Monday, December 20, 2010


We heard news a couple of days ago from our case worker that some non-objection letters have gone out!!!!!!!! This is a feat in itself to know that the government is moving ahead and issuing these approvals. To have no new news for months and then hear things are moving is such a wonderful gift. Word on the streets is that they are somewhere in the 30's and we are number 73. Not too far off. We don't know exactly how fast they are moving....

I'm now taking money donations to send a case of red bull to the dossier workers at the rwandan government. Who's with me? Merry Christmas....drink up people. :) Okay, just kidding. But the thought has crossed my mind.

Cool story.....I heard about kids being sponsored in Rwanda on the radio through an organization called, Africa New Life Ministry. Of course my ears perked up at the mention of RWANDA and so I googled this organization. The more I have found out about their mission and love for the kids of my boy's home land, the more I want to go there. I've decided that I got to check this place out when we go to Kigali. They have a variety of service buildings on their compound including a school, orphanages, a dream center where they feed kids, etc... How cool is that? I want to see it. They also have a guest home for people to go over and serve. Definitely an option for our family in the future. Anyway, Africa New Life Ministry's US office is in Portland, OR. So close to us. That's cool.

I tell my jogging buddy Melissa about this ministry and my growing desire to experience this place. Melissa just starting going to a church in Portland. She goes to a small group type of gathering at a house in Portland. Guess who owns the house and is hosting this small group gathering....(drum roll please)......the Co-Founder's of Africa New Life Ministry. (Side note: Melissa is telling me this good news on a jog and this is the part where I jumped for joy and wasn't huffing and puffing trying to breath like I usually am. ) The plan is to meet this wonderful lady in January who has been to Rwanda many times and also has an adopted son from there. I'll keep ya posted. Can't wait to hear her heart and passion for this country.

Check Africa New Life Ministries out! They have some short videos on Rwanda and what they do over there. Completely impressive! Aren't people amazing. I'm like, well what should we have for dinner? And there's people out there that are literally saving people's lives. I'm exaggerating here but you get my point. We can all do something to help someone else out. It's humbling and challenging and inspiring. There are also many ways to support orphans (other than adoption) associated through this ministry. So, if you're looking for a way to get involved - do it! You won't be sorry.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Having two girls is so much fun. They have their "spats" but they love each other so much. I pray that they are this close their whole lives. I enjoy looking at Kylie's face in the second one where Melia is hugging her maybe a bit too much.

These two girls are solid anchors of faith to me. I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to have kids. God has blessed me far beyond what I deserve. I'm so thankful for them. Jo-Jo has no idea what he's in for with his two older sisters! He may think he's got three mothers. Ha!

I'm guessing all parents going through the adoptive process ride through seasons of highs and lows. I find myself resistant to keep track of how many days...or...months we've been waiting. Some days I pray so hard for him that I think it's just too much. Too painful. I can't stand waiting any longer. Other days I pray little simple prayers throughout the day and don't go too deep. Some weeks I feel at peace and other weeks I think I may lose my mind.

I daily pray for someone to be loving on my son. For someone to be holding him, feeding him, singing to him. For Jo-jo to feel love on some level....

I decided to google our orphanage (Home of Hope) and a blog came up. A girl named Amy had just blogged about her trip to Kigali, Rwanda where she held BABIES at the Home of Hope orphanage!!!! I don't even know this chick and think she's pretty much amazing. Go to her blog if ya want and read about the orphanage where my son most likely is right now! Her blog is:

I have to warn you that it's hard to read about all these children wanting to be held and loved. Although it was rough, it gave me some peace to read about the details of where my boy is. God reminded me that He sees the whole picture...He loves my son far more than I. Amy specifically talked about one little baby boy that just loved being held and fell asleep in her arms. He allowed me the gift of some peace in my heart to think that there are people who are loving on those sweet little children, hopefully my son included.

So to Amy, I say thank you. From the depths of my heart. Thank you for taking up the cause of the orphan, for raising support to go to Rwanda, and for the love you showed those kids. You are and encouragement and an inspiration.


Monday, October 25, 2010

soccer rocks!

This fall also brings about a change for our Saturday mornings. We have entered the soccer world. Melia has watched her older cousins play over the years and now it was finally her turn to get in on the soccer action.

