Saturday, December 18, 2010

Blog from the road- number 1

In an airport, you're bound to see some weird and/or funny things.

Yeah, pretty strange :D

Friday, December 17, 2010

One last post from home!

Hey Everybody

It's down to mere hours. Seriously. Freaky. I am so excited.

To be fair warned, this blog is gonna go nutzo as far as posting goes. I may post quick things from airports like "we're still alive" every couple of hours some days, and then others I may be updating my family's adoption blog. Dad has appointed me official recorder for this trip, so I'm excited to sink my teeth into some serious photography, filming Julia and keeping multiple blogs up to date.

Another thing that will become more regular are videos ala, a much more professional service than say YouTube. Again, it may be quick little "check out my adorable little sister!" videos, or it may be us hanging out with other Reece's Rainbow families. Who knows! but any way, here's a link to a little kick off vid!

Trip log #1! from Caleb Lococo on Vimeo.


Normally I let my parents gush about my new little sister, Julia (our name for her now that she's passed court). After all, she is their daughter. They've gotten to see her, play with her, love on her, kiss her, do raspberries with her.
But I'm just so unbelievably excited!


And I get to BRING HER HOME!

Some things are just to darn exciting.                


Monday, December 13, 2010

Your Love

I first heard of Brandon Heath when he racked up the Doves (Gospel Music Awards) with his well-done album "What if We" and his smash hit single (which was on the album) "Give Me Your Eyes." Brandon is on the rise as one of today's most promising newcomers to the table of Contemporary Christian Music, along with the likes of Matthew West, Francesca Battistelli, Sidewalk Prophets, Tenth Avenue North, and Leeland, among others. Of late, Brandon's newest single, "Your Love" (from his new album set to release in February 2011), has been gracing the airwaves of my local christian Radio Station.

With Mom and Dad gone, getting schoolwork done has been a task in and of itself. Even when my Grandpa or my parents help me, Math is not my strong subject. While Mom and Dad try to convince me that 85's and 80's are ok, I can't help feeling disappointed. Than I get all paranoid. What if I can't up my grades? What if I can't get a good score on my Math SAT? Will that affect if I can get into college? Will I be able to make a decent living if I want to be a Special Ed teacher for little kids and do some photography on the side? I know in my heart that God is in control and that He'll take care of me, but I don't always know that in my mind. But I swear, if there was ever a call-in line to God, it was made in Christian Music. At one point in the song, Brandon sings "You know the effort I have given/ you know exactly what it cost." God knows what I'm trying to do, and he knows how much it bugs me whne I don't achieve it. But the fact, is His Love really is all we ever need, no matter what our crisis, our struggle, whatever. All we've ever needed is His Love.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Seriously Happening

Well ,people, the date draws so near. I've already got all my packing together. I'll be bringing:

This rather large pile of clothes (for a guy at least. I'd HATE to be a teenage girl trying to pack :D)

These two awesome movies (plus Inception on the way and Lord of the Rings, which my dad has over there now :D)

This AWESOME camera bag to store:

                                       One compact camera (for videos I know you'll love :)

                                        One ultra-zoom lens (seriously ultra. Want to see? click here

                                   My awesome DLSR

                                     Plus a strap and my two battery chargers. (of course my laptop as well, but since I'm using it and its just a computer I won't show a picture)

Me and my Dad leave on the 18th Godwilling. So many emotions course through me. I am so excited. So amazed that God has brought us this far, this smoothly. We are seriously reaching the end. I'll finally have somewhere new to cut my photographing teeth on. As I've mentioned in my last post, this is my first international trip, and honestly I can't think of a better one to start with. For me, I've always wanted to see and better  understand the cultures my adopted siblings come from, and this really is a unique and amazing experience.

But another part of me thinks of other things. Right now,  it's about the Hook Family. The Hooks have been in the process for over a year now, and they're still waiting to bring their adorable little Eva Noel home. As I share all of our happy news with them, I can't help but bleed for them. I so pray and hope that God would bring Eva home soon.

I'm going to Eastern Europe in 8 days? Whoosh.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I'll be there Soon

Mom and Dad's first visit to said Eastern European Country is nearing its end (we hope). Once they get a court date and pass court, they've got to hop across the pond back to the U.S. to get me and Dad ready to go back as the official back-up parent/photographer/recorder for trip number two. In so many ways, in so many different emotions, I am beyond excited for this opportunity for some quality time with Dad and a chance to meet Jenny and where she's coming from. I'm looking forward to my first international trip (not the flight *cough cough*).

On the other hand, though, I'm going to miss things here as well. I'm not going to be in the country for Christmas, maybe New Years too. I've never spent a Christmas or a New Year's Eve without my whole Family. While I'm sure me, Dad, and Jenny will have an awesome Christmas and New Year's together, it won't be the same completely.

