Monday, March 28, 2016

How We've Grown - A Re-introduction

Our family has grown so much since my last post. Not in quantity, but in size! :) My last post, we added Kenna, Korbin, and Klaire to our family making us a family of 12. The past 3 years have been spent bonding, learning, and adjusting. The adjustment has been MUCH easier in some ways but much more difficult in other ways (mostly catching them up in school, cultural miscommunications, and helping them to feel safe in their new world) than what we had prepared for. They are truly INCREDIBLE kids and have added so much flavor and joy to our family. I thought this post would be a good opportunity to "reintroduce" our kiddos. People often wonder how big families work. They see big families as one big "whole" and while that is correct in a sense, each of our kids are so unique and such individuals who happen to share a home and family, just like smaller families.

The whole Crew on Easter 2016

 I love that our 6 daughters are as different as they come! :)

Kemry, far left, is 9 now. She was adopted from Guatemala when she was 7mo old. She is seriously as hard core as a person can get. :) Extreme sports, extreme love, extreme energy, extreme tomboy.....EXTREME is her word. :)  She is usually the first Cash kids others' meet or get to know when they meet us because she tends to put herself out there (understatement ha). She is seriously SO joyful and truly loves and wants to know everyone.

Kenna is now 17 and the word I would describe for her is SERVING. She was born to serve. She is an old soul, mommy at heart, incredible service-minded young lady. Her mission in life is to make everyone feel loved and important everywhere she goes. She sees the person and their needs before she sees anything else about them - their clothing brand, their hairstyle, their "cleanliness", their "social position". She lives to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Kerrigan is now 5. Where did the time go? She is a great little combination of all our daughters, so she can be quite complex. :) She makes it work beautifully, though. She is extremely girly, something new to our family. She is extremely loving and her love language is TOUCH. Oh my word, this girl must be hugging, touching, holding hands, patting your arm, or whatever all the time. :) She laughs through everything from dental procedures to grocery shopping. She is genuinely just HAPPY. That would be her word. HAPPY.

Karly, is now 18, almost 19. AHHH She is our oldest daughter. She graduated from homeschool last May and is in college this year (commuting from home). Karly's word would be FREE. She does not take life too seriously or stick to the status quo. She isn't going to stress about life's decisions because she knows the most important thing is living for Jesus and the other details will just fall into place. :)  Whether it's college courses, plans for the day, or even her future, she is content to enjoy each day and just let God make the plans. :D I secretly wish I could be more like this. :)

Karaline is our 3rd oldest daughter and she is 16 now! She has a pet snake and has inspired us to look at the magnificence at God's less desirable creations.  She can find beauty and importance in the underdogs, the feared, the "gross" and tends to have more love for those creatures than the cute, cuddly. The word I would give her is JUSTICE. She hungers for fairness and equality. She does not like people or animals being treated unfairly and will fight with God's sword if she encounters this. Being still a young lady and in her walk, she is having to learn how to fight these battles with God's love (her mama is still having to learn that too) because she is so passionate about this.

Klaire is now 10, almost 11. She has had the most struggle with finding her new place in our family. See, in Ethiopia, she considered Kenna her mom because Kenna cared for her and kept her safe from birth and throughout their lives in the orphanage. She never felt she "needed" a mom like the other 2 felt, so coming to America WITH "her mom" to get a "new mom" was difficult. :) We are so grateful she never felt the loss of someone to protect her and care for her, however it created an unfair situation for Kenna in having to be a mom so young instead of being a child herself. So we have worked hard since she came home to transition her to trusting me as her mom to provide for her in order to free Kenna up to reclaim some of the childhood she lost. It hasn't been all. Klaire's word would be TEACHER. She loves to help others and to teach them new things.  She is so good with younger kids and I can trust her so much with Kerrigan (she and Kemry have much more of a struggle). She is such a very sweet girl always drawing pictures and writing love notes to each of us, even though life has made her sweet little heart very complex with her feelings.

The Cash MEN are much more alike than the Cash ladies! :) They get along so well with very few disputes.

Kolton (far left) came home from Ethiopia 7 years ago at the age of 6. He turns 13 in a couple of months! His word would have to be CHILL. Oh my word, this boy is SO laid back and easy going, it's almost envious. He takes things with a grain of salt and is possibly our most non-confrontational.  When he gets upset, I know to take it very seriously. He is a natural with babies, I think because they sense how easy going he is.  He is the best babysitter in the house (as long as he isn't SO easy-going the tougher kiddos take advantage of his sweetness ha). 

Kollin is 20 now and in his 2nd year of college. Kollin's word is PRECISE. He has everything planned out and analyzed and has put it into action. :) He is studying psychology with a minor in logic with plans to go into psychological research after he is finished with this studies. He is also very loyal to his friends. It takes longer for him to consider someone a friend, but once he does, there is nothing he wouldn't do for that friend.....for LIFE.  Kollin is my brain workout. He keeps my brain well exercised with our conversations because they are usually one step above the level my intellect is typically working at. 

Korbin is about to turn 14 (on paper, that is. We all know he is actually older but Ethiopia's birth date estimation is usually very far off). My word for him would be LOYAL. It is harder to break through his wall to earn his trust, but once you do, he will devote his life to you for eternity.  Because of that, he is close to fewer people, actually VERY few people, but those he is close to, he pours so much intense love and trust into. He is actually like this with all of life. Whatever has his interest at the time, he pours all of his time and focus into until he knows it better than the experts....animals, math, the human body, whatever has his interest at the time.

