Monday, September 29, 2008

Help and Blessings

I'm not sure how to begin this post. I guess I can say,"I have an opportunity for you to bless someone." or I could just simply ask for help on behalf an amazing woman and her family. A woman who has so deeply touched me and my family that I will forever be changed. I'm asking you to help me bless Gadese(the woman who came home with me from Ethiopia) and her family. Soon her baby will be born, soon she will travel back to Ethiopia, soon her family will be reunited and all too soon her family along with their precious new baby will face the realities of living in a third world country. I have been to her house, I have seen and eaten with her family. Nine of them, living in a tiny house and struggling to survive. Gadese and Alebachew not only care for all of Gadese's sisters but they also "adopted" two children(distant relatives) who's parents died of aids.
I have chosen not to throw a shower for Gadese for several reasons. Instead I took her to Target to pick out some things. It was one of the most humbling experiences I've ever had. After I explained the concept of registering someplace, she couldn't believe anyone would want to buy her baby or family anything. Then she started to cry. As the tears fell down, the only thing I could do was thank God for giving me this wonderful gift. Walking through Target she was filled with a combination of disbelief that people would actually buy her anything, tears of joy and imagining her family with these things, laughter from the shear ridiculousness of stuff that is in America for babies and fear of dreaming. Dreaming that I was only joking. That no one would want to help. When I told her to pick out things not only for the baby but for the other children in her house, she simply stood there and cried. Then she walked to the underwear and sock isle. Not the toys, not the gadgets and movies, but the basic of basics-underwear and socks. I finally convinced her to choose some shoes to. My hope and prayer is to show this family, this woman how much she is loved. Will you please help me do this. Even if you can't get her anything would you please send her a card to let her know how beautiful she is. I can't express enough how deeply touched our two families (Mine and Gadese's) are by your thoughts and prayers.

She is registered at Target
Her name is Gadese Edeto.

Please email me if you have any questions.


Reality Check

After whining about my menstrual cramps, I told my soon to be 13 year old son that when he gets married to be incredibly sweet and loving to his wife when she's on her "period", even if she's grouchy. To that he responded, "I won't have to worry about that for another 5-8 years". All of a sudden his little life flashed before my eyes. My baby is turning 13 in a few days and his time with us is almost up. Before to long, he will be married and on his own. In the midst of diaper changes, time-outs, housework, practices, lessons taught and just daily life-They do grow up and it goes extremely fast.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I posted this on my adoption yahoo group.

Hi. I think I only posted once before, sometime last year. We adopted 2 year old
twins. It has been quite the journey, in many ways not like I expected. Adjusting has been difficult to say the least. Please know if you actually finish reading this post, it is not meant to be negative. On the contrary I hope to encourage. We went through so much before we finally found our twins. One referral died of malaria, one taken back to their village and one here in our own state pulled two weeks before placement. All of them I loved. Our referral of the twins was nothing less than God's plan. Our paperwork arrived the same time the twins were taken to the orphanage. When I first saw their pic I was filled with fear. Fear of another loss. Much to our surprise the process with our new agency went lightning fast. I was set to travel 3 months past the date of first hearing of them. Then a week before I was to leave I got a call. They were sick, but would be okay. Not wanting to take any chances, I left the next day without my husband. Not what I planned, but obviously what God planned. I will never ever forget what I saw when I walked into the orphanage. Two kids looking the shell of my first photo of them. At 22 months they weighed a mere 10 pounds. They looked like the kids from the late night infomercials. The ones whose faces haunt you. They had the skeletal frames, sunken eyes, and dead expressions, but they weren't the kids on the aids fliers and infomercials, they were my babies. It suddenly felt less like a gotcha day and more like a rescue mission. Every day I was there was so painful. The fear was intense. Are they going to live? If they do what are the life long effects going to be. My heart screamed for them, for our kids at home. Our first attempt through immigration, and we were denied the ability to bring them home. Our agency messed up. Again tears. By that time my husband was in Ethiopia. Praise God he was there to fight that battle. I was so overwhelmed with the twins state. Our little girl cried all the time and our little boy was so sick. In the midst of all of this God still had bigger plans. We met an amazing couple while we were there. God spoke, "Help them." She was pregnant with their second child, the first one died months before in utero at 8 1/2 months. They were terrified of losing this one. With help from another amazing family that was with us to pick up their own daughter, they covered her plane ticket to the states and we agreed to care for her. Our flight home was painfully long. The twins cried most of the way and the pregnant woman that was with us was sick. When we got home the twins were hospitalized. We didn't know if our son was even gonna make it. We were told over and over again that they were knocking on deaths door. In the meantime we have four other kids at home that haven't seen me in weeks and now I'm in a hospital room with their new brother and sister. I didn't want to leave them and yet I knew my other kids needed me to. As each day went by, I felt my own strength leave. The twins doctors would comment on how bad I looked. Only now do I realize the full extent of God's hand in my life during that period. I ended up having Typhoid fever, Hep A, Giardia, and tissue parasites. The twins were released a few weeks later. I continued to be sick for three months. Needless to say the last five months have been challenging. I still feel robbed in a weird way of how I thought our adoption experience was to go. I now have six kids at home that are still trying to figure out how to be a family and a pregnant Ethiopian woman that is now my best friend and is due in a month. So in a few short months we have gone from a family of six to a soon to be family of ten. NOTHING went as I planned, but EVERYTHING went as God planned.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Called Out.

