Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2 months ago

Two months ago we got the news we'd waited 3 years for.
Two months ago our world was drastically turned upside down.
Two months ago God's plan was revealed.
Two months ago was one of the happiest days of my entire life.
Because two months ago we saw your beautiful face for the very first time.

Evie, I cannot believe it's been two whole months since we first learned about you, our daughter. It feels as if it was forever ago and at the same time, just yesterday. We are eagerly anticipating meeting you for the first time and then bringing you home forever. We think about you every day. We are all praying for your health and for God to protect your little heart from all of the change that is about to happen to you. We are learning the best ways to take care of you and help you heal in a way that makes you feel loved by us and by God. I hope you never question your worth or how much you are loved. Evangeline, you were chose twice. By us and by God, and that makes you extra special. You are wanted and you are valuable. God has big, exciting plans for your life that we can't wait to see unfold. We love you baby girl and we are coming for you.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

big brothers

The boys are really excited about their baby sister. I thought that making her a stuffed animal from Build-A-Bear might give them something tangible that they could DO for her and be fun for them as well. We had never done this before. They really loved it. I think it made them feel like they were doing something special for her and they can tell her they made it for her while we were waiting to bring her home.

They chose a puppy dog. They helped stuff it.

Then she put a beating heart in the puppy. (this is some high tech stuff folks)

The boys gave it a "bath".

We picked out a pink tutu and some pink hairbows for its ears and called it a day. Somewhere in the middle of all the fun, Judah decided to cop a bad attitude, hence the not smiling. Oh well, this is real life people. 

It's not always unicorns and rainbows around here regarding baby sister. Somebody has been the baby for 4 1/2 years and I just wonder how he'll react when she comes home and rocks his little world. :) If you want, you can say a little prayer that Evie survives until he starts kindergarten in August. Just kidding...sort of, lol. We really do love you Judah! You can be a stinker, but I love you all the way to the moon and back!

Friday, January 18, 2013

hard doesn't = bad

Lately, as we are again waiting, this phrase has been running through my mind:
"This is so hard. Adoption is SO HARD."

Sometimes (and I can't lie), I wonder why we ever did this to our family. Why put ourselves through the paperwork, the money, the time, THE WAIT - oh the wait, the heartache, the tears, the fear and the pain. We could have continued down the path we were on - 2 kids, getting pregnant again (that happened quickly for me) and going on our merry little way. But God just slammed my heart with the word ADOPTION and ever since then, life has been HARD.

But is life ever really easy? There are financial burdens, illnesses, relationship issues and parenting fails no matter what we do. We can choose a mundane predictable hard life or a Spirit-filled adventurous hard life. I choose the latter and I think that's what this family chose too:

I guarantee you that life is not easy for them, but how fulfilling and exciting it must be!

The hard is what gives us character.
The hard gives us strength.
The hard makes you appreciate the outcome so much more.
The hard brings us closer to God.
The hard makes us more like Jesus.

Jesus, by no means, had what you would call a mundane predictable hard life. It was Spirit-filled and adventurous. If we are to be like him, what does this look like?

It means not living with a spirit of fear. It means saying YES when God calls you to something hard. It means realizing that life is hard but you choose to live a meaningful hard life instead of a mundane one.

I can tear up just thinking about what our life would have been like if we hadn't said YES to adoption. How could we have missed out on this beautiful little girl? How could we have continued on our merry little way while all around the world millions of children go to bed every night without a mommy or daddy to tuck them in? That is a tragedy. How could we have missed out on the spiritual growth? How could we have missed out on the impact this adoption has had on our boys? I pray that it alters the course of their whole lives...that caring for the "least of these" is just what you do.

I am not naive to think that adopting one child is going to solve the orphan crisis or even put a dent in it. It is so complex. I pray that our eyes are opened to more that we can do. We don't have all the answers. We are just stumbling down the path God called us to and holding on to His hand. At times it is frightening.

What is God calling you to do? Are you afraid to step out in faith because it might be hard? Hard does not equal bad as I used to think. I pray that we as followers of Jesus don't shy away from the hard and choose the comfortable. In doing so we miss out on the blessings God will rain down on us as we trust Him completely.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


this was real life this week.

celebrating our neighbors' daughter's gotcha day from ethiopia.
we attempted to make injera...and failed. we'll try again soon.

 elijah and lyla...isn't she the cutest in her traditional ethiopian dress?!?!

 icing the cupcakes for the celebration.

ethiopian food...mmmmmmmm!

elijah also had his first big science fair project due on friday. he was proud!
 and this cutie always keeps me on my toes.
he is growing up fast!

