Our Story

Our Story
We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands.
~ Kristi Larson ~

Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone, But still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, You didn't grow under my heart - but in it!
~ Fleur Conkling Heylinger ~
Adoption is not the call to have the perfect, rosy family. It is the CALL to Give LOVE, MERCY, and PATIENCE.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Our Family

We were at a Christian concert earlier this week with our junior highers.  Nothin' like making a mama feel old then putting her in an auditorium with music that is blaring words that she cannot understand.  After three artists in a row that I couldn't understand I texted my husband to tell him how old I felt.  Yes - I texted him sitting two seats down from me because it was too loud to talk to the man I love who was sitting with his ear plugs in to help muffle the noise.  Point taken - we are not the concert goers that we used to be!  Thankfully Newsong came on next and the night carried on with artists that I could relate to and worship with.  The highlight of the night, as always, was raising my voice alongside my teens and thousands of other people in glory to God.  As always they have a pastor speak and share the good news of the gospel.  They pass the buckets for a love offering and they have tables and tables of pictures of little children who need sponsored all over the world.  At intermission, close to the end of the night, my husband turned to me and said how coming to these events always makes him want to take another little one home with us.  He quickly clarified - - I don't mean like home-home with us...I mean like sponsor one...not like adopting again...I just mean the flyers.  Haha!!!  Who has to clarify something like that???  I love that we do!
(We did get to bring home a sweet one with us this week - a new sponsorship for a little boy in India)

I love that we were obedient to God's call when He asked us to adopt.  I love how God orchestrated each and every child that has come into our home.  I love that Josh and I can have conversations that lead to life changing decisions through God's direction and guidance.

The blog has been pretty quiet over the last year and there are a lot of reasons why - - seven main reasons (as you can imagine life with seven kids keeps this mama pretty busy!).  I hope to be on more often and keep everyone up to date with how things are going and what God is laying on my heart to share.  The more dynamic our family gets I am acutely aware that there are lots of layers to our family.  There are many stories to share and be inspired by - but also many stories that aren't mine to share.  There are pasts that are precious and messy - - There are presents that are full of struggles and progress - - There are futures that are unknown and scary and hopeful.  I am learning to see where the fine line is - between my story and theirs - - Between giving God the glory in what He is doing and giving my children a voice in their own story.  For now - I want to update and introduce you to the newest Krohn members.

Over five years ago a conversation started that has taken our family on this journey that has almost doubled our family.  Across oceans and state lines.  Through blood and sweat and tears and a WHOLE lot of paperwork.  There have been times of turmoil and times of elation.  This last year has been an abundance of all of the above.  This coming week will be one year from when we had our conference call with the case workers to interview us and see if we would be a good fit.  The call went well and we felt SURE that our hearts would be heart broken if we weren't chosen.  God placed them on our hearts when we first saw their pictures and we told the committee just that when they asked us "Why these kids when you already have five at home?"  You see - it has never been about how many kids we do or do not have.  It was never about wanting a fuller table or more mouths to feed.  It has always been about being obedient to what God was asking us to do.  It has always been about us being blessed by the kids that God has put in our family.  It has always been about having enough room - - in our home and our hearts!

We started this adoption conversation almost two years ago.  We prayerfully moved forward with a hope and a prayer.  The timeline from the start was not what we had hoped for.  It seemed like delay after delay and I was quickly reminded of the adoption reminders that God always gives me.  I am NOT in CONTROL (how could I have forgotten this lesson learned from our first adoptions).  We had to petition to be approved for more than one kid and we had to build another bedroom just to prove to them that we were all in.  God laid on our hearts the desire to keep siblings together and we knew in our hearts that He would see us through to just the right ones.  We sent out 90 inquiries over a six month time frame before we heard the words in mid-December that we were chosen for the kids who had already stolen our hearts.

