Today we had a letter sending party to raise awareness for our Both Hands Fundraiser Project. Thanks to our family and friends for helping us with this. The total number of letters sent was 381!
I’ve always enjoyed World music - Nigerian genres like Afrobeat and Juju, in particular.  So to get better acquainted with Ethiopia, we’ve been exploring the country's music – specifically, the Ethiopiques series produced by French record label Buda Musique. This series features  music from Ethiopia's numerous regions. We currently have volumes 4 and 7 – the former features Ethio-Jazz from Mulatu Astatqe while the latter features the work of vocalist Mahmoud Ahmed. Both are great in their own way. Volume 4 is strictly instrumental - an ominous sound that paints a murky picture with its surplus of horns, driving piano rhythms,  and subtle guitar treatments. Volume 7 is nice because, musically, it has a similar sound and feel to 4, but it’s layered with the eerie and desperate vocals of Mahmoud Ahmed, one of the country’s most renowned singers.

I will admit that Ethiopian music might not be everyone’s cup of tea, although, Brandy and I instantly felt connected to it. Much like the food, I can see it being an acquired taste. Discovering new music is one of my absolute favorite things (just ask Brandy). But this is so much more. This music tells of a place halfway around the globe - a place that our baby girl calls home for now.

As of today we have been waiting for our referral for two months!  The expected wait for a referral is 7 - 11 months, but recently families have received referrals as quickly as six months (as in four months from now!). 

We have seen other families put up cute pictures of their kids holding up signs with the numbers of the months they've been waiting... so we thought we'd give it a try.  Obviously, other people have kids that are cooperative.  The above collage is what happens at our house.

We are currently tied with three other families at #18 on the list

Correction!  We're tied for #17!

Both Hands Update - We had a great meeting last night!  Thanks to everyone who showed up! 

For our letter-mailing friends:
Bart and Lori are currently at 40 addresses and Tonia is at 42. 
Stiff competition!  We can't wait to see who wins!

We are having a short introductory meeting for our Both Hands project Tuesday October 26th at 7 pm.  It will only take 30 minutes.  If you are interested in helping us with this project please come by!  We can not have enough help!  Send me an email if you need directions BrandyDWade@gmail.com. 

If you're reading this and don't know us very well or think that you wouldn't be much help, come to the meeting anyway! 

Tim and Angi Cooper - Bloomfield, Indiana
We first met Tim and Angi in the Orphan and Adoption Ministry Sunday school class at Linton First Christian Church.  We have taken very different paths to our adoptions, but somehow managed to end up right behind them on the America World waiting list for Ethiopia.  Tim and Angi are also requesting a baby girl.  We hope to travel with them to Ethiopia and bring our babies home to Greene County together.

Charlie and Laura Herwehe - Indiana
Charlie and Laura Herwehe have three biological daughters and recently received their referral for an adorable baby boy in Ethiopia.

Dave and Jody Bosman - Highland, Indiana
Dave and Jody decided to begin their family through adoption.  They are currently in the paperchasing stage and requesting a boy (0-2 yrs) or siblings (0-4 yrs). 

Joe and Sarah McDaniel - Indiana
Joe and Sarah have five children.  Four biological children and a son they brought home from Ethiopia in March 2010. 

Jason and Stephanie Webb - Plymouth, Indiana
Jason and Stephanie have two daughters, Eowyn (6) and Phoebe (4).  Their dossier arrived in Ethiopia on October 8th and they are requesting a baby boy.  Jason is a pastor and Stephanie is a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom.  They are doing a coffee fundraiser!

Jason and Kelly Ulm - Westfield, Indiana
Jason and Kelly have three biological children and an 8-month-old son, Isaac, who came home from Ethiopia in August. 

Eric and Billie Grant - Northeast Indiana
Eric and Billie have five biological children- four boys and one girl.  In July they recieved their a referral for a 3 1/2 month old baby girl and are currently waiting on a court date. 


Your current odds of winning a brand new $600 Apple iPad are
1 in 17!

We wanted to thank all of you who have donated so far to our iPad fundraiser! 

