We truly are a family redefined. We are husband, wife, son, daughter, step children, biological and adopted children and most importantly, Children of God.

A friend pointed out that I needed to update my blog header. After our adoption from Ethiopia, I had updated it stating how the adoption of Sara Joy completed our family. Well... the journey continues. After much prayer, we have decided to follow what we feel is God's calling for us...we went to Ghana with the intention of adopting a four year old girl, Isabella Hope. Little did we know that she would be the catalyst to bringing home not only her, but her half brother and sister. We will now be adding not only Isabella Hope to our family, but also Mary Grace (9) and Gilbert (6) who we will transition to the name Nathaniel Timothy. The shock is wearing off and the JOY and EXCITEMENT are overwhelming. Now truly, our family is complete. The great part of journeying with God, is that it's always an adventure. He knows where we are going, and for us it is all a marvelous surprise. Looking forward to sharing our family adventures as we walk daily through life and as we venture off to Ghana to bring home Mary, Nate and Isabella! It's always an adventure redefining our family!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Spiritual Warfare

I am part of many adoption on-line groups.  I join them in the beginning to get a feel for what is going on in-ocuntry.  I stay to learn about agencies - which ones are reputable, and which ones are not.  That does not take very long.  The unethical ones have information posted about them constantly.  I linger to read people's stories.  Oh how I love to hear about each process from beginning to end.  One group I joined is called CAFEKids.  It is a Christian group for people adopting from Ethiopia.  I don't thnk you HAVE to be a Christian to join the group, but the point of the group is:  Talking about God is not only ALLOWED, but it is encouraged.  You don't have to put a disclaimer on your topic saying "mentions God", none of that.  You just get to freely express your journey - including God!

Recently one of the topics has been about the spiritual battle that rages once you commit to adoption.  After reading all of the stories, I would really like to share ours.  I truly believe that Satan takes offense with those who adopt, especially those who adopt in the name of God.  Or maybe just those who adopt who are Christians.  An orphan being brought into a Christian home to hear the truth of the gospel is a whole less likely to follow Satan than the orphan who does not get fed the truth.  It's also about obedience - God calls us to care for the orphan and the widow.  Those who adopt are carrying out God's desire.  Satan surely doesn't like that.

I truly believe the attack comes in many forms, and it is different for every family.  I am a saver.  I am very cautious with money.  Our monthly deposit into our savings account is viewed as a "bill" to me.  Our family is very financially responsible.  I wouldn't say I'm "cheap" or else we would not be on this adoption journey, but I am reasonable.  I'm not extravagant.  One of my biggest concerns is with money... not because we don't have enough, but because I want to make sure we spend wisely.  Satan knows this.  Satan also knows that we tithe every month... and if he can make life difficult enough for us, maybe we would skip our tithe in order to meet my need to save.

We made a commitment to adopt a LONG time ago.  We started the process nearly 2 1/2 years ago with an adoption from Vietnam.  We spent nearly $12,000 on that adoption (that never happened) and the country closed.  We did get some of our money back, but it was a pittance compared to what we spent.  Our agency was unethical and although our documents were filed in-country, there was NO WAY we could get a child because the agency was not licensed in the provence they sent our documents to.  We waited nearly a year in country before we discovered that.  Satan likely laughed.  God knew though.  After that, we decided to switch agencies and adopt from Kyrgyzstan.  We had to do an update to our home study, new immigration approval, and a TON of money on new dossier documents.  Right before were to submit to the country embassy, there was a slow down in country.  I was so afraid that the same thing would happen in Kyrgyzstan as did in Vietnam (with the country closing) that I waited.  Thank goodness we did, because our next step would have cost us around $8,000 and we would have lost ALL of that money and had no child..... Kyrgyzstan closed.

At that point in time, Tim and I decided to stop, take a step back and not decided what WE wanted to do, but decide what GOD wanted us to do.  God pointed us to Ethiopia.  We were also led to look at another agency.  One closer to our home state and who were a Christian agency.  Not one that said "sure, we are Christian", but one that even had CHRISTIAN in their name.  Not that a name says it all, but someone who is not a Christian, usually doesn't want to be called one, and it also limits the agencies audience - so we were comfortable with the agency and our case worker.

