Thursday, June 28, 2012

Coming home phone video

AT LAST! The trip was miserable. I think it lasted about 30 hours. I actually prayed once that if it was God's will for the plane to crash, it would happen to us early so we wouldn't have to endure any more of the terrible crying, crammed-like-sardines in coach purgatory. When we finally got to Houston and I tasted the disgusting fake iced tea sold in the airport (I missed iced tea sooo much in Addis), I wept. With snot. Hubby thought I had finally lost my marbles when our final plane home was delayed. He insisted I go to the bathroom by myself (almost a first since having G5 attached at the hip/Ergo/whatever), where I fell asleep in the stall. YES! Finally, we made it home...where our adventure in becoming a family of 7 really begins!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Embassy trip Tuesday- YWAM

Today we wait while the embassy processes the kids' visas. We visited the YWAM feeding center (supported by an organization we love, Into the Streets of Ethiopia) and did a little shopping. On all 3 trips our favorite driver was Dawit. He is a confident, reliable, and friendly driver. If you are planning  on visiting Addis, we highly recommend him!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Embassy Monday

We breakfasted early & learned that G5 loves papaya juice. We left right away for our Embassy appointment. It was very organized and efficient, and we got to learn more about the kids' background from the findings of interviews/investigation that is performed by the Embassy in order to verify our children's former orphan status. Though our kids have endured a lot of pain and trauma, there is a beautiful story of protection and rescue. We are very thankful. Today G5 had a hard time seeing the nannies again, and I really wish we did not have to take them back for the doctor's and psychologist's visits. We found out that G5 had actually been very sick upon admittance to the TH, and they were unsure she would survive. They reviewed the strategies they had used to bring her back to health, and ended with "we fed her, and she got better, so we kept feeding her!" It made me laugh, seeing how plump and happy she is now. We had lunch at Lucy's, and while the waitress encouraged us to order chicken tenders for the kids, they mainly ended up eating our curry chicken, rice, and injera with red sauce. We had the best macchiatos. We purchased formula with money from our kids' Bible club at church, and delivered them to Kids' Care orphanage. After a long nap, we enjoyed dinner at Habesha with our awesome travel group and guide, where the kids gobbled up traditional food, and J4 danced like a pro! Seriously, he became semi-famous...everyone was clapping and he was eating it up.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Embassy Trip Sunday

Curses to you, rooster! Awake at 5 a.m. Seriously, if you are making this trip, beg your doctor for prescription sleep pills. Today we attended church at International Evangelical Church in Addis Ababa with children that had been in our family permanently for 24 hours. I sit with a 4, 8, & 10 year old every Sunday in service, while my husband leads for 1/2 the service. I can remember how it was to train those 3 children to sit in service that respected my authority, knew I loved them, could understand English (encouragement, reminders, bribes, threats, etc) I was very nervous. It was a WONDERFUL experience. We sang Mighty to Save and Your Grace is Enough (oh, yeah, I pretty much ugly cried as these songs helped me through much of the waiting period) & learned some new songs (one of which we now sing at our little church in Louisiana). The kids were nervous in the large crowd and clung to us (that's good), but remained mostly quiet through the preaching (with the help of animal crackers). When we dropped off the court-trip families at the Transition Home (they were visiting their children since the kids can't leave the TH until Embassy trip) J4 & G5 did not want to stay at the Transition Home and clung to us again. That really was a relief to us, and made us happy that they were bonding to us, and already preferring us to nannies and friends. Another repeat adoptive family mentioned that they have never seen another toddler or preschool kid adjust as fast as our two have, seeming so calm and settled. Every encouraging moment like this reminded us of those who were praying for us and our children. What an important ministry prayer is!
We went to Metro Pizza for lunch and Kaldi's for coffee. Yummy! J4 ate the whipped cream off of my drink, so we decided he is both brilliant and discerning:) After naps we played Angry Birds, chilled out to Shai Linne, & watched Sesame Street. We ate leftovers in our room to prepare for an early morning Embassy appointment.
Observations from today: G5 loves Elmo and hates cats. She is very proud of her hairbows and whenever she gets dressed she makes sure everyone in the room notices how pretty she looks. J4 is an Angry Birds master! I can tell he has been allowed to play on American visitors phones and he is familiar with gummy vitamins and gobbles them up! Kids both like pancakes, dry cereal, pineapple juice, spicy foods/meats, loaded pizza (Hello Rotolo's Sweep the Floor pizza!!).
Edited 6 months later: Yes to the prescription pills, but towards the end of the trip I took Nyquil and that did really help.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Embassy Trip Saturday-"Gotcha Day"

