Monday, June 29, 2009

On the right track

My normally healthy husband has been very sick this past week. After two visits to urgent care and one to his regular doctor today, here's the diagnosis. Because he let his seasonal allergies too far, he ended up with a sinus thing which led to congestion and fluid in his ears. One got so full, it actually burst on Sunday morning and I won't go into detail about that one...yuck. Then his usually completely under control and almost non-existent asthma flared up out of control. He's not on a high dose of steroids, antibiotics, inhalers and a myriad of other things. Did I mention pneumonia on top of it all? I think we're on the right track now and pray we are. We leave for the cabin tomorrow and I do believe we need (he really needs) the break!

It is all too familiar for us. The last time we began an adoption, Blake got extremely sick and we were told it looked like cancer. It turned out not to be but was a crazy, weird virus that acted like cancer in his blood.

This with Blaine is also so weird. I posted a while back on what we all believe was the 'cause' of the fire. Remember that we were just beginning this latest adoption then? God loves adoption and has shown us this is his will for our family. Satan hates adoption because he hates God. He's trying to send us throw us a curve ball and discourage us from pursuing this adoption. Of this we have no doubt. We have been actively pursuing this adoption for the past couple weeks so this attack doesn't come as a complete surprise to us.

I'm not trying to give Satan any credit, just placing cause and blame where it is due.

But our faith in Jesus Christ gives us strength to continue following His will, no matter what the enemy throws our way.

"Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world." So we do not fear. We don't shrink back or give up. We don't run the other way believing that it's not worth it.

No, when we face opposition in the midst of doing what God's called us to do, we press on because we know that it is then...

...we are on the right track.

Please do pray for protection for our family. We need and appreciate your prayers more than you know! Also, pray that Blaine's eardrum isn't perforated next week when he goes back for a recheck.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Comic relief

I have another funny Misganaw story.  Actually there are several every day but I have to think about how they'll translate only in the written word.  Hope this one translates well.

Those of you with both much older kids (teenagers) and much older kids will really appreciate this story.

A little background on Misganaw...he is a big nose picker.  Not only does he pick...he eats!  I have tried to get him to stop and after at least a year of doing this, it is getting *better*.  I know one day he will be so upset with me for posting this for all the world to see but that's a long way off and it's funny so here it goes.

Blaine got Misganaw up from his nap yesterday and of course he had a big booger on his finger. He asks Daddy, "Do you ever pick your nose?"

Daddy, "Sometimes, but I NEVER eat it!"  (Ok, I guess this could be incriminating on more than one level...sorry,  honey!)

Misganaw, "Do you ever rrrrrooooollllll it and flick it at someone??"

Blaine, laughing histerically...."NO!"

The day before I overheard big brother Blake telling him not to eat his boogers but to pick it, roll it and flick it at anyone BUT him.  

Amazing how they remember these things!!!  Be careful little mouth what you say!

Ah, the joys of having toddlers and teens.  You really never know!!

Hope that doesn't gross your Sunday morning too much!!


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Is this why?

I have a list of favorite blogs that I read regularly.  They are all adoptive moms, mostly with kids from Ethiopia.  This morning I read a beautiful post by this mom at  I hope that works.  She has an older daughter from Ethiopia who has had a difficult time adjusting over the past few months.  They call her Dimples.  Dimples mom is so gracious to let us have a window into their lives and how they are overcoming this.  This little girl has suffered a great deal of loss and deals with issues surrounding this.  She is getting therapy and making some great breakthroughs.

But it got me this precisely why God allowed our house fire?  Is this what God is trying to teach me so that we are ready to love and parent a hurting child?

Many people incorrectly think that a 12-13 year old child coming from a deprived place like Ethiopia would be absolutely thrilled and overflowing with thankfulness "to get out of there and into middle class America."  She *should* realize that her life has improved 1,000 times over and *should* thank you each and every morning when the sun rises for rescuing her.  

