Friday, November 30, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree




The kids had a fabulous time decoration the Christmas tree last weekend, they just love all the Christmas lights!

HOLIDAY DONATIONS
We were asked during this holiday time how people can support the kids in Liberia and throughout Africa. There are tons of worthwhile programs and a lot of good things to support. Our adoption agency, www.africanadoptions.org works to help people in several countries in Africa. They invite sponsorships of 35 dollars a month or a hundred dollars to pay for schooling. In one situation they took in a boy with cerebal palsey in Liberia who was abandoned. They knew this child would not be adopted, but did not want to leave him in the street to die. Learn more about how you can help their mission on their website.
Another great family doing awesome work in Liberia are the Reeds. They have lived their for several years. Renita Reed works to help people start businesses, Bob is working with mental health. They raised all their own expenses and are homeschooling their kids to work there. They are from Michigan and sold everything when they moved. You can read more about their mission and contribute to them by going to http://reedsinliberia.blogspot.com. On the left side of the page they have a link of how to contribute.
There you will learn a lot of facts including:
- If you are sending your child to a Liberian school, you may be asked to supply the desk, which the school will keep. You must also supply toilet paper.
Their whole point and what we have learned is that if Liberia were in better shape and didn't have the poverty it has, kids would stay with their families and wouldn't have to be adopted. That's what they are trying to do help folks get back on their feet so no matter what the situation, kids stay with families.

Happy Holidays and Thanks for Asking!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

THEY'RE HOME!!!



A&E's friends have made it home safely. We promptly called Jacob and Mardia. Mardia was asleep but both kids got to talk to Jacob (and so did Mommy). He sounded great, so easy to understand. Emmanuel said, "I love you. Are you coming to my house? Tomorrow?"
Here are some photos of them talking, we are waiting to call the rest of the crew..
Here' is what their mom told me:
Well after two and a half years gestation and three month labor, Jacob and Mardia Johnson were delivered, at at JFK, to their over anxious parents. Praise be to God. Everyone is doing well. Parents are very confused but we will come around. Jacob went out with his dad to the store, a Lovely boy and Poor Mardia is wiped out so she is asleep on the couch. We have not fed them yet.
We are wishing them a wonderful happy life together! To refresh your memory Jacob and Mardia captured many expectant parents hearts by their anxiousness to be adopted and prove what great kids they could be, here's a photo of Jacob and E-man at the AFAA house, you guys have come a long way.

A Big Day


Six kids will be united with their new families today, Cheryl is escorting them home as we speak. We are anxiously awaiting for word that A&E's friends are safely in the U.S.
Maima and Tarry (NJ)
Jacob and Mardia (NY)
Felicia (MI)
Alomiza (NY)

Also, one of our other favorites, Ishamel, met his parents for the first time yesterday. Craig and Karen Monson from UT are at the AFAA house now. We are so happy these meetings are finally happening after a big wait.

QUOTES FROM ABEGAIL:
Last night Scott made chocolate chip cookies. Abegail comes in the kitchen and says, "can I have one?" I said, "Ask Daddy." She says, "But it's an emergency!"
I'm sorry we interrupt this programming for a cookie EMERGENCY.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Questions and More Questions


You know when you have a kid who gets to be two or three and they say why all the time? It happens with adopted kids too. We are at the four month mark now and I don't know if its the change of seasons or the phase we are currently in, but somebody get these kids an encyclopedia!
(computers with buttons are not good for some of us)
Here is a sample of today:
Abegail: Mommy we have leaves in Liberia but they don't fall off the trees. Why do the leaves fall off the trees?
Why don't those leaves fall off the trees?
Mommy: Because they are pine trees
Abegail: Does the snow fall on them?
Why are the clouds different now?
What is spring like?
Is your birthday in Winter of spring?
Daddy's Birthday??
Today we had pumpkin pie for the first time,
Abegail: Mommy what is that?
Mommy: It's the crust
Annie: Like Jesus'
Mommy: No honey, that's a cross, this is the crust
Abegail: does the pumpkin come from pumpkins
our pumpkins? In the pumpkin? How does it get in the pie?
Abegail has also become interested in looking at albums, she's looked through Annie's baby albums about 46 times and then our wedding album, please no one tell her there is a video. A&E watch the AFAA video that Gift's Mom shot in December of the kids singing about three times a day. Even Annie knows all the songs now and might even be starting to get some rhythm. This at least all did inspire me to start on their life books.
For all of you have little questioners running around, this is for you.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/mpd/permalink/m1VGWKO4Q2JYIF/103-9469407-9799029

