Thursday, September 18, 2014


Where do I even begin?

        After the miracles that Jesus performed in scripture, he always told the people to go and tell what God had done for them. This challenges me. God has performed miracles through our adoption journey, real tangible miracles. Why am I not telling our story to everyone that I know?  It is an amazing story, but the truth is I am scared. I am scared to expose deep feelings and emotions that I am not even sure that I have processed. These feelings are still raw and I can honestly say that I have been shaken to my very core. So I am laying it ALL out and giving God the glory he deserves.

     I cannot be completely transparent without sharing a little back story. From November to January, I was doing the Beth Moore Daniel and Revelation studies. Here I was diving in deep scripture, but I was pushing God away. I mean really pushing him away. I was further from God than I had ever been. I have shared this before, but I knew what God wanted. He had been tugging at my heart for quite some time for orphans, specifically older orphans. This was not in MY plans. It is not that I didn’t want this; I just did not think that it was the right time. I knew that he wanted to mold me in to someone that I was not sure that I wanted to be. I thought that if I just put God on the back burner, he would leave me alone. During this time, I really felt that the devil was coming at me from all sides. He had tried to attack our marriage, my health, my parenting, EVERYTHING. Something changed. I am not going to go into much detail, but I encountered evil like I have never experienced before. God opened my eyes. He showed me that not only is he constantly pursuing me, but there is an evil one that would love nothing more than to get me out of God’s will. I began to pray like I have never prayed before. I gave complete control to God. All of the things that I thought I wanted, I found myself not wanting anymore. It was at that time that I started praying about the adoption of an older child.

    Throughout this journey GOD MOVED MOUNTAINS, huge giant ones. I cannot stress this enough. We had so much against us from the very beginning. I mean, who deliberately decides to go to a country in turmoil with Russia? There were so many times that I wondered if everything would work out. During all of the waiting, satan tried to get us to believe his lies. We had people tell us that we know nothing about raising a teenager. We had people tell us not to go because it was too dangerous and Russia was taking over Ukraine. We even had one person make terrible comments about us taking the little boys. It is funny how the devil will use everyone in your life to make you feel alone and start to doubt what God has made so clear. But God sent people in our lives to encourage us and keep us on track. I keep a list on my phone of all of the miracles that we saw God perform. I keep it to remind me of his faithfulness and provision. There were so many things that confirmed to us that we were right where God wanted us, but I am only going to share a few. It would take all day to share everything. Let’s start at the very beginning…we officially started pursuing this adoption on February 20th. We had to get all of our paperwork turned in by his 16th birthday on March 1st (keep in mind that there are only 28 days in February.) in order to get him. Guess what? We turned it in WRONG! I mean, completely wrong. I think we were just so nervous about messing up the paperwork that we messed up the paperwork. We were pushing it for time but we submitted new paperwork on the 23rd. I am talking 5 DAYS before we absolutely positively could never ever have the chance at adopting him. We raised ALL of the needed money and completed our home study and Dossier in two months….TWO MONTHS! That can only be God. $33,000 in just two months! That blows my mind! Our whole international adoption process took us only 6 months. Looking back, I have absolutely no idea how we got everything done so quickly. Wait, yes it do…all God! One day, way before we were fully funded, I started doubting that God would provide. I made a list of all of the non-adoption related expenses that we would need for a teenager. I prayed over that list. Wouldn’t you know it…God took care of that too. In our mailbox the very next day was a check for a little more (just a few dollars) than the amount that I prayed over. It came from Baptist Hospital as a reimbursement for the birth of our youngest son, Banks, 16 months after he was born! How insane is that? We became very concerned about the amount of time that Ryan would be allowed to take off work. God got that one too! Ryan’s company allowed him to use all of his vacation time and sick time for a total of 28 days. Not only that, but they gave him two and half weeks paternity leave! We have been so blessed by this company. They not only talk about being family friendly, but their actions prove it. At one point in our paperwork, we were at a dead stand still. We desperately needed our passports to come in so we could complete the rest of our documents. It was supposed to take 3-4 weeks. We would have lost 3 weeks of precious time just waiting. Yep, taken care of….one week after submitting paperwork for our passports they were in our mailbox. In May, we had a small garage sale to raise a little extra for travel related expenses. The VERY FIRST person to show up was a woman that used to live in an area close to Ukraine, spoke fluent Russian, and used to work with orphans. She offered to help with teaching him English. Last but certainly not least was our protection in Ukraine. We were only about 3 ½ hours away from where all of the fighting was happening. It was very scary worrying every day that we might get a phone call that Russia had moved into his region. Not to mention, there was a plane that was shot down two days before we left. Every day from February 20th until now we just prayed for hope for that day to keep us going and he always showed up. All I can say is God is so good!

