Friday, June 21, 2013

A lot has happened......

It has been far too long since I have posted on here.
A lot has happened since the last time.

Here is what we have experienced:
We finally received a "birth parent" court date of May 15th.
The purpose of the birth parent court date is to finally terminate the parents rights to the child.
The birth mother did not show for this date, so the courts issued another date.
She did not show up for this one either.
So, the courts issued an order that an ad run in the paper for 15 days asking for her to show up.
This ad ran for the 15 days, which expired on June 17th.

On June 19th, 2013, we received the following message: "Congratulations, you have been assigned a court date of July 1, 2013. The next step in the process is to travel and appear before the High Court of Ethiopia on your assigned court date to testify in regards to your adoption."

It was a much longer email than just this, but this is the simplified version, and gets the point across.

So, we now have to be in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by June 29th. So, we are quickly moving to get all of our travel arrangements in order. We thought that plane tickets were going to be very high priced, but we actually got great deals on all of our flights.

We are taking our 3 kids with us to Amsterdam, as we have family that are missionaries there. All of us, including our kids, are so excited to visit here not only to see the beautiful city, but to spend time with family that we don't get to see as often as we would like. We will leave our kids there while the 2 of us travel to Addis. Then, once we are done with court, we will travel back to Amsterdam and finish our vacation with our family. I am excited for our adoption stuff, but I am almost as excited to spend a week in Amsterdam, as I have never been there either.

We are so pumped! This will be the first time that we will travel to Africa & the first time to meet Lewis. We know that it will be hard to leave, as it could be up to 3 months before we are allowed to come back to actually pick him up. We really hope that this process goes quickly, so that we can just bring him home. This has been a 2.5 year journey so far, and we are SO ready for him to be home with us, so we can begin this next chapter in our lives.

Thank you to all who have prayed for us & supported us.
I will try to keep this updated more often.
See you soon.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

3rd garage sale was a success!

This last weekend we had our 3rd, and hopefully final, garage sale to raise funds for our adoption. It was a huge success. Thank you to all that donated stuff, bought stuff, and helped work at it as well.

We are now waiting to hear from our agency, Holt International, about a court date, so that we can travel to Ethiopia for the first time. Once we go to court, we then will come back to the States and wait to be approved. Once approved, we will travel back to Ethiopia (about 2 months from first trip) to actually pick the little guy up.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Our Adoption Referral has arrived !!

We received a referral for a beautiful 13 month old boy on Tuesday, Nov. 27th.
It has been a long wait (about 2 years), but it has been well worth it. We are all so excited!
We wish that we could post a picture of him here, however due to rules of Ethiopian government (as well as some other countries), we cannot post a picture of him until we actually have brought him home.

I received a call from our agency, Holt International, around 2:00pm on 11/27. They told me that they had a referral for us, and that they would be sending us an email of a few pictures, medical info, and any background information that they had for him. The email came about 5 minutes after I got off the phone with Holt.

I raced home to open the email with my wife, Natalie. This was something that we agreed to do whenever we received the call. I pulled up to the house with my iPad in hand. I went to our front door, and rang the doorbell. Natalie answered and I handed her the iPad which had the email ready to open. She opened it and was overwhelmed with joy, and as tears streamed down her face she said "Are you kidding me? Have you seen him?".

We called Natalie's sister, Brittany, first via Facetime, since she lives in Amsterdam. Brittany was also overwhelmed by the news. It was a very sweet moment between sisters. We began to notify more family. We called my Dad, my Mom, and more. Our oldest son, Drew, came home from school. We showed him the picture of his new brother, and he threw his hands over his mouth repeating "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh...." He couldn't hardly stand it. He and Natalie shared a hug as they kept looking at his picture.

As some of you know, our cousins, Jeff & Shannon, are also adopting from Ethiopia. We called them to tell them our news, and when we did, they surprised us with their own referral of a beautiful 9 month old baby girl. What is funny is that we asked for a girl and received a boy. Jeff & Shannon asked for a boy and received a girl. Funny how God works. He is most definitely in control and we (both the Blaine's & Britton's) are SO sure that God has put these specific children in our lives for a reason. It is so unbelievably cool that we have been blessed to travel down this path with them. Our kids are going to be so close and we are thrilled for that.

Natalie called her sister Chrissy, and her mom, Nancy. They both came over to our house. Our other kids, Pete & Emily came home from school too, so they all were shown his picture and given the news. They were also very excited.

This was probably one of our most exciting moments in our lives. Natalie commented that it was like the feeling when she found out she was pregnant, but almost better in a way. We are all on cloud nine and almost cant believe that it has finally happened. We can now have a fun family time of looking at baby names for the little guy.

