Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Back Story

Neither one of us grew up dreaming of adopting a child one day - we just had never thought about it individually or as a couple. After watching a couple of dear friends adopt & being blessed to be in a community of friends that seek to find what it truly means to be a Christ follower, the Lord started stirring in Matt's heart. Now, another one of Matt's characteristics is that he likes to guard my heart until he knows for certain where the Lord wants us. So, in the middle of October 2009, Matt tells me at 10:30 pm that he thinks we need to adopt! This still makes me just laugh...really, 10:30 at night? so typical. :) After moving the discussion to a more appropriate time the next day, I was immediately in. I have always totally trusted Matt's relationship with God & knew this must be the direction He wanted to take us. Also, I knew I could love any child without reservation. {there are several kiddos out there that I consider "mine" that are of no relation!} If I remember correctly, something like 3% of all adoption cases are started by the husband. I think it is so special that Matt was the one who came to me.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ordinary Hero: Michael & Beth Venable's Story

Not sure how I missed this video originally, I'm assuming the busyness of the holidays, but I wanted to share here on our blog as well.  Matt & I feel very blessed that the Lord put this family in our paths.  Mike & Beth picked up Scar the same day we picked up Boothe.  I was so thankful to have them there then as we were first time parents in a hard situation, & they offered encouragement & gracious advice.  Now, I am in awe that we got to interact with a family that is giving God freedom to work in such humbling circumstances.  May many blessing continue to spill out across Africa in honor of Beth!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Boothe's Nursery

a year later, here's pictures of Boothe's room!  There are actually pictures in the picture frames now, but if i wait to take pictures of those to post, then it will likely be another year! ;)  I love how it turned out!!  I'm a horrible photographer though, so I'm afraid these pictures don't really do the room justice.  At least you'll get somewhat of an idea, & I'll have some record of it!

walking in from the hallway (ignore the shadow...i told you i'm bad!;))
a wider view

the front wall...see more about the couch here

the wall to the left...again, i wish i was a better photographer-this isn't a great pic.  The frames are now filled of sweet pictures of boothe & our family (I am extremely blessed to have 2 great friends that are AWESOME photographers!) The print that is in the middle of the empty frames belonged to one of matt's grandfathers.

i know this is blurry (i just cropped from the above pic), but i wanted you to have a close up of the prints above his bed.  The one of the left has an image of the globe with Africa in the middle & says, "compassion for the Earth & all who inhabit it."  LOVE!! My mom found it, & it could not be more perfect! Maybe i'll get a round to taking an actual detail picture of them, so you can get the full effect. ;)

sorry...another bad picture...but here's a detail of the bedding.  I fell in love with the tie die fabric about the time we got on the wait list. I finally decided i could make it work for either boy, girl, or gender neutral so bought several yards & waited for probably close to a year before doing anything with it! My sister's mother-in-law graciously made the bumper pad, sheets, & skirt for me.

the wall opposite of the bed.  searched long & hard for this dresser, but sooo glad i did! one of my favorite pieces of the room!  i think i already touched on the shells in another post, but had that & the stars early on in the process too.  The stars are a nod to the Ethiopian flag.  The ball in the tray & the small yarn animal (a camel) by the vase are also from ET.

another angle from the opposite corner of the room...you can get a better sense of the star placement.  pretend the extra clutter on the dresser isn't there :)

the back wall (taken at a different time, so there are different sheets on the bed incase you are wondering!) The yarn banner above the closet (& the one with his name above the mirror) were from a shower that my friends threw.  I loved seeing all the pictures all together that i insisted on keeping them!  The top clock is Ethiopian time & the bottom our time.  Remember that jacket?  Boothe has gotten some wear out of it, but i just leave it up as decor.  Sure glad I spent that $5! ;) The giraffe stacking stools were a fun find from ET!!  I wish i had a better picture of the rugs in front of the crib :(

a close up...i just love 'em & hope they'll be a family "heirloom" of sorts 

a gift from one of the other "Southern 6" mommas...the saying is beyond truth & a fun momento of God's grace & provision

a neat tip that i thought of & happy to pass along...use wall mounted magazine holders books! Boothe loves digging for them, & it works especially well for people like me who may not have the room for a shelf.  (go ahead & pretend like there are labels in the slot & that Boothe doesn't pull the bows out of the bumper ties...it works wonders for me!!;))

just for fun, my handsome little man :)

I hope to be back soon with an update of our little family since we've been together just over a year now! I'd also like to say that I'm going to catch up on here with his birthday, holidays, "gotcha" day, etc., but i still need to blog about his homecoming so that's probably not likely! ...one can dream they'll eventually be on top of things again ;)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hello world.

Hi old friends, if there are actually any of you left in my little blogging world. ; )  I've been meaning to get back here for a while, but I just can't seem to make it a priority these days.  However, Ethiopia has been on my mind a lot these past few weeks, & a little surprising to me, I'm sad I have no plans to go back in the near, near future.  To help fill the void, I thought I would celebrate our mile markers that we have in June by posting pictures from our first trip to meet our little man - Boothe has been home 6 months as of the 15th & the 23rd was the anniversary of our referral & seeing his sweet face for the first time.

