Friday, January 29, 2010

Not this week...

Well, we officially past the one month mark since our referral. Little Miss is one month older (she is now almost 6 months old). We are so thankful for the Gladney update we recieved a few weeks ago, and for amazing friends who traveled last week and delivered wonderful pictures to us! We are eating them up...Hayden keeps kissing her pictures, declaring her his little "angel"...we'll see how he feels when she eating his Legos, or keeping him up at night, but he's absolutely smitten. Jack is so happy he's no longer the "little brother" and anytime you say "little brother" he's very quick to remind you he is now  a "BIG BROTHER...LUCY'S BIG BROTHER!! I'm NOT a baby. I'm a BIG boy, mama." In those exact words. I think he loves her purely on her ability to up his family status :)

We have been hoping to hear what our court date is, and we know we MUST be getting close to finding out. I was starting to get antsy about it, but the pictures of our girl, and assurance from friends that she is being very well loved and taken care of have really helped. I am really really hoping we'll get to travel by the end of March...and the first March travel dates are already being filled as families pass court. I'm trusting God completely, and praying that he gets us to the girl very soon...we can't wait to meet her!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Good Day

Thanks to my friends Beka and Joy, today was a VERY good day.

They just got back tuesday from Ethiopia, picking up their sweet sweet babes.  In my inbox this morning, I had 8 fantastic pictures from Beka of our sweet girl enjoying her care package from us! (well, truth be told, I'm pretty sure it's for our enjoyment, not hers...she's 5 months old for crying out loud--and oblivious to the white people in the photo album)

She has grown and changed since our referral pics, just a month ago...thicker hair, brighter eyes...she's so darn sweet and has the most beautiful dark chocolate eyes ever. Her ears stick out a bit, in an adorable way.

Joy said she has some pics for me to and said she is "super super sweet" to my ears to hear personal descriptions of her! Thank You Thank You ladies! You made my day.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I would like a grande americano, and one court date in Ethiopia, please...

If only the girl at Starbucks could just punch it into her little register, and a magic court date would appear on my reciept. I am SO ready to hear what our court date is!

Come on, phone, RING, already.

Friday, January 22, 2010

HEL-LO referrals and court dates!

the past few weeks have been dragging by for those waiting for referrals and court dates...not much action. BUT the past couple of days have been AWE--SOME!

Yay for these families who got referrals yesterday and today....Bottomlys and Lisa and the Mullins. WOO HOO!!

And, Gayla, who got the call about her court date yesterday! Fantastic week!

I'm happy to say that little mini list I started to the right a month ago of a few families from Gladney who were all in a little cluster waiting for referrals...have all gotten them! Woo Hoo! Bring on the Court Dates!

Monday, January 18, 2010

right now in Ethiopia...

My friends Beka and Joy are meeting their babies for the first time! So excited for them!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Help the Howertons bring home thier son from Haiti!!

Please, Please, this blog post from my blog friend, Kristen. Kristen and Mark Howerton have been in process of adopting a little guy from Haiti for 2 and a half years...they were nearing the end stages of the adoption before the earthquake. Kristen was actually IN Haiti, visiting the little guy when the earthquake hit.. PLEASE read her post on how you can help petition the US Government's attention to the orphans in Haiti who HAVE FAMILIES in the US waiting to care for them.The government buildings handling adoptions in Haiti is now rubble...please read about how you can help!

Kristen is looking for help in anyway possible, media publicity, petitioning the government, any connections you have that could bring attention to this matter for all orphans in the adoption process in Haiti.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

don't know about you, but...

I don't know about you, but throughout this adoption, worship music has been huge for me. I often find my eyes wet when I'm worshipping at church these days. The reality of our huge God moves me when put to music. During our journey, these songs have been so meaningful to me....sorry, there's a bunch. I couldn't choose just one! These are all available on Itunes as well.

Also, check out the giveaway at Amharic Tees and Maya's Mercato! They are AWESOME!!

