Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Our 2nd Home Study Visit

On Tuesday Ryan, our social worker, came to our home. This was the "check up on the things we needed to get done" and "tell you what your trip to Ethiopia will be like" conversation. He has 3 adopted kids, 1 from Russia and 2 from Ethiopia so he has some experience with this. We were hoping to get more answers about the second trip that we have to take, but didn't get a lot. (because he doesn't know) We know that we have to go for the court appointment. That will come after we get our home study stuff returned and our dossier sent in (that's all the other paper work). After those things are taken care of we wait for our referral. Once we get the referral and we make our decision we then wait for the court appointment. Make sense? :)

So, we also learned a lot about our final trip when we actually get to go and pick up our kids and bring them home. That was fun to talk about. Our flight will arrive at night and there will be a meal waiting for us. Then we can see the kids in the mornings and the afternoons. They recommend that we take a day trip to visit the village that they kids are from. That way we have a little info and insight we can give them in the future about where they came from. We have meetings at the Embassy and at the end of the week we take our kids home! Crazy!

Ryan did tell us that most likely our kids would have some sort of disease like scabies. His kid had major diarrhea on the plane home and it was a terrible mess...and he had no change of clothes for himself. Ewwww. We now know.

So if things go "normally" we will maybe potentially possibly take a trip in Januaryishlike? and then back 6-8 weeks after that to bring our kids home. Now that is a VERY rough guess. There are sooo many factors that weigh in on what happens. There is a ton of waiting on different parts to work, etc. It's possible we could have our kids home by Christmas and it's possible it could be next summer. Who knows? God does...that's it.

It's a crazy fun journey and we REALLY appreciate your prayers! Thanx sooo much for that.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Purely fun...Simply Amazing!

Every now and then I just enjoy a good highlight reel. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My New Ethiopian/American Friend

Last night I spoke at a church youth group in Ellensburg, Washington. During my message I talked a little bit about my family (my wife, 2 kids and the 2 kids on the way) and afterward a girl walked up to me and introduced herself as Nareet. She is a high school girl who was adopted from Ethiopia when she was a baby. She was so excited to hear about our adoption and wanted to let me know.

She also had a story to tell me. She was at DYC (our high school conference that we run in February) and went through the Firestarters room. (pause for explanation) This is a room we set up to allow people to go through and gain some world perspectives on issues that affect us at home and around the world. As you walk into the room you pick up a card that explains the journey through the "hallways" of the room. The room is filled with piles of rice. Each pile has a card explaining what it represents. (ie. The amount of people who eat at McDonald's around the world every day with 1 grain of rice representing 10 people, then there would be a pile that said The amount of people who go without food everyday.) As she walked through the room she was struck with all the different social issues that were represented, but most struck with the amount of people who die from AIDS every day. To the best of her knowledge, her birth parents died of AIDS. Then she walked over to the giant 20 foot x 30 foot map of the world where she took a sticker of a flame and placed in on Ethiopia as her reminder to pray for the people there. As she was praying she realized her need for Jesus in her life and she confessed sin in her life and invited Jesus to be part of her life. (if you are not a church going person I know this may sound weird, but I would love for you to read more about it...check out this site I would also be happy to talk to you about it if you like. I love to have that conversation.

Anyhow, I was super thrilled to hear her story. One of my struggles in originally being open to a conversation with Jeanne-Ann about adoption is having seen so many teenagers who have been adopted go through real identity issues in their teen years. (lots of anger and rebellion). It is good to see an adopted girl who is excited about life, Jesus and her family as a teenager!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ethiopia Update

We got a note from Dove International (our adoption agency) today giving us a little update. This is what they said that if adoptive families are already paired with a child they do not have to go to the court hearing and make a second trip. That is not us though. So we have to make the second trip. There was a question as to whether we both had to go. It looks like we both have to go now. I know that it is great because we meet our kids WAY before we would have "the old way." The bummer is that we will have to leave them for a few months. I know that Ethiopia wants to do everything to protect the kids, so the extra $5,000-$6,000 is just part of what we need to do. It is also cool that Jeanne-Ann and I have to completely trust God along this journey. 

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Last night Jeanne-Ann and I went out on a date. As part of that date we went to see Dear John at the movies. It was kinda boring to be honest. Jeanne-Ann sobbed through a fair amount of it, but I really did not connect with the characters or the story very well. No, it's not because I am a guy, I am easily pushed to tears at movies. I tend to allow myself to fully dive into stories that are woven before me. Not in this one. Anyhow, after the movie there was a board promoting this movie Babies. Babies is a movie that is coming out on Mother's Day and follows the lives of 4 babies. It is in the same storytelling art as March of the Penguins. Ummm...that does not draw me in, but reading the board actually caused some welling in my eyeholes. Could be worth a trip to Costco to get discount movie tickets. We will see.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

First Major Hiccup in the Adoption Process

Today we received some terribly frustrating news that we are trying to see as a positive opportunity. Effective immediately The Ethiopian government says we have to take TWO trips to Ethiopia in order to bring our kids home. This is the current process in Haiti and some other countries as well. I am not sure if it will make the process any longer. I don't think it will, just more expensive. At this point there are a lot of questions and DOVE, our adoption agency, is trying to meet with the powers that be to get answers this next week. I will let you know when we know.

Apparently there have been couples who were adopting from Ethiopia who got there and picked up their children and then left them because they changed their minds!!! WHAT??!!?? Are you kidding me. My heart is aching for those kids. I can't even comprehend. Somehow I would love to stand in front of those couples and let them look me in the eyes and have them explain to me why and how. I want them to know that their sad decision has not just affected the children that they left behind, but other orphans who were waiting for a bed and EVERY family who is in the adoption process or will enter it in the future. I can only imagine they struggled with their decision, but I can not even fathom.

So, the opportunities...we will get to go and meet our children and spend time with them in Ethiopia. The hard part will be to leave them. Of course we could go live there for a few months until all the process is done, but that isn't a real viable option. The other potential opportunity is that, if some extra crazy miracle happens that we get a bunch of extra money, we could take our kids (Kynzi and Karston) with us to Ethiopia to meet their siblings and experience their culture. It costs between $2,500-$3,000 per ticket to get there, so adding four more tickets doesn't seem possible, but I believe in a God who doesn't know the word impossible. So, who knows? So we pray and we offer our hearts and our futures into the hands of God. We pray for our future kids and their birth parents. We are asking God to watch over them, to love them, to protect them.

I was not ready for the onslaught of emotions this has suddenly evoked in me as I type these words. Wow.

I will update you as soon as we know anything. Thank you for your prayers.

No, this is just a pic I found online.

Saturday, March 06, 2010


Tonight we had out high school ministry film festival. It was a blast. Several of our small groups did a video and we showed them all tonight. One of them was a rap video Brian, Whit and I did to try to get rid of our announcement song that has been around for about 8 years. It was a lot of fun to do. I will try to get that video up later.

The one here is a "commercial" or our version of an "infomercial" for handerpants. Here is that commercial. Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Great Music Video on the top 5 Stereotypes of Yout Pastors

They showed this video at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference I went to. Amazing. If you know a youth pastor, you are likely to identify with this video.

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