Thursday, April 22, 2010

Grace turns 3

The birthday girl and her "izza"

my babies

Grace about to open her presents. She has the stop and smile pose down!

Showing you "elno"


family pic (thank heavens for 10 sec timers!)

We had a wonderful day with Grace on her 3rd birthday! She woke up kinda grumpy but by the afternoon she was happy and was enjoying all of the attention. She said "tank tou" to all who said "Happy Birthday Gracie!" She enjoyed her pizza and loved her new "Elno" set. She even started to sing "Happy Birthday" along with us as we sang it to her. What a blessing she is to us, orneriness and all!

Happy Birthday Grace

Today is Grace's 3rd birthday! We are so looking forward to celebrating her first birthday with us! Tonight, she said she wants "pizza" for dinner so that is easy enough! We worked so hard on getting her to say "2" when we asked her how old she was, that teaching her "3" is now the correct answer is proving to be difficult. She doesn't quite get the concept of birthday or another year older. However, we are having a fun time asking her "how old are you" then cheering loudly when she 1 out of 10 times says "3".

Grace's first 3 birthdays were not with us. Her first birthday was (obviously) the day of her birth. I imagine a young Rwandan woman, pregnant, not sure what to do. I imagine that Grace was probably born in a small mud or tin home. There was not the fuss of nurses, doctors, getting weight, checking height. Just a new baby and her mother who would soon give her up. How I greatly admire this young Rwandan woman. A woman who knew she could not care for her child anymore. A woman who had no idea where her child would end up.

Grace's 2nd and 3rd birthdays probably didn't have much fanfare either. In an orphanage, surrounded by other children her age. I do not think that birthdays were celebrated there. With as many children as were in the orphanage, there would be several birthdays every day. Grace most likely didn't know that the day was special for her.

Grace's 4th birthday (turning 3) is such a stark contrast to her previous two. There will be extreme excitement, lots of birthday hugs, lots of singing "Happy Birthday", lots of love. Today she will get to take a special snack to her preschool class. Tonight she will get to pick her special birthday dinner (we always let the birthday person pick what they want to eat). Then a small party on Sunday. There will be balloons, cake, games, all the things that a birthday requires.

I always make birthdays a big deal for my kids and hub. It is their day to feel extra special and to know the day is all about them. I can't wait to do this for Grace.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Praying for several families who's court day it today. Praying that the judge will approve the referrals and the kids can come home to their families early summer! I love that the Rwandan adoption program is growing!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010



Smith kids

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Can you guess what is in just 4 days...
this sweet little things birthday. On Thursday (Earth Day), our Grace will be 3.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I am only one, but I am one.
I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.
~Edward Everertt Hale

For those of you who have a heart for adoption, for orphans, for those less fortunate, here are a few words of encouragement that I read last night. The world tells us why help, the problem is too big. There are millions of orphans, millions of homeless, millions of sick people, millions of people struggling. The world is wrong. We can do something. It is our duty as Christians to do what we are able to do. Don't listen to society. Listen to your soul. Listen to your heart. It is God's voice stirring you.

Monday, April 12, 2010

American Girl

Grace is becoming quite the American girl. Here she is enjoying her Rocky Mountain Nugget (marshmallow covered in carmel, then rice krispies, then dipped in chocolate). She was not very good at sharing :) Here are a few of her favorite things.

1. Pizza! She loves pizza. Ask her what she wants to eat, answer is most always pizza
2. Walmart: she loves to go shopping at malmar
3. Shoes: there may be an obsession developing
4. Mine: she has learned the word mine and uses it often
5. Elmo: her love for this little furry friend is quite funny.
6. Art: she loves to color, paint, glue stuff and then shows it to you proudly
7. School: Grace asks everyday "Gracie school?" Three days a week I can say yes!
8. Bananas: This is 2nd to #1.
9. Yaya & Yayee: the sibling love it so sweet. Today she ran up to Cannon at school gave him a big hug and said yaya! She asks multiple times throughout the day "Yaya? Yayee?" Followed by "school."
10. Errands: She is a girl on the move. She loves to get out and about! Whether it is running errands or just going for a walk, she loves to go go go.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Grace's first American haircut

Grace got her first American haircut on Monday. Her hair is really start to grown and it was getting a little crazy. She was not so sure of the haircut at first. She didn't want to put on the cape or let Miss Lucy touch her head! But after a little bit of talking, she let Lucy get to work. When we got in the car, Grace said "I want Papa see haircut." So this is the picture we took to show him.

Grace's first Easter in pictures

She loved having Papa at her school Easter party

Her first egg hunt. She caught on pretty quick.

Loved dyeing eggs!

Easter morning. The kids get baskets to celebrate Jesus' resurrection.

Cannon after our egg hunt.

I did not get a family picture or a kid picture. Ugh.
We will have to recreate that morning and take a picture soon!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The challenge

Imagine yourself poor and not able to take care of your children. Imagine not knowing where your next meal will come from. Imagine only have one change of clothes. Imagine not having running water or heat or air conditioning. Thousands of children live in these conditions. Thousands of children that live in poverty and will likely never get out of the cycle.

How does this affect you? How does this make you feel? Do you feel like you would like to do something, even if it is for only one child?

Well, you can. Go to There are thousands of children like Erymitas and Betelehem that need you to help them. Thousands of them....

You can choose the country of the child you would like to sponsor. You can look at the faces that need your help and choose one who speaks to you. You can change the world - one child at a time.

For $38 a month, you can help a child get:
- Food & Clean Water
- Medical CAre
- Education
- Life Skills Training
- Most important, your child will hear about Jesus Christ and the love HE has for the.

Where else can you send $38 and see what a difference it is really making. $38 is nothing in our world.

Please prayerfully consider sponsoring a child. After seeing the conditions that our children live in, they NEED YOU to sponsor them! You will give them hope. You will give them a brighter future. You will give them what their parents can't simply because of life circumstances. Please do this.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Heart Continued Again

After we left Betelehem's home we traveled to Erymitas' home. We traveled down more paved and dirt roads until we came to his home. His home was not in a "slum" as Betelehem's was. Instead it was a down a black topped road that on one side was tin houses and the other side was a fence. These houses were still tin shacks lined up in a row so don't read it wrong that this was a grand home. Erymitas' mother came out to greet us. She and her sisters were cooking injera inside. We introduced ourselves and she invited us into her home.

We all sat in a very small "living room" (6' x 5'). This house was still made of tin but seemed to be a bit bigger than the last, though not by much. There were 2 rooms that were not separated by a door but by a step down. On the right was the living room. There was a curtain that hid the bed where they slept all together..there was only one bed for 3 people. Then on the left side was the kitchen were the cooking was done. Erymitas' mother makes injera and sells it to make money for her family. We got to see how the injera was made which was very neat. And the smell was wonderful.

We sat in the living room and visited with the help of our translator. We gave gifts to Erymitas and his mother. We gave him a soccer ball and the smile that came on his face just melted my heart. What a sweet boy.

One of the differences of this home were the walls. For the walls, up against the tin, were posters. These posters were put up like wallpaper to keep out the weather I assume. The same poster, over and over. Erymitas lives in this home with his mother and his older sister. There is no father in the home (again). This seems to be a pattern...mother, children, no father.

Meeting our Compassion children is a day that I will never forget. I will never forget their faces, their mothers, their living conditions. I will never forget the smells, the sights, the soul clenching situations. I am so glad that Grace tested positive for TB simply because we were able to meet these kids. The way God works is amazing and the stress is always worth the outcome.

Up next, a challenge.