"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows that we know, and holds us responsible to ACT"...Proverbs 24:12
















Friday, December 28, 2012

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/28/world/europe/putin-to-sign-ban-on-us-adoptions-of-russian-children.html?pagewanted=all

quoted from the Russian president: “There are probably many places in the world where living standards are better than... ours,” Mr. Putin said. “So what? Shall we send all children there, or move there ourselves?”

Is he for real? Is he that proud of his country's orphan statistics!
at 16-17yrs. old orphans are forced to leave the orphanage. Within the 1st 5 years 90% of those children end up in crime, prostitution, drug/alcohol addiction, or suicide.
10-15% commit suicide, 60% of girls are forced into prostitution, and 70% of the boys become hardened criminals.

No- dont send us all your children Mr. Putin...just the one's that are going to explode your statistics.
You have 2.5 million homeless children on your streets already...
Heartbreaking, please pray!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

 
 
 
 
While pulling out the Christmas boxes someone opened up a box of my childhood porcelin dolls.
I collected them growing up and actually sold most of them for Sova's adoption!  (Sad, I know- but I kept telling myself a better 'doll' will be coming ;)

The twinkies went nuts.  They already told me that they never had a doll- and I knew they loved dolls but 'Porcelin  pipe-curled fancy dolls...they were fascinated!
When I told them they can have them- they jumped up and down screaming...it was like Christmas morning.

As a girl- I LOVED my dolls and I know of plenty of little girls who dont care for them at all so I think it's just the coolest thing that God gave me 3 baby doll lovers...man this mama is having fun! 


 
In some ways the twins have an emotional maturity far beyond most kids because of
all that they have been through.  Life in rural Ethiopia is not easy- Im sure they were 'working' as soon as they were walking and they have seen alot.
 
In general I am a huge advocate of kids staying kids longer....especially little girls!
From clothing to toys- little girls are pushed into being mini-teens starting at the age of 6 or 7!
In Ethiopia it's not the clothes or toys that mom's have to be careful of...it's men.
It was not until we came home that we learned that the twins have a 1/2 sister who is 30 yrs old....whom their mother gave birth to when she was the same ages as the twins.  The cycle continued for their 1/2 sister...
 
Since day 1 the girls were enthralled w/ the dolls in the house.  I love that they dont know 'cool' yet and they have no problem walking around nana's block pushing their dolls in the stroller or walking into church with a baby carrier :)  Yes, give them a year or 2 and they will know most girls their age are done w/ dolls but I am delighted that they are giving childhood a chance and have a chance themselves to play catch-up.  
 
 
 
(fyi..that baby above was yours truly's 6 year old Christmas gift:)
 

 One day Im sure they will make great mothers- but no, I cant fathom how that time is now to girls in their community and around the world- and yes, here too. 

Which makes me think...for all pro-life'ers out there...we cant preach pro-life and not participate anymore. 
If a child (or even a woman at any age for that matter) does not feel equipped to raise a child- and we say, "but it's a child..." and walk away- what does that do?

'Gulp'

Sadly, right now there wouldnt be enough adoptive families able to take in all these unwanted children- so really, dont you think if we preach pro-life than we should be the one's willing to step in and be responsible for taking in these children?
 Really, have  you considered this? 

We had our adoption social worker over tonight for our 1st follow-up visit and she was talking on and on about the need for more foster and adoptive families.

 Do  you know you can be an 'emergency care foster parent?"  That means the child would be in your home for only a short perioid (up to 2 weeks) until they can find the right foster family.  Most of the time she needs to place babies right out of the hopital and she has the most trouble finding families for the infants,  teens and children 0-4.

Come on people...life's an adventure right!

No, your not too old- (yay grandma & grandmpa- Mike's parents are starting fostercare!)
yes, you can handle this,
no, your bio kids will not be scarred...they will learn things that you cant pay someone to teach them and they may surprise you and start giving God age and gender requests in their prayers at night  ;)




 
Our 2nd child...bumped to the baby for the 3rd time...don't feel sorry for him because you wont see him complaining!  And after our 1st born just got booted to #3 we are re-inventing birth order over here.  One thing's for sure...when God writes the script, it's all good!
 

Come on, just learn more!
for CT: http://www.ctfosteradopt.com/fosteradopt/site/default.asp
non CT: http://www.adoptuskids.org/
 
 

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Went to a children's museum today to see a King Tut Exhibit.

