Sunday, October 30, 2011

"When the sun's shinning down on me"

I can't listen/sing the song Blessed Be Your Name without thinking of my Jack and crying.  The lines that talk about "walking through the desert place" and "you give and take away" just wreck me.  We sang the song at Jack's memorial service and everytime since it makes me (and my best girl friends) ball our eyes out.  In fact Liz and Alicia once banned it from being sung at a women's retreat (gotta love those girls!)  Anyway, girls, I think the bann must officially be called off.  This trip it seems God really wants me to focus on the fact that "Blessed be His name, when the sun's shinning down on me, when the world's all as it should be"  And that He is the one that gives!  Joel brought his guitar to the transition home and we had a private little worship service with Joel and "T" (one of our guides) going back and forth playing.  When it was "T"'s turn he started in with "Blessed Be Your Name"  Then today in church we sang it again.  It was lovely and moving and amazing both times.
"T" is the one immediatly to the right of the white guy:)

After church we headed to lunch at Island Breeze.  It was good but we waited an extremely long time for our food. 

Lindsey sharing some hugs with David

After lunch we headed to the transition home to love on our Ezekiel!  When I went back to pick him up he gave me a big smile.  It was sooooo wonderful.  I walked him outside and from that point on he was Daddy's boy.  He played with me and the girls but if he got sad he wanted George.  It was so so sweet!!!  It just melted my heart!  He was also the most comfortable with us today.  He played and crawled and babbled and even walked around holding on to George's hands. 

Tomorrow we head to the transition home, then the orphanages, and finally to our traditional Ethiopian dinner!!!  It should be a fun day:)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Gorge!

Let me start with a suggestion for my AWAA friends.  Take a day and GET OUT OF THE CITY.  The city is amazing and wonderful but the country side is sooooo different.  We had an incredible day today.  Our driver, David, agreed to drive us and another family who is staying in the Guest House out to The Gorge.  Happily, Job was able to join us as well!  About half way there they stopped at a rural house and the woman who owned it aggreed to let us look around.  It was so amazing and sad.  I need to process everything we saw a little more before I can go into detail.

After our stop we headed to the Gorge.  It was BEAUTIFUL!!!!  It reminded us so much of the Grand Canyon except at the bottom were farms where people lived.  Also, the Grand Canyon doesn't have baboons:)  We aquired tour guides in the form of children trying to sell us marble crosses and necklaces.  They also wanted anything we could give them.  I wound up with a lighter backpack after giving away all my pens, an Ocean City beach pass, and several giraffe pencils.  Later we gave away our some sandwhiches and granola bars.  I would suggest if you come try and bring some little things you can give away. Pens, pencils, pins, etc.  Job told us these kids have nothing and any little thing thrills them.

  When we got back we cleaned up and went out to a restaurant called the Beer Graden.  The food was really yummy and you could order a giant beer tower with a tap for $8.  Our bill for 6 adults and 3 children was 1000 birr which is about $65.  To say that things are cheaper here would be a huge understatement!  

Our new friend James enjoying the beer tower.

We had a really, really wonderful day.  While we missed Ezekiel I'm so glad that we were able to see some of the countryside and make new friends!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Day 2

Addis from our balcony

Today was all about play and making friends.  The day started with introducing Ezekiel to his big sister Christin!  She was thrilled and loved playing with him.  Then George took him while Mom, Joel, and I did care packages and photos for a couple AWAA families.  After that we went and sat on the blanket.  When Ezekiel got cranky uncle Joel whipped out his guitar.  Just then one of our AWAA guides, "T", came over.  He also plays so they took turns going back and forth playing praise songs.  It was great.  It was even better when the older kids came to listen.  The music put Ezekiel to sleep which is how we left him for lunch.

Lunch was really yummy and in an art gallery/shop.  The art was amazing!!!

Then it was back to the TH.  We coaxed our first smiles out of Ezekiel.  He was especially happy to wear Uncle Joel's hat and play with Daddy.  Soon after we got there the big kids returned and things got really fun and silly.  Joel played the guitar for them.  At first they just listened but when he did a song they knew they all chimed in.  When they ran out of songs George and Joel decided to teach them some with hand motions.  They all thought the songs were HYSTERICAL.  After a long time of singing George decided to try to teach them some games.  They started with red light/green light and eventually switched to Duck, duck, goose.  Both were huge hits.  AWAA families if you have a child in the older TH they laughed themselves silly today. 

It was a beautiful day with Ezekiel, all the kids, and God.  Tomorrow we will not see Ezekiel because we are going to visit "The Gorge".  We can't wait and another family here in the guest house (not an AWAA family BUT who passed court today) is going to go with us.  We'll miss seeing, holding, loving on, and playing with our little man but we want to see more of his beautiful homeland.

Thanks for the prayers!  Keep em coming:)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Metcha Day!!!

So God pulled an audible on us today.  The plan (according to my playbook) was all of us would go to the Transition home.  George and I would stand waiting in anticipation with the girls at our sides.  Joel would take tons of pictures while Mom videod THE moment.  Then in the final seconds (aka after I woke the girls up) God called an audible and opted to go with a play I had never liked nor considered: Altitude sickness.  It turns out the Christin doesn't adjust well to high altitudes (which is weird because you know how relaxed and easy going she is:)  She threw up every half hour from waking at 8 until about noon.  So our knew Metcha day moment consisted of George videoing me while Lindsey jumped around and Joel took pictures.  Later in the day George and Mom switched so Mom got to meet Ezekiel and Christin has her special day to meet Ezekiel tomorrow. 