      We set out to change a life, but I can tell you that it was our lives that were changed dramatically. We were headed down a destructive path. We had become so wrapped up in success, money, and stuff. It wasn’t until we were there, that our eyes were opened. I am no longer the person that I was before going to Ukraine.  I see life through a whole new set of eyes. I saw God, heard him, felt his presence in ways that I have never experienced, nor can I explain. I truly believe that adoption is God’s heart. I mean he adopted us, right? About two and a half weeks in our time in Dnepropetrovsk, I was really struggling internally. Adoption is full of push and pull. Sometimes for a lot of kids at random points, their instinct is to push you away. We just happened to be dealing with a slight bit of “push”for the first time. It was almost as if everything that I knew to be truth was thrown out of the window. For a split second the devil was trying to make me think that this journey was about me. God knocked me on my knees, literally. I found myself praying selfishly about the fact that I needed connection. I was frustrated that I was pursuing a relationship with my son and he was pushing me away. Think what you want…but I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me.

“Sarah that is how I feel about you. Every single minute of every day I pursue you. Every single minute of every day I seek connection and a relationship with you and YOU PUSH ME AWAY.”

Wow!....Like I said, ON MY KNEES. I was in tears, huge tears! God knew exactly what I felt and more importantly, I knew how my son felt. Adoption comes with so many emotions that change from day to day, so it gets hard to put it all into words. So much of the adoption journey is spent grieving, for everyone. My husband is grieving. (Side note: My husband has such an amazing heart. I fell more in love with him through all of this.) My son is grieving his home and his former life. I grieve for the people and the country that we left behind. I grieve for the kids that I fell in love with, that I know are waiting on someone to step up and love them. I grieve for one of the boys that sends messages everyday asking if we have found him a family. I grieve that Ryan bought the boys new school pants because they just couldn’t sew up the holes anymore. I grieve for so many reasons for my son. I grieve so much loss, but God reveals so much beauty. There are moments of incredible beauty that just take my breath away. Like right now, as all three of my sons are playing and laughing with each other. Being home is tough. I get so angry at times with our society and how money instead of Jesus is what defines us. WE NEED TO WAKE UP!!! Life is so simple in Ukraine. They have so little, but guess what? They are happy. I am determined to bring that home with me. I find myself being torn between the old me and the new me. I pray every morning for God to remind me where I have been and what I have seen. I want it to mold me and shape me. All my life I have worked to fit in, but now for the first time ever, I want to stand out.

     We are adjusting. Things have gone pretty smoothly. I have taken on many new roles, including teacher and soccer mom (a GIGANTIC thank you to those that have brought us or are planning to bring dinner. It has truly helped tremendously). Things are busy but we are enjoying every minute. A MILLION, BILLION thank yous to all that made this possible. We love each one of you.

Now…. I am very proud to introduce our new son (formerly known as Slavik) Dominic Cole Musick

Monday, April 21, 2014

We are Family

I have debated for quite some time on whether to share this part of our story. God finally moved my heart.

I would like to introduce someone. 

