Monday, December 29, 2008


We passed court!!! We passed court!!! What an amazing journey this entire experience has been. We are SO grateful for all the prayers and best wishes you all have extended to us.
Right now there really aren't words to express how we are feeling...disbelief is one because we have had such a wonderful adoption experience and the thought that something could go wrong at any time is always there. Pure elation is probably the best word, though.

I know we will catch flack from everyone (esp. those of you who have not been able to see the babies pictures yet) but our agency has still requested that we not post public pictures until the babies are physically in our arms. This is not for us, but for all the other pending international adoptions out there...the parents who are still waiting to pass court. Right now international adoptions are very volatile. Posting pictures of children who are not physically in their new parents care can hamper adoption relations for others. It's a sticky thing...So, we want to do everything we can to help others attain the same joy at being new parents as we can. If you would like to see Ruby and Roman, please email me or post your email and we will send you private pictures. Thank you so much for understanding!!!

Love and Best wishes for a wonderful New Year!!!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Inspired to Pray

I've really been inspired to pray earnestly about our babies upcoming court date on Dec. 29th.
After hearing about numerous failed court dates by other prospective adoptive parents (PAP's) due to missing documents or the biological parent not showing up in court (as with relinquished children), I am starting to have fear and doubt. I know this IS NOT an emotion coming from God. So, I am praying for a flawless and smooth, successful passing of our court documents and that on Dec. 29, Ruby and Roman will officially be ours.
Will you join me in prayer?
Please ask God for His divine will be done above all else. (Yes, I guess this even means if we fail court on the 29th...He is in charge and He knows what He's doing).
Please pray for the judge that he finds clarity in the paperwork. Please pray for the Ministry of Women's Affairs that they find favor with the babies joining our family. A positive recommendation from MOWA is needed to pass court.
Please pray for Ruby's first mama. Pray that she has peace and hope. Prayers that she will have the strength she needs to come to court if summoned. Prayers for a healthy body, that she may be able to make a better life for herself. I feel a closeness to this woman who nurtured our baby girl for almost 7 months. We are family, even though we will probably never meet here on earth.
Prayer for Roman's first family. It must have taken such sacrifice to give up this tiny baby. Prayer that Roman's first mama is strong and healthy and that she may someday make a difference in her community. I know nothing about this woman. I do not know her age nor her name. But I know she gave birth to a son we will always share. I will never forget her and will always keep her near to my heart. I hope we will get to meet both of these woman in Heaven someday soon. I hope they know in their hearts that the babies they parted with are loved and cherished, even before they come into our home.
And of course, pray for Ruby and Roman that they will be healthy and happy. That their transition will be smooth when we finally meet.
Thank you for praying with our family and for our family.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Time Flies

It was this time last year when I was attending Chloe and Elliot's Christmas programs at school. Since one was in elementary and the other in middle school, the programs were held on different nights. I recall saying to several friends "Whew, this will be the last year I have to go to TWO different programs!" Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!! Little did I really know that God had SUCH big plans for our family!!!
It doesn't seem possible that a year has flown by! We were also planning our trip to S. Dakota to see my parents...and that was also when my mother uttered those unforgettable words "I think you should adopt"...
Fast forward to now, Dec. 9, 2008. We are staring at two of Ethiopia's most beautiful children through pictures my friend "T" took while at the Toukoul Orphanage last week. Roman has changed 100% since his first referral picture, showing a severely underweight and gaunt preemie! He is now chubby, full of beautiful color and has the most adorable face!
Ruby is a stunning child. Full of health and vitality from the first picture, we knew she had been loved and nurtured from the start by her first mama. We are so grateful for the start she gave her precious baby girl.
We are forever grateful to both our babies first mama's. They gave life to these precious children! We'll never fully know the pain and heartache they have endured in order for their children to have a better life.
In a few years, I will once again be attending separate Christmas programs for all of my children. By the time Ruby and Roman are in school, Chloe will be graduated and heading to college. Elliot will be in high school. As I write this, I feel a great sadness. Our first babies are growing way too fast. Our second babies are not even in our arms. But, in my sadness, I am also filled with gratitude for a truly remarkable life. I am very blessed.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Baby Showers Galore!

I apologize to everyone who planned my baby shower on Nov. 23. I should have posted something about it already. With Thanksgiving and the update on the babies happening the day before, I guess I just had an oversight!
So, my sister Cindy, my oldest friend Jennifer and my husband all collaborated on throwing me a surprise baby shower a few weeks ago. And, although all of these people SHOULD KNOW how much I hate surprises, they went and did it anyway! It was a LOVELY turn out. I am very blessed by all the friends I have. I was feelin the love as they went around the room and told how they know me and the friendship we share. Andrew hosted some very fun games and hopefully educated some of the attendee's on Ethiopian culture. He outdid himself and I think all those ladies were quite impressed with his game throwing talents!
In the middle of the room (THANK YOU DANA, for hosting!!!) was a huge stack of gifts. Ruby and Roman got more clothes than they possibly can wear and we also got a wonderful supply of books!!! A very dear friend got us the much needed high chair that attaches to a regular chair and we also got some toys. I would take pics but I'm heading out to Costco and the doctor's office. But, I will do this soon...
Again, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for such a wonderful shower. Good thing it wasn't a complete surprise, otherwise ya'll would have been in BIG trouble! =)
I love you!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Updates on Ruby & Roman

What a blessing to log on today and see that Tami from our agency had sent us updates on Roman and Ruby!!! Roman is no longer the teensy weensie little peanut that he's shown in the past two updates! His cheeks are pudgy and fat, well rounded and his little wrists are chunky with rings around where the fat meets his hand! I am so thrilled about this! His medical report says that he anticipates eating and smiles at his caregivers. They also say he is an active and healthy child! Yeah!!!
Ruby is CRAWLING! I am so sad we are missing this, but so happy that she is healthy and active and motivated!!! I think I can anticipate a strong willed child??? She also seems very serious in all the pictures and her medical report does not indicate that she smiles, but I'm sure she does. And, I must mention that she has quite the baby 'fro going on!!! Her little head is covered in what seems to be tight little curls! So, I will definitely be purchasing a lot of ribbons and bows, beads and bands! =)
Both children have had several tests and all are negative. Neither have teethed, contrary to an initial update saying that Roman had two teeth already. Whew!

For my OKC pals, Andrew will have pictures to show off next week! You won't believe the difference in these kids! Especially Roman!

May you all have a beautiful Thanksgiving Holiday. We have SO MUCH to praise God for!


Monday, November 17, 2008


YIPPPPPPPPPPPPPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Right now my heels are clicking and I'm jumping up and down in excitement!!!! It's quite a picture, if only you could see me!
December 29 is our family's lucky day! A favorable letter from MOWA (Ministry of Women's Affairs) is our key to bringing home babies and we're set after that to make travel plans.

I called Andrew at work in Oklahoma City to tell him the awesome news! He didn't answer his cell so I just took it upon myself to call his office line (hee hee)...ends up that he accidently left his cell in the hotel!

Did anyone notice that I inadvertently put Dec. 29th as one of my poll dates? How amazing is that! Yes, I'll take that as another GOD sign! You can take it anyway you want but I do not believe in just routine coincidences. So, for those of you who voted Dec. 29, I'm pretty sure that it was a sweet angel who guided your hand to that button! =) Can't you just imagine that picture? I can. It might not really mean anything but to me it makes an awesome story!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Baby(s) Shower!