Big Mistake.

The exhibit scared the girls so we practically ran through it, and the snakes in the glass tanks made me believe that they saw their neighbors mauled by snakes...now I know that many people are scared of snakes...but this just goes beyond what I could have imagined. 
 
 Like, I've never seen fear that strong before...in my life- it looked like I was shielding children from bullets escaping from a war zone.  (again- defiantly should have had my sign for this one!)

 

Off to the planetarium to relax under the stars...

Watching the moving objects in the planetarium show made Jules completely sick.

We had to make a swift exit before she was about to throw up...poor girl was dizzy for 20 minutes!

 

I asked them if they liked the children's museum and they shouted, "NO!"

 

Back to our bubble...this may be a long winter!
 
 

 

 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Help bring Christmas to Korah!

Amy's husband works for Children's Hopechest and they helped hook up
our church w/ the kids at Hands For the Needy in Korah (Ethiopia)

Love what she has to share here!

http://lovingtheleast.blogspot.com/2012/11/joy.html

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Elevators

This afternoon I was rushing into the social security office building- just focusing on getting in and out as quick as possible with my 'crew'...I pressed the button for the elevator not even thi...
nking...could you just imagine the girls surprise when the wall opened up and a tiny room appeared! They very hesitatingly followed us into the elevator- and one of them said, "What is this?"
Before I could answer we started going up- they screamed and clung on me- they were scared silly, and I felt so bad that I didnt prepare them. The door opened to a room full of people across the hall. The other 3 kids filed out but the twins were scared to step over the small slot at the entrance of the elevator. I had to pull them out and one of them had to bend over and catch her breathe and the other was about to loose her lunch! They were so confused at what just happened- how they got to this new room- but I was not up for the
charades in front of the folks already staring at us in the waiting room.

45 minutes later- one frazzled mama and 5 bored/tired kids walked out of that office. I could not see the stairwell and a woman was holding the elevator for us- the younger 3 ran in the elevator and the twins froze protesting. The door closed w/out me and the twins- and the younger 3 screamed as if they were going to be brought to the other side of the world once the door closed! (Im sure the screams behind that big closed door did not help the girls!) The woman inside eventually got the door back open and I stepped in with the girls on my limbs. I had no words left to even explain to the open-mouthed stranger why we looked like a traveling circus. Neverless, we all got our exercise walking up several flights of parking garage stairs!

There have been quite a few times when I felt the need to make some type of card to flash at strangers who are staring- not in a bad way- just a confused trying to figure it out way. The 1st park experience was indeed one of those times.
The girls wanted to go down the big enclosed slide but were too scared. There was a line of pre-schoolers waiting for these big girls to get their courage up to go down the slide!
"Come on, just go" chanted my 4 year old nephew!
I ended up having to rescue them and we formed a 'train' and slid down together. They were laughing hysterically and the parents at them bottom just looked confused at us...the card flashing came to mind when I came down the slide w/ my big girls screaming!

That was fun for them though...the elevators...not so much!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

4 weeks...


(The blog wont let me post pictures right now so Im using FB)

 
One month home and life is starting to  feels a bit more 'normal' and yet at times I catch myself staring at the girls amazed that they really are here!

 
It went from week 1- "wow, they are angels...this is so much fun, why didn't we bring more home!"

To week 2- "soooo....it's true- they are humans and are not perfect and they can say 'No' when we ask them to put on a seat belt...what in the world do we do now?!

To week 3:  routines and structure is a very good thing
 

A typical day:

We all seem to wake up at the same time...PBS kids goes on and I get breakfast on the table.

 During breakfast I read ALOT to the kids...I was so nervous that I would be boring the twins to death and I secretly had nightmares that they would walk off dissing my history books but it's amazing how attentive and good they are during this long reading time.  I set myself up by explaining to them that this is 'school' 'mommy reads'...they looked around at their pajama clad family members and probably had a strange 1st impression of the American school system  ;)

After breakfast the younger 3 start school.  Jacob is pretty self sufficient and I usually only need to help him in 2 subjects.  I then bounce between Caleb and Sova- reheating my coffee and 'spying' on the twins playing together.  The kids will often run out of the room to visit the twins 'for a break.'

The twins are free to play in the morning and Im sure they appreciate that quiet time they have together.  They now feel comfortable enough to wander around and take anything out that they wish.

