Thursday, February 19, 2009

Music to our ears!!

Paul and I just hung up with our son!! How exciting!! He said his name for us and "I Love You".....priceless I tell you....PRICELESS!!!
I just cannot wait to hold him in my arms!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mikias Post #3

The embassy appointment went very smoothly according to Rob. One family was held up with lots of questions and the other family was told their fingerprints were out of date. They all did go through as needed in the end. He went shopping and pick up Christian CDS in Ahmaric, Amharic Bible stories, an Ethiopian flag and more of what was on Aprils list!
They are enjoying the pool at the guest house.
He said Mikias is sleeping well.
He has told Paul that the high altitude is going to kick Pauls tail!! He told Paul to start working out TODAY!! He said he has lots of travel advice for Paul too!

While at the orphanage Rob was also able to meet Mikias' father. He asked Rob to wait a minute and he returned with the grandma and other friends/family. The grandma was only 4 ft tall so they were teasing Rob for being so tall. They seemed very gracious and excited for Micky! Eyob told Rob that his father was very helpful through the adoption process and had cooperated so well that Mikias was one of the last ones in the orphanage and one of the first to leave because of that. Rob pulled out the photo album of April and the girls, the house and Mickys bedroom and his father asked if he could keep it...and he did. It seems as if Mikias was very well prepared for everything and seemed to deal with the "goodbye" well.

He will return tomorrow to the orphanage to say his goodbyes to his friends.

So that was all about who wants to know about MY boys!?!?!?
We received the BEST wake up call this morning. It was Rob. We put him on speaker phone and I videotaped it. First of all he said the orphanage is run very smoothly and the children are all very well behaved. He likened it to a military base for the structure and discipline.

Yohannis: This is our approximate 2 year old little boy. He was sleeping at the beginning of Robs visit but after he awoke Rob said he was like an 8 year old in a toddler body. He said he would wonder into one room where the boys were playing playstation (yes they have one there!!!) and he would just sit and observe, then he would venture into another room and stand and observe! He said he wasn't like the 2 years we have here that are into everything. He said he is quiet and simply takes everything in!

So on to our WILD CHILD! Yesak is approximately 4 years old. Rob recognized him as soon as he entered the orphanage! Upon catching his eye he began a hide and seek game with him. Yesak was very loving and he hung on Robs leg, he said the only other child that was hanging on him more was Mikias! Rob said he never stopped the entire 5 hours that Rob was there. He said he ran non-stop! He told Paul he needs to sign him up for track as soon as we get him home! He was very talkative and very friendly. Oh and Rob was taking video of him and he was cheesing real hard thinking it was taking a regular picture, Rob was trying to get him to do something for the video but he just kept cheesing harder and bigger :) so then Rob waved to him and he waved back...Rob told Paul that he even choked up watching and knowing what a crybaby Paul is he is sure Paul will sob like a baby!

All 3 families that have met Yesak on their trip have really remembered him and he stands out from the other I think I have my work cut out for me!!! Rob is planning to call us in the middle of the night when he arrives at the orphange to let us talk to the boys! WooHoo!!! So another update will be coming soon!
BTW They will be arriving in Louisville at around 6pm on Saturday for anyone wanting to welcome them home!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mikias Update #2

So Rob called April today and said that Mikias was the most well behaved child he had ever met! He boasted about how smart he was! He can count to 30 in English and say his ABCS was meticulous in his coloring, read from an Amharic childrens Bible stories book. He is very happy and very sweet!.
Turns out they call him "Mickey"!!
He is probably more liked 6 1/2 then 5 1/12!! Oops!!

I still have not heard anythiing about my boys! More updates to come!

Monday, February 16, 2009


If you are adopting through Arise than you may know one of the families traveling now to get their son Mikias a 5 -6 year old little boy. They do not have a blog so I thought I could post a bit of their story here...I know how we LOVE travel stories!!

The dad is travling alone while mom holds down the fort here with the other children. He left Saturday at 10am and called home early afternoon on Sunday (which was like midnight in Ethiopia). He said the plane ride was the worst expierience of his life, it was hot he couldn't sleep etc. Once at the airport the driver for the orphanage did not pick him up so he and another couple had to take a cab. He was not feeling great and needed SLEEP. (disclaimer:this is an adoption story as told by a non talkative man on a phone that is $2.80 a minute!!)

I just got the following note from mom:
"Guess who talked to her son today......ME! !!!!!!!!! !!!!!I had Rob call from the orphanage to let me just hear his voice.Mikias said :Hello mommyHow are youI will see you Friday I love you mommyByeIt was the best wake up call of my life :)I just said I love you in between phrases.Rob said he is definitely Charity's big brother"

She was so excited! She could here someone talking in Ahmaric and then Mikias would say a phrase...she was ecstatic!! She couldn't believe how much English he could repeat !!

