Saturday, September 19, 2009

And Baby is 2!

JG celebrated her 2nd birthday right around our 2 month anniversary of being home from Ethiopia. Mommy got a new camera- enjoy!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Princess, Pirates, and Pest Control

Princess: JG trying on her birthday outfit:) she squealed when i pulled it out of the box and cried when i made her take it off...she is ALL girly-girl!
Pirates: DH finished the new playground and the boys love it!!
Pest control: 24 hours after our 2nd lice treatment we ALL got a 6 hour hot-oil hair treatment:)

Friday, August 14, 2009

1 month home

We moved at week 3, and have been home a month now. JG has gained 2 lbs! Our pediatrician is pleased as punch with how she's doing. She wanted to wait until JG's 2 year old visit to see how speech is going then...she's saying a few words but her comprehension is improving. I've ordered her 2nd birthday outfit (i know you can't wait to see it in September)...and have taken the plunge with Carol's Daughter hair products, but we also like the Mixed Chicks leave on conditioner. I've ordered our stuff for home school and it should arrive in time for me to look it over for a few weeks before we start. our house is still not ready for school to start and we have a few more projects to complete before for now the kids are playing well together besides for a few bites, a few "JG, i simply won't tolerate you biting my legos", a few lice (yes, seriously, as if i didn't have enough to do), and a few DOZEN loads of laundry...that is my month in summary.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Climbing the walls

So our "across town" move is complete, well except for the pesky boxes sitting there, laughing mockingly at me. Our church family was such a blessing in help with packing, moving, cleaning, and cooking! I had a little incident (trip & fall) where my face met the concrete in our brand-new driveway. My face looked so scary after i got home from the ER (5 stitches, possibly broken nose, skull ok, scratches etc) that T would not kiss me goodnight saying, "i don't want to get too disgusting before going to sleep." Wow, thanks.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Our life in pictures

We have been a forever family for 2 weeks now. I have attached photos of Addis Ababa, the day we met JG, and a picture of my 3 wild kiddos together. I think JG is bonding well to us and although she has been sick a few times I am sure we are giving her immune system a workout! New/First things: She loves to eat meat now, and fruit. She has had beignets and jambalaya and LOVES them both. We are transitioning from formula to milk but we are taking it slowly b/c of tummy issues. She is my constant companion...CONSTANT. We are hoping that once we are in the new house and she becomes comfortable that she will feel safe enough to be happy and play without me in her constant sight/hand's reach. Table manners have been a battle and we have just started to go to battle with sleep issues for the sake of mommy's sanity and back. She has stopped crying for her nannies when she is angry and now cries for "daddy-AHHHHHHH!" Did i mention our girl has a Queen-of-Sheba-sized temper? Tarin says that she thinks she could easily be my biological child:) JG definitely recognizes and answers her name now, can throw something in the trash, loves to clean up her toys and organize them in a very type-A way, loves to smooch Topher, loves chase and looking in the mirror, trying on clothes and shoes, oh, and she likes coffee. She is understanding English better and better, but still loves to sing/babble in Amheric (although truth be told, she could be reciting some kind of political treatise or classic poetry for all i know).

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hindsight 20/20- Ethiopia in Review-Arrival Day & Yesabi

I've just had to give up on making this flowery since i'm so busy with our new-and-bigger family, the stomach bug that keeps on biting, and the move to the ole DS. I am still processing alot of what i saw and experienced in Ethiopia, so this will be kind of a nuts-and-bolts posts from a been-there-done-that to help my fellow sojourners in Ethiopian adoption.
Sunday- Arrival day:
THE AIRPORT::You may want to exchange some money at the airport. Or you can get David (the AW driver-Et name Dawit) to do it for you. If you allow someone to help you with your luggage you need to tip them. They are very persistant, and they will take American money, so you could tip them with that if you don't want to change money at the airport. We chose to wait inside the airport until all of our AW families had found their bags, and ready to leave. Trust me, you do NOT want to be stuck out in the van with 20 guys fighting to be the one to help with your luggage for 20 minutes. We felt safer than we expected the entire time in Ethiopia, but the poverty is overwhelming if you have not traveled to a "developing" country
YESABI GUEST HOUSE:: We settled in to the Yesabi Guest House and found it very pleasant. The staff is wonderful, facilities VERY clean, and whoa that cook is awesome! DH and i actually weighed the exact same thing (down to the ounce) the day we got home as the day we left:) We NEVER got sick. They change your towels out every day (you get 2 big and 2 hand towels). We brought a washcloth and baby towel from home. They do make your beds and there is a safe in every room. We never figured out how to redo the code on the safe, so we just took the key with us everywhere. BTW: we actually forgot the key one day and left the safe open w/ about 500$ and our cameras in it & when we got back everything was still there. so, it is safe to say that the maids had a lot of integrity.
Good to eat: At Breakfast: the omelets, the pinapple juice, coffee, croissants, donuts. if you eat the cheese, peel/cut off the outside. This is a good time to take your motion sickness pill. Take it. Seriously. It also helped me with the nausea from the smells of smog/car exhaust, and altitude. This is my #1 recommended med for Addis. I handed them out like Tic Tacs to others in my travel group.
At Dinner: There may be one or two options. They are bound to be good. The fried fish was the BEST i have ever had...and i am a Floridian living in Louisiana! If there would have been cheese grits i would have thought i was in heaven! Chef's tomato sauce is so fragrant and delicious...ahhhh! It is on pasta, on chicken, or rice. The portions are some nights a little smaller than some men would like, but we did just fine sharing with JG once we had her. The toddlers & older kids will try to gorge themselves, so prepare yourself for that. I also found that whatever was on our plates somehow mysteriously looked better than what was on JG's plate, so if you have a picky eater you might want to try that angle.
Electricity: You will most likely have electricity every-other-day. We once went 3 days straight with none. They turn on the generator every night, and while cooking. This is when we would run downstairs with Dean's iphone and post to Facebook. The iphone was our key to American communication. It is possible to call home, but it was too painful for me to think of hearing my boys' voice. It is possible to use your laptops, but after we had JG we just collapsed at around 8.30 and did not even try. The internet connection is slow if you have regular electricity. If the generator is on then it runs even slower. Also, when the generator comes on for breakfast, boil your water in your hotpot. You can use this to sterilize bottles, or to mix with the cold water to wash your face/hair in the sink. I took MANY cold showers...Dean took many hot because he is the early bird. We were lucky enough to be in room 103 (first floor). If you are in one of the higher floors i hope you are ready to be winded...that is where you will notice the altitude. There are BEAUTIFUL views (about 300 degrees?) from the rooftop. Great for the camcorder.
Random on Yesabi:: they give you 2 small bottled waters a day. You also have a minibar with cokes/sprite/fanta (shout out to Britney y'all!) and beer and sm/med/lg water. YOU MUST DRINK LOTS OF WATER for altitude! You can get wine by the bottle from downstairs. A doctor traveling with us claimed that the alcohol helped kill the buggies, and most of the group was happy to accept his Rx:) Be careful though w/ the interactions with your drugs (Ambien for example). After we got J-G on wednesday we no longer needed sleep aid and were adjusted pretty well. Earplugs are a must for the nightclub nearby. You should save around 100$/1200 birr for the last day to settle accounts on Friday. Our food/drink bill for 2 adults was 750 birr & we tipped the staff on top of that, as well as the 2 drivers for the week (200 birr/each. A US 20$ would also work if you were out of birr). You will not be able to change back your birr to US dollars, so be careful with that. But if you have extra you could use it for luggage tips at the airport, or gifts for Robel's street kids/ministry.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

