Welcome. This is part of our story about how God is building our family through adoption and teaching us about HIS family. Going through this process is giving us more understanding about how He has adopted us. We are HIS children, still growing and maturing and developing in our relationship with Him.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas !

Merry Christmas everyone!
We have been blessed this year and look forward to many more blessings in the New Year.... One of the biggest in our future will be getting Ephraim and Silas home. We had been praying and wishing they would be home by the end of this year in December, but we are at peace, trusting the Lord for His perfect timing.
The Embassy has our case in hand, working on it and looking it over. We look forward to sharing more news with you when we have it.

Jesus is a wonderful King. Happy Birthday Jesus!
Blessings to you and yours.
Dan, Shelly, Madeline, Toby and Mae

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Reaching Another Marker

It is close to the end of the race.... I am by no means a runner in reality, but I do remember High School track from long, long ago. :o) Sometimes that last lap can be the longest. 
Glory be, how wonderful when you hit the last curve and the finish line is in viewing.

Another marker has been reached here for this journey to bring home the boys. WE WERE SUBMITTED TO THE AMERICAN EMBASSY this week! This is the last cycle of paperwork analysis before we get to bring them home. Now the American Embassy gets a turn to look through all the documents for approval. Once they are satisfied, we will be invited back to go get them.

How long??? good question. It could be weeks or months. Please keep praying with us for God's best timing and favor on our paperwork. 
I'll keep you posted!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Have you heard anything yet? Good News

From what we understand, one child's paperwork is still needing a little more attention and we will need to wait to be submitted for a few more weeks. We are thankful that our agency is taking the appropriate measures to do the work correctly... and for the nannies that are loving on our boys while we are apart.

Some would say to let go of our expectations, not to expect, and then we won't be disappointed...but I disagree. I want to expect everything... and believe that all things are possible through Christ who strengthens me. He moves mountains, binds up the broken hearted, heals diseases and sets captives free. He made a way for orphans to be adopted, for sinners to be forgiven and for life beyond death in an eternity with God.... I am planning on expecting everything. I want to live my life expecting miracles and joy. AND if you know me well... I have some growing to do in this area...AND not to be offended or too disappointed if it does not turn out or look the way I thought it should or would.  Praise God that I have a Father who sees the whole picture and knows the rest of the story.

So don't be afraid to ask when we will be going to get the boys, I don't know what my answer will be, but for sure, I have Good News, the Gospel is on my side...

Take a look! Almost 1/2 way there.

Every puzzle piece represents $10 towards bringing Ephraim and Silas home to our family. THANK YOU so much to those of you that have sent in donations towards the puzzle project. You have been an answer to prayer. You are being the hands and feet of Jesus to help 2 boys who didn't have a home or a family get a Mom, Dad, sisters and a brother, a home, food, schooling and an incredible future. If you have already donated and designated towards the puzzle, your name is already listed on the back side.
We could still use your help!
For a tax deductable donation write your check out to:
River of God Tabernacle
Send to: 9700 Delta Circle, Bloomington, IL 61704
write 'Snyder Adoption' in the memo.
You may send it directly to us.
Bless You

Santa Hats from Ethiopia

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Take Courage

I have been giving myself a talk this morning and need to remember all the wonderful words of my Lord that say... Take courage.  Do not Fret. Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

I had the expectation today that I would wake up to an email that said our case had been submitted to the American Embassy. I now lay that expectation at the cross... as there was no such news.  However I am taking captive my thoughts. I choose to trust the Lord with all my heart because part of it is in Ethiopia, and I am a Momma longing to have all the pieces home under one roof. I am trusting that HE is the author of our story and knows perfectly well how to tell it and make it unfold into our lives.

So... I eagerly wait on the edge of my seat for the page to turn. He knows best and that gives me courage.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

So Thankful

Wish I had NEW news to tell. We still believe our God is a big God. From the begining, our prayer and desire has been to have the boys home before Christmas.  As December is just around the corner and our paperwork has not been submitted to the American Embassy in Ethiopia yet... we depend even more on our Very Big Father to bring them home to us.

We are very excited for our new friends the Hulshof's who attended / passed court the same day we did. The are traveling, even now as I type, back to Ethiopia to pick up their girls! How exciting. We are very thankful for their blessing, the giggles, embraces and excitement for their family as they are united with their 2 little girls once and for all. Watch out America... these two are a bundle of cuteness with a little spice on the side!

