Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010

When I look at this year so much of it is a blur. The major event that sticks out is adoption. We have been paperchasing and fundraising much of the year. We have had friends get married, several of our friends are having babies, and we have met several other adoptive families. We are so thankful for the friendships God has blessed us with new and old. 
I am looking forward to 2011. My hope is that our big events next year include a trip to Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia and of course, bringing home our little girl!

Amazing how a year can make a difference. Here is a look back to how my little boys have grown this past year

 Early 2010

Here they are at Chritstmas. 

They get so big so quick. I can't wait to have another little one added to this brood! We will be praying for 2011 to be the year that many babies come home to their forever families! 
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Parents night out fundraiser

Last Friday we did a Parents night out fund raiser. We joined forces with the Rogers again for this and we had a blast. We had so many amazing volunteers. So many of our friends who do not have their own children showed up to help watch 23 kids! Other friends who have their own little ones dropped them off and got a night out. We had so much fun with all these little ones. Here are a few pictures of our fun.

Thank you to all who volunteered. Thank you to all who dropped off your little ones. We are so blessed that we have so many who have helped support the adoption. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

One month and counting

As of yesterday we have been DTE (dossier to Ethiopia) for one month. The wait is still sitting at 7-11 months for an infant girl. So, now we are one month closer to getting a referral to see our little girl. We can't wait. Thank you so much for your prayers as God continues to work on us while we wait for our daughter.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas letter

Hello Friends and Family,

This year I have decided to do our Christmas letter on our blog. I realize this isn't as great as if I were to print and mail it out, but honestly I think it will actually get done this way.:)

2010 has been a great year for us. Our biggest news is that we are growing our family through adoption. We felt God nudging us in that direction in April and before we knew it we were accepted into the Ethiopia program at America World. We have spent most of the year in the paper chase phase. Collecting paperwork and putting it all together in the big file they call a dossier. Our dossier was mailed out on 11/19/10 and now we are in the waiting phase. The approximate wait right now is between 7-11 months for a referral. Then we must make two trips to Ethiopia before we can bring our little one home. We are anxiously waiting, fund raising, preparing, and praying for our little girl. We are all so excited for her to come home.  The boys can't wait to meet their sister.

Levi has had a big year this year. He turned one, got his first (and only so far) two teeth, started walking, and started saying a few words. His favorite things to say are milk and Thank you. He is such a snuggler. He loves to give hugs and is so much fun to watch. He loves to try to do all the things his big brothers do. My hope is that he will really want to do what they do and go potty on the big boy potty early. :)

Asher also had an exciting year. He started his first year of Tuesday school. Tuesday school is a free preschool a local church does as a ministry to the community. We have been very blessed to watch how much our boys have enjoyed it. He also turned three this year. He is so big and so smart. Some of the things he says amaze us. Also, this is Asher's first year to do Awana. He loves hearing stories about Jesus and learning verses. He is getting so big.

Isaac is continuing to get big as well. He turned four in February. He also started his second year of Tuesday school this year. He is loving his first year of Awana as well. We love hearing him say his  memory verse. The first verse he learned was in 2 timothy and now everything is 2. 2 Matthew, 2 Luke, I think it is pretty cute. We have started doing some preschool at home to prepare for our home school venture. So far we are really enjoying it. Isaac is so social and talkative. He makes friends where ever he goes. It is so fun to watch them all grow.

Dan and Abby are keeping busy as well. Dan is still working at Heapy. He is playing soccer once a week and keeps busy being a wonderful husband and Daddy. I have the privilege of staying at home with our boys. I love to work on coupons and I get to hang out with students from our youth group on a regular basis. Dan and I still love that we get to be involved with student ministry. God has blessed us with so much great stuff to make our lives feel very full. We love the busy because it is all a joyful busy. 

We hope you all have had a good year as well. We are excited to see what 2011 has in store for us. May God bless you this Christmas and in the new year. 

With Love,
The Garmans

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thinking and praying

I just can't help it. I keep thinking about my little girl today. I look at our stocking all hung with each name on it. I want to know her name. I want to have a stocking up for her. I held my friend's precious little one today and I can't wait to hold HER. I want to see her little face and touch her little hands. I want to kiss her little forehead and snuggle her all up. I am so excited to meet her. We have a long wait ahead of us, but it is fun until then to dream about her and keep praying for her.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A lot to be thankful for.

This week our family went to Florida to visit our friends. We had a great time just hanging out and cramming as much fun as possible into our week. Since we were DTE the Friday before I was crazy and obsessively  tracking our dossier's trip to Ethiopia. I thought it was very cool that on Thanksgiving day our dossier was delivered to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. What a great treat for Thanksgiving.

So this year on Thanksgiving we have a lot to be thankful for. I am thankful for this waiting period. I know it holds a lot for me to learn. I am thankful for my family, my friends, my husband, my kids who are home, and for our little girl who will hopefully be with us next year.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I have three fave letters as of today and they are DTE! We are officially on the wait list for our little girl! Oh, I am so happy, excited, and crazy in love with some one I have yet to meet. I am jumping up and down, screaming, dancing, and crazy happy over these three little letters. 

DTE or dossier to Ethiopia means that all our papers are on there way to the birth country of our baby girl. It means that all our paper chasing is over and our waiting begins. It means that again we are in awe of God's goodness and provisions through this entire process. It means we are that much closer to having four little blessings in our home. It means I am that much closer to PINK! It means that we have so much to be thankful for as we come into Thanksgiving week. 

Please be in prayer as there has been a slow down in referrals as of late and much of our wait time is pending on how quickly other referrals come through. Please also pray for us as we continue to save and fund raise for next portion of the adoption. Please join us in praying for our baby girl; her  health, her birth family, and that God is preparing her for us as we try and prepare for her. And finally please pray for us as God continues to graciously teach us more everyday through this journey.