We started the process to adopt from Ethiopia in July.  Our dossier is now in country (whoo-hoo!!!).  It was completed in near record speed (God's hand).  Our immigration approval was completed in 2 business days (God's hand - this normally takes 6 - 8 weeks if not longer).  Our home study was able to be done in just weeks (God's hand).  I truly believe that if you go where God leads, you will feel the doors open, instead of trying to shove them open for yourself.

So, since we are where God wants us to be, Satan has no power - not in the adoption process.... but he knows my desire to live reasonably.  Since he can not attack the adoption process because God is working there - he has begun to attack us financially.  (I guess he forgot that part where God provides).  The first hit was with an issue under the house - CHING $6000.00 for a vapor barrier and dehumidification system (I swear you could like live under our house now it is so nice under there... but I digress :).  Next - six months after being told I have no issue with my right eye needing surgery, I start having vision problems.  I can always tell when I'm starting to have issues, because I get really bad headaches.  I called the doctor and made an appointment... sure enough, I need eye surgery - and due to some work commitments, I wasn't able to schedule it until after the first of the year (when I have to meet our deductable again) rather than this year (when it is already met) - CHING $$$ BIG BUCKS!!!  Finally, about a month ago, I was walking through the kitchen and the floor in front of the fridge felt strange.  I brought it up to Tim, but with the holidays and so much going on , we diidn't get around to calling someone about it.  We called about a week ago and yesterday a floor person came out.  They measured the moisture on one part of the floor 6% - very dry.  In front of the fridge - >60%.  The meter only went up to 60 and it hit that immediately.  The floor guy said we had a slow leak from the fridge and that it has damaged the floor.  So, we had to call a plumber.  The plumber came out and found the source of the problem.  The result.... we have to replace the kitchen floor.  CHING, CHING, CHING.  I guess the good news in all of it is that I never liked our kitchen floor and now we get a new one :)  Thankfully because of our wise spending / saving, we have been able to cover these expenses without the aid of credit!

In all of the talk recently about the spirtual battle that rages when you start an adoption, I really began to think.  It all started to make sense to me.  Maybe the devil doesn't realize though, that I trust in God to fund our adoption.  If we are reasonable with our money and tithe, He will provide.  He has and will continue to.  Rage on Mr. Satan - I've got God on my side!

In Christ (take that Satan),

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

If you would be so inclined

Dear Friends,

I know over time I have asked for prayer, prayer for this, prayer for that, prayer for the adoption, prayer when I had to leave my family for a month to get Pearl....I'm sure I've asked.  Well, I'm asking again.  It's not for me... well, not really.  It's for Cameron - which I guess indirectly ends up being for me as well.  Anyway, I'm asking for him.

I don't share a whole lot about his life, outside of what happens directly within our family.  I guess this qualifies and if not, I'm going to share it anyway.  Last night I got a phone call that I knew for a couple of months was coming.  I was hoping that it wouldn't come, but it did.  It was from Cameron's dad.  Again, I don't share much about Cameron's life with his dad, or much about his dad at all.... I guess being divorced, it's really not my business to share - but again, I'll share this.  Cameron's dad lives in SC about 2 1/2 hours from us.  He moved here from Michigan about 4 years ago.  It was a good move because Cameron got to see his dad regularly.  Well, about three months ago, Cameron's dad lost his job.  As with everywhere else, the unemployment rate in SC is high.  He has been unable up to this point to find another job.  Tomorrow, he's leaving SC.  I won't go into the details about where he is going, because that's not mine to share, but the impact on Cameron will be great.  He's moving to another state and Cameron won't get to see him like he does now.  Right now he sees him about every three weeks.  It'll probably be three times a year if  he is lucky. 

Cameron is not the type of kid who is going to tell you when he is hurting - and he is definitely not going to tell his dad that it hurts him.  I know his dad is upset for having to leave.  No matter what I think of him, he loves Cameron - and more importantly, Cameron loves him.  That is exactly why Cameron won't tell him that it is bothering him.  I know my son though, and it will bother him.  It bothered me to not be near my family when I was an adult... why woldn't it bother a child?

Here's the kicker though... Cameron doesn't know about this yet.  I got the call last night.  I thought he was not leaving until next week... instead, he is leaving tomorrow.  Tim and I were planning on taking him to see his dad again on Jan 1st.  I was hoping his dad would tell him then and they would at least get to say good-bye (for now) in person.  His dad saw him last week.... and for reasons I don't quite understand, he didn't tell him - and now, he's leaving before he will see him again.  I don't want Cameron to hear something like that over the phone, plus his dad is fairly emotional about the whole thing right now, so that wouldn't help matter either.  I almost don't blame his dad, because I would not want to tell my child that either - but sometimes as a parent, you have to do things that you don't want to do, for the benefit of your child - for their well-being.  That being said, since it is apparent that his dad is not telling him, that task will fall on me.  His dad said he would call and tell him when he got settlted in... well, in my mind, that's not good enough.  How do I explain that he is not going to see his dad on the 1st?  I will have to tell him.