Last week I went to Oklahoma City for a few days to see where Andrew works and has spent each work week for the past (almost) six years. I met lots of wonderful people (Hi Judy, Jeanie, April, Pat...I'm sure I'm missing someone! =) and noticed that Oklahomans are very friendly everywhere we went. Even though I was only there a short time, the office staff threw together a lovely shower for us. They totally spoiled us and the babies, giving us clothing, blankets and gift cards! Even though it was the first time they had met me, they treated me like an old friend. I was very touched that so many of Andrew's co-workers made me aware of how much they think of my husband. I am a very blessed wife. I am proud that so many people think so highly of Andrew's work ethic. Yes, he is stubborn and bull headed...or as I like to call him, a "silver back gorilla". But, a lovable gorilla!

Anyway, I will post some pictures of some of the gifts we received when I get batteries for my camera.

And yes, we're still waiting on a court date for Ruby and Roman! Please keep those prayers going...and vote at my poll if you haven't already!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Praying for a court date

I'm posting less and less lately because I hate to keep writing "We're waiting on this, or that, or nothing new to report!"
But here it is..."We're waiting on a court date...still!" I spoke with our agency director and she said court dates are coming in through mid December. She was not very optimistic that we would get a December court date, but possibly early January and then we will travel in February. Ugh. We really NEED to travel in January due to the rates for airfare going up after then. Since we have been saving to fly exclusively by United points, we really would like to be able to do this and not have to pay a huge sum of money on top of the points. Right now we have enough points for all of us to fly business class to Ethiopia...after the end of January, not so likely. We may be spoiled, but on a 19+ hour flight, we'd really like to stay in business class, all together, too.

Anyway, enough whining...I am adding another poll! Since the last one was SO successful (hee hee) I'm hoping this one will bring us good luck, too!
Please vote for which date you think we'll get our court date on!

And please, keep our court date and travel plans in your prayers. Right now that is the best thing you all can do to help us out. We love you!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Time To Start Shopping!

After receiving our referral, I've still held off shopping but it's been really hard. Being a semi pro at shopping (and getting decent deals, too), I have bought only four little ol' items for Ruby and Roman...well, one for Roman and three for Ruby. Little girl clothes are so precious. Little boy clothes can be too, but harder to find. Recently at Costco, I found these four little gems...and at a great cost, too! I just had to share pics of them. I'm not sure if these look small or big for the babies!

This little dress is actually a vibrant spring green color with sweet little bling bling all over it. My picture does not do it justice.
I am having a hard time visualizing the babies HERE and getting into the groove of things. On one hand, it's been so long since we've had a baby around. On the other hand, there is NOTHING I love more than a baby and can barely wait to get these little guys home.
Adoptive parents will always tell you, there is always something we're waiting, now we're waiting to hear when our babies have their court day in Ethiopia.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I believe I've been tagged before by my long time friend, Mom Of Boys!! But I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to do at that time. Drrrrrrrrr.
So, My Sproutling friend has done it goes:

7 Random Things About Rebecca:

1) I totally, completely detest back tracking. If I can do all errands in one trip, it'll be done. Otherwise we'll just come home. Once I'm home, I'm there to stay.

2) I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE ethnic foods (Esp. Persian and Thai)

3) Last Wednesday I had RNY (you can it)

4) I had a crush on my sexy husband for almost four years before we started dating

5) Ice Hockey & Barrel Racing are my favorite sports to watch

6) I love a clean, streamlined home...but I've somehow never achieved this

7) I adore nail polish. Any color! Green, black, pink...I'm pretty sure others would say I have a collection of the stuff. My personal fave? Pompeii Purple by OPI

Friday, October 17, 2008


I don't even know how to begin this post, we're a little in shock right now...but here goes!
Last Tuesday I posted two polls for our readers to guess when we'd get our referral as well as any guess at which child will be older...or possibly twins.
I keep saying that our God has an awesome sense of humor because He chose that very night for our agency to call us with our referral!!!!!! Plus, with me going into surgery, it calmed our fears of anything 'bad' happening to me. I feel that this was God's message that He won't let anything happen because I have an expanding family to care for!

YES, We now know who our babies are! Ruby Kalkidan is our precious 7 month old baby daughter, and Roman Abinet is our sweet baby son, 11 weeks old. Kalkidan and Abinet are their Ethiopian names and we will keep them as their middle names.I will not be able to post photo's of them here until we bring them home. It is a strict policy to not put children online unless they have passed through courts and legally become ours.
I apologize for not updating our blog until now. This week has been a bit crazy (I had surgery on Wednesday and am still in the hospital).
So, now the really exciting stuff comes! Shopping for another crib, baby clothes, diapers, formula, wipes, the list goes on!!!
We are over the moon! Now we just have to wait for a court date and travel arrangements will have to be made.
Please continue to keep our family in your prayers. For me to have a quick recovery as for Ruby and Roman to be healthy and happy children.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Go To The Polls

I've added two polls! Please vote for when you think we will receive our referral! My friend Tania thinks we'll get it Nov. 24!!! What do you think??? Also, vote on which gender will be older or if you think both children will be the same age! Please vote, even if it's just for our entertainment! We could use something to divert our attention from just waiting! =)


Monday, October 13, 2008

Dossier to ET = 6 weeks!

What more can I say? Dossier to Ethiopia has been six weeks! Almost two months! We'd still like to be able to travel in February so I guess I shouldn't get to impatient yet.
I sent an email to Dove asking if referrals have been coming in regularly. The answer was that after the backlog from the courts re-opening clears, the match process should start being more regular and consistant. Kind of a 'pat' answer, but I'm satisfied with it. It does make sense. And since we haven't been waiting t h a t long, I guess I have nothing to complain about.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Letter

I wrote you a letter
Things could be better
Full of promises, every hope and dream
Did you get it
Have you read it
Talks about you and me
And the future, you see
Something no one can do
Is take the place of you
Can't you see you’ of a kind
every thing’s too much
Like the deepest cut
You hurt to be touched
When you hear it
If you feel it
Don't let it have its way
I'm writing to say
Something no one can do
Is take the place of you
Oh can't you see you’ of a kind
I know it's hard to hear promises
When the blue has turned to grey
Nobody said it was easy
But I know you'll find your way

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

One complete month!

Well, today marks one full, entire month that our dossier has been in Addis Ababa. If you're counting from the first to the first of each month...otherwise, it has been in country for 4.5 weeks. I'm ready for our referral!!! In case anybody wondered...=)


Monday, September 29, 2008

Tony Starlight's Supper Club

Andrew and I went on a wonderful date Saturday night. First off, we dropped our munchkins off at our dear friends house and then we went up to the Rose Gardens for a romantic dusk stroll. Since this is where Andrew proposed to me, it holds a very special spot in both of our hearts. Even though it wasn't our anniversary, we still marvelled that it's been over 18 years ago that we stood in that spot and said we would cherish and love each other forever.
Then we ate dinner at our favorite place, The Green Onion...a Persian place near PSU. Susan's ghormeh sabzi and the kabob is amazing. YUM! At eight we had reservations for Tony Starlight's Supper Club show. It was very good...a Neil Diamond impersonation night. Tony did a good job of sounding like Neil as well as keeping the crowd entertained! Afterwards, we tried to crash my sisters house but nobody was home...then we drove around town acting silly and playing 'slug bug'. My husband is my best friend. Yeah, we have some interesting disagreements, but when we are together, we are a riot! And we love being together.
We got home around 1am, giddy like teens without a curfew! Since our kids were spending the night elsewhere, we didn't have to pick them up until the next afternoon.
I highly recommend taking your sweety should be a regular event. We both agreed that we needed to do that more often. And, since we are expanding to being parents of four, not just two, we will need those dates even more! But of course, only after we are all settled in and comfortable with this idea. I am not one to leave my kids often or with just anyone, so it'll be awhile before we go out after the babies are home...which leads me to...there is no word yet on our referral...
Dossier has been in country for one full month. No word at all...I am being patient and my nails are still intact.


