Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Winner is...Team #2

We waited to long to take pictures and both houses started to fall apart...I think the product was faulty, we have never had this problem before. And team #2 still won even with a roof caving in.

Gingerbread Contest

Every year my sisters and mom come to make gingerbread houses. This has turned into a competition and I am proud to say... My team one AGAIN!!!! The kids have so much fun and look forward to this event.

December at the Klobas'

December is such a fun month for us with parties, shopping and family time. Here are some pictures of our month so far.

Eric putting our lights up

Eric, Grandpa and the kids decorating the tree

Blake at his school Christmas Program, he sang this year but did no hand motions. Every year were getting a little better :) Next year he'll be a pro!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

We've got moves!

Wishing we were headed to Mexico for the holidays (like other members of our families). We are not bitter or anything....they will be soooo sad we could not show them the dance we've been practicing.
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Monday, December 3, 2007

She's Ours!!!!!!!

Introducing.....Ava Leigh Aparna, born in New Delhi, India on October 26, 2006. We are soooo happy and overwhelmed with joy!

Our meeting at Childrens Hope went very well on Thursday night as you can tell. Here is a brief of the evening.

We walked in and Lisa (the lady who called us about little Aparna) was all dressed in her Indian attire and jewelry. The room was all set up like we were about to get our referral. Lisa started out by giving us an overview of Aparna's medical history, age and pictures. Our first response with teary eyes was, She is beautiful! Kaylin was with us (I am so thankful) and she said, She is chubby! Waaahoooo!!!!! We love chubby babies. We can always count on her to make us laugh at serious moments. We continued to talk and ask lots of questions about India knowing in our hearts that this was our daughter. The one thing Eric and I have felt strongly about is that God knows what child is best for our family. When we look back at the frustrating and emotional journey we have been on, there is no doubt in our minds that this was God's plan all along. She is meant to be ours! We will now be traveling to India in June or July to bring her home. We can't wait and are already counting the days.

Please keep our little girl in your prayers. We pray that she stays safe and healthy and is being loved on everyday. Thank you to all who share in this journey with us. We feel so blessed and thankful for you everyday!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ethiopia or India?

About a month ago Eric and I received a phone call from a lady named Lisa who had worked with Childrens Hope when we first started the adoption process. The conversation went like this...

Cheryl: Hello

Lisa: Hi, Cheryl this is Lisa I used to work at Children's Hope International.

Cheryl: (Feeling skeptical)and thinking why is she calling me, surely nothing else is going to go wrong! I said, Yes.

Lisa: She continued to talk about our process and how sorry she was for the frustrating things we have gone through up to this point and wanted us to know she thinks about us and is praying for our process.

Cheryl: Still feeling awkward, yes, its nice she is calling, but why now? We have moved past all of that chaos.

Lisa: I am also contacting you to let you know I have been praying for your family and felt it necessary to contact you about a "baby girl available in India".

Cheryl: Shocked!!!! I said O.K.....not sure what to say

Lisa: She was born pre-maturely so she is automatically considered special needs but I have been told that she is in good health and making good progress. I don't have anymore information then that.

Cheryl: OK! Still completely shocked and you can tell I just kept saying OK, OK, OK.

Lisa: I am traveling to India next week and will be able to get medical information, photos and find out how old she is while I'm there. I can tell you are shocked and not sure how to respond, its not Ethiopia. I also want you to know if you feel your child is in Ethiopia thats where I want you to go. I just felt I needed to contact you and let you decide.

Cheryl: I explained how shocked I was and that this was something Eric and I would need to talk about and we would get back to her.

End of Conversation..........

After much thought Eric and I felt that we could not say no but tell her we were open to getting more information. Well today is that day.....Lisa and Becky (our caseworker) are coming tonight to bring us all the information and photos of this baby girl from India. I feel excited, nervous, sick, excited all at the same time. One thing we do feel strongly about is that God knows what child will be best for our family and maybe that means a baby from India or maybe not. I don't know!

