"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

How can you help?

People have asked how they can help…
We are planning a fundraiser dinner and auction for December 7th.
We need help finding items for the auction. Gift Baskets, homemade pies or cookies, a day on a boat, handmade items, gift certificates (if you know someone who owns a business) have been great auction items for other adoption fundraisers…
We need help planning the dinner (we don’t even know what to serve yet).
If you are looking for tax donation, you can make a donation to our adoption account and receive a tax deduction (they will send you a letter). Click on the Kingdom Kids link on our website and be sure to write our name in the comments box.
We will be having an indoor “yard sale” at the end of January, if you have anything you were looking to get rid of.
Your prayers and questions and encouragement are GREATLY appreciated! Thanks!

If you would like to help with the auction, just let us know. Neither Ben nor I are super good about asking for help (although we got better when the house flooded) but we would really appreciate any time you can give!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


This is a picture of people waiting outside a clinic in Addis Ababa, the capital city. They are waiting to see a doctor or nurse or someone... There are hundreds of people waiting to be helped. You can check out this blog for a little more about the adventure of a volunteer doctor in Ethiopia.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A couple thoughts that keep me sane!

Some would gather money
Along the path of life,
Some would gather roses,
And rest from worldly strife;
But, I would gather children
From among the thorns of sin,
I would seek a gorgeous curl,
And a freckled, toothless grin.
For money cannot enter
In that land of endless day,
And roses that are gathered
Soon will wilt along the way.
But, Oh, the laughing children,
As I cross the sunset sea,
And the gates swing wide to heaven
I can take them in with me.

I love that! Here is the other "thing" that is keeping me from getting too uptight about all the details and the kids waiting in the transition home...

"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day." Habakkuk 2:3

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Keep On Keeping On

That was the title and theme for our sermon today. That beginning something is just that, a beginning. The hardest part is following through. I felt like Pastor was speaking just to me for that brief moment. I thought about how in a year all of this paper work, anticipation, fear, frustration, and excitement will all be over and we might look back thinking that THAT was the easy part. The following through will be the hardest part. Having 6 kids actually home, not just in our dreams, will be the hard part. Laundry, discipline, logistics, homework, dinner, dishes, college... all of the follow through that we have with our children - that is the hardest part. But the good news of the sermon is that God does not leave us alone in the "follow through". He walks beside us or carries us (depending of the circumstances). That Keep On Keeping On is "easier" and "doable" when we walk with our God.

Yesterday, some amazing friends gave us their Suburban. They were some of the very first friends we called when we began praying about the kids. When we were overwhelmed with the obstacles that seemed impossible, they were some of the friends who reminded us of all the ways God has been preparing us for these children. So when I asked about how to haul 6 kids and Ben and I in our 7 passenger van she said God would figure that out too. And HE did... Our friends had bought a newer Suburban and had not quite gotten around to selling it. SO, they gave it to us. If I sound too mellow, unappriciative, or blase... you have not seen my tears, watched my "happy dance" or seen me speachless (which doesn't happen often). These friends, our God, and many others are helping to make what once seemed impossible a very exciting reality!

So we are Keeping On... doing what we need to do to bring our kids home... and relying on GOD to work out the details!

My Dad just called and said that the band he used to play with had a song called "Keep on keeping on..." That's cool! :)
Happy Sunday!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Tell Me the GOOD Things

Yesterday I posted the following message on a chat room for parents adopting from Ethiopia:

Will you indulge my husband an I? Tell us the wonderful stuff... we have heard the hard stuff... I asked Ben's cousin who has adopted 2 and is getting 1 more soon to tell me about her worst days, and it didn't scare us away... But today I need to hear about the great part of bringing children into your home and calling them your own. The good part when the bio kids are snuggling and loving the new kids - when you look at each other and say... this is wonderful! I would love to hear what you say!Love,brooke

This was my new friends Robin's reply...
Oh Brooke, I could write for days and days about the good stuff. I will try to make a list for you.We brought home our 3 children July 20th, Isaiah is 8, Sarah is 6, Lydia is 4.

The good things...Last week when Isaiah cried big crocodile tears at soccer practice when I asked him if his coach could give him a ride home. He said very sweetly, "No, please mommy, I want you"

Seeing Lydia and Sarah loving and caring sweetly for their baby dolls. This might not seem like much but when they first came home, they were not tender at all with them. They would look at them strangely and throw them down and laugh. They had no idea how to pretend. Now Lydia is so tender with her baby. Sarah is starting to catch on now and has also started dressing and pretending to feed her baby.

