Sunday, March 31, 2013


   I think I have finally learned that God is in control of everything. I will probably write a few more posts about the stress I'm feeling before I bring my son home, but I need to remind myself that God is in control.
  A few weeks ago I really wanted to hear that our court date was set for this week. I prayed and asked many of you to pray for our court date to be around this time. God knew that this was not when we were supposed to go to Ethiopia.
  My amazing Grandpa (dad's dad) passed away today. I have so many wonderful memories of my Grandpa and will always treasure my recent visits with him. We knew that my Grandpa was sick and therefore we spent multiple hours at my Grandpa's house during the last few weeks. My Grandpa had a hilarious sense of humor and we were constantly laughing around him. Yesterday, my family spent the afternoon at his bedside and we were able to express our love for him. Grandpa told us he loved us too.
  If God had listened to what I wanted and went on my timeline, we would be in Ethiopia during my Grandpa's funeral. I would have also missed spending quality time with my Grandpa and being there for my dad during this tough time.
 God KNEW that I needed to be here for my family this week. I am just so thankful that God is in control and I'm not.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

OUR first court date!!

 Praise God for a quick court date!!! We found out today that we are going to Ethiopia in April!
Our case worker sent us an e-mail this morning that said our court date is on April 22! This is a month before we thought we would go to Ethiopia!!
 Jeremiah and I were looking for flights this morning. The first flights we looked at were expensive. Then we saw a cheaper flight ($1,500 per person instead of $3,000!) with only two seats left and we booked it! Jeremiah and I will meet our son on Friday, April 19!!! We are praising God for being in  control and for allowing us to book this flight. I can not believe it. We are going to meet Zeri!!!!!

Happy 4th Birthday Olivia!!!

 Olivia turned 4 years old on March 29. We started the day off by giving Olivia her birthday present  and eating cake for breakfast. Olivia has been asking us for a Princess Dream Castle for about a year. We kept telling her it was too expensive and she doesn't always get what she wants. We were not going to get it for her, but then we found it for an extremely cheap price on ebay. We couldn't pass it up. Olivia could not stop smiling when she saw her present! After a super healthy (:)) breakfast we got in the car and drove to Indy. We spent the day together as a family at the Indy Children's Museum. When we got to Indy the workers told us it was the busiest day of the year at the museum. It took us over an hour just to get in to the museum. Olivia was such a trooper and she enjoyed hanging out at the museum all day. We finished the day off with reading the Bible and then snuggling in bed! It was the perfect day to celebrate our girl!
  We love you Olivia Ann!!! You are the most delightful and hilarious little girl I've ever met. We are so blessed to be your Mommy and Daddy!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A choice I will never have to make.

  Jeremiah and I sponsor a family through an organization called YWAM. We are thrilled to meet this family when we visit our son in Ethiopia. The family we support lives in a trash dump in Ethiopia. I came across YWAM's blog today and I immediately started to think about my life. I started to think about how I am worried about when we are going to bring our son home, worried about who is going to fill my position at school next semester, and worried about many other things related to adoption/next year.

   It hit me that what I am worrying about is silly compared to what the mom in this article (and countless others throughout the world) are worrying about every day. I've never had to worry about getting food for Olivia and I can say that I've never gone for days without food. I've never stopped (and passed out) on the side of the road because I had no energy from lack of food.

  The woman in this article was working and trying to support herself when she was raped. Then she found out she was pregnant and that her sister was dying from HIV. This woman took in her sister's daughter and then had her own daughter. Now this woman can't work because she has no one to care for her children while she works. I've never had this feeling before.

 This woman receives $2.75 a month in assistance from a friend and then receives food from her extremely poor neighbor. I've definitely never had to beg for food from a friend. Every ounce of food this woman receives she gives to her children. Therefore, she is just starving. I've never had this feeling.

  I can not imagine what this woman is going through. I just went to the grocery store yesterday and spent more than I assume this woman will make in a lifetime. How is this fair? I walk into my house and often say to Jeremiah that I can't find anything good to eat. Yet I have so many items in my pantry. How is this fair?

   I am ashamed that there is a mother living in a different part of the world who has nothing to eat and yet I am complaining about not bringing my son home for a few months. I realize that everyone has struggles and that it's okay that I'm upset about Z. However, it's not okay for me to dwell on this and let my feelings impact my life.

