"'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

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I want to take a few minutes to say thanks to all the people who have helped so far...
Diane, Anna, Lisa, Sara, Sarah, Jan, Dan, Suzanne, Kimberly, Rob, Earle, Becky, Brien, Pam, Jason, Melissa, BLS teachers, Pastor and Cindi, Norma, Sheila, Susan, Denis, Kelly, Carol, Duke, Kelly, Tia, Sue, Dan, Kathy, Kim, Sonia, Karen, Terri, Sandra, Alyssa, Matt, Tracy, Jon, Traci, Russ, Kris, Eric, Michele, Beth, Ralph, Dave, Jeff, Kristen, and many many more... I know that a lot of these people have found others to help them and I will probably never know the full extent of the support we have had. So,
thank you!
That sounds insignifigant, I often wish the English language had a more sincere word for thank you - but knowing me, I would probably use it too often :) ! So thank you again and again and again!
PS If I left your name off this list, please forgive me...and let me know because I would like to add to the list often!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


These are some of the things we know or are learning about kids from Africa...
  • They think that turkeys are the vultures that eat road kill, so they don't want to eat turkey at Thanksgiving - we are supposed to call them "big chickens"
  • They love snow the first time they see it, but the cold is not something most of them enjoy.
  • They often do not like milk and other dairy products take a while to learn to enjoy.
  • They are often very surprised to find out that their mom's drive.

When I drive down the street and think about our kids in Ethiopia I wonder about all the "firsts" we will get to rediscover in the next couple of months...

  • talking on the phone
  • eating ice cream
  • going to a grocery store
  • going to the movies
  • having more than 1 or 2 outfits
  • having pets
  • going to a restaurant
  • having a bike
  • going to school all day
  • having food in the house all the time
  • wearing a seatbelt
  • riding on an airplane
  • swimming indoors
  • having a bed to yourself
  • toys, toys, toys, toys, toys...

I know my list could go on for days, it is just amazing to think about all the adventures that are coming our way...

Monday, November 26, 2007


We got an email today about our kids, this is what it said...
Your children are really wonderful .A is such a funny one. They have a prayer time every night and they sing together. They are originally from Wolayta,Soddo. They speak both Amharic and Wolayta.They attend an English class as well with a teacher and other nannies.
The kids were so excited to know that they are funny, since D, L, and A all think they are the funniest kids around. :)

We love hearing about the kids, this is the second email we have received and have really enjoyed hearing about the kids from people who have met them. They were supposed to have gotten a package from us today but one of the local (I will always use PostNet from now on) mail places told me that the package would get to some friends in plenty of time for their departure to Ethiopia on Friday, instead, it got to their house today. So now it is being sent to SC to another wonderful family who will be traveling to Addis on December 7th...

We are having a great response to our dinner and auction - let us know if you will be able to make it... the more the merrier! :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Answered Prayer

Last week I was terrified. What if something had happened to the kids, why haven't I heard anything, what if their tests came back and they were sick, what if they weren't really real????? These kids have become mine - I KNOW that legally they are not and I know that I have to wait for the court date... but that big giant kid who looks nothing like me, in my heart he is mine and I love him already. All 3 of my kids in Ethiopia are already so precious to me - I cannot wait for them to get here. Now, I don't want any of you worrying that I have unrealistic fantasies of how it will be - I know the true love will grow, I know that there will be really bad days... I KNOW :) or at least I am preparing myself for all the bad things. So don't worry, at least not too much.

OK, the answered prayers... I read my wonderful book and I prayed. God, I need a sign, I need to know that the kids are OK and that all of this is real.

Today, my email had the kids medicals which were taken in April (they will have a new one soon) and pictures. Oh, those pictures are so precious. AND now I know how to spell their names correctly - boy has that been driving me crazy. I always say that if I was on Survivor I would be able to spell everyone's name the right way... So, the kids are Adissu, Martha and Esrael - what pretty names. In addition, I got an email from someone who has recently seen the kids and they are doing great! Oh, my heart is happy. I was crying (from relief) so hard that when I called Ben he was scared something was wrong. THANK YOU, GOD. Just when I could barely stand it... these gifts came. I am at peace.

