Wednesday, December 30, 2009

**Picture Update** Just want to add that yesterday evening we received 6 new pictures of Marley bringing our grand total for the weekend up to 10 new pics plus one really awesome video! Thank you Salyers and Geddings families!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

New pics yesterday!!!

Thanks to the Salyers family we received 5 new photos and an awesome new video of Marley yesterday afternoon. This is the first video we've recevied of her actually awake! It was pretty funny watching her. It's almost as if she's just discovering her hands. She's got her arms stretched straight out and every once-in-awhile she catches her hand out of the corner of her eye and she's like, "whoa, what's this?!" She is sooooo beautiful and already has a full head of curls! Can't wait to finally get our arms around her. Hopefully next week we'll be posting pictures. Our Court is scheduled for the 5th so needless to say, next Tuesday will be a very looooooooong day. The good news is that all families have been passing court their first attempt so hopefully that trend will continue into the future. Until next time, enjoy Marley's new 3 1/2 month "finger" picture!

The 5 cutest little fingers ever!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

1 mo. referralversary gift: COURT DATE!!!

That's right, exactly one month after our referral, Staci and I received our court date today. The magic date? JANUARY 5th with possible visa appointment on February 4th. That means in about 6 weeks, we COULD be holding Marley!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Melkam Gena, Marley!!! (Merry Christmas)

Wow, the Christmas season is upon us already! I can actually say that I am almost done with my shopping, just a few things left then all done. It's been three weeks today since we first saw Marley's sweet face! Since our referral, we have gotten 2 new pics and a short video (thank you Hyman family). We watch the video daily even if she is sleeping during the entire thing. If everything goes as planned, we should have more pics shortly after Christmas (big thanks to the Salyers and Geddings)! The Salyers family is also delivering Marley's first Christmas gifts for us next week which include a new blankie and some onesies, one of which is very special since it was made by my good friend Kim. If you'll remember, Kim has her own Etsy store called River's Ribbons. You can check it out HERE. Even though she's not with us, this is still baby's first Christmas. I hope the blankie brings Marley many, many nights of comfort until we are able to comfort her in person.

We got our Christmas tree last year thinking that Marley would surely be with us by this time but it wasn't meant to be. While she isn't with us physically, you can bet that she is certainly with us in spirit this year. "Hope" has sort of been our running theme for the past 7 years hence our tree topper. I got this last year as a little reminder to, as the great Jon Bon Jovi put it, "keep the faith". This year it serves as a reminder of everything we have to be thankful for. Kris also bought this really cool Africa ornament for Marley. The family making them is also adopting a child from Ethiopia so the money goes for a really good cause. If your interested in your own, you can get them HERE. We totally can't wait for next Christmas! Now come on court dates!!!

Our Christmas Theme:
Marley's first ornament:
Marley's 1st Christmas package (It's amazing how much you can cram into a gallon sized plastic bag)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Oh what a feeling!

Well the day, the call, the moment has finally come! The call came about 11 am on Monday, November 16, 2009. I was sitting at my desk talking to Shelly when my direct line rang. I told Shelly to wait, that it was probably just Kris since he is the only person who calls my direct line. When I answered it was a female voice and she said "Hi Staci. This is Ashely!" (our adoption consultant) It didn't hit me until she said, "I have Kris on the other line!" It was precisely this moment that I lost it. She then went on to tell us all about our new baby girl, half of which I missed because I was a blubbering mess at this point. After we hung up, Kris and I ran home to see her pictures, read her reports, and spread the word. It was such a GREAT day and so much fun telling all of our family and friends who have waited right by our sides this whole time!

Our official wait time: 14 months, 2 weeks and 2 days for our baby girl, but these little fingers have been a dream of ours for the past 7 YEARS!!!

The Hyman family left this last weekend to pick up their baby girl so we sent a little care package with them for Marley. They are also taking new pics for us, we are so excited to see these new pictures and to see how she has changed. Our hope is to have as many traveling families take pictures for us as possible. At this point, pictures are the only thing we have to get us through the rest of our wait but at least we have a face now! And what a "beautiful" face it is!

Marley's first care package!So what's next???
The most popular question asked to us now is, "when do you get her?" For those of you out there in blogger world that aren't familiar with this process, here's what's next. After waiting over a year for our referral, we get to wait again. This time we're waiting for that all important Ethiopian court date. This is the court date that will make her legally ours through the eyes of the Ethiopian government. This court date is more than likely 2-3 months away. Once we pass court, it is usually a few more weeks before we travel. We will then be in Ethiopia for approximately 1 week before returning home with Marley forever. Hopefully this clears up a lot of the questions people were having regarding this process. It's a whole new waiting game now!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Referral Day!!!

