Happy Referral-versary to Us!

One year ago today, our lives were forever changed by this little face...

On December 22, 2010, we got the call that every adoptive parent longs for, dreams about, and prays for--our referral call!  And ours came just in time for Christmas!

We were completely elated--and shocked--that we got the call when we did.  If you've followed our story, you know that it was because we were open to a child with an infectious disease (specifically HIV) that we got matched with precious Edeneku.  And you also know the miracle that God worked in her little body to completely free her from ANY disease! 

NOTE: you can click on the "Our Journey to Eden" tab to the right if you want to get the whole story.

These were the pictures that sustained us until we got to see her for the first time in person on March 15th. 

Sweet baby girl, we love you SO much and can't imagine our lives without you!!

Click here if you want to see the original referral post.

Updated Baby Bump

We did an impromptu maternity photo shoot at my family's farm in Louisiana over Thanksgiving break (my youngest sister is a photographer).  Here is one of our favorite shots...
OK, so that's obviously just a joke.  What can I say?  We're a bit "different."  heehee!

Here is the real 20 week baby bump shot...
"Bean" has a Name!
At our 20-week ultrasound, we found out that we're having another GIRL!  She's measuring a bit petite (which I certainly don't mind!!) and is healthy.  Her name is Callie Jeanne Huss.  The first name is a variation of Ben's sports hero, Cal Ripken Jr.  The middle name is Ben's grandmother's name.  We'll likely call her all kinds of nicknames...Cal, Callie Jeanne, CJ, Callie, Callie Bean...the options are endless!  We are super-excited to have another little girl around the house sometime in late April!

A Gymnast, Perhaps?
I'm now 22 weeks along and Miss Callie seems to be a little gymnast!  She keeps me up at night sometimes with her acrobatics.  And we're pretty sure that she's not a fan of loud movie theater sounds (maybe the bass?).  We went on a date the other night and she didn't calm down until the movie was over.  I hope the poor thing wasn't scared that entire time!  I did my best to muffle the sounds (piling coats on top of my belly, etc.), but I'm not sure that helped at all.  It's such a weird feeling, but I'm counting it as one of the many blessings of this pregnancy--there is LIFE inside my womb--how cool is that?!

Stretching and Growing
I'm starting to feel the pains of my muscles stretching, and I'm sure the lovely stretch marks on my skin won't be too far away. ;)  My doctor says I'm right on track with weight gain, etc. so that's good.  Sometimes I feel like my weight gain has got to be crazy, but then she weighs me and it's not much at all.  Whew!  I'm blessed to have a hubby who constantly tells me how beautiful my growing body is (and he actually means it!).  Again, I'm counting my blessings. 

And how is Eden?
I'm way overdue for an Eden blog post, so that's next on tap.  She's doing GREAT!  We are incredibly blessed with our baby girl--who is growing up right before our eyes!  Stay tuned...

The Baby Bump

This is for all of my out-of-town girlfriends and sisters...

The 15 week baby bump (supposedly Bean is the size of an apple this week)

Funny Story
On Sunday afternoon, as I was trying to take a snooze (nap while Eden's napping, right?!), Bean decided to get the hiccups and keep me awake.  At first I thought I was just feeling my own pulse (you know how you can sometimes feel it in weird places).  Then I realized it couldn't be my pulse unless something was really wrong with me--teehee!  I knew it was too early for me to feel any sort of kicking, etc. from Bean, so I checked the all-knowing internet to see what it could be.  Sure enough, it mentioned that I could likely feel jerking movements if Bean got the hiccups.  Mystery solved, but it still kept me awake.  Just felt too weird for me to sleep...but it was really cool to feel the baby!

