Sunday, December 29, 2013

Urgent Ethiopia News - Please Pray

As you all know we are in the process of adopting another little boy from Ethiopia and have been waiting for a referral for 25 months.  As of now we are only 5-7 months away from a referral for 0-2 year old brother for Daniel.   There are many families waiting to bring children home and even more children needing homes and forever families.  At this time Ethiopia is still OPEN for international adoptions, but over the weekend there were talks about shutting down international adoptions in Ethiopia over the last few days.   

Below is a post from EthioStork that expains a little bit of what is going on:

There is nothing done yet in any certainity or conclusion but.."the meeting of the adoption network with parliament didn't go well. The minister of federal MOWCYA, Minister Zenebu had declared she wants to shut down adoption in the coming weeks. It was very political, "we have controlled the spread of AIDS, we have dared to build a dam at the Nile, surly we can put a stop to adoption as well". The speaker of Parliament agreed with her. The meeting was adjourned with the plan to create a committee that will present a "plan of action to end adoption" not poverty or orphaning, mind you, within 10 days. If this gets accepted by parliament then next will be getting the prime minister to sign it. Let's hope that doesn't happen." ~EthioStork Ethiopian Adoption Resources

Here is a link to the full article:  http://m.allafrica.com/stories/201312260586.html/?maneref=http%3A%2F%2Fchildrendeservefamilies.com%2Fhuman-rights-violation-alert-ethiopia-proposes-ending-international-adoption%2F

How can you help:

1.  Pray that this does not happen. Ask God to step in and move these mountains and soften the hearts of those involved and open them up to adoption.  Ask God to protect all the children that this will affect in Ethiopia.  If this happens these children in the orphanages will have no Hope.

2. Contact your US Senator and US House Rep.  You can do that by contacting them on their website contact page.

3. If you have adopted or know someone who has adopted from Ethiopia and would like to share your positive stores please email info@ethiostork.org

4. Share this information on facebook, twitter, etc.

We feel there are a few reasons this is happening but one of the main reasons is there have been a number of negative articles in the media lately.  This along with the new PAIR process that has put a huge slow down in the adoption process.

Please pray with us.  We know we have a son out there somewhere.  IF this happens we are not sure where that will leave our process as it currently stands.  Most of all though pray for all those children that will virtually be STUCK if this measure goes through.

God we know you are in control. Please be with the parliament and prime minister this week as all of the talks are taking place.  Please be with the children and the families that are waiting.  We need you to help intervene as we know only you can.

"Wait with hope, hope now, hope always" Psalm 131:3 MSG

"For nothing will be impossible with God" Luke 1:37 ESV

For now we will be praying our son home.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Christmas Shopping - Check this out

Can you believe it is that time again?  I can't believe there are only 35 more shopping days until Christmas.  If you are looking for a gift with a purpose this year check out the new T-shirt a friend has designed for us.


If you would like to order a shirt and help us bring a baby brother home for Daniel you can order your shirt on the left side of the screen or send me an email at lheddleson@sbglobal.net.  

We are taking orders and will place our first order by December 4th.  The shirts will ship in time for Christmas.  

There are also a few other fundraisers on the left sidebar if you would like to help or if you feel led to just make a donation you can do that also.

Thank you so much in advance for your support.  Every little bit helps and we can't wait to bring this baby boy home!  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

2 years and waiting

We have officially hit the 24 month waiting point and with the wait time increases and lull in referrals I believe we are in for the long haul.  Wait times right now are about 30-36 months.  We know from experience thought that God is doing some amazing things we just haven't seen yet.  

Waiting this time is so much different, it is hard because Daniel is so excited to meet his brother.  He prays for him each night.  When he outgrows some clothes we put them in his brothers room.  One day he was putting a shirt in there and while he was walking he said "Mommy I wish my brother was here."  I said "Me too buddy" then he looked at me with those big brown eyes and said "It sure does take a long time".  He then went about his business like every other normal day.  It sure does buddy it sure does!

