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Little Buddies

Sometimes we think the boys are worst enemies, especially when they both want to be held at the same time and end up pushing each other around in order to get better positioning.

But, occasionally, they display signs that they really are best friends. Like when one wakes up from a nap early and instead of just playing he continually walks over to the nursery door and points inside like he wants me to wake up his little friend. 

Or when I catch them doing this:

Please don't be fooled... moments like this almost never happen and they rarely last long. I'm pretty sure that a minute after I snapped the picture they were climbing on the coffee table and diving into the couch. 

My favorite place to take them is Costco... mainly because of the double cart, but also because they seem to get really interested in each other and it's so fun to see! (I'm not sure why the videos are oddly large, but I don't know how to fix it). 

And in other news, I've decided that this is my favorite way to distribute snacks. I figure that they end up on the floor anyway, so why not start there?


One Year Ago

It's been a long time since I posted anything, but while looking at the calendar earlier this week, I realized that it was this week last year that we found out about the boys. I've already posted a lot about that time, but as I think back over the past year I'm so filled with gratitude to God for all of the ways he worked to bring our sons home. Last year at this time, we saw their faces for the first time and we loved them immediately. We began praying earnestly and pleading with God that he would make them our sons and bring them home, and now as I type this they are bouncing in their cribs and giggling (while they are supposed to be napping!). 

In case you don't remember, here is the first picture we saw of them:

And here are some more recent pictures:

Jacob is VERY interested in feeding himself. On his first attempt with yogurt, he quickly abandoned the spoon and used his hands.

And this was the result. He actually was much happier about the whole experience than this picture shows!

For some reason, I didn't think I'd resort to keeping them in their footie pajamas all day and actually taking them out in public this way, but as the weather has gotten colder, I've quickly abandoned that idea!

I knew it was a little too quiet, and I found them doing this in their room. All the clothes thrown out of the dresser, both standing in the drawer and reaching to see what they could get into. 

This picture is from a recent trip to a nearby park. The boys showed no interest in the swings, slides, or tunnels and headed straight for the woods and the creek instead. Their daddy would be proud!

And here is our resident goofball. Isn't this how everyone walks around the house? And just yesterday he went whizzing past me with a mixing bowl on his head. I'm quite certain he couldn't see a thing, but that didn't stop him from barreling through the house at top speed! 

And this picture is simply to illustrate the fact that I will never have an organized house again! I couldn't find this shoe for awhile until I discovered it in a cupboard with my pans. I regularly find my pans in the closet, balls in the laundry hamper, and sippy cups in the pantry (which happens to be a "no-touch" zone). 

The boys are doing so well, and we still thank God for them daily. Just the other day my heart swelled with pride as I watched them play at the park. They are so brave and adventurous and smart and funny (really, I had no idea that 16 month olds could be funny, but they are). We love them so much and can’t imagine our family without them.

That isn't to say that there aren't long days or hard days- we've definitely had some of those! And I do sometimes dream of being able to go to Target by myself or of being able to drink a cup of coffee without having to reheat it six times throughout the morning. But even on the long days, when I step back and think about it, the time when they need me so much is going to be relatively short and I'm pretty sure someday soon I'm going to miss seeing those two sets of arms reaching up for me. 


In Case You Didn't Believe Me

Here are the videos to prove what I said in the last post. Please excuse the bibs in most of the videos; the boys are teething and it keeps their shirts dry. Plus, if anyone can pull off Camouflage shorts and a baby bib, it's Josiah. 

I promise, I did not put them up to this. Jacob crawled in and Josiah started pushing him down the front yard.

The toy stealer in action. 

And again. 

Who needs toys?

The food critic. Don't judge, we're choosing our battles right now. :)


About Our Sons

Here's a little about our sweet littles...