Again we are still so so thankful for what the Lord is accomplishing in our lives; for 2 more Snyder men in our household; for the love, the journey and relationships ahead; for a supportive adoption agency; for friends and family praying and rooting for us; for the financial support we have recieved so far and for the what is still to come; and so much more.
We are going to attempt to Skype with Ephraim and Sisay (Silas) tomorrow a.m. (We'll have to get up at 5-6 a.m. to make Ethiopia time.)

The latest photos of Ephraim. Love that smile!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What's Next?

Birth Certificates issued - DONE
Passports issued
Medical exams by Embassy Doctor
Submit Case to Embassy
Wait and Pray for appointment before end of year.

Appointment Assigned
Go back to Ethiopia (Dan, Shelly and Madeline)
Go to Embassy Appointment with Ephraim and Sisay (Silas)
All go home to U.S. together. :o)

Birth Certificates

Moving along ! We received Birth Certificates this week for both boys in our names.... with Dan and I listed as their adoptive parents. Both boys were assigned a birth date, which does not mean it is there actual birth date but one someone decided to give them. 

Wow... I wish we knew their real birthday. There is just something special about the day the Lord said - TODAY is the DAY that I ordained for YOU to come into this world and be apart of My Kingdom... and the lives of others to be blessed and be a blessing. 

HOWEVER....I understand that this process is also a SPECIAL one of the Lord. He knew every event of my boys lives and made provision for them and us to come together at just the right time to say TODAY is the DAY...for a divine appointment that I have ordained, knowing it would reveal My heart for adoption, family, the orphan....to show that I Redeem and Restore that which was lost or stolen.  God Redeems and Restores for the orphan and we were all orphans until we knew Him as Father ...He redeems and restores the things that were lost or stolen. Relationships, Peace, Health, Authority.... most of all HOPE!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Our room at the Addis Flower Guest House

2 beds and 1 bathroom

1st Moment with Ephraim at the Transition House

Dan and Ephraim age 7

Picking up Sisay from his room. Was standing in crib when we got there.

Leaving Transition home for some time together.

Breakfast or lunch? Sisay  LIKES to eat. :o)

Ephraim and Dan work on a transformer together.

Streets of Addis

Out for Lunch after passing court at a nice restaurant. By the way, I got pay back for laughing at Dan with his diaper doosey. Sisay left this place without a shirt because it was not salvageable.

On patio of guest house. Kids playing outside.

9:14 pm Ethiopia - Tuesday

First, I want to say Madeline, Toby and Mae... Dad and I love you so much and miss you. I'm homesick for you! It is difficult that my heart is now two continents. I can hardly wait to get home to see you and at the same time tomorrow is going to be a very difficult day to say goodbye to Ephraim and Sisay (Silas).
Thanks for your prayers. Sisay's congestion is much better than when we first arrived.

Sisay is a character. He is very ticklish, jabbers and laughs. He is also a QUICK - his hands are fast to grab what he wants or he can flip/ turn during a diaper change like a flash. Whoo. Keeping us on our toes and Dan and I are ready to make a plan of action. BUT he is also a charmer with his big eyes and 2 teeth grin.

Ephraim seems pretty serious and really watches to take things in...but when we have him alone in our room some silly playing begins to happen. He likes playing outside with a ball and he is pretty good at jump rope. One of the favorites has been balloons! He is repeating what we say ... like "Say Thank you." putting "say" in front of whatever we try to teach him to say. Dan and I can see a bit of each of our kids in Ephraim. Madeline - Ephraim likes to organize his toys. Toby - the beach ball got a hole in it and he took it to our room and on his own pulled the hole together and patched it with the stickers we had given him. And Mae....we hear him singing to himself on and off. Each one of these things reminded us of you kids.

Going to close this post. Dan has some photos ready so I'll do that next.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Court Day

Pancakes for breakfast... a great way to start a day that has changed our lives forever. We left Ephraim and Sisay this morning with the ladies at our guest house while Dan and I and 2 other couples were taken to court to meet with the judge.
These were the first tears of the day... and they were Ephraim's. It was a hard moment for us but also a good one. He was so sad we were leaving and he was not going with us. (We have taken 2 or 3 little walks / trips out to dinner or to look around and the boys have gone with us each time.) Our helpers explained to him in Amahric that we would be back, yet tears silently came.
Don't know the verb to use for how we maneuvered through traffic. There are no rules as far as we can figure.
We entered a building that was said to be court. Waited. Then we were all called into the judge together and asked several questions as a group. Then she said... all your paper work is in. They are yours.

