Home           About Us           Why Adopt?           Why Ethiopia?           Noonday Collection           Contact Us


A Picture Update

Here's a mostly picture update of our life lately. We're still waiting for our referral (can you believe it? no? me neither.) and the boys are still as busy and active and smart and funny as ever.

The boys love riding their balance bikes! They're really good on them and will glide all the way to the nearby park and elementary school. It melted my heart a little when I saw Josiah go put his bike in the bike rack just like all the big kids. 

They love to fish! They specialize in splashing the water with their poles and catching leaves.

I didn't know that as a parent, you're never allowed to enjoy your own treat again. Here we are sharing a giant sundae, and I can't remember the last time I had a treat without hearing a little voice saying, "try it, mommy?"

This picture is simply to illustrate that Josiah holds about 500 toys in his hands and mouth when we go to the car. Some parents probably make their lives easier by not allowing so many toys to travel to the car, whereas I tend to maneuver around all said toys while buckling him in his car seat... not an easy task. And this was before we cut all of his beautiful curls off. I may have cried a little.  

We vacationed in South Haven this fall and had the beach to ourselves! It was perfect. I love how little boys play in the sand. Here Jacob is operating a "digger" and making train tracks. 

More train tracks. Choo-choo. 

The water was cold. 

They didn't mind at all. 

They love their daddy! And it was so good to have 4 full days together as a family. 

We're all looking and smiling... a major accomplishment! 

They love each other. 

Enjoying an open house at the fire station. The best part was the free popcorn. 

Getting pumpkins. You would have thought these pumpkins were made of gold, they were so special to the boys! 

Just yesterday, both boys jumped out of their cribs at the same time. Apparently, after their naps, they were riding their "motorcycles" (straddling their crib railings) and fell off. My theory is that Jacob fell first and Josiah went down in a move of solidarity. I heard a large thump and then Jacob crying, followed shortly by Josiah crying. In our house, for little boo-boos, the boys have to "tough it out" but for big boo-boos, they get ice. And these were pretty big boo-boos; Jacob actually had a bloody lip.  

And just because it's funny, and this is the only place I record such things, I have to share Jacob's latest thing. It started when he said something I was surprised by... I think he said, "Mommy, lake that way" and I was surprised he knew which way the lake was, so I said, "You're right. How did you know that?!". Apparently he liked that, and now when he says something he thinks is clever or smart, he follows it up with "How you know that?!" It's sweet and funny and endearing.


Still Waiting...

We're back in the dreaded waiting for a referral stage and have been since 4.25.13, but who's keeping track? As the weeks have continued to wear on, I've felt the familiar heaviness and anticipation... staring at my phone and willing it to ring. I'm looking for the 703 area code that will tell me it's our adoption agency calling about a referral for a little girl, our little girl. I'm tempted to continually check our adoption agency's Facebook page, looking for signs of movement, any movement at all. 

Still. Nothing. 

I will say that even though the waiting stinks, nothing will compare to the waiting we did for the boys. That was terrible. Terrible. Terrible. But I've already written enough about that. This time the days and weeks are going faster because they're filled with the busyness and joy that two little boys bring. 

We're thankful to be where we're at... already waiting to get a referral instead of having to start completely over. We're thankful for our boys. We've seen how God's timing and his ways are perfect and better than we could imagine or ask for. And yet... we're ready to know who Baby Girl Jones will be. We want to see a face to match the girl we're waiting and praying for... and we're hoping it will be soon! Please pray it will be soon. 

I can't wait to share when it happens! (And then maybe I'll start blogging more regularly again. Maybe.)


Gotcha Day

In the adoption world, there is such a thing as “Gotcha Day”- the day you finally “got” your child forever and for good. Today is that day!

We’re so thankful that the Lord chose them for us and us for them.


One year ago: 


2 Years Old!

As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t been on our blog in months… partly because I haven’t carved out the time for updates and partly because I knew that when I logged in again, I’d have to spend a good 5-10 minutes cleaning up all of the spam comments. How do those get there and is there a way to avoid it?!

Anyway, in honor of the boys 2nd birthday, I thought I’d do a quick post. Their birthday was July 19 and we celebrated in style with singing and candles and waffles for breakfast and a train ride to a train restaurant at night. The following day we had a friend party and then a family party. Over the past few days the boys have spontaneously been singing, “Happy Day You” and I think it’s safe to say that they love birthdays!

