Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I have seen many profile pictures change over the past couple days showing my fiends support, or disagreement with same sex marriage. I have also read post after post about how this matter is"unfair","unequal","just wrong" I have read those comments about both sides "a same sex relationship should have the same rights as one man and one woman"..."it is just wrong to allow same sex marriage" and so on and so forth...what I am amazed by is how offended everyone is becoming when someone disagrees with their opinion, their whole world is all of a sudden unfair! And we begin to forget that we are all neighbors!

Well WELCOME TO MY WORLD! Life is NOT fair, if it were there would be no room for growth in any way, no way to practice patience, love, forgiveness. I have been screamed at, beaten down, sent to the hospital, made horrible decisions, been judged by my decisions, had other parents judge my children based on appearance, had someone tell me they "hate my child", and I could go on and on...what is fair about a life full of feeling hated by the outside world? Parents of children with extra needs know where I can coming from it is a day to day battle with almost everyone around me!!!! I have to walk through the mud in order to get why shouldn't everyone have to as well?

The difference in a Christ followers life vs someone who has yet to meet him really should be our response to the unfair!!!!!!! And our fierce protection of people all around us in all walks of life!

The last time that I checked Jesus was very clear of the greatest commandment..."love The Lord our God with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, and the second is like it, LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF...

Now a sin is a sin but I will love each and every person that walks into or out of my life to the best of my ability! I will not change that love based on life choices, past or present sins. So I challenge my friends to MAKE SURE you are loving all those around you EVEN those with a different opinion on this current hot topic!

Monday, March 25, 2013

The privilege of the challenge...

Our normal is about to be redefined again...this is one of the last "tube free" photos of my precious little Selah that there will be for the next 6-8 months. Unless she takes it out more often then expected. At some point today I will watch as the nurses hold her down and insert a tube threw her nose into her stomach. Our new schedule Will be something along the lines of 5 feedings, first mix a bottle and offer it to Selah give her 20 mins to try to drink it, whatever is not taken orally will be tube fed. I will be taught how to insert the tube myself and how to prepare, measure, and give her food. The allergist that we saw today wants her food free for the next YEAR...needless to say I am getting another opinion, we will be trying to schedule with Dr Brown at CHOP who knows a ton about FPIES (even the pediatrician today said to talk to this Dr to get a better plan!). GI is not in agreement with the feeding tube but the fear with out it is that we will be spending a ton more time in the hospital hooked up to an iv and the feeding tube will prevent that.

This is NOT a worst case senecio, I can think of a lot worse situations that parents and children have had to endure! This honestly isn't my fist choice but please know that I believe this is not Gods back up plan for Selah, I fully believe that this is part of her journey that only God can use for GOOD! I believe that this sweet little lady has already touched so many people here at CHOP! Everyone loves hearing about her big sister in Ethiopia! And are impressed with all of her "skills" LOL, she has made  everyone who has met her smile, and we all know how much a smile can change our day!!!

So in conclusion, I refuse to allow this bump in Selahs journey create a mountain in mine! I will be her nurse/mommy/advocate for as many years as it takes! For anyone saying that this is just "not fair" I challenge you...for I truly believe that my children walking with challenges now will know how to make a huge impact later pulling from their paths! This food challenge is a privilege that God knew Selah and the Fasnacht family could and would handle!

Being asked to take on the challenges is our pleasure and we thank Jesus that He has asked so much of us!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Thankful to obey...

Today Selah had her one year re-evaluation for early intervention. I honestly cannot say enough GREAT things about this program! I believe that it has helped my children in more ways then I have time to discuss in this post! If anyone would like info on it PLEASE just ask me!!!

Anyhow...During this evaluation a random thought popped into my head, that thought started to roll around and before I knew it I had a mondo sized thought process going on that is almost confusing!

The thought..."I am thankful for the OT services that Selah has received", the reason that she has these services was because we were willing to have her evaluated. I am thankful that I was taught as a child to obey...

see how I make myself crazy daily...

This "thought walk" really got me processing the idea of listening to saying YES to God. Being an obedient follower of Christ. What if I would have said "No" to the idea of early intervention in my children's lives? Would they be as well adjusted? be able to deal with all the sensory we encounter on a daily bases? be able to talk, walk or fully function? Maybe...would it have been as smooth a process as it was with the help of early intervention? why WHY would we choose to say NO to anything that God would ask of us? To intentionally walk our paths at our own speed instead of Gods? I mean God wants what is BEST for US, I want what is BEST for my CHILDREN.

