Saturday, November 29, 2008

We are home-thanks for your prayers

trip home - learning they are brothers and stuck with eachother

sleeping on the floor of the airport

Jordan meeting Jeremiah for the first time

Jordan meeting Josiah

eating powder doughnut for breakfast - what a face!

Loves the exersaucer! - Thanks Michelle!

Jeremiah loves the jumper
Jackie feeding Jeremiah and meeting him for the first time
We are home and we could feel that we were covered in prayer - thank you! They love it here and have both taken to our kids wonderfully. Traveling was brutal. They slept from ET to Rome, but the 10 hour flight from Rome to WA DC was really hard - Josiah screamed and flailed around tons. Jeremiah had his times too. It was hard since we were so tired. The DC airport was dead all morning so they just ran and crawled around our area while Janae and I took turns chasing them and Javi slept (Josiah just beams when he gets to run around). We got some rest on the way home - we each had rows to our self, which was nice for laying down and putting the kids down - the boys slept the whole way. They hated the little cribs by our bed - just screamed and screamed, so they slept with us, but are doing fine napping in them today. We actually didn't get to take them until Wednesday (the day before we came home), long story, but this meant our first morning waking up with them was Thanksgiving morning. Once again, I was overwhelmed with emotion and thanksgiving lying in bed praising God for this gift of the most special Thanksgiving ever.

Jeremiah fits right in. He babbles constantly, roars like a lion, screeches, smiles and bounces a lot. When we first met him he was glazed over and didn't respond to anything or follow anything. In my heart I thought he was mentally disabled, but now it appears he was just in shock, drugged or feeling terrible (or a combo). He looked scary - covered head to toe in chickenpox, skin rash, pink eye, bad congestion and an infected finger. He itches a lot, rubbing his feet together constantly -so sad. The amazing thing is that Tuesday we weren't able to see the boys and then Wednesday when we went to pick them up, Jeremiah's face looked so, so much better and they cut off his clown hair (as Julia called it :))

Josiah needs tons of cuddles and is very cautious, but so adventurous and active once he feels comfortable. I have heard him babble only a few times -once when Jeremiah was pulling his hair he gave him a piece of his mind. He loves to be chased and toddle around and finds comfort in sticking his hand down my shirt and looks in often (his mom probably exclusively nursed him until dieing or abandoning him). Everything is so new - mirrors, toilets flushing, tvs, real baths -hates them (instead of washcloth baths). He is so different from Jeremiah, but has come so far. Josiah had/has chicken pox, scabies (skin bugs), ear infection, moloscum (contagious wart things), terrible coughing/congestion and he itches his whole body while he sleeps. He is really tiny for 20 months (about 9-12 month clothes) if he is really that old. Many Ethiopians thought he was a girl because he really kind of has a pretty face and curls.
So you just can't imagine the love I have for them - Javi is surprised also how much he loves them already, as this was something he was scared would be hard for him. I would say for me the love for the boys was instant - yet still growing.

Monday morning we will take them to the doctor, please pray that we can get on top of all of their problems especially before spreading them around (I would like it all gone before our newborn comes home in 9 weeks). Janae and I are also sick with congestion and sore throats which adds to our tiredness so we would appreciate your prayers too.
More pictures to come.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


This is Jeanette, Joy's sister, once again blogging for her.

I've had many people ask if we've heard any more news from them. Sadly, no we haven't. The only communication we had was that one email from last Sunday.

As of right now, they should be 8 hours into their 17.5 hour flight home. Once they land here back in the States, they have a nearly 12 hour layover before getting on the 5 hour flight home.

Please pray that all 5 of them get good sleep on the flights. Please also pray that they can catch an earlier flight home instead of spending an entire day in an airport. That is a huge prayer request since it's the day after Thanksgiving and usually a busy flying day...but our God is a god of let's pray for one! :)

I highly doubt Joy will be up for blogging for awhile once she gets home. If she isn't, I'll try to at least post and let you know they're home safe and sound and if there is anything y'all could pray specifically for. :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Proverbs 25:25
Like cold water to a weary soul
is good news from a distant land.

Hello to Joy's blog followers. This is Jeanette, her sister. :) Before she left I asked her if she wanted to give me her blog info in case she had trouble blogging from Ethiopia...I'm glad I did! :)

While we were at church this morning, we received our first update email from Joy, Javi, and Janae. Apparently phone calls are extremely expensive and their internet is "crazy" (her words) she most likely won't be able to blog or call, but hopefully we'll get 1-2 more email updates.

I'll do this post bullet-style so I can get as much info to you -cuz I know y'all are dying to know! :) Unfortunately, we don't have any pictures to share..we'll just have to wait until they get home.

