Monday, 28 December 2009

Fun at the Train Museum


The Temple Train Museum always has a Christmas event. This was by far Clark's favorite visit to Santa because he handed out fruit snacks to the children. Clark devoured about 4 packs in 2-3 minutes.

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San Antonio Trip

I don't like sitting around the house for more than two consecutive days when I'm off work, so we took a quick trip down to San Antonio. It was one of those times where I was completely and perfectly happy. I have every reason in the world to have these moments every day with what the Lord has blessed me with. However for some reason, I very rarely get overwhelmed with joy. This was one of those times though. The kids were perfect all day. While Shannon was at the outlet mall, we went to Wonder World in San Marcos. The kids liked seeing the cave and feeding the deer. From there we took our last visit to Fiesta Texas for the year. They even had a sledding hill with snow (or Sonic type ice). Audrey is a getting big! She rode the Road Runner Express ride twice. Apparently Shannon screamed the whole time, while Audrey laughed. From there we went to our hotel on the Riverwalk. We walked around, went to the Alamo and saw all of the lights. We almost went to The Lion King as it was being performed right two blocks from our hotel, but didn't want to pay $125 a ticket. We then topped the night off with some Hagen-Daaz ice cream. It was some flavor Shannon found a couple years ago in Boston but has been unable to find since. Audrey summed up the whole day perfectly when she yelled at the top of her lungs on the Riverwalk, "I love my family."

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Christmas Program

Audrey performed very well in her Christmas program at school.
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Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Open Gym

We took the kids to local gymnastics place for open time. The kids loved it! I don't think Clark stopped running for 2 hours. He routinely cut in front of kids. We couldn't believe they would let Clark on this harness but he loved it. Audrey and her friend Emily had a blast jumping on the trampolines.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Snow Princess


Audrey went to a great birthday party today for her friend. The party favor was this cape which I'm sure will be worn daily for many months.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Cute note

I got home from the grocery store to find this post-it note on the front door:

Whee or goweeg too Masees too get mom a speshll treet at Masees.

This writing just kills me. It's so funny and she does it all day every day (can you tell we learned the digraph wh this week?).

Unfortunately the "speshll treet" she had picked out for me was a $450 ring. So they didn't pick it up. :( She even offered to help pay for it!

Tree Decorating

The kids got ornaments from our Estes Park trip this year.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

He's a Morrison

You might not know the Morrisons well enough if you don't know why this is funny. For those of you who would like to be filled in. We ate a lot of meals by ourselves. Mainly cereal. Love you Bethers. But anyway, we need some sort of reading material anytime we sit down to eat.


Audrey's favorite activity these is Elmo with Dorothy.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Big news!

Today we received a letter we have been waiting for to make our big announcement...we are adding to our family!

We have begun the process of adopting from Rwanda! We are all so excited and ask for your prayers along the way. Everything has moved very quickly (astonishingly so) up to this point and now the waiting begins.

I'm sure you'll have lots of questions so I have tried to think of the most common ones we get and list them here:

Why adoption? Why international adoption? Why Rwanda?
We have always wanted to adopt in a general sense. We've met and hugged and cried for orphans in the US, Haiti, Belize, and Mexico and knew that adopting was definitely something we wanted to pursue. We have always wanted a large family and it just made sense for us to grow our family in this way. Josh took an amazing course last year called Perspectives and through all that he learned in that class we decided we wanted to do international adoption. Josh first fell in love with Africa in college when he took Swahili so we narrowed it down to that continent (where there are approximately 50 million orphans). Our dear friends the Lowes and our cousins the Medinas both did Ethiopia so we looked into that, and then our friends the Bowers told us that they had just begun the process of adopting in Rwanda. We immediately loved the idea of Rwanda. We've had a deep affection for Rwanda ever since we saw Hotel Rwanda, and our church has a partnership with ALARM, an amazing ministry based in Rwanda (this video from ALARM's website is amazing). Celestin Musekura's sermon at our church had brought us to tears. When I investigated it further, the program sounded ideal. It's a small country (10 million people) with a small international adoption program (17 adopted to the US last year). It's less expensive than some other programs, and the wait can be shorter too. Best of all, we discovered a couple of unique things about the program that addressed some of our anxiety about adopting. In Rwanda it is illegal to abandon your children (in some countries families unable to feed their children drop them off at orphanages and may or may not return). So orphans in Rwanda are true orphans (their parents are dead or they were found on a street corner with no identifying information). In addition, there is no fee to adopt in Rwanda. So the combination of those factors made us feel certain that we would not be prey to any "baby-buying" schemes.

So what's next?
We have to get a couple of documents authenticated in Washington DC and then deliver them to the Rwandan Embassy. The Ambassador will issue a "non-objection letter" and then our dossier will be on a plane to Rwanda! It will be sent to the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion there, where they will review our file and then issue an approval (usually 4-6 month wait). About 8 weeks after approval, the nuns that run the orphanage will give us a referral with pictures, medical report, and age. We have 24 hours to accept or reject the referral, and our court date happens pretty quickly after that. Usually parents travel 2-6 weeks after referral. We'll spend a week in Rwanda and then head to Nairobi for US immigration processing.

What are you requesting?
We've requested one or two children younger than Clark.

What agency are you using?
We are not using an agency. The Rwandan government prefers to work with independent families so we have chosen to try the DIY route. We used an amazing agency, Generations Adoptions, in Waco to write our homestudy report. It was hands-down the best experience we could have hoped for, and a much better experience than any of our friends have had as well. I can't recommend them enough!

Thanks so much for your support and prayers. If you have more questions, please feel free to comment and we'll try to answer them! Let the waiting begin!