...Our Family...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Update on Micah's Health

Dearests,
Micah is oh so small, off the charts for even 3rd world infants! So, we are obviously concerned for his health and growth as we will not get to see him or care for him for at least 10 weeks. So, I called the social worker and here is what I found out.
  • Micah is from a very poor area (I know Africa is poor but he is from a REALLY poor area) and was given to an orphanage that is just starting out. This orphanage couldn't really care for him in the way he needed.
  • When his paperwork was ready he was given to our agency and placed in the transitional home in Addis. They DID NOT refer him because he was so malnourished.
  • Since being in the TH for over a month, Micah has grown so much! Duni, the program director, said she was ecstatic at his level of growth and that she expects him to continue to grow and fatten up while he is there.
  • Contrary to some worries about care, the TH is doing all that they can to keep the babies healthy including hiring the "Dr. to the stars" Dr. Sophia who also treated Angelina Jolie's daughter Zahara while in Ethiopia.

All of this is to say that GOD is in control of our child, caring for him, watching over him, and will bring Micah home at just the right moment. Honestly, we received Micah's referral at a time when we thought we were going to SNAP if we had to wait one more day. God's timing really is perfect and meets all of our needs. To think, if we had gotten a referral sooner, we wouldn't have Micah...

Please continue to PRAY for Micah's health and well being and that we would receive a court date in November so that we can travel in December.

OVERJOYED!

Kim

Seeing Micah...It feels like a dream!

Chad here... I have finally figured out how to get onto the Blog and I am now uploading the video of Kimberly and I seeing baby Micah for the first time in a picture. Check it out.
video

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The CALL

So, I thought I would tell the story of "The Call" as its pretty funny.

Let me start by saying that we were told on Tuesday that this is NOT, I repeat, NOT our week to receive a referral. How did I respond, I burst into tears, called Chad, and then immediately went to Target for a latte and to let Devon play in the toy section! This is what we do when mommy is down so that he is distracted and doesn't parrot my mood. (I know I should really focus on getting CONTROL of the mood instead of trying to hide it. However, a good latte and some toy time does bring a smile to my face and helps me process the emotions screaming in my head and heart.) When we got home, I placed another phone call to the agency to discuss "expectations." (I have come to detest that word!)

Fast forward to Friday. So, any of you who know me know that I am a screamer, a cheerleader really! However, I have been down and out with strep all week. So, when the phone rang on Friday and I saw it was our adoption agency, I thought that Duni, our family coordinator and the program director, was simply returning my phone call. Here's how it played out from there...

Duni: Is Kimberly or Chad there?
Kim: This is Kim. Hi Duni! How are you?
Duni: Good Kim, how are you?
Kim: Well, I am not feeling too well right now but other than the strep, I'm ok.
Duni: Well, I hope this makes you feel better. This is your referral phone call:
Kim: WHAT?
Duni: You have a little baby boy!
Kim: SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! (increasing in volume with each HORRIBLE phrase ;0)
Duni: Do you really want me to shut up?
Kim: NO NO, I'm so sorry, that was awful of me. Please go on!
Duni: (LAUGHING) I LOVE this part of my job, especially when the parents are really surprised.
Kim: Well, I wouldn't have been so surprised if you all hadn't lied to me on Tuesday ;0)
Duni: Yeah, I know. We weren't sure his paperwork would come. He's your miracle baby, Kim.
Kim: (SOBBING) Duni, yes he is. He's our Ethiopian miracle.

That's how it happened. I am embarrassed still at telling her to "shut up!" I have bought some chocolates to send in the mail as a "thank you for putting up with me and not hanging up on me" offering!

Needless to say, it was a bit surreal and I was FLOORED.

I officially LOVE FRIDAYS!

Kim

Friday, September 26, 2008

IT HAPPENED!!!!!

Dearest Loved Ones,
Today we saw our baby for the first time. All I can say is he is DREAMY! He has the most beautiful brown eyes, full lips, and a mohawk reminiscent of Mr. T! We are in LOVE, BIG TIME!

Our God REIGNS! To know HE knew, ordained, saw our son, saw this day, and is overseeing each moment until we bring Him home gives us a sense of peace and wonder that is heavenly.

IN SHOCK AND LOVE!!!
Kim, Chad, and Devon

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Song for our Ethiopian Sunshine!

Prayers for This Child

by Sara Groves from Station Wagon

I do not know how I am to pray for this child
as a mother I don't want my baby denied
but in the waiting in the waiting
I learned

every instinct in me wants to shield him from pain
take the arrows of misery heartache and blame
but in the sorrow in the sorrow
I learned to hold on

I only have two eyes - be all seeing
I only have two hands - be everywhere
I do not know enough - to be all knowing
I give this baby up into your care

I do not know how, how to pray for this child
I want to guard him from everything wicked and wild
but in the trial in the trial
I learned to hold on
And in the trial, in the trial
I learned to hold on to the heart of God


I am waiting for you my darling son!

Kim

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

As Far As We Know, We're #1

Hello Family!

