Thursday, December 13, 2012

Zoe's Elf on Her Shelf

I said I wouldn't.

I felt I couldn't.

And I knew I shouldn't!

But, I did.

I broke down and got Zoe her very own Elf on the Shelf.

She's an adorable Elf.

A slightly mischievous Elf.

But, such a CUTE Elf!

People were lined up for blocks (a few feet) just to have their photo taken with Zoe's Elf!

An Elf struck fan smiles for the camera.

It's really Zoe's big sister, Courtney! She is way better than any Elf!!

Adopting a child is not just for young couples. I know that doesn't go with the whole "Elf" story. But, I think it's awesome that Zoe has grown up siblings that go out of their way to do fun and special things for her. Like dressing up like an elf!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thinking Back...Referral Call and First Photos

May 19, 2011. I remember the day as if it were yesterday. I had been thinking about painting Zoe's *soon-to-be* room...and the master bedroom... and the master bath. Okay, I had been thinking about painting every single room in the house along with every single ceiling. My heart was heavy that morning. We had been DTE (Dossier To Ethiopia) for 9 months and 19 days. Add to that our paper chasing time. It was now more than 16 months since we officially started the adoption journey. Not to mention the 12 months that we spent praying and seeking God's direction. I was beginning to wonder if Ron and I would age out of the program.

I decided to go Home Depot and pick up color cards. I ran into one of our youth leaders from church who worked there part time. I was so happy to see a smiling face that I ran and gave him a hug. Poor kid. I was secretly hoping that my cell phone would ring right then and I would have someone to jump up and down with. I love doing the dance of joy...especially with unsuspecting individuals. Didn't happen.

During Ron's lunch break we went to the other local Home Depot to see if they had something else I was looking for earlier. While we were talking to a salesclerk, my cell phone went off. I walked a few aisles over to answer it. I looked at the number. It was our adoption agency!! I was so excited! I fumbled to answer the call and hung up on them instead!! Ugh!!! I immediately called the agency back. Our Family Coordinator was simply calling to ask us if we would be willing to go outside of our preferred age range. Ron and I had already discussed this issue and had agreed that we were open to any age. I told her yes. She said thank you and good-bye. Good-bye? That's all? Sigh.

I walked back over to Ron and told him it wasn't "The Call". Without batting an eye, he said "I bet our referral will be younger than two". I laughed and told him he was silly. We finished up our Home Depot business and got into the car. I decided to call our FC back and make sure she understood we were open to any age. It had been noisy in the store and we both had a hard time hearing one another. That's when she told me that she actually had our referral paperwork on her desk and was working on it at that very moment. She asked if I wanted her to go ahead and give us our referral right then. NO!! I have been waiting for "THE CALL" for 9 months and 19 days!! I couldn't do it driving down the highway, especially because I called her! So, I pretended to be calm and asked if she could call us at home in 20 minutes so Ron and I could both be on the line and near our computer. So, that is what she did. We finally got the long awaited CALL!!

At 12:40 in the afternoon we were given the exciting news that our referral was a precious 2 month old baby girl. She went over all of Zoe's paperwork and background information with us. I was blubbering like a baby and Ron was beaming with delight! To say we were shocked would be an understatement! We were told we would be getting an email with all of the paperwork and photos of Zoe. Yippee! We sat staring at the laptop waiting for that email to arrive.

Here are the very first photos of Zoe. She was about 6 weeks old when they were taken. They are in the same order we first saw them in.

Included in the paperwork was a Referral Acceptance form and a Referral Rejection form. We didn't even bother to print out the rejection letter, but wasted no time in signing the acceptance form.

Notice the picture on the refrigerator.

Our family was overjoyed with the news. Our daughter-in-law gave us a balloon bouquet filled with girly colors!

Here is our little bundle of sweetness tonight picking up her toys before bedtime. She's at the age where she likes to clean up her room.

If a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words...

Then here are four thousand.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Back in the Saddle Again

Now that Zoe has been home for almost 10 months AND she will be experiencing her first Christmas with us,  I thought it would be good time to resume blogging. God has shown us so much on our adoption journey and He continues to do so every single day!

Of course, as I write this I am pressed for time. So, photos and stories will have to wait for a few more hours or even days. Life with Zoe is busy and full of blessings!

Until then...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

One Less Orphan

You'll want to turn up the volume. The two songs on the video are really beautiful. The first song is by Lauren Chandler and the second is by Matthew West.