Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Psalm 82:3

What if there are children who will suffer somehow because I failed to obey God?
What if my cowardice costs even one child somewhere in the world his or her life?
(excerpt from The Hole in Our Gospel)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

In less than a week...

By this time next week, this face will be with his forever family.  Yep, we're FINALLY headed to Africa; to bring him home.  Last year when I returned from Ethiopia I told most everyone that I felt like I left part of my heart behind.  I guess you could say I'm going to get it back.

We have plant sitters, dog-sitters, house sitters and house guests all arranged while we're gone...and I think planning the trip to Ethiopia is WAY easier than getting things organized here with work, pets, plants and people.  Seriously! 

We'll try to keep our blog current by sending updates via e-mail...but we'll see how that goes!   Thanks for your prayers, for the donations for the care center (and other places) that are showing up daily, and for the encouragement along the way.  The wait is almost over...and a new chapter is about to begin - again!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Almost there....

Got an e-mail from the embassy this week; two actually.  We are down to waiting for a birth relative interview before we can get Embassy approval.  Hopefully we'll get that interview date tomorrow or Friday.  If I have to wait another weekend...well...let's just say I don't want to wait that long!

I have a friend in Ethiopia this week and she visited Habtamu today!  Said that when she was explaining to him that we were coming soon, he was SO excited and that his excitement made her cry.  She also said he's TALL, so I think we'll need to re-vist what we're packing.  Habtamu  asked if any of his brothers and sisters were coming to pick him up (she said she didn't think so), so she and I both think he'll be WAY excited to see two of his siblings walking into the care center behind his boring parents.  Can't wait for that first meeting!!!!!!!

This weekend is a holiday weekend, and I'm sure we'll do something a little special for Memorial Day.  However, I have it on good authority (mine, ha!) that some serious packing will be underway, too.  

We're almost there........................take a look:

) Birth Certificate - check
2) Authentication - check
3) Approval Letter & Passport - check
4) Application to Embassy Dr. - check
5) Dr. Examination - check 
6) Dr.'s Letter - check
7) Translation - check
8) Submit to Embassy - check
9) Await for Embassy to approve or request more info. - check
9a) Send in additional info. if needed -  (requested an interview) Date:  June 5th
10) Approval for Embassy trip (bring him home) - leaving for Addis: Soon!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Our week is over...and the end is FINALLY in sight

$1025.  That's what our Give1Save1 week ended up producing for our "Habtamu Fund".  I'm speechless because the OVERWHELMING majority (like 96%) of people who gave, are people I don't even know.  No kidding.  Pretty sure God had a hand in that one, don't you think?


Those who gave should have received an e-card from me (or a hand written card in some extreme cases), so if you didn't, check you spam folder!

In other news, our case was submitted to the Embassy today!  Pretty sure a birth relative interview will be requested and we HOPE it happens next week.  Please, please, please pray it does.  His uncle has a LONG way to come for the interview...and I can't tell you how many things run through my head about all that could go wrong.  We're so close now...and we want our son home!  Something tells us he wants to come home too.  Thanks, Kim, for bringing these home with you from your trip to see your kids.    Couldn't have asked for a better "souvenir".

If you wanna see the official check-list and what we're down to, click HERE

Friday, May 11, 2012

Honoring a special group of mom's

Our little Hailey's footprints (2001)

I'm posting a Mother's Day poem a couple of days early so I can enjoy a little get-away with the family this weekend.  Pretty sure it will be our last get-away as a family of 6...and the last time we don't have to reserve something larger than a suite!

This is a poem I wrote a few years ago when I was working with moms whose children had just died and birth mothers who were placing their children for adoption.  May was a tricky month for these mom's, because none of them knew if they would, could or should be celebrating mother's day since their children were...well, not with them any longer.  

I know how it feels to have a child "missing" and I also know how it feels to be given a gift by another mother who couldn't (for whatever reason) raise her child on her own.  If you know anyone out there with a "missing" child this Mother's Day, please wish them a special, tender Mother's Day because Mother's Day totally counts for them, too!

For a special group of women on Mother's Day

There is a special group of women
You might not know or recognize.
They are the ones on Mother’s Day
With big tears in their eyes.
They may greet you with a smile today
Because today is your day too.
But deep down they feel much sorrow
They are hoping just to make it through.

Today a mom will get a beautiful card
Thanking her for all she does.
She works for free, all day long
And she does so 'just because.'
But some mothers may not get a card
For there is no longer a child to see.
But please do not forget these moms
They still love their children endlessly.

Many women have a child or two
That everyone can see.
But sometimes there is a little one missing –
One who now lives as a memory.
For not every precious child that is born
Makes memories with mom for years.
Some are called to be with Jesus
And these mothers are left with tears.

For the mother who will never forget
The day her almost grown child died,
For the mother who held a tiny little angel
And too soon had to say goodbye,
For the mother who held her child
Only a few weeks in her womb,
We remember you this mother’s day
Because today is your day too. 