Tonight, before story time, Lydia brought me a bottle that she used for her dolly and crawled up in my lap and handed it to me. She wanted me to feed it to her like she was a baby. I cuddled her so tight and put the bottle in her mouth. She snuggled up and closed her eyes and I think she was really imagining that she was a baby. It sounds weird but it was very tender and sweet and totally initiated by her. I almost started to cry. She came from a somewhat abusive muslim family and says that no one loved her in Ethiopia. She is a wounded little child and is soaking up the love of a mother in a way that you can actually feel. When we went to pick her up at the care center, her eyes lit up and she crawled and climbed across other children and ran to me with tears. She clung to my leg hugging it tight and I had to pry off her arms to pick her up. It was so incredible.

Hearing the Ethiopian children squeal and giggle in the back seat on the way home from church. Listening to them speak Amharic, which is truly a beautiful language.Hearing Jonathan speak Amharic, and listening to Lydia and Sarah and Isaiah laugh and squeal at their lilly white American brother speaking their African language. They think it is so funny.

Sitting in church watching my black son and my white son lovingly touch eachother's hair over and over because it feels different than their own.Out of no where in the middle of the day just being amazed at the fact that we actually went all the way to Ethiopia and brought home 3 children!

Teasing Isaiah and Sarah and Lydia, saying, "Mommy and Daddy got on the airplane and went ALLLLLLL the way to Ethiopia to bring home two silly girls and one silly boy" and listening to them laugh hysterically. And then hearing Lydia say that when she was in Ethiopia she was not silly because America made her silly.

Hearing Sarah tell me many times a day that she loves me very big.

Showing Lydia where her birthday is on the Calendar so that she can show everyone. She is so excited that she has a birthday. Listening to the girls sing happy birthday to eachother over and over again and watching them prepare elaborate birthday parties for everyone in the family in their toy kitchen with their toy food. This is a HUGE thing with them since they never celebrated their birthdays in Ethiopia.

Ok, I don't like this part but some of you might, 4 squealing little children throwing open my bedroom door at 6:30 in the morning and jumping all over me giggling.

Tucking them in bed at night and hearing the question that I know is coming FOR SURE, "Mommy, tomorrow snowman coming?" They so can't wait for their first snowfall. I am praying that it will be big and sticky and perfect for snowman making!

Hearing Isaiah's ten million crazy questions that are impossible to answer. He thinks I know everything. Someone at CWA must have mistakenly told him he was getting a smart mother.

Laughing at Isaiah because he is so much like Lane it is not funny. EVERYTHING is a competition to him. He asks me "which one win" about everything.

Laughing at Sarah because she is just so stinking cute you can't help but laugh. Reading books to them every night and hearing them fight over who gets to sit right next to me. We now have a schedule!

Hearing them sing, "Run, Run as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm the ginerbread man"Hearing them sing, "I'm so Blue oo oo Blue oo oo" and "A Thankful Heart is a Happy Heart" after watching the Madam Blueberry episode of Veggie Tales.

Watching Jonathan and Lydia and Sarah race up and down the driveway on their big wheels. Boy are they FAST!

Seeing Isaiah smile and cuddle up to my kisses when he used to pull away as if he was afraid.

Walking past their Sunday school rooms and just being amazed that they are finally really here.

Watching Isaiah play soccer in his Royal Blue Soccer uniform right smack in the middle of America! People come up to me after the game and comment that he is amazing to watch. Like a bolt of lightning he will come out of nowhere to steal the ball and move it down the field. Kicking it with skill and jumping over feet and legs to regain possession of it. Moving it up the field and making a perfect pass to a teammate who is in front of the goal. I don't even like sports but I love to watch him play.

Taking them swimming and seeing the pure joy on their faces as they go under the water over and over again and squeal with delight when they come up. Sarah and Lydia insist on having their hair "free" and love the feel of it floating in the water when they go under.

Taking them to the zoo and watching and listening. Laughing very hard because they want to know whether or not the animals taste good. American kids never ask this question when they go to the zoo.

