Thursday, February 26, 2009

Flights Booked!

Our flights are booked! We have had a slight change of plans - we will be leaving out of Cincinnati on Wednesday, March 4th, at 2:20pm. The reason for this early departure is that we have been presented with the opportunity to travel up to the area where our girls are from (about a 14-hour drive from the capital of Addis Ababa). We are very excited to be able to see and document the area where our girls were born, and we are hopeful that we may get to meet their birthfather and the neighbor woman who has cared for them for the past years. Some day our girls will have a lot of questions about their beginnings, and we want to be able to provide them with as much as we can. It will be added expense and exhaustion, but we think it is too great to pass up. is a rough itinerary:
Wed., Mar. 4th - Depart Northern Ky Airport about 2:30pm
Thu., Mar. 5th - Arrive in Addis Ababa
Fri., Mar. 6th - Travel upcountry
Sat., Mar. 7th - In Kamashi
Sun., Mar. 8th - Travel back to Addis Ababa
Mon., Mar. 9th - Meet our girls and take custody
Tue., Mar. 10th - U.S. Embassy appt. for passports & visas
Wed., Mar. 11th - Hanging out in Addis Ababa
Thu., Mar. 12th - Receive passports & visas, fly out late
Fri., Mar. 13th - Arrive back in Kentucky around 4:05pm

And so it begins...'s never been my favorite activity. It's not that I don't mind throwing it into the washer. I find that therapeutic. A big basket of dirty clothes and then POOF, you just throw it into the washer and no more dirty clothes. It's really just the folding that gets me. Matt's not a folder either so we always end up with a basket full of wrinkly clothes sitting around. That's if they make it out of the dryer. And now I'm realizing with 2 little ones on the way, how much more laundry children bring into the equation. I feel bad even complaining when I think about the ladies at the transition home or orphanage who have to wash all the children’s' clothes by hand and throw them over something outside to let them dry. But it’s just one of those things that you don't think about when you decide to start a family. So in preparation for leaving to get the girls, the endless cycle of laundry has begun. Oh, and to top that off, yesterday Caesar was sitting on the couch next to me and threw up all over my blanket. I know, I know, he's just getting me ready for kids. So I ran and threw the blanket into the washer and came back to sit down. Wouldn't you know it, as soon as I sat down; he threw up again all over the couch. Back I ran to get cleaning supplies. The great things about dogs are they tend to clean up their own vomit (I know, I know, TOO much information). Hopefully kids don't do that.
"Holy Crap! What is all that?" words spoken by my dear husband when I walked by carrying the first load of clean clothes for the girls.

My good husband folding the girls' clothes.

The girls' suitcase all packed and ready to go

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What a Difference

We can't help but be amazed at how much our girls are already changing. From dirty and naked in their village to wide-eyed and shy in the orphanage to happy and smiling in the transition home. We are so thankful for the folks who are caring for them, and we can't wait to bring them home. The greatest changes are still ahead for these beautiful girls, but they have come so far already!

In their village - September 2008

At the orphanage in Kamashi - January 2009

In the transition home in Addis Ababa - February 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

Embassy Appointment: March10th!

We got a GREAT phone call early this morning from the adoption agency. They were able to get us a March 10th appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia. That means we leave a week from Saturday! We will leave Kentucky Saturday, March 7th, arrive in Ethiopia Sunday, March 8th, and finally meet our girls on Monday, March 9th! Our embassy appointment will be Tuesday, March 10th, then we get the girls' passports and visas on Thursday, March 12th, fly out that night, and arrive back in Kentucky on Friday, March 13th!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Report on Our Girls

One of the ladies who was there when they found our girls in their village recently went back to Ethiopia and met our girls at the transition home. She gave us this encouraging report:

I was AMAZED to see how they changed this trip. Truly shocked at how they've grown and developed. When I walked into the transition house this last time, one of them ran up to me and grabbed my leg and looked up at me with this gorgeous smile and these sparkling eyes. I said, "Oh my gosh, who is this child? She has the sweetest face and her eyes are beautiful!" And they told me it was one of your twins! What a transformation from September. Know they are doing well and blossoming, and that they have a real genuine warmth and kindness about them.
All of the previous reports we had received was about how shy the girls were, and all the pictures we have are so somber. What an encouragement to hear these words and see these beautiful pictures:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Preparing a Place

We've been working on the girls' room over the last few is a glimpse of what we've got so far...

