Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Please Pray!!

Sorry I haven't blogged in a while. I was hoping that my next blog would be news of a court date. This morning we received some discouraging news. The official that is in charge of investigating adoptions in the region that the boys are from has been convicted and jailed for corruption. She had apparently taken bribes from an adoption agency to move their process faster. Thankfully, neither our agency our boys are involved in this. Now, all cases in the region that the official covered are stalled. We have no idea how long it will take or what needs to be accomplished before they start hearing cases again. This effects four other families at our agency and many children at the orphanage. Please pray that this resolves fast and we get a court date soon.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fundraising Update 3

I think this could be the final tally but you never know. Looks like your generosity has brought in $9,208 so far. Adding this to the matching grant or $4,000 we have reached a total of $13,208. This may be just enough to cover the rest of our adoption expenses if we can get a good deal on plane tickets. If not, then the Lord will provide. We thank God for ALL of you! Thank you for allowing God to work through you to lift this burden for us.

In Kyle's sermon this weekend, he talked about how we should wait for God actively and expectantly. He balanced this with the fact that we should not get ahead of God and do things on our own. I believe that God has been showing Donna and myself that what this looks like. I pray that we all learn to soar like eagles, allowing the wind (Holy Spirit) to carry us. It is much better to soar than to flap your wings vigorously and grow tired. Kyle's Sermon

Thank you Lord for loving us so much that you gave your one and only Son to die for our sins so that we may live eternally with you in heaven. Praise Jesus!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ethiopian Government goes on Break

We have heard that the Ethiopian government has taken a 1 month break for September. This means we do not expect to hear any progress on a court date until October at the earliest. We will continue to pray for a court date and for their safety.

The Cook Family came home this weekend and brought Charlie and Sam home. They were staying in the same orphanage with Chera and Kenenissa. We think that having some familiar faces here for them when they get here will be special for them. It was exciting to see them at the airport and made us think about the day we will be bringing the boys home. While we anticipate this day we can find comfort in a sovereign God who is in control. Praise Jesus!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fundraiser Update 2

I thought this was worth another update due to the signicance of the change. We have receive another $2,415 bringing our total to just under $7,000 raised. I know there is still more coming in so God is not done yet. This is an amazing way for God to confirm His plan for our family and we give Him all our Praise and Thanks. We also thank ALL OF YOU for allowing God to use you in this way.

Adding the matching grant from Louisville Orphan Care Initiative bring the TOTAL to $11,000. WOW!!! We are only about $3,000 shy of funding the rest of the adoption. This is incredible generousity that you have shown us and we THANK YOU!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fundraiser Results

We serve a GOD who loves us and will always provide. Donna and I are learning more and more about His love for us and how His plans never fail. He used all of you yesterday to raise $4,584 at the Fire House Fundraiser and we are still receiving donations through the mail. WOW!!! We are touched by your generosity and humbled by the magnitude of love that was poured out on us and our boys this weekend.


More updates to come...

Justin, Donna, Chera & Kenenissa

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fundraiser Update

Just a reminder about our fundraiser this evening. Hope everyone can come! I also wanted to make sure that everyone knows that it is at Fern Creek Fire Station #2, not #1. Number 1 is in the heart of Fern Creek and #2 is south of the Gene Snyder.

See you soon!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


It's offcial! Our fundraiser will take place on Sunday, August 23, from 4:00-8:00 at the Fern Creek Firestation 2. The address is 9409 Bardstown Rd. Louisville,KY 40291 and it is just south of the Gene Snyder on Bardstown Rd. We will have Ethiopian food for you to try as well as burgers and hot dogs. There will also be a Firehouse tour from 5-7pm.

Our goal is to raise $4,000 in order to make the most of the matching grant from Louisville Orphan Care Initiative. Exceeding this goal would help even more as we still expect bills of $14-16K for court fees, visa's and travel costs.

