Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hi,  It's Rob (my first post on Heather's blog) she is busy putting pj's on Yabsira.

What a great day!  We went shopping and got to dicker over stuff -- it is amazing how a sweet look from Heather can save me 50% on something.  The US dollar equals 10 Ethiopian Birr so we bought a ton of stuff for about $40 American money.  I am going to look at soccer jerseys at some point, but I know that they are about $40 American.

Then we had Pizza -- It was at a place called Ricos (not very Ethiopian) -- and then we went and got Yabsira, went to the US Embassy to get her Visa, went back to the transition home to play, and she said goodbye to her friends there -- while it was sad to see, she wants be with us -- and it was quite clear by the way she clung to us all day, smilied and laughed. 

We got to meet her teacher, and we got to see the school work that she has been doing.  She can knows and can write the alphabet, and can count to 10.  She is picking up on words very quickly.  We are really considering for her to spend some time in the MPC preschool if she can for the rest of this school year -- she is ready.  We see it, and her teacher sees it.

We brought her back to our hotel room, and Heather gave her a bath after she let her pick out some clothes -- she picked out one of her big sister's old, but favorite outfits, and matching underwear -- you could imagine how excited Heather was.  She got a bath, and it being the her first time using a bath puff she scrubbed herself 4 times, while she laughed.

After she got clean and dressed, we sat and watched a video that her big brother Joel and big sister Isabelle made for her being tour guides of our home.  You should have seen how big her eyes got when she saw Joel open our refrigerator full of food.  She is ready to have a brother and sister!  I can't tell you how just being with her for the day let Heather and I both see that she was made for our family.  She is so much like Joel and Isabelle that we know that they will bond very quickly.

We went to dinner, and she had Ethiopian food, and she ate, and ate, and ate, and ate, and then she wanted to go "home" -- our hotel room -- and she had her first Twizzler!  She didn't know what to think at first, then she smiled, and wanted to share it.  Sharing, Hunh, what a concept.

So it was a great day.  She knows when to use the toilet, that is what she says when she need to go, already knows how to put lotion on her body, and folds her napkin after she eats. 

A few other things that would help you understand our experience.  There are no traffic laws here.  I asked why, and I was told that since Ethiopia is a democracy, they are free to drive anyway that they want to.

The people go out their way to make you comfortable.  They are courteous, and kind.  I was asked by the hotel manager how our stay has been, and when I said great, he kept saying "really"?  They want to serve us.

I have had the best coffee of my entire life.  Since this is the birthplace of coffee they know how to make it the correct way.  We bought one of their coffee pots to take home.  I was told that one judges whether a women is worth marrying based upon their coffee. 

So keep praying for us.  We are excited and can't wait for you to meet her!!!

We would love to post some pictures, but the dial up internet, that can only be used in the hotel lobby, is too slow here.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Today was THE day!

We met our sweet little Yabsira today!  She is so precious and very smart.  It is so hard to describe our first meeting with her.  She is so loving.  She was holding our hands and giving us pecks on our checks.  At one point I needed to finish some paper work so Sira and Rob where sitting on the front steps talking and singing and Rob pointed at himself and said Dad(we were doing that with her all day) and then Yabsira looked at him and said Find Mom.  They came and found me.  I cried.  I wasn't sure how she would react to me.  But now I know, she knows I am her mother.
We had such a wonderful day.  I still haven't processed everything.
We played with all of the children and had such a fun time!  The children at the Transitional Home are amazing.  They are so special! 
Rob and I have been forever changed.  But that will have to be for a later post.
Please pray for good health for our family,  the Tennant Family and the Savage Family.  And that tomorrow will be a smooth transition for the children and the parents.  Thank you.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

We are here!!!!!

Hello Family,

Well after 24 hours of traveling we are finally here -- Pgh. to Newark, New Wark to London, London to Rome, and Rome to Addis.  We stayed in this rent by the hour (not what you think) kind of futuristic hotel in the London airport, so we got a little bit of sleep, but we are exhausted.

Addis is a unique place -- there are zero traffic laws, signs, etc.  It kind of reminds us of driving in Cranberry.

We will spend the day resting today, and will go and meet Yabsira tomorrow.

We will do our best to post the adventures of each day on Heather's blog.  It is only dial up internet here, and we just found out that the only place that we can use it is in the hotel lobby -- arrgh.

We did have a moment of church today -- As we watched the sun rise from the airplane, we were listening to David Crowder sing All Creatures of Our God and King -- My MP3 player provided the music, The Lord provided the rest -- It is amazing how He still delights in showing us His indescribable Glory!

We can feel your prayers and we miss you all, especially Joel and Isabelle!

Be God's,

Rob and Heather

Thursday, December 25, 2008

We leave TOMORROW!!!

We found out on Tuesday that we were leaving on Friday instead of Saturday! This will be my last post from home! When we get a chance we will keep you all updated from ET!
I can't believe we will meet Sira on Monday!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I'm getting goose bumps just thinking about it! In ONE week we will be leaving to bring home sweet little Yabsira!
The past two weeks have been so full! Not only did we get everything ready for Christmas and a trip to Ethiopia but my back went out(it's a Christmas tradition,lol),I had Strep,Rob had bronchitis and something else I can't spell. Praise God,the kids have been healthy although I'm pretty sure they are the carriers.
With one more cleaning the house will be as clean as it gets. The packing isn't near completion but I have a schedule for that. All will get done and if it doesn't "Oh,well." I have decided to relax and enjoy the last moments of life as we know it.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

You Know You Should Adopt If...

I posted this in April and I still can't read through it without crying! It cuts deeper now.