Ephraim and Sisay are officially our children now according to Ethiopia! Dan and I now have 5 children!

We came back to BIG hugs from Ephraim greeting us as we got out of the van.

we've had trouble getting internet....if I can't get a photo on today we'll see if we can get on tomorrow.
Madeline, Toby and Mae... We love you so much!!! xoxo

We are in Ethiopia!!!

We arrived LATE on Fri / Sat morning. Got a night of sleep and went to the Transition House on Sat. afternoon to see our boys. Can not begin to tell you the swelling  of my heart and the tears that came when we pulled in and saw E. walking down the stairs towards us. :o) Amazing.
E has been really quiet but is really opening up... today is Sunday and we have volleyed a beach ball, made up our  own game of bags, played with transformer cars and today during some down time, E just spontaneously started singing to himself and using his imagination and playing!!! it was sweet to see. We went for a walk today to a lunch spot and while the group was waiting for me to catch up ( I had S in the baby wrap, E. held out his hand to me for me to hold his had when we walked. After lunch, the resturant took a while to get our bill and he layed down in his seat and put his head in my lap. I love that he is begining to reach out to us. yea. This morning while Dan and baby were still snoozing, E and I sat in his bed and filled out a sticker book together. He is BRIGHT.
S is doing great too. He is a happy baby. He laughs and giggles and is so bright eyed....and BUSY. He is very fun. Dan got a crash course in diaper changing again. His first one was a doosey!  I laughed so hard ...and still chuckle when I think about it. The DRAMA over changing a diaper. LOL.
You could pray for us for S. He has quite a bit of congestion. He got up at 2:30 a.m. and had a hard time getting back to sleep do to being stuffy. I put him in the carrier and he fell asleep on my chest, up right and that seemed to work well.
We have court first thing in the morning! We met with our in-country representative for us and the other families. He went over the questions the judge may ask us tomorrow and when the judge is done...he/she will say "They are yours."  WOW.  

well... this has been a quick note. not sure how it all sounds. just trying to put down some quick info for you. we are in a hotel lobby in order to get internet. The kids are getting restless. :o) dinner time.
Oh... skyped with Madeline Toby and Mae just a few min. ago. LOVE THEM!!!! 
Bless you all.
will try to get back to you later. :o)
Having a wonderful time with the boys.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Puzzle Time

Looking forward to framing the puzzle and hanging it E and S's room. Here is our progress. The tip of Africa has been put together... We have the Cape of Good Hope !!! :o) If you want to help out, go to the fundraiser page and follow the directions there. Every bit helps! THANKS for your part in caring for orphans... making them orphans no more!

 In case you are wondering what the funds go towards. Here are a few. Several Documents have fees, VISAs, Immigration, Adoption Agency Fees and Air fare are a few of the biggies.

The Boys' Room

Green and Blue.

Dresser from IKEA, Crib from Dan's co-worker,
Crib set from Aunt Cathy & Uncle Shane

E's bed is a trendle and a swing to the right

Just imagine S snuggled here for naps
or bouncing along the side rails :o)

Oct. Update

1. We got new photos and videos of both boys. What a great agency we have to give us so much feedback on how the boys are growing and doing. It was wonderful to see them on our screen, and we long to see them in person.

2. Madeline received a significant donation from a girlfriend towards her plane ticket to go with us on our Embassy trip (2nd trip). It is a "God" story. This young lady is only 15 yrs. old, and the Lord put it on her heart to give. Like the young boy in scriptures who offered his 5 loaves and 2 fishes, the Lord multiplied her gift in a matter of hours and turned it into well over $1000. Thank you, Jesus! Thanks for the faithfulness of a young girl! :o)

3. The boys' room is finished! It is wonderful to walk into and see a place prepared for them. The Lord has prepared a place for each one of us in His kingdom if we will but come to Him! Yeah! Thanks Father.  I also realize this will probably be the CLEANEST their room will ever be. Ha Ha.

4. Dan and I leave soon. Woo Hoo and woa-oa. My mother's heart is so excited to embrace E and S and at the same time struggling to be so far away from my children here. ON THE FLIP, my kids are very excited for the time to spend with friends and Grandparents coming to stay with them.