I was going through videos on my phone and i found this one from Mommy and Me day at school:

video

I am so thankful for this video and I can't wait for the day that there are 2 little boys sitting there singing "mommies are for hugging, mommies are for kissing".  If you look closely you can see the picture of daniel we received for his referral right behind him.  This is one of those moments that makes all this waiting and paperwork so worth the wait.

Daniel mentioned to Mark the other day that he wants to go with us when we go to Ethiopia to meet his brother.  This is something Mark and I had talked about and decided that we would take him when he got older and could appreciate the culture and learn more.  Now we are wondering, since his comment that he wants to go because he can't remember.  He sees pictures but he wants to see more.  Is he to young?  This is something we are trying to decide as we wait.  Should we take him?  By the time we travel for court he will be 5. Being honest, since we will be there for the court date and then come home, leaving the baby until the embassy visit I don't want Daniel to think that we can leave him also.

Long story short, we are in it for the long haul.  That is the nature of adoption.  We had "planned" on getting a referral the end of this year but things change.  In adoption you learn to be flexible things can change like that and only God knows the plan.  So we will continue to pray and follow his lead on building our family.

1st day of Pre-K

I can't believe it is the first day of school already.  Where has the time gone.  Granite we are just in preschool but still so many things have already changed.  The independence is there, which i love, but sometimes a mommy just wants to help.


Daniel still loves cars, drag racing, pretty much anything with wheels.  I am convinced that one day he will be a lawyer or negotiator of some sort.  He knows how to work his magic to get his way.  He loves to say "well how about this plan".  It is cute and frustrating all at the same time!

Daniel has the most compassionate caring heart.  He does not like to see people who are hurting or sad.  He wants to help them feel better.  My favorite parts of the day are when he runs by while he is playing and just yells out "mommy I love you" for no reason and doesn't stop what he is doing to look back.  God is working on this boys heart and I can't wait to see what he does.  He is going to do some big things some day.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Waiting on God

Wow, I just realized today we are almost at the 21 month waiting point.  21 months waiting for a referral to see that sweet little face with big brown eyes.  Really it hasn’t seemed like we have been waiting 21 months.  Part of me is happy that the wait hasn’t been as trying as it was while we were waiting for Daniel, but on the flip side part of me is sad.  I feel like I had documented every single step in the process with Daniel, this time around I am lucky to blog every 3rd month! 

The wait is starting to get tougher.  The movement of referrals seems to have all but stopped.  Average wait time for a referral now is around 26-30 months.  So in reality we have 5 more months of waiting to go.  Unfortunately once we receive that referral the wait won’t stop there.  When we adopted Daniel 3 years ago the wait was mostly on the front end (in reality, God had different plans for our journey). Now we will wait for a referral and then wait even longer for court, then come home and wait for embassy appointments (while the child is still in Ethiopia).  Processes are changing which is adding more wait time.  While I understand the need for some of the process changes, some are in the best interest of the children, it is hard.  Every time someone asks so what is going on with the adoption.  All I can say is waiting.  Waiting has become a very normal part of my life.  Waiting helps us prepare, waiting helps us grow closer to God and waiting help us to become a voice for the fatherless.    

I know all this waiting is part of a bigger story.  God has plans for this child, plans how he will use our family while waiting and plans to grow us closer to him.  Looking back now on our journey to Daniel, the waiting was one of my favorite times, though if you would have asked me while I was waiting I would not have answered that way.  During the waiting is when I felt closer to God than ever. I needed him, without his strength I would not have been able to wait 11 months to hold my baby.  He was doing big things in that season of waiting.  He worked in our hearts to want to be a bigger voice for the fatherless, to want to reach out to those who were going through the same things we were, to be a support for others who struggled with the wait.  There are a lot of unknowns, things out of your control during the adoption process.  If you are anything like me that doesn’t work well.  But God is in control, God knows the unknowns and God will get you through. 