We’re nearing our one-year-home mark and I’ve had a few people ask recently how it feels. I think the first thing that comes to mind is “normal”. It really does feel like the boys have been in our family forever and sometimes I have to remind myself that they didn’t get here through conventional means. We watched our adoption video recently and I was struck by how surreal it all seemed… that we actually had to go pick them up from an orphanage and they haven’t been with us from the beginning. They’re just our sons, not our adopted sons… if that makes sense.

Here are some pictures from their birthday celebrations.

Birthday morning... matching jammies and the perfect "cheese" smiles. 

And a birthday kiss... I wonder how long this will last?! They kiss each other every night before bed and I think we may be on borrowed time with this tradition. I'm going to stretch it for as long as possible though! 

Reading on the couch together. Really, I don't put them like this- they choose to sit this close to each other. In honor of their birthday, I dressed them as twins, which I normally don't do. 

Getting ready to ride "inside the cho0-choo" as the boys would say. They loved it! We did a whole 3 minute ride to a nearby town to eat at Two Toots, a train themed restaurant. 

Friends from our small group at church joined us for the party. We had Chic-Fil-A and water slides and sand toys. A simple and perfect little party for our two boys. 


He's Got Moves!

Password: dance



I'm no expert on twins, but I have found some things that are saving my sanity and which the boys seem to be enjoying: "Reading Time" and "Quiet Play Time". Let me explain. Both boys are extremely busy and curious. We have about 10 hours a day together before Don comes home from work and really they spend a lot of the day (especially in the winter) kind of wandering around the house and looking for things to do. Toys still do not hold their attention for any more than 2-3 minutes before they are on to the next thing. Plus, they don't have much interest in movies or reading books together. I've tried coloring; it's not happening yet... all the tips of the crayons have been bitten off and I'm still finding shards in their diapers. So, all that to say, we have a lot of time to fill, and when the weather isn't nice, we don't have a lot of options!

Enter "Quiet Play Time". Let's be honest, this isn't quiet at all, it's more independent play time. I pack up a basket of special toys for each of them, with a variety of options like books, blocks, cars, musical toys, etc. Each boy goes into his own crib and gets his own basket and plays independently for a set amount of time. When I started this, they went for about 15 minutes before they got sick of it, and we've now worked our way up to 30-45 minutes depending on the day. I usually do this at the end of the day when I'm trying to pick up the house and make dinner, and it's been amazing. It helps me so much to feel more sane by the time Don comes home and I think the boys really enjoy it. It's the one time in their day that they aren't competing, either for my attention or for toys. They can build with blocks without the other one knocking anything over and they can look at a book without the other one snatching it away. They spend most of their day within 6 inches of each other (by choice!) so this is a chance for them to have some space. By the end of it, they usually have tossed all of their toys over the edge and are just bouncing and giggling together. One time they were giggling so much, I had to check and see what they were doing. Jacob was covering his eyes and playing "peek" with Josiah, which Josiah thought was hilarious. Not to be outdone, Josiah then proceeded to go through touching and naming body parts to entertain Jacob. They're pretty stinkin' cute. 

"Reading Time" has also been a bit of a life saver. Neither of the boys have naturally been that interested in books even though we've been trying since they got home. They just don't have the sit in them and it's hard with two. One wants to turn a page forward, the other wants to turn the page back, or one wants to close it entirely. One pulls it closer to himself, resulting in the other trying to pull it back, and I'm in the middle as the referee. "No, Mommy holds the book. No, Mommy turns the pages." 

So, for "Reading Time" I set the kitchen timer, put the boys on separate couches with a stack of books and tell them it's their special time to look at books and they can't get off the couch until they hear the beep-beep-beep. I also sit on the chair with a book and read, partly for my own enjoyment and partly to model it for them. The first time we started with 6 minutes and Josiah probably got up 7 times and whined the whole time. Each time he got up, I'd pick him up, put him back and say, "No, it's reading time. You have to sit on the couch during reading time until you hear the beep-beep-beep." We're up to 11 good minutes now (with the goal of getting to 15), and neither of the boys try to get down before they hear the timer. In fact, today Josiah grabbed a book and said "Read?" and then headed to the couch... his way of asking for the reading time. 