So if I would have been fully aware that my children needed help and chosen NOT to help them they would suffer, and so would we...Just like being fully aware of what God is asking of us and us STILL saying no, we  would suffer BUT SO WOULD GOD...He would/is hurt when He asks things of us and we shrug it off, "someone else will take care of that", "oh maybe later", "I could NEVER do that", or maybe "those kids look sad but I cannot adopt".

My mind is still racing and trying to straighten out what God is laying on my heart...these nagging thoughts and images of obedience, and examples of listening or choosing not to...

There is no conclusion to this post, maybe I am writing this only for me, maybe there is someone wrestling with a prompt from God (SAY YES)...maybe it is as simple as someone who NEEDS help for their child but they are embarrassed to ask (No judgement here! 4 out of my 6 kids have received some form of help!). I am truly not sure...


I leave you with this...Isiah 65:11-12
"But you who abandon me, your God,
   who forget the holy mountains,
who hold diners for lady luck
   and throw cocktail parties for sir fate,
Well, you asked for it. Fate it will be:
   your destiny, Death.
For when I INVITED you, you IGNORED me;
   when I SPOKE to you, you BRUSHED me off.
You did the very things I exposed as evil:
   you chose what I hate."

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Be ready for anything...

The speed in which God answered my questions today is honestly baffling...I am used to waiting, comfortable waiting, expect to be waiting. Getting an almost immediate response seems strange.

The questions to others may seem very small but to me they are HUGE! While in Ethiopia IN COURT it was told to us that instead of January 1 2001 being our daughters birth date it was actually November 15 2002! Meaning that she had just turned 10!!!! Now the question at hand was about the CDC requirements for an 8 weeks test period if it started at age 10 or after age 10. My caseworker was quite sure that it was at age 10 so the Truth would HAVE to wait an EXTRA 8 weeks!!! The adoption worker and I also discussed the time frame for our return trip to Ethiopia and she was quite shocked that the WACAP employee in Ethiopia was insistent that we would be back within two months to BRING TRUTH HOME (being that our adoption worker here believed that there needs to be an EXTRA 8 weeks). Well I returned from picking my nephew up to find an email! In the email it said this...

         "Children over 10 years of age are subject to an extended TB test (8 weeks) by the US Embassy. You said her age was changed to 10 years. Thus, she should not be subject to that testing period. (hmmmmm.) Combined with the information that surgery is suggested, your case could very well be expedited. I know Ato Teklu will work hard on your behalf for that."

DON"T YOU JUST LOVE THE "hmmmmmmm" lol...God is going to totally challenge WACAP's way of thinking! They have WATCHED as HE has moved mountains (the woman who would not allow us to have Truth being replaced), they have SEEN the dedication and patience that we have had to bringing Truth home and they will WITNESS God's amazing plan for this special little lady!!!!!!

Our worker ended the email with the words "Be ready for anything!"

Gotta love it when God sends you an email ;)!!!! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

The storm...

The is attempt first was forever deleted and has me slightly discouraged beginning this one. I am attempting to fumble through and put words to emotions that are indescribable...

Today started as all of our visits have began, we arrived at the WACAP house to discover that Truth was hiding waiting for us to find her. We watched the now familiar videos of her brothers and sisters back home, we completed a puzzle, talked about Hagos and just excited as a family. This now familiar child of mine sat cuddled against her Daddy as though she has always been there, our way of communicating is very fluid and feels comfortable, I feel towards her as I do all of my children a great feeling of love, pride, worry, ect all rolled together. That is what makes this visit so hard.

That comfortable feeling of family is about to be ripped from under her ow secure feet.  I am going to  crush this little girl and there is no way around it. Through some of the nannies we tried to explain that this was our good bye for now visit and mommy and daddy were leaving...the look on her face was enough to send the entire room of adults into tears. She was unbelievably upset and try as she might to hold back the tears her eyes swelled over and over. This little lady who so easily slid into our hearts was now clinging for dear life to her daddies neck, begging with her eyes for us to go to bat for her and take her with us. The joy that had filled this beautiful little face had vanished left were dark eyes and trembling lips...the drive away was some of the worst pain I have yet to experience.

The adoption went quickly, we were the second family called. In the judges room the immense joy of the adoption collided with the intense grief Ryan and I were still feeling and made for a very emotional Mommy and Daddy when the judge stated that the court approves our adoption and from this day forth Hirite is our daughter!

