"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Apparel Junkie!

Its true. I'm a total junkie. I have become completely addicted to adoption t-shirts and assorted adoption paraphernalia. (Not quite to the point where we should be staging an intervention, but could be getting close!) I love all of the great designs out there and all of the great causes needing support! In the last week, I've ordered five t-shirts and two necklaces, plus my amazing husband ordered me a necklace for my birthday! I love it all, and I love knowing that our purchases are helping families bring their children home or supporting organizations that are feeding and clothing the orphans and street children in Ethiopia. Check out some of my new favorites...

We ordered these ADORABLE Africa t-shirts (with a heart button over Ethiopia) for our three daughters. I am so excited about these! They were made by my adoption friend, Kim Jewett. Kim and her husband are selling these shirts (along with several other designs) to help raise money to bring their baby girl home from Ethiopia. Click on her name to read their blog and to see more of their shirt designs.

This beautiful necklace was a birthday present from my husband! (I really am a lucky girl!) He ordered it from Etsy seller, Junk Posse. When you purchase from Junk Posse, you help support several non-profit groups like Children's Hopechest. You can see her Etsy shop by clicking on the Junk Posse link.

This super cool shirt is from another adoption friend, Debb Marquez. Debb and her husband are raising money for their Ethiopian adoption as well and are hoping this shirt will help bring more awareness to adoption. The saying reads, "We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life, but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands." Isn't that great? The saying comes on several different styles of shirts and even a water bottle. Click on her name to see all of their designs!

These sweet bottlecap necklaces are being made by an eleven year old girl named Samantha. Her family is also adopting a little boy from Ethiopia. Samantha has a beautiful heart for orphans, and she has decided to sell these necklaces to help buy shoes for the many orphaned children in Ethiopia. In just two days, she has already sold enough necklaces to buy 17 pairs of shoes!! We bought three of these for our daughters, Emma, Ellie, and Erin who are really into bottlecaps right now. You can click on Samantha's name to read her blog and to be inspired by this amazing little girl!

These awesome shirts not only look good, but they do good too! They are being sold by the wonderful organization, Into the Streets of Ethiopia, which helps the most vulnerable and at-risk street children in Ethiopia. Each shirt costs $30 and will feed a child for THREE months! Buy a shirt, help feed a starving child. How great is that? Click on the link above to go to their website and find out more about how you can get involved!

I hope you might take a minute to check out some of these great items for yourself and see how easy it is to make a difference in the life of a child!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Four Months DTE!

Today is our four month DTE anniversary. My friend, Jackie, who shares our same DTE date said this earlier today, "Being DTE for month number 4 feels kinda like what I imagine turning 40 will feel like... thankful we made it, but not real thrilled to be here either!" I had been (not so secretly) hoping that we might have had our referral by now and wouldn't be celebrating this four-month milestone, but we continue to trust that this waiting period is all in God's hands.

My devotional this morning seems to have been written just for me. It was entitled, "The Wait." I couldn't think of anything more appropriate or timely for our family as we endure this time of waiting. I was reminded through this devotional about David being chosen as King of Israel that...
  1. God's ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.
  2. Even though we have been anointed and appointed, we may still have to wait.
  3. God doesn't waste time; He holds it in His hands and He redeems it by using our experiences to prosper us.
  4. God does not ignore the cries of His children, and He will not let us down.
  5. Our waiting has a purpose for someone other than ourselves. It is not all about us.
  6. If we let it, our waiting will bring us a more intimate knowledge of our Savior.
Waiting is less difficult and the future brighter when we let God do His work in our waiting and when we allow Him to bring His plans for our lives to fullness.

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:14

Lord... We are eagerly waiting!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Make Room for Baby

The carpet installers just arrived and the official preparations for baby Herwehe are now underway! We decided when we began our adoption journey that Ellie and Erin would share a room (they are the closest in age and the youngest) Emma, as the oldest, would have her own room, and baby boy would be in the nursery. The problem is that Emma is currently in the largest room, so Ellie and Erin will need to move into that room, Emma will need to move into Ellie's room, and Erin will need to move out of the nursery to make room for baby! Whew. Confused yet?

Since we had to empty out all of the bedrooms anyway for the new carpet, we decided it just made sense to go ahead and switch all of the bedrooms around now. The kids are super-excited for their new bedrooms and the little ones think its so cool to be sharing a room (We'll be reminding them of this when they're teenagers!). The parents are a little less excited for all of the work that lies ahead in moving and reorganizing three bedrooms!

Daunting? Yes. Overwhelming? A little. Disorganized? Totally. Worth it? Absolutely!

