Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tesfa turns 5!!!!

Wow~ what a big day here at our house...actually, more like a Huge weekend of many, beautiful celebrations. More on Christmas next post, this one is all about Tesfa!! We started off the day with candles in his pancakes & ended it with candles in his cake...That boy loves him some candles:)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dossier...up, up & away!!!!

As Christmas is quickly approaching, we are daily reminded of God's goodness to each & every one of us. We are all so excited to celebrate Jesus' birth!! Things have been beautifully different this year around our home....Our kids have not been focused on what gifts they hope to receive, instead their focus is on HIM, and about their sister waiting on the other side of the world. There is definitely a feeling around here...that one of us is missing:(  Oh, how we wish we could get on a plane and be with her this Christmas!! But, we rest in knowing that we are getting closer & closer to her!! Our dossier is on it's way to ET!!!! Can't wait to get that phone call about a court date!!! What a Happy New Year it will be!!!


Monday, December 19, 2011

The week of blessings. The Tesfa tale.

Thanks again to all of you, who have come alongside our family, whether it be through prayers, finances, or well wishes. We have been extremely blessed by all of you!! The grand total for the week was....$5,905.00!!!!! The lucky winners of the Kindle Fire's were....Kari Weigel & Amy Hanson!!!

 Also, while I'm taking a few minutes to blog...I also have to tell you about Tesfa's conversation with me this morning. It went something like this: "Momma, do you like my color??"  "Yes, Tesfa, momma LOVES your beautiful skin!" "Momma, do you want color like me?" "Oh, yes...I wish I had your beautiful brown skin...Momma loves your skin!!"  "Momma, you can have skin like me! just go to the paint store and buy brown paint:)" "Oh, buddy, it's not that easy!"
                       "ok, momma....just go to Ethiopia, and then you will turn brown!!!!!"

                                                          Love that boy!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wow, Wow & wow!!!!!!!

Wow!!! Can you tell I'm at a loss for words when it comes to a blog post title??!! I wish It could be an audio title!! Then, you'd all hear me screaching, yelling, thank you-ing, praising.... like big time!!! And you'd probably get the sense that I was jumping up & down!!! Yep, that's been our past week around the Gilliss house!! I am still in awe of the donations that keep flowing in from all of you!! Glory be to God!

 Tomorrow wraps up the.....

How Would You Like a KINDLE FIRE?

UPDATE: TWO (yes 2!!!) Kindle Fires will be given as a gift!! A generous friend of the Gilliss Family decided to bless one more person!! So that means TWO people will receive a KINDLE FIRE!!

Did that get your attention? Good. :)

One week ago, I stated that our "due now" amount was $4,325.00 and our total remaining balance was just over $11,000.00 plus travel!!  Well, I am so excited to tell you that we have surpassed that "due now" number!!!! The current donations are at $5,440.00!!!!  We are about half way to our full amount!!!!!  To God be the glory!!!!!!

Whether you donated $10, $20, $50, $100 or $500.... we appreciate each gift equally.  :)

Thank you all so much for the overwhelming amount of love, generosity, & support you have shown us in the past week!!!  You all are a magnificent & beautiful part of "Our A's" story!!!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

3 DAYS left!!!

For Such As These: How Would You Like a KINDLE FIRE?: Did that get your attention? Good. :)

Click on the above title and be directed to our friends blog to get a chance to win.  And bonus... it helps our adoption.  

Thank you to those of you who have given so graciously to our adoption.  It is such a joy to watch God work through friends, family, and even people whom we have never met...


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Can't stop smiling:)

It has been less than a week since Our friends at.. started this amazing, humbling act of kindness to benefit our family & the daughter we are aching to meet!!!

 Yes, less than a week!! And as of today we have been blessed with more than we could ever imagine!!! Our current total....drum roll $4,462.00...yes, you read that right....Four thousand Four Hundred and Sixty Two dollars!!!! Wow!!!!!! Thanks to all of you, whether near or far, friends or family...that have completely blown our socks off!!! I can hardly wait to tell our girl about all of you, who have helped in some way...whether that be through prayer or finances. We appreciate all of you!!

 This will go through this Friday, the 16th!!! So, if you haven't already...check out for more details!!!!

                      Smiling ear to ear, thanking Our God for His provision.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

WOW!!!!! Drum roll please!!!!!!!!!!

