Kidd Ethiopia Adoption

Click HERE to watch us getting Endale at the orphanage

Click HERE to watch us getting Gabrielle at the orphanage

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year! 2008.....bring it on!

Well, it has been a MONTH since I last posted. A lot has happened and a lot has not happened.....if that makes sense. After learning that we were not getting our referral by the end of November AND then learning not December or January, most likely.....I sort of tuned out for a little. I didn't really tune out completely....let me assure you that my emotions were TUNED IN! I was so dissapointed/frustrated/mad/impatient/sad. I decided that the best thing I could do for myself and my family was to accept this (for the time being) and focus on gettting ready for Christmas and truly enjoying the holidays. I did that pretty successfully. I enjoyed my kids to the max, enjoyed the time with my dear hubby (always such a romantic time of year I think), spent amazing time with family and friends. I did have many "moments" that Pete needed to wrap his arms around me and assure me to keep the faith and we would see movement soon. We even came up with a plan one night after Christmas to contact our agency to find out what possible things we could do to help the situation, and get clarity on what the heck is going on. Since then all Oct. 3 families have had successful court dates and they are to be travelling the end of I am feeling a little more hopeful once again, since there is movement. I am still hanging to hear of court dates for the Oct. 13 families and am so dissapointed that our agency has not gotten this mess cleared up as of yet. I know now they are working hard, but oh Lord, this CAN NOT happen to us. So my thoughts as of now are this:

1. So psyched families are getting ready to travel in a couple weeks, they must be SOOOO ready after all this time!
2. Assuming/hoping/praying/pleading referrals will come in the next week or so
3. Thinking we will be in second batch of referrals
4. When the current group of babies living in the Transitional home move out to join their families, I assume my baby/ies will be the next batch in exciting! (never too hopeful though.....see I am learning)
5. Making appointment to go to agency to meet new director and meet the CEO. This should be great. I am praying there is some way we can help and praying we get a good understanding of timing and assurance that we will not be put through what the current families have gone through.
6. Learning of many families in our county who are adopting or have adopted from ET. This is so exciting and makes me feel so good. What a great feeling to know that my family can have a support network right here in our town.....and how important for our kiddos!!

Happy new year! Hopefully more to come soon......

Friday, November 30, 2007


The Power of Patience

Patience pertains to every phase as we work through our adoptions. It could be a physical that can't get scheduled, a pile of paperwork that just doesn't seem to get smaller, that darn I-171 that STILL hasn't shown up, the home study that seems to be taking months to wrap-up, the wait for a referral, the wait for a court date, and finally the last wait is to physically wrap our arms around our babies and place our lips on their skin for the first time and give them the kiss we have been dreaming of for so long. I need to hold on to these teachings and do the best I can and pray the prayer of Patience.

"For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised. ”Hebrews 10:36

The Word of God promises that the patient man will be perfect and entire, lacking nothing. (James 1:4 KJV.) A patient man is a powerful man. He can remain calm in the storm. He has control over his mouth. His thoughts remain loving in times when people's behavior becomes challenging.

Without patience we cannot endure to see the fulfillment of our faith. Everything does not come to us immediately upon believing. There is a waiting period involved in receiving from God. It is during that period that our faith is tested and purified. Only if we endure and wait patiently will we experience the joy of seeing what we have believed for.

Patience is not only the ability to wait, but also the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting. Waiting is a part of life that cannot be avoided. We will spend a great deal of our lives waiting; if we don't learn to do it well (patiently), we will be quite miserable. God is so patient with us. And we are to imitate Him.

Be encouraged to actively pursue patience it will lead you into God's power

Pray This:

"Lord, help me to exercise every kind of endurance and patience, perseverance, and forbearance with joy (Colossians 1:11). In Jesus' name, amen."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Clarity is a good thing

Clarity brings peace and calm; however their still may be feelings of dissapointment and I feel all of these.

I had a great conversation with our family coordinator yesterday and feel I learned of several things that are so helpful in this journey of the unknown. Knowing ANYTHING helps the wait and the anticipaition and the planning. Gaining a better understanding of how things are working and moving forward has helped me SOOOO much. Even though the news is not exactly what my heart wants, that's o.k. because it is all in His timing and I am trusting fully in that. So, especially for you YG friends I hope this sheds some light and clarity for you as well. I think if anything we will have a better way of watching and gauging how and when referrals might come along.

