This blog was created to be a place where family, friends and other adoptive moms & dads could come to follow our journey to becoming a family of 3: to share in our joyful celebrations, to laugh with us at our silly moments, to keep us encouraged when times get tough for one reason or another and seem so trivial at in that instant yet reveal themselves to be worth it all along, and watch as Our Maker reveals to us  His wondrous design of unifying and husband & wife in Ohio with a cherished little boy from Africa.  Since being added to the wait list, we've had weeks where we hear that we've moved closer to our son, and weeks where no referrals are given within our agency and we remain eager to hear of news that brings families together in the coming weeks.  In August we were encouraged that the wait might last about 10 months, and as of now, we're almost half way there! You should know that there is no guarantee that someone in Ethiopia is sitting there keeping track of the Foster's wait and making sure we are held any timeline.  It's just an estimate to help our newbie minds understand the process. :)  It might be longer, it could be sooner, but we're praying that in 2011, we'll welcome our baby boy into our lives!  What we do know is that Jesus already knows the date when we're going to get that amazing call that says "you have a son!", the week that we'll travel to Addis to hold him in our arms for the first time and attend court, and the final trip that will grow together as a family and bring him home.  We find peace in that alone.
We've nicknamed him JJ (because when he is adopted, in Addis Ababa he will take Justin's name as his middle name for the court records...so as of now, he's Justin Jr.... ha, we know, original, eh??!)  Anyway, little JJ is already working on our hearts, and we don't even have a face or name to this precious little one!  Looking forward to someday sharing news that we've gotten our referral.  Until then, we'll wait!  No news of moving up on the wait list this week.  We remain at praise-worthy number 19!!  (That's great growth from where we started!!)
Have a great weekend everyone!!


Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Between last week and this week, we've celebrated two amazing people/causes that are so influential to our country.  Last week we celebrated the remarkable life of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.  I was blog stalking (yep, I know you do it too!) and found this great posting over at ...ethiopia or bust...  Click here to read a dad's sweet letter to his son.  Doesn't that move you?!  

This week we celebrate, honor, and fight to claim the Sanctity of Human Life.  In my career as a nurse, I have been called to take care of women in high risk pregnancies and outcomes.  Caring for those families is remarkable and daily I ask the Lord to help me have a critical eye & ear for subtle changes in sound of an unborn baby's heart beat, or the changes in a mom's mood or comfort that might just mean that something is changing.  Watch this video and remind yourself just how remarkable our Amazing Creator is!

The Sanctity of Human Life designation of this week holds a lot more significance to Justin and I than before because the reality of Ethiopia has hit home.  4.6 million orphans in Ethiopia who are listening for. a. voice.  Who long for. love.  Who want to. be. home.  What's holding you back?  If you feel like He's placed that desire deep within your heart, then we can't encourage you enough to trust Him and begin the process of growing your family. 


New year, new look!

Wow!  Have we been MIA.  It seems to be the theme among some bloggers out there, not blogging for weeks, months on end.  It's tempting to fall into the cavern of "I just don't feel inspired" or "I've got writers block".  Whatever excuse I could rig up, the honest answer is that I just fell short.  Real short.  So much took place in the last few months of 2010 and its too good to forget.

Most of you will notice that the blog is looking pretty fly these days!!  How cool is Becky Burk over at Bringing Home Ezra. This woman has wild talent and her creativity caught my eye many months ago.  Becky and her husband have adopted a little guy from ET and they are currently in the process of waiting for more babes to come home via the foster system.  While she isn't busy being a wife & mommy, she also works as a veterinarian.  If that doesn't seem like her plate is full, she is also very dedicated to using her creative gifts and talents to help bloggers like me.  I hope you are enjoying the new layout as much as we are!  Becky really discovered our individual personalities, and Justin and I are thrilled to share her with you!

Thinking back over the past 3 months or so since I last put in an entry, I realize that some of the reluctance I felt in blogging was that it just didn't seem like there was much news to share.  How silly of me to doubt our Creator and to ignore the AMAZING moments He draws us to daily.  Each Friday we receive a group email from our Children's Hope Ethiopian Team.  I love it--I love that we learn of referrals there, that we are given tips and insight to adoption and parenthood, and we are reminded that there are others out there in our shoes.  Waiting.  Done with the crazy rush of paper chasing, and now just finding peace at a daily (more likely hour by hour pace at times) with this wait.  And yet there is the thrill of hearing of those traveling to meet and bring their beloved children home.  I hadn't know how much of a delight CHI's Friday email would have been, but I can tell you it's a fantastic way to end our week!

During the past several months Justin and I also made it a focused goal for us to relish in this season of our lives.  Sooner than we may realize, we will be a family of 3 and when that time comes, we'll be called in directions our marriage has yet to see.  In anticipation of this, we began working on our bucket lists!  Yep, you read that right!  We're crossing a few things off now that 2010 is complete!  Sharron from Children's Hope has emphasized to us many times the importance of finding ways to pass this season of waiting.  Well, we took her up on that!  Towards the end of summer/beginning of fall  Justin and I researched motorcycles, took a weekend course on ridding, and bought two sport bikes.  It has been so. much. fun!  During those beautiful fall weekends we had the chance to get out and ride through our stunning state park.  As the leaves turned we soaked up the beauty around us.  It was a fantastic chance for us to establish a goal together, to help one another learn, and then to see each other succeed.  Although we won't have these motorcycles much longer, it truly has been a blast!  Then, during the month of Thanksgiving we took a wonderful vacation away that we dubbed our Babymoon :)  For two weeks we slept in, laughed like young lovers, and embraced the company of one another.  It is so important to me that we build into our marriage foundation for the protection of our children and our selves.  Opportunities like these allow us to stow away wonderful memories and it builds into our marriage!  For those of you who are in the waiting stage too, I want to encourage you to take advantage of this season of your marriage.  I haven't got it all figured out, but I know that God cherishes the institute of marriage, and the more you put into it, the more you're going to see His beautiful design and heart. There are millions of ways to do this, just ask Him!  He knows your heart, and He knows your loved one's heart(s), and there's great things happening right now, right where God has called you to be. :)  And for those of you who've been in our shoes, how did you prepare during this waiting period?  How did you pass time?  I'd love to glean from your experience!

Stay tuned, this blog is about to get a little thicker!  Fridays have become my favorite day (as stated above) and we'll be posting each week to keep family and friends up to date on our adoption adventure!  Have a wonderful evening!