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.