Intentional Parenting – messy, beautiful and full of grace

I am labeling it intentional parenting. The big and little things that we do to love on our kids and teach them in the midst of our crazy lives.

Sometimes for my adopted son I call it therapeutic parenting as it takes on different level of healing and encouragement.

My kids are far from perfect and I am far from a perfect mother….but my job as “Mom” is one of my favorites. I do serve a perfect God though and I love how He guides me through it all.

I believe our job is to encourage and teach our kids daily, in the little stuff. I believe passionately that we are supposed to share truth with them, God’s truth and that is it simply put. Will my kids in turn always pick up that truth and act on it? Of course not, just ask my 18 year old 😉 But I am still called to share it with them and then I get to step back and let God and them handle the rest as they grow up and start to make the choices for themselves.

It looks different every day.

It does NOT look like long, boring, family devotionals.

Sometimes it is a conversation of instruction and other times I just listen.

It might be a note or text.

It might be a movie choice.

It might be a tone I have, regardless of theirs.

It might be a conversation after church.

It might be a lot of open ended questions.

It IS lots of prayer for them, about all of it!

Today it is Valentines Day.

Here is how I am being intentional with my three children.

I am talking with them about love and God’s love and how many others are going without it today and if we love Jesus how he asks US to do something about it. (You can read my post from yesterday on that.)

I included things of truth and God’s love in their valentines gifts. The inserted picture is a photo of what I put on my kids candy conversation hearts. (Here is the link to the printable: http://careyscotttalks.com/?download=gods-conversation-hearts)
We are going on a family Valentines dinner date and having each of the kids take ‘The Five Love Languages’ Quiz for children. Here is the link to that: (http://crcpeninsula.org/Love_Languages_Children_Guiz.pdf)
We included small gift cards to itunes in the older kids cards. I am going to encourage them to buy at least 1 worship song they really like right now and an audio book. I really want to pass on my love of books and stories on to them.
I hope I can encourage you to join me on my quest to be an intentional mama. It’s beautiful and messy, but full of grace. The grace that God extends me as I fail often, the grace I extend to my kids when they choose things other than truth and the grace I extend to myself when I choose differently.
“The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” 
(Psalms 147:11 NIV)

 

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Where Is The Love?

“We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)


As we approach Valentine’s Day tomorrow I reflect on those without the love of a family.

Those who will have no such thing as a Valentines Day. My heart is heavy for them and we are continually praying about how and what God wants us to do about this. What is our role right now? What is our role in the near future? What is Gods mission and vision for us as a family to care and advocate for the “least of these.”

I will celebrate tomorrow and cherish the love I have for my hubby and 3 kiddos.

I will use the day to talk of love, the love God has for us and the love we have for each other.

I will be ever thankful tomorrow and every day, but I also will remember, pray and act on behalf of those who do not have what we do.

Will you join us in asking “Where is the Love” and what I am supposed to do about it?

Tomorrow will be chalked full of warm fuzzies but today I challenge us to look at the cold hard facts.

It is estimated there are between 143 million and 210 million orphans worldwide (recent UNICEF report.)

Every day 5,760 more children become orphans

Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…

Each year 14, 505, 000 children grow up as orphans and age out of the system by age sixteen

Each day 38,493 orphans age out

Every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out with no family to belong to and no place to call home

Studies have shown that 10% – 15% of these children commit suicide before they reach age eighteen

These studies also show that 60% of the girls become prostitutes and 70% of the boys become hardened criminals

Another study reported that of the 15,000 orphans aging out of state-run institutions every year, 10% committed suicide, 5,000 were unemployed, 6,000 were homeless and 3,000 were in prison within three years…

The UNICEF orphan numbers DON’T include abandonment (millions of children) as well as sold and/or trafficked children. The current population of the United States is just a little over 300 million… to give you an idea of the enormity of the numbers…

According to data released in 2003 as many as eight million boys and girls around the world live in institutional care. Some studies have found that violence in residential institutions is six times higher than violence in foster care, and that children in group care are almost four times more likely to experience sexual abuse than children in family based care.

