There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle......
The other is as though everything is a miracle.

~Albert Einstein~

DONATIONS

We are so thankful for friends and family who are supporting us on this journey. Many of you have asked about donations. We are taking doantions over to Ethiopia for the Foster Home as well as CHOIR (see link for more information on CHOIR). I asked Deb from Cafac to email an updated list of things that they need on an ongoing basis. They do request the items be new as their government does not want any used items brought into their country. We really appreciate all of your help in whatever way you can. I am beginning to gather items now so it is not so rushed when it is time to travel. If you could help in anyway it would be much appreciated.


Cloth diapers
Disposable diapers
Crib mattress covers
Baby duvet blanket covers
Nipples /bottles
Fitted crib sheets
Cloth crib quilts (not knitted)
Scabies/lice remedies- creams and shampoos
Hydrocortizone crème and "Peneten" Diaper Rash ointment
Zincofax Ointment for Diaper rash
Shoes for kids up to age 6 years.
Clothes for children up to 10 years of age
Socks (all sizes)
Hair elastics/ pik combs/ hair clips/pony tail holders/hair brushes
Collapsible play pens
Twin bed sheets
Twin bed quilts
Giant Lego blocks/ dump trucks/dolls
Towels, face cloths, tea towels, wash cloths
Medicines

If you are bringing in cash donations this could help to purchase one or more of these items:

mesh for the staircase and observatory from the second floor.
change tables for baby and toddler rooms
cupboards and shelving for all children's rooms
Filing cabinet or something for files at clinic
playpens at least 6 - nylon so can be wiped down easily.
Garbage cans for all rooms and bathrooms
Laundry baskets for all rooms
Cleaning supply room with locked cabinet
A generous supply of buckets, mops etc for cleaning staff. .
6 excersausers for toddlers
highchairs- 6 at least.
Toy box and toys for each room and outside
Decorations for rooms- ie alphabet, pictures
Bulletin boards of pictures of families in living room
Baby scale for clinic
possibly a small 'tub" for every child to have under their bed for their clothes etc.

CHOIR PROJECTS:

all school supplies,
Crayons, coloring books, pencils, erasers, pens
Art Supplies
Sports equipment –like soccer balls, footballs, volleyball,
Skipping ropes, and other children’s games
Stickers, beading projects,
Clothing for kids from size 3 – 14
Shoes for ages 3 years old to 16 years old

DENAYE AND MAYA


This is our story of how Denaye and Maya grew from just a
possibility to a dream come true. We didn't know when we started this journey where the road would lead. There were so many things to think about and consider, but yet it was a desire that burned deep within us and it would not leave. We started this journey once before, but for some reason we put it on hold. It just did not seem like the right time. We believe it's because Denaye and Maya had not yet made it to the orphanage where Haregewain (that's the lady in Ethiopia who matches children to families) found them for us. The day that Haregewain found them they had only been in the orphanage for 1 day. They were then moved to the Cafac Foster Home where they live now untill we go and pick them up and bring them home. The girls were born in the southern part of Ethiopia, a region called Kembata. It is quite far from Addis Ababa, which is the capital city. By road it is about a 4 or 5 day trip (there and back). It is 800 km's, but on their roads it takes a long time. Denaye's African name, Denkenesh means "surprise". She is 2 years old and born on December 10, 2004. She is an adorable little girl with the biggest eyes. Maya's African name, Mebrat means "light". She is 4 years old and born on November 25, 2002. Maya is a beautiful girl with wild hair that I can't wait to do something with. God brought these girls into our lives and we are so thankful for God's timing. Our family will consist of 4 boys and 2 girls and a lot of love. This has been an amazing journey so far. People have said to us how much better their life will be......but the truth is our life will be so much better because they are a part of it. We are so excited to start this next chapter in our life and who knows what the next chapter will be all about. Life is full of possibilities and we are so glad we're a family that doesn't give up on dreams, but rather looks for ways to make a dream come true.


Welcome to our family Denaye and Maya, and may all your dreams come true!

Love Mom and Dad



Timeline

This is the timeline for our journey...the story is not yet done so I will continue to add to it as things happen.

June 4, 2006-decided to proceed with international adoption (thought about it for a long time)

June 5, 2006-contacted Cafac to let them know we were proceeding.

June 6, 2006-signed on with Adoption Options our provincial agency.

June 9, 2006-signed on with Cafac our International adoption agency.

