Visiting Lalibela

Visiting Lalibela

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

file under review

These are some of the sweetest words I've ever been able to type. We were able to receive some of the information on the chidren we hope to be able to adopt and looked at our agency's waiting child list this morning. Under their names, were the words, file under review...We've been so excited to see their status change. Now, when we get the rest of their referral information and send back our referral acceptance, their sweet pictures will leave the waiting child list forever!!!

We are on fast forward now..We should finalize our homestudy today with our social worker. I can officially send in our dossier next week (NEXT't expecting that for at least another month).

We continue to be blown away by the donations to our garage sale..Please pray for it to go as well as we expect. The sale is the 15th of May and the timing couldn't be more perfect, since all of our adoption monies will be paid in the next two weeks, instead of next month, like we thought. God is so good and we are getting so excited to start the next leg of this journey--travel to meet the kids and testify in court on their behalf.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My boy is happy

Just wanted to share this picture that Gavin drew of the two of us! He is the sweetest boy and loves drawing himself with various family members, all wearing huge smiles. I love the heart surrounding the two of us. Our boy is happy. He feels loved..It makes us smile.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Homestudy write up almost complete

We are just about to go into warp speed for our next adoption. Our SW just called and said she had the rough draft to our HS completed. She will be in Williston on Weds, so we're hoping to have the kids' file to reveiw by then and can review it with her. Once the HS is finalized, which shouldn't take very long at all, just some tweeking from our agency and Catholic Charities, we can submit itto USCIS, await our fingerprinting appointment and then send in our dossier!!! We are really hoping to have it all sent to Ethiopia by the end of May--need prayers here.

So, this is where the cart and horse meet. We have one month to come up with the financing to complete this next adoption. I want to be really honest and transparent here, adoption is expensive, especially when you just completed one one year ago. The cost is worth it though. Everytime I look at Gavin, I know the cost was worth it. Everytime I realize how much money was used in Ethiopia for other children, I know it was worth it. Everytime I hear my children pray for orphans to find a forever family, I know it was worth it. We spent just over $36,000 to bring Gavin home-That figure includes $13,000 in plane tickets, though, to take all of the other kids with us. If anyone goes besides Mike and me, we will try to take Elli and Janika. They are babysitting like crazy to try and pay for their own plane ticket- they REALLY want to go back and love on kids and meet their new siblings.

Would you join us in praying for God to move in a mighty way this month to meet this need? Usually, families have a long time to save towards adoption expenses. Our process for Gavin took exactly one year. We're hoping, from start to finish will be about 6-9 months.

We have a HUGE garage sale planned May 15, with donations coming in from lots of local friends and church family. It is really humbling to see how generous everyone has been. There will be 3 complete dining sets(tables and chairs), couches, desks, clothes, clothes, clothes, board games, toys, tv's and tools - we even have a brand new front door for a house!! We brought in one of Mike's cargo trailers to hold donations until the sale. Thank you Larsens and Liberty Evangelical Free Church- your support is amazing.

Mike's new business is busier than we expected- PRAISE the LORD!! We have no doubts about supporting these children, once they're here.

Thank you prayer warriors! Our family is so ready to be united with our next four members and really hoping that doesn't happen in the middle of a North Dakota winter-- what a shock it will be- a balmy 80 degrees to -20!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

All Are Precious In His Sight-- Prayers needed now!

All Are Precious In His Sight

Please, friends, take a minute or 10 and read the blog above. If you click on the grey letters, it will take you directly to the blog. Don't just read it, pray for beautiful Chrissie and her family as they go through this fight for Chrissie's life. Their story is beautiful, no matter what the outcome.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

here's the link to the blog I wanted everyone to read.

Positively adopted

Several adoptive families have started a new blog about living life with an HIV positive child. You can go to to learn more about life with an HIV + child.

To be honest, when starting Gavin's adoption, we had the option of checking the box that said we would accept a child with HIV. At that time, we didn't feel that that was something we were equipped to deal with--oh, how much I've learned in the meantime. I hope this blog will be an inspiration to other parents. I hope it will encourage more families to adopt a child with HIV. These children have an almost normal life in the US. In other countries, however, they will die from AIDS.