Someone told me last night that I have been very critical lately. Ouch! My first response was not nice. Then I let the words sink in. How often have I prayed, "Lord change me." Is it possible? Was He was using this person's observation to change me, to soften my heart, to awaken me. I thought about it and yes, I have been critical. I have also been extremely negative as well and not just in one relationship or area of my life, but in all areas and relationships. Have I become Debbie Downer? What went wrong? Where did I make the wrong turn? I look back and I can see the subtle transformation that happened in my spirit from one year ago. I can also see how this shift has taken a toll on my family, on attaching to the twins and in so many places. How often do I spend my days saying, "Stop! Why won't you listen?" or, "you're driving me crazy!". How about this one? "I can't take it anymore" and "You're never home". Ouch. And then what about the things I don't say? The thoughts I just keep to myself. Dark. Sad. Hurtful. Crushing. Man, that person was right. I have become critical. I have gotten into the habit of only seeing the wrong in people and situations. If I honestly look at it. 30-40% right now is out of control. What about the other 60-70%? Do I comment on that? How about I say instead, "Great listener! Thanks I love it when you are listening!", or "Good work______, thanks for doing that. How about, "You are the sharing rockstar king toddler!, Way to go." And even more importantly, " Thanks honey for all you do for our family. You are my hero. I believe in you and thank you so much for calling me out."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Look! Up in the Sky.....

It's a bird, it's a plane, NO. It's DiezelMan. The transformation is now complete (insert mildly evil laugh here). Holy smelly diapers! He is a Boster!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tears and Hair and Insomnia

Xia had her done for the first time. She screamed alot! The kids kept asking Gadese to stop. Even Adam thought Xia was being hurt. We had to explain that no, it didn't hurt her and that she was simply mad and maybe a little scared at having to sit for so long.

We finally figured out if I held her, she would stop screaming. She even almost fell asleep during the last part of it.

She looks Adorable!

*side note*

Please ignore the tremendous bags under my eyes and the overall worn out look of me. My insomnia has gone to crazy new heights these last few months. Any suggestions?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What's the Worst Thing Ever?

When one of your toddler's poop in the tub when your other toddlers are in it too.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's Time For.......


Somehow I forgot to mention that Gadese is having a girl. Yes, a baby girl! They are thrilled. She is wanting help in naming her. She wants a biblical name. We would love some suggestions. Gadese really liked the name Bethlehem, but decided that there are too many little Bethlehem's in Ethiopia. So if you have ideas, please leave them. It wouldbring her a lot of joy to know howmany people think and ask about her.

And yes, I did get the hospital stay for her covered. The hospital was so generous to do this for her. Thank you Boone! Now, as far as her doctor is concerned. He has been great. I first contacted him months ago, I told him the story of Gadese and he was wonderful. We came to see him that same day and he said,"God's been very good to me, the biggest bill you'll have to figure out is the lab and hospital, I will only charge you pennies on the dollar." It is now months later and he still won't tell me what he is going to charge us for his services though. I'm starting to get a little nervous. How would you respond to this? I spoke with him a few visits ago and said, "It's gettting close , I sure would like to know what our bill will be with you." He said, "Oh, I thought you would tell me how much you would pay."
WHAT! Okay, what should I have said next?

