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

Sunday, October 24, 2010

On Delays.....

Hello from Denver, Colorado! Chris has to be here for business for a week, so Malia and I are tagging along. We'll vacation while he works. Sounds like a good deal, huh? I always feel guilty leaving my school kids behind, but it's nice to get away every once in a while, too. I'm currently sitting in the presidential suite of our hotel, and this place is amazing. 1700 square feet with 2 bathrooms, an office, a kitchen, a meeting area, a dining room and a master bedroom with a HUGE walk-in closet. We are actually staying in the adjoining room, and Chris's boss is staying in the presidential suite. But he's not here yet, so we're taking advantage of all the space! Thanks, Michael! = )

We flew out here yesterday, and Malia was so excited to fly.
 She's been to California, Texas, and New York on planes before, but she was too little to remember them.  She became a little disenchanted, however, when we had to sit on the plane for several hours due to mechanical problems. There were 4 technicians in the cockpit trying to fix the faulty equipment, but eventually we were told we would have to deplane and board another. Our flight finally left 5 hours late to a round of applause from the passengers. Most of our fellow travelers were accommodating, but several were very outspoken in their displeasure with the airline. One lady in particular was quite irate and let everyone within hearing distance know exactly how unfairly she was being treated. Maybe this lady had a valid reason for needing to be in Denver at an exact time. But I couldn't help thinking to myself that everyone waiting there was well-clothed and had enough to eat. My thoughts went again to the people who live in Korah, the dump on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. How fair is it that we have more than enough to eat and they have to dig through mountains of putrid, rotting and foul-smelling garbage to find something to eat? How fair is it that we all have closets full of clothing and most of the Korah people are dressed in filthy, smelly rags? Why is it that we as Americans think we are entitled to having everything just the way we want it, exactly when we want it? And when things don't go exactly as we think they should, we complain about how unfair things are? I was properly admonished myself, and reminded again that everything is God's. He is in control, and His will and timing are perfect. Not ours. We are so blind, and have no idea what we need or when we need it. We just need to surrender ourselves to Him. Give him this little span of time that is our lifetime, merely a vapor, and He will reward us with life eternal. That lasts forever. Give him all that we have, which is nothing, in exchange for everything. How fair is that?

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I just found out that 3 more families got referrals for infant boys yesterday! By my count, this means that 10 referrals have gone out in the last 1 and 1/2 weeks or so! Congratulations to all of the families and children that God has brought together! It is wonderful to see so much movement in such a short time! Praying that those referrals keep coming......

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Letter from Jesus

If you never felt pain, then how would you know that I am a Healer?

If you never had to pray, how would you know that I am a Deliverer? 

If you never had a trial, how could you call yourself an overcomer? 

If you never felt sadness, how would you know that I am a Comforter? 

If you never made a mistake, how would you know that I am a forgiver? 

If you knew all, how would you know that I will answer your questions? 

If you never were in trouble, how would you know that I will come to your rescue?

If you never were broken, then how would you know that I can make you whole? 

If you never had a problem, how would you know that I can solve them?

If you never had any suffering, then how would you know what I went through? 

If you never went through the fire, then how would you become pure? 


If I gave you all things, how would you appreciate them? 

If I never corrected you, how would you know that I love you? 

If you had all power, then how would you learn to depend on me? 

If your life was perfect, then what would you need me for? 



Monday, October 18, 2010

Our Recent Visitors....

My sister, Larisa, and her little Ethiopian prince, Yikealo, stayed with us for a few days last week. We spent our time going to the Apple Festival, scrapbooking, talking, eating junk food, drinking coffee, shopping, and going to a birthday party, among other things. The kids also got to take a ride on Roper, my brother-in-law's gentle old horse.

And Chris attempted to take the boys fishing......

....but the only thing they caught......

....was this little fella.

And just so you know, here is what you get when you ask Yikealo to smile:

And here is what you get when you tell him that smiling is not allowed, so he needs to act mad:

What a goofy kid!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Closer, Closer......

