Friday, March 1, 2013

20 Months, 20 Questions

Since we have "announced" our adoption plans, we have received lots of LOVE, along with a lot of questions. As people ask us questions, I write them down. So in honor of today marking 20 months of waiting, here are our 20 most asked questions, Answered.

1. Why are you Adopting?
Mark and I have always talked about adoption. Before we even got married, we talked about what our desire for our family would be, and adoption was always part of what we envisioned for our family unit.We had no idea when or how we would pursue adoption, but really felt strongly that it was part of God's plan for our family.We feel that the Lord has laid the plight of the orphan on our hearts, with a personal,clear, directive to us, The Lamb Family,to extend a family to one that needs a family. This desire to adopt was God-given to the both of us about ten years here we are..

2. Why Ethiopia?
We both feel that adoption is a much needed and beautiful thing internationally and domestically.There are children everywhere (near and far) that need loving families. For us, Africa has always been on our hearts. We feel drawn to it, can't explain it other than just that. When we first started the process, we thought we would adopt from Rwanda. I talked with a few families who had adopted from Rwanda and did some research. The day I sat down to fill out the pre-application, I received a call from someone whom I had called earlier to talk about her Rwandan adoptions; she then informed me that it looked like Rwanda might close for a time, and the very next day, it did. We then set our sights on the other African country that most agencies adopt from, Ethiopia. Since we made the Ethiopian decision ( about 2 and a half years ago), I wanted to learn all I could about this country and culture. I immediately started reading about it's history and it's people,as I read and read and read and prayed and prayed and prayed, my heart began to fall in love with this country, a country so rich in culture, a country so resilient, a country where our daughter might already live.

3. "Why are you adopting internationally when there are so many children in the United States that need forever families,?" This is a great question.It is also one of the most asked questions. There are children,everywhere, that are in need of families,so many of whom live in this country. We know people that have adopted from both, domestically and internationally.Amazing to watch these adoption journeys. For us, the answer is actually really simple.. We felt the Lord leading us to adopt from Africa. That's it. We felt a legitimate stirring in our spirit for a child from Africa.We felt it in our soul.So,we decided to adopt internationally, specifically Ethiopia. I think domestic adoption is wonderful. I think international adoption is wonderful. I think adoption is wonderful.

4. What agency are you using?

5. Is Adoption Expensive?

6. Are you Fundraising?
Yes. We are just about to start.I don't really like the term "fundraising" in re: to this. We are viewing it as a partnership. We have had people share with us that they would like to be a part of our adoption, be a part of bringing parents to a little girl, be a part of bringing a little girl to a family. I have had people tell me that they themselves could never adopt, but would like to be a part of the adoption process for someone else. This brings tears to my eyes and humbles me greatly. People are beautiful.

7. Do you know the gender of your child?
Female. We chose this.

8.What age will you be adopting?

We are open to a female child, ranging in age from 0-3 1/2 years. So, really, she can be anywhere within this age frame.

9. So, you don't even know who your child is, yet?

Nope. We have been waiting 20 months for something called a "referral." Once we receive our referral,that means we have been matched with a child. Our referral will contain a picture of our child and information. Everyone in a 3 mile radius will probably know we have received our referral by the shouts of joy that will emit from our townhouse.

10. Are your extended families supportive of your decision to adopt?
Yes. All of them. Or..if they aren't, they have kept that information to themselves:)
We have been seriously so blessed by every one's reaction and support. I am so grateful. Our future daughter even receives Christmas presents each Christmas, and she might not even be born yet. That is support, ladies and gentlemen. We are blessed.

11. "Are you worried about Ryann adjusting to a sibling after being an only child for so very long?"

I never thought Ryann would go almost 6 years without a sibling. When we started the adoption process, Ryann was three. Back then, the wait times, were completely different, and I was blissfully ignorant. I thought,year tops, from start to finish.Oh boy, I was so very wrong.
I have talked to Ryann openly about adoption from age 3 until now. She prays for her sister in "Eepeeoepia" every day.
This wait has been hard on Ryann.Every single day, she says she cannot wait to have someone to play with all the time. This breaks my heart.
Although it is hard on Ryann, it is good (as most hard things are, right?). She is hopefully learning from this, from watching us. Oh, I hope so.
With each month that passes in our wait, Ryann grows a little bit older...while growing older, she has more understanding about what adoption means, why it is important, etc.
So, yes, being a worrier by nature, I do worry about how Miss only child Ryann will adjust to having a sibling this late in the game...but then I see a craft from Kindergarten, titled "What you you thankful for?"