His name is Marquez. He is a newly turned 21 year old that aged out of foster care at age 18. Unfortunately, his whole story is not mine to share. It is his, it belongs to him. I can tell you what I know to be true. He is an amazing young man that has seen more tragedy, violence, and neglect in his life than anyone I have ever met. Despite his life experience, he has no criminal record, does not do drugs or drink alcohol (seriously), and is currently attending college. He is the first in his family to go to college and very often, he is harassed by family members for not having a felony before he turned 18. He lives life with this crazy passion and faith that I have never seen in anyone before. With the things he has seen and experienced, he has every reason to just throw his life away.

We are his family. No, we did not officially adopt him but we are his. He does not live with us. In his life, we are big brother/big sister. He calls our boys and my sister’s boys his nephews. He loves them and they love him. We are from two very different worlds, but God has brought us together. He is a little rough around the edges, but he longs for what everyone desires…unconditional love.

Let me start from the beginning…

Ryan and I are involved in orphan care. It is our passion and something that God specifically calls us to do while here on Earth. A year ago I was really struggling with what this looked like in our lives. Yes we had adopted this precious baby, but I couldn’t help but to think that God was calling us deeper. I started having these intense moments where I just felt God moving my heart. At the time, we began receiving emails about mentoring aging out foster kids. I started really feeling God tug on my heart for this. I argued…like I always do. It did not make sense….Is all of this starting to sound very familiar? (See first adoption blog post) We had just sold our house (and moving in with my parents until we found another) and we had a 6 month old and a two year old. I felt inadequate. What did we have to offer? What advice could we give when we are still trying to figure it out ourselves? And then I went “there”. I am embarrassed to say this now, but I started throwing in excuses like: What if this person robs us? What if he or she hurts my children? What if, what if, what if???? I gave God every reason possible not to do this. Still he kept on. Looking back, I think I just felt that we were completely inadequate. I felt we were not a good enough wife/husband, mother/father, Christian…God started reminding me in the MOST RANDOM ways that the Bible is full of inadequate people that he called to do his will. So, there was going to be this party for these DCS kids and mentors. We were planning on attending but NOT as mentors. We were going to serve food…ha! Leading up to the party God just kept on pulling at me. I kept saying no. The morning of the party, a lady came by our house to look at something we were selling on Craigslist. We started talking about church, which led us to talking about orphan care. She looked right at me and said “Do you know what I feel so passionate about?.....Mentoring.” I could not believe she said that. I mean, she could have said any other word possible, but Mentoring? Ryan just looked at me. He couldn’t believe it either. I went immediately wrote an email saying that we would mentor. I am pretty sure the person that received that email thought I was the absolute craziest person on the planet, rambling on and on about God and inadequacy. We went to that party as potential mentors and Ryan connected with Marquez immediately. We left with his phone number.

The rest is history. We have seen God through this in ways that we cannot explain. He has provided so many little reminders that we are right where he wants us. He is doing the very same thing with our adoption now.

So…Why am I sharing this now and what does it have to do with our adoption?

It took me a long time to share this, because Marquez is not our project. We are not here to fix him or to make him like us. We just meet him right where he is and try to provide him with a love that very few, if any, have ever given him, a love without stipulations or expectations. COMPLETELY UNCONDITIONAL. He just needed someone to give him a chance. That someone (us) needed to be patient. We did not see the amazing soul right away. We had to wait for him to peel back all of the layers that life had built up. With that said, I hate when people say that we are amazing for what we are doing. God is amazing, we are broken and sinners. It is not that we do not appreciate kind words and comments. We love the support. I hate it because God had to drag us, his very defiant children, kicking and screaming to do his will. I guarantee this relationship with Marquez is changing our lives more than it was ever meant to change his life. God has completely knocked me on my knees so many times. Like when we went trick-or-treating and Marquez recorded the whole thing because he thought it was something that only happened in movies. Or Christmas Day when he kept telling us with tears in his eyes that it was literally the best day of his life…we were just doing Christmas like all of the ones before. And the night we celebrated his 21st birthday, when he got so excited because he had never had a cake with his name on it. 21 years old and he would rather spend his Friday night with our families, blowing out a recycled birthday candle on a cake with his name on it. He asked if he could keep that candle. It all just makes my heart hurt. I have cried out to God so many times asking for forgiveness for our blindness. We live in a box…a very comfortable box. It wasn’t until Marquez entered our lives, that we realized just how backwards we were. This is real…it is out there. Why have we refused to see it?