We are home and alive!

Yes, we are home. Yes, we are alive. But 4/5 of us have had (or have now) what we are hoping is just a stomach virus. DH & I had cipro left from our around-the-world adventure and are taking it just to be safe. So, sorry about the lack of pictues and i hope you understand that i may be a little distracted to answer the phone. JG is adjusting well and we have had some funny little situations that i can't wait to tell my bloggy friends about...but for now i need to get back to Lysol-ing the house.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Daddy's girl:)

Meeting JG....Our Ethiopian Monday

Our Ethiopian Monday in bullet points:
Not much sleep, the Ambien has not worked well.
No electricity=no hot water=hairy legs.
Paperwork party- I made LOTS of mistakes, and had to borrow an extra
form from almost everyone. My nerves were shot!
Lunch at Lucy Bar & Grill. Beautiful! I had pizza and DH had
curried Lamb/rice. No, not a typo. The food was great.
Driving to the Transition home everyone was so nervous!! There were 2
families adopting their first child, 3 families adopting siblings, and
4 adopting one child, like us. We were videoing the city and the
other van passed us and everyone was yelling out the window like crazy
at us. Our van-full was laughing and egging them on with cameras
rolling. When we saw the men with big machine guns we got a clue that
we were NOT supposed to be videoing in front of that area. Whoops!
The 9 families met their children in alphabetical order (we were
second). But, everyone was boohooing after the first family met their
baby boy for the first time.
We could hear what we hoped was not JG crying at the top of
her lungs from inside. They tried for several minutes to calm her
down, but to no avail (Gracie's gotta have her beauty sleep like
mommy!). We met her and it was scary, peaceful, exciting, and
beautiful all at the same time. I had to take pix for another family
and passed her off to Dean who was able to calm her down. After about
45 minutes she did warm up to us. She loved the cherrios/apple snack
we brought and the elmo phone ("mo-blay"). Funny that one of the few
words she knows is for cell phone. Coincidence? She loved the pix of
the boys, and I think she said "bubby" when she pointed to JP.
We watched her eat spaghetti and drink from a cup, and after she was
cleaned up she held her hands out to go to us. She even looked at
DH and said "abba!" The kids call all of the nannies mommy, so we
are going to have to work on that. She seemed affectionate with the
nannies and would kiss them on the cheek. She held our hand and
showed us around her yard and we played a little soccer with her
(Barry, she's gonna be awesome!). She gave us good eye contact toward
the end, and she can walk down stairs pretty confidently, holding our
hand. She also pointed for things and hand-led us…like to sit down or
show us flowers. She loved watching the older kids played and enjoyed
a sucker. She is teething. She seems healthier than we expected, and
bigger too. At the end she would rest her body on ours so that she
seemed relaxed with us, and when we had to take her back and said "
bye bye!" she cried. It was hard to walk away (as fast as possible),
but we felt satisfied knowing that she felt attached to us enough to
be sad, and that tomorrow we will have her forever.
The girls got massages and manicures while the guys relaxed at the
guest house. Nice!
We enjoyed a traditional Ethiopian meal complete with: feeding one
another (it's tradition!), wonderful music and dancing (including me
and 2 other moms in our group), coffee and popcorn.
There is more to say, and not enough word about what we have experienced so far.
Random: The children in the TH are beautiful. There were definitely
some big babies and I could hear the school aged kids learning. There
are some amazing kids there! I recognized the Korson's oldest
daughter and Ava. Kara- she is stunning. You will be blown away when
you see her in person. I look forward to taking pix for all our 4
families tomorrow.
I need sleep. Love to JP and T!!!!! We miss you so much!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

We made it to Ethiopia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are at the guest house. DH slept like a baby last night, me, not so much. i got slightly confused because DH's iphone tricked me into utter confusion, and i got up, got totally ready, and then wondered why our wake up call didn't work...uh, cause it was 5 PM in baton rouge, but i thought it was 5 AM in dubai (it was 1 am). I won't make that mistake again!! The hotel that Emirates puts you in has comfy beds, and pretty good is confusing trying to get your hotel vouchers, but we'll know better when we return in a few days. Business class was AWESOME! on the way from Dubai. Hot towels, blueberry crepes (Hi Topher!), comfy sleep masks and seats that totally recline. I was totally relaxing with Norah Jones the whole time:) There was a man seated behind us whose laugh totally reminded me of Grandpa D! Which also made me think of JP...and made me miss his amazing belly laugh. The guest house is nice and we have met the pritchetts, the dragoviches and jacksons and T our AWAA driver/guide. We have not totally unpacked yet, and it still seems unreal that we are here, and that we will hold JG for the first time tomorrow!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Not Long Now!!

