Our growing family

Our growing family

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Leah Bear...

Leah Bear brings such joy to my life. She is wise beyond her years...Todd and I both agree she will outsmart us by the time she is in 1st grade. She is also full of compassion and love...most of the time:) We have been having some very "adult like" conversations lately and it is just another reminder that she is growing up faster than I would like...small tear:( So, I just had to record the great conversation we had last week so one day we can look back and remember these precious moments.
We went to an adoption fundraiser for our friends Gray and Leigh last Thursday night. They are in our African Fellowship group and they will be traveling in May to meet their precious 4 1/2 year old son. So, Leigh had pictures of their son on Thursday night and Leah wanted to see them. She sat down at our table and started looking at the pictures with my mom(the famous Nana)...
Me: Leah...this little boy is from Ethiopia. He will be one of your new friends.
Leah: (telling Nana) This little boy doesn't have a mommy and daddy in Ethiopia so he is going to get a new mommy and daddy that love him. They will be his new family.
Leah: (as she looks at more pictures) He is sad because he needs a mommy and daddy that love him just like our baby Ethiopia needs a mommy and daddy too. I'm going to have two boys from Ethiopia...Clayton and Silas.
Me: Remember God is giving us one little baby from Ethiopia.
Leah: You said I could pray for two babies mom:)
A little while later after eating her pizza...Leah said "Can this little boy play on my playground daddy is making for me?"...I LOVE HER LITTLE HEART!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Postive news...Hopefully!

As most of you know, as of last week adoptions in Ethiopia were expected to SLOW DOWN TREMENDOUSLY but yesterday we got this email from our family coordinator that sounds pretty positive for us as adopting parents and mostly importantly for the ORPHANS in Ethiopia.

Dear Todd and Amber,

We are writing to update you on the current situation in Ethiopia. While meetings between Ethiopian government officials continue, we have seen positive steps. Within MOWA, there have been significant and positive personnel changes which have resulted in a overall staff turnover and changes in the adoption unit. This unit is now called the Ministry of Women's, Youth, and Children's Affairs(MOWYCA). We are hopeful and expectant that the new leadership will not only support processing an adequate number of favorable recommendation letters, but also implement policies that will best serve the children. Due to the staffing changes, we anticipate much transition over the next few weeks. However, we expect that once everyone is settled into their new positions, MOWYCA will work to process a higher number of recommendation letters than they are currently able to process.

We have continued to receive optimistic feedback and have seen how the Ethiopian government is very committed to adoption. I hope this information is an encouragement to your family. We will continue to update you with any confirmed information we receive.

Jennifer Allen

Praise God!!! Thank you for praying on our behalf and mostly importantly the orphans behalf over the last couple of weeks. PLEASE continue to pray that the new process will be more timely and overall better for everyone involved in seeing that the orphans in Ethiopia are cared for and being united with families that will love them.

Monday, March 14, 2011


...that is just about all I can say right now...God is so so faithful to provide for us in this adoption journey. When we signed our contract with our agency, AWAA, on Sept. 30th, we knew that our adoption expenses would be around $30,000. We also knew that we didn't have that amount in our savings either...not even close...BUT we also knew that God was going to provide for every step of this adoption journey. We didn't know exactly how and what it was going to look like but we had faith that God would faithfully provide for us as we followed HIS plan of adoption. SO...be prepared to stand(or sit) AMAZED at what GOD HAS DONE in five short months...between two yard sales, tax refund, donations from generous friends and family members, selling Todd's truck, BeautiCoatrol Spa party fundraiser, and diligently saving each month...I found out today at the bank that we have put $23,200 in savings since October 1st. WOW...really $23,200 in FIVE short months. PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Broken hearts...

