"'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, January 31, 2008


A fellow Ethiopian Adopts mom was sharing her struggles with what to tell her children when they ask why.
  • Why did my mom and dad have to die?
  • Why didn't God answer me when I asked him to save her?
  • Why?
  • Why?
  • Why?

What will we tell them? Because I seriously have no good answer. I know that God uses rotten circumstances for good, but will that bring comfort to a child whose entire life has been turned upside down? I doubt it...

So here is my plan... I will pray with my kids, we will cry together and I will listen when they tell me how perfect their other mom was... And when they ask me why... I will tell them that I don't know, and that I am sorry because I think I would have loved their mom too.

Introducing... my dad

My sister sent this to me the other day... I thought you would all like to know what my dad looks like - so here you go. OK, he is a bit older now and no longer has the long hair. But still an amazing guitar player and very handsome! He is the one on the right sitting down.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Happy Happy Happy

We received this email from Ben's cousin this morning... I cannot tell you how happy we are to know that they are coming home soon.

Ben and Brooke,
Alex and I visited your kids yesterday! Funny part of the entire episode is that I spent an hour trying to find the CWA Transition House only to eventually find it two blocks from the guesthouse I am staying at! The road is under construction so all of the building signs have been removed and put behind their fences so I never saw even though I drove and walked right past their gate. The good news is that you have 3 wonderful kids. The counselor agreed to let us meet them but until they pass court they can not be photographed. I first met A and E as the main compound is for the boys. E is along for the ride and doesn't really know the meaning of everything that's going on except that he's going to America to live with you guys. A though knows what a great opportunity it is. He reads English very well and can read your letters word for word with only a few questions. I asked them the questions you had for me and they really didn't have much to say except M wanted to know what kind of food we have in America. A said he's not sure what to be nervous about yet. They wrote small notes and pictures for you and I have their basic measurements I'll give you when I return. The most emotional reaction was from M . She walked into the office not sure why she was there and then the counselor told her that I was visiting her and that I was her cousin. Her face light up so bright I've never seen anyone so filled with joy. She then gave me a long and hard hug as if I was her long lost father come back to life. She then gave me the traditional Ethiopia kisses and told me she loved me. Wow. Her smile is great - she's going to be a lot of fun to be around. An interesting fact is that she likes to swim and has swam in the river where she used to live - unusual for most Ethiopians. The boys like soccer - no surprise there. A is very loving and caring and also has a contagious smile. E I think will hit it off with Danny and turn into a typical American kid really fast - watch out. They opened their gifts and then I taught them how to play UNO and E won the game. A thought it quite funny to keep giving me draw 2 and draw 4 cards. The counselor says hello and the kids send their love. The counselor thinks they will pass court in 1-2 months max so you may be coming in March-April timeframe. They're great kids and I look forward to spending time with you guys. Talk to you soon when I return.

John and Alex

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


That is our word for the week... it means "share" in Amharic. I know that the kids have learned the word well because as Lilly was groggily walking down the steps this morning, she yelled, "takamafala the stairs". It made me smile!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Dossier is in Ethiopia

Or at least it will be VERY soon! They sent it on January 23rd so I am guessing it will be there sometime in the next couple of days. Aye-chee-wa-wa!!!! This is all so very real! I cannot believe it is nearly here!

I have some specific prayer requests...

  • for peace for the all 6 kids as this time of HUGE transition comes near.
  • for peace for our Ethiopian kids that they are excited for this time and that any scary thoughts are put to rest.
  • for decisions about the grants we have applied for... we are still waiting to hear about them and are needing to apply for a loan if we do not get the grants.
  • for my national board papers to somehow get done... for focus and time to finish them

I have tears in my eyes as I write this because I am incredibly greatful to all of you who are walking with us on this adventure. Your prayers have kept us going and we are so thankful. This past month with 2 funerals, trips to California, work, sick kids, national board papers, and adoption plans would have been completely overwhelming but through prayer and your kind words we have not merely survived, as a family, we have thrived. As we get closer to the finish line... to bringing our kids home, I am constantly amazed by the blessings God has given us through our church family and friends. You guys rock!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

No Church for us today...

