Welcome to Rob and Candy's Blog

We are going PINK- we are adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. We'll be sharing our journey to adopt our daughter!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

adoption and birth order

We had a comment on our blog questioning birth order.
Do you have any resources or other advice about it...it's probably just prayer. Our oldest is saying she wants a sister her age. She is 4 but has been saying this all year. Should we listen to her?

I'm not a social worker I'm a mom so these are my opinions based on my family and my mom experience.   
I think parents should take a good look at their family and their child(ren) when deciding whether to break birth order.  Start observing and understanding your child when they are around other children.  Talk to your social worker, speak with families who have broken the birth order successfully and unsuccessfully.
Our son Igor was an only child and acted like a first born.  When other children were around, he'd organize the games, assign seats for dinner, and make rules.... he was a leader.  We knew early on that he needed to be the oldest child in our growing family.  We talked at length with our social worker about birth order.  Our social worker had observed Igor in Post Placement meetings and other settings.  She did not think Igor would adjust well to being in any other birth position than oldest.
For this adoption we thought Henry could remain as the baby or do well as a middle child.  Henry is very laid back, he loves being the baby but does very well with younger children.  After discussing birth order with our social worker she approved us for a child between 18 months and 5 years old.  With this age range Henry may be the baby or may become the middle child.  I think in either position Henry will thrive.
We did not talk about twinning Henry in our social worker meetings.  Our agency doesn't recommend artificially twinning but has done it with mixed results.  I have talked with families were it has worked well but in some families it has been a difficult adjustment.

If you are considering going out of birth order or artificially twinning talk with your social worker.  Ask your social worker to connect you with families who have done it successfully and with families who have struggled. 

Here are some articles and blogs on the topic:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

To twin or not to twin

Before I start I would like to be clear.  This is our story and we reached the best decision for our family.  If you have made a different decision for your family we are delighted for you.  In no way should anyone read this post and think we are judging other families who come to a different decision.

Our agency called on Monday to ask if we would be open to a girl age three- she is probably 3-6 months younger than Henry.  In the adoption world this is called artificial twinning. 

What is artificial twinning?  It is generally defined as unrelated children (different biological-parents) born very close in age; less than 8-10 months apart, being raised as siblings by the same adoptive parent(s).

So I sat in Chick-Fil-A with our children and receive the potential referral call only days after we receive the "on deck" e-mail.   Naturally my head is spinning, should we?  shouldn't we? and Rob is in a meeting.  I was able to speak with our social worker and another adoptive mom who has has successfully twinned which helps me process it all.  Soon Rob and I are able to connect and talk about the potential referral. 

Part of us is delighted that we could have a referral and move to the next step - waiting for a court date!! but we slow ourselves down and think about it.  What would it mean to have 2 preschoolers about the same age?  How would Henry adjust to a sibling who is his age?  Would they become friends or Frenemies? (Friend/Enemies) And what about this little girl?  How would she adjust to a brother the same age as her? Would they have healthy sibling rivalry or an unhealthy one? The questions go on and on.... Part of me thinks this little girl must be our daughter because Tom and Lori will be at the Transition Home in a few days.  Karen will be there in November.  Both families met and took pictures of Henry for us in 2008- of course they would meet our daughter before we would!  Can this be a coincidence?

I contacted some dear mamas- Heather and Nikki and we begin to pray - what is the best thing for our family and this little girl?  Rob and I pray as a couple.  As we go to bed Monday night neither of us have a gut feeling or know what we should do.

That night I had one of the most vivid dream I can recall having.  I was in Ethiopia, at the transition home with Duni, our agency's Africa Director.  Duni introduced me to the little girl.  In my dream we had already turned down the referral.  I knew the moment I meet her she was not meant to be our daughter.  While I was at the Transition Home I met the family who was adopting her.   It was a very sweet moment in my dream for they were delighted to have her as their daughter and it felt so right.

When I woke up I told Rob about my dream.  He asked me how I felt about it and I said we should not twin Henry- this is not our daughter.  I've never had God answer a prayer through a dream but I am certain this was a dream from him.  My mother-in-law was overwhelmed that God would speak so clearly to me and assure me that this little girl has a wonderful family waiting for her... and it's okay that it is not us.

During our first Ethiopian adoption we lost our first referral.  I have occasionally looked back and thought about why it happened.  On Tuesday I was grateful we went through that experience.  It gave us the assurance that God has a plan for our family and it is not always linear.  Looking back it is clear to us that our first referral was not our son and we received Henry's referral two months later.  Part of our heart will always care deeply for that little boy but he is where he belongs and that place is not with us.  We know this little girl has a family waiting for her and it's not us.  We are totally at peace with our decision.
So we are back in line waiting for the next call.  Like last time, we may watch other families who submitted their dossiers after us go before us... I look at our sweet, joyful Henry and know he was totally worth the wait and so is the wait for our daughter.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Back by popular demand- Caramel Corn- adoption fundraiser

I have had several people ask if I was going to make Caramel Corn this year as an adoption fundraiser.
The answer is YES!!
Back my popular demand- Caramel Corn*. 
For those of you who have never tasted my caramel corn, it is my grandmother's recipe and it is sooo yummy. It's similar to the caramel corn sold at Garrett Popcorn Shop in Chicago.
I guarantee you will love it! Here's some comments from previous years:
E said- This is the best caramel corn I've ever had. We put in a big order & we all love it. It's very yummy!
S said- WE LOVE IT! That is the best stuff! We are addicted!
1/2 Gallon $10
1 Gallon $15
To ensure freshness, I will make the caramel corn after I receive your order.
*Ingredients: White Popcorn, White Syrup, butter/margarine, brown sugar, salt, baking soda

If you are local, please e-mail to avoid the shipping charges.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


We are more than one-third of our way towards the goal of providing 700 meals for the children in Kombolcha! We appreciate you all spreading the word about the books. We are looking forward to reaching the halfway point soon! Please keep sharing our blog with others!  We need your help to spread the word.

