Glory Be! She's FREE! We have a new Daughter!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

From the Heart of a New Big Sister

Abby has decided that she wants to record her feelings during this amazing experience. I gave her a brand new notebook and away she went to her desk to start writing. Abby has always been an expressive, creative child. She is growing into a mature, beautiful young woman. She brought her journal back to me after an hour and asked if I would like to read what she had written. I was totally unprepared and in awe by my firstborn! Looking at this journey through her eyes is AMAZING! I sat and wept, knowing that Abby and I had entered into a different level of our relationship--pretty cool! I asked her if I could share her entry on our site and she agreed. It is pretty lengthy, but very moving. I am her greatest fan!


Journal Entry from Abby - Part I

Our adoption journey started on February 14, 2008-Valentine's Day. Mom and dad had decided that God had put something in their hearts telling them to adopt. The question of should we adopt had come up before, but this year it had come up more than ever. Mom and dad had chosen to go ahead and send in an application to AWAA and then eventually tell my brother and I. Me, the only daughter, had always said no to adoption, but I could never tell why. Maybe it was because I didn't want my dad to have another little girl, or my mom to have another daughter she could tell girl things to. On Valentine's Day, God had sent me a message, the message of adoption. I had been invited to the Steven Curtis Chapman concert by my best friend, Anna, and of course said yes. Then on the eve of the concert, Anna's parents invited my parents and brother to come to the concert too. We were all headed off for a great evening. Reaching our seats, my friend and I placed our handmade posters on the floor and eagerly waited. I leaned over and asked Anna, "What's the theme behind this concert?" "Adoption," she said. I thought to myself, did my friend just say adoption, the topic my family has been struggling with for several weeks? I didn't think about it anymore and just put the whole idea away. The concert began and the music and messages that Steven Curtis Chapman delivered were outstanding. Then came one song titled, "Children of God." Mr. Chapman introduced this song by saying that we are all children of God, no matter what color skin or hair we have. God adopted us, didn't he? This idea struck me. Why in the past had I always given the stubborn answer no. I sat thinking about how amazing it would to adopt a child, to save them from living in a orphanage their entire life, and to teach them The Word of God. God was speaking to me loud and clear, but this time I was listening. Adoption was a miracle! As Mr. Chapman called Anna and I up to the stage to join him in "Children of God," I was still in awe of how God was revealing that adoption was the right thing for our family. "Adopt," He whispered, "Adopt!"

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Agency Approval Call

Tulio and I submitted our application to AWAA on Feb. 14, 2008 to begin the process of adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. We were told there would be a 10-day wait for the application to be approved. I received a phone call at 12:30 pm today congratulating our family on being approved. I could not wait to pick up the kids from school and tell them! They were so excited! Tulio is out of town so I had to wait awhile to call and tell him. He is equally thrilled. This journey is just beginning. We can't wait to see all God has in store for us!

A very excited big brother and sister!

My Grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

What we know about Ethiopia

*  Ethiopia is about twice the size of Texas, has an estimated 4.3 million orphans.
*  47% of children under 5 yrs. old are moderately to severely underweight.
*  HIV/AIDS killed 120,000 people in Ethiopia in 2003.
*  41% of Africans live on less then $1 a day.
*  Today in Africa there are 12 million AIDS orphans and that number is expected to climb to 18 million by 2010.
*  49.2 years is the average life span of an Ethiopian.
*  20% of deaths in children under 5 are due to diarrhea (mostly due to unclean water - only 22% of the population has access to clean water sources.)
*  ONE MILLION children are killed by malaria every year, which can be prevented by a $6 mosquito net.