We have 2 inches of snow outside that is covering quite a sheet of ice... so even though we only live 3 blocks from church, we slept in. Lilly climbed in bed with us at 6:00 and she and I stayed asleep until 8:49. I don't know the last time I slept that late! It was lovely!!!! I can't wait to cuddle with all 6 of my kiddos, I wonder if they will like to cuddle right away or feel super uncomfortable, for a while, I REALLY don't know. My aunt sent a big box of clothes yesterday - it was full of t-shirts, sweaters, pajamas and sweats that will fit A and M mostly. What a great surprise! It has been so fun shopping and going through clothes for the kids.

Ben's cousin, John will be visiting with our kids someday soon. I am beyond excited to hear what they are like. I want to hear John's input because he knows us well and he know our three straight haired kids well and soon he will be the ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD who knows all 8 of us well. I am so anxious to see video about their trip and hear about the kids. Saturday can't come soon enough (although he will probably not be up to telling us until Sunday).

So I am off to eat pancakes made by Ben... and then spend the day cuddled in our house and reading The Shack. I will tell you more about it soon - the word fabulous comes to mind.

Friday, January 25, 2008


This came from a VERY WISE mom when talking about the struggles of bringing home a "less than completely perfect" (but totally and completely amazing) child.

God didn't blink...sometimes he knows that if he gives us too much info in the beginning we'll think we can't do it and not adopt that child....so he has to show us WE CAN DO THIS some other way...that's how it was with our child....and you know what? We can do this! so can you!!

I am constantly thinking about this... how GOD knows us so well. HE KNEW Ben and I NEVER would have said yes to the kids if we knew it was going to be this expensive (we are going to be close to $25K by the time we are done). We were SO fearful about the adoption costs that at times we were paralyzed by it... but through MANY hours of prayer we knew that bringing these kids home to be OURS is what He wanted for us. HE KNEW that we could only say YES to $10,000 - and when we have more than doubled that cost, HE is using His people to help.

God didn't blink!

It was never an acoounting mistake on HIS part and we are so thankful that we are so close to bringing our kidlets home! I can hardly believe how lucky we are to be trusted by our God to do this great thing!

Bras... Underwear and Socks... OH, MY

OK, so I don't really know what I was thinking... I had started shopping for clothes and backpacks and even bought 2 pairs of shoes hoping they will fit A and M. But now, I have to shop for underwear, bras and socks for 3 more kiddos. Problem #1 is that I have a hard enough time keeping socks sorted and put away with only the 5 of us. Problem #2 is sizes, what should I buy for the new kids? :) So not really a huge problem - but just needs to be figured out.

I spent the day in class learning about new school programs and spent my break time asking some of my mom friends (who have 9-11 year old girls) what type of underwear and bras the kids will need. 1 friends said, "Well, just wait until you get home (from Ethiopia) and then take them shopping... they will have clothes there." THAT is the problem.... the kids will leave the care center with NOTHING! Well, maybe they will have the photo albums and things we sent, but then maybe not. The clothes they leave with, often need to be returned to the care center... so really - we must take EVERYTHING! I should confess too, I am the WORLD'S WORST PACKER. Nearly everytime we go somewhere, we have to buy someone some clothing article because I packed 2 pants and no shirts or forgot someone's underwear. I must improve, so I created a list and am checking it twice (or 200) times.

For those of you who have been asking - this is the sizes that we have been told.

A is 5'7" and weighs 120. We are guessing shirts are adult small but have no idea on pants.
M is 5'1" and weighs 86 lbs. We are guessing a 14/16 shirt and 14 pants or maybe 16 slim...
E is a 7X or 8 shirt and 7 slim pants.

We hope to have foot tracings soon so we know what shoe size they wear - it will be so nice to have this all figured out.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Here we are in California again... it has been 3 weeks since we were here last. 2 cousins have passed away, both WAY TOO YOUNG.

I finished the book There Is No Me Without You today while Ben was driving. It is the story of Ethiopia and AIDS and Orphans. I cried through much of it and read parts to Ben while trying to keep the emotion from my voice. In one part she talks about her daughter who had been adopted from Ethiopia and how she would react to meeting new friends. Right away she would ask if her friend had a mom... and the friends were always so incredulous, "of course I have a mom" but in her daughters world, in our new kids world, having a mom is not a given... 6.5 million orphans, 6.5 million kids without someone to send them to wash their face, say their prayers, or eat more vegetables. 6.5 million kids without someone to sign their reading log and hear the goofy jokes they made up. Truly, this cannot be...