Lead Me to the Cross- Hillsong United

You Won't Relent- Jesus Culture/ Kim Walker

Revelation Song- Jesus Culture/ Kim Walker (this one was sang a couple months back at our church by Dan Friesen and Kristi Foster...amazing!

Hosanna- Hillsong

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Keeping Busy...

While we wait to hear about our court date, that is...

I'm trying to bring a little more structure to our mornings, and today we did some "school" at home. We talked about the weather, and the letter G.  The Vancover School district has these great preschool packets you can download each month with lots of activities and "curriculum" for free on their website. (on the right, titled preschool packet). Each month there is a new theme, new letters, etc. It's fun and totally easy way to help your kiddo get ready for kindergarten.

We also made homemade playdough from Paula Deen's kids cookbook. (such a fun cookbook!)My fellas are enjoying the one on time and so happy to play school. Hayden kept calling me "teacher"...I reminded him he could still call me mommy...and he said, "oh, yeah! I forgot!"

I also packed up a care package for the little miss, and sent it to my friend Beka who's leaving tomorrow for Ethiopia! She will meet her little man, and be able to give our girl some lovin' on our behalf. It hit me, that someone I know, is taking our package to OUR GIRL. IN PERSON. It totally made me cry thinking about it. So fun.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

My girl. (warning...gut spillage approaching)

Yesterday, she turned 5 months old.
Two weeks ago, we saw her for the first time.
Today, I am feeling like I WANT HER HERE.
I have been afraid to really WANT HER HERE since I saw her pictures the first time.

It's weird. Not much like I had expected, really. I expected that I'd be consumed with her once I saw her picture. That I'd be desperate to hear the words "court date" and "travel dates". But, honestly, I haven't been. I've been afraid to let my heart go there. I don't want to think about the fact that she's 5 months old. 5 month olds get thier first teeth. 5 month olds roll over for the first time. I hate thinking about missing any of her "firsts". HATE it.

Ever since Christmas Day, when we got THE CALL, We've been crazy about her. Peace has filled us. We've been humbled to tears about the journey she's already been on. How in her little short life, so much has happened to bring her to us. We've also been thankful for some bits of her story (which is a whole other weird be thankful when pain is involved. )

But, I feel like I've kept my expectations distanced away from my heart, so I don't feel disappointed.  I have been afraid to ask God...our big HUGE God, for more. I honestly haven't prayed about getting her home soon, because I've been afraid of being disappointed. One of the crazy adoption things, is that you just never know what will happen. People have lost referrals, babies have lost thier lives before they ever met their new families, and families have waited months to pass court and travel. I have been afraid to let myself hope. (oh no, my tears have started as I type). I have been planning and expecting the averages. My mom keeps repeating to me, we don't serve an "average" God. I let her repeat it, and I lean on her faith to believe it. I know it in my head, but I haven't been able to let my heart hope for more than average.

Finally, late last night, after re-reading our referral packet for the 10th time, memorizing every detail mentioned about her, I opened my journal. I hadn't journaled since our referral day. I spilled my guts to Jesus. I confessed that I was afraid to ask him for those desires. To get a miraculously fast courtdate. To get super quick travel dates. To pass court the first time through.  I flipped back through my journal though, and quickly realized that NOTHING on this adoption journey has been short of shocking. Amazing. Only explained by a big HUGE God who loves us, and chose us for this journey almost 9 years ago. We knew the minute we responded to God telling us to begin the journey in July of 2008, that in the end it would only be able to be explained by a BIG God, because we didn't know how it would all come together. We didn't have all the anwers, but we wanted to respond to His invitation to let us be a part of the love story He wants to tell. We wanted for Him to get all the credit and for our journey to be a testimony to His grace, power, and undeniable love.

I reread about our garage sale last summer. Friends gave and gave to us. Gave us money, gave us donations, and gave thier time, and we raised a shocking $2400 in 2 days.

