Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bought the plane tickets

We had a very busy three week time period of trying to raise the money for the plane tickets. At the time, never dreaming that it would be for December that we would be meeting Ethan!!! Of course, prices are higher at around Christmas time & we are leaving the week before Christmas! BUT...get this, our cost of the plane tickets (@2800) was within just a dollar or two of the money that has come in in these BUSY three weeks!!!

I am going to beg for prayer for protection over our marriage, over our children, over our family & Ethan in his country. I have noticed that when something wonderful happens with our adoption, there is then a huge "FIGHT" & i am sure that this will be no exception.

I have spent the most of the night caring for three children who are our health would be a HUGE area of needing prayer. Another prayer request is that Scott HAS to be here in time to go to the airport...prayer for his safety AND for the trains to be on time! Pray for the girls, Sophina especially, as this will be a full week without mommy or dad! They are NOT used to this. PLEASE write us down on 3x5 card and tape us to your bathroom mirror or your kitchen window above the sink. We REALLY want to be completely covered in prayer!

We are praising the Lord for His incredible goodness in taking care of our plane tickets AND taking care of them so perfectly and in His timing! We are so blessed for all who have helped us thus far & we can't wait to see who the Lord brings into our lives in these next months because of little Ethan! We are always blessed, Connie for the crew

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I am writing this while eating Club crackers with cream cheese & hot pepper jelly at 1:40am...yes, i know that it is ridiculously late BUT our youngest daughter didn't go to sleep until after 1am!!! I also have NOT had a 10 minute time where i could stop what i was doing & write! (No, this is NOT going to take me ten minutes to write, that is just how busy my day has been)

This morning, i was about to go on an alone time date with our married daughter, Liz when i checked my phone & read on my FB wall the words from Shelley, our agency lady- "Sent you a very important email! Waiting to hear back from you :)" I immediately screamed for the girls to run & come to me! I KNEW we had our dates & sure enough...there they were! The dates SHOCKED ME!!! Here we had resigned ourselves to not being able to go until the middle of January maybe even into February and the dates that we were given were DECEMBER 16Th - December 23rd!!!!!! WHAT?!?!?! Are you kidding????? That soon!?!?!?!?! WOW! I immediately had the girls call Liz while i called Scott. Scott was so excited but then it was a different tone coming....he said that he knew that he would not be able to go. (i had forgotten in my excitement that he had told me LAST MONTH that there would be no way that he could go if it was from December 16th to the end of December due to others that had asked for that time off...there would be no way it could happen) Sure enough, he said that there would be no way! He was thrilled as to how soon it was but we knew that if those dates came up we had two other back up plans in place.

Back up plan best friend, Robin, had told me a few months before that she was feeling like she was supposed to be going with me to Ethan! SO i called her...she was saddened but they are not going to be able to do it as they will be just getting home from a time with family and then they will be having family there with them. She was so sorry but i shouldn't plan on it.

Back up plan #2...our Ally would go with me. She was SO THRILLED! She couldn't believe that it was happening! THEN....the phone was Robin!

"Ummm.....Connie, our kids just about kicked me out of the house! They cannot believe that i said no! They told me that it would be a HUGE mistake NOT to go with you! They said that the worst that could happen is that i would fall in love with a child there and that we would have to adopt....and WE WOULD BE FINE WITH THAT!!!" I am getting excited but seeing Ally getting a questioning face on. Then my cell phone rang. I was ON my cell phone SO because of who it was, i had to get was Scott!

I answered and he said, " is looking like my bosses are saying that i am going to Ethan!" WHAT!!!!?!?!?!?!? "Yes, they said that they will take care of it & that i can go! SO, it is going to happen!" OH MY GOODNESS!!!! THE TWO OF US ARE GOING TOGETHER!!!!! YIPPEE!!! Scott had to go, as did i!

I had been Facebooking the whole time throughout this time...typing a couple of ladies in messaging....taking a phone call from another dear friend....getting permission to share it with everyone and then letting people know! It was a crazy fun time! As soon as i hung up with Scott, i let people know that the two of us were going to be going TOGETHER to see Ethan & then i went immediately on my date with our Lizzie! We got to be together for every moment that she was able, we went & picked up Sophina's meds, i dropped off Liz & then went home. Two minutes later, i started in on the next trivets with Catherine & Holly! I have four left to do but finally quit at 1am to put the baby to bed (Ally had been trying for a long time)

There are some details that i have left out but here they are.....this past Saturday was one of the hardest days that i have had in this process so far. There are MANY MANY reasons but i was HIT HARD with a VERY HARD day! It lasted from when i woke up until i fell asleep! It was a VERY ALONE feeling & a sadness that was deep. Sunday, i woke up refreshed and KNEW that the Lord's mercies WERE new every morning! I did still tear up when i told someone about it but it wasn't overwhelming like it was the day before.