We got to spend a few days with them in January and then they joined our home in March and legally became ours in September - rounding out our kid count to SEVEN!!!  It's been a great few months - full of highs and lows and unknowns and firsts!  We are so thankful to be where we are - surrounded by the kids we are!  God knew - - all along - with all of them - He's known!

Welcome to Our Family!!

RICHARD is seven and crazy and busy and tender-hearted and helpful and a boys boy!!

TIANA is five and sassy and smart and silly and loves to sing!

Family is about learning to love and be loved!  It's about being there for each other and mentoring and showing grace.  It's about looking outside yourself and having playmates!  Siblings are what makes a family a family!

Our Family - Better Together - For His glory!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Finding Wings

Have you ever watched a caterpillar crawl around oblivious to the world around it.  It spends it's days munching and crunching among the greenery that makes up its whole world.  Caterpillars wiggle through day in and day out growing and living life.  Then one day they get a sense of purpose that leads them to change - - to close up and wrap up and let God do His thing.

Do you ever feel like a caterpillar?  Do you ever find yourself all wrapped up waiting for God to work in your life - to change you and inspire you to come out anew?  Do you ever feel like the caterpillar that is waiting and waiting for the cocoon - wondering when God is going to change you and use you and transform you?

Coming through two international adoptions, one state-to-state foster adoption, and three full term pregnancies - - I have had my fair share of waiting and of feeling all wrapped up in a cocoon!  The anticipation of what it will look like on the other side - - the fear of the unknown - - the hunger for the change - - the sense to just trust and let it play out how it's meant to.  Looking back over my life I can see times of crawling through the leaves, and times of change and transformation that comes in the wait, and there have been times of emerging on the other side to find new gifts and wings that have taken me to new levels and adventures.

I recently read a blog post written by a fellow adoptive mom about the blessings of adoption and fostering.  It was on the cost of change that we choose to have in our lives - - emotional, financial, marital, etc.  She mentioned that we go into adoption and parenting wondering what it will cost us - - and let me tell you it DOES cost!  It costs blood, sweat, and tears - - oh so many heart wrenching tears!  The adoptive mama of the blog post was bold enough to ponder - what if the reasoning behind our parenting is not for us to bless them....but what if it is because of the blessings that they turn out to be in our lives!

As a mother of SEVEN - as a mother to belly babies and babies that don't share my DNA - as a mother to teenagers all the way down to my five year old - as a mother to my five boys and my two precious princesses - - as a mother....I will tell you that the blessings are MINE!  I feel like I was crawling around as a caterpillar - oblivious to the blessings that God had in store for me!  He wrapped me up in motherhood and asked me to trust Him and let Him guide my life and that He would bless me in return and give me wings - wings to fly - and wings to see the world anew - and wings to change lives - and wings to inspire....and you know what?  The wings that He gave me are my children - - each and every one of them!

I have pondered and reminisced a lot lately of the journey that God has brought me on as a mother!  My oldest belly baby turned thirteen this year, our Ethiopians have been home for almost four years, and we brought home our newest two three months ago!  Seven blessings that I don't deserve and that I didn't even know that I needed in my life - but I do!  I need each and every one of them and God knew we were meant for each other.  I am so thankful that I trusted God to walk this crazy journey that He has given me.

As I spend time with my kiddos and get to know them more and more I feel like they are on their own journey of finding their wings.  Some of them are just munching and crunching through life growing and roaming, oblivious to what is to come.  Some are wrapped up inside their cocoon changing and transforming into what God has planned.  Some of the older ones are starting to peak out of their chrysalis.  They are trying to find themselves and see where their wings will take them.  Each of them are growing and changing and blossoming into amazing little blessings!  I am so thankful that God put me in their lives for these moments - for the befores and the afters...for the bright times and the dark times...for the new times and the waiting.  I am thankful that I am getting a front row seat as I watch my blessings change and transform and grow into all that God has in store for them.

