Thursday, December 22, 2011


Can you believe it?  In less than a week, Lord willing, Crew and I will be stepping off a plane onto American soil.  CREW WILL BE HOME!!!  Yep, that is right....CREW WILL BE HOME!!!  HE WILL HAVE A HOME!!  HA!  I can't even believe it myself!!  After all the ups and downs of our adoption journey, it's almost over and Crew will finally be a part of our family forever!  It has been a year, exactly!  In fact, a sweet friend of mine reminded me that on December 28, 2010 was my first blog, "Be a part of our Crew; So our journey begins!".  To the day, December 28, 2011, Crew will be in Oklahoma!!  Pretty cool!!  Pretty GOD!

This whole experience has brought my entire family closer to God.  It has truly given us new eyes to see.....we look for opportunity to help those in need and to look less at ourselves!  It has truly given us new ears to many are crying out, yet so many just listen to themselves and never really listen to others!  It has truly given us new always try to encourage and lift up others, because you never know what someone is going through!  It has truly given us new many people just want to be loved, so we, the body of Christ, are the ones to do that!!!  When I started seeing these changes in my kids, I was amazed!  I never knew we would be the ones changed by this adoption!  I knew we were bringing a homeless child into a world he would never have otherwise, but I didn't expect it to actually make US different!  But God has molded us through this; and I see more of Him in my home.  I am thankful!!  I am grateful!!  To be more like Christ is the ultimate goal.  That is who I want to be like!  That is who I want my kids to be like!  "For I have no greater joy than to know that my children are walking in the Truth!" 3 John 1:4 

So, on Christmas day, I will get on a plane.  When I land in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia I will go get my little son!   Then, we will get on a plane together and fly HOME. We will be home SOON!  I don't know if Crew Dawit Coder is ready for us, but we are ready for him!!!!  WELCOME HOME, CREW!!!!  And THANK YOU, LITTLE BUDDY!!  Because of YOU, we are better!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

No matter what's all good!

Truly....I mean that!!  No matter what happens this matter what their reply is to our plea for Crew to be cleared for a visa.....I KNOW GOD WILL MAKE GOOD COME FROM THIS!!  He already has!!

Already, we have fallen in love with a little boy that had no one.  NO ONE!  That is one less orphan in the world!  Now he has us, no matter what!!  That is good!!

Already, 2 other families that we know have chosen to adopt...not one, but TWO boys each!!  That is 4 less orphans in the world.  Both of those families have already passed court in Ethiopia and will bring those boys home to forever families soon!!  That is good!!

Already, both my girls, college age, have decided to go on not just one....not just two....but THREE mission trips to show the love of Christ to children that do not have anything!  My girls have seen how important it is to truly demonstrate the love of God to others; not by merely saying they do, but by showing they do!  They have both said they do not want a penny from us for these trips.  They know we have had many expenses with the adoption fees and the travel, etc.  They are using their own money that they have saved, they are both working jobs to raise money, and they both are sending out support letters asking if anyone wants to partner with them in financial support and prayer.  They want to share God's love in a tangible way!  They know God will provide! That is good!!

Already, my 5 year old wants to teach Crew how to build legos, play ball and jump on the trampoline!!  He already talks about "When Crew is here....".  He already sees that color doesn't matter.  It's the heart!!  That is good!!

Already, all of my kids have said, "Mom, we do not need a big Christmas!  We are fine!  We have plenty!"  Enough said!  That is good!!

Already, we have made some lifetime friendships through the adoption community!  Friends that we would have never met had we not taken this step of faith!  Friends that I just cannot imagine not having in my life now.  And even some of the friendships I had before have grown stronger through this bond we now share in our hearts!!   That is good!!

Already, my faith is stronger!!  Even when things have not gone the way I would want them to go....I trust God!!  I believe satan is trying to stop adoption!  It is the very picture of how Christ adopted us, so satan hates it!  But God promises good will come!  And it has!!  And it will continue!!  That is good!!

PLEASE PRAY!!  We were given an RFE a few weeks ago.  This means REQUEST FOR FURTHER EVIDENCE.  We have to PROVE that Crew is an orphan!  I know...seems ridiculous....but it is what it is and we just had to take more steps!!  We have submitted our response to the USCIS.  It should arrive in the morning (Rome time), which is about anytime now!  We are asking for PRAYER for FAVOR..... For SOFTENED HEARTS....  That satan will NOT have his way.... That Crew will be allowed to get a visa from the US Government and COME HOME!!!

Did I ever think I would have to FIGHT for this orphan?  Not in a million years!!  Would I do it all over again?  YES!!!!  He is worth it to me!!  Just like any one of my other 4 kids, I would do anything to save them!!  Crew deserves a family!!  I love that kid!!  The shepherd left the 99 to go get the one....Crew is that one!!!   We will not stop until he is home!!!


It's all good!!!  God sees us!  God hears us!! God holds us!!!



Saturday, November 19, 2011

A day in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Well, to get you caught up.....I came to Addis Ababa HOPING to be able to take Crew home!!  That isn't the way this trip is going to turn out.  I am very sad about that!!  I don't think I have ever cried this much before!!  I really couldn't even function very well the day I found out they were furthering the investigation of his "orphan status".  More evidence is needed!!  BUT, I have realized (after a full day of sulking!!) that it is still a blessing for me to be here with this precious little boy!!!  I do not understand what our government is doing and why they are making this so hard, and honestly....I am mad about it!!!  But I still know that God will make it all good!!  He will take care of Crew and every one of the little orphans until they are HOME!!!

So, here I am in Ethiopia.... and today was a great day!!  Driving outside the city was amazing!!  I saw PURE BEAUTY.....and PURE POVERTY!!  I am simply dumbfounded at how poor it is here!!  We went to the store before we left the city and bought crackers and cheese and we passed them out to the kids on the side of the road (most of them carrying large loads).  To see their smiles like it was Christmas morning....OH MY!!!  I cannot describe how I felt.  Crew had a blast!!  He LOVES to be in the "peepee" (car).   I wish I had a van full of crackers to pass out!!  I could do this everyday!!  We passed a very old man carrying a HUGE load and I asked the driver to stop.  We backed up and I reached out the window to give him my full bottle of water.  His smile about killed me!!  PRECIOUS!!  His eyes said thank you and his smile said I love you!!  I love him, too!!  A bond was made right there!!  I said "I care" and he said "I know!"  AMAZING beyond words!!!

We went to dinner tonight so I could treat Yonatan and Solomon to a nice meal since they drove me all around while I've been here. We went to a nice buffet.  It was delicious!!  Crew loves both these guys very much and enjoys being with them!  I call Yonaton my other son!  If only he were not 25...I would adopt him, too!!  He told Solomon I am like his second mother!!  Dang!  I wanted him to say big sister!! haha!!  Anyway, Crew fell asleep on the way home so he is now in the hotel bed out for the night!! We will have breakfast and take our time in the morning getting ready....then I will take him back to the transition house.  I fly out tomorrow night!!

