We are so excited to share our Ethiopian adoption adventure, and our CRAZY lives with all of you! Our hope is that it will encourage you to step out in faith to do what God has called you to do! There are FIELDS of fatherless children waiting for someone to care for them, to love them, to tell them of JESUS' love for them...will YOU be the one??

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Quick Adoption Update

Well after WAY TOO LONG getting it finished, our dossier is FINALLY off to our agency, and thanks to our handy-dandy adoption refund, our I600A is sent as well! WOO-HOO!!

Unfortunately, due to other circumstances, said refund has dwindled down drastically! Bummer. But have no fear, the Lord will provide through this, that, and whatever way He pleases...

So, now if there are no issues with our dossier it will be sent off for authentication, then on to Ethiopia. So, praying for a "thumbs-up" with the dossier and a quick fingerprint appt. for the I600A. Also, if any of you in Ohio(ahem..VALERIE RIEBEN)have been able to WALK IN for the appt., instead of waiting for the actual fingerprint appt. DATE, let me know!:)

Thanks to all those who donated for the puzzle fundraiser even though it totally bombed overall...you are truly a blessing! Maybe I'll keep that one going....we'll see.

What else??? Hmmmmm, oh I know! We'll be celebrating TWO little four-year olds' birthdays on Monday, so stay tuned for pics and hopefully video of Ava's first birthday with us...all she really understands is the "presents" part, but she's ready;)!

Coming up.....a post on Post Adoption Depression...IT'S REAL my friends, trust me!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

SAFARI FUNdraiser!

Well, tomorrow is the last day of the SAFARI Puzzle FUNdraiser!! We are behind, but that's okay....God may have another way planned to provide:). I told ya I'm just not good at this fundraising stuff!

That being said, if you can, we ask you to prayerfully consider donating $15 for the fundraiser, and help us as we take the next step of sending in our I600A. Just click that little Chip-In button to your left there:).

Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks I will also have some merchandise to sell through Ordinary Hero that will help us raise funds as well. And they have REALLY cute stuff! Plus, your purchase helps them out as well! A double blessing you'll be my friends!:)

Thanks for praying for us and sticking with us as we journey on to ETHIOPIA!:)

Monday, June 13, 2011

An Ava Update:)

What you've all been waiting for...but without pics...I know, bummer! Hopefully I can get my hubby to download them tomorrow.

So, here goes...

Ava has been home almost 1 year now...July 10th will mark that date.

She speaks English pretty well, unless you try to go beyond the basics...then she gets confused. This has honestly been one of the biggest struggles I've had. I just want to have a conversation that doesn't require a "yes" or "no" answer, but it's coming...I'm just not as patient as I probably need to be.

She is potty trained now and no longer sucks her thumb/fingers...it was very easy..I just told her not to suck them and she didn't.:) Told ya she was easy!:)

She is now participating in Sunday School at church and loves it! She cried at first, then quickly realized they would hold her and give her "drinks", so now she LOVES it. Which brings me to this.....

How do I say this.....Ava was not treated like the other children in the orphanage...it's VERY evident in her behavior that she was held A LOT and loved and probably given what she wanted..not because she fussed about it, but simply because she asked. She was very "spoiled"! So much so that she constantly asks for help and "tunes up" when I make her try something on her own. And when she came home she WANTED to be held constantly(unusual for an institutionalized child). For a while I thought this was just an "orphanage thing", but it's clearly not! She just LOVES being a "baby". And she was babied a lot there! I keep telling her, "Ava, you're not a baby, you're a big girl and you can do it!" She seems to like the idea of being a "big girl" so we'll see...:)

*Edit: Ava came to us at 3 years old and is BULGARIAN not Roma...so I think this is one reason she may have been given more attention(sad but true)...and maybe I'm totally wrong about everything above...I'm not an expert for sure:)! But this is my take on it after a year of being home with her.

She loves to play with Legos(mostly taking them apart), dolls, and anything that she can turn into a cup...oh, and trash she finds on the floor...NOT kidding! I'm constantly telling her to throw it away, trash is not a toy! She loves to sit in my lap and read books and sing "her" song, "A Bushel and a Peck":)! Very cute!

She likes to play in the kiddie pool, although she shivers and shakes the WHOLE TIME! It's really pathetic to watch, but she likes it..go figure...

She hasn't gained much weight and still wears 24 month clothes...she's gained some height though..Dr. visit is coming up in a week or so, so we'll have her checked out again for anemia, etc.

I have seen more indiscriminate affection toward strangers lately...well, they're people at church mostly, and they ARE safe, but she doesn't know that. Not too bad though.

I have seen one BIG thing that really bothers me. She acts totally different with Daddy than she does around me. He lets her go on and on and on asking for something and doesn't get very firm with her...so she cries and whines, etc. She doesn't do that with me. So she already knows how to "play" people. We're NOT going to have that. I can't tell you how important it is for you and your spouse to treat your adopted child the EXACT same way. I mean even bio kids do this too, but they're coming from a different background. She tests people..to see if they're going to give her what she asks..especially Grandma and Daddy...everyone needs to be on the same page. I refuse to treat her like an "orphan" and I personally think it's more cruel to let her continue to do that for a year and then decide, "Oh, we really need to set boundaries, etc." It's one thing to understand and be sensitive to where they came from, etc. But in her case, manipulation is not gonna fly!

*Edit: This may sound harsh and I apologize....but after watching her behavior for a year now, this is just the way it is for MY daughter. Every adopted child is different for sure....

She really has no other issues... She is a very happy and easy-going little girl as of this point. She wakes up happy and goes to bed happy. She's sweet and gentle and loving and very much a blessing.

If you have other questions for me, feel free to email me and I'll try to get pics up soon...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Last Chance!:)

Hi Bloggy friends! This is the last week of our SAFARI FUNdraiser and we have a loooong way to go! But I've learned that no matter what, the Lord has a plan to provide for us...through this fundraiser or NOT!:)

Just a reminder that each piece of the puzzle is $15 and will include your name on the back as a keepsake reminder to our daughter of your help and support in bringing her home!

And in other adoption related matters....we are STILL waiting on the IRS for our adoption refund, so we can send in our dossier for Ethiopia...4 months waiting...but God has a plan(at least I keep telling myself this;)...no, I know He does...it just never seems to line up with mine:)). Also, having to redo a page on the homestudy...oh well, better now than later!:)

I also want to give a shout out to all my followers who are bringing home their kiddos from Bulgaria in the next few SHORT months!! The journey is not over my friends, it is just beginning! ENJOY! You've all been such an encouragement to me, and I want you to know that I haven't forgotten you:).

God Bless!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Okay, we're not making much headway here friends! But God's in control, so NO WORRIES:)! We still need 96% of the funds to come in to fully fund our I600A and dossier fees. So pray, pray, pray with us that we get LOTS of donations in the next 2 WEEKS!!

I seriously had every intention of posting pics...and will...once I figure out the new camera and why it won't download my pics...dang it!

Also, still waiting on the IRS...almost 4 months now...our case is officially "closed" as of last Wednesday and now has been sent to someone else to issue the adoption refund...supposedly by the 15th, but we REALLY need it this week. Would you please continue to pray about that as well? Trying to just rest in His provision today:).

Also, I know you may wondering, "what's up with Ava?"...and we will be celebrating her 4th BIRTHDAY in the next couple of weeks, so I will update then...you know, AFTER I figure the camera out and why it won't download my pictures...DANG it!

Have a blessed day,