"May the God of hope fill you with great joy and peace as you trust in him." Romans 15:13

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Purple and Lime

My handsome and hardworking husband finished building, taping, and texturing Sierra's closet this week. It looks so nice!

So it was time for us girls to paint!

Sierra chose lime green for most of her walls. We tried to choose a lime that was more mossy than florescent! There is a pretty purple for a little accent. I think it will be really cute when she gets her bedding and curtains in place. She is so thrilled! She worked very hard helping me. She painted the inside of the closet all by herself. She also took off all the outlet covers, refilled my coffee, took pictures, and quickly did any other errand I asked. She was so enthusiastic and fun to work with.
Chad will lay carpet soon, replace the trim, build out the closet interior, and we will move in our smiley Sierra!

The other fun event of the weekend was a gathering we were invited to. It was sponsored by the Agency that did our home study. We spent the evening just hanging out with other families in our area who are of have adopted. The kids played and got their faces painted if they chose. Sierra is showing off her painted face. She had the Ethiopian flag on one cheek and "Ethiopia" on the other. Brenna and Sierra both had a really good time playing with new friends. Krissy found a new friend, too. A 2 yr old little guy who has been adopted from Haiti since the Haiti earthquake was her buddy. She liked him a lot too. Krissy and M. cuddled and played a lot. It made us all even more excited to get to hold and play and know our Joshua G.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Construction Worker?

For the first time since we started our business I worked with "the crew" yesterday. It was actually very fun to help out in a more hands-on way than usual. What did they let me do? Paint!

I have very few construction skills, but I can paint! The guys have been working lots of overtime to make a project deadline and when I heard that some walls needed to be repainted I was happy to help. They were fairly shocked to see me there as a "worker" instead of "office staff". It was kind of fun to surprise them.

I wish I could report that they were blown away by my skills, however I must confess that what they were all talking about after hours was my mistake. I touched up some walls with the wrong color paint - but I did stay later than they did to fix my error.

Anyway, it was a fun adventure. I would absolutely join them again given the chance. I am so proud of the quality work they do, and they could not have been kinder to me yesterday. (Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I sign the paychecks that they will receive today? Most likely!)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I love technology!

The title of this post makes me laugh. Six months ago I did not love technology. It was something I used for my job - that's it! Since beginning the process to bring Joshua home it has become my lifeline. I have been able to learn so much through this amazing computer of mine.

Last night I was able to talk to a mom that was in Ethiopia when we accepted Joshua's referral. She was picking up her twin baby boys and she spent several days at the care center. (That is much more time than most traveling families spend there.) She came home emailed video and photos to IAN. She also let my coordinator know that she really would like to talk to me. I got this info through my email and last night was able to speak with her.

It was so awesome to speak with someone who had seen and held my son. Words can not contain the joy, reassurance, and anticipation the conversation I had with her brought me. Here are some of the things she told me about Joshua G.
  • He is right around 18 mo. (I feel good about that age now, give or take a month or 2)
  • He is very sweet! She told me that she really connected with him and that we have a very special guy waiting for us.
  • He is walking just like he should given his age. He gets around well and she saw him take off in a "baby run" several times.
  • He sleeps like a rock - nothing disturbs his sleep - and he snores.
  • She thinks she remembers him sucking his thumb. (Sierra, our former thumb-sucker is thrilled. Me too. It may make for some expensive orthodontics, but he does not have a mama right now so I hope he has his thumb.)
  • He is a little shy at first but blooms when he realizes you want to give him attention.
  • He is curious, likes to see how things work.
  • He plays well by himself.
  • He is often dressed in pink. (Something that will change say Dad and Jay!)
  • He has the nannies wrapped around his finger and is allowed to do whatever he wishes. (Have fun disciplining after that! says Krissy. It may bring a few challenges, but I have a feeling he will be the King of our castle too. Especially at first!)
  • He is a big heavy boy, doing well, but definitely has a "third world belly." (I spoke with one mom at the beginning of this process who told me her 1ish yr old daughter's belly decreased several inches after being home for a while.) So Joshua G. is growing but we still need to expect some malnutrition and most likely parasite issues.
  • This mom really loved my boy! (makes me sniff)

She also told me to rest assured that he is loved and known by his caretakers. I am continually blessed as I wait by glowing reports in respect to the caretakers and the facility he is at. I am so thankful! It makes waiting much easier.