This is our referral picture. The first picture we had of Sira (Yabsira). (8-26-08)

1. The fact that there are 143 million children without a parent to kiss them goodnight has made you lose sleep.
2. You realize DNA has nothing to do with love and family.
3. You can't watch Adoption Stories on TLC without sobbing.
4. The fact that, if 7% of Christians adopted 1 child there would be no orphans in the world, is convicting to you.
5. You spend free time surfing blogs about families who have experienced the blessing of adoption.
6. It drives you crazy when people ask you about adopted child's "real" parents.
7. You have ever been "pregnant" with your adoptive child longer than it takes an elephant to give birth.(2 years!)
8. You had no idea how you would afford to adopt but stepped out in faith anyway, knowing where God calls you He will provide.
9. You have ever taken an airplane ride half-way around the world with a child you just met.
10. You believe God's heart is for adoption.
11. You realize that welcoming a child into your heart and family is one of the most important legacies you could ever leave on this earth.
12. You know what the word "Dossier" means, and you can actually pronounce it!
13. You have welcomed a social worker into the most private parts of your life.
14. You shudder when people say your child is so lucky that you adopted them, knowing full well you are the blessed one to have him or her in your life.
Author Unknown

If this makes your heart ache...pray! Does God what you to adopt? Does He have another way He wants you to take care of an orphan? Pray...He WILL show you! But I have to warn you,it is a wild ride! But worth it 100%!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm testing out our email to blogger.  We won't have access to blogger in ET.  But we will have access to email.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Theme Music

Have you ever thought that there was one song that if you had to name it,it would be your theme music? When you walk into a room it is blaring.
So I've never really thought about it until...Starting the day we passed court every time I turn on the radio the first song or the second a certain song plays. Rob didn't believe me until the last few times we have been in the car together it comes on! As I was thinking about writing on this blog I had K LOVE on. And guess what? THE song came on!
So here is the song and lyrics that God wants me to hear continually!

A New Hallelujah
Michael W. Smith
Can you hear, there's a new song
Breaking out from the children of freedom
Every race and every nation
Sing it out, sing a new Hallelujah

Let us sing love to the nations
Bringing hope of the grace that has freed us
Make it known and make Him famous
Sing it out, sing a new Hallelujah

Arise, let the church arise
Let Love reach to the other side
Alive, come alive
Let the song arise

Africa sings a new song
Reaching out with a new Hallelujah
Every son and every daughter
Everyone sing a new Hallelujah

God is trying to tell me something!
For the last two months I have been distracted. Detracted from His plan and purpose for our lives. Rob and I have had some weird things happen to narrow our view. And not in a good way. We are so overwhelmed to know that God knows us inside and out that he would know what would refocus us back to Him and His plan! Praise God!

Friday, December 5, 2008

So if you haven't figured it out by now ... We passed court!

So here's the whole story...

On Tuesday we received a call from our adoption coordinator Duni telling us that there was a major snag in our adoption. We found out that it was Yabsira's step father who signed her relinquishment papers, and the courts said that they needed a blood relative to sign the papers. Meaning that they had to conduct a search. You can only imagine the worry and struggle that we went through. If they couldn't find a blood relative the court would give the orphanage guardianship of Yabsira. If we didn't pass court we would have to wait until the end of January and probably traveling in February. So, we were frustrated, worried, and just plain sad.

So we decided to fast and pray on Wednesday -- Why give up hope when our God is much bigger than all of this. We also were blessed to have a large group of friends and family fasting and praying with us. Rob was even prayed over by our intercessory prayer team, and the Holy Spirit was felt. How good it is to be supported by so many.

Early Thursday morning, I was awoken around 3AM and was let to pray. We have no idea what was going on across the world from us -- it would have been noon there. We found out that many people from our Travel group were awoken around the same time to pray. Two of them woke up with Yabsira's name in their heads and were praying for her -- though they didn't even know the full story.

My day was filled with time with my friends. Breakfast with Marlene,then helping Betsy with her business for the rest of the day. I'm not sure if they planned it, but my sweet friends were keeping me busy so that my mind wasn't continually worrying about what was happening with my precious Yabsira! So, we were completely surprised when we received a call from Kristen,the TRAVEL coordinator,saying that we PASSED COURT!

We don't know what exactly happened. We wouldn't be surprised to find out that all of this was happening in Ethiopia when I was up at 3AM. We hope to find out, but even it we don't all we know is that a miracle happened. Praise God for listening to the prayers of His people.

We were also reminded during all of this how loved we are by so many. Our daughter already has a big family -- None of us are her "blood" relatives in the eyes of the world, but in the eyes of God -- we have always been.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

God Specializes in the Impossible!!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

We received a call from Duni yesterday. It was not the news we were hoping for. It seems that there is a situation that has come up with our adoption that may prevent us from traveling next week or even in the next few months to bring our princess home. It doesn't seem that our court date was yesterday,which in our situation is good. But if the situation does not get worked out by the end of the week we will not pass court this second time. So, we ask for prayer that God does what is impossible for man but not for Him.
Also, please be praying for the Kulp and Semlow families as they did not pass court yesterday. And for the other 8 families in our travel group that have not heard a thing yet.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Please Pray

It is our understanding that tonight while we sleep, it will be the day of our court date in Ethiopia. Please pray that all of the paper work that needs to be there will be and that the judge will grant us favor so that next week we can go to ET and bring home our precious Y!
It was two Christmas' ago that God laid the importance of adoption on our families heart. Our little girl started to grow in our hearts two years ago and we now hope God brings our family to completion this Christmas!