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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Still waiting…

Hi friends and family! Here is our big update: We are still waiting! We are supposed to be hearing this week as to when we go to court in Ethiopia. We are (im)patiently waiting for that phone call!!! But we know that God has got it and we completely trust in his timing as we wait to bring our boy home. The good news is that yesterday we got updated pictures of him and a short update on how he is doing. He has gotten so much bigger, just in the last month!!! So tall and he has all his front teeth now! 


Lots of you have asked what the end stretch looks like and I am so glad to explain.  There are two required trips. The first trip is for a court appointment. The purpose of this trip is for the adoptive parents to meet their child(Which we already did since we hosted him) in person and to be present at an Ethiopian court hearing to give their consent for the adoption. This trip is approximately 5-7 days.

The second trip is for a visa appointment. The purpose of this trip is for the adoptive parents to pick up their child and to be present at an appointment with the US Embassy to secure a US visa for their child. This trip is approximately 3-5 days. 

Right now we are waiting to hear about our first court appointment. I struggle thinking about going but again having to say Good-Bye until the final trip. I don’t like goodbyes and it is hard to explain to him why they can’t just come home with us the first time!!! 

We are still fundraising to be able to do both of these trips, take care of all inter-country fees and all the last minute expenses that come up within these two trips. 

We sure appreciate your prayers and support of our growing family in this journey. We will keep you updated! God Bless!
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3 of many miracles…


It has arrived! Both our paperwork to Ethiopia and we have officially arrived at the “wait” stage 🙂 As of today we have turned in all paperwork and done about everything possible to get ready to go get our boy. Our next step is waiting to hear from Ethiopia and receiving a court date from them!!! My heart is in hurry up mode but my mind knows Gods timing is more than perfect! He has shown us so many ways along this journey that His timing is much more perfect that ours and that He has a plan in it all the way! There are 3 big miracles of timing that the Lord has done for us in this time and I just have to share them with you….there are so many more too…some time over a cup of hot joe I would love to share them with you too…. 🙂

  1. In the beginning our paper chase and fundraising we needed about 4,500 to be able to move forward and begin the homestudy etc. We were so confused on how it was to happen but were trusting along the way. One night I was crying out to God to tell Him I just couldn’t see past this and did not know where to turn…I think I may have fell asleep crying out to him and praying….The next morning we had coffee with some dear friends…they handed us an envelope, a gift they said, they wanted to support us and felt God told them to help us…guess how much the check was for? Yep, 4,500!!! I am so thrilled God used these amazing people to be part of our sons story.
  2. We were madly fundraising and paper chasing and deep into the “paper pregnancy” when we realized we did not have enough funds to turn in our dossier…we were getting so close to having it done. Well, we had a few snags and hang ups with our paperwork so we did not get to turn it in when we wanted to..and we didn’t have the funds so…BUT GOD is much bigger than that, the day before we finalized and smoothed out the paperwork to send off…our account had enough funds!!! Again He knew..it would of been so hard to have our paperwork all ready and then not have the funds. So He made them go hand in hand…just as He planned all along.
  3. Our next big due date was coming up and we didn’t know exactly when but were madly fundraising again and trusting God. We had 2 fundraisers coming up so we were excited to see how God would unfold it all. We had had these fundraisers lined up for many months and we never knew how they would line up in our due dates with money..well on Wednesday we received our referral, we were so excited!!!! We had to sign a few papers and accept and then send a check along with it, the agency wanted it to be turned in on Monday. Well we had two fundraisers that weekend and sure enough the fundraisers on Saturday and Sunday made us the amount we needed to send in, even a little more. We literally deposited money from Sunday afternoons fundraiser the next morning and wrote the check. This time God made it all happen within 24 hours, nothing like waiting until the last minute.
There are MANY other little miracles happening all the time in our story. This journey is about getting my son home but is SO much about us and God stretching our faith. Every time we make a deadline or things fall into place it is just confirmation that we are doing exactly what God asked us in adopting this boy!
The orphanage has now told him we are coming for him and we can start to communicate with him more now and send care packages! I can’t wait!! We get to ask more questions about him and get monthly updates until we get to go get him and bring him home. As most of you know Ethiopia requires two trips there…so we wait…but it seems so doable with the peace that God has given us. I pray every day that it comes quickly of course but only He knows what that looks like. I dream about the day I am reunited and get to hug my boy…but until then we lean hard into our amazing God and hold tight as He leads us.
Many of you are asking how you can help or pray. Here are our updated prayer requests:
  • Please pray as we fund-raise for our next amount of about 15,000. This covers travel costs, in country fees, etc. Pray God will continue to surprise us and provide in miraculous ways!!
  • Pray for our son far away that he can stay happy and healthy until we arrive. Pray that his heart is content in this waiting time, pray the same for us:)
  • Pray for my health as I have been struggling with some unresolved issues. Pray the Dr.’s have lots of wisdom on how to diagnose, treat and relieve the pain I have been in.
We thank you all for your continued support of our growing family!
God Bless!
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It’s here!