-The agency's main focus right now is to get all the referred families through their court dates successfully. I completelly agree that this has to be the main focus. So after Dec. 7, G-man will be focused on getting the 2nd group their dates, and probably preparing for the first group to travel. I asked if there would be any referrals in between those two court dates. The answer is most likely no, but possibly. It really seems to depend on the workload of G-man and if he feels he has the bandwidth to do that. Again, his focus will be on the first 2 groups of families.

-It sounds like G-man has hired some staff to help him (YEAH!!!) and he will be gettting them ready so that he can eventually task them with some of the things he has had to do, thus giving them the opportunity to do more things simultaneously (This is my interpretation). I will be praying that he finds this great staff and if they are already hired, than I pray for their ability and their hearts for how much good and help they are providing. Also, so that G-man doesn't have to be the one man show (must be exhausting)

-O.K., so IF there was time to do some referrals in December (again, sounds unlikely), there would only be able to be 4 children referred. The transitional home holds up to 16 babies.....there are 12 there now. I asked why not have referrals come as soon as court dates start happening successfully and those new referred babies would stay at the original orphanages for a short time, as they did before the TH. I learned this is not possible as ET adoption guidlines state that an agaency MUST have a transitional home. They are not allowed to stay at the orphanges as soon as they are referred. There is a grace period given to the agencies when they begin working with ET, America World's grace period is over, and great thing that our transitional home is up and running (probably why their haven't been more referrals as G-man was again the main person setting this home up and now we know it was probably pretty time-critical). So, if there are 16 children in the TH they are not even able to get more referrals. So, for us waiting families and those who will be there soon, this is a great piece of information as we can watch the TH for children leaving/coming to better gauge the flow of more referrals. Also, Rachel is there now helping and when she moves there, this home will no longer be on G-man's plate. Also, as G-man gets his new staff up and running, their hope is to eventually have things going really smoothly and the TH home will essentaully have a revloving door as famlies come get their little angels and new referrals enter.

-I also know exactly where I am on the waiting list, not only by # dossier submitted but, what the requests are before me. We were the 21st dossier submitted, i.e. we are 6th on the list. However, we are 4th in line asking for a girl.......AND the first 2 families on the list are asking for multiple children, so they could obviously get girls as well (I believe they are both open to gender). So, I realistically could be like 6th in line for a girl. From this I gather it would be pretty unlikely to get a referral in the next batch, still could happen, but my expectations won't be there. Also, I asked if I should just get through the holidays and the New Year before even thinking again about getting one and the answer was pretty much- that's a good idea, you won't be getting a referral any time soon. A bummer, but a gift to have the understanding of where I am in line!

So, now I feel so relieved to just know the deal. It is so dissapointing that I will be waiting several more months, but at least I can reset my expectaitions and if something happens sooner, great, but I won't be frustrated not knowing what's going on anymore or being upset each Friday when I heard nothing.

I am so thankful that my coordinator was willing to share this information and allow me to literally dig into everything she said. I know again that this is in God's timing and it will all be worth it in the end.

Praying for families to have success on Dec. 7 and praying for the second group of families to have their date VERY soon after!! You guys have been doing so good hanging in there, you're almost there!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I am looking forward to laughing

Today's many thoughts:

-With court delays going on in Ethiopia, there is news that our ever-anticipated referral will not come anytime soon. Here we were waiting day to day with great hope that "the call" was coming..........last night was great news mixed with sad news.

-One of the referral groups got their new court dates which is such great news. My heart has been with them and not knowing how hard it must be to have a picture in hand and just waiting to get the chance to go get them! I am praying that December 7th is a glorious day, and I am so excited that they have movement on their process.

-My heart feels for the second referral batch who won't even get their new court dates until the first group goes through. I pray that they all have news of success and completion by Christmas or the New Year! I also pray for their patience and peace during this time of waiting. God will hold thier babies in his hands and will also do his work in their hearts to get them through.

