Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fresh start ahead. Hello 2013.

Happy New Year!!! Hope everyone enjoys celebrating 2012 & all that awaits in 2013...I can't wait to see what happens. The future is unknown but I'm so glad that I can rest in God's plan for my life - nothing is unknown to Him!  Ready, set & ....

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Joe and I just went and looked a home to rent here in Florida that we both loved.
The perfect location + great price = incredible to us. It is so hard to not have any idea whether this will work out. Joe continues to look for work here in the area & so far not so great.

We still don't know when we will have to be out of our place , it could be soon, but still - the job has to be there to move into a home! It is SO HARD TO WAIT. I remember thinking adoption waiting was tough. Yes it was. Did that prepare me to deal better with waiting? Well, it seems I will forever need growth in this weak area.

I want to trust the Lord that He will provide this place because it would be so wonderful - it has been a while since I've wanted something so badly.
Can only stand by and see how the Lord works & what He wants for us...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Good times

Having a great time in Florida. Drinking up spending time with family. So fun to see the kids happy & running around with their cousins. Such a delight to be with the people who I love most in this world.
Hoping everyone has a truly lovely Christmas & New Years.

Still waiting to hear from the bank. Still wondering if we'll be Floridian residents soon or not quite so soon. Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Please pray for my grandpa. He is in his late 80's and has battled years of health issues / hospital visits & most recently dementia. My grandma lovingly cares for him every day but now that he's in the hospital we really don't know what the future holds. This is a huge stress on my grandma and my mom.
My parents safely made it home from a week of ministry in Honduras with my dad, brother and sister in law, my niece Abby & some others from the church. It's a lot going on!
My uncle Marty arrives in Clearwater a few hours before us tomorrow & I can't wait to see him as it's been several years since we spent a day together.

It's been interesting to watch Blake and Iris's reaction to packing up stuff and putting things in boxes. They are both trying to figure out why, but for the most part Blake likes reading the words that are on the boxes. We continue to wait on the bank for a closing date & other details that are affecting this short sale outcome. It's slowly eating away my sanity.
Last Christmas we were prepping for our big first trip to Ethiopia, this year we are prepping for our long anticipated move to Florida...wonder what next year will bring...

Monday, December 10, 2012

My sweet Iris

Our sweet Iris Michele has been home for 8 months and I realize I have not written a post directly about her yet in quite some time...

A year ago at this time we didn't know what to expect - we had seen her picture and eagerly were awaiting to hold her, meet her & have her feel "real".
The first time we met her she was sick & quite subdued. This was NOT the real Iris :)  
The second trip to Ethiopia when we actually got to take her home with us, well, I should have known something when she was the only child that day getting placed who screamed bloody murder because she was so attatched to her caregivers. Honestly, that was a good thing, but I remember thinking honey, please stop crying, you are making me look like I am not doing something right. Mostly I remember feeling sad for her  that day because she was leaving a world that she had felt safe in and entering a new phase which must have been so scary.

Fast forward to our first month together. I don't say this much but to be honest I really struggled. I expected the transition to not be so hard with two children. It was REALLY hard. Still is, at times. I didn't know how to respond when she would fall on the floor screaming or when she would almost shake when food was being prepared because she felt so desperate to eat. Of course you read about these issues, but in our case that was years ago & somehow I thought it wouldn't quite be so stressful.

We were very fortunate that she has mellowed these past few months as she feels more bonded to us and honestly from the start she connected with us quite well. She began almost immediately to call us mama and daddy and was very quick to give us affection.

More and more I realize that the hardest thing about raising Iris is that she makes me aware of my sinfulness! She pushes my buttons, she drops things on my toes/feet causing me to shriek in pain almost daily & follows me around like a lost puppy. She makes lots of messes, loves to throw things in anger, cries at the top of her lungs when she doesn't get her way and I realize just how selfish I am by how I respond to all these things.

Her positives far outweight these small negatives. This girl LOVES me and Joe. She laughs, giggles & kisses us. She forgives me time and time again when I lose my cool and she loves to snuggle in our laps and just be near to us. She is a very girly girl who loves shoes, wearing jewelry & getting dressed in cute outfits.
She brings Blake his drink each night, she hands him toys, she eats whatever I make (are you listening Blake?) and she is quite brilliant. That girl can unscrew any cap you give her, which I found out after an entire container of bubbles made their way to our carpet.
Can I just talk for a moment about her body? It is SO CUTE I can't stand it. Her face is like a doll, she can mimick any look I make...she has these great little chunky legs that are irresistable & a chest that is catching up to me :)  Nomatter what she has on she looks like a million bucks.

I love that she is a part of our family. I love that this Christmas she will get to be surrounded by so many people who love her and prayed for her and helped her to be our daughter. I love so much about her and I don't deserve to have such a beautiful sweet Ethiopian daughter. Oh yeah, and Blake is kind of crazy about her too, which causes me to swoon from time to time when I watch them hold hands or hug.
I have everything I could want this Christmas because I have Joe , Blake & Iris and get to share them all with my wonderful family in Florida. God has been so good.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Let the craziness begin...

Busy time ahead - places to go & people to see! We leave for Florida in less than two weeks, the sale of our home could be upon us quickly or we could be back to square one...only time will tell. Needless to say I'm going to begin a very thorough purging process just in case.

Lots of life changing decisions are happening right now & even though it's a bit scary it's exciting. Blake & Iris continue to bring me many joys among many challenges. It's been a fun couple of days with them recently and I love to see how quickly they are growing up.

Blake loves to hold my hand, give me kisses and say "mooommmyyy" quite endearingly (is that a word?) He is very opinionated about his clothing, his food & his toys. We had a couple wardrobe changes the other day and I thought who is this kid? Oh yeah, my son.

Iris makes so many cute faces, continues to love her teddy bears & dolls (no Iris don't eat them!) & she is a great help to me. Always quick to clean up, put things away and do what she can around here to help. It's strange to think a year ago we had not even met her yet.
Well, better get off this computer & start throwing things out. If anyone in the area locally is needing a new dresser or tv/media unit check out craigslist or get in touch with me. I'm ready to part with this stuff!