Wednesday, December 20, 2006


A letter arrived from Homeland Security office notifying us that we have an appointment in Sioux Falls to get fingerprinted. Yeah!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

36th Birthday

My birthday was Saturday and I couldn't help but think how close my birthday will be to our new child's birthday in Ethiopia. I am continuing to be refined and my faith tested as we move farther and farther along in the process. Tanya went Friday and applied for her passport at the P.O. I will go tomorrow and apply for mine. I learned that my Dad was born in Spencer, Iowa and my Father-in-law was born in Lincoln. My mom and Tanya's mom were born in the same hospital! How cool is that. I wonder where our new baby will be born (or was born)? Completely different from anything we have ever experienced, I'm sure!
We are now beginning to apply for different adoption grants. I printed out the application from Steven Curtis Chapman's website and another one from Sioux Center. We are praying that God will grant us more grace and more faith over the next few months. We really want to use this time of waiting to strengthen our family bond in Christ. Teaching and preparing the kids for what is to come.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The blessing of Pinkeye

Completed the Dossier! Today we are sending it in and it was largely made possible by the fact that I had pinkeye. I was contagious, so I couldn't go to work, therefore Tanya was able to go run around and tie up some loose ends, like making copies, getting money orders and running to the bank.
I need to write these entries more often, so I will try to do better on the updates.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Home Study Approved

Our Home Study received approval by CHSFS!
We know have our paperwork for completing our Dossier.
The Dossier is the culmination of documents that will be sent on to Ethiopia to represent our family.
Lord willing, we hope to have this done by the end of Nov. and then would officially begin our 4-6 month wait for a baby.

Kaylee mentioned the other day that she really hopes we get twins :)

If the Lord leads you, please pray that we would be efficient and accurate in filling out the paperwork.

L & T

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ethiopian Ministry

We went to a meeting tonight with our friends the Langton's at a home in McCook Lake, SD.
There is a family here in Sioux City that is from Ethiopia. They have a ministry (Generosity International) in Ethiopia in some villages. They assist farmers, start schools and support churches. We went to hear more about their country and to meet this family. It was very informative and it turns out that our Kaylee goes to Clark School with their oldest daughter. They hit it off famously and had fun talking and playing together. We hope to meet with this family again and have more time to talk with them, not just about their culture, but about their ministry and their faith.
I took some pictures, they are at
The Langton's I have mentioned before. They adopted from Ethiopia in '04 and are patiently waiting for a referral for a new addition to their family.


update: the website for the ministry we heard about is

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Homeland Security

I sent in the form (CIS) that allows citizenship for the baby when it arrives today. It goes to Des Moines and then they set up an appointment for us in Omaha to get fingerprinted. It usually takes 60-90 days to process this document. Longer than I thought or expected.
We should hear tomorrow or Monday if our home study has been approved from CHSFS.
After we hear from the agency, nothing else can go forward until that CIS form process and we get fingerprinted.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Another "baby" step

Our Home Study reached Kristina at Children's Home in Minneapolis today!!
It goes to their social worker for Review and that usually takes about at week - It is about 11 pages, not counting all the documents that go with it.

Now we begin our International side of the paperwork. We hope (Lord willing) to be done with all paperwork by the end of November and then be officially awaiting a baby- WOW! Children's Home is saying that the wait will be between 4&6 months. God is so good!


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Final Home Study visit 10-19-06

We went to Schleswig, Iowa again today and visited with Janette for our final HomeStudy visit.
It was good to visit with her again and hand in all of our paper work for Luth. Family Services and get signatures on much of the things for Children's Home.
Janette will be emailing off our home study to Children's Home tomorrow. There is much more paperwork to be done, because the next step is the dossier. We don't know much about this yet, but the dossier is what goes over to Ethiopia to the orphanage and represents our family. It is very exciting to see how God has sustained us throughout the process so far. It is evident more than ever that it is God that is giving us this desire to adopt.
We are looking forward to the next few weeks in how our home study will travel from Schleswig to minneapolis then to Fort Dodge then on to Ethiopia. Please pray with us and for us. Here are some other things that are coming up in the next few weeks.
1. Our family Dr. told us to start preparing to travel by getting vaccinations. It makes me think about the lack of medical supplies that the Ethiopian people have. We are so blessed here in the USA.
2. We need to look into grants and funding opportunities that are available. We know of one that we will be applying for from Sioux Center and there are others out there that we need to apply for. The costs are beginning to pile up quick.
3. Getting passports and filling out paperwork for a visa for a baby from the Embassy, i think the form is called an I-600.
4. Getting fingerprinted - i'm not sure where we do this, hopefully we can do it right here in town, we've heard that others have had to travel to Omaha or Des Moines.

