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Category Archives: family

just breathe

The past few years have been a bit of a blur in the newly minted House of Thornton. I’m sure all of you can imagine the chaos of adopting a non-English-speaking almost-3 year old from Ethiopia, getting engaged a week later, and married 10 weeks after that . . . AND THEN quitting one job […]

I heart my brother

  Mack, What you are doing is incredible. I love you. Sincerely, Your amazingly proud big sister

i like adoption

if this doesn’t inspire you, then you deserve coal in your stocking. New Film Premiere – I Like Adoption. from on Vimeo. .

simply elegant


Words cannot express how much Zach and I love these two little boys. photos courtesy of Jean Allsopp Photography

ephraim & caleb’s adoption story

Here’s the video Here’s the prezi


 “Genius is nothing more nor less than childhood recovered at will.”                                                                                         […]

happiness & pure bliss

this day

“This day is a day where I will calmly be myself.” -Ryan Adams

we’re married!

Many thanks to all who made it down for our big day. photo via Nathan Clendenin Our invitations were designed by our lovely and talented friend Ms. Sara Allsopp

love you mack

happy birthday my prince

  Dear Ephraim, This is one of the first pictures I ever saw of you. It’s from the day I got your referral–February 4, 2009. You were 2 months old and from what they’ve told me, you were an amazing little baby. Today’s your birthday. You just turned 3. I can’t even hardly believe it. […]

to infinity and beyond!

i said yes!

A little over a year ago I started dating a wonderful man. We make each other laugh a lot. The boys love him. I love him. It’s pretty great. AND, last night he surprised me with a lil’ somethin’. and I said YES!

first days

. . . with 2, 2 year olds are very, very busy, but I’ll try to post more as we settle in to our new normal.

too cool for school

happy campers.

cleared for travel!!!

I just got the email that I’m cleared for travel to go get Ephraim!!! I’m too excited to write anything more right now, but I’ll try to update as the trip unfolds.  Oh man, did my life just get SO MUCH SWEETER!!

welcome to our family harvey!

We’re so glad you’re here! (kudos to the schultzes for these amazing pictures)

new pictures

happy birthday caleb!


seven hundred and thirty

    Dear Caleb, Today you are seven hundred and thirty days old. You are talking up a storm and you can’t seem to get enough fruit. Your current favorites are blueberries, strawberries, peaches, apples, oranges, and grapes. You don’t care too much for cantaloupe right now, but I’m sure you’ll like it eventually. It’s […]

we love breakfast foods

The Slurp The Smile The Aftermath

let me tell you what God did

I’m still processing this whole thing. The miracle-wonder that happened to our precious little family last week. I know I’ve posted this a few times already, but a few months ago God gave me Romans 4 as a vision of what He was going to do for my family: 13-15That famous promise God gave Abraham—that […]

he’s a keeper

roller coasters, guns, & kids

Last week I watched a new tv show and in one of the first scenes a character came to work with a gun. After the gun’s appearance, several characters casually mention that a gun that appears in the first act, always shows up in the third. So, I guess the beginning of the first act […]

Hello world!

Welp, our family just got a lil’ bigger! World, meet my miracle son, Ephraim.   Hallelujah!  

cute meets uke


terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

I hate politics. I hate local politics, I hate national politics, and I hate all of the politics in between. AND I especially hate that politics are standing in between me and my son being able to be a family. I got some bad news today about the police letter that I need in order […]

mix tapes & a bit more about me

A friend and I are in the process of a really interesting dialogue related to planning our futures and as a part of it, I thought I would open up a few more bits of myself to you. Mainly because I want to begin sharing parts of my new journey towards minimalism and share with […]