Whether you find yourself waiting-yearning for God to wrap you up and create a change in your heart...or maybe you are deep within the cocoon as God changes and prepares you for what is to come...or you are emerging into the light with a new vision and passion - - wherever God has you - - I will tell you the same thing that I desire for each of my children to understand as they are on their own journey to find their wings....God is with you through it all and He will see you through and it will be far more than you could ever hope or imagine!

So trust the process - - be changed and renewed and come out with wings to take on the world! 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Settling In!

We've been home with our precious new children for two weeks.  Anyone who is close to the adoption realm knows that the range of the honeymoon period varies greatly from child to child.  We had a wonderful few days visiting with the kids back in January - but definitely saw glimpses of behaviors that showed that the kids were processing all that was happening to their little lives.  When we arrived to pick up the kids and begin life as a family - - the kids started right in!  It was a hard first day or two as they were testing boundaries and learning if they could trust us with their emotions.  They were doing their best to cope with all the goodbyes that they had to give and the preparation for all the hellos to new family that would be coming in the days to come.  They did great on the drive home and were anxious to meet all their new siblings.  We were blessed to be able to bring them home during Spring Break week so the kids were all home and able to spend some precious time getting to know each other.  There were healthy emotions from all of the children as they got used to the idea of each other.

The first week was full of lots of fun and relaxation as we provided unstructured time to just be together.  They did well processing through a high stimulating holiday right off the bat - - anyone who has been there done that knows how huge of a success that is!  They did well out and about for short amounts of time and have even done okay with others in our home for limited amounts of time.  Our transition time and cocooning has looked very different this time around.  Last time we adopted, the boys were in pure CULTURE shock!  Everything was brand new and overwhelming - from the smells they smelled to the food they ate to the language they heard and spoke.  This time there is new and change but the sense of feeling overwhelmed is much different and seems easier.  When there are frustrations or confusions or emotions - the kids have the language and the words to talk it through which makes life a whole lot easier as we help them process and heal.

This last week school started back up which meant early mornings and routines.  It meant added stress and anxiety from everyone.  Josh and I have been blessed with the opportunity to be home for a few weeks during this initial transition period and boy am I thankful.  It takes a lot of energy - physically and emotionally - to blend relationships and build trust.  There has been intentional time spent with each kid in the house at different stages throughout the day as they seek affirmation and assurance that they are loved and as they process through the change.

As we get to know what our new normal is and begin to settle in - it never ceases to amaze me that God orchestrates everything so perfectly.  I find myself looking around my living room when we are all crashed out, draped under blankets, cuddled up to each other - and my heart feels full!!  A smile comes to my face and my heart sighs deeply as I think about God bringing all of these precious children into my care in all of their own unique ways.  It brings joy as I look at all the shades of skin and the rainbow of hair colors - it makes me smile knowing that this is what God's love is and I get a glimpse of it every single day!

So - moving forward we are going to continue to love on the kids that God has given us!  We are going to continue to trust Him to help us build trust and love into our children's hearts and show them what FAMILY looks like.  We are thankful for the prayers and encouragement of those of you who have stood by our side and stepped in to be our village!  We are thankful for those that have brought meals or sent bags of clothes!  We are thankful for those that have asked our kids about their new siblings and gave them a little hug as they shared their hearts.  We are thankful for amazing coworkers/friends who have stepped in to make sure things ran smoothly while we are taking time to be home with our family.  Mostly we are thankful for the chance to be right here-right now as God works in and through our family!

Keep praying for us as we know everyone will continue to cope and process.  Keep praying for us as we continue to trust God with our hearts and our family - on the good days and the hard days that are sure to come.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Coming HOME!!!

It has been just over five months since we first saw their faces....and two and a half months since we found out they would be ours!  After many tears and prayers and filling out and redoing paperwork....we got word today that our paperwork is complete and we have approval to bring the newest Krohn kids HOME!!!