A quick update - one of the families ahead of us on the waitlist for toddler boys received their referral for a 4-year-old boy on Friday. Congratulations, S family! So this means that we are now in the #2 spot for a 3-year-old boy! Whew! We're getting closer! God may have a girl or siblings in mind for us instead (or a younger boy), but I'm starting to get that excited, nervous, panicky feeling wondering if we'll get our call soon. My heart will probably jump a little every time the phone rings from now on!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Congrats, Shana!

I went in to school yesterday to eat lunch with Shana, who was named Student of the Month. Good job, Shanie!

Shana receiving her award from the principal:

And this is what her teacher said about her:

Way to go, Shanie - keep up the good work! I love you lots!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Oh, To Have The Responsibilities Of A 4-Year-Old.....

The other day, Malia told me, "I have SO much work to do! I have to play babies, draw, brush my teeth, and drink my coffee. I have ALL THAT to do, and you don't have very much to do." OK, dear girl, let's just compare lists from the day, shall we? (Yes, I'm a chronic list-keeper).

Here's what was on Malia's list:
- play babies
- draw
- brush teeth
- drink coffee

Here's what was on my list for the day:
- throw dinner in the Crock-pot
- vacuum
- mop
- laundry
- dust upstairs
- clean the bathrooms
- wash the windows
- type up the notes from Chris's family reunion (of which he was President this year)
- help my brother-in-law hang wallpaper at his place
- help kids with homework
(among various other things)

Whose list would you rather have?

For those of you who don't know Malia, she's very sweet and LOVES to tell stories, sing and talk. Oh yeah, and she loves to talk. And talk. And did I mention that she loves to talk? On that same day, on our walk, she rattled on and on for the entire mile. Then she decided she wanted to play 'Would You Rather', and asked me questions such as, "Would you rather jump out of a window or ride a carousel?" and "Would you rather say goodbye to people that came to your house or go to Colorado?" and "Would you rather walk in the grass or play with the dog?" and "Would you rather eat stones or eat the shed roof?" And on, and on, and on.

She also apparently told her Sunday School class recently that I was bitten by a poisonous snake and had to spend 3 days in the hospital. She informed them, very expressively of course, that I ALMOST DIED. I didn't know anything about my precarious situation, but obviously the other kids in her class believed her. One little boy went home and told his mommy that "Malia's mommy was bitten by a snake and almost died!" I have heard before that 3 and 4-year-olds tend to live in somewhat of a fantasy/imaginary world, but maybe Miss Mimi sometimes takes it a bit too far? Hmmmm....what do you think?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Crazy Weekend!!

Early last Friday morning, my mom and I headed out to Holmes County, Ohio, the largest Amish community in the world. There we met my sister, Larisa, and the three of us spent the day together.

My mom and big sis (who, by the way, will be on the waitlist for her 2nd Ethiopian adoption soon!! (same agency we are using!) I am so hoping we get to travel to Ethiopia together!!)

Mom and me

We had a great Girls' Day Away together, and we're already talking about doing it again sometime!

Saturday, we got to see my sister-in-law, Cheryl, and her family who were visiting from Maryland. It was great to see them all again, and my little nephew and niece are growing like crazy!

Nathan and Cheryl (Cheryl is very creative, and has an online art magazine that you can see here.)

This is my nephew, London. He turned 2 on Saturday. Happy birthday, Londie!

Malia absolutely adores her cousin, and the feeling is quite mutual. These two had so much fun together!

Then, after lunch on Saturday, we drove out to Mansfield, Ohio, and spent the weekend with friends. I don't have any pictures of that, but we did see beautiful Fall color on the trip!

Have a great Tuesday, everyone!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

New October Numbers....

Yesterday, we received our official and updated waitlist numbers for the month of October. They are:

# 48 for girls

#32 for boys

#33 for siblings

Since we entered the waitlist on June 18, we have moved up 23 spots for girls, 12 spots for boys, and 7 spots for siblings. And we are 3 1/2 months closer to meeting our child(ren)! Our thoughts are with the families who will be traveling in the next few weeks to meet their children for the very first time!

Blessings to you all!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Give-Away and Some Other Stuff....

