Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Snow" Much Fun

Today was the Princess' very first experience in the snow and she loved it! She had a blast sledding down our little hill with Sis and Buddy Boy, then we took her on a walk in the woods. She liked hearing the crunch, crunch of the snow beneath her boots. It was so beautiful and peaceful among the trees. When it was time to finally come in, she was upset and showed it like only a 2 year old can :)
Right now it's very quiet here at the house because D. took the older kids for nighttime sledding and before he left he put the "sleeper hold" on the princess! He's a great man and I'm so thankful to God for him! So...I'm going to fill my free time with a good book...and I'll probably be snoozing in the not too distant future. I remember these days of "heavy" sleep from when Bub, Sis and Buddy were toddlers :) I've got to be ready for another day of fun-filled, action-packed adventure tomorrow!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Almaz, God's Servant in Addis Ababa

I've been wanting to write this post for the past 4-5 days and am now just finding the right time to do it :) This post is a tribute to an amazing servant of God, Almaz. She is the director of Hannah's Hope in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This is a woman who truly loves Jesus and she really loves all of the precious orphans that God has placed in her care. Her home is just a few doors down from HH and she is always on call day or night for these sweet little ones. She does not expect the children to be "perfect", but encourages them to play, laugh, even get into mischief. She is a humble woman who prays for strength and joy. She leads the 27 special "moms" who work at HH with wisdom...she encourages them to touch the children, talk with the children, comfort and love the children. We are so thankful to God for placing her there at Hannah's Hope. We know that our princess is adjusting well to us as her family because of the love and prayers of Almaz and the "moms" at HH. For those of you out there who have children at Hannah's Hope rest assured that God has made it a special place of life, hope and joy!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Belly Laughs

What can make a 13 year old boy act like this? An overflowing love for his baby sister:) The little African princess was laughing so hard she was literally falling over last night! What a joy to be together as a complete family!!! We are all adjusting well, although our youngest son does disappear when B. begins to cry or pout! That's a bit too much for him. Today was our first day back at homeschooling...it went pretty well...I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but God gave me His peace so all in all it was a very good school day! I'm so thankful for the opportunity to be at home with ALL of our children:)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Out of Africa

What an amazing adventure that God has called us to join Him on! We had an incredible, life-changing experience as we traveled 8,000 miles to Ethiopia to pick up our little African princess! She is such a joy to us! Her laughter is priceless :) We are very thankful to God that He has called us to be a part of His plan for her! We are humbled that He has allowed us to be the ones to clothe her, feed her, care for her...she is a treasure!

Dressing her in the yellow dress was extra significant for me. Sis and I had gone shopping for clothes for our little toddler back in July even before we knew our toddler was B. Actually, the amazing thing is that the exact day we were buying her clothes was the exact day that she was brought to Hannah's Hope! So...I've had the small yellow dress hanging in my closet where I could look at it each time I went in. When I looked at it I would imagine what B. would be like and what it would feel like to hold her. When we were in Addis Ababa and I could finally put her in the dress I was ecstatic! It truly was a dream come true!

B. is fitting in great with her brothers and sister! They are entertaining her right now while I blog...so this may be short:) Bub just asked me a minute ago if she'll always be this active...haha! I told him that he was twice as active as her when he was a toddler and that I didn't sit down until he was 3 years old (those of you who knew him then remember this well!).

The scripture that I'm thinking of this morning is this: "LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us." Isaiah 26:12 This whole adoption is all about HIM! He is the One who is worthy of all our praise!!!!

Thank you to all of you who have been praying for us, encouraging us, watching our children, feeding us, loving us...we are truly blessed!!!! May God bless each of you as you have blessed us!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

B and Mommy...Mommy and B

That is life in Ethiopia, K is B's comfort and B feels best when she is with mommy. That is why I have been delegated to take care of the Blog.

We were able to meet with the B's mom and uncle here in Ethiopia. We prayed that she would come. It was a very emotional experience for all of us. The uncle was very gracious and a man of prayer. K will share more with you in a few days after we get back. At this moment, we are at the hotel waiting on our 11:30 pm flight. Should be quite the plane ride. Hopefully the late flight will allow B to sleep on the plane. We have two nine hour plane rides and then a short one from Detroit. Should be very interesting with a 2 year old, not to mention one that does not speak English.