Karson is also turning 13 next week actually.  He is a mama's boy and has always been my shadow. I love his companionship. :) His word would be LOGIC. If something doesn't make sense, he must find a way make sense of it. He is the inventor, experimenter, mad scientist of the family. :) He is always coming up with a new system for doing something that will make life more efficient for our family (even if the process itself makes life very UNefficient haha). He is a very helpful personality to have around! ;)

And that's us....I wouldn't trade even a second with my crazy crew for all the riches in the world :)
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Saturday, April 13, 2013


Korbin Yishak
Kenna Meron and Klaire Bethelehem

They are finally legally our children!  Kollin, Karly, Karson, Kerrigan, and of course me and John were in Ethiopia April 3-11 for court and got to spend a wonderful week with our children.  They are so amazingly fantastic in every way.  They are brilliant, kind, loving, athletic, talented, gorgeous...I could go on! ;)  We cannot WAIT to get them home.

Now we are praying that the US Embassy processes their files quickly so we can get back to bring them home.  This should take about 4-6 weeks.  By Mother's Day would be stellar. ;)
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Sunday, March 10, 2013


We finally got our court date! APRIL 8 if we pass, and we should, M, Y, and B will legally be our children!!!!! Ahhhhh!!! We will be leaving a few days before and returning a few days after and will get to spend lots of time visiting our babies. :)

And if we pass, we will be able to share their whole faces with the world!!!! Until then....this is all I can share. :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I have been extremely selfish

Our case has gone painfully slow. It is no secret that it has been weighing very heavily on our hearts. Living life in limbo not sure when to schedule appts or play dates or whether to RSVP for events is hard enough, but knowing there are three children on the other side of the world who are just as eager to start their new lives and have a family (because they say so in their heart-wrenching letters to us) makes it torture. We are fortunate to get many updates on our kids but hearing of night terrors, ear infections, bronchitis, etc. without a mom to take care of them is almost unbearable. The staff is wonderful but it isn't a family. The nannies take good care of them but they aren't "mom". Knowing that every day airlines are charging more and more for the same flights because we are nearing peak travel time makes us cringe with every day of no news. Our flights will already cost more than $1000 more than they would have 2-3 weeks ago. That money feels so wasted. money that could have been spent on so many other things. Knowing we expected them home by Christmas, that they still have unreceived Santa gifts, and now they won't even be home for Easter makes it sooo tough. They asked us if they could play soccer on a TEAM (the homeschool ms/hs team our kids play for) in a letter. Of course I said yes because we never expected that they would not be home by now. Soccer began yesterday without them....without even an idea when they may be home. All of the winter clothes I have for them can now be packed away because they won't be home for cold weather. The clothes will be passed down and still worn, but it is the symbolism of it that stings. My sister is due to have my 4th nephew in May. Never did we ever think the kids wouldn't be home by then or worse that we may be in Ethiopia when she delivers.

Now that I have whined and whined I have to say why I have been so selfish. One of the reasons our case has been so delayed is because officials have been working hard investigating agencies and orphanages instead of moving current cases through. This is what I have prayed years for. yes, orphanages get relicensed every year but this is different. they seem to be doing something about the bad agencies this time. There is so much corruption which is widespread among Ethiopian adoptions. I cannot even recommend an Ethiopian adoption right now unless the adoptive parents first conduct a third party investigation of the situation before proceeding.....which most agencies will not allow. Children are being trafficked and well meaning parents are fueling the fire by continuing to flock to these unethical agencies. It won't stop until they are shut down. And they need to be. Soon. Not every agency is unethical, but unfortunately there are few that aren't. Any time money is involved, a good intending ministry can allow sin to creep any country and any ministry. So when I prayed for reform in Ethiopian adoptions and more thorough investigations, the corrupt being caught and shut down, and all those ugly things, I need to praise God for answered prayers even if it means our case takes longer. We are one family, one case. There are hundreds or more families out there having to look at their children and, if speaking honestly, tell them they were never legally adoptable or that they never needed to leave their birth family or country and should have been raised by birth relatives. Or the worst of all, that their families were tricked into placing them in adoption or they were paid for their children.. These children deserve justice. If that means my case takes a few weeks longer, I am more than willing to wait!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Good news to come...maybe?

Found out today that MOWCYA has mostly caught up on January cases (ours was Jan 15) but hasn't had time to let agencies know whose are ready and whose aren't do to working so hard on the cases themselves. We should hear something tomorrow one way or another.

Here are our 3 sweeties! Our boy has purple shoes on. Haha he joins another Cash boy who was wearing pink or purples shoes in every picture we got of him when he was in Ethiopia. Haha I love how they are all 3 holding on to each other. They are so close.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

The sound of crickets.....

Still nothing. The quiet of waiting for your children is a terrible quietness. We are hopeful, however, to hear something this week because the MOWCYA officials have returned to Addis from their investigations and recertifications of agencies and orphanages and anticipate catching up quickly. It has been 19 days since our MOWCYA date when our approval letter was supposed to be ready and court date issued, which means 4 days since we should have had our court date in Ethiopia. We would be back home right now waiting for news to travel back to bring them home. Then of course I remember God's timing, and only His timing, is perfect.

Meanwhile, we are having one heck of a snowy and icy winter! As long as we don't loose power or have to drive we love it! Here are some quick shots taken around our house and neighborhood. You can see Barlow loves it and can't wait for us to get out of the van to play!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

And we are still waiting......but 1 positive

MOWCYA is almost 2 weeks behind in getting letters issued for court. This means we don't expect to hear anything until at least Monday regarding a court date, almost a week away. A family with our agency who had a MOWCYA date of 4 days before us still hasn't received their letter. I'm betting/praying they get good news tomorrow though!

The good news though is we got our 171h (immigration pre-approval) which was the only thing that could potentially slow us down on our end!!!! Yeaaaa!!!!!