You see...this morning (yesterday) was our anniversary! This Thursday is Thanksgiving. We hadn't heard our dates for when we were going to see Ethan & it felt like it was going to be February before we saw him. We knew of a few families who were ahead of us AND another family who had multiple children that the Lord had blessed them with being in the process of adopting & thought that we were going to be at the end. All of this info. had hit me with a ton of bricks on Saturday. I felt so alone...i missed Scott SO DEEPLY!!!

THEN....this morning happened! It took me back to our birthday! We found out about our Ethan! He was doing well! He was in a great orphanage! He was in a place that had healthy food, great workers and a playground! Our son was being cared for in an incredible way! THEN for our anniversary, the Lord gave us our dates for Ethan! Our dates to have him in my arms...for me to be able to hold and touch and see and smell and KNOW that he is going to be our son....SOON! THEN, to have Scott be able to come when we didn't think that he could! WOW!!!! AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL!!!!!

This evening, i found out some of the saddest news that i have known personally. For those of you who follow my wall on FB, you know that we have been praying for a little boy that i refer to as Ethan #2 (so people don't confuse him with our Ethan). He has been in the battle for his very life....over and over and over again and he has had his foster family which i have always called "his family" there by his side through it all. They have been there for a full year! They found out today that their road is done with their Ethan. They will not be getting Ethan. The powers that be have decided that he needs to be in a medical facility in another state instead of with a family! A family that has loved him for over a year. SO, my heart has rejoiced greatly for our Ethan today but my heart has grieved deeply for my friend & her family for 'her Ethan'! PLEASE pray for BOTH Ethan's when you think of us! Will you PLEASE?

Pray for our family as we go through these next CRAZY days that will FLY by like a massive storm! Pray for our Sophina to be able to adjust to this VERY VERY big change for her! She WILL have Ally & the girls here at the house PLUS our PCA is going to be here VERY often PLUS our friend Holly said that she would be here and then Bonnie and then.....well, you get the idea;}) PLEASE pray though for our family! AND for Ethan #2's family.

We are always blessed! Connie for the crew
(if there are mistakes...blame it on the fact that it is 2:22am! BUT i wanted to make sure that you all got the story!)

Monday, November 14, 2011


The number i was given was told to me as "give or take a little" but the "give or take" was NOT a little!!! The new total from yesterday is a LOT different than originally thought. At Uplift this morning i was told that i had the incorrect total & that i needed to actually check it for myself! SO, we just got home, got out the calculator, checked it twice, added two people's checks that are still coming and came up with........ $2,353.14!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??????? OH MY GOODNESS!!!!
This morning we had another Boutique Sale, this time for our Uplift Home School Group of Moms/Dads. Our total for there is $309 EVEN!!! AMAZING!!!
For a total of the two days...$2,662.14 which means when we combine that with our $2,705.00 from our Reece's Rainbow Grant we will have enough to go on our first trip to see Ethan!!! We are praying that we will find out dates this week but we are NOT counting on it until next week. The dates for our first trip can be anywhere from the end of December to the middle of February! (February our son, Ethan, will be turning 3 yrs old & that is when we were praying that we would be bringing him home. It will DEFINITELY not be but we are praying that the time will go quickly!)
There are still people who want to buy some of Catherine's trivets & take a look at the other items that didn't sell so we will be selling even more! We are amazed and LOVE that this came from SO MANY DIFFERENT people! THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR WORK AND YOUR GENEROSITY!!! We are ALWAYS blessed! Connie for the crew

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How do we say thanks!?!?!?!?!

This past week, the warfare that has happened at our house has been amazing. The battle was harsh & constant it seemed & at times, this warrior was feeling VERY VERY beaten down! The Lord is always faithful! There were tears a plenty & LOADS of frustrations! There were times when that was all that i saw! Then i would get a couple of hours of interrupted sleep & wake up and see that there had also been MANY blessings!

If you didn't know, this past week had MANY early early morning hours, LOTS of work that was NOT my cup of tea & LOTS of prep for this morning's Boutique for the Orphan! We had a few VERY hard workers & one worker that blew my mind with her overwhelming generosity of her time, efforts & faithfulness, Holly. Holly was someone that i didn't even know that well but she was here EVERY day this week and two times she stayed until after 3am!!! She helped do whatever was needed! She slip stitched MOST of the 76 trivets, cut ribbons, bagged chocolates, listened, cut toffee, bought things i forgot to buy for what we were doing, brought gifts from her Mother-In-Law, and MUCH more!

Another person who was amazing was Bonnie! Oh my goodness! The ideas that that woman has! She was so generous in her helpfulness! She borrowed me MANY pans, gave our Catherine the "recipe" for the trivets (that explains how little i do anything crafty...i almost always called it a recipe but it is a PATTERN!), made the X's on almost all of the trivets, made our items more appealing with tags that had Ethan's picture on them & wrote what the trivets were made out of and much more.

