Our growing family

Our growing family

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Paperwork is officially...DONE!!!

So today was an amazing day from start to finish. Todd and I enjoyed a nice walk and a picnic at the park with Leah Bear and Jay Tyler! It was beautiful weather and we enjoyed being together as our precious family of four. Then, literally five minutes before FIVE families were to arrive at our house for our first African Fellowship night...our I171H DOCUMENT ARRIVED IN THE MAIL!!! We are officially DONE with paperwork...well at least for now. After we enjoyed a GREAT night with five of the most precious families...Todd and I called my mom and asked if she could come stay with the kiddies while we rushed over to FedEx to ship off our Dossier to AWAA!!! Our Dossier should be in Christina's hands at AWAA on Tuesday morning and hopefully we will be on the waiting list with a DTE (Dossier To Ethiopia) date VERY SOON! Below is a picture of us at FedEx right before we mailed off our Dossier...the lady behind the counter was not nearly as excited as us but she humored us and took the picture!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I think I'll move to Australia...

well...not really but that is my favorite line in the children's book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. I have read this book many times to my students and to Leah Bear but today I TOTALLY understood how little Alexander felt in the story...nothing went his way. So, this morning as I was getting ready to sub at SRAA for the day, Leah came in my bedroom to tell me she had thrown up all over her bed and herself. YUCK...many of you know that I HATE THROW UP...I can handle boogers and poop but throw up is not my thing. So I decided that I wasn't going to sub and that Leah and Jay Tyler would not go to preschool today either. Then, Jay Tyler woke up with a runny nose and was coughing a lot. He wanted me to hold him and love on him all morning. He was fussy and very "needy". So, as I was cleaning up the kitchen...I heard Leah run to the bathroom...and you guessed it...more throw up:( So I put her in the tub and Jay Tyler in his chair with some snack. I cleaned the entire bathroom and bathed Leah while Jay Tyler insisted on crying the whole time because he wanted to get in the tub with Leah. By the time, it was noon...I WAS TIRED! So, it was VERY appropriate when Leah picked this book out to read before nap time because I felt like I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day...

But then it got better...my mom offered to come over after lunch and help out, my best friend Chelsea called and offered to cook us some dinner, and my sister in-law texted to tell me she was praying for us! So even in the midst of a challenging morning, God provided me the strength and patience needed for the day...and some sweet encouragement and help too! Praise God...and a BIG THANK YOU to Nana, Chelsea, and Mandy. Maybe one day Todd and I will get to visit Australia:)

Monday, January 24, 2011

JOYful heart...

So, this past Friday night was so refreshing and full of joy in so many ways. The BeautiControl Spa party is just what I needed on Friday night...I think all of the ladies that came needed it too! I was run down, tired, and feeling a little "pooped". I was hoping that about 8-10 ladies would come and support this amazing adoption fundraiser AND take advantage of some time away from the stresses of life to just relax. Well...14 ladies later...WE...HAD...A...BLAST! It was so relaxing and refreshing...just what this mommy needed! I got to catch up with my best friend from college that I hadn't seen in over a year and that was precious to me! I love her and wish we could spend more time together. I also got to spend time with several "newer" friends and get to know them just a little bit more...and of course I got to spend time with many of my favorite ladies in the world who support me THROUGH IT ALL...thank you so much ladies!!! God reminded me on Friday night of how much HE LOVES ME and supplies me with exactly the right friends and family members to help carry me when I am burdened and rejoice with me when prayers are answered.

Sometimes, Todd and I can feel alone on this adoption journey...when I was pregnant both times with Leah Bear and Jay Tyler, not a day went by without someone in our family, or friends of ours, or even total strangers would ask about the pregnancy...How far a long are you? Are you having a boy or girl? What name have you picked out?...people would call specifically to "check up on us" and make sure I was feeling all right? Well...we have found that there is not as much talk about our adoption...and sometimes it just hurts. There are days when we feel alone on this journey...but God has been teaching both of us the last few weeks that in HIS time, others will come to want to know more about this amazing journey He has us on...family and friends will seek answers and want to invest in our little "baby Ethiopia". God reminds me daily that HE cares, HE loves our baby, and HE already knows exactly when we will meet our precious child! So, thank you so much to those friends and family members that take the time to ASK...we greatly appreciate your support and questions! A BIG thank you to those out there that read our blog...I learned at the spa party that some people do actually read our blog...yay!!! It is therapy for me to write about this adoption journey...but it is always nice to hear that others enjoy reading our updates and praying for our specific needs!

Anyways...Happy Monday!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

BeautiControl Spa products...

So a friend of our is a consultant for BeautiControl Spa...she messaged me on Facebook a couple of months ago and said she heard about our decision to adopt and wanted to help raise money for our adoption fund. She wanted to have a "spa party" and donate ALL of her profit to our adoption fund!!! Really...I was BLOWN away...that is so gracious, generous, and giving...giving of her time and hard earned money! I still can't believe it!! She is having a spa party for me on Friday and I have invited a lot of you to come and I HOPE YOU WILL!!! But...if you don't live near us or can't come, YOU CAN STILL HELP!!! If you would like to get great products and help with our adoption fund at one time then check out her website...

