Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Snapshot: Meet Little Man

I think I might be breaking the rules of Sunday Snapshot b/c I didn't take these pictures of our newest addition.

I couldn't help it...I had to share!

I bet you'll forgive me.

This is the very first picture we saw of our Little Man. You know it was love when we could see past the fact that he's wearing "Hello Kitty" pajamas (pink, no less).

Another early picture. So little & kind of sad.

This picture was taken right after the first of the year. Look at how he's filling out!

When we got these pictures of him smiling (you can see another amazing one in my last post), it was like receiving a surprise gift! Who would have thought by looking at that first picture that he would have such a killer smile!?

Somehow, we have come back to pink again, but we've graduated to High School Musical! lol
Can you see what he's holding in this picture?
That would be his family photo book!! I LOVE this picture b/c I know in the moment this picture was taken he knows that he has a family.

We're coming, Little Man!!

Ni Hao Y'all

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Now my head is really spinning....We passed court!! This sweet boy is officially OUR sweet boy!

This momma is so excited, & the planner in me is kicking into high gear...

But nobody really cares about any of that right now,
so here's what you're waiting for:

**~*~**Our Son**~*~**

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Round 2

I have been wanting to post all day. I really have.

The problem? I have no words!
A lot of conflicting emotions--Yes.

We have court tomorrow in Ethiopia (which will actually be sometime during the night b/c they are 8 hours ahead of us). Again.

As most of you already know, we didn't pass the first time (on my birthday, no less).
A necessary paper didn't make its way there & a birth relative was unable to be there due to illness. That's been 2 weeks ago.

Well, here we are. I want to tell you that I woke up this morning in great anticipation & confidence that this would be it. I would be looking like Pinnochio if I did.

Poor Joe.

But here's where God is so good....He really blessed me today through the care & encouragement of some wonderful friends. I received phone calls, a text, some comments on my blog, emails & instant message things (I'm still learning FB) that totally picked me up & dusted me off. These girls get this crazy emotional roller coaster of adoption from a "Mommy" perspective, & I am blessed by their willingness to lovingly kick me in the butt lift me up.

So, here we go. I'm ready for Round 2. I may not be confident in the outcome, but I'm confident that come celebrating or commiserating, we're not alone. And that's good news.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Prayer for Little Man

We are three days away from our 2nd court date for our Little Man. We are so hoping for the "thumbs up" this time so that we can begin the next leg of this journey to bring our son home. We wait, and we hope.


I come to You in Jesus' name & give "Little Man" to You. I'm convinced that You alone know what is best for him. You alone know what he needs. I release him to You to care for and protect, & I commit myself to pray for everything concerning him that I can think of or that You put upon my heart. Teach me how to pray & guide me in what to pray about. Help me not to impose my own will when I'm praying for him, but rather enable me to pray that Your will be done in his life.

Thank You, Lord, for the precious gift of this child. Because Your Word says that every good gift comes from You, I know that You are giving him to me to care for & raise. Enable me to release him to Your protection & guidance always. Help me not to live in fear of possible dangers, but in the joy & peace of knowing that You are in control. I rely on You for everything, & this day I trust my child to You & release him into Your hands.**


**Most of this prayer is taken from "Power of a Praying Parent" by Stormie Omartian. If you don't have this book, I highly recommend it. I find that when my heart is so full for my children & I struggle with finding the words to lift in prayer, I can always find just the right words & scripture here. There are many things we pray for our Little Man right now, but I found that this prayer of surrender to be most relevant as I am reminded that God loves each of my children even more than I do. Love ~ Dardi

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Not That I'm Counting or Anything...

......but there are six days until our next try at passing court in Ethiopia. We didn't pass the last time on March 10th & are scheduled again for March 24th. I find myself all of a sudden thinking about it, & the butterflies start all over again. I am just so ready to meet my son & bring him home. Ready to begin the discovery of our new normal as a family of 9. Just ready........

Monday, March 15, 2010

Out of My Comfort Zone--The Financial Faith Walk

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination, full of hope.
~Maya Angelou

A friend on an adoption yahoo group posted this quote, & it is so true, especially in the face of the many ups, downs & arounds in the world of adoption. One of the biggest hurdles for most adoptive parents is the financial aspect. This is not a fun subject for anybody because we link much of our life's security with our money, myself included. However, even bigger than my fear of financial stuff is my fear of missing out on the blessing of following God's call on my life to provide a family to children. Everyone is called to something different; this just happens to be my calling, & in the last several years, I have embraced it. And the very amazing, beautiful thing is that my husband & every one of our children have embraced it, as well. So much so, that this is where I become uncomfortable:

My daughter, Kearsten, has started a Facebo*k page about our family's current adoption & is requesting donations. Did you notice the ChipIn button on the right? Yep, that's what that's all about. And to top it off, she suggested I start a FB page, too, so I can find friends & link up the page, etc. Seriously, people, just typing that makes my heart race, my palms sweat, butterflies are in my stomach....... I am not kidding!! Why?

Because I am afraid.

I'm a grown woman, for goodness sake. Why would I be afraid?? Probably because I am now stepping out of my comfort zone & flying above the radar. We previously sent out mission letters because our pastor had suggested it, but that seemed "safe". It went to people I see a lot, that know our family well. It was still hard, but they have mostly been supportive of what can appear to be a crazy type of life. Now, though, I feel as though I've just stripped down to my undies & put myself out there for scrutiny. *sigh* I'm sweating again.

