Sunday, May 2, 2010

Baby Boy!

We received our referral for a baby boy! It happened much sooner than we had expected. We didn't expect to hear anything until the end of summer of early fall. He is six weeks old. He is such a cutie! We can't wait to meet him and hold him. We now wait to hear when our court date will be and whether we will need to travel to Ethiopia twice. We're praying that we can bring our sweet boy home this summer. We're overwhelmed with praise and thanksgiving that God is bringing this little guy into our lives!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Here we go again!

We've decided to adopt again. Being in Ethiopia and adopting Meron was such a life-changing experience. As soon as we got home we felt moved to adopt again. There is such need in this world and millions of orphans who don't have families. I can't imagine having grown up without a mom or dad to comfort me and love me and give me security and let me always know that I was safe, but the sad reality is that children across our world are experiencing just that. That being said, we knew we needed to take some time and really pray about bringing another child into our family, and not just react to emotions of seeing the need in our world. So, for the last year we have prayed and asked to be led in the direction we were supposed to take, and a couple of months ago it became very clear that the answer to adopting again was yes! We started the "paper chase" about two months ago, and just sent our documents off for their final authentications. Amazingly enough, the paper work is a little less confusing the second time around and we were able to complete it in about a third of the time as it took last time. Hopefully, within a couple of weeks we will be on the waiting list for a referral! That's when we just wait. It could be several months before we are matched up with our child. God already knows who that child is and when he will be brought into our lives, and it's our job to wait patiently and trust in Him. We are thankful for all of you who faithfully prayed for Meron, and we are asking you to please pray for this little guy too. Please pray for his health and safety, and for his birth parents, as we don't know the circumstances that will lead to him being orphaned, but we pray for peace for them for what they may be experiencing.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gotcha Day!!!

Today is Gotcha Day. One year ago today was the first time we saw Meron face to face and held her in our arms. It is amazing how quickly a year can go by. We have been so blessed. She is a happy, healthy toddler and she brings so much joy to our family.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fall is Here!

I haven't blogged in a really long time. What a quick, yet fun summer it was. Fall is already well on it's way too. I'm going to attempt to blog at least once a week from now on so hopefully I won't always be three months behind!
Here are some pics from summer and the start of fall, unfortunately not in any sensical order.
Here are the kiddos all dressed up for Halloween. Lane was a scary ghoul, Meron was a flower, Shelby was Hannah Montana (of course!), and Ty was a werewolf. The boys had to hide their masks off to the side because everytime Meron would see them she would shriek in fear. I wasn't sure she was going to be too thrilled about her first Halloween, because at first it seemed like it was over-whelming and scary to her, until we got to the trick-or-treating part. It didn't take her long to catch on and like going up to the houses for a treat! After about five houses her litttle legs were worn out and she was happy to sit in the stroller and look at all of the other trick-or-treaters. Thank goodness she didn't see any scary ones. The boys went with some friends and of course came back with the old pillow case full of candy. They have enough sweets to last them for two years! And lucky for Shelby, Meron doesn't eat candy yet so she got all of hers, so she too has enough junk food to last for entirely too long! Anybody want any candy?

This summer we went to Utah to visit some of Brandt's family. It is so beautiful there. We had a great time seeing everyone.

We stayed with Brandt's cousin Annalyse and her family. We had such a great time with them. Their children are the same age as ours, and the kids had such a blast together. This is Shelby and Josie. Their second day together they siad, "Yesterday, we didn't really know each other and now we're like sisters!" Too cute!

This is Ty and Lane hanging out with Taylor and Brenden. I wish we all lived closer together. We always have such a good time getting together.

This is the whole gang together for a pool party.

Brandt's uncle and aunt took us on a hike up in the mountains to this beautiful waterfall.

In September, Tsegay and his wife Almaz visited the U.S. Tsegay was our representative in Ethiopia. He represented us in court for Meron's adoption and took care of the Ethiopoian side of the process. He and his wife Almaz also run the House of Hope transition home in Ethiopia where Meron was before we were able to bring her home. They are a couple of amazing people. All that they do for the orphans in Ethiopia is just awesome. It was great to see them again and to get to visit with them. As you can see, Meron wasn't so sure about all of this.

The get together was at an Ethiopian restuarant in Chicago. It was great to be able to take the other kids to meet Tsegay and Almaz since they weren't able to go to Ethiopia with us.

This is what Ethiopian cuisine looks like. Everything is served family style and you don't use silverware. The food is served on a type of bread called injera, along with extra injera on the side. To eat it, you break of a piece of injera and pinch up a biteful of what you want. Everyone eats from the same common plate. It's hard to tell from the picture but the plate is about the size of an extra-large pizza, so it's enough to feed an entire family.