Bed #1

Ethiopian Flag & Lots of Books

Bed #2

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Baby Shower with Friends

On Sunday Amy had another shower with a few friends at Ramsey's restaurant in Lexington. It was especially nice that her sister Jen could be there for the occasion.

Cute Cabbage Patch Dolls from Kerry
Another Adorable Outfit

Jill & Amy

Matching Blankets Made by Amy's Mom

Fridge phonics are great! Fellow adoptive mom Erica knew exactly what we needed.

Monday, February 16, 2009


The phone call came this morning that our case has been released by the Ethiopian courts, and our adoption of Essie and Chloe has been finalized. That's about all we know right now, except that we will travel sometime in mid-March. We will let you know the details as they become available. Until then, enjoy these new photos of our girls:



Friday, February 13, 2009

Court Date is Monday

Our girls are in the transition home in the capital city of Addis Ababa, and we hope to have pictures of them to share with you very soon. Our case goes before the judge again on Monday (late Sunday night Kentucky time), and it is our understanding that if the birthfather's ID card has been corrected, the case will be released without further delay. Of course, there is no guarantee of that. Please pray with us once again that all will be well so we can finally bring our girls home next month.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Asbury & Friends Baby Shower

Friends and coworkers from Asbury threw me a shower on Saturday. A big "thank-you" to my friend Rose for hosting the shower and Kellie for helping with food and taking pictures at both showers.

Ok, so I know my eyes are closed in this picture, but these
dresses are just too cute not to show them.
Cute cardigan

These are hooded towels from Grandma Melanie & Grandpa Dan.

120 piece plastic food set-how fun!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Church Baby Shower

Friday night our church threw us a baby shower in preparation for the girls' arrival. It was a wonderful time to forget about all the delays and focus on the fact that they will be here soon (hopefully). We got some really cute outfits, some of which are pictured below.

Great Grandma Hindman sent these cute outfits.

Janet made these beautiful blankets.

Even though this one is Tennessee Orange, Matt said he's ok with it
because he's tired of seeing pink already.

Adorable dresses

Educational puzzles from one of the many teachers that were in attendance.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Court Details Become Clearer (And More Positive)

We got more detailed word today from the lawyer in Ethiopia who is handling our case, and the news is more positive. Apparently the birthfather corrected the misspelling of his name on his ID card, but the judge told him that is not how you spell his name. Interesting. Anyway, apparently the judge went ahead and passed our case, but our case will not be released until the birthfather's ID card is corrected again and brought before the judge on February 16th. (The birthfather does not have to appear again in court.) So...from what we understand our case has basically been approved, it just is not being released until the ID card is corrected. We hope that this is the case.

We want to thank all of our friends and family for the words of encouragement and (most importantly) your prayers over the last couple of days. We have felt your support, and we appreciate it so much.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Our Adoption Purgatory

So here we are again. Another court date, another disappointment. After two “miscarried adoptions” in Uganda and Guatemala and three failed court dates in Ethiopia, it’s hard not to feel cursed. We certainly feel no optimism about passing our next court date, even though we are told there should be no problem, which is what we were told before this court date…and the one before that…and the one before that. Right now we are facing each court date just bracing for disappointment. Our hearts are hurting, and it’s not very fun. But in all this disappointment and doubt, there are some things that we still believe, and among them are:

(1.) GOD IS NOT DOING THIS TO US. A dangerous doctrine is often believed in evangelical circles, and that is the idea that “everything happens for a reason.” I believe that is absolutely false, just as I believe that God does not give kids cancer or cause serial killers to rape and murder. We serve a sovereign Lord who has complete authority over His creation. However, God is not a puppeteer divinely ordaining ever minute detail of life on earth. He established order in nature with laws that govern it and gave man a free will and moral laws to accept or reject. It’s possible that God torpedoed our adoption from Guatemala, but it’s more likely that the inept court system in Guatemala failed to properly document the children we were trying to adopt, and widespread greed and corruption led to child trafficking, and the government shut the system down. It’s possible that God caused a delay in our adoption in Ethiopia, but I believe it is more likely that an illiterate man’s name was spelled wrong on an ID card and someone on a power trip took advantage of an opportunity to exercise authority over some foreigners. If you are a friend seeking to encourage us, please do not try to offer reasons why God might be causing our delays – “What if there was going to be a plane crash, and you avoided it because you were delayed” or “God must have wanted the girls to be in the orphanage a little longer” – if God does have a reason, He probably did not send you the memo. That may seem harsh, but we have received enough "words from the Lord" from well-meaning folks who were clearly mistaken about their source. Please spare us the platitudes and cliches - in some situations there is no explanation, and there just isn't anything that needs to be said. Church friends are fond of saying “God knows what He’s doing.” That’s true of course, God does know what He is doing; but we don't believe that He is "doing this to us" in the first place.