*They are obviously there -arrived safely and doing well.

*The guest house they are staying in is nice -modest and very clean with "amazing food and service". :)

*They have met the boys and are in love with them. :) (for those not familiar with the ET adoption process, apparently you don't get full custody of the children until right before your Embassy appointment so until then, you get to go visit and interact with your child/children, but not take them back to your hotel.)

*Their Embassy Appointment is Monday so they should have full custody of the boys after that.

*Jeremiah's skin rash on his face is still pretty bad.

*Both boys are covered in scabbed over chicken pox.

*Jeremiah has pink eye.

*Jeremiah is teething 2 teeth and smiling and even babbled "dadada"

*Josiah is pushing them away a bit (which is completely normal) but they have caught him smiling but trying not to show them he is smiling. :) They've even heard a few giggles from him.

*Josiah is walking, but has no teeth.

*Janae is so good with the boys (like there was any doubt?!) and just loves them to pieces.

That is all the information I have to give. I promise that if we get another email, I will post about it ASAP.

Prayer Requests:
these are from me -not from Joy. :) hope she doesn't mind!

*please pray for Jeremiah's skin rash and pink eye to clear up quickly

*please pray that both boys heal quickly from their chicken pox

*please pray for appropriate bonding and attaching for both boys.

*please continue to pray for Joy, Javi, and Janae's health and safety -that they don't get chicken pox or pink eye!

*please pray for the 4 kids still here at home. The littlest, Joanna, is showing signs of missing mommy, daddy and big sister already.

*please pray for the whole family as they are apart for another 6 days..and for God to prepare all 9 of them to come together as one big family.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We Are On Our Way

Notice - Javi shaved his mustache in honor of picking up our boys. I have only seen him one other time with no mustache

I am typing this on the plane from PHX to DC and I will post this once we get to our hotel in DC. I can’t believe we are finally on our way to pick up our babies. Finally, now that the business of getting everything done is over, I sit here catching myself in tears on and off. Janae and I were just thinking about how our return flight will be so different with 2 little boys on our lap, trying to keep them happy, fed, asleep and entertained – no time for reading our books.

Yesterday the Lord settled my heart as I read about His sovereignty. I can’t say I was so worried, just frustrated and filling my mind with temporal things and moaning about the “what ifs” (with the various skin problems/outbreaks). It is really all so insignificant and by taking my eyes off of the Lord and His divine plan in all of this, it was robbing my joy and preventing me from giving Him the glory. After reading in the Word of His greatness and control over all things, I read Psalm 19:7-8 “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart” Oh this was so true. God’s word put everything back into perspective and allowed me to purely rejoice in Him whether or not we bring home contagious stuff or not. Why do I delay so in turning to His word sometimes?!

Rejoicing up here in the heavens He created,

PS - we are here at the hotel. It is so freezing cold to us - a big difference from the 80's in PHX!Everything has gone great. We chose the cheapest hotel near the airport that we could find and it is nice and new and they gave us a 2 bdrm suite! Janae is excited to have her own room. When we got here we asked if they had any restaurants close by and they told us that they have a free taco buffet bar and free drinks tonight. It was such a blessing to check in and get a big hot meal right away and visit a little with some hot chocolate. There is also free breakfast in the morning - all for $65/night - can't beat that! We are already ready for bed, but waiting to hopefully meet up with the other family we are traveling with. Here is their blog. Lokk at their adorable twins!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thanks for advice, good news, bad news and no visitors

I got so many emails and comments with a lot of great ideas and truly helpful experiences. I am sorry I just can't email each of you back so this is easier just to post. Tons of people suggested aquafor/Eucerin, possibly hydrocortisone cream and antibacterial ointment. I am taking all of those things. I tried and tried to call our current pediatrician and others to ask and beg them to please look at the pictures of Jeremiah, but none would. They all say it is against the rules - they won't even look at it to give me suggestions of over the counter products or samples of anything. So I understand, but felt so frustrated because SO many people who have adopted have had doctors be more than helpful with things like this - even prescribing medicines for all possible problems.

Good news - our updated immigration paperwork supposedly just got sent electronically to Addis Ababa - which is really calling it close. We could not have traveled this week if it wasn't there.

Bad news-scabies (skin mites) and chickenpox is going around the orphanage. This is not a surprise since this is very common with all the orphanages and kids adopted from Ethiopia. I do not worry or freak out easily, but I have to say that scabies is the one thing that kind of freaks me out and I have been praying we do not bring home. I just can't imagine bringing this highly contagious, itchy bug home to all of our kids, linens, clothes, furniture etc.

