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.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

How to Help Once We're Home - THE VILLAGE

If you haven't heard of Jen Hatmaker you've got to check her out!  She is a hilarious author with a love for God and a passion for orphans.  A few months back I ran across a post she had written on her blog about how to help someone going through adoption!  I saved it in my favorites for when we got closer - - well, we are getting PRETTY close (3 1/2 days!!!!) so I thought I should post!

FYI - I was just going to post how to help beyond the airport but since we are still in the wait stage for "B" I just left both in!  Enjoy!

HOW TO BE THE VILLAGE - c/o Jen Hatmaker (Check out her blog here!)

Let’s break this down into two categories:

Supporting Families Before the Airport

Your friends are adopting. They’re in the middle of dossiers and home studies, and most of them are somewhere in the middle of Waiting Purgatory. Please let me explain something about WP: It sucks in every way. Oh sure, we try to make it sound better than it feels by using phrases like “We’re trusting in God’s plan” and “God is refining me” and “Sovereignty trumps my feelings” and crazy bidness like that. But we are crying and aching and getting angry and going bonkers when you’re not watching. It’s hard. It hurts. It feels like an eternity even though you can see that it is not. It is harder for us to see that, because many of us have pictures on our refrigerators of these beautiful darlings stuck in an orphanage somewhere while we’re bogged down in bureaucracy and delays. 

How can you help? By not saying or doing these things:

1. “God’s timing is perfect!” (Could also insert: “This is all God’s plan!” “God is in charge!”) As exactly true as this may be, when you say it to a waiting parent, we want to scratch your eyebrows off and make you eat them with a spoon. Any trite answer that minimizes the struggle is as welcomed as a sack of dirty diapers. You are voicing something we probably already believe while not acknowledging that we are hurting and that somewhere a child is going to bed without a mother again. Please never say this again. Thank you.

2. “Are you going to have your own kids?” (Also in this category: “You’ll probably get pregnant the minute your adoption clears!” “Since this is so hard, why don’t you just try to have your own kids?” “Well, at least you have your own kids.”) The subtle message here is: You can always have legitimate biological kids if this thing tanks. It places adoption in the Back-up Plan Category, where it does not belong for us. When we flew to Ethiopia with our first travel group from our agency, out of 8 couples, we were the only parents with biological kids. The other 7 couples chose adoption first. Several of them were on birth control. Adoption counts as real parenting, and if you believe stuff Jesus said, it might even be closer to the heart of God than regular old procreation. (Not to mention the couples that grieved through infertility already. So when you say, “Are you going to have your own kids?” to a woman who tried for eight years, then don’t be surprised if she pulls your beating heart out like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.)

3. For those of you in Christian community, it is extremely frustrating to hear: “Don’t give up on God!” or “Don’t lose faith!” It implies that we are one nanosecond away from tossing our entire belief system in the compost pile because we are acting sad or discouraged. It’s condescending and misses the crux of our emotions. I can assure you, at no point in our story did we think about kicking Jesus to the curb, but we still get to cry tears and feel our feelings, folks. Jesus did. And I’m pretty sure he went to heaven when he died. 

4. We’re happy to field your questions about becoming a transracial family or adopting a child of another race, but please don’t use this moment to trot out your bigotry. (Cluelessness is a different thing, and we try to shrug that off. Like when someone asked about our Ethiopian kids, “Will they be black?” Aw, sweet little dum-dum.) The most hurtful thing we heard during our wait was from a black pastor who said, “Whatever you do, don’t change their last name to Hatmaker, because they are NOT Hatmakers. They’ll never be Hatmakers. They are African.” What the??? I wonder if he’d launch the same grenade if we adopted white kids from Russia? If you’d like to know what we’re learning about raising children of another race or ask respectful, legitimate questions, by all means, do so. We care about this and take it seriously, and we realize we will traverse racial landmines with our family. You don’t need to point out that we are adopting black kids and we are, in fact, white. We’ve actually already thought of that.

