Be content with what you have, for God has said "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So say with confidence, "the Lord is my helper I will not be afraid." Hebrews 13:5-6

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Our amazing boy!






So as some of you may know, but many of you probably don't, October is National Down Syndrome awareness month. And because of that I though I should post a special blog so that all of you are aware of how amazing our little guy with Down syndrome is! When we were first pregnant with him we were beyond excited to be having our first child and a boy at that. It was perfect just like we planned...little did we know that God had a different plan for our little guy, one that we would never have planned for or have envisioned but that has turned out to be just as great as anything we could have dreamt up. When we first found out at 22 weeks along that Wyatt had Down syndrome, I dont think that I could have imagined writting about how "amazing our little guy with Down syndrome was." I admit I was scared beyond belief about everything this new devleopment meant. What he would look like, how he would act, how others would treat him????? A million thoughts ran through my mind. Some of which I am ashamed of, like the little part of me that wanted something to go wrong with the pregnancy. I knew that I couldn't have an abortion (although I was offered one (at 22weeks!) which is something still amazes and haunts me) for many reasons but most of all our (mine and Joe's) belief that all children are gifts from God. But my thought was that if something might just happen and I lost the baby somehow, than we wouldn't have to go through any more pain and either would he. As you can see this is the depressed state I was in when I first found out the news and I am incredibly ashamed of these thoughts now, but I have given myself permission to admit them because I have a burden on my heart today. I want anyone who is pregnant and has just found out that there is a "problem" with their baby to know that it is okay to experience whatever it is that you have to, but to also know that their child has been created on purpose for a purpose. It is a life that was created by God and that has a plan to be on this earth and to make a difference. We had no idea that Wyatt was not only going to change our lives forever but that he would change the lives and hearts of everyone he meets. He brings light wherever he goes with giant smile and most regularily a request for a hug. He is learning things and doing things we never though imaginable. We have met so many people becuase of him, people that God wanted us to meet and used Wyatt to bring us together. He has our life at a much slower pace, which I have come to love and hate sometimes. Yes I admit it is not just wonderful all of the time, sometime i just wish he would "act his age!!" but I am consistantly reminded of his greater purpose on this earth. We are so blessed to have all of the children that God has intrusted us with. We are so excited to see what Gos has in store for Wyatt ans what great things he is going to do in this life just by being himself!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

our little angel!


Ruby and I got a chance to spend a long weekend in Colorado with my sister and her family. It was really fun. Ruby got to meet two of her cousins Grace and Jack who are so sweet. It was hard to leave them. We picked up this sweet little angel costume at a consignment store and had to get it. She certainly is our little angel!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Isn't she cute!




She is the biggest sweetheart and she brings so much joy to our family.






Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First day of Kindergarten!




Well today was Wyatt's first day of Kindergarten. He left with a smile, and came home with a smile! I on the other hand was nervous the entire time and finally ended up calling his teacher to see how he was doing about half way through. Ehh I cant believe I am that mom!!!! I really can't believe that our boy is in Kindergarten. It seems so weird and quiet when he is gone. Now Owen will start preschool, 2 days a week, next week...how exciting! Oh the times that Ruby and I will have, no trains or trucks allowed!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

attempting the impossible!







SO Joe and I thought while the kids were all in their Sunday best we would try and get a photo of all of them. This proves easier ssaid that done! Cory...you have your work cut out for you! This one if Wyatt tickling Ruby under her chin to get her to smile. Also Miss Audrey came over to meet her newest cousin last week. Totally fun. She is so precious and I cant wait for the 2 girls to grow up together and be great friends.




Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A few more pics












All of these pics were taken when we were in Africa. When I get around to downloading pics from our camera again, I will post more pics with family. Oh this is Beza'a most beloved nanny. She was very sad to see her go. You could tell that she loved her very much, something we will tell Beza about later and hold dear to our hearts.


Monday, July 6, 2009

She is finally home!


