“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:4

Friday, July 2, 2010

How Could You Know?

As you lay sleeping far away as still as you could be...

How could you know the joy today this photo brings to me?

A few short days and you'll be mine

And "I" will soon be "we"

How could you know the love I feel?

It's something you can't see.

So have sweet dreams, my precious babe

Sleep well and tenderly.

Some say that you're the lucky one

How could you know it's me?

-Kris Laughlin

Monday, June 28, 2010


I received word today that I will leave THIS SATURDAY to finally bring my sweet girl home forever! To think that a week from now, I will be seeing her and holding her and touching her and kissing her and smelling her and ... well, you get the picture. :) Please pray that this huge transition for both of us will go as smoothly as possible.

I received this new photo today - I finally got a SMILE! Maybe she knows her mama is on her way. Here's hoping there are lots of smiles to come and perhaps the next photo I post will be one of us smiling TOGETHER.

Thank you, God, for sending me this beautiful blessing! Your timing is perfect indeed.

Friday, June 25, 2010


This is by far the most difficult blog post I have made so far, but perhaps the most important. To all of you already experienced in the adoption world, this is Adoption 101. This post is for my amazing friends and family who are celebrating this wonderful time with me and have never been this close to adoption.

Let me start by saying there is nothing I would love more than to see all of your faces as I get off the plane with Eden. And I would love to bring her by my workplace soon after we’re home and pass her around to all of those who have anticipated Eden’s arrival with such excitement and support. But when I started this process, I quickly learned this is not what’s best for Eden, and of course, she is top priority. Think about it – she hasn’t been with her mom for the first 10 months of her life. She will not recognize me as her mom, and in her own way, she will surely grieve leaving the only home and ‘family’ she has known. It’s going to be overwhelming for her as she enters a new and much bigger world. Just as a newborn bonds with her mother, Eden and I will have to go through an intimate bonding cycle where I consistently show her that I, as her mom, will meet her needs when she is hungry, needs her diaper changed, or simply wants to be held. She is going to need time to transfer the trust she has for her current caretakers to me.

So am I saying I don’t need you when we get home? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I most definitely will need your support more than ever, but instead of asking you to watch Eden so I can accomplish a particular task, I would instead be grateful for help in the form of providing a meal, running an errand, or perhaps mowing my yard. There is no doubt I am going to be overwhelmed, but I feel so blessed to have so many people rooting for me. Staying low-key for awhile will hopefully pay off in the long run as Eden is slowly introduced to her multitude of fans!

Above is the latest pic of my sweet girl – it won’t be long now before we are face to face!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Praise God - I passed court, and my Ethiopian princess is officially mine! Click "pause" on the music player in the lower right corner then hit "play" below to meet my beautiful girl.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


The countdown is here - my court date is less than a week away. I have a wonderful, peaceful feeling knowing there are so many people praying for me and my baby girl. And I truly believe God's timing is perfect. I humbly ask that you say a special prayer as you go to bed this Sunday 30th on the eve of my court date. My case will be brought to the Ethiopian court as we sleep that evening. Wouldn’t it be my luck that my court date falls on a holiday, so unfortunately, I will have to wait until Tuesday 1st to learn the results from my agency. I figure I’ve waited 2-1/2 years, so surely one more day won’t kill me!

It is common not to pass court the first time due to a technicality – all of the planets have to align just perfectly! A fellow Ethiopia adoptive mom gave me permission to share the detailed list of prayer requests she used as her case was going to court. This will give you a better understanding of what must occur and what to pray for:

1. That the MOWA (Ministry of Women’s Affairs) representative, judge and orphanage director will be at court along with anyone else who needs to be.

