Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Okay - after much harrassing on my part our agency has told us that Estifaons case will be heard again in court on Friday (Thurs night here). Reportedly his uncle will be able to attend and everything is in order for him to pass. The journey to these kids has had more road bumps than I ever imagined but hopefully this is the point where the road smooths out before us.

Pray with us that his uncle is able to show up and that truely every piece of paper is there and that the judge looks with favor on our case, and of course that there is electricity in the building.

And pray our good news comes early Friday so I don't wear out the refresh button checking my email like a crazy woman!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wise Men and adoption

So the wise men saw a star in the east and knew it would lead them to a king - of course they probably weren't thinking a baby but never the less. The thing is that they were looking, looking and perhaps longing for something more - something that would give thier lives greater meaning, something to sacrifice for.

They journeyed far - probably farther than they ever imagined. With great sacrifice and hardship along the way - leaving the familiar comfortable life in thier home country and traveling for what may have been years. (by camel no less - by the way camels stink)

Then they were surprised at the manger - overwhelmed I am sure by the rustic simplicity of it - by the baby/small child they encountered - by the God that they encountered.

We start an adoption journey seeing that star in the distance.

The journey takes us farther than we imagine - out of our comfort zone, through valleys we never knew existed, testing and refining us every step of the way.

Then we are surprised at the manger - with a love for our children that is built by going the distance required to get them. And we find that we would sacrifice anything - gold, frankensence and myrrh to have them home - they are more precious than the physical or emotional cost of the journey.

That journey to the manger shaped the wisemen and it shapes adoptive families as well. May we all journey with grace and wisdom moving foward to the manger.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The end of my rope

Alrighty then - we finally heard from Erin today and apparently the courts closed on Friday for a week. I'm totally having a difficult time believing that on Thursday when our case was to be heard again no one mentioned that the courts would be closed for the next week - but that is what we are being told now. We don't have any idea when they are going to hear the case again or what his uncle can do about attending. Seriously can anything else go wrong?? Oh yes it can because in 2 weeks (a little less) it is ET Christmas and then the celebration of the Epiphany (Timkat) so I am sure that the courts and gov't offices will be closed more than they are open.

And right now they are saying the best we can expect for Alemtsehaye is possibly a Jan 27 embassy date but more likely is Feb 10 - ummm hello it was supposed to be Dec 2 and now we are talking more than 2 months later and Estifanos even later than that - Oy!

I am completly a mess.


No, not what you are thinking - we haven't heard anything yet this morning.

But ...... often we talk about having our hearts broken for the orphan - recently I was pondering that. Actually what happened was we were watching Evan Almighty and there is a scene where God is talking to the mom and says if someone prays for patience does God give them patience or opportunities to become patient. Hmmmm. If someone prays for the plight of the orphan and asks God for his heart for the orphan, does God magically give them that heart, that feeling or opportunities to become broken or hurt for the orphan? You see we have had one stumbling block after another on the way to our son - in fact a few weeks after signing the referral papers we weren't sure we would be able to adopt him at all, obviously things worked out - but it was a tough couple of days and it made us realize excatly how much we really wanted him for our son, how committed we were to him. And now every step of the way our hearts are broken over each and every delay and we wonder what in the world God is doing. And perhaps He wonders what in the world we are doing allowing all these children to grow up in orphanages needing and wanting parents who never answer the call to adopt. You see adoption isn't only about the parents need/desire to parent - but even more so it is about the child's need/ desire for a family. Each and every child deserves to be special to someone - a mom and a dad. And that is what being heartbroken is about - about knowing there are millions of orphans that will never find a mom and a dad because God's people are not answering the call.

Friday, December 25, 2009

No news

Many thanks to all of you for your sweet emails - but no news today. Supposedly they were trying again (since Christmas in ET isn't for a bit yet). Hopefully we will hear in the morning.

And Merry Christmas to all.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Not today.

Not surprisingly we didn't pass today either. His uncle was unable to attend.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ugh. failed again

Well I don't even know what to say. Estifanos case failed again. This time because our agency didn't ask his uncle to come to court. Apparently the uncle came the last 2 times but they didn't think he needed to come again. And apparently the judge did. They are going to try again tomorrow.

This is like a never ending nightmare of hope and disappointment - I don't even want to get my hopes up for tomorrow because honestly who knows what will be required next. It is like someone keeps moving the target in front of us.

Thank you all for praying - and if you could pray with us one more time....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One more day

One more day until Estifanos' 3rd try at court. Never in a million years did I think it would take so many tries. We have been assured that his file is complete and ready to go. Please pray with us that the courts will be open and working tomorrow and that the judge will be healthy and ready to work. Lord we are ready - may your will be done. (Hey folks - pray tonight as you are going to bed since Ethiopia is 10 hours ahead of us!!)

No word yet on Alemtsehayes court decree - it has been 2 months for something that should have taken 2 weeks.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

God knew

It is amazing really - totally amazing. This morning I am lying in bed praying (cause miracle of miracles the little on is still sleeping) and boy oh boy did God preach me a sermon.

From the beginning of time God knew - He knew when Adam and Eve left the garden, He knew Abraham and Noah and Moses and David and all the prophets. He knew the exact moment that He would enter time and be born - in a messy dirty icky manger to a teen age girl who had the courage to say yes. He knew.

From the beginning of my life God knew that this moment was arriving. When I prayed and asked for His heart for the orphan - He knew that it would break me - that it would lead me closer to Him than ever before. God's heart breaks for the orphan too - but He gets to see it all from eternity after the victory is won and I don't. It isn't that I don't know that ultimately the forces of God win, I sure do! but rather that I am sorely limited in my ability to integrate that with my life day to day. The thing is that God knew this adoption would break my heart, would send me to tears on a regualar basis (my poor husband), God knew how hard it would be for me to have 2 kids on the other side of the world who are alone and lonely who desperately need a mom and a dad. And still God chose this for me. This path has been hard to walk - but there have been many blessings along the way - friends who really get it, folks who I have not met in real life but who none the less have covenanted to pray for us daily until the kids pass court and the paperwork starts to come in, a closer dependance on God for daily living a deeper knowledge of the blessing of children in our lives.

God knew. and God knows the day that they will come home. I hope and pray that this week is the week that her paperwork begins to come in, I hope and pray that this is the week that he passes court and officially becomes a Grover. Dear Lord you have called and we have answered - let the time be now, please Lord bring them home.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

what I'm learning - stress

Oh my goodness stress - I have to say that I never really understood what it feels like to be stressed out for a long period of time. Like everyone there has always been stress off and on in my life - but not day in and day out. It is sooooo exhausting. Each night I am so very ready for bed super early (which is totally not me!) Now I understand how my poor husband feels on a regular basis. YUCKY!!
So how to manage it is the question of the day?? Excercise? a new project around the house? a good book? crafts? what drives the stress monster away??

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Waiting is always a provoking topic on adoption boards - and for folks waiting for a referral well it is a challenge to wait well because what they are waiting for is for a family to fall apart, for a child to be orphaned - for disaster. That is the thing about adoption it is joy and sadness all in one package.

In our case the waiting is different. No one was lined up to adopt our kids, in fact they were waiting for us - for 2 long years in an orphanage waiting for us because thier birth parents had already passed away and extended family couldn't care for them. They have waited and waited and honestly I don't think they should have to wait anymore.

I am not a good waiter - seriously not. Of course in certian conditions I do okay - but these are not them. Waiting for someone else to find out what the heck is going on with Alemtsehaye's court decree, waiting for someone else to actually do the job they were supposed to have done this summer with Estifanos' paperwork, waiting for messages being relayed back and forth from ET to our agency contact, waiting for our own embassy (which is a seperate rant altogether) to tell us how they are going to comply with the new laws (which apparently they are considering not complying with - exactly how is that possible??) Waiting when I am not in control is driving me to my knees - which isn't a bad place to be. BUT seriously I am DONE!

