Friday, July 29, 2011


Yesterday I came home to find a big box of Love it Waiting shirts! They look great! If you ordered one, they are on their way! Unfortunately there is a bit of a delay on the JAMBO tees, but hopefully the store will be stocked up again soon! Stay tuned for another exciting update on the store! (hint: there might be some new designs added to support other families)

Thursday, July 28, 2011


These are the very first pictures we got of Arthur! I think he was about 4 months old here. It's kind of sad for me to think about how much time we've missed with him. You know the mom conversation where the soon to be mom is almost scolded for sleeping in? You know the comments like

"You just wait!"

"You better get your sleep now because..."

Yeah, I'm sort of tired of these comments. For a lot of reasons, but mainly because I would have LOVED to be the one to get up in the middle of the night with Arthur during those tender, newborn weeks. Don't get me wrong, I am all about people telling it like it is! I'm not into sugar-coating life struggles. I just feel like sometimes the way mothers give advice feels like a threat! For a mom-to-be filled with insecurity, the last thing I want to feel is threatened. I want you to tell me the truth, but I also want to be encouraged that I can do this.

Please know that I love you all, little mommy friends! I just thought I would share a little bit about what it feels like to be a mom who has missed the first 8 months of Arthur's little life.

Wow! I did not see this post going here when I started writing today, but there you have it!

Monday, July 25, 2011


"I have had you on my heart so much lately *tears* - I just want you
to know that you are going to be such a radiant and amazing mama.
And Aaron is like a dream dad! In these weeks that you wait
to get Arthur, know that I am praying over him every day
and that I am praying for you and Aaron also - that God would help
this time to go so quickly, that He would surround you with
legions of Angels on your trip there and back and that your transition
to parenthood would be the most precious time you've ever experienced.
Arthur is amazingly adorable, and I can't wait to meet him!!"

Just feeling so lucky to be surrounded by such great friends! Thank you, Shanda!


Last week my sweet friends at work threw me a baby shower! Wow!!!! It really blew me away! These people are so thoughtful and talented. It was just perfect! And of course... no diaper cake in sight! ;)

The spread... so cute!!

The invite!

Onesies and table decorations! See... so thoughtful! If you look close you
can see how each onesie has a special connection to our story.

#2 Cowboy boot because we are from Texas

The humor! Thanks, Sam!
The handmade! Love the simplicity of this :)
Handmade by Sandi

And finally the quiz. All the questions came from the blog! So fun!

A MILLION thank you's to all my fellow Hallmarkers!

Friday, July 22, 2011


Remember this post? Well, the dang thing is finally finished! I picked it up this week! It is absolutely perfect! Paseo Upholstery did a great job fixing it up! The nursery feels a little more complete. More pics of his room coming soon!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I've been so excited to share this, but couldn't until we passed court. It starts on the morning of December 1st... about 7 months ago. I woke up and felt my insides aching and remembered a dream I had that night. I woke Aaron up and told him all about how I dreamt Arthur was born. It was honestly kind of strange... the way dreams usually are, but I couldn't help but wonder if Arthur actually was born that day all the way across the world!

When I got to work I told our social worker all about it on gchat. She said "Oh my gosh, Heather! It's totally possible that he was born today! I've heard of that happening a lot! You should write it down!" So, I did. I wrote it down right here on this blog.

A couple months later things got kind of crazy with the news that Ethiopia would cut inter-country adoptions by 90 percent! This news was heartbreaking! I pushed through and tried to stay positive, and really made myself crazy trying to figure out what God was doing through all of this. It just didn't make sense to me. I remembered the dream I had and decided to look on the Waiting Child List. (a list of mostly healthy children who are a little older and are waiting to be adopted). I thought... I wonder if there's a boy on the list with the December 1st birthday. I mean... what are the chances? There were only about 20 kids on the list at the time. As I scrolled down I felt the chills run across my skin as I saw a boy, born on December 1st! He was so beautiful, he seemed to have such a sweet spirit... he was TEN!

"Ten?! Hmm... I just don't know about that. Aaron's going to think that I'm nuts!" I felt nuts, but when I told Aaron about it, I was kind of surprised by his response. He, too felt that the birthday was significant and thought it was something we needed to pay attention to. He said "I just don't feel right saying, 'Yes, Lord we want to care for orphans, but not a ten-year-old,' Let's pray about it." So, we prayed about it. We asked our family to pray about it. I kept remembering things I had learned from an adoption conference I had attended a few months before. Learning more about orphan care actually created a lot of doubt in my mind about our decision to adopt a baby internationally. And the news of the slow down made me fear we were just adding to the "baby business".

We eventually decided that this little ten-year-old was not our child. Which was kind of tough for me. I had been staring at his photo and daydreaming about our family. I just felt connected to him because of that birthday! Pretty soon after that, things started picking up and referrals started pouring in! I started to get excited again about a baby. The baby God had for us.

