This is blog was created to share some tidbits of our daily lives

and advocate on behalf of the 143 million orphans around the world!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lola Talking & Kicking

Enjoy this footage of Lola Joy Talking & Kicking. She loves to kick when she gets excited.

Our baby girl was so tuckered out today as we had an adventure!Here she is before we left for our embassy appt. All smiles.

She is learning to hold her new toys.
Well, today was an adventure to say the least! Any ride in a car or bus is an adventure in Addis!!! You fear for your life each and every time you set foot in the vehicle. There are no car seats or seat belts, and there seem to be NO RULES or LAWS to follow. Drivers fly everywhere they go, they honk the horn a lot, and they will hit you if you get in their way!:) There are people and animals EVERYWHERE here and drivers seriously brush by them and I close my eyes and pray that we don't hit them! The roads are extremely bumpy, so today Doug and I both got VERY car sick on the way to the appt. and on the way home. When we arrived at the embassy, we went through security then headed upstairs to wait in a room full of people. We were nervous even though we were assured there was nothing to worry about. A man called our name first. We went up to a window and were asked a variety of questions about our daughter. We answered honestly, and nervously. The man was very serious. Finally he said, CONGRATULATIONS!! Yay!!!!! We were so happy! We were asked to have another photo of Lola taken for her visa, so we would have to do that before we came back to our hotel. The other families did well too. We went to the streets and were going to do some shopping, but then it started to rain..then pour. We had no umbrellas or anything, so we really didn't want to be in the rain with a four month old. The other families agreed, so we hopped back on our bus to head back. This is where Doug and I proceeded to get sicker and sicker. His face was turning green, and I was holding poor Lola who was trying to sleep with all the bumpiness...I mean HUGE BUMPS!! We went to get the photos for the visas and our driver was leading us to this place and I stepped out of the bus and gagged! Doug looked at me like what are you doing!? I couldn't help it! lol! I wish you could have seen us! We got the photos and left...for some more bumps and literally almost crawled to our room to lie down and rest. I gagged again on the way up to the room. We never threw up, but we wished we had. Lola was an angel through it all. Such an easy going baby!!! So thankful for that!!! Tomorrow we have a driver taking us shopping and to see our daughter's birthcountry. We will be taking lots of pics and buying some souvenirs. Looking forward to it, but we WILL take dramamine first!!!! :)
Brennan and Bryson, we miss you and love you!!! You are the best boys ever! Your sister says she wants to go to Myrtle Beach! Who wants to hold her first??!! Flip a coin and let us know.
God is so good to us! To Him be all the Glory and Praise!
D and J
ps. Thanks for all the encouragement through your comments. It helps when you are missing home so much!!!:(

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sweet Baby Girl

Here is sleeping beauty! She falls asleep on her own and always has her arms like this.:)Would you look at that smile??!!
Love the nose scrunch!! Smiley Stanley!

Mommy and her girl!

Daddy's little princess!
I told Doug she is smiling in all the pics of him holding her. That would be because she LOVES her Mommy so much! Lol!!!! She is the happiest little princess!!!
We enjoyed another day here at the hotel bonding. Tomorrow we will have our embassy appointment. We will hopefully meet up with the other families from our agency to have dinner. The weather is very cool. Like October there almost. I feel horrible that we packed NOTHING warm for Lola. We are keeping her bundled in a heavy blanket. Don't worry! Doug loves the cool weather. It's chilly to me. Hope all is well at home!
Thanks for the sweet comments. Keep them coming. It is what keeps us going when we are missing home so much.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Video Message for our Boys

Turn off music before watching

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cutie Pie

Here was Miss Lola before we went out for breakfast.After breakfast, we decided to go to the pool area and sit in a lounge chair for more bonding!

She was smiling and talking up a storm!

We are so blessed to have such a happy, content baby girl!

More smiles!
Lola has been true to her name...a true JOY to be around. She slept well last night. She went to bed at about 7:30 and woke at midnight to eat, and 4 to eat, play and poop. She didn't even cry in the night. She just let us know she was hungry by grunting and making little noises. Today we decided we needed to do some bonding around the hotel. We all took a nap..a long one ...jet lag hit us today. ha! Lola loves to be talked to, played with, and sung to.
Our boys have been busy. We are REALLY missing them. So thankful they are hanging in there.
We can't wait to get home and be one big happy family!!
Hugs and Kisses to our boys!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lola Joy Talking

Here's the first footage of Lola telling her brothers that she loves them. Too Cute!!

You might want to pause the music so you can hear Lola talking to her big bros.

Here she is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's our sweetie!!!! Here's her first pics with Daddy

It was truly a miracle!

Here her nanny places her in my arms.