But as  I type, and I think about it all, I look forward to it on a while new level. God has spoken to people more clearly than ever before there. I want to learn trust. I want to capture all those precious moments. But no matter what, I know it'll be great, and that I'll be there with the cutest little girl in Eastern Europe.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Sis

Happy Birthday Sis.

I can't believe you're actually 14 now. I feel like I was 14 recently. I can't even say you're barely a teenager 'cause you're not "just 13" anymore. Now you're seriously.. like.. almost an adult. Although its felt like that for a while now. Feels like one second you and me were on the kiddie couch playing "Mary and Joseph ride the camel" and now we're talking about... grown-up stuff.

Happy Birthday, Sis, I'm proud of you :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Life is Beautiful

Life is truly a beautiful thing. full of experiences.

                                                                        First Meetings



And being Cute.

Yep, definitely beautiful.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Little More Professional

Thanksgiving is Tomorrow. I have so many things to be thankful for. Maybe I'll list them.

1. Mom and Dad have had a safe, easy trip in known Eastern European Country.
2. at about 1:30 in the morning (EST) my parents will finally meet sweet Jenny for the first time.
and, oh yeah,

I kind of got a new camera.

Canon Rebel XS Digital SLR. Doesn't look much different than the film one does it? Same model, just upgraded a little, and

Digital. Oh so Digital. I've probably taken 300+ photos and I've only had it for about 24 hours. It's gorgeous.

Next Post: New pictures of Princess Jenny!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Moments of adjustment and Achievement

Adoption could easily be described as patience and adjustment. Patience can be tough when its wondering whether or not you'll make it through in time. Adjustment is tough because it's never the same way twice when your bringing a child home, travelling or re-adjustiong home life. But its WORTH IT. Adoption can change lives, here, people. Most of you already know that who read regularly. But the goals worth reaching aren't always the easy ones. You've got to bend and sway normalcy sometimes. If you're hoping you can keep a concrete schedule 24/7, you might as well get an olympic sports trainer. But then there are the moments of achievement. There are the ones the whole family gets to enjoy, like one your parents arrive safely in the desired Eastern European Country, or whne they clear the SDA, or when you know you'll have new pictures of your new little sis within a couple of hours (hint hint).

So tune back in soon! New pictures of our little girl will be coming.....

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happening in a blink

"It happens in a blink, it happens in a flash, it happens in the time it took to look back. I try to hold on tight, but there's no stopping time, what is it I've done with my life? I happens in a blink."

"Blink," by Revive.

Sorry guys. I've been less than faithful at keeping up to date with my blog. But as you may have guessed from the title, my days feel more like a blink than an actual day to get things done. So here's the general run down.

Adoption: my parents are on their way  to EE for trip numero uno. While I'll be posting the big stuff (new pics, videos, etc.) If you want the day-to day, head on over to and follow my two parents as they venture through the great unkown of Eastern Europe. I'm MEGA excited. This means I get to get some new pictures, get ready to travel myself, and most importantly, get one step closer to bringing Jenny home.

Photography: My Grandpa (who came up from Florida with my Grandma to watch us) decided he wanted to support my "artistic expression" and ordered me a DSLR I was looking at. On one hand, I'm obviously pumped to get that package in the mail soon. On the other hand, though. It really took me by surprise. I still haven't fully believed it yet.

These are two major events for me. God has provided a safe trip(so far) for my parents over to Eastern Europe, we're closer to being a complete family, and I can advance my photography skills a little with a new camera. I'm really excited. But on the other hand, I'll be more than ready for reality to set back in soon. I think in the excitement, we can sometimes lose focus. In crazy times, I really should pray more than I usually do, but I don't. I lose focus because of the craziness. God has blessed me with all of these things, hasn't he?

So in the end, I've realized I can't let my life slip through my fingers. I want to live every moment in slo-mo and enjoy them while they last, because they won't be there forever.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Having Faith and Knowing It's all His

I'm about halfway up the wall. It's probably about 300 feet tall. At times, the hand holds come easy. I can feel my feet securely holding in the foot holds. As I continue up the rock wall, I hit a hard spot. For a split second, I feel the bungee chord holding me up ever so slightly loosen as the guy on the ground re-adjusts his grip. Once I feel the tension come back, I face the fact I'm going to have to stretch a little. I'll have to put my foot on a teeny tiny little foot hold about the length of a ritz cracker. I know it'll obviously be steadier, but that in-between niche between here and the next set of good handholds seems worlds apart. I reach out, and when I feel my feet and hands safely settle in, I move forward with renewed courage.

Faith. It's a thing I can never get a good "handhold" (metaphorically speaking) on. At times. I can get a good chunky grip to hold onto and enjoy the view from my standing. And other times, I feel like the in-between spots on the rock wall at camp. My hands get clammy, My mind shuts down and my #1 instinct is to let go completely (in the case of the rock wall, though, I'd kindly ask to be let down). Right now is one of those times.

