Saturday, December 1, 2012

Well Hello There!

Hi everyone! It's Michlyn!

It's been awhile...

Thought I'd give you an update on our always crazy-busy life.

I finished my volleyball season at the end of October. This week we had our banquet to celebrate the season. We had a potluck at school, the captains made a video, both JV & Varsity players were there, and we celebrated the parents and coaches. It was so much fun to look back on all the memories we made in just a couple months. I was awarded "defensive player of the year", lettered for playing varsity, and was also voted to be a captain for the 2013 season. I am so blessed to be on this team w/ girls I love! :)

Erin continues to be our social butterfly! She had her soccer banquet a few weeks ago & also lettered for playing on the varsity team. She's doing fantastic in school and never fails to make us laugh. Something else really exciting is that she just got her braces off!!!!! 5 years people.....

Her teeth are so perfect! I currently have my second set on, and hope to get them off in the next couple months.

'J' will soon turn 10! Whoa - double digits! I remember when I was 10. Both boys hope to have a double birthday party with some friends from school. He is doing great in school, and we always hear positive things from his teacher. He is a whiz at math! I also think he is looking too old...slow down little brother. :)

Our little cowboy 'S' turned 7...just 2 days after Thanksgiving. :) Some know that he is our little comedian! Here are some things that have made us laugh lately.

'S': (belting out a tune): "All I want for Christmas is yoouuu! .... Psshh, who wants a person for Christmas? Weird!"

S: "Mom says I can go on the computer for 25 minutes...That's a lot of minutes right 'J'?

Putting 'S' to bed:
*I pray*
S: Now I want to pray!
Me: Ok go ahead.
S: "Dear Jesus, I thank you for this day and that we'll sleep good. I hope I have no bad dreams, all good dreams with good stories in them, and no zombies or skeletons. 

'T' is still adjusting and recently got a haircut. It was hard to take care of her loooong hair, when sometimes she didn't want us to even touch it. So to keep it more healthy, we cut it. It's short just like when she came home, and it definitely brings out her beautiful brown eyes! We really like it and it's much easier to do when she wakes up. Attachment is always a work in progress with this girl and we hope that sooner rather than later, that things will start to actually get better. She has had a couple actually good days, but the next day always seems to send any hopes crashing down. It's been a big step for our family and change is always hard. We would love any prayers and hope you realize how much we appreciate it.

Blessings, and may your holidays be filled with joy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

hole-y buckets!

Yesterday was one of those days that won't soon be forgotten :(

I had an appointment for my first mammogram.
Now I'm sure, for some of you, just that is too much information.
And though the remaining of this post has nothing to do with the actual appointment itself, feel free to read the next line, close the blog window and proceed on with your lives ;)
I am perfectly healthy :)
The core of this post really has to do with the fact that our daughter with a traumic past, knew I had such an appointment in the first place...

Can I just say that "ANXIETY" doesn't even come close to naming what was felt & displayed yesterday!
Oh, there was plenty of it but it was accompanied with so much more raw emotion.
Leaving us an unfortunate day for the history books of our lives.

My first mistake was letting our youngest daughter hear me make an appointmen,t which included a free breast cancer screening.

My second mistake was being too vague about the appointment - leaving T's big bad imagination to run away with her, and I mean really run away! :(

A simple, "Mom's okay" did not suffice for our daughter who has known so much loss,
including through sickness & death.

In a very short amount of time, T was convinced, I had lied about being okay, if I wasn't dying of breast cancer now, I eventually would - resulting in her losing 2 moms.
"And that would be very bad!"

Not to mention a belief that her being bad & unkind was somehow be to blame for all the sadness & injustices in her world.

Our day was a downward spiral of ANXIETY, FEAR, DOUBTS, GRIEF, & PAIN.

Buckets of the emotions were "dumped" out,
leaving us completely & utterely soaked & weighed down!


But in the midst of it all, I wanted to record the glimpse of
HOPE that showed up.  To always remember the nuggets of progress that were given a voice yesterday...

For T "lossing" is a reality.
It's caused a need to push away anyone she begins to feel close to.

+ #1: She pushes me away with the greatest force - indictating positive feelings toward me.
wouldn't you agree?
Yesterday she expressed not wanting to lose another mom & telling me, even though she tells me everyday she hates me, she really does love me :)
* She said she loves me and her birth mother, her birth mother a little more but she does love me.
And I'll take it!

+ #2: I was able to use the days events to tell her again, nothing she has ever done or will do has caused her losses to happen.

+ #3: A realization, I am taking care of her, and have not left her to her own vices - like she's once known. She compared how things use to be in Africa and how she's beginning to see them now.

Now I know this is not something she'll claim forever or even admit again anytime soon.
In fact it only took a matter of a few minutes before she was she was using her arsenal of insults.

 but I'll take the snippet of hope I've been given.


