"'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, February 28, 2008

The Waiting

I am SO not good at this... I think that might be a reacuring theme here! Truly, the waiting is the hardest part!
Waiting for the call...
Waiting for the money...
Waiting for new pictures...
Waiting to pass court...
Waiting to travel...
Waiting and praying that becoming A FAMILY of 8 will be seamless. Several friends who have recently adopted were sharing what it is like... The transition for most has been easier than they expected, but they have been surprised at the things that have been hard. One of the most poignant comments I heard was that... "there wasn't any exciting things to wait for anymore". Being sad that you are no longer waiting seems strange in some ways, yet in other ways I totally get it. I love that when I go to sleep each night and pray that I get to imagine such an exciting time... the trip to Africa, meeting the kids, introducing them to their brother and sisters. I love that, and in a small way - I can imagine that I will miss the anticipation too.

On the whole National Board note... Entry 4 is DONE!!! Entry 3 will be finished as soon as I stop blogging and I hope to finish Entry 2 by tomorrow night!!!! I am taking a class on Saturday which will help me finish Entry 1! So, I should for sure be able to PACK IT AND MAIL IT ON Tuesday!!!!!!!! Hooray!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Nothing To Report

That about says it all! We have nothing new and exciting to report! We are counting down the days to March 6th while busily finishing up my National Boards. I am feeling pretty good and VERY thankful for the friends who are proof-reading my papers! I will send my papers from PostNet next Tuesday - you will hear me wherever you are yelling and screaming because the papers are done! Woo Hoo!

We also have a yard sale planned for Saturday, March 15th from 8 to 2. Ben's parents have donated their garage to hold the sale and we have a trailer full of "stuff" to sell! I am not sure how yard sales do in March... but we are going to find out!!!! We have about $4000 to raise/borrow/steal (just kidding about the stealing) before we leave for Africa so we are praying that this yard sale gets us a bit closer to bringing our kiddos home! Spread the word!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

One Year Anniversaries

View this montage created at One True Media
Megan Mekdes Joanna Wilson

This is a fellow American and Ethiopian family ~ their children have been home for a year!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Prepare to have your day ruined

This post is from Tom Davis who was writing from Africa about his missions trip... check out his blog for more

We have a team in Swaziland, that nation in Africa where nearly half the adult population has the AIDS virus. I received this email from Gary Black in Swaziland today and it wrecked me:

"The team found a four week-old laying on its dead mother yesterday, they kept it - we are getting it to the abandoned baby hospital Friday."

What do we do with this? That's my son's team down there. I don't know about you, but I'm outraged by a world that produces situations like this.

And while that may seem like a world away to many, for my son, it's as immediate as it is heart-wrenching.

The only thing that appalls me more is that so many of us Americans who can do something about this are more interested in stuff that will only ultimately burn up in the big fire.

God help us. God, help us to wake up. Help us to see how much you love the widow and the orphan. God help us to break as you are broken up over this four week-old.

God, help me to lose this tortoise shell religion that sheds these kinds of tragic situations like water. Forgive me God for not praying more. Forgive me for not emptying my bank account for your little ones. God, we have lost true religion. We have sought finer sanctuaries and better parking lots.
We have tried to fill our church pews with seekers, but we have not sought your children dying on their mother's chests. We need to see a way out of this mess that we've got ourselves in. God, help us in this 21st century mindset that we've acquired. I don't even know what else to pray.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Today we practiced having more kids. We ONLY had 2 extra, but they were 4 and 6 so we thought it was probably a good indicator of life with 6 since our new kids are 7, 11, and 14... These are the things I am guessing will be true with 6 kids
  • They will ALL get to be much better soccer and basketball players. We had quite a game going on in our backyard today - Danny and Lilly were a bit passive at first, but once they noticed that we were not saying things like, "be careful, don't hurt each other" they got tough and all 4 of the big kids had a great time
  • I will do 5 X as much laundry. The kids were outside for less than 90 minutes and ALL needed a change of clothes!
  • We will ALWAYS need to drive the Suburban - the weight in the back of the van made the muffler scrape as we pulled in the driveway... and the kids were LITTLE!
  • My grocery bill will more than double and we will not get to go out to eat - EVER! :)
  • My love affair with hand-me-downs will grow into a passion! Kids wear out clothes so darn fast!
  • We will no longer ONLY need 40 minutes to get ready for church/school/game/party etc... we will need a minimum of 700 minutes to get everyone out the door WITH their shoes/hair pretties/backpacks/waterbottles/diaper bag/lunch/purse/keys etc.
  • I TRULY CANNOT wait to get home with our 3 new kiddos!