...And I realize she is going to be okay.

12. "Do you have a lot of fears concerning your daughter's background, etc?"
Loaded question. I hear it a lot. We don't know what the future holds, like I don't know what her past held.I do know that I pray for her a lot. I pray that she is loved. I pray for her family. I pray for her caregivers. I grieve for her, for what she has experienced, or what she will experience. I don't know what she will be like, what will be her story. What will lead her to be an orphan. What "scars" she will have. I do know we are all scarred. I do know that the Lord knows all.I do know that the Lord writes our story. I know the Lord heals and helps the scarred. I do know that it is ultimately HIS timing. Lots of unknows, but this much I do know.

13. How in the world are you going to know how to do her hair?

Ha! I loved this question, because I love hair care and products and would ask this too. My answer comes in the form of the woman who cuts Ryann's hair...she happens to be Ethiopian. (Hallelujah).Our next door neighbors also happen to be Ethiopian.
I am sure we will ask her a lot of questions and there are all sorts of tutorials on youtube, etc.

14. Do you have a name picked out?

We have no idea what her name will be,if we will use it as her first name, or as her middle name, etc. We are definitely open to keeping her Ethiopian name as her first name. We also have an American name picked out, mainly because when I pray, I want to pray for her by name.
So, yes we have picked an American name (which we are going to be annoying and not share publicly;) ) and yes, we are open to using her Ethiopian name as her first time and circumstances will tell...

15. You have been waiting forever. Why is the wait so long when there are so many children that need parents?

Most asked question. I am not going to answer that here, however. In place of an answer, I will ask you to pray for all those waiting. It is hard to wait, and sometimes can be a really lonely place.

16. Will you actually go to Ethiopia to pick up your daughter?
Yes. We will go to Ethiopia twice, for court, and then to take her home.

17. Because of the long wait, have you had to do paperwork all over again?
Certain parts of it, Yes. Due to expiration dates coming and going. I fretted so much over paperwork at the beginning. Now, I just do it. It is what it is.

18. So you, just want 2 kids, then? Why didn't you wait to have all your biological kids first, and then adopt the last one?
I have been asked this, which is pretty personal, but I never mind answering it.  My answer is that we have no idea what the future holds. We are just concentrating on the child we do have, and the child we are trying to bring home. We felt a strong calling to adopt, so we started the process. We didn't feel a "wait" to adopt. We felt the Lord telling us to adopt now. So we are...

19. How are you REALLY doing with the wait?
Some days are really hard, but most days are okay. Really. We are currently doing fine with the wait. This has not always been the case.I am learning so much about myself and my Lord. We live in such an immediate gratification culture, we want what we want when we want it. I definitely would have fallen into this camp at the beginning and middle of this process. I was so upset, so angry, so very sad when the slow down started. I didn't understand. I love nice little boxes where I can compartmentalize my life. I like things that fit. The  9-13 month wait fit in my "life boxes" (that was the wait time when we started this) I didn't understand how my supposed wait of 9-13 months could change to triple that, possibly. Now, that sounds messy. That doesn't fit.
In my selfish, upset, "woe is me" attitude, the Lord met me. Truly. I felt whispers of peace, I felt whispers of affirmation,  I felt glory in the wait. I was reminded of how many times the Lord waits on me. I was severely humbled. I began to realize how messy I truly am.
We are so far from perfect, I don't always exude this peaceful attitude by any means...just ask Mark, or really anyone in my life.
I know that we might never see "reason" behind this long wait. We might never understand. But, I am truly thankful for it...What it has done to me and my "boxes."
My prayer for the remainder of this wait is the lyric from "It is well"
"Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, It is well, with my soul."
No matter what happens with all this, or how long it takes, I pray that this is my attitude.

20.  How can we support your family during this time of waiting?
Pray for us.
Pray for Ryann.
Pray for our future daughter.
Pray for future us as we learn how to parent this blessing. I am under no delusions whatsoever that it will be easy by any means. I am actually pretty terrified. I know it is going to be a hard, long road. Please start praying now.
 We are waiting with great anticipation. We are waiting with hope. Pray that we will continue to wait in peace.