New well pump, dryer and paint!

When it rains, it pours sometimes. Lately we've been having a few things go 'bad' here and there. A few weeks ago we started having extremely low water pressure. It got to the point that we couldn't run the dishwasher or washing machine because with these new fangled appliances, the pressure was to low to start them! Taking showers was a joke for several days, all my flowers outside died because I couldn't water them. We called the repairmen out and they replaced the expensive pump to our well. Voila! All is back to normal.
Next, my clothes dryer stopped producing heat. Andrew, "Mr. Fix It" said, "No problem...I can replace the thermostat, I've done it before! No Problem!"...Did I say he said "No Problem"?? (Makes me chuckle because he has to try to fix everything before he'll buy a new one!) After he spent a few minutes practically under the dryer, he called me in to say how lucky (blessed) we are that the house did not catch on fire. A wire connecting to a part that connects to the thermostat was completely it had been soldered. All the insulation and rubber had fried and it was useless. He decided that whatever made it do that was not worth fixing on a 30+ year old dryer! So, off to Sears we went to buy a new one...which IS NOT in our budget.

On the happy side, we did buy new paint for our living room. After several mixing sessions...the Miller paint people gave up and told us to take our paint and shove....I mean, they said they couldn't put any more white in to lighten up my to take it home, pour it into a five gallon bucket & add white until we got the desired color. AND WHAT DO YOU KNOW!!!! The color is exactly what I wanted! It's perfect. Good thing we have so much of it, because there is no way Miller Paint has the mix #'s to do it again!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008


My heart is overjoyed as I've been following Lu Feng Hong's (Cate) journey to her new home and family in America. Cate is "Little Lulu", the little girl who stole Andrew and my heart and led us to this life changing and amazing adoption adventure. If anyone recalls (or has been following our blog that long) you'll remember that we took an interest in Cate (our Lulu) and decided to adopt her, Lord willing. After contacting the agency in charge of her papers, we were informed that there were 12 families ahead of us. Praise God, because this little girl needed a family! We also soon learned that because of how much I weigh, China would not allow me to adopt from this country. (Crazy!!!)
A few months later, I was contacted online by a lady who said she knew who Cate's new mommy and daddy were, that they had a blog and that they were just waiting to be able to bring her home.
WELL, I'm thrilled to announce to my blog followers that CATE IS COMING HOME! Her mommy, Kim, and sister, Sophie, and grandma are all in China and met her today for the first time. What a lovely child! So serene and content! If you get a chance, go to my favorite blogs and click on their site. You will be blessed.

Friday, September 19, 2008

More fun from this week!

Thursday brought cooler weather but that didn't stop KE and her precious family (two of her children, *R* & baby *A* are from Ethiopia and we met online!) from coming out and enjoying a GREAT fall day at DayBreak Park! The Lewis River was on the cooler side, too but not too bad when we were intently searching for crawdad's (crayfish), minnows and snails! Little *A* is a great creek investigator and sidekick! We had a ball turning over rocks and learning about what likes to hide under there! I loved sharing my neck of the woods with my new friends. I'm definetly a country chick (who loves a great pair of shoes) and wouldn't trade the country life for anything. After I picked up Chloe and Elliot from school, we all headed up the hill to our house for some trampoline jumping, goat kissing (ok, that was all me, but the kids thought it was funny!) and little *E* enjoyed Elliot's matchbox car collection. Sweet, mischevious *R* was a complete delight as always and baby *A* just makes me wanna eat him up! These children are such a joy! Can you tell I enjoyed our visit a lot??!!
To KE's dismay, she accidentally left her Ergo...a total necessity, especially with four little ones! We were able to meet up today and return it. Sweet little *A* made my whole week by asking when she could come out again and "live at your house!"
I love company and sharing the great outdoors!

Dove Events - Children's Museum

What fun! We went to Dove's planned event at the Children's Museum in Portland. We were there to meet Dove's attorney from Ethiopia, Sintayehu. A soft spoken & friendly man. We hope we will be seeing him soon in Addis in a few more months!
As we pulled up to the parking lot, we saw more mini vans than I've ever seen in my life. All lined up, in various colors and similar shapes, children spilling out from every door. What makes this event different than any other time I've been in similar places is that we were ALL there to fellowship with other families who are or have already adopted from Ethiopia! The little brown babies with bright, expressive eyes, beautiful curls and pudgy little bellies capture your heart as soon as you lay eyes on them. There were children of all ages, glowing with health and happiness.
What an amazing time. We met many families. Some were in the same stage as we are...waiting to be matched. Most had already traveled and we were able to go 'ga-ga' over their precious children. Everyone was so helpful and again, our family is SO, SO blessed that we found Dove!
God is Good!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Upright Double Bass = Who Knew???

What has practically more options, colors and sizes than most automobiles, is as expensive and requires a plane ticket when traveling? If you guessed the Upright Bass, then you've obviously bought one before! Who knew it could be this exhausting to find a 1/4 size bass, let alone figure out what is the best instrument for the buck! To inexperienced buyers like us, we had to wade through figuring out what size, (there was a conflicting opinion from everyone we talked to!) which maker (the ones from China, USA or Germany?), laminated plywood, hand carved from maple...spruce...electric...rockabilly...psychobilly...jazz...orchestra! Yes, that's it...that's the set up we need. "Oooh, the bright green one w/ yellow flames, that is AWESOME!!!" "No, we don't need that one! Can't use that in an orchestra!!!" "Why not???" "I don't want plain old cherry colored varnish! I want a prettier brown or blonde!" "Maybe a little more orange!". "Narrow it down to three and see who has the best customer service!!" "I feel like I researched this *&@!!! bass all day long and didn't come up with a thing!!" "Nothing on craigslist again?" "Nothing within 300 miles?" "Nothing in Denver? You could have a longer layover and pick it up!?" "Oh, there's one in Engelhardt!" "Oh, doesn't have an ebony fingerboard?, OK"...

AND this was all AFTER we determined that there are none to rent or own here in our immediate area or on ebay! Yep, ebay. Searching for an upright bass on ebay, of all things!

Why are we buying a bass? Elliot is taking it up in addition to his piano. His school has started an orchestra and he is very excited about learning a new instrument! The bass has always been one of his favorites. For the record, NONE of the above quotes were his. The picky, cranky and irritable conversations were all from his delightful mommy and daddy. Purchasing an upright bass is HARD work! The good news is we have found a company who seems reputable and customer friendly from S. Cal. If everything works out as planned, we'll be able to pick up Elliot's new big, bad, stringed machine this weekend from the Southwest Airlines cargo dock.

