Monday, January 24, 2011

We are ready to do it again!!!

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Our Journey

After being home for almost 14 months I have finally put together a video of our journey to bring Lidya home.

Friday, February 5, 2010

December 2, 2009

Both sets of grandparents were able to come the re-adoption.

On December 2, 2009 we finalized our adoption of Lidya. On that day she became Lidya Bizunesh Helmstadter. Bizunesh is her birth mothers name. We wanted her to be able to carry a part of her life in Ethiopia with her forever. Bizunesh means "you are much". We found this to be very fitting for Lidya. She has given us much. Its funny how when you start the adoption process you think your doing the greatest thing by saving and helping a child who probably would have no future. In the long run when you look back your the one that was changed. Lidya has changed us in so many ways. She has added to the value of our family. She has taught us faith, patience, unconditional love and mercy. But most of all traveling to Ethiopia to meet her has totally changed our lives forever. We are no longer ignorant to the what the other side of the world lives like. We saw poverty yet hope. We saw despair yet joy. In the eyes of the kids at Hannah's Hope we saw a future. A future that God has planned for each child's life that he has created. God is alive in Ethiopia. One year later my heart still fills with such joy when I think of my daughters birth country. I feel so honored that God "chose me" to raise Lidya.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

One Year Ago Today

Family picture on vacation in August.

Kately and Lidya playing on the beach.

Taking a picture with Daddy at the zoo in September.

Our never before seen referral pictures.

One year ago today we got "The Call" that changed our lives forever. In fact this exact time last year I was hearing my daughters name for the first time. It has been such a year since that call last year. Lidya has brought so much joy to our lives. She is a very strong-willed child with a mind of her own. I wish for one day her birth mother could be here to see how much joy and laughter she brings to so many people, not just her family but to strangers. She literally draws a crowd with her big brown eyes, smile and infectious belly laugh.
Katelyn and Lidya have become the best of friends. They love playing kitchen together, reading books, playing school and just sitting at the table talking while Katelyn writes her letters and numbers. Since Katelyn is in all day kindergarten our days have been quite different. It has been amazing to see how much deeper my bond with Lidya has grown. We are loving our "quiet" playtime together.
Sorry for the poor layout of photos. I really wanted my referral pictures first and then our updated pictures. Blogger is not allowing me to move them around.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A month in pictures

Lidya laughing at her sister.

My grown up girl!!!

Fun in the sun. Enjoying the beautiful spring weather.

(Notice the forever snotty nose.)

Holding her own bottle.

Katelyn had been sleeping on the floor in Lidya's room. We have since moved Lidya into Katelyn's room so that they can share a room. They are both sleeping so much better. Katelyn told Matt that she used scared to sleep in her room by herself. I guess Lidya makes her feel brave.

Playing in her exersaucers.

Lidya and her big eyes!!! Love those cheeks.

Favorite toy of all her Jumperoo.

Katelyn reading to Lidya.

Lidya in her Ethiopian outfit. This is one of my favorite pics.

Our one and only family picture to date. We needed this for our post- placement visit. Which went really well.

Katelyn and Lidya playing.

Katelyn actually took this picture of Lidya and I hanging out.

Their matching outfits. I just couldn't resist.

Sorry that I have been MIA. Life is very busy with 2 kids. We are doing very good. I am finally starting to really get the hang of this. Lidya is doing great. We are so blessed to have been chosen to be her forever family. To God be the Glory.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

One month ago today!!

One month ago today I held my daughter Lidya for the first time. It was a very surreal moment. This child that I longed for and prayed for for a year and half was now finally in my arms. Matt and I felt that until we got home and were in our car as a new family of 4 is when it finally hit us. Our desires had come true after all that time. It was real. I truly felt from the time I took Lidya from the arms of her special mother that she was mine. I loved her so much already and felt that connection. Today as I gazed into her eyes thinking back on that moment a month ago I realized how much more my love for her has grown. I can tell that as the days continue to pass we are bonding more and more. She fits right into our family. She is such a joy. Her smile just takes your breath away. Her eyes sparkle with such joy and laughter. I still have many moments when I grieve for her birth mother. I pray for her daily. I pray that God comforts her and gives her peace. Looking into her eyes that day we met, as I held Lidya on my lap and cried I couldn't imagine anything else in my life being harder than that moment. I can't imagine being in her position. My heart truly broke for her. I asked God why she couldn't be the one to raise her daughter, why is there so much poverty that she can't raise her own child. Why couldn't he help her somehow. Then I realized that God did make the way through adoption. Just like he made the way for us to be in relationship with him again through Christ. Just as Jesus is the answer; adoption is the answer. God has chosen our family to care, love, and raise HIS child. The longer that we're home the easier it is to forget Ethiopia, to forget her birth mother, special mothers, even Hannah's Hope. But I never want to forget. I have put pictures in Lidya's room of her with one of the special mothers and a picture that we have of her mother holding her and Almaz. These are the women that first loved her and cared for her. I NEVER want to forget them. I NEVER want her to forget them or where she came from and WHOSE she is. So as the months fly by as this first one did I am making a promise to myself and Lidya to NOT FORGET. Here is the video of first meeting Lidya. Thank you Clark for capturing this moment for us. I'd like to add too, that may we never forget what Christ did for us. How he adopted us into his family and how one day we will go to be with our forever family. This earth is not our home.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pictures of our first few weeks home

Just look how happy they are!!! Such sweet smiles they have.

Lidya loves watching her big sister. Her eyes just sparkle when Katelyn plays with her. Katelyn feels the same.

Just so you all know Katelyn dressed herself this day.

Lidya hanging out in crib. She is doing so good sitting up.

Katelyn LOVES taking a nap with Lidya in her crib.
Mommy loves it when they both take a nap.
(Not to often does it happen)

Katelyn and Lidya playing dress up.

Here are some more pictures since we have been home. It is hard to believe that this Thursday will be a month since our "Gotcha Day". Lidya is doing very good. She is still pretty sick with this terrible cold/virus and ear infection. She has been to the doctor 3 times in 3 weeks and has been on two different antibiotics. Slowly she is getting better. Please pray for her. I still need to get her blood work done but I have been waiting until she can breathe better and is not so sick. Well, have to go Lidya is getting restless in her jumperoo!! (Greatest invention ever. Thank you Aunt Robin)