Showing posts from 2017

2017 Jar Moments

Most of you know that we keep a yearly jar in our house, and on New Years Eve we open it up and look back at the year. I love it because often times, we are big picture people and this jar helps us to look back at the year as a whole and see some smaller moments that we probably would have forgotten about. Our adoption consumed a lot of our jar this year which totally makes sense because this was our year for our adoption to have some jar worthy moments! The last five jars have had very little regarding our adoption because well... not a whole lot looked like it was happening.

Another reason I love this jar is because despite how our year ends (some years have ended pretty terrible), we can look back and see all of the good we encountered. Whether it be answered prayers, acts of kindness, surprises, or adventures this puts our year into a pretty great perspective.

This year we probably slacked a little more with filling our jar. Maybe it was our lack of sleep, maybe it was pure forget…

Last 4 months- 6 months home

I wish I would have been writing more, but life has happened. We are finally getting into a pretty solid routine, and we are enjoying life. Some days are hard, but God is faithful.

The work He has done and continues to do in our lives and the life of this little boy amazes me daily.

Two Months Home- 18 August 2017

Where has this month gone? This month has been huge, and we are so proud of all the progress you have made.

You have conquered all your colors thanks to our daily multiple walks around the neighborhood. You point at cars and trucks and tell us their colors. You can even tell us the cars that should be there when they are gone. You are so observant to the world around you, and you soak up all the new information and experiences like a little sponge. 
Daily you impress me with new vocabulary. Some are words we have intentionally tried to teach you while others you have just picked up on your own. You get very frustrated when we can't understand you, and you do such an amazing job trying to let us know what you need, want, or just want to share with us. We ask you to use your words (Amharic or English) because last month you liked to point and whine. Now you are using words like crazy, and we hate when we can't get what you are saying. I would love for you to keep your sweet acce…

2017/2018 School Year

Many of you know that I am a teacher. Several of you have asked if I am returning to work.  Yes, I will be going back to work, but thankfully I will not be going back until November. Although Zane came home a month ago, we knew he would not be ready for me to go back to work at the beginning of the school year.
We have some awesome people lined up to watch him, and we are so thankful he will be with people he already knows. Our plan is to basically start preparing Zane for what life with momma working will look like. He will be dropped off and spending time at the places he will be going. We will try riding in the car to these places (Zane still gets carsick, so besides naptime this is what I am most worried about when I go back to work).
Zane is learning to trust us, and he is starting to understand that when we leave, we will return. He was really struggling with Jeffrey leaving for working, and thankfully his anxiety and meltdowns have really lessened. Today, Zane asked if he could…

Reminders of Ethiopia

I am struggling to find time to write, but I wanted to write a short post. 
Ethiopia is so very different than everything here. The smells, the food, the sounds, the weather, the culture, the people- you get it! 
It is not any easy task to keep Ethiopia evident in our home all the time. We have to be really intentional. Some people don't quite understand why this is so important to us, but we feel that although Zane is now an American citizen, he is also still Ethiopian. We don't know if Zane will want to know more of Ethiopia or even care to know more of Ethiopia when he gets older, but until he is old enough to decide, we feel it is our responsibility to always keep Ethiopia in our conversations. It isn't something hushed or unspoken. Several people have asked us when we were going to start talking to Zane about adoption.  This is something that is just natural and a part of our family. No, we don't say, "This is our adopted son." That's weird.  Zane i…

One Month

In one month, you have turned our world upside down. This one month has been the happiest, most difficult, emotional, tiring, and sweetest experience. I can't even imagine what this month has been like for you.

You have shown us so much more of who you are than we ever could have discovered through videos, pictures, and monthly updates.

You are unique and special, and there are many days that we are still in awe that you are home.

You are funny and silly, but try to keep it cool around most people. We were always told you were very serious, so we feel quite special to see you laughing, relaxing, and just enjoying yourself.

You are so very brave. You have been thrown into this new place that is completely different from everything that is familiar to you. Your curiosity has opened lots of new doors literally and figuratively. You have discovered so many new and exciting things this month. You have given experiences second chances when you were afraid the first time, and you have so…

A Few Requests to Help Zane's Transition Home


Parting the Sea Walking on Dry Land Kind of Prayers

Most of you who follow our story have seen that I have slowly been sharing about the trip. I have told many of you that it was the best and worst trip of my entire life. It truly was an emotional rollercoaster.

Many of you have been private messaging us, calling us, and texting us and asking us, "What is next? How do we pray? When are you going back? What is the timeline?"

First of all, I have to stop and say once again we are so blessed to have such faithful, loving, and supportive friends and family. Seriously, you have no idea what you all have meant to us and how you have truly impacted our lives and this process. I know many of you have been so sensitive and cautious of how to approach us and love us, and we want you to know that everything you have done has not been overlooked, and we are sorry if we haven't truly expressed our gratitude in ways that confirm our love and appreciation to you.

I am a woman, so I am guilty of spider webbing (going off on another point…

Ethiopia, Welcome to the Family

Dear Ethiopia,

I had ideas and expectations of what I would encounter when we met. You see this was not my first trip to Africa; be slow to judge me, Ethiopia. I am not the white American girl who thinks that all of Africa is one country.  No, I knew you would be different, but I wasn't quite sure how.  My husband and I have both been to several third world countries, so we were preparing ourselves for the extreme conditions we would see.

