Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Heavy Heart

Just before we celebrated Christmas, I heard from a fellow adopting friend, that there is a major infant formula crisis in Ethiopia. I'm copying and pasting a note from her blog below, she explains it better than I.

Anyhow, having just heard this before we were being blessed by so so much good and wonderful things, I kept thinking about the babies in orphanages in Ethiopia. Basically, the currency in ET has lost a lot of value, having a lot of impact on what they can import into thier country. And, as a result, they have not been able to import much needed infant formula. Please Read below. I have 2 friends that I know, who will be traveling to get babies in about 2 weeks. They can take much needed formula (no liquid formula) in thier luggage, and check extra bags full of formula. If each of us donated on can, imagine the difference we could make for hungry babies! For some it's easier to make a monetary donation, and that is fine as well, you can send checks to AGCI noted "formula for Ethiopia" or give it to me and I will personaly buy it and pass along to my friend. It costs $50 per extra bag of luggage, so if you feel led to give in that way, it would be a huge blessing to my friends travelling as well. It seems that is the easiest way and cheapest way to get a load of formula there.

50 pounds of formula looks like this...

I am leaving in less than 2 weeks to pick up my sweet little girl, but my heart is heavy. Ethiopia is facing a critical formula shortage that impacts the whole country, but especially the orphanages.

I borrowed this from Charisa's blog, because she did such a great job explaining it and is heading a formula drive through our adoption agency. Please read and see how you can help.

From Charisa:
Hello friends!
We have recently been made aware of the formula shortage in Ethiopia right now because the birr (Ethiopian currency) has lost value due to the downturn in the Ethiopian economy. Because of this trading with the Middle East, the normal source of formula, has been hampered.
This has resulted in a shortage of formula in the country and more specifically, dear to our hearts, the orphanages. Imagine trying to care for those precious babies and not knowing how you were going to feed them! I cannot fathom the heartache that must be. They are desperate for formula. This comes straight from Almaz, the director at Hannah's Hope.
Some of those same babies that I loved on, specifically at Enat Elam, are becoming sick from lack of formula and being fed powdered milk.
I have talked to Julie, my case manager, about specifically what we can do, here it is:
If you want to purchase powdered formula (no liquid!) , specifically up to about 12 months of age, you can give it to me (AMY). If you are further away, email me and I can give you the address of a traveling family to send it to. We will send this with traveling families as they go to Ethiopia. This is the best way to get it to Ethiopia.
Monetary Donations-- Because God is faithful and we are going to receive an enormous amount of formula (I like to think big with God) and sometimes people would prefer to just give money, we can collect money to help pay for the extra luggage charge to send over with formula with families traveling to Ethiopia. This is the cheapest way to get it there.
As far as monetary donations, they can be marked Formula for Ethiopia and made out to AGCI and sent to address at bottom or you can also give monetary donations to me and I will send them on.
I know that I am always coming to you guys with one cause or another...and I am so grateful for your help each time. I just really want to help these precious babies! It absolutely crushes my heart to think that they are without the formula they need to grow and live. They already have so many odds stacked against them.

If we each just send one can of formula, what a difference we can directly make to those babies!

I can't imagine the pain and heartache the orphanage directors are going through...trying to feed all of those babies and not having what you need to do it. Can you imagine?

All God's Children
3308 NE Peerless Place
Portland, OR 97232

Friday, December 26, 2008

journal entry

Today I spent some time praying and reading. I decided to read through Exodus this month (these people were on a BIG journey, many milestones, many hardships, and God carried them through...seemed fitting to me!)
Today, this verse caught my eye...Ex. 14:14-"The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still". So, I sat and was still and prayed. Here's an entry from my journal today.

12/26/08 3pm
Lord, as I faced Christmas I was overwhelmed at times, with the ache in my heart for our daughter. I don't even know her face yet, Lord, but our family does not feel complete without her. There were a few moments when I found myself with tears in my eyes as I imagined picking out gifts for her along with ones for my boys. My heart longs for her to be here with us. I often wonder about her, where she might be. She is most likely in her mother's womb. Lord, cover them both with your wonderful comfort and protection. Right now, her mother is probably wondering how she will take care of her baby, let alone herself. Lord, I pray that you be preparing her mother's heart for what lay ahead. I pray that you provide for her physical needs as she carries this sweet baby girl. Give her a place of safety to BE, nutritious food to nourish them both. Lord, bless this momma. Give her peace and health. Give her wisdom as she makes choices for both of their futures. Protect our daughter, Lord. Allow her to safely grow and thrive.

