Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pictures with GG

We found out recently that my Grandma has bone cancer, so we made an unexpected trip to Missouri to be with her this weekend. She is in good spirits overall and we were able to get a great picture of her with Annaliese. The smile on these two faces is more of a blessing than can ever be told.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cookie Dough Fundraiser - Yum!!

Today we are starting a new (ongoing) fundraiser. Please consider participating to help us bring home a brother and/or sister for Annaliese! It is not a bad deal – you get cookie dough to have at your disposal and we get funds to put towards our adoption fees.

We feel very confident that God is calling our family to this and we need your help to make it happen! Thank you, ahead of time, for your support.

Also, local friends and family, please share with others : )

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Home For One Year!

One year ago, I got the privilege to hold my daughter again, this time in America. It was a long two weeks at home waiting for all of the paperwork to clear so that Sarah and Annaliese could come home, but finally I got to have my “Daddy’s Gotcha Day.”

I had spoken to Sarah earlier in the day and was waiting for their flight from D.C. to arrive in Chicago. Of course, I left earlier than needed, so that meant more waiting once I arrived at O’Hare Airport. Once, I knew their flight had landed, I waited in anticipation as Sarah and Annaliese made their way through customs. And then finally, I saw them come up the escalator. It took Annaliese a minute to see me, but when she finally did she headed straight towards me and I got a big hug.

At last, our forever family was together again.

I cannot believe how fast our first year has gone, yes, we have had struggles along the way, but Annaliese has brought much laughter and love into our home and I look forward to what the years ahead will bring.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Promotional Video

Several weeks ago we were asked by our home study agency, Illini Christian Ministries, to participate in an interview for a new promotional video. We/I were not overly thrilled at the idea, but thought that it would be a good opportunity to share our experience and help other families who are called to adopt to navigate the waters.

Today we did that video and I am happy to say that we did not say anything foolish (I do not think)!

Saved the silliness for after the video : )

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Illini Visit

Today was our final post-placement visit for Annaliese and our last home study visit for the second adoption.  All went well as we enjoy this milestone and prep for the next big change : )

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Softball Clinic

The Unity Rebels hosted a softball clinic today for K-2nd grade. Annliese participated and seemed to really enjoy it. The glove was as big as her head : )

She learned how to throw and catch...

... bat...

... and, my personal favorite, run the bases (energy zapper)!

We are so appreciative to her school for offering these types of things so that she can experience new things while we figure out what she likes and what she is good at : )

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Pet Extravaganza

We went to the pet extravangza hosted by Prairieland Feeds this year. Annaliese enjoyed getting to see two really cute baby tigers and then some really nasty (in my opinion) reptiles & bugs. Good thing daddy was there to ooh and ahh with her while mommy hunkered down in the corner : )

She also enjoyed the birds...

Friday, October 4, 2013


Annaliese experienced her first American football game today and actually seemed to enjoy it : ) We went over to watch the Unity Rockets play after supper. She finally got to see where the fireworks come from that she inevitably hears on Friday nights, right as she goes to bed!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Momma Gotcha Day

Can you believe that one year ago today I had landed in Addis Adaba, Ethiopia and was headed to the transition home to pick up Annaliese?? I will never forget how she ran up to me, excitement in her beautiful face, but also some confusion as she looked around and seemed to ask, “where’s daddy?”

It was a hard decision, but we had decided that I would go back to Ethiopia by myself to be with Annaliese while we waited for the Embassy to clear our case. It ended up being a much more difficult ten days than I anticipated, but we got to connect with family through Skype and felt the prayers of many while we anxiously awaited our return home.

Annaliese and I bonded in a special way as mother and daughter for the first time and she anticipated getting to see her daddy all the more.

So, today, we wish Annaliese a very happy one year anniversary for “momma gotcha day” : ) You have brought so much joy and laughter to my life in the past year and I could not imagine my life without you in it! I love you baby girl!

 She won the hearts of the staff at the guesthouse...