is PRE-Christmas parade last Sunday night...When we could all still feel our fingers and toes...Holy Crap it was a cold one. Bianca hung in there, much longer than I was hoping! I was ready to get the heck out of there!

Here is another great passer of time for hot stuff. She loves to "help" in the kitchen, but unfortunately for the refrigerator, Bianca has chosen it as her work out area...Think Flashdance! She hangs on to the bar on the pull out freezer door and does all kinds of dance moves, followed by repeated open and slamming of the door. She is a piece of work!

Yo yo yo, check me out momma!

I am just so thankful for Bianca's little personality. After some of the things I have been exposed to -going on in other people's lives, I feel overwhelmed with thankfulness. It is a good time to really take in our blessings. I know I need to get over my own personal pity party for the lack of referrals coming from our agency. They are great, and as many of you have reminded me...It is in God's perfect timing...Not mine. Thanks for the reality check.
Much Love

Monday, December 8, 2008

3 Months today on the wait list for Little Miss Sunshine

Today is officially the 3 month mark we have been waiting for our referral of Little Miss Sunshine. I know with most agencies this seems like no time at all, but when we started the process there was no wait time with our agency....So I have been a little anxious lately as there has been NO movement in 3 months on the girl wait list. No pity parties here, as I know God has a plan. I just think a lot about our daughter in Ethiopia and it is like I already miss her although I do not yet know her.
This is an area I have always struggled with....LACK OF CONTROL over a situation. You would think I would learn after our long wait for Bianca, but alas, I am still as stubborn as before.
Actually most days are great, and I just feel so thankful for what God has given us.
Today when I was feeling bummed and looking at all of the other blogs I love, I came across some really sad news. A friend of a blogger friend of mine has suffered major tragedy.
A wonderful family was about to go pick up their little girl from Guatemala...literally almost through this long and crazy process, and they found out that she was killed tragically. Her name was Josi and she was 5 years old. Please pray for this loving family who are now going through what I am sure feels like the darkest of days. You can read their story on Carla's Blog and please send them some support & encouraging words in this time of sadness.
I cannot imagine...The long wait was almost over for them. They were anticipating the call that told them they could go and pick up their little girl. Instead they received such terrible news. God be with them. I cannot wrap my head around the sadness they must feel.

When I read their story I felt like any problem I have is nothing in comparison. You really just never know what people are having to go through in life.

We will continue to wait for God's perfect timing to bring Little Miss Sunshine into our lives.
Thanks to everyone who asks about her and looks for updates on our process. We are so happy to have people who love us and are interested in this journey we are taking. I am excited and thrilled that God would provide for us to bring home another baby.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Sorry I have not posted for a while about the adoption. So many of you have asked and I have not gotten back to you...Sorry for that.
I have heard NOTHING on the adoption front. As far as I know we are still #5 on the wait list...and waiting and waiting...No movement for some time now.
I am so torn between my feelings this time around. For the most part I have not been too stressed during the wait...but I have had a few moments lately. Okay, this weekend in particular. As I enjoyed my time with our families, I could not help but wonder about where my other daughter was...what she was doing, who was taking care of her, if she was in an orphanage, if she was being held and loved many thoughts.
On the other hand, I can only imagine how sad it must be to be on the other side of our adoption...The family that will mourn the loss of their baby, no matter the circumstances. It just breaks my heart.
I am praying that God will protect our daughter and her birth family through this crazy process that will bring us together. I know she will have already been through some serious trauma in her little life before she will become a part of our family.
I guess that is why I am so eager to know her. To see the first photo of her little face. The little face I have imagined a thousand times and already love.
I am ready to get a move on, and see this happen.
I am also thinking of Bianca and just taking in our time together.
God has blessed us in such a wild & crazy way. I can only imagine what He has in store for our lives.
If you are a prayer person, please pray for Little Miss Sunshine today. I feel like she could use it.
And I SOON as I know something I will post all about it!
Thanks for thinking of us!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Advent Conspiracy Promo Video

This is what it is really about. Check out this video before you start buying stuff...I have had several people refer to this video in and around my life in the past few weeks.
We fill our holidays with BUYING instead of LOVING and CARING...I am guilty.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

More Birthday Fun & Room For One More Event

Hi everyone! Man, have we been in a whirlwind this week...In a good way. Bianca has had a birthday WEEK, we have been planning and had our first Room For One More event, and so much more!!!!
Bianca got the mother load gift from her Mimi & Pa on Sat. Here are a few fun pics when she got her Barbie Jammin' Jeep.