Ruby "Beza" is finally home! We got in on Friday the 3rd. She is beautiful, smart and healthy. She is everything that we could have asked for and more. We truely feel SO blessed by this little one. She is all girl and we LOVE it. The boys are loving their new sister and are taking their role very seriously. Wyatt has really stepped up into big brother mode and is being VERY helpful and sweet with her. Our stay in Africa was life changing with so many wonderful/sad/moving experiences and stories it is hard to know where to start. We are just SO glad that she is home safe and we are now a family of 5!!!!

video

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We are off!

It is 11pm and we get up at 3:45 am to leave and go get our new baby girl! As soon as we catch a breath we will post some pics of our trip. Oh my goodness!!!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

O my I can't believe it is happening!

We leave a week from tomarrow!!! I really can't believe that the time has finally come. We will actually get to hold her for the first time on Friday afternoon! So in 9 days I will be holding my baby girl, I have tried to picture this moment so many times and I just cant wait to actually do it. I dont think that I will be able to stop starring at her, every little part I want to investigate! Her little chunky thighs (ohh maybe not so chunky I think I am thinking of my boys when they were babies!!) her small petite thighs, her little hands and toes, her baby nose and big amazing brown eyes, I cant wait to show these eyes off!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fundraiser success

So first of all I want to apologize for this post being so late. It seems like sometimes when it rains it pours and our life are currently moving at full speed with many different stressors happening and with lots of loose ends hanging out there! So all I can say is this is the first time I have really been able to sit at the computer and put a little time into writing my thoughts on this blog. Not that my very full brain is capable of putting out very in depths thoughts at this point...I am going to try. Joe and I both have noted lately that it feels like God is just pouring out blessings onto us and from multiple directions and from many different people. This is just the most amazing feeling that it is hard to put into words. I feel like I have said so many thank you's lately that I am starting to sound like a broken record but I somehow wish that I could just open up my heart so everyone can see the love that is felt and the gratitude that is behind all of these thank yous! Really it has just reinforced that the path that we are on to get our little Ruby is the path that God has put us on. We know it is going to be a challenge to have 2 rowdy boys and a little baby to take care of but all I keep thinking is that if a single mom can have octuplets and six other kids I think I can handle 3! So......our fundraiser party was one of the most amazing nights. It really was incredible to see the number of people that turned out to support us, in the end we were able to raise almost 1/3 of the total amount of the adoption costs...now that is success!!!!! I just want to play my top hit record one more time and say a gigantic THANK YOU to everyone who has supported us in one way or another in this journey. We are truely grateful to all of you! We are set to leave June 24th, to finally go and get this beautiful little girl, I am just about to burst with anticipation and excitment!









































































Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Red Letters

"The true state of emergency lies within the church-it lies within us. It's our problem. We can't leave Africa's children lying by the side of the road as we pass on by." This was taken from a book that I am currently reading called Red Letter; Living a faith that bleeds written by Tom Davis. This passage has struck me for more than one reason. I was told to read this book by a friend who had also adopted from Ethiopia and it had been sitting on my shelf for almost a year now, finally something inside me (I am thinking God had a little to do with that voice) told me I should start reading it. I can not tell you how greatly this book has impacted me. When we decided to adopt, I will admit it was maybe more for selfish reasons, we wanted a little girl. We knew adoption was a great thing and that there were lots of kids out there who needed homes, but that was the extent of WHY. After reading this book I can honestly say that I believe that God put adoption on our hearts without us really knowing it and he led us to Ethiopia quietly and in an unassuming way. But now that we are about to bring Ruby home, I am humbled by the fact that we are doing one small thing, yet after reading this book my eyes have been opened about the crisis going on in Africa. I cant get the statics out of my mind and the numbers and the stories talked about in this book. He says it many times in his book, Africa is literally going up in flames and soon there many not be an Africa any more if nothing is done. It is just too hard to imagine, too big of a crisis, and we (America) dont seem to be doing a whole lot about it. I am overwhelmed yet realize that there is hope, We have an amazing God and in him all things are possible! But we need to be his hands and feet, we have to do something!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Small little goof!

