Sunday, June 14, 2009

Leaving in two hours~

We are leaving in two hours to go to Ethiopia. Prayers appreciated!

My big kids were so sweet today. Will is sad to see us go, but he is so happy that Wubeski (Ella) is coming home and understood. He told me over and over how much he loves me and that me would miss me forever. Cole and Abbey have been sweet and affectionate too. Poor Bill has had to work almost all weekend. I am so glad Joan is here to help me get ready and to go with me.

Our driver picks us up at 1am to go to the airport...not the most ideal flight, but anything for her. We arrive in Ethiopia at 11:30 am tomorrow. We will have a layover in Dubai.

Must get a little sleep before we take off~

Joan in Doha

The Old Pearl Diver
Souq Waqif

In front of our villa

At Villagio Mall

Will - the bell hop
Welcome to Doha

Abbey the Receptionist


Joan is here

On the Way to pick up Joan

We were soooooo excited to go pick up Joan at the airport. We waited and waited for her to come out the doors. These are pictures of her arrival and checking into the Collins hotel. Abbey was the receptionist and Will the bell hop. The next day we went to the souq (market) and

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The first thing Abbey said this morning "This time next week she will be with us forever."

We leave in the wee hours of the morning on Monday to fly to Ethiopia. We arrive in Ethiopia at 11:30am and we will be picked up and driven to the guest house. We will get to see her right away and from that time forward she will be our daughter in every sense.

There really are no words to describe how we are feeling right now.

We love you baby girl!

The Collins Hotel

Last night, my sister arrived in Doha around 7pm after a long flight. She did great! She said she slept on the flight and she was wide awake and ready to go! My kids were so excited to see her. We seriously thought that we would not ever have any visitors here in Doha.

We took her to eat at one of our favorite places, Turkey Central Restaurant, for some great Arabic food.

We drove her around to see the town.

Then we came home and she "checked in" to the Collins hotel. The kids had set up a check in desk and labeled the doors with numbers. Abbey checked her in and Will handled the baggage. She was given a tour of the hotel. Abbey made her a welcome basket with things she might need and some homemade brownies.

They were so cute and it was one of those times....their sweet spirits were shining through.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cole's 13th Birthday Party

After Abbey's Step Up (below) we celebrated Cole's 13th birthday. I picked up 11 of his friends and we went to Chili's to eat lunch (Tuesday is a half day at ASD) I had to arrange for a driver to help haul all of them around town. The boys were so good at Chili's. Then we came back to our home for swimming! 12 boys can be pretty rowdy in a pool, but we made it with only one bloody nose. After swimming for a couple of hours we came home for cake and a little gaming. It was a fun birthday and I love this age! Happy Birthday to my favorite teenager~

Stepping Up

Abbey's teacher- Mr. Dodge


Crazy mamas

Abbey's class- there were 3 Abbey's in her class.

Sweet girls

Abbey stepped up to middle school at the American School of Doha Step-Up Ceremony. The 5th graders sang "You've Got a Friend" and "I Believe I Can Fly" and there was a terrific slide show. After was a reception with big chocolate chip cookies and coffee for the parents. It was good to be together one more time before everyone heads out this summer. We are so proud of our new middle school girl!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Last week~

It's our last week of school and we are soooo excited! Not a whole lot of work going on these last few days. This morning Will was so tired, I let him play hooky!

Tomorrow his class is going on a field trip to the ice skating rink and tomorrow is Cole's 13th birthday. I can't believe Cole is a teenager and I am the parent of a teenager. We were so happy today to hear that he was accepted into the National Junior Honor Society! Way to go, buddy!

Tuesday is Abbey's step up ceremony. She is leaving elementary school and moving on up to middle school. It is a really special celebration and ASD makes a huge big deal of it for the kids! The 5th graders get all dressed up and it's like a mini-graduation! Yay, Abbey!!!!

Tuesday afternoon (the kids get out at 12:30) we are celebrating Cole's birthday at Chili's restaurant and then coming home for a swim party!!

Wednesday, the whole 5th grade is spending the day at the Intercon Hotel swimming at the pool and beach.

Wednesday, the 7th grade is having an all day Survivor game at school. I am helping out with this. Should be fun!

Thursday...the LAST DAY of SCHOOL! I will be helping out in Will's class this morning with a little goodbye party! The kids get out at 12:30 and SUMMER BEGINS in Doha! sister arrives from the US and she and I will get ready for our trip to Ethiopia to pick up our little peanut! We got a new picture of her today! We also found out her's September 3, so she is already 9 months old!