We were shocked again by anonymous gifts of money. We were blown away by financial gifts from family and friends, and more love and support than we ever could have imagined. Only God.

I read about our surprise auction that nearly covered all the remaining expenses of our adoption this spring. the ONLY explanation was God's provision.

I read about our referral call. CHRISTMAS DAY for crying out loud. We were the only ones who got a call that day, that we know of. We had not yet hit our 7 month mark, we were not truly expecting to hear for another 6 weeks. We were not at the top of the list. But, God, gave us a gift...and we saw her face at a time we never imagined we would.

How in the world, can I not trust this God, who has demonstrated over and over, that it is NOT ABOUT US. It's not about what we have, what is average, what we don't have. He is bigger. When he wants to move, HE MOVES. He can move hundreds of people to support us when we need the help. He can move past average wait times to bring the right child into our family when he sees fit. He can certainly use our lives to proclaim again, that it's HIS story of love and grace being told. Not our story. We have wanted all along for the Lord to get all the credit for this one. I guess I had forgotten momentarily that this was the reason we entered this journey in the first place. To honor HIM. To bring HIM fame and glory. I remembered, and I asked Him last night to do it again. To do the unexplainable for His glory. To cause someone who doesn't have a relationship with Jesus, to stop and say...I want to know THAT God. So, here it is. I'm putting it out there. I have hope. I believe that God can again do what we don't expect. I remembered one of my favorite scriptures... Psalm 5:3-"In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation."

I'm waiting in expectation that He's not done blowing our socks off. Lord...bring it!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ganna! (Ethiopian Christmas Today!)

Today is Ganna in Ethiopia! (well, maybe it was yesterday, since we're behind them in time...)

Ganna is what they call Christmas, and it's celebrated January 7th, instead of December 25th. Another side's actually 29 Tahsas 2002 in Ethiopia...they have a totally different calendare there than we do here. It's kind of strange to think our daughter was born in 2002 there, but 2009 here.'s a few tidbits about Christmas in Ethiopia...we look forward to having two fun days to celebrate in our family in the future!

Ethiopia is one of the oldest nations in Africa. It still follows the ancient Julian calendar, so Ethiopians celebrate Christmas on January 7. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church's celebration of Christ's birth is called Ganna. It is a day when families attend church.

On January 19, Ethiopians begin the three-day celebration called Timkat.
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
On January 19, Ethiopians begin the
three-day celebration called Timkat.

The day before Ganna, people fast all day. The next morning at dawn, everyone dresses in white. Most Ethiopians don a traditional shamma, a thin, white cotton wrap with brightly colored stripes across the ends. The shamma is worn somewhat like a toga. Urban Ethiopians might put on white Western garb. Then everyone goes to the early mass at four o'clock in the morning. In a celebration that takes place several days later, the priests will dress in turbans and red and white robes as they carry beautifully embroidered fringed umbrellas.

Most Ethiopians who live outside the modern capital city, Addis Ababa, live in round mud-plastered houses with cone-shaped roofs of thatched straw. In areas where stone is plentiful, the houses may be rectangular stone houses. The churches in Ethiopia echo the shape of the houses. In many parts of the country there are ancient churches carved out of solid volcanic rock. Modern churches are built in three concentric circles.

In a modern church, the choir assembles in the outer circle. Each person entering the church is given a candle. The congregation walks around the church three times in a solemn procession, holding the flickering candles. Then they gather in the second circle to stand throughout the long mass, with the men and boys separated from the women and girls. The center circle is the holiest space in the church, where the priest serves Holy Communion.

Around the time of Ganna, the men and boys play a game that is also called ganna. It is somewhat like hockey, played with a curved stick and a round wooden ball.