We had neighbors who let us borrow quite a few items to help in the sale, our friends Bob & LeAnne (as usual) came on Friday night & worked their tails off! We had friends who would pop in to help or like Karrie would have an idea & instead of just telling me what would be great instead went out & bought the item & took care of it!

There were people who donated so generously....Angel, Krista, Bethany & her mother, Robin, Tammy, Marlys, Karri, Jacque, Katie, Jill, people i didn't know & SO many more that i am sure i know but didn't even know that they gave!!! The multipurpose room had MANY tables laden with amazing items. There were things that were made that were intricate & beautifully created by YOUNG children, middle age children, teenagers and there were wonderfully gifted women who brought their talents & amazed us with their gifts! There were others who generously gave from their home businesses. EVERYTHING HELPED!!!

Catherine went from 76 trivets down to about 25!!! They were a huge hit! The toffee was a HUGE HIT!!!! Pecan, Walnut or plain....all of them sold well!!! (Our five batches of fudge did not work....and we tried salvaging it in many different ways AND CONTINUE to be getting ideas of what to try!!!) I saw items selling like crazy all over the room! It was really wonderful to be able to share with others about adoption and about Ethan in particular! Our church was amazing to allow us to do this big of an event! We are so blessed to be a part of such a ministry!

We thank you SO much- all of you who helped in ANY way, whether it was letting us use an item, baking some goodies (even a gentleman did!), telling your friends about the sale, putting it on your FB wall, coming & buying, donating your TIME to help, your gifts or talents or donating money, or ANYTHING else!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! WE ARE SO BLESSED!!!! THANK YOU!!!!

SO, i suppose you would like to know what people gave????? The total was $1,790!!!! AMAZING!!! The sale was only from 11:30-2pm & i KNOW that MANY people weren't able to come and yet....LOOK at what the Lord blessed us with! WONDERFUL closer relationships, many hands being involved, MANY MORE coming out, and more people hearing about ADOPTION!!!! A wonderful day!!!
We are so blessed, Connie for the crew
PS the reason that i am just now getting this out is that as soon as the sale was over, we took everything that was left to sell to another room to get ready for another sale tomorrow morning for our homeschool group, Uplift! It will be at the parent room in the church (Calvary Community Church) from 9am-Noon;}) Anyone who couldn't make it today could join us in the sale tomorrow. There will be more items than just our table for Ethan's adoption too! Anyway, after getting that set up we IMMEDIATELY went to the baby shower that i had baked all of the goodies for & we just got home at 7pm! YES, we are ALL exhausted!!! BUT the Lord is ALWAYS faithful! We are so blessed to have friends like you all!

Friday, November 11, 2011


This Sunday, the week after "Orphan Sunday" our family has had some amazing ladies create a day for Ethan-they are having a Boutique for Ethan!!! All of the proceeds will be going for our first trip's expenses & Ethan's Visa! We were hoping that we could tell everyone our first trip dates by this Sunday but i have a feeling that we won't know until next week! We are so excited for the sale, for the dates for Ethan & for seeing what God is going to do with His children!
For those of you who don't know; we are adopting Ethan from a country in Eastern Europe. We have a daughter, our fifth, who has Down Syndrome, and she has changed our lives. We were led for many months that we were to adopt a child with Down Syndrome & then we were led to a site, Reece's Rainbow, where our world was ROCKED!!!
Reece's Rainbow showed us HUNDREDS of children with DS who are in orphanages with no hope, no life, some/many untouched, unloved, uncared for even, and many that we have since found that were so malnourished when the families brought them home that they went straight into the hospital! BUT i also have seen what these families (who are now friends of mine) have transformed those little lives into children who are healthy and strong.
We had researched and found that there are HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of families on waiting lists here in the states for children with DS. The only way that you can get a young child with DS here in the states is if you know someone who knows someone who knows you (and then it is an infant & we weren't being led to do that) (don't believe me? check it out! i just wish that those hundreds of parents on waiting lists would see the hundreds of children in EE) ANYWAY, it was a long road of which child we were to choose. Scott & I wanted a girl; the girls & the Lord had other plans. God led us to Ethan; boys don't get chosen & we felt led to choose a child who others may not choose- a boy! UFFDA!! CONNIE with a SON????? God, are you sure? Hee hee