Something else we did today was go to FashionABLE.  This is the place where they make the scarves (by woman who have decided to make a living and be discipled, rather than make money in other ways such as prostitution).  I got each of the nannies at the transition house/orphanage a scarf from FashionABLE, so I will give those to them tomorrow. They are all so sweet and just LOVE the kids! I will be sad to leave Crew, but I am okay again....disappointed, but okay, because they truly do love him and take very good care of the children there!  They are like a family!!

OH!! We passed a wreck on the way home from the countryside, where a person died (so sad!!), and then within minutes we came upon an accident where a truck hit a woman walking on the side of the road. Solomon thought she was dead. We stopped and they asked if we could take her to the hospital. I couldn't look from the minute Solomon said DEAD. But when they put her in the van, she groaned, and he said she wasn't nearly as bad as he thought. I turned around to look and she was a teenager with blood on her and seemed to be in and out of conscieneness. The man that hit her held her and we drove her to Addis. I am sure she will be fine, and praying she did not have any internal injuries. It was just wild. I couldn't believe what was happening!!  All I could do was say JESUS and pray!!

For those of you who have never been to a Third World Country...GO!!  Look at your neighbor and see what you can do for them!!   They need you!!

For those of you who have been to a Third World Country....REMEMBER!!!  Remember what you saw and never think you need MORE!  We do not need more!!  We do not need bigger houses, or better cars, or more jeans, or more shoes or more purses!!  These people live in MUD HUTS if they are lucky! They work harder than anyone I've ever seen (from young children to very old), yet have very little to nothing!!  The Bible says to LOVE YOUR NEIGHBORS!!  Are we doing that?  Or do we just say a little prayer for them before we fall asleep on our tempurpedics and then forget about them the next day?  What is wrong with us?  Why do we think so highly of ourselves that we continue to drown in material things, yet people are starving?  Why do we have the "right" to MUCH....even extravagance....when these people struggle to feed their families each day? If we are Christians, how do we live so selfishly?  Do we really care?

Jesus was not treated as a king on this should we live as if we are?

"Whatever you do for the least of did for ME!!" ~ Jesus

Something for all of us to think about!!!

I will post ALL the pictures when I get home!!  UN.BE.LIEV.ABLE!!!  Just wait til you see!!



Monday, November 7, 2011

Could this be THE WEEK?

A lot has been happening lately!!  It's been busy!!  Each thing, each activity, each day...makes me think of Crew!!  Even little things!  For instance, when Kyler is playing he will often say, "When Crew gets here, we can do this together!  I can teach him how!"  Okay!!  Precious!!  Kyler is 5 and already has such a heart for Crew!!  Then this past weekend we went to OU to visit Cassidi and Makenzi at college.  Our family went to watch Makenzi's University Sing performance and during the show I looked over at Kason and Kyler smiling and enjoying the acts and I thought, "Aww, Crew would have liked this, too!"  Even something as simple as the Christmas lights being put on the house this past week, I thought, "Wow!  What will Crew think when he finally gets here and sees all this!!"  He is already a part of us....our family!!

This week could be a week of GOOD NEWS for us and many other families!!  A team from the USCIS (immigration) in Kenya arrived in Ethiopia to review the cases at the US Embassy that have not been cleared yet!  These cases are the ones that are wayyyy overdue to be cleared!!  Our "case" (Crew) is in that group.  There is a very good chance that we will hear this week that they have finally cleared him!!  Today was their first day working there.  I woke up and the first thing I did was check my email.  It's something I've done each day for the past few months....about 50 times a day!  "Just MAYBE today they will clear us!!  Miracles do happen!!" has been my mindset for the past few months!!  FINALLY, this week could really be the miracle week!  They are there...right now!  They are going over the cases...right now!!   This has to be the week of hearing "COME GET HIM!"   Please, Lord!! PLEASE!!!

Yesterday was Orphan Sunday!  I wore one of my adoption t-shirts (I love them and wear them all the time!!).  I prayed for all the orphans that need a home...and food....and a family!  I prayed for eyes to be opened!  For hearts to melt when they see the faces of these precious little children who have nothing!!  For people to be blessed by being a part of adoption and to see it for what it really is!!!  If you haven't ever or in a while watched the video that inspired our family to adopt, watch it.  It's on my blog!  It's called "Depraved Indifference" by Eric Ludy!  It is life changing!

For those thinking and praying about adoption.....don't let anything stop you!!  If you wonder if you are called to are!!  It's biblical!!  Really!!  If it's money?  You have enough to feed and clothe another child.  You do!  Yes, you do!!  If paying for the adoption fees is stopping you....I'll help you with a fundraiser!!  We did that!  Adoption is expensive, especially when you have kids in college and driving!  But it's possible!!  Trust me...that's where we are!!  Does the process scare you?  The paperwork?  Well, there is a lot of paperwork, but it's one piece of paper at a time!  Is it hard?  Yes, it can be!  But so is pregnancy and labor!  That's part of it!!  It just makes it sweeter when it's all done and you have that new child to bless and be blessed!!!

Please join me today and each day and PRAY that this is the week these cases (children) are cleared and can finally be HOME with their new FOREVER FAMILY!!  Please also pray for the many orphans around the world that need someone to say, "I pick YOU!"  Change a life forever!!!  What is stopping you?



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I want to see the big picture!

I'm trying to see the big picture.  I'll be honest here.....I've gone back and forth with feeling sad, mad, both at the same time....frustrated!!  I am angry!!  I think it is righteous anger.  I'm mad at "them".  But then I am reminded to love my enemies and to pray for them!  Okay, I can do that!!  "God, please let them be struck by lightning!"  OOPS!!  Not what God intended when he said to pray for them. Okay, I'll try again later!!

Right now I am really trying to understand why we can't bring home this little orphan boy, who has lived his entire life in an orphanage, without a family, without a name, without a momma!  Why isn't this easy?  It should be easy!!  He should be here now!!!  We filled out the papers, we paid the fees, we even made the t-shirts!!!  Why do we have these road blocks?  Is there a lesson here for me?  For my family?  For the people around us?  What does God want me to see?

Just a little bit ago when I was driving home from taking Kyler to preschool this came to me!  I see this:  Crew is an orphan that I want to bring here and give a home!  A new life!  A family!  A bed!  Clothing and food and shelter!!  LOVE!!  All these good things!!  But there is a "distraction" that is stopping Crew from getting here, even though this would be better!!  This would be so much better for him!!  I see this.....God sent His Son to die for me.  For you.  Each one of us.  Even if you were the only one....He still would do it!  He wants to give us a home!  New life!  LOVE!  I see that we get distracted by things of this world, sometimes by people, or influences that turn our hearts and minds away from God, or the love of stuff or fame, or sometimes just so we can have "fun"......and by choosing to set our hearts on those things, those "distractions", there is a chance of missing God and his abundant plan for us, and for some, it may mean missing out on eternal LIFE with God, even though that is BETTER!!  I see the big picture.  I see how Christ adopted could I not respond to that?  Why would I not want what is better?  How can you not respond to that?  Is it better to remain an orphan?  You decide!!

Don't stay in the orphanage, people!!!  Go to the One who LOVES you and will give you ETERNAL LIFE and a FOREVER FAMILY!!!  You have a choice!!  Crew doesn't!!  Please pray with us that God will remove the road blocks and bring our son home!!  He is our son!!  We are gonna fight for him!!  Afterall,  his name is CREW DAWIT CODER.  



Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It feels like I'm wayyy past my water breaking....

I really do relate this whole process to being pregnant.  Many of the stages are the same.....without the weight gain!  The decision to go for it!!  The morning sickness (or all that paperwork, which can really make you feel sick!!!).  Seeing the pictures for the first time, kinda like a sonogram!!  (It's a boy!!!!)  The "getting ready for baby" part, by getting the room ready and all the new little clothes hung up!!  And then that point where you know you are just so'll do anything and go through anything to just get him here (with or without an epidural....or fly across the world to bring him home!  Whatever it takes!).  We are going on month 10.  We thought it would be 7...maybe 8 months.  It's time!!!  Now waiting is getting really hard!  Especially after spending the week with our little guy in July.  He should be here.  We will continue to trust God and His timing.  We have to!!  We know He has a plan.  He's working out the details now.  We wait.  Thank you for all the prayers during this time.  We are sure gonna celebrate when Crew gets home!!  Are you ready to PAR-TAY?  It's gonna be soon!  It has to be!!



Thursday, September 8, 2011

It's just a matter of time!

Well,  I keep coming back to my computer to check my emails.....about 20 times per day.  Okay....probably more!!  We are waiting for that last email from our agency saying, "IT'S TIME!!!  GO GET CREW AND BRING HIM HOME!!!"  Now that we've met him, it seems a bit harder waiting.  I just want him home now!

A lady who was in Ethiopia while we were there for our court date (and she and her husband were there for their court date on the same day) is now in Ethiopia for her Embassy date and picking up their daughter. While at the transition house/orphanage, she took the time to take this picture of Crew for us.

Seeing that cute face and that big smile.....oh my!!!  He is just so precious to us!! And THANK YOU, Amy, for thinking of us and sending that!!  It made my day!!!

So, this short blog is really mainly to ask for prayers for the process to speed up!!  I know that God's timing is by far better than mine...I do know that....but we are soo close to having him home.  I think we are in the "pushing" stages of labor.  Not the most fun part, but so close to the grand finale.....and I know it's worth it!!!  PUSH!!!!!!  ALMOST HERE!!!!  LOL!!  Pray for me to be patient!!  :)

ALSO, this is the last order for the red CREW shirts, so if anyone wants to "be a part of our Crew" by ordering one, let me know before morning!!!   They are $20 and you can pay on this blog and I can mail to you! THANKS SO MUCH!!  It means a lot to us!

This journey has been like nothing else!! Thanks for being a part of our Crew!!



Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's about time!!!

It's about time......that I finally found a little time to actually blog!!  It's been so busy since the time we got back from our Ethiopia trip several weeks ago.  Where do I start?

I'll start there!  With our trip!!  It was such an incredible experience, I don't even know if words could begin to describe it all.  There was so much to take in!  The travel over was smooth.  We were so excited with anticipation of meeting our little boy face to face finally!!  Ohhh my gosh, I can't describe that feeling!!  Arriving in Addis Ababa was so surreal, as we knew that we were moments away from seeing him!!  Our driver, Yonatan, who we now love and adore and consider a close friend, picked us up at the airport.  He first took us to the guest house to unpack and get a little adjusted.

We walked to a coffee shop nearby to get a bite to eat.  Shortly after, we headed over to the transition house!  FINALLY!  When we got there, the nanny that was taking care of Crew was so precious; she was cleaning him up from his lunch and was washing him off.  He had on a little camo sweatsuit (which was a big deal to me, because Steve and Kason are huge hunters and I thought this was such a sweet coincidence!! He'll fit right in!!). :)

But she wanted him to be dressed up when we met him, so she was a little concerned that he wasn't ready!  We assured her it was okay, but she insisted she change his clothes!  It was actually very sweet that she wanted to please us so much!!  Crew looked at us, a little puzzled, I think, and she whisked him away to go change. This gave us a little time to look around the transition house/orphanage and get to see the room he slept in, his bed and some of the other precious children!  When we finally got to see Crew again, I was so amazed at how adorable he is!!  I mean, this kid is just amazingly handsome!  (I did notice that Ethiopian people, in general, are very "pretty" people!!  WOW!!)  Crew was not so sure about us, so Steve and I wanted to take it slow for his sake.  We "talked" to him a little, we smiled at him a lot and then finally, the nanny said it would be best for her to just hand him to us and then we should head out to the guest house, where Crew would be staying with us the entire time we were there.  So, she handed him over to me in the van and he started BAWLING!!  Huge tears!!  I happened to have a package of crackers in my purse and I opened them quickly and gave him one.  It helped.  A little!

As soon as we started driving away, he was mesmerized.  Think about it...he's probably been in a car once; on the way from the orphanage to the transition house.  So he liked that a lot!  By the time we made the 15 minute drive to the guest house, Crew and I were friends!  PTL!!  But you could tell that he didn't know what to think of Steve!!  Okay, for those of you who do not know Steve, he is a funny guy!!  Kids love him!!  But Crew was not sure about this big white man with curly hair and earrings!!!  haha!!  That first day at the guest house was pretty simple.  I held Crew and he either slept on my chest or watched a video on the computer that was next to me on the couch, as he sat on my lap!  He really liked that!!

That night I gave him a bath and he did not like that at all!!  He couldn't understand the concept of SITTING in the bath water.  So it was a short bath! ha!  After getting his new little pj's on him that we took (he only came with the clothes on his back!), I prayed with him while I held him and swayed back and forth to rock him to sleep.  I thought he was ready to be put in the crib for a good night's rest.  (I had taken a blankie for him that I would leave with him there.  I kept an identical one at home, just incase that blankie got lost at the orphanage, so when he gets home with us he would have one just like it and it would be something familiar from the orphanage!  Thank you, Jackie, for this great idea!!)  He was almost asleep with his head on that soft blankie and he looked so peaceful!  But the minute I tried to lay him in the crib, he quickly made it clear he did not want to be in it.  I knew he slept in a crib at the orphanage, but he was not about to lay down in this one!  So I remembered what my sister, Wendi, told me that Sue, our adoption agency director, had told her.  "This is a time to CONNECT, not CORRECT!"  So I decided to just let him sleep with me and Steve in our bed.  Sure enough, I layed down with Crew on top of me and within minutes he was sound asleep!  Precious!!  I rubbed his little back until I fell asleep myself.  In the morning when I woke up and looked at him asleep between me and Steve, my heart melted and I knew....this is my little boy!  Thank you, Lord!!  Just like in the hospital when they put that new baby on your chest.....same feeling!!  WOW!!  Who knew?

The rest of the trip was getting to know him and his little personality better.  He is pretty easy going!  He liked to kick the ball outside a lot!  Steve would do that with him to try to bond!! He still wasn't buying!!  haha!!