Now the waiting of Advent I do well with - I enjoy the anticipation the holiday traditions and the wait well it really isn't very long. Did you know that prior to the birth of Christ there were no prophets in Israel for 400 years - God didn't speak to his people for 400 years leading up to the birth of His Son - that is a long wait ( and not the kind I am up for - just saying.)

Please Lord let it be soon! I could really really really use some good news this week.

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the land
there are parentless children, with no toys in hand
No stockings to be hung by the chimney with care
no hopes for a family soon to be there
Their beds are not snug--but cold and quite bare
there are no goodnight kisses--no one to care
While we in our homes, laughing in delight
all settle down for a Merry Christmas Eve night
When in some one's heart--there arises a clatter
there are children in need--who's lives really DO matter!
Away to the computer please go in a flash
to see the sweet face with whom YOU could be matched!
While a child you see--their beautiful face all aglow
could this be MY child--could I already know??
When in the dreams of the orphan--what always appears
is a family to love them, to care and hold dear
As you stare at that child--your heart beats real quick
--for you know in your heart that sweet face will stick
More dreams sweet children have--to call parents by name
-come mama! come daddy! come family to claim!
To the ends of the earth--your heart seems to call
now child--I'm coming--I wish for you ALL!
So on a plane to your child--over rooftops you flew
to hold this dear soul--a wish did come true
And then in a twinkling-I saw through the door
this child of my heart-that was waiting no more
As I got my camera and was turning around-into my arms did he come with a bound!
He was dressed in many layers from his head to his footand into my heart his life was just put
there was no round face--no plump little belly
just sad little eyes, and legs shaking like jelly
In a swirl of a pen, and a stamp and a seal
my world became brighter--like I could suddenly feel!
We spoke not a word--they weren't needed at all
and I knew in this moment where I got this call
God layed his hands on my heart--and to the occasion I roseand He could do it for you--this question He'll pose.....It won't be a shout--no not even a whistle
it won't be real clear--but faint like a whisper
Can you make room in your heart--if you try with your might?
And make a difference for one--help them see the light?
I can see you exclaim as you hold your child tight--Thank you Lord for this gift--you got it EXACTLY right!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

the week

See when you are waiting in international adoption (at least for me) this is how it goes:

Sunday - you are thinking this will be the week - we will finally move foward.
Monday - still this will be the week
Tuesday - aarrgghhh it has to be the week - maybe I should email someone
Wednesday - still nothing - definately going to email someone
Thursday - email sent. no new info, really how long can this go on
Friday - tears another week over and no new info.
Saturday - next week has to be better

And then it starts all over again. OY! I'm totally burntout emotionally on this particular rollercoaster, I would dearly like to get off and begin riding the carousel.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Today is World AIDS day


Today is the day I was supposed to meet our new daughter in Addis

I really didn't think it would be so hard to face today - but my heart is hurting with the longing to hold both of the new kids in my arms, kiss thier sweet faces and begin the process of getting to know them.....

Soon please.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Failed court again

Oy this is a hard one to write - we have failed court again. All over the same piece of paper that we have been repeately reassured that they have. His case is reassigned to the 23 of Dec. Our represenative in Addis didn't advocate for an earlier date because he is concerned that they won't get it done by then anyway. Seriously???? The orphanage has known since June that we want to adopt him - and he has been there for 2 years so there has been plenty of time to complete his file and yet they haven't. Now I know that Africa works on different time and things just aren't as important but SERIOUSLY?????

This is the hard thing about adoption the waiting on someone else to do thier JOB so that your child can come home. And it is the hard thing about our agency - they have a horrible reputation for getting kids though court and I guess that is going to include our kids.

Now I'm just going to go cry.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pity party over...

soooo today we got a little report on Alemtsehaye detailing her likes - favorite food (ice cream) favorite color - pink (of course now we will have 3 little pink girls!) her clothes and shoe size all sort of little tidbits. AND a little note she said to tell her family that she loves them (aaawwwhhh).

Then promptly I began to have my own little pity party because I want to be on my way to get her - not hearing someone elses impressions of her (by the way she loves skirts - especially red ones .... hopefully I can find one!). Sigh, but we aren't on our way just yet - thus the pity party. (It doesn't help that I am totally not sleeping - ugh)

But that needs to end - being thankful is a choice and I choose to be thankful for the opportunity before me - the opportunity to pray for her and Estifanos the opportunity to long for them the opportunity to trust God for His perfect timing and His perfect provision. I choose to glorify God even when I am waiting and longing. All through Biblical history people have been waiting and longing. Waiting and longing for a Messiah or as Becca's favorite Bible story book describes it for God's secret rescue mission. Then after Jesus' death and resurection the longing for His glorious return. I am thankful this day that I can wait and trust that God has plans to prosper me to give me a future and a hope!

Just 2 more days until Estifanos' court date - please Lord let your will be done in that court room, let the judge submit to your plan for Estifanos, that he would be called a Grover from that day foward....

Saturday, November 21, 2009

National Adoption Day

yep that is today - Nov 21st. Now let me just say how thankful I am for adoption - for my own adoption into the family of God - that has led me down this journey to continue to build our family through the miracle that is adoption.

It is hard to imagine our lives without our adopted children - from Kathleen - 13 years ago! To Becca just 1 year ago to Estifanos and Alemtsehay who we are still waiting for, our lives are richer and more blessed. Our lives have been expanded and our capacity to love has overflowed by having these amazing kids in our lives.

Thank you Jesus - for first adopting us and then calling us to these kids - what a blessing you have given us all the days of our lives. Thank you for trusting us with these precious ones.

(and only 4 more days until Estifanos court date - please Lord let everything be in order that the appointed time for him to be a Grover arrives this week)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

8 days

Eight more days until Estifanos's court date - aaaarrrrgggghhhh - can't wait!! Our agency thinks that the orphanage has the paper needed - so I guess we will just have to wait and see. If he passes we are hoping for a mid Jan travel date - hopefully his post court paperwork will come in more speedily than Alemtsehaye's has (hers still isn't in).

Now the question is what to do with all my nervous energy! In the last several weeks I have redone all the bathrooms and painted the kitchen cabinets, painted the laundry room and hung bead board. Scott may have to work all weekend so I'm going to need something to keep me occupied..... hmmm wonder what it will be.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Well then - never mind

Thanks for all the great thoughts and prayers - unfortunately some paperwork our agency had been expecting from the courts has yet to show up and we are not going to make the Dec 2 embassy date. Sigh. honestly we never expected to have that date - the last few days have been a total whirlwind of decisions, and lists and panic - now we have to wait - and choose a new date. Since we still need a waiver the 16th is out so that leaves the 30th or the 13th of Jan. not sure the implications of the waiver on the 30th - kind of a wierd situation, no one knows quite what to expect. (and anticipating that we have already asked our senator to look into it for us - because I really don't think we should need one in Dec at all! but we will see what they find out) The thing is though that the thought of having her home early - was such an amazing gift we were all so excited, so thrilled at the thought of our early Christmas present - that knowing we are going to have to wait , well it makes the wait hard. The hardest part is going to be telling Emma and Luke - they are sooooo excited. Last night I overheard them talking about having her home and what they wanted to show her and play - just cute, cute , cute. so I know they are going to take this kinda hard (me too.)


Aaaahhhhh - not sure how I thought I could be ready to go in 3 weeks - really need to be ready in 2 weeks cause the kids have Thanksgiving week off so I won't get much of anything done then. It will all be fine I know - but YIKES is all I have to say right now. Thank God my mom is coming - Thanksgiving until Christmas so there will be an extra set of hands for everything and someone to hold the house together while I am gone.

