Visiting Lalibela

Visiting Lalibela

Friday, May 29, 2009

We had a great weekend!!

We had a fantastic Memorial Day Weekend, waiting, with anticipation to adding Gavin in 2 weeks. It was one year ago, on the 24th, that we applied to America World. It was also the 17th anniversary of our first date (not counting the one we went on in high school 2 years earlier). The pictures were taken just after a family game of Capture the Flag, in the backyard. I don't know who had more fun, the kids or Mom and Dad.
As usual, we took lots of pictures of Layne, who LOVES to have her picture taken.

We leave in one week!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

We have plane tickets (for almost everyone)

The kids and I made a quick trip to Billings today, for those last minute trip necessities. When we came back, our plane tickets were waiting on the front porch. I wanted to see if everything matched (didn't want some kids on a wrong flight without parents) and noticed there wasn't a ticket for GAVIN! I quickly emailed our travel agent, who replied that she found his ticket on her desk, after they sent us all the others. WHEW!! The whole point of going to Ethiopia is to bring Gavin home with us!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009


We had a successful kick-off to the Defending the Fatherless Fund Friday night. Thank you to all of the wonderful singers and friends who shared their adoption testimonies. We appreciate your hearts so much!

We have many t-shirts left-over, though (and so do our friends, the Halls) and want to let all of you bloggy friends take a peek. The message is important. On the front it reads (in the shape of Africa) "I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you." On the back "143 million ORPHANS minus 1." That's our slogan for our adoption, removing one wonderful child from the ranks of the 143,000,000 in the world.
Do you want one of these great t-shirts? We have several colors and sizes available. In addition to the colors shown below, we have men's shirts in grey and stone blue. We only have one pink size 5-6 girls shirt left. We'll sell them for $20 or 2 or more is $15/shirt. Email us at: for more information. We will ship shirts!

Anticipation for things to come

Layne has improved greatly this past weekend, and is again keeping us in stitches. With Mike home all weekend, we are really enjoying family time, playing soccer in the yard and going for some nice walks. We are looking forward in anticipation for meeting Gavin in two weeks and then bringing him home....
We know the first few months will be trying and honestly, probably pretty scary for him, as he leaves all he's ever known. We do, though, have great faith that God will work in our family to bind us together..We remembered those first few months of Layne's life, when all she did was scream (she was in constant pain from reflux), how tough they were and how we would go through them again, in a heartbeat to have her in our lives....

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Layne Belle

Yesterday, we wondered why we weren't able to travel today. We were packed and ready to roll. God, however, had this wonderful plan in place. We started to see the plan unfold quickly today, as Layne became pretty sick pretty fast. My usual bubbly, talkative 4-year-old was FLAT, laying on the couch with a high fever. Fortunately, Dr. Bowers (does she know how much we love her?) had a cancellation, and we were in her office by 1:30. She ordered blood work and my little peanut really is sick!! She has a bacterial infection with a high white count.

My Mommy's heart is so thankful that I was here to hold my little girl today and can sleep with her tonight. I am so thankful that I live in a country where I have access to great doctors and medicines. I am so thankful that I am a Mommy to such great children. My heart is sad though too-- sad that if my Gavin gets sick, I'm not there yet to hold him. Who holds him when he feels lousy? Who holds all of those beautiful children?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Funny Today

We needed a laugh today, after learning we wouldn't travel tomorrow. Leave it to Layne, our smile machine. We were driving back from town and the kids were watching a Lilo and Stitch movie in the car. Stitch said something none of us could understand. To that, Layne responded, "We should go to Roosters and get a CD of HIS language, so we can learn it too." I died....

Thank you God for the gift of children!!


The Center for Vital Records in Ethiopia was unable to process Gavin's birth certificate, so we are unable to leave tomorrow. We are very disappointed... and trying to process all of this. We will now be traveling with the June 6th travel group. This was a tough morning for all involved, including the staff at AW. We know that God works all for good!!

For those of you who gave us donations...thank you. They are packed and ready for the next go-around.

Please pray for Gavin, as he spends two more weeks away from us.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Still waiting on paperwork

Kristen just emailed from AWAA. She will know by 9 am (EST) tomorrow morning if we are leaving Thursday. 4 families are waiting for this last minute paperwork. Your prayers are appreciated for all of us!! If the paperwork is completed while we sleep, we will all travel together and have a pretty large travel group.

Thankfully, our travel agent can reshedule our tickets up until tomorrow night, so we won't suffer any penalities if we have to wait 2 more weeks.

Off to guitar lessons with Janika and then soccer tonight.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Paperwork is not there yet...

We just found out that our paperwork is not completed in Ethiopia yet. The in-country staff is working diligently to complete everything. We will find out tomorrow, or Weds, at the latest, if we're leaving Thursday. Trying to keep good humor here, as it's all beyond our control....We are not the only family that this affects, as several others will make last minute flight arrangements too.

Travel Details to be confirmed tomorrow.