Wow! The moment has come…well at least we are are very close!!


In the next two days we will be sending off our dossier to Ethiopia!!(Dossier: When used in the context of adoption, this term refers to a group of appropriately authenticated and translated legal documents which are used in international adoption cases to process the adoption of a child in its own country by the adoptive parents, or for the adoptive parents to obtain the legal custody or guardianship of the child in the foreign court, so the child can be brought by the adoptive parents to the United States for adoption.)

We have been working on this LARGE stack on documents since late August. It is a very exciting time to for us but it has not been an easy road. We have been super anxious to get this paperwork overseas for months now…but there was always one more thing..one more document..one more notarization, etc. Well as I was reflecting this last week I know just why 🙂 This past week our fundraising account had just enough to send the dossier off.(You have to include a rather large check to the adoption agency with your dossier) It would of been painfully hard to have all of our paperwork ready and not enough funds to send it away…so as normal GOD knows best!!! 🙂 Oh, His timing is always so perfect!

We now are off and running again with fundraising for our next big chunk. When we receive our official “referral” which should be coming soon, another large chunk of funds will be due. (The adoption referral refers to when prospective adoptive parents get a call regarding a child that the country or agency has selected for them based on the family’s criteria. The prospective adoptive parents will also receive information on the child’s health. This means you are officially matched.)

We are praying like mad for our son far away that He knows deep inside that we are coming for him and that God keeps him happy and healthy until then. Our prayer is that we can get him home sometime before or around August. That will be a year since he left our home…a day I will never ever forget!!!

We sure appreciate the support and prayers of all of those around us. This journey would be scary alone and God has surrounded us with an amazing support system!

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Gladness, Grief and Goals


It has been over a month since my last post and so much has happened! God is moving in amazing ways and showing us His master plan little by little. We had a wonderful Holiday season as we celebrated with family and dear friends.

Here is an update on the family front. At the end of December we took Taylor and four of her friends out to Portland Oregon to attend a Campus Crusade for Christ conference. They had an amazing time and it was a fun road trip with all the kids. For those of you who don’t know what CRU (as we call it) is, it is like Youth Group for college kids. They had a great time learning from some amazing speakers and fellowshipping with lots of other college students from around the Northwest. They spent some time every day sharing the gospel with people around Portland and had a ton of great stories to share with us. Chase is staying busy with guitar lessons, friends, and middle school stuff!
The kids both just celebrated birthdays. On January 2nd Chasers turned the big 12 and on January 3rd Taylor turned 17! It is so fun having older kids and we love all that comes with it. Taylor just took her ACT’s as she is preparing for college in the fall. She was planning on attending MSU this spring but has now decided fall as she will be returning to Haiti this Summer! Her Daddy and I are all for that!
I think often of what it will be like to have younger kids again…it is going to be so much fun!!! I can’t wait! (Not that 8 is that young;)
We are working hard at collecting all of our paperwork for our dossier still. WOW! There is a lot to this whole thing. Just when we think we have it done we figure out more to do or to do over. We have had lots of do overs on our paperwork…little things like letterhead or incorrect notarization can stop the process. We sent out a support letter along with our Christmas cards this year and the response has been amazing. We are so extremely blessed by the love, support and generosity of our friends, family and even acquaintances. To be quite honest I was getting discouraged in December as to how it was all going to go. I knew we would be finished up with our paperwork in the early months of 2012 and was wondering how that would feel if we had that all done but not the funds to go along with it. Well, God picked my spirits right up and showed us tangibly by the love and generosity of others that He has it all figured out! So crazy how we sometimes forget or question. Every time I think we don’t have enough money to adopt, the Lord gently reminds me that He does! All the money of the world is really His and he will get it to us in His time and in His way….all we need to do is be faithful to pursue His calling for us and Pray!!! I look forward to the future holidays with our whole family…praying that is in 2012! We still have LOTS of fundraising to do but we are trusting!!!
We have had a few speed bumps along the way but I know that even in the process God is using it to refine me and grow my family in their faith. As many of you know we hosted one of the children for a month this summer that we are in the processing of adopting. We also became very close with one of the other children that was being hosted here in Bozeman by a family who was not looking to adopt but to advocate on behalf of the child. Advocate families host the children in their home to expose the child to potential adoptive families. So at the end of the summer we knew we were going to be trying to pursue the adoption of those two specific children. Now here comes the hard part…I have not been able to blog of this until now…(And it is still very difficult.) We learned shortly after the children returned to Ethiopia that another family (not in this state) was also interested in the second child that we were. We did not know where this would land us but we do now. The other family also is pursuing adoption of that child 😦 And since the two children we are wanting to adopt are not siblings well…the other family would get first preference. Since they were only pursuing the adoption of one child and we were pursuing two they would be first in line to adopt this child. This was and is very hard news to hear and to let sink in. We know God nudged us to pursue these two kiddos and we felt like they were already ours…it is amazing how our hearts were moved to double the size of our children in such a short period. We all have had lots of mourning through this process….lots of asking “why?”. As for now we are not sure what will happen. If this other family is not able to adopt we would be next in line and we are ready!
We are trying lots of different things for fundraising with the kickoff being a water bottle sale. We are excited about the buzz already and look forward to seeing our friends and family members toting around their “Simply Love” Ethiopian water bottles. If you are interested in purchasing one just email me and I can get you the details. We have set a big goal and want to sell 100 water bottles by the end of the month. Could you help us spread the word? People can even pay online on our blog under the DONATE button. The water bottles are 20 dollars each with shipping of $5 if they live outside of Bozeman. We will deliver all the local water bottles the first week of March and all out of town purchases will be mailed that first week as well.
Right now God is revealing even some more WOW things along the lines of adoption things in our family. Some are pretty big and we are not even able to share yet! (I can’t wait until we can!) But we do ask for prayer in this “other area”.
If you would like to join us and support us in prayer here are our current prayer requests:
~Continued financials needs met at the next steps
~Wisdom over the new “other area”
~Protection for our kiddos far away
~Success in February Fundraiser
Thanks so much for your love and support. You can keep updated with us by putting your email in the follow box in the side bar.
HUGS! The growing Herzog family 🙂
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Christmas thoughts….