We breakfasted (I really like the chef's omelets and the coffee) and met up with some of the families from Bozeman that had been hosting families, now adopting their host kids. One of the things I have loved most about AWAA is the other encouraging families. Around 10 am we headed over for DH to meet the kids & for me to be reunited with them. It went really well. We bonded & played with them on their turf, and then we left the transition home & they came into our custody. Such a powerful moment leaving the orphanage/transition home, and while the kids seemed a little nervous, they did not immediately grieve leaving nannies & friends like JG3 did. While the 2 trip system is more expensive and emotionally hard on the adoptive parents, I do think it helped aid our kids' transition. J4 did ask Dawit (driver) where his white people were every time he saw I know he was excitedly waiting for us.
We went to lunch at the gallery restaurant where we ordered pizza & JB4 had his first Sprite (yummy!). Kids and parents carb loaded & G5 seemed happy with the formula I picked (Target's generic Goodstart Gentle). Fifth kid loves generic...seems like good vibes to me:)  Kids wore DH out playing with beach balls in the room (thanks, Kerry, great packable toy!). The clothes we brought fit (sigh of relief).
J4 folds paper boats like a champ, and Daddy helped him make planes. He puts the toilet seat up (can I get an AMEN!), knows how to brush his own teeth, good napper, loves salt. Very excited to wear his spiderman pjs, is very precise about coloring acurate pictures (no purple monkeys allowed), and folds his cloth napkin in his lap like a gentleman.
G5 is attaching well to mommy and really warmed up to Daddy by bed time. She calls him Abba or Ababa or Da now. She is talking/repeating much more than in April. She is a happy girl, who laughs a lot. She likes her new clothes very much and is happy to show me when she has her new shoes on. G5 is a great 5th kid because when she got hit in the head with the soccer ball, she only laughed. A resilient beauty, this kid is. She was not fond of sitting down in the bath or washing her hair, but relaxed as the process went on & enjoyed splashing. We lotioned the kids up like little piggies. G5s diaper rash is a beast, hoping the Boudreaux's will help. They had cut G5's hair AGAIN (agh!) because of a fungal issue and happily volunteered to shave her bald before we left (thank you, but NO). We will get major use out of headbands.
We ate dinner at Yesabi (pasta with tomato sauce...are you seeing a pattern here?) and the kids liked it. The PBS kids app (for iPad) will not work outside the US, so we downloaded My Friends Tigger & Pooh episodes off iTunes.
By the time I am writing this, at 8 p.m. DH is out like a light, claiming exhaustion from soccer/indoor beach volleyball. He is expecting to lose 15 pounds with his newfound athletic expertise, but I am guessing that the Combos we "invested in" at the Houston airport will balance the scales.
Wish I would have brought: more plastic bags & shout wipes (lots of red sauce & toddlers don't mix).

Edit....6 months later.... Eucerin Original is the best lotion we have found for their very thirsty skin. Also, G5's diaper rash got slightly better trying 4 different kinds of rash creams & yeast meds...1 month later we decided to let her go commando & she was pretty much potty trained within 3 weeks. Even now if she wears a pull up for more than 4 hours she will break out in a bad rash. If she would have been younger, I would have switched to cloth diapers for her sensitive skin. Also, don't mock the crocs we rock. The ground is very muddy in Addis, and having shoes we can rinse out in the shower and be clean & dry in the morning: priceless!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Embassy trip\ Thursday & Friday in review

Friday and Saturday are a blur, but I have already started forgetting the pain of traveling, much like childbirth. Here are some highlights of our 26 hour journey halfway around the world:  On our first flight, while the ride was bumpy & hubby was clutching his barf bag, I couldn't help laughing (because he was wearing his "man up" t-shirt). Later hubby announces his intention of eating his weight in peanuts to get his money's worth for the plane ticket fares.  Over Europe I class it up by singing "I see London, I see France..." while monitoring our progress on the monitor's map.  DH made a few fake flight announcements, having to do to strong winds & resulting needs to visit the bathroom early & often.  My feet became swollen to twice their normal size, but we made it to Addis in one piece, so we considered it a win. Helpful  hint if you are traveling through Frankfort: if you buy food at McDonalds they give you change back in American dollars, with euro coins (I call them "frank-in-cents" just for fun). Btw: 2 medium sodas $8 (but cheaper than water).  DH was able to get 8 hours of sleep the first night, but as the saying goes (no rest for the wicked) I got 6 hours after much coveting hubby's rest & 2 Tylenol pm. I will try to write more soon!