It feels a bit like juggling - so many balls kids, meals, house, Chistmas, travel, meeting new daughter!!!!, embassy.

Pray for us! Especially pray that her visa waiver comes in quickly - like 5 days so we can get home early!!! (and folks that would be a big miracle)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Feeling totally unprepared - travel in 3 weeks!?!

Alrighty then - I had totally prepared myself for being offered a Dec 16 embassy date - we haven't been waiting long, unlike alot of folks, haven't had any delays with Alemtsehayes case so really weren't expecting the email we got today saying we were cleared for a Dec 2 embassy date - I almost fell out of my chair. Estifanos has court scheduled for Nov 25 and if he passes then his embassy date will be Jan 12 - no way to make it earlier due to all the translating of documents obtaining of birth certificates and passports, embassy medicals etc. BUT Alemtsehaye is ready to come home now - huge dilema. Where we are right now is that it must be the appointed hour for her to come home - It will take 2+weeks in country to get her visa and waiver and we aren't really sure at this point how to make it all work but are pressing foward with making plans and getting embassy paperwork ready to go - gulp!

After all this I feel so unprepared. The house is ready, the room is ready there are clothes bought and toys purchased - but wow it is really happening we are bringing home another daughter - we are so blessed. (and will be doubly so when Estifanos comes home)

Friday, November 6, 2009

No regrets

I am not going to regret one minute of waiting for these kids - they are worth every single prayer, every wet pillow of tears, every cry out to God - they are worth waiting for.

In a way adoption is a bit like being a week or 2 passed your due date - you have pictures and court dates and everyone wants to know when are they coming home - and you have to smile and say - I'm not sure, we are waiting for the embassy, waiting for a travel date and so on. Emma had the grace to arrive on her due date, Luke - thank God the doctor took pity on me and induced 10 days early, but AJ and Adam were both late, late, late and I didn't handle that well - in my defense I could hardly move and certainly didn't sleep well. But I was impatience and unable to wait gracefully.

This time I am going to wait gracefully - (I'm going to pray like crazy for favor for the kids remaining court date, embassy appointments and stuff like that) but I'm going to savor every moment, every triumph, every single bit of it - they are sooooo worth it. I can't wait to meet them - and say "We never counted the cost - you were worth every single moment - I would do it all again for the privilege of being your Mom"

Alemtsehaye and Estifanos - you are worth it, and you are already well loved.

Let the countdown begin

19 days until Estifanos next court date - we are praying hard over here!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

kitchen cabinets

Well I'm totally going to do it - I'm painting my kitchen cabinets this weekend - I'll take before and after shots to put up - hopefully by Monday, but painting cabinets is a big job and the rest of life doesn't stop in the mean time! We are also going to hang our Christmas lights (Mom don't laugh) I won't turn them on until after Thanksgiving - but the weather is supposed to be in the 60s and nice on Sat - and there have been years where the light hanging has been very abbreviated due to cold (and a year or 2 where they didn't get hung at all) AJ is more than happy to climb on the roof and hang the lights - and Scott is more than happy to pass that job over to him! AJ also has his last varsity football game of the season on Fri - thank goodness it is supposed to be warm so we can all go and see it. (although the little girls and I leave a halftime).

Now hopefully the younger kids will make it to school today and Scott and I can meet for lunch!

The only thing that would make this weekend better would be if Erin would email us about embassy dates - just saying I am ready to make some more plans!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tugs at my heart

So a traveling family just sent me an email to let me know that although they didn't get to meet Estifanos when they were at AHOPE (he was at school) they did take a picture of his bunk bed and taped up around it were the pictures we have sent him - aawwwww. Totally makes me cry to think these kids of ours have a family of thier own and yet they wait and wait for the legal process to get accomplished, and many of the kids in the orphanages with Estifanos and Alemtsehaye wait and wait for a family. We have another picture of Estifanos as he is opening a letter filled with picutres - the look on his face is priceless - totally my favorite picture of him so far - it just pulls at the heart you know to see how precious those letters and pictures are, and how vunerable he is. We have sent letters to Alemtsehaye too and have a few pictures of her, but not as many families travel to her orphanage so unfortunately there are less pictures.

Yesterday Becca found a magic wand and has been trying to turn her brother into a frog or a rock depending on her mood - LOL you can't convice her that it won't work. I tell you this kids cracks me up!! Now if only her magic wand could move the mountian of court dates and travel dates! That would be something.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


(as an aside we kept Becca up all day yesterday and until 7pm - poor kiddo was soooo tired - but she slept until 7am woohooo)

So our dilema. Alemtsehaye passed court on Oct 23, Estifanos did not - he is rescheduled for Nov 25 and I had been hoping for him to pass sometime last week, but it didn't happen - so it seems like Nov 25 will be the big day. Our agency recently said that no one is going to be traveling in Nov so that means 2 possible embassy dates for Alemtsehaye - Dec 2 or Dec 16. Rightfully so the earlier date will go to families that have waited a terribly long time or who have very sick kids waiting to come home, so that would most likely mean a Dec 16 date for us and will mean 2 weeks in country (since the HIV ban is still in affect until Jan) well you can see the problem. We desperately want her home - but being gone for Christmas isn't really an option, being gone for 2 weeks isn't really an option - we'd have to tag team. And mostly I worry about how Estifanos would feel if we arrived and visited with him and then left with her - now of course we'd be back in a few weeks for him - most likely early/mid Jan but how hurtful would that be? could he really understand? I have had lots of kiddos that age and I can pretty much say that no I don't think he would understand. So then I think well we should just go once he passes - Jan is that much further off, but what if he doesn't pass again??How long should she wait. . . and her health is more fragile than his.
Don't misunderstand - I know that God is in control and they will come home at the appointed hour - but boy oh boy I'd really like that hour to be Dec 2 for both of them (with only a week in country)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Time Change

Who ever invented the time change did not have small children!!! Honestly - I - think - I'm - going - to - lose - my - mind with the waking up at such an awful hour!!!!! Mostly cause Becca wakes up in 3rd gear and wants to get dressed and going right away and seriously at 530 in the morning I'm not in the mood. While Scott was traveling she slept until 8, which was marvelous. Now that he is home she is getting up at 630, except with the time change that means 530 - and the sun isn't even up.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

End of the Ban

On Friday the HIV immigration ban ended (well in 60 days) - it is a banner day. Praise God for the ways he goes before us when we don't even know what our needs will be!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Yep - nesting away over here!! In the last few weeks I have completely redone the 3 main bathrooms in our house and am really contemplating painting my kitchen cabinets! It's not like the new kids are going to care - it is more like I have to do something with all the nervous energy I have..... now if we could get travvel dates (and Estifanos through court).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Court news!!! one down one to go!!!

Well just last night we were talking about how we knew this was going to be the hard part - waiting for court, waiting for a date waiting , waiting , waiting.

Then this morning I opened my email to find a big surprise!! Apparently our court date was today and while we were sleeping Alemtsehaye officially became a Grover!!! Estifanos did not. there was a piece missing from his file and they will try again on Nov 25 - eeerrrrggghh. We are really hoping that they will get the paper and slip his case in earlier than that.