This is simply not the way it goes.  Will she be thrilled to have a family to call her own?  I think so.  But she also has a family that she knows very well who she must leave, possibly never to see them again.  She has experienced more loss than most of us will ever know.  She will grieve and who knows how and for how long.

We also have been grieving our loss, although it pales in comparison to what these kids must lose.  I'll admit it, every day I struggle with it still.  I struggle with not being the only queen in my castle, in charge of how every thing is done.  I struggle a lot.  I struggle with my pride, as well.  I have been humbled more in the past couple months than I have ever been.  I am thankful for it but it is NOT fun for me at all to be humbled!  

Is it a life preparation class we are living through right now?  Obviously, God allows bad things to happen to us to teach us and train us and mold us into the person He wants us to be.  

I believe this is what He's trying to teach me...humility and total dependence on Him.

Obviously, I'm a busy girl lately.  Still trying to finish the home inventory list.  Trying to complete the boys' Certificate of Citizenship paperwork.  Adoption paperwork...need I say more??  Oh, yeah and that little thing...building a house and having to pick out everything from scratch like all new furniture, paint colors for every room, tile, light fixtures.  So yesterday, after spending an hour and a half getting fingerprinted at our local jail (for the adoption, don't freak out!), in the middle of making lunch, Mihiretu calls my downstairs in a panic and tells me that water is coming out of the toilet and it's everywhere.  (Remember, this is NOT my house and the carpet downstairs is beautiful!)  I ran downstairs and yep, water was pouring out of the toilet.  Let me tell you a little flaw I have.  I don't take things like this in stride, never have, but better learn to.  The clean up began (in the middle of my extremely busy day) and humility was learned by me again.  To have to clean up poop water is humbling for me.  

Please pray that I will not be my stubborn self but will take each and every hard lesson and grow.  I don't want to have to repeat these hard lessons over and over to get them through my thick head.  

And then Lord, let us be ready when our new daughter joins our family.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Calling all prayer warriors!

Just a quick post to ask you to pray for Letarik and her new family as they anticipate her court hearing in Ethiopia on June 30th.  So many cases are not making it through court in Ethiopia these days on the first time, causing their cases to be rescheduled and rescheduled.  

Let's pray hard for this one!  This little girl needs this family and they need her as soon as possible.  She's waited in the orphanage far, far too long for a family.

So pray for my new friend, Bibi (yep, she and I have connected and plan to keep in touch), her family and sweet Letarik. 

What a blessing to know she is joining a beautiful, loving, devoted Christian family!!

United in prayer,


I made the phone call to the home study agency yesterday and they said that our current living situation was nothing that would stand in the way of our starting a home study!  So, after I spoke with them I called the adoption agency.  They also had no problem with it so it's on!!

I have both applications filled out and am bringing the one down to our local office in about an hour.  The other I will send off tomorrow.  Once I get the application to the adoption agency, I can request a video of T.  Let me tell you...we cannot wait to get that!  Of course, she is not officially ours and if someone comes in and has a completed home study, they can request her and we would lose her.  That's the way it works and for good reason.  But we all have a good feeling about this and are praying that she'll be ours.  

Please pray that our home study goes as quickly as possible so we can put her on an official 'hold.'

Her face is so full of personality and hope.  Her eyes sparkle and her smile would light up a room.  She must be very resilient to be able to smile like that, living in away from her family and home in a care center.  Wish I could post her picture but Ethiopian law requires we wait until the child passes court in Ethiopia and that is a LONG time from now and I'm getting way into the future with that one.  So you'll just have to take my word for it!

My sister in law, Karen (the one who just moved from WA) has graciously offered to help me get my paperwork organized.  Man, that offer couldn't have come at a better time!  

