Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!




I'm sitting on the computer waiting for webkinz.com to process the girls new kitties so thought I'd post a few pics from Christmas Eve.

What a special Christmas we are having this year with our angel boy, Silas. Liv was in the nativity pageant at church last night and we all enjoyed the kid friendly service to begin our celebration of Jesus' birthday. Sydney could not get to bed soon enough as she was so worried she would see Santa coming down the chimney. The cookies and milk were left out and the kids snuggled in their beds at least until about 1 am and then Syd was snuggled in our bed. Liv woke bright and early and tried to wait patiently for the rest to awake.

We had a fun morning of opening our presents and playing. Silas was happy to just sit on his new big wheel and watch the chaos! We are so thankful this year for our precious son to be home with us and for all the blessings we have been given.

Merry Christmas and we pray for a Christ filled day and year for you all.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Fancy Sydney's 4th Birthday




Today our sweet Sydney turned 4. She has blessed us with so much joy and fun over the past 4 years. Sydney is our family's constant entertainment with her hilarious stories and expressive nature. She loves to hold center stage and we love watching her!

Happy Birthday, Sydney Mae!! We love you!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Elves






Christmas Elves and Silas putting his first Christmas ornament on the tree.

Monday, December 7, 2009

now that I've seen, I am responsible...

"now that I have seen, I am responsible" a verse from one of my favorite songs by Brooke Fraser. (tried to add it the blog but not working so check it out on itunes!)


After a week in Ethiopia I was eager to return home. Eager for the comforts of home. I missed the girls terribly of course but I also missed my comfortable bed, my favorite foods, having power and the internet 24/7. And how easy it has been to fall back into life here in America with all of our comforts and blessings.

We have left Ethiopia behind and all that we've seen. But may we never forget. Now that we have seen, we are responsible. I pray that we will find our next chapter in living out this responsiblity. And I pray that others will have a growing heart for orphans not only Ethiopia but throughout the world.

If there were millions of orphans living in America today dying from hunger and AIDS would we all look away and do nothing. We as Christians have a responsibility. A responsilibity to use what we've been given in ways to serve Him and His people.

"...once our eyes are opened,we can't pretend we don't knowwhat to do. God,who weighs our hearts and keepsour souls, knows that we know,and holds usresponsible to act."(Proverbs 24:12)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Five Favorites About Silas (as of today!)

I've been meaning to write down my favorite things about Silas at 15 months. Mainly so I'll have them written down somewhere for later....

1. How he rocks out in the car. The boy has some serious rhythm. The two of us will be alone in the car listening to some tunes and I'll catch him in the mirror just jamming away.

2. His squeal of delight as he walks from one place to the next. He is so proud of himself walking and we are too! Finally mom's arms may get a little rest.

3. How he loves to hold the girls' hand in the car. Syd used to sit next to him and they would hold hands the whole time. Liv wanted a turn and enjoys the moments too. So cute!

4. His little whimper when you tell him "no". I know I shouldn't think this is cute but the boy can hang with the girls in the drama department.

5. His sweet kisses, the "mmmmm" noise and the slobbery love!

Ok, 2 more...6. How friendly he is in public. He loves to wave to everyone and gibber gabber away.

7. How he starts squeling as soon as his food is put into the baby processor. The boy loves to eat. He's gained about 9 pounds since July!

What an angel boy!

Fall Pictures




Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mighty to Save

It has been quite some time since my last update. Moving with 3 kiddos and with one who is still adjusting has been a tremendous undertaking. But we are in our new home in Charlotte and getting settled more and more each day. The girls LOVE their new school. And we love it too. Both girls come home reciting scripture and singing songs about Jesus which is such a joy to hear. Liv told me this morning on the way to school that learning about God is the most important thing in our lives. Love it!

On the way to school "Mighty to Save" by Hillsong came on the radio. This song always brings me right back to the streets of Ethiopia. We sang this song during a prayer session with our travel group right after we had gotten our children. It always has the same affect on me. I am forced to hold back the flood gates as I see the beautiful yet hungry, poor faces of the Ethiopian people. And to think my son was once one of the forgotten ones. Alone, hungry, and with no family to love him. I can't help but think who will save the rest?

In the chorus of "Mighty to Save", Hillsong sings that God is mighty to save...

Savior
He can move the mountains
My God is Mighty to save
He is Mighty to save
Forever
Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

God is on a mission to bless and save the world and He calls His people to act out this mission. I have to admit there are moments especially with all the unpacking and what not these days that I've thought about how much easier my life would be had we not acted on God's call for us to adopt. But life is not about being easy and being comfortable. God calls us to do things we can't possibly do on our own and promises to help us. ISAIAH 41:13 For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Take the plunge, do something bold for Him!