Bless you.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

It's All Coming Together.

It's all coming together. I've been painting the boys' room, garage sale shopping, collecting items to pack for our trip, and working on MORE paperwork.

We leave very soon.... wow. Part of me feels like I am going to the moon to be so far away from my biological children and walking into a completely different culture/ language/ food/ landscape. I realize it is good for me to experience this as it will be the way the boys feel when they come to LIVE with us in the U.S.

We will only be in Ethiopia for one week. We'll meet E and S for the first time. We are so looking forward to gazing into those little faces and into their eyes, hugging them and beginning the first steps of bonding.
I am praying for the Lord's hand on our time together. He knows Dan, me, E and S. I can hear Him now saying, "Peace, Be still. I have had this planned for a long time." I realize Dan and I are going to be very strange to them. We are a different color, smell different, sound different, eat different foods... Lord build a bridge of trust and common ground. Bubbles, balls and Matchbox cars sound like a good place to begin. :o)
We have been told that the people at our guest house will be great help with translating language between us.

We will take a trip to E's orphanage.
We will see where S has been staying.

Dan and I will go to court and meet with the judge. We are told that we will have to answer a few questions and will know right away if we pass court or if there is still a document that needs to be added to our file before the case clears. Please pray with us that our case passes that day!

As long as we can get good internet connection in Ethiopia, we will post here our news!
So...it is all coming together. Amazing. We are going to Africa! We are going to meet our sons!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Puzzle Update

Here's what the PUZZLE looks like as of today! THANKS!
We've got the A F R I in Africa. Looking forward to filling in more. YOU are truly helping us to Bring Home our Boys.

It seems so real now that we are going in the near future.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Simple Joys

Okay.... I couldn't wait to share. I just got off the Chat group with our agency. My director is in Ethiopia right now and has visited with both the boys. These are the words she used to describe my littlest guy - "hilarious, he is a riot, he is phenomenal. He is getting up on all 4's, rocking and laughing. "  She said she was going to send photos soon. :D 

Thank you Lord for blessing him to grow in strength and stature. I am so glad he is in a place to know joy and to laugh. I look forward to when we can share it with him.

We got photos of E. yesterday. He looks to have such a sweet, gentle spirit about him... very endeering. So fun to see him smiling as he plays with play dough and watching in wonderment as someone blows bubbles from a bubble wand. How precious to get photos of these simple joys we so take for granted.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A different kind of stretch marks

Read these thoughts below from Katie about her adopted daughter. She is an American young woman that has given her life to serve in Uganda. The Amazima link on our blog's front page leads you to her ministry site. I find her blog so insightful and humble and real. I see Christ through her everyday sacrificial loving of the people God has place in her life.

 http://www.kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/  Aug 15th.
I want her to be a baby so I can strap her on me and hold her there and she will feel secure and safe and protected. I want to be the person who taught her to write her name and how much fun it is to make mud pies, and I want to be the person who laughed with her when she lost her first tooth. I want to know where the scars came from that she can’t remember the stories about, and I want to be the person who wiped her tears when she fell.
But I know that is not how God intended it.

He did not choose me for those moments, He chose me for these. I entered motherhood through a different door, and I get a different kind of stretch marks.

I believe that this is how He has loved us and I do not pretend to know why. But I know that He who did not spare His own Son will also graciously give us all things we need, and so I cling to believing this is for good.

I believe that He held her all the years that I didn’t. I believe that He stood beside her in the line for porridge that the UN workers passed out, and I believe that He clasped her hand as she made the long journey from Arua to Masaka without her first momma, and I believe that she leaned her head into His shoulder as she fell asleep on hard dirt floor to the sound of her uncle’s drunken fury. I believe that He carried her all the way here to this new family and I believe that His hand is on her still.

And maybe the missing pieces just allow me to trust Him more.

