Monday, August 29, 2011

One year ago...

I wrote THIS to a sweet little girl I halfway around the world. I didn't know her face yet. I didn't know her story yet. But I knew then that I loved her more than anything.

And I still know that today.

Three Weeks.

Today marks three weeks.

Three weeks since we first saw our beautiful daughter's face.

Three weeks since we were able to start praying specifically over her destiny, her heart, her transition.

Three weeks since our lives began revolving around a little girl halfway around the world who doesn't even know we exist yet.

It has been an intense three weeks.

I wanted to share the "what's next" of all of this because I know it can be so confusing when you are on the outside looking in.

It probably looks like the adoption process is nothing more than as series of hurry ups and waits.

That would be an accurate assumption.

But inside of all those hurry ups and waits, we are able to learn a few things about ourselves.

How much we can really handle and still live.

How to walk in patience and gratitude even when you don't feel like it.

And most of all, how blessed we really are that God would entrust this amazing child to us. 

People often say what a great thing we're doing or how blessed she is to have us as parents someday...but the truth is? They have it totally backwards...She is saving us. We are the ones being blessed by God. When I look at her face, I feel completely inadequate to raise someone this special to God. I feel totally undeserving to get to watch her grow into a a strong woman of God..I feel entirely incapable to guide her....

And then? I am once again filled with gratitude that He will be right there with us, all the way.  He will be teaching us, raising us, and watching us grow everyday...Because of her.

No...we've done nothing unusual except say Yes to God. The rest? He's done for us.

So what's next?

Next, we pray fervently for a court hearing. Both The Husband and I have to travel to Ethiopia for the court hearing, which will finalize the adoption of Cupcake as a member of our family IN Ethiopia.

But that's not the end of it...

Once we pass court, we must wait for the adoption decree to be issued by the MOWCYA (the governing body in Ethiopia). This is where the bulk of the slowdown is being seen and while we are in favor of due diligence, we will once again, be contending for supernatural favor that the necessary paperwork be signed as soon as possible.


That's not the end of it.

Once we get the adoption decree, we can be issued a U.S. Embassy appointment. Now, there have been some additional hold-ups at Embassy because of investigations and missing paperwork. We are confident that the the 8 months of no referrals within our agency (where they were going back and collecting any missing- illegible- or difficult to understand paperwork and creating more complete files) will expedite this process and we won't see any delays here. The average wait time between court and embassy is 8-12 weeks, currently.
Once we are issued an Embassy appt., we will have to travel back to Ethiopia a second time to appear before the Embassy and declare that it IS our intention to adopt this child. The words "This Adoption Is Final" will be precious music to our ears!

That is when we will be able to bring Cupcake to America =)

It can be difficult for people when they ask "when will you get to bring her home?" to hear "we don't know".

But we just. don't.

We are fervent in our prayers that we are given supernatural favor.
We are confident in our faith that God has gone before us and He will make a clear path ahead of us.

And we are peaceful in our hearts that God is protecting and comforting our sweet girl while we wait to finally be able to bring her into our family!

Thank you for your prayers and support in these final "Waits"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Shopping for fabric for Cupcake's room today, a nice woman asked me what I was making:

Me: "Oh, I'm using this fabric (shows sample) as the main theme in my daughter's room...and looking for these designs (points to fabric) to coordinate"

Woman:  "Well, the fabric is beautiful. How old is your daughter"

Me: "She's three"

Woman: "Perfect! She's gonna love it!"

Things I didn't mention:

1. I have never actually met my daughter.

2. She's halfway around the world in an orphanage right now.

3. Her room will probably be ready for her months before she sets foot on U.S. soil.

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Beef with Barbie (Part 1)

I know this comes as no surprise.  Most people take issue with Barbie.

Her completely disproportionate body.

Her plastic (haha) smile.

And don't even get me started on the mansion that she can afford in Malibu. On What Income, exactly??

But, after seeing Cupcake's face and immediately needing to buy her. something. anything!

I discovered that, what I really take issue with Barbie on?

Is her hair.

Yep, her long, flowing, straight hair.

Did you hear me? Her Long. Flowing. STRAIGHT. Hair.

How am I supposed to teach my daughter that God created her perfectly the way she is..perfectly with curly, natural, thick, hair...when she is surrounded by our "display" of beauty and it doesn't represent her at all??

I don't like to fail. But I saw no winning in that scenario.

There are virtually NO examples of beautiful naturally-curly haired dolls. Trust me, I have looked.

And looked.


And then? I found This.

