Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

So what shall I do with @Just_Matt_?

No straight lines make up my life; And all my roads have bends; There's no clear-cut beginnings; And so far no dead-ends. Harry Chapin, All My Life's a Circle

One year ago today, I received an email from the HR Director, asking if I wouldn’t mind stopping by her office for a little “chat.” I knew what that meant. It was early Tuesday morning and very few people had arrived in the office yet. I knew exactly what that meant.

Less than an hour later, I was walking out to my car to get a box so I could gather up my belongings. It wasn’t a surprise, really. It had happened to a lot of people in recent weeks. In fact, I was starting to see a bit of a pattern. But it still left me a little disoriented.

I had just been fired.

I can say all I want about how this was a blessing in disguise and that I’m better off now than I was then. Those statements are true. And I probably said those exact things to people that day. Because I believed them. But this was still a rather significant change in direction for our family. And can I just say that this couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time?

A week before this event, we moved into a new rental.

A week before that, we had purchased a new (to us) van.

Two days after I was fired, Christy’s teaching job lost funding.

The day after that was the one-year anniversary of Dave’s passing.

Emotionally? I don’t know if there could’ve been a worse time for this to happen. There was all this excitement about new things like the adoption and the van. That excitement was mixed with sorrow and uncertainty as we didn’t exactly know where this road was going to take us. It’s kind of tough to know what’s happening next when both family members lose their jobs in the same week.

Of course, there never really is a good time to get canned. Is there?

Anyway, I promise I’m in a better place. Of course, I miss some of my former teammates. But I really do love my new jobs. And pretty much everything about my life is in a better place. A much better place.  So I’m not really carrying any emotional baggage like I did back when we moved to Greenwood.

Back when I was guest-posting and doing other digital promotion for my former employer, I had created a second twitter account. Y’all already know about @mattdantodd. Right? And y’all are already following me. Right? If you aren’t, you can go ahead and click on over there and do that. I’ll wait.

I promise. I’m waiting.

Done?

Good.

You might have known about @mattdantodd. But I’ll bet you didn’t know about @Just_Matt_. Well, now you do. And I’m looking for some input about what to do with this account. You see, @Just_Matt_ has kind of lost his way. I’d love to help him find his way back on track. There’s no need for him to end at a dead end. Is there?

So on this, the one year anniversary of my life taking an unexpected turn, I’d like to know what you think I should do with @Just_Matt_. Should I primarily promote this blog through him? I kind of do that already through my main twitter account. I’m really not sure what to do with him at the moment. But I’m open to suggestions. Actually, this is me begging for suggestions.

What should I do with this twitter account?

I could try to bribe you by saying the winning suggestion will get some awesome prize. But I really don’t have an awesome prize to give away. All of our extra money is tied up in adoption expenses right now. Remember?

I’ll figure something out. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Oh, and that quote at the top of this post? Here’s the rest of the song. I think it’s kind of fitting for today. Don’t you?

16 ways you can support our adoption

16 ways you can support our adoptionIt’s no secret that adoption can be expensive. Of course, it’s also no secret that giving birth to a child can be just as expensive. It’s just paid in different ways by different people. So as we’re waiting to meet “W” and ultimately bring him home, we’re busy finding the funds to complete this journey. And that’s where you come in. Just like are plenty of ways you can help orphans without adopting, I’ve come up with 16 ways you can support our adoption. And most of them won’t even cost you a cent! Here they are:

1. Buy Coffee.

Just Love Coffee Roasters
image via The Cultureist

When you buy coffee from Just Love Coffee Roasters, we receive a portion of the profits. It’s that simple. In addition to high-quality coffee, they also have apparel, mugs, and hot chocolate available. They make special blends for different occasions, like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day. And you can even sign up for a year-long subscription. You’ll have high-quality coffee delivered to your doorstep every month. Oh, and they also have single serve cups.

Just Love Coffee Roasters has all the coffee you’ll need. And it creates a win-win-win situation. You are supporting Fair Trade coffee growing co-ops around the world. You’re helping to cover our adoption expenses. And, you get some pretty tasty coffee. As one former co-worker (who claims to be a coffee snob) of mine once said:

It’s yummy.