***Chad got the texture sprayed in Sierra's new room last night! She and I will buy paint Thursday night and paint all weekend - think lime and purple! She is SO excited!

***Krissy's passport came in the mail today!

We got our I-171H today! We have US government approval to adopt Joshua. Now we just need a court date!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ethiopian Art and other Updates

I ordered this beautiful picture of the Ethiopian coffee ceremony a while ago, and I finally got it framed and hung tonight. (I found the frame for $15 at Hobby Lobby today, yeah for sales!) I really love it! I found it on The Ordinary Hero blog. Kelly - the founder of The Ordinary Hero foundation - is a photographer and is selling some of the pictures she took on a recent trip to Ethiopia to raise money for the foundation. She had quite a few to choose from. I had a hard time deciding! You can view them at the very bottom of her blog - the link is listed on the left hand side of my blog. Or you can just click below if you would like to check out this photo in more detail.

We received some really detailed email updates about the care Joshua G. is receiving in Ethiopia today. A traveling family has posted glowing praise for our agency, their staff, and ethics. They were able to travel to the area in Ethiopia where Joshua was born - Sidama. They spoke to the staff that cared for him (and their child obviously) when he was first relinquished. They gave a glowing report of how legally and ethically all proceedings are carried out. They commented on their respect for the staff and the quality care that is given to children from the moment they arrive. They also were comforted by how kind the man who drives the children from Sidama to Addis Ababa is, feeling that he made the transition as painless as possible for the children. This is the first parent report I have seen about the Sidama staff. I am very thankful for the information and the reassurance it gives me that they did everything possible to help Joshua G. physically and emotionally during that transition. One of the things that I grieve is that I could not be there for him at that time. How I wish I could have held him and comforted him right away, from the moment he needed me.
This same family is now in Addis Ababa loving on their new daughter. They went to the
Care Center where Joshua is currently living. This is what they had to say about our son. G. was waving, happy, smiling! He's a little chubby and liked the writer's husband. He sat on her lap and she gave him lots of snuggles. Sister Almaz - head caregiver at the center - says he has changed so much from when he first arrived, so much stronger. Very, very happy guy!
Those words made a challenging Monday so much more bearable! Happy, smiling, getting stronger, yeah Joshua G! Way to go little man! You keep growing. And "don't worry, be happy!" Mommy, Krissy, and Grandma Donna will be there ASAP to bring you home!
Come on court date!

Hanging On

There is a story in the book of Mark, Chapter 5. You may remember it. In this story a large crowd is following Jesus. One woman who had suffered much reached out to touch Jesus' cloak because she knew that if she just touched His clothes she would be healed. And she was! (There is more to the story... take a moment and reread it.)

For the past months I have totally identified with that woman. I am not ill, and although there are some rough spots in life right now I do not feel like I have suffered much. OK so how do I identify with this woman then? For me it is the picture of her reaching out to touch Jesus. She knew that just reaching our would heal her!

God has been working like crazy in our lives in the past months. Yes, He is always working - but in the past months I have felt Him expecting more of us. Calling. Teaching. Guiding. I have felt like I will surely make it through if I just keep reaching out, keep hanging on to even the tiniest corner of his robe.

To be honest, I let go for a bit. When we went on vacation I decided I needed a break from everything. I packed a couple novels, some pretty clothes, my running shoes, and my pillow. I needed rest and a break from everything, the good and the bad. I decided my brain could not continue to process things at the rate I was expecting it to - so I turned it off.

Many of those decisions were fine. My brain and emotions did need a break. I did need rest. Where I failed was in inviting God along. I failed to let Him accompany me in my rest. I was going to take care of myself.