June 15, 2006-received workbook from Cafac.

June 19, 2006-medical for Debbie.

June 23, 2006-medical for kids and got letters from pediatrician.

June 27, 2007-Police checks done......we all passed.

June 30, 2006-Rod's medical.

July 3, 2006-Dossier was complete except for homestudy.

July 5, 2006-our first homestudy, Terri was our socialworker.

July 12, 2006-our second visit for our homestudy

July 19, 2006-our third visit for our homestudy, this time she interviewed the boys.

July 30, 2006-decided after much thought to request sisters instead of just one.

August 10, 2006-phone call from Socialworker for last minute questions, homestudy complete.

August 13, 2006-announced to friends and family that we were adopting.

August 14, 2006- signed off on the approved homestudy.

September 18, 2006-received provincial approval for the adoption to proceed.

September 20, 2006-dossier sent to Cafac.

September26, 2006-immigration forms sent.

October 10, 2006-received immigration approval to sponsor the girls.

November 23, 2006-dossier was received in Ethiopia

April 5, 2007-received referral of Denaye and Maya!!!

April 10, 2007-sent acceptance forms to Cafac

April 23, 2007-immigration and acceptance forms sent to Ethiopia

June 23, 2007-successful court day.....the girls are legally ours!!!!

August 30, 2007.....we became a forever family!!!

September 6, 2007.....we arrived in Edmonton and the boys met their sisters for the first time.

We arrived at around 3:30 in Great Falls....plenty of time to get some shopping in. After our first day of shopping we went back to the hotel ate some supper and then the boys went swimming. Sam was in his glory. He told me he wants to live in a hotel. He soon ran out of steam though and before we knew it he was off to dreamland with Teddy. The next day started

early and my mom and Sam headed down for breakfast while the rest of us slept. They came back and you guessed it Sam and Kyle went swimming again....all morning, while we went shopping. We came back and got them and went over to the mall. Ross was right beside it so I told them once I go in I won't be coming out for a long time, decide what you want to do.....you guessed it the boys went back to the hotel and went swimming again. Sam loves hotels.......not sure why, but he thinks they are neat. Kyle was a big help, he kept Sam for us while my mom, brother James and I shopped till we ran out of money. we had a lot of fun.......more pictures below of some of the stuff I bought.





The shopping was amazing. We had so much fun. I got so many good deals, it was hard to leave some of the stuff there, but I was only allowed to bring back so much and I ran out of money!! The Ross store didn't disappoint me, I picked up Oshkosh outfits for 8.00, espirit oufits for 9.00, all kinds of other outfits for 5.99. It was fun. My cart was heaping, I overheard someone ask if that stuff in the cart was to be put back and the saleslady said no that belongs to somebody.....her mouth just dropped!!!! I had fun, and Jesse was right, pink is flying everywhere. I have never bought so much pink in all my life. I bought a cute pink dress for Denaye, they didn't have Maya's size, but don't worry there will be more shopping trips. I also bought some stuff for their room. I will post a picture of their room when it is finished. My boys just roll their eyes at all the pink stuff flying around the house, but I know they are excited to.


I really wanted to buy an umbrella stroller. I wanted a really good quality one. In Edmonton you can't get a good one for less then 100.00. I looked while I was in the states and found one. Up here they go for about 130.00 and I paid 59.99. Rod can't believe we bought another stroller. He thought those days were done. I know he's excited though because this morning he was pushing it around the house. It's not an umbrella stroller like I originally wanted, but it is one of those light weight compact strollers.....you pay the big bucks because is it is a speciality item. It really was a great price, but in the states. It is really good quality, and I researched it online once I found it in the states. I am happy with it and things certainly have changed a bit since our last stroller.......it comes with an Ipod speaker connection so the child can listen to an ipod while going for a walk, I didn't know what the little pocket was for and then I pulled out the connection wires.....I guess I'll have to get an Ipod now!!!

We had a fabulous time and Kyle got his PSP Entertainment Pak that he was looking for. He spent all his money in one shot, but he was grinning from ear to ear. Sam spent every chance he could in the pool. He bought another light saber.....I think that makes 5 now. He loves Star Wars and he dresses up like the characters. He wants to be a Jedi policeman when he grows up. My mom bought groceries....it's what she does.....food is her thing, but she had a great time. We are already planning the next trip, but we think we'll go to Coeur d Alen, Idaho. Bigger place and it's on a lake. Hope you all have a great week!!

