Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ahh, Snow!

I can't believe it's snowing again! Snow on Christmas, now that was amazing. That hasn't happened here in YEARS. But wait, there's more, it snowed again today! It's really more of an icy slush, but it's still a covering of white and I like it!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fun Times

We had a Christmas party at our house for our Life Group last week and it was lots of fun! We did a movie gift exchange and built gingerbread houses. We had a great time with everyone and look forward to many more Life Group Christmas parties to come!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Care Pacakge #3

This past week we met a sweet family who lives in the area who is also adopting from Ethiopia with America World. They will be traveling Jan 2nd to pick up their children and asked us if we'd like for them to take a care package for us. We are so thankful for their willingness to do this for us and are so excited to be able to give our son some much needed things while he is waiting for us to come get him. We are also excited to have met some new friends who we can connect with and walk alongside through this journey of adoption. Hopefully our kids can grow up together and have the support of other Ethiopian kids in the area who can share in their experiences and help them feel more connected to who they are as Ethiopian Americans.
We can't wait to hear how everything goes with their journey to meet and bring home their adorable little ones and how our sweet little boy is doing. Thank you so much Root's for this great blessing!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Court Date!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today we got an unexpected surprise! Our court date!!! It will be Jan. 11th, 2010! Thank you Lord for Your amazing blessings, they always come just at the right time!Our agency says that about 50% of families pass court the first time so let's start praying that our case will pass. Families could not pass for lots of reasons; the child's family member could not make it to court, there could be something missing or misspelled in the paperwork, the caseworker could not come in to work that day, or even as simple as not having the key to the file cabinet that our paperwork is in (yes ,this really has happened). So please be praying that everything falls into place on Jan. 11th and we pass!!!!
If we do pass, we'll get to travel about 4-5 weeks after that date. So mid February. It will be the greatest Valentine's gift ever!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Baby Showers!

We have been blessed by two great baby showers. One from our biological family and the other from our church family. B* received lots of great things and we had lots of fun. Now we just need him here so we can start using everything!!
At our family shower everything was decorated with blues and brown and with baby birds in a nest. SO cute!! We played lots of games, my favorite was the smelly diaper game! Everyone had to stick their noses in these diapers and guess what the smell was...some were so bad they burned my nose! It was really fun though!
The church shower was so sweet and a little overwhemling. It was a jungle theme with bright green, orange, purple, etc. Lots of people came, even some that we didn't know very well but wanted to bless our son and our family anyway. It was so awesome to see the support and love we have there and to see how excited everyone is to meet this precious little boy. What a blessing!!
We're getting things set up in his room and will be ready to go when he gets here.

Family Shower

Church Shower

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Care Package #2

Today I mailed off our second care package to a family who will be traveling next week to pick up their girls. I sent our sweet boy some outfits, socks, a small toy and some lotion. I'm excited to see how their journey goes as they meet their little ones and can't wait to hear how our little one is as well and see new pictures. It's such a blessing to get this glimpse into his world while we wait to bring him home and I look forward to being able to do the same for other families.

We got some great pictures and an update from the family that went a few weeks ago! B* looked healthy and happy. He smiled a lot and they said that he interacted well with everyone. He holds his head up and laughs and coos. Thanks so much to the Sabini's for the great update!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

November Update

We received our monthly update this week! It was a very nice surprise since when I talked to our family coordinator last week she said she didn't think we'd get them until the first part of December due to the holiday this week. What a handsome boy God has given us. I wish I could post the pics...but that will have to wait.

Some updates on what's been going on:
Back in October we found out that B* had gotten the chicken pox but he had recovered nicely.
The first week of November we got a call telling us the he now had a mild case of pneumonia. We are obviously concerned. We started to pray for healing.
The following week AWAA called again to say that he'd gotten worse and was now on oxygen to help him breath and was on 3 different medications. We continued to pray and asked others to join us. Each night we were on our knees in his room praying for God to heal his little body.
The next week they called with some good news...he was taken off of the oxygen and breathing better! Praise God! We continued our prayers for complete healing and thanked God for His protection over our son.
This week we got the news that B* is WELL!!! He is off the meds and doing great. Thank you Lord for hearing our cries and answering!
In the pics we received this week you can tell he looks like he feels better, what a sweet gift to get right before Thanksgiving!
He is growing and developing well. They say he laughs and babbles! I can not wait to hear that with my own ears! What a sweet sound that will be.

The awesome couple that took our care package to him this month should be getting home soon with their son and will be sending us pics and info from their time with him there. I'm on the edge of my seat about that!
We're going to be able to send him another care package in December...his first Christmas present from his mommy and daddy...thanks to another couple who will be traveling then. For me that's the next best thing to actually having him here at Christmas.