My Health
I continue to feel very blessed that I have had an uneventful pregnancy thus far.  Due to my crazy aversion (read: fear) of needles, I'm glad I haven't had to be poked any more than what a "normal" pregnant woman has to be.  I am dreading the glucose test (can't remember when that will take place, but I'm dreading it nonetheless).  I'm not really dreading it because I'm worried about the results.  It's the idea of downing a nasty "beverage" in a short amount of time that has me completely grossed out.  You see, I don't drink many beverages other than water, so even the idea of having to drink a soda would gross me out.  I just keep reminding myself of the millions of other pregnant women who survive it...so I'm sure I will, too. ;)

An Amazing Realization
Maternity pants are freekin' awesome!  I've just started wearing them (thanks to friends who are letting me borrow their maternity wardrobe--I'm so blessed!) and they have changed my life.  All I can think of is how awesome this Thanksgiving meal will be now that I'll be wearing "stretchy pants" like this!  (But unlike Joey on "Friends," I'm wearing them for legitimate reasons.)  Oh, and it's been a great self-esteem boost to be wearing pants two sizes smaller than my normal pants.  Thank you to the makers of maternity gear for sizing them like that!


It's time to share with the blog world...Team Huss is expanding again! This time biologically--Lauren is pregnant

Eden will be a big sister sometime around April 21st (same timeframe that we came home with her this year)! We are very excited that God is continuing to bless our family with children!

First photo of "Baby Bean" at 8/9 weeks...
Now at 14 weeks, Bean is currently the size of a lemon (says the internet), and the baby bump is definitely showing.  Lauren has been blessed to have an uneventful pregnancy thus far.  Please pray for continued health of both her and Bean. 

Some questions you might have...with some answers...

Was this planned?
Yes. Once we were home and settled with Eden, we began praying that God would give us clarity on how long to try to get pregnant or when to start our next adoption process. We are blessed that God gave us such a clear answer so quickly! No medication of any sort was required for Lauren to get pregnant.

But I thought y'all adopted because you couldn't get pregnant?
Actually, that is NOT the reason we adopted. While we had certainly been trying to get pregnant back in 2009, our choice to adopt was that we clearly felt God calling us to adopt. The fact that we weren't pregnant certainly helped us in saying "yes" to that calling, but we still knew that having biological children was not out of the picture for us.

Will you adopt again?
Yes. We both feel strongly that we will adopt in the future. The when and where are uncertain at this time, but we're certain that we'll adopt again.

Thanks so much for all of your love and support! We'll keep everyone posted on our progress!


I really, really, really like this post.  One of the comments we get a lot is that we "did such a good thing" by adopting Eden.  Or we're "such good people" for adopting Eden.  Are we heroes?  Nope.  We just did what God told us to do.  It's as simple as that.  And He gets ALL of the glory for it.

Eden Recap: months 10-12 of life; months 3-5 home

Ummm, so we’ve been a bit busy around here (like all parents) and we’ve neglected Eden’s scrapbook installments.  Oh well—at least we haven’t neglected her!  So here’s a catch-up post…

You’re still a petite little girl, teetering around 17 pounds and 29 inches tall.  You’re as healthy as can be and you’re long and lean!  And EVERYONE comments on how beautiful you are.  

Your skin is soft, your fingers are long, and you have a total of 6 teeth now (you added 2 on the bottom and 2 on the top).

You are still a very content, happy, smart, and playful baby.  That’s the other thing that EVERYONE comments on.  We know we are blessed!

You definitely test your boundaries on things and don’t like to be told “no” (who does?), but you’re responding to our discipline attempts fairly well.  Our biggest challenge is keeping you out of the dog food bowl!

You started crawling in full effect during your 10th month.  You are fast! 

During your 12th month, you have become very interested in walking.  You pull up on everything and are trying to stand on your own.  You’re very good at plopping down on your rear end instead of falling on your back/head, so that makes it easier!

During a recent trip to Minnesota, you learned how to climb stairs and we’re working with you on how to come back down properly (on your tummy; NOT head first).  In the meantime, we keep the baby gate up!  

