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It's Official! We're adopting!
May 8,2010

From...ETHIOPIA!
Mark and I have been praying about adopting children for a couple of
years now. Why? It's so difficult to put into words! Sometimes I don't
really know where the urge to adopt began. It's like I feel that
EVERYTHING in my life led up to this point. How do you explain a lifetime
of God's work in your heart in one blog entry?

I guess it's best to start with the beginning. From the time I was little, I
remember feeling a heavy burden for injustices in the world. Seeing
people who are hungry, the faces of homeless children, or
the devastation of poverty bothers me. I can't shake it. There is
something in me that will not let go of a cause, no matter how difficult or
complicated it may be.

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The African Children's Choir arrived at my church in traditional African
attire of royal blue patterned with vibrant colors. I had never seen an
African in person much less clothing that looked like a traditional
Ethiopian habesha qemis. I was enamored by their beauty and African
dialect and even more intrigued to hear them sing for us. A little boy
caught my attention from the beginning. He was small, 4 or 5 years old. I
couldn't imagine what he was thinking and feeling, as he was in the United
States for the first time. Did he miss his parents? Did he miss his school?
When would he find the time to make up his homework? I couldn't
understand why a boy so young would be allowed to travel around the
world without his family. My parents would never let me ride my bike
across the busy street behind our house, much less travel the globe alone!
It wasn't long before the concert began. The music was lively! The
children clapped, smiled, and sang with all their hearts. It was a beautiful
if somewhat discordant cacophony of drums, stomps, and voices crying
out praises to God. I had never heard such singing, but I wanted to sing
along! The little boy who caught my attention from the beginning was
placed front and center on the stage. His face was turned heavenward as
he sang, "Glorify Thy Name" in broken English. Toward the end of the
concert, the little boy approached the microphone. I leaned forward in
anticipation as he began to share his story. He said his English name was

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Ben, but his African name was too difficult for my 10-year-old mind to
grasp. His parents had recently died and he had no one to take care of
him. He lived on the streets of Africa hungry and homeless. By God's
grace, he was found by the organization that founded The African
Children's Choir and it allowed him the opportunity to be educated through
a tutor, housed in a comfortable home, and eat everyday. He spoke of
God's goodness as if he knew him personally, and now I realize he did. In
the worst of circumstances Ben was grateful, happy, and faithful to God,
even at such a young age.

Ben stayed in my family's home for the next week before they went on to
the next city. The joy, gentleness, and love that exuded from him struck
me deeply. How unfair it was that this child had no parents, no home, no
Christmas morning with his brothers and sisters sitting around a Christmas
tree. There was no security in his life, no guarantee of the next meal. Yet
his life was full, vibrant, and radiant with Christ. Ben taught me an
important lesson that week that Jesus is ALL we need. Only God can be a
perfect Father, Protector, Deliverer, and Friend.

I guess it was then that a seed was planted in my heart by God. Through
Ben I saw first-hand God's heart for the Fatherless, and a garden of

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compassion had grown in me since then. When I read scripture like, "I will
not leave you as orphans, I will come to you..." I can't get Ben's face out of
my mind. God rescues the poor and the needy, and I want to be on His
team. When I read in James, "Religion that God the Father accepts as pure
and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..." I
can no longer think metaphorically or symbolically, as it is sometimes
tempting to do. It is clear. If I really live what I believe, I must do as Jesus
did and defend the cause of the Fatherless.

I don't know what that calling means for everyone logistically. We all have
different gifts and capacities; however, the cause of the orphan is a cause
we should all be behind. Whether you mentor a child, give money to
orphanages abroad, or adopt, the calling is the same...

Isaiah 1:17, “Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, Defend
the orphan, plead for the widow.”

Thank you, Lord, that you didn't leave us as orphans, but you came to us.
Help us to do the same for the forgotten children of the world.

Comments:
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“That is so awesome. You have an amazing heart, and the child you adopt
will be so richly blessed. A co worker of mine adopted from Ethiopia a
couple of years ago.” – Trent and Dana
“by "venture" did you really mean "journey"?” – Jon and Anna

Adoption Miracles...ALREADY!
May 9,2010
Mark and I didn't discuss having children much when we were dating. It
rarely came up, and when it did, we agreed to wait A LONG time before
trying to have children. We were so young when we got married (22 and
23), we moved to a new city (New Orleans), started new careers, joined a
new church, etc. It was too much to adjust to right away, and kids did not
fit into the mix. Two years after our wedding Hurricane Katrina hit New
Orleans. An entirely new set of circumstances arose from post Katrina
aftermath. Our focus was on rebuilding our church and our city,
supporting our somewhat traumatized youth group, and rebuilding
relationships. there just hasn't been a moment until recently to think
about expanding our family.

Meanwhile, many of my friends began having babies and announcing the
start of a new phase of life. I questioned myself during this time and

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asked God to reveal to me why I did not have a desire at the time to have
biological children. During my prayer time, I felt a peace about not having
this desire, but when I was with my pregnant friends, I thought that maybe
something was wrong with me! Sometime about two years ago, I felt a
strong urge to adopt children during a women's conference. I can't
remember exactly what it was...in fact, I don't think it was anything
prompted by man that impressed my heart to adopt. The focus of the
conference was not on adoption, and I really can't boil it down to any one
thing that influenced my heart's desire to adopt that day. The only way to
explain the desire I had was by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I came
home from the conference and excitedly announced to Mark that I felt
called to adopt! I just knew that he was going to be thrilled with the word I
felt I'd heard from God. After all, he prays daily and reads the word, so of
course he would understand my desire to adopt! Much to my surprise and
disappointment, Mark was taken aback by my desire to adopt and unsure
about the possibility. I felt a quiet whisper tell me to not say another word
about it and simply pray for him. Mark is a godly man, and I knew I could
trust God to bring Mark to the same conclusion that I had come to if it was
right for us to adopt.

A year later, something inside me urged me to bring up adoption again. I

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was shocked to hear Mark say, "This is definitely a part of our family plan.
There is no doubt we will adopt; it's just a matter of when and how we will
adopt." God had done his miraculous work in Mark's heart and I had done
nothing but pray! It's amazing what God can do when we let him! Now
Mark is so passionate about adoption that it can only be explained by
God's work in his heart. It is so good to know that we don't have to
change people and force them to see things our way...God is in the
business of changing hearts and he does it perfectly!

Once Mark and I decided to adopt, there was a small (Mark would say
"huge") obstacle in our way...FINANCING ADOPTION. To adopt a child
internationally, one could expect to pay between $20K and $50K
depending on the country. This is not the kind of money that we have
lying around, obviously. We began to pray about God providing the money
if we were supposed to adopt. We know that all things belong to God, and
if He wanted us to bring home a baby from another country, He was going
to have to provide a way. About two months into praying about this, God
gave us several monetary blessings that are ONCE IN A LIFETIME kind of
situations: a performance bonus, an increase in salaries, a little here, a
little there. Before long, we had exactly what we needed to move forward
with the initial stages of adoption! The best news was the government re-

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approved and increased a tax refund to adoptive families from $12K to
$13K! This sealed the deal. God had granted us favor and unfathomable
monetary blessings that can only be explained by His faithfulness to us.

In March, Mark and I applied with America World Adoption Agency to
become adoptive parents to an Ethiopian child. We were drawn to Ethiopia
because of the vast need there. There are 4.5 million orphans in Ethiopia
due to Malaria, AIDS, and poverty. Most of these orphans live in
institutions or on the streets. They are malnourished, neglected, and too
much for the government to care for on its own. This crisis causes many
children to live their lives alone, begging for food, shelter, and other basic
needs.

We requested a 0-6 month old baby boy (s). We could end up with two
siblings, cousins, or just one boy depending on the availability when we
receive our referral.

We were accepted into AWAA's program at the beginning of April and
began initial paperwork and Home Study meetings. We received the
official Dossier documents that will go to Ethiopia on Thursday, April 29th
and announced our adoption Monday, May 3rd.

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Mark and I are currently collecting paperwork, such as original birth
certificates, marriage certificates, background checks, immigration
clearance, passport photos, etc. This can be a slow process and it
sometimes requires us to do additional paperwork depending on our
situation. So you can be
praying that our
paperwork will be
acceptable and completed
in a timely manner
(hopefully early June).
Thank you so much for
praying for us and sending us notes of encouragement. It's so awesome
to have such supportive friends and family! Here's a picture of the journal
Mark got me to write letters and prayers to our future adopted child
(children). Isn't he the best! You can't tell in this picture, but all of the
continents are outlined in reddish brown except for Africa which is outlined
in black. I think its a sign. :)

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. Is that sick. Your child is going to be so blessed to be a part of your family. or what? You want a growth plan? I'll give you a growth plan! Bam! Done. Part of being "type A" is that checking things off the list P a g e | 10 . 2010 Our first piece of paperwork arrived today!!! Mark's birth certificate from Illinois wins the fastest arrival time award.what in the world???? How could you let them outdo us like that??? Paperwork is part of my job description as a public middle school teacher. I love you & can't wait to meet your new little one.. Way to go Illinois! Texas.P a g e | 10 Comments: “Hi friend! I'm so excited for you guys! I can't wait to hear all about it. I do it ALL the time! I almost thrive on seeing how fast I can do it.”– Lori Paperwork! May 10.

is also exhilarating. I get closer and closer to seeing my child! I come home every day now and check the mail first thing. while MUCH slower. It's no longer "OCD tendencies". and any adoption media I can find is not necessarily healthy. P a g e | 11 . I then open my email accounts to check for any updates from my Family Coordinator or contact from my Home Study person. each demand for a notary. While obsession over the internet. and time myself. I am officially obsessed. As I grade papers. Adoption paperwork. Sometimes we forget that God is even there. I stop periodically to count how many I have left. We go through the same daily rituals blinded to the spiritual world around us. and each time UPS rings my doorbell. I am more efficient and timely. getting court dates. it's certifiable. I do wonder if this is what God feels when he's pursuing us.P a g e | 11 is exhilarating. I then spend the next hour or two reading updates on the AWAA Yahoo Group about people all over the country receiving referrals. traveling to pick up their child. There's a sense of progression and achievement when you see paper moving in Education. With each signature on a line. Not to mention the countless blogs that I read of Ethiopian adoptive families who have received their children. or very few. paperwork. With each stack of papers. look at the clock. Wonderful. I don't think we have any idea what goes on behind the scenes. When there are no updates.

. ALL day. known." Just as Mark and I think and dream about our little one to come. Today. mentioned by name. If we had any idea what God was doing to bring us home. He knew us in our mother's womb Psalm 139 says. and in Jeremiah 1:5. he is all I can think about. God dreamed of us before we were conceived. What a beautiful picture of how God sees us.. and it's the same for us. one of my students said." Oh how I hope that our little one always knows that they were thought of.he isn't even born yet?" Wow. "Before I was born the LORD called me. from my birth he has made mention of my name. He says "before you were born. God is lining up all the necessary items until we are officially His. and chosen before we even laid eyes on him... we would be filled with joy and anticipation of our homecoming day. I guess our child isn't even born yet. Yet every day. Comments: P a g e | 12 . Yea. he may not even be conceived."So. Our baby has no idea who we are or what we are doing to bring him home.P a g e | 12 We have no idea that he cares about our situation or that he even exists. I set you apart. Since we requested a baby 0-6 months old. God said in Isaiah 49. Meanwhile.

and that's what they did to me today. My dad sent me your blog tonight. For a TB test you don't get poked in a vein.2010 So apparently TB is something you have to get tested for before you complete your Dossier.P a g e | 13 “Hi Cimbrey. reflex exams. but in your P a g e | 13 . We'll see where God takes us. Visits May 12. you know? Isn't that what a physical is? I get there and they tell me I have to get blood work. Blood work is NO PROBLEM for me. No big deal. today to get a "physical". I've had to get blood work so much this year that I tell THEM what vein to poke these days. What I don't like is UNEXPECTED pokes. I'm a high school friend of Mark's. But honestly I don't know where we'll end up next. And wow! So excited to see this news and read about your journey thus far. Mark's not native Texan????? JUST kidding! :-) Love y'all! -Laura Dr. you don't know me. unless you have no idea what TB is! I go to the Dr. I love finding other families similar to my own... We are also passionate about adoption and have discussed Ethiopia at times. I'm thinking sight. So I am thrilled to be reading as you bring these babies home!” – Melodie Wait a minute.. hearing.

that with every "test". This stuff is intense. I will be getting my HIV and Hepatitis B blood work done tomorrow. what's with the Doctor asking you if you've been working out???? Ugh! No. I am grateful though. and phone call we are one step closer to our child in Ethiopia. It's gonna be MORE than worth it all! Comments: P a g e | 14 . okay! I've been a little too busy for that! WHY ARE YOU ASKING? Do I look fat in this outfit? Geez-o-peets! (Cajun for "Golly!") Isn't it enough that you already know my weight? On a lighter note (yes that is sarcasm). appointment. but I guess I've always known where the needle is going! I was totally stressed out as the Doctor randomly stuck me in the arm. I just thought I'd warn anyone reading this that might be considering adoption. I don't know why this makes me wince as I write.P a g e | 14 forearm. It's not like I've never seen a needle. but intense nonetheless. PREPARE FOR THE TB TEST. "stick". Besides that. Necessary.

it's just stressful because you have to wait 2 days or something for them to recheck you for results. whole grains. I scrubbed the bathroom floor. and I EVEN IRONED THE PILLOWCASES that go on our bed! I was sure she was going to look in our refrigerator to see if we kept food in our house (you know. but I overanalyze where they poked me and think it "doesn't look right. I mean. and bathtubs with pumice. We did laundry. toilets. We had all our basis covered. For some reason." haha! – Laura and Ben Final Home Study! May 18. P a g e | 15 . I vacuumed twice in one week.P a g e | 15 I've had 2 TB tests in my life. 2010 Mark and I completed the last leg of the home study last Friday afternoon. to make sure the baby won't starve). therefore. so I WAY overdid it. vegetables. Mark dusted every corner. I had to do it for substitute teaching and then again for full-time teaching. I know I don't have TB. Mark and I stocked up at WinnDixie with fruit. We put away everything that could be perceived as clutter. We moved furniture and decor around 5 times to see how it would look in various positions. I don't think my house has EVER been that clean! I really didn't know what she would be looking for.

took a brief tour to see the rooms. we are ready to send off our dossier to America World! By the way. it ended up being a breeze. and get everything notarized. It was clear. We are still waiting on a TEXAS birth certificate and marriage license. (God love 'em. or TB. Phew. and I was encouraged and energized when she left. receive proof of medical and life insurance. I almost blurted out.) And we need to finalize our financial statement. "WAIT! DIDN'T YOU WANT TO SEE OUR FOOD??" When the "good angel" tapped on my shoulder and reminded me that I can't risk looking "psychotic" with a social worker in our house seeing if we'll be fit parents! In all seriousness. That's a relief. I had no need to worry about the house. Hepatitis B.P a g e | 16 Our case worker came in the house. It was a great conversation. and then sat down to talk. neither Mark or I tested positive for HIV. Our home study will be complete shortly. P a g e | 16 . Once that is done. especially the food in it. commented on how great our furniture was. We felt very comfortable and talked with our case worker for 2 1/2 hours about all kinds of topics related to adoption.

Very exciting stuff! I will continue praying as you get closer and closer to meeting the newest Brannans! (I am Mark's cousin Michelle!) .P a g e | 17 Comments: whooohooo! almost completed home study!! glad to hear you guys are disease free. It is definitely not my place to persuade anyone in one direction or the other. whew. – Jon and Anna yay! you're getting closer!! good call on not asking the lady if she wanted to see your food. We have some close friends here in P a g e | 17 . International? May 19. I have a few friends who are on the same journey as you. "How did you decide between domestic or international adoption?" Good question! There are different families called to different types of adoption or foster care.Michelle Domestic vs. could've been weird! praying for yall – Rachel Awesome news! I am really excited for you guys. 2010 One of my wonderful friends from college told me today they were thinking of adopting! YEA! I was so excited to hear that! One of her questions for me was. as domestic and international adoption are both VERY important. and you are hilarious by the way.. oh.

000 to 30.000 in the last 5 years because Ukrainian people (pop. Their story is so inspiring. and compassionate people toward future orphans in the country. America can definitely place 123." His point in saying this was that his country his in the middle of a transformation. The Ukraine is developing an army of orphans that will pay it forward to future generations. approx. As a Ukrainian pastor I heard speak recently said. "You can't take all of our children! There would be many problems for us if all of our children were adopted by Americans.P a g e | 18 NOLA that just adopted domestically. 45 mil. This allows them to raise up a new generation of Ukrainians to be responsible citizens. America has a population of approximately 307 million. Church members all over the Ukraine are sensing God's call to care for orphans in their country. The orphan population has gone from 300.000 children in foster care.000 children in permanent homes with a population of 307 million! We should raise up a generation of compassionate children that P a g e | 18 . There are approximately 123. Only an orphan can truely know how to minister to another orphan in need.) are taking care of Ukranian orphans. If the Ukraine can shrink a larger number of orphans by 90% with a population of 45 million. There are so many reasons why children should be adopted from one's own country. I think it is vital that American citizens care for American orphans in the same way. There is something to be said for this. and their call to domestic adoption is undoubted.

there are many countries. but they ultimately need forever families. Recently. On the other hand. This is only ONE country of many in Africa have the same plight. much less the children of neighbors.P a g e | 19 love others the way that they have been loved. Many of these children are in foster care homes. disease. When she asked us how we would keep the culture of Ethiopia alive in our home. but we don't often see the need glaring at us. Rwanda has 1 million orphans because of war. This will only happen if American people will provide permanent families for foster care children. such as Ethiopia. The need is great in America. Parents are unable to care for their own children. The number of orphans in Africa is a problem that requires global attention. "I don't see how it could be any other way. 4. as an orphanage building would as you drive to work in the Ukraine. She gave a beautiful reply. and famine. It is a crisis situation there. I told her that I hope to raise a son that loves his country so much he wants to go back there to minister to others who need God's love. With your hearts so impassioned about Ethiopia and your desire for orphans to know P a g e | 19 . Children are orphaned by disease and poverty. where their citizens are dying of HIV and Malaria. which provides a temporary solution. I shared a passion I have with our home study worker.5 million orphans fill orphanages in Ethiopia.

your child will have no other choice than go back to his country. You could have an entire generation of Ethiopian adoptees who willingly return to their country and change their country's future." Wow. our P a g e | 20 . defender of widows — this is God. Our calling is clear . Imagine these parents raising Ethiopian children to love Ethiopia and hear the calling of God to help their country. As much as it would hurt to see my baby grow up and leave me." Psalms 68:5-6 We were made to love God and love people. I know that God is his inheritance and his destiny is with Him. God places the lonely in families. but the ones who adopt from Ethiopia are different.P a g e | 20 the love of God and a forever family. "I have seen a lot of people who adopt children from various countries. There is something different about them. That's exactly the passion of my heart. I want my child to be wherever God is working."Father the fatherless." What your role is in that no one can know but God." Then she uttered words that seemed almost prophetic.they are passionate about a purpose. In the debate over whether to adopt Domestically or Internationally. whose dwelling is holy. Whether adopting domestically or internationally the need is great.. even if it means being a world apart. there is no question about the bottom line: "Father to the fatherless..

Defend the cause of orphans. Yes.so maybe God can bless you that way! – Michelle Beautiful response:) – Little lamb P a g e | 21 . Learn to do good.. ensure justice for those being crushed. Proverbs 31:8-9 Comments: I definitely agree that both are EXTREMELY important but I think we dont see it GLARING at us here because the national and state government do a GREAT job at keeping it hidden! :) LOVE reading about everything going on.. and see that they get justice. our time is short. Fight for the rights of widows. I reach people you might not.P a g e | 21 mission is clear. speak up for the poor and helpless.. Seek justice. and lives are at stake. Isaiah 1:17 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.SO EXCITED for you guys! – The Albritton’s I linked to your coffee thing on my blog. Help the oppressed..

P a g e | 22 Worth Reading.. Livingstone. I presume? June 1. Great blogging. Anna. I would love for y'all to read her perspective on American orphans and widows. posted this last night on her blog. May 20. 2010 Casey and Mary Beth's baby will be coming home soon! They passed court today! YEA! Support their adoption of Evelyn by buying their t-shirt.com/2010/05/functional-orphanswidows..caseypicker. 2010 P a g e | 22 . It is so timely with the last entry I posted. 2011 My good friend.html.blogspot.com Dr. www. See the entry here: http://thepalmersjourney. and missions minister at my church (I'm proud to say). Anna! Casey and Mary Beth Picker May 21.

Mark and I celebrated at the Court of Two Sisters on Royal St. homemade vanilla ice cream. and we lazily sat for three hours sampling New Orleans best cuisine: jambalaya. "They were looking for baby furniture!" Oh no. garlic mashed potatoes. bread pudding. Mark and I spent the rest of the weekend looking at furniture. turtle soup. Not us. The courtyard was beautiful. the natural thought is to think. oyster dressing. It is an amazing place to go to get a complete taste of NOLA in one stop. in the French Quarter. When you know someone is expecting a baby. etc. praline sauce. and by P a g e | 23 . We have waited 7 years to get our bedroom furniture. School ended on May 26th with kids and May 27th for teachers. crawfish dressing. roast beef and gravy. hoping to get a Memorial Day deal.P a g e | 23 Wow. A lot has happened since I posted last. shrimp etouffee.

The Jefferson Parish library is pretty amazing. P a g e | 24 . We picked up a DVD called Expedition Africa which was originally aired on the History Channel.. If you're ever in the mood for a 5 hour quest through Africa. the windows in this picture were not included. I know that our priorities will be entirely shifted to the needs of our baby when he comes. Here is the set we got..P a g e | 24 golly we're getting it before the baby comes. and it wasn't designed to last very long. Since it was raining all day Sunday. We have procrastinated long enough. Unfortunately. so on Monday we bought a bedroom suit. We have been using old furniture Mark's dad gave us when we got married. this is the DVD for you. David Livingstone and I went to the library and picked up some books/DVD's on Africa. Mark Dr. I have to admit.the best books on Ethiopia are picture books from the children's section. so the time is now.

he developed a deep love for the people. danger. mud. "Dr. Stanley sets out to "find" Livingstone. Livingstone. much less the diseases that claimed many of his porters: malaria and dysentery. that his contemporaries and the media in London began to rumor his death. Eager to attract the public spotlight. During his time in Africa. and wildlife. "WHY IN THE WORLD ARE THEY NOT TAKING A CAB?" I honestly don't relate to their desire to walk in Stanley's shoes AT ALL. exhaustion. swamps. Stanley took in search for Dr. Astonishingly. During his time in Africa. The rugged terrain. rain. and hyenas are no small obstacle.M. I presume?" The entire time I watched the trek of these modern-day explorers as they fought disease. David Livingstone. Livingstone was best known for being a missionary/explorer who searched for the source of the Nile River. he became so enthralled with finding the source of the Nile. and 24-hour dirtiness? It P a g e | 25 .P a g e | 25 The premise of the film is 4 modern-day explorers journey through Tanzania along the same route that Sir H. young reporter H. rhinos. and a life-altering passion to work as an anti-slavery crusader. crocodiles. Who would wish upon themselves sleepless nights. lions. I wondered. To recap the story briefly. It is truly remarkable how Stanley made it all the way across Tanzania.M. the man makes it to Livingstone where he supposedly utters the famous phrase. disease.

it honors Livingstone! It's no wonder. Aside from the fact that "finding" this great explorer/missionary would make him Europe's most famous reporter. selfish man.P a g e | 26 beats me. Stanley was eager to jump into the rat race. Livingstone did not seek the praise of man. his home was among a people that he knew he was called by God to serve. but what is the man known for? Four words: "Dr. London couldn't find Livingstone because Livingstone didn't want to be "found". Stanley was a violent.. In fact. the most famous thing he is known for saying doesn't even point to him. I have to believe that something inside of Stanley longed to understand a man that would risk his fame in London. On the contrary. I presume. he did." Ironically. and his life for a people who lived in fear of being sold into slavery. What I did get though. Stanley knew that this was his chance at fame. Because explorers in his day were like modern-day rock stars. Livingstone. His idea of a meaningful life involved risking his life to be in the tabloids. was Stanley's determination to meet Dr. his comfort.. Risk his life.Africa. To Livingstone. He left a fellow explorer to die of malaria just outside his destination. Livingstone. He was brutal to his porters who traveled across Africa with him. he was probably despised and P a g e | 26 . And for what? A temporary fame that left him lacking depth in our history books.

"I (Jesus) have come that you might have life and have it to the fullest. I see a man who really "got it. Livingstone understood that "when you lose your life for Christ's sake. proclaiming freedom for the captives (Isaiah 61:1) was a cause he took literally and the world is better for it..God places the lonely in families. he dedicated himself to giving people a voice who had no rights.. To Livingstone. he sets the prisoners free P a g e | 27 . What would happen to our lives? Would we lose them? And what if we did? Doesn't God's word say we would find life in Him? What are we so afraid of? Livingstone's story is one I will continue to tell because when I look at his life. Why Ethiopia???? June 3." John 10:10.P a g e | 27 shunned by most of the white men he encountered in Africa. you find it." This is what it means to live. Instead of seeking fame and approval from London." (Matthew 10:39) I wonder what it would look like if followers of Christ took God's word literally. 2010 Read this Washington Post article written by a Bethany Christian Director: THE WASHINGTON POST Psalm 86:6 . He would have opposed them because they would have been there to capture his people.

and what girl doesn't need to be reminded that she is a princess now and then? I've always had to explain my name and spell it for other people. there was a shop in Branson. But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land. 2010 Names are very important to me. He said it was derived from Kimberley and meant "from the royal fortress meadow. MO that made name souvenirs that looked it up for me when I was in middle school. I had no idea what my name meant. I don't mind questions about my name. They decided to spell it differently. and Cimbrey became my name.P a g e | 28 and gives them joy. It made me feel like a princess.Who executes justice for the oppressed. however. There's not a very interesting story behind it. What's in a Name? June 23. For years." I'll take it. The LORD sets the prisoners free. Cimbrey is NEVER defined or explained when I look it up. etc. Psalm 146:7 . I don't even care about misspellings. I guess growing up with an unusual name caused me to feel the impact names can have on a person. My dad new a girl named Symbre in high school and my mom and dad loved the name. mispronunciations. It P a g e | 28 . Who gives food to the hungry.

changed as well.P a g e | 29 happens. etc. I immediately think of the confusion that must have caused. "Saul no longer lives here?" Really. I really value uniqueness in myself and other individuals. When Saul ("asked for" or "ditch. birth certificate. it has a profound impact on me. hunting license. a persecutor of Christians became Paul ("small. independent. mortgage. fishing license. death"). I value going against "status quo" and making a difference in the world. a zealous apostle of Jesus Christ. What having a name like Cimbrey has made me care about is the importance of names themselves and how much a part of your identity the become. what drugs were you on? My name stinks." People's questions alone would be enough to make me want to change my name back to Saul. humble"). I've even been comfortable going to a public restroom by myself my entire life! (Shocking! I know. When I read stories in the bible about God changing a person's name.) Being unique. I wonder if he had to get his carriage license and registration. do you say. and deviating from the norm has been a compelling force in my life. I am very comfortable being the "only one" to do something. I P a g e | 29 . My new name is Paul. What do you tell your mom and dad? "Mom and dad. Because I have such a unique name. How does one go about changing their name? If someone calls your house asking for "Saul". and I believe it has a lot to do with my name.

There is no greater change of heart than the one we see in Saul. he was never the same again. and a very pious one at that. emotionally traumatized (I'm sure). he will be given a P a g e | 30 . Being adopted and grafted into God's inheritance changes us in every way. He will no longer be called "forgotten". Saul was ravenous for the blood of Christian men and women. When God met us on our road of destruction. fears. After all. In the same way.P a g e | 30 can imagine the impact of changing your name is far more involved that we might think at first glance. Saul was physically blinded for a time. Jesus' encounter with Saul on the road to Damascus completely changed his life. we who have been changed by God through a relationship with Jesus Christ. "orphaned". God changed a hateful heart into a passionate love for people everywhere to know Christ. "abandoned". He thought he was doing God a favor by exterminating Christians. he was a Jew. His adoption into our family will change his life forever. but I know I will never be the same again. When he encountered God that day. Instead. When Mark and I meet our little one in Ethiopia. there will be many experiences. and joys that he will have. "alone". and he thought that he was justified in his cause. he demonstrated His love and power by making us a new creation. My name may not be changed in the literal sense. mindsets. have been given a new heart. and spiritually. turned Paul.

Therefore. "blessed". but He comes to us in our distress. Mark and I have decided that Baby Brannan will be named. We also know that God is with him even now when we can't be with him. "loved". ZANE . that Mark and I have searched and discussed names that reflect our son's new live as an adopted son. Like our stories of adoption into Christ's family. "accepted". We love unique names because we know our son is special and unique to God." GABRIEL ."God has been gracious. It is for this reason. "valued"... We invite you to pray with us for Zane! P a g e | 31 ."messenger of God" and "devoted to God" It is our prayer that Zane Gabriel Brannan will know God's grace and love at an early age and devote his entire life to sharing the message of God's grace to the world.P a g e | 31 new name. We know that God rescues the weak and He never leaves any of us as orphans. our son's story will forevermore be marked by reckless love and devotion.

– Shane and Jenny Great name. so thank you.S. sorry. but she was named after someone her mom went to high school with like I was. it has been crazy crazy moving. Your insight and knowledge was much appreciated. P a g e | 32 . – Little Lamb I love it! Our little one will be Zoe! – Kristy SIMBRY! You won't believe this. After my post about names I met a girl on facebook named Simbry. Not only that. but she went to TEXAS A&M like me. but she took education classes too. And even more. I also like the new blog look!) – Michelle I Love that name! Zane is my grandfather. but she is from the Houston area. but we had the same professors. Love it!! Never thanked you for answering my question. but i don't usally hear it anywhere else. Not only that. uncle and cousin's name. Love the name. Not only that. but she majored in English like I did. Not only that. I like what it means.P a g e | 32 Comments: I really like that name. Not only that. Your son is already so blessed! (P. Not only that.

com/ Father to the Fatherless June 22. I have such a wonderful Dad who always showed me how much he loved me. I wish everyone had a dad like my dad. the girl I was named after is most likely the girl she was named after because both our parents went to high school in Abilene. We are not alone! HOLLA AT US if you are adopting in NOLA! Here's my new friend. Whoa.blogspot. Kristy's. I'm freaked out.P a g e | 33 GETTING WEIRD YET????? Turns out. sensitive. blog: http://jeansonneadoption. My dad is funny. THIS IS AWESOME. our church celebrated Father's Day. and all-around great. FRIENDS! June 15. as did most churches in the United States. I realize that many people don't have the capability to celebrate on P a g e | 33 . I hope your reading this. 2010 On Sunday. sociable. I love Father's Day. 2010 THERE IS ANOTHER ADOPTIVE FAMILY IN NEW ORLEANS!!!! YEA! The Jeansonnes! Anna.

This Father's Day I realized more than ever that Father's Day. we would be vulnerable and lonely without fathers. Even worse."Father to the fatherless. or hate him.. Maybe they don't have a dad. is all about Him. We celebrate Him when we celebrate the love that our earthly dad's have shown us because it is He who empowers that love. or neglected whether physically or spiritually. like your father.P a g e | 34 Father's Day. whose dwelling is holy. defender of widows — this is God. abandoned. God places the lonely in families. our Heavenly Father. I love that God calls Himself our Father. Comments: P a g e | 34 . I hope that you know Him as your Father today. He knew that in life. He decided to be the BEST at it.. love and care for us perfectly anyway. the day that God became our Father and gave us a place to belong. like EVERY day. we can all celebrate Father's Day. so in His love. maybe Dad is hurtful and abusive." Psalms 68:5-6 So whether you have a father or not. who are orphaned. I think of all of the children who have never known a Father. or maybe there dad is absent. Likewise we celebrate Him though we have no earthly father because He is the only one that can provide. I love this verse.

. Mark and I headed to Baton Rouge to get our dossier documents certified by the secretary of state! It was a great birthday present to get that behind us..... P a g e | 35 .P a g e | 35 I may be behind in reading but when you adopt is he a newborn? Or will he be a toddler? – Alison Paperwork is nearing an end! YEA! July 4.. Of course great work is done everyday in our state's capitol." The "Official" Secretary of State's Office in the "Old Capitol Building". Check out the videos below to see a quick snap shot of our "adventure. But apparently we missed a key turn somewhere along the way.just not the kind of work we were interested in getting done! We thought we followed the visitor's office directions exactly as we were told. 2010 Last Friday..

... Are you making something for Zane/etc? to have when he is older? Neat post. Congrats! – Michelle I just met Wade's parents sunday and they told me about ya'll! You are way ahead of us in the process! I am not a task person so I am struggling to get this stuff done! But it will happen! Congrats on the process! :) – Emily P a g e | 36 .. and I recommend that anyone adopting internationally from LA just take it to Baton Rouge. instead of mailing it in.O.P a g e | 36 In order for the state to certify our papers.S. Where better to find a notary than your local grocery store? Finally back at the right S. What a happy birthday! :) Comments: How exciting! I LOVE the video documentary. So it turns out LA is very efficient about getting the documents certified. They finished it in about 5 minutes after we FINALLY figured out where we were going. Mark took me shopping in BR after getting the papers certified at the Mall of Louisiana. they have to be signed in front of a notary.. office.

With more orphans today than there were at any other point in history. Do they run to anyone when they've had a bad dream? Who's telling them they will be alright? They will be alright. expecting only daily necessities: food. This one is the toddler room.P a g e | 37 This is just the toddler room. won't they? Adoptive children coming in to the United States was at an all time high in 2004. Bethzada Toddler Room This is one of three rooms in an Ethiopian orphanage. I can't imagine what it must feel like to live communally like this when you are so young.. There is nothing more important to a child's development than having a loving family. Who comes in to kiss them good morning and lay out their clothes for the day? Do they have anything that is just there's? A special blanket. 2010 I saw this on a blog that I follow and I couldn't help but post it here. a picture of a mother or father? Or do they lose themselves in the shuffle. P a g e | 37 .753. Last year there were only 12. July 7. There are two other baby rooms full of children. a stuffed animal. I am concerned about the decreasing number of adoptions. with 22. shelter? I wonder what these children think about when the go to sleep..990 adoptions. water.

2010 P a g e | 38 .without people accepting the challenge of adoption by faith. travel abroad. where will the children in this video be in the next 10-20 years when they age out of their country's system? Will they be trafficked by work and sex trade predators? Will they live on the streets and steal from local markets? Will they be dead from disease and hunger? Let's be real.. Comment: great word and challenge. The time to adopt is now. get well-paying jobs.they won't have money to go to the University...P a g e | 38 Without a family. The reality is. these children are on a fast-track to destruction.. Cimbrey! Love following your journey! – Little Lamb 7th Anniversary Reflections July 29. to get them into loving homes where they can make something of themselves. We have a short window of opportunity while these orphanages protect these children physically.

July 26th.P a g e | 39 Mark and I celebrated our 7th anniversary on Monday. almost oil-free waters. We spent the weekend in Orange Beach and enjoyed the almost vacant beaches. calming reverberations known to man. "In speaking of the angels he says. his servants flames of fire. There is another world living below the horizon of blue/green waters that we know so little about. holy melody with a cadence that seemed never to stop.'" I imagine the sound to be like that of waves crashing on the beach in a constant rhythm and with the intensity of Niagara Falls. and messengers! P a g e | 39 . “a beautiful. its sound is one of the most relaxing. The ocean is one of God's most amazing creations. Angels aren't the wimpy cupids we've made them out to be. 'He makes his angels winds. ambassadors. The power of the current as it pulls you deeper into the gulf is startling. They're warriors. The sound reminds me of Don Piper's description of angel's wings in his account of 90 Minutes in Heaven. and glistening sand. Yet.” Hebrews 1:7 says.

disease. forced labor. Their jobs? Begging. Life is about survival. and the millions of children who have never seen the ocean. Even more disconcerting is the fact that experiences such as these are rarely even a thought to a child who has no time for such luxury and leisure. My heart hurts for children who do not have the opportunity to experience such magnificence. Many children between the ages of 6 and 10 are parents. and homelessness are barriers to such dreams and thieves of one's innocence. experienced the power of the water.. providers.. stealing.P a g e | 40 In the midst of complete delight and beauty. and felt the salty splash of the waves. I could not help but think of our little Zane. and caretakers to baby brothers and sisters. sex-slavery. and this kind of survival is dismal at best. such as poverty. Who will see them? Who will rescue them? Who will restore their innocence? P a g e | 40 . hunger. Monumental issues.

" God is El Roi. I wonder if she was once a middle class woman in the beautiful country of Ethiopia. Through adoption."But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds."I have seen his ways. His heart is becoming our heart for the lonely and oppressed.thereisnomewithoutyou. health." Jeremiah 30:17 . You will restore my life again.P a g e | 41 Isaiah 57:18 . God is restoring dignity.' declares the Lord. He will not forget the oppressed. I wonder what kind of life she has had. from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. Zion for whom no one cares. many and bitter. and opportunity to children who otherwise would end up trafficked.com/ and click on the video to hear a summary from the author)."Though you have made me see troubles. living comfortably with her young. 'because you are called an outcast. I pray for Zane's mother. hard-working husband like Haregewoin (learn more at http://www. I'm so thankful to hear from so many families who feel God's call to adopt children. Was her husband diagnosed with "the P a g e | 41 . I will guide him and restore comfort to him. though I have never laid eyes on her. or dead." Psalm 71: 20 . homeless. "the God who sees". but I will heal him.

and rest in the hope of one day seeing her again in a place where there will be no more death. While I know I will love Zane with my whole heart. Zane's birth-mother would receive the health care she needs. and live a long.P a g e | 42 unmentionable disease" and fired from his job? Was he out-casted by society and left to die a painful death in destitution on a cold dirt floor? What happened to her? Did she also catch the disease? Was she raped by deranged and defiled men who took advantage of a vulnerable woman? How does she eat when her family has been ostracized because of disease? I wonder what she is thinking now.knowing she will never be able to provide for Zane. no more crying. Does she pray for him? Does she beg God for a Christian family to raise him with love and opportunity? Does she know that God is answering her prayers? In an ideal world. productive life. eat healthily every day. until that day when Zane. God will fill us with His unexplainable peace. and I will stand on Heaven's shores hand-in- P a g e | 42 . his birth-mother. and loving him enough to let him go. and wonder about her just as I am today. And as He always does. She would love her son. call out to God.. he will one day long for his birth-mother. Together we will grieve the insurmountable loss he will experience and the injustices of a fallen world. send him off to school with a kiss everyday.. hold each other close. We will cry. and tuck him in to bed each night. no more pain.

We are planning to go to the office tomorrow around 4:00 p..m. It brought tears to my eyes.. and every minute matters. I just cannot see taking off a day of work that soon! It's time to set up routines and procedures with my students.m. and beg to get P a g e | 43 . God bless! – Absolutely beautiful! – Alison Biometrics Appointment August 1.P a g e | 43 hand. I will pray for you and your husband as you go through the adoption process. With school starting on August 12th. but the appointment time is Monday. and they really don't ask you when a good time would be for you. engulfed in the beautiful thunder of angels wings." Comments: Cimbrey. your post is just beautiful. We ask you all to pray with us about this appointment time. It's practically impossible for us to make this appointment. 2010 Mark and I received a letter in the mail yesterday with an appointment time for our immigration fingerprints. August 23rd at 8:00 a. (Ephesians 2:14 "For He Himself is our peace. We're so thankful to have heard back from USCIS.

We would love for there to be next to no one there and for them to willingly fingerprint us really quickly.P a g e | 44 them earlier. so we can send off our dossier before school starts. Comments: I just found your blog and am thrilled for you as you begin this journey. but it's hard to see right now how we will be able to get our fingerprints done in a timely manner unless God grants us favor with them tomorrow. God is so big! I can't wait to see how God's story unfolds here. I know it is a lot to ask. 2010 P a g e | 44 . – Elyse we'll be praying! – Stephoberhoff Will do! – Michelle Immigration Fingerprints August 2. Please pray that they will be accommodating and understanding.