My hope and prayer today is that after our meeting tonight we will have a clear answer of how to move forward. Please pray for us this afternoon and we will keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Praying for a miracle!

This sweet baby girl is the niece of Eric and Tara Silvestri. Eric's sister and brother in law (Jenn and Filipe) are in the process of adopting her from Guatemala...the whole adoption process has taken twice, almost 3 times as long as it should have! As you can see from her precious face- she is the most perfect baby girl ever! They have fallen so deeply in love with her and yet for some reason the Lord is taking them through a time of waiting and patients. Jenn and Filipe were able to go visit Shiloh last month and spend a few days with her and of course it was such a special bonding time but it made them so eager to get her home and out of the orphanage....
Right now the Guatemalan government is trying to close all foreign adoptions...including those that are already in the process. This would leave so many sweet babies homeless and abandonded and so many loving families without the children they have longed for! This has caused quite an uproar and so it is begining to look like they will go ahead and allow the families who are alreay in the adoption process to finish and bring their children home, but it is still VERY scary and no one knows what will happen.

I am (Tara) writing this because we (our family and friends) have decided to spend all day this Wednesday in prayer and fasting for Shiloh and for the Lord to show them favor and bring that sweet girl home soon.
We are asking anyone who knows their family or who wants to petition God on behalf of this precious child and her family join us. If you have a blog or myspace please link to this post or cut and paste this request so that as many people as possible read this before Wednesday.If you want to pray with us please do so. If you would like you can leave a note on my blog or Jen's letting us know you are joining in or just write a note of encouragement for this family.Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Several months ago we were approached by many people in our congregation about how they could help with our adoption process. After lots of thought and feeling uneasy about asking for financial help they took it upon themselves and started planning fundraiser's for us. We have had lunches, an Auction and a bake sale. These fundraisers have brought in close to $6,000.00.....WOW!!!!! We have been truly humbled and so very grateful for all of you who have joined us on this journey. We feel a huge burden lifted as the financial fears no longer loom as heavy.

We know how very blessed we are. We know that we are not doing this alone. We are so excited to share with our new little one what an important role our church family played in making it possible to bring her home. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Those words fall so shamefully short to expressing our hearts. Yet we don't know how else to say it. So, thank you.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Trick or Treat

We had a great time trick or treating. We went to our friends neighborhood and scored more candy then we ever needed.

Blake was a Roman Soldier

Kaylin was Sacagwea...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fun times at the Patch

Last weekend we went to the Sauvie Island pumpkin patch. We had a great day with family and the weather was beautiful. Here are a few pictures from the day..

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Moving Forward

As many of you know we had a difficult situation to get through with our home study. After several weeks of riding the fence of the unknown, we now have been told we can move forward. We are thrilled and could not be happier. We do however need to change agencies. We are now going through Children's Home Society and feel like this is a great agency with lots of Ethiopian adoption experience. We should have our completed home study in our hands in about 3 weeks.

Thanks to everyone for all your prayers during those stressful weeks.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

What is your favorite season?

...mine is FALL! After reading Tara's blog and her post about fall, I was inspired to get pictures of the beautiful trees I drive past every morning(thanks Rhonda). I love the crisp foggy air and the amazingly beautiful scenery we have in Oregon. I am constantly in awe of God's creation. Some of my favorite things about fall are the colors, smells and food. If you have ever been to my home you would know quickly that my house coordinates with fall, I love it! I can walk into any store during this season and find something cute for my home. I love being in the house, cozy, with the fireplace on and my favorite piano hymns CD playing . The greatest gift of fall is the peace it brings to my home. I love Fall!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Home study

Yahoo, we have our home study on Wednesday and Thursday this week. I will be cleaning like a "mad" women today and can't wait to accomplish this portion of our adoption. I'll keep you posted on how it goes. We are a little nervous and would appreciate all your prayers.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Overwhelming facts about Ethiopia

-One in ten children die before their first birthday

-One in six children die before their fifth birthday

-44% of the population of Ethiopia is under 15 years old

-60% of children in Ethiopia are stunted because of malnutrition

-The median age in Ethiopia is 17.8 years

-1.5 million people are infected with AIDS (6th highest in the world) 720,000
children have been orphaned by AIDS alone, and there are 4.6 million
orphans in Ethiopia.

