Sunday, November 28, 2010

Simply "E" Coffee

We are excited to announce one of our new fundraisers - - Just Love Coffee Roasters. Just Love Coffee Roasters is a Fair Trade Certified company. What’s more is that the founder is an adoptive dad of 2 little girls from Ethiopia. Just Love Coffee Roasters is fair trade coffee helping orphans and their forever families. Portions from all purchases from Just Love Coffee go towards a building fund for an orphanage in Ethiopia. Additionally, adoptive families (that’s us!) can sign up and create their own on-line store, and $5.00 from each bag of coffee purchased from their store will go to offset adoption expenses for their individual adoption. Not only are you helping support the African farmers through Fair Trade coffees, and orphans who are in great need, but you are also helping to bring our daughter home. We named our online store front “Simply E Coffee” You can visit our storefront by clicking the logo on the right side of our blog, or by clicking here
What is fair trade certified coffee?
Fair Trade means an equitable and fair partnership between consumers in North America and producers in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The chief concern of the Fair Trade movement has been to ensure that the vast majority of the world's coffee farmers (who are small holders) get a fair price for their harvests in order to achieve a decent living wage.

Why is fair trade certified coffee important?
The United States consumes one-fifth of the entire world's coffee, making it the largest consumer in the world. But few Americans realize that agriculture workers in the coffee industry often labor in what can be described as "sweatshops in the fields." Many small coffee farmers receive prices for their coffee that are less than the costs of production, forcing them into a cycle of poverty and debt. Fair Trade guarantees to poor farmers organized in cooperatives around the world: a living wage (minimum price of $1.26/pound regardless of the volatile market); much needed credit at fair prices; and long term relationships.

How you can help us and Ethiopian farmers:
Visit our on-line store and purchase a bag (or 2) of coffee or sign up for the 2Buy2 Club. Each bag of coffee purchased on our on-line store will generate $5.00 towards our adoption travel expenses. Plus, you will be helping local farmers in Ethiopia through the fair trade cooperation, as well as help to build a school for an orphanage in Ethiopia. You can also order the coffee directly through us, if you would like.

You can get more information on the history and story of Just Love Coffee our on-line store or the website.

I'm sure if you visit our home over the holidays, you'll be sure to have a taste of our Simply E Coffee (Justlovecoffee)! 

Christmas is coming! Coffee makes a great gift! Especially if it’s a gift that gives back!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

One year in process!

This week we passed our ONE YEAR anniversary of beginning the adoption process. I’m not sure how I feel about that, which is probably why this is going to be a babbling post, but this is why we started our blog in the first place… to document our journey and thoughts on Bringing E home.

Let’s do a quick recap of One year in process….

• 10 months waiting for a referral . . .

• But the last 4 of them being “ON HOLD STATUS” . . .

• Due to Biological pregnancy (that was previously considered not-medically possible). . . but

• Baby Faith due in February 2011. . .

• CWA placed us on “Hold Status” until Baby Faith is 6 months old. . .

• Will become on “Active status” again in August of 2011 and will get a referral soon thereafter!

Changes/issues that have arisen in the past 12 months:

  • CWA unjustifiably investigated for unethical adoption practices in Ethiopia.
    • Thought: what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger! CWA has definitely come out on top.
  • Ethiopia changes procedure requiring adoptive parents to travel to Ethiopia 2 times – once for the court hearing and then again for the embassy appointment. (thus doubling travelling fees). 
    • Thought – get to meet and bond with Baby E earlier, and soak in the culture of her birth country … not to mention get a dry run of travelling once without baby.. so we will be experts for trip #2! 
  • Time frame between court hearing and embassy appointment creeps into 4 – 6 months due to ongoing investigations and embassy-required paperwork, etc.
    • Thought: New time frame has just changed to 6-8 weeks or sooner! Also, adoptive parents and any bio parents are now appearing in court on the same day! 
  • Adoption Tax Credit is extended to 2011! 
    • Thought: hope we get to bring E home by 2011! 
  • Surprise Pregnancy with some slight complications!
    • God is good and has blessed Baby E with a sister to grow up with!
    • CWA is good in that we were able to go on “Hold Status”… we will go back onto the Active List after our Bio baby is 6 months old.. and then will be one of the first ones up for referral (since our dossier will be the oldest!) 
    • Keep in mind – some adoption agencies contracts state that if you become pregnant (even if it’s a miracle from God) during the adoption phase or referral phase, your contract is null and void and you lose everything!

