Thursday, July 28, 2011


So… after meeting them …loving them and already considering the boys ours… we have officially accepted their referrals!!!

We are SO excited! Seriously it’s so much fun to be able to say that we have a referral for real. Although there was never really a chance that they would be someone else’s once we committed to the agency that we wanted them.

It’s one of the things I really like about our agency. They aren’t lenient by any stretch, but if a family commits verbally and begins paperwork for a child specifically they do not encourage other families to pursue them. We had originally asked about one boy, but he had a family already working hard to get their paperwork together for him specifically. I can totally respect that and appreciate it. And can see how God orchestrated the plan so that we would be able to accept one of the other boys. He’s so cool!

So now we wait. Our Dossier should be in Addis now.

My prayer is that the translators are QUICK! And that we are able to get the paperwork to court before it closes. I do not anticipate getting a court date before they open again in September, but sure would LOVE it if they did…lol I guess it’s a possibility that they will still assign dates while they are closed …for when they open again, but I am not holding my breath.
We got a wonderful surprise in the mail the other day. B sent us all individual letters. What a sweet sweet gift! He’s so stinkin cute! We are putting together a small package to send with a family that is travelling in August. Sure wish it were us!

Cool side note, one of the women that came on the mission trip with us was able to meet her 2 sweet boys while there. She was expecting a fall court date, but left YESTERDAY to go to court for one of the boys. The other has a more complicated case, but God is taking care of that too.
Our boys at home keep asking about our boys in Ethiopia, when they are coming home…what they might be like. Last night we were headed out for some ice cream with the littles and my oldest, Z. Z was being silly and N says “Z is the weirdest brother ever…… but I guess I might not be able to say that for long. B or A might be more weird.” SO cute!!

Oh I am missing them something fierce… and so many others in Ethiopia. In a separate post I will be sharing a bit about what our church’s ministry is doing and what is coming next…can you say…another trip?! ;)

More soon……

Friday, July 22, 2011

So unbelieveable!!!

Can you go check out this blog?

There is a sweet little girl named Teri Lynn... seriously, how precious is that name?!

My friend Adeye has worked to raise money for her adoption, and the Lord has provided in a HUGE HUGE way... what's missing is her family.

You cannot look at her pictures and NOT want to go scoop her up. I cannot fathom the sadness that must permeate the place where she is now.

Please pray for Teri Lynn... and more importantly pray that her family finds her. I know they are out there somewhere....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Lesson in Giving

This week is vacation bible school at our church. Pandamania!!!

The ministry focus is shoes for the children of Korah that go to the church we partner with.

We got some money out to give the boys to take in to help buy shoes. Then asked them to go to their piggy banks and get some of their own money. So they did. Got them out, dumped them and headed for the coins.

I sat down and explained the situation again. Telling them that each pair of shoes was 8.00. Daddy and I had given them each 10.00 so since they each had at least 6.00, together that would make 16.00 and therefore buy 2 pairs of shoes each!

N looked at me and the .60 in his hand and said “I don’t want to give 6.00, I want to give .60.”

Insert whooshing sound of wind blowing out of my sails.

I instantly felt like a failure. I tried the whole kids without shoes thing…trying not to make him feel badly about his country or take ownership for it…but to get him to see outside of himself. He didn’t want to budge.

E then poured his bank out and since his birthday was recently he had more money. N was over in a shot with his money and encouraging E to give ALL his money. Stinker…lol

I explained the whole extra 6.00 thing and asked him what he wanted to do. He handed it right to me.

So, the boys both gave 6.00 to the shoe fund to buy 4 pairs of shoes.

On the way to work I began to think of the morning and the total sermon demonstration that it was!

Geez how often are we the same way? How often do we do the exact same thing? I mean we were only giving 10.00 per kid today. Not even close to the sacrifice that it was for my boys to give up 6.00 of their own money.


I called D and told him about the morning… then said I think we need to work more on the giving aspect of life. I think we missed a step somewhere? Although my kids have come from a place of need, we so need to show them that there is always enough, and we must still share from that need. But man is it a lesson we have to learn ourselves!!!

So… N gave me a lesson in giving this morning. Thanks babe!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What to Do?

Tuesday, D and T (my mission leader buddies) and I met with our associate pastor to speak about our mission trip.

It's always fun to talk with them, and to share because then we get on these great tangent's about what we can do, and where this ministry can go and how big it can get. But they are guys...and they have a different so I need another chick to help me reign all that testosterone in... but I digress.

So we were sharing our trip, mostly about the guys in Korah that we love so much, since that's where we plan to focus our ministry. While we were talking T shared about his realization that the men who run the church, are the least of these...helping the least of these.

These 9 men share responsibility. They each have their own ministry focus. The do what they call "Distribution of Duties" and each has his own place to minister. There's a children's minister who knows all the kids and knows where they live and which need the shoes the most and who can wait a minute. (None of them can really wait)

There's a women's minister, men's minister, an HIV+ minister...each had a binder with the people they minister to and knows the needs of each.

