Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

38 More Days!!

No, not 38 more days of shopping (thank goodness)...38 days until we get to meet our baby girl.  She is already 7 months old and the waiting seems to be even harder. Even though the waiting has been hard, we feel so blessed that God has brought us to this place and that we will be able to bring R home very soon.  God has opened our eyes to what is going on outside of our little see the world around us as He sees it.

I have been able to keep busy getting ready for Christmas (which has made the waiting more bearable).  Shopping, baking, Christmas cards, wrapping, etc.  We have been so blessed to be able to go to several Christmas concerts this year.  I love music!  H was in the orchestra at church and that concert was beautiful!  H and T2 were both in the school Christmas concert and did awesome on their solos.  H has a Christmas choir concert tonight and B has one next week.  Our kids continue to keep us busy.  I am so thankful that we will have another driver in the family in January.  H is also very excited.  I think she is more excited about being able to get a job (which I hope she has some success with) than driving.  B auditioned for and made the worship band at church.  He plays the electric guitar and has been working really hard.  We continue with sports.  B plays basketball for his junior high and T2 cheers and has already started working out for soccer.  Finals are next week and then we get to RELAX!

T1 got another scholarship offer to play football at Georgia Tech.  He spent last weekend there on an official visit, and this weekend, he will go on an official visit to the University of Illinois.  I'm not sure where he'll end up, but I do have hopes!!!  He learned right away on his first official visit that his values will be challenged when he goes away to college, but I am so proud of how he handled everything while he was there.  This mama knows that her prayers were answered, and God put a hedge of protection around him.  I also know that I will need to pray without ceasing. We continue to give God all the glory for his accomplishments and are very thankful for the opportunities he's been given.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Another Step Closer!!

We got a call from our case manager last week.  We got our court date....January 18th!  I just booked our flights on Monday, and now I'm in my list mode.  I LOVE to make lists.  Bill always laughs at me because I tend to make lists for everything.  Well, now I have a GREAT reason to be making lists!  Here are just a few of my catagories...medications for the trip, toiletries, clothes, food, donations, 1st trip, 2nd trip, tips for luggage, tips for hotel, and on and on.  The trick for me is trying to keep all my lists organized.  I struggle in that department.  It seems, especially now, I am such a scatterbrain, and I can't seem to focus. 

In my defense, there is also lots going on in our house!  We have been very blessed in that T1 has some scholarship offers to play football in college next year.  So we are visiting and discussing, and then visiting and discussing a little more, and I'm ready for a decision because H is a junior, and we need to start looking at where she might want to go...which by the way, all these things are cause for more lists!!!!!

And then I start looking around our house and start making lists of all the things that we need to fix or paint before Baby R comes home.  And of course there's Christmas...decorating, menus, shopping!!!  OK enough about my list really does help me though. 

We are so excited about meeting our precious little girl.  Counting down the days until we're LEAVING ON A JET PLANE!!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

No More Numbers!!! It's A Girl!!!

We are so excited to announce that we have a baby girl!!  We got "the call" last Tuesday, October 19th at 6pm.  It always takes me so long to process my thoughts and feelings and put them into words.  I want to say everything just right, but I also try to remember that this is for our baby girl so that when she grows up, she can look back at this and know how she grew in our hearts and how much we love her.  God has truly blessed us and we are all so excited.  She is so beautiful and has the most precious chubby cheeks.  It's so wonderful to be able to pray for her by be able to see her face...the beautiful face of the little girl God grew in our hearts.  Baby R will be 6 months old in one week. 