My 'desk' is a wobbly folding table (a wedding gift from 23 years ago!).  I have a little basket with some stuff in it and everything else sits in piles all over the table.  It wasn't SO bad when all I had was the house fire inventory stuff but now I have:

-Still the house inventory stuff!
-The stuff for the house that we're in process of picking out (paint, fireplace brochures, etc.)
-Applications for adoption
-The boys social security info which I need to get done
-The boys Certificate of Citizenship paperwork which I need to get done

And for those of you who know me, you KNOW I am not a paperwork person at all!  I honestly can say that I hate paperwork and details.  Ughhhhh....but it is worth it all!!  I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Life...not boring!

Today, Blaine and I celebrate 23 years of marriage!  I remember his parents' 25th very well.  I thought they were pretty old then and we're almost there.  Yep, we've been together for a LONG time.  Actually since 9th grade.  He kept asking me out all year and I kept saying no.  Finally, at the end of the school year I finally said yes.  One of the best decisions of my life!  We've been together ever since.  That's a grand total of 28 years of togetherness!  We are blessed beyond what either of us deserve. 

The challenges we've faced in the past few years have been extreme.  I almost lost him to a horrible car accident 3 1/2 years ago.  It left him with a rebuilt femur and a rebuilt face. Like Jacob (who wrestled with God) he will walk with a limp for the rest of his life, reminding him upon whom he depends.  The most important thing it left him with was a softened heart toward the will and desires of God.  God showed him His heart for the orphan and our lives would forever be blessed.  This is what I've always dreamed of in a husband!   What could be more wonderful????!!!

The house fire only strengthened our resolve to follow God's will, wherever it would lead us. He's taught us so much and continues to teach us.  Although none of these events could be considered fun, I sure love where they've brought us.  Right to the very heart of God.  There is no place we'd rather be.

Which brings me to a little prayer request.  I can't say too much yet but will you please pray for a certain girl in Ethiopia whose name begins with T?  She's a girl who looks so much like Mihiretu you wouldn't believe it.  (Same eyes and nose).  I will be making a phone call tomorrow to see if another home study agency would do our home study, despite our fire and current temporary living situation.  After they tell me yes, I'm going to call the adoption agency to see if they will allow us to proceed, given our situation.  I already have the application filled out and ready to go.  As you can see, we're very excited about this girl.  We're praying that God would show us with certainty how we should proceed.  I know He will show us this week, as he's done before in adoption matters like this.  Will you pray for direct leading and clarity with this process?  

Amazing how God can change things around, huh?  From grief to joy!

Also, a Happy Father's Day to our dad's who do not reside any longer on earth with us.  Thank you for making and molding us into the people we are today.  We love you both.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Joy and pain

Lots of joy today!  I went out to the house to check on the progress and my kitchen now has a framed in pantry.  It's beginning to look like my kitchen once again...well, minus the appliances, floor, paint, lights, dishes, but you get the idea.  You have to use your imagination!

Also, my dear sister in law and fellow blog addict called me this morning with the most wonderful news.  She was checking her favorite blogs out late last night and came upon this:

My sweet sister Bibi is waiting on God's perfect timing, for her daughter to come home. Letarik is 10 or 11 yrs old. She is simply gorgeous and from her letters - she already has a beautiful heart for her KING! THANK YOU JESUS!

Will you join me in praying her home? Her court date is set for June 30, 2009. We are praying that all paperwork needed for her to pass will be correct and in order. We are praying that the attorneys representing her are able to contact her birth family in time to ensure they are there to sign all necessary paperwork.

I can't wait to meet Letarik. She is such a joy already to all of us who love her!

I know I never shared with you the beautiful girls name who Blaine fell in love with.  But it is Letarik.  This is "our" girl.  How amazing is God!  He found her the perfect family who can bring her home earlier than we could.  I only copied and pasted from the auntie's blog so you could get an accurate feel for how wonderful a family this is.  

We have been praying for this little girl since the day we first saw her face.  We prayed that God would provide the perfect family for her, whether that be us or someone else.  I guess it was someone else.  But God in His infinite wisdom knows best and obviously He has another perfect little girl for our family.  We cannot wait to find out who she is!!