There have been highs and lows on this roller coaster called adoption - - and we don't even have them home yet.  There were times where things looked like they were just wrapping up - to turn around and seem like it was all falling apart.  Through it all, this last week I hit a place of peace and surrender.  I knew that my worry and attempts to control everything were doing no good.  I fully surrendered our process and our family and our future to God and knew that however He worked it out that I would trust Him and know it was best.  I have started each morning praying that I would be here and present and that I would be a blessing to the children that were placed in my path - - the children in my home and the children in my classroom.  The weeks prior to that I was stressed and didn't want to be at work - - it made me mad that I was teaching the plans that I had made for a sub to teach to my class while I was supposed to be on leave.  The delays made me stressed and worried that it would all fall apart - - and at times it seemed like it would. But this week God met me - - there in the cry of my heart to trust Him - He met me - - in the songs he would stick in my head in the mornings about peace and joy - He met me.  I've had more peace this week than I have had in months and I'm so thankful that He brought me to this place.  I know many of you were praying for us and I was definitely feeling it this week.

We are all excited to finally be bringing the kids home.  We both have work obligations that we need to see to next week, so we will be traveling to get the kids NEXT weekend.  It falls at the start of Spring Break for all the kids so it will be a nice time to all be together for the week before school picks back up.  Please know that with all of the excitement there will be a lot of transition happening and we envy your continued prayers.  Our children have been blessed to have some consistency in their life while in foster care which is such a blessing - - but will make the transition to our home difficult as they will be grieving the relationships that they will be losing by coming into our home.  We will still be keeping in touch with some of those people and know that they will always have a place in their lives - - but it will not be the same and will be a hard transition for our new young ones. 

We are once again meshing and melding into a new family dynamic.  There will be seven little ones in our home getting used to each other and we will be working to find our new normal.  Please be patient with us - - we may hole up for a while - - we may decline coming to events - - we may not want people over to the house.  When we do make appearances out in public - please respect our space and decisions with our kids.  Please don't hug on them or offer them things without asking. We are working at having them bond and attach to us and it gets confusing and has added stress when out in public.  Please don't tell them how lucky they are to have us or how blessed we must be - - they have lost a lot in their little lives to be in the situation that they are joining our family and it is not to be taken lightly.  Please honor and respect the time that we feel we need to give to our kids - - but please DON'T DISAPPEAR!!  Please still pray for us - please text or message words of encouragement - please check in and see how we are doing - please offer to help out with the other kids in the house.  We love you all and appreciate the support and encouragement that you guys have shown our family as God has grown our family into what it has now become.  We definitely could not have done it without all of your prayers and support.

As excited as we are that the paperwork is finally done and we are finally getting to bring these precious kiddos home - - the real adventure is just beginning.  The next weeks and months will be hard.  There will be tears and hard times...but there will be joy and laughter too!  Through it all we will continue to lean on God and trust His plan for our family.  We will continue to give God the glory because without Him we would be nothing.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Ups and Downs

Anyone that has been very close at all to an adoption knows that it can be stressful and can come with highs and lows.  This week has been an emotional roller coaster!  Part of it is my fault - - now that I've met my kids and held them in my arms I want to bring them home SO BADLY!!!  Part of my stress and feelings of being overwhelmed is because I am not content in the wait.

Anyone that knows me very well knows that I do not do well when I do not have control.  God knew this about me and that is why He has had me wade through adoption paperwork on more than one occasion -- numerous amounts of paperwork that you are relying on OTHER people to complete.  Not only to complete but to complete correctly - - and in a timely manner - - and as if people's lives depend on it...because they DO!!!  People's lives depend on each little signature and each little form filled out when you are working on an adoption - - and to be the one who's life is affected and have no control!!!  Now you see where my worry and stress comes in - - I recognize that this is something I struggle with and have learned to turn it over to God.  Oddly enough though - my turning it over to God looks an awful lot like a toddler pleading and begging for a cookie at bedtime.  It starts with pretty pleases and an innocent angelic face - - then it turns into angry stamping and saying "I want" - - then at the most dire of times (like today) it turns in to full on sobs and pleading with God for some sort of direction.

