Some pretty rad things, and a family that needs some help!!

There are so many neat ways that friends and families can be apart of the adoption adventure, even if it doesn't physically mean bringing home a child yourself.  Not everyone is called to do that, but if you've got the bug to be involved, let me share these wonderful links with you!!  Its something I've wanted to do for a long time and I thought it was time to share :) .........

First, this is big and it might just be the day for you to help!  The Maser family is apart of the Children's Hope Family just received their referral of a 9 1/2 month old baby boy!!  From the sounds of it, this is one adorable little guy and his family longs to be able to sign on the dotted line that they accept his referral!!  They are currently fundraising to complete this next step and they are so close!!  Won't you consider helping this family out?  They have 4 days left to say "yes"....

This is a funny story.... yesterday as I was blogging, I searched Google Images for "pink ethiopia".  I was hoping to get an outline of Africa in pink to use on a post.  Well, in the midst of doing do I found a brand spankin new blog called Kate's Craft Fair.  I mean, they just opened up last week and I was the first one to place an order!  I promise I wasn't stalking! Rachel and some of her friends from across the US are coming together with their skills and talents to make things like this for only $15!:  

Check out Adoption Bug.  They have some super cute stuff, like these shirts below...
Am I Showing? - Women's Tee

Adoption Rocks - Women's Tee

This t-shirt is one of my favorites for guys and your money goes towards helping a family that is in the process of adopting from Ethiopia!  Their blog can be found at Just Love Ethiopia. Father's day might just consist of one of these, from Little D of course..... ;)

Worthy of the Prize is created by a mom named Laura Kelly, and all I've got to say is that I LOVE her artsy ideas!!  She is so talented and I have no idea how she does this with 3 kids and one more on the way from Ethiopia!  Rock on momma!  It's tough to single out my favorites, but here's a peek at her creativeness.... Oh that Little D will grow to know this in her heart...

(Camera strap)

The family at 2000 Tutus has such a neat story!  We recently found out that Justin's cousin and his wife are going to be adopting from China!  It makes me smile every time I think of them and the incredible journey they are embarking on!  Well, at 2000 Tutus there's a family that has come up with a really cute way to spread the word!  Aren't these adorable?!!

147 Million Orphans is pretty well known in the adoption world... There gear is moving and I love what they stand for!
147 Brown Utility Hat

Ordinary Hero was started by a mom of 6, yes SIX!  They support children here in the US as well as around the globe.  Her website has exploded, you've just got to check it out and see how God is using them!

Ever lose your keys in that big ol' purse of yours??  My Mom and I both got these a few months ago and we love the ease of finding our keys, not to mention how fun they are!  Over at Our Tree of Hope is Kathleen's outlet to share about their courageous adoption journey and the neat little things she creates :)  They are also doing a coffee fundraiser and there are TONS of blends to choose from!

Just Love Coffees

Speaking of coffee, are you addicted?  My handsome husband loves his morning cup to take along to work or on a lazy Saturday morning.  We have ordered from Gobena before and we have never been disappointed!

What Love Really Is...

A few weeks ago I had been spending time with a sweet little boy reading books to him before his afternoon nap.  As his mom and I sat there reading story after story, I found myself wondering if our little girl was getting these same opportunities?  For some reason I just couldn't shake my concern about if Little D is getting interactions like this, I began thinking back on my time in Romania in the baby hospital were these children desperately needed human touch and interaction...and love in it's fullest sense.  I found myself wide awake at 1am, restless and began praying for our sweet little one that night.  It was 8am in Ethiopia and I wondered what her routine was like that morning?  Was she being loved on?  Was some saying "I love you" to her?  Is there a special lullaby that makes her grin?!  Was someone rocking her, rubbing her back and singing to her before she went to sleep at night?  Was she being taken care of like I was when I was a child?