Watching them stuff huge mouthfuls of injera and tibs into their faces and lick their fingers.Hearing them call me mommy a million times a day. Hearing them say, "No Thank you" instead of YUCKY!! when they are offered a food they are not about to touch with a ten foot pole.

Seeing Isaiah eat a great big bowl of cheerios and milk for breakfast. (He used to say YUCKY!!) and yes, he was shouting. Watching Lydia eat a Big and Tasty and fries and thinking that she looks just like a little American and then feeling guilty for feeding her junk food.

Watching Sarah eat anything! She is truly amazing. She can somehow manage to get the food in the middle of her back. She is such a... well... lets just say, well, uhhhhh she's messy!

Tucking them in bed at night and listening to all the stories they tell about their lives in Ethiopia. Laughing at the funny ones, and crying at the oh so sad ones.Knowing that God chose me and allowed me the incredible blessing of being the mother of these sweet, silly, happy, loving, talented, smart, coordinated, beautiful, Ethiopian Children.

So, the good stuff definately wins! :) I read that post 3 times today and it made me smile each time. I also got to speak with our Case Worker today. We spent an hour on the phone talking about EVERYTHING that can/should/might happen with our adoption. It was super helpful!

We also did some costume shopping tonight. Danny is planning on being George Washington and was so dissapointed that we couldn't find a wig for a boy. :) He cracked me up! If you asked my kids what their favorite part of the day was... it would be a toss up. Going to Burger King and playing on the toys for a dinner date with friends OR Danny (The Schuldheisz Family) winning a Wii at school for fundraising! (Thanks Brian for your great donation). The kids are running back and forth from the couch to the window as quickly and loudly as possible... got to go!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Street Children of Ethiopia

This reminded me of being a little girl and watching TV with my family and seeing the kids starving and the orphans in Russia... I don't know what to say, but at least now I can do a little something about it. These kids we are bringing home to call our own will not have to live on the streets...


What happened to Marta?

Those were the concerned words out of Lilly's mouth yesterday when I told Ben that I thought she was in a different "transition home" than the boys.
I replied something to the effect of "She's OK, it is nice you are worried about your sister."

And then I about lost it... It took a lot not to break down in tears right then... Lilly will have an older sister, and she already cares about her and prays for all of them each night. I was so touched by the concern and I think saying the words out loud just was an emotional moment for me.

On the adoption front... we heard from CWA and the cost is going to be closer to $16,000. There were several thousand dollars that had been paid by the other family that we thought would transfer to us, but we were wrong. I am working hard not to feel overwhelmed by the cost. It will be fine. The cost is not important, getting them here is what is essential. So, we have had friends share fundraising ideas. If you have any great ideas to share PLEASE let us know! Right now we are thinking spaghetti dinner and auction... what do you think? Maybe a raffle ticket type thing that people could take to work and sell for us?

I asked what the transition home is like and these are the "good" things people said:
  • they get 3 square meals a day
  • they have 1 or maybe 2 sets of clothes
  • they are going to school
  • they are getting regular medical care and the 2nd set of testing for various diseases
  • it's nice... by 3rd world standards

So, we are even more anxious to get the kids home!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I couldn't have said it better myself!

This comes from the dad of the boys on the "Chosen Link" who happen to be friends of friends of friends... They live in Spokane and are working hard to help their children adjust!
From Patrick...
Someone asked the question, "Do you think it is irresponsible to pursue an adoption when you have no money to support it?" My answer, yes! Financing this whole thing was the very issue that made me tell Jennifer "no" when she first brought up the idea of adopting. This is an issue that is heavy on my heart and mind and I constantly fight to give it to Christ. But as I have reflected on this issue I have rested my mind on several points.

I would rather be obedient and irresponsible, than responsible and disobedient.
Noah was probably pretty irresponsible when he dedicated a huge portion of his life, earnings, and time to building a boat in the middle of nowhere.
Moses was probably pretty irresponsible when he led millions of people into the desert with little to no means of feeding, housing and protecting them.
Barnabas was probably pretty irresponsible when he approached Saul, the Christian killer, when no one else would trust his salvation experience.
Jesus was probably pretty irresponsible when he allowed people to beat Him, mock Him, and ultimately kill Him to save many people who hadn't even been born yet.

We "felt" like God was calling us to obey Him, to exercise our faith in doing something that didn't make sense. In that, we have been put into a place of trusting the Lord with things that we have absolutely NO control over. And He has been very faithful in starting this good work and we are convinced that He will complete it. So when I put it in that perspective, I figure we are traveling in pretty good company.