We are at the gate in Dubai and waiting to board our final flight into Addis. Emirates has been great to fly on,and we got bumped up to business class. Please keep up your prayers. Love you boys!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Houston to Dubai

We are about to board our long flight from houston to dubai. love to my boys!
Comments on the emirates flight:!!!! movies. food was good! things i would do differently: 1. they fed us dinner right away but we had already taken Ambien to try to adjust to Dubai time...whoops! 2. Always wear shoes to the bathroom. Enough said. 3. Make sure you have your earplugs for the plane OR tune into the CD that is "sleep music". i didn't figure this out until later. Overall, it was not nearly as bad as i thought it would be.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Packed and Ready!!!!!

So, it's been 23 months since we applied to America World to adopt. Wow, how time flies- NOT! We're not quite ready to leave our boys behind and not quite ready to board a plane for 2 1/2 days, but we are more than ready to bring JG home. I posted the following one day before we recieved our referral:
Ten things I want you to know: (for our JG)
1. You were loved before we met you, before we saw your sweet face and there is nothing you can do that will make us love you less.
2. Yes, I have received children out of my natural body…and I love them with an astonishingly strong love. I have birthed you with no less tears, no less longing, and no less joy.
3. Adoption was not a second-choice for us. We had this purposed in our hearts from long ago…you, my dear, are the answer to a fourteen year old girl’s prayer.
4. I will say it again. You were not our second choice. You are the princess that your daddy slayed dragons and fought for.
5. Sometimes you will feel lonely and sad for your birth-family and land, and that is okay. We are happy to listen, cry with you, and dry your tears. Your sadness will not break you, and it will not break us either.
6. We will never give you up. We will never give you away. Never. Even if you beg us.
7. Your skin may not look like mine, or daddy’s, or your brothers’….it is the most perfect shade of brown! You were painted by an artist who is more brilliant than Monet. You are an impression of your Father’s glory.
8. Your mommy & daddy are not perfect. I eat anchovies on my pizza, and daddy’s feet stink. We do not expect you to be perfect either.
9. I pray that you will live a life full of joy, full of love, full of faith. Life may not go as you would have planned, but I hope that you can sing along to the melody of God’s song for you.
10. We want to see your face soon. We want to hold you close, gaze into your eyes, to smell your hair, to see you smile. We will wait patiently.
Wow, these words seem ever-more real now. Bye bayou-I'm off to cooler weather!
Follow fellow-travelers at &

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I know how my YG friends LOVE to blogstalk, so while in ET we will try to email posts to our blog.  I will not be able to read my comments until after we return home.  We are also hoping to use twitter, but we still need to sign up for an account.  I will post when we get it done.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

City mice moving to the country...and wild geese

So, we are moving the country! We made an offer on a house, and with a little wheeling and dealing, we now are about 6 weeks away from closing on our new house, closer to the church. Before Africa (leaving in 10 days), we have to finish the inspection and all our loan documents...blah! I have now washed all of JG's clothes, and am starting to pack. Our doctor does NOT want to prescribe us any meds for scabies, so if there is anyone out there who has leftover scabies cream, i would gladly accept the donation! Everyone is asking about the boys: yes, they are excited about JG coming. yes, they are a little jealous. yes, they are excited about the move, but they are also sad to be moving away from their "cousins", the Laggs. As my friend Kari says, we are "chasing the wild goose."

Friday, June 19, 2009

In the last week...

we have finally passed court. booked plane tickets to ethiopia. babysitter w/ a blackbelt booked tickets to the Rouge. gotten a purchase agreement on our house that has been on the market for 11 1/2 months. taught & done drama for VBS at our church. started packing. swimming. Rave movie festival. and gone WAY over limit on my cell phone charges. seriously, it's crazy here!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

Coles are heading home!

Right about now the Coles, our adoption friends from Natchez, are checking in at the Addis airport to fly home with their son Alexander! We plan to meet them at the Baton Rouge airport tomorrow night @ 8 pm. I will try to post a picture after that. Our agency has let us know that they are still needing a few peices to come together before we can expect a successful court tuesday. Optimism is not flowing in our household and unfortunately, there is no epidural for the pains of adoption. I think that going to meet the Coles will be good for us, to remind us that there will be an end to this. One day it will be us getting off a small plane, covered in formula and who-knows-what-else with crazy hair and tired eyes, but filled with joy, holding our girl.

Friday, June 5, 2009

New TTDs

We received our new tentative travel dates today. If we pass court on June 16, then we hope to leave the first weekend in July and be gone a week. We have tickets on hold with Susan Parr Travel, and our travel dates will be confirmed by Friday, 19th if we pass. I'm pretty sure Susan is tired of holding tickets and cancelling tickets for us over and that makes one more person hoping that third time's the charm! There are alot of other AWAA families with court within a week of us, so we should have a good travel group if all goes well!
PS. if you are a burglar with evil intentions our house will not be empty..and our babysitter is a black belt in Taequondo!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Audacity to Hope

Two weeks to our third court date. I am once again prepared for the worst. But inside me lurks the audacity to hope. Perhaps it is because I have seen God work in the past and i trust Him for the future. Perhaps it's because dean and i have recently been on a low-carb, low-fat diet and a 5 day running/biking exercize plan and we said we'd order Pizza Hut the night we pass court.....Romans 5:
1Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Read my lips..."