Three or four years ago Chloe got her drums. If I recall, it was as simple as Andrew going online, choosing what she needed, picking out a cool turquoise color and BAM! They arrived. Very simple. Maybe we shoulda gotten the green bass with yellow flames! =D

At least this has given us two weeks of something other than biting our nails waiting for a referral! This weekend we are meeting our Ethiopian attorney. He is here visiting our agency, Dove. They have planned several events that sound very fun. One night will be dinner at Dalo's Kitchen to try different Ethiopian foods. Definitely looking forward to that!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Our" Awesome River!

The East Fork of the Lewis River, where we love to play!
Chloe, Sam and Elliot in the river
This water feels GREAT!
1, 2, 3! Everyone under at the same time!

Preparing for toddlers...again!

Here are the trikes, just waiting to be ridden again!Elliot helping with additions to the play structure
Ell and Daddy working together
The old play structure...improvements coming soon!
Time to play!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sa'at sintno? Meche?

Literally meaning "what is the much time?" and "When?" That is the only question we have on our minds right now. This question is due to the fact that OUR PAPERS ARRIVED IN ETHIOPIA AT 2:41AM Pacific Time!!! The question how much time until we receive the match for our next two children.
As we wait, we are thinking of names to add on to their beautiful Ethiopian names.
Today we are filled with gratitude to the proud Ethiopian mothers and fathers who care and love their children with all they have. The people of Ethiopia are gracious. It must be extremely difficult to see so many children leaving to find families in other countries. After reading a post on the blog "With Eyes Like Mine", I am changing my blog view to reflect the positives of Ethiopia. That yes, even though there is famine and drought, there wonderful and blessed things to focus on. This is my children's country. I want them to feel honored by how Ethiopians are viewed and show pride in their enduring heritage.
So, I hope to take comments like "you're being picky by choosing Ethiopia to adopt from" and focus on "God answered our prayers and led us to these two children"....He could have chosen our children from ANYWHERE. Yet, He chose these two from Africa.
Andrew and I do not know them yet...but God sees them each and every day and whispers their names. He cradles them in His love and oversee's each meal, each comforting word from the nannies. He hears them cry. He knows when they have dirty diapers and knows when they are giggling after a little tickle from their caregiver. These children are no different from anyone else. They are loved and soon will have a family forever.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Le travail administratif est en France

Yea! I've been tracking our little package of paperwork across the globe (literally). From NYC it went to Brussels, Belgium and landed for a short stay in Paris.
Andy and I are almost taking bets on where it'll land next. We can't bet though because we both think it's gonna be Sudan...What do you think? Any guesses?
Anyone who get's the first correct guess will win a GREEN banana bunker! =)


Friday, August 29, 2008

Dossier to NY

Update on the paperwork!!! These things travel fast. I LOVE DHL!
Yesterday our dossier was in Salem ready for shipment. Overnight it travelled through Wilmington, OH and this morning it arrived in New York! (I've always wanted to visit NYC so I'll have to live vicariously through my documents =).
At this speed, I anticipate the package reaching Addis by Monday or Tuesday. We shall see...


Thursday, August 28, 2008

The "8" 's have it!!!

Sometimes the number 8 is lucky! Never heard of this? Well, let me list a few examples...Elliot was born on 8/18/98. My friend and fellow adoptive mama's dossier arrived in Addis on 8/8/08 (she was matched to her baby girl three days later!!!)...and lo, our dossier was shipped DHL to Addis today: 8/28/08. Eight is Great!

YEP, You read right...our papers are on their way to Toukoul Orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The official email from our agency says "As of today you are officially waiting to be matched. The matching process generally takes between 4 to 6 months, but now that your Dossier has been submitted you could be matched at any time."

Matched at any time...wonderful and scary and joyous and thrilling and worrisome and jittery and intoxicating and exhuberant and exciting....too many emotions to list. I'll be a wreck when we actually get our match! I can barely wait.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Getting ready for school mornings!

Yesterday was the kids' first day back to school. Fifth and Seventh grades turned out to be very pleasant experiences for both of them so far!
This morning as I was blow drying my hair, the thought suddenly hit me (like a ton of bricks) "How am I EVER going to get 4 kids out the door on a school morning?????" We were right on time, but that was with two children. And, those two children can get their own breakfast for the most part, get themselves dressed, brush their own teeth, fix their own hair (well, Chloe does still need some help w/ the blowdryer, too) etc. etc.
I guess we'll just need to get up earlier and Chloe and Elliot will be very sweet and willing helpers for their little siblings, won't they? Yes, that's it.
Oh, and I realize that for a while the younger ones can get out the door in their jammies and eat their breakfast in their car seats =). This will be so wonderful. I truly miss those days. So, I guess I get these little panic attacks for no reason. God always gives me a positive thought just when I feel like we're getting in waaaay over our heads. Thank you God!!!!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Article in USA Today

Very good video...

Here is an article that explains some of the "why" we chose Ethiopia. I recently was told that I was being picky by adopting internationally...Everyone has an opinion, don't they? I like to take opinions to heart much like grocery shopping...I take what I need and can use, leaving the rest on the shelf for the next person.

Anyway, as we enjoy our meals, snacks and treats, let's remember what a blessing it truly is to live in our country! A country where food from our dumpsters is more inviting than what most Ethiopians are getting every day.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Washington D.C.

Our documents are on their way to Washington DC to be signed by Condoleezza Rice herself...This should take about a week and a half, then the papers come back to our agency. Next step is the dossier goes on the DHL truck to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia! Total time from today til DTC (Dossier to Country) will be about three weeks!!! Which means we could be sent pictures and paperwork on what children will be ours anytime after three weeks!!! Kari at Dove said that we are right on target to travel in December or January...What a ride!!!! Some people need sky diving or bull riding, being shot out of a canon or fire walking for excitement...Call us crazy all you want, but this is pretty darn exhilarating!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fun at the park before more shots

Elliot had the last of the shots today...we recently changed pediatricians and so he had his Hep A today. We all will go back for our boosters in 6 mos., but hopefully we'll have traveled by then. Elliot wondered if we would still get our boosters even if we travel before February and I said "Of course, it would be silly to get them 1/2 done and not complete something that could benefit us the rest of our lives"...He still thinks this is ridicules. He's a bit tired of getting shots, I think!

Anyway, we met our new friend K.E. today at the beautiful Laurelhurst Park. She brought her four little ones and we had a wonderful time playing and visiting. Her youngest two are from Ethiopia. The rain stayed away the entire time and we didn't even need to wear coats. The five oldest kids enjoyed playing together while us mommies talked and played with the baby. This gave Chloe and Elliot a great picture of how life will be with their new sister and brother. KE's two youngest are very similar in ages to the ones we'll be bringing home. Her daughter "R" took to both Elliot and Chloe right away and they were ga ga over her. Elliot has said several times, just this afternoon, how cute "R" is. He can barely wait for a little sister. Chloe is a great babysitter and is looking forward to playing and teaching her siblings new things.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Bye Bye Paperwork!!

Even though we had all intentions of mailing Dove our dossier last Friday, *fate* had other idea's and I ended up getting it on the UPS truck today, we officially have begun waiting for word on WHO our little boy and little girl from Ethiopia are. We could know in as little as two weeks (as our friend Tania knows!) or it could be months. Tania sent off her dossier about two weeks ago, it got to Addis Ababa, ET on 8/8/08 and she received word that she is a new mama to a lovely baby girl just this morning!!! Super fast referral! I'm so excited for her. Every family has their own journey and we could be waiting a long time for our little munchins or it could be super fast. God only knows.