What more do you need to convince you? If you’re a coffee drinker, please try Just Love Coffee today!

2. Give us your books.

If you live in the Greater Indianapolis area and have extra books sitting around gathering dust, we’ll gladly take them off your hands! We’ll re-sell them to Half  Price Books for cash money. If you live in southwestern Indiana or the Louisville area, we can also arrange a pick up. It just might take a little bit of time.

Do you have books you’d like to donate? Don’t hesitate to contact me! We’ll get something worked out.

The next three have to do with an upcoming garage sale.

 3. Donate items to our garage sale.

We originally planned on having a garage sale on Saturday, April 25. Because of a scheduling conflict on my end (I’ll explain in a later post. It’s a really really really good conflict), we’re going to have to host the sale at a later date.

In the meantime, we need your stuff! If you’re like us, you’ve been doing some Spring Cleaning and discovered all kinds of stuff that you really can live without. If you live in the Indianapolis area, we’ll be happy to take it off your hands. Just shoot me an email and we’ll get the ball rolling.

4. Help promote the garage sale.

Once we have the date nailed down, if you could help tell all of your friends in the Indianapolis area to come buy our stuff, that would be awesome.

5. Show up. Buy stuff.

That kind of goes without saying. Right? If we’re going to have a garage sale, we need people to buy our stuff!

Here are some ways you can provide support without any effort at all.

This is going to sound silly, but supporting this blog is a great way to help our adoption. I have had the opportunity to use this space to publish some sponsored blog posts. Over the last year, all of the money from those compensated posts have gone to help pay for adoption expenses. The more “reach” and engagement that I can show potential advertisers, the more likely they are to hire me. And that’s a good thing. So, here’s what you can do to support this blog…

6. Subscribe to the email newsletter.

Did you even know there was a newsletter associated with this blog? Probably not. I haven’t done a great job at letting you know about it. That changes today.

Subscribe to Life in the Fishbowl

* indicates required


7. Follow me on twitter.

8. Do you use tumblr? You can follow me there, too. 

9. “Like” my facebook page

Get involved in the page. Like the articles you like. Leave comments. The more you’re involved on the page, the more facebook’s algorithm will allow the page to show up in your news feed.

10. Follow my Pinterest boards.
Visit Matt Todd’s profile on Pinterest.

11. Engage.

Keep reading posts on this blog. Comment on articles. Share posts on your social platforms. You can start by sharing this post, if you want.

12. Buy from affiliate links.

Most links to Amazon are what are known as affiliate links. That means we get a very small percentage of each purchase made from that link. It doesn’t really add up to much right now, but if you’re going to buy the product anyway, why not help us out in the process?

Prayer might be last on this list, but it’s what we need most.

13. Pray for “W.”

I can’t imagine what it’s like to know that your have a family that’s pursuing you, but you still have to wait. And while you’re waiting, having to watch other kids leave with their forever families. Please pray for his sweet spirit. Pray for his health. Pray for his safety while he waits. Pray for his transition as he makes our family a family of SIX, while moving to a strange country with a strange language, customs, and food.

14. Pray for the governments and agencies involved. 

International adoption involves a lot of bureaucratic red tape and hoop-jumping. Please pray for all agencies involved, that all the ‘i’s will be dotted and the ‘t’s will be crossed and that everything will be conducted with the utmost of integrity and honesty. Pray for roadblocks to be removed and that this adoption journey will be smooth.

15. Pray for our family.

Pray for our nerves as we wait. Pray for the transition. I have no idea what it’s going to be like adding another teenage boy to our household mix. But we’re going to do it. Because he’s worth it. Please pray for our family as we get ready for this transition.

16. Pray for God’s provision.

We have applied for several grants and no-interest loans to help pay for these expenses. Many of these ministries and agencies are looking at and praying over our requests as we speak. Please pray for open hearts as they hear our story.

