Monday, January 31, 2011

Adoption Update

Saturday we had our last of three interviews with our social worker from AWAA. He was so kind and brought two boxes of donuts for us! He'll start writing up our homestudy next Monday since he had a few to do before ours.
Once that is written and approved by AWAA we send it in to USCIS for embassy clearance to bring orphans into the country and fingerprinting appts for me and Steve.

Steve still needs to get his police clearance from our local agency and that takes about a week once he applies. I need to check the instructions again to see what else we need to get done.

We did up our age to 14 because we saw a ten year old boy that looked like he would fit into our family quite well. We need to have a talk with our boys though because he could be older than that and disrupt the birth order there. There was a period where I had four boys in five years so they're all pretty close in age even though with one being ten and another being fifteen it wouldn't look like it, but in ten years they'll all be about the same size.

We're still selling coffee and t-shirts which you can access by clicking on the appropriate buttons on the right. I'm selling wristbands for $1.00 each. I have books and clothing up for sale on ebay right now to raise some funds. Every little bit helps! We need to send in about $800+ with our immigration paperwork and then quite a few fees after that equaling about $10K.

Thank you for supporting us and praying for us. Help us bring these kids into a family!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Why Men Are Never Depressed

This was sent to us by a good friend. Enjoy!


Men Are Just Happier People-- What do you expect from such simple creatures? Your last name stays put. The garage is all yours. Wedding plans take care of themselves. Chocolate is just another snack. You can be President. You can never be pregnant. You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO shirt to a water park. Car mechanics tell you the truth. The world is your urinal. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too picky. You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Same work, more pay. Wrinkles add character. Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100. People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them. New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet. One mood all the time.

Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. You know stuff about tanks. A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. You can open all your own jars. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.

Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack. Three pairs of shoes are more than enough. You almost never have strap problems in public. You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes. Everything on your face stays its original color. The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades. You only have to shave your face and neck.

You can play with toys all your life. One wallet and one pair of shoes -- one color for all seasons. You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look. You can "do" your nails with a pocket knife. You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.

You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.

No wonder men are happier.


So I have two days under my belt with Addis and one day with Mulu. With eight children in the home, homeschooling and the various places I serve I have come to realize I will can do the challenge for thirty days, but they won't be in a row.

I will say the first time I put Addis on my lap it was very, very awkward. We're talking a girl who is supposed to be ten, turning eleven but is really fourteenish. She is a woman so-to-speak and well, that's just not a natural thing for me to have a full grown woman in my lap! She has never been rocked so this is new and awkward for her as well. She is also very introverted and shy. Yesterday we sat in my recliner as I listened to her read for twenty minutes. The first time we ended up talking about her family in Ethiopia. At different times little pieces of her former life come out. Sometimes it just takes one little thing to trigger a memory, other times she's just in the mood to talk. Either way this will give us a time to do that.

With Mulu the rocking is much more natural. She is outgoing, younger, and  uninhibited. She is the age that Addis is supposed to be now. We could both almost just fall asleep together because we're so comfortable with one another. We chat and rock. Laugh and rock. Rock, rock, rock....................

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rockin Mama Challenge

Mommy: Mulu, you and I are going to rock.
Mulu: You mean we're going to have a party?!
Mommy: No, we're going to go rock in the rocking chair.
Mulu: Oh.....(big smile on her face)

We're going to try this. Rockin' Mama Challenge

Last week I signed her up for school at our local elementary school. Then I realized I cannot be without her every day all day long five days a week. We need each other. I called Tuesday morning and told them I would continue to teach her at home. This morning she wanted to know when I would rock her. I rock the little girls, but I don't normally rock Mulu and Addis. I'm going to try and do this fifteen minutes a day for the next month. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Children Are a Blessing

Children are a Blessing

Why do you have so many children? Are you going to have any more? You must live in a huge house...these are some of the many questions large families receive on a regular basis. The Moore family is a Christian homeschool family of ten children, who decided to use the influences of media to share their story.

Join the Moore family in a short documentary about what God's Word says about children. The Moores will give you an inside look into their family, the birth of their tenth child and why they have chosen to to allow as many children as God would bless them with. They answer questions like, what does the Bible say about birth control and what was Margaret Sanger trying to accomplish?

My personal friends, the Redman family, Our Full House, first heard about this movie in July, at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. Fast forward six months and they are offering a free copy of the film Children are a Blessing to one of their readers.

They will be giving away one copy of the movie Children are a Blessing, this Friday. To enter, please leave a comment about your family (how many children you have or would like to have). If you have a blog or facebook page, please post about their giveaway (and then leave a comment telling them that you did) and you will receive an additional entry for each.

Our Full House

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning!

I recently decided to get a hold of my house by trying to get ahead of it instead of it getting ahead of me! So I came up with a system that seems to be working. Now some of you need to remember that I have many hands in my house and I am not doing all this work by myself. Many hands make the mess, but many hands also clean the mess. There is nothing wrong with making your children help with maintaining the cleanliness of your household.  Below is my schedule for this month. We'll tweak it at the end of the month once we've done everything once and see how it goes.

I took my calendar and decided to tackle one big chore a day. Here's how I've broken it down.

