Tuesday, June 30, 2009

So Long Old Friend...

It's with a heavy heart that we sit here tonight and wave a heartfelt goodbye to our friend China as we have decided to pull our dossier out of the country and close down that process. So long old friend... you'll always be a part of our lives!

Three years ago when we started filling out paperwork - we never would have guessed that China would have been the gateway to our son and daughter in Ethiopia. We are so happy to have experienced the blessing of the process of China. Everything from the people we have met to the stories we have shared to the lifelong friends we have gained... we wouldn't have that if it weren't for China.

All along we have said we would stay logged in and waiting until we felt God tell us otherwise. As we started the paperwork to go back to Ethiopia to grow our family again - we found ourselves being led to use a new agency. That new agency requires us to close out the China adoption. Surprisingly - we are very much at peace with this.

It's not a decision we made lightly and definitely not a decision we made without God. It was never about the money saved or anything other than "Is this what God wants for us to do in His name?" And we have both independently come to the same conclusion - that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God wants us to go back to Africa. And so our journey continues on... takes a new turn, a new twist. Old doors are shut and new ones are open.

China - we won't say "never" because we simply don't know what tomorrow holds - but we do know this - we are thankful for what you have brought in to our lives so far! You'll be missed but never fear... you'll always have a spot very close to our hearts!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Meron's First Concert

No - it wasn't Kid Rock.

But get this - Kid Rock WAS playing in the ATL last night and we decided to pack up Camp Hoffman and head to Nashville instead for the Point of Grace fundraiser concert for the Oatsvall Team. If you know me and Kid Rock - you know it's a pretty big deal for me to skip out on him. But that's just how much we believe in and love these guys and ALL of their kids!

Meron has been to a few musical gatherings but this was her first real official show - and she LOVED it! When the music kicked in she was entranced and clapped wildy afterwards yelling "More! More!" and "Yeah!"

And the Oatsvalls - I mean what else can I say about these guys - they are awesome! We love them and it was a true blessing to finally get to meet them and hug them - these guys have prayed for us through Brighton and Meron when they really could have just been focused on the prayer they needed. Great people. Great friends. So good to finally meet in person!

But that wasn't all - we also got to meet Katie and hear her speak about her Amazima Ministries and the work she is doing for God in Uganda. If you aren't familiar with Katie - stop what you're doing right now and become familiar with her on her blog. She is an amazing 20 year old mom to 14 adopted kids who feeds thousands daily in Uganda. She is a rock star to us and we were thrlled to meet her and put a voice and face with her incredible stories.

Yeah - it was a long day. Yeah - it was a lot of miles to drive. Yeah - we got back late and were very sleepy. But it was worth it! All 3 of us slept like champions with thoughts of the evening bouncing all through our heads. God showed up for the Oatsvalls and all who came - and He was GOOD!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Is You Crazy??

We didn't just bust in and wake up Meron for a middle of the night picture! We just got home from an AWESOME benefit concert for some friends who are adopting from Uganda and as we transitioned Meron from car to bed - she gave us a glimpse of her maniacal side!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Let's Go Yankees!

After a year of almost no "date nights" somehow we managed to end up with 2 really great dates in one week! Tuesday night we headed out to see Eddie Vedder perform at a great new venue near us. Thanks Jen so much for hanging with Meron and allowing us that time!

And then tonight - it was off to see the Yankees play the Braves in Atlanta. We had a blast with great seats and one heck of a great win. Thanks so much to the tag team effort of our good friends Kelli, Scott and Fran as they stayed with Meron throughout the night til we got back!

Sorry Meron!! But you keep practicing "LET'S GO YANKEES!" while stomping your feet and you will definitely be there next year!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wake Up Mommy!

Scrap-paper Prayer

Those crazies over at SoulPancake were at it again today - challenging us to find a piece of scrap-paper and write down our prayer to God.

Here's one of mine:

What would yours be?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One Stars

Jazz Hand...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Wow. My second father's day as a daddy to Meron and Brighton! What a year it has been - but I can say with confidence that every day has been better than the one before.

I am so blessed to have been chosen to be the father of Meron and Brighton - I can't imagine what my life was like before they came in to it. My prayer is that I can continue to be the father Meron needs here on earth while at the same time never forgetting the millions of fatherless children out there - and letting that live heavily on my heart every minute of every day.

I love you Meron - thank you for making me want to be the best dad I can possibly be!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Running For Brighton - Race #9

We woke up bright (well dark actually) and early at 4:00 AM this morning - so that could only mean one thing - another Running For Brighton race! Our friends Scott, Kelli and Kama joined us in the action and it ended up being a HOT but great morning.

Once again I used the time to reflect on the suffering the 143+ million orphans in the world deal with. We think we suffer in our lives from time to time - but man... we don't even begin to know what it's like to suffer. These races always serve as a reminder of that for me - giving me the opportunity to tough it out, suck it up and really remember what Brighton and others like him endure in their tiny lives.

Wanna help bring an orphan home to a forever family? You can. And it's easy. Go here to support the Running For Brighton series of races!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Keeping Our Cool

...or trying to at least...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bye Bye Baby Tub

With a heavy heart we bid a tearful farewell to our friend the baby tub - as we marshaled in a new era of slippery butts in the big girl bathtub.

Yet another sign she's growing up on us...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Post-Bath, Pre-Bed

I realized tonight that I have an absolute favorite time of the day with Meron. Don't get me wrong - every second we get to hang out is precious to me and I cherish it all.

But tonight as I finished up her bath and was rubbing lotion in while doing "nose to nose" with her and getting endless hugs - it hit me. That little pocket of time right after bath and before bed is absolutely unbeatable! She has had her milk (we do it earlier now), she's clean and smelling great, she's a little sleepy and very loving. And I love it.

These pics are a good idea of what we're usually looking at during this time!

Laura and I split these duties pretty evenly and I bet she'd agree that this time is some of the best. Meron - Mommy and Daddy love ya all day girl but wouldn't trade this time together for anything!