Tuesday, October 30, 2012


It's in the mail! It's in the mail!
We received the last of our paperwork from our social worker yesterday afternoon, and today, we overnighted our dossier to AGCI in Oregon. It will be there tomorrow morning!
To say we are excited and thrilled is an understatement. I talked to our case manager today, and she said that she would likely review our dossier by Friday and give us a call. She will either tell us that there is something we need to fix or that we are on the waitlist.
A glimpse at our load of paperwork before:

After it was packaged and weighed in at almost two pounds!:

Monday, October 29, 2012

October 27, 2012

My brother, Ryan, got married on Saturday!!!
It was a brisk, 40-something degree day here in Wisconsin, and it was an outdoor wedding--but we survived. It was a beautiful day--the wedding, reception, and dance.
Introducing: Ryan and Danielle Nyeggen!
Colin, me, my mom and dad, Danielle, and Ryan:

Hunting is huge in Wisconsin, so the photographer took this picture of the bridesmaids with guns (I am to the right of the bride)....check out the adorable flower girl:

And the boys!:

Colin and I are so excited to welcome Danielle into the family!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Update On Homestudy

It's not a big update. Not yet.
Our homestudy was approved by AGCI last Wednesday, the 17th.
It's 6 1/2 days later....but who's counting....and we have not heard anything from our social worker since the 17th, when she said she received the approval from AGCI.
We have requested that our social worker notify us ASAP when her boss approves it and she gets it notarized, because we are going to drive to pick it up, saving a day or two by not waiting on the mail.
I just want our dossier in the mail to AGCI. That's all.
Our homestudy visits have been completed since August 6th. We are about to enter into our 6th month of starting our education and dossier. We MUST have our dossier mailed to and accepted by AGCI, and be on the waitlist by November 29th, or we have to pay AGCI extra fees each month we go beyond that date.
Please Lord. Soon. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Personalized Names Africa Necklace

Colin, my talented husband, has just started making personalized Africa necklaces!

Colin carved the circle and Africa, along with the cut-out heart by hand. It is made out of wood. He then hand-burned the names into the circle.
The necklace shown above has the names of our three sponsored children on it!

The necklace is available for purchase in our Etsy shop! All proceeds from our shop go toward our adoption. It would make a beautiful Christmas gift for an adoptive mother or a sponsor mother.
Please let us know if you have any questions!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Special Gifts #2

In August, Colin began a sweet tradition of surprising me with a special gift for our baby!
My sweetheart knows that sometimes I feel disconnected from our child/ren with our long adoption process. So he decided that from time to time, he would surpise me with a gift for our little one.
Last week, he picked out some adorable pajamas and a sweet dress! Colin is a great shopper. Our girl is going to have a full closet by the time she arrives!
It is very difficult picking out clothing for a little girl who you have no solid idea of what age she will be when she arrives home, let alone what size she will be. We are going to start with buying clothing we think will be too big for her, and then we can always add smaller clothing when we receive our referral and have a better idea.
Are you ready to see the gifts?!?
Here they are:
Two sets of pajamas (one with a ballerina elephant and the other with hearts)

 Pretty dress!

I can picture our beauty in her pajamas before bedtime. I imagine her in the dress during a cool Wisconsin fall, playing in leaves.
Someday, you may see a picture of our little girl wearing one of these outfits!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Harvest Party

Yesterday, Colin and I attended a Harvest Party that we were invited to through our Friends through Adoption group.
We gathered to celebrate the fall season. The children all dressed up in costumes. They were so adorable. I wonder what our children's first costumes will be?
The children searched for hidden candy in a pile of straw! So fun!

Then they decorated pumpkins with stickers. It is always enjoyable seeing children so excited over activities such as these. There was definitely a lot of energy floating around!
On our drive home, Colin said to me, "I'm ready for us to have our own (children)."
And we are.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Waiting For The Wait

I can't wait to wait.
That's right. I am waiting IMpatiently for the moment that Colin and I are on the waitlist and officially waiting for a referral.
I have waited for a long time to begin our estimated 2+ years of waiting for our blessed referral.
It is great to be a little bit crazy.
This is my mind waiting for the wait:
We have tried to complete our education and dossier quickly, and now all we can do is wait on other people to do their portion. And wait. And wait. And wait.
I get a little angry about the said wait.
Are we not the most important family in their caseload?
(insert smile because I know this is not true, but I surely wish that it was!)
I witness beautiful Ethiopian babies coming home to their forever families.
It feels impossible that God has called ME to adopt.
It feels impossible that God is going to entrust ME with a baby!
Is two years enough time to prepare for parenting an adopted child?
I research books and blogs and studies about attachment, cocooning, hair, food, and everything else.
But will it be enough?
What if my baby doesn't attach to me?
What if I do not attach to my baby?
What if, what if, what if.
My husband gifts me with baby gifts to help me connect my heart with the reality that at the end of all this waiting there will be a child/ren that God chose for me to mother.
Seeing and feeling the precious tiny baby clothes and shoes, I get a little weepy about my baby/ies....are they born? Where are they? Are they being fed? Are they clothed? Are they safe?
Are they LOVED???
I love them. I pray for them. I daydream about them.
And all of this waiting?
It is God telling me that I WILL be a mother.
It is God saying that He has the strength I need.
It is hope, faith, and love.
It is He alone who gives rest.
And I rest in knowing that this journey is real.
This life of mine has a purpose.
My God is an Awesome God who has a perfect plan of love and redemption.
And He included me in His plan.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

God's Chisel

Happy Sunday to you all.
I wanted to simply share with you a video I experienced in church a while ago. God's Chisel. It is a short skit about God chiseling out the dead weight from a man. This process of chiseling can be painful, but it creates a clean heart, motivation to become like Christ, and a deeper love for the God who created us. Give this inspirational video a watch!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Book Review: No Greater Love

No Greater Love: One man's radical journey through the heart of Ethiopia is a book written by Levi Benkert and Candy Chand. Levi was a young California entrepreneur, owning a real estate development company. Him and his wife, Jessie, had three children, Nickoli, Luella, and Ruth.
Levi was asked by a friend to fly to Ethiopia to help organize an orphanage for children destined to be murdered as part of a tribal superstition known as "mingi killings."
A child could be declared mingi for three reasons: if the parents are not married, if the parents do not announce to the elders in an elaborate ceremony that they intend to conceive, or if the child's top teeth come in before the bottom teeth. Once the infants or children are labeled mingi, they are murdered (often by placing dirt in their mouths and being left to suffocate) to protect the village from evil spirits. The elders teach that if the killings don't happen, the whole tribe will be harmed. It will not rain. Crops will fail. People will die. It is estimated that 1,000 children in Ethiopia were declared mingi every single year.
Moved by his friend's story, Levi flew to Ethiopia for a two-week trip to help his friend. The trip changed Levi. He came back to California, and within 6 weeks, he left his business, sold his home and belongings, and moved to Ethiopia with his wife and three children. They thought there had to be more to life than living the "American Dream".
The story goes on to share Levi's experiences in Ethiopia--rescuing mingi children, working with tribal leaders, running an orphanage, and finding adoptive homes for the children. Levi and Jessie adopt a baby girl, Everly (Edalawit).
I thought the book was an honest depiction of a selfless family that moves to a foreign country. It tells not only of triumphs and blessings, but it is often times a darker read, portraying the struggles each of them encounter--from adjusting to a new culture, to lack of food and water, to missing family and friends.
It is difficult to understand that child killings such as these are going on in our world today. It is easy to live our lives in a bubble of comfort and simplicity. But when the truth is exposed--when our eyes are opened--it is a lot more difficult to simply sit back, untouched.
If Levi's story is intriguing to you--buy the book. It is on sale at Amazon for $10. Beware: God will break your heart for what breaks His, and you may even consider doing something about it.