With our last game approaching this Saturday, I have to say it's been a great experience. Melia loves to get out there and run around. Finally, a place to let her competitive spirit have at it. Fall is such a beautiful time to be outdoors in the great northwest. We've only been rained on once!

I think we'd better get use to watching soccer....this is only the beginning.

The soccer rocks (their team name) gang and coach Tim.

Going for the goal!

If soccer doesn't work out, I think she may have a future in cheerleading.

Perhaps the best part....treats at the end.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

here we go

This fall season brings a major change about in the Wells household. Melia has entered the world of public education as a kindergarten student at Gubser Elementary. O hurt my heart! I can distinctly remember holding Melia as a newborn and thinking that those people who told me time would fly by were all wrong. Each day felt soooooo long and tiring to me. I was a mess of a new mother and the "school years" might as well have been light years away.

Now I understand what those wise women meant. It does go fast! Too fast. Yes, there are still some long days but Melia is growing up to be such a wonderful little girl. I have now banned her from growing any older. Does anyone know where I can get my hands on a time-freezing machine?

First day pictures:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

birds, bees, and DNA?

I was watching a very scientific show the other day where experts were talking about babies and how their brains work.... I was listening trying to understand what they were saying :) when Melia walked out of her room after rest time and heard the experts talking about babies genes and their DNA. She laughed and said "jeans, what???" She was pointing at her own pair of denim jeans that she had on at that moment. "Mom, what are they talking about?" I try to very simplistically talk about how a baby comes from both their mom and dad.....etc.... My smarty of a five-year-old states, "How do I come from dad? Dads can't have babies!!!! I came from you. How did I come from dad too?"

At this point I start chuckling under my breath realizing I have gotten myself in a tight spot on the verge of explaining the birds and the bees to my oldest. Reality is she doesn't need to KNOW the details of anatomy and reproduction as a five year old. It would be too heavy for her. Too much knowledge for her to handle. It will come at a later date when she is ready to take it all in and understand a bit better. (Dear Lord, please let that me a long ways away. Amen.) Yet here we are in this conversation.

I quickly came up with the simple explanation that when a woman and man love each other, they decide they want to have a child and the mommy carries the baby in her tummy. That was enough for her. She said, "Oh, okay." And that was that. No more questions - thank you Lord. She needed a simple answer to satisfy her desire to know and understand at that moment to carry her onto the next thing.

In some ways, I feel like Melia right now. Asking God all these big questions about adoption and my son. Wanting to know the BIG picture....wanting to know every detail. And the Lord gently reminds me to accept simple knowledge and rely on HIS truth and timing. (Fragments of a story and is so much bigger than me.) I often grow impatient wanting my son in my arms. It's a daily submitting of my will to the Lord's and having the confidence in Him to reveal the depth of our story when the timing is right. I don't dare try and understand all that is going on. I am so thankful for a mighty God who is on my side and wants the best for me and my family, including my boy.

:) WE are WAITING (ugh, moan, sigh) for the non-objection letter to come from Rwanda. Been waiting three months. Could possibly wait up to another three months for this little (yet so important) piece of information. This means the adoption people have looked over our dossier and said, YES - we are good to go. Our dossier would then be on it's way to our orphanage where we will be placed with our son.

Things have slllllowed way down in Rwanda over the summer. There's a new lady in charge and we hear good things about her. She is very much in favor of international adoptions. However, with new leadership comes restructuring of people, etc.... There were government elections which didn't help the slowness factor either. Simple, basic information is all we have to go off of to sustain us. We try and suck an ounce of peace from this knowledge and there is none. Only peace comes from the Lord. As much as I like to be in the know, that is enough for me to daily trust Him.

We hear that processing of these non-objection letters was suppose to get going on Sept. 1st. So we wait.
PS I will do my best to be a bit better with the blogging. Kind of a slacker, I know.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

life lately

Yes, don't worry, we're still alive and kicking. Things have been busy during this last month and well, blogging went way down on the priority list. A big highlight was going to see the musical, THE LION KING, with my mom and the Ditchen/Olson girls last weekend. We have been waiting months. The show didn't was amazing. I'm really into all the behind the scenes stuff, thinking how did they do that? The lighting, costumes, sound effects, computer graphics, live music...seriously love it. It all comes together in a powerful way for one spectacular show.

