Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas 2012. Tesfas birthday.

Family. fun. food. blessings. gifts. the greatest gift of all.
What a blessed Christmas we had. enjoy the few pics that we managed to's a tad crazy to have the camera out & I find that if I'm really focused on taking so many photos I might miss the real wonder that is happening around, enjoy the few I have!! Hope your Christmas was delightful!!

                                                                     love this!!!!!!


                                   our precious girls & their babies:)
                                                 my handsome mountain man of a husband!!
                                                     Lily...the newest little princess:)

The day after Christmas was Tesfas birthday, so more celebrating was had at our house!! And since I'm obviously really slow with posting on this blog of mine, I'll throw in a few more pics of Tes' b-day, otherwise he'll be turning 10 by the time I post next:)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

{our winter wonderland}

Oh, how I love watching our kids have fun, being their sweet, silly little selves...yesterday we woke up to a winter wonderland...our neighborhood was beautiful!!! The trees were glistening. It felt like such a cozy, Christmas-y day! Ariyat got a new winter coat, so of course she had to try it out...what better day to do it than this perfectly sun-shiny, snowy day!!! We have enjoyed receiving many Christmas cards...its always so fun to see how kids have grown each year!! The kids race to the mail box each day to see how many cards happen to be in there!!

Well, we are off to the kids' church Christmas program...a night of love & hope!!! May your days leading up to Christmas Day be blessed!! love & be loved.

                                                          Merry Christmas to you!!!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

{a beautiful story for a beautiful boy}

Today is Agezes 7th birthday. I always seem to get pretty sentimental on this day. Thoughts wander through my mind. Whether it be how quickly our kids are growing up. how tall they've grown. foods that they now love & are willing to try, when just days ago they gave me a frown when I handed them more veggies than sweets. Things change. It comes with getting older, I guess. Reflecting. Savoring each moment we have with our kids. Reminding ourselves even through the sleepless nights (yes, we still have those once in a while.) that someday we would take the sleepless nights in a heartbeat just to have our kids under our roof again. Relieved that they are pretty young yet:)

On this particular day though, my heart continues to go out to Agezes birthfather. What a special man he is. What a special son we have. together. I'm gonna take you back to when we saw Agezes picture for the very 1st time.
The minute our eyes saw his precious face, we just knew. We knew without a doubt that God was placing him in our family for a reason. many reasons, actually. His eyes just got me. They still do. I love that I can tell what kind of mood he is in by looking at those big, beautiful, brown eyes. Eyes with such a story. This boy of ours. what a story he has. He remembers exactly what he was thinking while he was having this picture taken. He remembers his past so clearly. A past that many would think would cause so much pain, but brings so much life out of him when he talks through it. He loved his life in Ethiopia. He loves his birth family. He shares stories from his past on a daily has brought so much healing. His cow stories are usually at the top of his list to tell & re-tell. He speaks of his birthfather & siblings so fondly. From the minute he could speak a tiny bit of english, he's been sharing about his past with us. What a journey he's been on that led him to us in July 2010.

Each & every time he shares about life in ET, his birthfather, the cow that lived in his house, his heart smiles & aches at the same time. How I wish his birthfather knew how special our boy is to us. Because, I know he was so special to him. He had to have been. This boy was one loved little guy. You can just tell by the way he loves. He loves big. He has a heart the size of Africa. he loves sharing his story. He's not ashamed. We are just so thankful that Agezes first years were spent in a loving family. A family that knew how to give & receive love. When we picked Ageze up in ET in July 2010, we had the privilege to meet his birthfather.

We were able to spend a couple of hours with him, talking with him, listening to stories about Ageze, the wishes he had for Agezes future, hugging one another. Assuring him that we would love him. And love him well.

Fast forward to this past March 2012. We were in Ethiopia meeting Ariyat. And, God. He's just so good. Not only were we meeting our daughter for the 1st time & enjoying our time in Addis, He just gave us such an amazing story to add to Agezes life story. A story that brought tears to my eyes & warmth in my heart. A story that we will hold forever close to us. 

We were in Ethiopia from March 5th-March 15th. One of the evenings that we were at the hotel, a friend of ours "E" came to the hotel to pick up a package that we were delivering for someone. Kasey & the kids met him, visited with him ( I was really sick in bed) and then he was on his way. He came up & told me how kind "E" was & how neat it was that they finally connected. The kids were thrilled.

So, we arrived home on a Thursday night. Saturday morning we were out at the park playing in the sun enjoying being back with Ageze & Tesfa. On our drive home, I checked my FB, which showed I had a few messages. Messages that would light up our day. A couple of gals that we know through our adoption agency were in Ethiopia, with their children, visiting their birthplace. One of the gals wrote...
"While driving down south today, we had a driver & a translator. The translator turned around and handed me a tiny, well-worn piece of paper. Through translation, he asked me If I knew the people whose names were etched on the paper. I said YES!!  I asked who he was & he responded with...I am Agezes birthfather!"

She said he practically fell to the ground in the van. He told her he'd been asking anyone he came in contact with if they knew who we were. He said he felt as if he had been given a million dollars.What a small world we live in! She quickly facebooked us asking for permission to show him pictures of Ageze & our family via FB. See, I guess FB is good for some things!! We said, Absolutely!! Someone in the van took pictures of him looking at pictures of our boy. His boy too. 
Indescribable JOY!!!!
These adoptive friends of ours also had the chance to meet Agezes brothers & took a few pictures. What a gift!!!!

Agezes birthfather with our friend, "E" who Kasey & the kids met a few days prior to this picture being taken...What a faithful God we serve!!!!

We know that God has such a huge story written for Agezes life!! This is one big, beautiful part of it!!!
Thanking God for Agezes life & his special Birthfather, who loves our son BIG!!!

So thankful that God is the One who is writing our stories!!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

family. snow. sledding. #7 b-day. New "do" for Ariyat.

                    Our oldest 4 with Aunt Tillie:) She just turned 105!! What a special visit!!

                                                          1st snow of the season!!!

                                                     fun in the sun & snow:)
                                             Our littlest snow-angel:)
                                           our newest niece...Lily!! Precious:)
                                           Ariyats 1st sledding experience!!

                                                the boys & their snowmen!
                                                         Ariyats new "do!"
                                                 Agezes 7th birthday celebration:)

                                                    cousins & best buds!
                                                   some of our family!!

                                                Grandma with her newest great-grand-daughter.

 Where have the last few weeks gone??!! We've had our 1st snow of the season. Thanksgiving. Christmas decorating. Sledding. Family time & Agezes 7th b-day celebration( more to come on his actual birthday...Nov. 26th!)....So much on my mind, but my words in writing are coming out very jumbled, enjoy our last few weeks in pictures!! I look forward to sharing a beautiful story about our beautiful boy Ageze on Monday! Happy Weekend!!

p.s. I wish you all could see how excited Ariyat is about her hair!! When she's not flipping it back & forth...she's looking at herself in the mirror!! She said tonight..."I am thankful for my hair!"