Friday, August 29, 2008

One Month Down!

Wow! It has been one month since the day that changed our lives forever! Let me tell you, I am amazed at how much you can love someone you have never met in one month! To celebrate, we are registering!!! Fun! Zack & I are heading up to Lexington later today and hitting Babies-r-Us wide open!

Did I mention that we are totally in love!!! Prayerfully, only a couple more months of waiting before we get to meet our precious son! I can't wait for you all to meet him too!!! So, when will we get to meet him????

Here is what we do know in terms of timing....

There is a group of around 7-8 families (I believe this is accurate) that already have court dates scheduled for October 8th, the first date the courts in Ethiopia reopen. If they pass court on this date (please be praying that they will!) they are scheduled to travel around October 24th. We will not know when our exact court date will be, but we can assume it will be shortly after this first group of families. Prayerfully, then, we should expect to travel sometime in November, most likely the mid to latter part. Please be praying for court for all families. I don't know if you remember what happened last year (families did not travel until the end of January!!!), but we do not want that to happen again, and most likely, it will not. Our agency has assured us that they have learned from last years experience and will do everything in their power to unite families with their children as quickly as possible.

Also, congrats to the Sloninger and Stager families who received their referrals yesterday! Whoo Hoo!!

Happy Labor Day everyone!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In Memory.....

Two years ago today our small town of London, KY. and the whole state of Kentucky for that matter awoke on a Sunday morning to what seemed to be a nightmare.....Comair flight 5191 had taken the wrong runway at the Bluegrass Airport in Lexington, Ky. and crashed immediately after takeoff, killing 49 of the 50 passengers on board. Out of the many lives that were lost that day, five people had been from London, Ky. or had at one time resided there. Two of those people, Jon Hooker and Scarlett Parsley Hooker, had just been married the night before in a beautiful wedding ceremony, and were on their way to California to visit Disneyland, one of Scarlett's favorite places.

Scarlett and I became friends in middle school when my family moved to a new church. We found that we had many common interests, such as playing in the school band, singing in choir, participating in church and youth group activities and just having fun! Our friendship continued into high school, and though we didn't see each other much after we graduated, we stayed in contact through our annual Christmas party. Though I didn't know Jon as well, I was good friends with his younger sister who graduated with Scarlett and I, and thought very highly of their entire family. When the news of Scarlett's and Jon's engagement spread, everyone was so thrilled and excited for them! They made a beautiful couple, in many, many ways.

The last time I saw Scarlett was at her bridal tea. I did not attend the wedding, as we (Zack & I) had only been at our current church for a couple of months, and a large youth event was taking place that same day. I helped Zack, our youth minister, chaperon the event instead. I just knew I would have a change to congratulate Scarlett & Jon sometime after the wedding.

I still remember when I realized what had happened that morning. I was standing in the balcony at church and was watching the praise team warm up on the stage below. I noticed that many of the praise team members were crying. I was trying to piece together what was going on...I hadn't heard anything..... Then I remembered when I had arrived that morning, one of the youth asked me why our church librarian was crying. The young man said that she had said something about a plane crash. Nothing clicked with me at the time he had asked, but I suddenly remembered....Scarlett & Jon were flying this morning. I quickly found Zack and asked him if he could go find out what had happened. I stood in the balcony praying that nothing had happened. I waited. I prayed. I felt sick. I heard the balcony door open, and the moment I saw Zack's face, I knew. As I type this, I still get the same sick feeling I had the moment I saw his face. They were gone.

In the coming days, we had the chance to visit with both families. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, especially when we visited Scarlett's family, as I was closer to them. What do you say to a mother and father who just lost their youngest daughter the very morning after what was the happiest day of her life? How do you comfort a family who has gone from the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows? I just remember we prayed and prayed.

Needless to say, our whole community was in shock and disbelief. The grief was tremendous. Why? How? Memorial services were planned, vigils were held, and those first few months were pretty rough.