An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked every year; (THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S CHILDREN 2005)

2 million children, the majority of them girls, are sexually exploited in the multibillion-dollar commercial sex industry. (THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S CHILDREN 2005)


“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
(Matthew 25:40)

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2012 in review ~

Oh 2012 how great,beautiful, amazing and hard were you?!!!! Reflecting on this last year we have so much to be grateful for. So many things to bring smiles to our faces.

We are finally getting into a great groove of being a family of 5! Wendem has been making HUGE strides in so many areas! Growing in trust of us which completely transforms our house, growing in confidence which totally helps him in school and socially and of course his English is improving amazingly which helps everything. Communication makes things so much easier! He is really picking it up, people are amazed to know he has only been home 4 months. I feel like he is finally coming into himself. The Wendem we are getting to experience now is giggly, enthusiastic, grateful and just plain silly….yep he is a Herzog alright! He recently conquered one of his biggest fears….the school bus. When he first arrived he was down right adamant that he would never ride one of those, even if brother did he was just too darn scared. Well one day a few weeks before Christmas break he came home from school and declared he was ready. I about fell over but I jumped on his energy and called the bus folks. They don’t allow parents to ride the bus for lots of reasons but I did convince them to let Chase ride with him for the first day. Sure enough Chase rode with him, showed him the bus transfer protocol and he was off. (He rides a bus, gets to the hs here and switches buses both ways.) Now he is an old pro and riding the bus to school and has even rode it home. Yahoo!!!

Just as many new mothers fill a baby book with babys first words and funny toddler sayings I too am doing the same. Here are some fun things our little man has said:

*When talking about his homework and the top of his page he said, ” I wrote on the upstairs of my paper and teacher helped me on the downstairs” (bottom) 🙂

*He wanted to play with a friend from school the other day but I told him I didn’t have his friends phone number or address. He said “Mom just ask the lady in your phone to give you directions like before when went to Yibis house, she tell you how to get to Ryans.” I just cracked up! I tried to explain to him that we had to have a address before the nice lady could give us directions, thanks MapQuest!

*We were at the mall as a family visiting Tay at work and he saw the photo of Santa and wondered why in the world Santa would come here. I asked him if Santa ever came to Ethiopia, “nope, his legs would get too tired to walk there.” LOL!

*I was folding laundry the other day in the dining room where he came and promptly turned the light off in the room. I said I need that light on, he then asked me, “Do you have money for that light mom?” I think he is listening when we tell the kids to turn the lights off in a room eh!

The list of these are forever long but these are a few of my current favorites. I love the way he says “little and really” in his cute Amharic accent.

Wendem many days is a mini-Chase, he just LOVES big brother and those two have so much fun together. We are constantly impressed with Chase’s love and energy for Wendem, we often find them wrestling or watching movies like old pals 🙂

Wendem loves music as does the rest of our family, he loves to dance and sing even if he doesn’t know the words 😉 Some of his favorites range from Chris Tomlin to Flo Rida. Like I mentioned before, a true Herzog;)

Here are some other fun things to reflect on that we are grateful for this past year!

God brought our son home after a long 13 months of waiting and fundraising!! We pushed through some hard adjustment times but we hung in there and now things are better than ever. Not to say we won’t ever have rough times again but we have finally got into a smooth groove as a family of 5.

Taylor Dawn graduated high school and started college which she is loving. We can’t believe she is 18 now!!!! She is smart, beautiful, funny and fun to watch grow into the woman God created her to be. All I can say is watch out world! She has been working at the mall for a year or so now working at Orange Julius and Chattys. She loves the barista part of working so just recently took a job at up and coming CoffeeHouse here in downtown Bozeman that she will start in a few weeks. She will graduate from the Esthics school in April and plans to work in her field along with the coffee house and then is looking into going to MSU this fall.

Chase is loving 7th grade and realizing his true passions and talents. I can’t believe he just turned 13, really two teenagers in this house! This year he laid down his 9 year soccer career for focusing on music. He loves playing guitar, singing and making music on the computer. He and his best friend Karen tried out for the talent show this year. With over 60 plus acts and only 20 chosen they got in and will be performing at the Emerson in the show later in the month. I can’t wait!