-I am left to wonder when we can even think of getting our referral. I have gone from feeling so close and excited, to feeling like this process and phase will go on and on and on and on and on.........I know our news will come, and I know it will just bring me to the next phase which I am seeing is also not that easy; however it will be THE NEXT PHASE. I am ready for a new set of waiting issues. I felt like this as we were approaching the end of the paper-chase. Each phase is a higher quality problem. I am hoping to get some information from our agency tomorrow that will help me better understand and grasp the delays that we may be experiencing. I just need to know if we have to now wait until all families fully get through their court dates for anymore referrals. I will be fine either way, just need a sense of direction and help to better set my expectations and ability to wait. Boy have I grown so much through this process, I felt last night like God is really getting me ready for something AMAZING. I never doubted this experience and having another child would be incredible, but I get the feeling there will be more to it than I could have even thought of. Maybe he is going to give us the gift of twins (we have requested an infant girl or twins), or maybe we will experience something so amazing that our lives will so be changed and we are able to give more than we ever thought and make a huge difference for children, or maybe it is just the gift of the growth of my heart, my soul and my faith.

-People talk of the miracle of about the miracle of adoption!

-My dear husband sent this to me today. It is so right on I had to post it..........and that concludes my thoughts for the day.......I think that is enough, don't you?

"The Lord said to Abraham, 'Why did Sarah laugh.'" Genesis 18:13 NIV

You'll laugh again!
In Genesis 18:13-14 we read: "The Lord said to Abraham, 'Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too hard for the Lord?'" Then in Genesis 21:2 we read: "Sarah became pregnant and bore a son...[and] said, 'God has brought me laughter'" (Ge 21:2-6 NIV). But between the first and the last laugh Sarah went through a wrenching time of disappointment and heartache. The 'love of her life,' Abraham, betrayed her to save himself. Abimelech, a heathen king, took her to his harem and would have slept with her had God not stepped in to rescue her. Yes, like Sarah, between the first laugh and the last you'll do a lot of growing. You'll celebrate your good times and pray for grace to survive your bad ones. Some days you'll feel like you can't go a step further, yet through it all you'll learn to trust God more than you ever dreamed possible.

Here's an important thought: when you share your story with others don't just tell how you started or where you are today, tell them what God brought you through. Why? For those are the things they are struggling with too! King Abimelech's tent was in Gerar, which means the halting place. There will be times when you'll feel as if your life has come to a complete halt; like you're getting nowhere. Maybe that's where you are today. If it is, please know this - God will be faithful to you! Not only will He bring you through, but like Sarah, you'll laugh again as you watch Him fulfill His promises in your life!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Got Milk!

I have not addressed this issue on my blog as of yet, even though it has been a major part of my journey these days.......but I am so happy with how things are going that I have decided to share, hoping that this will incourage someone else or help another mommy know it is possible.

I decided months ago that I wanted to nurse my new baby. I nursed my first two and why should I not try to provide the same nourishment, protection and boost for my third baby. Well, one might say........maybe because I am not pregnant and not carrying this child? I had researched online and talked to several women who had done this and learned it is completely possible. I scheduled an appt. with my Dr. next as I thought I should discuss with him, and I read that I would need to be on the pill for a couple months first (all part of the protocol) The nurse AND practitioner at my ob/gyn had never come across this request (you know I was feeling like a lunitic that day). They were very confused as to why I was there asking for the pill, and wanting to nurse, WHEN I was not preganant AND asking for the pill!!! It was comical the looks on there faces....I can laugh now. They were telling me nicely "honey, the pill is used to avoid getting pregnant, not to nurse" Long story short, they called in the big guns. They got on the the phone with the Certified lactation group working in labor & delivery at the hospital. They said, sure she can nurse without being pregnant, and assured the practitioner that indeed the pill is used to put one's body into a "pregnent-like" state to prepare for the relactation. OH, THANK GOD I thought, someone doesn't think I am crazy. What I learned was that it is totally possible to relactate, or even do it for the first time if you have never had a pregnancy.

