Saturday, March 19, 2011


I have always prayed that I would have a world view that follows God. And honestly, that was just ONE of the many reasons we pursued an international adoption. God loves His people...His children...His nations. We have been burdened and praying for JAPAN after the events of last weeks earthquake.

Please continue to pray for the people of JAPAN that their hearts will turn toward God during this season of stress and turmoil. My sister and her family are missionaries in JAPAN, and as difficult as it's been there recently, they are blessed knowing that so many people are praying for the people there. The people NEED Jesus.

Please watch and share.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Prayers needed

As most of the Ethiopian adoption community already knows, there are some major changes taking place for the future Ethiopian adoptions. I'm sure many of you have already signed this ePetition, but this is a plea for those who are not part of the adoptive community, we need your prayers and signature too.

Today is the first day of Lent, and we as a family take our season of preparation seriously. We spend focused time on God and His word and seek Him to prepare our hearts for both Christmas and Resurrection Sunday. I will be spending time praying for the Ethiopian children, adoptive families in the pipe lines, orphanage workers, and government officials. A common part of Lent is to think about those "less fortunate". And all I can think about are those families and children who are so poverty stricken in Ethiopia.

Our boys knew that deep poverty well. They knew a hunger that no one should know. They knew a loneliness and hurt and rejection that ONLY CHRIST can heal. As grateful as I am that our boys are home, my heart is grieving the situation in the Ethiopian adoption process. Heavy hearted today, I ask you to join me in prayer. Please click on the link and sign the petition. Please seek God on behalf of the children this new policy will effect.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

meeting up with friends

Last summer we had the chance to meet a LOT of AGCI families at the family picnic. It was such a blessing to meet these blessed families face to face. My Tissy found a friend that day and it has blossomed into a pen pal/long distance friend. And from that I have had the chance to meet up with Andrea B a few times and let me just say, what a precious heart she has for God and His children. I am inspired by her love for the Lord and every time we chat or see each other, I am amazed by her deep relationship with God.

Last Friday, we met at our local airport for another WELCOME home party for another adoptive family. These parties NEVER get old. We were welcoming home Sara and her sweet tiny baby boy. After we ohhed and ahhed over the tiny new born cry, we headed off to have dinner, just us girls. It was such a fun time and we really don't get the chance to visit with friends like this OR go out to eat.

An unexpected blessing of our adoption has been the wonderful friendships we have made with SO many AMAZING families. I absolutely love emailing, or texting or calling back and forth with these precious friends. I just wish they all lived close by so we could visit more often.

We have also had the chance to become good friends with another adoptive family that lives here in our town. Our kids have a great time together and this dear family is waiting on a little girl from Ethiopia.Sad to say, these are all pics from my cell phone. I just am so lazy with down loading my photos. I need to work on that. Sounds like another goal for myself. =)

Blessed...blessed to know these families.

LOVE brings us HOME

Finally finished my wall phrase. Actually, Chuck finished it. I have been hunting for something to paint on the wall in our entry way and I found this phrase on a picture frame and stenciled it on the wall and then painted it. The delivery isn't perfect, but I really like it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

12 MONTHS home !!!!!

So can you believe we have been home for 12 MONTHS??? That is officially ONE YEAR with our boys here. Woo HOO!!! We had big plans for a BIG celebration and then...we ALL got the FLU. Each and everyone of us had the fever, the cough, the aches, the pain, the stuffy nose, the whole thing. It was 10+ days of all of us being sick and down on the couch. So we totally missed our exciting GOTCHA DAY celebration.

But I still want to document how far we have come in our family. I really anticipated our anniversary month of coming home to more difficult than it has been. Anniversary triggers are really common and it was also the first time I was away from the boys for an extended period of time (2 big sleeps). I was able to go to the Created For Care retreat in Atlanta and spend some time filling up my cup so I could then go and pour back into my family.

We have seen such GREAT strides in the boys in the past few months. Both boys are really continuing to do really well with their adjustment. Changes in routine are not as difficult as they once were. We are not having as many difficulties with rejection or control. We are seeing both boys use more and more appropriate skills to handle the struggles that they seem to have. All of the hard work of cocooning and limiting their environment has been well worth it.