So what does that mean in terms of travel??? well we really don't know at this point. It seems like we will be able to get Alemtsehaye home soon (like before Christmas!!!) and hopefully Estifanos too - so join us in praying for favor for Estifanos to pass court soon (like next week!!) and for early travel dates!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I don't want to forget

Please let me not forget this desperate longing for Estifanos and Alemtsehaye to be home. When we are in the midst of settling in and are sleep deprived, when there are upsets over rules and new foods let me not forget how much I wish they were here right now. When there are tears and visits to the doctor let me not forget how hard I am praying for a court date. Please Lord let me not forget that as much as I love them you love them more - that as much as I think it is more than time for our court date - you are in control, that as much as I have a plan - you have THE PLAN. Please Lord - let me not forget this longing for them to be tucked up in their beds here in our house, safe and sound at last.

And let me never forget the 147 million more who are not safe and sound in anyone's house or anyone's dreams . . .

Monday, September 28, 2009

Surprise - good news

Well in Aug just before the courts were closing I asked folks to pray that our paperwork would be finished and submitted to the courts so that we could be in line for a fall courtdate when they reopened in Oct. We didn't hear anything and assumed that the paperwork simply didn't get done - so I asked our specialist to check on it last week - and lo and behold it did get taken care of just before the courts closed and our agency is hopefull we will get an - hold your hats - October court date!!!!!! Unbelieveable. Now I really have to get moving on the rest of the paperwork.

WooooHoooo Jesus! I can hardly believe things are moving foward!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Love Letters

So with this adoption we are blessed that our new agency allows traveling parents to take picture of the kids for you when you are waiting and allows parents to send letters to the kids. One parent said to think of these precious letters as love letters to your child - a way to give them a window into your life and the life that is waiting for them when they get home. So we write and send letters full of pictures and stickers for them to pass out - we try to fold alot of love into a few pages and seal it in an envelope in hopes that it bursts out when they open it and they feel the love of a family - that they begin to feel like they belong.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

gggrrrrr USCIS

When we were adopting Becca last year we had a problem with a visa cable that goes from our local USCIS office to the NVC to the Embassy. The problem - a typo that made it seem as if our approval was for a child under 1 year old, when in fact our approval was for up to 2 children as old as age 7. No one caught it until we were there and it took some string pulling to get it taken care of quickly so we could make our flight home - really not a common problem - so what is the chance it could happen again - who knows but it has. At least this time we aren't in country trying to solve the problem but some how our visa cable doesn't match the kids we are adopting. It must be a typo so our SW is working on getting it fixed - when I found out I just had to laugh. Who ever said lighting doesnt strike twice never adopted.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I have been convinced that prayer moves things (it moves God's people and mysteriously it somehow moves God) anyway - almost 2 years ago we were moved to begin our adoption journey to Becca - at the same time halfway around the world a young mother was dying - was it her prayer that moved us perhaps - I don't think it was randomness that a year later her sweet baby girl became our sweet baby girl. Before we even completed that adoption we were back in the thick of it - being moved by God, being moved by prayer, and being moved to pray.

Then recently I stumbled across a blog of a family who have adopted a boy from the same orphanage as Estifanos is in - and their son, now home 6 months or more was telling them about how he and a friend used to climb into each others bunks and pray together for thier new families to find them - yep - major tears to think of these sweet 5 and 7 year old boys staying up past lights out to pray together for God to find thier families. Then another bloggy friend who is in ET right now at our daughters orphanage wrote this week of another little girl who wrote her a letter asking her to please, please find a family for her.

You see the older kids in orphanages know that most of the time families only want very young and very healthy kids - and so they pray that they might be the lucky one who will recieve a gift bag with a tshirt and photo album that lets them know that they have been choosen. And then if it happens for them they pray for thier friends to have the same miracle of being lost and then found.

And so I am thankful for prayer that moves mountians, prayer that moves hearts and prayer that finds families for orphans, I am thankful for a God who allows our prayers to move His own heart and for a God that allows us to be the answer to someone's prayer.

I am waiting…somewhere far, far away…on the other side of the world.
I may not know who you are or what you look like.
But somehow, deep in my heart, I know you are out there.
That one day you will come and find me.
It's a long journey, and it takes a lot of time.
I wish it could be easier.
But I know that the ones who come for me will not count the cost.
They will only see the joy of finding me.
For now I abide in the fields of the fatherless.
Day by day wondering, "Why was I born here and not somewhere else?"
Asking, "Why couldn't my life have been different?"
It is so lonely…Even though I am surrounded by hundreds of other children,
I know that something is missing.
I know in my heart I need a place to call home.
My arms long to be wrapped in a father's embrace…
I long to be saved by a mother's love.
Gazing out the orphanage window,
I offer a prayer of hope,"Oh God, please help them come quickly."
Even as I lay in the darkness each night somehow I feel assured.
That no matter how lost I appear I am not alone.
Holy hands guard my steps;
sacred fingers wipe my tears…
Touching my lonely heart.
The one who made me,
The God who knew me before I was born,
Hears me every time I call.
He whispers His promises in my ear.
I listen with hope to His voice.
But what I worry about most is that no one wants to look for me.
The fields are vast, and there are so many scattered all over the earth.
I wonder how one little child, so lost, can be found.
Yet He calms my heart and assures me that He will find you.
That He will make sure you hear His voice clearly.
He has promised me that He will make a way through the fields.
That He will personally cut a path, and lead you right to my orphanage door.
My prayer is…When He speaks, please don't forget to listen.
When He calls, don't be too afraid to go.
For I am waiting…somewhere far, far away.

from All God's Children's Newsletter. No author noted.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Church Triumphant

Today my beautiful Grandmother joined the Church Triumphant and is now part of the great cloud of witnesses before the throne of God.

Grammy you are well loved and we will see you again.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

peeling the onion - all about hair

Over the last month or so Becca's hair has grown a foot (or at least 2 inches) and has quickly overwhelmed my meager efforts to figure out what to do with it. Top that off with the fact that she really truly dislikes - read hates- to have her hair messed with and it is recipe for disaster. Then top that off with the fact that Alemtsehaye's hair is really - really long and you have one overwhelmed mom at the thought of struggling with 2 girls hair - sigh. I am not alone in trying to figure it all out however and thank goodness that those who have gone before me on this journey of transracial parenting have shared their knowledge.

The thing is that I love Becca's hair down and curly, it is perfect and beautiful that way - perfect ringlet curls - unfortunately she really can't keep it nice when it is down - after all she is only 3 and really doesn't care about how her hair looks. BUT you can be sure that folks around us do notice and care about her hair. One day when her hair was loose and kinda messy my neighbor commented that it looked as if I needed a lesson on AA hair care. She offered some advice and hints and products - but truly it was time for me to step it up and figure it out. The big thing seems to be shampoo with out sulfates and conditioner with out silicone - for a number of reasons to do with oil production and so on. The other big thing is the appropriate amount of moisture each day (again silicone free) but every day, and way more than you would think. Last week I did some twists in Beccas hair - super cute but I only was brave enough to try 4 and then really didn't keep it moist enough so it got a bit fuzzy but did last a whole week, which is great as far as I am concerned. Then this week I put lots of shea butter in her hair to condition and then washed and conditioned some more and then went to do box braids (totally brave on my part!!) Discovered there was still a bit of shea butter in the hair but just rubbed it in more and managed to get 12 box braids in - victory! and so cute too. The best part is what happened at church on Sunday (put the braids in on Sat and then went to pool afterwards and they held up really well) anyway sweet AA lady at church was talking to Becca and I and asked me who I had to do her hair - I told her I did it and she looked totally shocked and said I was doing a great job. Completely made my day and boosted my confidence.

As a white woman I will never fully understand the implications of hair in the african american community - but as I peel the onion of hair and transracial parenting I will do my darndest to understand and adhere to the customs of it - my kids are worth it. (but I think cornrows will have to wait until little miss can sit still - or until big sis comes home)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

prayer needed

So our son's file is missing one letter - when that arrives thier cases will be ready to be submitted to court - pray with us that this letter arrives and they can be submitted in the next 2 days before court closes for 6 weeks.