Therefore.P a g e | 45 Thank you all for your prayers for Mark and I as we attempted to get our immigration fingerprints. like hallway monitoring. I will have to miss my team meeting. find office hours on another door with a random acronym on it and they said 8-2:30.m. Becky!) Another way that God answered your prayers is that Mark and I began P a g e | 45 . From 7:10 .9:20. but I won't feel like I'm letting down my students and my new partner teacher! (Hugs. God answered your prayers in a way we did not expect. etc. We went at about 4:00 p.m. might work out. the August 23rd appointment at 8:00 a. Mark did. however. I realized that my school schedule is such that I do not have students until 9:20 a.m. Having an hour of concentrated thinking time in the car as I sat on I-10 in traffic to get to this office turned out to be the "answer" I needed. Obviously. team meeting. I am doing various "teacher" duties. so we're assuming these hours apply for the USCIS office as well. We looked online before coming to see if they had office hours and there were none listed. Interestingly. there are no office hours on the door either. and the office was already closed.

and picking up Zane at the end of May/early June. isn't He? It's Gonna Be Worth It August 18. and He's already working this thing out. It will probably mean that our Dossier will be in Ethiopia in the middle to end of September. 2010 I stood before a crowded room of over 50 adolescent 7th graders on Friday and told them about my family. movies. traveling for court at the end of April possibly. my favorite books. and places to visit. P a g e | 46 . my likes and dislikes. Thanks for praying for us. not our circumstances. God is faithful to do that.P a g e | 46 really considering the timing of our August 23rd appointment. If wait time for a referral (match with a child) goes as it has been going recently. Little did we know. music. For a teacher. that will put us getting our referral in March. my interests. It was my attempt to summarize who I am so they might have some insight into the kind of person I am and the type of community I want us to have in my classroom. your prayers would change US. this would be perfect timing! I know that God's timing is perfect.

and their posture encouraged me to continue. two pictures of the captiol." There P a g e | 47 . but I do know that many of their faces were excited and surprised and others were confused and perplexed." and my two dogs who are as much of a mess as they look in the pictures. There are many different people in Ethiopia and cultures from the middle east. and funniest person I know. and I explained our adoption of Zane that is currently in process. and East Africa merge to make up this country. I was excitedly showing off my brother who is proudly serving in the United States Army. I don't know what the children were thinking when I told them we were adopting. I flipped to the next slide where I revealed that one family member was missing." my best friend and husband whom I love to "hang out with. I've never seen such a contrast of emotions! One even asked. most sincere. Their eyes were wide with interest." my dad who is the "sweetest. grins on their faces showed their amusement. I had a beautiful Ethiopian flag. "Will he be black?" It's a great question! One that many wouldn't know to ask because they might assume that because Zane's from Africa he would be very dark. Italy. I tried to answer as best as I could with "His skin color could range from light/tan skinned to very dark skinned. On the slide.P a g e | 47 It was going pretty smoothly. Addis Ababa. a decadent picture of moist Ethiopian coffee beans. and a large outine of Africa in the middle. my mom who also loves working with middle school students "just like them.

To me.. I don't want to be misunderstood. and I try not to in my mind. full of hope. I hope I'm making the wrong assumption about his look. But I can't stop thinking of the boy's face after his question was answered. I see the utmost in earthly beauty. full of life. When I imagine Him. People will have their opinions. it was a look of disapproval or disappointment. People will have their judgements. P a g e | 48 . I don't know what to make of it. I imagine the face of one who has seen the face of God. but still I can't get it out of my mind. He is full of color.P a g e | 48 was an interesting hush across the room.. abuses. I don't know if I should make anything of it at all. but there is one Truth. rather than birthing a child biologically? What do people perceive about me? Do they think I am a merely caught up in a generational trend? Do they think I am an arrogant "princess"-type thinking I can save the world? And why do I care what they think? Why? It is so difficult for me to look at the world and accept injustices. yet I don't want to be defensive either.why was he? Of what was he disappointed? Is it because I'm too white to parent a tan/dark baby? Is the baby too black to have a white mom? Is it too weird to adopt a child at all? Is it upsetting to him that I might choose to mother the motherless. and inequalities. And He is worth it all. If he was disapproving. and full of wonder. but there is only one Judge. When I look at Zane in my mind's eye. and honestly.

P a g e | 49 There is radiance. God is making into a glorious and everlasting Kingdom that reflects His nature and His beauty. What humanity has made into a divisive and volatile physical attribute that has caused hatred and wars. Paul said that we now see through a glass dimly. Likewise. His color will be vibrant and He will be made in God's image. but then we shall see face to face. I imagine there are colors I've never seen before. What would we do and how would we treat people if we P a g e | 49 . I know he will be fearfully and wonderfully made. but I know He will be beautiful and there will be no one else in all the world like him. What we think of as blue on earth will have no semblance to the radiant shades of blue we will see when our eyes are unveiled. I imagine a sea of people who shine with the light of Christ and the beauty of rich browns. the colors of our skin will radiate with glory indescribable. knit together by the hands of God. and yellows that have never been perceived by mankind. gratitude. reds. tans. When I imagine Heaven. I wish humans could love one another and really understand God's love for us. I know I will be lost for words and yet so full of things I want to say to him. I don't know what color he will be. I want so badly for people to know how color-blessed we are on this side of Heaven. and peace. blacks.

and i hope the professor didn't see me crying. so precious!! – William and Brittany Another prayer answered. September 7. You would think with 7 granddaughters I wouldn't be so ready for another one to come along. color and type." I've just been so excited & thrilled at the idea of you & Mark becoming parents. but I haven't ever thought of Zane as a "color..P a g e | 50 really embraced them as our brothers and sisters? How would our children respond to our example? How would future generations embody the call of the Great Commission? Maybe adoption wouldn't be such a perplexing thing to our children after all. and your parents becoming grandparents. size. I know you will be great parents of any shade God chooses to send you.Another one requested. Comments: Wonderful thoughts and attitude. It is so sad that we see color as divisive here. And eagerly awaiting your new one!! – Tricia wow miss cimbrey.. I for one am grateful for that. but new baby fever here!! God's blessings come in every shape. i read your blog during a class. – Music Miller It's funny. 2010 P a g e | 50 .

P a g e | 51 . there are many good reasons for my delay in writing this entry. I've been reading some great adoption books. 8. Football season started. I've been planning a bridal luncheon for my sweet cousin. Adopted for Life by Russel Moore and There is No Me Without You by Melissa Faye Green 4. 2.P a g e | 51 I have been putting off a new entry and rationalizing my procrastination for days now. School is keeping me very busy. I'm tired of talking about adoption paperwork and that's about all there is to talk about right now. I've been reading countless updates on our adoption Yahoo Group. 9. I can't stand blogs that just COMPLAIN and I don't want to be "that blogger. Adoption blog-stalking is very time consuming. 5. 6. 7. I feel like being lazy and just watching TV." 1. While procrastination is never a good idea. The dishes are overflowing out of my sink and need to be washed. Top Ten: 10. Amber's wedding on September 5th. 3. Sometimes.

Monday. written entirely out of my own personal guilt over procrastinating for so long. but I did not have an appointment sheet. Apparently. I was about to freak P a g e | 52 . I took it back to the car... drinks have to be taken all the way back down to your car even though the USCIS office is in a regular office building where many people gather in the hallways and elevators with a steaming hot mug of delicious coffee.. followed by a fast drive to work so I could make it for my first class.. When I came back up. I set it down on the ground in the hallway outside the office. Mark's appointment was verified. so I could grab it on the way out. I must break free. I felt like throwing up. the last piece of our dossier completed. After waiting 5 months to have this moment. August 23rd (Mark's birthday).with that said. here is the most mundane post I hope to ever write. As I entered.. It was to be a quick fingerprinting. Mark and I headed to the local USCIS office to be fingerprinted for our Biometrics appointment at 8:00 a. I was told I could not bring in my coffee. When I approached the counter the girl said we did not have the appropriate paperwork. We arrived a few minutes early.. entered the office. No problem. and approached a metal detector much like the airport security scanners. Here goes.P a g e | 52 So.understandable. Big mistake.m. we went through security easily and got in line with our appointment papers.

"You can just sit there and pray and don't worry about it. It was a mere 15 minute wait after that. I darted to toward her as she nonnonchalantly placed the paperwork under the window for me to grab. I stepped away from the window. stating we've been cleared. right? Wednesday. About 15 minutes passed and I was quoting the last verse I knew from the bible about peace and patience in my head when the woman yelled my name to approach the window. She wanted to know if P a g e | 53 . turned toward a chair. I got a call from a USCIS adoption officer." He knew I was on the verge of a meltdown. What a miracle. :) Now we are waiting for the USCIS fingerprints to be processed and for an I171H form. or sudden freak-outs were required. but all is well that ends well. USCIS had found my paperwork and no extra calls. raised voices.P a g e | 53 out. the day I expected to possibly receive the forms. and I was in the fingerprinting area getting my immigration fingerprints made! It was an emotional rollercoaster. and sat down. Mark said. He said it right in time because I was just about to explode. Immediately. to be sent to our home. I did exactly as he suggested and prayed with all my heart that the women would find my paperwork quickly and that there would be NO ISSUES with it. September 1st. Seems simple.

Sunday. went.P a g e | 54 "Mark made his appointment. "I only return calls between 10 am and 11 am. When I called the office today.. It was WEDNESDAY. afternoon. Comments: Thanks for the update. September 7th. Friday. there are others praying too! – Michelle You are almost there!!! Yippee!! – Little Lamb How to Save A Life P a g e | 54 . You're right. This has got to be the funniest work schedule I've ever heard of! As of now. Wow! Why don't I work for USCIS??? Today is Tuesday. the voicemail said the office was closed for a government holiday. No need to look up and reread. and Monday.. I thought Labor Day was Monday???? I guess the government got off Thursday. folks.. I have been wondering how the finger printing appt. I hope school is going well! And remember.." At this point." I still don't know what that means because when I called back at 4:00 on Wed. Mark and I were laughing out loud. the day after Labor Day. we still have not touched base with USCIS to see what was meant by "Did Mark make his appointment?" USCIS saga to be continued. Saturday. the voicemail said.

Steam and fog move mysteriously across the water like ghosts choking residents with it's thick moist consistency. If only the 1940's insulation in my walls would contain the air conditioning that has been constantly flowing out of vents in my home 24/7! There have been many days I've thought of buying a new house with beautiful double-paned windows that actually seal when they close.P a g e | 55 September 9. The sun's beating down at about 100 degrees and the heat index has been reaching up to 110. The Mississippi River looks like something out of a horror film. and canals whose waters evaporate into the blazing hot air causing us all to barely be able to breath. creeks.com/scionka/ethiopianorphans Ethiopian Orphans from Simon Scionka on Vimeo. I've thought about a covered deck out back P a g e | 55 . New Orleans is privileged to be surrounded by steaming marshes. It's hot. To add to the heat. updated insulation that fills the walls with protection from outside elements. 2010 http://vimeo. About the only thing I want to do these days is jump in a pool full of ice and enjoy the refreshing feeling of freezing to death. So hot I can't bear to move for fear that I might start sweating. and a ventilation system that keeps our attic cool.

P a g e | 56 surrounding an underground pool with chilly waters and a relaxing rock fountain. and blessed us with a glorious inheritance. if not most." "Life is too short to not enjoy it!" "I'll feel less stressed and more comfortable with some place to relax. In adoption. nobler. cold drinks. I believe it's these so called "truths" that keep many of us self-absorbed. I work hard. and depressed.. given us full rights as sons. Just as God has adopted us as heirs of His promise. I deserve these things.a self-centered truth. dissatisfied. The TRUTH is. my time. I have found that there is nothing closer to God's heart. I would have started saving for exactly those things. the only thing that satisfies us is knowing God and making Him known throughout the world. de-toxify. and a pool raft. I make money. Six months ago. All efforts to de-stress. "Why shouldn't I have what many. Mark and I are now in turn offering a reflection of God's adoption of us to a baby boy in Ethiopia. de-brief. Add to that an outdoor ice machine. and I'd have it made." The explanations and rationalizations I created for spending money were countless. homes in America have?" "It's hot. I'm ashamed I ever thought of spending my money. my P a g e | 56 . wiser to replace it. they are all based in some sort of truth.. The "truth" is there is nothing on earth that will satisfy our deepest needs. Afterall. de-whatever are futile if there is nothing better.

We're expecting our I-171H forms (Immigration) to come in the mail. I will never be the same.we think. I feel like crumbling to the floor in anguish.. God saves lives.P a g e | 57 resources on anything less than a human life." One of the ways He does that is through Christian men and women adopting children as sons and daughters who have the full rights and full inheritance of biological children. that was M-A-I-L.'" I did not hear back about what this means or P a g e | 57 . And he uses His people to bring salvation to the "ends of the earth. I can't go on." There is no amount of money saves lives. How much we have in America! Yet we are content to write checks to charities to avoid getting our "hands dirty.. he did 'make his appointment. Yes. I am beside myself when I think of the reality of circumstances in this video." 2 Corinthians 4:17 Stalking September 14. "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. We got a call from USCIS with a question about Mark "making his appointment" and I called her back to leave her a message that "yes. 2010 I'm becoming a mail stalker. No discomfort and no sacrifice is too difficult if it means the rescue of these children. not M-A-L-E.

This would further delay our sending of our dossier to Ethiopia.) I have not heard one word back from USCIS about this voice message I got two weeks ago. I'm totally fine with checking the mail EVERY day to see more junk mail." because I failed to answer her call? If that's the case.m. and in turn. I won't be hearing from her for quite a while I'm sure. I even brought my phone to work to receive the call between 10 and 11 a. and then delay our travel date where we bring our little boy home.P a g e | 58 if further discussion was needed. For days I thought she had figured out the answer to her question and she didn't need me anymore. (the only hours she returns calls. I'm starting to have doubts. delay our referral for our waiting little boy. So this is really NO BIG DEAL. REALLY. and coupons to Bed Bath and Beyond (you know what I'm saying? How many coupons can they give out!) All that aside. There is a counselor or advisor who is P a g e | 58 . bills. After a week of checking the mail box and not finding it there. There is a mother who is deciding what she will do with her unborn or recently born child.m. I remember that there are MANY things God is lining up across the world at this very moment. I just figured I would see the forms in the mail in the next couple of days. What if she put me at the end of a big long list of "people to call back between 10 and 11 a. when I step back and try to see the broader picture. which would delay our court date to make the little boy ours.

There is an agency that is preparing to advocate for our family. And there is a family who needs to understand God's wisdom and love. His timing is ALWAYS perfect.. there is always action going on in the Heavenly realms. 2010 I am so excited I could cry. There is a judge who needs a heart filled with compassion. There is a volunteer that is donating more formula to the orphanage so the baby can be fed and cared for. If any of these moments are missed. No plan is ever standing still in God's Kingdom. There are thousands of moments that must happen in the lives of hundreds of people before Zane is ready to come home. the plan fails. We just received our I-171H in the mail today! We will be sending our dossier to AWAA on Monday. I can and I will wait for the Lord. Hopefully we will have our dossier in Ethiopia by Friday!!!! YEA! P a g e | 59 . FINALLY HERE! September 18.and God promises His plans NEVER fail. There is nothing going on right now that isn't part of the greater picture.P a g e | 59 crossing her path to encourage her to choose life and health for her baby. Even if we can't see any movement. I'm so glad that I can rest in that. There is an orphanage that is making room for another baby among the dozens of cribs in their baby room..

I can't wait to get the call that we are finally DTE (Dossier to Ethiopia)! Right now. I get you.I waited 14 weeks for that magic piece of paper and cried when it arrived. put them in order and prepared for tomorrow's mailing! Mark will take the dossier to FedEx at 8am and it will be off to Virginia to be approved by America World. We hope to receive a referral for Zane by February. and go pick him up in April/May. travel for our Court date in March/April.P a g e | 60 Comments: yay!! congratulations!! – William and Brittany We got caught up in the switch to the central office . – Missy Kinko's Trip! September 19. the wait for a male infant is approximately 4-6 months. It's so exciting! P a g e | 60 . 2010 Today we copied all of our dossier documents three times.

P a g e | 61 First we double checked (really I don't remember how many times I've checked) all the paperwork at home. P a g e | 61 .

P a g e | 62 Then we headed to our local Kinko's/FedEx Office. P a g e | 62 .

P a g e | 63 P a g e | 63 .

. P a g e | 64 . He is a VERY trusty accountant! :) putting all the copies in order.P a g e | 64 This is Mark documenting how much money the copies are costing us.. getting a little overwhelmed at the amount of paperwork...

P a g e | 65 .P a g e | 65 getting closer to the finish line....

P a g e | 66 My "baby bump! Manly "baby on the way" pose. P a g e | 66 .

P a g e | 67 P a g e | 67 .

. our little God-son! . mama and dad! Love the documentation. so fun that Zane will look at all these pictures someday.. "mama!" Comments: Hahahaha.LOVE the baby bump pic! Congratulations.Laura and Ben So exciting.soon!! .Little Lamb Love the new blog look! Can't wait to learn more about.Amanda P a g e | 68 . and eventually meet...P a g e | 68 It's official. friend! I love the baby bump. I'm going to be an ehmyay.. .

I think we all are in envy of your baby bump photo.And man.it went in there at the speed of light!! Congrats! .And.Emily yes -.Tracy You are adorable Cimbrey and I love your baby bump! You and Mark are going to be amazing parents to little Zane. So we've got connections. who went to high school with Mark.P a g e | 69 SO exciting!! I remember my trip to FedEx like it was yesterday. I wish I had thought of that baby bump photo.I was just lucky to get a photo of it going in the FedEx box .Missy Ah that is sooo exciting! I can't wait to get there! Congrats! :) . I think by the time I was ready to send that sucker off . :) . :-) Congratulations! . my SIL Stephanie Dollahon. baby.Becky Okay. sent me over because we are adopting from Ethiopia too! We are on the waitlist for a baby girl. I'm friends with Amanda. I love the "baby bump" by the way! Congrats! .Brad and Lauren Holmes P a g e | 69 . checking and triple checking that everything was correct.

It will be sent to Ethiopia on September 24th. we just switched from rwanda and actually started at the same time you did :) praying your referral comes quickly. . 2010 P a g e | 70 .Debb i just found your blog through another.Dustin and Megan Delivered! October 3. i am so excited for you to be DTE! how awesome! we are an awaa family also.P a g e | 70 Super cute shirt and congrats on being on your way! :) – Kelly DTE .9/24/10 September 21. 2010 Mark and I received an email today from our Family Coordinator with AWAA that our dossier has been approved. this Friday! YEA! Comments: HALLELUJAH!!!! Such exciting news. We'll keep praying for Zane!!! Michelle WOO HOO!!!! Congratulations! Such a HUGE step closer! Enjoy the freefrom-paperwork feeling! God bless you in the waiting!.

.P a g e | 71 The embassy approved our request for a Visa AND. Our dossier was delivered to Addis Ababa on September 30th! We're rolling! Sep 30.. 2010 12:30 PM Int'l shipment release ADDIS ABABA ET Sep 30. 2010 3:00 PM Delivered KIRKOS SUB-CITY. ADDIS ABABA ET Sep 30. 2010 6:13 PM At local FedEx facility DUBAI AE Sep 29. 2010 4:47 AM Departed FedEx location P a g e | 71 . 2010 3:36 AM In transit DUBAI AE Sep 29. 2010 12:30 PM In transit ADDIS ABABA ET Package available for clearance Sep 30.

2010 12:29 AM At local FedEx facility PARIS FR Sep 27. 2010 9:02 PM Departed FedEx location P a g e | 72 . 2010 9:19 PM Departed FedEx location PARIS FR Sep 28. 2010 12:40 AM Arrived at FedEx location PARIS FR Sep 28. 2010 7:12 PM Arrived at FedEx location PARIS FR Sep 28. 2010 11:36 PM In transit FRANKFURT DE Sep 27. 2010 4:42 AM In transit PARIS FR Sep 28.P a g e | 72 PARIS FR Sep 29.

2010 4:19 PM Picked up P a g e | 73 . 2010 8:22 AM Departed FedEx location NEWARK. 2010 3:54 AM Departed FedEx location NEWARK. 2010 8:23 PM Left FedEx origin facility HERNDON. NJ Sep 25. NJ Sep 24. NJ Sep 25.P a g e | 73 KOELN DE Sep 27. 2010 1:52 AM In transit NEWARK. NJ Sep 27. VA Sep 24. 2010 4:33 PM Arrived at FedEx location KOELN DE Sep 27. 2010 7:25 AM Arrived at FedEx location NEWARK.

 We come home and wait for 4-6 weeks for clearance to travel to pick up the boy(s).  We wait for 4-6 weeks for America World to set us up with a court date in Ethiopia.  We travel to Ethiopia to pick up our kid(s)! P a g e | 74 . so here's an approximate timeline:  We wait for 3-6 months to get word from America World that we have been matched with a little boy 0-12 months or twin boys 0-12 months.  We travel to Ethiopia to testify before court that we will bring up the little boy(s) to be healthy and happy. VA Sep 24. 2010 2:15 PM Shipment information sent to FedEx Many of you have been asking about next steps for us. etc.  America World sends us a "referral" complete with a picture of the child. background information.P a g e | 74 HERNDON.

The passion is growing stronger. but it's so cool to see movement! In the meantime. I've been reading some great books. last week about 10 court dates were given or confirmed. Pray for us. The Waiting List October 12. 2010 Ethiopia has a "rainy season" between August and October. and several referrals were given out. During this time. as the roads become dangerous for travel. One particularly important book for families adopting from Ethiopia is There is No Me P a g e | 75 . We have had in mind twins from the beginning. we were number 29 on the "waiting list". there is still a long way to go. to have two boys. especially for Mark. When we sent our dossier to Ethiopia in September.P a g e | 75 Our prayer request at this time is that God will show us clearly what he wants for us. I have been eagerly watching our agency's UNOFFICIAL waiting list for any sign of activity. America World. For the past few weeks. Also pray for the caregivers that they would have energy and the mind of Christ to see to every child's needs while they wait for their forever family. and the appropriate powers in Ethiopia to match us with two boys if that's what God wants for us. Finally. most activity shuts down. and now we have already moved up to 27! Of course.

but ironically has EVERYTHING to do with adoption at the same time. not the gospel as it applies to me. Parenting By the Book by John Rosemond. I am now reading Radical by David Platt. I think David Platt is really on to something with this book.. Wright.. It's about living for the glory of God and making Him known throughout the world. My next reads will be.it's definitely something I will be thinking about for a while. and the REAL life that is found in abandoning everything for the sake of the gospel. A great book on the theology of adoption is Adopted for Life. our Savior. and it balances history with personal stories about Ethiopian orphans and caregivers. And what it costs to do that. Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson. Thriving As An Adoptive Family by David and Renee' Sanford.. P a g e | 76 . by Russel Moore. Its about American Christians futile pursuit of the American Dream. which has nothing to do with adoption.. but the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Your Vanilla by Marguerite A. The Connected Child by Karen Purvis (awesome child development specialist from TCU).P a g e | 76 Without You by Melissa Faye Green. It reveals God's heart for us and shows how adoption is part of God's design for mankind. I'm Chocolate. It is wonderfully written.

Mitchell.. cool colors of a Restoration Hardware nursery like this one. The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp. I love the calm.. we are also getting some ideas for a nursery.B. If you have any to add.D. Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child by Patty Cogen. M.P a g e | 77 Castaway Kid by R. Ethiopia by Phillip Briggs. M. I need help prioritizing them.. I have lots of time I need to fill will reading! It keeps me from obsessing over the waiting list! While we wait. On one hand. Please give me feedback under comments if you've read any of these. P a g e | 77 . It is very difficult for me to choose a nursery theme or even colors.A.

modern looks such as this zebramodern look: Or maybe this oriental-modern look: P a g e | 78 ..P a g e | 78 OR. I love whimsical. On the other hand..

P a g e | 79 Even this fun. unless it's subtle: P a g e | 79 . colorful whimsical look: I'm not so fond of the boyish theme styled bedding.

P a g e | 80 SUBTLE: NOT SO SUBTLE: P a g e | 80 .

Funny how we always hear We are "saved by grace through faith.P a g e | 81 Let me know what your favorite look is in the comment section!THANKS FOR THE HELP! Comments: i vote for the green with the giraffe. not by works so that no man may boast" and we take that to mean a free ride into Heaven. or the restoration hardware with maybe something little to brighten it up. It is making us dig into the word and DO more. soooo cute! ..William and Brittany Brent and I just finished Radical and has totally shifted our thoughts on life in America.. we P a g e | 81 .

. My parents practiced attachment parenting. before they knew there was a name for it. I like it with the dark wood.. it'll change your life! :)Excited to find out what cute little lucky baby you guys get! Morgan B.Laura and Ben I am so thrilled there is progress for you! With regards to your book list. and that color wood for furniture could stay in his room for a long time before he "grew out" of it (like a boy with white furniture can only have it so long. Sears... My older brother was adopted around 3mths of age after being neglected and taken by the state. She swears that it helped bond us quickly and make us feel secure. Cim! Proud of you! .) I also like the restoration hardware baby blue.P a g e | 82 forget that works and acts of faith are pleasing to God while we are here and his specific command was to GO and MAKE disciples. you should look into attachment parenting books. I was not adopted until after 6mths when they knew I was healthy enough. My favorite is the green with the giraffe. right?. You can google P a g e | 82 . with us. especially ones by Dr. You are living it. Looks like you're going to have to just adopt several children to occupy different nurseries :-) .Abbey I'm praying for you guys! LOVE reading your blog! My team read Radical together this summer before leaving for Ethiopia and I loved it.

but i swear it keeps him up during naps b/c there is so much going on :) . I like the modern. It will be another one that I probably read and re-read through the years. I loved this book! And it's on my bookshelf to pull back out when needed. :) . So excited for you guys and the blessings that are in store! – Melodie I am officially registered for a great adoptive moms retreat! Upon hearing about the event. Love the nursery ideas. So you could prioritize this one low.Sheri I'm so excited that Zane is getting closer to being home :)my advice for the nursery is to pick something that isn't too busy. Any excuse to get P a g e | 83 .Shane and Jenny I'm Chocolate You're Vanilla.P a g e | 83 attachment parenting and adopted children and get a whole list of articles. I love Brayden's nursery. I really learned alot through this one. I knew it would be an awesome time. Bringing up Boys. But you could wait until your son was around 2 to read it. Liked it. but they are all so cute.

When I went to sign up there were only four spots left because so many women committed to go! Kristy. Autumn from Houston. I have been in contact with her regularly since I learned of their adoption of their 2nd son from Ethiopia. my AWAA NOLA buddy. however. Jamie from Baton Rouge. called and we determined to go together. love girl time. Signing up for this event. I got on Facebook and found Mary Beth from Arkansas is also going. was an even better surprise! Several girls on the America World Yahoo Group threw around ideas of going. and several others in the America World group had registered to go! I am so excited to see these girls and meet some of them face-to-face for the first time! A remarkable thing is after learning about all of the wonderful America World girls going. so I knew there would be a few familiar faces as the first day of registration came and went. Mary Beth is the beautiful wife of my high school friend. and love adoption! I'm perfectly content to sign up for these kinds of things by myself. Kara from the Woodlands. and I followed their 2nd adoption P a g e | 84 . Casey Picker.P a g e | 84 together with a bunch of girls who love Jesus. In a matter of three days. and usually I'm surprised and thrilled to meet up with people I know at the event.

com/ I gaver Erin yours as well! Hope everything is going great! -Christina ONE MONTH DTE! October 24. I have never met Mary Beth. P a g e | 85 ..blogspot.clarkfamilyadopts. Here is their blog http://www. 2010 Today marks ONE MONTH that we have been waiting for Zane.. Although I feel like I know her. It has been crazy for them. I am so thrilled to be able to meet her and hang out with her at this retreat! This will definitely have to be the first of many annual retreats like this one! Comments: i am a SUCKER for any and all adoption t-shirts.P a g e | 85 of a little girl from Ethiopia this summer. We have been told to expect a 3-8 month wait for a referral for a baby boy.i SO just purchased the one for the retreat! :) We have GREAT friends in Ruston who just switched from Rawanda to Ethiopia because of all the craziness going on in Rawanda.

so there is a little back up with the court process. The courts were closed through August and September. friend! – Amanda P a g e | 86 . we have moved up to number 22!! So in one month we've moved up 7 spots! YEA! Things are moving! A big prayer request right now for our agency is for people who have referrals to get court dates.P a g e | 86 On the "unofficial wait list" that people in our agency keep up with. Please pray that many families will be scheduled for court. Thanks for praying for Zane and for us as we wait for him to come home! Comments: So exciting. so the process doesn't keep backing up.

P. Where did you hear 3 .8? I have only heard 4 . . 2010 P a g e | 87 . Just thought we'd check in.P a g e | 87 Hi Brannans!! :) We are the Webbs and we hope to travel for a little baby boy for you or soon after you.S.Stephanie A Perfect Weekend November 2.6 months.

Secondly. this weekend ended up being better than we ever imagined. First. we got to sleep in for 4 days! It's so nice to not have anywhere to be and to wake up on your own! No alarms. no stress. P a g e | 88 . we have to thank God that we got to Houston from New Orleans in 5 1/2 hours on Thursday night. . and we were thrilled to see the Aggies beat the Raiders! However. and it was much appreciated! Mark and I planned months ago to meet our friends in College Station for an Aggie football game.P a g e | 88 Last weekend I had Fall Break! It's the first year we've been given a fourday weekend in the middle of the fall. just rest. and we are so thankful when we bypass traffic and have an easy drive home. It's always a gamble when you drive the perilous I-10 through endless construction and traffic.

as we got to eat at our favorite College Station restaurants.P a g e | 89 Thirdly. It was incredibly entertaining to see the costumes and children scuttling by with sugar-highs. The best news is that we played great and beat the Raiders! P a g e | 89 .. and of course sat in awe at the "Fightin' Texas Aggie Band".TEXAS A&M t-shirts! Our seats were at the 35 yard line. Saturday was ideal. Koppe Bridge for hamburgers and Rudy's for good Texas Barb-que! We got to shop for Aggie paraphernalia. watched George Bush lead out the team. beautiful weather allowed for a fun neighborhood cookout on my parent's driveway Friday night and Sunday night while trick-or-treaters ran by searching for candy. We eyed David Robinson just below where we sat. and got our first items of clothing for our little boy(s).. first deck.

We wrote notes to her and were comforted by her peace.. only joy for Grenna's life.. We spent a couple of hours with her on Sunday as she laughed and joked as usual about life. and we were taking our last opportunities to visit her. we were meeting under sad circumstances. ministry. Mark's grandmother is dying. and readiness to spend eternity with her Savior. P a g e | 90 . There was no sadness. joy.P a g e | 90 We headed up to San Antonio after the game to stay with Laura and Ben (Mark's sister and brother-in-law). Jesus. Unfortunately. and future in Heaven.and death.

. I want to go like that. There is NO better way to go.the sadness for loved ones who may not be ready. and the sad reality is that so many will suffer greatly at the hands of death.P a g e | 91 It made me think. P a g e | 91 .. As if death isn't fearful enough. many will spend eternity in anguish at what might have been if they had only trusted Jesus. This is the only sadness we feel as Grenna passes on.. so much so that every moment I long more to see His face. What a way to go.It hurts to leave behind loved ones you may not ever see again because they have rejected Christ. I want to be ready.. Wondering how much longer I have to "do this" because I can't wait to see Him.

too. You had such a beautiful explanation of the gospel and yet it is so tragic for those who reject the Lord. and complete delight I felt this weekend. life-changing power of the Gospel. What a glorious witness she is! I am so glad you made it to see her! – Michelle P a g e | 92 . but for some of us it will be too late. Every good thing in our lives comes from Him and He alone is worthy of praise. no matter what we do! We must rely on His grace and His righteousness. beauty. That's the transforming. My Grandmother. and it pained all of us. What will happen when we die? We all will acknowledge that Jesus is Lord. Comments: What a moving blog post. there is no pleasure that eclipses the truth of our need for a Savior. What should we do then? Become better people? Go to church more? Have a more philanthropic life? NO! We all fall short of the glory of God. God bless you! . It's funny how we don't really think about the reality of death even though that is the destiny for us all.P a g e | 92 I saw this anguish in her face this weekend.Angela I felt the same way when we visited Grenna the weekend before. is dying and I have thought many of the same things that you expressed. With all of the fun.

as much as I hate to repeat myself.. and within that direction.. Obviously..) So for those of you patient enough to read as I drone on and on (thanks. I may repeat a key phrase twice more for added emphasis.I still wonder what Zane looks like.I still wonder if he has a twin P a g e | 93 .. I feel like if I write one more blog entry about how we're waiting. Within that lesson I may give the same directions two or three times. it really boils down to a subconscious feeling I have that nobody really wants to know all I have to say (and I have A LOT to say usually!).. and I annoy myself when I think that I may be saying the same thing over and over.people might vomit. (My favorite. The deal is. I'm experienced in redundant. Maybe that's because I spend most of my day repeating myself. monotonous verbiage.. 2010 I am extremely turned-off by redundancy. mom!). there is absolutely nothing happening on our end of the adoption right now besides WAITING.P a g e | 93 Repetition November 16.. And the truth is.. I teach the same lesson three times in one day.still.

his understanding that they are not coming back... his trip to the orphanage.. I think about what I might say to them. though. and I wonder so desperately about them. Better yet. What color will they be and what shape will they take? What will they convey to me about his time with his birth family. I wonder who his dad is and if he is an upstanding man. His soul will pour out through those eyes. I think of his cheeks and how I will want to kiss 'em and press them to my face every minute. I wonder what region of Ethiopia he's from and what it looks like.I still think about his mom and wonder how she's doing. I dream of his curly locks resting softly upon his smooth skin.more than what his eyes convey to me.. his new family. Most of all..about himself when no one came back to get him? P a g e | 94 . What is his perception of his world? What message did he receive from his birth families faces the day he was born? What signs did he interpret as he made his way to the orphanage? What did he perceive about life. I think of his eyes and the story they might tell. I wonder what his eyes convey to himself. and his adventure to a transition home where he will be given to Mark and I.P a g e | 94 that we will adopt too.. And his sweet hands that will gently rest in mine. I wonder if I will see it one day and maybe even meet his birth family.

He will be his Daddy. I pray for God to show Himself. how I want him to know His face. and his confidence as a child of the Savior. While English grammar. His words. Satan will pounce at the opportunity to speak lies of abandonment and unworthiness to any child(ren) who will listen. accepted. even now. If he can convince us of our lack of value to God. While we are away from him. He wreaks havoc in the world's children everyday. test directions. that he feels His presence with him every moment. rescued. his God in such an intimate way. and completely worthless to the Kingdom of God. and rules grow mundane. His touch. I never grow weary over praying for my Zane's relationship with Jesus. No matter how much I tire of talking.for God to whisper in his ear the truth about who he is in Christ: loved. he can render our lives completely ineffective. I pray he will know. his understanding of God's love.. P a g e | 95 . unproductive. some things are clearly worth repeating. and oh. and that he knows Him as Father as well as I know my own earthly father.P a g e | 95 My heart hurts over this and yearns for God's intervention. and I am desperate for God to preserve the heart of my child. I pray he talks about Him when he gets up in the morning and when he lie down at night..

2010 This weekend began the 9 days of Thanksgiving break for the Brannans.P a g e | 96 Comments: I pray also for your precious boy(s). – Michelle We're Thankful November 21. soon you will hold him/them in your arms and will know that Go has kept them safe as they waited for Mommy Cimbrey and Daddy Mark. I pray too. Soon my dear. I love our school district for giving us a week off for Thanksgiving every P a g e | 96 .

It was like Mark sat down to talk with brothers as they visited about life. their son. P a g e | 97 . even though some of us had never met. supporters. and family. and families gathering in fellowship around the throne of Jesus. and the Nelsons have been friends. races. celebrated his 16th birthday and the adoption ministry kids from the past 10 years returned along with Kyle's blood-relatives to wish Kyle a Happy Birthday..a variety of backgrounds. shop. The Nelson's influence on a decade of Aggies was evident as we gathered and immediately bonded in our "kinship" in the Lord. They are a fun couple who love the Lord and love the Aggies. Kyle. He was at the center of it all. "man-stuff".. It's a blessing to be able to relax. What could be sweeter? This weekend. Mark was adopted by a Student Adoption Ministry family in college through First Baptist Bryan. It was like heaven. and see friends and family before the craziness of the Christmas season begins. and He tied us all together in love. The wives laughed and awed over the birth of a new baby into the "family".P a g e | 97 year. Their love was graciously extended to me when I became a part of the "family" Mark's senior year at Texas A&M. We are particularly blessed this Thanksgiving to have attended a "family reunion" of sorts in College Station. and family to Mark during very formative years of his life.

It's not just about free dinners. or having a home away from home for these college students. family. fellowship. We were made to sharpen one another. and Christian mentorship into their children as well. and seeing them. It's not a selfish pursuit.P a g e | 98 Mark and I spoke for a long time after our wonderful visit with the Nelsons about faith. Mark said at one point during the visit. This race P a g e | 98 . doing laundry at their house. and the importance of mentors in the lives of our children. not just in Heaven? How much harder would they run their race? Mark and I have taken note of the method the Nelson's have used in raising their own children. maybe they'll listen to them. For the Nelsons. in turn. provide discipleship. But when we surround them with people that love God and speak truth to them. "We know we won't always be the best parents and that our children probably won't listen to us. but wouldn't it be amazing if every direction they turn they run into a Godly man or woman who directed them to the same Jesus we speak of? What if the cloud of witnesses cheering them on could be evident on this earth. We're not naive enough to think that our kids are going to think we're wise and hang on every word we say. and be upheld by our fellow soldiers in the Gospel. belief. pour faith. it's about pouring into their "adopted children" the love and truth of Christ." It's true. it's the body of Christ.

Brad and Lauren Holmes I LOVE how you said that.Amanda I love that Cimbrey. .P a g e | 99 is not run alone. it was really refreshing to read your post on mentoring and the body of Christ! I am pray the same thing for my children as you are praying for Zane. I have never heard it put in those terms.. I pray our children will know the kind of love that God has shown us through people like the Nelsons.GIG 'EM AGS! Comments: I cant wait to be a part of Zane's extended family! We love the Brannan's! ..especially the part about our kids being surrounded by Godly men and women. I am thankful for the body of Christ. but it makes a difference to really define that purpose.Kat That is so cool! . for the family we have that exceeds boundaries placed by man.Erica P a g e | 99 ... Loved getting to spend a little while together! .BTW. and it makes such great sense.. We try to do that..

.P a g e | 100 Hey y'all! Been praying for you guys..Michelle December marks some huge events in our lives! December 28. 2010 P a g e | 100 .hope all is going well with getting Zane home! Merry Christmas! .

. months of waiting for Zane! December 25th - Jesus was born! It has been a wonderful month! Mark and I have enjoyed the Christmas season in New Orleans! From dining at Restaurant August to caroling in Jackson Square.Randy Duck (my dad) was born December 18th - My parents were married December 22nd - Sherma Duck (my mom) was born December 24th.P a g e | 101 December 15th . The best thing about Christmas this year has been imagining little Zane with us at this time next year. New Orleans is a great place to be during the Holidays.. We think about what our family traditions P a g e | 101 .

” Children have a special place in God's heart and He is passionate about them in His word. receives not Me but Him who sent Me.God's Son.we have several prayer requests: 1. P a g e | 102 . In total. Pray for families to be cleared on the first try by the Ethiopian courts. And when He had taken him in His arms. how he will love Christmas lights. Emmanuel. so we're almost there! After recieveing our referral we will get a court date within 6-8 weeks and an embassy date 6-8 weeks after that. This is stressful because it will prolong our getting a court date and getting Zane home. 3.P a g e | 102 will be. We are stagnant on the wait list. It's magical to see Christmas through the eyes of a child.. court. called the twelve.. We have been on the waiting list with AWAA for 3 months.. whomever! 4. 37“Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me. He came for that very purpose knowingly and zealously to vindicate me before God. sent from Heaven as my payment for my sins. “If anyone desires to be first. and said to them.. and whoever receives Me.. Pray for referrals to be given out to families! We have been particularly discouraged the last month as very few referrals for baby boys have gone out. They have given us a 4-6 month window to receive a referral (a match with our child).” 36Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. Our agency's court dates are backed up. 2. embassy. He said to them.. he shall be last of all and servant of all. opening his first Christmas gift. orphanages. Pray that God would speed up paperwork coming from villages. and it can be daunting at times. etc. Thank you so much for your prayers! This morning I read Mark 9:35-37 And He sat down. and some are now getting them for March. Pray for embassy clearance for families who want to bring their children home as soon as possible. It reminds me of what Christmas is all about. we're looking at about 5-7 months more until baby Zane is home! With that said. He didn't die at the hands of man. to AWAA.

but what led us to Ethiopia is the hope of a better future for the country. Merry Christmas! Why Are We Adopting From Ethiopia? January 21. and His love for us is abundant.P a g e | 103 I know that Emmanuel is with us and with Zane. P a g e | 103 . His timing is perfect. We are slowly getting closer to the day that we will see the face(s) of our child(ren)! Please pray for us to have patience that only God can give as we eagerly anticipate the day he (they) will be ours! We often get the question. and at the same time the harsh realities of its current situation. In a recent video I watched. We are passionate about the protection and rescue of children all over the globe.25 a day. including the United States. 2011 Today we learned that we are #18 for a single boy and #15 for twins/siblings.  Only 50% of the population attend or has attended K-3 primary schools. "Why Ethiopia?" There are so many reasons to adopt from countries all over the world. I was reminded that  39% of the population lives on less than $1.

 Of the 40 million children. and our God will see to it that they are protected.  123/1000 children in Ethiopia never make it to their fifth birthday. His heart is for the orphan. Ethiopia's annual health budget is $140 million. our hearts should reflect His. and if we bear His Name. The lives P a g e | 104 .P a g e | 104  There is one physician for every 35. and they cry out to me.  46% of the 85 million people in Ethiopia are children. 6 million are orphans. This is so much more than Mark and I having our first child(ren). "You shall not mistreat the widow or the fatherless child. If you do mistreat them." Exodus 22:22-24 We want to join God in what He is already doing in the world to care for those in need. Children are a blessing.. 000 people.. Care for orphans in Ethiopia requires up to $115 million a month! This is an injustice that requires our attention and fervent action. I will surely hear their cry and my wrath will burn.

