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Showing posts from April, 2009

Who will he be?!?!?!??!?!

We are moving forward with our adoption again. Our contact in Rwanda, Tim, is going to head to Home of Hopes and ask the nuns to match the Braner family up with a little boy. We are asking for a boy who is between the age of five and eight who was dropped off at the orphanage as a baby. This is the first time in the process that I have been a little scared. I'm not sure why I'm so nervous. I think a six year old would be best for our family at this time. Young, but not too close to Dax and his "domain." I think I am secretly praying that the nuns will say, "we have a wonderful six year old boy who is sweet and loves adventure; and he has a three year old sister, too." Andy would probably just die with that news, but I really would love it! :)

So, the praying is on. Please pray that God would give us the perfect child (or children) for our family! A child who will mesh with our crazy kids and our crazy life. A child who will not harm our children …

Packing Takes Longer Than I Thought

So, I didn't realize how much JUNK that we have. It is SO crazy! Even after a HUGE garage sale. . .we still have tons of stuff. Today I got all of my clothes and all of my kids' clothes packed up. I thought that would be a huge task to check of (and it is). . .but there is still so many random things all over the floors. . .hangers here, a belt there, trash around that corner, a stray sock under that shelf. I don't feel any more finished tonight than before I started today. I am doing a great job, though. I am packing what I want and getting rid of the extras. I won't have much random stuff to get rid of once I get to Durango. Thank goodness!

Today was our first official good-bye. Maggie had to say goodbye to her friend, Hally. We had a great afternoon: IMAX and Baskin Robins with the Blackwells (no dads, though). And then goodbye was YUCKY!!! It was MUCH harder than I thought it would be (for me). It was so hard to see my baby girl say goodbye to a good …

Cute Flower Girl, Handsome Ring Bearer & Great Friends. . .

Brittany and Tim got married! She was beautiful!!! I had such a great weekend with fun friends and with my kids! My sister-in-law, Jennafer, made the trip to Texas with me and we had a blast! There were TONS of KCO people at the wedding and I loved it! It was nice to get away and not think about moving or "real" life for a couple of days! Gabby and Dax stole the show! You should have seen their moves on the dance floor! Oh my goodness! Enjoy the slideshow!

Today. . .

I think I dreamed about my son last night. I don't remember dreaming about him or anything about the dream. . .I just woke up thinking about my son and it wasn't Lionel. I can't really describe it. He doesn't have a face or a name or a personality or anything, but I had this sense of knowing my son and Lionel's face and personality wasn't associated with that knowing at all. Maybe I've totally gone off the deep end, but I woke up feeling emotionally refreshed in my mourning.

Today is a beautiful day. It is Spring. The dog woods are gorgeous and the red buds are out; all of my trees have buds or green leaves. I do feel refreshed and renewed like the Spring. I don't know what God has in store for me or who my son is, but I am ready to see what is in the distance.

Thank you for all of your prayers and encouragement. In our continued hurting, your love has been and will be very appreciated and cherished! I have been blessed by my friends, those I kn…

Hays. . .

It is so tough to watch my boy's heart breaking. . .I pray this will be the last time, but I have a feeling it won't. Sweet, sweet boy!


Also, I heard from Bishop today (via Becca). He thinks it will be extremely difficult to change any adoption laws, so Lionel's uncle changing his mind truly is a blessing. . .no matter how badly it hurts. I love to see God's timing as He works His plans in our lives.

Lionel. . .

I heard from Chantal and it was so good for her to acknowledge that our hearts are breaking. She did give me some good news, though. Lionel will be staying with New Hope Homes and he will get to continue to go to Sonrise School. I am so thankful for that!!! New Hope is his family and Sonrise is an amazing school! His uncle just wants to be able to visit him. I know that is good news! He is happy and thriving. It is just hard to hear that his uncle only wants to visit and not to bring him home into his family.

I told Chantal that I will continue to pray Proverbs 3:24 for Lionel as I have been, "When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet."

And In The Midst Of Bad News, Life Goes On. . .

I got the chance to tell Hays the sad news.  It was a tough conversation and his heart broke.  He is so gentle and compassionate and sweet.  We had some good tears together.  Thankfully, he is home from school today (sick) and so he is having the day to think about it and sleep on it.  
I just wanted to post the happy pictures of today.  In the midst of our hearts breaking, life does go on. . .the sun comes up. . .God has good in store for us.  I am ready to see WHO that good is!  I cannot wait to meet our boy. . .whoever he is. . .some little boy sleeping in a Kigali orphanage tonight.  Letting go is difficult, but it is also a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. . .the "not knowing" weight (and wait).  
Thank you, God, for loving me enough to give me the very best!  I wait on You expectantly!

