Aberash is Willow's great-aunt.  On April 14th of this year we traveled to Harar and met Aberash in person.  We were able to thank her and hug her and laugh with her.  She is a strong, spirited woman.  She gave Willow the name Temar, which means, "to become educated."  And she is serious about the name.  She is so passionate about Willow having a better life and getting an education that every time I open my mouth to say "Willow" Aberash gets in the way and I say "Temar."  Which has led to some serious confusion as to what our daughters name actually is. 

Aberash is traveling to Addis right now.  It's a long, long journey from Harar.  And tomorrow, Thursday (late tonight, early tomorrow our time), she will appear before the adoption judge in the same place that we went to court while we were there.  She has to give her testimony directly to the judge and she will be very nervous.  She is doing this very difficult thing for us, because she loves Temar and wants her to have a good life.  Aberash is a fighter, but we are asking for prayers to ease her travel, calm her nerves and give her the strength and discernment to tell the judge exactly what she needs to hear.  

We are also praying that this is all that the judge needs and our court decree can be corrected now.  Because we can't be submitted to the US Embassy and we can't be cleared to bring her home until we have a corrected court decree.  The courts will close at the end of July for two months.  So please pray with us that this is resolved before the courts close.  

UPDATE!!  We just found out that the interview has already happened!  We don't know if she arrived early or we were told the wrong date.  But it went perfectly and the judge says that we should have a new court decree by FRIDAY!!  Please pray that they will be able to submit us to the Embassy next week!  This is the best news we could have gotten!  

Aberash was so kind that she brought a photograph of Temar's birthmother for us to have.  We've never seen her face.  We are so grateful to this amazing woman.  Temar really comes from an amazing family.
Our last picture of Aberash as she left to walk home.
The Darling family is an amazing family, whose blog I love to follow.  I first heard their name when they accepted a blind and malnourished baby boy off of our agencies waiting list.  Her blog post, Amazing Grace, describes their adoption of Jamesy and how he is blind no more.

After they came home from adopting Jamesy they told the story of a boy they met on the street in Ethiopia.  They had been shopping in the same district we shopped in and just like us, they had many street children and beggars approach them.  But one boy made an impact on them.  And while most people would have shook it off and left him behind, they wrote about him and talked about him and prayed for him.  She wrote about him in these posts: 

My Answered Prayer
The Other Boy

That was back in March of 2011 and since then they have prayed for him, supported him, even Skyped with him.  They tried every single avenue to adopt this boy, but recently they got word that the door was closed and legally adopting Habi, would never be possible.

So, they moved onto plan B and they are acting quickly.  They are working to bring Habi here, to live with them, on a student visa.  It is expensive, and difficult, and there are no guarantees that he will be approved for the student visa.  He has his visa appointment on July 2nd and they are asking for prayers that it goes well.  They also need to raise another $2,500 to cover the expenses for their agency fees, visa fees, passport fees, birth certificate fees and hopefully... a plane ticket home.

So Angi Cooper and I are offering up these few bracelets and necklaces.  100% of the proceeds will be given to the Darling family.  We ask that if you live outside of our area that you also donate $3 for shipping.   You can use the PayPal button on this blog, just leave a comment to let me know which bracelet you would like.  (Please donate through our blog if you are ordering a bracelet.)  I will continue to sell them until they are all gone, but we only have what you see here.  So if you are interested in something particular, order quickly.  

If you aren't interested in jewelry, but you'd like to donate anyway, you can donate directly to the Darling family here.  

Obviously, I'm not going to win any awards for photography here, but if we sell every bracelet we'll raise $250 for the Darlings!  Help us by spreading this post!
We have three of these made in Kenya bracelets. $12 each
Wooden bead bracelet $12
Button Bracelet- hand made by Angi Cooper with vintage buttons $40
Wooden Circle Bracelet $12 SOLD
Imagine red and black glass bead bracelet $20
Black and White glass bead bracelet $20 SOLD
Red and Silver bracelet $20
Big Brown and Silver bracelet $20
Silver metal necklace with white and purple beads on a black cord $15 SOLD
Silver metal necklace with grey and red beads on black cord $15
Yellow shell bracelet $20
White shell bracelet $20
For months we've assumed we'd be bringing Willow home in June and we've told everyone so.  Now it is clear that we are not bringing her home this month and we're answering the question, "So when are you going to get her?" every day.  So here are a few answers to the questions we're getting everywhere we go.

