Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday: Hensley!

Here's the sweet little song that your dear friends sang for you! Happy Birthday Little Lady! We love you!

- Ma-ma, Da-da, and Brother

Monday, February 27, 2012

What Hensley Wore: Dress Up

"What Hensley Wore" for her birthday party...
Flower Shirt Dress
Blue Suede Ballerina Peep Toe

Checked Shirt Dress, what she wore the day before with family in town!

Thank you Zara for allowing us folk from the US of A to shop online now. was a fun filled weekend. Some highlights included Uncle Eric and Aunt Erica coming to town, our 3 foot red balloon that accompanied the children in their photo shoot, and Hensley's best birthday scene...rocking in her new, but vintage rocking chair holding and patting her new baby. Was the sweetest thing. Oh and I musn't forget...the best gift she received was a song written by our dear friend, Jacob, and performed by he and his wife at the party. It was the sweetest thing ever. Surely we taped it and I will share. 



Friday, February 24, 2012

DRC Adoption: Unexpected Turn

(I wrote this Feb 15, but didn't post it...)
It's a rainy afternoon here in Kansas City. The children and I just had a snack, and I chime in to share some very unexpected news we received last night. I guess there's no beating around the bush, so I'll just say it. I'm pregnant. As you can imagine, this news came as a complete surprise. What? Pregnant? Aren't we supposed to be adopting? God, you know about this right? There were so many signs leading to that. And we so were not trying to get pregnant. 

So, I'm guessing you are just as surprised as we were. It's confusing. After some thought and wise words from friends I've already learned the following:

God still cares for orphans. He is still feeding them, and giving them forever families.  Prayerfully our family will still be home to one of those precious children. I mean, have you read her story? (Kisses from Katie)

We are also God's children and He cares deeply for us.

Our step of faith was not in vein just because it's not working out as we thought. We still took the step. 

Even though our journey to this child will not be full of crazy adventure like adoption is, it is new life and God sees it as good. 

I get to be pregnant and have an itty bitty baby at the same time as my best friend. 

God is faithful. 
His ways are not our ways. 
We still hope.
We still crave justice.
We still love children, and care deeply for orphans. 

And I'm writing the following today...February 24...

Two posts in one. Because at the moment we found out we were gonna have a bebe via me,  we gave it some time to sink in before "sharing the news." So here we are. Went to the doc today for an ultrasound to see how big this baby is...and it's an inch. Teeeeny tiny. Got a heart beat though.  I'm 8 weeks and 2 days into the blessed hard work of "growing a baby" and we are all good.  The babe has a head and some "limb buds." Looks pretty promising in the picture.  

Here is a prayer for you - child of my womb,

Our plans did not include you, but God knows something we don't. You see, we had formed a place in our hearts for 2 children from Africa. We had started the process to bring them home, but you are coming instead. And we have peace. We know that you are a gift, and feel very blessed that you are coming. 

So here's the low down. You have a dad. He stands at 6'1", is a school teacher, and likes to ride his bike. I'm your mother. I'm view life from 5'1", unless I'm in heals, but when does that ever happen?! You have a kick-butt brother, who is 4 and a half, and loves to do whatever "your dad" is doing. And then there's your big sister, 'bout to be 1. She's a cutie patootie, and she will show you the ropes because she has just done all that you're about to do. Don't know why I told you our heights, and the kids ages...probably because I often forget the kids heights and how old we are. Okay, I remember...your dad and I share a birthday, and we will be 29 very soon. 

Love ya,


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blue Lily: Photos of Families


By Blue Lily Photography. Aren't they cool? And their business style is unique. They travel. So, they set up their 2012 travel schedule on their website, and you sign up if they will be in your neck of the woods. Quite fun! 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Party: For Baby Judah

Got to throw a sweet baby shower for my pal, Katie today. Our house was full of beautiful ladies. I've never seen so many adorable homemade baby gifts! Each girl must have her own etsy shop! We are so excited for Baby Judah to come this April. He'll be the hippest kid on the block, with pretty amazing parents. We love you Nick and Katie, and cannot wait for you to expand to Welch party of three!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Love: True Bond of Peace

joetta maue.

The Prayer Appointed for the Week

O Lord, you have taught us that without love whatever we do is worth nothing:
Send your Holy Spirit and pour into my heart your greatest gift, which is love,
the true bond of peace and of all virtue, without which whoever lives is 
accounted dead before you. Grant this for the sake of your only Son Jesus 
Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, now and 
for ever. Amen. 

(The Divine Hours, Prayers for Springtime, Phyllis Tickle)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Design: Composition

Love these compositions and styles from BDDW.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Day: And Take Out


It's Valentines Day!  Michael and I are ordering Chinese take-out to enjoy with candlelight after we put the kids to bed. 