Heres a pic of Chloe and Elliot at the UPS store sending off the documents which will eventually help determine who little sister and brother are!
I just wanted to add that we are so grateful for all your prayers and heartfelt thoughts sent our way. We treasure each one of you!


Ok, here they are! Pics of us all getting our yellow fever shots!

Friday, August 8, 2008

oh yes...something else {SO COOL!}

I also DO NOT want to leave out that Andrew and I had our first travel shots last Friday. It wasn't bad at all. Not at all! I got the Yellow Fever vaccine, Tetanus and Hep A. Andrew received the Hep A and Yellow Fever. He is current on the Tetanus.
Anyway, we hadn't really planned on the additional (large) sum of money for all four of us to get the Yellow Fever vaccine (our insurance covers the other shots). I called several clinics and two quoted me $160 per shot and two said they did not carry it. Realizing that we'd probably have to pay the full amt. for all of us, we started to suck it up. Our PCP office does a lot of travel shots but they said they weren't likely to have the Yellow Fever in/most likely would not order. Our kids' pediatrician was very clear to say NADA, "WILL NOT DO IT"... Feeling the crunch, we knew we had no choice but to pay out of pocket.
Friday we arrived at our WONDERFUL doctor's office and had our consultation with Dr. Douglas. Even though we had been told they probably wouldn't have it, nor would they order more, LO and BEHOLD, they just so happened to have FOUR vaccines left. Just the right amount for our family. We only had to do our co-pay! Chloe and Elliot are going in tomorrow to get theirs. (We are so grateful to our doctor!)
My advice to anyone needing this vaccine to travel to pick up your children, would be to ask your doctor if they can order it understanding is that it comes in 5 single doses. This is a very spendy vaccine for your doctor to purchase, but IF you can get FIVE people together (new online aquaintances through adoption groups, family or friends who will be traveling with you, etc) JUST MAYBE your doctor will order the five single doses. That way it won't go to waste on his/her shelf. DEFINETLY WORTH THE TRY! Then most insurances will pay since it is through your PCP.
Anyway, kinda long post, but I feel that this is just one more example of God showing us that this adoption is really what He wants us to be doing.

OH, and we took pics of us getting 'shot'...I'll post them when we have all four finished. The kids got to see us get them last week and could see that it was virtually painless.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dossier complete & other fun stuff

Well, we have our dossier completely finished. The two documents that were authenticated in Olympia arrived earlier this week. Since we took this week "off", we will go through it one last time and then mail it to Dove on Friday. They will go through it and make sure it is complete and then send it on it's way/ultimately to Addis Ababa! Yea!!!!!!!!!!! I have to say that our entire past 7 months have gone quickly and without so much as a major hitch. Yes, this does mean that I've been a little superstitious in thinking that it's the calm before the storm. But since we know that Christ is in charge of our lives, we know we're being taken care of!

On another note, we met our new friend (and adopting mama of a daughter) Tania on Saturday. We went to Burqitu in Portland (great Ethiopian food, wonderful experience) for lunch. The time flew by and before we knew it, we'd been visiting for three hours! Tania began her adoption paper chase the same time we did and so far has had several of her milestones on the same exact day as well! It's very exciting. We may even be traveling at the same time!

As I said earlier, we took this week off. Off from everything pretty much! It's been busy, though. First of all, Monday morning Andrew surprised me by staying home from work all week. I woke up at 5:15 in alarm that he was missing his flight. He rolled over and mischievously said he was on vacation. Those of you who know this man know this is a character trait of his...always trying to surprise me...and always succeeding!
Andrew had planned a fun week of camping up at Cougar Camp (one of our favorite places that is close to home, about a 45 minute drive). We stayed two nights. The weather was awesome, the water was great.
We did come back into town since Elliot had the 3rd/4th grade annual pool party at his teacher's house and both kids had dental cleanings. That was the only appt. we did not cancel. Amazingly enough, we even cancelled the kids' piano lessons! (Shhh, don't tell his teacher that we're just being lazy this week!)
Today we're off to the Clark County Fair..."How the West Was Fun"! We are big fair goers and we went last week, too. Today is the big air motocross, which I LOVE. I pretty much go hoarse with screaming my head off for those guys. (yes, I know who Travis Pastrana is =o).

Well, that's the most of what's going on here lately.
I'll post as soon as I hear our dossier is in Ethiopia! Yea. Should be about two weeks at most. Well, maybe I'll post sooner. Who knows. There is back to school shopping to do for Chloe and Elliot (which I LOVE, too) and I might just take some pics and post them, although that's not my forte'!

Ta ta,

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


The "Golden Ticket"...the adoptive parents first proverbial baby kicks...the document we all wait for in this journey to bring home our children from far away...the coveted I171H arrived today in my mailbox! Are we excited? OH WAY YES!!!!!

In my haste to open the envelope, I got the nastiest paper cut ever. I couldn't open it all the way because I was dripping blood all over. Not wanting to mess up our precious piece of paper, I waited until I drove down the driveway and got indoors...put a bandaid on and THEN read the form. Yipppeeeee. This is truly a good day. I just wish Andrew & Chloe were home to enjoy and celebrate with Elliot and I. I'm baking chocolate chip cookies to celebrate...and you all know that for me to bake anything is pretty miraculous. I must be excited!


Sunday, July 20, 2008

I AM NORMAL (hee hee)

Update on the head injury: Had a CT scan last week, results: NORMAL. (I swear, that's what the doctor said!) Of course a very bruised head was affirmative and the explanation of the near constant headaches...was also prescribed vicoden for ongoing head and neck pain. The nurse said there is a likely possibility headaches could continue for several weeks until the bruising is completely gone. I am very thankful that my injury is not worse AND that my family was close by and gave me immediate care. They are the BEST!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

DOH!!! (must be the head injury!) =)

Ok, here's another funny for the week...I said I was a zealous 38 year old in my previous weekly funny. I'm such a dork! I'm only 37. Why am I trying to age myself...I'll blame it on my bruised cranium!
Oh, where is my vicoden?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

No Golden Ticket

Just an adoption update since I've been filling this "adoption blog" with everything else BUT news on adoption. (That is our governments fault since they are taking so long on our forms!)

This may be the shortest entry yet. NO NEWS. We're still waiting for our I171H to arrive from Yakima.


This week's funny accident

Hello, well, here I am back from near death...oh, I feel like I can be melodramatic right now. My "funny" involves me. It's actually not really funny, but I'll try to look at it this way. There have been several episodes since my accident happened that really are quite humorous, though.
First off, on Friday we were putting in new goat fencing. The T-post driver/pounder weighs about 25-30 lbs (I really should weigh it cuz I'm sure it's actually 150#s). The ground is very dry and hard. This combination is deadly when a 38 year old overly zealous woman decides to pound with all her might and get that dang post in! Well, instead, I ended up bringing that pounder right down on top of my head. After viewing several stars and falling to the ground, my family raced to my side. I was conscience and was able to talk and answer questions. My husband told my kids to get ice for my head and I said "Have them grab a bag of corn"...thinking of course that this would be quicker than filling a bag of ice. Well, (and I just love this part) my 9 y/o raced to the rescue. He arrived in seconds with a ziplock bag of 4 ears of frozen corn. Even though my head was on fire, I giggled at this sweet little boy running to grab the corn on the cob! My 12 y/o brought a bag of frozen cherries and that worked really well! I suffered a lump that filled the entire palm of my husband's hand. I am still having some side effects and will see the doctor this week. I'm sure it is nothing but I want to take any scary thoughts completely away that have been lurking in the back of my mind.
But I'll tell you, it's sure a GREAT reason any time I mess up on something! Ooops, forget to put the laundry in the dryer? Oh yea, I have a head injury. Broke a dish? Don't forget, I got a head injury! Can't remember which kid you are and I'm calling you by each pet's name? Ooooh, my aching head! (See? Funny stuff). I'll post more on this when I get the all clear from my doc!


