Friday, January 23, 2009

Tears of Joy

This week has been so full of emotion for us. We have been crying tears of joy. We're so happy to meet our little ones, and so sad that they're halfway across the world. We're still waiting to hear back on a court-date and this is keeping us in much prayer.

This process could take AWHILE. So, to fill up some of this waiting time, I've started making quart-sized baggies for children in Ethiopia. I have a "Friend of a friend" that has travelled over 3 times, and I've gleaned lots of info from her. She said to have bags of goodies ready to give out, as well as food and other items. In each quart sized baggie, I'm placing a laminated bible-verse bookmark, jumprope, pencil, small notepad, bouncy ball, little plastic frog, a new beanie baby (that my mom scored at a garage sale of a collector), small candy cane (thanks to the Walmart after Christmas 75% off sale) and lastly I need to add one more food item. I'm not sure if it will be fruit leather, a fruit roll-up, granola bar or crackers. It will depend on the price and feedback I get. My "friend of a friend" said that they handed out granola bars and it was so sad because the children would eat off a couple of bites and then save the rest for their other family members. This causes me to consider a package of crackers, to be more easily shared. So far we have 75 bags, and my goal is to make 100. I ran out of beanie babies, but a few months ago I bought 2 dozen teddy bears at the Dollar Tree for $1 a piece.

Also, we're gathering other items to take along. We're attempting to meet our sponsored child (through Mission of Mercy) and my mom's sponsered child (through Compassion Intl.). We're making a back-pack for of items for them and each of their siblings. These include dresses, flip-flops, notebook, pencils, stickers, chapstick, pajamas, a homemade baby doll (see previous posts), and a few items for their mother- hand lotion, washcloths, and bible. We're still working on this part. I contacted an Ethiopian ministry that's here in the US and they told me it would be very inexpensive to purchase bibles in Amharic and Tingrinya (our children's native language - this would be for their birth mother) over in Addis at the British Bible Society.
Several of you have asked how you can help, or what you can send with us. We are currently collecting items for the younger orphanage and the Kolfe older boys orphanage. We would like to take the following:
Socks for all ages of boys- 4 and up
2-3 soccer balls and pumps
good pencil sharpener (to mount)
Hackey sacks- usually found at party stores
small plastic washable toys for the baby orphanage
baby onesies- newborn thru 12 months

Lastly, we must purchase $200 worth of humanitarian aid for the Gladney care center which will include specific diapers, wipes, formula and diaper ointment. If anyone would like to contribute financially toward this cause, it would be greatly appreciated.

Well, if you've been reading our blog and wondering what our future holds, I want to recommend this blog. http://ourfamilytapestry.blogspot.com/ They have recently posted a slideshow of their trip to ET to pick up a pair of 3 1/2 year olds. They are first cousins and one month apart in age. I must warn you that I cried like a baby when I viewed this slideshow. Please take a few minutes and watch. They give such honor to the Lord, and it is a blessing to watch.

Friday, January 16, 2009

REFERRAL!!!!!

I've been waiting soooo long to say these words: WE GOT OUR REFERRAL!!!!! We are praising the Lord for two healthy babies~ a 2 1/2 yr old boy and a 5 1/2 month old girl. They are just precious and the more I pour over the pictures, the more I fall in love with them.

I got the call yesterday while in the shower. I didn't realize that I had messages waiting for me until we were in the car heading over to a friend's house. I saw Jessica's # and freaked out. I did a huge u-turn, ran into the house frantically looking for Jessica's # and shaking with excitement. When I reached her, I acted calm but my whole body was shaking. She said, "Kelly, I have some good news for you." I started crying right away. The only sad part is that Sean is out of town and couldn't be with me in person to meet our babies. He was on the phone with us, but couldn't see the pictures until we all hung up. We are just so blessed that many prayers have been answered. They are healthy and I must say- chunky! They've been cared for by their mother and the Gladney team, with only a short stint in an orphanage. Praise the Lord! I'm just so thankful to see a little window into what God has been orchestrating behind the scenes. This is His master plan, and we've finally had a little glimpse of what our future holds.

Thank you for all of your prayers, and please continue to lift up our little ones.