The foods enjoyed during the Christmas season include wat, a thick, spicy stew of meat, vegetables, and sometimes eggs as well. The wat is served from a beautifully decorated watertight basket onto a "plate" of injera, which is flat sourdough bread. Pieces of injera are used as an edible spoon to scoop up the wat. (taken from here)

I found this article, and I think next year we'll do some of these celebrations with our family.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

To Do List...*edited*

Edit (1/19/10)*- I'm happy to say, I have checked everything off, with the exception of laundering my diapers! I'm adding a few new photos to this post of my newest project well as as my new to-dos!

Here's a list a started back in November of things to do before baby girl arrives...I'm a nester, BIG time. This is part of how I prepare for my babe...makes lists, sew like crazy, do some crafts, do some's therapy for me while I wait.

I love to go to for nursery inspiratons. I love the mix of vintage and modern people use there, and color and homemade touches. I have found lots of my ideas there.

It's coming along...we hit the room restoration big time this week, while Matt is off work for Christmas break. It looks so great! It's my new happy place and the boys are loving it, too. Hayden keeps telling me how "beautiful" it is in there, and he wants to snuggle with me in the rocking chair with his blanket and some books. Loving that tonight. He is quite a lapful though! It's the same rocking chair that my Mom bought while she was expecting me, and she used it to rock me and my brother in (and many other little ones over the years). When I was pregnant with Hayden, she gave it to me, and I spent lots of hours rocking the boys when they were little. I can't wait to rock little baby girl in it, too!

Make crib bumper
Make curtains
Paint walls (Robin's Nest from Benjamin Moore- I had it color matched at Lowes in a low VOC paint)

Strip/Sand floor
Seal/finish floor
Paint trim
Strip/Sand Dresser
Paint Dresser
Assemble Crib
Sew Changing pad cover
Make fabric embroidery hoops like these
Paint/mod podge letters for wall
make butterflies for wall like this
organize hand me downs into bins by size
launder clothing we have
Hang shelf
hang wall hooks
launder cloth diapers
buy drawer liner
put drawer liner in dresser drawers
make bookrack like this (maybe)
make photo book for care package
make cuddly blankey for care package
mail care package to Beka
make cornice box for window/curtains change of it will be a cute rod that I bought.
hang curtains
paint shadow box frame
Here is the crib bumper...I LOVE this fabric. It's from the Denyse Schmidt Katie Jumprope collection. love love love the orange with the wall color.

My mom and I got the idea for these curtains at Aunt Tam's Fine Fabric & Home Fancy in Battle Ground. I love that place! It's so inspiring. These aren't done yet, but I couldn't wait to see what they'd look like hanging up. The crib was a goody from craigslist. It's Ikea's Gulliver crib. I liked the low profile since it's such a teeny tiny room (8x10).

This is  a wardrobe that I got off craigslist. It's an Ikea Aneboda. We removed the lame closet shelf and rod that was where the changing table is to make it feel more open in the room, but needed some closet space. This was my $50 find! (the lady actually came down to $50 before I could try to talk her down! That is my kind of shopping!)

Here is the rocker I mentioned above. I bought this antique quilt months ago at Little Bo'tique, my favorite resale shop here in Vancouver. It was only $40! It's twin size, so I plan to use it later on her big girl bed. I loved the fun colors in it...and, I realized today that it must have been meant to be, because it's main color is purple, which is what little miss' ethiopian name means.

This is the first baby doll for baby girl. She is ADORABLE. Her name is Coco, from BlaBla.  She is so soft and cuddly...handknit. The colors on her skirt were my inspiration for the colors I wanted in this room, stripes of aqua, orange, pink, it!

This little set of vintage suitcases  was inspired by the blue one in the middle. It was my even still has her luggage tag attached with her name in her own handwriting on it. I hope it never falls off. Those two hand embroidered linens belonged to her too. I love them! There also a few little books I've been picking up here and there for the little one, including a really cool vintage book of childrens stories and nursery rhymes I bought at a garage sale...and of course, the Lucy the Lamb book. Hayden liked the Teddy Bear because it looks like his sock monkey, Professor Sock. :)

It feels really good to have it look ready for a baby to live in!
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