Saturday, August 21, 2010

Shirts of Hope!! Fundraiser for travel costs for Ben

Here are the fantastic photos friends! Please note the ordering tool to the side if you prefer to pay by credit card.

We will be sending out order forms in the coming weeks as well. Erin is one organized lady, and will be taking orders via e-mail, Facebook, mail, phone... you get the idea.

We just need to know the number of shirts of course, style, size(s), and your contact information so that we can ship the shirts to you if necessary. All Kansas City area shirts will be delivered and we will attempt to deliver MN and IA shirts on our many travels. If you would like us to ship it, please include a little extra :-)

All prayers (we mean it!!) are requested as we continue on this journey. We will have a few months of waiting before we make the first trip, and the second to bring him home.

Black Tree

Blue "I Show Hope"

Brown "I Show Hope"

Back of the "I Show Hope" shirts

Red "I Show Hope"

Gray "I Show Hope"

White Tree (Women's only)

I Dig Show Hope (Women's only)

I Heart Show Hope (Women's only)- Erin's favorite!!

We can be reached via e-mail at and telephone 651 503 4634. We will have our sample order soon and will be able to show you more pictures of awesome people wearing these shirts!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Iowa State Fair!!

We received Ben's official paperwork late last Friday afternoon and sent the papers back out on Saturday. I'd like you to introduce you to another close friend of mine, the Independence, MO post office.

We then drove from there directly to the Holt family picnic! We enjoyed meeting some other Ethiopia families face to face and showing off our photos of Ben ;-)

Our friends Lindsie and Martha below..

After church on Sunday, Lucas and I left for our big Minnesota Iowa trip that we do about every 3 months. We are spending this week here in Iowa. Below are some wonderful photos from the Iowa State Fair. It was toasty, but not as hot as we are used to daily in Missouri. Lucas' favorite part of the fair was definitely all of the tractors.

We rode the shuttle (behind the tractor) that goes around the fair twice, and also the shuttle that goes up into the campground area. Just as long as we were looking at tractors, being pulled behind tractors, or touching tractors, all was well.

Tomorrow we will be participating at the Sweet Corn Festival in Adel, IA that is part of the Wicks family reunion weekend. After all that excitement, we will be heading up to Minnesota on Tuesday for a week of visiting friends and family there.

We will continue to keep ourselves busy during this difficult time of the wait with no set date to look forward to. We hope to have some news around the end of September. Until then, we will continue to pray for Ben daily and enjoy the family that is already here :-)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Celebrating Ben at the Blue Nile

We waited to celebrate with Ethiopian food until it was official and now it is!

We went to the Blue Nile Ethiopian Cafe located in the Kansas City market. It has received great reviews both publicly and with my friends!

We enjoyed a fantastic bottle of South African wine, lamb, beef, and injera with all of the regular fixings. Here are a few photos from our wonderful evening :-)

A little more about Ben and what happens now

BUMMER DISCLAIMER: Unlike with Lucas, we are not allowed to display Ben's photo on a public sight such as this or facebook until after we have traveled to bring him home. If you haven't seen Ben's sweet little face yet, we are happy to share it with you! Just email us :-)

So here is our attempt at an illustration..

He is already my little buddy. I'm looking at his sweet little face right now while I'm typing this. His little face goes everywhere with me. I still have to pinch myself that this has happened, and that even now he is only 2 months old! We knew that it would take 4-6 months for any child to come home. We expect ours to be on the 6 month end of things (or a little longer) due to the court closure that begins Monday and goes until the end of September. This is a routine annual closure, and we have known that it might affect us from the beginning.

The silver lining of this yucky closure, is that we were blessed with a much younger peanut than we were expecting. The other, is that there is usually a period of 1-3 months of adoption "no man's land" after you accept a referral anyway. During this period of time, your documents that you sign (currently on my counter) have to make it to Holt in Oregon, and then on their way to Ethiopia. That takes awhile. All that stuff needs to get translated into Amharic which is no easy task. We are hoping that all of this can happen and then our papers will be ready for submission as soon as the courts open. Most of my friends who received referrals in May and June have been submitted to court and are waiting for court dates. Sadly, they will not get any news until the end of September and they have known about their children longer. Of my friends that have court dates booked after the closure, they are already moving through October. That makes me think they will submit us at the end of Sept and we might hope to have a court date announced sometime in October and hopefully be traveling to meet Ben when he is around 5 months old in November.

If things go well and we passed court around then, I could hope to return around 2 months later to pick been up and bring him home in Jan/Feb or so..making him 8-9 months old.