Dance Moves

The kids are with us! Check out Joshua's sweet moves!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Signs of the Times

Just to catch you up to speed:
February 2010 applied with AWAA to adopt again from Ethiopia
September 2010 dossier mailed to Ethiopia
February 2012 referral for siblings!
April 2012 court date & travel to meet the kids
June 2012 submitted to US Embassy, cleared to travel and bring them home!

We have been doing a lot of preparing to get our house ready for our fourth and fifth children. Bunk beds have been raised to fit a third son. Towels purchased in 5 colors so we keep sharing parasites & other germs to a minimum (and reduce laundry). Diapers purchased. More laundry sorters... and our oldest child turned ten. Dear hubby likes his new name "Father of the Decade." We leave in a few days & we will try to update the blog & Facebook as we are able in country.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Book learnin'

I always get the question, "What homeschool curriculum do you use?" and because the answer is not short, I decided to post here as an easy reference for inquiring minds. We do a blended classical style method.


My goals during this time are obedience, knowing letters & their primary sounds, counting to 20, beginning catechism, playing (self-directed and with others), self help skills, doing chores, and sitting still for brief periods of time. Obedience is key & is probably the most important kindergarten-readiness skill, though often overlooked by parents. A defiant child, no matter how gifted, will bring his parent/teacher heartbreak and frustration. We use Sesame Street & Letter factory as fun ways to learn. We teach the right way to do simple chores as a way to serve our family. Our children start sitting in church services at age 4, which is great training for sitting still in school. Read to your child, and have older siblings read to them!


Math:            Saxon Math 1
Reading:        The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading (1st half)
Catechism:    Truth and Grace Memory Book 1
Bible:            Family devotion reading at dinner time, verse memorization

Grades 1-4:

Math:             Saxon Math 2, 3, 5/4 (1st half), 5/4 (2nd half), Kathy Troxel's Memory songs *
Reading:         The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading (2nd half), Library books**
Grammar:       First Language Lessons 1, 2, 3, 4
Writing:          Writing with Ease 1,  2, 3, 4
Handwriting:   Homemade or store bought worksheets for printing & Classically Cursive 1, 2, 3
Spelling:          Spelling Workout (A, B, C, D, E)
Vocabulary:    Vocabulary from Classical Roots 4 (4th grade)
History/Geog: Story of the World 1, 2, 3, 4. Family style (oldest child determines time period studied).
Catechism:     Truth and Grace Memory Book 1 (Founders Press)
Bible:             Family devotion reading at dinner time, verse memorization
Science:         Apologia
Latin:             Prima Latina

Grade 5:

Math:           Saxon Math 6/5
Reading:       Library books**
Grammar:     Following the Plan (Rod and Staff English 5)
Writing:        Writing with Skill Level 1 (Peace Hill Press)
Handwriting: Classically Cursive 4
Spelling:        Spelling Workout F, G
Vocabulary:   Vocabulary from Classical Roots 5
History:        Story of the World 1, 2, 3, 4. Family style (oldest child determines time period studied).
Geography:   Trail Guide to US Geography (We are studying US History this year.)
Catechism:   Truth and Grace Memory Book 2
Bible:           Family devotion reading at dinner time, verse memorization, personal reading
Science:       Apologia
Latin:           Prima Latina.***
Logic:          Building Thinking Skills 2, 3

Other learning opportunities:
church, bi-weekly homeschool co-op (mainly fun physical/social activities with some serious learning sneaked in), community choir, team sports, music lessons. We are not always in sports, or choir, or music lessons. For me, super busy=super stressed. I embrace the power and joy of nap time and recess. Every other Friday in our household is a free day, where we catch up on lessons if needed & catch up on chores (always needed).

I hope this helps!