Having two little ones that are exactly the same size and into all the same things certainly has its advantages and disadvantages. Don says he's praying for another set of twins for this next adoption- I say I'm not so sure. Actually, I really say that as much as I love our little twinners, I can't handle another set! At least not yet.

Independence is a messy undertaking!!

In their little thrones. 

Making cookies.


Things I Don't Want to Forget

At almost 20 months, here are some things I want to remember. 

Both boys are in a "naming" stage. They love to say the words of everything they know. These words often come out in a very loud and excited manner (especially with Jacob). Picture all caps with about 10 exclamation marks behind them. CAR!!!!! BIRD!!!!!! You get the picture... Josiah loves to count things (only to two) and gets really excited when he sees "TWO!!!!!!!" of something. 

They're starting to put words together and you can see their train of thought, though they can't fully express themselves. Here are a couple of popular ones, with my interpretation: 

"Go. Car. Drive. Weeeee!" Meaning they want to go in the car, Mommy (or Daddy) will drive, and weee, it'll be fun! Picture huge smiles and driving motions... And by the way, those carts at the grocery store with the little car attached to the front- our new favorite. The boys get so excited you would think they were driving race cars! They spin the wheel with gusto, honk the horn, wave to the passersby, and yell "weee" when things get really exciting. 

Another conversation we often have: "Tree. Bird. Fly. Way" Meaning, we saw a bird in the tree and it flew away. Which we did. One day we watched a bird in the tree right in front of our window until it flew away and we've been talking about it every day since then. 

Both boys love to have their "belly out", and they say "bell out" a few times every day, meaning they want to run around in their diapers. After dinner, they strip down to their diapers (per their request), we turn up the music and they like to "dance", "run fast", and "play ball". Their favorite is rap music by LeCrae and Josiah will whine ("ehh, ehh") and point to the music player if we try to get any other music going. 

I'm fully aware that these are the kinds of details that are only interesting to me, but if I don't document them here and now, I'll never remember! So, please bear with me... 

Here are the little goofballs in action...

Copying Mommy... don't worry, I fished the little giraffe out of the garbage, and I think the boys are finally starting to understand what goes into the garbage and what doesn't. 


Adding Another

We've been busy around here, and not just with the boys! 

Some of you may remember that our adoption process started with spending two years with our first adoption agency, only to end up receiving the referral for our twins from a different adoption agency. 

When we switched agencies, we were able to go "on hold" with our first agency, meaning we could stay in their program and re-enter after the boys had been home for six months. This was a miracle in itself, since in similar cases we may have had to forfeit all of the time and money invested in our first agency in order to make the switch. The details of this are somewhat complicated, but I'll try to give the short version in order to show how much God is in the details.

As we had been waiting with our first agency and had continued to hit various delays, we decided to apply for concurrent family building with the intent to pursue a domestic adoption. We didn't know how long it was going to take to receive our referral from Ethiopia and we were anxious to adopt and add to our family. So, in the fall of 2011, we completed the application for concurrent family building and began the process for a domestic adoption. In order to fully move forward with the domestic adoption, we had to wait to be approved by our Ethiopia adoption agency because essentially we'd be pursuing two adoptions at once. 

The day before we received the boys' information, we got the notice from our adoption agency that we were approved for concurrent family building, basically meaning they approved us to stay in their program and enter another program as long as there was six months between the placement of the children. At the time, we thought this was going to mean pursuing a domestic adoption, but the Lord had other plans and the very next day we found out about our twins. How amazing is that?! 

So, we were able to go on hold with the first agency, retain our place in line (which was number 1 at the time), and re-enter once the boys had been home for six months. The six month mark was in January. 

As crazy as it may seem, and as busy as the boys keep us, we're ready for number 3. And this time it will be a little girl! When we were in Ethiopia for the boys, both of us started to feel a strong desire for a little Ethiopian daughter, and we've been thinking about her and praying for her ever since.

We've updated our paperwork and are currently waiting for our approval from immigration, at which time we'll be able to officially be put back on the list to receive a referral for a little girl. We can't wait! She already has a name and we're starting to make preparations. 

We know from experience that we could wait 1 month or maybe 12. We'll be number 1 when we're back on the list, so we'll be waiting for the phone to ring any day. 

