Sunday, October 31, 2010

Our Blessings at

They are legally ours forever!

They are ours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Praise God! We are now the proud parents of 5 children! On October 29th an Ethiopian judge declared them legally "ours"!!!!!!!!! Tamirat is 5 yrs old and Million is 2 1/2. We are so incredibly blessed!! They have the sweetest personalities!!!

Our week in Ethiopia was amazing!

We flew in Sunday night and waited anxiously for our meeting the next morning! MEETCHA DAY!!!!! We would meet our children for the very first time..something we had been praying for for 17 months! It was amazing....
Monday:   We spent hours holding them and playing with them! I was so nervous about meeting them but it was amazing!! So worth the months of waiting! They have the most adorable personalities!
Tamirat is so smart and cleaver. Also very mischievous! Million is so sweet with the most adorable laugh. They will fit in with our other children so well..They were definitely hand picked by God to match perfectly with our family! We are so blessed!

Our first hugs!

Tuesday: This was meetcha day for all the other families! It was wonderful to experience this with them! So many adorable babies!!! This was also the day the Braun family were reunited with their 4 children forever!!!!! We spent more time with our children this day also...

Wednesday: Today we did some souvenir shopping and we went to a traditional Ethiopian dinner! Yes we also spent time with the kiddos!!! They are so full of energy!!! They had us running all day!!! You forget what it is like to have 2 toddlers running around! We can not wait to get them home! We also got the chance today to take pictures and video for other families who are waiting to bring home their children!

Thursday: today we visited 2 orphanages...this was a rough day for all of us. They do the best they can with the resources they have but  it is just not enough!! We pooled our money and bought 10 crib mattresses for 1 orphanage and other families are bringing other supplies this week. After the visits we went back to spend more time with our children!! By now the kids are really starting to bond with us! I love to hear them say mommy and daddy!

Friday: Oh boy this was a very rough day...First we started out easy with a tour of a local coffee factory..this was to take our minds off the fact that the birth families were now in court giving their consent to us adopting their children.. Then we got to meet the birth father, this was very emotional for us. He is an incredible man who loves his children very much. His sacrifice is so huge but he knows he is saving their lives and giving them a better life. It is so hard to express how blessed we are and how much we love him for trusting us to raise his children. We have pictures and video that we will be able to share with the children some day.

We told him we will make sure he gets updates and photos of his children often. He will always be their Dad. We gave him a book full of pictures of the kids, he was so happy! He is such a sweet man, humble and he has such amazing faith and trust in God. We told him we had been praying for God to place us with the right children and that we knew God had put us all together. It was so wonderful to meet him and hug him and tell him how much we love the children and how we will make sure they always remember him and his incredible sacrifice.

Later was the moment we were waiting for: Court! We all filed into the waiting room to wait for our time with the judge. I was so nervous when we got called in..after a few questions she very quietly said "They Are Yours." The best 3 words I had ever heard!!! They are now irrevocable ours forever! Tamirat and Million Alleca!

Our first picture as an officially legal family!
This was also the last time we would see them until we can go back and bring them home forever..we pray it will be very soon. We are hopeful for Thanksgiving week or early December. In the mean time they will stay in the care of the nannies and God will watch over them for us. We will now start preparing for 2 incredible children to be part of our lives forever!

Friday, October 22, 2010

After Months of Waiting......

WE ARE FINALLY GOING TO MEET OUR KIDS!!!!!! Tomorrow is the day we begin our long awaited journey to Ethiopia! I have such a mixture of emotions! I'm not even nervous about the flight..just anxious to get there! I am really nervous about meeting them..will they like us? will they cry?? will they be scared?? I have stared at their picture daily since July 15th and prayed and dreamed of them for months before that! It feels surreal! I cant wait to hold them! We leave tomorrow at 2:30pm and arrive in Ethiopia the following day at 7pm. Ethiopia is 7hrs ahead of our local time so I am trying to figure out when we will Skype our kids at home!! As excited as I am to go it is hard for me to leave the other 3! I will try to update as often as possible while we are Blackberry for a whole week!!! I will also post updates on facebook.

The way things are working.. this is all I know schedule wise:

Sunday: arrive at 7pm...sleep:)
Monday: MEETCHA DAY!!!!!! please when you go to bed Sunday night pray for us as we meet our children for the first time!
2 other families arrive Monday night
Tuesday: Meetcha day for the other families and we get to see our kiddos again:)
Wed-Thurs not sure but we are probably going to Korah and the Fistula Hospital plus a few other orphanages.
Friday: Court appointment where we pray the judge will legally declare us their parents. This will be a hard, emotional day. We will meet our children's biological father today. Pray we can express to him how thankful we are for his sacrifice. He is suffering such a huge loss and we are gaining 2 blessings. It will be HARD! We will have to say GOODBYE to our children for a while and he will also have to say goodbye my heart is already breaking for them. We will post pictures of the kids(as long as we pass) before we head to the airport.
Saturday: Arrive home

