Thursday, December 22, 2011

December Numbers

That is our number!! We are so thankful to see some movement this month. It seems so close I can taste it. I try not to get too excited, but I just can't help it. Please pray for a referral soon! We pray very boldly in our home for a referral, and we would love if you would do the same. We pray you have a Christmas filled with a peace that only Christ can give.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Trusting in HIS plan

I know I have not kept up with updating everyone lately, but I think it is because I am so discouraged. We did get our new numbers for November, however it is not a new number. Our number is- 8. We did not move at all, in fact we may even be 9 because a family recently lost a referral. There have not been any referrals going out. I wish I could share the reason why, but I have no idea. I was so hoping we would have a picture of our "little guy" by Christmas, but no such luck. I know God knows what is best for us, but waiting is hard. I know I need to be patient and know God's timing is perfect, but waiting is hard.

Recently I had someone say, "What if this adoption doesn't happen?" I responded by saying, "IT WILL!" He responded with, "You don't know that." I responded by saying, "YES I DO!" He responded again with, "It might not. Then what?" I was a bit thrown back at his negative attitude. I did respond by saying, "Then I guess He has another reason for calling us to this journey." I left it at that and decided to drop the subject. I will admit recently with the lack of referrals, I have begun to wonder if it really will happen. Would God call us to this journey and not give us the gift of a child at the end? I do believe God knows best. I do believe He is going to take care of us. I do believe God is a loving and compassionate God. I DO BELIEVE WE WILL BE THE PROUD PARENTS OF A LITTLE BOY VERY SOON!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Struggling to Wait

This month we will be officially waiting for 1 year and 2 months. We have been on this journey now for 1 year and 8 months. I never imagined we would reach the 2 year mark. I will admit until now the wait was not so bad. We are busy at home with our 3 girls, and enjoying every new stage with them. Well......I am DONE waiting. I just want to meet our "little man". I want to see his face. I want to know how old he is. I want to know his story. Lately I try to picture what he will look like. In my mind he usually looks like a mix of all the little Ethiopian boys I have gotten to know through blogs. I think the wait is getting to be so difficult because we know we could get a call soon from our case worker. His room is ready. We pray for him and his family everyday. I think of him at least every 10 minutes, and our girls talk about it daily. At the beginning of this process when people used to ask how many kids I have, I would respond by telling them, three girls. Now when asked this question, I respond by telling them 3 girls and a boy on the way. Of course I usually have to explain. It's like being pregnant for 1 year 8 months. Now I feel OVERDUE!
I will explain how the referral process goes for those of you who are not in the adoption world. When we get a call from our caseworker she will tell us she has a child for us. She will then send us his picture and any information they have about him. We will first cry, scream, jump up and down, hug, kiss, etc. After we accept the referral and fill out crazy amounts of paperwork, we will wait for Ethiopia to schedule a court date for us. When a court date is scheduled we will travel to meet him (YAHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). We will spend a week visiting and loving on him, and then leave him (BOOOOOOO!). The next time we travel will be to take him home with us forever. It seems like this is just not even possible.
I guess I would ask for prayers for patience, peace, and trust in God's plan and timing. (and of course a referral)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Crazy Love

We have been studying the book, Crazy Love by Francis Chan at our church. It has been extremely challenging and makes you look at your life choices in a serious way. Today I was reading one of the chapters and was hit hard by what Francis said, "How we live our how we live our lives. We each need to discover for ourselves how to live this day in faithful surrender to God as we "continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. (Phil 2:12)"

It makes me ask myself the hard questions:
Do I surrender each day to God?
Do I see each day as an opportunity to live out my faith in Christ?
Do I make the most of each moment I have with my children?
Do I view my children as HIS, created for HIS service?
How do I spend my time during the day?
How do I spend my money?
Is my home used for HIS purpose and not just mine to look cute and organized?

and so on and and so on....