We were invited out to coffee with the WACAP staff member here in the city. During that time he explained that he has worked with the court a long time and that he will work hard to get Hirite home sooner rather then later! He thinks that with her medical conditions he will be able to have them move along faster. He promised to go and spend the day with Hirite tomorrow so that if she has questions or wants to talk he will be there for her. He also shared with us his email address and encouraged us to email often and that he would get the messages to Hirite!

As we get ready to leave Ethiopia we are faced once again with this strange storm of emotions we are beyond excited to see our children in the states but are devastated to be leaving one behind...

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The beginning of the end...

The beginning of the end...

Today was so ordinary and wonderful that I almost forgot that I was visiting my soon to be adopted DAUTHER in a far off country. She greeted us with smiles and hugs. I complimented her on adding a glitter top coat to her pink nail polish and she promptly ran from the room and returned to add sparkles to my nails :). We colored together, played toss, and enjoyed teaching each other our languages. She thinks that Ryan's arm hair is haliraious and loves my hair! We were even blessed with the oppurnity to eat lunch today with her...she was very insistent that we tasted all of her food from her fingers ;). She played all of our videos over and over again. She especially loves the videos of Selah everything about babies she seems to enjoy she was even giggling at the babies when they were crying and was able to settle them down!

My internal peace and joy that felt so wonderful quickly left when Truth said to us (in her language) on Monday we travel to mekelle and then chow Ethiopia...she was so very excited and grinning ear to ear. Today there was no one at the WACAP house that speeks English so th is was all on us...we quickly created calendars of march April may and June and had to rough it to explain the days of the week and dates associated with the days...we then crossed off the first through the eighth and circled the ninth to show that was today...she seemed to actually be following us, she pointed to Monday the eleventh and said "mommy daddy Hirite chow Ethiopia!" is where for the first time, though I am sure not the last, I had to break my daughters heart! I pointed to the eleventh and said "mommy and daddy chow Hirite and Ethiopia"...her expression grew glim and you could see small tears forming and she just looked through me for a minute...when she was ready to give me her attention again I quickly pointed to June (totally GUESS WACAP here is saying May) and said "in June mommy and daddy chow Graham, Everett, Israel, Aurora, Selah and America and say hi Ethiopia and Hirite!" She grew extremely excited and quickly asked (in our own made up way of talking) why her brothers and sisters could not come...then she pointed to March 11 and said "chow mommy and daddy" and then pointed to June and said "hello mommy and daddy...hello mekelle, chow mekelle, chow Ethiopia hello Graham, Everett, Israel, Aurora, and (kiss kiss) my baby Selah!" thanks be to Jesus that she seemed to truly understand that we were leaving without her and then returning to get her. We are quite sure she does not understand the length of time in between but neither do we.

Ou prayer is that Ato Teklu is able to get her paperwork doen ASAP!! And the the court finds favor in uniting us sooner then the typical time frame...and that this precious little lady would miss us terribly but with FULL KNOWLEDGE that we will return for her, as of March 11 she will legally be OUR DAUGHTER and nothing will keep this mommy and daddy from returning for her!

Friday, March 8, 2013


This morning we experienced the need for patience, which God has been teaching over the past few years. Truths specialist appointment was scheduled (which we have learned does not really mean scheduled) at 8:30 we were to be picked up a 8 haha...our ride showed up around 9:15. Though the wait was worth it TRUTH came in through the guest house door full of JOY...she stopped for a moment and then ran to Ryan again with that "only for Daddy grin" that she seems to have! We loaded into the van together and began a long journey to the ENT...

At the ENT we were the only white folks to be seen...and EVERYBODY was staring at the little lady clung to our side ;)...We met a beautiful little girl with a spirit just like Selahs! This little girl kept blowing us kisses and grinning it warmed my heart.

During the test the WACAP nanny kept "translating" what the tech doing the test was saying. The nanny assured us that shewashearing fine and she passed the test. Though Truth was a very good girl and sat very still during the test the results were not great. We were able to speak t the actual Dr who reviewed the results and told us that she has 55% hearing loss in her right ear and 48% hearing loss in her left ear. He believes this is due to her ear drums rupturing from un treated ear infections when younger. He said she will need surgery and sone form of hearing aids. Then he looked at us and said "so do you think you will still take her"...honestly can you believe that the staff here from WACAP and the ENT were worried that we would not be interested in adopting Truth due to having hearing loss! We assured him that the results were fine and that shewashearing daughter...that we have an ENT in the States who will be monitoring her and will perform any needed surgery.

