Reunions & Introductions

I cannot put into words the joy that was brought to our hearts on February 25th.

Fikirte and Konjit had not seen their brother Belete since August of 2010. As Karson shared during the process, “I don’t know what it would be like to not be able to see Kaden every day.”

Adoption is beautiful my friends, but there is loss before there gain. In our family’s case, our girls endured the loss of their parents, their brother, their friends,  their language, their culture, the place they had always known as home, and more. They are happy, healthy and loved, but their past is also a part of their story. Loss before gain.

It has been such a blessing to be a part of making sure that Fikirte, Konjit and Belete can see one another every day.

Ryan and I were able to visit with Belete in November of 2013, and we watched as he shed tears over longing to be reunited with his sisters. We were honored at that point to share that we were working to bring him into our family in the states. He has always been a part of our family, but we wanted to make it official through his adoption. Through a few more tears and some smiles that day, we were able to find out more about the family and the beautiful history they have here in Ethiopia. I look forward to sharing more about that with all of you in the days to come.

Kaden and Karson have been praying with our family for this day–praying for a brother they had yet to meet. Prayers that were raised almost daily since 2010. Karson often having insight that we hadn’t thought about as parents. Kaden thinking that it was about time he had a brother in a home overrun with girls.

February 25th marked a new beginning. We pray that this begins a time of gain for this young man who is now our son.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.                                               Ephesians 3:14-21


It’s a BOY!

We are so excited to finally introduce you to our newest son!



Ryan and I were named the official parents of Belete Merritt Mott today in the country of Ethiopia. He is 5’7″, 121 pounds, and 17 years old. And we couldn’t be more proud!

This journey first began on paper in June of 2014 but truly started in our hearts in August of 2010 when we were first made aware that he had been separated from our daughters, Fikirte and Konjit, due to his age. Over the next few weeks, we look forward to sharing more about our journey and the lessons we have learned along the way.

Until then, please celebrate with our family of 7!


Thankful and hopeful

We spent over an hour with B yesterday.

There were many tears, but there was also laughter.

He desperately wants to be reunited with his sisters and be a part of our family. We want the same.

“Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families…”          Psalm 68: 4-6

Today is a good day

Today is the day we get the see the young man we consider to be our son.


Fikirte and Konjit’s biological brother.

A boy we began processing to bring home in June of 2012.

A boy that we can visit today but can’t bring home.

Today has the possibility to be sad. Ryan and I know that there are no guarantees at this point that Ethiopia will let us be a family.

But we already know that through God we are a family.

Today we get to speak to our son.

Today we get to pray with our son.

We ask that you join us in prayer.


Will we be with him at 2:00pm here which is 5:00am in Illinois.

Please ask that God will make today encouraging, joyful, informative, restorative, refreshing, hopeful, and anything else that B needs to hear.

We will turn our time over to God and ask Him to direct it. He knows B’s every need. We want to be His voice of truth today to this boy.

God will continue to care for our son in our absence. We have no doubt.

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.

Freezer Pleaser Raffle WINNER

Tonight we closed out our Freezer Pleaser Fundraiser and are beyond excited to share that we sold a whopping 570 tickets!

That means we were able to raise $2850 towards our adoption of B. How exciting is that?!

But that means that a lot of you are waiting to find out who won!

And the winner of a brand new freezer and 30 homemade freezer meals is…


Thank you to everyone that entered.

You have humbled us by your support of our family.

We are blessed indeed.


Celebrations of past and present

Yesterday we celebrated 3 years of being a family of 6! The time has flown.

Konjit &  Fikirte Photo 7

Fikirte & Konjit’s referral photo from 2009

(Could they have been more adorable?)

And, oh my goodness, they have grown so much.

On August 22, 2010 we landed in Chicago and became a family of 6. It would have been impossible to take the smile off of my face–having all of my children together for the first time.

But we are excited to share that yesterday was a day of celebration in more ways than one.

We received word that our adoption agency, America World, has secured an appointment with Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs (MOWCYA) for Monday the 26th regarding our adoption of B (we are unable to share his name at this time).

What does this mean?

MOWCYA decides which children in the country of Ethiopia are eligible for adoption. B shared of his hope to be adopted and be reunited with his sisters last year, but at that time MOWCYA rejected him. They did not want to admit a boy, age 15, into the system when children age out at the age of 16. I call them children, because that is exactly what they are at 16 years of age. Children that are expected to live and survive on their own.

