Monday, March 29, 2010


So, we spent the weekend preparing for our little guy to come home. We bought a bed, manipulated the bunk beds to add the new queen mattress, bought storage shelves for the boys, put Bethany back in her room and took down the crib. She took a twin bed with her from Scott's room. The organization is still in the process. J's (previously refferred to as A) recycled and new clothes are finally all washed and ready to get put away. Now if only I would find the time to tackle the flannel blanket I want to make J before he comes home.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Quilt Raffle - please join us...

Buy Quilt Raffle Tickets online at
to help support our Ethiopian Adoption.

$1 buys 1 ticket
$50 buys 55 tickets
$100 buys 115 tickets

Friday, March 12, 2010

We got another approval!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am a little anal/concerned/excited about our trip to Et so I emailed my favorite person over at our local homeland security office.  Read below to see why I love her!!!
Hi Tamara:


Your fingerprints cleared, and I issued the approval on 03/10/2010 (Wednesday). You should get your I-171H in the mail either tomorrow or definitely next week.  The I-600A packet was mailed to the National Visa Center, who will forward it to the consulate.


Hope this bit of news makes your weekend more relaxing! J





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If you can't tell, I'm a little excited to go to Ethiopia... plus I just had a starbucks frappuccino (the kind you buy at target) and since I don't normally drink coffee or sugary drinks, I'm all hyped up!
I just did my time-sheet for work a bit ago and counted that between sick leave and vacation time, I currently have just over 7 weeks off.  I was hoping for at least 8 by time we travel.  We'll see what happens.

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one little potential problem

We passed court yesterday.  We don't have our I-171 approval yet.
We can't go to Ethiopia until we have that approval from our government in the embassy in Ethiopia.  The good thing is that we asked the government to send our approval to that embassy.
We had our biometrics appointment on Feb 24th.  Not even a month has passed yet.  Wouldn't it be cool if it arrived in the mail today... that would be a nice change of pace for our process :)

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one little potential problem

So we passed court.  But we don't yet have our I-171 approval. 
We did our biometrics appointment on Feb 24th.  So, not even a month has passed yet.  I'm hoping our approval comes today, wouldn't that be God ordained!?!?!?

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Court Results

We PASSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(and really didn't expect anything different)

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Thursday, March 11, 2010


One of my dear friends and co-workers has told me more than once that I can't save everyone. I can't fix every situation. They're right, I can't save everyone and I can't fix everything. I can help one child at a time, even if its as simple as sewing a tear on a shirt...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Change is Evident...

but that doesn't mean we like it. Today the cafekids yahoo group that I'm a part of has been busy with recent news about the adoption process in Ethiopia changing. Holt, our agency, has not yet confirmed the news but plans to send an update out today sometime.

It has been said that Ethiopia will become a 2-trip country as of March 1st. The first trip will be to meet the child and attend the court date. The second trip will be to bring the child home.

I have also heard that this will affect families different based on where they are in the proccess.

I have read the information coming out 2nd hand by other agencies and it's all worded a tad bit differently. What I think I understand is that those with court appointments already scheduled, will not be affected by this 2-trip rule. Our first court appointment was on March 1st. Our second court appointment is tomorrow (which is actually while I sleep tonight).

For my own selfish reasons, I'm praying that we will only be required to make one trip. I'm ready to bring our son home.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Things to Do:

The picture on my home-made calendar this month shows 4 pictures: the ethiopian flag, a map of Ethiopia, a picture of a common tree there, and a picture of packed bags ready to go. This picture has me thinking about all the things I need to take care of before we go. Things that I can't wait to do after we get our travel plans... since I do expect to pass court on Thursday.

I have a page in my journal for questions about our little boy. The page has become a catch all for things related to our adoption in general. I'm thinking I need a seperate journal for adoption stuff. Anyway, a couple of things on my list, in no particular order, include:
  • Asking the doctor about an Rx for green snotty nose and ear infection issues, and also for potential blowout diapers issues.
  • Pack pedialyte single packets.
  • Make a photo book for A's birth mom. Find a gift for her - I'm thinking about a heart locket with his picture.
  • Pack a mini magnadoodle, hotwheels cars and other toys.
  • Find someone to keep our kids while gone.
  • Write out schedule and details related to the kids.
  • Will needs to be done just in case.
  • Request and gather donations.
  • SAVE money
  • Get money exchanged.

I know there are a ton of things I'll need to have done. What else should I add to my list?

Cultural Chameleon

As I was reading this article, I found several things in it very interesting. Though I didn't agree with it 100%, I would value the information in the article. One thing that I chuckled at initially and had to re-read was the comment about a cultural chameleon. The writer said: "I kind of like being a cultural chameleon (Colombian by birth, Sicilian by adoption, and American by upbringing). It makes me unique." I guess my kids, all 3 of them, are cultural chameleons. Our little boy that we're adopting will be Ethiopian by birth, Dutch/Hispanic/etc by adoption and American by upbringing.

