...and she's off!

It is 1:00... and Madison has officially boarded the plane to Chile! Thanks to all of you who have supported her financially and with your PRAYERS! She is soooooooooo EXCITED to be heading out with 27 other youth and 13 leaders and pastors!  She will be a BRIGHT light in CHILE - and I already cannot wait to hear how GOD uses her to GLORIFY Him!

I sent her with a letter a day, a BIG hug and kiss and a promise I will be praying for her EVERY hour, minute, Well...  every single time I think about her (which is gonna be a TON)! ♥

 ...We probably won't get too many updates - they don't know if there will be internet in the HOST family homes or if there is, if they can get it to work... SO, I am PRAYING Madison takes a BAZILLION pictures and journals every minute so that we can see and hear the AWESOME-NESS she experienced! :)

Before they left we all gathered to PRAY for this AMAZING team! OH JESUS... Please protect them, guide them and let the Chile people see something in them that they desperately want and need... YOU!!

STOPS along our WAIT....


This stop mostly belongs to Erik – because I was on a completely different path than Adopting… I wanted to turn our family of FOUR into MORE as we attempted to become a larger family through In-vitro.  The girls were four and one and Erik and I have always just dreamed of having a BIG family!  Through this financial, emotional, physical and spiritual experience we were NOT able to grow our family in this way. However, even though the idea of in-vitro was not in God’s plan for us…  through this process God showed me how he answers prayer and I became EVEN closer to the God of the UNIVERSE!  

....Shortly after this experience Erik brought up the idea of ADOPTION! My heart was just not there…

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18


My girls are 13 and 9 and we plan a family mission trip to Nairobi, Kenya! Hmmmmm… Perhaps God will give me a “SIGN” that adoption is in my future… Well, our experiences in AFRICA definitely drew us close to the AMAZING people who live there and the desire to serve them and the passion to care for them but… We visited several orphanages... The one in Thika, the children were visiting a relative or close friend during Christmas… and at Tumaini http://www.tumainiministries.org/ (which means HOPE in Swahili) - A beautifully run organization which provides a home environment of love and hope for orphans in Kenya through the spirit of Christ. At the time there were over 50 kiddos there - and all these children live as a FAMILY. No child in this home can be adopted - The wonderful woman taking care of these children wanted them to have a sense of family, consistency, sisterly and brotherly love.  Some of the kids don't leave until they are married...  The last group of AMAZING people we met were the Joy Divine Children’s Organization http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=278445161140.  This ministry that Fred Mwaura and his mother have organized help street boys and orphans by giving them a HOME, food, LOVE, health care, an education and most important the HOPE of Jesus Christ!  Regardless of the ‘signs’ I was looking for – GOD definitely opened up my eyes and I am HUGELY thankful for that!


Girls are 14 and 10… another year passed and it was back to Kenya for Christmas!  This Christmas we collected donations from the girls schools, small group, church, etc… and we carted over a TON of luggage to share with the Joy Divine Children’s Organization! It was the BEST Christmas our family has EVER had!! 


…Upon our return Erik confronts me AGAIN with the idea of adoption… from AFRICA. This time he was more serious and expressed how this is on his heart and if I would just pray about it… I did! I prayed, and prayed and prayed… then I started to ‘GOD-OOGLE’ everything about adoption from AFRICA on the Internet… I don’t even know when it happened exactly but all of a sudden I was on FIRE to bring home a little one (or two) without a HOME, a FAMILY, a future… I was OFFICIALLY on board! THANK YOU JESUS! 

"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, KNOWS that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12


Well… at this point I was in a scatterbrain hurry to figure out what Adoption Agency to use… I must have applied at about 3 or 4 of them.  I would call and ask a few questions and ended up getting off the phone every time with an uneasy feeling… Until I found this thing on the Internet called BLOGS! Ha ha! What IS THIS STUFF! I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE it! I read stories, watched videos and decided to apply to ALL GOD’S CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL because of the RAVE reviews and stories I had seen! I made ONE phone call to them about the process and how it all works… and I got off the phone with a sense of PEACE! YES! We are moving along… in the right direction! Thank you GOD for putting this all in place... just the way you wanted it.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and fautless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27


I can call this a WAITING STOP but, really it was like a WAIT? Let’s  GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Since I had this BIG ole GIANT passion God placed on my POUNDING heart for orphans… just pushing me to go out and CONQURE the paperwork…  getting birth certificates, marriage licenses, passports, completing medical exams, criminal checks, employment verifications, letters of recommendation, financial statements, pictures of the family, the house, Notarizing, signing, sending, completing a Home Study… CREATING our Dossier!!!   (((SIGH))) It was DONE after 4 ½ months of serious craziness… we were there… OFFICIALLY Waiting on the AGCI WAITLIST!