2. That the official seals and signatures will be where they need to be in the paperwork.

3. That my daughter’s name will be on all the documents and spelled correctly.

4. That my name will be on all the documents and spelled correctly.

5. That MOWA will write the approval summary for the judge and get it to him or her on time.

6. That the judge and/or MOWA representative will not be in a meeting.

7. That court will not be postponed.

8. That nothing will be able to come against court being passed.

Thank you for your continued prayers – here’s hoping I will be introducing you to my beautiful girl’s face next week!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I finally received word today that my court date in Ethiopia is officially scheduled for Monday, May 31st. Fortunately, my documents were submitted prior to the start of the new 2-trip policy, so I will only be making 1 trip. A huge relief for me! So if all goes smoothly and I pass court on the 31st, I hope to be headed to Ethiopia in early July to bring my daughter back to her forever home.

This good news was certainly welcome in light of the devastating floods that wreaked havoc on Nashville last week. As you have probably heard in the media, my workplace was hit hard, and we will be displaced from our offices for several weeks. And I have friends & co-workers who have lost everything. On Saturday when the rains began, I was moaning about my leaky roof. By Monday, I was thankful for my leaky roof and no further damage to my home. These next few weeks are going to be very challenging as I continue to work with limited resources, but it is wonderful to know that happy times with my beautiful girl are on the horizon!

I appreciate your continued prayers!

Monday, April 26, 2010


I have had several friends and family asking how they can help as I draw closer to bringing my Ethiopian princess home. I have always been independent and self-sufficient, so I squirm a bit as these inquiries come in, wanting to say “I’ve got it all covered!” yet quickly realizing that I am certainly going to need help and support in many forms. So I have come up with a list of ways you can make a difference:

MONETARY DONATIONS – It’s no secret that international adoption is a pricey endeavor – but certainly worth every penny! I am still anxiously waiting to hear whether my sister and I will be required to make 2 trips under Ethiopia’s new policy – something I certainly didn’t anticipate or budget for. And it appears we will be flying to Ethiopia at peak season when flights are at their most expensive – probably $2000-2500 roundtrip for each of us (times 2 if we have to make the 2 trips). If you would like to make a monetary donation to help fund our travel, click on the DONATE link at the top right of this page.

FREQUENT FLYER MILES – I assume no one has any frequent flyer miles for Ethiopian Airlines (ha), but we will also need to get from Nashville to Washington, DC (Dulles - IAD) for the Ethiopian flight. If you have a surplus of miles you might be able to donate, please contact me.

YARD SALES! – I am participating in TWO upcoming yard sales – my trash may very well be your treasure! The first is a giant yard sale hosted by Gaylord Entertainment employees this Saturday, May 1st from 8 AM-3 PM at the Gaylord Entertainment Pavilion, across from Engineering and the Commissary on Opry Mills Drive. Then anything I don’t sell will go to Yard Sale #2 which I am co-hosting with a friend on Saturday, May 8th at 2850 McGavock Pike, Nashville 37214. If you need more information, let me know.

ETHIOPIA DONATIONS – I will be bringing donations to Ethiopia for my daughter’s orphanage and my agency’s transition home, House of Hope. Here is a list of needed items:

Medical & Hygiene Items for Staff & Children: Surgical masks, chewable vitamins, band-aids, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, Neosporin ointment, Tylenol

Cloth Diapers (no disposables)

Toys: books, puzzles, rattles, coloring books, large crayons, jump ropes, balloons

Quality Children’s Clothing, Underwear & Shoes: new or gently worn – all sizes and seasons

Baby Care Items: diaper pins, baby wipes, baby soap, teeth rings, bottles & nipples, blankets, crib sheets

LARGE SUITCASES – To transport these donations, I will need 1-2 large, durable suitcases (that I may opt to leave in Ethiopia).

I appreciate any contribution you may choose to give – nothing is too small, and it will all make a difference. I am blessed beyond measure to have so much love and support. Thank you again for celebrating this incredible time in my life!