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Busy week

Well, our annual fireworks show went off successfully! I wish I had pictures to post. It was a fantastic show. Andrew outdid himself. I think maybe he considers the fact that next year we'll have additional mouths to feed and therefore might have less to spend on pyrotechnics! We ended up having a turn out of about 80 people altogether. It sprinkled a little bit but during the show it was nice and dry. Yea!

This week is CRAZY! Both kids are in music camps, we have three birthdays to celebrate, three family members are leaving to go home tomorrow and I have a very lengthy doctors appt. to attend as well. My kids are going to spend the night with some dear friends so I don't have to haul them out in the early a.m. (Thank you Jeanie! =)

Next week is our church campmeeting and we actually reserved a tent site for the very first time. That's what happens when you have a very social 12 y/o who wants to see her friends and go to her meetings. I'm so proud of both my kids. They actually really enjoy attending church functions and being a part of a Christ centered activity. We'll probably only spend the night out there twice but it'll be fun and at least appease the kids a little bit.

I added another blog site that is one of my favorites. With Eyes Like Mine is always very insightful and Valerie always has something great to write about. I hope you'll visit her blog. She recently added a list of common Ethio names. COOL!

Have a sunny week!


Monday, June 30, 2008

Weekly Funnies

I've noticed on other blogs some cute idea's...picture of the week, quote of the week, phrase of the week, etc. I've decided to copy this idea a bit and just add funnies...It could be a photo, quote or whatever.
My funny for the week is from my 9 year old son. We were listening to the radio and I was singing along as usual. E says "Is this song from the 80's?" My reply in surprise, "Yes! It actually is!" E: "I thought so cuz you know all the words!" Ummm. Yeah. Gotta love the 80's!

Anyway, I better update that our fingerprinting went off without a hitch. It is a very smooth process that entails very fanfare, no beating drums, not even a security gate to pass through and empty the contents of my purse for a guard to rummage through! There is a guard type person who does greet at the front and processes the paperwork, gives additional paperwork to complete and then directs you to the people in the back who do the fingerprinting. It's a very small "office". They give you a number and call you one at a time, or two in our case. My husband was #25 and got called back first. Then I, #26, went with a very friendly lady and got complimented on how good my fingers were for printing! I kinda chuckled at this since I've been working outside so much lately...without my gloves...and my hands look like they could belong to a 90 year old farmer! So, now, we continue to wait for our coveted I171h.
Court closes in Addis Ababa on Aug. 6th. They will not see adoption cases for approx. 3 mos. This doesn't concern us since we are most likely at least 3+ months away from even getting a referral. But who really knows???

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Close call

As you know, we are going for our fingerprints tomorrow morning at 9am. Since Andrew travels out of state (Oklahoma) each week, there are definetly those times when his flight is delayed or cancelled for whatever reason. Usually it's weather related (tornado's, thunderstorms, etc). His flight connects in Denver so there are times when it's too icy or snowy...usually because his connection has come from further east...Chicago, etc. Then there are times when it's delayed or postphoned due to mechanical issues. It's always an inconveniance for us. We love being together and want our daddy home safely, so delays or changing iteneraries is never fun.
BUT, something as important as FBI fingerprinting for your adoption and then the flights are delayed and ultimatley cancelled, it's down right nerve wracking!

As we watched flight 419 get pushed back later and later (due to the California wild fires), Andrew had the United guy do his "usual" run down on all possible flights back to the Pac NW. Long story short, he was able to get on a flight to Seattle. It just landed a few minutes ago and Andrew rented a car for the 2 + hour drive home. (Flights from SeaTac to PDX don't run after 8pm, I guess).

So, we'll both be getting fingerprinted in the morning afterall...with one very tired hubby! Good thing it's our prints and not some kind of brain scan. (No offense honey!)

Oh, and I just got a United update. Flight 419 is now supposed to depart Denver to Portland at 2:13am. Thank you God for getting Andrew into Seattle. He'll still end up walking through the front door after 2am, but at least he'll be HOME!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Honey Do List (not Honeydew)

For the longest time I couldn't figure out what a "Honeydew list" was. The first time I ever heard it was from our realitor, Massoud. He is persian so I figured it was a cultural thing. I'm sure there is honeydew melon in Iran, right? But I just couldn't figure out what it had to do with errands and chores. Ok, so I'm a little dense at times.

Well, each year Andrew and I have the "Honey Do" list from you know consists of getting our property ready for the main event...our annual fireworks party! We aren't really picky people when it comes to clutter. I mean, c'mon, we live in the sticks. We have a couple of old out buildings (makes for a great dog kennel) and an old barn (that's not old enough to be classic) plus one really old Mercedes collecting rust by the barn. There are stinging nettles and blackberry bushes surrounding the property on all four sides so who needs a nice looking fence?

And, for our friends who come out for this party, they're only here to see one thing and that is Andrew's pyrotechnic display of glowing lights and fire! (Oooh, awwwwe!)

But, for the sake of spring cleaning, here is a run down of some of the chores we hope to accomplish before our more sophisticated friends and family show up:

  • Clean scum out of koi pond/add UV filter to keep scum away

  • do a 'dump run' with our utility trailer (not so fondly called the weeble wobble)

  • put down some bark dust to give a tidy appearance to the weeds poking up through the rose garden

  • wash windows just in case someone actually comes indoors

  • mow field (so we can actually see the show!)

  • put up that lattice thing at the end of the porch so the dogs & coons can't run under and hide no more! (Or so the dog won't chase the raccoons, possums, cats, etc. under there no more...)

Ok, that's 'nuff for now. There is more but I will spare you all. But seriously, I am proud of where I live and who we are. I just like to poke fun at our little piece of heaven here. Really, I do consider myself a hick with style. You can find me outside weed whacking the nettles in a great pair of boots!


Our Stories Our Songs by Deborah Ellis

African Children Talk About Aids (By Deborah Ellis)

  • The 200 richest people in the world have more money than the poorest 582,000,000 people combined.
  • One-sixth of the people in the world are malnourished.
  • Between 1985 and 2000, over 7 million African farmers died of AIDS.
  • Most African countries pay up to three times more on international debt repayment than they do on health care.
  • Hunger weakens the body, making it vulnerable to illness. This makes it harder to stay strong if someone is HIV positive.
  • HIV infection rates are rising among African American and Hispanic people living in poverty.
  • Living in poverty forces people to make unsafe choices in order to survive or feed their children.
  • Most of the 42 million people with HIV/AIDS live in countries with a lot of poverty, 29 million in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • It costs more to care for and bury someone with AIDS than most rural African families make in a year.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


We are elated! We have had our FIRST milestone in our adoption journey where the government has made the first step in the paperwork process. We received our "invitations" to get our fingerprinting done. We will be fingerprinted this Friday, June 27 in Portland. Andrew's letter came on Friday and mine came on Saturday. This is so exciting because after our fingerprints are processed, the next document the CIS will issue is our I171h...the Gov. approval to adopt. Then, our dossier can be sent to Wa. DC and Ethiopia!
We really feel a part of this now!
On Sabbath, we had some friends over for lunch and we got to see how busy a toddler can be. He LOVES cabinets and getting into them. Yep, I did...I thought "I'm gonna be SO busy with two little ones!" But the feelings of worry and fear do not out power my excitement and joy at becoming a mommy of babies/toddlers all over again!