We hit so many brick walls trying to get Alex here. It looks like that would be a long term project. So, as of now there will be no Alex here for the baby's birth. It has been since the beginning of April that Gadese has seen her husband and family. The plan is now for Gadese and the baby to return back to Ethiopia after the first of the year. I hopefully will be able to travel back with them. I have half heartedly been attempting to start a ministry there over the last few months. I just can't seem to get it together though. I haven't really heard God speak to me yet. So, I'm just kind of standing still waiting. I'm hoping to go back though. My first travel there was shadowed with fear. Fear of the twins dying, fear of losing two more kids, fear of what was ahead of me with their recovery. It was hard to think about much else. This time I really want to soak it in and just breath. Go where God leads.

Now on to movie business. We have been blessed to have Adam home for the most part since July. We had a lot of adjusting we had to do. Any of you with travelling spouses know what I mean. Since then we had the red carpet event and a film festival. Now it's time to sell this thing. Adam leaves tonight for Los Angeles. He has meetings with some pretty big studios. If you think of it please keep us in your prayers. The selling of this movie would bless so many wonderful friends and family that believed in my husband to support his vision.

Homeschooling! Wow, what can I say. So many blessings have already come from that leap of faith. I really just want to encourage anyone who has ever considered it or who has felt God tug at their hearts about it, to seriously pray and consider it. Every year during May, June and July, I struggled with what to do the next year with my kids. Do I keep onthe same path or maybe, just maybe try homeschooling. For many years I kept on the same path. Then I finally did it, I jumped ship. I chose a different way and it is amazing. I think the key for me was not going with a particular cirriculum. I have freedom from expectations or rigid guidelines. We are having a lot of fun. My relationship with them has grown beyond anything I could imagine.

And the twins? Well, everyday is a new day. I try not to measure how today will be by how yesterday was. It's never the same. It's a struggle. Some days I feel like we all won and other days I feel like we all lost. I don't mean to sound grim, but it is hard. And so is parenthood, marriage, walking with God, relationships and life. That's the beauty of it. Without struggle and without pain there is no victory. There 's little value. We value and cherish what we fight for. We fight harder for what we love and value. So everyday, I'm fighting. I'm fighting for my family, for my marriage, for my relationships and I'm fighting to walk with God.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!

It's the Ethiopian New Year. I didn't realize until later this afternoon how hard today must have been for Gadese. To be here with us, without her family. Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I lose perspective.
Anyway... Thank God, He showed once again why I'm doing this. Why He had me bring Gadese to stay here, why He wants me to serve her, and why He wants me to help her every day.
His ways are perfect. Always.

We cooked a huge Ethiopian feast and invited some family. We had a great time. We listened to Oromic music, and even washed our hands the traditional way. I only hope that in some small way Gadese felt tonight how very much we love her and how very much God loves her.

All of sitting down to our Ethiopian feast. Notice the lack of utensils.

Sigawat stew. Beef and berebere.

Dorowat stew. Chicken and berbere with hard boiled eggs. Good and spicy.

Chiro. Chick pea flour, ethiopian butter and berbere.

Adam was the official hand washer. Since you eat with your fingers in Ethiopia it's customary for someone to walk around the room with a pitcher, basin and soap to wash your hands before a meal.

Grandpa and Diezel having a moment.

Gadese and Faith after dinner working on a sewing project.

I Really ...

Hate my selfish heart.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Happy to Be...


And if any one is trying to call me, I left my phone in Texas. You can email me and I will give you my home number.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


As I was getting ready to get on the plane to fly home, I got a call from Leah and Lex. Annerson's bilirubin was extremely high, she is dehydrated, and lost a pound. So, I did what any good aunt would do, I got my bags, unchecked myself from my flight and went back to their house. I'm here with them now. Annerson is in her billi bed and Leah and Lex are resting. It has been a difficult few days for them. Please pray For God to continue to bring peace and comfort to them, that Annerson's levels would come down fast, that Leah's milk would be abundant and nourishing to Annerson. Please pray for my kids and Adam at home, they were expecting me back as I type this. Pray for patience and unity for them while I'm gone. I miss them so much, but am where I am needed right now.

Thanks so much, your prayers and thoughts mean so much.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Happy Family

I can't believe my time here is almost over. It went to fast. I enjoyed every minute of it. I was surrounded by a husband and wife that love each other, their new daughter and the Lord with all their souls. I was so richly blessed to be able to be a part of Annerson's first few days of life. She is beautiful!