31 December 2012

2012 Recap.

2012 has been quite a year for our little family! We have had some pretty significant changes come this year and there is no way I could be any more thankful! We have been beyond blessed and I'm really looking forward to seeing what 2013 has in store for all of us!! So, here's my little recap of 2012 for us...

We had Makayla's 4th birthday party with family and friends! So fun!
We celebrated being DTE (Dossier To Ethiopia) for three months! We thought we were going to be on the wait list for much, much longer. Little did we know the HUGE plans God had in mind for our family of four...
We also started sponsoring our sweet boy, Habtamu, in Adami Tulu, Ethiopia!!

Addison started walking!!
We had a spaghetti fundraiser at my MIL's church for our adoption. It was amazing!
We celebrated our one year 'adoption talk' anniversary. :)
I announced that I would be going on a mission trip to Ethiopia in June!
We celebrated four months DTE!
We got fully funded for our referral fee for our adoption!!

We went to the More4Orphans summit with our good friends, Adam and Ashley. It was a life changing weekend, to say the least.
We celebrated five months DTE!
I got all my travel shots for my mission trip.
Adam and I went to a marriage conference at our church and while we were there, Makayla fell off her bike. It took all I had to not run out of church to be with my girl.
I got fully funded for my mission trip!!

I went to Maryland solo to see Rusty, Janelle and baby Genova! Surprise visit to Delaware to see Brian, too!
We celebrated 6 months DTE!
We went to the zoo and to the library with good friends and had good times.
We were blessed by a dear friend that announced a photography fundraiser for our adoption.

Adam and I both turned 28 years old!
We celebrated 7 years of marriage at Empress Taytu!
We also celebrated 7 months DTE!
I had a great Mother's Day and even had a little tea at Makayla's preschool.
We went to a Cleveland Indians game with the girls, thanks to Adam's work! We were also on the Jumbo Screen while we were there, which was totally awesome!
Janelle came for a visit from Maryland!
I was busy preparing for my first ever trip out of the country!!
We changed our request for our adoption from 0-24 months to 0-2 years. Not huge, but obviously significant over the next coming months. :)

This was probably the most significant month of my life this year!! SO much happened and I don't think I blogged about any of it nearly enough.
I left for Ethiopia at the beginning of the month and had a life changing trip.
While in Ethiopia, we got our referral for our amazingly beautiful daughter and the very next day, I got to meet her!!
After I returned from Ethiopia, I was wrecked. I didn't know how to function in life and could not get any of Ethiopia out of my mind.
Addison turned 2 years old!!
Two short weeks after I returned 'home', Adam and I were back on a plane to Ethiopia for our court date!

We spent the first ten days of July in Ethiopia...much like the first days of June for me!
We passed court on July 6th and Kalkidan Grace is officially our daughter!!!
We had an amazing mission trip/bonding trip in Ethiopia.
We came home, brokenhearted, to be leaving Kalkidan in Ethiopia, but God has just the right plans for us. We also brought home four host children. It was an eventful flight home. :)

We got submitted to Embassy for Kalkidan on August 10th!! We are waiting to be cleared by embassy.
Kalkidan's case stopped moving for a bit, so Adam and I decided it would be best for me to head to Ethiopia to visit with her. We still kept up hope that Kalkidan would be cleared to come home while I was there. I spent two weeks in Ethiopia waiting to hear about Kalkidan and then BAM. The door was closed. I had to leave without Kalkidan. It was heartbreaking.

September was the hardest month of my year. I was stretched and pulled more ways that I thought possible.
NOTHING about Kalkidan's case moved. It was heartbreaking yet again.

It was another difficult month in our house. Things were just really, really hard. Adjusting and figuring out our new normal took over everything in my life. I literally cannot remember anything we did this month. Nothing.

We cleared Embassy on November 6th!!!!! I tried to get to Ethiopia the next week, but for some reason, they were not taking appointments. We got our appointment for November 19th!
I left for Ethiopia on November 17th and I was back in the country that has forever stolen my heart for the fourth time in six months!!! Only God...
November 18th is the day that I picked up Kalkidan from the Transition Home for the very last time. She is our daughter FOREVER!!!!
Kalkidan and I get home on November 22nd, Thanksgiving Day!! It was a special, special day for our family. We are a family of five!!!!
Every day for the month of November, everyone in our family shared one thing that they are thankful for. It was so much fun to hear what the girls came up with and such a blessing to remember all of the things we have to be thankful for every single day.

We are getting used to life as a family of FIVE. I still can't believe this is my life! Having a sweet new daughter that comes from a really hard place is, well, really hard. We have all had to do some adjusting. We've been under a lot of stress and it has taken its toll on the whole family.
We did something fun and Christmas related every day until Christmas, which helped us connect as a family. The girls all really enjoyed it!
Makayla turned 5 years old on Christmas Day!

Our lives have been turned upside down this year. It has been nothing short of chaos and even though chaos comes with a lot of stress, I would not change any of it for the world.

I am SO looking forward to a new start and a fresh beginning! 2013 is going to be just as amazing as 2012, I can feel it! I'm also going to get my tattoos tomorrow that I've been waiting too long to get, so I'm pretty stinking excited about that! God is SO good and I can't wait to see what He has in store for me and for my precious family in 2013! Happy New Year!!

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