Friday, October 31, 2008

24 hours from now...

We will be leaving for Denver International Airport to get on a plane and head to Ethiopia. We finally get to meet our son! Even though we have so many pictures, both Aaron and I wonder what he will really look like. Every photo is so different, and one knows that a picture doesn't begin to capture the countenance of a child. We can't wait to hold him and see him and kiss him!

One thing we can tell from the photos that have been coming since we first saw his picture 3 1/2 months ago ... he is changing. His personality is growing and changing. They have told us that he is much much happier than when he arrived at the home. That is evident in his pictures! We can't wait to have him home so his personality can be molded even more by a family that loves him!

Just look for yourself ....

Here is the first picture we saw of him....

3 1/2 months later ....... 24 hours before we leave to pick him up .........

So cute! :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Please Pray Over our Trip

Dear Friends and Family. I am posting this here so that everyone knows what we are up to, and the best way (at least that we know of so far) to be praying for us while we are gone. We covet your prayers greatly! (Keep in mind that Ethiopia is 9 hours ahead of MST.)

Saturday 11.1.08 Leave Denver at 11:15 am
Layover in Calgary. Leave Calgary at 7:15 pm
Layover in London.
Sunday 11.2.08 Leave London at 10:15 am (their time)
Monday 11.3.08 Arrive in Addis Ababa at 2:35 am. (Fun times...although, that is actually
5:35 pm on Sunday 11.2 for those of you in Boulder) :)
Meet Malachi in the afternoon for the first time !!!!!!
Tuesday 11.4.08 Fun day of paperwork, then some shopping in the market then.......
GOTCHA DAY!!! We go back to the transition home (where Malachi is) and
this time, he comes with us for good!!!! Pray he likes us and that over the next few days, he bonds enough to feel safe with us on the plane ride home.
Wednesday 11.5.08 Head to the Embassy to finish up all of our paperwork. Please pray today
for all of this to go smooth. This is where mistakes will happen if they are
going to happen, which is just no good.
Thursday 11.6.08 We have to go to the German Embassy Thursday morning to file for a transit
visa. Apparently, they are concerned that 1 year old Ethiopians are a threat
to their airport or something. :) Anyway, this is a HUGE prayer request here.
We have a small window of time to obtain our German Visa. Pray the window
stays open long enough and that all the paperwork b/wn the US and German
Embassies come together in the right time so we can leave the country when
We then head to the orphanage where Malachi came from, then on to another
orphanage. This is going to be so hard for our hearts. Aaron and I feel it
already.....we can't take any more of them with us right now.
Friday 11.07.08 Just a fun, low key day. We can shop, we can explore, we can sleep, whatever.
Again, pray for rest, health, and bonding.
We check out of the hotel and head to the airport.
We leave Ethiopia at 10:45 pm. Pray for sleep on the plane home (for us and
Saturday 11.08.08 7 hour layover in Germany
Arrive in Denver at 3:25 pm !!!! (Don't be fooled....that is 22 hours later than
when we left Ethiopia!!!)

So, aside from all of the daily tasks .... here are a few more ways you could pray for us.

1) Pray for our kids health. Sam has had a funky stomach thing for over 2 weeks now. It is making it very hard for me to leave him. I think it is his little way of showing the stress he feels in all of this. Did I tell you I'm struggling leaving him??? We've never left the kids for this amount of time. And upon our return, Sam has to, for the first time in his 4 1/2 years, adjust to a younger sibling. He's not the baby anymore. :(

2) Pray that Aaron and I stay healthy in Ethiopia. It's pretty common to get sick there, but pray if we do- that it is mild and quickly overcome.

3) Pray that we can sleep on our flights, and adjust quickly to ET time.

4) Pray for strength for those who are watching our kids. Pray a special blessing into their life for doing such a huge thing for us. Pray also that the kids transition well between the 4 different people caring for them throughout the week.

5) Between now and Saturday morning - pray that as a family of 5, we enjoy our time with each other, have peace in our home and with each other, love each other, and get done everything that needs to get done so we can come home and be a family of 6 !

Thanks again for being part of this with us! We couldn't do it without support and prayer ... of which we have had an overflowing amount of. It's almost over! (Then our need for support and prayers change...but we'll save that for another day. :) )

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Guess How Many Bags....

