Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More Waiting

The date the judge gave to the girls' father to come back with a corrected ID card is February 5th. That will push our travel date into March. If there are no more problems, of course...

Monday, December 29, 2008

More Bad News

The family that got delayed with us on Friday passed, and we are very happy for them. However, there was a problem with our case. Apparently there was a problem with our girls' father's ID card. Apparently his name was different on the ID card than on another of the documents, so he has been given another appointment (we won't know when that is...the adoption agency is going to try to get more details tomorrow) to come back with a corrected ID card.

So, you may ask, what is the big difference between the names on the two documents that is delaying us yet again? There is a spelling error on the ID card.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Court Delayed

No decisions in court today. The judge said she couldn't see any of the cases scheduled for today. It looks like we have been reappointed for Monday afternoon.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

David Phelps Concert

The picture isn't very good, but we had a great time last night at a David Phelps Christmas concert in Ashland, KY. Amy had a couple of home visits with adopting families in Ashland, so we took advantage of that to go hear one of our favorite singers. The concert was in the beautiful Paramont Theater in dowtown Ashland. It was a late night (we're getting old), but the music was great, and we had a wonderful time.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with David Phelps, here is a sample:

Friday, December 19, 2008

One week from today...

we will know if our adoption petition has been approved by the courts. Please pray with us that we will find favor with the judge and pass without further delay. There have been a few issues that have surfaced the last few weeks with the courts, but we found out that 2 other families who had been delayed, were approved by the courts on Wednesday. We are praising the Lord that 2 orphans have found their forever families. I also got to chat on-line last night with a lady who saw our girls in September. She said they were very scared but very cute. It was very encouraging to "talk" to someone else who has seen them.

Merry Christmas and we'll post an update as soon as we hear something.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

In Case You Need a Pep Talk Today...

...check out this video of inspirational (and at times very corny) movie scenes:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Iced In

This morning we had a 6am wake up call letting us know that Matt's work would be closed for the day. When we looked outside, we only had a dusting of snow. What we didn't realize was that there was ice under the snow. I (Amy) was supposed to be driving all over Eastern Kentucky today doing home visits. Once we realized we had ice, we decided that probably wasn't a good idea. Of course when I called my clients, they had only gotten rain. But there was no way I was getting out of our driveway, so we had a quiet morning at home. Matt did go to work at AC's Archives this afternoon, which meant I had to stop playing hookie and get to work myself, working on paperwork for different families. I think everyone is trying to get their paperwork done before Christmas so I have been very busy lately.


View out our glass door-Caesar begged all day to go out and play, but as soon as we did, it started sleeting very hard so we had to come back in.


It doesn't look like much, but believe me, it's slick.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Merry Christmas

We are now coming up on our third Christmas of waiting. Hopefully it will be the last, and we can finally bring our kids home. We didn't write this song, but it sure tells our adoption story pretty well:

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Letter & Adoption News


MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE KINNELL HOUSE!

We are very excited to be spending the Christmas season in our very first house! The tree is up in the front window and decorated, and the “Welcome Moose” is hanging from the front door. We bought our house in March and spent the next two months cleaning up and painting every room. We made the big half-mile move on Memorial Day weekend, and it didn’t take long for it to feel like home. This is the first time we lived by ourselves since we’ve been married!

In June, Amy began working as an adoption caseworker for Adoption Assistance, Inc. She does home studies and post-placement reports for adopting families. This became her full-time job when she left her job in the Alumni Office at Asbury College in September.

Due to time constraints, Matt wrapped up his work as Director of Operations with New Hope International Ministries in August. We are still involved with New Hope, and Matt was elected to the ministry’s Board of Directors in November. Matt is working full-time as Office Manager at the Jessamine County Public Library and part-time in the Asbury College Archives. In April Matt was elected Treasurer of our church, where he also still serves as song leader and trustee.

We are very involved in our church. We have embarked on a building program to expand the Sunday School, youth group, and fellowship areas to accommodate our growing congregation.

This time last year we were very excited about the prospect of bringing home two children from Guatemala, but unfortunately that, like our attempt in Uganda before, fell through. We were heartbroken. When it came time to renew all of our adoption paperwork, we decided to try switching to an adoption program that was moving along well. After much prayer and discussion, we applied for the Ethiopia program. In a matter of a couple of weeks, we were matched with twin 3-year-old girls. The girls’ mother died in childbirth, and they have been raised by neighbors to this point. We are so excited to provide these precious little ones with a loving family, and we can’t wait to bring them home.

