Wednesday, December 29, 2010

9 months... and counting-The Blessings

I suppose that if this were a pregnancy I'd be feeling rather uncomfortable about now. We have been in the process and pursuit of adoption for nine months now. Instead, I am very comfortable and pleased with where God has us right now. God placed the orphan crisis in my heart when I was about 10 years old. We have been planning to adopt since before we were married. God really put the calling on our hearts in the early months of 2010 and we began to research and plan.
As I look back at 2010 the year has been packed full of ups, downs, lessons, and abundant blessings. Though each step of the process seemed to take a year; looking back the time has really gone quickly. I am thankful for all of the experiences and lessons God has worked in and through us this year. He is readying our hearts for parenthood.
Nine months have passed since we started to picture our son and dream about him. We patiently wait upon the Lord to bless us with a son from Ethiopia as we take comfort in knowing that God's timing is perfect. Each day we know that we are getting closer and we pray for our son and the new blessings in 2011.
Instead of pregnancy pictures I will post this:

This is an old chest of drawers we had and decorated for the little man. It contains all of the adoption paperwork (that has grown each month). We have also put a few items that were given to us for him inside the drawers.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

This Time Next Year...

During this time of waiting it is encouraging to think that this time next year we will have our son with us. While we were spending time with family and friends this holiday season we would think about the blessing that God has in store for us. Every day is one more closer.

God is good and knows when our little man is supposed to be with us. I would say that God knows when he will be a part of our family but he already his. Our son has been in our hearts and a part of our family since before we began the paperwork last spring. We eagerly anticipate a phone call this year when we find out who he is and when he will be with us.

We want to take this time to thank all of you for your prayers and support as we continue in this process.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Here in the United States clean water has always been accessible. We walk to the kitchen or bathroom and turn on the faucet it flows out and we don't stop to think about the miracle and blessing it is. We drink it, shower, cook, clean, swim...

The story of charity: water - The 2009 September Campaign Trailer from charity: water on Vimeo.

There are about 7 billion people on the planet; and for nearly 1 billion of those people, having access to clean water is sadly not a reality. Not yet... but it can be. Every twenty seconds a child dies of a water related disease. Clean water saves lives.

You might have noticed the charity:water button at the bottom of my blog. It is an incredible non-profit organization that uses 100%. ONE.HUNDRED.PERCENT of their donations to fund clean water projects in developing countries. They have done some great work in Ethiopia. I encourage you to give water.

I know that I take it for granted that I can just turn on the faucet fill my glass and drink. For nearly a billion people that would be like turning on the faucet and having gold pour out.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


We received our December waiting list numbers. There was not much progress, we moved only one spot closer to bringing our little man home. We are number 56. Hannah's Hope is at capacity now. As soon as the parents of the children at HH receive court dates, pass court, and are able to bring their children home HH will be able to take in more children from the govermnent orphanages.

We continue to wait and pray.

Gold, Myrrh, Frankincense

Tis the season... The stores are full of shoppers, the mailboxes are full of packages, people are scurrying to get just the "right" gift. All meaning is lost when gifts are given just for the sake of giving a gift; when we have more than we could ever need.

I enjoy aspects of the Christmas season. The lights, trees, seasonal decor and gift giving are all fun; but not what Christmas is all about. Sadly the true reason for the celebration of Christmas is too easily forgotten. It breaks my heart that so many people get so wrapped up in the commercialism and materialism of this season without ever thinking about the greatest gift, Jesus.
Each year Dave and I discuss gift giving and decide to do less than the year before. This year we are trying to only give handmade gifts, gifts that support fair trade, or giving in the name of someone else.
Throughout the adoption process God has been developing a deeper world view in our hearts and minds. We keep learning staggering statistics that can't be ignored. We live a life full of blessings and want to live a life that blesses others for the glory of God.

The sermon series at church this season is Advent Conspiracy and the focus is to Give Presence instead of presents. I am glad that our church is participating in this.

Monday, November 29, 2010


I am a few days late, but I would still like to talk about Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday because of all that it represents. I love that it isn't an overly commercialized materialistic holiday. As a vegetarian I don't get too excited about the turkey or any of the food really, well, maybe the pie. I love that it is a holiday that celebrates all the things we are thankful for, and there is so much to be thankful for.
My Lord and savior
My amazing husband
My friends and family
God's Promises and Provision
A boy in Ethiopia that will become our son
Our sons birth family
Our home
...and so much more

My heart fills with joy and anticipation and my eyes well up with tears when I think about having our precious boy at the table next Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kids, Curiosity, Cocoa, and Conversation.... and Chili too

On a very cold evening at work last week I got to be a part of one of the most precious conversations. J the eight year old boy was wearing our adoption T-shirt. M his five year old sister asked me to read what it said. I told her Providence, Compassion, Ethiopia, Adoption, Family, Love; and of all of words to question she asked, "What does adoption mean?" I started with the example of how their pets needed a home and so their family adopted them, gave them a home and a family. I know that that is nothing in comparison to the life and need of a child but for the sake of simplicity that is where I began. I told her how the tree in the picture was growing its roots in Africa the continent where my son lives. We talked about where it is on the map. He asked why he didn't live with me and she asked if he grew in my tummy. I tried to give the best and most simplified version that doesn't confuse or worry the hearts of kids. We talked about how he has grown in another mommy's tummy and my love for him has grown in my heart. While sipping their hot chocolate they asked questions that pulled on my heartstrings. What a blessing it is to have a family and how heartbreaking to know that there are 147 million children in the world right now who do not have a family. I cherish these moments with children and look forward to God filling our house with the greatest blessings.

