Monday, January 21, 2013

Almost there...

Yesterday we received our fingerprint approval from US Citizenship and Immigration, which was the last piece of paperwork we needed before we could send our Dossier to Ethiopia.  Grant took it over to have it notarized by our personal notary, thanks Rhianon, and then sent it to our agency.  As soon as they get it they will send it overseas.  Not sure the timeframe fom here but we are hoping we will get our court date within the next couple of months.  I will keep you posted:)

Don't forget your Valentine Sugar Cookies... I am selling them to raise some money for our trips.  
1 dozen cookies = $25
Let me know if you are interested by commenting here 
or emailing me at

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What Difference Can You Make...

The following post was completely copied and pasted from a wonderful blog that I follow called "".   I just wanted to share this with you because it really touched my heart.  You may not be in a place where adoption is an option for you but your prayers for these children would make a world of difference.

Could one of these be yours?

As the New Horizon for Children hosting program comes to a close, these precious children are preparing to return to their orphanages in Latvia. MANY of the children hosted by their families will be adopted, but there are several whose host family’s new they were unable to adopt–yet they felt called to host them over the holidays, show them the love of Christ and advocate for them to find their forever family here. These precious children have all been in the system for many years, and their first real experience with a family has occurred through NHFC host program over the last 5 weeks. We LOVED our hosting experience with NHFC, and it was because of this program that our precious T found a forever home.
Yesterday I shared about precious Edgars. Many reposted the blog entry and precious Edgars host mom has had many contact her with interest–mostly because of your hearts and willingness to help advocate for Edgars. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart–THANK YOU.
Next week, these children will all return to Latvia in hopes of a family inquiring about them–and one day being chosen…to be forever a son and daughter…to have a mom and dad and to experience the precious gift of family. Each of these children are from Latvia. There are no requirements other than each parent must be 18 years older than the child. (If married–both the mom and dad have to be 18 years older. Single men and single women are also eligible.) You do not have to have a completed home study or even be in process. NHFC is NOT an adoption agency but rather a hosting agency. If you are interested in one of these most precious children, you would need to email the host family email and they will be able to most quickly connect you to NHFC which will also give you a list of agencies they recommend.
If you are on FB or have a blog–will you please consider reposting this? You NEVER know when it will run across the perfect family for one of these precious ones! Each of these descriptions were written by their host families who have had the honor of loving them the past 4-5 weeks. We have been in their same shoes–hosting but not in the position or place to adopt our host child–so I know what writing one of these is like…it’s so hard as you desperately WISH that YOU could be the family–yet you learn to hold out your hands…give them to the Lord and pray for a miracle. I’m praying there is a miracle awaiting each and every one.
Once again–it is my great honor and privilege to introduce you to these most precious little ones…
Meet Vitaly…
Vitaly is a happy 11 year-old boy from Ukraine. He is a wonderful and energetic child who loves to help around the house, listen to music, play musical instruments, sing, and eat (especially bananas)! His favorite color is yellow, and he loves to play outside and visit new places. We have been hosting him for the last 3 weeks, and he has adapted very quickly to his life in America, bonding well with adults and children. Vitaly speaks both Russian and Ukrainian, and is quickly learning some English words as well. His favorite school subject is math. He has a medical condition, but strictly follows his medicine schedule and seems very healthy and active. We would love to help Vitaly find his forever family! For more information on Vitaly contact his host mom Erica at:
Just in case you missed him yesterday–Meet Edgars…
– LAST CHANCE – Age 15 (turns 16 in August), Latvia, hosted in NY
Edgars came to us with a smile on his face. From the moment we met him at the gate, he radiated an openness and an incredible warmth – he was obviously a little nervous, but from the beginning he trusted us with his whole heart. One of the first things he ever said was, “Thank you for choosing me.” Edgars immediately began to display a strong desire for physical connectedness with our whole family – he hugged our 4-year-old daughter for airport photos, he stood next to me with his head on my shoulder reading his translated welcome letter. Edgars has bonded well with all members of our family, though it has been clear throughout that he desires a mother above all else in life. During the first two weeks, Edgars resisted developing a deep relationship with my husband but he is now seeing the value in having a healthy relationship with a father. Edgars is incredibly gentle and patient with small children, and he would do beautifully with siblings of any age or gender, or as an only child. He takes the role of big brother very seriously and enjoys helping out – he is always happy to hold a hand in the grocery store, buckle car seats, or comfort his “small” sister or brother when they get a bump. He has a deep need to connect with others and is appropriately affectionate. Edgars is respectful of property, asks before taking things, has excellent manners (please/thank you with a smile) and he is good with animals. He follows family rules and we have never had an instance where discipline was necessary. Honesty is of upmost importance to Edgars – it means a lot to him that others trust him. He reacts in an age appropriate way to negative situations, though he will do most anything to avoid conflict. Edgars has been in the system since age 2 and has no relatives or siblings. Truly there is no reason that he should be the loving, well-adjusted boy that he is, except by the grace of God. I pray constantly that my sweet boy is given the opportunity to become a permanent member of a loving, supportive, gentle Christian family – because he deserves nothing less. Edgars will bring an abundance of joy to the forever family that awaits him. Writing this absolutely breaks my heart because this child has been one of the greatest gifts of my life. I want everyone reading this to know that Edgars has done nothing at all to deter us from adopting him – we are ineligible (we have a minimum age issue). For more information on Edgars please check out for his full bio or contact his host mom, Morgan at:

Meet Vlad…
Vlad is from Latvia and will turn 13 shortly. He is a wonderful kid! We have not had any problems while he’s been here. He was very shy when we picked him up at the airport, for about a day, and after that he’s been very comfortable with us. He will try any food, although he may not like it, he’s at least willing to give it a try. He had fun roller skating, ice skating and sledding and went to an indoor waterpark. He also helped bake cookies. He seems to be very compliant and once he knew what the rules of the house were and what was expected of him, he was happy to follow. He is sweet and loving. He always wanted to know where Dad was, and loved spending time with him doing whatever. He really seemed to thrive under that attention from my husband. He got along well with all the children ages 2-25, though he didn’t pay much attention to our 2 and 4 year old. I can’t stress enough what a great boy he is. He would do well in any family. He had fun throwing the football and playing Wii with our 25 year old son. He rode bikes and scooters and drew pictures with our daughters who are 11 and 10. He loved playing the Wii, K’nex and building with blocks with our son who is 7. He’s a great kid who is up for anything but he’s bullied a lot in the orphanage and we’re praying like crazy we can find his family! One thing he does not like is having his picture taken. No matter what he’s doing, as soon as the camera comes out he gets his serious face on. For more information on Vlad contact his host mom Kris:
Meet Maija…
I would like to share our journey with Maija this Christmas season. From the very first evening, she has been polite, helpful, open, and mature. She has been very respectful from the very beginning to now. My 5 and 6 year old children are a challenge. Maija was great with them! She has been very patient and attentive with them. They love watching movies together! Maija is well spoken in three languages. She speaks Latvian, Russian, and English. We are amazed at how well she communicates in English verbally and in written language. We think she has a God given talent in languages. She has been able to bond with all members of the family. Maija easily bonds with young as well as older. She is able to speak to adults, making eye contact and expression. She thrives when with peers her age or older. Maija is very mature for her age. She is very knowledgeable about American movies, TV, and music. She says she prefers all things in English. She has shared openly about her life and her struggles and disappointments. She has shared openly her desire to be adopted (even though she feels it is too late for her). She wants a future for herself and she doesn’t believe it is in Latvia. She has been through a lot! She is a survivor. She does not see herself as a kid, but a young woman who must strike out on her own and take care of herself simply because there is no one whom she can count on. She needs to be a kid again, a 15 year old. She needs to feel safe and taken care of. She needs to find a family who is ready to love her with open arms. Maija is very self-conscious about her weight and her body. She needs a family who will love her regardless – unconditionally. She is a beautiful young lady and we know God has big plans for her life. We have tried to plant a seed and share the gospel with her. As you can see from her picture, she does have some piercings. Please don’t let this fool you. She is a very sweet young lady. She was very respectful the entire time she was with us. In fact, she had no problem taking them out when we asked her to. She removed them when coming to school with me and at church. This is something all the children in her area seem to wear. We pray every day for her heart to be open to the love of Christ and to the hope of a forever family. Could this family be you? Please feel free to contact the Zingelmann family if you have any questions: . We are more than happy to answer any and all questions!
Meet Sasha…
Sasha is a loving, sweet/affectionate and active 6 year old little boy from Latvia. He has mild Cerebral Palsy causing bit of mental delay and ADHD. Physically he is in perfect condition-not slowed down in a physical sense and very athletic (We were told he had surgery when he was younger). Mentally- he is at a preschool or starting Kindergarten level (which is only a year or two behind in education.) And he has the capacity to learn and catch up fast. His CP mainly has caused him to have mild hyperactivity (and mild ADHD) but not to the sense where he is out of control by any means. He is perfect at church, in a restaurant etc. He has about a 20 min max of doing anything and gets “bored” easily if not assigned a task or toy to play with or an activity to complete. With proper medication and schooling he could be “caught up” and a very good student. He strives for obedience