If you read adoption blogs, are in the process, are in the inside loop, or whatever connection you may have, you know that a certain Eastern European Country is trying to get a vote under way that could be VERY detrimental to some families trying to adopt. It cold happen tomorrow, next week, next year, next century. Nobody except that country's officials knows. While I won't get into all the techy details of it, the simple math equation that could explain this runs as follows: Delegates vote not in favor of Americans + Long wait = a lot of orphans sitting in orphanages for no reason while families redo TONS (and I do mean TONS) of paperwork. Its scary. It really is like a watered-down doomsday for families trying to adopt from EE. While I'm sure they've tried to put some shock absorbers up in Heaven to take in the sheer amount of prayers rising up for this cause, there's always that annoying little "What if?" voice in the back of your head. What if that wait does come into action? How will all those families redo all of that work in time?

But there's another voice. That one people whisper about having some day in the refugee camps in Darfur. The one that rises out of every crisis in Man's history: Hope. No matter how bleak things are, its still there. And its got a buddy: Truth. The Truth that God is in control and that he will know best what to do, even if we question it.

So right now, yes, a lot of people are reaching out clammy hands to grab a handhold that may or may not support us. But God is in control, and he knows what will happen, and that it will all end up for the better.

Post Script: I don't want this post to sound preachy or anything. I hope I have given anyone who reads it confidence about the events imposing on the Adoption Community right now. Best wishes.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hold Us Together

"Love, will, hold us together. Make us a shelter to weather the storm, and I'll be my brother's keeper, so the whole world will know that we're not alone."

Matt Maher, "Hold Us Together"

My parents leave for EE in 10 days. Excited as I am, ready as I think I am, it's still....

Uh, freaky.

My parents are beyond devoted to us. They homeschool me, my little brother Josh, and my little sister Gab, on top of raising Addisu (who is a handful with a capital "H"). They can be up until 1 in the morning working on Lesson Plans, Adoption Paperwork (which seems quite often in our house :D ), or just about anything you can imagine. Not having them around is going to be majorly difficult for us kids. And what will my parents be leaving for, you ask? Eastern Europe. In the dead of Winter. In the middle of nowhere. For a rescue mission to a government-run orphanage. Need I explain more?

Besides that, I just read Mrs. Nalle's latest post. It is not for the faint of heart. It is not for those who are unaware of what happens in institutions in Eastern Europe. It literally makes those "in-depth, never-before-seen" clips that news crews get look like the "happy" side of things compared to what she saw. In retrospect, it really is amazing to see how someone who just stumbled upon a little website could become a window into institutional life less than a year later. It's also amazing that a tiny little website could spawn into a huge community with a heart for adoption of those least known orphans with the smallest voice. But there's one thing that's so amazing beyond all of this: we're held together simply by love.

Yep, people, there's no question about it. Nothing more powerful than love could hold a community of people, towns, cities, states, even countries apart, like love could. All of those orphans, on the site or not, are held in their Father's arms by love. In the Baby houses, the Institutions, everywhere, God has linked together through His Love for the helpless. This same love, to me, is going to be the glue that holds my family together when we're in our various states of travel.

I know to some of you this is evident from the get-go. To some of you, this is the truth driving you daily to advocate for orphans. But for me, simple little realizations like this are what make all of the difference. It breaks my heart to hear stories like what the Nalles saw, or that or that some orphans are still not being aided, but you don't have to observe the Reece's Rainbow Community long to see how God is fashioning this community with His hands daily. So to me, no matter where I am in relation to the rest of my family, or where an orphan in need of a home is ot their Forever Family, Love will hold us together.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


"It's all about love, love, love, love, love. It's all about love, love, love, love, love, love. Everything Else comes down to this, nothin' any higher on the list then love! Yeah, it's all about love."

Steven Curtis Chapman, "All About Love."

"All you need is love (bum-bum-bum-bum-bum). All you need is love (bum-bum-bum-bum-bum). All you need i love, love, love is all you really need."

The Beatles, "All You Need is Love."

Love. It's what makes the world go 'round. I've thought about it a lot lately. The love of adoption my family and so many others have and are preparing to welcome in. The love of friendship. There are so many types of love, good or bad, that it would take forever to list them all. But I think most of us forget the most important form: His love. His true, undying, never-changing love. I also think we don't realize how much love we're surrounded with on a daily level. I feel like I haven't myself. I'm just starting to see it all.

Throughout this adoption process, my family has been blessed with support from a few very special people. Our church gave us a very generous donation that we were so blessed to receive. We've had friends at church who want to know all of the latest details. We have about 20 followers over on our adoption blog who gave us many congratulations when we recieved our travel date. I have a friend who's been generous in so many ways I've lost count. She's cheered us on through our thicks and thins even as her family goes through their own adoption process. It's reminded me that there are in fact people who care about us and who want to cheer us to the finish line.