That worked pretty well on vacation. I really did not even realize what had happened. But when I got home things did not go quiet so well. The stress of 4 amazing kids needing there mom, regular household tasks, and a very stressful business about did me in. I had to think pretty carefully about why the circumstances of my life were so much more overwhelming than they were before I left. (By the way, I thought some of them were pretty overwhelming before the trip, after was WAY worse!)

Finally, it hit me. I had let go. I was not listening or seeking. I was trying to handle life by my own strength. I had no peace or comfort, even though I was surrounded by supportive family and friends. Duh! Reach out, Alicia. Hold on to the tiniest corner of His robe and you'll make it!

I can almost guarantee you that this week will be difficult. There are some things going on that are probably not going to go away over night. I do not know what the ultimate outcomes will be, but I am hanging on. I am anxious to have these circumstances behind us, curious to see how God will sort it all out, and trusting that HE has it all under control.

"Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." Mark 5:34

This is kind of a strange verse for me to focus on this week. But it fits somehow. Faith heals fears, anxiety, and insecurities just as much as it heals illness. And doesn't peace free you from any suffering no matter the source?

Now I hesitate to publish this post. I cowardly hesitate to click the publish button, because of the testing that sometimes follows a proclamation of faith. I am holding on, but I am weary of the testing. Pray for me this week that I can be the daughter He wants me to be.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Thank God it's Friday! I mean that most sincerely! It has been a long difficult week. Luckily nearly 100% of our stress comes from work. Our kids, extended family, and friends are all fine.

I have received a little more clarification as to how ages are "assigned" to children in Ethiopia. I am sure my terminology is not perfect, so bare with me. When a child is deemed "adoptable" by their local government, that government agency assigns them a year of birth. Agencies who receive the children for placement must use that year, even though it is sometimes obvious that it is not correct from the beginning. An Ethiopian birth certificate is issued as a part of the court process, and the birth day and birth month are chosen by an agency representative.

This process makes me sad. I love birthdays and I always to try to make them very special for my kids. To have a random date assigned bugs me, especially when we are doubting even the year on Joshua G.'s Ethiopian birth certificate may be incorrect. We can choose to change that date when an American birth certificate is issued, but the date will be imaginary no matter what. I have been thinking and praying about how to celebrate Joshua's birthday so it feels true and special. Perhaps we will celebrate Jan. 19th the day we first saw his picture, maybe it will be the day we meet him, maybe the day he comes home, maybe we will feel his Ethiopian birth certificate is right on. Maybe we will celebrate all those dates!

I am getting more anxious to know more about our timeline. I am ready to know when our court date will be! I have watched that 41 sec. video about a million times this week and I want to scoop up that baby boy and bring him home! There is nothing I can do to speed the process though so trust and patience are the only options.

I did order several photo albums this week. They are each made for babies/toddlers and have soft vinyl pages with inserts for photos. It will be fun to choose the pictures we fill them with. I can only send Joshua one abbum, but I will fill them all and bring the extras with to show him at the hotel and on the plane. The albums I chose each have a handle, so I ordered some plastic links so the nannies can hook his album to his crib safely. I love the idea of him looking at his family as he falls asleep and wakes up.

I can also send him one other item. I have not decided what that will be. It sounds like those items are quite often lost. They also should be easily cleanable, I'm thinking plastic. So maybe it will be a toy payloader or an airplane. Daddy would probably pick a payloader, can't start them too young. Mommy just wants him on an airplane.

Sierra's room has been at a stand still as Chad has been too busy to complete the taping and texturing. He only has a few hours of work until he will be done. Then us girls will take over painting, the carpet gets laid, and Sierra can move in. I have been very proud of her (and MY) patience. I am hoping to have her moved by the time our case is heard in Ethiopia, and we do not have a court date yet so I guess we are on schedule.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Video and a new picture!

