Author Unknown

Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it. But I'm afraid God might ask me the same question.

Mother Teresa

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 4 - Court

Today was a very big and emotional day!! I didn't sleep very well from all the jitters and couldn't even eat breakfast. I just felt like I could cry at the thought of the judge saying yes or no. I thought I was going to throw up. We all dressed up in our pretty clothes and headed to the court building. It's just mind boggling to wait for a lady you've never met to say you are the mother to two children you've already fallen in love with.

We entered the court building and immediately saw a man with an AK-47 strapped to his back. Then we walked up a bajillion flights of stairs. With the extreme altitude that we are at, I was huffing by the time we arrived on our floor. We walked down a hall and into a big open room. There was a line of chairs around the outside walls and a big open space in the middle. The chairs were filling up quickly, so we grabbed one because we heard we could be waiting for hours. The room was a mix of emotions. The adopting parents were nervously talking to their agencies. You could also see the sad birth parents that were there to relinquish their rights to the child they have put up for adoption. It was super happy and sad all at the same time. The room filled up very quickly and then a lady popped her head out of a big metal door and called out the first names. It was our agency!

We walked into a skinny room with a judge at the far end. They locked the metal door behind us. The judge sat behind a big desk and she was very pretty. There were two other ladies to our right and they had piles of files in front of them. She asked us a bunch of yes-no questions and we could hardly hear her. They were things like "have you done a lot of research on Ethiopia so you can teach the kids about their country?" "Do your children at home approve of the adoption?" "Do you want to adopt these children?" That was a big YES. Then she called our son's name. We also added that we were adopting a baby girl and she looked a little confused. She flipped through our file and talked to our agency in Amharic. I was so nervous about what she was saying. All I could understand was "tomorrow." She talked with the other four families and two received the best words ever. "They are yours." Luckily, the other family passed later that day too. When we walked out of her office, we asked our agency what just happened. She said the judge didn't realize we were adopting two children and needed another day to look over our file. They hope for good news soon. In fact, when we went back to the care center, they wrote on the big white board that we aleady "passed." Keep praying that she will find our files in order and we get some great news tomorrow.

After that, we went to go see the kids. I still think they are the cutest kids ever. Baby K gets a great big smile when you pick her up. I still haven't officially heard her cry and we spent most of the day with her. We took her outside to where the big kids were playing. I wonder how long it's been since she's been outside. She has probably spent most of her life in that little baby room at the orphanage. She loved watching the boys play soccer and karate with one of the other parents. Then I was able to feed her a bottle and she fell asleep in my arms. Pure bliss! I know they do a lot of bottle propping in the orphanage, so I can't wait to rock her to sleep every night and give her lots of kisses. When the van arrived, we were told we could take her to the care center to be with her brother. I am so excited to have them together so we don't have to travel back and forth every day.

Our boy had another big grin when we arrived yesterday. I think he is starting to understand that we are "his." It is so cute how all the other children yell for him to come out when we arrive. They are so excited for each other to have parents. I am trying to take a bunch of pictures for him, but he loves to play with my camera. He was so happy to take a picture of my backpack and he has already figured out how to pop out the battery and memory card. He is still very quite. I did hear him talk once to his friend. His voice is so soft. He did sit on my lap for a while and he's starting to get comfortable enough to put his arm on my leg or tug on my shirt when he wants something. Another set of parents passed out some toys and one of those was a wand with long streamers. He and another boy decided to play tag with it. He is so fast!! They did circles running around the van and laughing and giggling as they tried to catch each other. I loved seeing him like this! I think he'll be very shy when he first gets home, but I hope our crazy family can bring out the silly boy in him like I saw today.

We also went to a restaurant last night called Habesha 2000. It has traditional food and dancing. Well, I can't say Ethiopian food is my favorite. Some of it is super hot and most of it I don't even know what it was. The dancing was incredible. They do this shoulder popping thing that doesn't look natural. The show just made my jaw drop. The men move their shoulders so fast, they look like they are popping out of their sockets. Then a lady with long hair started swinging her head around super fast and her hair was swooshing all around. You have to see our video. I don't know how she doesn't have whip lash. Then they pulled one member of our group up to dance with one of the men and do the shoulder popping thing. It was hilarious. I have to say this trip is extra special because of the people we are travelling with. I love them!! It is incredible to see people with the biggest hearts ever and a great love for all the children in the orphanage. I hope we get to travel with them again on our embassy trip.

Well, we hope to hear something soon. I'll post anything on facebook as soon as I get back to the hotel today.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 2 and 3

The day we have been awaiting finally arrived! It was such an emotional day. I said I wasn't going to cry when I met them. Psshhh!! That didn't happen. All the anxiety and hopes and love that I have felt for the past five months just flowed out as soon as I saw their smiley faces. They are precious!!! I don't think my blog post can do justice to how adorable they are.

