LEGOs and Referrals

It is Friday night and the LEGO Robotics team just left our house. Pretty great stuff! “Rusty” has been planning to create this team for over a year, so he is quite happy. Both he and S. are on the team, along with eight other boys and our friend Nathan is the coach.

In adoption news, we have been told that there are only two families ahead of us waiting for a baby, and one of them is waiting for a baby girl – so in my mind that means there is only one family ahead of us! We are hoping for a baby and a toddler. Maybe we’ll get our referral by the end of the month. We’ll keep you posted.

K.’s adoption is moving along. Our home study has been approved. We are waiting for our dossier packet to get started on those documents. I hope that our friends saved their letters of reference on their computers, because we’ll be asking for them again.

Have a great weekend everyone!

It's a Girl!

We have exciting news to share. We are officially in the process of adopting a little five year old girl in addition to our two little boys! Her adoption is going to be a separate process from the boys and will require a second trip to Ethiopia, but we are completely smitten with her and believe that God has called her to be our daughter.

First of all I have to tell you how absolutely beautiful she is. She has soft curls, big brown eyes, and the sweetest dimples you’ve ever seen. Today we received a report on her with her height and weight, which we compared to Little Boo – who is almost four. Little Boo is one inch taller and two pounds heavier! It looks like they both will wear 4T clothing. I already have visions of them in matching dresses 🙂 It may not last long, because once children have better nutrition many of them begin to grow quickly, so we’ll have to enjoy it while we can.

The report also gives us the impression of a spunky little girl, who likes to draw and sing. She loves playing with her dolly and running in races.

Once again the paper chase begins. We are preparing a new dossier for a new agency, an updated homestudy, new immigration applications, and signing lots of checks. Although it doesn’t make sense to our logical minds, this makes perfect sense to the Lord who made this little girl and created our family. His ways are higher than ours and wiser than ours. We put all of our trust in Him.

Please pray for us that we will have perfect peace and that the paperwork will come together quickly and easily. Please also pray that the Lord, who has everything we need, will provide the finances for her adoption.

We can’t share photos until she is legally our child (after her court date – which is not even scheduled yet), but we will as soon as we can.

Thank you for reading.

There Is No Me Without You

My copy of There Is No Me Without You arrived a week ago just as we were going out the door to a wedding three hours away. I read aloud to Russ as we drove along, pausing only when I felt motion sickness coming on, or when the lump in my throat was too large to allow words to pass through.

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The book is touching and disturbing. Through gifted writing, Melissa Fay Greene gave me a clearer image of the crisis in Ethiopia that is leaving many children orphans. The book focuses on one Ethiopian woman who took in two teenagers at the request of the local Catholic church. She was soon faced with a flood of children handed to her through her gate, left on the street outside her compound, or dropped off by the police. The children in her care soon numbered eighty and there were problems with her imperfect system of care. However, her desire to love children and to help them continues to save the lives of many little ones.

My favorite part of the book was reading about and seeing photos of children who were in her care and later adopted by families in the U.S. Their stories are touching beyond words and full of hope. I don’t think anyone could read the last chapter without crying.

If you are interested in purchasing the book, you can go to the author’s website where I hope you will take a moment to view the slideshow of the beautiful children. You can also purchase it on Amazon here. I just ordered two more copies of the book to lend to friends.

Thank you for reading.

Guest Author: Learning Their Language

Hi, it’s Rusty today. I’m number 5 and eleven years old (for those of you that know me, that should be a sufficient hint of my real name ;-). I want to be able to keep Ethiopia as a very important part of my to-be brothers (possibly sisters), so since I’ve always wanted to speak a second language with someone, I decided to learn Amharic (the official Ethiopian language) and teach it to them as they grow up. Depending on their ages (probably infant and toddler), one of them might have some knowledge of Amharic.

I’m not sure why, but even though we don’t have siblings from Ethiopia yet, and I wasn’t born there, it feels as though Ethiopia has always been a part of me. As I search for a language course, I keep on thinking that Ethiopia is so much more than “part of Africa”, it is a place full of living, breathing people. A place in desperate need of our help. Ethiopia is a lot more to me than just a name; I feel a strong love towards this country.

I am excited about being part of this place. I can’t wait to share Ethiopian, and American culture with my brothers.

Books I am reading

Attaching in Adoption by Deborah Gray
This book is required reading by Christian World Adoption.

The Bible
This book is required reading by God.

Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey
This is my bookgroup’s read for June and July. It is a great book on Christian worldview. I have good intentions of catching up with my group by the July meeting, if I can put down my adoption-related books.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
I am reading this to my daughter, A. who is seven.

The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig
I am reading this autobiography to S. (13) and I. (11), (who thinks he might like to be called “Rusty” on my blog – but I’m not sure I can remember to do it). This is one of the last books we are reading for our school year from our Sonlight Curriculum.

Books I plan to read soon:

Black Baby White Hands: A View from the Crib by Jaiya John

I’m Chocolate; You’re Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Bi-racial Children in a Race Conscious World by Marguerite Wright.

Two other books to recommend:

Love in the Driest Season: A Family Memoir by Neely Tucker
I read this book as we were making our decision to adopt and it was excellent. It is not always easy to read, but the persistence of these parents in their attempts to bring their child home from Zimbabwe is admirable.

Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More than Peers by Gordon Neufield and Gordon Mate
I ordered this book from the library and decided to buy it in order have more time to consider the topic. I love the title!

If anybody would like to recommend more good reads, particularly about family or adoption, feel free to leave them as a comment. Favorite books for children are also welcome!

Thank you for reading.

In My Daughter's Own Words

A brand new experience…

(my fingerprints, to be sent to the FBI for a criminal background check)

(the fancy scanning machine…they no longer use purple or red or blue ink)

If you are wondering what on earth I did to deserve fingerprinting…it was not the heat of a ridiculously warm May driving me to commit crimes (even minor ones). In fact, the fingerprint session goes with wonderful news.

My family is in the process of adopting 2, or possibly 3, children from Ethiopia! The first minor bit of paperwork is done, but there is lots ahead. Fingerprinting is part of the criminal background check for all family members over the age of eighteen.

Please pray that the process goes smoothly and that God blesses us with 2 (or 3) wonderful children. There is such an incredible need…between 5 and 6 million orphans in Ethiopia. I am so proud of my parents for deciding to bless orphans with the love they have given to me and my brothers and sisters.

As an aside, finals and papers went well. God was very kind in both sustaining me through a gauntlet of two crazy weeks and helping things to turn out well. Thanks for all the prayers and encouragement. Have a wonderful summer!