You can order from her website and she will donate ALL of her profit to our adoption fund!!! Win-win situation for all of us...REALLY!!! You might say..."Well, we don't have a lot of money to spend right now or can't afford it"...that is ok...I checked out the catalog and online website and there are great products for $10 OR LESS!!! EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS with our adoption!!! Thanks so much for joining us on the journey of adoption:)

Friday, January 14, 2011


So, our fingerprint appointments are done and we look forward to receiving our I171H document in the mail SOON...very soon! We were only at the USCIS office for about 20 minutes and then we were done...pretty uneventful but that is just fine with us! Now, we are relaxing at Starbucks and looking forward to spending time with our precious friend, Amber, tonight and tomorrow! We have already enjoyed a relaxing lunch and little bit of shopping (for clothes for Leah Bear)...just what the doctor ordered for this busy mommy!!! Thanks for all of your prayers...please continue to pray for our document to come in the mail really soon! Looking forward to being on the waiting list for our precious "baby Ethiopia"!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

God claims you...

Precious "Baby Ethiopia",

Mommy and daddy want you to know that GOD CLAIMS YOU and we look forward to claiming you in our family forever too! We have not seen you or held you but we are totally in love with YOU. We long for the day when we know whether you are a precious baby boy or girl...we look forward to seeing a picture of you and giving you a name...we can't wait for the day we meet you for the first time...oh we hope it is soon...real soon! We have loved you since we made the decision to start this adoption journey in September, 2010. There is not a day that doesn't go by that we don't pray for you and think of you...WE CLAIM YOU! One day, you will have a warm house, plenty of food, and family that LOVES YOU! You will be held and kissed A LOT...probably more than you want but you will definitely know that you are LOVED. For now...we pray that God will protect you and keep you safe until we come to bring you into our family forever!

Mommy and Daddy

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Newest FAQ's answered...

So over the holidays we had some of the same questions asked over and over again...by the way, we are NOT complaining about this at all...we would LOVE for you to ask questions and get involved in our adoption journey and adoption in general...IT IS SUCH A WORTHY CALLING! Anyways...answers to our newest FAQ's...

1. Did you struggle to get pregnant THIS time and so you decided to adopt?
NO...we haven't even tried to get pregnant again...We strongly believe God placed adoption on our hearts this summer and we answered HIS calling to adopt from Ethiopia. We would LOVE to have another biological child in the future but right now our hearts are focused on preparing to love and care for our little "baby Ethiopia". We know God is going to use this adoption to do great things through us and the people supporting us on this adoption journey...we have already seem small glimpses:)

2. When will you bring your child home from Ethiopia?
We would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to know the answer to this question. Adopting is so different from being pregnant. We don't have a set "due date" and honestly have no idea at this point when "baby Ethiopia" will be in our family forever. We have our fingerprint appointments in Charleston on January 14th and after we receive our LAST document (I171H) we can send it to AWAA and then they will send it to Ethiopia. We are hoping and praying hard that we will be on the waiting list for a child in March. We would absolutely LOVE to bring our "baby Ethiopia" home by the end of 2011 but God only knows and we are trusting patiently (or not so patiently, depending on the hour) for HIS timing! TRUST ME...when we know the answer to this question...YOU WILL KNOW TOO!!!

3. Do you have all of the money you need for the adoption? Is it really $30,000?
No...and YES...No we don't have all of the money in our adoption fund yet but we are off to a REALLY good start and we are trusting that God is going to provide financially through fundraising, yard sales, donations, etc. We are very THANKFUL to everyone who has already donated to our fund or donated items to our yard sale this past fall. Yes, it is really around $30,000 to adopt from Ethiopia right now through AWAA. To us...IT IS WORTH IT...$30,000 does not compare to saving the life of a child (OUR CHILD) and giving our child HOPE for a future full of hugs, kisses, and LOVE. We don't even think about all that we are "giving up" to adopt our child. IT DOESN'T COMPARE to the JOY our "baby Ethiopia" is going to bring to us, our children, our extended family and friends.

4. Are you guys moving to a bigger house?
We BOTH love to laugh when asked this question...NO...we are totally content where we are...we have plenty of room for more children at our current house. Our children are going to have to share bedrooms, toys, clothes, etc. and we both feel that is going to be a healthy experience for them. A couple of months ago, we actually thought about down sizing to cut monthly expenses some but decided to stay where we are and make this our house our HOME for a long time. We have already made so many wonderful memories in our house and we look forward to many more wonderful memories.

Please keep praying for us...specifically right now that our fingerprint appointments would go well and we would receive our I171H document VERY SOON after our fingerprint appointments!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Friendly reminder from God...

Most of you that know me, know that I LOVE to plan...anything from my schedule for the day or week, to birthday parties, big celebrations, events at church, etc. I am a PLANNER in every sense of the word...I like to know what, when and where things are going to happen. Well, let's just say ADOPTION is the total opposite...there are so many factors that are just out of my control. No matter how hard I have tried, I just can't control all of the little details in this adoption...and God sent me a "friendly reminder" about this on Monday during my quiet time with Him. Within a few paragraphs on Monday morning this is what I read...

"God's delays are not denials. Are you waiting for the fulfillment of a promise made long ago? Don't give up hope. Don't give in to doubt. The Lord's timing is always just right....GOD things come to those who wait: "Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31)"

I just LOVE "friendly little reminders" from God himself. Todd and I haven't been waiting years for our "baby Ethiopia", but even waiting these past three months has been hard. We long for the day when we will meet our little baby face-to-face and tell him/her that they belong in our family forever. The little hiccups we have experienced so far have been difficult at times to swallow because we know it means a little longer before we see our precious child. God reminded me on Monday that HIS timing is so much better than anything I think I can plan or schedule for this adoption. I must wait for HIS perfect plan to be carried out in HIS perfect timing. Thanks for the reminder God!