We've been working hard to get the garage project done and are just about there. Just some minor things left and then we can move on to the nursery! We've had two amazing baby showers - I'll post about them soon - and are getting his nursery filled up and ready for his arrival. Paint colors are picked out and it's almost time to start painting.

It looks like it's going to be January before we get to go get him, we're praying that it's no later than that anyway. We're still waiting to hear when our court date will be. Thankfully it's the holiday season so we'll be busy and the time will hopefully go by quickly.
That's it for now, more to come later.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! We have to much to be thankful for this holiday season and we are so blessed by a God who loves us.
I am thankful for the hard times, the disappointments and trials. Not because I enjoy pain but because I know that I am not alone and that God is there working things out in His timing and for His glory. I am thankful for all of the things He's taught me during the hard times too. Remembering these things keeps me going during the long times of waiting during our adoption process. I know God has a reason for the wait and I know that when He does bring us together with our son it will be at the exact, perfect time. I am thankful that I have someone who loves me and cares for me and knows what's best for me and my family.
I am thankful for my wonderful husband who God has given me, who blesses my life everyday with his love and his warm heart. I can't imagine walking through life with anyone else; he is my best friend and my true love and I can't wait to watch Him grow into an incredible daddy.
I am thankful for my family and friends. God has blessed me abundantly by placing some really wonderful people in my life and I am so thankful for that. It's so comforting to know that you have a great support system around you to come along side you and be there for you when you need them.
Thank you Lord for all of these blessings and the countless others you've given to me, I am overwhelmed by your love, mercy and grace.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Care Pacakge

We sent our first care package today to our little guy! A family who will be going to Ethiopia soon to meet and bring home their son, graciously volunteered to take care packages for other families who are waiting to go. We sent him a couple of outfits, socks, a blanket, a toy and a small photo album with pictures of us in it. They will open it with him when they get there and take pictures of him for us. I can't thank them enough and so can't wait to see those pictures!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

God is good!

He really is! After getting the email about the delay in getting a court date and feeling very discouraged, I prayed for something that would lift me up. Well not even a minute later I got another email. Guess what it update on our little B*!!!! Three new pictures and a little bit on his development! How sweet our Lord is, what blessings He bestows on us. I wish I could post the pictures, they are adorable. He's smiling in one...the first smile we've gotten to see...and he has more hair now. It's amazing what a difference a month makes.
Thank you God for this sweet gift, it was just what I needed.


I'm feeling very discouraged and disappointed today. I just found out that it will be at least two or three weeks until we even hear about when our court date will be. That means most likely we'll have a court date in December which means we won't have our son home by the end of the year. I know God's timing is perfect and I will be patient, but honestly, this is tough. Please join me in praying that our little guy stays healthy and happy and is loved on until we can get there.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Court is Open

We received the following email today from America World... exciting news!

Dear Families,

I am excited to announce that court was officially open and working as of today!

We are moving forward to work with the court in order to receive court dates for all families. Please be prepared that it is not uncommon for the court to issue court dates out of order from referral time frames. Rest assured we will be doing everything we can to get all families a court date as quickly as possible.

Check out the next sentence, I had to read it twice...

I am hopeful to have confirmed court dates for all referral families in the next three to four weeks or possibly sooner. I will email your family as soon as I have received your confirmed court date.

This doesn't necessarily mean our actual court date will be in three or four weeks, it just means that we'll have a court date set within that time frame.
Keep the prayers coming! :-)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Referral Acceptance

We mailed off our referral acceptance letter along with payment due for fees last week. What a great feeling to say, "Yes Lord, this is our child! Thank you for bringing us together and we can't wait to see all that You will do in him and through him in the future."
Hang on sweet baby boy, we love you and we'll be there soon. :-)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

IT'S A BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe it, we have a beautiful 4 month old baby boy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We got the last Wednesday, the last day of September! This is significant to us because it shows God's faithfulness. It's been a crazy week so I am just now getting to post about our referral. Thank you Lord for answered prayer and this amazing blessing!!!!

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory. Eph. 3:20-21

So here's how it happened. Let me start by saying that at the beginning of this adoption process God put the month of September on my heart so I started praying about it and really felt that it would be the month we got the call about our baby. My mother-in-law had the same feeling.

By mid September we hadn't heard anything and there hadn't been a whole lot of referrals going out to families in our agency and we started to get discouraged. We were asking people to pray that we would have patience during this time. Then the last week of the month came and that Monday I was pouring out my heart to God, telling Him how much I needed something to encourage me, to keep me going through the wait. That evening we found out we were #1 on the baby boy waiting list! How great is His faithfulness, He always gives just what we need, just when we need it.