Okay so I just got work today that we are not going to be able to raffle off the quilt. So..there will be a silent auction for it at the fundraiser party. The other silent auction pieces are so far; a 3 day 2 night stay in a cottage at Lincoln City, photo shoot, and a very cool water feature, this along with other pieces for sale. Sorry for the mix-up.

On another note this has been the most beautiful last few days and we have been taking full advantage of it. The boys have practically lived outside for the last few days and no Owen has taken up a new sport in addition to his love of basketball, we broke out the tee and have been hitting like carzy, this boys does not stop once he finds something he likes, it is very fun to see. Wyatt on the other hand sees it more as a recreational sport.
video

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Finally she is ours!

Today we finally got the news that our court date has been approved and now Ruby is officially our child. We have been waiting for this news for almost two weeks now, and now that we have it it is very surreal. After the news this morning as I was reading on the couch as the boys were "resting" I tried to picture myself actually having her placed in my arms for the first time, and I was finally able to picture this moment and the knot in my stomach was there and my arms were weak as I finally got to hold my daughter. I just am overjoyed with excitment of how our lives are going to be forever changed very soon. We are now in the process of looking for the best tickets, it is really weird sometimes you can find a flight that is 24 hours not counting layovers, and then the next one is 37 hours! So we are definanlty hunting around for this. But as excited as I am to go and get her, I am a little nervous about flying for that long with a baby that literally has just meet me days before, I guess that is all part of her story that we will get to tell her when she gets older.
As many of you know the fundraiser Party for Ruby is on the May 30th, we know there are a lot of people who live out of town or who have other plans that evening and so we wanted to give a chance to everyone to purchase tickets for a quilt raffle. We have a BEAUTIFUL handmade quilt that was made by Judy Groth, a friend of the family. It is a queen size quilt that will be coming with 3 different throw pillows. Tickets are: 1 ticket for $5 or 5 tickets for $20. We will hold the drawing at the party on the 30th. There is also another way to support thr fundraiser, a friend of mine Cory Harrington is a Scentsy consultant. If you haven't heard of Scentsy, it is a great line of products that will make your house smell wonderful. A warmer and a scentsy bar make a perfect gift! Cory is donating the profit of all of the sales generated from people supporting our fundraiser. Just go to her website www.scentsy.com/coryharrington and click on "events" this is written kind of small and is near her photo. Click on May 30th and Ruby's fundraiser and then you can start shopping from there. Cory will also be at the party and you can make purchases then and she will have samples of the warmers to see and bars to smell.


Friday, May 8, 2009

on pins and needles

Okay so not sure if anyone really noticed but our court date was May 4th, yeah.....it is what....May 8th and we stil DO NOT know ANYTHING! I am going to burst. Our social worker Megan said that she has not had contact with the guy in Ethiopia that handles the paperwork and because it never takes this long (our luck) she is wondering if they are having internet problems or phone issue ahhh. We can't make our travel arrangments until we know for sure that we passed and so we are just waiting. Anyways just thought I would send out this update. Otherwise are family is doing great, I am seeing the light coming a little bit closer on my goal to have both of my children fully potty trained by the time Ruby comes. This morning while I was being a lazy mom and catching a few more minutes of sleep on the couch and letting the boys watch their cartoons, I heard Wyatt say "pause-potty time" (a phrase we say to get him to stop what he is doing and take a potty break) He, on his own (me with one eye open to see what he would do) pulled down his pants ran into the bathroom and went potty all by himself, he even flushed without putting anything else foreign in the potty! This is so huge if you know my Wyatt. He will get there!!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Finally some pictures!