5. Saying nothing is the opposite bad. I realize with blogs like this one, you can get skittish on how to talk to a crazed adopting Mama without getting under her paper-thin skin or inadvertently offending her. I get it. (We try hard not to act so hypersensitive. Just imagine that we are paper-pregnant with similar hormones surging through our bodies making us cry at Subaru commercials just like the 7-month preggo sitting next to us. And look at all this weight we’ve gained. See?) But acting like we’re not adopting or struggling or waiting or hoping or grieving is not helpful either. If I was pregnant with a baby in my belly, and no one ever asked how I was feeling or how much longer or is his nursery ready or can we plan a shower, I would have to audition new friend candidates immediately. 

Here’s what we would love to hear Before the Airport:

1. Just kind, normal words of encouragement. Not the kind that assume we are one breath away from atheism. Not the kind that attempt to minimize the difficulties and tidy it all up with catchphrases. We don’t actually need for you to fix our wait. We just want you to be our friend and acknowledge that the process is hard and you care about us while we’re hurting. That is GOLD. I was once having lunch with my friend Lynde when AWAA called with more bad news about Ben’s case, and I laid my head down on the table in the middle of Galaxy CafĂ© and bawled. Having no idea what to do with such a hot mess, she just cried with me. Thank you for being perfect that day, Lynde. 

2. Your questions are welcomed! We don’t mind telling you about the court system in Ethiopia or the in-country requirements in Nicaragua or the rules of the foster system. We’re glad to talk about adoption, and we’re thankful you care. I assure you we didn’t enter adoption lightly, so sharing details of this HUGE PIECE OF OUR LIVES is cathartic. Plus, we want you to know more because we’re all secretly hoping you’ll adopt later. (This is not true.) (Yes it is.)

3. When you say you’re praying for us and our waiting children, and you actually really are, not only does that soothe our troubled souls, but according to Scripture, it activates the heavens. So pray on, dear friends. Pray on. That is always the right thing to say. And please actually do it. We need people to stand in the gap for us when we are too tired and discouraged to keep praying the same words another day. 

4. If you can, please become telepathic to determine which days we want to talk about adoption and which days we’d rather you just show up on our doorstep with fresh figs from the Farmer’s Market (thanks, Katie) or kidnap us away in the middle of the day to go see Bridesmaids. Sometimes we need you to make us laugh and remember what it feels like to be carefree for a few hours. If you’re not sure which day we’re having, just pre-buy movie tickets and show up with the figs, and when we answer the door, hold them all up and ask, “Would you like to talk for an hour uninterrupted about waiting for a court date?” We’ll respond to whichever one fits. 

Supporting Families After the Airport

You went to the airport. The baby came down the escalator to cheers and balloons. The long adoption journey is over and your friends are home with their new baby / toddler / twins / siblings / teenager. Everyone is happy. Maybe Fox News even came out and filmed the big moment and “your friend” babbled like an idiot and didn’t say one constructive word about adoption and also she looked really sweaty during her interview. (Really? That happened to me too. Weird.) 

How can you help? By not saying or doing these things: 

1. I mean this nicely, but don’t come over for awhile. Most of us are going to hole up in our homes with our little tribe and attempt to create a stable routine without a lot of moving parts. This is not because we hate you; it’s because we are trying to establish the concept of “home” with our newbies, and lots of strangers coming and going makes them super nervous and unsure, especially strangers who are talking crazy language to them and trying to touch their hair. 

2. Please do not touch, hug, kiss, or use physical affection with our kids for a few months. We absolutely know your intentions are good, but attachment is super tricky with abandoned kids, and they have had many caregivers, so when multiple adults (including extended family) continue to touch and hold them in their new environment, they become confused about who to bond with. This actually delays healthy attachment egregiously. It also teaches them that any adult or stranger can touch them without their permission, and believe me, many adoptive families are working HARD to undo the damage already done by this position. Thank you so much for respecting these physical boundaries. 

3. For the next few months, do not assume the transition is easy. For 95% of us, it so is not. And this isn’t because our family is dysfunctional or our kids are lemons, but because this phase is so very hard on everyone. I can’t tell you how difficult it was to constantly hear: “You must be so happy!” and “Is life just so awesome now that they’re here??” and “Your family seems just perfect now!” I wanted that to be true so deeply, but I had no idea how to tell you that our home was actually a Trauma Center. (I did this in a passive aggressive way by writing this blog, which was more like “An Open Letter to Everyone Who Knows Us and Keeps Asking Us How Happy We Are.”) Starting with the right posture with your friends – this is hard right now – will totally help you become a safe friend to confide in / break down in front of / draw strength from. 

4. Do not act shocked if we tell you how hard the early stages are. Do not assume adoption was a mistake. Do not worry we have ruined our lives. Do not talk behind our backs about how terribly we’re doing and how you’re worried that we are suicidal. Do not ask thinly veiled questions implying that we are obviously doing something very, very wrong. Do not say things like, “I was so afraid it was going to be like this” or “Our other friends didn’t seem to have these issues at all.” Just let us struggle. Be our friends in the mess of it. We’ll get better. 

5. If we’ve adopted older kids, please do not ask them if they “love America so much” or are “so happy to live in Texas.” It’s this simple: adoption is born from horrible loss. In an ideal world, there would be no adoption, because our children would be with their birth families, the way God intended. I’ll not win any points here, but I bristle when people say, “Our adopted child was chosen for us by God before the beginning of time.” No he wasn’t. He was destined for his birth family. God did not create these kids to belong to us. He didn’t decide that they should be born into poverty or disease or abandonment or abuse and despair aaaaaaaall so they could finally make it into our homes, where God intended them to be. No. We are a very distant Plan B. Children are meant for their birth families, same as my biological kids were meant for mine. Adoption is one possible answer to a very real tragedy… after it has already happened, not before as the impetus for abandonment. There is genuine grief and sorrow when your biological family is disrupted by death and poverty, and our kids have endured all this and more. So when you ask my 8-year-old if he is thrilled to be in Texas, please understand that he is not. He misses his country, his language, his food, his family. Our kids came to us in the throes of grief, as well they should. Please don’t make them smile and lie to you about how happy they are to be here. 

6. Please do not disappear. If I thought the waiting stage was hard, it does not even hold the barest candle to what comes after the airport. Not. The. Barest. Candle. Never have I felt so isolated and petrified. Never have I been so overwhelmed and exhausted. We need you after the airport way more than we ever needed you before. I know you’re scared of us, what with our dirty hair and wild eyes and mystery children we’re keeping behind closed doors so they don’t freak out more than they already have, but please find ways to stick around. Call. Email. Check in. Post on our Facebook walls. Send us funny cards. Keep this behavior up for longer than six days. 

Here’s what we would love to hear or experience After the Airport:

1. Cook for your friends. Put together a meal calendar and recruit every person who even remotely cares about them. We didn’t cook dinners for one solid month, and folks, that may have single handedly saved my sanity. There simply are not words to describe how exhausting and overwhelming those first few weeks are, not to mention the lovely jetlag everyone came home with. And if your friends adopted domestically right up the street, this is all still true, minus the jetlag. 

2. If we have them, offer to take our biological kids for an adventure or sleepover. Please believe me: their lives just got WHACKED OUT, and they need a break, but their parents can’t give them one because they are 1.) cleaning up pee and poop all day, 2.) holding screaming children, 3.) spending all their time at doctors’ offices, and 4.) falling asleep in their clothes at 8:15pm. Plus, they are in lockdown mode with the recently adopted, trying to shield them from the trauma that is Walmart. 

3. Thank you for getting excited with us over our little victories. I realize it sounds like a very small deal when we tell you our kindergartener is now staying in the same room as the dog, but if you could’ve seen the epic level of freakoutedness this dog caused her for three weeks, you would understand that this is really something. When you encourage us over our incremental progress, it helps. You remind us that we ARE moving forward and these little moments are worth celebrating. If we come to you spazzing out, please remind us where we were a month ago. Force us to acknowledge their gains. Be a cheerleader for the healing process. 