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Where I'm From"

I am from fresh mown grass, from QuelQues Fleurs and home town parades.
I am from the old white farmhouse on the small hill overlooking the Territorial Days grounds.
I am from the lilac trees, the alfalfa hay piled high in the barn.
I am from family chores and fun in the outdoors, from Teal and WC and my sisters three.
I am from the crazy and surprising, horseback riding and barrel racing.
From being told I was found in a garbage can and someone had poured catsup on my head to make me have red hair. (The only truth to this is yes, I’m a redhead).
I am from Adventism. A historically rich and fascinating denomination, we believe in the Bible as God’s word to His people.
I'm from Hamilton, MT. with ornery sisters who delighted in torturing me. From wishing I was really an Ingall's with Ma, Pa and Laura. From homemade bread and strawberry rhubarb pie.
From the mother with 13 siblings, who shared a bed with four sisters…some of which pee’d the bed, the father who was the family clown and always has to be right, and the sisters who don’t see each other or spend time together even though they know they should.
From the old hinged box in my living room where the family pictures are so old they have turned yellow. Pictures of those I can't even name. The china hutch that holds the family Bible which dates back to 1863, with locks of ancestor’s hair and pieces of a dress that somebody wore the last time their loved ones saw them. Names like Elliot that I never even knew yet named my son the same. This is where I'm from.

Where are YOU from?? The template is on this site. It's a fun little poem to write about your history. A great way to take yourself back in time and remember a few things you may have allowed yourself to forget.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Enjoying the misty morning!

On the jet boat havin fun! Woo Hoo!

I just got these pics to upload. Blogger was giving me a bit of trouble for a few days. But here are some pics from our annual camp out. It was a fun time as usual! Remarkably, we even got a little sunburnt!


Monday, June 2, 2008

Annual camping trip

Over Memorial Day weekend, we spent our annual camping trip down by Bandon, Oregon. The weather was somewhat warm (the air was chilly, though) and we all had a great time. This time we left the tent at home and tested out a yurt. It was GREAT being able to roll in after dark and not worry about setting up a tent! Upon checkout, it was also a treat to break camp and not have a tent to clean out, take down and try to fit back into that bag! (Somehow the tent always seems bigger than the bag!)
We took a jet boat ride on the Rogue, seeing a lot of wildlife (several Bald Eagles, deer, fish, many different types of birds, sea lions, Harbor seals, etc). The kids had some fun play time on the beach and of course, we all enjoyed s'mores around the campfire.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008


YES!!! Our home study has FINALLY arrived in the mail and I will be sending it off to the USCIS Yakima field office in the morning. This document alone feels like I've just given birth! We have waited an unusually long time for it to be completed. WHEW.
So, the REAL waiting begins... =)


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Homestudy draft

Well, it's finally ready...the homestudy draft! Mike sent it last night and after I reviewed it, there were a few things that needed revising or just plain changed. But, I was pleased overall. Since I don't know what a homestudy document should look like, it seemed pretty good to me!
Fingers crossed that we'll be able to send it off to USCIS in a week or (all fingers crossed) sooner!


Monday, May 12, 2008

My Mothers Day Weekend

I thought I'd share our crazy mothers day weekend with you...
First of all, before I share a few of the gruesome details, I will point out the lovely parts. My precious family treated me to a wonderful brunch, a little shopping trip to pick out new picture frames and wall decor (something I've wanted to do for quite awhile) and dinner. I also recieved a hanging basket with petunia's (one of my favorite flowers) and four other mini pots of petunias to plant in front of the garage.
But now, for the gory details:
1) the drivers side lock broke on my "new" car (new to me, but the dear old soul is 25!) and we ended up driving home from Portland with the key stuck in the door. Friendly people driving past us would courteously point this fact out. (We got the car Sat. night so she is very new to me...and no, she is not converted to run on veggie oil...yet)!
2) Andrew took WD40, lithium grease and a huge pair of pliers (normally used by plumbers!) to get the key out of the lock, which is now definitely broken. (He swears this is not his fault!)
3) Wiping off the WD40 from the lock so it wouldn't drip down the paint, Andrew accidentally dropped the gigantic pliers on to my near perfect 25 y/o car, denting and removing the chrome off a small section of the door.
4)During this time, at some point, Andrew is quite frazzled and loses our only ignition key SOMEWHERE in our driveway. It is now dusk. I'm pretty sure we both were praying quite hard. Ten minutes later he finds it over in front of the garage. WHEW!!!
5)By this time we are quite literally wondering if we should have bought this car. But, I'm going to chalk it up to the devil trying to ruin our mama's day weekend!
6)Andrew left for work at 6am today and I eventually get up and start my morning outside chores. Goats were fed and dogs let out. That's almost the extent of our little farm now. The dogs disappeared down towards the ravine, which is more like a 300 ft. cliff down to the creek. Delta comes back when called but Hugo does not. This is very unusual. (it's usually the other way around).
7)Hugo fel over the cliff and I could not locate him. I loaded the kiddo's up in the truck and head out towards the other side of the creek so I can get a better view of our property from down below. We eventually spot Hugo perched about half way down the cliff side, apparently holding on with both paws for dear life. Whining and barking in confusion.
8)Now, trying to get a 170 lb. dog (who just might be injured) up a the side of a cliff is quite an endeavor, but I'm a big girl and for some, this might just be downright comical. It requires the grace and sheer footing of a mountain goat! Neither of which I am capable of.
9)Well, needless to say, I got within about 30 ft. of Hugo and he was able to come to me. He is sore and limping a little, but otherwise no worse for the wear. Dumb dog! (Some of you may recall a similar situation I was in a few years back...involving our dog, Delilah, who fell into a six foot hole. Yep, I got her out, too. Never mind the fire department! Just call me for all your pet saving needs!
10)Andrew's car has a mouse problem as well as the back brakes are overheating. A pipe on our water heater has a leak and we are still working on getting our floors finished.
All this excitement! What could be better than adding two little faces to the fun?
We are not deterred. The kids made it to school a little late today but I don't think they minded.

I've painted quite the redneck picture for y'all, haven't I? Well, I'm sure it'll only get better. So, from our little redneck backwoods country livin home to yours,
I'm fixin to hit the hay (that's 'go to bed' for you city folk!) I don't know if any of this post makes sense. I'm exhausted and my back aches! (I wonder why! =)
Nightie nite...

