ET or Bust!!!!

Just a second for a quick update. . . our paperwork has been submitted for court in Ethiopia!!!!  What does this mean???  It means we are planning a trip to ET to meet our children in 3-4 weeks!  Say what?  Yes, if all goes well we should be leaving Very SOON to fly to Ethiopia to meet our precious children and attend a court hearing.

How is this possible?  Because of the generosity of so many of our family, friends, and even those we don’t even know that well.  God is providing left and right for this to take place!  The auction was a huge success and such an encouragement to our family.  We raised just over $2500 during the evening.  And we are preparing for the online portion of the auction in just a week or so.  Be prepared to receive some info on that soon!

How else do we see the Lord at work?  This morning we received a call from Lifesong for orphans.  They have agreed to set up a fund for our family where people can donate in a tax deductible way!  Does the Lord work at just the right time or what?  We’ve updated the Funding our Adoption page for those interested.  We have almost made all our payments to AWAA and just have about $1700 left to pay in program expenses.  Then all we still have to raise is our travel costs.  We are anticipating how God will show Himself faithful yet again!

Please continue to keep our family in your prayers, and thank you for all your support!

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SILENT AUCTION

Well, the time has finally come!  After weeks of hard work our big night will be held tomorrow June 19th at Sovereign Grace Church at 7:00PM.  A huge thank you to Melanie Leung-Shea’s and Lauren McCray!  You ladies have been my backbone throughout this entire planning.  Seriously. . . if it was not for these two ladies this evening would not be 3% as wonderful as it will be!

So I’m sure you’re just wondering what type of fabulous items will I find when I walk through the doors?  Well let me lay it out for you!  As you come in you will be personally greeted and given a program of items up for bid.  If you continue in you’ll notice we have live music from Duke Walker and you can help yourself to the snacks and drinks as you enter.   Then be sure to continue on over to where we’ll be offering samples of Organic Fair Trade Coffee from Ethiopia.  If you look to the right on our blog you’ll see the link for JustLoveCoffee.  We have partnered with this coffee company that was started by a man who adopted his children from the very same orphanage our 2 new children have come from.  We will offer samples of this superior coffee and have order forms for you to place an order.  Our family receives $5 for each bag sold.

Right next to our coffee sale will be a display of friendship bracelets.  Tigist has been hard at work making dozens of these bracelets in various sizes to help bring her new brother and sister home!  These will not be up for bid, but you can purchase them directly for $5 each.

After you’ve settled in with a refreshment you can enjoy the music in our sit and relax area with friends, or take a moment to view the items organized around the room.  We have grouped them into 4 categories for easy viewing.  These categories are: Items, Services, Gift cards and Sets, and Entertainment.  Here’s a sampling of what you will find up for bid:  Baby items, personalized artwork, jewelry, home-brewed beer, a hand-bag, gym membership, babysitting, photography packages, tutoring services, home organization consulting, haircuts, dessert delivery, summer dance camp enrollment, sewing lessons, dinner at outback, a gift card to a florist, greeting cards, the pastors “favorites” book collection, Nationals Tickets, movie theater tickets, a day on a 34 ft Catalina sail boat, an authentic Chinese meal cooked and served in your home.  Are you excited yet???  We are!

Your fabulous MC for the evening will be Luke Middleton.  He will be making announcements and explaining how the evening will proceed and how the bidding works.  Joshua has produced a beautiful video that shows the impact adoption has made in many families.  This will be shown, and then we will open the items for bidding.   You’ll want to arrive right on time because the people who are first to bid on an item will be eligible for 2 drawings we will have during the event.  *And please remember to bring cash or checks because we will be unable to process credit cards. *

We are very grateful to each personal and business that has donated to make this event possible.   We are trusting God to provide each and every penny we need to bring our sweet children home and this evening is a huge step in making this a possibility.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to each of you who donated items and services, and to each of you who are attending.  Your generosity IS making a huge difference in the lives of two orphans who will soon have a forever family.  Thank you and we hope to see you tomorrow evening!  Everyone is invited!

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EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

WE HAVE A DAUGHTER!!!!!!!  We are so excited to announce that today was the day that our agency called with the wonderful news that we have a girl!  If you remember about 6 or 7 weeks back we announced that we were referred a son who is 6 years old and we have been waiting ever since for news of a second child referral.  So let me tell you the story. . .

Ever since we submitted our paperwork our family has been in line to receive a referral for a healthy toddler aged boy or girl but we still enjoyed browsing our agency’s Waiting Child List (WCL).  This photo listing is also how we learned about our son, only we first saw his picture over 2 years ago.  The WCL is a photolisting a children who are maybe a little more difficult to place either because they are older then 5, are part of a sibling group, or who have a medical condition.

About 4 weeks ago the most precious and adorable infant girl was placed on the WCL due to her visual impairment (likely full blindness, but unsure at this time) and small size (most likely born pre-term).  So often I browse this list and pray for these children, but this time was different.  This striking little girl caught my eye and lodged herself in my heart.  I showed Joshua her picture that evening and he was equally smitten.  In our original homestudy we were approved for the full gamut of special, medical, and developmental needs, however due to some challenges our son has we were asked to wait for a healthy toddler and not pursue a 2nd child that was considered special needs.  This made a lot of sense at the time and we agreed with our agency.  However, we could not forget this precious child and about 2 1/2 weeks ago called our agency to discuss the possibility of adopting her!  After much prayer and discussion on both sides we have been approved to pursue adopting this baby girl!