This book for sure has been life changing. My response is to take time to seek Him to see where in my life I need to change. I need to step out in faith and trust God will be there to see me through. I need to surrender my life to Him daily, and even hourly.

When I think of this adoption journey, it defintely has taken faith. We felt a strong calling, and God has been faithful every step. I need to trust that God will see us through to the end of this, and though I know there will be very difficult transitions, I need to trust that He will bless the surrender.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

September Number

We did get our email from our caseworker last night. I will admit I knew what number we were going to be because I found the blog of the family that is just before us on the wait list. They also want a 0-12 month. They received their numbers earlier this week so I pretty much knew we would be number:

It is crazy to think that we are now in the single digits!! Our caseworker will call us later this month to discuss the referral process. After 1 year and 6 months I never thought we would ever get to this point. Our girls still talk about him daily, and pray for him almost every night since we got on the wait list. We have his room all ready to go and Maia is now downstairs in a big girl bed. She still does not understand why "her" crib is in her brother's room. It was so fun to finally decorate a boy room.

On another note, I had the chance to meet with 8 other women who are either on the waiting list for adoption, or have just come home with their children. We met at 7:30 and did not leave the restaraunt until 10:30. It was such a God send!!! I needed to talk to other people who understand and know. I needed to hear the reality of the first few months, but also the blessings. I wish I could put into words what a blessing that night was to me. God knew just what I needed and connected me with one of these women back in May.

Now please pray as we near referral time that we will wait patiently for the Lord's plan.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What Are You Waiting For?

"What Are You Waiting For?" That was the title of my devotions this morning. It was based off of Psalm 40:1-5. This is what it said,

We wait for everything. For the dryer to finish. For our husbands to get home. For the phone to ring. For the baby to wake. For the mail to come. For the car to pull up, returning our child safely home. For a job. For answers to prayer. With so much experience, we're remarkably unskilled at waiting well. Waiting seems to us a colossal waste of time. But the fact is that while we are waiting, God is working. To move us where he wants us to be. To readjust the lives of others so that his ultimate desires will be fulfilled. To bring about what will make us eventually Christlike, though not necessarily immediately comfortable. What are we waiting for? And more to the point, how well are you waiting for it?

I loved this! It is so true that my life is spent waiting for the next change in my life, or the next stage of kids, or things as trivial as stated above. Even though this adoption process has taken much longer than we anticipated, God knows the best time for us to bring our "little man" home. There are times when I am waiting patiently and enjoying our family life right now. However, there are also those times when I am annoyed and just wanting to get him home. I think both can be good, but I am thankful through our waiting, GOD is working.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

One year on the waitlist but the end is near

While we were camping this week we received our August number. I was happy with the movement seeing that the courts are closed for August and September.
We are.....

Yes we are number 12! This is becoming so real now. Being number 12 actually feels like this is really going to happen. This also causes a bit of anxiety for me. It causes me to be up during the night wondering what do we need to being doing to be ready for a referral.

We had a AGCI picnic today and it was such a blessing. Jason stayed home while Maia slept so it was just me and the girls. I had the chance to talk with families who have both been home for about 4-5 months. They were so helpful and answered my many questions. They let me know that the blessings far outweigh the difficulties, but that coming home and adjusting is hard. Please pray for us as we near the time of finally seeing our "Little Man's" face and also as we begin to discuss and learn about cocooning. I will explain more on that in another post.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Number and Feelin Really Good!!!!

OUR NEW NUMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so excited this month to have such big movement. God is so good!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

wedding pics

Here are a few pics from the wedding reception I did.

The bride wanted a "vintage" feel, and if you know me at all you know I am crazy about "vintage" right now. I have a variety of vintage glassware, and used it for some of the centerpieces. I used a variety of flowers from my mother-in-laws garden, and herbs. I made artichoke hearts into candle holders, and covered a few vases with asparagus. I even had a great vintage suitcase for the cards. I forgot to take a picture of the old wedding photos we displayed at one end of the building. The white wreaths you see I made from coffee filters. They cost me about $8.00 a piece to make. We also had paper lanterns, and lights hanging from the ceiling. I am not sure why I did not get a picture of that. It was a great experience and I would love to do another one. Here the pics...