Hope you feel loved today!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Adoption & Life: Updates

So, a dear dear friend sent us $410 for our growing family fund! What a blessing. May you be blessed, sweet buddy. I would really love to see you soon.

We have our first home study meeting this Wednesday!

Just signed Tegegne up for soccer this spring, on a team with a good friend! Let the games begin. This should be hilarious and cute!

Can't wait to catch up with Taryn and Micah tomorrow, as they had a fun filled weekend in NYC!

Planning a sweet + small first birthday party for our baby girl. Can't wait to celebrate her first year of life in a few weeks! 

We had some friends for dinner tonight and our house was so clean and so cozy. Going to bed with full bellies (after veggie chili and beef+bacon chili...sourdough and vanilla and content hearts. It was a good weekend. Thanks be to God.

Good night, sleep tight. 


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012

DRC Adoption: More Blessings

Last night we opened an envelope from a dear couple that we barely know. They sent us $275, and said that they are praying that their money would also multiply. I teared up and Michael thanked God aloud. Being aware of what God is doing here is transforming our hearts. Thank you, friends! May the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you! 

Then we got a $27 check from Kansas City Title. We don't know why! 

If you are reading and have faith in God, this makes sense. If you don't know of faith in God, let me say that we have money coming to us from many directions and the only explanation is that we prayed to God for financial provision and our prayers are being answered. 

We are humbled. We know that Gods answers to our prayers are not always like this. Either way, we believe. We believe in God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We believe that Jesus died, rose again, and will come again one day. We believe when the sun is shining, or when clouds cover the sky. We believe when money comes in, or when it doesn't. 

And we have hope. Hope that God shines a light in the dark places. Hope that our children-to-be are safe and can feel peace beyond understanding. 

And we are thankful. For our community. For health. For love. Because what we do for the least of these, we do for God...who loved us enough to sacrifice his son. That is love.

photo credit.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

DRC Adoption: Praise and Progress

I chime in again today humbled by God's provision. We received $1000 yesterday from some very dear people. And we say, thank you! Thank you for your generosity! Thank you God for guiding our steps. 

And last week we got $1200 from something that had to do with homeowners insurance that we overpaid a year ago. Michael knew about it, but I did not know that money was coming!

And there were 10 extra dollars when I took Tegegne's piggy bank money to the bank! Every little bit counts! 

In case you are curious, here is an estimate of what our adoption will cost with a breakdown of what the money goes toward.

Agency Fee #1 - $2250
Dossier Prep Fee - $500
Foreign Fee #1 - $5000 ($2500 non-refundable, $2500 refundable prior to child referral.)
Humanitarian support & aid - $1000

Total Due w Contract: $8750

Fees below due w acceptance of child referral or dossier submission, whichever is first.

Agency Fee #2 - $2250
Foreign Fee #2 - $5000
Infant Care (0-12 mo) - $250/month

Due with Referral/Dossier: $7250

Costs to Others at time of Referral/ Dossier

State Dept Authentication Fee - $36 for 2 children
Embassy of the DR Congo - $1000 for 2 children
Courier - $70
Child Transportation from region to Kinshasa and administrative coordination - $1500

Our home study is cheaper this go around since we're using the same social worker! (Under $1000)

So, this is not all of the costs but a good chunk of it. Other costs will include our travel, and other possible costs for a second child. If you are not familiar with international adoption, this is overwhelming I'm sure. It is a lot of money. It is a major process, that needs to be done professionally. The costs are for the process and not the child.  

There are other things that are on my mind regarding our adoption that I'll have to share soon. My computer is "dying" as our house was struck by lightening and all power cords were fried!  Michael is bringing his cord home tonight!



Monday, February 6, 2012

Becoming Kind: Henri Nouwen

Becoming Kind

Kindness is a beautiful human attribute. When we say, "She is a kind person" or "He surely was kind to me," we express a very warm feeling. In our competitive and often violent world, kindness is not the most frequent response. But when we encounter it we know that we are blessed. Is it possible to grow in kindness, to become a kind person? Yes, but it requires discipline. To be kind means to treat another person as your "kin," your intimate relative. We say, "We are kin" or "He is next of kin." To be kind is to reach out to someone as being of "kindred" spirit.

Here is the great challenge: All people, whatever their color, religion, or sex, belong to humankind and are called to be kind to one another, treating one another as brothers and sisters. There is hardly a day in our lives in which we are not called to this.

- Henri J. M. Nouwen 

Books: For Wee Ones

Board books for babes:
Urban Babies Wear Black. Hilarious!

Yum Yum Dim Sum. I mean have you eaten dim sum style? It's so fun!

I Like Vegetables.

Caillou My Birth.

A Book of Sleep.

Plus, The Land of Nod features many darling books that we'll be adding to our library list. Children's books rock!

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