Unfortunately we are unable to post pictures of either child until we pass court in Ethiopia so you’ll just have to imagine the most adorable Ethiopian 7 month old little girl you can for now.  We are still hoping to be given a court date the end of July to travel to Ethiopia and meet both of our wonderful children!  Please keep us in prayer as we move ahead with our fundraising.  We are holding our silent auction NEXT weekend.  My next post will cover all the fabulous items we’ll have up for bid.  Stay posted!

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Growing garden and dreadlocks

We are really enjoying our growing garden.  We’ve eaten lettuce and swiss chard a few times each week  and picked our first jalapeno, banana pepper and tomato today!  We should have a few decent zucchini and summer squash by the end of the week.  Yum!  Here’s today’s pick.  Oh yeah, we picked basil too.  I’ve got to get some pictures of the actual garden. . . our cucumber plant is humongous!  I’m definitely going to be giving away cucumbers in a few weeks.  Any takers???

Then over the weekend I put dreadlocks in my hair. . . . I was inspired a few weeks ago by Tara over at her blog http://www.theorganicsister.com  I did get permission from my sister first because I will be in her wedding this summer. =) Rachel you’re an awesome sister.  And then a friend from my summer camp days in Northern Maine help me take the plunge when I saw her beautifully knotty hair.  Here are my before, during and after photos!  And a thank you to all my friends who so kindly accepted my crazy hair. =)


A big thank you to my hubby who stayed up late into the night Friday back-combing these all for me!  Its going to take some time since my hair is pretty straight and fine, but I’m really liking it already.  I found some great scarves and hats to wear, but around the house with the kids, the cut off arm of an old t-shirt works just fine to contain the poofiness and frizziness for now!


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Adoption Front Update. . .

Well folks, its been a while and so we thought it about time for an informative update on the Taylor family adoption.  Aren’t you soooo excited???  Its been a wonderful few weeks since we received our first referral of an adorable little boy.  We have been praying for this little dude for over a year as we’ve seen him on our adoption agencies waiting child list and are rejoicing that we will be able to give him a forever family!   We don’t have any new news of a second referral yet, but continue to wait and pray for a girl or boy in the 0-4 yr old range.   Please pray for wisdom for our family as we wait, and for our agency as they match us with a child.

A few people have asked what the process looks like for us over the next few months and so we wanted to take a minute and explain what might happen with our family.  Currently we are fundraising so that we will be able to submit our paperwork to Ethiopia and accept our children’s referral.  We are hosting a silent auction on Saturday June 19th.  More info to come on this, it should be a wonderful night!   We are also planning Fun-runs and walk-a-thons throughout the summer.  Please leave a comment if you’re interested in hosting one in your area.

So here’s the potential time line:

  1. Complete dossier paperwork and bring to Richmond for state certification – Goal this week!
  2. Turn in dossier along with payment to AWAA – Goal next week (needed $7500)
  3. Dossier will be reviewed and taken to the State Department and Ethiopian Embassy for authentication.  Then it will be sent to Ethiopia for translation – 1st or 2nd week of June
  4. We’re praying our immigration paper arrives by the end of June so that we can submit for a court date!  Please pray with us! (we will need $8850)
  5. If we are granted a court date in July we will fly to Ethiopia to attend the court hearing and meet our children (airfare & travel = $5,000)
  6. There is a chance we will not receive a court date in July and be caught in the Ethiopian court closures (kind of like the senate recess) for 8 weeks in August and September.  We would then make the first trip to Ethiopia in October to meet our children and attend court.
  7. IF we attend court in July we will stay one week and then return to the USA and wait for the embassy investigation and processing of our children’s paperwork.  We should be able to return 6-10 weeks later (Sept or Oct) to bring them home!  IF we don’t travel for court until October we would then stay the one week, return to the USA and go back to Ethiopia most likely in December to bring our children home.  This second trip is more expensive because we will be paying for our children’s visas and flights back to the US. (needed approximately $7,000)

Please continue to keep our family in your prayers.  We are so excited to introduce our new children to our friends and family.  What a gift you are to all of us!  We will be able to post pictures once we have officially passed court in Ethiopia.

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For a Good ol’ Laugh. . .

So the kids and I were inspired by this blog and decided to put our $2.oo hula hoop into action.  Fun times were had by all. . . and continue on a daily basis.  Can I count this as a homeschooling activity???  Phys Ed – right? =)

So here’s the kiddos giving it a whirl on Monday

Here’s Joshua showing us all up that evening

And here’s where you better take a break and use the bathroom so you don’t have any accidents while watching my hilarious attempt which is ANYTHING BUT GRACEFUL.

And finally here’s the kids doing their spinning trick

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Green Thumbs

Well, Joshua and I both grew up in families that had large backyard gardens and we were both responsible for weeding and harvesting. . . However, I’m finding that just “being in a family” that had a garden, doesn’t make you an expert gardener! =)  There is so much to learn and know.  The community we live in has an area fenced off where families can rent raised bed garden plots, so this spring we’ve taken the dive and invested the $20 (rents it for the entire year!) for a 4×12 foot plot.  Since we’re a little behind the game and I didn’t get any plants started earlier in the spring we visited the local farmers market this morning for a bunch of seedlings.  The kids and I will head over to the garden this afternoon and plant them in.  But for now, here’s the photos of us digging up the rye that was planted in the bed and turning over the soil.  I’ve also added in picture of the flowers we planted in front of our house.  I think Grampy Blackstone will like the dahlias I’ve got in there, and Grandma Silvieus, its nothing compared to your master garden, but I think you’ll appreciate the colors!  Enjoy. . . more to come once we’ve planted our seedlings!

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And Here’s the finished product!  There are 4 types of tomatoes, jalapenos, banana peppers, green and red bell peppers, onions, beets, lettuce, swiss chard, zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, and a watermelon.

And the kids herbs we planted in pots.

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