The Door Has Been SLAMMED Shut!

Well, I got news from Rwanda this morning. . .and it isn't what I wanted to hear.  The director of Lionel's home emailed me and said that she heard from Lionel's uncle yesterday.  The uncle contacted Chantal to say that when he said Lionel could be adopted (this summer) that he wasn't in the right frame of mind because his son was dying.  He said that now he does not wish for Lionel to be adopted.  Her email did not say if the uncle was going to take Lionel out of the home, it just said that he did not give permission for him to be adopted.
It is an answer.  I've been praying for the door to swing wide open or to shut firmly and now the door is absolutely in a firm position.  So, on one hand, my prayers have been answered.  The waiting and not knowing was so hard on me. . . . but this is not the answer that I wanted and I am broken hearted.  Andy is in Colorado right now and I called him crying my little heart out.  I am so sad.  It just seemed like Lionel was so pe…
Thanks for the idea, Alexander Family!

If You Are Adopting A Girl From Africa. . .

Check out Gymboree's new line:  "desert flower."  SO CUTE for big girls and baby girls!!!

My Next Three Weeks

April 20-22. . .PackApril 24. . .Gabby's Birthday
April 23-26. . .Texas for Tim & Brittany's Wedding April 27-May 1. . .Pack May 2. . .Going Away Party May 3. . .Move May 4-11. . .Find a House!!!!! May 12. . .Staff Starts Arriving!!!!

Durango Coffee Company, Here I Come!!!

Today is the "friends and family" day of our garage sale (before the chaos of strangers arrive with the rising sun on Saturday). We are selling everything. . .okay, almost everything. But I am selling EVERYTHING from my kitchen because for YEARS I have been wanting to redo my kitchen with all new "stuff" from the Durango Coffee Company (on Main) and I am going to get the chance to do it! I cannot wait! (For those of you unfamiliar with the store, it is this wonderful coffee and tea store with the most wonderfully original kitchen items. They have everything from pretty measuring spoons and well-thought-through measuring cups to great looking mixing bowls and pretty kitchen towels. I love it!)

I have been through every cabinet and drawer and closet and under every bed and in the attic and I am EXHAUSTED, but I am ready for my sale! The weather man says rain on Saturday, but I'm hoping that means Saturday night. . .my garage cannot hold all it needs to! I …

Grab a BOX of Kleenex and Enjoy!!!

Every family needs to watch this! You will be blessed more than you know and maybe even inspired to do something. . .

Go to and then you have to click through a few pages to get to last night's episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition, but it is SO worth it! (The family has adopted six special needs children from China and they have one biological son.)


This is WONDERFUL!!! It is a little long, but so worth it! I got goose bumps and I may have even teared up!!! Enjoy!

Thanks for the Encouragement!

My last post was kind of depressing. Sorry. But I got some wonderful encouragement from some great friends from this life and some exciting friends from the Durango area who I cannot wait to meet! Thanks for encouraging me! I really appreciate it!

Packing is turning a corner. . .I think the light is really the end of the tunnel and not an oncoming train! Big day of it tomorrow!

No adoption news. . .ihangane. . .that's all I know!

Packing. . .

Well, I'm packing. I feel like I've been packing for two weeks. I've never really moved before and I had no idea what a big job packing up a family of six (seven really because I have three boxes for Lionel already) and a huge house could be. I am exhausted! Our big garage sale is this Saturday (Friday for friends and family) and we are hoping to sell almost everything!

I'm tired. I feel like I need to preface these next paragraphs with that fact. I'm tired and I'm overwhelmed. . .now here come the emotions. (Oh, and it is rainy and yucky outside.) I really want to move! I'm so excited about it! Starting over and living in Colorado and getting a new house (hopefully)!!! There are so many things I am excited about. . . . .

But. . .I'm so sad (back to the disclaimer above). I just want to curl up in bed and cry. (Maybe I should get some medication.) I have family here. I love my parents and my Gran'ma and Brady and Jen (when they're i…


Ihangane. . .in Rwanda it means BE PATIENT! That is the news I am getting from Rwanda. I need to just be patient. The adoption issues are being worked on from different angles and I am just to be patient. So, there is my news for the day. . .and probably for the weekend since we are headed to Braner-land for Easter!

A Little Smile From A Friend

My friend, Torree, who lived in Lionel's home this past summer sent me a little text today. It was nothing too big, but it made me (and my heart) smile. She just said, "Thinking about you and our boy today!"