Saturday we went to Denver for the LFS adoption family Chili Fest. I made a huge crock of vegetarian chili, yum! We were able to see some of the other families we met during our training in September as well as get to know a few new people. I LOVE the community that is created through adoption. We are blessed to have other friends who have been and are going through this process. It is nice to network together even if it is just online. Glad to be on the journey!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Biometrics FINGERPRINTING-done

Yesterday we had a Denver Date! We were up early and on the road just after 6. Our biometrics fingerprinting appointment was at 8 an we wanted to be sure to be there! It is complete and we look forward to our approval letter from USCIS. We took a picture outside of the office, since cameras aren't allowed inside. I will try and post it later. Following our appointment we went to one of our favorite bookstores to browse and have a cup of tea. Such a nice break for a Monday!

I don't know how long I can keep it up, but here is another song to match the theme of my post.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Orphan Sunday

Today is Orphan Sunday. Our church recognized this event and our pastor shared on the topic. Some of the adoptive families in the congregation shared their stories and we were able to talk about how God has called us to adopt.

We were able to sell many of our T-shirts too! Praise God for the blessings and support. It is great to be a part of a church that loves and lives as a community.

We are passionate about adoption and orphan care. I have wanted to talk about how people can get involved, but I don't think it can better be said than how it is in What you can do.
It is a great read

Finally, I would like to share this song with you. It seems appropriate today.

Friday, November 5, 2010

November Waiting List Update

Today we received an email from AGCI. There were a LOT of referrals in the last month. Praise God for all of the children being matched with their forever families.

Our new numbers are...

for siblings and

for a boy!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

We already love you.

As always, you are on my mind sweet child. I think about you so many times throughout the day. My eyes usually fill will tears and sometimes stream down my face as I think of you and how much your daddy and I already love you. We are so ready for you to come home. A bedroom, some toys, two cats, two dogs, and eager hearts await your arrival. God is preparing our hearts as we wait for you. I know that there is so much He wants your daddy and I to learn. The timing will be perfect and just how God has destined it. We pray that your heart will be ready for our love and that that the love of the Lord will heal you from the grief you experience before coming home.

Loving and preparing for you,

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Getting Giddy!

Tonight I thought I would check into my Yahoo account and see if I had gained access to our agencies List serve (an optional Yahoo group for families to join and discuss things during the waiting time. There is also an UNofficial waiting list that is generated. Just since we have been on the waiting list there have been several referrals. I am waiting to see what the agency says our new number is officially when they call with the update in a few weeks.

Needless to say I am a bit giddy seeing the progress, or maybe it is the shivers because the weather is getting cold, then again it could be the caffeine, but I am pretty sure it is excitement that is making my fingers type about 900 wpm!

Though this is good news, we are prepared for the possible 12-18 months of waiting. God will bring us to the child who is meant to be a Rogers.

Loving falling in love with a child we have not yet met.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The T-shirts came in and went out.

If you ordered a T-shirt it is on its way to you. Thank you to all who have supported us and purchased a shirt. If you get a chance, send us a picture of you wearing it.

There are still shirts available. Let me know if you would like one.

Adult sizes- S,M,L,XL, and 2XL ~$20
Kids sizes-2-4, 6-8, 10-12, $12.50

Thursday, October 21, 2010

We are on the waitinglist!!!!!!!!

Today our caseworker called and said that she received our revised papers, and that we are now on the waiting list!!!!!! We are so excited.

On the siblings list we are number 52

On the boy list we are number 69

There is not a specific breakdown on each list for the age parameters. It includes families waiting for children of all ages. God knows just when this will all happen and who are child(ren) are. It will be an exciting surprise to find receive a referral. Our kiddo might be a baby, a toddler, or a preschooler!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Say a prayer, cross our fingers.

The dossier corrections are complete and the revised documents were dropped off at FedEx this afternoon. I hope they get there just as fast as they did last week. We can't wait to get our waiting list numbers.

I've been tracking the T-shirt order it should be arriving tomorrow. Can't wait to see that FedEx truck in front of the house! I will send them out right away. I ordered extras, you can still get one if you haven't already!

Monday, October 18, 2010

An Invitation, Revisions, and Peace

More fingerprints? Yes. We received the official invitation and appointment for biometrics fingerprinting for the completion of our USCIS approval. Our appointment is in Denver on November 8th.

I spoke with our caseworker this morning and she is not sure why we weren't contacted on Friday, but our dossier does need a few easy revisions and then we will be able to say it is really done. I can't wait to say that!

God has blessed my heart with such an enormous amount of peace about all of this. I know that my doubting self will not remain this calm as we wait, and wait; but at this time I have such peace. Trusting in His beautiful plan and continuing to dream about the beautiful children that will be joining our family. Our child, or children, will be here exactly when they are supposed to be here.

Now, if God would just tell us when that is... that would be awesome. But then we would miss out on all He has to teach us during this time.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Today was supposed to be the day that we'd hear from AGCI about our dossier review; and hopefully get a number on the waiting lists. I tried to be patient all day and not call for an update. Then David came home and we went to Toy Story 3 at the dollar theater. I was certain that we would have a voice message or an email when we got home. Nothing. Now we have to wait all weekend to hear the news.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Something to watch while we wait.

Warning: This video might make you cry.
Watching it brought out so many emotions.

Looking forward to the day we meet who God is placing in our family and praying for their hearts.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

FedEx is fast!

At 5:23 last night we had handed FedEx had our completed dossier, said a prayer, and asked them to deliver it to our international agency, AGCI, in Portland, Oregon. This morning, before I could even post about yesterday's events, our case worker called and said she already has it! Less than 18 hours after handing over to FedEx. Tomorrow it will be reviewed and we should be on the waiting list!

This week has been a...
and it's only Wednesday! I was feeling the pressure and more than a little stressed about getting all of the dossier completed and submitted.

God is good and active.

We're thankful for His everyday miracles revealed throughout this process.