Fall has finally arrived. We have visited the pumpkin patch with the boys.
Igor wanted to decorate the front yard with spider webs.
 My parents arrived last week!  We had a great time while they were here.  Igor and grandpa completed a 500 piece puzzle in two days!
Henry and Nana enjoyed coloring in Henry's Thomas coloring book.  Henry also enjoyed showing Nana what was in his pocket.
My parents gave us a HUGE gift- their van.  Now I've always said I would never own a van BUT with the pending arrival of daughter we need a larger car.  Our current car will not fit two cars seats and a third child so my parents graciously gifted us their van.  On Tuesday we titled the car in our name and today we received and e-mail from our agency which said- America World anticipates that your family could receive a referral within the next one to three months.  I'm not sure why but I felt a little panicky.  I think it's because our other two referrals were a surprise so knowing the call could be coming is nerve racking!  However, we are excited. 
LifeSong  is still accepting tax-deductible donations to help us bring our daughter home.  Click here for all the details on how you can help!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Out live your life!

Max Lucado says:
These are difficult days in our world's history. 1.75 billion people are desperately poor, natural disasters are gouging entire nations, and economic uncertainty still reigns across the globe. But you and I have been given an opportunity to make a big difference. What if we did? What if we rocked the world with hope? 

We have asked ourselves- How can we rock the world with hope??
We want to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable and orphaned children. We cannot  reach every vulnerable child  but we can make a difference in one child's life one day at a time.

Check out our new Campaign

It’s a simple concept. We are now selling two children’s books, Little Lion's Bedtime and Counting Addis Ababa, all the proceeds will feed children at the orphanage/drop in center at Grace Baptist Church in Kombolcha, Ethiopia. Both books are soft cover and about 11x8 inches.   If you have a child born in Ethiopia you will LOVE Counting Addis Ababa. 

Counting Addis Ababa offers full-page color illustrations that accompany each counting lesson (1-10) in English and two African languages, Amharic and Oromiffa. The beautiful illustrations depict scenes in Addis Ababa’s life such as women at the market, young children, chickens, donkeys, and more.
Little Lion's Bedtime tells the story of Little Lion who is creeping when he should be sleeping! Watch Father Lion gently put Little Lion to bed.

Each book is $10. Buy both for $17.95; shipping is included! Purchase a book and you will feed an orphan for several days! Buy both books and feed a child for a week. You CAN make a difference.
You can buy them here:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Get up and Go

I recently started a new bible study- Navigating a Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer.
As I started the first few days of home work I read these verses:
Jonah 1:1-3
The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish.

Have you ever had the Lord ask you to do something but you decided not to?  I have.  I looked at these verses and I knew I needed to get a refund on my own personal ticket to Tarshish.  I needed to do as I had been called but had put off.  Since coming home from my trip with Children's Hope Chest in December 2009, I have worked to find sponsors for the children in Kombolcha.  We have had events, raised money for kitchen equipment, etc.  We did many things but this summer I knew we were to do more.  What exactly, I was not sure but I knew I had to step out in faith.  One day God specifically called me to do something but I did not do it.  Why?  Every time I started well meaning Christians, fear, satan and a host of  interuptions caused me to pull back. When I read those verses I KNEW I needed to "Get up and go".  So I did.  I love  getting a second chance to make a difference.

The first step was the yard sale at church to benefit orphans at Grace Baptist Church in Ethiopia.  We had 5 or so items priced between $10-20- everything else was $1 or less.  Seriously, how were we to make money with the majority of our yard sale items priced at 50 cents?  I truly believe when we are obedient to God's call anything can happen.  We held the yard sale and now we are writing a $1,000 check to Children's HopeChest to feed orphans!  What a blessing!

In a few days we will be posting another way to make a difference in an orphan's life!   We cannot wait to share it with you!!  Check back in a few days to see what we are up too.

If you are interested in sponsoring a child in Kombolcha, Ethiopia please contact me at

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ethiopia get together

This weekend we hosted the third annual AWAA Ethiopian get together.  We had so much fun meeting new families and visiting with the "old timers".

Update on the children in Kombolcha

This weekend we had a church yard sale with the all the funds benefiting the children at Grace Baptist Church in Kombolcha, Ethiopia.  Our yard sale was a huge success!!   We are thrilled to announce that we raised $957!  We COULD NOT not have done it without our church family who donated so many things!

All the money raised will go to feed children at the drop in center at Grace Baptist Church.  While we have many sponsor families we still have children who need a sponsor.  If you are interested in sponsoring a child or making a one time donation to feed a child please contact me at mblueberry.madamblueberry@gmail.com