Monday, December 26, 2011

Leaving tomorrow!!!!

The day has finally come!!
We fly out tomorrow to see our sweet Violet later this week and go to court next week!!!!!

I am usually full of words and thoughts and all sorts of babbling...
but I am sort of speechless right now.

In the midst of all of the happiness and joy, I am in shock over the idea that this could actually be happening. It just doesn't seem real yet..
Maybe tomorrow when we begin our 2 1/2 day journey to Ethiopia ;) haha.
Oh yeah, somewhere in the enormity of lingering over the Atlantic Ocean for hours and hours and hours, I do believe that reality will hit me!

Please keep us in your prayers for safety and protection.. and that the proper paperwork will be the judge's hands on January 3!! So that we can bring our girl home already!!!!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Court Date and the best Christmas ever!

We are officially on the roster for a January 3rd court date in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia!


The past 2 weeks have been a blur of travel arrangements, planning, purchasing, researching, praying..
I don't really know how I also managed to work... and Stu worked and went to class!
Its been craaaazy! Crazy crazy.. But a good crazy :)
A wonderful crazy actually!

What an amazing holiday season this has been for us!
First a Referral on my sister and nephew's birthday.. So we were able to celebrate with my sister and her family and then again with our great friends, Brian and Ivonne, while also celebrating Stu's 40th birthday in New Orleans.

Then, learning we were Submitted To Court while my parents were visiting for Thanksgiving.. giving us one more incredible thing to be thankful for :)

And then receiving a Court Date for January 3rd, which means that 2 days after Christmas we will be headed to Ethiopia! We will actually be with our sweet girl on New Year's Eve :)
Then the following week, after our court date, we will be in Ethiopia's holiest city, Lalibela, for Ethiopian Christmas! They celebrate with the Orthodox Calendar, like Russia, for Christmas.

The feelings overwhelming me during this time are beyond explanation.. This will be the trip of a lifetime for more reasons than I can even express.
To meet our child.. to actually finally hold her in my arms.. this baby that will finally be out of my head and heart and into my arms.. I cannot even comprehend it yet myself.. and then the New Year's and Christmas part too!
AND add to all of that, the whole 'We're Going To Africa!' part plus the Lalibela/Indiana Jones-Adventure/Eat Pray Love-holy experience....
Wow and wow and wow and holy crap!

My nerves are getting to me a bit too..
I'm trying my best not to stress out about all of the unforeseen, you're visiting a foreign land, don't drink the water, you're probably going to get raging diarrhea, possibly could get malaria, bed bugs are a reality, don't get pick-pocketed, don't know the language, ay ay ay ay ay..
I'm reminding myself to just take it all in stride..
Enjoy the ride..
and above all trust God.

This entire journey has been an adventure and a miracle.. And we're ready for more!!!! :)

Ethiopia, here we come!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

New Mexico turns violet again :)

Looking toward La Mosca lookout tower, Mt Taylor, New Mexico.. Violet's Great-Grandpa!

Enjoying the golden Aspen trees in the distance on Mt Taylor, New Mexico.. Violet's Great-Grandpa!

View of Mt Taylor from my grandparent's house, New Mexico...

La Ventana opening, Zuni Mountains, New Mexico.. Violet's Great-Grandpa!

Taken in my grandparent's cedar tree grove, New Mexico.. Sassy the dog :)

New Mexico.. Violet's Great-Aunt Laurie, Great-Grandma, Cousin Alyssa, and Cousin Analiese :)

Celebrating Violet's Great-Grandmother's 75th birthday in New Mexico :)

New Mexico.. Violet's adorable Great-Grandparents :)

Thanks to my awesome mom and Violet's one and only Gogi for taking such wonderful pics and capturing these sweet Violet Ribbon moments! :)

Violet Ribbon in the sky!

Somewhere in the air between Tulsa & Denver.. Katie from Big Sky, Montana (so perfect! :)

This pic was taken by my mom on her way to New Mexico for a family visit..
Katie from Big Sky was seated beside her.. my mom shared our Violet Ribbon story with her and Katie asked to be part of it :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mary Poppins Ribbon!!!!!!!

Bert from Mary Poppins the Broadway Musical!! :)

Bird Lady from Mary Poppins the Broadway Musical!!

Cast members from Mary Poppins the Broadway Musical!!

Hair Team from Mary Poppins the Broadway Musical!!

Thank you to our friend, Todd, for such wonderful and special pics!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Orleans Ribbon!

