Friday, April 30, 2010

"Seconds" Sale

We have a few hand-stamped "Go. Seek. Love." shirts that are slightly less than perfect. This is a great chance to get a bargain if you don't mind a tiny imperfection on your shirt. I have included a close-up of the boo boo on each shirt so that you will know exactly what you are getting.

If you have a question or would like to buy one of these shirt, please email me at family @ duboisadoption . com, and we will arrange payment via paypal. I will delete each of these shirts when they are sold.


This shirt has a small brown ink smear


This one has a small orange ink smear.
The logo on this shirt is slightly off-centered. I don't have a close up of this one.
There's nothing wrong with this one either. We accidentally ordered the wrong color shirt. :)

Also, I am really excited right now because I just found out that a college friend is moving forward with plans to adopt from Africa! This friend first planted the seeds of orphan care in my heart when we did a project together on foster care. Nothing was further from my mind at the time, but I agreed to her suggestion just to be nice. :) Over time the seeds grew into a greater desire to reach out to the fatherless, those who are so close to the heart of our Father. Now, her family is adopting from the western African country of Burkina Faso. Check out Sara's blog for the details!

Friday, April 23, 2010


No, we don't know yet when we will be traveling to Ethiopia. And we have discovered this week that there is a good chance that we will not know when we will be going until only days before. Beginning a few weeks from now, we must simply be "on call" - ready to go at any time. Crazy.

This week six different families from our agency found out on MONDAY that they were to leave for Ethiopia on SATURDAY - five days later!

When I found this out, I started feeling pretty anxious. I think you might even say that I was freaking out. I have a lot to do to get ready! So I have been corresponding with the travel planner at our agency, and I am feeling much better now. I understand much better what to expect, I am getting my lists ready, and I don't feel nearly so overwhelmed.

So, in a nutshell, here is how it works now (after the recent changes with how the Ethoipian government and the U.S. Embassy are handling things):

  • Right now our post-court paperwork is being process. This includes a birth certificate and passport, etc. being issued for Benjamin. It will take 2-3 weeks.
  • Then our case will be submitted to the U.S. Embassy. They should have all of our paperwork by the first of May.
  • The U.S. Embassy now does an investigation to ensure the "orphan status" of every single child adopted in to the U.S. They had originally stated that these investigations would take about 8 weeks. However, the trend so far is that the investigations are taking between 2-6 weeks after they receive the paperwork.
  • So that means that our investigation could be complete anytime between mid-May and mid-June. Our agency will not know how long it will take until they receive notice from teh Embassy that it is done. We won't find out anything until then.
  • After our agency finds out that the investigation is complete, they will let us know that we can travel for the next available Embassy appointment. our travel will revolve around this appointment where we must finalize visa paperwork, etc., for Benjamin.
  • Our agency has one day for appointments every other week. They can schedule up to ten families (well actually, ten children) in one day.
  • If we cannot make it to the very next available appointment (like if we are given four days notice or something!) then we will go two weeks later for the next appointment date.

There are two possible Embassy appointment days in June, and it is our best guess that we will travel for one of these. However, it is actually possible that we would travel as early as May or as late as July if things take longer than expected.

But for now, I am kicking it up into high gear again. I've been making lists for what to pack, donations we want to take, gifts to buy for nannies, questions that I have, etc. I've been poring over the travel information documents that we got from our agency. The flurry of activity in the next few weeks will be fun. This is what we have been waiting for! It's about to happen - we are really going to make a trip to Ethiopia to go get our boy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What We've Been Up To Lately

Just a few photos to catch up....

When I got THE CALL last Thursday morning, Madeline and I were just about to walk out the door to meet my parents. After I stopped crying and got myself together, I changed her into this.

This is how I told my parents that we had passed court. I just held Madeline up! How fun. :)

She is saying "cheese." Can you tell? :) Also, I love the tea cup and saucer that she has in her hand. Life is a constant tea party at our house.

We went to the zoo for the first time last week. Here is Madeline in the parking lot all ready to go, sunglasses and all. She loves her shades.