This Friday night I got to go to a Youth Group I've missed for months. The Group was born from the ashes of a closed-down school I was supposed to go to. I was devastated when it closed, and I was overjoyed to join the Youth Group. Getting back reminded me how much I missed having a good time with teens brought together by Christ. While none of us are particularly close outside of Youth Group, we're a big team of comrades once we walk through the doors. In sports, everyone's awesome with sportsmanship and its just a fun time. The bible study afterwards always opens up some interesting conversation as well. It's reminded me how much friends can lift you up in life in general.

Last, but DEFINITELY ABSOLUTELY CERTAINLY not least, God's love. How on earth would we have gotten through this game of chance if it weren't for Him? How would we have the love that we do if it weren't for Him? I think the number one goal of every Christian's life should be to keep God's love at the forefront of our minds. I think we're all blessed beyond measure with the Love we have. and how much of a treasure it truly is.

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away."

Corinthians 13: 1-8

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I'm going to Eastern Europe in 2 months. I can't believe it. What will it be like? What will Jenny think of our family? What will all the travelling be like? How long will I be there for? How will Jenny react to being taken out of the orphanage? So many questions, so much to ponder. I really have no idea where to start. There are so many things I'd LOVE to know right now.

Lately I've been reading the Stumbo Family Story Blog. Mrs. Stumbo has certainly done her fair share of learning about and advocating for Down syndrome. Her daughter Nichole has Down's and their little girl Nina that they adopted a couple months ago has CP. Mrs. Stumbo always has a great Youtube clip or article on Down Syndrome that it really is very informative to read her blog. I've really learned a lot about what things will be like once Jenny's home.

When I was talking to a friend last night who has a sibling with Down's. She said she was so excited to see how our lives would change once Jenny's home. Excited for change? Don't get me wrong, I'm more than excited to embark on this adventure, but I think I wouldn't mind fast forwarding that crazy packing, unpacking, going to embassies, flying home, and re-adjusting from Jet Lag. But then as I was reading a couple slightly older posts of Mrs. Stumbo's I started to see how amazing that transition period will be. She had posted multiple stories from parents who had kids with DS and how they had changed their lives. They were describing how positive that change can be. How AMAZING it really is. The fact that these kids can transform you, instead of vice-a-versa. There is so much we can learn from them.

Now I'm even more excited than before! I can't wait for this change! I'm so ready for all the craziness, no matter how nutsy it gets! I guess you'd call it... perspective.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Coming into Focus- and Savoring our Fortune

Well , it's hard to believe its only been 3 days since I last posted. It feels like its been a month. My life feels like it's been turned on its head (in a good way).  Why, you ask? Well, for those who aren't regularly on my family's adoption blog, my parents are expected to be in Eastern Europe by the 22nd of November. This means that packing, provisions, plane tickets, all that spiel needs to be in place in what is really a short amount of time. Throughout this, though, I've been messing around some more with my Dad's old SLR. I killed my first role of film within about 3 hours of usage, and my Mom bought me a 4-pack to last me a while. Most of the time, though, it's less of actually taking pictures and more of figuring out settings and whatnot. I LOVE to play around with the manual zoom and focus (its that part my hand with the watch is supporting). This camera from what I've seen of my Dad's old pictures is pretty sharp. You can get tons of great details in perfect focus and have a good picture altogether. But sometimes, it's better to get a lot of smaller pictures to capture just how beautiful it all is. That way you can enjoy your pictures more because they have more detail.  That can take some serious work though. Getting perfect focus when the camera is zoomed up is tough. Sometimes you literally have to brush the focus lense with your fingers to get that little green "take your picture" light to flash. 

I find very often it's a similar deal with God. It would be sooo much easier to just get a grand overview of everything and move on. There are so many questions about my future I have for God it would be nice sometimes to get a big, general answer in stead of another "for now" answer. But God didn't make us to get all the answers. Sometimes we (metaphorically) have to zoom in and focus on the here and now. Getting a clearer, more detailed view of today could be more wirth it then getting an wider view of today and tomorrow. I find once I'm focuseed in though, everything is much more happy and enjoyable then trying to figure out my whole life. I get more of a kick out of things like this:
(Yes, that is a vanilla ice cream mustache on my messy marvin little brother)

I tend to do funny things like buy this:

  (I triple dog dare you not to crack up at that Christmas Story T-shirt :D)

In other words, I try to savor the fortune the Heavenly Father has given us in each day. I think there are so many moments to relish in the second we're living; We're in a safe country being protected by brave men and women overseas. We have causes that need fighting for. Today is a new day.