Debb the 123/1000 stat particulary hits me tonight. Do they have orphanages to care for all of those children? Do you know much about the conditions of the orphanages? . and our God is using His people to be the "hands and feet" of Christ. wow.P a g e | 105 of millions are at stake. thanks for sharing. Comments: yay! so exciting~ cant wait til Zane/ twins? get here!!!!! . This is why we are adopting from Ethiopia. -Little Lamb Six million orphans is a lot of orphans in Ethiopia. Our goal is His glory living in us and through us to draw all people to His Kingdom. much love to you and your future child(ren).Brad and Lauren P a g e | 105 .Rachel EVERY single day brings you closer to your son or children! May you see his/their face(s) SOON! .

2011 The Brannans have been on the official wait list 4 months today for our Ethiopian child(ren)! This feels like a huge accomplishment.P a g e | 106 4 Months Today! January 24. although we've done absolutely nothing but WAIT. P a g e | 106 .

so I guess we're not completely idol. or we lose focus on the goal. It drives me nuts to put off tasks! Let's get it done now! However. After the honeymoon period subsides. In the first few weeks of waiting. I can't say absolutely nothing. or scream.. we have dinner with friends. I want to jump in there and "help" people finish their stories. and giddiness over a new journey. draw a conclusion about a situation. like I don't procrastinate in most things. so I don't have to have something sitting on a list for later. not waiting patiently for others makes my heart beat faster. In some ways. No amount of twitching and yelling will bring Zane home sooner.. waiting becomes difficult. it makes my eyes search around the room like a lunatic. I run around doing everything as it comes up. we do date-night. there is still passion for the goal.P a g e | 107 Well. When we don't see progress. waiting feels like running head first into a brick wall P a g e | 107 . we sing in the praise team. hope for the shortest wait ever. We still go to work every day. we go to church on Sundays. Just ask Mark. "Get to the point!" Clearly. Waiting on anything is not my strong suit to say the least. this is not going to help my current situation as a waiting adoptive mother. Waiting for anything is a humbling and refining process. and it makes my legs shake with anticipation. that's good.

I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning. bodies. the writer uses terminology to suggest waiting as an "active duty". and in his word I put my hope. forget the purpose and eventually. We read his word and mentally tune into what He wants to say to us every day. And the result? Complete despair. We listen to His Spirit speak peace. stop running. and he will not forget his promise and his purpose in our lives. God will come through. We get tired. We physically move where he wants us to impact the world for His kingdom. We protect ourselves from the pain of rejection. more than watchmen wait for the morning. and souls are fully engaged when we wait for the Lord. yet we believe the lie that God may not come through for us and we must sit in self-protection while we wait. "I wait for the LORD. joy. spirits.P a g e | 108 over and over again. and hope over us as we are reminded of the long-term goal. or just plain silence. hopelessness. Psalm 130:5-6 says. Our waiting is active "more than a watchman P a g e | 108 . It's no wonder why in Psalm 130. God never intended waiting to be an idol and joyless actively." Do you hear that? Waiting involves our entire being! Our minds. my whole being waits. We notice God moving and working and being in every aspect of our lives as our souls are filled with joy at His work in the world around us.

" Watchmen on the towers of city walls do not sleep on the job.. Praying for you.and I cannot WAIT (or maybe I can) until we are officially WAITING:) . and I have a choice every day to actively participate in God's plan.Little Lamb P a g e | 109 . I want to know Him. http://www.. Self-pity. I can't tell you how it does my heart good to know that God is active and He expects me to be active with Him in my waiting. Their livelihood depends on actively noticing every shadow and every sound approaching their city. or give myself over to self-focused depression.html .Bourg Family loved this. My King has a battle plan and I have a responsibility to follow His commands. More than I want my way. And that's worth waiting for.kellyskornerblog. I am not a powerless bystander waiting for an unknown cause. and setbacks are lies and have no power to thwart the plans of our God.P a g e | 109 waiting for the morning. There was no "drifting off" or "losing focus" because laziness meant certain death. isolation. I thought you may be interested.com/2011/01/show-us-your-life-tellus-your-adoption. Comments: A blog I read a lot is having a link up on adoption.

The tomatoes were cooked al dente almost as if they were flash fried and the batter was perfectly seasoned. The shrimp remoulade sauce was delicious with plump shrimp and mustard seeds still visible in the sauce.2011 Mark and I celebrated Valentine's Day a day early since it falls on a Monday this year. It was a great dinner. and parent/teacher conferences were today! Those poor parents! I hope they all got good news so they can go out with their spouses and relax for Valentine's Day! We went to Upperline for the first time. We have very few classic "must-do" restaurants left to try and Upperline was one of them. The fried green tomatoes with remoulade sauce was the best I've had in NOLA.P a g e | 110 Happy Valentine's Day! February 14 .. Yummy! P a g e | 110 ..Oh. We've almost eaten our way through New Orleans.

for a classic NOLA P a g e | 111 . It is the best in the world. Next we stopped by my favorite sweet shop. The sweet potatoes could have been dessert! Finally. What they say about food in NOLA is absolutely true. we finished the meal off with a honey pecan bread pudding with toffee sauce. cooked to perfection. WHILE LIVING IN NEW ORLEANS. and served with true southern hospitality. AND THIS IS WHY YOU AUTOMATICALLY GAIN 20 LBS. Sucre. The dishes are creative.P a g e | 111 We both got the slow cooked roasted duck with a peach ginger sauce and pecan brown sugar sweet potatoes.

I know that I will never be satisfied on this earth without the One True Love: Jesus. I can't say that anything I ate was satisfying. He's so thoughtful and appreciative of me. I love restaurants and being treated like a princess by my husband. Today. He IS love.P a g e | 112 Cafe' Au Lait (coffee with chickory and steamed milk). I crave more. I am a little delirious from rich food. P a g e | 112 . Valentine's Day. I feel physically full. Yet. and he's the most fun person I've ever been around! Even with all that my husband is for me. and I can't take any more food.

wants us to really know Him. desires to show us what He is capable of in our lives.P a g e | 113 Valentine's Day and every day is about being captured by God's ultimate gift to us. girl! so thankful i met you! . GOD IS LOVE. As much as I love my husband (and great food). reckless enough to cause Him to sacrifice His own son. I wonder if the words. satisfies our deepest longings.William and Brittany P a g e | 113 . and proves to us no one else will ever be enough.. There is no greater love than this." (Psalm 63) Comments: i LOVE hearing the perspective the Lord has given you. my lips will glorify Him. Only He can fill me.. and let God remind me in His word of His love for me. What's my Valentine's Day plan? Curl up. and zealous for all to receive it. cherishes time spent with us. get my Bible. "Because His love is better than life. Do we really know what that means? It means God fully accepts us as we are. "God is love" have gotten old and overused to those of us that have heard it our entire lives. He will never fulfill my soul. But it is boundless and knows no ends. We in our greatest efforts can only make mediocre attempts to mimic God's love to others.

clothing. what you want to read. for sale on her website and proceeds go toward her adoption! Check it out! Please Pray.. and share recommendations to friends! The ones on my shelf now are my recent "great reads". March 16. 2011 I put a bookshelf up of my favorite books! Shelfari has a great way to track what you've read. (Click on the word "blog" to see more about this new piece she's giving away!) She also has great art..P a g e | 114 LOVE the fried green tomatoes and bread pudding at upperline! great place! – Sommer Pitter Patter Art February 16. but right now. I tried to include a variety of genres. 2011 Laura Kelley's having another awesome give-away on her blog. etc.) It's funny how P a g e | 114 . I'll try to change it up occasionally to cover different interests. I love reading! (Never thought I say that back when I was 12.

I thought it would be beneficial to read for our adoption. Now that I'm not forced to read books for school.. the real reason I am writing this post is to give an update of our adoption! I digress when the subject is unpleasant. I will start with the positives of the week. Because I hate complaining. Time with friends! Because I was off of school for a week. and that's what adoption has been for me for the past week.. I think reading is one of my favorite pastimes. Speaking of kids. by Karen Purvis. I'm finding that its enlightening me to the needs of every child. 1. I think it's a must read for anyone who has or works with kids. including those in my classroom. LOVE IT! 2. however. I'm currently reading The Connected Child. They even helped me paint the baby room a soft seafoam blue.P a g e | 115 you grow to love things as you get older. Mardi Gras was a blast! My parents came for their first Mardi Gras and we had so much fun visiting and relaxing. It's about nurturing children and forming healthy attachments and bonds. I had time to spend with friends hanging out in the beautiful weather watching parades P a g e | 115 . It covers everything from making eye contact with children to empowering children to make choices.

P a g e | 116 go by.. we kept hearing rumors via email that Ethiopia may cut back in the number of adoptions they process each day.S.. painting with Becky and other friends from school. the news was confirmed when they announced a 90% decrease in the number of adoptions to the United States on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website. Our adoption agency immediately requested prayer and our people organized around-the-clock prayer teams across the country. (Wow! Just writing that made me realize what a huge blessing the AWAA support group of adoptive parents is!) Since the announcement. and hanging out with my adoptive mom friend. Kristy! 3. I learned that our great friends here are adopting another little baby in the next few weeks and another friend's paperwork was submitted to Ethiopian embassy so her little boy can come home soon! All these blessings are truly reasons to rejoice! Now. Finally. the hard stuff. going to dinner. has met with Ethiopia to discuss the needs of its adoption department to understand the announcement better and P a g e | 116 . Over the Mardi Gras break. the U. getting my hair and nails done.

This meeting occurred Monday.... I can't figure it out at all. I have made myself a god in my own mind . It has really revealed a lot about my trust (or lack thereof) in God. I have been a mess over this news. Only. I want so badly to understand what God is doing right now. and I demand to know.I've believed a lie. When I don't feel like God is explaining "why". It is a product of our lack of faith that God . I leave his presence to go figure it out on my own. I was convicted yesterday when I read on another blog this quote: "Worry and anxiety is pride because it frequently suggests that we are in control and that God is not active. Do I really believe that God is who He says He is? "I am a Father to the fatherless. I have gone back and forth between hope and despair as I read and search the internet for any clues about the future. Obviously." Psalm 68:5 P a g e | 117 .. March 14th. Who knows the mind of God? I have to surrender and trust Him." Is that it? Do I believe my plans are better than God's? If I do. and there has not been follow-up announcements on that meeting. and all information posted on various websites speculates a possible closure to the country.P a g e | 117 negotiate a more reasonable solution to the problems they may be facing.

Pray that they receive the assistance they need to process the amount of referrals they are given. and we are asking all of you to pray with us for the leaders of MOWA (Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs) in Ethiopia to be burdened with compassion for orphans waiting for families and the families who wait for their children." Deuteronomy 10:18 Lord help me overcome my unbelief! This evening we received good news from our agency that negotiations are taking place in Ethiopia and they are hopeful Ethiopia will increase the number of adoptions they are able to process. P a g e | 118 . loving family as soon as possible... wherever he is that God will protect him. And pray for all of the other 6 million orphans that go to sleep alone and afraid each night to be matched with a healthy. develop him into a healthy boy. We are thankful for this news. and give him peace.P a g e | 118 Do I believe that He will do what He says He will do? "He defends the cause of the fatherless. Please pray for Zane.

Comments: praying for you Cimbrey .P a g e | 119 Thank you for your prayers for this special country and for our family. I'm sorry this is going on. Praying for you guys. . 2011 http://www. – Danny Mission Ehtiopia March 17.com/watch? v=f4pgQvgdNqs&feature=player_embedded This is a small glimpse of one of Ethiopia's villages.one of the many reasons why we're asking you to pray for Ethiopia and decisions being made right now about adoption.Rachel Cimbrey.i know its so hard to wait and trust in God's timing.. Comments: P a g e | 119 .Amanda Hey Cimbrey. .youtube. I will be praying for you guys and for sweet Zane. Korah . Much love to your family. I can hardly imagine the emotions you must have felt when this news started spreading.

com/watch? v=NlDUyAaaBJU&feature=player_embedded Comments: P a g e | 120 . 2011 Today was one of the best days ever! Mark and I have officially been waiting for 6 months today.youtube. So sweet! http://www. green shirt is Anna's brother-in-law (Tyler) the other girl is Anna's sister (rachel). They ARE important! THANKS for sharing the video! – Debb 6 Months Waiting! March 25.my.P a g e | 120 Wow. At the end you can hear Eli yell "Mama!" when he is running to Anna. and the tall guy is Jon (Daddy).heart. The pink shirt is Anna (Mama). and we celebrated with Eli Tariku's homecoming! It was so much fun to meet up with a group of people at the airport to see the Palmers come home finally with Eli. He's such a sweet boy and so spirited! We love you Tariku! I took this short video of us playing in the backyard. This video breaks.

.. after 6 months and three weeks the wait is OVER! (For a referral anyway..) I was almost ready to use my number 7.welcoming home Eli! – Debb REFERRAL! April 19.P a g e | 121 CONGRATULATIONS ON 6 MONTHS DTE!!! What a great way to celebrate.. Well. which would have looked like this cute number... BUT WE ARE HAPPY TO NEVER USE THE GOOD 'OLE NUMBER 7 WHEN IT HAS TO DO WITH WAITING! P a g e | 121 .. 2011 My last post was to announce that we had been waiting 6 months for a referral for a child..

..sort of.) One cool feature he has is a dimpled chin.P a g e | 122 We are so excited to end this phase of waiting and announce that we are pursuing a 17 month old baby boy from east Ethiopia! He's got the biggest brown eyes and the sweetest face you've ever seen. P a g e | 122 . and smart kid alive.. (Just kidding.. I can't wait until we pass court so we can officially post his picture and information to prove to all that he really is the most attractive. talented. Can I just remind you that Jacob (Taylor Lautner) also has a dimpled chin? Just saying.

Zane's Ethiopian name (which remains electronically confidential until we pass court) will be kept as his middle name because it means "the new one". our prayer is that one day Zane will be made "new" in Christ as he chooses to have a relationship with Him and make Him the most P a g e | 123 . he is literally new to all of us. Why? Because we are indescribably loved by God. Third. It was a great reminder that God is protecting our little one and that He is the King of Kings. He is our first child and the first grandchild on both sides of the family. God will trump all authority and defend the cause of the fatherless. he will physically take on a new life as he moves from the transition home to a new family in a different culture. First.P a g e | 123 We are amazed at God's timing and the beauty of receiving our referral during Holy Week! God has been gracious! He caused the death angel to "pass over" the Israelite boys two and under on Passover (which officially began at sunset on Monday. as it is Hebrew for John and means "God is gracious. so we wouldn't have to. the unconditional love He gives expecting NOTHING in return. No matter what Kings and Presidents decree. Zane. That is what Easter is all about! Jesus taking on the sins of the world. the day we received the call). Second. It is no coincidence that God impressed on us the name. and most important." Grace is the unmerited favor of God. There are many implications of this.

Yay. When he gives his heart over to Jesus. YAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!! I have SO been waiting for this post so that I could SCREAM my JOY across the states to you! I absolutely LOVE the symbolism of your sons names! How awesome is GOD! I. Thank you for your prayers! We are blessed to have wonderful support and encouragement through you! Comments: Yay. Pray that even now. my friend! I included your referral as one of my GOD PRAISES today on my P a g e | 124 . Pray that he will learn early that only God satisfies the deepest longings of his heart. too. And pray that God will fill him with the peace that transcends human understanding. God will make all things "new". think getting a referral this blessed holy week is precious! Just more symbolism and sweetness added to your son's story! Go. God! SOOOOOO HAPPY for you. Zane's heart will be refreshed with the new things God is doing in His life. Pray that he will be comforted by the arms of Jesus and recognize His presence even now. The situation Zane is in is still very foreign.P a g e | 124 important thing in His life.

but i do keep checking in on your process.Rob and Leah GOOD FRIDAY April 21. I know she is looking down from heaven.Melodie Congrats! We are so thrilled for you and how the Lord has answered your prayers! . I am just so giddy for you! This little boy is being prayed for! . okay? Love you all and can hardly wait to meet your precious "new" son! Aunt Tricia and Uncle Jimmy . celebrating even as we are. 2011 P a g e | 125 .Tricia i think i've only commented on here one other time.Little Lamb That is absolutely amazing! I loved reading about his names and their significance. I can't wait to see his precious picture! .Erica We are so excited to hear your news!! You made my whole week! I also cried a little because I wished Grenna was here to see your beautiful new son.Debb Oh. Keep us in the loop. until you can hold him in your arms!!!!!!! Blessings to you and your family. so congratulations! i'm thrilled for you guys! . my friend! :D .P a g e | 125 blog! May you continue to enjoy staring into your son's face. What a blessing.

I rushed to check my email because every day AWAA friends post any news they may have received on a Yahoo Group I'm a member of. and I can't pass up the opportunity to tell another aspect of Zane's referral story. I hopped into my car at approximately 2:45 on Monday. can verify that we NEVER leave this early. I didn't even know their phone number! That shows you how unexpected this referral was! Of course. Sure enough. Monday. Really. it was the Holy Spirit prompting me to get to my phone that I ignorantly left in my car all day Monday. my partner teacher. I didn't even have to open the Yahoo app because I had a "703" area code glaring at me in the missed calls window! I vaguely remember Kim. April 18th to leave from work. I immediately called the number back. P a g e | 126 . said that she checks her phone every day for a 703 area code. Becky. we had little to prepare for after school. Since it was a short work week (we are off for Easter Thursday Wednesday). my AWAA buddy. it was Caitlin with our referral call for sweet little A (can't share his whole name online until we pass court). as I look back.P a g e | 126 Tomorrow is GOOD FRIDAY.

I blared it and struggled through a tight throat to sing it aloud as I drove home. so it was on my heart to remember the song on the radio when Caitlin told us we had a little boy.P a g e | 127 As soon as I got off the phone with her. I believe God spoke this to me about my son. who so desperately needs to know Jesus is with him even now. "The weak find their strength in the sound of your great Name. Music is so important to Mark and I. It was then that my mind turned to the radio. Without Good Friday. Hungry souls receive grace at the sound of your great Name. Because of Christ. It is a song of hope. we have been made righteous. Good Friday is "good" because it is the day that God made us right with him through the death of Jesus. pure. deliverance. I called Mark and shared the exciting news. I nearly cried when I heard this song (below) playing. salvation. I wanted to remember every moment of the call so I could share it with Zane later. The second verse of the song is the part that I tuned into as I turned on the radio Monday afternoon. struggling to spiritually connect to a God that we could never measure up to. and clean children of God. we would be Fatherless. It says. and most importantly. The P a g e | 127 . It is the day that God made the way for us to be adopted as His sons through Christ.

youtube. So excited for you---congratulations! – Traci Zane's First Care Package May 5. Every day we check the Yahoo Group (our agency's unofficial network of parents) to see who's gotten calls. 2011 and I are eagerly awaiting a court date for Zane.P a g e | 128 fatherless. . at the sound of your great Name!" Praise you. they find their rest. and we pray each day that God will allow more families to be approved by the embassy to return home with their children. Right now P a g e | 128 . Lord! You are with Zane when we cannot be! Listen to the words of this beautiful Natalie Grant song and praise His GREAT NAME with us! http://www.com/watch? v=QXH0MjGe10s&feature=player_embedded Comments: I am overwhelmed with joy for you guys and your precious son!!!! Congratulations!! He is truly a blessing from God.Michelle What a beautiful story! We are praying for Zane and for you're growing family.

two FIGHTIN' TEXAS AGGIE shirts.P a g e | 129 there are about 20 families who have passed court and are waiting to bring their children home. grandparents. It includes only "ESSENTIAL" items. a photo album of Mama. we were able to see what our little boy looks like when he first wakes up from a nap because our friend. Lightening McQueen (from Cars). Candace. was able to take pictures. get updates.. Please pray with us for the Embassy in Ethiopia to process these families quickly and efficiently. P a g e | 129 . Daddy. These are precious to us while we are away from him! Today I completed our first care package that we will send with another family who is leaving on May 22nd. "Daddy's Handyman" pjs. and a recordable Hallmark book. We are fortunate to have several families who have volunteered to do this for us as we wait! What a blessing! Yesterday. The nice thing about America World is that this Yahoo Group we are a part of is one of the greatest networks of adoptive parents in the world. and keep track of weekly needs. We pray together.. Families will offer to take pictures and deliver care packages to children who are waiting on their parents' court appointments. and aunts and uncles.

It's based on Psalm 139:14. is beautiful. P a g e | 130 . so Zane can get to know our voices! Until we can see him in person. On the Night You Were Born.P a g e | 130 The book. Its about how all of creation celebrates on the night that a child is born. this will have to do. "I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made!" It might be one of the best children's books I've read! The best part is we recorded ourself reading it.

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Michelle Love it!! I give that book to every new mom! How exciting to actually be sending something!! . It's called "I wished for you" and it is beyond amazing! I got it from a friend. There is a book you might want to buy for little Zane. we pray for you (and Zane) constantly! I can't wait to see the sweet face of the boy we have been waiting on for so long!!! Take LOTS of pictures! Congratulations to you both.) . . how wonderful to see pics of Zane from Candace! Such a treat! What a FUN package! Very cute things! He will love it! . I've been following your blog and are really happy for all the good news.Brad and Lauren P a g e | 133 .P a g e | 133 Comments: Oh how awesome! I have tears in my eyes for your precious Zane! What love he has waiting for him.Debb Just beautiful! Cim.. Please send Mark my best wishes too. and Zane to be together as a family.Little Lamb Oh.. Mark. :-) . Haven't read it to Sebastian yet because it's still to complex for him but can't wait!!!Good luck!! .Luz I love your essentials! So sweet! I am very excited for you.

On May 30th Mark and I sent Zane another little care package in the mail to a family that will deliver it to him the week of June 23rd (that's next week!).P a g e | 134 Long Overdue Update! June 14. so it will be about a month in between his first and second care packages. He received his first care package the week of May 26th. 2011 WE HAVE A COURT DATE! JULY 13th!!! I need to back up a bit to catch you up on where we are in our adoption right now. Here's what we sent: P a g e | 134 .

Ahhhhhhh. (This story sounds awfully familiar. Zane had to travel 11 hours in a van with two guides and other children to be counted in the census. put it on speaker phone. "Hello!" only to be told that our child's home region was requesting a census. not Bethlehem on a donkey! There are things to be thankful for!) Needless to say we were praying for our little boy's body to be healed. and answered excitedly. So I traveled to Houston to spend the week with him and my mom and dad! P a g e | 135 .P a g e | 135 Shortly after I mailed this to the family bringing it over. Somewhere in between the call about Zane traveling and the next event my brother came home from Iraq for a short leave. I got an email from our family coordinator that Zane was sick with minor "little kid" illnesses. and his time in the car to be peaceful. Poor thing! It's really hard to get a call like that when you're on pins and needles waiting for a court date and you just want your child to come home! Just a few days after receiving this news. Mark and I saw the "703" number on our phone! We freaked out knowing it was our agency calling. right? Aside from the fact that our child was going to East Ethiopia in a bus.

we were called with our court date!! Obviously.P a g e | 136 A few days later. I was looking on facebook and found a couple with our agency that had posted pictures of Harar! Much to my surprise. so they went to their child's home region with them! What a great opportunity to get to know their child's home town! I immediately facebooked the Americans and he reported great things about Zane's travels and health.. He looked healthier than we had ever seen him! What a blessing! During Zane's trip to Harar. There court date was right around the same time. I was so happy! I sent him a photo consent so he could even take a few pictures for me! I got one of him sleeping in Harar. this has been an exciting week for us! Mark was in Amsterdam.. there were Americans there with the children because their child was one of the ones requested for the census. This couple has mentored us and become an extended family to us while P a g e | 136 . Looks like Mark being out of town brings us good luck! :) JK Friday we had a wonderful shower at our "parents'" house in New Orleans. and several others from the transition home when they arrived back in Addis. so I had to email him with the news and wait for him to respond! (Longest 10 minutes of my life.) I should interject here that Mark was out of town when we received our referral as well.

which I highly recommend. shopping for last minute stuff to pack. arranging a place for our dogs to stay. food. setting up Zane's room. Our prayer requests are.P a g e | 137 we have lived here the past 8 years. applying for visas. laughter. For the court to pass us on the first court date (only 60% of families pass due to missing paperwork) and that MOWCYA (Ministry of Women. 3. For Mark to have a safe trip back to the states and my mom to have a safe trip to Addis Ababa on July 22nd. Children. No games. 2. writing thank-yous. washing clothes. My parents and brother drove back with me to attend the shower. and about 60 of our friends from First Baptist New Orleans came! It was so much fun! It was a Friday night couples shower. and Youth Affairs) has our "letter" (very important) ready at court.. For Zane to have an open heart toward us when we meet. 1. and fun! Such wonderful memories! So now we are rushing to make sure all paperwork in our dossier is up-todate. etc. P a g e | 137 . creating packing lists. just conversation.. reserving flights.

How awesome. For us to have safe travels home in a timely manner.praying for safe and happy travels and time together! . Cimbrey! I was sad to miss the shower.Schimdt Family P a g e | 138 . Thank you for your prayers! Comments: This is so exciting.August ?) 5. but I have something for Zane! .Maggie I am so excited for you guys! I saw the thing on fb about the court date. 6. For the embassy to see no further need for investigation.. (August 7 . For Zane and me to have a safe and productive stay together in Ethiopia between court and embassy clearance after family leaves.Michelle I am so happy and excited for you! We are hoping to send in our dossier in the next month but are still trusting God's timing! Can't wait to hear of Zane's full story! Praying for you! – Emily Praying for you guys! ..P a g e | 138 4. and have been checking impatiently for updates here! I can't WAIT for you guys to have your little man home.

S. unpacking. Also pray for Mark and I as we meet Zane for the first time. and repacking for two days! Please pray for our court appointment. Embassy has favor on Zane's case and that there is no need for further review or investigation. MOWCYA is currently behind in writing recommendation letters for families. Right now. Pray that he will be comfortable with us and quickly know us as his parents. so my days have been spent packing. and this document is a must to pass court. clearance. Pray for clear documentation. we are packing and praying for our trip. and a favorable declaration within 4-6 weeks of passing court. P a g e | 139 . and help MOWCYA get caught up so we can pass court on July 13th. Pray for our time together to be a time of bonding. I've never packed to stay in another country for around three months.P a g e | 139 Packing and Praying June 21. We also are praying that the U. We need God to supernatural speed up the letter writing. 2011 Mark and I will leave on June 7th for Ethiopia.

she has courage to give her consent. . praying for you and your sweet zane. Thank you for your prayers! Comments: Not packing. and that God gives her peace.Little Lamb cimbrey!!!! so excited for y'all.P a g e | 140 Lastly. we know that Zane's birthmother will travel soon to Addis Ababa to give her consent to the court before our court appointment.. Love you guys. Mark. & Zane as well as Zane's birthmother. . I am sure this has got to be an extremely hard decision to make. But we are praying! For you guys.Bourg Family P a g e | 140 . I know it is so far off for us. but so incredibly encouraging to watch you guys go through all these steps ahead of us. Pray that she makes it safely to court (a distance of 11 hours)..Brian So you are staying between court dates? That's Awesome! Praying for you three!!:) This is so exciting.Much love to you! . can't even imagine the anticipation you must be feeling! love to you guys! William and Brittany Praying for you. So excited.

we look like gypsies. baby wipes. We have two carry-on bags a piece as well. area. *Pics not shown Tonight we flew in to Dulles airport. and hurried around trying to get last minute packing done.C. we have two containers filled with food and must-haves like paper towels and macaroni and cheese! We get one other back to check on the plane a piece.C. with clothing and electronics. Basically.P a g e | 141 Day 1 of Travel No date ( I couldn't get an internet connection until now. so I'm posting this a little late. fought a lady who tried to take my bag that looked “just like hers”. and toiletries. so that left room for diapers. Our travel agent (Lindsey at Golden Rule is the BEST!) got us a hotel for free since we P a g e | 141 . received ALL of our checked luggage at baggage claim (HALLELUJAH! Miracle #1…check!) We are staying overnight at Embassy Suites in the Washington D. Since I am staying for possibly 3 months.! We woke up at around 6:00 a. depending on embassy clearance timelines.m. Sorry!) Today is step one of our trip to Ethiopia: Destination – Washington D.

and the best part is.C. What? Oh. where you think if you close your eyes. and it has swans in an indoor pond on the first floor. (US time) and 8 a.) Enjoy these pics of the trip so far! Our luggage: *Pics are not shown Embassy Suites D. made-to-order breakfast tomorrow morning! Tomorrow we will leave from D.C.m. I was expecting it to feel like a free hotel. at noon to head to Addis Ababa! We arrive tomorrow at 11ish p. We will put our bags in the hotel and head to the transition home to meet Zane for the first time! Pray for our meeting with him that God will miraculously cause him to understand that we are his parents and that we love him. the roaches and spiders will come out of the walls and slide into your bed.P a g e | 142 had a layover. you know. (Oh.: *Pics are not shown P a g e | 142 .C. and while you pray. (ET time).! Having loads of luggage is not how the Brannans roll. pray our luggage makes it to Addis from D.m. and craw into your ears… This hotel is anything but a “free feeling” hotel! It’s beautiful and comfortable. Anyone who knows Mark knows how compact and tidy he likes to be at all times! We have so much luggage it’s embarrassing.

2011 Today could not have gone any better. and. The flight to Addis Ababa was pleasant. of P a g e | 143 . and we immediately hit it off with jokes and laughing. We stood for about 10 minutes at the luggage carrel. HA! We were so out of it! As soon as we made it through customs. When we made it to the guest house. They have been a lot of fun to be with. we met 4 other American couples here for their court dates. I heard the most pleasant voice say. Job gave us the option of staying at the guest house to sleep or going to the cathedral (where Haile Selaisse is burried) tour they had planned. He then introduced us to our driver.12 Hour Flight to Addis and Meeting our Son! July 9. Ethiopian Airlines was really nice! All of our luggage made it to the airport as we landed! (Another miracle!) We only had 2 hours of sleep or so on the plane so we were a bit tired. Not too boring. "You must be Cimbrey! (pronounced correctly!)" I said. only to realize that our luggage had been pulled and set aside already near a post. a native of Addis Ababa. "And you must be JOB!" It was our travel guide with America World.P a g e | 143 Day 2 1/2 .

P a g e | 144 course. Afterward. We were thrilled to see one of the oldest Orthodox churches in Addis. Mark and I couldn't pass up the opportunity. and we were off to the transition home! P a g e | 144 . we had pizza and Khaldi's (Ethiopian starbucks) coffee.

not fussy at all. Transition Home. They were very excited about the adoption and told us about the court date and big trip! God bless your family. and a jungle animal game I had on my iPad. We saw Mark's parents a couple weeks ago at an anniversary party for my inlaws. He was very curious. While cautious. His sweet head just rested on my shoulder for most of the three hours we were with him.P a g e | 145 The nannies had to wake Zane up from a nap to come meet us. We played with cars (a favorite). and he loves to observe people and things. he did try a couple new games today. but so sweet. read a Tow Mater book (interactive book with sounds). He is a peaceful little fellow who seems to let others have the spotlight.Church. He was sleepy. He just wanted to be held the whole time. His personality is so easy-going and sweet. Comment: All the best to you and Mark and little Zane! Many prayers that the procedures and transition go very smoothly. and Traditional Dinner P a g e | 145 . – Lindsey Day 3 .

the minute I saw the sermon title. We slept so well last night. They have two services. woke up early to the sounds of roosters (and barking dogs). Hmmmmm. The pastor is an American. I have enjoyed every minute. This church was PACKED with people from all over the world.. which could be 12 weeks or more with the rainy season beginning August 8th. and maybe others. embassy decides to clear our adoption. and the praise team is American. It is very nerve-racking to me to imagine myself navigating this city that is so very different from what I'm used to. and we loaded the vans to go to the international evangelical church. both of which were full. I knew I was meant to be there. however.S. I will stay here until the U. Since our arrival here in Addis.P a g e | 146 July 10. 2011 Today began with hope. especially not speaking the P a g e | 146 . Ethiopia. Ethiopian. and we went up to the terrace to see the most beautiful view of Addis Ababa. we ate breakfast at the guest house with five other American families. Next. I have become increasingly anxious about Mark's departure on July 22nd. The music was great! Hillsong songs were sung predominately.. which I LOVE! The pastor's message was about fear.

. David insists on paying Araunah for the threshing floor. and worship the Lord.P a g e | 147 language. Then David says. What am I so scared of? What is the cost of staying in Ethiopia? My comfort? My security or safety? And what does the Lord want from me? A sacrifice that cost me something.. He has been told by God to buy it from him.. But it costs me nothing to do these good things in the comfort of my own home and my home church. Chapter 24 is about David being called by God to build an alter on the threshing floor of Araunah. As I sat on the terrace I read the chapter I happened to be on in 2 Samuel. It is easy. and Araunah emphatically says. "Oh King. I worship the Lord every Sunday in America." He wanted King David to have it for free. but David remembered God's words." I love that David obeyed even the details of God's call.. I have said aloud to Mark a couple times since we have been here. I felt like God gave me those words to reflect on today."buy it from him." The Lord has heard me. "I'm scared. God is P a g e | 147 . "I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." Whoa. and I spend time with God in his word and in prayer. and this morning he spoke directly to me. David obeys. Take whatever. I give you all of this. David could have easily rationalized the "free alter" as a gift from God and claimed it as the Lord's favor. build an alter there. However.

I have predominately come for my son. the difficulties of a new place. and that my fears should drive me to love. let it not be! What a waste it would be if I spent my time here complaining about the process. and love these people as God loves them. the pastor spoke on one of my FAVORITE passages from scripture that I memorized when I was a teen. If that wasn't a word from God that was clear enough. "When I am afraid. What can mortal man do to me?" Psalm 56.P a g e | 148 calling me to sacrifice. In God whose word I praise. But why am I here when I'm not bonding with him at the transition home? Is it just that I'm waiting on government red tape? Oh Lord. I am here to sacrifice myself. These words really caused me to think about what my purpose is here. In God I trust. I will trust in you. Yes. I was reminded by his message that God's perfect love casts out fear. I want to remember that in the low times when it gets hard to spend another day here and I just want to go home. and that God did not give us a spirit of fear. P a g e | 148 . the government. Every moment is an opportunity for someone to experience the peace and love of God through me. God is doing a new thing through me each day. but of power and love and a sound mind. I want to bring him home as soon as possible.

We appreciate your prayers and kind words on facebook and email. CIMBREY!!! God is doing incredible things already within you in the short time you have been in ET!!!! This is one beautiful post. Love you all! Comments: OOHHHH. my friend! Beautiful! I cannot believe we leave in 2 wake ups to join you in ET and meet our son!!!! SO CRAZY!!! Praising God with you right now!!!! Can't wait to see you. I'll post a video about that later. Our time with Zane was precious. His guard was down a bit more today. and reached for us to hold him. and we found out that he has a precious little friend in his room that is being adopted by a family we know. played. it takes too long to upload. dancing. my friend! May God continue to fill you with His Peace and His Joy and may He shower you and your family with His great Love!!! Blessings! – Debb P a g e | 149 . Tonight's traditional dinner was an amazing even filled with food. and great conversation with our America World travel group here. Right now. He laughed. It was a wonderful time together today.P a g e | 149 The rest of the day was filled with much more peace than I've had since I've been here.

Zane was very cheery yesterday. He cracked up! He thought it was hilarious. He could careless about what the book says. 2011 Yesterday we went to the transition home twice. But we kept modeling throws. He loved playing with a ball we brought that lights up. but when I waved my arms to try to pop them. the appointment fell during nap time. He still enjoys the Tow Mater book we brought him.P a g e | 150 Days 4-5 July 12. he had never been taught to throw. He's constantly learning. He's a little unsure about them. we had a doctor's appointment with Zane at the transition home. and it's awesome to watch. Clearly. and when he was awakened by the doctor. he did the same thing. He mostly loves pushing the buttons and hearing the sounds. he cried so terribly hard I almost started crying. as he wanted to hand the ball to us each time. It was painful to watch. Right before we left yesterday. The doctor went over his history. He is a very healthy boy. and he finally had the courage to let go and let us catch it in the air. and we are so thankful. He couldn't even breathe. we had to P a g e | 150 . and we taught him how to throw and catch. Unfortunately. Shortly after the appointment. two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. He had a great time playing catch most of the day. We also introduced him to bubbles.

as she is giving care to about 15 toddlers. let us feed him. Our time with Zane was a little different today. His nanny was there (she's been off the last two days). Abenezer and KVI in the afternoon.P a g e | 151 leave. In the long run. My heart breaks for her and for him. We received a video from an America World employee with an interview of Zane's birthmother. we watched it with heavy hearts. so it was a difficult goodbye. He is clearly attached to her. and trying to stay out of sight when we are there for his sake. and he was fussy when she gave him to me. P a g e | 151 . It's such a difficult transition. and we went to see Zane's orphanage. That evening. all he wanted to do today was walk. but his assigned nanny is particularly attached. and we will let him decide if he wants to share his story or not at that time. We plan to show it to Zane when he is older. He is obviously a favorite to all of the nannies. it is better for him to be with us. She is being so good about trying to hand him over to us. which is good because it shows he is getting the attention and care he needs. When I was able to calm him down. They all say his name and kiss him when they walk by. Today we went to the transition home in the morning. but it still feels weird taking him from her sometimes.

and watched kids play on the playground. I was so blessed.P a g e | 152 We walked up and down the court yard of the transition home countless times. The P a g e | 152 . After tons of walking. we played a little on the porch and then he completely passed out in my arms. when we saw Zane's orphanage. His walking is coming along. I hope each day. He loves to observe others. This afternoon. tried the stairs a few times. It was a great feeling to have him comfortable enough to sleep with me holding him. he learns to trust us more. You can tell he wants to be playing with the older kids and running around. watched the older boys play soccer.

Elizabeth. It was beautiful. some kind of traditional cake (like a pancake but more sugar). everyone celebrated with bottled soda (adults only). P a g e | 153 . and the nanny who cared for him. had the agency's representative speak about the child and how much she is loved by the nannies. They were so excited and so gracious. The kids were all very young . read aloud a letter for the child to read when she is older from the orphanage and how much she meant to them. We also went into the school and gave out some toys (chinese yo-yos. suckers.under 9. and we were so happy that child would have all of it on video when she is older. the bed he slept in. Afterward. runs a fantastic facility there. cookies. and prayed in Amharic and English for the girl and her new family.P a g e | 153 owner. This orphanage held the most beautiful ceremony for her. juice (kids). They all remembered him and told us how special he was. It was so incredible to watch. They did a traditional coffee ceremony for the adults. I was so thankful that Zane was in the care of these amazing people for a short time. frisbees. and an Ethiopian "chex mix" of sorts. and other little trinkets). cars. They were adopting a little girl from the orphanage. There was another American family there from California. We got to see Zane's picture on the wall.

. we offered thanks to our God for such a sweet gift!Love you!! .Lisa I LOVE this! I totally cried when I scrolled down and saw that picture of Mark and Zane! And then the image of Zane falling asleep in your arms is so beautiful! Love you! .kwyatt P a g e | 154 . It will get easier for Zane mama.and for you! You are doing a great job!! Michelle Ronnie's and my heart melted at the sight of Mark holding Zane! With great.. big smiles on our faces.P a g e | 154 Comments: I love love love the big smile Mark has while holding his son!!! So sweet.

We said yes to all questions and she informed us that the Ministry of Women..small world. WOW!!!!I just came across your blog. Children. and Im so happy for you and Mark to finally meet your son!!! I feel like I was just meeting you to begin your homestudy at CC. Pray that all obstacles would be removed for the employees of the ministry.P a g e | 155 Cimbrey. our knowledge of Ethiopia.. She asked us a series of questions about our commitment.. they are close in age. Please be in touch once home and settled we can have a play date with our boys. I love reading about your in-country experience. 2011 This morning we left for court at 9:00 am. and Youth Affairs had not given her our letter yet. as we had been informed that the ministry was about 20 days behind on Monday. etc.Blessings – Brenda Day 6 . and by 10:30 we were done! That's amazing time for Ethiopian court! We entered a small room with the judge who was sitting behind a desk... This was expected. Please pray with us that we will be approved by the court as soon as possible. We arrived at 9:30.Court! July 13. We are praying that they will expedite letters in large numbers for all families because courts close in mid-late August for the rainy season. and that our children would be able to P a g e | 155 . Im praying for a speedy embassy appt for you..