You talk (babble) a lot!  It’s sweet to listen to you talk and we wonder what you are saying.  You’ve recently started saying “Mama” a LOT (you used to only say it every now and then).  When Mama walks in a room, you reach your arm out (it actually looks like you’re doing a Hitler gesture—oops!) and you say “Mama!”  Makes Mama VERY happy!  Poor Daddy…  

You still love to make sounds with your mouth…clicking with your tongue, motorboat with your lips, etc.  And you love to clap your hands!

You love your solid food!  You are not a picky eater at all.  Solid foods are much easier (and cheaper), so we’re happy you’ve got enough teeth to chew!  Bananas and carrots are certainly favorites, but you’ll eat anything we put in front of you.

You are drinking through a straw now.  It only took one day of “training” before you got the hang of it!  For now we’re only giving you water in your straw cups, but soon you’ll graduate to milk (instead of formula) and we’ll try juice eventually.

You crack us up with your faces!  This is the face you make when you try something sour.  Believe it or not, you still go back for a second taste!   

Praise the Lord for sleep!  You’re consistently sleeping through the night now (and have been for a few months).  If you do wake up at night, it’s because you don’t feel well (which isn’t often).  We’ve recently transitioned you to one afternoon nap instead of a morning and afternoon nap.  We did this because you were taking a while to go down for your naps, then you’d only sleep for an hour or so.  With the one nap a day, you definitely sleep longer (2 – 2 ½ hours). 

You still love being in either of our slings.  Daddy’s sling is particularly magical for those times you need to sleep when we’re out and about! 

Some Quirks
You crack us up with some of your little “quirks”…

You are very expressive with your eyebrows!  Here’s one of your favorite “looks”:


You recently started making a face when we take out a camera, so this is your “cheese” face:


You’ve forgotten that you know how to roll over from your back to your tummy.  It’s hilarious.  You get stuck like a beetle on it’s back!

You love to eat paper!  I guess we’ll have to change your nickname from “little bird” to “little goat!”

You are super cute when you stick your pointer finger into your paci:

Some Firsts
You had some “firsts” during this time of your life…

First time at the beach (you loved eating the sand!):


First 4-wheeler ride:


First jet ski ride:

First NFL football game (Vikings vs Texans):

First time meeting your great-grandmothers (in Minnesota):


Our Cloth Diapering Routine

After this post, a couple of you asked about our cloth diapering routine, so here goes...

The Basics:  We use FuzziBunz brand.  They are pocket diapers, meaning there is the diaper part and then an insert that is the absorbent part.  Both get washed.  We have 16 of the perfect-size diapers in small.  (With FuzziBunz, you have the choice of one size diapers or sized diapers.  Click here for the comparison.)  We actually purchased off of the FuzziBunz clearance center (factory irregulars and slight defects) and we can't really tell what the defects are--it can be something as small as a stitch that's not perfect.  We chose to do the perfect-size diapers once we saw how petite Eden is.  The smalls will fit her for a long time--potentially all the way until potty training.  The one-size diapers work well for kiddos who aren't as petite.

I cannot figure out why this photo is flipped sideways--forgive me!

Wipes:  We use both cloth wipes and disposable wipes.  Cloth wipes at home; disposable wipes while we're out and about.  We found that, when using cloth diapers, it's actually much easier to use cloth wipes as well so you can just throw all of the dirties (diaper and wipe) into the same pail.  If you use disposable wipes, you have to put your cloth diaper in the pail and then the wipes in the trash can.  So really, it's just more efficient to use cloth wipes.  I'm not crafty and I'm more into efficiency, so I just purchased a 12-pack of GroVia cloth wipes because they were the cheapest I could find that still had good reviews of being soft and a good size.  You could also make your own out of pieces of flannel.  I bought a $1 spray bottle from Target, labeled it "wipe spray," and keep it with the diapers.  The solution is simply water, a bit of baby soap, and a bit of grapeseed oil.