Ben and I also know that God is calling us to step out in faith and that by doing so HE will bless us! I am so thankful for the donations which have begun to arrive - when we began this journey we had no idea that God's blessings would come in such a way.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Just Wait

So here is my conversation with God from Wednesday...
I was sitting in my car, worrying about the financial details - again! I had finally decided to make some phone calls to the loan department, when I heard it.
"Just Wait"
Me: What, huh? I have time now... I will just call now.
"Just Wait"
Me: Wow, are you sure?
So I get home and pick up the mail... a check was there from some church friends. Thursday, another check from some family friends. Friday, another check (at which point I sat in the car and bawled). Why I am amazed at God's ability to take care of this, I don't know. But I am abundantly and humbly thankful.
One of the checks had this saying... it's our new family theme.
Twice the advneture.
Twice the blessing!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


We got confirmation today that the kids are being held just for us... we had heard that before, but now it is official! We also know that they have been moved to a transition home in Addis Ababa. This makes the adoption easier, but I feel so sad for the kids. Their hearts must be broken over leaving their mom. And their mom.... words cannot describe the ache I feel for her and the kids. So please be praying for the kids! Our social worker said this time is "really hard", "deer in the headlights" for these kids. So please uphold them in your prayers that they are adjusting, greiving, and getting the support they need. It is strange to love them already - but we do. Well... this is a good day for us.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Stepping Out

I cannot believe how much we have learned from "stepping out in faith". God is blessing us each day. Below here I have included a story from Beth Moore that I just read... I loved it. When God asked Ben and I to become parents to 6 - I really wasn't sure - but God uses us to help his beloved. What a blessing to be a part of his plan.

April 20, 2005
At the Airport in Knoxville

Waiting to board the plane, I had the Bible on my lap and was very intent upon what I was doing. I’d had a marvelous morning with the Lord. I say that because I want to tell you it is a scary thing to have the Spirit of God really working in you. You could end up doing some things you never would have done otherwise. Life in the Spirit can be dangerous for a thousand reasons not the least of which is your ego.

I tried to keep from staring, but he was such a strange sight. Humped over in a wheelchair, he was skin and bones, dressed in clothes that obviously fit when he was at least twenty pounds heavier. His knees protruded from his trousers, and his shoulders looked like the coat hanger was still in his shirt. His hands looked like tangled masses of veins and bones. The strangest part of him was his hair and nails. Stringy gray hair hung well over his shoulders and down part of his back. His fingernails were long, clean but strangely out of place on an old man.

I looked down at my Bible as fast as I could, discomfort burning my face. As I tried to imagine what his story might have been, I found myself wondering if I’d just had a Howard Hughes sighting. Then, I remembered that he was dead. So this man in the airport…..an impersonator maybe? Was a camera on us somewhere?

There I sat, trying to concentrate on the Word to keep from being concerned about a thin slice of humanity served on a wheelchair only a few seats from me. All the while my heart was growing more and more overwhelmed with a feeling for him. Let’s admit it. Curiosity is a heap more comfortable than true concern, and suddenly I was awash with aching emotion for this bizarre-looking old man. I had walked with God long enough to see the handwriting on the wall. I’ve learned that when I begin to feel what God feels, something so contrary to my natural feelings, something dramatic is bound to happen. And it may be embarrassing. I immediately began to resist because I could feel God working on my spirit and I started arguing with God in my mind. “Oh, no, God, please, no.” I looked up at the ceiling as if I could stare straight through it into heaven and said, “Don’t make me witness to this man. Not right here and now. Please. I’ll do anything. Put me on the same plane, but don’t make me get up here and witness to this man in front of this gawking audience. Please, Lord!” There I sat in the blue vinyl chair begging His Highness, “Please don’t make me witness to this man. Not now. I’ll do it on the plane.” Then I heard it… ”I don’t want you to witness to him. I want you to brush his hair.” The words were so clear, my heart leapt into my throat, and my thoughts spun like a top. Do I witness to the man or brush his hair? No-brainer. I looked straight back up at the ceiling and said, “God, as I live and breathe, I want you to know I am ready to witness to this man. I’m on this Lord. I’m you’re girl! You’ve never seen a woman witness to a man faster in your life. What difference does it make if his hair is a mess if he is not redeemed? I am on him. I am going to witness to this man.”