Long story....TRYING to make it short. Scott & i have done paperwork before...for a house, an account, etc but NOTHING can prepare you for the paperwork of an international adoption. The costs of an international adoption can be anywhere from $20,000-$50,000!!! So why didn't that stop us? We decided that we would give up our life savings if it came down to it & we knew that that money would not be able to be used on anything better than what we would be...our son!
We have been blown away by the generosity of people that we didn't even know a year ago to a complete stranger that i had just friended the WEEK before on FB to a 16 yr old young man who is baking Angel Food Cakes to donate the proceeds to Ethan to another 11yr old young man that will be selling his wares THIS SUNDAY-marshmallow shooters (who got the money for the costs of the materials from an older lady in our church who really didn't have the $100 but wanted to be a part of Ethan's adoption!) to our family selling ETHAN's COOKIES & having people all over the country BUY THEM!!!! NOW....this coming Sunday!
We have had people bring us baskets of Creative Memories at great prices, a lady who i barely knew with her mother who i don't know at all...they are creating jewelry & baby hats, watching our daughters working so hard to find ways that they can raise money for Ethan & being blown away by what they are bringing! Someone has brought us a wall hanging that was bought from Hoye Furniture store a year ago & never used-for $150!!! Women are creating scarves & other beautiful creations! A step mom to some families that go to our church has made all kinds of things...never met her!
We are praying that whatever people can do that they will ACT!!! If that means that they donate their time for babysitting, cleaning, organizing, baking for Christmas, fix-it-man, or even a fix-it-cook/seamstress or whatever God has gifted you to do! If you could bake some homemade baked goods or have something that you have already created & you could donate for this occasion we pray that you WILL! If you are one who doesn't have time to give but you do need Christmas gifts then PLEASE come by and BUY them at this sale! The sale will be THIS SUNDAY from 11:30am until 2pm so that that time will cover churches that get out early to churches that get out late! Or it gives you time to get a quick bite and then come to the church to buy your incredible desserts. I know that i am baking my scrumptious toffee, homemade fudge of many varieties, and many other nummy treats as well as i know that other ladies are bringing their goodies!
MAY I ASK ONE MORE THING....if you are able to let people know at your church about this event, we would appreciate it. Put it on your FB wall, see if you can announce it or email it! Email it to YOUR friends!
SUNDAY - A DAY for the Orphan Boutique for Ethan!!! 11:30am-2pm at Calvary Community Church St Cloud, MN PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take time to pray for us, the people working hard to help us, the event & that people's lives would be changed
ALWAYS blessed, Connie for the crew

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

APOLOGY & a time of thanks for our son

We have had many weeks of my not knowing how i could get onto my blog. Something got all messed up & i finally got help from people that knew what to do. I couldn't leave messages on your blogs either. I still don't know what happened but i finally am able to write! I have SO much to tell you but for now i thought that i would let you know what was happening with the blog but also let you see what i was able to write on DAY #8 of Thanksgiving Month. I had completely forgotten that i had a child in between Catherine & Sophina now that i could be thankful for! WHAT a blessing!!!

#8.....oh my goodness! I am so grateful to the Lord for giving us the opportunity to have another blessing in our lives!!! Can you believe this but i get to thank the Lord for a SON!!!! Never in a million years would i have guessed that i was going to have a son...if you had asked me two years ago! WOW!
I thought of a story yesterday that blew my mind. When i had my miscarriage i was at a table at Mom's group & then i was also at a table when we found out that i was pregnant with Sophina. There were two different ladies at that table that had twins. I had had a very distinct dream that i was going to have twins. After finding out that we were only having Sophina, i blew off the dream....until last night!!! Our precious son, Ethan, is going to be FIFTEEN DAYS different in age than our sweet Sophina!!! How amazing that thought was! If you were at my table, i wonder if you remember that conversation about how strong the feeling was for my having twins!!! Oh how we are blessed!
I was the only one who was terrified of bringing home a boy. The Lord had to really change my mind. He used a few little boys....Landon, Robert, and slowly make me realize that having a son may be a challenge to me but it will also have many blessings! I will definitely need to rely on the Lord COMPLETELY since i have not one ounce of parenting a boy in me!
Ethan is a precious blessing in our lives. Our lives are not centered around things....they are centered around the Lord's working in a whole continent halfway around the world! Ethan has helped to open our eyes to the plight of the orphan and to the world of adoption that i am so very very grateful for!
Ethan, we love you so much & we cannot wait for the day to hold you in our arms! We cannot wait to have you with us every day....playing Duplo's, swinging on the swings, watching football, seeing you learn all the different foods that we eat & having you watch us eat the food that you liked, sitting in church as a whole family, going to our family reunion, going to the Pumpkin Farm & watching you play with your brother-in-law, Nate & your daddy, having Thanksgiving together & trying to fit all of us in our kitchen/dining room, seeing our Christmas tree, holding you at night in my arms as i read to you all (teaching you that it is good to sit still at certain times;]), tucking you in at night & watching you as you sleep! I love you my son, Ethan!!! I LOVE YOU!!!! love, Mommy