Friday, March 30, 2012

Ethiopia, Here We Come!

Oh my's really here!  We will be leaving for Ethiopia in the morning!!  I am hoping to have the strength, energy, and wi-fi to be able to blog from Addis, but we shall see.

To say this week has been crazy is an understatement.  However, the stress and exhaustion of the week is SO worth it knowing that we will be headed out tomorrow on our physical journey to our son!

Just a little overview as to how this trip will work:

  • Saturday, March 31st-drive to Tulsa, OK and fly direct to Washington DC where we spend the night
  • Sunday, April 1st-board our plane in Washington DC and fly 13 hours to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Monday, April 2nd-arrive in Addis at 7:45 a.m, go to our guest house, call our agency contact in Addis, and then GO MEET OUR SON!!
  • Tuesday, April 3rd and Wednesday, April 4th-Hang out with Bek as often as possible, take a ridiculous amount of pictures and video, and take in some of the city when he is sleeping
  • Thursday, April 5th-Bek's Birthday-go to court {and hope that all our paperwork is there and that he is legally declared our son in the eyes of the Ethiopian government}, then head back to the House of Hope for Bek's 1st Birthday Party
  • Friday, April 6th-Spend one last day with our boy and tell him "See you soon!", Head to the airport to depart late Friday night
  • Saturday, April 7th-arrive in Washington DC {after a layover in Rome}, hang out at the DC airport for 11 hours, and then fly to Tulsa, spend the night in Tulsa
  • Sunday, April 8th-drive home to be reunited with Camden and Melia on Easter
Interested in praying for us?

One of the most amazing things about this journey has been the power of prayer.  When we have been down, we've had so many prayer warriors lifting us up.  When we were restless, people petitioned for our rest.  And, it makes sense.  After all, we are commanded to pray:

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Ephesians 6:18

If you are one of those prayer warriors on our behalf, here are some specific things that we'd love for you to lift up:
  1. That Bek will quickly warm up to us and feel the insurmountable love that we truly have for him.
  2. That we will get to spend such a significant amount of time with him that he will remember us when we come back to bring him home.
  3. For our health.  I have really been fighting allergies this week and from what I am hearing, those who struggle with allergies in the states have an even more difficulties in Addis.  I am praying that won't be the case for me!  We also would like a hedge of protection against anything new that we might be susceptible to.
  4. That all our paperwork will be in and Bek will be declared our child on Thursday.
  5. For a very speedy turn-around time between court and embassy.  We would really love to be called back so quickly that we aren't yet over our jet-lag!  We've been told that it will take about 2-3 months.
  6. For rest.  We are so hopeful that we won't be too tired to enjoy every second of our trip.

Thank you, friends! 


Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Tiny Glimpse

As our little guy gets older, it's been fun for people to contact us with bits and pieces about him.  We've gotten lots of "He's SO cute" and "He is SO adorable".  Today I've been in contact with one family who was in Ethiopia in January for their son's court trip.  I asked the mama if they happened to have taken any pictures of him and had her look at a picture to let her know who he was.  While she did not have a picture of him, she shared this sweet story with us:

Thanks for the picture of Bek. I do remember him! He was so sweet. While playing in the playroom, he would crawl up to us and just stare at us with such an inquisitive look. We would talk to him and he really seemed to be listening with thoughtfulness. I don't know how to explain it, but you'll see when you get there. He seems like a thinker with a friendliness that draws you to him. When Jim was standing near Bek's crib while we were watching our son get a bath, Bek gently stuck his finger through Jim's belt buckle loop and tugged on it. It was so cute! He made an impression on us while we were there. I know you can't wait to meet him! What a blessing to be there on his birthday to celebrate!

It is amazing the things that I hold onto as an adoptive mother.  A precious story like this is just about enough to fill my heart!  Thank you so much, Karen Darlington, for this little bit of information to hold me over until I can hold my baby boy in my arms in SEVEN short days! :)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Getting Ready for Africa

The reality that we will be holding our sweet baby in our arms in eight short days is really starting to set in!  We have enjoyed a very rainy Spring Break this week, which has allowed us lots of time indoors to get things ready for our trip.  I believe all the shopping is done and I have lots of things laying out ready to be placed in our suitcases.  It is so exciting!

There are a few things I want to share before our trip:

1.  Remember the Formula for Change challenge in January? 

Well, we received $144.87 to purchase formula for the orphanages that our agency works with.  That's 15 cans of formula!  Awesome!  Special thanks to the following people for participating in our challenge:
The Hicks Family

2.  PLEASE consider supporting us in our fundraising for our embassy trip {this is the trip that will take place 2-3 months after our court trip}.  The trip will cost us approximately $5,000.  Oh, how we'd love to pay cash for that trip! 

To help, would you consider purchasing one of our Adoption Rocks shirts?  There are two new for the boys and one for the girls/ladies. 