Yay for summer!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Day They Met

This is the first time Bill and the kids ever laid eyes on Wubeski! They were smitten!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


We've got it!

We are going to Addis Ababa on June 15 and will have our Embassy interview on June 17 (my sister's birthday)!
Just wanted to give God all the Glory!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

For the Record

We were copied on an email from the Embassy in Addis to our in country director that they have our visa approval. Yay hoo! Hallelujah!!

But, just to keep us all in suspense a little longer, it says our fingerprints expire on June 17, which is the very day we are supposed to have our Embassy interview and I suppose the day we get Ella's exit visa!

Can't wait to see how this will all play out! Just waiting for the office to open in Port Angeles, Washington so I can call and see how this affects us!

Adoption is not for the faint at heart! And a big thank you to all you pray-ers out there! Especially my sweet college roommate Courtney, who is going through her own adoption adventure!

Ella's Baby Shower

Abbey holding up some of her favorites.

Blankets for the children at Layla House...we collected 50 blankets at the shower!

Now we are ready......Ella has a pink kitty purse!

Look at this adorable cake made by my friend, Susan.

I have the smartest, craftiest friends. Check out the cute diaper cake Gayla made!

Ella Grace was showered with gifts yesterday!

It was an amazing site! There were so many of my friends there from all the different circles of my life. I have my young friends with children the age of Ella that are welcoming me with open arms into their MOPS group. I had my bible study leaders and groupies....that have prayed with me so faithfully for our family. There are certain people who before the adoption I didn't know well, but have been soooo supportive and interested in our journey...and they were there. I even had two grandmas there....they are here visiting there daughters and were so sweet to come. For a lot of my friends it had been a long time since they had been to a baby shower. We had a ball...playing games, eating yummy food, and visiting! The decorations were darling!

My sweet friends that hosted the shower have been such a blessing to me. They really are so special to me and it makes me all teary eyed just to think about them.

My kiddos were so excited to see all of Ella's gifts. Will almost single handedly unloaded the car and then he and Abbey sorted everything and displayed it in the living room for Daddy to see when he got home.

I overheard Will tell Abbey it was "overwhelming" and Abbey commented "Mom, your friends just went too far!" when she saw the pink sparkly converse high top shoes. Ms Kim even packed up a bag of goodies especially for my big kids and they loved it that she thought of them.

It was an extravagant display of love and affection for a little girl that right now is sitting in an orphanage and has no idea what is waiting for her! Just makes me think of how much our Father loves us and desires to bless us!

Visa update...


We still haven't gotten a confirmation from the AMERICAN embassy that they have our visa approval. I have called them and emailed them. Our agency has called them and emailed them. Short of me going there and just crying in front of them, I do not know what else we can do.

The funny thing is....I just know the visa approval is there. I did go ahead and make travel arrangements to go to ET. They will hold the reservation for 5 days. Hopefully by then we will know something.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't frustrated. But, I have to keep everything in perspective. She is legally our daughter and we will get to go get her sooner than later. I just read this on the Embassy website "All Ethiopian adoptions are full and final and irrevocable under Ethiopian law." Yep, she is ours!

Lord, I trust you! You know the perfect timing for her to be united with her new family. Help me to be patient and not fret and worry. Help me to be all there for the sweeties that are here with me right now. I know you love Ella Grace way more than we do and are entirely able to take care of her.

Funny story...this morning I was walking on our freshly mopped tile and I totally slipped down and did a slow motion awkward splits and landed flat on my face....literally laid out with my nose a centimeter from the floor. (ask my friend Terri, she witnessed it and I am sure it was the funniest thing she has seen all year)

I was thinking that is exactly where God wanted me. Totally dependent on him and recognizing that he is God and he alone is in control and that he loves me ( he did keep me from breaking anything :)

Piano Recital

Our oldest son has been taking piano lessons for a couple of years now and he performed at his piano recital on Saturday night. I just wanted to say in writing how proud we are of him. He is one of those kids who actually really enjoys playing the piano. I love to hear him play. I can tell he uses it as an outlet and we will often hear him playing late at night or early in the morning before school. Thankfully our piano has a volume control.

I have never played an instrument and don't even know how to read music, so I am in awe of him. I always joke with him that all the girls love a guy that can play the piano.

Hopefully, I will be able to post a video of him playing (mostly so his aunts and uncles can hear!)