Sunday, January 3, 2010

One Year

Today marks the one year anniversary when we were blessed with Brecken. This day, last year, we would have been getting off the plane in Ethiopia and going to the care center to meet our daughter. I can't believe that a year has gone by. Brecken has grown into a sweet, spunky toddler. I was looking at pictures of our time in Ethiopia the other day and I was blown away with how much she has changed and grown. At nineteen months old, Brecken is adventurous and independent. She wants to do everything on her own. She loves to read and laugh. She is also just discovering her new role as "big sister"...she is very generous with kisses when it comes to her baby brother. We have been so blessed with our sweet daughter...we could not imagine our life without her.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hello! We have been home now for a little over a month. Brecken is growing by leaps and bounds...she gained over two pounds this month and about 2-3 inches in height. Her little ears have healed nicely. We also found a tiny little pearly white tooth starting to poke its way through. She is such a happy girl! We are doing good and enjoying our two daughters.

I also wanted to invite you over to our family blog here. This is where I will be posting most often now.

Monday, February 2, 2009

We are still here and still trying to figure out that new normal. Brecken has suffered two ruptured ear drums since we have gotten home...she is still dealing with a little cough and a runny nose, but other than that she is just one happy camper. She has been doing really great adjusting to life here in Colorado. Everyday I am reminded of what an amazing blessing it is to have her home! Brecken loves to smile and is enjoying discovering some new baby foods...her favorite has been the yogurt the doctor said we should be giving her to help her tummy deal with the antibiotics. I can't believe that tomorrow will be one month since our gotcha day...we have so enjoyed getting to know this sweet little one.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bringing Blake with us...

Blakeley and Brecken at Dreamland

We decided early on that we wanted our three year old, Blake to come with us to pick up Brecken. There were a ton of people who were surprised that we would bring our three year old with us to Africa, but we wanted her to feel that she was a major part of this experience...after all, she has heard us talk about the adoption for almost two years. You should also know that Blake is a very active, independent little girl, she loves to see new things and she plays very, very hard. We knew that we would have to help her keep busy while we were traveling, we also knew that traveling would mean long lines, long plane trips, a completely different time zone, different food, different everything...we wanted to try to keep her as comfortable as possible with all these new things. Here are some things we did to help her travel better and to make sure she had everything that she needed:

  • Personal Backpack - we bought a special backpack that we loaded with toys, games, crayons and coloring books. She was able to get into her things when she wanted. I also included some snacks.
  • Changes of clothes - we brought changes of clothes for Blake where ever we went...even in country. These were especially helpful on the flights. We also made sure to change her into her pjs for the really long flight.
  • Baby Wipes - I packed a small package of baby wipes in my bag just in case and we used them all on Blake before we even got to Addis.
  • DVD Player with extra headphones - We brought some of Blake's favorite DVDs with us and it was so, so wonderful when she was up at 5:00 in the morning and we still wanted a bit of sleep.
  • Snacks, Snacks, and more snacks - always good to have with kids
  • Children's Pepto - I was really surprised that we used this, but Blake needed it. I was so happy we had something for her...I know they also make Tums for kids too.
  • TicTacs and stickers - For some reason Blake loves TicTacs and she also loves stickers - these were her special treats when we really needed her to listen or to stay in the very long security and we do not call it's called positive reinforcement.
  • Little Surprises - I completely hit the Target dollar bins for a few months before we left to collect things that Blake would open as a special surprise in Ethiopia. I found these really cool pictures that change color when you added water...this was something that kept her busy and didn't make a huge mess either. I also brought small plastic animals, games, coloring activities and more.
  • Small soccer ball - Andy got this mini soccer ball and he decided to bring it with us, I was so very happy he did because Blake used it in the airport and at the guest house.
  • Car Seat - We got some strange looks when we spoke to Emirates and told them we would be using her car seat on the plane, but that is how we travel...she is much more comfortable in her seat and it helps to keep her in one place. On one flight they even checked it to make sure it was aviation safe. We also were able to use the car seat in the car in Ethiopia. Make sure you have a way to transport your car seat when you are walking through the airport...Andy attaches the car seat to his backpack (I have no idea how) and it works really well.
  • Small item to give the new baby/child - We also had Blake bring a special soft toy to give Brecken. She was so excited to be able to give her new sister something.
  • Grandy - I know that not everyone can bring someone along to help with everything, but my mom was able to come with us and it was a huge help. For example, she was able to watch Blake while we went to the cultural dinner...she would not have done too good at the was loud and we sat for a long time...we enjoyed it, Blake would have probably melted. Thank you mom for coming with us!
Kids things in Addis
  • There is a game place in a mall in Addis that has games and a huge play place - if you are bringing children with you be sure to ask your driver or Ryan about this was nice to be able to have Blake go and get some energy out.
  • I know you can got swimming at the one of the big hotels...we did not do this, but I believe it is an option.
  • We did see some parks...we didn't go to any of them, but they looked pretty cool.
  • The guest house we stayed at had a little grass area that was great for Blake to run and play a bit.
Yes, it was a lot of work (a ton of work!) to have her come with us, and I wasn't always thrilled about that decision while I was on the trip, but I am so glad that we did bring her. She was able to experience a different culture and see things that average three year old does not. She was able to be there when we finally got her sister. I know this is not an option for all families, but I know there are some families who are thinking about bringing youngsters with them to Addis. I know that when we adopt again, we will be bringing our whole family, if at all possible. Hopefully I answered some questions about bringing little ones with you...let me know if you have any more.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ok...for all you families who are about to is my list of things I am glad we brought with us to Ethiopia:
  • Baby Sling - I am a big advocate for baby wearing. I believe it helps to facilitate bonding and helps the little one to feel safe and secure. We put Brecken in the sling while we were eating breakfast at the guest house or when we were walking the grounds. It was also useful for when she was having a hard time falling asleep. I would put her in the sling and walk and rock and she would be sound asleep in no time at all. The sling was the only way to do it at the airport too.
  • Cipro - before we left we got a prescription for Cipro from our Dr. Cipro is a very strong antibiotic. We started not feeling too great the last few days of our trip so we started the Cipro and in 24 hours we were doing much, much better.
  • Formula dispenser - we got this plastic little formula dispenser from Walmart. It holds enough for 3 bottles...this was so useful while we were on the go. We were also using the bottles with the disposable drop-ins...they were great, but we didn't bring enough and ended up having to wash and re-use a few of them on the way home. We only brought 50...we should have brought more.
  • Granola Bars, Snacks and Gum - Normally when I travel internationally I bring snacks and they remain untouched in the bottom of my bag...this was not the situation on this trip. For whatever reason, we ate all the snacks we brought. We would wake up late at night was nice to have something we could snack on in the room...we brought some GORP with us and it was so great to have that to snack on.
  • ipod - At the guest house where we stayed they had ipod docks for each room. We love music and there is usually music playing at our house all the time...we loved being able to listen to our ipods when we were just hanging out. This was one of our favorites to listen to.
  • Large and small zip-lock bags - Having spare bags around was amazing for packing soiled clothes in...we were not able to wash some clothes that Brecken soiled right before we left so it was nice to be able to just throw them into a zip lock bag and not worry about them spoiling the other clothes. We were also able to use the small zip lock bags to store pre-measured formula for the trip home.
  • Portable DVD player - We have an amazing portable DVD player that we brought with us so Blake could watch some DVDs when we needed some downtime. This was also so great to have when we couldn't sleep. Don't forget the plug converter
Things I wish I would have brought:
  • Water bottle - I realized at the airport that I did not bring a water bottle with me...I would have really liked to have that with me so I could just fill it up with fresh water and go.
  • 5-10 grocery store bags - These would have been nice to seal the really smelly diapers...especially since we changed Brecken's formula to the formula that we brought with us her diapers were ripe. It would be nice to be able to bag those super stinky diapers so the smell would not permeate the room.
Places to go:

  • Makush - Italian restaurant with amazing Ethiopian art that you can purchase to bring home. They had some really cool pieces. The food was pretty good too.
  • Family Restaurant - This place had good lemonade - Blake was craving lemonade...she was so excited when this place had some.
  • Something Dragon Chinese - The hottest Hot and Sour soup ever! We love spicy food but this was an entirely different level of spiciness.
  • Arabian food - I can't remember the name of this place but their hummus was oh so very good...I could have eaten that the entire trip.
  • Kaldis Coffee - Good lattes...almost like Starbucks
We stayed at the Ethiopian Guest Home...this place was great! The staff was absolutely wonderful, the food was good, and the rooms were very comfortable. It is about 40 minutes away from the Gladney Baby House and that was the only bummer part about it. We stayed in the family suite and it was so great.

We flew Emirates Air...this is the most amazing airline. They had trays and tray of toys that they gave to the kids, baby food and wipes and a small toy for the baby, and pretty darn good airplane food. Not to mention that we got bumped up to Business class from Addis to Dubai. If you have to opportunity to fly Emirates...they are great!!!

We also used Susan Parr Travel. They were so great and such a huge stress reliever. It was so nice to know they were there to help us if we needed it. I would recommend using them! Amazing!

Friday, January 16, 2009

We are back and slowly adjusting. Ethiopia was absolutely amazing, but we are so glad to be back and growing as a new family. We arrived in Addis on January 3rd. We were able to drop our things off at our guest house and then we were able to go meet Brecken at the Gladney foster care house...Ryan brought Brecken down to us and she just stared and tears or anything. She just watched us. I started to rock her and she almost instantly fell asleep. We then went back to the guest house to just to start getting to know each other. She woke us when we got back to the house and then the tears started to flow. We tried it all and nothing would comfort her. She finally went to sleep and was out for the night. When she woke up that next morning she was all was an amazing difference. We were able to check her out a bit more this morning...she was just so healthy! The care givers at the foster care center had taken such great care of her.
She was definitely more comfortable around us the second day. She loves to snuggle and just be held. We brought the sling with us to carry her and it was one of the best things we brought. She would just snuggle in and hangout.
Here is a little slide show of our trip.

I'm not really going to do a day by day breakdown of our brain is still a little shot from lack of sleep and jet lag...I will post some of my favorite things/recommendations from our experience later on.

PS - If you have your referral, I may have some pictures of your little me a picture of your baby and I will look through my photos to see if I have something for you!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Home Again Home Again!

This is just a quick little post to say hello! We have been home since late on Monday night...Ethiopia was amazing. We are still all adjusting to the time change. Brecken is so amazing. She is sweet, spunky and so healthy. I still cannot believe that we are home with her finally!

I will post more about our trip later...we are lacking sleep and just trying to relax and enjoy our new daughter for a while. Can't wait to tell you about our trip!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Well...we are in the JFK airport in New York...the first flight from Denver to JFK was great...very smooth and we were able to relax and watch some movies and just take a bit of a break. We have been in the JFK airport since 4:00 this afternoon...our flight does not leave here until 11:00PM...this has been a very long layover...especially with a three year old. We all ready wish we would have packed Blake a few more extra changes of clothes in our carry-on...we will be sure to have enough on the way back.
Our next stop is Dubai...we will be staying overnight at the Dubai airport until our flight leaves for Ethiopia on the 3rd. I am very much looking forward to taking a shower and getting some sleep before our last flight to Addis. My mom just said to me...I can't believe that once we are in Dubai we are only 4 hours away from very true...with each flight we are getting closer and closer to her...finally.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

We are leaving tomorrow...I cannot believe it. We are all packed and very much ready to go. We will arrive in Addis on the 3rd. We are so excited to finally be at this point in the adoption process. The last few days have been so so crazy. We have been running around getting formula, and medications and snacks and borrowing large suit cases and cleaning the house and just trying to get as much as we possibly can done. We are looking forward to sitting on a plane for hours watching movies and just resting (as much as one who is going to pick up their new child can rest).

We apprecite your prayers and amazing encouraging words. Thank you for your support during this crazy time. We are off to bring our baby girl home! Praise God!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I've got a couple of questions about how much our flights were...especially after being told it was $12,000.00 per ticket...each ticket was about 2,000.00...much, much better than 12,000.00! On Friday we bought our tickets and made our reservation at the guest house we will be staying at...Friday was the first night that I could actually relax a little bit and I ended up crashing into bed around 7:15 at night - I slept for over 12 hours. It was just such a relief to know that we had our tickets and a place to stay in Addis. The last week was so emotional...I really needed to crash like that.

We also got an update on Friday (what a great week!) here is what they said:

"Brecken continues to become more and more active. She is now working
very hard to get anything that is within her reach. whether that be my
glasses, my camera, or a toy. She has a sweet personality, and
enjoys being held and played with. She has a beautiful smile, and
enjoyed playing with me and Enoch when we came to visit.

Weight: 7 kg (15.4 lbs)"

And a new picture:

Friday, December 19, 2008

The last few days have been so, so crazy busy with work and church and preparing for our trip...and just relishing the fact that Brecken will be in our arms in just a few short days.

We have been busy checking flights and trying to make our travel lists and everything. On Wednesday we called on of the airlines and was told that a ticket to Addis would be 12,000.00 (yes, you are reading that correctly)...I remembered all the families who have said such wonderful things about Susan Parr Travel and I decided to call them to reserve our flight. They have been amazing so far. We leave in two weeks! There was no way that I thought we would be leaving so very, very soon.