Here we are!!!!!!
Other than that the day was PERFECT.  Ezekiel went back and forth between crying and being just slightly uneasy.  Which is actually a really good sign.  When we went back to see him in the afternoon he still cried but not as much and remembered some things we had done in the morning.  He LOVED playing with my hair and Joel's camera.  He is absolutely PERFECT.  His eyes are a deep, dark brown (almost black).  His hair is soft and his skin is softer still.  He smells delicious and feels like a dream to hold.  We are absolutely in LOVE.

Hopefully next week we can show you his face and we'll have some beautiful family pics:)
Please pray for our court day.  Specifically we are already hearing that there may be a problem with our MOWCYA letter because of the way New Jersey does criminal record checks for adoption.  The top of the letter does not say, "New Jersey State Police"  Later in the letter it is clear, to us, that the letter is actually from the NJSP and the staff here is trying hard to point this out to MOWCYA.  Please pray that they are successful and our letter is there next week.

PS.  AWAA families: We are loving on your kiddos tomorrow!!! 

Day 1 Morning

It’s here!  The day that has been building in our hearts for so long now is finally here!  We meet our son today.  Today we will hold Ezekiel.  We will feel his skin, look into those big brown eyes, smell his smell.  I cannot believe it has finally arrived!!!!! 

The view out our window is breathtaking in both beauty and sadness.  There is such a mix of beauty and poverty that my mind hardly knows how to process it.  I can’t wait to share the pictures of this place with you.  Maybe tonight!

Now it’s time to wake the girls.  They meet their brother in TWO HOURS.

My heart sings.  My soul rejoices.  The Lord is good to me.  He is so much more abdunatly good to me than I could ever express.  Thank you Lord for Your love and for Your Africa.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Our Surprise Sidekick Baby Pool

So if you look down the right side of this blog you will see each of my kids has a "sidekick" name.  I decided this baby would be my "Surprise Kick" so while we are away with our "Someday (soon!) Sidekick"    Click on the link and make your prediction for this new baby:)  (One little hint:  if this baby becomes anemic they will induce as early at 37 weeks BUT if we find out (through an amnio when we get back) that this baby is not at risk for fetal anemia then this pregnancy becomes totally normal, whatever that means!!!)  So have fun guessing when this baby will be born!!!!!  (I am!)

Baby Name Game (enter "surprisesidekick" as the game name)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

5 DAYS!!!!

We will be leaving for Ethiopia in 5 days!!!!!!!  AHHH!!!!!

I guess I should start packing. . . but why do today what I can wait and do on Saturday or Sunday?

I will be trying to update my blog as much as possible while we are in country but please understand that internet can be spotty in ET so it may be hard to keep you posted.

Please keep praying that we pass court on November 3!!!:)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

2 Weeks And Counting!!!!!!

We leave to meet our little man in just two weeks!!!!!  AHHHH!!!!  We are so excited and have SO MUCH TO DO!!!!  So many of you have asked if there is anything you can do to help.  Here is a list of things we are looking to donate.  Additionally if anyone local has a luggage scale and/or adapters.  We would LOVE to borrow those things!  We also have the option to buy and donate things like formula for the Transition Home while in ET.  If you would like to send a monetary donation through paypal or a check we would be happy to take that with us and buy formula while there.  If you believe you can donate any of these items please feel free to drop them off or shoot me an email telling me what you have/will get (

There are several items that the transition home is in need of for the older children• Musical instruments
• Athletic clothing and shoes for soccer
• Christian videos or DVDs
• Swimsuits for boys and girls

Orphanage and Transitional Home General Donation Needs: o Puzzles for young children
o Toy cars and trucks appropriate for toddler aged children
o Diaper rash ointment (A+D preferred)
o Children’s clothing (new or slightly used); Boys and Girls; sizes 0-8 years. Clothing needs include day clothes (especially pants), pajamas, underwear, and shoes.
o Diapers for up to 30 pounds
o Toys to stimulate babies such as colorful objects, rattles, etc. that are appropriate for babies up to 2 years
o Unscented baby wipes
o Powder formula with DHA/RHA
o A + D Original Ointment, Diaper Rash and All-Purpose Skincare Formula
o Hand Sanitizer
o Candles
o Enfamil or Similar Lactose free formula (*the following Generic Brands with identical nutritional value to Enfamil & Similac are also acceptable: Parents Choice formula from Wal-Mart, Target’s generic Formula, Kirkland formula from Costco)

Crocs for the nannies
Medications/Medical Donation Needs** o Multivitamins
o Chewable multi-vitamin (2 years to 9 years)
o Adult multivitamin (9 years plus)
o Infant’s and Children’s Tylenol (acetaminophen)
o Plastic and Latex disposable gloves
o Baby nose saline spray
o Neosporin
o Mouth and nose masks
o Benadryl liquid/elixir
o Permetherin for scabies
o Lice kits
o Toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss 

Additionally we will, hopefully have the opportunity to visit the one or two orphanages.  We would love to take 75 or so ziploc bags full of goodies for  the kids.  These would be filled with things like blow up beach balls, bouncy balls, little toys/games, crayons, bubbles etc (think oriental trading type things NO CANDY).  Sadly we just don't have the time or the resources to put this together right now.  HOWEVER, if someone would like to take this on as a project in the next week and get these things to us by next weekend we would LOVE to take it over!
*Update: We have someone willing to buy the things to go in the bags, however, shipping to get them here in time is $30 (if we order ASAP).  So if anyone is willing to chip in the shipping amount then we can take these for the kids!  Let me know if you would like to do this! 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Prayer Please

Please pray for our adoption friends Aaron and Nichole Marshall.  Nichole was pregnant and their little girl was born 17 weeks premature.  Unfortunately her lungs were not strong enough and she passed away.  We know that many of you who read this blog stood by us when we lost Jack and now we ask you to please pray for them as they grieve the loss of their precious baby girl and at the same time prepare to travel to Ethiopia to meet their baby boy. 
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