I have been working on my blog (for a while) and somehow managed to get both the time in Ethiopia and some music added. It is a pretty simple process it just wasn't simple for me. At one point I thought my blog was playing two songs at the same time....it wasn't until I started closing browsers that I realized I had my site up twice and it was playing two songs at the same time...it was pretty cool though. My next goal is to be able to add pictures......so I am going to test it out on this post and the picture will be totally random.

The kids had their first week of school this week and it has actually gone very well. I can see that I am really going to miss not having Caroline home in the afternoons.......my arms ache for that sweet baby from Ethiopia!! We actually have not made any progress on the adoption...ugh. I am waiting on the paper from USCIS - still waiting. I am though reading a new book that I can already tell I am going to love. It is called Fields of the Fatherless and yes it is about adoption.

Hope everyone has a great weekend - we are headed to the lake with my adoption buddy.


Please Watch - It's Amazing!

Below is a link that will take you to a Youtube video of the Johnson's Gotcha Day. This is a family that I met via their blog and have since met in person. They live in Nashville and are part of the Ethiopia Fellowship Group that we have joined. They recently went to Ethiopia to bring home their daughter Lucy Lane Martha Johnson. It is an incredible video!!

For those not currently adopting, Gotcha Day is the day when you get to meet your child in person!




Love is a beautiful thing...

God is love. God commands us to love one another. Why are we adopting? To love, we are trying to obey what God has laid out for our family.

When I talk to different people about our adoption journey they are always so kind and tend to want to compliment us for "doing this." Trust me, everyone's positive comments are welcome and needed at times but I do want to say one thing about this....

we are not trying to SAVE a child - but maybe we will
we are not trying to draw attention to what we are DOING - but hopefully more people who meet us will consider adoption

we are simply trying to obey - TO LOVE.

In regards to the adoption we are so close and yet very far also. I now have everything needed for the dossier to go except that one sheet of paper from USCIS - please pray our file will float to the top! Once I get that form I will have everything off to America World asap. I look forward to being on the list. I can't believe I am so excited about getting on a list to wait again but I am.

While I am waiting I am thinking a lot. I am designing a t-shirt, a logo and having fun with my blog. My first t-shirt design which may or may not ever happen would have the following block of copy on the back ................


Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:11-12
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. Matthew 22:36-38
16"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
"If you love me, you will obey what I command. John 14:15
16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16



Why Africa?

O.K. so I am a bit nervous about this post. Every single child without a loving home deserves that and is important, valuable and a child of God. Thankfully God calls different people to adopt from different places and that is truly the answer to the question Why Africa for us.

I had for a long time thought that if we ever adopted that we would adopt domestically. It was only after God showed me something else and lead me somewhere else through conversations with people, books that I would read, and dreams that I would have. Yes we have a need in America but here are a few statistics. There are 73.2 million children in the U.S. 70% of them live with 2 parents and 94% of them live with at least one parent. 10.7% are in the foster care system and have a need for a forever family.

A little bit about Africa..... there are 48.3 million ORPHANS ....not children but children without either parent or relative to care for them. There are 5 million in Ethiopia alone. 1 in 6 will die before their fifth birthday and 1 in 10 will die before turning one.

Every 15 SECONDS, another child becomes an AIDS orphan in Africa
Every DAY 5,760 more children become orphans
Every YEAR 2,102,400 more children become orphans (in Africa alone)
143,000,0002 Orphans in the world today spend an average of 10 years in an orphanage or foster home
Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…
Every YEAR 14,050,000 children still grow up as orphans and AGE OUT of the system
Every DAY 38,493 children AGE OUT
Every 2.2 SECONDS, another orphan child AGES OUT with no family to belong to and no place to call home
In Ukraine and Russia 10% -15% of children who age out of an orphanage commit suicide before age 18.
60% of the girls are lured into prostitution. 70% of the boys become hardened criminals.
Many of these children accept job offers that ultimately result in their being sold as slaves. Millions of girls
are sex slaves today, simply because they were unfortunate enough to grow up as orphans.

The need for help is tremendous and the call is urgent. I have not been to Africa myself but I can only imagine the pain of seeing children on the street with no one to care for them. They do not have foster homes, government aid programs or people waiting to adopt them. Our family adopting one child seems pretty small in terms of the numbers stated above but it is one life and from the beginning I have seen it as a small pebble in a large pool of water.........the ripple effect.....that is I hope that our adopting can help or persuade or support hundreds of more adoptions.

We had decided to adopt months before I looked up all of these statistics....so I mean it from my heart when I say that God answered "Africa" for us and now we are trying to obey. Yes there are children here who need help but our call is in Africa and if the above statistics can help to raise orphan awareness in Africa then that is why I have posted them.


Happy 4th of July

I am so excited ....I have been catching up on several of the blogs that I follow and suddenly it hit me that hopefully we will have our son home by July 4, 2010. We have been in Grayton Beach for a week with my mom and dad, my sister and my three nephews. It was the best trip and even with six kids it was easy and fun. It was fun to think about having eight kiddos next year on the 4th.....that's right our son plus my sister-in-law (and Jax's mom) is expecting. Her due date is in January so her son/daughter will definitely be here and we will just keep hoping that we will have returned home from Ethiopia ourselves. You should have heard us trying to explain that Aunt Jen was having a baby but that he is not in my belly like his mom but in my heart. It was also precious to hear him pronounce Ethiopia.

I had hoped to have all the paperwork done before leaving for the beach but it just didn't happen. However, once I got home all the papers I was waiting on had come in and while we were gone our home study was finalized and ready for me to pick up!! So now all that is left is getting that piece of paper from USCIS.... but I have to go have my fingerprints taken a second time and my appointment got delayed until July 14th. I would get mad or something but I try to remember that everything is in God's timing not mine and that things will happen as they should.

On our trip we had fun trying to come up with a name. We had several suggestions Cooper, Hayes, Alex, Taze and a few others. I feel certain the list will grow before it narrows plus I keep reminding everyone that he may already have a name. It is becoming so real and although I resisted the urge to buy any baby items I really had fun looking. I also met a very nice lady who had adopted domestically four years ago and she told me to celebrate all the milestones in the process .......makes it easier to endure the process.

I hope you had a wonderful fourth also.......I feel so blessed as you hear me say often but in all honesty we had a very blessed vacation and 4th!