Madine Family

"Then she is yours!"


Posted on : 9/30/2010 | By : Joanna

Hi everyone!We made it safe and sound to Addis. Our flights were pretty easy. Sleep has been more of an on and off sort of thing :) We arrived to find out that we are not staying at the Union asexpected, but at a different guest house. It is very nice and the front desk guy is letting me use his blazing fast Internet connection...a good surprise. Another huge surprise is that today (Sunday here) is not a "free" dayfor us. We have several things scheduled including meeting our little girl for a three hour visit! We thought we were going to have to wait until tomorrow. Happy day! We meet our daughter in just over 6 hours. Gotta run to breakfast. I'll try to write soon to tell you all about her. Love to you all, Joanna & Mark

Sorry I haven't been able to email sooner. Our schedules have been pretty packed. We got to see Maeve Dename this morning for a couple of hours this morning too, but let me tell you about our meeting.I'm sitting here not know how to even begin, there is so much that can't even be put into words and so much that I can probably not put into words right I'll tell you all about it in person and just be a little brief for now. We recognized her the moment we saw her with the nanny coming down the stairs. She is just as beautiful as ever. She was pretty scarred and cried at first, maybe for about 30 seconds. She calmed down pretty quickly and had about three hours with her playing and "talking" to her. She is such a joy and blessing! She is very curious and aware of everything going on around her. She stares at you and just studies every little thing. Anytime a baby cried, she whipped her head around to see what was going on. She was very concerned about them. We realized that we are probably going to be in trouble because this little girl is crazy smart. She figures things out very quickly. As I mentioned, she is stinking cute. She has her two middle bottom teeth and the two up top are almost in. She has a little bit of hair, tiny black curls. It's longer and thicker on the top. Her eyes are amazing and I'm totally jealous of those lashes she has. She has long thin fingers and feet, so we're wondering if she might out grow Mommy...and maybe Daddy. Oh, she says Da-Da a lot. We're know it doesn't mean anything, but it melts our hearts just the same. At the end of our visit, Mark was holding her when the nanny came to take her. She started crying and threw her arms around Mark's neck. The nanny said,"Dename?!", surprised that she preferred him already :). Today was a much shorter visit, lunch time feedings and some playing. She fell asleep on my chest. I could have stayed like that for days. I cannot tell you what a blessing she is. Her kind spirit, mixed with a little spunk, is a perfect fit for us. I can't imagine it being any other child. We have our court hearing tomorrow and then a very short visit to say goodbye. I don't think leaving will be as hard as I thought. It's another milestone to bringing her home. We've seen for ourselves how well loved and cared for she is. It's just a matter of time. I feel very much at peace. The void has been filled and we are so grateful!

Just have time for a quick update. We're going to dinner and then to the airport to come home. It's been a very long emotional day and we are all very tired.We had our court appointments this morning. All for families passed with no problem at all! We were only in her chambers for 3 mins! The judges last questions were. "Have you met her? Do you still want to adopt her?" Us: "Yes!" Judge: "Then she is yours!" The sweetest words we have ever heard. Now we have to wait for the official court order to be issued in a couple of weeks and then we are legally the parents of the most amazing little girl.Saying good bye was very hard, but we left her in her crib smiling and playing up until the last second. It's a great final image to have in our minds. Of course, we have lots of pic and videos as well. :)

We can't post photos or video until she is home, but if I see you in person , I'll be happy to show you.
We hope to travel again at the end of November.
Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. God is good!

AND WE'RE OFF!!!!! (trip 1)


Posted on : 9/23/2010 | By : Joanna

Thank you all for sharing this journey with us. This next leg is a big milestone. We are going to Ethiopia for our court date! We are part of a small group of guinea pigs with our agency and are happy to pioneer this part of the process.We'll get to meet our daughter and, if all goes well with court, we'll become parents while we are there. We'll return home for 8 weeks or so while we wait for her Visa/immigration paperwork to be ready. We hope to return to Ethiopia in November to bring her home for good. 

Tentative Schedule during our stay:
Friday- depart DFW at 4:30pm, arrive Addis Ababa Saturday 
             around 6pm local time (9am Sat Dallas Time)
Sunday- Free day (shopping/napping)
Monday- morning orientation and meeting our baby girl (around midnight 
              Saturday in Dallas)
              Afternoon- rehearsal of legal documents and meeting with the 
Tuesday- morning: appear for court 
              (pray for us Monday evening and into the night)
             Afternoon- shopping and brief time with our daughter
             Night- fly out 11pm (2pm Dallas time) 
Wednesday-land in Dallas around 2:30pm

Prayer Requests:
Please pray for safe travels and no glitches (delayed flight, luggage lost, etc)
…that all goes smoothly for our court hearing and that we finally become 
…for our health as we travel
…for our baby’s health and her spirit as she prepares for another 
     big adjustment over the next couple of months.
…for her birth family, the kind of comfort and peace only God can provide.
…for her many caregivers, true examples of God’s love.
…that God will soften the hearts of his people throughout the world to help 
    His children in Africa.
…that God’s will be done throughout this process, that we are able to trust 
    completely in Him, and  His Spirit fills us with calm and assurance as 
    we return home and wait to bring her home for good.  

We just can't wait to meet her!

Ben Solle- "Try" 
"I can't wait to hold your little hand"

Packing Donations


Posted on : 9/15/2010 | By : Joanna

This is really getting REAL! We leave for Ethiopia next week!
We are so blessed to have such great friends and family.
Look at all the amazing donations we get to take with us!

Toys and Books
20 pairs of shoes!
Wipes, toothbrushes, vitamins, etc.
Clothes and blankets

  We actually have a lot more clothes than this (I received them after I took these photos), and I have a little bit more money yet to spend.

It really is a privilege to be the bearers of all of these amazing gifts...and we wouldn't have been able to do it without my co-workers/friends. 
Thank you all so much!