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!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Travel time!!!

So, we are sitting here at the airport in Columbia, waiting to board the plane to Washington.  If I were a good mom I would take a picture of Tim and I at the beginning of our journey.  I guess I'm not a good mom, because I'm going to skip it.  Who needs a picture of me and Tim sitting in an airport.  Not the part of the journey that I really want to remember anyway.

We got out of the house just fine, and I think I managed to remember everything I needed, even after waiting til the last minute to pack.  Anna gave me the biggest hug before we left and then stood at the front window with Pearl waving and blowing me kisses.  So sweet.  I even had to have Tim back up so I could see her for just a bit longer.

Cameron went home with a friend yesterday after school for the weekend, so I didn't really get to say good-bye to him except over the phone.  I wish I could have given him a big hug good-bye, but it didnt' happen.  He doesn't seem real heart broken over it.

So, we headed out, stopped at Star bucks to get a coffee for the ride to the airport and then we were on our way.  Tim programmed the airport into the GPS and we were off.  We got almost the entire way here, and then things started to look strange.  Well, Tim had programmed the wrong airp0rt into the GPS and we were going to the wrong one.  Fortunately we were only about 10 miles out of our way.  I of-course freaked, Tim kept playing with the GPS and I just wanted him to GET. US. TO. THE. AIRPORT.  We managed to make it with plenty of time to spare.  Sometimes technology can bite you in the behind!  He knew how to get to the airport but instead listened to the instructions of the australian lady talking out of a box!

I'm very anxious about the trip.  My stomach is a bit upset.  I'm wondering if I puked right now, if they would let me on the plane.  I better just keep my cookies down and not risk it!  I had Tim get me some cracker combos and a diet coke to soothe my stomach.  That seems to be helping.

I really can not wait to see and hear the sights and sounds of Ethiopia.  I can't imagine what my next post is going to be like....  because we will have gotten to see our Sara Joy!  Be prepared for some excitement!

I can't believe we are now on our way!!!!

In Christ,

Next Stop

Next stop - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

I know what I said.... (for Sara)

24 hours from now, I will be on my way to the airport.... I know in my last post, I said that would probably be the last post in the good ole' US of A... that my next post would be after getting to meet Sara.  I did however give myself an out - saying it would probably be the last post before Sara.  Good thing I stuck that word in there.  When I get nervous, anxious, excited... I write.  So, here I am writing again!

This one is specifically for Sara.  I want her to know how I am feeling when I'm so close to going to meet her for the very first time.

So, it's the day before travel day, and I'm scared.  I stare at your picture on the computer screen.  I have stared at your picture long and hard for over three months!  You were just a picture then.  Sure, I knew you were a child on the other side of the world, but for the past three months you could not materialize into anything more than a picture.  I could not learn about your personality.  I could not hold you in my arms.  I couldn't spend time with you and know what made you happy, what made you smile, what made you sad.... I could only stare at your picture.  You were really easy to care for on a computer screen as well.  I didn't have to worry if I was interpreting your needs correctly.  I didn't have to worry about whether or not  you liked me, because quite honestly, you don't even know I exist.  Even when I have you in my arms, you will not know the full extent of what I (we) mean to your life. 

I'm so nervous about meeting you.  You are such a beautiful little girl.  I know I will fall in love with you immediately (if I haven't already) and that makes me nervous.  I will only have four days with you and then I will have to leave you for a period of time.  Part of me prays that you will not care when I leave.  Part of me prays that you won't get attached - not like I will.  You probably won't care when we leave.  I will care.  When they place you in my arms Monday (in just THREE days), my life will be forever changed.  Lord willing, the courts will grant Tim and I to be your parents and I will be forever responsible for the care of you. 

I can't wait to give you the world Sara.  I hate that to give you the world, you had to lose so much.  God had a plan for us though.  I'm thankful that with the situation you are in, that He found a way for us to find each other.  Adoption is a miracle.  It's hard to believe that God found my daughter so far away from where we are now.  But since He did, I take very seriously my responsibility to do my best to raise you.