So, all night I was wrestling with this decision to do this when I woke up this morning to find that someone I don't even know already joined us in our journey to bring our son home. SAY WHAT!? Truly, I have been so humbled by the generosity of others, & maybe that's right where God wants me: Humble, experiencing what it feels like to be on the receiving end of others' support, whether it is emotional or financial, & not being in the mindset of, "I'll do it myself". And in the words of my sweet daughter, "Mom, you're giving people the opportunity to be part of our lives & our journey. Some people might not be called to actually bring a child home to care for 24/7, but they might feel like they want to help a child become part of a family."

I sure love that girl. And guess what!? I did that FB page, & I've already got some friends, God bless them. Now I don't feel like a complete goober. :o)

So, if you've stopped by my blog from FB, or if you've been hanging out with me for awhile, I appreciate your interest in this journey. Whether you contribute to our fund or not, I love connecting with old & new friends to share the crazy beauty of this adventure we're on!

“Adopting one child won’t change the world,

but for that child, the world will change.”

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Snapshot: Tinkle Princess

Disclaimer: My Sunday Snapshot is weak this week!! However, it does come with very exciting news...Miss Thing, yep, the girl is TOTALLY doing her thing with the potty. It took us all of two days & a tu-tu to bring about perfection. Seriously. The girl's got mad skills mixed with the fact that she was not about to mess up her tu-tu!

So, this is it. Really. I am quite excited, though, as we have been researching new cameras!! (Was that the Hallelujah Chorus I just heard??) I think we have it narrowed down, so I'm hoping to be stalking my children with it soon. Should make for some fun Sunday Snapshots to come!

Ni Hao Y'all

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Head is Spinning

I'm not gonna lie...yesterday was a tough day all the way around. First, we got the news that we didn't pass court in Ethiopia & are rescheduled for March 24th. Okay. Yes, we were disappointed, but we were hanging in there pretty well.

However, then we get this news bulletin:

Evidently, this morning the Ethiopian government announced an additional change that will be implemented and will impact all agencies facilitating adoptions in Ethiopia.

All adoptive families must now travel to Addis Ababa to be present for their court appointment. There have been rumors of this change for several weeks now, and the change is a direct result of the dramatic increase of "revocation" cases - cases in which the adoptive parents decline to bring their children home after they have passed court. This will mean families will make two trips to Ethiopia to complete their adoptions, which will certainly increase the time and money required for adoption.

On a positive note, if parents see their child before the court appointment, the child will be eligible for an IR-3 visa, thus making the child a US citizen immediately upon arrival in the United States.

This is quite a change, & my heart was just racing not knowing how this will affect us since we have court in 2 weeks!! After speaking with our coordinator, we believe that we are exempt from having to appear in court since we were already assigned a court date in March (kind of being "grandfathered" in), but we are waiting for confirmation about what this means should we not pass court again & be scheduled in April. Oh, mercy, I am trying so hard not to let the "what-ifs" get the best of me, but it's hard for a chick that doesn't seem to have a brain "off" switch. One of the reasons we felt comfortable with Ethiopia in the first place was the fact that only one of us would have to travel--one time--& not leave Kaya. I will be very glad when we can get some clarification.

If I'm being really honest, I'm getting ahead of myself, too. I'm feeling sad because we had every intention of adopting from Ethiopia again, so now I'm wondering if it's still a possibility. I know--Dardi, hit the "off" switch.

I so appreciate all of the prayers & words of encouragement we have received. This blog-thing has turned into a blessing, you know? It's nice to know that people are helping you pray your way through stuff when you can't seem to focus b/c your head is still spinning.

**A word of caution: I tried to self-medicate with a box of chocolates that my hubby got me for my birthday. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but seriously, that stuff should come with a warning label or something. It did not go well. Note to self: Next time you're feeling stress, stick with long walks.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Not Today

Well, friends, it did not happen for us today. :o( We did not pass court & have been rescheduled for March 24th. Ugh...2 more weeks of waiting, but it is what it is. I guess you'll just have to wait on seeing those pictures, but trust me, he is one cutie-patootie!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you & not to harm you, plans to give you hope & a future."
~Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

On the Eve of Court

But I will hope continually & will praise You more & more.
~Psalm 71:14

Court Date: March 10, 2010

**Hoping by this time tomorrow to have received favorable news from Ethiopia so that we can share a picture of our newest family member. Thank you so much for all of the prayers & encouragement.**

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Snapshot: Siblings

We got "the look" many times when we announced that we were adding to our family through adoption. I think what made it an easier pill to swallow for many nay-sayers was our intention to adopt an older child, so you know, we weren't really adding any more years to having children in the home, we could still be child-free "on schedule", we would just have one to slide into the mix. People still thought us crazy, but at least we weren't starting all over.

Haha...God had other plans which totally surprised us & turned the heads of many. We were literally carrying around a 5-lb. preemie while we were moving our oldest into college. And life never felt so good. Every one of our children is a blessing to us & to each other.

Praying to receive good news this Wednesday that another child will be officially part of our family. Let the love, good times & memory-making continue........

Ni Hao Y'all

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, Kami Jo!

Today we celebrate the 16-year wild ride with our daughter, Kameryn. It started 16 years ago today when her highness finally decided to make her appearance. 8.days.late. Should have known then she was going to make life interesting. I tell a bit about her silliness here.
We called her "Jo-Jo Monster" when she was little...nuff said.

This masterpiece was her requested birthday cake...A Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
Yep, she's mine.......

Happy Birthday, Baby!
Love you much!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Not Wanting Our Kids to be Happy

I think I could have written something very similar, but I'm not quite so clever. Click here to read a thought-provoking post. We get "the looks" & "the questions" sometimes, but it's really not all about me, like the world wants us to think. We hope our kids "aren't happy either".

Seriously, take 5 & read it! :o)