Sunday, July 30, 2006

Hezen Baird Lebs- "Baby Blanket"

This is the hezen baird lebs (baby blanket) I made for a very dear friend who just had a tiny little baby boy. I got the idea from an adoption group on Yahoo and I sort of adapted the idea for this gift. I asked the friends and family of my friend to each give me a 6x6 inch square of fabric to be quilted into a baby blanket. Some people chose cute little "baby prints" while other selected fabrics that were significant in a personal way. Each person was then supposed to attatch a piece of the same fabric to a card for the baby, wishing him blessings, prayers, etc. That way, the giver of each square can be identified. I worked day and night for almost a week to finish the blanket in time (the baby came early!), and in the end, it was all worth it just to see how much my dear friend was touched by the gift.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Locks of Love

This is a picture of my daughter, Kaitlyn, with her friend Katey. The girls have a friend at church, Shannon who has alopecia, a skin condition that prevents hair growth. Both Kaitlyn and Katey had waist-length hair and decided that they wanted to cut and donate their hair to Locks of Love on behalf of their friend, Shannon. Both girls absolutely love their new do's!

A-feck-a-shallow- "I love you"

A-feck-a-shallow is the Ethiopian way to say "I love you" when addressing a female...well, sort of. When we made our Ethiopian kids a DVD of our family a while back, we tried out our knowledge of Amharic (which is tinesh tinesh- "small" to say the least!). There's something to be said for effort! Anyway, when Avery was in Ethiopia, the director of the orphanage said to him, "About your DVD..." It seems that everybody in our family said "A-feck-a-shallow" to our daughter and "A-feck-a-hallow" to our son, which does mean "I love you" but it's a very romantic way of saying "I love you"....I'm amazed that they still let us adopt after that! For those of you with Amharic speaking kids, we've discovered that it's much more appropriate to say "A-wad-a-shallow/hallow"! No wonder all of the kids at the orphanage laughed when they watched our DVD! There's no telling what else we said that was completely inappropriate! It's a wonder social services didn't pay us a visit after that DVD. :)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Aver- "Avery"

Aver seems to be the Amharic word for Avery. Well, at least that's what I assume since most of the kids at our agency's orphanage called him Aver all week! Avery got home on Monday afternoon from Ethiopia where he spent the week with our two Ethiopian children. Now, Avery has an awesome blog. He has only had his for a few months longer than I've had mine, but he has had over 1,000 visitors! Yea, quite impressive. Anyway, I've not previously posted a link to his blog on my blog because...well... sometimes he prints things that are a bit brash and could possibly be offensive to my family or our church. You see, I'm the p.c. one in the family. But, hey, I guess my family and our church already know Avery anyway, and what's the point in putting on a facade to please the public? So, I'm going to be referring all of you in my family and in our church to Avery's blog for the latest updates on how his trip to Ethiopia was. He will be writing all about it throughout the next week or so. So, check out my awesome (though somewhat unorthodox) husband's blog!
  • Avery's Blog
  • Friday, July 21, 2006

    Kimale Yesusio- "Praise Jesus!"

    Avery is in Ethiopia right now, and what a blessing to have him with our two Ethiopian children this week! For this blessing, kimale Yesusio! (Praise Jesus!) They both sound so wonderful- all of the kids at their orphanage sound wonderful. Our son's favorite women are ME!!!! and two other teenage girls at the orphanage. His favorite drink is sprite, just like Lucas. Our daughter is very very sweet and loves to quietly draw pictures, just like Kaitlyn. It turns out that the version of "I love you" that we told the kids on the video we sent is a very romantic term! oops! No wonder all the kids laughed when they watched it! :)

    Things aren't looking so great for us to get a court date before the courts take their recess, but we won't give up hope until they actually close. As much as I want them home right now, and as much as my heart is broken that they are not with me, I'm overwhelmed with the sense that God is faithful to a thousand generations. When Avery met their grandmother, she kissed the cuffs of his pants while praising God.These children are dearly loved by their grandmother and were dearly loved by their mother before she died. I felt in my heart before we ever knew who these kids were that God was going to restore to them a Christian family so that He could honor their mother by caring for her precious offspring. Indeed, God is faithful to a thousand generations. He has shown his faithfulness to their grandmother, to their mother, to me, and he will be faithful to these children. He's faithful to a thousand generations, and what God is speaking to my heart is to not fear or be anxious, for He is also faithful to THIS generation.
  • To A Thousand Generations
  • Monday, July 17, 2006

    Avery in Addis Ababa!!!!!