This was what an example of what was in each centerpiece.

This was what I displayed the place cards on. It was an old window I had purchased from a thrift store for a few bucks, and knew something could be done with it. I stapled ribbon to it, added small clothespins, and hung it. I did have to use the table for a few of the place cards also. I put them on the table and secured them with strands of black ribbon.

Friday, June 10, 2011

May number and June numbers

I am so sorry I never posted our May number. We were number....

I was ok with this small movement last month. Jason was more discouraged than I was. However I just opened our update email for June. Our new number this month is...

I am feeling a bit discouraged. I know they have prepared us for a longer wait time, but waiting is hard. I feel for those families who are waiting for their first child. I cannot imagine how the wait for them may seem soooo much longer.
I have three beautiful daughters at home to keep me busy. Sometimes it feels like we will never get there. I remember our social worker telling me there will be hard times during the wait, but I could not imagine that. I hate paperwork, so I thought as long as I was not doing paperwork life was grand. She was right, waiting is not as great as I thought it would be.

Spring is always busy for us. Jason coaches high school soccer, attends crazy amounts of graduation open houses, and has so many school obligations. I am on the steering committee for our community Vacation Bible School, and did my first wedding (I will try to post pics soon). The wedding was sooo fun, and would have been even better if it wasn't the week before VBS started. I am so glad to have Gabbie home for the summer. The girls have been in the pool nonstop, and playing with the neighbors. I love summer!!!!

That's all for now. Please continue to pray for this process.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Prayer

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there! My mother's day was fabulous. We spent the day at my parent's house eating and relaxing while the kids played in their barn, and rode their golf cart in the woods. We surprised my mom in the morning by showing up at their church. Their service starts at 9:00 so we had to be out of the house with all the kids by 8:00. We made it with no problem, but I can't help but wonder if it will be that easy with 4 kids. Hopefully this will be my last mother's day without our "little man".

Besides getting married to Jason, becoming a mom is the most rewarding, stressful, humbling, and amazing blessing in my life. I love the fact that I get the chance to be home with my girls and wish I could have this job forever. I know being a mom is a job I will forever have, but I will not have the job of raising them and shaping them forever. I came across a song that explains perfectly what I desire for my children.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April Numbers

This will be a quick one.
I was so excited last night to open my email from our caseworker and see that we are now number.................

I can hardly believe that we are in the 20's. This was a great news and it is great to see movement despite the decrease they were talking about.

I thought the birthday cake was perfect because my baby turns 2 today!


Saturday, March 19, 2011

New number and New news

That is our NEW number! The last few months we did not move at all so we are so thankful to see some movement despite the unrest in Ethiopia. We also receive good news from our caseworker about the decision in Ethiopia. They put it much better than I could explain it so I will quote my email.

We have spent the entirety of this week and last connecting with our own Foreign Staff, participating in caucus calls led by Joint Council and the US Department of State, and independently collaborating with other Adoption Service Providers to get clear and accurate information concerning this matter. Your grace and patience has been so appreciated during this time! What we know as facts are:

1. MOWA posted a notice indicating as of March 10th they would be reducing the number of adoptions processed through their office to 5 cases a day.

2. Within days of this announcement, the director of MOWA and several other staff members from the ministry have been terminated.