For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:9

The next day we were filled with excitement, thinking well, it's the last week of September, could it really be this week? Could we really get to see our baby?? Could it really be that fast, from being #1 on the list to getting the call, just a couple of days? Wednesday came with the realization that it was in fact the last day of the month. I didn't want to get my hopes up too much but I believed there was a reason God put September on my heart in the beginning, so that morning during my quite time I prayed about it, giving it to God.

After my quite time I started getting to work on organizing our closets. I've been "nesting" lately and I had pulled everything out of the closets trying to organize them and make more room for our stuff and the babies stuff. Anyway, I heard my phone ringing at 11:30 and I thought it was probably Ben since it was about time for him to be going to lunch. Well, I saw the number and froze, it wasn't Ben, it was our agency! I answered and our family coordinator was on the other end with a smile in her voice! I thought, NO WAY, is this really it?! I had put the thought of it out of my mind after that morning, so seeing the number, I was in shock.

I felt like I was moving in slow motion. She said she had good news and that this was our referral call! I instantly started crying and jumping up and down. I think I even asked her, "Are you serious?". She laughed and said, "Yes!". So she tried to conference Ben in so he could hear everything first hand but he wasn't answering. She tried his work phone and his cell phone. I didn't want him to miss it so I said, "Let me try to get a hold of him and we'll call you back". I called his cell and work phone again, no answer. I texted him, emailed and IM'ed him, still nothing. I kept pacing back and forth and even thought about driving up to his office.

Thankfully he called back shortly after and we excitedly called her back. She told us we had a beautiful baby boy and a little about his history. She sent an email with pictures and more information. Ben was able to leave work early so we could open the email and see our son for the first time together. I was so thankful because I didn't think I could stand waiting 4 hours for him to get home to open that email!! We laughed and cried as we read through all of the info and stared at his pictures. What a precious little baby, he's so beautiful!

We called our family and friends to share the news and were just so unbelievably overjoyed and thankful. I'm still just in awe of the fact that God chose us for this amazing journey and that He chose this specific little boy for us and us for him. It's such a humbling reality. What a sense of humor He has too, waiting until THE last day of September to reveal His plan and blessing to us. Just when we needed it of course. :-)

The Curtain Project

One of my goals for this year has been to learn to sew and be able to make things for the house. So Ben bought me a sewing machine for my birthday and I finally (let's just say it's been a while since my birthday) put it to use. A friend of mine came over and helped me make curtains for my bedroom and it was really fun. It felt really good to accomplish something like that. Seeing them hanging there, knowing that they are special because they were handmade and no one else has any just like them is pretty cool. :-)

It was quite the experience learning how to use my machine. We had our share of difficulties. I think it took us something like 2-3 hours just to make the first panel. The bobbin kept jamming and we'd have to re-thread the machine over and over and just when we thought we had it all fixed, it'd do it again. I guess it's just part of the learning process. After that though, it went much faster. Caren was very patient and I know I couldn't have done it without her.

I have leftover material so I think I'll try and make some pillows that match to put on the bed!

Now on to curtains for another room!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Movin' On Up!

We just found out today that we are now #1 on the baby boy waiting list!!!! It's been an exciting day seeing referrals come though for waiting families knowing that their prayers are being answered, sharing in the excitement with them and also seeing our names move up on the waiting list. Just last week we were struggling with feeling discouraged about the wait and not seeing any referrals coming in and this week God's showering us with blessings by showing His awesome faithfulness. His timing is perfect.
Keep the prayers going!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Butterfly Circus

You must watch this beautiful story of hope, healing and transformation. It's just wonderful. The character of Will is played by Nick Vujicic who is an awesome christian motivational speaker. Check him out on YouTube or his website,

Monday, August 31, 2009

Wedding Cake

I recently did a wedding and groom's cake for a client. They got married in Hawaii and wanted a cupcake wedding cake with Hawaiian colors. It was lots of fun to make. I learned a lot doing it, like that fact that I need another fridge just for cakes! Her sister may be asking me to make her wedding cake as well. I sure hope so! Here are pics of the cakes, enjoy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On Deck!

We received our "on deck" email this morning! This means we are in the top 10!! America World sends out an email to the families in the top 10 telling them they are "on deck" or getting close with more info on the referral process. We are very excited and praying hard for the staff at America World as they prayerfully discern which child to place with which family.

The courts just closed in Ethiopia for a month so things might slow down a little bit but we're told that referrals still come though even during court closures. The closures really affect the families who have already received a referral and are waiting on a court date. They will have to wait another month until the courts reopen.
So now we need to make sure all of our paperwork is up to date and start getting our shots for traveling!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

5 Month Update

This past month has pretty much flown by! What's been going on? Well, lots!
I felt confirmation from the Lord that it was time for me to move on and start preparing for our new season of life so I talked to my boss and put in my resignation at work. He was very understnading and very excited for us. Last Friday was my last day! I am now officially a house wife and I'm so excited. I've got lots to do to prepare for the baby coming and I'm going to continue to work on building my cake business so I'll still be pretty busy. Speaking of cakes, here is a pic of a recent cake I've done.

