May 28, 2009

Look What I Got Today

An update from the orphanage. Janissa is now a whopping 18.7 pounds! She gained over a pound this month! However, she is still 27 inches long. Look how happy she is now that her Mama is coming to get her. I can't wait!

May 26, 2009

Janissa Miriam

God is so good to me. There are no other words that need to be said, other than Thank You! Meet my beautiful daughter . . .

May 23, 2009

My Daughter's Name

While I impatiently wait for Monday’s court date, I thought I would post about the name I am giving my daughter. The name given to her by her birth mother is Altaseb. All along I had planned to keep her given name as her middle name. I have since decided not to. The meaning of the name Altaseb is “Don’t Remember Me.” I have no idea if her mother didn’t want to remember Altaseb, or if she didn’t want Altaseb to remember her. On two separate occasions, Ethiopian women told me that the name could also mean “Unwanted or Unexpected.” Given the circumstances (Altaseb was relinquished by her mother who was unable to care for her), I do not want to keep her given name.

This is silly, but it was important to me that her first name end in “a” or “ah” because all of her female cousins names end that way and I want her to feel that she belonged and was part of the family (and to keep that little unplanned tradition going). While searching thousands of names and their meanings, Janissa (pronounced Juh-Nee-Suh) continuously came up and was always in the back of my mind. There were many names that I liked, but the meanings were not special enough. Or I loved the meaning, but didn’t care for the name. For the longest time she was going to be Isabella Grace, until I found out Isabella is the 2nd most popular name in the U.S.! My little girl is very special and I want her to have a very special, unique name.

Okay, so now I completely understand why my sisters never told us what they were naming their children until after they were born. Everyone has an opinion about it! So I continued my search, and each time I stumbled upon the name Janissa. I loved the meaning – “God’s Grace” - and the sound of it went well with my last name. I finally just started telling people that her name was Janissa. Much to my amazement, everyone LOVED it. So now I had her first name.

As I mentioned, her given name was just too sad to keep, but I wanted her to have an Ethiopian middle name. I began researching all sorts of Ethiopian names, specifically for what they meant or represented. There were several with incredible meanings, but they were too long or too difficult to pronounce. I finally decided on Miriam, which means “Much Longed For.” Most of you know how I have longed for this child. You know that I started praying for her long before she was even born. You know how I broke down when I found out I hadn’t pass court on Tuesday. I have never longed for anything as much as this little girl. The name was perfect – and it is also a form of Mary! Those who know me really well know how much I love Mary, the Mother of Jesus. So her name is Janissa Miriam and she is loved beyond belief.

May 19, 2009

Court Postponed

Due to a document that had expired, my court date had to be postponed until Monday, May 25. Please pray that this delay does not affect my embassy and travel dates.

May 9, 2009


Today is my little Janissa's birthday. She is one year old. Birthday's are not celebrated in Ethiopia, so to her it will be just another day. But to me it is a magical day - my baby is one! How I wish she were home with me already. And while I'm on that subject - TEN MORE DAYS UNTIL COURT!! That's right, 10 days. Which means tomorrow I am in the single digits and counting down.

I had this cupcake at home, left over from my last confirmation class party.

Yes, I put the candle in and lit it.
Yes, I sang to Janissa.
Yes, I made a wish for her and blew out the candle.
And yes, I ate the cupcake.

And as if I havn't spent a gazillion dollars on Janissa already, I bought her this adorable, perfect match for the playroom, little director's chair.

How could I not?

Happy Birthday Sweet Janissa.

p.s. On a not so happy note, my friend Leah and her husband just returned from Ethiopia without their precious baby, Bryce, due to a severe medical problem. Please keep them all in your prayers as they work through this difficult time.

May 8, 2009

Catholic Vote

Click on the words below to watch a great video.
Catholic Vote

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May 3, 2009

She's Growing Up So Fast

I have only 16 days remaining until my court date. If I pass, I will be Janissa's mother! Amazing! The Zimmer's just returned from Addis with their sweet little Addia. Jenna sent me four photos of my sweet baby (thank you!). Janissa doesn't look like a baby anymore. She will be a year old next week and she already looks like a little girl. When I compare earlier photos with those I have recently received, I cannot believe how much she has grown and changed. I am so very thankful for the photos I have. I feel like I've been able to watch her grow. Jenna said "Little Janissa is such a peanut! She is such a sweetheart! You will enjoy lots of cuddles and hugs from her!" I can't wait - but at the same time it's so surreal to think that in as little as six weeks she could be in arms forever!

To toy with my emotions even more, I'm now in a position where I have to find another job. My current position isn't working out as planned, so I've been sending out resumes. I don't expect to be unemployed, but please pray for me that I find something soon and that my new employer be considerate of my role as a new mama.