Saturday, December 19, 2009


SOOO excited! We got the letter today! And the best part is NO APPOINTMENT NEEDED!!! We can go anytime during buisness hours!!!! So guess where we will be Monday?!?! I am shaking!!! I know its only fingerprints adoption friends understand!! Thank you Lord!!!

So for those of you who don't understand my excitement...7 months of paperwork all for one last form....which will come after we get fingerprinted! Then we mail all our paperwork to our adoption agency who then forwards it to Ethiopia! Then we officially get on the waiting list!!!

So the next prayer is that our fingerprints pass and our 171H form comes quickly!! DTE in January? Hey I can pray for miracles right?!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Yes...still waiting...

It has been 4 WEEKS since the USCIS recieved our application! Everyday I go to the mailbox praying for our appointment letter...everyday Christmas cards and no appointment! The longer the wait the more discouraged I get. So many families have waited so long but I was praying that we would sail through! First the long delay with our Home Study, mix ups with paperwork and much outside disapprovel about our choice to adopt. It has been a trying 7 months and we haven't even really begun. I am a very...lets say it...controlling person( you have to be to raise a some degree)..and I have NOOOO control over anything! I had all of our paperwork done it record time and now I look to the future and I fear it will expire before it is needed. Each document needed to be notarized with an expiration that was no less than a year. Well now I know why. State and county certifications, physicals, fingerprints, police background checks etc. They all can expire.
All I can help feeling lately is..I want my children and I feel like someone is keeping them from me. I know its weird to say when I don't even know who they are yet. Is my son born yet? Is my daughter alone and afraid? Is someone holding her and telling her they love her? Does she have food? Who will comfort them if they cry? I hug my kids everyday, give them kisses and tell them I love them. It is heartbreaking to know of all of the children out there that don't get that!
 So many families are traveling right now to pick up their children...what a Christmas gift!I wish them all safe travels and a blessed Christmas with their children.
Continue to pray for us during our journey..

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snow Day!!

Today we got our first winter blast of I tried to be productive..we took our Christmas picture!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Kisses from Katie

Everyday we have moments where we feel overwhelmed....Parenting is a daily challenge. Katie is a testimony to Gods grace, through him all things are possible. Katie is a 21yr old who lives in Uganda with her 14 adopted children. She is so inspiring, read her blog Do you know any 21yr olds who are as amazing as her?!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Matteo and Marianna modeling thier face paintings

Francesca and Matteo modeling our shirts

My sister came to the Buffalo for Africa event..we met a lot of great people!

Today I am Thankful for all of my blessings. This whole process has made us open our eyes to the world in a whole new way. I am so thankful for the wonderful man that is my husband and my 3 beautiful kids. We all go on with life day to day often without much thought but how often do you count your blessings? We have the constant stresses of life, work, kids, errands, bills, etc. In the grand scheme all of the worrying and stressing what are we accomplishing? We have the love of the Lord and the love of our families....the rest will all work out! I am the first to stress about everything possible but when I have time to slow down and look at my life...I take a breath and realized I am blessed! My kids are growing so quickly if only we could slow life down and appreciate everything even the crazy days!

This adoption process has many ups and tests your faith with every step but in the end I know we will have 2 more beautiful..blessed children

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One last form...

Finally we mailed our 600a application today!!! What does this mean? The government has to give us approval to bring the children back to the US, this is how we apply. Once they process our form we will receive our fingerprint appointments, then after everything is approved we will receive One More Form! After that we bundle up the major amounts of paperwork we have been compiling over the past 5 months and mail it to AWAA. They then mail it to Ethiopia and we will officially be DTE(dossier to Ethiopia) What that means...we will be on the waiting list! I am so anxious to be done with this paperwork..pray this next step goes quickly and smoothly! Until we submit our dossier we are praying that we can raise some more funds, as it will be close to $8000 and at Christmas time...We know that God will provide! Continued prayer appreciated!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Ok change of plans here is the design we went with...If you would like to order a shirt the cost is $20. They are black short sleeve sizes small- x-large. We are hard at work trying to raise funds for the next step! Thank you in advance for all of your support!

Monday, November 9, 2009


WAIT..WAIT..WAIT!!!! So our Homestudy was done 3 weeks ago and it is Still in the review process! We are at a dead halt! I know this whole process requires patience because there is ALOT of waiting but Im sick of waiting for paperwork. The longer it takes the more families that can jump ahead of us in line. I was SOOO quick to get all my paperwork done that I'm afraid stuff will expire too early into the process making us have to redo stuff.I so want everything shipped to Ethiopia by the end of December but its not looking so good. This part of the process is supposed to take 4-6 months, we are at 5 already and no clue how much longer. The next paper can take up to 12 WEEKS to receive and we haven't even applied yet!Ugh!