4. Come over one night after our kids are asleep and sit with us on our porch. Let me tell you: we are all lonely in those early weeks. We are home, home, home, home, home. Good-bye, date nights. Good-bye, GNO’s. Good-bye, spontaneous anything. Good-bye, church. Good-bye, big public outings. Good-bye, community group. Good-bye, nightlife. So please bring some community to our doorstep. Bring friendship back into our lives. Bring adult conversation and laughter. And bring an expensive bottle of wine. 

5. If the shoe fits, tell adopting families how their story is affecting yours. If God has moved in you over the course of our adoption, whether before the airport or after, if you’ve made a change or a decision, if somewhere deep inside a fire was lit, tell us, because it is spiritual water on dry souls. There is nothing more encouraging than finding out God is using our families for greater kingdom work, beautiful things we would never know or see. We gather the holy moments in our hands every day, praying for eyes to see God’s presence, his purposes realized in our story. When you put more holy moments in our hands to meditate on, we are drawn deeper into the Jesus who led us here. 

Here’s one last thing: As you watch us struggle and celebrate and cry and flail, we also want you to know that adoption is beautiful, and a thousand times we’ve looked at each other and said, “What if we would’ve said no?” God invited us into something monumental and lovely, and we would’ve missed endless moments of glory had we walked away. We need you during these difficult months of waiting and transitioning, but we also hope you see that we serve a faithful God who heals and actually sets the lonely in families, just like He said He would. And even through the tears and tantrums (ours), we look at our children and marvel that God counted us worthy to raise them. We are humbled. We’ve been gifted with a very holy task, and when you help us rise to the occasion, you have an inheritance in their story; your name will be counted in their legacy. 

Because that day you brought us pulled pork tacos was the exact day I needed to skip dinner prep and hold my son on the couch for an hour, talking about Africa and beginning to bind up his emotional wounds. When you kidnapped me for two hours and took me to breakfast, I was at the very, very, absolute end that morning, but I came home renewed, able to greet my children after school with fresh love and patience. When you loved on my big kids and offered them sanctuary for a night, you kept the family rhythm in sync at the end of a hard week. 

Thank you for being the village. You are so important. 

Thank you all for your love and support along the way to bringing Nahome into our family!  Please don't leave us now - this is when we need your prayers, love, encouragement, and support the most!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

BOYS - Here We COME!!!

I awoke in the middle of the night checking my email - this has been the recent trend as we await news from the US embassy in Ethiopia!  They open around 11pm our time and work until about 8am our time.  So, literally we could receive an email from them at ALL hours of the night.  An email came in a little after 1am that said they were requesting a birth mom interview for Nahome's case (We were anticipating this).  I tried to go back to sleep hopeful that our adoption agency would get back to them quickly with a date that worked and we would FINALLY know when we will be able to go pick up our son(MOST families are cleared to travel and bring their children home the SAME day as the birth relative interviews).  I finally was able to fall back to sleep for a few hours.  When I awoke a little after 7 I saw I had a couple emails - one of which assigned us a Birth Relative Interview for AUGUST 1st!!!!  That is like NEXT week!!!

Our agency gave us the typical nothing is guaranteed spiel and that they officially recommend that we wait to travel until AFTER the birth relative interview....BUT....we are SO ready to see our boys so we are leaving on MONDAY!!!!  We will get into ET on Tuesday night, get to meet up with Nahome's mom and visit his orphanage on Wednesday, and then reunite with Nahome and B!!!  We will be in Ethiopia for 9 days and are hoping and praying everything falls into place - knowing and trusting that God is going before us paving the way for our family to be complete.