Here is another picture of our sweet Brecken.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

She is offically ours!

We passed Court! Introducing our daughter, Brecken Hope Arsema Dunn!
We did not get much sleep last night...I kept waking up and figuring out what time it was in Ethiopia and wondering if that was the time that they were hearing our case in court.

This whole thing really hit me last night...WOW! This could be the day when she becomes ours...forever. I will be sure to post as soon as I know any news. Thank you for all the prayers...I got calls yesterday letting me know that they are praying for our case to go through court. We have been surrounded by so much encouragement and love over the last few days. Thank you, dear friends for walking with us as we travel this crazy adoption road.

Monday, December 15, 2008

On it's way...

We sent a little Christmas gift for our sweet girl to Rebecca. She is leaving on Saturday to pick up her baby boy. Lord please grant them traveling mercies! Thank you, Rebecca for blessing us by bring this to her. I had wanted to make this little book for quite a while. It is a little quilted picture book. There are pictures of sweet baby in it as well as her new big sister and mommy and daddy. I used the sheets of cotton that you can print on to get the pictures on to the fabric...that stuff is way cool.
Our court date is only 1.5 days crazy. The next few days are so busy for us...thank is forcing me to think of things other than Wednesday. I am just praying that God's hand will move all the families who share our court date through without a problem...wouldn't that be amazing if we all made it through!!! Can't wait to hear all the families who pass through court on Wednesday!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Girl Effect

I came across this video yesterday and it so speaks to my heart...lots and lots of tears as I watched this.

You can check out the website here.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Our court day is just nine short days away...can you believe it?! I am so excited for next Wednesday and also a bit nervous. We are asking you to join us the next nine days in praying for our court date. Please take one minute during your day (12:17 in the afternoon) to be praying for our court appointment. Here is how you can be praying specifically:

Pray that our case is heard on December 17th
Pray that all our documents are complete.
Pray for the birth mother - I believe she needs to be at this court day, please pray for her travel, and that she will be given an amazing amount of peace.
Pray for all the other families that also have a court date for December 17th.
Pray for us that Wednesday will find us full of patience and peace.

Thank you for your prayers and support...we have been so blessed by all of your support!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It was a year ago yesterday that we were waiting to hear if we would be able to start the adoption process with Gladney after having our first agency close down their Ethiopia program. There were lots and lots of tears during this week last year. I remember being so frustrated but also so peaceful...just trying to be patient and wait for God's timing. I remember someone telling me that our little girl was probably not born yet and we just had to wait a bit longer for her to come into the world. A year later...we have less than two weeks until our court date and we know who our baby is. There has been such an amazing change from last year. We are so excited about the changes coming in the next few weeks....God is so good and we are trusting in his's never failed us yet.

Friday, November 28, 2008

New Update

We got a new update on baby B on Wednesday:

“You may recall from the last update that she has become so much more active in her bed. Her growth over the past few weeks has only made that more of the case! She is incredibly adept at holding onto things and manipulating them with her hands, which makes playtime really fun, because she loves new objects and toys and laughs when she plays. As with most kids, she loves to be touched, and giggles very much when she is, especially on her stomach! Her balance has improved greatly, and though she is not yet sitting on her own, she shows signs that soon she could be. Her movements are still quite jerky, and as a result throw off her balance. Her legs can also bear some weight, which is terrific! On the whole, she is developing and growing right on schedule – you can be proud of her! I know I am. I hope you enjoy your thanksgiving!

We are so thankful for our daughters...and so thankful for a new update!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Six months

Our baby girl is six months old today. The time has just seemed to fly by...I can't believe we have known who she is for almost three months now. We can only hope that the coming weeks will just fly by. Like most everyone else, the holiday season is so packed full of activity that the days just seem to slip through my fingers. Our court date is only 25 days away....I know it will be here before I know it. In the mean time, we are praying for our little one and dreaming of the days when we can hold her. Love you baby B.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Wow! We have gotten quite the response for the quilts...if you are still interested and just haven't emailed me yet, please do so soon because we are planning on sending out the Joel Dewberry fabric soon!

If you are unsure because you feel like you have no idea where to start, check out this is for a doll quilt, but you can use the instructions for this project.

Thank you for the amazing response! We are so glad you are excited about this project. I can't wait until these quilts start coming in the mail!!!

Remember, if you want to be involved, please email me at

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sending some quilt love...

My mom if full of ideas. She had the most wonderful idea a few weeks ago...she wanted to get a group of people together to sew quilts for the babies in the Gladney care center. We will deliver the quilts to the babies when we go to pick up our little girl. We are thrilled about this project and would love as many people at possible to take part in it. My mom has even sweetened the deal with some prizes from Junk Posse Jewelry, her etsy store. Here is what she wrote on her blog:

My most recent hero in the creative world is Joel Dewberry. He is an amazing fabric designer and artist. Find out more about his beautiful fabrics here. Joel was kind enough to send us a wonderful assortment of fabric to create mini '2x2' quilts to bring to an orphanage in Ethiopia in January.
If you sew or know a Sew Sister, Mom, Friend or anyone else that sews please tell them about our contest. We will send each person that enters enough Fabric to Make the front of a mini quilt.You may enter more than once-just let us know how many you would like to create. You finish the quilt with your design, creativity & details.
Mail the finished mini Quilt back by Dec. 20th.
We will be selecting several winners on Dec.31st!
First place $100.00 gift certificate to Junk Posse Jewelry
Second place $50.00 gift certificate to Junk Posse Jewelry
and three runner up prizes.
Sew what are you waiting for? Enter Today and help to give a sweet little one in Africa something to cuddle with.
If you are interested in being part of this, please email We are very, very excited about this project. This is a very simple do not have to be a pro-sewer to take part in this.

EDITED::Just to be clear, we are asking you to completely finish a 2X2 quilt...not just the front but the entire thing. We will send you some fabric from Joel Dewberry for the front. You will have to get the batting and fabric for the back on your own.

I am so excited because I get to hear this man speak today. He has an amazing organization and amazing plans to introduce Ethiopians to the world of reading. As an avid reader this is a cause that is very close to my heart. Learn more here and here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's amazing how much better I have been feeling now that we have an actual court date. I have been blessed with an amazing amount of peace in the last week and it has certainly helped knowing that December 17th is just around the corner. We have been spending a lot of time at home, hanging out with family and friends...just trying to enjoy this season as we wait.