+ #4: A reenforced knowledge to when ever possible to make appointments out of ear shot of a little girl who can blow the simplest thing out of proporation. And when said child is in the know of some kind of appointment - lots of reassuring details can not be too many!

*Though I am sure, much like my daughter, I'll find myself mindlessly slipping back into this habit. Reality will remind me of it's neccisity once again. :)

 So even though the day started with a HOLE-Y bucket of emotions, I thank God for the ability to find his blessings in the muck of anxiety, fear, doubt & shame!

God is good all the time!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Michlyn just finished up her first varsity volleyball season with the Pact Panthers!
I had the opportunity of watch just 3 games, 2 of which they dominated :)
But dad took in every home game, as well as a couple away games - he loves cheering his kids on!
Michlyn played team lebaro and rocked the position!
They played their final sectional game last night & Michlyn came home excited to report she got her first "tick tick boom" ... they didn't win but definitely finished with a BANG!
We're so proud of you!!!
"21 is lots of fun!"


He did it again!!!
Our J was voted September's  "Student of the Month" by his classmates!
He encourages others in learning.
Is trustworthy and reliable.
Is respectful and shows concern for others.
It is such a wonderful feeling to know others see the good and kind in your kids!
We've known all along what an awesome kid "J" and thank God for the blessing of being his family!
Way to Go Buddy!
We're so PROUD of who you are!
Love you

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Catching Up in this Fall Season

It's been almost a month since I last posted. Goodness gracious, how can that be?? August quickly finished it self off, and September came in full force! This post is going to basically be a giant catching up post... Here we go!

We started back to school bright and early on August 27th. We are all going back to our small Charter school, except for 'T' who is being home schooled.

I ('M') am a sophmore in high school this year. I've been loving it so far, and my favorite subject is Biology! I enjoy seeing my friends, getting to know my new teachers, and of course I do learn things! :) I started playing volleyball again this year! I started playing for my first year at school this time. I started on JV, but was just bumped up to Varsity. It's been very exciting, and I just love the girls! This year has been busy so far, but very fun and exciting!

'E' started her first year of high school this year! I know... ca-ra-zay! She got together with many of her friends this summer, but was also very excited to start school again. Besides getting up early, she loves school. She has always been our most creative one, so she loves her art class. 'E' is also our only girl soccer star, and is playing varsity soccer for school. Their team has been learning together this year, and just won their first game! She is always telling funny stories from her day, and keeps us laughing.

The boys are also back into the swing of things. 'J' started 4th grade this year.  He is always a little nervous on the first day of school, but did so well. He was excited to see the kids in his class again, and he really likes his teacher. 'S' started 1st grade...what?! Our little man isn't going to be so little anymore. He has a locker for the first time this year, and he actually gets to do homework. Both of them can get distracted while doing their homework, but they're doing great. They have already learned so much!

'T' is being home schooled again this year. I did a post a while ago on "Table Time". This is something she does mostly all day everyday. Since she has gone through so much trauma and is still having attachment issues, it is best she is at home with mom. Table Time is something that is predictable for her. She can color, do worksheets, she has beads, legos, and sometimes polly pockets. It a way that will help build her trust with us, and keep her world simple. So her every morning routine is the same, and my mom keeps up with her and best as possible - So she's in charge, and not 'T'. As she learns to be a kid again, and to slowly trust us with her everyday needs... It strengthens bonding & attachment. (I will do an "achievement" post on her soon) She also goes outside a couple times a day, and enjoys the fresh air. The routine is definitely different, but we do what is best for the whole family's needs.

The weather has been getting pretty cold already... Actually turned the heat on in the house for the first time today. Most of us LOVE Fall though! The colors, bonfires, and crisp air. And thought I'd end with a picture I recently took. :)

Happy Fall everyone! 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I ♥ You

'J' made this for my mom.

Out of legos.

Found all the pieces, just to make a little creation for her.

To brighten her day...just because he wanted to.

So sweet. 


Saturday, August 18, 2012

You're not Livin' it

We are a family that always makes time for each other. We hang out at home and have fun. Like playing outside in the yard, cleaning the house together, playing games, or watching a family movie. Family & faith come first. Before & during our adoption journey we regularly attended church small groups, barbecues, and family reunions.

People who have gone through or are going through the adoption process, know that it is hard. Of course not all of it is. But between the paperwork, fingerprinting, approvals, fees, physicals, home-visits, etc... it can get pretty stressful. Many people were with us every step of the way, supporting and praying for us. My parents traveled to Ethiopia for 9 days, and came home with a little miracle that changed our whole world.

'T' had a broken heart, and had gone through so many changes in her life. While the first 6 months or so were pretty good, it just kept getting harder and harder. My mom especially felt defeated. It is hard to try and be the best mom you can be, when a little girl is fighting right back at you. When she does things just to bother you, says some ugly stuff, and some days won't let you help her at all. Now, some of you are probably thinking "All kids do that stuff. They talk back and they disobey." Oh I know people! I was no perfect 6 yr old either... but most of this stuff is adoption related.

