Thursday, December 31, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
We have been home for 3 days! I cannot believe it. It has been so good to be home.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Tonight is our last night in Kigali. We all have confirmed tickets on the 4 o'clock flight to Ethiopia. If we can get Grace's TB test done first thing Tuesday morning we should be able to fly out on Friday as planned. If this happens, we arrive home around 6:3opm on Saturday!
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Happy Monday to all!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Kaylee is our first born daughter. She is 8 years old going on 30. Kay is very much a type-A personality. She likes order, rules, schedules and structure and does not do well in the gray area. She is much like her mother and much like her father.
Kay enjoys piano and gymnastics. She is a great student and loves to read. She is my helper whenever I need it and for the most part is nice to her brother.
Kaylee had wanted a little sister from the beginning. Though, at one point she did say that she wanted a brother because then maybe Cannon would quit wrestling her and wrestle him.
Kaylee will be a great big sister to Grace. She can teach her about being a girly girl, play games with her, play baby dolls. Oh, what fun they will have!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
You wanted to know.... Here are the kids responses to us telling them about their new little sister.
Kaylee was so excited. She really wanted a little sister! On the way home, her thoughts started going crazy. She asked "What color are we going to paint her room?" then followed with "we have so much to do!" This is a girl after my own heart :). Getting excited for all the little details that we need to do before we bring Gracie home.
Cannon was excited too. He seemed to take after his father with a quiet excitement. He did gaze at little Gracie's picture for awhile. He did say on the way home "I wanted a brother so that we could wrestle." I then reminded him that he will need to be strong and protect Gracie. He will be her big brother. On the couch yesterday, we were looking at Gracie's picture. I told Cannon, "You both have brown eyes, you match!" He then followed with "and we have the same color hair!" So, I think he is definitely coming around to having a little sister.
We are all just so excited that we know who our child is. Her face is stuck in my head and I just can't get it out. I think of her by name now and look at her sweet picture multiple (MULTIPLE) times a day! And as Kaylee said, we have so much to do!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
So coming back to our room, I open my email one last time. I start taking care of a few things while waiting for it to load. My phone rings. Heidi, another adoptive mom, calls. I tell Ryan to “ANSWER IT!”. He does and says “It’s Heidi.” I had a wave of emotion come over me because I know the reason she would be calling would be because the referrals had started to come. I had asked for someone in our group to call me because we would be traveling most of the day on Monday. (Thank you so much Heidi for calling!!!)
I run to my computer and look. Sure enough, at 9:13 am (4:13pm Kigali time), the Minister sent us our “Adoptee Matching File.” I immediately open the email, see the letter from the minister, continuing to scroll down to see a picture. A beautiful picture of a sweet little girl. She is dressed in a white flowy dress and sandals that are too small for her feet. Her hair is cut short, real short. Her eyes are beautiful. A deep brown that have a shine. She has full lips and sweet little cheeks. I say to Ryan “How old is she, what is her name?” We scroll back up to the letter from the Minister. Ryan finds her given name. Emotions over take me at this point and I am so excited that I can barely stand it. Even as I type this my heart rate is accelerating and I am getting all excited again.
Her name is Grace (Rwandan Name) Smith. We will call her Gracie (Ryan says that he will call her Grace but I have a feeling he will end up caving and calling her Gracie too). She seems to be around 3 years old. The file with her details didn’t come through. I am hoping to have that information soon. Ryan has spent some time trying to figure out how old she is. She was pictured in front of a brick wall. He thinks the bricks are 2.5 inches tall and she is about 11 bricks which would be 36 inches. He then went online to look at growth charts and says that according to the charts she could be around 2 years old or up to 4 years old based on age and percentiles.
We are both overjoyed with our new daughter. Ryan is quietly showing his excitement and I am bouncing off the walls, dancing, clapping, smiling from ear to ear. This is one of the moments we have been waiting for for almost 13 months. This is the moment were we become parents of 3 children. This is the moment when God has completed our family (for the time being).
We are not allowed to post her picture until she is legally ours, which will hopefully be in a few weeks. Here is a picture that I took yesterday. I took a walk by myself down the beach. I prayed, watched the waves crash, and was in just awe of His creation. I wrote all of our names in the sand....here is HER name.