Gift Bags

So when we accepted the referral of the kids we were allowed to send them gift bags. We included a tshirt with a picture of the family and each of thier pictures, a photo album, a letter and a few small toys. The reciept of the gift bag is the official announcement to the kids that they are being adopted. Often times because our agency allows traveling parents to take pictures for waiting families they figure it out on their own. We have recently recieved several pictures of our son - in the first one you could see him putting 2 and 2 together and the biggest grin. Up until now however no one has been to our daughters orphanage so this was a big surprise to her - and you can see it on her face - so cute. Probably the best thing is that the staff in ET took Alemtsehaye from her orphange (KM) to Estifanos's orphange (AHOPE) to meet him and open their bags together and then set us the picture - what a precious gift!

Now if only our case could be submitted to court before the closure on Friday - pray with me folks!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009


God is definately a God of details! So when we were deciding to adopt the kids I emailed a gal whose blog I read (afamilywithoutborders) as her daughter is at the same orphanage as Alemtsehaye. Amanada was able to give me her impressions of Alemtsehaye as she had just been to Ethiopia and had met her - and of course the girls are friends which is just so cool. My hope is that when they are both home they will be able to write, email , talk on the phone. Just to be able to keep that connection is precious. So then one night last week we were at an event and met another adoptive family - started talking adoption and what not and discovered that they are in the process of adopting the best friend of our soon to be son Estifanos - and they live only 45 minutes away!! They have been to Ethiopia a few times with an other adoption and have pics and video of Estifanos that they can share with us!! WOW!! How amazing that these 2 boys who live in an orphange on the other side of the world will both becoming to live in CO? How amazing that out of about 1200 Ethiopian orphans adopted to the US each year we would know these 2 other families? God is so into the details - what a Father he is. Thank you Lord for these precious kids and these amazing connections.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Summer is rapidly drawing to a close here - the kids are back to school in just 2 weeks - hard to believe. I hardly have a minute to sit down each day - 5 kids keep you hopping let me tell you! and then we have had the great room rearrange over the last month - we acquired 2 sets of bunk beds and desks and have been working on the kids rooms and realized we needed a bigger dining room table . . . and so on. So between all of that stuff and the swimming pool, and AJ getting his drivers license (Thank GOD) and a trip to SantaFe and the Sand Dunes we have been swamped,

BUT still it feels like something is missing - like 2 little someones are missing. I look up at the pool to count heads and think there should be 2 more, the kids run screaming through the sprinkler and there aren't quite enough of them. We go for ice cream cones and the bill isn't quite high enough . . someone wrote on the big Yahoo group for ET adoptions - that it doesn't matter whether you are adding your first child, your fourth, or your seventh and eighth the ache to see them, to hold them, to wipe away their tears, to laugh with them, to discover what makes them smile all of those things it is just as strong, just as desperate, just as intense. Last year when we were waiting for Becca we knew she was clueless - she was still so little, but still we worried and fretted (well I fretted, Scott worried) - but this time they are so much older, so much more aware - I'm telling you it makes the time grind by as I worry/fret as I grow anxious for any movement forward - just to know our paperwork made it to ET to be translated would be good to know - to know we were submitted to court (which I really shouldn't expect until OCT!!!) would have me dancing over the moon - never mind to pass court - sigh. Please Lord let your timing be soon - let us not miss much more of these kids lives, let us tuck them in soon, let us wipe their tears soon, let us laugh together, cry together, and grow together soon.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Share our JOY!!!! (times 2)

Make a Joyful noise to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever!!!

We are more than delighted to share the news that we have accepted referrals for 2, count them 2 new kiddos! We will be parents to 8 - GOOD GRIEF!! Never in my life did I think I'd be saying that!!!

We have a new soon to be son E. who is 8/9 and a new soon to be daughter A. who is 6/7. For those of you keeping track we also have a soon to be 8 year old daughter at home already - so in about 8 years our car insurance is going to be more than our mortgage (or food bill!!)

These 2 cuties - and you have to trust me they are SUPER cute!!! came to us via a waiting child list with our agency AAI. The great difficulty with doing everything in reverse is that you are behind on the paperwork! We have been hurrying to get everything in for our dossier and managed that with some last minute FedEx help this week (How could I send the whole thing in and miss just one piece??? Seriously those of you who know me in real life know that is crazy!)

So how did we know these were the kids? Well let me tell you!!!! Even before we picked up the amazing Miss Becca we knew we'd be going back - from the very beginning of our adoption adventure I have felt like God had 3 kiddos for us, so when we got one the first time we just knew we'd be back! Our hearts were greatly moved while in Ethiopia for the older kids who were in care at the various orphanges that we visited so we determined that this time we wanted to adopt those who most needed a family - I searched and searched waiting child lists for that moment of "these could be our kids", and I was always drawn to 8 year old boys and 6 year old girls. These two kiddos are ones that we just couldn't shake out of our minds and hearts - their smiles, their stories - well they touched our hearts deeply and we knew, just knew that they were ours. We commited in our hearts to adopt them a week and a half ago, just about on the same day (plus a year) that we commited to adopt Becca.

So what comes next? our paperwork is being authenticated and then will be sent to Ethiopia and what ever needs to happen next will over the next 10+ weeks - there is no way we will make the court closure. At this point I am praying for the miracle of having them home for Christmas (American or Ethiopian) and believe me that will take a miracle - BUT our God is a God of miracles, a God of signs and wonders, and the Father to the fatherless - which praise Jesus these two are no more. God sets the lonely in families and we are thankful that sweet little A and grinning little E. will be joining our family at the appointed hour.

So friends pray for us as we bring home these precious children - pray that the wait will be short (really short!) - pray for favor on our paperwork to be processed quickly- pray that the kids files are complete and ready to go - pray that the kids stay healthy - and most of all pray for all the orphans who are still waiting for their families to find them, and join God as He moves across the nations on behalf of the fatherless - come friends join this move of God.

(P.S. for those of you already wondering if we are taking the whole family back to ET - we don't know yet - we'd love too but God would have to open the storehouses of heaven over our bank account - or shower us with airline miles instead of water!!!)

Monday, June 8, 2009

A move of God

In the church we are always talking about the next move of God - what God is doing next in our world in our lives. Sadly I think the church is misssing it - the next move of God isn't about buildings or big meetings it is about revival of the family - the rehoming of millions of orphans around the world. Most churches ackn owledege that care for the orphan is important and but they don't see it as world changing - as a move of God. And that is too bad. It is too bad that more Christians aren't awake to how God is changing the world - how he is moving on behalf of the orphaned.

When we first began our adoption process we were quite naive - just choosing to follow where God was leading us. And our eyes were opened - I think that happens alot. If you read peoples journeys you see lots of folks who orginally adopted a baby and then their eyes were opened and they saw the potential to be part of something amazing - a differnt kind of family where the kids arrive at all ages and stages and abilities and challenges. Time and time again I meet folks who adopted a baby and then a special needs child or a pre teen, or teenager - Time and time again I meet folks who have caught God's heart for this age - who have seen God on the move and joined him.

This is not a time for the church to be fearfull, to have it's head stuck in the sand - it is the time for our eyes to be wide open.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

All over again

Well - the news we got wasn't what we had hoped for. The children we were interested in were referred to another family - which is great, but still dissapointing. So we are back to the beginning of looking at waiting children - and trying to choose. We are trusting that God will show us who he has for us - and we can't wait to see!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Aaaaarrrggghhh!!! This time last year we were waiting, waiting, waiting. (in the grand scheme of things not long - but longer than anticiapted) and now an entire year later we are waiting again - but this is harder because we think we might know who our kids are - but have been waiting a month for more information and no end is in sight and that kind of "unknown" is really, really, really difficult. We aren't waiting for kids to be relinquished or "found" but rather looking at some kids from a waiting child list - whose pictures made our hearts sing. And so I am overwhelmed with the waiting..... and still hoping everyday for the email that fills in the blanks and shows us the next step.....