So, read, learn and pray for these families as they are truly taking a leap of faith and choosing to love a child who is sick by no fault of their own.

Friday, April 16, 2010

One year ago today!!

One year ago, today, I was working out at the Y, while my kids were in swimming lessons, when I got THE CALL. After the lessons, we rushed home to get on the computer and saw our first pictures of Gavin. I can't believe it's been a year!! This little boy continues to amaze us, with the person he is. We love you Gavin!!

See how excited the kids were to see their new brother?

Gavin loves his cousins Brad and Michael (actually ALL the Sweeneys do-). This picture was taken on our trip last month.

Layne and Gavin continue to be best friends. I am amazed by their patience and kindness to each other.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Responsible to act

We've been asked why we would go back to Ethiopia and adopt again. This Scripture verse says it all...

Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act.
Proverbs 24:12

There are an estimated 143 - 147 million orphans in the world. Now you KNOW. God knows you know...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Layne's 5 today!!

I can't believe that my baby girl is 5!! It seems like just a short time ago, we arrived at the hospital, baby carrier in hand, to start one of the best adventures of our lives.

We had no idea, when we went through foster parent training, that we would be adding a permanent member to our family- but GOD did! We didn't know, that when we brought her home, we would fall crazy in love with her- but GOD did. We didn't know that she would overcome all of the hurdles that she has- but GOD did! We didn't know that God would use this precious child to open our hearts to more kids--but HE did!!

On this April 12th, we are so very thankful for our FUNNY, SWEET, BEAUTIFUL, Layne Belle Sweeney. We have learned much from our five years with her.

There are millions of children out there, like my Layne. Millions of children who will thrive if put in a family who loves them.. Take that leap of faith and step out to love a child- it's the best decision you could ever make!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Getting Closer

Mike and I met with our SW today to finish up our homestudy interviews!! She really is fantastic, and a wealth of knowledge on all things adoption related. I'm so thankful to have her as our SW. She really is a breath of fresh air in this entire process.

NOW- we need to give her some time to write up our homestudy. It will then be approved by our agency, sent to USCIS (the Dept. of Homeland Security) and we wait for about a month to get our clearance back. Once that's done, we can send in the dossier. I have almost everything ready and can't wait to be able to officially put the kids' file under review.

We appreciate your continued prayers for the process, that there won't be any speed bumps along the way.

On to other news- Mike's new business, Summit Energy Services, is off to a wonderful start. We are thankful for all of the men who chose to stand by him, when the former company ceased operations here. The Summit Energy Team, is exactly that, a team and it's fun to watch it grow and develop. We continue to be amazed at the provisions God is allowing our family.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Resurrection Day Pix

We had a wonderful worship service this morning- awesome music, awesome message about living the Passion of Jesus's resurrection every day!!!!

Bert and Dr. Herr invited us to join them for an Easter meal with their family. This is them, with Gavin, at his adoption finalization. I've learned so much from them about hospitality, Christian service and love...They're really great!!

Legally Day!!

Finally, some pictures from Gavin's adoption finalization. We had such a great day- We were fortunate to have our good friends, the Larsen Family, join us. Grandma and Grandpa Sweeney were here and so were our wonderful, Dr. John and Bert Herr.

Mike's parents came for the whole week. They said they can't wait to be at our next adoption finalization.

These are our good friends, the Larsen Family. Oh, how fun it's been to get to know them and spend time with them.

Even though he's been our son for a long time in our hearts, the United States Government officially recognized his adoption on April 1, 2010.

All the great kids- who learned a lot on this wonderful morning- (did you know I love homeschooling?)

Thank you God, for Gavin Dawit Sweeney!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


The families in this picture have blessed us beyond measure. They adopted Gavin's friends from Bench Maji. This past year, they have all been a source of encouragement to us..hopefully, we've been able to encourage them as well. Study the picture and you will see beautiful chidren in beautiful families. These families are our family. We love them all. We are blessed.

Off to Gavin's readoption ceremony!!! He is BEYOND excited!