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

I promise to post some recent photos of our angel boy soon.
xoxo,
Sara

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My baby girl turns 6 today!!



Happy Birthday, Olivia Kate!!
We Love You,
Mom & Dad

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The girls have taught Silas to shake it!!

video

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Where is Home?

So we have been in Charlotte for four full days now. The girls are getting settled into school and seem to be adjusting great there. We are getting settled into the corp town home which is so much better than staying at the hotel. We all love each other but that was a bit too close for comfort :)

Olivia has a little bug and stayed home today. Poor little thing felt horrible and everytime her fever spiked she sobbed that she wanted to go home. And Syd keeps asking at each new location, "is this our new home?" How to explain to a 5 year old that home is where her family is and it is not necessarily a place? A hard concept for even her mom to accept as we all miss the comfort of our "home" in Beaufort.

We did find a home here and hope to close by mid to late September...yes! And I met a gal who has a daughter in Liv's K class and another daughter about Syd's age who lives in the same n-hood yesterday. Just the little boost I needed and totally felt God enabling that conversation to take place.

So on we go. Silas has been a little trooper. His sweet and fun personality keeps me entertained during the day. He is giving kisses on demand now and boy is he proud of himself!

Praying Liv is better by tomorrow...planning to hit Carowinds on Sat.
xoxo,
sara

Monday, August 17, 2009

First Day of School







Today the girls started school here in Charlotte. They both did great and loved it!!

Another big happy - Silas stayed at the YMCA nursery for 1 hour today and LOVED it!! He was all smiles when I picked him up. So excited I'll be able to get a work out in especially while we are in this hotel room....picture 2 adults, 3 kids & our shaggy dog - :)) won't be spending much time indoors the next few days!

Well, enjoy the pics....s

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pop Ups


So since we didn't have enough going on right now, we decided to have Silas' hair done today. Actually, Mrs Dottie's cousin did it at her house. Tom doesn't like how I do it and he uses way to much product for my liking....so here he is! Adorable, huh?!!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Whirlwind

Our lives have been turned upside down in the last week. We found out exactly 1 week ago that we are moving to Charlotte, NC! Pulte is transferring Tom to be the VP of Finance of the Charlotte division. We have spent the last week up there house hunting and scoping out the schools.....quite an experience with 3 children and 1 being newly adopted...pure craziness. Thankfully my parents kept Syd for part of the week and we had a nice break at Aunt Jamie's for a night of fun with the cousins in Columbia.

We will be leaving Beaufort on Sunday as the girls start school Mon. It sounds crazy and it is! It is such a bittersweet move....so incredibly sad to leave this beautiful town, our dear friends & of course my parents whom we adore and have the best time with...but also feel very blessed for the job opportunity in such a volatile economy. So please, everyone come visit us!!

The kids are doing well. Both girls are excited about their new school. We happened upon a christian school in the area last night on-line, toured it today & signed them up! So glad this decision has been made and I feel great about the education they will receive and more importantly that they will continue to build their faith and character in a loving, christian environment. This was such a God thing as I had planned for Syd to attend a montessori school which ended up NOT being the right place!

Silas is such a trooper. I think today he finally had enough though and cried much of the day being in the car again the majority of the time. One of us had to be touching him almost constantly in the car to soothe him. It is amazing how just being touched on the leg seemed to give him reassurance that we were with him and wouldn't leave him.

So off we go on another adventure remembering that our true home is not in an earthly city but awaits us in heaven...off to rest before the packing madness begins.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Quest for a mama's boy

video

So I'm trying super hard to get my boy to give me a "mama" on film...no luck but he sure is cute isn't he?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Amazima Ministries

I just put the Amazima Ministries button on our blog - on the right side....please check it out. This ministry was started by a young woman from TN who visited Uganda and was led to help the many orphans there with the basic necessities to live and to attend school. She has a house there in Africa where she helps feed and bathe these children and to show them God's love. Her passion for this country and it's people is truly amazing and her stories are inspiring....click on the stories section of the blog and grab a box of tissues.

There are many projects that need funding....check those out too. You can sponsor a child for $300 a year - school fees, clothing, 2 meals a day & minor medical needs. ...wow, makes me feel silly for getting that pedicure this morning.

This ministry is inspiring and I love reading about people who have discovered how God can use them to be His hands & feet and to help the least of these. I long to know what He has planned for us next. I know there is more for us in Ethiopia. I don't know if God has another child for us there or not but I do know there is more for us to do. There are just so many who need help. I know i've blogged about it before and I promise not to sit on my soap box about it....but please pray for these children. If you can afford to sponsor a child, check out the Amazima button (it is a legitimate blog and person), if you've ever thought about adoption keep thinking and praying about it.

