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Meeting Dad


On the way to the care center, our interpreter indicated that the father of "A", "G", and "T" would be coming to the care center around 10 am to meet us.  Their father lives approximately two hours (by car) away from the center in a small village.  Ten o'clock came and went.  Around 12 pm, our interpreter indicated that the children's father trip had been delayed due to transportation issues and that he would be arriving later.  Since the father lives in a remote village, his access to a phone is limited.  Someone from the government had to find him to determine whether or not he would still be coming and that he would either arrive later tonight or tomorrow.  At 5 pm, one of the many social workers informed us that our kids father would be arriving shortly. 


At 6 pm, a sixty year old gentleman walking with a cane came through the front doors of the care center.  He was very frail.  "A" and "G" greeted their father with hugs and kisses.  Through our interpreter, we were able to gather more information about the family.


The father met our children's mother after he served in the war.  They both lived in the same village.  He provided a dowry in exchange for marriage.  He was much older.  There are also three older brother who currently live with the father.  This is very typical of adoptions in Ethiopia.  Families may have 15 or more children, and the younger children are usually adopted out.


The father was a soldier in the war in his younger years.  While in the war, he was shot with a bullet in the stomach.  The bullet was removed.  Most recently, he has had health issues as a result of the earlier shooting.  During the entire visit, "A" sat near her father intrigued about everything he said. 


The father believed that God had brought the children to us.  He was a farmer who struggled to provide for his family due to health conditions.  He was unable to provide for his children.  Our children's mother passed away in November and they were placed in care shortly after. 


At the end, the father spoke with "A" and "G" and instructed them to "be good", "study hard", and "learn different languages".  He said "don't worry about your family" and that they had been given the opportunity to go to America.  By saying these things to the girls, he gave us his "blessing" of his children.  WOW!! 

As we write this blog entry, our eyes are filled with the tears with the love that the father had for "A", "G", and "T".  We are gratful for the precious gift that he as given to us.  In many aspects, the gift of this father is similar to God's love for each of us, a "new" life that he offered to each of us that believe. 


Meredith and Jim


2 Corinthians 5:17-"Therefore if anyone is IN Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone and the new has come."'


Bubbles for "T"


Our morning started with us waking up at 2:30 seems that we are still in Wisconsin in many senses!!  The morning was spent visiting "A", "G", and "T" at the care center.  The children at the care center are so loving and happy.  When we arrived at the care center today, each of the older children greeted us with hugs.  It's amazing to see the love that people from Ethiopia have for others. 

We took the girls up to where "T" was located.  Initially, he didn't want anything to do with us and went near his familiar nannies.  We took out some bubbles and he gradually warmed up to us.  We played "peekaboo"and took turns vocalizing.  Later, we took him downstairs with the older children and Jim was able to hold him several times without any '"squawking".  "T" is starting to come around.  There is hope!! 


Meredith and Jim


Message for Kathryn


Hi Sweetheart, so sorry that we are a few thousand miles away from having dinner and spending time together today.   Sure miss your smile and gentle spirit!  Hope you're having a great day,  it's in the high 80s here just like what the JSonline is showing in Waukesha, WI.  


It is so great to have you in our family with the rest of the children.  "A", "G", and "T" can't wait to play with you.  Last night, we learned how to dance like an African, enjoyed watching Amercian cartoons, eating popcorn, and drinking coffee, a little different than at home, but still relaxing.  Missing you so much. 






Tingriya Anyone?


Mekelle is in the Tingray region of Ethiopia.  It is north of the captial Addis Ababa.  The local language is Tingriya.  Meredith's first instinct is to speak Spanish but she quickly finds that there is a "smile" or no response!  If you want to say "thank you", it's  "ÿeQenyeley" (pronounced "you", ""gone", "you", "lay") and morning is "ngho" (prounounced "N"and "goo").  If your tongue is doing cartwheels, you would fit in with Jim and I.  The words are long and complicated......if we learn two to three words each day, we will be doing well!   


Today, our day will be spent at the care center with Ä", "G", and "T".  We are hoping that our girls will help us learn a bit of the language!!  Jim and I would love to post some pictures of them but we will need to wait until after we receive a court decree declaring them officially "forever"ours!! 

Meredith and Jim :)


In Mekelle With Our Kids


After three planes, a couple buses, and three cars, we have finally arrived in Mekelle, Ethiopia. In total, we have been traveling for 36+ hours. In Washington D.C., we met up with another couple who are adopting a toddler girl and were here for a court date. This is child number "5" from Ethiopia. In total, they will have nine (YES, NINE) children when this adoption is complete-what BIG hearts!! They were very encouraging and informative in helping us along our journey to adopt "A", "G", and "T".


And the BEST news, we met "A", "G", and "T" tonight at their care center in Mekelle. We were greeted with "BIG" hugs from "A" and "G". "T" was more reserved but with time over the next couple days, he will come around. The care center staff gave us welcoming greeting fit for royalty. Signs were posted to welcome us, traditional Ethiopian coffee was made and served along with popcorn and wheat bread. It was very touching. Jim joined the girls, other children, and nannies in their traditional dance. As you can imagine, it was quite fun!!


Meredith and Jim


Leaving for the Airport


We are on our way to Addis, Ethiopia tomorrow morning!!  In about 2 1/2 days (not that we're counting), we will see our precious kids for the first time.  Thanks for all your prayers and words of encouragment along our journey.  It means a lot to us!!

Jim and Meredith :)





Pray for "T"


As we prepare for upcoming court trip to see our kids in Ethiopia, we just found out that "T" fell down the stairs at the care center and his eyes are now "crossed".  "T" is about 20 months old.  At this point, we don't think that it's developmental as we have seen several pictures of him in the last couple months and both eyes appeared fine.  Please be in prayer with us for "T" and wisdom with how best to handle the situation.  It's wonderful to know that we will soon be with him!!  




James 5:16-"....... and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much".


Staying in Mekelle


Currently "A", "G", and "T" are at a care center in Mekelle,Ethiopia.  Our adoption coordinator informed us today that if we visited our children the week before court in Mekelle, the children could stay until a later date when paperwork needs to be processed with their presence in Addis. This means that "A", "G", and"T" will be able to stay with familiar caretakers for a longer period of time which makes me very happy!  :)  

Jim and I are also trying to setting up a time when we could meet the kid's father and brothers.  We booked our flight for Addis, Ethiopia and will be leaving June 15th.  Oh me, oh my!!  We are SOOOOO looking forward to meeting and spending time with "A", "G", and "T". 

Momma Meredith :)


We Have a Court Date!!


Our adoption coordinator called today to let us know we have a court date of June 22nd-just over two weeks away!!  Oh me, oh my!!  It's hard to believe that it is happening so quickly.  I called Jim and he screamed with excitement through the phone.  After the call, it was difficult to accomplish much at work.  Court will be in Addis, Ethiopia.  Please be praying with Jim and I as we make preparations for our trip to Ethiopia to meet our kids. 



A Carroll Graduate


We are so proud of Kathryn!! Last December, Kathryn officially earned a degree in business from Carroll University after much dedicated work and study.  It was a perfect "sunny" day for an outside graduation on campus.  We are excited to see where God leads her in the journey ahead.  Congratulations Kathryn!! 



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