He loves to walk around the grounds when he's first woken up. We also blew bubbles. He had a great morning. He wants to play so badly. He also loves to play with anything that makes noises. He thought it was hilarious!!!! He wanted to do it over and over. Daddy held his hands while he climbed down the stairs. and played with the ball he loves so much. like a book or the ball. and back up the stairs to me. or anything. He wants to watch the older boys play soccer.P a g e | 156 come home quickly. Then he gets pretty wound up. It's funny. I would peer over the railing and surprise him with "Boo" and a tickle. Mark tried to change it up a bit ( I think he was getting bored with going in circles) and Zane refused. We learned what a chinese yo-yo is and he was able to operate it pretty well by the end of the hour. After court we spent time with Zane for about an hour before heading to lunch. Midway. and then he'll whine to get down and attempt to run with us holding his hands. P a g e | 156 . He does not want to play. After lunch. around the banister. He wants to practice walking. He's a little grumpy like his mama. Today. Once he's had time to wake up. Zane loves anything sports we've noticed. he likes to play with something on our blanket. It's facinating to him. cuddle. Zane was waking up from a nap.

and he laughed every time as if it were the first. Mark and I feel very much at peace with not passing court today. Zane joined them. they are over. and the tenderness he receives from all employees of the transition home. and they light up when they see each other. He was very cute today. the love of his nannies. we took Zane back to the toddler room. He does P a g e | 157 . It has a big window that opens to the porch. We hope to keep up with Zane's friend (the boy) in the states when we return because his family is our friend on facebook! The kids are like family. We know that God is Sovereign and Good. What a moment. but by the time the camera's out. I wish we could capture these impromptu moments on camera. In light of the happy times that Zane has had with these sweet children. As we were leaving. All the little ones gathered at the window as Mark pretended to hit them on the head with the chinese yo-yo through the glass. and he had the biggest smile we had ever seen. Zane and his two best friends.P a g e | 157 He wanted to do it the same way each time. It was the first words we had ever heard Zane say in English. They were cracking up so much they would fall to the floor. one a girl and another a boy from the same region stood at the glass and said "bye-bye" in English as we left.

We will continue to see him every day as we have been doing the past 5 days. .Madelyn Praying for peace for all. and your patience will be repaid. we hope that he trusts me enough to come with me without too much heart break. I will continue to go to the transition home every day and bond with him. His grace. sad. He needs God's peace. emotional little guy. And it's so good to know that it's all in bigger hands than ours. He knows us now. but not well enough for us to take him away yet. When Mark leaves on July 22nd.P a g e | 158 what is best. He would grieve so much the loss of his friends and "family" there. By the time we pass court. He is a sensitive. We appreciate your prayers so much! Comments: You are wise beyond your years. .Bourg P a g e | 158 . and harmful to him if we had passed court today and took him from the transition home. It's probably right that Zane needs more time to get to know you. and His joy as he enters this new life. I'm so glad that y'all are all enjoying this time together. Please pray for him. We feel that Zane's transition would be difficult. He needs time. and we believe God has shown us that in the past few days. you know.

Will pray for court documents! .Rob and Leah Day 7 .Coffee! July 14. They picked out "bad" beans and put them in a bucket. and it's such a beautiful building! The women sorting coffee beans were beautifully ornamented in colorful scarves. The bucket then went to a group of women P a g e | 159 .Brad and Lauren Holmes I love reading your updates and picturing y'all playing with your precious son. 2011 Today we visited the coffee factory here in Addis.P a g e | 159 You are such a good mommy already Cimbrey! I will be praying for Zane as he makes this transition and I am praying too that you get the paper work/ letter soon! . It was amazing.

and serves it in the shop. He absolutely loves the formula P a g e | 160 .P a g e | 160 sorting beans for local coffee and they would find "salvageable" beans to serve locally. so he thinks its the most authentic I think. Zane was in a great mood again. Nothing was wasted. we went to the best coffee shop in Addis. It makes its own coffee. according to Yonas. we went to the transition home. and I still can't remember it 10 minutes later. and we enjoyed playing with him. Kaldi's is a popular coffee shop here (like Starbucks) but they don't roast their own beans. roasts it. They get it from Tomaca??? I think that's the name of the shop we were at!!! Yonas and David laugh at me because I can't remember anything in Amharic. This afternoon. They've taught me to say "thank you" a thousand times. Next.

It's funny. Mark. and I played together and Zane learned that he can look at the guard and the pharmacist errand-runner over the railing. Tonight our travel group went to the airport to fly home. so it is awesome to get to meet her! Zane. who is picking up her daughter forever! YEA! Jenny took some pictures for us during her court trip. He's a little picky about real food. He can live in the south. and very similar in personalities. We'll definitely keep up at home. he loves mashed potatoes! Okay. I know two girls in the group. We're so sad.P a g e | 161 they give him.First Signs of Attachment No date We went to the transition home on Friday morning with Jenny Burke. The next travel group comes Saturday. Thankfully. We were all the same age. He thought it was so funny to have Daddy on the other side of the railing peeking at P a g e | 161 . They were the best group we could have asked for. so I'm excited to see them. Hope we have as much fun as we did with the last travel group! Day 8 .

His nanny saw us and brought out a toy piano (the old kind with the colored keys that ding a bell inside).P a g e | 162 him. Mama played the piano. and Daddy pretended to play a trumpet through a small plastic piece found on the ground. I raise the spoon in the air. and Mark tried to teach him the word. At the same time. This is good for attachment and P a g e | 162 . It's the small things that delight a child! Zane is very happy with any type of interactive play. I've been trying to get him to make eye-contact with me. What was the first song we taught Zane? The Mardi Gras Second Line song. So.his favorite. We walked over to the playground and he found an old formula can in the dirt. "empty". It's full of cinnamon and sugar I think. he loves to discover something and figure it out independently. When I've been feeding him. Then Mark turned it over and showed him how to play on it like a drum. Zane ate a snack . put his hand in it. He picked it up. say his name. but it still rang like it should. Ethiopia. and he looks in my eyes. He loves to move and be involved with us doing something. Zane liked this and he tried to make rhythms on it for about an hour. the Brannans formed an impromptu band in the middle of Addis Ababa. of course!!! Ha! We were laughing so hard that this is the song that came to mind first! After playing. The paint had been chipped off the metal plates. Zane played the drums. oatmeal.

Friday. It was good to see. he started to fall asleep. After spending time with Zane. Zane is on a great schedule. so Mama and Daddy are used as well. We then went to look at the P a g e | 163 . I got him to look in my eyes almost every time he took a bite. Before he was fully asleep.P a g e | 163 bonding because he realizes I will take care of his needs. In Amharic. I think he's starting to get it. I think the staff here likes that we are trying to learn Amharic and use it with him. He screamed and cried and reached out for me. I think he's understanding that I am his mama. Mama is emaye. It was great. We try to use Amharic to explain who we are. so I'm not totally sure if he understands what that means. our guides and driver said it was time to go. Father is Ababa and Dad is Ebaye. he uses them interchangably with us. so I had to hand him over to his nanny. It was so hard to walk away. The nannies try to use English with them some. As soon as he finished eating. We plan to give Zane these gifts as he gets older to keep him informed of his culture. but the fact that he was wanting to stay with me was a great sign that he is attaching to me. He attempts to say Mama and Daddy. we went to the Post Office area to shop for Ethiopian souveniers and gifts. however. His eyes started to close. so I tried to make him comfortable.

Tracy I check on y'all as soon as I get up in the mornings. It is a nice spacious place on the southwest side of the city. and I know it will be a good place to stay until the embassy clears our case. Please continue to pray with us. We'll update you on the legal stuff as soon as we find out! Comments: I finally had a chance to get caught up on your adventure! Praising God for how well things are going for you and hoping that letter gets there SOON. I am so excited to see how it is progressing!! We are continuing to pray!!!!!!!! – Michelle Day 9 . I felt very comfortable there. Have a coffee for me! .Laid back afternoon July 16.P a g e | 164 place I will be moving to when I'm able to take Zane from the transition home. and for the embassy to find no need to futher investigate our case. We are still praying for MOWCYA to expedite letters at a quick rate. 2011 P a g e | 164 .

and hang around the hotel. They arrived a the guest house with their children. the Dreyfes's. They are a lot of fun! The Mason's are adopting a baby boy. Then we all went to the transition home. It's so cool to see that. and Brannan's went to lunch with Yonas and David. and they decided to shower. The rest of us Autry's. and Daddy let him see the men unloading Wooha (water) P a g e | 165 . AWAA Transition Home Zane wanted to chill a little bit more than usual today. and the Burke's. Snyder's. The Autry's are adopting a sibling group of 4. The Mason's met us at the transition home and the Autry's and Mason's were able to meet their kids for this first time today. We walked around the grounds.P a g e | 165 This morning two families got to take their children from the transition home forever.

trucks. but he wanted me to hold him a lot. He's got a little ear infection. When Mark returned. He looked at some books with cars. and it is such a cool picture of what heaven will be like with all people singing praises to God. Zane went to the window with the other kids. smiled. but mostly wanted to cuddle. so we would appreciate your prayers about that. and Zane said "Daddy" and "Ababa" the entire time. he stopped. Mark left for a few minutes to go talk to some of the staff. P a g e | 166 . and waved goodbye again. played a little with plastic baby toys. Then we pretty much stayed on the porch the rest of the time. It's a full house here at the Yesabi again! We go to the International Church again tomorrow. When we left today. He was very interested in the process of taking water bottles out and putting empty water bottles in.P a g e | 166 from the truck. That is probably why he is a little cranky and just wanting to lay low. but his friends are WAY too exciting to be sad for long! We will get to meet the Marquez family and one other family coming in tonight. He was a little clingy when I dropped him off. and boats. I CAN'T WAIT! It is such a great church. planes. He wasn't much into saying "Mama" today. I think he knows what it means.

Emilee just got over an ear infection. we need only to be still. began with another great service at the International Church. day 10. We had two vans of families to ride to church with this week.P a g e | 167 It's almost dinner time here.Michelle Mark and Cimbrey. so I gotta run. fighting for us. but I know that God gives us times alone so He can show us His glory. it will be difficult. 2011 Yesterday. God is with us. Denise Marcon Days 10-11 July 18.. When Mark leaves.. The pastor reminded me that we are never alone. There comes a point in every path P a g e | 167 . I listened closely. I AM SO EXCITED for you! I can't wait to meet your little guy. Keep em comin! With Love. No fun at all! . Have a great day in the states! Comments: Poor sweetie. I am glued to your blog and check it at least 3 times per day!!! I love reading your stories. The sermon was on reconnecting with God during the valleys of life. as a potential valley is on the horizon.

we went to the transition home in the morning and visited Zane and then went to the orphanages again. He's such a happy boy. Mark taught him how to play the Aggie band beats on an old washbin. and that God gives him a grateful heart. Today. P a g e | 168 . but being out of his normal routine and making him eat outside has caused him to be a little squirmy and uninterested in eating. Dad is way fun! He said Daddy a lot and he wanted to play with Daddy. day 11. We have some great pictures and videos that we can't wait to post. I pray that God's truth overshadows any lies that He could believe about his life. It is there that God is able to show you how He is incredibly glorious and worthy of praise. He loved it! Texas Aggie class of 2027ish here we come! I pray that the joy of the Lord fills Him continually and that He knows Jesus in a very real way from an early age. He seemed to be feeling good and he had a lot of energy. but God is working all people and situations together for our good because We love Him.P a g e | 168 God walks you down where you realize you have no control. Afterall. Zane was fun and sweet again today. He laughed the entire time. Yesterday. I think Zane really started to bond with Daddy yesterday. our time with Zane was one of the best. Mark and I can do nothing to make our letter appear in court.

What's not to like about pasta? He also will not eat mashed bananas.P a g e | 169 Zane apparently does not like anything with pasta. The process is so interesting to watch! I got a coffee pot so that I can teach Zane how to do it someday. We about to eat dinner with travel group number 2! It's a fun group from all over the US. He may like them firm and not mashed. He's a precious. I will go visit them if I can. While I'm here. Mynlittle friend from our last visit was there again. Marks favorite is a little girl about 13. P a g e | 169 . polite little boy about 9years Old. They ares both great at soccer and so sweet! I really want to keep up with them. but hard for him and hard for me to leave him. He cried pretty hard when we left. We'll have to work on that more when we get home. Good for me. Why you ask? Good question. We went to Abenezer Orphanage and experienced another coffee ceremony with popcorn and these fantastic roasted wheat seeds. It's getting to where he doesn't want to go to the nannies. we hope to stay in touch as much as we can when we get home. I have to know what happens to them.

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Praying for MOWCYA to urgently write all of our letters this week!

Comments:
Finally caught up on your trip. How AMAZING!!! Give Zane a hug for all of
us. - Trent and Dana
so glad he's bonding so well with y'all!! it's probably the texture of mashed
bannanas :) brayden wouldn't touch them till we gave it to him whole :) –
Jenny

Day 12 - Korah
July 19, 2011
Many of you may have heard of the Korah dump in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
If you haven't, please watch this video on YouTube that shows a glimpse
of life in this small village in Addis. It is a short documentary of the people
who live in and around the dump.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=f4pgQvgdNqs&feature=player_embedded

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In 2008, a family named the Shannons adopted their youngest little girl
from Ethiopia. They felt God's call to come to Ethiopia and begin a church
a short time after returning home. They were obedient to God and moved
their family of 6 to Addis Ababa. Their hearts began to specifically ache
for the poor of Addis. God put it in their hearts to minister to Korah, the
region of Addis shown in the video above. What they realized through
their adoption of their daughter is that adoption is not a solution to the
problem of poverty and orphaned children. It is necessary and good that
God puts children into families that can take care of them; however, there
must be a way to keep children with their birth mothers, and help them
become healthy productive adults.

They had an idea to reach out to moms barely making ends meet, and the
Embracing Hope Ethiopia Day Care was born. Mothers from Korah and
surrounding areas in Addis (mostly single mothers) bring their children to a
free day care with high protein meals, basic education, and medical care.
Moms then can work at a regular job in the city and pick their children up
after work. The Shannons and their staff empower the moms to make a
living that will meet the needs of their family whether it is through their
daily job, or creating their own business. Mothers sew traditional clothing,
make baskets, and other crafts to sell to raise money for the Day Care.

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When mothers would usually be paid 2.5 birr for sewing a day, the Day
Care will pay them more, and then sell the items in the U.S. to raise
awareness and support. Each child at the Day Care is sponsored through a
sponsorship program, and this provides them with high protein meals (like
the peanut butter on bread that we saw them eating for breakfast this
morning), healthcare and hygiene education, business classes for the
moms, and other great resources.

Four families staying here with us this week woke up at 6:00 am to get
ready for our trip to the Day Care. We arrived at about 7:30 or shortly
after, and we were greeted by the Shannons and their children and a team
from South Africa with Global Challenge Expeditions. The team has

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traveled through about 8 countries in Africa so far working with children,
the poor, and interceding on behalf of the country. They are leaving
Ethiopia in a couple of weeks to go to Kenya, then Tanzania, Mozambique,
then back to South Africa. They are pouring out their lives, as the
Shannons are to see the truth of the Gospel of Jesus fleshed out. They are
demonstrating what it really means to love God by loving their "brothers".

It occured to me when I was at the Day Care this morning that had
something like this existed for Zane's mother, he might still be with her.
It's hard to say how I feel about that. I love Zane and want him to come
home to us so badly. He's our firstborn son, our pride, and our joy. But,
I'm sad for his birthmother sometimes. Life is complicated, and only God
knows what's best. In a perfect world, every child would be nurtured by
his birthmother, and live a long, healthy, happy life with his birth family.
There would be no poverty, illness, pain, abuse, addiction, and vices that
leave children orphaned and alone. Maybe that is why God said, "I will not
leave you as orphans, I will come to you..." and "I will never leave you or
foresake you..." and "How can a mother forget the baby at her breast?
Though she may forget, I will never forget you. I will never leave you."

I guess in some way, God shows us who He is through our pain. If we

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never had difficulty, would we need Him? Would we know Him? Would we
see His glory revealed to us?

Adoption is a bittersweet concept, like many things in our lives. Through
someone's pain, another finds joy. We don't find joy in Zane's
birthmother's pain, but we find joy in the hope of a child. Zane's name
means, "God is Gracious." Grace is the "free and unmerited favor of God,
His goodwill toward sinners, His kindness." His birthmother gave him a
name that means "The New One". We believe that because of God's
kindness and love toward Zane, our son has been given a new beginning.
This is the concept of redemption. God's unmerited favor on us, and his
ability to make all things new, has given us the opportunity to receive
forgiveness, love, and power through His Holy Spirit. We pray that one day
Zane will choose to bind himself to the God who has redeemed him in a
physical and spiritual sense. Only then will Zane know the ultimate
adoption - the adoption God has offered for those of us who are willing to
be grafted into His family.

I held Zane as he fell asleep in my arms today at naptime. He was warm
despite the chilly rain outside, well-fed with barley and rice cereal, his face
was peaceful as he stared into my eyes. His body released as he floated

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into a deep sleep, and I thought, "this is the sweetest boy, and I am the
luckiest Mama in the world." Somehow, someway "God works together all
things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His
purpose."

"'Though the mountains be shaken, and the hills be removed, His unfailing
love for us will never be shaken, nor his covenant of peace be removed,'
says the Lord who has compassion on you." Isaiah 54:10

***Please visit http://www.embracinghopeethiopia.com/our-vision/ to get
more information about the Day Care in Korah and how you can sponsor a
child!
Comments:
i love what you shared about birthmothers. i think about our 2
birthmothers constantly and fortunately can keep in contact with one of
them. i'm loving following your journey and reading how quickly he's
bonding with you guys. so happy for your family! – Melodie

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Day 13-14 - Time with Zane and Entoto
Mountain
July 21, 2011
Since we first met Zane, he has been walking only with support from
nannies, us, furniture, or whatever he can use to keep his balance. On
Day 8 or so, we were able to help Zane walk a few steps without support
from Daddy to me and back. We knew he was close, but a little too wobbly
still to walk on his own. He loves to practice though, and since he's been
playing with us outside, he's been watching the older boys play soccer. He
will stare at them for a long time, then get down and try to walk really fast
with our support. I think he's trying to run! On Day 10, Daddy was sitting
a little far from Zane and I and he randomly got up on his own and walked
by himself to Daddy. It was about 4 steps. I guess you can say that those
were his first steps; however, we thought maybe it was just a fluke. So we
tried again. Zane wanted to hold our hands to walk the rest of the day.
"Oh well," we thought, "he'll walk when he's ready." On Day 12, Zane
walked from one end of the porch to the other to meet me on the other
side. He definitely was walking on his own with no support this time. The
nannies came to the window to watch and he did it again! All the nannies
clapped and cheered for him. It was so sweet. That confirmed for me that

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it was the first time he had walked on his own. He will still go short
distances by himself, but he likes to hold our hands most of the time still.
Today we got a really good picture of him walking on his own and leaning
his hand "cooly" against the wall like a stud model. It was so funny and
totally not planned. I think he likes his new found freedom.

Yesterday after spending time with Zane, we went to Entoto Mountain. It's
the mountain just outside of Addis Ababa that is know for the women who
carry wood down to the market at the mountain's base to sell each day.

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We drove to the top, and looked out over Addis Ababa. We also saw St.
Mary's Church at the top and the palace of Menelik I and his wife.

It is so beautiful in the mountain. The air is cleaner and birds are
everywhere. We saw several black "eagles" (according to the guide) that
strongly resembled ravens (hmmm...). The palace is made of a plaster

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I mean totally different huts. There was a separate bedroom area and living/dining area. By separate.P a g e | 179 that serves as a natural cooling system for the palace. P a g e | 179 . They have tall ceilings and ox skin covered by a thatched roof.

Tim. Mark and Tim were very proud that they were ahead of Ethiopian runners for approximately 20 yards (not to mention. Mark and Tim started 30 minutes before them)! P a g e | 180 . Justin. Mark. Entoto and Saluta Mountains are prime locations for Ethiopian runners to train. and Randall thought it would be exciting to wake up at 5:30 in the morning. Rob. Nikki. have Job and David pick them up. And a little crazy. Arnold.P a g e | 180 So apparently. Laura. They're very brave. and go running up Saluta Mountain with Ethiopian runners! Wow.

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and you with him! . I encouraged Mark to hold him as much as possible today. Thanks! . This morning. Zane really seems to be bonding with y'all .John and Tara Day 15 . and I drowsily got out of bed knowing what this day would bring. and Zane refused to stay awake and eat his lunch. so he may have a cold.P a g e | 182 Comments: I love that you were there for his first steps. The morning flew by. my name is Tara and my husband and I are leaving for Ethiopia in less than a week for our court date! My friend Caren is friends with one of your friends I think and she gave me your contact info:).. 2011 Today began with solemn hearts. and I'm assuming he didn't sleep very well. I've noticed his nose is running more than usual. We ate breakfast at the Guest House with all the families we've enjoyed spending time with so much. Also.com. Would love to email with you! My email is tarardunn@gmail. and I stood back more to allow them time together. He P a g e | 182 . There was a big thunderstorm last night.. Zane was a little crabby.Judi Hey Cimbrey. and headed out for the transition home.Last Day With Daddy July 22. Mark packed his bags.

Mark and I decided to go back to the transition home to see our precious little boy. and had a pretty good afternoon (despite the looming cloud of sadness covering us because Mark was leaving. changed him. He was in a better mood this afternoon. Of course. and we headed to lunch with our group. but it was so hard to tear ourselves away from him. He played with Daddy. and Zane screamed and cried more than we've ever seen.P a g e | 183 was so fussy and rubbing his eyes so much that we let him fall asleep at 11:30 (about 30-45 minutes earlier than usual) About 12:30. we gave him to his nanny. they woke him up. P a g e | 183 . and let him come outside with us. We knew it was best if we left quickly. ate well. This afternoon we split into a shopping group and a transition home group. especially for Mark. He slept for over three hours. I exaggerate a little.) Mark was able to say goodbye and love on Zane as we left. At 2:45. He gave him to his nanny.

I know that God is refining both of us. and family building for the Brannans.. he makes the jokes. renew. and frankly. Mark's jokes and good humor even surpass cultural boundaries. His presence. Together. and change over time. Ultimately. We've enjoyed being in Ethiopia together. We're not really living. and I laugh at them! (Every single one. it is so difficult to part ways and not know how long it will be until we see each other again. However.over and over again. he makes the whole trip a lot of fun for everyone. Living things are meant to grow. we are dead if we are not allowing Christ to change us. He always is. I feel like my personality changes too.. as our new Ethiopian friends have gotten a kick out of him the past two weeks as well.. no answers. Time away from people you love and depend on is a great way for God to remind you of His depth of love. He leaves a trail of laughter wherever he goes. Mark is my best friend. adventure. When he leaves. P a g e | 184 .) It's a perfect match! But I'm afraid I'm a little more shy without Mark's witty one-liners and quick remarks. Spiritually. and no one telling you how much longer until you get there.P a g e | 184 In this process there is no clear road. and getting to know our son and his heritage.. unless we are changing. The past two weeks has been an amazing time of bonding.

I am asking God to bring you peace with Mark gone. I ask.. I cant wait to meet and Zane! Thank you for sharing your heart. Like Moses. I got a traditional bowl and salt/pepper shakers carved from P a g e | 185 . It means so much." (Exodus 33)... Comments: Cim.enjoy that precious little guy! – Michelle Day 16 . "Lord. His words and His work among us are so evident when all distractions cease. I do not want to go anywhere if the Lord's presence does not go with me. This is what I pray for during this time that Mark and I are apart. You are so right.Alone with Zane July 23. and we can see His face.) = Kat Praying for peace and quick passage of time.I am praying every single morning.P a g e | 185 and His surpassing greatness. I met the other families downstairs for breakfast then went shopping with Debb and Jeff Marquez and Sherry Kishbaugh. His humor is a gift to everyone around him .. Like him. now show me your glory. 2011 Today I woke up feeling pretty rested.

plaster Africa box to add to the coffee set. He doesn't need or want to be entertained with a lot of toys and distractions. After pizza. He loves to watch people as I hold him on my hip. Zane was in a good mood when he woke up from his afternoon nap. Then we all drove over to the transition home. ebony nativity. We played on the playground and he loved peeking through the bars as I said. He says "mama" when I come get him now and he reaches for me. a toy for Zane. That's it. and he loves P a g e | 186 . woven coffee separater. which sort of tastes like home. and a beautiful painted. Zane's best friend is the master of peek-a-boo. "Boo!" It's a game that never gets old. and framed Coptic cross I got last week. We ate at Metro Pizza today (again. You start to enjoy things like peek-a-boo because you see how much joy it brings to them. He wants me. I picked up a Carmel Macchiato.it's the 4th time for me) next to Kaldi's Coffee. which I love. bag. and I really love it. I hope to go back later and get a few more things when my mom is here. Little kids remind you how funny and sweet life is..P a g e | 186 ebony.. He wants to play it almost every time I see him! We're hoping to keep the two boys in contact once we move back to the states (thanks Nichols!) I'm realizing how simple Zane is.

three couples had to leave their little ones today to go home to the states. I'm seeing in my son the importance of decluttering life and enjoying time together. and I'm encouraged to slow down and join him. even my prayers when all he wants is me? I think life is a lot more simple than we make it. He's devastated when I leave and crying for me now. When we offer Zane a toy we brought. especially when they have spent so much time and energy to be together. and they light up in hope that their parents' P a g e | 187 . my "obligations" of church. Mark and I joked that we may have a horticulturalist in the making. he refuses it and reaches for a leaf on a tree. It's sad to see families and friends separated. Do I try to entertain him with my religious acts. One family is bringing home their baby boy. like a balloon that he can examine for hours. but I wonder if he just enjoys the things some of us overlook? I'm challenged by Zane's ability to notice. I nearly cried. It's hard to see their kids the next day when the van of Americans pulls up. I've thought a little bit about how I tend to show love by giving him things or trying to entertain him.P a g e | 187 to focus on one thing at a time. In addition. and I wonder if God ever sees me that way. but their precious daughter who has spent the week here with them had to leave her close Ethiopian friend behind. when all he wants is my time and affection. When I left Zane today.

my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the P a g e | 188 . only to walk away in disappointment when they are not there.P a g e | 188 flight has been delayed and they can spend one more day with them. We all fall victim to it. and that we have nothing to do. and our important social lives. This "wealth" is for all who will call upon the name of the Lord and be saved. Yet we complain that our job is tiresome. Why do we complain? Because our lives are meant to be poured out for others. purposeful way to live. There's a dream of a house and a bedroom that they can call theirs. our favorite tv programs. our DVR didn't record our show. This life isn't for select few that "measure up" to God's grace. our house is too small. What about the 5-6 million others in Ethiopia who have waited so long? The ones who have given up on hope? When will it be their turn? We have so much. Heartbreaking. But for them there is hope! There's a picture of a family that will be there's. our car is too old. for that would be impossible. Our lives revolve our jobs. "Listen. Gluttony is self-destruction in the worst way. our houses. yet our world is not lacking in need. our cars. Giving ourselves for the cause of Christ's work in the world is the most fulfilling.

2011 My mom arrived in Addis Ababa late last night. and scripture so that you can see God working. "Praise God from whom all blessings flow. – Deanna Day 17 . Thanks for being open to sharing this journey with all of us. We went straight to bed and woke up for church this morning. The band stops playing and a chorus of voices loudly sing. The pastor is so great about connecting current events. We've sung it the past two Sundays now. pray for the world. Praise Father. It's so encouraging to be there with people from all over the world all praising our God. The sermon was on Re-connecting with God in a Crisis. Praise Him above.P a g e | 189 eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?" James 2:5 Comment: You have a way with words that let you express your heart in such a beautiful way.Mom's Here! July 24. Son. Praise God all creatures here below. The highlight of the service was the Doxology. personal lives. ye heavenly hosts. and apply God's word to your life. and Holy P a g e | 189 .

as I know how much she P a g e | 190 . It's one of my favorites here. that makes this Texas girl VERY happy. "YEAAAAA!" So far I don't think self-confidence will be an issue! Zane continues to be really sad when I leave. but we kept saying.. Oddly enough. and he even cried when he went to her. Beautiful. he shouted. It was really sweet. the quesadillas and fajitas are AWESOME! Of course. "Mimi. Mom played with the basketball and rolled it with him. mom and I went with the AWAA travel group to Island Breeze restaurant. Next. and he smiled and enjoyed it. This was awkward for me.P a g e | 190 Ghost." He wasn't afraid of her. Ethiopia. Amen!" The best thing is the sound of accents of people from Mozambique. America. mom met Zane at the transition home for the first time. and all other places singing these words in English to God. Germany. His #1 nanny was here today.. Zane is mimicking my voice and expressions more and more. He didn't really understand who she was. and didn't shy away from her like he does with most people. After church. He now initiates a "YEA!" for himself when he does something he likes! Every time mom or I rolled the ball to him and he caught it. Mimi.

I guess this is why God says. love can become jaded. I took a picture of Zane and his caregiver today. and the way that all of the babies are given a "transitional mommy" who risks her own heartbreak to love them. Love is one of those things that can't exist as a guarded display of human emotion. and forgive at the same time. confident. It has to be the most difficult job in the world to part with these little ones. trust. In others we see manifestations of God's perfect love. Somehow. It's relentless. I want him to know about this selfless love she reflects. It is steady and sure even when emotion ceases.to love like Christ loves us." I just don't see how love can exist apart from Him. It's amazing how much they open their hearts to children. It makes me want to love in complete abandonment like them without protecting my heart . knowing they will have to leave one day. and selfish. I P a g e | 191 . "I am love" and "perfect love drives out fear" and "greater love has no man but this. perfect love loves enough to let go. When we abide in Christ. that he would lay down his life for his friends. codependent. our love is a renewable resource poured out onto others.P a g e | 191 loves him. and full commitment. despite the fact he knows we are prone to wander from him. And to do it continually breaks my heart. but in our humanity.

.. Soooo.we need a MIRACLE! I know that you are praying for us. I appreciate so much all of the encouragement we have received on our P a g e | 192 . but really August 5 because they don't work on Sat.I want to love without abandon! – Erica Day 18 . Hmmmmm.Diane How precious that you are able to share this time with your mom! I love what you wrote about love :) I think I guard myself too much sometimes. and Sun. Comments: Beautiful post. We were told approximately 20 business days when we went to court on July 13th.. August 7. and we feel your prayers. ... we will be on day 17 of our wait on August 5th. 2011 Today is day 8 of our wait for the MOWCYA letter.. Cimbrey! Really touching and true.for those of you doing the math. Courts will close next week.P a g e | 192 thank the Lord for her and other "mommies" around the world today who are fostering children until they can be with a forever family.Waiting on MOWCYA July 25.

God seems to remind me of this truth: HE is the Father of the fatherless. Pray that the would be diligent and determined to write letters for all of us who have had court dates during July. Pray that they would see a child's face. P a g e | 193 . our Father." No! He's the Father. Through this process. Pray for me that I will be encouraged in the wait.P a g e | 193 blog and on Facebook. NOT ME. He will never leave Zane or forsake him. every time I get impatient. continue to see progress with Zane. I have to believe now more than ever that God can make a way for the seemingly impossible for His Name and His renown. No matter what the timing of our adoption is. HE is the defender of orphans and the vulnerable. God is a miraculous and loving God. read their story and feel compassion to help them as quickly as possible. "I will be the father of the fatherless through you. Pray that the judge would approve our case quickly and submit our paperwork to embassy so that we can get our children in the loving homes God has provided for them. and how long or confusing it seems to me. We ask that you continue to pray for the Ministry here in charge of writing favorable letters to the court for adoption. and enjoy my time with him. God did not say. I know that He is sovereign and good. period. even at the transition home for a couple of supervised hours a day.

you would give him a stone instead? If a child asked you for a fish. I will continue to pray for your new family and the situation with court and all. Zane is already so blessed! I am so proud of you for searching God and His truth and for trusting Him to meet all of P a g e | 194 . would you give him a snake instead? Or if he asked for an egg. how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Luke 11:10-13) I I know God can provide for my child better than I ever could. though you are evil know how to give good gifts to your children. if his son asked you to give him bread. so I have to trust that He's doing what He's promised! Thank you again for your prayers and encouragement! Comments: Cimbrey.P a g e | 194 "Which of you fathers. Your blogs are such an inspiration! I am still checking your blog three times a day to make sure I don't miss any updates. would you give him a scorpion? Of course not! If you then. I love every word that you have written!!!! You are still rocking my world even though you are a world away from me.

. It's hard for me to think of anything else.. I could barely hold myself together but you didn't shed a tear. I asked you later how you made it through the ceremony with such ease. it was a mere two-thousand-nine-hundred-twenty days ago that I watched the doors swing open at the back of the church in Bryan. who can be against us? Our God is stronger and He is higher than any other. The line from a song came to mind today in prayer. I love you and can't wait to see ALL of you when you get back home.P a g e | 195 your needs. you were not going to let your make-up get messed up in P a g e | 195 . 2011 [This guest post is brought to you thanks to Cimbrey's use of the same password on just about everything for the last 8 years. Love you!!! – Kat Suprise Guest Post: Happy Eighth Year Anniversary! July 26. If God is for us. Mark] Cimbrey. Lots of love.Denise Cimbrey! I am praying for you and for Zane. Texas to see your radiant smile marching down the aisle. and you told me that you had been given a supernatural strength of conviction and confidence. but most importantly. Denise Marcon .

P a g e | 196 front of God and everybody. It was your strength of character and dependence upon the Lord that lead us through the storm and towards brighter days. Even in the darkest days after Hurricane Katrina. Texas and were thrilled when I got a job there? Well I remember how not thrilled you were when I called you back and said we are moving to New Orleans. but I look back at what God formed through our crisis. and I treasure the tribulations of those early days. and I am inspired by the way you lead us to adoption as plan A. I love the heart you have for God's children. you wanted nothing but to move back to your city. It's true the first 700 or so days were tough going for the two of us. I love how you remain open to the Lord's plan for you despite your own desires. agreed to follow me. But I also love how you were flexible. Remember when you told me you wanted to move to Fort Worth. and I am P a g e | 196 . We love to joke with our friends that our 8 years of marriage have been the best 6 years of our life. I know the many people who read your blog every day see the light of Christ in you through this process. and through your faith you came to love the city and its people more than you ever thought possible.

and I can't wait for the three of us to be together again. display faithfulness in God's calling to the extent that you have grown to love Ethiopia and its people as your own. Cim! P a g e | 197 . and I have full confidence in you.P a g e | 197 grateful for your daily surrender. you remain confident in your calling. You work eagerly to care for our family and your faith makes you strong for the task. in a time where it would be easy to feel alone. You speak wisdom and it is easy to praise you because you fear the Lord! After Eight years we now sit 8000 miles apart. You open your arms to those in need and you do not fear uncertainty. You are a remarkable woman of noble character. Zane loves his Momma. Now. and you surrender daily despite the uncertainty that remains before us in the adoption process. continue to rely upon the Lord. but I have never felt closer to you! Happy Anniversary.

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Love, Mark

Since I am in Texas this week, I'll close with a country song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=Af8mB9ABuJA&feature=player_embedded
Comments:
Oh, wow. That made me tear up a bit. Happy anniversary, and God bless
as you set out on this new adventure! - Mary
You guys are so AMAZING! I can't wait to see your family together!
Thinking about you often!
Mark, thank you for the surprise and the loving words. You have honored
me so much! I love you and I'm so happy that you asked me to marry you
8 years ago today. - Cimbrey
dang it mark! I don't to cry while reading blogs. ugh. so sweet! miss you
cimbrey! - Rachel

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im pretty sure i cried enough for both me AND cimbrey.congratulations!
you are very lucky to have each other, and i admire the amount of love,
commitment, and effort you both put towards your relationship. - Jay
I used to joke at work that I was President of Cimbrey's Fan club. Now I
guess I'm President of Mark's Fan Club too!!! Love you guys!!!! - Denise
Happy anniversary! What a blessing you are to each other, and to all of us
lucky enough to know you! May God be with you on this new adventure
called "parenting!" - Michelle
So so very sweet! Happy Anniversary! - Little Lamb

Day 19 - All Day at the Transition Home
July 27, 2011
I have to start this entry with a major shout out to my awesome husband,
Mark Brannan! It was a great surprise and the best gift I could have
received to read the words he said about me. Now, if only they were
true...JK

Today Mom and I spent the entire day at the transition home. We packed a
lunch, ate breakfast at the guest house, and we were on our way. Zane
had a rough morning, but so did we. We were all so tired. Mom is still

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trying to get used to the new time zone, Zane is not used to all this oneon-one attention and stimulation, and I, well, I just stayed up too late last
night.

We walked around the campus with Zane, played with some toys, and took
it easy this morning. At about 11:55, Zane's lunch came, and he went into
a major fit; not because he didn't like it, but because he was ready to go to
sleep. His nap time is 12ish, so lunch was really late today. He refused to
eat and cried so hard. I tried to console him, but he was inconsolable. I
gave him to his nanny to see if she could figure it out, but he cried harder.
The guard walked up, took him in his arms, and he immediately stopped
crying. What? Of course he couldn't stand their and rock him to sleep, so
he tried to give him back to me. He wailed. I decided he needed to just
lay down and go to sleep. And I did too, so well all, Mom, me, and Zane
took a rest. I fell asleep on the couch, and mom read a book.

When Zane woke up, he was much better, and he drank 13 ounces of
formula. He was hungry. We read a book, kicked the soccer ball, and
played. He was back to himself. I did notice a croupy cough today, so
Zane may be getting sick...again. Please pray for him and all of the kids.
They are constantly passing around colds and other sicknesses. They

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need to be with their parents and away from other sick kids so they can
get better.

Next week is the last week courts are open. I am hoping to pass court and
take Zane out of the transition home by Friday. If we do not pass, we may
have to revert to plan B. What is plan B? I don't know yet. We didn't plan
for plan B! Plan B may be God's plan A, and we are open to whatever
timetable he has us on.

Pray that God gives Mark and I clear direction about our next steps as a
family.

Day 21 - I'm loosing count
July 28, 2011
Today is either day 20 or 21. I'm starting to loose track of time. I feel like
Tom Hanks in Castaway. I might start carving tally marks in the wall to
keep track of the day. As long as I don't find a volleyball and name it
Wilson, I think I'll be okay; although a soccer ball might have to suffice
here.

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Zane is so funny and curious. He watches videos Mark left on our iPad
where Mark's talking to him and being silly almost every day. He stares at
it and says "Daddy" over and over again. I reply, "That's Daddy!" and he
just stares expressionless a little longer. I think he's totally confused. My
thoughts were verified when he picked up the iPad and looked behind it for
Daddy. He even tried to separate the cover from the iPad to see if Daddy
was inbetween the iPad and the cover! I guess he thinks Daddy is hiding
behind the screen! It's really cute to watch...and sad at the same time. I
wish Mark was here so Zane could see him in person. I know Zane wishes
he were here too. At least Mark can rest in the fact that his child thinks
he's skinnier than an iPad. That's a compliment, right?

Today was a great day with Zane. He was in a good mood again, and mom
and I enjoyed being with him. He ate pretty well when the cooks made
him his favorite "cereal", but he will not eat pasta. No shape, no matter
what the sauce is. I don't get it. They gave him pasta stars today. What
kid doesn't like pasta stars?
I'm beginning to think we have a picky eater on our hands, and honestly, I
don't know how to handle that! Neither Mark or I have ever been picky
eaters! Zane has learned how to get what he wants at the transition
home, and the nannies are well aware of his preferences. It's amazing

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how such a young person can have everyone doing his bidding. Looks like
Zane's going to get a "re-boot" in America, so he can receive what he
needs, not just what he wants.

Zane is a really good boy, and he shows a lot of potential developmentally
and in attachment. So many children at the transition home
are desperate for attention and affection. They latch on to any "mommy"
that comes along, and they are indiscriminate about their attachment
toward adults. This can seem really cute and lovable, but it actually shows
a lack of attachment and bonding. They have not learned who is safe and
who isn't, or the difference between mom and dad and a stranger. I thank
the Lord that Zane seems to be VERY discriminate and VERY particular
about who touches him, who holds him, etc. He will whine when mom is
holding him and I step away for a minute. This may seem like he's a fussy
baby, but this is the best gift he could give his mom and dad. This shows
that he has bonded with us, and he knows who his parents are.

When Zane and I went to visit his old baby room today, the nannies he
was with were so loving toward him. He's definitely a favorite to many of
them. They hold his hands and kiss them over and over. One of the
nannies said, "Na! Na!", which means, "Come!" and he didn't reach for

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them. He burrowed his arms in my chest and looked away. They laughed
and said something in Amharic, which I interpret to be something like,
"He's attaching well to mommy!" I heard "mommy" in there, and they
seemed pleased.

Soon afterward, the doctor, who saw Zane this morning, saw us on the
sidewalk enjoying the sunshine, and she said, "He really loves you. He
cries when he comes to me! He doesn't like for me to examine him." She
said it with a smile of approval, and it really blessed me for her to say this.

Sometimes I don't know if I'm doing the right thing or if I'm being criticized
by the people around me at the transition home. My self-consciousness
gets the better of me and I fear that people are talking about me in
Amharic sometimes. It's hard to tell with the difference in language and
tone. I don't know what to make of their stares sometimes and their "firm"
and "demonstrative" expressions. Today, I felt like the Lord graced me
with affirmation from the people here, and I know this encouragement was
from him.

Mom and I stayed at the transition home until noon and we returned to the
guest house to eat lunch with Megan and Aliyea, her adopted daughter.

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They left this evening to return to the states. Aliyea was so excited she
was kissing Mom and I and running around like crazy. I know Dustin and
the boys are going to be glad when the girls get home!