Danny woke up this morning and while I was running around like crazy he told me that God gave him a message in his dream last night. I stopped what I was doing (tried not to giggle) and asked him what he meant. He said that in his dream there were crabs in our shower. And the crabs were nice and that means that M will be nice.

Oh, he makes me smile.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Blogger News

My very fun loving, good cooking, tatoo loving cousin Meghan died yesterday. Oh, that is so very hard to type. She had multiple heart surgeries as a child and then got the flu last week. It was more than her body could handle and she passed away. I cannot imagine how horrific this would be for my aunt and uncle. Please keep them in your prayers. It feels surreal and as I type this I keep thinking this cannot possibly happen.

On another note, have you been wondering what happened to so many "fun" parts to the blog? A very sad thing happened to a family waiting to adopt. Somehow the Ethiopian government found out that they had pictures (I knew better than to do that) of their kids AND were without all the necessary funds for adoption (gulp) and they LOST their right to adopt from Ethiopia. It was really sad and sent all the rest of us into a frantic mode to make sure our blogs were OK... We talked about taking it down completely, but this is how our family and friends know what is going on. So, we just took down the extra stuff that we were not sure about. Sorry for those of you who have been wondering, I should have explained it before.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Walk to Beautiful

I just watched the trailer for a documentary called A Walk To Beautiful. I cannot express to you how thankful I am to be an American woman. How these women wake up each day and SURVIVE is beyond me. I thought I knew what the term SURVIVOR meant before... I had no idea. I am hoping to visit the Fistula Hospital when we go to Ethiopia... I WANT to be forever changed by our trip to pick up our kids!

I want to see the babies in the orphanage who are LUCKY to be there...

I want to see the children at AHOPE who now have a life expectancy of many many years because people are donating antiviral drugs so they can survive.

Our lives WILL be forever changed by this trip, we will never be the same!

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Tomorrow Ben's cousin John leaves for Ethiopia. Actually, he will go to Uganda first where he has begun organizing and working to build a school. He is taking lots of important things like
  • flashlights
  • a globe
  • abc posters
  • sticky notes
  • books
  • so much more

After he spends a week in Uganda, he will go to Ethiopia to pick up their son A. A is a gorgeous 15 year old who will be reunited with his biological brother and sister in the US. What an adventure that will be! While they are in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia they will go to the care center where our kids are.... they will meet them, spend time with them, answer their questions, and measure their feet. Most importantly (not really) John will clarify for the kids that we do not live in Washington DC. I hope they are not disapointed. Some children who just came home from Ethiopia kept telling their mom that our kids were going to DC... we want to clarify quickly that we live in plain-old WA state...

I just read that kids who have families enjoy a certain "celebrity" status in the orphanages and care centers. All the other kids know who they are AND where they will live. I suppose they walk just a bit taller and smile A LOT more when they know that the care center is only temporary. When things fall through... the disapointment must be so incredibly visible. I don't even really want to think about it.

Today, I did some shopping. All the sudden I realized that I am going to need to pack for myself, Ben (I always help him pack) and 3 kids I have never met! EEEKKKK! I need pj's, underwear, socks, toothbrushes, shampoo, toothpaste, toys, shoes, airplane snacks, orphanange donations.... So today I bought 2 t-shirts for A (Erika picked out the "coolest" ones) and a pair of sleeping pants. I bought E a pair of nylon sweat pants because I have NO idea what size he is... Our plan for now is to take a large collection of sizes and then leave whatever doesn't fit. I also bought 2 pairs of Adidas last week, one for M and one for A, I spent a total of $25 for both pairs and figure if they are the wrong size, someone eventually will fit them. It is a bit overwhelming to shop like this, I have this giant pile starting and it is only going to grow...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

11 Million Backpacks, 11 Million Soccer Games

Here is an article from Good Housekeeping be prepared with kleenex... I wasn't. The following is one quote from the story - but don't JUST read this part - read it all... it will rock your world!

