Monday, November 21, 2011

Another Special Day

Last week we had Rahel's readoption hearing. She was pretty excited to make things official. She was also excited to change her middle name from William (Nick's first name was automatically given to her in Ethiopia). Not the best name for a little girl.

So, she is now officially Rahel Candace.

We told her the story of how we found her name in Acts chapter 8 of the bible. The story is of Phillip and the Ethiopian Enoch. In the passage, the queen of Ethiopia named "Candace" was mentioned. We found out that Candace is actually more of a title used for Ethiopian queens back in the day. I liked the name and it was conveniently biblical, Ethiopian and started with a "C" (all of our kids have either first or middle names starting with "C"). She also liked it, so it was a win, win, win, win.

Here are the kids waiting for court. We had an amazing Christian lawyer who donated his services to finalize our adoption. Such a blessing.

Here we are with the judge after the hearing.

Now Rahel jokingly says, "I am Rahel Candace, queen of everything."

Meron asked, "If Rahel is the queen, does that make me a princess?"

Now our adoption is recognized by Ethiopia and the US and our state. So, welcome "officially" to the family Rahel Candace!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Special Day

October 16, 2011

Hermela was baptized!!

It was a special day for a very special girl. Hermela decided to follow Jesus last year and has been asking to be baptized ever since. Our church does beach baptisms twice a year, so this time, we finally agreed. The last one was in May right around the time that we were travelling to bring Rahel home, so she was so excited that it worked out this time.

Both sets of grandparents were able to be there along with other family and friends. Several of Hermela's friends from church were also baptized that day-two of whom are from Ethiopia. It was so sweet to watch them standing beside each other waiting in line to go into the water. I took the cutest pictures of them excitedly waiting together and couldn't help but think of how crazy it is that the year before, these girls had been in Ethiopia and now here they stood together waiting to tell the world that they've decided to follow Jesus!

I bet you'd love to see those pictures---and so would I, but I unfortunately deleted them some how on the beach. Total bummer. I've been waiting to post this post thinking I'd get a few pictures from my mom or a friend (which I haven't done yet). At least I know a few other people did catch the moment and we also have it on video.

So, this picture of our sweet girl will have to do.

Hermela is a such a kind and loving girl. She's one of the most thoughtful and compassionate people I know. She works very hard in school and around the house and must have super sonic hearing, because she's always (and I mean always) the first child to come running when we call for something or someone.

We are so proud of you Hermela and know that God has great plans for your life now and in the future. We pray that you would continue to love God with all of your heart, soul and mind.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Mathew 19:14

Monday, November 14, 2011


This weekend, I made these cute candy turkeys. I try not to boast or brag-especially on this blog-but, these took me a lot longer than I expected and I just had to share. It's not my recipe, I just googled "oreo turkeys" and came up with several variations and it really doesn't take any skill, just time. The kids loved them--they were very THANKFUL for them.

Today in school, the older kids wrote about being THANKFUL. Here's Rahel's paragraph
I'll translate through the spelling and grammar:

I am thankful. The two things that I am thankful for are family and food. The first thing I am thankful for is family. I am thankful for family because I have a new family. The second thing I'm thankful for is food because first I do not have food. I am thankful for it because God said be thankful for it.

We are THANKFUL for her. Rahel is a happy, funny, kind, smart and thoughtful girl. She has blended into our family beautifully and it's hard to remember life before she came home. She has such a great sense of humor, she's helpful and she works very hard.

She's also a great artist. She did this free hand by simply looking at one of Caroline's coloring books. At first I thought she was tracing the drawings, but then I watched her as she looked intently back and forth and drew it by sight. My drawings still look like a first graders, so to see a child draw like this who has had such little exposure to art is amazing.

She's picked up soccer like a champ and is getting stronger and more coordinated with each practice.

She lives life with a smile (well most of the time--as long as you don't serve broccoli or cauliflower for dinner :-)

Even with the all of the heart ache, huge life changes and loss she has experienced, she's embraced us as her "new family" and we are so THANKFUL for her.

In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Monday, November 7, 2011

Feeding Children Everywhere

This past weekend, we had the opportunity to work with a really cool organization called Feeding Children Everywhere. We had a "packing party" and were able to help pack up 10,000 meals to be distributed to orphans and vulnerable children in Haiti and Guatemala. We packed up ready to boil packages of nutritious food made up of rice, lentils, dried vegetables and seasoning. Feeding Children Everywhere distributes meals around the world. Each meal costs just one quarter. Isn't that amazing? For 25 cents, a child gets to eat a meal designed especially for malnourished bellies.

As an added bonus, we got to wear these stylish hair nets (you can see how excited Colton was about that-and you'll also note that I'm conveniently not pictured :)
I think it is so cool that just 5 months ago, Rahel was one of those hungry children and now she is here helping to take care of others in need. She was really excited to help with this project-I think because it is easy for her to relate to the children that will be receiving these meals.

They let the kids decorate the boxes that the food is shipped in and Rahel decorated one with Amharic writing-that box is headed to East Africa (the first shipment that Feeding Children is attempting to get into Somalia). I'm not sure if anyone will actually be able to read it, but she wrote, "God loves you. May this food be a blessing to you." She's such a sweet girl.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Orphan Sunday

Today is Orphan Sunday.

A day to remember the plight of the orphan and to inspire action.

People with gather all over the world tonight to view the live event from Kansas City and join together in a guided hour of prayer and worship.

Here are a few details:

Join David Platt, Jedd Medefind, the Desperation Band’s Jon Egan, members of the IHOP team and Christian leaders from around the globe via LIVE from Kansas City! This one-hour webcast event will unite believers worldwide in GUIDED PRAYER for the fatherless and WORSHIP led by IHOP’s Jon Thurlow and Jon Egan. LIVE from Kansas City will be webcast live on this webpage on Orphan Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 6 PM Central Time.

To join this free event and watch live from your home, click here to register.

In the words of David Platt, "Orphans are easy to ignore until you see their faces and once you do, everything changes."

Take some time tonight to see their faces.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pumpkin Time

Sunday, we all carved pumpkins. We had 6 altogether, but we bought them a while ago and Meron's ended up rotting before we carved them. Caroline volunteered all my herself to share with Meron. We were so proud of Caroline for stepping up and being kind.
Dad broke out some power tools to carve with-I went old school with pumpkin knifes.

Rahel wasn't so sure about scooping the pumpkin guts out.

The finished products.

Then it was dress up time. Colton was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

Meron was Cinderella

Caroline was Ariel the Little Mermaid

Caleb was a black ninja

Rahel an angel and Hermela a Medieval Princess

When we explained to Rahel that we'd be going to other people's houses and they'd drop candy into your bag, she thought that was hysterical. I mean it is a pretty silly holiday. We ended up having a great time together. Now I just have to figure out what to do with the 6 bags of candy we acquired. Anyone have any creative ideas (I'm thinking shipping it off to another house sounds good).

Happy Halloween 2011