Showing posts from September, 2012

Church = Family

When God first called us to adopt from Ethiopia, we prayed that God would bring Ethiopian families into our lives.  Around the same time a couple started attending our church.  They were also adopting from Ethiopia.  And our stories and our family's lives began to intertwine.  During our wait God took them out of the line for Ethiopia because their children were actually living in Uganda...two little boys.  So we were no longer adopting from the same country but we still shared the same heart beat.  We have laughed, we have prayed, we have cried, we have screamed - we have lived this journey together.  Our journeys different but in many ways the same.  And I think that is what bonds our kids together in a way that cannot be explained in words.

Our first Sunday home, we wanted so badly to be with our church family but knew that we needed to just stay home.  On week two and three, one parent stayed behind with Elie while the rest of the crew went to church.  She was not happy about…

Summer Fun

What's that?  It's fall??  Yes, but I haven't gotten to share how we spent the hours of our summer yet.

 At the beginning of the summer I wrote a post about letting my kids be bored.  I thought I should share some of what came of keeping things simple.  I'm not sure how simple we would have really kept things had we not traveled to China and brought Elie home.  But our life had to be simple for the month of August, because even simple was at times very hard.  Although I think we will replicate this philosophy next summer because it was just awesome bonding time as a family.  It was hot but we could not stay inside.  Behavior was not fabulous outside, but inside it quickly spiraled out of control.  And so we figured out how to make that work...  and we also sweat... a lot.

I cannot even begin to speculate how many human chalk drawings I made down the entire length of our sidewalk the month of August.  Faith and Elie wanted me to draw them again and again.

First ride …

i make my children clean

Before our trip to Ethiopia, my boys really didn't have any chores.  Seeing boys their age herding cattle totally changed my perspective.  And having mulitple children in our family made it a necessity.  The children would be a part of the team to care for themselves and their home.  Their chore list in the summertime is longer because they have more time and also because they are home more which equals more of a mess.  Cleaning is not something I am naturally gifted at and certainly not being neat and organized.  Exhibit A:

This is typically how my room looked in college - chaos.  And those who knew me then can attest to that reality.  I have worked hard over the years to learn how to be more aware of my surroundings because it does make our home a more peaceful place.  I want my children to leave our home one day knowing how to be organized and how to care for themselves and the environment they live in.  And they really are capable of doing so much already!

Being part of a te…

Finding peace in the chaos

Today started out going the wrong direction.  I awoke, 2 hours late, to the sound of Faith crying.  I am not sure what happened.  The only explanation I have is that I must have turned off my alarm in my sleep.  I have discovered over the years that the day goes much better if I am awake well before any child in my house.  I need some total quiet time before I start the day.  I need to mentally prepare myself for what is going to come bounding down the stairs.  And it works well because Kevin does best if he sleeps every second possible before waking up.  So I truly get the quiet house all to myself.  Today not only were the kids awake, but I had also missed my running time with my good friend.  This is not only my exercise time, but also my socialization AND provides my natural anti-psychotic endorphins for the day...aka if I don't run I start to go crazy.  Filled with frustration and disappointment, the morning chaos began.  We live in a small house with multiple children sleepi…

Amazing family photos by precious thoughts photography

Many of you have commented on the fabulous pictures of our family taken at the airport in July.  My friend, Rachel, graciously provided her talents to our family as a gift.  They are wonderful pictures that really did capture all the love and emotion of that moment. In addition she is also the one who made the amazing homecoming video for us.  She also took some great photos of our family last fall.  Below are a few photos from each of these sessions below so you can see her amazing talent.

Rachel is traveling to the Philippines in November.  The teams purpose is to share the transforming gospel of Christ to those in prison ministry, feeding programs, hospitals and outpatient missions. She is using her talent of photography to raise money for her trip.  She can set up a session to photograph your family, yourself, your kids, whatever.  One idea she is doing - set up a playgroup time and she will come and do individual portraits of each child for $15.  If you are interested in making …

see you in a year!!

About two months ago I met my daughter face to face.  We quickly learned just how hard it was to parent a child that you cannot communicate with... and how much communication relates to bonding with a speaking child.  And so we asked you to pray that we would be able to find a way to communicate.  We believed in faith that God would answer this prayer and when we have grown weary your faith has held up our own.

On Tuesday, we spent the entire day at D.C. Children's with Eliana.  Each specialist we saw asked us how long Elie had been with us and each time we watched their jaws drop as they heard the answer. "She has been in America for 6 weeks.  Apparently her understanding and usage of the English language is way beyond what children normally have at this point. And her understanding of the language far exceeds her ability to speak.  She was able to follow all the directions given and complete every test, including tests for speech and hearing.  She even had her own convers…

GS4O in Broadlands this week!!!

Have you heard of this yet?  People all over the country are hosting garage sales block party style - all to raise money to help those in extreme poverty around the globe.  Well guess what??? One is coming to our area this week.....

Come shop Thursday  8am to dusk, Friday 8 - dusk and Saturday 8-2pm.  
Windy Oaks Square, Broadlands, VA 20148

Saturday will be a rocking block party.  In addition to all the awesome items for sale there will also be face painting, children's activities and food.  

100% of the proceeds are going to www.garagesale4orphans.orgto build a well for orphans and abandoned children in Zimbabwe

Here is what GS4O is all about (direct from their website): 

Garage Sale for Orphans is an initiative of Help One Now. Help One Now is a catalytic tribe committed to caring for orphans & vulnerable children by empowering & resourcing high-capacity local leaders in order to transform communities & break the cycle of extreme poverty.
Every day, all over the worl…

Happy 35th Birthday to the Captain of our Team

I met my husband, Kevin, three weeks after he turned 19.  Our lives were forever intertwined from that day forward.  It is an incredible gift to have spent all of these years together.  Yesterday I started digging through my bin from the college days.  The kids thought the pictures of their mom and dad were hilarious... mostly I would have to agree.  I kept looking and thinking "there must be more pictures in here somewhere." There are very few pictures of our first years together.  But we met in a different time.  A time when we didn't carry a cell phone, or a even a camera, around with us every where we went.  We had millions of amazing moments that were enjoyed without being documented anywhere except in our hearts.  It took me about ten tries to explain to my eight year old the negative strips he found in the box.  I still don't know if he totally gets what they are for.  I did find this picture above of Kevin from around the time we first started dating.  There…