About the call...Many families from our agency's listserv have talked about how they had changed the ringer on their phone so that AGCI would have it's own sound and they would know who was calling.  I thought that was a great idea, so I changed mine that morning.  I had just asked "B" in September to always try my cell phone first because we are so busy this time of year, and I had missed her last call.  I had convince myself that the next time she would call would be the first week of November to tell us where we were on the waitlist.  Anyway, B was outside grilling hamburgers (It's a beautiful, sunny and warm fall day), and I'm getting the rest of dinner ready.  My phone is sitting on the kitchen counter and all of a sudden, I hear that special ring that I had just put on there in the morning.  I have to admit, I panicked!  I started shaking, yelled out to B that my phone was ringing and I couldn't answer it.  He yelled back, "Just answer it!"  So I did and that's when I heard, "Hi...I have a little girl I want to talk to you about.  Do you have a moment?"  And for the next hour, we got to hear about our sweet baby girl.  Her story brought tears as I could never imagine what her birthmother has had to go through.  I have been and will continue to pray for God to heal her pain.  T1, our oldest was the only one home so he sat nearby the whole time and got to share in our news.  We did not get to see her until we hung up with "B".  So for the next couple of hours as the rest of our children came home from their activities, we got to surprise each of them.  Our youngest was the first to come home.  We sat him at the computer and then showed him her picture.  He looked and said, "Is that the kid?"  Then after about 5 minutes of just staring at her picture, he says, "Mom, I just realized something.  She's my sister!"  H came home next that night.  Her first reaction was, "Is that her?  She's so cute!"  And T2 was the last one to get the news.  Her reaction was, "Awe, she's so cute!"    The next morning our youngests first question was, "Mom, when do we get to go get her?" I so wish we could take them all on the first trip with us. 

Our next step was to contact our interantional pediatrition to go over all the medical information with us.  I emailed him that night and he responded early the very next morning.  I love his last statement...."In short, just go get her and bring her home."  We sent in all our paper work on Monday and have scheduled a Next Steps call with "B" on Friday to look at what is next.  I'm really not sure exactly what our time frame will be to bring Baby R home.  I do know we have to take two trips and "B" did mention in our call that she thought our first trip might not be until January or February.  I'm really praying  for January.

As I'm thinking back on this process, I think about the many times I asked God, "Why are there so many delays?  I know there are so many children who need a forever family.  Why are there not many referrals going out right now?"  And my most recent question...I know our baby has been in the system for a while..."Why are we just getting her referral when she is already 5 1/2 months old?"  I now know why...He knew Baby R was the child He had planned for our family all along.  If I look back at our timeline, she probably first came into being when we first started seriously pursuing adoption.  She is 5 1/2 months old because God planned for her to be a part of our family.  If she would have been "ready" for referral earlier, she would not have been a part of our family.  God had it all planned even before we knew we were going to adopt.  I am still learning to put my full trust in Him.  He is an awesome God!!!  Praising Him and thanking Him for all that He has done for us!  Praising Him for the little girl who will soon join our family....FOREVER!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October Numbers

Wow...another month has gone by without a post.  Life around here has been a little say the least.  Our oldest turned 18 this weekend.  I can't believe it.  Honestly, one of the reasons I have not been posting is because we have been going through some struggles in the last few months with our oldest.  But thankfully, our God is bigger than any struggle or "storm" and we are coming out of some dark times.    God has been right there with us through it all and I have seen so many wonderful people that He has placed in our lives at just the right time.  Without getting into too many details, I've learned that Satan is truly trying to steal our children away and I have also learned that we need to daily put on the armor of God and cry out to Him for their matter what age.  I am learning what it means to put my full trust in Him.  I am learning to parent with pupose.  It's amazing how each season of life has its own set of challenges.  Thankfully, I have a God who is with me through them all.