It has been almost a week since news begin swirling around about the possibility of Ethiopia slowing down their international adoptions drastically. At first, we tried to shrug it off and not think about it...it was merely speculation...nothing confirmed by the state department or AWAA (our agency)...but then Friday we got an email from our family coordinator at AWAA asking us to pray for the country of Ethiopia and MOWA (Ministry of Women's Affairs) because there were going to be major changes made that would affect adoptions in Ethiopia. We knew it was serious...we knew "our plans" were about to change. Today we received confirmation that the rumors were in fact truth. MOWA is drastically cutting back the number of letters they write from 50 to 5 a day for adopting families. Adoptions in Ethiopia are going to be cut almost 90%. MOWA is going to do more thorough investigations for each adoption to make sure it is ethical and not corrupt. This news is HARD TO SWALLOW. Our wait time will more than likely be years instead of months. Our hopes and dreams of bringing "Baby Ethiopia" home in 2011 shattered and crushed. Over the last five days, we have gone from depressed about the possibility of our adoption taking years...to feeling frustrated and helpless in the situation...to burdened for the orphans that will be in orphanages without families to love and care for them for YEARS...to anxious about the future of adoption in Ethiopia...to angry that "our plans" are not going to work out in the timing we had hoped and prayed for...to REALIZING THAT WE HAVE TO BE TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON GOD RIGHT NOW.

"Our plans" are obviously not GOD'S PLANS. He alone knows what the future holds for us and the many families wanting to adopt children from Ethiopia. He alone knows what is best for the orphans in Ethiopia who wait for someone to care for them. When He called us down this adoption road this past fall, He knew what the future would hold for Ethiopia and He knows if/when we will bring home our precious "baby Ethiopia". We don't have any control over the situation...all we can do is pray without ceasing. We don't have a lot of answers right now...how long will we wait now...will it be years...will Ethiopia close international adoptions all together...will we ever bring "baby Ethiopia" home??? WHAT WE DO KNOW is that God cares for and loves the orphans in this world and calls us as Christians to care for the orphans too. We know that the God who "began a good work in us, will be faithful to complete it." We know God is working in and through the people in Ethiopia and will do what is best for His children. We know that we MUST trust in God's plan and His ways even when they don't make sense to us at all.

PLEASE pray for the orphans that lay in orphanages in Ethiopia right now longing for a mommy and daddy to hold them...to kiss them...to LOVE them. Pray that God would comfort them and give them "a peace that passes ALL understanding" while they wait. Pray that God will work through the many officials that will have meetings with MOWA this week and in the weeks to come to do what is best for the orphans in Ethiopia. Pray that God's WILL be done in this situation!

With broken hearts,
Todd and Amber

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Lent begins tomorrow for us and this year I think it is more meaningful for us than it has ever been before. Todd and I began discussing and praying about what we were going to "give up" during the 40 days of Lent several weeks ago. We discussed reasons why we would give up several things for this period of time and what we hoped would come from it. The point of "giving up" or sacrificing something during the 40 days of Lent is to constantly remind us of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on the cross for us over 2,000 years ago. When we are tempted to desire what we have given up during Lent, we are to turn our hearts back to the cross and thank Jesus for dying for us instead of giving into temptation to turn away from God's will. So...I am "giving up" several things during the next 40 days BUT I hope to gain so much more from the experience. I hope to gain a closeness to God and a dependence on HIM that I desperately need. I hope to draw closer to my husband and children too.

"Lent List"
1) NO eating out...no drive thrus, no take-out...for 40 days!
2) Go to bed earlier each night...go to bed when Todd goes to bed and not stay up late.
3) Spend less time complaining and more time rejoicing in the promises of God

So here we go...tomorrow is the first day of Lent...

Monday, March 7, 2011

1 Month DTE...

Whew...we have been so busy that I haven't been able to write or post pictures on our blog for a few days now. Friday was our 1 month "DTE-versary"...we have been on the waiting list for one month now. We celebrated with some painting and a couple of pictures. We are super excited about one day meeting our little "baby Ethiopia" and bringing him/her into our family forever. So for now...we wait...our "unofficial" waiting list numbers changed a few times over the month so here they are...

#39 - boy 0-12 months old
#45 - girl 0-12 months old
#12 - boy 12-24 months old
#15 - girl 12-24 months old