Monday, August 16, 2010

Adoption Update, Counting & Fellowship

We got our USCIS fingerprint time in the mail today … they are for Friday, September 10th … we were praying they would be on one of Amber’s off days from work and God’s grace allowed that to happen.  So, one more step in the journey…

At church this weekend, a good friend told us he thought about us this past week … he was listening to Mercy Me’s new album and heard the second verse of this song.  We were humbled that he thought of us.  And even though I pray and think of our daughter every time I run and Amber and I pray together for her every night … that God would surround her, protect her, keep her safe and healthy … that He would open her heart to us and ours to hers (we don’t know if she’s born or even conceived yet but God does … He knows her name), it’s easy for me to be “distanced” from her with the large wait ahead of us.  This song helps bring her down closer to me tonight.  Thank you Tommy!  What an amazing song.  It is now on the ipod.  Take a listen.  Open your heart.  Serve His people. 

OK, now I know it’s because he’s my boy, but he’s the smartest.kid.ever.  Don’t you agree?

We had a great time at The 1:27 Call’s fellowship picnic yesterday.  Yes, it was hot but the kiddos didn’t seem to mind (water table helped greatly … Silas was soaked as usual when there is water within a mile radius) and it was great catching up with old friends and meeting new ones and their sweet kiddos.  I stole some pictures from another family as I was weak and didn’t take any (even though Amber reminded me to).  Thanks Rutledges!












Sunday, August 8, 2010


We are almost 1/2 way to our sponsorship goal for my 1/2 marathon to bring Silas’ baby sister home. To celebrate this accomplishment, we are going to give away one of our Ugandan Magazine Necklaces!  As a guy, it doesn’t come across very well when I say these necklaces are amazing, but they really are.  Every person who has bought one has been amazed at the construction, color, and variation of each necklace. 

So, all you need to do to enter the giveaway is to share our blog on facebook, your blog, and/or twitter … feel free to say a nice word or two about our family as well :).  Then, leave a comment on this post about where you shared our blog and we will add you to the raffle.  We will hold the drawing on Sunday night after our Forever Family Fellowship picnic hosted by The 1:27 Call (if you’re in Middle Tennessee, you should come out to the picnic.  Let me know if you’re interested).  All comments need to be in by 7pm Central, Sunday, August 15th.  I will update the blog with the winner next Sunday night…

Let the games begin!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What a weekend!

OK, it’s already Thursday and my story starts a week ago…

Our agency, AGCI, was in town this past weekend for an adoption seminar, benefit dinner, and picnic. 

Thursday night was the seminar.  Kristi and I had the opportunity to talk for a few minutes about our experience with AGCI.  I brought Silas with me but Amber had to work late and wasn’t able to go.  It did allow me to tell folks why we chose AGCI again.  When I first got there, Silas was his typical self in a new environment – he clung to me for his life.  If I sat him down, he would whine like there’s no tomorrow.  Luckily, this lasted about 45 minutes and he got comfortable there and was running around on his own.  He kept saying Lucy’s name on the drive there but when we got there, of course he didn’t want to play with her. 

By the time Ashley from All God’s Children was in full mode of her presentation, Silas decided to start running through the crowd to play ‘keep away from daddy.’  Now, for those in the crowd interested in adoption, I’m sure it was cute seeing an adorable Ethiopian running around, but he was a distraction.  So, the parent award of the year had to be used….We made about a dozen trips to the food table and I think Silas ate his weight in crackers and cookies.  (Tangent – Amber weighed him yesterday and said he was 27 lbs … boy’s getting big!).  By the time Ashley got done and I got up to speak, Silas was in full play mode … he did not want me to hold him so I put him down and he knew he could then get away with anything.  Boy was into everything, climbing on everything, pushing buttons for electronics, etc … I had to stop numerous times in order to retrieve him from whatever he was in.  In preparation for the talk, I did some Scripture studying and found something interesting that I didn’t know.  It’s something I want to do a video on so stay tuned for that!  Nevertheless, it gave me an opportunity to talk to the husbands as most adoption/orphan care seminars like this are women-focused.  Overall, AGCI said the seminar went well … there were probably 50 people there and they said that was a great turnout for a Thursday night…

Friday night was the benefit dinner.  As a family in the midst of another adoption, we could not afford it so we decided to host some families we’ve come to know through the blog world.  We did a cookout at our house.  It allowed some families to get to hang out more than just a couple hours at a picnic.

First, I picked up our first guests, Renee and Noah, at the airport as they were staying with us.  We came home and I went to work on getting ready for the get-together.  As I was walking in the door, Amber was heading out with Silas to where else … the airport!  Our good friends Amy & Paul that live less than a mile from us were coming home from Ethiopia … we were so excited for them and it tore me up that I couldn’t be there to welcome them home.  Go check out there amazing boy.  He’s flat-out adorable.

