Monday, May 31, 2010

Shower Prep

You're gonna wonder what on earth we're doing in these pics!  =P  Don't worry, you'll see soon enough!

There may have been a teensy bit of alcohol involved... =P

I look kinda gross and sweaty in this pic, but laughing takes A LOT of energy you know!
(And GOTTA love mom's cabin-ish apron!)

I know....what AM I doing right?!? =P

Amanda doing what she does best!!!  CRAFTING!

I think we're ready to go now...

...after a midnight run to pick flowers from the side of a country road of course. 
We girls know how to have fun!!!
Stay tuned to see how it all turned out!


Saturday, May 29, 2010

On Cloud 9

I'm floating in the clouds right now...

My eyes are welling over with tears right now.  My newest niece, Maleah, is in her parent's arms at last!  (I could show you the picture I just saw...via FB, but I'm going to let her parents show her off first.  But don't worry, they will be coming!)   =)  My brother Clint and my sister (in law) Laura are in Ethiopia RIGHT NOW loving on their fourth child, and first daughter.  I can't even imagine the emotions that are swirling through them right now.  But I'll know eventually!!! 

She is absolutely beautiful!  And it seems that with every day and every photo I see she continues to get more beautiful.  I'm in love already. 

I'm anxious for them to get home.  I'm anxious to see their family of SIX all together.  I'm anxious to plant a kiss on her little cheek.  I'm anxious to take a picture of her.  But I'm even more anxious for my baby to come home..

I have a feeling these next couple months are going to feel like they drag on now that I don't have the distraction of my family's adoption process.  But I get to live vicariously through them until then.  And our journey has never felt so REAL!  Watching my brother and sister in their journey has made the reality of our adoption just click with me.  We WILL be getting our daughter!  We WILL be seeing her face!  We WILL be going to Ethiopia!  And we WILL have a family of four! 

I can't wait for the post that says, "They are home at last!!!"  Lots of pictures included, of course! =)

P.S.  If you are wondering why my posts have been lacking...well, let's just say our desktop computer crashed.  And then I left my laptop charger at my mom's and had to wait for her to mail it to me.  Talk about computer issues, right?!? 


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Really, I'm OK!

More than okay really!  I am an amazingly blessed mama!!!  And the fact that people are concerned about my well being just makes me smile.  I feel so loved.  =)

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, let me clarify...

My brother and sister (in law) started the adoption process the same time as us.  Also adopting a healthy infant girl from Ethiopia.  We found out that we submitted our applications the same week and decided to tell our parents together (funny enough, our boys are 3 weeks apart in age and we announced our pregnancies the same weekend, unaware of each other's).  We are both so excited to be on this journey together, especially knowing that our girl's will have each other to lean on down the road.  Because, undeniably, adoption isn't always easy.

We did sign with different agencies however.  We both felt called in different directions, but both know that it was God's perfect plan for our family.  They signed with Holt, one of the most well-known, most established agencies around.  They had known families from their church adopt through that agency and had great experiences.  Though Holt has been around for nearly five decades, their Ethiopia program is relatively new - meaning there are less families in their program right now than the average agency, making their wait list very short. 

We signed with All God's Children International.  Although we didn't know any families that personally adopted through them, we were drawn to their orphan mission and high values.  After joining their listserv online and "meeting" some families in the Ethiopia program (many adopting for the 2nd or 3rd time), we just knew it was right for us.  AGCI has not been around as long as Holt, but their Ethiopia program has been around longer than Holt's.  AGCI has a very well-established list (we got placed on the girl's list at #48) making our wait much more significant than my brother's family.

So although we started our journey at the same time, theirs is already coming to a close.  They leave on Wednesday (tomorrow!) to go pick up Maleah.

This past weekend, I hosted a baby shower for her (with the help of my other two sister in laws - pictures to come).  It was an absolute pleasure to shower Laura with gifts and food, and to celebrate Maleah's life.  I couldn't be happier for her!  But I had a few friends and family members concerned about me, knowing how long we have yet to wait to see our baby girl. 

But I want you all to truly know, I am really okay.  I have loved being on this journey with someone.  To share our stories and compare our experiences and to have someone who truly understands my fears, and my worries, and my stress.  Yet our homecomings are going to spaced far enough apart that we can celebrate separately as well.  I am completely at peace with God's timing right now (ask me in a few months and it may be a different story though).  When we started this journey our goal was to have her home by the end of 2010.  We wanted our kids about two years apart or a little more.  Although we may not have her home by the end of the year (we'll cross that emotional bridge when we get there) the age difference between our kids is right where we planned.  And God knows financially what we can handle right now.  We are still working to get out of debt.  We are still working on fundraising for this adoption.  And we are still working on adding a third bedroom to our house.  If Baby Girl was coming home next week, I would be in panic mode.  God knows what timing will be perfect for our family, so we are going to trust him with that.

I am SO excited to be an auntie again.  I am SO excited to see Maleah home!  And I SO appreciate everyone coming and talking to me about my concerns rather than just ignoring it.  But I also want you to know how okay I really am!  =)  I love you all!