My sweet angel boy is sleeping peacefully upstairs in his crib. Every time I hug him I am reminded of how blessed we are to have been chosen to be his parents. It is not by chance that he is our son. God loves orphans and is fighting for them and giving them homes.

Oh, and I have to brag a bit...sweet angel boy has slept 12 hours for the past 2 nights - yahoo for that!!! Napping is another story but this mommy who loves her sleep is thankful for the start.

Good night,
Sara

Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer Fun




The girls were begging me to take them to the pool yesterday afternoon. As you can see, mommy could not muster up the energy to take all 3 so we improvised with our very mini baby pool! It was a short dip but they had fun and then we got baths out of the way early. Nothing like having all in pjs at 4 pm!

Mr. Silas is doing really well. Poor guy is teething, has a cold & still trying to get used to our craziness here. All in all he is a very happy boy and I think he likes it here :) As trying as it can be that he rarely lets me put him down or leave his sight, I am grateful that he is bonded with me and is learning I am his mommy and will take care of him.

Thank you to all our dear friends who have helped keep the girls entertained and brought us yummy food! We are truly blessed by you all!
I've been meaning to blog about an awesome book I read on our trip. It is "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. I plan to re-read it and will blog more about content but if you are looking for a thought provoking book this is a great one. I promise you will be blessed by it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Celebrating Silas




Today we had a little birthday celebration for Silas's 1st birthday. The girls picked out a Cars theme cake and Publix also made a mini cake for him to devour. It took him a while to figure out he could eat it but after spoon feeding him some frosting a few times, he was all in!

It is hard to believe how happy we felt as a family of 4 and now today as a family of 5 it's just absolutely amazing and more fun each day. Silas has brought so much joy to our lives the past week. The girls adore him and want to make him happy 24/7. He is going to be one spoiled little boy.

Out of all the millions of orphans in Ethiopia, God chose Silas for us and us for Silas. Our little angel boy. It is impossible to understand why so many have nothing and we have so much. I know God has a plan for the people of Ethiopia and for the millions of orphans. "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" - Jeremiah 29:11

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

God commands us to care for the orphans. There are so many....pray for them or better yet go adopt one or MORE! :) You will be forever blessed.












Saturday, July 18, 2009

First Dip in the Pool







We all went to the pool this morning for the first time with Silas and he LOVED it!! He loved splashing and went totally under a few times. Soooo excited that I just might be able to manage all 3 at the pool next week.


Sydney has come such a long way since the beginning of the summer when she had the full-on death grip around my neck. Now she "swims" all by herself thanks to her favorite hot pink water wings....halleluiah!


Silas continues to be such a joy and angel boy. He is sleeping better and is becoming more comfortable with playtime with the girls. He let Olivia hold him several times in the pool....so sweet!


Happy weekend!

sara

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pictures....


thank you justin and jamie for the yummy
and fun cookies :)


Precious boy


Mimi & Pop brought the Gator gear.....Mama is going to have to get some Dawg attire fast before the Fall..

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 3

So I just posted and the time says it is ontly 8:45pm but it is really 12:15am, I promise! I want credit for being up this late - I get teased so often for going to bed super early :))

I know, amazing I am awake at this time of night! Actually I went to bed a little bit after 8pm and just woke up to soothe my crying baby for a bit and now can't go back to sleep. I've had a nasty sinus infection brewing for the past 6 days or so and finally got a zpack and steroids today...already feeling so much better. My face and head felt like they were about to explode today. I am so thankful for our usual good health - boy, is it tough being mommy feeling steroids lousy.

Silas is still doing great. He is not the best sleeper but hey he wouldn't be a Jackson child if he was, right?! He wakes up at least once during nap time and most nights he wakes up crying more than once. Usually he'll go right back after rubbing his back for a bit and letting him know we are here. Its hard to know if this is due to the fact he is teething, his tummy is processing so many new foods or a result of the transition.....probably a bit of all 3.

His first doctor's appt went great. He is right on track for a one year old boy...75th % for height and 35th% for weight. And I'm sure his weight is going to skyrocket after all the food he's been shoveling down the past several days. He loves everything especially chicken and dumplings mixed with peas (thanks deanna :)) I have the baby cooker (WS) and it is awesome - blends anything and everything perfectly and quickly. We went to the hospital today for blood work. The hospital in Beaufort is always an adventure... after waiting almost 1 1/2 hours checking in and waiting for the lab tech, poor guy screamed his head off while his blood was drawn. Glad that is done!

The girls are both doing pretty well. Liv has really stepped up to be mommy's #1 helper. I could not be prouder of her this first week back. She loves helping me help Silas and she's been huge with helping Sydney during her "needy" moments. The fighting between sisters has somehow gotten much better. She is so gentle and sweet with the baby and he is starting to respond and let her do more and more with him.

