God has blessed us with more than we could ever need. He has not blessed us so we can have the latest iPad, game console or a new car. We have been blessed to be a blessing.

Keep up with our adoption journey and get a peek into the Hollingsworth household.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

First Dental Check-Up

Raine has had the dentist count her teeth before and simply look inside. This was her first time to actually have her teeth cleaned. At first she was not happy.


She requested that I go first. I knew that wasn't a good idea. She would see them scrape my teeth, take x-rays, etc. and she would become even more frightened. The hygienist started with a simple brushing with a brand new princess toothbrush.


We then got her in the chair and the hygienist started showing her the instruments.


She also let her play with the suction.


It wasn't long before Raine let her use them inside her mouth.




By the end, she was suctioning her own mouth.


Seth thought nothing of sitting in the chair and having Dr. Bennett look inside.



He stayed by Raine for her official Dr. Bennett check.


Monday, October 24, 2011


Yesterday afternoon we heard a knock on the door. I thought to myself, "The neighborhood kids? Jehovah's Witnesses?" I opened and there stood a man who began his sales pitch... something about painting our mailbox. At first I wanted to interrupt him and tell him we weren't interested. Then I saw in him, a person who just wanted to work. So I said, "yes."

I really didn't care if my mailbox looked nice. I didn't care about the reflective paint he used so that our address would be visible at night. I didn't care about the cool script handwriting he used (freehand by the way). What I cared about was that he was not sitting at home moaning about not having a job. He wasn't sitting around waiting on the government to help him. He was out going door to door on a gloomy Sunday afternoon, facing the possibility of rejection from each and every house he approached.

He was inspiring.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

After Watching "Divided"

I received a home school catalog in the mail yesterday. While thumbing through it a movie titled, "Divided" caught my attention. The description read as follows:

Is Age-Segregated Ministry Multiplying or Dividing the Church? "Divided" follows filmmaker Philip Leclerc on a revealing journey as he seeks answers to what has happened to today's Christian youth. Philip speaks to kids in local youth groups, interviews national youth ministry leaders, and finally meets with a growing number of pastors and elders who are abandoning the age-segregated Sunday school and youth ministry model and embracing instead the perfect ministry model God's Word prescribes.

If you go here you can enter you email address and watch it for free. Please do.

I sent the link to my friend Leslie and she pointed me to a review from I read the review prior to watching the film. My excitement dwindled a bit, but as soon as I had the time today, I made myself comfortable at my computer, complete with earphones as to not disturb my husband's football time. I must say, the film was great.

The review from made the film sound over-the-top. The review itself was over-the-top. I think the filmmaker is right on track. I'm not saying that all churches should get rid of all age-segregated activities. To me, there is nothing wrong with a child attending "Sunday School" once in a while with kids his own age. However, I do think that this day and age, parents neglect their responsibility in
discipling their children.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

We just arrived home from our final home study interview with our social worker! We finally heard the words, "You are approved."

So what's next?

Our social worker has to prepare the home study information to be sent to Ethiopia along with our dossier. As we are waiting on all those things to be translated and entered into the Ethiopian system, we must be fingerprinted for immigration approval. Both of those take roughly 3 months. Then we wait for a referral...for 6 months or so.

Definition of Adoption

Teacher Debbie Moon's first graders were discussing a picture of a family. One little boy in the picture had a different hair color than the other members. One of her students suggested that he was adopted.

A little girl said, 'I know all about adoption, I was adopted..'

'What does it mean to be adopted?', asked another child.

'It means', said the girl, 'that you grew in your mommy's heart instead of her tummy!'

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Honorable Work

I am on page 190 of the book, "Kisses from Katie." It's the part I've been waiting for... hearing the full story behind the paper bead necklaces and the women who make them.

I knew the abbreviated version "The women of the Karimojong tribe who make these necklaces used to turn to prostitution or picked trash in order to feed their children."

How the story began and how it unfolded is nothing short of a miracle. The first time Katie visited the starving tribe with food, the only thing she could do was try not to get pushed into the huge pot of beans. She did not speak their language. The Karimajong people did not understand why she was there. All they saw was food, and they went after it!

Once the tribe became comfortable with her, she was able to teach some women how to make the paper bead necklaces. They held weekly meetings where they brought the week's quota. She then paid them and took them to the town where they deposited half of their money in a savings account. The other half provided the weekly living expenses.

It doesn't stop there. As you know, the necklaces are sent here to the U.S. and sold. The profits from the sales are sent back to Uganda to Amazima Ministries that helps the Karimajong children, among others, get a basic education.

Now if that doesn't want to make you buy one of the necklaces, nothing will!

I got a new shipment today actually. I will be selling them on November 5 at the North River Christian School Bazaar and November 12 at the Tuscaloosa PARA Holiday Gift Show at the Phelps Center.