Monday, October 26, 2009


Ok all you facebook fans..we started our group Our Ethiopian blessings..join the group! On the adoption front we are still waiting for our finalized copy of our home study..they are still making final adjustments before they notarize it! Patience is so more piece of paper! The past few weeks have been rough as the flu has made it through the whole family. I have all the windows open today trying to air out the germs! October and November are crazy with all the birthdays we are praying our other children will have spring birthdays! I'm adding some pictures from all the party's. Francesca turned 12 this year!! I can't believe my baby has grown into such a beautiful young lady!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Is it crazy that I get excited everytime I get an email from my family coordinator?? I can not wait till we are DTE(dossier to ethiopia) Every small step gets us that much closer to the end of the paperchase!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

HomeStudy Finished!!

Yesterday was our last Home study visit!!!! Now we wait for our finalized copies so we can mail off our 600a form. To those of you who don't know this is the last thing we need to finish before we mail our Dossier. After another fee, another set of documents and another set of fingerprints..we will hopefully receive our I 171H form (this form allows of to bring the children back to the US). We are hoping by December everything will be wrapped up! It all depends on how fast the government works...Did I mention I hate to be at the mercy of others!!! I know this whole process is about waiting..and waiting but I just want the waiting to be for our children NOT for paperwork to get finished!

Pretty soon we will be making our official those who are unaware of our look out for our Facebook page..coming soon:)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Today is Matteo's 6th birthday! My how time flys....For those of you who know him you know what a character he is! All of my kids have the most distinct personalities! He is such a sweet kid and a mommas boy:) I loved having little girls to dress up when they were little and now we have such interesting relationships. But it is true there is something about a mother and her son! I had the hardest time sending him off to school..he has been my sidekick for years. Don't take this wrong I love my girls and am sad when they are not around..but somehow matteo is the light in our family. Each child brings something different and I could not imagine our family without them. That is why today on his birthday I imagine how our new children will impact our family...Anthony and I always comment how strange it is when one of our children is not home. Each person is a piece to the puzzle that is our family, without one it is not complete. In the distant future that puzzle will grow larger while we fill in the missing pieces. Soon Matteo will no longer be my baby but a big brother! Today we celebrate the wonderful birth and life of Matteo!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Finally our last paper for the Home study is in!! Now we can finish the Home Study stage. After that we send out for yet another important document and another round of fingerprints. After that approval letter we can compile all our paperwork and ship it to America World our adoption agency. For those unfamiliar with this process..after that all our paperwork...Our Dossier...gets sent to Ethiopia, then we begin our official wait! So to most of you this piece of paper is not much to but us it makes us once step closer to our children!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Its been a while since I posted anything. Cameron passing away seems to have affected every part of life. Some things just haven't been as much of a priority while other things have become more important. The thought of our adoption process completely slipped our minds for a brief moment. Waiting for paperwork just wasn't important anymore. Not that the thought of our future children has lessened any. We are at a very frustrating point. While others are waiting in line to receive their referrals, we are waiting for our SCR form to be sent back. After we get that back we can finish our Home study and apply for our next approval form. It is taking Forever!!!! All I want to be able to say is our paperwork is done and shipped to AWAA! I had all my paperwork done as fast as I could but it made no difference. If these forms would've been in we could've been alot further ahead. Even after we get done the next approval will probably take another 6 weeks....They say 4-6 month for the "Home study" stage, we are at 4 months. I am praying that this week we get some good news..our form has been received and we can wrap this stage up!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Our Hearts are broken..

This weekend we lost my nephew, Cameron to a tragic accident, there is no way to explain the pain we are in. He was a wonderful young man who had many more years to live. Please pray for his family to be comforted during this awful time.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

School Starts tommorrow..

Today is our last day of summer vacation...Happy and sad all at the same time! We have had a long, fun summer! Cedar Point, Columbus, West Virginia... mix in softball and soccer...Phew!!! We certainly have kept the kids well entertained and busy, but we all love it! I posted some recent pictures from our adventures.

Our Home study is moving along..we now only have one final visit! It is now a waiting game..we need to wait for some important paperwork to come back before we can wrap it all up! Keep your fingers crossed and say a prayer that everything comes back quickly, complete and Approved! Thank you all for your continued prayers!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Two done..two left..

Today was the second of our Home study visits only two more to go. Our social worker is really nice and is helping the process go smoothly. All the paperwork that can be completed is done, more will come after we complete the home study. We are trying to be patient with the whole process. Our life is a whirlwind with school starting and our annual West Virginia vacation this weekend.