Within a couple weeks we had moved all the way up on the wait list and Ashley (our consultant) called us with the news of our son! She had both of us on the line...

ASHLEY: "Ok guys, are you ready to hear about your son?"

AARON: "Yes!"

ME: "I think so..."

ASHLEY: "Ok, I'm probably going to mess up his name. I haven't heard this name before. His name is Fuad Amina"

AARON: "ok..."

ME: an echoing, "ok..."

ASHLEY: "He was born on December 1st... Heather, are you still breathing?" (She knew about the dream too)


AARON: an echoing, "OH MY GOSH!"

The rest of the conversation was such a blur! I just felt paralyzed by the power of what the Lord had done. So overwhelmed by how big He is!! I mean, I felt my son being born all the way across the world! What a beautiful gift for us. For me. For Arthur. All of my doubts and insecurities vanished that day. This is our son!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Our consultant called this morning with the news that the letter came and we passed court! He is officially ours! 4-6 weeks from now we will be going to get him!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


First, let's just get it out there... yes, it's been 18 business days and still no letter :( Yes, this has been difficult to handle. The other families and I are really hoping that tomorrow is the day! (The day we get news of the letter and pass court and Arthur is ours)

In the mean time I have been blessed by friends throwing me showers :)
One of our dear friends gave us the book, "Twenty Things Adoptive Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew". It's a book that a lot of you adoptive parents out there have already read or heard about. It's seems to be filled with a lot of truths that make you go... "ouch" take a few deep breaths. Aaron and I read through the chapter titles and to be honest, a lot of them kind of kicked our butts. I'm excited to read through the book with Aaron and maybe gain a new perspective. Here are the chapter titles. I'd love to hear from some of you who have already read the book. What did you think?

1. "I suffered a profound loss before I was adopted. You are not responsible."

2. "I need to be taught that I have special needs arising from adoption loss, of which I need not be ashamed."

3. "If I don't grieve my loss, my ability to receive love from you and others will be hindered."

4. "My unresolved grief may surface in anger towards you."

5. "I need your help in grieving my loss. Teach me how to get in touch with my feelings about my adoption and then validate them."

6. "Just because I don't talk about my birth family doesn't mean I don't think about them."

7. "I want you to take the initiative in opening conversations about my birth family."

8. "I need to know the truth about my conception, birth, and family history, no matter how painful the details may be."

9. "I am afraid I was 'given away' by my birth mother because I was a bad baby. I need you to help me dump my toxic shame."

10. "I am afraid you will abandon me."

11. "I may appear more 'whole' than I actually am. I need your help to uncover the parts of myself that I keep hidden so I integrate all the elements of my identity.

12. "I need to gain a sense of personal power."

13. "Please don't say I look or act just like you. I need you to acknowledge and celebrate our differences."

14. "Let me be my own person...But don't let me cut myself off from you."

15. "Please respect my privacy regarding adoption. Don't tell other people without my consent."

16. "Birthdays may be difficult for me."

17. "Not knowing my full medical history can be distressing at times."

18. "I am afraid I will be too much for you to handle."

19. "When I act out my fears in obnoxious ways, please hang in there with me, and respond wisely."

20. "Even if I decide to search out my birth family, I will always want you to be my parents."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Before we left for Ethiopia we prayed that God would give Arthur visions of our faces so that when he saw us he might recognize us and give us a big smile! Ha! yes, we prayed for a smile. In his referral picture he's smiling so big, so we thought that maybe this wasn't too much to ask. ...that DID NOT HAPPEN! We worked so hard to get that boy to smile that first day and he just did not find us amusing. ha!

He did, however, think that his nurses at the House of Hope were the funniest people on the planet! It was really fun to see him interact with them. It was obvious he had a connection with them. And while you would think that might make me feel a little jealous, it didn't. It made me feel so good about where he was. It so good for him that the people caring for him make him happy! (especially since he's going to be there for a couple more months... boo!)

We got to spend three days with Arthur and he seemed to warm up to us a little more each day. I think we may have even gotten a couple smiles that last day. For the most part, he seems to be a very relaxed, reserved and very inquisitive baby boy. I would guess that he is more on the thoughtful, sensitive side with a HUGE heart (which is cool because his given name means "heart"). Compared to the other baby boys in the room, he just didn't have that "boy" attitude. (meaning rambunctious and destructive and always moving) I know this might be hard to gather from a baby in three days but that is our perception of him so far. Who knows... we could meet a totally different boy in a couple months ;)

It's funny how sometimes we will ask the Lord for things, only to find that He had a better idea. I would be lying if I said we weren't a little disappointed that we didn't get our smile. But as we were leaving, Aaron and I were talking about how cool it is that we are going to have to work for that smile and that one day, we will be the "special ones". The ones he has bonded to and everyone else will have to work for smiles. Building that bond might take a little longer than we thought, but I think it will be a much deeper bond in the end.