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagls; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31


…Here we are today… after waiting for GOD to place this on BOTH of our hearts, almost a year and a half since we started the adoption process and 10 months, 1 week and 2 days since we were placed on the WAITING LIST… here we are sitting, ‘UNOFFICIALLY’ at....

on the little girls list and ‘UNOFFICIALLY’ 

on the siblings list!  WOWIE! Just the craziness and GODLINESS of how we are right here, waiting, right now to see our DAUGHTER(S) face is AMAZING!  I know there will be more STOPS along the WAIT before we are actually able to bring her/them HOME… but RIGHT NOW… THIS STOP feels REAAAAALLLY Hard! We are praying we see our little girl(s) face SOON! :) We LOVE her SOO SOO SOO MUCH already! 

My Mommaseeeeeta! ♥


Over the years my relationship with my Mom went through changes as I grew up and matured (Okay... I'm still working on the mature part! hehe) But, when I was little I needed more Care, Attention, Direction, Instruction, Discipline... as most children do. Then I become a teenager and I struggled a little as I began to become my own person, with my own views, opinions and ideas. So the limits and the boundaries that were being set in my crazy, little teenie bopper world stifled my freedom (thankfully).  Because my Mom LOVES me and wanted to protect me and keep me safe (... now I'm trying to convince my little teenie bopper of the same thing) :). Then I was off to college and I didn't see my Mom as much as I used to and I had to become responsible for making my own dinner, doing my own laundry, cleaning the house, picking up after myself, (uuuuuugh) :) getting to places on time, and giving 100% in doing my very best in school... 

Well  anyway, I noticed at the ripe ole age of 42 (Eeeeeeeeeeks! ) and LOTSA craziness happening in our already busy lives lately, my Mom (who lives about 3 1/2 hours away) was here when I NEEDED her.  She made my family meals, she loved on my girls, and she just lifted us up, supported us, encouraged us...  I just felt SO incredibly Blessed and GRATEFUL for her!  It’s funny to be this old, being a Mom yourself, being responsible for so MANY things and kiddos and to still have that feeling like  I STILL NEED my Mom - I don't think it really matters how old you are, how mature you are, how much your relationship has changed over time, I think there is always a part of you that will always NEED your Mom!

Not only was it nice to have my Mom here, during a time when I needed her – She really is AMAZING with the sewing machine!!!  Look at what she made for my GIRLS, all of them – even the one(s) that aren’t HOME yet… :)

The shower curtain she made to go in the girls bathroom and the dollies she made for our little girls(s) who we just CANNOT wait to see their sweeeet little FACE(S)!!!!  OOOOooooh I Just LOVE them!! ♥ I saw them first from my sweet friend Tarah! ♥ Then we found a pattern for them at http://60piggies.blogspot.com/
 and Mom started sewing away... YAY!

♥ Nineteeeeeeen! ♥

You know you've been married a long time when...

1. Your kids see your wedding photos and ask, "Who are these people or you were pretty back then Mommy?"
2. He wears socks to bed...and so do you.
3. You call yourselves Mommy and Daddy without even noticing.
4. What you've memorized about him: his shoe size, waist size, shirt size, style, drivers license #, SS#
5. You can sign his name better than he can...
6. You used to bond over loving the same movies, books, and music. Now you bond over discussing softball, umps calls, coaches decisions, plays etc..
7. You can finish each other's stories word for word. And you do.
8. Your underpants (white, cotton, roomy) look pretty much the same as his underpants and all underpants in the house are referred to as panties! :)
9. When you argue, all the lines are so predictable that you might just as well announce, "Let's have Fight Number Three" and get it over with.
10. By common consent, New Year's Eve ends at 10 p.m.
11. You can tell what the other is thinking just by the way he or she says hi or the look on their face.
12. You mutually agree not to get anything for each other on Valentines Day or your Anniversary... but, to take the family out to dinner instead.
13. You both think your parents are CRAZY!
14. A FUN night out, is Pizza and a movie IN!
15. He let's you have the remote.
16. You start to look like brother and sister instead of man and wife.
17. You don't bother to shut the bathroom door anymore.
18.  He buys you a card and doesn't sign his name in it - but still wants you to read it cuz he took the time to pick it out! ha ha! :)
19. When you discuss, growing old together, and it looks exactly the same - sipping lemonade on the porch swing and chatting about all our CRAZY life experinces...