The people in my department at work threw me a baby shower before I left which as really sweet. We receved lots of great things for the baby; it was really fun. That night after Ben got home we laid everything out to look at it and re-read all the cards, it was a really special time. It made us even more excited and ready for our baby to come!
We don't have any news yet but we've been watching referrals come in for other families which bumps us up on the waiting list. Right now, unofficially, we are number 12! We're praying that we'll be able to bring our little one home by Christmas. We should be having another conference call with our agency soon so hopefully we'll get some more updates then.

We met some new friends this month which has been really fun. I realize God's brought them into our lives for a purpose and at the right time and I'm really looking forward to being able to spend some time with the girls and get to know them better now that I'm off.

Ben's really enjoying his new job and is doing well there. He's been mountain biking a lot and he's gotten quite a few guys going with him so he's having such a blast with that.

We're gearing up to start back up with our Life Group in the fall and we're praying it will be a great time of growth, study, fellowship and living life together. We've been meeting kind of sporadically over the summer to give everyone time for family vacations and things like that so it will be good to get back to seeing everyone every week again.

That's it for now, now I'm off to make dinner and start my new career as a house wife!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

8th Anniversary

We recently celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. Neither of us can believe it's been eight years already. We were given a gift card to Del Frisco's so we decided to celebrate our anniversary in style. :-) We got dressed up (so fun) and went downtown for dinner. The food was amazing. Filet Mignon, garlic and chive mashed potatoes and sauteed green beans with onions. YUM! They knew it was our anniversary so they brought us dessert with candles in it. We "toasted" each other and these past eight years and blew out the candles. I had butterscotch cheesecake and Ben had chocolate mousse. I'm drooling just thinking about it!
Be thankful I didn't take picture of the food or you'd be drooling too! ;-)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

4 Month Update

Today we had our 4th waiting families conference call. It's been just over 4 months of waiting so far. I have to say this last month has been the hardest by far. There wasn't a lot of new info on our call today; the wait time change on infant boys was brought up and confirmed, we were told that the courts in Ethiopia will close for about 5-6 weeks starting at the end of August. I doubt this will have any effect on our referral or anything but it's good news for some families who've already received their referral and are waiting on a court date because it means they won't have to wait as long as expected. The norm has been that the courts close for about three months there during the rainy season (August - October) so our agency was very excited to hear it would only be about half as long. They asked that we continue to lift up the nannies and nurses at the transition home in Ethiopia as well as all of the AWAA staff in prayer so we will definitely continue to do that while we're waiting.

Ben's enjoying his job (praise God for providing!) and is doing well there. He's a quick learner and is doing his thing. His boss even received a compliment from another employee on him today which made him feel good.
We've been praying for a long time about my job and the fact that we feel it's best -God's plan - for me to stay home with the baby when he or she gets here. I've struggled with making the right decision for a while now, just wanting to make sure it was God's will and not my own basically, but recently I've felt that God is releasing me from my position and giving me the okay to leave and start preparing at home for our little one. Feathering the nest as a friend so beautifully put it.

I've also been working on getting the cake business going. Business cards have been ordered and a website is in the works - thanks to my awesome bro-in-law - which has been pretty exciting. I don't know what God's plan is for this whole thing but I'm looking forward to finding out.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wait Time Changes

Just found out that the wait time for infant boys is now 6-8 months instead of 9-11 months!!!!!!!!!!!
We requested either a boy or girl and I don't know which God has chosen for us but oh my goodness, if it is a boy... that means we've got about 3-5 months left. Of course this is always subject to change, so lets not get ahead of ourselves here. But aren't I allowed to hope? :-)

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope.
Psalm 130:5

Here's a note from our agency's blog about it.

Ethiopia Referral Update!

The end of June and very beginning of July has blessed the Ethiopia program with 9 referrals so far!

Due to the recent trends of received referrals the wait time for an infant male is now currently 6-8 months, while the wait time for a female infant remains 9-11 months. This trend is based on recent history, but is subject to change. We are excited to see what the Lord will provide in the upcoming months. Your prayers are truly appreciated!

As you can see the infant girls wait time is still the same so we'll see if this has any effect for us or not.

I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God.
Psalm 38:15

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.
Psalm 40:1

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ben got a job!

Praise the Lord, Ben was offered a job at the company he interviewd with in Ft. Worth. He started last week and seems to really like it. I'm so glad everything worked out and that he feels useful again. Thank you Lord for ALWAYS providing, You are SO good to us!