We got our numbers email last week from our case worker that we are officially #5 for a girl and #8 for siblings.  But....just found out that two more referrals went out, so that means we might be #3 for a girl and #6 for siblings!!!  We are getting so close!  I am so excited and nervous at the same time.  I remember the same feeling before the birth of our first four children.  So much to do to prepare.  For the longest time, I was sure that God had siblings planned for our family and now I'm beginning to think we might have a little girl join us.  Either way, I am so thankful.  I have not prepared for either, other than move my girls together to clear out a bedroom for our little one.  With our youngest being 12, I no longer have any baby equipment.  No baby bed...nothing other than some favorite toys and books.  I have wanted to wait until we receive our referral as I wasn't sure of the age.  I guess I'll be pretty busy when we finally get a referral.  Although I am excited, I am also finding it hard to rejoice because I know that in our joy, another family is suffering great loss.  I cannot imagine the grief.
Hopefully, I will be able to post sooner than a month from now.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


We got our numbers for September.  We are currently #10 for a little girl and #7 for siblings.  I'm really praying for a ton of movement this last quarter of the year.  I know, God willing, our referral will come eventually.  The hard thing is knowing that there are so many children waiting for a mommy and daddy.  I know that the process is in place for their protection, but it's hard to think about them waiting.  I understand the process; they don't.  I have a roof over my head, food in my tummy, clothes on my back, and am surrounded by lots of love.  I hurt for them.  The hardships they go through...the loss.  I rest in the fact that God is in control.  He knows the day and the hour when each of those children will be united with their forever families!  This time of waiting makes me think about what God must feel like right now.  Knowing all the pain that we go through in this imperfect He must long for the day when we come home to our forever family with Him.  But once again, timing is everything.  Only He knows the day and the hour and it is perfect. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fears...Confessions...New Beginnings...Trust

August is almost over and I still haven't posted our new numbers.  August's official numbers for us were....
#12 for a baby girl and #8 for siblings. Because there have been a couple of referrals go out this month, it looks like we are unofficially #10 for a baby girl and #7 for siblings.  I still hold back getting things ready as I'm not sure what God has planned for us.  The courts in Ethiopia are closed for the rainy season until the end of September, so I'm still not really sure when our referral will come.  God has a plan and looking at our lives in this moment, I have a feeling it will be a while still. 

Having a child who has begun his last year in high school and will leave next June for a college which is 11 hours away, I've really begun to struggle with and question if I've done a good job in training him to follow Christ.  I know I have not done a perfect job. and we have had our share of troubles.  I read so much about how many teens/college students leave their faith behind when they leave home.  Will he live for Christ when he's out on his own?  Will he try to be a light in a world of darkness?  So many questions.... I've always known that our children are only ours for a little while..I've prayed all his life that when we let him "fly", he will soar.  I'm still this brings me to our adoption.  Will I be good enough?  God has taught me so much in the last 17 years of parenting and I'm still learning.  With each school seems like a "new beginning"...more so than January 1st and I look for ways to improve.  With our children being so active (especially in the fall), we have gotten away from sitting down for dinner together every day and many times have not "gotten to" our family devotions because we "just ran out of time" in the day because nobody was home at the same time.  I have struggled with this for a long time.  Well, this year, I came up with a new plan!!!!  No more "running out of time".  With the new school year we have decided to meet together for breakfast and time with God.  We all meet at 6:15am and have a good 20 minutes together.  I'll admit it is very hard to get up that early, but it has been soooooo worth it.  What a way to start out our day!  Now we are still in the first week of doing this, but boy, has it ever made a difference in how all my children and husband leave the house for the day.  God has provided so much peace, and I pray it will bring us all closer to Him and each other.  So back to our adoption...God is preparing our hearts.  Each day I have to put my trust in Him and lift all my children up to Him.  I'm trusting that He has a plan for each of them and is even taking care of our little one(s) on Ethiopia right now as we wait.  I'm so looking forward to what God has planned!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of School 2010

It's the first day of school.  I can't believe how fast the summer went.  It's T1's last year of high school...last year at home.  H is a junior, and we'll be researching colleges for her this year.  It's T2's first year of high school and B's first year in junior high (new school, different kids).  They all got up and ready in record time today...Do you think they were excited?!  The older 3 would never admit to that one, though. 
Ready to begin his last year of HS!
H really isn't sleeping. :)

T2's growing up too fast!!