Aug. 5th is also touching as she describes a Holy Moment.
Read on...http://www.kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/

Collecting bits and pieces

"Mom,  __ days till we go to Africa to see the boys. I can't wait." - Mae.
Even though Mae is not physically going with Dan and I, she totally is in heart and spirit. I get an update on the number of days till we leave every so often. :o) We are often in the mode of day dreaming about meeting the boys and wondering what it will be like for us and for them. Mae also says she is looking forward to being an OLDER sister and not the baby anymore. Sigh, life stages and changes. :o)

We have been collecting and picking up a few things here and there with excitement for the future of 2 more boys in our home. I went garage sale shopping with a dear friend a few weeks back and picked up a super cool little tykes black truck for S to ride inside. I'm sure E. will have fun with it too. I've been slowly adding a few baby boy things to the laundry, folding them and putting them in his dresser. Just beginning. The director from our international agency is in Ethiopia working and visiting. She is going to get an update and hopefully some good estimates on sizes for the boys - Foods they eat (especially the baby- formula or baby food?) When we go, Dan and I will be responsible for all there clothes/shoes/ food and needs while they are with us.

Today, we will begin taking off the old wall paper in E & S's room in preparation to paint. It will be great to get it completed so we can take photos to E. of what his room will look like when he comes to live with us.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Look at this great photo Madeline took for her 4H project.

Madeline is selling the Uganda Bead necklaces which she got through the 147 Million Orphans site. The long strands of beads are $20 each. Half the money goes back to Uganda to help mothers earn a living to feed and care for their children. The other half, Madeline gets to keep towards her Ethiopia trip. She is working toward going with us on our second trip to pick up the boys.
There are a lot of ways they can be worn. Wrapped around the wrist as a bracelet is a favorite or as a single or double strand  necklace. Each one is unique as it is hand crafted in Uganda.
Go to the fundraising page if you are interested in purchasing one for yourself or as a gift. Each comes with a tag that tells the story of why and how they are made. This is a gift that truly gives to others.

If you have a Uganda Bead necklace, feel free to post a comment on how you like it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WE got IT !!!

Hey Hey... the email came in this morning! Praise the Lord! (and just after I posted about it yesterday) We have our court date! It was assigned for after the rainy season which gives us a little time to plan. :o)

Jumping for joy on the inside and a bit on the outside too. We are planning to celebrate today....should it be chocolate? the pool? out to dinner?...maybe all 3.

Bless you today. We are very excited to get to share with you the news of our blessing.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

First Puzzle Pieces!

At the begining of the summer I had a young man (9 years old) hand me an envelope because he wanted to help bring home our boys. Inside was $20 of his own money. I told him I was going to put it towards the first pieces of our puzzle. So here it is.

Thanks, Daniel, for getting us started! Thanks even more for allowing the Lord to create a desire in you to help two little boys get home to their family.

Go to the FUNDRAISING page if you want to contribute by doing the puzzle with us.

Let's do a Puzzle together!!!

Hey... while we wait, would you like to help us put a puzzle together?! We saw this on another family's blog that adopted from Ethiopia which helped them raise funds for adoption cost.

Here's the way it works:
   * We will put your name or family name on the back of the puzzle piece / pieces you purchase with a donation of $10 for each puzzle piece.
   *  We will post updates periodically with photos of how much is completed. It will be fun to see it grow!

The Puzzle has 504 pcs. and is 16 x 20 inches. When completed, we will have $5040 and a puzzle artwork to frame and hang in our home as a reminder of this adventure and those who joined us in the journey.

Ready to participate?! GO to FUNDRAISING to see how.

On the Edge...

I am on the edge of my seat. :o)
Whether checking my email first thing in the morning or when the phone rings before noon - I am inwardly leaning towards getting the NEWS that we have been assigned a court date.

Court cases were not being assigned for awhile and now they are moving again. Last week 9 families were assigned court case... Get this. They were notified on a Monday to be in Ethiopia the following Monday. CRAZY - but very exciting. I read one of the families' Blogs this morning. Amazing and Delightful! Since they passed court and the kiddos are officially their children now, she even posted photos.

I tell myself that my HOPE is in CHRIST.... and He alone is my portion and to wait patiently.

I so eagerly want to look into their eyes, touch and smell them and tell them that I love them. Wow... I don't feel very spiritual but very much human... wanting and waiting. I am thankful that the Lord knows me and is with me always. He has shared in the wanting and waiting and still does for His children to come to HIM. Ephesians 1:5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,...
Romans 8:19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.

The expectation is that we could hear any day now about a court date which could be assigned for after the rainy season. (Remember, Ethiopia shuts down the court system sometime in Aug. - Sept.)
Leaning on Him as I wait and want.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

June News

I haven't posted because we don't have much news on the boys or the adoption process.
The baby has gained 4-5 lbs since April. :o) 
The garage sale went well, bringing in over $1000. Thanks so much for your donations, support and help.