"So breath it in, and breath it out,
and listen to your heart beat.
There's a wonder in the here and now!
It's right there in front of you,
and I don't want you to miss
the miracle of the moment.

Steven Curtis Chapman "Miracle of the Moment" 

Monday, October 25, 2010


Ah, Mistakes. Don't ya just love 'em? From the time you tripped on your own feet to when you set your grill on fire (or something like that. You catch my drift.), you only feel downright stupid after they've happened.

Lately, this has been a recurring theme in my life.

Mistake #1- On Sunday me and Elizabeth (my sis) saw Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (which was awesome) at our local theater. When we came back, everyone was in a tizzy. On Saturday, me and Dad had been grabbing some travel gear (luggage and some DVD's for the plane ride) for our upcoming Eastern Europe trip. As it so happens in the recurring Comedy of "Family of 7 splits errands and Kids," this time me and Dad only got the two- foot tornado (Addisu) to keep an eye on. As me and Dad were looking at manly films (Clash o the Titans, Iron Man 2, and How to train Your Dragon. Hey, dudes can like kid movies, can't they?), Addisu spotted his and Gab's (my other sister) new favorite movie, the latest Tinker Bell (the Fairy Rescue? I'm a guy, I'm clueless :D). Dad picked it up and Addisu had already watched it a couple of times at this point. After he watched it one of those times. I had literally walked with him into our Dad's office where he had stuck it in the office closet for no apparent reason. So here I am, helping my frazzled parents locate the brand new DVD my kid brother just lost. And just as Dad calls out where it was, it all comes back. Senile? Most likely.

Mistake #2- If there's one thing my mom and her blogging buddy Mrs. Spitz can do, it's write a good blog post. As I was trying to comment on one of Mrs. Spitz' latest posts, my comment continually got a message stating "your comment will be displayed after approval." Only after typing it about 3 or 4 times did  I realize that meant the AUTHOR and not me.  So needless to say, when Mrs. Spitz sat down to Blogger a short while later, she had triple clones of a comment by yours truly.

Mistake #3- I normally wake up at a good time on weekdays for schoolwork. 7:00 a.m. or a little bit earlier. I ALWAYS remeber to set my alarm. But to just continue my stupid streak, I forgot to and opened my eyes to a clock that read 8:46 a.m. Bravo, Mr. Early Rise.

But in reflection, I realized something: none of these matter. We found the DVD, I got all my schoolwork done today anyway, and I think (read hope) everybody has made some mistake with Blogger. So in the end, I don't think it'll change anything major in the long run :)

Anyway, Other things have been happening!

As I said, Eastern Europe looms in the very near future. We're expecting to get a travel date this week or next! I'm really getting myself mentally braced for this. It's this soon? It's all really going to happen? Well, I'll just go with God's flow and see where He takes me.

In other news, I've been looking at one of these lately:

   Canon Powershot SX20 IS. It's a superzoom ,so even if it's not a formal DSLR, the fact that it's meant to make a good looking picture at 20x zoom and it's 12.1 megapixels gives it an almost better looking picture (in my opinion) than even a Canon Rebel. But since I've just recovered from my point and shoot and dont have anoth $350, my Dad lent me this:

 His old Canon Rebel SLR. I think I've fallen in love :D This thing is an awesome trainer camera. I'm gonna be learning how to take a good shot without even seeing it. Why, you ask? Notice how there's no D on the front of that SLR back up there? This thing takes film, people. You know, like they used back in the stone ages? Just kidding. I have had so much fun that within about two hours I've totalled about 2/3's of my role of film. Pictures will come soon :)

So what exactly am I trying to convey here? Well, laugh and accept your mistakes. You're only human after all. And while you're at it, take some photos with your dad's antique camera. You might learn a thing or two about photography.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


America. Land of opportunity, freedom, and a lot of other great things. People come over here from other countries to start a life here. They're blown away by the tales of success and a better life. And we accept that. But the problem is...

We don't know why.

Lots of bad things go on in foreign countries. I'm not going to get into that because this would be an EXTREMELY long post if I did. But I am going to focus on one little thing not many people know goes on in other countries (mainly Eastern Europe).

The kids.

In America, kids are pretty well taken care of from the second they're born. We have entire stores and clothing lines devoted to kids and toddlers. We have types of food meant for our tykes. We think nothing of it.

But let's travel a couple thousand miles to a region known as Eastern Europe. The little kids there are treated well.

Except for one "useless" minority.

The Special Needs ones.

Almost none of them are actually kept. Almost all of them get dumped into an orphanage. They've got a 4-5 year window of opportunity to be rescued before they get sent to adult (yes, like full grown people) mental institutions, where the small amount of care they were given in the Baby House (orphanage) is eliminated. After about a year, well, you can guess what happens.