Thanks, Torree! Me, too!

For All You Families Waiting On Kids From Rwanda....

This entry, can FOR SURE apply to ANYONE, but it is especially for those adopting from Rwanda!

You MUST READ "Land of a Thousand Hills" by Rosamond Carr. It is the most beautiful picture of Rwanda. So many book written about the country are just about the ugly genocide and this book is SO MUCH MORE! We have to think about Rwanda beyond the genocide because they have come so far and they are so much more than just a country torn apart by murder. This books helps you to see Rwanda as the beautiful country it is! Please read it and make all of your loved ones read it so that they can fall in love with the country of your children, too!

Below is an excerpt from the book:
When Kenneth suggested that we move to Africa, everyone thought we were mad. At that time, however, I would have followed him anywhere. It was the summer of 1949, and it was the beginning of what was to become a lifetime adventure. It is true that I was very much in love with Kenneth, but this is really the st…

Please, Lord, help the sermon from yesterday NOT be for me!!!

I was so excited to be at James River (our church) yesterday morning. Our pastor was back from being out of town and it is one of the last Sundays that we will be in town before we leave. I love our church! I love the worship! And I think that our Pastor, John Lindell, is the best Bible teacher that I have ever heard!!!

Anyway. . .Lionel. . .for those of you who haven't watched the Show Hope video that stars Lionel, then you need to watch it!!! Go to and then scroll down and click on the last video, "Picture This." It is a great video for so many reasons, but mostly because in it, Andy and I get "matched" with Lionel. I cry EVERY time!

In the video, Steven Curtis mentions how important it is for orphans to be adopted so that they will have the opportunity to know Christ in a personal way. And I've been thinking about that because Lionel already has a beautiful relationship with the Lord. So, I have …

Gabby the DeeJay

Gabby and Maggie are spending the weekend with the Nimrods and I know they're having a super time! Becca just sent me these two videos (they're short) of Gabby and they are HYSTERICAL! Thank you, Becca!!!

Hays is with my Gran'ma and I know they are having a fantastic time. He is so fortunate to have his great grandmother!!! And Dax is with us (he has a little fever) and having a chill time (see post below).

Leadership Weekend & A Nap in the Sun

It is a gorgeous weekend and it has been a great time of fellowship and summer planning. Our leadership team came in from Texas and Tennessee and Colorado to plan a great summer at KCO!!!

Meanwhile, Dax took a much needed nap outside. . .oh to be a kid again!! Life is good!

Camp Kivu

(Note: will be up and running after Easter!)

Well, the cat is officially out of the bag (the bag has been open for quite a while, but it is all official now). Dad wrote an email to all of the kamp parents telling them that after this summer Andy and I would no longer be with Kanakuk and that we were going to continue KCO as a different company. Then Andy announced today on his radio show that information with more details. We are "spreading our wings" and leaving the nest.

As I'm sure you all know, we are moving to Durango permanently on May 3rd. This will be the last summer that KCO is a part of Kanakuk Ministries. Andy and I have started our own 501(c)3 not for profit company and we will be running our camp under that umbrella. The camp will be called Camp Kivu. It will be very much like Kanakuk Colorado, but our plans for expansion and international growth will be much different than they could have been with Kanakuk. The camp will be the same …

My Sister-In-Law Is Blogging

I am so excited today because my sister-in-law, Missy, is blogging! She and her hubby and kids moved from Branson to Chicago (ish) last Fall and I have really been missing them! I hate it that I don't get to see her kids all of the time and that they are growing up without me watching! And now Missy is blogging and I will at least get to see her pictures and hear her stories about the days in the white house!!!! I couldn't be more excited! If you want to follow Missy's life, her blog is on my right sidebar under "non adoption blogs" (prayerfully that will change someday) and it is called "Life In A White House."

For those of you who don't know, my other sister-in-law, Jennafer has a blog on her band's website and her blog is in the same place as Missy's and it is called "Wrent." Check it out and check out for their new CD that just came out!!!

Zero Depth. . .

So, in pools there is a shallow end and a deep end. In conversations and in blog content, there is shallow information and deep information. Well, in certain pools (usually the ones at the nicer resorts), there is zero depth. . .where the pool is a walk in pool that starts at zero depth (like the ocean) and then gradually gets deeper. This is more than shallow (but it is also a very nice touch when you have small children).

So, my entry today is less than shallow. It is zero depth!

I got a new case for my iPhone and I love it! It is so pretty and it feels great and it is different than the "normal" ones that you see every day. I love my new iPhone case. ZERO DEPTH!!!!