~Debbie~

A friend emailed this to me today......I thought it was very funny......enjoy

Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?

1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?

1 He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my Mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of ?

1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you Your mother & not some other mom?

1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your mom?

1. My Mom has always been my Mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did Mom need to know about dad before she married him?

1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your Mom marry your dad?

1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?

1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between Moms & dads?

1. Moms work at work and work at home & dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller & stronger, but Moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your Mom do in her spare time?

1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your Mom perfect?

1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your Mom, what would it be?

1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my Mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

SHOPPING

This weekend my mom, kyle, Sam and I are heading south for a
few days. We are going to Great Falls, Montana. My brother
Jamie is going to meet up with us down there. It is about an eight
hour drive from our house. My mom likes to take little getaways,
and she does a lot for us, so I don't mind taking her. Actually they opened up a brand new Ross Store down there.......I am so excited! Any of you who know me understand why!!! It is perfect timing, I need to shop for the girls. Rossstores are like a Winners/Homesense, but on steroids. It is a lot cheaper and I love a good bargain. It is one of my favorite places to shop when we make it to the states. We are leaving first thing tommorrow morning and I expect to come back with a full wardworbe for the girls. Kyle cleaned out his account as he wants to do some serious shopping as well. He's been saving for awhile. Sam is excited about the pool and that's it, he is easy to please. Well have a great weekend......I know I will!!!!



~Debbie~

There is a family from B.C. going to Ethiopia next month to get their son and bring him home.....congratulations to them, their wait is almost over. Anyway they offered to take a package for our girls to the foster home and give it to them. I was so excited and so grateful that they would do this for us. It really means a lot. It is the first thing that I have been able to do for them. I did not think it would be this difficult to come up with some items for each of them. I have to keep the packages small....as there will not be a lot of extra room......so I came up with some stuff that can be folded quite small. This is Maya's little package. In it we put a little t-shirt a necklace/bracelet set, a small picture book and last , but most importantly a small photo album. In the photo album will be pictures of the boys and us. There may be other pictures as well, but I don't want to overwhelm them to much, but I would like them to be able to see who we are. We are going to take a family picture with us holding the girl's picture so hopefully the picture will be able to tell them what we cannot.....that they belong in our family.
This next picture is Denaye's little package. We put a little t-shirt, a purple stuffed hippo that makes a noise when you shake him, a soft covered picture book and of course her own photo album. We really hope that the photo album helps them understand a little bit about where they are going and that they have a family waiting for them. We will label the album and hopefully someone will be able to help them with it. I had fun putting together the packages for the girls. It felt real...like we actually have daughters and I could do something for them. It's not much, but at this point it's all I have.....and a couple of pictures of them. We continue to pray for a quick travel time.
Thanks for checking in and your comments always mean so much.....please continue to pray for us if you think of it.
God Bless
~Debbie~

All I can say is I think it's really cool what my parents are doing. Its definetly gonna be weird having girls in the house, but at the same time, I can't wait to be the protective older brother. I know these girls must have gone through alot which is why I can't wait to spoil them rotten.

~Taylor~

IMMIGRATION

We received a package yesterday from Cafac (our adoption agency). It had our formal referral and more pictures of the girls and also the immigrations formsin it. They did all the work for us all we had to do was sign the immigration forms where they had marked it on the forms. I just got back from mailing them. We have now officially applied to immigration. This next step can be slowed down by so many things not working together. Court dates being postponed, forms not properly filled out, lack of information...the list can go on and on. This next part is where we need all you prayer warriers to help us out. Some of you know I am not a patient person....enough said about that. Anyway if you think of it, throw a little prayer up there for our girls and all the steps that need to happen to make this all come together quickly and smoothly. We appreciate it!

On another note we think we may have come up with some names for the girls. The 2 year old's name is Denkenesh....so we don't want to change them to drastically as they will be used to them already. We thought for her, we would call her Denaye Angel Denkenesh Kurtz. The 'Angel' is from Sam, he wanted that to be her first name, so we compromised. Mebrat is 4 and we thought a nice simple name for her would be Maya Rayne Mebrat Kurtz. Again the 'Rayne' is from Sam, he actually wanted to call Denkenesh, Angel Rayne. I really like the name Rayne so he heard me talk about it, but Angel is all Sam's idea. This has been the dicussion in our house for the last few days....I think we may have come up with something we all agree on. We will legally change their names once they have arrived in Canada and are home with us.