Lord-make a way for our finances to come togehter, whatever way possible. WE trust you to show us the way to bring our girl home. Amen

12/26/08 10pm

OK Lord, You are CRAZY! Just this afternoon I prayed for a way to move ahead-and just 2 hours later we received a gift a $2000 gift for our adoption! I am overwhelmed with joy. YOU are amazing! Please show us which way to go from here...


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Buh Bye Homestudy!

Today, I said good bye to an old friend, my bulky, heavy, homestudy binder.

No longer, will I have to see you, homestudy, sitting on my desk or countertop, listening to you plead with me to finish you and send you on your merry way. Today, I delivered you to your home with the social worker.

I feels odd to not have this nagging feeling "you should really be finishing up that homestudy paperwork" today, for the first time in almost 3 months! I am so happy to have it out of my house! It feels like our first official landmark in this journey.

Next up: the home visits (which means, I need to get my house clean and babyproofed...even though I already raised one baby in this house and never did it)! Looks like we'll get our homevisits done in January at this point...I am feeling a little lighter today! Yipee!

And, One more plug for TOMS shoes, and I'm done. I just think it's so cool that this company matches shoes, one for one. You buy a pair, a pair goes to Ethiopia to a child in need. How great is that?!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Yay for my blogger adoption friends!

My blogland friends, Amy and Andrea both found out today that they passed court, and OFFICIALLY are parents of beautiful Ethiopian baby girls, AND get to go GET them in January! HOORAY!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

TOM's shoes

So, there is this really cool company, called TOMS shoes, and for every pair of groovy shoes you purchase, they give a pair of shoes to a child in need...right now, they are campaigning for 30,000 pairs for kids in Ethiopia! These would make a great Christmas Gift for someone in your life...Check out TOMS!

I want these for me, and then the second pair for my daughter to be!

Friday, December 12, 2008

New Friends

L-R-Leslie, me, Courtney, Lori, Abe, Amy, Joy, Autumn, and Beka. Tuesday, I ate my first Ethiopian food (and liked it alot)! I had a really neat opportunity to meet up with a group of gals the other day, the thing we have in common? Ethiopian babies!! It was so fun to meet some gals with the same heart and passion. there were 8 of us in all, 2 who have brought thier little ones home already, and 4 of us in the process, and 2 who are thinking about, but are a part of the Ethiopian Orphanage Sponsorship through Children's Hopechest. It was so fun to lay my eyes on a amazingly handsome little man, Abe and meet his mommy Lori. I so enjoyed chatting, and connecting with these women, talking about our experiences, our agencies, where we're at in the process, and just getting to know eachother a little bit. So fun, and I'm really looking forward to doing it again sometime.

Then, Yesterday, Lori and Abe were nice enough to let us come over to thier house and play. Lori and I attempted to chat about adoption while our kiddos interrupted us, but it was SO nice to talk in depth with someone who's actually done this thing, and would do it again. So, thanks, Lori, for letting me pick your brain! It was a real blessing to me for you to spend that time with us.

I am looking forward to getting to know all these gals better through our journey!

AND these are some seriously talented gals. Amy and Josh wrote a book-Ashes to Africa that will be released in February of 09. I have only read the introduction on the website, but I can tell it will be a must read for me.

Autumn, makes adorable banners and baby dolls (I can't wait to order a personalized one!) on her etsy shop, proceeds of course benefit her adoption. check it out here!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My baby is two!!

Seriously, I can't believe it. I feel like it was just last week that he was born. My big big baby boy.

Jack was born at 9:30 am 2 years ago! A whopping 9lb 12 oz. I loved that the doctor asked me just before I was wheeled in to the OR, how much I thought he'd weigh. I said 9lb 11oz. (He was 12 days late, and I knew he'd be a, shall we say "generous" size)

Right after he was out and weighed, Dr Eric, said..."you were right! (technically he was like 9lb 11.6 oz, they rounded up)"! Mom's always know!" It made me feel good, right off the bat, to have known my boy better than anyone. To this day, he's a mama's boy all the way!

This morning, when Jackers woke up, he came out and I said, "Happy Birthday, big boy!" and he gave me the biggest, longest, loving hug ever. Squeezed tight around my favorite kind.

Here's a birthday note for my baby boy:

Dear Jacker...

Oh, boy I'm already crying thinking about how much my heart is so full right now. YOU are such a special boy. You and I have clicked right from the start. You are my snuggley buggley boy.

Since you could control those chunky little hands of yours, when I'd rock you before bed, or while nursing, you'd reach up and touch my face with your little hands. So gentle and soft, just rubbing my face. When you were a little bigger, you'd want your cheeks, right next to mine while we snuggled. You'd reach up and pull my face to yours with your to skin. To this day, you hug me so tight and give me sweet lovin' kisses all the time, many times a day, by your initiation. When I tuck you in at night, you say "UG, mama" (aka...HUG) and you squeeze my neck tight and make these little sounds that tell me you savor the moment as much as I do. When you want to snuggle you still grab my face and rub your little hands on my cheek. You and me speak the same "love language"...physical touch!