No. New. Court Date. Got an email response from our agency that pretty much dashed our hopes of moving the date up a little. Some people say "it could be worse", as if that should be a comfort. We are not the only ones in this positon (think: misery loves company?) I know there are people "on hold" right now and my heart goes out to them...and i feel kind of guilty complaining. But, seriously "it could be worse"? (Job, Paging Job, we have found one of your lost friends...) Another favorite is "it is always darkest before the dawn." Which I'm pretty sure is just simply not true. It is always darkest right before it goes pitch black, right? Trust me...i will be ok, but just to make me laugh what are your "favorite" crazy words of "encouragement"/expressions? It will help me while we wait...and wait...

Drink for a good cause!

That's one way to get Louisiana's attention...I'm talking about COFFEE!!!! An AWAA Ethiopia adoptive family in the restaurant biz has started an awesome way to support your adoption (or someone's you know & love). There is no upfront cost to the adoptive family, and each family has it's own page attached to the fair-trade coffee website. Check out this awesome opportunity at

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Are Baptists the New Brangelina?

This year in Louisville, KY Southern Baptists will have a chance to vote on something more meaningful than Mickey Mouse at the convention....
If you attend a Southern Baptist church please encourage your messengers to vote "YES" to the adoption & orphan care resolution!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Joy to the Heart & my new 2nd grader!

Today was the last day of first grade for my sweet potato. Here is an excerpt of his teacher's comments from his report card: "In the following verse i am reminded of JP and his enthusiasm for all things good and right. 'The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.' Psalm 19.8. He works with whatever he does with all of his heart..." He is reading at a third grade, fifth month level and finished in the top 15% in the US on the Presidential Fitness test for pull-ups. Yes, i know I'm bragging:)
On the adoption front, we notarized a new and improved power of attorney this morning, got it authenticated at the Secretary of State's office and FedEx'd it overnight express to AWAA. I'm sure i looked crazy this morning wearing my faded Florida State shirt from 1996 (literally) and a "don't mess with me" look in my eyes. Everyone was so friendly. Hmmmm... So we wait again. Try to hope again. (Hope we don't curse again.) We're trying to enjoy today, and rejoice in the bright-eyed strong boys playing in the next room.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

If you can't say something nice....

come sit next to me. Just kidding. We didn't pass. Our next try is June 16th. That's all i'm going to say about that.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Court Take 2

Tonight, while we sleep MOWA will write our letter and we will go to court again for our sweet JG. Please pray with us for her release to be adopted. If we pass then she is officially our daughter and we will travel soon to bring her home! If not, then we wait. Also going to court tomorrow for their kiddos are the Coles (2nd time, friends of ours from Natchez), the Gillmans, Stacklers, Dragoviches, Francos, Gagnons, and Keiderling family. Imagine what an awesome travel group we would have!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Raining Cats & Dogs (and Mice too!)

Well, today is another graduation at Southern Seminary in Louisville and I'm feeling nostalgic...Seven years ago, on a rainy May day, the campus was in full swing with Trustees in town, professors in their academic robes and tasseled hats, and me, hard at work in Campus Information and Guest Relations. Then, it got really exciting. My water broke. When i asked to leave early, my boss actually said, "Are you sure? The Trustees are in town!" OMG. Seriously. OK, moving on....I called DH to come and get me, and according to my cousin, Matt (who was there when DH got the call), he was in complete shock. While I waited for DH, people came in and out of the big doors of Honeycutt, with their umbrellas in tow. I will never forget what happened next...Dr. Cox walked by, looked at me, and said, "WOW! It really is coming down out there!". Realizing that he was alluding to my, er, drenched appearance, all i could do was smile and say, "it sure is!" with alot of enthusiasm. I decided that maybe i should wait outside for a bit to make sure the soaked look i was now sporting was a little more uniform. So begun one of the most meaningful days of my life. My baby, will be 7 in just a few days. How would i have known then that pain of labor would not compare to the heartbreak of an autism diagnosis? How would i know that the joy of seeing him for the first time would not compare to the joy of him hugging me tightly and not shrinking back? As i look at my tall boy who sports the most amazing dimples, i wonder, "am i even the same person i was 7 years ago?"...standing there soaked with the promise of motherhood, laughing nervously, waiting for our green Honda civic to come into view? The forcast calls for rain this weekend...a perfect day to snuggle on the couch and watch Tom & Jerry for the hundredth time and thank God for His goodness to me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sick day and Songs of Joy