 Some things they do in the morning:

 playdough, clay, games, drawing, playing out on the trampoline, trying to figure out the bicycle, coloring, they love artsy crafty stuff- scissors, glue, paints ect. , trying to figure out the Leapster. game, puzzles, I leave out various 'educational toys', they LOVE dressing the dolls up, doing their hair, and setting them up- hours a day!
 

My goal everyday is to have the younger 3 done with school by lunchtime. 

I read again during lunch and try to do something fun together like a game, science or art  project.

Then it's on to the 2nd shift...the kids rotate.

Younger 3 are free to play while I do school with the twins.
 

They  practice writing their letters, we do simple spelling words like:  dad, rug, fin,

we do phonics- and they are now reading stuff like, "Mat sat on the cat," AND comprehending what they read.  They are doing addition and subtraction- one can multiply a bit but whats confuisng is that they were taught different ways of doing math- and this is where Im drawing the biggest ? with them.  Im trying to tell myself to just focus

on language learning and forget about the math this year but the teacher inside me can't handle that.
 

They are picking up English words faster than I even expected but they are storing them in their brains for now- you wont hear them using them yet but during school with flashcards I see that they know soooo many words...they are just intimidated to use them. 

Some phrases we hear daily:

"Come on Sova..outside",

 "Mommy...what is this? (1st asked while I was driving past a cemetery- I did the whole charades one handed and all... and they actually understood! Really felt like I should have won an academy award with that one!) 

"Where Jacob?"  "Wow!, sure, stinky!, excuse me, bless you, thank you, sorry, please, yes, no, UNO!, noooooo daddy!, Caleb baby, (they picked up on me calling him 'my baby' and they will call him this and he actually likes it :)

 

I know it sounds crazy but we have no problems communicating...I cant think of one scenario where we just couldn't explain something. 

 

It's funny with the kids though.  I have had to remind them that they don't need to talk louder when they aren't getting through.

Jacob:  "Im going to piano lessons now"

non English speaker: 'huh?"

Jacob:  20 decibels higher, "Im going to piano now!!"

 All 5 kids have made up their own language together...they have code names for everyone like Sova is 'foo-foo' and daddy is 'coo-key'  they all think it's hysterical.  It's simply amazing how the kids can play all day together-laughing and having fun- w/ 2 kids who don't speak English.  Just today they all played 'house' on the trampoline.  They all picked their ages, brought out blankets and play food and played for what seemed like hours!

 
Michael gets pretty much attacked when he gets home from work.  They think he's the greatest thing and cant get enough daddy time.  They've never had a father nor a male figure in their life- what a crucial role he is able step into- and they are embracing every second of it!
 

Bed time seems like eternity.  Not sure how we 'start the process' at 7:30 and we are still going in and out of bedrooms at 9:30... We of course feel the need to spend time with the twins trying to bond and make special connections, and yet then we see the need to give the younger 3 'extra' time too so that they wont feel left out or jealous with our attention on the twins...so we find ourselves pretty much laying w/ everyone and giving 101 hugs and kisses... thus me typing this near mid night. 

 

As far as the household stuff:

I have not learned how to purchase enough for 1 week yet!  Every week so far I have had to run out for the things we go through like crazy  And YET...Im very proud of myself...the twins have not yet been in a grocery store...nor any store for that matter!  :)   At times when I have been left alone with them it has taken everything in me not to run to Target to let them pick out their own earrings or new shoes.  I keep telling myself...all in good time.
 

Because the twins are little army cleaners I stepped it up with my younger 3.  It' s amazing how kids actually like to work and clean...I just always preferred to do it myself....frankly because I do it better :)

 But day one when I saw 7 plates left on the dinner table that all changed.  all the kids make their beds, unload the dishwasher, clear the table, sweep, take out the garbage, and I recently added cleaning the bathroom counters/sinks and vacuuming.  So much of this is just plain fascinating to the twins.  One day they asked me what the dishwasher does- I showed them how to clean the dishes and load the dishwasher- when I saw them fighting over the sponge I then decided to introduce one of them to the vacuum cleaner...when Jacob saw her vacuuming- he wanted to do it.

 Back to the sink girl...water from the faucet is still miraculous and she wont turn the sink off- there are no dishes left so she is literally washing the sink (that I think normal people do but I have yet to see the point up until this time....ahhhh the shine!)

I realized that this cleaning novelty will one day wear off so I am now in the process of engraving the chore charts in steel.  

