Saturday, June 30, 2007

Praise God from who all bessings flow!!!

Tonight is June 30th. One week from today we will have met Levi and Jesse in person! I cannot put together words to express my feelings. Overjoyed to say the least. Most of the time, I feel like I am in a big bubble.

I wanted to take just a moment before bed to express how the Lord has provided for this international adoption. We didn't begin this process with much money saved. (approx $5,ooo) We knew our costs could be at the least, 20,000 or more. ( we are at the MORE because of God blessing us with 2 instead of 1) We were trusting by faith and grace, that He would provide what we needed, if this was the plan He had for us. We assumed we would probably need to take out a second mortgage on our home. What is money anyway, huh?! You don't take it with you when you die, and what an honor to spend it the way the Lord guides you!

To be very honest, there were many times I really struggled with being anxious about our financial need., and then God would provide just what we needed for that moment. For example, at one point we needed 700$ to pay off our home study fees. We were rear-ended in our van. (very very minimal damage that we could live with) Because there was such difficulty getting a police report to the insurance company of the man who hit us, he offered to just pay us cash for the damage done. His delivery of 650 dollars came just in time to pay off this bill.

God has been so very creative in providing the funds. We stand in amazement and awe as we will be traveling in 5 days with absolutely NO DEPT! Here are just some of the ways God has provided: donations from our local church body, gifts from family and friends, a grant fund, a garage sale at our church where families donated stuff to sell, tax refunds, our new job of cleaning our church, eating in instead of out, doing things that cost little for entertainment.
As the costs added up, so did the blessings, and it is just an amazing testimony of God's grace at every step.
It occured to us that one of the reasons we are posting this is that there may possibly be someone or some family who is thinking about adopting, but thinks that the dollars is too big an obstacle. If He is calling you to go forward, He will make a way, even if you have to mortgage your house :)
going to bed now, need our rest...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Today was a busy busy day. I am thankful to my cousin, Natalie, for being here to help with the kiddos! It was rainy all day and she did a wonderful job keeping them busy. They made goop, rock candy and puppets. Kaylee had a Barbie playmate and Isaac had a cheering section as he played The kids also made a paper chain to count off the days until we leave for Ethiopia. We will have to make another for them to count down for our return.

I was busy making airline arrangements, getting legal paperwork together, sorting clothes to pack for Levi and Jesse and keeping up on laundry. My head is swimming. I decided to write all the things I have to do down and sort them into categories. Each topic has its own list. Here are the topics so far.

Adoption to do
Phone calls
House Projects
Church Commitments

This has helped me from letting my mind wonder to far. I am also trying to ask God daily for the grace to not be overwhelmed. Philippians 4:6-7 has been encouraging. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I need much grace to be able to go to Him in prayer in the midst of my mind spinning into "task" mode. I long to be near to the Lord as I prepare all these things.

Tonight I had a sad feeling............Levi is heavy on my heart. Poor precious little one. He has so many more upcoming changes. He has already been through so much. Layne and I are feeling the urgency to pray that he will bond to us quickly. I can't imagine how our little Erin would react if all of her familiar surroundings, her mommy, daddy, and siblings were all of a sudden gone. The grief seems unrepairable. How he must long for his Ethiopian family............

Dear Lord,
You are a great God! You are the ultimate healer and comforter. It is by faith in you alone that I can say with confidence that you are working all of this together for the good of those who love you. Please comfort the boys. Help them grieve and feel Your comfort through our love. I am thankful for your presence when my faith begins to flounder. Some days I wonder if we are making the right choice and then YOU remind me of the way you have orchestrated all this to come into place and I feel peace and excitement for what is to come. I cannot wait to get my hands on these precious ones.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Were going get the boys!