Our house is full of love, laughter and big extremes. You might catch us chatting about college financial aid or what would be a good snack for a second grader….the joys of having kids 10 years apart! As most of you know if I had my way I would graduate one and bring a new one in 😉 Now my hubby on the other hand doesn’t agree, although we do not think that we are completely finished though…we know we may do this addition thing once or twice more…but God’s timing is perfect and we will know when that is. (I am petitioning for a girl to even things out!!!;)

2012 brought a lot of work, pain, joy and peace as does each year. This year though we are especially thankful for God’s provision in our lives. His hand was all over our adoption of little Wendem and you never had to doubt if it was His plan, it was and He provided for us ever step of the way.

We are so grateful for all of you who journeyed with us and continue to do so! Praying 2013 is an amazing year for us all. God Bless!

Lots of Love, The Herzog 5

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This post is rated "R" – R for REAL (The truth inside post adoption)

Did the title grab your attention? Well that is where I am headed folks…to the land of “REAL”.
So here it goes…

Lots of people lately have asked how we are doing and how they can pray for us. I can’t tell you how much that means to us. To have others praying for us is such a precious gift that we never take for granted!

Our answer to this question of how can I be praying for you is this…”Pray for healing for Wendem.” Some times I get a look of confusion as those words cross my lips…”Healing?”. I think it takes some folks aback as they are not sure what he would need healing from. Well here is what my son and most adopted children will need healing from, especially older adopted kiddos…

My son is grieving…big time. Grieving from what many ask? You just did this great thing and gave him a family. The whole great thing is a total other blog post…we did nothing great…just what God asked of us. My son is grieving EVERYTHING he has ever know. His country, his people, his birth family, his nannies at the orphanage, his friends, his native language, his food, his structure, his cultural…everything! Even if what he has moved to is good, it is still new, different, sometimes scary and not what he has know for the last 8 years. I can barely fathom what it would feel like for me to be dropped into a country where I couldn’t communicate and where everything was different. By the end of day one I imaging being pretty frustrated and worn out. It takes a lot of emotional energy to adjust like that. Every time Wendem speaks or listens he is translating. He has to translate everything we say to him and every word he hears his teacher or friends say. Then he has to translate out everything he wants to tell us…some days it has just got to be exhausting. Now don’t get me wrong his English is coming along great but I can see the days when it is down right hard. We have finally gotten to a place where he tells me…”Mom, I don’t know the English.” He says this when he wants to tell me something but just doesn’t know enough English to do so. Sometimes it is followed with anger as he so badly wants to communicate something to me….other times it is filled with a sadness that makes my heart ache.

My son is trying to find his place…. All of the behavioral issues we have encountered with him started around the 4 week mark. Which makes complete sense as I reflect and dive into where he is coming from. Last time he was here what did we do at 4 weeks? Well, we sent him back! Not because we wanted to of course but that is how the hosting program-adoption works. So deep inside he thought  he might have to go back and he was scared, angry and hurt. 2 weeks into the hard stuff he asked me…”Mom, you and Dad mad at me and me go back?” “Of course not” I replied. “No matter what you get to stay here forever, even if Mom and Dad are mad.” He thought that when we disciplined him that we were getting ready to ship him back! What a scary thought! It breaks my heart to think he spent nights thinking of this until he could verbalize it and I of course could reassure him that nothing, nothing was ever going to make it so he had to go back or leave our family. We are still weekly reassuring him of this truth.

My son has had many traumas…coming here being one of them! Wendem has been through a lot in his few years…and I mean a lot! I share some of them to educate but lots will never be shared as his story is personal to him and is meant for him alone. Wendem’s had at least 3 Moms so far in his 8 years. His birth mother, his aunt who raised him for a short time, countless nannies at the orphanages and now me….trauma. That’s a lot of adjustment with some abandonment issues all mixed in. I think what his birth mother did was courageous, to love him enough to know she couldn’t care for his needs and give him up in hopes someone else could do a better a job…that is real love and I hope to always honor her in how I raise Wendem. Our home will always be a safe place to talk of her and he will be reminded of her love for him. Wendem has lived in at least 12 different places…trauma. Wendem has many birth siblings…some he remembers and many he has not met…trauma. You get the picture…I could go on and on.

