BIG LOVE BLOG- Our story of love and family


Monday, March 30, 2009


This documentary, I AM BECAUSE WE ARE, was co created by Madonna and quite possibly one of the best films currently dealing with the crisis in Africa. If you have ever wanted to learn more about what is happening, or why AIDS,poverty, and orphans are such a huge issue in Africa...I challenge you to take the time to watch this.
Even if you have no connection to Africa and maybe do not understand my connection to this place, here is a brutually honest and heart felt film of desperation and hope. It is also a good reality check on daily life here in America and how we so so quickly take it for granted.
The film is about an hour and a half long, and offered on youtube. It is very tough to watch, but it is real life for people in Malawi and all across Africa. There is hope...And it starts with each one of us making the smallest difference.
Much Love

Thursday, March 26, 2009

6 Weeks & Some Change & Mother's Day

Holy Schnikeys! 6 weeks and some change and we will know if Little Miss Sunshine passes court! I was just looking at some other blogs and I found one that has the same court date as us...The thing I did not realize was that May 10 is Mother's Day...I guess because I am still new at the whole mom gig, I did not even think about it. What is even more wild...Ethiopia is several hours AHEAD of us. So our case will be heard on Mother's Day for us..Or at least while we sleep after a full mother's day. What an awesome gift that would pass court on mom's day!
Of course I am totally crunching the numbers these days and now I am starting to realize that in like 10 weeks I could have 2 baby girls full-time! Holy CRAP!!!!
We are loving life today. I am just getting over what I like to call the MOTHER LOAD CRUD. It has given me a new appreciation for feeling good!
I am just so thankful for a quick court date. I know to some, it has not really been fair. Many families who received their court dates well before us, have court dates scheduled few weeks after ours was assigned. There is not much rhyme or reason to this, and we are hoping to see our friend's court dates move up. This whole process has been just a God thing for us. We had some tough stuff early on to deal with, and I will not elaborate too much..But for me it was a really really difficult time. I feel like, and have for some time-that God carried us through the tough time and now the actual process will be easier. For those of you who followed our adoption with Bianca, you know our wait time, was sad- to say the least. This time I really feel very peaceful about this process. I just know that God is in this in such a huge way.

I also really believe with all of my heart that we will pass court the first time, and we will travel 3-4 weeks after!
We got 2 new pics of Little Miss Sunshine last week and in one she is totally smiling, maybe laughing even. The second photo, she is screaming her head off. The grammies have a tough time seeing her cry, but I actually kind of felt good to see two such important emotions in our girl. Likely also a sign that she will follow in her big sister's footsteps by being a little ball of fire!
I have to get it in gear! We have all kinds of commitments coming up during April and early May...I know this time will be gone so quickly....
I think about my daily trips to McAlister's to get a tea. Right now, I get Bianca out with me-no problem. Today when we were there, I saw this mom come in with her 3 year old girl and she was carrying a baby carrier with an infant. I felt sorry for her...She likely started the day looking so cute- good hair and outfit, but as she opened the door, she was all sweaty, disheveled, and frankly-pissed. I instantly caught myself and thought- WHOA, this is going to be me in just a few months!!!!
But I will most certainly be even more sweaty and uncoordinated juggling all of the stuff!
Bianca was big enough when she came home, that I never used a baby carrier. I can't wait to get a better idea how big Little Miss Sunshine is, so I will know what to buy for her!

Well, the count down is on!!!! And we are sooooo happy about it!
Please be in prayer for LMS as she waits for us, for a successful court date, tons of love, and good health for this baby. And for our family in the US- for me to have patience, Bianca to handle the transition well, and for our business to continue to thrive, as Eric makes decisions for our family, and as we prepare to travel to Ethiopia.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We have a COURT DATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
It is true!!!! Just this morning I woke up and told Eric, "We have to really be praying for our court date to be assigned!"....Seriously like 5 minutes later I picked up my phone and had an email from our coordinator at IAN...TITLED..COURT DATE!!!
And there is was..An official court date for our little baby girl.
Please everyone mark you mental calendars fro MAY 11th! We need lots of good prayers sent up for a successful court date! I totally have the feeling we will pass the first time, and I am going with it!
Sorry I have been out of the loop this week for most of you...I have been dealing with some serious sinus stuff trying to get me down...Still working it out! Will be back in action in no time.
So so so thankful for this awesome news.
Now we wait for this date, and our attorney in Ethiopia will go to court for us, we will know the same day if we passed court and if we do, we will travel in 4 weeks!
Little Miss Sunshine better get ready for this crew. We can't wait to get our hands on her!
Much Love everyone!
Chantelle,Eric, & Bianca

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A TINY Sneak Peak of the Perfection!

