Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Because Every Mother Matters - Please Help

Please take a moment to check out this site. Because Every Mother Matters is an awesome org that is working very hard to end the orphan crisis in one small part of the world, by saving the lives of the mothers.

This fundraiser is a win win!

Check out the info below, and if you put our names in the donation line we are in the pile to possibly receive some funds to help with our travel expenses.

THE CURRENT PROJECT: raise $20k for a 4 wheel drive vehicle, that will save mother's lives, and prevent further orphans from entering the world.

THE BENEFIT FOR ADOPTIVE FAMILIES: If you or anyone you know donates $20 for this cause, you will be entered to be gifted 25% of what we raise thru this initiative, up to $10,000. You could be given up to $2,500 toward your adoption!

if we reach the $10k mark, the rules change a little bit for the remainder of funds... for every $1k we raise, you will be entered to be gifted 50%! if we make our goal of $20k, that is 10 families who could be given $500 toward their adoption!

That is 11 chances to win!!!

WHAT IF I AM NOT ADOPTING? CAN I STILL GIVE? absolutely! if you are not adopting but know someone who is, you can donate the $20 in their name, and they will be entered for the $ gift. if you don't know anyone who is adopting that is fine too, you can still donate toward the ambulance!

FUTURE PLANS: we at BEMM are all about helping mamas. there are women, in ethiopia who need our help all the time. if this campaign is successful, we will do adoption $$ give aways on a regular basis!!!

CONCLUSION: the more $$$ raised, the more $$$ going toward the ambulance, and the more $$$ going toward bringing home a current orphan! it is a win/win for everyone!!!

spread the word! tell your family, friends, co-workers, teachers, barrista, whoever! you only have one more week to enter!!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Sky is Falling... The Sky is Falling!

Life is certainly unpredictable huh?

Yesterday we here in the good old state of VA, had an earthquake…that we felt! It was the oddest thing! I know all you folks on the West Coast are saying it was merely a tremor but it’s not something we ever feel here! I have lived here almost my whole life and haven’t ever felt one.

I now also know why people die in buildings during them because if you haven’t felt one, you have no idea what’s happening. I was sitting at my desk thinking I was getting dizzy, then my walls started shaking, then the guy in the office next to me let out and expletive wondering what was happening, then we were all standing around looking at each other trying to grasp the fact that the world was indeed moving under our feet!

Because my job requires me to monitor twitter, I had tweet deck up on my computer and was watching people in Richmond, New York and places all over the East Coast talk about having an earthquake. I think that was scarier than actual quake because it seemed so wide spread that people so far north and south would feel it. It was one of those surreal moments when I thought perhaps the rapture had happened and there I was still standing… oh man!

It ended up being a 5.9 on the scale… which seems like it would have caused more damage. But there was nothing even really out of place in our area.

Several people stated they were watching the news about the hurricane that’s barreling towards our area and they felt the tremor…talk about a surreal situation!

Irene, the hurricane, is slated to come on land just South of where we live as a Cat 3 storm. That’s kinda worrisome. But those storms have a mind of their own it seems, so we shall see… the best case scenario would be that she would bring the rains needed to put out the huge swamp fire that’s about 20 miles from us and causing air quality to really be awful on some days.
Fires… Earthquakes…Hurricanes… oh my!

There is still no real word on our case in ET. The big picture is that all dossiers have been translated and ready for submission or have been submitted to court. The individual news is still nada.

I guess with courts closed no news is to be expected.

This is another of those lessons in God’s timing. My dear sweet helpful husband is fond of saying things like “It’s in His hands” “It’s in His timing” “You can’t rush God”…. Yeah thanks honey… helpful. Really. I usually do something really adult and stick my tongue out at him or stomp my foot.

GOOD NEWS is that I am traveling tomorrow morning to finally meet for the first time in person my dear friend Cindy!! We met almost 5 yrs ago online while going through our first adoptions. We have been online, text, FB, phone call friends ever since and tomorrow I am flying to Wisconsin to meet her and her family and hang out. So yes I will be leaving my family to dodge the hurricane without me….well who knew?!

So... that's life as I know it for now. Be back Tuesday to share about the weekend and hopefully some real news! :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Adoption is not for the weak

Still no news.



No one knows if they have been submitted to court before it closed. There is no communication from our agency at all....

Trying not to worry.

Still praying really hard!

Move mountain... move...

Friday, August 19, 2011

3 Years Ago

Three years ago this week we met E for the very first time. You can read about it here and here … what a life change we have made since then!

We learned about faith, patience, joy, humor, and hiv about g-tubes and medicine and trusting God.

