We wish everyone a happy and blessed 2010! We end 2009 being 4th in line for our baby girl on the "unofficial" list- there could be "mystery" families- but God knows! We can't help but super excited about starting this new year! Jillian- we are coming for you and we love you already!!! We can't wait to see you and to hold you!
Only a few more days of 2009 to go.... I can't say I am sad to see it go- it was great, but I am so looking forward to 2010!!! I am trying to stay busy anticipating the new year and all that it will bring! We tried to play in the snow on Christmas Day- but it was only deep enough where it blew and drifted! We went Ice Skating- the kid's first time- Harrison only made it one time around with Dad and Isabelle and I had a ball! Then Isabelle decided to end the year with a new "do"- I love it! We are all ready to start fresh- Can't wait for January- although the lack of sunshine gets me down sometimes in the winter, I always claimed I have Seasonal Affective Disorder- there is bound to be some movement on "the list"- so we will see where that places us! We are going to move some furniture around and get Jillian's room ready! So to all who are reading this, Happy Year End to you! Can't wait to see what the NEW year will bring! Oh, yeah- we are definetly going somewhere warm next Christmas! Craig is working it into the budget starting in January! Cheers!!!
Such a busy time of year- A visit to Santa, Craig and the kids decorating the annual gingerbread house and Isabelle dancing in The Nutcracker with her Dance Class- This year was her 6th year to be in it- makes me so proud! I really do love this time of year- and to think it started with the birth of a little baby in a dirty stable! It's all about Love! We have a lot of fun in our family with some of the secular traditions, like the Elf on the Shelf and such- it's been fun to see where he will end up next! (Watching the behavior of everyone in the house, and reporting back to Santa at night)- but we will never stop focusing on the birth of Jesus, our Savior- who God sent for all of us to save us from our sins! So as we go about our cookie making and ham eating- we think about what God did for us- We could never have Easter without Christmas! So he gave us the ULTIMATE Gift! And for that we are so blessed! Thank you, GOD!!!! And to all who are reading this, Merry Christmas! And a Happy 2010! It's going to be a GREAT Year! We can't wait!!!
I Love www.pitterpatterart.com Check them out! Laura Kelley is so creative! She makes me wish I could sew! She has an awesome give away right now- I am hooked on her Africa shirts! It's so much fun to pick your own fabric out and send a little email and then you get an awesome original design in the mail a few days later! All to support adoption, too!
There was another referral today, this time for a baby girl- moving us up on the girl "unofficial list" to 5th in line! 9th in line overall! So exciting- that just means more families getting to go get their kiddo's and it makes more room for more babies!!! Praising God for all of the blessings!
So we are finally in the "TOP TEN" on the list of people waiting for a referral with our agency, America World, through the Ethiopia program- This list is an "UNOFFICIAL" list- kept by our yahoo group, so there could be some "mystery" families out there- There are 5 families ahead of us waiting for a girl on the list- once again, there could be families out there that we don't know about- Regardless, it is a great feeling to be in the top ten! There was another referral today and the month is young! Praying for more referrals, girl referrals and for those families waiting to pass court!
This is such a busy time of year! I love it! There are lights to be hung-
and lots of other things to keep us busy- but I can't help but spend many moments throughout every day thinking of a girl far away- hoping and praying that she is not cold or hungry or alone- or being traumatized in any way- I just really don't like waiting- I am ready a for our referral NOW! This week I have been following Tom Davis and his mission team in Ethiopia and he has posted lots of great pictures on his blog- (love his books) and the images he has posted are breathtaking- they are of all of these beautiful people- orphans in Ethiopia- who don't have anyone but each other- I just can't believe more people don't "get it"- that bothers me! Even people in my own family- think adoption or orphan care is for "someone else". We can all do SOMETHING!
If that wasn't enough, something came in the mail.... I found this doll in a JCPenney magazine- its a soft doll with a pink dress and a little soft brown face with a little pink smile- so we ordered two- one to send to our baby when we DO get a referral and one to keep here- my friend, Stacy told me I should sleep with it so it smells like me- well my kids won't let me have a turn- so I guess it will just smell like all of us! ha! I am so glad they want to take part!