Adoption note: we also changed the age of the second child we are requesting. We originally said we would except a child 18mth-3 yrs we now changed it to 18mth- 5yrs. We are hoping this will help broaden our chances. Siblings are harder to get and it is our prayer to adopt two children whether related or unrelated. We are confident that at the end of our journey we will have the two children God has chosen for us.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Just a suggestion..go to YouTube and watch some adoption videos. I search Ethiopia Adoption. Watching some of these families as they go to meet their children for the first time is unbelievable! Some of these will give you a better idea of why we are going through this process. We feel so blessed to be embarking on this journey to our children.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Home study has begun..

One out of four visits down 3 more to go!! We travel to Rochester next Tuesday for our individual visits. The last two visits will be to interview the kids and then to finalize all the paperwork. It feels so good to have things moving, not just paperwork. We have a few more documents to gather but for the most part we are pretty organized. Hopefully this process will go smoothly and quickly!

Friday, August 21, 2009


This process tests us in many ways..especially our patience! I have been overly the point of annoying but, I get things done! Two key people in our process are NEW...and are unfortunately learning right along with us. I am trying to be understanding because of it but..Its HARD! As long as we do everything we are supposed to do I'm sure everyone else will catch up..

Our other frustration is trying to understand those who do not understand us! Our decision to adopt was a huge one but one we prayed about for a long time. Most individuals have faith right along with us, others..well they think we are crazy! Faith sometimes makes you do things that others just don't understand. There is no way to explain to people what is in our hearts and how we feel God has led us down this path. We don't expect everyone to agree..just have an open mind and a open heart! Our hope is with time everyone will see what a blessing these children will be!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Phone Call...

Finally we heard from the social worker! We will have to have four visits for our Home Study.Our first is Monday August 24th! We have been at a stand still until this point. Without the Home study approval we can't move forward. So our prayer is that after the four visits we will be approved. Then we can wrap up the paperwork and hopefully send it to Ethiopia! This makes it feel like it is starting to happen! When you are pregnant your first trimester you are careful who you tell and then after month 3 you tell everyone! After we are approved...I Will Tell EVERYONE!!! It will still be a long wait at that point but at least we will know for sure it is finally happening! So for now... continued prayers appreciated!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The good and the frustrating....

This week started out great..we got a lot checked off our list! Wednesday we got our birth certificates within 20 minutes! The marriage certificate was quick and easy also! We faxed 15 of our required documents and only 2 had to be redone. Our hope is we hear from our social worker soon! We are kind of at a stand still at this point. Got some frustrating news...our hope is to adopt an infant boy and a toddler girl, siblings or unrelated. Our latest email basically said our chances of siblings that age are slim to none and we could wait forever. If we want unrelated children our second child would have to be over 5..that is their policy..not what we were planning. Frustrated because never in the million emails or countless piles of paperwork did we ever read this! what? Do we just adopt 1 or do we stand on our faith and pray that at our time of referral siblings are available? We are praying for guidance on this one! From what we understand almost half of the people adopting from Ethiopia want more than one child which increases the wait. We are strong in our faith and know that God will show us the way. Thanks to all our friends and families for your continued prayers and support, and a special thanks to our friend Matt Rosenow:)

Friday, July 17, 2009


We have been a little busy lately! Softball takes up a lot of our time and all the paperwork takes up the rest. We received our paperwork for the Home study..lots of it! We have a long list to complete for the adoption agency and another long list for the social worker. It gets a little confusing! I am trying to be organized though. I already completed my physical and typed up most of the letters that I needed to type. Anthony goes for his physical in a couple weeks. I also have to take all 3 of the kids next week for their TB skin tests..I'm sure they will love that! They have to make sure we are all healthy. Letters of employment, birth certificates, family photos, passports, etc..etc..and everything has to be notarized. I thankful to my "references" for helping out! We really appreciate it! Also our friends and family that are being so supportive. We mailed our next large payment today to pay for our Home study and our post placement fees. Once they receive our payment and another signed agreement, our social worker will call us to set up our first of 4 home visits. I am now working on my autobiography that they asked us to complete. Anthony has been working on all the things I assigned him. Slowly but surely we are checking items off our list. Next week will be to get our fingerprints and our police clearances. As I said..Its A lot! I am anxious to meet with the social worker and get things underway. This is a test of our patience but this is only the beginning. For piece of paper at a time!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Schools out!

Summer is here! Now starts the process of adjusting to having all the kids home everyday! We are forced to be organized during school but we have to figure out a new plan in summer. The best part is no more alarms in the morning!!! This is the first summer that I have not worked since the kids were little. Hopefully it will make life go a little smoother..and a little more fun! Hopefully we will have more days to do fun things such as the beach and the park. It goes by fast so we need to enjoy every sunny day!