Storage:  We have 2 FuzziBunz Hanging Diaper Pail bags (so we always have a bag to put the dipes in, even with a load is being done).  We put them in a trash can with lid (specifically, it's a simplehuman 30-liter round stainless steel step-on can) that we keep in the laundry room (others keep a pail by the changing table, but we tend to change most diapers downstairs near our laundry room, so this works best for us). We use the trash can to contain the odors--just the bag alone will not do that.  We also have 4 FuzziBunz Zipper Diaper Tote bags, and we keep one at a time in the diaper bag.  It's nice to have multiple of these since we typically go somewhere at least once a day (and only wash every third day).

Changing Wets:  Before opening the diaper, we spray a cloth wipe with the solution to have it ready.  After we change her diaper, we immediately go step on the trash can pedal, shake the insert out of the diaper (which is easy because the insert is holding all of the pee, thus it's heavier than the diaper and gravity takes over), and drop all 3 pieces (diaper, insert, and wipe) into the bag.  Done and done.

Changing Poos:  Again, before opening the diaper, we spray a cloth wipe with the solution to have it ready.  If I'm sure it's a poo, I spray 2 wipes because I'm not good enough to do all of the clean up with 1 wipe.  After we change her diaper, we immediately go to the toilet and use the cloth wipe to get most of the poo into the toilet.  Because Eden is on solid foods, most of her poos are in little "patties" and are easy to scrape into the toilet (no touchy-touchy for us--we use the cloth wipe to do the scraping).  When she is sick or eats something funky and the poo is runny, it's harder to get any into the toilet, so it just goes straight to the bag and we pray it all comes out in the soaking process.  After the poo is in the toilet, the routine is the same as with wet diapers (shake out the insert, drop all of the pieces into the bag).  Done and done.  NOTE:  Many people use sprayers that are attached to their toilets to help get the poo off.  We've never tried this, but if you're reading this and it works well for you (meaning the poo doesn't get sprayed on your walls or anything), please let me know.

Wash Routine:  We have to wash her diapers every third day or so.  We prefer to start the wash in the morning.  So, once Eden wakes up and we change her from her nighttime diaper, we take the diaper bag with all of the dirties out of the trash can and dump the entire thing into the washer.  A benefit of the FuzziBunz bag we use is that it unzips on the bottom so all of the diapers, inserts, and wipes just fall right out without you having to touch anything.  Then you put the bag right in the wash with everything else.  Any of our smaller diaper bag tote bags would have also been in there and they get washed in the same load as well.

We do a cold soak on the highest load size (the more water, the better).  We have an old-school top load washer, so in order to do a soak, we just move the dial to "rinse" and leave the top open so it doesn't drain out.  We set a timer for 1 hour for the soak.  When the soak is finished, we close the lid which activates the spin cycle to drain all of the water out.  Once that is finished, we can start the actual wash. 

For the wash, we move the temperature dial to "hot," move the load size back to "medium," and put in a Tablespoon of Rockin' Green detergent.  We do the "heavy duty" setting for the wash.  After the wash cycle is complete, we move the temperature dial back to "cold" and do two more rinses.  We've found that, due to our soft water, it's best to do those extra two rinses to ensure all of the detergent gets out.  If the detergent builds up on your diapers, they will smell like amonia as soon as your child pees (been there, done that--yuck!).

NOTE:  It's important to note that we have a water softener system in our house, so our water is obviously soft.  This matters.  It means we use less detergent than someone with hard water.  It also means that the detergent that works for us might not work for you if you have harder water (although, Rockin' Green makes versions for hard, normal, and soft water). 

Drying:  Since most days in Houston are sunny days, we choose to dry our diapers in the sun.  After all, that saves us even more money since we're not running the dryer.  Plus, the sun is a natural bleaching agent that will get out any residual "skid marks" left behind. ;)

Stuffing:  Once our diapers and inserts are dry, we bring them back in and stuff them (put an insert into each diaper) so they are ready for the next change.  We store the majority of our diapers in a basket downstairs and have a few upstairs in Eden's nursery.

Something to Consider:  If your child will be going to full-time childcare (i.e., if you have to go back to work full-time after a certain amount of time at home), cloth diapering might not be a cost saver for you.  The reason is that most childcare centers (and many at-home caregivers) will not accommodate cloth diapering.  So, you'll end up having to buy disposable diapers for the majority of the hours in the child's day.  Like any other decisions you'll have to make for your family, just consider everything to determine what is right for you.