Prayer request - Janelle (who was originally adopting the kids and lives in Spokane) is going in for another round of Chemo today and the next 8 days are pretty yucky for her - please uplift her in prayer. We got to meet her and her husband last week, they are amazing people and this has been really hard for them. Janelle also has 2 little kids who are doing well but certainly could use our prayers. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's Official

There was Christmas music on the radio - I can't believe it!

On another note, we received a wonderful book from Shaohanna's Hope (a grant organization that we have applied to). We don't know if we got a grant but the book they sent was perfect. It talked a lot about the waiting part and how hard it is to wait for our kids to get here. The best part (and it arrived at the perfect time) talked about living while you are waiting. These were my favorite parts...
  • do not let the children become your focus - God must remain our focus
  • enjoy the kids who are at home with you now, because life will change drastically soon enough
  • be patient - all of this will happen at the right time, there is nothing I can do to make it go faster
  • do not worry about the details - God has it all taken care of

Well timed... and I loved it!


In honor of Thanksgiving I have created a list of the 100 things I am thankful for... they are in no particular order. Whe I was in high school, my sister, Rebecca gave me a book called 14,000 Things to be Happy For. I still have it and I love going back and reading the parts that I highlighted. I love that I highlighted things like - "taking a walk in the rain on a romantic beach"... I surely did not have any experience with that - but it is nice.

  1. My kids - truly amazing

  2. My husband - the most wonderful man alive

  3. Cheesecake

  4. Thanksgiving

  5. Christmas music

  6. New socks

  7. Tomatoes

  8. Cookies

  9. My job

  10. My home - even though it flooded

  11. My cars - I love my new car

  12. Friends - we are so blessed

  13. Dogs

  14. Old cats

  15. Purple pens

  16. Friends who knew me when

  17. Birthday parties

  18. Clean closets - there aren't any of those at my house

  19. My parents

  20. My sisters

  21. My brothers

  22. Warm beds

  23. Bunk beds

  24. Grandparents

  25. Christmas movies

  26. Listening to the kids laugh

  27. Playing the Wii

  28. Daisies

  29. Reading a good book

  30. My Accountability Group

  31. Rain

  32. Snow

  33. Sunshine

  34. Tomatoes from the garden

  35. Lilly and Addy in ponytails

  36. Ben with a hat on

  37. Danny when he snuggles with me in bed

  38. Finding money in the washer

  39. Finding a Starbuck's gift card just when I really needed coffee

  40. Hanging out with friends

  41. Friends who don't make me feel guilty that I don't call more often

  42. Playing board games

  43. Sitting in front of the fish tank with the kids

  44. Going to the movies with Ben

  45. Gum

  46. My flannel pj's with the bees on them - they are like 8 years old

  47. Tennis shoes

  48. Lipstick that stays on all day

  49. When my parents take the kids to the movie.

  50. Listening to everyone sing in the car

  51. When the kids pray

  52. When Ben laughs

  53. Knowing that God gave us a purpose

  54. Thanksgiving

  55. Christmas lights on houses

  56. Pizza

  57. When my dad comes to visit

  58. Bubbles

  59. kittens

  60. Life is Good shirts

  61. The beach

  62. A really good margarita

  63. Cheese enchiladas

  64. Chips and salsa - hmmm... I think I see a theme

  65. Sledding

  66. Riding bikes with the kids

  67. Taking the dogs to the river

  68. Going to the fish ladder at the damn

  69. New emails

  70. Blogging

  71. Amazing Race - although I am sad that I can't watch it with the kids anymore...

  72. Going to the zoo

  73. Hanging out with family

  74. Hearing the kids speak spanish - they know about 10 words

  75. White Chocolate Peppermint mocha

  76. Max Lucado books

  77. Christian fiction

  78. Tucking the kids into bed

  79. When I fix the kids hair and it looks good

  80. Playing in the garden

  81. Date Night

  82. Friends who help me plan fundraising dinners

  83. Friends who are excited for us - and don't tell us we're crazy

  84. Emails from my sister that end in "Love and Spaget"

  85. Birthday cards

  86. Christmas letters

  87. God's love

  88. Patience

  89. Wonderful babysitters

  90. Having my kids "help" in the kitchen

  91. Shopping with Lilly

  92. Watching Danny play baseball - and love it

  93. Hearing Addy say, "I try it" 1,000 times a day - not always happy about that...

  94. My wonderful husband - have I already said that?
  95. Good health
  96. Emails about the kids
  97. New friends who travel to Ethiopia and take presents for our kids
  98. Answered prayers
  99. Watching the kids run to Ben