And please don't forget the mom's out there
Who were at a loss for what to do,
When they gave their child to someone else
And prayed for God to see them through.
They knew their child deserved nothing less 
Than the best life had to offer,
So they gave their child a chance at life -
They gave their child a second mother. 

A non-traditional mother 
Should be remembered all year through.
And on Mother's Day 2012
Here is a special prayer for you:
May you feel God's comfort and His peace
May your heart sing a little today
As you celebrate the life you gave
In your own special and wonderful way. 

 Happy Mother's Day Weekend to all my Mom-Friends out there!

PS)  Last Chance:  Our Give1 Save1 week is coming to an end.  We're still hovering at $800 ish.  If you want to be part of this very easy and awesomely wonderful, helpful fundraiser, click:  

Thank You!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Habtamu

Today is his birthday...not sure if he even knows that.  Not sure if he's ever celebrated his birthday, or known when it really was.  We do know, however, that there will be cake and presents waiting for him when he comes home!

Our Give1Save1 week is 1/2 over...and our total is up to just over $800.  Wow!  In case you're wondering how adoptive families feel about asking for help raising money for an adoption, I can guarantee that none of us enjoy this part of adoption.  In fact, I'd wager to say that it's on an adoptive family's Top 10 list of LEAST favorite things to do.  But, I also know that our family - maybe all families - can't come up with $20k-$30k in just 12 months.  So, thank you to all who have donated your $1 (or more, in many cases).  We don't even know the majority of you who are on our list!  Guess this is just one more sign that God has his hand in bring Habtamu home to his forever family.  Thank You Jesus!

Mother's Day is coming up, and I thought I'd share a sweet memory I had from 10 years ago this week  (yep, I can actually remember some thing from that far back - shocking, I know!). 

Shortly after Corey joined our family I remember taking him to preschool one morning in May...the week of Mother's day, actually.  When I came back to pick him up, there was a giant poster hanging on the door of his classroom.  Each child's name was on this poster, with something special about them listed underneath.  Under Corey's name read:  "My mom picked me out special to love."  Pretty sure at 2 1/2  he didn't come up with that on his own, but I remember thinking how sweet it was that his teachers viewed his joining our family in that way.  

If you've not told your child lately how special they are to you...and one thing that makes them so special in your eyes...maybe this week would be good time to do that. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Day 2 total :o)))))

We're blown away.  As day 2 comes to a close, we're up to $545 ish for our Give1Save1 campaign.  If you're wondering where all these amazing donations are coming from...I wish I could tell you.  But, many of the names we see here aren't even people we know.  No kidding!

Tomorrow we SHOULD know if Habtamu's file was translated in time to make it to the Embassy this week.  If not, we should be on for next week. Guess you could say that this week we're counting UP and DOWN at the same time?

Lord, thank you for the amazing show of support and generosity so far - support from many people we don't even know.  Thank you for the very tangible reminder that there are people in the world who truly do love orphans...even if they aren't the one's bringing them home right now.  Thank you for the many ways you show up in our lives, and thank you for this incredible journey you have us on right now.  Please keep all of the "waiting children" safe until their forever families are able to bring them home.  Amen.

Monday, May 7, 2012

This Week Only...and some serious update news!

Good news x2!

#1:  We are incredibly honored to be this week's African Adoption Family of the Week!  What in the world is that, you ask?  Well, it means that our family will be featured on the Give1Save1 website and we get to ask our friends (and even complete strangers) if they will help bring our waiting son HOME.
The Give1Save1 concept is simple.  Give $1 each week to 1 adoptive family to save 1 child from forever being an orphan.  Can you imagine if every family in the U.S. gave $1 each week to an adoptive family?  WOW!  That would be a lot of $1's (dollars that I'm thinking wouldn't even be missed).

SO....will you help us with this amazing opportunity?  Will you give $1, and then ask your friends to do the same?  You can e-mail our blog OR post it on your FB page - whatever works for you.  We would be more grateful than you could ever imagine (unless you're an adoptive family - you already know that grateful feeling).

Just click here: Give1Save1 and click the box that reads: Donate to the African Adoption of the week (that's us!).  Our adoption story/video will be waiting for you, too :o)

Will you help spread the word this week????

#2:  In other good news...our not-so-little boy is two steps closer to coming home!  If you want to see the checklist, click HERE for a review of that final check-list.  Dare I say 4-6 weeks we could be on a jet plane to get him?  Yikes! Yea! Wait...we still have some work to do to get ready for our 7th family member!

Almost Home

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I've got a secret to share :o)

Thought I'd let you all in on a little secret:

Tomorrow night I have some BIG news to tell you about.  I can't tell you quite yet what it is, but it has to do with some serious updates...& an awesome opportunity.  More awesome than a homemade cheesecake being delivered to my door without anyone else being home to share it with me :o) 

See you all tomorrow night!  Or, Monday morning....I suppose that's not too late either :o)