Reading Katie's book has made me want to do even more than adopt. I'm not sure what it will be. Maybe we'll start opening our home to the kids in our neighborhood, hosting activities and Bible studies. One thing, I know I want to do is keep selling these necklaces long after we've paid for our adoption. I want to keep putting money back into our church's adoption fund, empowering other families to adopt. Cost is one of the main reasons people say they can't adopt. I want to tear down that obstacle.

Here are a few photos of my new shipment. Of course, no two necklaces are exactly alike. I've got some with clear seed beads, some with black iridescent, and some with pale pink. They are all beautiful. On Monday I will be able to order ALL RED ONES for a limited time! They are absolutely gorgeous!




Order your necklace today! Perfect Christmas gifts. Each necklace comes with a card telling where they come from and who the profits help.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I can't get away from this. I turn on Dave Ramsey to hear Dave give financial advice and he's taking calls from folks who support Occupy Wall Street. One guy actually said that everything about our country is broken. I want to say to him, well go live in Africa, then tell me how broken America is. At least our kids don't have to pay to go to school.

What I have found out is that the people on Wall Street are not organized. They are all protesting something different. But one thing they do have in common is they don't understand Capitalism.

One guy on the air right now said there are no jobs for people unless they are skilled. WELL GO GET SKILLED. Or how about go apply to Office Depot and Toys R Us here in Tuscaloosa who have "Now Hiring" signs posted on their doors.

Thank You, Thank You, Sam I Am

My kids don't like meat. The only meat they will eat is breaded chicken fingers, hamburgers, and the spaghetti sauce (what little meat that is). My son, on occasion will eat bacon and sausage. I took the advice of my good friend Leslie and gave them Canadian bacon this morning.

It was a huge hit. All morning long my 4 year-old kept asking, "Can I have ham for lunch?"

I replied, "Don't you want to save it for breakfast tomorrow and eat spaghetti for lunch?"


There were 10 pieces in the pack, and now after lunch there are none.

My kids do like, Canadian [ham]. Thank you, thank you, Sam I Am.

Now if I can get my husband to eat ham, we'll be in good shape.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Poor, the Opressed, the Church and the Government

My plans upon returning home from attending the Church at Brookhills were to go straight to bed. I was not to pass "Go," and I was to not collect two-hundred dollars. However, I got fired up talking to my dear friend Leslie about politics, economics and the functions of the Body of Christ as we made our way back to Tuscaloosa.

How do all those relate to each other? Well, I'm sure everyone can see how politics and economics relate to each other, but how do they relate to The Church? I mean, aren't we supposed to separate Church and State? No, we are not to separate Church and State in that sense. The term Jefferson coined is not written anywhere in the Constitution. It's only found in a letter he wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association. But that's another lesson for another day.

When a person is consumed by Jesus and follows him daily, his "religion" cannot be separated from any other part of his life. It is his life. Jesus' words and teachings should be the number one factor in determining a Christian's political stance. Jesus commands us to love our neighbor as ourself. He commands us to give to the poor.

So why are there so many Christians who oppose the government taking from the rich and giving to the poor?

Because Jesus didn't command the government to do the giving. He gave that commandment to His people. It is not the government's job to make sure everyone gets to go to college. It's not the government's job to make sure everyone gets to utilize their master's degree. It's not the government's job to make sure everyone has a telephone line in his house.

It is up to the church to see that everyone has enough food to keep him alive. It's up to the church to make sure everyone has a place to get out of the elements. It's up to the church to make sure everyone has clothes on his back.

In God's eyes, you are not oppressed just because you don't have a car. You are not oppressed just because you can't find a "career" in your field of study. You are not oppressed just because you can't afford internet service.

Tonight, at the Church of Brookhills, David Platt explained what real oppression looks like. He explained what it really means to be poor and less fortunate.

*BRAIN DAMAGE (80% of brain development happens during the first 2 years of life. Without enough protein during those years, a child can face brain damage.) Did you read that? BRAIN DAMAGE!

If you have any mode of transportation and a roof over your head, you are in the top 10% of the RICHEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD! So almost every American is rich. How did we get this way? It's not by any socialist program people are trying to implement. What is going to happen to this country if we keep moving further and further away from capitalism? I see a cycle like this:

The government takes more money from the rich to fund socialist programs.

The rich see no benefit in working harder because the more money they make, the more that is taken from them.

The rich slow down their work.

More jobs are lost and less money the government gets.

The government is not able to provide for the "poor."

The "poor" get poorer.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Believe it or not, I minored in creative writing in college, though my writing leaves something to be desired. Therefore I am going to attempt to blog about something everyday as a means to practice and polish-up my skills.

"I thought the blog was about adoption, "my husband asked just yesterday."