It has been so exciting this week to receive some updates on Joshua G. from traveling families. I have received a video of him and a new picture. It is so reassuring, exciting, and just FUN to get these gifts! Unfortunately I can not share them with you, so you will have to be satisfied with my description!

The more information we receive about Joshua, the younger we suspect he is. I know that may seem weird or dishonest even, but with the lack of birth records it is not uncommon for ages to be in question. The mother that saw him this week said she would guess 1 to 1.5. Based on the tiny bit of video I saw of him I would agree. He has very much of a baby look vs. the leaner look of a toddler. He is not real steady on his feet and seemed much more confident holding onto something than walking by himself.

He is wearing a size 2T - and might I add that he looked very cute in the pink pants he was modeling! He has pudgy cheeks and a little potbelly, for an Ethiopian in the care center he is a tank, however by our standards he just looks healthy. HEALTHY and HEAVY have become some of my favorite words.

In the video Joshua G. had a very tight grip on a candy necklace. The momma taking the video said he made very sure no one took it from him. Another little boy tried, without success! She also said that he kind of gets the run of his area.

Another mom who was taking photos told me he was in most of her pictures because although he is not a great walker he somehow managed to beat her into each room. In the photo I received, Joshua G. looks quite annoyed that he is being held still in order to get his picture taken. We may have a very active boy on our hands!

I also learned today that in the next few weeks a mom who is a nurse will be traveling to pick up her child. She is bringing 2 other nurses with her. These ladies have a NICU and pediatric background! She and her friends have been given permission to take heights and weights of all the children that have been matched with families. They will also do some developmental assessing. They are not doctors and will not treat or make any type of diagnosis, but they will be spending some time charting on the kids. I am really excited about this! I am hopeful to have a better feel for Joshua G's age and condition based on an American/English speaking mom/nurse's assessment. At this point I am not sure if he is younger than we think or has some motor delays or both. I am very peaceful, and while I do not hope that we have big delays to overcome once we get him home, I have always been aware of the possibility. It will be very exciting to get their take on things!

I must confess that writing all this tonight is just what I needed. Coming home from vacation has been hard and I was feeling pretty overwhelmed. Getting caught up on things is a lot of work but I have been most aware of the amount of emotional energy that relationships require. I was feeling worn out, cranky, tired, and uninspired. As I write about the time and energy other moms have and are extending to get me information about my little guy I am filled with gratitude. I am also inspired! I am so thankful for the time these amazing women took to sort through video footage and photos to get me clips of my son. I can not imagine how tired they are after their trip, how overwhelmed with getting everyone settled and laundry done - and they took the time to send another momma a precious gift. So I guess I better drop the tired and love on my family!

**Did you see Krissy only has $851 left in order to pay for her plane ticket?!?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cancun Trip 2010

I will begin my description of our trip with the image that will never leave Chad's memory - or my wall for that matter! We decided to try deep sea fishing again after the boring trip we had in Aruba last year. This time it was far from boring. The waves were HUGE - like 12 feet and it was rough and rainy on the boat. We drove 1 hour from shore. It was the first time in my life that land was not in sight! The results were terrific. Each of the three guys on board caught beautiful sailfish. Chad's measured 100 in. and probably weighted close to 100 lbs.

The Mexican captain and 2 Mexican deckhands were amazing. They did not stop working the whole time we were on board. (much different from our Aruban experience where lines were tossed out and ignored) I do not know how they managed to stay on their feet on the rough rainy boat, but they were in constant motion either checking rods, catching bait, getting us drinks, or filling the livewell with fresh salt water.

It took Chad about 25 min to reel in the beast. The crew was very helpful and the captain cut the time a little by backing the boat towards the fighting fish. Chad was shocked at how much work it was. His buddy helped him hold his rod for a while, but the deckhands shooed him away! "You will catch your own fish!" In mid-fight they ask Chad if he wants to keep the fish and stuff it or throw it back. "Lots of money to stuff or throw it back?!?" He looks to me for permission. OK tell me what woman in her right mind tells a boat full of fishermen to throw back a 100lb fish? So guess what will arrive in our mailbox in about 4 months? A really huge, really expensive, new wall decoration! Happy Valentine's Day to me!