  • Totally filled up with silliness. He loves to laugh and make people laugh. Some of his favorite ways are to bend over and look at you between his legs, scream (he's trying out his voice and we think he thinks it's funny to scream- we're working on this one!), put on sunglasses and walk around like a very cool dude, and generally just act like a total goof. He laughs very easily, particularly if we make funny faces or noises. 
  • Likes to be read to, and most recently has started handing us books and scooting back into our laps. His favorites right now are a touch and feel book, an animal book, and Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?
  • Loves to play in the kitchen with bowls and spoons. He experiments with putting bowls inside of each other and trying to get lids on the bowls. He also likes to pretend to stir, sometimes with a big wooden spoon in each hand. (Unfortunately these spoons end up being a hazard because they blend in with our wood floors and all three of us have stepped on them at various times and have gone flying!)
  • Favorite foods are chicken, applesauce, cereal bars, oatmeal, and any kind of pasta or bread.
  • Is easily scared by loud or strange noises; he'll usually come running to me while whimpering if he's heard or seen something a little off. Today he ran into the kitchen whimpering and asking to be held. I hadn't heard anything, but 5 seconds later Josiah came walking into the kitchen holding a register cover that hadn't been fastened tightly enough to the wall. He had ripped it off the wall leaving a gaping hole that was frightening enough that it sent Jacob running.
  • Loves to swing at the park, and has just starting climbing up the slides (sometimes with a boost from Mommy when it's too slippery) and through the tunnels at the playground. 
  • Makes the most hilarious faces. He has no idea he's doing it, but his little face is so expressive that it regularly cracks us both up.
  • Is a future food critic. He picks his food up with tweezer like precision between his two fingers, looks intently at it, then rolls it around in his mouth and decides to either let it stay or spit it out and toss it off his tray (we're working on this, but for now it's pretty funny to watch).
  • Loves to dance. We often see him swaying in his car seat to the music on the radio and at home he bounces and sways side to side with a huge smile when we turn up the music.
  • Is a toy-stealing, everything-stealing stinker. He often takes things right out of Jacob's hands and runs off with them. Sometimes I see it and can intervene, but many times I hear Jacob squeal and then see Josiah running off with whatever toy or item Jacob had previously been enjoying. 
  • Loves to be chased.
  • Loves to tease. His favorite game involves pretending to give something and then snatching his hand away. He likes this game so much that sometimes he pretends to have something in his hand just so he can pretend to give it to us and take it away.
  • Drags and pulls/pushes everything, including mops, brooms, cords, high chairs, upside down bowls, and other things he finds around the house. 
How Mommy and Daddy are Adjusting:
  • We are absolutely LOVING our sons and loving being parents! It's been so fun to play with the boys and care for them and see them grow in their love and attachment to us. They both willingly kiss us when asked to, and they are generally little lovers!
  • I'm so thankful to be home with them. I can't imagine missing all of the funny things they do, and it gives me great joy to be with them throughout the day. I sometimes feel like I should be trying to teach them more, since mainly I'm just following them around and keeping them from serious injury, but they get thousands of kisses and squeezes throughout the day and I'm sure that's doing something good for them!
  • The best part of the day is when Daddy comes home. We all get super excited and run to meet him at the door or in the driveway. He picks both boys up and we dance and clap as we run around the house singing "Daddy's Home! Daddy's Home!"
  • Don loves the boys just as much as I do and is so fun with them. He rolls them around on the ground, they crawl up on his back for push-ups, and they literally squeal and scream as he chases them around the house. 
We are so, so thankful to the Lord for answering all of our prayers in giving us these special boys, and in bringing them home to us! We literally thank God for them every day. They truly are our sons, and we take great delight in them!

Here are some recent pictures, mainly from my phone since 1 year olds are very hard to capture. 



We've been home now for almost three weeks, and it's amazing to look back and see how far we've come! There is so much that I'd like to post about, but by the time night rolls around and I have some free time, my brain is mush- I'm usually asleep by 8:30, which means right now it's after bedtime and it might be dangerous to try to write in this mental state! So, I'll post some pictures and try to give a real update soon! 