We trust that this letter finds all of you doing well and enjoying the holiday season. Next to Calvary, the incarnation has to be the most significant event in human history. May the truth of Immanuel—God with us—bring hope and comfort to you as you celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We love you all.

~ Matt & Amy

THE NITTY-GRITTY ADOPTION DETAILS

Our little girls are from the Gumuz region of Ethiopia. We know that their mother died in childbirth, their father has never been in the picture, and they were raised by neighbors. No one knows their birthdate, so we get to choose! (Still working on that.) They are about three years old and healthy. Their father signed the relinquishment paperwork, and the local courts have approved them to be adopted. On December 26th, our case goes before the court in the capital city of Addis Ababa, and if the judge approves the adoption, we will be able to travel to Ethiopia within 4-6 weeks to bring them home. Hopefully we will be able to travel in early February.

We have decided to name them Esther Ruth (right) and Chloe Grace (left). (Ruth was Amy’s Grandma Neild’s name, and Chloe is Matt’s Grandma Hindman’s middle name.) We will be calling them Essie and Chloe.

We still need to raise several thousand dollars to cover the financial expense of the adoption. We have applied for several grants, but with no positive results as of yet.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Vanity Plates

So we realized that we hadn't revealed the girls' names on the ol' blog yet. There is much confusion and doubt as to what the girls' given names are...if they have given names even. So, we are pulling the trigger with the names, and they are...Esther Ruth and Chloe Grace. (Ruth was Amy's Grandma Neild's name, and Chloe is Matt's Grandma Hindman's middle name.) So the twins will be Essie and Chloe, as you can see by the Kentucky name plates above.

Really? You didn't see a problem with this?

Update: The name of the store is "Kids Exchange". That's not the funny part (for those, like Amy, who don't get it on the first glance).

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Blessings

We spent Thanksgiving in southern IL with Matt's Grandparents. We told Grandma Hindman that we are naming one of the twins Chloe, which is Grandma's middle name. In the words of Matt's sister Buffy, "I think you made Grandma's month with that news." Needless to say, the twins were pretty much all she talked about the whole time we were there. We can't wait to introduce the girls to their great-grandparents.

We had a surprise in store for us when we got home. Amy went to pick up Caesar from the family who watched him while we were in IL. This family is also adopting from Ethiopia and Amy conducted their home study. They had 4 bags of clothes and toys for the twins that they had collected for us. Caesar was especially intrigued by the giraffe. What a blessing from a family who they themselves are preparing to bring 2 more kids home from Ethiopia!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Books, books, and more books

In preparation for the girls' arrival, we decided we'd better drag out the boxes of children's books that we have collected over the years to see what exact books (and how many) we actually had. We have both been fans of children's books our whole lives and both of us even saved books from our childhood. Since Matt has been working at the library, our collection has multiplied with books from the "free" cart (books that the library has withdrawn due to minor damage). It was fun to find old favorites like "Little Critter" and "Berenstein Bears" as well as classics like "Cat in the Hat" and "The Tawny Scrawny Lion". As you can see, we have quite a collection, but if there is anything we will spoil our girls with, it will be books because in the infamous words of John Morley, "If you want to be a leader, you gotta be a reader."




Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Very Cold Night for Football

Some friends gave us tickets at the last minute for the UK-Vandy game, and we decided to brave the elements and give it a go. The game did not end well for UK, but we had fun despite the temperatures in the low-30's and a few snow flakes.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Court Date: December 26th

Merry Christmas to us! We found out today that our court date is the day after Christmas, December 26th! This is a bit earlier than we expected, so this is great news! We are not present at the court date - the adoption is actually finalized before we travel. If we pass court the first time, then we should be able to travel within 5-6 weeks. Please continue to pray with us that all will go smoothly and that we won't be thrown any curveballs.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Proverbs 25:25

"Like cool water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country."

It is no secret that we have had our share of disappointing news since we started the adoption process almost 2 years and three countries ago. We still have our ups and downs where that's concerned, but today we got some good news from Ethiopia. Our paperwork has been submitted to the courts. We should know what our court date is about a week from now. (We expect it to be sometime after the New Year.) If we pass court the first go-around, we should be able to bring the girls home five weeks after the court date. This is further than we have ever gotten before, so it is indeed good news.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mark Richt shares his adoption story

I (Amy) decided this video was a little more important than the one Matt posted below. =)
Please be aware, we are not endorsing UGA, just love the Richt family. GO CATS!