*this picture was taken on the beach at Boca Raton...before we knew who she was.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
The word on the blog street is that the referrals for 12 families will come Friday (today) or early next week. I know better than to expect this to happen. If you refer to the post from yesterday, Ryan has reminded me of how many times I have heard of something going to happen and then it doesn’t.
Because from my head to my toes I am an optimist, I hope that we receive our referral in the time frame we have heard. Hope to post some good news soon!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
As we were driving to the airport today, I asked Ryan to help me come up with a “d” subject. Some of his suggestions were “delusional”, “disconnected from reality”, and ”“disillusioned.” And for those of you who know my husband, this will not surprise you. Ryan calls himself a realist. I call him a pessimist.
Ryan helps me to keep realistic expectations. When I get all excited about some blog buzz, he not so sweetly brings me back down to earth. There have been so many times throughout this adoption process that things have not gone as planned. So many times where someone would say something would be done by a certain time and then it isn’t done when they said it would be. Ryan expects this. I am crushed by this.
We are getting so close to having our child home from Rwanda. We are getting so close to seeing their little face and knowing who they are. We are totally devoted to this child and are dependent on God to see us through the rest of this journey.
We did get confirmation that the courts will close in Rwanda on December 5th and will stay closed through December. Please join our family in prayer that our referral comes in the next few days, that a court date is set for before December 5th, and that God continues to guide us with his strength and love.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Cannon is our (soon to be) middle child. He is very sweet, loving, energetic, and ALL BOY! He is very funny and alot of the time the rest of us look at each other and say "where did he come from?" He does not have the same personality as Ryan, myself or Kay. He comes up with the craziest things and is very, very imaginative.
Here is a picture of Cannon when he got my camera. He said he wanted to take some pictures of himself. These pictures totally capture his personality.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
You see, I have loved our child since we began this journey. It is a love that has grown stronger and deeper each day that passes. I feel no different towards Kaylee and Cannon then I do towards our Rwandan child. There are no walls that divide my love. My heart overflows with love for each of my children. My heart aches to know our Rwandan child. My heart yearns to be with them.
Here is a question I would pose to people that think the above statement is true, if you have multiple biological children, do you love any of them more or less than the other?
In my opinion, love does not know how a child came to your family. Love doesn't know skin color. Love doesn't know blood family from God's family. I don't think that God's love is biased...he loves us, his adoptive children, as much as he loves Jesus, his only biological son.
Monday, November 2, 2009
/ænˌtɪsəˈpeɪʃən/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [an-tis-uh-pey-shuhn] –noun
1. the act of anticipating or the state of being anticipated.
2. realization in advance; foretaste.
3. expectation or hope.
4. previous notion; slight previous impression.
5. intuition, foreknowledge, or prescience.
There is some unofficial information that something might just happen this week. I am not counting on it....but there is a sense of anticipation (#3) stirring within me. Trying to suppress it.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Well, November is National Blogging month (I have recently learned). Bloggers are to blog every day for the month of November. I think I will try it! I love blogging and enjoy reading other people's blogs. It is definitely therapy....cheap therapy! In order to have something to blog about every day, I think that I will blog the alphabet. Meaning, tomorrow, I will blog with a subject that starts with "A" then the next day "B", and so on and so on. This will be fun. And I need a little bit of fun! Ryan keeps asking me why I am moody (even though he really knows why) so this will be a good way to keep my spirits up every day! So tomorrow it will start....the letter A. Hmmm...
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
So we have absolutely NO idea when our referral will come, when we will travel, or who our child is. For this planning girl, that is hard. My new hope is to have our child home by Spring Break of 2010. I know it is 5 months away but at least that gives them ample time to complete the process AND I can't be disappointed if it doesn't come before then.
If the process does not get moving, we will have to redo our Home Study in January and several of other documents that will soon expire. Most of these documents are only good for 1 year and we shipped off our dossier to AWAA in mid-February so we are right on that timeline. So I guess that will keep us busy too.