* My oldest child followed this Math schedule. My second child took longer to do Math 3, so we are slowing down this advanced schedule for him, finishing it up during 4th grade, and moving on to 5/4 as time permits. The math memory songs have REALLY helped him & are a great resource for auditory learners! I have definitely learned my lesson that if a child doesn't get it, don't keep going as if a checklist is your lord & master; go back and repeat until the skill is mastered.
**I Google search reading lists to give me ideas for mandatory reading. Scholastic's website is great for finding books at your child's reading level.
***Yes, we are still doing Prima Latina. We started it in second grade with oldest child, who picked up the vocabulary quickly, but struggled with word endings. It became too overwhelming to me, became neglected, and we are attempting to restart it in 5th grade.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Monthly Meal Planning Ideas

I've always hated going grocery shopping. To be more specific, I've always hated putting on non-pajamas and leaving the house except in cases in which FUN is the main thing on the agenda. My kids, while normally well-behaved and not given to begging, become little green-eyed Gollums upon entering SuperWalmart, screaming, "my precious!" while passing marshmallow-laden cereals & the like. How can I avoid this trauma?
In studying (stalking from afar, while looking studious) families with LOTS of kids that manage to live on a budget I noticed A LOT of them grocery shop once a month. Due to the viewing of many a Psych/Mentalist/Sherlock episode, plus my own super sleuthing skills, I deduced that they must also make out a grocery list for the whole month & therefore, must also (gasp!) make out a menu for the whole month. There are services you can use for this, like E-meals, but I like control and I have picky eaters, so I spent the time listing out different meals I already know how to make & figuring out what works best for our schedule.
We eat something easy on Sundays, chicken on Mondays & Thursdays, beef on Tuesdays, Fridays is pizza or nuggets for kids (date night, sushi takeout, or appetizers for parents), seafood on Saturdays, and Wednesday is pork, leftovers, and occasionally cereal because of church.  Friday is also our dessert night, and having it designated helps keep the kids from begging all throughout the week, and helps the grown-ups become more disciplined with sweets. I have 2 monthly menus so far in the rotation & plan to do at least one more once winter arrives. I have shared my list below:

Chicken: Chicken Cordon Bleu(Sams), Poppyseed Chicken (Southern Living Weeknight Favorites) & Rice, Margarita Chicken & Mexican Rice, Italian Roasted Chicken, Chinese chicken (Sams), cold chicken salad (Nerrylee), grilled chicken salad, enchiladas, fettuccine Alfredo w/ grilled chicken & veggies, Chicken Piccata(Sams), Parmesan chicken, chicken & dumplings, Chicken Matzo ball soup, Chicken sausages on hotdog buns w/ sweet potato fries, chicken pot pie, chicken manicotti (Reed)
Beef: sloppy joes, beef stroganoff, spaghetti w/ meat sauce, meatloaf, hamburgers, country fried steak(Sams), tacos, enchiladas, taco salad (Penny), philly cheese steak sandwiches
Seafood: Crawfish & corn chowder, shrimp etouffee, fish tacos, salmon w/ dill sauce, Parmesan crusted fish w/ cheese grits(Grandma), talapia w/ pineapple salsa, shrimp kabobs, shrimp poboys, crab cakes (Sams)
Pork: tenderloin, ham, BBQ pork sandwiches, pulled pork w/ mashed potatoes& gravy, sausage gumbo w/ rice
Fun/Fast: Frozen pizzas, hotdogs, mac-n-cheese, appetizers,frozen lasagna, chicken nuggets, pancakes, quiche, egg rolls & lo mein, Sausage or chicken biscuits & scrambled eggs.
Winter or Vegetarian: Potato/cheese soup (SBTS Faculty Wives Cookbook-Mary Mohler), Singapore chicken stew (Sunset magazine), Tortilla soup, Eggplant Parmesan, Pasta Primavera.

You may notice that we eat quite a bit of prepared things from Sams, which work great for us on Sundays, or busy homeschooling days. Currently, most of Sam's boxed meals & roasts, will feed our family of five twice, some of them 3 or 4 meals. I try to stretch out meat by serving more veggies or sides. When I make roasted chicken, I usually cook 2, then de-bone and shred the leftovers for meals like enchiladas, pot pie, soups. I have one friend who cooks all her ground beef & chicken (to be shredded) on one day a month (grocery day), but I haven't been that disciplined yet. I make double or triple batches of spaghetti sauce & have a "soup day" in early winter where I cancel school & make 4 different triple batches of soup (one soup on each burner) that will provide 1 meal for 12 weeks in the "winter" (Louisiana winter only lasts about 3 days, but I try to indulge my inner northwesterner).  I like to add a new recipe every month or so, since you never know when you'll find a new favorite. Include regional foods from places you've lived (my list has lots of Louisiana & Seattle dishes), or have a missions night where you make couscous and pray for Morocco, or make curry chicken & pray for a missionary in India. Make food to go along with what your kids are studying in school.  Everyone's likes/dislikes vary: some love leftovers (my husband detests them), some of your Mississippi husbands may not tolerate a big salad or soup for dinner ("Where's the beef?!"), or maybe your scarf-wearing hipster family only eats meat a few times a week. Be flexible, but have a plan. I've made venison when we've been given some by hunters in our church. I've adjusted the menu when our boys have grown lettuce in their new garden, or when I've been given huge bunches of basil. I just vote a frozen meal to the end of the line, since I want to eat fresh basil fresh, and the frozen meal can wait. Hopefully my list will give you some new ideas, and you can add comments of your family favorites that I could try!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Court Trip Day 5- Order in the Court!!