Please pray for comfort for Cameron.  I know he is worried about his dad.  Besides losing his job, he is having some health issues (probably anxiety related as a result of losing his job) and I'm sure that is bothering Cameron as well.  Last week when Cameron was with his dad, his dad had to go to the emergency room because of these issues.  I'm sure Cameron is struggling with all of this, and me telling him his dad won't be here anymore will just make it worse.

Please pray for Cameron - and pray for me that I find the right words when I tell him what's going on.  It breaks my heart to have to do that.  Please also pray that I find a way to say the right words that encourage Cameron to talk to me about how he feels about the whole thing.  I know it will hurt him, but it's unlikely that he will share that.

Thanks for listening and thanks for your prayers for my Cameron.

In Christ,

Monday, December 28, 2009

After Christmas shopping

This morning Tim and I ventured out to the stores to do some after Christmas shopping.  It has kind of become a tradition for us.  Every year after Christmas, we go out and buy Christmas stuff for the following year.  Usually we hit the jackpot and get stuff at somewhere around 75% off.  This year, we weren't so lucky.  Maybe we waited longer last year - maybe it was closer to New Years by the time we made it out shopping.  All I know is last year we got small trees for each of the kids' rooms for 70% off.  A bunch of ornaments for each tree, some little decorative things, and of-course candles... I think all for 70% off.  I thought for sure, after the weekend rush, that things would be 70% off by now.  Nope... everywhere we went, it was 50%.  Some places didn't even have anything.  But, we still got some good deals.  I got a cookie tray that is absolutely beautiful.  The best part about it, is it isn't really Christmas themed.  I can use it year round.  It's something you could use for cookies / candies or something like that.  I love it. 

We bought another tree last year, so we have one upstairs that you can see through the huge front window, and then we have one for downstairs on the main floor that we put the gifts under.  So, this year we just had the tree upstairs with lights on it, but no ornaments.  I was going to buy ornaments for it before the holidays, but thought "why spend the money now, when I can get at least twice as much for the same price in two weeks".  So, I waited.  The tree will be full of ornaments next year.  I just bought colored balls.  All silver and then threw in a box of red to add some color.  It'll look nice next year.  I was looking for some lighted garland, but didn't find any.  Oh well....

My blog friend Lori asked about my camera.... no Lori, you didn't miss it... I never said which one I got.  I got the Canon Rebel xsi.  It's really nice.  Tim got it from godigital.com and it came with a huge accessory package.  If we bought it in the stores around here, we would've only gotten the camera and one lens.  For the same price we got:

the camera
three lenses
three filters
two tri-pods
a carrying case
two 8 GB memory cards
a USB card reader
an external removable flash

and probably some other stuff that I don't even know about yet.  As I'm learning how to use it, I absolutely LOVE IT!!!  If I had to rate it, I would give it 5 out of 5 stars.  Sure, it took me some time to learn how to use it, but I'm a novice.  I'm used to a camera where you just open the box, slap in a couple of batteries and you are good to go.  This is definitely not that kind of camera.  I kind of wanted it to be when I opened the package (only because I wanted to use it right away) but as I am learning how to work this, I'm LOVING it!  It definitely wasn't the cheapest camera in the world, but it surely wasn't the most expensive one either.  But it takes great pictures.  Probably they will be even better when I figure out what I am doing!  I guess the best part was that it really was a good package deal.  I highly recommend getting one off of the internet rather than in a local store.  It was brand new, in the original intact packaging, and delivered to my door within probably 5 days of Tim  ordering it.  And I love it.  I seriously can not wait to take it with us to Ethiopia..... I can just imagine the beautiful pictures I will get there.  Not just of my Sara Joy either!!!  I can't believe that this may actually be the year that Sara Joy comes home!!!

