Monday, December 14, 2009

Some News but no photo yet

Sorry it has been a crazy few months. We still have not received a photo yet, however we did receive our acceptance letter from the Ministry of Rwanda. Our adoption agency (Children of All Nations) representative in Rwanda has it right now. She also said that on Monday January 4th, she should receive our photo and child's information. She is going to try and scan it for us and email it. If she does this then we could possible see her picture Monday or Tuesday. If not, she will mail it to our adoption agency. This could take a week for them to get it. We are just so excited to know that we are so close to receiving our information.

Right now we are in Thailand anxiously waiting to see a picture of our little girl. I will post any information as soon as I have it. Unfortunately I won't be able to post any pictures until they go to court for us in Rwanda. But I will give you as much information as I can. Aren't my boys cute? They are so excited to see their sister. Anytime I say their names they ask "Did you get a picture of our sister?" What an exciting New Year!!!

Sorry I have posted so many pictures. I have been so busy and have not been able to blog. And so much has happened with Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here is our family in Hawaii. We went to Hawaii with our kids, my parents and my siblings. My friends even joined us there. We went to the island of Kauia. I love it there! It is one of my favorite islands. We didn't do anything but just hang out on the beach!

Here is the entire family enjoying a dinner in Hawaii.

Thanksgiving on the beach! How fun! We ate our turkey dinner together as a family. It was beautiful and warm (not like the snow at home!)

Here is me with my friend (and next door neighbor) Dayna and my sister Lindsay. We were so lucky because Dayna and her son Ashton came with us on our trip to Hawaii. it was so much fun!

Josh with our boys.

This is the best babysitter we have found. The kids would stay in the holes for at least 20 minutes. They loved it and we loved it also he he!

The month of December flew by. We did a lot of fun stuff with the kids. We went to our church party and had yummy scones and Santa came.

Calvin is doing french immersian at school. This means that half of his day is spoken only in French and the other half in English. He was in a french play in school of Rudolf. It was so cute. He played a bear who liked magic. I didn't understand a word of the play but was so proud of him!

We did a lot of fun activities before Christmas. Here we are at breakfast with the Grinch and Santa. We also went on the Polar Express Train (really the Heber Creeper) and we also took Calvin to see the Nutcracker. It was a fun and busy December.

My entire family went to dinner for Christmas Eve. After we went back to my home. The kids got their jammies and opened a present.

Here is the tree at 5:30am. The kids were begging to go down. I always go down first to make sure that Santa came. I also took this picture before all chaos errupted.

Christmas morning is one of my favorite days of the year. Here are the boys just coming down. Martin immediately saw his bike and jumped on it. We had so much fun opening presents together. I was also excited this morning because I got a Kindle (which I really wanted) and Santa surprised us with snowboard racks for my car. This will be so helpful when we all go up and not get the back of our car messy!

Josh and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary this year. He has had a wedding ring for 10 years that is so basic and really scratched up. Here he is with his new ring I gave him. I think he didn't get much sleep last night. Actually neither of us did! Christmas Eve is a long night!

My parents came over to our home with my siblings to celebrate Christmas with us early. My parents got each other the same gift- The Kindle. We all knew and were laughing when they opened them the same time.

My mom and I got matching jackets.

This is a picture of Martin with my cousin's little girl Alissa. Isn't she so beautiful? She was adopted and it was completely finalized right before Christmas. It is always so fun to see her! It makes me even more excited to finalize my adoptions!