Many of you have been praying over the last couple days for our paperwork.  The last three days have been full of ups and downs in the process.  Just when I felt down and out - something would shift and make things seem back on track - only to have something else that happened that seemed to derail us.  I got a call yesterday afternoon that stirred up some issues.  24 hours later when I got a call this afternoon from our case worker we still didn't know much - but best case scenario we were set back a week or two having to re-do some paperwork....worse case scenario we were starting OVER from square one (like new fingerprinting, homestudy, the works - - which would have taken months)!

I finally broke down and let the tears fall - - and once they started there wasn't an end in site anytime soon.  Hubby was at work - - kids were doing chores and looking at me weird out of the corner of their eye wondering what in the world was wrong with me.  I had to drive to a neighboring town (to pick up a library book that was left at our tax appointment - oh joy!) and was thankful for the quiet drive to clear my head and just let the tears fall as I prayed to God and tried to make sense of the possibility of not bringing the kids home for months!!  I couldn't wrap my mind around it and my heart was discouraged - - I sang to the christian radio some and cried some and pleaded with God a LOT.

As I pulled into my driveway an email dinged through on my phone - - it was my case worker and she had finally heard back from the person we needed to hear from to know how we needed to proceed......in a brief couple sentence email (that she sent to me after hours when she was already home but knew that I needed to know) all was right in the world and my tears (that had been going now for over an hour) were now tears of relief!  They need to simply resubmit the correct form - I'm hoping it only delays us a week or two!  This morning - - this is the delay that I DID NOT want!!!  But after being faced with starting at square one and possibly months and months of more paperwork - - - I'll take resubmitting!!

I probably won't be able to truly let my breath out that I seem to constantly be holding until they are in my arms and I am bringing them home.  BUT - - your prayers have been working and I have felt them and feel so blessed to be surrounded by so many that care so much about our family.  Adoptions are always full of stress and anxiety and things that can be discouraging - - Satan HATES seeing kids come into loving God fearing homes.  He will do all he can to steal, kill, and destroy our joy and hope and love!

Continue to pray friends - - pray these kiddos home!!  And then pray for them IN our home because those first few months are HARD!!  I appreciate you all more than you know.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hugs and I Love You's

We got to spend last week getting to know our new kiddos!  It took a lot of man hours to prepare the crew here to be set up and taken care of for the week.  Thanks to grandmas and grandpas and family friends - the kids were all settled and scheduled for the week.  I got sub plans done - which is no easy feat - and were ready for a week away to spend time with my hubby and my new kids.  We had some flight delays but not too bad.  We got a good night sleep our first night in town and headed out to the kids' foster home the next morning to meet them.  We were anxious and nervous and weren't sure how it would go - - last time around when we met our new kids the first bonding was spent wading through language and cultural barriers.  There were lots of things to teach them and show them since everything was literally brand new.  This time felt different and we weren't real sure how they would respond to us.  They had only found out about us less than a week before so we weren't sure what they were expecting either.

We knocked on the door and were greeted by their foster mom - her and I have been emailing and calling for the last few weeks and we have already started a bond and friendship.  It was great to meet her and tell her thank you for loving on our kids for us.  As we walked into the house - R came running across the room and leaped into Josh's arms.  T hid behind the coffee table giggling a nervous giggle.  It took some coaxing but she finally came over and gave me a hug.  They showed us their rooms and the pictures we had sent (the kids had all written them notes to welcome them to the family).  There were a LOT of nervous giggles and activity.  After about ten minutes they were ready to head out.  We grabbed their bags and car-seats and we were off to bond and get to know each other - for the next four days.

