Friday, January 25, 2008

Week 13

Entering into Week 13 has definitely been much more of a struggle for us. Yes, every week we are getting closer to our precious babies, but every week also brings more anxiousness for them to be revealed to us! Our sweet Isabella made a number "13" out of pipe cleaners (which I think is adorable even though you might have to use a bit of imagination!) and was so proud of it!! She asks every day when we can fly to Africa to get her baby brother and sister. It is truly precious to hear the prayers of Isabella when daily, she pleads for the Lord to bring her "brother and sister home soon!" She has become such a prayer warrior lately. During an especially fearful time in her little life (fear of the dark, bugs, and anything else a little 5 year old fears often), she was sad because she said she was having trouble trusting the Lord at night to keep her safe. After much prayer and encouragement for her, she was so pleased that she was able to trust in the Lord through the night and sleep with no fear! Since then, she "prays without ceasing" for everything and has great faith in our Lord! It is wonderful to see the faith of a child lived out in your children. We have learned a great lesson through her obedience to "trust in the Lord with all your heart" and have received much encouragement from her faith. So, as we enter into our 14th week, we hope to truly rest in the Lord's promises for our lives and to trust Him completely for the perfect time to bring our children to us!

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29: 12

Monday, January 21, 2008


Several months ago, our family went to a pumpkin farm and loved it mainly for it's "kiddie" zipline. So, when buying Christmas gifts for the kids, we knew a zipline would be perfect for them! I lucked out and found one for really cheap and Brad finally decided to go put it up outside. All of you who know Brad and I know what an ordeal this was to get done! Basically, the cable is only 35 feet long so we were limited to where we could put it AND the cable had to fit tightly around two trees (hardware included). The instructions were very clear as to how to assemble the zipline and how to attach the "clasps" to the wire so the wire doesn't slip off the trees.

Well, after Brad assembles it (and pretty quickly might I add), the kids take off "zipping" through the sky as I am the "catcher" on the other end so they don't smack into the tree! After a few runs, the cable is sagging like a wet noodle and the kids are hitting their knees on the ground! So, he unhooks one cable from the tree (keeping the other intact) and tries to raise the cable to make it tighter. I went inside to answer the phone for a quick minute. BIG MISTAKE! After I went back outside, I see that Brad had wrapped the cable around the other tree about FIVE TIMES and was hammering nails through the cable and into the tree! And he was proud of himself!! He even said that the company didn't know what they talking about with the assembly directions and the "clasps" weren't working or SAFE!! Here is a picture of how it is supposed to be secured (with "clasps"): Here is the work of my own Clark Griswald (without "clasps"):
Look at the poor tree "bleeding" sap everywhere!

I just knew that when the kids took off, the cable was going to come flying off the tree, the kids would come flying off the cable down to the ground, breaking some bone in their body and we would be making a trip to the ER. However, the cable is still intact and has never even sounded like it is weak at all, no broken bones (yet!), Daddy is the hero, and Mommy is "no fun" so says the kids.
Here is a video of the kids enjoying the zipline with a surprise at the end! (oh, and don't worry....we taught the kids how to kick the tree so they don't smack into it!):

Yes, even though the directions said the weight limit was under 100 pounds, he wanted to try out his workmanship on the tree to see how sturdy it was!

Success! Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah!

p.s. When we all finally went inside, I saw the "clasps" sitting on the table and there were both "clasps", but only one washer and one nut. When I asked him if he lost the other washer and nut in the grass when trying to reassemble the cable, he just laughed! Hmmmmmm.....

Friday, January 18, 2008

Week 12

Well, we have finally made it to the 12 week mark! When we were put on the waiting list, Gladney said that the wait time was between 3-5 months. So now, we have entered into the "window" for a referral! Our hope is now that the wait time will not increase while we are waiting!

This week's number "12" is courtesy of Isabella! We were playing "I Never Forget A Face" matching game that is just like Memory. The game is great because it has a pair of children's faces from all over the world so they become familiar with all different countries and their people groups! So, I asked Isabella if she could make a number "12" with the Memory cards. She did a great job, I think!

Please pray we receive our referral soon! We have become "weary waiters" lately!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Our agency, Gladney, sends out updates every month and this great offer has been sent with the updates for the last couple of months:

"Want a way to order diapers, formula, wipes and other baby items for less than what you would pay at Target and Wal-Mart plus help Gladney at the same time?

You can do just that by ordering your supplies through! Just enter this referral code THCE5959 on your order and you will get $2.00 off your first order and Gladney will get $1.00 on this order and all subsequent orders you place. Just think, no more lugging those cases of diapers and formula home from the store. Place your order on and your products are shipped directly to your home FREE. You are welcome to share the referral code with friends and family."

I thought it was great to be able to save money on these baby items AND a great way to help out Gladney!