It's amazing.

You know what's more amazing?! Until the last month or so they had no outside monetary support. These guys don't have jobs...they can't...they are in full time ministry! So they supported their families by living and working in the dump. They now have sponsors...I don't know if it's enough to sustain them, but it's something!

Seriously?! Guys who could have left, could have gone to get jobs and live 'comfortably' chose to stay and minister in the leper colony.

While we were sharing and brainstorming over lunch, we had this crazy idea to see if we might get 1 or 2 of them over here so that we can have them share their stories in person. To help gain support for them and to have people come on board with us to help support them.

Then we thought of our church…as generous as they are… in comparison to their church, and thought perhaps we shouldn’t bring them.

We love our church, we really do! But it’s almost embarrassing to see the wealth and splendor in it…and think of them. We are spoiled and over-indulgent and grossly greedy with our time and money.

I was in a meeting last night with someone who was speaking of the feelings of a ‘generous patron’ being hurt because they couldn’t vote on something because he wasn’t on the board.

I am guilty too… I have not sold everything so that I could live with them. I haven’t given up my cell phone or cable tv or internet. My kids have a Nintendo Wii and we can eat out at restaurants …not nightly but more than we should. We are RICH by comparison and it’s embarrassing to say I don’t give more of my time and money.

So… do I think we should all become poor so that we all need help? It would seem that way wouldn’t it? I believe that God blesses some so that they can be a blessing. I believe we can all do more. I believe we can all skip a meal or 2, have less stuff and share more.

It’s such a tough spot to see what I have seen and to know what I know… and not want something to change.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Adoption Update

So I am going to back track a bit since I missed several weeks and share a bit about where we are in the process, and some of the interesting things that happened before I left for Ethiopia.

We are currently waiting for our Dossier to get into the country.

Our fingerprints were done on June 3.
The new cool thing about working with USCIS is that you can email them...and even call them and they RESPOND! ok so it's not new to alot of you, but when we adopted N there was no way to contact them easily.
So about a week after our prints were done I emailed them to see if we had a worker and to see if it were moving. The answer was nope, but you are in line.

Ok then, I called on the 15th of June and asked the same question, I left a VM with our case worker that had been assigned. I went to lunch and came back to an email from this worker that we were being sent a letter of intent to deny.


As it turns out a past indiscretion of my husband's wasn't noted so they thought we had lied.

The state of VA says that you cannot put in a Home Study past issues if they aren't barrier crimes so it wasn't even noted. It just said there wasn't anything to keep us from being able to adopt. Which is technically true...but USCIS gets FBI prints that show a little somethin and it looks like we didn't tell them about it.

I called our HS agency told them about the issue...and explained I was LEAVING IN 2 DAYS! and that this needed to be fixed immediately because I was supposed to meet my sons and if this wasn't fixed they may not get to be my sons! ok...yes I was a bit in panic. ;)

They were great, they had their paperwork, I went to the courthouse to get the paperwork USCIS wanted and was able to Fed Ex it all out on the 16th to USCIS to arrive on Friday the 17th!

When I am a woman on a mission ...get out of the way!

Our approval letter was to us by the following Friday! The very day the boys were brought together to be told that not only did they have a family, that they were going to be brothers and that Mom, S and I were there and would be there to meet them in the next several days! Ain't God cool?!

We are waiting for the Washington approval, signage stuff and then it's on to Ethiopia.

So... now we wait.

We may be able to get a court date before the end of the year...PRAY and then we pray we have them home before Feb since that's A's birth month.

Pray with us that I don't forget it's in His hands. So far while I REALLY want them home, I haven't been obnoxious about the timeframe. ;) I know it will happen when it's supposed to.... My true prayer is that they are HOME before the end of the year... He's a BIG God, right? He can move that mountain right?!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Still Navigating

WE have been home just over a week now, and I am still learning to navigate with only half a heart.

The thing about this trip that was different, was that were strengthening bonds, and then made some incredible new ones. So it's almost harder to stay away this time. So many things still to do.

This morning in church we sang Blue Tree's 'God of This City'. Greater things are yet to come, greater things are still to be done here....there.

My boys are still there which is the biggest draw for me by far...but then there are the other kids. The children that we spent time with in Korah. Seriously, the cutest, sweetest kids. And so giving! They for sure wanted our candy and pens as all the kids there do... or heck any kid wants your candy right?! :)

But one of the memories that sticks in both S and my minds is a walk we took along the 'streets' of Korah. We were walking to meet T's mom and to pray for her. Now T is used to navigating the streets and alley's of the colony, but we are not. It's rainy season so the streets already filled with sewage and trash were now muddy, slippery and in some cases small rivers.