Sorting.Stacking.Praying....and Teary eyed

So much has gone into this.
Now we wait for the greatest gift imaginable.

So many emotions

the glorious finished product

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Praise God For Kind People

First of all I'd like to thank all of you who were praying for us today, and everyday.

Second of all I'd like to send out a big thank you to WIECHMANN BOYCE & ASSOCIATES, LLP Certified Public Accountants

After being frustrated with about 15 CPA offices that didn't want to help me because I was not an already existing client, let alone hear what I had to say, I knew this wasn't looking good. My sister in law said a prayer and googled CPA firms in Colorado Springs and asked if I had tried WIECHMANN BOYCE & ASSOCIATES. With little faith or expectation I dialed the number and was surprised to find the receptionist to be very helpful. She then connected me with one of the CPA's and he didn't hang up.

Sometimes I take it for granted when I am treated like a real person, well I certainly wasn't taking that for granted today. I have nothing but good things to say about WIECHMANN BOYCE & ASSOCIATES, LLP Certified Public Accountants and highly recommend you use them for any accounting services you might need.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dossier Update

Columbus Day 2010 - Best One Yet!

We drove up to Colorado Secretary of State Office in Denver to have the Power of Attorney form authenticated, or obtain an apostille

I have to admit that we had not been working as diligently on the dossier as we could have and should have been. Diligence is the word of the week! Throughout the process there have been a few communication glitches, fortunately nothing too big. This week we discovered that as our dossier was the only thing keeping us from the waiting list.

Since that big news we've been busting our tails completing and chasing the final documents. I am pleased to announce that we have one paper left (my employment verification). We are praying that tomorrow we will get this one knocked out and everything will almost be in the mail.

Please pray that we can complete the dossier and get it in the mail Wednesday. We want to get on the waiting list!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Kids' T-shirts now available!

You already know about the t-shirts that are on the way.
(And special thanks to all of you who already ordered one!)

But what you don't know is that we are getting kids' shirts as well!

Kids' Sizes Available Are:
2-4, 6-8, 10-12, 14-16

$12.50 each

(To see the original post about the shirts please click the link on the left.)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What will we do this weekend?

The last two weeks we have gone up to Denver for our International Adoption Class. I will miss seeing the other couples this week; but am looking forward to some rest and time to work on what still remains for the dossier.

In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice,
in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
Psalm 5:3

Today I woke up feeling alive, blessed, and at peace with God's plan. The waiting is not easy but He has the perfect plan and we will enjoy this time too.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Almost there!

We received notice that our homestudy was approved by the State of Colorado. Next step: moving onto USCIS approval! What is USCIS you might ask? US Citizen Immigration Services. And then... once they give us the thumbs up we will be placed on the list for a toddler boy 12-36 months and the sibling list 0-48 months.

It is all in the hands of God and He knows who our children are. They're out there.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How do all of you moms of toddlers keep your house clean?

I am a nanny. I am experienced in caring for kids, my house is not. Both of the parents in the family I work for were sick with the flu today. Two of the three kids had also gotten sick. So today I brought the youngest, and only one to escape the sickness so far, to my house. He is precious and so full of energy. However, I learned that my house is not as "kid friendly" as I thought.

There will be plenty of time to prepare before our sweet boy comes home, but it was definitely something to consider beginning. It isn't like I have swords in the kitchen corner or broken glass in the family room; but goodness I've got to move some stuff around!

I love my job and will love being a mother but am seriously wondering when one finds time to clean. I guess it would be in the evening (when I'm blogging... but, I cleaned before I even logged on.) Everyone says that kids change EVERY.thing. I will have to work on time management, and pray for beautiful naps.

I can't wait for life to change and my house to transform into a toddler's home.

Monday, September 27, 2010

T-shirt Design

Here it is! I had this idea to make a shirt after seeing so many great t-shirts that other adopting families had, i.e. the Fulmer's and the Helms'.

Let me know if you are interested in purchasing one to support our adoption. We'd love to see our shirt represented in every state.

$20 for adults S, M, L, XL, XXL
$12.50 for kids 2-4, 6-8, 10-12

If you'd like a shirt please email me at and let me know what size you'd like.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Human Race

Yesterday we finished our 24 hour international adoption course in Denver. Just as it was last Thursday and Friday, Saturday was packed full of information. I am glad that we aren't going into this completely naive and blind.

No amount of education or preparation can fully prepare us for the future, but I am thankful that we've been provided with a lot of information. Honestly some of the topics and discussion were difficult to swallow. Adoption is a life long journey. It is filled with ups and downs, losses and gains.

The majority of Saturday's class focused on transracial
adoption. Of course I have thought about the obvious. We are white, our kids will not be. In my mind I didn't/don't see it as a big deal.... and it won't be in our home. We will do the best we can with what God has given us to raise our kids up to feel secure about who they are as individuals and made in His image.

At the same time we cannot shelter them from the rest of the world. I am saddened that racism still exists, and baffled by the ignorance of people, even some Christians. God is our creator. Father of ALL. He doesn't love one people group more than another.

Embrace humanity, the uniqueness of people, and God's creation.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The dossier is coming together

I have mentioned the dossier several times in previous posts. Of course, those of you adoptive families already know what that is... and you have survived or are working through it too. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with what it is here is the definition:

dos·si·er - noun 
 [dos-ee-ey, -ee-er, daw-see-ey, -see-er; Fr. daw-syey]
a collection or file of documents on the same subject, esp. a complete file containing detailed information about a person or topic.

This is all of the required paperwork that we compile to send to Ethiopia. I am thrilled to say it has not been nearly as stressful as I'd thought it might be and we are almost done.