The REALLY sad part? These are the secrets that are rarely whispered. When they are, only so many find out. For all the work that those few dedicated to the cause can do, only a small amount of the kids actually get that God-sent rescue.

And most of the world remains clueless to it.

I was talking with a friend this morning at church, explaining this situation. Giving a few of the stories that I've heard about what happens there and the effect it has on the kids. He had no idea any of this went on.

That's why we're doing what we are and fighting for the cause.

We're rescuing one. I know of about 30-45 families who are adopting these kids, some 2 or 3 at once. But the issue is..

There are so many more to be saved.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Loosening Up a Little

So my week has been another set of 12 hour work days to get it all done. A lot of work starts to weigh on you after a while. So, when your down, Addisu will turn it 'round:

The Wacky Dancing Boy! from Caleb Lococo on Vimeo.

How very appropriate that the little heartbreakaker should like a song called "Break Your Heart." How ironic.

Otherwise, life goes on in a normal fashion. We're still waiting for a travel date to EE, and waiting STINKS. On ice.

I feel more than ready to finally meet this little cutie in person! We're all hungry at least for some new pics and videos of our little princess as well!

I've also been kinda doing something else lately... photography. I am a complete photography junkie.

This is my current camera- Canon A3100 IS.  I swear its the best $150 I ever spent. I use it so much and take so many pictures that I've bought a second battery pack for when I kill the other one :D. I have a serious problem :D. Anyway, I've taken all the photos you see on my blog with it, and I've been trying out some "photography style" angles.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

                          (Yeah, that's an Aslan Figure. No Geekier love :D)

      (only Addisu can rock a ten gallon cowboy hat thats WAY too big for him. Go figure :D)

To round this all out, I think most of us prayer warriors may appreciate this:

Don't blame me if you start cracking up in the middle of your next prayer group if somebody says Hedge of Protection. And DON'T institute it into the Daily Evening Prayer's intercessions (DAD!).

Well, I hope this has helped to relieve any stress you might've had! It's the weekend! I am personally more than ready to relax for a little bit!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Ah, Bloggery. Is that even an actual compute world term? Ah, who cares, I'm coining it now: Bloggery- the art of producing, running, and writing a blog (As well as keeping it fresh and relevant). Over the past couple months, I hope I've given you a look into my little world and who I am as a person. But so far, I haven't exactly given the story behind the whole shebang.. so here it is!

Believe it or not, there was a time wen I new naught of the blogosphere. Gasp! I knew what a blog was, but how exactly you started one or what you wrote on it was beyond me. Then when we were in the adoption process for Addisu, a little blurb popped up on our agency's website asking everyone to pray for a family who had adopted an older Ethiopian girl. This girl's adoptive little sister, Abby (from Guatemala) was diagnosed with Leukemia at 3 years old. And that brought my Mom into the Blogosphere- and hence the rest of the family with her. Slowly it went form Cancer Blogs to adoption blogs into adoption form all different countries. Shortly before we entered the process for Jenny, we set up an orphan ministry blog called Before that, it had been my Mom's interest mainly. But at this point, the blogosphere was a little bit more  influential in my Family's life. I had met a friend through her family's adoption blog my Mom had found, and my Dad was running his own little site ( At that point, my Dad was seeing the benefits of having a blog: being more private than Facebook, it still gave you a place to share your thoughts, photos and videos without having to friend anyone or worry about getting a recommended as a friend to other people. All of the other kids jumped at it instantly. I took a sec to think about it. was it really that worth it? Did I have something worth saying? I decided to give it a shot, fueled by the fact that I'd have my family members making their maiden voyages in the blog world as well.

And that brings us to today! I feel blessed to have the followers  I do, and to know that at some point, someday, my blog may affect some one's life in a positive and uplifting way. I look at my blog not only as a place to post my thoughts and experiences, but a place to spread God's love  and messages around. There are so few popular blogs that I've seen that demonstrate any kind of decency. One blog I saw that had some 1500+ followers basically carried the message of "this is my life and I'm not drunk if I act crazy." (???) Regardless of how popular I get, I figure it's better to reach those I can than worry about who's got  the most comments or followers for that day.

In terms of what I read/who I follow, the list is a little farther down the page. My entire family is on there. Check 'em all out if you haven't already!

We also have Miss Jodi (Artoma/Hunter from Reece's Rainbow's mom). If you want a good laugh or adoption from Ukraine stories, head on over there (and don't be worried if you don't get the Llama joke between her and her buddy Kristin. It's a blog mom thing :D)

We also have the Spitz family. Our moms have gotten to know each other really well and I admire them so much. They have been through the wringer multiple times in their process, and I extremely admire the endurance and persistence. Can't wait to meet 'em, here or Eastern Europe!