Today we want to update you on the feedback we received yesterday from our foreign staff in Ethiopia, which was confirmed in a discussion with our adoption colleagues in a Joint Council caucus call later in the day.
At this time, all Foreign Staff on the ground in Ethiopia are reporting that MOWA has completed their staffing changes and are now currently working at full capacity to complete those adoption cases currently re-scheduled or assigned a court appointment through the courts of Addis Ababa. Our staff believe this to be around 800 cases they are working at full force to complete with no restrictions on the number of cases processed each day. This is great news! We are thrilled to hear these drastic changes do not seem to be going into full effect.
We are also pleased to report that for new cases moving forward; it appears the original changes proposed by MOWA will not be implemented to the degree of 5 cases a day. At this time it is unknown whether or not MOWA will issue a formal statement regarding how they will process cases in the future, but from all discussions it will not be a drastic decrease from before. Through the continued work, meetings, and advocacy of many Foreign Staff members in Ethiopia, it appears any future changes within the case processing for MOWA will avoid sweeping and disproportionate alterations to the number of cases processed each day. Rather, the hope is that MOWA, Joint Council, Adoption Service Providers, the US Department of State and other NGO organizations can come together to support the government of Ethiopia in strengthening the process for ethical adoptions to continue while also improving the general social structures to assist with family preservation in Ethiopia. This plan was acknowledged in the recent posting by the US State Department this morning at We understand the US Department of State cannot issue a formal statement without MOWA issuing a retraction. Based on the information we are receiving, MOWA is concentrating on processing the current adoptions and the new staff is not focused on numbers, but doing their jobs.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I don't want my children to be happy

I came across this blog and was so moved by this woman's post in reaction to negative comments about their decision to adoption. She hits is right on. It is one of those posts you read as a parent and want to print it out and hang it on the bathroom mirror so you never forget it.
The title of the post is "I Don't Want My Children to Be Happy". You can find it here

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Scary Changes for Ethiopia. PLEASE READ AND TAKE ACTION

Statement on the Pending Reduction of Intercountry Adoption in Ethiopia

Last week the Ethiopian Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs announced their intention to reduce intercountry adoptions by 90% beginning March 10, 2011. The Ministry’s plan for a dramatic reduction is apparently based on two primary issues; 1) the assumption that corruption in intercountry adoption is systemic and rampant and 2) the Ministry’s resources should be focused on the children for whom intercountry adoption is not an option. Without further announcements by the Government of Ethiopia, it is our understanding that the Ministry’s plan will be initiated this week.
The Ministry’s plan is a tragic, unnecessary and disproportionate reaction to concerns of isolated abuses in the adoption process and fails to reflect the overwhelmingly positive, ethical and legal services provided to children and families through intercountry adoption. Rather than eliminate the right of Ethiopian children to a permanent family, we encourage the Ministry to accept the partnerships offered by governments, NGOs, and foundations. Such partnerships could increase the Ministry’s capacity to regulate service providers and further ensure ethical adoptions.
The Ministry’s plan, which calls for the processing of only five adoption cases per work day, will result not only in systemic and lasting damage to a large sector of social services, but will have an immediate impact on the lives and futures of children. Moving from over 4,000 adoptions per year to less than 500 will result in thousands of children languishing in under-regulated and poorly resourced institutions for years. For those children who are currently institutionalized and legally available for adoption, the Ministry’s plan will increase their time languishing in institutions for up to 7-years.
Joint Council respectfully urges the Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs to reconsider their plan and to partner with governments, NGOs and foundations to achieve their goals and avoid the coming tragedy for children and families.


Go to this website and encourage anyone you know to sign this petition.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Sorry for any awful grammar, it is not my gift.

So often I am amazed at how excited and connected my girls are to this process despite the long journey. They still pray for their little brother or his parents every night. Our oldest Gabbie has surprised Jason and I on her spiritual wisdom at the young age of 6. Her and I had a chance to have some quiet time one afternoon due to the fact that she was being disciplined (lol). We began discussing some of the details of our adoption. She was inquiring when we would get her little brother, and who would go get him. She often says that she hopes he is our Christmas present next year. She even went as far as to tell one of her teachers that she would be fine if he was her only Christmas present. Not so sure she could stand by this one. After we talked for a while, she asked, "Why would God put a baby in a mommy's tummy just so she has to give it away? My brother's mom isn't a bad mom, she just maybe doesn't have enough money to take care of him or she is too sick."