Friday, March 26, 2010


On Monday morning, I received an email devotional that said “God Wants To Surprise You”. And my best buddy, Dan, had told me that he thought Monday would be THE DAY which made me all the more nervous. Sure enough, he was right! Yes, it finally happened – my phone rang on Monday, March 22nd at 1:00 PM with the news I’ve been so patiently waiting for. I have been blessed beyond my imagination with a beautiful 7-month-old baby girl. She is absolutely perfect – such a cutie! Above is the video of me seeing her face for the first time. I will treasure that moment forever! (Excuse my messy desk and red nose & eyes! Ha)

I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from my family and friends – THANK YOU! Many of you are asking the same questions, so I thought I would answer them here as best as I can for now:

WHAT IS HER NAME? I am still considering a handful of names – it’s a huge decision! When I finally decide, I will let you know.

WE WANT TO SEE PICTURES! I wish I could share her pictures with you here on my blog or by email, but I am unable to do so until she legally becomes mine. However, if you see me in person, I will be happy to show you the copies I have! I can give written permission to any families traveling to Ethiopia before me to take additional photos, so hopefully I’ll get more soon!

WHEN WILL I GET TO BRING HER HOME? Believe me, that’s the big question I am asking! There is a lot up in the air at the moment concerning whether I will be making 1 or 2 trips to Ethiopia (likely 2) and exactly what the time frame will be. On average, I am hoping to have her home with me within 3-4 months. The news about the possible 2 trips is so new that the details are ever-changing, and my agency is doing its best to get definitive answers for me asap. You’ll know once I know!

Please continue to pray for me and my baby girl in the coming weeks. God is so good!

Friday, March 12, 2010


Well, the last time I posted I was “Top Ten”, the next day I moved to “Top Five”, so here’s hoping this post will bring similar luck. Drum roll, please…I AM NOW AT THE TOP OF THE LIST. Okay, actually, I’m not sure if I’m #1 or #2 (there’s a mystery family in front of me, but I’m not sure if they are waiting on a baby girl or a sibling group), but the bottom line is that the call I have waited exactly 2 years, 1 month, 2 weeks & 3 days for could come at any moment. My cell phone is officially with me at all times just waiting to ring!

The big news for this week was a completely unexpected announcement that the Ethiopian government has declared that prospective adoptive parents will now be required to travel to Ethiopia for their court date prior to bringing their children home. Yes, that means I will be making TWO TRIPS to Ethiopia. I will be the first to admit I am not the greatest at adapting to change, so I’ve been a little whacked trying to wrap my brain around this news. There are still many unanswered questions, but I am trying to focus on the positive. First and foremost, it appears I will get to meet my daughter sooner than I expected. And secondly, by meeting my daughter prior to going to court, she will now automatically become a U.S. citizen when we arrive in the States rather than having to go through a re-adoption process. Of course, the negatives include having to leave Ethiopia without my daughter on the 1st trip, and there’s the expense of an extra flight. Hey, it’s just money, right? :) I would rather be putting those dollars towards my daughter’s education, but I am faithful in believing that this is all a part of God’s plan as He maps out my journey to unite me and my sweet girl.

Please keep me in your prayers in the coming days as I anxiously wait for the call that will change my life forever.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Yes, I am proud to announce I am officially in the Top Ten - #9 to be exact – on the waiting list. Such a long way from my original number of 105! Unfortunately, baby girl referrals are slow-going at this point which may mean at least another couple of months before I get THE call. If you go back and read my previous postings, you’ll see how much the timeline for international adoption can fluctuate. I thought I would be a mom by now, but God has a different plan. I have been so patient throughout this journey, at peace knowing that it’s all going to happen in God’s time. But I have to admit I have been struggling for the past few weeks. The human side of me is growing restless and wants it to happen NOW. But I’ve had a couple of messages delivered to me in the past week that put me at ease. First, another waiting mom-to-be pointed out that since this will likely be her last child (she already has a beautiful Ethiopian son), she is learning to EMBRACE this period of waiting, knowing she will probably never experience this journey again. I recently read that waiting is not just about the end result – it’s about what you become throughout the process. So I am choosing to EMBRACE this time as I draw near the finish line. And I was struck by the sermon at church yesterday that said that SUFFERING is a gift from God, just as is His deliverance from the suffering. This uncomfortable feeling of anticipation (suffering, if you will) is all a part of appreciating what’s on the horizon.