So, I've been fooling everybody telling them that I'm not organized at all, and nowhere near ready to pack. HAHA. Gotcha! Really, I'm way too Type-A, and am actually incredibly organized. Are my things in bags yet? No. But they are separated into piles ready to be packed. I did this so that I could pack AROUND the formula we are wanting to take. So, here is what we have.....

Malachi's Stuff -

Donations - (Our donations include many things, from Scrubs to children's clothes, to toys, to formula, to diapers, to the beautiful quilts (stacked up in the back) that my sister's quilt group made for these little ones.)

The most important of the donations, however, is the formula. We have been told by our director that there is a severe shortage of formula in Ethiopia. It can't even be bought, it's no where to be found. Can you imagine that in the states?? It just wouldn't happen. So, we are going to do what we can to help. Actually, what my parents Sunday School Class can do. They were gracious enough to send us a check to cover 8 cans of formula (16 technically, as they are the extra extra large cans), 1 box of diapers (which there is also a shortage of, but we figured formula is a bit more of a necessity) plus pay for the bag to get it there! (A whopping $180!!!) We also received 12 other cans of regular sized formula cans from a friend who's neighbor works in pediatrics. They get lots of samples!

Toiletries - (Yes, yes I did splurge and buy the travel size of EVERYTHING. Really, who wants to be packing their shampoo and hairspray and toothbrush the morning you are trying to get out the door?? Not me! I want to be done by Thursday and ready to walk out the door Friday if they call and tell me my plane is leaving 24 hours early! Will this happen? Of course not. But I still splurged! Besides, it takes up less room.)

We have a snack pile too, which isn't complete yet, so I didn't photo it. But, all it all, here is what we've got.....

So, other than our clothing (which I will try to pack as light as possible....very hard for the woman who packs the kitchen sink when we leave for church on a Sunday morning), that's our "luggage".

Now, do you remember that game you played as a child? The one where you had to guess how many button's were in a jar? Then it evolved to how many jelly beans were in a jar? Well, now it will again evolve. How many suitcases will it take for us to get this all there? If you win, you get ... um, nothing. If you lose (which there will be many of you), you have the penalty of paying for the extra bag that it really will take! :)

Off to pack.........

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


So, I've been told that blogger doesn't work in Ethiopia. I was told to do something on my dashboard in regards to email-send-to-blogger-setting-something-or-another-form-of-greek-to-me. So, I'm testing it to see if I learned greek in the last 5 minutes. This wasn't even on my to-do that'd be pretty cool if it works, so I don't have to add to my to-do list to find someone to do this for me.

K, I'm going to attach a picture of Malachi too, to see if that works too. I know, I'm getting all fancy....

Here goes...............

Monday, October 20, 2008

Just to mess with them....

Every couple of days a similar story happens ....

Tonight while at the grocery store check out lane, one of those automatic coupons printed out. Mine printed out one for infant formula. He asked if I wanted it. "Yes", I replied. He asked if I had a little one at home. I told him I had one on the way.
"Oh, really? When are you due?", he asked.
"November 1st". I said.

HAHAHAHAHAHA. I know, I'm so mean, but it's just too funny to me to mess with people on this one. Because what happens next EVERY time, is they look to my stomach with a confused gaze and politely say congratulations.

So while I know I've put on a few "pregnancy pounds" during the adoption, I don't think I look like I'm "due" in 12 days. So, I proceed to tell them that I'm adopting from Ethiopia. They usually feel rather awkward at this point.

Very fun.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Introducing Malachi Abel "Baby Man" Britton

On October 16, 2008 an Ethiopian Judge showed favor on our case and granted that you officially are our son. Malachi Abel Britton!

We will be coming for you November 1st. We can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our God is Mighty To Save.

We Love you Malachi! (We hope you like us!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Another woman in my YG challenged us all to list on our blogs what we are thankful for. In the midst of the heartache, waiting, pain, loss, frustrations, etc..... placing our focus on all God is and has done is going to get us much farther than the inward self focus.