So, I have been pumping now for 2 months and have about 400 ounces frozen in our freezer!! I am just so thrilled and amazed that a woman's body can do this. Knowing that my little girl and maybe little boy are with us on this earth and in the care of others is hard for a mom. Each time I sit down to pump I know that I am doing everything I can to give Gabrielle the best of what a mom can give. When she comes home she will receive this milk that was prepared for her months before and it will make this mom feel so good. I couldn't give her my body for pregnancy, but in my heart she has lived; however giving her my body for her nourishment feels great!

Adoption is so emotional and spiritual. We connect to these little ones through God with our hearts and minds. So far my experience with adoptive nursing is that it brings such a wonderful physical component to adoption which has meant a lot to me. I can't even imagine if when I get my baby she actually is willing t nurse on me, that will be a whole added experience of bonding.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Endurance we need for the marathon of Adoption

I found this on another blog (Mary- Owlhaven) and had to share it. It is SO fitting for those of us in the various stages of adoption. There are those days spent struggling through paperwork that seems to never end, the endurance that it takes to wait,wait and then wait some more for that call to come. Then the call and picture of your beloved child is seen in reality and not just in heart! Then waiting again for the moment you can officailly call that child yours. Then the ultimate wait begins........getting to the day of actually holding and kissing that blessing of a child. We were all purposely chosen and put on this path, our reward will come, but not without running the marathon first. It is too big of a reward to be given lightly and easily. Enjoy!

Hebrews 10:35-36

“So do not throw away your confidence, because it has great reward. For you need endurance in order to do God’s will and so receive what is promised.”

Absorb what it’s saying. God has made us certain promises that we will only see fulfilled on the other side of a demanding climb. We’re going to have to sweat this one out and feel the burn in our limbs but the reward is going to be “great.” There is something God wants to give you, Beloved, but He’s purposely requiring tremendous perseverance from you in order for you to have what it takes to receive it rightly. Humbly. You will need ENDURANCE to do His will in this particular situation. It will not come easy because it’s too good to come cheap.

Without Christ you can do nothing but, with Him, you are capable of things you’ve never dreamed. All surpassing power abides in your jar of clay. Do not shrink back. The God of the Universe looked the world over and found you.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Let God be God of the Future

So friends, I get a daily devotional and today's was EXACTLY what I needed. It can be hard to wait on news of our baby/babies, and trying to keep faith and our hearts in line. This devotional was so helpful for me I wanted to share it:

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Jeremiah 29:11

God has a plan and a purpose for each of us and a specific way and perfect time to bring it to pass.

Much of our frustration and misery comes from either not believing that fact, or believing it but being determined to do things our own way and in our own time, determined to exalt our own will and timing above God's.

According to Isaiah 55:8, God's thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. We want what feels good right now, but God has something far greater in mind.

We are constantly trying to figure out something we do not understand or trying to make something happen now that is not happening yet. It seems as if we are always trying, but believers are supposed to believe!

"Why, God, why?" and "When, God, when?" can be two statements that keep us frustrated and prevent us from enjoying peace. Many times we do not understand what God is doing. But that is what trust is all about. Let God be God in your life. Give Him the reins. He knows what He is doing.

Do This:

Trust yourself and everything to God Who judges fairly and deals righteously. Deposit yourself in His hands and watch what He can do!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Neighborhood fun and trick or treating

Our neigborhood has a party every Halloween and all the adults and kids dress up. We decorate a hayride for the kids and take them around the neighborhood (houses are pretty far apart) to get candy and have fun. This year John wanted to be Spiderman and Isabelle wanted to be Super Girl. They came up with the idea that mommy and daddy should be matching them. I actually found adult matching costumes and we had a ball!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A beautiful sight to get the day going!

After putting Isabelle on the bus I was heading back up the driveway and was thinking the fall coloring was so beautiful....then I saw the most amazing rainbow. It was a full the whole arch! I have never seen that before, what an incredible sight. So, I snapped some pictures, I couldn't get the whole thing on one picture because it was like right above me, but I hope some of these give an idea of how amazing it was. Seeing a natural, beautiful treat like this makes me reflect on how truly amazing, powerful and giving our God is. He created this phenomenon and made it so special that it is only seen under certain circumstances....I felt like he gave me a gift this morning, like a big colorful smile. I needed it!! We have been thinking so much of our baby girl, who is no doubt with us on this earth, in Ethiopia. If he can make rainbows like this, he can take care of her and hold her in his hands untill we get to her!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

So happy for our friends!