I want to raise you to love the Lord Sara!  I don't want to spoil you, but I want to give you opportunity to excel - to make your mark on this world.  I want to raise you in a family that accepts others, that loves others, that serves others. 

I don't know if you ever had anyone read you a bedtime story.... if not, you are in for something special.  Your DAD is the expert on bedtime-story-reading.  He and Anna read together almost every night.  I can picture you and Anna snuggling up in your pajamas in bed and having your dad read you stories together.  I picture you falling asleep before the story is even over and your dad gently picking you up and tucking you into your own bed.  I can't wait!  I can't wait to give you a bath and snuggle up with you - with your hair still wet and smelling so good!

I know that Cameron and Anna are looking forward to you coming home.  Anna is really excited about having a sister.  I think the two of you will be very close.  Cameron is excited as well.  Just make sure to stay out of his things :)  That really bothers him about Anna!  You have a great brother and sister waiting for you Sara Joy!

I can't wait to put a beautiful dress on you, do your hair up special, paint your fingernails and just make you feel like the special, beautiful little girl that you are.  You will be a wonderful addition to our family.  We have waited for you for so long, and now, the time is near for us to be together.  I am so excited!  I hope I can do things right. I hope I can make you feel loved from the very first time I meet you. 

So, tomorrow we head out on our journey.  I'm not looking forward to the long plane ride over, but it will bring us one step closer to bringing you home... and I am DYING to meet you!!!  So excited for that!

I love you Sara Joy!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

The next post

The next post on this blog will hopefully be from Ethiopia.  I was thinking that the next post would contain the "much anticipated" pictures of our Sara Joy, but probably the next post will be after our Monday visit with her.  We won't be able to post pictures yet at that point.  But let me tell you - the post on Tuesday... assuming we pass court... will be FULL of pictures!  I really can't wait to share this little girl with the world.  Her world, which has been so small to date - will suddenly become very large - and she won't even know it.  The little girl who has been in the orphanage her entire life, will suddenly be a daughter, a grandaughter and a sister - to a family completely on the other side of the world. 

The kids are getting excited.  Cameron has plans for the weekend, which is good.  It will keep his mind occupied and keep him and Anna from fighting all weekend.  Anna will spend time with my mom and Denis getting some one on one attention until Cameron comes home Sunday late afternoon.  I'm hoping they won't miss us too much.  I actually think I'm more worried about myself than I am about them.  I know they will be fine.  They will be spoiled rotten by grandma and Denis.  I'll be the one missing them!  I'm sure my mind will be occupied as well though.

I can't believe that tomorrow night I will pack (yes, the evening before we leave) and then Saturday morning we will leave.  It has been SUCH a long time in coming.  If I could ask for prayer, here are the specific things I would appreciate prayer for:

1.  Safe travel for Tim and I.  We will leave Saturday morning and get in Ethiopia Sunday evening. 

2.  Pray for the kids - that they are safe while we are away and that they don't miss us too much.  Please pray especially for Anna as she has difficulty when I am away.

3.  Pray for our first meeting with Sara.  Please pray that she is healthy and that God has prepared her heart for our family and for this adventure.

4.  Pray for our court date on Tuesday.  I'm not sure what time we will be in court - but when it is official, you will probably hear the celebrating all the way back in the states!  I hope I don't wake you with my celebrating :)

5.  Please pray for me - for having to leave my daughter and come home without her.  It is seriously going to break this mom's heart.  We will leave Ethiopia late Thursday night, so I'm sure we will see her Thursday afternoon and that is it.

6.  Please pray for our safe travel home.  We leave at about 10:00 pm Ethiopia time and we will be back home some time late Friday afternoon. 

7.  Please pray that God just carries us through the last stages of this process.  My nerves are on edge.  I'm anxious.  I'm leaving work at a very bad time and I'm worried about that.  I know it is all in God's hands - but I'm a control freak and the timing is causing me issues (maybe God trying to teach me a lesson :)  Pray things go smoothly at work while I am away.  We have a very important audit next week and I would really like for it to go well.

