This poor blog has been sorely neglected this month.

We've been enjoying finally having both of our kids home this year.  For the past two Christmases we've been waiting for a referral.  (The first Christmas believing that it could happen quickly and the second Christmas wondering if it would ever happen.)

And River has been sick.  A lot of people have been sick lately, but whatever River has is dragging on.  He's not eating.  He spends all day watching Curious George and drinking water.  He just isn't himself.  He's losing weight.  We've already been to the doctor twice and we're going again after Christmas.  We'd appreciate prayers that he would just get better.

Willow is doing great.  She's walking and she's into everything.  Especially the Christmas tree.  She learned how to say "No," because she hears it 50 times a day when she rips ornaments off the tree.  She's saying more words every day.  She's more snuggly than ever before.  She's sleeping through the night (thank you JESUS!) and as long as she gets to sleep on her schedule and her teeth aren't hurting... she is incredibly happy and easy-going.  We've had so much fun with her this month.

When we came home with her and the adoption "journey" was finally over, we kind of wondered what we would do next.  Things had been exciting for a long time- although not necessarily a good kind of exciting for a while- but we just wondered what we'd do next.  

It seems like every week a new opportunity is presenting itself.  Right now, I don't know how we're going to have the time or money to do all of the things that we could do in 2013.   

There is a small group of mommies trying to bring the Welcoming Angels program to Indiana.  We'd love to do this and bring an older child from Ethiopia to live in our home for four weeks.   The idea is to expose the child to a loving family and expose your family, friends and church to older child adoption.  A win-win.  The children would be in Indiana from the end of May to the end of June.  The children would be adoptable, and if they aren't adopted by someone they meet while they're here they go onto the waiting child list with AWAA.  So they would find a family one way or another.  

There is an opportunity to go to Belize in August with our church.  We would be able to work in a new orphanage there. 

We are in touch with a contact in Ethiopia right now who is helping us to learn more about the government orphanage and real ways that we can help there.  They are on the verge of losing the only nurse they have and we'd like to make sure they can keep her.  And we're looking into other big-impact, long-term ways that we can improve the conditions for the children who are stuck there.  I don't know where we are headed, but I know this will be a big focus for us next year.

And of course... we're already thinking ahead to Wade baby #3.  Where will he or she come from?  And when?  River says that he wants two more babies- a brother and a sister.  And he wants them to come from my belly.  He and I are not on the same page about this.  

I wonder a year from now, looking back on this, how these things will have worked out?  

Right now, we're focusing on the final days of the I Drive Ethiopia campaign for our friend David.  Over $6,000 has been raised to help him to purchase a van.  In the US $6,000 would buy a van... but unfortunately vehicles are much more expensive in Ethiopia (I believe vehicle tax is 200%).  We're hoping to raise $15,000 to buy a 20-year-old van, so that David can start his own business.  You can help by contributing and/or sharing the campaign on Facebook or Twitter.  See the campaign here:  I Drive Ethiopia.

So that is probably it until after Christmas.  We have presents to wrap, movies to watch, Christmas lights to drive past and finally a little bit of snow to play in. 

Merry Christmas! 

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