P.S. a few quick updates from the last post: all 6 babies stuck in our political mess did come home by Christmas.  Three of them actually came home on Christmas Eve! : ) You all will never know how much your prayers are appreciated still to this day.

also, as I was typing Boothe's name, I remembered a post I did talking about the debate Matt & I were having over it... we landed on the 4 name option... Boothe Tegegn Russell Baxter, & we love it!! We even sing it to him using the tune of John Jacob Jinglehiemersmit (sp?) : ) Boothe is Matt's grandfather's & great grandfather's middle name.  He has always wanted to use it if we had a boy, & once I met his grandfather & saw how much he & Matt were alike, I knew we had to use it too.  Tegegn (pronounced Te-gain) is his name given to him at birth, so it was important to us to keep it as a prominent name.  It means God found [him,] which could not be more appropriate.  Russell came into play because it's my dad's name & seeing how this is the first "son" in his life with 3 daughters & almost 4 granddaughters, we thought it was time for him to have a namesake! ; )

On to the pictures...geesh, i'm wordy...this is why i never post! : )

 he was asleep when we got to go in to see him

 just opened his eyes

 oh, hey there momma

look, there's dada 

 first family pic

already thinks dada is SO funny:) 

these ladies will never know how much they mean to me 

 soaking in our last time together after finding out our case was on hold

saying good-bye...still brings tears... 

the families that we shared our week with - the baby girls in the middle on the back & front rows were also on hold with us...they were 2 of the babies that came home on Christmas Eve:)

LOVE, LOVE my little man...LONGING for a perfect world...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Embassy Update

After a spotty Internet day yesterday for the folks in Addis, we got news today that the U.S. Embassy has requested a birth family meeting for next Tuesday, Dec. 6th {his 9 month birthday btw!} at 7:30 am. If things go smoothly, we should hear word from the embassy in the next few days that we are cleared & be given dates to travel. {to give you an example of a scenario we would be blessed to follow: a family had their same interview yesterday & found out today that they will need to leave THIS Friday to go to ET!}

Also, the other 3 families were submitted yesterday!!! I am praying that all 6 babies will be home by Christmas...would LOVE for you to join me! ;-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Submitted to embassy

Last Monday, our file was submitted to U.S. embassy to be reviewed, approved, & obtain a VISA appointment. The U.S. also does their own investigation of adoption cases, proving that each child is an orphan. The embassy takes 1-2 weeks per review & then comes back with 1 of 2 scenarios:

1) the case is cleared & dates are given to travel to get Little Man's VISA so that he can enter the United States

2) the embassy calls for additional information. then, will review the case a second time once that information has been given.

Now, along with all the changes with adoption on the Ethiopian side of things, so the U.S. has vamped up their scruitany of cases on their end as well. Most all cases, if not all in general, have gone the #2 route. The main thing they have called for are additional birth family interviews. {Just fyi, birth families are also called to testify in the ET courts before you are ever given custody of your child, & documents such as this will be in your file that the embassy has.}

CALLING ON ALL PRAYERS :) - on Monday, we were submitted with 2 other families. those families have already received 2 different emails from the embassy. One, that their file was "opened." Two, that a birth family interview was requested. We have not gotten anything from the embassy directly yet. My case manager assured me that this does not mean that they are not working on our case & that they are not consistent in their direct correspondence with adoptive families. However, I am getting nervous about it. Part of me is just so relieved that my baby boy is actually coming home, that I don't care...but, another part of me is begging the Lord that this lack of correspondence means we are being cleared! ;-) {for lots of reasons we would love for them not to request a birth family interview} So, will you join me in praying the following:

1) that the embassy will clear our case the first time
2) that we will hear word from them either through them or our agency SOON
3) that the other 3 of the Southern 6 will get submitted tomorrow - really tonight according to ET time :)

We all just want to get our sweet babies home ASAP!!! :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's OFFICAL!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, this news is super late in coming, but as of Monday, the Baxter family is officially a family of 3!!! Monday morning we found out the court had received our MOWA letter & issued our "final, final" court decree! I have pretty much been running at full steam ever since trying to get caught up on all the things I have been putting off...it's a little hard to register, have showers, buy diapers/clothes/etc. when you have NO IDEA how old your baby is going to be when he comes home. SOOOOOoooo glad that's over with!!!:)

I wish I could show you all a picture of his sweet little face & announce his name to really make things come alive! However, our agency is extra precautions & doesn't like us to show pictures of our littles until they are safely in our custody....& there is a little debate over what exactly his name will be. It's pretty much set for the most part except we can't decide whether to sneak in a second middle name. I'm for & against it for several different reasons, & Matt is mostly against. So, we'll see how all this plays out! ;-)

Next steps are AGCI will translate our paperwork & make an appointment for our lil guy to have an extra medical exam at the embassy's clinic. Once all that is complete, they can submit us to the U.S. embassy who will then complete their own investigation of our case. The embassy is very strict & only allots certain days that each agency can open files. Ours is Monday. We are praying that our staff is able to get everything done in time to submit our file to the embassy this coming Monday! We know Almaz & everyone will make it happen if they can! :)

Yay!!!!!!!!! Matt & I have been on cloud 9 since last Wednesday {when our case was taken off hold!} I can hardly tell that my head is spinning in 5 different directions- ha!