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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas excitement and sickies

Well Christmas has come and gone with much excitement from Gabe and Sam. I also feel that Gabe was disappointed to some degree because he creates delusions of grandeur and becomes to focused on gifts. We have had many conversations about this- but he still seems sooooo materialistic/gift driven and its starting to feel like i am nagging him or somehow upsetting him by explaining how this really hurts my heart that he is just so focused on what he 'gets'. Not to mention we are moving into a new house by February, in which he gets his own "living room"- which we just got a new couch for- but he doesn't see that as a gift. He wants a Nook or Ipad and Skyrim videos games- sigh....i give him a new bed and bedroom set (star wars) and he gets lots of gift cards and actual $. Not to mentioned he then complained heavily about the food i cooked and nearly refused to eat it. What the heck?!?! To top it off, his niceness to Sam is very weak- Gabe has little patience and treats him poorly at times. Of course Sam then retaliates because there is a tiny-tyrant hidden in this Ethiopian's body. Anyhow, we were all together, Sam had a wonderful time- Gabe had a pretty fun time on his new Razr scooter, and then got to go to his dads where he told me with lots of giddiness- there will be "more presents" UGH. I am thinking next Xmas will need to be lots different, but it will be K's first Christmas with us, so i am sure we will want to do alot for her....but maybe not. Any ideas on how to scale it all back and/or to enable our 9 year old to have more empathy and compassion? I really hope we somehow have the $ to pay for Gabe to come with us to pick up K. I think it will really be a life-changing experience.
Sam was caught up in the joy of new toys- he changed clothes like 3 times from being spider man, to chef to Buzz Lightyear. All of this fun masked his 102 temperature....which led to a crash out at 330- three hours of sleep...then back to sleep at 10pm all the way to 9am! But this morning his fever was gone! so happy. He did get medicine at like 2am- he never lost his appetite or desire to being a crazy-man :)

knee pads over pjs
Sickies creeping in while watching the Lion King....which is what he named his tiger- Lion King

Lion King tiger- meet Buzz Light Year

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Place Called Simplicity's Dead Beat Dad Series

Happy winter break! This blog post is a bit different in that I have chosen to profile our family for the A PLACE CALLED SIMPLICITY'S initiative to help families bringing home their children and are close to travel. Linny's blog, which I have followed for years, has been a source of inspiration to me. Although I think she and I are so different in many ways, our love for the orphan, especially those with special needs, is what links me to this family's blog. I have followed her family's trials and tribulations with some of the most fragile children I have seen. In the past few months Linny has blogged about God not being a "deadbeat dad" and how provisions are made for all his children to care for their special "treasures" that are so in need of homes and medical care. Her days of prayer and fasting have connected me to others who visit her blog, some who helped pray me and Sam home after our trying time in Ethiopia. Her family's work in Africa has been amazing to follow and soon her daughter Emily will be moving to Uganda to help so many children and adults in need. 
Anyhow, these questions are answered for APCS in the hopes of being a chosen family to be profiled on her blog as we save up for our travels costs to Ethiopia!

1.   Tell us a bit about the child you are adopting - including this treasure's age and name {Please post a picture if allowed.} K is beautiful with mesmerizing eyes and a small crooked smile that makes her look shy and happy all at once. She is from a very hard place, a child headed household from the Western most region of Ethiopia that borders the Sudan. Her oldest sister cared for her and her 12 year old sister for the last 3 years; her oldest sister is just 16 herself. K will be 6 years old (on paper) next month. The peditrician believes she is closer to 7.  Currently she is in a much safer transition home in Addis and loves to have her hair braided. We believe she now knows she has a new family that will be coming to see her soon.
 Due to the restrictions from our agency and the country we are adopting from, we are recommended not to use her actual name and are not allowed to show her picture. Her first initial is K and her middle name will be Amhara. She is between 6 and 7
{Please post pictures if able.}

2. Is the child you are adopting considered "Special Needs"? Yes- She is HIV positive and has likely been exposed to trauma, coming from a child headed household on the edge of the Sudanese civil war

3.  What country or geographic area are you adopting from?  Western Ethiopia 
4. Have you adopted before? Yes, a special needs little boy from a waiting child program. He came home in September of 2011 and is also from Ethiopia- he is 4 years old.

5.. How close to travel are you? We will likely have court in February or early March. We are awaiting a court date- after a slight dossier crisis was averted, all papers are in order!

6. Do you attend church regularly? If so, what type of church is it? Yes, we attend the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia, SC nearly every week

7. Do you tithe with each pay {at least the scriptural standard of 10%}? I am not working, but still contribute 10% of my graduate assistantship money (I am in graduate school), plus I am a Sunday school teacher for 3-5th graders. My husband tithes 10% as well as volunteers monthly with the high school youth group. 