My boys are both home today (JP is sick)…and were playing, packing up their Lighting McQueen suitcases to go on an adventure. They were packing hurriedly, even shoving the just-folded clothes into their luggage which of course, drove me crazy. Fast forward through the mom-gets-angry part to the part where they arrive at their journey. I overhear one say, “Wow! We’re finally here…in Ethiopia, Africa!” My ears perk up. I listen while they pretend to talk to their sister, telling her “We are proud of you, JG for waiting so patiently.” My tears start to flow, thinking of how impatient I feel, how sad and how angry I am that we failed court Monday, and that she is not coming home in May. They continue to play, handing her a Dunham pom-pom, books that JP wrote for school (where Tom & Jerry go to a haunted house and pray to God when they are scared. Yes I realize how funny this is.), and their favorite George and Martha book. I go into the laundry room to collect myself…ironic, mainly because the laundry room is so chaotic it is that place one should try to clear their head. I hear T say, “I think I will sing her a lullaby.” (Read my last post.) Then he changes his mind saying, “oh. She doesn’t need one.” I come out from the laundry room and argue with him that she does, in fact, need a lullaby. I glance at the clock reading 12.45…realizing it is almost 9 pm in Addis and she is probably in bed. My heart is sad…T again says, “Mom, she does NOT need a lullaby.” It strikes me not as him being obstinate (at it normally would from my son, so much like me), but instantly I think, “isn’t there a verse about God singing over us”? I found it in Zephaniah 3.17:
"Do not fear;
Zion, let not your hands be weak.
17 The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”
18 “ I will gather those who sorrow over the appointed assembly,
Who are among you,
To whom its reproach is a burden.
19 Behold, at that time
I will deal with all who afflict you;
I will save the lame,
And gather those who were driven out;
I will appoint them for praise and fame
In every land where they were put to shame.
20 At that time I will bring you back,
Even at the time I gather you;
For I will give you fame and praise
Among all the peoples of the earth,
When I return your captives before your eyes,”
Says the LORD."
So we wait until next week to hear of our second court date. Maybe longer. But while we wait, we can imagine a melody so sweet being sung over us and our sweet girl. Sleep tight, Gracie!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Not today...

Today's court did not go our way. We did get an explanation...but because of trying to keep JG's particular situation private (it is her story to tell) i cannot share much. We did hear that our new court date is May 20th...and that our agency thinks it is about 50/50...Anna said we need to pray that MOWA writes their recommendation letter in the way that accepts the documentation we have. I trust that our sweet girl is safe, and I pray that she is rocked to sleep tonight with a song of hope and deliverance.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sarah's Laugh Echoes

In five more nights, our case will be heard in Ethiopia. I've been thinking ALOT lately about Abraham and Sarah. It is an amazing thing, after all this time, to be standing on the shore of faith, looking at the sand...and trusting that one grain stands for our sweet girl. What was it like for Sarah, and old woman, to feel a baby moving around inside of her, or to feel the beginning of labor pains? I can hear her laugh echo in my mind. A laugh of faith mingled with doubt, at the irony of LIFE coming from her almost dead body. But, also in that laugh, i hear hope. I am laughing today. Not unusual for me. Laughing with joy that i stand so close to the fulfillment of a dream....laughing that even though i doubt the stars in the sky and sands on the shore conspire together to preach to me, "HOPE"! 5 more nights...please pray and hope with us.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Update from Ethiopia

We recieved our first update on JG today. It included her new height, weight (she's still tiny), and some general info. The highlights: she is "VERY FUNNY", likes to eat pasta, and has a nanny & friends she is attatched to from her previous orphanage. I saw no hints of chicken pox (it's going around like crazy there) in her pictures...I am not sure if that is good or bad (will she be coming down with them right when we get there?). I needed this see her face. I can't wait to SEE her face.

Monday, April 27, 2009

2 weeks until court

in 2 weeks we will hear the outcome of our court date. if i'm this excited crazy will i be in 2 weeks? maybe it will be a good night to try out the sleep meds before the trip:)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Semlows passed!

our YG friends the Semlow passed court today for their 3 little ones! (Yes, i said 3) They have had a HARD LONG journey for their kiddos (have had their referral for 7 months and went to court 4 times at least. They will meet their children for the first time the day of our court 2 1/2 weeks. If we pass we will be on ETHIOPIAN soil in one month. One month. One month!

Monday, April 20, 2009

3 more weeks!

3 weeks until we hear the verdict of our first court date (May 11). If we pass then we should be able to travel May 23-30. if not, then we get a new court date...and wait. I got an email from kim kulp (mountain view blog) with some pictures of our sweet girl (kim was in Ethiopia picking up her new son)...JG was wearing a purple (Geaux Tigers) shirt with the word "miracle" on it...just made me smile:) Here is what Kim said, "So, my thoughts of JG...she's SO STINKING SWEET we could barely stand it! I had to wake her up to take pictures of her, that's why she was a little groggy. She is shy but took my hand and toddled with me to the grass to sit and play. I gave her balloons, stickers, kisses and hugs and tried my best to get her to smile but she really didn't want to give a smile to me! I loved on her and changed her shirt, she looks so sweet in purple! Her hair is very soft and has sweet little curls. She loved the hair bow I made her as well. She's a girly girl! She is still learning to walk down stairs and over things and she has the sweetest little bow-legged toddle I've ever seen. Really, if we could have, we would have taken her home with us. She's a joy girl if I have ever seen one." Thanks Kim! Just thought i'd mention that i think she also looks a little like the macdonald women (Dean's mom's side of the family)...and she has dean's eyebrows. and she's shy like me. hahahahaha!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

News from Ethiopia!

My YG friend, Kim (blog link is below right:Mountainview) is in Addis now picking up her Micah Moo and posted a special message just for me on her blog:
"LA Jaime- (JG) is shy and just learning to walk. She has the softest hair and the sweetest grin but I only saw a few and couldn't get them on camera. She waddled around holding my hand for the longest time. She loves to play with toys and is very quick to let anyone who gets near them know that they are invading her territory. If I could have, I would have taken her home with me!"
Woooohoooo! There are only 3 more Sundays until our court date (this is how i have counted during the adoption...for some reason it makes it seem shorter)...please pray that all the necessary documents will arrive when/where they are supposed to. About 30% of people with our agency do not pass the first time...although i have heard it is MUCH higher with some other agencies...let's hope we're in the 70% that do pass:)

Monday, April 6, 2009

TTDs are here!

