Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dear Levi and Jesse...........

Dear Levi and Jesse,

I know you're far away but I feel like you are in America already and in our house. I hope that you like the stuff we sent from here. I miss you lots and I know you can't read this, but there is something I want you little guys to know. I LOVE you very much and that I wish your little faces would pop up in front of me. Your picture is on our refrigerator and I wish you guys would pop out. I miss you very much and I wanted to tell you one last time, I love you.

Big Sister Kaylee

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Tanya's sister posted this on her blog and I was so moved, that I thought I would share it here too.
It really hit home with me, and God brought others to my mind as well.


by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, “Wait.”

“Wait? you say wait?” my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I’m claiming your Word.

“My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I’m needing a ‘yes’, a go-ahead sign,
Or even a ‘no’ to which I can resign.

“You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
I’m weary of asking! I need a reply.”

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, “Wait.”
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting for what?”

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

“I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You’d have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.

“You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there.
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

“You’d never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

“The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

“You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I’m doing in you.

“So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait.”

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Updates on the boys

We have received a tiny weeny piece of medical news on both boys. The care center in Addis sent us updated growth information. Both of the boys seem to be gaining weight. Jesse came into their care weighing 22.3 pounds on March 27, 2007 and on May 1st he weighed 22.9. Not much, but better than losing...... He is also 29 in. tall. Levi came into the center weighing 33 pounds and weighed 34.1 pounds on April 14th. He is 37 inches tall. We were also emailed a milestone report on Levi. It was a sort of checklist. Here are some of the questions they answered.
Does he use eating utensil.........Yes
Does he wash and dry his own face and hands.......Yes
Exibits a sense of humor.........Yes
Understands taking turns.........Yes
Can count 5 objects(not sure in what language?)........Yes

Some of the things they were checking, they weren't able to get an accurate account because of the language barrier. He fluently speaks his tribal language. He is currently learning Amharic (the national language) and English in pre-school. He goes every morning until right after lunch. We were also told that the boys get to spend time together everyday in the afternoon. They do not stay in the same area, so we are thankful the care center lets them be together often. I get choked up thinking of how soothing it must be for both of them to see each other and not feel so alone.

We did find out that our social worker in Minneapolis finally got her travel date to go. She is the one who will be delivering by hand the photo books we made for each of the boys. We put pictures of our immediate family, our house, yard and some rooms in the house. We also sent a digital recorder with our voices on it. We spoke to them, sang to them and each of the kids said a little message. Layne played his guitar while we all sang and Kaylee played her violin. Hopefully these little ones enjoy music. She will leave the states on June 1st and hopefully get some updated pictures of them while she is there. I asked her to hug them for us and tell them we can't wait to come for them.

This leads to what I am struggling the most with..............Not knowing when we will be traveling. I am daily asking God to give me patience in the wait. It is just really hard. We are hoping to hear soon, and in the meantime we are getting many things in order.



qoyta....that is how you say wait or waiting in Amharic (the Ethiopian Language)
We have been doing lots and lots of stuff around the house during this waiting period.
Here's a brief overview:
Painted both bedrooms
put bunk beds in both rooms (had to assemble them, it wasn't too bad)
Moved furniture around, the girls room has the white stuff now (book/toy shelf and new/used white dresser Tanya found at second-hand shop)
had to get some new mattresses for the beds, but God granted us a great deal at HOM furniture on some clearance mattresses.
moving clothes around, and digging out some of Isaacs old clothes for the boys to wear.
We now have couple extra box springs as it seems you don't need those when you have bunks. I'm not quite sure how to store them or if i even should.
We spoke at Fellowship of Christian Athletes for West High tonight. We haven't been involved with that for about 5 years now and it was really neat. We both shared our testimonies and how God has moved in us, our family and our newest members.
Maybe we can get some pictures of the rooms. The kids love their new beds.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Be Still and Know that I am God

The last few days have been spent painting bedrooms and getting ready for two sets of bunk beds. This leads into an incredible story about how our first set of bunk beds came into our possession.
The first Sunday after hearing about Levi and Jesse, we announced the news in church and displayed their pictures on the screen in the sanctuary. There was a new couple and their family visiting church this day and after listening to our news, they decided they wanted to help in some way.
The next morning, after looking our number up in the phone book, I get a phone call from Tammy and she said she had a question for us. She explained that the Lord was moving her and her husband to call to see if we had a need for any bunk beds?! I about croaked! Instantly, I was so touched at the thoughtfulness of this couple and their willingness to listen to the voice of the Lord, that was prompting them to call.
A little side note..........After hearing about the boys, Layne and I started looking on- line at bunk beds. We had decided that we would like to have the set in the boys room be the kind with a Full bed on the bottom and a twin on the top. This would enable Levi to sleep comfortably with Isaac or for one on us to lay by him if he was scared or sad in the night. Both Levi and Jesse are used to sleeping with others. Families in rural Ethiopia most of the time sleep in one room huts on the dirt floor with siblings or parents close by. So now with this added info, I will continue about the bunk beds.
Anyway, Tammy explained that they did not have a need for these like brand new beds because of a change in their sleeping arrangements. I explained we would want to pay them and she insisted that they wanted to "bless" us with these. She began to describe them to me. She said they were wooden and their was a FULL bed on the bottom and a single on the top. My eyes were moved to tears and instantly my thoughts were filled with reminders of how faithful and gracious our God is. With our finances already stretched beyond our means (but not God's), we were receiving bunk beds nicer than anything we would have been able to afford. God also provided some discounted mattresses from our friend who manages a furniture store in town.
Throughout this adoption I have been very tempted to be anxious about the total lack of finances in our budget to afford to do this. We did not begin this process because we had all the money saved or even an idea of where we would get it. We felt the Lord directing our hearts toward adopting children and caring for orphans. I am typing this and we still have about 7,00o dollars to come up with in order to bring our boys home.
Isn't it funny that because of bunk beds, I was reminded once again of how He provides. As I think and look at these bunk beds in our home, God reminds me of His precious words in Psalms 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God" Ahhhhh...........stillness in the Lord is a much more peaceful place to be, rather than doubting and anxious.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Happy Birthday, Isaac

Isaac will be 6 on May 9th. He had his party today with his little buddies. They had a blast.
The lunch served was Brats on the grill and Doritos, and strawberries, Coke or Root Beer to drink. We had cupcakes next. Right before Isaac blew out his candles, he shouted "I wish my brothers were here!" It was so sweet! It was rainy, so we went up to North Middle School and did games in the gym. That was so fun, they rode scooter boards, played kickball and wiffle ball. Then, they got to break a spongebob Pinata.
Kaylee got to spend most of the day with her best friend and they even went out to supper at a Mexican place.

I'll post some pictures of the party in the near future, gotta hit the hay!