This is the family we started the process with back in March. We were side by side through the entire jouney even getting our first referrals the same exact day!! It is so rewarding to see them coming across the finish line...and knowing one day soon we will have all this excitement to share with them !! Our boys are at the same orphanage meaning I should be getting more pictures and even better, a friends report on them!! I may even get a phone call or video if the orphanage will allow it!! It will also be great that her son and my boys who have lived together since fall will always have each other as friends in America!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

While on this journey the world of blogging has been a source of information, support and friendship . Every story, timeline, and child is different but the journey is all the same! I had found some blogs several months ago of families with the same court dates the same week of December as our original date. Many of the families passed that week and their children are already home! A few did not. Sarah & Davis were one of the families, they were reassigned for the same week in January as we their case was not heard either. They too are rescheduled for late March. I am including some of her own words in this post because quite frankly everything she said is what is in my head...and she is just SO much better at putting her thoughts into words!! I am awful at communicating my thoughts!! (as you know if you read this often!!)

The biggest hurdle in Ethiopian adoption is well....Ethiopia. In American eyes anyway. While on this journey I have had so many people ask me why it takes so long and why don't they hand us as many children as we will take. The answer of course is that they love their children and want to make sure their children are put into safe homes. So why does it take so long? I am learning that Africa and more specifically Ethiopia operate on a different time table than we do in America. The are not people consumed with clocks, calenders and timelines. I have been told they are more re-active than pro-active. They are most likely simply not prepared to handle the number of cases going through their courts. The number of adoptions has increased from I think 76 a few years ago to several thousand projected for 2009. I believe like Sarah that the mindset of how they operate as a country is important knowledge for prospective families adopting from Ethiopia. Here is what Sarah said....

"This weekend I also finished the book Love in the Driest Season by Nelly Tucker. The book is a memoir that tells the story of an American couple's struggle to adopt an orphan girl in Zimbabwe. This book was really helpful to me because it gave me a sense of how things work in Africa. I am getting the feeling that what we are seeing in Ethiopia (random delays, unclear guidelines, processes that are inconsistent) is not unusual across Africa. I know for us, we didn't realize the nature of what we would be dealing with when we began this process. Our agency has never really talked about the nature of adopting in Africa. I think that is an important point to be discussed because, as many of us have seen, this seems to be a very different game we are playing here, particularly for those accustomed to American norms for conducting business and legal transactions."

Here is the rest of her post. I really need not add to is perfect. After this last court delay I have told many of you that I gave it over to God. I thought I had early in the process but I truly hadn't. I truly am thankful for the delays in that they brought me closer to God. Of course that closeness overflows into every area of life. I think it is because you reach a point where you are so out of control and their is NOTHING you can do to change/expedite/petition the process. Our society is that we can ask for managers when we are upset, we can write our congressman , we can picket....well when you get to this point in the adoption you must turn to GOD. It is actually sad that we don't realize sooner that it is all up to him....anyway I am rambling, so her is Sarahs post and her prayer vigil this is holding today Wednesday.

"It's been an interesting few weeks. Thanks to all of you have commented on our blog and shared your personal stories with us. I am amazed at how many people are going through the exact same thing right now. There are so many of us who have been delayed multiple times across agencies, particularly those of us adopting multiple children. To me, this is all the more reason to pray for the collective deliverance of our children.

I must confess I have never considered myself one of those "faith people". I am rational and logical to a fault. My head tends to run things more than my heart does most of the time. I have often looked at my father who seems to have a spiritual gift for faith and thought "how cool that he has that kind of faith" while at the same time not finding myself able to relate to his faith-saturated worldview because of the dominance of my own intellect in so many situations. This experience with our girls has caused me to reexamine my own view of faith.

Being at a place now where I feel that my family is being threatened, I have shifted my posture. Given that there is nothing else I can do in my own intellect and competence, I have been forced to turn to God. I have been forced to cry out to God for the deliverance of my children. Through this, I have learned that there are many promises God has given us that I may not really believe if belief connotes action. In my life as a Christian, I have confessed that God is real and His word is true but my practical application of those beliefs now appears somewhat limited.

Jesus said in John "Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it" (John 14:13). Later again in John, Jesus says "Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give it to you. Until now, you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full" (John 16:23-24). I think that for the most part I have written off the literal interpretation of these types of scriptures as the domain of big-haired, private-jet-owning televangelists -not really my crowd. But now I'm asking myself what if these promises really are true in the literal sense? If they are, then perhaps I have been missing something. For the first time in my life, I feel like I am coming from a place of desperation and REALLY asking God for something in faith because that is all I have left. I am asking God to deliver my children and I am believing Him that He will do what I have asked and make our joy complete by making our family whole.