And to my dear blog friend Lori - I know you may not want to hear this right now, but I have to say it, because it is the truth - you are an incredibly strong person.  Your family has touched my heart.  Your strength and trust in God during this very difficult time in your life is amazing.  Your Matthew.... just precious.  My first born is my son, and I can't imagine him not being here with me.  I imagine you could never imagine it either... and yet you have to not only imagine it, but live it.  My heart breaks for you when I think about that.  No mother (no father) should ever have to endure such heartbreak.  I'm sure it's pain that I can not imagine.  I hope you don't mind that I linked to your web page - your story, how it unfolded and how it continues to unfold, is inspiring.  How you respond in the face of such pain is incredible.  It should be shared. 

Well, now that the after Christmas shopping is done, I pobably need to start thinking about just when is going to be the perfect time to bring down all of the current holiday cheer... uuggghhh - I really dislike that task.

In Christ,


It was pointed out to me by a close friend that she no longer has the ability to comment on my posts.  Does anyone have any idea why?

If you know how to get the comment link back, please let me know.  You can e-mail me at:


Any help would be appreciated.

*****Nevermind... apparently now the option is back.  Not sure how it disappeared, or how it came back, but it is back*****

In Christ,

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Subject: Pearl

While the boys were on the bike trail and Tim and Anna were out working in the front yard on riding a bike with no training wheels... I figured out the very basics of my camera. Pearl was a very willing (or unwilling - just submissive) subject... and I thank her.
Here is a beautiful picture of my precious Pearl:

A beautiful picture of my beautiful Anna-banana

And Cameron:

Hamilton takin' a ride around the neighborhood

Look at those blue skies.... the house is much prettier with the flowers in bloom instead of the dead stalks still there.
Anna stopped quickly on her bike, and Tim toppled over her. Pearl quickly took the opportunity to pounce.
And finally, Anna on her bike. Nice flower stalks again... oh well, they are in the process of being hacked!!!

I seriously LOVE my new camera and can't wait to get creative with it!
In Christ,

Bike Rides and Cameras

Whoo-Hoo!!! I got my camera to work!!! I made a deal with Heather though, that I would pretend that it didn't work, so she could come over and we could spend some time together. It will be a long time before I end up anywhere without this camera. I have only learned the basic stuff, but already it ROCKS!!! I am so happy I got a new camera for Christmas and I'm so happy that I have it in time to take it to Ethiopia with us (which who knows when that will be, but at least now I am ready!!!). I have been snapping pictures all over the place.

Anna learned how to ride her bike today. She should have really done it this past summer, or the summer before, but she was not interested, so we didn't push her to do it. We did take the training wheels off last summer though and pitched them (which is probably why she was not interested in riding). Then recently, as I reminded Tim that we needed to work with her, he went out to check out her bike and the wheel was broken. A wheel costs just about the same as a new bike, so we just got her a new bike. We were already out shopping for one for Cameron, because somehow, his got stollen. He and Hamilton were going to go for a bike ride yesterday and they came back in the house and said that Cameron's bike was not in the garage. Sure enough, Tim went out and looked, and it was gone. So, while they were out looking for a bike for Cameron, Anna got a new one as well. It was kind of an incentive to get her riding as well.

Sure enough, she did it. I think Tim was getting a bit frustrated with her, but they rode over and over the grass and finally, she was able to do it. She rode the entire length of the front yard. Now grass is an easier surface to fall on... but it is actually hard to ride on grass. I think once she is done being afraid of falling, she is going to tear up the pavement!!! Cameron and Hamilton took off down the bike trail, and now Tim is off running. Me... I'm vegging out in my pj's figuring out all of the wonderful features of my new camera.

I guess now it is time to start looking forward to 2010. So, what do I want in 2010? Well, I've been thinking a lot about it, and will put together a nice, long post prior to ringing in the new year.

Off to play with the camera and download some pictures... I will share soon!!!

In Christ,

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

It has been a great Christmas Day. The kids were up bright and early this morning waiting to open their gifts from "Santa". Well, actually, Cameron was up bright and early as usual, but Anna had to be prodded out of bed. I think Cameron went by her room and made her getting up happen a little quicker than it would have happened on her own, but that is ok.

The kids really enjoyed opening up their gifts. Cameron got many new things that he really enjoyed. Anna did as well. We talked about what happened over 2000 years ago this Christmas morning. The kids shared their gifts with us and we had a good time together. I have some pictures (that I had to use Cameron's camera to take) but they are pretty blurry. I was hoping to use my camera, but I haven't figured it out completely yet, so I was not able to use it. I was able to get the lens on it, but I was not able to figure out all of the functions, so I was not able to use it. Heather is going to come over one day soon and help me figure it all out. The sad news is, the pictures weren't all that great, so I'm not going to post them. I'll post some Christmas vacation pictures later, once I get my camera working (or rather I find out how to work my camera).