Next we have the Nalles. This family has certainly redefined paving the way for adoption, and their sweet little Aaron is so dang Cute!  I suggest you get over there right now and look at the pictures of "little boy who likes to burn things in big bonfire" :) Absolutely adorable.

Last but certainly not least are the Hook family. I pray every day that their sweet little Evan will be home soon in their arms. They have waited more than their fair share of tiem to get her home.

So there you go! My blogging persona nad how I got there are all out on the table. Read and enjoy!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Nice Weekend (a little change)

Well, friends, I come to you, for a change, not completely burnt out and exhausted :) That may not mean I've been at the spa for the weekend, but for once it was the perfect balance of things.

Saturday was the event day. We were heading up to Albany for a day trip to see the Catholic Bishop's Cathedral up there, and we were going to stop by the New York state Museum of Natural History, which is only about a fifth of a mile from the cathedral.

This has been my inaugural photo for almost every album lately, and I just haven't bothered to show it yet. this is Addisu's "I'm going to take a picture of you with my air camera since you people constantly point those things at me" pose. Priceless.

The trip up was quick and beautious. Exhibit A:
                                  All right, so it ain't "Boston in the fall" but its darn close.

I've been building up an endurance to prepare for a certain 12 hour plane ride coming up: Things need to feel quick and easy :).

Once we got up there, my photography spree really kicked into gear:

Just in case you'd want to know, all three previous pictures were taken from a car going 64 mph. I was amazed how well these came out. 

One word can describe things once we got out into the open: Wind. It was cold, it was loud, it was hard. But once we got into the cathedral, all that vanished:
  This place was any photographer's dream. I went ballistic in there taking pictures. If you are a fellow photography nut (or just want to see a nice church) you can check it out here. We had an excellent (and very thorough) tour as well.

Even if it was lacking a couple Catholic necessities, it was still absolutely beautiful. Especially this depiction of the greatest Love ever known on earth: 

After a quick lunch, it was off to the museum. I'd been there a couple times before, so it would be neat to reminisce to past times when I'd been there.  As we were signing in, a little girl came over to us. She said she lived just down the street, and that she'd like someone to tour the museum with her. We took her along, and it was actually pretty fun to have another person in the group. I just felt so bad for this little girl though. She couldn't have been more than ten, and while she told us that her parents had just been busy, I don't know if I could've fended for myself at that age if I had been in her shoes in a big city like Albany. But she was a sweet little kid and she gave us some company for the day. Each time I go, I see soemthing differently; for example, this time, I realized that if I pointed my camera at the right angle, it could look like the army vehicle was shooting the Mammoth Fossil:

On a less humerous note though, soemthing else left me with a hard spot in my chest. Last time I'd been, I was in fourth grade. I was still a little bit young ot see the footage of 9/11. The year I was homeschooling for 7th grade, I asked my Mom if we could watch one of the news specials on that day that year, to learn the full impact. She said I didn't have to, but she wouldn't mind. Having come back and having seen the footage, walking through an exhibit of wreckage from that day was incredibly emotional:

That was a Fire Truck. You know, those big trucks we used to play with as kids that looked so indestructible? One group of people's wrong actions had the power to cause that, and so, so much more:

At one time, that was probably a foundation piece or a crossbeam. It help up hundreds of thousands, probably even millions of tons of material and people.

What really bugs me beyond the destruction and indecency? We are STILL a country that just hasn't received Jesus. It really ticks me off that people could see stuff like this say that its God's fault. Wake up and smell the roses, smart ones. God wasn't piloting the planes that were on an annihilation mission that morning. He was just as sad as we were to see it happen. this is WHY we need God, not why we don't.

The day was rounded out with a little Merry-go-round fun.

                                    And somebody LOVED it. Guess who?

I swear, if we're gonna have a smile as wide as his was when he got off that ride once we get to heaven, then bring on the Pearly Gates!

Today was nice and quiet. but no Picture Perfect (no punn intended) day is, well, perfect without pictures.

A nice little weekend. Just nice. The whole time, though, I've been thinking about it. The fact I'll be in Eastern Europe in less than two months. The fact little Jen is gonna be home shortly before or after Christmas. The fact that there's no way I'm gonna be the same person coming out as I will going in. 

Passing through darkness into my own world
Will I be more than when I left (than when I left)
Never letting go of the lessons I learned
This will make a change
A change within me  

Kutless, "More Than It Seems"

Friday, October 15, 2010

Music- Yes. What You'd Expect, Not So Much.

Well, I promised a music review, and that's what I'm gonna give. Just with a slight curve ball to the ballgame.