. . . and it is a match made in Heaven. Literally.   INFP (Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving) “Taking Everything to Heart” Because INFPs represent such a small percentage of the American population, they naturally feel alone and a bit out of step with our bustling, pragmatic, and product-oriented society. Typically INFPs struggle to find […]

confide entirely

I came across this quote the other day and it made me stop and think and wonder if the same is true in my life? I’ve given it a good thinking for the past several days and  I’m still not sure.  I think for me the faith part has certainly been a growing and a […]

love it

expectant faith

God, the one and only— I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I need comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life. Psalm 62: 1-2    

morning prayers

I wait expectantly. Sunday Morning Prayers Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 2011   His miracles are staggering, his wonders are surprising. His kingdom lasts and lasts, his sovereign rule goes on forever. Daniel 4:3   Just think—you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our […]

conversations, dark chocolate, & authenticity

This is a blog I wrote a long time ago, but never posted because I wasn’t sure how to finish it.  This morning, I think I figured it out. However,  I wanted to keep it in the same context, so just know that the “tonight” I refer to was actually almost a year ago before […]

i believe in miracles

Just as God miraculously makes the sun to rise each morning over this city. Just as He makes the molecules in my body work in a rhythm that gives me life each day. Just as He created the stars and the moon and the heavens above.  Just as he healed the cancer from my father’s […]

things i carry

This is a passage from the Sermon on the Mount (Message translation) found in Matthew 5. When I did the 40 day fast back in the Summer of 2007 as I prayed through the adoption calling on my life, this passage was the main focus for that time.  I had always heard people say that […]

well, he peed on me

So I guess that’s a good sign that he’s comfortable around me.  Actually when I got home to the guest house, all of the workers were quite excited for me because in Ethiopia it is considered good luck when I child pees on your leg because it means you’re going to have a baby.  At […]


    As I sit here drinking my coffee (kudos to Ethiopia for the black gold that gives me that extra umph every morning) watching the sunrise, it feels just like any other morning. Except that it’s not.  In a few short hours I will get on a bus heading to the Acacia Village and […]


Just got an update from my agency and things are still 50/50 as to whether or not the adoption will go through the first stage of court next week. Here are some specific prayer requests of things that need to fall into place in order to get through this process and bring home little man: […]

thirty so far

This past Fall I hit the big 3-0 mark. And while the birthday celebration was with strangers, some of whom would become friends, it was unforgettable to say the least. I was travelling for work and we had just arrived at the Sabi Sands Region of Kruger National Park in South Africa. I couldn’t have dreamed […]

never a dull moment

cutie pa tootie

the boogie


happy new year! from our family to yours

Happy New Year! from Katie Brock on Vimeo.

we are fam-i-ly

by far the cutest lion I’ve ever seen. . .

happiness is the color blue



that smile



a note from caleb

From the Elevation Worship Blog: “Today is September 7. And today our new full length worship album, “Kingdom Come”officially releases. Head over to iTunes to grab it now. Over a year ago, we began writing songs for this season in our church’s life. It’s been the most humbling year we’ve experienced as a worship ministry so far, […]

love you dad.

via my Dad’s blog

holy moly!

So my brother’s new song got released on iTunes today and is already at #11! If you have .99 cents to spare, here’s the link: SO PROUD OF YOU MACK, AND OF THE WORK YOU GUYS ARE DOING AT ELEVATION!!

happy birthday kiddo

I am so glad you are in my life. I love you. -mom

immediacy and prayer

one hundred and five

That’s how many days I’ve known Caleb That’s how many days I’ve been his mother Most of the time, we do a lot of really normal stuff together Sometimes we play Sometimes we get dressed Sometimes we bathe Sometimes we eat Sometimes we sleep Sometimes we comfort each other Sometimes we just watch each other […]

Dear faithful reader (hi mom!),

As you know, I’ve been furiously working on my dissertation recently which is why I’ve been somewhat at a loss for words in this forum. This blank-ness is also why I’ve been posting multitude of Caleb pictures and videos (which I’m convinced is the main reason you come to this site anyway) BUT, hopefully I’ll […]

sweet sound to my ears

I’ve known Caleb for 3 months today. I feel like I’ve known him forever. That’s crazy talk. laughing from Katie Brock on Vimeo. laughing from Katie Brock on Vimeo.