Sydney is showing signs of jealousy which we knew would happen. She wants us to hold her if we are holding Silas or if Silas is sitting in my lap she sometimes tries to push him away with her body. I hate to call a child "needy" but boy her little eccentric behaviors (holding her hands while she poohs, down the stairs & brushing her teeth.....)that used to be cute are mighty tough now with a baby clinging to me. She hates it when Silas cries and gets mad at me if I don't immediately remedy his issue which results in her crying too. Thank goodness by tomorrow my head should be clearer to deal with her better. Today was pretty trying.

All in all we are all adjusting really well. Mimi and Pop arrived today and Silas had fun playing with them both.

Will post some more pictures in the morning!
xoxo,
Sara

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Day 2 Home


helping mom unload dishwasher
silas and the girls

Monday, July 13, 2009

Welcome Home Silas!!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

We are HOME!!












We finally made it home today around 4 pm. It was a long journey home but our little guy was truly perfect the whole way home. He slept just about the whole way from Houston to Savannah.

We had an amazing welcome home from our girls and my parents. The girls each made signs and had special gifts they had picked out for Silas. My stomach was in knots most of the trip home as I just could not wait to see my precious girls. I still can't believe we were apart for so long. It feels absolutely amazing to all be together as a family of 5...the Jackson 5! finally!

My parents are the best! My fridge was stocked with everything we needed, the girls' laundry was all done and put away, they had made letters, a cute toy crate for Sila's room, lots of balloons and my mom made chicken pot pie for dinner and some other treats for the coming week....yes, the best! Thanks Nanna and Doc!

The girls are doing so well with Silas. Liv, my little mommy, is wonderful with him. Sydney is a bit jealous which I had anticipated. She is also sucking her thumb...what??? I'm hoping with time she will become comfortable with being the youngest girl and being a helper too.

We are so thankful for God's blessings during the past 10 days. Honestly, I can't imagine it going any better. Silas is just the perfect child for our family. He has bonded so well with both Tom and I and he loves all the attention from the girls. He is into everything and so much fun to watch him discover his toys, the girls' toys, etc....it is like watching a kid in a super duper candy store!

One thing I failed to mention in earlier posts that we were discussing with my parents today. We were so inspired by several of the families in our travel group who adopted older children and two families we took care packages for. One family has 4 bio children and just adopted two older boys and the other had 3 bio and adopted 2 more....talk about unselfish love. We also witnessed children seeing pictures of their family for the first time while delivering care packages. Tom and I were both choked up at seeing these children just beam with happiness....seeing their parents, their home, their sibling, their first bike...wow! It is hard to imagine having to wait 7 or 8 or more years to have a true sense of hope for a family.

I'm sure as we both continue to process the trip we'll have more to reflect upon....as of now we are officially wiped out. I think we've had about 6 hours of sleep the past 2 days or so.

Enjoy the pics of our sweet kiddos...xoxo, sara & tom




Back in the USA!

We are back on US soil and boy does it feel good! It is Sun 3:30am and we are in a hotel in Houston awaiting our flight home! Silas was an angel baby and slept 12 hours on our 15 hour flight from Dubai to Houston. Hallelujah! But of course now he is up and running. I think mom and dad slept maybe 2 hours total off and on during the flight. We are all so messed up on our sleep with the time changes and traveling late. We arrived in Dubai from Ethiopia on Fri and did not make it to the hotel until 3:30am and had to be back up at 5:30am for our flight. We are pooped!

I can't remember if I've mentioned before or not....but we highly recommend flying Emirates. Lots of leg room, movies/tv to watch on your own mini tv & it just feels safe to someone who despises flying. I wish they flew within the US!

I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to put into words what we saw, felt & endured on our journey to Ethiopia. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Ethiopia or any third world country for that matter, jump on it. You will not be sorry and will be blessed immensely. Our hearts are forever changed and I just pray that are lives will also be forever changed as a result.

Thanks again to our prayer warriors. We truly felt your prayers!
Love,
Sara & Tom

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday

Silas and mommy stayed at the guest house this morning. We played and napped while Daddy Tom went to one of the orphanages. Silas is becoming more and more playful and it is wonderful for us to see his fun personality coming out. Tom enjoyed seeing the Kids Care orphanage and was able to take our donations for the children there. He was surprised and relieved to find the conditions not nearly as bad as we had thought they might be. In his opinion, it really was about the same as the TH. It is comforting to know the children are so well taken care of while they wait for their forever family. We then journeyed out with two others and took a taxi to the market again to buy a few more things. It was our first time “alone” in the city w/out the AWAA staff accompanying us. It is a wild ride anytime you venture out. Seriously the traffic here is insane. There are no traffic laws persay and there is a lot of swerving and beeping going on. The air quality is unbelievable bad – exhaust fills the air everywhere. We are on the 4th floor of the guest house and are winded by the time we reach the 2nd floor. It is amazing how much the altitude affects your body. I can’t wait to breathe some fresh, clean air!!Tonight is our last night here in Ethiopia. It has been such a wonderful and emotional week. We are so ready to be home safe and sound with the rest of our family. It is still hard to believe we are in Ethiopia and now have our son in our arms. We leave Ethiopia tomorrow around 7pm and will arrive home Sunday afternoon. We have a long trip ahead of us but can’t wait to see our sweet girls and Nanna and Doc at the airport!

