Showing posts from 2014

2014 in a Jar

Like many years, 2014 has been filled with ups and downs. We have experienced pain, strength, sorrow, joy, excitement, and many other emotions.

This year, Jeffrey and I decided to keep a jar of Blessings, Answered Prayers, Can't Forget Moments, and Anything Else Worth Remembering. We kept our jar (a large mason jar with a cute sticky note describing what the jar is for) on the corner of our fireplace, so we would see it daily, and we and everyone in our home could watch it grow. We have found in past years that difficult times such as the ending of this year, we easily forgot some of the great moments that had happened because they were overshadowed by something devastating and negative. We knew we wanted to end looking at 2014 on a positive note whether it felt positive or not. Unfortunately, this hasn't been an ending we would really want to remember, but thankfully we have many reminders that these last few weeks are not the summary of the year as a whole. Today, we pulled o…

28 December- TWO YEARS DTE

In a couple days (December 28), we will officially be DTE (paperwork in Ethiopia) for two years. These past two years have been the hardest and most wonderful times of our lives. Though we have been waiting more than two years, in adoption world your true wait doesn't begin until your papers are in country.


Yes, adoptions are going through! Yes, children are coming home! Thankfully over the past couple of months, referrals have picked up (not enough in my eyes), but they have been moving more than in the past few months.

People are still being matched with healthy babies, but it has definitely slowed down tremendously from when we first started the process. We are slowly moving up the list to be matched with our baby. We are on several list. We are on the infant boy list, the infant girl list, the toddler boy list, and the toddler girl list. Currently, our lowest number is for the toddler boy list, but things could definitely change. The list is always changing as…

Orphan Sunday

Though our church does not take part in Orphan Sunday, churches all over America are spreading the word about orphans and the need for people to care for them.

Today I would encourage you to find a way to help orphans. I know not everyone is called to adopt, but everyone can be a part of changing a child's life.

1. Pray for orphans around the world
2. Donate to an organization that helps orphans (There are many out there. Research and find one that you feel comfortable with and trust. I can suggest a few if you are interested.)
3. Encourage those who are adopting or have adopted
4. Go on a missions trip that works with orphans
5. Research adoption and foster care

Micah 7:7 MSG

"But me, I'm not giving up. I'm sticking around to see what God will do. I'm waiting for God to make things right. I'm counting on God to listen to me."
Micah 7:7MSG

Change of Request

The rainy season is quickly approaching which means courts will close for a couple months or so until rainy season is over. There is no set date as of right now to when courts will close, but it is usually some time in mid August, and they usually reopen some time in October. During this time, no movement will really take place in regards to adoption unless people have already passed courts and are just waiting to clear Embassy.

We recently met with our social worker to update our homestudy and to discuss some possible changes to our adoption. Jeffrey and I have been thinking about making some changes to our adoption request for a while. We have been thinking about changing our request for our child's age. Wait times are increasing and like we have told you all before, it seems like we have quite a wait ahead of us. On the unofficial list, we are 70 for an infant boy and 76 for an infant girl. That doesn't seem like a lot, but we have …

2 Years and Counting

WOW! I can't believe that it has been two years since we have started this incredible journey to our family. Just to be accurate, we applied for the Ethiopia program on May 22, 2012 and were accepted into the program on June 8th. In adoption world they don't count your wait until all your paperwork has arrived in the country you are adopting from, so by their calendar we have been waiting about a year and a half.  However you look at it, these past two years have been some of the most trying and most rewarding years of my life.

Jeffrey made the comment about a month ago that maybe this whole adoption process was designed by God to change us more than us changing a baby's life. It has definitely done that. In these two years, I feel like I have personally grown in so many ways and that our marriage has grown.

I have always been one to celebrate others and enjoy doing so, but I want to be completely honest here and say it hasn't been the easiest for me over the past two…

Adoption Conference

Two weeks ago, Jeffrey and I had the opportunity to attend an adoption conference. You may wonder what an adoption conference is all about. Well, there may be many different types, but this one was more to equip parents with knowledge and strategies for once your child is home.

Though we still have a long wait ahead of us, we want to be proactive in educating ourselves and investing in our children even before they are here.

Many people who adopt think that they are going to face the same challenges that everyone faces with their biological children, and although these challenges still exist, many times people who adopt will sometimes face other challenges. This can be a little scary when thinking about some of these challenges, but we want to be wise and prepare for the unexpected. We are of course praying for a healthy baby- body and mind, but when you have lived the first part of your life in extreme poverty, are malnourished, and have been in an institution, there may be some emot…


I need to start by apologizing for not posting this sooner! Life has been a bit busy, and we haven't had the chance to stop and post.

Hartwicks shopping at the silent auction.

Whether you placed first or last, you are all champions to us!
We had such a fun night. It felt more like a family reunion than a fundraiser!

To Our Valentine


On a day where you are supposed express your love to those you love, we want you to know that there was not a moment that we didn't think about you. When daddy and I went on our date, we talked about you often. Although there are a lot of things keeping us from bringing you home right now, nothing can keep us from loving you the way we do. Love has no boundaries. No oceans, no miles, no time frames, no governments, no waiting list will keep me from loving you. Happy Valentine's, Baby Woodson. You are far more loved than you can imagine right now.


I am not sure if the title to this post is accurate. I do believe that this is great news, but I sometimes feel like when Jeffrey and I post something that sounds like great news for the adoption, people suddenly think that we are getting our baby any day now.

This past week, I posted on Facebook about some great news. Through this whole journey, I have tried to be very real and informative about what is happening, so let me take a few minutes of your time to explain.

GREAT NEWS: Ethiopia has decided to not close international adoption. Many of you were probably not aware of this, but a few weeks ago, it did not look good for adoptions in Ethiopia. Due to media shining light on bad cases of adoption, the government was considering closing international adoption like many other countries such as Guatemala and Russia. Ethiopia is now working to make sure that adoptions that occur are adoptions for children who are truly orphans and trying to remove some of the terrible things that occur…



Photo Shoot Fundraiser

We want to give a huge shout out to everyone who participated in our photo shoot fundraiser! We thank you for allowing us capture your beautiful family while supporting our family in progress. Each shoot was unique and it's own. Checkout some of these photos from our shoots. I don't know if favorite is the best word because we had so many, but these are some of the great people who helped make our dream of bringing Baby Woodson home a little closer. Many Blessings to you all! 

Rachel's Favorites-

Jeffrey's Favorites-