We ask that if possible, RSVP by August 17. It would be great to know how many people will be attending. If you forget to RSVP or your plans change, don't worry, just come anyway! If you cannot make and would still like to donate, you can write a check to Louisville Christian Foundation and send donations to:

Louisville Christian Foundation/Naomi's Fund
c/o Andy Gould
6200 Burnham Place
Prospect KY 40059

Please put our names on the memo line of the check or put a note in the envelope to designate the donation to us. If you have any questions or would like to get involved by volunteering, please feel free to call us or post a comment on this blog. Please SPREAD THE WORD!!!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Ethiopian Art Night and Lecture

We are just getting home from such an awesome night. Sojourn Community Church had an Ethiopian Dinner/Art Exhibit/Lecture tonight. There was some beautiful art and photography. A few of the families from our agency that have adopted children were also there. All the kids were wearing their beautiful, Ethiopian traditional outfits. So cute!
As soon an we walked in, I felt a wave of emotion. It was so wonderful smelling the food, smelling the coffee, seeing the art, and meeting local Ethiopians. The whole experience made both Justin and I feel closer to Chera and Kenenissa.
The speaker was a missionary who grew up in Ethiopia. His talk was on Ethiopian Christianity and it's influence on art, music, and life. During the talk, he mentioned an Ethiopian king named Kaleb. The king was very instrumental in the spread of Christianity in Ethiopia and was a wise and discerning leader. What is wild, is that we were planning on giving Kenenissa the name Caleb. It really made us happy that the name we chose to give Kenenissa is both important to us as Christians and to their Ethiopian culture. I think that we are probably going to go with the spelling with a "K."
After the talk, we met the speaker to find out more about King Kaleb. We didn't plan on finding out anything about our boys, but we found out some great things about their names. In Ethiopia, names are very important. All names have beautiful and thoughtful meanings. We have not been able to find out the names of the boys from anyone! We have asked 5 Ethiopians, and none of them knew. Considering there are 72 languages in Ethiopia, I guess that is not that strange! I have searched and searched the internet, but have found nothing. When telling the missionary about the boys and without asking him, he immediately told us the boys name meanings! Chera means "Grace" and Kenenissa translates to "one who is taken care of by the community." A pretty nice ending to the night that I did not expect. I am including some pics of our night.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


We have been approved by Lifesong! This means that through Louisville Orphan Care Initiative we will receive a matching grant of $4,000. Now, we need to raise $4,000 to receive the grant. We are planning a fundraiser in August to raise funds. More info to come!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Learning more about our Boys

Through pictures, video and friends we are learning so much about our boys. As I previously mentioned, some friends of our were just in Ethiopia picking up their little girl. We have found out from them that the youngest, calls himself Kenessisa. We have heard and seen so many variations on his name, I think since that is what he calls himself, then we will stick with that. Hollie said that he is very active and is the "leader" of the toddler room. Hollie said that Chera was quiet and shy.
Our agency director's husband, Pat, has just returned from a trip to Ethiopia. He returned with some great pictures and video of the boys. These pictures show them playing with each other and loving on each other. In the video they are running, jumping, and playing ball. I can probably cancel my gym membership with the workout they are going to give me everyday!
I wish I could post the video and the pictures! Hopefully we will have news on a court date soon!

Friday, June 26, 2009

USCIS Approval!!

We received our approval to adopt from the USCIS(US citizenship and Immigration Services) today! We were fingerprinted for this and applied back in February. There was a small little glitch in our application, so thankfully it has been taken care of. Technically, we didn't have to have this until we traveled, but it is quite a relief that is is taken care of.

The only thing that we are waiting on now is our court date in Ethiopia. It is very uncertain when this could happen. At the least it will probably be a month till they tell us the date. If we were to pass court on the first try, we would go pick up the boys in 6 weeks.

We just got some fabulous pictures of the boys from our friend Hollie. She recently picked up her little girl Maddie from Ethiopia. She is a photographer, so it just doesn't get any better! I was on an adoption high for a couple days after getting the pictures. They are such beautiful boys! I think my favorite picture is of Hollie holding Kenenissa. It made it so real! I wish I could post the pics for everyone, but we can't until we pass court. If you see me , ask to see the pics!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Primal Scream Theology from Russell Moore on Vimeo.