Seven years from now, UNAIDS expects 20 million African orphans. In a dozen countries, a quarter of the children will be orphans. The numbers sound ridiculous. The figures are inconceivable. 11 million, 20 million – they sound like answers to how many stars are in the sky, or how many light-years since the Big Bang? You can make calculations with a number like 11,000,000, but it’s impossible – unless you’re Stephen Hawking – to feel anything about it. You can find mathematical sub-sets of 20,000,000; you can perform square root maneuvers; you can graph it, but hats off to anyone who can begin to imagine what this looks like, what this means.Who is going to raise 11 million children? My husband and I now have seven children and there are days we think we’re going to be driven insane. Who’s going to sign 11 million permission slips for school field trips? Who’s going to pack 11 million lunches? Who’s going to cheer at 11 million soccer games? Who will buy 11 million pairs of sneakers that light up when you jump? 11 million bedtime stories? Backpacks? Toothbrushes? Who will offer grief counseling to 11 million children? Who will help them leave lives of servanthood or prostitution? Well, as it turns out, no one. Or very few. There aren’t enough adults to go around. A generation of parents, teachers, principals, physicians, professors, spiritual leaders, musicians, nurses, farmers, and merchants is being devoured. Very little aid from the West, including President Bush’s much-ballyhooed $15 billion dollar AIDS Relief Initiative, has reached Africa.

Thank you notes

How is it that a month and a half has gone by and I am just now thinking about sending Thank you notes for the auction and dinner? I have got some serious work to do. I would like to say that Ben and I have work to do, but his handwriting is kind of messy... Actually, I have been thinking about it A LOT!!! But somehow, something gets in the way. The other day I wrote a few, on Dr. Seuss notecards that Lilly picked out, but the cards are so goofy I am afraid someone will think we're crazy!

Note to self - do not let Lilly pick out the note cards for something like this!

In addition, I have been working like crazy to get my National Board papers finished. This has been such an enormous job and I cannot wait to have it finished! I have 2 more portfolio entries to do and then quite a bit of "touch up" on the other two. My goal is to have everything in the box, ready to send by Feb. 15th... I can't imagine we will be in Ethiopia by then, but just in case, I want it done!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


The Ethiopian Embassy AND the Department of State seem to think this adoption is a good idea and they have approved our dossier!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We now wait for everything to get to Ethiopia to be translated - we are hoping that it gets there by next Friday! Can you believe it?

Practicing Amharic

Our kids speak 2 languages fluently... Amharic and Wollaytan. Wollaytan is a tribal language and we have pretty much NO HOPE of learning it. Amharic is the national language of Ethiopia so these are the words we are trying to learn... but I keep wanting to say them in Spanish instead.

sit down - gOcha-by (long o)

come - na (rhymes with cha cha)

peek-a-boo - I U (long I, long U, masculine); I-ush (feminine)

sleep - tenya

water - oo-ha (the h is really soft so that often it sounds like oo-a, the a sounding like what the dr. tells you to say when he wants to see your tonsils)

dog - woosha (might be important in that many kids are afraid of dogs)

Don't touch - u-tin-kE (feminine; the beginning sounds like the u in bus; long e at the end for a girl), u-tin-ku (masculine, the end sound is like the u in bus)

Stop (a command to stop what you are doing) - tA (girl), tO (boy, prounced like one of the things on the end of your foot)

Don't Cry - u-talk-us (u as in bus at the beginning)

wait - koy (rhymes with toy)

Please - aba-kesh (aba, like the musical group ABBA)

Thank You - ama-su-gan-aloo (it's a huge mouthful, but practice it a bit and you'll get it!)ishi - ok

enough - beka

Monday, January 14, 2008

Parade Magazine Article

Melissa Fay Green is considered to be one of the leading authorities on adoption parenting. She wrote this wonderful article for Parade magazine...

Finding My Daughter's Roots
By Melissa Fay Greene P
ublished: January 13, 2008

With thousands of foreign adoptions taking place in the U.S. each year, many parents want to give their children a connection to their pasts. Writer Melissa Fay Greene recently took her daughter Helen, 10, to visit her native Ethiopia.

