Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Blind Side

I realize that I'm a little late to this party.  Knew from the first moment I saw the trailer for this movie that I would love it.  My oldest son wanted to see it so badly, and it has taken us this long to find a time when we could both go.  Took my 12 year old as well.  I could have done the ugly cry so many times throughout ... ok I did.  The reality of opening your heart to love someone .... someone so different with hurts that you can only imagine. Our adoption plans obviously made this so real.  Things that made me sob as I thought of our child in Ethiopia ... Michael saying he's never had a bed.  Stuffing food in his pockets at Thanksgiving.  Flashbacks of painful memories from his childhood.  LeeAnn's (the mom) conversation with Michael's birthmom.  Things that made me smile ... first Christmas photo and the family member calling and saying did you know you have a black child in your family picture? ... black and white skin reaching across the table to hold hands before praying for the meal ....  the true love and acceptance given this child.

Favorite line ... "You're changing that boy's life," spoken by a friend.  "No, he's changing mine."  says Mom.

Left me speechless ... and crying ...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Year's Resolution

I really thought I would be a better blogger ... since I love reading blogs so much. I guess I just haven't made it a part of my routine. So my goal for the new year is going to be to blog at least once a week. Feel free to remind me if I drop the ball.

We had a wonderful Christmas as a family ... most likely our last as a family of 5. E. is very concerned about what we are going to do about our stockings next year. Our current stocking holders spell PEACE.  I assured him that him that we would either find stocking hangers that spell out a word with 6 letters or would get a whole new style. Gift-wise Christmas was a bit subdued given that we are making every effort to save for the adoption. We explained that to the kids, and they seem to understand and were very delighted with all that they received. However, I could tell my teenager was struggling a tiny bit with all of his friends who received an I-Touch for Christmas. We are so blessed to have all that we have, and preparing for the adoption gives us opportunities to remind each other of that fact.

In some ways I wish that we had chosen a gender and specific age for our newest family member. It would have made it fun to buy a Christmas gift for our child and it would make planning a bit easier at this point. We truly decided to leave it in God's hands because I can make a case for why a girl or a boy would be best for our family. I would rather not have to rely on my own reasoning. Should cut down on second guessing myself afterwards. :-)

I'll give an update on where we are at with the adoption in my next post.  Thanks to my friend, April, for helping me figure out how to post pictures.  I hope that you all had a blessed Christmas!

Monday, November 23, 2009


I went to Winco today ... Monday before Thanksgiving ... might not have been the wisest move. There were more people there than I had ever seen before. I marveled at the variety. There were old people, young people, people who looked like they had plenty of money, those who looked like they had much less, different ethnic backgrounds, but the one thing that everyone had in common was the ability to go up and down aisles filled with so much food ... and from the looks of it, buy what they needed and much of what they wanted. The abundance of our life is simply staggering.

It made me think of our child in Ethiopia. Since we are not asking for a baby, our child is alive right now .... somewhere ... If he/she is fortunate to be in the orphanage by now, then he probably will have food enough to fill his stomach tonight. If he or she is still living with their family, then they are probably living in desperate poverty ... and most likely will have known hunger and will continue to know it until they make it to the safety of the orphanage ... and ultimately our arms.

I am thankful for the abundance that we have been blessed with ... but sobered by the lack of so many.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


So, I'm sure Yakima, WA is a lovely town ... I may have even driven through it before (though I don't remember it), but I'm just wondering why it is the home of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security's Citizenship and Immigration services office. Yep, that's where we had to send all of our paperwork for Immigration for our adoption. Which I did today!! Seems like Portland or Seattle might make a bit more sense. How many immigrants does Yakima really get? Just wondering.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


For those of you have never adopted, I thought I'd give you a brief run-down of the process and where we are at so far ... and of course, as we are adopting internationally, I have no idea how it differs for a domestic adoption.