So there is a partial answer that summarizes my answer for those of you have asked. The grief, trying to find his place and the traumas unfold in many different ways. Some days it is anger, even physically anger or hurtful words. Other days it is sadness or confusion, other times it is just defiance. We never know how our days will begin or end and we are navigating the triggers to all of these behaviors. At the core he is a very sweet sensitive little boy looking for belonging and love. The four of us work hard at continuing to give him a consistent place of love and acceptance no matter what.

We are thankful for the community of support we have and that others are walking this same hard road right beside us. God is teaching us all lots of huge things along this continued journey…my two biggest takeaways are patience and grace. I am thankful I serve a God who is always a prayer away and who is so readily there to offer me the love and grace I so often have to extend. Again, this journey is beautiful, messy, amazing and hard, but we are in!

Thank you for reading our journey and for your supportive thoughts and prayers. I encourage you to follow us. (there is a place on the right hand side to enter your email in.) I also encourage you to share our  Blog (story) with others. We know God is asking us to tell our story to help others through all stages of adoption and post adoption…the pretty and not so pretty parts. We humbly invite others in to see what it really looks like from fundraising to parenting. We want to be a resource to prospective adoptive parents, adoptive parents, adoptive grandparents, family and friends. We welcome questions, thoughts and encouragement.

GOD BLESS! The Herzogs

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Together at last! Beautiful,messy,amazing and hard…

We did it! We made it! Wendem is home for good!

Our little man has been home for 7 weeks and it feels like 7 days and 7 years all at the same time. You who have adopted or remember what bringing your baby home from the hospital is like in those first few months know exactly what I am talking about 🙂 It all happens so fast but then you can barely remember life without them!

Driving home on September 9th from the airport was so emotional for me. It was exactly 13 months earlier that I had put this dear sweet boy on a plane back to Africa…and now I was driving him home…home to our house…FOREVER! It almost felt like it was the first time I had taken a deep breath in 13 months. I could now officially breathe…this part of our journey was over. Every single day of those 13 months I was acutely aware of what we needed to do or had to be done and that something was missing. There was always something to do, something to work for, something to strive for, something to pray for, money to raise, something to anticipate. Now I could finally breathe, I honestly felt like I left a huge weight sitting in the airport parking lot. I exchanged it for this cute bubbly brown eyed boy whom I couldn’t and still can’t stop hugging.

In the time since Wendem arrived home so much has had to happen. We went through the re-aging process to determine his true age. With the help of our amazing pediatrician and bone scans we discovered that Wendem was turning 8, not 10 like his birth certificate states. In the coming months we will have to officially start paperwork to make that correction. We also let Wondimagagne pick a “American” name….after weeks of deliberation he chose Wendem, it incorporates his birth name but it much easier to spell and pronounce 😉 He not only has an new name but a new nickname as well that his silly Dad gave him…if any of know my husband at all you know what I mean. Daniel calls Wendem “Dubs”, as in W. Wendem had to receive several rounds of immunizations to be able to start public school. We had to start from scratch so he had to receive every shot from infant until now…that was tough! We enrolled Wendem in school and start working with the ESL teacher in our district. He is a big 2nd grader at Irving school here in Bozeman. Grandma helped us get him a bicycle for his birthday and he is learning to ride a bike for the first time..(training wheels on)

Some days have been easy and full of smiles, others are filled with frustration and tears. Trying to navigate all the newness and not speaking the same language is quite the challenge. The days our son is upset or grieving I want so badly to be able to explain to him and console him through my words. Instead I just hold him through the tears or anger he has and keep telling him how much we love him and that he gets to stay here forever. We tell him over and over again that he is our son, that we love him and that he now is part of a family, our family and nothing will ever change that. I will say that as each week goes by we are seeing major progress. It is amazing how his English is coming along and how much better we all are communicating.