Chad did spend a part of every day in meetings with Chief people or his employees at home. He did a really good job of balancing the stressful project at home with a relaxing vacation. He was also elected as Vice President to the Builder's Advisory Council for the metal building manufacturer our company buys from (Chief). They were very excited to have him in that position because he self-performs some of the work our company does. Most of the companies represented on the board are much larger than our is and they do not have office staffers that ever put on a tool belt, so Chad's hands-on knowledge in both office and building erection is particularly helpful. We are proud to sell Chief buildings. They offer a quality product and are a relationship centered company. We are treated like royalty on their trips, spouses included. When one receives an award the spouse is always dually recognized. Chad's position on this board pretty much ensures we will be going to the Grand Caymen Islands with Chief next February. We will have to see how ready Joshua is for us to travel without him... we may have company on next years trip!

We had a beautiful hotel room. I enjoyed many naps and sleeping late! Good thing it was a nice room as we both got a dose of stomach problems. We are blaming the lunch we had one day but who knows. We were pretty miserable for a day or so and we are still eating carefully.

This is the hotel gym. I worked out in a grass hut! It was fun! It was also hot and humid with no A/C or fans.

The hotel was probably the nicest we have ever stayed at, although Chief always puts us up at beautiful places. There were fountains and water ways between each building and walkway. They had a French, Japanese, Mediterranean, and Mexican restaurant. The food was amazing and presented as beautifully as it was delicious. They also had a grill and an all day buffet. It was all-inclusive even the mini bar and room service. They also had lots of different classes you could go to - like fitness, cooking, dance, snorkeling. They had lots of fun activities like water polo, sand volleyball, sailing. In the evenings they had a show each night ad live entertainment after 9:00. (Because we were just worn down and experiencing some stomach issues we did not take part in many of these activities - but they were there!) We did catch teh evening show twice. They last night they featured "Michael Jackson" and the dancers were very impressive. All this was included, the only thing we paid for was one pay per view movie.

We went into Playa del Carmen 1 day to shop. We were both feeling pretty rotten, but did manage to find some things for our kids.

The beach was very clean and pretty. It was cloudy and breezy most of the time we were there, so not the best for tanning and swimming but nice for strolls.

Chad walked about 3 miles with me one day and took a brief run with me another. The kids always get a kick out of seeing him barefoot. Our sand is not as soft as the Caribbean and he would never do that at home with his tender feet.
We arrived home last night about midnight and have been trying to catch up today. My parents and Chad's mom did an amazing job of preparing our kids, home, laundry, and fridge for our return. My house was spotless, fridge full, laundry hampers empty - I am very spoiled! So I just have work, mail, and e-mail to worry about.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cancun here we come!

It has been a very full weekend of work, packing, sleep-overs, choir concert, shopping, laundry, cleaning, church, Bible study, and Super Bowl (which ended sadly for my Colt's loving son). Chad may not sleep tonight as we both complete the push to leave work and parenting behind - he is still trying to catch up some paperwork and then might have to go help with snow removal. It is sometimes hard to believe that travel is worth the work it takes to get everything ready for us to be gone. BUT tomorrow night we will be walking the moonlit beach in Cancun.

It is really bad timing to be gone business wise - but this trip is a business trip combined with a very relaxing (I hope) vacation - so we are off!

The kids are in the very excellent care of Chad's mom and my parents. We are so lucky to have grandparents close and so willing to help!

We do not plan to bring computers along so I will be totally out of touch for a week. The plan is to sleep lots, go to a few meetings, catch some sun, eat good food, and must importantly give my husband my undivided attention. Have I mentioned how much I adore him?

So... see you in a week! Please pray God's protection and blesssing on our kids and business while we are gone and for smooth waters when we return tan and rested!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Nitty Gritty

I have been thinking this week that while I have gathered a lot of information about what our travel and homecoming will most likely be like I have not shared much of that information. I have skipped over it. I have been preparing for it. I am a realist to the core. My realism might sometimes come across as pessimistic, but I don't see myself that way. I tend to prepare for the worst while expecting the best.

Anyway I want to take a few paragraphs to prepare you for what Joshua G.'s arrival may look like. Adoption is not always as pretty as the gotcha day videos we all cry over. Remember the mere fact that Joshua G. needs us means that he has suffered loss. He has lived in at least three different locations in the past 3 months. He has to be confused, lonely, afraid, angry, etc... While I know I love him and will do everything I can to make him feel safe and loved - he does not. He may not be a bit happy to meet me. He may be terrified to drive away with me. He may cry for days. He may throw fits the whole way home on the incredibly long flights. Can you imagine how terrifying it would be to leave all that you know?

He most surely will be into absolutely everything when we get home. He will never have been exposed to most of the things in our home. He will have no idea what our family expectations are. He will not understand our language, so communication will be tricky too. He will probably have developed some survival skills like hitting or biting during his time at the care center.

He will more than likely be terrified of our sweet golden retriever. Children in Ethiopia are told that dogs will eat them! This, I am told, is important there where many dogs are rabid - but it will make for a tricky transition to our dog loving family.

The trip to Ethiopia is something that each person experiences in their own way as well. Some say it was the most wonderful experience of their life. Some people who have never had a panic attack begin having them while in country. Many, many families return sick. Not from "African" sickness usually, but with colds, flu, ear infections, etc... a combination of exhaustion and too many germs on a plane I suspect.

Some parents bond with their child instantly. Some take months to feel bonded, some take years. The same is true for children.

It is not uncommon for adopted children to wake up in the middle of the night for years with night terrors.

Post - adoption depression is not uncommon.
This information sounds really, really terrifying and hopeless. Remember I just listed all the worst case scenarios. Also remember that I am referring to the relatively short period of time it will take us all to adjust. I am very aware of many of the possible pitfalls, but I feel no fear or anxiety as I type this. I know that adopting Joshua G. is the right thing for our family to do. That does not mean his transition into our family will be easy. Sure I am hoping and praying that Joshua G bonds instantly with us - that we adore each other from the first time he is placed in my arms (and here are storues that play out that way), but I will be OK if it is more difficult than that. I do not want you to be worried either -just be aware, prepared, yet expecting the best. Until he gets here, join me in praying that Joshua G. will join our household with ease!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Let The Water's Rise

This has been my "theme song" the last few weeks. My life is such an amazing combination of wonderful and difficult. Work has been hard, but I see God working, fortifying, encouraging, protecting. Other corners of my life have been similar - huge successes combined with trials. I love this song's expression of God's love being enough to pull us through.

I hope the waters are not rising in your life today, but if they are He will pull you through.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Program Time

Brenna had her first grade music program last night. She wanted a Valentine dress to wear to it. We lucked out and found the perfect dress in her sister's closet. She also "needed" high heels and new earings. I had a blast shopping with her for the perfect accessories! She wanted me to braid her hair the night before her program so it would be curly for the big event. Isn't she too cute!

The program theme was February so the music was about Presidents and Valentine's Day. It was super cute. They ended the program by blowing the audience kisses. It was very sweet!
**Our case worker confirmed that our dossier arrived in Ethiopia Monday. She predicts we will have a court date in 5 to 7 weeks. She expects the actual court date to be 1 to 3 weeks after we receive it. So basically our court date should take place 6 to 10 weeks from today - or sooner - she did give me that glimmer of hope. I will say 10 weeks soundl like forever, but I keep reminding myself that there is NOTHING I can do to speed things along. HE who started this work will be faithfull to complete it. Thank you for lifting us up in prayer. I have certainly been feeling and seeing the results.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

2nd Amharic Lesson

Well I think I have the first Amharic word list down, so here is my second list!

