Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful

Two years ago today, my husband told me how thankful he was for our incredible life...having two awesome children who were loved and had all the opportunities for happiness life could offer. And that he wanted to give that same opportunity to a child who would not otherwise have it.

This was after months of talking about whether to have a third child so needless to say, I was over the moon. Here we are two years later....we could not be more thankful.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Gift of Water

I know the act of giving is a very personal thing. What pulls at my heart and results in me making a donation may not be the same cause that pulls at your heart. But, in case you have been thinking of a way to "give back" during this holiday time, I will take this opportunity to share with you a cause that is very personal to me. And we're not talking a lot of money here...a very small donation can make a world of difference.

http://www.charitywater.org/whywater/ gives 100% of public donations to finding long-term water solutions in areas of greatest need, mainly in Africa. Remembering back to our time in Ethiopia when we traveled through the countryside, it was very common to see women and children walking great distances with their yellow jugs to find a water supply. And most of the water supplies are dirty and unsafe.

Unsafe water and sanitation causes 80% of all diseases and kills more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. And 90% of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are to children under age five.

Only $20 can give a person clean water for 20 years. Please watch the video at the top of the link and consider making a small donation.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Obsession

Star Wars is quite the obsession in our house right now. Even Etta is in the mix. We've got the light sabers to match. I need to get Etta on camera going toe to toe with her brothers in a "match." I especially like the growling sound effects.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

How Far You've Come

When we were matched with Etta, the thought that rushed over me the first time I saw her was “There you are. My daughter.” I knew in my heart all the challenges we had faced on our journey were because we were on the path specifically to her. It all made sense.

But the challenges were not over. We didn’t know much about her but what we did know was that she was considered severely malnourished and not hitting any of the developmental targets. Her head circumference measurement was cause for concern with our International Adoption Doctor and we had no idea what long-term prognosis we were facing. It was so difficult not having any control over her well-being. We had to take a leap of faith and trust she was in the best care possible and everything would be okay.

And she was okay. Better than okay. When we went to pick her up, we immediately knew how loved she was. She had gained weight (the miracle of F100 milk) and was crawling. She couldn’t yet put much weight on her legs but we knew she would be able to walk.

And walk she did! Only a couple weeks after coming home. There’s been no turning back ever since. Her determination and strong-will has taken her far. We’ve been home 5 months now and at 2 years old, she is in the 85 percentile in weight, hitting her developmental targets (exceeding when it comes to verbal skills and she is oh so smart), and could not be happier. She is a joy to anyone who meets her and we are so incredibly lucky to be her family.

 
Referral Picture
 

 
Two years old!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Adoption Month - You Can Help

Here's something you can do to help and it's super simple:

In honor of Adoption Month, a parenting e-magazine SixSeeds.tv has partnered with families to raise awareness about adoption. They have featured our story and for each comment you make under the article, SixSeeds will donate $2 to Holt International. Holt was the adoption agency we used and we chose them as our charity since they do so much to support families staying together and view adoption only as a last resort.

Also, three wonderful families we traveled with to pick up our children are also featured. The Osburns, the Johnsons, and the Groces. Please also help support their causes. All it takes is a simple post!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Re-Adoption Day!

Today we re-adopted Etagegn, which means the adoption is recognized in our state. Even though she was already our legal daughter, you readopt so that you can get a U.S. issued birth certificate and apply for a Certificate of Citizenship. In order to avoid a much more complex process in our county, we traveled to a beautiful town a couple hours away and made it a little get-away. Our good friends, Sarah and Mark, also re-adopted today so it was pretty cool to share it with them. All in all the day could not have been more perfect!