The girls were able to explain to me that they scrubbed their clothes by hand with water from the rain.  They had to walk very far to the well to get drinking water- but they explained 'a boy' did this for them.  They told me that they had no food in their house.  Whenever we look at their pictures from Ethiopia more and more bits of info come to surface...I cant wait for them to share so much with us!
 

Everyday is an adventure around here.  I don't think that we have laughed this much in our lives.  Everything seems to be funny and the girls have the best sense of humor.

Even though this transition to a new country and a new family is in essence considered 'trauma'- God has been with them every step of the way.  He allowed their hearts to open up to us and we were blessed to be able to go through the grieving process together.  They allowed us to hold them and cry with them.  It was pure healing and I cant even tell you how much they needed to do that.  There was a new bond between us after that night- an unspoken understanding that we all have... We not only acknowledged and accepted their grief - we took part in it and in return they opened up their hearts even more to us. They are amazing little girls...we are so blessed.
 

The part the truly amazes me is the kids...they all play like they have lived together their whole lives...I just cant get over it.  Yes- they even all fight which means we've all settled in togehter ;)

 Even my little shy man- my mouth drops as I see him run up to the girls hugging and squeezing  them and saying that he loves them!  He crawls up on their lap during a movie...oh the Lord has heard my prayers!
 

So I don't consider myself stylish but do have a small sense...and I daily try to get to the girls closet before they do because you never know what will appear on them.  Red plaid skirt- pink tights- striped blue hoody....with all the hair bows accessible strung across the head. 

Today was a beautiful sweater with addidas sport pants...I even over heard Mike say, "are you going out like that?"  They had no clue what he said but I was cracking up.

Because they are not 4 years old...I just feel kind of bad when I mention a possible clothing change...most of the time we just go with it!


I've also had to hide the scissors in the bathroom because I realized that when they saw stray hairs sticking out of their hair-do...they would take the scissors and chop!  I discovered this while pulling one's hair into a pony tail and realizing that it doesnt reach nearly as far as it used to...aye!
 

Like I mentioned- they love their Ethiopian spice called 'berber'...it has gotten a little crazy.  They have berber PB and J and Berber covered bananas.
 

Every weekend so far we have had a 'family campout' in the living room...and the kids have had mid-week 'sleepover's' in the girl's room after Jacob pitched a fit that it's not fair Sova gets to 'hang out' w/ them...the girls then started chanting, 'Jacob-Caleb-Jacob-Caleb' until we caved and allowed the boys to bring in their sleeping bags!

Jerusalem is obsessed w/ the leaf-blower...for the last couple weeks she has walked around our yard for hours!  Mike taught her how to use and and I will sometimes see her blowing leaves while Im doing school w/ the kids!


The ophange had a TV with some  donated americanVHS movies that they would put on for the kids.  While Jacob was searching through netflix, Helen started flipping out- she ran up to the TV and pointed at Barney and said 'this this!'  "This in Ethiopia!'  She wanted it on and the younger three litteraly ran out of the room.  Caleb was almost in tears about it!  I put on Barney for her while the younger ones sulked outside. 

While cleaning up listening to the background music of, "I love you, you love me..,"  I was bursting inside at the thought of Mike and I being concerned about bringing home 'older children' and what kind of influence that might have on the kids.  So far Caleb is crying that Barney is on and Sova is upset that they sleep with her favorite dolls...I'd say we are OK in this department  :)

 

The younger 3 are in a Christmas play and every night the Christmas music has to go on so the kids can learn the songs.  The twins found a mini Christmas tree in our garage and brought it to their bedroom- they then stuck battery operated tea-lights in it.  They laugh and say, Christmas!  With the amount of times they have heard this Christmas music on- I'm thinking that they think it's Christmas...
 

So one month in and Im truly amazed at how smoothly we all transitioned. 

When we go out somewhere- (church, someone's house, group atmosphere)  the girls go back to stoic, quiet, looking unhappy mode.  That's not the real them and it will just take a little time to figure this all out.  They are the funniest livliest girls who love laughing and playing.

I know many of you were praying for this transition and we cant thank you enough. 

God not only call's us- he equips us and prepares us and never leaves nor forsakes us...that we know to be true.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

So now what?