This was Melia's first real live musical and she was so giddy. The show opens up with a big number complete with all the animals coming through the aisles and onto the stage to bow to the Lion King and meet his new cub, Simba. The lights go out at the end of the song and people cheered loudly. Melia turned to me with a perplexed look on her face and says, "That sure wasn't a very long show, mom". Her honest emotion and "newness" to the experience tickled me so much. She sure was happy when I said it was just beginning.

Of course, I can't get away from Africa and thinking about my baby boy. There is no real update to report. Still waiting. Although to clarify, we are waiting for a non-objection letter from the Rwandan gov't. When we receive this letter, we know that a referral of a child is within a couple months. The Rwandan gov't allows themselves up to six months to issue this non-objection letter. So, the wait is longer than we first anticipated. We've been officially waiting for about a month. Keep praying....

I've been able to help my friend, Sue, with a few weddings. She is an incredible event planner and has fabulous linens, table decor, arches, etc. available to rent for your special event. So, if you're thinking of throwing a great party or getting hitched, look her up (SHE Designs). The weddings have fallen on Saturdays, which allows Josh to be with the kids and us to maintain a semi-normal weekend.

I've also been helping out at our church with the new outreach building. There is programming starting in the fall for adults and kids. I working on literacy curriculum for infant - 5th grade and the volunteer piece for the kids area. Feel honored to have a hand in the beginning of this program. My brain hurts a little from not being used in this capacity in many months. :)

July is a big month for us. Melia will be 5 in 28 days. What! Five. A whole hand! Kinda crazy. She's already changed the theme of her party three times and it would be easier to walk into Target and tell you what's NOT on her birthday present list. I keep reminding her that the list helps give people an idea of what she wants....and that she's NOT going to get it all. Welcome to the real world chica. :)

We're going to throw a BBQ this Sunday for the 4th. So, if you don't have any plans and are looking for something to're invited. Don't feel like a loser and that you have no friends because you do! We want you to come. Just call and let me know you're coming....

blessings and goooooo America!

Monday, June 7, 2010

officially, we wait.

We got a great call from our case worker last week. Our dossier has been officially processed into the Rwandan adoption system!!!!! We now wait for the next call.....the referral call. Meaning we have been placed with our boy. Could be up to six months for this call. Believe me, you will know when we receive that news! You may even be able to hear me shout it from the roof tops if ya listen close enough. :)

I've been thinking a lot about our son. He's never far from my thoughts, even in the middle of the night. I wake up thinking about him and pray all the time for him. Is he abandoned in a bush somewhere or worse.... Is he hurt, is he crying, is he hungry? Please God - I beg mercy for my boy and and your hand to guide him into the loving arms of the nuns at the orphanage.

I want to leave this blog with a dose of reality that many children face in Rwanda. One of the team members from AGCI returned from spending three months there and shared her experience visiting our orphanage (Home of Hope). I'll warn you it's really hard to read....but I believe truth is power and once you know what's happening I ask you to pray about your part in fighting the cause of the orphan?

"Our nun hurried us down a long, cement hallway to another room - I was so shocked to see over a hundred metal cribs, pushed together in clusters here and there. The silence was my first shock, not one baby was crying. The stillness of the room caused my heart to freeze, as well as my feet and thoughts. Why are they so quiet?

She began again, 'All these babies are orphans. True orphans. No father, no mother. They come to us sometimes in the middle of the night with umbilical cords still attached, naked, filthy from being birthed into a pit latrine hole (usually 20' deep) and they are left at our gate in plastic bags. Sometimes the person who found them in the latrine had put the newborn in a plastic bag and leaves the child in the road in the middle of the night because they don't want to be noticed by neighbors. The Sector official gets up early every morning to see if there are any 'bags' on the road, and if so, he brings them to the metal gate. That is how we get most of our children'. Prostitutes, especially child prostitutes, and over-burdened widows are desperate to get rid of their baby. They feel they have no other way. They are starving themselves. Some of their other children are beggars on the street. They live in the mud huts, they have no hope.