I quickly realized that it had been a long time since we've had a toddler in the house - - I needed a MOM purse...to carry snacks and wipes and water bottles.  A quick stop at Target and we were all set.  T spent the first day just staring at us - nestling her head into us - and calling out "Mommy" or "Daddy" as she gave a hug.  She craved the chance to call us Mommy and Daddy and would say it over and over again.  R was definitely more reserved.  He had lots of questions and stories to tell and we were "Josh" and "Tausha" when he talked to us.  The first day went well and was full of nervous energy and building trust.  I got lots of hugs and even an "I love you" from each of the kids by mid-day - - that was definitely more than I expected.  They truly are ready to have a family and crave that place in someone's heart.  I spent the day hefting my mom purse on one shoulder and carrying "T" on my other hip (it's been a long time since I've carried a child around all the time...but when a cute little 4 year old that you are trying to bond and attach to says "Hold me mommy!" you hold her and cuddle her and whisper how much you love her in her ear - - no matter how much your arms and back start aching because you are out of shape and not used to it!).  Needless to say - we all went to bed exhausted (probably emotionally and physically).

Over the next couple of days we had meetings and outings.  We spent time learning about likes and dislikes.  We had a few sibling arguments and a couple of meltdowns - - we got yelled at and there were tears.  And honestly I'm thankful - - the meltdowns and the tears are healthy and show us that they trust us enough to be vulnerable and show some emotion.  It shows us that they feel like they can be real and test some boundaries and not just put up a front and pretend that everything is okay.  Because honestly - everything isn't okay.  Their ENTIRE world is changing and transitioning and is full of unknowns.

We had some meltdowns and tears on the home front too!  We phoned home a couple days in to have the kids "meet" on Facetime and check in with how everyone was doing.  By the end of the talk the three youngest were all in tears.  If you know us at all - we leave our kids often!  They are used to spending the weekend at grandmas - they never fall apart or miss us like this.  This trip was different though - it was full of emotion and change and unknowns.  Their ENTIRE world is changing too and they have to figure out where they fit in all of it.

By the end of our week - "T" was asking me over and over - - "I'm your baby girl?? - Yes, sweetie you are my baby girl...forever and ever. - And you're my mommy? - Yes, sweetie I'm your mommy...forever and ever!"

By the end of our week - we were no longer "Josh" and "Tausha" - R was naturally and out of habit calling us "Dad" and "Mom" - he was wearing Dad's hat all the time and even wanting to order the same food as Dad - he wants to be just like him and craves a Daddy hero to look up to.

By the end of the week I was catching a cold and we were over living out of a hotel.  It is exhausting eating out and entertaining kids at outings (movies, bowlings, museums) - we fit in 4 different meetings with social workers and even a meeting with the school.  We were sad to hug our kids goodbye but we were missing our kiddos here and the routine of everyday life in our home.  We helped them get ready for bed and tucked them in - we told them we loved them and that we would call soon and often until we can come get them.  Our time with them was precious and we are thankful for our few days.  We got to know their tender sides and the parts of their hearts that are wading through the grief and trauma that has been their life.  We got a glimpse of the months ahead - the good things and the hard things that we will be working through.

Our paperwork is submitted and our checklists are in the process of getting checked over - our case worker anticipated that we may have approval in approximately 4 weeks.  We are keeping our fingers crossed for mid-February but we'll see how everything goes.  In the mean time - we are going to keep in touch with the kids through phone calls and Facetime.  We are going to reassure them that we love them and that we are still here.  We are going to treasure our kids that our in our home and reassure them that we love them and help them wade through this transition.  I'm going to be busy getting my classroom ready to be gone for a few weeks when the kids come home.

Please pray for us - - please pray for our paperwork...for our kids here...for our kids there...for all the hearts involved that will be saying goodbyes and hellos...please pray for doctors and teachers and workers that are working to get the kids into a forever family...please pray that above all else we will continue to trust God to guide and direct and comfort our family through this process!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What's Next??

We have been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement from friends and family as they have joined us in celebrating our good news!  The kids got to share in the excitement as they went back to school this week - getting to tell their friends and teachers about our new additions.  Everyone seemingly has the same response - CONGRATULATIONS - NOW WHAT?!  What's next??  Well - we don't know a lot but I'll try and walk you through what we do know.