Onto the adoption...Our Family Coordinator called on Tuesday to introduce herself. She will be helping us to compile our Dossier. This is the massive pile of paperwork that has to be sent to Ethiopia. This paperwork is key! This is what is used in the courts and what is used to get our referral. Our referral will be pictures and info about the children they chose for us. Once we receive the referrals we have the option to accept or decline the referral. If we approve this is when we start the final stage of the adoption. After this stage it is only a matter of months before we can officially meet our children. Now this is a long way off..but the quicker we can get together our paperwork the better! It is considered our "Paper Pregnancy".

I have to say I am just as excited as I was when I found out I was pregnant with my 3 kids. Every phone call or email brings such joy. I know every piece of paper or phone call brings me that much closer to meeting my children. This process brings many different emotions but most of all joy and excitement. You normally spend nine months imagining what your child will look like or what their personality will be like, this will be longer but it is still the same. I may not be carrying them but I know God has already chosen our children and I can't wait to meet them. In my heart I am already a mother of five. We are so blessed to be able to go through this experience. Even with the ups and the downs the end will be well worth it! We know that some people do not share our views or agree with our choice to adopt. Many people can't imagine why we would want more kids when we already have three. The best way I can explain it is..The Lord has put this on our hearts. We have such a love for our children they are a blessing to us everyday. We can only imagine how these other two children will bless our family. My prayer is many hearts and minds will be opened through our experience. You can not hide the goodness of God.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Today is a special day to honor the wonderful father that my husband is but also a sad day because my father is not here with us. Its hard to believe he has been gone so long. It makes me sad when I think of all that he missed with my kids. Even sadder to know they will never know him, Francesca loved her Papa and I know the others kids would've loved him too. When we are young we don't appreciate our parents like we should. My hope is my children treasure every memory they have with their Dad. I know Anthony makes his kids a priority above everything else. He is a "fun" Dad always playing with the kids and making them laugh. Above all he makes sure they know that they are loved..

Today I ponder what our children will be like....

Some future Father's day he will have two more children to love and two more children whose lives will be changed forever by a wonderful father!

Friday, June 19, 2009

I got It!

OK! It took me all day but I finally got the music up and running..I will figure this stuff out yet! Received an email today, they received our agreement today. we should get a call in the next week or so from our America World coordinator and our social worker! For now I can stop stressing..everything is in order so far.. This will be a long process but an exciting one!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Beginning..

In May of 09 my husband and I decided to attend an America world seminar, although it didn't start then, we had been praying about how to expand our family for years. I found America World when my youngest was about 1. I have held onto the application and DVD for years. Only in Gods time..

We noticed there was a local seminar and decided to attend. Walking to the car after the seminar, we knew immediately this is what we wanted to do! The next step would be deciding which country. There are so many orphans all around the would we choose?? When we first discussed adoption I was leaning towards China but after the seminar we realized there were so many options. Adoption tends to be a lengthy process, and being the impatient person that I am, that ruled out China, the wait tends to be 3-5 years. Other determining factors would be travel time. I have 3 kids at home that I would not want to leave for very long times, and of course the cost. It is an unfortunate reality.

This is where the Lord comes in... we felt we were being led towards Ethiopia for a few different reasons. First the wait time was less than other countries and the cost, but what we were really praying over many??

We had never discussed adopting more than one but the Lord was leading us in that direction.
What a blessing it would be to not only help one child but two! What if we could adopt siblings? They would be able to stay together and our family would be doubly blessed!

Now to talk to our kids! After all they would be sharing their hearts and their home and quite possibly their rooms! Some people might of made the decision without consulting their kids first but we love and support each other and value each others opinions. Our kids have been our world for the last 11 years we want them to be comfortable with our decision and reassure them that we will love them no less! Our oldest was quite excited, she has a very big heart, Marianna offered up her new trundle bed! Our youngest just wanted to know when "the kids were coming?" So over all it went well!

On Friday, May 29th we mailed our application. Knowing how I am my husband 2 day mailed it so I could track its arrival at America World! It would take up to 10 days to find out whether or not we were accepted...this is where I struggle..Patience!!

I knew when they received it so I was waiting for some sort of confirmation from them..It came in form of an email..They were reviewing it!!

After days and nights of praying and waiting I received the phone call on June 17th! They said YES! Now onto the next step signing our agreement and sending our first payment! Now we have officially begun! Next step will be the home study and lots of paperwork but in the end we hope to have Our Ethiopian Blessings...