We first went to go see baby K at the orphanage. They did not come to greet us at first, so I poked my head in all the doors. I think I interruped the children at school. Ooops! I walked into the baby room and found her in the crib in the corner. Oh, she is so stinking cute!! She has beautiful eyes and the best grin. She is so happy and I still haven't heard her cry or be upset. The nannies can really make her giggle. She has no problem with us picking her up and loving all over her. She is such a curious baby. She loves to look at your face and play with your nose or hair. She'll stretch as far as she can to catch a glimpse at the older chilren playing soccer or the painting on the wall. She rolls across the floor like a pro. We found the nanny that calls her "my friend." I had two pictures of them together that other families have taken. I gave them to her and she was super happy. You can tell the nannies really love those babies.

Then we went to the care center to meet our four year old boy. When we arrived, he was in his room, maybe asleep. He looked very scared and shy at first. He wouldn't even look at us and kept his head down. Once again, I was crying with a big grin on my face. I'm sure that confused him :) He is the most handsome boy!! He was smaller than I expected...just a teeny bit bigger than Cole. I brought out my bag of toys and he started warming up to us. You can tell he really loves the special attention. Every little toy he played with was hidden behind him or under his leg. I think he is afraid the other kids will take them. It wasn't long until we were playing ball and blowing bubbles and his favorite is our camera and I-phones. He was so cute taking pictures of his friends and then showing them :) Yesterday, I didn't hear him say anything. Today, he very quietly told me what some letters were and said the word "sister" when he looked at Adrian's picture. We also heard the children singing from their school. I was amazed at how many songs they know, both in Amharic and English!

I'm hoping they are already starting to bond with us. When K woke up from her nap today, she saw me and grinned really big. Then, I was really touched by how our boy reacted today. When we left the care center for the first time, he sat quietly with big crocodile tears. The nanny tried to explain that we were coming back. When we did arrive back at the care center, he came running to the door with a great big smile on his face. Oh, breaks my heart. I want to squeeze them in my suitcase and bring them back on this trip.

We have court tomorrow morning. We found out that the birth family has already testified in court about two weeks ago and they passed. That is a huge relief!! We were hoping to meet her on this trip, but she has already travelled back to the region 500 miles away. They will try and bring her back on our Embassy trip. So, now we pray that our updated I-600 has made it to our file in time and the MOWA approval letter is there. I'm really nervous about that. I'll post what court is like as soon as I can. If we do pass tomorrow, I'll put a few pictures and their names on facebook, if the internet is in a good mood.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 1

Hello from Ethiopia!! We finally made it! I just can't believe we are in Africa and only hours away from meeting the kids!

We are not able to access this blog from ET, so I plan on e-mailing my friend and hopefully she can update it for those that are interested in following our journey here. Internet here is pretty random. We did have one rolling black-out yesterday and the internet was out most of the night. Funny thing is, I woke up at 2:30 in the morning and can't go back to sleep. It works great right now :) I'll try to add pictures of our trip when I get home. I took some beautiful ones today.

Ethiopia is nothing like you've ever seen before! I don't even know how to describe this place. The weather is beautiful here and there are mountains around the city. The houses are very mixed. We saw some fancy ones that were made of stucko and they have large walls around them. When we drove out to the countryside today, we saw beautful little villages on the rolling hills that have the round hut houses with the grass roofs. There are many large buildings being built here and the scaffolding is crazy! They are just sticks that are stacked up against the tall buildings. It doesn't look stable at all.

It is hard to drive through the city. You see too many sad images that will be with you for a long time. Children will come up to your car and ask for food. I just can't resist those smiling faces and how they try to talk in English. I'll have to remember to keep my backpack full every day. I know some people say not to encourage them, but I have a hard time resisting. I do notice the people are very friendly and helpful. They all seem to be content and very focused on their family. They are a happy people, with things running on "Ethiopia time." No hustle and bustle like in America. I love it and wish it could be more like that where we live.

We were told that since the first day was on Easter Sunday, we would not be able to see the kids. So, we booked a trip to Debre Libanos. It was beautiful! Imagine a drive through rolling hills and then you come across a small Grand Canyon. There is a restaurant overlooking the cliff. You can hike down to the 400 year old Portuguese bridge that has a big waterfall during the rainy season. It was dry while we were there, and we didn't see any baboons. Oh well, it was a great way to get out of the hectic city and take some pictures for the kids to see how pretty their contry is. They even have cactus!! I was suprised to see the 7ft tall plants here - made me feel like we were back in Texas.

We are staying a really cozy hotel called the Yebsabi. There are several other families from our agency here and it will be a lot of fun! During the night there are lots of dogs barking. The roosters crow before daylight and you can hear singing and instruments from the mosque.

You won't believe the amount of donations we are taking! I want to thank ALL my friends that helped contribute money and items for the orphanages. I'll try to post pictures later of the HUGE suitcases that were stuffed full of clothes, medicine, and toys. Thank you SOOO much for your generosity and your loving kindness to these children.

