Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Long Awaited Post...

My adoption community friends will have to forgive me for not posting this earlier, for they have been patiently (with anxious anticipation) awaiting this post. We have been hustling and bustling ourselves from one side of the state to the other, dealing with flu, and cleaning up the wake of destruction here at home that we just simply had to leave in order to get out the door on time last week. I have also been trying to figure out for the last 3 hours how to make all of my images smaller and without fuzziness or distortion, but have had no please forgive me for the quality and length of page. We did, however have a lovely time with family this Christmas season. We always put quite a bit of thought into the gifts we give at Christmas, and this one was no exception. Originally we thought we would have many neat Ethiopian gifts to give out this year at Christmas time. Having been through the loss of our referral of "B", that was not to be the plan. So we revamped it for our families with a series of gifts and clues to another gift that we decided to give instead, and this is what we got. For a week we've been calling this operation "The Great Gift Reveal". We explained to my family that each gift had a clue that tied to the final gift. Each clue was specific to the gift that was given to the family member, as well as the final gift. Some of them will not be as obvious to you, as they were also tied to some back story of my family members which I will try to outline. We'll see if you are as crafty at piecing the clues together as my family was. Most of the images below match the actual gift...for some, I had to improvise. :) Again, sorry for the large image size!

Clue #1 (Tied to the book, Crazy Love by Francis Chan): 
We think you'll be "crazy in love" with this present.

Clue #2: We've "traveled the world" to bring you this gift.

Clue #4: Ramses - A king of Africa

Clue #5: This is thought to have come from Africa. 

Clue #6: We're "spicing up life" with this gift. 
- my sister's boyfriend is quite the chef!

Clue #7 (Tied to some pink kickboxing sweatpants): 
For your new "itty bitty booty" 
- my sister has been kickboxing for a year now, and has just achieved a major milestone goal of hers- you go Mel!

Clue #8 (A massage gift certificate and wrapped in a pink stocking): 
After this, you'll be the "PINK" of perfection! 
- a nod to one of my favorite Disney movies, Summer Magic. 

 Clue #9 (Tied to a kitchen gift basket): Some "sugar and spice" won't that be NICE???? 
- my mother loves Williams Sonoma

And finally,
Clue #10: For the new "itsy bitsy booty"

So, have you pieced it together yet? If not, here is the final piece:

'Tis the season of Christmas and in our household,
Much excitement is brewing which we haven't told.

On top of the blessings of Christmas this year,

We have some great news for the ones we hold dear.

We will soon be expanding our family tree

And would like to announce the referral of 8 week old Baby Girl "E"!!!

So as you can see, our Christmas has been very merry, and we were able to share the Christmas cheer with our family this weekend. My mother was the one who finally pieced it together. Her reaction was great: "You're getting a girl!...You're getting a girl?...YOU'RE GETTING A GIRL!!!" I so wish we'd had the video camera out to catch that, but we didn't know how to do it without making people suspicious.At that point, we passed around our photos of Baby Girl "E". We are super thrilled and completely OVER THE MOON IN LOVE with her! For almost two years now, we have been praying for "Little E" as we have referred to our family addition. And we are anxiously awaiting word of when our court date will be so that we can go and meet her (and smother her in kisses)!  Some of you may be wondering where clue #3 is...sorry, I had to skip that one because it has some personal information that we do not wish to share at this point. But nephew, K, sure did enjoy his Star Wars pillow. :)

For my husband's family, our reveal was quite a bit more subtle, which is very fitting for his family. We gave his mother a digital frame for Christmas, and made sure to include ALL of her grandchildren in the photos. It literally killed me to watch her look through the pictures, but it was worth it. The rest of the family arrived the following day and Eric's sister casually looked at the pictures and walked away, not having seen all of them. Others saw and said nothing. When we (and by we I really mean I) could stand it no longer, we stood them in front of the frame until all the pictures had been revealed...that was fun.

So after shifting mentally from a 7 year old to a 7 (now 8) week old, we are preparing for all things baby. I would be lying though if I did not say I was a little gun shy after having gone through a lost referral already. Please be praying for Baby Girl "E" and that this process would come through completion to bringing her home. Also, at last report she had pneumonia - a very common problem in international adoptions - and was receiving medication for it. Please pray that God would protect her, bring her back to a healthy status, bless the special mothers and staff that are diligently caring for her, for the approaching Ethiopian court and US Embassy paperwork and legal process, and that He would calm our spirits as we go through this next stage of waiting and fundraising.

Happy New Year everyone!


Makila said...

Congratulations! :) big smiles Berra,

Scott, Nikki, Jacob and Nathan Sinclair said...

Yeah! This is awesome news you guys! Congrats and a VERY HAPPY 2012!

Scott, Nikki, Jacob and Nathan Sinclair said...

Yeah! Congratulations you guys. Such wonderful exciting news. A very HAPPY 2012 to you all!

About this blog

Welcome to our blog! Thanks for dropping by and visiting us! This blog was created for those of you who wish to follow along with us in our journey as we answer God's call to adoption. Ultimately it is our opportunity to rise up and do what we can to fulfill and make known to others the mandate of James 1:27 - "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after the orphans and widows in their distress and to keep onself from being polluted by the world."

About Us

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We are a mid-west married couple of 9 years, striving to care for the 147 million orphans around the world!

Our Adoption Timeline

11/28/11 - We are back to waiting for a new referral
11/22/11 - We receive word from our caseworker that we have lost our referral
9/21/11 - Referral paperwork and international ped review completed and sent!
9/4/11 - We receive our referral! A precious 6 yr old boy!
6/27/11 - We have finally arrived to the waitlist!
6/17/11 - re-doing some documents for the dossier
6/8/11 - Sent dossier off to our agency for review
6/4/11 - Our FDL FINALLY ARRIVES! Yahoo!
5/24/11 - We get word from our Case Manager that we may submit our dossier without our FDL! Yea!
3/30/11 - USCIS fingerprint appointments for Dept. of Homeland Security

2/9/11 - Notarized homestudy rec'd and re-mailed to AGCI!
1/7/11 - We close on the sale of our house in NW Iowa
11/30/10 - 3rd and final homestudy visit, dossier paperwork completed
11/24/10 - house back in NW Iowa finally goes on the market for sale
10/26/10 - 2nd homestudy visit
10/15/10 - Eric is finally able to secure his company transfer and relocate himself as well
9/30/10 - After securing living arrangements post-relocation, we have our first homestudy visit
8/17/10 - We receive notification that some paperwork families will be transferring caseworkers...we are transferred to Toni!
8/17/10 - Nic relocates to central Iowa to begin new teaching position the following day...a move is in the works...adoption paperwork, education and homestudy arrangements put on hold
8/13/10 - Nic rec'd call from a friend to interview for a last-minute teacher opening in central Iowa
6/7/10 - First paperwork call with our caseworker, Brandi; we begin the adoption education and dossier paperwork process
5/15/10 - Mailed orientation packet documents and first payment
4/13/10 - AGCI adoption orientation packet rec'd in mail
4/8/10 - AGCI international adoption application as part of the Ethiopia program approved!
3/16/10 - Official adoption application submitted to AGCI with initial fee
11/01/09 - Pre-application submitted to AGCI
10/27/09 - Request for more information on international adoption received by our (now) agency, All God's Children International

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