When are you going?
We don't know.  If everything had gone as planned we'd be there now.  But our paperwork isn't correct and that is a very long story.  Ultimately, we need prayers that our court decree is corrected by the end of July, because the Ethiopian courts close for two months in August and September and we do not want to be stuck here, still waiting, when the courts close.  
What happens now?
We wait.  There is no risk that Willow won't be ours.  She is already officially ours according to Ethiopian law.  But our court decree has to be changed to reflect the true story of her abandonment and all we can do is wait and pray that it happens quickly.
How many dolls do you have?
I don't know.  I know there are a lot.  For certain there are over 200.  Every single doll that comes in is as important as the first doll and I don't feel like an exact tally really matters.  The real answer is, we don't have enough.  We'll never have enough.  We will not run out of orphaned children to hand them to.  So, the answer is, not enough.  Keep them coming.  
This is not all of the dolls, these are JUST the ones from our Linton First Christian Church family. I put the instructions out three weeks ago and every Sunday we've been bringing home anonymous bags of dolls. It's awesome!
How is she doing?
She is great.  She's healthy.  She couldn't sit up at all when we were there two months ago and now she is sitting up without support and she's started crawling.  She is getting bigger in every new set of pictures we get.  
See the purple cabinet behind her? The "cribs" in her room are above those cabinets. The crib walls are only a few inches high. So she sleeps that high off of the ground with walls so low she could crawl over them! And the floor is wooden. No danger there, right?
We used to sit in this chair and hold her every day.




Some very dear friends of ours have a two-year-old son with a type of cancer called Retinoblastoma.  Which was discovered by a friend who noticed that pictures of Carson on Facebook sometimes had a weird red-eye effect.  You can read more about that tell-tale sign here.    

Carson has been going through round upon round of treatment these past few months and tomorrow, Saturday the 16th, there will be a benefit for his medical expenses.  
Roy Clark Community Building
Saturday, June 16th 4pm - 8pm 
Dinner $5 and a Silent Auction
Including: a Brown County getaway to Nashville, Ind., 
Holiday World tickets, Colts Memorabilia and much more...

If you would like to know more about Carson's story, his mom and dad have created a fantastic blog about his journey.  
One of the orphanages we visited had small cut-out pieces of paper hanging by thread over the cribs.  It was a sad consolation to the crib mobiles we're used to seeing, but it was a step in the right direction.  

The infants in these orphanages have such little stimulation, that a mobile to look at over the crib would give their little eyes something to focus on and their little minds something to think about.  

So we've got a few ideas for very simple and very cheap crib mobiles.  These weigh almost nothing and pack completely flat, so packing them will not be an issue.  There is no limit to the number we could take with us.

Here's one that my mom made using an embroidery hoop, ribbon and scrapbook paper.  
Later she found a way to make them using plastic tubes which I think she is melting together with her stove top... sooo... we won't cover that method here today.  But here are several links to other types of mobiles.  
As with all of these projects there is no wrong or right way to make them.  (Unless you are using your stove.)  So take a look at the ideas or come up with your own, it doesn't matter.  

And I know you're going to ask, when do we need them by.  I wish we knew!  We still don't know when we're traveling.  That is a whole separate post that I am not yet in a condition to write.  But you have time.  You have at least a few weeks to get them to us... and I'm afraid you may have even longer as it doesn't look like we'll be traveling soon.

It's hard to stay down for long, when we have dolls and crib toys coming in every day.  Last week we had three boxes delivered in the same day!  A big box of dolls from a Girl Scout Troop in Texas, crib toys and a quilt from New York, and six dolls from Laura who has this cute site: Stitches 4 Missions.
To help make dolls, please read this post.  To make crib toys read this post.  

And stay tuned for Project #3!

Oh!  And we can call this one Project #2.5.  We need old iPhones!  If you have upgraded your iPhone and you have an old one laying around, we met some amazing men in Ethiopia who could use them.  If you are interested I'd love to tell you more about it.  Email me at BrandyDWade (at) gmail.com.