WooHoo!!! That was fun!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

2 Days In A Row!!!

March 6th is the date when A, M, and E will legally become ours! Well, we hope! :) This is what happends... on March 6th all of our paperwork, along with letters from our agency, from the Ministry of Women's Affairs, and our kids mom (if she is still able) will be presented to a judge in Ethiopia. He or she will look over everything and IF it is all in the correct order :) our adoption will be approved. IF something is missing, they cannot find our kids mom, if she has passed away and that does not become clear right away then our court date will be rescheduled for the following week. This is very common and so we will try not to worry. We will just pray that all is well the first time!!! I cannot believe this date is here already! 6 months ago we had no idea what God had planned for us in 2008! And now, here we are. Thank you all for your prayers! We are so grateful for the support we have recieved from all of you! WOOHOO! :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Great News!

All 9 of the families passed their court dates today! That is WONDERFUL news!!! I am so excited for these kiddos and their parents!

A friend emailed me today to remind me that this whole adventure is on God's time... not mine! OH, how easily I think I have it all under control. It makes me remember when I was learning to drive and I KNEW what I was doing... but my mom NEVER stopped making those "braking motions" with her feet anytime we came within 500 yards of an obstacle. I guess I am a bit like my mom that way... God is driving JUST FINE but I have to add my 2 cents in and check in everyone once in a while with... "do you see that up there... don't forget to stop there... remember, to use your brake...OK - I HAVE HAD ENOUGH! I WILL TAKE OVER NOW!"

So, I will continue to pray for my March 5th court date - but I will remember that I don't get to TAKE OVER on this one... just like I didn't let my mom take over when I was learning to drive :)

Tonight was a special night at our church. We are celebrating Lent and had the traditional Soup Supper before hand. This is the highlight of the church year for my children - THEY LOVE SOUP SUPPER!!! The last 2 weeks we have missed, and Lilly cried both times! Anyway... without our knowledge, our church collected an offering tonight to be donated to our adoption expenses - our church is awesome! They also contacted THRIVENT who agreed to match funds for the evening! What a huge blessing they are to us, for their wonderful prayer support and their financial support as well!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I wish I had known

I wish I had known when I left for work today that it would be the last time I saw Lilly with ALL her baby teeth. About 5 minutes after my kiddos came in, I got a VERY EXCITED voice to tell me that she had lost her first tooth! OH, the joy! I actually scared my 5th graders when I squeeled along with my girl! It was so exciting. As Ben and I sat at dinner tonight, hearing the tale of the apple and the tooth we both were amazed at how different she looks with that gap... my little girl is growing up! Tonight the Tooth Fairy will visit our house and leave some money - I can't believe it! :)

On another note, those of you who are reading this on Tuesday night... please be praying that the court cases that are being presented to the judges in Ethiopia go through. We cannot be assigned a date until the 9 families in front of us (some of whom have had 2 other dates but did not get approved) are finally approved! We are desperately praying for a date on March 5th. IF we get a date on March 5th, then we should get an Embassy Appt the last Tuesday in February which would give us a travel timeframe of the week BEFORE Spring Break which would be PERFECT!!!!

So, please, please, please pray that court is successful for our friends and that we find out soon about our court date!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Embracing What God has for us...

"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life- your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life- and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God has for you is the best you can do for Him." Romans 12:1-2, the Message

We got letters from the kids... they were wonderful. A called us Mom and Dad, oh, I am glad. I was worried that he wouldn't. M was so excited and E drew us cute pictures. A asked "When come you Addis Ababa?"

SOON, Sweet Boy... SOON!!!

Please be praying for court dates SOON! I am now preparing myself for travel in April... but oh, we are still praying for March - pray with us!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

In True Blogger Fashion

It is customary... or so I have read, that when you post your 100th blog entry you do the following... So here it goes.