After the kids took some time playing with their toys it was time to go and pick up Hamilton. He had time opening gifts with his mom this morning, and then we have him until New Year's Eve afternoon. Once we got him here, he opened his gifts and then the kids headed off to play. We played scrabble and now they are upstairs playing Madden football. Cameron won in scrabble, Tim came in second and Hamilton and I tied.

Last night we had a wonderful Christmas Eve. The Christmas Eve service at church was wonderful. We sang a TON of Christmas carols and for the first time ever, they invited everyone in church who had a cell phone with them, to call friends and family who could not be with them at church that evening, and we sang Silent Night - first with the orchestra, and then finally with just our voices. It was beautiful. I'm not sure how many people received a phone call, but if one did, they heard some beautiful voices.

After the service we went to a Christmas celebration at Heather and Neil's house. Heather's mom and dad were there, and we had a great time together. I think Heather's mom has adopted me as her second daughter. She, Heather and I sat and laughed all night. Mostly we were laughing at Neil. I guess second we were laughing at me. Not WITH me mind you, but AT me!!! It's fine. If I can dish it, I need to be able to take it. Someday I will tell the stories that Neil blesses us with every visit. He has a story for at least one thing, every time we are there. It usually involves a food item. Someday I will tell the stories, but he made me promise I not broadcast it to the entire internet.... So, I won't. But someday, we will hear the Mimi3 (I'll explain that sometime later) story about 1 - beans, 2 - the truffle sniffing pig 3 - the goat Larie' that provided milk for mimi3 and was turned into a purse...... A RED purse.

Speaking of the red purse - it is absolutely wonderful. I love my new red purse. I'm going to get the perfect little wallet to fit into my purse and get rid of all of the extra junk that I don't need in my current purse. Heather is such a sweetie for finding me the red purse :)

Heather also got me a tacky pair of socks. Heather and her mother like to wear strange socks. I'm a solid, boring sock person. They make fun of me, and I make fun of them. Heater's mom has this pair of Birkenstocks that are hideous. I know that sounds terrible, but her mom knows that I think they are crazy ugly. We laugh about it. Anyway, they thought it funny to get me a pair of ugly socks, that I really do not feel obligated to wear. I returned the favor though. I had the kids help me look at every store for the two ugliest / tackiest pair of Christmas socks and purchased one pair for Heather and one pair for her mother. The sad thing is - they WORE them. Heather's mom will probably wear them with her ugly shoes!

Heather and her family have a Christmas Eve tradition which was our last night gathering... it is fondly called Tea Cart. It has grown beyond a tea cart and sometimes it is themed. We are blessed as a family to have been included in tea cart this year. I'm hoping that we will be able to participate in years to come.

To Heather and her family (mom and dad), we are happy to be part of your lives and you are wonderful, wonderful friends. We are looking forward to ringing in the new year with our family again! (Heather, your mom and dad are MORE than welcome to come and ring in the new year with us - please invite them for us).

Merry Christmas to all of my family and friends. Merry Christmas to Sara Joy who is not with us yet. We love you Sara Joy and can't wait to find out who you are and when you will come home!!!

In Christ,

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

I would like to start by wishing everyone who reads this a wonderful Christmas eve and day! If you happen upon this, and don't know the true meaning of Christmas, then I would hate to miss the opportunity to tell you what it is all about. It is about more than presents, Christmas trees and decorations. It's even about more than having family around. Truthfully, it's about more than just the birth of Christ. It's about the birth of the savior. The one who yes, was born on this day, but also who died for us! To save us from our sins.

I heard a church service recently that put it very simply:

"Hark the herold angel's sing
Glory to the new born king
Peace on Earth and mercy mild

Christmas is about the reconciliation of sinners with God. It could only happen through our Lord Jesus Christ - and the miraculous birth of Christ in a manger to the virgin Mary started the whole reconciliation process.

I need to spend more time this Christmas remembering that. Remembering what it is all about.

When I was young, I used to think that Christmas was all about the presents, the Christmas lights, Santa and snow. Thank goodness that is not what it is all about, because here in South Carolina, we have no snow, there are lights on the trees, but I've come to learn that Santa is not real and that the presents can disappear - all it takes is losing a job, having a family member sick or a multitude of other things. Thank goodness I have learned the true meaning of Christmas - it's all about Christ and the process that started the day of His birth.