Final Notes:  With all of the details we included in this post, cloth diapering might sound more involved than it actually is.  It's actually quite easy.  The most convincing "testimony" is Ben's.  He was a huge skeptic initially, but is now a believer (with the cost savings, who wouldn't be!).  I've seriously heard him tell other people how big of a fan he is of cloth diapering!  And, for those who don't know, Ben is a hands-on dad who shares just as much of the parenting duties as I do...so he changes a lot of diapers and he helps with the washing as well!  Another big skeptic initially was my mother-in-law.  When she heard we were using cloth diapers, she asked if she could use disposable when she was babysitting.  Once we showed her the "modern" cloth diapers, she gave a big "oh!" and is totally on board now!

Here's a view from behind (teehee) of what the diapers look like on Eden.  Very cute and stylish!  And you don't even have to use the little bloomers that they make for girls since you'll have coordinating colors for her outfits!

Hope that's helpful!  Feel free to ask me any specifics.

Eden Recap: month 9 of life; month 2 home

Whew!  All of those parents are right when they say that time really flies and kids grow up way too fast!  June brought several milestones in our house: I went back to work (part-time for now) on June 15th, Eden turned 9 months old on June 17th, we celebrated 2 months of being home as a family of 3 on June 23rd, and Ben turned 30 on June 30th!!

That means it’s time to document Eden’s next scrapbook installment...

You’ve gained a few ounces (heehee!), so you’re approximately 15 pounds 9 ounces and you are healthy as can be! 

You got your first teeth!  2 little ones on the bottom.  And man, they are sharp!

You had a double ear infection this month (second time since we’ve been home).  The good news is that they don’t really seem to bother you.  You don’t get a fever or get fussy or anything.  The bad news is that means we don’t really know that you have an ear infection unless we happen to be at the doctor for something else.  Kind of makes us feel like bad parents when they tell us you have an ear infection and we didn’t even know anything was wrong.  Oops!

We think we’ve got your dry skin and scratching under control.  We just keep your fingernails cut short and keep your skin hydrated with lots of lotion.  Thankfully you can show off your cute clothes without a bib now!  (We used to keep one on you 24/7 to prevent you from scratching your chest).

You are still a very content, happy, smart, and playful baby.  We are totally lucky!  

You are also a bit impatient.  For instance, if you catch a glimpse of us making you a bottle, you immediately start fussing loudly for the bottle.  Thus, we have to hide the bottle from you until we’ve got you in our arms ready to feed you.  It’s a fun game—keeps things interesting!

You’re also very impatient with diaper changes.  We think you don’t like to be naked and exposed (yay for modesty!).  As soon as the diaper comes off, you start kicking like crazy and fussing until we get the clean diaper on you.  This is not such a fun game, but it definitely keeps us on our toes!

In response to your impatient nature, we sing the “be patient” song to you (which will probably irritate you as you get older).  Here are the lyrics…“Be patient, be patient, don’t be in such a hurry.  When you get impatient, it’s then you start to worry.  Remember, remember, that God is patient, too.  And think of all the times that others had to wait for you.”  Yeah, we’re pretty sure you’re going to hate that song when you’re older…

You are easily sitting up on your own—no more bobbing over anymore.  Your Uncle Adam says you have great posture! J  You are even pulling up on things to stand!

You are starting to crawl.  The only thing keeping you from a full crawl is that pesky right leg that you can’t quite get out from under you when you’re in “crawl position.”  We’re going to start baby-proofing the house because we know you’ll be crawling soon!

You use your little fingers all of the time.  You love to feel different textures and you grab all sorts of things!  It’s so cute to watch your little “pinchers” (pointer finger and thumb) exploring the world around you.

You talk a lot!  You say baba, dada, mama, hi, etc.  And you love making sounds with your mouth…clicking with your tongue, motorboat with your lips, etc.