100 things you probably didn't know about me
  1. My favorite item of clothing is pajamas

  2. I am still a little bit afraid of the dark

  3. I wanted to be a singer when I was little - didn't matter that I can't sing

  4. I have a dog named "Fleabit" that I won when I was 2 - it was a dance contest

  5. I have been married for 11 1/2 years

  6. and I fell down 3 times on my wedding day
  7. I also jumped up in the air when pastor pronounced us husband and wife
  8. I love Jesus
  9. I am not very good at reading my Bible
  10. I really want to go on Missions trip someday
  11. I am addicted to reading adoption blogs

  12. and spend way too much time doing it

  13. I have ALWAYS said that i wanted to have 6 kids - but NEVER thought it would really happen

  14. I have always wanted to adopt

  15. Many people tell me that they knew I would "do something like this" (adopt) someday...

  16. I have 2 dogs and 1 cat

  17. I love Hannah Montanna - but mostly before she got so popular

  18. I can't tell you a single Top 40 hit

  19. The last 3 movies I have seen were kids movies

  20. I was on bed rest for a combined total of 14 months with all 3 pregnancies

  21. 100 things is going to be tricky

  22. My step-mom and I have the same birthday

  23. I have a my-space account to keep in touch with my high school friends

  24. I did not graduate from High School, I got my GED instead

  25. I have lived in at least 20 different houses or apartments (not counting college)

  26. I have a Master's Degree in Administration

  27. But I don't really want to be a Principal

  28. Because I HATE it when people are upset with me

  29. My husband and I met in a bar on St. Patrick's Day

  30. We always celebrate St. Patty's day and it is my favorite "romantic holiday"

  31. I am a Math Teacher

  32. But I had to take Algebra twice in high school because I was so bad at it

  33. I was bad at math as a kid too, it used to make my dad mad :)

  34. I love teaching math because I always tell the kids that I KNOW how it feels to NOT GET IT!!!

  35. When I was in 5th Grade I wanted to change my name to Theresa

  36. I used to be a cook at a Christian Summer Camp (Mt. Gilead)

  37. where I cooked more than 500 cookies in a single day

  38. I became a Christian at that camp - and still love Jesus today

  39. I like to play Webkinz games and earn my kids Webkinz Money

  40. I also like bejewled and Diner Dash

  41. I was a real waitress through college - the cooks were VERY mean to us

  42. I loved waitressing, at least in my memories, I did...

  43. I often forget how old I am - really

  44. I love to drive fast - just not in a minivan

  45. Someday I would love to own a convertible

  46. I think Ben is the funniest person I know

  47. I have 2 sisters and 2 brothers

  48. My older sister is one of my best friends, even though we are VERY DIFFERENT

  49. She is the 2nd funniest person I know - actually she is tied with my brother Luke

  50. I HATE brussle sprouts and lima beans

  51. I wanted to open an orphanage when I was little

  52. I get VERY nervous when I leave my kids with other people (even their grandparents)

  53. I can't wait to take my kids to Mt. Rushmore

  54. I ran for ASB secretary when I was in 8th grade - I won, even though I spelled Secretary wrong on my campaign posters

  55. My favorite flowers are daisies but I really like almost all flowers

  56. Except green or blue carnations - I really don't like those

  57. I cannot wait to finish my National Boards (but you probably already knew that)

  58. I hate cleaning the house

  59. But I love gardening

  60. I was a Resident Assistant (RA) in college

  61. When I moved to Eastern Washington I thought it would be pretty like Seattle, with lots of trees

  62. I was wrong - but now I love it here

  63. One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday morning is to take the dogs and kids to the river to play and throw rocks

  64. I don't love windy days, but I like watching the kids play when it is windy

  65. I LOVE watching Danny play baseball

  66. and watching Lilly play soccer - she is DETERMINED

  67. People say that I LOVE too many things

  68. I like to camp - but it is not nearly as relaxing as it used to be

  69. Friends are really important to me and I try to make time to talk to them as much as possible

  70. Lately, I have had VERY LITTLE time for friends

  71. I am nervous about meeting our kids for the first time

  72. and staying in a hotel room with them scares me too - what if they think we are weirdos?

