Category Archives: Adoption

7 Years Ago Today

Our lives forever changed…

It got even better.

7 Years Ago Today

This picture brings up SO many emotions.  I cannot even explain the sheer joy that we witnessed when we saw his little face.  These are faces that have lived and breathed a miracle of God.

I dreamed of adopting from Ethiopia when I was a child.  My dreams where shattered when Big Daddy said his heart was not for adopting…anywhere.  Then, my dreams became a reality again.  After many years of marriage, 3 biological children and 2 adopted children (from the foster care system), we made a decision.  He was onboard with adopting an older boy from the country that had my heart.

We did it all and then some.  Dossier finished, the home study was done, approval, travel, met our son, adopted him in the country and then…my dreams were shattered.  A few days after we arrived home from adopting our son, in the country, we were denied by our country.

Heartbroken and depressed…the next several months escaped my memory.  I was going through the motions of life, without life in my heart.  God moved mountains over the next year or so.  He didn’t just move them, He moved them from the Pacific coast and crushed them in the Atlantic Ocean.

God.  Is.  Bigger.

Yippee: April 12, 2010

Yippee:  April 12, 2010


Yippee: April 12, 2010.  My dossier was lovingly handed to my sister, who hand delivered it to our agency! Dossier is DONE DONE DONE!

We applied for our passports and apparently, just in time to get the lower fee…it goes up on Friday!

We got *great* news on Saturday from my sis…my boys gonna have a close friend in the family 🙂 🙂 Yeehaw!

I may not be able to save the world, but I can certainly change the lives of one God blesses me with.

If you have * any* questions on adoption (international, domestic or foster care) PLEASE email me and ask me anything. If I can’t help, sis can and if she can’t help, we’ll find someone who can. Adoption isn’t for everyone, I realize that, but you can still sponsor a child to give them a better life. Please prayerfully consider how you might help one of God’s children.

Related Posts:

My Boy is a Star

God’s Sense of Humor: April 7, 2010

God's Sense of Humor:  April 7, 2010
God’s Sense of Humor: April 7, 2010.  I’ve trying to send off this blasted dossier for a week or so and every time I think I’m ready to mail it off, something happens…vomit, mistakes in emails, someone not answering their phones (health insurance people), being on the phone for hours waiting for a live person (IRS)…today, it is extra paperwork.


I think I have all that I need, just need B to sign the papers and have them notarized (again), make copies, drop off my passport information, not cry and remember that this too shall pass.

Maybe I’ll laugh, someday about this, just not today or tomorrow.

With God’s sense of humor, He continues to look down at me and snicker.  All the “little” things that have come up, are just that…little. He has graciously taken care of everything again.  He may be laughing, but I am certainly not.  My goal is obedience and learning to trust.  I do this in the face of all the “little” things.

Looking Back

Rereading about God’s sense of humor still does not resonate as funny to me.  Gracious, what a hard season of life this was.  I’m so thankful that it is over.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
Additional Posts:

Crack Me Up

Trying Hard: April 6, 2010

Trying Hard: April 6, 2010

Trying Hard: April 6, 2010.  I got word that there would be some additional paperwork that needs to be notarized (blech) and sent with my dossier. It isn’t atrocious paperwork like I’ve been doing.  Still, I’m ready for this thing to be out of my hands.  It needs to be in the hands of my agency and sent to Ethiopia BEFORE MAY 7th!

But God

Luckily (not luck, but Godly), I was able to put my hands right on the paperwork that I need and my sister is sending me the stuff that I don’t have so I can print it off and do all this rigor tomorrow (bank, notary, church, post office). It’s all okay because as I’m sweating in inappropriate places, thumbing through more documents, double checking everything….this song came to mind.

In His Time

In His Time was playing through my mind. I sang that song, in my hometown church when I was a child and here it is 20 years later, popping back up. How blessed am I to be a child of God and to know that all of these “delays” are part of His plan.

