Sunday, March 27, 2011

meeting violet

since we live pretty far away from our family...we usually have to wait to meet new babies.  which is so hard for this aunt!  I like to be outside the delivery room waiting to hear the first cry...and hold them with freshly applied gooky eye ointment still glistening.
our beautiful niece, violet, was born on valentine's day this year.  and the girls and I just got to meet her today!  she is stunning.  she was carried into mimi and papa's kitchen during lunch time today...and eden and charlotte immediately forgot about anything they were supposed to be eating.  I scooped her into my arms (which were made for baby holding) and we kissed on her for hours.   it was love at first sight for everyone.

after I fed violet a bottle of her mama's milk and she was full and happy I told her parents to take a snooze.  aunt abby was in charge.  they drifted off for a short nap and I did what all good aunts do.  stripped her down and started a photo shoot!

she is so delicious.
we are delighted to be spending time with this sweet baby and our family.  we hope she gets used to her cousins constantly hovering around.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

pretty close to crazy

it's official.  I am almost crazy.  last week we found out that a family that turned in their dossier 2 days before ours got their referral. so there is only one day and maybe one or two families ahead of us in the line up.  ahhhhh!!!
and since then my phone is never more than 3 inches from me.  my heart races when it rings.  I wear something african every day.  I keep forcing pete to think about baby boy names and decide on one.  and my mind is constantly wondering if today is THE day?!!!
I even bought him a really soft, beautiful, blue blanket yesterday.  I couldn't help myself.
I try and play it off like I'm cool.  I'm not anxious.  it will happen when it happens.  but on the inside I have lost it.
I want to see his face. know his story.  start another count down.
but in the meantime...I'll be taking care of these beauties.

and we'll be praying for our sweet little guy.  and his birth mother.  and his care givers.  and his country.

I'm ok with crazy.  a little crazy never hurt.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


it is with great happiness that I introduce you to our latest fundraising adventure...COFFEE!!!
our family has opened our very own fair trade coffee shop with just love coffee roasters.  with every bag of coffee that you purchase we will receive $5 towards our travel fund to ethiopia.
you can visit our shop by clicking HERE.  when you enter the site just look over on the left and you'll see a listing of all the different kinds you can buy.  you simply purchase the coffee and this wonderful organization does all the rest!

all of the coffee is fair trade...and most of it is organic.  just love coffee roasters was founded by rob webb who grew up with a father that owned a coffee company.  rob and his wife adopted two daughters from ethiopia and created this company to help an ethiopian orphanage as well as families adopting from all over the world.
every morning I wake up to the sound of our coffee maker grinding up those delicious little beans. and while I am not a "real" coffee drinker like my husband (who drinks it black)...I adore my morning coffee (with a little sweetness added in).  even if I have to reheat it 17 times because I hold the beloved title of mom to little ones.
I hope you'll consider looking around the coffee shop and buying a bag or so.  cheers!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

how come?

throughout the day eden comes up with some of the funniest, sweetest, thought provoking questions I've ever heard.  I love it.
this morning she asked me..."mom. how come moms know how to do EVERYTHING?". hahaha!  I explained that we don't...but that moms try their hardest to always help whenever we can.  today she has also asked me what a laboratory is, why she is always sisters with charlotte (even when they hit each other), and if her strawberry shortcake doll will always smell like strawberries.  I love age 4.  but, really their hasn't been an age I don't love.
she also tells me a multiple times a day that I am the sweetest mom in the whole world (which couldn't possibly be true)...and things like she is never going to let me go.  such a sweetie pie.

charlotte is also at a fun age (20 months!).  she thinks she is 4 and can do anything big sis can do.  lately her two favorite things are swinging and learning new songs to sing.  when she wants to go outside and swing she says "mom (yes, she calls me mom) I do ready, set, on?".  she still calls me mommy when she is upset or needing some loving.
here is a little movie of charlotte showing off some memorization skills...telling where some of her family lives (el paso, georgia, and england).
please continue to keep ethiopia and adoption in your prayers.  we are SO hopeful...and things seem to be looking better than originally rumored.  we still don't know anything for certain...other than what is most important.  that God is writing this story and He is in control...which is really all we need to know.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

my sunshines

both of my girls love the song "you are my sunshine".  I sing it an average of 10 times a day.
it really is impossible to not smile when they are around...and not forget about things that are weighing heavy on your heart.
they remind me how to be carefree.  enjoy leaves and rocks and tree climbing. 
and bubble blowing...
I am so thankful for my beautiful sunshines.
yesterday as we were hanging out in the front yard eden said "mom. isn't it nice to sit outside in the sun and get our vitamint D?"  yes. yes it is.

