Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tim is CLEARED!!!

I ask you........need I say more???

Yes, well, yes I do need!

Tim got his FBI clearance today!!!

Um, that would mean Home Study submission time!!!

I find it interesting that both our clearances came through on Sabbath. This journey has been teaching us more than ever to "let go and let God".

We're beside ourselves ECSTATIC!!! 

So next hurdle is approval of home study THEN


Friday, January 28, 2011

Thankful for Lemonade

This week...what to say?

This was a week of "remember whens".

A childhood friend lost 15 yrs ago this week.

Hinsdale - Bolingbrook.

Sabbath Hike.


Seven astronauts lost 25 yrs ago this week.

N.A.S.A. (need another seven astronauts)...3rd grade.

Watching live.

I found myself heavy this morning.




Dancing eyes




Lost far too soon

Alli....we'll see you again soon in heaven.

A day of memories.

God can make lemonade with lemons.

Our Heavenly Father makes life from death.




On the way home from work Tim called with excitement.

He had gotten the mail. 

Oh yes....ONE of TWO have arrived!!!
(and you'll be happy to know...NO RECORDS...hehe)

Thanks be to God on this Sabbath evening!!!

God can make Lemonade out of Lemons!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Silly, Happy or Crabby?

Overall, I think we've been trying to not get too excited about this process. I think because we're not "officially" on the waiting family list for a referral. 

Hold up! Ok, truth be told...I have shown more excitement and really Tim has been more reserved. You all probably weren't buying the "WE'VE been trying not to..." anyway were you???


Ok, so back to the story....

I've found myself wondering sometimes if Tim is excited about our process?

Last Friday I came home from work exhausted from a busy week. In the foyer was a FedEx box. I asked Tim who sent us a package and he said, "I don't know. Maybe you should open it." So.....I ravaged the box. 

What was in the box???

Mood Bibs!!!

Tim special ordered them because, "Well I saw them online, thought they were cute and wanted you to have them." 

Yes, I sobbed! Like, I couldn't smile enough sob.


Best of All....I knew at that moment Tim IS EXCITED TOO!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Covered in Hope

Covered in Hope Project

Kristi over in Tennessee has a blog I've been following which I found through You Tube when we first decided to start our journey.

She and her family are in the process of bringing their son, Wes, home. Her agency, Celebrate Children International, put out a request for cloth diapers.

Swing by her blog HERE to get the full details.

She's going to be sending a package to her CCI agency, which...happens to be about 30 minutes from me in Orlando. So...I will be making a special delivery with half of the above! 

She also said she's going to be sending a package to Hannah's Hope in Ethiopia where her daughter Lucy Lane is from. Hannah's Hope will be where our bub will also stay while waiting for mommy and daddy to arrive (um...that's us...YIPPEE!!). So I will be sending Kristi J some cloth diapers for HH too!!! 

I will say a prayer for all of these cloth diapers. A prayer of comfort. A prayer of Hope. A prayer for their birth families. A prayer for their new families. A prayer for all those who are so dedicated to caring for all the babes during a scary transitional time of their lives.

Funny thing, I've never been to Baby's R Us for something I WANTED. It was interesting. I felt like the preggo moms were wondering why I was there. Honestly, they weren't, it was just me being weird. For those who know some of our story, this was a moment for me personally. I had a little knot in my throat and slight wetness in the corners of my eyes.

 I stood a little taller and smiled a little bigger.

This is Our "Pregnancy"!

And at that moment, shopping at Baby's R Us became our store too!

One Less

You Ask...I Post: Recipes Part 2

And.......the main event!

(Also from Marcus Samuelsson's cookbook, The Soul of a New Cuisine in conjunction with a recipe found online at since Marcus's lentils require a bit more effort than we had time for)

Mesir Wat: Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew

2 tsp canola oil
2 cups chopped red onion
1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tomatoes roughly chopped, or one 15-oz can tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp Berbere spice
3 cups organic Vegetable broth
1 cup dried red lentils
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
Juice of 2 lemons
4 cups of cooked basmati rice

1. Heat oil in a large dutch oven or big soup pot over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 15 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add ginger and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in tomatoes and Berbere spice; cook 1 minute, stirring to combine. Gradually add broth, stirring with whisk until blended. Increase heat to medium-high, bring to simmer.

2. Rinse lentils with cold water; drain. Add lentils to broth mixture; simmer, partially covered, 35 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in salt and lemon juice. Serve over rice and sprinkle with cilantro.

Melkam Megeb (Bon A Petit)!!!!

You Ask...I Post: Recipes Part 1

Tim and I checkin In...Ahhh...I love this photo of us...HE'S H.O.T.!!!

Ok, down to business....

So what exactly is Berbere Spice Mix?

Marcus Samuelsson says its one of the three building blocks of Ethiopian cuisine.

This recipe is Marcus's recipe from his book, "The Soul of a New Cuisine".

Berbere Spice Blend

1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 cup ground dried serrano chiles or other ground dried chiles
1/2 cup paprika
2 tbsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground cardamom, preferably freshly ground
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground all spice

finely grind the fenugreek seeds with a mortar and pestle or an electric spice or coffee grinder (I used our magic bullet). Stir together with the remaining ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Store in air tight container in fridge for up to 3 months.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mesir Wat (Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew)

I bet you read, "Mesir WHAT???" 

Well, Mesir Wat is a Red Lentil Stew which is DIVINE!!!

This stew is served over rice and garnished with fresh cilantro.

This Sabbath was our Sabbath School's potluck. 

Our Sabbath School is reading "The One Year: Chronological Bible" which is in the New Living Translation version.  It's a beautiful way to read the Bible.

So what to bring to this potluck????