Vision of Sweetness

I was sitting in church this morning and had a vision of one day soon sitting in the service with our sweet baby in a sling on my chest. It was heavenly!!

Sadly, I have no updates to give you right now; we're still in the waiting process. We'll have our monthly waiting families conference call in a few weeks and hopefully we'll get some good updates then. There are about 19 families with AWAA as of right now that will be traveling to pick up their little ones this month which is very exciting. Also, the top 10 families on the waiting for referral list include a few families who submitted their dossiers at the beginning of January '09 so that's good news. We submitted our dossier in March so we're slowly getting up there. I have no way of knowing where we are exactly based on that information, but I know God's moving things along at just the right pace.

We're getting ready to start working on the garage, sheet rocking and organizing it, which I think that will be a good project to keep us busy for a little while and help the time go by so I'm looking forward to it. I hope Ben is too! :-)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Interview #3

Ben's Got an interview tomorrow morning with a company in downtown Ft. Worth. He's definitely qualified for it.
Keep the prayers coming!

Monday, June 22, 2009

3 months down...

6-9 more to go! This song has been one that I've been listening to for a long time now and it speaks to what my prayer has been during this time of waiting.

It's not easy to wait, especially in the society we live in where it's so fast paced and instant gratification is the norm, but I'm thankful in so many ways for learning to wait on the Lord. Some days are easier than others obviously, but I don't want to miss out on opportunities to see God move or to be used by Him because I'm so focused on the long awaited goal of meeting our sweet baby, so I pray this song. God is so big and yet He can use the smallest things or situations or encounters to bless someone or change a life. I don't want to waste those moments because they are precious and He has already blessed me so much.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Another Interview!

Ben has another interview tomorrow afternoon for a helpdesk position with a company in North Richland Hills. Please keep him in your prayers!

Monday, June 8, 2009


Ben has an interview tomorrow with a company in Addison. It's pretty far and the job is only part time so he's not too sure about it but is going to check it out anyway.

Pray for clarity and discernment.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Orphan Movie Petition

Warner Brothers Pictures will be releasing a horror movie on July 24th called “Orphan.” The film is about a couple who decides to adopt a 9-year-old girl from a local orphanage who “is not what she appears to be.” The message portrayed about adoption and orphans, particularly older children, is extremely negative. One of the quotes in the movie is, “It must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own.” We, as adoptive parents to be, know that adoption is a great blessing and gift from the Lord. This film’s message is completely contradictory to the message of adoption given by God.

Please help us protest this release by signing an online petition and by contacting your local theaters, as well as Warner Brothers Pictures, to voice your concerns about this movie.

Warner Bros.
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Seasons Change

Ben's been dreaming about storms lately. The Holy Spirit usually wakes him up around 3am a few nights a week to pray about certain things and lately, it's been storms. I think He was preparing him for walking through a new season; a stormy season. I guess it's about time, it's been pretty calm seas lately. There's been distant rumblings for a while now, rumors of layoffs and layoffs that have just missed us. Today though, the rumblings developed into a crash of thunder overhead when Ben received the dreaded call to HR to inform him he'd been let go. Cost reduction was the explanation.

I'm thankful for the change in season though, I know it will be a time of growth for us, in our relationships with the Lord and with each other. We are blessed to have a good support system around us to lift us up and come along side us as we face the storm head on and say "let's go". There's a nervousness but also an excitement of what's to come. Our Lord has a plan and He is mighty and strong and we know that nothing is too big for Him. There are so many options, so many directions Ben can go from here and that gives him hope. He is a godly man and I'm blessed and thankful to see him putting his faith and trust in the Almighty and see that he is ready to move forward with whatever it is God has planned next. It stirs excitement within me.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear. Though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
Psalm 46:1-3

We're praying for wisdom, direction, God's provision to cover us during this time, a renewed passion and hunger to do His will and to be open to whatever that might look like. Please pray with us! Rain always brings new growth.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
2 Cor. 4:17

Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Psalm 100:3

Saturday, May 16, 2009


We found out this week that the government in Ethiopia is not going to write letters of recommendation for adoption for abandoned children while they investigate the large increase in number of abandoned children they have seen recently. I'm thankful that they care about the children and the adoption process and want to make sure nothing illegal is going on but this does cause a lot of families' wait times to increase. Our agency said that about 20 - 25% of the children that are a part of their transition home are abandoned children.
Some of the families in our agency got this news about their child the day before they were supposed to go to court in Ethiopia and now they will have to wait. My heart breaks for them, I can only imagine after all of the months of waiting, finally knowing who your child is and being so excited that in one day your case is to go before the judge and he will grant you custody of that child, and then knowing in a few weeks you will be going to pick him up, and then you find out that it will all have to wait. Devestating. They aren't sure how long this investigation will take but hopefully it is resloved quickly.