St Louis Cathedral @ Jackson Square, New Orleans, Louisiana.. Stu and Sum aka Daddy and Mommy! :)

New Orleans, Louisiana.. Sum and Stu aka Mom and Dad! :)

New Orleans, Louisiana.. Ivonne and Summer :)

Waiting for the St Charles Street Car, New Orleans, Louisiana.. Stu and Brian :)

baby BFF violet ribbon :)

Old Hickory, Tennessee.. Katie Mae!! :)
Seriously a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e!!!!!!!! :)

Our Violet!!!!!

We are over the moon to be announcing our Referral!!!!!!!!!

Yes it is true!!!!!!!
Unbelievably yes.. and wow.. and thank you, Jesus!! :)

Our sweet girl is 8 months old and perfectly beautiful!

Stu and I are over the moon in love and beyond thrilled and indescribably grateful for this miracle..

It is such a surreal moment to wait for so many years to see your child's face and then to finally see it and to know in that first instant, "Of course! This is my baby! I would recognize her anywhere!"
There are no words..

My sister even made a necklace for me with an inscription by Rumi that says, "From the beginning of my life, I have been looking for your face.."
No truer words have ever been spoken.

I have been waiting my entire life for this moment.

I am a mommy!
My heart is full :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

367 days and counting....


Yes, we passed our 1 year date on Saturday! 
So today is our 367th day of being on THE List!!
(As a brief side-note, we did find out that contrary to the conclusion that we came to regarding our DTE after receiving a confusing email from our social worker a few weeks ago, our DTE is still OCT 15, 2010.. so supposedly our thinking on time is right... so "soon"... Whatever that means..)

But after a year of seeing other families receive Referrals and then travel for court and finally travel for embassy to bring their baby home, I am soooo ready for our moment to begin!!!!! 
We're just keeping the Faith and believing that we will see our girl's sweet face soon :)

Soon, soon, sooooooooooooooon!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Annnnd back to Nashville!!

Nashville, Tennessee.. Hilary!!

Violet Ribbon in NYC Fashion District!

New York City.. Leah!!
Thank you to my sweet friend and client, Leah, for thinking of our Violet while on her trip to the Big Apple! :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


For the past year, we have believed that our DTE aka our Dossier To Ethiopia date was October 15, 2010..
Well because we had an email from our social worker stating that was our date. So that has been our focus and believing that was our "spot" on "the wait list" on our agency's online discussion forum was how we came to the conclusion that we were somewhere between #1 & #3 on the list to receive a Referral next.......

And that was when we last updated you.. with the belief that our day could be any moment, any hour, any day.. I spent an entire week with my phone in my pocket on vibrate, even during appointments at work, thinking it could be any second and I would have to make the exception to have my phone during a client's time just this one time.. 
Every hour I was excited, nervous, frantic, thrilled, anxious, in awe....  could this be the hour??

That was a week and a half ago..

Last Monday, when our social worker was back in her office and I spoke with her briefly, she agreed that our time was definitely soon.. she said that she had no information or emails from the country coordinator or corporate office regarding our case but she would email to see if there was any "pending information"..
I wasn't sure what that meant but I'll take any information I can get!
Later that day, she forwarded an email from the country coordinator that stated and I am quoting, that they "generally do not have updates on cases after they have been registered, authenticated, and translated.. (I have that we heard this was done on 11/15/2010)" 

In case you missed that, I'll retype it..
that was 11/15/2010..
So after emailing my social worker asking what the heck? Isn't our DTE 10/15/2010??
It turns out "no"..
There was some sort of " miscommunication" in last year's email and we are in fact not going to be at our referral time until probably after the first of the year  :(
 January, February 2012..

Trust me, I had my pity party last week and I'm still a little wonky about the disappointment but it is what it is.. and all of the boohoo-ing in the world isn't going to change our standing or our date.

So here we are..
Still waiting for Violet.. clearly she just isn't ready for us and vice versa perhaps..
We will get to her..
just not yet..

One cool thing to think about is that now we know for a fact that she and Stuart's mom were together at one time.. if we received our referral now, then they might possibly have never met but now we know that they at least had a moment together up there..
and that is so special to us and worth waiting just a few more months for :)

So anywho, that's where we are..

Please keep your Violet Ribbon pics coming!! They are an unbelievable encouragement and joy to us, especially in light of our continued wait..
We love and appreciate you all!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Violet Ribbon in Paris!

Paris, France.. Auntie Gwyn! :)


Auntie Gwyn & Uncle Robert, you are incredible... I am filled with overwhelming happiness to see these beautiful moments captured for our Violet. Thank you! I love you!