What lies underneath the sheet????

Oh, yeah...Pink is soooo her color!

Hanging with the fellas and her new rig.

Another B-day meal!!! I could get used to this...and I am of course, only helping eat this desert because Bianca "needs" my help....

Bianca is lovin' Mimi & Pa

I think we are going to retire the Birthday boppers this week. We got our money's worth on them and man, have I had my share of cake and ice cream....I think momma packed on a few extra pounds this week!
Today we had our first open house for Room for One More...Scroll down to learn about RFOM.
It was awesome. We had an excellent turn out and several people shared their adoption stories...Even a couple of dads. It was too cool. I loved meeting people who have such a desire to adopt...and a few women who feel so strongly about adopting-while their husbands are not anywhere near the same feeling. God has a way of working on people's hearts. I can't wait to see what happens.
God is good...All of the time. I need to have that tattooed on my forehead.
Here is a pic of the three us us that created Room For One More...And Check out the T-shirts!!! They are available for sale by the way!

I want to blog so much more about the event and how great it was, but I am totally checked out...A great, long, and exhausting day! I will give more details soon.
Thanks to every person who has supported this cause. I am awful about call backs, emailing, and just basic communication these days it seems! But we do love and appreciate everything people do to support the things we love-
And a special thanks to our families for being so supportive. Janis-Eric's mom is always ready and available to help and my mom-Jill has just really tried to support us as a family also. I am so glad that we live close to our family...One of the best decisions we have made... to move back closer to the people we love the most.
Love you guys

Thursday, November 13, 2008


What a B-Day Bianca had yesterday!!!! She had a full-on FREE day! People laugh about our Free days...We have several of them, mainly because I think it is cool. But yesterday added a whole new level of FREE to the day. Basically a no rules freedom, with lots of dancing, singing, sugar, and lovin'.
She had a ball and so did we! Later this weekend we are going to do some more fun family stuff, and she is getting a really cool present from the grandparents on Saturday...Will post pics soon after.
Thanks to everyone who loves and supports Bianca. She is loved so big by so many, and that is just so huge for us also.
We Love Big- Chantelle, Eric & Bianca

This is Bianca's version of showing her new age! She is so pumped!

Let the sweets begin!

How sweet is this child? She is growing too fast, and her indpedence is in full form!

Bianca LOVED blowing out the candles this year...We did it over and over and over!

This little face is priceless...I am such a sap for this kid!

Of course, Bianca had a B-Day lunch with her best buddy Malaena-Sloane and Aunt Cheri

Check out the B-day bobbers...She rocked these all day!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Hi everyone! We are sooooo happy to announce the official launch of Room For One More. It has been a very long process to get to this point, but as of next Sunday, we are full steam ahead.
The idea for Room For One More started when a group of us (Shari Stroup, Shelly Nall & myself) starting some very long conversations. We are all adoptive moms and we all have such a heart for adoption. I remember countless conversations where we would all say some of the same things.
* I wish people could grasp the crazy huge blessing it is to be an adoptive parent
* What if every solid family/single woman/man in America chose to adopt ONE child?
* Why don't more people adopt?
* Why are there not more resources available to people interested in adoption?
* Why don't we do something about it?????????????
And the list goes on of course. I want to say, I realize not everyone is meant to adopt, though in my crazy mind I can't imagine why when I look at Bianca's little face...But I have had wise people tell me this so I trust it!
After many many of these conversations Room For One More was created...This is who we are:

A group of women drawn together by a passion for orphans. We are each adoptive moms and are committed to make a difference for orphans in the world. Room for One More is a place created to inform, counsel, educate, and help raise funding for families interested in adoption. We are passionate about this mission and eager and available to help those in need!
For those of you locally who follow the blog, we are having our first event Sunday Nov.16 at Cup-n-Cork in downtown Cape from 3-5pm. The month of November is Adoption Awareness Month, and in honor of this Room For One More is sponsoring an Adoption & Orphan Awareness Open House. There will be several adoptive families there available to talk to people about adoption. We will also have resources and information available for people interested in learning more about adoption. We welcome everyone to the event! We would love to see our friends and families show up to learn more and spread the word.
Here is the thing...I am here to help many ways, but one of them is through adoption...I have a huge heart for adoption and I am so excited beyond words to help people exploring adoption...And it can be confusing at times!
I believe there will come a day where adoption is very common and most families choose to adopt a child in addition to bio kids....It will not be a last resort, but a common choice. And I see people already moving toward this. God clearly calls us to look after orphans, no doubt about it. I love the idea of seeing people step up, and once they do realizing it is the biggest gift they could ever receive...
Hey, it is my blog, so I can have my own vision for how I see the world, right? ha ha

Room For One More website is being built currently (THANK YOU ELEMENT74) I will post it as soon as it is finished.
T-shirts available!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Much Love!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's Not Okay With Me....