We are praying for the families this is immediately affecting and for those it might affect soon as well. We are also praying for the people in government there to have wisdom to figure this out and that things would get resolved quickly. We know God is in control and His timing is perfect.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Just wanted to say Happy Mother's Day to our moms. We love you very much and appreciate all that you do for us. We appreciate you supporting us in our decision to follow God's plan to adopt a child and look forward to the day that you are holding our little one in your arms, realizing that you're a will be a sweet time.

Her children arise and call her blessed. Proverbs 31:28

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It's Almost Done

So it's raining. Again. It's been raining for over a week now with a day or two here or there with a break. We need the rain, I know this. We also need to finish our shed. The above mentioned breaks in the rain happen, conveniently, on days when it's not possible for us to work on the shed. We really just need two more days and we'll be done. One day to finish priming and one day to paint. So we're praying for no rain tomorrow but then Friday we've got plans and Saturday, well, it's gonna rain.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Demolition Day

So what are we up to while we're waiting for our referral? We're keeping busy by doing some remodeling. Much needed remodeling at that! Our first project (we have SEVERAL) is building a new shed. My super amazing hubby tore down our old shed in about two hours last night...I helped too...but he did all the hard work. :-)

The new shed is being delivered and then we'll get busy putting it together. With lots of help of course!

Did Someone Say Cake??

I've been working on a few more cakes lately. Here are some pics. Yum!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Where in the world is...our dossier? In ETHIOPIA!

It made it! Our dossier has made it to Ethiopia and was picked up by the AWAA staff there on Friday. I managed to only check the Fedex tracking site twice a day through the process... I think that's pretty good. Here's the route it took.
March 20th: Herndon, VA
March 21st: Newark, NJ
March 25th: Paris, France
March 26th: Dubai, Arab Emirates
March 27th: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

So we continue to wait and pray. Please join us in prayer that the paperwork goes through the proper channels without any problems or hangups. Pray for the children who are currently in the orphanages, waiting for their forever families to come get them and for those that haven't arrived yet. Pray for their health, peace and comfort and that they know they are loved.Pray for the birth parents of our little one, whether he's/she's been born yet or not. Pray for their physical health and that they can know the love of Christ and find comfort in Him through the difficultly of placing that sweet baby in an orphanage because they just can't give him/her the life he/she deserves.Pray they understand that the family chosen by God to parent that child will love him with all that they have and raise him to know the love of Christ and never let him go without knowing about his birth parents, country and culture. Pray for us as we prepare spiritually, mentally, physically to be parents of this special little baby chosen by God.

Friday, March 27, 2009

In Memory of Molly

Thursday we had to say goodbye to our sweet, happy Molly. She had a stoke and was no longer going to be able to stand, walk, eat or drink. She was 14. Our hearts are broken but we are thankful she doesn't have to suffer. We were supposed to go camping this weekend but it started raining at the beginning of the week and by Wednesday we decided it was too wet and cold to go so we stayed home. We now realize that this was God's way of keeping us around to be there for Molly when this happened.
Molly was such a joy to us, she was always happy and smiling. I adopted her from the local shelter when she was just a baby and she's been such a good dog since the very start. So playful and carefree. She was very vocal and would let you know if she wanted something! She tore up her knee, had surgery, tore it again, but she just keep on going. She was so strong. Oh how I loved her. She will be terribly missed and never forgotten.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Where in the world is...our dossier?

Our dossier is offically on it's way to Ethiopia today! Our agency emailed us the tracking number so we can follow it's progress! I wonder how many stops it will make along the way and where it will go.

I can already see that I'm going to have to set a limit for myself on how many times a day I can check the FedEx website or else I could very easily become obsessed.

5 times? Okay that's probably a bit much. Maybe giving me the tracking number wasn't such a good idea... :-)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dossier is Complete!

Our Completed Dossier

Friday we mailed our dossier to our agency! Our family coordinator will receive it on Monday and she said that it should be on it's way to the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs in Ethiopia on Friday of next week! All glory goes to God for getting us through the paperwork process without any major issues and with our sanity intact. Please continue to pray that everything goes smoothly and there aren't any hold ups with the paperwork.

We feel so blessed and thankful to be chosen by God to adopt a child who so desperately needs a family to love them and take care of them. We bow at the feet of our Saviour in awe of His sovereignty and love.

Let the name of the Lord be praised,
both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
His glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
the One who sits enthroned on high?
Psalms 113: 2 - 5

Monday, March 2, 2009

Tip of the Week

As we're going through this adoption process our family coordinator sends out weekly encouragement emails with Scripture verses and helpful tips for where we are in the process. The one we received this week was very encouraging and gives a bit more detail into the time frame we are looking at so I thought I'd share what she said.

