Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Google "fun?"

OK, I should be doing so many other things .... like telling you how AGCI told me that everything in the Ziploc may not make it over due to weight ... so AGCI may have a new monkey mascot in their office. Or that I've been working on the nursery almost every night ... been building a built-in window seat/toy box ... primed it tonight and hopefully will get the doors ordered soon ... need to get pictures up sometime. Or that Amber has like 3 baby showers planned with one being a co-ed one with our Bible Study. Or that Amber's sister sent us both Ethiopian adoption shirts after we got our referral ... thanks Amy! More pics that should be posted

...anyways, enough of that ... Deedee did this and I laughed and figured I should return the here we go...

Go to Google an put in your name needs...for example I put in Troy needs and these are the top 10 things that came up...

Troy needs...

...a job (hope google isn't prophetic ... no way it is ... this link was from ... who comes up with this stuff???? (ummm, I'm "rehabbing" the nursery ... does that count?) theater (apparently Troy, Michigan doesn't have the fine arts)

...needs $11.7 million (SWEET! Who knows how many little Ethiopian kiddos would be running around our house then :) aide in the classroom with him (well, I'd LOVE to have a aide at work...)

..Dog Runs (no thanks ... sounds like something you get from eating bad Chinese) curses (AMEN!) clean up my clogged algorithms (???? ... I do have a math major and I've very logical but ...)

...needs some bling (Seriously. So I could go to Kristi's Gold party and sell it all for plane tickets to Ethiopia!)

...a fire truck (what guy doesn't?)

I'll try to get all that other stuff detailed out sometime off to Bible Study!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bag o' Goodies

OK, I've been meaning to do this post since last weekend so here we go...

When we did our registering/shopping last week, we also got the items for the bag we get to send our boy. I mentioned earlier the ziploc shrink bags for the freezer were are friends ... you will see why ...

Time to play, can you guess what that is....

Item #1 is.... Elephant security blanket! We actually did a test run and took him out and he came back to life :)

Item #2 is...

....a monkey! He's got velcro hands so hopefully he can be hung on his crib.

Then we got a picture book that we have since filled with pics of us and the grandparents.

Outfit #1 ... "Fly Guy" :)

Outfit #2

Teething Keys

Everything we sent...

Actually fit into the gallon bag! We hope to get it sent off next week.

I also had to share my Valentine Day's gift from Amber ... well, from our boy :) One of my food vices is peanut butter and chocolate ... she made a double peanut butter cookie with Reese Cups on top ... How sweet is that!?!? AND TASTY! WE LOVE YOU SON AND WILL SEE YOU SOON!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Presents & Purchases

Amber's coworkers and patients' parents were sweet to give her some congratulations gifts...

"baby" Picture frame

"Guess How Much I Love You" and a book of Nursery Rhymes

<Our little boy's first outfit :)

We spent yesterday shopping and registering ... it brought back memories of registering for our wedding ... both Amber and I agreed this go around was much better than for our wedding. The stress that registering created was just crazy ... not that this time was any less stressful. Statements like "think we need this?" ... "I don't know" happened quite often. I think we got a few looks from the pregnant women in Babies 'R Us ... they prolly had some questions themselves ... "Man, they must be registering early ... she's not even showing yet."

In any event, we found some bedding at USA Baby ... the plan was for Amber's mom to make our bedding ... she can sew like there's no tomorrow ... however, once Amber saw this, it was all over. The were having a good President's Day sale ... 25% off bedding and then another $20, we figured what we got and we wouldn't have saved much by having her sew it so we got, the following pics are for Amber's mom so she can see what we got :)

The quilt from the set

The monkey on the quilt :)

A little decorative pillow ... we've decided to go with the Elephant blue for the walls of the nursery

The complete set ... bumper, quilt, "softy" blanket, valences, pillow, diaper holder, skirt, fitted sheets.

We also got the items to send to our little guy ... that'll be another post as we gotta wrap up all our paperwork to send back tomorrow but let me tell you, the ziploc freezer bags that shrink are GREAT! Heh, can't tell what is inside the bag but it all fits :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

An Update Already

How GREAT is our GOD!?!?

So Amy and Mike just got back a couple weeks ago from getting their daughter ... I got to meet Amy before they traveled to get her some diapers that she squeezed into her baggage...

Well, we sent her the info on our boy and asked her to ask her daughter if she happened to know him .... her response...

I just called "R" into the room to see the picture and she said softly..."A". :-)
And I asked her if he was a good baby, and she raised her eyebrows up in a yes.


If anyone has traveled in the last month, PLEASE let us know and we'll see if you seen/know our son :) Or, if you'll be traveling soon, we'd love for you to love on our son. Thank YOU!