You can pre-order them until this Thursday, March 29th
{so that I can place my order and have them here ready to complete and ship when we return from Africa}.

3.  Donations!  We have been informed of some needs for the House of Hope, the transition home {orphanage} where Bek has lived for the last 5 months.  If you are interested in donating any of these items for us to take to Africa with us, please let me know and we'll meet up to get them from you.  We need these by Thursday so that we can get them packed and ready to go. :)

  1. Infant socks
  2. Cocoa Butter Creme/Lotion
  3. Anti-itch lotion for babies/toddlers
  4. Crib Mobiles {new in box will work best for travelling}

Thank you all so much for your prayers and support.  I've said it before and will say it {many times} again...we are so blessed!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Yep, in all caps, cuz I want to shout it from the mountaintops...

Sixteen weeks and two days after we told our agency "YES", to our son, we learned that it's time for the next big step!  We got our court date!!!  And, guess when it is...

Bek's 1st birthday!!

Only God...


Monday, March 5, 2012

11 Months Old

Sixteen weeks ago, I had no clue that we would be in this position.  At that point, I was sure that we would be biting our nails, waiting for news from the Embassy saying it's time to come get our son.  I was SURE he would be home by his birthday.

That's not how our story has played out, though, and, although it's hard {so painfully hard} to wait, and wait, and wait, I cannot help but to be thankful.  Thankful that we have a precious, beautiful, growing baby boy on the other side of the planet.  Thankful that we get to experience this level of longing and of reliance on God.  This is not an easy place for a control freak, but I am learning to give that up.  I'm a slow learner, but this week I am focusing on waiting gracefully and standing on this command:

4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
~James 1:4~

Today our sweet Bek turned 11 months old.  Although I am longing to hold our little man and kiss those precious cheeks, I am choosing today to focus on the strides he is making while he waits for us in Ethiopia.  Some things I know:
  • Bek is being potty trained!  Yep, you read that right!  We have pictures of him in his polka-dotted undies to prove it. :)  At the transition home, they start potty training at 10 months.
  • No more bottles for baby B.  At 9 months, they switch the babies to sippy cups. 
  • He's pulling up!  In our last pictures that we received this week, he is standing in his crib.  Such a big boy.
  • Because he's pulling up, he's also falling, which I am assuming is the cause for the shiner he's wearing under his right eye these days.
  • Bek's buddy, Fasika, is in the crib right next to him.  Baby Fasi just turned a year old...I'm guessing she's teaching them the ways of the world by now.  In a couple of the last pictures, he has his arms through the top of his crib reaching into hers.  So sweet!

Bek's room; his crib is right under Bert :)

Some things I don't know but wish I did:
  • If Bek has taken his first step
  • If he knows he has a family in Missouri that is dying to meet him
  • If he has any teeth {though, I would guess he's teething based on the tongue hanging out of his mouth in his last pictures}
  • WHEN we are going to get to go meet him
We received word last week that we have been submitted for court!  Praise Jesus we have made some progress.  We are so hopeful that we will learn of our court date by the end of the week.

Thank you for your continued prayers.  We are so thankful for a Savior that sustains us and for friends that pray for us and our son.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Adoption Rocks 2012 T-Shirt Sales

Starting today, March 1st, and running through the end of March, we are selling our 2012 version of our "Adoption Rocks" shirts.  All proceeds will go towards our second trip to Ethiopia to bring our son home!

Shirts come in two versions as follows:


Rock Star Ringer T-Shirts

$17 each*
(+ $2 shipping per shirt)

Sizes 2T-4T
{light blue w/navy or white w/ black}

Youth Sizes S-XL
{grey w/ navy or dark grey w/ black}

~Can add "the Camden touch"...Africa or any other silhouette in the bottom front corner~


Adoption Rocks Bling T-Shirts

$23 each*
(+ $2 shipping per shirt)

Youth Sizes S-XL
{pink or purple tie-dye}

$25 each adult*
(+ $2 shipping per shirt)

Adult Burnout Sizes S-XL
{solids: black, gray, aqua, brown;
twirl-dyed: black/gray, brown/pink, blue/gold}

~Come with Africa silhouette, Taiwan silhouette, or no silhouette, please specify~


How to order:

1. E-mail me at and let me know what you would like to order.
2. Click the "Donate" Button on the sidebar and send the correct amount OR send me a check in the mail (ask for address in the E-mail order).

Shirts will be completed and sent in April.
If you have a special request {size, color, etc.}, please E-mail me...I can probably get it for you! :)

Please share this sale and remember it is for a very limited time only! :)

Special thanks to:
 Lacey Baker of Scraplace Studio for taking our pictures,
Marty and Amy Smith of 1st Place Trophy for making our shirts,
and my mama for modeling her Adoption Rocks bling shirt!