So while I am waiting, I will continue to worship God. I will continue to praise him and I will continue to stand in awe at the works his is doing in our lives through this journey.   The waiting has helped me see just how marvelous God can be.   I listened to this song below everyday on my way to work while I was waiting for Daniel.  Now I have begun to listen to it again, to help remind me while I am waiting I will wait in obedience and trust in God’s plan:



God has this covered.  He has the perfect child picked out just for our family.   Daniel prays every night for his baby brother in Africa.  I pray that through this wait our 4 year old will be able to learn what it means to wait patiently on God’s plan.   I fully believe in God’s plan, his timing is definitely not always our timing, his timing is not always easy but his timing is ALWAYS definitely better than anything we could have planned.   I just have to remind myself when I get selfish and want my timing to be his timing, to just breathe and wait. Good things are coming. This is the scripture that I am clinging too today:

May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13

Please pray with us for the movement of referrals, that kids will be united with their Forever Families.  Most importantly please pray for patience and peace as we wait on God’s timing for our story.

Adoption is hard.  Adoption is an emotional roller coaster. Adoption is so unbelievably worth it because Adoption is part of God’s Story!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Daniel's 4 - How did that happen


Well I am not quite sure where the time has gone but Daniel is officially 4!  When this happened I am not sure.  He is getting so big so fast and way to old.   It is kind of funny how when he does something he has not done before he will say “I can do that right mom because I am 4”.  Yep, that is correct.  He is so smart, probably to smart for his own good, and you can tell he is soaking everything in around him.  He never forgets anything.  I am praying that skill stays with him for a very long time.

Some of his favorite things to do right now:
As always, play with cars and anything with wheels
He loves legos and to build things
Helping set the dinner table and clean up his toys
Play games
Play any kid of musical instrument (I love when he puts on concerts)
And anything outside, he is such a boy

Even though he has turned 4 he still loves to cuddle before bed and watch a “movie” which is anything that is animated.  Some of his favorite foods bananas, grapes, ravioli and dippy eggs. For his birthday breakfast we took him to Cracker Barrel for dippy eggs and waffles.  When he was finished the ladies brought him out an ice cream Sundae.  Who doesn’t get to eat ice cream for breakfast on their birthday!


One of my favorite things about the personality Daniel is building is his knowledge and love for God.  He doesn’t miss a beat and loves to go to Sunday school.  He has his memory verses memorized and will randomly pull them out at the appropriate times.  He can recite the stories he hears and then tell you all about them.   Here is one of my favorites of him telling the story of Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego:


For his birthday he wanted a Goofy theme.  Surprisingly it is very hard to find anything with just Goofy, but of course my child would be obsessed with Goofy!  So my dear friends came to the rescue again and helped to make the cake and cupcakes.  I think this is one of my most favorite parts of Daniels birthday, getting into the kitchen for the entire night before with these girls and just baking, laughing and catching up.  Here are some cake pictures:


Daniels day was filled with family and friends all loving on him.  His best friend from his old babysitters was even able to come and spend a few hours before the party with him.  Below is a picture of Daniel and his cousins:


This little boy is going to do some amazing things as he grows.  I can’t wait to see what God has in store as he has already touched and blessed so many just with his cute smile and personality.  Anyone that meets or talks with Daniel can attest to that!

Trust in The Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. -Proverbs 3:5-6

I pray this scripture for Daniel, that as he grows he keeps his child like faith and Trusts in God as much, if not more than he does today!  He is going to do great things, that is one thing I am certain!

It is always on this day that I wonder and think about the woman who gave birth to Daniel.  The woman that I am so eternally grateful for, who gave us the best gift we could ever receive.  I can't imagine how hard it would be to look into this face and have to turn around and leave.  My heart breaks for her and I pray that someday we will meet so I can tell her how truly grateful I am, how her sacrafice blessed our family in ways we could not even have dreamed possible, how I could not imagine my life if I didn't have this face to wake up to and hear the words "Good morning mommy".  There is a special place in heaven for this woman, of that I am sure, and I can't wait to put my arms around her and say Thank you.


