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.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


You can read all the books and prepare all you want but the day it actually happens can take you off guard.  They tell you people will look at you funny, that they will question your motives, that they will wonder why everyone in your family doesn't look like a cookie cutter image of you.  Our sweet little mixed family has stumped checkers at Walmart - you can see the mind reeling trying to figure out two five year olds, both calling me "Mommy", one with beautiful chocolate skin and one with flaming red curls!  Sweet little old ladies smile and tell me how beautiful my family is.

Others look questioningly, wondering why you would ever....adopt....become a biracial family....bring older kids into your home...you name it!  As I discussed Martin Luther King Jr. Day with my students last week I became very aware of how far our country has come.  The progress in equality and love for all people.  Society has come a long way - but the reality is there are still people who don't get it.  There are people who can't see past status...or circumstance...or skin...or birthplace...you name it!

The reality is that my family is different - we don't all look the same - we weren't all born in the same country or by the same people - we don't all have the same childhoods or memories!  The reality is that I am thankful for my amazing family - I have learned more from being a mother to FIVE very different blessings than I could have every imagined!  The reality is there are people that think stupid things - and will sometimes say them - direct them - at my family!  The reality is that the only opinion that matters is the One that created each and every one of us - in HIS IMAGE - that is what we have in common!!!!

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Weight of Responsibility

It starts out as a simple wish...a need to fill the ticking clock of motherhood...the desire to hold a piece of you in your arms...a yearning to love something more than you have every loved anyone else!!!  If you were like me, this simple wish QUICKLY progressed from a flutter in my heart to a positive on a pee stick...just six weeks after we tied the knot!  It was all dreamy in my simple (19 year old) mind!!!  It stays dreamy folks until about your third trimester when it hits you like a TON of bricks!!  You are having a BABY....like another life form that is solely relying on you...that you are responsible for...to bathe and feed and raise into a decent member of society!!  Then comes the whirlwind of infancy and all the sleepless nights that come with it.  There are no real deep thoughts going on - let's be serious - there is too much sleep deprivation and poo to think much beyond getting through the day (and don't forget the endless NIGHTs).  Well, if you were like me (I keep saying that but I'm pretty sure no one was as crazy as us - 3 kiddos by the time I was 24 - what were we thinking!!)...the sleep deprivation faded and the dream of another blissful baby takes over and before you know it you have gotten pregnant every other summer since being married and now have THREE beautiful spring blessings to be responsible for!!

I remember feeling overwhelmed at the responsibility of it all...the money....the clothes....the food....the diapers....the lack of sleep....the drool on my shoulder...a tantrum out in public....nap schedules....you mama's of littles know EXACTLY what I am talking about!

As I have watched my children (and family) grow over the last couple of years I am overwhelmed at how the responsibility of being Mom to these little blessings has shifted!  I have been in awe of who my children are and who they are becoming.  It has been so amazing to watch my kids grow into their own and get to know their hearts and desires.  But to be honest - the responsibility that comes with raising older kids scares the daylights out of me!  The worries that I had when my kids were little seems so carefree compared to the weight of raising young people....there is so much less control (I don't do well with giving up my control)!!!  The responsibility has shifted from taking care of their every need....to guiding them to take care of themselves (when did this happen??)!!!  It consists of watching your children walk through hard times and not being able to fix it...it consists of watching them interact in the world and hoping they will stay true to themselves....it consists of molding and guiding them to do what is right!  At some point it dawns on you that beyond all else - your children are becoming young people who will get to choose for themselves - they get to choose their friends, their career, their spouse, their beliefs....your say in things dwindles and you pray with all of your heart they get it!  You pray that they will get that we love them and want what's best for them....that they will get that GOD loves them and life is only life with HIM in it....you pray that they will love and respect others....you pray that you have shown them what it means to be a loving spouse and parent....you pray that they want to get it!

OKAY - some of you may think I'm getting ahead of myself (my kids aren't heading off to college anytime soon or anything)!!  Watching my kids begin to take more responsibility of themselves....slowly beginning to give over the reigns....watching as they begin to make choices for themselves....it has been eye opening and terrifying!  It has brought me to my knees more than once over the last few months!  Pleading for the souls of my children - realizing that I no longer will have control (realizing that I never have)....fallen broken before my Father knowing that this is exactly how He feels with us!  My heart hurts thinking about all that I want for my children - I cannot imagine what our Heavenly Father feels watching us live our lives on our standards, our agenda!  I pray daily for my growing children - that I would be the Mom they need me to be.  Knowing that this season of our lives is fleeting and will be gone before we know it - I pray daily that I will pour into my children...not just live life with them....but show them how to really live and WHO to really live for!  I am a miserable failure on my own - that has been proven over and over again!  I am reminded daily as I look into my children's eyes that I cannot do this on my own - I never was meant to.  I am reminded that my children are TOO important to just wing it and hope for the best...I NEED my redeeming Savior to walk with me....to walk with them....to help me show them HIS love!  We were never meant to carry the weight of responsibility on our own - it is with HIS grace that I give over my control and my worry and PRAY so very deeply that HE will watch over and keep my children!  That HE will guide them and protect them...that HE will show them what it means to truly live!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 - A year to REMEMBER

This is by far the FULLEST year we have ever had!!!  SO many memories and life changing experiences...SO many firsts and heart breaking-eye opening encounters with GOD!!  Here is my attempt at recapping our year!!