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Copes come to visit!!

Our big girl and her sweet family came to visit!! We had a great time at the zoo and Royal Gorge - really wore the toddlers out!!! and tons of fun just playing and eating good food! We already miss them sooooo much!
What a full house we had!!! All six of our kids and our son in law and 2 grand kids too - we were bursting at the seams - but it was soooooo fun!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The big 16!!!

WOW 16 years ago today I became a MOM!!! and today my sweet baby boy turns 16 - I can't really believe it! (in case you are wondering - the drivers liscense comes at the end of June) AJ you are turning into an amazing man!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Becca's BIG daY!!!

Wooo hooo our sweet little baby is 3 today!!! It is so hard to believe that she has been home only 6 months - what amazing strides she has made. You would never know that english wasn't her first language!! We had a great day she loved opening presents and the cake - WOW!! Even her Nana came to visit!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Why is it?

Why is it that when you are waiting for someone to email or call you back time seems to drag on forever? Especially if it is with something that you really want to know the answer to??? AAARRGGHHH I think that I am not very good at waiting. -sigh-

Thursday, April 16, 2009

what we know - and will never forget

If you say, "Surely we did not know this," Does not He who weighs the hearts consider it ? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it ? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds? Proverbs 24:12

Today a dear friend asked why we were adopting again - the truth of the matter is once your eyes have been opened to the depth of the orphan crisis, the need of children for a home - how could we not.

I remember a little girl we met at an orphanage in Addis - she was 10 years old and her mother had died of AIDS. Her father was imprisoned - and when he was sent to a MENS prison, because there was no one to take her in she was sent to prison with him - to a MENS prison. Fortunately for her there is an amazing lady named Hana who goes to the prisons and takes kids out and cares for them until thier parents can. Anyway we met her a few months later - she was going to school and had a best friend and a personality that didn't quit. She loved practicing her English and trying to teach my mom and I Amharic. She is considered an orphan because there is no one to take care of her - no one but Jesus through Hana's hands. Hana runs an orphange that cares for over 200 kids in the middle of Addis - for more information check out and Hana relies totally on Jesus. I will never be the same and God knows it and judges me according to what I do with what I know - that's why we are adopting again - and why we are adopting an older child this time.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Power Within Us.....All

So I've been struggling the last few months. Struggling in my thoughts about our pending adoption. You know how writers get writers block for various reasons? Well I guess I have been thinking that I have prayer block. It isn't that I haven't tried to pray about the adoption, it is that I haven't really been communicating with God through prayer. Typically for me that means that I am just rambling on and not expecting to hear God's voice in return. But it occurred to me this morning that there is more to it than that.

Fear. I have been gripped by fear about this adoption. I'm not totally sure why. I think with Miss B's adoption I had fear, but it was masked by all of the emotion and newness of the whole idea of adoption. There were so many new things going on that I had no time to focus on fear and uncertainty. This time around is different. Process wise we have a better idea of what to expect. We know that things are going to take a long time. We are a little bit more accepting that there are things out of our control. I think in part that knowing these things has made it a bit easer to let fear creep in.

The thing I learned with Miss B is that God is definitely in control. It was hard for me to take that initial leap, but as the process went on we knew that God was in control and were joyous in following the path we has laid out in front of us. Bringing her home has been an incredible blessing. and her bouncing through the house has brought tremendous joy on top of the joy we already had with the kids we already had. So when it was clear that God was asking us to go back to Ethiopia and expand our family even more, we knew we had to say yes..the rewards would be way worth it.

So what am I afraid of? well let's start with numbers...we are talking about going from 6 kids to 7 or 8. I used to joke that once you had more than 2 kids it wasn't a big deal because you are out numbered anyway. Well to say that we are already outnumbered is an understatement. we are approaching the size of multiple basketball teams. I am having dreams that bus companies are calling me to see if I am interested in the latest model. Not really but some times I wonder. The thought of clothes, food (have you seen teenage boys eat?), cars, college, weddings, etc. scares the heck out of me. We have been so richly blessed and I know in my heart that God has a plan (not just a sense of humor) and He will see us through. I have been blessed enough to know that as we are more obedient he will bless us even more. It is exciting but terrifying at the same time.

So why did this realization hit home today, Easter Sunday? 2 words really ... Resurrection Power. Christ promises us that by accepting that He was sacrificed for our sins that we will receive His power just as He gave it. Look at the miracles that He performed. Look at the compassion that he held for his enemies even as they tortured, humiliated, and ultimately murdered Him. Look at the miracle of his resurrection. Even if we just possessed a micron of that love, compassion, and power we could achieve such great things for Him. The the good news is that he has given it all to us. We can change the world in unbelievable ways. We don't have to lead congregations, go on missions trips, build shelters, or even adopt a starving child. We just have to say yes to what he asks each of individually to do, and we can make that difference that I believe each one of us wants to make deep down in side. Yes it can be scary. Like our Pastor said in his message this morning, "If we knew what was going to happen before He asks us to do it, we never would sign up". However while the unknown is scary, the rewards are incredible.

Now thats power.

Have a Blessed Easter,


Saturday, April 11, 2009


Poor Emma it is her turn to be sick. She came down with a fever on Thursday and it has gotten progressively worse. We took her to the emergency care this am thinking that she may have strep - the Dr. comes in and tells us that her rapid strep test is inconclusive - ?????. He does the exam and agrees she looks like she has strep. So now we have a Rx and hopefully she will feel better in the morning. Poor kiddo she is upset to be missing the performance of the Crown at church this afternoon.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Did you know that God pursues us? Each and every one of us. Before we were even born God pursued us all the way to the cross. I don't remember a time when I didn't know Jesus, when my heart wasn't sealed to His, and over the years it has been so cool to see how God has pursued each of our kids how they have grown and really stepped out with thier faith. With Becca it has been amazing to see how God is pursuing her little heart. Her hands down favorite books are Bible stories - she sings Jesus loves me on the top of her little voice all the time. God is definately pursuing her. As we approach Easter this weekend - may we all remember that God pursued us to the cross so that we could live with Him in eternity.

Dangerous prayer

Brandon Heath has a great song - Give me your eyes. It is a powerful prayer. If you want God to change your heart sing it / pray it with all your heart and see what happens. I don't think it is possible to ask God to change you for the better - conform you to his heart and remain the same.
The chorus is:
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
Ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see
It is painful to have God's eyes for the world - God's eyes for the forgotten, the broken hearted, the orphan. BUT if we are to be His hands in this world then we need to ask for His eyes - and never be the same.


Becca has just developed a love of Winne the Poo - which is great, but she calls him Poop. So in the car the other day she was watching the movie Winnie the Poo and saying Poop, poop, poop on the top of her lungs. You just can't make stuff like this up. LOL

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


My social worker seems to be MIA and it is driving me nuts! I haven't been able to track her down for over 10 days and our homestudy social worker has been trying even longer - aaarrgghhh it is always something.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Becca's language

So while Becca still can't identify her colors all the time - but she does try! She has added some other interesting words - she was one of the kiddos to get sick this weekend so she throws up at the breakfast table looks down and says "eeewww gross" and then again later "oh thats disgusting" LOL this kid cracks me up!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Adoption update

Where are we - well our social worker was supposed to have the homestudy done before she went out of town - not sure if she did or not - I'll email them on Monday to find out. And other than that it is just a few more papers to collect and have notarized then the dossier will be done - so that is top of the list for next week!!!