I am headed to bed now and excited for tomorrow as we head back to Denver to complete the adoption training from last week and get to connect with the other families.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A daily blog, maybe... I think

I like the idea of writing something everyday and chronicling this whole process. I finally have the ability to do that with the recent addition of the internet to our home. Yes, I know that this is 2010. Seriously though we just got the internet (again) a little over a month ago after 18 months without it.
Honestly todays events regarding the adoption process aren't spilling out of my fingers as I type this. A rather uneventful day, though some progress was made. I got my medical form signed by my doctor and got more passport size photos taken at Costco to attach to our dossier documents.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Up, down, up, down... whoa!

Roller coasters make me want to puke.
It is still early afternoon and today has already been full of ups and downs. It is my day off, definitely and UP for attempting to make progress with the dossier. I spent the morning with a mom I met at Chipotle a few weeks ago. I introduced myself to her because I was certain that the beautiful little girl with her was Ethiopian... I was right. She also order a veggie bowl, so I of course loved her immediately. Today we got to talk about adoption, Ethiopia, and life over a cup of Ethiopian coffee. I was encouraged by her experience and knowing that this is a journey and in the end, we will have the beginning of a lifetime of parenting the love of our lives.
Downer number one came when I spoke with our caseworker at AGCI about the current estimated wait times. We were told a few months ago that at the completion of our paperwork we'd wait 1-6 months for a referral. We have been planning and anticipating being home as a family in the spring of 2011. Today my world flipped for a minute when she said it is safest to say 12-18 months. WHAT?!?! I am still trying to wrap my mind around it all... and honestly my heart broke a bit. Ethiopia is going to great lengths to investigate abandonment and relinquishment to ensure that all children being adopted are legitimately orphaned. This actually is a good thing... but hard to swallow. I have known from the beginning, and need to be reminded daily that this is God's timeline, He is in control and each step WILL lead us to the child He has chosen to put in our family. We will rejoice in the wait. It just hit me kind of hard at first. God has a lot for us to learn and patience is certainly something we all could use a little more of.
The conversation with our caseworker also had an UP, when she said our homestudy is officially approved. Now it is on the way to be state approved, what a process.
Second DOWN was when I shared my desire to stay in country between court dates and do work with Compassion International. She told me not to, and strongly advised that we are only there for court appearances and then must leave. I asked if I had to return to the US or just leave ET... apparently I can go anywhere as long as I leave. I would like to at least stay in Africa and find another mission to be a part of.
The roller coaster called .LiFe. continues. It is a journey and I am learning to embrace it all. God is at work, we are His hands and feet.
~my prayer today, lead me Lord.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I have been reading Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft by Mary Hopkins-Best. Definitely a great read for anyone considering adopting a toddler. In the first chapter of the book the author, an international adoptive mother of a toddler writes about what she felt her son (an any adopted toddler) might say if they could.
"Please learn as much as you can about me before you decide to be my mom or dad, so you won't be surprised about me. Don't think of me as a helpless infant, even though I may not yet be able to do all the things most kids my age can do. Don't treat me as if I'm older than I really am just because I act as if I don't need you to take care of me, however. When I push you away it is when I need you to hold me and tell me that you will never let me go. I had to learn to do many things for myself before you came into my life, and it's hard for me to learn to depend on you as much as I should. Please recognize and help me with my special needs, but remember that I am still a lot more like other kids than I am different. See me first as your child, not as your adopted child or a child with special needs.
Sometimes I feel sad and really mad. Don't pretend that I don't have these feelings, and don't get discouraged when I take out my strong feelings on you. Most of the time I am not really mad at you, but you're the one who's here now and the one I can safely show my feelings to. I know in my heart that you didn't do anything to hurt me, but I get all mixed up.
My memories of other moms and places where I've lived are all in my mind, but they're stored in pictures, sounds, feelings, and even smells. I don't have the words to talk about these things. I can't figure out why that other mom disappeared, and I'm worried that you might go away, too. I often have to test you because it's hard for me to believe that you won't leave me, too. In fact, it's pretty scary for me to love you and trust you, so I might have to test your love
the most when you start to be important to me.
Sometimes I just want to curl up in a ball and be a little baby again so someone will take care of me. Other times I want to do everything by myself and I feel like running away from you. Please be patient. We have a long time together. After all, the really worthwhile things in life usually aren't very easy and they don't happen overnight."

If you've made it to the bottom of this post and read that excerpt then I'd like to tell you how it evoked serious emotion in me. I keep returning to those pages and re-reading it. I feel so privileged that God has chosen us for this. We get to be parents and are so excited and dedicated to loving them for the rest of our lives.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Together for Ethiopian Food

After our adoption class on Friday we went to Boulder for dinner.

We ate at

It was David's first time trying Ethiopian food. He didn't take to it as well as I did the first time, but we will have plenty of time to get used to it. It was a wonderful date as we reflected on the class and looked toward the future with great anticipation of meeting our child(ren).

Saturday, September 18, 2010

2 days of learning and loving

We are in Boulder right now, I love this place. We spent all day Thursday and Friday in Denver attending the Lutheran Family Services International adoption training class. The class was required by the state and honestly we weren't super excited to go. We thought that it would just continue the repetitiveness of all the other things we have done thus far. It turned out to be very informative and actually fun. We were blessed to spend time with seven other adopting couples; three of them who are also in process with Ethiopia. We also had the privilege of questioning a parent panel who has completed the process and have their children home. Dave said, "It is nice to see that at the end of all the paperwork and process we really do get to parent a child." It was funny and so true, sometimes I feel that the process is so consuming that the travel and child seems so distant. We ARE getting closer each day and falling more in love with what we haven't yet seen. The training will continue and conclude next Saturday. I am already looking forward to hanging out with these wonderful people again.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Law