Justin - Here is a sermon from Highview. Some friends of our who go there suggested we check it out. This sermon really touched us and we hope you will view it.

Watch Lightning's Adoption Story

Lightning Ahlers - My Adoption Story from The Ahlers Family on Vimeo.

This is a video of a young man that we met at our first adoption conference. Hearing their story planted the seed for us to adopt from Africa and we are very thankful. We hope you enjoy this video and that it blesses you.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Camp Freedom

Justin and I have just returned from Camp and are completely exhausted! Totally worth it though! Camp Freedom is a weekend camp through the disabilities ministry of our church. We have been going for 4 years now. Justin actually asked me out on a date after camp 3 years ago, so it is a pretty special place for us.
We had such a great time. We swam, played basketball, sang, had smores around the campfire, and learned about our unique abilities that God has given each of us. Our team was so great. It is so much fun seeing the campers year after year.
On Saturday some friends, Brent and Holly, were coming home with their new little girl from Ethiopia so we took a few hours off camp to go to the airport. It was so great! It was so neat seeing her with her new brothers and sisters. While in Ethiopia, Brent and Holly went to visit our boys in the orphanage. They were able to play with them and take lots of pictures. Our boys were in a different orphanage than their daughter, so it was quite humbling that they took time out of their trip to check on our boys. I can't wait to see the pictures!!
Time for bed now. Early I know, but didn't get much sleep this weekend!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

ImageChef Word Mosaic -

Yard Sale

We had a great yard sale on Saturday. Thanks to everyone who came. Our awesome friends Donnie and Amanda came by on Friday night. They brought us some great things to sell, helped us set up, and Donnie helped us with our marketing! Thank you guys!

We have never had a yard sale before so didn't really know what to expect. We didn't price anything, just asked people to pay what they thought it was worth. People were very generous. A couple taking a walk gave us a great donation and many others donated without even buying anything. A very sweet little boy gave us a bag of coins, it was very touching! We raised much more money than we expected.

It was great meeting people from the area. So many people had adoption stories. Some had adopted children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends, and we even met a few people who were adopted themselves! It was quite an uplifting day! God is good!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Yard Sale!!!

We will be having a yard sale to raise funds for our adoption. It will be this June 13 from 8:00-2:00. 9605 Long Rifle LN, Louisville KY 40228. Love to see you there!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Things that make me happy

We went to our first Tuesday Family Fellowship at our Agency this week. This is a meeting for all the families adopting with Arise. We usually talk about the process and learn more about Ethiopia and it's culture. Here, I met someone who was able to talk to our boys when she was in Ethiopia a couple months ago. This was very exciting and made it so much more real! She said that they were sweet and very quiet.
There were a few people from Ethiopia at the meeting. I was hoping to find out some info from them on the boys names. We actually found out that Kenessisa's name is actually Kenenisa. We thought this was possible since we have seen it spelled multiple ways. Still no luck on their name meanings.
We found some new pictures of the boys on the snapfish account last night. There were some really great pics of Chera. He was smiling, acting silly and playing with an adopting family. It is great to see him acting like a kid!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The expanded Brown family

We have our referral! We have actually had it since last week, but I am horrible at this so I am just now posting it. We are getting two brothers, Chera who is 4 and Kennessisa who is 2. They are both beautiful boys. They are thankfully very healthy. The next step is to get a court date in Ethiopia. Timelines are very uncertain with this process.

We went to celebrate at the Queen of Sheba, an Ethiopian restaurant here. This was both Justin and I's first taste of Ethiopian food. The injera will take some getting used to, but I really enjoyed my doro wat. Justin loved eating with his hands!
I can't post pictures of the boys on the internet until we have passed court in Ethiopia so if you see me, ask to see the pictures!

Monday, May 18, 2009


I am finally starting the blog! I have been meaning to do this for a while. My husband, Justin and I are currently adopting from Ethiopia. Right now, we are waiting for our referral. Hopefully soon we will know more about our child. We began the process at the beginning of February. It has went by very fast. I think I was so focused on completing the home study and dossier that the days and months flew by. I hope to have more news soon!