It's getting close......next update (likely) from Ethiopia.  Unless of-course I can't sleep tomorrow night and feel the need to write.

Soon to be a mom to three!!!!

In Christ,
Mom to:
Cameron Jacob 11 yrs.
Anna Clare AiYi 7 yrs.
soon to be Sara Joy Edom 17 months!!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's getting closer....

Tomorrow is Wednesday.  We leave on Saturday.  I haven't packed...in fact, I'm putting off everything related to packing.  Tim wants to run to CV$ to get the last minute "travel" things we need.  I don't want to do it.  I HATE packing!!!  Have I ever mentioned that before???  I seriously dislike the task of packing everything that you will need, up in a bag and figuring out once you get there, what you forgot.  Me, I pack at the last minute and usually don't forget anything real important.  Tim probably has hives because he has not started packing yet.

I'm getting anxious.  I'm kinda scared and super excited all at the same time.  I remember the feeling distinctly from when I traveled to pick up Anna.  I actually remember the same feeling the days before I had Cameron.  The feeling of... I'm so excited I can hardly believe it.  This is what I have waited for, for so very long... followed promptly by - this is a LIFE, her LIFE.  She is not a doll you pick up at a store, she is a child.  A 17 month old child.  She won't know me and probably won't like me.  I'm scared!

I'm sure she will be scared as well, and that makes me feel all the more nervous.  Same feelings I've had in the past.  I'm sure they will disappear and I will be flooded by feelings of love for this little one and all my fear will go away.  It's what happened with Anna.

I'm very grateful that we have gotten connected with another family who is traveling now.  They have the same court date as we do, and are actually on the same long leg of the flight over that we are.  It will be fun to experience the travel with new friends!  It will also be a bonus to not be over there alone!  We are even staying at the same hotel as they are. 

I'm not looking forward to leaving the kids for a week.  Cameron will be fine.  He is actually heading over to a friend's hause for the weekend and will have a blast with him.  Anna will be here at the house with my mom and Denis and will get all the one on one attention that she needs.  School will take up their week and by the end of the school week, we will be home. 

Anna doesn't like it when I leave though.  I seem to be the security blanket in her life and when her security blanket is missing, she tends to punish people.  Hopefully that will not be the case while we are away, but I'm kinda expecting it.  She gets very emotional and a bit crabby.  I'm hoping to keep in contact with the kids over the internet and with phone calls when we can.  I'm sure they will be excited to see pictures of their new little sister when we finally get our hands on her!

I can't believe I will be on a plane in 4 days!  It doesn't seem real!

In Christ,

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Wonderful Week

This week is set to be an interesting, fun-filled week!  I'm so very much looking forward to it.  This week, my daughter, little Miss Anna turns seven.  I can't believe she has been in my life for nearly six years.  I have been so caught up in the adoption lately, that I really don't give enough "blog attention" to my other two - who are already here, enriching my life!  So, today will be about Anna.  (and then a quick little update about the adoption at the end)

Anna has literally changed my life.  She has made me grow as a parent and presented some of the most challenging moments of my parenting life.  She is wonderful.  She is my little "Nanner".  My little "Nanner pants", or sometimes, she would even answer to just "pants".  She is stubborn as a donkey and sharp as a tack.  She makes me smile!  She makes me cry!  And she has such control over my emotions because I love her so much. 

Today was one of my challenging parenting moments with Anna.  I disciplined her and I corrected her.  But, it didn't seem like she was getting it.  She just wanted the punishment to be over.  That bothered me.  So, she and I discussed the issue again.  She spent some time in her room and has some privleges taken away.  She was very upset.  More about the punishment though, than what she had done. 