When we first saw his little face on the DVD we were taken with his tiny little self and funny little shoulder shrug (not so funny when we got home and realized what it means). Nothing could have prepared us for the wonderful little guy he is now.

E-man loves him some daddy! Thinks daddy hung the moon… He’s taken to randomly just saying “I love you daddy” He’s always repeated I love you when it’s said to him, but now he randomly and frequently says it to daddy. He still wants to work with daddy when he grows up and still wants to be with him when he’s home. I often wonder if he would be the same if still in Ethiopia? Would he be a daddy’s boy there too?

He has also found himself a new hero. The same one as me, and didn’t even tell him!!  He has found that he thinks pap pap created the moon. :) It’s been a joy to see how he reacts to my grandfather when he’s around. He wants to be next to pap pap. When getting food, he wants what pap pap has, when doing almost anything when Pap pap is around it must be the same. I can’t tell you what that does to my heart since I pretty much feel the same way. Yesterday he was playing outside with some airplanes he’d gotten from Pap pap and was telling his friend where he’d gotten them and who from. He repeated it a couple of times just to get the point across that it was important stuff!!!

He’s fun and funny and stubborn and indecisive and creative and just a cool kid!
He LOVES Legos and can build almost anything from scratch.

His new thing is to do headstands, but with his feet tucked in, or legs bent and odd angles…. all those things that require MAJOR core strength. It always seems like a miracle to me to see him do things like that. Thinking of the day we met him and wondering what he would be able to do with himself as he grew? We had so many “if’s”… yet he’s surpassed everything we wondered.
He starts 1st grade in a couple of weeks and I can hardly believe it. His fear right now is that he can’t read. We’ve tried to tell him that he will learn. But he’s concerned, so we work on that with him.

He loves to play, he would rather do something creative or be outside than on electronics…almost the opposite of N. :)

His lab numbers are all good, and in fact at this past ID appointment they didn’t even draw labs because they felt he was doing so well they didn’t need to. The funny thing is that this time most of the people in the office were commenting on his growth and how amazing he looks and is doing. I just smile and say a quick praise to God.

Psalm 68:5 He sets the lonely in families…

My little E that wasn’t the favorite, wasn’t the cutest, wasn’t the best liked, was teased because of his molescum and waited more than 2 yrs in an orphanage has blossomed, grown and now shines! He’s the favorite of most of his teachers and is loved by everyone. He’s even won over my brother who wasn’t ever going to have anything to do with him because of his hiv.
I LOVE how God works, I LOVE that he gave us E, I LOVE that we were given this opportunity…and most of all I LOVE my E.

P.S. No news on the adoption front…apparently my agency isn’t giving anyone any word…so not sure what’s going on? Prayers would be appreciated!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

God is still amazing!

Gabe's death doesn't change who God is, or whether I think He's still pretty freakin awesome!

These last few days have been incredibly hard. It's hard to fathom the pain of losing a loved one. The thing about dogs are that they are unconditional in their love for their people. People often liken the love of dogs to that of Not to be all sacrilegious or anything. But I think it's true.

Gabe was a lover. He wanted to be with his people. If he was sleeping in a room with you, and you moved, he moved with you. He loved sitting on the couch. Yes, he backed himself up and sat with you on the couch. People who came over and witnessed that were always surprised.

He loved popcorn and his Kong toys, they were the only ones that wouldn't disintegrate in his giant mouth.

He was always there to meet you at the door, and would follow you around until you settled.

God loves us the same... only like 1000x more. He's a lover. He wants to be with his people. He wants to be part of every part of your life, even sitting on the couch with you. He wants you to notice him and enjoy being in his presence, just like he enjoys being in yours.

I don't have a clue if God likes popcorn, and I am pretty sure he doesn't need a Kong...LOL

I was feeling especially sad yesterday afternoon and I got an email from my friend T in Ethiopia, telling me about his graduation from college. He was so excited about his accomplishment, and at the same time I was listening to the song by Meredith Andrews called What it Means to Love, a song that speaks to my heart about what I have seen in Ethiopia.

It was a moment that God used to remind me that He wasn't gone. That He knew I was hurting and that He still has a plan.

I didn't think He had changed it, but I felt so off kilter from Gabe's passing. That sudden loss and sense of the rug being pulled out from under you can mess with your head... or maybe just mine.

I will miss my big love forever, but it doesn't diminish the fact that I still think my God is amazing and awesome and can still move mountains.

Monday, August 8, 2011

And Then Comes the Curve Ball

This post won't be adoption will mostly be me just being sad. Just a forewarning.