I know that God knows all this.  But I have to say that if the fire hadn't happened, I believe Letarik would be preparing join our family.  We would have had our home study complete by the end of April and were planning on making it official at that time.  Not positive but it sure would have been close.  So it is abundantly clear that God had other plans for this sweet girl and for us and for another sweet girl who is still waiting.  

Don't get me wrong...I'm thrilled and thankful that Letarik will have a forever family, after over 2 1/2 years of waiting.  2 1/2 years!!  How can we allow this??  Why do we allow this when we can do something about it??  Please, please pray and ask God if just maybe you might be the forever family that an older orphan longs for.  These children need the love and guidance only parents can give.  They certainly deserve it.

So I am rejoicing today for Letarik!!  God answered our prayers and I'm sure hers as well. Please do pray that she passes court the first time and can be home with her new family maybe in Sept. or Oct.  

The paradox for me today is that I couldn't be happier but I am grieving yet another loss.  I don't mean to sound ungrateful and unfaithful but keeping it real...

This stings a bit.


The workers continue to make progress on our house!  The roof is about half done, maybe a little more.  The half that's done is even shingled!  It looks great.

Blaine came home last night and told me they got "my wall" built yesterday...the one that extends the kitchen by 2 feet.  Of course, we had to go out to see it as soon as dinner was finished.  It really does look bigger and I think it will make a big difference in the layout of the kitchen.  I am so thankful to have this.  I have a pic and will post it later.  

Last night, I began looking through the pile in the garage of stuff we took from the house.  At the time the week after the fire, I just wanted to take some things and not let the restoration company have them.  Stuff like some wooden elephants we got in Ethiopia, important papers, files, and my precious recipe box. This recipe box was a basket with a lid and when I found it in the kitchen after the fire, I had little hope for what was inside.  It was so charred.  To my delight, the recipes inside were intact but very dirty looking and smelled of smoke.  I was going to recopy them and decided last night, I was ready to take the box in and take a look.  We spent an hour searching for it.  It appears to be no where.  As minor as this sounds, please pray that we'd find it.  It is very special to me.

Also, as long as you're praying please pray for my brother and sister in law who left yesterday from Washington on their long journey to the midwest to live nearby family.  Pray for safety and good travels.  I now can relate with them how it feels to be displaced.  Pray for their transition.  We look forward to being together with them!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

More progress and some fun

My little fireman at the Children's Museum.
De ordering milk and cookies from Misganaw.  So cute.
Mihiretu and Clifford.
Fasika Restaurant...a perfect way to end the day.  Yummm!
Does that face say it all or what??

Work progressing even on a drizzly day.
The living room with all the trusses off.

Looks like a bomb went off.  Part of the roof in the living room.  The fireplace is to the far right.
Middle section of trusses off.  This is over the living room.
Plywood coming off.  They are committed now!!

We go every morning to see what the workers are working on that day.  Then we come back at lunch time to see how it's going and take some pictures.  It does my heart good to see the progress.  I'm sure the kids feel the same way. 
Why when I download these pictures they come out completely out of order (backwards), I don't know.  Sorry, bear with me.

Katie, De, Mihiretu, Misganaw and I spent the afternoon at the Children's Museum.  So fun! Katie wisely warned me never to take the boys here alone.  There is so much to see and if you blink, one of them goes missing.  All the kids loved it but were starved when we left.  

Ethiopian food it is!!!

We enjoyed dinner at Fasika and made a memory there that will last a lifetime.  If you don't already know, Ethiopian food tends to be on the spicy side.  Some is not too bad but some is unbearable (for me). 

Mihiretu asked Katie for a green pepper that was in her salad.  At the same time, I grab the nice slice of green pepper that was in my salad.  The next thing I know is Mihiretu is grabbing every water glass on the table, guzzling them down and asking for more.  Katie asked him, "Is it hot?"
Mihiretu replies, "LOOK at my eyes!!"  They were watering!  