My heart dropped. She really understands that while adoption is a celebration of a child finding his/her forever family, it also is an amazing picture of true sacrifice. I talked with her about how her brother's birth parents will love him so much that they will be willing to give him up so that he can have a better chance at life. I explained to her that God did indeed put the baby in the mommy's tummy, but because of sin in our world; things like disease, poverty, and family brokenness are present. I also explained that the good thing is that God can take a broken situation and turn it for His own good. Our "little man" will get the chance to grow up knowing not only that his parents loved him enough to sacrifice a life with him, but that Christ loved him enough to sacrifice a life so he could be WITH him for eternity.

Tonight I am praying for our "little man's" birth parents. Although I do not know them and may never meet them, we are eternally grateful.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Blog Auction Update

Bring My Nephew Home

Here is where you can find all of the info for the blog auction my sister is hosting for us. I still cannot get it to create a link, so you will have to cut and paste it.

There were so many items donated. I wish I could bid on many of them. I think that might be weird.

I have been blown away at how many items have been donated. I hope all of those who have donated know they have allowed us to be one step closer to bringing out "little man" home.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Family Happenings

We have had so much fun in the snow this winter!

The neighbors make an igloo. This is all the kids on our street. We are so blessed with amazing neighbors!!!

My sister crochets and was featured on a local talk show. She needed models, so Gabbie, Alexa and my niece Lily got to be on the show. You can see the actual segment on my sister's blog ( Here are a few pictures from the day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Blog Auction

My younger but more creative sister called me earlier this week and asked if she could do an online auction for us to help with some of our adoption expenses. Of course my answer was "ABSOLUTELY!". Jason and I had decided to organize only one fundraiser ourselves, but if someone else would like to organize one we will definitely not turn it down. I hope you will check out her blog. She crochets the most adorable hats, headbands, and booties for infants up to adults. She was just featured on a local talk show. Please check her blog out and consider being a part of her online auction.

I cannot get blogger insert my link so you may have to cut and paste. I am not the most computer savvy.

Monday, February 7, 2011

new numbers and a bit bummed

Our number came today. I had a feeling we were not going to see a big jump, but I wasn't prepared to be at the exact same number. I will admit it was a big let down. I had caught word through the adoption blog world that there had not been many referrals this month, but I was thinking at least we would move one number. Our case worker did leave these reasons why we may not have seen a jump in our numbers:

As you receive your numbers this month we want to remind you all of a few factors that go into the calculation of official numbers.

· At anytime we are issuing new numbers there may be families currently in the referral process. Families are not removed from the waitlist until all their official acceptance of referral documents are received by our office.

· Families may return to the waitlist at anytime due to extenuating circumstances including the difficult situation of losing a referral.

· Families ahead of you on the waitlist may alter their parameters at anytime assuming they have the approval of their social worker as well as our social services department.

I understand these reasons, but it still is hard to not move at all. As I write a song I sang in elementary school keeps coming to mind-

"They wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength they shall mount up on wings like eagles. They shall run and not grow weary they shall walk and not faint. Teach me Lord, teach me Lord to wait."


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Thanks so much for your prayers. Chapel went great!!!! This process of writing down our testimony was so good for both of us. God really orchestrated the entire thing, and for that we are truly grateful.

I wish I had a video to show you all, but no such luck.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

January Number

We are glad that we jumped more than last month and it feels good to be in the

On a quick note: Jason and I would appreciate your prayers this week into the next. We will be giving our testimony at his school in chapel. The theme is trust, and we will be speaking on our adoption journey thus far. We covet your prayers as we try to decide what will be the best way to get high school kids to truly understand what it means to lay your life in God's hands and follow His will.