We should hear tomorrow morning from America World, if we are able to travel at the end of the week. We had a fantastic weekend, as a family, collecting, sorting and packing donations. We are so very thankful for all of the families who donated formula, Gatorade packets and clothes. We will take lots of pictures so you can see where your donations went.

Our church family, Cornerstone, prayed over us this morning. We love you all! Thank you for all of your support. We hope this trip will spark a love of missions in all of our kids (and maybe Mom and Dad too).

As we get closer to travel, Layne is getting a bit overwhelmed. She really doesn't want to go with us, but hasn't been away from us very much either. It's a bit much for a 4-year-old. We just know, though, the extensive lay-overs we have will be tough on even the big kids and know that she will be so well loved while we are gone. I've got to figure out the whole international calling card thing tonight, so she can hear our voices while we're gone. Thank you again, Myrna and Dad for keeping her with you! She can't wait for her "special trip" to begin!

Gavin, we're getting so much closer to bringing you home!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Moving at Lightning Speed!

When we received our referral, our agency asked us if we could leave a lot sooner than expected, so we've been running around, gathering donations and formulating our packing lists. We will find out on Monday if we leave next week. Because of the change in itineraries, Layne will be staying in Wyoming and meeting Gavin when we get back. Elli, Janika and Kael will be joining us on this adventure and couldn't be more excited. (Layne's equally as excited to have Myrna and Papa to herself for a week).

We have received many donations of formula and medical supplies. Our local mission organization, Vision Beyond Borders, supplied us with boxes of pediatric medical supplies. It was truly a blessing to spend the afternoon with their staff, sorting through boxes. We will be maxing out our allowed luggage for the trip and pray for no overage fees from the airlines.
Thank you all for your continued prayers. This week has really flown by!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


We just found out that Gavin Dawit Sweeney is officially our son! We're crying tears of joy. Here's his referral picture, it's our favorite one of him.
There's a chance that we can travel earlier than more on that later.
Praise God!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Court Tonight

Tonight's the night! Please pray that we would find favor with the judge and with MOWA (ministry of Women's Affairs). Several families with our agency have failed court in the past two days, so there is a chance we might not pass tonight, but we are hopeful. We are praying for these families, that they will pass on their second attempt.

If we pass tonight, you will all get to see Gavin's picture tomorrow! Thank you prayer warriors!!!!!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

3 days until court!

We only have 3 days until we find out if we passed court! Thank you all for praying that our case will be approved and Gavin will officially be a Sweeney.

On this Mother's Day, I want to say how thankful I am to have the husband that I do, who lets me be the Mom to 5 kids! Thanks, Mike for working so hard for all of us! We all love you!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Defending the Fatherless Fund

Join us May 22, as we kick off the Defending the Fatherless Fund! This fund will provide financial assistance to Christians, from Sheridan, to pursue adoption. We are so excited about this Benefit Concert, as it features singers from 6 local churches! We will have amazing video, awesome singing and testimonies.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Travel Dates!!

We just received our tentative travel dates. They are tentative, because it all depends on if we pass court next week. We should expect to travel June 6-13. This is great timing for Mike's job, allowing him to really get a good start on this new project.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

One Week Until Court!

In one week, we'll learn if Gavin is legally our son! I would like to ask for you all to join me in praying all this week that we would pass court the first time. The case will be heard while we're sleeping (or not) next Tuesday night.

Thank you!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Childrens HopeChest

Many of you have asked, "Why Ethiopia?" Well, for me (Stacy), it started with reading "Red Letters, Living a Life that Bleeds." This book, written by Tom Davis, challenges us all to live the red letters, those words in your Bible, that Jesus spoke. It is primarily about the AIDS crisis in Africa and the MILLIONS of orphans left to fend for themselves. It opened my eyes and the eyes of my family to the need for us to live what we believe.

Now, Children's Hope Chest, Tom Davis's organization, is partnering with our agency, America World, to help bring Nutramigen to the orphans in Ethiopia. It really is that important! Please, go to their website and read what Tom has written and pass the word around. Also, spend some time on the blog, but be careful, it might change your life, as it did our's!

The link to Tom's blog

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Now Taking Donations

Here is a list of donations we will be accepting to take with us to Ethiopia:

1. Nutramigen formula (BIGGEST NEED)
2. Powdered infant formula with DHA/RHA
3. Children's clothing (new or slightly used- no junk please) 0-8 years
4. Diaper rash cream
5. Children's multi-vitamins
6. Children's Tylenol
7. Surgical Gloves
8. Disposablet Gloves
9. Neosporin
10. Hydrocortisone Cream
11. mouth and nose masks
12. Benadryl liquid/elixir
13. lice kits
14. Dandruff Shampoo
15. Anti-fungal Cream
16. Alcohol swabs

Also, if you have access to pediatric medical supplies, like syringes, feeding tubes, canulas, antibiotics, etc. we would LOVE to take these as well.

We will be delivering these supplies to our Transition Home and to two orphanages in Addis. We will have collection boxes at Cornerstone Church, starting on May 10, or you can call us and we'll pick supplies up at your home!

Thank you!!