I was going to write down my own thoughts on how it feels to have seen the poorest of the poor, hugged the poorest of the poor and danced with the poorest of the poor and then come...home.
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 

 

When we think of the rich, we are usually not thinking of ourselves, but the statistics tell us that if we earn more than $10,000 a year, we are in the top 13% of wage earners in the world. More than $20,000--top 5%.

 

People...FYI. you are RICH.
 

 

 

Here are just some random thoughts:

 

I remember driving out of NYC with the twins after we

just landed and was amazed at how CLEAN everything was!!  The highways looked all sparkly but what was even more noticeable was the lack of people living on those highways...it just seemed vast and empty w/out the crowds...I litteraly thought, 'wow, if only those homeless people in Addis could see these nice highway mediums.'  (sad- I know...)

 

When Mike and I first walked into our house with the girls (after living in a hotel for a week)

I recall thinking- wow- this is BIG...

We started showing them around:  bedroom'S', 'play' room, 'school' room, next bathroom...on and on...when Mike reached for the door that leads down to his office I whispered, 'We need to stop.'  This just wasnt fun.  It was sad.

 

The girls were not gaily tromping through the house with shimmering eyes thinking about what they will play with first.  They looked stoic and shocked. 

 

We cut the tour short and I immediately felt embarressed.

 To this day I still have those feelings come to the surface and I actually feel bad for having all this nice stuff when their birth-mother and their friends are in a cold dirt hut wondering where their next meal will come from.  I often wonder what they are thinking when they see how Americans live. 

 

I know nice things are not bad...I know that God wants us to prosper and enjoy the blessings that come with that...and maybe my guilt is out of place but I believe a blogger friend of mine named Jessica nailed it when she said this,

 
 

 "We are the rich ones and yet the "machine of excess" has made us poor.

 

Not only that, it has often times resulted in the needy remaining needy, the lonely remaining lonely, the orphans remaining orphans, the sick remaining sick, the hopeless remaining hopeless.....


So many times, our "need" to keep up with our stuff outweighs the true needs of the world around us.

 We don't have time or money to help others we tell ourselves. We are too busy or overextended as it is. We have to work a lot to pay for all our stuff after all. Not to mention all the time we spend cleaning our stuff, buying new stuff, organizing our stuff.....


I'm as guilty as anyone
 

I feel it EVERY time I go to Africa. You look around and the needs are so great. NEEDS--actual needs like food and clean water, basic clothing and shelter, medical care and families.
 

Things have got to change. If we are to be called followers of Jesus, our lives need to reflect the life he lived.


Excess was not a part of it.


His commands are simple--love God and love people as yourself.

 
There is no way we would think it is ok for ourselves to be without food, water, clothing, shelter, or the love of a family.

 It's just not ok.


I love this quote from Martin Luther King Jr:

 
"The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was, "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But the good Samaritan reversed the question, "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"
  

What would happen if we stopped asking, "what would happen to me" and started asking, "what would happen to them?"
 

There are so many ways to get involved--local shelters, feeding the homeless, neighbors who just need some encouragement, praying for those in need, visiting the orphans and widows in distress, sponsorship, foster care......"

 

I am just as guilty, and it is soooooooooooooo HARD to change my way of thinking and turn it into Action.  And what does that even look like for us?

 I will agree with what Jessica has just voiced and I feel it in my bones and yet...it's just too easy to pull back into easy street and forget about the masses starving, snap open a Coke and sing, 'Im proud to be an American,' as I am a country music fan.
 
  I see it as THE biggest spiritual attack Christians face - 'we all know but...'

 

But it Wont end there...

 

I Am thankful I was born in this beautiful and blessed country.

 I Am thankful for my beautiful home.

I Am thankful that my family is not hungry and that we have access to clean water.

 

I am thankful that we serve a God who hears our prayers and when we ask him to show us what we should be doing, how we should be living, what we should be giving, and where we should be going....I am thankful that He will answer us...'ask and you shall recieve.' 

 

I choose not to be discouraged and depressed about the plight of the orphan, hungry and lost. 

He calls Christians, 'The Body' and when 'the body' is actually working together then that body becomes the largest living organism on Earth.

I saw it at work this past year- How else can you explain us adopting 2 children at the same time and flying to Africa  two times in a matter of 2 months without having the finances...the Body was working. 

 

No more inactivity. 

First- pray!

Then follow this passage, it speaks for itself on what we are to do:

Deuteronomy 24:17-22


17 Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. 18 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this.

