Monday, March 28, 2011

Next stop ETHIOPIA!!!!!

To say I'm excited doesn't even BEGIN to describe how I feel!!!!

In less than TWO DAYS I will be lovin on my babies!!!!!!!!

Woooooooo hooooooo!!!!!

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hair cuts are contagious....

As packing and planning are still underway I'm happy to report that my to-do list is getting shorter and shorter but then again as I cross one to-do off I seem to add another so maybe I'm just breaking even. Anyways on the
to-do list of things came the hair cut. Now I was planning on a quick cut and color for myself and that is scheduled for the 24th and I knew my hubby needed a little trim before we left but as mommy sat scrolling threw google looking at different styles my little girls decided they too needed to add a little 2011 to their look and so became the infection that spread threw our house. Did you know hair cuts are contagious?!?!?! First came Kerrie a friend of the family she decided to drop her long locks for a short sassy look! On this same night Maddie had a friend over who of course couldn't be left out so we did a simple trim and tidy to her layers. ( she's not pictured) Levi wanted to go a bit more trendy and pulls of a short mohawk well, it was extra cute the day he styled it himself and used liquid soap instead of hairspray. At first Maddie picked out a long layers look which she wore to church but when nobody noticed the change she traded in for a Nicole Richie look. Mallory picked out a cute bob with a long light bang and we cut more than 6 inches off of her. Now then add to my calendar a cut and color for Jill, we cant have her traveling to ET with us and meeting her two new little ones with grow out and split ends, Craig still needs his trim and after a text last night from my mom letting me know that the picture attached to my last post looks like witch hair I'm in the mood for an entire new look ( not unusual for me). You see what I mean, hair cuts are contagious!

Mallory and Mommy

Lost Locks

Levi's Mohawk

And Kerrie's new look!

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Worth Fighting For...

It's late here, the kids are all in bed, the TV off and my I-Pod playing softly in the background and as I sit here thinking about my day I have come to realize how EVERYTHING about this adoption has been a trial and yet EVERYTHING has gone right. We are a great example of adoption struggles!!!! Let me explain.

The first struggle was the fact that I had to let God convince Craig that now was the time and not 5 years from now for us to start the process. He did just that in 2 short weeks.

Then there was the list, I know that I have not shared the list on the blog but before God changed Craig's heart he and I (mostly him) made a list of goals and objects that HAD to be obtained by us before we could start the paperwork. Let me just say that there was no way that even in 10 years we would have managed to fulfill this list. In the two weeks God worked on Craig, Craig let go of the list. Then the most AMAZING things began to happen, goals and objects from our list started to be completed. All BLESSINGS from God. We are one goal away from this 10+ year list being gone!

Moving down the time line we had the financial worry, how would we pay for an adoption??? Blessed again, this time by NO LONGER ORPHANS. They are a nonprofit that partners with one family at a time as they swim up stream threw the adoption process. They have financially supported the adoption, been there emotionally for the happy and sad moments and most important have followed a plan God has laid out for them. Because of that they have met not only the financial obligation our adoption but have made a HUGE dent in the adoption of their next family bringing home a son from Russia. I encourage you to go to and read about the passion and power that moves them and learn of ways you can help.

Next we come to our home study... allI I can say is we are on our third Official FInal Copy and what takes most families 6 weeks to 3 months to get all wrapped up ended up being an almost year long process due to circumstances beyond our control. Enough said but I give praise to God for giving me PEACE beyond UNDERSTANDING. My mother in-law calls me the terrier of the family and its NOT because I'm little and cute! I have a mean bite at times ;)

Lets move on now to the referral and God asking us to adopt special needs, that was another two week battle of the wills between Craig and God... God won of course! Praise again to him!!

With the acceptance of God's will came the official acceptance of our children. Yea, were adoption pregnant, but to keep the referral we had 4 SHORT weeks to raise $18,000 dollars. God opened up the hearts of family friends and strangers and with NLO we made the goal!

You would think at this point the struggles would be over but OH NO, to be honest they just keep getting harder..... So the adoption is paid for but during this LONG, LONG Process Ethiopia changed the laws and Craig and I would need to travel TWO times to Ethiopia and back. The first time to meet the kids and go to court, the second to pick up the kids Visas and bring them home. Two trips like this would be an estimated $12,000 dollars. NLO partnered with our church youth group who is planning a missions trip to Africa this summer to host and amazing Valentines dinner and auction. As four incredible women sat planning this event one afternoon the question came up.... How much money would each organization need to walk away with in order to make our time and effort worth while? The answer was $1,000 each. When the evening of our event came to an end the total raised was over $15,000! GOD IS SO GOOD. That was enough money that after expenses and then split with the youth group NLO had enough in the bank to pay for all the travel cost of our adoption!!!