Yesterday our Yahoo group lit up with messages of great news from afar and such excitement!! Our agency got 6 referrals that went out to five families. So many of these families we have gone through this process with, so it is so amazing and emotional to see and read their messages of joy announcing their new babies. I am in a cloud today. I was so emotional hearing the news of each family, it was like having four of your close friends call within the same hour saying they have delivered their babies!! It is so inspiring to see things rolling along and to know that we have to be SOOO close. We are so close and yet I long for my baby girl even stronger. The closer we get the stronger the pull becomes. I suppose that is exactly how God wants me and he knows exactly what he is doing. It is a day for praise!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fundraiser Success!!

"I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your name, O Lord, for it is good." -Psalm 54:6 (NIV)

Saturday night was our fundraiser event. It was such a magical night and it turned out to be an amazing success. Our Lord is so good.....he made sure the right people were there, he led me to prepare and plan a type of event I have never done, his words and spirit flowed through Pete as he presented and the hearts and minds of people were opened and touched! And America World was so amazing to have 4 people there and to help us so much in getting the right visual and beautiful pictures of the children there!

We had a cocktail reception for about 50 people including a silent auction, a lot of emotion and a lot of laughs. We raised a total of $8,000 for AHOPE for Children and for America World's Visiting Angels mission teams. We can't wait to do it again next year and hope it just gets better. Next year we will have had the experience of having been to Ethiopia as well as having Gabrielle. Hopefully will be able to give people more of a picture of what it is like there as well as share our video of gotcha day with Gabrielle.

Our freinds, family, neighbors and community are so amazing. Everyone came who rsvp'd and it just turned out better than we could have ever expected! My dear husband did such a FANTASTIC job speaking, I was so impressed and again in awe of him. I am so blessed and so proud of him and that he is my husband.

It was a little like this was our second step to Gabrielle (first being the paper pregnancy), I felt so close to her during this whole event and know one day this will mean a lot to her and to us. We have to keep helping the children and people who are from her birth place....they will be her extended family and we will never forget that or that she could have easily been one of the other beautiful children left behind or in a worse situation. The country is beautiful and historically rich, the people are beautiful and have amazing spirits and we are so looking forward to finally going there in a couple months to witness it first hand and fall in love with it even more!

Till next year!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

A "led" encounter towards Adoption- our story and now my turn to give back

So my story begins back when I was in a very difficult place. I had recently learned I could not physically have anymore children and Pete and I were searching for answers and the right path. We always knew we would adopt one day......."one day" seemed easier than actually doing it at the time. We investigated surrogacy (which did not feel right and now we know why). The whole adoption thing seemed so overwhelming, but it was what we felt like we were being led to. All the questions began....domestic, international, WHAT country, etc. Not to mention, all the normal questions and fears that come along with initial thoughts about adoption. I was upset one day, put both my kids in a jogging stroller and went out for a run and some quiet time of prayer and searching. I ended up on a back road, dirt road, a dead-end road that became the opposite. Rarely I would see a car when on this road so pulled the stoller over as I saw 2 cars coming....then I realized they were stopping (probably to ask for directions as they were obviously lost. I quickly needed to pull myself together as I had been crying asking the Lord for answers, I was in the middle of telling the Lord that we knew we were to have more children and how should we go about doing it. When the man climbed out of his car I realized that 2 beautiful boys were in tow......both were not his skin color or race. My mind started racing....he asked a quick question about a house for sale nearby and then I realized the shirt he was wearing said "Christian Adoption Association"!! As a started to break down I asked him if he had adopted and a huge smile came across his face and I will never forget his response, "We are huge fans of adoption, we have adopted 4 children and I am a chairman on the Christian Adoption Association.....anything you would want to know I would love to share." I could not muster many words and apologized for my tears, but assured him that our encounter was PERFECT timing. I needed to get my thoughts together but I wanted to talk to him. We exchanged information, I briefly said hello to his wife in the car behind and off they went. I called my husband from my cell phone and told him what had happened and knew in my heart of hearts that we were going to adopt. When I got home there was already an e-mail from this man with information on a seminar the following week on adoption as well as the agency he used, America World (our now agency). Mark was an angel sent to me to answer my prayer that day, and even though I thought I must have come across weird and a mess, he completely understood and knew where I was coming from. He even said in his e-mail that he was e-mailing me from his blackberry on his way home, because I seemed like I really wanted and needed some answers and information. I often look back at that encounter and thank God for his amazing work at just the time we need it. NOw it was my turn..........

