Dec 14, 2011
Dec 13, 2011
I was going through old pictures a few days ago,
It is from a Christmas past.
The Angel looked at the picture.
She smiled and just said
"I remember that day."
"That was the day my last friend left Africa."
Tonight as I tuck my daughter into bed,
there are millions just like her all over the world.
Maybe some even in our neighborhood,
who are standing at the gate,
for their turn.
Their chance to have a home.
What are we going to do about it?
Dec 9, 2011
Dec 6, 2011
Her name is Shannon.
She is a waiting child from China.
And Shannon has a Christmas wish:
You see, this is Shannon's last chance.
Her last Christmas wish for her heart's desire.
Someone to call her their own.
In China, once she turns 14, she will never have the opportunity to be adopted.
Her two best friends were adopted not long ago and living in America.
Shannon begs for them to find her a home.
And she only has two more months.
On November 29th, 2009, my sister and her husband relocated to Phoenix
There were lots of smiles.
LOTS of laughs.
(I think he looks like the seamstress from The Incredibles :)
And while every one was amazing and made their first Christmas perfect,
it was definitely noted that there were two presents missing.
We skyped the entire Christmas morning, letting LaLa and Papa Chu
watch each gift being opened,
each toy being played with and
watching The Dinosaur terrorize us all with his dump truck.
At the end of the day, Laura sent me a message,
telling me that 2010 would be last Christmas my kids were small
that she wouldn't be sitting in my living room.
I told her I was going to hold her to that,
but wouldn't tell the kids.
So as we made our lists this year for what they wanted to unwrap,
The Angel again requested her favorite thing:
and maybe, just maybe if he was good,
she'd let Papa Chu come along.
So for Christmas 2011,
THEY ARE COMING HOME!!!!
I waited for as long as I could to tell the kids.
About two minutes after I knew.
So while they won't care about presents.
And some fat man squeezing in our fireplace doesn' t mean anything.
Santa and his entire magical entourage could carry
Laura and Brian's bags from the airport,
and The Angel and The Dinosaur wouldn't notice.
There will be popcorn,
and probably costumes
there will be giggles,
playing ball in the house
and breaking all of Mommy's rules.
There will be late nights,
sleeping in late
and cereal for dinner.
The Angel is beside herself.
She is so excited that she has turned her
paper-chain, Advent calendar from school into a
"Countdown to Aunt Laura coming".
But I haven't told her they will be here on the 23rd.
I want to see the look on her face:
Christmas comes two days early this year.
Dec 5, 2011
Last Wednesday was our home study.
Dec 4, 2011
Nov 29, 2011
Nov 28, 2011
Nov 15, 2011
Nov 9, 2011
This is Alex and Vitally.
One of these babies is HIV+.
It's not a secret that The Hero and I have a soft spot for siblings.
I can't imagine having The Dinosaur without having The Angel.
I know my own life would not be the same without my siblings.
Sometimes in adoption, staying together is not an option.
But imagine your chances if there were 7 of you!
Even staring at their picture makes me overwhelmed.
Imagine the laundry.
Imagine the meal planning.
Imagine the LOVE!
The smiles at knowing they were all staying together.
This amazing group is currently in foster care awaiting their forever family.
They want to be adopted together.
Do you blame them?
I wouldn't give up my sister either.
Nov 8, 2011
This cupcake had me had first sight.
She is being advocated for by WACAP, which is the adoption agency
we have signed for in order to take us to our new family member in Thailand.
Remember to pray for the kids you've seen here
and advocate for them by using your facebook, twitter and blogs.
Nov 7, 2011
Nicholas is being advocated for by Eli Project.
You can go here and read this sweet boy's profile
pray for him.
donate to his adoption fund.
advocate for him.
ask if Nicholas is your son, grandson, nephew.
Nov 6, 2011
Nov 5, 2011
A lot of people questioned The Hero and I when we decided to adopt a sibling set. As first time parents, there were always questions about how we'd go from no kids to two and what our adjustment period would be like. Believe me, The Hero and I did question it a lot, but over and over again we felt as though if the Lord was calling us to it, He wouldn't leave us in the middle. Since both The Hero and I had siblings, we knew we would eventually adopt again; why not bring home a sibling set?
It definitely wasn't always peaches and cream. Having two new personalities in the house was challenging at first, but seeing the bond between The Dinosaur and The Angel is priceless.
Every country has different requirements and standards for adoption. At the time, Ethiopia had a rule that siblings were not allowed to be separated; which meant the couples open to sibling sets were dramatically reduced, therefore lessening their probability for adoption.
After coming home with The Angel and The Dinosaur, The Hero and I promised that we would continue to advocate for waiting children and sibling groups.
Meet Chrystyna and Karen.
Chyrstyna and Karen are siblings living in the Ukraine. Karen is a 15 year old who is a typical teenager who is waiting for her new family. Chrystyna's medical charts state that she has some developmental delays but provides no specifics as to her needs. These adorable princesses are ready for adoption immediately, as Karen will soon age out of the Ukrainian system and will be on her own.
The girls are being advocated for by Reece's Rainbow . If you go to Reece's website, you can donate to the girls' adoption funds and read more about their profiles. Also, consider signing up for Reece's Warrior program, where you can use your blog and social media to raise money for a child who needs a family this Christmas.