I believe that having a simple routine and not too stimulating environment gives a GREAT place for a foundation for healing to begin. Kids who come from traumatic situations need the opportunity to "let down" and know that they are safe. If you decide to just graft your kids into a "typical American family" continuing with lots of activities, you MAY postpone some healing. Please understand I share not because I think we have all the right ways to do things (because we have made MANY mistakes along the way) or to judge how you may adjust as a family. I just want to encourage families to really think about their transition plan. I have read and listened to Dr.
Purvis and have really gleaned great advice from her. Here is great resource to listen to if you are interested in finding out more about Dr. Purvis.

So...back to my update. We are doing well. It is feeling more and more normal. We still live a simple life and that works for us.
TF goes to his Mom's Morning Out program 2 mornings a week. I have cut him back to just 3 hours each time. We are praying about what will be the best situation for school next year. Exploring our options and praying that God would really lead and guide us.

Tyson shares more and more about his life in Ethiopia. We try and record it all down so we can share it with him some day if he forgets. God has given him a great gift in his memory. He still really misses his birth family and bed time (when he is alone sleeping) continues to be a struggle. We are working really hard at making it easy for him, but also trying to not let his struggles dominate our evening routine. It is a balancing act.

Tate continues to shut down when he feels insecure of unsure of others. He doesn't like to interact with many people but lights up for us at home. Interactions with others MUST be on his terms. He seems to hold onto his fears and relives
traumatic moments (like a neighbor's dog running up to him). He can still pitch a fit when he wants his way and has done this a few times out in public ( is embarrassing when your toddler will NOT sit in the shopping cart). We are seeing more joy in his personality and he has brought so much cheer to our family.

I am still trying to learn how to juggle 4 kids. I am doing better, but there are days I feel like it is a LOT of work. I am working hard at carving out time for Chuck and I each evening but I have not done a great job of making time for myself.

We are still getting our schooling done each week, though I feel like it's not as much as I'd like. Trying to really seek God for our next school year and desiring to make some changes. Tate still doesn't go to his class at church but Tyson does most weeks. He seems older than most of the kids there and has struggled with finding friends. We are praying for friend connections with all of our kids. The general dynamics of our family (both due to adoption and homeschooling)has made it more challenging here in our current state.

In the next few months my goals are:

  • get both boys down to bed in less time (still sitting with them until they sleep)
  • make a good decision for school for 3 of the kids
  • take Tate to the story time at the library 2 times a month
  • enjoy the next soccer season for Tyce
  • leave all the kids with a sitter so Chuck and I can go out to dinner
  • take some more family photos
  • work on our families adoption story via video
  • pray more with each child each day
  • parent my kids more in the spirit
  • improve eye contact with the boys
  • laugh more together
  • Blog more =)
Until next time.

Post Placement Photos

As per the requirements for the post placement reports that are required by the Ethiopian adoption system, we must send in about 10 pictures of each of the boys. There are different requirements, like a close up of their face, a full body shot, a picture of the whole family together. And as easy as this sounds, it is a bit more difficult for some kids than for others.

I was digging through some old files on my computer of pictures of the kids and realized, I have TONS of pictures of Tate, but very few of them are very good. Each time I have to send my pictures in for our post placement report, I feel like I am scrambling for some good pictures.

You see, Tate is the KING of picture sabotage. He completely shuts down for most pictures. I have spent months trying to figure it out...why are pictures so hard for him. Well...all I can figure is that one of the first times he had his photo taken was for his relinquishment paperwork. And honestly, that must have been such a difficult and terrifying time for him.

So...I try to capture him when I can, but I wanted to include these pictures on the blog here to show how far we have come. He still shuts down a lot for pictures, but we have gotten a few smiles out of him.
I think these were for the boy's 6 month post placement report. We are long gone past that one, in fact, we have now made it past the ONE YEAR mark and had our first GOTCHA Day (even if we were all sick, we still celebrated in our hearts).