September 26, 2011

what can I do from here?

One of things I am asked often as a justice advocate with IJM is “What can I do from here?”

Well—here is your opportunity to make a BIG difference in someone’s life. Someone who has unjustly imprisoned since December 2010.

You have the opportunity to encourage them and to give them hope. 

Go to to the link below and you can send an encourage through the website or you can print one off to mail in to IJM if you’d prefer handwritten!


During September (you’ve only got a couple days left!) you can become a Freedom Partner and your first year of giving will be matched dollar for dollar by an anonymous donor!!

$24 a month so IJM can show up 24 hours a day to bring rescue to those that are beaten, abused, raped, and enslaved.

IJM is wonderful about keeping you updated on rescues and how you can pray!

I love being a Freedom Partner with IJM and encourage you to jump in with me!



89-chatting with friends in Ethiopia (the wonder of facebook!)

90-slobbery baby kisses

91-laughter and squeals

92-friends who bring me coffee at co-op

93-friends who are a breath of fresh air

94-a little boy who runs up to Teshale each time at co-op and is beside himself with excitement and says “oh, he’s so darling

95-campfire at dusk

96-huge marshmallows

97-relationships far and wide built through adoption


September 24, 2011

Last Day in Ethiopia!

Our last day in Ethiopia included a coffee ceremony at the Care Center to say goodbye to everyone.

The gentleman in this photo worked very hard on our case and was very supportive when we lost our first referral. A wonderful man who loves the kids and works very hard. One of the most touching moments in the week was when he walked up to me (right before this picture was taken) and said “you have your Better One now.” (Better One is what Teshale’s name means)


Most of our group. The other family left the day before.


We then went to our friend’s house and had some WONDERFUL Ethiopian food. and lots of it. Bekah and I both did our best to eat all of it but alas, we failed.  It was very, very good. Greg said (on our court trip) that it was the best food he had in country.

Below are two godly men (Fekadu and Joel) who quickly became our friends and family in Ethiopia. They took us around all week, taught us about Ethiopia, prayed for us while we waited and loved on my son while I was away. I can’t recommend them enough. Look for them on facebook “Life Tours” and contact them for your trip. Tell them I sent you :).  And they gave my tired arms a break and let me eat :)


Have I told you how much I love Ethiopian coffee? and its ceremony?


Fekadu’s mom who fixed the scrumptious dinner and gave us our coffee ceremony. She also loved on Teshale and said he was a good baby. I agree. A beautiful woman with a gentle spirit. I love their family.


Bekah and Joel looking at Fekadu’s pictures. Have I told you how much I love these guys?

From Bekah: I’m totally digging my hair here.


Waiting to take off for 17 hours on a plane. yikes. Did we tell you how much we hate to fly?


He’s ready.


We bit the bullet and paid for a seat for Teshale. It was WELL worth it. He slept for 11 hours straight like this.  This is him in Rome.


He then woke up and had messed himself up to his neck. yes. wonderful. went to the bathroom and am trying to change him on that little board and I have his clothes off but not wanting to take his diaper off (for fear of more) and realize that I don’t have another diaper. Ack. keep hand on baby and prop door with foot trying to get Bekah’s attention—she’s asleep—stewardesses are in the back since it’s night on the plane. crud. pick up baby up (yep with stuff on him) and go to get diaper. nasty. clean up as best as I could with trickle of water and baby wipes. put coat on top of t-shirt.  Life of a Mommy. :)

Bekah mid-flight. She looks thrilled doesn’t she.


We are home!!

Teshale back in Daddy’s arms.


Big brother with T.


The good mom that I am has lost the pictures of the little ones with the baby at the airport. sigh.

And that’s our trip!

And it is soooo good to be home and I am still pinching myself to make sure it’s all done! 

Now..on to re-adoption (not required but suggested) and post placement visits. It’s all good. :)

Thank you for being with us on our journey!

September 21, 2011

3rd Day

We went to the American Embassy on our third day in Ethiopia.

We had some down time in the morning and slept in (sorta) and had a leisurely breakfast.  We talked to a sweet young family whose husband had received a lottery visa to the US and they were back in Ethiopia visiting family.  A very nice family.

On to the the Embassy: We waited for 3 hours while waiting for our names to be called. The lady behind the window was very nice and personable. We raised our right hands and stated that we know of no fraud with our case and that he was our son.  We then heard the blessed words of, “your adoption is full and final.” and that our visas would be ready in the morning. Thank you God!