Love B's smile!!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August Excitement

Marching band, football, cheer, baseball registration, senior pictures, birthdays, first day of starts...anticipation of new numbers!!!  We are anxiously awaiting our new numbers for August.  Some families before us have already gotten their numbers and there has been a lot of movement.  Although we thought when we started on this journey that we would have a referral by now, it's so exciting to wait on God's timing.  We are all getting excited.  Trying to guess when we will get to see our little one for the very first time.  B has been coming up with names.  I've been wanting to start on the nursery, but have decided to wait until we have our referral.  Sooooo excited.  I don't think I'll be able to sleep for a while!!!  I'll save our official numbers for my next post....  I also need a big chunk of time to figure out what is going on with my blog!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

July Numbers!!

Well, there has definitely been some movement in the list this month.  Last month our official numbers were #21 girl and #11 siblings.  We just got the call today that our new "official" numbers for July are #18 girl and #9 siblings.  What makes it so fun, though, is that our agency has a listserv; so when a family receives a referral, they can post their news and we are able to celebrate and pray with them!!  And.....there was a referral for a little girl this week!  Rejoicing with that family.  I just can't even imagine what I will be thinking or feeling when we get that CALL.  I know God knows the plans He has for us and I often wonder what those plans are.  Will we have a baby girl joining our family or will we have two little ones joining us? Whatever He has planned for us, I'm so excited.  It's getting closer!!  We are finishing up the girls' room this weekend.  I won't be doing anything to the baby room, though, until we get our referral.  We are so ready to love on our little one. 

Our busy month is finally coming to an end - tomorrow! Bill and I took a trip with H's band out to LA in the middle of June.  She had so much fun at Disneyland and playing in the Walt Disney Concert Hall.  That place is beautiful!  T1 went to many one day football camps at different universities.  They were all like a tryout.  He was so worn out but now has 3 scholarship offers for 2011.  His dream has come true.  All glory to God!  We are visiting the last of the three tomorrow and hope he will have enough information to make an informed choice.  We are so excited to see where God leads him and to see him use his talents to honor his Lord and Savior. 

We also received our approval letter from Illinois for our revised home study and then our approval letter from USCIS all in the same week!!!!!  There is a mistake on the USCIS form but I know God is in control and it will all work out.  Can't wait to see what God has planned!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Stir Crazy

Ok, I'm just going to admit it.  I'm going a little stir crazy.  So thankful to see today that three familes from our agency have gotten their travel dates.  Praising God they have a date when they will forever be with their little ones!!  But there has not been a referral in sooo long - 3 weeks.  It's not that I'm anxious about when our referral will come; it's just that I know there are so many children ready to be loved, ready to have a family.  They aren't suppose to be orphans.  I am praying that these children will come home to their forever families and not have to wait long.  My wait is nothing compared to what they are going through.  Nothing I go through compares to what these children have had to experience in their little lives.  I'm praying that this new 2 trip policy in Ethiopia will be a smooth transition.  Praising God that He is in control.  Someday, I know our little one will come home, but I'll continue praying for the ones who still need a family.  Wouldn't it be incredible if there were no more orphans? Could you help there to be one less? 

Ok, enough rambling for a Monday to baseball...hope it doesn't rain!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRYCE!!! May numbers! What can we Do??

Bryce is 12 today!!!  One more year and we'll have 4 teens under one roof - watch out world!!  This morning I got up early and filled balloons with helium so I could put them in Bryce's room before he woke up.  My plan was that he woudl wake up later with his room full of balloons and be surprised. Unfortunately, he caught me when I was putting the last bunch in, but he was surprised anyway.  I had so much fun planning it.  It was a great way to start his day as he had to leave for a baseball game at 8 this morning.  He got to open one gift before he leaving - the one thing he asked for and really wanted - undershirts!  He's my practical one.