We hoped to get news in June about a court date for July as our 1st trip to Ethiopia. BUT the news we got was that there was NO news.WAITING is all a part of the process.  Hopefully we will have some more information in a few weeks on the status of our case. Please pray for God's perfect timing, the Judge/ adoption process and our boys.

I'll plan to post again soon.
Bless you. Hope you had a great 4th of July.

Friday, June 17, 2011

SALE Times

Today(Friday) 12 noon - 6 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

I have already been blessed by all the hands that showed up yesterday afternoon to get us organized for this weekend. Thanks. Looking forward to seeing all the people today and seeing all the stuff in my garage leaving. Yeah!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Garage Sale for Fun..ds :o)

Howdy Ho... just wanted to let you know-

Garage Sale - Friday/Saturday, June 17/18
What can you do to help?
- Help with set up on Wed./Thurs.
- Donate items to sell.
- Come shop. All items are sold for a donation.

THANKS to those who have already donated items to the sale. 

Items for sale: pack & plays, a stroller, double strollers, a tent, bunk beds, a book shelf, kitchen table, chairs, a band saw, books, blankets, toys, clothes and MORE. If you have something you would like to drop off as a donation to the sale let us know or come shop. Stop in and see us. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Delighting over them, Delighting over us - DVD

We got a dvd of the boys last Sat. We watched it 3 times that day! Oh My....I can not begin to describe the craving it stirred in me to have them home and here in the flesh. I am so thankful my girls have similar stirrings. They humor me and join me in delighting over the boys. I wonder if that is how our Heavenly Father delights over us. Hmm. I'm just imagining God the Father getting tickled over us as we enjoy HIM and the blessings He has given us.

We saw in the dvd, E receive the news of us as his family and the gifts we gave. We saw a big smile as the shirt we sent was held up to him. He hugged and kissed the stuffed animal - a green frog. It was precious. S was just as precious. He has filled out a bit and is even more beautiful than his photos. He seems to be a happy baby with a sparkle in his eyes.

Thank You Father. We are delighted with Your blessing!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Mae!

Today is Mae's Birthday! Happy Birthday, Beautiful Girl! Yeah for Mae. She is such a blessing. Her name means Spring and also kinswoman. She is a delight and refreshing like spring...with a few showers now and then... Ha ha.  Ever since she was little, if we visited a church or a park or a wedding, she would find a girl around her age and a connection would begin. :o) This reminds me of a kinswoman. She loves people.

Lord, bless my daughter today and throughout her life to grow in wisdom, stature, favor with You and with man. Bless her to know and love you deeply and realize how much you know and love her.  Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow her all the days of her life, and she will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Thank you Lord for bringing her to our family.

Mae's favorite Bible passage is Psalms 23. May you be blessed to know the Lord as your Shepherd.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Car Seat #2

A friend gave us a very nice car seat that had been used by another adopted child. I know, if you read my last post, the cars seat I was going to use was an older used one.....but it was at least 10-12 years old. :o) ha. This is a much newer and nicer one. It has a pink/yellow cover, but someone has already offered to swap covers with me for a more gender nuetral cover. I love it when God shows off and provides just what you need. Philipians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Thanks Lord.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Car Seat

Got out our old child car seat. I was excited we still had it. Took it apart, washed it up. Cleaned up rather well, only to find that I probably should not use it. A few kind folks enlightened me. Evidently, car seats are only supposed to last a few years. What's that about? Why don't things last anymore?
I was bummed when our 18 year old washing machine died. 18 years! That was a relationship. We went to buy a new one and were told they don't make them to last anymore. Manufacturers actually made the decision to make them cheaper (quality wise NOT money-wise) so you'll have to buy again sooner or buy replacement parts. Wow.
Anyway, guess I will need to be in the market for a new car seat...Not that I mind. I look forward to the days I get to strap my little guy in and see his little feet hang over the edge.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Update on the Boys

We got new photos of the boys today. The first ones were pictures of E looking at the photo book we sent. He looks pretty serious, taking it all in, then came a photo with a smile. However we are betting he is smiling at the photo of Selah, our dog. We put a funny one of her in his book. Puppies are a good ice breaker. I can only imagine how his mind and heart are adjusting to all this.

We got photos of S also. He has already grown and is beginning to fill out. What a cutey.