The first two weeks home both boys wanted to be held all of the time! They were a little scared in their new environment (understandably) and they felt safest being held. This was a temporary solution. Wearing both of them allowed me to do some laundry, put clothes away, and prep meals. My back didn't break, and I have the Ergo Carriers to thank for that!

The boys (and Mama) love going to Target! They love to see all of the people and ride in the carts (though when I'm by myself, one goes in the carrier and the other in the cart). Jacob tries to high-five and "talk" to everyone we meet! 

The boys already have a routine of watching Daddy leave in the morning and after lunch. They follow him to the door and watch until the truck pulls out of our driveway. It's pretty stinkin' cute. 

We live near a park and walk there almost daily. When we start getting close, I can see the boys start to wave and kick their hands and feet in excitement. They love sitting in the swings and watching all of the kids. They also love to get out and run around, but it's a little scary having two walking/almost running one year olds going in opposite directions. At any given time, one or the other is walking right in front of a swing or a running "big kid" and the other has any variety of park items in his mouth- I don't mind the sand and bark so much, it was the half-eaten mysterious Go-Gurt Josiah was sucking on that really got me. 

When only one swing is available, this works and they don't seem to mind. I think it's adorable!

For the first two weeks home, the only way they would nap was in the stroller, the car seat, or next to me on the couch. They are now sleeping great in their cribs and barely even cry when we lay them down at night or for naps. I snuck out of this snuggly nap to capture them before they woke up.

Handsome, happy boys! We couldn't be more thankful!! 

We are doing very well- we love our little boys and somehow all of the chaos and busyness already feels normal!


We're Home!

Sorry for the delay in updates... having two very busy one-year-olds leaves little time for brushing my teeth, let alone updating blogs, checking email, or answering phone calls. 

We are doing great! Here are a few pictures from our first pool time in the backyard. 


Travel Update

I'm sorry for the delay... I know many of you have been wondering if we have heard anything from the embassy over the past two weeks. We have heard updates periodically, but most of them haven't given us any indication of when we'd be cleared to travel... until today. 

We were waiting on one last interview to take place, and we were hoping for an interview date of July 23rd. After this interview, we could be cleared the very same day. If we had gotten the 23rd, we would have jumped on a plane tomorrow, arrived on the 19th, and stayed for about a week. Instead we got an interview date of July 30. If we do clear on the 30th, we'll hopefully have the boys' visas on the 2nd or 3rd of August. Because of the delay we aren't going to be able to leave tomorrow in time for the boys' birthday, but God's timing is always right and we trust him. We've learned enough over the past years that God's ways are better than ours, and we can rest in that.

We are, however, going to hop on a plane next week before the interview and before we are cleared. The weight of waiting and the heaviness of missing our sons has gotten to be too much, and we are ANXIOUS to get them out of the orphanage and into our arms! 

I'm not sure if I'll post again before we leave, so here's how we'd LOVE for people to pray for us while we are gone:
  • Pray for the interview on the 30th and that we will be cleared immediately following it. If we don't clear on this date, our trip will be prolonged until we do clear and we're hoping to only be in Ethiopia for two weeks at the most, mostly because Don will need to go back to work.
  • Pray for the boys' hearts. When we take them from the orphanage, it will be the 4th transition to a new home and to new caretakers that they've had in their first year of life. Pray that God will keep them from fear and that they will feel the great love that we have for them.
  • Pray that God will use our extended time in Ethiopia to help the boys attach to us and to bond our family together before we come home.
  • Pray that we will be kept from sickness so that we will have strength to care for and love the boys in the way that we desire. 
  • Pray that we will be a blessing to all of the people that we come in contact with while we are in the country. We love Ethiopia, and we are looking forward to being there again! 
If we're able to get on our blog while in Ethiopia, I'll try to post another update. Thank you for praying for us and upholding us over all of these months/years. We are so close!


Submitted to Embassy!