Just a quick note to let you all know that at approximately 11 am this morning we received word from Ashley, our case worker, that we are going to be parents to a beautiful 2 month old baby girl. We're pretty limited on what we can say about her right now (until we pass court) but I can tell you that her name means "beautiful" and that she certainly lives up to it!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Good News-Bad News

Wow, where to begin, Kris and I realize that we have not updated in awhile, so sorry to all of our followers, if we have any left:)

Well, as of October 29th we have waited 14 months, to me this can be viewed as good news or bad news. The good part of it is our wait is almost over, the bad part we have had to wait this long!

Last week our agency referred 6 children to 6 families, but no baby girls. Already this week they have referred a baby boy and a baby GIRL!!! That means we are 1 or 2 on the list, we don't know for sure. So baby girls=good news, referrals=good news! All of these referrals have come from a new orphanage our agency just started to work with so hopefully the other orphanages will catch up soon.

Kris and i have tried to remain busy to keep our minds off our long wait. In September my sister Brenda and brother-in-law David hosted a garage sale at their home as a fundraiser for us to help with travel expenses. We had many, many friends and family donate items to the sale. The sale was apart of many going on that day for fall city wide. Kris and I were both very excited and surprised with how well the sale went. Kris and I are so blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family who care so much about us and getting Marley home! Thanks everyone for all your help! We continue to remain busy with work, I started a different position in July and is finally getting started on some of the main duties of the job, I really enjoy it so far, it will keep me very busy!

Okay onto another subject, our dogs. We have two spoiled dogs, Sam and Libby. Sam is 4 and Libby is 8. I know we are not the first people to have dogs before having children but I think we have the worlds most undisciplined dogs. Our poor child will never be able to walk around with a snack in her hand with out fighting off these two. And don't get me started on their barking, and boy they are loud, anyone who has ever come to our home knows this. So we have started putting their bark collars on them daily, trying to do some training, I just hope it is not to late! They are a lot better when they wear them, but they resort to their old ways when not wearing them. Hopefully they adjust well to life with a baby and hopefully Marley will adjust to them!

That is all for now, hopefully we will continue to have good news to report and are sooooo excited to be able to finally share our good news with all of our family, friends and readers!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Finally the Ethiopia courts are up and running! The Hyman family just received their court date today. I couldn't believe when they said it was THIS FRIDAY!!! We were expecting court dates to be another month after notice. This means, if all goes well, the Hymans could be in Ethiopia next month! This is awesome news. Really praying that the Salyers are next in line for their date. Now come on baby girl referrals!!!
Referral Update: Our agency handed out a referral today for 19 month old twin boys. The lucky family had waited 16 months.

Monday, October 12, 2009

How sweet it is!

Nothing new to report on the adoption front but we DID have a blast in K.C. this past weekend. We headed down Saturday and picked out our new crib (which won't be available for pickup for another 7-14 days). For some reason, white baby furniture is never readily in stock. They had plenty of black and wood-toned furniture readily available but not white. For now, we'll just have to include a stock photo of Marley's new crib.

After crib shopping we headed over to my brother & sister-in-law's for the night. We tried out an awesome pizza joint in Liberty, MO called The Dish. Awesome, awesome pizza! If you're ever in the area, we definitely recommend.

The next day we watched our beloved Cowboys put the smack down on the loooooowely Chiefs! It was great!!!

Inside Arrowhead, pre-smackdown
Little bro & I. (for some reason, his smile was turned upside down a few hours later)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lucky 13...

13 months ago today, our dossier was shipped to Ethiopia. We had just spent the previous year in the Vietnam program only to have our hearts broken when news spread that adoptions to the United States were, more than likely, coming to an end. Rather than stay put and hope for the best, we felt something pulling us towards the Ethiopia program. The estimated wait time the day our dossier left our hands was 6-10 months. Fast forward 1 year and 1 month later and we are now days, if not hours away from seeing our Marley for the 1st time. This has GOT to be the most exciting time of our lives and we are soooo ready for THE call! Thanks to all of you who have prayed, donated, or just offered an encouranging word over the last few years. We appreciate and love you all. We truly have the best family and friends! Here's to 13 months!

--Kris & Staci

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Our heart's in Africa...

