Help us bring home Rose

Sunday, January 31, 2010


We are going to go backwards because I never remember to do it right. So we are starting with Wednesday night, the cultural dinner. We were looking forward to getting out of the hotel with Addis and equally excited to eat some traditional food.
She loved the food and ate alot of it, even the spicy stuff. I am definitely going to have to make some of it at home. The injera was so good, it was the best we have had. I guess that's not saying much we have tried to make it and we had some at the hotel.

The music and dancing was so fun to experience. We got a lot on video to show her as she grows up.
When Addis is out in public, she clams up and doesn't smile or anything. She enjoyed the music (she danced)and food but kept the same dazed look on her face.

Our hotel room was in the front and we could look out and see people walking all day long.

Addis is such a silly girl. She loves to listen to music and dance. She has a great personality and is fun to be around. I am loving getting to know her, how blessed we are to get that chance.

On our shopping day, we had to take her to Hannahs Hope. She was confused when we came back but she was fine. This is her favorite special mother.

The new HH is BEAUTIFUL. I am so happy for them that were able to get this compound and move all the kids into such a nice environment.

This is looking at the gate in between the two buildings.

There are so many smaller rooms for storage, classrooms, bathrooms,etc.

Shopping was quite an experience. Immediately we were bombarded with children and people begging you to buy something from them. The little kids would sell gum or shine your shoes. Our first instinct is to give them something, but we were told that if others see you pull out money, it can create a bad situation where more and more people surround you wanting money. One boy wanted me to buy some gum and said, " USA, Obama" Which I then replied, "NO thank you, I didn't vote for him." They eventually stopped coming around as much. The shop owners were very nice and helpful to us.

Addis, I can't believe she is with us. It is such a weird feeling to see, feel, hear, smell this dream we have had for so long.

She is a girlie-girl. She loves accessorizing(which is bizarre, because I don't. I like simple) Here she is trying to put on leggings. She gets excited if she sees a different outfit and has to put it on.

So she found the headbands and had to put, not just one, but all of them on at once. She doesn't like bows but loves bands and hats.

She loved her bath time. Playing in the tub was a good way to get her going in the morning. She would wake up a little confused by her surroundings but then we would put her in the tub and she would come out of her shell and play and giggle with us. It was really hard not to keep her from drinking the water, she is a fish. Well, she will drink forever if we let her, no water is safe around her.

So here was my first sign, I had in my possession a true girl, she loved her shoes(even though they were too big, fashion over comfort) and wouldn't let me take them off even to sleep.

Our first night together, she fell asleep in my arms. Oh, this is second heaven, right here.

Her crib at HH. They didn't have any of the stuff we sent her. She even had a doll exactly like the one we sent but she was white with blonde hair. We were sad to think she might not have ever gotten it.(It could have gotten lost in the move)

This is coming through the gate. The room on the left is a classroom for preschool children.

This our room at the hotel. It was nice and good size. We were in the front of the hotel and the traffic was pretty loud, but not at night so it didn't affect our sleep.

Leaving the airport in Bismarck ND, off to Ethiopia to get our little Wibnesh.
She let me hold her and she didn't cry, but you can see how sad she is. It was so hard to be so excited but when we put ourselves in their shoes, we could see how confusing and sad this moment would be.

We cuddled for a while and watched the other kids play.

She was so scared of us and we tried to get her to come to us, using toys and food. The food worked.

Our first glimpse of our little girl, in person. Almaz is on the right. We can't say enough about how wonderful she is. She truely cares about the children and helping them get adopted.

Thursday we went to HH again in the morning. We were concerned Addis would be confused but we felt she had done so good bonding with us and we wanted to do something. It was a mistake. She cried when she saw her special mothers and wanted nothing to do with us. It was heartbreaking to see her go through that. We went back to the hotel as soon as we could. When we were back, she was fine again, playing and talking to us. Which, she is a parrot, she repeats everything we say. She says things in Amharic too, but we have no clue what it is.
We hung out in the hotel until it was time to go to the airport.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

do you believe in MIRACLES?

