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I am a Christ-follower; wife to Chris; and mother to two beautiful daughters, Lilliana and Emmalyn.
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Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

6 years ago today (yes on Christmas Eve!) I was lucky enough to marry my best friend.

Chris, I love you very much! I am so thankful for every moment we've shared. Thank you for always being there for me. I am so excited to see how God continues to work in our lives and what He has in store for us!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

2:36 p.m.

At 2:36 p.m. today our sweet Lilliana Grace turns three years old. Where does the time go?

How did this little bitty girl.....

turn into this big girl?

(And for our first hilarious moment with a three-year-old, this morning we went in her room to wake her up by singing Happy Birthday. About halfway through the song, she rolled over and said, "Not now!" I am pretty sure she is just turning three and not sixteen!)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Adoption = Rollercoaster, part 2

Well today was a much, much better day than yesterday. And it ended on a high note!

A new employment letter is in the mail and should be here by Monday.

Fingers crossed that it is correct this time!

"May the Lord be praised, for He has heard the sound of my pleading ... Therefore my heart rejoices, and I praise Him with my song." Psalm 28:6-7

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Adoption = Rollercoaster

Today's Rollercoaster
High: We finally got Chris's new employment letter.

Low: Saw that a couple of things were missing.

High: Prayed they would accept it anyway, scanned it and e-mailed it to Gladney.

Low: Caseworker calls. The letter is a no-go. Also learn we may have to update medicals before we can update homestudy. Medicals don't expire until late January and we can't have physicals before then or our insurance won't cover it. That would mean another 2ish months before we would be back on the waitlist.

High: After discussion with caseworker, we do not have to wait for medicals to update homestudy as long as we can get it updated before our medicals expire.

Low: Realize it took Chris's employer almost two weeks to get us a letter last time. So, I typed up the entire letter for them so all they would have to do is print it on company letterhead, sign it, and make sure the notary signs it the same day. Praying that will happen tomorrow and they will overnight it to us.

Right now I am stuck in a low. My prayer is that tomorrow brings good news. Leaning on this: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11, ESV

Even though I've never seen your face, I miss you sweet child of mine. I know someday, many years from now, we will look back at this time of waiting and know it's purpose.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A New Venture

Since things have been slow with the adoption, my good friend Vanessa and I have decided to try something new. So we opened an etsy shop.

See the new etsy link in my sidebar to the right -------------------->

Come check us out! We will be adding more stuff soon!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


7 months in the books as of Friday. This month has been difficult. Even though we are actively working on getting back on the list, my heart has been aching for our child. So ready to meet him or her. Hoping this month goes by quickly and we are an "official" waiting family again very soon!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone! You have all been so supportive of us, and we are so blessed to be a party of the adoption community!

Just a quick note of clarification, we are not officially back on the waitlist yet. We have to redo all our financial paperwork and do a homestudy update first.

But the good news is, Chris officially has a full-time job and I have already completed the financial paperwork. We are just waiting on a new employment letter to update our homestudy. Please pray that all the paperwork gathering will go smoothly and we will be back on that list ASAP!!!

Thanks again for everything, I appreciate each and every one of you!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sharing our story

Today I shared our story on the blog of the magazine I work for. Here's what I wrote:

For several years my husband and I have talked about adoption. Our plan was always to have biological children and then once they were in school we would start the adoption process. Last summer, our first child was about 18 months old and we were starting to talk about bringing another biological child into the family. But God had other plans.

All of the sudden, adoption was constantly on my mind. It was all I could think about at home, at work, at church. So, without my husband's knowledge, I began to really look into it. I researched agencies, I watched webinars, I talked to friends who were adopting. And then I got up the nerve to tell my husband.

Thank goodness he didn't think I was crazy. In fact, he was feeling the same way I was. So I presented him with my list of agencies and we looked at them together. We finally chose one and a year ago this month we officially began our adoption paperwork.

No one ever told us adoption was easy. And I'm glad they didn't, because it's not. Our families were happy when we told them the news, but they didn't jump up and down and cry happy tears like they did when we told them we were pregnant with our daughter. Our paperwork took several months longer than we thought it would to complete. Then our agencies timeline for a referral (when you are matched with a child) was increased by several months. And just recently, my husband was laid off. We put our case on hold while he searched for a new job, praying that he would find something soon. My heart ached for that child we haven't even seen a picture of yet because I knew the longer we were on hold the longer it would be before we got to meet them.