Love,
Sara & Tom

Silas’ 1st Birthday!!


We are having a wonderful time celebrating Silas’
1st birthday – yes – his birth certificate shows July 8th!
What a blessing he is and we are overwhelmed with the
love that we have for him! He is sleeping well, eating well,
playing a lot, and bonding better than we could have ever
expected. God is good all the time, that is for sure!
He has been faithful and we are blessed.
Today we head to the US Embassy to complete the final
steps for our return on Friday. Tomorrow we will head
to an orphanage to drop off donations and after that we
will purchase some goodies to bring home. The extreme
poverty in this country is evident at all times. There are
really no “good sections” that are immune to the conditions.
That said, the people are very welcoming, loving, and happy despite their situations. We see street kids (homeless) playing marbles (with rocks) and carrying on as if all is fine and dandy. Unfortunately, they were barefoot, had tattered clothing, no belongings, and were caught in the pouring rain with nowhere to go. They clearly were making the best of their situation. We have learned a lot…..Thank you for your prayers and look forward to introducing you to Silas. Olivia and Sydney will be very taken with him – words can’t describe what a perfect little boy he is. See you soon.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Gotcha Day!!



We are back at the guest house with silas....he has really opened up and is having so much fun walking (with us!), playing patty cake & he ate a whole jar of oatmeal for dinner. Lots of giggles and squeals. Will write more soon....xoxo, sara & tom

Monday, July 6, 2009

Meeting Silas

What a day! Emotional, beautiful, wonderful…truly one of the most amazing days of our lives. We started out with breakfast at our guest home and then we all gathered around a table to do the necessary paperwork for the US Embassy. After totally botching the first form, Daddy T had to take over. My nerves were in full swing. Then we headed to lunch at Lucy’s (I think that is the right name…near a museum)…tom and I shared a cheese pizza. We are playing it safe in the food area for sure. Then we headed to the transition home….
We were number 5 on the list to meet our baby…cameras were passed out to other families to capture each meetcha moment. The tears were flowing as soon as the first sweet baby was brought out. It is hard to describe the beauty and joy of watching each family meet and hold their children for the first time.
Silas came out very sleepy. Apparently we arrived during nap time, so they had to wake the babies up to meet us. We held him and loved on him but it was very clear he wanted to sleep. His little arms didn’t seem to know where to go at first but after walking and singing to him he fell asleep with his arms around me. Oh how I love snuggling with my babes. He pretty much slept the whole time we were there. I did get to feed him a bottle and then he promptly went right back to sleep. Tom held him while he slept and when it was time to give him back to his nanny he looked back at Tom and his eyes seemed to get super big....what a big day for our little guy too!

After the TH, the ladies headed to a really neat spa. I had a 1 hr massage that was awesome! Then we picked up the guys and went to a traditional Ethiopian restraunt. I only had two bites of food before my nose, ears & mouth were on fire, but the beer was good and the entertainment was great. Several of us danced with the dancers and Kyle played drums…super fun!

Tomorrow we shop in the am, then lunch, and then back to the TH to take pics/care packages and then get our babes for good!

This is my second time typing as we lost power…so please ignore typos…more later. We are tired, happy and healthy …miss you all! And for soon to travel families, it is winter here…pretty chilly at night.

enjoy the pics...
Xoxo,
Sara & tom

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Start of day 2 in Ethiopia

Good morning,

Today is the day! It is around 7am here and we are anxiously awaiting our paperwork party here at the guest house at 10, then lunch and then off to see our boy at the transitional home. We've been up since 4 am...reading, eating skittles & trying to pass the time. Our sleeping schedule is way off and we seem to sleep well during the day and not much at night. Hopefully this will change soon as once we have Silas with us I'm sure the day time napping will promptly end!

Dinner at the guest home last night was excellent...traditional ethiopian meal of beef, peppers and rice. I just need to get my hands on a diet coke this morning :) Tom is going to have his first taste of Ethiopian coffee here in a bit. So far so good...we are both feeling well.

We have gotten to visit with many of the 8 other AWAA families staying here at the guest house . We have a great group! It is so nice to be experiencing this trip with others who are experiencing many of the same emotions and joy.