Martin had a lot of fun eating all the pies on Christmas at my mom's house. Especially the whip cream.
This was such a fun Christmas. It was just crazy because the day after Christmas we left for Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. We are now in Thailand as I am trying to catch up on our blog. We are having an amazing time!
We'll keep you posted on our updates with our daughter. I am also going to post some pictures tomorrow of our trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. We love you all!
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Next Week

So today I got an email stating that next week they hope to send me a photo of my little daughter. My daughter. I held my breath for a while so that I wouldn't scream and wake my boys. I am so excited.
First though- Next week could mean 2 or 3 weeks later in African time but that is so much quicker than I ever expected. I had been waiting so long that I wasn't expecting a photo until January or February. Now that still could happen. But I felt so good to see that it could be as soon as next week.
The crazy thing is that we will be in Hawaii next week. Thank goodness for emails. I hope to be emailed a picture soon. What an awesome week that would be. Spending time on a beach in Hawaii with all of my family and being able to share a photo of our daughter.
Everyone keep us in your prayers. Especially our little daughter.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Adoption Today Magazine

We are so excited as we have been spotlighted in the Adoption Today Magazine. This is a great magazine that has lots of amazing articles on adoption. You can find the magazine at

Well, for the month of October they were doing an article on Rwanda. They are trying to get it out there that Rwanda is a great option and hopefully more people will begin adopting from there.

A couple of months ago my adoption agency (Children of All Nations) asked me a bunch of questions regarding our adoption. I went ahead and answered them. They contacted me a few weeks later to ask if our family wouldn't mind being in the magazine as a spotlight. I said of course. They used my quotes in the magazine from the questions I had answered earlier. It is so fun for our family to see our picture in the magazine. My boys love it. They can't wait to have their little sister here.

As far as our adoption is concerned we are still waiting for the approval letter from the ministry in Rwanda. I am hoping that it comes by the end of the month (as that is when they said it should be here).

Our family is doing well. We just got back from a Mexican Riviera cruise. It was fun. I will try to post pictures later as I am having trouble with my pictures on the computer. Keep our little girl in your prayers.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Affordable Adoption

Alright- here is one of the biggest concerns for adoption- Can we afford it?
Well, there are many ways to help make adoptions affordable.
Here are just a few tips that I have found from myself or others thinking of adopting.

1. I think that if you decide to adopt that many times the sources will just appear to help you with your decision. Why would God (or the Universe) not want to help you out if you decide to help out with a child. For me personally I have found that God has been with me all along the way helping our family come up with the necessary funds for this adoption. If you have read the book "the secret" that is another way that you can get help. If you put it out into the Universe, the Universe will send it back to you.

2. Service or Charitable Contributions. There are many things that you can personally do to earn money. Below are just some ideas.
* Neighborhood Garage Sale: This is something that I did. I sent out fliers around my neighborhood explaining that we were collecting all unused items to sell in our garage sale. Many items were donated for this sale. We were able to raise a bunch of money to go towards the adoption and the orphanage.
* Bake Sale: I know of many people who have made cinnamon rolls or pizzas or other type of food items. You can either set up a stand in a place with lots of traffic and try to sell your items (we actually sold a ton of cookies, cupcakes and cinnamon rolls at our garage sale) or you can actually go around your neighborhood and take orders for food items. I know of another family adopting that raised over $3,000 taking orders and making cinnamon rolls.
* Selling t-shirts: There is a great website called This company allows you to create a design for a shirt, or they can help you create one. After you have a shirt created you are able to sell and it keep all the profit. This is awesome. I am actually in the process of designing a shirt right now and will hopefully have it up and running soon.

3. Adoption Tax Credit: When you adopt you are able to have a tax credit. Although the amount might be changing you will still be able to have an adoption tax credit for that year. Right now the credit is $12,150.

4. Adoption Financial Aid: There are many different places who will help you financially afford the adoption. If you google international adoption financial assistance- you will be shown many different sites that you can assist you.

5. Employment: Many larger companies actually have plans that can assist with your adoption costs. The other option is to ask your employer if there is anything the company can do to assist with your costs.

6. Donations: Some people are not in the position to have another child, however financially they may be able to assist in helping you have your child. If you have a blog or myspace or anything like that you can actually set it up to receive donations. Sometimes just getting the knowledge out there that you are interested in adopting but need help, you will find that someone may volunteer to help you.

I am sure there are many other ways to pay for adoption. If anyone else has any tips please post them.
Adoption is a huge investment, but I know that it is all worth it in the end, especially when you are able to hold that child in your arms for the first time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Saw What I Saw

15 years ago a plane went down in Rwanda carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana. The Hutu people immediately claimed that the RPF shot the plane down. This began the most devestating 100 days on earth as neighbors killed neighbors and family killed family. 1,000,000 million dead in 100 days.