Just last week my husband started a new job. We called our agency and told them we were ready to go back on the waitlist. Now I am, again, filling out paperwork, hoping that everything will fall into place quickly. Our hopes are that we will have a referral sometime in December or January.

Though this journey has at times been disappointing and frustrating, I know that God has a plan for our family and we are following in His will. Jeremiah 29:11 says, "'For I know the plans I have for you' — this is the LORD’s declaration — 'plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'" And it is on those words that I rest my fears and stress.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

Superhero Lilli to the rescue. (And no, she is NOT just Super Lilli, she is SuperHERO Lilli. Geez Mom.)

We didn't do any neighborhood trick or treating this year. But a trip to Nana and Poppa's house for a cupcake, followed by a trip to Gigi and Popeye's for M&Ms was more than enough. Especially when we needed to go by the grocery store on the way home and she had to have her sprinkle cookie while we were shopping. Not to mention that when we were leaving the manager gave us a cupcake cake that they hadn't been able to sell. There was definitely plenty of sugar to go around :)

You can't see it in this picture, but she is also wearing a super cute cape that has the same L on it that is on the shirt. I will try to get better pictures this week. She wasn't in the mood last night.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Six months

Six months waiting. We are eager to get back on the list, and that will hopefully happen very soon. Chris is tentatively starting a part-time job on Thursday (we are waiting for one more piece of paperwork to go through before it's finalized). That job will also hopefully have the opportunity to go full-time soon. We are praising God for opening this door! We are also continuing to pray that God will continue to open doors of opportunity that would allow for a full-time job. Thank you for your words of prayer and support! We truly appreciate them.

With complete transparency, I have to say the last month has been very difficult. Our Ethiopian kiddo has been on my mind constantly. I know we will look back at this time and realize that our child was not born yet or not in the orphanage or some other reason that would make sense for us to not be on the list right now, but it is difficult each day to know that there is not anything more I can do to change our situation. But that is all for my pity party today.

Now that courts have reopened, I can't wait to read everyone's travel stories! Our dear friends The Hollomons were there just last week for their first trip (and they passed court! yay!) and it was awesome to hear their stories. I can't wait for our turn to go!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Well, even though we are on hold, we are still counting the months. And this past Sunday marked five months waiting.

Things have definitely been happening -- especially in the last two days -- as far as a job for Chris goes. But we need your prayers as we have some very difficult decisions to make.

Thank you for all the support on our last post. We are so thankful to be a part of this community.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A bump in the road


last week was not so good. Unfortunately, Chris was laid off.

What does this mean? We are temporarily going on hold.

Fortunately, there are some job prospects on the near horizon and we are hoping we won't be on hold for very long.

Please pray for peace, understanding, and an opportunity in difficult times, but also please continue to pray for our sweet little one(s) half way around the world who have no idea that this mommy and daddy will continue to be thinking and praying about them every single day

Friday, August 20, 2010

Please check this out!

The Bellemes are a family who recently brought home their precious daughter from Ethiopia. Please check out this post on their blog.

To echo the Bellemes words, we will support a caregiver to love on hungry and lonely orphans. Will you?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The four...of us

Four months. At the end of this journey, there will be four (at least!) of us in this family. To celebrate our fourth month waiting, we wanted to share four things that are rocking our world right now.

1. Radical by David Platt. If you aren't reading it, you should be.

2. Our baby started preschool. Ok, maybe she's not a baby anymore, but she will always be this mamma's baby.

3. Home projects. Painting. Crown Moulding. Caulking. Refinishing. Sewing. The projects never stop.

4. Radical by David Platt. Seriously, if you aren't reading it, you should be.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A New Adventure

Today was Lilli's first day of preschool. And she was excited!

I'm so blessed to be this little girl's mamma

Monday, July 19, 2010


Three down, how many more to go?

As the days pass by, the wait gets harder. We are only halfway (hopefully!) through the wait, but I can't get my mind off our sweet babe(s). I'm so ready to see his or her (or their) sweet face. I'm also ready to just know one or two. Boy or girl. One of each or two of either.

All in God's timing. For now, I must rest in that.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

First of Many

Today there was a package in the mail.

That package held our first official purchase for the new kiddo(s).

Since we didn't specify gender, I've been hesitant to make any purchases, but I came across a great sale the other day that I couldn't pass up. And luckily the item came in a gender neutral option I really liked.

