Monday, June 29, 2009

Care Packages

Although we still have one week until our court date our agency allows us to send care packages to the kids via other adoptive families who are traveling before us. We have also signed a release to allow this wonderful family to take pictures of the kids recieving the gifts. We spent quite a bit of time putting these together and we pray that our kids will be encouraged and excited to get them. They should recieve them around the third or the fourth of July. Here's a few pic's of what we sent...

For our big boy we sent:
a photo book
2 matchbox cars
a small etch-a-scetch
a braclet the kids made that says "brother"
a WMU t-shirt and ball cap
skittles, starburst, and m&ms
a note from Ben and I
a note from Lydia
a note from Noah

For our baby girl we sent:
a snuggle buddy
a talking singing frog that ribbits
an adorable pink outfit
a little pink hair bow
my first little photo album

We squooshed all this into gallon size ziploc bags as not to take up too much space in this wonderful families luggage. Lydia helped me squeeze the bag to get the air out and zip it up really fast. I hope they fit!

Then we boxed them up and took them to the post office and said a little prayer that they would get there on time and bring joy to our kiddos. Can't wait to see pictures of them with their new stuff.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Court Date

I had been going crazy waiting for the phone to ring and then Ben received an e-mail last week with news of court date. It is exactly 2 weeks from today! On July 6th, our case will be heard in Ethiopian court and we are praying that we will pass the first time through, of course, because I want to go get those kids and bring them home and take care of them! After court it's an approximate 2-4 weeks until we travel. Yipes, lots to do.

Some other things that have been happening are:

1. I have painted the nursery and hope to finish putting it all together next weekend... or perhaps the one after that.

2. We have found a wonderful woman to carry our care packages to our little ones when she travels to pick up her newest family member on the fourth of July.

3. We get to go get shots this week... whoohoo! Or shall I say, boo hoo!

4. I have pre-applied to one grant, applied to one grant and I am almost done with another application. Pray for good news...and fast news!

5. The yahoo chat group I am a part of is a wealth of information on packing, special formula for malnourished babies, Ethiopian travel tips, the type of bottles used at the transition home, and a hundred other things. Yeah for people who have been there, done that, and lived to tell about it!

That's all for now because I need to go to bed. Early morning tomorrow. Over and out.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Now that I have stopped freaking out and started eating and sleeping on a bit more of a normal schedule, I've started focusing my efforts on getting our home ready for the new additions. There's lots to do and now that I know a baby's coming and I won't be able to get anything done around here for like the next three years, I'm going to town.

I mowed the lawn and power washed the deck this afternoon. I plan to stain the deck and clean out the nursery this week. I have high hopes of painting it too, but let's just slow down the truck here and do one thing at a time! I'll try and post some before and after pics of the rooms as I get them ready.

I'm starting to feel a lot more relaxed and excited and less shocked now that six days have gone by. We announced at church that we had received "the call" and I could barely speak because I was all choked up. Other than that episode I've been holding it together for the most part.

I sent in two pre-applications for grants I found online and one application is ready to mail and another one I hope to finish tomorrow and then I know of one more I want to apply to that I haven't started yet. So, we have some progress in the application process, which feels good.

So, I'm doing all I can do from here. But there's a lot that I can't do. Good news is: God can do it. So please pray...

1. for the kiddos in ET. For health, safety, comfort, and understanding as they hear about us for the first time

2. For our court date to be scheduled soon and that we would pass court before the rainy season court closures

3. For Noah and Lydia. That they would feel special and loved through all this and that their hearts would be ready to love their new siblings like crazy

4. That we would be able to find someone willing to take our care packages and photos over to the ET kids.

5. That God would provide the remaining funds we need to pick up our children and get them home.

We are so thankful for what God has done for us and in us over that last several years as He has prepared our hearts for this journey. Our God is good and kind and I know that the peace I have right now comes from Him.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I want to tell you...but I can't

After two days of virtually no sleep (because my mind was racing all night and all day long) we have signed our acceptance of the referral of our two children! I am exhausted and I ready for a vacation. It was crazy. The referral call didn't come when I was planning on it, the kids were different ages than I thought they would be, my emotions were different than I expected, plus through all this my husband was out of town!

