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

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas, my precious baby boy!

Oh, sweet boy. I miss you so much. I am just aching and longing to bring you home. Yesterday I heard the song, "I'll be Home for Christmas," and I just melted. I thought for sure that you would be home with us by now. Celebrating this Christmas without you here has been so difficult, because we are not a complete family without you.

We kept you close to our hearts and minds and included you in all of our Christmas traditions this year. But we're really looking forward to next year when you're here to see it all for yourself!

You got a new ornament on the tree.

We baked cookies for Santa in the shape of Africa because your sisters wanted to make sure Santa remembered to visit you, too!

We hung FOUR stockings up on the mantel this year! See that cute little penguin on the end? That one's yours!!

You even had presents under the tree... some from family, some from friends, and even some from Santa! None of them have been opened yet. We'll let you do that when you get home!

This morning when I woke up, my heart was so heavy because you weren't home with us to celebrate Christmas, and I was missing you terribly. I checked my e-mail and found that I had 17 new pictures and a video of you waiting in my inbox. They were all of you opening the Christmas care package we sent to you. It was my best Christmas present! It was not the same as having you here, but it sure was nice to see your beautiful face on Christmas morning!

Merry Christmas, Elias. I am so glad this is the last one we'll spend apart!

I love you!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Care Package

This care package is being delivered to Elias during the week of Christmas by our friends the Chambers family. We are so excited that they will be visiting their daughter during Christmas, and are able to take a present to Elias too!

We sent Elias blue snowman jammies to match what his sisters will be wearing on Christmas morning. (Theirs are pink!) We also sent him a musical toy that has been a favorite of all three of our girls, so we knew we wanted to get one for him too. Finally, we chose this recordable book for him. Charlie and I took turns reading the pages so that he could hear our voices for the first time!

We are so excited that this is our last care package being delivered to Elias by someone other than us! We are in the next travel group to Ethiopia, so his next care package will be hand-delivered to him by his mommy and daddy!!

A Picture of Hope

In June, we were matched with our precious sponsor child, Webit. She is a seven year old little girl who is enrolled at the Trees of Glory care center in Ethiopia. Through our sponsorship, she is now receiving nutritious meals each day, an education, medical attention, and Christian discipleship.

This is the first picture we saw of her. We immediately fell in love with her, but were saddened by the longing in her eyes and the fact that she wasn't smiling. We have prayed for her every single day and are so grateful that we are able to play a role in her life.

Last month, the sponsor coordinator for Trees of Glory, Karen Wistrom, and her team of volunteers visited Trees of Glory and offered to take care packages to all of the children from their sponsor families. The girls and I had such a great time picking out items for Webit's care package... a new shirt, some chapstick and hair ties, a toothbrush and toothpaste, new sunglasses, and pictures and a letter from our family to her. We were so excited to send our love to her and to help her understand how much we care for her and pray for her.

We were thrilled to see these new pictures of our girl!! Look at that smile! Look at the hope in her eyes!! We are so honored to be a part of her life and feel blessed that God is using us to show her the love of Christ.

There are still children at the Trees of Glory care center waiting and hoping for sponsors. If you are interested in sponsoring one of these children and helping to forever change their lives, please contact Karen Wistrom by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Care Package #3

Our third care package to Elias was a group effort! Charlie (obviously!!) picked out the outfit for our son. How cute to see our little Ethiopian cheering for the Colts! The girls picked out some Weeble Wobbles for him, and I picked out the little security blanket for him. Thank you so much to the Adkins family for spending some time with our son, loving on him, and delivering our care package!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

November Update

At the end of each month, our adoption agency sends out updates. These are a wonderful lifeline to our son, and include lots of great information on him, physically, emotionally, developmentally, etc. We were beyond excited to receive ours this month and to learn more about our little one and his daily life in the Transition Home.

Here were some of the highlights...
  • He has gained 5 pounds since coming to the transition home!!
  • He takes 6 ounces of formula, five times a day ( I really am so glad that he still takes bottles, because I think that will be a great way for us to bond with him.) He is also eating pasta, rice, cereal, porridge, fruits, and vegetables.
  • He understands and obeys simple commands like come, go, bring this, etc.
  • He is described as happy and playful. : )
We also get the opportunity to ask the nannies five questions each month. Here are a few of our questions and their answers...
  • Is G* speaking any words yet? He says "ema" in Amharic, which means mommy. (Melt my heart!!)
  • How would you describe G's personality? He is happy, content, easy going, sometimes quiet and reserved. (Have you met our other kids? What a perfect fit for our family!!)
  • What is G's daily schedule? He wakes up at 6am, he eats solid food 4 times during the day and formula 5 times. He takes a nap during the afternoon. He plays with the nannies and other kids when he is awake. He gets bathed in the evening, takes his bottle, and sleeps through the night.
  • If G* is sad or upset, what helps make him feel better? He feels better when he is cuddled or when he gets what he wants. (Ha!)
We also got three new pictures of our little sweetie!! He was running, laughing, and being silly in all three of them! He looked like a perfect, happy little boy!! We just continue to fall more and more in love with this precious child and are so anxious to finally meet him ourselves!!