So what was this purchase you ask?
A security blanket! Actually 4 of them. They came in two packs, and if there is only one thing I've learned from having a child it is that you always need to have a backup for a security item - hence the reason we have three pink teddy bears in various stages of use scattered throughout our house. Plus we intend to send one to Ethiopia and bring another with us when we travel which will leave two at home as backups.

But back to the point at hand. These gorgeous Aden + Anais security blankets are the perfect shade of turquoise and have the cutest little elephants on them. And they are soft!!!

It's so nice to finally have something in the house that is solely for "baby brudder/sisser." And if we are blessed with siblings, I will definitely be purchasing another set of these in a different pattern, which will of course mean I will probably also need a set for Lilli too.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Numero Dos

Another month down. This one hasn't been quite as busy, but it has been full of great things! Our family and friends showed up to support us recently when we all got together to celebrate our adoption. God showed up big time too, providing an amazing total of donations toward bringing home our kid(dos)! We are continuing to work on our adoption education requirements and stalk the list for movement. Fingers crossed and prayers being said daily for lots of referrals next month and for some speedy court dates before rainy season!

Friday, June 4, 2010

So excited!

Our dear friends The Hollomons got some great news yesterday on the 1 year anniversary of the referral of their son Myles. Make sure to go check out their story!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

One Down

Our first month of waiting is past us, and quite honestly, it wasn't that bad. We knew there was absolutely no way we would receive a referral this month, so we had a chance to relax and not think about it.

But that doesn't mean we didn't have plenty of other things to keep us busy.

I graduated with a Master's in Education.

Our beautiful niece was born!!!

And our wonderful cousin graduated from high school.

Needless to say, it has been quite a busy month with all these events and the parties and celebrations that go along with them. We also celebrated Mother's Day and my wonderful husband and gorgeous daughter spoiled me rotten. As great as the day was though, a big part of my mind and heart was a few thousand miles away.

I am sure the next month of waiting will not go by as quick. But we will take it as it comes and know that God will bring our child (or children!) to us in His perfect timing.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


At least once a day, we hear "Where's my brudder-sisser?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


how much it cost for our dossier to be shipped to Ethiopia.

Knowing that it is there on the ground: priceless!

Monday, April 19, 2010


We are officially on the waitlist!!! Our dossier is flying to Washington, D.C. today and then it will be on its way to Ethiopa (or E-see-oh-pee-a as our 2-year-old likes to say).

The average wait for a referral right now is 4-6 months for a child over 13 months (we are requesting a child of either gender between the ages of 0-18 months, or siblings between the ages of 0-5 years). So, hopefully sometime early this fall we will get to see a picture of our child(ren).

We are so excited to have gotten past the paperwork stage, but I must admit I am not looking forward to the wait. Over the next few days I will definitely be working on a list of projects to keep my mind occupied.

Quote of the Day: After texting my dad a picture of our e-mail that said "waitlist," he called me and said, "The picture was kind of fuzzy, was that your ultrasound photo?"

Yes it was, Dad, yes it was!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I heart our postman!

Because he just delivered our I-171H USCIS approval!

Oddly this feels very similar to the day I found out I was pregnant with Lilli.

Looks like my Monday will be filled with government offices for authentications, an afternoon with my scanner, and hopefully a trip to Fed-Ex before they close!

Woohoo! Waitlist here we come!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Just a quick note...

to say we are Gladney approved! Yea!

Just one pesky CIS approval away from being on the waitlist!

Friday, March 19, 2010


Just a quick note to say that I am on pins and needles waiting to hear that we are Gladney approved. All our documents are in as far as I know, and I was hoping we would hear before the week ended that we were approved, but it looks like that will not be the case. I know in the scheme of things, this doesn't mean much, but I will take all the good news I can get, no matter how small it may be!

We've finished all our dossier paperwork, we are just waiting for our CIS approval to come through. We did get a request for more information from them this week, so I sent that back, and am hoping that means we will hear something soon.

I have to share a cute story with you all. Early this morning, Lilli crawled in to bed with us, after a few minutes she said, "I want my brother or sister." We told her we would have to wait a little while longer. She responded with, "I want my brother or sister, right NOW!"

It was so cute! We are really starting to talk to her about this and try to explain to her what a brother/sister is, and how that means she will have to share her stuff and her Mommy and Daddy.