And, even will all of this, and everything that has transpired in the past 12 months, we are more thrilled and more excited to bring Baby E home. We are not discouraged, we are not giving up, and we will continue to wait upon the Lord! We continue to get questions from people who think just because we are pregnant we will put this “whole adoption thing to rest…” Ha ha ha… they don’t know us very well… do they?

Did I think one year ago that this is where we would be?? Heck No! But, it’s not my plan, and I’m kinda diggin God’s plan right now. He knows what’s best for us. Things are going to be crazy around here for a while, but what a super-double blessing He has lined up for our family.

Here are some quotes from my posts throughout the last year (before we knew that our path would be changing so dramatically)… funny to read them and see how everything has come full circle, and lined up so beautifully, for purpose and for reason. We can see God’s hand in everything and every twist and turn our path has taken over the last year. But, we wouldn’t have it any other way!

“. . . but I guess it goes back to the whole trust and peace aspect of trusting God in this journey. He is the one who first placed this on our hearts, so He is the one who will help us grow and learn patience and peace through all of this. I must admit, I wince and pout (if truth be known) every time I see a change coming that's going to mess with MY plan, but guess what... it's not MY plan :) . . .”
“. . .I think in a world of instant gratification, it's easy to lose sight of the grand plan of things and get caught up in one little detail or set back. But we have to remember, all those little things and set backs were already figured into the grand scheme of things, unbeknownst to us. These little things are not changing our path or His plan for us or for our family-- He already figured them into the 'package deal.' . . .”
“. . . It's all apart of the plan -- the growing, the stretching, the maturing of our faith. The trusting that things will work out -- perhaps not as we have planned in our human minds -- but exactly how He has planned for it to happen . . .”

Baby Faith in 4-D

Ok, at first I wasn't sure what I would think of a 4-D view into my womb to see our sweet baby girl before she was born.  It's kind of like an invasion of privacy or spoiling a surprise.  BUT, holy cow.. I really like 3/D/4D Ultrasounds.  We saw the most wonderful views of our little one today.  We saw her open her eyes, yawn, and even sucking her fist and  playing peek-a-boo with her hands in front of her face.  The best thing is it's all captured on a CD that I can watch over and over again.  It's really neat to see her and her sweet little face.  We can already see how she looks like a good combination of both of the boys!  Of course, we think she's the most beautiful thing in the world.. but we're not biased at all :) 

So, you'll have to tilt your head slightly and have an idea of what you are looking at. (sort of like an optical illusion of the old woman vs. young woman)  BUT, here is a picture of baby Faith in 4-D.  In this photo, you can see a side view of her face!  You can see one of her eyes, which is closed, her cute button nose and part of her sweet upper and lower lips.  The blob up to the right of her face in the picture is actually her arm and hand.  She was trying to play peek-a-boo with us and the ultrasound tech and we were trying to snap a shot before she put her hands back in front of her face.  She's gonna be a stinker! 

It won't be long until she is here and then we can start our journey to get her sister in Ethiopia!    Makes me a little sad that we won't have a sneak peak into E's world before we meet her, but God already knows who she is, where she is, and when she will be coming home to her forever family.  So, we will just wait and hold on to that hope that she'll be here soon to meet her baby sister and 2 big brothers! 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Orphan Sunday, Part V

Happy Orphan Sunday! 

The last TWO ways you can consider helping and orphan or waiting child:

9. Adopt them into your family.

• Give a child a home through international, domestic, or foster care adoption.

• Adopt a young adult who has aged out of the system.

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God is His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families… -Psalm: 68:5-6a NIV
10. Mobilize your church for them.

