Thursday, December 31, 2009

White Christmas in Texas

I just typed up a long post and accidentally deleted it along with all the photos I uploaded!!! - yuck! I do not feel like typing it all over again so this one will be short. I leave in less than 2 weeks for Ethiopia and I just can't wait. I should be preparing my lectures and instead I'm trying to catch up on my blogging :) We were blessed with a white Christmas this year which was fitting since it was Ezra's first Christmas at home. I wish he would have been a bit older though to really enjoy it. My brother loved it and created the "snowman" you see below. The icy roads were very hazardous and I was so sad for the many people that were stranded on the side of the road on Chrismas Eve night. I wanted to stop several times but it was so slick that even with my brakes on our 4-Runner was gliding at 25 miles and hour!!! I was super nervous and never want to have to do that again. What do I know about driving in snow and ice?? In south LA we called sleet snow just b/c we wanted to see snow so badly. Shoot, sometimes if it was a really thick fog I'd use my imagination and think it was snowing :) Of course then we moved to OK and I found out really quickly what snow was and how when it "sticks" for a month it's not so much fun anymore.
Michael made me very happy this afternoon when he asked me... "do you think we should just go ahead and adopt a baby girl next?" We have been planning to adopt an older boy from Ethiopia for a year and have just been waiting for his Navy job to start (still no news on that by the way) but lately I have been feening (spelling?) for a baby girl from Nepal. I have done some research into different agencies and have had multiple applications next to my nightstand but it seemed so far away since most agencies are already booked up with familes for 2010 AND with the recent government upheaval everything has seemed to slow down so much. So we'll see what happens. I just don't want to have to wait over 2 years to get her. We still will adopt an older boy no matter what but we just don't know if we want to wait until Ezra's older or what. We'll just have to wait and see what the Lord has in store for us.




This is my brother's snowman :)

Ezra went crazy with the tissue paper.

The remnants of Christmas at Nona's house.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New photos...

Here are some new pics of Ezra playing on his new play fort courtesy of Sayce :) and at Weston's birthday party.
The tricycle is his Christmas present from his Parain Christopher.





Monday, December 21, 2009

A bit hacked off...

So yesterday I was watching adoption videos on youtube b/c it lights up my heart to see families meeting their children for the first time and I came across one documentary short called "Fly Away Children"... well needless to say it's not at all a positive portrayal of Ethiopian/International adoption and as I was reading the comments left by people about the video I was SHOCKED and appauled to see the still present racism and ignorance of the human race. People have a VERY strong opinion of something they know really next to nothing about (namely the journey of international adoptive parents and their motives). I just got so worked up about the comments and kept having to remind myself that these people likely are not Christians so I can't really expect them to understand the concept of adoption and yet they are all human beings so they should at least be able to relate to the children as humans who deserve love and security, but even then I was stunned to see that many felt strongly opposed to bringing more "sick, poor people" into the U.S. What the heck??!!! I guess I've been in my little bubble here with a strong support group and friends that are fellow adopters and never once thought that there was a such a contingency of people opposed to interracial/international adoption. I left some reply comments and I know that I will not change people's opinions (especially those seeded in hate) but if I can spread awareness and education I will try. The producers who made the documentary also did a great disservice to international adoption and the families who decide to grow their families that way with their biased and incorrect information. I encourage everyone to go to the youtube site for this film and leave a positive comment about adoption and what it has meant to your family. I know it may seem silly to argue with such people but "all it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing".

Also today we took Ezra to a great park off of Camp Bowie in the Arlington Heights neighborhood. I just love it out there. Michael and I both took turns swinging and we were both SHOCKED at how fun swinging is! I mean when is that that people stop swinging? I can't remember the last time I did as a child. Now I get why Ezra always points to his swing outside wanting me to push him. It's very freeing.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Great video

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Weston!

So for my little brother's 8th birthday I took him to the Dallas Aquarium and then to Medieval Times for some sister/brother time. We had a great time as he is an animal lover like myself but he just cracked me up at Medieval Times. I tried to explain to him that the fighting was fake and that the knights weren't really going to kill/chop up each other but as you can see from some of the pics, I guess he doesn't really trust his big sis.





"I can't watch..."








Horsing around...

Here are some pics of Ezzy's latest antics. He's learned to climb and has surprising upper body strength. I've already found him climbing up the armoire, and on top of the kitchen table - yikes!!!

HEAD-BUTT




HEAD-STAND



Ezra got this rocking horse from Ayan, one of the Somali girls I volunteer with.