I saw this video a while ago when the anniversary of the genocide happened (in April), however for some reason I found it again. I feel very touched as my daughter is in Rwanda right now. Her birth mother very well could have witnessed this destruction. It might be this past destruction that caused her to give up her child that will soon be in our family. I am so grateful and feel such sadness for this strong birth mother. I am so grateful for these strong Rwandan people. I am so grateful for my daughter who has no idea that she will soon be with her family. Tonight our family will say an extra special prayer to bless all of those in Rwanda. I ask that you all do the same.

Please watch this amazing video of the people of Rwanda. Maybe you can understand how beautiful the people are and why we can't wait to bring one of these children home.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Two Year Log in Date- There is always a plan!

When you do an adoption from China the moment your paperwork is in China you receive a log in date. Well, my log in date was September 12, 2007. This means that for 2 years my paperwork has been waiting in China. I must say that up until last May this had been very difficult for me becuase I felt like I had a daughter out there that was never coming to our family. However, last May that all changed.

The reason why I am bringing this up is because Heavenly Father always has a plan. When we were filling out our paperwork for China it took us a long time as were always out of country with my company. So basically it took us over a year to get it all finished. If we were able to finish it earlier we would not be waiting so long. But the wait is actually good.

There are so many people who are adopting from China and that is awesome. But it is also causing a huge waiting time as China only allows so many kids out of the country each month. However, for me that is good.

The reason why I am saying this is Heavenly Father knew that I needed to pick up a little girl from Rwanda. He knew that if I did not need to wait I would not be in tune to His plan. I would do China and who knows if I would do anything more. However, I was slow with the process and I got behind many others who were also adopting from China. And here I am sitting at my computer knowing that my paperwork is in Rwanda and in a few months I will have a daughter. My paperwork is also in China and I know in a couple of years I will have another daughter. I am glad that I had to wait for China. I know it will still happen and I am still very excited to get her but it is this waiting time that is allowing me to have two daughters instead of one.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Our Rwanda Adoption

Life has been very crazy lately and so unfortunately I have not visited my blog in such a long time. Finally I feel that it is time to begin posting again- especially since some exciting news is happening in our family.

We have been in the process of adopting from China (over 3 years if you include the time spent working on our dossier and waiting time). It has been such a trial waiting for this little girl to come home. However, although we are still waiting for China we are excited to begin adopting from Rwanda as well.

Here is our story.
Last April my husband and I were in Africa. While we were there I felt that we were supposed to adopt from Africa. I told my husband in Africa that I felt we were to adopt in Africa. However, our agency only works with China and I didn't want to switch agencies and also we thought we would get our little girl from China in the next year or so.

The day after we got home from Africa we got an email from our Adoption Agency Great Wall that they now will have another division called CAN (Children of All Nations) and they allow you to adopt from Rwanda. We then called Great Wall and asked for the most realistic timeline for China. It would be around another 2 1/2 years. Well, after some heavy praying (even though I already had received an answer in Africa) I knew that we were to get a little girl from Rwanda as well as our girl from China.

We put in our paperwork in April and got accepted. We then began putting together our dossier in May. Another life changing experience happened in May. My little sister (who was 30 years old) died. Although this has been a difficult year I am so happy that I can focus all of my energy on bringing this little girl to our family. We are going to give our little girl from Rwanda the middle name of Nicole (which is my sister's name).

Right now our paperwork is in Rwanda awaiting acceptance from the Rwandan Ministry. I will try to write up a timeline soon so anyone else interested in finding out information on Rwanda they can look at what our experiences have been. We know there are so many children outside of the children (and so many orphans in Africa) so we would love to answer any questions that anyone might have regarding adoptions.

We are hoping to get a refferal sometime in October or November. I will keep you all posted on what is happening. I also just finished her nursery. I hope to post pictures very soon.