Keepin’ it real

If you have any form of social media , you can’t help but notice that it’s back to school time.

Some of you may not have been able to get your children to pose for the photo that every other family appears to take on this monumental occasion. Do not despair. I too have experienced that lackluster want from my children to stand still for the seconds it would take to achieve such a photograph.

My mind always goes back to 2011 when the best we could achieve was this gem.


Can anyone relate? I sure hope so.

This year didn’t go much better.

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Just kidding.

They were a bit more optimistic about the thought of school this year.

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Fikirte is entering 8th grade and will be 14 next month. Kaden is taking on the Jr. High and 6th grade. Konjit is ready for 5th grade, but we wonder if it’s ready for her. Karson, be still my heart, is a 4th grader.

There have been years when I’ve been sentimental and emotional on the first day of school. There have been years when I worried my way through that first day.

I remember moving to Mt. Pulaski during Kaden’s Kindergarten year, requiring him to transition mid-year. And I worried.

I remember taking Karson to Kindergarten when she was barely 5, hoping that it wasn’t too soon. And I worried.

I remember walking Konjit into her 2nd grade class when she had only been in the US for two months. And I worried.

I remember Fikirte following closely behind with only three months in the US and taking on the 5th grade. And I worried.

And EVERY time EVERYthing was okay.

So today we huddled in our backyard praying for the new school year and spent some time focusing on the gift of school and an education. What a blessing. We prayed to make the most of this school year opportunity.

I promised to keep it real, so I am sharing my first day photo.

I’m saying, “Yes!” because school is back in session. It was time. And everything is going to be okay.

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Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.      ~Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT) 

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.


It is the second day of the new year. 

All of my Christmas decorations are up.  There are dirty dishes in the sink.  A rather large pile of dirty laundry is waiting.  It has been quiet for half an hour, but the rustling of children is beginning.

It is the first Sunday of the new year.  I can’t wait!   A new year in which to worship, to study, to commune, to pray.

I am thanking the Lord for this day.

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!