Again, as clearly as I’ve ever heard an audible word, God seemed to write this statement across the wall of my mind. “That is not what I said, Beth. I don’t want you to witness to him. I want you to go brush his hair.” I looked up at God and quipped, “I don’t have a hairbrush. It’s in my suitcase on the plane. How am I supposed to brush his hair without a hairbrush?”
God was so insistent that I almost involuntarily began to walk toward him as these thoughts came to me from God’s word: “I will thoroughly furnish you unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:17 I stumbled over to the wheelchair thinking I could use one myself. Even as I retell this story my pulse quickens and as I retell this story, I feel those same butterflies. I knelt down in front of the man and asked as demurely as possible, “Sir, may I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?” He looked back at me and said, “What did you say?” “May I have the pleasure of brushing your hair?” To which he responded in volume ten, “Little lady, if you expect me to hear you, you’re going to have to talk louder than that.” At this point, I took a deep breath and blurted out, “SIR, MAY I HAVE THE PLEASURE OF BRUSHING YOUR HAIR?” At which point every eye in the place darted right at me. I was the only thing in the room looking more peculiar than old Mr. Longlocks. Face crimson and forehead breaking out in a sweat, I watched him look up at me with absolute shock on his face, and say, “If you really want to.” Are you kidding? Of course I didn’t want to. But God didn’t seem interested in my personal preference right about then. He pressed on my heart until I could utter the words, “Yes, sir, I would be pleased. But I have one little problem. I don’t have a hairbrush.” “I have one in my bag,” he responded. I went around to the back ot the wheelchair, and I got on my hands and knees and unzipped the stranger’s old carry-on, hardly believing what I was doing. I stood up and started brushing the old man’s hair. It was perfectly clean, but it was tangled and matted. I don’t do many things well, but must admit I’ve had notable experience untangling knotted hair mothering two little girls. Like I’d done with either Amanda or Melissa in such a condition, I began brushing at the very bottom of the strands, remembering to take my time not to pull. A miraculous thing happened to me as I started brushing that old man’s hair. Everybody else in the room disappeared. There was no one alive for those moments except that old man and me. I brushed and I brushed and I brushed until every tangle was out of that hair.

I know this sounds so strange, but I’ve never felt that kind of love for another soul in my entire life. I believe with all my heart, I - for that few minutes - felt a portion of the very love of God. That He had overtaken my heart for a little while like someone renting a room and making Himself at home for a short while. The emotions were so strong and so pure that I knew they had to be God’s. His hair was finally as soft and smooth as an infant’s. I slipped the brush back in the bag, went around the chair to face him.

I got back down on my knees, put my hands on his knees, and said, “Sir, do you know my Jesus?” He said, “Yes, I do.” Well, that figures, I thought. He explained, “I’ve known Him since I married my bride. She wouldn’t marry me until I got to know the Savior.” He said, “You see, the problem is, I haven’t seen my bride in months. I’ve had open-heart surgery, and she’s been too ill to come see me. I was sitting here thinking to myself, what a mess I must be for my bride.”

Only God knows how often He allows us to be part of a divine moment when we’re completely unaware of the significance. This, on the other hand, was one of those rare encounters when I knew God had intervened in details only He could have known. It was a God moment, and I’ll never forget it. Our time came to board, and we were not on the same plane. I was deeply ashamed of how I’d acted earlier and would have been so proud to have accompanied him on that aircraft. I still had a few minutes, and as I gathered my things to board, the airline hostess returned from the corridor, tears streaming down her cheeks. She said, “That old man’s sitting on the plane, sobbing. Why did you do that? What made you do that?” I said, “Do you know Jesus? He can be the bossiest thing!” And we got to share. I learned something about God that day. He knows if you’re exhausted because you’re hungry, you’re serving in the wrong place, or it is time to move on, but you feel too responsible to budge. He knows if you’re hurting or feeling rejected. He knows if you’re sick or drowning under a wave of temptation. Or He knows if you just need your hair brushed. He sees you as an individual. Tell Him your need!
I got on my own flight, sobs choking my throat, wondering how many opportunities just like that one I had missed along the way… all because I didn’t want people to think I was strange. God didn’t send me to that old man. He sent that old man to me.