We were in Target last week when we saw this woman with a beautiful little turns out, it was Lisa. I have followed her blog for the last few months. She was able to tell me about a fundraiser for a lady named Hanna Fanta. Hanna runs Children's Haven in Ethiopia, an organization that helps to empower Ethiopian girls. They held and Art sale to try to raise funds to build a permanent building for the organization. We were not able to stay very long, but it was so good to be able to see all these people and families who are passionate about Ethiopia. Check out her organization and see if you can sponsor a child for $25/month.

Friday, October 31, 2008

This is our week!

We just got a call from our sweet social worker...we got a court day::DECEMBER 17th!!! Let the count down begin!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

We finally got an update...I know it has only been a little over three weeks since our last one...but those were some very, very long weeks.

“... She has become a feisty young girl, and, especially when on her stomach, loves to bounce around, or grab her feet and roll side to side. She isn't able to sit on her own yet, but when you pull her to sitting she is very comfortable! She is one that will talk to you for hours if you give her the time, and she shows off her great smile all the time. She is growing very nicely, and developmentally is doing great! She can lift her head 90ยบ, and is ahead of the curve on her vocals, which is probably because she practices all the time. Also, I may have mentioned it before, but she is very ticklish on her feet!

Oh how I love update day! Praise God!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Our sweet little girl turns five months today. We love you sweet, sweet baby and can't wait until we can meet you face to face. Love, Mommy, Daddy and Big Sis

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This waiting for a court date has seemed slower than the slowest day waiting for our referral...isn't it funny how that happens! I am still just so jumpy each time my cell rings or if I hear the chime telling me I have an email...I want any and all information I can get. I actually called Gladney and left the most awkward message ever asking if they can give me any information about court, even though I know they don't have any and if they could please just call me so I can hear something about how everyone is going through court...I felt so pathetic...but I just need something! Ugh! are a list of five things I am going to accomplish this week to keep me busy and hopefully make the waiting go a bit quicker:
1. Work on the girls' quilts
2. Put together the little care package for our little one...anyone traveling in November who would like to take it over to her???
3. Working on Blakeley's Halloween costume...little red riding hood
4. Going to the Redbull Soap Box Race in Denver
5. Getting ready for our pumpkin carving party on Friday.

Whew...hopefully that will keep my busy...any other suggestions???

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I have been tagged!

The rules are:
  • Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog
  • Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself
  • Tag 7 random people at the end of your post. and include links to their blogs
  • Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.


1) I am a vegetarian. It's not that I think eating meat is wrong, it is just that I feel so much better when I do not eat it.

2) I am starting to write a book about helping children experience and enjoy the outdoors.

3) I love to sing and play the guitar. When I was in college, I used to play the guitar all the time...I don't play it very often now, but I have been thinking of starting again.

4) Starbucks is one of my favorite places in the entire world. i could sit inside a Starbucks and read and write for hours upon hours...the vanilla lattes are not bad either.

5)Autumn is my favorite time of the year. I love the leaves falling. I think that Aspen trees are the prettiest in the last few weeks before they lose their leaves. Red, yellow, orange leaves just lite up the mountain side. I also love that it starts getting cooler this time of year and I can start breaking out the sweaters and soup recipes.

6) Some people know the number of kids the want in their family...I don't...I could have two kids or ten kids and be completely happy...we'll see what God decides to do.

7) One of my most prized possessions is a set of my Grandma's measuring spoons. They truly touch my heart and make me feel closer to her every time I use them.








This is hard...the waiting. It is so much harder now that we know who she is. We are so, so ready to hold her in our arms and be able to know what is going on in her life. We got an update only last Monday and still that seems like ages ago. The hard part is thinking that we still probably have over 2 months until we will actually be there. Yes, I know that in the grand scheme of things, this really isn't that long...but it is just right now, being in the thick of this waiting that makes it so difficult.

So for now, Father God, grant us the patience that we need to get through the coming months and weeks and grant us the peace to know that you are taking care of our baby girl.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The BBC online has an article today about the magnitude of the need for aid in Ethiopia...check it out if you get a chance. Aid in Ethiopia Article

Monday, October 6, 2008


We got another update and a picture...this picture is the closest thing to a smile I have seen so far!

"She is full of energy and bursting with excitement, that is when you don't catch her sleeping. She has a strong grip, and a beautiful smile, which she shows off quite a bit, especially when a familiar voice is speaking to her"

She gained over three pounds in the last month...praise God! She is still a little one, but she is looking so good in the picture.

I think updates are just about my most favorite thing in the world. Can't wait to be able to share her picture with all of you!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Good Day

I have realized that over the next few weeks, there will be good days and not so good days. There will days when I want to cry my eyes out in frustration and days when I can take joy in this process. Today is one of the good days. I got a package to day from Grace. This woman is amazing...She got back in country with her new little one and sent me out a package so quick I couldn't believe it. Today, I got a package with pictures and even a little video of our girl and I also got a sweet, sweet little foot print...praise God for good days like these. Thank you Grace!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Feeling Better

We got the call that she is feeling better! Praise God! We so appreciate the support and prayers from all of you. We are waiting anxiously for a new update about her so we can find out some more information. Thank you again for your have blessed our lives.

Friday, September 19, 2008


We found out yesterday that our little girl is pretty sick. Please be praying for her health and just comfort for her. Please also be praying that we can be patient and have peace about this whole is never easy when you child is sick...especially when they are 8,327 miles away.

We love you so much baby girl and hope and pray you start feeling better very, very soon.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Things have started to quiet down a bit here after such an exciting week although I do still feel like I am in a bit of a dream. I have started to make lists of things I need to get done (paint the girls' bedroom) and things I still want to research (cloth diapers???) .
I do not know how the next few months are going to go by...even with the excitement of this feels like it has just slowly crawled along. I have also been highly emotional...Note to moms who's babies are half a world away: do not watch Dumbo...I cried like a baby. It is going to take me a while to process through all the information I have been given this week...I am praying for lots of wisdom and more patience.

In the mean time...I am thinking of Grace and her travels to pick up her daughter...can't wait to hear about your adventures in Ethiopia!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008


I cannot believe we are finally at this spot in the process. I was so shocked when the call actually came. Let me first say, that I am not in Colorado right now...I actually am in Utah for a little work trip. I got off the plane and was at baggage claim when my phone was a long distance number that came up so I wasn't expecting our referral because I thought it would be an unavailable number. I answered and heard Natalie's sweet voice and I was in tears. She said she had our referral for us and I told her I had no idea what to do...I was in Salt Lake and Andy was away from the computer. I told her I was going to try to call Andy and I would call her back. I finally got a hold of him and he told me to go ahead and hear about our baby. I called Natalie back and just cried and cried at the Salt Lake baggage claim as she began to tell me about our baby girl. We have a beautiful three and a half month old little girl..She has amazing big brown eyes and is absolutely beautiful. We are just so thrilled and in awe of this amazing gift.

