As for me, I know of nothing else but miracles. - Walt Whitman

Friday, July 30, 2010

Where, Oh Where Did The Summer Go?

Oh where, oh where can it be? I'm starting to get that panicky summer-is-almost-over-and-I'm-not-nearly-ready-for-fall feeling. I mean, fall is nice and everything, and I love the fall colors and the bonfires, but in my head, summer seems way more relaxing and fun. I'm beginning to hear the crickets and buzzy insect sounds that I associate with August and September, and it reminds me of all the things I want to do yet before summer is over. Somehow I suddenly feel the need to fit in more swimming, picnics, and long walks, and want to curl up on the patio with a good book and an icy glass of lemonade. But, school will be starting again soon, so I see school shopping, stricter schedules and homework looming in the future. Ack! We only have a few more weeks of summer and I don't even want to think about it and the colder temperatures are coming and fall means spiders and I hate spiders and pretty soon I'll actually have to set my alarm to get up in the morning so I can get the kids ready for school and the sun is setting way sooner than it did just a few weeks ago and some of the leaves on the trees are changing already and my mums are starting to get big, bright blossoms on them and it seems a bit early for that and I'm definitely not ready to put my summer clothing away yet and.........Whew! Maybe I should just take a deep breath and go out there and do some more fun summer things. Take every day and make the most of it. And oh, yeah - remember that the beginning of fall brings me even closer to Ethiopia. Even closer to my little love(s). And even closer to the Ethiopian court system opening back up so that more referrals can go out! (The courts will soon be closing down for 2 months because during the rainy season, some of the roads become impassable.) So......Ok. Breathe deeply. Relax. And remember that to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

You're Invited......... "Let Your Heart Be Moved," a concert by the Mid-Ohio Chamber Players and the Apostolic Christian Church Choir. The proceeds will benefit Loving Shepherd Ministries (international orphan care), Gateway Woods (local children's home and adoption services) and Eastern European Relief. It will be held at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Van Wert, Ohio on Saturday, August 14 at 7:00 p.m. Please watch the video below for more information:

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

OK, I'm back!

We're back from vacation and had a wonderful time! Although I'm still trying to get back into a regular routine and get caught up on the mountains of laundry, mail, and yard work, and am working hard to get the pool back to a sparkly blue color, the time away was definitely worth it. Chris had business meetings in Washington D.C. a couple of weeks ago, and then the kids and I drove out to meet him when he was finished. We spent a few days with his sister Cheryl and her family in Maryland before heading south to Virginia and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I normally don't enjoy the fact that Chris has to travel so much for work (unless I get to go with him of course!), but he does collect lots of Marriott points which we redeemed for an entire week of hotel stays. Plus, we still have lots of points left over! It made for a very inexpensive vacation, which was great since we're in the middle of an adoption! Anyway, here are some photos from our trip:

The kids at Cheryl's apartment in Maryland

Ellicott City, Maryland - a cute little town full of vintage shops

Our kids got to spend quality time with their cousins, London.......

.......and Gracie. Isn't she adorable?

We enjoyed ice cream at Baltimore Harbor......

......and the kids loved the underwater tunnel across the Chesapeake Bay.

We got great shots of wildlife at the Virginia Zoo......

.....and at Yorktown Battlefield. This deer let us get really close before it ambled away.

This is the Emancipation Oak, where slaves learned of their freedom as the Emancipation Proclamation was read to them from underneath the sprawling branches.

This is one of my favorites. Adrian enjoyed Fort Monroe, which is where the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, was imprisoned. Afterward, Adrian kept himself occupied in the van by writing notes to Chris and me.

At Cape Hatteras National Seashore....

On Roanoke Island, where we watched the outdoor drama, "The Lost Colony."

We also visited the Wright Brothers Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, and got to see the spot where the first flight took place.

This photo shows the landing spots of the first three flights. The starting point is the big rock in the background.

Historic Jamestowne

Malia holding hands with Pocahontas

We went on board the USS Wisconsin, a battleship that was first used in WWII. It made me feel really old when I caught myself telling the kids that the battleship was used recently in Operation Desert Storm. Chris looked at me funny and said, "Recently? Try twenty years ago!" OK, just because it was in my lifetime doesn't make it recent!

Of course I had to take this cool photo of Africa at the Naval Museum...... a park where we had a picnic one day.....

New River Gorge in West Virginia on the way home.....

And back home to Ohio!

We all had a great time, and although we visited lots of places, it was very relaxing, too. If you enjoy history and water, Virginia's the place to go, as it has TONS of both!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Numbers!