Happy birthday Daniel!  You are a blessing and loved more than you could ever imagine.


2012 Wrap Up


I can’t believe how long it has been since I have taken the time to update this blog!  Wow what a difference it makes having a child around.  2012 was a big year for us.  Mark and I both got new jobs, we moved, marked the one year mark of waiting for baby number 2 and my grandfather passed away.  Most of which happened in the last few months of the year! 

We had prayed from the beginning of the year for God to “shake things up” for lack of better phrasing.  And shake them up he did.  I would not recommend praying that prayer unless you are ready for him to move.  First came the change in my job in March, it was scary since I had been at my previous job for 10 years.  New people, new places and a new area that I didn’t really know how to get around.  But it has now been a year I have been here and I love it!   Next came Mark’s new job in August.  Once again scary schedules changing and the unknown, which we all love so much.  But Mark has been there for 7 months and things are going great.

In November we marked the 1 year waiting for baby number 2.  I can’t belive it has been a whole year.  It is funny how quickly this wait time is going now that I am so busy chasing Daniel around.  We pray for Daniels baby brother every night and anytime Daniel gives a tour of the house it is always “this is my brothers room”.  It was so sweet we were unpacking and a few things Daniel took out he put away for his brother.  I can’t wait until we can all meet him and Daniel can finally be the big brother!  Only 1 more year of waiting to go, and updated paperwork, fingerprints, etc.  The paperwork never ends but is so worth it when we reach that orphanage.

Now for the move!  We had been looking for a house but not really looking saying when the time is right, when finances are in order, etc.  Well the perfect house fell into our lap in October, closer to work and including everything that we were looking that was on our wish list for a house.  So in the midst of crazy travelling for work (yes the one that doesn’t like to travel for work now has to travel quite a bit) we put in an offer.  6 weeks later we had bought a house.  I can’t explain how God worked miracles to make this house come through so fast.  Our goal was to be in the house before Christmas.  So we started moving little boxes at a time getting things in order.  We set up the “big move” weekend and invited our family to help.  Let me tell you we have awesome family and friends.  Pretty much every box was unpacked, all furniture moved and in place and the house cleaned in 1 day.  We were even able to put up the Christmas tree. 

Along with the move meant Daniel had to go to a new babysitter/daycare.  Which was the biggest con to moving.  We had the best babysitter who Daniel loved and he made some really good friends in Leetonia.  This was the scariest part, how do you pick a daycare knowing nothing about the area?! Well I believe God had a hand in this area too, someone mentioned the ACC Preschool.  We toured it and it was all said and done.  Daniel loves going to school and he is thriving learning more and more each day.  He has made good friends and the best thing is the school incorporates God into every part of their day!  Such a blessing.


The week before Christmas we lost the most wonderful man.  My grandpa.  He was such a great grandfather and we have many fond memories.  We are all finding comfort now in the fact of knowing he is in a much better place, telling jokes, bowling, golfing and fixing things.  I will miss him so much and am so glad I was able to be there to tell him good bye.  I was worried what Daniel would say or how he would react.  So of course, I let Mark do the explaining.  When Mark told him Grandpa wouldn’t be there when they got the house he went to be with Jesus.  All Daniel was concerned with was “How did he get there? Did he fly or did he drive?”.   Good questions but how do you answer them?!?  I love the fact that my, then 3 year old, was comforted with the fact that Grandpa was with Jesus and someday he would be too. 

Whew!  Sorry that was so long, so that was our 2012 and 3 months of blog posts that I didn’t get around to.  Hopefully this year will be a little bit better.  I am only 3 months behind now! We can't wait to see what this year will bring!