Monday, December 6, 2010

christmas card

Year In Review Christmas 5x7 folded card
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Monday, November 15, 2010

All I really want for Christmas

I remember about this time last year hearing this song for the first time...I was in my car, in a parking lot and I began sobbing uncontrollably! This time last year, I was excited for Christmas, but the ache for Micah to be home with us was getting to be ALOT. My heart was so heavy and then I heard this song about a child's wish for Christmas is a family....a family!! Not an ipod, ipad, iphone, kindle, yadda yadda yadda.....A FAMILY!

I'm more excited for Christmas this year then I have been since I was a little girl (I'm begging Matt to get the decorations out already) and I know it's because Micah is home and I get to live Christmas through his eyes and see how that Baby born so long ago in a dirty manager, transformed our lives and brought us to this place of celebrating the birth of our Savior AND celebrating His work in us and through us so that one of His children would have a family for Christmas this year and the rest of his life!!!

I hope and pray that in the hustle and bustle of this time of year, you can stop to pray about what God may be wanting to do in your life in order to give a family to a precious child out there without one...listen to this song and soak in the words....

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My baby...

...isn't a baby anymore!!!!!!!!!!
Can yall believe how BIG he looks????!!!

Just a little picture for all of you who have supported our adoption from the start! Your love, prayers, and yes even your money...have helped bring us to this special place!!
Thank you will never be enough.... but I hope the smile on his face at least makes you smile!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Moments like these.....

While I was cooking dinner tonight I let the boys out back to play - and I glimpsed up and saw that "kodak moment" going on and after a few pictures (of course) it got me thinking....

Moments like these....

~Make my heart swell up with joy, so full I think it could burst

~Make all the hard moments totally worth it

~Make me take a deep a breath and say "Yes God, this WAS right, You were right!"

~Make that 22 hour plane ride (twice!) seem like a breeze!

~Make our tight wallets seem like no sacrifice at all

~Make me glad we didn't charge the battery on that car!

~Make my heart continue to ache for those who don't have parents loving them all day and brothers to push them around in the backyard

~Make me keep asking God how He wants to use us more

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall, Thanksgiving, and Pumpkin Patch

"Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what He has done"
Psalms 105:1

How very thankful we are. Each day we are reminded of all we have been given, while some days are harder than others when you have 2 around the same rowdy age, those days never trump the amount of thanksgiving and praise we have for God who has brought to this place in our lives....

Big smiles and laughter daily,

(Tyler thoroughly enjoyed the 3 laps around a pin on this big pony, which was $4!!)

Lots of loves and hugs,

The time we get to spend all together is never as long or as often as I would like, so when we do have a day without anything planned we try to really make the most of it! The pumpkin patch was a blast and the boys really enjoyed it and we didn't even have to spend alot of money! They just love to be loved....though daddy did splurge and buy $7 pumpkins! (They were the biggest and the brightest...I think) haha.
Fall of course gets us all thinking about Thanksgiving, but this year thanksgiving has reigned in our hearts even more so than usual! How thankful we are to have Micah home with us this year, last year my heart was aching for him to be home (and I didn't even know him yet!) and this year he is HERE! He will be at the big table chowing down on mashed potatoes and stuffing!! What a beautiful site it will be!
But even more than that is what the verse above says "make known among the nations what He has done." We are realizing more and more this is what we are called to do, make God's goodness known all around us and to all the nations.... so while I hope people see our adoption story of Micah and are moved to action, I hope even more that people see we are moved to action because we have been adopted by God, by the death and resurrection of Jesus, and made children of God, heirs with JESUS to the Kingdom of God!
So now... we pray about how God wants to use us to make the nations know all He has done....!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Long Overdue....

