Showing posts from June, 2012

A Good Day

It has been a long day.  I am tired. Really, really tired.  But also just so happy.  

The pieces continue to fall into place.  We had no problems at the Chinese Embassy today and were able to get both of our visas.  Our experience at Children's Hospital was very encouraging and we are confident in our choice to use their doctors for Elie. We happened to be in the waiting room right when the clown crew came by.  Thanks for that God.  Clown humor can even make this 34 year old giggle.  Our friend, Shawn, owns a hair studio downtown.  We stopped in to say hi and he blessed us with giving Kevin a free haircut.  And I might add,  it was a very good haircut... couldn't keep my eyes off him the rest of the day.  Not sure if it was just the haircut or the fact that watching him work to get Elie home is just so darn attractive.

We have had so many wonderful offers for help, seriously it is just incredible the community that God has blessed us with!!  We definitely do not feel like we…

18 days and counting...

Monday we received our TA, our travel approval, from China.  This allowed our agency to book our embassy appointment.  We sent our top five dates (the first five we could ask for) and then we waited.  Again.  The journey of adoption is all about waiting.  Anyway, today we found out that we will have our embassy appointment on July 25th!!!  So going backwards from that date we can plan our trip.

We have been saving up our miles ever since we got home from Ethiopia.  We have been praying that we could use these for our trip to China.  And thanks to Kevin's recent trip to Englad, we have just enough for 2 round trip tickets to Beijing + 1 one-way from Beijing back home.   All the pieces continue to fall into place.  The miles were accepted and the 3 of us are flying there and back to the grand total of $99.82!!!!   God is so Good!!!!  We will take off July 9th and land in China on the 10th.  That means that in only 11 days Kevin and I will board a plane for China.   After a nice loo…

Ethiopian Family Day

The third week of June is a big one for our family, Father's Day, Kody's birthday and also now Elie's birthday, plus we celebrate their last days as well - so it is just one week long party.  There is one more day we celebrate this week, Ethiopian Family Day.  On June 22, 2010, we received final custody of Faith Shetu and she was placed into our arms forever.  The program in Ethiopia through our agency slowly transitions the children into their forever families over a four day period.  This gives the children a chance to get comfortable with their new family and to say good bye to the nannies who had cared for them.  It was an excruciating process for me, each day that we had to send her back to sleep at the orphanage felt like someone was physically cutting my heart with a knife.  But I know that it really was the best thing for our daughter.  The first time Faith saw us she was an absolute mess but after a few days began warming up to the idea of being with us.  She sti…

The Leader of the Pack

Eight years ago a miracle happened.  Doctors said it wasn't possible for him to be made without medical intervention, they said he was going to have all sorts of problems, they said he was facing the wrong direction and a c-section would be necessary.... but on June 21, 2004 Kody entered the world without a c-section in perfect health.  Those 5 pounds of little boy completely changed my life.

God knew our family would need Kody as the first child.  He seemed to be born with a deep love for God and a compassion for people.  As one friend told me, "He has an old soul."  Kody gave me the title I had always dreamed of "Mother".  His life has taught me so much.  He is the experiment, our trial run on being parents and knowing how to care for children.  In spite of the times we have gotten it all wrong, he is still an amazing little boy.  I am humbled to have the honor of being his mother.  He is just pure joy to my heart.  I cannot wait to see what God has for his…

生日快乐 (shēngrì kuàilè)

As I am ending my day, the sun rises in China on the next day.  My little girl has already said goodbye to 4 and is waking to being 5 years old.  I wonder what her day will bring.  I wonder if her day will be any different than any of the other ones.  Will someone tell her happy birthday?  Will someone make her feel loved and special?

We recently sent a package to Elie.  I had longed for the moment to be able to send her something so that she would know that we are her family.  Our agency required that we wait until this point in our adoption to send anything.  When we got the green light to put together a package though it was more difficult than I expected.  We could only send one padded envelope, it needed to be light and not contain anything valuable.  What could I put in that envelope to prepare her to meet us and to make her feel loved???  After much thought and prayer I finally settled on these contents:

Artwork from each of her siblingsa small box of crayonsa small paper tabl…

Ready to Jump??