But none of that really matters, what matters is that now we are six. And the nannies at transition home will be talking to our kiddos about us and explaining to them what will be happening next. It must be scary to think that some family from the other side of the world is coming to pick them up soon. Poor babies. The whole situation is so much to wrap your head and your heart around. I can barely handle it and I'm, well let's say, 27 years old.

If you're looking for something to pray for... please pray that we would get a court date in July and that we would pass court the first time through. If this happens, we will travel in August and pick them up. If we do not pass court by the end of July we will not be able to bring them home until October/ November because of court closures during the rainy season.

And if you're looking for something to do... come on over and help me get their rooms set up. Ha... just kidding!

So... about the kids, I STILL can't tell you anything because nothing is official until we pass court. And I am dying to tell you! But the good news is if we find a friendly family that is traveling soon we can send little care packages over to them with that family. The kids got really excited about this idea and were bugging me to go shopping all day. So I had them make a craft to send over and then we went shopping. The shopping proved difficult because there's only so much space in a persons suitcase traveling to Ethiopia, so they had to be small gifts. Plus it's the first gift we will ever give them, so it HAS to be perfect right? Or maybe I should just RELAX! Eh, that will never happen. Anyway, I'll try and post some pics of the care packages when we get them together.

I've spent most of the day finishing up some grant applications as there is no time like the present to get them in. I've also done a lot of pacing and eating potato chips because I'm so emotional. I've also been trying to come up with versions of their names that would be easier to pronounce for the English speaking folks. But that just a whole 'nother ball of wax.

Tonight, I am exhausted but thankful. Today is the beginning a story that I believe will have a beautiful ending.

"God sets the lonely in families..." Psalm 68:6

I am so thankful He chose my family.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


If I had to choose one word for how I have been feeling for the majority of the day I would say that I have felt SHOCKED! Of course this is not the only emotion I felt as I have expanded upon below...

First of all, today is my Dad's 59th birthday (Happy Birthday ROCK!), but we all kind of saw that one coming thus it wasn't much of a shocker. So do you want to hear what really shocked me? OK, I'll tell you about it.

I went to he pediatrician with the kids to get a re-check on their ears and yes, another 3 weeks of antibiotics is in their future. Not much of a shocker. We got the prescriptions filled at our favorite pharmacy and did some grocery shopping...more of a tradition than a shocker. When we got home one of our favorite neighbors stopped over with her two beautiful children and we chatted for an hour or so. Again, not very shocking. As she was just leaving to go home and feed her kiddos the phone rang. So after we said our goodbyes I went and checked the messages,and found that there were five messages. That's strange. I barely have five friends.

The caller ID said Ben had just called (he's in OH this week). So I called him back and he said the craziest thing to me. He said Terra (our social worker) called and she has a referral for us. I was like whatever dude... how's your day goin'. I totally did NOT believe him. I thought he was getting in touch with his "real special" sense of humor. But he just kept saying it and saying he wouldn't joke about something like this. So he told me the limited info he knew and I wrote it down. He said take an hour and let it sink in and we'll conference call Terra. At this point I still barely believed him. We thought we wouldn't hear anything until Christmas time. And let me tell you people: I was shocked!

When I hung up with Ben I checked the messages and sure enough one of them was Terra saying something about call her right away because she had a question for us and it was a fairly important question. I was shocked!

The I started going bazerk and I told the kids and we prayed and thanked God and prayed that these would be our kids and that God would give us wisdom and provide someone to love on them in ET. Noah was jumping up and down and giggling and Lyd was all smiles. I guessed it...shocked.

Throughout the afternoon my shock turned into excitement and then into grief for all these kids have lost in their short lives. Then into guilt for being so sad for them instead of happy to receive the referral.

After what seemed like a week (it was really less than an hour)and several technical difficulties later we received their file to review via email. Ben and I looked at each photo and each page together, over the phone. We were like one, two, three, click on it!

Unfortunately, I cannot tell you anything about the children except that there are two of them. We know their names, ages, health status, and a couple other little tidbits, but not much. And we have pictures! For the kids safety and privacy we cannot share any of these things until we officially accept the referral and even then we cannot share photos until after we pass court. But, just so you know, they are beautiful.

Oh, man. I think I've moved past shocked and in to exhausted. There's so much more to say but I'll have to save it for another day.