8. This week, did you participate in any way with the day of Praise, Prayer by giving praise on the link and then posting your request? I did participate in the day of prayer, praise and fasting this past Tuesday

9.  Have you read the entire Deadbeat Dad series? Yes I have read all parts of the series and also chose to contribute to one of the families that are bringing home a sibling group

10. How did you hear about this Link up we are having? I have followed the blog A Place Called Simplicity for two years or more. 

11. Is there anything, briefly, that you would like to share with our orphan-lovin', God-honorin', Jesus worshippin' bloggy friends reading this?

My husband and I have fallen in love with the beautiful culture and people of Ethiopia. We feel so blessed and fortunate to have added a wonderful little boy to our family. Despite his orthopaedic issues, and often inability to walk- he has the brightest smile and sweetest disposition. We feel drawn to advocate for orphans and have also contemplated moving to Ethiopia for a year to work with educational/literacy development and Engineers Without Borders. We are so excited to have the opportunity to add to our family from Ethiopia. We both have a special connection to Waiting Children with special needs. I am in awe of the work Linny has done both as a mom and in developing support for missions and orphan programs. She has been an inspiration to me. 

Finally, understanding that each gift received through this "Response Time" has been entrusted generously for our use from our loving Father, we promise, in the unlikely event that we would be unable to or decide not to adopt the children we are advocating for, we promise to return all of the money gifted to us as a result of this link to International Voice of the Orphan so they can, at their discretion, give to other families adopting.

{Please place your initials on the line.}
Yes, I will submit_TAP_ No, I am unable to submit to this ________

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


so excited for winter break- and to spend time with my boys. We have some big news coming up- lots going on.Its not related to the adoption, but new opportunities here for our family. New school options for Sam and Gabe, a generous offer of a wonderful deal on a new house from a great guy- more details are on the way.
One significant thing i did this week, upon finding out that our dossier is on its way to Ethiopia, was to buy K some actual clothes. I shopped for Sam alot earlier, but have been somewhat reserved with preparing for K. I am not accustomed to having girls- so I have no clue as to what clothes and toys to really get. I am picking out new furniture too.

In fun holiday news- last week we took the boys to see the Lights Before Christmas at the zoo, which we have done every year for 4 years. They had fun and i snapped two pictures for our cards (which are late hahah)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Miracles happen!

For nearly the last 24 hours we have been concerned about our lost dossier and frantic with worry. I am so overjoyed to share that after an intensive search last night and re-searching this morning in the daylight, a wonderful FED EX employee named Travis has located our package. It was left at a house which is abandoned, that is numbered 5032 as opposed to 5023 - just a simple transposing the last numbers sent us on a frantic nightmare. The house is abandoned and the package was left between the screen door and main door. We are sososo fortunate- this time of year fed-ex packages dont last long left on front porches. Miracles happen- prayers answered!! Travis called me at 11:04 today with the good news and FED EX's customer advocate center rep named Tara (which is also my first name) called me several times to check and start a claim if needed. Crisis averted, i am celebrating with a Blue Moon....because its only once in a blue moon that i ever want to be put on this type of an emotional roller coaster!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


PLEASE PRAY- Dossier crisis- our whole dossier was lost by the FED EX truck last Thursday. It was said to have been delivered but i never got it- I was on the lookout on Thursday and Friday and home for good parts of each day. I called my courier Friday who was very unhelpful and wouldn't even give me my tracking number- I was livid- he told me to call back Monday if it still wasnt here?!?! . He never requested a signature and somehow this package of ALL THE ORIGINALS OF EVERYTHING for our adoption is missing., The FED EX folks have knocked on many doors all around our neighborhood, after dark. After calling 6 times and demanding they come try and find it, they finally came out near 7pm! (i called them first at 240). Fed-ex temp driver has failed us, the courier our agency insisted we used failed us and i have no clue what to do

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Gabes birthday festivities!

Happy 9 years to my one and only tummy baby- This time nine years ago i was in the hospital hooked up to a morphine drip and blood transfusion after a complicated emergency c-section, after prepping for my birth with a doula and mid-wife.- Gabe came out unscathed; me- not so much. Not to mention he was 2 weeks late and huge and i have extremely small hips- I remember them showing him to me over the sheet- i was pretty out of it, about to be put under general (the complications came after he was delivered) I remember thinking "oh thank god he is so cute!!"

Anyhoo- here are some festive pictures

Saturday, December 1, 2012

World Aids Day- take the time to make sure you know

..... understand the truth surrounding the lives of children with HIV