  73. I used to take ice skating lessons
  74. I would not pull the wings off of a butterfly for $5000
  75. Ben says I'm crazy
  76. I was a vegetarian until I got pregnant with Danny
  77. But I still HATE touching raw meat
  78. I like to color pictures with the kids

  79. My favorite thing about having kids is the jokes and laughter

  80. and the cuddles and the kisses
  81. and the dinner time conversation
  82. When we were on our honeymoon, I tried to get Ben to buy us "matcher sweatshirts"
  83. He didn't, but he did buy one for me that I still love
  84. I love stupid movies like Dumb and Dumber
  85. I still love Shirley Temple movies
  86. I decorate my house for every season - even 4th of July
  87. When I am mad or frustrated, I bounce my legs up and down
  88. I have always wished that I had better handwriting
  89. When my sister and I were little my dad would sing and play his guitar for us before we went to bed
  90. sometimes he would sing "Good Night Ladies"
  91. I still hate that song
  92. Going to Ethiopia will be the biggest adventure of my life
  93. My favorte vacation was a 5 day rafting trip on the Salmon River
  94. It was freezing cold the entire time - but we loved it
  95. I love it when Ben sings Garth Brooks songs
  96. I think I am REALLY FUNNY when I get tired
  97. and I laugh at all my own jokes
  98. I pick up worms that are on the sidewalk and throw them back in the grass so they don't die
  99. I delete 1/2 of what I write on my blog - sometimes it is too much information
  100. I absolutely LOVE my life - I am SO VERY THANKFUL for all of it!


I had the best dream last night. I dreamt that we brought our kids home (to a house that wasn't ours - but was...) and we were all so happy. M was smart and funny and sweet. We bonded right away. A was all grown up, but still very glad to have a MOM - phew, that was a relief. E was a sweet little one who still has so much growing up to do. He loved to sit on my lap, and in my dream, Addy didn't mind at all! :) I loved that dream and didn't want to wake up at all!

BUT, I DID wake up to kisses from the kids and the sweetest card from Ben! I love Valentine's Day and the kids were so excited to have cards and make cards and have a sweet and lovey kind of day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Today is the kind of day I imagine when I think about our kids seeing thir new HOME for the first time. It is gorgeous out today, almost warm. It is the kind of day where you WANT to be outside pulling weeds and watching for the crocuses (or is it croci). I had such a hard time imgaining A, M, and E pulling up to our house for the first time when it is cold, wet, gray and yucky... Today, is the day of imagining. I can't wait to introduce them to their brother and sisters. Meeting the people who will be part of their lives forever... the people they will whisper to - about how mean we (Ben and I) are, the people they will sneak cookies with, the people they will make kissing noises about when certain "friends" are near, the people they will hit and say, "she deserved it". To meet them for the first time on a sunny, spring like day. That would be good!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wonderful Husband

OK, so my husband is wonderful! He took all 3 kids to see the wrestling match at the school, then brought them home and played baseball outside. It was gorgeous today... I love these days! While they were having fun, I was busy revising entry 2 for my National Boards. Thank you oh, wonderful Ben - I love you!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tips On Traveling

I have been reading about the Travel Part of Adoption. One of the hints was to get in shape... so I got up at 5:15 and was doing aerobics by 5:33... the fun never stops!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wasting Time

These are the ways I waste my life away... the things I do when everyone is asleep and I am still awake. Laundry is sometimes piled, dishes might be dirty, bible study is waiting - and yet I choose one of these silly little distractors.

OK, I totally admit it, I am hooked. American Idol auditions and Survivor bring me great joy! That is what I do for fun! I most definately should be exercising, reading a good book, writing a paper for National Boards... something. But no, after the kids are in bed we get in our bed and watch TV. Time is wasted... but somehow that is OK.

I also love blog hopping. I start at some blog that I love to read and then click the links from that blog to a new blog to see where I end up! Today, I ended up at a blog of a family who just brought their 3 Ethiopian cuties home. I wish I could tell you where I found it, but I won't be able to find it again.

Books, I can read 1-2 a day... if I have time. But right now, I just don't have time. I did just start Do They Hear You When You Cry which is amazing and The Shack... I love them both, but I don't know when I will finish either one of them.