On top of that- I heard this song by Third Day called Merry Christmas- you should look it up on itunes if you haven't heard it- it WILL make you cry. So it is hard for me this year- I am blessed, but I long to hold a little brown baby girl that may be born right now in a far away land- I know God has his arms wrapped around her though and will keep her safe until we can come get her. Here are the things that make me smile right now- and I am so blessed to be their wife and Mom! Enjoy the season with the people you love---
I start this post thinking a lot lately about how thankful I am for dear friends! Without my friends I couldn't make it- don't really have a lot of support from family sometimes and that makes me so appreciate all the advice and love and support I get from my true friends! Thursday night I stayed up late to go see the second movie in the Twilight series, New Moon- it started at midnight! I didn't get to bed until 3AM- I realize I am no spring chicken any more! It was worth it, great movie! Then on Friday was the annual Cup of Cheer Homes Tour to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House of the Ozarks- It's a handful of houses in the Springfield area all decked out for the Holidays! Totally gets me in the mood! My mom and I and a group of great girls go every year- this is our 6th year. Each year you get a different china tea cup to commemorate the day. It's so much fun, we shop and eat after we are finished- so that was yesterday and I didn't get home until midnight! Needless to say, I am wiped OUT! In Springfield, we visited the World Vision Africa Aids Experience Exhibit. You took on the identity of a child from Africa as you walked through a village as that child, and finding out you had HIV and how you dealt with that.... There was a prayer chapel with pictures of hundreds of people affected by AIDS in Africa and you could leave a prayer pinned up on the wall- it was very moving! Overall we had a great day! I am starting to think about our Christmas card and what kind of picture to use- I found a great artist named Laura Kelley- below is a picture of my kids in her creations! I LOVE them! You can get your own at www.pitterpatterart.com Check it out! It supports her adoption from Ethiopia! She is great to work with, too- I am already working on an order for a friend of mine with her own cutie from ET! Last but not least, it is National Adoption Day- so Happy National Adoption Day! I am so thankful that we live in a Nation that allows us to adopt, domestically and internationally! I thank the Lord for that and for all of the children that have been and will be adopted! Praise the Lord!
We are now 6th!!!! on the UNofficial waiting list for a baby girl from Ethiopia with our agency, America World. There are so many families getting ready to go travel this month and next to pick up their kiddo's, it's going to be very exciting to see what happens in the next few months! There are so many things to be thankful for! Just wanted to let everyone know about the progress moving on up that list! Keep those referrals coming! On another great note, I get to watch a sweet baby girl from Ethiopia this Friday, for my friend, and I can't wait! I'll be getting my practice in- (and lots of hugs, too.) My neice turned 16 today!! She is having her "party" at our house this weekend, pictures are sure to come.... it ought to be interesting, when about 30 teenagers crash here on Sat. night!
We survived another Halloween...... Since it fell on a Saturday this year- we had a busy evening! We started off trick-or-treating a few neighbors and then we headed to our first party. The kids and Dad's trick-or-treated some more and then came back. Then off to our other party! By the time we got home, Harrison was laying on the floor in the bathroom, too tired to crawl into the tub! Sugar Crash! Thankfully we gained an hour Saturday night! Sunday afternoon we headed to Houston, to my Mom's shop. My Dad took the kids to the farm while my Mom and I decorated for Christmas! Yes, I said it- Christmas! In retail, most of the Open Houses are the first weekend in Nov.- So we had to get it ready! Which is ok with me, because I LOVE CHRISTMAS! My mom has a shoe store and in the back we have a small business with gifts and all kinds of home decor- needless to say, Christmas is busy and lots of fun! On to more important things: We are now UN-Officially 7TH IN LINE on the unofficial list. There are so many families with our agency getting ready to travel this month and next to go pick up their precious children! Which means, the Transitional Home will have lots of room for new kids!!! It's going to be a great New year, I just know it!
One more thing.... We have signed up with a company, JUST LOVE COFFEE- They sell Fair Trade Coffee and they give adopting families approx. 30% of the proceeds to go toward costs of their adoptions. All our friends and family have to do is go to the website: www.justlovecoffee.com/thejays and buy great coffee! You can even buy Ethiopian coffee- You know Ethiopia is the original birthplace of coffee- it came from the Kaffa region. So we would love to have your support! More later, enjoy the pics!
Over the weekend, we managed to get our Jack-O-Lantern's carved! It's always lots of fun in our house- we put on It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and go to town! This year, Isabelle designed the faces on paper and then Craig did the carving- turned out great! We did two big pumpkins. As you can see, the kids did their share of making some super scary faces, too!