 We got our May numbers a couple of weeks ago and thought I'd post them.  We are officially......
24 - Girl
11 - Siblings
Things seem to be moving a little slower the last couple of weeks, but it has also been the start of some changes in our program.  We will now officially need to take two trips to Ethiopia.  That's okay.  I have wrapped my mind around the concept and see it's many advantages.  We will be able to meet our child before bringing her home.  We will be able to see much more of Ethiopia and gain lots more knowledge about her beautiful country in two trips as opposed to just one.  We will be better prepared for our trip to bring her home - size, interests, personality, etc. 

It hit me for the first time last night, just how hard it must be for our child's birth mother.  So many thoughts were running through my mind, but here are just a few.  I was already in bed and was very thirsty, so I got up and went to the bathroom.  Since I didn't have a cup, I just cupped my hands to get a refreshing drink of clean, cold water.  It hit me as I bent down to get that first drink.  I take for granted that I have to walk 20 steps for a drink of CLEAN water.  I don't have to worry about providing water and food for my children.  I can't imagine what it would feel like to look at my children and not be able to provide those life sustaining come to the realization that I can't provide.  How many children die each day because of hunger and thirst?  How many die from the parasites in their drinking water?  I look at the statistics and am overwhelmed.  Only 24% of the households in Ethiopia have access to clean drinking water.  1 in 6 children die before their 5th birthday.  There are approximately 147 million orphans in the world with over 5 million of them in Ethiopia.  Those numbers are overwhelming, sometimes to the point that we just sit back and think that the problem is too big for us to do anything.  I want to challenge you today.  As a Christian we are called to help "the least of these". 
Matthew 25:35-40
For I was hungry, and you fed me.  I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink.  I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.  I was naked, and you gave me clothing.  I was sick, and you cared for me.  I was in prison, and you visited me. 
Then these righeous ones reply. 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you?  Or thirsty and give you something to drink?  Or a stranger and show you hospitality?  Or naked and give you clothing?  When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?
And the King will say,' I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me.'

What can we do?  There are many wonderful organizations providing clean water or food. There may be someone in your own backyard or across the world.  A neighbor...friend....relative...stranger?  Would you prayerfully consider being Jesus' hands and feet?  Would you pray?  Would you consider adoption?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Home Study Finished!!!!!

I can't believe I'm blogging twice in one day, but just got the most miraculous news!!!!  Just received and email from our SW today that she has our new home study finished, has sent it to AGCI, and will be sending it to Springfield, IL for approval!!!  I can't believe it.  I was expecting to wait at least 2-3 weeks and our SW got it done in less than 4 days!!  We are sooooo blessed to have our SW!!!! You may wonder why I thought it would take so long.  The agency who did our home study will be going from 3 SWs down to just one for international adoptions in a couple of weeks.  They have a waiting list of 50 people and are not taking new names at this time.  So you can imagine how busy she is.  God is above ALL things.  Now the wait for the approval from Illinois.  Last time we were told it could take up to 6 weeks and ended up taking about three.  I'm okay with the unknown.  God is in control.

On a side note, just passed a garage sale that had lots of baby stuff.  Sooooo tempted to stop as we don't have anything left from our first four.  But what if our child(ren) is not an infant?  So I'll just wait.....

Changing Parameters

Wow!  I just got back from subbing in our school's little Morning out for Moms program.  I got to work in the 3 1/2 to 5 year old room.  They were SO MUCH FUN, so curious, so trusting, so loving, so excited about life, such a simple little faith... and I'm even more thankful we are changing our parameters for siblings.  We originally put in our homestudy 0 - 3 years, which I took to believe was 0 to 48 months, but I was prompted a couple weeks ago to ask about it.  Our SW let us know that here in Illinois it means 0 - 36 months.  So after talking with her and AGCI, we have decided to go ahead and change it, but to extend it even further to 60 months...seems strange we have to be so specific.  We also originally wanted to just put siblings...not a specific number, but Illinois wants us to be specific so we stuck with two.  Unfortuately, in Illinois we are not able to just do an addendum.  The entire home study has to be redone and reapproved by Illinois before we can resubmit it to USCIS again.  So once again, we wait.  But I know the Lord is in control.  He already knows the child or children we will be blessed to love one day.  These changes are doing nothing to His plan.  These changes will neither slow down nor speed up the process.  I put my total trust in Him and really feel His lead in making these changes.