Then my mouth begins to heat up and let me tell you, that pepper was the hottest thing I've ever had in my mouth!  A green pepper it was NOT!

The cooked ones were hot, but the raw ones...ay ay ay!  

All told, Mihiretu drank 4 large glasses of water on top of his large dinner.  He was a little miserable with his full belly bulging out.  Wish I had a picture of that.   

One of the side dishes they served there was gomen.  It is greens done Ethiopian style.  They actually were tasty and I'm not much for cooked greens.  Gomen is one of the regular foods Mihiretu ate for the first 4 years of his life, not much else I'm afraid, when he lived with his Ethiopian family.  It was so cute because when he took a bite he said, "Oh, I LOVE this SO much!!"  


If anyone knows how to re-order these pictures so they're not backwards, please comment and tell me how.  :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Yesterday, the workers began removing the burned trusses!
This picture is out of order.  This is after the trusses were removed.
Workers!!  It's begun!

Another angle.  This, for most would be a upsetting picture.  Not for's progress!!

Tuesday morning, before I dropped Mihiretu off at school, we stopped by the house (just because) and we had workers there!  As we pulled away, a big truck full of lumber turned into the driveway.  You should have heard the cheers coming from our car!!!  I actually had to choke back tears.  It's been hard to just see the house sit with no apparent progress being made.  Not any longer...we are on a roll!!  Thank you, God!

Yesterday, Blaine and I picked out a new fireplace for upstairs, confirmed our plumbing choices (sinks, faucets),  purchased a couch for the basement and met with our cabinet maker to begin the cabinet designing.  Busy and productive it.

My sweet neighbor called me this morning to ask me if we'd been at the house recently.  She was so excited to see work being done and wanted to make sure we knew it.  I really do have the best neighbors.

The plan is that the workers will take the roof down in sections.  When they complete a section, they will set the new trusses, put the plywood on and cover it with that black waterproof paper stuff to protect it and then move onto the next section.  It's a really big job and this seems like a very good plan.  We're already having a very dry summer but if you can find it in your heart (amongst your dead grass), pray for no rain for the next week and a half so this job can get completed without rain delays.  Or at least no rain over our house!  

People keep asking me about how the boys are doing.  They are doing quite well, really.  Sadly, I think Mihiretu has had so many transitions in his life he sees this as just another move from a temporary home to another.  He told me that he keeps forgetting that that is our house and that we lived there.  I like to keep taking him there and talking about the new color of their room, etc and to see the progress.  He lives in the moment and I guess that has served him well over his life, considering all the changes he's undergone.  I am anxious to get him back home so he can feel that permanence again.

Misganaw talks about the fire every day.  He will say things like, "Mom, remember that black truck I had with the wheels?  The fire took it."  I acknowledge him but remind him that we will get a new one.  

Mihiretu had bike safety day at school last week.  He told me that the police came and he was scared.  I asked him repeatedly why he was scared.  He finally told me, "Remember when we had our fire and the police came up to our car and you were shivering and trying to talk to them (a stress response I seem to have)?  I was so scared."  So seeing the police at bike safety day reminded him of this.  Poor kid.

Katie also had a fire situation at school a couple weeks ago.  The alarms went off and she told me that it took everything she had not to completely panic and stay calm.  They made the same noise that ours did at home.  All the other kids were blowing it off like it was nothing. Katie's adrenalin was working overtime.  I guess this will stay with us a very long time. 

Blake has been very sick for the last couple weeks.  It turned out to be pneumonia.  After two visits to the doctor, he seems to be improving slowly.  Please pray for him.

Thank you for all your love, concern and support.

We see God working in this every day.  I pray we learn what it is He wants us to learn during this time.  Don't really want to repeat it!!