Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dossier in Ethiopia!!

Today we found out our dossier has now made it to Ethiopia!! We are one step closer to our "Baby Africa"! So exciting!!! This gets me all the more motivated to set up our garage sale fundraiser--believe me, I need the motivation! We have been very blessed with donations and are eager to see what the Lord is going to do. We are also, after months of cold and rain, looking forward to great weather for our sale. When I told the kids that the US advanced to round two of the World Cup, not to much of a reply. When I told them our dossier was in Ethiopia we heard a "whoop!" from them. You can see where our priorities are =)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Books with Boo

It's time for another installment of "Books with Boo". This last few weeks we have been preparing for our big garage sale and Faith donated a book that was once her favorite, "Elizabeti's Doll" by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen. I rescued the book and it has quickly become one of Eliza's favorites. In the book Elizabeti, who lives in Africa, watches her mom take care of her baby brother and decides she needs a baby too. There are no dolls around for her to play with so she makes a rock her baby. It is a sweet story about taking care of "baby" like mom and it does a great job of showing what it's like to live in Elizabeti's village. The illustrations by Christy Hale are beautiful and add a lot to the story. I can't help but dream about reading it to our "baby Africa" and Eliza someday soon. Here is a link so that you can check it out too!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Treasured Memories

In this past week, I have found myself in the midst of some pretty amazing moments. The kind of moments you want to hold on to and never forget. A little over two years ago we signed papers in China that made Eliza's adoption final. When we got home we had the option to "readopt" her in the U.S.A. which would give her an American birth certificate. It is not something required in our state but we did decide to fill out the necessary paperwork and have a ceremony at the county court house. The ceremony was this past Thursday. I didn't think it would be that big of a deal emotionally since her adoption was already final but I was wrong. Having the judge decree, in perfect English, that she is forever ours touched our hearts and left us slightly emotional. It was also a really fun experience. The judge explained a lot about court proceedings to the kids and let them sit at her bench.

Since our parents were able to all be here for the court proceeding and Eliza's birthday was only a few days away, we had a little early birthday celebration for her that afternoon. It was really fun to see her get excited about her presents and tear into them! I think my favorite moment of the afternoon was watching her play with Grandma Becker, Grandpa Zimmerman, and her new Buzz Lightyear car in the kitchen. There was so much joy and laughter!

Yes, that's my little girl dressed like Buzz Lightyear. She is not at all interested in dressing up like a princess but she loves Toy Story and Buzz is one of her favorites.

We have a lot to do around here since the weather is finally getting nice. Our yard is in dire need of attention and our cars had not been washed in who knows how long. Saturday we washed our cars with help from the kids. Eliza discovered the sprayer and that if you spray it at your brother and sisters they will run screaming. It's the simple things that are truly the most fun!

Today we had a quiet family celebration for Eliza's 3rd birthday. I think she really enjoyed it. She was able to open up more presents, have birthday brownies, spend some time in the sun, and go to Red Robin for dinner.


Nothing like a little sunbathing on your birthday.
Getting sung to at Red Robin.

This week has been full of wonderful memories and precious reminders that God has blessed us beyond measure. "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down form the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow." James 1:17

Monday, June 7, 2010

Books with Boo

One of the nicknames we have for Eliza is "Baby Boo". She was so into peek-a-boo when she first came home that the name just seemed to fit. Hence the title of this post, "Books with Boo". Bedtimes rituals have changed around our house as Boo has gotten older. Lately we do some book reading, a Bible story, and a prayer time. We all love books and if you spend any time at all with Boo you will find that she loves to be read to. I am going to start posting some book recommendations for all of you out there who may or may not want them. Consider this my first one.

One of my favorite books for adopted kids is called "I Don't Have Your Eyes", by Carrie A. Kitze. I love it because it goes through physical characteristics that we don't have in common and then reminds us of the things about ourselves that are the same. We have seen this with Boo. She may not look like us but she does have our sense of humor, our love of family, our hearty laugh, and so much more.

Here is a link to the book on Amazon so that you can see for yourself what a great book it is.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Our Dossier is In!!!

Yesterday was a busy day for our family but was a day where we reached a big milestone in our adoption. We all piled in the car, went to Salem and had our home study certified, piled back in the car, drove down to Eugene, and turned in our dossier. The dossier is a compilation of documents we have gathered that lets Ethiopia know about our family and our desire to adopt. It is such a good feeling to have this done. This means that we are now on the wait list for a referral! One of the most amazing things about all of this is that we will most likely only have to wait 3-6 months for a referral. That seems like nothing compared to the 3 years we waited for Eliza. It's surreal to think that somewhere in Ethiopia is a baby either born or soon to be born that will join our family. We are praying daily for "baby Africa" (a nickname given by Eliza), baby's health, and the transitions to come.

The kids posing in front of Governor Straub's portrait. My parents live in one of his old houses.

One of the cutest things growing in the garden at the capital.

The next thing we are waiting on is our fingerprint appointments for immigration. Once that is approved we will have everything we need to schedule a court date after our referral is received. Once that court day is scheduled we will be off on our first trip to Ethiopia.

In other news, we are finishing up our curriculum this week! I don't know who is more excited, me or the kids. Finishing our second year of home schooling all three of our older kids is a huge accomplishment. Not only did we finish, we had fun, and we actually want to do it again next year. Granted, bringing home the baby will keep it from being dull, but we are up for the challenge.