Thank you guys for all the encouragement you have given have blessed us so much!

Got the Call!!!!!!!

This has been a crazy, crazy, amazing day. We got the call around 2 this afternoon...She is absolutely beautiful. I will write more about it later. But we finally got to see her face and hear her name. Praise God!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

So...I thought for sure today was going to be the day...but, I was here's to another week of having my cell phone glued to my hand. Bring on week 19...and have a great weekend.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Saw this on Erin's blog and thought it was so cool...check this out:

The September Campaign Trailer - from charity: water on Vimeo.
Hello Week 18. We are quickly approaching the 20 week mark...our agency says the window for a referral is 3-5 months...we are almost there. I know it can come at any time, and I feel the anxiousness rising up in me every time my cell phone rings, but I am also starting to prepare myself in case we pass the 3-5 month window with no referral. Throughout this whole process, we have seen God working so clearly...throughout all the highs and lows it has always been so evident that we were in the right place in pursuing this adoption. I am just ready to meet the baby that belongs to our family. I am going to be majorly bummed if we hit the 20 week mark with no referral, but I know it will come and I have faith that it is in God's timing...not mine.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

Week Seventeen. I found myself thinking this morning...will this be our week when we finally find out who she is? I am so thrilled for the referrals that have started to trickle in and for the families who are going so very soon to pick up their children.

Over the last week, it has really been impressed on my heart God's love for Africa. I hear God saying, "I love the children and the people of Africa more than you will ever understand". Sometimes hearing God's heart for Africa is so overwhelming. There were so many times in the last few days when I was completely overtaken by this. It brings me back to one of my favorite verses:

"The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."

I know this is His heart for Africa and he is singing over the people of Africa with great delight, love and joy.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

We are at sixteen weeks...we have passed the four month mark! This summer had just gone by so quickly I cannot believe we are almost in autumn. I love that Summer is always filled with lots of time outdoors, art festivals, picnics, BBQs, hikes, and just hanging out. We've been to plenty of parks, played in some fountains, hung out with good friends, watched our garden grow, enjoyed the pick your own farm, and just been able to spend time together as a family. Even though we are still in August, I can feel the change in the weather starting...the mornings are getting cooler and crispier, I can now wear my favorite jeans with out being stifling hot, and I am starting to see a few leaves turning to a lovely yellow. I love following the seasons. I try to go with the flow of each and every season. During fall, we spend a ton of time looking at leaves, picking apples, making soup, getting pumpkins, getting our house ready for winter. Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year. It just brings so much comfort to me. I always get so excited when the seasons change...and I am so much more excited as autumn approaches this year because it means our referral is coming too. I feel like God is preparing me for the call. I have just been given the amazing gift of peace over the last few weeks. I know God is taking care of our entire adoption and he is preparing our way to Ethiopia. He knows who are child is and that is enough for me right now. So, as I watch the leaves start to change colors and slowly lose their grip on the branches of the trees, I know we are getting closer to knowing who God has picked for our family.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dear Local Tanning Salon,

I would appreciate it if you would kindly not call my cell phone to tell me about your current offer. First of all, I don't go tanning and secondly, and most importantly, your phone number comes up as UNAVAILABLE on my cell phone thus making me believe that this will be the day when we finally learn who our baby will be. It was quite a let down to hear your recorded voice telling me about the great deals you are offering.

Thank you very much for never calling me again.


Mother Who Hates Unavailable Calls Unless It Is Gladney

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Welcome to the Rainy Season

Well, Today marks the start of the court closure for the rainy season. The courts will reopen in early October...but that leaves two months of waiting for families who have already received their referrals and were just waiting for court...I am thinking and praying for patience and peace for these families. Gladney will still be giving out referrals during this time...I am trying to be patient.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hoping and praying everyone gets through court today...I'm thinking of all of you!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

At 14 weeks, I am desperately trying to come up with some kind of reason to call Natalie at Gladney and talk to her about when we will get our phone call. I know how silly this sounds, but I just want some kind of assurance that this process will one day (hopefully very, very soon) come to an end and we will have our baby. I remember when I was pregnant with Blake that the last few weeks felt like they would never be over...I remember thinking: Oh my gosh...I am going to be pregnant forever...this child will never come out. I am very much at this stage in our adoption. I feel like this process will never end and I will forever be waiting for "the call" to come. Oh God, please, please give me patience during the weeks to come.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

What a crazy, crazy week this has been. Andy got his first (and hopefully last) kidney stone and we went around to many different doctors trying to get him comfortable. He ended up having surgery for it yesterday to bust the darn thing up. He is much better today, just still really, really sore. I worked at the office all week since Andy was sick...something that I am not use to doing since I usually work from home.

Thankfully, I had something near the end of the week to really look forward to. On Thursday, we met Jody, Quincy,Zeke, and Kora, and Amanda and Tre at a park...I first met Jody last October at a Hope's Promise training. I have been a very faithful follower of her blog since then. She is absolutely amazing and her kids are way cute. Here are some pictures from our time together...

Oh Jody I wished you lived closer...I would love to be able to have park dates with you all the time!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I received another Unavailable call today that was not from Gladney...I was at work and completely freaked out. I was actually on a work call and I ended up putting the customer on hold while I answered my phone...I just knew it was the call and was so disappointed when it was not. I guess this is how it is going to be until we get "the call." Don't worry, I did warn my coworkers that I will be a complete freak for the next few months.

Friday, July 18, 2008

In the Window...finally

Finally, we are in the wonderful referral window! YAY! Although we have no idea when we will actually be getting our referral, it just feels good to have made it to the three month marker. Now that our agency is giving referrals again, I am on pins and needles waiting for the phone to ring...I know we are weeks out, but there is the possibility now. For the next few months, my cell phone will be attached to me at all times...

Yesterday I was downstairs doing laundry when I heard my cell phone go off with the "Unavailable Ring," I ran as fast as I could up two flights of stairs to grab the phone. We have horrible cell phone service at our house so when I picked up, I couldn't hear anything and the call was lost. I thought, if it was Natalie she will either call me back or call Andy. I waited a few minutes and called to see if Andy had gotten a call on his cell...nothing. I tried to be patient and wait to see if they called back, but they didn't...obviously not our referral call...but it was still exciting. My heart just about jumped out of my chest when I heard the phone ring. I can't even imagine what it will be like when we get the REAL call...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Home Again.