19 When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. 20 When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. 21 When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. 22 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.

Now, I'm no Bible scholar and I dont have vineyards and olive tree's but Im pretty sure it means that I can take my check book and pay for my needs and I can enjoy the fruit of my labor.  But before I use up the last of the $ for (you fill in the blank!)  I give that money to  the poor, lonely, widow or orphan...."so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.


 
So since coming home and dealing with my post-Africa blues I have come to the conclusion that wealth is good because they are counting on us for help!  I will no longer see it as something I have to do or should do but as something that I am privlidged in helping fulfil God's commands and to be part of the Body of Christ working together to make a difference and shine His name.

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And it just so happens that I just recieved the link to give straight into these very children's live's in Korah. 
 
 

2) Select “Designated/Sponsorship: One Time Gift”

3) Put “ET3008000″ in the Reference Number Field (IMPORTANT)
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, October 8, 2012

1 week home


So yesterday marks 1 week home with the twins.

                                                           1st day of school


 
 

                                                               The Turner clan!



 we had a family sleepover on the living room floor


 Daddy and his girls






cue, lound screams...

 

The week went 'way!' better than I expected.  We were definatly jet-lagged and tired for the 1st 1/2 of the week.  When I say tired I mean bedtime was between 7 and 7:30...for Everyone- parents included!  At 4pm I'd hit a wall and would litteraly fumble around the kitchen hoping I was grabbibng the right foods to put on the table.
As far as the twins eating....I was a bit worried at first.  A friend of mine made them 2 large platters of Ethiopian food and even though I would offer them what we were eating- they would only end up eating the ehtiopian food.  When it ran out I was sweating and hopping they would not have to grow up on banana's.  Thanks to the the miracle spice called 'Berber' that we bought in Ethiopia- they will eat 50-75% of the food we offer them...as long as there is a bowl of berber nearby! 

They sleep great- I cant imagine how exhausted they must feel but they are really doing great.

I would have never beleived that I actually would have be able to do a full week of school right away- including the twins but there was a reason that drove me.  Last Sunday the younger 3 kids were all so excited that they ran from one activity to the next with the twins.  They were so eager to try Everything with them:  in 1 hour it went from trampoine, to bikes, to UNO, to hide and seek, to razor scooters, to chalk, to soccer, to jenga, ect.  The girls were happy but I knew it was WAY to much.  By starting school up right away it gave every one structure.  I schooled the younger 3 in the morning while the twins played nearby and I then worked with the girls in the afternoon.
The girls are really bright and are little sponges.  They know the names of the letters and numbers in English-which is more than I expected.
The 1st 5 days they were supper quiet- very reserved and bareley making a peep unless we tickeled them.  On the 6th day somthing happened and they made huge progress.  They started initiating contact (requesting things or questioning things) they started to make a bit more noise w/ the kids, and they started to jump on Mike's back in wrestle matches and come up behind me and hug my waist.  Everynight we of couse cuddle up and tell them we love them and as expected they just giggle- but durring school with the girls I gave them each a qucik hug saying how smart they were- I turned to walk away and one of them shouted, "I love you mommy!'  I turned and saw the biggest grin ever on her face and the other one was giggling shyly.  I pretended to faint and and then danced over to them to land kisses all over their faces...I will never forget that moment :)

Im so pround of my younger 3!
 Sova is so funny, she just chats away on and on like they were her friends and like they actually understand every word she is saying.  I love spying on them in their room playing with dolls and setting up the tea set.  Sova is thrilled that the girls are experts at hair and all of her dolls have 'the works' now. 
Caleb the shy guy found his way of connecting with them by being the family clown.  He waits for them to look at him and then he will do some crazy stunt- either sliding down face first on the stairs, jumping off a chair, sliding in his socks and pretending to wipeout...they always laugh and have even offered him piggy backs.  He's a man of few words to them/ just as they are right now- but they are connecting through humor.
Jacob Mr. big heart told me this week that he knows that they are going to be his best friends!  He looks for anyway he can to make an 'in' w/ them.  Every single night he wants to be w/ Mike and I while we tuck them in and he will always give them a big good night hug.  The girls laughed at 1st at his strong efforts to get in a hug but now they know it's routine :)