Okay, back to Ben :-)

I was expecting a birth parent relinquishment, and that is not his case. We will leave it at that. We all know that terrible things happen to innocent people. We all hear about horrible things that happen to babies, except that this is MY baby. I'm still making sense of it. I am not angry, I am sad. I am sad that a newborn child had to scream on the ground waiting to be found.. and it really rips though my heart. Because I was not there and I couldn't take that pain away from him.

But then.. let us take a moment and let us think about grace and the hands of God. Let's think about how he was wrapped up to be warm and not naked. Let's remember that he did not starve for even one day. Let us remember that at this moment he is on the other side of the world in the care of loving Holt nannies and that God has a plan for everyone, even newborn babies in 3rd world countries.

I feel like we are starting this 2 month wait of no news on a good foot. We have a young young little healthy boy and we just need to keep busy for a few months while we wait for court news. I always knew this would be the hardest part of the wait and tried to prepare myself emotionally for that fact. So far so good. I know there will be hard days, especially after the courts open and I have to wait longer than I think for court news.

Another blessing, is that because Ben is so young we don't have to update our USCIS approval! We can be confident that he will be receiving his immigration visa prior to his first birthday!

REFERRAL DAY!!!! The story of August 3rd

If you're reading this, you have likely already heard our news! I've been a wee bit busy the last couple days maintaining my sanity, but we wanted to take the time to record the events of Tuesday now before it loses its freshness.


Ted worked late and didn't get home until 2am on Monday night. Lucas didn't get to bed exactly on time either on Monday night. All that being said, we enter the scene of Tuesday morning.. where you find our entire house quiet at 8:30am.. which is HIGHLY unusual. We really aren't sure how it happened really.

So the phone rang a little after 8:30am. I saw it was an 816 phone number that wasn't in my phone. I didn't really think of the referral call, because that would be 6:30am Holt Oregon time and I had been told a month ago by my Missouri case worker that she wouldn't be the one calling me with news. I figured it was somebody confirming an apt or something.

When I heard my case worker Barbara's voice I still wasn't sold. This woman "adoption pranked" me about a month ago on my way home with the zoo with non baby news. But then... she said "I have some good news for you". Then I was sold. I popped up in bed and yelled/whispered Ted that it was baby news and he needed to be happy no matter how tired he was. Ted is rather anti-morning but he made a good attempt.

So we put the phone on speaker and she began to give us the basics. I wasn't surprised at all by the gender because the only way she was calling me with a girl was if 4 baby girl referrals had been given out in the previous 12 hours and nobody said anything... I was much more concerned with the age of this little boy!

When she said born in May I was like "wah??" Very similar to when we received Lucas referral. We were prepared for up to a 12 month old... so the idea of getting a 2 month old (the youngest baby boy this year that we are aware of) was just crazy AMAZING. I think that's when we both went into shock mode. We were sitting there in our undergarments with our two year old yelling for us.. and we're like... hm.. we should shower.

Showers, basic hygiene, and caring for the 2 year old commenced. Lucas was in serious need of breakfast and he was making it very clear.

So we got clean and then sat in front of our computer and prepared to look at his little face and more detailed social history and medical information.

It was so different this time around. With Lucas we were so surprised and we didn't know what it was going to feel like to look at a picture of a little person halfway around the world that was to be your child until it happened.. and it was perfect.

This time, rather than shock and awe of how perfect this little person was, it was more like, "Well there you are, and of course, you are perfect". Ted didn't feel it was necessary to consult with additional medical staff given the info that we have. Ben actually weighed more at birth than Lucas so he is doing well. His head circumference and height were all within normal rage of Ted's expectations.

So then we both got on the phone. Me to my Mom and Dad and Ted with his parents that had to be tracked down at the cabin. This took awhile. During that Lucas had multiple temper tantrums because nobody was paying attention to him, and Steve became increasingly depressed.

We uploaded Ben's pictures to a drive to go to Walmart's one hour photo to get some prints of him in our hands ASAP. There are no photos of this because Lucas screamed and freaked out during most of it in a highly unpleasant way.

Then it was off to IHOP, which is how we Sibley's celebrate pretty much everything.

Once we were full of fatty greasiness, we went back to Walmart to pick up little Ben's photos. We really love the quality of them. You can see his little baby zits and newborn hair fuzz and everything! You can also see the most sorry case for a "onesie" I have ever seen outside of Haiti. Note that I will be bringing multiple packs of infant onesies in my donations to the Durame care center!!

It was at this point when our day became very anti-climatic. We got home, I sat down to write big emails to family and friends. Ted laid down because he was way behind on sleep and needed to leave again for work. That night I sat there, starred at my little guys face, painted my toenails, and reflected on such a life changing day. That is really the only way to describe it.. to just sit there and praise God for answering your prayers in the most perfect way, with wonderful timing, and allowing my husband to be there with me instead of at work.

We then made more plans to celebrate!