Thursday, November 10, 2011

Three Months!

Somehow the 9th managed to sneak up on me without my realizing it, so I don't have a cute "3" month waiting picture, but am very excited that 3 months have flown by in a blink.  In only 3 more months, I will have to begin updating clearances, letters, physicals, etc. so that will at least give me something to do for a few weeks.  Sometimes I am completely at peace with waiting however long this takes and other times my heart just aches when we all lie in bed at night for prayer and the feeling that someone is missing is so tangible.
Here are a few photos from the last few weeks: 
1. Halloween 2011- Bella the duct tape girl (yes everything on her body is made of duct tape), Carmen the mechanic named Gus, Drew the baseball player (shocker, I know), and Julia the rock star!
2. Bella had a day at school to dress up as an adjective. Her adjective hits close to home. :)
3. Drew enjoying our neighbors hay bails.
4. Carmen pulling the guts out of our pumpkin- she is the only want who likes to do this
5. Julia celebrating her LAST day in her CRIB.  Can you hear the word FREEDOM coming out of her mouth?  She is doing amazingly well in her big bed! :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Carmen is 6!!!

How did my baby go from this: this?

I love the song "Stones Under Rushing Water" by Needtobreathe.  The lyrics say
"the years...go stones under rushing water" and that sums up exactly how I feel about watching my kids grow up. 
After a whirlwind delivery ( she was born exactly 15 minutes after I walked in the hospital doors) and a torrential rainstorm the night we drove home from the hospital with her, we should have known she was gonna live out loud!

At times it seemed that Carmen would be that defiant, stubborn little two year old forever.  The one who would plant her hands on her hips, dig in her heels and let me know that if it wasn't her way, it wasn't happening! She redefined parenthood for us, and after having two easy, complacent children before her, we sometimes wondered where we had gone wrong in parenting her! :)  Two more turbulent years went by with her trying to find out who she was, testing the waters time after, but suddenly the tides started to shift.  All those qualities that are just so difficult to manage as a parent suddenly became her BEST traits.  She is now so mentally STRONG, such a leader, and we know that as God continues to harness the strong will he gave her for the good of his kingdom, she is going to do amazing things!  We are so proud of our girl!!!  She is loved by so many!

Morning of her 6th Birthday!

Getting her ears pierced the night before her b-day!


Friday, September 9, 2011


One month on Waitlist!  Many to go.....

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:19

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Julia's First Day!

 Julia had her very first day of Preschool in Miss Bonny and Joy's 2 year old classroom on Tuesday!  She was so excited to finally get to go to her own school and have her own cubby to keep her coveted Princess backpack.  She ran right in and started playing giving me the "mom, go on and leave now...I got this" look.  As I looked around at the other parents both in her class and in other classes, I suddenly realized I was the "grandma-mom"! No longer the fresh-faced 26 year old that I was when I brought Bella to this very same room nearly 9 years ago, I just couldn't get over how YOUNG all the parents looked.  Most of them were also either pregnant or were carrying newborn babies in slings around their necks and I suddenly felt ancient! :)  I hopped in the car (alone for nearly the first time in 10 years), cranked up the radio, rolled the windows down, and just drove.  If felt so great to just "be" for that quiet morning, but by the 11:30 pickup time, I was so ready to see my J.  She LOVED it and had stories to tell all day long!
                                                           It happens in a BLINK!!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Recap: Dossier/ Soccer Weekend

Since I managed to fail so miserably at posting everyday for one solid month, wanted to play catch up on a few quick things.  First, the day we subitted our completed Dossier was a FANTASTIC day.  First, Bell and I went to the Capitol building together to have everything authenticated and do some shopping together, which was followed by two days of copying, scanning, and burning documents.  On August 5, we mailed it in after praying over it and I think my heart was beating pretty fast that weekend waiting to make sure it made it to Gladney safe and soundly. 

As soon as we left the Post Office, we were off for the weekend to Bentonville, AR for Bella's Regional soccer tournament.  The girls ended up getting third place and qualifying for World's!  It was so HOT, but I could watch them play ALL DAY LONG!  So fun!!  We all had a great time .....
Love seeing these girls pray before each game...thanks Coach!

Four little monkeys in one hotel bed!

First Day of School Pics

Here are the traditional first day of school pictures...always standing in the same place, always giving me the "I can't believe you are making me do this" smile.  Love this 5th grader, 3rd grader, and Kindergartener.  Julia will start Mother's Day out next week for the first time and can't wait!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Last day of summer

So the last day of summer vacation came and went and school started yesterday.  It was a tough day for me...always is, but I cried and moped around and cried some more pretty much all day long and then felt insanely guilty for wasting an entire day feeling sorry for myself by the time my head hit the pillow last night. Watching the kids grow up into strong, self-confident, kind-hearted people is the best feeling in the world even when it is sooo hard to let go and watch them take off! Here are some pictures of our last relaxed day of summer feeding the horses, riding bikes and being together....


Tuesday, August 9, 2011


We are officially on the WAITLIST as of today...August 9, 2011.  So excited I can hardly stand it! Our Dossier is on it's way to D.C. for Authentication and then will be headed straight to Ethiopia.  I know that God will grant me the patience and endurance to run this long race, but man do I want my little boy in my arms.  I keep finding myself zoning out of what I should be doing in order to continually calculate if or when he was/is conceived based on our age preference.  Praying that the Lord will give me peace beyond my own understanding as we begin this long wait.  It's easy to trust in God's timing in all of this right now, but I imagine I will be wavering on that in a year from now.  Holding tight to the fact that I want what He wants for our family, not what I want for myself....a lesson I need in so many areas of my life if I really dig deep.  Can't wait for this incredible season of spiritual growth for Randy and I, as we are being molded more and more each day!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


YAY!  Our I-171H Approval letter was in the mail today! So thrilled to have this document that will bring us one step closer to our son.  It is beginning to seem so real now and that little ache in my heart for him is growing stronger by the day.  We went out to dinner to celebrate.....
and then showed off this simple piece of paper that means so much!!

We don't know you yet little man, but you are already soooo loved!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Awaiting CIS Approval

We were fingerprinted at the USCIS center in OKC on June 30, and want to make sure and capture the moment! 

I started stalking the mailbox about a week ago, knowing it was much too early to even dream of getting our approval letter, but I was unable to stop myself!  I went to the mailbox yesterday (7-20) and pulled out an envelope from the Dept. of Homel*nd Sec. and my adrenaline started pumping!  After I tore it open, my stomach sank as I saw that they were requesting another piece of information that I thought had been sent with our application to complete the approval.  I immediately called the National Benefits Center and spoke with our caseworker who checked our file and saw that the info was indeed there after all.  She assured me that our approval would arrive within 7 business days!!!  YAY!!! I'm now getting the last few documents ready for a trip to the Secretary of State for Authentication and then FINALLY.....the Waitlist!! I know that this is just one of many little glitches that we will face in this adoption journey, and I am truly okay with waiting for God's timing in all of this, but just to know that our paperwork will be in Ethiopia in the near future feels so stinkin' good!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Two Birds with One Stone

How great is it to have a baseball and soccer field combined, where Drew can practice his pitching while Bella's soccer team practices.  It has been such a fun 3 v. 3 season with a great group of girls and though we are looking forward to the upcoming tournaments, we will be sad to see it end.