5 Years Ago

Five years ago today, I got to marry you, Michael Jones. Do you remember that day? I was so nervous and excited. Since then we have experienced a lot together. I’m so glad I get to do life with you.

I remember

our trip to Ecuador in 2005 with Camp Kivu (then K-CO) where we decided we would adopt one of our children. And five years later we were on a plane to pick up our son, our first child, adopted from Ethiopia. Wow.

being your scuba diving partner in Hawaii, and having full confidence that you would rescue me from danger if need be.

all of the awesome Christmas gifts you’ve made me, and the hours of labor and thought that went into each one.

your meaningful words of encouragement, which come at just the right time.

our bike rides where you would make me go faster and farther than I ever thought I could.

and sitting down at the dinner table with you hundreds of times and enjoying laughter, conversation, or silence.

And I love

your chocolate chip cookies, and your chocolate mouse, and your homemade brioche, etc.

your retired skit characters from camp. (I always hope you’ll pull them out again.)

your motivation to conquer something new (including renovating our entire attic including plumbing and electrical.)

your self-discipline.

watching you as a father and a teacher. (This is growing to be one of my favorite things.)

Thanks for caring for me and guiding our family through God’s love.
Happy Anniversary! I love you.


Party Planning

I’m not always great at planning ahead, but your first big birthday celebration should be special. You turn 3 years old on September 20th! I have a month to plan, and I can’t wait to make it loads of fun. The theme was quite obvious to Ababayeh. Dinosaurs. Ever since the two of you went to the dino exhibit at Union Station, you talk about them all of the time. At first I thought a theme would be cheesy, but then I remembered that you are 3 and a little cheese is necessary at your birthday party.

Ababayeh is going to make your cake (which will be super cool), and I’ve considered finding a dinosaur costume to wear at the party. And maybe, just maybe Philvis will make an appearance and play you a special birthday tune. Now I must also find him a dino song to play. Also need to make invites, plan a game, think of food and favors.

With your little sister in my belly, I’ve had a hard time finding motivation to do much in the evenings. But feeling sick and tired will not keep me from planning a good party for you. I will prevail! (especially w/ Michael and Taryn’s help!)

Love you while you’re still two.


Sugar & Spice

Sugar and spice
And all that’s nice,
That’s what little girls are made of.

Gunyea, you’ve been right all along with your prediction! They are 95% sure that this baby is a girl!

That was quite surprising and fun to find out at our ultrasound today. Seeing her little body was quite cool, but hearing the heartbeat loud and clear made me tear up a bit. She was moving like crazy…ultrasound lady said she had hickups. Gunyea, you thought it was exciting to see your sister on the TV but you were especially interested in the large techy computer that the lady was using. Ababayeh was relieved once they told us all the risks of an unhealthy baby were very very low.

And Baby, I feel like it’s time I write you a note:

Hello there, little squirt. Sorry I’ve ignored you for the first 3 months. I remember talking to you once, but that was when I promised to get you back into some air conditioning before I threw up. Was good to see you today. Now I know you are in there for sure, and will try to keep you posted on what’s going on out here.

First of all, I’m your mom and I love you. I also like hospitality, chai lattes, and time with family around the dinner table. Your dad, well he is awesome. He is going to be smitten over you, and I cannot wait to watch that. He likes riding bikes, eating chocolate croisants, and teaching kids. He also likes folding the toilet paper into the fancy little triangle. And guess what…you have a big brother. A really cool, Ethiopian (that’s a country in Africa) brother with an afro. He loves life. He also loves cereal and milk, walking Owen (our dog) around the house with his leash, and he loves running water. I cannot wait to watch him stick up for you on the playground. The four of us are going to have so much fun.

So you can just keep on growing in there, and making me uncomfortable. Can’t wait to see you again in a month.


Mommyeh and the Boys

Booties from HandmadeBabyLove.

Big Brother

Gunyea kisses baby.

Mommyeh’s baby bump.

Yes, we are going to have a baby. Almost through the third month and going strong with most of the fun early pregnancy symptoms. Tegegne will be a big brother and he’s been saying the baby is a girl. Michael says the same. We will go to our first sonogram tomorrow, and I’m interested to see what he says when he sees the baby moving around. In about a month we’ll see if it’s a boy or girl.