We have only been in this cemented room for a few minutes when I find myself just standing and staring.....I am now listening to this young woman tell me how thousands of mothers choose to dispose of their child and in many cases, the child dies alone in a bag. I slowly look around the room. There's too many. My eyes and hands fall to the nearest one. I touch his frail fingers. My touch startles him. Did this little one come in a plastic bag only a few moments ago? I didn't know this existed in our world. How is America to know? Will they care? Or is this just another Africa story on poverty?

They are waiting. They don't know they are waiting- right now they are a mass of humanity waiting for life to unfold. Like a rose bud. The petals are fragile - but each uniquely beautiful. They are too young for dreams or opinions or even the knowledge of a family. They know caring, yet I don't think they know love. They only know the hands of the nuns - not the arms of a mother. And there are too few nuns to share arms. "

Isaiah 58:6-9
"Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter - when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; they your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry out for help, and he will say: Here am I."

memorial day outing

Josh and I looked at each other on the Saturday of Memorial Day and said okay, we gotta get out of our house and do something fun for the holiday. We had played all day at our house and in the backyard and that's great and all but we were feeling the rut of "same ole' thing...just different day"... and needed a change.

We heard about this hike over by Lincoln City that leads up to a suspension bridge. It's called Drift Creek Falls Trail (if ya wanna look it up for your own nature adventure). Fun little hike in the woods ending with a cool bridge that shakes when you walk across it. The girls loved it!

Followed up hike with a fabulous BBQ with good friends at their house on Devil's Lake. It was a really fun day and exactly what we needed.

Monday, May 31, 2010

good news!

Want to hear some good, no, GREAT NEWS? Our dossier is officially on it's way to RWANDA. Oh yeah! It came back to our agency last Tuesday from the Rwandan embassy in Washington D.C. where they recommended us for adoption. Our case worker sent it out the same day to Rwanda. I am so thrilled to be this far. It takes a week to get to Africa and then up to two weeks to be processed into their system. I'm guessing that it's there now, since it will be exactly one week tomorrow.

Our case worker is suppose to be notified when we are in the Rwandan system and she is going to let us know. That means we will be officially in "their hands" and waiting to be placed with our son. The waiting has already begun for us.....but once we are in their system we've been told waiting for a referral could take up to 6 months.

My heart already aches to have my boy. I thought already having two kids and lots to keep me busy that the time would fly by... but that is not the case at all. I want him here with me now! No six months, thank you. I can see this will be a test of patience for me.

This is great news and I am so thankful to my Jesus for bringing us this far....

dear friend

Here's Shauna holding her daughter Ella (on left) with me and Melia at the garage sale. I somehow deleted the pic below....keeping reading to find out about her.

the time had come

Yes, two garage sales in two weeks! Grand total of money made for our baby boy's adoption.......$1,500!!!!!! Are you freaking out right now? I am! What a ton of money! I never would have dreamed that we would have made that much. A HUGE THANK YOU to all who donated items to be sold. My words won't come close to my heart here but I am humbled and so, so, so grateful.

A few pics from our second garage sale. As you can see we had a ton of stuff !

I was starting to go a bit loopy from all the distributing, organizing, and pricing.

Melia and her best buddy, Ella (on left) sitting at their concessions stand just waiting to make some money. If a few minutes went by with no takers for candy or drink, Melia would shout over to me in front of all the garage sale customers in a very frustrated, annoyed tone that no one was coming and buying from them. (I'm thinking that she probably doesn't have a future in sales.....or maybe she does because she was determined to move some product.) She did tire of sitting at the table really quickly and was off to play soooo concessions wasn't as big of a hit as I had hoped but my goal was made for having her feel apart of the experience.

My question is how could you NOT buy something from these two cutie pies?

Ella is the daughter of one of my dearest friends, Shauna. Shauna selflessly helped me out sooooo much at BOTH of my garage sales. She worked her booty off and kept me in a great mood. When I would try to let her off the hook to go home she would say, "no way, this is what friends do for each other". Thank you my wonderful friend for supporting me and my family in such a giving way. I love ya!

I'll end this blog on a light note.... What do you do with old winter tights now that the weather is warming up? Well, pull them over your head and pretend you're an invisible spy of course, sneaking up on the bad guy (daddy) and wrestling him on the bed. Continue to wrestle daddy, laughing hysterically, until you are worn out and the bed is a total disaster.