In 2007 Daniel and I decided to start doing Christmas different as a family. We were so tired of the “stuff” that consumed Christmas instead of the reason for Christmas, (CHRIST) consuming us! We sat the kids down, then 7 & 12 and told them we were mixing Christmas up and were no longer doing Christmas presents. They would not be getting any gifts from us anymore and we were talking to Grandparents and friends and encouraging their gift giving to our children to look different too. We told them Christmas needed to be about Jesus and not about the stuff we get. — They did not freak out 🙂 They actually liked the idea of giving gifts to Jesus and to those in need…they were game! Now does this mean inside they didn’t twinge or have some feelings of sadness? Not sure ,but they jumped on board and from that year on things have looked different around the Herzog House. The first two presents they wanted to give to Jesus were to memorize a verse and to get along with each other and obey more. We sure loved those gifts!I am sure their answers this year will be lots different. It is amazing what kids will come up with if you give them the love, space and guidance needed to do it on their own.

The first year we gave to different organizations like the Gideons, we bagged up clothes for orphans in Uganda. We made homemade goodies for family members instead of store bought things. Each year looks a little different. One year we played Santa and helped a family in need meet their needs for the Holidays. Last year we bought chickens and feed for a village in Africa. It changes every year. And it is fun! The saying is true; It is so much more fun to give than to receive!

This year we are buying athletic shoes for kids in Ethiopia. Each family member gets to pick a pair out for a specific child! This is such a great and tangible way to make a difference. The movement is called Operation Sole Connection and started within our church this year. We get to send the shoes off with a letter to each child and a picture of our family. Here is a link to learn more about it: http://journeyweb.net/osc/

Again I don’t share all of this with you to tell you we have it all figured out and we just are so holy for doing so….not the case. I do share though to encourage families that are thinking of doing it differently. The facts are, my kids survived! 🙂 As far as we can see we have not scared them for life by taking away the presents under the tree. We hope we have helped them build treasures in their heart instead. Eternal presents!!! We also have never indulged our kids with Santa or the Easter bunny etc. We just never wanted to mislead our kiddos. Now I don’t think that if you do these things with your kids that your a bad parent or anything, there is no judgement on our part. That is just the way we have handled it in our family. It was quite humorous as our kids grew up having them keep some of that quiet. I remember when Chase was little he always wanted to share with his friends the truth…one year he asked if he could tell his friends at school that Santa was just a fat guy in a funny red suit. We told him no you can’t tell them that and spoil the fun for them 🙂 Again I don’t think we have seen any everlasting scars in our kids because they never got to believe in Santa or the Easter bunny, although some members of our family still give us a hard time.

I do have to say it can be hard at first to share this with those closest to you who are used to lavishing your family with things at Christmas. The first year or so it was a bit awkward with Grandparents and such when we asked them not to give to the kids like in years past. The first year they received engraved Bibles from one set of Grandparents. We loved that! Now I can’t say that everyone in our extended family has stuck with it every year….sometimes that is the way people love….gifts can be others love language and we understand that. I can only encourage them to love on my children in different ways….but I can’t be angry if they end up buying the kids something. I just know for our family of four and growing that we do it differently and will continue to do so every year.