So, for the last several months, I’ve been eager to get on here and write – as a lot has been on my mind. One of the most common things I hear from people is “Oh my gosh…I hear of that happening all of the time.” Meaning that people adopt a child and soon after get pregnant.

Several months after Tegegne was home we were discussing whether we’d adopt all of our children or give birth to one too. We decided to only adopt, then thought it would be okay to try and get pregnant. A few weeks later, we were like…wait, maybe this is too soon. Welp, I was already pregnant. And have been ever since. Each day I woke up and said, “Lord, if I miscarry I know that it means we are supposed to adopt all of our children.” I said this without worrying, just matter-of-factly. And here we are, 3 months in.

Life will continue to be exciting around here. It will be fun to see Michael and Tegegne holding this little teeny baby. Gunyea loves babies and points them out to me as often as he sees them.

So that’s the news for now. Stay tuned.

Ababayeh Kiss Mommyeh?

I walked in the door from work this evening, and you greeted me with the biggest smile with a loud “Hiiiii Mommmyyeeehhhh!” I asked for some sugar and you kept kissing me. Then you said, “Mommyeh happy?” I replied yes, and you said “Gunyea happy?” “Gunyea happy!”

Then we went upstairs to greet Ababayeh. You often ask “Ababayeh kiss Mommyeh?” As he proceeded to kiss me on the cheek, you said “Ababayeh, right here” and pointed to my lips. “Ababayeh love Mommyeh?” “Yes Gunyea, Ababayeh loves Mommyeh.” And so on.

Getting in the car on the way to dinner you said, “Gunyea open Mommyeh’s door?” You went running to beat Ababayeh to my door, and you got help opening it. When we were all in the car you asked us individually if we were wearing our seat belts, which you always ask now as we get in the car.

On the way home from dinner I yawned, and you immediately said, “Mommyeh sleepy?”

You are growing into a thoughtful little fellow. We laugh often as your little voice asks the sweetest questions.

On a side note, I looked at our adoption agency’s blog tonight and saw all of the Ethiopia referrals that are flowing in rapid pace and I was filled with joy. Nearly every month our agency matches lots of children with their forever families. I imagine the initial photo that each family receives, and I long for them to meet their children for the first time. Even better, I think of the new children in families a year after being adopted.

You have been with us 8 months, and have changed so much from your first referral photo.

God is rescuing children from darkness into light, and it is beautiful. Yes, there is often a dim transition period, but God does not give us more than we can bear. And he offers to walk alongside us every step of the way.

Last Big Day

It’s your last full day with Ababayeh before school tomorrow, little guy! You guys have been having so much fun. I went to orientation for your school last night, and you and Ababayeh will go today to meet the other students. It was confirmed by your teachers that Jordan was your best buddy this summer. They said once things got going in the morning you would call his name and be linked together all day! You will be sad to find out that Jordan is at another school now. You do, however, have 14 boys and 5 girls in your class. There may be one or two other boys that have brown skin like you, so we’ll see if you prefer playing with them.

This year you will get one responsibility each day. One example is the 5 minute kid. This kid will warn the rest of the class that there is five minutes left at recess, snack time, etc. I think you would like that job. Ironically, we have two family friends from church with kiddos in your class. It should be fun for you to see these kids in class, then at church as well.

Have a good day with Ababayeh!



Brother, let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I may have the grace
To let you be my servant, too
Sister, let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I may have the grace
To let you be my servant, too

We are pilgrims on a journey
We are brothers on the road
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load

I will hold the Christlight for you
In the night-time of your fear
I will hold my hand out to you
Speak the peace you long to hear

I will weep when you are weeping
When you laugh I’ll laugh with you
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we’ve seen this journey through
When we sing to God in heaven
We shall find such harmony
Born of all we’ve known together
Of Christ’s love and agony

Brother, let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I may have the grace
To let you be my servant, too

(The Servant Song, by Richard Gillard,
+ sister verse)
I love it when our church community sings this song. This weekend we are headed on our annual Church Pilgrimage, one of the best weekends of the year. As birds do, we will fly together, but will also be solo. A pilgrimage, a spiritual journey. Be with us, O God.