They could see out...I don't know how - but they could!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What's better than one garage sale......

....having another one, of course! Last week I learned very late in the week that the street next to ours was having a street garage sale. Hello lots of people! Time to make some money. We were going to originally have our garage sale THIS week (Friday and Saturday) but this was just too good of an opportunity to miss soooooo we went for it. My sister and bro-in-law graciously let us use their house (yes we live one street apart). We raised $700 bucks!!! How awesome is that. Our application for the US CIS is just a little bit more than that so I love to think that the cost is almost completely taken care of! God is good. I give him all the glory for such a great turn out and weather.

Turning to this week.....we had a little bit of stuff left over AND we have a few more friends that were going to donate items to the garage sale this week soooo....why not go for it again? Hello 76 degree weather! Let the people come and feast their eyes on all of our treasures and partake in great deals. Melia will be running her concessions stand with drinks and candy. Yes, yes I am using her cute face and curls to make some money. Judge if you must. :) Will be open for business this Friday (8-3) and Saturday (9-12). Stop by and say hi!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

let the waiting begin...

We headed up the highway yesterday to AGCI and turned in a few dossier documents that we had to update. (I'll spare you the boring time constraint details and why we had to redo two documents. It almost confuses me enough trying to explain it out-loud to you. Reason # 342 why I loving having a case worker. She says to fix something - we do it and move on. ) Our dossier was sent out yesterday to Washington DC where....wait for it..... it will receive another official certification from the national level. Seriously I'm not quite sure what they do there. Check everything over -- maybe put a seal on it??? Again, just another step that we say "alrighty then" and off to Washington it goes.

It takes two weeks for our dossier to come back to AGCI and then Julie will send it directly to Rwanda! I was giddy with excitement yesterday as we drove home. The BIG bunch of our paper work is d-o-n-e. Josh was cool as a cucumber. That is the balance of our marriage folks. I am jumping around in the car doing some pretty sweet dance moves from the waist up and he looks as though he is playing a game of chess with all emotions firmly intact. His life would be so calm without me. :)

We were hoping for a referral within 3 months but Julie said to plan on 3-6 months now. Oh no. Guess it has slowed down for some reason. He could always come quicker than expected but don't bet on it. And get this.... we are the first dossier for the Rwandan program from AGCI. That means we are first on the waitlist baby! Not sure if that's really cool or really nerve racking? I'm going to go with being really cool. Oh how I do love to blaze a trail.

In the meantime we have lots here to keep us busy! We are going to have a garage sale in two weeks, May 15th & 16th (weather permitting). We need sun or at least no down pours going on. I am clearing things out of my house. Some close friends and family have donated great items to our adoption garage sale. All proceeds are going to our adoption fund. One cool part of our adoption story that I am experiencing is how people support and love on you in real and practical ways. I didn't really think about this aspect before we jumped into our journey. It's humbling and overwhelming all at the same time. I am forever grateful for the love and encouragement we have been shown. (You know who you are!)

So save your money and come buy some great stuff: furniture, exercise equipment, clothing, home decor items, awesome crib bedding (girl) that was hardly used, kid toys, etc.... I think I am going to have a concessions stand for people to buy pop and candy? I've heard that can be a huge hit.

I'm also working on another fund raiser idea that is pretty unique. More on that in a later blog.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

hip hip hooray

What a good week!

Melia had her spring performance at school. Okay, how cute is it to watch 3 and 4 year olds sing! They did a great job. Kylie sang right along with her big sister from the audience.

Melia has recently started this I-am-nervous-put-my-fingers-in-my-mouth-thing. For a mom who is pretty much a germ freak - this is soooo not cool. She said she loved being up on stage and boy did she know all the words and movements to the songs.

Is she a little Josh or what!

The other EXCITING NEWS is that on Friday we drove up the highway to our adoption agency's office in Portland and turned in our DOSSIER!!!!!

Documents in hand. Melia started chanting, "Jo-Jo, Jo-Jo". It was such a great moment.
(FYI Jo-Jo is the nickname for our son... No real name for him yet.)