I have been blown away over the past 3 days. I had a new friend tell me about a book that I HAD to read...I will be the first to admit- I rarely finish a book! I read about half way through and get distracted or move on to another "must read". I will say-and Eric can testify to this...I read this book within 2 days...And I would have read it in one sitting..but an almost 2 year old exists here, so it was not possible.
It rocked my world. I wanted to post about it yesterday but I was not sure what to even say about it... and I am still at a loss for the appropriate words.
IT'S NOT OKAY WITH ME -written by Janine Maxwell -The book I am speaking of. Have you ever read something and felt like it was written with you in mind? That is how I feel about this book, and the author-what an awesome woman. I am so happy that I slowed down enough to read this book. It has wrecked my the right way.
It is tough to read, and yet so needed by everyone.
Janine Maxwell along with her husband also run Heart For Africa which is an awesome organization in itself. Take a look at what they are doing. Isn't it wild how God puts people, conversations, situations in our paths?...At just the right time?
If for no other reason, get this book if you have been feeling a bit sorry for yourself lately (I do this sometimes...I am sure I am the only one), or down on your luck...This is a good reality check for all of us.
If you feel like you are not doing something to make a difference in life....Let this book expose you to severe need and also give you an avenue to get involved.
I will have to write more later....Still porcessing.
Much Love-Chantelle

Friday, October 31, 2008


Check out this Little Hippie posing Diva! How hilarious!
Our little groovy chic got some wardrobe assistance from Grammy B. She tailored this little number to fit her perfectly!

Ready to OD on candy! Momma and Bianca are ready to rumble!!!! Peace Out!

How cute are these two? This is one of our friend's daughter with Bianca..She is soon to be a big sis from Ethiopia also!!!!

Here are 2 crazy ladies! My friend Michelle and myself...I was a rocker/hippie, and she was a scarecrow. Michelle is going to be an Ethiopia momma also!

Trick or Treat "In Action"

Family pic...Did I mention I am married to Brett Micheals from Poison...I don't like to brag about it, so I don't mention it much.

Monday, October 27, 2008


We love fall...And hats!!!!!

Okay so I have been tagged...Not once, not twice, but many many times...I usually ignore the tags, but now I am beginning to feel guilty for not responding so to all of you...First group, Cheri, Vonstroup's, and I think McMurray's..And yes ladies I know it has been many many moons, and now to my new friends Mindy, and Leah.
I feel I must respond. Laziness I guess has kept me from it, and I am not one to follow rules all of the time! ha

So here goes..I am sure it will be riveting!
1. When I told Eric there was nothing weird about me to report, it took him a moment to catch his breath from laughing so hard. ha ha..Here is one he IMMEDIATELY reminded me of:
I am deathly and irrationally afraid of alligators...Like I am worried one could eat me. Do not judge me. I cannot even stand to see them on TV. I freak out.
2. I now and have always talked out loud to myself throughout the day..all day. Never thought the least bit strange until I married Eric and he NEVER has done this...Second thought, he might the odd man out on this one. I have been caught several times talking to myself in my car when I look over and see another person in a neighboring vehicle staring. (now I have an excuse..Bianca!)
3. I am ALL IN or NOTHING....There is no gray area in life for me...With most everything. I am a total DIE HARD, or NO GO on most every major issue. I am extremely passionate and a bit of a dreamer.
4. I lived in Thailand for a summer while Eric was in chiropractic school... LOVED IT! A scooter for transportation, rode in tuk tuks, on elephants, lived among the monks on a monastery tour and hung on for dear life of the back of Thai taxi motorcycles-with little to no understanding of the language.
5. I have spent time in Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, & Morocco, living with locals in orphanages, AIDS havens, Refugee camps.
6. I used to be a shopping addict...I have made great progress in recovery over the past year, but still love a good day at the mall!
7. I am addicted to McAlister's Sweet Tea..I know it is bad. But, anyone who knows me most likely thinks that I have had a McAlister's Tea cup surgically attached to my hand. Every day...And If I am out of town I will find one!!!
*I could listen to the Rolling Stones 24/7...They never get old. Totally committed.
*I am a natural born to be hippy peace lover...It is just who I am.
*I have a tattoo of the omnipeace sign. I LOVE AFRICA
Oh, and as for the 7 I am supposed to TAG, I am NOT going to tag anyone but my friend Michelle...and only her because she is getting her blog up and running and this will get a bunch of people over to see it, and to support her family as they begin their Ethiopian adoption!
Peace & Love-Chantelle

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Still #5...and other ramblings!