We know the call of God. We have experienced before. With our adoption it has been a much stronger calling than the situation with Marquez. We know what God can do if we step out in faith. We are willing to go there. Just like Marquez, Slavik will need to experience a love without stipulations or expectations. The world tells us we are inadequate to raise a teenager, but God tells us that he has and will equip us with exactly what we need.

On to our exciting news….

We have been praying about Ryan’s company working with us through this adoption. Specifically we have been worried about vacation days, since we have to be gone for so long. Ryan had a conference call with the head of Human resources and his boss late Thursday afternoon. I am happy to report that they are giving him 28 paid days off and a two week paid paternity leave for when we get home. Not only that, but they also told us that we qualify for the $10,000 credit that they give to employees that adopt. How amazing is the God we serve? He takes care of all of the details! That means that as of right now, we only need about $2,000 to be COMPLETELY funded!!!!!!


Friday, March 14, 2014

Up and Down, Round and Round

          Adoption is such an exhausting process, but so incredibly worth it. I believe that a person truly does not understand their capacity to love until they have adopted. We have been up to our eyeballs in paperwork. There are even a few new words that have added in to our daily conversations…dossier, apostling, and biometric fingerprinting made the top of the list this week. We have been on a crazy, crazy ride! I think all adoptions can be a roller coaster, but this situation has had so many twists and turns. There are many different things that make this a tough situation. First is, most obviously, the fact that he has already turned 16. He is currently still staying at the children’s home, but we are VERY limited on time. Let us also mention the fact that there is this whole civil war/Russia thing going on. We have been on our knees praying for a country miles and miles away. It is a country to which we have never really given a second thought…until now. It is a lot like walking on eggshells. We are scared of the outcome, but we cannot forget that we serve the ultimate power of the universe. It may not be the smartest idea, but we have banned the news at our house. There is just something about hearing everyone’s version and all of the “what-ifs” of what is going on, that make us start to doubt God’s plan and power. For now, we are getting updates from the agency. There have been so many ups and downs to this (hence the roller coaster). You know those movies where all seems to be lost and the superhero rushes in to save the day? Yeah, that is how it has been and God has been the superhero. I have said so many times that he is keeping us on our knees. If this were easy, God’s glory wouldn’t shine as bright. I imagine God as this coach saying “Ok Musicks, Let’s go big or go home. Just to show how big I am, I am going to add all of these crazy circumstances.” I my head, I also imagine him following that up with this amazing pep talk. Oh, speaking of crazy circumstances, there is another one….A BIG ONE. When adopting from Ukraine, unlike most countries, you cannot “lock-in” any certain child. You can have an idea of the child that you would like to adopt, but ultimately they would like you to go and spend time with all of the children before making a decision. Umm…so…yeah…this could be a problem. This means that another family can adopt him at any time, before we can get there. We are choosing not to see it as a problem but a blessing, well sort of. Selfishly we want to stake a claim on him as no one else’s but ours. In our hearts, we already feel like he is a part of our family and he is so, so loved and wanted. BUT…everyone involved wants the same outcome. We all want Slavik to be in a loving family. With that said, we are not competing for him. He deserves families lining up at the chance to call him son and so much more. His life has so much worth. This is not all about us! With all of that said, we are not giving up. There are probably people in Slavik’s past that have given up on him, but we will not. We will do whatever it takes, even if it means that he never becomes our son. We feel like we are taking every step to be obedient to God’s call right now. Things may not go as we plan. No adoption is really ever a sure thing until it is final. It is all just a step of faith. As hard as it is to say, there may be another child that is meant to be in our family. We do not doubt that adoption is our future and specifically a child with a story very similar. We cannot deny the fact that God moved our hearts specifically for Slavik. We believe it would discredit God if we did not wholeheartedly trust and have faith that God can work through all of these crazy circumstances. God has and is moving through this! He is writing this beautiful story, we can already see it, but for now all we can do is continue to pray for God’s will.

