Visiting Lalibela

Visiting Lalibela

Monday, November 30, 2009

What a GREAT day!

We just got off the webcam with Kashiku!!! We've been praying this little boy home, since we met him in Addis Ababa in June. He is beautiful beyond words and so happy with his new Mommy and Daddy. We can't wait to see him in person in a few months (or sooner, if we can think of a reason to get to Kentucky).

Karen and JM, thank you for letting us be a part of your family!!

The internet has been a huge blessing in helping our children stay connected with others from their home. We are so looking forward to our trip in March, to reunite our children with their good friends.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Shopping with a purpose this Christmas

I have to admit, I copied this idea from another family's blog, the Weimer Family. It is such a good idea, that I wanted to post it here too.

This Christmas, as you're buying gifts for people, pray about buying items from families who are in the process of or completing their adoptions. Adoption is, quite honestly, VERY expensive. Unfortunately, it is the expense of it, that keeps people from even considering bringing a child into their homes. As an adoptive parent, I want to see more kids placed in loving homes. What an incredible Christmas gift that would be- helping children find forever homes.

The following families and links are provided below. I'm sorry we're not computer savvy enough to take you right to the link--any help here is appreciated. So, just copy the web addresses into your brower and go. Read their blogs, see their hearts and help them bring their children home!! You can purchase GREAT fair trade coffee here to help with adoption related expenses. You can purchase COOL t-shirts here to help this family on their second Ethiopian adoption The Taylor family is selling t-shirts and coffee to help finance their SECOND Ethiopian adoption (they brought home their first two children a year ago. I have a link on the right here, so you can go to this website for the cutest little girl dresses (Layne would love one, hint hint) All of the proceeds from Sallee's sales go to finance their THIRD Ethiopian adoption. This family is selling custom photo Christmas cards to finance their adoption.

Ethiopian coffee is incredible (Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee). The following families are selling coffee to help fundraise their adoptions. This sure beats the big corporations getting the profits from a daily mocha!!

This family is on their second adoption adn are selling fair trade Bolga Baskets from a co-op in Ghana.

This family is selling $5 Christmas ornaments:

This family is financing their second adoption with cool magnets:

If you're a fan of Pampered Chef, this family will benefit from you buying the products from them. Their is a link on their blog:

Another neat t-shirt option:

As for us: We are saving for our re-adoption expenses right now. If you want to purchase any Shaklee products from our on-line store, this money will go towards those expenses and for the girls and I to go back to Ethiopia on mission trips:

Finally, I put a link to Amazima Ministries to the right. PLEASE click on it, read what this ministry is doing and be a part of it--Truly Amazing, a 21-year-old, feeding several hundred children each weekend, in Uganda, doing what God has called her to do..

Monday, November 23, 2009

Our friends, the Egly Family
I hope it works for you all to see this family. We traveled with them to Ethiopia and got to experience meeting our children together. Jason and Shelley, thanks for letting us continue to share in this journey. We can't wait to see you someday soon!

God is Good! We have much to be thankful for!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Layne and Zipper

It's been a tough few days around here for Layne (and for all of us). We discovered she had pneumonia yesterday, after listening to her cough worsen throughout Sunday afternoon. We caught it super early, so we're hoping it doesn't progress. She really hasn't been the same since she had Swine flu about a month ago.

Every night, Zipper jumps on Layne's bed, ready to sleep together. Every night, Layne tells us how much she loves having a snuggle dog.

Mike and I have been putting off putting Zipper down for just this reason. Our kids (okay, so include me in that too) love Zipper and our other dogs. So, today, when we had no choice but to visit the vet for that purpose, it was so tough...The big kids understand how badly he has been hurting- he had a bad disc, which caused his legs to go out from under him regularly, in this house of many stairs and chronic ear infections. To Layne and Gavin, it's very hard to understand...Layne took it HARD, which then caused her to cough all the more.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be brighter.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The unexpected

Before we went to Ethiopia, we expected trials: we expected language barriers, tough behaviors, sibling issues, food issues, difficulties with bonding, and grief on Gavin's part.

What I didn't expect was a HAPPY boy, who greets most things with a smile and a laugh.
I didn't expect him to LOVE us so very deeply and immediately.
I didn't expect he and Layne to be the best friends EVER.
I didn't expect him to crawl into my lap several times per day to wrap my arms around him.
I didn't expect Kael to enjoy him so much.
I didn't expect to hear him say, "I no laugh in Benchi. Here I laugh all the time."
I didn't expect him to learn to love our God so deeply so quickly.
I didn't expect him to run to help us anytime we need it.
I didn't expect his grief to be so short lived.
I didn't expect him to be SO athletic.
I didn't expect him to learn his letters and numbers so quickly.
I didn't expect the HUGE hugs he gives Mike every time he comes home or to me when I return from an errand.
I didn't expect him to share so well, when he's never had anything before.
I didn't expect to think he is SO cute!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


The last month has flown by with many, many new things to experience, here in North Dakota:

1. Gavin's first Halloween was met with "This is so, so cool, Mommy." This came as we were walking down the streets in downtown Williston, where merchants give the kids candy at every store. I can't even imagine how exciting it must have been for my son, who was always hungry a year ago to be handed candy of all things.

2. Gymnastics: Layne and Gavin have started in a gymnastics class and love it!!!

3. Basksetball: The girls are on a Rec team, with several practices under their belt. Kael joins them at an open gym, put on by the high school coaches a few nights per week. Through basketball, they have made two really good friends, who were so welcoming to them..much appreciated.

4. Homeschooling: Our schooling is going really well this year. We all love what we're learning and love the dynamic homeschool community here. As a family with 5 kids, we fit right in. We have a veteran homeschool family 4 houses away with neat kids who come over regularly. It's a real blessing to have such neat kids close.

5. Chocolate: Gavin just told me, "I like chocolate now, Mommy, yummy, yummy!!" SUCCESS-- it's only taken us 5 months, but he now appreciates our dessert of choice.

6. Adoptive community: We have been in contact with the AWAA families who also adopted children from Gavin's village. They are such an encouragement to us!! We are all planning to get the kids together in the spring so they can stay connected--what fun!! Watch out Indianapolis!

7. Church: I think we've found the church for our family to attend! We've visited there two Sundays now, and it is a really neat Body of Believers.

That about wraps it up. We are enjoying lots of Sunshine and being together as a family.

Monday, November 2, 2009

143,000,000 Orphans- Orphan Sunday this Sunday

YouTube - 143,000,000 Orphans

We copied this video after seeing it on Karen and John Mark's blog. Please watch it. Please pray how you can be involved.

Our t-shirts read: 143,000,000 orphans minus 1.

You really can make a difference in the life of an orphan. You too, can see he/she experience many new things, but most importantly, hear them say, "I love you Mommy and Daddy." You can help them feel safe, secure, well fed, and LOVED.