So we have been riding around in this airplane for 11 months.  Dressed in our jumpsuits.  Parachute on.  Toes to the edge.  Waiting for the thumbs up to take the plunge.

Are you really ever ready to jump out of a plane?  Not sure.  But this is the moment we have been waiting for.  The moment to jump.

And there are moments when I find myself freaking out.  How did we get here?   Why am I wearing this suit?  What if I don't want to jump after all?  What if I am not any good at jumping out of a plane?  What if the parachute doesn't open and I fall flat on my face?

A few days ago we received word that while there is no set date for travel, we will for sure be in China by mid-July.  We are down to weeks folks.  Weeks.  And as the reality set in, I started to panic. So much left to do, so many projects, I haven't learned enough yet, I have no idea what I am doing..... Gripping the side of the kitchen counter, gasping for air, I lowered myself to the ground.  Kody was standing…

I want my kids to be bored

I love summer.  I love the ability to do whatever we want to with our day.  I love all the summer fun of playing in the sprinkler, going on hikes, chasing fireflies, backyard BBQs and time in the pool.  There have been lots of great idea lists circulating of things to do with your kids over the summer.  I love them.  Many of them are things we had already talked about doing and some new ideas too.  But I am also going to intentionally create some....  take a deep breath my fellow NOVA moms.... boredom.  Yep,  I want my kids to be bored.  Boredom is the beginning of great ideas and creative thought.  It is amazing the things my kids think up on their own when I get out of their way.  In the quiet of nothing to do, all of a sudden a brilliant thought pops into their heads and their imaginations begin to take flight.

Never tried boredom at your house?  Here is the recipe for creating creative thinking space:
1. Have no plans
2. Screen time is not an option
3.  Let them be restless and s…

2 Years Later

This past weekend we met up in the mountains with 2 other families to hike and camp.  We share a history together.  We are forever linked together because our children lived together in Ethiopia at the same care center.  We are forever linked together because we shared one of the most intimate moments of our lives with each other.  We labored together.  We paced the floor together waiting for the moment to arrive.  And then our hearts broke in joy as we watched our children being placed in our arms.  People we had only known for measurable hours were now family.  This weekend it was so amazing to watch these kids playing together.  So much beauty.  The pictures do not do justice to the emotion felt seeing it in person, but it gives you a taste.  Adoption does make a difference in the lives of everyone it touches.  So thankful that mine is one of them.  

Samara Sidoto and Faith Shetu

 Tsedeke, Tyler, Tenayie and Kody

Friends for Life

The Traveling Daddy: Our Top 10 Tips

In the fall of 2003 two significant things happened that changed the dynamic of our home.  God placed Kody inside my womb and Kevin started traveling for work.  Now nine years later, I have learned a lot about motherhood.  In our home this includes how to be a mommy with a traveling daddy.  Thankfully I had a wonderful example growing up.  My mom was always very adventurous and willing to carry on when Daddy was not present.  Something military wives just get on a totally different level.  One of my favorite memories of my childhood is a trip my mom and I took all by ourselves to the former East Germany before the wall came down.

I have carried this thought into my own mothering.  I love having Kevin with us on adventures, but if he isn't able to go then we will adventure on our own.  I love the challenge of traveling with children.  And I have often said that I would rather be somewhere amazing with them upset then stuck at home by myself with them upset. That's just me.  S…

why do you sacrifice

Last Sunday our pastor asked us the question, "What does it look like to live sacrificially in a land of abundance?"

A few years back we had a man from Switzerland, Peter, live with us for about six months.  We will never forget his initial reaction to being in America.  Everything we did, every place we went, his eyes were wide and his reaction the same, "Everything in America is so big."  The most difficult conversation we had with him was trying to explain the English word "Stuff".  He had no reference point for accumulating unneeded objects.  And it is true, in our country we live large - big cars, big houses, big food, big, big, big.  There is so much that we truly could live without.  Material possessions are not the only things we can sacrifice, there is also our time, our energy, our talents, our relationships, our hobbies - the list goes on.  But having "stuff" isn't always bad either, you have to examine your heart. 
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