This would be an ever more more tragic and sad story except for one thing....both Scarlett and Jon were committed believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. They both knew the one who gave them forgiveness of sins and life everlasting! Praise God that in midst of this horrible tragedy, in the midst of our anger, hurt, confusion and grief, we could rest in the knowledge that Scarlett and Jon were in the presence our Lord. We were able to grieve with hope, and literally thousands of people have heard about the saving power of Jesus Christ through the lives of Scarlett and Jon. Praise God that we have a firm foundation in times when we feel like the whole world is caving in around us. Thank you Lord.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Celebrating :)

Yesterday was my birthday :) We celebrated by eating yummy, yummy Mexican food at one of our fine Mexican restaurants here in London. And of course, no birthday is complete without the sombrero and fried ice cream!

Then we were off to work on the house, which is coming along very nicely! I will add some pics of our progress this weekend.....I don't think you will believe the changes!!
It was a great day, and the only thing that could have made it any better is if Caleb Samuel was here to celebrate with us! How exciting to know that he will be here in only a few more months!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Wow....this waiting is tough. Much more difficult than when we were waiting for our referral. But, knowing that it won't be as long as it has been is comforting, and getting updates helps too :) Thanks to our friend Kathleen Moles (KP) who just recently picked up her son in Ethiopia, today we received ten more pictures of Caleb!! He is growing and still as happy as ever :) And the tiniest bit of hair is starting to peek through. I wish I could post his cute face, but you know the rules....Hopefully just a couple more months :) Even more exciting news....this weekend we might have a video to watch of him!!!! I can' t imagine actually seeing him in motion! And maybe a chance to hear his sweet voice?? It's just too much!!

URGENT UPDATE: Please, please remember a precious family in our AWAA adoption group who recently received their referral. They were notified from Ethiopia that their child was very sick and tragically did not make it through the night. Please pray for the peace and healing that only our Lord Jesus can give in times like these.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Love the Olympics!!!

I love the Olympics!!! It is such a cool thing to see people from so many different countries come together....if only life could always be that way....
This year the Olympics are even more special, as I feel like I have two countries to cheer for....America & Ethiopia!!!
I took these pictures of the Ethiopian Olympic team during the opening you can see, I wasn't there ( I was watching on tv :) but it was still so cool!
We all cheered, "Go Ethiopia!!!"
We kept waiting for them, as this year the countries weren't in alphabetical order (or any order that I could determine). Thankfully, they did give you a heads up as to what countries were coming up next, so I got in a few practice shots of Japan before ET came up :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Families in Ethiopia and Court Update

It's that time again!! Families are in Ethiopia picking up their children, and you can follow along on their journey! The Moles, Cox, Ducommun, and one mystery family are all in Ethiopia! The links to their blogs are to the right!

Also, we do have some news on the court issue. Our family coordinator has informed us that court dates will still be requested throughout the court closure period (the courts are now closed) This is great news not only for us, but for all the families who will receive referrals during this time. However, our agency no longer tells families the exact date of their court date, they only tell the family once they have passed successfully!! It is kind of like receiving a's a big surprise! Our family coordinator did tell us she anticipates our travel date to be in mid-late November, so we are guessing that our court date will be sometime in mid-late October. Though we were hoping to travel sooner, we are just grateful for a healthy and happy baby, and whenever we get to bring him home (prayerfully sooner than later :) will be a tremendous blessing!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Interview with Steven Curtis Chapman, including Larry King Live interview

If you weren't able to catch the interview with Steven Curtis Chapman on Good Morning America, the link is below. What a tragic story, but at the same time an amazing testimony to God's faithfulness.

Also, here is the link to the interview with the Chapman Family that was on Larry King Live last night. You can access the actual interview and photos by clicking on the links at the top of the page once it opens. It is a must see!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

More on the Disaster Zone (aka...our new house :)

More pics of our lovely home.....well, it will be lovely soon!!

I don' t think there are any rooms where the drywall did not have to be repaired....the bedrooms are no exception....they will also get new paint and carpet :)

This bathroom is in need of some help!
As one of my friends could have a seizure in there :)