*NSYNC from Katie Brock on Vimeo.

not always happy

. . . but he is most of the time not always happy from Katie Brock on Vimeo.

cute meets band-aid

cute meets band-aid from Katie Brock on Vimeo.


This post is dedicated to a few little things that make me happy and also this, this, this, and OF COURSE this:


sometimes here and there, yet other times none at all, love still grows stronger.

sweet song

I like to sing this song to Caleb in the morning time. Another version: Take Your Love With Me (The Ukulele Song)

dear meredith,

You are so precious and I’m so very glad that you are in our family. We are the lucky ones. . .even if you did offer to kill our cat. (Caleb says hi!)

awww mommmmmm

Photo by Studio A Photography


Photo by Studio A Photography

love of my heart

You are. Photo by Studio A Photography

small things with great love

“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” -Mother Teresa Photo by Studio A Photography

scenes from an extraordinarily regular life

wouldn’t trade it for a million bucks. Photos by Studio A Photography

nap time

Photo by Studio A Photography


Photo by Studio A Photography

he’s a talker

Photo by Studio A Photography

our family

Photo by Studio A Photography

cute while crying

I know, I know, I shouldn’t think this is cute. . .but I mean, COME ON, He’s SO STINKIN’ CUTE I couldn’t resist taking a quick snapshot before coming to the rescue.


helping mommy finish her dissertation

knock knock

Who’s there? a cutie A cutie who? a cutie-pa-tootie Photo by Studio A Photography


Photo by Studio A Photography

just sayin’

I got the cutest one. Photo by Studio A Photography

yep, we’re happy.

a happy, messy affair

Days with Caleb are a very happy (and sometimes messy) affair. He’s fun and funny. He is all boy. He can make sounds (and smells) come out of almost every orifice. He likes to make farting sounds with his mouth. He dances to Feist and Gnarls Barkley. He LOVES to watch sesame street on youtube and […]


Hallelujah from Elevation Worship on Vimeo. I’ve always found great comfort in this song. I’m not even sure which part resonates so well with my inner person. Maybe it’s the hopeful sadness? Maybe it’s the acknowledgement that life is sometimes a messy, broken thing? Or maybe it’s that to me, I find hope that other […]

the giggles

So I was going through Elevation’s website so I could show Caleb videos of Uncle Mack singing and came across this little jewel. “I Got The Giggles” from Elevation Worship on Vimeo. Here’s another little treasure, just in case you needed that little extra pep-in-your-step today. Outakes from Elevation Worship on Vimeo. I love these […]


How to keep my kid entertained for hours? EASY. Give him a big giant piece of paper and let him go to town. keeping my child entertained for hours from Katie Brock on Vimeo. Also, if you look closely, you’ll see a few cameos of the motherhand.  Hovering as usual.

love this kid

a lesson on grief and redemption

Sometimes God asks you for a little. A smile, a kind word, 10%. Other times he asks for a lot. A car, a difficult relationship, a mission trip. And still other times he asks for everything. Reinvent your life, move to Hong Kong, become a parent. For a long time I liked to think that […]


so fun

my valentine


So despite all of our pre-adoption brainstorming, my mother is still nameless, and grandma just isn’t going to cut the cake.  Suggestions?


love so strong and true dear Caleb, how I love you! my precious baby

travelin’ man

shark attack!!


I feel long overdue in posting, but MY GOODNESS, what a whirlwind the past week has been.  We’ve been stateside 4 days and I’m just now starting to feel human again.  My brain and my heart are so full I feel as if they are going to burst at any moment.  I was putting away […]

away we go!!

See you in a few HOURS buddy!!!

this time next week

The recycling will be picked up again The work week will begin anew The milk will probably need to be replaced The weather in Auburn will be beautiful and in the mid-60’s Mom, Meredith, and I will be in Addis Abba, Ethiopia I WILL MEET MY SON FOR THE FIRST TIME I truly can’t wait […]

make your life count

Please visit HERE to sponsor a child.