Hopefully we will be able to post later today with pictures of our meetcha day!!! Can't believe it is here.

Liv & Syd - we love you and miss you....xoxoxo!!
mom & dad

Hello! We made it to Ethiopia!! It feels sooo good to be here.

Our flight from Dubai was excellent - we were upgraded to business class which was insane....seats totally recline, chair massages you all over, you name it and we got it! Of course I was way into watching all the movies we never get to see anymore, so no sleep for me and I think about 1 hour for Tom.

We arrived to the airport and went through visa control, passport control & retrieved our all of our luggage w/ no problems. David a driver w/ AWAA picked us up at the airport. We had to ward off several men trying to help us with our bags. The begging is definitely going to be a challenge here.

Driving to the guest house we were able to witness the extreme poverty from our windows, although I know we haven't seen the worst of it yet.

The guest house is clean and very friendly staff. I am using the receptionist computer right now b/c the internet connection is not working in our room...sorry for any typos the keys are a little bit different on the keyboard. We just took another 3 our nap and plan to eat dinner here at the guest house.

We miss and love you all. It feels great to be here and one day away from seeing our boy.

Thanks for your continued prayers.

Love,
Sara & Tom

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Day in Dubai

So much for sleeping in today. Tom got up at 5am and attempted to go to starbucks (which was closed) but enjoyed a peaceful morning in the hotel lobby drinking coffee and reading the paper. I of course could not go back to sleep so we ate an early breakfast in our hotel and then headed to the beach. We have not left the Beaufort heat behind. It is crazy hot here. The beach here is nice there are chairs lining the beach, tiki bar and a foggy sea view. After trying to cool off in the Arabian sea (which felt very similar to a hot tub) we had a frozen concoction and a dip in the pool. We went to chilis for lunch which was just a short walk from the hotel. We then proceded to take a 4 1/2 hour nap! Now we are at Starbucks and off to find another American chain for dinner.

Thoughts on Dubai: not sure what all the fuss is about - nice but really just a lot of shopping and hotels on the beach. not much character that we've seen. although we did stay cooped up in teh hotel for most of the afternoon. we've never done the tourist sightseeing thing very well.

Highly recommend for future travelers: come a few days early to rest and sleep. We've enjoyed not being on any kind of schedule. We feel like we should sleep when our bodies will let us.

We meet our driver at 5:30 in the am for our flight to Addis. We should arrive in Addis around 11:30.

Happy 4th of July!!
Sara & Tom

Friday, July 3, 2009

Dubai

Well we made it to Dubai!! It was a loooong journey but we are so happy to be on the ground and in our room at the Sheraton. The flight from Houston to Dubai on Emirates was long but truly not so bad. We each had our own little TV and lots of movies, tv shows, and music to choose from. I ended up wathching for 4 movies in all!!

I think God was giving us a taste for what is to come on our return flights b/c there were 3 young children on our single row. The little boy next to me cried off and on for the first 4 hours or so of hte trip...not much sleeping going on but am thankful the movies kept me occupied. I highly recommend flying Emirates for those of you who are about to travel. It is very spacious and can't beat all of the entertainment.

We got to our hotel around 9pmish and ate at the Grill House here...food ok...we are so exhausted and looking forward to a shower and sleeping in. We plan to just veg tomorrow at he pool and maybe check out the spa here.

It is a new experience for us being in the minority both on the flight and now here in Dubai. A great lesson I think for us as we are soon to have Silas T in our arms.

We miss you all. Olivia and Sydney we love you so much and of course talked about you non-stop over dinner. We love you!!
Sara & Tom

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Take Off

Well, the time has finally arrived. We leave the Savannah airport today at 2pm and then on to Houston and then Dubai!! We will be in Dubai for 2 nights/1 day and then on to Ethiopia on Sun am.

We will meet Silas on Mon and then take him with us forever on Tues!!!

We are super excited and truly blessed to feel so covered in prayer. I honestly thought I would be very anxious and nervous about being away from home and my girls for such a long time. This morning I woke up with a sense of peace and calm knowing we are in God's hands and have wonderful prayer warriors!

We will do our best to update as often as possible. Thank you for your continued prayers!

Love,
Sara & Tom

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Daddy and his girls


soon daddy soon you won't be so out numbered....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Concrete Travel Dates

We will be traveling over the 4th of July!! There was a chance we would go the week before but our paperwork did not make it in time (whatever that means:)). So exciting to have concrete dates!!! We are going to stop through Dubai for a few nights on the way to get adjusted to the time change and get a bit of rest before heading to Ethiopia. Apparently there is a nightclub next to the guest house where we'll be staying and the music blares all through the night. Earplugs to be packed!