* STILL WAITING on our REFERRAL for a little SISTER!
* Passports for the Kids arrived after we decided to take them with us to AFRICA!!

* NOAH bug turned SEVEN!!!  Love HIM and his joy he brings!! We celebrated with a trip to the Aquarium!

* Nahome turned FIVE - even though we didn't even know him yet, GOD KNEW!
* BOTH of our boys made the trip from their orphanages to our agencies Transition Home to begin the paperwork process to be adopted.

* LEAH turned FIVE!!!  Such a sweetie among the chaos of brothers!!  We went to the Zoo and the Art Museum to Celebrate!

* God turned our world upside down and showed us HIS plan - We signed our REFERRAL!!!

* For a sweet little BOY whose eyes and smile stole our hearts!!

*JAROD turned NINE!!!  Can hardly believe my baby is growing into such a young man!  We went to Wahooz to celebrate!!

* We anxiously awaited our paperwork to be ready so we could travel to Ethiopia and meet our new little man!!
* We celebrated Easter for the last time as a family of FIVE!

~ MAY ~
* We celebrated our 10 year ANNIVERSARY...cannot believe it has been that long since we said "I DO"!!!  It was an anniversary to remember as we flew out ON our ANNIVERSARY on our adventure to meet our son!

* We became WORLD travelers - FOUR of us for the first time traveling Internationally!!
* We met our precious NAHOME and spent time together as a family of SIX!

~ June ~
* We PASSED court in ETHIOPIA officially making NAHOME our son!!
* We had to say goodbye to NAHOME...one of the hardest things we have ever done!

* God planted a seed in our hearts for another young man in need of a family!
* Bizuayehu didn't know it, and neither did we...but he had a birthday and turned 10!!

~ JULY ~
* We put on a 5K race to raise $$ to finish up the adoption!  We were blessed by all the friends and family who came out and supported us!

* GOD once again surprised us with HIS plan when HE threw open the doors and brought us another REFERRAL!!!  The boy who stole our heart with his love and kindness and his sweet smile!

* The day finally came....Mommy and Daddy headed across the ocean to go pick up Nahome (for good this time) and spend some more time with our newest member of the family, Bizuayehu!

~ AUGUST (It was a BUSY one!) ~
* GOTCHA DAY - We picked Nahome up and presented ourselves before the US Embassy in Ethiopia and made our adoption FINAL!!

* We flew to Nahome's birth city and visited his orphanage.  We spent time praying with and crying with Nahome's birth mom - a young woman so full of love for her son - a young woman who will forever be a part of our hearts!

* We were REUNITED with BOTH of our BOYS!!

* Bizuayehu chose "Isaiah" as his new American name!
* We were overjoyed to bring Nahome back with us, but once again had to say goodbye to one of our sons and leave him halfway around the world (Yet again, one of the hardest things we have ever done!)
* We passed court making Bizuayehu "Isaiah" Krohn officially our son!!

* Nahome arrived home and became a US Citizen!

* The rest of the kids started school (Leah - kindergarten, Noah - 2nd grade, and Jarod - 4th grade) while Mom, Dad and Nahome spent some time at home adjusting to our new life!

* Mommy and Daddy BOTH had birthdays!
* We went camping - NAHOME's first ever Camping Trip!

* Mommy and Nahome started school!

* We decided to BUY our FIRST HOME!!

* A world away, Isaiah saw his mom for the last time and said tearful goodbyes!  I wish we could have been there to wipe away his tears and meet the woman who raised such an amazing young man!  Another woman who will forever be a part of our family and will hold a special place in our hearts!

* The time was finally HERE....Daddy headed to ETHIOPIA to bring Isaiah home!!!
* Isaiah became a US Citizen and we were finally a family of SEVEN - and all in the same COUNTRY!

* Isaiah learned how to ride a bike (his first day home) and he started school!

* We took the kids to the ZOO - - both of the boys' first times in a zoo!

* We introduced the boys to the SUGAR RUSH that we American's call Halloween!

* We FINALLY closed on our new house and got the KEYS!!!

* We were extra thankful this THANKSGIVING...our first as a FAMILY of SEVEN!

* We celebrated CHRISTMAS with all the holiday traditions...

Decorating of Trees

Christmas Programs GALORE


And of COURSE some stockings and PRESENTS to go with it...

We started our year changed - on a journey to grow our family through God's grace and love!  We started the year as a family of five with hopes and aspirations of what the year would bring!  We started the year with a picture in our minds and hearts of what was to come!!  GOD sure surprised us along the way and FAR SURPASSED the blessings that we thought we would encounter in 2012!!  We started the year in a 3 bedroom house with 3 kiddos to fill it.....we end the year in a FIVE bedroom home with FIVE little blessings that fill our HEARTS to overflowing!!!  2012 will be a HARD year to TOP...but we serve a BIG God and HE is NOT done with us yet!!!  Stay tuned to see what CRAZY adventure HE has planned for us in 2013!!!

From our FAMILY to YOURS....May GOD bless you beyond measure and may HE grow your heart to LOVE HIM more!!  May HE take you OUT of your COMFORT zone to the place HE has planned for YOU!!  Trust Me - IT IS SO WORTH IT!