I cannot believe it’s been 1 year since we received the CALL!

We received the call early in the afternoon and were blessed to see these pictures of Aklil and Embafresu, only 1 month and 1 day old! They weighed 6 lb, 1 oz and 6 lb, 3 oz. We are blessed beyond belief!

These first 2 photos were when they were brought to Hannah’s Hope at 10 days old:

Micah Jean Aklil

Makeda June-Embafresu

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Big Changes for M&M

This is part of our catching up phase (part 3)!

I know I haven’t given an update lately on all of our transition bringing our babies home (since like October), but it seemed our next phase of adjustment was just a gradual thing of getting to feel more and more comfortable in different settings. Then came Thanksgiving! For over 25 years my parents have hosted Thanksgiving for my dads side of the family with 20-30 of us there for the weekend. Once us cousins started getting married we all had to work out a system so that we could have one Thanksgiving together and then the other Thanksgiving year could be with their ‘new’ families. This year, instead of my parents hosting Thanksgiving we went up to Omaha where I have an aunt that is not doing well and has a serious debilitating disease...

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Baby Dedication

The beginning of November we had a wonderful baby dedication celebration. Jay’s mom flew out from Florida to spend an extended 4-5 day weekend, and my parents came out from Kansas for 3 days to enjoy. Having our babies home 4 months now and feeling like they have done so well at bonding and attaching with us, the grandparents had a blast playing with the babies – and they are at such a fun age for playing!

On Sunday we went to church and had our family, grandparents and 4 very close family friends with us to be a part of this special time. One of our pastors at our church who is such a sweet friend of ours, who also dedicated Jonah to the Lord for us, was able to pray over our children and our family.

We came back to our house and had a great time of celebration and the twins enjoyed all t...

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Come To Me


Today marks the 6 month anniversary since we got THE call for our twins! Yesterday, the twins turned 7 months old. And next week we will be able to say that the twins have been with us longer than they have been with everyone else combined.

Our babies are crawling! And with this, means that we get this indescribable joy of watching them crawl over to us just to get closer to us and be with us. That means they WANT to be with us! I love it! And I’m honored, humbled and overwhelmed some days at being their momma. But wow – I’m their momma and they actually WANT me! I’m sure it’s only a small glimpse of what it must be like for God as He waits for us to willingly, on our own, come to Him and then He scoops us up in His arms and pours His love over us.

My sweet babies are not only crawling but...

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Micah and Makeda


Yes, I know, I know, I know I have not posted for quite some time about our sweet growing 6 month old babies. Life as you can imagine is just a tad busy. But oh, are they precious. We’ve been home 10 weeks and today they are exactly 6 months old.

And I’m sure what you most want is to see is photos – and I am all to happy to oblige as I think they are amazing!!

Yes, he is that serious about his food! And no, she does not want anything to do with solids!

Oh my!

Melt my heart!

It truly is amazing that we’ve been home for 10 weeks. In SO many ways we are all doing well! And there are also those days when life is just plain crazy and I think, God, you are SO going to have to give me strength, I’m exhausted!

We have begun taking our babies to church and they have done mostly well...

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How’s Cocooning Going & What Does it Look Like

As we near 5 weeks home (1 month ago yesterday we arrived home), we often hear the question, “How’s Cocooning Going?” So, I thought it warranted a post.

Overall, it’s been good. For those who know me, you know how much I like to be out with my friends, hosting friends and just getting out of the house. That has all changed. However, there have been a few things that have helped my sanity level:

1. Walks in the neighborhood and to the park. In the first 2 weeks, we probably went for about 9-10 walks.

2. On a particularly rough day in the first two weeks, my husband came home from work and I promptly handed him one of the babies and said I’m running a few errands – be back in an hour...

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Three Weeks Home


Wow – what a whirlwind the last 3 weeks has been! The days seem to go on forever and are so long, and then I’m amazed at how fast 3 weeks has gone. There has been so much growth and change over the last few weeks and I’d love to share some highlights along with many pictures as I know that is what you want to see!!

Here’s what we’ve learned and where we’ve seen some progress!

daddy – doing devotions on the couch – but now with four


– the day after we got home Micah rolled over for the first time (they both tried all week in Ethiopia while I was with them, and I sat with a video camera hoping to catch the moment if Jay couldn’t be there to see it himself – and they never did)

– Micah is no longer sick! YEA – Which means no more congestion, runny nose and projectile vomiting!

– Micah ...

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2nd Trip – Welcome Home at the Airport


After our long incredible journey, we were never so thankful as we were to see the mountains of Colorado out the airplane window! Home sweet home! And what a rush of emotions. Our babies are home, I get to see my husband, my older boys get to meet the twins, we’re home, everyone gets to see the twins, we’re home, we’re now a family of 6, we’re home!

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, but when we did get off the plane, Tara and I made a stop at the bathroom to get Micah out of purple small pjs and into his coming home outfit, get our sweet girl into her sweet outfit and out of just a onesie, and both Tara and I were so ready to get out of our stinky clothes before seeing everyone! When we walked out Jay and the boys were waiting to meet us and it was such a precious time...

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2nd Trip – Coming Home

et28ethiopia 0062

This was truly a journey like none other I’ve ever been on. 2 adults – 2 babies – 30 hours of bus ride, airports, plane rides and car ride home. As we started out we talked about how important humor was going to be, because if we did not have the humor we’d probably be in tears. I so wish I had a picture to show what we looked like at the beginning of our flight home with all our luggage and babies strapped to us. I’ll try to paint a picture – 3 pieces of luggage weighing 48-49 pounds each, 2 small suitcase carry-ons, 2 small backpacks on our back and 2 sweet babies strapped on the front of us in carriers (with their little blankets wrapped around them, and the burp cloth in between their face and our chest).

leaving Ethiopia

This was the result:

1 diaper blowout

1 baby bottle rolling dow...

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2nd Trip – Day 6


What a busy day – our last day in Ethiopia before heading home! Since Tara had never been to Ethiopia before and had pretty much only been in the hotel room, airport and Embassy office, I really wanted her to get out a little bit. So another adoptive family was going shopping and I made sure Tara went also to check everything out. With her being gone for 3 hours, another adoptive family there thought that since they had ‘only’ one baby, they’d come by and give me company for a little while in case I needed help with the twins. Thank you Boersma’s! Their sweet boy had been at Hannah’s Hope just a few weeks longer than our twins. They had a fun time playing with each other and being around other babies!

Shortly after they left to put their baby down for a nap, our friend Yoseph (who works w...

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