It's GOOD News!

I was so glad to look in my inbox yesterday to see GOOD NEWS in regards to ETHIOPIAN Adoptions!!! ♥ Below is information we received from our Adoption Agency

  MOWA posted a notice indicating as of March 10th they would be reducing the number of adoptions processed through their office to 5 cases a day.
§  Within days of this announcement, the director of MOWA and several other staff members from the ministry have been terminated.
At this time, all Foreign Staff on the ground in Ethiopia are reporting that MOWA has completed their staffing changes and are now currently working at full capacity to complete those adoption cases currently re-scheduled or assigned a court appointment through the courts of Addis Ababa.
Also, it appears the original changes proposed by MOWA will not be implemented to the degree of 5 cases a day. At this time it is unknown whether or not MOWA will issue a formal statement regarding how they will process cases in the future, but from all discussions it will not be a drastic decrease from before. Through the continued work, meetings, and advocacy of many Foreign Staff members in Ethiopia, it appears any future changes within the case processing for MOWA will avoid sweeping and disproportionate alterations to the number of cases processed each day. Rather, the hope is that MOWA, Joint Council, Adoption Service Providers, the US Department of State and other NGO organizations can come together to support the government of Ethiopia in strengthening the process for ethical adoptions to continue while also improving the general social structures to assist with family preservation in Ethiopia. This plan was acknowledged in the recent posting by the US State Department this morning at http://adoption.state.gov/news/ethiopia.html. We understand the US Department of State cannot issue a formal statement without MOWA issuing a retraction. Presently,  MOWA is concentrating on processing the current adoptions and the new staff is not focused on numbers, but doing their jobs. "
Regardless of the changes happening with Ethiopian Adoptions - there have been SO many families still getting referrals, court dates, meeting their children, bringing them home... It's just TOTALLY ENCOURAGING!!
 We are having a BLAST celebrating Referrals, Court Dates. Friends trips to meet their babies, and the HOMECOMING of their children...  Now it is all starting to feel SUPER CLOSE and VERY REAL for our FAMILY!! This is REALLY gonna happen! ...WE are REALLY gonna be PARENTS Again!! ♥
 ...our CRAZY family could very easily be 'UNOFFICIALLY'
On the waitlist for ONE little girl TWO and UNDER...
There is a family in front of us on the waitlist that we are not 100% sure has received their referral yet... SO, the WHOLE idea that we are #1 is REEEEAALLY some SERIOUS POSITIVE thinking on our part... We've always tried to look at this optimistically - this is NO exception. :)
But... we could easily be 'UNOFFICIALLY' 
....OKAY but really ANYTIME SOOOOOON we could...
get THE CALL for
ONE little girl - and she could be an infant or a lil toddler...
we could also... get a call for 

little girls - two infants, two toddlers, one of each?? ... TWO sweet little girls 4 and UNDER
However MANY - However OLD - they are going to be our DAUGHTERS and we can HARDLY wait to see their sweet little FACE(S)!! 

A few SNAPSHOTS of Life Lately....

Soooo... Lately life has been a little busier and crazier than normal - and as much as I TOTALLY miss all my BLOG buds and chatting about GROWING our CRAZY family. I just haven't had a moment to really sit down and share...

However... I thought I would sum up a little bit of life lately with a few SNAPSHOTS!  ♥

My SWEET 16 Year old passed her Drivers Test and I feel a little like this DAD! :) CONGRATULATIONS MADISON - What a HUGE accomplishment, a huge responsibility!! ...now to start TRUSTING in GOD for each moment she is behind the wheel! I know I'm gonna need a lota prayer here! :)

JESUS - YOU ARE IN CONTROL - Please watch over my baby!

Celebrating Tarah and Niki's Babes!!
had a DELICIOUS dinner at Megan's! Mmmm mmm!
Thanks Megs! You are an AMAZING cook!
Picture CREDIT goes to Megan!! :) Thanks girl! You take AWESOME pics!!

What an EXCITING day!!! SO happy for this BEAUTIFUL Family!!

Team Bonding Party for Kinzi's Softball Team! FUN STUFF! Spray painted T-Shirts! :)

Watched an AMAZING Tournament

To... list just a few more AMAZING Life-changing, GOD MOVING things that have happened lately...

 ♥ RESTORED Relationships ♥
Merging Companies
New Neighbors
New Friends
Registering Madison for Running Start
Registering Kinzi for Public School Next year
Advocating for the Orphans in Ethiopia

Please PRAY, SIGN and SHARE - www.orphanpetition.com


We are especially EXCITED about the NUMBER....