She wasn't quite as excited about most of the animals as I thought she would be. She loved the petting zoo, though. Well, she did at first anyway. She had a great time until one of the goats head butted her and knocked her down. I hope we will not be dealing with a lifelong fear of goats.

Brushing the goat, just moments before the head butt.

She loved the part with the aquarium too. I think maybe it was because she could get so close to them, and they were swimming right at her head level. We stayed in here for a long time.


I am very, very, VERY excited about my two raised beds that Daniel built for me in our backyard. I found a book on Square Foot Gardening about a month ago and decided to give vegetable gardening a go again.

I've had a love/hate relationship with vegetable gardening for many years. I've done several big gardens in the past, and here is how it goes: I get super excited planning, buying, and planting. I work hard and enjoy checking it every afternoon to see what has changed. I have such fun during the spring and early summer harvest. Then it gets hot. Working in it suddenly isn't so fun anymore. Before I know it the weeds are totally out of control, the garden is unsightly, and I feel like a failure. August comes and it needs water everyday to survive the super hot, super dry Tennessee weather, but I just don't care anymore. By the end of the summer I promise myself that I will never have a vegetable garden again.

Then spring comes.... The weather is so pretty, everything is coming to life, and Lowe's is full of vegetable transplants. I begin to think.... maybe this year will be different. I really will stay on top of it this year. And so the cycle begins again.

But this year really will be different. REALLY. :) My two 4 x 4 raised beds are full of super good soil (I spent all of my Christmas money on it!). They will be weed free, and they will hold lots of moisture. Watering them just takes about 4 minutes since they are such a manageable size. Maybe I really can keep up with this.

This 16 square foot bed is jam-packed with healthy goodies. I felt like I was planting WAY too much in such a small place, but I followed the Square Foot Gardening instructions precisely. In my two beds I planted, corn (32), bush beans (45), tomatoes (2 each of 3 varieties), peppers (2 red and 4 green), carrots (16), onions (16), basil (2), thyme, oregano, and sage (1 each).

The soil is 1/3 compost, 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 compost. It is super nutritious and holds water like a sponge. I've been watering first thing every morning, and it seriously just takes me 4 minutes. I planted everything but the peppers from seed to save money, and so it is such fun to see the tiny leaves start to poke up. I see something new every morning!

I will keep you posted on my garden progress this summer. I hope that this is really going to be the year for me!

Two weeks ago, my sister and her daughter were in town for a week, and we got to have lots of girl time.

Madeline reading to Abigail

We went to the playground one day. Isn't Abigail photogenic? She definitely has her mama's eyes.

This is Abigail swinging for the first time. Abigail was born within days of Benjamin. I just LOVED getting to cuddle with her all week. It made me feel close to B!

Getting ready to go swimming in my mom's backyard. Notice the sunglasses again. :)

This was a first for Abigail too.

I love the tummy rolls and the bikini. Too bad this isn't cute anymore when you get older...

So now you are caught up on our life outside of the adoption saga. Life is such fun with my sweet two year old.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Go. Seek. Love. Continued

We have exciting news - this time about T-shirts.

In case you are new to my blog, let me fill you in: We have been selling T-shirts with the Go. Seek. Love. logo for over a year now. Daniel, my talented hubby, designed the logo and created a website,, both for selling the shirts and to provide resources for families who are interested in adoption from Ethiopia.

First we sold the shirts to raise money for our own adoption, profiting over $2,000 from the shirt sales. After we finished raising money, we didn't want to shut the website and T-shirt "business" down. God had blessed us so much, and we wanted to pass the blessing along to others. We partnered with another adoptive family and sold shirts to help them to raise money. In four months, we were able to send them almost $2,000 too!

For the past three months we have been selling the shirts to recoup the significant costs of a big screen printing order that we placed. But now...

We are ready to partner with another adoptive family!

From now until Saturday May 1st, we will be accepting applications to become our partner family for the next three months.

