Monday, August 18, 2008

Sweet Update!

Families are always traveling to Ethiopia at different times and since the Kennedys were traveling to pick up their precious little Addis, they offered to take care packages to Yalfal and Kinetibeb! For their care packages, I packed two large ziploc bags that were each filled with a coloring book and crayons, a disposable camera for the nannies to take pictures of each of them, a plush photo album with pictures of our family inside, stickers, little sparkly lip glosses and a doll for her and a cuddly little teddy bear and some toy cars for him!

When they visited the care center, they delivered the packages to Yalfal and Kinetibeb and this is what they said:

"Your children are ADORABLE!!! When we got there it was lunch time and they were all on the floor with their injera and chick peas. Apparently that is about all they eat! Not my favorite!!! The caregivers pulled them up onto the couch and we handed them the packages. They immediately started kissing them and hugging them. The caregivers told them they could open them so they did and they both went for the photo albums first so I sat on the couch with them and took turns with them on my lap going through them saying mama and daddy and talking to them about the pictures. They kissed the picture of you guys with your other kids without any prompting. It was so sweet. The caregivers were not translating except to say mama and poppa to them I guess telling them that the gifts were from you guys. The chap stick was also a hit. She loved it and her doll. He also loved the cars. He drove them all over the couch. We snuggled them for a long time. They are very loving and sweet. He seems a little more shy than she does but he was the fist one to run back up to us as we were leaving and pulled me down for a kiss and to kiss Addis. She quickly followed. Their personalities were truly so soft and sweet. They were not at all afraid of us though. They took right to us so I know they will do the same when you get to them. Some kids seemed scared of us and they did not at all. They both chased us out the door waving and smiling. I would not worry at all about them reacting to you. They will come right to you and love on you. I can't wait to hear about your trip. If you have any questions I would love to talk to you. I truly appreciate your prayers. It meant a lot to know we had so many people praying for us. I am praying for your kids and for your trip as well. Talk to you soon."

Here are several of my favorite pictures they sent us:
Both discovering their cameras
Yalfal looking at her dolly and Kinetibeb looking at his photo album
I absolutely LOVE their expressions in this picture! It is my favorite of the bunch!

They are looking at our family picture!

I cannot wait to receive more pictures from other traveling families!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


"A man's heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9

There has been a change in our original travel plans.

We were so excited about our original travel dates being in that we were notified they day after our case passed through the Ethiopian court that we were to travel 2 weeks later! We had been waiting for so long to see our precious children and now we would get to do that in 2 WEEKS!!! However, after several days of trying to secure flights, our travel agent kept coming up short since all the flights on all the airlines were booked. We had one exception that allowed us to fly there on coach but we would have to fly back in business class. I was thrilled until we found out the cost of the flights would be well over $12,000!! This obviously was not including the remaining balance to our agency or lodging, etc. We were told that we could defer travel a week later to reduce our costs and availability on flights.

So, Brad called our case worker and long story short, our Embassy appointment got moved back 2 weeks later. The Embassy can only see 10 cases, per agency, per week and they were filled up for those two weeks. We were a little saddened by this, but we know the Lord is sovereign and is never "surprised" by these things!

We are now traveling SEPTEMBER 6 - SEPTEMBER 16!!

(Here are two of their referral photos for those of you who are like me and think that a post without pictures is just cruel!) Even though we will have to wait two additional weeks to see our children, delaying our travel has some benefits. It has reduced our flight costs by almost half for which we are so grateful! Also, Brad will not have to miss the first week of school as he serves as the new interim Headmaster of NCA and we will both be able to take Isabella and Elijah to their first day and week of school as well! Of course, it also allows us a little more time to prepare, pack, etc. And we know that Yalfal and Kinetibeb are thriving and being well taken care of and loved at the Gladney Foster Care Center in Addis Ababa! We are especially thankful for that!

As we don't want to post our exact flight schedule, we will be sending out an email to friends and family for those of you who would like to meet us at the airport upon returning home!