We are hoping this fundraiser will cover the 3rd installment of the program fee, which is $1500 (a fraction of the approximately $12,000 we'll need before completing this adoption).  To purchase your $10 ticket for the drawing click on the Our Fundraiser link above. 

Thank you Greg and Teressa!  Thank you Chelsea Wells- you'll never know how much we needed that boost that day. 


Later in this project we'll be asking for sponsorships through letters sent by ourselves and our volunteers.  100% of  those donations come to us in the form of an adoption grant - helping us fund the last portion of our adoption.  In return for the grant we'll be receiving, we pledge to spend an entire day (along with a large team of volunteers) making repairs to the home of a widow.

Helen Carroll has agreed to be our widow.  Many of you may know Helen from Linton schools and CVS.  Some of you may know one of her eight children.  Her daughter Tonia Johnson is my best friend in the entire world.  The best friend anyone could ever ask for.

In high school, the Carroll kids were constantly stereotyped.  The name Carroll brought to mind pictures of pretty girls with brown hair who get straight A's.  I know they hated to be lumped together... but when one sibling after another makes straight A's... people start to talk.  And the Carroll kids were all such GOOD people.  They never got into trouble and they were always so nice.  I've always thought of them, as a whole, as a kind of phenomenon...  How is it possible for eight children in one family to turn out so well? 

Since Tonia and I became friends, about twelve years ago, I have seen for myself exactly how all eight turned out so well.  It was fantastic parenting. 

Tim and Helen Carroll were the kind of parents that you see in a movie, but hardly exist in the real world.  They had high expectations for all of their children, but not unrealistically high.  Their children always respected them and wanted to make them happy.  I think every parent sets out to raise their family this way, but I've never seen one so successful.

Tim and Helen have worked hard.  Helen works two jobs right now. 

The Carroll's are a close and happy family.  There are seven grandchildren with an eighth on the way.  They are great people.  They are beautiful, wonderful people. 

They lost Tim, suddenly and unexpectedly, on March 4, 2010.  Tim was the center of the family, and losing him sent them reeling.  It's been a hard year for them.  My heart breaks for Tonia.  Tonia, who always knows the right thing to say to me... now I have no idea what to say to her. 

After all of the years of raising kids and working multiple jobs, the Carroll house needs some work.  Having this project come our way, is such a perfect fit, it seems like it must have been planned by God from the beginning.  Our need for help with our adoption and Tonia's mom's need for help with her home.  There must have been a bigger plan at work than we couldn't have seen ourselves.

Tony Kluesner has been so very kind and generous to lead our construction endeavors on this project.  Thank you so very much, Tony.  I hope that we are able to do something tremendous for Helen's house.  I hope that she is blessed by this experience more than we are. 

If you are reading this and you think that you would like to be involved in any way... please don't be shy.  We NEED help.  Lots and lots of help!  Right now, what we need most are people who are willing to be letter mailers for us.  We're going to have a 1/2 hour initial meeting at our house during the week of October 25th, and then we'll have an envelope stuffing party on the following Saturday. 

Now, I have to close this with a bit of a disclaimer: whenever I write something long and heartfelt, I send it to Tonia for editing.  So this time I was on my own, and I must apologize to Tonia for my creative use of the comma and I'm sure many other errors.  And I want to say thank you Tonia for everything... I can't imagine life without you.  I love you.

Stories from families who have already helped widows and orphans with the Both Hands project:  http://bothhandsfoundation.org/stories/

Post Your Adoption Fundraiser Here is helping get the word out about our iPad raffle and coffee sales! 
We are going to have a booth at the Beta Sigma Phi's Annual Holiday Bazaar Saturday, November 6th at Linton-Stockton High School in the auditeria from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm.  We are going to sell handmade crafts of all kinds to raise money for our adoption expenses.

We know that lots of you make lots of cool things.  If you are willing to donate one or two items for us to sell, please let us know.  100% of the proceeds will go toward our adoption expenses (for a list of those expenses see the "Our Fundraisers" page).  Contact us at BrandyDWade(at)gmail.com or LEWade(at)gmail.com.

If you like our blog, please pass it on!  Post this link www.ourethiopiandaughter.weebly.com on facebook or send it in an email!  Thanks!