Baby A. is Officially Ours

11053691_451150641760475_8000524778489925718_nIt finally happened. It’s a done deal. If I had pixie dust and only needed to think up a happy thought to fly, today would by my happy thought.

Today, Sarabeth and I took our foster daughter to the courthouse one last time to solemnly swear to be Baby A.’s legal and official parents forever.

At 10:05 this morning, “Baby A.” officially became Katherine Anne Toy.

In the year and a half we’ve had her, I’ve never felt like she wasn’t our daughter, but now, it’s 100% official.

All I can say is, Katherine, as your dad, I will do my best to give you the life you’ve always deserved, full of happiness, love, and lots and lots of dancing!

Mom and I love you very much. We always will.

Get more updates on Kat and her foster brother on my Facebook Author Page

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My Daughter’s Life Will Change In Just Two Days

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…As will mine.

It’s hard to believe we’ve had Baby A. for a year and a half! Since she arrived in our home from the hospital, the house has been louder, more joyful, filled with laughs, and it’s been much, much messier!

Sure, there’s been some bad days where my temper has gotten the better of me, or my patience ran out.

But I wouldn’t give up a single minute with my foster daughter.

And in just two days, she will be, officially and forever known as our daughter.

Sarabeth and I can’t possibly be more happy and proud of our little girl. Every day she surprises us with something new that’s she’s learned and cracks us up over something she does.

Our daughter has become the greatest little person I have even known.

July 22, her adoption day, cannot possibly come fast enough.

Now I need to stop writing about it because otherwise I can’t stop crying!

No, life isn’t perfect. There are many things we’d like to change, many more miles to cross to reach certain goals, and many struggles yet to overcome, but when it comes to our daughter, nothing can possibly give us more joy and satisfaction.

Keep updated on our Adoption Day by following my Facebook Page!

Adoption Update (Enter A Hundred Exclamation Points Here)

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I’m sitting at work on the phone with a customer and, just now, I get a text from Sarabeth:

“Adoption Date!!!!!!!!! July 22 @ 9:45!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Yes, friends. After having Baby A. be a part of our home for the last 548 wonderful days, she will now officially be recognized as a Toy by the state and the world.

Sitting here at work at my desk, it’s very hard not to break down and cry right now.

Next week, we will be revealing Baby A.’s real name and so much more! Keep checking back for updates.

July 22nd 2015: The best day of our lives so far…

Follow the adoption updates closely here!

Adoption Update

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Good news. Extraordinary news.

Incredible, exciting, jubilant, fantastic, exquisite news!

We had out first adoption social worker visit last week. Not a foster care social worker, but an ADOPTION worker. We have now officially begun the process of adopting Baby A.!! (The real name of which we’ll reveal at the time of adoption.)

At seventeen and a half months, Baby A. is doing wonderful. She is growing fast and learning even faster. She laughs a lot and sleeps through the night (mostly), and really loves to be tickled. She just recently overcame her fear of the bucket swing at the local park, loves to slide down the biggest and fastest slides, and is always anxious to go outside for a walk or splash around in the bathtub.

She’s also learning to be a really good big sister to Baby B. – whose case is being audited so we can get him into the adoption process quicker.

So when will we get to sign the official adoption papers? The worker said it could take up to ninety days for everything to be finalized, so we’re hoping sometime in September.

That feels like waiting for Christmas 2019. But in the meantime, we’re anxious to have her belong to us officially. Sarabeth and I cannot possibly be any happier to have her in our lives and in our home, as we couldn’t possibly imagine a better daughter.

For more updates, join my Facebook Author Page here.

Spielberg Movies Ranked From Worst to Best

spielberg_steven_websiteI’m sure that every person in America over fifteen has seen at least one Steven Spielberg movie. With Jurassic World coming out next month, we’re all reminded of one the director’s greatest cinematic achievements. Even though the fourth part of the franchise isn’t directed by our beloved Spielberg, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of his best and worst movies. This list is purely my opinion and I left out the movies I either haven’t seen or didn’t remember enough to include. Add your opinions in the comments below!

15. War Horse (2011) – I don’t remember ever being so bored by a movie. You could tell that Spielberg’s heart
was in a different place during this making of this film.

14. Lincoln (2012) – I loved the education behind the movie, but I was hoping it would be more of a biographical piece rather than a topical piece about the fight for emancipation of slavery.

13. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) – I saw this movie years and years ago, and I remember being both intrigued maxresdefaultby the imaginative dystopia that was portrayed as well as coming out extremely depressed. Something about Pinocchio…

12. Amistad (1997) – I love this movie about the slave ship Amistad, where the crew pulled off a mutiny and were tried as slaves. It’s only flaw is that it runs about forty minutes longer than I think is necessary, but it’s a fascinating account nonetheless.

11. The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) – Easily the worst movie in the Jurassic Park franchise, but there’s still dinosaurs chasing people, and that puts this movie much higher up on my list than it deserves to be.

Minority-Report10. Minority Report (2002) – Totally impressive idea about people being arrest before they commit a crime. The concept always gets me wondering: What if?

9. Indiana Jones Movies (the span of many years) – I just mashed all four movies into one here. There’s great things about the series, and some things that don’t really hold up, but overall, a great series for the family to invest in (that is, if you don’t let your kids watch the Nazis be obliterated by God’s wrath).

8. Hook (1991) – Robin Williams. Dustin Hoffman. Peter Pan. ‘Nough said.

7. E.T. (1982) – This one still makes me cheer and holler when they’re riding their bikes through town to get E.T. home.

6. War of the Worlds (2005) – I know this wasn’t a very popular movie with most people, especially after Tom Cruise’s little episode on Oprah’s couch, but man this movie was intense!

5. Jaws (1975) – The thing I love about Spielberg’s movies is that there’s usually substance and character jaws_592x299development before all the action kicks in at full throttle. This film is a direct example of that.

4. Jurassic Park (1993) – Again, dinos. In dinosaurs’ greatest movie ever.

catch-me-if-you-can.123903. Catch Me If You Can (2002) – What genre is this movie in? Comedy? Drama? No, it’s fun. The genre is fun. Right there next to Italian Job and The Incredibles.

2. Schindler’s List (1993)  – One of those movies where you can’t speak for about an hour after you watch it.

1. Saving Private Ryan (1998) – Greatest war movie ever. Power flows out of this movie.

Join my Facebook author page for more fun stuff!

The Tough Question for Writers

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As an author I am constantly asking myself, Is this something I would read? And I think all authors ask that.

My wife once pushed me a step further and said, “It’s great that people will read it, but is it a book that they’ll recommend to their friends?”

THAT changes the game up a bit, doesn’t it?

Because if you think about it, you’re just one person. And if you’re trying to write a breakout book, you’ve got to ask yourself if your book is going to be talked about in work elevators or on little league bleachers.

So go ahead, ask those harder questions, because that’s one more thing that’s going to push you to write better.

You won’t find bologna sandwiches on my new Facebook author page, but you’ll find more pearls of wisdom. That, or just really cool stuff.

Inside Out Early Reviews!

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If you know me, you know I’m freakishly, uncontrollably, unfathomably, impossibly, unquestionably, super excited about Pixar’s newest movie coming out this summer! (Let’s add a few more exclamation points for emphasis… !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Especially after coming out of the Dark Age of 2014, being completely absent of any movie from the greatest movie studio in the history of the universe.

Inside Out is the story of a little girl named Riley and the emotions that live inside her head. Thinking through what the movie could be about, I deducted that this could quite possibly be the saddest movie Pixar has come out with since the heart-breaking Up.

I mean, one of the emotions is Sadness, and she’s bound to get her fair share of screen time, and the trailer suggests that the family is not as close as it could be…

Well, I’ve been digging around lately for some early reviews, and so far, the consensus is not just that it could be the saddest movie since Up, but it also has the potential to be the greatest movie Pixar has ever made. And let’s face it, they have their work cut out for them to reach that status!

For those of you a little skeptical after the deplorable Cars 2 and the mediocre Brave and Monsters University (two movies that I actually really enjoyed), put your anxieties and fears to rest.

I read a book written by Pixar’s president and co-founder stating that the studio is serious about getting back to their roots, and with what they have planned and the radical changes they’ve made inside the studio, I have no doubt that they will succeed and they’re about to enter into their second Golden Era just as Disney had (their third) with the release of The Princess and the Frog several years ago.

Read the review for Inside Out by CinemaBlend and let your emotions celebrate and anticipate!

Share with us below what movies Inside Out has to beat in order to be the best Pixar movie ever.

Also, something else to get excited about: My new Facebook fan page! Join it and enjoy!

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