We are still waiting to hear when our court date might be for "B".  We are hoping and praying it will be scheduled for the time we are in ET.  If it is not, our agency is hopeful that the courts will allow us to at least appear before the courts and give our consent (this is a very good thing and will save us a trip to ET).

Please continue to pray for our family as we prepare to venture into new transitions and new family dynamics.  

Please pray for Nahome's mom as she has to travel, yet again, and give her consent, yet again, for Nahome's case.  

Please pray that our paperwork would arrive from USCIS by FRIDAY so we can send it off before we head out of the country! 

Please pray for our kiddos here at home while we are gone for a couple weeks visiting their brothers - that they would be safe and healthy and that Grandmas and Grandpas would stay sane!

That we are so close to bringing one son home

That we are blessed with 5 AMAZING kids

That God continues to provide in all aspects of our lives - emotionally, spiritually, financially, physically


Monday, July 23, 2012

The Wait Continues...

I LOVE summer time.  The fun outdoor activities, staying home with the kids, swimming, camping.  As the summer continues on at its usual pace, my heart is sad each time we experience another summer activity without Nahome here.  As I walk through life the last few weeks I feel like I am daily saying "Nahome would LOVE this if he were here."  Camping, Swimming, fishing in the boat with grandpa, going on the four wheeler, watching fireworks, going to a drive-in, roasting a marshmallow....this mama heart is aching for her boy today!

I know, however, that GOD's timing is PERFECT!  We are still waiting to hear about a court date for "B's" case and are prayerfully hopeful that it will be around the same time we travel to go pick up Nahome.  We got an encouraging email that courts in Ethiopia will not be closing until August 22nd (They closed on August 6th last year)!  This is amazing news and will allow us time to hopefully get our paperwork back from Homeland Security that we will need to PASS court for B.  BUT - it seems so very far away when we were hoping to go pick up Nahome sometime in July.  It will be 2 weeks on Wednesday since we have been submitted to the US embassy to get clearance to bring our little man home - we still haven't heard anything regarding our case or a possible birth mom interview.

I TRUST that His ways are higher than mine - that HE knows what is best for US!  Hoping to watch it all fall into place SOON!  Please don't stop praying, friends!  Let's get these boys HOME!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Give1Save1 - UPDATE

Our week as the family in the spotlight with Give1Save1 is over!  We were able to raise $382 - Whoo hoo!!  The cool thing about it all was the majority of the donations came from people I have NEVER met!!!  I loved seeing names pop up from ALL over the country!  People spread the word to their friends, and they shared with their friends....many gave simply because they wanted to help an orphan get home to his family!!!

Well - it is NOT over friends!  Our dear friends, the Crocketts, are this week's sponsor family!  Aren't they so CUTE!

It only takes a second....it only takes a dollar....it only takes YOU passing it on to all of your friends!  The cool thing about the Crocketts is that they have a friend who is going to match dollar for dollar what they make this week with Give1Save1!!!!  So - bookmark the Give1Save1 page and head over there often to check out the families that are working on bringing their kiddos!!


Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Plans

Many of you loyal readers have been so excited about our new addition and it is so fun to watch!  Several people have asked what is next so I will do my best to lay it out for you!  It is however, very unclear, unknown, and can vary in more ways than one!

So, here it goes:
 Nearest Future in the US:  We are working on getting our home study amended in record time so we can get the appropriate clearances we need from homeland security.
Nearest Future in ET (Ethiopia): The staff there is doing there best to work at lightening speed to get "B's" paperwork together and our family files together to submit to the Ethiopian courts for a court date.  This is a little more difficult these days because the courts are closing the first week of August for their rainy season.  The rains make the roads unsafe and therefore they shut down until mid October.  Our agency is doing all they can to expedite our case so that we can appear before the court on "B's" behalf while we are in Ethiopia to pick up Nahome.  (Please join us in prayer that we would get a court date while we are there, it would save us a trip to Africa which adds up to a LOT of $$$).