Tonight we will go to our Christmas Eve church service, and afterward we will go have a Christmas Eve celebration with friends. While the food will be good, and it will be great to be with friends, I hope when I come home tonight, I spend some time thinking about what it really is about.

Today was the first day of a much needed Christmas vacation. We aren't doing a whole lot of anything, but spending time with family and friends and getting some things done around the house. The kids will open their gifts tomorrow morning and I'll watch the smile on their faces as they open their treasures. I love watching kids open their gifts. Anna will put reindeer food out for Santa's reindeer and in the morning she will surely have a story of how she woke up and saw Santa peeking in her door, or heard the reindeer on the roof. It's not so bad to let a kid be a kid. Tonight though, as we are in church, they will hear (as they do every year) what it really means - - that even without the tree, the gifts or Santa, there is still Christmas. Christmas came before all of that. I wonder if we'll celebrate Christmas in Heaven? I wonder if we celebrate our birthdays in Heaven - 0ur physical birthday? Or maybe our spiritual birthday? I'm not sure, but I look forward to finding out.

Tomorrow I will try to capture pictures of the kids. I got my Christmas present a bit early... I got a new camera, but I'm still trying to figure it out. I currently can't manage to get a lens on it, or take a picture. Heather will help me with that tonight though. Surely I will have it figured out by the time we make our trip to Ethiopia to get our little Sara Joy.... which is the reason I wanted it in the first place. Hopefully this is our last Christmas without our little girl.

Heather - if you are reading this... the apple pie is made (still warm and smells YUMMY), the spicy dip is warming and some crazy socks are coming your way for you and your mom!!! We're looking forward to spending Christmas Eve with your family.

Merry Christmas to Tim, Cameron and Anna! I love you all very much.

In Christ,

Monday, December 14, 2009

Color Blind

Sometimes it is the post that defines the title, instead of the title defining the post... as was the case with this post. The title was written after the fact.

It has been confirmed....

12/14/2009 2:09 pm With delivery courier.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Our documents are now officially in the same country as our daughter! How cool is that? To me, that is WAY cool! I honestly didn't know if we'd be at this point by Christmas. I didn't know how long our immigration approval would take, but that was approved in RECORD time. And now, here we are. I'm amazed. I'm excited. I'm full of anticipation....

While I am all of those things, I still stand a bit reserved. We have been here before. Not exactly *here*, but in a very similar situation. Dossier in country and nothing ever came of it. Then we got close to dossier being in country, and couldn't move any further forward because of country changes. So, while we are here again, and full of excitement, we are still a bit reserved.

When I was in the process of adopting Anna, I guess I was a bit naive with regard to the adoption process. I announced my decision immediately, and everyone waited with me for a year to get my paperwork done, to send it off, to get a referral, and then to go and get my baby girl. With the many unsuccessful attempts to adopt recently, it's been a bit more quiet. Very few people know - only close friends and family. I've been down the road of having to explain to person after person why we don't have a child home with us yet. It's difficult. Especially when the person doesn't understand the adoption process. There are so many questions.... where did all of your money go? Doesn't it make you mad that you spent so much money and didn't get a child? Why can't you get your money back? Why don't you just adopt from here? or here?

More than money, for us, it is lost dreams. I pray that our Sara Joy is not another lost dream. I don't think she will be though. God led us here, and God will see us through this. If HE means for our daughter to come from Ethiopia, then she will come, and nothing will stop the process. If in the end, we don't have a child - God has given me peace with this process. Strange but true. No matter what happens, I feel as though God wanted us here, now, going through this process. I want nothing more than to bring home my daughter.... but it's real nice to be walking through where God wanted you to walk at the same time.

I really have been very cautious about how excited I get about this process though. With Christmas right around the corner, I have every reason to want to get Sara things. She will eventually be home and I want her to know that we were thinking about her, before maybe she even existed. She is our daughter in our hearts already... why not buy gifts for her. Well, I've held myself back. I don't want to be disappointed again. I did pick out a very special doll for her though. She will have that. She got a "black" baby doll. I'm not sure if that is the right term to use, if it is offensive or what would be the right thing to say, but that is what she got. Anna got an asian looking doll. Here is the best part though.....