My friend, Stacy told me a funny story today about a conversation between our two first graders, who have been friends since they were 3 years old. It went a little something like this: While deciding what to play at recess- Isabelle says- "Addison, did you know that my mom and dad are going to Ethiopia and they're not taking me!" Addison-"No" Isabelle-"And I'm gonna spend the night at your house for a WEEK!" Addison-"OK, then when you spend the night at my house, then we can play house!"
Keep in mind, this had been mentioned as an option when the time came- but we haven't talked about it for weeks with Isabelle. This just shows you that kids adjust and are fine and the parents worry WAY too much about the details! The kids will be fine!(I am telling myself this) Thank God for good friends! Oh, to be a fly on the wall at school with those kiddo's- On another note, I caught Harrison counting his family members on his fingers today- and it was so cute- he actually added Jillian in on his pinkie! It's real to them- I love it! I just can't wait!
Ok- all of this waiting is pretty tough! And we have only just begun, I know- So I feel like I need to DO something! So I got into some of the great info left in files on our Ethiopian chat group on the computer and made me a couple of good LISTS! One LIST that I could work on now and one that needs to wait until after we get our referral. In doing this, I realized that we need to get with the program! We have so much to do to prepare for our baby girl! Most importantly: PICKING A NAME!!! I have such trouble with this- I mean, a name is with you forever- what if it doesn't fit? With Isabelle and Harrison, I didn't decide for absolute sure until they were born and I saw them. My wonderful friend, Stacy made me the most awesome LIST of baby boy names for Harrison, which helped. I have already solicited her help this time, too- We have definetly narrowed it down- in my book, for our family, it needs to be a classic, not overly common name that will go nicely with Isabelle and Harrison. We will use her given Ethiopian name as her middle name eventually. In my heart, I really do need to wait until we get our referral to name her, but I think it will help my children prepare for her if we name her now..... SO........ reserving the right to change my mind- We have decided upon..............JILLIAN (insert Ethiopian name here)!!!
It feels great to actually type that down! So I guess now I can start referring to her as baby Jillian! I guess now, I can mark that giant task off of our LIST! :)
Last week and into this week I have been feeling all kinds of anxiety- Anxiety about the future- What if we aren't ready? What if we get "the call" before the 9-11 month window they give you to look forward to. I am such a "planner" about things. I am trying to decide how to change things around to welcome our baby girl- we have her room painted and curtains up, but nothing else ready.... I did save the crib. We don't even have a name! Working on it though.... have one in mind, but have to roll it around in our heads for a while before we decide for sure.
I can't help but think maybe all of this anxiety is because maybe somewhere during this time our sweet baby girl was being born, or maybe her birth mother is having anxiety about giving her up or maybe she did give her up- I think God ties people together this way- I guess I will just pray longer and pray harder that the precious woman chosen to carry our daughter will feel some peace during this time- I will gladly carry all the anxiety for her, if that would make it easier. Don't get me wrong, if it were to happen sooner- we would gladly adjust! (smiling)
Hi friends- This is our first blog post- it's been a long time coming. I want to blog so we have a record for our daughter- We are adopting a baby girl from Ethiopia! We are requesting a baby between 0 and 18 months of age- She will join our family of four- Daddy- Craig, Mommy- Erin, Sister- Isabelle and Brother- Harrison! We can't wait for her to get here! We sent our application into AWAA in May, Dossier sent early September- and so we wait...... This blog will document our life along the way- If anyone reading ever has any good advice - please share it! We can't wait to see what blessings the Lord brings our way.... happy reading! Thanks for following-Erin
1. Ethiopia has approx. 4.3 MILLION orphans and the country is only twice the size of Texas.
2. 82% of the population survives on less than 1$ a day.
3. Only 24% of households have access to safe water.
4. 1 in 10 children die before their first birthday.
5. 1 in 6 children die before their fifth birthday.
6. 44% of the population in Ethiopia is under 15 years old.
7. Ethiopia's Doctor to Child ratio is 1 to 24,000.
8. Per Capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any other country in Africa.
9. HALF of all children will never attend school.
10. Because of this : James 1:27 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: To look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
I am Erin, follower of Christ, a wife to Craig, and a mother of three amazing kids, Isabelle, age 8, Harrison, age 5, and Jillian, 1. I spend my days loving amd taking care of my family and longing for Ethiopia.