He loves me, He loves my son, but for some reason or the other, He has been putting up roadblocks in sending off my dossier. That is okay (remember to breathe)…He has His reasons and they are for good and not to harm. Praise be to Him

Remember when you are trying to do something and wanting to do it now-now-now, it is ALL in His time. Off to blow my nose and wipe my sweat…again. Love spring 🙂

In His Time

“He hath made everything beautiful in his time:” Ecclesiastes 3:11

In His time, in His time,
He makes all thing beautiful in His time.
Lord, my life to You I bring,
May each song I have to sing,
Be to You a lovely thing, in Your time.

In Your time, in Your time,
You make all thing beautiful in Your time.
Lord, my life to You I bring,
May each song I have to sing,
Be to You a lovely thing, in Your time.


When Your Sister Says Move: March 27, 2010

When Your Sister Says Move:  March 27, 2010

When Your Sister Says Move: March 27, 2010.  I scramble and hustle!
When T Calls
T called and told me that I need 2 pieces of paper notarized and county seal. I had one done and the other, well, no clue as to what the paper was for. She, graciously enough, emailed me an already filled in copy.  Also, she told me to GET IT DONE AND GET IT MAILED TO HER! If I mail it to her, then she will go to Frankfort to have it state seal.
You have to have it notarized to verify who you are, you have to have its county sealed to confirm that the notary, is in fact, a notary and then you have to have it state sealed to prove that the county is the county in which the notary is actually a notary.
Mental To-Do List
Okay, so both papers notarized and I’m hustling to get to the courthouse to get it county sealed. Now, I’m wearing the pants and shirt that I had been painting in.  I had no makeup on, my hair all over the place, and my heel-less slippers. I’m rushing down the road.  The thoughts in my head are “I have to hurry, get this to the courthouse, get to the post office, pick up my passport applications while I’m there, get home, finish cleaning the house, make sure the kids are bathed.” I was in the process of remodeling my laundry…all the day before the social worker was to come and visit for our second part of the home study.
Slippers Versus Cow
As I’m driving down the road, I happen to glance at this farm and notice that two calves had broken through a fence. I, being the great Christian person I am, though I had too much to do in too little time, so I drove on by. Well, conviction ensued, and I turned around, drove up the long driveway and saw this sweet man, in his 70s working. I told him that his calves were out and that I’d be happy to fix his fence and get them back in their proper field.
Here I go, praying this doesn’t take long….walking through the pasture (in my isotoner heel-less slippers). I realized that I couldn’t get what I needed done from the angle I was going at it, so I walk down the road a bit and go into the neighbor’s yard…slushing through the mud and the muck. The calves were frightened, and they were running in a direction I didn’t want them to go in…towards the road.
I finally got them going in the other direction and instead of going back through the hole they already created…they created 2 more holes. Stupid, stupid cows! At any rate, as I’m fixing the fence, I looked down, and there was cow manure all over my shoes…not just a bit, a bunch. I scraped off what I could, fixed the fence, blessed the sweet man and off I went to the courthouse.
I got to the place I *thought* I was supposed to go and bless their hearts…they were CLUELESS! So, off to place 2 and there was a line, all the way out the hall. I finally get in the position to ask if I’m in the right spot and guess what? This was not where I was supposed to be. I had to move down into the vault. Off I go, to the basement and they do what I need for them to do! Praise God. Thankfully, no one mentioned my perfume of cow manure.
I rush off to the post office and mailed my letter.  Next, I got my applications.  Then, I headed home to finish my many things left to do before the social worker shows up.

Reflection: March 18, 2010

Reflection:  March 18, 2010


Reflection: March 18, 2010.  As I sit here, in my living room, looking out my window at this amazing day that the Lord has made…..I am thinking “what is my baby doing today?” Is he healthy, is he hungry, is he playing…who is loving on him at this moment? Does he know that his forever family is constantly thinking of him and praying for him?

