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Showing posts from June, 2010

All who know her, love her

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This morning I went for a run by myself around our neighborhood. The summer air and the sun peaking up on the horizon reminded me of a morning run I took two summers ago. That was the morning God first impressed upon me to pray not only for my daughter but also her birth mother, specifically that my baby would always be surrounded in love. And once again my heart was full of emotion and thankfulness towards my Heavenly Father who answered that cry. For our daughter has truly been loved from the moment she was conceived. This photo is not the actual home she was born in, but looks very similar to the place where she was born and was taken close to the area where she was from. The day our daughter was born her birthmother gave her the name Shetu which in Amharic means a sweet smelling flowery perfume. Her birthmother told us that she named her Shetu because she wanted Shetu to know that she loved her very much. Her exact words "i loved her very much". When we asked he…

Love Story

There are many more excited adventures to share from our trip, but I
am going to fast forward a bit to share with you the best one of all….
When we arrived at our guest house for our adoption agency (CHSFS-E),
Kevin and I were so excited to finally be at this stage of the
journey. I opened the door to our room and saw a toddler bed all set
up for our daughter. Now the tears began to fall – it was really
happening! On the bed was a packet of information and name tags for
us with our daughter’s name “Shetu” (pronounced Sheh –tew), which we
have learned to pronounce correctly since being here. It is a
beautiful name, especially now that we know how to say it correctly.
It means that she was her mother’s sweet flower aroma because her
mother loved her very much.

The children’s center is located in an old mansion and is truly a
lovely place for an orphanage. The staff led all the adopting
families downstairs to a large open room filled with sofas and chairs.
We would first have an orientation bef…

The Heart of Ethiopia part III.

June 17
The weather has been an absolute gift from God every single day! We
have been treated to beautiful sunshine and mild temperatures. It is
a nice break from the heat at home.... who would have thought that
Ethiopia would be cooler then Virginia. We experience God's love and
blessing everyday we are here. After such a long wait in the desert,
He reminds us every moment and in every detail that He loves us and
never forgot us.

We have grown to love our hotel, Meskel Flower and we are sad to be
leaving this fun place today. When we arrived we were scared but
after just a few short days we feel very comfortable here.

Eleni once again took the day off from work. She and Tedy met us at
Meskel Flower and off we went for our next adventure. First stop -
the Mall. We visited 2 malls today. Inside they looked like an old
city mall, all the stores are very small and the items very expensive.
Most things are imported items such as children's clothing, from Old
Navy. The clothing costs m…

The Heart of Ethiopia part II

June 16
After the trip to the National Museum, we headed to Tedy and Eleni's
house which is about 45 minutes around to the other side of the city.
Car rides here go by so fast because there is just so much to see and
take in. My brain is a bit on overload trying to process everything
my eyes see. Their home was also down an alley lined with metal gates
and tall concrete walls. We ate more delicious Ethiopian food and
lots of coffee. She prepared a beautiful coffee ceremony for us
complete with grass on the floor.

We got a chance to talk about Christ today with them. Tedy is a
devout Orthodox, Eleni goes with him but trusted Christ when she was
younger. We also talked about the health and lifestyle of Ethiopians
and Americans. It is wonderful talking with Eleni because she is a
pediatric nursing instructor and her daughter, Mahiada is studying to
be a physician. They explained that girls as young as 8 years old are
made to marry and have babies. This causes many problems including
fistula…

the heart of Ethiopia

Our second flight from Frankfurt to Addis was packed. We were assigned seats in the last row of the plane. Kevin tried to get our seats moved to another row however no success. We sat down and settled in for our flight. There was a commotion about 15 row ahead of us. And after a short time the stewardess moved an Ethiopian mother traveling alone with her two children to right next to us. She had a precious 11 month old baby girl, "E". E took right to me and I was blessed to hold her and play with her many times throughout our trip. This was a gift from God and gave me peace about being a mother to Faith.
As we approached Addis my heart quickened and I felt excited and scared alla t once. We landed at 7pm and it was already pitch black outside. Next came standing in line for a visa, then for our bags, and all of this took about 1 hour. Now it was time to exit into the large crowd waiting for arrivals and try to find Saba's family. We walked through the doors and…

Guten Tag!

Guten Tag von Frankfurt Flughafen! We made it safely to Frankfurt and God is already blessing us on this trip. Kevin and I are enjoying spending some quality time together and making the most of this date time before we have a baby in tow. I am especially enjoying my husband's flight status and all the perks that go along with that. We were able to take a nice hot shower here in Frankfurt and enjoy some delicious food all for free.