It seems like it has been forever since I have posted with pictures! I am not so good at this and so I can never caption my pics right so I am just going to blog and then post the pics and see what happens. the first pics are from my time in Mexico. So you see while I was in Mexico Joe of course was home with the boys and this is what happens when you have that combo; mom out of country...boys home alone...time to play! By the way it is maybe 50 degrees outside. The next is a little video clip that I took of Owen. He knows the chorus to the song "Mighty to save" and he loves to sing it spontaneously, it is so cute is just makes me smile every time, not to mention it is one of my favorite songs. The last is a pic of Wyatt in baby Ruby's bed. We started putting her room together tonight and of course he had to jump in the bed. I will post some nursery pics when it is more finished, it is getting really real now and it is starting to sink in a little more that we are going to have a new little one around here, we are beyond excited!

video

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fundraiser info!

Well we have finally decided on a date! Our fundraiser dinner/craft sale will be on MAY 30TH. We hope you all can make it. It will be at Keizer Clearlake United Methodist Church, the address is : 7920 Wheatland Rd NKeizer, OR 97303. The craft fair and auction will begin at 5:30 and go until about 6:30. Dinner will be served around 6:30. We are asking that people plan on $6.00 per person for dinner with a family limit of $20.00. We are going to have a beautiful handmade queen size quilt and shams up for auction that I am going to post a picture of and give people a chance to bid on it if they are not going to be at the party. Thank you SO MUCH to Judy Groth for making this, I know that she spent countless hours on it. We also have some very cute homemade geeting cards from my sister Suzanne and a photo shoot package from a friend Cory, and hundreds of bows and clippies that I have been working on. Please let me know if you are going to be attending for dinner so that I can semi plan on the amount of food. It looks like Ruby will be coming home to us in June! We are so thankful to everyone for the support that we have gotten through this whole process. We cant wait to hold this beautiful little girl and share her with all of you.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

We have a court date!!!!!

Okay so we just got an e-mail from our social worker and our court date is MAY 4TH!! Which is extremly soon in terms of court dates, needless to say that we were stunned. That seems to be a very commin theme with this adoption. Once we finshed our part which we did very slowly everything else has gone very quickly. So now we need prayers that our court date will go through. Often these court dates do not go through on the first try and it ends up delaying the process for everyone involved. Hopefully ours will pass on the first try and we will be flying off to Addis in either early June or later June. I am so excited at the prospect of having our daughter in time for the Fourth of July celebrations, it just seems fitting to me.

Monday, March 30, 2009

WOW what and experience

Well I just returned from Tijuana Mexico from 9 days of some of the most amazing expereinces of my life! I went with our church from Keizer Oregon and another group from Canby. There were about 20 of us on the trip. We headed off on last Friday morning a group of 4 vehicles packed to the brim with food, sleeping bags, clothes, tools, crafts and honestly about 25 completely full bags of cookies and candy! (this was not a time to be watching what I ate!) We arrived at the church in Tijuna on Saturday around 6pm or so. I was a little nervous because of all of the negative stuff that we had been hearinf about on the news but honsetly the entire time I never really once felt unsafe. Infact I was astounded at how beautiful I found the city and Mexico in general to be. Of course there was a lot of poverty and living accomodations that are appalling at the least, but there was something about the people andthe sense of community and tradition that just captured me. The colors were different down there as well as the arcitecture, and the sky was also a different color, kind of like this blue color with this yellow orange thing in it that gave off a wonderful little bit of heat, I think it is called sun! The week was filled with LOTS of manual labor including lots of painting, digging carrying, cleaning and then yes more painting, but it was the most glorious feeling to look back at the end of the week and see what we had accomplished, it was amazing to see the amount of work that got done with 20 people working together. We also did VBS on 3 of the days. This was SOOO much fun. We did little crafts for the kids and puppet shows, plays, face painting, bubbles and then towards the end we passed out Bibles. Everyone was so nice there, I just cant get over it. There was this one little girl who loved having her face painted and there weren't many kids there so I did like 3 or 4 for her and then in some sort of communication invlolving hand gestures ( I barely speak Spanish and most of the kids do not speak English) she asked me if she could draw on me (a first) I was a little hesitant thinking of some of the drawings I have seem little people do, but she very sweetly took my hand and on the top of my hand she drew a purple (of course) cross and then colored it in behind with pink (of course). I immediatly got tears in my eyes because here we were down there to share the Lord with these kids and her she is reminding me that I also can learn from them. It was a very powerful little moment for me and it is one that I will keep in my heart for a long time. So needless to say it was VERY hard to leave, especially knowing that I will not be back next year, but I have decided to do everything I can to help Joe get down there next year so that he can experience this as well. This is a link to a blog that was kept by one of the poeple organizing our trip: http://kevinhohnbaum.blogspot.com/ Thanks to Kevin and Jane for coordinating this amazing mission trip!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Heading for Mexico!