We got our referral packet today ... we're hoping to get it mailed out Monday ... we have to wait until then to get our Home Study social worker's approval. Our pediatrician call will be tomorrow afternoon.

It was great to hear about Amber's coworkers and patients' moms celebrate with her ... she's got presents that I'll have to post pics of ... our little boy has his first piece of clothing :) THANK YOU "K"!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More Details :)

OK, I don't know how some people recall everything about everything ... I'm not one of them ... but here we go on what I can remember...

My cell rang at 12:38pm today at my desk at work ... the caller id showed Julie AGCI. Adrenaline started pumping cause I went something like this...

Me: Hello.
J: Hey Troy, it's Julie with AGCI ... how are you?
Me: I'm goooood ... how you doing?
J: I'm alright. Do you have a few minutes?
Me: Absolutely
J: Well, I have some good news about a little boy for you
Me: SWEEEEET ... that's AWESOME!
J: Do you want me to tell you about him or would you like to get Amber on the call as well.
Me: Actually, I'd like for Amber and I to be together. Work knows when we got the call I'd be heading out right away. We live 45 minutes from the office so can we just call you when I get home? (Amber had the day off today)
J: Well, I'm actually about to go home cause I'm sick. You can call Christy back and she can give you all the details...
Me: Oh no! Well, you've been with us this whole ride ... we need you to give us some of the information ... so give me just a little. (Not that we think Christy couldn't do it ... you just build a relationship with your case manager)
J: (laughing) OK, well, his name is 'A' and he is 4 months old. He is good size (can't remember actually what she said here .... "filled out" or something)
Me: That's awesome! OK, I think that's good ... thank you so much!
J: Your welcome. Do you want to know more?
Me: I think that will tie us over until I get home
J: OK, just give Christy a call and I should be able to talk to you tomorrow.
Me: Sounds great Julie ... thanks again ... go home, lie down, get some rest, and start feeling better!
J: (laughing) OK, I will.

So, I sat for a minute in surreal world. Here it is. It came. We have our boy. Unreal. I have no idea what he looks like but I love him. Already. Unconditionally.

I call Amber and play it all cool.

A: Hello
Me: Hey, what's going on?
A: Not much ... just got done eating lunch...
Me: Yeah, me too. (Then some filler talk that I can't remember.) Well, I wanted to let you know that I'm packing up because I just got off the phone with JULIE.
A: WHAT!?!?! ARE YOU SERIOUS!?!?! (Well, I think that is what she said ... I have an appointment with the ear doctor tomorrow to see if there is permanent damage to my left ear ... just kidding)
Me: Yep. (I told her about Julie being sick so I found out a few things)

So I told her his name and his birthdate and she was in love. We decided that we would call a few people while I drove home ... so she called her parents, her sis, her bro who is in Singapore for his job, and a few friends. I called my parents, sis, my great-aunt Ann ... I love Aunt Ann ... she is 91 and is so excited for our adoption. She has a great-granddaughter from Guatemala and just loves her :) ... I also texted Julie because she was so instrumental in our adoption. I believe from her multiple exclamation points, she was pretty excited for us.

OK, so I get off the interstate onto the ramp which is about 5 minutes from the house and the traffic completely stops on the offramp. We had some pretty good storms and wind here today and it apparently knocked out the first signal after getting off the interstate. It felt like FOREVER to get through that light to get home.

Finally got home, call AGCI, and do our conference call with Christy ... who was very sweet and has the same demeanor as Julie ... she gave us all "A's" info (good healthy boy) and said she'd be sending pics soon ... and that there were alot of them so there may be a couple emails.

The next 3 minutes took forever as well. We see the email coming through and because of it's size, we see it downloading more and more and finally it's done. I save the attachments, open the first one and we meet our boy's face for the first time. I don't know how to describe it ... there are no words ... as Tom Davis has written, it's like Jesus was manifested on our screen. I know the words "CUTE" "ADORABLE" "PERFECT" and "AWWWW" were used numerous times! We looked through the pics a dozen times or so and then got another email from Christy with more pics in it! We are blessed to have ~30 pics of our little guy!

He's pretty serious in most of the pictures ... there are a couple where he's got a little smirk on his face.

The rest of the day was spent emailing, calling friends/family, and just 'enjoying' being parents. We sat and praised GOD for HIS faithfulness in this journey ... in hearing our petitions and everyone who has prayed for us. We have such a loving GOD. It has made it 'real' to me that we are adopted into HIS family and the JOY HE has for us.