I know God is going to show up. In some way, some how, He always does. He provided in unexpected ways during Mihret’s adoption. I’m confident He’ll do it again. I’m hoping it’s through these grants and our fundraising efforts. But maybe that won’t be the case. However He chooses to provide, I look forward to seeing Him work through His people.

That’s all. For now.

So there you have it: 16 ways you can support our adoption. Most of them are pretty painless. Right? But I promise, if you do even a few of them, you’re going to make a huge difference.

Thank you for your ongoing support. You have no idea how much it means to us.

This is a test. Please click here.

like and dislike

 

This is a test. It is only a test. And I need your help with this test. I’m testing stuff like reach and visibility and engagement. To be completely transparent, this is a direct result of this event.

If you came to this post because of twitter, tumblr, or some other form of social network, please comment on this post.

If you saw this post because of my facebook group, please like that post on the group.

If you saw this post because of the Life in the Fishbowl fan page on facebook, please like that post on the page.

If you saw this post because of both the fan page and the group, please like both posts.

I promise this isn’t a convoluted ploy to get more likes or shares or readership. I’m testing out a few things. Thanks, everyone, for your help!

 

#TwitterTuesday is back and better than ever!

 

Yeah, I know. It’s been a while. But I promise you that this #TwitterTuesday installment is well worth the wait. This installment covers a variety of topics – from Breaking Bad to college football to the Fall Festival.

Yeah. It’s on my….I mean….Aiden’s Christmas list, too. I must say, the wait to find out what happens to the Wingfeathers is almost unbearable. If I don’t find out soon, I might start acting like a Fang of Dang.

I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who didn’t watch Breaking Bad.

Congratulations, Dr. Hoover! We’re proud of you!

Christy’s going to be quite happy about this new development.

Which will happen first? The Hoosiers going to a BCS title game or Alabama going to the Final Four?

I have something to say to Skip and those who think like him. A post should be coming shortly.

Woah. That’s heavy.

Love love love the Fall Festival! Love that Chuck Lofton loves the Fall Festival, too!

It’s hot. And you need a cool #TwitterTuesday

TwitterTuesday

Yeah. You have to read the entire thread to get full glory of the tweet.

Speaking of cups….let’s take a moment and listen to the original Cups Song…

I know. It’s way too early for a musical interlude. But it was totally worth it.

Time to press on into cool #TwitterTuesday awesomeness (because it’s hot, Don!*)

My evil plan is working. Soon I will take over the world…mwahahaha

One of the many, many reasons tubas rock.

Nothing more to say about that.

Not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that I’m associated with Miley’s performance. It is what it is, I guess.

Thank you, Dr. King. Thank you.

Then the Hoosiers did this…

Unfortunately, this past Saturday was a different story. But that’s another post. An entirely different post.

I love my co-workers.

Yet again, Los knocked it out of the park.

So….what are you dreaming about? What God-sized dream has He given you?

Yeah. The crowd was electric. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Gonna recap that in another post. Probably tomorrow.

SO EXCITED about Indy Pop Con!

Thanks for checking in to this installment of #TwitterTuesday! Tune in next time where I might just include your tweet. Unless you aren’t on twitter. Then I won’t. Because I can’t. So maybe you should just get on twitter and follow me.

Whaddya say?

*If you have any connection to Evansville at all, you want to click that link. Trust me.

This #TwitterTuesday is out of this world!

Yup. That’s right. Out. of. this. world.

Speaking of out of this world, have you seen this?

Earth from Uranus
image via Huffington Post

Yeah. That arrow is pointing at Earth. That’s our home. Kind of puts everything in perspective. Doesn’t it?

Anyway, back to #TwitterTuesday. There aren’t very many for this installment, but that doesn’t mean that twitter was any less awesome this week. Just take a look….


I replied to this tweet. He replied back.

Holy cow! An astronaut tweeted me back!

I felt like doing this…

And maybe even a little of this…

Yeah. I geeked out about it.


In fact, I’m still geeking out about it.

I’m still doing cartwheels. In my head. I can’t do cartwheels at work. I  know. You’re disappointed.


It’s about stinkin’ time! Chewie getting that medal is way overdue.