Last night our curve ball was thrown in the sudden death of our 8 yr old Mastiff Gabriel.

It had been a day I really just wanted to stay in bed anyway... sometimes you just get the feeling it's not going to be a good one? But, I didn't. I got up and we went to church, which was good. Then came home and cleaned the house and back yard in preparation for N's 7th birthday party.

We put the dogs upstairs since we were going to have so many people running in and out.

When we went back up to get them, Gabe didn't want to get up. At first we thought he was just mad at us for keeping him from all his peeps. He got up and came down stairs, but was breathing heavily. We thought perhaps he was over heated, or dehydrated... something that would pass. We gave him water put ice on his head and sat with him. We left him alone for a few minutes to clean up and see how he would do.

He went outside and eventually ended up behind some bushes under a tree. This is totally not normal behavior for him, so we knew it was bad news. We made a makeshift gurney and raced to the Emergency Vet. Within 20 mins he had passed.

It's unbelievable ... what just happened?

The vet said with dogs his size there can be underlying health issues and his seemed to be his heart. She said that with the rapid decline and the way he didn't respond to their attempts at reviving that there wasn't anything else we could have done.

But then comes the second guessing... what if we had taken him sooner? What if, when he first started looking funny we had taken him?

Then there's the whole feeling so badly about not always feeling the love when his 160+ self wanted to sit on your lap, or breathe in your face or eat my popcorn, or drool on my table or snore next to my bed at night...oh what I would give to have any of those things back right now.

The thing about dogs is that they love no matter what... the want to be near you and love you and no matter what you do, no matter how cranky, not matter how many times you say not now..they always greet you with a happy face and a tail wag.

Bye my beautiful big hairy love... I will miss you!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

God is amazing!!!

So this week we found out that we are being given a grant for the remainder of our agency fees!


When we started this adoption we were in full trust that God would fund it. Because to be quite frank, it wasn't happening without His intervention. Now all we need to come up with is the travel fees, and I also found this week that we will be able to come up with that from another long as the stock market doesn't bottom and mess everything up... but I won't go there. ;)

We are now just waiting to hear that we have been submitted to court and then when our court date is going to be.

With all the craziness with orphanages closing and letters needing to be done it probably won't be until December that we get to go over for the court date. And while that is SO far away to me, it's only 4 months right? Gives us time to come up with the travel money, and perhaps set some other aside so that we can build a cushion to be able to take some extra time off.

Still praying God will move mountains. I know He can!!! In many other cases there are huge mountains that need to move as well. So let's pray together for His mighty hand to be over all adoptions, all family situations and all those children caught in the system around the world.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


So yesterday I was at work, talking with …well a co-worker… who hadn’t heard that we are adopting again. It’s not like I placed an ad in the company newsletter or anything, but it’s no longer a secret.

As I broke the news that there were 2 more on the way AND that they were both around 11 yrs of age, I got the usual response, ‘YOU’RE CRAZY’ (yes she pretty much yelled it)

Now this response doesn’t really bother me, perhaps a little annoyance pops up every once in a while when we hear that, but for the most part it’s not a big deal. I get it, MOST people nowadays have 2.5 children, a dog and a white picket fence right?

Honestly 5 years ago, I WAS that person. I had 2 kids, 2 dogs, and a house with a picket (not white) fence. I was perfectly happy with life as we knew it. Our kids were almost teens and we were relatively, comfortably, living. We were not honestly thinking about building our family.

God had other plans.

This plan can only have been from God.

Some people don’t agree with our adopting again. There’s old standard, “How will you pay for college for the other kids?” “How will S afford to go to college?” “You are ruining S’s life by adding another child and taking her chances at a good school, and giving her a forever school debt”

I find myself over correcting and stressing about the behavior of my children with our families trying to make them and us something that we aren’t …and end up looking like a stress ball…because I want to be the ‘perfect’ parent so that our family will stop judging. (This one is backfiring on me since I end up looking like a stress ball …not a great fashion statement) I work on this one daily.

Perhaps we are crazy?

Maybe what we are doing is going to cause S to have debt. Maybe the boys won’t go to college? Maybe adding to the family will mess with our finances? Perhaps things will be really really hard?

Or… maybe in the stress, and hard, and debt, and lack of college (Hey my parents…the biggest college complainers, didn’t send ME to college) will be growing experiences?!
Perhaps the 2 new boys will enrich our lives in ways we never could have imagined just like our other 2 sons?

Perhaps we will grow more, see more, feel more, love more?

So, call me crazy if you want to… I am crazy about God and this is His idea, so I think I will consider it a compliment. :)