Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
John 3:16-17 (The Message)
Sunday, December 21, 2008
- DVD player for big kids
- baby who is generally happy-go-lucky
- fun navigation system for Dad (although it's not exactly hard to find one's way along the same interstate for 600 miles!)
- XM Satelite Radio and a lap dog for mom
I guess the swanky minivan is worth it!
We have arrived in Misery, er Missouri, and it hasn't been too miserable so far. It's our own Christmas miracle, I guess.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
The song is by a young artist named Brooke Fraser. The song is called, "Albertine." Albertine is a young orphan girl that Brooke Fraser met while she was in Rwanda.
The haunting refrain goes like this:
Father, what is next?
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
So many thanks to Ross from our small group (that's Ross Greiner Photography) for this picture of Amelia. He took it while she was watching the Christmas program at church.
I can't decide if we should book a "family Christmas" sitting, or a "family in January" setting. Ross's work is so fantastic, it's hard to choose!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
The Advent Conspiracy challenges us to worship fully, spend less, give more and love all. Could it be more simple?
The idea is to reduce consumerism and change the world. Watching the video clip (below), I learned that Americans spend $450 BILLION each year for Christmas.
Elsewhere in the world, 1.8 million people die every year from water-borne illnesses. This includes 3900 children every single day. In fact, the lack of clean drinking water kills more people every year than anything else.
The world's water problem could be solved--once and for all--with just $10 billion. A small fraction of what we in America spent on Christmas last year.
I'm convicted and I'm challenged. I want to change the world. My heart hurts to change the world.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
We don’t know what it reminds Amelia of, but the rest of us think of the statues and art we saw in Rome the week before we met Amelia. It’s a pretty big painting, and we have it hung in the entry. When Amelia is in her high chair, it’s so cute to watch her crane her neck to get a look at her angel. And when we go up or down the stairs, she likes to pause to get a look, do a little giggle and smile.
Speaking of angels....Amelia has something happening on the top of her head. I wouldn't call it regular "hair" yet. And "bird's nest" seems a bit harsh. So let's just go with "angel hair." (Aside from the difference in color, it does look a bit like the pasta.)
Something we have learned about malnourishment is this: When a young child is malnourished, her body feeds her brain first. And then her organs. And finally, her muscles. Isn't God amazing? We wouldn't be able to help Amelia catch up when it comes to brains or organs. But muscles? No big deal!
And now here is a picture of our very first bath, when we were in Ethiopia. It was taken exactly four months ago. It's hard to recognize her as the same baby. Hard to believe it's only been four months...because it seems she has been with us forever. Thank God for His love and grace to all of us!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Here's a bit about Hanna's work:
Children's Heaven serves orphaned girls ages eleven years and older. Without the safety net that Hanna provides, these girls would fall through the cracks, and they would be forced to make their way by begging or even prostitution. Children's Heaven ensures these girls can go to school (providing uniforms and supplies as well), tutors and teaches the girls, teaches them about God, and makes sure they have access to health care and plenty to eat. These girls have been orphaned and no longer have mothers. Hanna truly shows them a mother's love. Because of Children's Heaven, these girls have a chance!
As an example of the incredible work that Hanna does, click here to read about the Dumpster Girls pictured below. Hanna had just met these girls in July when we were in Ethiopia. If not for Hanna Fanta and Children's Heaven, there would be a lot more Dumpster Girls in Ethiopia.
Living as we do in the U.S., it's hard to comprehend that anyone, especially children, lives like this, isn't it?
Finally, I leave you with a two minute video about Children's Heaven.
Again today, be INSPIRED!
The benefit was called Art for Ethiopia, and the goal was to raise funds to help Children's Heaven build an actual, permanent building in Addis Ababa for the teenaged girls they serve. (Children's Heaven currently puts up temporary buildings made of tarps and other materials, which the Ethiopian government occasionally makes them take down....)
We went to the benefit and had a good time. (Well, Amelia thought it was a bit too crowded and noisy, but it was her first fundraiser, so she's not yet experienced at these things.) Hanna Fanta is visiting the U.S. right now (a requirement for her U.S. Visa), and she was at the fundraiser. It was soooooo wonderful to see her!
We picked up some art for such a great cause. Amelia loved one of the pieces in particular....so her daddy couldn't stop himself from getting it for her. (Dads and daughters...what can I say?) Ethiopian Orphan Relief had set a "high" goal of raising $10,000. We heard today that $12,800 was raised. That's so fantastic!
Here's Amelia at "Art for Ethiopia," taking time out for a little snack.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
It's a well-written, inspiring and often funny blog about a family and their incredible adventure. This family recently adopted from Ethiopia. But that's just the beginning of the story....of God's calling and involvement in their lives, and of the big assignment they have accepted.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Even with an almost-always-at-work husband and three daughters, I found time to make some calls last night. And I'm on my way to my poll-watching gig here in a few minutes.
God bless our country!
I got your message, but can't find your email address / phone number. And I don't have the spelling of your last name (which to readers who aren't Tammy might sound lame. But her last name could have many, many, many different spellings), or I think I could track you down. Grrrrr!
I can't believe you found us! I would love to hear more about your family and what you're up to. Please post here or send your email / phone to our gmail firstname.lastname@example.org. And I hope you'll send a note, too, of course.
Waiting by the keyboard,
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Amelia thought it was awfully fun to read the paper with Dad the other morning. (Don't be fooled by the newspaper section she chose--we're not making her get a job!)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
(Note: She's laughing, not crying...that said, she does have quite a flair for the dramatic. I'm not sure where she gets it--ha!)
(Here is our outcome. Understated, non-bushy brows.)
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Going through some of our paperwork today, I found a document that sheds a tiny bit of light on Amelia's first days. She was born (or at least, she was found) in a place called Woliso. Woliso is in a rural area about seventy-seven miles from Addis Ababa, the capitol city.
A beautiful, but primitive, hut on a hillside.
Such a sweet little girl.
The countryside looks green and beautiful.
Another little girl (can you tell I'm a girl mom?)
This is the school.
A beautiful place.
Another sweet little girl (yep, I'm still a girl mom).
I think that is coffee on the donkey's back.
On the way to town...
I think this would be "in town."