Sunday, May 31

We made it!

Hi All! Just wanted to let you know that we made it here, with all our
luggage and sanity in tact. We had quite an adventure getting here --
more on that later. We've already met our little guy. He is precious!
We're about to have breakfast and fill out the remaining paperwork
then he'll be with us the rest of the week. Yay!

Just wanted to pass along that we are fine. Love to all!


Thursday, May 28


We leave tomorrow so I am just now getting around to testing out the
email format. I hope this works -- and I hope to blog to you from
outer space! Just kidding, we're only going to Ethiopia silly. : )

Sweet baby, here we come. Mommy and Daddy are on their way!

Wednesday, May 27

one last update

Greetings! One last update for everyone before we leave. I've been promising pictures for about 80 years now, so I'm going to try and make up for it. Well, a little bit. Here are some recent (or less recent) highlights in reverse order. (blogger is being sassy and I don't have time for this!)

This is a picture of the Africa Tagsie up for grabs on the blog. I have three others already made and ready to ship as well. Two are girly (one green and flowers, one purple) and one with these super cute little martians on it. I almost want to keep them for myself. They don't have the Africa on them, and if you want to wait, I can put that on there and mail them when we return. I sell them for $17.00 and that includes shipping. That cost goes directly to orphan care. 

I took a trip to Brownwood to hang out with the Hulls. I had so many donations I had to send 150 lbs with another family. Here we are sorting things and packing them at Kimmie's lovely home. 
We were able to purchase 40 pairs of Crocs at $2.50 each. I had Kim's sons make them into a great photo. 

Some friends and I went to Fredericksburg, Texas on a BABYCATION. It was super fun. There are a zillion great pics, but I'm going to leave you with the one that makes us all look like nice, sweet, normal girls. Not crazy, giggling, out of control girls. That doesn't describe us. Not at all.

Blogger won't let me delete this picture. It's Justin painting. This is a tiny glimpse of a nursery treat. But don't worry, against my husband's wishes, the gun is not in the baby's room. 
I had three showers. Yes, three amazing showers for this already spoiled baby. They were all totally different and way way fun. The craziest part is that they were three Saturdays IN A ROW. I was exhausted. Phew!
This one was friends only, no family. (hehehe ... those young and crazy party girls) Everything was black and white and green with nothing too babyish. Super cute. So many compliments on this. Lots more pics on facebook. 
This is part of the shower damage after the first shower...Justin's family. They are ready for this baby. Justin's mom is the last of her siblings to have a grandchild and she is (I think) trying to make up for lost time. We are so appreciative of what she's done for us! 
This is Kim Hull. She drove all the way from Brownwood to come and hang out with me at my shower and do slave labor on the baby's bedding. (Reveal coming, I promise!) Everyone says, "Wow, your mom looks really young!" She's not my mom, but I would gladly join her family.  : )
This cake was AWESOME. So tasty! I really wish I had a piece right now.  

Here we are building some nursery furniture. I've made my friends slave away a lot for this baby. AC is away at summer camp and won't get to meet him for a while, and Rebecca is biting her nails waiting for the first chance to squeeze him. These girls are AWESOME. 

This is the view of one of his closets (he has two) after just the first shower. I'll have you know that both closets are stuffed full and every single drawer is also full. And runneth over. Into other places. These are the jokes I've heard:
1. "All she's going to do with that baby is change his clothes!"
2. "She'll never have to do laundry. Just wear it once and toss it!"
3. Others along these same lines. 
4. I'm totally ok with them. I didn't purchase all that. You did. : ) And he's going to love it! 

Well, I think that's my life lately. There have been some other fun things like going away parties, lots of sweets, playing Stacy and Clinton to clean out a friend's closet (don't worry Rebecca, I'm not posting the totally embarrassing pictures of that), moving my in-laws into our neighborhood, nesting, house cleaning, more baby stuff to put together, and lots and lots of staring at his precious pictures. 

We leave in 30 hours. It will take us nearly that long to get there. (Wow. Yuck.)  This wait has been so incredibly long from start to (almost) finish -- and it is absolutely worth it. We are meeting our son in just a few more days. : ) 

Friday, May 22

Confirmation and Give Away

We're confirmed! Justin and I leave to get our little guy Next Thursday! We're flying Emirates for 14 hours and 55 minutes to Dubai, having dinner and staying the night, then flying the last 3 hour leg of our journey to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Eeek! We're excited. And crazy. Crazy Excited.

In order to share our happiness and celebration I am doing a give away. I've been making some baby things and selling them on etsy. One of my most popular items is an Africa Tagsie. I sell these and promise the total sale goes to orphan care in Ethiopia. I figure since we're taking 150 lbs and we've already sent 150 lbs to another family (Yes, you read that right. We have over 300 lbs. of donations!) that I could do a little give away in honor of our little guy's homecoming -- which will be Friday, June 5, 2009. (See? Really excited here!)

