Kidd Ethiopia Adoption

Click HERE to watch us getting Endale at the orphanage

Click HERE to watch us getting Gabrielle at the orphanage

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!