1Thes. 5:18 - in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus

Here goes:

1) I'm thankful that His mercies are new everyday (every moment really)
2) I'm thankful that He knows and plans and guides my steps.
3) I'm thankful for the mountains in all their beauty.
4) I'm thankful for a roof over my head, and at least 1 car that works.
5) I'm thankful that I never go hungry, nor does my family.
6) I'm thankful to live in America.
7) I'm thankful that God has Malachi planned for our family.
8) I'm thankful for 3 wonderful children who are so easy to love!
9) I'm thankful for the opportunity to homeschool for today at least.
10) I'm thankful for the journey of life ... in all it's messiness.
11) I'm thankful for friends.
12) I'm thankful for family.
13) I'm thankful for technology.
14) I'm thankful that I belong to a solid church, with a pastor who preaches the truth, and a really hot worship pastor. (Um, the worship pastor is my hubby for those who just grew concerned.)
15) I'm thankful for those who make us part of their "family".
16) I'm thankful for those who take the time to mentor me ... I'm a mess!
17) I'm thankful for coffee and red wine (and margarita's if I'm being honest).
18) I'm thankful that God knows who is going to win the election.
19) I'm thankful that my husband has a safe hobby of playing play station and watching sports .... I'm thankful that he is healthy, strong, provides for us, and loves me to the ends of the earth despite the fact that I'm crazy.
20) I'm thankful for music that lifts my soul, music to dance to, and music to put the children to sleep.
21) I'm thankful for fall, and that my house decor matches fall!
22) I'm thankful for this wait, and that I'm not ever alone in it.

Your turn ..... GO !!!!!!! (Leave a comment if you do this so I can take a look at your list. Maybe it will remind me to add something to mine!)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Heavy Heart

Do you ever get to that point where your heart is so heavy, that you don't even know how to feel anymore? Maybe that's just an issue I have, since I'm rather heartless most of the time. :) Whatever though, that's where I'm at. All I know, is that these things called "tears" just keep coming out at random times with no rhyme or reason or advance notice given. What is that??? So, I suppose a "heavy heart" would be the only way I can think of to explain it.

First, there is the obvious - we HAVE to pass court this week in order for us to go get Malachi Nov. 1st as planned. I can't even tell you how afraid I am of this not happening. I realized this weekend that I have a bit of a trust issue here. In my head, I know that God is big and can make this happen. But for some reason, in my heart, I sorta think I haven't learned my lesson yet, so He's going to make me continue to wait. So then, not only do I realize I have a trust issue, but I think maybe God is out to get me ... which means I'm now doubting His goodness as well. Hmmmmm. I should deal with that. Anyway, perhaps that was too much information. My filter gets big wholes in it in the midst of heartache. Back on track .... the waiting in and of itself, the weight of this fear, and the heartache I already feel for if we don't make it through court is so much it hurts.

Second, I received a call yesterday from a dear friend. Her husband, Matt, was in a motorcycle accident yesterday. He had to be air lifted to the nearest hospital (which happens to be 5 hours from their home). They know for certain that he has a spinal chord injury, and are 99 percent sure that he will never walk again. His blood pressure hasn't stabilized enough for necessary surgery to prevent further damage. Oh, they have 3 small children. Again, my heart is just heavy. I don't even know how to pray for them. I can't imagine what she, as a wife and a mom, has to now begin to deal with for the rest of her life. I can't fathom the amount of fear that they hold that has got to be a million times greater than my son having to potentially wait 1 extra month to come home. There is nothing that me, or anyone can do, to make this just go away for them. My heart hurts more.

Third, I just read on my adoption yahoo group, that another family, the Forrest's, lost their precious child to pneumonia over the weekend. Their precious one was in Malachi's home as well. This is the second death in 2 months in his home. I can't imagine the pain they are now sensing of not ever getting their child - not because of a court date, but because of the sting of death. My heart hurts more.

While in my selfish humanism, I desire to curl up in a little ball, keep my eyes focused on my own pain and wallow in it - God pulls me out daily and reminds me that there is a world out there bigger than me and my heartache and my courtdate. He asks me to care for this world, others hurts, and others circumstances. He calls me to pray for it all. I'm thankful that I've not hardened under my hurt. I think that not knowing how to handle the hurts of this great big world, is a much better place to be than not knowing how to handle my own little hurts in my own little world. I find that in the midst of the heaviness of it all, especially the last few days, I don't even know how to pray. I don't know what to ask for. So I rest in remembering that He has given the Holy Spirit to stand in my place with groanings beyond my words. (Romans 8:26)

God has me in a really good, yet even harder place to be .... total and complete surrender. There is nothing I can do to change any of the above mentioned circumstances. There is no possible way in anything I could think, do, or say that will change any of it. There is only the ability to pray, and surrender, and trust. So, the lack of trust issue had to quickly be dealt with, as trust and faith is all I've got right now. I don't feel like the weight of these hurts are too much to bear - I feel broken alltogether by them. And in my brokeness, He is gently reminding me that He is keeping track of all the pieces, and will one day put me back together again, maybe not in the order I think everything belongs ... but sovereignly. He will one day put Matt back together again, maybe not physically ... but sovereignly. He will put the Forrest family back together one day, maybe not completely because their baby is now with Him ... but sovereignly.

