December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Hi Everyone,

It's been a long time since I've updated the blog... sorry but life is a bit crazy now with a teen in the house.... ;) Henok is doing wonderful and is VERY excited about the Christmas holiday and getting to open a bunch of presents. He is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Santa!

(Henok and His first Christmas Ornament)

The past few months have been very good. Henok started school at a local private Christian school in September and has loved every minute of it. We were led to believe that it would probably be good to keep him home schooled for a while, but for Henok that was not the case. He needed and thrives on the constant contact with other kids. That socialization has really began to develop him in ways we could never have imagined.(First day of School)

His grades have been surprisingly well considering he was a bit behind the other kids in his class. The school has adjusted his curriculum to be at the level he needs to be, and he is doing great. In math he has already moved up one grade level in the last few months. His teachers tell us that he has such a great enthusiasm for learning and stops at nothing to do well. For us, this doesn't come as a surprise. We learned fast that Henok was very competitive and loves to learn new things.

His current passion is for Chess. He just learned how to play during this first semester in school and now he is very good. For the first few weeks we would play I would beat him because he would make small mistakes that gave me an advantage. Well, now, I'm lucky if I ever beat him. He takes his time and studies the board looking at all of the possible moves and how they effect my play. I would put him up against anyone and bet that he would win 3 out of 5.

(Playing Chess with Uncle Fred)

He and 4 of his Ethiopian friends played their second season of Soccer with our local city league. These kids range from 12 to 14 years old, but decided that they wanted to play in the 15 year old division. They won all of their games (except for 1 tie), and won the division championship! It was such a wonderful thing seeing these boys play. Soccer is really their only past time in Ethiopia and I can tell you that they are all very talented. Henok has improved tremendously from last season and his scoring goals almost every game. I don't think I've seen a happier group of kids.

(Division Champions!)

Well, as we prepare for the new year, we look forward with hope that some unanswered prayers will be settled. For the past 5 months we've been in the process of trying to adopt 2 more children from Ethiopia. One is a young girl (approx. 15 yrs. old) named Mesti, and the other is a little boy named Mastawal (about 3 yrs. old).

We've recently found out that neither of them are available for adoption. Mastawal is already in the process to be adopted by a German couple, and Mesti is too old for adoption. Finding out this news has been very heartbreaking for us, however, we know that God has a plan for us and our family. We are looking into the possibility of bringing Mesti to the US on a student visa so that we could have her her for the remainder of her high school years, and then possibly into her College years.

We understand that there might be some remote possibility of legally adopting her here after she turns 18, but we are in the beginning stages of finding out what's needed to make that happen. We love her very much and are not ready to give up yet. Please pray that if this is Gods will, he will make the path known.

For Mastawal, it's bittersweet. Henok loves this little boy very much, and wants him to be his little brother. We will have to find a way to let him know soon that we will not be able to adopt him. As for the family in Germany, we wish nothing but the best and hope that someday we could establish some contact so that Henok and Mastawal could continue their relationship as the years go on.

(Henok and Mastawal)

Well, we are preparing for a very happy first Christmas with Henok. We are going to Renee's Aunts house and will spend Christmas there with the family. I will have the camera ready for all the fun events and hope to post some pictures of that soon after the first of the year.

(Henok in his Runway Pose at the School Christmas Program)

From our Family to Yours, have a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Until next time...

In His Service,


August 21, 2008

Funny little quirks...

Hi everyone,

Renee has been begging me to post this for a few weeks, and I finally have some time to post it now. A little background... From having Henok with us the last 7 months, it's easy to see that he is a normal kid, and he is all boy. He makes all the funny noises that young boys make, including all the one's that irritate you intensely. His favorite is to bark like our Basset Hound, Buford. This really drives his Mother insane as it makes Buford start barking, which is just crazy loud.

From being aroundhim and interacting with Henok during this time, I noticed that when we are out in public, and we both go to the restroom at the same time, Henok will always wait for someone to open the door for him after he has finished washing his hands. On several occasions, I have witnessed him trying very intently to use his foot to open the door to get out of a restroom if no one else if around to open the door. Obviously, he doesn't want to touch the door handle because he noticed a lot of people not washing their hands.

So, last month we were on vacation in Galveston and we drove into Houston to visit with some relatives. We went to dinner at a Cajun seafood restaurant named Papadeaux's. After we were seated and our orders placed, Henok and I get up to go to the restroom.

