A sparrow when I'm broken, and eagle when I fly.....

Welcome to my world. I am an ordinary wife and mom who has been extraordinarily blessed by an amazing husband and house full of beautiful children. My prayer is that you will be somehow blessed by our family's story. It is a tale of God's grace and forgiveness...His loving kindness and patience with us His children as we strive & struggle everyday to bless His name with our lives

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

So behind but still here...

...it has been busy but so fun around here. Last Saturday Mike and I had our big birthday bash at West Side Center. Many family and friends came to help us celebrate our 50th birthday. We need to do the whole family potluck thing more often. We don't need a birthday excuse. It is just so nice to be able to gather together and catch up. The cool thing about West Side Center is the gym. The kids could play there all day long as the adult visit their hearts out. Our grown son Jake and his wife Holly and kids Silas and Lauren came up from southern Oregon. They were able to stay and are going home today. Our eldest son Cody came from Seattle and also leaves today. I am never happier than when my chicks are under our roof again. Cody has been making gourmet feasts for us. It is enough to make us "foodies" to be able to experience his cooking! Mmmm. He also loves to teach so he imparts some culinary skills to the rest of us when he comes to visit.

I love watching my big boys Jake, Cody and Michael together. I love that they love each other so much and they are best friends. It helps me know that the family dynamics will go on strong after Mike and I are gone.

Of course my heart soars to have the grandbabies here. (I also got to see Dalaina and granddaughter Skylar on Saturday) I could go on and on about how adorable, smart and well behaved they all are...but I will save you from my gushing. Suffice it to say that spending these past few days with the grandkids felt like a bonus reward for the past 30 plus years of being a mommy.

On the adoption front PLEASE pray for our Ethiopian boy's next court dates on April 3rd and April 7th. It looks like there is a chance baby Assefa's case will be able to be split from Gezehegn's so the baby can come home sooner. The case for Gezehegn is still fouled up. Our agency AAI has an extra attorney working on it and we know they are all doing everything they can to make it happen. We get so disheartened and fearful our little guy will never come home?!? But I know from Merrily (our agency director) they AAI keeps working for the kids until the child comes home no matter how long that take. In all the many years they have been working in Ethiopia there has only been a few cases where the adoption didn't happen. That usually was a situation where birth family came and took their child back.

This adoption was way harder than my wildest imaginings. It is a good thing we didn't know how hard it would be this time or we would not have done it! I also know that once the boys are home (and I HAVE TO believe they will eventually be home!) that we will look back at how hard it was and we will know it was all TOTALLY worth it!

Here is Silas and his daddy Jake very stylish looking

Here is Holly with Lauren and Maggie

May this find you all basking in your Father's great love and may today bring you the peace and joy that only comes from Him

Friday, March 13, 2009

This is really hard...

.....this waiting for children to come home. We learned yesterday that the courts refused to hear Assefa's case early and we need to wait till April court dates. I have hit a all time low for me in adoption. At this point I am so discouraged I actually question if I would want to adopt again? (this is a first for me) I KNOW I have made it harder on myself by visiting the babies twice. I KNEW it would make it harder to wait for them after spending so much time with them. Mike and I just felt that even though it makes our wait more painful, the benefits outweighed our pain.

I KNOW I can trust God in this situation. I just feel weak, discouraged and broken hearted. It is a good place to be to come to God but it sure hurts now.

New photos of baby Assefa show him realy healthy and big! He is growing up without a family. He is HIV+ and needs to be home with medical care here! Gezehegn doesn't look as healthy as Assefa. Poor Gezehegn looks neglected and hungry. There are no words to say how sad it is for him to be there and He needs to be home!

I have kept the reciepts from all the "retail therapy" I have done the last nine months since starting this adoption. Today I am going to return all the baby boy clothes for they will all be too small for Assefa by the time he comes home. "If" he passes court April 3rd, travel won't be till mid May. He will be almost 11 months old then. I am done with retail therapy and won;t buy another thing until they pass court and we have an embassey date.

I have some more upbeat news to share and will be sending some Happy Birthday posts out as soon as I find my camera cord to upload photos.

thanks for listening

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bad Court News, Good God News

Sadly neither Assefa nor Gezehegn passed court again today. The issue is the still needed letter from Region 14. Gezehegn originally came from Kebebe Tseheye orphanage. There are others with kids from there delayed also. AAI is asking that our baby Assefa can be approved so he can come home sooner. The court has not wanted to split up unrelated kid's cases anymore but we are praying they allow Assefa through court. There is no end in sight for Gezehegn, I have no idea how long this could drag out for him. It is very sad.

For parents waiting for their children to come home... it is never soon enough is it? At least we know that "usually" it (adoption) all works out in the end.

For fellow adoptive parents who keep track of such things, here is our adoption time line:
~Jonathan died. I thought I should die too. 4/3/08
~Mike shared he believed we would be sending paperwork off to Ethiopia in next few months for a little girl, I didn't ever want another child except Jonathan 4/4/08
~I felt God say time was right; we decided to start new adoption(almost 9 mos ago)6/9/08
~unofficial referral for HIV+ little girl, waiting for HIV+ baby boy
~learned about a certain teen tiny baby boy 8/4/08
~Dossier to Ethiopia 8/20/08
~referral for Assefa then 1 mos and Edelawit 4 yrs 9/4/08
~On visit to Addis to visit Assefa and Edelawit we met and fell in love with Down Syndrome toddler Gezehegn at Gladney Children's Home 10/5/08
~lost referral for Edelawit. Devastated. 10/6/08
~found out Gladney would transfer Gezehegn to AAI's care. 10/7/08
~referral for Gezehegn 3 yrs 10/8/08
~1st court date 1/21/09
~2nd court date 3/5/09
~3rd court date 4/3/09 for Assefa, 4/7/09 for Gezehegn