As she was spending some time in her room, I started thinking.  It bothered me that I was so hard on her and I started to think about why.  I don't like being hard on her.  In fact, I wish I didn't have to be hard on her at all.  I realized though WHY it's so important for me to be "hard" on her - it's because I care about her so much.  I care about her being successful and being trustworthy.  I want to see her SOAR!  She has the ability. She SO has the ability.  If she ever reads this, I want her to know why I'm hard on her - it's not because I like to be hard on her... it's because I LOVE her!

This little girl, who was placed into my arms almost 6 years ago in the city of Guangzhou, China, is my baby!  She is about to turn 7 and I can't wait to celebrate her birthday with her.  She is having a party for all of her classmates.  I'm very much looking forward to it.  She is VERY excited about it. 

I'm very thankful that God gave me this little girl to parent and to love.  I haven't always done it right, but I've always been thankful for being given the opportunity to do it.  I'm thankful for being able to love this little girl, and with all of my mistakes, she continues to love me... over and over again.  My strong-willed child - so much like her mama!

Adoption update - Two weeks and I will be in the birthcountry of my baby girl!  Two weeks from tomorrow I will have her in my arms!  Here we come Sara Joy!  Get ready for the change of your life!

In Christ,

Sunday, September 5, 2010


I'm beginning to feel desperate.  I'm not sure why... maybe it's anxiety, maybe it's excitement - but it feels like desperate.  I'm getting desperate to meet my daughter.  It sounds odd, but I can't explain it any other way.  This weekend I spent a few days with my mom and we did some shopping to get some things that Tim and I needed for the trip to Ethiopia.  We are getting SO close.  As we were out shopping, I was fine.  My mind was occupied and I had things to get done.  Plus, my mom and I were just having a great time.  But at night, when we would settle in and watch some television together, or as we were talking over dinner... I'd get this strange pressure in my chest and my stomach would have almost like "butterfly" feelings in it... although they would have been some big, angry butterflies the way they were making my stomach feel.  Anyway, I wondered why I felt this way.

Yesterday I got a message from a friend in Ethiopia who works with the orphanage my daughter is in.  He gave me some insight into Sara's life and her little personality... and then he sent me a picture of her.  That same feeling came back.  It's a feeling of wanting to leave right then, ready or not, to get my daughter.  It's wondering how it is right that she is on the other side of the world completely oblivous to the fact that I will soon come to beg whoever I need to beg (I know, I don't have to beg, but I would) for them to allow me to be her mother.  It's looking forward to having my heart broken when I have to leave her after this trip - knowing that it brings me SO much closer to having her home with me.  It's the feeling of looking forward to court and hopefully leaving the room KNOWING she is FOREVER my little girl!!!

I also found out yesterday that we will meet Sara's biological mother in court.  I have mixed feelings about that.  Part of me wonders how I will look into her eyes, knowing I am leaving with her daughter.  I can imagine it will break her heart, and her heart broken will break mine.  I'm wondering how I will feel if she is NOT heart broken.  I'm not sure how that could be, but I'm not sure which would be worse.  I am glad that I will be able to tell Sara something about her mother, but wonder if that is the best thing for Sara.  Will I be angry because she left Sara?  I'm hoping I will be at peace knowing that this is working out for the best for our family, for Sara and for Sara's mother.  I hope when we leave I will know that she was wise in the decision she made to leave Sara with us, and I pray that she will know that we are the right family for this little girl.  It's all so hard.  This was not an issue in our adoption of Anna.  We had NO opportunity to meet Anna's mother, so it wasn't something I had to think about.  I always felt horrible knowing I would have nothing to tell Anna about her birth family.  Now that I have this opportunity, I'm not sure which situation is more difficult.  We'll see I guess.

I am SO thrilled about seeing my little girl though!!!  The excitement is building and like I said, the only word that comes close to describing it is "desperate". 

After my picture yesterday from Ethiopia, I came home today to an e-mail from a friend.  She was sent pictures of her little boy, and she shared those pictures with me.  In those pictures were my little Sara Joy as well as her son!  I was SO thrilled to see her interacting with other children!  It was great to see her!

I'm so looking forward to getting my arms around her!!!

In Christ,