All God's Children International. Isn't it a cute office! Such a fun neighborhood too.

Since Josh was working, my mom offered to go with us.
I definitely have the best momma on the planet.

Someone's excited!

No trip to AGCI would be complete without a celebratory
dinner at one of our family's favorite places to eat.

Flexing our adoption muscles!

We are on our way folks! Our case worker will now review our dossier and make sure all is done correctly. It will take up to a month and then be sent to the Rwandan government. I pray for my boy everyday. I think about him all the time. Is he born yet? What does he look like? Is someone loving on him right now? Would you please stop and say a quick prayer for him.

Monday, April 19, 2010

adoption update

We are getting closer! Our home study is complete and we received it in the mail this last weekend. With our home study complete we can now get busy and finish up two very important next steps. First, our dossier. Last night we were able to get every document notarized by my friend Maryanne, who is a notary! We hope to head down to the state office today or tomorrow and have our dossier authenticated with the state of Oregon and then.....(drum roll please) turn in our dossier to our agency this Wednesday. That's the plan anyway. :) The agency takes up to a month to translate and authenticate our dossier before they send it to Rwanda. Once the Rwandan government receives our dossier it's about 3 1/2 months of waiting for a referral. Could always be longer.

The other important next step is sending our home study along with an application and fee to the US CIS office in Texas. It's a part of homeland security and ya need an approval letter from these guys in order to bring our boy into the US. It can take up to a couple of months to receive this letter but because it's a US thing, it won't slow down our dossier (international) process. We need this letter before we travel.

That's where were at. At this point I am mentally tired. I am soooo looking forward to handing in our dossier and US CIS application and being done with it for a bit. I am grateful for all the support from friends and family. I can't wait to hold my son.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mermaids and armor

The only picture I have of Melia and Kylie together. Before the festivities begin....

Enjoying birthday treats. Kylie sure loves sugar... I wonder where she gets it from?

Sidekick and partner in birthday crime, Tara, helping me serve up some birthday love for all.

Kylie's own special cake that is just for her to eat. Made the mistake of starting this with Melia and now I have to make a special cake every year for each child on their birthday. It is definitely and tradition and a birthday must.

Kylie took opening presents in stride and enjoyed a lot of help from family and friends.

I had a hot flash as Josh brought Kylie down to blow out her candles and almost set her hair on fire. Okay, slight exaggeration but it felt like a close call. :)

Happy Birthday to Josh and Kylie! It was a fabulous day of celebrating with family and close friends. (yes, Josh is wearing armor that was a gift given to him by my dad). :) Hard to believe Kylie is 2 already. I love you special people

Friday, April 2, 2010


I wrote this post last Friday...thought I lost it when my computer decided to shut down....found it saved as a draft so here it is.....

I am a person who likes to be comfortable. Melia and I often refer to clothes as cozy and comfy. I like to be comfortable in life. I enjoy having all my ducks in a row. I like to be in the "know", feeling financially secure with a positive outlook on tomorrow. This my friends, has not been my reality as of the last week. Sure - I have soooo many blessings, don't get me wrong. The list is endless. This little life of comfort I was carving out for is maybe not the way Jesus wants me to live. I am being stretched in ways that I don't like. Obedience means being that oftentimes that push out of your comfort zone into a wonderful world of TOTAL reliance on Jesus who provides the only source of true inner peace. I can't do it myself and I have to submit to Him. I'll spare you the details as of late, but this last week has been stressful. I have been too exhausted to keep you updated on adoption stuff and life in general. Not to get too crazy spiritual but I have felt the lion prowling hungry for his prey. I have also felt this internal peace from my Savior. A peace way down in there that I know comes from Him. We are on the right track. Please keep us in your prayers.

Things are going smoothly with the adoption process. We had all four of our social worker visits last week. Jodi, our social worker, is great. She asked us every question imaginable, from growing up years to marriage to family/parenting styles. I feel as though I should now add her to our Christmas card list. :) The purpose of all the questions is to make a report that that will be sent in as a part of our dossier telling whoever reads our file in rwanda about us. Gives them a little background and insight into our lives.

We did receive our FBI checks in the mail. Yahoo! Thank you for praying. That means that we can now hand in all our dossier info to our case worker at AGCI (once our home study is complete) and she can begin to make sure we have everything in order before sending to Rwanda.