We emailed Christy back to take the next steps so she sent out the referral packet today and we should get it tomorrow. We also sent all his info to the Vanderbilt International Adoption Clinic and hope to hear from them soon!

We also went to Bible Study tonight and got to report the HUGE PRAISE.

So ... next steps ... for those in the adoption world, this is old news....

OK, we are NOT allowed to post pics of him until we get home with him. Sorry. We will have to fill out all the paperwork, get that mailed back in with the second half of the adoption fee. That packet will get sent to Ethiopia and we will get a court date scheduled. We're thinking this court date will be in 2-3 months. If we pass court (50/50 shot), we would travel in 3-4 weeks after that ... we think. Our prayer is that we get a quick court date and pass on the first try!

February 11, 2009 will never be forgotten. The day we first saw our son. We want to thank everyone that have left such sweet messages on the blog and facebook ... we are so blessed. We are forever thankful for every prayer given for us and our son. God has walked the journey with us (honestly, prolly carried us most of it) and has answered every one of those for our son.

Our son :) That'll take some time to sink in.

Amber taking a look at her sweet boy...

Me enjoying the pics over and over again...

Amber talking to her sister...

We got it!

Julie called us today ... we just got off the conference call and awaiting pics! More details later...


Shots and Advice

Amber and I had the joy of going to Reeves Sain Drug Store yesterday to do shots ... we still weren't 100% sure walking in what we were going to get.

I ended up starting the Hep A/B series and Amber started the Hep A as she's already had Hep B from working in the hospital. I gotta get another shot in a month and then in 6 months. Amber just has to get one more at 6 months. We both got the typhoid pills but that's it...oh, and $300 later...

So, if you've traveled or planning to travel, what have you done? I'm thinking I need a tetanus booster but should be good with my MMR. I don't think we're going to do Yellow Fever or Rabies. Polio and menangitis are still up in the air...


Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Kristi and Will got their referral today! That's so very cool ... she's waited so long for Lucy and it's a blessing to see her get to enjoy her daughter! GOD IS FAITHFUL! They are the local family that we believe our little one is playing with right now at Hannah's Hope! :)

On a personal note, that puts us at #10 on the girls list and still #1 or #2 on the boy's ... we'd love to see the referrals keep coming this week! :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

What a weekend!

Wow, we had a GREAT weekend ... my recap probably won't do it justice...

Friday night we went with a couple from our Bible Study to an Ethiopian restaurant in Nashville. We were all up for it but didn't know what to expect. The men ordered the combination platters while the women ordered awaze tibs (beef) and yebeg tibs (lamb). The food came out and she explained all what the guys had and I still am not sure all what I ate since there were like 7 things. But, things I do know...

  • I like Ethiopian spices
  • The lamb and beef and chicken were all good ... especially the lamb
  • I could not eat the hard-boiled egg in the Dora we't ... something about the egg covered in stew ... just couldn't do it plus had tons of other stuff I liked
  • Injera ... good ol' injera. None of us could really get into it ... it was like a cold spongey flatbread/tortilla.
  • Price was great for the amount of food you got
  • Leftovers a couple days later are still real good.

All in all, it was a good experience and I know we'll go back. Thanks Amy and Kent for dinner ... it was very appreciated!

Saturday, I had the joy of spending the 70+ degree beautiful day inside doing taxes ... still not done yet :( We went to church Saturday night ... we are in the midst of the New Years series and they always have some unpredictable things going on during the series ... see for yourself...

CAMELS! Our friend's daughter wanted to get up close and personal with the camels. They also had llamas and some ostrich-like birds that enjoyed pecking at people!

She wanted me to feed the camel...

We then went to Snappy Tomato for supper. We heard that the owners were Ethiopian and we wanted to meet them. So we placed our order with this lady, got our food and sat down. That lady came out to clean a table and I asked her if the owners were Ethiopian. She said yes, and that she was one of the owners along with another Ethiopian couple. This was a total God night as they had pictures from their last trip to Ethiopia ... their daughter just happened to still have them. In talking with them, they informed us they have a non-profit that is helping southern Ethiopian families because not a whole lot of help goes there (rural, etc). Their ministry is Gospel For All. Sam and Vivian are the nicest people and I think they themselves support 17 children in Ethiopia. It is an unreal opportunity to meet them, get to know about their ministry, etc. What's even crazier is that Amber's coworker's in-laws go to their church and went to Ethiopia last year on the mission trip. Unreal the connections God makes for us! So, if you're around Murfreesboro, go over and visit Snappy Tomato!

