Tuesday, December 30, 2008


“She still wants to put everything into her mouth that she can get a hold of, which including my shirt and papers! I guess that should be expected from a child of her age! Overall, she has been doing splendidly, is in good health, and looks terrific. As a result of growing both in size and developmentally, she has become much more comfortable when she is upright. She amazed me with how much weight she could bear on her legs; I wasn't even holding her, just keeping her balance! Speaking of balance, she is still trying to get the hang of sitting on her own. She is so close to being able to sustain it, just not quite there! Still, her strength is very evident, as is her confidence, and she has become even more courageous and curious of the things around her. She is a very calm little girl, and just loves it when you give her attention. She will soak up everything that you give her." --Phillip Weight: 7.3kg

Still no new update on where things are at with our case or how the progress is going with getting our file ready to submit for another new court date. Nada. We did recently get some beautiful photos of Koko from a traveling family. They’re gorgeous. We are so thankful. Truly. Since there is not other new news, how about this – just part of “Desiderata”, which I saw plastered on the wall in one of our resident’s rooms the other day. I liked most of it, cut out parts I didn’t, to share with you here:

Go, amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Do not be blinded to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God.
And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
- Max Ehrmann

Happy new year, we love you all,

Sunday, December 7, 2008


As I left for worship this morning, without Chad who is feeling pretty crummy right now, I didn't know I would become so inspired by what I heard and saw, so let me share...

Our pastoral intern, Derek, preached today in Chad's place, on short notice. I felt as though he crafted the words around our current adoption situation. I know, sort of self centered. Anyway, (thanks in advance for letting me steal your material Derek) the sermon started out with some examples of going back to the beginning, starting over again, etc. He referred to the reading from Mark 1, about how John the Baptist called people to a new beginning. We are called back to the waters of baptism to be reminded that God has claimed us, that he's always been there, always will be. We are repeatedly called to open our eyes to see new life, to go out into the world, blessed to be a blessing. Hmmmmm...

You see, we learned Friday that we will go back to the beginning with our file in Ethiopia. Some things have changed with our case, and it is as if we just received our referral, that the last 7 months have evaporated (although they sure took a long time). At this point, our Jan. 14 court date is not happening. The team in Ethiopia will work on gathering all the necessary documents for our file before they can then submit to the courts for a court date. (Sound familiar, like June and July?) It is a new beginning in our case.

On my drive home from church, I heard Josh Groban's song Believe, from Polar Express. One line was particularly meaningful..."destinations are where we begin again". So, this latest inevitable destination, this new beginning in our adoption journey is where we find ourselves. Still yearning for the day we get to hold Koko in our arms. Because court dates are being scheduled about 8 weeks out from request, according to our agency, we shouldn't expect a court date till around March. We know we will celebrate Koko's first birthday milestone here without her. On May 7, 2008 when we saw her face for the first time, just after her 2 month birthday, we never would have dreamed of this whole heart and character growing process as it has unfolded. Never.

HOWEVER, we will be of good cheer! As Chad has just returned from India where the new sewing center was dedicated, here are some photos of the beautiful people, and the moving dedication ceremony.

And, more good news...a dear family at church finally made it home with their little Robinio from Haiti. He is gorgeous, about 4 years old, and loving his new family. This family has been through so much, and so many, many months of waiting to bring him home. I got to sit next to them, and it was an honor to get a big hug from him this morning. I had to work not to cry with happiness that they have finally been united.
Finally, I'm sure you've all been dying for an update on how Guido is doing. He's growing, his hair is longer, and energy high! He is slowly learning some potty training, including where to dance around waiting for his treat after he pottys! We are so in love with this little pup!
Here are my two boys - both pretty cute, if you ask me!

smj out.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Based on our last conversation with Jessica, and as anticipated, we did not make it through court for the 3rd time, and now have our 4th attempt scheduled for January 14.

Please keep us in your prayers as we, ourselves, pray for strength and gracefulness during this latest period of waiting.

Many continued thanks to all who have been walking along side us through the journey. We are blessed to have so many blessings in our lives.

Love to all,

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Well, it's time for some good news, some bad news, and some new news.