and praise but has not been exposed to much life outside of the orphanage so he learned a lot and improved daily in his host home. He is intelligent and loves puzzles, art, and athletics and is picking up English fast. He bonds well with all ages and genders of children but would not be ideal in a family with more than one younger child because of the initial attention he would require. He gets overstimulated in large groups of children and has no tolerance for any food or drinks with sugar. He is very flexible to any setting, not picky and does not pout or throw tantrums. He is a very happy and fun boy who loves to talk about and learn about Jesus. If you’d like to learn more about Sasha please email his host mom Jessica:
Meet Armands…
Armands bonds easily with all family members & others, and does well with same age children. He interacts well with parents, has generally even moods, and exhibits appropriate reactions to negative situations/answers. He is happy most of the time, respectful of other’s property, and asks for things before taking. He is honest and follows family’s general rules. Armands is a sweet boy with a calm disposition. He eats just about everything but loves waffles, pizza, and Pepsi. He and our 11 year old son have been inseparable. He likes to play cards and Wii. He learned to ride a bike this winter which took persistence from him as his legs are weak. He is very polite and says, “thank you” after every meal. He gives great hugs and kisses host mom on the cheek. We have only seen him unhappy once, and that was at the eye doctor’s office and we didn’t have any way to communicate. He quickly snapped out of it when we left the office. He did not want to ride the carousel, but He loved laser tag with the family. He would do well in a family with any age children. For more information on Armands please contact his host mom Debbie:
Meet Sianda…
Sianda recently turned 12 and is from Latvia. She bonds easily with all family members & others, and does well with children of all ages. She is patient and caring with pets, interacts well with parents, and has generally even moods. Though she pouts at times, she exhibits appropriate reactions to negative situations/ answers, and is happy most of the time. She is respectful of her own & other’s property, and asks for things before taking. She tries to learn/use English, follows family’s general rules, is helpful, and willing to try new things. Sianda is full of life! She is beautiful inside and out. She is bright, personable, artistically talented and just an all-around great kid. She is very adaptable. She sometimes get moody (as do most pre-teen girls, but she is very expressive and kind. She loves animals and gets along really well with children of both genders and within a couple of years older and younger. She is willing to try new things and is very outgoing. Her English is very good and she definitely has her own opinions! Great girl all around! She would probably do best in a family with similar age children. For more information on Sianda please contact her host mom, Jennifer at:
Meet Laura and Nikita…
Laura and Nikita are adorable 7 year old Latvian twins.
Laura says that she was born first and it is believable. She is a leader and keeps her brother straight. She is shy at first, but once you get to know her, she will keep you laughing. Laura loves to tell funny stories (even if you don’t understand a word she is saying). Taking care of the family dogs was Laura’s assigned chore during hosting and she has completed it with joy and kindness. She “rescued” a 15 pound cat many times from an 8 pound dog and always kept an eye out to make sure he was safe. Riding bikes is one of Laura’s favorite things to do. She also loves to cuddle and often strokes her host mother’s hair at bedtime. Laura bonds easily and would be great in a family with children her same age, older, or much younger. Her smile is contagious!!
Nikita is kind, loving, athletic and smart. He says that he loves school and is a very good reader. He often looks to Laura for approval and takes care of her when she is hurt or upset. When he received a $20 gift card, Nikita shopped first for his 2 friends and then for himself. He always offers to share his food or toys. Nikita wants to be a big boy, but when it gets down to it, he loves to cuddle and gives many hugs and kisses. He often tells his host mother, “Love you!!” Nikita is a rough and tumble kind of boy and would make a great American football player. He loves music (the louder the better) and is a great break dancer. Nikita would do great in a family with children his same age, older or much younger. He is a great kid!! Laura and Nikita have 2 older brothers that are 10 and 11 years old and it’s likely that all four will have to be adopted together. For more information please contact their host mom Heather at:

Meet Viktors…
Viktors is an easy-going and laid back 11 year old from Latvia . His English gets better each week. He is opening up more every day. He bonds easily with all family members, does well with younger children & same age children. He is patient and caring with pets, interacts well with parents. Viktors is an amazing young man. Our family was so blessed to have him for 4 weeks. He was easy, laid back, and up for anything. He is very social and loves to be around people. He loved us spending time with family friends and got along well with every single person he came in contact with. He is active and loves all things boy. He loves to ride bikes, play sports, and do anything outside. He is eager to try anything. He has no problem at all bonding. He is easily affectionate and bonded well will everyone in our family, including our children. I particularly recommend him to be hosted by a family looking to adopt. Viktors would really come alive with a loving family and he is available for adoption. He would do well in a family with any age children – younger, same age, older, etc. could go on and on about this child. I loved him before he physically entered our lives. I loved him the moment I laid eyes on him. He will always hold a place in my heart. The time we had with him truly blessed our family. This boy just doesn’t seem like your typical orphan child. He had some of the orphan behaviors at the beginning, but so mild compared to some children. The amazing thing about this boy is that 3 weeks of time and love pretty much erased those behavior patterns. I know they will return when he returns to Latvia. But the point is that in a loving family environment, he would develop into quite a young man. And it wouldn’t take long. Something that really struck me about Viktors is how easily he could bond and how affectionate he could be. He never pulled back when we would touch him or hug him. He is so open to love. Our hearts desire is to see Viktors placed in a family that will love and cherish him. We want to see him provided with opportunities to thrive. I know God has a plan for him and we are trusting in God’s perfect timing. For more information about Viktors please contact his host mom Renee at: or check out their family blog:
Meet Gundvalds…
Gunvalds is a wonderful boy who has been lots of fun to have in our home. His English ability is very good, and he was easy to communicate with. He has an older brother named Muntis who was originally being hosted by us as well, however Muntis requires constant one-on-one attention and the brothers are not close with one another, so Muntis was transferred to another host family. It is not clear if Gundvalds can be adopted without also adopting his brother Muntis. Gunvalds is much more comfortable with women. He was very guarded around Tim, and often misread things Tim said (we quickly realized that gentle teasing was not understood, though I could get away with this). He took correction well; though there were often outbursts, these were more cultural (think arguing with an Italian!), than blatant disobedience. He appears to be quite innocent concerning life in general; he loved watching children’s movies at our house. The original Disney animated Robin Hood was one of his favorites. Having a large family, we stick pretty close to home; by no means was Gunvalds entertained by us, but he loved his time here and was never bored. He loved board games, playing outside, and looking at animal books in the evening. He needs a dad who is patient, kind, and willing to invest a lot of time and love. Tim took off the first two weeks Gunvalds was here. Granted, we were dealing with Muntis, but Gunvalds never warmed up to him. With the hours Tim works, and the family size and ages that we currently have, we feel Gunvalds would do best in a smaller family where more time could be focused on him exclusively. We will be praying that someone is able to host him again; he truly is a great boy who deserves a family of his own. For more information on Gundvalds please contact his host mom, Holly at:
Meet Rolands…
Rolands is a sweet 15 year old boy that was presented as a talented artist – and he is! He is also so much more. This young man is polite, easy-going, and able to amuse himself. He was willing to help with household chores. He was eager to try new things, including activities like riding a horse. We fed him Thai, Indian, Creole, and multiple types of American food. If he didn’t like a specific food, he was polite and ate some anyway. He did admit hamburgers and pizza were his favorites, but he also loved fresh food such as salads and fruits. He is very bright and gets 8s in school in Latvia, but modestly points out it isn’t a top rated school. He got along well with all vistors, though he is shy at first. He has a super sweet smile and a good sense of humor. Rolands speaks very understandable English. He is able to read even more, and participated in reading a devotional we were going through daily with our church, with a little help on some words. He is very willing to learn. He greatly enjoyed visiting the Dallas Art Museum, riding a rollercoaster, and family activities at home. He jumped in when I had a flat tire and changed it, then told me it was his first time changing a tire. Such a cute smile on that one! He is not hyperactive or inappropriate, and would do well in a family with any age children, or as an only child. He was able to take correction (rarely needed) without resentment. Rolands is in a good foster home in Latvia, and it is obvious that he knows how to love others. I have other adopted teens and I wish I could switch out for this guy! For more information please contact Lynn at:
Thank you so much for taking the time to read…to share…and to pray for each of these!
I truly believe the Lord has a beautiful story for each of them.
Please feel free to share this on your Facebook, your blog, in your church, with friends…you just never know where a family designed for each sweet one awaits!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Our Little Golfer