Monday, January 14, 2008

There Is No Me Without You

This book, There Is No Me Without You, by Melissa Fay Greene was one of the first books I took notice of when we began our adoption from Ethiopia. The book was everywhere and everyone seemed to agree it was a must-read if adopting from Ethiopia! I bought the book (with some others of course!) a while back but I am just getting around to reading it and I must say it is wonderfully captivating so far! I cannot wait to get through the entire book which is rare for me since I would not normally choose to pick up a book and read in my "spare" time (which has seemed non-existant since parenthood began!). I am excited to read many more books I have purchased to help educate me about Ethiopia, the adoption process, transracial adoption, etc. However, I found this article by Melissa Fay Greene posted on many other blogs I follow and it was very interesting and sobering at the same time.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Week 11

Okay, so it seems the kids decided that the number "11" wasn't too hard for them to accomplish with their bodies! Initially, they both laid down (this time for some reason on their tummies) and propped their heads up with their hands. They were sooo sure they were making a "perfect number '11'", I just took the picture. After they saw the picture, they both said that they didn't look like a number "11"......but they sure do look cute which is all that matters, right? So, maybe we will do better on Week 12....maybe we won't have to make a 12! Trying to be positive!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Picture Africa!

Isabella has always loved to draw and paint and every day, she draws at least 4 to 5 pictures with a very detailed story! Ever since the beginning of our adoption from Ethiopia, she has drawn pictures of what she thought Africa looked like and pictures of "our babies". This picture is one of many, but definitely one of my favorites not only because of the picture but because of the story:
(My favorite part of this picture are the "knots" on the end of the giraffe's horns(??) or whatever they are, but they do have that! Attention to detail! I love it!)
"This picture is of my brother and sister's birthland in Africa! Every morning, they get up and see giant elephants with big trunks, tall giraffes with big beautiful spots, and growling tigers who tip toe around. The sun is always bright and hot and they live in a house with a lot of ladies who love them and take care of them. There is a lot of sand and dirt on the ground and only one tree. I love my brother and sister in Africa and I want them to come home before I turn six!"

Monday, January 7, 2008

Ganna and Timkat

Oh... Happy Ethiopian Christmas! Or, in Amharic, "Melkam Yelidet Beaal"

Today is the day that Christmas is celebrated in Ethiopia. Ganna, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church's celebration falls on January 7th because Ethiopia still follows the ancient Julian calendar. This calendar, which is divided into 12 months with 30 days each, and a 13th month with five or six days at the end of the year, is the reason for Christmas in January. It is also the reason that it the year 2008 is actually 2000 in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is one of the oldest nations in Africa. It still follows the ancient Julian calendar, so Ethiopians celebrate Christmas on January 7. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church's celebration of Christ's birth is called Ganna. It is a day when families attend church.

The day before Ganna, people fast all day. The next morning at dawn, everyone dresses in white. Most Ethiopians don a traditional shamma, a thin, white cotton wrap with brightly colored stripes across the ends. The shamma is worn somewhat like a toga. Urban Ethiopians might put on white Western garb. Then everyone goes to the early mass at four o'clock in the morning. In a celebration that takes place several days later, the priests will dress in turbans and red and white robes as they carry beautifully embroidered fringed umbrellas.

Most Ethiopians who live outside the modern capital city, Addis Ababa, live in round mud-plastered houses with cone-shaped roofs of thatched straw. In areas where stone is plentiful, the houses may be rectangular stone houses. The churches in Ethiopia echo the shape of the houses. In many parts of the country there are ancient churches carved out of solid volcanic rock. Modern churches are built in three concentric circles.

In a modern church, the choir assembles in the outer circle. Each person entering the church is given a candle. The congregation walks around the church three times in a solemn procession, holding the flickering candles. Then they gather in the second circle to stand throughout the long mass, with the men and boys separated from the women and girls. The center circle is the holiest space in the church, where the priest serves Holy Communion.

Around the time of Ganna, the men and boys play a game that is also called ganna. It is somewhat like hockey, played with a curved stick and a round wooden ball.

The foods enjoyed during the Christmas season include wat, a thick, spicy stew of meat, vegetables, and sometimes eggs as well. The wat is served from a beautifully decorated watertight basket onto a "plate" of injera, which is flat sourdough bread. Pieces of injera are used as an edible spoon to scoop up the wat.

Twelve days after Ganna, on January 19, Ethiopians begin the three-day celebration called Timkat, which commemorates the baptism of Christ. The children walk to church services in a procession. They wear the crowns and robes of the church youth groups they belong to. The grown-ups wear the shamma. The priests will now wear their red and white robes and carry embroidered fringed umbrellas.

The music of Ethiopian instruments makes the Timkat procession a very festive event. The sistrum is a percussion instrument with tinkling metal disks. A long, T-shaped prayer stick called a makamiya taps out the walking beat and also serves as a support for the priest during the long church service that follows. Church officials called dabtaras study hard to learn the musical chants, melekets, for the ceremony.