We then came home and had a relaxing dinner with our friends.

My photographer daughter:


Dinner at the top of Addis View. This is Fekadu—our guide in Ethiopia. A wonderful gentleman who gave this tired momma’s arms a break during the entire meal!  Email me if you’d like his contact information for your trip to Ethiopia!


Even put the baby to sleep! :)


Bedtime with the Buzz Lightyear pajamas that Rachel’s bff in Ohio sent to Teshale.

He loves for you to copy whatever he does.  Notice that headboard---he would wake up and try to soothe himself by rocking and one night was rocking so hard that he was banging his head on the headboard. Sweet boy gets rocked by momma now!


Pretending to fly like Buzz Lightyear (can you tell we were bored this night? lol)


I love it when Bekah makes bug eyes for pictures. :)

From Bekah—the deranged looking eyeballs were intentional…just so you don’t think I have naturally creepy eyes.



Also…want to check out Bekah’s blog? Never know what she will say—and most of it will make you laugh :)

September 19, 2011

2nd Day in Ethiopia!


After our quick trip to the hospital we went up Entoto Mountain. Greg and I had already been on our court trip but I wanted Bekah to see it also.  The view is wonderful (though it was cloudy the day we went up) and there was a wonderful museum as well with many artifacts.

blurb from a website

Entoto Mountain is a fifteen-minute drive from the center and 3019 meters high. Emperor Menelik II had chosen Entoto for the great of the court before the foundation of Addis Ababa. Here one can see traces of earlier settlement and two fine churches St. Mary, where Emperor Menelik crowned Emperor in it and St. Raguel built in 1880’s. The top of the range is a point for the panoramic view of Addis Ababa with its surrounding forests and its breath taking air.

Going up:




At the top


the church:


This is the first Eucalyptus tree planted on Entoto Mountain. The mountain is now covered with them and smells wonderful!





Stopped by here to pick up some scarves on the way back down.


Making the scarves.


The very nice gentleman let Bekah try her hand at scarf making!

Snapshot 2 (9-19-2011 3-16 PM)

bekah scarf making

Back at the hotel to rest before dinner. I love his smile here.


Culture dinner!


Trying the tej (honey wine)  Bekah was not impressed.  Excuse the grainy photo.


September 17, 2011

First Day Together

So…we picked our little man up and headed back to the hotel.  He was sleeping when we picked him up so he was a bit out of it :)

Bekah held him for a bit on the way over (and she thought I wouldn’t let her hold him at all!)


We then got to the hotel and cleaned him up and changed clothes and had some snuggle time.


Ate some cereal (he LOVES his cereal)  I think here he is saying “hurry it up mom!”


He and Bekah then had a photo shoot…with funny faces at all.  (PS..he LOVES being without his clothes on! as soon as you set him free he laughs and giggles and kicks.)


In our bed that night. That felt sooo good. When we were there for court, I hated going to bed and thinking about him in his crib—without me.


He had a very hard time sleeping that night. VERY congested and would cough until he gagged and threw up. At one point he had trouble catching his breath so I ran to the bathroom and turned on the hot water (which is super duper hot) and sat in the steam for a while which seemed to help.  I was worried he had pneumonia or bronchitis  (and thinking about that 17 hour plane ride coming up) so our friends (BEST drivers/guides in Ethiopia—email me if you want their contact info) arranged a hospital visit for us and we went to have him checked out.  The doctor said he was congested and gave us some amoxicillin. 

Do you know how much that cost? Hospital visit plus meds was $9. Yes, $9. and took 15 minutes.  I was so appreciative to be able to go and make sure he was okay. 

Each day he started getting a little bit better.  We then headed to Entoto Mountain with our friends.  I will share that tomorrow! :)

September 11, 2011

We’re home!!

I keep pinching myself and can hardly believe it! We are so glad to have all of our family under one roof!

We had a GREAT trip. Bekah was a great help to me –and we made some great friends!

I will write in more detail later (when I can think straight) but here are some teaser pictures.

We arrived a little after 8am and we were surprised to have our friends Fekadu and Eyuel waiting for Bekah and I to surprise us.  (best driver/guides/friends in Ethiopia—highly recommend them. Email me if you want their contact info)  We got our luggage and then went to the hotel and quickly freshened up and had a cup of coffee and went straight to the Care Center. 

Teshale was sleeping when we arrived. I tried to wait. I couldn’t.




and back to the hotel we went.  More to come later!

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