What kind of world is this that two grown men would worry that due to hearing loss a family would not adopt a child? Sadly this is all too true! Kids such as Truth sit on waiting child lists for YEARS and many age out never having experienced the love of a sad that we as a people allow things such as hearing loss, heart defect, drug exposure, HIV to stop us from reading a child's profile, even sadder when a person says that they are not called to adopt. I do not believe that everyone needes to adopt but I do believe that everyone needs to care for those in need! Wether that be your next door neighbor or the little boy you sponsor through compassion BUT do this with your whole heart and with a joyfilled attitude!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Day one...

Today was one if the most incredible days that I will ever have the privilege of experiencing. Meeting an already grown child that God is in trusting me to mother was slightly intimidating...and extremely exciting! Traveling to Ethiopia was easy enough as soon as we stepped into the plane we pretended like we were already in Ethiopia and went off there time...we s basically ate and slept the entire flight  (after they decided the plane that is). Landing we were through the airport and greeted by a wonderful driver holding a sign that said "WACAP Fasnacht"...we were checked into the guest house and spoke to the WACAP employee who said he would pick us up at 2:30 to go see our DAUTHER!!! So we took a nap ;)

Riding over in the hot van that smelled of Ethiopian money, food, and people I tried as hard as I could to take in the environment that we were driving through and not wish the moments we approached the gate to the transition home it took all my self control not to start bawling like a baby! We were takin into a waiting room with some toys a couch a mattress in the floor and a small tv. This is where we were to meet our daughter this was to be where that moment would take place that would forever change my entire family! Then it happened Truth walked in and basically ran into Ryan's arms!!! She embraced him so long and so fully everything about her screamed I want you I need you daddy!! She then turned and grinned a huge grin at me and I got to embrace the child that I have prayed for for years!

We visited with her for about two hours during that time we looked at a lot of pictures...she ran from the room we were in and returned a minute later with the photo album that I had sent for her she then would look form my pictures to hers and repeat as I said each of her BROTHERS and SISTERS names her accent with our words is so sweet it could melt even the hardest hearts! She loved the iPad and all the silly games! She also loved playing volley ball with Ryan! I have the cutest video of them  playing together! We did a puzzle and she beat us both at connect four LOL her version anyway ;).

Leaving was bitter sweet you could see the light dim a bit in her eyes and the questions danced across  her face will they really return? Are they really mine? Is it ok to be happy? It is ok to be sad?

I pray for all my children tonight that they now just how much they are loved by not only us but our Father in Heaven! Only through Gods Great plan did we arrive here when we did and how we did! All thanks and glory belong to Him!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

One Thing...

Recently I have seen some minor shock when people have seen my daughter Truth for the first time. To sum these experiences up I think many of my friends have expected her to be younger. So to be more clear our daughter is somewhere between the ages of 9 and 13 her current birthday (the one used at court) is January 1 2001 which would age her at 12. When we started on this road to Truth our first thought was that the child that God had for us may be between the ages of 3 and 7 BUT God had a much different much better plan in place for our family! We gave our specifics to our adoption social worker and the SAME WEEK were matched with Truth. The phone call was a little like this..."Danielle I have a child that we feel would be a great match for your family, you need to keep an open mind though because she is a bit older then what you has asked for...she is 9"...then Patty went on to explain that WAY BACK when I had called and inquired about the Ethiopia program through WACAP the program director had flagged this little girl FOR US that if we would pass all the checks and she would still be waiting then they would present her to us!!!! If that is not the hand of God in this I don't know what is.

Most people can relate to the excitement of bringing home a newborn or infant even a toddler. There are so many first that you can experience, you get to mold and shape them from the beginning  I believe it is harder for most people to put themselves in my shoes and share in my excitement . I in total honestly almost feel more humbled that God is trusting me with an already formed child! I don't get much say in her personality, I missed all her firsts, I missed the tiny toes and giving her a bath BUT I have NOT missed the most important part of being a parent. 

What is the most important part of being a parent? In my opinion it is not building their self esteem, insuring that they have worldly things, that they do well in school or sports, or that they have the "best" of everything because you can have it all and yet miss so much! In my opinion the very most important part of being a parent is teaching them HOW MUCH they are LOVED BY JESUS! The world is a painful place and the only TRUE WAY to find peace and healing is through the faith that no matter what Jesus is here and will NEVER walk away...and it is NEVER too late to teach this. So yes I missed most of her childhood but I get to experience the BEST part of being her parent!

The song "One Thing Remains"...sums it up really well :)