It is officially Monday morning now. We should be able to see the kids in a few hours. I think they are still at different places. Our boy is at the care center and baby K is at Sele Enat. It just doesn't seem real. We've waited for so long for this moment. It's like being in labor for 21 months. My nerves are pretty calm right now. I'm not sure how I will be on the drive over there. I'm so happy, I'll probably be crying. But, I don't want to scare them and they think I'm a crazy person, so I must keep it together. Right? We plan on just playing and loving on all the kids there. I hope we can get lots of pictures for the other families that are waiting and can upload those as soon as we can. We can't officially say the names or show pictures of our kids until we pass court. Hopefully, that will be on Wednesday.

Here are some things that I have learned today:

* The people of Ethiopia are beautiful...especially the women. They have the prettiest eyes. I can't wait to see what our baby K will look like when she gets older.
* There are lots of cows and goats and people that walk down the street.
* Pedestrians should be afraid of our driver...very afraid! I can't tell you how many people he almost took out driving like a mad man.
* Coke signs are even in the countryside of Ethiopia.
* It's ok to carry your goat on your shoulders.
* You can be so tired you can fall asleep mid-sentence.
* Being so close to the kids without seeing them is pure torture.
* Hamburgers should not taste like meatloaf.
* Mike had to boil my toothbrush because I accidentally stuck in in the sink water. When you boil a toothbrush, it gets very floppy.

I'll can't wait to write the next post! I can't wait to tell you about the kids!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Last weekend, my friend, Sharon held a fundraiser for Sacred Selections. This is an organization that gives grants to Christians to help offset the expenses in the adoption process. They have helped 35+ families so far! This auction was a HUGE success!! They raised over $9,000 with the golf tournament, dinner and auction!!

We were guest of honors at the dinner and they decorated in the colors of the Ethiopian flag. How cool is that??

Lots of Mexican Food! Yummmmm!!!

Over 100 items for the silent and live auctions!! I couldn't believe how much time and love went into these donations! There was autographed memorabilia, beautiful paintings, a red picnic table, handmade pens, lamps, birdhouses, quilts and blankets. Incredible!!

Here is the great auctioneer! I love the jokes!

This is Dana who co-founded Sacred Selections and has the biggest heart ever! She loves her little babies from all over the world!! This sweetheart is from Ethiopia too and I'm sure our kids will be best friends soon!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


It's getting closer!! We are starting to gather what we need for our two trips to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. The first trip will be to meet the children and testify in court. Then we will bring them home 1-3 months later after the visas are processed. Our kids are living in two different orphanages right now. Both places are always in need of items like formula, vitamins, and medicine. We would LOVE to fill every square inch of our bags with donations for the children!

If you would like to help us with any of these items, we would greatly appreciate it! Just let me know and I will be happy to come pick them up at your house. You can reach me at

If you don't feel like shopping, I can do that for you :) I promise every penny will go towards the items below. When my bags are full, I can take money and buy supplies from the city. I could even help them buy items like additional beds, playground equipment, or fresh fruit for all the kids.

Here are some items they are in need of:

For the Babies:
* Formula - Bright Beginnings or Parent Choice Gentle Iron fortified powder
* Formula for Preemies - Enfamil Enfacare Powder
* Mixed cereal for older babies
* Baby Shampoo
* Baby bath soap (moisturizing for dry skin)
* cloth diapers (all-in-ones or prefolded with plastic diaper covers)
* rubber pants - all sizes to go over cloth diapers
* diaper rash cream
* sheets for cribs
* lots of small toys - like rattles, keys, teething rings, and chunky cars (please nothing made of material or stuffed animals. These collect germs with so many babies playing with them)
* bumbo chair

For Older children
* school supplies (handwriting paper, pencils, tools to learn English and ABC's)
* Lotion - moisturizing (with cocoa butter or shea butter)
* sheets for twin beds

* Infant and child multi vitamins
* Neosporin or antibiotic ointment
* Hydrocortisone creams
* Pedialyte or Kaolyte - powdered form
* Infant and child decongestants
* Infant and child cough syrup
* Bactroban cream
* Vitamin D supplements
* Selsun Blue shampoo (for ringworm on the scalp)
* Lotramin Ultra or Lotramin ring worm (not off brands)
* Alcohol swabs
* Saline spray or drops
* Petroleum jelly

Thank you soooo much!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Where the kids are...

Here are a few pictures of our agency's care center. This is where our boy L plays and goes to school. I wish I could show you pictures that include the beautiful smiling children :) Right now, there are probably more than fifty kids there from infants to age ten. It's hard to believe that we'll be there - THIS month!

Our baby K stays at an orphanage called Sele Enat. She has a nanny that calls her "my friend." When we travel, they will take her over to the care center so we can play with both children together. Here are pictures of her current home: