Wednesday, November 21, 2012

All Of Our Days

I am thankful for you this Thanksgiving and all of my days.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Friends Through Adoption Christmas Party

On Saturday, we attended a Christmas party with our Friends Through Adoption support group!
It was a fantastic time. Santa came for a visit! The children were adorable as they took their turns sitting on his lap and telling him what they want for Christmas.
We enjoyed Ethiopian food together--the smells of doro wat, beef tibs, and Ethiopian vegetables permeating the air together is incredible.
The mommas and mommas-to-be exchanged tree ornaments.
And I got to hold a baby girl recently brought home from Ethiopia. She was so sweet. I am pretty sure that when I become a momma, Colin is going to have to wrestle the baby out of my arms, because I am never going to want to let her go. :)
It was just so much fun talking to our friends and playing with children. We are meeting up again in January to celebrate Melkam Gena, Ethiopian Christmas! 
Precious children!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Inside My Week

Inside my home: a vanilla cinnamon candle is glowing.

Inside my kitchen: are the raspberry muffins I baked.

Inside my book basket: is Bullets In the Washing Machine (Melissa Littles), Seven (Jen Hatmaker), The Connected Child (Karyn B. Purvis, David R. Cross, and Wendy Lyons Sunshine), and too many Food Network magazines.

Inside my playlist: is Kings and Queens by Audio Adrenaline.

Inside my hopes: are many, many referrals for this month! Several AGCI Ethiopian babies have already been matched with their forever families in November, and I pray for many more.

Inside my weekend: is a Christmas get-together with our Ethiopia adoptive family support group on Saturday, and an early Thanksgiving celebration with Colin on Sunday along with getting our Christmas tree and decorating!

Inside my picture: are two plaques Colin made me that represent our waitlist numbers! The girl plaque has 139 Africas (that I took a really long time cutting out by hand!) and the siblings plaque has 63 Africas. Each month when we get our new waitlist numbers, we will be able to take down a few Africas (God willing!) if referrals have gone out and we move down on the lists.


Peru 2012

Currently, a team of Compassion Bloggers are in Peru to witness firsthand Compassion International’s ministry to children in the highlands near Lima.

I have never been on a missions trip. Oh, how my heart wants to! It will happen. Colin and I both feel called to Ethiopia, but are open to God calling us to other countries in Africa, other continents, or in our American backyard as well.

I love to read about lives changed, people helped, families served. I love to hear of hearts changing--caring selflessly and passionately for our brothers and sisters.

To read the stories and accouts of this trip to Peru, please visit Peru 2012.

Angie Smith, wife of Todd Smith from Selah, is on the trip.  Angie was able to take her 8-year-old twin girls to Peru with her! She wrote a fantastic post about how this trip has been affecting her girls called Love Moves. Here is a picture of her girls loving:

Please pray with me for the physical and emotional health of everyone on this trip. Pray also for more children and families to be rescued from poverty in Jesus' name.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Special Gifts #3

In August, Colin began a sweet tradition of surprising me with a special gift for our baby!
This weekend, I received a bow for our little girl. It has embroidered on it the outline of Ethiopia! It is so precious and I am so excited for the day that I will get to clip it to our girl's curls.

It was purchased through an Etsy Shop--Girly Girl Bowtique if you are interested.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Ethiopian cooking is built on three building blocks:
INJERA- the local sour, spongy bread that is served with each meal
NIT'IR QIBE- a spiced butter that provides a rich base
BERBERE- a complex blend of chili peppers and spices that gives the cuisine its signature flavors
Berbere is pronounces ber-ber-ee. It is added to Ethipian stews such as doro wett or tibs wett. It can be spicy--if you or your children do not enjoy spice OR if you cannot find dried serrano chilies, I recommend you leave them out of this recipe. I have made this once without this ingredient and once with it. It is fantastic both ways, but the dried serrano chilies are extremely hot. Adjust this recipe and how much you add to other recipes accordingly.
I recently made a batch and put it in an airtight container on my counter. Sometimes I like to open it for a smell. It makes me happy. Transports me to Ethiopia for a moment.
Here is what it will look like:

1 tsp fenugreek
1/2 cup ground dried serrano chilies
1/2 cup paprika
2 Tbsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
Stir together and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
*Recipe was taken from The Soul Of A New Cuisine by Marcus Samuelsson. Marcus is Ethiopian-born and Swedish-raised. He was adopted as a young boy. He owns four restaurants.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Explanation Of Our Adoption Waitlist

Colin and I have been soaking in the fact that we are on the waitlist.
Typical daily conversation:
Colin: Good morning.
Jess: Good morning.
Colin: Guess what?!?
Jess: What?
Colin: We are on the waitlist!!
I want to take a moment to explain to you how AGCI's Ethiopia program waitlist works. When a family turns in their dossier and it is approved, they are given a waitlist number. AGCI uses three different waitlists: girl, boy, and siblings. It is the adoptive parents' choice which list they would like to be on--they can choose just one, two, or all three. It is also the adoptive parents' choice what age range of child/ren they are open to accepting and what health needs they are open to.
Our first waitlist numbers and age parameters are:
139 for a girl 0-12 months old
 63 for siblings--a girl 0-12 months old and a birthsister 0-5 years old
Each month, AGCI will tell us our new waitlist numbers. Because of the wide range of parameters that parents get to choose, a family doesn't necessarily need to be #1 on the waitlist to receive a referral. If a family is open to an older child or a child with a special need that other families ahead of them are not, they will receive the referral.
If a family is on multiple lists and they receive a referral, they will be taken off of all lists. So, just because we are #139 on the girl's list, does not mean that 138 girls will have to be referred before we receive our referral.
Although our sibling number is a lot lower than our girl number, there are more single child referrals than sibling referrals.
AGCI is telling families to expect to wait at least 2 years for a referral. Honestly, I am preparing my heart to wait longer than this. During the month of October, NO referrals went out. There is no way to predict the future of Ethiopian adoptions--the wait could go up or down.
We know that God placed us on the list at the exact timing to receive our perfect referral.
Please let me know if you have any questions about the waitlist or adoption in general. I would absolutely love to discuss your question with you!

Friday, November 2, 2012

We Are On The Waitlist!!!

Today, November 2nd, 2012, we joined the waitlist for the AGCI Ethiopia program!
Our first waitlist numbers are:
For a girl 0-12 months old
For siblings--a girl 0-12 months old and a birthsister 0-5 years old
We. Are. Excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
Psalm 139:9-10
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.
Psalm 63:7-8