He would point at a cat and say, "meow!" and also point up in the air at the airplanes and say, "autoplane!".  Yonatan had taught me a few words, like "gobez", which means "good job!" so we would say that to him a lot and he would smile!!  One day I was tickling him and he just laughed and laughed!  His giggle is precious!!  He decided he liked Steve's sunglasses, so that was a small little bonding moment for them!! LOL!!  If he had any other options besides Steve, he preferred them over Steve!  But that's okay!  They will bond soon enough!! :)

We passed court without a hitch and he legally became a Coder.  That was a sweet day!!  I just kept thinking over and over, "Wow!  We have FIVE kids now!!"  I had taken a little photo album with our family pictures in it, so that after we left, the nanny could look at them with him!  So we looked at that a lot together!!  "There's daddy!  There's mommy!!  Cassidi.  Makenzi.  Kason.  That's Kyler!!"  He liked the pictures!!  When the time came to take Crew back to the transition house, I didn't expect my emotions to do what they did!  I honestly thought I would just hand him back to his nanny, knowing we'd be back for him in a few months, and we'd go home!  BUT, to my surprise, my emotions kicked into high gear!  Now, a little side note here.  The day we picked up Crew, his personal nanny was at church.  The other nannies told me she was sad she would not be there to meet us when we picked him up, but that she wanted to meet us when we returned with him!  I, too, wanted to meet her, as this has been someone as close to a mother as Crew has ever had!!!  So upon driving up to the gated entrance of the transition house the day we were taking him back, Crew's nanny ran out to us!!  She had a look in her eye that said, "Where is my boy!! I've missed my boy!!", as she kept saying "Dawit!!  Dawit!" (which is Crew's Ethiopian name, and now his middle name).  He was on my lap in the van and we were stopped at the gate.  Crew looked at her for a minute, then he reached out to her, as she was reaching out to him!!  Let me tell you what this said to me!!  This lady loves this child!!  She has been the one to hug him, feed him, pick him up when he falls, change his diaper and pray with him!!  She had missed him while he was away with us!!  WOW!!  I was overcome with a flood of emotions!!  Mostly I was so thankful that he has had someone who has loved him like a mother loves!  She was now holding Crew standing next to the van.  I told the driver to go ahead and drive in so they could have some time together before we got out to meet her.  We pulled up to the house and got out of the van.  When I turned around she was still hugging him and holding him right where she had been out by the gate!!  Again.....WOW!!  She loves him!!  She slowly walked to the van where we were standing and I hugged her as she was holding Crew!  And I hugged her tight!!  I about lost it!!  I tell you much was said between this woman and myself just by looking into each other's eyes!  Does that sound weird?  It was just as if I was saying to her, "I know you love him!!  I will take care of him!!", and as if she was saying to me, "I love him and I know you will love him, too!"   What a bittersweet moment for both of us!!

I decided I needed to gather my composure a little, so I smiled at her and walked into the house for a bit as our friend was taking his 6 month old inside.  When we came back outside to actually say goodbye and leave, by then Crew was standing by some other children.  The nannies were all standing around talking and watching the kids play.  I knelt down several feet away from Crew and just said, "Bye, little buddy!!  I'll see you soon!" and as soon as the words came out of my mouth I just started bawling!!  Oh my goodness, it was just so much harder than I expected it to be!!  And at that very moment that the tears starting rolling down my face, Crew held out his hands and ran to me!!  Oh geez Louise!!  Could this be any more dramatic?!!  So I picked him up, kissed him, and handed him to his nanny and said goodbye!!  He started CRYING, oh yes, BAWLING, and reaching for me!!  I looked at Steve, bawling the ugly cry kind of bawling, and said, "Let's go!!"  I got in the van and a few minutes later we were backing out the driveway!  Steve said, "Look!" and when I did, Crew's nanny was holding him and they were both waving to us from the top of the steps!!  We drove away!!

Oh my goodness!!  WOW!!  That was exhausting!! ha!!!

So here we are today, Sunday afternoon!  Today at church I had several different friends ask me if we know yet when we will be going to get the news to finally be able to bring Crew home.  I told them all, "It could be any minute!!"  Well, guess what?  We got home from church to find an email from our agency director that said it looks like we will get our Embassy date the first week of September!!!  IT'S ABOUT TIME!!!!   OH my goodness, we are one stinkin, excited family at our house!!!!!

And some of you have asked about giving......Yes, we still have a large amount due towards all the expenses of the adoption, plus the travel expenses that we will have for the trip over for Steve, and the trip back for Steve and Crew!!  You can make a TAX DEDUCTIBLE donation towards our adoption and that would be a huge blessing to us and hopefully a benefit to you, as well!!!  I do believe God will bless those who give!!  Make your check payable to WORLD WIDE COMPASSION and they will send it directly to our agency on our behalf.  Just let me know if you'd like to do this and I will give you the rest of the info (where to mail, etc..).

Well, it's been a ride.....and I tell you what!!!  It's just begun!!!

See you soon, Crew Dawit Coder!!!!!

Thank you for being a part of our CREW!!!  xoxo!


Saturday, July 30, 2011


We will be making the NEW CREW T-SHIRTS in a DIFFERENT "surprise" COLOR....for guys and gals....SO BE A PART OF OUR CREW with the NEW COLOR!! THIS WILL BE THE "GRAND FINALE" T-SHIRT!!!!!! WHOOP WHOOP!!!!  I will mail to you if you cannot pick up in person!! ♥ THANK YOU FOR BEING A PART OF OUR CREW!!  The shirts are $20 each!!  You can mail me a check, bring a check or cash to me, or use the paypal link on the blog!! 

I will be blogging SOON (when I can find an hour or so to do it...hah!!) and cannot wait to write about our week in Ethiopia!  WOW!!  What a trip!!  

Also, please remember that if you or your business could use a TAX WRITE OFF, you can donate to use through WORLD WIDE COMPASSION.  Just let me know!!  That would be a HUGE BLESSING!!!

THANK YOU for all you do....pray, support, encourage!!  xoxo!!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Leaving on a jet plane!

YAYYYY!!!  We are sooo excited!!  We finally got our NEW court date!!   We were not able to say much before, but our original court date was changed due to some things happening in Ethiopia.  It is still not all resolved, but we are thankful the judge is allowing us to come over for our court date!!  WE GET TO MEET CREW FACE TO FACE!!!  That little boy won't know what in the world is happening when we run up and grab him and hug him and squeeze him!!!  AHHHH!!  I can't wait!!

Originally I was not going to travel.  Just Steve was going to make the trip!  We made that decision based on a few things.  First, I didn't want to leave our other 4 kids.  We've traveled before without them, but not to Ethiopia!  Also, we still owe about half the expenses towards this adoption.  With 2 kids in college, 3 extra drivers (and cars) and a few extra little mouths to feed that we've picked up along the way (okay, BIG MOUTHS!!!), it's been a stretch for us.  HONESTLY, it's been a good stretch!!  This might just be the first time we've really had to practice FAITH!!  REAL FAITH!!  For many years, Steve's occupation was doing well!!  He's in Real Estate!  For the past several years, it has not been too great!!  And that happened to be the time God told us to GO GET A SON FROM ETHIOPIA!!  Who would've thunk it!! haha!!  But it's all gonna be good and we are trusting God to provide in all ways.....ALWAYS!!!  So we are both going to meet our little boy!!  Our new son!!  You know me.....I will post LOTS of pics on my fb (and I will post on here, too).

