Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Averie and Thanksgiving

We have been a very busy family lately. My baby girl turned 8 on November 20! Where do the years go? We had 2 parties this year, a friend party and a family party! I am thankful for this little girl. She has always been amazing and I could not be more proud of her. Bryan and I are so very lucky to have her and Cole has definately won the big sister lottery. We can't wait to watch her with our baby from Ethiopia. Her heart is growing more each and every day for that baby and just orphans in general. God has big plans for Averie Grace!! She really is the heartbeat of our family.

We had a great Thanksgiving. Different than any other Thanksgiving but better. Different is hard to explain. Between Thanksgiving with my family and Bryan's - we ate well. As I was so full my stomach hurt, the children that haven't ever been full in their lives were on my heart. Our stomachs protruded from turkey, dressing, macaroni and cheese, broccoli and rice, sweet potatoe casserole, and all kinds of desserts - there are children in Afica with protruding stomachs because they are starving to death. As I got to enjoy ALL of our family and spend lots of time with my kids, I was acutely aware that there are children who don't know the love of a mother and father much less can fathom who their aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents even are because they have all died from a preventable disease very young.

As I sit and pondered on all of my blessings this year it was different as well. I never even considered the new home we have built, or the vacation we took a month ago. I was so very thankful for this change. The change in my heart that causes me to be thankful and prayerful so much that I want to make a difference. A difference to people like me who just didn't know. So thankful that God layed a sweet innocent and helpless child on the heart of my family to adopt but MORE THANKFUL than anything that we were and are obediant. We ALL have so much to be thankful for.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010


We are getting this question a lot. I am including some facts that just blew me away and I can't get out of my head. Please be warned they are not pretty......

33% of Ethiopians are considered severly underweight when the food surplus in the United States could feed all of Africa.

24% have access to clean water and some of those have to walk a long way to get it.

1 in 7 women die during childbirth

6 the average number of children an Ethiopian woman has.

Women who are raped or unmarried and become pregnant are shunned by all, sometimes causing them and their child to be killed or kicked out of the village.

There are 5 million orphans in Ethiopia!!

1 in 7 children die before the age of ONE!!

1 in 6 children die before the age of FIVE!! (half of them from diarrhea!!)

265,000 children die a year from a preventable disease.

4 out of 5 people live on less than $2 a day.

There is 1 doctor for every 100,000 people.

For the price of 1 latte from Starbucks, some aid organizations can feed a child or mother for a month.

The average life expectancy is around 45.

How could we not make it "one less"?


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Catching up

It has been a couple of weeks since my first post. From this point on, the posts will be more frequent but I have been wanting as many people as possible to read the first post. I have since decided to put a link to the first post on the side so everyone can read how this all began. (Help Traci!!)

Well, we have both written our autobiographys, filled out 4 papers about our marriage (everyone should dothat!!), filled out our parenting surveys, and gathered every piece of paper that exists in any federal government database about us. We have also had ALL of our medical testing and had our doctor review and fill out his paper work! I am really okay will all of this because I can control it. I can control the speed and timing of all of this. I just have a hunch that me learning to be patient is a HUGE part of this process that God wants me to learn. I have to learn and believe me I am trying to understand that God already knows the child that is to be ours and if I speed this up or slow it down unneccesarily that it might affect that because we want the right child at the right time and nothing else.

So right now I am waiting on the lady to call and set up our homestudy - she was on vacation last week (sigh). Once that is comleted and sent to Holt, I mail off our I600 A to get us approved for immigration. Once we get that approved we send in another huge stack of papers ( that I already have ready) called the dossier. At that time we will be placed on the waitlist!! At this point we will have a little party and get ready to wait some more! I will keep you all up on all of this as it happens.

God continues to "show up" in all of the little details of this adoption. I will give you a few scenerios. I decided that in order to save some money on our medical testing that instead of going thru our doctor that I would order it all thru an online place that orders at the local LabCorp and then take the results to our doctor to sign off on. So I google what I am looking for and call the 1800 number. A lady anwered and I began to tell her I needed testing for me and my husband for HIV, Heb B, and a drug urine. That I didnt' need a specific test for each just the cheapest because it was for adoption paperwork and that we were adopting from Ethiopia. She let out a weird sigh and a weird laugh. I thought she was laughing at me for wanting a "cheap" HIV test. When I finally finished talking, she proceeded to tell me that she was from Ethiopia!!! I started crying. We talked and talked about Ethiopia, the customs, the people, the hair, the area the the orphanages are located that Holt uses, and many many more things. She told me her story and told me that her sister still lives in Addis Ababa, which is where we are going on the first trip. Her sister has a boutique there that caters a lot to adoptive families. She sent me the sisters phone number and address in case we need anything while we are there and asked me to email both her and her sister before we go so she will know we will be coming!! I am choking back tears like crazy knowing that I have to hold it together because I might not have an opportunity to speak with someone from Ethiopia again for a while. We both finally remembered the reason for my call and moved on to that. She then gave me a $300 discount on my tests. There is no explanation for this but ... GOD.

I have several Africa and adoption shirts that I have been wearing for 2 reasons. 1 To bring awareness of the orphan crises and adoption, and 2. I feel closer to my baby with a pic of his/her birth country on my body. (weird - I know) I bought them from other adopting families who were selling them as fundraisers for their adoption, which by the way I am designing shirts for us to sell for fundraising as well. Anyway I had to go to Dallas this last week and ran into 3 people who I had great conversations with. One lady's husband is in Ethiopia every other month working with missionaries there, teaching them how to share Jesus and the stories of the Bible with the people in the remote villages in stories because they don't read or write. Her eyes immediately filled with tears as I told her my story. Another man asked me about it and hugged me and told me thank you. I was then checked out at Whole Foods by a lady from Kenya. These may seem insignificant but to me and my family they are "smiles" from the Father who led us down this journey to begin with.

Emotions in this adoption journey are a roller coaster. Words cannot describe these things and they even catch me off guard.... A LOT. I balled like a baby when I was hanging our Christmas stockings the other day. I almost couldn't do it. I feel like part of us is missing already. I WILL be buying Baby E a stocking of their own this year. This caught me totally off guard. I can assure you that by this point in the process this child is VERY REAL to Bryan, Averie, Cole and I. After all it is our baby that God layed on our hearts ...

I am sorry that this post is so long. I had waited and didn't feel like I had much to say! Imagine that - I will be posting more often so you don't have to read such a long post.