Violet Germany :)

@ The Orangerie, Hannover, Germany.. Auntie Gwyn! :)

The Grounds of The Orangerie in Hannover, Germany..

Hannover, Germany @ The Orangerie.. Auntie Gwyn! :)

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Violet Ribbon across Germany!!

@ Check Point Charlie, Berlin, Germany.. Auntie Gwyn and Uncle Robert! :)
@ the Berlin Wall, Berlin, Germany.. Auntie Gwyn and Uncle Robert! :)
@ Train Station, Berlin, Germany.. Auntie Gwyn and a "Berlinder" pastry  :)
@ Cologne Cathedral, Cologne, Germany.. Auntie Gwyn and Uncle Robert! :)
Thank you to my awesome little sis and her fab hubby for thinking of our sweet Violet while on their vacation abroad!!!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011



Any day now will be the day that changes me forever..
the day I will become a mom.
 Funny how even after 33 months of this process and more years than that of wanting and waiting.. and yet I'm still somehow nervous of that moment and responsibility!
Its HUGE.. without even getting into the enormity of being a parent, just the moment of Referral in and of itself is huge!
To wait so long, dreaming of this moment... waiting to see that face for the first time.. Ah, bliss :)

I envision the referral moment as being like a birth for us. We've been in labor for over 800 days! And we're finally going to see our baby that we've been praying for, pining for, waiting for, wishing for, hoping for, dreaming about, planning our lives around, moving universes for, thanking God for.. she will finally be ours.. soon.

So as we wait, just a little bit longer.. and its become evident that the moment is coming really, really soon.
It could very well be in the next week! (Praying!!!)
Now I'm feeling a giddiness and almost anxious high that I can't explain...
its like a mixture between the day before school nerves and Christmas Eve excitement!
Like the night before vacation when you can't fall asleep because you're just... happy.
Like the morning of your wedding when you are equally jittery and giddy.. filled with a swarm of butterflies.

I am trying to enjoy even this moment and not wish it away..
I know that this too shall pass and I want to absorb it fully and document my heart as best as I can so that Violet will know how we waited for her...

Speaking of...
my sister, Dawanna, made an extraordinary necklace for me as a token of my wait for Violet. I asked for a locket with a quote.. It was more difficult than you would think to choose a verse or statement that describes your heart and soul for this situation...
I didn't want to pick the expected, albeit lovely, Biblical verse: For this child I have waited..
I found plenty of great but super long ones.. Dawanna told me my locket would have to be the size of a dinner plate to fit them! So, clearly, I had to choose otherwise ;)

After much reading and searching, I finally found it..
a beautiful quote from the East Indian poet, Rumi...
And so the locket says:

"From the beginning of my life, I have been looking for your face"

No truer words have ever been spoken..
and indeed I am still looking for it.
Until that referral call and email when I can finally see my Violet's sweet face  :)
Ah, bliss!

Soon.. maybe tomorrow??????

Monday, September 12, 2011

Violet's Ribbon..

Nashville, Tennessee.. Stu and Sum aka future Dad and Mom :) :) :)

Waiting for the phone to ring...

Yep this is pretty much it~

Mondays have a whole new level of anticipation and anxiety now that we are so close to a referral!
The only day for referral news is Monday.. 
so this could be our day!! 
The morning is still young :)

Come on, email and phone.. putting vibes and prayers out to our social worker Sheryl in Nashville and international coordinators Sara and Kim in Michigan for a healthy referral soon!!! 

** Correction! I found out this afternoon that Mondays, in fact, are NOT the only day for referrals.. I now know of people from our agency that received their referral on a Wednesday and another on a Thursday! So since it is nearly 3pm on a Monday, that is good news indeed!!! :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ribbon on the lake!

Grand Lake, Oklahoma.. Dad/Papa :)
Grand Lake, Oklahoma.. Mom/Gogi :) aka The Violet Ribbon Queen!! lol.
Grand Lake, Oklahoma.. Aunt Melissa :)  

Thanks to my amazing mom for her dedication and passion for The Violet Ribbon!! You are the best! And thank you to Aunt Melissa for sharing her birthday afternoon with Violet..
And to my Dad (let's be honest..) just for looking so cool at the wheel! ;)

Nursery Ribbon!

Violet's room is waiting patiently....

Old Hickory, Tennessee..
Old Hickory, Tennessee..
Old Hickory, Tennessee..