We leave this week and our court date is Monday, July 25.  PLEASE keep us in your prayers!!  AND IF YOU or YOUR BUSINESS would like to make a TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION towards our adoption of little CREW, please let me know!!  Maybe adoption isn't for you, but if something about this makes you feel happy and you want to be a part of our Crew, you can really help out by donating!!!




Sunday, June 26, 2011

Something cute to check out...

My daughter, Makenzi, will be starting college this fall.  For the past 2 years she has been making headbands.  ADORABLE HEADBANDS!!  People have asked her many times where she got them to which she replies, "I made it!"  Well, her dad told her she will need to have a job for her "extra money" at school.  This is what she came up with and I can testify, she has been working constantly.  Check out her blog and follow her for all her newest creations and please pass on to all your friends!  THANK YOU so much!!  :)

P.S.  We are still praying for our new court date for Crew.  Love that little guy!!  xoxo!  Debbi

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Holding on!

Well, it's been awhile since I have blogged.  It's been kinda a crazy ride lately.  Emotional.  I'm not sure how much to say right now, so I will keep it brief.  So many people keep asking us about Crew and when will we get our new court date, when will he be home.....and we just don't know!  Our original court date of May 27th was cancelled.  We are now waiting and praying for a new court date.  We just don't know when it will be.  The things that make me "okay" are knowing God has this!!!! .....AND, I am so glad that little Crew is at the transition house.  We wait.  We pray!  We just have to trust!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

While I'm waiting....

Oh gosh, ya'll.  It's been such a smooth sailing ride...until now!!  We just can't get that stinkin' I-171-H form here (that we HAVE to have for our court date)!  As much as I've humanly tried, it is still not here!!  So, here is my conclusion:

I know that GOD IS GOD.  I know that GOD HAS A PLAN.  I know that HE LOVES CREW more than I do.  I even know that there are other children, PRECIOUS CHILDREN, in that same "line" at the USCIS office wanting to go HOME to their new FOREVER FAMILY that maybe need to be ahead of us.  So......I'm gonna MAKE MYSELF TRUST EVERY PART of GOD.  Each delay must be for a reason.  Each set back....God has a bigger plan!!  And while I wait....I'm gonna pray for sweet CREW to be loved, to stay healthy, to be safe....and somehow know that he has a momma that REALLY wants to hug him and tuck him into bed at night that is PRAYING FOR HIM!

So, while I wait.....will you PRAY WITH ME?

"I will serve you while I'm waiting, I will worship while I'm waiting!"

xoxo!!  Debbi

P.S.  Click on this link....this is something that a friend shared with me!!  It brings me PEACE and makes me cry at the same time!!  But it's all GOOD because GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

BUY BUY BUY!!! And help an orphan at the same time!

Okay's the last night for us to receive donations toward ANY purchase from ORDINARY HERO STORE.  You have to buy gifts anyway, right?  Graduation!  Mother's Day!  Birthdays!!  Maybe a sheep or 2 for orphans?  YES!!  SHEEP!!  Go to and check out what they have!!  For EVERY purchase they will donate 40% to Crew's adoption AND because of awesome people like you, we are in the top 3 for the $500 GRANT.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!  Now, please go SHOP!  It's now or never!!  :)  THANK YOU!!!!!

P.S.  When you purchase something and CHECK OUT, please remember to click on AFFILIATE and put my name, Debbi Coder, so we get the 40% donation for Crew's adoption!!  xoxo!!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A gift with a purpose!!

Hey friends!!  So, it's that time of year!  GRADUATION...MOTHER'S DAY....and if you are like us, MAY has soo many birthdays!!!!  Here is an awesome opportunity for you all, our friends, to buy gifts that will not only make that person SMILE, but will also have a greater purpose!!!

When you go to (click on the link above) and buy any item, they will donate 40% to our adoption of Crew!!!  AND to top that off, we are in the top 5 sellers (THANK YOU!!!!!) which means we could win the $500 GRANT!!!  THAT WOULD BE AMAZING!!!  The deadline is tomorrow night (Monday).

So if you have gifts you need to buy, would you please go to and shop!!  I know you will find great gifts for those special people (and probably an item or two for yourself....cute stuff, girls!!).  Please don't forget an important step when you "checkout" your purchases....please look for MY NAME, Debbi Coder, where it says AFFILIATE and click on it so we get the credit!!  It's super easy!!  You will be making a huge difference in the life of an orphan!!!  AND, the items really are awesome!!!


xoxo!!  Debbi

Remember, by tomorrow (Monday) night!!  :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Just waiting......and waiting!

So this is what they were talking about!  There is nothing for me to do to make the process go faster!!!  We are just waiting!  And waiting!!!  Good thing for me I still have 4 other kids  and a household to manage or I could go kinda crazy during this part!!  I'm really not anxious....just excited!!  I simply cannot wait to finally get to hold little Crew!!  Even more, I cannot wait to see him with his siblings, Cassi, Makenzi, Kason and his buddy for life, Kyler!  I just feel like seeing my kids love on their new little brother will be.....well, I'm speechless just thinking about it!!!

Our friend (that was able to meet Crew recently) came home from his trip with video footage from the orphanage of their time together!!  It was precious!!!  He took pictures of Crew's sweet little hands and feet for me (at my request....I love hands and feet!!) and I couldn't wait to get home and put them in a frame!  Just priceless!!

This same friend and his wife are adopting a few boys from Ethiopia!!  Yep, you read that right!  A FEW!  They started out thinking 2....but God quickly turned that number into 3.  And can you believe after his trip over there, the number may possibly be turning to 4.  YEP!!  4 boys from Ethiopia ranging in ages from 10-14.  HOW COOL IS THAT?  One of the boys on the video says, "Don't forget me!!  Please remember me!!"  Don't you know, all those children want a home!!  They don't care what kind of house they will live in, or what college they will go to....they just want a HOME!!!  Once you see that in their eyes, you don't forget it!!!

Another friend of mine is now in the adoption process.....and they are adopting a little boy that is 10 years old.  AND, they may be getting a young girl, too!  It's amazing what can happen when we respond to compassion rather than just feel compassion!!

Don't can still order CREW t-shirts!!  THANK YOU FOR BEING A PART OF OUR CREW!!!  It won't be long now.....and he will be HOME!!!

xoxo!  Debbi

Thursday, April 7, 2011

YEP!! It's happening!!!

WE GOT OUR COURT DATE!!  Oh my goodness!!  AND a very special mom's 70th birthday!!  How sweet is that?  Thank you, God!!  And so funny that just this afternoon, my sister, Wendi, sent me an email and said, "I bet your court date is May 27th!".  We found out at 10:30 pm that it really is!!  YIPPEE!!!!  So, Steve will be heading out May 23rd to go meet our little Crew!!  I will stay home and hold down the fort!   It won't be long until our little guy is HOME with all of us!!  Very soon!!  It's's really happening!!  From being put in our hearts at Christmas time, to our court date on Nana's birthday, it's looking like Crew will be here for MY 45th BIRTHDAY!!  I don't think I could ask for a better gift!!!  THANK YOU GOD!!!  To be continued.......real soon!! :)



Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My heart is full!!