Nov 4, 2011
Nov 3, 2011
I learn a lot of these lessons from my friends.
This precious family lives in our town.
They own one of our favorite family hangouts, The Cupcake Lounge.
Last year they traveled to the Ukraine to bring home
what they thought would be two kids,
a boy and a girl.
The Lord changed their plans and they arrived home with their teenage son, Adrian.
But the desire for a sister never left their hearts.
They pursued for months a girl, Anatasia.
They prepared the documents, began raising funds, advocated for their daughter and
planned to make a place in their home for their newest addition.
The Lord changed their plans.
They were heartbroken to know Anastasia had been adopted by another family,
only weeks before they were to leave for Ukraine to bring her home.
Alecia and her husband Brian decided to travel any way, and seek the daughter
they knew was waiting for them.
They have a lot of funds still to raise.
Nov 1, 2011
Family found for this sweetie.So much is changed by the power of that little red heart attached to those pictures.
But just about the time my heart was soaring about how many kids had found homes last year,
For them, it is another Thanksgiving of waiting, another bedtime in a strange bed,
So instead of spending this month of things I'm thankful for,
I'd love to hear it.
Oct 30, 2011
Yup. You guessed it. That is a plastic Halloween bucket on his head. He headed to the top of the stairs, holding a plastic baseball bat, sliding down the stairs on his belly, squealing with delight.
Oct 29, 2011
Ya'll will probably remember that we had to talk about the dreaded "R" word with The Angel last year after 1st grade. After much discussion and tears and debates and teachers' meetings, The Hero and The Angel cried about it. Mama blogged about it and we all prayed about it. In the end we all agreed that it was the right move to retain The Angel in first grade.
Oct 26, 2011
Oct 25, 2011
Oct 24, 2011
Our last morning came too quickly. I had told K all night the night before to be sad tomorrow. "Tomorrow. Tomorrow. Let's be sad tomorrow."
Tomorrow was upon us. When he opened the door to the guest house, he immediately burst into tears. I was able to swallow mine until he hit my chest. I'm sure The Hero and Yemamu loaded the car. I know that we drove to the airport with the entirety of our team, but I don't recall any of it. My final moments in Ethiopia were full of tears, spilling on the face of the eleven year old, laying his head in my lap, rotating between telling me that he was "no happy" and singing "I have decided to follow Jesus."
We were a mess.
He asked me if I would ever come back.
I promised I would.
I asked if he would be a good boy.
He promised he would.
There we were. Standing outside the gate, snapping final snotty, wet pictures and hugging good-bye. The Hero grabbed our bags and squeezed my hand and drug me through security. I really thought if I dug my heels into the sidewalk, I would sprout there and stay forever. It didn't work.
I cried all the way through security, checking in the gate and onto the plane. I stopped long enough on the way to Dubai to swallow some dinner, but as soon as The Hero asked if I was okay, the tears fired up again. They stopped when we hit Atlanta.
I'm still not sure after three years, why God put K in our lives. We know adoption is not available now and although I cannot imagine our lives without K in it, I often wonder if seeing him once every 18 months is breaking his heart and ours. But isn't life better with even one more person one your team? Someone else you love and who loves you?
The Hero says it best. Of course he does. He says that K has a network of love of those he loves and who love him and who wouldn't want that in their life?
So here's to our Ethiopia network of love and my favorite pics from our trip:
Oct 21, 2011
As we arrived at the center, we looked out of Korah to the dump and saw a line of people. The Hero asked Sisay what they were all doing. He explained that the truck from the Sheraton hotel arrived and the people were waiting to go through it because the Sheraton always throws away the best trash.
My heart melted, but knowing that our kids in our program would not have to ever stand in line for garbage just spurred me to continue giving thanks.
If you look really closely, you can see the line of people and the white trash truck.
Our cooks prepared the meal and our team began sorting clothes we had brought, serving up plates of food and playing games with our kids.
We gave thanks and the kids sang praise songs while our team served the food. Glorious is one of the only words I can think of to describe those moments. Watching those babies eat was truly a prelude to heaven. Wow how our Father is Glorious!
Each kiddo received a full plate and a whole loaf of bread.
When each belly was full, our team decided that we needed to get the boys from the dump some clothes and some decent shoes to wear. Our team had been specifically praying on how to use the funds that were sent with us and we were burdened to care for the boys who live at the trash dump. So we loaded close to 20 people in a bus and went on a shopping trip.
I am convinced that there are necessities in life and their are pure gifts. Instead of feeling guilty about what we have, I think we are to gift to others. We had asked Yemamu and Sisay if any of the boys had ever been out to eat. They both laughed and said "never". Our team wanted very much to treat these boys to a restaurant and share a meal with them. Our team had treated ourselves the day before by a good meal and we wanted to pass it on.
The term "breaking bread together" had never had a more beautiful meaning for me.
We drank Coke, stuffed our faces, danced and laughed until our bellies and our faces hurt. To say that our last day in Ethiopia was perfect would be too plain, too boring to describe it. It truly was a foreshadowing of what God means when He said He went to prepare a place for us. I've never longed for Heaven like I did that night when I crawled into bed.