So families started to arrive … it’s amazing to see them in person when you’ve seen countless pictures of them … we were blessed to have in our prescence…

The Beachy’s – They were the next family behind us on the waiting list when we got Silas’ referral.  Matt & I became pretty good friends in cyberspace after they got a courtdate a month ahead of us and I struggled with that.

The Pelley’s – they get the award for traveling the farthest

The Knights – Charisa was the volunteer coordinator for our agency when we traveled.  She has handed the reigns over and has started it for another agency that they are adopting an infant through!

The Prusts – they traveled about 6 weeks before us and were able to give us an update on Silas!

The Hilts – they traveled with the Prusts and also got updates from them.  They gave us a picture of Silas in Ethiopia in a ladybug fleece Halloween costume.  Poor kid had to been sweating rockets.  No wonder he loves just being in his diaper or buck-naked.

The Harpers – We got to travel with Andi & Sean when they brought Will home.  They live about 3 hours away and are “good people” … we will hopefully get to see them again this fall…

Paul & DeeDee – They traveled a few weeks after us to bring their daughter home.  We were able to love on Olivia while in Ethiopia.  They are in process of becoming missionaries to ETHIOPIA!  They are in the fundraising cycle now … please be praying for them and pray about supporting them.  They are living it out.  Selling house, possessions, etc and moving to Ethiopia next summer.  They told me they think they’re crazy every single day.  To the world, they are.  In God’s Kingdom, they’re leaders.


Silas happy that his friends from Ethiopia are coming!


Will with the lawnmower … the lawnmower was a point of contention throughout the night.  It was the toy of the night


Silas with the Beachy brothers … can’t tell he’s loving being next to his water table.  It didn’t take long for him to be sitting in it … diaper and all


An attempt to get most of the Ethiopian kiddos together.  With 6 toddlers, not an easy task.


OK, she is just adorable!  And had her pick of the men as you can see from the picture above

What a great night hanging out with families!

Saturday was the picnic … this drew families from all over the country … from Kansas to Texas to Connecticut to Georgia to Wisconsin to Maryland to Indiana to Virginia … you get the picture.  It was amazing to see all the kids together.  I was the picnic coordinator so I didn’t get to visit as much as I wanted with families but it was still great to be part of an amazing day.  It was HOT … as in not-funny hot.  The TN humidity and hot temps were in full force as it’s been all summer.


Silas having a ball on the playground


Lucy Lane, Jackson, and most other kids loved the water


Doesn’t it look like Jaxson is up to no good?


Silas had fun riding on the skateboard.  Apparently while I was working the sno-cone machine, Amber pushed him around on one of those 3-wheel scooters and he loved it.  We’ve come to see what Silas likes that is from Kristi’s and then go get that for him for birthday, etc. :)


I was so happy to see this family.  We were supposed to travel with them and they got held up at the last minute.  Last time I saw Mahlet was in Ethiopia.  She has grown 7 inches in less than a year being home.  Such a beautiful girl!


I got to meet the Pratt’s for just a minute as the sno-cone machine was calling my name … actually, I saw the kids eyeing it and knew they would start making them on their own if I didn’t jump in :)


Can you tell Olivia is happy with her snocone?


and Jackson?  Blue mouth and all :)


Still boggles my mind that Lucy Lane and Silas were in Ethiopia hanging out together and now live 40 minutes from each other and we were able to bring them forever home at the same time

Saturday night, the Hull’s, Beachy’s, Paul/DeeDee, and Renee/Noah all hung out here at the house.  It was great seeing the kids together in a smaller setting.


Forgot to take pics Saturday night but here’s one of Jeremiah…

Sunday morning, Paul/DeeDee were heading back to Texas so we joined them up at Cracker Barrel from breakfast.  You can’t beat their breakfast!  Last week was week one of my 12 week training plan for the 1/2 marathon.  I did a couple errands and then ran 4 miles in the hottest part of the day.  Good planning by me.  We ate dinner and went to the park to let Silas play with Noah one last time.  In the midst of lifting them up on monkey bars, etc, I strained a muscle in my back.  Unfortunately, I haven’t ran at all this week because of it.  I’m hoping to run 4 on Saturday so I don’t miss a long run.  It should be an interesting run.

Bright and early Monday morning, I drove Renee/Noah over to the Hull’s hotel as they were going to ride back with Kim to TX for a few days of hanging out/vacation.  I wish at that point I could have drove home and slept for 10 hours but alas I had to go into work.  And it’s been a crazy busy ever since…

Finally, update on our adoption.  We are mailing in our I600A form tomorrow … this is a form to the USCIS to grant us permission to bring our daughter into the country.  We had all the paperwork a couple weeks ago but we were saving money for the $830 in fees and fingerprints. We figured that as long as the waitlist is, we have time :)

Have a great weekend … mine will consist of playing catch up on about a dozen things!