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!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Coffee Anyone?

Henry loves coffee.  We don't let him drink it BUT if you leave your coffee cup unattended for more than a minute Henry can sense it..  He has a super human coffee detector that goes off and he hones in on the unattended cup.  He is happy to sip your coffee until you return.  This week Henry has taken coffee into his own hands.  I was upstairs getting ready for the day when I heard a noise downstairs.  I went to investigate.  Downstairs I saw this-
Much to Henry's delight, Rob had left the coffee can on the counter.   Henry decided to make a pot.  He even pulled out a coffee cup.  Since he made a pot I figured he needed to be rewarded for his ingenuity.  I poured him half a cup.  He took one sip then said, "mmmm, that's good." 
The coffee is back in the cabinet... very, very high up.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Igor has started calling his sister Ramone.  Some of you will remember that Igor called his little brother BOC while we were waiting.  So, until we can share her name or picture, I will call her Ramone on our blog.
Two weeks ago we heard from our agency that Ramone was sick.  No mom ever wants to hear her daughter is sick, especially when she is so far away.  So we did the only thing we can do besides getting on a plane to Ethiopia- pray. 
This morning is was struck with all sorts of doubts and fears regarding our adoption.  I haven't felt any of those things during this entire adoption process.  I started worrying about all sorts of things out of my control.  Ugh... 
My adoption friend Dana post this note on Facebook this morning-
For the righteous will not be moved... He is not afraid of bad news, his heart is firm trusting the Lord. His heart is steady, He will not be afraid. Psalm 112:6-8

These are the words I needed to hear this morning.  I will not let bad news scare me.  Sure, it can move me to action but I will not fear. 
This morning I prayed for good news.  What I really wanted to hear is that we had a court date.  Instead I received other news form our agency- but good news indeed.  Ramone is off medication and doing well now!  That's a huge praise!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Baby Dolls

Thanks for sharing all your links for baby dolls.  Who knew there were so many choices?

Igor helped me pick out this doll.  He thought it would be perfect for his sister because of the pink bows in her hair.

You can check out more dolls here

The dolls are handmade by mom who has adopted from Ethiopia.

Some other dolls that were recommended:
From Pottery Barn
  A "Barbie" type doll
 And then there is MyTwinn doll- which makes a custom doll that looks just like your child.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Wonderful news!!  Sam - Little Goody 2 shoes- has raised enough money to buy shoes for half of the children at Grace Baptist Church's care point in Ethiopia! 
Check out her most recent blog post here for all the details. Here's part of her blog post:
I am delighted to say that together we have raised enough money to buy awesome new shoes for 93 of the kids at the Kombolcha care point in Ethiopia! There are still 94 kids at this care point that I would love to bless with new shoes. $18 will buy a good sturdy pair of shoes. As always, 100% of your bottle cap necklace purchase is donated to a special shoe fund at Children's HopeChest.

If you haven't purchased a necklace head on over to her blog!  These little girls are three of the orphans who will receive a new pair of shoes because of your generousity.

Baby dolls

I would like to buy a washable baby doll for our Ethiopian daughter.  I would like the skin tone to be mocha color.  If you make dolls or know someone who does please share your blog or website in the comment section or e-mail me privately. 

Friday, February 11, 2011


One week after the Create for Care Conference I am still soaking it all in.  It was amazing to be with 250 adoptive mamas and hear from so many speakers who have adopted. 
I would love to share with you all that I learned but I've tried writing several blog posts.  Nothing seems right.  For now, I will share with you the highlights for me.

There were many amazing speakers but two spoke to me when it comes to orphanage dust.  One mom has four adopted children from Russia and the other has EIGHT from Russia!  The age range of the children at adoption were about 5-14 years old.  These moms have been home for 10 years.  I was so encouraged by them because they have been where I am now.

The first thing these moms gave me was HOPE!
Joel 2:25- I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.

Then they encouraged me to continue BELIEVING that Igor's wounds, the emotional holes would heal. 
1 Peter 2:24- He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

They gave me a tool to speak the words of life into Igor's brokenness.  I realized that Igor knows who God is but may not know how God sees him. These words will give Igor language to help him think about who he is in God's eyes. 
Igor, you were wonderfully made by God.  He knew you before you were born (Psalm 139:14)
God choose you!  John 15:16
The love of Christ lives in you!  John 17:26
Igor, did you know that you are a child of God?  He has given you the ability to be slow to become angry? (James 1:19)

Finally, I should call things that are not as though they are.
When lying- Igor you are not a liar, you are a young man of integrity. 
When in or after meltdown mode - You are a young man of self control. 
When filled with rage- Igor you are filled with love and compassion.

