25 June 2011


yesterday was mighty fine all around. we spent a couple hours in the morning and a good part of the afternoon playing blocks and makinas and generally crooning over our sweet babes/kiddos. a formidable storm rolled in early afternoon, pelting the city with ice. i felt right at home. :)

today we'll visit a market and then trek back to the care centers again. it's funny how the jumbled traffic and cacophony of humanity and animals already feels familiar.

and our boy, our dear boy, who giggles and jokes and lights with wonder at the discovery of a pencil eraser--he's such a joy. can't wait for y'all to meet him.


23 June 2011


waking up in addis wears the scent of coffee and dust and miracle.

given the last-minute nature of this trip, i ended up with The Route of Mammoth Layovers, and i'd have to say the easy pace was much kinder to my blood pressure than last trip's sprint through terminals-passport control-visa line.

highlights from the trek over: a chipotle burrito with a party of veggies (and sizeable enough to function as both lunch and dinner during my 7.5 hours in dulles); getting to know my seatmates' stories on the first two flights; receiving an unexpected verbal blessing from an ethiopian grandma (instant tears on my part); spending this morning with other adoptive families in the guest house.

tomorrow those of us newly arrived will have an orientation meeting and spend some time with our children. i'm chomping at the bit.

ps it's not likely i'll be uploading/posting photos while i'm here; i promise to make up for it with a landslide when i return.

pps at breakfast i met a little boy who lived for a few months at the same care center as mine. he kept calling me m's mama, and my heart has been swollen ever since.

21 June 2011

it's time.

[a welcome home quilt for our son. the best kind of surprise.]

leaving for the airport in about five hours. the litany of details that fleshed out and laced together these past three days to make this trip possible is nothing short of astounding.

God is astounding.

please pray that i get on all the right planes, that i'm kind to the people i encounter. that our visa interview on the 29th goes swimmingly. that the smallest kiddo and i can smile through the exhausting trek home together. that we make much of God all along the way.

so many people labored to get us to this homecoming. whoever you are, whatever your hand in this: thank you. see you all on the other side.

17 June 2011

in which God exceeds my wildest hopes.


so apparently y'all know how to pray.

yesterday we received notice that the embassy has cleared us for travel. we've requested a visa appointment for june 29th or 30th, the earliest dates available. we're still waiting for confirmation, and if it's a go i may be addis-bound in about five days.

i'm absolutely floored by how quickly this final stage has come about. i've an estimated seven billion things to do before leaving, but i just may be with our boy this time next week.

and that, my friends, is a whole mountain of miracle.

15 June 2011


we're slipping soft into summer rhythms, filling days slow like honey with equal parts productivity and play.

zee and bee hole up in their rooms or wedge in a couch corner, folded deep in the grip of a novel or tapping out their own plots, lines thickening into chapters that flesh into adventure.

em and elle beg for 'summer school,' and will spend hours happily researching flamingoes or gorillas, constructing sequels for their favorite books, racing through math facts to best their quickest time.

we've whipped up a hearty batch of weeding and cleaning, letter-writing, walks along a thinned-chocolate river, picnics and parks and cheering at the church softball games. the boys love their wii time, but their daily allotment is twenty minutes apiece, which leaves oceans of space for actual get outside and build forts kind of play.

june's highlight thus far was succinctly expressed in the littles' whoop of exultation yesterday afternoon. our case has been submitted to the US embassy in addis, which means we just might be winging off to bring our son home in a few weeks' time. we now wait for travel clearance from the embassy, and then an appointment for our visa interview in ethiopia.

if you will, please pray with us that all of our paperwork is in order and that the reported reduced working capacity of the embassy in july will still make room for all who are waiting. please also pray for our friends who traveled with us in may and are either still waiting to hear that they've passed court, and/or waiting to be submitted to embassy. thank you!

10 June 2011

hoffmaster state park.

so we’re back, and not only do i have pictures, i also bring with me a nugget of camping wisdom for y’all that goes a little something like this: when tent camping, it’s kind of nice not to forget your tent.

i know, right? who even needs to be told that? except apparently i do, and though i have a reasonable explanation for how i managed this glaring oversight, it doesn’t actually matter, because i forgot the tent.

luckily the trusty neighborhood meijer had a small selection of quasi-cheap family tents, so we picked one up on our way in and voila, we are now a two-tent family. (and just think: i have doubled the odds of remembering at least one shelter next time.)

aside from that little bump, a splendid time was had by all*.

our loop of campsites was empty nearly all week, just us and a stand of trees and a night prowler that may or may not have been a polar bear, depending on the enthusiasm of your imagination. (for the record: i think it was likely a deer.)

we had strawberry-marshmallow-cookie-s'mores and forays into little black creek, hot chocolate mornings, hours of sand and a constant wind off the lake that ruffled and soothed us to sleep each night.

we had caterpillar rescue missions, card games, minnow chasing, pool excavating, and a gusty trek along the shoreline of lake michigan. it's not exactly mokuleia, but this stretch of water has got a beauty and grey-frothed allure all its own.

but the thing i like best about camping is how we get to be with our kids. no schedule, no pre-packaged entertainment, just the whole bunch of us together digging pools in the sand.

*so my court-buddy lisa asked how we were holding up during this wait, and i mentioned how everything we do has the air of someone missing. it was true; the whole camping trip i kept picturing our smallest in the flock, or doing the mother-sweep and panicking when i came up one short. please continue to pray with us that we'll be able to return for him soon. thanks, friends.

03 June 2011

week in review. except not really.


'tis the last week of school for the small folk, which means zoo trips and field days and awards ceremonies and popsicle parties and other such happenings that require buckets of enthusiasm/perspiration from the mums and dads.

i'm plum worn out.

still, even in my zombie-ish state, i'm deluged with daily wonders cropping up round about us:


like peonies. (peonies!) if ever i have told you some other sort of bloom was my favorite, i was sorely mistaken. these ruffly gals have wriggled their pink and their frill into my plain-jane heart and have no intention of moving out.

(seriously. like i have to pet them when i see them, they are so irresistible and puffy.)


also: corn on the cob. grilled, bathed in butter, and tied with baker's twine. triple swoon.

and nature walks. the kind that yield baby pinecones that make mum and daughter both puddle inside.



extra-terrestrial flowers that amaze me with their sheer weirdness every spring.


and a first tooth out (finally). which is a mighty good thing, since her big tooth has already shown up in second row seating.

plus also, the tooth fairy actually showed up on schedule, which is a miracle in its own category at chez owens.

first tooth out.

this weekend promises more kid parties and graduations and baby showers and church and packing up for some good ol' lake michigan camping. if we time it right, we even might work in an hour or two of sleep.


ps we still don't have any clearer idea of when we'll head back to ethiopia for our littlest person...eight to twelve weeks from the first trip is what we're told. i promise i shall let you know when we know! thanks for hoping and praying alongside us.