We enter the restroom, and there is one other man just finishing up and walking over to wash his hands. I finished up before Henok and washed my hands and was able to make it out the door without having to touch the door knob. (It was an actual round door knob, instead of the half moon handle you normally see.) I made sure that he saw me not touching the door knob as I slipped out. I waited there just on the other side of the restroom door to see how he would handle it. About 30 seconds go by and I hear a faint "Dad..." come from the restroom. A few seconds later, I hear a more desperate "DAD!!"

Let me tell you, this place was very loud from people talking, and I could hear him pretty clearly... lol By this point, I'm starting to laugh at the situation and decide I better open the door for him. Then, all of a sudden, there is a loud kicking sound on the round metal door knob. I lost it and started laughing . I said in a stern voice, "Son, please hurry up!". I hear 2 more kicks to the door knob and then he says, frantically, "Dad, can you open the door?"

Laughingly, I said, "Son, just turn the door knob and open the door." And he replies, "No. I can't." hahaha So, being the good father I am, I opened the door and find him in this half roundhouse kicking position fixing to kick the door knob again. He stopped as I opened the door and we both began to laugh as we head back to our table.

Well, that's about it, but I though it was funny and wanted to share it with everyone. Henok is doing very well now. He started school last week and is LOVING IT! I think he's just happy to be out of the house after being there all summer.

Take care and I'll update again soon. Maybe some pictures or video....

In His Service,


August 5, 2008

Business as usual

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to make a quick update to let everyone know that we are doing fine and nothing major to report. Henok is doing really good, and is learning alot. His English is very good, but still needs some work.

We are waiting to hear back from the school we want Henok to attend to find out if we are eligible for a scholarship of some sort. We really want him to go there but the money is an issue. Please pray that we will get enough to enroll him this year.

Well, guess that's it for now. I will try to get some new pictures updated here soon. Henok is growing like crazy and up to 83lbs. Until then, take care and God Bless.

In His Service,


May 22, 2008

Pleasant Surprise...

Hi everyone,

As I was going through some of the hundreds of data CD's and DVD's that populate my workspace at home, I found a DVD that had a backup of all the pictures we took while Henok was here for his first trip to America!

I don't even remember making a backup of these pictures, but thank God I did. We were sure that these memories were lost forever because of our computers that were stolen back in March.
We are so grateful to God that we have these pictures back, and very happy! Once again, all praise and glory to our Father and God!

Henok just finished up his first season of Soccer. They did really well. Henok scored 5 goals in the last 3 games and we were very proud and excited for him! He is looking forward to the next season already, and Renee and I are looking forward to some nice rest from the 4 nights a week soccer schedule we were one for the last 2 months... ;)

Otherwise, all is well and we are doing good. We had our first post-placement meeting about 2 weeks and that went well... Henok is growing at a very good rate. He's up to 75 lbs, and plans on consuming mass quantities of Hamburgers this Summer so he can be even bigger for the Fall soccer league... ;)

Well, I'll wrap it up for now and say goodbye.

In His Service,


April 16, 2008

Rough couple of weeks

Hi everyone,

It's been a rough couple of weeks for us here. On 3/31 our house was burglarized. They took 2 of our computers and my new TV/Blu-Ray DVD player as well as some of my mothers wedding jewelry, but most of all they made us feel unsafe in our own home.

Just a few weeks after Henok arrived, he was scared that thieves would come so we installed some alarms on his windows. That made him happy, but still he was just terrified of the thought that there could possibly be someone who would come and violate our home. He actually had to sleep in our bed for a few nights because he was so scared. We reassured him that no thieves would come, and even if they did, God would protect us. Now this happens, and he is even more frightened than ever now.

Well, we are moving past this at a remarkable place. Some things will be replaced with insurance money, and some things... well, some things can never be replaced. The only copies of the videos we took while we were in Ethiopia were on my computer that got stolen. We had probably 150 movie clips that we took while there that are probably gone forever.

Luckily, about 2 weeks before the theft, I made a DVD of the 1400 pictures we took while in Ethiopia, so at least we still have those. This whole thing has made me realize just how careless I had become about our security and safety. I just thank God so much that Renee and Henok were not in the house when they came.

However, in all this, we are still safe and God is still taking care of us as he always has. In all things, we will give Praises to our God. Good or Bad.