As we wait, our children here at home get more and more excited.  I am in the process of moving our two girls into a room together.  It's been a challenge to put both of their tastes into one room, but we are getting there. We decided to use 2 paint colors, so last weekend, I was able to get one of the colors done.  The girls don't have school tomorrow, so I think we will try to finish painting.  I got each of them their own big bulletin boards to go over their beds.  They are so excited about those, but Dad's going to have to get the drill out for that one.  After having a room to themselvesfor so long, this will be a big change for them, but they are so excited about it.  I can't wait to post pictures...cause that will mean it's done!!!  B was so cute the other day.  He came home from school and said, "Mom, I wish we were adopting a boy my age.  That would be so much fun."  He also has mentioned before how he'd like a little brother that he could teach how to do things, play catch, play basketball, etc.  He will be such a wonderful big brother.  So we are all getting so excited around here and can't wait to see what the Lord has planned.

There have been lots of other things going on around here. H is going to be a section leader for her marching band next year. T2 made the cheerleading squad for high school next year. T1 went to his first prom and was on the court. I got to chaperone Post prom and didn't get home until 5AM!!!! And baseball has started for B and just sang his first duet in front of a crowd!!! It's so much fun to see our children using the talents God has given them. I'll have to post some more pictures soon, cause all these words can be sooooo boring!

                                                            T1(left) and friends.

Friday, April 16, 2010

April numbers

I can't believe it's been over a month since I last posted...well, yes I can believe it.  With Spring Break in Florida, a garage sale, college visits, soccer games and baseball games, this month has flown by.  But with all the craziness, we have had some great news.  Our appoval letter came from USCIS and we received our FDL!  There have been many, many referrals in the last two weeks, which has been so wonderful knowing so many children are coming home.  We also got our new official numbers last week!!!!
32 Girl
13 Siblings
And with all the referrals that have gone out in the last two weeks, the numbers have to be better!!! Sometimes waiting is so hard.  I want everything to go one speed - fast, fast, fast. I am so thankful God has a plan...a perfect plan.  Better than any plan I could ever imagine.  He knows our child and knows when they'll come home.  I can't wait!!!!! But while I wait, I can pray.  It's hard sometimes imagining that our child may be out there somewhere.  Maybe hungry, tired, scared, grieving.  I pray that God will take care of them while we wait...that He will hold them in His arms until I can....

Friday, March 12, 2010

God is my refuge and my strength

This week has ended in a whirlwind and strangely, I am at peace.  We just got word from our agency that the Ethiopian government is now requiring adoptive parents to make two trips to Ethiopia to complete their adoption instead of just one.  That is one of my biggest fears - leaving our first four children at home, while flying half way across the world to bring home our child from Ethiopia.  Going through this process is growing my faith more than I ever imagined.  There is nothing in my control.  There are bumps in the road that I am not able to go around.  There are changes in the rules - which I can't argue about.  I have to totally rely on God. 
Thank you, God, for your Word...for the hope and encouragement in your Word that You knew I'd need. 
Thank you for friends and family who are there to pray for us and with us.  Thank you for the many families who are going through all these changes along with us and have been such an encouragement to me.  You have put all these people in my life with just the right words to give me peace...Your peace.  Bless them and give them peace.  You have given me so much in Your Word to draw strength from during this wait.

Psalm 46:1-3,7  God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  The Lord Almighty is with us;  the God of Jacob our fortress
John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.
This world is so far from perfect.  Even in the worst storms of our lives, God is with us.  He is in control. 
Hebrews 13:5b I will never leave you; never will I forsake you.
He is always with me.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Lord, You have a plan for our family.  You would not have led us down this road of adoption to fail.  Somewhere in Ethiopia is the child you have chosen for our family.  I will trust You through all the trials and trouble we might have to go through to get to our child. 