It's been five years since my daughter left an orphanage in Addis Ababa and joined our family in Atlanta. Today Helen is a top soccer player, a flutist and the student president of her school. She has gained much, but much is in danger of being lost: her fluency in Amharic, her Ethiopian manners, her sense of her own history and culture. As we pack for our 10-day trip to Ethiopia, I realize that I have no idea what my daughter is expecting to find there. “I want to do lots of shopping!” Helen says. “Addis Ababa is not exactly a shopping mecca,” I warn. “There’s no Target.” I want to ask if she remembers the orphanage or the beggars who line the streets. “I’m packing my iPod!” Helen calls. Arriving at the airport in Ethiopia’s capital a few days later, we descend by creaky rental van into the city, where cars compete for right-of-way with herds of livestock. Unemployed, sick and handicapped people limp or lie on the sidewalks and median strips. Homeless children dash alongside the heavy traffic. “This scares me,” Helen murmurs. “I don’t feel like I came from here.” Suddenly, a tall boy leans close to the window and moans in English, “Stomach zero.” “Give! Mommy, give!” Helen cries. She ransacks her backpack and finds a bag of bite-size Milky Ways. At the next stoplight, she serves a gold-wrapped candy to another barefoot boy who approaches. He examines it, smiles and requests another “for brother.” The van begins to accelerate. “He needs a candy for his brother!” Helen yells. “Please stop! Let me out!” But there is no stopping. My daughter falls against me, weeping. UNICEF estimates that 4.6 million Ethiopian children have lost one or both parents, many to HIV/AIDS. Tens of thousands of street children forage in the capital; hundreds more live underground in sewers and tunnels. Some find shelter at orphanages like the one we visit on Helen’s first day back in Ethiopia. When we arrive, the orphan girls surround Helen. They want to examine her watch and purse, peer through her camera and try her headphones. Then they all sit down for a chat despite Helen’s protests that she can’t really understand what the girls are saying. She does discern that they all need shoes: pink Crocs just like hers. With my permission, she leads an expedition beyond the orphanage gates to a kiosk, where she purchases 30 pairs of fake Crocs for 11 birr (about $1.50) each. Over the course of our visit, Helen falls in love. Each morning, 3-year-old Binyam runs to her, squats and makes a fierce smile. She lifts and carries him for hours. “We have to adopt him,” Helen whispers one day as he naps. “He needs me.” “I know, sweetheart,” I say, “but we can’t. Maybe when you’re a grown-up, you’ll come back to Ethiopia to adopt.” She shakes her head. Tears start to roll. “Binyam will be too old then.” In happier moments, Helen soaks up Ethiopia. She understands more Amharic every day. She claps at dance performances and races up the field in soccer games at the orphanage. She sits at attention beside the van window, holding birr in one hand, candy in the other. If beggars don’t approach the car when we stop, Helen taps on the glass to catch their attention. Before our trip, Helen’s dreams of adult life included Olympic competition, a modeling career and the practice of medicine. Now she says, “I’m coming back when I’m older to build a beautiful shelter for the beggars, with teachers and doctors and pretty bedrooms.” Helen did enjoy shopping in Addis Ababa, but not for herself. When she looks to the future, it’s with thoughts of how she will make life better for others. And when she sobs inconsolably on our last day, it is for the orphanage girls and for Binyam—sweet children with histories like her own, but with futures that look far less promising.

Friday, January 11, 2008

This is a picture of our dossier envelopes and checks getting ready to be sent to DC.

The "OFFICIAL, NOTARIZED, AUTHENTICATED, ONE-OF-A-KIND" set of papers have been dropped off at PostNet, in the capable hands of Matt. They will be delivered Monday to Washington DC where a courier will pick them up and take them to the Ethiopian Embassy and the US State Dept. where they will be authenticated again. From there Carol The Courier will overnight them to our agency in NC.

Please be praying that everything is in the correct order (I checked it a million times) and that it does not get lost (Matt says that never happens).

It was so strange handing that over to Matt to send for us - it is so strange that now NOTHING is up to us. Before, WE had to get something signed, or order a certified copy of something else. Now, THEY must do the rest...

So now we wait. The ESTIMATED timeline below lets you know what is next.
Monday, 1/14 Papers authenticated
Tuesday, 1/15 Papers sent to NC where they will be checked for completion (again) and sent to Ethiopia for translation.