Denver went with Grant to the golf course for his first time on Friday.  Luckily the weather was pretty nice and it wasn't too chilly.  Denver loves golfing around the house so I knew that he would love going to the actual golf course.  I'm not sure if he is going to be satisfied teeing off of my bed anymore.  So glad that Grant took some great pictures because I wasn't there and even if I was I would forget....Grant is the best husband and dad ever.
I guess he was getting pretty upset with the wind as he was trying to carry the flag...gotta love Oklahoma.  There is a reason our state song says "Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain"
Golf is such an intense sport
Denver driving the golf cart...although he did inform me he didn't get to do the peddles.
The only thing that would have made this golf trip better would be if Seifu could be here...but hopefully soon.  We haven't heard anything else about our dossier going over to Ethiopia but as soon as we do I will post an update. 
Also don't forget about our "Valentine Sugar Cookie" fundraiser to help bring Seifu home.  So far I am up to 20 dozen...YAY!!!  My goal is to sell 40 dozen so I still have plenty more orders to take.   If you know of anyone who might want some then please pass this information along to them.  They will be $25/dozen and will come in a pretty valentine box. 
And I will leave you with a funny story of the day:
Me:  Denver you are going to get to see Mimi today.
Denver:  Are we going to Mimi's house?
Me:  No baby we are going to a funeral for your Mimi's Aunt Jerry who died
Denver:  Did Mimi die?
Me:  No Mimi didn't die it was her Aunt, we didn't know her
Denver:  I know her, I know Aunt Jerry
Me:  Okay if you say so
Denver:  Are we going to see Mimi up there (pointing up to heaven)
Me:  No baby Mimi didn't die it was her aunt
Denver:  Is Aunt Jerry in heaven?
Me:  Yes she is....(thinking to myself "and please don't ask any more questions because I already went into way too much depth for a 2 year old")
Why do I even open these cans of worms???