The journey has been great, the people here have been very kind. We can't wait to be back though with our three. Guys if you are reading this ... We love you so much. To all that are praying for us, K and I send our thanks. Seek His Kingdom and righteousness.

Bringing B home....

Monday, January 12, 2009

It's Official...She's Ours

B is officially ours!! The Embassy appointment came and all the paper work went through. God is so good!! Thank you for all your prayers. Just to let you all know B is bonding to momma really well. We feel so fortunate.

Hey kids Dad is the main go between here as mom is getting B ready for bed. I am sure mom will post soon. B has a great sense of humor. Danielle start practicing the word sa-mean. It means kiss. She gives great kisses.

Okay, the Pastor is coming out now....If you are reading this and God has been working on you to do something...if He is speaking through His word and to your spirit about a situation you are going through, I encourage you to follow His instruction. The journey is so good with Him. Is it easy? Most likely, not. However, it will always bring you closer to our Savior Jesus. And as disciples, is that not what life is all about?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Day Early...What Could Possibly Happen?

A note from D...

K is holding B at this very moment. Can you believe it? Almaz came to the hotel while we were eating lunch. K told her that on our walk this morning we found Hannah's Hope. We wanted to go in so bad. She said, "Why didn't you knock? Let's go and see your daughter." K was stunned!!

Get this....K walks in and the children are listening to a story and Almaz calls out B's name and she comes walking straight to her momma. She is giving kisses. In fact, she is staying the night with us tonight. K just walked in with her...God is good.

Sis.. she gives you and her brother's pictures big kisses.....oh man...this is a blast.....

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Something Beautiful Out of Something Broken

A good friend of mine gave me this necklace a while ago when I was going through a really difficult time. It's a piece of broken china that's been made into this special piece of jewelry. When I wear it I think about the symbolism behind it...something beautiful out of something broken. I'm so thankful to God that He has taken my brokeness and created something beautiful for Himself. I'm taking it with us as we fly to Ethiopia tomorrow. We are overjoyed to be able to travel to get our sweet little African princess, but there is also a touch of sadness in the whole process...sadness for her in the loss of her birth family...sadness for her birthmom in giving up her daughter. Thank you for praying for "B" and please pray that we will be able to meet with her birth family while we are in Addis Ababa.

On a happy note, we were able to pack LOTS of formula for the babies at Hannah's Hope!!! We have enough for over 800 bottles:) May God multiply it even more!

We shared Ephesians 2:10 with our kids this week...we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, to do good works which He prepared in advance for us to do. It's stunning to us that God is allowing us to be a part of His plan for little "B"! It was just a year ago that we began seeking God's wisdom concerning adoption for our family, and NOW here we are! God is so kind and we give Him all of our praise!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Balls, Bubbles and Jump Ropes!

D came home from work today with LOTS of basketballs, soccer balls, jump ropes & bubbles for the kids at Hannah's Hope in Ethiopia! We are also taking as much baby formula as we can, but D wanted to make sure that we took fun stuff, too :) Thank you to all of you who have bought gifts for the orphanage or given money to buy these things! Thank you most of all for praying for us as we prepare to leave on Friday!!! We're excited to think that our little darling girl will soon be here at home with us!

I'm thankful for the peace that God has given me. I praying that these few days before we travel will be happy, peaceful and reassuring to the kids before we fly 8,000 miles away to Africa! I'm praising God for His tremendous love and faithfulness!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Hopeful Anticipation

Soon after we mailed in our adoption application to All God's Children on May 1, 2008 we began to pray about the name for our little princess. One morning after I'd been in God's Word I felt Him whisper that her name would be Hope. I shared that with the family and that's when Sis designed and posted this sign for her bedroom door:) At that time, we didn't even know anything about Hope. Since then, we've learned about her and have decided to let her keep the African name that her birthmom has given her, but her middle name will be Hope! I've been thinking alot about that sign this week as we prepare to travel to Ethiopia on Friday...the fact that Sis was confident that one day "soon" she would be getting her little sister. It makes me smile to think of her childlike faith and confidence in a great and awesome God who was performing the miracle of adoption in our family. God is so faithful! It reminds me of His incredible promise: "Those who hope in me will not be disappointed!" Isaiah 49:23(b)

"...hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." Romans 8:24(b)-25