Thanks - I'll write again soon.


Monday, October 09, 2006

update 10-8-06

It's been about a week since our last post and returning from Minneapolis to visit the agency.
A crazy week it has been! We are coming up on our final home visit appointment, however, we are in need of prayer to finish up all the paperwork forms, retrieval of letters from employers, police departments, birth certificates and much, much more!
There are some things that are a bit time consuming to attain and we just need grace in staying on top of all there is to be done.
This weekend we had a conference at our church where Jerry Bridges taught about the Sovereignty of God. It was so encouraging to know and to hear that God has planned every detail (even the bumps in the road) for our good and ultimately for His Glory. It really allows for no complaining from us. However, calling out for prayer and being in need is completely appropriate. God puts others around us and uses others to complete His purposes!
Thank you for your prayers and support. I will try to post more frequently to keep everyone up to date.


Saturday, September 30, 2006

Minneapolis 9-29-06 CHSFS VISIT


I am blogging from Jaimee Jo's (Tanya's Sister) apartment in Minneapolis. We came up here on Thursday evening and are staying through Sunday.
Yesterday we met with Kristina from Children's Home here in Minneapolis. We had such a wonderful conversation! It was so good to meet and put faces with the voices we've been hearing on the phone. It was also so encouraging to hear their stories and as you can guess, give hugs! We are so happy that God has put us with Children's Home. They are so good at what they are doing, and they really care about families. Kaylee and Isaac went into the agency went with us. They were really good and they also got to watch the video that they made from the orphanage in Addis Ababa (Capital City of Ethiopia). The video was a very good depiction of life there. It was amazing to see how well the kids there are cared for. The video showed how they sun the kids, how they bathe them, feed them and sing, dance and play with them. Kaylee and Isaac didn't really like to see how they had to give them the shots and take blood samples for tests. Erin stayed with Lea and played with Malachi and Claira.
We also got to meet Jan who actually started the program for Ethiopia. She came into work on her day off because they had a referral for a family and they were going to call someone and tell them. They were so excited and it was really neat to see that.
The pictures above are as follows: The map picture shows how many kids have been placed by CHSFS from in homes. However, that was last year. It is now over 300!! The picture with the Ethiopian woman is from the Restaurant called Fasika here in St. Paul. It is an Ethiopian restaurant and the food was SOOOOOOO GOOD! We had Injera bread and Chicken Tibs. Injera bread is like this pizza crust sized bread that is a little spongy/moist like a pancake. By itself it really doesn't have much flavor, but it was so good with the chicken and vegetables. We all shared it, Tanya, Me, Lea, and Jaimee. Then we talked to the customers and they were all from Addis! they were so friendly and willing to answer our questions. Our waitress just came to America 11 mos. ago. We also went to a small Ethiopian market across the street, we are learning a great deal about the Ethiopian Culture. There is so much to tell but the morning is heating up here at Jaimee's apt. so I better go!


Monday, September 25, 2006

Update 9-25-06

Hello again everybody,
I want to keep writing in here, but it has been a few days.
We met again with our Social Worker for our 2nd Home Study visit last Fri. We had an exceptional talk and are thanking God so much for her!! She has been so helpful and easy to talk to. We drove to Schleswig, Iowa, where she lives and talked for about three hours. It was like a date for us Tanya and I because the kids were being cared for at home by some loving friends and family! We had a great talk for the hour ride down and hour back through the very beautiful loess hills.
I'll write more later.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Praying for our birth mother

This weekend as I was busily going on about my business of birthday party planning, church sunday school kickoff plans, laundry etc......I was reminded by the Holy Spirit to pray. I was walking down the stairs to our basement and all of a sudden my heart was instantly aching to pray for the health of our child and the birth mother. Most likely our child is conceived. Probably not born yet, but the reality that he or she is alive and growing is overwhelming. What pain and suffering is this birth mother going through. Does she have adequate food, water, nutrition? Most likely not. Oh, how I took for granted in my pregnancies all the medical care, proper diet, ultra sounds, prenatal vitamins, shelter.........There are so many unknowns as we wait on the Lord for our new precious child.
Dear Lord, I pray for the birth mother of our child. I know nothing of her situation. It is comforting to know you are in control of all things. I pray some how she would hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray that You would be her hope. I pray for our child or children. I am feeling anxious about the realization that there are so many things I cannot control like I was able to with Kaylee, Isaac and Erin. Lord, you are teaching me to trust in You more. Thank you for your grace in my life. Thank you for giving us the desire to adopt.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Happy Birthday, Kaylee

