Monday, August 15, 2011


It has been amazing to our family how quickly Tia and Garrett have picked up English. To see this video from a year ago and to hear her speak now is amazing! Although they have come so far sometimes they still say the cutest things! Here are a few that have been shared at our house the past few weeks......

Garrett was in a little bit of trouble the other day and so I said, "Garrett, look at my eyes." He quickly responded, "Mom, I already know what your eyes look like and I haven't forgotten how they look. Why do I need to see them again?."

Yesterday in the car it was "Soaking Hot!" when we were leaving church.

Tia continues to get cutie and pretty mixed up and she says, "Cutie, cutie please" often prior to correcting herself.

While fixing her hair the other day Tia said, "Mom, my hair looks like pasta!" At first I didn't understand and then she said, "You know the kind that we put red sauce on." So I guess her hair looks like spaghetti to her.

On Saturday, I had the boys go out and pull a few weeds in the front yard. I was explaining to Garrett how to pull the weeds and he said, "Mom, this is kind of dumb. You know that God makes these things grow right back. We are outside mom and green stuff is suppose to grow so why would we pull it up?" I have to agree with him but we needed them pulled.

Tia let us know this week that when she grows up that she is going to be a "rock star" and when she is not being a "rock star" she will be a "professional dancer" or maybe just a "karate girl." She followed this up by singing....."Someday Tia's gonna be a famous rock star....." to the tune of Taylor Swifts song Mean at the top of her lungs.

Garrett stopped while putting ice in the glasses one night last week for dinner and said, "Dad, who keeps putting the ice in here?" After a year of never seeing us put ice in the ice maker he wondered who put it there.

It is always fun to watch them have new experiences and I love to see them discover their new world even one year later.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Our First Year Home

A year ago we were making our way home- Never in a million years could I have guessed what an amazing homecoming we would arrive home to. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love at the airport and it was priceless to bring Tia and Garrett into our home for the first time. To see them explore every square inch of our home, open every cabinet and drawer, turn on every light, run water in each sink or tub, climb on their beds, looking at each toy, turning on and off the remote controlled ceiling fan, opening the pantry full of food, seeing the ovens in the wall, pouring water out of the fridge, and both grinning from ear to ear.
To think of all that they have experienced in one short year is mind blowing to me. To remember that a year ago they knew very little English when we arrived home amazes me as I hear them speak and read. To see them feel so comfortable in our home and with us is something that we prayed for and it is a joy to experience. Just yesterday Tia and one of her siblings were in a little disagreement and David said to me, "This is what we wanted for Tia and Garrett to act like siblings with Megan, Kaylee, Jacob and Lindsay!" I smiled as I agreed and praised God again for a year that has exceeded all of my dreams and expectations.

Monday, August 1, 2011


These containers that hold grain in Werke's hut apparently have been empty for a while. Many of you have contacted me over the past few days wanting an update on her medical condition yet every time I sit down to write an update I am not sure that I can even type with the tears that flow down my face. So here it goes......

Werke traveled to Addis late last week and had an MRI, ultrasound and blood work. On Friday Nicco took her to get the results of the testing and although her condition is better than we first thought, it is heart breaking to me. The doctor came in and explained that her medical issues are all due to malnutrition. As the doctor was talking and asking her questions she broke down and cried as she explained to the physician that she goes four or five days at a time without food in order to feed her children. Due to the fact that Werke has not been eating she has damaged several of her organs. Several of her organs are enlarged and not working properly now simply because she has been starving. The doctor gave her two units of blood and some medication in hopes to help her liver function.

I have known for over a year that Tia and Garrett were placed into an orphanage because of the poverty that Werke faced. This is more of a reality to me now more than ever. The sad part to me is that Nicco has money provided by us to care for Werke's basic needs yet she was embarrassed to let him know of her needs. At first I was upset that Werke had not been honest when Nicco would ask if she had needs yet when I started to think about myself in her position I am sure that I would have done the same. She explained to Nicco that she wanted to be able to care for her family and I am sure if I were her I would have been embarrassed to have needed help. I hope that she now realizes that we will take care of her needs and that she never has to be embarrassed with us or with Nicco.

I simply can't imagine..........she has been going to bed every night hungry. Not hungry like we think of hungry because we missed one meal or our bedtime snack but a hungry that we will never know. I can't imagine being at a place of almost starving to death yet Werke has found herself there. I can't imagine being a mom who is alone on a small remote island with literally no food.

Werke stayed in the city with Nicco this weekend and he was helping reintroduce her to eating. Apparently when you haven't had much food for a while your body rejects it when you begin to consume again. If she was able to eat properly by today (Monday) then he was taking her to purchase four types of grain, spices and anything else that he felt that she and the kids would need for the next six months. He will then return her to the island and make sure that she has more than enough food to care for her family until David's visit in a few months.

Please join me in praying for Werke. Pray that she will know that she is loved and that her basic needs will be provided for. Pray that she will feel God's love by His provision for her and her family. Pray for her heart to be open to receive the love, joy, peace and comfort that only He can give.