We have worked hard, filling out extra paperwork on top of what was already required, to convince MOWCYA that B should be placed into the system and thus made adoptable.

photo copy 11

praying over our dossier before it made the trek to Ethiopia

Representatives from America World (AW) will petition MOWCYA on our behalf, explaining that the moment B is placed into the system, he will be matched with our family. AW is strongly optimistic that B will become available for us to adopt, but nothing is guaranteed.

We are asking for your prayers, as we need the decision makers’ hearts to be soft towards B and our family. Children have been adopted over the age of 16 when there are previously adopted siblings involved. So we remain hopeful and steadfast in our pursuit of bringing B home.

One day Karson, out of nowhere, said, “Mommy, I can’t image not getting to see Kaden every day.” Children are often underestimated because of the simple ways they look at things, but this time I think the adults could learn a lot by looking at this like a child.

Every child deserves a family.

And the chance to see their brother EVERY day.


B, Fikirte & Konjit in 2010

blessed be the ties that bind

Yesterday I was given the opportunity to share our adoption story with our friends, the Taylors, on their blog

I met my first Taylor family member in 2009; he just wasn’t official yet.  Justice was in Kids Care Orphanage in Ethiopia, waiting for God’s timing to connect him with his forever family.  Fast forward one year, and I have the opportunity to meet Joshua and Bethany in Ethiopia as they are united with their newest additions, Justice and Erbeka.  This was their second time adding to their family through Ethiopia, and they were beginning their journey as a family of six.   

The Taylors describe themselves as a “people who love God, believe the Bible, and desire to live out life in a community of believers.  In everything we do we try to glorify God and live in a way that compels others to a relationship with Jesus Christ.”  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

This journey called adoption connects you to other adoptive families in a way that is difficult to put into words.  But, God does that doesn’t He?  We aren’t alone; we are blessed with the Holy Spirit and sometimes with fellow travelers.   

My lenten study brought me to some hymns this past week.  This one seems perfect for this subject: 

“Blessed Be the Tie that Binds”   (words – John Fawcett, music – Wendell Kimbrough)

Deanne & Bethany in Ethiopia ~ 2010

1. Blessed be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like that to that above.

2. Before our Father’s throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one
Our comforts and our cares.

3. We share each other’s woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.

4. When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.

5. This glorious hope revives
Our courage by the way;
While each in expectation lives,
And longs to see the day.

6. From sorrow, toil and pain,
And sin, we shall be free,
And perfect love and friendship reign
Through all eternity.

Take some time today to meet the Taylors.  You’ll be glad you did.

she chose God

Last night I was listening to a conversation Konjit (8) and Karson (6) were having on our way home from small group. 

The girls were chosing their favorite thing from two options.  So, I would hear, “chocolate or vanilla?”  “Chocolate!”  “Pizza or macaroni and cheese?”  “Macaroni and cheese!” 

The choices eventually switched to family.  Karson was given the option of mommy or daddy.  She responded with, “both!”  I, of course, smiled. 

Then Karson asked Konjit, “God or mommy and daddy.”  Konjit didn’t miss a beat and answered, “God…because He gave me mommy and daddy.”

She chose God, and this mommy is more than okay with that.

what i’ve been up to…

I have been silent on here as of late, but my prayer life and my family’s daily life has not been.  One of the days our family has been anticipating for the past year has arrived.  We are finally a family of 6! 

In April of 2009, I met two sisters at Kid’s Care Orphanage.  Then, our family started a journey that led us here:

We are SO excited to officially introduce you to Konjit Adina and Fikirte Eliana Mott!!

Ethiopian names have great significance within their culture.  Some of you may know that my husband Ryan found the name Kaden in the two-syllable section of a baby book, and I first heard Karson (for a girl) in a movie, but they also have family names.  Robert Kaden was named after multiple generations of Roberts, such as his daddy – Robert Ryan, and Karson Dawn in memory of my sister, Dawn.  We treasure the familial significance that these names have.  So, Ryan and I decided to make a break from the ‘K’ names and honor the Ethiopian tradition of origin significance in the choosing of their middle names.  I began researching, and we decided on the following:

Konjit means ‘beautiful’ in Amharic and Adina means ‘longing’ in Hebrew. 

Fikirte means ‘love’ in Amharic and Eliana means ‘God has answered’ in Hebrew. 

God truly answered our longing.  To His name be all glory, honor, and praise!