Saturday, April 11, 2015


Can't believe it's been one year today since we got home with our beautiful daughter! Please take a moment to watch this video, if you already haven't.

Monday, January 26, 2015



Sorry it's been so long since I've posted! Anyone who tells you transitioning from one child to two is the toughest transition - don't listen to them. Two to three is way more challenging!! Especially if the third one enters your family as an almost two year old! Needless to say, keeping up with blog updates, email replies, etc. is much more challenging.

We have been busy as a family of 5! Each day I'm so taken with how God sets families into place. Samara is just a perfect addition to our family, it is just so fun to be a part of. She is beautiful. She is spunky! She is mischievous! She is smart. She is sweet. She is silly! She is my daughter! And I love her so much!

I remember the tumultuous waiting we were enduring at this time last year. We had already met Samara and were waiting to go pick her up from half way across the world who knows when. It was the longest 4 months of my life. I don't think a day went by that I didn't cry. There were days I found it hard to get out of bed. I would just stare at her picture and try to remember what she smelled like and felt like in my arms. . . It was almost impossible to get through those four months.

I was texting with a friend the other day that brought home twin girls from Ethiopia during our second trip. We were in contact frequently before both trips and I feel blessed to be able to have gotten to travel with them for the second trip. Amazing family. Anyway, I texted her the other day asking her if her girls were as much of trouble makers as Samara is. We enjoyed some modern day 'text laughter' and then we were recalling "the wait." She reminded me that, during that wait, we were so close to God. Right on, friend! There were many days where I was relying on Him to hold me up as I went through the day. I can't remember a time when I cried out to Him more - for Samara's health, safety, well being, affection, etc. All of which I could do nothing about. But I knew He could (and did). And it was so comforting to have Him with me during "the wait." Anyway, I'm SO grateful the wait is over an she is here!!!!

Parenting an adopted child is far different from parenting a biological child (especially if you are a by-the-book rule follower like me). It comes with its fair amount of challenges, but at the same time, it's so rewarding. I really feel like Samara is learning what love is. We went out for a night and got our first non-family babysitter recently. I kept reiterating to her that "mommy will be back" throughout the day. It totally stuck with her, as she kept telling the babysitter, "mommy come back." It broke my heart to think that she would ever question if mommy is coming back. Some of you are thinking, she is too young. She doesn't remember the tragic loss of her first mommy. And you are right - she probably doesn't remember it - in her head. But let me tell you, she does in her heart. I would have questioned it too - about a year ago - but now, I can assure you, no matter how young a child is when the loss of one or more parents takes place, it effects them for their lifetime. I now know that and there is no denying it. I can assure you. But we are healing here. We are moving past the hurt and loss and starting to look like a somewhat normal family!! God gave me three SPECIAL children. Each one chosen just for me. I am so grateful. Words can't even say. I am in love with each of them and they are such precious gifts.

Here are a few pics from the past few months. They have flown by! Mid April we will be celebrating one year of being home with Samara! I can't wait!!

                                                                The pj girls

                                                     Trick or Treat (and does this girl love candy?!)

                                                             Christmas 2014

                                                           Yep, she's drinking coffee. Whatever, don't judge! She's one part Habesha (Ethiopian) and one part Thomas. You gotta love coffee if that's your make-up!

Gena - Ethiopian Christmas. We ate Ethiopian food, had coffee, danced, it was a blast!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Update on my Mom

Friday, August 22, 2014

Adoption Video

I have been wanting to put this together for months now. I finally did it today! Enjoy!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Birthday Girls!

What a day it will be!! It's my birthday today ~ and our sweet Samara turns TWO today and it's her first birthday home!!!!! I can explain the pure delight in my heart. To wake up to my smiling little sweetheart today and wish each other a Happy Birthday was almost more than my heart could handle. I am so grateful to have her home to celebrate this year. What a difference from last year when I celebrated our birthday but she was a world away and I had no clue when I'd be able to hold her in my arms.

I'm reading this book - - and last night, I ironically read the part where the birth mother has her daughter and then when she leaves the boarding house, without her daughter whom she is relinquishing her rights to. My life has been touched by adoption in many ways at various times. I've been blessed to experience it through so many different angles. So today, not only do I celebrate this wonderful daughter, born from not under my heart but in it. But I also grieve for the mom who does not get to sing to her daughter on this perfect day. I am pained for the mother who does not get to give her daughter a sweet treat to enjoy and know that it's all for her. I hope that, some day, I can have the chance to meet the woman that gave my sweet Samara the gift of life, and who so selflessly decided that she should go to another mommy and daddy who can give her more opportunities in life. What a privilege it is to be her mom, but I pray to meet her first mom some day, as that bond could never be taken away.

Until then, each birthday will be special. I bought her a gift from Ethiopia for her next several birthdays. I can't wait to spoil this little girl who is so deserving of all the love I have to offer!!

Here she is one year ago today - her first birthday... Taken by someone while she was in the orphanage. My how her eyes have softened since then!!

This morning...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Three Months Home

I can't believe little Samara has been home for three months already!  After waiting for three and a half years, the past three months have really flown by!

We are doing really well.  Our two older kids are 100% in love with their little sister.  She is their constant source of laughter, hugs, and entertainment.  I love to watch them play together.

We are beginning to get more sleep, usually.  I think sleep will be our biggest challenge for some time to come yet.  That's just how it is.  I've come to expect it.  Other than that, I think Samara is feeling right at home with her new family.  And we are quite happy to have her here, finally! 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

7 Weeks Home

I can't believe Samara has been home for seven weeks. They have flown by so quickly.

We are doing great. Samara is a happy girl! She loves her brother and her sister so much. She spends much of her days playing with them and laughing with them. Her personality shines every day. She loves to laugh and make others smile. She is quite the socialite and is taking after her big sister in a big way!! Naps and night time are still a bit challenging, especially if we have been around large groups of people, but I have more realistic expectations of what that looks like now, and that is helpful. Patience and grace get us through. And her smile just melts me!!