My day off this week was very productive and dealt with the law in a couple different ways. As AGCI reviewed our homestudy they requested that we each have a Last Will and Testament that specifically states the rights and care of our adopted children. Luckily we were able to get in the JAG office during walk in hours (and had to wait hours). We officially have new wills reflecting our future family. It was a little strange having them written about children we don't yet have but gives us a sense of how quickly this is coming to be!
After meeting with the lawyer I headed to the neighborhood law enforcement station. I filled out the forms requesting a local background investigation for both David and I. Though we have FBI clearance we apparently need EL Paso county to give us the go ahead too. Another step, luckily this one only cost $12.
Seriously, I will try and be better at keeping this updated...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Today we got to read:

After what seemed like a long wait, we were finally able to read our completed homestudy (draft). Our social worker came over, we read it.. and boy is it weird to read about yourself. It will now be sent on to AGCI and hopefully approved quickly. NOW, we really need to get to work on the dossier completion.
My sister in law and dear friend is here visiting. We are a little overly excited about decorating a room for the little one. Today we bought some fabric for making pillows and few other things. I will post pictures upon completion!

Monday, September 6, 2010


I should start off by saying, "Wow I really have been bad at posting lately". I hope my followers haven't given up on me. It has been a looong time; in fact David actually wrote that last post for me while I was in Seattle.
So here's an update. We are done with the online education and the workbook. All education has been approved and I am trying to find time in my schedule to work on the dossier. Our social worker emailed and said our homestudy is finally complete and ready for approval. She will be bringing it over on Thursday for us to review. Can't wait!
I spent about a week in Seattle with my brother for his wedding. While I was there I thought I should take advantage of the Ethiopian restaurants.
This neighborhood was full of all things Ethiopian.

My delicious vegetarian food. I was thrilled to find a huge selection of vegetarian choices.

Injera (the bread used to scoop up all the food, there aren't utensils)

This was the owner of Lalibela, he was excited about the adoption and shared some information on the country and culture as well as his families contact info for when I travel!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Last night I went to a great Ethiopian restaurant in Seattle. I've been very excited to try Ethiopian food for quite some time now. And yes, an Ethiopian restaurant just opened up in Colorado Springs but instead I first checked out Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant. Now that I've confirmed how great the food is I can't wait to try the new place in the Springs.

Not sure if I'll be able to cook some authentic food for our family but I hope to learn a few things when I'm in Ethiopia next year!

By the way, Seattle is great! I was out to see my brother and his fiancee get married! Very exciting!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Our Coffee Store!

You may have noticed the new button on our blog (over on the left). Just Love Coffee Roasters is a coffee company that donates $5 for every bag purchased to families that are adopting. Their coffee is organic and fair trade that supports African farmers. They also strive to unite orphans with their forever families and care for waiting orphans.

Did you know that coffee is believed to have its origins in Ethiopia?

If you love coffee and want to try out Just Love Coffee Roasters we will receive $5 (for each bag purchased) to put towards our adoption expenses. Please make sure you follow the button link there, and that the url is ~You will see a picture of us and our store name This is Providence.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Seeing things a little more clearly

Yesterday was a good day. I had the whole day off work. My morning started with a cup of tea and a webinar and phone conference with our official adoption coordinator. Her name is Toni and she will be helping us figure out things along the way. She talked through the steps we are about to begin and answered a lot of questions. I am still a little overwhelmed about how to do it all, but definitely not feeling as blind about the process as I was just a few days ago.
After the web conference I had a couple appointments. I got new contacts and glasses. I really am seeing things MUCH more clearly. Now I am really ready to dig into the papers!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Another Monday, Another Step Closer

Today we received the Adoption Planner from AGCI... it is big, and a little overwhelming. Lots of instructions, pray that we don't mess anything up. Everything has to be perfect, notarized, and if dates/signatures don't match then it won't go through. We plan to quadruple check everything, maybe more. When I better understand what all of the BIG book means I will explain for those of you wondering just what is included. We are done with the home study. It was truly a great experience. Our social worker is completing the report now.

I am finding that the online adoption community is essential in supporting and encouraging us throughout this journey. Thanks to all of you blogger and facebook friends. I am so thankful to be going through this together... as well as blessed by the wisdom from those of you who have traveled this road before us.
I would like to share the Shubin family adoption blog with you. They adopted a three year old boy a while back and are on the journey to a toddler girl now. Erica has been a great encourager and recommended some books for us to read. My amazon order just arrived in the mail today; can't wait to start reading them.

Check out the video of their journey.

We can't wait to meet our son and praying that he will feel the love that is bursting out of our hearts for him.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Compassion is one of my favorite topics, along with adoption; they go hand in hand really. The sermon series at church has been about Portraits of Compassion. We are taking a deeper look at what compassion really is and how it is or should be lived out in our everyday lives. Though I frequently use the word compassion in conversation I don't know if I have ever taken a look at the dictionary definition "a feeling of distress and pity for the suffering or misfortune of another, including the desire to alleviate it"
The key point that defines compassion is a desire (hopefully action) to do something in response to the needs of others. I am glad to be reminded of what it really means and to be continually evaluating my life and actions. What can I do for others?
Compassion International is one of my favorite non-profits. I love the what they stand for and the work they do. We sponsor some kids through them and love to get letters, pictures, and updates from them. The first child that we started sponsoring is an Ethiopian boy. We chose him while we were engaged because his birthday is our wedding day. His name is Shemsedin and we will get to meet him when we travel to bring home our little one. He is the cutie on the left.

We keep this on the buffet in the dining room so that we see them while we eat and pray for them at dinner time.

Friday, July 30, 2010

I like to sign my name.

Yesterday we signed our names more times than I care to count. We completed the orientation packet and had everything notarized. Now it is in the mail and on its way to AGCI in Portland. Once they receive our packet, along with a hefty first payment we will be on our way to even more paper work, notarizing, and signing. They estimate that dossier paperwork will take 3 to 6 months. I plan on attacking it like a full time job. I may be too optimistic but I am aiming for 2 months... especially since we have been compiling some of the same stuff in our homestudy.
I hope that my posts don't get too boring... just a LOT of papers for now.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Answers when we weren't even asking questions.