I've never seen a little child want something so bad. To be in control, and take care of herself. We don't expect people understand, because they're not livin' it. After a little chat with my dad last night, he made me think about some things. Now, we've all struggled with this big adjustment, but my dad has probably has a little more.

He said, "It just makes me so frustrated! I hate how offended people get when we say we can't go somewhere. Because it's the truth. You try bringing a child home from around the world, and see if it's easy. We just can't. If people payed attention, they would remember that before we brought 'T' home we always went to small group, and get togethers. They just don't understand, and get mad at us. Until you're livin' it, you have no right to judge us on the way we're running our family right now. We make these choices so we know that we're helping all of our children."

That's the truth people. We don't say no just to bother you. We say no, because God called us on this amazing & stretching journey. We brought a child home from the other side of the world, so we could help her grow and learn, and to feel the love of a family. All of that doesn't happen in a snap of your fingers. God has a plan, and is the only one who knows the future. So until then, we'll be right here with our crazy ole' family that might just drive you nuts. That's ok with us though... because you're not livin' it. We are.

In Christ,

I just want to thank the Lord for amazing friends that have stuck with us, and that we have met along this journey! You have no idea, what a blessing you are to our family. I also want to thank Jesus for my incredible parents, who show me what strength and obedience are every. single. day. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday Winner!

E's Summer soccer season ended the second week of July.

The girls had a great season, placing 1st and 2nd in two of their tournaments :)

They were a blast to watch & cheer for all Summer long!

E's an extraordinary player, excelling in defense & mid field positions.

She's got a boot on her and makes those far flying kicks look effortless!

I was present when E scored from a free kick, just up from the mid-line.

Your Rock, E!!!!


This week is the official start of Fall soccer for E,
though she's been attending captian's practices whenever possible since June.

It's bound to be a growing year, giving her adequate chance to stretch and even lead on this team.

The school is forming a team on their own this year,
no longer joining together with another school.

We're looking forward to cheering them on
and watching the season expand our girls in new and exciting ways.

Go Pact Panther's!!!!

Go E!

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Little Update & Prayers Please!

This summer has gone by way too fast! We enjoyed soccer from mid May - early July. Erin & I went on a trip to New Orleans with our youth group, and we've kept it low key here at home. We've gotten together with friends, trips to a water park, sleeping in the camper, & and of course "pajama days"!

Although those things have been fun, other things have not been so fun. 'T' has had some of the hardest days yet. Of course through July, there were some anniversaries and that can even throw her off. Routine is something she needs, because she hasn't had it her whole life. When you live in an orphanage, you don't know what the next day brings. You don't know when you'll eat, and there is very minimal sleep. There is heartbreak every day.

'T' still struggles and will continue to struggle with her heartbreak. Things have changed dramatically throughout her life, and some of those memories will never go away. When those moments come back to her, she gets stuck. Stuck with an attitude that would blow your socks off. It's hard to watch what comes from that attitude. 'T' is a fighter, and she will go to all measure just to win.

We keep her safe, give her what she needs, but things that cause heartbreak just don't get deleted. We let her know what's happening and take care of her. She gets food, water, clothes, a family, & playtime. But she thinks she's worthless. When you've gone through so much in your life, you feel like you don't deserve anything. We love her through the good & bad, but we always need guidance and provision.

Our family has gone through some very rough patches in our life lately. If you can keep us all especially 'T' & my awesome, amazing, and loving momma in your prayers... that would sooo appreciated. We forget that sometimes you can't do it alone. God is always with us, but when you've got the prayers of sweet friends... it's always better. <3

In Christ,

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Update on "Jonathan"

A couple months ago, we came to you with an urgent request. A boy from Eastern Europe was about to age out of his orphanage, that he had spent most of his life in. He would leave the orphanage with a few of his belongings, and little bit of money to fend for him self. Well, we shared it on here, so you could share it on your blogs and hopefully the forever family for this young man would be found.

The name that everyone on the internet knew him as was "Jonathan"

Through the support, prayers, and our one Amazing God... "Jonathan" found a forever family!

Now, a couple months later... He is home with his 7 other siblings, and parents. They followed God's call to be the Hands and Feet of Jesus! They brought him home, and it has been such a joy to see this boy thrive. He is smart and very talented. 

Because the kingdom of God came together for a son of the king... "Jonathan" has a home and a family. *scratch that* Our God found him a home and a family, where he will have everything he needs and more.

His name is Andrew, and if you want to read posts about his journey and continue to read about his family... Go to their family blog at To Love Another.