Monday, October 27, 2008

I Could Watch This Over and Over...

Listen for the magic sound at the 10-second mark, then wait for it...wait for it...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Gumuz

I (Amy) found this information on the SIM site-http://www.sim.org/index.php/content/gumuz. I thought it gave a great, brief look into the life of the Gumuz people. Our girls are Gumuz so this information is very helpful for us to understand the area where they are coming from. I found out about SIM when I was in college and little did I know then that I would one day adopt two girls from an SIM ministry area.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Realities of Life in Ethiopia

I (Amy) found the link to this story from the Sydney Morning Hearld on another blog of a family that is adopting from Ethiopia. It is a quick news story about the realities of life in rural Ethiopia. It fans the flames in my soul to get our girls home as soon as possible and to help other kids find their forever family. Please take a minute and watch.

http://www.smh.com.au/interactive/2008/world/ethiopia/index.html

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Amy's Doin' Yardwork

We finally got the lower front of the house painted, so Amy has been able to start relandscaping her garden.


And then she got in on some high-wire repairs as we replaced the two panels on our shed roof that had fallen in...



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

News and Prayer Requests

Well, we got the bill for the girls yesterday so I think that officially makes them ours. Amy also talked to Sue, the agency director who just got back from Ethiopia on Sunday. She said the girls are shy and that they didn't talk much when she saw them.

The twins are still in their village at this point, because there is not room for them yet in the orphanage in Kamashi (Western Ethiopia). There are several adopting families set to travel in the next few weeks, and once they get their kids, there will be room for the girls to come to the orphanage. Sue said they are first priority to get to the orphanage because they are in the care of a neighbor, not a family member, and the other kids in their village who are available for adoption are with extended family.

She also told me that the girls will be brought to the agency's home in Addis Ababa a minimum of 3 weeks before we travel so that they can get their paperwork finalized. This is good, because two of the nannies at the home in Addis speak some English, and they teach the kids some key phrases (like "I need to use the toilet"). Sue is hoping to have them brought to Addis for longer then 3 weeks so they can receive better treatment for their parasites and worms, but again it depends on when space becomes available.

Sue told us it looked like we wouldn't travel until early February, but it all depends on when we get our court date. Christmas is celebrated in Ethiopia the first week of January, so we lose time for both the US holidays and the Ethiopian holidays.

So, our big prayer requests are:

1) that space will open up for the girls to be brought from their village to the orphanage, and then on to the home in Addis so they can be treated for their "intestinal friends".

2) that we could get an early court date. We can travel about 4 weeks after the girls' court date. If we get a court date toward the end of November, we could possibly squeeze in at the end of December, before or between the two holiday celebrations. But if we don't get a court date until December, it will probably push us off until early February.

3.) finances. We have applied for several grants, and we are waiting to hear back. The girls' placing fee is $11,500, and then we'll have travel and hotels, etc. We have applied for enough grant money to cover all these expenses, but grants are very hard to get, because there are so many families applying for them. Please pray that the Lord will move mountains to provide the finances we need to bring the girls home.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Confession on Keeping It Quiet

Readers of our blog will not be unaccustomed to a lack of adoption news. Over the past year there has certainly been a lack of news, and that has made "Our Adoption Adventure" more like "Our Non-Adoption Adventure." Well, lately there has been some news, but we have been slow to share that because we have shared so many times before things that have not panned out, and we were getting really sick of that. However, we have been slowly telling family and friends, so now it seems our news should make its blog premier. So here it goes...

As you know, back in the first of September we entered the Ethiopian adoption program. The director of the agency happened to be on her way to Ethiopia, and she promised to find us a child (or children). Well...she found us twin 3-year-old girls. We have seen pictures and some video of the girls, and tonight we received their medical reports, which came back healthy.

We are still hesitant to get our hopes up due to our past experience, but we want to share our good news with family and friends and ask you to pray with us that we will be able to bring these girls home. Here they are, making their blog premier:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Candle Party for Adoption

To help us with our adoption expenses (which somehow keep mounting), my sister Jen offered to throw me a candle party. She sells Mia Bella candles and all the proceeds from our party are going towards our adoption. We had a great time and had about 15 ladies (and several kids) show up. It was a great celebration of friendship and adoption. Everyone seem to have a great time, including the little ones who proved our house is not child-proof yet. Thanks to everyone who ordered candles and helped us get one step closer to completing our dream of adoption.




Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Documents Headed to D.C.