A new post is long overdue and I have had this idea for a photo-shoot with Micah since we came home and 5 months later, I got the urge at the spur of the moment today....I put Micah in just his diaper and let him play with the large Ethiopian flag we got at the market while we were there....He was on the move but was able to get a few cute ones of the rowdy little thing!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Goofy Boys

They make me smile....hope this makes you smile too!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

To Micah's Ethiopia Mommy

It is easy to get caught up in Micah Tirfe being home and everything going so smooth, that I just forget about all that happened in order for him to get here. Yes it feels like he has been here forever, but the truth is - he hasn't and a woman's pain has been our gain....Adoption is hard when you get past the surface, when you think about all the things that happened for one family to experience such joy. I don't want to pretend that he just magically landed here - I don't want to belittle all that his Birth Mother went through and sacrificed for him to have the life he has now - I never met her but I pray I get to one day. She has pictures of us and we have pictures of her, but that's about it - So in an attempt to get my feelings out and on paper, I wrote this poem for her....I pray it helps other mother's out there make sense of their feelings and make the decision never to forget the women who chose life for their children, our children and made the ultimate sacrifice for them.

"For Demekech"

~ I can't help but wonder how you must be feeling inside tonight
~Are you sad and lonely, just longing to hold your baby tight?

~My heart aches for you and at times it feels hard to breathe
~Especially when I think about the day you had to leave

~You acted out of love, to save your baby from pain he would endure
~And we'll honor you, by loving him-that you can know for sure

~There's moments when he looks at me and I see you in his face
~Oh how I pray God comforts you and you feel covered by His grace

~I have so many questions and I'm certain one day he will too
~Yet, even if they never get answered, we'll always cherish you

~There is so many things I want you to know, so many things to say
~It's my prayer that God gives me the chance to share it all with you one day

~I can never repay you for the love you gave him from the start
~But I will always carry gratitude for your sacrifice in my heart

~I pray you never feel guilty for the choice you had to make
~For only you could know what was best for him and all that was at stake

~I long for you to know he's happy, healthy, loved, and really doing very well
~To explain the precious gift he is to us - there's just not enough words to tell

~One day I hope to find you, to see you face to face
~To convey our love for you and the son we share, in a long embrace

One last thing I want to share that I haven't yet --- Micah's Ethiopian name of course is Tirfe (tear-fey) - well we had Micah picked out before we knew his Ethiopian name - and then when we heard it, it just fit "Micah Tirfe". Micah is a biblical name and means "profit of God" -- Well when we are in Ethiopia we find out that his birth mom was asked why he was given the name Tirfe and she replied "I liked the name - it means "my profit"....pretty sweet huh?! Only God could line that up... amazing

My little Trooper!

Micah had surgery on Monday morning...not just any surgery, surgery on his "little boy parts" and they had to make incisions in his abdomen AND scrotum! (OUCH!!) But he is running (kinda) around and keeping up with Tyler now just 2 days after as if nothing really happened.
It was really hard that first night and it actually felt like we had taken 2 steps back as far as bonding because he would look at us with this blank stare...but I'm now thinking/hoping it was just the medicine because once we got home he totally turned back into the little boy he had blossomed into! Thanks be to God for everything going smooth!!!
Enjoy the pics of his new haircut!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hidden Treasure...

I found an awesome antique-looking trunk/chest at a yard sale today and I LOVE it!! It was a bargain and I have wanted one for a long time! But before I brought it in the house to fill it with quilts...I had to display my biggest treasures in my new treasure chest!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pictures of Thursday in Ethiopia