Well, there it is .... there is me in my brokenness. Let me tell you what I know.
1) I know God loves me and Malachi
2) I know God loves the Jones and the Forrest Family
3) I know God has a purpose for everything that He does.
4) I know God works all things together for those who love Him.
5) I know He is there in pain, sickness, life and death.
6) I know that there is no where I can go that He is not already there.
7) I know that He will provide a way out from under this heaviness.
8) I know that I can come to Him, as I am weary and heavy burdened.
9) I know that He will provide rest for my soul.
10) I know that He is God, and I most certainly AM NOT.

Pray that what I know will saturate my thoughts and my heart so that I can stand up under it all for the sake of my family, friends and the glory of my God. (And so the tension headaches will go away already. 3 days straight is just silly.) Pray that I no longer allow my hurts to keep me from doing what I need to get done, not just for our up coming trip - but for today even. Pray that I regain my filter. haha

Read the stories of the Jones & Forrest Family, and keep them in your prayers as well.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

To-Do List

My to-do list before leaving for Africa:
1) Stop making lists on the back of receipts
2) Stop throwing away receipts
3) Combine receipts to form one big list
4) Remember to write things on the list
5) Post list on refrigerator
6) Try to remember what I was trying to remember by writing it on the list
7) DO IT

I'm so not a list person, but I'm finding that I won't get out of this part of our journey without one. Thus began my lists yesterday. One for packing, one to-do. It makes me cringe a bit to walk by my list and see all the things on it ... only to add more. BUT, I suppose it's all necessary, and will be worth it in the end. It's just too bad that tying a red string around my finger won't do the trick this time around.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Baby Man

"Baby Man" .... this is your new name according to Sam. Much better than Ronny if I do say so myself.

For some reason, the kids still think that what your name will be is up for discussion. So, last night, Sam decided on Malachi Baby Man Britton.

Just so you know, Sam's nick name (one of them) is "Little Man" ... I think in his determination to not surrender his place as Little Man, he came up with Baby Man for you. Or .... maybe he doesn't think about such things ..... :)

So, see you soon Baby Man!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I don't really know what that title means either ... but similar to last post, it seems to fit! :)

WE GOT TENTATIVE TRAVEL DATES !!!! Our agency sent us an email today stating that we can plan to travel November 1st through November 7th. All I have to say is AAAAGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so overjoyed, overwhelmed, over this waiting thing! :) While these dates COULD possibly change, we pray they don't. Would you please pray the following things over the next 2-3 weeks as we plan this trip :

1) That we would get through our court date as scheduled so we can actually travel on these dates. ( I do not know when our court date is scheduled, but I do know that our tentative dates are planned accordingly, as our agency knows when it is. Don't ask.)

2) That we would be able to use our frequent flier miles.

3) That we would be diligent in all that needs to get done for us to leave. (I'm a bit of a procrastinator, and that probably won't serve me well this month.) Pray that I have a clear head about all that needs to happen, and have the strength and energy and patience to actually do it.

I'll let you know if I think of anything else, because as I told you already, I'm on cloud nine! Meaning, mental clarity has not kicked in yet. I can't believe it's finally coming. We get to go get our baby!!!!!!!!!

WE ARE COMING MALACHI !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Be Still My Heart

I don't know what that title means, but it seemed to fit.

We got an update from Ethiopia today on Malachi. We received reports on his heath and habits. He seems to be doing well. We also got an ADORABLE picture of him. He's sitting in one of those bouncy seats. This cracks me up, as he can sit on his own now. My kids NEVER sat in those bouncy seats once they could sit on their own. Maybe that says something to Malachi's calm and submissive spirit. HAHA Well, a mother can hope. :)

This part cracks me up though ....... as is true to all the Britton children, Malachi has a HUGE head! :) I compared his stats with one of his little friends in the Transition Home right now who is only 1-2 months older than Malachi. hehe..... His friends head circumference: 40.5 cm. Malachi's head circumference : 45.2 cm. For those of you who knew Sam especially - this is hilarious to me!

Anyway, we are hopeful that we will be flying in just over a month ... perhaps even one month from today. Again, a mother can hope, right???