   My son was left by someone and I assume it was his mother. One thing that we know is that Z was a healthy baby. He is a chunky monkey and I assume that his mother cared for him the same way that this woman is caring for her children. I assume that his mother had to make the most difficult decision of her life and leave him because she wanted a better life for him. How is this fair?

   I will never be faced with this keep my child and probably see him die at an early age or give him up so that he can live. I have tears in my eyes just thinking about it. I know that life isn't fair, but I also know that no one should have to live in these horrible conditions. The woman in this story is trying her best to keep her family together. It breaks my heart to think that she may not be able to keep her daughter because she doesn't have money. I've never had this feeling.

  I am so thankful that little Z's birth mom thought of him and the life he could have. I'm thankful that she took care of him for the first months of his life (because we know that he is way more chunky than most babies in Ethiopia!). I am thankful that I have a healthy boy in Ethiopia who isn't hungry. I am thankful that my little Z is in a safe environment and that he is loved. But..I am also sad for his birth family. They had to make a choice that I will never have to make.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Not the news we wanted to hear...

We didn't hear the news we were praying for yesterday. I don't feel like writing a long blog post about it, so here is the short version.
 We won't go to Ethiopia until at least May to meet Z and then we won't bring him home until at least July or August.
  Yesterday I was extremely crushed and upset. Obviously, I long for my boy to be in my arms. However, that's not why I'm so upset. Our son needs to be home with his family. He needs to see our smiles and see that we won't leave him, he needs to hear us read to him, and he needs to play with his sister. He needs to start the process of attaching to his mommy, daddy, and sister. I don't want him to spend the next 9 months trying to attach to one caregiver after another. I want him to realize that he can trust us and that we will always be there for him.
 When I look at his pictures I see a boy who is sad. Even my mom looked at our recent pictures and said something like, "Oh Kort..his eyes just look so sad." I know he is being taken care of and is healthy right now. The nannies are doing their best job to take care of him.'s nothing like the care a mommy and daddy can give him.
  I'm sad for us..yes, of course. I dreamed of bringing him home in May and spending the entire summer off with Z and Olivia. I dreamed of hearing that we would get a court date in 2-3 weeks and that I would be kissing all over my sweet little Z at the end of March. I dreamed of feeling his chubby arms and seeing his smile (that is missing from his pictures). That, my friends, is not why I am upset.
 I am upset that we saw him when he was 9 months old and that it could take another 9 months for us to bring him home. That is just not right. A child should not have to wait that long to go home to his forever family. He has been through so much in his short little life and he needs consistency.
 So, when I say that I'm heart's not for me (okay..a tiny bit is for us:))..but for our son who won't know the love of a family for another 9 months.
 Pray that the courts move quickly and that we can bring him home before July. In the meantime, pray that the nannies are loving on him like we would.

*I KNOW that we are extremely blessed to have a healthy daughter and a healthy son in Ethiopia. I KNOW that we are blessed that our kids aren't sick or that we are struggling with some other horrible life issue. Please know that.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday Z!!


Today is our little Zeri's first birthday. We wish we were there to celebrate with him!
We started the day out by praying for Zeri. Olivia wanted to wear her Halloween costume, so in all of our morning pictures she looks like a pirate.:)

We took this picture right after we finished praying for Zeri. 

 I started the day off feeling a bit sad about not being with Zeri on his big day. A few people sent me text messages this morning and those quickly brightened my day. Throughout the day we received sweet text messages, phone calls, and e-mails from friends and family wishing our little boy a Happy 1st Birthday. One of my teacher friends bought me a huge Mtn. Dew to celebrate his birthday.:)

Right before my students were dismissed, my Principal brought in a huge bundle of balloons. I opened the card and it said, "Happy 1st Birthday baby boy! Even though your friends and family can't celebrate WITH you this year, we are celebrating FOR you. Smile Mommy and Daddy, he'll be there soon! Love, your friends." I still don't know who sent these balloons, but they definitely made my day.