We are here now with a Danish couple and her dad, Laura Unrah, her dad,
and two adopted children, and another family will be arriving tonight for
their embassy appointment. No one else will have court appointments
before the court closures next Friday, so I see many families come in, pick
up their children, and return to the states. It is wonderful to see, yet when
each family leaves, I feel lonesome for them. There is something about
being on the other side of the world with Christian families who love their
adopted children that make you immediately bond with them. I miss all
the families I've been fortunate enough to meet so much!

I appreciate your prayers, and I feel peace that God is going to clearly
show us what our next steps are when it is time for us to know. Thank you
for your love and support!

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Comments:
Thank you for keeping us up to date, Cimbrey. I am so glad that God is
giving you affirmation as you need it. I remember feeling that disapproval
from the nurses when Trey was in NICU as a baby. I still have no idea
whether they approved or disapproved -- but looking back, I realize how
little it mattered. But it's hard to see that in the midst of learning to parent
a child around people who have a stake in how he's parented!
I'm praying daily for everything to come together in time for y'all-Christi

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our time. God is with you.Cole I couldn't sleep last night from 12:45-4 a.especially for that MOWA letter! Can't wait until you and Zane are home! . Just let me know if you'd be up for meeting:). (No clue why. 1st.I'm praying for you like crazy.. 4th.Michelle Cimbrey .my gmail is not working well but facebook is for some reason..) Anyhow.John and Tara P a g e | 207 .Jon and Anna Hey Cimbrey! John and I are in Ethiopia now and we'd love to meet up with you and your mom at some point! Internet connection isn't the best here. .m. We're around today and then will be gone tomorrow traveling to our son's village until Aug.. I spent a lot of that time praying for you and Zane and Mark and MOWCYA letters and everything else..P a g e | 207 Spent time praying for you this morning! Praying that everything you need for the courts will come asap! Thanks for sharing your precious moments with Zane! . We leave late the evening of Aug.. even when you can't feel it! .stress of having 7 kids right now? Who knows. You can message me on our blog or on facebook (John-Tara Dunn)..

and balls for Zane to play with here. books. and I've been trying to bring one or two to him at a time. Mom brought cars. 2011 Mom and I went to the transition home this morning at about 9:30 with two other families here picking up their children to go home forever. I thought he would be interested in looking at them and holding them for a while. I brought out the new toys. Then. We played for a while rolling the cars back-and-forth. Zane eyed me through the window when I arrived this morning and reached for me. then take off to go walking as usual. But he immediately sat on the porch and started rolling them. as Mom directed them to go the P a g e | 208 . I let him get tired of them.Belly Laughs July 29. The nanny quickly changed him and brought him outside.P a g e | 208 Day 22 . It was great to see one of Zane's friends reunited with his parents after a long wait between their first court appointment in January and their embassy trip this week. He was calm and cuddly and stared at his friend as he sat with his new parents. then bring new ones when he's ready for something different. Today it was the Monster Truck and Hot Wheels car. trucks.

I yelled. He pressed it about 15 times in a row today and moved his upper body back and forth to dance to the rhythm. so I'm super glad to have "Zane and my first dance" recorded! P a g e | 209 . using it for support. walk around the back of a chair.000 times on his sweet cheeks! Mom caught some of it on video. and he grinned one of those open-mouthed. Zane did the same thing about three more times throughout the morning. I mimicked him and stopped when the music stopped. He thought it was so funny that the toothy grin came back out and I couldn't help but kiss him 1. This went on for a while. Each time he did it. I grabbed him and squeezed him so tight. It made him so happy to make his mama proud! One of the books Mom brought for Zane is a cars book that makes noises when you press the buttons. the music that plays has a catchy rhythm that makes him want to move. Each time Zane rolled it or caught it. Zane learned yesterday that if he presses a certain button. smile at his friends. then Zane decided to stand up. "YEA!" and his face lit up with a beautiful smile. toothy grins that grabs my heart. and each time I squeezed him and showed him how proud I was of him. He would start it up again. and walk proudly by himself back over to me. and I danced automatically.P a g e | 209 right direction (thanks Mom!).

Just before lunch. lifted his head to my shoulder and kissed him with 100 kisses on his face. I swung him toward me. Zane and I were alone together on the porch. it was unrestricted. This time. I grabbed him and swung him upward just as he grabbed the car in his hand. he rested freely in my arms knowing that I would not let him fall. then swung him backward again. When I put him down. I tilted him backward and tickled his throat. I heard the first belly laugh from Zane as I tickled his throat again. This experience marks one of the first times that I felt Zane really trust me without fear. We did this three or four more times before I spun around several times with him next to my chest. He chuckled as he threw his head backward and starred into the sky. He thought it was hilarious! He laughed so hard! So since he thought it was a big joke that he nearly tumbled down the stairs. He's such a sweet boy. until I felt dizzy. P a g e | 210 . From the moment I grabbed him from his crawl to swinging him around and around. my mom. he immediately got into his fastest moving stance (the crawl) and took off for the stairs.P a g e | 210 Zane continues to be more and more comfortable with "Mimi". His face was priceless. and I set him on his feet to get it. He went to her three or four times today and gave her hugs. For both of us. He threw his car down. She melted with delight.

skepticism. we would have lost a special memory.P a g e | 211 thrilling fun! Of course. He knows the thrilling moment with Him that I refuse at times. We will only know the thrilling ride of life with Jesus if we surrender our reservations and hindrances and dive in fully to the Christian P a g e | 211 . I wasn't the one being swung around in the air. and one that I will never forget. Sometimes I wonder if my cautious nature. lay back in his arms. that it felt like I was experiencing the entire event with him. a moment in time that will never be repeated. or overanalyzation of events causes me to miss out on the delight God has for me in this life. For God. what am I risking to NOT let go and surrender my life into His hands? For Zane and I. and I know His heart breaks at my fussing and whining. but I delighted so much in seeing him completely enthralled with the moment. What am I really risking to fall completely into His plan for my life? Better yet. I'm sure He has longed for me to trust him to pick me up and rescue me from tumbling. I wonder if I'd be so careful. I imagine there have been many times that God wanted me to release my head. If I could only see His arms surrounding me. there may be much more at stake. Our entire life's joy and satisfaction relies on Him. and look up at the sky in complete abandonment as Zane did.

thanks :) Love Sheri Wow! This brought tears to my eyes. Tell them their mom and dad miss them. to find satisfaction in Him.Ben P a g e | 212 . I'm enjoying your daily updates. Thanks for sharing all of these insights. and I think it is just because I miss the boys. I pray that my life and my precious Zane's life will be filled with God's satisfaction and joy so that we can be glad and rejoice in Him all of our days.. I ache all over. Comments: Hi Cymbrey! Missing you.. that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Fear keeps us from what we were created to do.P a g e | 212 life. No other explanation. Psalm 90:14 says. "Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love." Our souls are created to glorify the Lord. and praying for you too. – Traci Day 23 . to experience His presence.

2011 This morning. He was so proud to share his story. so we got to go early! Praise music poured out of the school room when we arrived. P a g e | 213 . and I explained that we're waiting on a letter. I could tell that he that his pain was being used for God's glory. The sound of African Children's voices singing songs like "Blessed Be the Name" by Matt Redman. and "Sing. we were surprised to learn that we'd be going to the transition home! Usually we go to the TH in the afternoon on Sat. but he had more to say. and we are only allowed one visit. A tall. It seemed like he understood. young Ethiopian walked out of the school room wearing a brown t-shirt with a large golden print of Africa in the middle. Sing. He then explained that he was given to an orphanage 40 km outside of Addis when his mom died at 8 years old. but I remember thinking. He told us he graduated from University and was teaching music to orphans now." He sat down and asked about Zane. Sing" by Chris Tomlin was so refreshing. The Pfeifers came in this morning to pick up their little girl. I told him where we were in the process.P a g e | 213 July 30. Across it read a bible verse that I can't remember for the life of me. "He is a Christian.

it's hard to imagine the pain of his father and the hopelessness he felt knowing that he can't even provide for his children. Your mom is gone. depression. What a seemingly impossible situation.P a g e | 214 Difficult times in our lives can seem hopeless. Ben. constant. rescues us. The painful moment in Ben's life is a season that could have been wasted. and makes every parts of our lives reflect His glory. Often we think of redemption as one moment in our lives where we receive God's grace and decide to give our lives to him. Praise God that Ben realizes that God does not leave us as orphans. Likewise. Every situation in our life is redeemed when we surrender it to the Lord. he may have turned out a very different man. has experienced redemption. a moment that could have forever been marked by loss. and growing bitterness. If Ben hadn't trusted the Lord with his life. God's redemption is eternal. and it never returns void. and I cannot feed you. and it is definitely that. "I cannot take care of you anymore. He comes to us. tormenting memories. my new friend in the Lord. But it is so much more. P a g e | 214 . I can't imagine the hopelessness he must have felt when his father told him." I wonder how an 8 year old processes such drastic change and the realization of abandonment.

I pray for the supernatural joy that come from Christ to permeate his entire being. by looking at their past. More than that.P a g e | 215 I think we all have a choice in this life to do as Ben has done or turn inwardly self-centered and angry with the hand we've been dealt. The Great Redeemer waits to make all things good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. I pray his commitment and love for Jesus would pile more blessings upon him than he could ever think possible. Revelation 21:4 "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Ben is experiencing the glory that God reveals when He is allowed to restore loss in our lives. He longs to restore what Satan took from you and more. I pray for Zane to understand God more than he understands his circumstances. for the old order of things has passed away. can resolve the question "why?" I pray that Zane so personally knows God's redemption that his past becomes a story used for God's glory. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. No one." P a g e | 215 . Though their be pain in life. The truth is that Satan is having his way in our lives if we do the latter.

my favorite song leader lead us in worship. I absolutely love the beautiful lyrics Hillsong worship team writes about the Lord. God allowed him to meet a woman that He had protected from much of the evil in the world. Now they P a g e | 216 . Today. I absolutely love worshiping God there. a member of the congregation gets up and shares their testimony of how they re-connected with God during difficult times. She is the one who led us the first week we were here with Hillsong worship songs. At age 13. They help me articulate so much that I want to say to Him. What a blessing he has received in her. A guy from California. and his life had spiraled down from there until God revealed Himself to him when he was 21 and reading the bible only to prove its irrelevance and inconceivability. he was arrested for selling drugs at school. This woman was the young lady leading worship this morning.Addis Ababa Retirement? July 30. 2011 Church this morning was fantastic again. Every week in this sermons series the pastor is on. His presence is evident because I sense His spirit moving there among the people. who now lives with his wife and son in Addis. This week the sermon was on Reconnecting with God by Demolishing Strongholds.P a g e | 216 Day 23 . Shortly afterward. shared his testimony about how God delivered him from drugs and a life of promiscuity.

ate half of it. and another is a general Ethiopian history book in pictures. We got curry chicken and vegetables with white rice. but it was delicious. and children's books with English and Amharic translations. Mom and I went to Lime Tree by ourselves. The other one teaches the Ethiopian legend of the origins of coffee. another is a book on Harar. The icing was like cream cheese with a little bit of sugar. and saved room for the vanilla and chocolate marble cake in the window at the cash register. Mom and I were thrilled to pick up several books for Zane that I know he will appreciate having so much when he is older. and His grace. The last item we purchased Zane will P a g e | 217 . It's kind of like a tourist book shop with history books on Ethiopia.not too sweet.P a g e | 217 serve in Ethiopia teaching people about the value of life. Zane's home region. One teaches household Amharic words by taking an adopted Ethiopian boy through his new house. God's love. The machiattos we had combined perfectly with the cake that satisfied our craving. It is above the spa we visited the other day. regular fiction and non-fiction best-sellers like you'd see in America. One of the cool things about Lime Tree is that it is attached to an Ethiopian book store. and some dinner-type dishes. sandwiches. After church... We were only able to eat half of the cake. It's a very "whole food" type restaurant with fresh juices. baked items.

without hesitation.P a g e | 218 be able to enjoy now. however. Zane learned how to walk up and down stairs P a g e | 218 . We rolled it to each other over and over again. we headed to the transition home where we saw Zane for a couple of hours this afternoon.35 USD! After our great finds. With Mark and I. He's getting so much more coordinated with everything he does. By the way. all of these books cost us $28. straight into my arms with the biggest. He was really into the car and truck again that Mimi gave him. He was excited to get outside and walk again today. today he was Mr. a CD of Ethiopian children's songs in Amharic! We have not seen anything else like these books as we've been shopping. most proud smile you can imagine. It's amazing how much progress he's made physically since we've been here. Independent! He walked several times all by himself. so we were delighted to stumble upon them today.

P a g e | 219 (with support) throw. He would NOT eat them when I tried to feed them. Remember the pasta stars comments? Zane usually hates pasta stars! Not today. He absolutely loves praise. and every which way. "catch". and climb playground equipment. upside down. Ha! (I shouldn't say that he almost ate the entire bowl because about 1/4 of the bowl ended up in my lap. balance on the curb (with support). he's learned to roll the cars. slide down the slide in the playground.) It was neat to see him try to do it on his own. but I hope he still wants his mommy to feed him sometimes! P a g e | 219 . as Zane would put the spoon in his mouth sideways. It's really awesome to watch him develop so quickly. With Mom and I. and kick a soccer ball. but he ate almost the entire bowl when I allowed him to feed himself. and he's great at getting it from all of us! Today he wanted to feed himself with the spoon and the dinner they brought out was soupy pasta stars.

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Tonight we just walked about 10 minutes to Kaldi's Coffee down a street
much like Bourbon Street in New Orleans; however we didn't see anything
inappropriate, if you know what I mean. I feel like such a "big girl"
venturing out on my own. There were people everywhere, and so many
kind "Allo's" and "Hi's". There is a Kaldi's on almost every corner of Addis,
just like Starbucks, but this Kaldi's is a two story with a full glass window
facade and it's packed with people. Unlike Starbucks, Kaldi's offers
outstanding Carmel Machiattos for about $0.88, Machiattos for $0.70, and
scoops of icecream for about $0.50. I could spend the rest of my days
hanging out at Kaldi's with my two favorite food groups: coffee and
icecream. Mom had chocolate icecream made with real cocoa powder,
and I had kiwi icecream! Not to mention our terrific Ethiopian coffee!

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Between cheap coffee, icecream, food, and books Addis Ababa may not
be a bad place to retire!

On the walk home, a guy about my age said, "Jesus loves you" sort of
passively as we walked by him. I turned around, smiled, and said, "Jesus
loves you too." He replied, "You know that?" to which I said, "Yes! Of
course!" Louder now he smiled and said, "Bless God!" I love the
encouragement we both received in that moment from the Lord, just
knowing that we weren't alone in the world. We both know the risen
Savior! It was a perfect ending to a wonderful day.

Comments:
Ava and I prayed for y'all this morning . . . that the letter would come
quickly! She was so sweet looking at the pictures of Zane. She wanted to
know if that was her baby brother and if we could go get him now! Praying
you'll have him HOME soon! – Cole

Days 25 & 26 - Highs and Lows of Adoption
August 2, 2011

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Yesterday was one of the best days I've had since I've been here. Mom
and I had an awesome day with Zane. He's continually more affectionate
and comfortable with us. Yesterday, I showed him a new video that Daddy
sent by email, and he leaned over and kissed the screen, not once but 3 or
4 times. He continues to say Daddy a lot, and I think he understands who
Daddy is. Each time we watch Daddy on the iPAD though, he wonders
where Daddy is hiding, and he ends up fussy and frustrated. So, we take a
walk. Only, we usually run into a soccer ball or a football somewhere
along the way, and Zane says, "Daddy!" again. I'm so glad he loves his
Daddy so much, but we both wish Daddy was here.

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Last night, mom and I went with some friends to a traditional Ethiopian
dinner. It was at the same place Mark and I went to when he was here.
Only this time, we had three Ethiopian children, 15 months, 4 years, and 7
years old that made our time so much more exciting! The 15 month old
clapped almost the entire time to the rhythms of the music, and the other
two danced their hearts out. They tried to mimic every move the dancers
made, even catching the attention of the dancers several times. They
were asked to come on stage and perform with the dancers, and they did
so with complete abandonment. It was AWESOME! The music was
winding down and the dancers were about to leave the stage, when one of
the dancers asked me to go on stage....again. I had to go up twice last
time Mark and I were there, and I almost thought I was off the hook until

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the best dancer on the stage asked me to go up there and mimic his
moves. Oh my goodness. I was (and still am) so EMBARRASSED! This
white girl cannot move like these professional Ethiopian dancers can, let's
just say that.

After a late night, Mom and I woke up sleepy, but we enjoyed our morning
with Zane. He was as sweet as ever and enjoyed watching the rain on the
covered porch. We read books and visited with other children that were
there with us. Like clockwork, at about 11:55, Zane fell asleep (while
eating) in my arms. This has become our daily routine, and I enjoy it so
much. At 12:30, I handed him over to the nanny to be put in bed, and
Mom and I went to Metro Pizza with the other families here. In the
afternoon, we went back to spend more time with Zane, and watch the

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Rowell's pick up their little boy, Muse' from the toddler room where Zane
lives. Muse' and Zane are good friends, so it was good to see him with his
family.

As we arrived back at the Guest House tonight, I hurried to check my email
to see the updates from AWAA on the MOWCYA letters. The email I
received informed families waiting for court that MOWCYA was working on
July 4th court appointments today and that it did not look like they would
get much further than that by the end of the week. I don't know what to
feel about this. On one hand, I'm miserable, depressed, and so sad at the
prospect that I may either be here without Mark for another 3 months or
have to leave Zane and not see him for 2 months. On the other hand, I
know that God could put that letter at the top of the stack tomorrow and
we would pass court this week. I have no idea how to prepare for the
future right now, and I'm pleading with the Lord to let me have custody of
Zane this week. Please pray for me as I wait the and watch for the Lord to
show me the best path right now. Pray that I would have peace and clarity
about the decision I may have to make about staying here or returning
home. Any insights would be much appreciated.
Comments:

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Just prayed that your paperwork makes it to the top of the stack and you
don't have to face this decision. What a tough one. - Rob and Leah
Rhonda K and I are teaching a women's ministry class this week. We just
finished lifting you up as a class. Praying it all goes through this week.
Love you!!!! – Kristyn

Day 27 - He's Officially Ours!
August 3, 2011

The first day we met

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The day he officially became ours! 8/3/11

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P a g e | 229 Already negotiating deals like Daddy P a g e | 229 .

P a g e | 230 .P a g e | 230 Walking all by himself! His face after he slid down the slide for the first time.

P a g e | 231 Sticker Mania! Sweet Boy. P a g e | 231 .

..P a g e | 232 Model in the making. P a g e | 232 ..

P a g e | 233 .P a g e | 233 I love walking!! Tongue discovery day.

P a g e | 234 Family Portrait P a g e | 234 .

P a g e | 235 The first time he fell asleep in my lap Family picnic? P a g e | 235 .

governments.P a g e | 236 Wooha! (Water!) I am amazed. and completely in awe of God's sovereignty over processes. leaders. This afternoon. we were told that Zane Addisu is officially our son! Our letter came this P a g e | 236 . humbled. and the entire world.

or that it was an accident. We know that is exactly what he did. Our hearts are so prone to wander from the Lord. So many of you emailed us with specific prayers you were praying for us. God's apparent work in our lives.P a g e | 237 morning. This is impossible without God answering the prayers of hundreds of you who have been praying for us. This event is inexplicable without considering the Lord's power and grace over all earthly things. We're amazed and humbled that God has given us favor with the people here and with Addisu's case. so that I will remember this day. and this morning. I want to make this blog a "memorial stone". and the paperwork was given to the judge for her approval. One hymn comes to mind when I think of the events of today. "Come Thou Fount of Every P a g e | 237 . Yesterday MOWCYA was on July 4th letters. and the way He blessed us. One prayer that many of you have prayed is that God would put Zane's paperwork on the top of the stack at MOWCYA this morning. and somehow think it was chance or Addisu just had very good paperwork that was easy to review. our letter from a July 13th court date was written. My fear is that in my humanity over time I will begin to rationalize the way this event has worked out.

Teach me some melodious sonnet. sung by flaming tongues above. thou Fount of every blessing. he. wandering from the fold of God. Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it. and I hope. P a g e | 238 . streams of mercy. Here I raise mine Ebenezer. call for songs of loudest praise. mount of thy redeeming love. tune my heart to sing thy grace. hither by thy help I'm come.P a g e | 238 Blessing" Come. by thy good pleasure. Jesus sought me when a stranger. to rescue me from danger. safely to arrive at home. never ceasing.

seal it for thy courts above. here's my heart. For so long. The prophet Samuel and the Israelites found themselves under attack by the Philistines. O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be! Let thy goodness.P a g e | 239 interposed his precious blood. "stone of help". Lord. Fearing for their lives. Samuel offered a sacrifice to God and prayed for P a g e | 239 . like a fetter. Basically Ebenezer comes from a Hebrew word that means. I feel it. An Ebenezer is simply a monumental stone set up to signify the great help that God granted to the Israelites in 1 Samuel 7. She explained the Ebenezer so well. and it has stuck with me ever since. the Israelites begged Samuel to pray for them in their battle. O take and seal it. Prone to wander. bind my wandering heart to thee. I had no idea what an Ebenezer was! And why should I raise it for that matter? A few years ago a friend from church was leading youth worship at camp. prone to leave the God I love.

and like you said: Praise be to God. and called its name Ebenezer. and I can not imagine the joy and excitment you are filled with!!! He is so precious!!! God is great!!!! . I raise my Ebenezer and say.P a g e | 240 His protection. God listened to Samuel.Rob and Leah Praise Jesus!!! Cimbrey. I am so happy for you guys. In the song. saying. all sing to acknowledge God’s bountiful blessings and help in their lives. So today. Congratulations. ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us’ ” (1 Samuel 7:12).. causing the Philistines to lose the battle and retreat back to their own territory.The Silva's P a g e | 240 . the Bible records: “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen.he orchestrated this wonderful day! . "Thus far the Lord has helped us. After the Israelite victory.." Comments: Praise the Lord! What a blessing and what a beautiful little boy. I am teary eyed reading that he's finally yours.

Congrats. In the true meaning of a much overused word.Diane Thank you God! .Laura and Ben P a g e | 241 . Praise God for his kind provision for you.Summer Thank you. I am so excited for you guys.Madelyn I cannot imagine the joy you're feeling right now. for this miracle and answered prayers! . and Zane! I've been so blessed to follow your story these past few weeks and see God's faithfulness. I love his big beautiful eyes and adorable smile. I can't wait to see that little guy finally at home. God. too. for hearing our prayers! . Jesus. Mommy! . this is awesome.Michelle Congratulations! I have been following your journey and I am SO THANKFUL God has provided for you every step of the way! Praise him today! . I've been reading your blog and pray for y'all.P a g e | 241 God is so good beyond any WAY of us understanding! I. He is precious.Lindsey Congratulations! Thank You. write this with tears of joy for you. He is a beautiful blessed little boy. Mark.Traci Hallelujah!!!!!! He is so darn cute! Congratulations! So what's the timeline now?!? . .

Your son is beautiful. but he is staying with us. We decided to delay the bath a little while and let him chill (I use that word lightly) with P a g e | 242 . Ever. Mark. I cannot wait to meet him. Anyway. Best. which is GREAT! First order of business was to get a bath. – Liz Day 29 . Blog. his nap was cut short because we went out to lunch with the group. I'm SO happy for you!!! I can't wait to hear all about your new journey with him :) . 2011 We picked up Zane from the transition home.Brian I got chills as I read this post!!! So excited for you. however. and Zane!!! :-) Brad and Lauren Cimbrey. We will have to return eventually to get all of his medical records.The Past Two Days With Zane August 5.P a g e | 242 CONGRATULATIONS!!!I met you at MOPS a few months ago. he is absolutely beautiful! I'm so thrilled for you and I'm praying right now for your submission to the embassy.Lindsay Best. . Blog. I had just had my baby girl. Ever.

especially knowing my mom is leaving tomorrow. and a kitchen. I was worried he would wake up scared. and cook dinner all at the same time. One of Zane's best friends from the transition home is with his parents finally. chase the mouse. as we slept I woke up to every little sound Zane made. P a g e | 243 . we woke up and packed everything to go to our new guest house. They mean to be sweet. so every time I heard him I got up and checked on him. moans. He never actually woke up during the night. I had a small melt down in the kitchen because this is all a little overwhelming. They can't quite control their bodies yet. I now know why we give dinners to families who have recently had a baby. a living room. and turns a lot. and he slept until about 7 am. He talks in his sleep. Watching toddlers fumble around with large soccer balls is very amusing. and I am worn out. but it just goes bad sometimes. Today. However. Moving location on the second day you have a toddler.P a g e | 243 some friends that are at the guest house this week. we have been chasing around a mouse all day. Last night. The property is nice and the house has two bedrooms. and trying to use a butane stove completely overwhelmed me. and they had a blast at the guest house kicking around soccer balls last night and throwing them at each other. I feel like it's difficult to play with him.

wake up refreshed. Just wanted you to know how much I admire you for it and am praying for you guys! Can't wait until you get home.Traci I have been praying for you forever. and AWAA families at the Yebsabi...P a g e | 244 I'm going to bed. Jumping into mothering a toddler full time on your own without the newborn/baby warmup has GOT to be hard.Zane and Ryland will be in the same Sunday School class. I'm going to try to sleep as well as possible. = ) . Currently. and re-evaluate the situation. but especially since I knew you were getting him. I'd appreciate your prayers! Goodnight. I'm missing the meals. :) Comments: It took me four babies before I felt like I sort of had the mothering thing figured out and I still have melt downs here and there so I think you're totally justified! I can't imagine being in a foreign country relatively alone and starting motherhood at the toddling stage all at once. God has faith in you. friendly staff...that's why He picked YOU to be Zane's mommy! P a g e | 244 .

and blog comments I have received in the past 20 hours. things were already hard. FB messages. which we actually think was maybe 3 mice unless the mouse is Houdini himself. so you can imagine our response.Feeling Refreshed! August 6. and I want you all to know that He is being so faithful and so evident to me as you are praying for me. I was already stressed knowing that we had a mouse somewhere in the house. Mom and I fell on some pretty hard hours. This mouse. As you know. 9. and the melt-downs still happen occasionally! (mine.I wish I could send you some home-cooked meals too. and we got more and more tired. and 5. got braver by the minute. but as the hours P a g e | 245 . The mouse situation got worse. mine are 10.. And if it helps any. After my last blog post. Bad combo. You're prayers are so important to me. 2011 I want to first thank you for the encouraging emails. The Lord is answering them everyday..P a g e | 245 That being said. not theirs :-) Praying for you and your precious SON! – Michelle Day 30 .

in her very controlled. We would make a pallet for Zane on the kitchen table (no place for mice to burrow) and sit on either side of him watching the area on shifts. Obviously. he neared the door and mom swept him into the hallway out the P a g e | 246 . I hopped up on the chair with Zane in my arms. Mom runs into the living area with Zane in her arms sound asleep." What?????? Okay. That way. There was little we could do at 11:15 at night. 10 1/2 hours into our battle against the mice. About 3 am. Finally. we saw the mouse (mice) every 10 minutes or so scurry across the floor to another hiding spot. and the neighbors had already been over to try to catch it. and mom chased the mouse around the living room.P a g e | 246 ticked on. one mouse went crazy. Mom would sleep a little with her head down on the table while I watched for mice and made sure Zane was not rolling off the table. As I'm finishing a conversation with Mark about cornering the mouse in the kitchen. Mom and I aren't going to bed with the mouse (mice) running around between every room. and I would sleep while Mom did the same. sleeping was out of the question. We finally had the idea to block the mouse in the kitchen with luggage and set a trap in the kitchen the next day. It was our only choice. She calmly. we could at least know that the bedrooms were safe. "It was in the bed with Zane. as it scurried all over looking for an escape. It was too late at that point to hire a driver to come get us. so we came up with a plan. motherly way says. Clearly.

It was torturous having all of that anxiety in me. Morning did come. more than watchmen wait for the morning. When the Psalmist says that his soul waits on the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning. more than watchmen wait for the morning.P a g e | 247 door into the yard. controlled. We continued with our plan. Exhaustion P a g e | 247 . this is huge. He will do what he has promised. you are waiting with eagerness and expectation that the morning will come. the desire to keep watch over Zane all night. I think it was about 4 am when the Lord brought to mind a verse I have studied in the past. and Mom was very sick. as it always does. I would have FAILED. and He will deliver. and confident that the morning is on its way." I totally get it now. but we were restless about the possibility of others. Psalm 130:6 "My soul waits for the Lord. The Psalmist waits with controlled confidence on the God who will come through. Waiting on the Lord that way is to know that the Lord will come. Your not falling asleep on the job because you may lose it! Your focused. There was a sense of relief in our faces. and the physical strength of a peanut to do so. and a time of rest will follow. If I had been a watchmen in a tower on a city wall last night waiting for any enemies who might approach. When you have stayed up all night waiting for morning.

The nanny took Zane to the playroom on the top floor. and his environment has changed too much in the past 6 months. As I write this." It's like they knew. The lady at the front desk called for a nanny to come help me (for free). the manager said. and P a g e | 248 . He's scared sometimes. the staff took me and hugged me with Zane in my arms. played with him and cradled him to sleep for his nap. He yells out "NAY! NAY!" (His way of saying NO! NO!) and whimpers through the night. So much tenderness and love caused the flood gates to pour. Relief? Embarrassment? Exhaustion? Maybe all three. I cried. We loaded our belongings and headed back for the Yebsabi. They definitely have a gift of ministry to families. Zane was (and still is) confused and a little traumatized over mama melting down in day 2 of us being together full time. which I interpret as fear. but Zane was very quiet most of the day. and she spent the morning (5 am . "Don't worry.10 am) vomiting and sleeping. The entire way home. Zane was pleasant and content with the nanny. go sleep. I can't exactly say why.P a g e | 248 combined with foreign foods had gotten the best of her. I knew that I could not see my mom leave to go to the US tonight on 3 hours of sleep and be a good mother to Zane. I called a driver (a little desparately at this point) to come pick us up. Mom and I slept after almost 48 hours of very little sleep. I think he has bad dreams. It caused me to burst with emotion. When we arrived back here. I'm praying over him as he sleeps in his crib.

" I know the Lord will do this. and an opportunity to learn that family always comes back. This is yet one more adjustment Zane is having to make. I begin to pray whispering.P a g e | 249 I know Satan has a lot of material to work with from his past. I want Zane to know he can always call upon the name of the Lord and He will be saved from any fear. and said goodbye with strength. Surround him with your angels who sing songs of love to him. Mom has grown so attached to Zane and he to her. But as I reflected this P a g e | 249 . Speak words of peace over him. be his Father. Instead of crying. She bravely boarded the van without crying. "Lord. But the word says that speaking the name of Jesus causes demons to shutter. but very exhausted from sickness. The past two days clearly have not been easy. Zane watched the van roll away and he put his thumb in his mouth to comfort himself. He will gradually realize that goodbyes are not forever. comfort him now in his dreams. as she always does even though she's sobbing inside. Mom left tonight feeling a little better. the Father who has ALWAYS been there for him. We were both a little sad at the same time to say goodbye. He has already said he does this in his word. Jesus be a visible friend to him as he sleeps. and as always.

events to attend. who have always been very similar and very close do not get the opportunities to go shopping. and I have the best Mom. go to a movie. rest.P a g e | 250 evening on the Lord's work. yet she can cry with me. She wants me to get sleep. Praise the Lord. She is strong. even though I know she needed the affirmation as well. and I am so grateful. My mom and I. I realized God had actually given me a great gift. Visits are packed with people to see. Time and distance has made it difficult to spend quality time with beloved family members the past 8 years. and always putting others first. and errands to run. and confident. The Lord knew we needed this time together. She wants me to be reminded that I'm a good mother. reminded me what I love about my mom. She is smart. respectful of boundaries. even though she spent the morning vomiting. The experience we had together. the three of us. She's helpful. we are back on track this evening with a good dinner. feel my pain. I know the staff here will love him. or just hang out like we used to. supportive. and comfort me like no one else. have lunch. they will provide help P a g e | 250 . and baths. considerate. Zane has the best Mimi in the world. and the most giving person I know. although tough. I made the right decision to return to the Yebsabi and settle here with Zane.

P a g e | 251 to me.. So happy P a g e | 251 ..Jenny Bless your sweet heart. Comments: you and zane are on my mind and in my prayers constantly! I am so glad you have some support now that your mom has returned home. i am praying for strength for you and peace for you precious son :) .but not until you can look back and laugh at yours. and I can focus on being a new mother to a very sweet boy who needs a mommy very badly. Cimbrey! Some day I'll have to tell you my mouse experience.

Sounds like you are taking very good care of Zane. throat infection.. 2011 This morning Zane and I went to see the doctor at the transition home. and God gave you an amazing son. Sherri .P a g e | 252 for you to have had your mom with you. He will continue to nurture you both.Jeffrey Girl! So glad you are back at Yebsabi!!! Holy cow! Sounds like you handled the mice better than I would have! YIKES!!! Praying God continues to shower both you and Zane in His everlasting love. and I'm praying that you get that Embassy date very soon. That makes me feel so comfortable! We came back to the guest house to rest after a long P a g e | 252 . The pharmacy is right by the guest house! And.. Turns out he has an ear. nose. God gave Zane a wonderful mommy. there is a market that has formula across the street.Debb Day 32 . and we got him antibiotics to help with that. my friend! And praying He keeps you away from all mice as well! :) *HUGS* .Good News! August 8.you have had a good teacher! Love.

Comments: Cimbrey! Keep us posted! Love reading good news! .Jon and Anna Hi Cimbrey! I just read the last few posts. as usual.... You will never know all the ways the Lord is using this time. Oh boy! I'm so glad you went back to Yebsabi! :) You are doing a great job! Hang in there! Love.P a g e | 253 morning of goodbyes at the transition home.Tracy Congratulations..even though your are thousands of miles away.. Our paperwork for embassy is ready and we are making a trip to immigration this afternoon! What does this mean? I HAVE NO IDEA! But it's one step closer to being cleared to come home! Yea! Pray for Zane to feel better.late to the party.. Mark and Zane. Please know that Team Simons is in prayer daily over you.. We are so proud of you and love you guys so much! – Elizabeth P a g e | 253 . Tracy . Cimbrey! I typed a whole response & lost it. We are confident the Lord will strengthen you for the task He has called you to. I have loved reading along and appreciate your gift for writing and spiritual insight.new to the whole blog thing. and Job called at 1:49 pm.

This type of bureaucracy is so difficult for the children P a g e | 254 . However. embassy must look into your case before coming home. she said it is now in Washington D.C. Then they decide if they need to do a special investigation into your case or not. After submission. There is a woman I met today who has passed court (in January). That means another step has been completed today. adoptions are final when the judge declares you have passed court. call a taxi. the U.m.P a g e | 254 Day 33 . We had to get ready.Clinic August 9. In Ethiopia. In fact.m.S. and try to determine how long we were going to be there. 2011 Today. I am praying that we are submitted to embassy tomorrow. PLEASE PRAY WITH ME THAT EMBASSY WILL NOT DECIDE TO DO AN ADDITIONAL INVESTIGATION. but the embassy is still investigating her case. Zane and I had planned to hang out at the guest house all day and try to work on his schedule. saying that we needed to be at a clinic nearby at 10:00 a. it takes 7-10 days for the embassy to go through all of your paperwork. The embassy requires that all kids have another physical exam before being submitted for embassy clearance. HA! That didn't happen! We got a call at 9:00 a.

and throat infection. Her sister arrived from the US today and she is a doctor. I have no idea what I'm doing and I feel very homesick. Thank you for the words of encouragement you have been sending me on FB and on the comments section of this blog. and I appreciate you allowing God to speak through you to me. Hence. Zane is still sick with an ear. Please pray for both of us.P a g e | 255 and parents who are apart. etc. and me the strength and wisdom to know what to do. Been asking her a lot of questions and feeling a little better about the situation with Zane. I'm praying we do not get stuck in a situation like this. ear ache. I'm about to go insane with "clean-ups" and Zane cries constantly. more crying. P a g e | 255 . I looked in his mouth today and he has two molars that are coming in. I feel very blessed that the Wests are still here. Pray that God will give him comfort and peace. His medicine is giving him diarrea. I am teary-eyed when I read them because I need them so badly. nose. Your encouragement is vital to me. On top of that.

Candace. I would love to feature your family in our adoption news letter. Sending you a big hug and lots of love! . Comments: I'm not sure exactly how I came across your blog (i think from "blogstalking" other adoption blogs) but then I realized you were at the adoption/foster care meeting that the Louisiana Baptist Children's Home held last year in New Orleans... Blessings! Ashley Cimbrey I will be praying you guys get submitted and pass QUICKLY. I hope he feels better and that you can get some peace and strength as you go through this time.Josh.P a g e | 256 Praying in faith that we will be cleared to come home in approximately one week. He is precious! Praying that things go quickly and Zane feels better and you will feel peace. I have loved reading your journey to Zane. I'm Ashley Davis with the Baptist Children's Home and was at the meeting. When you get home. Cole We are praying for you Cimbrey! Grateful to God with you for all that he has already done and SO excited to meet Zane!-Allye & Andrew P a g e | 256 . Also I'm keeping Zane and YOU in our prayers.

But never forget that God is with you both..just in different stages! Our newest drama? PMS! aaaaahhhh (sound me running screaming to the hills) God will work it out! Praying for y'all!!! ..and anticipate) and figuring it out without Mark in a 3rd world country adds to the challenge.P a g e | 257 Cimbrey. but all teach us to depend on the Lord. YOU ARE A GREAT MOM! Our kids introduce us to a whole new world every day that they are with us.Michelle Oh.... He is guiding you as a mom and He is covering Zane with his divine healing. the crying. May He grant you an expedient embassy clearance to P a g e | 257 . whether you feel like you are or not! Being a first-time mom is hard (or so I hear. The teeth. the colds.all are scarey in the moment. and as moms.. your momma heart is precious. none of us know what we are doing when we start out as mamas!! You are not alone-every mommy everywhere is in a constant learning curve. we are in continual learning-mode. I can attest to the fact that IT CAN HAPPEN!Love you. and reveal what He has put in us to handle every situation. Praying you will get an expedited Embassy appt..Sherri Sweetie. Cimbrey. so that you can get him home sooner! After this morning's news to us. You are doing everything good for Zane.

P a g e | 258 bring that boy HOME SOON!!!!! SO LOVE YOU!!!! And will keep praying for you! . while missing your husband. Tracy :) You. And know that He loves you too! .Deanna Just found your blog. It may seem impossible right now but you are doing it! You are taking care of your son. Mark and Zane are loved by so many people.. as your son is sick. Excited to pray with you and join your journey! We are still paperchasing. P a g e | 258 . Love. :-) So. You are covered in so much prayer. Praying the Lord hears your cries and gives you some mercy in the form of a quick embassy approval. God has carried you this far.. take a deep breath. being in the states will be a breeze. in a different country. He will not stop now! After this.Debb Praying for you today! Being a first time Mamma in Africa is giving you so much experience that parenting will be like a piece of cake at home! :) One day (and moment) at a time. hug your son and watch all the miracles He is performing in you/through you.

my heart hurts for you at this trying time. May smiles and blessing rain on your day!!!! Love.. "what did you do today?" If the house was a mess. I will pray god grant you peace and contentment.I have NO idea what I am doing all the time. that is enough! I'm sure you are doing an awesome job being a great mom to your little man through some of the toughest parenting conditions! Know you are being prayed over! .Little Lamb Hey Cymbrey.P a g e | 259 When my kids were tiny. or sick. . dishes in the sink.and Ryann is 4:) Praying Lamentations 3:22-23 over you this afternoon.Tammie P a g e | 259 . nothing else getting accomplished.. or needy.. The only advice I can give you is go with your gut feeling. Being a mom is the hardest job there is.. when the kids were fussy. Love ya. sometimes my husband would casually say to me when he got home from work." That's what you are being to your sweet boy. Sometimes all we can do is hold them and love them and pray for them and pray for patience and peace for ourselves:) Even if we get nothing else done.. the only thing I would be able to say was "I was their mom today....Katie Cimbrey! Take heart.in whatever comes your way.

At times we are fearful. :) ~ Know that you are not alone! We may not have a manual on every "howto" when raising our children. May He provide comfort and assurance that He has given you everything P a g e | 260 . I'm amazed by all you've accomplished so far.P a g e | 260 Hi Cimbrey. Other times we are perplexed and read books or ask lots of questions when we don't know what to do. We're praying for physical & emotional comfort for you & Zane and your embassy appt. ~ Ha! Ronnie had a "how-to" manual in his hands as he read aloud the steps to bathing an infant as we lowered Emily into her first sink bath. Precious Cimbrey. He is with you and Zane at this very moment. I know it can be tough under normal circumstances. We hurt when our children hurt. Praying for God's strength & that it will get easier for you both!-Erin M. yet most joy-filled privilege in this world! Each day is met with some amazing emotion and the embrace of many "firsts". As a mom. Motherhood is the most painful. but our Father knows exactly how to grow and love and mature us. We laugh when they laugh. I'm a friend of Laura's & we've been reading your blog & praying over your adoption.

we love You. So I do know what it is like to go through trials. please be with the Brannans tonight as they pray over. through Your love. Father we know that You are in control and have a perfect plan. ~ I ask that you cover the final process with the Embassy and lift any obstacles from the process or path that would prevent Zane and Cimbrey from a quick journey home. Help him and his mommy to feel relief from sickness and worry. love. When you can't take any P a g e | 261 . LORD. ~ Please heal Zane from this infection.Lisa Well I'm not a mom and can't imagine what you must be going through. . Be their strength! Be their protector and healer. 6 weeks ago my husband was in a serious accident and has suffered a traumatic brain injury.P a g e | 261 you need in order to care for and love little Zane. and because of Your GIFT. care and serve there precious son. What a wonderful mommy you are!!! What a gift! Father. Amen. know you and that they rest in Your will and purpose. Just trust God that He is working and will bring you something wonderful through this. Thank You that Mark and Cimbrey love you. However. we honor glorify and thank You. in Your power we trust You. He is still in the hospital.