Well maybe "patiently" isn't quite accurate ;)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wait!.. #2.. #1?!?!?!

Our Referral is getting closer by the hour! I can feel it..

We are #2 on the list for a girl 10-24 months..
We are #1 on the list for a girl under 10 months...

Wow.. wow.. and wow!

My heart is full and hesitant at the same time..
I don't want to get my hopes up for soon but it certainly appears to be soon.

Waiting to see her face.. Thankful for the gift of this moment..

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Our Number is moving again!!

I have been watching our agency's discussion board obsessively for any news at all.. the referrals have slowed down substantially over the past 8 weeks or so. 
We had been lingering somewhere around #4 but even after all of my lurking and cyberstalking ;) ..suddenly this morning, I looked at The List and I don't know if I missed the big, excited announcement post or what?! But!! There was a referral last week for a family with a DTE of Sept 24, 2010.. 
Our DTE is Oct 15, 2010... 
So we are moving on up!  :) That means......
We are big, fat, awesome number
By Toni F.
Woop woop~~
Holy moly, this may actually happen! 
We are mentally prepared to not receive a referral until closer to Christmas..  but this makes me think it could even be Thanksgiving.. Only God knows! But we are getting nearer to our Violet every day. And most certainly she is alive in Ethiopia at this moment, eating, breathing, sleeping, and waiting for us to come for her... 
I can't wait!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Plate Collage Project..

I want this in my dining room!
I love love love this plate collage.. the colors, the randomness, the sizes.. all of it!
Now I just have to find some plates...
the hunt is on! :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Russian Ribbon!!

Moscow, Russia.. on the grounds of the Kremlin with Red Square and St Basil's Cathedral in the background.. this awesome pic is of Violet's Great-Aunt Carol :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A hobby while I wait..

I've never considered myself to be a super creative or artistic person. Although I did enjoy art class in elementary school and junior high.. and I'm certain that my mom has a few of those "art" pieces saved somewhere in the attic :)

Lately though, I have really been craving an artistic outlet..
I can't explain it. I just need to create something.. anything!

So I've been cooking a lot more.. that has been enjoyable, in more ways than one! lol. Tonight I made Zucchini and Dill Farfalle Pasta, which was delicious, and an sweet-tart Plum Crumble. Mmmmm..

But cooking dinner isn't really cutting it as a "hobby"..

So today, I reached under our guest bed and pulled out my dusty old craft bin. I grabbed a semi-used box canvas, some acrylic paints, and went to town!
It took me several hours to figure out what I even wanted to do.. and I kept layering and letting that dry, and layering another color and letting that one dry.. until I finally decided what I would paint...
Prepare yourselves... I was going to paint.. a dog.

What can I say? I was inspired by my little Westie, Coco.. and so today I officially became a total weirdo by painting a portrait of my pet ;)
But it was so much fun and I cannot tell you how relaxing and fulfilling it was to just simply create.
I highly recommend it!! And I think my painting turned out pretty cute, too!

A jazzy, little, pop-art, blue westie!
Awwwww..... I may even hang it up! :)
I've been trying to collect some cool paintings for a collage in our dining room.. this will perfectly diversify my current collection of flowers and landscapes.

I already can't wait for my next day off to paint something new!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Violets in Bloom! Baby soon??

I'm probably really reaching here... but anything that encourages me at this point is unquestioningly welcome and good :) 

So after over 5 months of sad dormancy, my 3 violet plants, each purchased at different times (I basically just purchased another plant after the previous one stopped blooming), have suddenly and simultaneously bloomed! And the color is as vibrant and beautiful as can be!

Yesterday was our 10 month anniversary on the Ethiopia Wait List.. but it is our 32nd month of being in the adoption process.. so we're a bit spent and frazzled and ready for this baby!!

Right now through the end of September, the Ethiopian courts are closed but supposedly that is only for court and embassy dates.. maybe they will still be doing referrals?!? We're hoping so!!!!!!!!!!

We're still waiting for baby Violet..
but believing that these beautiful, sweet, little surprise blooms are God's way of saying, "Soon.."  :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Auntie Gwyn's Graduation!

So proud of my little sis!

She graduated on Friday with high honors and her Masters Degree in Social Work!!

Auntie Gwyn and Uncle Robert

Mom/Grandma/Gogi, Dad/Grandpa/Papa, and Auntie Gwyn!!

Woop woop!! Well done!

The only thing that would make these awesome pics better is if I could throw a Violet Ribbon in there somewhere ;) 

Congrats, Gwyn!!!