Until next time...

In His Service,


March 31, 2008

Learning the Ropes

Hi Everyone,

Well, I took a bit of time off from the blogging to enjoy having Henok home. I'm sorry I haven't posted any pictures or videos from our trip, but time on the computer has been very limited since we returned.

Henok is doing very well and is adjusting to his new surroundings and learning the ropes of being a normal kid. His English skills have grown exponentially since we returned. He already had a very good vocabulary, but he is easily 10x where he was before we got home.

We are currently home-schooling Henok and that is going well. He is learning so much. We are thinking about enrolling him in a local christian private school for some "enrichment' type classes; computers, spanish, physical education, music, etc... For now, it would only be a few days a week in the afternoon to help get him used to being around other kids. He does very well at adjusting so I don't think there will be any problems with that.

He is playing soccer with a team here locally, along with 3 other Ethiopian children that were adopted at the same time. It's amazing how athletic these kids are. They run circles around the other kids and they love every minute of it.

I really will try to put some pics and maybe some video up from our trip, but no promises.. ;)
Take care and check back soon for more updates.

In Christ,


February 5, 2008

Settling in nicely


What a crazy and exciting time we are having. Being new parents surely has it's challenges, and we are seeing that clearly now. Henok is doing well, and adjusting to his new Home. He was VERY excited to be in America, and even more excited to be a new American!

Our church had a Welcome "shower" for Henok on Sunday, and that was great! He received so many cool gifts and many gift cards. Henok was so excited, and is enjoying playing with all of them!

I was finally able to get the pictures from Ethiopia downloaded to the PC late last week. My memory card is new, and the card reader wouldn't recognize the new memory type so I had to buy a new card reader. All is well, and the pictures and video clips (all 1400 of them) are all safely on my PC now. Sorry I don't have any ready to post yet, but I will try to have some up soon.

You know, it's a real blessing when God gives you exactly what you asked for. We wanted a beautiful, wonderful, healthy and energetic young child, and that's exactly what we got. Again, I have to thank God for the amazing gift he has given, and for his faithfullness in all things.

In His Service,


January 27, 2008

We're Back

Hi everyone,

Sorry for not posting while we were in Ethiopia. For some reason, I couldn't get any internet connection (even the "high-speed" connections) to pull up the blogspot website.

However, we have made it back safely and our little man is doing great! He was so excited when we landed today. He is happy to be an American! Well, we just got back home and we are very tired from the 2 day trip, so I will update later with more info and pics (once I download them from the camera)... ;0

Thanks for all the encouraging words and prayers. God has truely answered our prayers!

In His Service,


January 9, 2008

Small problem...

Well, I guess it was inevitable that there would be some problem at some point. We've come this far without any real isssues, Thank God!

We heard from Mary @ Gladney today. Due to some backup issues with MOWA getting some paperwork completed, our Embassy date was pushed back a week from Jan 16 to Jan 23.

In terms of problems, this is a pain, but not that major. We had to push our departure back by 3 days and there was a small change fee involved with changing Henok's plane ticket (mine and Renee's changes were FREE!!) So now, we will return from Ethiopia on Jan 27, instead of Jan 24.

Hopefully, we will be able to stay at Addiskidan another few days, otherwise we will have to find another place to stay the last few nights.

All in all, we praise God that this was such a minor problem. It really could have been worse.
Well, take care and I will update everyone soon.

In His Service,


January 4, 2008

It's a Boy...

He's is officially our Son.... The court date went through perfectly and we are now the proud parents of our sweet little Henok!!!!

Next: We leave for Ethiopia on January 13th! I'll update soon.

In His Service,


January 3, 2008

One more day...

Well, our court date is just 1 day away, and we are really anxious and nervous about it. A few of the families in our area that also adopted with us had some paperwork problems that delayed their court date (totally throwing off thier travel plans).

Please continue to pray that everything will go well with the court date tomorrow and that Henok will finally be ours! Also, please pray that our fears and anxieties will fade away as we rely on our Faith for strength and comfort.

As expected, we are running around like frantic chickens without heads trying to get everything in order before we leave for Ethiopia on the 13th. Trying to get all the last minute details ironed out is very nerve-wracking. However, we know that it's all worth it in the end when we have our sweet little Henok here with us Forever!

