Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I finally got a picture of Gabriel smiling. He is always laughing and smiling but he will not smile if a camera is around. So I am very proud of this smiley picture

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tonight we will be volunteering with Show Hope at the United Tour concert(Steven Curtis Chapman & Michael W Smith). We are very excited to have the opportunity to advocate for orphans around the world. If you are going to the Rupp Arena concert come by and say HI. Check back tomorrow for pictures.

If you are interested in more information about Show Hope but cannot come to the concert follow the link to find out more about the Show Hope Sponsorship Program.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Check out this video. See if you recognize anyone's face???????????

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Today we invited over some friends for a little play date.
Amy and her girls Chloe and Essie came over for some fun outdoors.

A Little Team Work

Jacob tries a popcicle. I think he has brain freeze!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I have a question for all you out there with large families or families on a tight budget. What do you do for childcare? Do you pay a regular sitter? Do you have a friend you rely on? Do you trade off childcare with another family?

This has been an ongoing issue for our family. By the time you pay for childcare and then the cost of going out on a date you can easily spend $100 for one night out.

How often do you have a date night with your spouse? What do you do for childcare?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The last couple of days have been stressful but I am happy to announce that our dossier is complete and on its way to Washington and then on to Ethiopia. I am exhausted and overwhelmed and need to see some smiling faces so enjoy these pics of my beautiful children.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Elshadaye's Eyes

I spoke to someone who meet Elshadaye on a recent trip to Ethiopia. Here is how she described her, "Her eyes were bright and she seems to be doing well. She loved the suckers we brought. She is a very sweet girl. She seemed outgoing even though she does not speak English."

Friday, April 17, 2009

We are always looking for ways we could improve Jacob's quality of life. We saw this video clip the other night.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Update on the kiddos:

Miranda is working hard to finish up her 1st grade curriculum before vacation in June. She is very excited to be getting a sister to share a room with. Darren put up the bunk beds in Miranda & Elshadaye's bedroom last week. Then, He and Miranda went shopping for the comforter sets for the beds.

Ethan continues to go to preschool 3 days a week. He is a very busy boy and loves to be at Daddy's side from the moment Darren walks in the door. He is into trucks and working with tools.

Faith just continues to blossom. She has quite the personality! She is still getting speech therapy once a week. We are seeing improvements in her speech all the time. Faith loves imaginary play. She is always carrying around a purse and pretending to go somewhere.

Gabriel's body is stuck on run. The boy can not walk! He is always running into the wall or a door. Gabriel is also into trucks and tools. I think he and Ethan will be very good friends as they get older.

Jacob is still the sweetest baby ever!! Jacob has a love for life and is a joy to be around. You cannot have a bad day when Jacob is around because he always makes you smile. Jacob is still receiving physical, occupational and speech therapy. We can see him getting stronger every day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I don’t even know how to begin explaining the events of the last couple of weeks. I will begin with this past Thursday and then I can go back and feel you in on the details leading to Thursday. We received a call on Thursday afternoon from our home study provider. Of course, I was hoping she was calling to say our home study was ready but that was wishful thinking. Instead, she informed us that she would not approve us to adopt two unrelated children. Apparently, there have been a few families recently that adopted unrelated children that resulted in disrupted placements. Sadly, she has decided to generalize those situations to all families and will no longer be approving families to adopt older unrelated children. We do not agree with this decision. BUT after looking back at the events of the last couple of weeks we can see that God had other plans for our family. She did approve us to adopt a sibling group of children or a single child. We were also approved for a child with special needs. Unfortunately this means that we will not be able to adopt the two little girls we have been talking about, Hazab & Debora.

Now, let’s go back to the beginning of this adoption journey. About three months ago Darren & I started talking about adopting again. We have since the beginning felt God has continued to lead us to children with special needs. We began looking at the list of waiting children. There were several children on the list that were within the age range we were considering. The only children with special needs were children with HIV. We talked about all the options including sibling groups, two unrelated girls, girls that were HIV+. We chose Hazab and Debora because they were very malnourished and looked very sad. They touched our hearts.

God Incident #1
Shortly after we accepted the referrals for these two little girls we prepared a package for the girls. We mailed the package to a family who would be traveling soon and had agreed to deliver the package for us. Oddly, the mail was unable to make deliveries to their neighborhood that week due to flooding so the girls never received their package.

God Incident #2
We found out at the younger girl was thought to be HIV+.

God Incident #3
We received Hazap’s medical report which said she was 4 years old. We still don’t think that is correct but we thought we were adopting a child who was 7 years old. BIG Difference!!

God Incident #4
I know this is petty but I still think it is odd. Faith’s room is decorated in lady bugs. The entire room’s d├ęcor revolves around her bedding. So I went to order another bedding set for Debora’s bed and it had been discontinued. I had checked on the bedding just months ago and it was still available. ?????????????

OK back to Thursday night. After finding out that we would not be able to adopt Hazap & Debora as a pair we then had to decide who we would adopt. We decided we could not decide between the two of them. So we begin the review the list again. We spent Thursday night & Friday in prayer to consider each girl on the list.

God Incident #5
There was a little girl on the list who had been being seriously considered by a couple of families but no one had made a commitment to her.

It was apparent to both of us that there was only one girl for us. Her name is Elshadaye and she is almost 6 years old. She has big beautiful dark eyes and long shiny braided hair. Elshadaye is living with HIV.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Let me say it again, "IT IS HARD TO WAIT FOR GOD'S TIMING" I am an extremely impatient person so right now is a very difficult time for me. Here is what I am waiting for:

1. Home study to be completed
2. Two sets of white bunk beds (in our price range)
3. A 15 passenger van (in our price range)
4. $14,000 to pay off the remaining amount of our currently due adoption fees.
5. Medical Report for Debora

Right now I am throwing a pity party for myself. I can't get a grant/loan to pay for the adoption fees until the home study is done. BUT when the home study is done I am ready to send off my dossier which must include the $14,000. BUT is takes 6-8 weeks to process a grant/loan application. SOOOOO it looks like unless $14,000 lands on my doorstep in the next week I am not going to be able to send my dossier to Ethiopia yet because right now I will have to wait for a grant/loan application to be processed.

So I am crying out to God for his provision and for patience.

Thanks for letting me vent my frustration!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Today would have been the day we received our China referral. Our LID was 3/7/06! But as you know our beautiful Faith has been with us for a little over a year. We found her on the special needs waiting list and brought her home in December 2007.

So today I am celebrating with all the families who have been waiting for 3 years to see the precious faces of their children. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here was Faith's referral picture . . . .

We are beginning a new stage in the adoption process - THE FINANCES! We are now at a point in our adoption where all the numerous fees are beginning to be due. This is always an exciting time but also very stressful. It is always cool to see how God is going to provide the funds. For example, yesterday out of nowhere we received a check in the mail reimbursing us for an overpayment on some medical bills. It was not much when you think about the overall cost of the adoption but every penny helps.

If you are interested in blessing our family with the gift of financial support please see the left column of our blog for instructions to make a tax deductible donation.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Jacob is beginning to play with toys. This is so exciting!!!!!

(please ignore the screaming child in the background)