Wednesday, June 30, 2010

We're leaving on a jet plane!

The great news is that Andy was able to get our flights nailed down yesterday! Here's our travel schedule in brief:
  • We are leaving on Saturday from San Francisco at about 1:00. Caedmon will be with us on this leg of the flight.
  • We will arrive in Salt Lake City where Andy's sister, Meaghan, lives. We will all spend the night at Meaghan's house and then Andy & I will leave at the crack of dawn the next morning.
  • We then fly from Salt Lake to Chicago, Chicago to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Addis Ababa. 
  • We will arrive in Addis Ababa at 6:50 PM on Monday which is 8:50 AM California time.
It's really neat how it worked out to take Caedmon to Salt Lake...Andy's family came out to visit us at Easter a few months ago. I was sharing with Meaghan the news that we had just received about having to travel to Ethiopia twice and I wasn't sure what we'd do for Caedmon on the first trip. Meaghan immediately said, "I could help. Maybe I could come out to stay with him."

Meaghan has a little girl, Olivia, who Caedmon absolutely adores. In fact, I believe the feeling is quite mutual! So, I thought that would be a great idea.

When we found out our tentative court date on Friday, we gave Meaghan a call and found out that she wouldn't be able to come out here because her mom (Andy's stepmom) and sister had already purchased flights to go to Salt Lake that week. Bummed for two seconds then, "Hey, could you bring Caedmon to us?"

I'm not sure why that idea hadn't crossed my mind, but it makes a whole lot more sense. I had actually been feeling quite bad about asking Meaghan to come to our place where she doesn't know anyone and doesn't know how to get around. It makes so much more sense to take him there!

SO, it "just so happens" that Caedmon will get to spend a whole week getting loved on (and maybe slightly spoiled) by his Mimi, Aunt Meaghan, and Aunt Danie. And a whole week playing with, "fighting" with, and making memories with his sweet cousin, Olivia! Only God could have worked that one out!

Today schedule:
  • Bank for travel money 
  • Trader Joe's for travel snacks 
  • Target for last minute supply run 
  • Lunch at the playground with two sweet friends 
  • Pick up my friend, Kim, from the airport (We scheduled this visit two weeks ago and thought there was no way we'd be traveling to Ethiopia on such short notice! Oops!) 
  • Dollar Store for a few more donations 
  • Youth Group tonight


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We are a go!

We got a phone call this morning at 7:36 saying that the Ethiopian judge confirmed our July 8th court date. We were also informed that we have to BE IN Addis by Monday which means that we're actually going to have to leave here on Saturday! (FOUR DAYS!)

By 8:15 AM Andy, Caedmon, and I were at the travel health clinic to receive our vaccinations. (no shots for Caedo as he'll be staying stateside.) The travel clinic is the place where they try to convince you that you are likely to die from some strange, exotic disease if you travel outside the protective walls of the United States of America. DO NOT drink the water, DO NOT eat from street vendors, DO NOT share needles with the locals, and for heaven's sakes, WEAR BUG REPELLENT!!! or you may die, of course.

We left there 2 hours and $500 later.

Caedmon & I dropped Andy off at the office where he has been trying to juggle staff meetings with scheduling a rather complicated international flight that will commence 4 days from now. No pressure or anything.

Caedmon & I headed off to Costco where we bought a load of granola bars, fruit snacks, baby wipes, and other donations.

We are making progress, but we still need prayers to help us get this flight nailed down. It's the biggest piece of the puzzle that still needs to fall into place.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Craziness is in Full Swing

My updates this week will likely be quick as there is so much to do. It's not quite 8:45 and I've already called my mother-in-law, our doctor, the travel health clinic, and our adoption agency. Andy is working on plane reservations via a couple different travel agents.

We found out from our adoption agency this morning that the Ethiopian judge is "still deciding" on whether or not our court date will be July 8th. She'll let us know tomorrow. WHAT?!?!? Nothing like giving us plenty of notice! So at this point, we still don't know if we are leaving next Monday or not, but we need to proceed as if we are just in case.

Realized you're supposed to get vaccinations 4-6 weeks before you travel. Oops!

Today my errands are:
  1. Best Buy to buy a couple converters/surge protecters
  2. TJ Max/Ross to find a couple inexpensive pieces of luggage
  3. Library
Also on the list to do in the next 4 days are the bank, vaccinations, Trader Joe's, Target, and Costco. I've got at least 3 "to-do" lists scattered about and my mind is quite cluttered. Lots of excitement and nervous energy.

What to pray for:
  • Pray that we would get a confirmed court date quickly so that we can nail down our plans
  • Pray that we would be able to find plane tickets at a decent price on such short notice

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Yesterday, Andy & I received a phone call from our adoption agency telling us that we have a tentative court date of July 8th (12 days from now!). They will hopefully get that confirmed by Monday and then we will be leaving the following Monday! Ahhhhhh!

SOOOO excited! SOOOOO much to do!

The count down to meeting our precious boy is on!  Once we pass court we will be able to share his beautiful pictures with all of you! Please pray for us as we prepare to travel. We are in the process of working out arrangements for Caedmon, plane tickets, vaccinations, etc... A lot to get done in one week!