When you apply and are accepted by an agency, the paperwork pregnancy begins. There are 3 stages, and they can be worked on simultaneously. The first is the home study. This involves proving your financial stability, getting reference letters, letters from your employers, official copies of birth certificates, marriage certificate, police reports that say you don't have a criminal record or if you do, a letter explaining what happened, being interviewed by the social worker ... and since our kids are older, each of them had to be interviewed as well, as well as several other documents. Lots of details and all of them have to be done just right.

At the same time, you can be working on the dossier ... even more documents and almost all of these have to be notarized. So if you're thinking of adopting, I'd suggest making friends with a notary. (Thanks, Kevin!) Once the home study is complete, you can enter the 3rd stage which is Immigration. You have to send your home study, and application, $$, and eventually we will get fingerprinted and have the documents that we will need to enter the country legally with our child.

Once we get our documents back from Immigration, then we will combine that with the Dossier, and send all of that to our agency. They will work on it for a couple of weeks, and then it will be sent to Ethiopia for translation and submission to the government there. There are more details .. and I will probably laugh when we are done with how brief I made this, and how much I left out. There is still much to learn.

At some point once our dossier is complete and sent to the agency, we will receive our referral ... which is the picture and brief history of a child that we can choose to accept or not. Our age range is pretty broad, so I don't expect that we will not accept our first referral. Plus, we have a pretty strong faith that God has a child planned for us, so why would we turn one down that was recommended.

As to where we are at in the process right now? The answer is ... our home study is done. We will pick it up this week ... after we pay more $$. (Did I mention that international adoption is not cheap?) We will then send it off to immigration ... and then wait .... I'll keep you posted. And I'm planning on learning how to post pictures to this at some point. That might make this blog a bit more interesting.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Although I'm not doing a particularly good job of keeping up on this blog ... it is my intent to share our story but also to spread awareness of the needs of orphans worldwide. The videos below say it so well.

Orphan Sunday from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

We cannot help them all, but we can do something to help one. I'll be sharing more ideas for how to help in the future.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


There are so many things that have encouraged us to take this step of faith ... one of them has been the amazing blogs that I have been blessed to stumble upon. The stories of families ... just like ours, who took a chance and traveled half way across the world to grow their families through adoption. It's what started me thinking ... if they can, then maybe we can, too! Check out just a few of the blogs that I love. It all started with SoliDeoGloria ....

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I really struggled with whether or not to share our plans to adopt … this early in the process. I tend to keep things fairly private …. and actually enjoy the feeling of having a secret. I thought about waiting until we had our “referral” (an actual picture and description of the child) before sharing our news. However, I finally decided that I needed to share it ….I have appreciated all of the very kind words and WOW’s that have come as a result of our announcement, but the truth is I have spent the first couple of months just wondering if we could really go through with this. The word CRAZY keeps coming to mind. I mean we have a lovely life … with delightful children … and a happy marriage. We are engaged in meaningful ministries that we believe make a difference in our world. Isn’t that enough? Isn’t it ok if we raise our kids to have a life similar to ours … pursuing the American dream while loving God and caring for the less fortunate around us in a small way? The temptation to back out …. to change my mind …. was strong … and as long as no one knew, then I wouldn’t have to explain it. So sharing our story is not about bringing attention or praise to me or our family ... although the words have been very kind. I'm really not that brave. I realized that I needed the accountability and most of all that we would need your prayers to prepare for change of unknown magnitude.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Each year, our church has a morning that they devote to helping raise awareness for the needs of orphans in our world. It is a day that for years has brought me to tears, as I realize how incredibly blessed my children are ... to not only have a loving, safe home ... but material wealth that is obscene in comparison to what so many in our world live with. My husband and I have left each year saying to ourselves ... some day, we should look into adopting another child.

Well, that day is here. In July, we applied and were accepted into the Ethiopian program at America World Adoption. We began working on our paperwork, in earnest, in August, and the current timeline looks like we will most likely travel to meet our newest child by next summer.

I am starting this blog to share our journey ...