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

Friday, May 31, 2013

An Opportunity.....


As many of you know, Chris, Shana, Adrian and I are heading back to Ethiopia for a week of mission activities in July.  All of us are really excited about the trip!  Some of you have expressed that you would like to help in some way with donations for us to take over.  Since we will be taking luggage for some friends who are moving to Ethiopia to be full-time missionaries, we will not have a lot of extra room for donations. However, All God's Children International, our adoption agency who we are partnering with on this trip, has set up a special site for you to be able to donate specifically for the supplies for our trip.  And bonus: it's tax deductible!  We are paying our own way there and for all of our own expenses while in country (minus some money that Shana raised by doing a mission trip fundraiser), so whatever donations you give will go straight toward supplies to help bless the children of Gambella and Addis Ababa.  Here is a list of some of the things we are doing while we are there and we would love for you to be a part by making a donation, if God leads you to. There is definitely no obligation; only do what is best for you and your family. Also, the biggest donation you can give is your prayers!

In Gambella (the area where Jalen and Jordan were born), here are the opportunities:

Painting the children's home-$500 for supplies

Renting a tractor for farming next season (we will be helping a women's farming co-op - AGCI has started this program to help the women of the community provide for their families) -$500

Sports equipment/toys for children in children's home-$10 for two toys/balls (and we're hoping for each of the 30 kids to get a small gift)

Toys and sports items for Bethel church-$300

Nurse for 1 year at children's home-$500

Schooling for children in Gambella-$25 per child for uniforms, fees and books/supplies (hoping for 200 children to be able to attend school)

In Addis:

Sports equipment for school and juvenile rehabilitation center-$600

Shoes and books for children at rehabilitation center-$10 (we are hoping to bless all 100 kids at the center)

Uniforms and school supplies-$25 per child (hoping for 100 children to be able to attend school)

Equipment and supplies at Hannah's Hope, the transition home that Jalen and Jordan lived at in Addis -$1,000

Please designate what you would like your donation to go towards.  As you can see, we are focusing mainly on activities that involve children on this trip.

If you are interested in donating, please send an email to, and I will send you the link for the donation form.

Thank you so much for considering partnering with us on this journey. We covet your prayerful support as we prepare to be His hands and feet to the people of Ethiopia.

"I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor. Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence." Psalm 140:12-13.

May God bless each one of you!
Chris and Erica

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Facing the Storm.....

There they were. Just dark specks in the sky, hanging over the trees. They were not going anywhere; no, these birds were just riding the breeze. Just seemed to be suspended from the sky and didn't even have to move. Not even when they were facing the darkening skies and rolling thunder that was taking over every inch of space in the vast openness in which I live. They just hovered, enjoying themselves and paying no heed to the storm that was quickly approaching. No worries. And I found myself wishing I could be more like that.

But it always seems that I can sense the storm coming. I get too worked up about what may happen and what-if-it's-really-bad and storms-are-hard and is-everything-safe? Sometimes the storms of life seem way too big and scary for me to handle. I needed the reminder that these birds gave me today. Because with my God in charge, I can hover in the cloud-laden skies. Fly forward, even. Into the storm. Because sometimes the rain and wind are blessings in disguise.

And then the storm moved on. The clouds didn't even dump any of their wet cargo on my section of ground. I was spared this time. And so were the birds. Maybe they knew all along not to worry....just hovered there anyway, facing the storm, because they knew that God would take care of them no matter what. And if a storm was what God had in mind, then that is what's best after all. Without rain, how would we grow?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memories of Memorial Day Weekend.....

We had a fabulous weekend.....hope you did, too! We met some new friends from Connecticut who stayed with us for 2 nights, and we had a wonderful time with them. Then on Monday, we drove up to Detroit and visited The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, where they were celebrating Civil War Days. We finished off the weekend with dinner at the Blume's home, and the kids had a great time playing together. The Blumes are another adoptive family who are waiting to bring home a little girl from Ethiopia through All God's Children. Here are a few photos of our weekend:

Orville and Wilbur Wright's home:

Thomas Edison's laboratory:

Such sweet kiddos:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hello, Summer!!

Here it is - the last day of school! I'm not sure where the school year has gone.....but it's over! Boom! Just like that.

Here are the kids this morning, waiting for the bus.....

And just for fun, I wanted to post pictures of them from the first day of school next to pictures of them from today to see how much they've grown. So here you have it:




Yep. I'd definitely say they've grown. Anybody figured out a way to keep kids from growing up so fast? If so, do share. So....I've got a sign to hang on the front door when they get off the bus, along with a little bag of summer treats made up for each one with their name on it. The pool is almost ready and we have a long weekend in front of us. And with that......let the summer begin!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Congratulations, Shana!

Yesterday, the twins and I went to the Middle School Awards Ceremony. Shana walked away with 4 awards: 6th grade math, 6th grade social studies, all-year honor roll, and middle school geography bee champion.

Way to go, Shana! Keep up the great work!

Monday, May 20, 2013


Yesterday, we celebrated Ashton's 9th birthday!!

We love you so much, Ashie, and are so thankful that God brought you into our lives. We hope you have lots of fun being 9!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

Friday, May 17, 2013

This Guy.....

.....says that when I jump on the trampoline with him, "it makes his belly scrambled."

.....ran excitedly into the house one day. "Mommy! Mommy! I saw a meerkat in the forest!" he yelled. I wasn't aware that we had those in Ohio, so I asked him how he could tell it was a meerkat. His response? "Because I heard it say meow, meow, meow!"

.....told me disgustedly, "Mom, there's a dashery in Shana's room. There's a dashery in Adrian's room, too." It took me a bit to figure that one out, but I finally realized he meant "disaster." And I had to agree with him. Does anyone else out there have issues with kids keeping their rooms clean?

.....thought that he and his brother needed to look like this yesterday. So I got to hang out with 2 little old ladies:

.....also thought that we needed a monkey hanging from our "tree" in the kitchen:

Oh Jalen.....what am I gonna do with you??? Love you, buddy!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Another Zoo Day

Earlier this week, the middle school students had an extra day off school as an incentive if they passed all of their Ohio Academic Achievement tests the first time. So I decided that we should do something fun on Shana's day off. What did she choose? The zoo. It was a gorgeous day, and Jalen, Jordan, Shana and I headed off to Fort Wayne for a zoo day and a picnic.