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Family Vacation

A couple of weeks ago, we headed to northern Michigan with Don's family for our annual family vacation. It was a great week of quality time with each other, relaxing at the beach, and eating tons of food! Here are some of the many pictures that we took.

At the ice cream shop- an every night occurrence...

Playing with my sweet niece at the park..

At one of the many scenic outlooks on M22...

Beautiful sunsets...

Storytime... precious.

Sleeping Bear Dunes... we climbed and climbed but didn't end up making it all the way to the lake. 

But, we did make it to The Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor!

Impromptu picture that actually turned out pretty good!

And, more ice cream- seriously, every night.

Dress up dinner... obviously not a fancy restaurant, but they do dim the lights. 

Everyone in their Ethiopia shirts- can't wait to show this to our little one! Or, little ones!

After a heated ping-pong battle... we look pretty happy here, but I think just before this we were wrestling and throwing punches! Or, maybe running around trying to give each other wedgies... one of those. 

Classic "sisters" shot- love these girls!



Our t-shirts have been printed! What do you think? Cute, huh?

This first one is a ladies' shirt. It is pretty form fitting, and I'd recommend ordering a size up. It is a burnout style, tealish color, super soft, and long. I'll post a picture soon of me wearing it so you can see what it looks like. Sizes s-xl. 

This is the a shirt for men or women. It's super soft and fits true to size. Sizes s-xl.

This is the children's shirt. It's super cute, light blue, and fits true to size. Sizes xs-xl. 

We're working on setting up an easy online ordering system with PayPal, but for now, if you want to order a shirt, just send me an email (jones.saraj@gmail.com) and we can work out the details. We are asking for a minimum donation of $17 for the more traditional t-shirts and $22 for the ladies' burnout style. 

As for fundraising, we're also in the midst of waiting to hear back from some organizations regarding adoption grants. One of the things we are hoping to do is set up a tax-deductible account where people can donate towards our adoption. Some of our friends and family have already graciously offered to help support us, and this fund will be a great way to give. Once this is set up (Lord willing), we'll give more details about how to give in this way. 

Immigration Update

Well, we never heard back from the email that we sent a couple of weeks ago regarding the need to change our fingerprinting date, so last week Monday we just drove to the office and pleaded with them to give us a new date. 

They kind of looked at us like we were crazy, but they did tell us we could try to come back this Friday (the 13th)- they didn't give us a guarantee, but they told us we could try, so we will. 

Basically, this is the last form that we are waiting on so that we can send all of our papers to Ethiopia. If we don't get the fingerprints this Friday, we'll leave our vacation two days early next week and drive all the way home to spend 5 minutes in their office being printed. Crazy. 

Please join us in prayer that they will allow us to be printed and that we will get our papers sent off soon! 


Ethiopian Cuisine

Last night we drove in to the city with friends to try some Ethiopian food. I was a little nervous about the food because when I looked at the pictures from the restaurant online, it all kind of looked like "slop" to me. Plus, I have a hard time eating food when I can't tell exactly what it is... but, I was pleasantly surprised. The food was delicious, and it was so fun to spend an evening out with friends! The two couples that we went with are also in the process of adopting... we are so thankful to have such precious friends to share in this experience!

My friend, Christina, and I outside of the restaurant. Christina and her husband are also adopting from Ethiopia.

At the table, getting ready to literally "dig" in to the food. 

You actually use your hands and these pieces of "injera" (which is kind of like a sourdough pancake/sponge bread) to pick up the food. And, everyone eats from the same platter.  

Dan and Jen... they are funny (and cute!). Dan was really loving the food (despite the funny face he is making). They are in the process of adopting from Korea. 

Drew and Christina, also funny (and cute!).

Don and I

We actually finished most of the food!

Apart from the delicious food and spending time with friends, I really loved just seeing Ethiopian people. They are so beautiful! And, our servers were very friendly, which helped develop all of my positive stereotypes about Ethiopian people! 


Happy Late Anniversary

I originally was going to post this last Monday... I had put together a little video to celebrate our first seven years of marriage. Since this is probably going to be our last child-less anniversary, I had wanted to put together something special. I think it turned out pretty great, thanks to imovie and some fun pics and music. The video ended up being a little too large to post here, but I'll include a few pics that represent some of my favorite memories from our first years together.

Of course, these pictures only capture some of the special memories... I think our favorite times together are the kind that you don't normally capture with a camera- like an impromptu bike ride, going out for coffee, getting a late night pizza, renting a movie, or just being together doing normal things at home. Even though we would have loved to have children many years ago, I am thankful that we've had all of these unique, pre-children years together!

Leaving the church after the ceremony... happy day!

Super fun vacation in San Diego, CA. It was one of those weeks where everything seemed perfect!

Outside one of our favorite restaurants in the city. Delicious!

In Michigan- I love this state!

Our recent adoption photo shoot... so thankful to be on this journey together!

As a special surprise, even though we said we were NOT going to get any gifts this year, Don surprised me with this pretty little Africa necklace. He is generous and sacrificial to the core... love this man (for many, many reasons!).