Well, we have recieved our tentative travel dates! If we pass court May 11th (about 30-40% do not pass their first try) then we will leave Louisiana May 22 or 23 and arrive home on the 30th! We are thinking of flying Emirates out of Houston into Dubai, and then into Addis. Leave a comment if you have done this before!! We may also fly out of DC, either on Ethiopia air or Emirates... We haven't gotten our price quotes yet so we are bracing ourselves! hehehe!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Amanda's April Fool's

Happy April Fool's Day to my cousin Bean (Amanda)! Check it out!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You say "bite", I say "lick"

OK, so i thought that title might grab your attention! Being the YG and blog-stalker that i am i decided to contact the Halls since they were in ET the week we got our referral. I wanted ANY info i could get on our little JG, especially regarding personality, because that is not mentioned in the referral. Well, be careful what you ask for!! Here are some quotes from Stephanie: "We referred to her as "Biter" while we were there because she was walking around with her mouth open and biting our legs. Not hard, just in play, and she is SO ADORABLE! You will LOVE her! I told Marc you had the biter and he died laughing, too. We loved her, she was so adorably cute. I guess she bit him five or six times, he says, but not hard enough to hurt or anything. And she was just so happy!!" (Yeah, sure, happy to bite him!)
Take 2, this time i armed my friend from YG, Alisa, with a photo release...and she delivered a care package from us to our JG (photo album of the family, small doll, outfit, and sunglasses). Last night we were OVERJOYED to receive the pix from the are some of Alisa's comments :"Your girl is so sweet & has so much personality! I knew who she was right away b/c Steph told me about her...she called her the licker. Hee Hee! As soon as I came inside with Micah she came to love on us both...and licked us. Don't worry -- it wasn't weird, I think she thinks she's kissing. Very sweet! She LOVED her baby!!! She kissed the pics oh her new family!!!! She looked at all your pics with me!!"
Well, whether our girl is a licker or a biter, we are indescribably happy!

Monday, March 23, 2009

48 nights until our Court Date!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We recieved our court date today: May 11. The night of May 10th (Mother's Day) as we are sleeping an Ethiopian court decides whether or not to release our little girl to her forever family. Pray with me that we have success! I am guessing we would travel to Ethiopia June 6-13, but i will find out our official tentative travel dates in a few weeks from AWAA (our agency).
Seven Mothers' Days ago i was 37 1/2 weeks pregnant, and i was talking with Maria, a friend from our church, who (with her husband Russ) had accepted the referral for their 2 Russian sons, but were still waiting for final word that they could bring them home forever. We rejoiced that the next Mother's Day we would have our boys with us at last! It has been a long journey to our adoption dream...and it seems fitting that our dream could finally come true on that special day.
ps. check out the now DR Moore's are alot of cool articles about adoption:)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

HeeHaw Auction @ New Covenant

Our church, New Covenant, put on a hum-dinger of a country auction last night to benefit our adoption. The total amount raised was just over $5000, enough to cover our 2 round-trip tickets from BTR/MSY to Ethiopia, JG's one-way ticket home (yeah!), our visas and US Embassy fee, and our home study update. Items were donated from members of NC & the community....including quilts, LSU picnic blanket/ tailgate mats, paintings, a football autographed by 2 Heisman winners, babysitting services, dinners, fishing trip package, massage gift certificates and serenades by Elvis & BB King. Yeeeehaw!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We Choose You!

First thing this morning we signed the Referral Acceptance Letter, and the check, as they say, "is in the mail". You can see how happy DH was...sorry no picture of me signing since i was in my pajamas- complete with "Get R Dun UW" tshirt (classy, I know). Next up: AWAA is able to request our court date in Ethiopia. We should find out our court date in about 3 weeks. So, we wait...hey, we're pretty good at that!
1 John 3:1 is what is in my mind today, "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are!" How great.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Referral Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today seemed like an ordinary day. Big boy went to school like usual. T and I went to the consignment shop to drop off the double jogging stroller (in great condition...hmmm..who's kidding who here?)...and we were headed to buy crawfish for dinner. I was on the phone with DH, rejoicing that the consignment store had accepted all our goods (meaning: more $$ for girlie baby stuff) and I passed up the Starbucks, wanting a Frap soooo bad, but decided to skip it (partly because of Dave Ramsey and partly to wait until we had a referral to celebrate). Toby Mac "made to love you" playing on the radio, and Terra calls...I knew. I kept shouting "its 703!" to DH and then hung up on him. I recognized Terra's voice and I pulled into a bank and was just weeping in the car while Terra connected dean to the call. We don't have tinted windows on our minivan so there were some nervous people in the parking lot of the Chase Bank. I think they were worried that I had snapped because of the economy and that I might do something rash. he he! We cannot tell you much about her, as we want to respect Ethiopia's laws but: she is an older baby/ young toddler...and she is beautiful. She looks very delicate and small (kind of like my T) and has a pouty mouth and the cutest tiny pigtails:))) funny: my youngest son things she looks like kai-lan...the little Chinese girl from the Noggin show ni hao kai-lan... the boys were most impressed with her hair and thought she was cute. She looks like a JG. Sometimes the most ordinary days can be extraordinary.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Ten things for JG

