Fundraising–the first pieces to our puzzle!

We are in the fundraising portion of our adoption.  There are several ways to help us out–something for everyone!  We are selling coffee, naming puzzle pieces, and working with Lifesong for Orphans to meet their match offer of $2000!  Click here to read more details on our fundraising options.  If you did not receive a letter from us in the mail, you may view our letter here as well as the official Lifesong letter that goes with it.

I wanted to highlight here our first puzzle pieces that you can see on the right of our site.  For every $10 donated towards our adoption, we will write your name on the back of a puzzle piece.  Our kids were eager to get started on the puzzle and eager to help with our adoption, so they each donated half of their birthday money to help bring their siblings home.

Our “bio kids,” as they are called in adoption world, are ages 6, 8, and 10.  They have been so excited all along the way about our adoption!  Liam talks about when “my boy” will be here.  Maura, the youngest, often suggests that she has “outgrown” a certain toy or clothing item, but that we should save it for “our baby” coming.  And of course our firstborn, Erin, has offered multiple times to “help take care of the kids”!  There has never been a moment where we sensed that they were hesitant or concerned about our changing family structure.  Now, granted, they are young and don’t truly realize what all will change–none of us do, for that matter!  And we have tried to be honest and explain that when the kids come, there will need to be extra attention paid to our new children to assimilate them into our family and our culture and even our language.  But we have promised to make an effort to spend some special times with each of our children individually.  In fact, we are going to an adventure camp this summer called New Life Ranch down in OK for some extra family bonding time before our family as we know it changes forever!

We are so proud of our kids!  It is obvious that God has put adoption on their hearts as much as on ours!  God is weaving our family into a beautiful multi-colored tapestry and we can’t wait to experience “even more than we can ask or imagine”!

A Thought on Vaccinations and Travel

In preparation for our (eventual) travel to Ethiopia, I had to get immunized today: meningitis, yellow fever, hepatitis (A&B), typhoid, and polio.  Yes, that was five vaccinations–two in the right arm, three in the left.  The doctor also wrote me a prescription for an antimalarial drug and an antibiotic for bacterial diarrhea.  If you get diarrhea while traveling, it’s the result of having eaten something you shouldn’t have.  The doc recommended I get the H1N1 flu vaccine and a pertussis (whooping cough) booster as well.

I was also given a TRAVAX Traveler Health Report that details most if not all of the potential health risks and immunizations a traveler to Ethiopia should consider.  The report contains a “travel advisory” as well, compiled from sources like the US Department of State, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  The report lists a number of threats and warnings for visitors, including:

  • “the presence of land mines, civil unrest, and the threat of terrorism”
  • “the highest rate of traffic fatalities per vehicle in the world”
  • “highway banditry and armed carjacking” outside major cities
  • “small bombings and explosions”
  • “pickpocketing, bag and jewelry snatching”
  • lots of other things

To summarize, I’ve received immunizations for diseases to which, under most circumstances, I’d never be exposed at home and been warned that Ethiopia may be a frighteningly dangerous place for visitors, especially those from the West.

Adventure anyone?

Erin’s Tenth Birthday Party

Another weekend in April means another birthday.  This year Erin hit double digits: she’s now a decade old.  To celebrate, she invited her girlfriends (and their American Girls dolls) over for a tea party.  Suz prepared some delicious treats for the day: cream puffs with chocolate syrup, heart-shaped brownies with powdered sugar, and fruit kabobs.  The girls played American Girl trivia, did some weaving, and went home with a tea cup filled with nice little goodies.