Sorry the pics were in reverse order. Oops.
What a day! Doug and I were so excited to go and meet our sweetie. We were picked up a little after two. The ride to the transition house...eye-opening. Nothing I could have imagined. My heart truly goes out to these precious people. We were deeply moved.
We arrived in about a half of an hour. We walked in and they had taken her in another room to change her diaper. We couldn't wait! Her nanny brought her to us with tears pouring down her cheeks. Her heart broken for a baby girl she'd grown to love so deeply. The moment she was in my arms, it truly felt as if she had been with us all of her life. She didn't cry ONE time. Her nanny said she eats every two hours..about 4 ounces. (Not sure if this was accurate.) She said she sleeps on her back and is a very good baby. She took a bottle and fell asleep as we visited the rest of the transition house cuties. Perfect!!! They had her all dressed up for her Gotcha Day.
The other children in the transition house, well where do I begin. My heart melted as I saw each child, many who are waiting for their families to pick them up. They were ALL precious in their own way. First we visited the infants and toddlers. Then we were able to see the older children. Let me tell you..these are the most awesome kids! They were singing to us, smiling, etc. They were calling Doug Daddy in their native language. The happiest children I've seen. Hmm. AMAZING! They truly LOVED Doug. I looked up and he had a PILE of them on his lap. He was reading them a Dr. Suess book and they would repeat some things he said. It truly melted my heart. Wow!!
We left after a nice visit and came back to the Hotel. We gave Lola a bath, which she seems to really enjoy. I changed her clothes and got her ready for dinner. (We hadn't eaten since 5:30 this morning when we ate Burger King at the airport...and they weren't serving breakfast, so we had chicken fries and fries for breakfast!:) We left for a restraunt in the hotel and noticed that little miss priss has the CUTEST lower pouty lip when she wants to cry!!! wow! Too cute! She was exhausted after being off of her schedule, new family, can understand. She was wonderful while we ate. She LOVES her pacy! (Sophie) :) She held a little toy. She smiles and talks. WE HAVE THE SWEETEST VIDEO OF HER TALKING WE WILL ATTEMPT TO UPLOAD. When we got back to the room, I fed her a bottle and she was fussy. She was trying to fight sleep like her brothers did. We decided to lay her down in her bed and see if she would calm herself down. She did after one minute. She looked around, sucked her fingers, and talked until she gave up. She fell asleep and is snoozing at this moment! Woo hoo!! What a dream! (I know, it's only been a few hours, but hey...I'll take it!)
We will send more pics each day. We didn't get to do a photo shoot of her yet, but we will..don't worry! And by the way, she already peed all over us when we took her diaper off to give her a bath!!!! This is a blast.
Bren and Bry, you are going to LOVE LOVE LOVE your sister. She is so funny and she is going to LOVE watching you guys ..trying to keep up with you! Can't wait for you to meet her! Miss you. Hugs and Kisses!!!!

TODAY is the DAY!!!

Emy again... Julie just sent this email...

We're here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seems so crazy. As we landed, we got teary-eyed realizing we were in our
daughter's birth country and that we'd be meeting her soon. Called Sue AS SOON
as we arrived. Alazar, our driver, is picking us up at 2:00, 7:00 am your time.
Less than one hour and we'll have her for forever!!!!! Nervous and excited.

We need to be thankful for what we have guys...that's all we can say. The ride
to the hotel was truly humbling. Also, our hotel is a humble hilton. Lol. We're
so thankful to be here safe and sound.

God has been so good to us in EVERY detail of our trip. Including the wonderful
people we've sat beside on the plane!

Thanks for your prayers. Now shift them to Lola attaching to us and
transitioning to a NEW family. My heart is breaking for her. I know she will be
mourning for her nannies, the only family she has.

We bought internet access for the week, so we'll be checking in regularly if
Taking the donations to the transition house when we go.
SO EXCITING!!!!!!! PRAY!!!!!!!!!
Love you!!!
Doug and Julie

It's almost 8:00 here so hopefully they have Lola Joy in their arms!!!! And, hopefully the next post will be from Julie and Doug WITH PICTURES!!!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Goodbyes and we're in Dubai!!!!

Here we are right before we left for the airport!This is what the family looked like before we separated from one another!
Okay, well, a little or a lot more crying after this funny shot,
but it's worth it!!!! Donna took us to the airport, and Deana, Derek and Darci met us there. It was so nice of them to send us off. We prayed together before we left. We love you and miss you guys.

Our first flight out of Cincy was really bumpy. I was a nervous wreck the whole time!! Our flight from JFK to Dubai on Emirates was really not bad. I was really dreading it, but we were able to get some rest and made it safely! God is good!!! Doug is sleeping. He couldn't wait to get to bed. I am sooo excited about what tomorrow holds! It's 10:35 p.m. here. Dubai is 8 hours ahead of you guys. We head out early tomorrow morning...5:30..and our flight leaves around 8 something. Not too much longer and we'll have our sweetie! Cannot wait!!!
Brennan and Bryson, we're so proud of you guys! Thanks for being so awesome! Lola is going to be so spoiled by you!!! We miss you! Praying for you!!!!!
Thanks for everyone's continued prayers. Tomorrow's our Gotcha Day if all goes as planned!!!!!!
Love to you all!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

They're in New York!