Also, we continue to gather Humanitarian Aid to bring with us to Ethiopia! For those of you who would like to contribute, here is a recent list of the orphanages' needs that are their priority right now:

1. Diapers (size 1,2 & 3)–need more of size 2

2. Wipes

3. Underwear and socks for older children (age 3-10 years)

4. Rain jackets for older children (age 6-10 yrs)

5. A few umbrellas for caregivers taking children to doctors, immigration appointments, etc.

6. Bouncy seats

7. Baby swings

8. 1 or 2 strollers (single or double stroller, not larger ones like ones at churches as to not draw attention)

9. Infant/toddler toothpaste and toothbrushes

10.Bottles (Gerber plastic, small and large size, solid colored bottles that come in a pack of several colors)

11.Infant Clothing (size 0-3 months)

Leave a comment or email me if you would like to contribute any of these items to the children in these orphanages! They are so thankful for anything they receive!

We are truly grateful to all of you who have asked how you can help and we have been blessed by your support!

"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word." 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Elijah!

Today was Elijah's 5th birthday and we are so proud of our BIG boy! He has been counting down the days until his birthday and was excited ALL day today, of course!

On the kids' birthdays, I always let them choose their favorite foods to eat during the day. Typically, for breakfast, they choose a new "sugary" cereal that they are not allowed to have except for on their birthdays. But today, Elijah said he wanted....Fiber One! He assured me that it was his favorite cereal, so when he asked for a second bowl, I obliged! I really wasn't thinking about the word "fiber" and its amazing results until he proudly said, "Daddy lets us have this cereal and he says it will help us go to the potty ALL day!" (as if he needs help in that department!) So, the cereal definitely lived up to it's name, as Elijah was thrilled that "Daddy was right!"

The rest of the day was filled with continued preparations for our trip to Ethiopia, along with "pirate" activities all day long ending with a little "pirate" dinner! Again, I asked Elijah what he wanted for dinner and he quickly stated, "Ummm, I think I'll have shrimp with noodles, some broccoli and "warm" (meaning "cooked") carrots!" What 5 year old asks for that for dinner?! So, that is what we fixed for him, served on a pirate's treasure map tablecloth, lemonade in a pirate's cup, with pirate's hats for all to wear during dinner! He LOVEs pirates right now, so he was really surprise and loved his "pirate's feast!"

After dinner, Aunt Brittany had made him some banana cupcakes (his favorite!) that were delicious, we all sang "Happy Birthday" and he ended the night sleeping in his new pirate pajamas and new CARS slippers!

(Every year on his birthday, I take his picture saluting at the camera while wearing Brad's West Point ring and hat in his pajamas to see how he has grown through the years.)

Although there are many more, here are 5 things I love about Elijah:
1) He is so affectionate and loving towards his family (a great snuggler)!
2) He prays diligently for his brother, Kinetibeb and his sister, Yalfal that they will come home soon!
3) He is so focused, determined and curious about things and how they work
4) He is incredibly ticklish and yells, "UNCLE WHO-WHO!" when he wants you to stop tickling him
5) He has such a clever sense of humor with the greatest giggle ever!

He is going to make such a wonderful BIG brother to Kinetibeb and Yalfal! He cannot wait to see them! Happy Birthday Elijah!! We love you!

Thursday, August 7, 2008


"Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The Lord has done great things for them." The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." Psalm 126:2-3

So, we passed through court on August 5th, but since so many other families were passing through too, our caseworker told us she would have to call us the next day to give us our Embassy date. Basically, Atticus Knox and Scarlett Paige are officially ours from the Ethiopian government's perspective and they can be brought out of Ethiopia, but could not (at this time) be brought into the United States until we go to our Embassy appointment.

Yesterday, Brad called around 2:45pm to tell me that our caseworker had called with our Embassy date and we will be traveling:

AUGUST 22-AUGUST 30!!!!!!!

"As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country."
Proverbs 25:25

We leave in TWO WEEKS!!!! We are incredibly joyful at such a quick travel date, but for many of you who know me, I am now in quite the panic mode!! We are trying to work out all the little details while our heads are still spinning; however, we will have both of the children in our arms in TWO WEEKS!!!! I have been waiting to hold and love these babies for so long even when the Lord had yet to reveal them to us, it is beyond surreal for us right now!

We have so much gratitude to our Lord who has guided us through this incredible journey and who will continue to guide our every step! We give the Lord all the glory!

Many of you have asked how you can pray specifically for us so, I have listed several things that need prayer. Please pray for:

1) Kinetibeb and Yalfal...that their little hearts are being prepared for this new and radical transition into a new world, culture, home, family and that they would bond with us, quickly feel safe and secure with us as their Mommy and Daddy.

2) Quick and efficient travel preparations, travel mercies and health for all during travel

3) Isabella and Elijah's very first day and week of school while we are away

4) Our Embassy date on August 27, 2008 that everything will be completed and run smoothly

5) Our financial obligations towards the adoption to be paid in full

6) Brad and I that we may be able to demonstrate our love to Kinetibeb and Yalfal in a way that is accepted and feels safe to them. Please also pray that we would remain dependent on Him while we travel and as we navigate this new and unknown transition/ chapter in our lives

7) The children's grandmother and her health that we might be able to meet her (and possibly other family members)to express our love and assurance of the children's safety. Please pray that we might be able to deliver a few items to the family including an Amharic Bible and that it will be accepted

8)The transition of two new precious children into our family, their acceptance among family and friends, and that the Lord would receive ALL the glory!

Thank you all for bathing us in prayer as we especially need it at this time!

"The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you." Psalm 116:5&7

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Our Cup Runneth Over!!!

"As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25

With extreme joy and overwhelming gratitude, Brad and I would love to announce the newest members of our family, our handsome little Kinetibeb whose name will be ATTICUS KNOX BAGGETT:...and our precious little Yalfal whose name will be SCARLETT PAIGE BAGGETT!We received the call at 12:00pm (on the dot) from our caseworker who called Brad's cellphone to deliver the great news!!!! They are officially and legally ours and our hearts are full! We will receive our Embassy date and travel dates tomorrow! We were told we should be traveling sometime later this month or early September!! Thank you for all your prayers and for loving us through this long journey!! We will be posting more pictures soon of our new children!!! We are now a family of 6 and couldn't be more overjoyed!!! The Lord is faithful and we are so humbled by His provision and blessings!

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.” Isaiah 43:5

Monday, August 4, 2008

Prayers for our Court Date

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:35 - 36

As many of you know, our court date is set for tomorrow, August 5th, and if our court date is successful, we will legally be the parents of Y and K!!! Please pray with us for the outcome of our court date as well as many other families who will also be going through court tomorrow!

We have recently received an email from our agency stating that the Ethiopian courts will actually be closing one day earlier (August 7th) than originally expected, so the courts will stop hearing cases on the 6th of August. This means that if our court date is not successful, we will have to wait throughout the rainy season (August 8th-September 29th) for the courts to reopen in early October to re-hear our case. We, of course, would be very sad if that happened and we would have to wait even longer to bring Y and K home, but we are trusting in the Lord's perfect timing as He has planned from the beginning!

We will be posting tomorrow on the outcome of court, and if we are successful, there will be LOADS of pictures I will post for your viewing pleasure!!

We received an update on Y and K this morning and here is what it said:

“Y and K are beautiful, playful and energetic! They both like their friends and each other and are generally out going. Today "K" was sluggish after lunch and "Y" was energetic but as many differences as they have; they have as many similarities! They have many ‘gender specific’ characteristics and are precious together or apart! I confirmed that "Y" is ticklish but found "K" on the potty, so I left him alone. With all their other similarities, I will assume he is ticklish too!"

We are so excited because since our referral, K has gained one pound and Y has gained 4 pounds!!! We also received some of the most precious pictures where they both look much happier, healthier and definitely have "life" back in their little eyes! We just love them so much and cannot wait to be their Mommy and Daddy!!!

“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