The last step is complete, and it came out of nowhere! Our power was out due to severe storms in our area, and we were staying at Don's parents' house. I checked my phone early Tuesday morning to see if I had an update about the power, and there in my email inbox was a letter from the US Embassy congratulating us on our file being submitted. Don was already up and downstairs, so I went running and flailing down the steps as fast as I could to show him the email. We had no previous warning or indication from our adoption agency that this would happen, so we were both shocked!

We were anticipating that we wouldn't be submitted to the US Embassy until the 11th. Last week when we got the medical reports, we still had to have them translated, which we were told could take about a week. Our agency can only submit cases on Wednesdays, and this Wednesday the embassy was closed because of the holiday. All that to say, all signs were pointing to the 11th as the next possible time for submission, but we prayed anyway that we would somehow get submitted this week. The translation would have to go faster, and the embassy would have to make an exception, and both of those things happened. 

All morning, all day, and even now, we are just so thankful and humbled by the love of God for us and for our boys. He is working for us, he is moving on our behalf, he is hearing our prayers!

(*** Josiah peeking his head up to look out the window above his crib. We're coming soon, baby!)

The boys' first birthday is exactly two weeks away, and we are still earnestly praying that we will be cleared by then to go get them! This next week is really significant because the embassy will be doing an initial screening of our case to determine how they want to proceed. They could request additional information, ask to interview witnesses or neighbors of the birth family, or they could clear us for travel. Please pray that we will find favor in their eyes, and that God will move in their hearts and minds to clear us quickly. 


Medical Exams (and REPORTS): Received!

We got the email today- both of the medical reports have already been completed for our twins! Thank you, Lord!

Honestly, this is a miracle. We expected 1-2 weeks to get an appointment with the doctor and then another 1-2 weeks to actually receive the report, and here we are at 1.5 weeks and we already have both!

The next step is to get all of the documents translated and then we will be submitted to Embassy. We're hoping that this can happen in the next 1-2 weeks. After that, the Embassy will review our case and (Lord willing) clear us to travel in 2-6 weeks (longer if they require additional information).

Thank you for praying and please continue! I really feel like we are flying through this last stage on the wings of many of your prayers. 

We're coming boys! (p.s. Jacob learned to prop up some blankets in the corner of the pack-n-play so that he could stand on them and reach his arm an inch more over the edge. We're going to have to keep our eye on him!)


A Story in Pictures

Since we couldn't share any pictures until after we passed court, I realized that we haven't ever shared the pictures that we've been seeing this whole time. So, here's the story in pictures, starting from our referral in November. 

First picture of Jacob. We thought he was perfect. 

First picture of Josiah: equally perfect. 

Little angels. 

Little rascals. 

Jacob, a few weeks after our referral pictures. 


Both boys with the first care package we sent them in early December. 

Second care package later in December. I love how they are so snuggled up in these pictures. 

They are actually wearing the pajamas we sent and playing with the blocks we sent. So fun to see!

Already a happy, smiley baby!

Sweet Josiah. 

In January, when our friends, the Crandells, were in Ethiopia. 

Gigantic eyes and sweet little lips. 

One of our favorites of Jacob from early January. 

Josiah in late January. 

Sleeping babies- late January. 

Picture draught... nothing for several weeks.  

Josiah in mid March. 

Then we traveled in May- many of those pictures have already been posted. 

The Crandells visiting our boys a couple of weeks ago. They captured both boys walking on video- what a gift! 

As usual, Jacob was smiling constantly and was giggling too much to even concentrate on walking. Such a happy boy!

Josiah is a smiler, too- it just takes a little more effort!

And here are the new pictures we just got today. 

Even though we didn't get to see most of these stages in person, I'm so thankful for EVERY picture and video that we've gotten of them over the past 7 months. And even though the required trip to Ethiopia for court meant a lot of added expense and a terrible goodbye, I'm also thankful that we got to see them crawling and acting like baby-babies before they entered this new walking/toddling phase. Plus, we got to kiss them and snuggle them part-way through the process and that's worth every penny!

Can't wait to kiss those sweet cheeks (x2) again soon!