"Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it...but I'm afraid God might ask me the same question."
-Anonymous

Thursday, January 28, 2010

How I Have Changed In The Last 10 years...

I was having my hair done the other day and they had a great assortment of magazines to look at. I learned all about how the "Octomom" lost all her weight, what the best looks for 2010 are, and that Brad and Angelina have been spotted out to eat on several occasions this month. The article said that they have been known to choose a restaurant and get a table in full view of other diners. Reportedly, they spend the night sitting together and talking for hours.
I have always loved Brad Pitt. Not the Brad Pitt with the strange beard that he has been sporting lately - the beautiful Brad Pitt from years ago (picture Legends of The Fall).
My husband knows my feelings about Brad. He is very aware that I used to say that if I were to ever get an offer from Brad Pitt, all bets would be off. Just kidding...
Anyway...I got to thinking that if I were to be at the same restaurant as Brad and Angelina, I would love to go up to them and start a conversation. The thing is, I am a different person than I was a few years ago. Instead of drooling all over Brad Pitt, I would head over to talk to Angelina. I would be very excited to go up to her and tell her all about our adoption. I would tell her how beautiful I think her little girl from Ethiopia is and whip out our little girl's referral picture (yeah, I know...we don't have one yet). I am so happy to say that I have grown to be a woman who is more satisfied talking about the orphans in Ethiopia than simply stalking a good-looking actor.
After all, who needs to fawn all over Brad Pitt when you have a husband who is so loving that he has opened his heart to the idea of adopting an orphan child in order to honor the call that his wife and family have been chosen for?

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Mad Scientist Blast!



This weekend we transformed our home into a science lab and invited eight little scientists over for some "lab lunacy!" We celebrated B's special day with an awesome birthday party with a science theme and loads of fun. The party was inspired by our little guy's hair. When he wakes up in the morning, his hair is usually pretty wild and we call him "Einstein." (Notice the picture of B that our daughter superimposed onto a picture of Albert Einstein). When all the budding scientists arrived, we dressed them in little lab coats and goggles. Some even choose to use hair gel to get their hair nice and crazy.


The fun started with some super cool experiments. We made "rockets" that shot off all over our kitchen (complete with a nice, loud bang). This was an excellent experiment. It only involved a few materials. A film canister, water and an alka seltzer tablet. It was very exciting for the boys to wait with anticipation until the home-made "rocket" shot off.


Next we made lava lamps. This was my personal favorite because they turned out so cool. A little colored water, some oil and the alka seltzer tablets helped us to create bubbling bottles of fun.


Of course, no party would be complete without baking soda and vinegar explosions, the Diet Coke/ Mentos experiment, and some slime. The boys loved making slime and taking turns squishing it between their fingers.




This had to be one of the best birthday parties we have hosted. Although, I think the "Fear Factor" party that my older son had a couple of years ago may still be in first place (as far as coolness goes - after all, how often do 9 year old boys get to eat crickets and crawl through a tunnel of live bugs?).



Happy Birthday "Einstein"... We LOVE you!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Beautiful Photos For Haitian Relief


Isn't this picture awesome? It is a church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I was so excited to be able to purchase a few photos yesterday from another blogger who has traveled to Ethiopia while adopting his daughter. He has set up a blog to raise money for Haitian Relief. My heart has been so heavy for the people of Haiti, US missionaries in Haiti and families who are in the process of adopting from Haiti. My heart and prayers are going out to them all! As I was reading a few blogs yesterday, I noticed that Julie from www.journeytofamily.com posted about her husband's idea to raise funds for Haitian relief by selling some of his photos. For each $5.00 donated through his site, you can choose a photo that will be sent to you in a HQ digital format, good for backgrounds or printing up to poster size. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross for Disaster Relief in Haiti. Please check out his site and tell your friends.
www.haitianrelief.blogspot.com
He is a wonderful photographer and is offering all types of images (floral, landscape, architecture).I am looking forward to having some of these amazing images printed. I am so impressed when people use their creativity and talent to help others and raise funds for a good cause. It makes me think about the talents we all have and how we can use our gifts to help others...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Adoption Art

If you are looking for some beautiful adoption art, check out:



www.jqueenan.blogspot.com

The artist does amazing work and has a fun contest going right now. I am looking forward to ordering from her very soon! Maybe a referral present for myself??? But, when will that be :) ?

Have a great day!
Deena

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What are we doing while we wait for more news from Ethiopia...