Saturday, November 10, 2007

First Snow


It only lasted ten minutes and didn't stick but the flurries were big and the first time A&E saw snow. Their comment, "its freezing!" Yes, that's how we get snow, it gets to freezing!!!

Prayers Please

We found out Thursday that the 3 year old son of Scott's best friend, Kory Ellerbeck, and best man in our wedding, has a malignant brain tumor in the back of his head. He had surgery that lasted early into this morning and they were able to get 90 percent of it out. They will find out next week whether or not they have to do Chemo or radiation. Please keep Derek Ellerbeck in your prayers.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Abegail's Letter to Papa

Our agency director is headed to Liberia in a week to bring home kids and we are happy to report the list has grown from five kids to six (Alomiza approved!) with Ishamel also ready for his Mom to come get him! Cheryl agreed to take some letters and photos to A&E's birth family.
Dear Papa;
I Love you.
I like living in America.
I am in first grade.
I love school.
I'm sending you some of my work.
I like my new family.
I like church.
Say hi to Belinda, Esther, and Alexander, Aaron.
I miss you all.
But I am happy.
I love you so much.
May God be with you.
Love, Abegail


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Happy Halloween

Here's a look at Halloween at the Richardson household. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Dry Spell Is Over

Finally, after four months of no movement of kids from the AFAA house we have good news. Cheryl plans to travel in a week to bring home Jacob and Mardia (NY) Maima and Tarry (NJ) and Felicia (MI). Maima and Tarry (Abegail's best friends) came to the AFAA house before A&E. Jacob and Mardia are the most anxious to come home, Jacob was always asking if we knew is Mommy.
Congrats Families, your best days are ahead!

First Time Leaving A&E

I went out of town for about 36 hours this past weekend, it was the first time I've been away from A&E and let me say it was tough. Abegail cried when I left and Scott said E-man had quite a rough day Saturday. It just tells me any little change is scary for him. But it was fabulous to come home and have people so happy to see me. I went to DC for one of my dearest friends bridal shower. I also was able to see my three nephews, so nice to see them without any distractions. I remember this Auntie thing, you get to enjoy how far they've come without having to take any responsibility of getting them there!
Abegail's Report Card
We had our first conferences with Abegail's teachers yesterday. Scott actually went. We let Abegail pick who she wanted to go. All the teachers said they had never had a student who was so happy to be there and absolutely loved learning. She is on par for first grade. I was overflowing with pride when Scott came home and told her, you know how happy your birth family is? This is what they wanted for you. She then beamed too. To go through everything she has and then excel in the classroom, amazing. I know we can take none of the credit, it's hats off to the AFAA team for getting her ready. She told me, "Mommy, you know how we learned to read? We sat in a circle and Jessie taught us with a Dr. Seuss book."

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Trick Or Treat!









The kids had a fabulous Halloween. They trick or treated for a long time and came back and looked through all their candy. E-man and Abegail were running from house to house and Annie could barely keep up. But Abegail was always there to say, "one more!" Abegail has already decided on her costume next year, "I want to be a bride Mommy, with no flowers." E-man says he'll be a bug again. We have video we will post later, here are some photos in their costumes. We took these Sunday when E-man and Annie's gymnastics class had a party.