Two weeks ago I went to a Southern Living party at a friend's house. Towards the end of the party I began talking to a woman there. She asked how many kids I had and I told her two and that we were in the process of currently adopting one or two. She seemed a little surprised, but nothing out of the ordinary..... she then asked from where and her face changed drastically as a said Ethiopia. She was completely stunned and immediately I could see the emotion welling up. I recognized this face as it had been the look on my face one time a ways back on a dirt road. She swallowed hard and said she didn't know why she was getting so emotional and said she was sorry but she and her husband had been through a lot and adopting from Ethiopia was what they had specifically thought about doing. A ways back they had decided to move forward with Ethiopia and then became very fearful of the possibility of a child coming home with HIV, or other illness. They have two boys and couldn't imagine having that situation come into their family, the thought became too overwhelming for them to ask questions or continue to move forward, her husband one day just said it was too much and he couldn't do it........she was devastated. She felt as if she had lost a pregnancy. I shared with her the specifics on how they test children and there shouldn't be concern.......but I knew in my heart that this wasn't the real reason, they could have called the adoption agency and gotten the reassurance and answers they needed. She said her husband had recently asked her if they could possibly revisit the adoption discussion, but they were afraid. I shared with her that I feel everything happens in God's timing and how we had been a path to go to China for 1 1/2 years before being led to Ethiopia. We believe we were moving too fast, or that we had work in our hearts that needed to be done in order for us to go to Ethiopia. I believe they fall in this same category. Sometimes we need to go through some pain and/or searching to finally know when we have reached the right place that is the Lord's destination for us. She could not believe that we had met at this party and how it was unbelievable it wasn't that unbelievable.......just a blessing! I was so thankful to get to be on the other side of providing answers and hope when it comes to adoption. I told her about our fundrasier coming up and sent an invitations not knowing what to expect. I ran into them at church this morning and with big smiles and enthusiasm said they will be coming! I pray that they find the answers they are looking for and turn to their faith to wash away their fears.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Adoption Dreamin'

Isabelle in the crib with Johhny when he was a baby, she used to love to do that and now she's dreaming of it with Gabrielle.

Well, I haven't posted much about adoption I feel like like I have had so many over the last couple years during our process. On our Yahoo adoption group, people started sharing theirs and it has been really fun and cool to see what our minds come up with. I did have a VERY vivid dream while on vacation......then came home and saw the posting of dreams from our group. I thought my dream was too weird and it wasn't funny so I didn't post.....then I realized that is what dreams are.....strange and weird. I also have gotten such a chuckle out of everyone's elses....I even asked Pete two nights ago if he had any and he hadn't.....then this morning.......

My daughter was really groggy when I woke her for school this morning and with her eyes still shut she smiled and said, guess what I had a dream about.....I said horses? (she LOVES horses) she said no, and then I just said Gabrielle?? And she said YES!!! She was so excited she was holding her arms wrapped around her saying "I can't wait mommy to have her, she is so cute!" It gave me goose-bumps and made me a bit emotional. I was like, "what did you actually dream?" She said she was in Gabrielle's crib with her, holding and playing with her. With the biggest smile and arms still wrapped around her she said "she has really curly soft black hair and she is so cute......mommy I want her home with me now". I just hugged her and told her we are getting closer everyday. I am actually more touched now as I am writing this than when she told me. Isabelle has been praying and thinking of Gabrielle for so long.....for her young age she has been so in touch with this process and I do believe that it is possible that her little spirit could have been with Gabrielle last night. That is what we pray for at night, that our love and emotion reach Gabrielle through our Lord, we ask him to hold her in his hands and that even though she may be torn away from her birth family and put into an orphanage, that she always feels the strong love we have for her through our Lord, Jesus Christ. We feel like when she finally meets us in person and her sister and brother that she will already feel a connection b/c of this spiritual delivering of our nurturing.

