Waiting for our baby girl

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Friday, December 12, 2008


The first snow of the year falling gently from the sky tonight prompted me to stop and be thankful for this season and for what it really means. Emma and I went to the "Tiny Tales" reading time for toddlers today at the library. Most of it, in reality, is kids running and jumping all over a big open room while a sometimes frazzled librarian tries to read them books and lead them in singing songs. Emma loves going, especially to do the "hokey pokey." We sang some Christmas songs- "Where is Santa" to the tune of "Where is Thumbkin" and "The lights on the Tree" to the tune of "The wheels on the bus." I know I am not the only person wondering why Christmas is all presents and trees and Santa. The world around us tell us nothing different. It is so good to stop this Christmas season and remember He who came to us, the Maker of heaven and earth, born as one of us, so that we might be His for all eternity. I want Emma to know this Christmas season of the Jesus who came down from heaven and was made man for her, that is the real meaning of this season.

That said, we are so thankful to be at the end of a long semester. It has been a long and fruitful one, but one that has had Brendan juggling almost more than he can handle with work. We are needing time as a family and time to rest. We just returned from Charlottesville, VA, having spent a week with my family for Thanksgiving. Emma had a great time being with her Mimi, Grandpa, Auntie Rachel, Uncle Nate, and the three dogs living with my parents. We were grateful for family to share life with and to be away for a week. It's always rough coming back because Emma goes from about 6 admirers all the time to just being with me during the days. I have to get creative! Another reason to be thankful for the snow- fun times outside lie ahead! The adoption process has been going well. We are hoping to send in the last of our homestudy paperwork early next week (that includes medical forms, education forms, house safety checks, personal history sheets, autobiographies for Brendan and I (both are over 15 pages long!), copies of birth and marriage certificates, background checks, and of course, a huge chunk of change!) and we are hoping to have our first homestudy visit scheduled before January. That might be overly hopeful, but we'll see. That is one part of completing our dossier- paperwork for the Ethiopian government- which makes the homestudy paperwork look like a breeze. We definitely have our hands full. It is hard in the midst of all this to have perspective that this is about a child. I have to pray to remember that! We will work hard to get all this paperwork together and then there will be months and months of waiting! It's been good to connect with others who are in the same place. The doctor who did our medical exams last week gave me the phone number of another family in town who has adopted a child from Ethiopia and we know of another family who just adopted from there as well. Our agency, America World, has connected us with a Yahoo Group of others adopting from Ethiopia through them. It's been great and very connecting to be a part of that community. Keep us in your prayers as we keep plugging away at all this paperwork. I am hoping to have our dossier sent off to our agency (and then on to Ethiopia) by late February or early March. From that point we wait for a referral and the wait time for baby girls is about 7-11 months right now. We are thankful for you all this Christmas season. Blessings on you and we'll leave you with a few recent pictures.

Emma with Auntie Rachel during her visit in October

Two former IV students got hitched (Emma was the flower girl)
Way to go Josh and Hannah!

We think she's pretty cute!

Thanksgiving photo with my family

Emma and Mama

Emma and Daddy bonding time
(she's a daddy's girl!)

Saturday, October 18, 2008


So here it is folks...#2 is on the way. Not in the traditional sense of the way, but in a non-traditional, equally beautiful way. We have begun the "paper pregnancy" phase of adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. Why, you may ask? Well, there are many reasons. First and foremost, we know the orphans in the world are near and dear to God's heart. I know that not everyone is called to adopt, but as followers of Christ, we are called to care for the orphans and widows in the world. We feel called by God, very specifically, to enter into this endeavor. For us, care for orphans has translated into adoption. Secondly, we have room! We want a larger family and this is one way to enlarge our tent so to speak. Thirdly, because of orphans like Clinton.

Clinton was a boy we met in Kenya in 2005. His mother had died of AIDS, his father was not in the picture. He had an uncle who had been "sponsoring" him (paying for food, clothing in order so others could afford the cost of caring for him). His uncle came down with AIDS and was unable to continue to sponsor him. So Clinton was sent to an orphanage in Kakamega very shortly before Brendan and I came and stayed there. It was a wonderful orphanage, run by an amazing pastor and his wife. There were wonderful women who worked there. Clinton's basic needs were met- clothing, food, shelter. However, Clinton was younger than the other 20 or so orphans living there. He was too young to go to school. He didn't speak their language because he was from a different tribe. Clinton spent most of the day wandering around the orphanage property, playing by himself, shyly smiling at us, but afraid to get too close. Many could argue that this was the best thing that could happen to Clinton. I mostly agree but Clinton needed a mom and a dad. He needed people who would pursue him, love him, swing him into the air and catch him laughing. He needed hugs and kisses and bedtime stories. He is one of millions. And he is better cared for than most. That trip really solidified for Brendan and I our desire to adopt. Clinton is one face I can hold onto in the overwhemingly numbing statistics. It is because a little girl will be born in Ethiopia that desperately needs a family.