by far the highlight of our week was getting an update and new pictures of evie on thursday! she seriously gets cuter and cuter every time we get new pictures. she is such a doll baby! can't wait until we can show you her beautiful face!

our lives revolve around this coming tuesday. it's our mowa court date. it's a big deal. please be praying with us that everything is cleared on tuesday and we get our court date that day! most likely we won't get it that day but we are praying that we do and that there are no delays with our case. if everything goes smoothly we could be traveling in the next few weeks to meet her!!!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

sneak peek

i have been in full nesting mode after the christmas chaos was over. i seriously feel like i'm finally in my last trimester of this 3 year pregnancy! whew. exhausting. you experience very similar emotions and pains when you are adopting as you do when pregnant. while they are both hard in different ways, i have to say that this has been WAY harder than pregnancy for me. i am now at that point in a pregnancy when you start crazily cleaning every area of your house in anticipation of that little person soon to come. i am anxious and ready to have her home.

my mom helped me clean out and organize evie's room before she left for romania. it had become a mess...pretty reflective of my feelings in the last part of our wait. my heart is now refreshed and so i'm finally ready to refresh her room. it is not finished yet but it's definitely A LOT closer to it after her help. i'm not ready to share the whole room until it's finished, but here is a sneak peek at some of my favorite things in her room. a few things have her picture or full name on them and so i'll have to wait until later to share those.

tiny pink outfits are FINALLY in this house! eek!

 the precious pottery barn doll that nana got for her 2 christmases ago - you know back when we thought this whole thing wasn't going to take as long as it has!

her pink "worth the wait" bear with the ethiopian flag on it and an adorable handmade cloth noah's ark with animals & people from aunt nova this christmas.

does this shirt not just sum it all up?!?!? love it.

aunt laur-laur wrote this book for her a year or two ago.
can't wait to read it to her.

she will definitely be the princess of our house!

we are doing white calla lily accents - it's the national flower of ethiopia.

a precious handmade african fabric doll from a friend at church.

evie, we are getting everything ready for you sweet girl. you are so loved and so special to so many people. we hope you love your room and your thoughtful gifts in it.

Monday, January 07, 2013

eight months

so i'm going to keep doing numbers but for a different reason.

evie is 8 months old today!!!

sweet evangeline, we love you so much and cannot wait to have you in our arms! we are coming for you baby girl! soon. very soon.

today is ethiopian christmas day, so melkam gena (merry christmas)!!!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

christmas 2012

We had a wonderful Christmas! In order, here is what we were up to!

On Christmas Eve we went to my sister's house. We ate lunch, opened gifts and the cousins had a cookie decorating contest!

Elijah won "Best Gingerbread Man". He and Jonathan are best buds/cousins!

Judah won "Best Overall". That's the treatment you get when you're the youngest. :)

 On Christmas morning, it was just the 4 of us at our house. We had a big breakfast, opened stockings and gifts and played until it was time to head to Nana & Grangoat's house.

Below are the boys' favorite gifts of the year. Judah has been asking for this rocket ship for almost 2 years! I thought he would give it up because it's BIG and he has a lot of large Imaginext toys but he was very persistent and very patient, so he got it and he LOVES it!
They got a trampoline from grandparents for the backyard and they also LOVE it!

 Here is our Advent tree on Christmas morning after we finished it. It has become a favorite tradition around our home for the last few years.

I thought it was funny that the boys both picked out the same thing for each other from our church's Christmas store. They save their Bible Bucks all year to buy gifts for their family.

Then we headed to Gainesville for the Cox family Christmas. It's always a lot of fun with this crazy group! Notice Evangeline's stocking in the middle. :) Can't wait until she's here next year to join in on the fun!

See what I mean about crazy? :)

We were holding her picture but have to white it out...for now.

Nana & Grangoat with their grandsons (and holding a picture of Evie).

And oh my, the miraculous Christmas Day snow! It was bitterly cold and these pictures crack me up!

Judah reminds me of Home Alone here. :)

We were completely unprepared for the blizzard and so Judah has on Grangoat's jacket. Let's just say that I don't completely trust these Texas weathermen and I just didn't believe it!

Fun! However, the usual hour drive home turned into 3 hours. That was not fun.

And lastly, we said goodbye to my mom this morning for 3 months! We took her to the airport to travel to Romania where she will help the missionaries in Transylvania set up a camp for the street children there, much like Camp of the Hills where she works. She will also work in an orphanage and serve the poor there. We are so proud of her but will miss her! When she returns, she'll have a new grandbaby. I know it was hard for her to give up being here when all the excitement happens with Evie, but I'm so glad she puts God first!

January 15th is our first court date (not the travel one). Please say a prayer for us that day that everything will go smoothly and we'll get our travel date soon after.