And NOPE still not done. One of my personal struggles has been knowing that I would get to spend 10 days meeting and loving our kids and then HAVE to walk away till the embassy cleared us to travel. I'm not in a position to share the story of my kids past but let me just say this, it's NOT in the best interest of OUR kids to meet and then leave. This plagued my heart, many hours I have spent praying about how to overcome this and God's answer did come. It was for me to stay in Ethiopia with our kids the 6-12 weeks between court and embassy and have Craig and Maddie return home to the States. This plan only had on two road blocks the first was passing court. At the time this didn't worry me too much, 60% of families DID pass the first time and we have what I feel is a pretty straight forward case to be presented to the judge. No the BIG problem was going to be Craig and getting him to agree to lave me in a third world country by myself with two new kids for the 6-12 weeks. Straight away the prayers began and this time God only had to wrestle for two DAYS with Craig, I think Craig is getting better about listening and obeying.

Packing and planning was under way for our April 5th Court date and I was tearing off a post-it note a day as we were counting down to the moment we would depart. To be honest I thought the hard part was done. God had provided what I thought was going to be that hardest part, money, he saw us threw all the home study chaos and all paperwork, and we had a court date with plane tickets in hand. Then the rug was pulled out from beneath us... MOWA as mentioned in a previous post began re-evaluating how they processes cases and as of this very moment I would say that we have a 1% chance of passing court. Without passing court I wont be staying in Ethiopia with our kids, and it could be months before we do pass. Needless to say I was in a low, low place but now as I sit here tonight the kids in bed, the TV off and my I-pod still spilling tunes out in the background I DON'T CARE!!
And you know why I don't care...... Because if Satan would work this hard, for this long to try and put a stop to the creation of our family, to try and stop the adoption of the kids God has chosen to place in our family, and to try and beat us down to give up our faith and peace in our Lord, then we must have AMAZINGLY SPECIAL KIDS waiting for us and my God is stronger than anything Satan could throw at us. I alone can't change whats happening in Ethiopia and with our adoption but God can so I will rest my head and heart on that as my day comes to an end and the sun is rising on the day for my kids half a world away.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Seeking Peace

There has been a lot of buzz all over the Internet about how Ethiopian adoptions are being cut back by 90% and at this point in time based on the facts given it seems to be true. As a mom ready to travel for an April 5th court date when I first heard the news I was furious!! Why would they do this when there are an estimated 5 MILLION orphans in Ethiopia alone, it made no sense to me. My anger settled and turned to tears, tears for my kids waiting for us to pass court and bring them to our loving home, tears for the fact that chances are good we won't pass court, tears for the other families with and without referrals who will now wait longer to embrace their children but more than anything tears for God. The pain he must be feeling hearing all of our heartache and prayers begging for a positive out come for us and our families, the pain he is hearing and feeling from the children not in the loving arms of family and the fears expressed from all the many many people who are working so hard to provide orphaned children with a safe and healthy place to live and grow until united with their forever family. But then I think of the flip side of this situation what is going on with the adoption program in Ethiopia that would require such a fast cut back on letters of approval from MOWA........ Is it not enough staff, are things slipping threw the cracks that shouldn't. What exactly is the problem, it must be a big one. as I lay with the worried and scared heart of a mother praying the selfish prayer of why and fix it please a peace came over me, a thought that cleared my heart and settled my aching soul. Mark 10:9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. English Revised Version. I know this passage, we hear it at most weddings we attend but thinking about it from an adoption standpoint God is joining families by bringing together children and parents and he won't allow man to stop what he wants created so put faith and trust in him, seek his guidance and fear not because he will be with you

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Court date!!!!!

Did you hear me screaming at 9:20 a.m. the morning of the February 23rd? Well, to be honest I'm not sure if I was screaming, hyperventilating, or perhaps going into shock but we got a due date.....I'm sorry, I mean COURT DATE!!!!!!!! It's practically the same thing. I've been attached to my phone for the last few weeks now waiting, watching and wanting a phone call from our travel Coridnator at America World and so when it finally came with the great news that we have a court date of April 5th in Ethiopia what did I do??? Call, text, email and Facebook all of our family and friends of course!
To be honest it took me more than an hour to settle down and for the reality of this phone call to sink in, planning, packing, cleaning, shopping and more all needing to be done in just over 30 days. I paced around the house the rest of the morning waiting for the travel email giving our family all the details and rules for our trip. Poor Craig, it was his day off and as fabulous as it was that he was home for us to receive the phone call together by 11:00 he was wishing he was at work. I sat next to him on the couch as he did his computer stuff begging.... Refresh! Check the email. Is it here yet? How about now? Are you sure your doing it right?!? Now don't let me fool you he was just as excited as I was but he is WAY better at controlling it. I think he was secretly enjoying the fact that I was going CRAZY!

Thursday- Saturday were spent tracking down the best routes and airline prices from Spokane to Ethiopia, running to the court house to expedite Madison's passport, and many, many, mini freak outs that in 30 days we would be meeting our children for the first time, hugging them for the first time, taking their hands in ours, playing, bonding and meeting eyes for the first time ever.....CHILLS!!!

For the most part I have calmed down, I think. I must say that my friends know me well enough to give me the, relax, you don't have to do it all talk almost daily, BUT YES I DO!! I now have a very organized plan that goes kaputzzzzz daily. Index cards labeled as a daily count down, along with coordinating Must Do's, Should Do's and You didn't do yesterday like you were suppose too!!!! It works well for me but every morning as I announce to Craig X number of days to go he gives me a very worried look and says "your not helping me" remain calm. hee hee :)

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