Once again, here is how you can help….


Donate at: 

Send a tax deductible donation to:

Sycamore View Church of Christ

1910 Sycamore View Road

Memphis, TN 38134

Make Check payable to Sycamore View Church of Christ and on the “memo” line please write “Handprints Ministry”. On a sheet of paper or post-it write “attn:Musick Adoption

We could not make this happen without the help of everyone that has donated so far….A BIG, HUGE thank you! You all will never, ever understand how moved (to tears) we have been by your generosity. We are almost halfway to our goal!!

If you would like more information feel free to email me at I am currently working on answering emails and messages.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Adoption Details

        It was a Thursday night about 4 weeks ago. We had just gotten home from our Empowered to Connect Class. I remember standing in the kitchen talking with Ryan about each of our relationships with God. I told him that I had distanced myself from God because I knew what we wanted from me…and I was right. I just knew that God wanted us to adopt again. He had been tugging on my heart for quite a while and I didn’t want to listen. I was too scared of the unknown, of the mountains that I would face on the journey. The adoption that He was calling me to was that of an older child. I thought that what God wanted was impossible and definitely not at all logical. Not long after that conversation, I decided to let God take control. I began praying BIG prayers for God to mold my heart to look like his. I also prayed that if he wanted it, he would have to shape Ryan’s heart too. Orphan care has always been our passion, especially the older ones. Being a part of the orphan ministry at church, we have heard so many heartbreaking stories, seen so many pairs of precious eyes staring into ours. There was nothing compared to what we were about to feel.  A little over a week ago, Ryan called me and asked if I had been on Facebook. He told me that he had sent me a link to something. I immediately logged on and saw that he had sent me a link to a child needing a home. I immediately thought “God is this you moving in Ryan’s heart too?” When it comes to adoption, usually I am the instigator. This was totally unlike Ryan. I clicked on the link and immediately saw this face staring into mine. I felt things that I have never ever felt before. Everything made sense. I saw this face and all of a sudden the impossible became possible. I just had this deep feeling that God was going before us. I knew that he was meant to be our son. I told Ryan to contact them but honestly I didn’t think he would, so I did. Little did I know that by the end of the day, he had contacted them 4 times. The more we discussed, the more I realized that Ryan had the same feelings about this one. We both just felt an extreme peace and hope that God would work miracles through this experience.

Here is that face….


This face belongs to a 15 year old boy from Ukraine named Slavik.

Here is his story….

        March 1st is his 16th birthday. In Ukraine, that means that he ages out of the orphanage that he has been living in most of his life. With little to no money, he will be completely on his own. The life of an aged out child is not very promising. An overwhelming number of these children end up trafficking, drug dealing, or committing suicide before the age of 18. He wants so desperately to have a family, to have someone that loves him and believes in him. All that have met him, including his host family that he stayed with last summer, describe him as very kind, quiet, and trustworthy. We want to be his forever family but we only have about 3 months to raise $35,000.

         I know it does not seem logical but God’s plans do not always make sense. He does not call us to the perfect and put together, he calls us to the broken and hard. He makes all things beautiful. We DO know what we are getting ourselves into. For the past two months we have been taking a class on parenting children from hard places. We completely understand the issues that we will have to work through. Also, for the past year we have been mentoring a 20 year old that has aged out of foster care. We do not have all of the answers, but we feel like God has been laying the foundation to prepare our hearts for this. We want to answer this call from Him and bring our son home.