Tip of the Week:
It is important for families to call or email their family coordinator
before planning to send their dossier to America World. Family
coordinators can ensure that families are sending all necessary
documents, copies, agreements, and payments with their dossier. As a
reminder,all pieces of a family’s dossier, including payments, must arrive at the America World office no later than 12 p.m. each Tuesday to be sent to Ethiopia with that Friday’s shipment. If a dossier lacks an item and/or a payment has not been made, the dossier will be held until the item arrives and/or the payment has been made. For this reason, families are advised to touch base with their family coordinator before sending their dossier package.

Dossiers are sent each week providing at least 2 completed dossiers are
ready to be sent. Otherwise,a dossier will be held until the next available shipment. Please keep in mind completed dossiers are moved to the “waiting” portion of the process, receive a family number, and have been placed on the list to receive a referral. Due to confidentiality families are not given their “waiting number” but instead use their DTE date as an approximation of the timing of the referral.

This means that as soon as we send our dossier to Terra we're officially on the waiting list - even before it gets to Ethiopia. I know this doesn't change the wait time but it just feels really great knowing that we'll be moving on to the waiting stage a little bit sooner than we thought. :-)

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at
all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Romans 8:24-25

Friday, February 27, 2009

Good News!

Well my family and friends, we've done it. The paperwork is complete!
Here's how it went down: Monday we received our certificates of completion for our online training course we had to complete, Tuesday we received the post placement agreement form that had to be signed by our home study agency and Wednesday I finished our photo pages! Thursday I emailed our family coordinator all of our documents to make sure we had everything and to see what the next step is to get our dossier on it's way to be certified and today I mailed it to the Secretary of State!

I can not believe we're at this point. I can't believe it's all coming together now. It seems so surreal. Ben and I have been filled with nervous excitement all week knowing that this paper pregnancy stage is coming to an end...and now that we've mailed it off it just makes everything seem so much more real. Our wonderful coordinator said that we should expect it to take a week to get our dossier back from the state. Then we'll make a bunch of copies (4 total) and send 3 of them to her (we keep one to take with us when we go pick up our baby) and she'll send everything to Ethiopia. WOW!! Is this really happening?? Someone pinch me to make sure I'm not dreaming!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Do's & Don'ts of International Adoption

While doing our online training we came across this list. I thought it was a good one to share.

Do's of Internatioal Adoption
Do treat her like any other kid. It may be difficult and take a while for adopted children to feel like they belong within their extended families. Treating these children like they're "nothing special" can go a long way toward making them feel at home and comfortable within the group.

Avoid the temptation to spoil her because she didn't have everything that the other kids had in the first few months or years of her life. The most valuable gifts you can offer these children are patience, routine, and consistency -- and most of all, unexaggerated expressions of love and devotion.

Do support her when curious strangers ask questions. When curious (and sometimes thoughtless) strangers ask questions or feel the need to comment on the circumstances of the adoption, do not let them lead you into uncomfortable territory. Instead, gently steer them back to more suitable small talk or respond in such a way that shifts the conversation to positive adoption language that in turn lets the child know that you are on her side.

Do respect her privacy. Adopted children have the same need for and the right to privacy as you do. They do not want their entire life story being told to strangers. If she hears you discussing the intimate details of her origins, she will likely feel embarrassed. Until the child is old enough to decide for herself how much information she would like to share regarding her background, please respect her privacy.

Do treat prospective adoptive parents the same as expectant parents. Adopting a child is just as exciting for soon-to-be parents as being pregnant. They feel the same way all expectant parents do -- overjoyed, overwhelmed, nervous, impatient, and most of all, excited. Don't be afraid to ask adopting parents about these feelings. After all, adoption is neither a secret nor a source of embarrassment or shame.

Do acknowledge and celebrate the differences. One of the best things you can do to show your support as well as your love for the adopted child in your life is to learn a bit about the culture and history of her birth country. Read a couple of books, especially travel books. Even if you have no plans to travel there, there is no better way to get the feeling of another country.

Don'ts of International Adoption
Don't introduce her as adopted. The pain this inflicts on the child is obvious. The child is made to feel inferior, like she will never be considered a real part of the family. The rule is simple: Don't ever, ever do this.

Don't say how "lucky" she is. After hearing this enough times, the child can be made to feel like a lifelong charity case, rather than the cherished child she is. Yes, she is lucky, but so is any child who has a supportive, loving family. And we parents are lucky, too, to have been able to create this loving, supportive family.