Providence is at work. God has been guiding us to and through this adoption. We decided to get started at the beginning of 2010. We initially requested an infant under 12 months on our pre-app. Traditionally first time parents start with a baby (birth or adoption). Then again, nothing about the way we are becoming parents is traditional. When submitting our formal application we prayed, discussed, and marked under 24 months.
Recently God has been stirring our hearts even more. We were discussing bringing home our future child, fully aware of the fact the s/he is already living in Ethiopia right now. We have no idea what circumstances s/he is living in. I told David that we should change our request to an even older child. He absolutely agreed. God had been working in both our hearts at the same time, giving us an answer to a question we didn't know we were asking. Since we are so young we probably will be on the list for a child 3 or under. (you generally have to be 21 years older than the child)
You might wonder, why are we choosing an older child? All children are a blessing and we just want to be parents. We are around so many babies and as a nanny I have atleast had a "baby" experience. The majority of adoption applications processed are for an infant. My heart kept wondering about the older kids, how long will they wait for a home? Does a child who enters the orphanage when they are two wait another two years for a home? I love that the Holy Spirit is working in my life, my heart, and marriage. It must be Providence that Dave and I heard him speaking the same vision for our family. It would be really cool if we could get a sibling referral, but that is totally out of our hands.
On Friday we had our conference call with AGCI... and guess what?! We shared our desire to adopt an older child AND THE WAIT TIME IS LESS THAN HALF OF AN INFANT REFERRAL! We still have tons of paperwork and waiting for things to be approved by different agencies and governments but could be preparing to meet our kiddo is as early as six months from now.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My Yellow Brick Road

The road isn't yellow, instead it is black and white papered and leads to Addis Ababa, not the Emerald City.

I can't believe we are finally at this point. I have dreamed about it most of my life (really). Adoption has always been a subject of interest and common conversation topic for David and I. Now, we are really doing it! The clearances have come back, home study is underway, and we just received our international agency paperwork in the mail. I can't explain all that I feel... I am honestly a bit overwhelmed, but mostly full of joy. The paper chase... daunting, the cost... huge, the journey... magnificent.
As I looked over the documents and all that is to come in the next months I couldn't even get a handle on all my emotions. My eyes welled up with tears, and I couldn't stop smiling, my heart even seemed to beat with a certain intensity. Redundant, I know, but I seriously can't even fathom the road ahead, but here we go... finally embarking upon this journey that I have been called to and dreamed about since I was just a kid.
This Kansas girl is lovin' it!
If only I could click my ruby slippers together and be there now.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Just as Dory in Finding Nemo says, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..." I am constantly playing the words through my head and sometimes I say them out loud. "Just keep waiting/praying/hoping/loving, just keep..." Lots of waiting and praying.
Things are going well. Yesterday (Thursday) we had our second homestudy visit. We got to talk about marriage. It was a great to talk about my amazing husband and nice to reflect on the past 3 years of marriage, 5 1/2 years of being together, and almost 20 years of knowing eachother. I think that sometimes life gets so busy that I don't take enough time to reflect on the past and the wonders of today. Of course I always know that David is an incredible man and fabulous husband; we have such a great time together and love to dream about the future. I truly enjoyed answering the questions and am so glad that we share the love we do. Sometimes it is easier to realize just how truly blessed I am when was asked to talk about the one I love.

I hope our kiddo likes Nemo.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

One visit down 3 more to go!

We finally met our social worker from Lutheran Family Services. She was great and the time was a blessing. Ahh how I love to talk about adoption, and the way God has prepared our hearts for each of these moments. It was kind of fun answering her questions. An important step forward. (Once we finish the homestudy and the social worker writes the report... it will go through a series of approvals and then we can be put on the waiting list.) Pray with us that there won't be too many, hopefully no hiccups along the way. We will be working as quick as possible to prepare the dossier (massive paperwork for International adoption) in the next few weeks or months... not quite sure yet how that will all work out!
Halleluiah! We are moving forward.
I am praising God today for all the little blessings coming together to make it all happen. Exhausted and rejoicing about all of the extra jobs! Pray with us and for us as we venture into the DEEP paperwork, I hope to escape without too many paper cuts.
Next meeting: Thursday afternoon!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Tomorrow will mark a milestone in the adoption process. We will finally have our first homestudy visit. I am sure a lot of behind the scenes background check work has been being done the last few months, but it will be great to see something happening. I am excited to meet our social worker, Melissa. We have been talking to her via email or phone since the fall. She seems really sweet.
I will update again when I have more news.
In the mean time, God is revealing so much more to us each day as he breaks our hearts for the world. Wow, how it hurts to even think these days. The more I read, the more I know, the more I am broken... praying to BE the CHANGE we are wishing to see in THE WORLD. I used to think being content was a good thing... in some respects it is. We are content with what we have, we do not need or want for anything (well maybe want but nothing necessary). We are happy with wherever God lands us. Life is a journey and a circus... and we are loving living in it. Okay, back to content and how it is or can be BAD. David and I have been discussing how we should never truly be content with the world and the status quo. God designed us for more. We should never stop doing, the world is in desperate need of love and change. I don't ever want to fall into a routine of completely content... where I am comfortable with not caring about the needs of others. I also am aware that we are only two people, and can't do it all by ourselves.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