Time at our house seems to fly by... I wonder if time will start to slow down throughout the adoption process... In the mean time, this is what we have been up to. We headed to our friends' cottage for the night. The scenery was beautiful...the weather was very cold!
The boys decided they were tough enough to spend the night in the "boys only" special hang out room (above the garage...no heat).

We decided to take a picture of the thermometer in the room...notice the inside temp got to a whopping 24 degrees last night. They had electric blankets and reported that they were "hot."

This morning, some of the kids baked cookies (it counts when you buy the dough, right?)...

While we had fun with the cookies, the dads were outside cutting up some fallen trees...

The kids had a great time learning to snowmobile. Did you ever hear of knee boarding behind a snowmobile? They also thought it was cool to be on the frozen lake.


Is this the coolest tree fort, or what?

What a fun day. Sharing time with friends and family...that's what life is all about!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's Getting Exciting...


Now that we have started to share the news about our adoption, we should probably explain a little about the process and where we are "at."
1. Tons of paperwork - done! We had to have a home study completed, doctor visits, social worker visits, fingerprinting done, clearance from Homeland Security, etc. This step took us about six months.
2. Get on the wait list- this is where we are... our dossier (all the paperwork) is in Ethiopia! The fact that our "stuff" is in Africa is very exciting!
3. Get a referral - next step for us
4. Child gets a court date in Ethiopia and hopefully passes through court the first time. (Usually takes 2-3 months from referral date to get first court date.) If they don't pass the first time, they get a second date, etc...
5. Child gets a date at the US Embassy in Addis Ababa (capital city in Ethiopia) (usually 2-6 weeks after passing court)- and we travel to take her to this appointment and bring her home!

Many people have asked "how long will it all take?" This is a tough question to answer. It can take as little as one month of waiting for a referral or it can take closer to six months...We don't have all the answers, but this much we know for sure - it will be worth the wait!

For now, here is one of my favorite quotes :
"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just the first step."
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Deena

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's Resolution... Can I do it?


With our adoption in the works, my resolution for 2010 is to SAVE, SAVE, SAVE money. Is it possible for an active mom of three kids and one husband to actually cut back enough to help fund our travel to Ethiopia? It will be a huge challenge for me! The way I figure it, the first step is to stay home. That’s right. No more dropping the kids at school and making a Target run or going to check out all of the post Christmas sales at the mall. It makes me crazy every year to not buy a ton of stuff in January when everything is so much cheaper than it was just a few weeks before! So, goal number one is to stay home. The second step will be to organize my house with all of the free time that I have (since I won’t be out shopping). The way I figure it, I could eliminate half of our personal belongings and still have way more than we need. I am going to start to compile boxes full of goodies for what I hope will be the biggest, best adoption fundraising garage sale in history! Hopefully by May (it is freezing here in Wisconsin…things might thaw out by May so that we can have a garage sale) I will have loads of stuff to sell and thus raise some money for our trip. The third step is for me to make some money in creative ways. I have some awesome fundraising ideas in mind. So many bloggers have inspired me with their fundraising ideas. I plan to have a “gold party” in February where friends and family can bring their unwanted, old, broken gold items to my house and (while we enjoy an evening of food, cocktails and friendship) a jeweler will pay them money on the spot. My friends get to keep the cash and the jeweler will be making a donation to our adoption fund as a thank you for hosting the event. Another creative way to raise funds is to have a raffle for an iPod touch. Thanks to all of you bloggers that inspired this idea…I’m all set for this one. By buying tickets, people can enter for a chance to win a brand new (3rd generation) iPod touch. I am pretty excited about this. I love my iPod and hope that someone else will be excited to help a good cause and win an awesome prize! And of course, I’m selling the wonderful Suubi necklaces that I love so much. The word Suubi means “hope” in Uganda. Selling the necklaces is so cool because they help us raise funds and they help to support women living in Africa. Through Suubi, women in Uganda are able to support their children, send them to school and learn English. I love, love, love these necklaces! They are packaged so nicely, and I love that when people wear them, they are spreading “hope.”
Well, these three steps just might help me meet my New Year’s resolution . For those of you who are following me on this journey… please remind me of my goal whenever I stray off course… if you see me at the mall or find me enjoying too many chai teas from Starbucks, don’t hesitate to give me a not so subtle kick in the rear. I know that bringing our little one home will be more valuable than anything that I can fit in a shopping bag! Time for me to get busy. Hoping you have a wonderful start to your New Year,
Deena