Can I just tell you.....I am amazed!!  I am amazed how awesome the fundraiser was on Friday!!  WOW!!  My friends can sure throw a party!!  And add over 100 items for a silent auction and a few items for a live auction, and some money is to be raised!!!  Because of giving people, we were able to pay almost HALF of our adoption fees!!  THANK YOU!!!  And thank you so much to my precious friends for taking the time out of their busy lives to plan, organize, set up, take down, and on and on and on!!!  And the music....perfect!!  I do believe they will all have an extra jewel in their crown in heaven!!!  The night was perfect and so fun!!!

And to my friend that decided to post a "CREW t-shirt fundraiser" on fb today, which totally surprised me....that blessed me....sooo much!!  THANK YOU!!!

Today was the day we went to OKC for our fingerprinting!!  Ahhh, it's always such a relief to be one step closer!!  It worked out sooo good!!  Not only did Steve and I have to get our fingerprints, but so did our girls, since they are 18 and 19.....but all of us had different appointments to get them done (the computer just spits them out, so you take what you can get!) Oklahoma City.....and they are both students, so the timing wasn't real good for them on the dates they were given.  Thankfully, as we all arrived together on Steve's appointment day, with sweet smiles and lots of praying, they let us all use Steve's appointment and we all got our fingerprints done at the same time!!  I am sooo excited!!!  Now we are just waiting for our court date!!  I feel like we will get it any time now!!  I keep reminding myself that God's timing is I feel very content waiting!!  I know it'll be exactly as it should be!!

Btw, a friend of ours just left Ethiopia and he was able to see Crew and take pictures (which I will see when he gets back).  There are no words to describe how special it is to me to know someone we know was with him to hug him, even if just for a little while.  We are able to send a gift bag to him this weekend with another friend going over.  She will not be able to see him, but will send the bag to him with our picture in it.  He is little, so he won't understand who we are, but I am so happy he will have a couple new toys and outfits from us!!  It makes me smile....I can already see the new toys going straight in his mouth!!  :)

My heart is full.....I'm thankful.....and eternal perspective is INcreDIblE!!  :)

Love ya'll!!  xoxo!!  Debbi

Friday, March 18, 2011

I'm thankful for sure!

I just can't get over how thankful I am.

It's been a busy few weeks.  Getting ready for the fundraiser we are having this coming Friday has kept me on the move!  I love that, though!!  It makes me feel like I'm doing SOMETHING to help get Crew here faster!!  Of course, I know, it's all God's timing, and He already knows the date Crew will arrive.  But it still makes me feel like I'm doing something!!  :)

As I've been marking off my "to do" list I've realized over and over again, how thankful I am.  I'm actually most always a pretty optimistic person, so being thankful isn't unusual, but I am just so aware of how thankful I am right now.  I think it's funny how things go complete circle.  By that I mean, Steve and I are pretty giving people...both of us.  It's not strange for us to help people out, whether it's making a meal for a sick friend, or helping a kid get a first car that needs help.  We've been known to house a few people when in need.  Steve is constantly picking up hitchhikers (only when he's by himself) and witnessing to them, and very often he gets calls from homeless guys he's trying to help "kick the habit" and when they need encouragement, they turn to Steve.  That's just who we are.  We like to help others.  And here we are, on the receiving end.  We're not really used to being on the receiving end.

When my sister first came up with the idea to contact my friends about having this dinner/silent auction fundraiser, I just wasn't so sure about it.  But it has become one of the most awesome experiences for me!  I have had the opportunity to talk to so many people about our adoption when I've gone to pick up donations.  Out of about 70 people I contacted, only 2 people said no about donating!  That tells me there are so many giving people out there!!  It gave me so much to be thankful for!!

I am thankful for giving people that are willing to sacrifice and help others!!  I am thankful for my family and my sweet friends who are willing to sacrifice their time (and a lot of it) to organize the food, decorations, the program for the night and all the auction items!  I'm thankful for a church that opened their doors to us to host our fundraiser!!  I'm thankful for the people who are taking the time to come to the fundraiser!!  I'm thankful so many "well known" people have a heart for adopting and they took the time to sign stuff and mail it to me for the auction!!  I'm thankful for my kids who are so excited about this new little boy coming to our family!!  I'm thankful for my husband who will father this child just like the other 4 we have!!  I'm thankful for a sister who took these steps before me and has walked me through every single (and I mean every single!) adoption form we had to fill out!!  I'm thankful for friends and my precious family who have prayed for us on this journey!!  I'm thankful that even though we recently had bad news that my mom has breast cancer, that we have had only good news since and that we can be excited that we have more time together!!  I'm thankful for the precious kids my sister adopted that make me less "unsure" of the "unknown" of adopting!!  I'm just so thankful for so much!  I wanted you all to know I'm thankful for you!!  Thank you for sharing, caring, praying and everything else!!  xoxo!!   Debbi

"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you."  James 1:27

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Eternal Perspective!!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to Nashville to be at the airport when my sister's 3 kids (through adoption) from Ethiopia arrived HOME for the first time!  It was really amazing to see them get off that plane and jump for joy!!  Knowing they were HOME for GOOD is something I'm sure they could not have ever imagined!!  But they are home now!!  And it is a great thing!!  The smiles that day were priceless!!

Watching all of this take place caused quite the stirring in my heart!!  Not only did I meet my new nieces and nephew, but at an adoption fundraiser I was able to meet and see many other kids who had been adopted by families in the Nashville area.  These kids were precious!  A part of a family!  It was very cool to see all this before my eyes knowing we will have Crew in a short time!!  And it was AWESOME to get to talk to a couple of people who have actually held Crew and spent some time with him at the orphanage!!

I'm ready!  I'm ready for Crew to be at our home and living our daily life with us!  We will all have to adjust a little here and a little there.  Just like at my sister's house, it will take some time to get to "normal."  But that will happen, just as it does when bringing home a newborn.  It's all new!  I kept thinking, "had they NOT brought these kids into their lives.....where would these kids be in a few years?  Just a few days ago they were in an orphanage!  Now they are HOME with their FAMILY!"  Whew!!!  Simply wonderful!!  Hard?  Maybe for a time.  Worth it?  Yes!

Eternal perspective!!  Without it, everything is hopeless!!

Thanks for all your prayers and support!!!  xoxo!!  Debbi

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

No'll all work out!

So, we were delayed by a day....heading to OKC tomorrow, instead of today!!  I keep telling myself "GOD HAS A PLAN" and I believe it!!   :)

Then, heading to Nashville Friday to meet my new nieces, Kali (6) and Bennet (10) and my new nephew, Kaleb (6), who arrive HOME on Saturday from Ethiopia.  Cannot wait!!

Thank you to all of you who pray for us and this roller coaster journey we are on called adoption!!  What a ride!!!  MUCH LOVE!!!  xoxo!!  Debbi

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm so exicted...I just can't hide it!!