Please pray for us this week and for all of our children! This Sunday night and next Friday night please remember to pray for us. While you sleep we will be meeting our children...we will be going to court! Oh Boy!!!!!!! I'm EXCITED!!!!!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010


Today was one of those days...17mths of an emotional roller coaster! We are 1 week from leaving for Ethiopia for trip #1 and boy is there a lot to do! During this process you have you good days and bad days. Excited joyful days and days that you are completely overwhelmed. Today was one of those the midst of my stressing I was praying for some peace and some reassurance. This is the email I got next:

This is from my niece whom I haven't seen since I was a teenager but thanks to good ol' Facebook we have been able to reconnect!! Jen has been a constant support through this whole process!! She has posted and emailed and prayed and even sent money when she didn't have it to send. She is an amazing women and an amazing Mom!! Love you! This is the email:

Dear Paige, Anthony and family,

It started with a desire to help, a burning, longing desire to bring your kids home for you to hold and to love. I knew you wouldn’t want me to send you money just to send it, that you might feel bad. So I had an idea, what I think is a great idea. I knew you couldn’t possibly feel bad when you knew that people who’d never met you or heard your story reached out and did something wonderful for you. Right now we are one week in, with two to go. I don’t know the outcome but I know this has renewed my faith in not only God but in people. Paige I love you because you are my family and I love your family because you love them. Now take a minute to see what love can do.

Love Always,

The post that went out on Facebook..... and in an email....

Do not post anything about this on my wall! This is a surprise! I want to see how many of you are willing to do something for a stranger!

Okay, here's the challenge.
Those precious hands belong to a little girl and a little boy that are in Ethiopia waiting to be adopted, as most of you know my Aunt and her family are hoping to adopt these children. After they decided to adopt the rules were changed and each family adopting from Ethiopia must now travel twice instead of once. Can you imagine what it cost to fly half way around the world! About $14,000 total!!! But they'd started the process and couldn't very well stop could they!
In trying to be creative and asking for donations I have came up with a challenge!
Starting today and until October 15th, every mile that you walk I will give them a dollar of MY money. I'm not asking you to give any of your own money, I'm asking you to be healthy! All you have to do is email me, daily, weekly, whatever you want and tell me how many miles you've walked. I will keep track of it. And yes this includes if you do laps at Wal-Mart! I want you all to know that I care about you as much as I care about these children coming home!
Email me after you've read this and let me know if you're in or not! Have a great day everyone!!!!

At the end of the challenge I will email my aunt with the names of each person who participated and how many miles they walked for children they didn't know! All this is going to cost you is maybe some time and some pounds!

Remember email me and let me know if you’re on board!!!

We hung a chalkboard in our dining room to remind us how far we’d come and how far we could go, this was after ten days……

I tracked every mile in a spread sheet and every mile got a tally, updates went out twice a week about where we were at!

And so many had nice things to say…..

Erin Hartman Scott September 24 at 12:pm

Wow really how could I turn this down and I need to walk I will do it. Thanks Jen god will bless you and all that do this I love you

Heather 'sears' Martin September 25 at 11:43am Reply Report

Sure I'll do it! God Bless you Jen! I hope you're doing well!

Alyssa Marie Rodriguez September 29 at 6:24pm

I'll do it, but I'm very busy right now I won't be able to check in that often. I'm up to the challenge though!

April Gray-Walton DeGarmo September 29 at 6:22pm

Count me in! I can't wait to meet the little ones! Ur Aunt &Uncle and the children are in my prayers!

Charles Bordeaux October 3 at 7:01am

I have been walking but don't know how much but I can give you a close estimate on Oct. 15th/ it will not be alot of miles because I cant do it every day although I would like to !!

And I had many more texts, they didn’t know you but they knew they had to do it.
And after 14 days…

We reached 100!

Well here it is, October 15th and we’re all done. Of course I had dreamed of reaching goals so much higher, but then I remember that three weeks ago most of these people on this list had never heard your name, maybe had never donated not a single penny to charity, but they chose to walk for you and for these beautiful children. I consider it a blessing to know that I have people in my life that literally will go the extra mile….. and here they are….

We reached 208 miles!

God Bless you for what you are doing! You’ve struggled, you’ve cried, you’ve even gotten mad a few times. But nothing in the world is more precious than what you’ve done. I’d walk a million more miles for you!


Money’s in your PayPal ;)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Crazy Mission Trip Giveaway!!!

Did you ever want to go on a mission trip but didn't think you could afford it?? My Friend Kari is leading a mission trip to Ethiopia in February. She has decided to have an amazing giveaway on her blog!! For every t-shirt you purchase you will get one entry in the contest. She is giving away 2 fully paid mission trips. Cost: $3100 each

I had the pleasure to travel with Kari to Haiti shortly after the earthquake. She is an amazing women with a huge heart for the orphans!!! Going on the mission trip changed is something I pray everyone could have the opportunity to do!! We are getting ready to go to Ethiopia to bring our children home so I will not be able to go but I would love for one of my family or friends to win this trip!! Go to her giveaway link by clicking on the button on the right of my blog! Good Luck!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Praise God!!