"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day." Habakkuk 2:3


Monday, May 24, 2010

The Sweetest Gift

I have been blown away by the generosity of the people I love.  Blown away!  I just received the sweetest gift this weekend.  A very special person in my life (who chooses to remain anonymous) just gave me something for my Baby Girl that I have been longing for for a very long time. plus months a long time.  And well, let's just say that everything else in the nursery depends on this item.  The paint colors, the curtains, the rug...everything!  And now I have it...

That's right!  I received Baby Girl's nursery bedding.  Isn't it BEAUTIFUL!?!?!  This was an online special, and from the ratings and buyer looks very different in person than online.  So that's why I couldn't start on ANYTHING in the nursery until I had it.  And let me tell you - it does look very different in looks better!!!  It's more vibrant, it has beautiful finishing details, and it's gorgeous!  I LOVE IT!!!

And to my generous and very loved (not just because of the gift =P) gift giver: THANK YOU a million times over!  I know I cried, I know I screeched, and I know I gave you a million hugs...but I still don't think I can ever thank you enough!  As you know this just came at the perfect time and it made my WEEK!  I hope you know how much I love and appreciate you.  And I hope I can even be a fraction as supportive to you as you have always been to me!

LOVE it!  =)


Saturday, May 22, 2010


I have found that I am newly passionate about defending the orphans.  My blood begins to boil when people discredit the poverty and sickness that is becoming a global epidemic simply because it is uncomfortable to hear, see, or think about.  I used to be that person. 

What gives us the right to turn the other way when this is becoming a reality for more and more children around the world?  They can't close their eyes or change the channel to make the reality go away.  Why should we?

So yes...maybe you are sick of hearing about Haiti.  But they have to LIVE IT

Maybe its uncomfortable to see that commercial about the starving orphans in Africa.  But is your belly the one that is grumbling and there is no food in sight?

Look into these eyes.  How can you not want to help?

As mothers, it brings warmth to our hearts to think about our children going to bed with full bellies and a kiss on the cheek.  Our children have the privaledge of knowing how much they are loved.  Every day.  In every way.  They don't have to scarf down their meals wondering how long it will be until the next.  They won't have to take care of their sick mother wondering if they have to watch her die.  The sadness that some children have seen is more than I will ever know in my entire life.  It could have just has easily been me.  I was born in the position I am in so that I can DO SOMETHING about it.

Won't you join me?  What can you do TODAY to help an orphan in need?

This Could Be Our Day
-Addison Road

What we do here is just the beginning
New life is starting at every ending
We are a part of the story unfolding
This is the weight of the world we are holding
This could be our day
This could be our day

Clearly it's time to make a change
Or I could keep sitting and waste all day
I know that it's time for me to move
I've been given this minute to use
And given this moment to prove that

What we do here is just the beginning
New life is starting at every ending
We are a part of the story unfolding
This is the weight of the world we are holding
This could be our day
This could be our day
I was holding back
Now I've come undone
I want to touch the world
Heal the broken ones
Ending the cycle has just begun
We've been given this minute to use
And given this life to prove

What we do here is just the beginning

New life is starting at every ending
We are a part of the story unfolding
This is the weight of the world we are holding
This could be our day
This could be our day

To give ourselves away
For something beautiful
A million miles away
To the one who's hungry, and thirsty
And needs some hope
To the people that are weary and
Broken and left alone
I'm giving myself away
I've giving myself away

What we do here is just the beginning

New life is starting at every ending
We are a part of the story unfolding
This is the weight of the world we are holding
This could be our day
This could be our day


Friday, May 21, 2010

Showered With Love

Saturday May 15, 2010

Today I had the honor of hosting a baby shower for my best friend Annika.  She was counting down the last four weeks of her pregnancy when I realized we hadn't done a shower in celebration of this new life she was bringing into the world!  If you know me, you know I am a sucker for baby showers (even if I always end up hosting) so it was a must (Even though I'm hosting one the very next weekend?  Why yes, I like my life chaotic!  =P). 

On the big day today, the beautiful expectant mom is only two weeks from her due date (although most of us are voting that this week Baby Hannah will make her big appearance).  It turned out that God blessed us with the perfect weekend for such an event - what a beautiful, sunny day it was here in Seattle!  So we actually moved the party to outside (talk about easy decorating...or twice as hard depending on how you look at my house had to look beautiful and my yard too) so we could load up on our Vitamin D (this is a rare occasion in Seattle). 

Our theme for this celebration was "Sweet Treats"!  We stuck to snacks and fruit for the buffet and kept things very colorful.

The Decorations & Food

Lilacs from our yard
Beverage area
The buffet
Marshmallow pops - a hit with the kids!

The hostesses with the expectant mother

Corie (holding Ella) Annika and Me

The Party & Guests

Big Sister

Baby Girl clothes are starting to stack up!

Baby Hannah

Congratulations Annika!  We can't wait to meet Hannah!