Blanket - bird libs
Clothes - libs
Shoes - chamahs
New - addis
Hello - halo or seh lahm
Good bye - chow
OK - ishee
Yes - ow
No, don't do that - tdoe
Stop - koom
It is time to go to sleep - la ten ya
Go to sleep - ten ya
Night night - mah Tah mah tah
Good child - goe bez
Good job! - Tih ROO sih RAH
Good - tih roo

* Fingerprinting went perfectly. We arrived 45 minutes early. They got us right in, so we left 15 minutes before our scheduled time! One more item checked off the list.

*Our dossier should be in Ethiopia any time. It needs to be translated and then a court date is issued. Pray for speedy processing.

*A quick update on the t-shirts for shoes project - the button I had at the top left of the blog - the original goal was to sell 400 shirts. In the end 782 T-shirts were sold. That generated $23,469.76. It provided t-shirts and shoes for 782 orphans in Ethiopia! This project was completed Feb. 1st. Cool, Huh?!?

Monday, February 1, 2010


Families from IAN have a yahoo group. Get this, I have been taking part in a chat room! Could my life be changing any more? I am the girl that refused to be a part of facebook or any social networking because I did not want to spend my out of work time clicking away on a computer. I am also the girl that did not want the whole world peaking in on her life. I like privacy and face to face - cups of coffee or a glass of wine with a girlfriend, not cyber relationships. Do kids change you or what?!?

This blog has been an easy way to keep lots of people informed on our adoption process. I want our wonderful family and friends to know what is happening right now. I honestly have not had the time of emotional energy to personally relay all of these events to everyone I would like to. This blog has also been my personal journal. I have felt compelled, maybe even called, to share all the miracles that have occurred and continue to occur as we work to bring Joshua G. home. God has been so close in this process. I am learning, growing, and constantly being stretched as I learn to trust Him and follow Him more. So many amazing "coincidences" have occurred. I feel like they have to be recorded. They have to be out there for the world to see, so that God can be glorified.

The chat room, now that is a new experience. I have decided I need some sort of a spread sheet to figure out who is who, where they live, who they are adopting, etc... It is still very confusing! However, I have been able to gather a lot of information. It is a great source of support especially for the specific questions about the care center where G. Joshua lives, travel, attachment, language, etc... So it is another stretch, but I am grateful for a place to learn and for a group of people that are "in the know."

I did not confess to my kids until tonight at supper that I have joined a chat group. It was an uproar! I was nearly sent to my room. (I have not allowed them to be a part of any online chat situations. Not a popular decision, but one I plan to stick to.)

Anyway, I tell you all that about the yahoo group because that is where my story begins today.
One of the moms that traveled posted a note about Joshua G. So I emailed her to see if she had seen him or met him during her trip.

Her response was something about which G.? The infant or the toddler? Now I thought that was funny because to us Joshua's Ethiopian name "G" is pretty unique. But maybe not?

Anyway... I responded that our G. is 2 ish.

She asks if he is huge?

I respond that I do not know. I only have seen a picture of his face, which has chubby cheeks, but he is only 22lbs according to his medical which is not huge.

She does some more checking and emails me with a description of our son that I never would have expected. She called our son a TANK! Isn't that wonderful?!? I have been so worried about him being hungry and frail. Her first adjectives about him were "huge" and "tank". Yeah!!!

She also said that her opinion of his age is more like 1.5 to 2 years than over 2. She said he is in the baby room, but is walking and getting around well. She said he was sweet and cuddly.

I can not tell you how exciting it was today to hear these bits and pieces about our boy. To hear a personal account of him instead of just official paperwork was golden.

I also learned that he is most likely still in a crib and I am definitely assuming he in diapers. I will confess I am not too excited about potty training another little guy, but at least I have experience! I may also need to rethink his room set-up. I had planned on putting him in a twin bed, but if he is still in a crib at the care center I will want to have him in a crib once he comes home too. Anyone have a crib I can borrow for my Ethiopian tank?!? Can you tell I am more than a little excited?