And just like that

This is our mailbox.

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And its contents brought me to tears.

We are fully funded for our trip.

You read that right.

We are FULLY funded!

To say that we are grateful is an understatement.

Sometimes even the lady that taught communication for over a decade is speechless.

Thank you.

Facing the giants (not just a movie)

Ryan and I leave for Africa on a missions trip to love on orphans in only 2 weeks.

14 days until we have the opportunity to


in Uganda and Ethiopia.

We recently received permission from Visiting Orphans, our mission trip sending organization, and America World, our adoption agency, to visit with B while we are in Ethiopia. It was cause for great celebration in our house! The kids are working on the letters they want to send with us and choosing the photos they would like us to share with B.

In our home church we are currently working our way through “The Story.” It’s a book that uses the NIV Bible–the stories, poems, and teachings–and reads like a novel. Sunday we looked at the experiences of Joshua as he led the Israelites through multiple battles. In each situation, God’s people overcame the giant they were opposing.

Our family is currently facing 2 giants.

The first is MOWCYA. We are still awaiting an appointment with the Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs. We wrote in a previous post about the power MOWCYA has to allow or not allow B to be adopted into our family. Our appointment was originally scheduled and cancelled two months ago. We continue to feel incomplete without B in our home. This opportunity to visit him will be like balm to our souls. What a joy it will be to see him, to hug him, to hear his voice. 

We ask that you join us in praying that MOWCYA will schedule the appointment with our adoption agency, and that the meeting will take place before we land in Ethiopia. If the meeting takes place before we arrive in Ethiopia and they agree to pronounce B adoptable, we will be able to discuss the adoption and our plans with B. If the meeting has not taken place, we will still be able to see B but won’t be able to talk about our hopes to bring him home.

Our second giant is in regards to our mission trip. And yes, we consider this a mini-giant in comparison to our adoption giant, but it is a giant none-the-less.

We are two weeks away from leaving for Uganda and Ethiopia but we are not fully funded financially. Through our own contributions and fundraising we have paid just over 80% of our total. As of today, Ryan and I still owe a total of $968.86. We humbly ask that you would pray for our upcoming trip and if you feel led–support us with a financial gift.

We’ve already overcome 1 giant this morning.

Writing this post.

It is difficult for us to ask for financial help, as we are still so grateful for the support we received three years ago bringing our girls home.

The other difficult part is B’s possible adoption just around the corner. With that will come 10s of thousands of dollars in fees. We have already paid a little over $10,000 to get to the point we are now, and much of that came from purchased necklaces, scarves, rulers, raffle tickets, or envelopes of cash. And yet the upcoming numbers are still overwhelming–a giant indeed for our family of 6.

We transparently admit to you that we have spent the past 24 hours praying about whether Ryan should stay home and put his finances toward myself and a few others on the team who are still lacking in funds. We discussed putting the rest on a credit card and not sharing the need. And no that decision was not taken lightly by our “Dave Ramsey family.”

But we have instead decided to post our struggle.

The truth is that we can’t do this on our own, and I’m not sure that anyone benefits from us acting like we can.

Your prayers have helped us put one foot in front of the other every day that we have been in wait. We believe that those prayers will bring B home and allow us to visit him in two weeks.

You likely woke up this morning with an impending run-in with a giant. Rest assured that God is bigger. And in His timing and in His way, He will overcome.

We have two beautiful daughters who remind us of that truth every day.

Now on to my fourth giant of the morning–hitting the publish button.

Coffee. It’s not just for breakfast.

Coffee is said to have originated in Ethiopia, so it is no surprise that it is offered when visiting friends, during festivities, and in daily life.

We were honored to take part in multiple coffee ceremonies during our time in Ethiopia. The ceremonies are a beautiful walk through the preparing, brewing, and serving of the coffee and are often accompanied by popcorn.

This beautiful woman led the ceremony we received at Kid’s Care Orphanage. This is the orphanage where I first met Fikirte and Konjit in 2009.

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To fashion or make by hand.

This weekend I spent many hours with my husband’s family. They are extremely creative and have made a business out of designing and creating decor for the home.

It has been a joy to marry into such a talented group. The walls of our home would be bare if not for their work.

I have attended and helped with the family’s craft shows for over twenty years now, so I have witnessed first-hand how much time, effort, care, and attention-to-detail are put into each handcrafted piece.

I was introduced to the ALERT medical facility while in Ethiopia in 2010. The center focuses on rehabilitation and training in regards to leprosy and tuberculosis. It also houses a store that is filled with beautiful tablecloths, curtains, dresses, scarves, purses, rugs, and much more that are made on their grounds.

Beautiful things made by beautiful people.

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To fashion or make by hand.

I brought home many items from this special place. But my favorite piece would have to be a mat made by this man.

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I believe, in his case, he creates and works from the heart.

Africa in 30 days

My husband, Ryan, and I will leave in 30 days for a mission’s trip to Uganda and Ethiopia. It is exciting to even type those words!

I first spent time in Ethiopia in 2009, and my life was forever altered by that experience.

Over the next 30 days I hope to share some of the beauty of Ethiopia with you.

A glimpse into why I fell in love with a culture half-way around the world.

This is the view from the roof of Yebsabi Guest House in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.


Color. Color. And more color.

As far as the eye can see.