So here is how you can help:


Donate at: 

Send a tax deductible donation to: (UPDATED INFO)

Sycamore View Church of Christ

1910 Sycamore View Road

Memphis, TN 38134

Make Check payable to Sycamore View Church of Christ and on the “memo” line please write “Handprints Ministry”. On a post-it or sheet of paper please write "attn: Musick Adoption"

If you would like more information feel free to email me at



Thursday, June 2, 2011

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Monday, May 30, 2011


Well here he is, our son Kason McKee Musick

I have delayed in writing this post because my mind is jumbled with all of these things that I want to say, but I have honestly been to exhausted to think about them. In my last few posts I left all of you with the impression that we were back on the fertility roller coaster...and we were. I had gone to the doctor and he encouraged us to not only try again but also to look into IVF. The reason that we chose the adoption path back in August was not only because God was leading me to adoption (more on that in a minute) but also because IVF was a huge health risk for me. Turns out IVF was not as big of a deal for me as the doctor originally thought. We got to a point where adoption seemed exhausting and IVF sort of seemed like the easiest way for us to start a family. I tried and tried to talk myself into the idea of IVF and I almost had myself convinced. I still had major reservations. IVF is definitely for some people and I think God leads everyone down different paths, but for Ryan and I it never felt right. About a month and a half ago we called our preacher and his wife to talk and to have them pray with us. (thanks Josh and Kayci! We love you guys) We had literally reached the end of our rope. It was one of those moments where we were at a crossroads and we had to choose a path. We left that night with a prayer for God's yes, whether that was IVF, adoption, or whatever. We prayed that prayer for God's yes for a week. On the Thursday before Easter, we got a phone call about a little girl that was due in September. We knew God had given us a yes on which path he wanted us on. There were several things that worried me about the September baby, including the fact that the birthmom was only 5 months pregnant. That meant I would have to go 5 more months with the fear of her backing out. I immediately began praying that God would take care of all of my fears. The Saturday before Easter, we received another call about a baby boy (this is Kason by the way) in Tulsa, OK that was due in three weeks. There was really no chance that the birthmom could back out. If she did not give him up, he would immediately go into foster care. God took care of all of my fears right there. We began preparing for a baby being born in three weeks. I was still so afraid that something was going to go wrong. I then began to pray that if God wanted this for us, he would work out ALL of the details. Not only did he work out all of the details, but he went above and beyond. He even took care of the little things. An example of this...I was looking for a duffel bag to put all of Kason's clothes in and everything online was going to take too long to be delivered. I searched everywhere. Finally one day my mom found one and not only was it cute, but it had a matching diaper bag with a K already monogramed on it. How crazy is that? BY FAR the greatest thing that God worked out was our stay in Tulsa. We knew that we were going to have to stay in Tulsa for about two weeks and a hotel cost for that long was pricey. I prayed that once again God would work it out. Our preacher called Ryan and told him that he had some friends that lived in Tulsa and they offered for us to stay with them. What an answered prayer. It goes even further, Mitch, Shannon, and their kids ended up being the most awesome people we have ever met....literally! God knew just what he was doing placing them in our adoption story. This experience would not have been the same without them and I get teary-eyed thinking about how they have impacted our lives. It's like we had known them forever. The crazy part...every year for the past several years they have moved an intern working at the church into the spare bedroom. This year, they didn't have one that needed to live with them. That could have only been orchestrated by God. Mitch, Shannon, Jake, and Ashton we love you guys and we are forever grateful that you provided a temporary home for the 3 of us.

On Monday May 17th, we got a call that the birthmom had gone to the doctor at 1 pm, and had not dilated at all. It would be another two weeks at the least. Kason had other plans, he decided to come that night. We got a call around 11pm that she was in labor. We threw everything we could find in a suitcase and hit the road. Kason was born at 2:38 am. We didn't get there until 6 am. The first time I saw him, I felt so many emotions. I was angry with the birthmom, because I couldn't understand why she would give up something so precious. On the other hand I was so thankful that she gave me such a wonderful gift. We got to meet both parents and I am very glad for that experience. It definitely put things into perspective. No matter what my first impressions were, I will always be grateful for her and the birthdad and they will always hold a special place in my heart.

Kason is such an amazing baby and I thank God for him everyday. I am so glad that God chose us to not only be mom and dad but adoptive mom and dad. We both agree that we would not have things any other way. God just gave us such a peace about everything. We love him just as much as if he physically came from us. We definitely want God to get all of the glory for every step of our journey. God reminds me everyday when I look at Kason, that he is not the only one that has been adopted... Ryan and I both have been adopted by God himself.