Day 6 Ethiopia - Thursday

Oh my goodness - there is just so much to digest from today and it's only 2pm.
Matt started his morning not feeling well, but went out with Jodi Stivers to meet an Ethiopian man whom Jodi had met at a men's retreat with his church a while back, for breakfast and a short tour of the capital city here. Micah Tirfe woke up early so he and I hung out in the room and once he was asleep in the little sling I had him in around 9:15am we went downstairs to meet everybody before going to the Bezetha (sp?) Children's Home Association at 10 - which is where Micah T was before arriving at HH in December. The children's home was actually alot better than I had expected it to be. The children were all sitting at tables and smiled and posed for us as we took pictures of them. We got to take a tour and see the baby room, school age boy and girls rooms and there was even a "special class" as they labeled it for children who needed more closer care. It was amazing and heart breaking. The women and men who work there are unbelievable. They have no washer or dryer and wash all those children's clothes (around 70-80 children) by hand. As we finished the tour we came across an Ethiopian man talking to the Stivers and soon learned that he was the founder of the orphanage! He was so kind and spoke of the Lord and praised him for the families that those children, who were once at this home he'd founded, had now. He asked us to keep praying for them and talk about how him and 2 other staff members from Hannah's hope had just visited the villages where our children were from in southern Ethiopia about a week ago. He too spoke of the miracle of each of their lives. He told us about their need for a washer and dryer and we took up a donation to try and help them get started on saving for them. I also learned that Almaz works with that orphanage or home because the man who runs it is so very trustworthy. She is very picky about what orphanages she works with - Sabrina, another mom on the trip, prompted me to ask Samuel (the man who founded the home) about the scars on Micah's eyes and so I did...
He said in the place where they are from, if they think something is wrong with their eyes (or anything for that matter), they will cut them because they believe the shedding of blood brings healing. So as a little baby his eye lids were cut in 3 places on each eye - We had seen these scars in pictures and speculated about what they may be from, but actually hearing it made me really get choked up - not just for how horrible the thought of him being cut, also it was happiness because I knew what happened now, - I will now have an answer for him - though it's not a pretty one, its an answer to a question he will have one day - He is going to have so many questions one day and I actually have an answer for one of them now.
I have gone through the papers Almaz gave us yesterday and they are priceless - they piece together so much of his little life. He has been through so much, yet is so happy and full of life.

Matt began puking not too long after we got back from visiting the children's home and Micah T went down for a nap so they are sleeping as I write and try to take all this in.
Alot of the families leave tonight - Micah T's 2 favorite boys are in that group too. It will be sad to see them all leave, but hopefully we will meet up again with the Stivers soon.
We still have all of Friday and Saturday and then board our 1st plane of 4 about 3 am Sunday morning. I hope we will soak in the next 2 days with Micah here, just us 3, with no real agenda and no where to go. I'm praying they lead to even more bonding.
I like it here, but I just can't wait to be home with Tyler too!!
Later in the evening.....

This afternoon was rough - but in the early evening, Tate, the mom of the little girl who has been in the hospital all week asked me and another dad on the trip who is a doctor to come look at her little girl who they had discharged from the hospital- to see what we thought about putting her on the looong plane ride home. She looked good and we told them to go - otherwise they wouldn't be able to get a flight home for another 3-4 more weeks!
I showed her how to do a neb treatment and a nebulizer machine that Almaz thought had been blown (due to the outlet/voltage issues) began to work again - We blew one up while trying to show her how to use it and then we tried the one already thought to be broken as a last resort and Almaz said a quick prayer out loud as we turned it on and it was this tiny, huge miracle to hear the loud humming come from the machine!! We were all amazed at God's provision! This helped me get out of the slump I was in this afternoon and see how good I have it!
Going to bed! Can't wait to see Tyler!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 5 in Ethiopia ~ Wed

Check Spelling

We got back from our last trip to Hannah's Hope about an hour ago, Here is the whole crew - they were an absolutely AMAZING group of people! Love you all!
The last trip to HH was emotional. We went to meet Almaz and get the children's passports and she opened up her heart to us, sharing that she wished there was no need for adoption in Ethiopia- but the fact is, there is and that she is not there working all the time just to give families children - she is there working because children need families! I was very impressed with her - she is stern & organized but so soft and tender too

Her heart for all the children is amazing.
We took another tour of HH, this time all out - went everywhere!
Love this painting as you walk in the "baby building".
We saw Micah Tirfe's room and bed one last time and I even was able to sneak in a little time with Andrea's little man (who is home now! Check them out at
He was so cute and smiling at their family picture!