Amy over at Treasures In Jars of Clay is having a give-away of 147 million gear. If you have never done so, check out each of these great sites. This past spring, Amy and her husband adopted BEAUTIFUL twin girls from Ethiopia, and she is a state representative for National Orphan Sunday, which is on November 7. 147 Million Orphans sells some really cool shirts and other items and the proceeds benefit orphans. So click here to hop on over to Amy's blog and sign up to win!

Last night, we lit the fire in our fireplace for the first time this season. It was so warm and cozy, and perfect for playing games in front of.

So first we played Memory, Malia's favorite game. And she set the cards up like this:
So I told her that it would be too hard to make matches when the cards were all in one big pile. So then she set the cards up like this:
And she won the game. Then, the boys were talking sports and who their favorite teams are. Adrian is a huge Saints fan, and Ashton likes the Colts. I am SO NOT into sports, and couldn't care less about football (or any other sport, for that matter). So when I proclaimed that the California Cupcakes was my favorite team, my boys looked at me like I had sprouted horns and informed me that was NOT a team. Oh well, I thought it sounded like it would be a cool team anyway.

One more funny little story: I have been encouraging my kids lately not to say that they're starving when they get a little hungry. I always say, "No, you're not starving. If you want me to, I can show you pictures of starving children. Be thankful that you have plenty of food." Well, last night after playing outside, Ashton came into the kitchen and said, "I need a drink. I'm extremely thirsty!" To which Malia replied in a very scolding manner, "Ashton, no you're NOT extremely thirsty! The kids in Ethiopia are extremely thirsty!" I guess she's been listening to me after all!

Have a great Wednesday! 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lots of Yays!

As I'm sitting down to write this with my cup of Gobena Coffee (YUM!!) in my hand, I'm feeling very cozy and sleepy with the overcast, crisp day outside and the smell of delicious coffee permeating the air inside. I LOVE chilly fall days! Anyway, if you love coffee, please try Gobena. For each package that you buy, you will be feeding an orphan for a month. YAY! A very worthy cause! You can buy coffee from Ethiopia, Guatemala, or Colombia, as well as Gobena t-shirts, mugs and tote bags. (Note: the women's shirts run a bit small. Order one size up from what you would normally wear.)

On to other things...... Another referral went out yesterday for a 2 1/2 year old boy. YAY! It's so exciting to watch as children are united with their forever families. This family entered the waitlist one week before we did. And now, we're unofficially #3 in line for a two to three-year-old boy. The 2 families in front of us went on the waitlist the very same day that we did. We're definitely getting closer!! We are unofficially # 4 for three-year-old girls, and unofficially #8 for siblings in our age group. The official list does not take into account anyone's age parameters, so we're still pretty high up on the list. But when you look at the fact that most people are waiting for an infant and we're willing to go up to three years, our numbers are actually a lot lower than they seem. That's what I mean by 'unofficial.' Ok, is anyone confused yet? I don't think I actually explained that very well, but let's just leave it at this: we're getting closer! YAY!!

And here's a little project that I've been working on. A while back, one of my friends asked me to repaint a doll house that her grandfather had made for her when she was little. She now wants it for her daughters to play with. I took some 'before' pictures, but somehow they were either deleted off of my camera before they made it to the computer, or were deleted from the computer afterward. Anyway, I can't find them ANYWHERE. The house started out all white with a dark brown roof and windows. It was very plain. So, I painted the house pink with white trim and a nutmeg-brown roof and door. I added extra details, like shingles, rosebushes, and shutters. Overall, I am pretty happy with the way it turned out, and my friend seemed really excited when I delivered it to her this morning. YAY! Here are some 'after' pictures:

And now that the doll house is complete, and the desk in my scrapbooking room is free again, I'll definitely have to get some more scrapbooking done. (I'm really behind, and haven't worked on it for a LONG time.)

Alright, I'm off to take a walk with Malia and then I'll spend my afternoon making calls to line up an international adoption pediatrician. That way we'll be ready when we get our referral call! I'm hoping it's soon!! And by the way, the Ethiopian rainy season is now over, and the courts have opened back up. Families will start traveling again soon to meet their children, and hopefully the referrals will pick back up as well. YAY!

Have a happy Tuesday, everyone!