Ethiopia, like many of the other places I have traveled, your living conditions for so many people broke my heart. To see young boys (some probably not 5 years old) living on the streets and working as shoe shiners and doing other little jobs to make it day to day is something I hope never becomes normal or acceptable in my eyes. Unclean water for people to drink is clearly a huge world problem and is no different for you. We visited a church that is home to many HIV positive, mentally disabled, and physically disabled. These people are the outc…

Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

In case you didn't know, Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee. One of the coolest traditional events we got to take part in was the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony. These happen all over Ethiopia daily. Coffee is a part of life, and we happily embraced it!

Throughout our trip, we had  A LOT of coffee and what was so interesting was each cup tastes a little different, but each cup was the best cup of coffee I had ever tasted! Buddy the Elf would have been screaming at the top of his lungs, "YOU DID IT! WORLD'S BEST CUP OF COFFEE!"
We knew these coffee ceremonies were a big part of culture, but we didn't quite understand it all until we were there. I knew in an Ethiopian coffee ceremony, you had three cups of coffee, but I learned that many traditional and especially older people drink three cups, three times a day. Our guide told us her landlady does a coffee ceremony every day, three times a day, and she makes her a cup every morning before she leaves and when she comes …


Sorry I have been slacking on the blog!

We had very limited internet while in Ethiopia, but I definitely want to take some time to write about the trip and so much more. 

I am hoping to write quite a bit in the next week!

But for now, here is the picture you have all been waiting for. We officially have another Woodson in the world. We can't wait to bring him home!

From the day we started the process to the day you gained our last name, it has been

157,420,800 seconds 2,623,680 minutes 43,728 hours 1822 days 260 weeks and 2 days4 years, 11 months, and 27 days
But holding you in my arms made every second, minute, day, week, month, and year worth it.
We love you.

Please Help Us Petition!


We are desperate and trying to contact everyone and anyone who could help bring our sweet son home! We are part of the 20 families who are legally going to have custody of our child, but have no idea when he will be home due to the Ethiopian government's suspension!

Please sign and share!  




We can't wait to meet him and have him in our arms!

Not the Update I Wanted to Share

We know that many of you are anticipating our court date and our travel ALMOST as much as we are! We have literally been stalking our mailbox all week for our approval letter that was supposed to come any time now. I kid you not, I went to the mailbox three times yesterday just to make sure, and Jeffrey has been running home on his lunch break every day to check.

We don't know if it is because of the Easter holiday or some other reason, but it still hasn't come yet. Once we receive the letter, we scan it and email it to our adoption agency and within a week, we should have a court date. A week after that, we should be in Ethiopia.

So yes, although we are disappointed that the letter hasn't come, this is all really exciting news, and we can't wait to hold Zane in our arms and legally become his parents.

Because we know so many of our friends and family pray for us daily and are invested in our adoption, we don't want to keep you out of the loop from what is happeni…

Bi...No, Tri... No, Quadlingual?

We know one of the challenges Zane is going to face when he comes home will be language. After doing a little more research on Zane's family, tribe, and region, I discovered that the language spoken in his first home and maybe his second was not the language that he is speaking now. 
Zane currently speaks Amharic. His nannies also speak Amharic. We had kind thought that they were maybe trying to teach him a few English words to help with his transition, but we can't help to laugh every time we hear his new "English" words.
Today, I received an adorable video of Zane waving to us and playing with a toy. Heart melting. I wish I could share it with you. The funny thing is the lady who sent me the video made the same comment that two others have made. The nannies were quite proud and wanted them to catch Zane saying goodbye to the camera. The funny thing is Zane is saying "Ciao". Yes. The ITALIAN word for goodbye. Now don't get me wrong, I think it would be a…

Ridiculous Registry

First off - To the sweet lady at Target who was trying to give me some solid advice on car seats, I am sorry for disturbing you.

A baby shower means a baby is COMING! A baby shower means the end of this waiting period is drawing near. Oh how I have longed for this celebration! There is so much to celebrate!
In the beginning of this adoption process, I thought my baby shower and registry would probably look like your typical registry. Yes, I was going to have to decide on cloth or disposable diapers, and sure I would have to decide what bottle really was the best choice, but besides those decisions, it probably wouldn't be too out of the ordinary. 
I would say much to my surprise, but nothing in this process surprises me anymore and nothing has gone quite like expected (don't get me wrong, I LOVE WHERE WE ARE AT), so of course my ordinary registry has gone out the window as I am now bringing home a toddler instead of an infant. Jeffrey and I have found that we have to find the …

A Few Questions Answered (maybe)

We have had so many people ask us lots of really great questions about the adoption. We have also been wanting to make a few videos about the adoption process. So here is the first video! We're excited for more to come!


The "Lucky" Misconception

The other day a friend said something that struck me, and I thought it would be an interesting and maybe challenging topic to write about.

One of our friends had asked us how old Zane was and after we told him, he said that's good. Maybe he will remember his life before you guys and be way more appreciative. I understood where he was coming from, and I know he wasn't trying to be offensive, but it just pained me when I heard this.
I know people don't mean anything negative by it, but I think there is a misunderstanding about adoption. Often I hear Zane is so lucky. Zane will be so grateful. 
I want to set the record straight.
We hope to raise Zane in a way where he will see the goodness and blessings that our family has received. He will be involved in community projects and world projects at a young age. Ethiopia will be a common subject, and we hope to find ways to give back to his village and his country. But please understand this. We (Jeffrey and I) are the lucky ones…