Near Future in US: I am beginning to work on packing and getting everything organized to travel, hopefully in the next couple weeks.  I am also heading into my classroom to get everything set up and ready to go for the school year.  I had to move classrooms and grade levels yet again (5 different curriculums in 5 years).  I am still not sure what the start of school will look like - it depends on when we get Nahome here - but my room needs to be ready in case I take some leave and a sub starts the year.
Near Future in ET: Nahome and "B" will be finding out they are brothers!!!!  They will get to hang out and bond for a few more weeks before we arrive!  They have been together at our agency's Transition Home since February - they arrived 5 days apart.  Hoping they begin to bond as brothers, even more than they already have!

Future in US: We will be saying farewell to our kiddos here, to go be with our kiddos there.  We'll fly to ET to spend precious time with "B" and pick up Nahome - Gotcha Day!
Future in ET: The embassy will review Nahome's file and notify us when we are cleared to travel and pick him up!  We are hoping it will be in the next 2-3 weeks!  This should fall around the same time we could go to court for "B" (if they are able to get us a court date).  We will pick Nahome up - FOREVER!!!!!  We will get to hang out with "B" but just as we had to leave Nahome while the paperwork was finalized, he will not be able to return home with us.

"B" - There is a lot that COULD happen depending on if we can get a court date or not for "B":
~ If we get a court date before court closure and PASS - "B" will legally be our son and they will begin compiling paperwork to submit to the US embassy for us to bring him home (BEST Scenario)!!
~ If we get a court date before closure and DON'T PASS - the courts will review his file and gather any missing information and then give us a PASS status most likely sometime in the fall, once court closure is over.  Since we would have already given our consent at the court date before closure, we would not have to return to ET to pass court  We would wait to clear through the US embassy and then go pick "B" up and bring him home! (GOOD Scenario)!!
~ If we are unable to get a court date while we are in Ethiopia picking up Nahome, we will have to wait to be assigned a court date after court closure.  The Ethiopian courts open back up mid October so we would most likely travel back to ET sometime in October or November.  We then would come home and await clearing embassy and then have to travel back to ET to pick "B" up (4 trips to ET in a few short months - $$$$).  This is PLAN C - praying and hoping the other 2 work out but know that God knows and will provide!

Thank you all so much for your encouragement and love!  We covet your prayers more now then ever!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Double Blessing - Krohn Family of SEVEN???

A few months ago I posted this entry Double Rainbow Kinda Day.  We were waiting for a much needed document to arrive in the mail and for our phone call letting us know when our court date was going to be so we could go meet our sweet Nahome.  I was hoping for a double miracle and thought it would be so neat to get them both.  Well, shortly after that day God gave me my double rainbow....

...our double blessings - our document came, our court date came and we got to see our son!  

At the time,we had no idea that God had another Double Rainbow Kinda Day in mind for our family.  We left and took our whole family to Ethiopia because we had fallen in love with a sweet little boy...


...what we would have never expected is that we would fall in love with another little boy while we were there!  But - God never fails, His plans always prevail, and His timing is always PERFECT!!!

While we were in Ethiopia we met several of the older kids and got the privilege to watch our kids play and interact with them.  One young man struck us from the beginning as so very sweet, handsome, and a fun kid to be around.  Jarod and Noah enjoyed playing with him, and him and Nahome were great buds.  We asked "B" how old he was and he said 9, same as Jarod.  We asked him if he had a family and he said no.  We were shocked - we couldn't figure out why such an awesome kid wouldn't be placed with a family.  So, we asked the workers and they said they were still working on his paperwork.  We knew that finalizing paperwork is always the hold up, and the reality was it can take up to a year to get the clearances needed to refer a child to a family.

We enjoyed our 10 days with our sweet Nahome and hung out with "B" when the big kids were out and about.  He began to feel like part of the family and we teasingly asked our kids what they would think about having a brother like "B".  We tearfully said goodbye to our Nahome, knowing we would be back soon!  I made sure I tracked "B" down on our last day for a last hug - I had no idea if I would ever get to see him again.  I hoped he would still be there when we came back for Nahome, but I also knew a lot of the older kids were coming to the US for a hosting program so he may not be there.