Baked Mac N Cheese?
Cottage Cheese Loaf?
Veggie Meatballs?

Then Tim remembers January 9th's reading when Esau sold his birthright to Jacob (Genesis 25:27-34)

"One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home from the wilderness exhausted and hungry. Esau said to Jacob, 'I'm starved! Give me some of that red stew!'"

Ethiopia is very much a part of the Bible and so we thought...I wonder if Mesir Wat would have been somewhat like what Jacob had made???

A main spice ingredient is Berbere Spice which is a blend of 12 spices. We went to Fresh Market because a lot of the spices needed are not the typical found at Publix and you certainly cannot find Berbere pre-made. So we made our own.

We often make a red lentil Lebanese soup and LOVE IT so we were excited to make this dish and man did it deliver!!! So much flavor! We came home from potluck with a practically empty bowl and hardly any rice left. Now that we have our own Berbere spice blend...we'll be making this again. Next time being less modest with the red chiles! We love the spicy kick!!!

So if you're looking for a new dish and you like a little heat...I suppose you could tone down the heat, grab a recipe for Mesir Wat! It's super easy to make and completely vegetarian and actually vegan. The only part that is a little tough is getting the Berbere Spice mix. 

Marcus Samuelsson has a great spice mix and Mesir Wat recipe in his book, 

The Soul of a New Cuisine
(it's shown in the first picture of this post)

I leave you with one thought from Sabbath School today which was incredibly profound for me:

When God created the Earth. He DID NOT edit. He made US in HIS image. Again, He did NOT edit. This amazes me really. He made "us in his image male and female". Both genders in His image. I know we pick ourselves apart at times, but why, we are made in His image. So I hadn't really thought about God not editing. I typed this post and edited a ton.

God created and put His official stamp on it, "He saw that it was good". 

So next time you look in the mirror and wish you had straight hair, skinnier hips, less skin imperfections or whatever you may "wish"...KNOW that when God created YOU...He didn't need to edit because you're in HIS Image and He put His stamp on YOU.

One Less

Thursday, January 13, 2011

They are Heading Over Today!

Ok, so I haven't met this couple and I don't know if they have a blog......


Remember the referral video of theirs when they were told of their twins!?!?


I just got an update from You Tube.....
(HOLD UP: turn my playlist off at bottom of blog before you watch so that the sound doesn't conflict)

They are headed over today and meet their KIDDOs Sabbath!!!!

So, anyway, I'm excited for these people I've never met and most likely never will.


I wanna pray for them

In addition AGCI has about 18 families traveling this month for their first trip.

So if you think of it....just send up a little prayer for these families as they travel. 


One Less

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Stylin..Hotel Style in North Pole

Hey Erika, how does that vintage T-shirt fit???

(it's a Medium)

Ok, here's my hotel room, big winter boots, just comfy stylin...

(I'm away on business right now and it's SUPER cold)


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Dear FBI....

The laws in Ethiopia recently changed...

In order to submit our dossier we need to have our Favorable Determination Letter (FDL) BEFORE submitting our Dossier to AGCI.

In order to submit our application for the FDL from USCIS, we need to have a finalized home study.

In order to finalize we need clearance from the FBI background check indicating "no record" found. 

Many of you remember the day we sent in our FBI fingerprints...requesting prayer for speedy return which was before we learned of the ET law changes.  

THANK YOU for all your prayers...

This is all we have outstanding to finalize our home study.

So....we're asking for more prayer...

I hope our letter comes in this week so we can finish up the details and get the USCIS ball rolling.

The USCIS FDL process takes about 3 months.

Maybe more than just prayer for process....

We need prayer for patience.

We are really excited to keep this ball moving to bring our bubs home!!! 

Just need some prayer.

 (Thanks to Matthew West for an amazing song which has inspired us since attending his concert)
When I get discouraged...I think "One Less"


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My New "Vintage" T

I got a GREAT surprise today!

Quite frankly...the highlight of my day.

This vintage T is soooo cute!!! It's FAV! 

I would have inserted myself in these pics, but today was a "not so cute" not so cute....

The t-shirt is cute eh???

Want one?

Swing over to 147 Million Orphans and get yourself one. 

By the way...they are the nicest people! So nice!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

First Dinner of 2011

I think this year is going to change our lives....

We started our 2011 with going to a family owned and completely authentic Ethiopian dinner at Nile: Ethiopian Cuisine.

The food was amazing! We ate family style. They served my vegetarian and Tim's meat combo in this large platter. We ate with Injera (a delicious spongy-type crepe/bread) in place of dinnerware. We learned how to correctly pronounce amharic words and "amharic" itself. 

The owner had a coffee ceremony for the guests. Their coffee is amazing. It reminded us of the smooth style Cuban coffee offers in an espresso size portion. The perfect ending to a delicious meal.

One of the children there who appeared to be related to the owners was playing around the restaurant. He came to our table a couple times and then towards end of meal he just hung out with us. He told us his name and finished with, "I'm 4." He then told us about him being in school and how he is learning about safety. I asked what kind of safety and he said, "the kind with fire trucks." So I asked if he learned about: stop, drop and roll? He had. He learned this from "Clifford". He then told us that he is learning sign language at school. I asked if he could teach us. He taught us how to sign "sit" and "chair". He was so cute. He spoke so matter of fact just as that age seems to. We told him we had to go but that we hoped to see him again when we come back for another meal.

As we left he followed us to the door. I looked back when walking to the car and saw him watching us from the door. All I could think of was..."I wonder what our bub will be like? Will they be a boy like this little guy we met? Will they be a girl who is as kind as the owner?" 

We left learning more about the culture of our soon-to-be child.

 Hoping 2011 brings our bub home.

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