So, as I said in yesterpost, I got this:

The Celtic Thunder: Christmas Album. I don't think I mentioned them on my music page (link is in the sidebar), but I'll give them the plug now. I found out about them about 3 years back when their first recorded concert aired on my local PBS. They're all pretty solid singers and I absolutely adore the presentation, talent, and effort put into their shows. Getting to see them live was the epitome of all that. I was more than happy to get the album that was the second half of the show I saw. and it gave me a good excuse to start listening to Christmas music in October :D. But one of the things I like most about them was also one of the detriments here: the lyrics. There's nothing wrong with them ,it's just all fluffy pop stuff. While one guy is designated the heartbreaking bad boy of the group ("Ryan, cough,cough*"), most of the lyrics are pretty much showbizzy-romance-secular songs. But it leaves something to be desired at the same time. Another good album, but its secular stuff. Love, Santa and Christmas. Not a whole lot of songs devoted to Jesus or the miracle of the Incarnation.

Coincidentally, another album came out that day: this:

My Dad picked up the Deluxe Edition, DVD and all. This COMPLETELY blew Celtic Thunder out of the water. I'll be putting Matthew's Amazon Page in my Music page pretty soon. I found out about him through his smash hit, the Motions. I lived Something to Say, and I was ecstatic to hear about his new album. As God would have it, he's also a friend of my friend Tori over @ Shining City Teens. Go figure. This album is purely fan-inspired. He had all of us fans write in our personal stories to him, and through that, he would take some time off in a cabin in the countryside of Tennessee to write an album based off them. Most of these stories are poignant and personal, and that makes for an album very much that way. The lyrics are all uplifting, even if they start with some heart breaking situations (not explicitly or graphically talked about though). I absolutely LOVE this album. If you're an MW fan, pick it up. If you're not, pick it up as well.

In other news, we are submitted into SDA approval and are awaiting clearance! The clearance this time equals, you guessed it, TRAVELLING! Unfortunately, though, it looks like I might be gone around Christmas time. But for all that, as a friend pointed out, I'll be spending Christmas with Jenny in Eastern Europe. That's awesome.

Eh, maybe fluffy Christmas Music won't be so bad after all.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yet ANOTHER crazy weekend (Sound familiar?)

Well, School keeps me busy. My weekends? They're quiet, but quiet doesn't mean "Not Crazy" either. It just means I'm not partying it up or anything. Instead, there are plenty of quiet little activities.

My weekend begins Friday night. Hangin' out @ the house, going to Academy (like CCD or Sunday School on Friday Nights), or going to a Youth Group at a local Bible Church, or seeing a movie,I always try to do something. This Friday exceeded the normal craziness. We had some family up from Georgia visiting, so we would see them that night, then I would go to Academy at 4, and then, a little something special. The local Veteran Association was going to have some soldiers from Walter Reed (the military hospital. Like, badly wounded to the point they will never go back into war again)up for the weekend to have a little vacation with their families. The local Knights of Columbus were going to have people lining the streets leading to the Hotel where they'd be staying, and we found out through a knight who goes to our church where to stand. The academy group headed over right after to join the festivities.

Well, friends, I can tell you one thing: we were certainly quite a roadside spectacle :D It was a great time, and we all enjoyed getting to talk while we waited to welcome 5 men who have given their lives for a greater cause.

Saturday was relatively quiet. I did, however, see this in the theaters:

I've gotta say, I was very pleasantly surprised by this 3D kid's movie. I really enjoyed it! The story could be put into the following math equation: Owls+Narnia+ Lord of the Rings+ well done 3D= satisfying Saturday popcorn flick with a good story to it :D After that it was a last-minute babysitting job at a neighbor's. It's really more like a house-sitting job since the baby sleeps like a rock, but its money in my pocket and a private study hall, so I can't complain.

Sunday was Sunday Mass. After that, I was expecting to have the day pretty much open to anything. We actually got invited to do a local nature walk that was up from Georgia to visit. Thanks to my increasing Photoshop skills, I pulled this together:

Poet's Walk to the tune of "Concerning Hobbits" from Caleb Lococo on Vimeo.

For my fellow Lord of the Rings dorks, yes, that's the Shire theme :D

Monday was gonna be a day well spent. I had a cousin in town visiting who'll be shipping out for army training soon, and this was gonna be our last opportunity to see him for months. It was a bittersweet day indeed :( We started off the day by doing some apple picking (they don't call us the empire as in the apple state for nothing)

 See all those little trees up on the left side of that hill? Those are ALL APPLES.

                                             Need I explain more? 

               Little siblings look so cute when they're focused on something.
              Or when they're just walking around, ignorant to the world.

       Somebody was also happy to find an apple worthy of picking at their height :D

 It also helps when they have pumpkins on the farm as well:

           It's also nice when your little sibs will pose for a Kodak moment:


After that, it was another hike at the nature walk I had done the day before. The whole day wrapped up with a nice quiet dinner @ home before goodbyes. A nice end to a nice weekend.

And then this arrived:

And made my whole week :D Music review coming soon?