That's it for now...hope you are all having a great day!

-Debbie

These next few pictures are from last summer. We took a trip with some of our best friends, Mark and Colleen and their kids. We had such a good time. It is so much fun travelling with other people. On this particular day we were going shopping at one of the Factory Outlet Malls. This was before we shopped. We should have taken an after shot. I have never seen so many bags. There was bags everywhere. We had such a wonderful trip with these guys, it was alot of fun. Seeing Disneyland, hitting the beach and of course shopping, when you travel with friends there is always someone to do something with.....we look forward to many more trips together!!!

LAS VEGAS

This is just a fun picture of our boys sitting at the slot machines in Las Vegas. There was no one around and so we snuck a picture. They really weren't allowed to do this because they weren't 18, but it was very quiet in this part of the Casino. We stayed at the Flamingo. It was so hot there. The temperature was about 44 degrees c. We spent most of the time sitting in the pool. Sam loved the pool as it had water slides. Taylor (he is 18) loved Vegas and wants to go back when he is 21 with his friends and spend some time. Rod and I were there a couple of years ago and saw Celine Dion. She was fantastic and I would go again. We walked the strip and Taylor actually ran into some buddies he knew from home. It was quite funny. This wasone of the highlights of our trip for all of us. We would go back and see it again...shopping was excellent to.

BIRTHDAY FUN



This is Sam. He turned 6 while we were in Los angeles. We spent his birthday at the Rain Forest Cafe at Dowtown Disney. He was so surprised when the waiter brought out this volcano cake for his birthday. He could not figure out how they knew it was his birthday. The whole restaurant sang to him and he had the biggest grin on his face. I don't think there is a better way to spend your 6th birthday then in Disneyland with Mickey and then off to a very fun restaurant and he even got a tatoo that day.....a temporary one. It was alot of fun!!

BEACH BOYS


These 4 Good looking Studs are my boys. this was at Huntington Beach in Los Angeles. The beach was amazing it went on forever. The boys body surfed and loved it. This was Sam's (he's 6)first experience with swimming in an ocean, so when he jumped in and got a mouth full of saltwater, he wasn't to impressed. The other thing that freaked him out was the waves would come crashing in and suck the sand out from under his feet.....he was sure he was sinking and it took some convincing that he wasn't going anywhere. After all that, he spent the whole day in the water.....we all burnt...not used to that california sunshine. I am so proud of my boys. We had a lot of fun on this day.

SPECIAL DAY

Today is one of those days that will forever change our lives. I knew the second I heard we had a referral that there wasn't any question we were going to accept the girls as our own. Alberta Children's Services, however, wanted us to think about it. If I could have signed the document myself I would have. So we thought about it for 2 seconds and just knew in our hearts that these precious girls belong in our family. So today we formally signed the document that says "yes we will accept these girls as our referral". The lady at children's services told Rod that when I went into the office last thursday to get the referral, I was vibrating. I was so excited I didn't know what to do. Now the journey of more paperwork begins.....immigration stuff.....
We hope and pray this next process is short. Now that I've seen their little faces I just want them home! I can't say how much we appreciate the prayers and support of friends and family. Thank you, it means more then you know. We have officially started the next phase of the journey.....please pray it goes smoothly and QUICKLY!!!!

-Debbie

Once there were two women,
Who never knew each other.
One you do not remember,
The other you call "Mother."

One gave you a nationality,
The other gave you a name.
One gave you the seed of talent,
The other gave you an aim.

Two different lives shaped
to make yours one;
One became your guiding star,
The other became your sun.

One gave you emotions,
The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile,
The other dried your tears.

The first gave you life,
The second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love,
And the second was there to give it.

One gave you up,
It was all she could do.
The other prayed for a child,
And God led her straight to you.

And now you ask me through your tears,
The age old question through the years;
Heredity or environment -
which are you a product of?
Neither my darling, neither;
Just two different kinds of love.