On a side note, I wanted to take a second to thank everyone that has been a part of this Adoption with us. First and foremost, I want to give thanks to God for bringing this amazing little boy into our lives. To our families, friends, church family, new adoptive family friends, Gladney, and each and every one of you that have laughed, cried, and prayed right along with us at each step; Whether you know it or not, you have been a big part of God's plan to bring this child into our life. No matter the contribution you made to this adoption, you have helped bring Hope to the life of a young boy who didn't have much Hope. Thank you from the bottom of our Hearts.

In His Service,


December 27, 2007

Christmas come and gone...

Hi everyone,

Well, another Christmas has come and gone. Like so many others, this one was filled with the sounds of children squealing with happiness as presents were opened and the excitement of anticipating the arival of Santa. It really is a joy to watch our niece and nephew open their gifts.

However, this Christmas was just a little bitter sweet. We had hoped that we could have our sweet little Henok home with us to celebrate his first christmas, however, that just didn't happen. The sadness of not having him here will fade quickly, as we realize that in just over a week we will be Parents for the first time.

We continue to pray (and ask for your prayers also) that Henok's court date, 01/04/08, will come and go without any problems and that we will finally receive the gift we have waited so long for.

We are making our final preparations for travel and gathering up all of the humanitarian aid that we will be bringing with us. It seems like so much has to be done, but it really is small compared to what we have already accomplished. God has been so good to us throughout this whole process and we just thank Him so much for His faithfulness and mercy.

From our Family to Yours, we wish Peace, Love, and Joy in the year to come.
Happy New Year!

In His Service,


December 17, 2007

Waiting Patiently....

Hi everyone,

Well, we've booked our flight tickets and made our reservations. Apparently Addis Ababa has become quite a major tourist destination as many of the hotels and guest houses are all filled up... ;(

We were finally able to make reservations to stay at the Addiskidan Baptist Guesthouse. It's a nice guest house and as a plus we will get to share it with another family from our area that are going with us to get their 2 children! We picked up some of the calling cards to make it easier to get in touch with the right people. Internet email seems to be touch and go. Of the 19 places Renee emailed, I think 17 came back as undeliverable, and the other two were nice places but a bit more expensive than we had hoped for.

We are so grateful to God for taking care of us in getting us the flight tickets and reservations we needed. All in all, it will come out much less expensive than we were planning for (Praise God!).

WOW this wait is excruciating. I thought the last 5 months were bad, but this last month seems to be crawling by.. ;) God has tought me during this process that His timing is never to early and never too late... Just always at the right time.

I'll update soon. Till then, take care and have a Merry Christmas!

In His Service,


December 5, 2007

We have our Court Date

We are very happy to share with everyone that we have our Court Date!

The Court Date is set for 01/04/2008, and we will be expecting to be in-country the week of 01/14/2008!! Praise God!

Please continue to pray that everything goes well and there are no problems!

In His Service,

Matthew & Renee

November 29, 2007

Adoption Funding COMPLETE....

Hi everyone...

We have very exciting news. We have completed the funding for our adoption!!!! We received a $3000 matching grant 2 weeks ago from Life International. Because of the very generous donations from Renee's Grandmother, and our Church Family, we received all of the funds needed to max out the matching grant. $6000 towards our adoption finishes us out!!!

God's Grace and Mercy are endless, and we give praise, honor, and glory to Him for the way he has faithfully provided for this adoption every step of the way. Please join us in giving Thanks to God for what he has done!!!

Now, we are only waiting to hear back from our in-country representative on when our court date will be. Once our court date is complete, we will be traveling within 2 weeks to pick up our son!

In His Service,

Matthew & Renee

November 26, 2007

Surprise Pictures of Henok

Hello everyone!

Just a small treat for you all today. Last week we received some pictures of Henok taken 2 weeks ago by the Grange family while they were in Ethiopia picking up their beautiful little girl Zoe.

Drew and Carey had seen our blog just before they left for Ethiopia and rememered Henok, and took these pictures for us.

We cannot express the gratitude we feel, and we thank you both from the bottom of our hearts!
So, here's our boy... ;)

We hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Take care and I'll write again soon with updates... ;)

In Christ,


November 12, 2007

Dossier on it's way to Ethiopia


We got word today from Gladney that our Dossier has left the country and is on it's way to Ethiopia! One step closer to having our son home with us!