It's 5:30am in Ethiopia and I am sitting in our hotel room. Let me say that again, I AM IN ETHIOPIA!!!
We made it here with no issues, a couple flight delays but made it here on schedule.
I have never been out of the US, not to Mexico, not even Canada. I really thought I was ready for what they called "culture shock". I have seen pics, videos, read about Ethiopia but nothing prepared me for what I saw as we drove to the hotel. It was almost more than I could take in, I was sad, curious, scared, amazed at the beautiful people, all at once.
We didn't sleep for over 24 hours, so that with the jet lag and high altitude, wiped us out. When we got to the hotel we basically slept for the next day and a half. We felt much better after that and ready to meet our little girl.
Every person I see here in Ethiopia I stare at, wondering if that is what Addis will look like when she grows up or if that is what her father looked like. I watch them interact with each other and listen to them speak broken English but mostly Amharic. I sometimes feel badly for taking Addis away from this place. It is beautiful to witness their culture.
We met a man named Henry at the hotel. He sells Ethiopian gifts and toiletries for guests at the hotel. He was very friendly(as they all are) and asked us if we were from the US and if this was the first time in Ethiopia. We chatted for a while with him about the city and he was very curious to hear what we thought about it all. He said his hopes are to visit the US sometime. I asked him where he learned English and he said in school, that everyone learns English. Which I find so strange because we as Americans aren't required to learn any one specific language. He explained it as Americans are "Up here" and everyone is "down here" so they learn it to be able to do business and such. I am hoping he didn't mean that they view us as better than them just because we are Americans. Yes we have a wonderful country but that doesn't mean if you aren't fortunate enough to be born in America, you are somehow less of a person.
Sunday afternoon we met with Almaz the director of HH to fill out paperwork and she gave us instructions for the rest of the week.
We were able to buy coffee and water(the hotel triples the cost:( )
Then we were off to see our Addis. I was so nervous I could have thrown up, I was shaking inside and out. It was so fun to share the excitement with other families getting ready to meet their children.
Here's where my question comes in, "do you believe in miracles?"
Miracle #1
We have been praying for Addis and that God would help with the transition of leaving HH and meeting us for the first time. Almaz told us that she is worried about Addis the most, she was ready for screams of terror. So we thought, ok God, you can do this.
When it was our turn to meet her, she did immediately start crying and leaning away from us. We started to try and give her toys and then we handed her some gerber graduate snacks, bingo!
She still wouldn't look at us or go to us, so we went outside and sat on the ground with her. We interacted with her for a couple of minutes with her special mother there also, and then she left. Addis started crying and I picked her up, she resisted a bit but quickly stopped. She let me hold her and kiss her and talk to her. She has been fine ever since. She even went to bed perfectly and has slept all night.
Almaz is amazed-shocked-stunned! She used the word miracle. God answered our prayers and we were able to have a beautiful gotcha day. Travis didn't get to hold her because we didn't want to disturb her contentment.(which I totally didn't mind getting her ALL to myself)
Miracle #2
Addis wasn't walking or talking from the last update we had gotten. We were a little worried that there might be something more serious going on because of that. But we of course loved her and wanted her in our family no matter what. Talking with Almaz before we went to HH, we learned that she is now WALKING and TALKING.

Our adoption journey is full of miracles just like these. God's fingerprints pointing out His love, grace, and sovereignty.

More to come......

Monday, January 18, 2010

This is the POINT

At church on Sunday we were reminded why we are doing this whole adoption "thing." Did we want another child?-"yes" but why this way????? What is the point in adding to our family in this way?
A family in our church adopted a little girl from Russia 5 years ago. She is a beautiful little girl and everyone at our church knows who she is, she just has that type of personality. Sunday they came to church and announced that SHE had accepted Jesus into her heart the night before. How amazing is that? A little girl from Russia was brought into a Christian family through ADOPTION and now has a forever family here on Earth and HEAVEN.
As we are getting ready to meet our little girl in a couple of days, it was a wonderful reminder of the bigger picture.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


We are one week away from loading a plane to go to ETHIOPIA. A place I have dreamed of going for longer than this adoption process. And on top of that, I am bringing home, not a souvenir but OUR DAUGHTER. (another dream in itself) We feel so grateful for this opportunity and we are going to enjoy every moment(even the not so fun ones).
After my last post of hearing the news about the FDL, we really were still on hold until we got confirmation that it had been received in Ethiopia. So again, we waited everyday for the phone to ring or for an e-mail. Unfortunately, the communication with them is only once a day, so after we heard "no"in the morning we had to wait until the next day to possibly hear a "yes". Everyday for the past week we have been hopeful and then crushed when the answer was "still haven't received it". Yesterday, our oldest said,"quit crying already!" Our tickets were on hold until Tuesday and our AWESOME travel agent figured a way to book them so that if need be we could transfer them to the next travel time. The tickets got lost(not sure the correct term) and she had to fight to get us back on the flight. Can you imagine what this felt like? A little over one week from suppose to boarding a plane to meet our daughter and we don't have tickets booked or the clearance to bring her home! Needless to say we were PRAYING! I don't like to use the word desperate, but that's how we felt.
Today, we got a call from our case manager with the news we have been waiting for, THEY HAVE OUR PAPERWORK IN ETHIOPIA!! We can go get her. RELIEF doesn't adequately describe our feelings. One HUGE answered prayer.
Then our travel agent called with the other news we were hoping for, OUR TICKETS HAVE BEEN BOOKED! Now the real celebration begins!!! Can you hear us yelling??????