My kids don't see in color. Really, they don't. I brought Sara's doll out. Anna asked why Sara got a doll and she was not even here. It would have been from "Santa", but I quickly explained to her that her dad and I got the doll for Sara, because even though she is not here with us yet, we wanted to remember her on Christmas. I turned the box so the doll was clear through the front of the package. I asked Anna if there was anything special about that doll. Now in the past I've tried to get Anna asian looking dolls, but sometimes that is not possible, so she ends up with a white baby - so mind you, the majority of dolls she has ever looked at, are white. I asked her if there was anything different or special about this doll than any of her other dolls. She looked closely at the box. She said,

"She has a blankie"
"She has a pacifier"
"She has a bow on her head"
"Oh, she has tiny little shoes"
"She has food she can eat"
"Look, she even has extra clothes"
"She has a small teddy bear that she can play with"

She never mentioned that the doll had dark skin. I think of all the things I have done wrong with my kids, I think the one thing I have done right, is help them not see color. Thank goodness for that. It's not that I don't want her to recognize the differences... but it shouldn't be the first thing my children see about someone. I want them to see past the color of people, and see what the person has to offer, independent of color. I want my children to be color blind, and for now, it appears as though, they are.

Life isn't about color... life is about people. It's important to embrace the differences in people of different color, but it shouldn't be what distinguishes them. I can't wait to embrace my Sara Joy.

In Christ,

Friday, December 11, 2009

Kinda like.....

It's kinda like being a small child and watching Rudolph travel the globe on Christmas Eve delivering gifts to children. Something like that. Maybe a bit more exciting, because with this delivery is the start of a new life. A new life for a child who needs a family, and a new life for a family who would love another child.

12/11/2009 9:24 pm Transit through DHL facility
Leipzig, Germany

6:48 am Depart Facility Cincinnati Hub, OH

3:16 am Processed at DHL Location. Cincinnati Hub, OH

2:05 am Transit through DHL facility Cincinnati Hub, OH

12/10/2009 10:07 pm Depart Facility Washington - Ronald Reagan National, DC

10:05 pm Processed at DHL Location. Washington - Ronald Reagan National, DC

7:24 pm Departing origin. Washington - Ronald Reagan National, DC

2:48 pm Shipment picked up Washington - Ronald Reagan National, DC

Without getting too excited... this is where we stand! Our paperwork is ON THE WAY TO ETHIOPIA!!!

I wonder if our little Sara Joy has even the smallest of thoughts about the new life she will embark on. I wonder if she has any clue that her mom and dad are waiting for her. I wonder if God has created her. I wonder if God has spoken to her heart - telling her to wait, He is with her, but mom and dad are coming. I wonder.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Who would've thought

Not me, that's for sure! I asked for record turn around time for our immigration approval, and believe me when I say I got it. Tim came in tonight with the mail from today. He said "Why would I be getting something from homeland security"? I dropped what I was doing and said "gimme it"!!! He jokingly said he would open it, because it had his name on it. Oh no.... I handled ALL of the paperwork, I would get to open this! I figured it would be some form saying that they received our application, had our fingerprints and they would be processed in a timely fashion.

Instead what I found inside that lovely envelope was our approval form!!! How wonderful is that? God must've opened a door for a reason! I think that is something that only God could manage to assist in. We just went to the immigration office to be fingerprinted EXACTLY ONE WEEK AGO. Then there was Thanksgiving in there. Literally, we were in the office 7 days ago!!! We have our approval!!! I said it before and now I will surely say it again - SC USCIS office is the BEST!!!!

We are now officially DONE!!! I will contact our agency tomorrow, send them a copy of our approval, and EVERYTHING is now COMPLETE!!! Seriously, how exciting is that! Truly exciting!

Now, we wait. Thank goodness there are the holidays and things like that coming up. It will make the wait go a bit quicker. I can't wait to see the face of my daughter. I seriously think that God has control of all of this. Who ever heard of a turn around time of 7 days? We were there last week Wednesday and the approval date was Monday. And remember, there was a holiday in there. They approved it in basically one or two business days!!! Maybe our daughter is born and God moved this along so we would be paper ready in time to go get her. Maybe she has been born and we needed to be ready quickly so she would not get older and outside of our approved age range. Whatever the reason, I thank GOD for making this happen so quickly. Finally, my part is done and I can now sit back and wait for my daughter. (probably one of the hardest parts, I know!).

Celebrating in SC!!!

In Christ,