The spring break that wasn't

Oh my goodness - what a trip! We had been planning to spend a long weekend in Denver hanging out doing a water park and some other fun stuff this week - but.... instead a blizzard blew in (come on folks - no snow all winter and then a blizzard now!!!!) and I got really sick - like almost went to the hospital in the middle of the night sick. So finally Friday afternoon we head to Denver, and then by Saturday morning 2 kiddos are puking and so we head home - the Spring break trip that wasn't meant to be. YUCK!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

How do you choose?

We are rapidly approaching that point - the point of choosing who our next child will be. It is so difficult. Our homestudy update should be done in less that 2 weeks and submitted to our agency for approval/changes and that is the point at which we can choose a child or siblings to be part of our family. . . Last time we turned in all our paperwork and waited for our agency to refer a child to us - Becca wasn't waiting for a family, we were waiting for her. This time we "know" that our next child is waiting for us - how do we know? you might wonder. Well we just know. God has spoken it to our hearts. In part because we now know that so many older kids are waiting for families and in part because of all we saw and experienced when we were in Ethiopia last fall. But that still leaves us having to choose from a list of kiddos that is several pages long. Which in and of itself is heartbreaking to know that so many dozens of kids are waiting for a mom and dad to find them. We can't choose them all - and honestly alot of them are older than would be a good fit for our family. I know that there are one or two that are meant for us - but how do we choose? We pray - pray with us if you will - pray for wisdom and open hearts to hear God whisper the name(s) in our hearts.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Back and Busy!!

WOW I can't believe how long we have been back from SC already!!! Time has really flown by - we have been so busy it is unbelievable. The girls and I had a tremendous time in SC - baby Evie and Drew are so cute it is amazing! and it was great just to get time in with my big girl - boy do I miss having her close by! Pictures to come - just not tonight!

In the mean time - we finalized Becca's adoption here in the states. Her legal adoption was final in Ethiopia but since we didn't meet her before the court process we needed to validate her adoption here in Colorado - our paperwork has been in for sometime, but the courts were backed up so they only just got to it. Now we can work on getting her a US passport and a COC otherwise known as a certificate of citizenship. And I can continue my battle with the Social Security office about a social security number for her. Ahhhh gotta love the US government. What should have taken 10 days has now stretched into 10 weeks with no end in sight.

We have also had our homestudy update visit (wooohooo!) and are just waiting on our social worker to write it - she said hopefully before the end of the month - which is just what I was wanting! And we are about 70% done with our new dossier (all the papers required for the adoption in ET) we should have that finished before the end of the month too, so that is moving along as well.

Goodness I have so many thoughts rolling around - good stuff I want to get out on paper - but sleep has been at a premium lately so I'll save those for another day!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Adam's 14th!!!

WooooHoooo Adam! Happy 14th Birthday! I can't believe that you are 14 and on your way to highschool in the fall. Time just flies by. You are truely and amazing guy and I am proud to be your mom. I love the way that you care for your younger sisters the way you are growing up and the choices you are making to put God first in your life - wow! Here's to an amazing year!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Tomorrow the little girls and I are leaving to visit our big girl and her lovely family - and especially baby evie who arrived in this world just before Thanksgiving. It is probably one of the hard things about having kids whose ages are soooo spread out - the little ones need you at home and sometimes the big ones need you too. It was really hard for me not to go to SC as soon as the baby was born - but at that point we had only been home a month with Becca and it would have been a diaster to leave home for any period of time - routine is soooo important to her. As it is we are only going to be gone for a few days because I don't think it would be good for her to be away from Daddy that long. Now in the morning we will see what she remembers about the trip home from ET - who can guess what she will do when we get on the airplane this time?? Actually I think she will be just fine.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Saturday morning

This is what we woke up to Saturday morning - beautiful.


maccinni - for mac and cheese

lalauyah - for hallelujah
oh and peckaloo - for peek a boo

could she be any cuter???

Friday, February 13, 2009

Too Funny

So this afternoon for the first time I left Becca in the care of her very experienced teenage brothers for a few hours so I could run some errands with out help. They did a great job - even gave her a bath (her favorite activity). Then they got her dressed - now you need to know that Becca is working on potty training - some days are better than others. Later this evening she is climbing in my lap and I realize that her pants are wet. Did she spill? no. Did her princess pull up leak? welll not really - her big bros. mistakenly put a swim diaper on her and those things don't ho)ld at all!!! LOL at least we know she can keep dry for about 5 hours (and several trips to the potty)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Where are we

So lots of folks have emailed or called to find out where we are in process for the next kiddo - We have chosen a placing agency - this time we are going with Adoption Advocates International - AAI. We loved our last agency, CHSFS, but they really do not handle many adoptions of kiddos over the age of 3 and we know this next kiddo is older than Becca so that means over 3. AAI specializes in placing older kids (they do babies too) but has kids waiting for families that are in the age range we are considering. Once our homestudy is updated - hopefully with in a month, then we will begin reviewing case files on kiddos that AAI has waiting for families. We are waiting for the homestudy to be finished so that when we find the child meant for us we can accept the referral right away. We expect that to happen sometime in the month of April. Then begins the court process and other stuff like that. It is impossible to say how long that is going to take - but we are believing that our new one will be home by Christmas!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Scotts Birthday

WoooHooo today is my honey's bday! I am so thankful to God for such an amazing man!! We celebrated by having Chinese food tonight - YUM! Happy Birthday Sweetie!!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Science Fair

Luke won 2nd place in his schools science fair this year!!! He did his project on how quickly milk sours. He tested milk over the course of a week and measured the ph of it as it soured. This project prompted mom to declare that from here foward there will be no projects that require the spoiling of food - YUCK!

Congrats Luke we are proud of you!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dec 2007/2008 and big news

I will never forget the fall of 2007. All four kids were in school fulltime and I was busy being involved in a teaching and training ministry a friend has - it was an amazing growing time for me as a person, but all fall I felt like there was something more - something more God wanted from me, something more. For sometime Scott and I had both been feeling God's call to the orphan and to Africa and we were looking for someway to take the kids and go help in a orphanage or something for a summer mission project, when all of a sudden God started saying things to us like you will have children from Africa. We went - huh??? are you kidding me. The kids are all in school and we can serve in so many more ways than before and besides we adopted once before - a teenager, don't you remember??? and then the floodgates of heaven opened over us and not a week went by that something didn't scream out at us ADOPT, AFRICA, ETHIOPIA, CARE FOR THE LEAST OF THESE, JAMES 1:27, JER29:11. Then the first Sunday of Advent arrived and our pastor preached on Mary and Joseph and on how God uses regular people who are brave enough to say YES, with out condition - Just YES to change the world. Well that was it for us we sat in a church service of 6000 people (yes it is a very large church) and felt like the whole sermon was being preached just to us. As if God orchastrated everything that morning to convice us that he could use us to do this thing - to change the world. We went home and that week asked 4 of our dearest friends to pray with us and we began our journey into the world of international adoption. At the Christmas eve service I clearly heard God say that by Christmas 2008 we would be home with our daughter - and don't you know what God says he will do he does. The word of the Lord doesnot return void. Fast foward to Dec of 2008 - the first Sunday of December we had Becca dedicated to the Lord that day in the same sanctuary, and God said I am not done with you yet. Which was okay with us because we had caught God's heart for the least of these - because we are the least of these. Each one of us is adopted into the family of God - each one of us is grafted in and we are honored to be able to walk down this road again as God and God alone brings another one home to our house - home to His house. Thank you Jesus - we can hardly wait to see the face of the child you have planned for our family.

the journey

You seriously need to go check out this blog!!! this is a young woman totally sold out for God and the orphan.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Little girls and matching dresses

I love to see the girls in matching dresses - they look sooooo cute. Fortunately they like to wear them - and happily we can find some that match at Gymboree. It won't be too long before Emma is over wanting to match her little sister, but since that hasn't happened just yet we are just enjoying the cuteness!

last weekend

sorry Nana!!! it has taken me forever to get this up!!! Last weekend the 2 middle boys had basketball games (second ones) Adam's team lost by a few points and Luke's team won in overtime (who knew there was overtime in the 10 year old league). They both really enjoy playing and it is great activity for cold winter weeks - although we have been in the upper 60's for more than a week so I really can't complain about that!!!