100. Time to sit and make a list like this (even if most of it was done at 2:00 a.m.

Monday, November 19, 2007

It's Called Christmas

At our house we start singing Christmas Carols in October... this made me smile.

African Children's Choir

We got to go see the African Children's Choir last night. It was wonderful! I cried through the first 3 songs... I feel "humbled" by the opportunity we are being given. It was so fun to sit with the kids during the performance - they loved it!
  • Addy thought she was part of the performance and danced and clapped the entire time.
  • Lilly wanted to know why the kids didn't have moms and dads and if Israel and Marta were up there singing.
  • Danny was sad that he did not bring his Ethiopian hat - but then realized it was probably a good thing because it might have confused people and they would have thought that he was supposed to be in the choir too... it was really hard not to laugh at that thought!

Our cousins came down for the concert and it was a lot of fun to spend the eveinging with them and watch all the kids have fun! They were so glad to know that they would see each other again in just a few days. I am looking forward to this week - I love Thanksgiving with Ben's family. There will be at least 50 of us and I believe the chaos is good for my soul.

Here is the verse that I love today...

I pray that out of his glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19

Friday, November 16, 2007


So, we have started to plan our dinner and auction - finally! We (I mean my wonderful friends) have begun soliciting donations for the auction... they are amazing. This is what they have - so far.
  • snowboard/skateboard equipment
  • Tastefully Simple gift basket
  • Suzanne Suyama (pampered chef) - Trifle Bowl decorated up for holidays
  • Tracy Hunter (Uppercase Living) - Giraffe Vinyl Wall Art (for tracking kids height)
  • Salmon Fishing Trip for 3 between 9/20 and 10/10/2008
  • Pie a month
  • electric guitar
  • All About Fun Bounce House gift certificate
  • Some Bagels – gift certificates for bagels
  • Kimo’s Sports Bar - $30
  • Mid Columbia Gymnastics – 1 month free
  • EntrĂ©e’s Made easy – 2 dinners
  • Essence – canvas print
  • Pasco Golf Land – 2 rounds of golf
  • Cousins - $25 gift certificate
  • Columbia Point – Golf Certificate
  • Canyon Lakes – 50% off green fees and cart
  • Garland’s Gymnastics - ½ off birthday party fees
  • Melissa Macduff – basket of homemade goodies
  • Kathy Deloye (NW Pilates) - Massage Gift Certificate
  • Tyler Borders - Faith Folds
  • Cat in the hat basket - Kimsey
  • Matt and Alyssa – yard care
  • Bob Adkinson – Bass Trip for 2
  • Quilting books
  • Signed football – drew Bledsoe
  • Pepper Jelly gift basket
  • 1 Week at RCI Resort (Check out http://www.rci.com/RCIW/ for more info)
  • DQ Grill and Chill – and Family Game Night Basket
  • Hotel – Hilton Garden 1 Night
  • Hand Crafted Jewelry – Larie Beck
  • 4 dozen cookies on demand
  • Kristin LaLonde - $100 gift certificate and products
  • Movie Certificate and Babysitting
  • Meadow Hills boarding package
  • 2 Hours of Yard Care (In July only) – Ben and The Boys
  • American Girl Doll
  • Christmas Shopping Babysitter – Ben and Brooke
  • Snowman Purse

And I know I am forgetting some... what an amazing community we live in! In addition to donations, people have been asking to help - and when I don't know what to ask them to do, they just tell me what they will do! PERFECT! I love the kind of friends who see a need and jump in, regardless of how hard the task is or how bad their friend (me) is at asking for help! THANKS FRIENDS!!!