Number 1, numero uno, first, one...I can't hear enough of that number! So, here's how it all played out. After being told NOT to expect a referral this week (which still could be true) we found out that one family ahead of us switched to the baby girl list. The other family ahead of us received a referral for a 3 month old today.

THAT MAKES US #1 AS FAR AS WE KNOW! We are beyond excited and so ready to meet our son. We have strep throat running through our house and are ALL sick but are feeling so high and blessed from this news!

Let's hope we're not top dog for too long!

Kim

Friday, September 19, 2008

I HEART TARGET but have the Waiting Blues!

Hello Dear Friends and Family,
So, the waiting has been agonizing this week. There have been NO boy referrals in almost 3 weeks. While I know we should be in this month's group of referrals if the normal 10 come, I am starting to lose hope that it will actually happen. If we don't hear this month we are almost certain that we will not travel until January. I admit this would be heartbreaking for me as I really want to celebrate Christmas as a complete family.

Please pray that I would have peace about God's timing in this and that I will be able to focus on being content where I am right now. What's scary is once we see his face, the real waiting will start!

On another note, I hit the JACKPOT at our local Target yesterday. For 30$ I was able to get over 100 notebooks, bags, foam puzzles, books, gloves, necklaces, etc. for only .25$ each! Chad's response was "you know we have to pack all of that don't you?" ;0) Yes, I know, but I can't help myself. I don't care if I wear the same 2 shirts and 2 pair of pants for a week as long as I can put a smile on the face of an orphan in Africa.

Here's what we still need:
  • Bibs, crib sheets, blankets
  • Diapers, Formula, Wipes, etc.
  • Baby medicines including Tylenol, Motrin, anti-fungal creams, anti-yeast creams, cough syrup, etc.
  • Clothing including sleepers sizes 0-25 months, SHOES for ages 2-12, SOCKS for babies and toddlers, booties, etc.
  • SCRUBS for nannies and nurses
  • CROC style shoes for Nannies sizes 7-11 Women's
I'd love to see us bless the kids and transitional home in ET with 3 bags FULL of donations. Will you help?

Kim

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Life Amidst the Vomit

So, Devon has been puking every night, in the middle of the night, for the past 3 nights. Of course he couldn't just vomit in the daytime like normal children. No, my little bundle of joy likes to be special in every way ;0)

Today, after my MIL GRACIOUSLY agreed to watch Devon so I could go teach, I came home to a joyfully adamant child. Over and over again my son asked me if he could "juice the alligator." "Mommy, I get some more alligator?" "Mommy, juice the alligator please!" The more he said it, the harder I laughed. Well, this really made him angry. Not only was I NOT juicing the alligator (?) I was laughing at his frustration. It is SO tough to be a 3 year old!

After about an hour I figured it out. Devon refuses to drink Pedialite (I swear he has medicine radar) so we have been giving him GATORADE! When I really thought about it, Gatorade certainly does sound like Alligator Juice to a three year old's ears.

Ah, I love being a Mommy. Vomit, no sleep, alligator juice and all!

Nothing to Report on the Adoption Front :0(

Hi Friends and Family,

Well, we have heard a whole lot of NOTHING from our agency this week. As of yesterday we are past the 7 month waiting period given by the agency. We are not surprised in the least but still disappointed (we can't help it!). We know there are still 3 families ahead of us but we are still hopeful that we will hear this month. I am clinging to the words of our program director "if we get 10 referrals this month as we have in the past, you will be one of those families..." So, PRAY FOR 10 REFERRALS, PEOPLE!

We are still hoping upon hope that we will hear this month. Please pray for us!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Kids Care Orphanage Video

Hi Everyone!
This morning I watched a video of Kids Care orphanage shot by a family who traveled to pick up their daughter in July. This orphanage is where the majority of kids/referrals coming through our agency are from. It's so beautiful and speaks to my heart as I am sure it will yours.

The coolest thing is our baby could be in this video! There are many infants and toddlers at the orphanage when this video was filmed who are within our age range. I was crying as I watched this because in my heart they are ALL my children. I wish I could adopt every face, smile at every smile, hold every child, wipe away every tear. What is truly heartbreaking is that these children will most likely be adopted because of the amazing work that our agency is doing in this orphanage but there are millions of children all over Ethiopia with the same smiling eyes who will never know the love of a family.

I wish so much that we could do more.

Watch it and be blessed!

http://www.zoiegibson5.com/web/do/site/journal;jsessionid=8B41F5F1066793679D99423598174B5A?ID=421339

Pictures only-
http://www.zoiegibson5.com/web/do/site/journal?ID=421991

Love,
Kim

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Conference Call Update

Hello Friends!
I wish I had better news to report today! We are starting to feel the crunch of the wait this week. Both Chad and I are so ready to see our baby! It's getting tough to get through the day without thinking about him. I have been cooking and working like mad to pass the time. Today, I made vegetable soup, whole wheat scones, vegetable casserole, and the usual Devon meals. I have a need to stay busy lest I OBSESS over the phone not ringing!