2-3 weeks later they will be sent to the court so that the Ministry of Womens Affairs can review our file and set a court date.

2 weeks later we anticipate a court date. This is when their mother or some other relative must make the 8 hour drive to Addis to relinquish the parents rights and allow the kids to be adopted. Can you imagine that drive home????????? After a successful court date, the kids will be issued new birth certificates with our last names.

4-6 weeks later we will travel to get the children. We will probably get 2-3 weeks notice before we need to be in Africa.

We will stay in Ethiopia for 5-7 days, during that time we will meet with Embassy officials to finalize our adoption. After that, the kids will be issued passports and visas so that we can bring them to their new home.

We can hardly believe that 4 months ago, we were just going along, minding our own business - and now here we are, getting ready to bring 3 children into our world. Life is crazy... and I like it!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Just A Little

HERE IS SOMETHING TO PONDER....I read this on the very entertaining and thought-provoking blog site of a friend of a friend. It is definitely helpful when we - as parents - are struggling with that age old dilemma of having society chip away at our best intentions of raising healthy, moral children.

The story is from a Drive Time Devotion cd.

The mother on the cd was saying her children were bugging her to see the "biggest movie of the year," the one EVERY OTHER child had permission to see. EVERYONE was seeing it, they would be so OUT OF IT if they did not see it. They told the mother that the overwhelming message of the movie was good, although there were some not so good parts, but they would just overlook those things.

After checking out the ratings and reviews, the parents decided this was not something they wanted their children viewing. Instead of telling them this, the mother decided to TEACH the following lesson.

This is what she did....That night at dinner, she said they would have the most wonderful dessert, a dessert that EVERYONE would LOVE! The kids ate eagerly and upon finishing, their mother brought out this magnificent cake. It had pretty frosting and decorations and she told the children how she used only the best and most expensive ingredients. European chocolate, real cream frosting, organic eggs and flour. It had taken lots and lots of money and time to make this cake, so it had to be good. She told all the neighbors about it and they were jealous that they could not have a bite.By the time the mom passed out the forks, the children were salivating....

Just as they were about to take a bite, she asked them to wait a moment..."Oh, one more thing I need to tell you," she said. "I put just a little doggie poop in the cake, but I am sure you won't notice since everything else I used is so delicious and good!" She continued, " I didn't mix it in too much so there should just be a chunk here and there. Surely, it cannot distract from the deliciousness of the entire cake!" As the forks dropped with resounding clinks, her children realized the lesson without having to even talk about the ramifications of seeing that popular movie."

Next time you think it's okay to compromise..."JUST A LITTLE"...either for your kids OR YOURSELF!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

M Loves Socks

We just got new pictures from Heidi and Kirk and they were telling us how much the kids liked their packages... especially M! We sent her a cute pair of socks and the nannies started laughing because they know how much she loves them. I know it is a silly thing, but I am giddy over the fact that I know something new about my daughter. I am already planning on going sock shopping in the very near future! :)

I wish I could post all of the pictures, we have loved looking at them. The Ethiopian government asks that we not post the pictures until they are oficially ours... so we will wait. For now, just know that the kids are adorable and we can't wait to get them home!
Wherever you are, be all there.

Live to the hilt of every situation you believe to be the will of God.

~Jim Elliot

I'm only one. But still, I am one.

I cannot do everything, but still, I can do something.

And because I cannot do everything,

I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. ~Edward Hale

I know God won't give me anything I can't handle.

I just wish He didn't trust me so much.

~Mother Theresa

I took the road less traveled by,

and that has made all the difference.

~Robert Frost

Stop telling God how big your storm is.

Instead, tell your storm how big your God is.


How can there be too many children?

That's like saying there are too many flowers.

~Mother Theresa

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Kirk and Heidi just returned with their 3 new kiddos. Their 3 biological kids and 3 adopted kids are all very close in age to our kids too! So watching this video of their Homecoming was very touching! I cried through most of it! I can't believe that we will get to post a video like that within the next 2 or 3 months! WOW! We also got the most beautiful pictures of the kids! It is the strangest feeling to have never met your kids. That when some of the other adopting families think about Adissu, Marta, and Esrael they remember the way they played with the other kids, their laughter, or the way they gave them kisses and hugs. WE remember the way they smile shyly in pictures and Marta's cute hairdo in the latest set of photographs. It is so strange for others to know them... while we just wait.