Anyone who is in the process of adopting a child from Africa and who needs help raising money is eligible to apply. You only need to have sent in an application to an adoption agency and had your application accepted. You do not have to have completed your home study. Please click here to go to for all of the specific information about how to apply. It is very easy!

Unfortunately, we only have the infrastructure and inventory to allow us to work with one family at time. But if God allows, we plan to continue this indefinitely, partnering with a new family every three months.

The job of the partner family is just MARKETING. Blog about it, send out email blasts to your friends and family, and write about the T-shirts on Facebook and Twitter. Your profits will depend on how well you promote your cause. We will do all of the order fulfillment, and we will send you a check with 100% of the net proceeds once a month.

If you are interested check out the details on our website and get your application in a.s.a.p. (Deadline is May 1st.) We will make our decision by Monday May 10th. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at We can't wait to hear from you!

Friday, April 16, 2010

More Pictures

Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.
(Proverbs 25:25)

Think about the time in your life when you were the most thirsty that you have ever been. Maybe you were hot and sweaty. Perhaps you had to finish a hike or complete a race, knowing that water was just ahead. Towards the end, water becomes all that you can think about. Now remember how wonderful, how refreshing and energizing the cold water tasted after you had to wait such a long time to receive it.

That's me right now. We have endured to the end of our long hike. Toward the end, I thought that I might not make it at times, but we are here. We are at the finish line, and my oh my, our hearts have been refreshed by the "cold water" that we received yesterday. Benjamin is OUR SON. It is legal; it is real; it is un-reversible.

You should have seen me yesterday. I was literally leaping for joy. I prayed and cried and ran around my house like a crazy woman. I even wrote a song. (You won't ever see it here, though... It's not exactly my gift. It just flowed out of a heart filled with praise to God.) I got a ton of house cleaning done yesterday afternoon because my energy level was so high.

Thank you so much for all of your comments on this blog, all of the "facebook love" and precious emails. You guys have made me cry over and over again. It's an unbelievable encouragement to know that people that I have never met are actually praying for us and care enough to send kind words our way. Thank you.

So about his name: Benjamin Tamirat Dubois. We chose his first name because of the meaning. In the Bible when God changed the direction of someone's life in a major way, he often gave them a new name. We wanted our guy to have a new name that symbolized the love that we have for him and the new heritage that he has been given. Benjamin means "Son of My Right Hand." What could be more appropriate? He will always be our son. Not our adopted son. Just our SON. We have two kids now, and we see no difference between them. He is favored as highly as Madeline, and we want him to be completely confident of that.

Tamirat is the name that his birth mother gave him. It means "Miracle." His Ethiopian heritage will always be an important part of who he is, and so it was important to us to not just discard the first name that he was given. Someday, if he chooses, he would have the option to go by his middle name. My dream is that he will be a missionary/leader/world changer in Ethiopia someday. So when that happens and he moves back, he can go by Tamirat. :)

We were told yesterday that we would find out in a couple of weeks when we get to travel to go get him. Our travel revolves around when our appointment with the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia is. We will have to finalize paperwork, visa stuff, etc., while we are there. It will be between 6-12 weeks from now. If it's on the shorter end of that, then we will be going sooner than I anticipated.

He is currently seven-and-a-half months old. (His birthday is 8/28.) So he will be 9-10 months old when we get to bring him home.

So here are more of the pictures that I have been DYING to share over the past few months. Finally, FINALLY I get to share them all!

This is the first photo that we ever saw of him - on the day that we got our referral back in December.

I am absolutely in love with these referral pictures. They are all over my house, in a photo album in my purse, stuck in my Bible, and given to any friends or relatives who showed an interest. The day that we got our referral, I immediately had ten copies printed of each of these, and then had more printed later. They are literally everywhere. :)

He was 4 months old here, and had just come to the transition home (the orphanage run by our adoption agency for kids who are about to be adopted.) He was only in the 3rd percentile for his height and weight at the time, but he has beefed up quite a bit since then. He is in the 78th percentile for his weight now!