I am loving this phase of you the most of all. You are all boy...sticky, dirty, smelly feet, the whole bit. You are mischief and independant, but you'll sing to me whenever I ask. You make up little tunes, and hum them to me at bed time. We were at a friends house awhile back and you just came up to me on the floor, and gave me a big ol' Jack hug. She said, "Wow, is he always like that?" and I said are so loving! I get unsolicited "UG"s all day long.

You are talking up a storm, a little parrot copying whatever your big brother says. "What doing, Mama?" you asked me tonight when I was decorating the christmas're so curious and inquisitive. You love think everything is a soccer ball, no matter how much Daddy tries to teach you about basketball. You are pretty coordinated, and love tossing and catching balls, riding bikes, and run, run, run, every chance you get. I think you're a little musical, you love to sing. Whenever we're in the car, you love to sing along or make up your own tune while we drive.

I pray that as you grow, your loving heart will turn to compassion for others. You are so quick to love on others, I can see that turning into compassion and serving those who need to be loved on. You are stubborn, yet really likeable. I pray that determination will be used for God's glory and that you'll be able to harness that passion and give it to God for his use. I am thankful every single day, for such a loveable boy, who shows me everyday, that you love me too. There are so many days, when I'm struggling to keep it together, and you'll reach those little arms up and say "UG, Mama" and squeeze me tight. It makes me stop in my tracks and say, "Wow, thanks, Lord. I really needed a good hug to change my heart." You are so good for my soul, little man. Your tender heart is good for mine.

I love you so so much, and I hope those good "Ug's" never stop. They make my day, everyday. I love you, big boy!!

Love, Mama

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Mom is the most thoughtful...

She sneaked behind my back while working at the bazaar with me a few weeks ago, and had this amazingly cute diaper bag custom made just for me! I am in LOVE with it! It is soft brown cordouroy (how do you spell that?) with really fun sassy fabrics to accent...I love the pink and red one the best! It's so cute and girly...I don't even know what to do with myself! For now, it's full of all my other cute girly things, waiting for a cute girl to go with it!

Thanks mom, you are the best (and sneakiest!)I love that you're just as excited about this baby girl, as all the other grandkids!

It's made by my new friend Julia over at or her etsy is so nicely made, and exactly what I would have picked for myself!! I love, love, love it. Can't wait to fill it with little bottles, and pink girly binkies, diapers, babies, and blankies...oh Lord, please bring her to us soon!

ps...if you didn't see my other post today, you MUST see my dirty boys.

BOY: (noun) a noise with dirt on it.

I saw this plaque the other day that I need for my wall. That so fits my boys!
I was out shooting pics of a friends little guy yesterday, and there happened to be perfect jumping puddles nearby, so of course, my guys indulged (at first, I was thankful I'd remembered to put them in thier boots...then after a bit, it didn't matter anyway. They both had to ride home in the diaper and undies cuz they were soaked!)
(EDIT: I don't normally make Jack wear a helmet while playing :) REALLY, he had been riding his bike!)

And here's my two faves of Mr. Cha-Cha, one of my very best friends little guy, who just turned two!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Not Me Monday

For starters, I would never go a whole week without updating my blog! No, not me!

I would never forget that I was supposed to make the favorite family cinnamon rolls for thanksgiving morning, that EVERYONE was looking forward to, not me!

I also would not forget that I had started two HUGE batches of turkey broth at the end of the day, and the fall fast asleep on the couch when I sat for the first time on thanksgiving day, forgetting all about it until the next day, when it had turned to turkey jello (that would be disgusting and shamefully wasteful!)

I would never procrastinate this late on sending out birthday invitations for my baby's second birthday on SUNDAY!(even if I did send an evite)

I would never leave my kids unsupervised in the tub so I could run and check my email, long enough that the littlest one would have time to poop and then the older one throw it out of the tub onto the floor so they could keep playing without poop in the bath water...that would NEVER happen here!

I would not take my children out of the house at 10 am still in thier jammies, into the grocery store. Not me! If I ever did do something like that, I would bring clothes to get them dressed before meeting grammy for lunch.

I would not make a batch of pie crust dough, just so I could have some of those pie crust scraps with cinnamon and sugar on them like my mom always makes, and pretend it was for my kids to get to cut out fun fall shapes with cookie cutters and decorate them like cookies. No, not me!

Oh, boy...I am SO glad I never do things like that!
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