How fun to get updates on the boys so soon. We will also be getting a new video from Sue's last visit to Ethiopia.  I feel my heart expanding.

I wish I could post pictures for you to see them, but we can't. Ethiopia is very protective of the children which is a good thing. That is also why I don't even use their names in the blog. After the adoption is complete we can post photos. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Just Keep Moving

The I 171 H came today.... what's that? Another piece of important paperwork. It is the approval in advance for us to bring children from another country into the US as citizens through adoption.  Thanks Lord for keeping us moving. Yeah!!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Submitted to court, which means we are in line to be assigned a court date. Hoping to find out when our date will be sometime in June. This would be the first of 2 flights to Ethiopia for Dan and me. Hoping to beat the Rainy season, August and September, in Ethiopia when everything stops moving. Please pray with us for the Lord's perfect timing on a court date and that we would stay submitted to Him.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Ms. Sue leaves today for Ethiopia. She is taking our care package to the boys. She will see S and I can only imagine picking him up in my arms as she does this week.

E's orphanage is in a different location. She is planning on making the trip to see him and the other children there that have new families and packages. She said it will be like Christmas giving them their packages. :o)

I find I am a little bit ancy today, wanting to know more. Wanting to be another step closer to seeing them and getting them home. I've heard that for all the paperwork and things we have had to do before, the actual wait can be the hardest part.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Resurrection Sunday

 We went to church in Indiana with Dan's niece, Julie, her husband, Jeff and their two kids, Abbey and Austin. It never fails to amuse folks that Dan is Julie's Uncle. It was no different this Sunday. It was fun. Dan showed up as a surprise blessing for his Mom and Dad when she was around 40. We often hear how he kept his parents young. I think of this at times as we start over with the boys. E is around 7 years old...so mathematically, I would have been in my late 30's... but S.... he would have been an early 40's baby. :o) Here's to keeping us young!!! Ha.

At church I saw a dad caring his toddler into the sanctuary. I leaned over to Dan and told him I could see him with our little brown skinned toddler next year. Hmmm.
After church we did family photos and dinner at Aunt Sarah's. Jim started our meal with grace and blessing those who could not be with us that day. He include E and S. Thanks, Jim.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Signed, sealed, delivered - I'm yours.

Toby and I mailed off the care packages today. At the post office we saw many people putting children's gifts in boxes to mail for Easter. Our package went out with many others, however I felt a significant weight of value and love go with our simple gifts, not because of the material items but of the connection it would make between us and them. Most of all for the boys I want our care package to bring HOPE for a future. Ms. Sue, our agency director from Celebrate Children International, is headed back to Ethiopia on Monday, April 25 to escort a couple of children home to their forever family. She will have the joy of personally taking several gifts to kids that will be receiving the news that they have also been chosen by a family and receiving their first gift from their new family.

Hey FYI....today is Dan's birthday. Happy Birthday Dan! You are a dad of 5 kids now. Next year we will have 2 more around our table singing “Happy Birthdaaayy, dear Da-ad, Happy Birthday to you!” :o)
Love you, honey...thanks for taking this journey with me.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Shopping Flurry

Found out I could send a little something with our photos for the boys but it needs to be in Florida to our international agency by Friday. What started as just a t-shirt grew to just a little more and little more. We are allowed to send 1 care package during our adoption. Madeline, Toby and Mae went with me to Walmart. Toby just loved standing around in the boys and baby clothes section while we girls day dreamed about the boys in this shirt or that one. If you did not read the sarcasm in that sentence put some in...:o). Clothes or shopping are not big on his priority list. We finally agreed on 2 outfits for each - one pair of pants, shorts, 2 t-shirts and socks. I hope E and S like receiving them more than my first son liked shopping for them. Ha. Even though Toby doesn't care about the clothes, he did pull together all his match box / hot wheel cars to give to E and was a good resource on other boy stuff. We added in some gummy bears, stickers, silly bands, pencils, a stuffed animal, a match box car, a small ball and the photo book of us for E's bag. S also got a blanket, a stuffed animal, a rattle, a teething toy and a huge laminated picture of our family along with his clothes. Sure wish I could send a hug.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Planting a Seed

Tonight I have been sifting through a few older photos of our family as well as some quick snapshots from this afternoon. I'm putting together a little book for E. I wonder what he will think of us? His first introduction to us will be photos in a picture book. Will he think we are strange? Will he be excited? I guess our first thoughts and affection for him started with 1 little mug shot we saw on our computer. It planted a seed that has truly sprouted in our hearts. :o)

BTW...I've heard it is good to make 2 copies of the family photo books. One to send now and one to take with us when we go get him. These books become a treasured possession that are looked at over and over and slept with and carried around. Other parents that have gone before us said the well loved books are often tattered and falling apart when they arrive and it is handy to have a replacement. I hope E. loves his book...and it plants a seed.