On Sunday, we went with friends and their kids to hike at Fiery Gizzard. It was another amazing day outside and it was perfect. We hiked down to the waterfall, up to the ridge, ate lunch, and hiked back. It was just a great day ... thanks Kris and Beth for inviting us out!

We are blessed to have some great friends in our life. We forgot to take pics most of the weekend ... I know, bad blogger ... we have a few from hiking ... although Kris has most of them on his camera...

View of the waterfall at the start of our hike.

The waterfall after hiking to the bottom of it.

Our friends we went hiking with and their kiddos. Those guys impress me so much ... taking 3 kids under 4 hiking ... and their oldest boy was a champ ... he hiked the whole thing with us and loved it.

Kris with his 2 oldest hanging out in the hammock where we made camp to eat lunch.

On the adoption front ... we went today to the Vanderbilt International Adoption Clinic to get an understanding of the clinic, meet some people, etc. Everyone was very nice and we feel real comfortable with the clinic. The physical clinic is only open on Mondays ... so it's probable we'll do a conference call with the doctor but it was good to meet people in person and understand their processes...

Hopefully Kristi and Will along with us get our calls soon. They live probably 45 minutes from us and it's amazing to think our babies could be buddies over at Hannah's Hope and travel 7000 miles and be that close to one another...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Official Numbers

OK, so we got an email today with our official numbers...

On the boy's list, we are....

and on the girl's list we are...

We know we are at least unofficially #2 on the boys list because of Nell Ann and Justin's referral ... we could be #1 if the other unknown person has received their referral ... it really hasn't sunk in yet that we could receive that call any day.
We still need to give God all the glory ... it is in HIS perfect timing it'll all happen ... we're just praying HIS timing is soon! :)

Please Pray

It is overwhelming the number of children fighting to live ... from poverty to starvation to sickness and disease.

PLEASE pray for little Jacob and Abby ... both of their parents are living their faith out.

Please lean into God and stand in the gap for His children today.

thank you.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

25 Random Things...

OK. I've been procrastinating doing this for a while. I've been trying to figure out a way to get out of it :) ... but, I've enjoyed reading others and thought that would be selfish. Being this blog is imported into Facebook, I figured I'd just do it here and not have to 'tag' other people to do it...

1) I love Jesus. There was a large portion of my life that was not true even though I was raised in the church. And there was another point in my life that I was ashamed of it. Knowing what He's done for me and is doing for me every day, there is no other way...

2) I married the perfect girl for me. God sent her to me to fulfill His plans for my life. I now see that even though I didn't when I married her. I love her with all my heart.

3) I miss the good ol' days of playing wiffleball every day in the summer. The neighborhood kids would be at my house at 9am and we'd play all day. Mom would fix lunch for us and we'd continue until it was too dark. We had a "right field monster" (compared to the left field monster at Fenway Park) that was my parents' 1970's RV. When not playing wiffleball, we would re-enact wrestling matches. Old Mrs. Davis would call my mom because she thought we were 'fighting' in the yard. I learned at a young age that the figure-4 leglock, when done correctly, will make you squeal like a little girl.

4) When it would rain and couldn't play wiffleball, we would have nerf basketball tourneys in our house or play old-school Nintendo. I was the first person in my town to beat Mike Tyson Punchout.

5) I believe abortion is murder and the church and our country will be judged for that.

6) I had scoliosis surgery in June 1995. I went into surgery around 5'11" and came out 6'2" after they straightened my spine the best they could and fused a couple rods to my spine. I'm supposed to be 6'6"-6'7" if I had a "straight" spine. I went into surgery with a 64 degree curve on my spine in my shoulder and still have ~34 degree curve today. In the top 3 physical pains in my life.

7) I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL WE KNOW WHO OUR ETHIOPIAN MIRACLE IS! (ok, I did a pretty good job in waiting until #7 for this)

8) I grew up an Indiana Hoosier fan (and still am today ... we have an "IU basement") even though I grew up 45 min from University of Illinois ... can't stand the Illini. This played out well for me as Amber went to IU and we got engaged on IU's campus.

9) I bleed Chicago Cubs blue. I miss my summer days sitting at Wrigley.

10) When I move to TN 6+ years ago, I didn't even know how to put a ceiling fan up (I actually paid someone to do that when I lived up north ... I know ... sad). Since then, I have done about every remodeling project a person can think of. When you buy an older house, you just have to "learn."

11) I have a few rental houses and really like working on/managing them (even though it seems like I never have the time).

12) In the past 7 years, I have lost 100+ pounds, gained almost 70 back, lost 60 lbs, and now have gained ~25 back. I have learned that my metabolism has to have me working out or I gain weight back no matter what I really eat. I seem to always get to a goal, get busy (aka, lazy), quit working out, and well ... yeah. So I have just started working out again and my goal is to lose the 25 before we travel to Ethiopia. I really want that discipline in my life.