Thank you to everyone who has helped pray Silas home. We are so close to having our boy home!

Sara

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

SILAS THOMAS JACKSON

Saturday, June 13, 2009

ADOPTED FOR LIFE

"Think of the plight of the orphan somewhere right now out there in the world.
It's not just that she's lonely. It's that she has NO inheritance, no future. With every passing year she's less "cute," less adoptable. In just a few years, on her eighteenth birthday, she'll be expelled from the orphanage or from "the system." What will happen to her then? Maybe she'll join the military or find some job training. Maybe she'll stare at a tile on the ceiling above her as her body is violated by a man who's willing to pay her enough to eat for a day, alone in a back alley or in front of a camera crew of strangers. Maybe she'll place a revolver in her mouth or tie a rope around her neck, knowing NO ONE will have to deal with her except, once again the bureaucratic "authorities" who can clean up the mess she leaves behind. Can you feel the force of such desperation?Jesus can.She's his little sister.What if a mighty battalion of Christian parents would open their hearts and their homes to unwanted infants- infants some so-called "clinics" would like to see carried out with the medical waste? It might mean that next Christmas there'll be one more stocking at the chimney at your house..a new son or daughter who escaped the abortionist's knife or the orphanage's grip to find at your knee the grace of a carpenter's Son."

Quote from a BRAND NEW adoption book titled... Adopted For Life- Russell D. Moore


I am so excited to read this book as we travel to get our Silas. To witness this desperation first hand is a privilege and our hearts will never be the same. Please take the time today to pray & seek what you can do to help an orphan!!

3 more days till court....!!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

New Court Date

We have a new court date of June 16th. One week away. If we pass court we will travel July 2nd. I have to admit my patience is starting to falter. Why can't we go get our son? It just doesn't make sense to me right now.

We did get some adorable pictures of our boy. He is growing, looks healthy and is such a cutey pie. He is standing up and trying to walk!! I just can't believe it! He's even had the chicken pox. It's so hard not being the one to hold and comfort him during this time but at the same time I am so thankful for his sweet nanny. We've been told from another family whose son had the same nanny that she is precious and gets really attached to the children she cares for and it is truly hard for her when they leave. How do you thank someone for caring for your child for months?? I'm struggling with this. We are planning to take a special gift for her but I can't decide what to bring her. Any ideas?

This morning Olivia decided it was time to get ready for our baby boy. Tom calls this "nesting" and it cracked me up that our 5 year old was feeling the need today. She diligently washed all of his bottles and we got his pjs and bibs ready to wash. Seeing her excitement and joy reminded me to stay focused on the end prize. Though we've encountered a few bumps along the way, we know God is faithful and we will soon be rejoicing with our sweet boy in our arms.

Until then, we thank you for your continued prayers.

"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3

Monday, June 1, 2009

NO NEWS

Just an update to say we are still waiting to hear news. We will post again as soon as we hear. PLEASE read the next post.....

FEED THE FORGOTTEN

Too often we hear heartbreaking stories and do nothing. We feel helpless. . . and so we move on. Not this time. There are people DYING in Uganda right now. There are children who's bellies are hungry and aching. There are mamas who are too weak to stand and babies begging to be held. There are people trapping termites hoping for food and eating dung in helplessness. DO NOT CAVE TO DESPAIR. YOU CAN DO SOMETHING.
Join us and Children's HopeChest to FEED THE FORGOTTEN!!! (CLICK HERE TO GIVE NOW) (note: please write FEED THE FORGOTTEN in the notes section)

For $0.14, we can (and WILL) feed someone a meal of posho and beans. (posho is cornmeal, which is filling and beans are protein). Take that in for a moment. . .
$0.14 a meal
$2.86 for 20 days
$1 per FAMILY
$20 feed a family for 20 days.
How much was my Chick Fil A yesterday? How much is your Starbucks? The bigger question is how much am I willing to give up SO THAT OTHERS MIGHT EAT?
Remember Jesus story of the Good Samaritan? Remember how his very neighbors walked right by him? They probably looked at him with pity. . .probably thought "oh poor guy, that breaks my heart" but the fact is THEY DID NOTHING.
What will you do? These children are starving. . .

these actual children. . . click on picture to right to see photos....

will you help? The money raised will feed those precious children. There are 3 - 4 villages that we are targeting (I'm hoping for more after we see how much we can raise!) to bring food relief to asap. These people are literally starving. . and waiting for you to act. Will you help? Even with paypal fees (2-3%) even $1 will feed 6 people! You CAN make a difference.
Spread the word, blog about it, facebook it, twitter it, ask your church or school or business to give, post the blog badge anything. Truly, we are begging you. . .on behalf of these children not to forget this post and move on to the next in your google reader list. Stop, pray, act.GIVE TO FEED THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN!!!!!
(note: please write FEED THE FORGOTTEN in the notes section when you give)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Court Update

We did not pass court today (really last night) in Ethiopia. Thankfully the judge kept our case opened and hopefully she will hear it again with the hard copy of our POA this week. We should hear something by the end of the week. The Director of the Ethiopia program at AWAA said although this sounds somewhat promising we should be prepared to have our current case closed and to have a new court date reissued mid-June.

