Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Kate has been asking some great questions about her new little baby brother/sister whom we are eagerly anticipating.  (Two years is a long time to wait for your new sibling - Especially if you are only three years old right now!)

Kate's most pressing question currently is :  Will my new brother or sister get to sit next to me in the car?  I just love how simple adoption is in her mind.  The baby is already loved and part of our family.  We are praying this will continue and that all the girls will bond quickly to their new sibling once the baby is home!
We got home from Cubbies (more to come on Cubbies in another post!) on Sunday night and Kate drew the picture of our family on her Magnadoodle.  From left to right: Dad, Mom, Abigail, Eveline, Baby Brother/Sister, and Kate.  (Notice that Kate is much taller than everyone else - She is constantly talking about growing up to be as tall as Daddy who is 6'4"!)

Check out the updated FAQ page for more details of our adoption process.  Keep visiting the blog as we will try to keep everyone updated as much as we can.  We covet your prayers more than anything!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Adoption Update: Dossier Call

We are always excited to receive packages at our house especially packages from All God's Children (AGCI).  Kate is holding our orientation packet which included our contract and several other documents that needed to be notarized.  We also had to send in a about one-fourth of our adoption costs which means we are officially in the Ethiopia program.  I am not sure what Kate is telling the girls, but it must be something important because they are paying attention.

Today was another a big day in our adoption process - The Dossier Call.

After receiving our paperwork, AGCI sent us my new best friend : Our Adoption Planner.  Our caseworker went through the Adoption Planner which contains all the procedures and paperwork we would need to complete in order to have our dossier approved by AGCI.  The dossier is then submitted to the Ethiopian government for translation and approval.  By the end of the call, I felt completely overwhelmed with all the little things that need to be gathered.
After having a few hours to process it all, it will definitely be doable - just think baby steps!  Everything has to be done just so or documents will need to be resubmitted which in turn will mean more delays in the process.  It normally takes 4 months to complete the dossier.  Once the dossier is submitted and approved, we are placed on a waiting list to receive a referral (matched with a child).  The estimated time on the wait list has been increased to 12-18 months - Yikes!

The first big item to complete is our homestudy which we are hoping to have done by the end of the October.  This may be wishful thinking.  We are also working on completing our education requirements which include the workbook Eyes Wide Open and several online training courses.

After the homestudy and education courses are completed, we will be working to get a TON of paperwork together including certified copies of birth certificates, marriage licenses, update passports, medical forms, criminal checks, and the list goes on...

I think that motherhood may have dampened my Type A personality - I no longer enjoy checklists like I used to!  In some ways, it is similar to being physically pregnant - I think we are enduring the morning sickness (paperwork) right now.  It will be so worth it when our little one joins our family!  And who wouldn't want to be a part of this motley crew?
Mother's Day 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Month of Michigan Fun

We had so much fun visiting both our families in MI over the month of August.  Steve dropped us off at the beginning of the month and then returned to spend a little over a week with us at the end of the month.  It was so nice not to feel rushed and trying to cram everything and everyone we wanted to see into a handful of days.  The plane trips were very memorable (esp. the return flights), but we would do it all over again!

Unfortunately, most of the pics from the month were taken with my mom's camera which of course we forgot to download onto Steve's computer so I only have a handful of pictures from which to choose.

Kate thoroughly enjoyed going to Uncle Freddy's garden and helping Grampy feed the chickens.  Each of the girls were sick a day and this was the day Kate was sick - Hence the face in the picture.

Everyone enjoyed their time with Grammy and Grampy as well as Grandma Lois and Grandpa Tim.

Abigail and Eveline thought they were such big girls sitting on the stool at the table.

 Kate loved her first pedicure complete with orange polish.

Some of the other highlights were:
  • Swimming and playing in the sand at the cottage - So sad we couldn't make it up there with Steve!
  • Going to the fair with cousins
  • Sitting on the tractors at the fair and Kate's first pony ride (India was her horse of choice)
  • Picking things in the garden
  • Unlimited date nights for Steve and I after the kids went to bed
  • Spending time with aunts and uncles on both sides of the family
  • Playing with Django Cat and hanging out with Zio Brian and Zia Rita
  • Visiting two Children's Museums
  • Going to the Farmers Market
  • Eating fresh picked raspberries, blueberries and blackberries
  • Playing on the swing set in Grammy and Grampy's backyard
  • Attending a Loons Game (Minor League Baseball) and running the bases with Grammy
  • Trying to get everyone to smile and look at the camera at the same time for a family picture - Impossible!
We hope to make this trip every summer if possible - Such great memories!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

In It For The Long Haul

A few months ago we were having lots of discipline issues relating to my two littlest love muffins at the ripe old age of 15 months.  So me, being the resourceful mother that I am, had Steve bring up the Pack-N-Play (PNP) from the basement to use as an area where, if needed, they could calm down without hurting themselves or others.

This brilliant idea lasted for exactly one morning because instead of the intended use - I got this instead.  I put one of them inside and then...

Everyone wanted to play in it together.  At one point all three girls were in it having a grand old time.  I spent most of my morning taking people in and out of the PNP.  Needless to say the PNP went right back downstairs.

This past month has once again proven to be challenging in the parenting arena.  I must admit that I have failed to be consistent, been easily angered/annoyed, not made the most of teaching opportunities, and have been trying to parent from afar vs. taking the time to stop what I am doing to instruct their hearts.

Recently, I have been reading lots of the B-I-B-L-E along with some parenting books and have been so encouraged that I can start fresh again with the things I know to be right.  Somehow, I had gotten off-track without intending to or even realizing it until I saw the behavior challenges that were being displayed in my girls.  I am in it for the long haul with these chickies - This momma is praying for each of you and herself too!  Isn't it so good to know that God doesn't give up on us even when we fail?

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.  “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” 
Lamentations 3:22-24

Friday, July 30, 2010

Corrected Vision

Please check out our Adoption Story at the top of the page to see how God has adjusted our view of who He wants us to be as a family in response to how great He is!

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...

Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you...
Fear not, for I am with you...”

Isaiah 43:1-7

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stay Tuned!

We are so excited to begin the process of adopting a baby boy or girl from Ethiopia and are looking forward to keeping everyone updated on our adventures via the blog!  Stay tuned for additional posts on how God moved in our hearts to adopt, FAQ's, etc.

As you can see our girls love their Saturday evening tradition of homemade pizza and a movie (Veggie Tales being the movie of choice currently)!  We can't wait to add another little munchkin to this wild and crazy group - We LOVE our family!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Little Ballerina

Kate's chosen reward for potty-training was ballet classes at the local rec center (much to Steve's chagrin).  She just completed her second (and final) session this week.

Her first day she wore pigtails which I found out afterward were a hindrance to her participation in class.  She flat out refused to do some of the things Miss Julia asked her to do - lay down on her back and do leg lifts, wear a princess crown, etc.

Afterward we had the following conversation:

Me:  "Why didn't you want to do some of the things Miss Julia had the class do?"

Kate:  "Because I was wearing pigtails."  (Duh, Mom?)

Me:  "Would you be able to do them if you wore a ponytail?"

Kate:  "Yep!"
Practicing a Curtsy

Who Knew??  The class has been so good for her to learn to listen to instructions, take turns (also a struggle on the first day), dance around like a mouse, and have fun with other little girls her age.

Steve took her on the last day and had to admit it was amusing to watch although I am pretty sure her dancing days are over.  Kate always chose a sucker as her treat at the end of class - that made Miss Julia top notch in Kate's book.