Next step...once Jodi's report is done and AGCI has checked it out, we get to send our entire home study along with a new form (I 600 A) to the US CIS office in Texas. What is the US CIS office you ask? Great question. It's the department for US citizenship and Immigration Services and is within the Department of Homeland Security. Whoooo- sounds so official. An approval letter from US CIS gives our son permission to enter the US. We have started to work on all the info that we need to send in with our application and home study. Hopefully, we will send that off next week sometime.

Lastly, It's my sweet baby girl's birthday today! I praise God for this child. I was cuddling her a bit last night before bed and humming the song that I would sing to her every night when she was a baby. My mind flooded with memories of intense, hard baby nights and...what a gift she is to me. How my life has changed since having her in so many wonderful ways. She makes me want to be a better person. She adds so much joy and blessing to my life. It's hard to remember life when we only had Melia and it's only been 2 years. Thank you Jesus for my Kylie!

Monday, March 22, 2010


There are a few questions that some of you may be wondering about but feel it would be rude or intrusive to ask. I am one of those kinds of people....I like to know. :) Here are a few "sticky" questions and my answers. It's my opinion and my life - so I can't get the answers wrong, right?

Are we not able to have more biological children? (some have already asked this one.... - don't worry - not offended).
Yes - we are able to have biological children. Have had no problems getting pregnant. Have had great pregnancies and healthy babies.

Why would you adopt then? Why not do a domestic adoption as opposed to an international adoption - there are so many kids right here in USA that need good homes? (yes, someone has asked me this!)
This question evokes in me a great emotional response. I would come back with a question.... Great - you see the need is there - what are YOU doing about it? I would love to engage in a conversation about our call as God's people to help the orphans and the widows. Maybe God is giving you eyes to see this need/hurt in the world and providing a passionate way for you to get involved?
I've never been on my knees more before the Lord than through this adoption experience. I don't know how people who don't have a faith adopt.(I know they can and do, I just don't know how they do it!) I have leaned so hard on my Jesus. It's a call. It's a desire to seek out where and how the Lord wants to use me. All of me. Josh and I listened to the call that was placed on our family. Is it tough at times - sure. But deeper that that is a peace and strength that the Lord gives us and a great love and desire to raise our son.

Adoption is much is it?
Ahhh, money. If only we had a money tree,right! Adoption through an agency can cost anywhere between 20,000-50,000 smackers, depending on the country and the agency you use. Have you heard the saying, God funds what He favors? Love it. Our adoption will cost roughly 20,000-25,000. Yikes. (btw- feels funny telling everyone how much it costs - just want to be open and honest).

Are you nervous about having a multi-ethnic family?
No. Back when we were considering adopting from Rwanda I had the thought about my son struggling when he was a little older with his identity. Will he struggle with the fact that he is dark and his parents and sisters are white? I felt like the answer is that we are called to find our identity in Christ, not in people or the color of their skin. I pray that my girls find this same identity. I do think we need to be aware and place ourselves in strategic areas where there are people of all colors, shapes, and sizes. :) I will encourage all my children to find their identity in Jesus alone.

hey - you can ask...doesn't mean I'll answer. :)
peace out-

Thursday, March 18, 2010

do a little dance

On Monday we headed up to our adoption agency's office in Portland. We were there to throw, I mean, hand in our homestudy documents and paperwork. I was so excited. A small weight came off my shoulders as so many hours of hard work was turned in completed. One step closer.... I wanted to do a little dance. A little shakin' of the tail feather in honor of my son. I assumed this could cause severe embarassment to myself and family so I contained myself as all was being carefully looked over and reviewed to be done completely and correctly by our agency. After all this is official business and I must show how mature and sound I am. (keep comments to self :) )

Next step....we were assigned a social worker who will meet with us a total of four times. All countries have their own specific requirements that adoptive parents must accomplish. I hear four times is more than most countries require but none the less, Rwanda wants to be very thorough. Jodi is our social worker's name and she sounds awesome. We've talked on the phone and her first meeting with us is tomorrow (Friday) night. Being new to this adoptive stuff I asked her what her role is and she said that she will ask us a ton of questions about us personally and as a family. We had to fill out personal files (Josh and I did) as part of the our homestudy and she will go over those with us. Sounds kinda intense but Jodi was quick to add that we shouldn't be nervous and it is a very casual process. I'm guessing they want to make sure we are in real life who we said we were on paper.