Please continue to pray that everything goes well with our adoption funding, and say a special prayer of peace for Henok, as he is very anxious and excited about coming home soon.

In all things, we will continue to Praise His Name!

In His Service,


November 6, 2007

Mr. Dossier goes to Washington

Sorry about the title, I just thought it was funny... ;)

We got word today from Kate that our Dossier is now completed and is on its way to Washington! After about a week in Washington, it will be on its way to Ethiopia. After about 3 weeks, we will finally get our court date scheduled!

We are getting so close... We still have some financial needs that have to be sorted out and we would really appreciate it if you would continue praying that God will meet our financial needs to complete this adoption and bring our son home. Thank you!

In His Service,

Matthew & Renee

October 31, 2007

We got our I-171H

Hi everyone!

Well, our wait is finally over. We received our I-171H from CIS today, so we are now offically approved to adopt Henok by the US Government, and finished with our Dossier!!! Now we get it notarized and sent to Kate to process with our dossier, and then we wait for our dossier to be sent to Ethiopia. The next big step is to get our court date in Addis... Then we travel a few weeks after that!

Such an exciting day, indeed! We give thanks to God for bringing us this gift today.

In His Service,


October 25, 2007

Dozier's Get a Court Date

Hi Everyone!

We got word this week that the first family from our group down here in Texas got their court date set, and will be traveling to Ethiopia the week of December 10th. Congratulations!

We are so very happy that this is finally starting to come together for the families here. Several other families have had their dossiers sent to Washington, DC for final authentication before being sent to Ethiopia for translation and authentication there. It won't be long before we have many new Texans to celebrate with!

With this great news comes a small glimmer of sadness. Our hopes of having Henok home for the Holidays this year are slowly slipping away from us. We are still waiting to hear back from CIS on our final approvals. Once we get that, then it's still about 6 to 8 weeks until we travel, barring any other complications.

So, it looks as though we may be traveling in late January or early February to pick up Henok. I guess it would be a treat to be able to travel to Ethiopia and pick up our son for our 5th anniversary!

In all things, we give glory to God, and thank Him for this honor that He has given us.

In His Service,


October 17, 2007

Grace Falls Like Rain...

It has been so amazing to watch God move in our lives through this adoption process. Even though I have seen His generosity over and over, it still moves me when it happens again.

We received the wonderful news today that we received an anonymous donation of $5000. To God be the Glory!

From the bottom of our Hearts, we give thanks to the individuals who made this gift possible, and we pray someday to be able to repay the kindness and generosity that you have shown.

Thank you!

Matthew & Renee

October 10, 2007

God is so Good...!

Hi Everyone,

Sorry to be so longwinded, but here it goes...

I have to admit that I have been really down lately. Praying has been so hard the last few months because I feel like a broken record. "Please God. Please let the paperwork be done soon. Please let us get the money that we need to pull this thing off." I entered this Adoption with the knowledge that we just didn't have the funds necessary to do it. We had been preparing for it, but we totally underestimated just how overwhelmingly draining this would be... both emotionally and financially.

Back in April when we found out that children from Ethiopia were coming here for the Gladney camp, we met with some of the members of a neighboring church that were already committed to adopting some of the children. They wanted us to come and talk to them about it and see if we were interested. In the back of my mind, I was thinking that this was crazy, and definately not possible. Renee was so excited, and I was feeling really sad knowing that I would have to break her heart again by saying no. We just can't afford this now. It's just not possible.

We listened to what these wonderful people had to say, and it all sounded really great. And to add the icing on the cake... We had to make a decision by tomorrow!?!? What? One day to decide something SO important? There's just no way that this is possible. We left there that night and talked about it, both of us admitting that there was one boy that we were drawn to. Both of us were drawn to a boy named "Henok".

Renee asked me on the way home what I thought about it all. She was ready to jump in right then and say YES!. I just kept feeling that this just wasn't possible. She agreed I was right, and didn't give me too hard of a time about it. However, she asked me to pray about it and see what Gods will was. Laying it all down and letting God decide has never been one of my strong points. I always let my 'logic' take over. Far to many times in my life I have ignored the call that God was placing before me in favor of my 'reasoning'. That night I tossed and turned praying to God to lead me where he wants me to go. But still I asked God, "How is this possible?" We just don't have the money to do this. I finally drifted off to sleep very late.