The last 7 weeks have been beautiful, messy, amazing and hard…but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Life in our house looks very different as does any home where a new family member is added. We are daily learning our new “normal”. He definitly has a sense of humor and loves to play which fits perfectly into our lives. His little smile and smirk can light up the room or make me smile in an instant. Chase and Wendem are often found wrestling or playing football in the yard. Chase is a super big brother, it actually brings me to tears often ! I love watching the boys together! Taylor is so busy with college and work but always finds some time to give to us and we take it and count it precious when we get all three of them together for some good family time!

I look forward to blogging more on our “new normal” and helping other prospective or adopting families see a little window into what all happens after your kiddos arrive home for good. God is teaching us all so much and we look forward to sharing that! Blessings to you and yours!

Hugs, The Herzogs

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Sweet video to his siblings :)

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Submitted to Embassy on August 7th!

It has been exactly one month since our last blog update and lots has happened. First off my surgery went quite well, thank you for the prayers, support, meals and love. It was a little longer and harder than expected and my recovery is going to be longer but all in all I did really well. I still have about 3 weeks or so using the crutches and walker and then start intensive physical therapy. I am really looking forward to walking on my own in the coming weeks 🙂

In our adoption journey we have a few exciting updates. We were submitted to the US Embassy on August 7th. We then heard shortly after that they were going to request a birth parent interview. This is very common if the child has a living parent. W does so his mother will appear at the US embassy office on August 23rd. Even though the adoption is final in the eyes of both countries our US Embassy does this as a final step to avoid any chance of error. His birth mother will be asked the question, “Do you know what adoption is and that this is final?” She has already answered this in Ethiopian court but again will have to do it for our government. Once this meeting is done we will hear from the US Embassy and they will ask us when we can travel to go and pick him up in the next week or so!!!!! So is reality we could legally pick him up this Friday! WOW! I can’t believe we are finally at this stage of our journey.

As wonderful as that news is we are still busy raising the funds to be able to fund our last leg of this trip. We need enough funds to purchase tickets round trip there, a one way ticket for W home, travel and stay expenses there and his visa to leave the country. We are about 3,000 short of our goal to do that. We are busy selling things, saving, slashing our budget, fundraising, having parties and doing anything we can to get the last of our needs met. I know God knows that W is ready to come home and that we need to go soon. I know He will provide a way for it to happen soon. As crazy as it feels to be able to go and get him but not have the means we are peaceful and trusting. Our God is big and amazing and has done plenty of miracles for us along the way and can’t see him stopping now!

We do ask though that you join us in prayer that God supplies our needs of travel expenses. Pray for our hearts in the time that we have to wait. Pray for our boy as he is ready to come home. We recently had friends visiting Ethiopia and he asked them when we were coming….they told him soon and that we loved him….and boy do we ever LOVE that boy. I can’t wait to hug him and go pick out school supplies, I can’t wait to read him bed time stories and see him laughing with his brother and sister. I can’t wait until he realizes he gets to stay FOREVER!!!!!

Thank you all for following our journey and for your tremendous support.

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Updated timeline

Hi friends! We have an update and we wanted to share with you all. As you know we recently passed court in Ethiopia and we are now waiting for our next step. The next step is where our family and paperwork gets submitted to the Embassy. We heard from our agency this last week that we will be submitted on either July 25th or August 1st. We recently learned they only submit on Wednesdays. Once we are submitted to Embassy the average time a family travels is 3-4 weeks after that. We of course are praying and ask you to do the same that we are submitted on July 25th! This would then have us traveling to get our son around the 3rd or 4th week in August. Of course our hearts are screaming the sooner the better but we know God’s hand is in this and his timing will prevail.