Caleb got moved to the foster home in Addis yesterday. That’s where Mom, Meredith, and I will meet him in January. This move is a pretty big deal for the kids because it’s the first time most of them have been in a car and they’re exposed to all new people in a new place. […]

this one bears repeating

. . . and is also what I’m going to teach Caleb when he’s old enough Beautiful_02- Single Guys Outtake from NewSpring Media on Vimeo.

holy moly!

We’re going to Africa to get that baby!!!!! January 23-29, 2010 T-minus 37 days and counting

hello, my name is ______________

This is one of my favorite pictures of my parents who are now (as of last Tuesday) grandparents!!! The first (and only) time I went to Africa, my mom went with me.  About half way through the trip we got the ick.  In what seems to be a trend with me and traveling in underdeveloped […]


Thanks to everyone who came out on Monday. Thanksmas 2009 was a bit hit and fun was had by all. You are all loved and I can’t wait to see you again. You fill my house with laughter and great joy! Peace and love and good luck on finals.

his birthday

Mr. Caleb has 5 fingers on each hand and 5 toes on each foot. He also turned 5 months old today. Dang so I get excited when I think about birthday parties and birthday posters (thanks to lou’s mom for that idea), special meals, showing him about giving and loving and laughing.  I can’t wait […]



2 weeks old


Practicing his side shot so he can beat Uncle Mack at hoops.

his name

Brought to you by the country of Ethiopia and the letter C


The Brock Clan just got a lil’ bit  bigger!!!! Hey Everybody!!

then and now

Coming back home after this holiday season I was struck with just how very different this homecoming was compared to the one 365 days prior. Then I was dog tired, emotionally spent, and sick as could be. Now I am well-rested, have many more emotional tools in my toolbox, and am healthy as a clam. […]

this i believe

1. my value will never be determined in numbers 2. neither will yours 3. one cannot have too much love 4. one should always celebrate holidays with family (both real and those you collect along the way) 4. sharing a meal is perhaps the best way to get to know someone 5. everybody needs a […]


lectio divina

I’ve recently *read: today* started a new devotional book.  I’m not usually one for reading daily devotionals, but recently *read: the last 12 months* I’ve started feeling a bit unraveled and not quite settled.  Of the few solaces I’ve found, the primary core consisting of reading, meditating on scripture, shopping, drawing, running, and working, scripture […]

best day

clear skies at midnight a true Alabama end to such a great day This is Bella, and this is a picture story of our day at the park. This is why 5-year olds should not give themselves haircuts. This is the best thing E-V-E-R. Even for the big kids. This is why 5-year olds + […]

family humor via 2006

I found this when I was cleaning out my old files.  It still makes me laugh.  I LOVE my family! Also, remember friendster and myspace?  Yeah, me neither.

connecting the dots

My brother and I used to play this game whenever we got really bored somewhere (although mom never actually let us say “bored”, but that’s another story for another day).  ANYWAY, the point of the game is to draw a bunch of dots, and take turns connecting them.  The objective is to make a square […]


So I’ve neglected this blog for a few days because I’ve been distracted with life and other writing endeavors.  Namely letter writing.  I’ve found great satisfaction over these last few weeks connecting with friends (new and old) directly.  It’s not that I don’t cherish this platform, but if I’m honest, I enjoy the direct connections […]

precious announcement

When my dad was a kid, his dad died of cancer.  When I was a kid, my granddad died of cancer.  My Nana bravely buried two husbands and then tried as best she could to figure out life as a single female.  The first time, with three kids. The second time with three adult kids, […]

a lesson in car safety, ethnicity and gender

So my dad was in a pretty bad car accident on Wednesday. Car totaled, mild amnesia for a while, concussion, sprained ankle, but overall, pretty OK . . . all except for one minor mixup at the hospital: I have a feeling that when filling out my dad’s paper work, the intern at the front […]

happy birthday brother

To my brother, on the day commemorating his birth You have no idea what type of influence you hold in my life.  I know I always tease you about being strange and quirky (mostly it’s because you’re a Brock and it’s true) and that sometimes I’m not all that great of a big sister. When […]