I've read articles, watched videos and read books that show kidsd who don't this chameleon effect. They feel lost - not being black and not being white. I really like what Jeneen says in this article and hope that my kids have a positive outlook like she does. If you haven't already seen the Newsweek article, click here to read it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Clothes for my boy

I finally dug out some of Scott's old clothes. Scott must have skipped the 2t phase for shirts since I only had about 5. I do remember that we started buying 3t cause they weren't a whole lot bigger. Go figure. Who knows what size A will be in when he comes home. But with his weight and height I don't think he's far behind Bethany (and she's in 3t pants and 4t shirts). Since I've heard that Holt scales are a little off, I'm thinking that he'll be in 2t tops and maybe 24m shorts. We'll see.

I did some shopping for him this weekend. Scott had fun picking out shirts for him that weren't on sale. So sweet of my Scott but we're on a tight budget so it was clearance items or items that were on super sale.

Come on Thursday and a positive outcome for a court date!!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Court date #2 is next Thursday. I prayerfully expect that we'll pass on Thursday. With that in mind, some realistic thoughts have come to mind:
  1. I have yet to dig out Scott's old clothes to see if they'll work for our little guy. I need to do that but I've been busy with other things.
  2. I want to visit with the doc to see if there's any prescriptions we can take with us to Ethiopia to help with gut issues and potential moluscum.
  3. I need to connect with my Human Resources about my departure plans for maternity leave.
  4. I need to connect with my insurance company to get little A covered.

I think that's the big ones for now. Lots to do.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

belly rub

Yesterday I was at a work meeting with the staff from all of Northeast Iowa. A good day to catch up with co-workers who I don't regularly get to see but work with over the phone, email, etc. Shortly after I got there, I walked up to a group of ladies. One of them bent over a little staring at my belly. It was the funniest thing. I've experienced this before when I was pregnant but I'm not. I kindly responded to the woman that we were indeed expecting our third child but that he's 2 and is currently in Ethiopia and I'm not carrying him in my belly.

It was a funny but odd moment! Nine more days until our next court appointment!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Journey Bags

I would love to introduce you to my friend Janel via her blog. When we decided to adopt, a friend connected me with Janel's blog and I've kept up with it ever since. Over New Year's Jake and Janel were in Ghana, Africa working on their Kingdom Hoops project. While there they met Samuel, the boy they're adopting, and gave gifts to the children in his village. When I read her journal entry from day six and saw this picture, the bags immediately caught my attention. I left the following comment for Janel: "...then I read of the bags. The first time I saw the bags I knew it was likely something that would not get recycled or thrown away here. And as I read on about how you wish you would have bought better ones, I automatically thought of how simple it would be to sew some. Maybe we can get together and sew up a bunch of bags to take with you when you go to get Samuel. That would be awesome!"

That was mid January. Fast forward a few weeks and the bags are coming together. It has been a fun and a huge blessing to work on these bags. I wanted to do this project with a couple of us girls. On Saturday I started to do a sample bag just to see how they would turn out, how long they would take to make, etc. I used one of Ryan's old veterinary scrubs that he hardly used. One scrub made two bags. That was pretty simple. I added a little embellishment to one and gave it to Bethany. I did a few more for fun and then decided to cut into my good fabric. It's very cute asian fabric that I picked out specifically for bags. I pieced it together and added an embellishment to the bottom specifically for Addy and was proud of my own little creation.

In the process of making these smaller bags, I realized I would quickly run out of the much needed black fabric I used to line Addy's bag. With a quick phone call to my mom who was out shopping, I asked her to pick up more fabric. That afternoon when she and my visiting Aunt showed up to the house, I got them involved in my little project. Aunt Janie had found canvas and purchased 5 yards of it for my project. We decided that on Sunday after church, we would dive into these bags.

Sunday afternoon we did just that. We cut canvas for 16 bags and started designing them with a little color. I picked out the colors and designed them and Aunt Janie helped out and surged the ends. Mom and Ryan chased my kids while we worked. As I worked, I prayed for those who would receive the bags, those who would deliver the bags, and those others who could use a simple gift that would potentially be life changing.

These bags that we're sewing together will have quite the journey to Ghana. With our own personal interest in Ethiopia, I might have to make extra so I can take them there. In thinking about these simple bags, the journey they will make from my house, to Janel's suitcase, to the hands of a Ghananian, I started referring to them as Journey Bags. I'm excited to see what journey they'll go on and also what Journey God will take me on as I seek to give of my gifts and talents for someone else.

Friends, I'm headed back to the sewing machine to finish up this little bag...

No News is Good News...

and we had news today.  We did not pass court.  Which is a bummer but I'm thankful that we even had the opporunity to be presented in court.
We didn't pass court because "ministry of women's affairs in Ethiopia didn't present a written comment".  I'm not sure what all that means yet.  I do know that we have court rescheduled for Mar 11th.
The last few days have been a wonderful time of talking to God and being quiet before Him about this.  I'm so thankful for that and will continue to pray and hope you will too.

Continuing on the journey with hope,
Tamara B.

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