I hear my children laughing and I know that there is a little voice that is missing and I can’t seem to get it out of my mind. Soon…soon…I will be seeing my beautiful rainbow family running through the yard playing with friends or other families. Making my life even more chaotic than it already is and loving every moment.

Will my quiver be full, in my finite mind after this little one joins our family? Who knows. I’m ready, I’m willing and my arms will always be open to whomever God decides to place with us. As tired as I get and as frustrated as I get…this is my mission field.

This is my joy and going/doing/mending/cooking/cleaning/errands. I love it. Some women are called to be great corporate giants. I’m a giant, alright…when I snap, they move 🙂 This is my purpose. Being a wife and a mother to many. This is what my God has called me to do. Praise be to him.

Remembering: October 2010-December 2011

The WaitingChild'sLullabye (2).png

Remembering: October 2010-December 2011.  What a beautiful and horribly difficult this season of my life was…and not just for me.  This was difficult on my husband and my children, as well.  Our journey to bringing home Jude was one of the most sanctifying events of my life, personally.
6 Years Home
This year, 2018, marks 6 years our son has been with us.  This means he has been with us one year longer than he was with his “brown mommy.”  My heart almost bursts with this knowledge.
I know this time grieves sweet Tadelech, but it brings us such joy.  My joy was caused by another mama’s pain.  It really is a double-edged sword.  I’m so thankful to her for giving him life and for loving him well.  I am so grateful that she chose to give him life a second time by sacrificing her desires to raise him to allow us to raise him.
Small Series
For the next several posts, I will be posting short snippets of our adoption story.  These are from an old blog that I had, and I want to keep the memories fresh and alive.  There are still things I cannot see/watch because it brings up so many emotions for me.
I will not share the story of my Jude, as to why he came to us, but the journey it took us to get him.  We went to Ethiopia in October 2011.  There, we officially adopted him and was granted our adoption, through this beautiful country.  We came home, and we were scheduled to go and pick him up in December 2011.
The day after we got home, we received a letter from the US Embassy.  It was a letter informing us that we COULD NOT bring him home.  It was a confusing and hard time.  I’m not here to place blame on anyone.  We have forgiven those that caused this trauma, and that will not be spoken of.  I have no desire to drag anyone’s business/name through the mud.
But God
I will tell you that it took the army of Jesus Himself to guide us throughout this process.  We chose not to take NO for an answer, and we fought hard.  Clearly, after being told that it was IMPOSSIBLE to win this fight…we WON!  God won!  He receives ALL honor and glory.  His Name is magnified, not ours.
We are so thankful for the people who came alongside us and prayed on our behalf because we were not strong enough.  Matt Keller.  I will never forget you telling me, in church, that Jude WAS coming home.  Jesus spoke through you.  FMBC Women’s Ministry, Emily Miller for organizing and doing EVERYTHING for a yard sale that yielded us $3000 in 1.5 days.  Our international adoption attorney, our new (at the time) home study agency, my mom, my family, just so many people.
Enjoy this series…it is going to be healing, after all these years to look back on God’s glory instead of the pain.

The Waiting Child’s Lullabye

The Waiting Child's Lullabye

The Waiting Child’s Lullabye is one of those poems that gets me right in the feels.

The Waiting Child’s Lullabye


I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that’s how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are… what’s taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin…
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I’m doing all that I can do.

Very soon, you’ll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.

— © Pamela Durkota, written for Josh

Related Posts:

The Prophecy and the Call

Making Peace With the Past

Making Peace With the Past

Man…those are heavy words.  Making peace with the past.  Heavy.  I have a weight that sits on my chest that I have never fully released or forgiven, for that matter.  It is something I NEVER talk about but I choose to hold this subject so close to my heart.  Infant loss through some unethical choices of others is so very hard.


Loss of my children.

The pain of having children *ripped* out of your arms.