Well, I know it has been a few weeks since you have had an adoption update so here we go!!!
We have been on the wait list for a baby girl for over one month now. This does not seem like any time to me with all of the good stuff happening in life...DO NOT GET ME WRONG>>>>MOMMA IS READY!!!!!!! We are still #5 as far as I know...Not any movement right now on the wait list for girls..but I know that will change soon. So for now we are happy with good old #5! I am so so so looking toward the day we get to see the face of our little girl.
Some stuff has been happening in my mind lately. I have been challenged...beyond-way beyond my comfort zone. I have been learning about people who do some amazing stuff with life...And I am feeling like I am meant to do more. I am selfish by nature...for those of you who have known me for some time, you know I have had moments of selfishness to the extreme in my life. Bianca has changed a good deal of that, but I feel something once again rising up within me.
More...More...More is on my mind. What can I do MORE of to give back, to make a difference for people in live less for myself and more for what God is challenging within me.
These are all of my own thoughts, but this is a place to get honest, so I am. Does it mean that I need to take on more children this time around? Are we meant to adopt a sibling group, twins, one child, two children...still not sure.
We are beginnning an orphan ministry at our church, and it is going to be awesome. I am going to be as much a part of that as possible. Our church is also going to begin to really support local foster care...I had never considered what these kids go through in the system. It blows my mind. I met a woman at our church who is a foster mom and she is just inspiring. That is what I want more of. I want to surround myself with these people. I want to stretch myself, encourage and support others in adoption, in taking responsibility for children in need, to just STAND UP and STEP UP as a voice for these kids.
I have been meaning to blog about the non-profit we are creating. It is called Room For One More. Created by 3 adoptive moms who are committed to make a difference for orphans around the world. Room For One More was created to inform, counsel, educate, and assist families in funding adoption. We are also committed to inspiring others who may not see adoption in their future to step up and take action for children in need in other tangible ways. I will post more about it over the next few weeks. At this time we are working on the website, information packets, funding (gotta love it!) and just getting our focus. It has been in the works for over a year and just now we are seeing it really begin to take shape.
Life gets by so quickly, I do not want to be lazy and look back at how much I did not do...I want to look back and see what all God was able to use this simple chic to do to help make a difference.
Now let's get to some new Bianca pics. This chic knows how to enjoy life!

Looking totally indepedent in her little Uggs and jean skirt!

Bianca is obsessed with shoes...Typically mine...Heels especially!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Our great friends and surrogate family-The Stroup's, arrived back in the good old USA late last night with Baby Ella! We have all been waiting for her since just after Christmas last year and we are SOOOOO happy for our friends to have her home. We headed up to St. Louis to welcome them home.
Head over to their blog and read the great story about little Ella. She is the second VonStroup child from Guatemala. She has a bio brother from Guatemala who is 2!!! How AWESOME IS GOD????????????
This makes the Stroup group and family of 8! Keep 'em coming we say! We have affectionately named them the VonStroups! Baby Ella is 10 months old.
Here are a few pics.
Sarah (oldest sis), Shari (ultimate Momma), Our great friend Shelly (Also Room for One More Co-creator), and Me...All happy as clams!

Part of the VonStroup family....A few of the kiddos did not make it...Too late for them, but here are the rest of the happy fam.

