Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Our Homecoming

I thought I'd repost this ... as it was a year ago today that we arrived home in Portland. Hard to believe all that has happened in a year. So thankful to have these moments captured so beautifully!
We've been home for 3 months.  It is hard to believe ... and looking at our homecoming reminds me how very far we've come.

Although delayed by a day (and missed by our dear friends, the Lawrie's because of that) our homecoming was perfectly captured by my friend, Jay McKenney, in this video.  I thought I would repost it on my blog ... 

Welcome Home Kenen HD from Jay McKenney on Vimeo.

Thanks to all of our friends who welcomed us home ... and to those whose prayers were with us throughout the entire journey to bring our son home.  We are blessed!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

As Iron Sharpens Iron

....  so one (wo)man sharpens another.  Prov. 27:17

This is my friend, Jennifer. We have been friends for about 8 years. We met at swimming lessons for our daughters, and formed a unique bond from the start. She is strong, compassionate, generous, bold and fearless ... especially when it comes to doing what she believes God is calling her to do. She has been misunderstood and even judged for things she has done while trying to follow the crazy things she is called to. She and her family are currently on an amazing (and crazy) journey to see how God wants them to use their resources to help orphans in Africa in a radical way.

God has used her often over these years to challenge me and grow me, and while at times, I might have wished for a little less of that    :-), ultimately, she is a friend who I know I can always count on, and I am better for having her in my life. Happy Birthday, dear friend!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Only One More Day

JULY 25, 2010 - Washington, D.C.

First morning waking up on American soil

First donuts. He wasn't quite sure how to eat his.

The view from the WWII Memorial

The Korean War Memorial has the names of all of the countries who fought during the conflict.

Ok, so these pictures got all mixed up, and I'm not very good at moving them around, but basically we started at one end of the mall and worked our way up, really only having time to see the big sights from the outside, as it was a very busy day due to the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts.  Streets were being closed to allow for the parade, and so we worked our way through the area pretty quickly.  We did go past the capitol far enough for me to show the kids my old stomping grounds from when I lived in D.C. in college ... and yes, they thought it was pretty cool.  And for those of you who know our family's passion for getting "stamps" in our National Park Passport books, our biggest disappointment was that due to the Scouts, we couldn't get to the kiosk to get the stamps for all of the mall monuments.  This guarantees that we will have to return at some time in the future.

We headed back to the airport, and had our first major meltdown of the trip by Kenenisa, who evidently was tired of being in the car.  I had to unbuckle him and ride with him on my lap for a while because he was so upset.  Made a quick stop at Wendy's for lunch ...  getting off of the highway at the exit right by the apartment in Falls Church where I lived after college.  Funny to see the little strip mall next to it looking exactly the same.

And got to Dulles just in time to be caught in an absolute downpour, unlike anything I've seen since leaving the East Coast.  Met with Charlene to return her van, and after a few glitches in being able to check in, boarded our plane to finally head home to Oregon leaving at about 6:30pm.  One more very long flight to make it through.  Gave Ethan and Kenenisa some Dramamine to help them sleep.  Kenen was asleep before we took off, and basically was out like a light for the whole flight.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Our Nation's Capital - Day One

I am working hard to finish up the travel journal from our trip ... thanks for bearing with me. 
One of the best moments of our arrival in D.C. was coming around the corner after clearing customs to see dear friends waiting with signs welcoming us home.

My friend, Jacqueline Cranford and her kids, Sydney and Sean
The whole Chamberlin family came to greet us.
George, Charlene, Sean, Nicholas and Darci

We were absolutely exhausted, and seeing their smiles and excitement was such a relief and blessing.  And once we figured out that our flight to Chicago had been cancelled, and we were actually not going to be able to get on another flight until Sunday evening ... they blessed us even further.  We needed to find a place to stay and figure out how we were going to get around.  My friend, Jackie, offered to pay for a hotel near the airport for us, and the Chamberlin's let us borrow their van.  While we had several people that we could have stayed with, we were truly so exhausted, that being able to be in our own space was much needed ... and Jennifer, who had not seen her family in over 2 weeks, was desperate to get home.  So being by the hotel gave her the chance to fly stand by ... and she was so excited to be able to get onto a flight at the last minute and be home a day earlier than the rest of our clan.

We also found out that we were not going to be able to get into any of our luggage so we were stuck with whatever we had in our carry-on's for the next 24 hours, which wasn't much.  We said good-bye to our friends and left in the van for our lovely hotel and much needed showers.  After our showers, Jen headed back to the airport and we went and checked out the Air and Space museum by Dulles airport.  We figured it was a good time to introduce Kenen to the fact that we are a museum kind of family, and that's what we do when we visit new places.  We were a little too tired to fully appreciate it, but still managed to see some really cool things, including a space shuttle.

We then went in search of food and clothing. You see, when we left Ethiopia, it was in the 60's and rainy. In contrast, DC was in the 90's and blistering hot! Our sweat pants were not going to be ok for a day of sightseeing. So after dinner, we took a quick trip to Target to buy some clothes on clearance and to pick up some Ibuprofen for our Ethan who was crashing with a fever. And then returned to our hotel where I think that I literally passed out. 

We decided as long as we were in our nation's capitol - a city that I love, and have longed to share with my kids - we might as well make the best of it, and see as much as we could.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Dictonary.com says it means, "something provided; a measure or other means for meeting a need."  We have had amazing stories through the past two years of God providing for our needs.  Two years ago in November, Dave was laid off from his long time job for a start-up company ... it was a company he had given his heart and soul to, and it was heartbreaking for him to be let go due to lack of funding.

The next 4 months were stressful, but through a number of circumstances, each of our daily needs were met.  In April of that year, Dave was offered a job as a contractor at Xerox, which was literally 7 minutes from our house.  We have loved having him close by, and while the job has been difficult in many ways, we know that it was a blessing and God's provision.  It is the job that enabled us to follow our dream of adopting another child. 

Due to internal Xerox rules, they are not able to renew his contract after 18 months  ...  and so today is his last day of work. 

We were talking to the kids and making sure that the older ones were not worrying about our finances, and my very wise 13 year old daughter said, "Why would we worry? We've already been through this, and it worked out just fine."  We are glad to know that the One who created us, knows and can supply for our every need.