Yep, soo excited today!!  Our Home Study is COMPLETE and the agency is overnighting us the forms we need to get our Dossier authenticated!!  Steve and I will go to OKC tomorrow to get'er done!!!  EEkkkk!!  This makes me so happy!!  It's another step and it is such a huge one!!  Once the papers are mailed off tomorrow, we will wait!!  I know I've done all I can humanly do.  I feel a lot of pressure off of me.....even though it truly is all God's doing.  I'm just the vessel.  Now we will anticipate getting our court date and we will start planning the trip for Steve to take to Ethiopia!!  I cannot wait for Steve and Crew to meet for the first time and for Steve to call me and tell me all about it!!  Part of me wishes I could go, too, but I just don't want to leave the other kids at home, so it is what it is and I will get to see pictures!!  And that's exciting, too!!  Steve is so awesome with kids, I know it will be such a neat moment for him to meet his new son!  Okay, I'm full of emotions, so this is all for now!!  I can't see through the tears anymore to type!!  LOL!!  Keep us in your prayers....and Crew!!  I know God is holding him tight until we can!!!  xoxo!!  Debbi

P.S.  A dear friend of mine, Cyndi, surprised us by doing a fundraiser for Crew.  She sells Silpada jewelry.  From now until March 1st you can order from her and the profit will go directly to our adoption for Crew.  What a blessing to us!!!  Her contact info is:

To Order please contact Cyndi Cagle
Silpada Representative
Orders can be emailed to Cyndi, Please leave contact information so she can contact you for payment info. All major credit cards are accepted. Orders cannot be placed on Silpada websites. You must contact Cyndi.

To view entire collection visit her website:

THANK YOU, FRIENDS!!  Crew is coming HOME soon!!  :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Kingdom sacrifice!

SUCH GREAT NEWS!  My sister and her family found out this week that they have the clear to go PICK UP AND BRING HOME their THREE kids from Ethiopia, ages 6, 6 and 10.  SOOOO EXCITING!!!  I can't wait to get to Nashville now, to help her with some last minute things before the kids get HOME.  AND I CANNOT WAIT TO HUG THEIR PRECIOUS NECKS and tell them I LOVE THEM!!!  And that I have a little boy named CREW in Ethiopia that will be here SOON and is their cousin!!!  Soo excited!!!

I wish everyone was as excited as I am!!  I guess it's like a new car in a way.  When some friends of ours got a new Suburban many years ago, they told everyone, "You have got to get a Suburban!"  I thought, "Yikes!!  Why would I want a Suburban!!  They're huge!!!"  But guess what?  I got a Suburban after I rode in theirs.  It's big!!  It's roomy!!!  And it was great having a Suburban with 3 kids under 5!!  And that's when I understood where their excitement came from!  They had experienced it!  I wish everyone could experience ADOPTION and be so EXCITED about it!!  I wish everyone wanted to adopt a child or a they would know how awesome it feels to know you changed that child's life FOREVER!!!

But I know not everyone will adopt!  I get that!!  Not everyone wants a Suburban!!  LOL!  But if you don't, you can still be a part of it in another way!!  What they are doing by adopting is AMAZING!  It is SELFLESS!  It is LOVING!  It is a SACRIFICE!  And it is a CHOICE!!  But God did call ALL of us to help the if you do not feel led to adopt a child, please support someone who is!!  My sister is bringing home THREE children.  The cost to do that is over $50,000......just in adoption fees.  Not living expenses!  YES, people who adopt know how much it is going to cost!!  That doesn't matter!!  They find a way!!  If it means getting a loan, they will!!  If it means getting a second mortgage on their house, they will.  If it means selling t-shirts and having fundraisers, they will!!  If it means a spending freeze on everything else, they do it!!  Nothing will stop them from this calling!!  But, wouldn't it be so INCREDIBLE if everyone they knew helped a little?  Maybe $10.  Maybe $100.  Maybe $1000. Maybe more!  And there is a benefit to the giver, besides the obvious blessing; it can be tax deductible!!  So maybe try skipping eating out one day this an orphan who doesn't eat 3 meals a day!!  Forget that big vacation just an orphan who just wants a HOME!!  New pair of jeans?  How about for the orphan instead who only has 1 outfit (if he's lucky)!!!  Manicure?  Picture the little hands on that orphan and maybe you could do without one time and help an orphan get home!!   Think how awesome it would be to be a part of something sooo big!!!  Even if no one else knows.....GOD KNOWS!!!!  THIS has ETERNAL VALUE!!

James 1:27 says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

Please contact me if you want to help!! We have partnered with World Wide Compassion to help bring home orphans!!  When you give to WWC, it is tax deductible!  If you don't need a tax deduction, give anyway!  The reward will be worth the sacrifice!!  Kingdom sacrifice is what I call it!!  :)

By the way, we are just waiting for our homestudy papers so we can send off our Dossier!!!   After that, we wait again....for our court date!!!  One more step closer!!  It's all God's timing!!  *Crew, I can't wait until we are heading to the airport to bring you home, little buddy!!  Your family is waiting!!!!*

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's addictive!! Maybe even contagious!!

I tell ya what....I was talking to a friend the other day (through fb) and she made a comment about adoption that hasn't left my mind.  "It's addictive!"  I have thought and thought some more about that small statement.....and it touches my heart to the core!!

You see, she is a mom that has adopted THREE children, already having 3 biological children.  She and her husband know what it does to your heart to bring a child into your family.  To show that child LOVE like they've never known before!  Once you do it, you want to do it again...and again!!!  There is nothing like changing a child's world!

This friend of mine, Angel (the name fits perfectly, by the way!), is a person I have only known for a short time; almost 2 years now.  But I've watched this lady LOVE all 6 of her children and it has amazed me....and possibly inspired me when I didn't even know it!

Her comment about adoption, "It's addictive", is true!!  We have watched the adoption process of my sister's family, adopting 3 Ethiopian children, and now we are on our own adoption journey with Crew, and since then we know of other families who have decided they, too, will be adopting.  PTL!!!  AND, we know a few families who are praying about whether they will adopt. Not only is it addictive, it just may be contagious!!  When you see how it changes lives, not only for the adopted child, but the life of the family adopting, you can only see the love of God pouring out!  

Once you begin the journey, you never look at things the same again!  You never think you need more!  You just don't!  You never think, "is this the right thing or not?"  It is!  Can you even begin to imagine YOUR OWN CHILD alone.  Without food.  Without clean clothes.  Sharing a single bed with one or two other abandoned children.  Dirty.  In need of so much.  Not being loved the way a child needs to be loved!!  Can you imagine that being your child?  That is how God looks at these children.  They are His.  Who will love them if we don't?

I know for a fact it's addictive!!  Now I pray it's contagious!!

If you have a heart to adopt, but the only thing stopping you is the funding, please email me.  We have partnered with World Wide Compassion (WWC) and we want to help others give these children the family they so long for!

And if you have a desire to be a part of WWC, please donate.  It is tax deductible.

John 14:18 "I will not leave you as orphans!  I will come for you!!"



Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Here we are....just waiting for our homestudy report so we can send off our dossier (papers to Ethiopia).  This is definitely a learning experience in patience!!  But we know God's timing is the best timing.  FAITH!