HEAD-ACHE

Apparently he thought Herman would make a good substitute horse.

Snow Day...

So we woke up the other day to the first and possibly only snow we'll get here in TX. It didn't last very long but it was really exciting to be able to witness Ezra's first snow. He didn't want to come inside but it was melting so quickly and he was getting soaked. Michael bundled Ezzy up and decided to dub him, "Ezra glove hands" :)



Monday, December 7, 2009

Garage Sale Success!!!

So this chilly weekend Michael and I had our garage sale for Ethiopian orphans to raise money to ship much needed supplies to Ethiopia when I go in January. I asked for donations from our neighborhood and church and we received TONS of stuff. We actually probably sold about 55% of what we got and made around $1,800.00!!! We still have to sale the canoe and a large sofa and that will put us over the $2K that I was praying for. I'm thrilled that it was a success and also thrilled that it's OVER :) We worked our butts off and I have the sore muscles and wind burn to prove it. This southern girl does NOT do cold. The first morning there were actually ice cicles forming on items and we were out there at 6am setting up. Luckily we had 2 fantastic helpers, Marchella and Candice without whom we would have been doomed. Also thanks to Mr. Ray and Mrs. Pat as well as Eric for all their help with take down and storage! If you donated items and are wondering what we're going to do with what's left, I had a family from church volunteer to do another sale in their neighborhood in the Spring, some stuff I'm donating to the family from Somalia that I volunteer with, and the rest we'll donate to Catholic Charities.
I also have a few pics of Ezra playing in the snow we got unexpectedly the other morning, but I'll have to post those a bit later on. Also I put up our Christmas tree today and Ezra has already brought me several ornaments, pointed to them, and said "ball?". Can't wait to see what the tree looks like by the time Christmas gets here :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Belated Thanksgiving...

So Michael and I were alone for Thanksgiving this year since our family is in Louisiana and I had to work so we still fried a turkey and cooked dressing, sweet potatoes, etc. Let me tell ya... we have A LOT of left overs. Usually we got to someone else's house for Turkey Day and I'm longing for left overs the next day but this time I'm hooked up. Ezra was totally not interested. We still can't really get him to eat "solid" foods. YUCK! I started putting up our Christmas decorations - YEA!!! I love love love this time of year. I just ordered a lot of Christmas scents for my Scentsy and I can't wait to burn them. It's crazy to think that this time last year I was packing up stuff to get ready to go to Ethiopia to pick up our baby boy and preparing to be a mom! It's surreal to me to think that we've had him for a year already, then again it feels like he's been with us forever. I can't wait to get started on adoption #2... the Navy needs to hurry it up already b/c this mama's getting really tired of being the only source of income. gotta run and get back to work. I am so thankful for all my fabulous AWAA families and my supportive group of family and friends!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fundraising...


Crazy Hair!



So fundraising is exciting! When I get a notification telling me someone has purchased a magnet I get really happy :) Seeing other people get excited about adoption is so fulfilling :) The local newspaper is going to do a story on our family and an upcoming garage sale to raise money for donations to Ethiopian orphans during my upcoming trip to ET in January. So many people have really stepped up and donated items to be sold. I'm talking appliances, clothing, furniture and a nearly brand new canoe all because they feel led to "do the right thing". I hope it will be a great success!
I was reading the Reed family's blog tonight and seeing them holding their new daughter for the first time is so heartwarming after all they've been through but also seeing them visiting the grave of their baby girl who passed away while still in Ethiopia was heartbreaking. So many babies and toddlers are dying of preventable diseases with no one to advocate for them. I want to be part of the change that I hope to see. I need to know whole heartedly that I am doing everything I possibly can to serve the Lord by being his "hands and feet" for these children. Adoption is only a small part of the answer... there literally aren't words that I can find to describe how my body aches for Africa and her children. It's so much more then just emotional or ethical... my internal organs actually feel physical hurt and longing to do more, to be more for these kids.
It's hard not to get angry when I see people who seem to promote the idea of "the best of everything for their kids", like buying them the best car, the best Nintendo games, the newest cell phones, etc. yet they don't take a minute to think that the price of the Wii they just bought could feed at least TEN kids for a MONTH, or would pay for a child to have cleft lip/palatte surgery, would drill a well so people wouldn't die from diarrhea! They insert "things" where they should be inserting Jesus' teachings...the biblical idea that says "if you want to find your life you must lose it." Kids aren't taught to fear God or to want to live their life to glorify the Lord in all that they do. Parents today seem to be too busy trying to make more money to buy more "things". I feel like kids today are suffering from a different type of neglect. Kids now enter the world as adults who feel entitled, like they are owed something and can't really appreciate the little things in life. They don't know how to give back because they feel as if someone would be robbing them of what they feel they "deserve".
Now that I have had my eyes forced open, I see humanitarian aid in EVERYTHING. The boat that gets brought out twice a year, the 4-wheeler that you haven't used in years, the jet ski that broke but you've never bothered to have fixed, the endless array of Nintendo game systems and accessories, the Versace pumps that I had to have but can't even wear for more then 5 minutes without having to sit down. I now only see "things" in terms of their monetary value and want to beg people to let me sell their stuff to give the money to aid organizations. It just breaks my heart to see so much needless excess compared with such destitution. No SEVEN year old should EVER weigh 15 pounds and yet I know of a boy in Uganda right now who does b/c of starvation! What if he was your child, what if he was your nephew or your grandson, or your child's playmate? He is that to someone, can you imagine having to look at him everyday and know that you don't have any way to help him, no food to give, no medications... just prayers for a miracle. Just $15.00 would have feed him for a MONTH! That's the price of a small box of Legos, or a barbie doll. If you want to be part of the solution please donate to our next adoption or to one of the charities mentioned in the sidebar. Or just give up some time to organize a shoe drive for Buckner International or an Operation Christmas Child with Samaritan's Purse. There are so many opportunities to serve but you have to take the first step.