He has grown a lot, and has been welcomed home by so many people. Please pray for Andrew, his parents, and his siblings. He left everything he knew and is still transitioning into the American life. He also still speaks his native language fluently, so sometimes it is hard for him to communicate with his family.

How good is our God?! Truly remarkable...


Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

2nd Tarekech Day...

Two years ago on July 19th, Tarekech left the familiar place of the orphanage in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, and became part of our family forever.

We had just 4 days to become acquainted with one another before our 30+ hour adventure of traveling home together.
It became clear quickly, Tarekech was born a "fighter". Her strength & stubborn-ness is wrapped up inside the shell of a small, beautiful, broken, and fearful little girl. It is this strength that aided in her becoming our daughter, for that I am certain.

Tarekech used her determination to become familiar with our family, her surroundings and learning english & english nuances, faster than I ever dreamed possible. We struggled very little with understanding one another, for that I am grateful.

Two years later, Tarekech remains a "fighter", strong-willed, and stubborn! It's hard to picture our family without her in it. We thank God for growing our family through adoption. Not only have we been changed on the outside, expanding our family in number but on the inside as well, stretching & expanding our hearts to love others better and more intensionally!

Tarekech's heart continues to ache for your birth family and country, it is this passion that makes her who she is. I pray her love for the people of her past will always be. I pray for wisdom to love her well and give her freedom to be the unique person God created her to be.

Each day we fight hard to give back to Tarekech her childhood and the ability to trust... in the One who created her with a plan & purpose! We pray she comes to know true joy, peace and more in the years to come.

Today, we look back at how two years has changed & grown us all ... we think of precious friends gained along the journey ...we realize things learned; wonderful, hard & life altering things... we pray for loved ones around the world, who without a doubt are thinking about Tarekech too... And with grateful hearts we thank God for His infinite wisdom and unfailing love to guide and mold us to be better - for His glory!!!!

"Gotcha Day ~ 2012"

Ethiopia 2010 ... Getting Acquainted :)

Home 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

[Almost] Wordless Wednesday

Only two years ago, Cooper and T were united with families who longed to call them
"their own".  So much has changed in 2 years, yet some things will always remain the same...

Both children are fiercely loved!

Their past run deep!

Ethiopia holds a piece of all our hearts!

They will forever be a child of the King!


"In his LOVE and mercy he redeemed them;
he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old."
Isaiah 63:9

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Soccer Finale

The boys ended their soccer season with a Jamboree today!

Despite the 90+ degree's and humidity, each team played two games.

They all played hard and ended the season with a bang :)


J's team (and DJ's) year end stats: 8-0 regular season / 1-1 Jamboree games
*They were a blast to watch ... We are so proud of each of them!

S's team was a coed team of 4,5,6 year olds. Learning the basics :)
*Also a blast to watch!

Hip Horrary for Soccer!!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Everyone, I NEED your prayers. No not me...

A family does. Who lives in Ghana. They are there with their 2 bio kids, and are in the middle of adopting a sibling group of FOUR children.

"There is a family in Ghana right now that has been arrested on (unfounded) charges of child trafficking. The family's 6 children (2 bio & 4 newly adopted) have been rendered to the care of a government orphanage while the parents sit in a jail cell in Accra! The bio kids are only 4 & 7 and do not speak the languages of Ghana. The family had their court paperwork with them and the children were all still removed from their parents! PLEASE PRAY for this family!!! The parents' names are Christine & Sol. The US Embassy in Ghana has stated that nothing will be done until Monday, even though there are American born minors affected! PLEASE PRAY for God to intercede and redeem this family! Thank you. 

You can find their blog right here!

Please!! God is watching over them, and their 4 children, but we must pray. This family so desperately needs us, the church, to intercede on their behalf.  They need us to RISE UP and pray without ceasing!

Please share with everyone you can! The word needs to be spread. 


*****Update: The parents have been released and reunited with their 2 bio kids. Their 4 newly  adopted children are still in the government orphanage and they probably won't do anything until Monday. Thank you body of Christ for raising this family up in prayer!*******

Friday, June 22, 2012

Waiting for his Brother

'J' was at a soccer game tonight...

And I went outside to find 'S' standing on the sidewalk waiting for his brother to get home.

After I dashed inside to grab the camera, I took a few pictures. Too cute to pass up.

So he stood there and waited...

And took a little break too...

Posed by the sign because he wanted a picture next to it...

kept on waiting...

and waiting...

Then finally his brother arrived home from his game, and they went inside to get some "DS time".

Brothers :)


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Soccer is in Full Swing

We have soccer 4 nights a week. 'E', 'J', and 'S' are all in soccer. They all are great soccer players, and we enjoy watching their games! It's a crazy schedule with practices, games, tournaments, and then jamboree is at the end of the month. :)

And you know what's so awesome about 'J's team? ......Our dad coaches!! :)

Last but definitely not least, our only soccer playing girl - beautiful! :)