First Monday-Sort socks (you know the ones that end up without their mate)
First Tuesday-Clean baseboards and deep clean the little girls room.
First Wednesday-Clean doors & dust
First Thursday-Clean Walls & dust (if dusting didn't get done the day before)
First Friday-Vacuum Couch and go spider web hunting

Second Monday-Clean blinds & Window sills
Second Tuesday-Vacuum under and behind beds & Dust if needed
Second Wednesday-Organize Girls ethnic hair products, deep clean bathrooms & wash shower curtains
Second Thursday-We have classes so no cleaning
Second Friday-Mop (we have a floor that you cannot tell if it's dirty or not :-) )

Third Monday-Clean little girls room AGAIN/Clean fans and light fixtures
Third Tuesday-Clean inside & outside of kitchen cabinets, linen cabinets & bathroom cabinets
Third Wednesday-Clean fridges/freezer
Third Thursday-Clean laundry room, includes counter & washer/dryer
Third Friday-Maybe a seasonal chore

Fourth Monday-Clean & organize book cases
Fourth Tuesday-Put away and organize home school supplies/books
Fourth Wednesday-maybe clean windows
Fourth Thursday-Classes again
Fourth Friday-Mop

So far my house looks spic & span. Just cleaning the doors, walls & baseboards made a big difference. What I've been doing is assigning certain doors, walls, and such to each child. The job doesn't seem so insurmountable that way. Today when we cleaned blinds I had my ten year old clean the ones in the kitchen because they're a little lower than other ones in my house. One bedroom doesn't have any so I had one of the boys clean three blinds in my room. I still need to do the two by my tub, but that seems easy knowing all the others are done.

With home schooling, family, meals, and ministry it seems the house suffers. I'm hoping this helps us keep on top of the dirt. :-)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

This Means War: Equipping Christian Families for Fostercare or Adoption

I first heard of this book on one of my adoption Yahoo daily digests that I receive in by email. I like to check out the new and different items that become available in the field of adoption so I emailed the original poster who was the author of the book and she directed me to its availabilty on

The book This Means War: Equipping Christian Families for Fostercare or Adoption was written by Cheryl Ellicot. The book deals with the spiritual warfare that comes with adoption/fostercare. The description on the back of the book: Are you prepared to adopt? Read on as experienced foster, adotive and even grandparents share stories of success, but also of struggles. Many entered adoption unprepared and were quickly overwhelmed. We wondered why our parenting methods failed. Why didn't our love heal these kids? Why were our previously happy families falling apart?

We lacked vital information about invisible disabilities; we didn't know how profoundly neglect damages an infant. We didn't know we'd signed up to be missionaries to miniature heathens-nor that a spiritual enemy opposed us. Perhaps we assumed the natural state of man, apart from negative influence or defective genes, would be an ideal person; in the Garden of Eden....maybe. We're not in the Garden anymore!

Before you adopt, pray for protection and guidance-and be sure you read This Means War!


Since we've decided to adopt again I can attest that the enemy has been on full duty with me.

One of the comments from her book:

Satan will try to separate you from your spouse and children (by too many hours at work, too many extracurricular activities, etc.) 

Never have I felt the urge so strongly to send my children away to school as I have the last few months. I have home educated for twenty-two years and I've had a day here or there like most homeschoolers, but this is different. When I read that it all makes sense. If he can separate us then we are not the cohesive unit that we have been and that we are.

Her advice: Spend time alone with your family, getting to know them. Listen to your spouse and children and share your heart with them daily.

I have never had so many home schooling mothers come up to me and make me discontent in my decision to homeschool. They are discontent and question what they're doing which makes me discontent and question what I'm doing. I am fifty afterall, shouldn't I move on to bigger and better things?!! I have been doing this for twenty-two years haven't I put in my time? haven't I proved myself already?

Her advice: Beware of ungodly counsel. When you've decided to be led by the Holy Spirit, know that Satan will send people to insist you take another path.

She does talk about natural love vs. supernatural love. It isn't natural for us to love other children the way we love children who have been born to us. No, it takes a supernatural love, one that goes above and beyond what we feel and is natural.

She states: "The only love that was missing was the "natural" love-the feeling of a bond between mother and child. Under natural circumstances, this strong emotional bond motivateds and guides the parents as they protect and raise their child. However, adoption isn't natural and these children are not as they should have been (without damage); they have extra challenges and I've been called to something higher than natural love.  My lack of strong emotion actually was the natural response to this situation!"

BUT! We are called to a higher love: Colossians 3:12-13 was her motivation.
"My mission is to nuture these kids, inlcude them as part of a loving family, teach them scripture, and pray God will touch them in a powerful way and them into a relationship with Himself. Nothing else mattters.

I highly recommend this jewel of a book. If you're parenting children through adoption or foster care you've already opened your heart. Now buy your book, put your combat boots on and get ready to fight the good fight for your kids.
If you learn only one thing from this book, let it be this: It's easy to get caught up in the work of a humanitarian and forget your main objective in life is to love God with all your heart, mind, body, and soul. The only way to succeed in life is to remain as a branch connected to the vine [Jesus]. Keep your relationship with God through Jesus as the most important thing -- the ONLY thing that matters -- and He will pour out His spirit on the children... in His time.