Well, now for my dream. I will make it breif. It was last week while on vacation. I basically dreamed that I gave birth to two babies. I was literally crouched over the side of a dirt road and delivered both babies. There was a girl and a boy. I was making dinner over a fire when the labor started. Funny, I had c-sections with my two bio kids, so I don't know what delivering that way is like, but it seemed pretty darn real. I won't be too graphic; however I somehow knew one of the babies did not live and all I kept saying was do I have a boy or a girl.....then I realized that I was bleeding A LOT and was not sure if I was o.k. That was the end of it. I know that is not too funny, and sort of sad; however in the dream I was not too distraught about losing one of the babies, it seemed natural, I just wanted to know which one was alive. When I woke up my stomach was hurting, I had pretty bad cramping that went away after I got up and had breakfast.....that may have added to the real-ness of the dream!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Fundraiser fun!

So I haven't "blogged" much about my passion these days and our upcoming fundraiser. I have been very inspired to give back to the children of Ethiopia and the country from where our children will be from. My heart just goes out to the unbelievable amount of orphans who are living there and especially the ones who have been born into the situation of having HIV. These children are outcasts, sometimes their own family does not want them after their parents die and it just speaks to me and makes me want to reach these kids and share the love of the Lord with them. They are loved as much as any of his other children and they deserve childhoods, love, attention and hope just like any other beautiful child. After I read "There is No Me Without You", I was a woman on a mission! Here we are a couple months later and Pete and I are hosting a cocktail fundraiser to raise money for these two organizations. AHOPE for Children is an orphanage and community program to house and help children with HIV/AIDS. An AMAZING program with AMAZING people who have done so much for these children. We are also raising money for our adoption agencies missions programs, Visiting Orphans. I can't say enough about how amazingly wonderful and Christ-centered, warm, caring, loving and giving the people of this organization are. They travel around the world (Ethiopia being one place) and share the love and word of our Lord with orphans. I have attached pictures of the invitations, I was so excited with the way they turned out and I am so excited for how things have been moving along. I have gotten such amazing support from so many businesses in town who are donating for the silent auction, as well as the Redskins and many other friends and businesses. I finally got the invites out and have started receiving responses!!!!!! So much fun! I will keep you all updated on how things unfold closer to the event! Please say prayers that some eyes are opened, hearts are touched and that many children can be touched and helped through this event. I will tell my kids one day that I would have done anything to have helped their mommies and daddies stay healthy and well, but that I am so glad that the Lord decided they were our kids after all; however I want to make sure they know that we have and will continue to help those who we will leave behind and will have to say good-bye to.....their heratige, their culture, their story!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Kids making some money

Ever since the kids helped me plant the vegetable seeds and plant the garden, they couldn't wait to have a stand to sell their goods. After the first cucumber and tomoato we picked this season, Isabelle wanted to know if she could have her stand....I laughed and explained to her that we needed to wait until we had a bunch of things to sell. We baked some cherry pies and some banana bread and set our things up.......on a 100 degree day!!!! We had so much fun. It was a blast seeing their faces when the first car pulled up. Isabelle told some people that she was helping to raise money to get her little sister Gabrielle. I had to then explain that we are adopting and so on........very touching and cute. The day was a great success and I learned quickly that there is much more money in selling baked goods and vegees than the lemonade stands I did as a child!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dossier Submitted!!!!!

Here I am with the kids dropping off our dossier to Laurel, our family coordinator. It was cool being able to drive it to the office and hand deliver it. I would have been ALL over the tracking if I had to send it. She is going to hand deliver it to Ethiopia when she leaves on August 1st.........we really lucked out on that one. Well, not luck, a blessing!

Completed dossier

On Friday I actually finished doing the photcopies and our dossier is officially done! HURRAY!

AHOP fundraiser for Mina

We are planning a wine and cheese fundraiser in September. When Pete and I chose AHOPE as one of the organizations we would like to support, they got me in touch with a woman named Julie. Julie just returned a couple months ago from ET with a beautiful little girl; however she had lost her first daughter two days before travelling to get her! Her first daughter, Mina, passed away from an asthma attack right before she was able to travel and get her. AHOPE realized that we lived near one another, so I was able to attend Julie's event in Washington DC and meet her gorgeous little one!! Aren't those eyes just amazing. I think Julie was looking to raise $100,000 that night.......just incredible the amount of children with HIV that could support and help. I hope our event in September raises even a small percentage of that!

