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!!!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Still waiting

No new news, just not to expect anything before next week. MOWCYA is behind on issuing approval letters (which is what we need to get a court/travel date) because they had two holidays last week. We just wait on our turn and pray they "approve" us.

W have made progress with the USCIS regarding our 171h. Our immigration officer says she will fax it to us as soon as it is ready in addition to mailing it. That cuts down a bit of time. :). Hopefully tomorrow!

Still praying for only God's timing for us. He knows all and we so do not.

In the meantime we are celebrating our sweet baby girl who turned TWO this week!!!!! She had a Minnie Mouse birthday party with her cousins Avry (4 days older than her) and Mason (364 days younger than her haha).

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Prayer Warriors Needed

Our MOWCYA court date is Tuesday (Monday night while we sleep due to the 8hr time difference). This is the ministry of women, children, and youth in Ethiopia and they are to write us a favorable letter requesting a court date (which we would travel for...our first trip) on that day which would be about 2 weeks later. The problem is we just learned that since our 171h (pre approval from the US dept of homeland security) isn't with our file in Ethiopia yet, they will possibly (probably?) either not write our favorable letter or give us an unfavorable letter. This could delay us several weeks. I just found out on Friday this was an issue and have been so deflated. Our kids have waited so so long for a family. I know a few more weeks in the whole spectrum is nothing but their whole lives have been spent waiting and full of disappointments. Now they know we are their parents-to-be and I feel responsible for protecting them from these kinds of things or at least being there to love on them and encourage them when disappointments are inevitable. I am so torn on even what to pray for. I want only God's will and timing, but of course I do not want our process delayed even more.

UPDATE: just learned that our 171h hasn't been mailed and it could be 75-90 days!!! Please pray they are wrong.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Mom & Me Journals

I am kind of in love with this concept. My here are times my littles want to tell me something a d I'm in the middle of something else and can't give them my full attention. Or they may not want to share something publicly and can't shake the lingering crowd. Or they may wake up in the middle if the night with a dream they want to tell me before they forget all the details. So we have started Mom & Me Journals. Each of the kids have their own. When they write something for me, they "deliver" it by putting it on my pillow on my bed. Then I read it, write them back, and "deliver" it by putting it on their pillow. They get so excited, too. This has opened the most precious dialog I may have otherwise missed. I love these little glimpses of their hearts.

This isn't ours. Ours are just plain notebooks with this written on the front (an almost mom of 10 has to make compromises lol) but I took these pictures from Pinterest.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

A Very Cashy Christmas

Even in an attempt to scale back by all, we still ended up completely overdoing Christmas yet again.  Each kid only asks for 1-2 things (depending on the price of what they are asking for) and we draw names with my side of the family but I guess even with each kid getting a couple things in such a bit family, it really adds up.  My kids decided this year that another perk to being in a big family is the sharing each others gifts which multiplies what they got. Lol. This is especially true for the big girls and the little boys.  Knowing this year that they are about to add another teenage girl and preteen boy to the family made them even more excited about this new shared gift revaluation.  Lol.

My pictures this year are terrible.  My camera is being repaired and I am borrowing a friend's.  I am so blessed she is letting me borrow hers because I would be using my phone for pics otherwise. :). However I didn't have time to feel it out really well before the chaos began.  So I just stuck it on auto and flash and decided just to enjoy the moment. :)

We are getting so excited about bringing our kids home soon.  We have a birth family MOWCYA court date for January 15.  Our agency has said we should travel about two weeks later for our court date (and to see the kids) but other agencies have seen people travel a week or less later.  We are praying we travel sometime at the end of January.  Then we will have to leave the kids and return home for 4-9 weeks before we could return and being them home.  My birthday is March 2 and I can't think of a better present. ;). We got a letter from our oldest daughter saying she has prayed and prayed for a big family and God answered her prayers. :). I love those kids so much!  We are getting their rooms ready and I'll post pictures soon. :)

Crazy driver

Decorating Christmas cookies at a friend's house

Christmas Eve at my sister's home

The girls - mom, my sister Kayla, me, and my sister Kasey

The guys - My love John, my daddy, my brother Kellon, my BIL Brad, and my BIL Daniel

The girls again with Machae, Kellon's girlfriend

The littles ready for bed before we head home to wait for Santa

6 heaping dust pan scoops of leftover needles from the tree