We are busy getting things squared up around here that need to be done prior to him arriving home. We are fundraising to fund our trip, for his ticket home and for final adoption costs. We are filling his closet with clothes and toys. We have had some generous folks really bless us with hand me downs! We are getting ready to pick out who his pediatrician will be, start enrolling him in a elementary school here and getting room arrangements figured out for the boys. There is a lot to do in this waiting period and I think it is good as it keeps up occupied and not focusing on missing him so much 🙂

On this Wednesday I go in for intensive hip surgery in Billings and would love extra prayers. I will be on crutches or using a walk for 6 weeks and won’t be driving for a few months in the midst of all we have going on. I am thankful I have great family and friends who will support me through this crazy time.

So again we thank you for your support of our family and we ask you be praying along with us that:

  • We get submitted on July 25th and travel soon!
  • That we will have enough funds to travel when the time comes.
  • For a safe surgery for Jamie and a speedy recovery.
God Bless!
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July 9th, Passing Court!

July 9th we officially passed court in Ethiopian and our son is officially ours!!!

Our trip was wonderful. We got to spend several hours with our boy every day we were there. It was wonderful seeing him again and seeing how he has grown this last year…which isn’t much…he is such a little guy for his age 🙂 That first hug was so precious as we have been waiting almost a year to squeeze him again! When he saw us around the corner he got a huge grin ear to ear…that look was priceless! He quickly in his broken english asked where the kids were and was a little disappointed that they were not with us. We then shared with him the videos the kids had made for him. He loved that and watched them several times throughout our stay there 🙂 Towards the end of our trip he made a video for them which is absolutely adorable. (I posted it on my facebook if you haven’t seen it)

We fell in love with the country, people and food. There is something about Ethiopia that draws both Daniel and I deeply. The weather was amazing there and our time was great exploring the city and meeting people. Several times on our stay we requested to skip the next thing on our itinerary and to stay at the orphanage to be with our boy and all the older kids. They are not supposed to let us, but they did! 🙂 Our time together consisted of laughs, playing soccer, hugging, looking at pictures from the last year and trying to understand each other. Our boy was in wonderful spirits the whole time, that just seems to be his personality. It was fun watching him interact with his friends and to share the things we brought for him. We brought him a hat…he gave it away. We would give him a piece of gum, he would manage to share it with several friends. That is how the children are, giving, loving and all about the community they live in which is each other. He was not sad to see us go, it was way harder on us. He has seen this process with so many kids…the parents come, they go and then they come back for good. Again, our son has been in the orphanage since he was 3 years old…he has seen this process for 6 years. Praise God it is finally his turn to go!

We toured several orphanages while we were in the country and I have so many stories from there, some good…some very hard. Let’s have coffee sometime and I will tell you more. One of the best stories was when we visited the orphanage that Wondimagagne used to be at. They have moved him since he is closer to coming home to the US to an orphanage they call a transition home. When we visited his old orphanage we did the whole tour like normal from the infant room to toddlers to where the older children stay. This day when we arrived the older children were at school. School is a one room classroom that has lots of dirt, very few school items but lots of smiles. We opened up the door and saw a dozen beautiful faces smiling back at us and then they all lit up and starting speaking in English…Wondimagagne’s Mama and Papa they shouted! They shouted this over and over…our son had carried our pictures around this last year and so every kid knew who we were! It was one of the most surreal moments of the trip. It made our hearts skip a beat. I loved that he was proud of us and his new family and that he had hope this last year that we were coming back to get him. It was a fun time with those dozen older kids that day. One girl was having a birthday so they were celebrating in the way they could. The kids were making her cakes with playdough…I could of stayed in that room for a very long time. I felt like we belonged because of the way their smiles, hugs and laughs invited us in. Later in our trip we spoke with the nannies and they told us all the kiddos stay up at night in their triple stacked bunk beds and talk about who has a family and who does not…I am so very thankful that my son got to be one of the ones who did, who had the hope of having a family and I can’t wait to see our future. We know we are not done on this crazy journey of adoption and adoption awareness. I pray God uses us again to bring a child or children home and that he uses us to help others do the same and that we can partner with folks here and there to change the reality for many children.