=D Drubek

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Well, our dossier is ready except for the HS, which is supposed to be ready for review by the end of this week. Then we will send everything off to Yakima, where the USCIS office is. They take however many months to review and approve and then we're in the lovely wait game.
I'm still remaining optimistic that we'll travel by next February. Reality is that we have no control and we just need to have patience. (Ok, for those of you who know us both, STOP LAUGHTING NOW!)
I am so tired. I'm pretty sure I've begun to nest, too. Ok, well, maybe it is actually lack of sleep (staying up late looking for a more 'fuel efficient, yet roomy" vehicle.) Since I am not quite willing to become a mini-van mama, the search is a little difficult. I think we have narrowed our search and somehow "veggie oil conversion" keeps coming up in Andrew's conversations. Ever the do it yourselfer, this topic has great appeal to him. (Blech! I like burritos but I don't want to smell like one after driving around town all day!)


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

reflections (or venting?) No, not Vente'...

I've been struggling a lot lately (it seems to be worse at certain times of the month =) with how many older children get 'left behind' in orphanages across the world. Currently I'm reading the phenomenal book "There is No Me Without You" by Melissa Faye Greene. It's my kind of book...tears, joy, deep heartache. I can't put it down, but I want to. In some ways it's so easy to forget how life is for so many others in different countries. In the US, we are so blessed. For the impoverished...there is Welfare, free clinics, shelters, WIC, free education for our children, free clothing, counseling, job assistance...there are JOBS, period. I'm not saying there aren't people in this country that aren't starving. I am saying that unless someone is suffering from severe mental illness and is living on the streets under a bridge, we all are one hundred times better off than the average person in the undeveloping countries. Well, actually, truth be told, even those who are living under bridges in America are better off than the vast majority in other countries. They can have access to some programs and if not anything else, the food found in garbage cans and dumpsters in the US alone would feed entire nations!
Anyway, getting back to the older children that are often times not adopted. I feel a deep guilt that I am not brave enough to be adopting these children. Instead, I am going with my selfish wants. Those wants of 90% of all adoptive parents...we want the adorable infants or young toddlers. I cringe each time I read a post (on a group I belong to on adoption) from someone who writes asking "how long is the wait for an infant" or "What agency has the most babies". If we are so arrogant to insist on only adopting infants, we cannot be angry when we have to wait four, six, twelve, sixteen months + for a referral! When a country shuts it's doors to intercountry adoptions, is it because there are too few babies to meet the demand? When the babies are all gone and the older children are left, what else is there to do? I have so much more to say on this but I won't now.
Each time someone has told Andrew and I that we are "saints" (and yes, this is the actual phrase) for "doing this" I cringe again. I reassure them that "No, we are not". We are selfishly wanting more children and if we were "saints" we would be sponsoring more, adopting the children with HIV/AIDS (we have the life saving medicines here that they may never live to see in their own country), TB, Amputee's, little ones with cleft palates (which we all know is a correctable surgery here in the states), OR, *gasp* eight year old energetic, ornery boys who may never have a family to call his own!

I've been praying that God will give me wisdom as well as peace knowing He is in charge and will direct the orphanage personnel to the children that God has chosen for us.

I should go read my book, huh? As I've said before, blogging is SO therapeutic! (So how come I don't feel any better?) =)


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Knockin' Em Out

When I received our dossier packet, I looked at it as a rewarding it should be. I knew that the 20 + things on that list were easy and short compared to the life changing experiences that lay ahead. Plus, reading about some adoptive parents struggles w/ their paperwork, I feel blessed that I can pretty much use each day to just knock out the paperwork one by one and get done in record time. (Fingers crossed!)
So, I used today to knock 'em out...This was my day (and it took up the entire 6 hours my kids were in school!) to get as much paperwork (paper chasing) done as possible! Here's what I did:
~Went to the credit union for some papers to be notarized as well as changing some money around.
~Then went to my other bank to have our financial letter typed up. This is a tricky document which a lot of banks don't want to do, esp. since it has to be done on their letterhead. Some sweet talk, a little diplomacy and then some threats that you'll close your account should do the trick. The manager was very helpful and said the documents (3 in all) would be ready by 2pm.
~Went to the local police station to have criminal clearance done...they redirected me to the sheriff's office, 25 minutes away. (Threats do not work well here, though). =D
~Drove to downtown Portland for my kids' birth certificates (I didn't realize I needed theirs too!)
~ Couldn't find parking ANYWHERE for a F350 long bed truck and ended up parking in no mans land.
~Walked (the 50 miles) to the vital record's office only to find out that they only take cash or debit! Had to walk back to no mans land and get the checkbook. (Glad I actually had it!)
~Went back (the 50 miles) to vital records, stood in line and then got the birth certs.
~From there I went to my "local" sheriff's office for the criminal clearance...But NO, they don't do that in my I had to go to the courthouse...glad it was close by. The lady there was very helpful and I was able to get my six copies (3 sets each, Andrew and I). Here they do not take checks, only debit or cash!
~Returned a swim suit I had bought for Chloe (ok, so that wasn't part of the paper chase), but was a good excuse to go to the mall. Sad, it was a quick job and I did not buy anything!!!
~Went back to BofA to retrieve letters that I had ordered earlier in the day. They were notarized and ready to go! Yea!!!
~2:45pm, just in time to pick up the kids after school.
My life is already starting to change...No restaurant lunch for me! And it was tempting. Andrea had called me in the morning asking what I was up to for the day. I wanted to say "meet me for lunch!"
Did I mention that for the dossier, we need 3 copies of everything...and everything has to be notarized. The notary's commission cannot expire before late 2009 or 2010 (to be safe) and it's imperative before having something notarized that we make sure of this. This is a challenge at times! If the only notary in a particular office commission expires too soon, then you have to go elsewhere. Not good if you're say, like at the doctors office and it's HIS signature that needs notarized! This actually happened to me on Monday. So, fortunately, I have an awesome doctor who is willing to take my documents to his bank to be notarized. Some documents need to be notarized AND authenticated. Don't know yet what the difference is!
Well, if you're still reading, you are one of our very loyal and supportive friends...OR you just have no life whatsoever! =)
Thanks for keeping up with us. As you can see, we are still full steam ahead!


Monday, April 21, 2008

Newsboys, Potluck & Babies!

The Newsboys were amazing as always!!! But more importantly, a new group opened for them by the name of NEWWORLDSON and they were excellent! The boys will always be my fave group but I've been listening to NWS since Friday night NON STOP! A little soul, a little roots...a great band that I hope we'll be seeing more of soon!! I'm hoping to add a couple of their songs to my blog for y'all to listen to soon.

Potluck, such a scary and intriguing idea all at the same time...isn't it? But it was all good on Saturday over in a little town called North Plains...never heard of the town until Saturday, either! Dove's annual potluck was held (indoors, fortunately) and there seemed to be a great turn out. There were little brown babies running all over the place! It was a great time to see children who will look like ours from Ethiopia. I loved seeing how all the children (no matter what age) mixed and enjoyed playing together. One little boy showed Chloe the love. He hugged her and grabbed her hand, leading her all around. He wanted her all to himself! But when it was time to leave, he didn't want anything to do with her. It was like he was saying "Well fine, if you're gonna leave, then get outta here!" He is about 3 I think, and is the son of one of the employees for Dove. Even Elliot, who is normally not much of a joiner was playing with everyone and thoroughly enjoying himself. We all enjoyed it very much. We gained a wealth of knowledge from other parents and are grateful for this community!

Welcome to our site! We hope you enjoy the information we share during our adoption journey. As we document this wild ride to bringing home our Ethiopian children, we hope you'll fall in love with this beautiful country as we have.

Washington State, USA

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Africa