We had the opportunity to try out the new sky windows at the Sear's tower. They were pretty wild!

Fall is also fair time. It has been tradition for the past fourteen years that one of the grandkids has rode the merry-go-round with grandpa Darrell, and this year Meron got her first ride. She loved it!

Ty put his wood-working skills to use and made his little sister a chair for art class project. He did a great job, and as you can tell, Meron loves it.

On Labor Day weekend, we went up to Black Pine animal park. It's a great place to get a close up look at wild animals. They have several rescued tigers, chimpanzees and other exotic animals that they care for.

At the car auction, Ty found his dream car, or one of many. :)

We also had the great opportunity to meet some new friends and celebrate the Ethiopian New Year, which is September 12th. My mother-in-law met a great couple from Ethiopia, that live in the area and she told them about Meron. They have several friends in the area that have also moved here from Ethiopia and on Ethiopian holidays they get together and have traditional celebrations. We were blessed that they invited us to come and celebrate with them. What a great gift! We plan on teaching Meron about her culture as much as we can. But being told about your culture and being able to experience it are completely different. In the above picture Shelby and Meron are joining in the traditional dancing. They did great, and loved it. I tried too, but have a feeling I wasn't that great at it!

This is a traditional coffee ceremony, she roasted the raw beans over fire. It smelled so good! Then she brewed it and served it with popcorn. When we were in Ethiopia, they served pocorn with your coffee everyday. It is kind of like desert. The coffee is sooo good. It is the only coffee I like black. If you like coffee, you should give Ethiopian coffee a try.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Summer Fun

Splish splashing with my cousin Audrey.

Summer fun is exhausting!


Have I mentioned that Meron loves getting into EVERYTHING?! Except of course her toys. This was one of her recent ones, she decided it looked fun to dump out a bag of 1000 q-tips. :)

Uh-oh, she caught me what do I do next.

Maybe I put it in my nose.

Or was it for my head?

Oh yeah, I think it goes in my ear.
Nothing gets past this girl, she's always thinking. :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer's Finally Here!

I am so glad summer is finally here. It is so good to be outside and enjoy the fresh air. School is out, so the kids are able to play with their friends. We can go for bike rides and late night walks. I can make sun tea. We can swim. We can grill out for dinner. I LOVE summer!

And of course many more weeks have flown by since I last blogged, so here are some pictures of May and June.
Look at that ornery grin!
Meron loved her birthday cake. This picture is on her actual birthday, she had a cupcake. Unfortunately, she didn't get to have it until 8:00 at night because we were at one of the kids activities and we paid for it. First she was just wound up and giddy before bed, then it turned into her crying most of the night. Note to self : no cupcakes right before bed!
Here have a taste! She dug into a chocolate cake for her party.

What a ham! Meron loved her new summer fun stuff she got for her birthday.

She's got the cheese for the camera thing down pat!

Shelby had poetry for mom night at her school. All of the kids wrote poems about their moms, then took turns getting up and reading them in front of the parents. Very sweet.

Lane had a fun field trip to camp SOLE ( science and outdoor learning experience). His class learned orienteering with a compass, tree identification, constellation identification and canoeing. I had fun too, and finally learned how to properly use a compass, although I hope I never really have to!

Shelby also had her end of the year baton and pom pom recital. She was so cute. She is such a little performer. She is always making up songs and dances at home. I think she loved performing in front of an audience other than mom and dad.
She also had her bridging ceremony from daisy scout to brownie scout.

What a cute brownie.

Ty demonstrating some of his vertical ability. :)

Lane played volleyball at school with his friend Adam.

Shelby did the triathlon in her school district. It was a cold, rainy day but she stuck it out.

Meron grew in her "fangs" before her upper middle teeth, which we thought was pretty appropriate considering she likes to scare people by saying "rraaarr".

Punk rock baby!

Lane had his fifth grade parents breakfast. They handed out awards to the students and showed a slide show from events during the year. It was a celebration of transitioning from elementary school to middle school in the fall. Where did the time go?

Our nephew Adrian celebrated his fifth birthday.

Shelby and her cousin Emma hanging out waiting for cake.

On the last day of school the kids get to have field day. They have fun events like water balloon toss, tug-o-war, sack races, etc.

Last day of school silly string fight!! On the last day of school we hide and jump out and get the kids with silly string when they get home, then they all get each other and their friends. It's a fun celebration of the end of school and beginning of summer.
Ty getting blasted!

Our niece Audrey celebrated her first birthday! She loved her cake too.
Hanging out with big brother.