• Be a catalyst in your church for starting a sustained orphan’s ministry. Visit for resources and to learn more about attending a Your Church and the Orphan™ workshop.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. -Matthew 28:18-20
Personal thoughts:

I’ve said it before .. adoption is not for everyone. God doesn’t call everyone to adopt, but I do think that it is a proven fact that God expects all Christians to have some part in caring for the orphans and widows (both literally and spiritually). I also heard a lot of great quotes this weekend at the Mid-Atlantic Orphan Summit, but one that stuck with me about if you should or shouldn’t adopt, was this: Wow~  That quote came from Eileen Mestas (  I'm not sure if that's her own quote or from someone else.. but it was certainly a quote that stuck with me.  How true!  Eileen was awesome and such an inspiration.  We had the privilege to personally speak with her and meet her sweet twin daughters from Ethiopia.  Such an amazing woman and testimony. (I’ll post later on some of the great speakers (Tom Davis) and testimonies that we heard this weekend).
“God does not call the equipped; He equips those who He calls.”

Bottom line – We had doubts, and sometimes we still do from time to time.  BUT, we didn't want to be one of those couples sitting on their porch swing 30 years from now with regrets and questions about what IF WE DID adopt…how would our lives be blessed now?  Could we have afforded it even though we didn't think we could? etc., etc.  We didn't want fear of the unknown make our decision that will forever change a child’s life (and ours!).

As far as mobilizing in our church. We are not quite there yet, but are heading in the right direction. My goal is to definitely have an Orphan Sunday event next year and we also want to help other couples who are considering adoption.. not sure what that looks like (help with dossier prep, monetary contributions, support groups, etc.) But, we definitely want to ‘pay it forward ‘in some way, shape or form.

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Orphan Sunday, Part IV

Here are #'s 7 & 8 (as taken from the Hope for Orphans literature, "10 Ways Every Christian can care for the Orphan and Waiting Child.")

#7.  GIVE sacrificially to them
Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. -2 Corinthians 9:7
#8.  ENCOURAGE them to press on
  • Sponsor a child, support them financially, and encourage them through your letters. Visit to learn more.
  • Become a mentor or tutor to a teenager in a foster group-home.
We urge you brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 1 Thessalonians 5:14

See video:  This is the reality for many children today! 

Hope is Fading – Orphan Sunday from Allan Rosenow on Vimeo.

Personal Thoughts....

The video that I posted regarding #8 is tough to watch.  I breaks my heart but that is the reality today for so many children.  I didn't post it to make anyone 'feel bad' but just to advocate for those who live with those consequences every day.  If you are looking for ways to support a child, there are so many organizations out there that support orphans or foster care children.  Make sure it's a reputable company.  Most of your donations are even tax deductible.  Programs like Compassion International support children and you can even write letters back and forth, get pictures and some have been lucky enough to travel to where their sponsored child is and meet them face-to-face. 

Catalyst 2009 Compassion Moment from Catalyst on Vimeo.

Also, consider donating money or holding a fundraiser for someone in the process of adoption.  Adoption is expensive, and there's lots of other costs such as travel fees, embassy fees, and just preparing for another child or children to come into your family.  Airmiles can also be donated to be used for travel, which is an awesome blessing.  Again, most donations made to a family or agency in the name of a family are tax deductible.  If you need names of families that are adopting, I'll be glad to provide a list for you :) 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Orphan Sunday, Part III

Here are #'s 5 & 6 for ways that you could consider caring for an orphan or waiting child: (as taken from the Hope for Orphans literature, "10 Ways Every Christian can care for the Orphan and Waiting Child."

#5.  Protect Them From Harm.
  • Become a Foster Parent or an Emergency Foster Parent.
  • Raise money to build a children's home to help remove children from the streets.  Visit for details. 
#6.  Visit Them Where They Are. 
  • Go on a mission trip as an individual or a family.  Visit or for information.
  • Take dinner to a foster/group home on a regular basis.
Additional Info: 

If you are interested in getting information on becomming a Foster Parent or an Emergency Foster Parent, go to the National Foster Parent Association for specific state information.  There should also be local organizations that can help you start the process. 

Food for thought . . . According to the most current AFCARS (Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System Report) Report, released in September 2010, there were approximately 423,773 children in the U. S. in foster care on September 30, 2009. The full report is available online via the Children's Bureau website at