Emy here... Julie and Doug can't get internet access in the airport right now, so I'm filling in. They made it to New York and in a couple of hours will be boarding a plane for the LONG flight to Dubai. PLEASE keep them in your prayers!!! Two more days until they have Lola Joy in their arms forever!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Test for Ethiopia

We are hoping to use a flip video on our trip to Ethiopia. Here is a test run. This is Bryson at his Kindergarten Graduation. Enjoy!!

We're packed!!!! 4 more days!!! YAHOO!!!

We're packed!
We're taking 3 suitcases of donations! We have JAMMED these things FULL of diapers, bottles, pacies, nipples, formula, onsies, suckers, and much much more!
We would like to thank everyone for the generous donations!
Can't wait to see the sweeties who will receive these!
You guys are awesome!
Also, our VBS children raised $951.00 and donated it ALL to Ethiopia!!!
Wow!! God will bless that! We are so excited to see the great impact this $ will have on these sweet little orphans!
God is good! Way to go WBC KIDS and THANK YOU!!!

You wouldn't believe the stuff we were able to "roll" up and STUFF under all these shoes!

Look at all of this great stuff! We are hoping to purchase more for the children when we get there! Yay!!!!!

We have four suitcases, two carry ons and my purse and a laptop!
Hoping to keep you updated as best as we can!!

We covet your prayers at this time! We are so excited to be leaving, but also have many emotions. We are experiencing just about every emotion you can imagine right now! It will be so nice to be home on the fourth of July! What a day to bring home our sweet princess. Please pray for our boys as we NEVER leave them and will miss them terribly. Please pray that Lola knows we are her Mommy and Daddy the moment she lays her big, brown eyes on us. Pray for our flights, for good health, etc. Thank you to our family and friends that have prayed us through thus far! It's been a wild ride and we are sooo thankful for you!
Love you guys!
Off to Louisville until Wed. Home Wednesday night, then we leave for ET!!!
Here's our Itinerary!!!
Thursday, June 25- Leave CVG @ 4:35 p.m.
Arrive in New York at 6:59 p.m
Leave JFK @ 11:00 p.m.
Friday, June 25- Arrive in Dubai @ 7:45 p.m.
Stay in hotel for the night.
Saturday, June 27- Leave Dubai @ 8:25 a.m.
Arrive in Addis Ababa, ET @ 11:30 a.m.
Go get Lola Joy!!!
Tuesday, June 30- Embassy Appointment
Thursday, July 1st- Get Visa
Friday, July 3- Leave Addis Ababa 7:35 p.m. (12:35 p.m. our time)
Sat. July 4 arrive in Dubai 12:45 a.m.
Leave Dubai @ 2:00 a.m.
Arrive New York 7:45 a.m.
Leave New York @ 1:30 p.m.
Arrive CVG @ 3:58 p.m.
By the way, ET is 7 hours ahead of us!
Family and Friends are welcome to celebrate with us at the airport. We look forward to seeing you! We're hoping to get some rest once we arrive home as I am sure we'll all be zonked! Our boys will need to see us and bond with their baby sis. We will all need to get on a good schedule together. We are looking forward to this new journey!

Happy Anniversary to my one and only love

Twelve years ago today my high school sweetheart and I were married. These past twelve years have FLOWN by! I am so thankful to have an incredible man in my life! It completely blows me away when I think about how amazing he has been opening his heart to the Fatherless and becoming passionate alongside of me. The transformation God has made in his heart is simply heart warming. I couldn't be more proud to be on this journey of life with anyone else.
God is sooo good to me!
Here's to many more years of growing, laughing, loving, and raising these sweet little blessings God has given us!
I love you!!!

Aquatic Center Fun with friends

Cole and Sophie Bryson

We had a great time with our friends at the aquatic center!
I am enjoying this special time with my boys.
I don't know how I will survive without them for 9 days!
Please pray for us and for them!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Our Sweet Little Princess

Here's our director loving on our sweet girl. Melts my heart!Look at those cheekers!!!
God is so good!!!!!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Leaving in 17 days and New Pics!!!!!

So excited!! We are officially leaving the U.S. on June 25th to go and get out little Ethiopian Princess!!! It totally seems surreal!! We can't believe it!

Lola Joy has grown sooo much! I cannot wait to hold her in my arms!!!! 17 days and counting, Lola Joy!!!!!

Please be in prayer for our health, flights and travel, for sweet Lola and attaching to us, and for our precioius boys we'll be missing!!!!

More pics later. Off to a baseball game!!!