On another note, we sent the kids stuff yesterday to our new friend Jen who will be traveling to get their kids in 1 week! WOW! I babbled to the guy at the mail place all about our kids - he wasn't so impressed but somehow that didn't stop me from talking a mile a minute! Oh, well...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The News for the Day

  • Needed help with auction and dinner
  • Got phone calls with offers of spaghetti cookers, organizers and more
  • Van cost $700 to fix
  • Got a grant for $2000 from Ibsen for adoption expenses
  • Needed help with National Board Certification
  • A friend stayed after school for an hour and a half to help work through my lesson
  • Felt tired and cranky
  • Got lots of hugs and kisses from the yahoos...

Life is GOOD! In the midst of all that is going on - life is GREAT! We are so thankful for such amazing kids, friends, family and strangers. I love that God is faithful to us ALL the time. That regardless of my doubts - HE is always there. I was thinking about how crazy I would go if Danny and Lilly were always asking if I was sure I would take care of them, feed them, support them, love them... I am thankful that God, even if I am driving Him crazy with my doubts, remains faithful, patient and PRESENT!

Monday, November 12, 2007


Loan Forgiveness that is... from what I understand student loans for public school teachers will be forgiven after 10 years of payments. These payments are based on income and family size AND begin after October 1, 2007... SO - if all of this is true, we will have OUR college paid off before Addessa graduates from college! THAT IS A HUGE BLESSING. Check out this link for more information
For Ben, college costs were a huge struggle for him as we were deciding about the kids. We struggle each month to make our large loan payments and have always hoped and planned on the fact that our kids won't have to do that too... unless they have better paying jobs than we do :). Anyway, isn't it awsome that at least our college payments are taken care of in a very affordable way! We feel enormously blessed by this!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Great Weekend

We just returned from a class Adopting The Older Ethiopian Child or something like that. On Friday night, we were terrified. Then we spent the evening with Ben's cousins kids. 2 of them are from Ethiopia... they made us smile, they are wonderful, and we can't wait to have our own Ethiopian kiddos. On Saturday, we spent the day hearing good things about adoption, and more really hard things too.
Are we ready for the hard? No...
Do we know they will happen? Absolutely!
Are we going to do it anyway? YES!!!

Another thing they talked about was the grief. The children grieve for everything they have lost... their families, their language, the food, the smells, the sounds, the freedom... They said that we too would grieve. For the family and life we have left behind. WOW... I really hadn't thought about that, but it is true, our family will never be the same and - we will never again fit in a car. :) So, we will cherish these weeks and months coming up, knowing that things will be different soon. For better or worse... here we go!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The same little boy...

The same wonderful little boy who did this...

Also did this...

He took money out of his piggy bank to put it the KIDS IN NEED FUND (fond). I love that about him! He is also the one who when talking about the things he was thankful for at church said he was thankful for his bed and his new brothers and sister.

Let me tell you about that bed he was thankful for... it was a matress on the floor. We had sold their beds over the weekend (long story) and didn't have new beds for them yet. So he was thankful for the floor. Then he took money out of his piggy bank for the kids in need. He said that it includes his new siblings. :) What a great kid!

Lilly also talked about her 'siblings' yesterday. She wanted to know "when the siblings are floating around in your tummy before they are born, do they speak English?" I told her to ask her dad...

I love being a mom.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Sending Stuff

It is such a strange thing to be sending gift bags to kids who will soon be yours. What kind of sunglasses will they like? Is Marta too old for princess hair pretties? Will Jacob want crayons or colored pencils? Will Addessa be glad for the jacks or think they are too babyish... We know the answers to all of those questions and a thousand more for D, L, and A...

Another couple who will be traveling to pick up their children in Addis will be taking presents and pictures to Addessa, Marta and Jacob. We are so excited to hear about the kids and hopefully see new pictures. I can hardly wait for their travel date...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Now Introducing

Meet George Washington and Cowgirl Lil! They were adorable! Addy REFUSED to wear her costume but was cute enough that people gave her candy anyway...