Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Can't keep track now of what day it is!

We had an eventful day!  We got picked up at 8:30 to head to court.  It was an adventurous ride that wasn't agreeing with Brian's stomach! Poor guy, he felt so sick!  After driving through a lot of Addis, we picked up the man who was sort of representing us...in the court room with us.  We went to the court then and walked up a bunch of stairs which is way harder than you think at this high altitude :)  and waited in the courtroom area for about an hour.

Our orphanage was called, and we went in to where the judge was.  We were asked many questions like, "Do you have other kids?  Do they know you are adopting?  Are you around others who have adopted?  Have you received training?  Have you learned about Ethiopian culture?  Have you met your child? Do you realize that this is FINAL after everything is cleared?"  Yes, yes, yes, yes...!!!!!!

She then said that our daughter's case was complete and everything was FINALIZED!  AHHH...music to my ears!  Thank you, Jesus!  We were so thrilled!!!! It was really just the sweetest feeling to hear that. There could have been a number of things that could have led us to not passing, so I was SO VERY thankful to the Lord!!

From there, we went to a market to shop a little and then to an Italian restaurant.  It was good, but what we loved was the art that was there!  Local artists who sell in a "gallery" that is the restaurant.  There were some really cool things.

We came back to the hotel for 45 minutes or so and then got to go back to Hannah's Hope!  We had a lot of fun!  We played soccer, colored, played with her baby, sang songs, and played ball.  Precious time.  She cried when we took her from her room to play outside, but she was fine after a couple of minutes.  She even gave me a kiss goodbye!!!!  :)

Tonight we are getting a GOOD night's rest and waking up to pack and spend the day with our little girl before we head back home.  Our flight leaves at 11 pm or something like that, and then we will be back home Thursday afternoon.  Pray for our goodbyes if you think about it.  I am sure our little one will be JUST FINE...Mommy might not be! :)


I am so thankful to tell you that we passed court today!!!!!  Those were such sweet words to hear..."We have all of your paperwork, and your file is complete.  Everything is finalized."  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Yahoo!!!!  That means according to Ethiopia, our daughter is a Crenshaw!  Now we just have to go through the US Embassy, and we are hoping that we will be back in this amazing country in a month!  There is no guarantee for that...there could still be red tape in that process, but we are hoping!

Thank you for praying!  Just wanted to update before we head back to Hannah's Hope to see our daughter for a bit!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 3...

Here is a picture from last night's traditional Ethiopian dinner...

Instead of using utensils, they use a bread that you can unroll and tear off, and then you scoop up the food with it and eat it!

And here is the picture of a "coffee ceremony" that is common here.  They pop popcorn, roast the coffee beans right there with you, and then ground them and brew it.  They bring it out with incense burning.

Today we went to see our daughter first thing.  It was a great time!  She continues to warm up more and more to us.  Still clinging to her "special mommies" and all things familiar, of course!  Definitely to be expected.  Her favorite things today were listening to music, playing with her baby doll, playing ball, and "cleaning" my arm with a wipe!  She still loves peek-a-boo and gets really giggly! It is the most precious sound!  And her voice...LOVE her little voice!  It is so cute!

We also got to go to the orphanage where she was very briefly before Hannah's Hope.  We wanted to bring a gift to them, so we bought them a goat on the way there with another family that is here.  It was quite the experience!  Haggling the cost, picking the goat, and then bringing him to the orphanage.  It is quite the memory to have!  Here is a picture with one of our friends from Hannah's Hope who drives us everywhere...

Tomorrow is our court date!!!!  We leave first thing in the morning!  Please pray that we pass court!!!  We were told to expect that we won't, but there have been some other families passing, so maybe they are all caught up on paperwork!  We will see!  Praying for great news tomorrow!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Meeting Our Daughter

Oh my goodness...I don't have all the words (probably never will!) to describe today!  I REALLY wish that I could put her picture on here so you guys could see just how precious she is!  But...soon enough!  As soon as we get her on the second trip, we can!

So... We didn't know quite what to expect and really didn't want to have any expectations for how our little girl (sorry...can't post her name either) would respond to us when we saw her for the first time.  We just prayed.  Prayed for her little heart that is probably so confused.  Only God can give her a peace about what is happening in her life.  Only God can know what all is going on in her little mind.  Her eyes show a lot...she is so curious, and apprehensive, too.

She was very unsure of us at the beginning.  I praise God that she is VERY loved and attached to her special mommies...one in particular.  It was precious to see their bond.  I longed for her to trust us...to know that we will always love her.  But as a child of God, I respond the same way she did.  Trusting the things that I KNOW and that are tangible.  God is so trustworthy, but I had to learn that.  I had to learn that He really is who He says He is.  He really will do what He says He will do. And, I am still learning those things! So, today, I am drawn to the Lord more...to TRUST Him more.  As I try to put myself in my little girls shoes and imagine what it is like to go through the things that she has gone through and the loss that she has experienced, I long for her to rest in our arms...I long to be Christ to her.  I want her to know that our God is a Redeemer.  And, I am so glad that she didn't trust us right away...that she doesn't give it away freely.

This trip has also left me amazed at the beauty of God's creation.  Watching people in the airport  from so many different places, all looking so different...so beautiful!  God is so creative!

It has also left me amazed at God's presence in all of our lives.  We are all doing different things, going different places.  Some suffering, some worrying, some thankful, some angry, some unjust, some fighting on behalf of injustice, some sick, some healed, some joyful, and some with deep pain.  He is there.  Through it all.  He knows it all, and He is with us.  That has been amazing for me to ponder.

So we got to hang out with our little girl for a good while this morning, and towards the end, she interacted with us more and more. We got to go back in the afternoon, and God gave us some sweet moments of smiles and even laughter and fun times playing together.  We got to see her little personality some while we just watched her interact.  She is just so precious.  So helpful and loving to the other kiddos.

This evening we got to go to a traditional Ethiopian restaurant and it was so much fun!  Singing, dancing, and I even liked some of the food!  :)

Tomorrow we get to spend most of the day with our little girl!  I can't wait to get to know her some more!

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Hello from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia!!!!!  We are SO THANKFUL to be here and in our hotel room!!  God was so good to give us smooth flights...only one time we had an hour delay, but it all worked out GREAT!

Here we are about to head out of town!  The car all packed with 3 tubs of donations and a checked bag for us, too!  Thank you to all who donated to our transitional home!  They will be so blessed by everything!

Here are some other pictures from the airport and on the way! :)

Below is us going from NJ to Frankfurt, Germany.  It was so weird to be flying through time zones and totally missing a significant number of hours!  The darker part is where it was night, and then we were flying into the lighter part, which was daytime.

In Frankfurt, I needed some caffine! 

Last leg of the trip!!:

Getting so close....

And...we are HERE!  

We met up with a super sweet couple who are also adopting through our agency, so they got our picture when we got in!  

When we arrived in Addis, we were welcomed with a three hour wait to get our travel visa!  Shew!!  There is a HUGE conference in town that starts tomorrow, so it was a bit crazy at the airport!  But, we made it!  Our sweet driver said he waited 4 hours for us!  

I look exhausted in those pictures, and I am...so I am headed to get some rest before we meet our little one! :)  CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!