What's that? You can make Barbie go Natural?

And I did. It took a couple of hours...but I helped transform Barbie into a doll that at least has similar hair to Cupcake (Don't worry, you'll soon learn about my Other Beef With Barbie soon enough)

Here's the Before and After picture. (P.S. I bought a cheapo Generic-Barbie in case this totally flopped)

Barbie's natural 'do is somewhere between Type 3 and Type 4 curls

And chronicling our journey...See, the evolution of Barbie's transformation..

Pay no attention to Naked Barbie. That dress is as difficult to maneuver with as it is ugly.

I can't believe how much fun I had doing a doll's hair!!!
Looking forward to a lot more fun playing with dolls over the next few years! =)

Coming Up...

We are busy BUSY collecting any donations people are willing to give for prizes in our upcoming puzzle piece raffle!

As many of you know, the final pieces (two trips to Ethiopia) are the most expensive chunks of money needed in adoption.

Please consider if you can donate anything towards our raffle to raise travel expenses AND be on the lookout for your opportunity to add your name to our "village" helping to bring our Cupcake home!!

For as my Pastor always said (and, okay, I suppse the Apostle Luke also said it) "When you give, it is given back to you...pressed down, shaken together, and running over...through the hands of men, so you can give again"  (The Pastor D paraphrase)

Thank you so much for your generosity! 

You can email me at with donations!

Monday, August 15, 2011

One week.

I can't believe it's already been a week. It seems like just yesterday we were filled with anticipation waiting to see our daughter's face.

It still gives me goosebumps.

Sometimes people ask me questions about "my daughter" and it takes me a minute to register who they're talking to.

Oh. You mean me. =)

Things I have learned in the last week:

1. Although I committed to buy at least 80% of clothing and furniture used years ago (and have stuck to it)...apparently that rule does not apply to my daughters belongings. Either that, or I have suppressed some unrealized desire to SHOP and this is the perfect excuse to release that pent-up longing. Either way, it's a sad-- and more expensive-- realization...

2. Zulily is evil. Daily emails of cuteness? I have two trips to Africa to fund, folks!....this madness must stop! =)

3. Apparently people don't think you're serious when you talk about things like 'cocooning' and 'transition-periods' because I am having to re-explain myself to those around me like somehow it's the most unnatural thing they've ever heard. They must have thought we were joking six months ago when we introduced the idea??

But we are standing firm. =)

4.  Hair care is scary. and exhilarating. and exciting. I am considering buying a mannequin head to practice corn-rows and double-stranded twists. I want Cupcake to know she is perfectly created by God and that we wouldn't change a single thing about her. Cupcake's hair appears to be tight-coiled, maybe 4b, so going with natural hair care means learning a lot of styles..and I refuse to fail at this! =)  

P.S. Can I just give a shout-out to sites like HappyGirlHair, ChocolateHairVanillaCare, and NaturallyCurly for helping me not be completely clueness.

I *heart* them. 

5. My daughter is amazing and beautiful and we are so grateful to families who made it a point to take lots of pictures at the orphanage so we can get a small glimpse of her personality. We are in awe of how blessed we are. God must love us something crazy to entrust us with His most prized creation. I am walking in incredible thanks to Him for sharing her with us.

That said, we know our daughter's transition will be full of grief and sadness. Her little life has already experienced more tragedy than anyone should and we are constantly asking God to protect her little heart. To comfort her when we can't. And to love her through her grief in the way only He can.

We are not blind to the fact that while redemption is an amazing display of God's goodness, it does not erase the tragedy that caused redemption to be necessary in the first place.

Please, as you pray for our family, for speed and favor in the process...remember, also, sweet Cupcake's heart in this. And join with us in praying that God's hand is evident in her transition and that He comforts and heals her heart. Because only He can do that.

Thank you all for your prayers and continued congratulations!

We are blessed, indeed!

Here is a picture of the luvey I made Cupcake. I incorporate soft minky fabrics, knit, and colorful cottons. Currently The Husband and I are sleeping with it every night and praying over it until we can send it over to our Sweet Girl.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A great link: Bring out the tissues.

I am usually emotional watching adoption videos.

But I am certainly far more vulnerable to those emotions when looking at my sweet girl's face.

You'll know exactly what I am talking about when you link over to my friend Lauren's blog and check their video out!

P.S. I wonder who I could get to video us meeting Bedako for the first time? =)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Shock and Awe.

That pretty much describes my emotions yesterday.

First, shock.