Hello! We are home once again. After getting back from Thailand on July 2nd, I caught an early morning flight to Washington State to be with my husband and daughter. Washington was such a great time to recover from the jet lag and try to process through everything I experienced on the Thailand trip. I helped chaperon nineteen high school students on a mission trip to Thailand. We stayed in Fang, which is located north of Chaing Mai, just 15 miles from the Burma border. Thailand is a beautiful country. It is tropical and green and lush. The people are equally as beautiful. They are friendly and welcoming. There was not one time during our time in Thailand that I felt concerned for our safety. We stayed at the Kids Life Ministry Children's Home while we were there. There are currently 64 children living at the KLM campus. These kids are amazing...they are looking for sponsors for many of these KLM through the above link if you would like more information. KLM is also amazing. The staff who care for these kids on a daily basis have so much love for them. The thing I loved so much about this ministry is they are teaching these kids to love Jesus. The way these kids worship and pray is unlike anything I have ever seen. I was moved to tears on a daily basis by these kids and this ministry. We taught all the kids God of this City by Chris Tomlin. I lost it the first time I heard their voices saying these words. Each morning, we would have prayer at 5:00 in the morning. We would walk a huge map of Thailand with the kids. One morning, we were asked to play the song of the kids while they walked the map...oh gosh I completely lost it again. What an amazing pray to sing over this children's home. It just so touched my life. If you have not heard this is so amazing...check this video out for the song...I love it.

While the kids were at school, we would go out and visit other schools that KLM have been working with. We would do some activities with the kids at the school. When I say school, I mean a concrete square that has no chairs, books, desks, or anything. The kids sit on the ground and learn as much as they can. It was so cool to see them interacting with the high school students. They would crawl right up into their laps and work on the activities we had for them. One of the places we went to was the Orange Grove. These kids were refugees from Burma. Many of their parents work in the Orange Grove. The pesticides used for the oranges have made many of these people sick and some of even died. These sweet kids come into contact with these pesticides on a regular basis. These are even three families who live on the same property where they store and mix these pesticides. The mats they used in the school room to cover their dirt floor were the bags from the pesticides, sewn together. I was so angry of what these kids have to face. My heart hurt for them and I just pray protection over their lives.
This trip was so amazing and very emotional. I couldn't help to think about our baby in Ethiopia and wonder what she is experiencing there. God is still working in my heart to teach me more about everything that happened there. I would love to get another opportunity to return to Thailand and see these kids again. Thank you for all your sweet comments on the picture slide show...I am so glad you enjoyed them!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Here are the pictures I has taken a little longer than I expected to get back in the swing of things...even a week later, I am still exhausted. Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Back Home...

Just popping in to give a quick hello...we arrived back from Thailand this evening...I am exhausted physically and emotionally. The trip was so good and I think it will probably take several weeks for me to process through it all. I will be posting some pictures soon but in the mean time, I have so much laundry and unpacking to do. But first, some much needed sleep...good night.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Week 8

We have just reached 8 weeks of waiting! The next few weeks are going to fly by. On Friday Andy and Blake leave to go to the beautiful Northwest...Andy is going to be doing some work up there with a friend and Blake is going to be spending some good time with her grandparents. Then, I leave for a missions trip to Thailand with the youth ministry I volunteer with. In Thailand we are going to be living at an orphanage and loving on all the kiddos there and also traveling to other orphanages in the area to do activities with those kids as well. I am so excited for this adventure. At the same time, I am curious to see how my emotions will be during this time...after all, I will be loving on orphans in Thailand while (most likely) my child is in an orphanage in Ethiopia. I am just really interested to see what God has in store for me during this trip.
For my loyal blog readers, please do not be alarmed if you do not see any new posts for a few weeks...I will not be blogging unless we (miraculously) get our referral while I am in Thailand...I am not planning on that happening anytime soon though. Thank you in advance for the prayers for this trip!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Please Eat In This Weekend To Stop Hunger::June 13th-15th, 2008

I feel like everywhere I look I see or hear something about the food crisis in Ethiopia. My heart has been so heavy with the food crisis and I have just been trying to think about ways I can help, even if it is $25 or $50.
I had an idea to stage an "Eat In" this weekend. The idea behind an "Eat In" is to stay home for one meal that you would have gone out for, eat something you have in the pantry or the freezer and take the money you would have used to go out for dinner or ice cream or whatever and donate it to help stop hunger. Ethiopia is in need of approximately 325million dollars to help bring in food until the next harvest (August or September).
Be sure to choose an organization to donate your money to...I am choosing to donate to UNICEF's Nutrition Program in Ethiopia.

Please join us this weekend in our "Eat In"! If you are going to be joining us, please post a similar message on your own blog so others can hear about this.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Week Seven

We are working our way through week number seven...we have been sick with the flu for the last few days around here...not much fun at all. This was the first week that I have really started to get anxious about "the call." I have found myself tearing up quite often when I hear about someone getting their referral or finally getting their babies home...while I am so overcome with joy for these families, my heart aches for our turn. We have been in the adoption process for the last sixteen months. We thought we would have had our baby with us by now, by we are trusting in God's best plan for our family. It has been so amazing to see how God's hand has moved us through this entire process. I can clearly see how he is readying our family for the new, amazing bundle we will be blessed to call ours. His plan is so much better than ours and I am so ready to see what and who He has planned for us. Please be praying for continued patience for our family as we move on to week eight...

Friday, June 6, 2008

We're off to have some fun this weekend as week number six comes to a close.

Hope you have a blessed weekend!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Ethiopia was again in the BBC news concerning hunger. There is a heartbreaking video about the situation in Ethiopia. You can read more about the the hunger in Ethiopia and view the video here:

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Week Six

We are officially in week six of waiting...God has been so good to our family by keeping us busier than we have ever been during this time. We have been blessed with extra work hours, relatives visiting, gardens to plant, and good friends to go to the mountains with. Even at week six, I still have to remind myself that we are actually in waiting. We could actually get "the call" any day now. They could know who our daughter could be right now. I do love just knowing that God knows how this whole thing is going to work out and when it will actually happen. One of my favorite Caedmon's Call song, Table For Two just says it so well:
And You know the plans that You have for me And You can't plan the end and not plan the means And so I suppose I just need some peace Just to get me to sleep.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Yay Jody and Andy!

We are so excited for the Lander's family who has finally gotten the Visas for their two adorable twins from Sierra Leone. We can't wait for you guys to go get Zeke and Kora! Praise God!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Our thoughts and prayers are with Stephen Curtis Chapman and his family...
we are so sorry for your loss and this tragic accident.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


hun-ger (hnggr) n. 1. a. A strong desire or need for food. b. The discomfort, weakness, or pain caused by a prolonged lack of food. 2. A strong desire or craving: a hunger for affection.