Our case worker from All God's Children called me today with our new official waitlist numbers for the month of July. They are:

66 for girls

40 for boys    
  image provided by

37 for siblings

We've moved 5 spots for girls, 4 spots for boys, and 3 spots for siblings since last month. Hopefully many more referrals will go out in the next few weeks, so we'll have even lower numbers next month!

Hope you all have a great day!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Things I Love About Summer........

1. The flowers around our house:

2. Spending time in the pool:

3. Blackberries (and they're starting to ripen!):

4. Flip-flops. I love being able to slip on a pair and go. No socks, no bundling up! I can always tell it's summer when there are flip-flops piled up by the patio door!

5. Long walks:

6. Mint - for making delicious and refreshing iced tea:

7. Picnics:

8. Living in the country. This year, our house is surrounded by corn - east, west, north and south. We're kind of secluded from everyone else - it's like we have our own little island! Love it!

9. Vacation! (Which we will be enjoying soon!)

Have a happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Breakfast In Bed

Ashton and Malia made breakfast for me this morning. I was already up by the time they brought it to me, but they called it breakfast in bed anyway. They worked really hard to prepare the food, which included donuts, crumbled up chocolate chip cookies, candy bars, and toast with blackberry jam. Although I could only eat the toast (my stomach can't handle too many sweets in the morning!), it was a very thoughtful thing for them to do! What a great start to a new week!

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Very Thought-Provoking Read........

This is an outstanding article that gives a hint of what might be going through the mind of a newly-adopted child. Makes my heart ache for what my little one(s) must endure, but better prepares me for what lies ahead.

A Different Perspective
Hanky required. For anyone considering adoption, please read this article.
November 01,2006 / Cynthia Hockman-Chupp
Imagine for a moment....
You have met the person you've dreamed about all your life. He has every quality that you desire in a spouse. You plan for the wedding, enjoying every free moment with your fiancée. You love his touch, his smell, the way he looks into your eyes. For the first time in your life, you understand what is meant by soul mate, for this person understands you in a way that no one else does. Your heart beats in rhythm with his. Your emotions are intimately tied to his every joy, his every sorrow.
The wedding comes. It is a happy celebration, but the best part is that you are finally the wife of this wonderful man. You fall asleep that night, exhausted from the day's events, but relaxed and joyful in the knowledge that you are next to the person who loves you more than anyone in the world-the person who will be with you for the rest of your life. The next morning you wake up, nestled in your partner's arms. You open your eyes and immediately look for his face. But it's not him! You are in the arms of another man. You recoil in horror. Who is this man?
Where is your beloved? 
You ask questions of the new man, but it quickly becomes apparent that he doesn't understand you. You search every room in the house, calling and calling for your husband. The new guy follows you around, trying to hug you, pat you on the back. . .even trying to stroke your arm, acting like everything is okay. But you know that nothing is okay. Your beloved is gone. Where is he? Will he return? When? What has happened to him? Weeks pass. You cry and cry over the loss of your beloved. Sometimes you ache silently, in shock over what has happened. The new guy tries to comfort you. You appreciate his attempts, but he doesn't speak your language-either verbally or emotionally. He doesn't seem to realize the terrible thing that has happened...that your sweetheart is gone.

You find it difficult to sleep. The new guy tries to comfort you at bedtime with soft words and gentle touches, but you avoid him, preferring to sleep alone, away from him and any intimate words or contact. Months later, you still ache for your beloved, but gradually you are learning to trust this new guy. He's finally learned that you like your coffee black, not doctored up with cream and sugar. Although you still don't understand his bedtime songs, you like the lilt of his voice and take some comfort in it. More time passes. One morning, you wake up to find a full suitcase sitting next to the front door. You try to ask him about it, but he just takes you by the hand and leads you to the car. You drive and drive and drive. Nothing is familiar. Where are you? Where is he taking you?
You pull up to a large building. He leads you to an elevator and up to a room filled with people. Many are crying. Some are ecstatic with joy. You are confused. And worried. The man leads you over to the corner. Another man opens his arms and sweeps you up in an embrace. He rubs your back and kisses your cheeks, obviously thrilled to see you. You are anything but thrilled to see him. Who in the world is he? Where is your beloved? You reach for the man who brought you, but he just smiles (although he seems to be tearing up, which concerns you), pats you on the back, and puts your hand in the hands of the new guy. The new guy picks up your suitcase and leads you to the door. The familiar face starts openly crying, waving and waving as the elevator doors close on you and the new guy. The new guy drives you to an airport and you follow him, not knowing what else to do. Sometimes you cry, but then the new guy tries to make you smile, so you grin back, wanting to get along. You board a plane. The flight is long. You sleep a lot, wanting to mentally escape from the situation.
Hours later, the plane touches down. The new guy is very excited and leads you into the airport where dozens of people are there to greet you. Light bulbs flash as your photo is taken again and again. The new guy takes you to another guy who hugs you. Who is this one? You smile at him. Then you are taken to another man who pats your back and kisses your cheek. Then yet another fellow gives you a big hug and messes your hair. Finally, someone (which guy is this?) pulls you into his arms with the biggest hug you've ever had. He kisses you all over your cheeks and croons to you in some language you've never heard before.