Monday, October 6, 2008

HOME ONE YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can hardly believe it, but Little Hot Stuff has been home for one year already! CRAZY!!!!!!! I have had the time of my life with her this year. So many moments- some of near insanity as I adapted to being a mom and left the "All about me and Loving it" stage of life....Then, so many many moments of pure joy just looking at her and thinking about how much I missed her when we were not together the first year of her life. I feel like I look at life so differently now. I maybe just have a hint of realization about how precious life is when we are able to be with the ones we love. I still look back at her in the car and am brought to tears thinking about how blessed I am to be the momma to this awesome child!
I am so thankful that her loving birth mom made the sacrifice to give Bianca a different life, and I know she must miss her so much. I hope someday we will get to meet her and Bianca will be able to know her if she so chooses. And I am also so thankful for Iris and Hugo, Bianca's foster parents and their great family. They took care of Bianca for almost the full first year of her life and they loved her so much. She will always know them.
I am thankful that we are a family that has really experienced God's love in our lives and we get be a part of that every day.
I love watching Eric be such an amazing dad, and I love seeing how Bianca loves him. I love watching my mom and dad, and Eric's mom with Bianca- and how her little life has changed them so much. She brings so much joy to so many people. It is wild to really capture in words. It blows my mind when I think about how much God has used a little child for so much good in such a short time.
I could never have imagined loving so big! Bianca has made all of our lives so full of laughter and love, and I am so thankful that God would allow us to be her parents. I am humbled by it almost every day. That is why educating people on adoption has become my mission along with caring for orphans. If people and families could only grasp just a little of what we have experienced by having Bianca in our lives, the choice to adopt would feel so different. It is a step of faith, yes, but it is just so much bigger than that. It is not in the least a sacrifice, but instead, the biggest gift I have ever received.
Take a look back at some of our favorite "homecoming" pics one year ago.

This is her last medical check photo we got right before we went to get her.

This is mommy Iris, Bianca's foster mom who loved her so big.

This is our last night all together. Bianca's foster family and us. Our night to celebrate this child. What a great time we had together!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Approved, Officially-The Wait, & The Excitement & Bianca!

Well, several things have happened since our last adoption update so here we go!!!
As you know we have been on the wait list for just a short time now. Since we have been on the wait list, the courts in Ethiopia have been closed...Pretty much from the beginning of August to Oct. 1...So, that means it is open once again. They live life a bit different than the good old "do it all in a day" USA!
When NOT in the middle of the adoption process I have to say that I really appreciate both Guatemala and Ethiopia closing public offices for longer periods of time...Ethiopia was closed for the rainy season...I like that idea. I like to close up shop when it rains also!
Outside of the courts being closed, we had to redo a few fairly simple documents and resubmit them. So, we should be back in action this week with all paperwork being up to date. We also went a few weeks ago to have our fingerprints done once again in STL. And just last week we were approved from the US government to adopt! Wahoo! I guess they think we are okay people!
It is amazing some of the stuff that has to be done to complete all paperwork!
So, we are on the wait list, approved by the US govt., the Ethiopian courts are open once again...AND THE BEST NEWS!!!!!
The director of our adoption agency (IAN) has just returned from Ethiopia with lots of kids to be referred!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Could our daughter be in this group???? I can hardly wrap my head around it!
They are currently not releasing any info until all of the physicals are completed on all of these precious little people. Once they are complete they have said they will be contacting families.
We are, as previously stated, #5 on the wait list for a little girl, so we COULD be part of the OH SO LUCKY group of parents that get their GREAT news soon!
And, if not, that means we are CLOSER than we were before!
We are just so happy and excited about this. And I cannot even imagine what this little girl will do to all of our lives.
I have just been so blown away lately at how big my life has been blessed and just knowing that our daughter is coming soon makes me feel even more humbled by how huge God is!
In the meantime, more Bianca pics!!!
She is still warming up to a new little sis! For now she is loving all of the attention and she is hilarious as ever.
The face says it all!

Last week she was in a sock phase and insisted on wearing one of Erics socks all day!

Is this hilarious or what? Bianca with her 2 cousins, Fisher & Klein and her Uncle Collin!

Friday, September 26, 2008

We are Back! Sorry for the lag in posting!

I have been out of the loop for a few weeks and so behind on my posts! So, I am attaching lots of fun photos of little hot stuff. We have seen God do some CRAZY things in the past few days. Some I will share later and some, I will have to keep to myself as it involves other people-But trust me when I say I am CONTINUALLY blown away by how good God is.
We are loving life here at the Becking household. I totally LOVE fall and I am so ready for the fall weather. I am really trying to take in my time with Bianca. I know this time next year will be different as there Little Miss Sunshine will be here also. And while I CAN HARDLY WAIT for her to get here, I am really loving my time with Bianca. It is so cool to see her learning so many things every day.
I have to just say one more time also...A HUGE thank you to those of you who follow our journey and are so supportive of our adoption. We love it!
On to the PIC PARADE!
How sweet is she? I finally cornered her to get a decent pic...Sorry for the red eyes!

Eric celebrates hi B-day last week and we had a ball with Grammy Janis!

Wahoo for little hot stuff!
This chica loves hangin' with her daddy