My last favorite time waster is to play Diner Dash... OK, seriously it is a lot of fun! I am super bad at it, and only play the free version online, but it brings me "brainless joy" which we all need now and then.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Prayer Requests

Well... now the hard part. We WAIT!!! Did you know that I am really not good at waiting? Right now our paper work is sitting in Ethiopia - I think it is waiting too. So, we humbly ask for your prayers.
Please pray for...
  • our paperwork to be submitted CORRECTLY (the first time) to court SOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • other families who have had their court dates postponed 2 or 3 times, they are so anxious to bring their kids home
  • the kids, that they don't worry that we have forgotten them.

Thanks, friends! We can't wait to tell you we have a court date!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A story

OK, I can't find original story but it goes something like this...

A man and his wife are wonderfully happy. Life is great and they both love their roles in the home. The family felt perfect, safe, and wonderful. One day, the husband and wife were cuddling in bed and the husband jumped up and ran to bring back a picture. He was so excited to show his wife what he had. He turned to her and said, "Honey, I love you so much... our life is so good. I cannot believe how happy I am. In fact I love you so much that..." At this point he hands his wife a picture of another woman. The woman is beautiful but looks nothing life the wife. She is confused and doesn't understand. At this point the husband continues, "I love you so much that I want another wife just like you. You can be best friends and life will be wonderful".

So... obviously, Ben is not taking another wife. The point of the story is how it sounds to children when we tell them we are adopting. I know Danny and Lilly understand what is happening and I pray that their adjustment is easy. I love the song 'Refiners Fire' but I don't want that for the kids... not now.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Happy Birthday, Danny Boy

I cannot believe my oldest baby is 7! I mean, I really can't believe it! He is so sweet and wonderful and he is growing up! I love that he is learning to be independent and kind and getting bigger, but I really don't want to lose the cuddle/snuggle mommy time either. Oh, how I would miss that. When he was a baby I made up this song for him... I sang it today to him and he smiled the cutest smile. Not the "I can't believe you are singing me this dorky song" smile. More like the "my mommy loves me" smile. It made me so glad.

Danny is so much the oldest of our family, I wonder what it will be like to become a middle child? Will he grieve for his "status" lost? Will he mind? He has such a heart for adoption and ministry that I believe God is preparing him for this time. But I still worry that it will be so hard. The last thing we want to do with all of this change is make life hard for the kids we have now. We heard from Ben's cousin today that E is most probably younger than 6 or 7... maybe closer to 5. I am not sure how Lilly would do with a "twin". Oh, well.

I was thinking about conversations I have had with friends and strangers over the last few years. I was remembering how many times I have said something along these lines...

Friend: So, you have 3 kids... are you done?
Me: Yes
Friends: I would be too, 3 kids is plenty
Me: Yes, but I would love 6. If I could afford it, I would have 6.

Several people have reminded me of those conversations over the last 4 months and it makes me laugh. I wonder if God laughed each time He heard those conversations... did He giggle a bit and say, "Oh, honey... if you only knew what I have in store for you! Hee Hee" Ben's Grandma's tear a day off calendar had this quote in it... "IF there is room in the HEART, there is room in the HOME". OK, enough of my random thoughts... have a great week, friends!


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Oh, man...

I was SO hoping for a grant... in fact, I think I had convinced myself we were going to get one. Shaohanna's Hope has given grants to so many people in situations just like ours, I was just pretty sure.

But today we got a rejection letter... it was thin so I was pretty sure we had been turned down. I was so disapointed!

Oh, well. God has gotten this all taken care of and we KNOW that it will all be fine! It could be worse, we have so much to be greatful for. I have been checking the mail like crazy the last couple of days... I guess I can stop now.

For those of you who have been asking about the thermometer, it was recommended that we take it down. If you would like to make a donation to the Ethiopia fund, please let us know.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Lilly's Question

Lilly has been REALLY worried about us going to Ethiopia. Nearly every day she tells me she doesn't want us to go. Here is our conversation from the other day.

Lilly: Mom, when are you going to Ethiopia... I don't want you to go.

Me: Why?

Lilly: I am worried.

Me: About what?

Lilly: I am scared you won't know what hut to look in to find the kids.

OK, that was so darn cute. We have been looking at pictures of what homes in Africa look like and she was worried because to her, they all look alike. I assured her that the kids will be easy to find - but it still makes me smile everytime I think about it! :)