This is an interesting ride. I was just telling a good friend today that I would never have thought in a million years my life would take this kind of turn. I love how God leads. I love how God is strectching me to rely on him. Adoptive stuff feels sometimes too big to accomplish. And on my own - it is! I am on my knees for His guidance and strength. It's drawing me so much closer to the Lord. I am so thankful.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Get going

We said yes to adopting. We said yes to our agency. We said yes to filling out the application and paying an application fee.....then we met with people from our agency and got allllll our paperwork. I'm talking two notebooks worth of items to retrieve, copy, find, sign up for, fill out, type up, etc....It is no small task. On top of the dossier notebook (for international adoption) and the homestudy notebook (state adoption), our agency requires us to take on line training courses for internatinal adoption and complete a 170 page workbook. We were taking in all that we had to do at the agency and when we got home I looked at Josh and said, "What are we suppose to do?" Talk about overwhelming. I'm one of those chicks who has to take in things for awhile, make lists, wrap my head around what needs to be accomplished. I truly didn't know where to begin at that moment. I was spinning.

Josh is the calm one in this duo. He was so great. He said let's get going. He took on the legal documents junk. I don't do well there. I took on the more emotional areas. Things like getting our reference forms out to people, making appts. for various dr. visits to fill out forms, etc.... What a great team we make. Thank you Lord for my man. After about a month of pouring every extra minute into our notebooks and training, we are close to being done. Yeah - the light is getting bigger. Please pray with us that our FBI fingerprints will come in the mail to us very soon. We sent them in right away but haven't received them back yet. It's so hard to be patient when things are out of my control. Funny lesson in life maybe :). I'll tell ya what a good motivator is though.......thinking about my boy. Thinking about looking into his eyes and kissing his cheek. Come on' - what mom wouldn't climb the highest mountain or swim the biggest sea for their kid. There is a fire that burns in me when I think about him. We keep on going......

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Call

When my sis and her family adopted my little niece from China I was thrilled. Overjoyed for them and us that this little girl was going to be a apart of our family. But I didn't feel that we were called to adopt. Looking back now, I think that there was a small seed planted in my heart by my sweet niece. My sister kept a blog about their journey with links on it to other adoption blogs. I would read them often, daily sometimes. Instead of this huge call shouting out at me, it was more like why not us? We are not rich. But we have a home full of love and a great family. Why not me? It was more of a nudging at my heart; quietly, patiently, persistently. At this point adoption was all in my head. I hadn't shared with my husband what I was starting to really feel and own as a call. I don't think adoption is something lightly to jump into based on a why not me mentality. It's expensive, it's time consuming, and it changes the course of your family forever. So, I shared with Josh what I was thinking and feeling and we agreed to pray about it on our own until God placed a decision with each of us individually. I already knew. I was being called to step it up. Josh came back with the same response - yes, I think this is what we are suppose to do. Yikes.

The two hardest decisions for us thus far have been: are we called to this journey and where are we suppose to adopt from? We had our answer to the first question and we began to research, and I mean research, every avenue set before us from country to agency. Long story short. (I'm kind of a detailed gal). :) Our friends just adopted sweet twin girls through an agency out of Portland called, All God's Children International. We checked out this agency feeling a call towards somewhere in Africa. They had just began a new program with Rwanda. Every thing seemed to click with this agency and this program. We met every requirement and it met all of our's as well. All I can say is that there was a peace about this being the right decision. We took a deep breath...and jumped with both feet. I whispered to my son that night that his mommy is coming for him.

There you have it. Our son, born in Rwanda, will join our family sometime around late fall, early winter 2010. We have requested that he be between the age of 0-14 months at the time we get him to keep the birth order in our family. Melia is over the moon to have a new little brother. Kylie doesn't really get it. Our family and friends are supportive and encouraging. (In fact, a close friend designed this blog --- thank you Tara!) We are blessed beyond measure.

Ride along with us on this adventure! Thanks for reading.