As we were walking I had my favorite little friend M, with me as well as his BFF T, one on each side. While S was beside me with like 4 littles. As we walked they held us up. They would tense every time we would slip and wouldn't let either of us fall. It was profound for S in a way that I hadn't thought she would feel... there she was crying to me about them having so little yet holding her up. I had felt the same way as we walked. How much love radiates from them. These...the least... the smallest... the dirty... in the eyes of men...yet the highest in the kingdom of God!

When S, Mom and I went to visit our boys, our friends were waiting for us to arrive at the end of the alley, smiles lighting there faces and filling our hearts.

It's been profound...the changes that have happened in some of the team.

We are already talking about the next trip and what it might entail. Praying for God's guidance and direction. We will for sure be going back! Already working on trying to get funding for the church through ours. Greater things are yet to come!

More to come.....

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Back from Ethiopia and MET MY BOYS!

Sorry for the delay in posting ya’ll :) from the texts and emails, it’s been too long.

We are back from our mission trip, we arrived in the afternoon of July 1, after that very long and tiring flight from Addis.

I have been trying to get back into life here and as I have said a couple of times, figure out how to navigate life here with only half my heart.

This trip was special, in that we were able to reconnect with people and make some amazing new connections and of course meet our new son’s.

First to tell you about the trip: We arrived in Addis the morning of June 19th to beautiful sunny skies. We met our drivers and went straight over to Korah for their church service. What a joy to start the trip worshipping with some of God’s favorite people!

We rested during the afternoon, separated items to go with us to Nekemte and Gimbie and then went to bed again as we had a very early morning and LONG ride ahead of us.

The trip to Nekemte isn’t for the faint at heart that’s for sure! The first 2 hours or so to a little town called Ambo are beautiful and paved…then… comes the unpaved. So for 6 or so hours it was a very bumpy ride! Gorgeous scenery though so it was kinda worth it…lol

In Nekemte we had a wonderful little hotel, with great staff. We gave our little waiter guy a run for his money…literally the dude RAN everywhere! But as you leave Addis and travel to outer cities you find that menus, like road signs, are merely suggestions. We were amused at the amount of items not available but the items that were. So fun.

We worked on the orphanage there by painting the courtyard fence, the nannie’s room, and the bathroom. We had the kitchen repaired, hung curtains and cleaned up. It was a great time.
Then on to Gimbie where the menus really are a waste of printing…lol but fun to try to figure out what we might be able to eat. Here is where one of our team members got to meet her son’s for the first time and we were able to meet a wonderful woman named Monica that has been a volunteer here for more than 2 years. What a witness!

We found our team’s core here in Gimbie when we ran into a crisis of faith that allowed us to truly turn to and trust God. He is always faithful!

We returned to Addis a day early… and I contracted my first bout of travelers belly… ugh!!! Thank you god for Cipro and Phenergan!

In Addis we were able to visit Korah and our friends back at Mesenge Church. These guys are truly amazing! Nine leaders that distribute their responsibilities and help to lift each other up. Truly an inspiration! We were able to buy teff flour, coal, sugar, salt, soap and other items as well as buy real sturdy shoes for 50 of the orphans of the church. These are some of my favorite people ever!!!

We went back several times to help with some other projects including help with fixing the walls of the gym for the men. Seriously these guys have made weights out of car parts and rigged up a lat machine and are using this area as a ministry to the men of the community. They know that the men need extra encouragement and this is a way for them to work on frustration as well as their spirits. LOVE it!

We took a little trip out to Adama to visit our friend Tezera and the kiddos there, as well as see the new orphanage there… oh my word! Talk about dreaming big! God is amazing!
We fell in love with our driver Agegnehu (Again-yo) we had a boys van and girls van. Agegnehu got stuck with the girls, but I don’t think he minded. He was great fun and such a fun sense of humor.

And in the midst of all of this …. I met my boys!!!!

What a precious day!

We arrived at Layla… a little late as we were on other people’s time :)
B was in his room and one of the kids ran to get him. He came around the corner took a look at mom, S and I and made a bee-line for me. And just wrapped his arms around me! Oh be-still my heart! He is so happy and joyful, and LOVES electronics! He knew how to work all the camera’s and my iPod and S’s ipod Touch :)

We were waiting for A to arrive so he showed us around the compound. He is obviously well loved by the nannies!

Then as we were walking in came A! Again right into my arms… sweet sweet little soul. Man the difference in personality. A is just quiet and sweet and shy and sad. Leaving him was the hardest part! S was really broken over leaving him. The SW even said, B is the light of the orphanage, many will miss him, A is ready to leave!

They have so many similarities to N and E it’s amazing! LOVE how God does that!!!

Only really bummer part of the trip was that I lost ALL the pics I took. Here’s my PSA of the year, if you have a SD Disc in your camera, DO NOT FORMAT it! Ok if you are saying Duh to me right now …just zip it. :P

More soon….