We just got our Heart for Africa wall decal from the Sager's today and it looks great! If you've never followed the Sager's blog, they have been home from Ethiopia for a little over a month with their new daughter, Finley, who is absolutely adorable! You can read about the Sager's HERE or you can check out their etsy shop HERE. Thanks for the beautiful decal Sagers!

I must say it was a little nerve-racking hanging this because, let's face it, you screw up-it's over. Luckily it went up without a crease OR a bubble. This is the corner of the nursery our rocking chair will be (as soon as we get around to picking one out). Speaking of nursery, it's been awhile since we've touched it. We've still got quite a few things on our to-do list like finding new closet doors, decorating, night stand, etc, etc...Oh, and did I mention that our crib was recalled?!?! We've known about it for months but just recently got around to dismantling and sending off for our credit. I'm thinking it's just about time we start finishing this project once and for all.

The corner minus the rocker...

The crib that was not to be...

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Just not for us though. So far, there have been at least 2 referrals today that we know of! One for a sibling group and the other for a 4 month old baby boy. Again, due to age/sex requests, both referrals went to people behind us on the overall list. Such is the game at this point of our wait. A big CONGRATULATIONS to the Hubbard & Crouch families!!!

Really, really, REEEEEEEEEally hoping for that call soon. That makes 5 referrals this month but still our number remains the same. Come on baby girls!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tesfa-Hope shirts...

Just dropping a quick line to let you all know we've got our new Tesfa-Hope shirts available in our Etsy store. They are the coolest! The best part: they are totally customizable. We both had the stone-green & yellow shirts made with "7910 miles 4 marley" across the back!

I know we've been neglecting our blog the past couple of weeks but I promise, a blog update is coming soon! Things have just been a little bit discouraging the past few weeks on the adoption front since we hit the 1 year mark so we really haven't been feeling the blog. Time to get with it. We are close!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

We're Baaaack!!!

We just got back from our little Mexican excursion yesterday evening and man did we have a GREAT time! The family we had planned on going with had to back out last minute due to a family crisis so it was just us for one last, final hurrah before parenthood. Not a lot to tell you about the trip as we really had no real plans other than lots of good ole' relaxation, just us and a lot of sun & water. Our days pretty much consisted of breakfast, beach/drinks, lunch, pool/drinks, supper, beach/pool/drinks yada, yada, see a pattern here? :) The trip went exactly as we had hoped. And no, the cell phone never rang but we didn't let that drag us down. After a month without referrals we weren't too shocked.

Our hotel was very nice and the water was so beautiful & calm. The hotel also had a manmade reef about 50 yards out that was really great for snorkeling. We spent a few hours just exploring the water, fish, and coral around this little reef. We spent one afternoon away from the hotel on a snorkeling trip which was well worth the money. If you're ever in Cancun we would highly recommend booking a trip through Snorkeling Adventures. We went to the 2nd largest reef in the world (2nd only to the Great Barrier Reef) 3 different times, once in shallow water, once in deep water, and for the final trip in REALLY shallow water. So shallow that you had to be very mindful of your flippers not brushing against the coral. It was a BLAST and Eduardo (our guide) was terrific! They served our crew a really good lunch in between outtings also.

We stayed at the Riu Caribe which we would highly recommend. While it wasn't the fanciest hotel in Cancun, it was very nice and the staff did an incredible job making sure we were happy. Not to mention that the beach was perfect (especially if you're traveling with children) very placid, unlike a lot of the beaches in Cancun which are very choppy, rocky, and have very strong undertows. So if you're looking for a nice, little getaway: Cancun>Riu Caribe>Snorkeling Adventures. You can't go wrong with this combo!

I'll end with an email we just received from a family currently in Ethiopia regarding the recent referral drought:

"Ok, so I'm in ET now and have visited HOH (House of Hope) many times. Please, trust me, there IS hope! :)"

Hmmm, could good news be on the way?!?! Until next time, here's a few pics from our trip:

The traditional "Lounging with the feet up" pic
View from the hotelThe water was absolutely amazing
One of the two pirate ships that cruised past our hotel every eveningHaving dinner at the hotel's seaside restaurantNot quite for sure if these are coconuts or not. Anyone out there know?Neat little banana tree. The landscaping and foliage was incredibleOur last hurrah as a twosome!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The unofficial "And we're off" post...