* If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Classiest Woman

Long overdue blog post. One of my best friends, my grandmother, went home to be with the Lord this October.I read the following tribute at her funeral. We had "the long goodbye"...she has suffered from Alzeimer's for many years. I am truly so joyful she is now full of mind in the presence of her Savior.

I am sitting on a plane on my way to Dallas trying to formulate memories of my sweet grandmother into words I can read today. I am having a very hard time; this is a hard thing to do. Not because I don’t have memories, the fact is I have too many memories and too many words to describe the woman she was to me. All the words that I am coming up with seem way too simple, way too concise, to describe the magnitude of her life and her effect on me. Simply put: words can’t do her justice. When I think back on my childhood, all the special memories that come to mind include her. She is there in my mind and heart for every single one of them. I can’t just pick one, it is impossible. She was a very present, a very constant, and a very special part of my life from day one. For that I will be forever blessed, forever grateful, and forever changed.
1Corinithians 13: 4 says, “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant. If anyone embodies this verse, it is my grandmother. She was the kindest, the sweetest, the gentlest, the most encouraging, and the most humble person I know. She loved well. She loved her Lord well. She loved her husband well. She loved her family well. She loved her co-workers well. She loved her church well. She loved her 5th grade Sunday School girls well. She loved me well. Her love and the way she showed love is one to emulate. She was truly inspiring.
Not only did she love me well, she was an extremely fun grandma. Weeks spent with her in the Summer were not complete without her amazing cooking. Her Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, gravy on the side, and banana pudding will always be my favorite meal of all time. Many have tried to replicate this, but it is never the same. She also loved to shop, and every single trip we took to the mall ended with me getting a whole new outfit complete with shoes and accessories. These shopping trips lasted way into my teen years and I would always look forward to wearing my “Mee-maw” outfits. She loved all things girly, and would paint my nails in an array of bright pink colors and would let me put on her lipstick at an age I think was probably a little too early. My favorite books were her favorite books. My favorite movies were her favorite movies, and every time I see The Sound of Music, Anne of Green Gables, and Singing in the Rain, I am instantly transported back to her TV room curled up next to her, watching our favorite movies under a fluffy blanket, and drinking a Dr. Pepper float with Blue Bell ice cream, with Paw Paw snoring next to us on his chair.
When my mom called me with the news last week, the very first emotion I felt was Joy. Pure Joy. Joy that she is in the arms of our Savior Jesus Christ. Joy that she was with my grandfather again. Joy that she was of full mind. Joy that she was truly home.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

This Girl

This Girl is JOY

This Girl is FEARLESS

This Girl is PRECIOUS

This Joyful,Fearless,Precious,Enchanting Girl of mine will be entering Kindergarten in three short days. A New Chapter.

*Ryann and I had a staycation of sorts this past week,in celebration of the last week of Summer.We enjoyed lazy days at the beach,we visited the zoo, we shopped for school supplies,we snuggled on the couch as we watched movies. It was a joyous week with my girl. I am most grateful to be her mother. She is truly a gift.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Summer 2012

Summer comes late to Seattle. A cool, rainy month of June slowly turned into a gloriously beautiful sunny skies filled July and August. It is during these months, that I often wonder why more people don't move to Seattle. There is really no better place to be in the Summer...It is so pretty and perfect, that I almost forget the rainy Spring, almost being the key word. Here is what we have been doing...

Our Summer began with a visit to Dayton, OH in order to visit the most beautiful baby in all the land, my gorgeous brand new niece, Emma Ruth Hentschel. We love her so much already, and had a fantastic, peaceful week cuddling this sweet, precious baby girl.

Ryann had her very first dance recital at the beginning of the Summer. Her tap class did a train conductor dance. The theme of the recital was transportation:) It was ridiculously cute. Of course, as eager parents of an only child at her first extra-curricular performance, we thought she was the best one;)

I know what you are thinking, why are there not more train conductors in this world with outfits like this?

gangsta train conductor?

Some of our Best Friends, The Woods, came to visit us in July. We love them so very much and it was such a delight to have them here with us. We miss them so much!

Barrett Wood always has been and always will be one of my favorite people in this world.