We were 99% sure (the same way a pregnant woman might think she is) that our referral would be a boy. We hadn't specified and we certainly didn't care...but in the course of things, we had just assumed things would go a certain way (we should have known better since NOTHING in this process has gone as planned) =)

and we were 100% sure that nothing would be happening any time soon. Last we heard, nothing was expected to move for a while. Paperwork nonsense...clarification....bleh.

So, to get the call?  

To realize that in that moment our lives were changing?

Yes. Shock.

But in shock and awe....The awe is the best part.

We immediately felt immensely blessed as we looked at our daughter's big beautiful dow-eyes and small frame.

We were in love with her serious expression and what was described as her "reserved" personality.

And we were overwhelmed by the spiritual and natural redemption that adoption brings.

When we looked at her face and read about her story, all we could think was...

She is our daughter.

We hope to never take for granted how blessed we are that God has chosen us to protect, shepherd, and steward her life...even for a short time.

We may have initially been shocked. But it was the awe that changed us forever.

Amazing Gratitude.

Laying in bed this morning, I am filled with gratitude and thanksgiving.

For my Salvation.

For my family and friends.

And especially this morning??


Yes, in case you didn't catch that. Yesterday was (so far) the best day of my life when late in the afternoon we were introduced to our beautiful barely-three-year-old little girl.

I feel like I am flying. It's surreal. And wonderful. And I keep just soaking in everything about her. She truly is God's most perfect creation yet and we are so excited to get to be part of her world.

Since I can't show you a picture of my beautiful Cupcake, I thought I would let my friend Franky describe her as clearly as I could for ya'll!!

Please keep praying for us. We're not through the thick of it yet as we work to raise funds and pray down any more hindrances and attacks to prolong our daughter's stay in an orphanage.

We believe that it was through prayer warriors joining with us that her referral came through and we believe that that SAME prayer can push us through the system with-- what can only be described as-- the Favor of the Lord.

We can't wait to bring our baby girl home!!

Thank you for praying with us and celebrating our beautiful daughter!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Prayer please

Please pray for us today.

We are expecting that God has given us great favor and we are confident that no attacks/delays/hindrances of the enemy will be able to continue to slow down God's plan.

We are warring.

There are specifics that I can't share yet, but please know that this is critical. We are asking every praying person to join with us today.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The fight.

Ephesians 6:10-11, 14-17 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes… Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."

In high school, I readied myself every morning with this much so that I had the lengthy excerpt memorized. I am sad to say that I don't have it memorized anymore.
I am not sure at what point in our lives we start leaning on our own abilities. I can't remember a specific day when I stopped "putting on the armor of the Lord" every morning. But I know this....
We won't win the fight without it.
As I look at my frustration, my lack-of-control, and my inability to go swoop up my child and hold him/her close to me, I can't help but be reminded that I am far more vulnerable to attack without my shield of faith.
That without the belt of truth, I am more succeptible to the lies of the enemy. That without the breastplate of righteousness. Without the helmet of salvation. Without the sword of the Spirit?
I am simply a sitting duck.
The enemy wants to throw out his attacks on your life with the speed of a machine gun.
How prepared you are for battle is up to you.
Me?  Well moving forward, I am ready.
The Lord goes before me and I will be victorious. I may be on the front-lines of battle, but I have an armor that the enemy can't penetrate. I have a promise that will never be broken.  And I have a commandor that has already defeated the opposition.
I could continue trying to do it on my own.  I might even be able to weather some of the storms of attack in this battle.
But I don't just want to weather the storms sometimes.
I want to win.
So I am going to take up my armor and remember that my fight is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers.
And I will be victorious.
And I LOVE that satan hates that.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Letters to my Child: While you are sleeping.

Right now, it's 12:30am in Ethiopia.

I am sure you are sleeping (at least you better be). I can't help but sit here and wonder what you look like sleeping. If, even now, you're smiling in your dreams...I wonder if your little eyes flutter as your mind takes over and you dream peacefully tonight.

I wish I could gently kiss you face and say a prayer over your little body tonight. Praying that God would hold you close in His embrace. That you would seek after the things of God all the days of your life. That His perfect destiny for your life would be fulfilled and you would know Him more deeply than I could even imagine.

I would pray that you would have confidence to stand up for what's right, even if it's not easy. And that the influence that God gives could be used to bring others to the realization that God's love is better than anything you could chase after in this world.

I would pray that you would be able to accomplish everything you put your mind to. And that even in those times when you don't, that you would be courageous in your attempts...that you would be gracious in your defeats... and that you would be strong enough to try again.