No this isn't our OFFICIAL "And we're off" post. Not yet anyways! Hopefully that one will come within the next 3 or 4 months however. We are headed to Mexico for some much needed r&r! The cell phone, camera, & camcorder are all packed just in case we get a nice, little phone call while we're away (if you know what I mean) :) It's going to be soooo nice to get away and clear out the cobwebs that come with this whole adoption journey. We are sooooo close yet the end result seems so so far away. Perhaps waiting for a year on the Vietnam wait list only to have it close down will do that to a person. It's almost like the reality of it all hasn't sunk in yet. In fact, I don't think it will until we actually get THE call.

On the adoption front, the courts officially closed the 21st of August and will remain so until late September/early October. Supposedly, the court closure will have no effect on referrals. Congrats to all those families that got their court cases heard before the closure. For those that didn't, hang in there. You're day will come! It's been a long 3 or 4 weeks since our last set of referrals. So long that I can't really remember how long it's been right off the top of my head (haha). Perhaps this is the week they start rolling in again! We're desperately hoping that we'll be home in time for Christmas with Marley.

A quick little update on Miles for Marley: A few of the beanies are ready to be posted to our Etsy store. We just need to take some pictures. We were going to get our little cousin Abby and our niece & nephew, Jenna & Jarret to model but that didn't go as planned. Stay tuned as we'll be posting these next week. We'll also be taking special orders for colors and sizes not listed in our etsy store.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

In exactly one week, this will be our view...

...and after the past 2 years of adoption programs shutting down, a seemingly endless trail of paperwork, and ever growing wait times, we are certainly ready for a little vacation! NOW COME ON REFERRALS!!! Better check with CHI and make sure they have our cell# juuuuuust in case something happens next week :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Miles for Marley is open.....kind of

Hey guys, just wanted to drop a quick line and say that we've got our first item available in our new Etsy store. The "my heart's in Ethiopia" line is now available. I know it's only one item but hey, it's a start! Check back often, more items are on the way including custom swarovski crystal bracelets and beanies.

As for adoption news, no referrals but I did notice that the Hoaglands FINALLY passed court today and will be traveling to Addis in September to pick up their baby girl. Congrats guys!!! I'm not for sure if all of the families that were effected by the abandonment issues have now successfully passed court but I do know that a majority of them have. This is great news. Now, more referrals!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

BBQs, Friends, and Team Marley...

Nothing new to report on the adoption front this past week. However, eleven families who's court cases were held up by the abandonment issues had their cases APPROVED this week. Congrats to these lucky families! The House of Hope will probably be pretty empty after they travel. Room for more kiddo's possibly?!?! Hopefully we will have some more good news to share later this week.

We spent Saturday evening with some of our friends and their families at a BBQ. The kids had so much fun playing on the swing set, swimming and eating smores. It was a great evening just hanging out in the Missouri heat with friends and family! It is so exciting to think that next year Marley will be here to enjoy these festivities! Thanks Steve and Wendy for the great evening.

Let me introduce you to River of whom River's Ribbons is named after. She was sporting the cutest little t-shirt; one of the Ethiopia adoption shirts listed in her mom's Etsy store, along with "Team Marley" on the back. It was the cutest thing EVER!!!
One of my oldest and dearest friends is getting married next weekend. It is long over due and I am so happy for Robyn and Tim, they are going to be so happy together.

I will end with some pics from the BBQ, I promised no swimsuit pics of the adults on the blog so just my niece Jenna and nephew Jarrett, whom we love dearly!

Jarrett, 6 months old
Jenna, 3

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Introducing River's Ribbons...

You'll remember a few posts ago that we told you of our dear friend, Kim's intentions of starting an Etsy store and donating the proceeds to our adoption fund. Well, the time has come and we are very happy to announce the grand opening of her store, River's Ribbons. Kim has worked very hard creating some very cute adoption-themed shirts for our cause. Although the shirts are shown in toddler size, they are also available in infant sizes if you so desire. We plan on getting a onesie done of the shirt pictured to the left and having it sent to our daughter in Ethiopia upon our referral. That will make a great pic one of these days! Kim also has alot of awesome hair ribbons ready to go, she just hasn't had the time to upload photos yet. Click HERE or the button on our side bar to visit River's Ribbons.Thanks in advance!

We would also like to announce that WE are opening our own fundraising-Etsy store very shortly. The name...Miles for Marley. This store will feature some very cute, hand-made beanies (courtesy of Kris' grandmother) for infants and toddlers among a few other things. We're very excited to get this up and running and hope you'll like what you find. Until next time, stay tuned for Miles for Marley!