Again our resolution was to make and keep CHRIST the center of Christmas for our family. Every year it is fun to find new ways to do that and incorporate this spirit all year long.

This year Chase and I are doing a Jesse tree. The Jesse Tree is a unique Advent tree that is useful for teaching children about the Bible at Christmas. The Jesse Tree represents the family tree or genealogy of Jesus Christ. It tells the story of God’s salvation plan, starting with creation and continuing through the Old Testament, to the coming of the Messiah. Each day of Advent a homemade ornament (ours are paper) is added to the tree. The ornaments represent the story and prophecy foretelling of Christ. So cool to explain to the kids that lots of stuff was written about Jesus in the Old Testament and that the Old Testament was written 400 years before the New Testament. Jesus was Gods plan right from the beginning!

Here is the link for the Jesse Tree devotional we are using: http://www.aholyexperience.com/2010/11/free-jesse-tree-advent-devotional-book/
You just need a outline of a tree to hang your ornaments on or a felt tree etc. The picture in this post is my attempt of a tree. You can’t tell from the picture but it is about three and a half feet tall on the wall.

We hope and pray that this year we can be incorporating more of who Christ is and why he came on Christmas. We hope we can be fully grasping the gift that Jesus is to all who believe!!! We hope your doing the same and hope our family can encourage you or spark your creativity to making Christmas more meaningful. We have loved learning and sharing from many families who are trying to do Christmas and the Holidays different every year.

Our special Christmas wish is for our children far away, that they stay happy and healthy until the day comes when we come to pick them up! Did you know that Christmas is celebrated on Januray 7th is Ethiopia. I can’t wait until next year when Lord willing we are all together and we can start incorporating some Ethiopian traditions into our Holidays as well 🙂

I want to close with one of my all time favorite Christmas Poems~

NOT ONLY CHRISTMAS DAY
By Mary Fairchild

Lord, this is my prayer
Not only on Christmas Day
But until I see You face to face
May I live my life this way:

Just like the baby Jesus
I ever hope to be,
Resting in Your loving arms
Trusting in Your sovereignty.

And like the growing Christ child
In wisdom daily learning,
May I ever seek to know You
With my mind and spirit yearning.

Like the Son so faithful
Let me follow in Your light,
Meek and bold, humble and strong
Not afraid to face the night.

Nor cowardly to suffer
And stand for truth alone,
Knowing that Your kingdom
Awaits my going home.
Not afraid to sacrifice
Though great may be the cost,
Mindful how You rescued me
From broken-hearted loss.

Like my risen Savior
The babe, the child, the Son,
May my life forever speak
Of who You are and all You’ve done.

So while this world rejoices
And celebrates Your birth,
I treasure You, the greatest gift
Unequalled in Your worth.

I long to hear the same words
That welcomed home Your Son,
“Come, good and faithful servant,”
Your Master says, “Well done.”

And may heaven welcome others
Who will join with me in praise
Because I lived for Jesus Christ
Not only Christmas Day

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Paper pregnancy and Taylor to Haiti


Well today was a lot of hard work, about 8 hours of paperwork and had to do it all while dealing with a migraine! But we did accomplish a ton and our list of Adoption to do’s is a lot shorter. We also wrote and printed our Christmas/Support letter that we will be sending out next week. Excited to share the news with lots of friends and family.

Well as most of you know Taylor returned home just last week from a mission trip to Haiti. She went with her Bible Study leader and two other girls from her Bible Study. They had an amazing time there and God did great things through the team. It was so great to see her love for others and for the poor blossom even more. They really connected with an orphanage there and plan to continue a relationship to help support ground operations. They are going again and plan on spending a month or so this next trip! Next up Taylor is going to Portland with her college group to attend a Winter Conference there through Campus Crusade for Christ. Daniel and I are playing taxi and taking her and a few friends out there. We will be gone the 27th through the 2nd and looking forward to celebrating a late Christmas with my brother and his family. We are hoping to see lots of our Oregon family while there 🙂
Thank you all for praying for Taylor and for her safe travels. God took great care of them! I am encouraging Taylor to put some thoughts down and make a blog post here to share with you all how letting love lead got her to Haiti!
We continue to ask for prayer for finances as we hope to send our dossier out at the end of the month and it requires a big stack of mula! We are moving along in faith and going as quickly as possible, wanting our kiddos under our roof again!
We love you all and hope your finding unique and special ways to celebrate Jesus this month.
Hugs, The Herzogs
*PS- Don’t forget to put your name into the box on the right hand side to follow us via email.
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