    Avery safely landed in Ethiopia yesterday to visit our two beautiful Ethiopian children!!!!! I am sooooo jealous, yet soooooo incedibly grateful for this opportunity! It's about 6:30 PM Ethiopian time on Monday, July 16 right now. So, he's just spent the day with his kids! Wow!

    Things are finally turning around for us. We're now being told that once their grandmother completes some paperwork that our agency will be able to request a courtdate to finalize the adoption. For those of you not familiar with Ethiopian adoption, the courts close every year in the fall. The courts are closing in just a few weeks, but we're still hoping for a courtdate before then. Even if we don't make it before the courts close, our case is finally ready to go to court when they re-open in the fall. It's been a very long road...but one I would travel again in a heartbeat; this is the road that has brought us to our kids. Someone reminded me this week that it's always painful when children are birthed into families. Just like labor pains, this is temporary and will be melted away when my children are in my arms at last. God is so good. Truly, He's been so good and faithful through out this difficult process. On those "will I ever stop crying" days, He was definitely there!

    Wednesday, July 05, 2006

    And Tikaet!!!!- "One Ticket!!!!"

    Our prayer for months has been, "God, if you want one of us to go to Ethiopia before we actually go to bring our kids home, then please put it on someone's heart to give us an airplane tikaet." We didn't ask anyone for help because if someone did give us an airplane tikaet, we wanted to be able to say with all confidence that it was God's answer to us. We both agreed months ago that if one of us went, it would be Avery.

    Last week, a very precious woman we've never actually met in person called to say that she is buying and tikaet (one ticket) to Ethiopia for our family!!! So, in the very near future, Avery will be with our children in Ethiopia!!! It's sureal. Not only that, but an American missionary who is from a town only 45 minutes from where we live has invited Avery to stay at his house in Addis the week he's there! We had no money to pay for such a trip, and God has taken care of every detail for us! An awesome Vineyard Church near the DC airport has graciously offered for Avery to stay overnight at his house and to drive him to the airport to make his flight. Check out their website
  • The Tapestry
  • and stop by to visit them the next time you're in DC on a Sunday evening, stop by for their worship service and enjoy a cup of coffee with these generous folks!

    Sunday, July 02, 2006

    Nasanat- "Freedom"

    Our kids' paperwork didn't get signed; small chance of getting courtdate before courts close; clueless as to what it means for them if their paperwork isn't signed; cried a river; came to Jesus with broken heart; remembered that God is sovereignly in control; ate chocolate pie; feeling better now! (For friends and family reading this page, that was a brief rundown of the last few days!)

    Now, a brief post in honor of America and nasanat (freedom). Nasanat is a word I learned from an Ethiopian man today at the Ethiopian church we went to. If you follow Ethiopian news at all, you know that there has been violence off and on since the elections in May 2005. The man we met at church today told us of the violence in Ethiopia; how when people don't like the government, they go out into the bush and obtain weapons and kill people. He expressed how blessed he was that he has now seen two elections for an American president. He was so overwhelmed during the last presidential election when the first perosn he saw congratulate President Bush was John Kerry; when John Kerry was an invited guest at President Bush's innauguration. He said, "That is what happens in a Christian nation."

    I'm increasingly humbled by talking with Ethiopians in America. I'm increasingly realizing how many freedoms I enjoy. As an American, I have always enjoyed nasanat. I've never seen a ku rise up against the government. I've never had a family member shot by the police in order to silence their political opinions. I've never seen anyone get slaughtered in broad daylight when it was found out that they were a Christian caught in the wrong part of the country. I have never had friends who opposed the government suddenly "disappear" never to be heard from again. Our nasanat is so precious in America. In meeting new Ethiopian friends who honestly understand how blessed they are to live in America, for the first time ever, I am catching a glimpse of how blessed I am to have always lived in America. Nasanatyae is burakae- "My freedom is a blessing". Happy Birthday America!!

    PS- Can I have a PS on a blog? Well, I have one. We were discussing America's birthday, and how some people are born on and around holidays with our 4 and 5 year olds today. Our 4 year old suddenly got that look in his eyes that showed he was about to make a startling revelation. After some deep thought, he announced, "Guess what?! I was born on my birthday!"