I'm choosing to focus on the positive.  We did get our numbers call last night!!!!  We are #38 for a little girl and #15 for siblings.  Our CM did say that we are more realistically #36 for a little girl as documentation for 2 families accepting referrals for little girls are coming in this week.  So we are getting closer!!!  I'm getting more things checked off on our list of things to do.  I talked with our pediatrician and she is comfortable with doing our child's first post-adoption exam and actually has experience with that.  I contacted the international adoption pediatrician who will review the medical information we get when our referral comes and he is more than willing to do that and was even born here.  I just finished getting certified for CPR and 1st Aid.  Now, I need to gather information about vaccinations as we need to start that soon.  Yuck!  That's one thing I am not looking forward to.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ethiopian Dinner

I've been sitting by my phone for a week now, waiting for my CM to call with our numbers update.  I have a feeling I will miss it as I have to leave the house in just a little while.  But on the bright side, I am almost positive that we are out of the 40's!!!  I really would like to talk to my CM.  I know there are so many more important things that they have to do...such as make referral calls!!  And I'd much rather they do that than give me an update on my number.

 Anyway, I thought I'd write about our first experience with Ethiopian food.  Bill googled a recipe..looking for something that our kids might try and found a recipe for Ethiopian Beef and Peppers.  Our 2nd daughter loves to cook so we headed to the grocery store to get all the ingredients.  I'm not sure about most people, but we did not have many of the spices for this recipe around our house...fresh ginger (which the kids loved smelling and seeing), cardamom, and tumeric (all very strong spices).  We also made Injera (a flat bread).  The meat dish was very interesting.  It ended up having a green paste covering the beef.  I think we will have to try another recipe....everyone ate it with a smile (except for the 17 year old who's going through a wonderful phase when it comes to getting his picture taken).  They were so brave.  Ha! Ha!  They did all like the Injera and the fact that they didn't have to use utensils.  It was fun, but I think I'd like to try an Ethiopian restaurant...maybe when we go to Chicago sometime.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Just An Ordinary Day

I love "ordinary" days. Nothing exciting, nothing spectacular, just simple...  There are no holidays today, no appointments, no place I have to be, no errands to run..quiet.   These days give me time to work on the many projects I want to get to but never have "time" to T1's football scrapbook.  I'm almost finished!! It's been a busy month, which is not unusual for us.  T2 is almost finished with volleyball.  She has one more game before regionals.  She's still not sure what she wants to do when she gets to high school.  Cheerleading or volleyball or both (unfortunately, they are the same season.).  She has really enjoyed volleyball this year and has improved so much.  I love watching the game.  It's fast and the games are so short.  I think I'll really appreciate the game when we have a little one.  Pretty soon we'll be traveling to soccer tournaments again. 

We went to Chicago for our USCIS biometrics appointment last week.  One more thing to check off our list and one step closer to our little one.  T1 got to get out of school early to go along.  He had to get his done also because he may be 18 by the time our little one comes home.  It was nice to go out for lunch and spend the afternoon with him.  Things are getting exciting around here planning college visits, invites to junior days and football combines/camps, telephone interviews...  It doesn't seem that long ago that Bill and I were in college ourselves.  Crazy!!!  I'm too young to be going through this!  Ha Ha!!

I was going through pictures the other day and came across this one of our girls.  I love it! I am so thankful they are so close in age and I pray they will always stay close.  What a gift from God they both are.  They are one of the reasons why we are also on the wait list for siblings.  I look at them and their relationship and long for that for our little one.  All our kids are so close and get along...most of the time.  Yes, we do have our moments, but I am so thankful for all the fun times.  We are so ready for our little one to come home!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