We came home and recovered from jet lag.  I spent a lot of my days looking through pictures and aching to hold my son again!  As I looked through the pics of the older kids, I remembered the fun times and my heart was pulled toward "B" yet again.  Josh and I had talked about what an amazing kid he was and what it would be like to have him in the family.  We decided that we were not going to come home and contact anyone regarding his file, inquiring when his papers would be ready, etc.  If it was God's will, then it would work out.

A couple weeks after we got home, 2 of the boys his age on our agency's Waiting Child List got assigned to the Summer Hosting Program.  This program brings older kids to the US for a 3 month time for the end of summer/early fall.  They stay with families,experience the culture,and are available for families to meet and inquire about adopting them.  My heart sunk and I knew in my heart that "B" most likely was headed to the US to spend the summer and be matched with a family.  What was so sad was that he wouldn't be there when we go get Nahome.  I truly may never see him again...

I spent Fourth of July trying to endure the wait to go pick up our son.  After 5 weeks of waiting, we still weren't submitted to Embassy to bring Nahome back to the US.  A couple short days later, on the lakeside with my kiddos, I checked the Waiting Child List(This had become a daily tradition - I love seeing the sweet kids and wondering who their families might be)....as the page opened my heart skipped a beat as I saw the face that had stolen my heart back in Ethiopia..."B" was not in the Summer Hosting Program in the US (His paperwork hadn't been ready in time for him to get his Visa- God thing??)

We had said if he came on the WCL (Waiting Child List) we would give it a week for other families to inquire.  The more we looked at his pictures and missed his sweet face,we had decided we'd maybe only wait 4 days!  Well - seeing the face of the boy that had already stolen my heart- I didn't wait at all.  I called my family coordinator to see what it would look like for our family to pursue him - would we have to start at square one...could we use our documents from Nahome??

It took a week to figure out our approvals and get permission to look into viewing his file.  We knew since we already had Nahome that if any other families inquired about "B" that we would most likely be out of the running.  Well, on Thursday of this week we got notified that we were chosen to review "B's" file.  We read through the info and his history, but we already knew in our hearts that he was our son.

So - once again, we were taken off guard at God's plan for our family.  Once again, our hearts were smitten by a sweet little boy a world away.  Once again, God overwhelmed us with the prospect of being parents to an amazing young man.  It is humbling to know that God has chosen us to walk this amazing journey we call life!  Once again, God shocked us with our unexpected DOUBLE BLESSINGS!

Prayer Requests:
~ That our paperwork that needs amended will get completed and processed quickly.
~ That we will be able to appear before the courts while we are in Ethiopia to pick up Nahome(They are trying to expedite a court date for "B" before courts close for 2 months starting in August).
~ That God would continue to provide financially to help us bring our boys home (Don't forget we are the family of the week for Give1Save1 until Sunday - If you would like to donate click here!)

~ That our adoption paperwork for Nahome is sufficient for "B" so we don't have to start ALL over!
~ That another orphan has a family.
~That we are a family blessed with FIVE amazing kids!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Hubby and I put a movie on after the kids went to bed last night and in usual fashion, I fell asleep on the couch!  I woke up a little after 2 AM and decided I better head to bed.  I grabbed my phone and followed the pattern as of late, opened my email app and pushed refresh, knowing that our future is hinging on an email.  It was 2:14 AM our time and 2 emails rang through - one of them was a Facebook notification and the other.....the other was what we had been waiting for!!!  I was SHOCKED and so incredibly excited to see our email from Embassy stating they had received our case - - we have been SUBMITTED to the US Embassy!  We have waited 6 weeks for our documents to make their way to the embassy and we are so very excited to be at this next step in the process.

So - NOW WHAT???  Our case has been submitted to the US embassy for processing.  We should hear in the next week or so that our case has been processed and ready for the next stage.  We are anticipating a BRI (Birth Relative Interview) which will take place a week or 2 after that and then we should be cleared to go pick up our son!!  We are hopeful to travel within the month!