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Mom Song

For those of you who have not seen this... enjoy! Do we really sound like this?

param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/RxT5NwQUtVM">

Monday, October 15, 2007

Home Study Sent...

The Great news for the day...

Kelly Raugh called last night to tell us that Lyle's Theology Professor knows Jannelle and her husband (the first parents-to-be of the kids). I was so glad to hear that they have some great church support. I dreamt about the kids all night.

Someone bought our changing table, crib and some ebay stuff... we were getting mighty nervous about the Home Study cost due this Sunday and now we are getting closer...

We sent our Home Study packet off to our Social Worker, what an exciting thing to be done with that part!

The Bummer news for the day...

The deadline for 2 grants available to help defray some of the costs is October 31st and there is a good chance that our Home Study will not be done by that day... So be praying for speedy mail service and FBI checks.

Our Bible study this week talked about Saul, Jonathan and David and the way God blesses us through friends... I am so thankful for all of our supportive friends (even the ones who wonder...)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I promise not to cry...

Last night, Ben and I planned out our Minute Talk that we would be doing the next day at church... He made me promise not to cry - and I didn't. He did. I love how much he already cares for these children. It was so exciting to share this news with our church family. Most everyone was excited for us and had lots of good questions. We put the kids pictures up and everyone said how beautiful they are... we agree.

Now that reality is setting in, we are trying to come up with a good fundraising plan - if you have any good ideas please let us know. It seems so strange to raise money to bring your children home, but like Pastor Mark says, "It is a blessing to be a blessing." So we are incredibly thankful for the ideas, donations, prayers, and plans that you all have.

Tomorrow we get our fingerprints done... I really don't understand exactly what happens but I know that there is an FBI clearence that goes along with it... I think we will pass just fine. On Sunday, Aly our Social Worker will come for our visit. She says it takes a couple of hours to ask all the questions and look around - that should be interesting. I wonder if we get marked down for each time Lilly gets out of bed during "nap time".

Keep checking back to see what is happening next, and leave us a message - we would love to hear from you!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

One Down...3 zillion to go

WooHoo! Our Homestudy Paperwork is done! For those seasoned post-adoption parents you are all probably laughing at us because we are so excited that this is done... you know that this is just the first of a zillion more steps before the kids come home. But it feels GREAT to have it done. I will send it on Monday because our printer is malfunctioning and I need to print off the answers to all of our questions and take it to the post office. Yay!

So, Ben remains uncannily calm in all of this. For those of you who know Ben well, he is the worrier of the family. Not this time! He feels God's call and is at peace.

I on the other hand, keep seeing $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ in my head and am constantly forgetting that God is in charge of ALL the details and has this whole adventure planned down to the last penny. Thanks, Auntie Becky for the reminder! :)

Friends and family are finding out each day and we are getting some wonderfully memorable responses. Most often we hear something like, "You are going to be the Brady Bunch". I just smile and can hardly wait to be the modern Mrs. Brady. Too bad Alice doesn't come with the package :).

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, Ben! We love you so much! Danny says, "All Hail Daddy the Great"


I don't know this woman at all... but I pray for her a lot. She was the first mom-to-be of Addessa, Marta and Israel. She started Chemotherapy yesterday. She and her husband accepted these children not so long ago - and then found out she had cancer. They worked hard to raise 1/2 of the funds to bring these kids home, and then passed those funds onto us. I don't even begin to understand how God is working in this, I just know that He is. So keep Jannelle in your prayers...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Family Pictures

We had family pictures taken today. We made the appointment almost a month ago, well before we knew what was coming! :) Ben and I felt a tiny bit guilty for not waiting but we will do pictures again as soon as the kids are here!

We had great news today... John Kimsey, Ben's cousin in-law will be going to Ethiopia to pick up Alex (their soon to be adopted 15-year-old son) and will go visit Addessa, Marta and Israel for us! I cried when I heard that news. What a wonderful gift it will be to hear about the kids from someone who knows us so well! I can't wait to hear about their personalities and interests! We will send presents (we hear sunglasses are well loved) and wait anxiously for pictures to come back with John and Alex. John will hopefully be able to tell us a bit more about their clothing sizes too!

I am not sure if we told you this before, but since people have asked...

Addessa is a boy, he is around 14-15 years old. He speaks some English and does well in school. He loves his younger siblings and offered to give up the chance to be adopted when he was told that finding someone to take him (at his age) and the others would be difficult. What an amazing brother.

