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

Monday, October 29, 2012

He Makes All Things Beautiful (Before and After Photos)

A couple of weeks ago, I looked out my back window and saw this:
The rain came, pounded furiously against the house for just a few short moments, and went away. The creepy-looking clouds moved on. I then stepped out on my front porch and saw this:

Early last week, we applied for the twins' U.S. passports. As I filled out the required paperwork and handed over documents to our county's Clerk of Courts for processing, I was struck with amazement when I saw the boy's new photos next to the ones that were taken a year ago in Ethiopia. Granted, when Jalen and Jordan got their pictures taken for their Ethiopian passports, they were scared, didn't smile, got a Homeland Security seal stamped over their faces, and the photographer stood way too close, giving them that good old "fish-face" look. But what a difference a year can make! What a difference a family can make! Wow. 

3 sets of before-and-after pictures. Each "before" photo shows darkness, difficulty, fear of the unknown. Each "after" photo shows hope, beauty, peacefulness. Sometimes we have to go through life's storms in order to see the glory on the other side. That's how God purifies us, refines us. Loves us. Draws us closer. And He makes all things beautiful in His time. More beautiful than we could ever have imagined.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Little Piece of History.....

Let me preface this by saying that I don't get caught up in politics. Each election, I vote for the candidate that I think is best-suited for the job, but I keep my opinions to myself, remembering that this world is not my home. My citizenship here in America is temporary; my citizenship in Heaven will be for eternity. So that is where I try to put my focus. That being said, last night we had the opportunity to attend a Romney/Ryan rally here in the election-important state of Ohio, so we decided to experience a little piece of history for ourselves. I am documenting it here simply because I have started publishing this blog into scrapbooks for my family to enjoy later.

Chris, Adrian and I headed to a nearby town for the rally. It was a beautiful evening for the event, and it was estimated that around 20,000 people were there. We stood fairly close to the podium, so I was able to get a few decent pictures.

Massachusetts Governor and Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney:

Ohio Governor John Kasich:

Romney with some of the singers, including Randy Owen of the group Alabama:

U.S. Senator Rob Portman, who plays the part of Obama in all of Romney's practice debates:

And that was our little slice of the presidential campaign trail!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Meeting Again.....

Last night, Jalen and Jordan got the opportunity to Skype with Abriha, one of their best friends from Hannah's Hope in Ethiopia. It was so good to see her again after almost a year! Their conversation consisted mainly of making faces at each other, saying "eyeball" back and forth over and over, and yelling, "I love you!"  - typical 4-year-old entertainment, of course! :-)

Here's the last time they saw each other in person (November, 2011):

It was so neat for them to talk again last night!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Congratulations, Malia!

Malia was chosen as Student of the Month, so yesterday I went to school to eat lunch with her for a special award ceremony. I arrived early, so I chatted with the principal as we waited for the other students and parents to join us. She told me, "Do you know that you have such a precious child that I go home and talk to my family about her on the weekends? Malia is such a beautiful person - I just love her! And she always has such a sweet smile on her face! You should be so proud of her."

Great job, Malia! Keep up the good work! I love you bunches! XOXOXOXO

Monday, October 15, 2012

Gray LaFage, Sunday School and A Birthday Party

Whew! The past few days have been very busy, but fun. Wednesday was the twins' birthday, we spent Thursday at the zoo, Friday and Saturday found us at Great Wolf Lodge (or Gray LaFage, as Jordan refers to it), Saturday night we had our 1-year post adoption visit with our social worker, and on Sunday the twins started Sunday School and had a birthday party in the evening. Here are some pics from our weekend.

Chris and I took Jalen and Jordan to Great Wolf Lodge as part of their birthday gift. They loved every second of it!

First Sunday School papers!

Sunday evening, we had a birthday party at my brother Seth's new house.

Cousin Lexie:

Cousin Zavier:

Time for gifts!

Malia and Uncle Seth: 

Opening presents:

My dad and Jordan (Uh-oh. Looks like they're getting shot from behind!)

Malted milk ball cake:

And here are all the boys that had birthdays this past week! Jalen, Zavier, Luke and Jordan.

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend, too!

Thursday, October 11, 2012