Last year this week Jonathan was undergoing chemo and radiation to prepare for bone marrow transplant. April 3rd (Assefa's next court date) is the day Jonathan died last year. It is unbelievable how much lives can change is a year. Gezehegn is Down Syndrome as Jonathan was and they are the same age and were born a day apart from each other 3 1/2 years ago...one in U.S. and one in Ethiopia. One was cherished and loved from his first day of life until his last. One has waited a long time for a mommy and daddy to cherish and love him. I can only rest in the fact that their heavenly Father is "especially fond" of both of them. He loves them more than I can imagine. He created them "extra" special after all as both have that magical "extra" chromosome. I can not always under His ways; but I know His heart. He is LOVE.

I know that a year from now both our boys waiting in Ethiopia will be home. And for all of you reading who are waiting adoptive parents; I would venture to say a year from now your precious children will be home too. The "wait" is always painful and the end reward is always worth it. A few times in the past few weeks I have asked myself "why oh why do we put ourselves through this agony?!?"(adopting). I only have to look at the faces of my children looking back at me everyday. Beautiful, happy, healthy kids not born to us...but our beloved children in every way. Priceless. Worth every agonizing day of waiting for them. Worth every sacrifice made to bring them home and raise them. Worth surviving the difficult teens. Even worth walking through the valley of the shadow of death with them.

So Gezehegn and Assefa; we will never give up waiting for you. We want you home now, we'd still want you home years from now. We prefer sooner. We KNOW and TRUST in a Father who works good in all things. Even LOOOOONG waits.

Thinking a little retail therapy is in order. Maybe even a deliciously extravagant baby outfit to replace some of those Assefa has grown out of.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pray For Kayla and Court

Kayla left at 5:00 PM for her trip to Ethiopia to spend time at the orphanages with our baby boys. I was so on edge all day thinking she was leaving; that she was going to be holding our little ones in just a few days. She made it as far as Seattle. Her United flight from Seattle to D.C was canceled. No other seats or flights that United would book her on. There was no way she was going to make her Ethiopian Air connection in D.C. So she is flying right back home tonight. I leave here in a minute to pick her up at midnight. We will have to rebook tickets for later this week or next when there is Ethiopian Air flight available. She actually felt really sick today so maybe it is for the best. I was worried she was going to wind up with strep in Ethiopia or something.

Our second court date for the boys is Thursday March 5th. We will know in four days if they are coming home soon.... or if we will have another delay. I have been sick to my stomach this week with cold icy fear in my stomach about court. I imagine some small issue with paperwork or missing signature or something so minor to us but important to the powers that be in Ethiopia. Something that would keep the boys from clearing court and keep them longer in the orphanage and away from the love of a family. I know I am sinning in my worry. I am struggling with that. Please pray that they pass court on Thursday. And pray too for Mike and I to not to give into the sin of worry and fear. I know God doesn't want that for us. Pray for Kayla and new travel plans too. Thank you so much and thank you to those who post a comment. It means a lot!


Sick Kids

We're busy here at home with various illnesses. It started out a couple weeks ago with a child here or there getting a flu thing....headache, aches all over, cough and slight temp. Some kids got better fast and were done, others got better and then got sicker a few days later. Our friend Mr. Strep has again visited our home. Five kids are on antibiotics. In the past after a few tested positive the whole family was put on antibiotics. Our new pediatrician doesn’t want to do this. We'll see if he (and I) regret this decision. I was willing to try treating Mr. Strep without us all doing the meds. I think everyone was just more conservative in the past when Jonathan was still here. We had to keep the whole family as healthy as possible in order to protect him from any virus. The sickest now are Josiah and Tamar Myhao. Tamar's strep actually manifested as scarlet fever. Praise the Lord for antibiotics. Both seem a bit better after 48 hours on meds. It has been a week of little sleep with 5 of the little kids running temps and miserable. Mike took over a few hours yesterday morning while I slept. Because of illness we had to reschedule Maggie's appointments in Spokane on Friday with her neurosurgeon and CAT scan for her VP shunt check. At least we got another appointment day within a few weeks. I am really concerned that all the kids are not healthy enough to go to Seattle on Tuesday morning. Our plan it to take the seven youngest kids with us for Maggie and Solomon's clinic appointments at Children's Hospital on Tuesday and Wednesday. It takes months and months to get rescheduled and Maggie REALLY needs to see her people. Please pray that she and the others are healthy enough to travel. Maggie's been on antibiotics for 10 days now but she and Solomon still have a cough. I hate to take sick kids into Children's Hospital and expose other kids. We have a hotel room for Mike to stay with kids while I do the appointments if it turns out we can still go. I just pray that it works out for at least Maggie to see her doctors. We desperately need help addressing her feeding issues and to look at her med levels. Maggie has three appointments and Solomon has four.

*****Just added to post: I posted this early this morning before Maggie was up. She since got up with 102 temp and her cough is much worse. I imagine it will be an ER visit today and chest xray. Guess my prayers for what to do about Seattle were answered even before anyone read the above post. There is NO way that we can taken the kids for their appointments now.
*****updated at 4:00 PM. Maggie does have pneumonia but we are home from ER with super duper stronger antibiotics. Another week ahead hunkered down at home recovering.