Monday, January 7, 2008


We heard from our case worker today that our dossier is looking good. We somehow missed the fact that we needed 3, not 2, letters of recommendation so Rob and Kimberly graciously agreed to write a letter TONIGHT for us. What good friends we have who are willing, at the drop of the hat, to do this stuff for us! Thanks Jason and Lisa - they wrote us a grant letter a couple of weeks ago at the last minute... We also need a few more family pictures so we are going to go through Grandpa's digital camera card searching for a few pictures. He has more than 400 pictures on his card, so it may take a while... Then we will get everything notarized and faxed to be send back to NC. I am so anxious to hear that it looks great and is on its way!

I just want them here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 5, 2008


We are in California today for a funeral. My uncle and his wife had their first baby, Davis Lee and he died just 8 hours after he was born. He was adorable and this has been such a sad time for everyone.

California has been slammed with the most ferocious storms and we have missed them all. We left home at 9 on Friday and completely missed horrible storms in Washington. Then flew into Sacramento just an hour after they reopened the airport. We randomly switched hotels which was amazing since we got a room at one of the only hotels in town that have power. The best news of all though... we got a MUSTANG for our rental car. Ben is REALLY enjoying driving this around. This trip has been one huge blessing after another... we couldn't believe that our airline tickets and car rental came to $274.50 TOTAL! We have decided that we are going to forever buy tickets just 10 hours before we leave. :)

This has been a wonderful time to reconnect with family and I am thankful for the opportunity - just wish the circumstances were much different. Keep my uncle and aunt in your prayers... this has been a most horrible time for them.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I am not good at waiting.

When I was pregnant with Danny and on bed rest - I wasted my time. I watched reruns of Law and Order and played solitair on the computer.

When I was pregnant with Lilly and on bed rest - I wasted my time. I watched rerusn of Seventh Heaven and played free-cell on the computer.

When I was pregnant with Addy and on bed rest - I wasted my time...

Do you see a pattern? I am horrible at waiting, so instead of spending time in God's word and in prayer, I play computer games and watch TV. I want things to happen quickly so I waste my time, I wish away my days.

I am trying to be better this time. As we wait for our 3 newest kiddos, I am praying. For patience, peace, and more patience. I am spending time with the 3 kiddos who are here... we are spending time reading, playing with Addy's "peopos" and competing on the Wii that Danny won. But I still wish away my days. I feel guilty that my kids here have so much while my kids in Ethiopia are thankful for so very little. So I wish for the time when my kiddos will be ours. When we can fly off to Ethiopia to pick them up and bring them home. A time when our family will be complete. A time when I will not be waiting and wishing time away.

So I searched the word peace in the Bible today and these are what I came up with... these I will cling to.

Romans 5:1
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 14:29-31
A patient man has great understanding,
but a quick-tempered man displays folly.
A heart at peace gives life to the body,
but envy rots the bones.
He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker,
but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.
2 Peter 1:2-3
To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
Psalm 37:7
Be still in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for him to act.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Our dossier is in North Carolina waiting to be checked out by our Case Worker! We are so excited for this step! Please pray for quick work and that we hear about our grant applications soon.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Lilly Bean

My sweet Lilly turned 5 yesterday. She moved into being a "big kid" with all the enthusiasm that her body could handle! She is such an amazing little girl! She loves people and has a wonderful compassionate heart! I can't wait to see what God has planned for her!

Lilly also got to move to the "GIRL'S ROOM". It is a bit crowded, but I think they will love it. It has been so much fun to hear Lilly and Addy talking at night as they fall asleep. Addy keeps pointing to the top bunk saying, "Dat for Marta, Marta sleep dere". It is very cute.

Danny is all alone in the BOY'S ROOM and feeling a bit lonely. He is excited to show his brothers all the cool things he has to share with them. These beautiful bunkbeds were made by Grandpa the Great! He has worked for almost a month to make them just right! THEY ARE PERFECT!