I hope we won't have to wait long, but our experience has taught us that God's timing is perfect and he orders our lives and the events of our lives according to his good and sovereign will. 

As for the boys, they're just as happy and silly as ever. As I type this, they're just up from their nap and are busy "talking" and laughing in their room together. 

Here are some pics of our little beauties from a recent trip to Florida and some random ones from the last couple of weeks. 


A Basic Update

When you let so much time pass between posts, it's hard to know where to start. And then you might finish a post only to end up staring at your computer screen for 10-15 minutes trying to think of a title before finally giving up. Not that I know.  

In some ways every day feels the same, and in other ways it feels like so much has happened in the past month... the boys grow, change, and do new things all the time and overall I'm just horrible at documenting it. 

So, here's a bird's eye view with a few scattered pictures:


Jacob is our little helper! He LOVES to help! If you ask him to throw something away, he'll do it with great enthusiasm and joy. (But we're still working on what goes in the garbage and on not taking things OUT of the garbage). He "helps" Don get his jacket and shoes in the morning, and amongst other things he "helps" me vacuum, turn on the lights, and turn off the "loud" in his room (the sound machine lovingly referred to as "the loud"). He also likes to help Josiah and will give him sippy cups, toys, bottles, etc. I will note that he only does this when he already has the exact same thing. He would never give up the ONLY sippy cup, but if he's holding one and sees one on the ground, he'll give it to Josiah. It's pretty sweet. 

Josiah is a master of destruction and has no desire (yet) to be helpful. In fact, he mostly works really hard at undoing any "good" I do. I put all 100 Mega Blocks away, and you can be sure that he'll pick up the carton from the bottom and dump them all out and walk away. He has no interest in playing with them, he just wants them on the floor so that he has the option should he change his mind later. Same goes for books, cars, balls, and pretty much every other toy I ever try to organize or put away. 

Which reminds me... some of you may remember how I wanted to keep the toys limited to a couple of baskets... well, here's a recent picture of the playroom. And pretty much daily you can barely see the floor and are destined to step on a small farm animal, mega block, or other sharp and painful object. It's out of control.


Both boys are talking a lot. Some of their words include: "Daaadeeee", Mama, bottle, ball, dog, hot, car, drive, snow, light, go, loud, etc. 

Really, they repeat almost everything we say, including words like Desitin, though most of their words are only distinguishable to the very well-trained ears of Mommy and Daddy.


Josiah loves to hide! He does the hilarious and adorable hiding where he just covers his eyes or buries his head and sometimes if that's too much work, he just closes his eyes. He closes them for merely a second, but when he opens them and looks at you, you would swear he just stepped out of an invisible universe. He hides at the perfect times like just before nap or bed time (sometimes even while we're holding him), before going into the nursery at church, and when he hears me announce that I need to change his diaper. It kills me. Every time. 

Jacob loves to pretend. He has a huge imagination and loves to "drive"- every time we go to the car or get out of the car, he looks up with a big smile and says "drive"- "car" and then he starts to pretend to steer because he wants me to put him in the driver's seat so that he can pretend to drive. He gets so animated and excited. He also loves to pretend to stir up food and feed it to everyone in the family, including his stuffed bears, which is so fun to watch! 

And somehow they ended up with a little of their mama's Dutch blood and they love to sweep! It actually drove me quite crazy at first because all three of us would fight over the broom and dustpan after almost every meal, but thankfully they got their own little sets for Christmas and now we can all sweep together.  

They are at the stage of copying EVERYTHING we do, which often is hilarious. They will copy hand motions they see us make, they will copy facial expression, and they'll laugh when we laugh just to join in on the fun. 

Overall, they are adorable, hilarious, and clearly our sons! We think they are the smartest, cutest, funniest little people we know, which seems about right since that's what most parents think about their kids. 

As I've mentioned before though, not every day is all fun and games. We've been in the terrible transition of going from two naps to one and my boys (who used to sleep for an hour to an hour and a half twice a day) have decided that they'd like to sleep only about 45 minutes now. It's actually driving me quite crazy, so some afternoons you may find the three of us splitting milkshakes and fries in the car, just to keep things in perspective. :)

And just because it's funny, here's how they reacted to their first time seeing the washing machine.