We get an update once a month, complete with new photos. These are from our first monthly update when he was five months old.

Love that little lip. :)

These photos were taken around the same time by another adoptive family who went to pick up their child from the transition home. The online network of adoptive families has been so supportive throughout this process.

We sent a baby photo album with pictures of us with this family. He was seeing our pictures for the first time in this photo.

Here he is with one of his nannies.

Soon after that, another adoptive family took these for us. He looks like he had just woken up from a nap in these pictures.

Then here is my absolute favorite photo so far. He is six months old and getting nice and chubby. He looks so happy and well cared for. The joy on his face tells me that he loves the nannies that he was interacting with when these photos were taken.

This is in his bed. It's just a little cubby.

This was received at the same time. I'm not sure why he has on different clothes.

My precious, heart-of-gold friend Tracy went to pick up the FOUR children that she just adopted in February. She made a special trip to visit Benjamin and take these pictures for us. It gives me such joy to see him in her arms.

Tracy's biological daughter Elle and Benjamin.

Two of the four that Tracy just brought home playing with B.

These are the latest pictures that we have gotten. He is seven months old. He had pink eye, impetigo, a rash, and an upper respiratory infection all during this month. You can see ointment in his eyes and the lingering effects of the rash on his face and neck.

I just love this! He looks like he has so much personality. They tell us that he loves to laugh and loves to be around people.

Silly boy

And he is sitting up some now too.

So that's every photo that we have of him so far. I can't tell you how fun it is to finally be able to share them!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

WE PASSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He is really, really, really our son now. Oh, I am so happy. Thank you, thank you everyone for your prayers and support. For a while I wasn't sure that this day would ever come. But it has, and I am praising the Lord!

Introducing Benjamin Tamirat Dubois

More to come later....

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

One More No

We did not pass court again today. Our son's birth mom has disappeared yet again. We have a police letter stating that she can't be found (that's what we started out with at the first court date). The judge will accept that instead of her appearance in court. We did have the MOWA letter that we needed today. Unfortunately, it will have to be amended before the next court date since Birth Mom has disappeared and won't be coming to court.

Our next court date is scheduled for April 15th (just 9 days!). If MOWA can amend our letter before then, I think we will be good to go. Nothing is for sure, though, until it actually happens.

I'm sad, but at peace. I've been up and down so many times in the last few months. After the last court date I thought I couldn't bear it anymore. It was the lowest point that I have hit so far in this process. But it was at that point that I really let go and gave this over to God. I am more confident now than ever that he has a plan, and he is in control. The timetable is not just about me/us. It is about Little Brother and about Birth Mom. God works all things for good for those who love him. All things. I have no clue what all of this crazy delay is accomplishing, but there is a reason. So for now, I am clinging to that.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Just a Couple More Days

Our fourth court date will take place while we sleep on Monday night. If Birth Mom is going to make it to court, she should be on her way already.

As I was out running yesterday afternoon, I found myself praying with every breath: Lord, please let us pass this time. Lord, please be with Birth Mom and work in her life through this. Lord, please help us to cling to you and trust you more because of this. Over and over and over.

Please say a prayer for our family, for Little Brother, and for Birth Mom. I'll post as soon as I know anything on Tuesday.

We got a great report last week - he has gained two more pounds in the last month and is up to the 78th percentile for his weight! He looks happy and healthy in the new photos that they sent. He has been sick several times in the last month, though, with pink eye, a rash, and an upper respiratory infection that required antibiotics. I can't wait to get him away from all the germs of the transition home.

Here are a few photos from this Easter weekend.

I took Madeline to see the bunnies at Phillip's Toy Mart in Nashville. So fun.

Excited about her basket from her grandparents

Checking out what is in cousin Abigail's basket

Abigail decided that she likes the yellow easter grass the best


We actually got a family photo where all three of us are looking at the camera and smiling! Hooray!

Rachel and Abigail. Abigail is 4 days older than Little Brother.

Easter eggs taste good

Aunt Emily and Abigail