He alone has perfect plans for Elijah and is always seeking to grow him into a man of God.Michelle P a g e | 262 . if they eat a blue snowball you have a great opportunity to teach the color green.Casey Hey. He can see the bigger picture he is painting in your life. I have had to remind myself through Elijah's seizures/epilepsy that the Lord. I say semi because I do have a couple things figured out. I'm still semi-clueless.P a g e | 262 more. so just hang in there. the Lord has and will continue to equip you for the race before you! He chose YOU and Mark for this precious treasure. just cry out to Him and ask Him to carry you.Samual Be encouraged! After 6 kids. . And that a band-aid will pretty much fix anything. Multi speciality hospitals in Mumbai provide cardiac services to patients by maintaining the worldwide standards of quality healthcare. Jesus knows and loves him more than I could ever even begin to love him. Amazing!Love you! . That being said. It's hard. .. you have beautifully explained all the things here. For example..

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and that he is teaching me through this season. in God's perfect timing.P a g e | 264 Day 34 . 3. I am thankful that the Wests passed embassy today and are able to take their sick son to the states on the next flight they can get.. I am thankful that God is not finished with me. 4. 1. Refinement is hard. but I pray that I come forth as pure gold.. 6. It is good to know that God has given so many of us shared experiences to mutually encourage one another.Things I Am Thankful For August 11. So here it goes. 2011 Today I need to recount all of the blessings God has given me in this season. P a g e | 264 . 5. I am thankful that I don't have to be perfect because God's strength is made perfect in my weakness. especially on Day 33. I am thankful that the Brannans will be together soon. I am thankful that Zane is in a good mood right now and feeling playful. 2. as he does in each season of my life. I am so encouraged by the loving and compassionate people who have commented on my blog.

10. who makes delicious dinners and his staff who is so friendly to Zane and me. I am thankful for the Yebsabi staff who asks me if I'm okay. I am thankful for Coreena. I am thankful for my husband who has incredible wisdom. I am thankful for my mom who gave up so much time and energy to be here with me for two weeks. 15. 16.P a g e | 265 7. I am thankful that Zane has a Daddy who is funny. 12. 9. I am thankful that Becca and Sarah West are playing with Zane right now as I type this. the chef here at the Yebsabi. 14. who is here for the forth time to see her P a g e | 265 . strong. 8. and if I need anything. I'm also thankful for Job. 11. I am thankful for David. Yonas. and faithfulness. encouragement. I am thankful for my mother-in-law who encourages me on FB every day. I am thankful for Tim Dreyfus who consistently sends encouragement almost every day to Mark and I. I am thankful that God is working all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to his purpose. and David who FB me and offer to do anything I need. 13. and so loving.

I am thankful for lessons I'm learning. 20. and asked that He show his presence to us in a mighty way. 19. I could go on and on. I am thankful for the fellowship I have with other adoptive parents through AWAA. like to not be too task oriented. 18. I am thankful that Zane is a healthy. and fellowship. 17. I am thankful for my church family back home who is praying continually for us. positivity. but I am most overwhelmingly thankful for the prayers of all the saints who have lifted us up to the father. My heart is so full of gratitude for you. Comments: P a g e | 266 . and to take time for the "non-productive" stuff that matters most. and their strength and encouragement.P a g e | 266 daughter who cannot come home yet. I'm blessed by her strength. and strengthening me with encouragement even this far away. lovable boy who is showing so much growth and potential.

P a g e | 267 Just read your last few posts. You WILL get through this. :) Love you guys and lifting you up! . and he's gonna be just fine.. ESPECIALLY in the midst of difficult circumstances..Kristen P a g e | 267 . & I can only IMAGINE trying to be a first time mama in a 3rd world country!! WoW! As I was considering how I could encourage you. I don't even know you but I have NO DOUBT that YOU are Zane's mama. just one more thing someone once told me that I'd like to pass on to you.. I have 2 little girls of my own (nearly 1 & 3 yr old).. go to your blog. and BAM! First blog entry I read you're doing just that!! Love it..Never doubt in the dark what God has shown you in the light. It's fun to finally see your faces! Praise the Lord for how much he has ALREADY brought you through to get you one step closer to bringing home your baby boy.praying for you & Zane! Love y'all! . :) I understand it's been quite difficult so far.. I was thinking of what the Lord has been teaching me lately--to practice thanksgiving. YOU are his and that's all that matters. However. So I get online. Inasmuch as you may not feel like you're having a #1 Mom moment.Melissa Hi Cimbrey! My name is Kristen--I'm in Laura & Ben's small group & have been praying for you guys for awhile now.

I feel the battle raging around me between Satan and the Most High God as I learn to care for this little boy. ready to steal my joy and my peace every second. Who gets this better than an P a g e | 268 . I didn't have the anxiety in my heart that I've been having for the past week. and he did. separated from God because of sin. I have heard many times people in the Christian adoption community say that adoption opens doors to ruthless spiritual warfare. 2011 I prayed last night that God would help me wake up with joy this morning.P a g e | 268 SO GLAD you are finding the GOOD in all that you are going through over there. of what we have in Christ. have been grafted into his family through the sacrifice of Jesus. Adoption is a clear earthly picture though. We. children are a target of the enemy because he knows his time is short.Good Day August 12. Whether the child is an orphan or not. There is an Evil One who would love nothing more for generations of children to grow up neglected. precious one! God has not forgotten you! or Zane! LOVE YOU!!!! – Debb Day 35 . and afraid. There is a spirit of oppression looming over me. emotionally closed off.

so Satan is not happy. I asked for JOY to fill my soul because it is already mine in the Holy Spirit that God says lives within me. I asked for LOVE to abound in my heart. that I may see everyone and every situation as God sees them. has been grafted into a family through the (meager but similar) sacrifice of parents. and it seemed so peaceful. as I am grieving tremendously the absence of my husband. Looking down from up above gives you new perspective and new hope. I prayed for KINDNESS to exude P a g e | 269 . I prayed aloud for my heart. for he IS love. The power of God will be in our home and evident to him. and all adoption legalities. We walked the four corners of the terrace looking out onto the city. that He alone is enough. separated from his family because of earthly circumstances. we are bringing a child into a Christian home where he will be taught the love of Christ and prayed for continually. and help me understand why I must wait. I went to the terrace early this morning with Zane strapped to me by an Ergo. On top of that. in every season.P a g e | 269 adopted child? An orphan. I asked the Lord to remind me once again of the lesson he has taught me my entire life. authority. I asked God for PATIENCE to see what God is doing in and around me. I prayed for PEACE of mind to know that God is over government. I prayed aloud over every fruit of the Holy Spirit to be alive and not quenched in my soul.

For me. He alone is my light and my salvation. I asked for FAITHFULNESS to fight the good fight. it has a verse. I asked for GENTLENESS to be on my face and in my heart as I speak to Zane and teach him what love is. He is my fortress. He is all that I ever have or ever will need. This time with God. Every day. a story that relates to children. I will NEVER be shaken. Thankfully.He gave me a family. Oh that I could always find satisfaction in God alone. The titles have been perfect: I Know God Loves Me Because.P a g e | 270 from my mouth and my heart. and P a g e | 270 . to stay true to the calling he has given me in this season of my life. Zane loves the songs.. and I don't know if he's listening to the devotional at all. to adoption. My calling is to Him alone. etc. and win the race. He gave me friends. or America. so that all I come in contact with would see Him. and a song to sing along with the devotional. My hope comes from Him. I prayed for SELFCONTROL to remember that my first calling is not to my husband. but God's word is going forth. to Zane. set my eyes and my heart on God alone. plus the devotional time Zane and I are spending together each morning. He gave me a home. I prayed for GOODNESS to be my motivation for giving my time and my energy to Zane each minute.. it reminds me of all the things I have to be thankful for. I invested in book called 100 Ways to Know God Loves Me from Target's online site.

Lord. played well. My purpose. had a lot of fun with Mommy. Zane was on schedule the rest of the day. and he fills our hearts with joy. Thanks. you will look back and cherish them as just a part of this whole experience. Comments: so many here are also praying for you and thinking of you Cimbrey. What he calls us to. . Blessings. Girl. he gives us rest. You are allowing Him to show you and remind you that all you need is Him! HE will provide every tiny need you P a g e | 271 .Tracy What a beautiful post and a reminder to us all of what God says is important. no matter where I am is to know Him and make Him known. let it be. LOVE how you are allowing God's peace and provision filter throughout your entire being. I pray He reveals Himself to me. and ate well too! I am so thankful that God reminded me that he is good. Cimbrey! Oh. As hard as these days must be for you. and He shows Himself faithful and true to others at all times.P a g e | 271 the many blessings God has given me.

Cari Day 36 .. 2011 There is a lot I want to share about today! It started out rocky. The first day I was here. an P a g e | 272 .so excited! It is just the thing I'm wanting to read with my three year-old so that the only thing he's learning about God isn't just all the things he's not supposed to do! Praying for a miracle for you guys! . largest African market here in Ethiopia. The Wests were heading out at about 10 this morning to go to the famous.Debb Cimbrey-Ben and Laura were telling us (Jason and I) about your blog and I've been so blessed by reading it. May it infiltrate you and cover you in His Joy and Peace!!!! You are doing awesome.. and I totally just ordered that book per your recommendation. I wanted to thank you for your honesty and openness in all of this! You are such a natural mother! Oh.. my friend... It was quickly resolved with a bottle though.Dancing August 13. and YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!! You ARE doing this!!! And it won't be for much longer.P a g e | 272 and Zane have. as Zane was up at 1:00 am hungry.even upon your return home!!! Such a precious life lesson. I just know it!!!! (and am praying for it!) Love you! ..

The market was PACKED with people. and the words ministered to me so much (again). They are life to me sometimes! P a g e | 273 . bottle. He was fabulous! The entire time. you will here What a Friend We Have in Jesus. so we were fortunate to have him along with us! We had lunch at the Passion Burger (What a name!?) and went back to the guest house for Dance Party Ethiopia! In the background. we took a quick stop by the best coffee shop ToMoca to get coffee (mine was a machiatto) and post office area to get scarves (for the Wests friends and family). Wow! What a blessing. Today is Yonas's birthday. but definitely worth saying I've been. and books and my Ergo to keep Zane occupied. I was so desparate to get out and do something that I didn't care about the risks. It is CRAZY. I took a diaper bag full of snacks. games. and its one of the only sunny days we've had this week. It's Saturday. Thank God for the people who write hymns and praise songs. After the market. and he was very patient. This was our devotional song of the day. It was scary to me to think of going. but today.P a g e | 273 adoptive mom with AWAA was mugged there with her son and daughter present. he just looked around at all the sites.

Can we find a friend so faithful.P a g e | 274 The words of the song are: What a friend we have in Jesus. Oh. what needless pain we bear. Are we weak and heavy-laden. Take it to the Lord in prayer. All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer! Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged— Take it to the Lord in prayer. what peace we often forfeit. All our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer! Oh. Who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness. Cumbered with a load of care? P a g e | 274 .

He's such a gentleman! :) Comments: How sweet is that?! : ) It's been so exciting to follow your adventure. There will be no need for prayer— Rapture. obviously. unclouded. and endless worship Will be our sweet portion there.P a g e | 275 Precious Savior. Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear. . Soon in glory bright. : ) Take care of yourself girl! And enjoy that sweet man. Here's our first dance as mother and son.Brandy P a g e | 275 . Lord. forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer! In His arms He’ll take and shield thee. praise. Thou wilt find a solace there. Zane is leading. still our refuge— Take it to the Lord in prayer. be bringing All to Thee in earnest prayer. Blessed Savior. Do thy friends despise. May we ever.

" I refer back to that concept often. I am praying for you and Zane! We are an AWAA family too waiting for an infant (DTE 12/3/10).. He is faithful and will use this season. brave and courageous! I am so proud of you. Cimbrey! You are strong.reshaping you in a new way. Kristen Dear Friend~ I know the Lord is molding you daily. "EVERY blessing from the Lord is also a burden and EVERY burden is also a blessing. Continue to depend on Him alone. You are doing a great job.com -Hope you have a wonderful day!. It will not be in vain.bathurstadoption. One of my Dallas mentor moms said something one morning that struck me profoundly. Remain steadfast.P a g e | 276 Hi Cimbrey! I started reading your blog last week and have loved reading about your time there and how you share your experience honestly and how the Lord is sustaining you.opening your eyes to a new characteristic of Him.... It is purposed by Him.blogspot. Continue to speak truth through text and on your P a g e | 276 . except for Jesus alone. He wants your attention. -www.

Usually they spend about 10 days reviewing paperwork and then they'll let you know they need additional paperwork and/or they are doing a full investigation on your case. If our paperwork is submitted tomorrow. you would not have a ministry. And know that you are being prayed over daily. 25th Sept.. The Lord is building your testimony. however.. This keeps the enemy at bay. That is a big step in coming home. If you did not have a testimony.Calling All Prayer Warriors August 16. We love you! Elizabeth I love that song!! – Megan Day 39 . 2011 Today we got an email from our agency saying that our paperwork would most likely be submitted tomorrow morning. this is where the prayer requests begin. this leaves them very little time to review our case and no time P a g e | 277 . The embassy apparently has no appointments available for Aug.P a g e | 277 roof where the Lord meets with you. 2nd.

For all of you adopting or considering adoption. P a g e | 278 . Mark and I are praying and planning for God to move in a huge way this week. We desire to be together at home as a family so badly. We need you all to pray that the embassy would have favor on us. Mark and I appreciate your faithful prayers. I hope it encourages you like it did me. please read the post below from Together For Adoption. It really blessed me to know our suffering is not in vain. and we trust that God will show us His glory.P a g e | 278 for additional paperwork or investigations before having to wait another two weeks for an appointment. This would allow us to have an appointment before the two week period of no availability. that all paperwork would be clearly there. and that there would be no need for further investigation into Zane's case. We also need for you to pray that the embassy would prioritize our paperwork and would allow us an appointment before the 24th.

Just ask any birthmother or a child who is one of three hundred orphans in a Chinese orphanage or an adoptive couple who has lived with infertility for years or an adoptive couple who is experiencing the high-ups and low-downs of the adoption process. Sometimes the suffering is deeply intense and ongoing—like that of an orphan languishing each day in a nightmarish orphanage—while other times it’s the heavy heart of the couple waiting to bring their child home. There is no such thing as adoption without suffering.P a g e | 279 From www. 2011 Romanticizing adoption is so very easy and tempting to do.org - No Such Thing as Adoption without Suffering BY DAN CRUVERPublished Jun 6. But adoption always involves suffering. P a g e | 279 .togetherforadoption.

They allow me to sit in a small “world” (my home. Jesus cried “Abba! Father!” in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:36) so that we could become sons of God who cry “Abba! Father!” by the Spirit (Rom. lush green meadows. I love windows. Through windows we can see beautiful beaches. 8:15). 1:7). and confining. There is no such thing as being adopted into God’s family apart from the suffering of Jesus. The adoption to which we were predestined (Eph. 1:5) could not have happened without Jesus redeeming us “through his blood” (Eph. I once sat in a small room in China looking out through a window that allowed me to see a beautiful mountain vista. and towering snowcapped mountains.P a g e | 280 The same thing is true of our adoption by God. for example) and look out into a big world. I was very thankful for that window because the room I sat in was hot. P a g e | 280 . Our adoption necessarily involved suffering —infinite suffering. The window allowed me to see a “world” that I would not have seen otherwise. humid.

we still suffer. Adoptive families groan.P a g e | 281 and it opened up for me an experience of joy that my little room could have never given me. Because of Jesus and the gift of the Spirit of adoption. A broken world groans. but we do not suffer as those without hope (1 Thess. Paul writes. Orphans groan. 8:23). Our suffering now as the children of God is a window that provides us with the opportunity to get glimpses of a world more beautiful and more wonderful than can be imagined.” a world that will “obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom. But in order to look through that window I had to sit in a room of uncomfortable and sometimes suffocating humidity. God turns P a g e | 281 . Suffering people do. Birthmothers groan. But with the eyes of faith suffering people who have been given the Spirit of adoption (Rom. You don’t groan unless you are suffering. the redemption of our bodies” (Rom. 8:15) can look through the window of their suffering into a future world where all things are made new. 8:21). our window of suffering provides us with the opportunity to get glimpses (with the eyes of faith) of a future world that “will be set free from its bondage to corruption. who have the firstfruits of the Spirit. groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons. Because of the gospel. Yes. Happy people don’t groan. 4:13-14). “we ourselves.

8:18).” So. child. and. This is the hope that moves us forward in “the sufferings of this present time. endurance. even joy in the midst of your heartache now. 8:17). for the Christian there is also no such thing as adoption without glory and unspeakable joy. everything sad will come untrue). don’t lose sight of the gospel. but there is coming a day when all who have been adopted by God through the suffering of Jesus will “be glorified with him” (Rom. This means that the day is coming when everything sad will come untrue (Yes. Though there is no such thing as adoption without suffering. yes. Comments: P a g e | 282 . Your adoption by God has profound relevance for the adoption of a child (and all the suffering involved in it). Sam.P a g e | 282 our suffering into a window that allows the eyes of faith to get glimpses of what will one day be. Right now we live in “the sufferings of this present time” (Rom. or adoptive parent). We will one day share in the glory of the resurrected Jesus. This is the good news of the gospel. Only the gospel can fill you with fresh hope. whatever kind of suffering you are being confronted with in the adoption of a child (whether you are the birthmother.

in fact. sherri Praying for God's SUPER on your natural.. He is able! Praying for your family! Blessings to you. I think I'll print it so I can refer to it frequently! .. but the end is near! Praying for a fresh infusion of strength from the Holy Spirit so you can finish strong! P. I know this journey has been so long.S.Needing Another Miracle August 17.Carrie Day 41 .P a g e | 283 I want you to know that I will be praying! Have been following your story through the YG and here on your blog and was just thinking of you today and wondering if you had heard anything! Praying!! Olivia Gregory Definitely praying! . 2011 P a g e | 283 . ALL OVER IT! You can count on us to pray! Love you.Traci On it. And thanks so much for sharing the article on the pain of adoption.

so Mark is traveling here in faith that we will be cleared to go home before the 25th when embassy appointments do not seem to be available.P a g e | 284 We received an email yesterday that was very discouraging. Nevertheless. We need God to make it happen. and the likelihood that this will happen is very slim. It is very difficult to believe that God can do this for us when it really seems impossible. Pray for us to have increased faith that God is able to do more than we can ask or imagine. P a g e | 284 . we are praying for remarkable timing with our embassy clearance. Pray for the person reviewing our file at embassy that they would be passionate about reviewing it quickly and have favor on our case. We need God to show Himself mighty again on our behalf. As you know. Pray that God will be glorified through the miracles He is performing on our behalf. and we need your prayers for another miracle. we need to be available if an appointment does come available. Pray that the embassy would have an appointment available and reserved by God just for us next week or even into the week it appears there may be no appointments available.

.HOWEVER. We know our God is able. 2011 Okay. We're all over it!!!! I think things will be easier for you when Mark gets there. Thank you all for the prayers. but I have to tell you about our afternoon! Zane has long. Nothing is impossible with Him. you are right. with his blue jeans and blue shirts and tennis shoes. that means nothing in Ethiopia.P a g e | 285 Pray for Mark as he is missing work. Pray especially that he can return to work quickly. Yes..we all keep praying! As your friend said in another post. Comments: Will pray. as you know from the pictures.. God IS able. curly hair...Again August 18.. so he does not take up all vacation time. He's P a g e | 285 . Day 41. So. Pray his team is understanding and that Mark can do what he needs to do for work from Ethiopia. He is so obviously a boy. Pray that God will give us peace as He fights for us.. I know I already posted today. I'm so glad to hear that he is able to come.

a trim in Ethiopia is a full on shave.. In fact. That lets you know how the communication was going! Anyway.P a g e | 286 been called a girl a few times and today I realized his hair was getting long enough to braid. if it coils up and lies flat on his head. he wanted to know if he could keep a curly tail in the back for "fashion".he was ready to enlist in the FIGHTIN' TEXAS AGGIE CORPS OF CADETS! WHOOP! Here's some pics of our new little Aggie stud: "Farmers Fight! Farmers Fight! Fight! Fight! Farmers Farmers Fight!" P a g e | 286 . Not fine if it frizzes into a poof in 4 spots on his head. Well. Fine. by the time Zane was done. So we ventured to the barber across the street from the guest house and decided it was time for a trim.. It is not in style here for boys to wear their hair long.

P a g e | 287 New Aggie Running Back "Texas! Texas! AMC!" P a g e | 287 .

there is usually a melt down.. He's got to be in the mood for it. He is not into ANY table food really. this has P a g e | 288 .P a g e | 288 Aftergame cool down. I haven't been doing a good job keeping you up-to-date with Zane. I have had to go to the supermarket here twice and stock up on the only baby foods he seems to like: wheat cereal and rice with vegetable cereal. he will eat a bite of toast. Sounds great. Zane is a very picky eater. but not every day. I never EVER thought I would have a picky eater! I eat just about anything! So. right?! If he does not eat what he likes. 2011 With all the prayers for embassy.. except saltine crackers. Occasionally.A Few Updates August 19. Day 43 .

Zane has been opening up and trusting me more and more. but he's trying them now. Zane loves to bark like a dog. I think we're in a good routine now though. he pretends he's a P a g e | 289 . he hates them. Granted.P a g e | 289 obviously been an adjustment. He tried a french fry. so he's very pleased. He will try foods that he never would've eaten before. He's so excited to get in the bath that he has the open-mouth smile you see in Day 41's post. and a few other things that I thought he'd never eat! Surprisingly. However. Sure do wish that was the case for me! Zane continues to LOVE bath time more now than ever before. Whenever he hears one. and he shakes his head with glee! It's hilarious. to bed and all. I'm trying to keep bathtime about the same amount of time each night. the kid does not like icecream. so he doesn't freak out when I take him away from the bath. he'll wear them 24/7 if I let him. Zane is obsessed with shoes. He loves to have them on because that usually means we get to go outside. He's learning that he gets to do this routine every night. rice.

Zane has no idea. He's been sleeping during every nap because I kept it at the same time as the transition home. We are soooooo excited. We watch videos of Mark every day and he kisses the iPad. He says something like "meow" when he sees them. I really hope this means he will like Gracie and Callie. P a g e | 290 . but I think he's going to think a celebrity has come to visit. It's amazing how much security and trust a schedule has brought him. We are totally flexible with the clock. We're working on animal identification. The past three nights he has slept through the night with no problems because I adjusted his eating schedule by 30 minutes. I can go and do just about anything and he will eat/sleep wherever! Great! Daddy is coming to see us tomorrow morning. And I hope they're not too overwhelming when he comes home! Zane thinks birds are fascinating.P a g e | 290 dog too. but not with the routine. He notices them far in the distance and points. The great thing about it is that as long as I'm prepared for eating time and nap time. so I think we're still a little confused. Zane thrives on a scheduled routine.

Zane did great. We need God to open the doors for us and let us through. MaryBeth. and allowed mom and dad to visit with their friends. 25th. Allen Brewer and his wife Katie. Pray that our Sovereign God leads peoples' hearts to give us one anyway! Day 44-45 . Ironically. We came home from church to take naps and play outside a little while before heading to dinner. It's crazy to be here at the same time all for different reasons. just moved to Addis to teach in the International School here in the old airport area. Casey Picker and his wife. behaved himself.P a g e | 291 Please pray we get an embassy appointment next week.Daddy's Here!! August 22. were here this week with a mission team working on a school south of the city. We met up last night at Yod Abyssina for traditional dinner and dancing. He's able to adjust his P a g e | 291 . The embassy is not doing any adoption visas for two weeks starting Aug. He watched the dancers. 2011 Mark arrived right on time yesterday morning to have breakfast at the guest house and go to church with us! It is such a comfort to have him here. I have two friends from high school here in Addis Ababa right now.

and we are making the best of it. and we hope for a progress-filled week with embassy! Day 46 . Please pray for all of us as we wait that God would give us wisdom in what we should do (or not do) while we are here. 2011 P a g e | 292 . We thank the Lord that we are together. Pray also that the embassy would continue to have adoption appointments even though they claimed they would not for two weeks. We will try to have an outing each day. I did have to wake up with him a couple of times. Today.P a g e | 292 schedule and stay pretty much on track the next day. We are trying to enjoy the time here as a family while we wait. There are two other couples from our agency who arrived this weekend to petition the embassy. but that's to be expected since we kept him out late. Mark and I are praying and waiting for the embassy to clear us so we can get an appointment this week.Mark's Birthday! August 23.

We all napped for a couple of hours and then went to the Addis Lion Zoo. and asks. Best gift ever! We woke up and did our normal routine of getting dressed and eating breakfast together.P a g e | 293 Today is Mark's 32 birthday. then we headed out for a walk and to run errands. like Egyptian geese. It has been a huge transition to have Mark here. He still looks at the iPAD. Every new component that is added to Zane's life is so incredibly overwhelming to him. We also enjoyed visiting with the Browns who went along with us with their son. We woke up at 4:30 this morning to Zane crying "Happy Birthday" in his best "singing" voice! How thoughtful! Thankfully he went back to sleep and we all slept until about 8:00. Having Mark here has been great company for me. On the way back. We have read tons of books on attachment. "Daddy?" For all he knows Daddy is a movie star. but it was good to get out and do something. and it's been a load of fun for Zane to have his "celebrity" Daddy here. connecting with children at-risk or P a g e | 293 . It's a cool park where they have black mane lions (like Scar from The Lion King). and some interesting birds. Colton. primates. and I'm so glad we get to spend it with him. then looks at him. It's not a very big park. we enjoyed m34RR4achiattos and sambusa (like an empanada or meat pie).

as he cries about common things like sitting to eat dinner. Healer. Ultimately. Please pray that God will help him understand that families stick together. and that he can be secure and at peace with us. I am confident that the Lord is healing his heart and making him whole. and we're realizing how important it is to be alone.P a g e | 294 sensory deficient. His life experience has left him a little insecure about adults. I have heard that it is common for children from hard places to make a lot of progress then seem to regress suddenly. and eliminating all distracting components. This creates a lot of confusion and a lot of heartache for us as we see him going indiscriminately to other parents. God is his Father. and for him to trust us enough to love and protect him. His hypervigilance is causing some anxiety that is evident to us. Zane is hyper-vigilant with sensory input. Zane needs so much. Pray for us that we can minister to him the way the Lord wants us to. interacting together. P a g e | 294 . and we are seeing the need to review that information and recall what we learned. Pray also for his heart to stop racing so much. and his new parents look very similar to other white families that are in and out of the guest house. so we could use your prayers for wisdom and strength to parent him the way God would have us to. Melt-downs have become pretty common in the last couple of days.

Please pray that anyone who would seek to keep these children captive and away from their families would be dismissed from the embassy. Adoption is God's business. but we are confident that God is in control and working all things together for good for us. and He alone should receive all the glory. we have not heard from the embassy yet. and His Everything.P a g e | 295 Protector. so he finds his significant and worth in the God who made him. Thank you again for your prayers! Comments: P a g e | 295 . and that anyone who wants to make a name for themselves would be thwarted. We just want to reflect that to Zane. On another note. Provider. We hope that this time together in Ethiopia will prepare us for a smoother transition when we return to the states. We are thankful that God has us together working through issues that are inevitable in adoption.

we were together and interacting with one another all day. Not because we are exclusive. but because our children do not have the "caution sign" or "red flag" or "safe zone" that most well-adapted bio children have.P a g e | 296 Praying for Zaney Baby. We tried to stay away from other people as much as possible (which is really impossible at a guest house . This can lead to very awkward moments between children and adults. possessive freaks who want our children all to ourselves. as in stay away from them. and even adults with one another. adoptive parents are doing the opposite.key word is "tried. Love you! Day 47 . Jon would probably remind you to rub his arms (do you remember that conversation?) I'm so glad Mark is there with you. I know you guys are doing a great job. Where many parents of biological children are teaching their toddler how to be friendly and share. Mark and I decided to make today a day about reinforcing family bonds. 2011 "Families Stick Together" is a phrase I read in Karen Purvis's Connected Child on adopted children. Parents say it to reinforce to their adopted child that strangers are in fact STRANGE.Families Stick Together August 24.") For the most part. We played a P a g e | 296 .

he has not learned that Mommy is an exclusive P a g e | 297 . Zane said Mommy or Momma. and says "Go to Mommy!" This has been great for two reasons: it reinforces who I am. "Go get Daddy/Mommy" as we lead Zane to the other parent. A few times today. This is something totally normal for adopted children to experience. Zane hums with his lips puckered up and kisses us with a loud smack. We also played "Kiss Daddy/Mommy" making an elaborate kissing noise that makes Zane laugh. Mark also came to me many times and "love Mommy" while hugging and kissing me. He needs to be gently coaxed or made aware of a change before it happens.P a g e | 297 few impromptu games like. which has not happened consistently yet. Zane says Emmie for Mommy a lot and he's been using the word to call out to most white women he wants attention from. Mark now picks him up. When I need to change Zane's diaper or feed him. "Where's mommy?" where I hid my face and surprised Zane with "Here I Am!" We also played "Go Get Daddy/Mommy!" outside where one of us holds are arms out wide and the other one says to him. Like the word "Daddy". and it keeps Zane from feeling like he's being "snatched" away from something he wants to do. In fact. compelling Zane to join him. hands him to me. Mommy. We realized taking him abruptly away from something is a HIGH anxiety move.

People who want to be friendly to children look at this as a cute. her Dad. Mommy is anyone who will pay attention to me. they must get there needs met by whatever means necessary. and then search for love in all the wrong places! This is why Mark and I are convinced that a period of "nesting" is P a g e | 298 . "I don't want my daughter to be 16 and unable to be without a boyfriend because she is still desperately trying to fill the place I. they reinforce that Mommy is not a sole person responsible for my nurture and protection. and rejection. hold him. or love on them. endearing thing for a child to do. yet never getting that it's about attachment and bonding. or love on him. It strokes any woman's ego for a cute baby to call for them. isolation. I too do not want Zane to grow up with the insecurity many orphans have that they must fight for themselves in this world. Brandon Hatmaker. put it perfectly when he was here picking up his son Ben last week.P a g e | 298 word for a very close relationship. and attentive. loving. yet when there is a place in a child's soul full of fear." My heart breaks when I think about the possibility of raising a child with all your will power. should fill. An AWAA friend. they can completely not receive the love being shown to them. when women reach back for him. A mom and a dad can be present. He said. however. reach out to them.

cuddling. We will ask friends and family to remain loving and friendly. kissing. he may run to a friend to P a g e | 299 . or hand him directly to us to comfort him. and family. and the provision of all needs. shelter. but the investment we pay in Zane's emotional health now will save us a lot of tragedy later. water.P a g e | 299 absolutely vital right now in Ethiopia with our son in a somewhat familiar environment. Hugging. excited to see family and friends. there is a deep emotional and spiritual battle waging in him. we will reserve affection to be displayed toward us alone initially. or offensive in our attempt to nurture the bonding taking place between Zane and the two of us. for security. Zane may run to a family member after falling and scraping his knee. In addition. we are becoming more and more aware of the need for a period of solitude when we return home. stand-offish. holding. and eager to return to our lives back home. This is so uncomfortable for us because we are so social. protection. We would like for that family member to point to Mommy or Daddy. While Mark and I will try not to be rude. Another example might be when Zane is giggling and playing hide and seek. While Zane is healthy and seems to be happy. but somewhat distant at first in affection and provisions. as it does in all of us. For example. such as food. and getting dressed will be benefits we have as being Zane's parents.

This would be a good time to step aside and allow Mommy and Daddy to "protect" him or "shelter" him from the "play bad guy". We are so thankful to have the advice of Karen Purvis and other child specialists who have taught us so much about what little things like the events mentioned above can do to promote attachment.P a g e | 300 hide behind their legs. The breakthroughs we've had just today. We thank you so much that you are already praying for that. It is a small sacrifice at the beginning of an adopted child's relationship with the parents that makes a huge impact on their life long-term. We love you! P a g e | 300 . after a difficult day yesterday. have proven that God is listening and acting in our midst as you pray. The best possible way you can minister to our hearts and our family's wholeness is to go before God's throne and ask Him for his wisdom. Your prayers are being answered and we see that every day. and love to be ever present in our minds and hearts. mercy. We are also so thankful for family and friends who pray for our family and understand the monumental endeavor we are undergoing to build trusting bonds with our child.

Cimbrey.) ) so we can know what to do when we're adopting. Great insights and great ways to deal with unique needs. Praying for this part of the journey to be over soon:) JustJess I'm looking forward to the book you and mark will write (you may not know that you're gonna write a book. Drink a macchiato for me! Love. Thanks for sharing. but no hugs from Aunt Anna! . we are all ready to get all of you back home . It is so helpful for those of us who aren't yet there. Can't wait to meet Zaney-Poo. That being said.Allie Christie Well said. so much food for thought. Tracy Thanks for being honest and candid. but I'm making the motion for it. I really like how you worded everything! :) Trying to figure out how to write out our plan for everyone to understand. :) Love you so much!!!! . Thanks for the awesome. Madelyn Cimbrey. You all are doing a good job with Zane! :) Glad you are all together.P a g e | 301 Comments: Wow.Jon and Anna P a g e | 301 .for however long you can be here. Cimbrey. educational post.

Day 48 . Two. The agency is working to have her here on Monday afternoon.P a g e | 302 Well said. Praying.U. Embassy August 25. I'm going to get it at lunch time. embassy says they will not interview her until Sept. Praying for you! . their health. however. Mark and I are struggling to understand why the United States would want to interview Zane's birthmother after she has been interviewed in this process four times already. One. P a g e | 302 .Little Lamb I love reading your blogs. Cimbrey! I have that book on hold at the library right now and look forward to reading it on a trip we are taking next week. they want to interview Zane's birthmother who lives about 10 hours away. Cimbrey!!! You are so inspirational and so informative.S. we need another document that will be provided by Zane's orphanage Monday morning. The Connected Child. 2011 This morning we received two emails from the US Embassy about our case. their families. and after reading this blog post. Pray they remember that these case numbers represent children's lives. 6th. I am praying for good news on Monday for the US Embassy. Please pray for the US Embassy and the people who work there. Several people have told me that I need to get.

that you are not forgotten. We are totally out of control in this situation and frankly. friends to surround you there in Ethiopia and keep you company.. Pray for compassionate people to be present on Monday and agree to interview the birthmom earlier than they told us they would. and in the meantime.Katie Oh I am so so praying! May the Lord make straight your paths! He will remove the obstacles set before you . and that he gives you a little lemonade each day to show you just what reason he has for you there. Please pray for God's deliverance to come quickly! Comments: I am so glad you posted this.P a g e | 303 etc. I pray that you are comforted with his peace..Kat Thinking about y'all and remembering Proverbs 3:5-6 for you. . God's understanding is not our own. I will pray right now.Christie P a g e | 303 . a bit disillusioned by our government institution that should be advocating for us. You are covered! . . But God is over governments and we know he is fighting for us in ways we don't even know yet. that you are reminded of those of us that pray from afar.

This P a g e | 304 .. I prayed his angel would stand guard over him and give him peace and protection throughout the night.but who's counting?! August 27.P a g e | 304 I'll be praying that things will be faster than you've been told! – kbathurst Day 50.. 2011 Last night I prayed that Zane's tummy would feel full all night long and that he would have sweet dreams.

It specifically said in the book that God fights for you. or a pastor. After breakfast. cleared a path for us.P a g e | 305 morning we awoke to a cooing baby playing in his crib after 11 hours of sleep! Praise the Lord! God is so good to answer the smallest of prayers to remind us he's still listening. which has been on my heart for the past 5 days or so. I believe that God's already gone before us into the embassy. which is amazing! I've been really encouraged as he continues to trust us to feed him things he likes. Zane has eaten table food for breakfast the past two days. a devotional. P a g e | 305 . and that He is fighting for our case to be handled in His perfect timing. It's amazing how the Holy Spirit gives me a message and then God confirms it later through His word. we had our devotional and God reminded us again that we can have confidence in Him.

This park was established as a celebration of the African Union in 2004.P a g e | 306 To get out of the guest house a little bit. and P a g e | 306 . It is extremely well-kept with lush landscaping. fun playground equipment. Mark and I asked some AWAA friends here if they'd like to take the kids to the African Park.

laugh together. and expect someone to catch you at the bottom. and for our new friends who chose to come along with us! P a g e | 307 . so when he saw it. He has not gotten to do that since he left the transition home on August 4th. We are so thankful for the time we spent there. like a slide. His laugh was infectious as he slid down the same slide for the 50th time in a row. It takes a lot of trust to get on playground equipment. Zane had an absolute blast. Mom and I taught him how to slide. It also is a great way to make eye-contact. Our time there was such a great bonding experience for our family. His whole demeanor changed when he went down a slide again. and experience Mommy and Daddy in a silly new way. he immediately new what to do.P a g e | 307 even a concession stand. It never gets old.

and felt very refreshed. and going to dinner at Zebra Grill down the street.P a g e | 308 Zane took a 2 1/2 nap today . Zane was very wellbehaved. We had a fun afternoon playing in the room. kicking the soccer ball outside. P a g e | 308 .another big blessing since he slept so long last night! Mark and I napped with him. and he continued to try things like french fries and ketchup at dinner.

These moments are priceless. have lotion put on. He loves to be held. I love how good he feels and how happy he gets when he's clean. P a g e | 309 . His excitement and joy is contagious. and play on the bed before he gets his bottle and goes to bed. and I want to keep them forever.P a g e | 309 One of my favorite parts of the day is bath time.

Michelle Love this post. and love. we know that this is time together that we will never have again . He looks so happy! . No matter where in the world we are. Jacob.focused bonding time with our little boy who will grow faster than we know. Zane. I've been following your blog for a few weeks and I just wanted y'all to know that we are praying for you and your sweet son.Ashley Cimbrey. While we don't understand everything in this process of adoption.. Comments: Such a precious time you are having. and while we can get focused on the frustrating bureaucratic methods. and we are home when we are together. Cimbrey.. and just irreplaceable! . but we used to go to FBNO a few years ago. I'm not sure if you remember me and my husband. gratitude.P a g e | 310 When Mark and I sit back and think of the man Zane will become and the possibilities for his future. we are family. we are overwhelmed with hope. (time with just our family when the girls were first born. Anyway.kinda like the "babymoon" we had. Your posts are amazing and the pictures you P a g e | 310 .) well worth it.

The Gorge August 30. and it is loaded with baboons.Rob and Leah Oh. David. came along and we headed to The Blue Nile Gorge about 2 hours outside of Addis Ababa. Zane slept about an hour of P a g e | 311 . lush plants. This gorge holds a river that feeds into the Blue Nile eventually.P a g e | 311 share of y'all becoming a family more and more everyday are beautiful! Misti Love the pictures. Just prayed for y'all and a quick homecoming. The highlands of Ethiopia are a remarkable sight. Our friend and driver with AWAA. Cimbrey! Way to fight the temptation to look at the negative and instead keep your eyes on our Heavenly Father and the blessings He is showering upon you! Not always easy when extended waits are thrust in your face. We constantly took pictures as the scenery became more and more beautiful. 2011 Mark and I decided to get out of the city today and go see the countryside. The trip up there was fast and so incredibly beautiful. You are an amazing Godly woman! Keep the faith!!! – Debb Day 53 . and three waterfalls. .

we stopped at a woman's house (hut) and asked to come in to see how people in the country live. and he didn't get car sick (a fear of mine)! About 30 minutes from the gorge. Here are some pictures of the drive up. and tour her property.P a g e | 312 the two hour trip up there. and our new friend from the country: P a g e | 312 . meet her family. She was very generous to let us come inside her home.

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we drove back to a restaurant on the cliff (plateau) overlooking dense fog. Unfortunately "Moo" became his new favorite word. and that was all he wanted to say for the rest of the trip. We couldn't see anything. The entire P a g e | 315 .P a g e | 315 So. we taught Zane what the cow says on the trip up there because there are cows EVERYWHERE. When we finally got to the gorge.

