Help bring our girls home!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


God had other experiences planned for Gabe while he was in Mozambique.   He and the team had one day of work repairing wells,  when Gabe was struck down.   He became severely dehydrated (even though drinking 2 or 3 times as much as the others) and got heat stroke.   He was brought to a nearby clinic, after experiencing a seizure,  then transferred to 2 different hospitals before becoming stable.   He was combative,  agitated,  sedated and unable to speak for over a day.   He was than flown by a medical jet back to South Africa where he remained for 5 more days.   

Todd joined him in South Africa to relieve our dear friend Brent,  who tirelessly stayed by Gabe's side.   Brent did everything from keeping us updated on everything that was happening,  cleaning up vomit,  making sure Gabe was drinking and coherent, layed hands on Gabe and prayed over his unconsciousness body, etc, etc.... What a gift he was and is to us and we will never forget what he did for our son when he was so far away from home. 

My boys are home now.  Whew!  Gabe went to his medical Dr. and is making a full recovery!   He gets very tired and has lost a lot of weight,  but had much to be thankful for!!  

The big issue: spiritual warfare.   I know about this topic a bit because of what the Bible tells us.  I have never known anyone who has had this,  but am becoming well educated.   It is real people!   It's happening in our house!   And it's attacking my son!   

Gabe is very deeply rooted in Christ and in God's Word.  And, without going into details,  this NEEDS to STOP!  Right now,  he is to the point of less fear and mainly finds it a nuisance.  Gabe knows God wins, and so does this intruder!   All I know is Gabe's faith and trust in God had never been so deep and that God has BIG plans for my Gabey-Baby with Satan working this hard to bring him down!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Mozambique, braces, shoes, birthday & snow day fun

Gabe left for Mozambique today!  He will be gone for 12 days repairing wells with 5 guys from church with a group called VOX.  He's was pretty excited, as you can imagine, and has a busy week and a half planned.  They hope to repair 30 wells, which will literally mean water to hundreds and prevent natives from having to spend hours a day walking for water.  I'm so proud of him and thankful for this opportunity he has to be used by God in this way!

Me with Gabe just before he left for the airport.  (photo-bombed by Jesse!)
Having fun shoe (and silly slipper!) shopping!!
Shoe shopping for my daughter who wears a SIZE 3 and just had to try on these!

All 3 teens got braces!  Decided to get them all done at they can compare their issues and complain to one another.  haha!

Kyah, Salem, Tsinat, Bethlehem & Frehiwot hanging out at our house for the day.  We are so blessed that our girls have 2 of their Ethiopian friends living so close by.  I found a store that sells injara and am learning to make Ethiopian dishes that are so yummy!

Bethlehem even makes taking out the garbage look fun!
Enjoying the sledding hill at Sandyview on our snow day!

Jordan, my favorite white daughter, who is rockin' out her senior year, despite having "senioritis" in a big way!  She maintains being on the Dean's List @ MCC while continuing with her required high school classes.  She is looking so forward to Gabe & Kaylie's wedding and praise Jesus remains in remission with her ITP!!

Kyah & her new friend, Nede.  Seriously, instant friends and had so much fun together!

What to do on a snow day??  Well, Solomon and a friend (with help from Jesse) decided to make a bungee cord for one of Kyah's dolls and throw it over the balcony.  LOL
Gabe & Kaylie purchased a new bed, so we put Gabe's old mattress to good use in our TV room!
30 year tradition for my dad and I...he takes me, just me, out for lunch!  LOVE this & LOVE him!

Tsinat, looking stylish as always, and my fun-loving man!
Celebrated my birthday and my sweet husband gave me flowers, brought me to Victoria Secret and let me pick out my favorite perfume & lotion AND got me a hand-gun safe.  =)

Happily married to the love of my life for almost 25 years!

Tsinat made this birthday card for me.  Yes, she tells me that she loves me in it.  Yes, I cried.

Bethlehem getting a horse-back ride from her dad.  Hmmm, who's having more fun here ??

Snuggling with my sweet girl!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Blessed beyond imaginable....

Found this written on the chalk plaque in Tsinat & Bethlehem's room.  Seriously brought tear to my eyes to see in writing what they feel in their hearts.  Precious words from my precious girls!

People are constantly asking "So, how's it going?"  Truly, it is going far better than we ever dreamed!  Yes, we've had our up and downs, tough days, struggles, etc...however, overall we have been blessed beyond what we deserve!

Why did God choose me to be Tsinat & Bethlehem's adoptive mom?  They literally could have been placed with any family or never placed at all.  It just floors me that they are home with us and a part of our family!  It was a long wait and yet, it seems like they were always with us.  I recall saying those exact words after Kyah joined our family.  How God orchestrated my family is truly beyond imaginable and I am beyond blessed!! 

We have overcome a lot and know we have a lot to overcome.  The girls miss.  They miss Ethiopia.  They miss their friends.  They miss warm Ethiopian weather.  They miss Ethiopian school.  They miss their caregivers.  They miss everyone around them speaking Amharic.  They miss eating injera every day.  They miss....    We pray with them often and, in a much less profound way, miss too.  Ethiopia is so amazing and the birth place of 3 of my precious girls.  I truly love it there and can't wait to return!  Our recent trips were fantastic and we enjoyed each moment of it, even the long flights to get to that beautiful country!    
Wanting to remember these times while Gabe still lives under our roof!  We have lots of laughs together and LOVE when Kaylie, Gabe's fiance, can join!  Can't wait for wedding happenings!  Knew we raised a smart kid and so glad he picked her!
OK, I know I look 8....but MY daughter did this for me!!  =)
Daily breakfast with 3 teenagers, at 6:30am, drinking coffee ("bunna" in Amharic), eating scrambled eggs with berbera and, of course, Tsinat playing some sort of card trick to impress Jesse.  haha!!

Another airport picture, welcoming home our newest 2.  I looked at this picture closely the other day, and noticed how Kyah literally melted into her new sisters arms!  We get told frequently how well our kids all get along.  I've been taking notice of that as well.  Again, blessed beyond....
Hanging out with our friend, Frehiwot, who was welcomed home a month after Tsinat & Bethlehem.  LOVE how God is working in bringing home their friends from Ethiopia!
Kyah and her friend, Luke, enjoying a snowy play date at our house.  Just before I snapped this photo, Luke slipped her arm around Kyah's shoulder.  =)  They look like little models!  As Luke would say "they are cutie-pa-tooties"!!
Both girls have swimming as part of their PE class.  Since Tsinat was curious how we could swim in Michigan with all the snow and cold temps, we thought we would have a family swim day at the Hamilton Pool!  They never knew there was such a thing as an in-door pool and were amazed....and jumped right in!  The are brave and swam well in the area where they could touch and we all had a blast!  Guessing they will both be pro's by the end of the summer with all the swimming we usually do at our pool!
These are the beauties I get to see every day, just because I said "yes" t
o God.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Beautiful Home-Coming!!

Bethlehem and Tsinat welcomed home their friend, Salem, on Saturday!  She's in the green and looks amazing for just traveling on a long flight home!  Our girls were surprised to see 2 other friends, who they had NO idea were also living in West Michigan, at Salem's Home Coming party!  There was LOTS of screaming when the girls got together!  Kyah tried to fit right in - haha!  God has some pretty big plans here with all their beautiful Ethiopian girls all being adopted in West Michigan.  Can't wait to see what it is!!  
Our God is an Amazing God!