The next morning on the way to work, I prayed and prayed that God would guide me in this decision, and I kept asking God just how we could fund an adoption at this time. Once I got to work, I furiously scoured passages in the Bible to find some sense of Gods will for this. I had almost given up when I opened the bible that morning at the office one last time before finally getting to work. It was Gods hand that guided me to the passage that was before me. There was no mistaking His Words. I opened the bible and was brought directly to Mark 9:23.

My question was "How is this possible?" Gods answer was clear. Jesus said, "Everything is possible for him who believes." Ok God. I understand what you're asking of me. I'll just be obedient to this call, and you'll take care of the rest. I called Renee immediately and told her that we needed to adopt this little boy. She was VERY happy to say the least. We both agreed then that we would sit back and watch God amaze us with his generosity and faithfulness...

Up until last Thursday, I hadn't prayed in over two weeks. I was feeling really down and questioning whether or not I made the right decision to go forward with this adoption. I was feeling like I put us in a really bad financial situation, and was worrying how we were going to get the rest of the money together. I confided in Renee about my prayer problems, and she was insistant that I pray immediately for Gods guidance. Still, in my weakness, I couldn't pray.

Friday morning on the way to work I broke down. I asked God to forgive my doubt and to restore my faith. The prayer seemed to come so effortlessly. I reaffirmed my faith that somehow, someway, God would make this adoption happen and that HE would take care of the funding. He said he would do it. I believed it then, and I believe it now.

I got an email Friday morning from Gladney after I got to work that we were awarded a $2000 grant from the Ashenafi's Gift organization...... God is so Good! Even in my faithlessness, He shows me just how faithful He is, and reminds me that He keeps His word.

Needless to say, I have a renewed sense that we made the right decision. We chose to be obedient to the call of God even when it didn't make any sense to us. Now I pray each day that I can be that faithful in all the parts of my life.


September 26, 2007

Unexpected Surprise

Hi everyone. Well, today we received a most unexpected, yet totally amazing surprise. We received a comment on our blog site from Guus and Jeanette who live in Holland. They had seen our blog and wanted to share something wonderful with us.

They too have adopted from Ethiopia, and as it turns out, from the same orphanage that Henok lives in. They have two very beautiful daughters, who i'm sure have brought such a wonderful happiness into their lives! They are adorable...

Now, on to our surprise. During their trips to visit Kechene Orphanage in 2000, 2004, and 2007, they had the opportunity to meet many children that were in the orphanage. Jeanette said that they remembered Henok, and had some pictures of him from their visits, and offered to send us the pictures!!!

Even though Renee and I have been so happy to have been given the opportunity to adopt Henok, who is 11 years old, we were sad that we never got to meet him and know him when he was younger. This surprise was such a wonderful gift from God and an answer to many prayers.

To Jeanette and Guus: Thank you so much for for this special gift you have given us. We look forward to hearing from you again and getting to know your family as our children grow. From the bottom of our hearts, Thank you!

Now, for a quick teaser pic, here is one of Henok from 2004. He was about 7 or 8 at this time! Hope you all enjoy this as much as we have.


September 11, 2007


We went to Houston today and had our fingerprints done at the CIS office. There were a ton of people there and it took us several hours before we were called to get our prints. However, it is finally done, and now we wait......

This is a major hurdle, and now we are looking for that I-171 to come in the mail hopefully within the next 6 weeks! This is the US Governments official approval for us to adopt, as well as the document we need to get Henok's official Visa to enter the country.

We are in full swing with our Dossier. We sent the first round of documents to Kate at KBS Dossiers. As expected, there are some changes that were needed, but nothing out of the ordinary. Renee's birth certificate was too old, so we had to order a current one from California. No biggie... We should have that in the next week or so.

It looks like the last major hurdle will be getting the rest of the funds together to pay for the adoption. However, we entered this adoption process knowing that it would be God who makes this adoption happen, and we have full faith that He will provide the funds to make it so. We have applied for several grants, but it looks like we will need to do some sort of 0% interest covenant loan to finish out the cost of the plane tickets and whatever other costs come up on our end. No big deal, but we are still trusting God to bring us the funds!

That's all for now. Take care and God Bless!


August 20, 2007

CIS Fingerprint Appointment!

Hello all! We got our CIS fingerprinting appointment paperwork this weekend!