I will try my best to keep you posted!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

I've had the privilege of observing two great father's up close during my lifetime. I am forever indebted to my dad for the way that he shaped me and molded me into who I am today. And I am so thankful that my son, Caedmon, gets to learn how to be a man by watching Andy. There is no man I would rather Caedmon turn out to be more like than his daddy.

One lesson I've learned in watching both of them is how important it is for dads to fight for the heart of their child. 

It is no secret, Caedmon has been a "mama's boy" from the moment he was born. It wasn't such a big deal at first because there wasn't a whole lot Andy could do for a nursing newborn. But as Caedmon grew, we both realized that this had the potential to turn into a big problem. Caedmon only wanted me to comfort to carry to feed him. 

Every day when I noticed it was getting close to the time Andy would arrive home from work, I would begin prepping Caedmon. "Daddy will be home soon. When Daddy walks in the door, let's run over to him and give him a big hug saying, "Yea! Daddy's home!"

Instead, the scene often looked more like this: Daddy walks in the door and Caedmon turns his back to him and yells, "No, Daddy, you can't play with us!" (If you're wondering, we did discipline that behavior, but that's not the point of this post.)

Even though Andy & I both realized that Caedmon is a small child and doesn't realize how lucky he is to have a father who loves him, those words can be really hurtful...and actually make you kinda mad. A normal (although immature) reaction would be, "Fine. I don't want to play with you either. I'll go do what I want to do." 

Andy & I had a conversation last summer about this problem and what to do about it. We both recognized that Andy was going to have to fight for Caedmon's heart. That meant that he would have to really step it up in playing a very active role in the day-to-day parenting of Caedmon. For our family, it looked like this:
  1. Andy became much more involved in disciplining Caedmon. If Caedmon misbehaved while Andy was home, Andy began to be the parent to discipline him almost every time. As counter-intuitive as that may seem, it was amazing how that one adjustment endeared Caedmon to Andy at such a deeper level.
  2. Andy instituted a consistent Boy's Club that he VERY rarely misses. Every single Saturday morning, Andy takes Caedmon for a couple hours. They may go to the playground, or get donuts, or run some errands. But it is time for them to spend together and Caedmon really looks forward to it.
 At times Caedmon is still so rude to Andy and difficult to be tender with. But Andy realizes that it is HIS God-given responsibility to fight for the heart of his child. No one else can do that for him and if Andy doesn't fight for it now while his young, the fight will be much more difficult when Caedmon is older.

I don't know if you have a child today whose heart seems cold toward you. Let me just exhort you: "Do not give up on them!!!" It is YOUR job as the parent to do whatever it takes to win their heart. Some methods (i.e. adding more discipline and structure) may seem counter-intuitive. But get some help. Do the hard work. And in the end you will have an amazing reward.

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who are trained by it."   Hebrews 12:11
Happy Father's Day to the men I love so much!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Andy!!!

Today is Andy's 29th birthday...soon to be a real adult! In honor of my husband I thought I'd share with you 5 quirky things about Andy that you may not know (He may deny these, but we know the truth, right?):

  1. Where ever we are, Andy always sleeps on the side of the bed closest to the bathroom. This is because Andy suffers from TBS (tiny bladder syndrome...which is not actually a real syndrome for all of you who just got concerned). When Andy is getting ready for bed he always goes to the bathroom at least 3 times. He wants to make sure he gets everything out, I guess, so he won't have to get up again. But it doesn't matter, because EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. he will get up about 10 minutes after we lay down to go to the bathroom one more time AND he will get up again in the middle of the night! Geez! Worse than a pregnant woman!
  2. Andy will easily fall asleep on the couch watching a movie (even a very suspenseful one) but is wide awake and ready to chat again as soon as we get in bed. Me? Not so much. I can never fall asleep in a movie and feel the compulsion to finish it, even if it's horrible. And once I'm in bed, I've only got two words for ya: Good. Night.
  3. One time I timed Andy's shower (without him knowing it) because I kept feeling like his showers were excessively long...especially for a guy. 14 minutes. I don't know if that says more about my personality or his. 
  4. Andy recently asked me if I thought it'd be fun to go camping together. I didn't even stop to think about it. Immediate answer: NO. I'm not even sure why he asked because he is not outdoorsy at all. Our idea of camping would be staying at the Holiday Inn. I think he just romanticized the thought of "living off the land" and momentarily forgot how much WORK camping takes. When I reminded him that he'd not be able to charge his laptop, iPhone, or iPad while camping, he snapped right out of his daydream. 
  5. Eggs. That's the one thing that Andy can cook, and he does multiple times a week. But if we ever leave the house together after an "egg-morning" he will invariably ask me, "Did I turn off the stove?" It's the same gene that requires him to get out of bed every night to double check that the doors are locked. The funny thing is, I don't think he's ever left the stove on OR the doors unlocked.
 Happy Birthday, Baby. You make me smile!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sunday Rewind

Wow, Andy brought the heat yesterday! It was the kind of message where you feel like the pastor is standing right in front of you shaking you by the shoulders. (I love those kind!) If you missed it, you missed out and you REALLY need to listen to the audio sometime this week. You can find it here with the date June 13 and the title "Underestimate Their Need for God".