Marta is 10-11 years old and also speaks some English. She also does well in school. From what we understand, she is a kind and energetic sister.

Israel is the youngest and we do not know much at all except that he is around 1st grade age. We don't know yet about his schooling but will find out more once John gets back.

The kids are currently living near Soddo, Ethiopia which is considered by many to be the poorest area in the world. It is difficult to find on a map but is SW of Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia.

We have been touched by the support we have received so far. You guys are wonderful! We will try to keep posting each day - so check back for updates! :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

D and L

Last week the kids and I had a conversation that went something like this...
L: Have you and Dad decided if we are going to 'dopt the kids?
Mom: No, we are still praying
D: Why?
Mom: We are still praying about what to do. Daddy and I want to be sure that you and L and A will get all the attention you need.
D: What do you mean?
Mom: Well, when the kids get here they will be scared and nervous and need lots of time from Daddy and me. If they need more time, then Daddy and I want to make sure you will get the time you need too.
L: It's OK, Mom.
D: Yeah, Mom. We have gotten to cuddle with you since we were babies. Now it's going to be the kids turn. They can cuddle with you.

Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north, `Give them up!' and to the south, `
Do not hold them back.
Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth.
Isaiah 43: 5-6

Last Night

Ben and I sat in bed looking at YouTube about Ethiopia - it is BEAUTIFUL! One of the "movies" we saw was amazing. It showed a 10-year-old boy being told that he had been chosen by a family! They had sent him a hat... well, you just have to watch it! I cried through the whole thing! We will be sending a gift pack to the kids this week. We will include 2 picture albums... one for the kids to take with them to the Waiting House (where they will wait until we get there) and the other for Mom to keep...
Check out the video... it's amazing!

Monday, October 8, 2007

A Timeline of Events

So, how did we get here? We are not completely sure ourselves...

2 years ago

  • started praying about adopting 1 four-year-old boy

May 19, 2006

  • storm drains backed up after a rainstorm and caused $20k worth of damage to our home

September 2007

  • called about adoption timelines... nearly a 2 year wait, but that was OK - lot's of time to get financing in order :)

Sunday, September 23rd

  • started asking others to pray for us.. the flood settlement was almost complete and we were ready... sort of

Monday, September 24th

  • got an email about 3 beautiful kids who needed a home... hmmm.... it came from Ben's cousins who are also adopting a 15-year-old boy from Ethiopia. The kids are about 6, 11, and 14 - we think!
  • got a phone call from our attorney saying our lawsuit was being dropped because he was leaving the firm - we had always said we couldn't move forward before the suit was finished.
  • starting praying...

September 24-October 7

  • praying, praying and more praying...

  • some awsome friends donate their used Suburban - the car payment issue was solved!

  • Many of the funds had already been raised - we only need 10-12 thousand more. ONLY! :)

  • Read Scripture - "I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me…Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me---you did it to me.'"Mathew 25: 35-36, 40 (MSG)

  • Offers of hand-me-downs came pouring in...

October 7

  • After nearly 2 weeks of fervent prayer... we have decided
  • Started homestudy... started collecting certified copies of EVERYTHING! :)

We're Diven In, Baby!

I love that song!

Lyrics to Steven Curtis Chapman Song

The long awaited rains
Have fallen hard upon the thirsty ground
And carved their way to whereThe wild and rushing river can be found
And like the rainI have been carried here to where the river flows, yeah
My heart is racing and my knees are weak
As I walk to the edgeI know there is no turning back
Once my feet have left the ledge
And in the rush, I hear a voice
That's telling me it's time to take the leap of faith
So here I go
[chorus]I'm divin' in, I'm goin' deep
In over my head I wanna be
Caught in the rush, lost in the flow
In over my head I want to go
The river's deep, the river's wideT
he river's water is alive
So sink or swim, I'm divin' in
There is a supernatural power
In this mighty river's flow
It can bring the dead to life
And it can fill an empty soul
And give a heart the only thing
Worth living and worth dying for, yeah
But we will never know the awesome power
Of the grace of God
Until we let ourselves get swept away
Into this holy flood
So if you'll take my hand
We'll close our eyes and count to three
And take the leap of faith
Come on let's go
So sink or swim, I'm diving in
So sink or swim, I'm diving in
So sink or swim, I'm diving in