We have made it to our Tenth Monthiversary of our dossier traveling across the sea to Ethiopia. It sits in an office somewhere in Addis Ababa, hopefully near the top of the stack...waiting... So, i was going to write a funny (or at least i thought so) Top 10 List of reasons why i BETTER get a referral this month...but i thought better of it when i realized i sounded like a selfish kid, believing that the world revolves around me. So, instead i decided to post 10 things i want JG to know...things I hope she can look back on to remember the time we were waiting for her.
Ten things I want you to know: (for our JG)
1. You were loved before we met you, before we saw your sweet face and there is nothing you can do that will make us love you less.
2. Yes, I have received children out of my natural body…and I love them with an astonishingly strong love. I have birthed you with no less tears, no less longing, and no less joy.
3. Adoption was not a second-choice for us. We had this purposed in our hearts from long ago…you, my dear, are the answer to a fourteen year old girl’s prayer.
4. I will say it again. You were not our second choice. You are the princess that your daddy slayed dragons and fought for.
5. Sometimes you will feel lonely and sad for your birth-family and land, and that is okay. We are happy to listen, cry with you, and dry your tears. Your sadness will not break you, and it will not break us either.
6. We will never give you up. We will never give you away. Never. Even if you beg us.
7. Your skin may not look like mine, or daddy’s, or your brothers’….it is the most perfect shade of brown! You were painted by an artist who is more brilliant than Monet. You are an impression of your Father’s glory.
8. Your mommy & daddy are not perfect. I eat anchovies on my pizza, and daddy’s feet stink. We do not expect you to be perfect either.
9. I pray that you will live a life full of joy, full of love, full of faith. Life may not go as you would have planned, but I hope that you can sing along to the melody of God’s song for you.
10. We want to see your face soon. We want to hold you close, gaze into your eyes, to smell your hair, to see you smile. We will wait patiently.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Court date shuffle!

Well, things are moving for a lot of Ethiopia families with referrals! Most people are recieving court dates 3 months after their referrals, but many of the families with April court dates got news yesterday that their NEW court dates were in March!!!
This court-shuffle effects us because if we recieve our referral April 9th (the longest wait ESTIMATED), then it is now likely that our court date will fall before court closures (beginning of August until beginning of October). Good news for us!
To summarize for my peeps that do not speak Adoption-ese:
DTE: the date paperwork travels to Ethiopia. this determines your place "in line".
Referral: you are matched with a child- you find out their age & see their picture for the first time.
Court: happens in Ethiopia without has been taking about 3 months after referral, but is starting to move a little faster:)
Travel: about 2-3 weeks after a successful court date. We will be in Ethiopia for about 1 week.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Tuesday Points to Ponder

So, since it's Mardi Gras, i thought i would share the wealth of my info on cajun slang:
"boude": to pout, or be mad.
"envie": a craving.
"possede": a bad, naughty kid, (it comes from the word for possessed).
"pass a slap"/"watch the slap": i'm going to slap you!
"The mouse": the cajun version of the tooth fairy is a mouse:)
check out more at:
Yes, we are still waiting! No, no word! And while jambalaya is on the menu for tonight, I'm actually trying to diet, since my boys started asking if the only baby coming was the one from Ethiopia:) Possedes!!!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pass the Fanta, Britney!

We are # 4 in the girl line!!!! I am thinking March will be our month.... so i celebrated by buying a crib skirt from Pottery Barn Kids (on clearance, of course). I thought i would never say these words...but i am worried that JG's room may have too much pink. Nah, momentary lapse of judgement!

Monday, February 9, 2009

9 Monthiversary of DTE and "You might be adopting if"...

Well, on our 9th Monthiversary of our DTE (we are now within our expected wait time of 9-11 months), I have decided to put my AWAA Yahoo group addiction to some good and do something fun!!!
You might be Adopting from Ethiopia if….
You have a blog.
Most people who read your blog are also adoptive parents.
Your family has been compared to Brad and Angelina’s by people you don’t really know.
You have considered getting an epidural for dossier preparation.
You have ever yelled at a USCIS worker.
You have ever asked your Senator to yell at a USCIS worker.
You spend more time on Yahoo Group than watching TV.
You think a NAG is a good thing.
You are starting to use acronymns for everything (ET, YG, NAG, DTE, TTD, DH, BTDT, RR).
You have Kari’s phone #, and you’re not afraid to use it!
You can tear up in church at the CCLI words at the bottom of the screen because they read “Billy/Cindy Foote”.
You email Pete when you have computer problems as if he is your personal Tech Support.
You consider Steven Curtis Chapman like a long lost member of your family.
You know your exact # in line (well, OF COURSE not counting mystery families).
You say the words “mystery families” with a growl as if they have personally done you some bodily harm.
You have ever called a forty-something woman a granny to her face and she considered it a complement.
You have a lot of Facebook friends that you have never met…but you have written encouragement on their pages, and cheered them on as they’ve brought their babies home.
You kind of enjoyed getting your shots, because it meant you were one step closer to Africa.
You, at all times, are able to calculate the time in Addis Ababa.
You enjoy telling people that you are “18 months pregnant” and complaining of back aches.
You have pregnancy cravings which your hubby indulges.
People are starting to insist you write a book about your adoption experience: possibly because you have learned so much, possibly because they want you to stop talking to THEM about it, and possibly so your book can fund your next adoption and you will stop sending out fundraising letters.
You would rather see the area code "703" show up on your caller ID than oil flowing out of your backyard. (HINT HINT Terra...please call me soon!)
You have more Adoption fundraiser T-shirts than you have underwear.

9 Months!!! We are #5ish in the girl line, and by this time next month we could have our referral!!!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Hotcakes

Yippee for T's 5th Birthay....YOU, my dear, are just what I always wanted for my whole entire life!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