"It's now about the Hollingsworth Household in general."

He just loves to bug me.

But in reality this will now be like my journal where I publish my thoughts, frustrations and praises... as long as they aren't too private. So without further adieu...

I was driving home just a few minutes ago from cleaning the inside of my car. You know, those machines where you insert 10 quarters and try to beat the clock by spreading foam all over the carpets, hoping to have enough time left to vacuum the residue. Anyway, I was searching for a decent radio station when I heard Sean Hannity's voice.

"Stay away, you'll just get worked up," the angel to my right whispered in my ear.
"You know you wanna," said the devil to my left. "I love it when you're frustrated.

I stopped on that station.

Hannity was speaking to someone protesting on Wall Street. She was ranting about something, no one is really sure what about. She then passed the phone to her friend. The only thing I remember her saying was something to the effect of, "...those evil capitalists."

WHAT? How can anyone say that capitalism is bad? If the people are protesting for what I think they are protesting about (graduating from college and not being able to find a job), then capitalism is only going to HELP the situation. Now, I'm no expert in economics. I actually hated the subject in high school; and I never took it in college. But last time I checked, capitalism CREATES jobs.

That's all I have to say about that.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I Will Dance

I knew the day would come with Raine would connect "going to be with Jesus" to dying. This was our conversation tonight.

Raine: I don't want to die to be with Jesus.
Me: Maybe we won't have to.
Raine: I want angels to come get me.
Me: Well, Jesus can come get you, but the angels will blow the trumpets.
Raine: But I want the angels to get me.
Me: You know what? No matter how it happens, it's going to be great!
Raine: I will dance when Jesus comes. Will you dance with me?
Me: Yes I will.

Pet Peeve

One of my pet peeves is the cliche of "mom jeans." Why are they called mom jeans? They have absolutely nothing to do with being a mom. I actually don't even know any moms that wear them. They have more to do with having no style than they do with being a mom. Perhaps they are called mom jeans because the generation (my generation) that coined the term remembers its moms wearing them. Therefore they should be called 80s (or early 90s) jeans.

My other pet peeve is doctors who give antibiotics without checking the patients blood for elevated white cell count. My husband recently visited MedCenter North because he was coughing his head off and his chest was full of congestion. He was given Biaxin which is used to treat bacterial bronchitis. A week later, my son was hospitalized because he can't handle the sickness like we can. His bronchial tubes are small. I asked the doctor if they checked his white cell count to make sure it wasn't bacterial. He had and his white cell count was normal. It was a viral infection.

I then asked my husband if the "doctor" who saw him checked his blood. "No," he replied. I was livid! That RX of Biaxin costs us over $60! Besides that, I am constantly hearing how antibiotics are overused and how bacteria are evolving and becoming stronger and more difficult to treat. This is what the information on Biaxin says, " This antibiotic treats only bacterial infections. It will not work for viral infections. Unnecessary use or overuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness.

Now how can a person get through medical school and not know that? Why do doctors pass out antibiotics like they are candy?

I called MedCenter and told them I would like my money back for the antibiotic. The office manager informed me that the nurser practitioner treated him for what she thought he had based on his symptoms. "He told her he had chest congestion and a sore throat." So that automatically means he needs an antibiotic? That's not being very responsible. A doctor should NEVER give an antibiotic without checking the patients white cell count, PERIOD.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ummmm, Huh?

Every year as Christmas gets closer, I cringe as I hear statements like
"Jesus was born on December 25."
"Jesus is the reason for the season."
And I really hate when the wise men are depicted in the Nativity Scene.
Yes, I'm a truther. I see things in black and white.

We aren't exactly sure when Jesus was born. But we know that it was not on December 25. It would have been too cold for the shepherds to be out in the fields. They would not have had everyone travel to their own town during the cold months.

"So what?" you ask. "Why does it matter?"

Well, maybe it doesn't matter. But it really irks me that our children really think they are supposed to sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus on December 25. When December 25 is actually the date the pagans used to celebrate the "rebirth" of the sun god. Christians adopted all of their traditions (trees, wreaths, yule log, gift giving, etc) so they could have something to celebrate too. Some scholars even believe it was to woo pagans to Christianity. Hmmm... sounds a lot like "peddling the Gospel" to me.

But I've come to the realization that I'm not going to change the world's view on this and I'm not even going to change my husband's. So, I celebrate Christmas right along with the rest of everyone... against my conscious. Then today I received a catalog for Christian Book Distributors. I noticed a book called "Mommy, Why Don't We Celebrate Halloween?" The description goes like this:

Winwood's kid-friendly resource explains Halloween's pagan origins and its disputed historic relationship to All Saints Day.

I may email Winwood and ask if he's aware of Christmas's pagan origins.