Bring on the chaos...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Court Closures in Ethiopia

We received word from our adoption agency yesterday that the Ethiopian courts will be closed from August 6 - September 27. We knew this was coming. This happens every year during the rainy season in Ethiopia, but the time frame differs each year, so we weren't sure when to expect it. Apparently, when the rainy season is in full swing, the roads become so impassable that the court employees are not able to get to work and birth families are not able to travel into the city for the hearings, so the whole system comes to a stop. We had been praying not to get caught up in the court closures, but we know this is all in God's plan for our family.

What this means is that when we receive our referral (by the way we're currently #5 on the wait list!!), we will not be able to travel to Ethiopia for our court hearing until they reopen. Whenever our referral comes, we are now hoping and planning to make our first trip to Ethiopia in October. We would love to have our little one home by the end of the year, so if you're looking for something to pray for... please add us to your list! : )

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Let's Just Face It...

Number 1: The wait for our baby boy is getting hard.

Number 2: This was not my best idea on how to stay busy...

So, our family has been sitting at #7 on our agency's waiting list for three weeks now. THREE weeks with no baby boy referrals. Seven is my most favorite number, but I am so ready to give it up and move forward. I am constantly thinking about him... wondering what he looks like, how old he is, where he is at this very moment, and how soon we'll be able to know him.

I have been consumed lately with checking our agency's Yahoo group and facebook to see if anyone has gotten a referral, to see if we've moved at all in the line. I've actually found "excuses" to sit at the computer or work near the computer so I can hear when I get an e-mail. I know, I know. Patience...

So, Friday I decided to put all of my looniness aside and keep busy by sorting all of the boy clothes we've been given... brilliant, right? Emma and I worked hard all afternoon organizing sizes, pairing outfits and filling up storage totes. I was so busy working that I didn't even have time to think about our little guy and this long journey we're on to get to him. Yep. Not once. I never thought about how cute he'd look in the outfits. I didn't even let my mind wonder what colors would look best with his brown skin. Nope. Not at all. : ) Totally a break from crazy.

By the way... Have I mentioned lately how amazing our friends are? Look at all the clothes in that picture!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


EVERY child at Trees of Glory care-center in Ethiopia now has a sponsor!!! What a difference this will make in the lives of these children! I am so excited to be a part of this ministry and cannot wait until we are there ourselves bringing donations and loving on these precious children!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Six Who Wait

If you've read any of our blog before, you surely have noticed that I am passionate about the orphans in Ethiopia. There are nearly 5 MILLION of them in this country we have fallen in love with.

We are so excited to have partnered with Children's Hopechest to sponsor a precious girl in Ethiopia. Every month, our $34 goes to helping provide food, medical needs, education, and Christian discipleship to this beautiful girl. But it doesn't stop at just her physical and educational needs. We are also sending letters and pictures to her, encouraging her, taking an interest in her life, and praying for her. We have her picture hanging up so that she is always on our minds.

The care center where our sponsor child is located is called Trees of Glory. We recently received this e-mail from the sponsorship coordinator, Karen Wistrom, updating us on Trees of Glory...

"This rural community (located 2 hours north of the capital city, Addis Ababa) has been very affected by famine and poverty. Most of the kids at TOG are double-orphans (meaning they have lost both parents) and are living with a relative or neighbor that is not able to provide for them. As a result, many of the kids were being "sold" as an indentured servant to local livestock owners to work night and day herding cattle.

What a heart-wrenching decision for these families to decide to "sell" one child in order to feed the other children in their care. Children's Hopechest discovered that many of the children were being paid about $12 PER YEAR for their labor. Without the intervention of the local government that is requiring the guardians to bring the children to the care-point, and Children's Hopechest who is setting up the sponsor program, these children would never have had the opportunity to go to school or rise up out of poverty!

Now that over half of the children are sponsored, we can fully implement a regular feeding program at Trees of Glory!!! As we match the remaining children with sponsors, we will be able to expand the feeding program to include 2 nutritious meals each day, along with protein (eggs and meat)! Sponsorship ensures that each child has food, clothing, medical care, education and Christian discipleship.

The Ethiopia staff of Children's Hopechest is already meeting with the kids every week - counseling, mentoring, teaching biblical stories and demonstrating the love of God for these kids. It is our hope that by September, we will be able to start a school on the grounds at TOG."

Now, here is the GREAT news... there are only 6 kids still waiting to be sponsored! In one month, 78 children have been matched with a sponsor family!! The financial commitment, letters, care, concern and prayers of these sponsor families is already having a tremendous impact on the lives of these children.

But what about the 6 who wait? When letters are received and names are called, do they yet realize that there is not a family for them?

If you have ever felt a tug in your heart for the orphans, please consider sponsoring a child. There are SIX who are waiting for someone to love them, provide for them, and change the course of their lives. Is one waiting for you?

Please contact Karen Wistrom (by clicking on her name) for more information on the children still waiting to be sponsored.