Thank you, twitter, for a memorable week that was truly out of this world!

#TwitterTuesday :: Baseball and a confiscated lightsaber edition

Some of my favorite tweets from the past week. They range from life-changing stories to great sports moments and all things in between…

This makes my heart sing.

All together now:

Congratulations on 25 years, Indy Zoo! Here’s to 25+ more!

Good advice even if you aren’t a parent, methinks.

In case you hadn’t heard the story, here it is. Yes…that’s a lightsaber cane. Chewbacca rocks.

+100

GO HOOSIERS!! Just keep winning and enjoy the ride!

Such a cool story.

Amen.

http://twitter.com/FoodLovesMe/status/344236129266057218

I was there. It was awesome. I’ll be sharing my experience very soon. I have about five other posts I have to finish writing first.

She’s raising them right, you know.

#TwitterTuesday :: (Mostly) Pacers Edition

Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite tweets from the past week. As you can see, there was a lot of hope for the Blue and Gold Crew leading up to last night’s decisive game against just another team from Miami. Alas, it did not come to pass the way we all hoped it would.

So now central Indiana is full of Spurs fans for the next week or two. We stand up and cheer “Giddy up!” (or whatever is a fitting cheer for a team called the Spurs…is “Remember the AlamoDome” a better cheer?) in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in San Antonio.

Unfortunately, this did not happen because of all the standing water. I’m still excited to see all the progress with our church’s new satellite campus that will be launching very, very soon!

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

http://twitter.com/mpos/status/340282770171502594

Thanks for that memory, LeBron!

The feeling’s mutual, Michael. We’re definitely going to miss you around here. Best wishes on your future endeavors! Oh – and thanks again for helping me get my job. 🙂

Go Cards!

Reg-gie! Reg-gie! Reg-gie!

That’s all for this week. Who knows what’s in store for us in the twitterverse next week?

Go Spurs!

#BeatTheHeat

#TwitterTuesday :: Show Hope’s 10-year celebration (and other fun stuff)

Here’s a look at this week’s Twitter Tuesday extravaganza. There’s a lot here from our celebration in Nashville with other Show Hope families. I’m sure I’ll be sharing more about that later this week. Let’s just say that although my head’s still a little bit sunburnt, my heart’s still quite full from our amazing weekend. Thank you, Show Hope team for putting together an amazing weekend!

I’ll admit. I’m a little bit disappointed that I couldn’t score some early tickets to the Star Wars exhibit at the Indiana State Museum. I am, however, quite happy for the man, the myth, the legend behind Indiana Geeking. He got to go as a member of the Media. He has a pretty good writeup on his blog. You should read it. And then you should go to the exhibit. Sounds like it’s pretty amazing.

Good advice. You need to listen to Dan. Trust me.

Our preacher shared a secret a few weeks ago. You have to ask for ice cream when you order a milkshake from Steak n Shake. This was a life-changing revelation.

We here in Greenwood are so proud of you, Sara! Knock ’em dead tonight in regionals!

There were lots of food trucks. And lots of people. I hear some of the trucks ran out of food. That’s a good problem to have. Right?

That was such an amazing weekend with an amazing bunch of people – including my amazing wife and our amazing kids!

#TwitterTuesday

A wrap-up of some of my favorite tweets from the last two weeks…

I understand.

https://twitter.com/LeilanMcNally/status/332638159538098176

Thanks again to everyone who shared and voted during our campaign! In case you missed the news, here’s where we stood in the voting.

I think KY fan’s reaction to this statement was almost as funny as the tweet itself.

While this is an important reminder every day, it’s pretty fitting for today.

Congratulations, Hoosiers!

Welcome to Twitterville, @LizTodd3032! Kick your shoes off. Stay awhile.

My friend, Mark, also reviewed The Great Gatsby. He’s quite thorough.

https://twitter.com/Ivan_Renko/status/335947031560482816

Well said, Boomstick.

I can’t…I don’t….Wow. Just wow.

Knock ’em dead, Sara! Deep down, my kids will always be Blackhawks.

Feel free to donate to the Red Cross here.