  
So the most comical highlights of this week include:

the girls laughing at Jacob eating their injera like a burrito,
 someone dropped off a bag of clothes for them which included winter coats- the girls each put their coats on and would not take them off all day- it was 70 out that day- they ate lunch and did school in their winter coats- I thought they would never take them off,
the sinks have overflown a couple times because 1 of them seems to be a bit fascinated,
they were scared to go in the bubble bath- I think it was filled to high or the bubbles were too weired for them,
 they wont try alot of yummy things yet- strawberries girls, come on!
watching a very puffed up Jacob strut into the kitchen wearing his football gear- he was on his way to practice and was used to postive reactions like,'wow, you look tuff, your cool or you look so grown up!' The girls burst out laughing and began poking at his gear trying to figure it out...not exactly the way Jacob expected it to go!
one day they wore their ethiopian scarves/head wraps around the house and even on the trampoline- they looked adorable and I hope they stay feeling comfortable enought to wear those!, 
they are amazing cleaners and I catch myself cleaning better just because I dont want to look bad in front of my own daughters,
Pumpkins:  they could not understand why- after buying them- we would actually want to leave them outside.  One child keeps taking them in.  We let each kid pick a mini pumpkin- which evidentlly the twins thought were weird looking balls because they repeatedly tried to bounce them on our kitchen floor!  We had to try our best to explain they are just to sit and look pretty- not for basketball...
And the winner goes to:
well this is what we get for going against everything we were told and not staying home...
we stopped by a farm this weekend and while all the children and parents were admiring the large bison behind the double fence with signs posted to not touch...
I turned my head for a minute only to hear Jacob shouting, 'mom, look!'
Jereusalem was standing on the fence with her 2 fists clasped tightly on the bison's horns and she was shaking its head up and down!  I almost passed out.
That's when we went back to hibernation.

(*disclaimer- the child is not weird...she comes from a farming community where she was used to horses and cattle walking up and down her street carrying things.  The girl has probably grabbed these enormouse creatures by the horms countless times and this weekend was the first time where she got a gasp out of the crowd from that action...we probrably look like the weird one's to her!)

Hoping nothing tops that one too soon.




 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

FLC's Korah Video update


Our church had a very cool service this past weekend where they shared what has been going on in our Korah outreach in Ethiopia.
  Mike and I gave a video testimony about our 1st time visiting Korah.
The pictures at the end just make me want to fly back to see those sweet faces again!

Check it out!

http://vimeo.com/50251480?action=share

Monday, October 1, 2012

Thank you!!!!


Well we did it..,.mission accomplished- twins are home :)

 

Traveling made it pretty clear to us that the girls are experiencing many 'firsts.'
 
 

To name just a few: 

the automatic faucets in the bathroom were a hit, the automatic hand dryer...not so much a hit, I even noticed that they were enthralled with the paper towels in the bathroom.

 

I don't know what I was thinking but I hopped on an escalator just thinking that they would follow me...good thing Mike was behind them because they refused to go on the thing.

If only I had a camera to capture the look on their faces as I was escorted up on the magic silver stairway.  They took the stairs :)

 

We did convince them to try the moving walkway in the airport and that was a sight...but they just take everything in with big giggles and big eyes.

 

On our 6 hour layover we sat in front of a see through elevator- we were able to see the gears and the box moving up and down...that's one ride that they plan on saving for another day....

The light up- floor was avoided at all costs in Dubai.

 

To pass the time one of them decided it was a good time to clip her toenails...at this point we were too tired to do anything about it but laugh.

 

They laughed when the plane bounced off the run way and were fascinated by all the buttons and gadgets.  They put on head phones and heard music come out of them for the first time...they were talking very loudly about it and then put it on my ears so I can hear.  Jerusalem enjoyed flashing the lights on and off and switching every button on the TV screen that she had in from of her. 

 

Any of the airplane food that they did not eat they would offer to Mike and I- even if we too did not touch the cream cheese and crackers on our own plates...
 

It was one long trip but they did supper.
 

When we pulled up to the house the girls recognized it from their picture books.  Our kiddos we out getting lunch w/ nana so we showed them around the house.
 

The kids then pulled up and it was so awesome to see them.  The twins were standing in the doorway smiling and I think my other 3 couldn't believe that the girls were really standing in front of them.  It was definatly one of those awkward moments for them all...none of them knew what to do and no one felt ready to give those big hugs yet. 