We’ve decided that your first intentional word (and only one so far) was Mama.  That makes your mama very happy!  Your daddy is a bit jealous.

You don’t do your “trill” much anymore.  Hopefully that’s because you’re not as frustrated as you were when you first came home.  Haha!  

You still drink 4 bottles (approximately 6 ounces each) a day, but you’ve graduated to eating more chunky foods instead of just purees.  You still are a great eater and are not picky at all!  Avacados and bananas are among your favorites, but you even liked the curried red lentils you tried recently!

At every meal we give you your own spoon to hold and it’s fun to watch you learn how it works.  You typically will follow one of our bites that we give you by putting your spoon in your mouth.  Recently we watched as you used your spoon to scoop up a piece of avocado and get it to your mouth.  You are so smart!

You crack us up when you try something cold.  With ice cream, you make a terrible face when the coldness hits your mouth, but you love the taste, so you always go back for more. 

You are still consistently taking a 1 - 2 hour nap in the morning and the afternoon, which is awesome!  Your nighttime sleep is a bit inconsistent, but it’s getting better.  You typically wake up at least once a night and are up for an hour or so before you go back down.  The good part is that, when you’re awake, you’re happy (the only exception to that is if your tummy or your mouth hurts).  The bad part is that you’re awake at 3:00 in the morning!  But we make the best of it and get a lot of snuggles in while you’re up.

We’ve found that our slings are magical!  If you are truly tired, but are just fighting sleep, all we have to do is put you in one of our slings (we both have one) and you instantly calm down and eventually give in to dreamland.  Awww, you must love the closeness to us!  And the fact that your arms are restrained when you’re in the sling probably has something to do with it as well!

The things you absolutely LOVE haven’t changed much since last month.  You still LOVE…

Jumping!  In your jumper, in our laps, wherever you can make your legs go.

Water!  Splashing, dunking your face under, being sprayed, anything involving water.

Dogs!  As they lick your face, when they walk in the room, when their tail whacks you in the face, anything involving dogs.

Soothie!  You’re really attached to it (your pacifier).  It’s awesome now, but it makes us nervous for a year or so down the road.

Books!  Your love of books really developed recently.  You love to sit and have someone read you a book.  You actually pay attention for a long time.  You are so smart!

Daddy!  You love to play with Daddy.  And you love rubbing his head (we think you like the feeling of his buzzed haircut on your hand).  You’re not fond of being surprised, though (Daddy learned that the hard way when he made you cry because he plopped down beside you and said “boo!”). 

Mommy!  You love your Mommy.  If she’s in eyesight, you reach up and say “mama, mama!”

The Rest of the Story

There is a piece of our adoption story that we have withheld from many people until now.  The reason for withholding it was simply to protect our child from hurt and discrimination and to allow her the ability to decide who she wanted to tell when she was older.  It was against our "open book" nature to withold information, but we knew it was the right decision at the time.

However, due to recent happenings, we feel comfortable excited about sharing it with you now.  It’s a huge part of our journey to Eden and we hope that it answers some questions…but more importantly, we hope it challenges your thinking.

Sorry to be so mysterious.  Here goes…

The calling that we felt on September 16, 2009 (sidenote: the 8 hour time difference meant that it was September 17, 2009 in Ethiopia—one year to the day that Eden was born—you can’t tell me God doesn’t care about the details!) was very clear to us. Adopt an infant. Adopt internationally. Adopt right now.  We based all of our decisions (what agency, what country, what age child, etc.) on those 3 things.  If there was a decision we had to make that was not clear based on those 3 parameters, we prayed and researched and went with the one where we felt God’s peace.  

When we first submitted our adoption application, we had to select whether or not we were open to a child with special needs.  (Note that “special needs” is a broad term that covers medical needs, physical deformities, chronic diseases, etc.)  Ben and I talked a lot about it and decided to say “no” and thus submitted our application for a healthy baby.