Please leave a comment if you're interested in winning a fancy Africa Tagsie! 
And thanks for celebrating along with us!!!

(I'll post a picture of the selected Tagsie when my camera charges back up! Or perhaps it will remain a mystery...)

Sunday, May 17

family favor

I know you're wanting to send them, so go ahead! I remember how desperately I wanted any kind of update on our little guy, so I'd like to return the favor and pay it forward. 

If you have a referral and would like me to check in on your babe, please email me @ nellannp at gmail dot com. Send a pic and if there is something really specific you'd like. We're hoping to spend a lot of time at Hannah's Hope (if possible) and I want to do my very best to bring info back home to the waiting families. I know what a joy this was and how it got me through the tough moments! Of course, realistically, I cannot make any promises to see and visit with each (or even any) child, but I really want to try! 

P.S. I still can't believe we're leaving in less than two weeks. Ah! In less than 24 hours, the families in ETH now will be meeting their babes! Goodness, that is great!!!!


Can anyone tell me how to email posts to my blog? I'd like to do this from ETH but don't know how. : (

Friday, May 15

tentative TRAVEL DATES

Our tentative embassy date is JUNE 1, 2009.


Wednesday, May 13

weeknight update

Tonight at small group we decided to have a going away party for one of our members. She's spending the summer working at her very favorite summer camp and I'm really going to miss her. Anyway. I made it home from the grocery store and was putting groceries away and making cupcakes and preparing cookies when the phone rang. It was Julie from AGCI. I figured it was just another update. Julie calls me a lot. Well, actually, we play a lot of phone tag. I digress. She said she had good news for me. She told me the news and this was my reply, "Ok, great. Well, thanks for calling. Have a good night." 

And then it really hit me. 

I called Justin immediately and said, "He's ours!" To which he replied (very confused), "what?" and I said, "You heard me, he's ours!!!" and then we were both excited and happy and discussed who to call next. I told my friends this evening that I must have been in shock or too focused on those silly cupcakes because none of it made sense at first. 

And now, I am sitting on the couch thinking about how crazy it is that we have a son. We really have a son now. It's legal and everything! One day really soon we're going to have a little person here in our house living with us and making us happier than we'd ever imagined. I just can't believe it.  We don't have our travel dates yet, but hopefully we'll hear that really soon. 

Praise the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me! 

Monday, May 11

being prepared

We're back in our least favorite part of adoption, the unknown. Many families are hanging out here actually, but it's no party. It's so strange to not know, know, then not know again. I thought by now we'd have travel dates, plane tickets, and most of our things packed. 

Life is progressing though. The first day was rough. No crying, but still rough. So many wonderful people kept calling to check and see what we'd heard. Then when the news came, many called or emailed with encouragement or to parallel grief along side us. It's not so bad now. People are still checking in on us, but I don't have any answers. That part is a little rotten. No new court date, no idea for scheduled travel, no plans for bringing baby home. While it's been unexpected, it is not so bad. I feel much more disappointed for the people I have to tell than for myself. Sometimes I catch myself feeling sad for our little guy, spending more and more days away from his family -- but I am reminded that many wonderful people are looking after him and loving him and preparing him for us. (Well, if anyone could really prepare him for us! He is in for such a shocker... I digress) My heart is happy, even if everything is still up in the air. 

I posted on facebook earlier today that I needed some enthusiastic motivation and a friend was kind enough to remind me of James 1:2-4. For those of you who also need some, here you go:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

Perhaps it is me who still needs to be prepared! 

Tuesday, May 5

court outcome

We received a call from our case worker, Julie, today that our birthmother was unable to attend our court hearing. This means we've been postponed until she can make it to court to testify. It looks as if this is going to postpone our travel to Ethiopia and our little guy about another month -- mid or late June. This was hard news to hear. Indeed, this has been the toughest day of our adoption journey. 

Instead we are choosing to focus on our dear friends, The Hulls, who are traveling in less than two weeks. They are precious people who are sure to love on our little bear and tell him we're coming for him as soon as we can. 

Sunday, May 3

tonight's the night!

Well folks, tonight is the night! Our case is brought before a judge in Ethiopia while we (well, most of us) are sleeping. They are eight hours ahead of me (CST) so I'm guessing that they open around midnight our time. It's still completely surreal that our moment has come and judgment is on the way. Wow!

Yesterday I came across this verse and have been really refreshed by it so I thought I'd share. I hope you get some encouragement from it, too. : )

Isaiah 30:18
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!

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