The next morning I called Sharon and asked her. I think she could sense my concerned heart, the one that's growing into mom, and she reassured me that yes, "those nannies are loving on her more than you'll ever know".  Her little ears are hearing lullabies and stories and that I could rest assured that there are some remarkable women there at the House of Hope taking care of every child there.  Later on that weekend, on Mother's Day, I got these pictures from a wonderful CHI friend who was traveling to Addis to pick up her son and daughter and whom had emailed and said "let me take pictures of your baby girl for you"..... What a perfect Mother's Day gift!  (we had to edit Degeme out of them...but not for long!  Hopefully we'll be sharing her pictures soon!!)...


Now, check this one out....

  Do you see it?!??  This incredible woman has allowed herself to fully love our daughter and we cannot ever thank her enough.  She is one of our baby girl's nannies and she is showing Little D what real love is.  She is allowing herself to invest in this baby girl's life, fully.  She is teaching Little D that a smile means "your're special and you're cherished".  She's trusting God that right now her role is to love on this precious baby more than she'll even know.  I cannot tell you how incredibly blessed Justin and I feel for the role this woman, and the other nannies, are playing in Little D's life.  

It was clear that God had watched me lie awake in bed that night, He had heard my aching heart and what a precious message I needed to be reminded of: He knows and He provides.  

Maybe this is even a song that she hears the older children at the House of Hope sing....it's sweet nonetheless!

Can't wait to hear voices like these 3 little sisters myself in a matter of weeks :)

Here's a few pictures from Mother's Day afternoon at our place!
Justin and his Mom on a beautiful Mother's Day!

With his Dad!

Love this shirt from my brother and sister-in-law that reads "eh-MY-ay" aka Mama in Amharic


Let the count down begin!!



will pack their 

and we will board this

on a great 

to fly to 

and meet our baby girl!!!

We got the call from CHI last week on Wednesday, along with 7 other families who will all be traveling together!  How AWESOME!!  We've been able to talk to a couple of families via email and phone and boy, I've got to tell you, this is just so cool!  There are families from all over the US and we will all meet up in Addis over Father's Day weekend. My baby girl gets to meet her daddy, and my husband gets to meet his daughter on a weekend that just couldn't have been scripted any more beautifully.  Thank you Jesus for giving us these moments of saying "ohhh I get it! This is why things are happening this way".  Does it make you smile?  Because it truly does make us grin from ear to ear :) 

On this trip, our main purpose is to meet Little D (!!) and attend a court hearing where the Judge will hopefully be able to name us as her legal parents!  To spare myself from going into tons of detail, please be praying for us that MOWA (Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs) is able to attend and will have all their paperwork completed so that when we give witness that we love this little girl and long to make her our own, the Judge will be able to sign her signature and declare that we are Little D's forever family.  

We'll be staying at the Ethiopian Guest Home, and place that was started by a couple who adopted little ones from Ethiopian and wanted to create a place for families like theirs.  Here, let me let Dave tell their story :) ....

We're also planning on taking some trips within the capital and then outside to different areas of Ethiopia.  We don't have those nailed down yet, but rest assured we will be sharing those pictures here on our family story blog! 

So, we're gathering up gear, making plans, and most of all thanking God for opening this door!  I prayed this verse so many times,  even the very morning before we got the phone call while I was getting ready for the day, I called out to God and asked Him this for Little D...
The boundary lines have falled for me in pleasent places; surely I have a delightful inheritance
It's from Psalm 16:6, a verse I came upon a couple of weeks before that day when doing preparing for my weekly bible study.  It wasn't the verse that I was studying, but as my eyes wandered down the page in my Bible, those words sank into my heart and I knew this was a prayer I could lean upon for our daughter.  

This whole adoption story is incredible, and yes, there have been laboring, gut turning moments, but what outweighs it all is that God Himself truly gives us the desires of our hearts.  Do you know that?  Can you allow yourself to believe it, who heartedly?  We cannot shout that it is really true loud enough!!!! (Maybe we will when we're there on Entoto Mountian in Ethiopia.... ;) )  It's just amazing to be the receiver of His blessings.

Have a great day!