the most precious gift

Dear Beautiful Young Ethiopian Woman,
I have not met you, I don't know your name and may never get to. All I know is that a sad reality will lead to you giving us the ultimate gift. I think about you everyday and pray for your heart,health and safety. I wonder about your life now. Are you pregnant with our child, or have you given birth? Do you have other children? Will our child have siblings in Ethiopia? Who is the father... are you in a loving relationship... is he still living? Are you scared,sick or hungry? How long will you be able to care for and love the precious one that connects us? I know that you will love the child with all that you are and have. What are the events leading up to you surrendering your child to the orphanage? I can only imagine the heartbreak you feel. I pray that you will feel comfort and a sense of peace about the future of your child, our child.
With all of our hearts, we will love this blessing of a child that you are going to share with us. As s/he grows we will nurture and love with all that God has given us. We will teach about their roots in Ethiopia and share our love for all of Africa. You will be a part of our lives and always in my heart. I will tell our child how you gave the gift of life... and how much I know you love them.
The feelings in my heart are beyond words. Please know that I am grateful for you and the child we are waiting for, as well as sorrowful because you will be losing so much as we are blessed with this child.
I wish with so much that I could spend time with you now, show you how much David and I already love this child, help you in someway, but most of all wrap my arms around you because I love you as a sister and for the gift you will be giving us. I put my faith in the Lord and pray that He will wrap His loving arms around you, protect you, and cover you in love.
We share something so special, the privilege of being a mother to the same child. I will be "mom" on the first day of school, David will teach our child to ride a bike, we will teach about the love of God, and we will be there when the child finds love and starts a family... but you will never be forgotten. You were mother in the beginning and gave life. We will honor you in any way we can by keeping the Ethiopian name you give as a middle name. We will celebrate Ethiopian traditions and be eternally thankful for the life and love you have given.
Mother to Mother,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

dreaming about our "Gotcha Day"

I came across this video on a blog and watching with tears of joy and anticipation. All of the videos I have seen are great but this one is really special because it is the same orphanage where we will get our child.
Watch and enjoy.

Evyn's Gotcha Day + Adoption story from emily Vogeltanz on Vimeo.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Go the distance.

Dear Sweet Child of mine,
You are living across the world and growing in my heart. 8390 miles is the distance between Colorado Springs and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I would go any distance to bring you home. What a blessing you are. God has destined you for our is Providence . I can't wait to make the journey and embrace you in my arms and pour upon you the love bursting from my heart.
Loving you more each day, patiently waiting to meet you,
Your mother

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Blogging makes me cry

So today I got a chance to catch up on some of the Ethiopian adoption blogs that I follow/stalk. God is doing amazing things. I love to track the progress of others and see them pass court, travel, or post video of their African beauty taking their first steps into their "forever home." It is also hard for me to submerge myself in it, I get anxious and my eyes fill with tears that drip onto my "expecting a special delivery from Africa" T-shirt. I know that everyone endures the long paperwork pregnancy and I need to be patient and content with the lessons God is teaching me right now. But, of course I want to bring my baby home now.
Isn't the Internet a crazy, scary, and wonderful thing? I feel I have a familial connection with people all around the world. The shared bond of Ethiopian adoption or adoption in general. I find it strange/awesome that in a google search I can find so many stories, similar to ours. I really want to meet up with some of these people. Praying for connections. Loving Africa more everyday. Baby, I am coming for you... this is providence!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Lets ask the four legged kids

We currently have four furry children... or atleast pets who think that they are our children. They tend to be the center of attention at home. Little do they know, when the baby comes home their lives will change.
Are they ready?
Mocha~ the oldest cat is five. I think she enjoys her role as the oldest and dominant one. She has been caught napping on the adoption paperwork. This leads me to believe one of the following: either she is so comfortable with the idea she dreams about the baby while napping on the paperwork... or she doesn't want to share the house with anyone else so she is trying to keep us from the papers.

Moses~ is three and sweet as can be. According to history he likes to sniff babies and then return to "his" closet. He doesn't seem to have an opinion.

Riley~ is two and going to be a great dog for her baby and is known to welcome everyone. Walks will be more difficult with two dogs and a stroller, good thing she is David's super star. She loves kids, especially when they drop food on the floor.

Bruno~ is almost two and he is my baby... a very needy baby. I am pretty sure he thinks he is a human baby. Maybe that is because when he was a puppy I carried him in a baby sling. He will just have to adjust to being a big boy when the time comes.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Don't Pity Me

I know too well that people automatically want to feel sorry for me at the mention of our adoption plans. They assume: I must not be able to have children, adoption is a second choice, or international adoption is a last resort. If you are thinking this, you are mistaken. Please don't waste a second pitying me. Instead, think about the hungry, homeless, hurting, and hopeless people in the world. Pity will not benefit them but prayer and action will. There are so many ways to change the life of another person, do something. Change the World.
It is true that prior to fully pursuing adoption I had experienced infertility. "Our" plan was to have a couple kids while we are young and adopt when we got older and had the finances to do so. What I have experienced has molded me into who I am today, and I am so thankful for the lessons and struggles. I fully embrace the plan God has for my life and am love love loving it. Throughout the almost two years of trying I couldn't ignore my heart and God's call for adoption. Though I had often heard that couples couldn't adopt internationally until they were 30, I began to research our options full force. We found that just a couple of countries and agencies will allow 23 year olds. Perfect! I am 23 and David is 24! Along with adoption always being on my heart, I have also had a strange almost obsession with Africa. God is awesome like that, by placing two things in my heart that I didn't necessarily see related to the other. Now I am seeing The Big Picture as Africa and adoption align just perfectly in His plan. His promise of motherhood never meant I had to get pregnant. When I was just a child, God gave me a heart and a vision for His children-the orphans of the world. I have always loved adoption and the miracle of a child growing in my heart. Adoption means so much to me, just as I have been adopted as a child of God.
An adopted child is not a consolation prize. I know people have good intentions, but I am really sick of people saying "You know you will get pregnant now that you are adopting." I think I understand what they are trying to say; but to me it sounds like this- "God will bless me with what I really want (pregnancy) if I do something good (adopt)." God is blessing me now, and adoption is the desire of my heart. My heart has never been so full of joy, peace, and contentment. I will rejoice in any way that the Lord adds to my family. I am not opposed to getting pregnant, but not grieving about it either. After all, there are 143 million children who need the love of a family.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Finger Prints