We have talked, prayed, waited, asked, and listened all summer. We have debated the issues of a white family raising a black child, of what special needs we may really be dealing with. We know that this decision will change our lives- like any child does- but will be far more reaching than a biological child. We are excited. This has been God's thing from the beginning. I have been excited to share it. Pray for us! We will keep you updated on the process as it goes along. We are looking at at least 1 year, maybe two, before our Ethiopian princess comes home to us.

Friday, September 19, 2008

An Evening at the Playground

We've had some gorgeous 80 degree weather days in Missoula the past week. A last hurrah of summer for us before the long winter sets in. We spent about every night this summer at the park just down the hill from us. As you can see, it's a glorious view! We are thinking a lot, praying a lot in the midst of a lot of decisions we've had to make as a family. We'll keep you all updated as we figure things out! Have a great weekend!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Where have we been?

It's almost midnight on a Friday night. I have too much rolling around in my brain tonight to sleep at the moment- strange for a tired parent, you'd think I'd be getting all the seconds I could! It' s been a long few weeks for us, Brendan has had one day off in the last three weeks. We have all of Saturday and Sunday together as a family! Oh joy. So, I thought I'd get back to the old blog and update you all with some picture from the last month and a half. Enjoy!

The place where we spent most of the summer...our patio and backyard

The yummy tomatoes grown (we are so thankful to have a yard of our own!)

Emma in Colorado thinking about riding a "horsie"
(yes, she is wearing a coat- it was cold at 9,000 feet in August!)

"Emma ride horsie...Emma ride horsie...Emma ride horsie..."

"Wow, that horsie's really big, never mind!"

Hiking around Yellowstone Park- we were there for a wedding-
Congrats Andrew and Laura!

Family Pic

Our little cutie with her buddy Jack


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Our Summer so far...

Good news for all of you (our friends)! Here are a bunch of pictures from the past couple months. We've had a great summer so far, visiting Katie's family in VA, and also my family in AK. You'll get more of the scoop about each of those trips as the pictures progress... But first, a picture from our own beautiful state of MT.
The above picture is from a place called Morrel Falls, about an hours drive from Missoula. It was Emma's first official hike as a toddler, and she did great. She rode in to the falls on my back, and then walked almost a mile on the trip out. We're looking to more of this kind of stuff with her!

Emma walking with Dad.

Emma eating a bagel on our food break during the hike. She was hungry!

Emma was ready for the beach before we even left Missoula!

Here she is digging to her heart's content.

Uncle Nate (who is in Scotland right now!) and Emma looking at the cows at Maymont in Richmond, VA.

Mimi, Auntie Rachel, and Emma

Here's our family, all together, on a trampoline...Emma for the first time. She really loves to jump. She makes us jump, her stuffed animals jump, her doll jump. And she's working really hard to get both feet in the air at the same time. So, you can imagine the trampoline was a hit.

This is a picture my dad took of me on their trampoline in AK. I was a gymnast, after all. We were there for my sister Danielle's wedding.

The above picture is my sister, Danielle, just before their wedding ceremony. Katie was a bridesmaid, and I was a flower girl, along with Emma.

Emma is in the immitating stage of life right now, and wanted to carry around her doll, just like mommy was carrying her around. She has named her baby doll "Lola." We're not sure where she came up with that name, but it's suck. She danced Lola around the house for a while this morning.

We've been doing a lot of work on our house since moving in last October. The most recent project was replacing the windows. This is me working on trimming out our bedroom windows.

Have a great summer all!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Pictures from December

Before we post any pictures, we would ask you all who have a chance to view our blog to please pray for the situation of violence in Kenya. The pastor who we lived with two summers ago in Kakamega was robbed and beaten in the marketplace as he went out to buy food. He made it back to the orphanage alive. Please pray also for our friends the Karaus who run an orphanage and pastor a church in one of the biggest slums in Nairobi. They, too, are safe, but the violence in the country is very unpredictable. Thank you for your prayers for our brothers and sisters in Kenya.

"Do You See Orange" a campaign led by Intervarsity at the U of M to raise
awareness and money for AIDS orphans in sub-Saharan Africa

Emma reading with Gran Jamieson when they were out to visit in early December

Emma with her buddy Jack

Emma's first semi-sledding experience (Thanks to her dad who
insisted upon it, but all we could find was a shovel for her to ride in).

My brother Nate who came out to visit us before we all headed home to VA

Getting some use out of the backpack

Emma with her Great Grandmother

Emma and Auntie Rachel

Grammy Adams time

Emma's first foray in playing the piano (Brendan is so proud)
being supervised by Grandpa Adams

A wonderful visit with high school friends Amberleigh and Anna
(and their new additions Dulaney and Ella)

That's all for now folks. Time to hit the sack, it's been a long day taking care of a sick baby- thanks to airplane travel.