We began to feel the spray of the falls before we could even see them. a large family of Galada Baboons hopped across our path and seemed to fall over the edge of the cliff. of water rushed with the force of angels wings. mighty yet peaceful. We continued on trusting that we would see something eventually. We approached a 400 year old bridge. From that side. We felt as though we were in National Geographic magazine. and cacti covered the rocky terrain. except their exceptional speed. We were amazed to be so close to something we've only seen in zoos in America. There was nothing keeping us from approaching them. the fog dissipated and the most beautiful sight was unveiled.P a g e | 316 canyon was veiled in an opaque. Aloe. white cloud. P a g e | 316 . The canyon was layered with lush plant life. 1. and crossed over the falls to the other side of the canyon. we continued to climb higher to see the falls from different view points. Suddenly. mint. It was hard to tell if it was rain or the force of the falls splashing the water back up on us.000 ft. supposedly built by the Portuguese although that's debated. It was thrilling in every way. and nothing kept them from approaching us. Their agile bodies clung to the side of the canyon with amazing strength and balance. Little by little.

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Zane slept the entire way home (PERFECT!). We finished our outing with traditional food.P a g e | 321 Zane was fully aware of his surroundings. injera. he pointed out other baboons hiding in the rocks. and many other sights. tibs. and we silently soaked in the scenery once more. As an observant naturalist already. shero. the water cutting into the valley. the flowers that grew from the mint plants. and reluctantly approached the car to return to Addis. We want him to know how beautiful his P a g e | 321 . Mark and I were so happy to have the experience of the country to share with Zane when he gets older. He was enthralled.

We attempted to lay him in his crib and lay down ourselves on the bed for a little while. Love it. calling "Mommy" and "Daddy". 2011 Zane was too active to sleep today at his normal nap time. then it gradually escalated to a full out wail. Comments: Beautiful pictures and word imagery. but Mom and Dad were beat. Today was about more than getting out of town. He began by playing.P a g e | 322 country is.Our God is a God of Miracles September 1.JustJess WOW! Your pictures are beautiful! What an awesome experience. and how incredible the people are. Glad you guys had this time with your little man. You guys look so happy! :) Day 55 . it was about understanding what makes Ethiopia such a unique country and being able to share that with our son was an experience of a lifetime. I guess that's why they say the "cry it out method" isn't P a g e | 322 . Praying you get to share the beauty of the US scenery with him soon:) . but he was inconsolable.

come over here and sit down. little did we know that we had received a very important email. What is going on? Sure enough. and he said very seriously. As soon as Zane fell asleep. There was no explanation about the birthmother interview. "No wonder!" I thought. I have something I want to read to you. just P a g e | 323 . "Cimbrey. and he was out in 5 minutes! Ha! That'll teach us. huh? During that time. Mark opened my email account to find "Brannan Family . So we got up. We were cleared at approximately noon today to receive a visa for our son to come home to the states.P a g e | 323 always best. "Zane's been trying to tell us something this whole time!" Mark's eyes widened. the email stated exactly what the subject said. The embassy is not doing any interviews this week. especially for adopted children. gave him a bottle (that he wouldn't drink earlier). thinking all the while that it cannot possibly mean we are actually cleared! Our birthmother is supposed to be interviewed on Tuesday. no reason why we got the email today instead of next week." We nervously opened the email.Case Cleared" in the subject line of an email sent about the time we first tried to put Zane down for his nap. We were just at the AWAA offices this morning and no one had any information.

our hearts. our birthmother needs to be interviewed to continue with our case. The thing is. He is Sovereign over all governments. to this very minute. leaders. and this embassy clearance surpasses that. I know better. Passing court was a miracle last month. and people. God is teaching me that there is no other Name under heaven by which men may be saved. agencies. It's certain that we have had no power in this situation at all. It's P a g e | 324 . but a family with another agency was telling us about the same emails she is receiving just this morning. This event is anything but normal. It is impossible for us to have been cleared today when the embassy has stated in a number of emails to our agency and to us personally that there are no interviews this week. His plans and purposes will reign forever. Not only have we received these emails. Zane has not been rescued by two humanitarian citizens. God has prepared our son. From the moment we started this process. and our lives to obey him in adoption. But the other thing I know is that my God is the King of Kings. There is no doubt that God has answered the prayers of His people in our case.P a g e | 324 a seemingly normal "clearance email". and they will not give preference to families in country.

Your faithfulness to pray for us has ministered to us so much. God is the only One who will never disappoint. and unfortunately. Daddy.P a g e | 325 been quite humbling. Comments: I am so excited for you all!!!!!!!!!! This seriously gives me so much hope and an even greater desire to keep pressing in in prayer! Praise God!!! John and Tara P a g e | 325 . While I love my country. Thank you again for your prayers. and all other entities that raise themselves up to rule will fail us. It is with that realization that I want Zane to grow into a man that loves God more than He loves me. actually to realize how little we matter in the broad scheme of things. People are people everywhere you go. It is by His name we are all healed. we are all tragically flawed. We were made to serve a perfect King. The only way that Zane has been rescued from from his helpless state is by the grace and power of God Himself. Zane has not been rescued by the United States of America. or anyone else in the world. We love you all. it has been proven to me that American government is as bureaucratic and defective as any other institution in this world.

Amanda YAHOO!! :) So happy for you! :)God's timing is indeed perfect. not knowing I would open this up! Praise be to God!!.Love.P a g e | 326 Oh Cimbrey! I've never meet you and maybe never will but this gave me goosebumps! All power and glory to our God!! I prayed this morning for you. .JustJess This makes my day!!! SO excited for you. God has used your story and your blog to confirm that in my heart and to teach me that adoption is not a worldly but a deeply spiritual thing. I am friends with Anna Palmer and I live in New Orleans. Tracy Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Cimbrey. God has put adoption on mine and my husband's hearts and we are pursuing adoption.Ashley Chills all over . Thank You. P a g e | 326 . serving the King who sacrificed everything for us. Jesus! .both from the miracle and the truth you shared at the end. Mark and Zane! Can't wait to meet the little man in person.

tears in my eyes. Mark and I decided to celebrate with hamburgers! P a g e | 327 . faith and hope and so happy you can bring your sweet boy home! . anxious heart! With that relief comes extreem exhaustion. and the body stops fighting as hard.Little Lamb Day 57 . In response to our drowsy. The andrenaline slows when there is an end in sight.Praise the Lord!!! . bored condition. run hard all the way past the finish line..Lauren Yay! Wonderful news! Praise the Lord! .Winding Down! September 3. I guess this is why coaches always tell runners to finish strong... Every day here seems like a week because we know we are going home soon. Pressing on to the finish is harder than it sounds.P a g e | 327 Thank you for your transparency. Mark and I have been planning an outing every day. after hearing about our embassy clearance. 2011 It's amazing how good news can bring such relief to an otherwise woundup. Thursday night. don't let up and quicken the pace at the end.Rob and Leah YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited!!!!!!!!!!!!! -Denise Oh.Cimbrey.

P a g e | 328 We'd been hearing rumors about a great restaurant here in Addis with hamburgers as good or better than home. It turns out. but we had to see what all the fuss was about. and garden vegetables make anything fantastic! The atmosphere was like a cool. and the burgers were in fact phenomenal. Really. I didn't know Addis could be so good to us. gouda cheese. and chocolate crepe for dessert (just like Le Crepe Nanou in NOLA) and hot chocolate. books. and jazz music. The hot chocolate was lightly flavored with orange zest and decorated with whip cream and cocoa powder. We were skeptical. big windows. it was the finest dining we had experienced here. we ordered a peanut butter. Fresh bread made on sight. city coffee shop with comfy chairs. It felt for a moment like we were in New Orleans! To top it off. banana. It was just what we needed on the day we found out we get to return to NOLA soon! P a g e | 328 .

Mark and I later visited our new friends' house. Mark smiled and said. It was the best compliment Mark could've wished for though. homemade tortillas and coke out of the bottle. We loved connecting to our Texas roots and enjoying the fellowship of P a g e | 329 . They are a beautiful family of 6 (all children under 5!). a local starred at Mark in the street wide-eyed and smiling and said. There are some Texans here working for a consulting company and ministering to the people of Addis. and they are so incredibly hospitable. Mark and I went for a morning walk to Kahldi's and got macchiatos. The best part was enjoying Texas style tacos on fresh. and not a blond.P a g e | 329 Yesterday. "Brad Pitt! I like you!" in a thick Amharic accent. and we walked the entire way home laughing about it." HA!!!! I guess the guy did't get word that Pitt's with a burnette now. Afterward. "Thank you.

Today. After breakfast. We've heard it's a sight. I felt so refreshed. and all of the Ethiopians are so proud to show it to you when we pass by it's vicinity. we decided to head to the Sheraton to see why in the world the rooms cost around $650 a night. But again skeptical. I was so tired and grumpy. The building was a palace complete with P a g e | 330 . Yet again. we had to see it for ourselves. Our taxi drove up to a beautifully landscaped gate surrounded by flags from all over the world. He always knows what we can handle. I realized that I slept through the entire night. Yea. and the topic was "I know God loves me because He gives me sleep!" HA! I know I've said this before. and I couldn't see waking up in the middle of the night with Zane again. Last night. but I think it's amazing how God has been speaking to me through the book that was intended to minister to Zane. like God had given me a gift. not birr. God showed me that He loves me through such a simple concept: sleep. that's dollars. and He doesn't give us any more than that.P a g e | 330 friends! As I mentioned. My head hit the pillow and I was out. At 7:30 this morning. the exhaustion has been creeping in on us as our bodies and minds have begun to relax more. we did our devotional.

sat on the plush couches of one of the many corridors. Spiral staircases of marble and iron. jewlery stores. and the smell of fresh flowers captivated us. rose bushes. There were gift shops. and halls of luxury.P a g e | 331 balconies on each room. an outdoor pool (resort really). In the lobby. we were taken with the view out the back windows overlooking a gorgeous fountain extending the entire length of the garden. a bakery. To finish our posh outing. terraces overlooking Addis. ballrooms. a spa. enormous chandeliers. and soaked in the luxury of it all. We spent about an hour and a half touring the amazing grandeur. we ordered a strawberry tart and chocolate chip muffin from the bakery. a kid's playground. orange trees. 5 beautiful restaurants. P a g e | 331 . and other beautiful plant life.

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P a g e | 336 (Please note the game day attire for the Aggies' first game. Didn't think we'd forget did you?) P a g e | 336 .

not for drinking. I honestly don't know what to feel about what I've seen and experienced here in Addis... I wonder if she's eaten today. yet there is still the burden of so much need here. What does one do to change the social and governmental makeup of an entire country? Ministry after ministry come here to serve. This city is a place of contrast: the wealthiest of wealthy citizens living alongside the poorest in the world. past the iron and gold gates. A man begged us to ride in his taxi.. mission teams flood the region with aid. but I know it won't leave my thoughts and the paradoxes I see haunt me. Should I have eaten that strawberry tart when this child staring at me has probably never even imagined one? What is Zane's birthmother doing right now as he stares over the marble barrier into a fountain of clear. children in rags pointed at us as if we were celebrities. money is sent to fund national programs. I don't understand it or have any idea what to do about it. and tin roofs corroded by rust filled our view once again. Sometimes I feel guilty. I don't know how to process this.just for decoration.. P a g e | 337 .P a g e | 337 This outing was an interesting paradox as we stepped into the street. and into the reality of poverty and hope once again. cool water.

I really think you would dig this book.. Maybe God wants me to realize that it must be Him working through His people to exact change in anyone or anything on earth. Day 60 . All the money in the world won't change an aid-dependent people into thriving entrepreneurs. intercede for them. I have a responsibility to pray.. and all the education in the world can save someone from generational poverty in a corrupt system. September 6. independent nation. At least anything that makes real and lasting change. and obey when God sends me out with clear direction. Only he can make impacting and lasting change. Is this a cop-out? No! It is through Christ that ALL things are possible. Maybe that's exactly what my mindset should be. I need something bigger and more powerful than me.When it Rains. 2011 P a g e | 338 . and I am powerless to do anything about it. All the help in the world won't create a mighty.P a g e | 338 I see the need.. Comments: Love this post! Have you read"When Helping Hurts" by Steven Corbett and Brian Fikkert? In reading your last paragraph. What can I do about THIS? I've decided I can do nothing. seek God's will for this country.

. things have been relatively easy for us so far. and the frequent "Is he white or hobesha (Ethiopian)?" stare. "When it rains. or trials come BOGO style. Mark and I knew when we applied for adoption that we were going to be getting a lot more than a beautiful blessing from God.P a g e | 339 I know I'm not the first to say. we will be moving our address to Houston to be closer to Mark's work. we've kept New Orleans our permanent address. We live in New Orleans. When we return home (to New Orleans). Aside from the difficulty with paperwork. but Mark has accepted a job in Houston. I have to admit. and Mark has worked during the week in Houston while I've been in Ethiopia. We were "buying" into potential battles. P a g e | 339 . saving money. this phrase is used quite literally during the rainy season. Mark and I have been in a transitional period over the past two months.000.. it seems as though this phrase is more of the rule than the exception in life. it pours!" Around Addis. Figuratively. financial. To keep things "easy" for the adoption. Rain. except instead of Buy One Get One. we've had no real issues. it should be Buy One Get 1. spiritual. People run for cover when the slightest sprinkle begins knowing that torrential downpours are on the horizon. Until now. and relational.

This is our newest car. and there was little we could do to change it. as tropical storm Lee hovered near New Orleans. Being completely powerless to change the situation a world away. but manageable news I guess. our neighbors emailed to show us the rising water in the neighborhood and ask if they could move our car out of the street. and that there was an awful smell in the car. P a g e | 340 . Thankful. we got an email that the car floorboards were wet. those plans have changed.P a g e | 340 Shortly after Mark arrived in Addis two weeks ago. This was not good news. our friend (who was cleaning our house as a surprise to me from Mark) emailed and said there was an air conditioning leak in the roof and the ceiling had caved in leaving the carpet wet. and the car we planned to drive to Houston in with our son in his new carseat. Needless to say. we asked our friend to become our "general contractor" in repairing our house. and we hoped for the best. we told them where they could find a key. especially since we are going to put in on the market soon. A couple of days ago. Yesterday.

and they feel more like a hailstorm than a rainstorm. These raindrops are starting to take the form of dollar signs. Bring it on.P a g e | 341 Tomorrow I'm bracing myself for a tree to fall on the roof. P a g e | 341 . life! "When it rains it pours" means more to me than the sloshy puddles I will wade through to get my next macchiatto down the street in Addis. or maybe the truck will suddenly go into reverse and back into the neighbor's beautifully manicured garden! I'm ready. a burglar to steal my TV.

but at least do-able. one of our car engines blew....and one P a g e | 342 .Yoseph I'm so sorry! But.praying that all will go as God intended. I am confident that God is on our side and working all things together for good because we love Him and are called according to His purpose.Megan I surprised that "Day 60-when it Rains. I'm thrilled you are moving to Houston! We can be thankful tonight that you have a home..Michelle Praying for you guys!! But so excited to know that you will soon be home and you will be in Houston!! Your mom must be so excited!!! ..P a g e | 342 In all of this... Good bye! . One of our rentals flooded. You are going from Addis to Houston. You are in my thoughts! . I do have to say. Cimbrey! I remember getting hit with spiritual battle once we were DTE. Even if it is that we do get a little wet along the way. All of that is fixable! .Erica Oh.. So many have been lost in the fires around Texas. Maybe not easy. Comments: Been wondering about you guys..

Daddy and Zane got a haircut today and Zane wore his American fire truck pajamas! I saved them 9 weeks for tonight.and a new home back in Texas!!!!! Congrats to you and Mark and Zane! *HUGS* .Debb Day 61 .. that is true. 2011 It's hard for me to believe that tomorrow we will be going to our embassy appointment! In celebration of our future American's visa. He has the best facial expressions! We've seen him really come to life over the past three weeks.P a g e | 343 other big event occurred.Embassy Eve! September 7. He loves to laugh and be silly. he squeals and buries his face in our chests. but how awesome it must feel to know that he is fighting so hard against you BECAUSE YOU ARE WALKING THE PATH GOD WANTS FOR YOU!!!!!! Keep the faith... girl! You are almost home!. P a g e | 343 . When we laugh with him. One of his favorite things to do lately is pucker up and give us kisses. and the visa we will receive Friday morning before leaving for America! However.. His face is priceless and so difficult to capture in pictures.. and I can't believe it's here. He's so affectionate and loving toward us. He even blows kisses from across the room. nothing compares to Zane's excitement. The enemy is coming at you. Mark and I are excited for the appointment tomorrow.

"Who me?" P a g e | 344 .P a g e | 344 He's such a sweet boy. Here's a few from Embassy Eve that sort of capture his precious personality.

going to be an official citizen?" P a g e | 345 ...P a g e | 345 "Daddy's hilarious!" Sweet boy "So...I'm like.

.P a g e | 346 "See..what happened was. you comin'?" P a g e | 346 ." "Daddy...

I'll go." "YAY! I'm going home soon!!!" P a g e | 347 .P a g e | 347 "Do they let you run on furniture in America? Okay.

but our lives as a family of three in Texas is just beginning.. It's surreal to think we will drive to the airport in only two hours and we will not see Ethiopia again for years to come. I go from P a g e | 348 .. I've wondered today if he has any idea what we are doing today..Katie Oh. My feelings are bittersweet now as I right this.that we are leaving his country. Sweet Boy!!! :-D Day 62 & 63 . Addis Ababa has been my home for over two months now.Debb That smile is priceless! He's is precious! I love that he's so affectionate.. Our journey to Zane is nearing an end...that we really don't live in the Yebsabi Guest House permanently. and it has been my son's home for more than 6 months.on a jet plane!" That will be you THREE very SOON!!!!! So excited for you guys! And praising God with you!!!! *HUGS* .Going Home September 9. Cimbrey!God is sooo good!Big Hugs.P a g e | 348 Comments: Hooray!! Soo excited for you and Mark.. Cimbrey!!!! He is so absolutely GORGEOUS!!!! So very excited for you guys!!! "Leavin'.... .that we are flying to the other side of the world. friend. 2011 I can't really explain what I feel right now.

"Then I shall bow in humble adoration and there proclaim. and the way we praised God for allowing us to see that? Will my mind allow me to adequately describe Zane's birthmother's face when she gave Addisu her last wishes and watched us drive out the gates of Abenezer Orphanage? As the sounds of the girls that live next door flood through my window. but God has met me here. It has been difficult. and I don't want to leave it. lonesome at times. and German accents that filled the air? What about the chorus "How Great Thou Art" sung at everyone's full capacity on our last Sunday there and the way the Ethiopians behind us trilled there tongues in traditional celebration when we sang. American. I am reminded that they will be grown the next time we come here. I fear I will forget how God came to my rescue when I was so helplessly depressed at my lowest points here.Him. I fear my mind won't recall God's words to me each week at the International Evangelical Church and the way the pastor always spoke the exact words God needed me to hear. or how he sent me fellowship at just the right moments. Will I remember the sounds of the Doxology and the African.. I wonder if "R" will still P a g e | 349 .P a g e | 349 feeling sadness and loss about leaving this place to elation about going home.. Addis Ababa has been the furnace in which God has refined me with His Holy fire. how GREAT Thou art!" How will I remember the feeling I had when Mark and I saw Zane walk for the first time. My God. British. and painful.

P a g e | 350 love us. we will be celebrating our first day in Houston. animals. He has shown us His presence in ways we've never experienced. Addisu means. He has reminded us of his faithfulness and goodness. He has been our strength and He has been our salvation. and it is a Christian name given to him by his biological P a g e | 350 . He's given us a heart for Ethiopia and its people. just a block from the Yebsabi? Who else might come and watch them play from the terrace almost every day praying for them to have families? I wonder if the staff here at the Yebsabi will still be here when we return? Will I ever see there smiles and hear their kind voices again? My heart. Addisu. or will her reality become bleak for her? What will become of the kids at Abenezer. and pretty much everything in the world as much as she does today. but I will never forget what God has done here. TX with our new son. and expectation. or Kingdom Vision. I'm overwhelmed with saddness. gratitude. As Ethiopia celebrates their New Year this Monday. "The New One". I know I will struggle to remember the details of every moment here in Addis. Zane. Kid's Care. and we have experienced Jesus here as both the Lion and the Lamb. The symbol of Ethiopia is the Lion of Judah. And He's provided His power and His peace in abundance. joy. We praise Him.

Oh how I would love to be in that airport to see you sweet faces & celebrate with you! I am so thankful for all the Lord has P a g e | 351 . and He still is. And we look with great hope and anticipation at the deliverance he is bringing to our son and his birth country. and Zane Comments: Woohoo!!! :-) I am so excited for y'all!!! Yay! So excited for you guys. We are so blessed to return to the family God has given us through Christ and to our country that we love so much. See you stateside! Mark. and second chances are given. for our God makes ALL THINGS new. It is not by chance that Addisu was given a Christian name. and we love you. We look forward to seeing many of you in a matter of hours. Your prayers have been our strength and encouragement for 9 weeks. Cimbrey. God was His father all along.P a g e | 351 grandfather. September is the New Year because it is the season when the rains cease and crops flourish. fresh. It is the time when all things become new. In Ethiopia. I believe that it is no coincidence that we will take home our "New One" during the Ethiopian "New Year".

P a g e | 352 done in your family's life these last weeks and months.Carrie Cimbrey. we were thrilled to step onto U. we were boarding a 777 Ethiopian airplane to head to Washington D. It is almost impossible for me to believe that an entire week has gone by..S.C. 2011 It has been one week since we flew out of Addis Ababa.C. Praying for a smooth plane trip:) .He WILL!!! When I was in Romania.April I love hearing of His faithfulness to you and yours through this season! Praising Jesus with you! ..loved reading about your heart! I pray God surrounds you. soil for two reasons: 1) that meant we were finally home and 2) our son P a g e | 352 . When we arrived in D.. Ethiopia. we took the Lord's supper in a back room of a restaurant with pastors from all over the country and sang "How Great Thou Art" half in English and half in Romanian. Mark and Zane just as he has these last 2 months. some moments with God are UNFORGETABLE! Here's to the ones ahead! Home September 16. About this time 7 days ago.

We were surprised and delighted to receive first class seating thanks to a generous ticketer who appreciated our choice to adopt. Zane hated the donut and spit it out.P a g e | 353 automatically became a U. and blue rasberryfilled donut in the shape of a star in our nations capital! Doesn't get much better than that. yay!" Of course. Horray! To celebrate. Unfortunately.S. After a 3 hour layover and lots of walking around the airport to stretch our legs. We enjoyed the extra leg room and space for Zane to move! We were greeted in New Orleans by one of the best looking greeting crews I've ever seen. Jon. and donuts are definitely one of them. I guess some American customs are better to leave behind. citizen! We obtained a visa for him that allowed him to achieve citizenship upon arrival. As we passed through the gate to the waiting area. Oh well. the three of us fist pumped (Zane style) and cheered. Zane had no idea that the crowd huddled in front of us was cheering back for him! I think he was surprised to get such a loud "YAY!" in response. we went to Dunkin Donuts and got a patriotic red. After hugging both sets of grandparents who (thankfully) traveled from Houston to see us arrive. we boarded a small jet to New Orleans. "Yay. yay. white. Anna and Eli Palmer greeted P a g e | 353 .

well that's another story. What we originally thought was rising water in the car. he was safe. We were truly amazed. Every once in a while he glanced up and ran to Mark or me to let us know he still knew who he belonged to.. yet still be comfortable enough to play with the other children. Zane wanted to get down and play with the other children there.. Home. It was the most wonderful homecoming I've ever experienced. The Simon's kids held posters with greetings for Zane. and he knew that as long as we were around.. and the smell from the water was gone. It felt good to watch him light up and run to us. and it's a lot less damaging to the P a g e | 354 . Our neighbor aired out our car. We were able to talk and catch up with our friends and family for quite a while before getting our luggage and heading home. This is much easier to fix. and many of our church family and community showered us with hugs and kisses. and it was made even sweeter by the friends and family who came to meet our new son. It was during this time that I realized how far Zane had come in the last two weeks we spent together as a family in Ethiopia. He knew who Mommy and Daddy were.P a g e | 354 Zane with a new toy car. was actually just a leak in the sunroof. Almost immediately. while the girls touched his face and gave him kisses. It turns out the issues we thought we were going home to were not nearly as bad as we invisioned them. He ran around with the boys..

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vehicle. The ceiling that had fallen in due to an air conditioning leak was
re-dry-walled and looked clean. The only remnant of the ceiling disaster
was the smell of drywall and paint. We were so thankful that the
situations with our house were not as big of a deal as we thought they
were.

Despite the corrections to the house, Mark, Zane, and I spent one night in
the house we thought would be our home upon returning to the United
States. During the time that I was in Ethiopia, Mark took a new job with
Hess Corporation. Originally, we thought we might be able to spend a
week or two as a family in New Orleans, say our goodbyes, and gradually
move to Houston. However, the one or two weeks we planned to spend as
a family in New Orleans was spent in Addis Ababa waiting on embassy.
Therefore, the next morning, our families arrived early at our house to
pack and clean our house and get it ready to sell. By 1:00 p.m., our house
looked professionally cleaned and staged, and we were on the road
caravaning to Houston.

It's funny how things never go as planned, but they always turn out better
than expected. What I thought was a delay in embassy clearance really
was treasured time Mark and I had with Zane with no distractions in his

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birth-country. It was beautiful memories in places we never would have
gone to otherwise, like the gorge or even the bakery up the street. What
we think is disaster in our lives, like the leak in the ceiling or the flooding
of our new car, were not really issues at all in the end. We got new drywall
out of the deal and the assurance that our air conditioning is now in good
selling condition. Our plan to say our goodbyes in New Orleans, while it
would be nice for us to hang on to the way things were, really may have
been more difficult for Zane, as he would have had to adjust twice to a
new home, surroundings, and people. Now, we are all adjusting together
to a new city, new apartment, and life as a family. We're all on an equal
playing field so to speak. We're relying on each other and discovering new
places together.

I don't know what the future holds for us here. A new house? New
friends? New church? But one thing I have learned from this experience.
Home is where family is. Whether in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, New Orleans,
Louisiana, or Houston, TX, we've been home all along because we're
together.

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Comments:
Cimbrey, I didn't know you were n Houston now! That is so exciting for me
to hear! Hope we can meet up when you are settled in a routine with
Zane! Welcome to Houston! :) our Ethiopian boys can become friends!
hehe! - Emily
WELCOME HOME!!! You are so RIGHT! Home is wherever you are with Mark
and Zane!!!! =) - Debb
How have you been? I'm happy you are at home. How is Zane? Zane is
beginning to feel at home in his live. I think he feels comfortable. - Yoseph

Our New Life
September 20, 2011
The other day, I was talking to a friend about what we're doing these days.
The only thing that comes to mind is "adjusting". I really didn't know
what to say beyond that because I have no idea what the adjustments are.
I can't put into words what I'm doing every day, I just know my body is
tired, so there must be an adjustment going on, right?

I am an analytical person by nature, so when someone asks me a
question, I feel compelled to answer that question as honestly and

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thoroughly as possible, even if the answer comes days later. I've been
alive long enough, however, to know that people don't really care enough
to wait days for an answer. My OCD kicks in when I'm asked a question I
don't know how to answer, and I think about it until I can. Therefore, I
pondered the question, "What adjustments are y'all making?" until I could
put a few of the adjustments into words.

First, Zane and I are trying to get used to U.S. time zones. For the first
week, Zane thought that midnight was 8 a.m. (breakfast time in Addis)
and 5 a.m. was noon (lunch time in Addis). It wasn't until two nights ago,
that Zane slept (pretty much) through the night. It felt great to have a full
night's sleep!

Secondly, Zane is getting used to foreign foods. We've gone from barley
cereal, wheat cereal, and an occasional bowl of pasta stars to peas,
mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cheese crackers, and his favorite,
french vanilla yogurt. I'm learning to hide vegetables and fruits in things
like potatoes and yogurt. I guess I can say I'm officially a mom now.

Thirdly, I have been adjusting to life in an apartment in Houston rather
than our house in New Orleans. Our apartment is beautiful and the area is

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awesome for us to explore. We have a pool, onsite cyber cafe with great
macchiatos, and near-by nature trails for walking and riding bikes. We
love the area; however, so much of me is still in New Orleans. Zane's
room that I completed weeks before we left still sits untouched in our
house in New Orleans. Our dogs, Callie and Gracie, are staying with
Grandmom (Mark's mom) in Richmond.
In addition to this, my job as 7th grade language arts teacher has been
replaced by the job of homemaker and mom. It was strange to let August
go by without decorating my classroom, writing names on popsicle sticks,
and organizing my agenda for the new school year. I even had my usual
"beginning of school" dreams while I was in Addis. I dreamed that my
principal did not fill my position and she needed me to come back from
Africa to teach until she found a replacement, and I dreamed about lesson
planning with Becky, my partner teacher and dressing up to read a story to
the kids.

Lastly, I feel like my family for the past 8 years is in New Orleans living life
without us. We can't pick up the phone at 5 p.m. on a Friday night and ask
the Palmers to meet us at Superior Grill at 6. We don't drive by the
Carvers' yellow house on the way to Lebanon's when we're craving
hummus and gyro wraps. We can't rag on Georgia to the Simons on

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Sunday morning in Sunday school, and we can't spontaneously go out to
eat with the Flores after church. We're not driving to church three days a
week for meetings and praise team practice with Robert and the band. No
more late Sunday nights drinking coffee with the Pucketts or pretending to
diet with Rachel while I sneak a Starbucks scone. It's weird. My normal is
in New Orleans, so I guess we're adjusting to the new normal.

My grandparents, whom I admire very much, have never let changing
seasons of life keep them from experiencing the fullness and joy life has to
offer. My entire life, they have traveled all across the United States to see
friends, family members, co-workers, and anyone they've ever met really.
When you meet them, you immediately become their friend. People are
priority to them, and you know that when you are in their presence. There
is no boundary that is too big to keep Honey and Grandaddy from loving
someone and making a special effort to come see them. In fact, they just
returned to Houston from a 6-7 stop trip over the weekend where they
spent time with Grandaddy's ailing sister, had lunch with former
missionaries they knew, stayed the night with my other set of
grandparents, played forty-two with old friends, among many other joys.
In their 80's now, they never let life pass them by, and they never live
with regret.

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I want to be like Honey and Grandaddy. God is giving me an opportunity
with our new move to stay connected to loved ones in Louisiana. As my
life continues, I pray that God will give me the thoughtfulness and
selflessness of my grandparents to maintain friendships with people
wherever we may live. What a legacy they have left for me, and I pray to
leave that legacy for Zane. While we're on earth, the most important
relationship we have aside from Jesus Christ is the ones we have with the
people he has put in our path. I hope that people see the love of Christ
through me, as it is seen through my grandparents in their efforts to keep
close ties to the people they've encountered.

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Comments:
Sweet post, my friend! And YES! God's love shines through you! And I
hope to stay in touch with you clear from Idaho!!!! You are precious and I
am so glad we have now been able to hang out twice in person! Go, God!
Sending you and yours a great big hug!!!! - Debb
What a blessing to have such a legacy to aspire to!

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Life, especially with kiddos, is all about adjustment. Once I figured out that
life IS change, dealing with change wasn't such a big deal. Most of the
time! :-)Zane is so precious. I hope you are all enjoying your new home
together! - Michelle
How awesome! I can't wait to see you guys! I hope to catch you when we
are in Houston. I really really can't believe yall are gone. I always pictured
ZOE and Zane together ='(I love seeing all the pictures of Zane!

NO TITLE
September 23, 2011
Almost another week has gone by! I can't believe how quickly time goes
by sometimes. Zane is doing great with his sleep patterns now. We went
to the pediatrician for the first time this week, and he got some medicine
for a cough he's had. In addition to helping with the cough, it's helped him
sleep through the night, so he's getting more used to US time. Zane is
trying all kinds of new foods, and he's being really brave! He definitely
does not like all of them, but at least he's trying!

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and he enjoyed playing with old toys that Nick and I played with! It's amazing because those toys are now selling at Target for $20.P a g e | 364 Zane met my Aunt Denise today at Honey's and G-G's (Grandaddy's new name) house. Only G-G could push him on the scooter because he does it best. like all good grandmom's do! Zane enjoyed playing with her and taking a walk in his beloved stroller. All the vintage stuff is back! Zane got to play with an ORIGINAL telephone pull toy whose eyes move up and down and a worm scooter whose stickers have all come off. Zane showed Grandmom how to launch his Lightening McQueen car and make it go fast. We had lunch. and they played with a new fall bear she brought. He loved it. P a g e | 364 . apparently! Grandmom came for a visit this week! She came bearing gifts.

Musse'. and walking around the beautiful Terry Hershey park. This weekend Uncle Nick comes in town to meet Zane. Zane's friend.Staytuned.What a Week! P a g e | 365 ... bath time (which is a total celebration complete with a chant and dance).P a g e | 365 Mark is enjoying his job with Hess. . lives in Katy. and we're having other AWAA families to Mimi's house for dinner. and his schedule has been great. We've enjoyed dinners at home. so I'm looking forward to meeting up with the Rowells again. this time in the United States! I wonder if they will recognize each other in this new environment? I'm sure pictures will follow. He's been able to beat the traffic home and play with Zane before bedtime. Week 3 ..

We finally got to meet Zadie. and we got to know a new couple who will be bringing home their baby next summer from Ethiopia! P a g e | 366 . Zane got to hang out with his transition home buddy. the Chambers little girl. and it has been a great one! We finished week two with a get-together at my mom's house! Three couples with AWAA came over for dinner. Musse. who came home only weeks before he did.P a g e | 366 September 28. 2011 We are in our third week home with Zane.

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P a g e | 369 It was also fun to see Nick. He is back in Texas now. P a g e | 369 . so he drove in to meet Zane. my brother who has been in Iraq for a year. is great with kids! Zane enjoyed walking with him and playing with sidewalk chalk. "Untel Ick". as Zane calls him.

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We came ready to cheer for the Saints. Zane and I met Autumn and Zadie and Kara and Berhanesh for lunch at Pappasitos. Tuesday. mashed potatoes. I just about ate my body weight in chips and salsa! I tried to get Zane to eat quesadillas. peaches. That afternoon we went by Honey and G-G's house for a little while to play before they head out to Austin for a long weekend. and headed back home for nap time. Zane and I had a brunch date with our friend. Amanda. at Einstein bagels. we needed the win. After a disappointing Aggie game on Saturday. however! I've enjoyed making my own baby food from sweet potatoes. but he's still not ready for that apparently. Today. It's SO easy and much cheaper than buying it. so obviously. After downing a pumpkin crunch bagel and latte. peas. Texans day.P a g e | 371 Sunday was Saints v. and we were SO relieved when the Saints pulled through. Mark and I had to watch it with Poppi and Uncle Nick who love the Texans. It also allows me to combine things I know Zane will like. etc. and control the amount of salt and P a g e | 371 . we walked around Town Center. Zane is getting much better at eating. One great thing about being back in Texas is wonderful Mexican food like Pappasitos.

His favorite snack is cheese ducks (the organic version of goldfish). and I'm used to the day or two trips he has every other week or so. and he loves peas and mashed potatoes. It's hard to tell if he's in pain or if he's having a nightmare. just the two of us. and he does this daily. He's courageous to put anything green or orange in his mouth. I think he's really doing great! I can't imagine being in his shoes and have my entire world turned upside down. he has really shown a lot of trust to eat the food we give him. So far. Who knows what he might be feeling. so I think he'll be okay. he has tried anything I put in french vanilla yogurt. With all the change he has been through. Tonight. But you never know how a difference in routine might scare him or make him feel anxiety. Zane will not be overly concerned about Daddy not being here tonight. I can't P a g e | 372 . Zane and I will experience our first night by ourselves in the U. Hopefully. Mark's job requires him to travel some.S. and usually he falls back asleep after a while. I'd forget I was in Ethiopia.P a g e | 372 sugar he gets in his diet. I just pray for him and hold him when this happens. and think I was in my bed in New Orleans. We spent many nights in Africa. especially in his dreams when one can almost forget where he or she is! This happened to me almost every morning I woke up in Africa. much like he did the first week I had him in Ethiopia. Last night Zane was crying in his sleep again.

We hope he will feel comforted and assured that he is safe and taken care of while he is there. Zane will go to get an evaluation at Texas Children's Hospital's Adoption Clinic. some sounds he's not used to hearing. We expect Zane to have a clean bill of health aside from minor issues like the chronic cough he has. however. Friday. He's very interested in the alphabet with correlating animal cards I got him. Zane will get to meet his aunt and uncles for the first time! I know he'll enjoy everyone playing with him and loving on him! Zane is learning something new everyday. over at Grandmom and GDaddy's house. and it's so sweet to see him try. This is a routine post-adoption check up where doctors look into all of the possible conditions he could have from his time in Ethiopia.P a g e | 373 imagine where he thinks he is when he wakes up in the middle of the night! Pray for him to have peace and dream sweet dreams. This weekend we are really excited to see Aunt Laura and Uncle Ben and Uncle Jay. and he doesn't know how to position his throat and mouth P a g e | 373 . He's trying SO hard to make the sounds of the letters. who is flying in from New York. we would appreciate your prayers as we take him to be poked and prodded. Some letters are super difficult for him to say. Apparently.

I didn't know what he was doing until I looked up. and snake. when Zane sees any of these animals in pictures when we're out. The donkeys would come by. I was amazed that he saw the sign in the first place. He's such a determined boy. Our outdoor wildlife here is the squirrel. the outline of a rooster hung. "AWOYAY!" The neighborhood dogs barked (and sometimes wailed) all night. There are three animals he will not try to say the names of because he immediately resorts to mimicking the sound the animal makes: the lion. rooster. and Zane started yelling. and it's really hard to mimic their sounds! Therefore.P a g e | 374 to make the sound come out!! We keep repeating and he keeps trying every day. breakfast P a g e | 374 . The only sounds we hear in our room these days is the sound of cars on the beltway and an occasional siren. actually) we were greeted by the sound of the rooster next door. he'll point and make the sounds they make. and Zane would say. I was at Whole Foods the other day. And the men selling mops would yell. In fact. "DA-DA-DOOOOOO!" over and over. then laughed that he thought about the cock-a-doodledoo sound the rooster makes while shopping for groceries! This and other sounds he makes often make me miss Addis. and just over the chicken section. "HOO! HOO!" like the dogs did. "HEE-HAW". Every morning (and all through the night. and Zane always puckered his lips and said.

and a goat at our house so if you ever come to Florida you should come visit! My cousing lives in New Orleans so maybe someday I can visit you! So glad you are home and doing well. He's becoming a master at saying "HI!" and "Thank you!" and you can tell it makes him proud to get those words right. roosters. It's such a blessing to be the mom of such a sweet boy. Comments: Love the updates! We have chicken. I absolutely love him. and I'm so thankful to God for him. 2011 P a g e | 375 . :) – Dawn Guest Post .Mary Beth Picker October 3.P a g e | 375 isn't complete without Mommy and Zane pretending we're in Addis and yelling the sounds of the animals and people in the streets! I love to see him absorb the world around him. cows. donkeys.

Lifesong. we knew we had to do more. she and her husband came back to Ethiopia to work on a school for a great organization. After arriving home with her. We have been so blessed to team up with other adoptive families around P a g e | 376 . my friend from high school. my husband and I began our journey to adopt our son from Ethiopia.P a g e | 376 I met Mary Beth Picker through her husband Casey. Mary Beth has become a good friend and fellow adoptive mom! I was ecstatic when I learned she and her husband were in Ethiopia the same time I was! Only this time. And since that time. God has been filling our hearts with an overwhelming love and passion for the people of Ethiopia. We returned a year after our first adoption to bring our daughter home. See more information below on how you can get involved! Mary Beth writes: Thank you so much Cimbrey for allowing me to post on your blog about a subject that is so important to me. over a year ago. Over three years ago. I was able to meet them for a traditional dinner and learn all about the awesome work they are a part of in Ethiopia.

raised over $40. Ethioipa. we'll do anything! We are very excited to announce our first fundraiser for our next phase of P a g e | 377 .000 to build a new building. with five other families. restroom facility. and have absolutely fallen in love with Adami Tulu. for these sweet faces. So we've agreed to continue our work with Lifesong by raising funds for another school building on the Adami Tulu campus. More details will be coming soon. and gate at the Adami Tulu school. The school is changing the lives of so many vulnerable children in the area by offering them a wonderful education and two nutritious meals a day. This will enable the school to expand to include 1st and 2nd grade.000. we got to return to Ethiopia to see the new building. We know that this project will cost at least $50. You can read more about our trip here and here. You can read more about Adami Tulu here.P a g e | 377 the U. but we're anxious to get a jump start on fundraising. But. we. Last year. and with Lifesong for Orphans. We've returned home with the knowledge that we have so much more to do in Adami Tulu. Lifesong is doing some amazing work through a small nursery school that they support in Adami Tulu. We had an amazing trip.S. In August.

a pool and hot tub.P a g e | 378 the Adami Tulu project: another Aspen Giveaway! Our Aunt and Uncle have. donate $20 by clicking the link for the stay that you're interested in. To enter. fitness center. For every $20 you donate to Lifesong for Orphans. once again. 100% of your donation will go to our work in Adami Tulu. generously donated toward our fundraising efforts. Here are some details and pictures about the Hyatt stays: Hyatt Grand Aspen has complimentary continental breakfast. Only this time they've offered us not one but FIVE stays at the Hyatt Grand Aspen. you will get one entry in the drawings. fire pit. Any one of these November stays might make a great early-Thanksgiving get together for you and some friends or family! We will begin the giveaways today and draw winners on October 15. By the way. There is even a little hut by the hot tubs where you can hang your robes to keep them warm for you! The hotel is within walking distance of lots of shops and restaurants in Aspen. P a g e | 378 . daily room cleaning and nightly turn down service complete with chocolates.