The last few days have been an emotional roller coaster!! A few days ago we received our court date...we happily booked our flights! The next day our agency called wondering if we had booked yet..Uh yes!!! Well we are a little up in the air about your trip...we don't have any info for you but hold tight we will get back to you! Does that mean we might not be going on the 29th?? We will work as hard as we can to insure that you still go! Well we heard NOTHING for 48hrs!!! We had already booked our flights and it would cost $500 to change them!!! Needless to say all of us with court dates were worried..we were told that AWAA staff would be meeting with the Ethiopian judge in the morning! Well morning there is night here..Ethiopia is 7 hrs ahead of us! So we sprang into action.. We asked our amazing Yahoo group of fellow adoptive families to PRAY!!! Well God listened!!!!! This morning minutes after the offices opened we got the call!!!! I have to admit I was scared to answer the phone...I think I had been holding my breathe for 2 days! As soon as she told me the good news I started crying, I tried not to but couldn't help it! This is an emotional roller coaster ride!!! To make the day even better...3 MORE families got court dates!!! 2 of them have become my closest friends through this whole process!! I am so overjoyed for them and so excited that we all get to meet our children!! We leave in 15 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

20 Days!!!!

In 20 days we will be meeting our children for the very first time!!! I have been an emotional wreck the last 24hrs just thinking about it!!! We have also been going crazy trying to book our flights!!! We had to have everything planned by 1pm today!! Good thing we booked today and not yesterday...we saved $300 a person today!!!!! So we are now officially booked with 2 round trip tickets to Ethiopia, Africa!!!!!!!!!!! I have been dreaming about this day since before we even mailed our application to the adoption agency! I cant believe it is almost here! 17 months from the day we applied till the day we get to meet our children! It has been a long, hard wait! We still have to wait but at least there is an end in sight!! 20 days!!!!! It will then be another wait to bring them home but for now I will be happy to hold them and tell them we love them!!! I am still sad for all of my other adoptive friends that have yet to receive their court dates..there are over 20 families still waiting. Two families in particular have become my sources of strength through this whole journey. I pray for them and all the families waiting.

So if you read our post about our last fundraiser we raised $2883! Well our flights were $1411 each! Just what we were expecting PAID!!! We will still have in country, food etc. and trip#2 but Praise God these tickets are paid for!!!

So here it is the dreaded long.....flight

Sat. Oct 23
Leave: Buffalo at 2:30pm
Arrive:    Wash/Dullas  3:38pm
Leave: Dullas at 830pm (board ETHIOPIAN airlines!!)
Stop: Rome- refuel
Arrive: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia!!!!! 7pm  Sun.October 24th

Friday Oct. 29
Leave: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 10:15pm
Stop: Refuel Rome
Arrive: Wash/Dullas 7:55am Sun. Oct.30
Leave: Wash/Dullas 12:43pm
Arrive: Buffalo 1:51pm

As you can see Anthony and I will have lots of bonding time:) On the way there we will be so excited I am guessing it wont be so bad..on the way home, that will be interesting!! We are still working on the planning for while we are there but we will have Monday - Friday with Court on Friday! Then we will have to say goodbye to our children and head home without them..this I am dreading!! For now I focus on how wonderful it will be to finally hold them!! Continued prayers appreciated  as we continue on our journey...

Monday, October 4, 2010

COURT DATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After months of waiting we finally get to travel for court!!!!! We finally get to hold our kids and hopefully have a judge declare them legally ours!!!!!!! Our court date is Friday October 29th! We will most likely leave home on the 25th and come home on the 30th. Flights will be put on hold today!! As excited as I am I am also sad because a fellow adoptive mom, who has been my best friend through this did not get her call today. I pray for her family as they wait for the call. Keep watching for more updates! We are praising God today!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Our Movie Fundraiser..

Well.. after a month of selling and endless posting on was our Movie day!!! "Radio" was a very good choice!! I think all that attended enjoyed it! Although the attendance was very minimal,we did really well! We truly appreciate everyone who came today!! We are so thankful to all that donated on our blog, bought tickets and helped sell tickets!!! We only sold a few tickets at the door but several family and friends blessed us with cash donations!!

We sold around 400 tickets and received numerous donations! Thanks to the owner of the theatre we made 100% profit!! He did not charge us a penny!!!! What a huge blessing and surprise!!! We are so thankful for everyone that had a part in helping us!! So our grand total is......

Thank you!!!!!! Our plane tickets for trip 1 are paid in FULL!!!!!!! Now all we need is a court date!!