Shared my hope with M. Miller who has already adopted a boy from Ethiopia. Her little man was definitely influential in our choosing Ethiopia. That boy just radiates joy. She assured me that it was the LORD who connects our hearts and not only chose E. for us but us for him. Thanks, M.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I choose JOY! - Referral

Sue, the agency director from Celebrate Children International, returned from Ethiopia this week. We spoke on the phone. We talked about E. and if there was another child available to adopt with him in our age range. She presented some options to me because she did not have any other children 2-7 years available. From the beginning, we always prayed for “the boys” and felt there were two, but said we were willing to do just one if that was what God wanted.  Then she asked about a baby boy? This option did not seem like an open door to me either. I didn't think our home study was approved for one that young. After talking to Sue, I called the social worker who did our IL home study to ask about other things, siblings, room sharing, etc. She got out her copy of our home study. I grabbed mine. As we looked it over, it stated our approval age range. She said, you could adopt the baby if you wanted... AND....it was as if the Lord said...HERE is Door # 3. I called Sue back. She sent us photos of a beautiful little boy with big eyes. My heart leaped as I saw him on my computer screen. So did the girls.  We were all squealing with glee!!  His name means “blessing” in Amharic.

Door #3 - I choose joy. God willing, both boys will be a part of our family. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Dan and I got fingerprinted in Naperville (USCIS) as part of the application for our future adopted children to be pre-approved for Visas into the country. Mae went with us as she is still recovering from her tonsils / adenoid surgery. Fingerprinting went quickly, so we stopped by IKEA for some cinnamon rolls and shopping. Glad to get this big step in our adoption done. Mae was not so glad to make the trip with us. She missed CC and all her friends at our co-op home school group.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

He knows best.

First week of April
Dan and I are still praying.(The kids too!) We sense the Lord's leading with E. but do not understand the whole picture. Is there only 1 or does He have 2 children in mind for us? I was not settled. We gave back to the Lord our thoughts about 2 children and said if He just wanted 1 more for our family, He knew best. If He had more planned, He would need to show us.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Leading - 3 in a Row

Today, Mae got her tonsils and adenoids taken out. She did great and was very brave. When she was in the recovery room and napping, I got out my Bible to read. Noticing a page had gotten folded and was sticking out, I opened it to the crinkled page. As I straightened the page, I saw the fold went across a section titled The Sons of Joseph. Genesis 41: 52 "And he named the second (son) E, For , he said, God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” I read it to Dan... He said, “Are you writing this stuff down?”

This was the 3rd day in a row. Sunday with a song about affliction bringing an eternal weight of glory. Monday, an invitation to consider a boy whose name means 'God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction' and today, Tuesday, pulling my Bible out of my bag with the exact page folded to this scripture. Was this all by chance?

Feeling the weight of wonder and the human awareness that a GREATER Hand is at work leading us. Wow, thank You, Lord.

Monday, March 28, 2011


We got an email asking if we would consider adopting E? E was posted as a 7 year old boy on the waiting list of children who needed a family. I had already seen him. He caught my attention a week or so earlier because something about his expression reminded me of my nephew. There was also an abbreviation listed that reminded me of my nephews name. Dan and I sat down and prayed together asking the Lord to make His will known to us. Later, I Googled his name – It means “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction”.
The worship song we just sang yesterday (look at 3/27) came back to mind.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weight of Glory

We sang a song at church that says – this momentary light affliction is working in me an eternal weight of glory. This song stuck with me, as we had had a particularly rough weekend at our house. It felt like affliction.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Paper Race

February 2011
2/1 Home Study mailed off to state of IL during major snow storm.

March 2011
3/15 Go to Springfield to get State Seal on Dossier Documents
3/18 Dossier goes to DC
3/19 Adoption Conference - Connecting Hearts with the Forgotten
3/23 Dossier to Ethiopia.