Well I guess that's all I have today, back to the unpatiently waiting I go!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Well, as I'm sure most of you know by now, we got news today that we will now have to travel to Ethiopia twice. The first time to be there on our court date and the second time 3-6 weeks later to pick up our kid(s) to bring them home.

I have very mixed emotions about this. I am excited about getting to meet our child(ren) earlier than expected, and about getting to see Ethiopia twice. I am really not worried about the money. I know God will provide the extra $5000 or so that it will take for a second trip.

However, what I am really struggling with is having to leave Lilli at home twice in about two months. I know she will be fine and she has great grandparents and other family members that will dote on her and spoil her rotten, but I am going to miss her. I am also struggling with how difficult it will be to leave our child(ren) for 3-6 weeks. I am sure that saying that goodbye will be one of the hardest things I will ever do. How do you explain to your child you've only known for 5 days that you're leaving them?

So anyway, I know everything will be fine and work out, but for now I am still processing....

Friday, February 5, 2010


Apparently, I just needed to complain about the FBI clearances. 

Late yesterday afternoon I received a phone call from FedEx that someone needed to be home this morning to sign for a package. I thought maybe, just maybe, it's our clearances. 

Turns out it was! They came this morning, hallelujah!

One more item marked off the list....

Thursday, February 4, 2010

One less item on the checklist

My heart is racing. I am excited and nervous all at the same time. 

I just mailed off the entire Gladney application packet with a check for the first portion of the Gladney program fee and the homestudy review fee. 

Whew! I am glad to see that stack of paperwork go. 

I also managed to get rid of another stack of paperwork on Monday. We had our first homestudy visit, and I turned in all of our paperwork for that with the exception of this year's tax return. Luckily the last form we needed to do our taxes came yesterday, so I will complete that this weekend and give our caseworker a copy on Monday at our next homestudy visit.

The dossier is coming along nicely, I think we have collected everything we can, we are just waiting on our FBI clearances, our homestudy to be completed, and our I-600A. (But these are also the steps that can take weeks to months to complete.) 

And I got bad news about our FBI clearances this week. Usually they take 4 to 6 weeks to receive, but it is currently taking them 10 weeks to process, so we've got at least three more weeks to wait. Maybe that will turn out best though as they should come the same week our homestudy is complete.

Things are moving right along. I am not eager to enter the waiting phase, but I am eager to have all the paperwork finished!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Relatively successful week

Well we managed to get quite a bit accomplished on the adoption front this week. We had our CIS fingerprinting appointments, received two of our recommendations back, got Chris's employment letter (correct this time), got our life insurance letter (correct this time), got a stack of paperwork for our dossier notarized and ready to send to Gladney to be reviewed, and scheduled our homestudy!

Woohoo! I love marking things off the list! Actually, I'm quite surprised I got that much done considering our sweet daughter, Lilli, had pneumonia! She is finally on the mend, thank goodness, so we will keep trucking along. Hopefully, we will be turning in our entire application paperwork around the first of February. I'll be sure to keep you posted!

What a week!

Well, the past week has been a pretty crazy one. Lilli was diagnosed with pneumonia on Monday - and while I took the news pretty well in the doctor's office, within an hour or so this Momma had a meltdown. My poor baby girl has been coughing, wheezing, and running a fever, but with the help of breathing treatments, an inhaler, antibiotics, steroids, and benadryl she is finally on the mend.

And poor Chris had to take an overnight trip for work and his plane was delayed both going and coming. Let's just say it was not an "easy" nor "quick" trip.

In spite of it all, I am so thankful that we are able to get Lilli the medical care she needs and that Chris has a job.

On the adoption front, our paperwork is almost finished and we have our homestudy scheduled in just a couple of weeks. Make sure to keep up with our adoption process at our other blog cornwellfamilyadoption.blogspot.com.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Melkam Gena!

Christmas is January 7th in Ethiopia, so we decided to have a celebration of our own. We made some yummy Doro Wat (traditional Ethiopian stew). It was really spicy, but we enjoyed it! Lilli even ate some.

Even though Ethiopians do not give gifts like we do in America, we received a great gift today...our CIS fingerprint appointments! Yea! It looks like we will have all the paperwork done by the end of the month and will just need to complete our home study and wait for our I-171H to come.

So on that note, I wish you a Melkam Gena (Merry Christmas)!