We have to go to Houston on 9/11/07 to have our fingerprints done. One more thing checked off the list. We also got 5 more notarizations done! Everything is coming along good with the Dossier. We will be sending a bunch of of paperwork to Kate soon to start the authentication process.

We also got our first letter from Henok last week. What a rush! He is such a sweet young man. We were so excited to get mail from him! He says that he is doing fine and misses everyone here.

Well, that's it for now. Will write again when we get more info.


August 15, 2007

FBI Clearances Returned!

Hey... we got our FBI Clearances back today. "No Arrest Record" as we suspected for both Renee and Myself. Good news, to say the least.

Not a whole lot else to report. We are in a bit of a waiting game right now. We are still waiting to hear from CIS about when our Fingerprinting will be scheduled. That's the really big next step, and it can't get done fast enough.. ;)

Well, we have filled out a few grant applications and help cover the Gladney costs for the adoption. However, we still need to come up with a way to fund the rest of the fees that we don't have to pay directly to Gladney (i.e. $5000 or so for plane tickets to Ethiopia, and the whole dossier authentication and such...) We remain humble and watch God provide each step of the way, and he will provide this as well.

Take care, and check back often for more updates!



August 3, 2007

Officially Gladney Approved!!!

Hi everyone... Great news today. We received our official Gladney approval along with our Homestudy approval today!!!!

This means that they will now send our Homestudy to CIS and we can begin the process of getting our US immigration approval! Hopefully sometime in the next month or so we will get our appointment to go get fingerprinted for CIS. This is the next major hurdle.

God is so good!



July 29, 2007

Henok's U.S. Adventure

So we took like 900 pictures while Henok was here, and I thought it was time we share some of ours and Henoks favorites. These are the pictures that he took back to Ethiopia with him so he wouldn't forget us. Enjoy!

Link moved to Top of Blog

You can also click the link below to look at the full resolution pictures individually. You will need to sign up for a Walgreen's Photo account to view the pictures, but with that you can also order pictures and have them printed at any Walgreen's near you, or you can download them to your PC and print them for FREE! Enjoy!

Henok's Album
Henok's Photo Album

July 28, 2007

Making some progress...

Well, we have been making some good progress in getting the paperwork done. We both got fingerprinted for our FBI clearances yesterday. That was a lot of fun. No in our our fingers, though; they used the updated computer fingerprint scanner to do ours.

We got the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) paperwork sent off last week and received confirmation that they received it today. We have a few things left to wrap up so we can get our Home study and formal adoption approval taken care of, and then they will send that to CIS and we will be in good shape. They will process the information and schedule us to get our fingerprints done. The CIS process can take up to 3 months to get the formal I-171H approval.

We got a ton of notarizations done this morning for our Foreign Dossier. We are in really good shape there. We are now waiting on all of the approval documentation from Gladney and CIS and then we can send the dossier off to get authenticated. That could take a month or so. Once the formal dossier authentications done, then we just need to finish up raising the money for this thing.

We wanted to send out a special thanks to Suzanne Faske of Here I Am Orphan Ministries ( and their entire group for the generous donation they made on our behalf (and many other adoption families) to Gladney. They have such a wonderful heart for Gods children, and have made such a positive impact on our lives and the lives of so many others. From the bottom of our hearts, Thank you!

Well, here's a funny little video we took the afternoon of the last day we had with Henok. I realized that I had never shared some of the Aggie pride with him, and here is what happened when I began to teach him... Enjoy!

Take care and we will keep you updated on this Adventure of ours.

July 18, 2007

All is quiet in the house...

Hello everyone.

Well, our 2 weeks with Henok has ended and there is such a quiet sadness in our home. I cannot describe to you the amount of joy Henok has brought to our lives in just 2 weeks, but our hearts were overflowing with happiness.

Now... the hard part. Henok and the other children from Ethiopia have returned to their "other" home and now the waiting process begins. At this point, only God really knows when we will be able to go get Henok and bring him Home for good. Our only prayer now is that God will keep him safe during this time and that there will be no barriers in our way (logistical or financial) to hinder the process.

Renee and I wanted to thank everyone that had the opportunity to meet Henok for opening your hearts to him. It means so much to us that you would welcome him into our family with open arms. From the bottom of our hearts, Thank You.

Well, no pictures this time... but I will post some more soon. Until then, please continue to keep us and Henok in your prayers asking for a speedy return to America.


Matthew & Renee