A big change:  Fast forward almost one year.  I (Lauren) hadn’t exactly been feeling at peace with that “healthy” selection.  Through a series of things including another blog and a small group study, I felt challenged to consider adopting a child with HIV (you might need to give that a moment to sink in, but please don’t be scared!).  

The discussion:  Ben and I spoke about it over dinner on September 3, 2010.  Ben mentioned that he could definitely see us raising a child with some sort of special medical need—he just didn’t know what kind of special need, and he didn’t anticipate it being our first child.  But he said that if God was speaking something to me, he was certainly willing to listen!  In order to stay true to the 3 things we felt called to, we decided that if it would delay our process at all, we wouldn’t do it this time around (because of the “adopt right now” calling).  We left dinner that night feeling excited and nervous of the possibilities.

Slam dunk:  God knows what He’s doing, people.  His timing is perfect.  And if He sees His children needing confirmation of a calling, He’ll give it to them.  When we got home from dinner that night, our agency’s update email had come to our inboxes and the headline was “Introducing AGCI’s Positively Chosen Program.”  There you go.  Our agency had decided to have sub-program where you can adopt children who are HIV positive.  The SAME day that Ben and I had our discussion.  And after talking to our case manager and finding out that it certainly wouldn’t delay us—if anything, it would speed us up, that just sealed the deal.  

More education and paperwork:  In the following months, we completed a long list of training and eligibility requirements for the Positively Chosen program and got all of our paperwork updated to reflect our change in parameters.  We had an overwhelming peace about our decision and were certain that this is what God had called us to do.  We went into this knowing there would be additional challenges we would face, but firmly believing that God would provide in every way for our family. 

Tough road:  We only mentioned our change in parameters to immediate family members and a few very close friends.  As you can imagine, HIV is a very sensitive topic that many people are scared of.  In fact, you might be looking at Eden in a different light just from hearing our story thus far…  Well, we encountered a couple of very tough responses regarding our change in parameters and simply prayed (and cried) to God that He would be glorified and that He would protect our child from any discrimination once he/she was home with us.  It was a very tough road.

Best Christmas ever:  As you know, on December 22, 2010, we got a phone call from our agency with a little girl they had in mind for us.  We were told that her birth mother had HIV, Hepatitis C, and TB—the “triple crown” of infectious diseases, our pediatrician said.  After that phone call, and officially accepting our referral, we were on cloud nine!  Edeneku was SO precious and we couldn’t wait to share the news with our families for Christmas! 

Prayer works, people!  To say that we had a lot of people praying for Eden would be a drastic understatement.  We were seriously SO blessed to have so many people praying for her!  And let’s just say, it worked!  Long story short, Eden is healthy!  When we were matched with her, we knew she didn’t have TB.  Before we even traveled to Ethiopia to meet her, we were told that her bloodwork came back negative for HIV.  And now that we’re home, our pediatrician can’t even find anything that would lead him to believe she has Hepatitis C.  He said he couldn’t explain it.  We said that anything could happen through prayer—that’s explanation enough for us!

Bottom line:  We love Eden no matter what her health status.  We had people praying for her health in general (they had no idea of any of this) and for God to protect her.  And, of course, we prayed that our child would be protected from harm of any kind and we trusted that God would take care of our family.  God chose for Eden to NOT have these infectious diseases and for that we are grateful.  However, please understand that health status does not define her—or anyone.

Be open!  We ask you to approach this with an open mind and open heart, just as we have.  If reading this made some emotions come up that you want to talk about, please reach out to us.  We have a TON of great resources on HIV and how it is and isn’t transmitted (if you think you know, you’re probably in for a surprise).  This 3.5 minute YouTube video and the Project Hopeful site it mentions are our favorite—check them out!  And obviously, this blog is a very short version of the entire story, so let us know if you have questions, comments, concerns, etc.

Our takeaways: 

Give God complete control,

be obedient to what He says,

allow Him to show off, and

give Him the glory! 

Oh, and pray with persistence and confidence!

Here's an example of the blessing that came from our obedience in this situation...