As we wait, we have made our "Crew" t-shirts to help with our expenses AND to let some of you be a part of our journey that have wanted to share it with us!  THANK YOU!!  As I've been talking to people (as I've taken shirt orders and/or delivering t-shirts), I have had many conversations with friends that have totally surprised me.  Generally, it goes like this:  "We are so excited for you all and little Crew!  How much is it to adopt?"  I reply, "Our adoption is costing around $20,000."  Their reply, "We would love to adopt, but we just don't have that 'upfront' money!'"

You know, Steve and I had just been talking to a very good friend of ours about our adoption journey a few weeks ago and we all agreed, it is very expensive!!  So, what do people do that can't "come up with" that kind of money to pay for the fees and expenses?  I'll tell you what they do!  They don't adopt!  Even though their heart says "YES!", they can't!  If the money isn't there, they can't!  That's it!  That makes me sad!!  And we want to change that!!

So, we have partnered with that long-time friend we were talking to.  He is a wonderful man named Lonnie Rex.  Lonnie has been involved with ministry and mission work for many many years!  Not only is he the founder of the David Livingston Foundation, but also his ministry World Wide Compassion (a non-profit organization).  WWC has helped with orphanages, disaster relief and clinics in several Third World countries.

Steve and I want to bring little Crew home to us!!  We want to help others bring home their "little Crew", too!  We do not want to see money get in the way of giving a child a home, a family and a future, who otherwise would not have a chance for those things!!

We are asking anyone who reads this, to please consider donating to World Wide Compassion.  If you are a business/corporation that needs to make a contribution for tax benefits, please consider WWC.  If you know someone who you think would consider this opportunity, please pass this on to them!  God has opened our hearts to help people bring home a child from poverty into a home of hope!  "It is more blessed to give, than to receive."  Acts 20:35


In His Love,


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A mother's HUG

I got a box in the mail today from the adoption agency!  It's full of books and reading materials on adoption and a DVD to watch.  Stuff to answer the many questions I'm sure we will have or have already had.  There is also a little t-shirt for Crew, and a stuffed animal for him.  As I was pulling out each item from the box, thoughts were just pouring out of my head!! Wow!  What a big change is getting ready to take place in this little boy's life!!  I mean, he's an orphan!! Can you imagine not having a mom?  When I say that, I instantly think of my own kids.  I can't imagine not being here for them.  Who would do their laundry?  Who would cook dinner for them and make their school lunches?  Who would run them back and forth to games and school?  Who would tuck them in and pray with them?  Who would HUG THEM....the real hug!!  A mother's hug!!  Even the littlest of those things....if I'm not doing it, who is?

Do you know anybody that doesn't have their mom around?  Do you ever just stop and think about how they feel?  Do you ever wonder if the reason they act a certain way is because she wasn't there to show them the way?  When I think of kids without a mom, it breaks my heart and I just want to be their mom for them!  I just want to hug them, the way a mother hugs!!  I don't want them to think I'm weird, or a creeper, but I want to show them THEY ARE LOVED!  What must God be feeling?  That's got to hurt Him to see His child hurting and lonely! Just aching for that mother's touch!

Being a part of this adoption to bring little Crew to our family has done things to my heart that I didn't know could happen.  We've fed the homeless before.  We've given clothing to the poor before.  We've donated and supported helping others.  But this time we are giving a child a HOME.  A MOM.  A DAD.  SIBLINGS.  If it was your child, wouldn't you want someone to do that for him or her?  I know I would!

Adopting doesn't change the world....but it will change the world for one child!

Monday, January 10, 2011

I have another favorite!

You know...sometimes I joke around and say, "I'm God's favorite!"  Well, maybe it's not a joke.  Sometimes I really do feel like that!!  But I've heard Beth Moore say that, too, so I'm in good company! haha!!  It's nice to think sometimes you're the favorite!!!  And really, we are ALL God's favorite!  He chose us!!

I have said to my kids from time to time, "she's my favorite", or "you know he's my favorite!"  My kids know I love them all the same, (yet differently), so when I say that, we just laugh!  There's not any reason for them to feel "less loved" than another; they all know they are loved as much as I can possibly love them.  They feel it!  When I gave birth to my first child, Cassidi, it was hard to imagine loving another child as much!  But then along came Makenzi.  I love her as much!  Then came Kason.  Same love!  Then Kyler.  Boom!  LOVE!  It's hard to imagine, but it happens!!  Hello Crew!!  You are loved!!  I have 5 favorites!!  :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

I have butterflies today!!

I don't know why I have these silly butterflies in my tummy today, but I do.  I'm really excited, not at all nervous, about my individual homestudy meeting.  It will be my last one.  Steve goes on Monday for his.  I guess because we are getting so close to the end of our homestudy...which means I will be able to mail the dossier...which means, we will get a court date soon after...I'm just kinda giddy!!  That will be a great day!!  My family is so excited to get this little boy to our home; we feel like he is already in our, the family portrait over the mantle isn't even right anymore...someone is missing!!  Little Crew Dawit Coder.

Some of you have asked me questions lately that I guess I haven't shared with everyone.  I just feel like I have since I talk about him so much to anyone who will listen!! haha!!  So here is a little bit about Crew.  First, he is absolutely adorable!  He was abandoned as a baby, so we are not sure of his exact age, but probably between 18 months and 2 years old.  He is completely healthy. The agency director named him Dawit, which means David (after her husband. How sweet is that?!!).  We have decided to keep his Ethiopian name for his middle name. We feel blessed to have received baby pictures of him from the agency (a lot of adoptive parents don't get baby pictures, so we feel this is really cool!).  Several people that my sister knows (from her adoption journey) have met Crew in person (and even held him!! Awww!!!) and say he is just precious!!  I feel like he is just a miracle gift to us!  He was supposed to be adopted by another wonderful family, but that wasn't meant to be.  I feel like God was keeping him for us!!  And now that other family has adopted the children God had in store for them.  Amazing!!  God has a plan!!

Well, now it's time for me to head to my meeting....EEEkkkkk!!!  I feel like I just got asked on a first date or something!!! LOL!!!  I guess that's what LOVE does to you!!!  God's love!!!  :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

That's a lot of t-shirts!

Well, today I am feeling really blessed that 130 of you have purchased shirts to help support our adoption!  It makes me smile to think about seeing these t-shirts being worn by all of you, just out and about.  I picture myself running into one of you at Target and you having on the shirt that says, "Be a part of our Crew".  How cool is that?!!  :)

I feel like I'm not doing very much at this point to help get little Crew home....all the paperwork is done that I can do, and now we just wait for the homestudy to be complete so I can mail off the dossier.  Little Crew is sitting in an orphanage right now....and I find myself thinking about that a lot.  It's been really neat to be able to pray for him already.  He doesn't even know who we are, but yet he is being prayed for by name!  I have always prayed with each of my kids at bedtime (until they got to a certain age; then they started going to bed after me!!), but Kyler and I still pray together each night.  It's so sweet to pray for Crew.  Kyler always shows so much concern for his little brother already!!  It's priceless!!!

Thank you again SO MUCH for the support!!  Adoption is so expensive and each little bit helps so much!!  These 130 shirts sold just about cover the homestudy cost!!  GOD BLESS YOU!!!  xoxo!!