Ethiopian men play another sport called yeferas guks. They ride on horseback and throw ceremonial lances at each other.

Ganna and Timkat are not occasions for giving gifts in Ethiopia. If a child receives any gift at all, it is usually a small gift of clothing. Religious observances, feasting, and games are the focus of the season.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Week 10

We made it to "double-digits" and the kids have given up completely on making the numbers with their bodies. So, in trying to get creative like we did in Week 8, we used the kids' dinner as inspiration!

Ah, yes! One hot dog bun and two poor sausages snapped in half just because they weren't flexible enough to make a "zero"! I have a feeling that Week 11 will work out great (at least for the kids making the number "11") and all body numbers will be restored if only just for one week!

Tonight, Brad promised the kids they would go camping (outside in the back yard)! So, on Brad's new little grill, he grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, and for dessert, they made s'mores! They were in heaven! We will see how long they last outside in the cold weather!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Here is our Christmas letter that was so late, it turned into our New Year letter that I will hopefully send out soon!

What a year 2007 has been for the Baggett family! As each of you likely know, we are adopting internationally, and are in the final stages of our journey [we pray!], and we hope to have two new little Baggetts by the spring. However, the big change came about 9 months ago when we decided to withdraw our Dossier [official application packet] from China. The reasons for our decision are many; however, one of the most practical reasons was because the Chinese government has significantly increased the wait-time required to adopt a child from their country. Although our official Dossier was received in Beijing last January, [had we remained in the program] our wait-time today would still be at least three years. Further-more, due to the large number of females leaving the country through international adoption, rumors are now spreading that the government will soon end all international adoptions.

Therefore, through a great deal of prayer and counsel, we have chosen to switch countries to Ethiopia. In fact, we have now applied for a sibling pair, possibly twins, that are three years or younger, but requested as young as possible! This has come as a great surprise to many; yet, we are confident that our decision is within God’s revealed will. In our decision to adopt from Ethiopia, two basic truths weighed on our hearts: God loves adoptions and God loves the nations. Our Dossier for Ethiopia was officially completed October 26, 2007, and since the wait-time for a referral is 3-5 months, we are quickly approaching the window for a referral soon! We anxiously await new additions to the Baggett family in the year 2008 and we are filled with gratitude for the Lord’s continuous provision on this journey! We cannot wait to share our little ones with our friends and family alike! You can follow our journey and receive more information about our adoption at: . Please continue to pray for us as we enter into this exciting, new chapter of our lives!

Kimberly is homeschooling both Isabella & Elijah. Isabella (5) is in Kindergarten and Elijah (4) is in pre-K. They are very competitive, yet, they daily encourage one another and are brilliant little “sponges”! Elijah demonstrated his progress in letter writing by proudly writing the entire alphabet on Isabella’s walls in red pencil! And Isabella demonstrated her “cut and pasting” skills by gluing her art pieces on her bedroom door! Needless to say, we have now discovered Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser and are currently trying to buy stock in it! Both of them share a love of music, with Elijah “sing-songing” all day long and Isabella starting violin lessons on the tiniest little violin ever! Isabella has especially developed a love and aptitude for art as our home has quickly turned into her own little “art museum”. We concluded our scripture memory for the year with Luke 2 since Isabella was asked recite it in the Christmas program where Brad teaches. We were so proud of her and Elijah for memorizing such a long passage! They are truly the sweetest blessings and bring infectious joy to us both. They love Jesus with such passion and pray diligently for “our brother and sister in Africa!” It is currently our plan to take them with us when we travel to get our children, and they cannot wait!

Kimberly remains busy as she continues to help coordinate & teach within Grace Reformed Baptist Church’s [GRBC] Children Ministry. Much of the past several months, however, has been dedicated to completing more adoption paperwork, as well as sewing & embroidering burp cloths & blankets in order to help cover the necessary adoption expenses. Yet, her main focus continues to be what she does & loves best: teaching & raising our two precious children, Isabella and Elijah. Her heart remains anxious for our newest children to be revealed as she loves them deeply already!

Brad continues to serve as Pastor-Teacher at GRBC. He can honestly say that he absolutely loves his job and is so thankful to serve at a church where the people love the LORD which such deep conviction! He also continues to teach at Northeast Christian Academy, where he is an Instructor for Systematic Theology, Philosophy of Religion, and Government and Politics. Needless to say, he remains incredibly busy and tries to spend as much time as he can with his family!

2007, like 2006, has been a time of change for us as a family but we are so grateful that the Lord is unchanging and remains the only constant in our lives! He continues to humble us with the outpouring of gracious blessings that we do not deserve. We anxiously look forward to what 2008 has in store, hoping we will bring glory to His name and be ever mindful of how we can serve him and further His kingdom. Our prayer is that each of you truly know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, not only this Season, but throughout the coming year.

We love each of you and are thankful for the special place you have in our lives.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Brad, Kimberly, Isabella, and Elijah