He leads you to a car and drives you to another location. Everything here looks different. The climate is not what you're used to. The smells are strange. Nothing tastes familiar, except for the black coffee. You wonder if someone told him that you like your coffee black. You find it nearly impossible to sleep. Sometimes you lie in bed for hours, staring into the blackness, furious with your husband for leaving you, yet aching from the loss. The new guy checks on you. He seems concerned and tries to comfort you with soft words and a mug of warm milk. You turn away, pretending to go to asleep.

People come to the house. You can feel the anxiety start to bubble over as you look into the faces of all the new people. You tightly grasp the new guy's hand. He pulls you closer. People smile and nudge one other, marveling at how quickly you've fallen in love. Strangers reach for you, wanting to be a part of the happiness. Each time a man hugs you, you wonder if he will be the one to take you away. Just in case, you keep your suitcase packed and ready. Although the man at this house is nice and you're hanging on for dear life, you've learned from experience that men come and go, so you just wait in expectation for the next one to come along.

Each morning, the new guy hands you a cup of coffee and looks at you expectantly. A couple of times the pain and anger for your husband is so great that you lash out, sending hot coffee across the room, causing the new guy to yelp in pain. He just looks at you, bewildered. But most of the time you calmly take the cup. You give him a smile. And wait. And wait. And wait.

How would each of us handle all these changes? 

How would this impact us for the rest of our lives?
©2006 Cynthia Hockman-Chupp. Cynthia is an adoptive parent, teacher, and writer who has learned the most about parenting from her children. She operates a website with Heidi Louella, another adoptive parent and teacher, called with great information for families that are dealing with the challenges of attachment in young children. Her analogy is courtesy of Dr. Kali Miller, an attachment therapist. This article appeared in the book Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections. Used by permission.
This article was originally published in Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections published by EMK Press. This 520 page parenting book is a tapestry of contributions from over 100 adoptive parents, adoption experts, birth parents, and parents who have become experts to parent the children who have come to them. It is available from EMK Press,
16 Mt. Bethel Road, #216, Warren, NJ 07059

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

143,000,000 Orphans

This is the video that is in my sidebar. It is definitely worth watching, if you have not done so yet.

"If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death.....If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not He that pondereth the heart consider it? And He that keepeth thy soul, doth not He know it? And shall not He render to every man according to his works?" - Proverbs 24:12

Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend that we don't see. God does not call everyone to adoption, but He does remind us that pure and undefiled religion is visiting the orphans and widows in their affliction, and keeping ourselves unspotted from the world (James 1:27).

"For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.....Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." - from Matthew 25.

So.....what can we do for Him today? Let's go out there and do it!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Yesterday found us traipsing about in Hocking Hills State Park. We had a great day full of beautiful scenery, exploration, quality family time and panic attacks. The panic attacks were all mine, because apparently it is every little boy's (and Daddy's, I might add) desire to climb up the steepest rock formations, walk on the edge of every cliff and leave the trail to forge their own way to disaster.  But...we all had a wonderful time, and only ended up with one swollen ankle, one lacerated wrist, multiple scrapes, and filthy clothing. :-)

Malia, on the other hand, found herself a nice walking stick, which doubled as a gun for shooting all the wild, bad buffaloes we saw. She did find some nice buffaloes, too, along with a polka-dotted dinosaur. These she put in a pen so she could keep them, but later on she was having trouble keeping them in the pen. Oh, if only I had the troubles and trials of a four-year-old!

Other random pictures of our trip:

The pool at the hotel Sunday night was freezing, so the kids swam in the hot tub.

We really had a great time, and enjoyed the fact that Chris's parents were able to go with us. That made for lots of grandkid-spoiling, too, which the kids always enjoy!