I did sit in on a 2 hour conference call today with our Program director, Duni, and the other families in the program. We learned about MANY changes that are happening in Addis as well as needs. Here's a short list.
  • We will no longer be staying at the Hilton when we travel. Rather, we will be staying at a B&B with the other families traveling with us. This is to keep a "low profile" as, while foreigners are welcome in Addis, adoption by outsiders is frowned upon by the general public. MOWA (Ministry of Women's Affairs) in Addis is committed to continuing adoption as Ethiopians are NOT ADOPTING THEMSELVES! So, while this is a bit daunting for us, it is nice to see proof of MOWA's commitment to adoption.
  • The wait time for an infant boy remains 5-7 months. We hit 7 months on Tuesday of next week. So, if she's right on, we'll hear before then. However, a few families have gone beyond this 7 month mark so we are still expecting to hear at the end of the month.
  • The Transitional home for our agency's children is FULL. This means that all of the children referred after August will remain at their orphanages until families begin travelling to pick up children in the Transitional Home. While this is scary for us, the care in the orphanage is above par and medical visits by doctors are frequent.
  • There are many needs in the program that we can ALL help with both financially and through prayer. The Transitional Home needs funds for a new computer, office supplies, diapers, formula, and operating costs. We will be taking donations with us so please consider donating any of the above!

We are greatly encouraged by the news that the program is continuing to grow and move forward. There are over 200 applicants to the program who have not begun the waiting process. Their wait times will certainly be longer and longer as more families enter the program. How blessed the orphans of Addis will be by these 200 families!

Please continue to pray for us as we wait and for the work that God is doing in Addis through AWAA. May His will be done.

Kim

Monday, September 8, 2008

Refreshment for our WAITING souls!

Hi Everyone!

This verse has been impressed upon my heart as our wait time rolls right on past the 7 month mark that was set by our agency (for the FOURTH time).

"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily,

surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it
seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not
be late by a single day."
Habakkuk 2:3 (The Message)

Patience is not my strong suit but I am learning that I am capable of it when I keep my heart focused on the vision that will unfold. I envision seeing our son for the first time, holding him, raising him in the air, kissing his cheeks. These visions are only daydreams. But GOD has already seen these moments and knows the perfect time to reveal them to us.

So, we continue to wait...daydreaming all the while.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Other Happenings!




Though it may not seem like it by reading this blog, we do have other things to do besides wait on our referral! ;0) This weekend was crazy as most of my family was in town visiting for my Father's 50th birthday so I haven't posted in a while.

Today was Devon's first day of preschool! He did wonderfully, it was me who was crying! He wore his favorite red shirt with the frog on the front and dark jean shorts (in case of an accident ;0). We are blessed in that his best friend from the neighborhood, Brady, is the same class. The boys were too cute together! Devon continually wants to hold Brady's hand, which Brady doesn't like much. Brady is more of a high-fiver while Devon is a kiss-on-the-lips kind of kid!

They both seemed to love their class. Devon came home talking about snack time, what else! His teacher is an angel and was quick to tell me "he did fine" when I picked him up. He was STARVING when we got home and drank an entire juice box in 10 seconds flat. A bi-product of playing, perhaps?

After school, he refused to take off his Diego "pack-pack" even when he had to use the potty! What a funny kid he has become. He did need a large lunch and a few cuddles on the couch once we got home before he was ready to go again.

As I was walking to my car after leaving him with his class, I couldn't help but flash back to the nurses office at Mercer County Hospital and see the little angel that was wheeled in to meet his parents for the first time. He was so precious, quiet, sleepy, swaddled, and small! Now, the same little angel is going to school all by himself like a big boy. This just brings tears to my eyes.

What an amazing gift children are! I have the privilege of being his mother and watching him grow to be the man that God wants Him to be. I feel like today was the first step on the staircase to letting him go.

Kim

Monday, September 1, 2008

Getting Prepared- How You Can Help!

Hey All,
We have really started to feel the pressure of being so close! The great thing about being at the top of the list is knowing that the end is in sight and that we will see, hold, kiss, touch, cuddle, etc. our little man soon enough. I have been dreaming of these moments for years and am so excited to finally be close enough to call them a reality! Chad says it's not going to happen this week but I'm not so sure... ;0)

But, the closer we get, the more we realize we are NOT READY! We still have to create the nursery, go through Devon's old clothing, read up on traveling, etc. I am starting to get frantic! On top of this, I start school this week and am still working my other teaching job as well.

So, what can you all do to get involved, to help us and bless those less fortunate halfway across the world? You can donate any of the following items (new or like new, please) to be taken to the transition home/orphanage. The items must be light and durable!

-Colored Pencils
-Bouncy Balls
-Frisbees
-Jacks
-Slinky
-CARS!!
-small dolls, animals, etc.
-CLOTHING!! (this can be used but good condition please)
-Shoes
-New Medicines (Tylenol, ibuprofen, etc.)
-Diapers
-Formula

We would love to see our family and friends respond in a HUGE way to this ministry! If you don't want to donate things, you can donate money directly to the project. All monetary donations will go towards purchasing diapers and formula for the transition home.

I can't wait to see these items start rolling in! If everyone purchased 5$ worth of toys and 10$ worth of formula, can you imagine the suitcases we would fill? ;0)

We'll keep you posted on the referral.

Love, The Kulps