I have never been hungry. I have never wondered where my next meal will come from or if a drought will ruin my family's crops. I have never had to beg for food. I have never been hungry....but there are so many in the world who are hungry each and every day. Did you know that it is estimated that over one billion people in the world suffer from hunger and malnutrition (statistic form The Hunger Site)? Did you know that approximately 24,000 people die each day from hunger related causes and three fourths of those are children under the age of five?

These are statistics I cannot even begin to understand...but I have to grasp them somehow.

I got on the computer this afternoon to the BBC News page. I love the BBC because I can hop on their site and get instant information on things going on in Africa, specifically Ethiopia. This afternoon I stumbled across this article and it just made my heart hurt so badly for my child-to-be's home country. The article was about how UNICEF is saying that 60,000 children in two regions in Ethiopia are going to require food aid for survival. Approximately 147 million dollars is needed to help Ethiopia recover from drought, poor rainy season, and the high price of food. Without this help, the situation looks bleak.

So, yes, I live in a society where hunger is something that is seen only behind closed doors. Hunger does happen in the United States, but we do not openly see hunger on the streets. We do not see the children with the potbellies, and bones sticking out. Hunger is such a silent disease, but unlike cancer, we know the cure for it. Hunger is something that we have not experienced and will not fully understand unless we see it first hand and decide to make a difference. What can we do to help? Here are a list of a few sites dedicated to helping flight hunger around the world. Please visit these site

First Food Bank - a great list of 40 ways to fight hunger
Action Against Hunger - lots of great info about hunger around the world
Free Rice - Play a simple vocab game and grains of rice are donated.
World Food Programme - Updates on hunger issues around the world.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Week Four

Week four is officially over....Bring on week number 5!
This week, I was introduced to the Red Letters Campaign...this is a really cool site that helps people fight extreme poverty, preventable desiese, and connect orphans with loving families. They partner with all sorts of amazing organizations. Their goal is to help people who have a passion for helping others. Whether you passion is for making sure others have clean drinking water, or someone who has a passion for Africa, or South America, or someone who has the desire to help those who are starving, RLC wants to help by connecting you with organizations that are making a true difference. This is also a place to be able to network with others who desire to see change and are doing something about it! Please look at their website! For all you adoption bloggers, you can get on their Adoption Journal Page by simply emailing them your information and a picture.
Visiting RLC also introduced me to this book. Red Letters is a book all about being Jesus' hands and feet in a hungry and hurting world. It is a call to take what Jesus told us to do (feed the hungry, love others, care for orphans and widows) and radically change the world. Though I have not actually read this book yet, I am so encouraged by the author and am energized to try to do more to simply love others. This book is now on my list of Summer Reads...can't wait to get to it!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Lander's family is amazing...they have been in the process of adopting two-year-old twins, Zeke and Kora from Sierra Leone, you must visit their adoption blog. They are currently having a silent auction to help raise funds to bring their babies home! Please visit their family blog and check out the beautiful bags and the goodies that are inside them...this is an amazing cause and a very amazing family.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Week Three

Well, Week Three was filled with lots and lots of time spent outdoors. We went to the zoo, weeded and planted part of our garden...just enjoyed the warm weather. We also had our first thunder storm of the year. I love this time of year because I love to watch everything grow. It is just so amazing that you plant a seed and in a few days, you have this little sprout and a few weeks after that you have some flowers or lettuce or corn.
I also found this article to be really interesting. I love running and I love that running is such a big deal in Ethiopia...they are just so fast.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Week 2

This last week has flown by...I can't believe that tomorrow we have been "waiting" for two weeks. I do have to say that I am still not quite used to being in the waiting period...We are only in the second week, but it still feels so strange and unreal. I am just waiting to find a list somewhere of all the documents we still need to get...or get an email from Natalie saying that we are actually missing a very important document. I keep feeling like we need to be filling out some kind of paperwork. I am a "do-er" by nature. I thrive on doing my part to help finish a project and now it is completely out of my hands. I have to keep reminding myself that we are actually waiting now and I don't have anymore paper work to fill out...its just such a very strange feeling..I know there is so very much we still need to do...I have the lists to prove that we have a ton to do. We are starting to slowly dive into researching all the travel stuff that we need to and I am just getting so excited to go. We have decided to bring our daughter with us when we travel...I am busy finding ideas to keep a by-then, three-year-old busy on the plane...we are also hoping that my parents will be able to travel with us and that will help out a ton.
The last two weeks have gone by so quickly...I can only hope and pray that the rest of the time will go by as fast!!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Week One - Let The Nesting Begin!

Well, we officially made it through the first week of waiting. Waiting is something that is still so new that I often have to remind myself that we are finally in this place in the adoption process. I woke up this morning completely in the "nesting" mood. I have this desire to be writing lists of things we need to get done before the baby gets here...things like clean the trim and doors and reorganize every closet, cabinet, nook and cranny in our home, oh, and start researching cloth diapers. I also feel this strong pull to get rid of stuff...lots of stuff. I have been selling some things on Craig's List and my Goodwill pile seems to be getting bigger and bigger with each passing day. I don't remember nesting like this when I was pregnant with Blake...I kinda like feeling this way though...I like being productive and well, there is just so much to do!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I have gotten a few emails recently wondering if my mom is still creating the Heart For Africa necklace...she is! My mom creates each necklace as they are ordered. You can visit her etsy shop to see this necklace and all her other creations. My mom's heart is for adoption and meeting families who have been touched by this amazing process. She has LOVED talking to everyone who had ordered a necklace. Thanks to all!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Yay! We are offically on the wait list!

I was so excited when I got the email saying that we are officially on the wait list...I can only imagine how much more excited I will be when we get the referral! Natalie said our dossier is on its way to Washington DC for final authentications. The Gladney staff in Ethiopia can now start matching a child to our family. This is such an exciting time for us, we just can't wait to see what God does during this time. We are expecting great things!
We are also excited to start our adoption training through Gladney. Both Andy and I really enjoyed our training through Hope's Promise. We just learned so much. I have heard such good things about the Gladney training and I can't wait to start.

For those of you who have been through this waiting period...any tips on what we can do to help pass the time???

Saturday, April 12, 2008

We can now join the ranks...

...of those who have turned their dossiers in! Friday we received our last authenticated document from Washington state, scanned all the documents into the computer and went to the Fed-Ex store to send it off. The nice gentleman at Fed-Ex took our family picture...
I cannot believe we are finally turning everything in...we have been waiting for this day to come for over a year. There have been many ups and downs through this process. I have learned so much about patience and how God's plans for us are way better than we would have ever dreamed. We have been on an adventure and I feel like it is now finally starting to get really exciting. Please be praying that everything goes smoothly with the dossier and that our referral will come just as quickly as possible.