13) I used to be co-owner of a mobile DJ business named 'Da Posse DJ Service' (I know ... but it WAS the early 1990's ... and we were cool)

14) I got 2nd and 3rd degree burns on my arm from mom's boiling kettle of sausage gravy a week away from turning 16. As I sat down at the table, I hit the arm of the pot and it flipped over and the gravy stuck to my arm. First time I had cursed in front of my parents. In the top 3 physical pains in my life.

15) I don't hate anything ... but I hate wallpaper. It is a fact that I will never put wallpaper up in our house no matter how 'in style' it may become. I don't want to do that to the next owners of our house.

16) I am forever indebted to the Jewish people. I will always try to stand beside Israel. I pray our country and leaders do the same. It is not good to be on the other side of the fence from God's people.

17) I really have to get cranking on my taxes and my honey-do list around the house ... along with building out the nursery :)

18) It's really great to see the personal relationship my sister is building with the Lord and the choices she is making towards Him.

19) The first vehicle I drove was a 1977 GMC Sierra pickup. The 2nd vehicle was a 1977 Cadillac Fleetwood (1st 2 years of college). I currently own a 1984 GMC Sierra pickup. It all comes full circle.

20) God has given me a small chunk of His compassion for His children in Ethiopia and it has forever changed my life. As Christians, we are called to care for the widows and orphans. What are we going to do with that?

21) Seeing how Amber's family interact, I wish I was closer to my extended family. I am blessed to have great in-laws that love me.

22) I fell down the stairs at our house last year and broke 2 ribs. Right after it happened, Amber thought it would be a good idea for me to lay down on the couch on my side with the broken ribs (she did not know they were broken at the time and was just trying to get my to stretch out to try to be able to breath since I was hyperventilating ... which made the pain worse). That was one the worst. pains. imaginable. She then had me climb the stairs I just fell down to lay down in our bed. Another bad move. Finally, about an hour later, I told her we had to go to the ER ... I was more worried about my back then anything. This rounds out the Top 3 physical pains in my life.

23) I love our church. I want to be part of an orphan care ministry team. I was looking at purchasing a book last week on how to start that ministry at your church. We met with friends last night who are adopting from Ethiopia as well and they just happened to have an extra copy of that exact book and they gave it to me. Thank you, God (and Chris and Anna too).

24) I drive Amber's Toyota Camry to work everyday; even though it has almost 210,000 miles on it, I would drive it anywhere without a second thought. I wish American-made vehicles were made like that. Our next car will be a Camry.

25) I love our country. I appreciate this country more and more. I used to not understand the sacrifice it has taken ... going to see Amber's brother's graduation from West Point and his tour in Iraq opened my eyes and I had a personal tie to it all. Our soldiers (past and current) are in the class of the bravest men and women on Earth.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Finding Favor

Today was a good snail-mail day ... I received my Red Letters book which is probably good timing since I will be done with Fields of the Fatherless in the next couple days ... really liking that book and can't wait for Red Letters...

Also in the mail was a letter we've been waiting for ... I open it up and it was..


The most important part is that the I-600A was APPROVED! This means that US Citizenship and Immigration Services approves us bringing our child into the country! GOOD DAY! Just as we (well I) was needing it ... it's another step forward as we wait with blinders on ... not knowing if we are #1, #2, or #3 on the boys list...

Speaking of which ... my days are definitely preoccupied these days...

  • For those of you that have been here before .. how'd you guys focus on anthing else? I go throughout the day just thinking of our child, probably being loved on by his (or her) special mothers ... and also the guys at Hannah's Hope. That gives me great peace and joy because I know the love they show the children at HH is TRUE love that only can come from our Savior.
  • I catch myself closing my eyes and seeing our child formed perfectly in God's image. Even though the features aren't clear, I can tell he/she is perfectly and wonderfully made.
  • I long for the day that I'm able to see a picture of my child, to know about him/her ... to understand what makes him/her laugh ... for him/her to know that Amber and I will be his/her forever family.

And I know once we are in the court-waiting phase, it doesn't get any easier ... actually harder because you have bonded and just want to go there to bring them home.

The peace we've had to this point continues tonight and I praise God for His faithfulness in this journey. As many others that have been down the same road we're on, we realize that God's Hand is written all over it ... we are forever grateful for how He's changed us and our hearts in the past 7 months.

Well, hopefully soon I'll be able to post some really good news ... I'll definitely keep you informed when we hear anything!