Our dossier is complete and authenticated by the state of Kentucky. It is on its way now to Washington, D.C. Hopefully, by next week it will be on its way to Ethiopia. Yay!

Caesar Likes to Rest His Chin

Caesar enjoying a cool September morning on the porch



Tuesday, September 9, 2008

So...Now We Try Ethiopia

With no foreseeable movement in Uganda or Guatemala and with our previous adoption paperwork expiring, we began prayerfully considering the possibility of trying another adoption program while we wait. We have officially entered an adoption program through Ethiopia. There isn't much we can tell you right now...we are pretty wide open with age and gender. We won't be matched with a child until all our paperwork is sent in, which we are feverishly working on right now. We hope to have our paperwork (dossier) submitted by next week. Please pray with us that this will move forward quickly and that we will not singlehandedly shut down another country's adoption program. (We kid, we kid. But seriously...)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Amy's New Job

Amy had her last day of work at Asbury College this week. She is now working full-time as an adoption caseworker for Adoption Assistance, Inc, doing homestudies and post-placements for adopting families. We are very excited about this new opportunity for Amy to work in a field about which she is so passionate.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mmmmm....College Football...

So I'm totally pumped for the start of the college football season. Here's a video from this time last year...a play that I called on this blog "the greatest football-related moment of my life". Let's beat the Filthy Cards again this year:

Friday, August 29, 2008

I Don't Know Why I Find This So Funny...

...but I do. It's hilarious. I think even more so, because very few people call a stove a "range" these days.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Olympic Fever

In honor of the Olympics, check out this gymnast on the uneven bars. (I think she is using steroids, but I could be wrong.)



Hat tip: KSR

And for an excellent column on the many Chinese government cover-ups at this year's games: http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3542649

Monday, August 18, 2008

Football Is Coming...

In honor of the approaching football season (and the end of the long, dark night of baseball), here is a video from a 1994 Texas high school football championship game. The video begins with Plano East, the team in black, down 41-17 with 2:42 to go in the game. Watch to the end...it is unbelievable. And the announcers are priceless.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Succumbing to Mounting Pressure

So...after months of resistance, I joined Facebook. Time to see if I have any friends...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Reunion in the Hills

Today was the Former Students Day at my alma mater, Mt. Carmel High School, so Mom, Dad, Buffy, and I headed down to the mountains. This year's reunion had a special focus on children who grew up in the Kentucky Mountain Holiness Association, the parent organization of the school. The first picture you see is a group of some of those "workers' kids" at the reunion. The second picture is of the four members of my Class of 1997 who were present and our class sponsors, the Fowlers.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Is This How One Contracts Bird Flu?


Bird Doesnt Like Being Kissed - Watch more free videos

Hat tip: KSR

"Wanna hear my idea for curin' bird flu? Bird feeders and b-b guns. Either that or don't go kissin' birds. Especially parrotts, 'cause they'll tell the neighbors." - Larry the Cable Guy

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Missed Dunks

Here is a great video of missed dunks from the pros down to the amateurs...alternate title could be "Matt Kinnell: The High School Years"

Saturday, August 2, 2008

AFI's Top 100

People who know me know I love movies. So when our awesomely excellent pubic library (of which I am an employee) decided to expand our DVD collection to include all Oscar Best Picture-winners and all of the AFI Top 100, it provided an opportunity to see a lot of classics that I wouldn't have necessarily paid to rent. I am currently at 46 (update 5/27/10: 99!) of the AFI 100 (I started in 2008 at 25). Here is the list (the 2007 list, not the original 1998 one) with the films I've seen in yellow. How about you? How many have you seen?