Pain of dealing with the choices of another.

Two Babies.

The heartache is unspeakable.  I can close my eyes and still feel my children being ripped from my arms.  I can hear them screaming for me.  The animalistic sounds that were being made, were being made by me.  It was almost like an out of body experience.

Then, a year later almost to the date, I see them again.  I stand there, with this lump in my throat.  The realization of the age that my children were taken.  They were 2 and 1.  They were only with me for a short time, they would *never* remember me.

I tentatively walk to where they are and I just stand there, staring.  I don’t want to speak because I have 2 fears.  One that they will not remember me.  The other is that they will remember me and wonder where I have been.

As I squatted down, I said “babies.”  They looked up and they saw me…they ran to me saying “mama” and hugged me.  My heart lept and sank at the same time.  That same evil woman, who took them the first time was there, and her evil continued.  She took them out of my arms again.

I could not bear it, so I left the facility where we were at.  The next year, I did not even go because I knew they would be there.  Bart went, they didn’t know him, he got pictures.  The last images I have of my children.

Etched in my brain.


I do not know where they are.  I do not know if they are safe.  They are 12 and 14 now, I always remember.

Walker + One

Then, there was a time that I met a lovely young woman.  This young woman was pregnant.  She chose our family to adopt this little boy.  He was due in December of 2012.  We named him Walker.  Unfortunately, due to circumstances, this young lady made another choice, at an advanced stage of pregnancy.

I can close my eyes and see this little blonde-haired, blue-eyed little boy.  He was due at around the same time that we were picking up Jude.  She knew that we knew that and it was all good.  We were going to have 2 new boys…one 6 and one newborn enter our lives.

We only brought home one of those boys.  The other sits on the lap of Jesus, with another child that we loved and planned for but again, due to choices…

And the Last Boy

Then one more little one that we wanted to love and care for, so deeply.  We wanted to give him a future, safety, security, and love.  The system chose to return him to an unsafe environment and now we don’t know anything.  Again, our hearts broke.


I have got to let this go.  Forgiveness is not about giving permission for these people to hurt our family.  It is to rid myself of the venom that the devil is happy to let stew on my stomach for 12 years.

I don’t have to tell these people I forgive them.  By forgiving them, I do not have to forget my children.  I can still love them, cherish them, and miss them.  Pray without ceasing.  Lord, help me forgive the people in these situations.  Help me to hold onto my memories, my dreams, and my ideas of what could have been. Lord, help me to pray for, bless, and love the people that have hurt us.  Most of all, Lord, help me to forgive because I must give thanks in ALL circumstances according to Your Word.


Release the memories, the pain, the negativity, and the unforgiveness.

God loves all these children more then I can comprehend.

Unforgiveness…not today, Satan.  Not today.

Today, I CHOOSE to forgive.

Related Posts:  Making Peace With the Past

Foster Care System: From a Teen’s Perspective

A Glimpse into the Power of Forgiveness

A Moment I Won’t Soon Forget

Happy 12th Birthday Jude

Happy 12th Birthday Jude

Happy 12th Birthday Jude

12 Fun Facts

  • First name:  Israel.  (Named by Noah)
  • Middle name:  Jude  Second middle name:  Abinet.  (Named by his birth mom)
  • Brothers:  Tibebu, Ephraim, Noah, Daniel, and Hunter
  • Sisters:  Victoria,  Alyssa, Grayce, Tinsae, Tamenech, and Birtukan
  • He will be home 6 yrs in December
  • Sports (and cards) #beast
  • Loves to watch me cook
  • Smile:  Lights up a room
  • Preciousness:  Unmatchable
  • Single-Sided Deaf
  • BAHA surgery
  • Smart and Talented

This child was prayed over by more people then I can even imagine.  His adoption story is one of sanctification.  It humbles me to even think back on our journey.  We are blessed.

Happy Birthday, my sweet boy.

I love your face off.

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