We DO know that we will be MEETING the kids in THIRTEEN days!!!!  Josh and I will be flying down and spending a few days loving on our new little ones.  The days will consist of some meetings - with therapists, case workers, school teachers, etc.  But that time is also going to be filled with TIME - time with our kids just soaking them in and beginning to form a bond with them.  We understand that this transition is going to be difficult for them, and we want to earn their trust at their pace and help and support them during this time best we can.

We DO know that our paperwork was submitted to their state office the week of Christmas.  It has to get through their office and then through the Idaho state office.  This paperwork will give us permission to bring the kids out of the state they are in, and allow them to be placed in Idaho.  We anticipated this stage taking a couple of months.  Well - we got an email last week that said it usually only takes about a MONTH!  We were surprised and felt like everything was going quickly!  We will continue to pray that everything goes through smoothly and that God's timing will be perfect!

We DO know that once we have our paperwork completed for our state approval, we cannot bring the kids home until our agency has ALL of the necessary documents they need.  Luckily, the kids' caseworkers have the list - several of the things are already in place, and they are working on gathering the rest of the items.  Our case worker said that there is often a piece or two of paperwork that isn't quite in place when state approval comes through, which ends up delaying bringing the kids home.  Please pray with us that ALL the documents that our agency requires will be gathered in the next couple weeks so that we can bring the kids home as soon as we get state approval.

We DO know that the kids DON'T know about us yet!  We found out we were their family two and a half weeks ago.  Unfortunately with the holidays the last couple of weeks, many of the offices have been closed and people were on vacation.  The kids were also out of town for a while celebrating Christmas with their foster family.  We are hopeful that they will find out in the next couple of days.  We know that they will need some time to find out about us (they will be using our photo book to get to know the kids and our family) and process the change that will be coming.  Please pray with us for their hearts as they find out that their whole world will be changing.  Please pray as the people in their lives will be working on preparing them to meet us in a couple of weeks.

We DO know a TON of information about the kids!  We have been blessed with some email communication with the foster family and they have been WONDERFUL about answering questions about the kids.  From everything to what size clothes are they in - to their favorite colors - to what kind of hair products do they use.  They have been great!  We even had a nice long phone call where little "T" walked in to ask her foster mom something and I got to hear her sweet voice.  I may be biased but she has the cutest little voice EVER!

We DON'T know for sure when we will get to bring the kids home.  We anticipate it being approx 4-6 weeks from now.  We also have dealt a LOT in adoption paperwork over the last several years and we know it often doesn't come early or on time - but usually LATER than anticipated!  We are hopeful to have the kids home around mid-February, but realize that it very well could be end of February or early March or mid-March.  Anyone who knows me as the planner-TypeA person that I am - you know that I don't do well with vague.  Unfortunately, when dealing with paperwork you deal in vague and you expect delays.  We know that it will happen in God's timing and pray for His guidance and peace until then.  We know that the transition will be hard for everyone involved so we are spending our time preparing for the difficult few months ahead.

We DO know that GOD loves us and orchestrated our family for this journey!  During the first adoption when people would ask me "Why Ethiopia?" my response was simple "Because that is where my kids are - if they were in a different country that's where we would go."  Ethiopia did not bring about what we expected - but it brought exactly what God expected and I am SO thankful for that!  This time we felt led to stay in the States and people once again asked why not Ethiopia or some other country.  In my heart it was an easy answer - this is where my kids are!  We have felt God already leading this matching to our kids and are excited to watch Him work it all out.

** Please continue to pray for our family - for our kids here and there who will be coming together soon!  Pray for our adopted children as all of this may bring up emotions of their own adoption.  Pray for our younger kids as they learn to not be the babies of the family anymore, and they have to learn to share the attention that comes with being the youngest.  Pray for us, as parents, that we would be mindful of all of our kids and their needs and have insight in how to spread our love and attention to each one of our kids exactly how they need it.  Pray for our family - that we would continue to trust God's plan and journey for our future.