25 things random things you may or may not want to know about me

i am a crazed facebook junkie! my hubby thought these were here ya go...25 random things about me:
(1) I played in a kazoo marching band in a parade in Gatlinburg. It was televised. I breathed in the wax paper and started to choke, but I kept up the marching formation. (See #20)
(2)I’m allergic to everything in nature.
(3)Until I had my first child the sight of breastfeeding could make me throw up.
(4)My hubby and I met while I was scheming to woo someone else. He was supposed to help. I guess DH got the last laugh.
(5)I have a lot of things I love. A lot of things I hate. But almost never will you hear me say, “I don’t care…I don’t have an opinion.”
(6)I hate cheerleading, but ALOT of my dearest friends are ex-cheerleaders.
(7) I hate Miami, especially the airport, but I go every year because I am a great wife (and daughter-in-law).
(8) I smoked for about 4 months in high school just to prove i could do something "bad" and not get caught by my mom. Sometimes having a high IQ does not make you smart.
(9) I hate & am scared of clowns, but was in a BSU clown ministry in college. My name was Petals.
(10) I have wanted to adopt since I was 14 and if I had $100 for every time someone compared our family to Brangelina I would be able to pay to adopt another child. Literally. (That’s my fundraiser idea for next time…Brangelinathon)
(11) I have a cousin who is also my brother in law. Yes, I’ve lived in Kentucky.
(12) While pregnant with my oldest, I actually said to my hubby “I hope I love the baby like I love (my cat)”. Duh.
(13) In the love category: Epidurals. They are awesome.
(14) I have had grey hair since I was 16. I’ve heard I give a lot of grey hair too!
(15) Nancy Grace: love her! Guilty until proven innocent.
(16) I didn’t know about the OJ Simpson thing (1st time) until at least one year AFTERward. People asked if I was living under a rock. I replied, “Yes. It’s called Graceville, FL.”
(17) I know all the words to every Maroon 5 song.
(18) When Dean calls my cell phone it rings with Justin’s “Sexy Back”. Always a hit with the playgroup ladies.
(19) I have learned that autism is NOT the worst thing that can happen to your family.
(20) I’m a great boy mom because “suck it up- no whining!” has always been my philosophy. Also “laugh at every available opportunity.”
(21) The security guards at my high school thought I was a substitute teacher…I wanted to park my car in the teachers lot. Hey, it was only my whole senior year.
(22) Despite my craziness, I have 2 friends with babies named after me.
(23) I’ve always wanted to live in the Northeast…I love Fall!
(24) There is nothing sweeter to me than my hubby’s kisses, JP’s laugh, and my T’s sweet face.
(25) I am selling a house. Do you want to buy it?
I would love to hear more facts about you, friends!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chinese New Year, College, and Guts

Happy Chinese New Year, Y'all! On the long ride to church yesterday my boys were discussing why college is the worst "grade" to be in...the reasons given were "colorful". First, college is hard. Second, after college you have to get married. JP informed T that then a girl would want to kiss him all the time..."yuck!" T added to the story that then you had to go to the hospital, where they would sew your belly back together to keep your guts from hanging out. Dean and I were laughing in the front seats, figuring out that Topher was trying to explain the trials of childbirth. There are harder ways to get a baby. My adoption dream started sometime around age 14. I wanted to adopt from China. When the doors to China closed for us a few years ago I was crushed. But just like the little boy who one day says "yuck!" to a kiss from a girl will, in a few years,be introducing us to his future wife, we too, celebrate our change in direction. We are now #7 for a baby girl from Ethiopia...and #1 for a we continue to wait for the phone to ring (Area code 407) and feel like our guts are ripping out, but in a happy way!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

PF Changs and Prophesy?

Here is my tale of yesterday:: After a wonderful morning of visiting my friend Tammy and her new baby boy at the hospital (squishy cheeks and super cute!), Jeanie (our pastor's wife) and T and I headed to PF Changs for lunch. I enjoyed the "big girl" conversation and T enjoyed his usual...chocolate milk and complaining of no PB&J. After lunch we opened our fortunes. I read T his which said, "Good news of long-awaited event will arrive soon." I smiled and T announced to the waiter, "that is talking about my baby sister in Ethiopia!" I was proud of him that although his birthday is in 2 weeks, that this was the good news he was thinking about. It seems that all our hearts are in a state of advent. We are now #8 for a baby girl under 18 months and #1 for a toddler....but for now we will just enjoy the gentle reminders that God is in control and he is bringing her home to us soon!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Merry Ethiopian Christmas & 8 Months DTE

Since Ethiopia is on the Julian calendar, today i can wish you a "Happy Christmas"! This week also marks 8 months since we sent our dossier (huge stack of documents which took almost 6 months to compile) over the atlantic ocean to Ethiopia (with a little help from our friends from FedEx). We are now aproximately #9 in line for an infant girl referral, but we are the first one in that line willing to accept an up- to-36 months-old. So, we are not sure whether to be expecting a little baby or a the anticipation does kind of feel like Christmas!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to School and High Compliments

Well, thank goodness my new years resolution didn't have to last too long...the Bowmans and Luncefords received referrals for infant girls today! That makes us somewhere around #10 in the girl line for those of you keeping score. It has made our long wait seem shorter being busy with the house on the market and both boys home for the last few weeks. Today, of course, school started back after the long Christmas break. I interrupted a meeting of sorts this morning where John Peter bequeathed the remote control to T, complete with an explanation of the "mute" button, as if he were going off to war and not to a private school for Baton Rouge's finest. But, (file this under the "Just Bragging") last night I think i was paid the highest compliment of my life. We were tucking in the boys as usual and i gave JP his usual tight squeeze goodnight hug and he said, "i like your hugs, Mommy, they make me 'home'." I think I'm raising a poet.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009-The Year of the Adoption Roller Coaster

I was born in the year of the dragon (according to my chinese friends it is a very lucky thing:) but 2009 is the year of the ox. I'm renaming it the year of the adoption roller-coaster. Sometimes i feel excited, sometimes scared, but mostly like i want to puke with not knowing what to expect, and when to expect it. The wait for referral has officially increased to 9-11 months for baby and toddler girls(from DTE-our paperwork left for ethiopia on 5-9-08). So, in a sign of solidarity (and my unofficial New Years Resolution) I will not shave my legs until Karen Bowman (DTE Feb 1) gets her referral!!! (Lucky Dean)