Germany holds a special place in my heart because this is where I spent my childhood. It is incredible how much German I still understand and I am having fun translating things for Kevin and trying out my German. Wish we had more time here to visit. We keep talking about how the next time we are at this airport we will have Faith with us!! So excited to navigate through the airport with a baby strapped on.

On our flight here we sat next to Sue. Sue is on her way to meet up with her husband in Frankfurt to celebrate their 20th wedding anniver…

And They're Off!!!!

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Dearest Friends,
I met Sonya about 10 years ago and as long as I've known her adopting from Africa has been her dream... what an honor to drive her and Kev to the airport today on their way to meet their most precious baby girl. A huge praise of the day is that they were able to take their ginormous stack of luggage, a.k.a love offerings, and did not have to leave an ounce behind! Your most generous donations will feed, cloth, medicate, bring smiles to, and nourish countless orphans and children in Faith's community and the communities around her orphanage.
While Sonya is in Ethiopia I'll be guest blogging on her behalf as she sends pictures and posts. So without further delay I bring you pictures from her departure.... hip hip HOORAY! GO TEAM JUDKINS!!!! BRING THAT BABY GIRL HOME!!!!
~ Karen

Team Photo High Five mommy!!! Go get our sister!!! :)
Awwwwww A proud Nana (and energetic too-- she'll be with the boys!!!)
That's some serious luggage.... Me & Sonya :)... she r…

the adventure continues

In February of 2008, we began the preschool tour circuit. We prayed that God would lead us to where Kody was supposed to go to school. After visiting Community Kids Christian Preschool, the search was over. We knew 100% that was where he was supposed to go to school. That February was also when we began the first steps towards adopting a child. Kody was 3 and Tyler was 1 and we were ready to begin for child number 3. God made it clear that child #3 was going to come to our family through adoption, now was the time.

Once we knew our child was in Ethiopia, we began to pray that God would provide Ethiopian families in our life. To date we knew no one from Ethiopia. So in an amazing God way, Kody went off to preschool and sat down in class next to Nehemiah whose parents are from Ethiopia. They became great friends and then our families became friends and in time we met their whole social network of Ethiopian friends. We are now a part of a wonderful Ethiopian Christian community…

Details of our Trip

We received word yesterday from our adoption agency that we could book airline tickets and join the next group traveling to Ethiopia!!! We will be leaving this Sunday afternoon! We were able to use miles for our plane tickets and we are flying last minute to Ethiopia for only about $400 - this is a huge praise! Please pray with us for the following:

* Clarity of thought as we prepare to leave this weekend, that we will remember to bring all needed paperwork
* health for our family, Kody has a stomach virus
* Time to prepare our hearts for our trip to Ethiopia
* Final arrangements for the care of our boys
* Stress of getting ready to go would not cloud over the joy of this time or distract our hearts from focusing on God
* Wisdom about how to spend our time in Ethiopia. we will be arriving a few days early. our initial intention was to spend that time with the two families leading the ministy Drawn from Water, however they are both not going to be in Addis when we are. Pray that we c…

Leaving on a Jet Plane

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WE HAVE TICKETS!!!! We are just a few short days away from flying to Ethiopia and beginning our life as a family of 5. All documents found, all forms filed, all approvals obtained. After 2 years of paperwork, we will finally hold our baby girl in our arms.

Today I called the pediatrician and set up an appointment for when we get home. I couldn't stop smiling. It was wonderful to be able to make that phone call and to begin her journey towards healing.

The boys are beyond excited for their little sister to come home. Many times my Kody has prayed that God would bring home his little sister before he started 1st grade so he "could play with her, because once I start school I will be at school all day." Thank you God for answering a child's heartfelt prayer and bringing home his sister the week he begins his summer vacation. God is so good!

This picture is from Kody's "feelings class". The picture is of Faith knocking over the lamp and he is helping …

The most beautiful piece of paper

We have been waiting since the middle of March to receive one very important document, our updated I171. This piece of paper allows us to immigrate 1 child with special needs from Ethiopia to the U.S. The paper got caught up in about 100ft of red tape, with all sorts of excuses and things being lost. Our Congressman Frank Wolf's office got involved in the case and they also seemed to run into a brick wall. We kept emailing, calling, and praying, praying, praying.

Last Saturday evening we were invited to a BBQ at our dear friends, The Clarks. The house was packed full of people who all bleed for orphans. At one point in the evening the group laid hands on us and prayed for God to move on our behalf. Many of our other friends and family have been praying in this direction as well. We are so blessed to be surrounded by so many people who get it. On the days when we were so discouraged or when we have been tested by those who do not get it....it always brings comfort to think…