Olivia proudly holding Zer's birthday balloons.
Yesterday, we received 5 pictures of Zeri's birthday party in Ethiopia. They actually had a 1st b-day party for him! They took a picture of the cake and then we received 4 pictures of Zeri at his celebration. They are something we will treasure forever! We sent our case worker an e-mail a few weeks ago asking her if the nannies could take his picture on his birthday and she said yes. We knew they would take a picture of him, but we didn't know that we would receive 5! What a blessing!

Today I opened up my e-mail and we received another 5 new pictures of our sweet Zeri!! This never happens! Our case worker said it was a "Surprise picture day!" It was so wonderful to see his sweet little face looking at me. These pictures were exactly what this mama needed on my son's first birthday. I needed to see that he was doing okay and he is. He looks healthy! He was even standing up in one of his pictures-praise God! We weren't sure that he was standing up yet and we can tell that he can do it. Oh, how I wish I could share his pictures with you. We aren't allowed to share his pictures until after our first court date. He has the most precious, sparkling brown eyes and the most kissable lips!:)

Tonight we made a cake for Zeri and then sang Happy Birthday to him. Olivia decided that she wanted to wear her Tiana dress in these pictures. I am just happy she isn't wearing her pirate costume for all of his 1st b-day pictures. :)

We ended the day with another prayer time for Zeri. God is in control. Thank you God for blessing us with this sweet boy! We know that before he was born you determined that Zeri was our boy! We just thank you for allowing us to be his parents and taking us on this journey. Zeri-we love you so much! We can't wait to love on you forever!!

Today I am also celebrating because the Board of Education approved my 1/2 year Parental Leave. I am going to take off the entire first semester of the school year next year! I get to be with Olivia and Zeri from August-January! Yay!! I.CAN.NOT.WAIT! This will be an extremely important time for Zeri. We want to do everything that we can to help Zeri form the proper attachment to us and we believe that this time off will benefit our entire family.

**Please keep praying for the March 19 court date. Please pray that it goes smoothly and they assign us our court date that day. Pray that our court date is 2-3 weeks out and not 2 months out.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

First court date in 10 days-prayers needed!

I am asking that you pray specifically for two things:

     * Pray that on March 19, 2013 the judge has everything he needs to confirm that our child is an orphan. Pray that all of the paperwork is on his desk and that this court date goes smoothly. If a piece of paperwork is missing or the judge feels that he needs more information about our son, it could be another few weeks before he looks at our case again. Once this court date is over we will be assigned our court date.

   * Pray that our court date is less than a month from the March 19 court date. Our case worker told me this week that she hopes that things in Ethiopia speed up before our court date. However, if they don't speed up, it looks like our court date won't be until May. My heart can not take this. I need to be with my son (like yesterday!) and it makes me cry every time I think about us not going until May. PLEASE PRAY that our court date is VERY soon after the March 19 date.

Here are some other things going on with our adoption.....
1. Our son turns ONE on Wednesday, March 13!!! We received a super adorable picture of him last week and he is getting so big. Our case worker told me that she took his picture around to show everyone when she received it because he's so cute and chunky.:)

2. Jeremiah and I received an unexpected, but fabulous (and much needed) e-mail this week from our case worker. No, we didn't hear any news about our court date, but we did get more information about our son's story. We received transcripts from the interview between someone from EthioStork and the woman who found our son. We also received the transcripts from the EthioStork and the police officer who helped the woman find a safe place for our son. We are not going to share our son's story on here, because we want it to be something held special just for him.
  After reading his story is made us feel 100% confident that God chose him to be our son. His story is filled with many "God things" and it gives me chills every time I read it.

3. I spent last Saturday searching for a "Happy Birthday" shirt for our little boy and I found the perfect shirt to send to our son. I bought a few clothing items and a little toy car too. I contacted a family who was going to Ethiopia on Thursday and they graciously offered to take the birthday package to our little buddy. We sent it over night to this family and it was supposed to arrive at their house on Wednesday afternoon. It made my mommy heart feel a little better about not being there with my son on his first birthday. Today (Saturday), I received a message from the wife stating that the postal service did not deliver the package until after her husband had left for Ethiopia. Ugh. I know that my son won't remember us sending him a package, but I wanted him to have something from us on his special day. There is no time to send the package to him now because his birthday is on Wednesday. Boo!