Today we received the call we've been waiting for since April 17th. Around 4:30pm today, we were told that we were declared (legally) in the courts of Addis Ababa the parents of Habtamu (Jesse) and Geremu (Levi). Overjoyed! Thrilled! Excited! Nervous!
Tanya was quickly on the phone with the Travel arranger guy and attempting to work out flights and times, etc. Tentatively, July 5th looks like the day we will leave SC and get into Washington DC. We would then leave DC for Ethiopia on the 6th and arrive on the 7th (Thats a Sat.) With timezone changes, we'll pretty much lose about 10 hours. July 14th looks like it could be the return date. We would like to fly in to SC if possible. It would be ideal to not have to drive after flying and being jetlagged.

So many of you have joined us in praying towards bringing our little guys home! Thank you so much!! The reality of getting closer to having them here with us is hitting us and we still have stuff to get done before we go. More to come....

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Go Eagles

My nephew plays baseball for the Eagles and we went to his game tonight! The kids had fun and they reallllly love to see their cousin! They got to each have a dollar to spend at the concession stand.
The girl at the stand said to Erin, "What would you like?"
Erin: "candy"
Girl at the stand: "what kind"
Erin: "red"

It was very cute!
Note the bloody right knee on Isaac. Just before that picture, Isaac skidded on the pavement. No
tears, tough guy.

Updates on the Boys

We received a physical growth update on Habtamu (Jesse) yesterday. I thought I would just post both of their growth chart readings since they have been in the care center.


3/27 weight 22.35 lbs and 29.13 inches
5/1 22.97 lbs and 29.72 inches
6/3 24.64 lbs and 30.31 inches (great gains here!!!!)

Levi (Geremu)

3/27 weight 33lbs and 37.2 inches
4/15 34.17lbs and 37.4 inches
5/15 34.17lbs and 37.4 inches ( no growth here, we are praying for more gains)

We continue to pray for our paperwork to clear the Ethiopian courts(possibly by June 6th) We are very excited to get there soon!


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Happy 3rd Birthday, Erin!

Our little girl turned 3 today,.
In her words "my birfday is June furd!"
We had a family party and it was fun!
great aunts and uncles came, Grandmas and Grandpas, teens and youngsters. A good time was had by all.
We started around 2:15ish, and we opened presents first, then we did cake, desserts, coffee or juice and ICE CREAM! Erin's cake was a Princess cake! She got clothes, flipflops, books, a backpack, some dollies, and a really cool Puppet Theatre that her bopie made. It hangs in the doorway.
She was so excited to have her party and she said to me before everyone came..."I'm queen of the day!"

Friday, June 01, 2007

The village of Hossana

When we received the referral for the boys, we found out that we have the opportunity to travel south of Addis to the village of Hossana to meet Levi and Jesse's biological family. Most likely it will only be their Ethiopian mom. The father is suffering with illness and someone needs to remain behind to tend to their small piece of farm land. Conditions there are incomprehensible for us to relate to. They grow food to survive and most families are having a difficult doing this with. Starvation is a reality to most of these families, education and medical treatment is virtually unattainable. Our boys have most likely never been to a doctor until they entered the care center 3months ago now.

Layne and I have cried many tears imagining this meeting. What will we say? The picture in my mind is crying uncontrollably and wanting to hug and hold this woman, assure her of our love for these beautiful boys and the commitment to love them forever. I long for her to tell me as many details about their childhood as can be translated and what she wants them to grow up hearing about their Ethiopian family and their country of birth. We will always be very open with Levi and Jesse about how much they were loved by them. In a way our whole family will now be grafted into this family on the other side of the world.

My intent in writing this post was to record the list of items we have been told to pack for our day trip into VERY rural countryside in the southern region. Layne and I have never traveled out of the country before and we can't think of a better first experience than to bring home the boys God has ordained to be a part of our family forever.

Trip South Packing List( We will be gone from the orphanage about 13 hours)

water for the whole day
snacks for the day
hand sanitizer
baby wipes for cleaning
pictures or our family and the boys for the Ethiopian family
map of the world with Iowa circled and united with a line to Ethiopia(most of these people have never been educated or seen a world map)
bug spray
medications(malaria meds, Advil)
handkerchief to cover face and protect from the dust
All packed in a comfortable backpack

Thats all for now