We now have turned in our acceptance paperwork via FedEx to Holt. They will forward it to Ethiopia, and the next step is that we will be assigned a court date. This could be anywhere between 2-3 months from now. Then, we travel to Ethiopia and appear in court. Hopefully we pass court without any problems. We will travel back to the U.S. and wait to be submitted to Embassy. Once we are submitted, then we will be given a date to travel back to Ethiopia to pick him up. exciting that will be. We are pumped for that day!

What is very sweet is the fact that our connecting flight to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is Amsterdam. This happens to be where my brother and sister-in-law live and are missionaries. We will not only be able to go to Ethiopia for our court date, but also visit them in Amsterdam for a little mini-vacation as well. We are also very excited for this. Natalie and Drew have been, but Pete, Emily, and myself have not. It will be fantastic to all go as a family.

Thank you to all of you who have supported us, prayed for us, and loved us. We love you too!
We are so blessed that we have been able to raise & save enough money to cover our adoption expenses. We now need to raise about $5000 more to cover our travel expenses over to Ethiopia.

We plan to have a another church garage sale (the 3rd one), and we also plan to continue to sell our "Five Million Minus One" t-shirts on  We know that this is God's plan for our lives, and we have trusted Him throughout this whole process, and he has never failed us. Money was one thing that held me back in the beginning from even starting this adoption. When I let go of the control of the money is when I began to trust that God would provide, and boy has He ever. He has definitely blessed us beyond our expectations.

We will keep you informed of how our journey is coming along. Talk to you soon.

--the Blaine family

Monday, November 26, 2012

Jeep JK8 Truck complete

I have completed the Jeep JK8 Truck Conversion. It is officially for sale. $31,000. Profit will goes towards our adoption. Here are some pictures:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

It's already Thanksgiving of 2012, and I can't believe how fast time has flown by. I have not posted on here in a while, so its about time. I am thankful that God has provided for our family. I am thankful for our family & friends. I am thankful for the gifts that He has blessed us with. I believe that the gifts we have are to bless others. Let Him work through us to love others. I am thankful that He has given us patience with this adoption.

I know that it is all in his timing and not ours. It can be hard at times. We want to control everything, but I have a peace that everything will work out the way that it is supposed to in time. We have been waiting almost 2 years. However, I feel like we are so close. I feel like we could get a call any day letting us know who our child is.

We have continued to sell our "Ethiopia: Five Million Minus One" t-shirts. I have thought that there might come a time to stop selling them, but they continue to be ordered (mostly through Etsy). We have been blessed by this. We love that our shirts are all over the nation & some around the world.

We have met SO many cool people through our process. I have been blown away by the friendships that have been created through this process. I look forward to many more relationships & adventures that we will experience.

Thank you to all of you who have supported us, prayed for us, and loved us. Talk to you sooner than the last time. I hope to be writing yet another post real soon letting you all know that we have accepted a referral, and are headed for our court date. We are ready.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Jeep JK8 Project

Jeep Project #2 (JK8)

So, some of you know that I built a 2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited into a truck, then sold it to raise money for our adoption (see picture).
It sold to a nice couple up in Wisconsin that were Jeep collectors. They were so pleased with it & It was a lot of fun to build. That was so enjoyable that now......

I have Jeep project idea #2. I am going to build a Jeep JK8. This is a one-way conversion kit designed by Mopar. It turns a 4-door Wrangler into a 2-door Pickup. Very cool! I have wanted to do this as soon as I learned that this kit was available. My Dad called a few weeks ago, and said "lets do it", so now the Jeep JK8 project is a reality. I am VERY excited because, as a Jeep fanatic, I will have so much fun building this incredible Jeep, but will simultaneously be raising money for our adoption! How can it get any better?

We have bought the Jeep, so we are starting with a 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4DR Sahara.
The Soft top, rear rollbars, rear seat, rear carpet, rear quarter panels, and many other things will need to be removed before starting the project. I have a guy (Brandon Gray @ Auto Paint Specialists) who does all of my paint & body work. He is a auto body wiz. He will start on the kit next week. I will be assisting, but I leave the paint & body work to a professional. I will be doing all of the suspension, tires, wheels, interior & exterior accessories.

This will be a fun project and I cant wait to get started. I will keep you posted on the progress. Once it is done, it will going up for sale on Jeep Forums, craigslist, & eBay.


We also still have plenty of our tshirts available. We have been selling them on Etsy, and have done very well. I think that we have sold around 480 shirts so far. Let us know if you would like a shirt, or maybe you just need a new one.

We have Adult, Youth, Toddler, and Onesie sizes.