One last blessing to share…we met several families on our trip who were doing the same thing. It was great to be with so many other whose hearts were aligned for adoption! We got to see several families meet their children for the very first time!!! Now that was an experience full of tears and pure joy. Something etched into our minds deep. We met a few families we will stay in touch with forever. Just an added bonus on this amazing adventure.

We have so much more to share about our journey but we wanted to highlight our favorites and we look forward to returning soon. Please pray we receive our US Embassy date soon to go get him! On the average it is about 45-60 days after you pass court, but as anyone in the adoption world will tell you…there is no average!

Please feel free to ask questions about our trip, about adoption about supporting us and others. We are glad to share! We are still hard at work trying to raise they last amount of funds to bring him home. Due to circumstances beyond our control we are starting from scratch but we KNOW God will provide. If you feel led to support us and adoption and want to assist in bringing our little boy home you can go to the donate button on the top of this blog that says DONATE. God Bless!!!

All Christians have been adopted as children of God and freed from the law. To adopt a child is to follow the lead of God who has adopted so many. God use us and thank you for making us yours and letting us follow in your amazing footsteps of love.

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27

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Going to Ethiopia!

It is with great anticipation that I type this post! This time we have news and it is great news! On Monday June 11th at 7:55 AM we got the wonderful news that we have a court date in Ethiopia! Our court date is June 26th, and we need to be in country on June 23rd. That does not give us much time to plan or secure tickets but we know that God has it all covered! You might be reading this and think that we get to pick up our son this trip…I wish!!! Ethiopia requires two trips. (Read more about that in my previous post)

I can’t even begin to put into words the feelings that I had after I hung up the phone with our agency. I screamed, cried, jumped up and down and really had trouble breathing for awhile. As most of you know we hosted this little boy we are adopting so I know what it feels likes to hug him, to play with him to see his silly quirks. My prayer has been since I put him on a plane on August 9th, 2011 was that I wanted to see him before one year mark had past. Well God is honoring that request. When we are there next week I will get to hold my son and it will be just shy of one year since I have seen him! We get new pictures every month and he is getting taller, has all of his front teeth now, and he just looks so darn happy! I would like to think that the beautiful smile he carries has something to do with him knowing we are coming for him and he will finally have a forever family!
     We are still hard at working and fundraising trying to fund these two trips to Ethiopia as each one will run us around 7,000. We don’t have enough in our adoption account but I am positive God will provide for our need, he has every step of the way and many times He did it through the generous hearts of people who gave to our cause to get our son home. 
     If you know the whole story with us you know we started this journey pursuing the adoption of two children…there is not a day goes by that we don’t think of the other child we tried to adopt. With the great news of going to see our son comes the finality that we are not going to see her again and not be able to bring them both home. (We praise God thought she did find a forever family though) There are still times I don’t understand but I know God’s plan is much bigger than mine and what we can see. I wonder if God has laid it on Daniel and I’s heart to be willing to continue to grow our family…He might of just wanted us to be willing to do more, love more, love bigger! I often think that he will someday fulfill the whisper to my heart that I will have at least 4 kiddos someday 🙂 I guess I just hold on tight and see how he unfolds that….another great story I am sure that comes with the amazing adventure of following Jesus! (As long as there is 5 million orphans in Africa I will be feeling the pull!!!)
     We are still in awe of the love and support of those we know and many we don’t. Lots of people are still asking how they can help us in this stretch of our journey. Here is how you can join us:

  • Financially contribute towards our adoption, we have $7,000 left to raise to bring him home. (All you donate can be tax deductible if you choose) It’s seems like a large amount but even $10 dollars brings us closer to being able to bring our son home! There is a donate tab here on our blog for easy online giving or you can mail in a donation. Thanks for considering it!
  • Pray! There is nothing closer to the heart of God than adoption…after all each of us is adopted into his family as his children. Pray for our fundraising, travels and our son’s safety and heart in between our trips.
We thank you for taking the time to read this update and ask that you share this post with others. The more our story gets shared the more the cause for adoption is out there and we never know who wants to join our journey!

We love and appreciate you all more than words can ever say. God is good and I get to see my son next week! Yahoo!
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