Well I cant believe the time has come, we leave for our Mexico mission trip tomarrow! The church (in Salem) has been planning for this trip for months and now we are finally ready to go. We will be going to Tijuana for 8 days to do whatever is needed at the church that we go to down there. The church has been doing this for like 9-10 years and this is the first trip that I have been able to go on. I have had little ones for the last 5 years that I didn't feel like I could leave for that long and next year I will have 3 kiddos and so I certainly wont be going, so somehow I have managed to make this work this year even though I don't think that I am ready to be apart from the boys (all of them) that long. I know it will be an amazing time and I am very excited about it but I am also a little apprehensive. I will tell all about it when I return! God bless

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fundraiser Plans

With our recent exciting events, many friends and famliy have asked about our fundraising party for Ruby. Well I just wanted to let you know that we are still planning on doing an event. It will most likely be in May down in Salem Oregon either at the Keizer Clearlake UMC or another location probably in that area. We would love to have any handmade (or not handmade) items donated. Please know that we are not asking people to spend a lot of money or time doing this, these things can be very simple like baked goods, or more specialty like jewlery, knitting, painting, card making, or things like that. Also if anyone has any info or special connection to a place or service we are also looking for gift certificates or things like that, ANY help would be SO appreciated!!!! I will have my bows there as well. We are going to have a dinner and maybe music (if anyone had a connection there that would be cool too) Also I wanted to add that I know that not everyone will be able to come to the event because of other commitments or because they live far away, but I am sure there will be crafts left over from the even that I will take pictures of and put on our blog and then you may contact me if you would like any of them. We want to thank everyone in advance, to be very honest it is a little hard to plan this event for ourselves and be the ones asking for donations, but just know that our hearts of full of gratitude for the support that we have recieved in this great adventure. Ruby and our family feel SO blessed to have this large group of friends and family so excited for her arrival. God bless!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Official acceptance

Today we officially accpeted our refferal! Yeah, we got the paperwork yesterday in the mail, we had a tone of work to do and things to write and sign and get notarized but I was able to hand deliver them today! Thats right there is no messing around here, we want this girl home! A little later in our social worker called us and told us everything looked good and she was contacting the agency in Ethiopia and that we should know our court date in about 2 weeks or so. We are hoping for a court date in late May or early June and then it will be 4-6 more weeks after that until she comes home, ehhh seems so far away, I feel like a little kid, maybe even little whiny...."I want her now." Our social worker is actually heading to Ethiopia next week I believe and so I was able to send a care package to Ruby in which of course I gave her some of my clippies (not like she has a whole lot of hair right now but maybe soon) I also sent a few clothing items and a little blanket that I made for her. As I got off of the phone with my social worker I told her to "make sure to hold my baby." I am a little jelous that she gets to hold my baby in a few days, but I know our day will come when we are together.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Today is the day!