-Author unknown

Happy Easter


Today has come to an end. It was a great day spent with family. My sister Jody and her husband had all of us over for a Ham Dinner. It was yummy! We had family up from Moose jaw and also Calgary. There was a lot of us. It was very noisey, but good to be with family. Our kids got up and found their chocolate eggs etc....this year Sam(who is 6) got his first real bible. He was excited, but of course immediately went back for more chocolate. At our house it's fun to watch the kids get excited, but we celebrate because Jesus has risen and he is alive. We ate too much...I'm still full.....and the day has quickly come to an end. We have much to be thankful for and in church this morning that's mostly what I thought about as we celebrated this Easter Sunday. We are so thankful to have received our referral for our girls and I was showing off their pictures at church this morning. I couln't help but think that next year things will be differnt. Sam will be a big brother, something he's never been before and the other 3 are concerned about makeup, the color pink, boyfriends. We are all very excited to get them home as quickly as possible. I can't post their pictures yet as they are not legally ours, but I pray the process happens quickly. It tuned out to be a beautiful day, lot of sunshine, lots of smiles, and lots of food!
Happy Easter
Debbie

Super Excited!

I'm so pumped right now, I wish that we could get them right now but we have to wait even longer. I wish that I could talk to them and just get to know them, I already know I am going to love them. I know it will be somewhat hard to cope with their broken lives and their habits, but I am ready for some hardship. More BABY SITTING, it will be different then baby sitting my little brother and cousins. I WISH THEY COULD BE HERE!

Super Excited
-Kyle

CARAZY!

I just found out today that we received the referral we've been waiting for since forever, and a lot of things went through my mind when I heard. Mainly excitement, mostly... weirdness. I'm CRAZY excited, actually, it's gonna be awesome to have a bunch of girls around. Girls that have boyfriends that I can scare away, girls that I can teach to play basketball (even though they'll already probably have that down :p) Girls that I can teach music to, and girls that I can protect. But a whole lot of things are gonna change. It's gonna be like estrogen overload! Seriously, I won't have any idea what to do. Like there's gonna be pink in places and stuff. Just... seriously. And makeup...

Yech...

Seriously, weirdness everywhere. And BABIES ARE GONNA BE CRYING AGAIN! But it's okay. Because I know that it's gonna be a whole lot of fun having some sisters to play with, and to care for. And I know that very soon, they will be a part of our family. I love them and I don't even know them.

I can't wait!
-Jesse

ROD'S THOUGHTS

As you just read, she's gone shopping!! OH NO!!!! (just kidding) My name is Rod and I am the excited husband of Debbie. I haven't been nearly as nerve-wracked as Deb about when the referral would come, but I have to say I'm glad we finally have it....and more importantly have them!! The girls are beautiful and as Deb said we love them already. This daughter thing will be new territory, but I know it's going to be an exciting journey. Thanks for all your support and prayers. We'll talk again soon.

Rod

REFERRAL DAY

Hello everyone,

Well today was a great day. It all started out normal. I went to work and started to get my flowers ready for Easter when I got a call from my mother. She said I had to phone this person it was urgent....so I did. It was a referral for our 2 little girls!!!!!!!!!!!
We are on cloud nine. I can't believe I started this blog yesterday and we have a referral already. The girls are 4 and 2. Their names are Mebrat and Denkenesh. They are so adorable. I love them already. I hardly know what to do with myself....a thought did just come to me.....I need to go shoppping. Oh the shopping I wil do. I will post more later when I know more. Thanks for checking in.

God Bless
Debbie

WELCOME

Hello everyone and welcome.

Our journey actually started a long time ago, but it just took us awhile to get here. It has always been on my heart to adopt internationally, but just one of those things that seemed to get put on the backburner. We are blessed with 4 wonderful boys who are very excited about the idea of adopting. The journey (as far as the paperwork goes) all started last May. Our paperchase was completed and sent of to Cafac (that's our adoption agency) last september. The Dossier fianlly made it's way to Ethiopia on November 23rd, 2006. We have been officially waiting for a referral since then. We don't know for sure how long we will wait, but it could be as long as 10 months. Once we have a referral we wait again. This time for immigration papers to be completed and then we will fly to Ethiopia to get our girls. We have requested siblings from 0-5 years of age. The time has gone by quickly, but yet at other times it seems to drag. the time between referral and travel to Ethiopia is 4-6 months. So we are still a ways away from having girls in the house. We are excited and feel very blessed. I always new I would get a girl, but this way I get two. We hope you will pray for us as we go along on this journey. We are so thankful for friends and family. I will post more, but just wanted to get this up and running. I really don't know what I am doing......it helps to have a 16 year old who understands computer stuff. Have a great day and feel free to leave your comments .

Debbie

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