Still optimistic here, just trying to be realistic as well.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Today's Oprah show was a great voice for adoption! I do not agree with all of Oprah's opinions/shows. However, today was a great one for the adoption community and any who are thinking about adopting. Here is an excerpt of the adoption story that has brought home 44, yes 44, children home from Liberia...it really is amazing to see God working in people. I stand amazed at the powerful call of adoption and the obedience it takes to take this walk.
Liberian Orphans Find Homes in North Carolina
In 2003, Lysa, a North Carolina mom, and two of her daughters attended a performance by a boys' choir from an orphanage in Liberia, a West African country ravaged by 14 years of civil war. As they sang, Lysa says she felt God speak to her heart. "[He said,] 'Lysa, two of those boys are yours,'" she says. "I did not go there for a major life change. I went to hear this concert, but God had different plans."
After the concert, Lysa and her girls met two of the boys. "They wrapped their arms around me and gave me a big hug and they just called me Mom," she says.
Lysa called her husband, Art, and told him about the teenage boys who were calling her Mom. Although Art says he was initially "shell-shocked," the couple decided to welcome the boys into their home.
At first, Lysa says her four best friends were skeptical about her decision to adopt…until they went to a choir performance and met the boys. "As they started to sing, something happened," says Genia, Lysa's friend. "I just realized that there is a strength in them that resonated with me."
Genia and her husband, Rob, already had two adopted children, but after some thought and discussion, they decided to welcome Robert, another Liberian orphan, into their home. Lysa's three other friends also decided to adopt—including empty-nesters Debbie and David, who adopted six kids!
That fateful concert was just part of the miracle that was about to happen. By January 2007, 14 families from the same North Carolina community had adopted 33 children from the same orphanage.
"We're not famous. We're not wealthy. We're just ordinary people," Lysa says. "Yet when these boys were in front of us, it was no longer a remote social issue. When you see this child in front of you that has real tears and real hopes and real prayers for a mommy and a daddy, we just couldn't walk away."
The Schwag-Heart family is the largest family of the bunch. They have a total of 10 children and are waiting for their 11th child, a Liberian boy, to arrive. "I have always desired to have a large family," says Sonya, the mother of this blended family. "I think from a very young age, God instilled in my heart that adoption would be part of that large family."
When Bob and his wife, Elizabeth, decided to adopt in 2008, they traveled to Liberia to meet their two children for the first time. There, Bob says he was struck by how much they had in common. "I was overwhelmed first by a sense of, 'Wait a minute. This is not different at all. These are people that are just like me.' They happen to be living in a post-conflict country, but we play the same," he says. "We like the same things. We can talk about the same things."
The families all say they've gone through an adjustment period, but the Liberian children are thriving. In June 2009, 10 of the adopted teens graduated from high school. Many plan to attend college, while others continue to work in the community.
"You all continue to inspire a nation—our country and everybody else who's watching—about what it means to extend your heart in kindness and graciousness and open up to a new family," Oprah says.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
It has been awhile since the kids voiced their opinions about the adoption. I asked them a few questions this afternoon.
Friday, September 18, 2009
The Ugandan school system is designed with a nine month gap between secondary school and university. These nine months are intended to allow time for students to earn money for tuition before continuing on to university. However, in an impoverished and male dominated society, many of these young women struggle to find fair work during this time.
Sseko Designs hires recent secondary school graduates for this nine month period to live and work together, while earning money that will go directly towards their university education. These women will not make sandals forever. They will go on to be doctors, lawyers, politicians, writers and teachers that will bring change and unification to a country divided and ravished by a 22 year-long war.
Sseko Designs is a for-profit enterprise that recognizes the power of business and responsible consumerism to support sustainable economic development, which in turn affects a country's educational, justice, and health care systems. The goal of Sseko Designs is two-fold: provide university tuition for these promising young women through a sustainable monthly income, while also contributing to the overall economic development of Uganda.
Although consumerism makes many empty promises, responsible and proactive consumerism has the ability to change lives. Like the lives of Mercy, Mary and Rebbecca.
Every sandal has a story. This story has only just begun, but with your help, it will be a story of hope, success and change
The shoes come in solids and pattern and look really cute. Read more about Sseko Designs on their website... there is more about their story, the women that are benefiting from the sales of the shoes right now.