Some more special mothers tried to kiss Micah T. and he turned into my chest again - I couldn't believe he was already feeling that safe and comfortable with me. But we were able to give out plenty of hugs and kisses to all those wonderful women and men too! Micah was taken such good care of there - I can't say enough good things about HH!
We got back to the hotel about 2:30 and Micah Tirfe fell asleep on my chest :) Him and Matt then napped for over 3 hours!

I had had 2 too many Ethiopian espresso's at the bar that morning so there was no nap in sight for me! So I skyped with family and tried to send Andrea the pictures of her little man.
I miss Tyler soooo much and can not wait to see him!!
After the nap we got ready to go out for the cultural dinner. It was a lot of fun but all the people and noise kinda made Micah act nervous and crazy! He'd be happy one minute then reaching out to strangers the next, then back to us then back to other people in our group - he was all over the place! But over all it was a great time!

Check out the food platter that 3-4 different families shared! YUMMY! ha!

Matt chowed down and so did Micah!
This is Micah with Danny, one of the drivers - he is wonderfuL!
And here is Was dancing with one of the performers! It was sooo cute!

It's a good thing they took that long nap earlier b/c we didn't make it back to the hotel until after 10pm and then there was more family to skype with and Tyler too of course!
I am surprised at how well Micah expresses his needs - It has not been hard to tell when he is sleepy or hungry - It is so funny b/c we packed all this baby food and bottles and he won't have anything to do with it!
He sure does love Ethiopian food but had his first taste of french fries today, and oh my he loved them!
I am so thankful for all the AGCI staff here and their obvious love for the children. Even strangers here love on all the children. It is really sweet.
Tomorrow we will go to the orphanage where Micah was at before going to HH - I'm praying it's not scary for him and am bummed that the Stiver's leave tomorrow!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day 4 Tuesday

Today was another jam-packed day! First though - Micah Tirfe slept ALL night long! From 9:30 last night to 7 this morning! Matt walked the floor with him again until he fell asleep in his arms.

This is what we woke up to...

We began at 9am going back to Hannah's hope, this time to drop the children off to play while we went shopping. (It is against the law to have adoptive parents out on the streets with the children they are adopting - well that's what we were told) I was uneasy about leaving him and hated it, but Almaz the director assured me he'd be fine -

He was fine for the most part, but cried when we left - though we saw them take him to his "special mother" and he stopped as we were pulling out onto the street. As we drove away we saw him get down and play with the other children.

Shopping was crazy! Negotiating prices is not my thing and the beggars were breaking my heart- It was definitly hard but I am so glad I went. We got alot of thing for the boys and our family. Then they took us all out to eat lunch together...

Once we got back to HH to pick up Micah Tirfe he had just woke up from a nap and was a tad hesitant to come to me but then I got out the goldfish (yeah bribary) and he reached his little arms up to me.

We saw the bed were he had been sleeping and hugged and kissed one of his main special mothers - it was good!
As we were leaving, another special mother came to hug and kiss on him and actually turned into my chest - that felt good that he was already feeling safe enough to turn to me.

He is so shy and serious, yet loudy and playful. He is wonderful.
We also were given a CD of pictures of him with his birthmother after the court appointment back in Feb. I haven't gotten the chance to sit a look at them yet - waiting for a quiet moment!

After hanging out in the hotel room for a while, Shannon ( called to see if we wanted to meet them in a big conference room at the basement of the hotel to let the kids run around - So we did and the hotel staff was nice enough to let us eat dinner down there and we a had a mini birthday party for Micah and let him blow out a candle on a little debbie cake! :) His first birthday was 2 days before we made it to him so it was nice to celebrate with our new friends and his old friends!
We skyped again with Tyler once we got back to the room and the boys showed each other their bellies! It was sooo cute and they played pee-pye too :)
We are now showered and heading to bed! Tomorrow we go back to Hannah's Hope to get final paperwork and go out for the cultural dinner!