There is so much more I want to share!  I will when I have the words.

Henry is FOUR!!

Happy birthday Henry!  You are FOUR!!

Henry wanted teeny, tiny cakes, and small cakes with blue frosting!

Here he is in his new Toy Story PJ's!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Henry's lotion

On the way back from the adoption retreat we started talking about the lotion I make for Henry. Here's another oldie but goody post!  I have been using this recipe since Jan 2009, and it has never failed me.  Henry's skin looks great and stays soft.  The lotion is inexpensive compared to name brand lotions. 
Jan 22, 2009
My friend and blogger pal Susan has started making body butter for her son. She inspired me to make body butter for Henry since his skin is so dry. Susan's recipe uses Aquaphor but I did not have that on hand so I used Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream.  I have had great results with the Cetaphil version.  It's the only lotion I use on Henry's skin.
I buy raw shea butter at our local African American beauty supply store.  I purchase Cetaphil Moistsuring cream at a big box store

I mixed 6 oz of raw Shea Butter and 3-5 oz of Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream in my KitchenAide mixer for about 10 minutes and wallah, the mixture is like body butter and it keeps Henry's skin from getting ashy. I store the lotion in an air tight container and apply it to Henry's skin once or twice a day.  I hope you love the lotion as much as we do!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Getting to know our son's needs

I'm in Atlanta this weekend attending the Created for Care retreat.  It's been an amazing time of fellowship, learning and hearing God speak and we still have tomorrow! 

I was talking about attachment with another adoptive mom this afternoon and I remembered the post Rob wrote about our meeting Henry and his attachment. For some this is a repeat but I really felt as though I should re-post it. 

Today was the day! We would finally meet our son! We traveled to Ethiopia with two other couples and we were all filled with butterflies. Our hosts came out and invited the first couple in. And then the second.

Then it was our turn - and we were told, "Your son is napping."
For a deflating two hours, we mingled with the other children at the orphanage and took pictures on behalf of other waiting parents. We would stick our heads in the room of the sleeping 2-year-olds and hope our son had awakened. We waited and waited. Finally his beautiful eyes were opened and I picked our son up.

Now, I am an adoption "veteran". I know that during the first meeting of adoptive parents and children, the Disney music is NOT always playing in the background. However, I had not prepared myself for our son's crying. Henry was emotionally attached to the wonderful caretakers at the transition house. In his world, he knew who was supposed to be there lifting him out of his crib - and it wasn't 1) a man who 2) spoke a language he had never heard. My son started crying and had to be taken by his nanny to calm and soothe him.

I, the adoption vet, felt terrible. I was tired from jet lag and totally depressed. I tried to put on a brave face, but I was bummed. Candy wisely played off the tenderness of the nanny who absolutely loved our son. Watching her, learning from her, my wife began the long process of bonding with our boy. I moped around the margins.

The next day, we went back for our "gotcha day". It didn't take long for me to get over that initial disappointment. When we picked up Henry and carried him to the van, he cried out for his "mama".  We knew he was calling for his nanny.

With crocodile tears in his eyes, we left the transition home ready to become our son's parents. Little did I know that this little boy who loved his nanny and cried out for her would quickly attach to Candy.

In the early days, Henry was attached to my wife's hip. He demanded that he be carried everywhere. Carrying a 23 month old constantly is exhausting but Candy carried him because he needed to be held, he needed to be close, he needed to feel the warmth of her skin.

In this way he knew he was loved and cared for. For Henry, this was his way of attaching to us.
Well, he was attaching to my wife.  Henry would come to me, but I was not someone he looked for when he needed comfort, soothing, love.... my bonding time with Henry would look very different.

The first 7-9 months, Henry routinely awoke anytime between 4am and 5am. I would bundle him up, put him in the stroller and we'd walk - anywhere between 2-4 miles. This was a wonderful way for Henry to learn that I was not a bad guy. He was close to me, but not touching me. This is the way he needed to bond to me.
 For us, a major treat was when Henry stayed asleep until 6 or 6:15. But, as tired as I was, those early mornings yielded beautiful bonding between Father and Son. Sure, it wasn't the recipe used in many adoption books but it was the one Henry needed.

Now, Henry is my bud and whenever I am not home, he constantly calls for "Daddy". Conversely, whenever Candy is out of sight, he wants "Mommy".

Figuring out how Henry needed to bond to each of us has made our family connection strong.