WOW!!!! I can hardly believe my eyes!!! Am I really seeing this right???!! Thanks to all of you who have blessed our family today!! Day 1 total.....$1921.00!!!!! Oh My Word!!! Really???? Are we really deserving of all of this love & support that has been shown??! I can literally feel us getting closer & closer to our girl!!!! At times when this journey feels hard...God is continuously right there. Speaking to my heart. Pushing us on. And, I'm sooooo glad we continue to walk forward. In HIS plan for us.

                       Day 1 down....8 to go!!!! I can feel God cheering us on!!!!!

Friends & a Kindle.

Once again....friends whom we've actually never person. But, they are friends.
In case you've never looked up the definition of it is:)

One who supports, sympathizes with, or patronizes a group, cause, or movement.

 A person whom one knows; an acquaintance.

            A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.

 So, it's very appropriate that I call Charisa & Greg Knight our friends!!

And an absolute support they are!! They have kindly & graciously offered to support our family in our journey to bring our "A" home!! It's hard to put into words how thankful we are for them. When a person or family embarks on this journey called comes with alot of unknowns at times, fear, excitement, financial worries, joy etc...and it seems as if families who have adopted in the past or are in the midst of it themselves, are often your biggest cheerleaders!! And that they are. But, knowing that God  has this beautiful plan all worked out...even though it's blurry at us such comfort & peace. I love who God has connected us with in these past two is nothing short of amazing. 

 So, please...take a second...jump on over to their blog...check out how they are supporting our family!! And have a chance to love Our Girl...even though you've yet to meet.

    Love to your family from ours         xo

For Such As These: How Would You Like a KINDLE FIRE?

For Such As These: How Would You Like a KINDLE FIRE?: Did that get your attention? Good. :)

Click on the above title and be directed to our friends blog to get a chance to win.  And bonus... it helps our adoption.

Friday, December 2, 2011

close..but, yet so far.

Yesterday we received an email, with the sweetest pictures of our sweet girl in ET:) oh, how it makes me want to jump on a plane & be with her!! I just have to tell you...she looks so beautiful & so pleased with her latest hair-do!! Up until now, all of the pics we've received of her, she has had very short hair...they usually cut the hair down to help with the ringworm etc....anyhow, the pics we got yesterday....she has the biggest smile...ear to ear!! One of the nannies must have done her is beautiful & long!! It looks as if she is dressed up a bit...not in dressy clothes or anything fancy...but, a pink shirt & jeans with a spiderman logo:) She looks proud.
      And, as I stare at these pics, over & over....she feels so close to my heart, almost like I can feel myself hugging her....reaching my arms out to hold her...but, I open my eyes & I realize she is still so far away. I can't wait to tell her she IS loved. And how beautiful she is. And I can't wait to tell her how much Jesus loves her. Oh, how HE loves her. We love her.
 After picking the kids up from school yesterday....Kate asked me when we got in the car..."Mom, have we gotten any new pictures of my sister??"(which is a daily question from Kate!!) She could hardly contain herself on the drive home!! She has never gotten out of the car so fast!! She ran to the computer. And looked at her pics over & over & over again. All 4 of them stood here just gazing at her:)
 It seems like yesterday we were at this point with bringing our youngest two home....I remember it so well...I remember feeling like I would actually never see them face to face...It felt like I would only know them through pictures. And then, the day came. Oh, how Im aching for that day to come again. and soon.
 So, you are probably wondering..."whats taking so long??" or..."where are you at in this journey?".... well, In a does feel like its been long...but, its really not taking any longer...the difference is...we saw her face the end of June & that is when we started the process. Where with the boys....we started the process a few months before we got their referral. With "A" being on the waiting childrens List...we knew from the day we saw her...she was meant to be our daughter! And then, in August....courts in ET closed during their rainy season, and just opened up again in October!! So, our dossier is out of our home & on it's way to our agency, then DC.... then Ethiopia:) After it is translated...we will be submitted for court!!!! I'm hoping for a court date in February!!!
   I've had people asking & wondering if there is anything they or you can do to help??! And, there is!!!! On the left hand side of this will see a very colorful picture of's actually a 500 piece puzzle!!! This is one way you could help us!! You can buy/sponsor any amount of pieces for $10.00 a piece....we will then put your name on the back of the piece, so we can show her & remember who helped us along in this journey to our daughter & sister!
   The other way you could listed below...This is a letter I wrote in our efforts to raise funds to help bring our girl home!! Like I've mentioned before...This is not something that is easy for me to do, or ask for. But, having been through the process before...and seeing God's hand & presence through it all...I no longer feel too proud. We, as Christians are commanded to rise up & serve the poor, needy, fatherless, the some way, shape or form. It may look different for each one of us. Some of us have felt the call to adopt, some might feel led to sponsor a child & some of us may help at our local homeless shelter.  "Jesus does not ask that we care for the less fortunate....He demands it." from the book "Kisses From Katie."