While the boys had games Emma made a trip to Build a Bear workshop - probably her favorite place in the whole world and made a new puppy. The struggle for me is what to do for Becca when Emma is buying something. If Becca doesn't get something new too there is trouble - mainly she tries to take Emma's. Case in point would be Emma's purchase of a babydoll that gets sick and needs a shot - I refused to buy Becca such an expensive doll - but regret that now as every chance she gets she is trying to make off with that doll. Becca really doesn't even like stuffed animals - unless they are Emma's. This time we settled for a small dog that matched Emma's large one.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Luke!!!!

Today Luke turns 11 years old - it is sooooo hard to believe that you are so grown up! It seems like yesterday that you were so tiny I could hold you in one hand and now I couldn't pick you up if my life depended on it!! This weekend Luke is having a party at Skate City and tonight he chose crab for his dinner! Wooohooo seafood is a family favorite.

Happy birthday big guy!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Poor Daddy

Poor Daddy! He had 2 more wisdom teeth out today and is concked out on the couch this afternoon recovering!


Yesterday we took Miss B. to the IAC in Denver - a long drive but well worth it! We had an 9 am appointment and by 930 we had 6 professionals in the room with us and they spent the next hour and half talking to us about B. and running various tests. It was well worth it as they are a font of information. We didn't really have any worries and they didn't either - they felt she was adjusting well and couldn't believe how much she talks!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

giardia, ringworm and mollosculum - oh my!!

When little Miss B. came home she had giardia as evidenced by alot of really nasty diapers - sometimes 10+ a day, poor thing. And a smell that could clear the whole house. LOL. We seem to have that conquered. Now we have ring worm running around the house. B. is on some meds for it and the rest of us are using a topical cream. Now we are trying to treat the mollosculum on her face - which isn't going so well. We have tried some homeopathic treatments to no avail and it is spreading like crazy cause she won't leave it alone. Now for the last week we have been trying a RX cream which costs more than gold - but no luck there. I am waiting for the dermatologist to call me back so we can try something else. Can someone tell me why it is so hard to get a dr. to call you back???

Big Day!!

Today was a really big day - but I'll say more about that next week!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

funny sayings

You know how toddlers copy everything you say? Well apparently I say "sure" alot for yes, because all of a sudden that is what Miss B. says for yes!!!

Also heard around the house "lokey lickey" for okey dokey and "no no Jose" for no way Jose.

when God asks alot

You know sometimes when you are following God he really and I mean really shakes you up and asks alot of you. If you have the courage to say yes - well there are blessings unimaginable to follow. We feel like we are still in that season. A year ago God asked alot of us - shook us up and added to our family in an unexpected way and it has changed us immeasurably. It has taken us out of our selfishness and opened our eyes until we are crying out to God again and again to use us to foward his kingdom. The blessings have been uncountable - but the smile of a little girl - well thats the biggest blessing of them all.

3 months!!

Well we are officially at the 3 month home mark!!! hard to believe that we had our 3 month post placement visit today. Everything went really well - mostly because Miss B is doing so amazingly well! She is happy and content - eats well, sleeps well and talks up a storm. I think she has about 200 words now - lots of chatter in our house let me tell you! It is wild to think that last year at this time we had just started filling out paperwork and bought a larger car!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

toddlers and language

When we picked up little Miss B. she knew one word in English - BEEP BEEP for car. And if you have ever been in Addis you know why she knew that!!! LOL the way they use the horn I bet they wear out on a regular basis. And Amharic was not the language of her birth family, so here she was in a care center where they didn't speak her language and being adopted by a family that also didn't speak her language. We were prepared for it to take a long time for her to learn to talk. The first day we met her she didn't say a single thing (although we were soon to find out that was not how she was). She is always very quiet when she meets new people - but in general talks from the moment she wakes up until the moment she falls asleep. I joke that my ears get full - but that is the way it feels. Fortunately she has quickly learned English - seriously I think she has a vocabulary of over 100 words. One thing that has helped us tremendously are Signing Time videos - - we have the first 6 of them and they have really helped unlock the mysteries of language for her! Of course it also helps to have a big sister who talks all the time too!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pierced ears

I have always, and I mean always wanted my little girls to have pierced ears. It is such a girly girl thing I thought for sure I'd get their ears pierced before their first birthday - but then I got married. My honey thinks that girls grow up way, way to fast (I agree) and didn't want our girls to do that - so I gave up on getting their ears pierced. Much to my surprise this afternoon he announced that if I wanted their ears pierced that it would be okay with him. Maybe he realized that growing up fast doesn't really have too much to do with a little bit of gold in your ears - but more to do with what your parents let you watch on TV, read in books or do. I didn't give him a second to change his mind!!! Off we were to the store - an hour later (and many tears - cause both girls are prone to dramatics) we were done! I think they look soooooo cute!

Friday, January 9, 2009

toddlers, sleep and attachment

Sleep - what all parents hope thier kiddos do for about 12 hours at night and maybe even a few years of naps!!! Of our 4 bio kids we only got 1 that was a good sleeper, which should have prepared us for some rough nights with Little Miss B. - but we are much older now and have really gotten used to our sleep!! B. has been home for almost 3 months now, came home at 2.5 years and sleep is settling into a predictable routine. Most nights we don't have any trouble getting her to sleep - primarly because she doesn't nap - which wouldn't work for everyone, but it fine for us! An interesting thing has happened recently - but let me back up and tell you about when she first came home. After the first week - when she was soooo tired and stressed out that she just conked out, getting her to sleep became a huge struggle. She could literally keep herself awake for more than an hour trying to control what was happening. She wanted to be incharge of where we sat or laid on the bed with her, whether or not she was rocked or walked or what ever. It became a huge power struggle - particularly with me and I began to dread bedtime. Then one day she missed her nap and bedtime that night went so well. She let us be in control and rock her and then put her in the bed with no struggle. Well that was it for me - no more naps. Now fast foward 2 months - and she hasn't napped in more than a month ( we did have the occasional nap here and there and then bed was a struggle again) yesterday she napped - but when it came time for bed there was no struggle. She needed to be rocked for a few more minutes than usual but she didn't try to control what was happening, she just melted into me and let sleep overtake her rather than fighting it - WOW what a gift. She is trusting us to care for her and make decisions for her - like when to go to bed. Attachement is a process - this just confirms for us that the process is happening on her side!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Why start now?

Why start blogging now - almost a year after we began this adoption journey, and nearly 3 months since little B. came home? Well you see in the beginning I was consumed with reading everything I possibly could on adoption, attachment, Ethiopia . . . well you get the picture. That plus gathering everything we needed for the dossier and what not along with the homestudy homework, classes and everyday life - well I never considered starting a blog - and honestly I am soooooo not the writer in the family. If you want truely inspired writing - you need to tune in when I can convince my honey to write - he is amazing! But now we are home, and settling in and I think this will be a good way to process everything that has happened and how it has changed us - and boy oh boy has it changed us! and there just might be another kiddo in our near future so it seems that I might have a thing or 2 to say about that as well!