Thursday night was the best night of sleep we had all week, just in time for court on Friday! I met Job downstairs after breakfast & took the short ride to court. The judge was a little late, and we were the last family called. It was nerve-wracking. While waiting, I read Psalms 103-105 and most of Hebrews, while simultaneously trying not to pass out, reaquainting myself with my good friend Imodium, and texting Dear Hubby about the joys of waiting & also a fellow waiting room occupant who looked almost exactly like Sylar (from the sadly cancelled NBC "Heroes"). Regrettably, Sylar did not speed up the clock, but after about 2 hours of waiting we PASSED court!!! This means that we are now officially their parents, and they are our children, and the adoption is irrevocable. #BEAUTIFUL We celebrated with lunch at Island Breeze, where I met a Show Hope sponsor (I had on my SH shirt), and enjoyed the BEST chips and salsa of my life. *The food was safe at all of the restaurants we ate at and we did not get sick. We went coffee shopping, visited a government orphanage, and spent the last afternoon with J4 & G5 before heading out for home. Kind of goes without saying, but it was hard to say goodbye, and hard when the airplane took off from Ethiopian soil. We are hoping to have our paperwork submitted to the US Embassy in 3-5 weeks (one Wednesday in May), and then it will take an additional 1-8 weeks to receive clearance to bring the kids home! You may notice that I'm not going to say much about our 32 hour trip home. Well, on the first flight I almost flung my (clean) spare underpants on unsuspecting passengers, when struggling to wrestle my pillow out of my carry-on from the overhead compartment. If this was the SAT's it would read: Pillow is to carry-on luggage as Woman who loves cheesecake is to control-top pantyhose. Necessary, but a very snug fit. The laughter that ensued over this event/non-event  was the highlight of our 32 hour journey. That and the ice. Imagine how sanctifying the next trip will be when we bring home our 2 new children:)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Court Trip Day 4

Thursday, April 19th: We met early morning for paperwork, rejoice that our fellow traveling family passed court with their daughter, and enjoy reading the bazillion Facebook comments of our Meetcha Day photos. We shopped for souvenirs in the Post Office district (my favorites are the traditional clothing, wood carved salad fork/spoon, and bead necklaces) and ate lunch at Sishu. They have an outdoor play area that is pretty spiffy that would be great to visit on our Embassy trip. The mushroom gouda burger was yummy & the fried banana crepes would have made N'Orleans proud! After being greeted at the Transition Home gate by the cutest boy in Ethiopia (J4), we visited all afternoon where I got my portion of squeezes from J4 & G5. We met with the psychologist, took pictures & distributed care packages for matched kids/families, and bonded some more over chalk, bubbles, smooches, and soccer. Did I mention that G5 cried for me when I left everyday? (Heartbreaking, but it means bonding is going well.) We enjoyed a traditional Ethiopian dinner at Habesha 2000, which was spicy but very good. The Ethiopian dancing and music was great and I was happy to join in the fun when they called on me to dance. Sadly, there is no video footage of the display of my "mad skillz" because I was 2 legit 2 quit (as the young people would have said back in my day), and since you, fair reader, weren't present, you can't dispute it!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Court Trip Day Three- Meeting Day!

Wednesday, April 18th: After Becky dreams of being chased by dogs in the Hunger Games because of the incessant howling/barking we heard all night, we head down for coffee!, breakfast, and MEETING THE KIDS!! It went beautifully. J4 greeted me with a hug, and called me "mom" right from the start. We played lots of soccer (he's really good!), he sung the alphabet, and told me he wants to be a pilot when he grows up. He is very active, but I was able to hold his attention for many short periods of time. He would give me good eye contact, especially when looking at pictures or playing soccer. He can name every animal in the book in English. His accent is perfect, and he sings like a dream. G5 is a chubby bundle of love! She came to me cautiously, but once she latched on she was VERY happy being held by me. She enjoyed looking at pictures of Daddy & siblings, blowing bubbles, and looking at books. She also gave good eye contact and let me feed her.  We went to Metro Pizza which was delish, and after the meeting time going so well, my appetite was back in force! We visited Abenezer and KVI orphanages and ate a relaxing dinner at the Guest House. I talked to my home team via Facetime for iPhone with no delay.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Court Trip Day 2