God is good and we take comfort in that.

Psalms 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What a rollercoaster!

So the past week has been quite a roller coaster ride! MOWA (ministry of women's affairs) in ET halted all adoptions of abandoned children in the city of Addis pending an investigation. We were devasted to hear that we we were affected by this hold and were told to expect at least a several weeks delay. We began praying hard that this hold would be short and that God's hand would be in the investigations.

Then, last Thurs I recieved another call that there is still hope that we could pass court on May 26th. Apparently, our boy was abandoned just outside of Addis and other agencies have had success in passing court in similar situations. Praise God and still praying hard!!!

Then today, we received another call lettingus know that the power of attorney we sent in our dossier last year is no longer valid and we needed to have another one notarized and state certified and in their office by Fri at 9 am in order to have a chance of passing court. Wow, really?! So I will be driving to Columbia in the morning to get this document state certified and then Fed Exed to America World. We want Silas home!!!

Please pray for these children and families affected by this abandonment hold. It truly is agonizing not to be able to hold our children and not knowing how long we may have to wait.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose
Romans 8:28

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

*Tom Davis* is helping our adoption agency's Ethiopian transitional home by helping bring the best formula to the precious babies waiting to be with their forever family!! You can donate on his web site. This is an amazing blessing as many of the infants from the orphanages are severely malnourished and some are even on feeding tubes.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lots of Smiles

That's what we got in our April update on our boy. The sweetest pictures of Silas standing up in his crib, crawling and SMILING!!! What a joy to see him so happy and doing well. He has gained 1 lb since our referral and has 1 tooth. We are in love and can't get to Ethiopia soon enough to hold him in our arms.

Our court date is set for May 26th. We are still waiting to hear tentative travel dates but still expect to travel end of June or early July. Please be praying we pass court on the 26th. 70% pass and those 30% who don't have to wait another month or so for a new court date.

I wanted to post about a wonderful opportunity with the Red Letter Campaign. Have you heard about The RLC? This org was establised by a group of friends with a vision to help the most vulnerable in this world. They are doing amazing work and it truly is inspiring. If you've ever wanted to help a child but unsure of how to or which org to trust....this is it. They have found orphanages in Ethiopia and a few other countries to provide support and care....the commitment is around $35/month...you will receive photo updates and will have the opportunity to travel with a group to meet your child. How fun to do this w/ a group of friends?! Let me know if you are interested. There is an orphanage in ET that they will be pairing up soon.

Also, visit the RLC site to learn about Tom Davis and his latest book, "SCARED". I haven't read it yet but sure you won't be disappointed. His other books are must reads too.

http://redletterscampaign.com

Sara

Monday, April 6, 2009

Care Package


Today I mailed a care package for Silas. Sophie the giraffe (squeaky teething toy), a little lovey blanket and a photo album of our family are on it's way!! Another AWAA family who is traveling to unite with their child this week is graciously taking it to Ethiopia for us. What a blessing this is! Also, several other families traveling in the upcoming weeks have agreed to take pictures of our little guy for us!! Can't wait to see those :) A huge thank you to all of you!


We continue to wait to be assigned a court date and I'm in serious nesting mode!!

Love,

Sara

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Silas Jackson!!!


We received our referral call/email yeterday and finally saw our precious son's face!! We are overjoyed and in love! He is a healthy 8 month old who is playful and crawling.


He has big beautiful brown eyes and the shape of his face reminds me of Liv's as a baby. God is Great!


Thanks for your continued prayers.

Sara & Tom

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I need Africa more than Africa needs me.

We are getting so close!! So close to finally seeing our baby boy's face, knowing his name, his story and completing our journey to bringing our son home. Based on current wait times, we should receive a referral this month!!! This means we will receive a picture, medical info, etc of the child who has been matched w/ our family. Once we accept the referral, we will be given a court date and should expect to travel roughly 2 months later depending on court delays, etc.

Lately it feels like we've been waiting forever. I've honestly tried to put the faces of the beautiful orphaned children out of mind after spending so much time agonizing about their situation. I came across the video below and was once again inspired and heart happy to be reminded of the amazing journey that awaits us. What joy I felt after watching this video and knowing these people have so little possessions but so much faith and love.

Check out the video and you can purchase cool Tshirts to support Africa in many great ways...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAB-zJPsJjs

Sara