I would pray that you would listen closely when God speaks and you would carefully follow His directing.

I would pray for your husband/wife. That he/she would balance you completely. Where you are weak, that he/she would be strong and where he/she is weak, that your strength would minimize those weaknesses. That together, you would be a witness to the power of faith, and love, and endurance. 

I would pray that you know the joy of spontaneity and childlike ways. That you would never be too big, or too proud to simply play.  That laughter would fill your life.

I would  pray that you would be quick to compassion. And that you would challenge us daily to love and give more fully.

I would pray that each day with you, I would understand more fully the love of our Father. That I would be challenged to be a better person and that I would grow in faith and love and courage just from being blessed to be your mommy.

I would watch you resting and imagine what you would be dreaming about. I would pray that your dreams  always make you smile and that the comfort and peace of God give you rest.

All while you are sleeping.

Rest Peacefully Dear Child.
I love you across the ocean and back.


I haven't blogged much lately.

There really just hasn't been much to say.

But when I started thinking about hitting 10 months on the waiting list, a lot of different things to say started coming to mind... Things like:

I never imagined we would still be waiting for an OLDER child at 10 months.

and Waiting doesn't get easier just because you've done it for a while.

and I'm not so sure I am cut out for this anymore.

But even with all those thoughts? I couldn't get this one song out of my head... It's an old (heh...okay 1990s) Charismatic song from the Brownsville Revival days for those of you who know it, a song that talks about taking back what belongs to you:

Well, I went to the enemy's camp and I took back what he stole from me.
I took back what he stole from me. I took back what he stole from me.

I went to enemy's camp and I took back what he stole from me

He's under my feet.
He's under my feet.
Satan is under my feet.

Now I know as well as anyone that adoption is not God's first plan...but it IS His redemptive plan..and the bureaucracy that slows down children being placed into families is nothing short of the enemy's attack on redemption. I may not be able to control much in this process but I can control the fervor and urgency with which I pray. I can bring my petitions to the Lord and I believe He is faithful to move on my behalf. I can pray that no action of man or enemy could get in the way of setting the lonely into families. I can fervently bring my requests before my Father, much like Hannah did. She didn't stop just because nothing changed right away. In fact, her prayers became more fervent, more desperate, more evident of faith...I, too, can "pour out my soul to the Lord" (1 Samuel 1:15) in expectation.

You see, that song? It comes from a story about King David in 1 Samuel (chapter 30).King David and his men had returned home to find that the enemy had taken everything. They had burned their tents and their land and kidnapped their families. His men, distressed and fatigued, had no other ideas than to stone David. They were out of their minds (who wouldn't be?). But David, strong in the Lord, had the presence of mind to say "The enemy may think it's over becuase they destroyed what was ours. You may think it's over because everything is in the enemy's hand. But I? Don't think it's over until God says it's over"  He sought the Lord's wisdom and the Lord told him to pursue the enemy and take back what was theirs.

They could have waited. They could have sat quietly for the Lord to bring back what was taken. Then again...they might still be waiting. Their families needed their pursuit. God honors our pursuit.

David had to fight to get back what belonged to him.

And we have to fight to get back what belongs to us.

Adoption? Is a God thing.  It belongs to God. Frankly,  I am tired of the evil and the corruption and the bureaucracy that has seemed to work its way into these stories of redemption. Bottom line is, there ARE children who need families. Their lives have been struck by a tragedy that nothing short of God can heal. Adoption doesn't wipe away that tragedy in any way, shape, or form. But leaving them without a family to protect them, to love them, and to steward them? That's leaving it all in the enemy's camp.

You see, there's another part to this story....As David and his men began to travel the distance to fight for what was theirs, a third of his men dropped out. They were too fatigued to keep fighting. They were too weary to pursue any longer. Their families were waiting in the balance and they didn't have it in them to fight anymore???

Kind of feels like month 10 in a 6-8 month wait.

But, I don't want to be like those men.

When I get back what belongs to the Kingdom? I want to know that I was like David. I want to know that I was one who never stopped fighting. I may not be able to physically go, but I know without doubt that my fervent prayers availeth much (James 5:16)

And yours do too.

So whether you are in this fight with me or you are willing to jump in on our behalf now (which we welcome whole-heartedly)?  The fight isn't over just because the enemy took something. It's not over just because of paperwork errors, and evil and greedy men, process slowdowns, and long unexplainable waits.

It's not over until God says its over.

And that's not what I heard today.

I am fighting for my family. And I am not about to drop out at the 10th mile.