What a roller coaster!! But it has all come together and we are going to Ethiopia.
Now we are going to concentrate on our boys before we leave them for a week. YIKES!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ethiopia here we come!!!

We got the approval we needed today, so we can make our plans to go to ETHIOPIA. I still can't believe it-it's finally here! I have been guarded about planning and now it's like I am in overdrive. I can't sit still....I know there has to be something I need to do...oh ya....pack....get the boys ready for mom and dad to be gone for a week...line up babysitters for the I breathing??? That's a little look into my brain today. I love it! I love looking at her pictures and knowing I WILL see her SOON! THANK YOU JESUS!!!

Again, today we were amazed by God's hand in our lives and this adoption. He has once again, blessed us with a donation from someone (you know who you are) to help us bring her home. I love the fact that He puts adoption on people's hearts in different ways. You don't actually have to adopt a child to be part of the miracle of adoption. It may not be for everyone. All He wants is for you to obey Him-whatever it may be; adopt, foster care, sponsor a child, give to an orphanage, missions trips, financially help a family adopting......who knows the awesome ways He is calling you to be involved. Now stop and think of the life of lives you are forever changing because of your simple obedience.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


We heard from the Sen. office today that USCIS will be processing our application and we will hopefully hear if it is denied or approved by Friday. What a relief!!!!! Just knowing it is going to be done and we can go to Ethiopia is wonderful news to us.
We hopefully will be booking plane tickets in a couple of days and then I will feel like it is official.
It was time for Sebastian to get his long hair cut. So I did my best to bribe him to sit still while I cut it. It actually turned out ok. Thankfully he has hair like Oliver that is more forgiving to amateur barbers like myself. He looks like a little man now.

So we finally got carpet and baseboard in her room and it is now looking like a room.
Thank you to our family friends, Mike and Nicole for coming over and helping us get it done, who knows how long it would have taken us to finish without you!

We found a pair of sunglasses while cleaning the playroom and Sebastian hasn't put them down. He doesn't mind if they are off his nose and upside down, he knows he is cute!

Sorry the picture is sideways, I thought I turned it. We thought it was fun to let them play with the Styrofoam blocks. THEY had them and the mess up is a different story. FYI there is no efficient way of picking those little things up, sweeping-they just fly everywhere, vacuuming-static makes them stick to the vacuum. We had little white Styrofoam balls all over the house(including our washing machine) for at least a week.

Another view of her room.

So I am soooo happy with her room, there is just something missing...........

Next to the dresser is our pile of donations. So far we have enough to fill 2 tubs! I thought it was going to be hard to fill-not at all.

The boys love playing in her room (i'm sure because it is new and different) Standing on the toy box is the new fav.
(Check out sebastians one sock??? And one glove??? He loves accessories, hats, gloves, glasses, socks)
Does anyone else's 3 year old get obsessed with certain clothes. T wants to wear the same thing everyday and night, it is a production to get him to let me wash it and wear something else.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Like everyday for the past 2 weeks, we anxiously checked the mail for our FDL from immigration.
I have been praying so hard that we would get some sort of news today, at least a sign that we are close to getting to go get her.
I had to laugh a little when we got the mail today.
Instead, we received an anonymous donation.
We were at a loss for words. Someone who knows us and our situation, wanted to be a part of this awesome journey, adoption. They saw the need and acted on it according to what they could.
The amazing thing is, this has happened time and time again in our adoption. Out of the blue, not really-more like God's timing, someone has blessed us through their obedience to God telling them to give, specifically, to our adoption.
I only share this to first of all, give Glory to God for his provisions. Secondly, to encourage those who can't see that the "impossible" really is possible. It might just come in a different way than you expected or desired.
Even though we still don't have the paper we need to travel, God is still reminding us that He is putting everything into place. He is paving the way in His time and His order.
So here is a big THANK YOU! to the anonymous giver, and to all those who have blessed us in various ways.