Well I thought that the day that our call would come may never happen, that it was only this dream that I thought about every day, but today that dream came true! We got our call, we know our new baby girl. Let me start at the beginning, I have to paint a picture of how this day was going, forgive me if I am a little scattered as I am almost gaining the feeling back in my legs but my brain is a little farther behind. Well our day actually started off last night around 11pm when Wyatt awoke throwing up, and not just a little bit but like grown up stuff...everywhere! Ahh the joys of parenting. So we cleaned him up but I slept with him on the couch as he continued to throw up most of the night. Needless to say that we were all pretty tired by the time morning time came. And then at 5 am (notice the scattered brain!) the school called to say that school was delayed which for Wyatt meant cancelled but he wasn't going anyways. By the way it was sunny and beautiful by the time 8 am rolled arond which is when school was supposed to start, apparently there was a little bit of snow and they went a little crazy, okay enough of the tangent...so as the morning went on Wyatt continued to throw up to the point I though I may have to take him in to the doc, he wasnt drinking or eating and just laying around, so about 3 pm Owen remembered that he has went #2 on the potty yesterday and that I had forgot to give him a sucker so of course I gave one to Wyatt which somehow gave him supernatural energy and he wanted to go outside to play, mind you this is a snow day, although it wasthe most beautiful afternoon ever. So there we were outside I am sitting on a chair with the sun on my back (snow day?) watching the kids play and I get a call from Megan my social worker. Here is the conversation:
Megan: Hi is this Candace
me: Yeah whats up (I actually said that)..at this point I still didn't think that this was the call.
Megan: Hey I got your e-mail and I wanted to call you ( e-mail regarding general questions)
me:okay......
Megan: I wanted to let you know that today is going to be an exceptionally wonderful day for you
Me: heart starts to pound, legs go numb...."shut up!" (again I actually said this)
Megan: we have a little girl for you, lets get Joe on the phone

and from there on we got Joe on the conference call and she gave us all of the info about our new baby girl. She is about 4.5 months right now and is a very small 7 plus pounds. That is about all of the info that I can think of to give that is not confidential. We of course know about her past and have seen the most beuatiful pictures that I have ever seen, even more beuatiful and perfect than I had imagined. We are not at this point able to send out the pic or post it on the blog, there is a lot of legal issues we have to abide with and everything is confidential. But I just wanted to share this wonderful news. We feel truely blessed that God has put this little girl in front of us and we are praying that everything continues to go smoothly.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I know...so sad

I Know it is so sad that this is the topic of this post but it really is all consuming.....potty training! I am very excited to announce that both of my children are now in underwear!!!!!!!!!!! Wyatt is finally ready, and we are very excited, he has been wearing underwear for about 2 weeks now and the accidents are getting less and less as ne learns that the goal is to stay dry. And Owen's latest success is that he when #2 for the first time oon the potty yesterday, this had been a big stumbling block as he has been trained with #1 for a very long time now, so we are making progress. I cant believe that we could have both kids potty trained by the time Ruby comes. I though Wyatt may go to high school in diapers (not really but it seemed like it may never happen) Any was we told Owen that if he went #2 in the potty that we could go back to the place where we had their b-day party and that he could also have ice cream. So last night we took the boys the the play place where they had their party and they had a blast, well it had been like 5 hours since we had talked about the ice cream and I though myabe Owen would forget....forget ice cream I must be crazy! On the way home from the play place at about 8:30 (bedtime is 8:00pm) Owen asked for ice cream and so of course they got to come home and have ice cream (really rice ice cream but they dont know the diff) It was a very exciting day for all of us.

Friday, January 30, 2009

It has been a while

I know, I know, I havn't written in a while, just busy chasing the boys and trying to move our house around in anticipation of "the call." I fear that I wont be ready and it will just be a whirl wind of things to do all at once. The good news is that our Dossier has been accepted by our government and is currently on it way to Addis, our social worker said that it should arrive sometime next week, the bad news is that our social worker is on vacation until next friday and therefore we pretty much now that we will not be getting our refferal next week, which is okay I guess we know ultimatly this is God's timing and although we want this to happen soon rather than later, we also are content with knowing it will be the perfect time.