-Per capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any country in Africa

-In the 90s the population (3%) grew faster than food production (2.2%)

-Drought struck the country from 2000-2002 (first year no crops, second year no
seeds, third year no animals

-Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school. 88% will never attend
secondary school.

-Coffee prices (Ethiopia’s only major export) fell 40-60% from 1998-2002.

-Ethiopia’s doctor to children ratio is 1 to 24,000.

-In 1993, after 30 long years of war, Eritrea broke from Ethiopia and became an
independent nation leaving Ethiopia landlocked without any major seafaring ports.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Videos to make you laugh

Cannonball Baptism
I thought this was very funny! But then I thought of my own kids and how it is not far from something Blake would do, I would be horrified.

another funny video...

gotta love that baby laugh!

As you can tell I needed to laugh today...Glad its Friday!

Home Study is Scheduled

We are very excited our home study is scheduled for September 26th & 27th. This means we have completed everything involved in this first large section of our process. Yahoo!!!! We are making progress.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Adoption Update...Drowning in Paperwork

I have been asked a lot lately about what is going on in the adoption process...small things are happening. I feel we have been so busy this last 1 1/2 months that I have not had a ton of time to get past some big hurdles. We are making progress just not as quick as we'd hoped. I sat down and made a list of all the things that were needed for this whole process and was able to cross off quite a I do feel better! It gets quite overwhelming at times, but the quicker we get it done the sooner we will have our baby and we can't wait for that!!!! Please continue to pray for this journey...that we will make good use of our time and find peace in knowing God has perfect timing!

Paperwork Completed:
Attend Info Meeting at CHI
Apply and Pay Initial Fees
Copies of Birth Certificates
Financial Statements
Employment letters
Medical Forms from Dr.'s
Reference Letters
Copies of tax forms
Child Abuse forms

Still to Complete:
Waiting on letter from Police Department
Letter of Introduction to Ethiopian Govt.
Citizenship and Immigration Application
FBI Check and Fingerprinting
Adoption Education (10hrs.) DVD and testing
Complete the 3-books we are reading
Q & A forms about adoption
Meetings with Case Worker for HomeStudy
Power of Attorney forms
Photos (6-8)
Letters of Committment and Obligation
Letter stating reason for adopting
**All of the above needs to be notarized for our Dossier

**At this point everything is out of my hands**
All the above documents are compiled into our Dossier and must be certified by the Secretary of State
-sent to be authenticated at the US Department of State
-and then sent to the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington D.c.
Finally our Dossier will get sent to Ethiopia
-wait for referral and accept
-dossier will be sent to Ministry of Womens Affairs and to the courts. If court goes well then we will finally travel to get our baby.

Sounds like so much but we have made some progress.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Jungle Book

Kaylin and her friend Avery-kiira just finished a week of acting camp. On friday they performed The Jungle Book musical. The girls had soooo much fun all week and can't wait to start classes in the fall.

After the performance!

Crazy Hair Day!

Summer time fun!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Our little actress!

Kaylin has been in acting class and had her first performance last night. She was the glowworm in James and the Giant Peach. I love the costume, we had to come up with one on our own. Thanks to some great friends and IKEA opening in the last few days her costume was a hit!!!! She did a great job remembering her lines and had so much fun.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fun weekend with Family!

Saturday we went to my parents for chicken tacos and horse riding. The kids had fun with their cousins and as always love riding. Sunday we continued with the Klobas family for Grace's b-day. We had a great weekend!

Kaylin, Blake and Grace

My nephew is precious...check out that smile!

Mom..I think you are really cute!