So here is what I propose. If you too are standing in faith interceding for your children or the children of people you love then let's join forces in prayer this Wednesday. Let us make Wednesday a day of prayer and fasting and ask God to hear the prayers of His people as we cry out to Him for the children of Ethiopia. According to our agency, we will find out at the "end of this week" if the courts will give us new court dates. Let's come together on Wednesday and cry out to God to move. I believe He hears our prayers and that He loves our children more than we do. Let us unite as His church - a church that knows no boundaries of state or nation - and ask Him to make a "road in the wilderness"(Is. 43:19) for our children to come home. In our family, we will be praying all day on Wednesday but we will pray specifically together at 6:30pm Pacific Standard Time if you want to join us at the same time we are praying.

George Mueller said, "Our work is to lay our petitions before the Lord, and in childlike simplicity to pour out our hearts before Him saying, 'I do not deserve that you should hear me and answer my requests but for the sake of my precious Lord Jesus, for His sake, answer my prayer. And give me grace to wait patiently until it pleases You to grant my petition. for I believe You will do it in in Your own time and way.'... Oh the hundred of thousands of times I have found this to be true...When it seemed impossible for help to come, it did come, for God has His own unlimited resources to help."

Let us call upon the unlimited resources of God this week and wait on Him.

If you plan to join us on Wednesday, would you please reply this post? It means so much to know that we are standing together with others in prayer for the children of Ethiopia."

Monday, February 9, 2009

New court date!

YEAH!! We finally heard from the Ethiopia courts and the cases that were not heard the last week of January were rescheduled for February , March and April. Some cases were made priority due to the child health, some babies that came in so malnourished that they need to get home!
So our new court date is March 26th!
While it seems crazy to explain that we have to wait 2 months because of an office move I am so happy that we did get a March date!
Please continue to pray for my boys and our family who is so anxious to start this new chapter in our life!

We are also dealing with my uncles illness. He was diagnosed with a teeny tiny spot of melanomia (sp?) 2 years ago. The spot was removed and we thought all was well. One year later he was acting "weird" we then found out he had a tumor in his brain. He began the battle with this right about 1 year ago. He has endured one year of radiation on a clinical trial. The tumors have mulitiplied and grown...he now has 18 tumors in his brain and 1 in his brain stem. He is now on a chemo pill. We found a new doctor who he is seeing today for new options to pursue. We are all very close and my children are truly why he has fought so hard already. I know Gods timing is perfect and I truly believe some of these court delays are working around the timing of his illness.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tonight we attended our family adoption meeting through our agency Arise Adoption. At the meeting we are able to talk with other adoptive families...those beginning the journey...some on the journey and most fun of all those who have returned from Africa with their precious children! We have three families ready to travel in a couple of weeks....which means..more pictures of our sweeties and we can send packages to them again! YEAH! The best part of the wait!!!!
Meanwhile we are staying busy with school, church and the sport of the season basketball!
Last week we did our unit around the book The Snowy Day. This week we chose the book The Big Snow to coincide with Groundhog Day. Both of the books were of course timed perfectly with the big snow we had dropped us here in Kentucky last week! We were one of the lucky families that did not lose we just enjoyed the lockdown with lots of time playing in the snow and I even snuck in some scrapbooking and scrapbook organizing!!
I have some great pics to add on but something happened that I was told could never happen...our computer is evidently I take way too many pictures!!

Here are a few pictures I have of the b-ball games. Carson was a bit lacking last year in the b-ball department. This year he has shown so much improvement he does it all defense, offense...oh does it matter that Paul pays him!?! Yeap he earned $4 last week...sick isn't it!? Paul says as long as he is driven by something.....I don't really agree with that one , but sometimes you gotta let daddy do what daddy wants to do!!

Here Carson and Charity were guarding each other, which they thought was hilarious. They were so busy guarding they had no idea what was happening in the game!
Madelyn's game was first and mommy had some issues with camera settings so not as many good pics... This is her first year playing and it is so pityful! She is so funny....she stands on her little spot the size of a dime and DOES NOT MOVE!! Her hands stay up the entire game (even on offense) and her huge smile NEVER leaves her face...she smiles the entire time she is on the bench even!! She shot the ball 4 times and 3 of the 4 times it went straight into another players head (thus not very high LOL!)
Oh, and just in case you were actually checking in the adoption news.....we still do not know anything. Our orphanage rep went to see the judge yesterday to ask what would happen to the cases that were not heard last week...and she would not give an answer. There is only 1 judge now in Ethiopia and as you can imagine she is very busy!! So please pray for a miracle that she may decide to slide our cases in over the next few months rather than putting us 6-8 weks out with a new court date. The larger agencies are already pushed out 6-8 weeks but we are praying she will grant favor to us smaller agencies who do not have as many cases overall. Who knows....other than GOD! He already has the timeframe laid out if nothing else pray for my peace in the meantime!