Don't assume adoption is a second choice. The reasons people choose to adopt are as varied and unique as the people themselves. While it is true that many choose adoption because of infertility, it is also true that many choose adoption for a myriad of other reasons as well. Many people choose to adopt not because they are out of other options, but rather because they believe that adoption is the best choice for them.

Don't jump to conclusions about the birth mother. Often thought of as weak, irresponsible, cheap, and worthless, birth mothers often suffer a lifetime of pain far greater than that of childbirth. Please don't jump to the wrong conclusion that these women are any different than you and me or that they love their children any less.

Most cross-cultural adoptive families know little or nothing about the circumstances that led their child's birth mother to relinquish her child. What they do know is that they love their children's birth mothers because they are a part of their children and it is because of them that their beloved children are who they are.

Don't tell us we're sure to have "our own" now. She is our own. Having "our own" is irrelevant; the child we have is the one we want and it is inconceivable that we could love or want any child more. Like all parents, we have the best.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Our I-171H is here!

We are almost done! We received our I-171H in the mail last week and are finishing up the online training course and getting the last documents finalized and notarized. I think we should definitely have our completed dossier in the mail to the agency by the end of the month to be sent to Ethiopia. We're going to have a dossier celebration when it's finished! :-)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cakes Galore!

Here are some pics of some of the most recent cakes I've made. I'm working on building up my protfolio. :-)

Friday, January 30, 2009

It's the end of January! How did that happen?

I know, I know, it's been awhile! The new year has come and it's already almost February. Where has the time gone? What have I even been doing? I don't know! I guess I've felt that I haven't really had much to say lately, as mostly we've just been waiting and taking each day one at a time. It's been... difficult this past month. We've had major layoffs and cutbacks at work and we both were afraid we'd be loosing our jobs. My boss is leaving next week and I was sure I'd be going along with her but thankfully, amazingly, I still have a job. As those of you close to me know it's a bit bittersweet but with the economy the way it is, all I can do is be thankful. I really feel like I've just been in survival mode trying to get through all of the changes. I am encouraged though that I will get back to the land of the living again soon (more on that in a minute)!

We have had some good times this past month too. We were given a gift card at Christmas for a dinner out so we decided to use it one weekend and it was so nice. We hadn't been out to dinner at a "sit down" restaurant in quite a while and we had such a good time. We also used the gift cards we were given at Christmas for Starbucks to buy a bag of their Ethiopian coffee which was really fun. It's very strong but if you use more water to coffee it's really good. I thought it might be like the coffee we had at Queen of Sheba's on our anniverary(it had a sort of cinnamon/spice flavour)but it was a little different. Still good though and I like the fact that we are helping the farmers in Ethiopia / Africa by buying their product. I've been making a few cakes and actually have 4 to make in February so I'm pretty excited about that...lots of practice for my future cake business!! :-)

Adoption Update:
We're still waiting on our I-171 H form to come. They said it could take up to 12 weeks! I was praying it would come by today but as I cautiously checked the mail when I got home from work today, I realized that wasn't going to happen. I guess God had a different plan! Maybe it's really a blessing because we found out this week that we have to have our 8 hours of online training courses completed before we can mail in our dossier anyway; this is a new rule and we haven't even started it because originally you just had to have it done before the adoption is complete. How will they know if you've done it you ask? Well, once you've completed the course they mail you a certificate of completion that you have to submit along with your dossier! I read that one mom-to-be did her course and they told her that she did it too quickly and made her re-take it... they are very thorough! She said that she works for an adoption agency and had adopted previously so it was all pretty much stuff she already knew which is why it didn't take her very long, but I guess they want to make sure you're really paying attention and grasping what they're saying. I'm cool with that, I just know we'd better get on it!

So we need to get that done and there are some forms that we have to redo because of changes made by the Ethiopian government, so we've still got a bit to do. Honestly it's disappointing that we aren't done with this part of the process yet but I know I shouldn't be trying to rush it too much. I need to just enjoy this part of the process because each little thing we do is one step closer to our dream come true, and without each step the end result wouldn't be the same. The Lord revealed a little bit of His plan to me this afternoon (this is where the encouragement comes in). He showed me through the experience of another mom who recently brought her little girl home from Ethiopia that He's going to do a lot of work in me; He's got a lot of work to do before this is all over. I felt like He spoke confirmation to me that I'm going to know, to really know what it's like to be loved by Him. That's something that I've struggled with all of my life and it was so sweet to see that He's using this experience not only for a child to have a safe, loving home in which he or she can grow, flourish and come to know Christ, but also to open my eyes and teach me more about Him. To deepen my relationship with Him and help me to understand His love and then take that and show that same love to those who need it. Just thinking about it now makes me excited! I know that this will make an impact for others as well, not just our immediate family. I can't wait to see what's in store.

Things will be picking up around here soon, I just know it. So stay tuned!!