Basically, he's perfect! SO perfect for us!


I love how our hands are all intertwined :)

So, what was it like meeting my son for the first time? I've been wanting to write about this, but I just don't know if I can craft the words in a way that really gives that moment justice. I hardly even know where to start.

How about we back up to April 5, when we received THE phone call from our consultant. That day, we got to hear a little bit about our son. It wasn't a lot of information, but there were some details (details that I cannot wait to share) that created a pretty intense connection between me and my boy. God just made it VERY obvious that this was my son and I was meant to be his mama! Aaron and I spent the next three months gazing at the only two pictures we had, noticing every little detail. And, yes, sometimes we held the photo kissed his little two dimensional face.

We received news of our court date on May 20th and had 4 weeks to prepare for our trip. I was nervous! My stomach did a flip every time I thought about meeting Arthur. What would he think of us? What if he didn't respond well to us? What if our white faces and huge glasses scared him? What if he cried and I couldn't console him? What if he liked Aaron more than me? What if we found out he was sick and we had to leave him?

Fast forward to the day we are in Ethiopia about to meet Arthur. We were still nervous, but really more excited than anything! By that time I was just ready to hold him and kiss him, crying or not! We were in a room with two other families who were about to meet their sons for the first time too! The nurses came in and asked the names of our babies so that they could go and get them ready for us. One by one, they brought the babies in. We watched (and filmed and photographed) as the two other families met their boys and then waited patiently (me more patient than Aaron) by the door for Arthur. The nurse walked up to the room carrying Arthur and sweetly kissed him before handing him to Aaron. His eyes fixed on Aaron's face and he touched his face so sweetly and gently almost like he was greeting him in some way. (or maybe he just wanted to put those glasses in his mouth). I stole him away from Aaron pretty quickly and he touched my face the same way he touched Aaron's. He took turns staring at the two of us! It was such an incredible moment! There was an instant connection that I can't explain. All of our insecurities about being parents vanished and in that moment I became a mom and Aaron became a dad!

I actually became an aunt that day too, but I'll tell you more about that later ;)

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Thanks to everyone who entered! (So, maybe I only had 7 entries... and maybe I just gave everyone a print) It's so great to hear more about you and I definitely have some more stories to follow. I hope everyone enjoys their prize!

I ended up sending 7 prints to 7 different states! How cool is that?!
Missouri, Kansas, North Carolina, Indiana, Texas, Montana and California

Oh, and I guess the point of a giveaway is usually to promote a product and I totally forgot to do that. oops... so if you didn't enter and you still want a print you can find them in my shop. Only $15! :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


We are nearing the end of this process and about to begin a new chapter with our boy forever in our arms. I've spent a lot of time the past few weeks thinking about all the people who have reached out to us... with prayers, encouragement, gifts, time. The list goes on. I want you all to know how much we needed all of that and how much we appreciate you! It's been a long road. Beautiful and also very tough at times and I'm so thankful we didn't have to walk it alone.

Now for the giveaway...

If you are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia and you think this 8x10 signed screen print is awesome (and you don't already have it) you should enter to win! Here's how... It's really simple.

Email me at and tell me:

- who you are
- where you are from
- what led you to adoption
- where you are in the process
- how I can pray for you

First 5 people to email me answering all 5 questions will win! My little way of saying thank you!


The most popular question I get now is "So, when do you get to go back?" I don't mind people asking this question... it's just sort of frustrating and painful to have to say "I don't know" I hate it! Now that we've met him it's harder to deal with the uncertainty. If you're a visual person like me, this calendar will help you comprehend the wait that is before us.

Here is what I'm hoping for...
July 15th we will get word that our MOWA letter is in and the adoption is final! That day we will be able to announce to the world that he is officially ours and you will see many pictures of his beautiful face.

August 19th, approximately 5 weeks later, we will be on a plane headed back to Ethiopia to get that baby boy and bring him home! I really hope this is what happens!!!


Friday, July 1, 2011


We used this paper chain to track the wait for our referral. We actually didn't get through the whole thing, so I thought I would use the rest to track the wait for our MOWA letter. I'm realizing that when they said 15-20 days, they meant business days, and that translates into 3 weeks, which sounds so much worse than 15 days! Am I right?? The good news is it's been 6 days (business days!) since we went to court. Two more weeks and he'll be all ours! There were a few families from our agency who went to court 3 weeks ago. I'm hoping we will hear soon that they got their letters!

Really cannot wait to show you this sweet bundle! He's just the best!