“I've mentioned before that she likes to keep her eyes wide open, in order to see everything that's going on around her. That hasn't changed one bit, except that now she has a different perspective – one from sitting! She is doing so much better at sitting on her own, though occasionally she will lose her balance and topple over to one side. She still occasionally leans forward to put her hands down in front of her – tripod style – but can push herself back up to upright if she wants! I wanted so badly to give you a smiling picture of her, but every time I made her giggle (done by holding her arms and letting her fall back, then pulling her up again), she stuck her hand right in her mouth. Obviously she hasn't figured out what "photo?" quite means yet! When she is not trying her best to sit, she has turned in to quite the squirmer, and can roll over quite quickly by flicking her leg over the other.” --Phillip -Weight: 7kg

BAD NEWS (and I mean fairly bad)

Caseworker Jessica called today to tell us that November 20 will not be a successful court hearing for our family. There are many things happening that will cause several more months of delays and, long story short, we are told not to expect any movement with our case until at least January. We are so very sad, so very devastated, so very hurt, and so very blown away that this process is unfolding as it is. What can we say - life isn't fair. There are no words. None. Also, there's some hurting going on over HERE, too - stop by and give 'em some lovin'.


This is Guido, the cutest little yorkie boy you've ever seen. He is 12 weeks old and in the middle of potty training. Pretty much spur of the moment, it was fate that we adopted him into our family today of all days. Fate for the previous owner and for us. Guido will provide some much needed diversion, a sweet distraction - we love him already!

Dreaming of days to come...


Sunday, November 9, 2008


"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
- Albert Einstein

Hmmmmm....think on that one.

Really not much to say, not much to tell, not much at all.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,...to him be glory...for ever and ever, amen."
- Ephesians 3:20-21

11 days to...

Monday, November 3, 2008


So, I gave a speech at church (all three services) this past weekend. I thought it would be pretty terrifying but it turned out to be a great opportunity to publicly state my views on our financial situation at church. No one threw tomatoes. The campaign theme is Imagine, and I'm stealing my own speech material to share with you for our latest blog update, since it fits this point in time so well.

Unlike my speech in church, I won't urge you here to give money to lower Abiding Hope's suffocating mortgage debt, but if you're feeling inspired, I obviously won't stop you. (Hey, I'm not beyond using our blog as a financial campaign marketing tool.) Anyway...getting back on topic, this waiting stuff is pretty tough!! As I hoped to spread the word to the congregation to imagine greater things for our church, I used this angle:

God is imagining bigger things, more for us than we could ever imagine. To illustrate, when we started this adoption process I imagined -
-the waiting and how hard it may be
-the feelings of anticipation
-and most of all what it would feel like to hold our baby girl in our arms.

Luckily God's imagination has been soooooo much bigger -
-He has opened my eyes to an immense growth in character
-to what patience ACTUALLY looks like
-and to the reality that there is a bigger need than just one child waiting to have a home.

I FINALLY finished "There is no me without you" - this is a must read. I promise you will intermittently cry (I did at least), and you wil have a deep understanding of the country where your future new little "family" member, Koko, was born. It is a moving read. Just do it.

And, to those who heard the speech, sorry to bore you with it again here. This big imagination, this stuff, is what we have to hold on to, along with imagining that this will happen someday, Koko will be in our arms someday...
...someday when it's time.

And so, our most sincere congratulations to the "newly-passed-court" families - we are totally thrilled for you! Awesome!
And to those who continue to faithfully wait (on your adoptions or anything else in life) we are with you - may you find peace in the waiting!

17 more days to court date re-replay.
Love to all,

Thursday, October 30, 2008


So...tuesday was a BIG day - a certain birthday boy turned 35! Of course we went out on the town to celebrate -- downtown Denver, Larimer Square.

We restaurant hopped, and window shopped. Here for you all now, in pictures...

First up, Larimer Square day time, about 5 p.m.

A kiss for a special guy at the Samba Room where we had a drink and appetizers.

On to Tamayo for tasty guacamole, margaritas, and present opening time.

A framed photo of Koko.

Then to Ted's for a bison burger, Chad's favorite.

After dinner we walked off our appetizers, drinks, and burgers and window shopped.
Larimer Square, night time, about 8 p.m.

On to ESPN Zone for some air hockey (guess who won? that wouldn't be me.)

FINALLY - we were ready for dessert at Corridor 44.

So....do you now feel like you were there?!? We had a fantastic time, and now...