Thurs. of course. you could fly into the Aspen airport. Livingroom. Or you could fly into Denver and rent a car to drive to Aspen. donate to Lifesong for Orphans here: Hyatt Stay Giveaway #2: Sun.) To enter the drawing for Giveaway #1. To get to Aspen. you could also just drive to Aspen. you can go without a car during your stay.) To enter the drawing for Giveaway #2.. November 5-12 (full week stay) Studio Unit (Like a nice hotel room with small kitchenette. Washer and Dryer.500.Sat.. donate to Lifesong for Orphans here: Hyatt Stay Giveaway #3: P a g e | 379 . Dining Room. The hotel will pick you up and. Or. Hyatt Stay Giveaway #1: Sat. Kitchen. etc.P a g e | 379 The retail value of each stay is approximately $2. November 13-17 (five days/ four nights) Two Bedroom Unit (Two Bedrooms and Bathrooms. since everything is within walking distance.

Thurs. November 13-17 (five days/ four nights) Three Bedroom Unit (Three Bedrooms and Bathrooms. Kitchen.P a g e | 380 Sun.. Kitchen. donate to Lifesong for Orphans here: Hyatt Stay Giveaway #4: Tues.-Sat. Dining Room. donate to Lifesong for Orphans here: Hyatt Stay Giveaway #5: Tues. etc. Dining Room. November 15-19 (five days/ four nights) Two Bedroom Unit (Two Bedrooms and Bathrooms. What a deal! Plus. November 15-19 (five days/ four nights) One Bedroom Unit (All the things a two bedroom has but only one bedroom and bathroom) To enter the drawing for Giveaway #4. Washer and Dryer. just for donating $20. Washer and Dryer.-Sat. Livingroom.) Maybe a family could do an "early Thanksgiving get together" in this one. To enter the drawing for Giveaway #3. you get to be part of this amazing project to help these P a g e | 380 . donate to Lifesong for Orphans here: Just imagine. Livingroom. you could win a stay in Aspen. etc.) To enter the drawing for Giveaway #5..

2011 Last week finished with a BANG. That totally made up for the bad morning. Please repost on twitter and facebook! Thank you! Week 4 . you could donate your entry to a friend. Help us raise money to expand the Adami Tulu school and spread the word about our giveaway. or someone who could really use the time away. Jay flew in from New York to see Zane and Laura and Ben P a g e | 381 . Friday night. as Zane had the privledge of getting 7 shots (all routine stuff he missed while in Ethiopia) and 4 tubes of blood taken! Congratulations. If you are unable to use one of the stays. This kind of doctor appointment calls for Chuey's creamy jalapeno! We enjoyed great Mexican food and the waiter even gave Zane a Blue Bell push pop for free.P a g e | 381 precious kids in Adami Tulu. or minister. Zane! You were the lucky winner of the worst doctor visit imaginable.Settling In October 6.

TX. P a g e | 382 . It was so nice of them to come down.P a g e | 382 came from Gonzales. Zane me them for the first time Saturday morning.

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and the playground at Memorial City Mall later in the week. P a g e | 384 . It was great to see him having fun and smiling with other kids. Musse.P a g e | 384 He's making his Baylor G-Daddy do his "gig 'em" thumb! Good boy! Monday. Zane had 2 more shots and three more tubes of blood taken. He's pretty much scarred for life from any doctor's office. the Children's Museum with his buddy. I think we made up for the bad start to the week by going to the pool.

P a g e | 385 Learning to use a pulley A real-life car!!! P a g e | 385 .

Memorial City Mall Za ne's already hired a driver. P a g e | 386 . Fascinating.P a g e | 386 Favorite exhibit? The Water Fountain.

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We'd been going through the motions of life without joy. I didn't either. but it's change none the less. that I must recap the highlights. 2011 Our update on week five is way overdue at this point! We are now in week 6 already of being home from Ethiopia. but it was really hard with a new baby. church. The week started with a depressing lull Sunday morning with Mark rolling over and saying... a spiritual battle began to take place. It was a fleeting conversation. Week five was such a great week. Our lives had been changing by the minute and our bodies were exhausted. and Mark briefly mentioned as we drove in the car together that he wanted to try the same church.P a g e | 388 Week 5 October 17. It's a great change. We P a g e | 388 . We're used to going wherever whenever we want. The Holy Spirit was nudging me Saturday night to try another church in the area. Even more so. our spirits were quenched. and things change when you have a child. Moving to a new city is hard." Frankly. We needed some encouragement in the midst of our house. "I don't wanna go to church this morning. and as we lay in bed Sunday morning.just surviving really. and friend hunt.

We would attend the 11:00 service and hope for no meltdowns from Mr. Torrential downpours. we were GOING to church. But now we were all ready. P a g e | 389 . We both needed to take showers and get ready. Zane. and all eat breakfast by 9:00 so we could make it to the 9:30 service. and we had every reason to stay in bed. and headed toward church. Zane slept until 8:30. We step outside at 9:05 to pouring rain. and by-golly. We got some coffee and breakfast and decided to go to the Welcome Center for some more information about the church and its programs.P a g e | 389 woke up late. Something (the Holy Spirit) kept pushing me to get up and go to church. by the time we parked and got inside from the rain. The kind of rain that all of Houston prayed for to stop the wildfires close by. We raced to the car. which rarely happens. give Zane a bath and get him ready. The kind of rain a city gets when it hasn't had rain in months. so I got out of bed and urged the guys in the house to "haul it" getting ready. The 11:00 service would be too late. No problem. Needless to say. as Zane usually eats lunch at 11:30 and takes a nap between 12:30 and 2:30. we were 20 minutes late for the service we had planned to go to.

right???!!! After meeting a great couple who told us about bible studies. we began talking about adoption. And finally. and how sometimes God's plans look different from what we think makes sense. we ran into our old friends from NOLA who moved here a few years ago. "A big group of adoptive parents are meeting before the service to gather to go up on the stage. Providentially. P a g e | 390 . I noticed a friendly woman introducing herself to Mark. we were being asked to go on stage. I ran into a sorority sister from Texas A&M and her husband. We'd love for y'all to join us!" I laughed for two reasons: 1) I was overjoyed to learn that I was minutes away from meeting a "BIG group of adoptive families". we were delighted to meet about 20 adoptive families who attend the church regularly and are a part of the orphan care ministry before going up on stage. Why not. and her family is doing foster care. 2) I was tickled that after struggling to get to church and being there only 30 minutes. Out of the corner of my eye. We had an encouraging conversation about God's plan for the orphan and lonely. Shortly after. She later introduced herself to me as the Director of the adoption ministry at the church.P a g e | 390 At the Welcome Desk. we learned that they were connected to a couple we had become friends with through Mark's work.

I told Him last week. God continued to show himself faithful by providing encouragement and fellowship in a variety of ways. but You know me. He helped me receive encouragement. He is faithful." And. He gave me joy. He helped me find a friend. and it was so evident that we were to be encouraged there by God. but You feel them with me. P a g e | 391 . I just know that He does. I cannot tell you how I know the Lord speaks to me. I knew we were supposed to attend this church that morning. He shared his passion about supporting adoption ministry. I can't explain my feelings. Help me Lord. and the congregation took up a special offering for adoption and foster care funds that assist member who are seeking to care for orphans. and allowed me to hang out at her house. and attend her small group. A new friend has embraced me as an old one. I am so thankful that God sees me. Throughout the week.P a g e | 391 The pastor addressed the church about the importance of adoption and the fact that all believers are adopted as sons and daughters of God. He did. "I don't know how to pray right now. as always. There I have met many more Christian moms who I look forward to hanging out with. and He filled me with new hope. go to play dates. When I woke up Sunday morning.

which was fine with us. even though it's not quite as we dreamed. our house sold after three days of being on the market. They both went for the cute. as selling our house makes it all so real. and we now wait for closing. we went to New Orleans to see old friends. "I need to hurry and get the coffee ready" as I had done for the past two years for our bible study class.P a g e | 392 This weekend. instead of posted on the refrigerator or bathroom mirror. It's bittersweet. P a g e | 392 . The only difference was that Zane is actually here in the US now. and two women sat selling tickets as they do every year in October. as it's the cheaper choice! As I walked through the doors of First Baptist New Orleans on Sunday morning. but they will still grow up together. I immediately went to the stage where the choir and praise team gathered just as we had done every Sunday for years. After the service ended. It was so sweet to see Zane with Eli. The boys got to pick out one pumpkin each at the nearby pumpkin patch that benefited a local school. I entered the fellowship hall and thought. In the foyer of the church sat the Women's Ministry table decorated for the Annual Ladies Tea coming up next weekend. and sleep in our house one last time. Being with our NOLA friends was almost as if I had never been away. little pumpkins. Anna and I always dreamed of our two Ethiopian boys growing up together! It will take more effort now. Miraculously.

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Those constants P a g e | 394 . moving cities. changing occupations. Becoming a mom. and selling/buying a house can seem overwhelming. but there are constants that keep us grounded and remind us that life goes on.P a g e | 394 It's funny how when everything in life changes. some things remain the same.

I am so happy for you and yet. everything on this earth will pass away. On that day. one thing will remain: Love. and there find hope in the new thing God is doing." Isaiah 54:10 "See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up! Do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. I am hit with the realization that Cimbrey and Mark will not be at FBNO every Sunday. no more programs. singing in choir. serving wherever P a g e | 395 . my unfailing love for you will never be shaken. There will be no more bible study class after worship services. we can stand on God. as I read this blog. no more Sunday morning coffee. "'Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed. no more Ladies Tea. nor my covenant of peace be removed.P a g e | 395 anchor us and give us hope when tidal waves crash against us. When everything around is shaking. One day.' says the Lord who has compassion on you. leading out with young adults." Isaiah 43:19 Comments: I am sad that I did not get to see you Sunday (we were out of town at a family wedding).

I pray that you approach it with a sense of adventure.Michelle Oh. it ain't gonna happen around here! . I will look forward to blog updates of how God continues to speak truth into your lives and how you continue to listen and obey. It could be frightening but. . just when we need it! I hope you continue to enjoy your new church. .Judi Thanks for the reminder that He gives us just what we need.. even when it means moving on days you'd rather stay in bed! I remember your first days at FBNO. Nope.my girls think Zane is soooo cute! . And enjoy being a mommy1 I live for the pictures y'all post. Don't lose that.. one that is taking them into uncharted territory.P a g e | 396 and whenever God has given them opportunity. Don't worry about being forgotten . God's got my young friends on a fresh path. friends! God has so many 'joys' ahead if you listen and obey. Cimbrey! So glad GOD is providing. oh. -Becca West P a g e | 396 . You were so young but so enthusiastic and expectant. I think of you a LOT and am glad to hear that you are settling in with your sweet boy.

We're really excited and amazed that we're doing this! We never would have thought we would be renovating a house. Will continue to pray for you and your family. We loved the area as we drove through. they mentioned that their friend signed a contract on a house two doors down and it was a steal. but he's not been able to sell his town home so he could move forward with the purchase. So happy the Lord has provided you with a sweet fellowship. .. A couple of weeks ago we went to dinner at a friend's house on W. "No problem! Have him transfer the contract into our names and we'll go ahead and take it off his hands!" Two days P a g e | 397 .P a g e | 397 Moving is hard. but it all worked out so providentially.Little Lamb Week 6 October 24. I jokingly said. 42nd St. That night. it was a possibility we were interested in looking into. 2011 Mark and I signed a contract on a house this week! We will be renovating a house in Garden Oaks (near the Heights just outside the loop). "We haven't even looked up here! I wonder what's available?" Since we've had NO luck at all finding a house in Memorial.. Moving with a child is so much harder. and we thought.

P a g e | 398 . Mark has started a new job with a new company. I have changed professions from teacher to mom. etc. and we know this is the Lord providing. we've changed churches. our commute to our church is 8 minutes. When we step back and think about life right now. so he's in Houston hanging out with us some! It's great to have him around. Oh. and we have good friends on the street. It really can't get any better. Mark's commute to work is 12 minutes. and Zane loves having "Untle Dit" in town. Even better. we laugh that we are undertaking a house renovation. NO!!!!!! We jumped on the opportunity before it could be listed for a higher price! As we looked into the house more. inspections. we've moved cities. and we're now embarking upon a renovation project. did I mention we have a children's book coming out in approximately 3 weeks!! (More to come on that!) We like to do things up big in the Brannan house! The more change the better! This week my brother has been on leave.P a g e | 398 later. We feel so at peace. we realized the friend had already done bids on the renovations. This was a no-brainer. we got word that this friend's contract is running out and the house might go on the market.

Who wouldn't like a roaring lion frozen in time adorned with plastic feathers. and leather? Freaky. but when he got off.P a g e | 399 Zane experienced his first carousel this week at the mall. he was not into these life-size plastic animals with rhinestone saddles. all he wanted to do was ride it again! As much as he loves animals. oddly enough. He was a little dumbfounded by it. beads. P a g e | 399 .

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like D. so he's looking pretty smooth..J. He did well.P a g e | 402 Zane also got his first American haircut this week. It cost 8 times as much as it did in Ethiopia. Jazzy Jeff from "Fresh Prince". P a g e | 402 . Gulp. but I still can't get over the price. We left some curls on top..

P a g e | 403 We had a few cold days this week. Unfortunately. and this is the 2 1/2 seconds he actually wore the thing. Oh well. P a g e | 403 . so I pulled out a splurge purchase that I couldn't pass up for little Zaney Boy. he thought it was HILARIOUS that I would even entertain the thought of putting this on him.

yet. Hate to do it. P a g e | 404 . though. No spoilers. Zane LOVES it. and the game is going on in the next room. and he wants to play in it all the time. You gotta wait for the big night to see this one! Texas Rangers are tied in the series right now.P a g e | 404 We had a trial run with our Halloween costume for the big Fall Festival coming up. and the Rangers?! Couldn't be a better fall. This is the only time of year I will watch it. but I gotta go watch baseball.

but we continue to put them in front of him at meal times. This week he likes beans.Bourg Family Week 7 .Fall is Here! November 1. 2011 This week was full of great weather and fun! We've been in the 70's and 80's here in Houston. We've had playdates this week with old friends from college.P a g e | 405 Comments: good update. and Zane even stayed with Mimi and Popi for a whole day while Mommy and Daddy P a g e | 405 . and peanut butter crackers (an all-time favorite). So excited to hear about your house. and we've enjoyed being outdoors. Such a fun time for yall. Zane is officially out of size 12 month pants this week! That's a relief since the boy is almost 22 months!! He's on to a size 18-24 month! We continue to introduce new foods. and he's catching on to the American diet. I still want to get together! Such a cutie! . which feels like winter. He's still not really into meats. broccoli cheese soup.

He had a great time playing with vintage toys that Mark. play outside in the beautiful weather. At Grandmom and G-Daddy's Zane got to swing. see our dogs. but he's still a little surprised and relieved when we come back to get him.P a g e | 406 went to the Aggie game. I think he did okay. God was faithful to be near to him in the months while he was in the transition home. and we picked him up afterward. We're praying for him about this. as he literally and spiritually senses the Lord's presence around him. and I know he is near to him now. he had a great time! P a g e | 406 . I pray that Zane can see that. and we continue to create opportunities to prove that "Mommy and Daddy ALWAYS come back. the Aggies lost. Unfortunately. and get spoiled with cookies and lots of attention." We're also praying that God the Father would be so evident to him that he always feels His closeness when we are away. but we feel like we scored big time with a whole day out and no issues! Zane is adapting well to life here. Jay. and he loves his grandparents! Sunday we went to Grandmom and G-Daddy's for lunch after church. and Laura used to play with! Aside from hitting his head on the tile floor and getting his second bruise on his head (same spot as the one he got in Ethiopia from falling out of a chair). Zane went to his first Sunday School class in the toddler room.

including a petting zoo. and they even house the ark of the covenant. blow up slides. the lion. and God's deliverance from oppression. but we knew he was so much more. independence. There was everything you could imagine at the festival. the power that God has to strengthen Ethiopia. P a g e | 407 . and foundation of historical Christianity.P a g e | 407 Monday was the big event: First Fest at Houston's First Baptist Church. In Ethiopia. is a representation of God's hand on his country. They think we just dressed him as the lion on the Wizard of Oz. We've been waiting for this for weeks now. the brain behind this madness. Ethiopians believe that some of the bible's ancient history occurred there. and more!!! Zane went to the festival as the Ethiopia Lion of Judah. pony rides. these deep thoughts only occur to his mother. Zane. Of course. This is a really difficult costume to explain to a bunch of American Baptists. and I'm okay with that. the Lion of Judah represents the country's strength. train rides. bounce houses.

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It was all about discovery. They even spread out butcher paper inside and let the kids draw on it with sidewalk chalk. and a big sandbox with items you could dig for. Brilliant! It was toddler heaven. candy was not even a thought this Halloween. For Zane.P a g e | 409 The most thrilling things for Zane were the most simple things: the bubble wrap tracks where toddlers could run and make the bubbles pop. P a g e | 409 . a plastic pool with water and magnetic fish.

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encourage him to pet them. and other creatures. and they sustain the country. On one hand. and the chickens. In Ethiopia. Goats and lambs stand caged in local markets waiting to be bought and sold. and eaten. Afterall. donkeys will toe the line as their master whips them into submission. the goats. slaughtered. the lambs. he was so drawn to the donkey. the deer. he was a little surprised at their audacity to approach him. This was P a g e | 412 . these animals are EVERYWHERE in Ethiopia. However. princesses. He had a love/hate relationship with this attraction.P a g e | 412 I think Zane was most mesmerized by the Petting Zoo. and invade his personal space. Chickens roam the streets and yards of peoples homes without concerning themselves with people. But these animals? They wanted to be coddled and pet by cute little children dressed as animals. pirates. cowboys.

When the donkey stood just beside him and honked out a loud. obnoxiously long "heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw". he raced up my leg into my arms. It was so funny. and looked at the thing like it was crazy.P a g e | 413 absolutely bizarre to Zane. P a g e | 413 . I wish I knew what he was thinking the whole time he watched the animals roam in the pin and rub up next to him like pets.

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I went into "we gotta get him up there" mode.P a g e | 417 Mommy had a moment of "Toddlers and Tiaras" when I heard announced a costume contest for ages 0-2. which P a g e | 417 . I've got priorities people! Zane ended up third place. and I even pulled Zane away from a conversation with Daddy and Pastor Greg.

Mark would kill me.P a g e | 418 is great for his first pageant! (Not that there will be more..) P a g e | 418 ..

and an "after-party" at home. Mark and I stayed up with Zane and played until he was worn out from all the fun.P a g e | 419 It was a great night that finished with dinner at a Mexican restaurant. I think Zane's first American holiday was a hit! P a g e | 419 .

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Zane Addisu. and it's unique traditions. What a great choice for a costume! .JustJess Cutest lion EVER .Laura and Ben Week 9 & 10: Goodnight Aggieland! November 17. I love all the pictures and I especially love what the lion represented. I am so glad you are posting about your experiences with the church nursery. Thanks! .Dawn What a sweet lion! And I love the story behind it. If you would.P a g e | 421 Cimbrey. While it is a children's book primarily. I would love to get continued updates on how this goes. and we received our shipment of books this week! Goodnight Aggieland is a book about the greatest university on earth. It would make a great Christmas present for anyone! We are so proud to be able to dedicate the book to our son. 2011 The children's book that Mark and I wrote was published. We aren't even DTE yet but getting info from other people about how they've navigated that trick environment is super helpful. future P a g e | 421 . it's great for any fan who wants to share the traditions that make Texas A&M one of the most spirited campuses in the country. So neat.

colorful ornaments. The smells and tastes are warm and inviting. We've had a great month of November. We had pot roast and cornbread tonight before downing the cookies with a hot cup of pumpkin spice coffee. The sites around Houston are filled with Christmas lights.com. I felt pure delight as I listened to Bing Crosby fill the halls of Memorial City Mall yesterday. wreaths. I love fall. Ginger and cinnamon filled our apartment today as I baked Ginger Spice cookies. and ribbons. but it certainly will be a joyful one.P a g e | 422 Fightin' Texas Aggie class of 2031 (WHOOOOOP!)! See more about the book at www.goodnightaggieland. It may not be a "White Christmas" here. P a g e | 422 .

was the Savior of the world being born to rescue man from their self-destructive sin nature. We await Santa Clause. The coins were dropped anonymously through the chimney of their home and landed in socks hanging to dry over the fire.P a g e | 423 It's been interesting to think of Christmas this year with a toddler in our family. I want to make family traditions that are meaningful and important to him. As Zane learns American culture. and the true meaning behind our celebrating! P a g e | 423 . merriment. oppression. and fun of it all. and hope during this season. Christmas is about giving. The most important reason we celebrate and the cause of the first Christmas. who is said to have given gold coins to three neighborhood girls who had no dowry for marriage. Our attention turns to the poor and the needy as we gather meals and gifts for others. sacrifice. sacrifice. I pray that it is forever infused with his Christian heritage. or Saint Nick. The hope and joy we have during this season is because of His deliverance from fear. of course. and hope. Most of all. In the midst of the lights. and grief. I hope to instill traditions of giving. music. I want him to know the beauty of the season.

P a g e | 424 I would love to hear the Christmas traditions you have with your children or family! Please leave a comment or post on my facebook page! Comments: P a g e | 424 .

When our kids are grown and have their own family and are ready to start their own tree. too! – Misti First Holiday Season with Zane January 1. We draw names at Thanksgiving and search for the perfect ornament for that person.P a g e | 425 We exchange ornaments every year and put them in an album titled "The Story of Our Tree". they will have a nice collection of ornaments to start with. 2012 P a g e | 425 .

you thought I meant real snow... I'm floored that the calendar says. not July. We're in Houston people. and I'm left wondering where in the world time has gone. Come on. The passing of time makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry like a baby. but January. Zane Addisu.wait. I don't ever want things to change.. We had a family shower to attend in the San Antonio area and planned to celebrate the 4th of July with Aunt Laura and Uncle Ben before heading to Africa July 7th. The Holidays have come and gone like a thief.. and I still feel like my baby boy came home a few short weeks ago.P a g e | 426 Discovering Snow!!!!! Oh. It was 6 months ago that Mark and I were feverishly packing (and re-packing) our bags for our trip to meet our first born son. Today. yet they do anyway in a big way. Today is already New Year's Day. And it's no longer P a g e | 426 .

I'm thankful for David. with nothing written in it. The ladies at Yebsabi Guest House who held me as I held my child are forever etched on my heart. not once. The summer and fall of 2011 were unforgettable to me. and there is nothing I desire more than His presence. a whole new chapter. my peace. I made invaluable friends who I miss so much. my ability to care for a child I barely knew. a whole new year.P a g e | 427 2011. I learned to trust him for everything. How another cleaned up vomit with me. but 2012. but twice in the middle of the night. and more importantly our friend. His love for coffee paralleled mine. and my fulfillment. He brought us joy as he played Ethiopian P a g e | 427 . as I spent so much time alone with Him. our driver. and how she held me there and told me not to cry. I can hardly believe sometimes that we are holding the boy we prayed for and waited for so long. My throat knots up everytime I think about the morning I threw head on my dear friend's shoulder and cried overwhelmed and exhausted. the year Zane became a forever member of our family. and sought to bring happiness into our lives. and we never passed up an opportunity to share a macchiato together. In Ethiopia I learned that God is everything to me. How they cared for my son as if he were their's.

He made you want to be more like Jesus. despite not knowing what in the world he was laughing about. love. Yonas dreams big dreams and I know he will see them come to reality. honking all the way to warn area drivers that we were on a mission. Job's kindness reflected the peace in his heart. deep tone of his voice as he spoke of his country let you know of his loyal affections and longing to experience the great potential of Ethiopia. and I desire to be there with them to celebrate the birth of his first born. gratitude. Yonas cared for Addisu as an uncle would while we were apart. The slow. and peace look like decadent chocolate cake. P a g e | 428 . I think of Job. knowledgeable. inspiring. and the baby that he will soon hold in his arms. and he does this everyday by caring for it's children. His stories of Ethiopian history inspire respect. sweet and worth any sacrifice.P a g e | 428 music in the car and drove way too fast over pot holes. and a bright future. His laugh made you want to join him. He desires to give Ethiopia a brighter future. his pregnant wife. and reminds you why you love Ethiopia. Job made patience. He's motivated. I remember Yonas's passion for history and for understanding his country's past.

and desire to spend time with us. He's a constant reminder of God's grace and redemption for mankind. laugh at aunts and uncles who adore him. The scent P a g e | 429 . love for us. Zane Addisu has changed my life. and bright Ethiopian boy sleeping in the room next to me every night. and cuddle with mommy and daddy in new Christmas pajamas. hug grandparents who are totally in love with him. inquisitive.P a g e | 429 I am so happy I made these dear friends this year. I watched Zane run in pure joy with cousins who think he's the greatest. I am even more happy that I have the most loving. He teaches us God's heart everyday through His forgiveness. play in fallen leaves at our new house. In parenting him. I understand more how much God desires for us to come to him as we are and open our hearts to him. Santa's Wonderland This holiday season.

and it fills me with so much joy I could cry. vanilla. Dewberry Farms P a g e | 430 . and sticks from outside fill our senses this winter. Part of me wants to make time stop so I can really drink in the life around me. I can't get enough. I can't wait to see what's next. cinnamon. but at the same time. Our lives are so full of happiness.P a g e | 430 of baby lotion.

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. As we sang." and "A mighty fortress is our God. we appropriately began this New Year with worship to our God and Savior. He was pursuing me because He wants me so badly to find fulfillment in Him." I was so overwhelmed by the beauty that I am His child. I'm so thankful that even when I did not seek Him.. I'm so jealous for Him to know how much he is loved by P a g e | 432 .. at our new church home..P a g e | 432 On our way to Zane's first Midnight Yell! After Zane's first Midnight Yell and a New Year's Eve bowl game win. I sort of get that now that I am a parent of a beautiful boy." and "None could comprehend His love and His mercy.. Jesus Christ.. "Our God is jealous for His own. Houston's First Baptist Church.

P a g e | 433 . I pray that He realizes that our God is a mighty fortress and a refuge.P a g e | 433 God and by His parents. his first word (after "HI!") was "Aggies?" Love it. I want no one else to have His affections but God who is worthy of His heart. When he woke up. and He will be there forevermore to come through for him. I long for him to comprehend the love and mercy of the Father and know that he was rescued and redeemed. that He was there all along.

and I want to really do what He says. I want my family to be about Christ. She has adopted 14 girls who were desperate for someone to care for them. She's living in remote circumstances with little P a g e | 434 . I want my life to be more about Christ.P a g e | 434 Dewberry Farms Christmas Tree Farm In 2012. Mark and I are reading Kisses From Katie about a young girl living and working among the poor in Uganda. Right now.

Zane's first encounter with a REAL horse at Grandmom P a g e | 435 . and why I can't shake the effect it's had on my life. This Christmas I am reminded again that life is found in Christ alone. His joy.give me the good stuff. Enough of the counterfeit stuff of this world.. and living fully. That our comfort.the life that is true living. His presence.. and fulfilling life is found in participating in God's work around the world. and appetites only lead to earthly contentment. wealth..P a g e | 435 material wealth. This is why I'm so thankful for the time I spent in Ethiopia. It's when we are most desperate for God that we truly experience His peace.. I want Jesus in 2012 and forever. But she's living the good life.

.' Turning 2 January 11. and she said "He's adopted? Oh. I just thought he had a tan.Michelle You are a wonderful family and I wish you all the best in health.com/ I so enjoyed meeting Zane and seeing you guys. wealth and happiness. From a New York fan by way of the blog 'Conversations Along the Way. we feel like we've been his parents forever. I believe them..blogspot. and I mentioned that he was the little boy we had prayed about in the summer. He is precious. I wondered why his skin was so dark. He looks just like his daddy and mommy!" . and your family a blessing. In some ways it's like he's always P a g e | 436 .we were talking about Zane. Even though we met Zane when he was 16 months old.P a g e | 436 and G-Daddy's Comments: Do you read Katie's blog? http://kissesfromkatie. and it seems to be so much more true as adoptive parents. 2012 My baby is two years old today! Moms always tell me time with kids flies by. My middle daughter Lauren was so funny.

Between the word.P a g e | 437 been here. I'm not ready for him to be two already. P a g e | 437 . It still seems like we just came home with him. Like all two year olds. and our social worker confirmed that Zane is every bit a two year old. Zane is really a sweetheart. he has a "split personality": demanding and whiny or hilarious and cuddly. but in other ways. We're so glad to see that he is developmentally on track with his peers. Monday night we had our three month post placement home study. like today. I'm sure of it. it feels like I've only had him for a few short weeks. "NO!" and running away from Mommy and Daddy like it's a game. We love both because it's all a part of who he's becoming as an individual. However. turning two is just like turning 16.

grass. always joining in anyone's laughter as if he knows exactly what the joke was. We couldn't even tickle him to make him laugh. It took a lot to make him laugh. "Addisu-Addisu-Addisu-Addisu!" clapping their hands in rhythm. He'd light up when the nannies chanted. quiet child who preferred the background. But for the most part. I know a different child. always investigating the leaves. Zane is eager to laugh. he was a stoic observer of the world around him. Today. he would smile through the window at the transition home when his friends yelled his name. he was a reluctant. He's P a g e | 438 . On occasion though.P a g e | 438 When we first met Zane. and outdoor life he had only watched through the large pane of glass that separated the toddler room from the great outdoors.

'You're special!' like lots of colorful balloons!" So Mark and I took that word of advice and planned a balloon surprise for Zane. This morning he woke up to "baboons" (that's a hybrid word for "balloons" and "bubbles") floating into his room! I'm sure he knew he was special when he saw them. and he loves to "pay??" (That's "PLAY"). Larry jokes. "Nothing says.P a g e | 439 affectionate with family and close friends. P a g e | 439 . In the Veggie Tales episode "God Made Me Special".

. (I have to insert here that I put the cake on his plate to let him dive in for one of those cake in the face type pics.. I asked myself. this precious boy would rather use a fork. My OCD husband and I have secretly stressed out about the messy cake photos.P a g e | 440 When I was thinking about what to do on his birthday. of course!" So that's what we did next...but they gross me out. Hallelujah! God knows our needs. "What would you like to do on your 2nd birthday?" The answer? "Eat CAKE for breakfast.) P a g e | 440 .HOWEVER. Please don't take offense if you have one.

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And Mark and I? We are elated. Many people look at adopted children and note an extreme amount of growth when they finally settle into their forever family.P a g e | 442 I've never seen Zane more happy than he is now. Not just today. and anticipation. He is full of happiness. We've never felt so fortunate. God gave us an amazing treasure in Zane. There's no way! If anything. Some may conclude they are getting better nutrition and care. Nothing that Mark and I have done has produced the amazing results we've seen in our little boy. love. What we've witnessed in Zane God's miracle of adoption. we'll screw the poor child up. but everyday. Some may say that it's the result of having parents. so honored. I know better. Only He has transformed our P a g e | 442 .

and everything in his being radiates with it. which is why we always knew that his American name would be Zane. has made all things new. "God is gracious. Comments: P a g e | 443 . Addisu. Only God's grace can do this. new outlook.. new meaning. He's given him a new name. He's given Zane a new joy. "the new one". has a new heart with which to love and be loved. I know Zane knows this love first hand. He's being restored everyday.He's picked him up out of the pit and set him firmly upon a rock. God.P a g e | 443 little boy." We thank God that he still lavishes his grace upon us and calls us his children.. his Father.

I can't even imagine. he shouts it's name and sound as if encountering it for the first time. :-) . There are many reasons why I love being Zane's mommy: 10.P a g e | 444 Happy Birthday Zane! I love this post. "Epitant!!!!!!!!!!! (Elephant)" "Rooster!!!!!!! Da-Da-Dooooo!!!!!" P a g e | 444 . 2012 Zane is my new Valentine this February 14th. "Mommy!!" when I pick him up from the church nursery.. Every time he sees a picture of an animal he knows. I didn't know how I could love another Valentine (besides my husband) and this year.. And to think that God's love is greater still.Brad and Lauren Valentine's Day Top 10 February 8. 9. I am realizing the depth and breadth and height of God's love as I love my little boy. You have a beautiful family and Zane is absolutely precious. He enthusiastically smiles with bright eyes and an excited voice yelling.

"Blessed Assurance".in the car. "Hiiiii! (Really drawn out). and he dances like there's no tomorrow to the theme song. He loves Veggie Tales with all his heart. "Thank you!" Let Mommy help you with that. as we read books. he unfailingly says.. Let's be clear. He shouts "Jesus" periodically during the day . Flash cards. Zane.and I know this means.. It must say the name of Jesus or it is not a 'Jesus' song.P a g e | 445 8. always eating slowly and never cleaning his plate. racing his feet as fast as they will possibly move. "Thank you!" It reminds me to always give thanks in every circumstance knowing that the testing of our faith produces perseverance. and perseverance Godliness. (James 1:3) 5. P a g e | 445 . books.I mean everything. "Sing me a 'Jesus' song!" Not just any church song. 6. How are you?" in the singsongy voice of a Kindergarten teacher. He teaches me about moderation. 3. 4. "Thank you!" Here's a piece of paper.it's "Give Me Jesus". Here's a button. He says "Thank you" to everything. He loves to count and say the alphabet. and never wanting excess. "There's Something About That Name".. before nap .. playing with one or two toys at a time. When he wakes up in the morning or from a nap. 7. No "This Little Light of Mine" in this house. and puzzles are his favorites! It does this teacher's heart good.

that a Valentine is a warrior. I would love to have some special traditions for Valentine's Day. There is power in the name of Jesus. "What a Friend We Have in Jesus". closes his eyes." He knows I am his and he is mine. it's this kind of love. It just makes me want to shout "GLORY!" My little boy gets it. and says. the right words. And Love died so that he might have life. and I come up short. and any other song that speaks his name. Valentine died for. Courageous". Valentine who gave it all for the cause of Christ. 1. that St. "Praise the Name of Jesus". and the right expression to love him the way that only God can. There so much love that I want to give him. "Jesus Loves the Little Children". and rests his head on my shoulder. He reaches up. "Zane's Mommy. After all. 2. It's important to me for Zane to know. God's love. It's not coincidence that the root "Valen" means "Strong. My heart is so full this Valentine's Day. That's when the Holy Spirit takes over with just the right touch. He tugs my neck to draw my faces closer to his to where our cheeks touch. which means. Love is difficult. Love is passionate. P a g e | 446 . "Zane" as I cradle him to sleep. I think it's a great way to teach him about the true love of God. touches my heart. Love is devoted.P a g e | 446 "Jesus Loves Me". Powerful. and people like St.

(4) We read The Velveteen Rabbit. New Baby. but I know he's growing quickly! (1) We read the history of Valentine's Day from History.Dawn New House. This is one of my favorites! (3) The kids and I make Daddy's favorite dessert while he's at work and have it ready when he arrives home. then discuss St. (5) We'll be starting a new one this year. Valentine. It's called "Just Where I Belong" and you can get it at Family Christian Stores.com. In 2011 a movie came out about a girl who is adopted and the significant role the story of The Velveteen Rabbit plays in her life. That's it for us! .P a g e | 447 ***What do you do with your kids on Valentine's Day? Any special traditions? Any resources that teach kids about the History of Valentine's Day? Comments: Hi. We'll be watching this movie on VDay this year. (6) We never go out to eat. We take the money we would spend on eating out and gifts and instead send it to the family to add to a scholarship set up in her name. A friend of ours passed away about 10 years ago from cancer on VDay. and a lot of Firsts! P a g e | 447 . (2)We send Valentine's cards to all the widows we know signed by each of us since they no longer have a spouse to remember them on VDay. Some of them Z is probably not ready for yet. Cimbrey! We have a few Valentine's traditions.

) In March Mark took a mission trip to Guatemala with 24 other guys from our church. In my opinion. this saved our sanity. and small town feel of this area right in the middle of the city. 2012 Mark and I have been busy this spring and fall with the renovation of a 1940's cottage in Garden Oaks neighborhood. as I've heard living in a construction zone can make people CRAZY. Mark and I saw Brad Paisley at the rodeo. generous yards. I began praying with a group of women from HFBC about Human Trafficking in Houston. and Zane went to his first Easter Egg hunt at HFBC's "Spring Loaded" event! P a g e | 448 . (I'll post before and afters on the next post. We love the huge trees. We bought the house last November and lived in an apartment in Memorial while the renovation was completed.P a g e | 448 July 24. Zane attended his first livestock show and carnival. I attended an adoptive moms conference in Atlanta.

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and I realized I was 4 weeks pregnant! P a g e | 451 . we took Zane on his first 5K ride in a stroller with Aid Sudan (now Every Village). the Easter Bunny came to our house (and to Nana's house all in the same day!).P a g e | 451 In April Zane and I went on a bluebonnet tour with Grandmom and her friend Patricia. the Kishbaugh's (friends we met in Ethiopia) came to Houston.

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This P a g e | 453 .P a g e | 453 In May we heard our new baby's heartbeat for the first time. attended Zane's first Aggie baseball game. and packed up our apartment (returned all our borrowed stuff is really more how it went) and moved in with Mimi and Poppi while our house was being finished up in Garden Oaks.

. I'm just crossing my fingers that he doesn't have a broken limb. he is all boy.P a g e | 454 time was so precious to us! Zane got to swim and play in the neighborhood splash pads almost every day.but this was certainly a test of our patience... hit his head on an iron gate. and several cuts and bruises. Clearly. it was clear that it would be June (maybe July) before the house would be ready for move-in. so our apartment contract ran out. stitches in his head. I am not good with pain. We had not seen hardly any of our belongings since we P a g e | 454 . and got three stitches in his head! So far he's had a black eye. As the due date approached.until he fell.. I nearly threw up just looking at the blood from the gash in his head. The house was originally supposed to be done at the beginning of May. I hear that's how it always goes.

insecurity. and what he knew as normal. the loss of one life. As Zane was being uprooted from his transition home. In June. nannies. our friends. and excitement that overwhelmed us like a roller coaster ride.P a g e | 455 returned from Africa in September. What a gift God gave us all in being able to relate to one another and truly empathize with each other's grief. and the blessing of a new. our jobs. Our decision to add 15 feet to the back of the house proved to be a vital one. We are thankful that Zane is finally sleeping in a bed (not a pack-n-play. we moved into our house that is still a work in progress as workers are in and out every day refining the details of the construction. friends. It was becoming the joke that it would be like Christmas morning opening our storage unit and getting our stuff back! In retrospect. As we settled into an apartment together. and our church. Mark and I too were being uprooted from our home in New Orleans. as now we will free up a bedroom for the new baby! I'm excited to get started on decorating that room! We have been blessed with the most precious neighbors (who we new previously from HFBC) on P a g e | 455 . as he did for 9 months!). the unfamiliarity of other people's stuff around us. all of us were experiencing the oddity of a temporary home. I can see God's blessing in our transition. and that we have a nice family room and play room to spread out in.

the Father. Mommy. We are so thankful that he has easily transitioned to a "big boy bed" (trundle of a full size bed). and a great Louisiana couple on the other side (did I mention she is a 7th grade teacher?). Just as the peace in his eyes showed he knew the day he saw us we would be his parents. and said. and joy in that little boy that he could hardly keep it in. splashed his feet in the water." as he buried his head in the pillow. He squinted his eyes. How good God is to bring comfort and a sense of home to us in this new place. So sweet. Thank you. enthusiasm. After moving in. There was so much delight. This was a remarkable memory for us as he ran out on to the sand. so did the joy in his face as he realized this new home was his house. he would have burst with happiness. His expression was priceless as we laid him in it. I think if we had spent one more minute there. and squealed like a seagull for about 30 minutes straight. we took a weeklong trip to Galveston where Zane saw the ocean for the first time.P a g e | 456 one side. "Thank you. Surprisingly. P a g e | 456 . Daddy. preparing his little heart. which we can only credit to God. grinned. Zane has made the transition to the new house beautifully.

Zane. July 9. and I reflected on our first meeting.P a g e | 457 While we were there. Mark. 2011 was the day we met Zane face- to-face for the first time. His eyes were P a g e | 457 .

Stay posted! Comments: I am so absolutely thrilled for you!!! I can't wait to hear more! – Erica P a g e | 458 . and getting used to the new normal. I plan to keep a journal of our family and the journey to the new baby. and his body limp in my arms. his head was pressed to my chest. In that moment. but whimpered nervously as I took him out of his nanny's arms. we all knew God's presence was there with us. Now that we are settling in to our house. He didn't cry. For us.P a g e | 458 engrained on my heart forever. In less that 5 minutes. and we would never be the same. it was the day our family was finally together. We will always remember this first meeting as if it was a birthday. developing a better routine.

Brian P a g e | 459 .P a g e | 459 I have a quick question about your blog. do you think you could e-mail me? .