The first hour the girls were back to their shy quiet selves until the kids sat next to them with the precious puzzles :)  That got some interaction going and loosened them all up a bit.  Then Jacob realized the best way to speak to them is through serving them- so he would bring them water, games, their shoes, anything he could think of as an excuse to interact with them in a neutral way :)

So in the 1st 24 hours home they have swung on our huge swing, very hesitantly bounced on the trampoline,  played the piano, tried a razor scooter, and sat on a bicycle for the first time.  They were crazy over the bike and laughed so hard as I toted them all over the grass- they were a bit scared to pedal and enjoy coasting for now.
 

EVERYTHING is so new...from microwaves to the mysterious loud large box otherwise known as the dryer...
 
Last night as our family sat around the fire pit together I recalled that it was only in late May-
 only 4 months ago-that we saw the girls faces on the 'waiting child' page and God started speaking to us that these were the ones.  I remembered the kids prayers and pleas, and I remember Mike and mine fears and doubts.  I didnt need to glance at the girls eating their icecream under the stars to know that this was right...every fiber in my body tells me that even though this is hard, even though there is deep sadness in this story- God has a plan, he has a purpose, he set the girls here and I am overcome with gratitude to God to think of us and believe that we can handle this.
  I remember thinking about the impossiblity of the financial situation- we would have to give up every last penney that we fundraised for our flights if we wanted to add a 2nd child.  We would have to start at $0 with no new fresh ideas.  Tears are running down my cheeks just thinking of the greatness of our God.  I could just sit here all day just thinking of the amazing things that he has done for us concerning our adoptions...he has truly blessed us beyond what we could ever had imagined.  And God does not show favortism...what he has done for us he has done for countless of other families who have who have had nothing in their pockets but a only a heart that beats 'yes' for this.  It's called faith and it's scarey...but it really works everytime.
 
We started this jounrney almost 2 1/2 years ago- oh my how the road has taken many twists and turns- to think I was terrified of announcing that we were going to adopt ONE Baby- I actually was worried people would think we were crazy...Im glad to see that God had taken away that fear from me :)
 
Thank you all so much for taking this journey with us!  It has truly been so amazing to have our friends and family's support through this.  We litteraly could not have done this without you- from watching our kids, to financially helping us get these girls  home, to listening to me babble on about the paperwork and where we are in the process, to most importantly your prayers for our family.
Im so moved by it all and thank you is not even adequate.
 
I'm off to start my 1st day of homeschooling 5 kids. 
If only you knew how scared I was to start homeschooling one 4 year old many years ago!  Im just glad that God doesnt show the whole picture before we are really ready for it :)
 
The ethiopian coffee is brewing in the pot and Im actually thankful that jet-lag has been waking me up early to have this alone time.  Getting ready for all the funny things that will happen today...
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Last day!

                                         




This is it!  Today we go back to the orphanage to visit and say our goodbyes.  We fly out of Ethiopia at 4pm  and get to Dubai sometime after 9pm.  We have another horrid layover- over 5 hours long- and our flight takes of at 2:30 am!  We arrive bright and early in NY on Saterday and have a 2 hour drive home.

I am jumping out of my skin to see my kiddos!
The girls are doing really well but even so I ask for your prayers for them.  They are strong girls but this is a huge thing.  Actually, everytime I try to imagine what they must be feeling I start to cry because it really is such a hard thing.  Praying that they will feel God's presence and peace through this whole transition.  Thank you!!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hope Chest/ Hands for the Needy in Korah

 Today we were honored to go visit Hands for the Needy.  Our church partenered with Hope Chest and supports over 180 kids in a village garbage dump called Korah- here in Addis.  Our church has a child sponsorship program set up here and we help feed, educate, and disciple these precious kids.  Although I have so much to say and my heart is pounding looking at these amazing kids- I feel this blog post should let the pictures speak for themselves...

 Yemamu- one of the leaders here


 Injera and lentils









 Our church purchased Bibles written in their language for each child...this was the highlight of the day!

 The children were so happy!





 No words.
 'Thank you faith living church' is what I hear right now ringing in my ears...
 Praying over the kids!
 Dinner :)
 Sweet Yitiayal our sponsor child (wearing what we brought him last trip :)
 1st family missions trip w/ the twins...definatly not the last!
 HopeChest staff
I love this man!  He is one of the security guards here.  I was told while he is in his post all night he prays for the children.  He was so joyful and full of smiles.  He was so eager to recieve his own Bible, he asked if we could save him one- he was so greatful.

Oh my word...this is what life is about.