...20 days to court date re-re-play. Is it just us or are the days crawling by unusually slowly?...probably just us. We can't wait to share that big news, the big something with you all someday....

....someday when it's time.



Saturday, October 25, 2008


~ The 'Amen!' of nature is always a flower. ~
- Oliver Wendall Holmes -

I think it is amazing that flowers are still blooming around our house...we've had several frosts and a hard freeze now. I'm sure this will be the last of the blooms, and so wanted to share the beauty with you.

The flowers are carrying us into yet another season. A season of change, and hopefully a season of new joys...25 days to court date re-re-play. Still dreaming of Koko...

Saturday, October 18, 2008


From here,
Our church community, Abiding Hope in Littleton…

To here,
Our friends in Haiti…

To here,
Our world makers in India…

To here,
Koko in Ethiopia…

During this newfound time of waiting and reflection, I thought I’d ramble on the wonderful thought of connectivity. It’s a small world, where we are connected in BIG ways!

Our friends from our Abiding Hope church community, the ever strong families who are steadfast in their adoption journeys to Haiti to bring their little ones home….they are on our hearts!

Our partners in Haiti building relationships and empowering the kids of Haiti to dream big to help transform Haiti for the future…they are on our hearts!

Our friend, Titus, in India, and the congregations of Abiding Hope India that he has been working to build amidst persecution…they are on our hearts!

Chad leaves to spend time in India November 20. Hmmmmmm…..I know that day……oh, yeah! That’s our court date! It promises to be interesting…and proof that we are connected in BIG ways!

So, to all hoping our small story fits in to this big ol’ plan….we are all somehow interconnected, and touch each other in ways we may not even realize…

God, may we all realize our potential to be world makers, connecting, relating for the good, to be faithful to His plan. It’s not an easy task! In fact, sometimes it’s darn hard to understand and we get sad and angry at the things we see in the world. Like children in Haiti sold on the streets as slaves for $100USD, like people killed in India for being Christian, like 4.6 million orphans in Ethiopia. In the words of super case worker Jessica this week, “thank goodness we have HIM to rely on in these incredibly frustrating and emotionally draining times!” This is on our hearts!

Finally, (after all that rambling), here’s to our little “connection” in Ethiopia – we can’t wait to touch your face, feel you against our hearts, and be your family. Our latest update:

“She likes to keep her eyes open as wide as they can go most of the time that she is awake, in order to take absolutely everything in that she can. She is so close to being able to sit on her own! When you pull her to a sitting position and hold her hands, she thinks it is the most amazing thing in the world. Currently, she has perfected the leaning forward sit, supported by her hands. She has become quite adept at using her hands as well, and will pass things between two hands as she examines them. She does love her toes, and that being said, she still tries to eat anything that she can get her hands on, including my papers.” --Phillip

Weight: 15.4 pounds

In the picture we received with this update, her eyes are BIG and WIDE! Perhaps wide open as if to say, “There’s so much to see, so much to do!” Right on Koko! We are with you!

Peace to all,

Thursday, October 16, 2008


So...we escaped yesterday afternoon, just needed to get some fresh air! No better place to get fresh air than the Rockies! Just a short drive out of Littleton is the bumpy, washboardy drive over Guanella Pass to Georgetown...we took off and in no time we were in the snow. It was beautiful and brisk!

Here's Georgtown from above - love this little town!

Once we got to Georgtown, of course we had to do a little Chocolate, Caramel Popcorn, and Ice Cream Cone shopping at the best candy shop ever. Seem like a lot of sugar? Hey, it was what we needed at the time! Mmmmmmmm!

Ice Cream Cone. Gone.

Then we had a couple burgers at this cozy little restaurant. There were fun signs all over the restaurant..."Wait." It seemed like a "sign". I guess, a sign that we will wait a little longer...!

And then there were the mashed potatoes. We had a discussion about how perplexing it was that the waitress told us they don't serve french fries, and they don't serve baked potatoes, but they could serve me mashed potatoes...? (They were real, by the way, and TASTY! - comfort food!)

So....there was our afternoon yesterday, in photo review for you. More faithful waiting ahead, more dreaming of Koko....COME ON NOVEMBER 20! HURRY!

Blessings to all the waiting families - we know how you feel, we know this will happen, we know that there is amazing life to live! Remember, "HERE I AM" waiting to see the story unfold.



Why Adopt? Check out this video!