please, PLEASE keep praying for ethiopia and adoption and all of the children needing families.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

saying goodbye

about a week and a half ago our dog jesse started acting funny.  pete was in guatemala.  she just seemed sad and lethargic.  a few days later she stopped wanting to eat.  we bought her some different food, but she couldn't hold anything down.  I took her to the vet yesterday morning and they were very concerned.  they took some blood and told us they would know the results the next day.  I really just wanted to know what was wrong with her before we started treating her for everything under the sun.
this morning the vet called us and told us that her kidneys were failing.  we could start an aggressive treatment plan that wouldn't cure her or promise us much more time...or we could let her go. 
I could hardly stand the thought of not having her around...but could also hardly stand to see her so sick.  today she wouldn't stand up or even lift her head up to say hello.
I got jesse from the animal shelter a little over 8 years ago...after doug died. my friend laurie went with me to pick her out.  jesse was really shy but sweet.  oh, and she came with that name.  I never thought it was a very good dog name.  she quickly became my sidekick and helped me feel a little less lonely.  I have this picture of us together my first Christmas without doug...just hanging together with somber faces.
she was always laid back.  let the kids pull on her ears and pretend she was their horse to ride on.  she was the first to welcome eden home from the hospital when she was a day old.  about 7 times a day charlotte says "shoe socks on...see jesse...I pet her"...and we go outside to see her.
 this afternoon it became quite clear to me that I needed to let her go.  we all told her goodbye which was pretty hard.  this is the last picture I took of her.  she even had her own casas por cristo dog house made by petey.
I stayed with her until she was gone at the vet's office.  and then walked out with teary eyes...and an empty collar and leash.
sure will miss her.  I bet we walked 1,000 miles together.

"dogs lives are too short.  their only fault, really."
--carlotta monterey o'neill

Monday, March 07, 2011

what is a referral?

oh adoption terminology.  I still get confused by it all. 
my friend keight asked me to explain what exactly a referral is...and what happens next in the process.
a referral happens when our agency calls us and tells us that they have matched us with a child.  we receive a picture of the child along with their history and medical information.  then, we accept the child's referral.  unfortunately we won't be able to share pictures on our blog or facebook.  so you'll have to take our word for it that he is beautiful...because I know he will be :).  once the acceptance papers are received by holt they are sent to ethiopia for the MOWYCA (ministry of women, youth, and children affairs) for approval. 
THEN after that approval a court date is scheduled.  the time frame from a referral acceptance to court date is up to 4 months (at this point).  when pete and I fly to ethiopia for our court date we get to meet our child.  then we'll travel back home and wait for our visa interview date to be assigned by the US embassy in ethiopia.  this can take 3 months or so.
after ALL of that is approved and final we are granted guardianship and are DONE with the adoption process in ethiopia.  and we bring our son to his new home.
after he is home we will have to finalize his adoption according to US law in texas.

so there's a sort of brief summary.
looking forward to adding another set of feet to my dishwashing helper chair.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

getting SO close!

well...we learned this weekend that a couple that turned in their dossier to holt 3 days before ours got their referral last week!  so we are inching closer and closer!  I think I will be sleeping with my phone for the next few weeks.
(charlotte can't believe it!)
please, if you are the praying/believing sort, say some prayers for our family this week.  also pray for ethiopian adoption and those making decisions on behalf of the children there.  there is talk of more change coming and we are praying our hearts out that goodness and justice prevail.  and that wise decisions are made.

In OTHER family news...our ministry casas por cristo is going to start building homes in Guatemala!!  pete just got back from an 8 day trip to work on the logistics of starting a ministry there.  we are extremely excited to see what God has planned for the people we will be showing his love to there.  here is a video that our ministry put together...
the plan is to start building homes for a few weeks there starting this summer!  casas por cristo will NOT be leaving mexico...just adding another location to our ministry.
can't wait to bring the hope of Christ to beautiful faces like this...
such exciting times!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

one dozen

that's right.  I *think* we are number 12!!
things have been moving right along in referral land.  however, one never knows how long these things will take.  but we are HAPPY to be movin' on up.
here are some silly/sweet pictures of the girls this week.

 (yes.  she is going on the potty some!)

eden has been talking about her baby brother all the time, and loves to watch lucy lane's gotcha day video.  she sings along to all of the songs..."when God made you he must have been thinkin' about MEEEEE".  it's pretty stinking adorable.
love my girls.  getting closer and closer to my boy!