It was so fun getting to know Miss Caroline Wood. She is such a doll; I love the look she is giving Ryann in this picture. Caroline,I sometimes look at her this way too:)

Our July was capped off with a visit from Mark's parents. We were so excited to have Grandma and PaPa Lamb with us for a week. It was a fun-filled week that included: World Concern's Mud Run, The Lavender festival, a beach day, a zoo day, Downtown Seattle, and a vigorous hike to Bridal Veil Falls. We had so much fun, and are so blessed to have such wonderful, caring, parents. We so enjoyed our time with them.

So there you have it, a fun-filled Seattle Summer.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Olympic Fever

I am a little obsessed with all things Olympics. Alright, a lot obsessed. My sweet husband appreciates (I think) this quirk about me and surprised me last month with tickets to one of the final days of the track and field Olympic trials, which were being held in our neck of the woods this past weekend in Eugene, OR.
We had such a fantastic weekend in Oregon. I loved every second. Being that I ran track in high school, it was so fun, because I actually understood everything going on, which doesn't happen often when it comes to sports:)
Thank you, Mark. This was one for the memory book for sure.
These pictures are for Annie, my fellow obsessed friend.

Our seats were right in front of the high jump,which was so exciting

We saw the 110 meter hurdles final, here are the three going to the Olympics

Jackie Joyner Kersee handing out the medals to the Hepthalon Olympians

The highlight of the day was seeing Allyson Felix win the 200 meter final.

Such a FUN day! I was totally geeking out at all the Olympic things going on, Ryann, was a little less than enthused:)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Nine, Ten, and Eleven

*As of April 1, 2012, we have been waiting nine months
*As of May 1, 2012, we have been waiting ten months
*As of June 1, 2012, we have been waiting eleven months

It has been a long time since I have blogged. A friend asked if it was because I was sad that the adoption process was taking so long. The blog delay is not because of sadness, or anything like that, it just that I haven't had a chance to get around to it lately. But, that doesn't mean I don't think about our little one in Ethiopia a lot, a whole lot. Dear one,you are on our hearts everyday

As I reflect on nine months waiting on you, our little lady number two, my mind goes to 5 years ago, when I carried Ryann for nine months in my womb. It was nine months full of anticipation, excitement, and at times, anxiety. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was really uncomfortable, swollen, tired, impatient--counting the days when I would see her, the precious baby I had harbored for nine, long months.

I have carried YOU for nine months, in my heart. It has been nine months full of anticipation and excitement. Much like, telling my family and friends that I was pregnant five years ago, I was so very excited to tell our loved ones that we were indeed adopting YOU. Mark and I had talked for years and years about adoption, and it was so fun to tell everyone that we were acting on our hopes and dreams of adding you to our family.

These nine months have also been filled with anxiety. The highs of being finished with paperwork and being place on the official waitlist were quickly replaced with lows, as the wait times grew longer. and longer. and longer. I have shed many a tear, but have never doubted, not once, that this was the Lord's plan for our family. YOU are God's plan for us.

These past nine months have also been a tad uncomfortable. People, for the most part have been really supportive. They have asked really good questions, and have even asked how they can pray specifically for us,which has really touched me. A few people have asked really weird questions too...which is another post for another day. I love honesty, but some of the tones and implications behind some of these comments give me pause. Being somewhat uncomfortable is good for me. It has allowed me to really formulate answers and thoughts in my head and not just answer out of pure emotion, etc.

Finally, these past nine months have been filled with Peace, of all things. This has been a surprise to me, but oh so wonderful. I have such a peace about YOU. I love to just sit and think about you. We talk about you so very often. I pray for you. I pray for your mother. I pray for your father. I pray for your country. I pray for us. I pray for our country. I pray that we look to the Lord always as He designs and defines our family, that we will ultimately be His Family.

Nine Months Waiting with Little Lady #1

Nine Months Waiting for Little Lady #2

Monday, April 9, 2012


I have loved your 4th year of life immensely. I love watching you with your friends, at School, at Church, at AWANAs, at Ballet. I often arrive early at these places to pick you up...just to watch you. You love well, Ryann...Unabashedly, Extravagantly, Fiercely. It doesn't matter who the person is, how old they are, what they look like, where they come from, you instantly want to be their friend. I often describe you as aggressively friendly, but I need to change that because that term sounds way too negative because the love you show, my dear, is a love to emulate. You teach us so much everyday. We love you more than words could possibly express. Happy 5th Birthday, dear one.