Tuesday, April 17: After riding in a row next to 4 babies for the last flight to Germany, I was feeling disgruntled that a cyanide pill was not included free with every plane ticket. While awake on the same flight, we note that there is a new European pony tail style (with the bottom banded also) that we feel certain will catch on in the US if we embrace it wholeheartedly. (Look for it soon in Glamor magazine!) After landing in Frankfort, we have no clue what time or day it is because there is a 7 hour time change, it is bright outside, 3 degrees (Celsius), and we realize that we have to take an even longer flight next. Becky orders water & I order the only coffee drink that I can understand since the menu is in German. It costs around $16. Starbucks is beginning to look pretty darn affordable right now. Imodium is starting to be consumed in bulk. On the flight to Addis, we have almost-Tiramisu,  Becky watches a movie about people being kidnapped, while I toss, turn & take more Imodium. Then we land in the Sudan. The capital city was very reddish brown (like Georgia clay) but we were only able to look out the windows. At different points of the journey Becky starts begging the pilot to land. Anywhere. She starts naming random countries she would rather be in than in our plane seat. We arrive in the capital city of Ethiopia around 9 pm (Addis time), which is exactly 24 hours after we took off from the capital of Louisiana. Finally in the city with my children, I am excited. We stand in a LONG line for visas, then customs, then luggage, then meet our driver/guide. The Yesabi Guest house (where we also stayed with our adoption in 2009) is lovely. We are told to be downstairs the next day at 9:30 am to meet the driver who will take us to meet the children. How you are supposed to rest after being hyped up with that amazing news, with dogs barking loudly, and club music pounding in your ears, I'm not sure!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Court Trip Day One

Monday, April 16th: Fly out of Louisiana. Becky & I leave combined 2 husbands & 7 children behind. There were tears. Pretty sure the kids' were mainly of joy that they were going to eat cereal, pizza, chicken nuggets, and pancakes all week since that is the sum of Daddy's culinary expertise. Flights were delayed. There was some panic that a domino effect would take place, causing us to miss all of our connecting flights. Houston was crazy stressful and we had to run & while Becky is athletic, I have a strict "no running unless being chased by someone with a knife" policy.  We were smelly, but made our flight on time.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Court date assigned & tickets booked!

We will go to court for the adoption of our two on April 20th!! Another family with our agency (I met her at Created 2 Care retreat) has court April 19th, so we will have travel buddies!! My friend from our church, Becky is going to be traveling with me to Ethiopia. The flight is 24 hours on the way there--Louisiana to Texas to Germany to Sudan (refuel) to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. On the way back we take the reverse route, but including layovers and going against the jet stream it is a short 32 hour trip. Are we there yet?

Monday, February 6, 2012


Today is our day!!! I woke up this morning thinking "today is a beautiful day for a referral!" and it was! After 5 pm, my phone rang it's special tone for AWAA & I stared at Dear Hubby like a dummy. At first I was paralyzed with shock, then raced to the mirror (not sure why I wanted to check my no-makeup face/ crazy hair for the phone call), while begging hubby to find my missing hot pink cell phone. Elise was there with the news we had been waiting 17 months and 3 days to hear. Are you sitting down? It's a girl. And. It's. a. boy. SIBLINGS! He is 4 and she is 1. They are beautiful. Can't wait to pinch their cheeks in person.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Created to Care Retreat

Home from the Created to Care Retreat! What a wonderful time celebrating the beauty of adoption with so many wonderful Christian moms. Favorite things: the sunrises, the fellowship, the worship (check out Gungor's "Beautiful Things" & Matt Redman's "Never Once"). Loved hanging out with my "adoption whisperer" friends, Into the Streets of Ethiopia's champions, fellow paper pregnant AWAA moms, moms of MANY (they drive the ever-so-cool conversion vans that scream "I homeschool!"), and getting helpful hints for healing my children, and living days with joyful hope and purpose.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Renewing fingerprints, home study, & sanity

We're "celebrating" 16 months DTE today. This wait has been brutal. Our USCIS fingerprints have now been renewed (good thing the office is in New Orleans sooo close to Cafe du Monde) & we are updating our home study so that it does not expire. Our new approval is for up to 2 children, 0-5 years old.