February Update

Praising God!!! We got our new numbers today! Just got the email I've been hoping for!!
Girl 42
Siblings 16
I know January was a very slow month for referrals, but I needed to see that there was some movement. The last couple of days have been really hard...and I've only been on the list for one month. Some days I seem to do really well and I can rest in the knowledge that God has everything under control. He knows the perfect time for us to meet our child. But the last two days have been hard. Our youngest just asked yesterday, "Mom, when will our baby come home?" Teachable moment....our baby will come home in God's time...the perfect time. We need to trust Him and His will for our lives. Even though we were hoping that our baby would come home this summer, God may have a different plan. I really believe it's still okay that I pray and hope for that to happen, but I also have to trust God's plan and find peace in His perfect will.
We had our 60 day licensing visit from our homestudy agency today. She thought that 8 - 10 months sounded great. Some people are hearing 18 months. Wow, 18 months!!!! She also talked about all the calls she's been getting about people interested in adopting from Haiti and being upset when told that it was not possible at this point. My heart aches for all those children there who are caught in that situation; all the children who need someone to hold them, sing to them, give them a hug, listen to them, ,tuck them into bed, pray with them, comfort them. Praying that God will bring special people into their lives who can provide these simple and yet necessary things; that God's love will surround them and help them to not feel alone or scared.
It's Friday, so praying for lots of referrals next week!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Move That Bus

OK...I'm taking a phrase from ABC's, "Extreme Makeover:Home Edition" when I wrote the title for my post today. I think it's about time that I reveal my "blog". Friends and family (even my own kids) have been asking if I have started a blog yet. I keep saying "no" only because I feel like it needs to be this big spectacular thing and I don't want to disappoint (always the people pleaser), but truth is, I've been working on it for a while...kind of a journal to fill my time waiting. But today I realized that it's time to share our experience in hopes that our family can inspire another. One more child finding their forever family... We are 15 months from having four teenagers under one roof. Some may think, "Wow, it must be getting easier, now that they are so much more independent." Truth is, it's actually harder. I would much rather be potty least I would know exactly where they were and what they were doing every minute. I am so thankful for all the moments we have together.
About our adoption...we got our fingerprint appoinments for USCIS this week. One step closer. I scheduled my 1st Aid and CPR classes. And Friday, we have our 60 day license monitor visit - wow, has it really been 60 days already????

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Three Day Weekend

We had a three day weekend! I love these days!!! They are so less day to keep track of homework assignments and tests and gym clothes! Monday didn't turn out to be much of a day "off" but at least there was no school. H had band practice twice for 2 hours each, and T2 had a volleyball game at which I got to work concessions. I am so proud of our girls. They love the things they are involved in and put their whole heart into them. H is becoming such a talented floutest (I can't believe I actually used that word:)) and T2 is becoming a great volleyball player. She went from not being able to get a serve over the net last year to serving out of bounds. The best part about watching her play is seeing her having so much fun. Her joy was just one of the best things about this weekend. I took H on a shopping trip for her birthday this weekend. The trip was long overdue. I had so much fun and will remember our special time together always. She is such a wonderful daughter and I was so lucky to be able to spend that time with her. Made me realize how important it is to spend time with each of our children.
On adoption...we have not heard anything and haven't gotten any updates. I'm thinking that we may get an update next week - can't wait!!!! Praying that god will take care of all the details....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Just got the call...we are officially on the list!!! We are #18 for siblings and #47 for a little girl. I am so excited but have become a little guarded with my excitement as we have already met our share of delays in this process. Our case manager said to expect an 8 - 10 month wait for just the referral. It then will be another couple months before travel. I just have to trust that God has it all under control. We were hoping to travel this summer, but realistically, i'm not sure that will happen. So...hoping and praying that our wait for our little one won't be too long.
I'm looking forward to a shopping trip with H this weekend - haven't really done that before - by ourselves. She will be 15 on the 21st!!! She started driver's ed this semester - WOW!!! Watch out!!! Our 3 oldest are looking and planning for what classes they want to take next year in high school - yes, 3 in high school!!! Too many decisions for these poor kids. There are so many more requirements for them in school than i remember. T took the ACT in December and will take it again in April. He did really well but would like to improve just a little bit. He's looking at colleges too. So many options....