  1. Citizen Kane (1941)
  2. The Godfather (1972)
  3. Casablanca (1942)
  4. Raging Bull (1980)
  5. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
  6. Gone with the Wind (1939)
  7. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  8. Schindler's List (1993)
  9. Vertigo (1958)
  10. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  11. City Lights (1931)
  12. The Searchers (1956)
  13. Star Wars (1977)
  14. Psycho (1960)
  15. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  16. Sunset Boulevard (1950)
  17. The Graduate (1967)
  18. The General (1927)
  19. On the Waterfront (1954)
  20. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  21. Chinatown (1974)
  22. Some Like It Hot (1959)
  23. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
  24. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
  25. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
  26. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
  27. High Noon (1952)
  28. All About Eve (1950)
  29. Double Indemnity (1944)
  30. Apocalypse Now (1979)
  31. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
  32. The Godfather, Part II (1974)
  33. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
  34. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  35. Annie Hall (1977)
  36. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
  37. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
  38. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
  39. Dr. Strangelove (1964)
  40. The Sound of Music (1965)
  41. King Kong (1933)
  42. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
  43. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
  44. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
  45. Shane (1953)
  46. It Happened One Night (1934)
  47. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
  48. Rear Window (1954)
  49. Intolerance (1916)
  50. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
  51. West Side Story (1961)
  52. Taxi Driver (1976)
  53. The Deer Hunter (1976)
  54. M*A*S*H (1970)
  55. North by Northwest (1959)
  56. Jaws (1975)
  57. Rocky (1976)
  58. The Gold Rush (1925)
  59. Nashville (1975)
  60. Duck Soup (1933)
  61. Sullivan's Travels (1941)
  62. American Graffiti (1973)
  63. Cabaret (1972)
  64. Network (1976)
  65. The African Queen (1951)
  66. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  67. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
  68. Unforgiven (1992)
  69. Tootsie (1982)
  70. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  71. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  72. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  73. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
  74. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  75. In the Heat of the Night (1967)
  76. Forrest Gump (1994)
  77. All the President's Men (1976)
  78. Modern Times (1936)
  79. The Wild Bunch (1969)
  80. The Apartment (1960)
  81. Spartacus (1960)
  82. Sunrise (1927)
  83. Titanic (1997)
  84. Easy Rider (1969)
  85. A Night at the Opera (1935)
  86. Platoon (1986)
  87. 12 Angry Men (1957)
  88. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
  89. The Sixth Sense (1999)
  90. Swing Time (1936)
  91. Sophie's Choice (1982)
  92. Goodfellas (1990)
  93. The French Connection (1971)
  94. Pulp Fiction (1994)
  95. The Last Picture Show (1971)
  96. Do the Right Thing (1989)
  97. Blade Runner (1982)
  98. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
  99. Toy Story (1995)
  100. Ben-Hur (1959)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

100 Movies, 100 Numbers

Here is a really cool video made by some dude, counting down from 100 using movie quotes (and you know how I love movie quotes):

Monday, July 28, 2008

Flight School

Somehow this does not inspire confidence.

Hillbilly U-haul

We've featured our friend Caleb a few times on our blog so in honor of him getting his first real job, we thought we'd show how much we've indoctrinated him in the ways of Eastern KY. Seriously though, we very excited for Caleb and glad to know he's only moving about an hour away to Nicholas County.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Snowmen


One of my all-time favorite cartoons (second only to the Far Side) was the wonderful Calvin & Hobbes. And my favorite part of Calvin & Hobbes was the snowmen that Calvin built every winter. Well, some beautiful soul has posted a whole bunch of the Calvin snowmen here: http://www.angelfire.com/wa/zzaran/calvin.html. Classic!

Friday, July 25, 2008

While We Wait...

You may or may not have noticed the horrendous lack of posting lately. The lack of adoption news has caused a bit of a drought. For those who haven't been following since the beginning, we starting this adoption journey looking to Uganda (6-9 months they told us...18 months ago). When it looked like no progress was in sight for Uganda, we were contacted by missionary friends in Guatemala who had two kids we knew that were going to be available for adoption, so we switched our paperwork to Guatemala. Then Guatemala shut down before we could get far enough in the process to be grandfathered in. Now there may be some hope back in Uganda, but news is mostly nonexistent. And here we sit in our adoption purgatory.

So...until the adoption news picks up again (which we hope and pray will be soon), Matt is going to attempt to do some more non-adoption-news posting just to keep you all entertained. We'll see how this goes. Because the main purpose of this blog is to chronicle our adoption process, we're going to keep the same title, "Our Adoption Adventure", though we have seriously considered renaming it "Our Stagnant Adoption" or "Our Clear Lack of an Adoption" or "When Good Adoptions Go Bad" or some such thing. (That was intended to be funny, not depressing, but I think it missed the mark.)

We still believe in adoption. We are still committed to adoption. We still want our friends and family to be involved. So...keep coming back to our blog. We promise we'll try to do better! (And by do better, I mean post trite and trivial nonsense to keep you entertained.)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Us!

That's right, 6 years ago today we said "I do." We thought we'd share some pics from our special day.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Guatemala Adoption News

An article from CNN on the reasons behind the adoption halting in Guatemala here.

If that link doesn't work, you can cut and paste this into your browser: http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/05/28/international.adoptions/index.html

Sunday, May 25, 2008