(2.) GOD WILL USE THIS SITUATION IF WE LET HIM, AND WE TRUST HIM TO DO SO. Paul wrote that “IN ALL THINGS God works for the good of those who love Him”…that means that no matter the pain, no matter the disappointment, God can redeem it and use it if we let Him. James tells us that, if nothing else, these trying times will teach us patience. It's no fun, but God will find purpose in pain that has no purpose. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Obednego were about to be thrown into the fire, they said, “We believe God can save us, we believe God will save us, but if He doesn’t, we’re going to praise Him anyway.” God will be worthy of our praise whether He intervenes the way we'd like Him to or not.

(3.) ADOPTION IS GOD’S PLAN FOR OUR FAMILY. From before we even knew each other, both of us felt what we believe is a God-given desire to adopt. We want to be advocates for adoption and encourage fellow believers to provide loving homes to precious children who do not have one. Unfortunately, our adoption story has not been much of an enticement to adoption, and we fear that rather than encouraging adoption, our troubles have discouraged others from ever considering it. But our frustrations and difficulties do not change the fact that there are 143 million orphans in the world and thousands of children in our own country who need loving families to take them in, caring for the “least of these” as God commanded us. We cannot leave the needs of the orphaned and abused up to the Red Cross or UNICEF. We are the people of God, and His children need us. That fact reminds us that it is not about us or our pain - after all we’ve gone through, we believe even more that God wants to use us (and the church at large) to redeem these lives from destruction. If this is a spiritual battle, we will be more than conquerors through Him who loved us – our Heavenly Father who first adopted us. By His grace we will not be defeated.

Another Delay

The report is not very clear, but either the birthfather's ID card was not corrected properly or he did not have it with him. New court date is February 16th.

Court Day - No News Yet

No news out of Ethiopia yet. Court should be over by now, so we're just waiting for news of what happened. We will post as soon as we know something.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

This Is Your Kid on Drugs

For those of you who think this blog has gone all serious for court week, I give you this video. This poor kid had dental surgery, and his dad was ornery enough to video tape him after he woke up. And put it on YouTube where the entire world can see. Awesome.

True Story

One of Matt's friends from the library made two beautiful dresses for our girls. Today while she was driving, she had the following conversation with her little girl:

Daughter: I want that truck to go to California.
Mom: Why do you want that truck to go to California?
Daughter: I want him to go pick up the girls.
Mom: What girls?
Daughter: The girls who you're making the dresses for.
Mom: Those girls aren't in California, they're in Africa.
Daughter: Well then I want him to drive his truck to Africa and bring them to our house.

Court Week Wednesday Prayer Request

Our third court date is this Thursday, so we are asking our friends to pray each day for a specific subject related to the court date.

WEDNESDAY - THE JUDGE: After all the paperwork and bureaucratic hoops we've plowed through for the last two and a half years, it all comes down to the decision of this judge. If the judge is having a bad day, he/she can postpone our case like our December 26th court date. Or if the judge finds something even minutely out of place in our documentation, we could be delayed once more. Please pray that when our judge wakes up in a few hours, he/she will be in a good mood and have a positive disposition. While we sleep tonight our case could be decided. Please pray with us for a favorable decision so we can finally bring our girls home.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pictures from the Library Baby Shower

We now have pictures from our shower at the library where Matt works, so here they are. The library threw a great party for us and Justin & Charis, who are expecting a newborn very soon.

Court Week Tuesday Prayer Request

Our third court date is this Thursday, so we are asking our friends to pray each day for a specific subject related to the court date.

TUESDAY - THE TWINS: From what we are being told, the twins are being moved today from the orphanage in Kamashi to the transition house in the capital city of Addis Ababa. We are very happy about this, because it means better facilities and better care for our girls. However, this will be the second dramatic change in their lives as they just moved from their village to the orphanage a couple of weeks ago, and there is an even bigger change coming. Please pray for their physical and emotional well-being as they make this big trip.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Court Week Monday Prayer Request

Our third court date is this Thursday, so we are asking our friends to pray each day for a specific subject related to the court date.

MONDAY - THE BIRTH FATHER: At our last court date, it was a misspelled ID card for our girls' birthfather that delayed us to this point. Please pray that the mistake has been corrected to the judge's satisfaction and that the adoption agency is able to get the birthfather to appear in court again.