Andy dissected the idea that God opposes the defiant and proud, but He embraces the dependent and humble.

We looked at the story of Samson in Judges 13-16 and how Samson lost his God-given strength by telling Delilah the "secret" about not cutting his hair. That story has always bothered me because I just painted Samson as some naive goof that kept believing the best about Delilah even though she tried to have him killed multiple times. What an idiot, right?

But Andy gave me a fresh perspective on it yesterday when he said that perhaps the reason Samson eventually told Delilah the truth was because he didn't actually believe he would lose his strength. After all, he had already broken part of his Nazarite vow by touching a dead animal and God didn't take away his strength because of that. Maybe he thought he was strong enough in and of himself and he could do whatever he wanted with or without God's Spirit. In fact, when he woke up and his head was shaved, he still thought he'd be able to fight off the Philistines. Then the passage says this very scary phrase:

"he [Samson] did not know the Lord had left him." 

Samson had become so proud, so self-confident and self-reliant, that he did not even realize that he no longer had the Spirit of God on his life. 

It's sobering to realize that just because you walk in the power of the Spirit at one point in your life does not guarantee that you will walk in His power at another point.  We can quite easily create comfortable lives where we marginalize God and don't realize our desperate need for him. We don't see how urgently we need him from day-to-day and can become numb to His presence altogether. It doesn't really matter to us one way or another if His Spirit is with us. Our lives float right along as usual and we don't even realize that the power of His Spirit has left us. Scary.

Andy closed with these convicting questions, "How long will you wait until you get desperate for God? Will you wait until your marriage is about to dissolve or  until your child is in critical condition in the hospital? Will you wait until your whole world falls down around you? How long? What will it take to make you realize your desperate need for God?"

Saturday, June 12, 2010

And the winner is...

Congratulations to Jennifer Spafford who will be the proud new owner of the Passion Awakening CD! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Both of my little boys are sick (again)

Yesterday, Caedmon woke up very happy and playful. I was looking forward to a great day with him, but around 9:00 he started complaining that his head was hurting. By 9:45, it had developed into a 102 degree fever and by last night he was coughing and wheezing so badly he nearly threw up. It absolutely breaks my heart when Caedmon is sick. My world pretty much stops turning, or at least my axis becomes Caedmon and everything revolves around him.

This morning I received another email from our adoption agency informing us that our son in Ethiopia has (again) come down with an Upper Respiratory Track Infection (URTI). He had this a couple weeks ago, was treated, and then was said to be doing fine. But he's back on meds now. Poor baby.

Both of my boys are receiving great health care. But only one of my sons knows that he's the center of someone's world. Please join me in praying for them both.

If you've not yet signed up for the GIVEAWAY, click here!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Adoption Update: good news & not the best

(If you've not yet signed up for the GIVEAWAY, click here.)

The good news is that we received an update saying that Flash is doing well and has recovered from his upper respiratory track infection! Yea!! I'm so thankful to know that he is at the Transition Home where he is receiving good care by a pediatrician and loving nannies.

The "not-the-best-of-news" is that there has been another delay. We thought that we would be traveling to Ethiopia for court sometime later this month. However, we had a conference call with our adoption agency last week that informed us that the Ethiopian court is now requiring a birth certificate for every orphan that applies for court. The problem with that is that virtually no Ethiopians have birth certificates...much less orphans. So this new requirement means that the adoption agencies are having to apply with the local government where each orphan was born to get them to issue a birth certificate. Because we are among the first caught in this new requirement, our agency is unsure how long the process will take. Our agency is hopeful that we will be able to travel for court in July.

This is a really big deal timing-wise, though, because the Ethiopian court closes every year for about 45 days or so during August-September. Many families do not pass court on their first court date. So if we do not pass court in July, we will have to wait for court to reconvene in late September/October.

PLEASE, PLEASE pray that we will get that birth certificate quickly and that we will be able to pass court smoothly. It is so difficult for me to know that I have a little boy living in an orphanage day in, day out...and I'm not allowed to go get him.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


This is my 200th post on this blog, so in honor of this special occasion I thought we should celebrate with a giveaway! All you have to do to enter is to leave a comment on this post by midnight this Friday, June 11th.

I am going to give away a copy of the Passion Awakening CD which was released back in March. I LOVE this CD and would love to share it with one of you! Just let me know you're out there!

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Bad Case of "Summer-Time"

Not sure if any of you have also caught this highly contagious disease, but I have got a bad case of "Summer Time". The symptoms include an endless desire for sunshine, time at the pool, and afternoon naps. I believe I may have picked up the bug when I was in South Carolina visiting my family. Really hoping I can shake it soon because it has me totally incapacitated and I am getting nothing accomplished!

Warning: watching the following video may cause you to catch this contagious disease!

Jump! from Stacie Wood on Vimeo.