One more thing some people have asked - we are thankful for people wanting to welcome us home at the airport or shortly after we get back, but truthfully, we don't want anyone at the airport and we will need at least a few days just to get rested. We have done enough international travel to know how tired and sometimes grumpy we feel when we finally arrive home. We will just want to get to bed. Especially now with not knowing if our kids will be contagious for a while it is best not to have visitors for a while until we get everyone "checked out" and treated.

Monday, November 17, 2008

No- not superwoman

I cringe when people say, "you must be superwoman". No -#1- it is only by God's grace that I take on each day, and coming in #2 - my family helps me a lot. My mom has taken the kids for a whole day each week (for the last couple of weeks) so I could run errands, do paperwork and iron. Today she came to our house and here is just a glimpse of what she did along with the kids. Defrosted our big freezer, helped Jordan keep 3 loads of laundry going, ironed lots of clothes, oversaw lunchtime and cleanup, schooled the kids, read books with them, helped the kids clean up and organize, tackled our big basket of misc. socks and found at least 20 pairs :), had the kids fold and put away all laundry - and that is just what I could see. It was such a blessing after I had a very frustrating day of errands. My parents have also taken our kids most every Friday night for the past 8 years so we can clean an office for a side job and go on a date. My dad even watched all of the kids the other morning for my OB appointment (all by himself). My sister is helping me think of and buy everything for this trip since she has experience adopting and since my mind is mush. So THANK YOU Mom, Dad and Jeanette!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New pictures and advice needed

A family who just traveled to pick up their babies brought back pictures for us. Thank you Andrea and family! They said that Josiah is shy, which makes sense from all his pictures - and poor guy is so pretty in pink :), but he looks so clean and comfy and that is what matters. Also, look at poor Jeremiah's skin. I know a lot of babies come home with skin conditions. Is this eczema? Something else? If you have any experience with eczema or bringing your baby home with something that looks similar, will you give me some ideas of what it might be and what works best? About 4 days and counting (6 days until we hold them).

Thursday, November 13, 2008

You know you have a lot of kids when . . . .

You have this many stockings and you buy apples by the bushel (38 lb box)

Happy to have our hands full!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tuesday's Treasure

Some people do "Wordless Wednesday" pictures, but I will have to do "Tuesday's Treasure". This is what I treasure - moments like these. We have been reading an amazing book together at night as a family - an autobiography - "I Dared to Call Him Father" (more about that book later) and this is what I looked over and saw. My Janae is reserved and quiet. Most don't get to see past her outer reserved shell. This is just a glimpse of the treasure I see in her daily. Oh and in case you thought she was always quiet, I caught her doing the congo around the house this weekend singing, "A week and 4 days! yeah!"

Got Grass

Thanks David for helping Javi all day lay the sod (and Carina for giving up your hubby on Saturday).

More pictures from our Mexico trip

Lots of yummy food and sticky fingers at the breakfast buffet

Look at Jordan's cheeks in the background :)

Everyone loved the strawberry slushy

Daddy's big girl

Our Jules - she even got up and sang karaoke!

Daddy's little bug

Thursday, November 6, 2008


2 weeks and counting . . . . Here is what we have been up to:
Besides daddy putting up the batting cage, Christmas tree and landscaping, the kids cooked up 15 lbs of meat to freeze in baggies for easy dinners once the babies are here, wrapped some Christmas presents, washed cars, scrubbed highchairs, car seats and exersaucer, cleaned for our homestudy update inspection, packed (still a work in progress), went to PE, played outside countless hours in the beautiful weather, drank hot chocolate and made apple crisp, made birthday cards and are studying some books about Ethiopia and Amharic (their language). I have been running a lot of errands, working on piles of paperwork, scheduling bills to be paid and making phone calls etc. Not only do we need to get ready for our trip and our new life with our 2 little guys, but there are also so many normal life things and house projects that we just need to do while we have the time and energy. I have been having a lot of contractions the last week from running around, so the kids have been cheerfully helping me so much and I am trying to sit more and drink more H2O. Hopefully we will get grass in the back on Saturday!

Monday, November 3, 2008

You can not turn your back

I don't care if you could convince me that one candidate will turn our economy around, give us all great insurance and benefit me and my family financially, I will not turn my back on those that do not have a voice. To me it is an issue of will you vote with selfish gain in mind or with a God centered perspective. See this post. The videos are incredible including one of a beautiful woman who survived being aborted. When we stand before the Lord will we be asked what we did for our economy or what we did for the least of these?

Leaving 2 days earlier

Per our director's request, we changed our tickets to leave 2 days earlier. This means that we will leave for DC on Thursday, Nov. 20, spend the night in DC and then leave the next morning for Ethiopia and actually get there on what will be their Saturday morning. We should be holding our boys on Saturday morning now instead of Monday morning! We only have 16 days left!