Our dossier was over-nighted to Gladney on Friday (we already tracked it to make sure it is on its way even though it won't be get there until Monday) and once they check it over it will be on its way to Washington DC and then on to Ethiopia.

For now, I am busy composing a list of things to do to keep us busy while we wait for the oh-so very important phone call...Let the waiting begin!!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Ethiopian Children's Book Week :: April 1st-7th, 2008

April 1-7th, 2008 is Ethiopian Children's Book Week. There is a wonderful organization I have found through our home study provider called Ethiopia Reads. This organization strives to build a reading culture in Ethiopia by connecting children with books. They do this by planting libraries for children, publishing books in English as well as local Ethiopian languages, and training teachers and librarians to cultivate a love of reading among children. You can also purchase books in English and in Amharic.

Here are some ways you can help Ethiopia Reads:
  • Ask your library to buy Jane Kurtz's books about Ethiopia. Check them out and read them with your children, grandchildren -- or even by yourself. People can't care about what they don't know about.
  • Buy copies of Ethiopia Reads’ multi-lingual books for children. 100% of the money goes to Ethiopia Reads.
  • Organize a book sale and donate the proceeds to Ethiopia Reads.
  • Host a “dinner party” in which guests stay home and donate the cost of a meal out to Ethiopia Reads.
  • Write an article about Ethiopia Reads for your school, neighborhood, church, synagogue or community newsletter.
  • Tell your friends to visit
  • Honor a friend who loves to read by making a donation in his or her name.
  • Challenge a group of friends or co-workers to raise enough money to plant one library.
  • Are you a teacher or librarian? Encourage your students to learn about Ethiopia! Make a book about your school or classroom and ship copies to Shola Children’s Library.
  • Make Ethiopia Reads the focus of a service project for Scouts, school, camp, church, bar mitzvah, graduation, etc – or just for fun!
  • Introduce Ethiopia Reads to your service club, such as Kiwanis and Rotary.
  • Celebrate the birth of a baby by making a gift in a child’s name to Ethiopia Reads.
  • Let your local librarian know about Ethiopia Reads.

What Children Can Do

  • Send a favorite book to Ethiopia Reads P.O. Box 2677, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • Ask birthday party guests to bring a book for Shola Children’s Library.
  • Offer to do odd jobs in your neighborhood to raise funds to donate to Ethiopia Reads.
  • Contribute a portion of allowance money (each week) for the permanent library building fund.
  • Put your old toys and clothes in a garage sale – contribute the money to Ethiopia Reads.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


We just got the email that we are officially Gladney approved!!!

Yay! One more step closer to our baby!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I love Sarah Groves and I love this video...enjoy.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


We have been going back and forth with Gladney about getting some specific documents to our home study agency in order for them to send the notarized home study over...this has been going on for a few months...Hope's Promise got the documents they need and they sent the home study over today! Yay! One more thing to check off the list!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Thankfully, Gladney told me we can get an un-notarized health insurance letter and then we will have to notarize it when we receive it...whew!!! I do think this sounds easier than it actually is...we'll see.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Did anyone else have a horrible time of getting the Proof of Health Insurance letter??? I am covered under my employer and I think I will have them just write another letter stating that I am covered, but Andy and Blake are not covered through one of our employers. I have been calling all these different people for the last hour and a half and no one is willing to help me at all...Grrr! I even called our local heath insurance office to see if they could write the letter and sign it and I would bring the notary in, but they will not help...they sent me to customer service and customer service said they could send me a letter but it definitely would not be notarized. I have a call into Gladney to see what they suggest, but this is so miserable! I had a feeling this was not going to be the easiest thing to get. Dear God, please give me patience and grace because I am rather frustrated!!!

thank you for letting me vent a bit. whew. I'm ok now.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I am just so crazy...

...about two things my mom gave me today.

The first, is this amazing shirt that Blake and I both got...I love them! I found this quote a few years ago and it quickly became a huge challenge for me to try to "be the change." The designer of the shirt is a girl who is going down to the Dominican Republic for a humanitarian trip this summer...She sells this shirt and others on her CafePress site to raise funds for her trip. She also designs blogs to help raise funds for her trip as well. She has some really cute things!

The second thing that I am absolutely crazy about is this new necklace my mom has made...oh how I love it. It is the "Hands for Africa" necklace. If you look closely, you can see all the tiny hand prints. I love, Love, LOVE it!!! My mom has been coming up with some amazing necklaces, especially for adoption....I can't wait to see what she comes up with next. Thank you, Mom! I love it!
UPDATE: This necklace is now up on my mom's etsy!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


the number of girls who are at risk each year of FGM, many of them in Africa.

The BBC just published an article about FGM - Femal Genital Mutilation. Several agencies under the UN are calling for this practice to be eradicated in within one generation. You can read the article by clicking here: FGM Article

You can find more information about FGM from WHO here: FGM fact sheet
In Depth: The razor's edge article
The Female Genital Cutting Education and Network Project

Monday, February 25, 2008

We are now just waiting on our health insurance and life insurance to get the documents we need...we are so ready to be sending in all of our stuff!!! Hopefully in the next two weeks we will be turning in our dossier to get authenticated.
The last few weeks have been kinda hard. We are so ready to bring our baby home. We started this process last March and thought we would have been finished with the adoption process by now, whatever the reason, we know this is God's best for our family. I was looking through our dossier handbook that Gladney gave us and this sentence stood out to me today:
I can make you two guarantees.

One - if you stick through the frustrations and possible changes, we will find you the child that is meant to be part of your family.

Two - you will not be happy with this process until your child has come home.
This is so true to where I am. I am also reminded of the verse that my mom put on the back of my Heart for Africa necklace:
I waited patiently for the LORD;he turned to me and heard my cry.
Psalm 40:1
With each dossier document Gladney checks, we are getting closer and closer to completing this process. The only thing I can compare this to is the last few weeks of my pregnancy with Blake...I felt like I was going to be pregnant the rest of my felt like it was never going to end, then, all of a sudden (by sudden I mean 13.5 hours of labor), it was over. God is good and he knows how much we can handle.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sending some love around the world to our little Ethiopian baby...
whoever she might be.
We love you and can't wait until we can see your face and hear your name!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Medical Forms...check

Today we met a notary at the Doctor's office so the doctor could sign our medical forms needed for the dossier...this form has kinda been a bit of a pain to get, but it is done and I am going to be sending it over the Gladney just to make sure it is correct! Whew!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Still Here

Just wanted to give you a little update that we are still here and still trying to collect the documents needed for our dossier...we ran into a few little bumps, but things are coming along.

We were so excited to find out yesterday that we will be getting the money we put into our old adoption agency back! Praise God!