Friday, July 31, 2009

That makes us 9...ish

This one goes out to Tony Romo (the 3rd greatest Cowboys QB of all time) in honor of our new "unofficial" number (insert drum roll please)...................................9ish!!! We found out that there was another referral yesterday, this time for a 4 1/2 month old baby boy. The lucky family was on the wait list for 11 months and 1 week. Holy Cow!!! That's about as long as we've waited! Getting so, so close.

A quick recap of this week in referrals: 3 total; the 4 1/2 month old baby old mentioned above, a 4 1/2 month old baby girl, and the Salyers' 10 week old baby girl. What a great way to end the week. Let's all hope and pray that next week is just as good if not better!---Kris

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Congrats Salyers & Sagers...

A big, hearty "CONGRATULATIONS" goes out to the Salyers and Sagers this week. The Sagers are OFFICIALLY the parents of Finley Melat Sager today. They just received word they have passed court and will be traveling very, very soon!

Finally, after 12 months and 1 week, the Salyers got their big call yesterday! We can't wait to see the pics once they pass court.

After following these families for months and months, it's really cool to see their ADOPTION journey's finally coming to a close. I specify "adoption" journey because the REAL journey is just beginning!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


First of all, I would like to take the opportunity to dedicate this post to all of our wonderful friends and family! We love that we have such great friends and family who are just as excited about this journey as we are. Kris and I can not wait to get "the call" and share the great news with everyone. I know this journey has been hard on everyone, not just us.

Today marks 11 months of waiting. We've had two referrals, count-em....TWO referrals this week and both were for baby girls!!! A BIIIIIIG Congrats to the Salyers!!! By our count we are 10...ish on the overall list!

One of my very good and talented friends, Kim, is in the process of opening a new Etsy store and has graciously & generously offered us half of the proceeds to aid in our adoption/orphanage-supply expenses. She will be selling a variety of clothing items ranging from onesies & t's to hairbows & beanies. Kris's wonderful grandmother, Betty, will be crocheting the beanies (some of the cutest you've ever seen) so the next time your looking for that special little something for your special little someone, don't forget to check out her store *wink*wink* As soon as the Etsy site is up and running we'll post the link. Stay-tuned!

Kris and I spent the past weekend in K.C. for Ben & Lisa's wedding. It was beautiful and so much fun! It's always nice to hang with friends a
nd family. Congrats guys!
To help us through the rest of our journey, we ordered our Hope-Tasfa bracelets from a fellow Missourian adopting family, the Kirksey's. The bracelets are the perfect little reminder during this part of the journey that it WILL happen. They are the coolest and the best part...the money helps a fellow adoptive parent! You can get your own Tasfa-Hope bracelet among other things, HERE. Until next time...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oh yeah, the change WORKED!!!

Well okay, maybe the referrals didn't pour in today but the agency did give 1 today. A sibling set including a 3 year old boy and a 3 month old baby girl. The couple waited just shy of 16 months because sibling set's in this age range are so few and far between. Congrats to the lucky parents! I think....THINK that we are number 11 on the list. I say "think" because there has been some turmoil in the Ethiopia program this past week. The turmoil being a couple of families losing their referrals due to some "differences" our agency was having with the orphanage director. Due to these "differences", our agency has totally quit working with the orphanage. It's a very sad situation for the children and the adopting families. Sure hope these families receive some good news in the upcoming weeks. If you guys are reading this, hang in there.--Kris

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


As you know, the Ethiopia referrals seem to be coming in at a snail's pace here recently so in an effort to curb the rate of referrals, I've decided to give the blog a nice, new face lift. Now, I'm not an overly superstitious individual but it seems as though every time I change the blog's appearance, the referrals immediately start pouring in. So, here goes. Wish me luck!--Kris

Inspirational quote of the day...

Totally stole this from another blog:

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands.

--Kristin Larson

Monday, July 20, 2009

Court closures and a REFERRAL today...

Just found out that the statement released from our agency last week saying that the Ethiopian courts would remain open during the rainy season this year was false. The courts will shut down August 21 and will reopen the first week of October. They say that this does not effect referrals but if memory serves me correctly there will little, if any, handed out last year during the court closure. While the court closures are very understandabe, it's still very discouraging for the weeks to pass by without referrals. We certainly could use some GOOD news regarding our adoption for a change.

We must keep in mind that while the rainy season may hinder the speediness of our adoption, it is absolutely essential to the well being of Ethiopia and it's people.


In case your wondering why courts close completely during the rainy season of Ethiopia, here are a few pics to better illustrate the impact the rains have on the country. Enjoy!--Kris

With the rain comes new life!


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