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

So much to talk about...

Well thanks to some wonderful friends and family we have raised $2,000 so far for our trips to bring Seifu home.  All of the items sold fairly quick and we had some wonderful people donate to us for Christmas...we are blessed beyond words.  Thank you to all who have helped support our journey in bringing Seifu home. 

We have gotten many new pictures and videos of Seifu...I wish so badly that I could show you his beautiful smile but unfortunately we aren't able to post any pics of him on a social site until we have passed court.  Sooooo you will just have to keep waiting anxiously, sorry.  But he is seriously so stinkin' precious and his smile will make you melt.  We were blessed to get in touch with a family from Michigan that just travelled over to Ethiopia to visit their daughter that lives in the same orphanage as Seifu and they took a package over to Seifu for us.  We sent him a photo book of our family, a Thunder t-shirt and a police motorcycle Lego set.  They said he was so excited to receive them and was showing everyone the pictures of us.  We saw a video of him playing soccer, talking a little about some of his favorite things and telling us that he loved us.  It's so cute because he is calling Denver "Waqo", which was his Ethiopian name.  The agency nurse who is working with Seifu was in love with Denver and she keeps calling Denver "Waqo" so now Seifu is too.  We think it is really cute and Denver thinks it is so funny. 
The latest report we received on Seifu was that he has not been feeling too well over the last week so they put him on antibiotics and were going to take him back to the clinic.  We are hoping and praying it is just something mild but it's hard when we really don't know.  Please keep him in your prayers that he will get to feeling better and that we can bring him home ASAP.  We fingerprinted for USCIS last Tuesday and now we just have to wait for those to process.  As soon as they are done they will send our dossier over to Ethiopia and from there it's just waiting on them to process our stuff and give us a court date.  We are hoping that our first trip will be within the next couple of months.  The second trip usually occurs 6-8 weeks after the first, so maybe we will have Seifu home by April-Junish time frame. 

Let me try and catch you up on what's been going on over the past month and a half...In early December Grant and I took went on a mission trip to Honduras with a team of about 20 people.  We originally had the trip planned for last June, before we knew that Seifu was meant to be ours, but Grant got a pretty bad virus and we weren't able to go.  Thankfully the airlines gave us ticket vouchers that we could use for the December trip so that's when we went.  Denver got to spend some quality time with grandparents and friends from church so he had a wonderful time while we were gone.  Grant and I were both really blessed by the experience and grew so much in our love of Christ.  We will definitely be returning to help the wonderful people in Honduras.  While we were there we hosted a "Jesus Banquet" for the community that works at the dump in Tegucigalpa and fed over 1,800 people.  We helped build a house for a family that was in desperate need for one and I did more manual labor than I have ever done.  We were able to do much more but Grant reminded me not to make this too long so people would actually read it.  Right after we got back Denver, my mom and I headed down to my cousin's wedding on 12/12/12.  We had a wonderful time and enjoyed seeing our family.  Denver became big buddies with his new cousin and keeps asking when he will get to hug Darren again. 
Denver just chillin with his hands in his pockets while he is supposed to be participating in the Christmas program. 
He did sing a duet with his best bud Walker

Christmas was wonderful...we just spent time with family and it was very relaxing this year.  Denver loved all his presents and was so excited to play with them.  Christmas eve was spent in Cushing with the Morgan's and it was so fun just to get to relax and watch the kid's play together.  Christmas morning Denver opened our presents to him and then we headed out to my parents house to spend the rest of the day.  We had a great time lazing around, fattening up on food and watching Denver ride his new scooter that he got.  The Friday after Christmas we headed down to Dallas to have Christmas with my brother and his family.  We ate some more good food and watched the kids play.  Our theme for Christmas was Fellowship and Family...I just made that up but it sounded good. 

Daddy and Denver being silly
I have decided to continue on with the fundraising for our trips by selling Valentine sugar cookies.  They will be like that Christmas cookies I made in 2011 except Valentine's themed.  They will be
$25 per dozen and each dozen will come in a pretty Valentine's box.  These are the perfect gift for someone you love....or if you're stingy you can just eat them all yourself, I won't tell.   I will deliver them to you before Valentine's Day.  If you are interested in ordering just let me know by February 4th.  You can leave me a comment here or email me at 
Hope I didn't overload you with all of the details of our lives but I promise I left some out. 
 Many blessings to you all!!!