Today we submitted all of the initial paperwork and first payment for our homestudy (which will be done locally by Lutheran Family Services). We went to the Air Force base and took advantage of the Notary Service as well as fingerprinting. For future reference, if you are a military family and adopting, go to the ITT office for fingerprints. Who would have thought? ITT (Information, Tickets, and Travel... vacation planner). We eventually ended up there after being re-directed a few times. Much more work remains, but it is an exciting step. Soon we will have our social worker conducting our homestudy.
...eventually we will have small fingerprints in our home!

As a nanny, fingerprint art is my favorite.

Monday, April 19, 2010

143 Million

One Hundred and Forty Three Million, CHILDREN, without homes, without families. Yes, that's right, today there are 143 million orphans in the world. Do you know how many 143,000,000 is? Soon the census report will tell us the U.S. population. It is approximately 300 million people. Try and wrap your mind around this, 1/2 of the American population as orphaned children. Ethiopia alone has about 4.4 million orphans. The world is a sad place, full of hurt, hunger and injustice. Lets not forget that because we live in America and don't see this face to face that it isn't happening. It seems like another world, but it's still part of OUR world. Why were we blessed to be born in the U.S? Even in the most unfortunate situations here, there is access to clean water, education, medical care, etc. There is so much more we can be doing. I am not preaching to you, but reminding myself too... that foregoing a Starbucks coffee, delicious frozen custard, t.v, new shoes, whatever can change the life of someone else.
I am a selfish person, I love things, I am not willing to give it ALL away. I am just saying I want to make an honest effort to make a difference, be aware of the world instead of living in ignorance. Sponsoring a child, sending aid money, doing rather than just having intention or "happy thought", adopting are just a few ways to do SoMeThInG. I know that my contributions are just a drop in the bucket of "change."
It isn't all sadness, there is hope in Jesus; His grace and mercy. I ponder the inequality of the world. Why am I so blessed and still complaining? Why are "the least of these" so content with the little or nothing? I don't have answers. My mind is a dangerous machine, it is always spinning and conspiring with my heart. Though it is exhausting just to think and my heart breaks in a million pieces, I am glad that the gears are turning and I will NEVER stop learning.

Be the
CHANGE you wish to see in
A motto to live by.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Just in case you didn't know what it means, here is the definition.
It isn't just the captial city in Rhode Island.
I think, no, I KNOW it is my favorite word. It sums up exactly why we are adopting, why life is the way it is. When somethings happens, I like to say,
"This is Providence"
prov·i·dence   /ˈprɒvɪdəns/ Show Spelled[prov-i-duhns]
1.(often initial capital letter) the foreseeing care and guidance of God or nature over the creatures of the earth.
2.(initial capital letter) God, esp. when conceived as omnisciently directing the universe and the affairs of humankind with wise benevolence.
3.a manifestation of divine care or direction.
4.provident or prudent management of resources; prudence.
5.foresight; provident care.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Encountering God

Sometimes we find ourselves saying, "Where is God now? He did all those miracles in the Bible... why can't we see him today?" I feel so fortunate to have a relationship with Christ. Not that things are perfect, I didn't audibly hear his voice saying "Stacy, be a mother to the motherless." Nonetheless, God told me to do it many years ago. He filled my heart with a love for the world, the needy, and hope for the future. I feel so blessed to have been given such a call from the Lord. The call is so clear, there are so many signs from Him.
Currently I am basking in the glory of a call from the Lord and enjoying each moment, each step to get "there" to Ethiopia and meet my child. I cry out to God, I want to bring my baby home now. In this waiting time of paper pregnancy God is still here, he is everywhere.
Hearing from God isn't always so direct. Sometimes it seems as though our prayers go unheard or unanswered. Sometimes I feel so far from God. Recently David and I were talking and our conversation caused me to think a lot. Even when we don't feel God talking to us he is everywhere. I paused to reflect... God is the living word of the Bible, we see his glory in the trees, flowers, storms, all of nature, in relationships, hard times, joyous times, in the toothless smile of the homeless lady asking me for help, he is EVERYWHERE. Constantly, there are people or situations that God has put in my life to tell me something, to teach me, or use me. I am so thankful for his voice and I pray that I will continue to see him and hear from him. I pray that my excitement will not be exhausted in the interim and that he will use me in ways I can't even begin to imagine.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

nobody said it was gonna be easy

As we dig into the process we are faced with a few challenges. I knew that it was going to be a long and tedious journey, but I wasn't planning for it to be difficult. Shortly after making our adoption choice I read a book, The Strength of Mercy, by Jan Beazley. It is about her call to adopt a daughter from Romania, and ultimately the founding of All God's Children (AGCI) We are currently working with AGCI for our adoption. I enjoyed the book and keep having to remind myself that even though God gives us a vision or calls us to do something doesn't mean it will be easy (she said something like that). We aren't just going to put one foot in front of the other and step into His plan. There will always be road blocks on our path in life (not just adoption) ALWAYS. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to complain. Whatever it takes, I am willing to do. It will be completely worth the wait.
These difficulties will seem so minor in the time to come. I am learning each day that everything is a process and to take in as much as I can each moment. After all, my struggles are nothing compared to the millions of people suffering all over the world; and certainly can't be compared to Jesus' suffering for my sins... now realizing that Easter is in a week. A blessed-sinner I am.
Thankful for what God is teaching me. May it never be forgotten.