"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." Psalm 82:3-4

Friday, November 20, 2009

BUY YOUR ADOPT AFRICA MAGNET TODAY!!!

I'm so happy to announce that the Adopt Africa magnets are officially for sale! Check out the pics on the side bar and go to paypal to buy yours for youself and friends and family today and support adoption!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Magnets are in!!!

I'm super excited b/c our first fundraiser for our second adoption are in!!! I haven't picked them up yet to even see them but our magnets are here!!! I can't wait to put them up on the blog and hopefully everyone will show their support of African adoption by purchasing one for their cars. Work has been crazy busy lately, lots of sick dogs. YUCK! We also will be featured in the local newspaper for our garage sale to support orphans with HIV/AIDS during my upcoming mission trip to Ethiopia. We have gotten lots of donations thus far and it looks to be like a great fundraiser :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

This and That...

Well our Adopt Africa magnets for our next adoptions fundraiser will hopefully be in on Thursday!!! YEA! I'm ready to get the fundraising going. We have our last homestudy for Ezra's adoption in December and I wish we could do a homestudy for our next adoption at the same time but still no new word from the Navy as to when Michael will start working :(
So here is a hodge podge of pics from San Diego some from home,and from Halloween. I recently went to San Diego for a veterinary conference and it was awesome! I loved it there and can't wait to go back and actually not be stuck in class most of the day. I ran into a whole crew of LSU students on the street so that was really neat as well. They were doing something for a PR class. My best friend and vet school classmate Meena came with me and we had a great time as you can see in some of these pics. I went on a seal tour and saw huge sea lions!









PLAY TIME WITH UNCLE WESTON!
Hide and Seek














HEY BABE... WHERE'S EZRA?????????????




FUN IN SAN DIEGO












Friday, October 30, 2009

How many is 143 million?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fundraising...

So I got a sunburn Tuesday from walking through our entire neighborhood loading mail boxes with memos requesting items to sale for my upcoming mission trip to Ethiopia. I'm planning to visit several orphanages and hope to be able to bring in donations. So far, I've got 2 responces but I'm praying that many more pour in. We don't have much to sale and I'd like to try and get about $2,000 from this. I can't wait to go and be with the kiddos and love on them and soak in all that is Africa! I watched "I Am Because We Are" and though it's tear jerking and heart breaking it's so important that people watch it to be informed of the situation in Malawi and have their eyes opened to the plight of orphans there.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Visit to the Pumpkin Patch...

First of all let me say that yesterday Michael and I had our FIFTH wedding anniversary!!! YEA! Doesn't at all seem like it's been 5 years already.
We also took Ezra with our church's Mom's Group to a pumpkin patch in Flower Mound, TX. I had no idea how elaborate it would be and was totally overwhelmed by all the stuff there was to do there for kids. Ezzy is still a bit too young for the jump houses and the hay maze but he loved just playing with the hay and pumpkins and mostly just running away from his mom and dad.





"Dad, help me pick this thing up!"

A little help from Daddy goes a long way