We not only got submitted today which brings us a HUGE step closer to bringing our son home, but we also got copies of ALL of our documents that got turned in to Embassy.  Included was Nahome's birth certificate!!!!!  This document had a pic of his not so happy face(He looks very nervous), his name NAHOME JOSHUA KROHN, and us listed as his parents!!!!  Brought tears to my eyes to see it in black and white and so official!  It still feels so surreal that we are blessed to have him as our son - that God chose us to be his mama and daddy!

Please keep praying:
~ Pray that our paperwork is all complete and shows what it needs to show to move through the embassy process smoothly and quickly.

~ Pray for Nahome's mom as she will most likely have to make the long trip to Addis (again) to testify about her/our son (again).  Pray for her heart and her safety!

~ Pray for our hearts and minds as we wait.  Pray that He prepares our hearts and our kids' hearts (including Nahome's) for the changes to come!  Pray that the transition would go smoothly for everyone and that attachment would come quickly and healthily!

~ Pray for our finances - we are still recovering from taking our kiddos with us on the last trip.  We know that God will provide, we just aren't entirely sure what that looks like yet.  (If you'd like to help out don't forget we are the Give1Save1 fam until Sunday - head on over, make your donation, then spread the word - Give1Save1 - )

~ Please continue to pray that we would surrender every aspect of our family to God and His plan for our lives.  That we would be gracious followers of His will and that GOD would receive ALL of the GLORY as we walk along this crazy journey we call LIFE!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Give1Save1 - Join in on the fun and Spread the Word!

We got the unexpected privilege to be the family of the week for Give1Save1 this week!  We are so very excited to be a part of this amazing program and share our story of our sweet son!  The premise behind Give1 is that everyone can spare a dollar.  Their idea is that people would learn about a family who is adopting and be moved to donate a dollar to help save an orphan.  By saving an orphan and helping a family adopt, it frees up a bed for another orphan who may be on the streets.  It is a revolving circle of compassion and love and it only costs you a dollar.  What makes the idea work, however, is that you visit the site, donate your dollar, and then the most important part is you SHARE the Give1Save1 link with all of YOUR friends so they can have the pleasure of helping an orphan too!  If all of you share with your friends, and your friends share with their friends, and so on and so forth - - one dollar from each can really add up!

SO - our family is the highlight of the week from NOW until this coming SUNDAY JULY 15th!!  So click this link - Give1Save1 - to join in on the fun!!

(Don't forget to bookmark the Give1Save1 link and check back often to 
help other families on their journey to save an orphan)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Krohn Compassion 5K - A SUCCESS

We hosted our first ever 5K today to raise $$ to bring our sweet little man home!  We had 54 amazing friends and fam come out to race and help out with the event!  The weather was beautiful - mid 80's with a slight breeze, the location was beautiful - thanks again Still Water Hollow - - the family and friends coming along side of us in love and support was what this mama heart needed!

One of the main reasons I ended up flying home from Ethiopia, as scheduled, instead of staying in country with Nahome until we cleared embassy was to put together this 5K.  Some of the other reasons were to move the kids' bedrooms around and finish moving into my new classroom.  Bedrooms done - check, 5K done - check, working on classroom next week - - - SO now we can head back - anytime now!!

Thanks again to all the family and friends who came out today - we are a pretty good looking group if I do say so myself!  Can't wait to see all of you in a pic like this at the airport welcoming Nahome to the family!

Please continue to pray for our family!  That our paperwork would be complete and accurate.  That it will make its way to the US embassy THIS week!  Pray for Nahome's heart as he waits for us to come take him home.  Pray for him as he leaves his country and goes through all the transitions and changes that an international adoption brings.  Pray for our hearts as we wait!  Pray for all of our kids as we learn and adjust to our new family dynamic!  Pray that God would be Glorified through our story!