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Beautiful Day

Well this is a day that is such a blessing. One of my closest friends had her 3rd baby about an hour ago. His name is Justin Jeremieh, and he weighs 7 pounds 10 oz. They worked so hard to get him here and he is such a blessing! Praise, praise, praise for his healthy and final arrival.

On another great note.....we got our I-171 back today! They got it, certified it and and sent it out all the same day. Thanks VA SOS for being so on top of the process. They have been the quickest and most reliable of all the paperwork process. So, I am making photocopies as I type. Never did the copies of docs before sending them foe cert. so now I am having to try to fold back the seal page to copy the docs underneath. Next time I will remember that. :)

On a 3rd great note: Laurel told me this morning that she is going to Ethiopia August 1st and will just hand deliver any dossiers that are to her in that timeframe. I know it's crazy, but that gives me a good feeling. I have watched everyone in my agencies blog group track their dossiers and wait for the pick-up.....a bit stressful I must say. Maybe God is giving me this little gift since having worked on those precious papers for over 1 1/2 years. Because of our changing countries, rejected docs, expiration redo's, etc. I swear I have seen some of those papers a ridiculous amount of tmes! But, they get me closer to my babies so that's just fine.

On a 4th note, Pete sort of surprised me this morning and asked if I wanted to go to Penn State tonight when he gets home from work! We haven't been there since we had Isabelle (over 6 years ago) and we have been feeling the draw and desire to get up there....and our kids are so excited to see where mommy and daddy went to school, where daddy asked mommy to marry him and where we actually got married. It gets even better, our great friends Zach and Gene (who moved back to PSU a couple months ago) got a sitter Saturday night for themselves and when we called to say we were stopping in town they asked if we would want to share the sitter and go out for a night on the town!!!!!! O.K. now we're talking! To be able to go out at night, especially with those two and visti the old bar and club scene will be crazy. Funny, though, crazy isn't what it used to be........that's a good thing. We don't drink much anymore (it's a beautiful thing) but I bet it will be as much fun or even better. What a special treat for Pete and I (memories, romance, new love) , our kids (seeing the place where it all started, seeing where the stories come from and the pictures come to life) and our visit and freindship with Zack and Gene (reconnecting, meeting their 2nd child, seeing their new house, rehashing old memories and making new ones as adults and PARENTS!!! eek)

Funny, I took a pic of Pete this morning for the passport photos needed for cracks me up, he was wearing his t-shirt and didn't smile. I am going to try to load it .....I am sure he will be so happy I am posting it. hee hee
by Andrea 11:23:00 AM
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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

LAst of docs out the door

Today the kids and I drove to see daddy and to get our "hot off the press I-171 notorized and sent to VA SOS for certification. We were so excited to have the last visit to a notary and the last trip to the UPS store. It did however take THREE different stops at banks to get one that could notorize our doc. The first bank was not there anymore (just a cash machine sitting there....sort of funny!). Piled back into the car, on to the next bank. The notary didn't have her newly given # and it apparently is now needed to go on all things they notorize. So finally at the 3rd bank we got it right!!! We got a picure of the moment too. God must have a sense of humor, I told Pete "he's a funny guy" having us run all over to do our final task.

We got it, we got it!

I suppose this is the first of the "we got its" in our future. Yesterday was the total excitment of finally getting our revised I-171. This document allows us to go to Addis, Abba Ethiopia and return with one or two orphans. It was the final peice to our paperchasing days! Since we began our adoption journey over 1 1/2 years ago, we have been led by the Lord to switch programs and go to Ethiopia instead of China. This was such an amazing realization and truly the work of our Lord. However it did create a lot more paperwork and some we are DONE!!! The tears flowed as I pulled the letter from the mailbox and saw the "Homeland Security" return address. What an emotional relief and amazing peace I now feel.........until the next "we got it"!! (referal day)

Thursday, May 24, 2007