Dear Family and Friends,                                                                                           November 1, 2011

As most of you know…July 2010 brought 2 of the greatest blessings to our family! We were blessed with our sons…Ageze & Tesfa whom we adopted from Ethiopia. This past year has been wonderful, challenging, beautiful & hard at times…and we wouldn’t change a thing. Our walk with God and our Faith has grown tremendously in the last 2 years. For that, we are thankful.
 I’ll give you a bit of our history. After years of tossing the idea of Adoption around in our hearts & heads, we made the leap of faith, that would forever change our family, our hearts & our home!!! Going to Ethiopia was one of the hardest but best weeks I’ve had! When we were leaving for the airport, my heart felt like it was tearing in two. Two of my children in North Dakota & two of them in Ethiopia!! Saying “see you in 9 days” to Grant & Kate was truly devastating. But, the thought of not going to ET with Kasey to pick up our sons, was equally mind shattering. So, to the airport we went. I often wonder what the other people on our plane were thinking…I was crying like a baby! But, ultimately…I knew that God and our family would protect & love Grant & Kate while we were gone…I knew this was a time I had to go. And I’m so thankful I did. It forever changed us. I was somewhere above the Atlantic Ocean, listening to my Christian Music and the peace that washed over me was unexplainable. I was ok. Grant & Kate were ok. And Tesfa & Ageze were even ok. I was coming. Just one more day & we’d be in the same country as our boys…picking them up, welcoming them into our arms forever!
  Once we stepped foot on Ethiopian soil, we knew it wouldn’t be our last time there! I can’t even begin to explain how deeply we were impacted in those 9 days. And I’m so glad we were. We not only fell in love with our new son’s…we fell in love with their birth country. Leaving Ethiopia on that July day..heading for America, we felt comfort knowing we’d be back!!
  And, we are so pleased & excited to tell you….WE ARE GOING BACK!!!!
 We have one of the most beautiful little girls waiting for us in Ethiopia!! She is approximately 6 years old, she has the most beautiful smile that makes her big, brown eyes twinkle with hope & delight! We ache for her, pray for her, include her in our family talks…now, we are just waiting for her.
 And, that is where you come in. As you are probably aware of…Adoption is quite expensive. But, We can’t afford NOT to!! THEY can’t afford for us NOT to!!

   Like Proverbs 24:12 says: “Once are eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows we know and holds us responsible to act.”
There are a couple of ways you can help and be a part of our story:

1.     Prayer - We would love & treasure it if you’d pray for our Daughter In Ethiopia…for her health, her safety, but ultimately pray that she may feel the love that God has for her and that she may have faith that she does have a family waiting for her!
2.     Financial support - Would you please consider donating $5,10,20,50,100 etc.. towards our adoption in order to help us with bringing her home?? Between the paperwork, plane tickets, and travel... adoption is very expensive…any amount is extremely appreciated!! What a beautiful day that will be to get her home! Thanks in advance for your support. We appreciate each and every one of you.

Bismarck Community Church has graciously given us the ability to offer a tax deductible way for you to support "A".
If you would like to be a part of God bringing "A" to Himself through our family, you can send your tax-deductible gift to the address below.  Bismarck Community Church is a trusted organization administering the funds on "A" behalf, and will pay adoption expenses out of funds received.

1.     Please make checks payable to:  Bismarck Community Church. You may preference how the donation might be used by writing preference Gilliss Family Adoption in the memo section of your check. 
(*Note:  In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Bismarck Community Church which retains full discretion and control over its use.)

2.     Mail checks to:
Bismarck Community Church
Attn:  Gilliss family adoption
1617 E Michigan Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58504

  How wonderful it will be to pick her up, with our arms wide open!!!! What a beautiful day that will be!! Thanks in advance for your support. We appreciate each and every one of you.
Feel free to check out our Family Blog/Journey at…
We look forward to the day we have her in our arms & we are able to introduce her to all of you!!

Love & Blessings,

Kristen, Kasey, Grant, Kate, Ageze & Tesfa Gilliss

Thank you for investing in The Kingdom through prayer & finances- it will be an investment with an eternal return!! (Matt 6:20) We’ll give you an update with a picture of our daughter and details as we receive them!! Please pray this entire process will glorify God and fulfill His purposes!