Golden Birthday tomorrow for Kaylee. She just laid down for bed and has that smile on her face- you know that special smile you have when you know that when you wake up you'll be 8 years old! Wow, i can't believe she is that age. Just yesterday she was five and the day before that she was 3. We started this blog for our adoption stuff, but it is also about our family and this is the big excitement for the next couple of days. We did do another round of cleaning at church tonite. It went well and i think we will have a pretty good system down after tonite for future cleanings!
In other adoption news, We will probably have another home study appointment in about 2 weeks. Right now we are going through some training materials from CHSFS agency and it has been excellent! We are praying for a someone somewhere on the other side of the world who will be (or may already be) carrying a child that God has designated for our family. I am asking God for faith!


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

God Provides Us With Adoption Funds

Tonight was the first night we officially began the cleaning duties of our church. We are praising God for the opportunity to earn money to put toward our adoption expenses. As we think of the upcoming adoption expenses we realize that it is because of God's grace we have a peace. We don't have 20,000 dollars. However, we know God has put the desire to adopt into our hearts and we are trusting Him to provide the funds. Even if we have to go into debt, I cannot imagine a better reason. We are beginning to feel such a bond to the baby He has chosen for us.
A few weeks ago, Isaac came to me with all of his piggy bank change. He said, "Momma, I want you to have my money to help buy our baby." (smile) I was so touched by his motivation to contribute. So this enthusiasm is now being directed toward church janitorial duties. Tonight this included emptying garbage cans, dusting window sills, scrubbing tables and polishing the drinking fountain. Kaylee was also such a big help cleaning tables, dusting, organizing sunday school curriculum, and keeping track of Erin who was running around barefoot happily chasing a rubber ball. We grabbed cheeseburgers and had a picnic before we began. Layne hopes to bring some music next time so we can dance around the church as we clean. (smile)
Well, as a mom who is experiencing the many blessings of raising three I am so excited for the adventure we are on as we are officially "expecting" our fourth child (possibly 5th if God has twins in store for us).

Monday, September 04, 2006

Mr. P's Pizza

We met with a couple who has a little girl from Ethiopia. The Langtons. It was so exciting and they were great!
I can't believe how God works. It turns out that Ta knew the girl from when she was at N'western and they lived on the same hall! Also, The Langtons traveled to Ethiopia with a family from Nebraska that we have e-mailed and talked with about at year ago. The Langtons are actually awaiting a referral right now and could be traveling back to Ethiopia very soon. God is growing their family even more!

It was just very obvious that God brought our families together and to hear their story was just amazing. I know our story will be very different, but to know what they did and who they met, how they traveled. It was very encouraging and exciting to hear.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Our First Post to New Blog!!
As we are beginning the process of adoption from Ethiopia, we thought it would be good to start a blog. This will be a place where we can post what is happening along the process, scripture and moments that have encouraged us. I am sure we will face some struggles along the way, we can use this blog to share our prayer requests and struggles.
To date, we have had one visit from our social worker (Aug. 24th, 2006) She came and did a walk through in our home and talked with us and the kids about the changes that are to come in our family. She was very encouraging, and helpful. We handed in essays to her and applications (the beginning of paperwork). She noted that we would meet atleast 2 more times and along the way there would be some more paperwork and some introductory materials coming from our agency (CHSFS)
I (Daddy) am feeling VERY excited to be starting the actual process. I feel that adoption has been on my heart for the past year and Ethiopian adoption for about the last 8 months. There are some things that have come up during this past year that God has brought me to my knees over. Questions of how this child will adjust to being in an all white family growing up. How our family will handle questions or statements made by people who don't understand why we would want to adopt. How God will be glorified through these changes that will come to our family. God continually brings me back to His adoption of me into His family. The unmerited mercy Christ has shown to me on the cross by cancelling out my sin and giving me new life. That love that shows no boundaries and overcomes all questions, doubts and fears. Thanks be to God!