We are so overwhelmed by God's goodness!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dosssier is done!!!

Well folks, our dossier was mailed out yesterday and it arrived today at our agency at 9:50am. We have worked for months collecting all the papers needed to put this together. We have gone to Cincinnati and Columbus to get finger printed and certified. We have sent away for papers from Indiana, met with a social worker on several occasion, and got to know Dayton all around much better. All so we could send a fat stack of papers to Ethiopia to get our little girl.

Along with our huge stack of papers we also sent a check for $7,700. That is huge, and would not be possible with out the help of all of you. We are so thankful that we have had so many friends and family support us at our fund raisers. We are so blessed by your support and prayers. God is so good. It is amazing that he has provided almost down to the penny for each payment.

So, now our paperwork will be triple checked by our agency. Then it is reviewed by the Ethiopian embassy. Our prayer is that it will be sent to Ethiopia on Friday. Once that happens we will move (officially) out of the "paper chase" phase into what is called DTE (dossier to Ethiopia).  Then we wait. We will go on a waiting list until our daughter is available. When our little girl is ready we will receive a referral with a picture. Once we accept our referral we send our last payment and begin working on our travel plans. We will go over there twice. The first visit will be for court, and we will meet our baby. Then we have to go back a few weeks later to get her. There is still a long road ahead in our journey, but we are making progress. We are excited to see what God has planned for the months ahead. We ask for your prayers for us as we continue. For right now though we are so excited to hit this huge adoption milestone!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

I 171H has arrived

So, as many of you know I have been checking my mail box like a kid seeking out hidden Christmas presents for the past few weeks. Everyday it was empty my heart would sink a little. Then I would try again the next day. You see there was only one piece of paper missing to our paper puzzle we have been collecting. And Friday it arrived. i was so excited. There was jumping, screaming and even a little bit of crying all over this silly little piece of white paper.

But this little piece of paper says we can adopt a little girl! It is so plain and boring, but it means so much. So, we are finalizing up all our (tons of) papers and hopefully we will be mailing them off to our agency VERY soon. YAY!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Today was our 2 week mark since we did our finger prints in Cinci. I will admit I was hoping to have our I 171H by now. It is crazy that this one little piece of paper can be holding everything up from being able to get our papers to Ethiopia.

I guess the word of the day is waiting. We are waiting for a piece of paper so we can wait for our referral so we can wait to go to Ethiopia so we can bring our baby home. I'm sure two weeks doesn't sound like a long wait. And in reality it isn't. For now it just feel like everyday I am anxiously standing by my mailbox. I need to be patient. So for now I guess God is calling me more and more to just pray. I know this is teaching me to be more dependent on Him. God is already using this adoption to show me so much sin in my life. I know there is so much more refining he has for me through this process. I guess for now I will learn to wait. I find that the longer I wait the more God shows me. So, though this wait is hard. I am thankful for it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

State certification and Ethiopian dinner

We have had a busy week with adoption paper work. We are in the home stretch of the paper chase phase! Tuesday we went to get our biometrics taken at USCIS and today we went and had the papers we needed state certified in Columbus. This is exciting because we only have 2 things left before our dossier is complete. One is our photo pages which at this point should only take a few minutes to put together since I finally picked our pictures. The other is waiting for that beautiful piece of paper to come in the mail saying our daughter can be a US citizen.

We had a bit of a run around getting these docs county certified since our notary wasn't from our county...even though she said she was when we asked. But we got it figured out and now here we are all certified and happy.  (and so excited!!!!!!!)

We decided if we were going to go to Columbus we may as well make a day out of it. So we packed up our kids and all the stuff that goes along with kids and we headed to our state capitol. We went with the Rogers because it is always more fun with friends. Timing worked out well since we left around nap time. This is the scene in our car on our way there.

Dan and Josh ran in and got the certification taken care of. Which was awesome because it would have been less than fun with 4 kids 4 and under.Then we got to head over to COSI which was a great place to play for a bit. Plus, since we have museum passes to boonshoft it was free to get in. I do love free fun. 

 Here is our family in front of the cosi entry.

Playing in the Clifford exhibit. 

Look at Levi walking! He is getting so big. 

Levi loved the kidspace. This thing made him so happy. He just stood there saying OOOOO.

Asher was loving all the dress up and imagination toys. 

Amaya joining the fun.

Isaac loved the craft. 

After Cosi we went to the Blue Nile restaurant. It is an authentic Ethiopian restaurant. I was a little nervous since I am not an adventurous eater, but the food was pretty yummy and filling! Even more surprising was that my boys loved the food. 

The boys thought the traditional tables were so fun. It was so great we had the whole restaurant to ourselves. There were 11 of us total and 5 of those were kids 4 and under. So it was great that our kids were not a disturbance to others as they really enjoyed the atmosphere. 

The tops to the tables were a highlight for our kids. 

All the food is shared on one plate. This is an Ethiopian tradition. If you share a plate you are bonded. Also, they don't use silver ware. They eat everything with a flat sourdough bread called injera. They boys loved this!

Every one enjoyed their meal...maybe a little too much. 

We all went home with full bellies. But not so full that we couldn't stop for some Starbucks on the way home. Yes, when cultures collide.  

All in all a great day that is moving us much closer to our little girl. One of the funny things today I can't forget to mention. At every stop  Asher kept asking in all sincerity. "Is this Africa." No, this is a McDonald's drive through, No, this is Cosi. No, this is a restaurant that serves food like in Africa. 
It is so sweet. They are joining in our excitement to bring home our baby girl.