I know you are all dying to see a picture of Little Miss Sunshine! I GET IT!!! She is just so dang amazing to look at and love....I am a mom freak..I know..So spare me the emails letting me know! ha ha
My best bud Cheri edited this adorable pic for us so we could share Little Miss Sunshine's perfect little mouth with the world without sharing her identity. This baby loves to eat! Every pic I have seen- she has milk on her face! And for those of you who do not know, until LMS is officially our daughter, the Ethiopian government frowns upon sharing photos of Ethiopian children. It is totally for their safety so I am all for it.
We have seen 2 different trips of photos already of her, so I am totally spoiled.
The uplifting news keeps coming...Yesterday Eric's mom called and told me there is a local neurosurgeon who has been in Ethiopia and is going back who heard about our story and offered to go and visit LMS while there! I was totally blown away and so so thankful for the good hearts of people who do not even know us, but are willing to love on our child for us. Now, if I can only convince them to put me in their carry on baggage, I will just need to lose about 50 pounds to make the weight limit! ha ha
We did not hear news about our court date this week, but I am guessing it will be assigned for late May...Only my estimation. It is really hard to tell.
Please continue to pray for LMS-
*For someone to be giving her BIG LOVE while we are apart.
*For God to keep her little body healthy and strong...We love this little fighter
*For God to give me the patience I need to wait this thing out, and not drive everyone around me completely nuts
We have had some blog friends who have received some really tough news about their baby girls over the past few weeks, and our hearts truly go out to them. Please know you guys are completely in our prayers.
Thanks to everyone who loves us BIG! We are so thankful!-Chantelle

Thursday, March 12, 2009

4 Weeks Waiting....Is this the week?

Look at the awesome pic done by our good friend Sarah Trickey this summer at Kentucky Lake. Bianca has changed so much even since this photo! I just think this is such a good picture of the sweetness of a child.
So, alas Bianca waits...momma and dad wait too for a court date to be announced for Little Miss Sunshine...And NO we are not officially naming her this. We have agreed on a name but I am holding on posting it until we know the court date.
On a great note, we received another pic of this little wonder....Yesterday another mom who just got back from Ethiopia sent me a pic she took while at the orphanage. LMS was sleeping and looking extra adorable.
I am starting to get a bit more freaky about the wait, but evening it out with spending lots of really great time with just me and Bianca....We do pretty much everything together and I want to really take in our last few months alone together.
Bianca is really talking in basic sentences now and I am loving it! We have still not even come close to mastering any sort of potty training, but hey, life is still pretty great!
When referring to herself Bianca says, "I, ME" just in case we missed the first reference, which is pretty funny. She can also do one heck of a Mick Jagger impression with the full lips out and a dance jive....This girl has rhythm and already loves ACDC and the Rolling Stones! (Like she has a choice in this family!)

I promise to update as soon as I know more about LMS...I know we are ALL eager to know!
Much, Much Love- And thank you again and again for all of the great support!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

3 Weeks Down Waiting for Court Date! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
Hi every Ethiopia baby lovin' blog follower! We are lovin' life just knowing what our little girls face looks like. She is so so so adorable!
I have wanted to post, but have had no news. This is not at all uncommon. Typically after a referral goes out, it is 4 weeks before courts dates are known. We are right on schedule as far as I know!
So, we have been waiting 3 weeks since seeing our baby girl's face for the first time. I expect to post next Thursday info on our court date. To get everyone up to speed here is what the rest of our time line looks like:
1. Get assigned a court date
2. Wait for that great court date!
3. Pass court
4. Wait for Embassy appointment assignment
5. Travel to get our little girl
I have been telling everyone that we are hoping to travel in June....This is just my estimation from the time lines I have seen. Once we know our court date, I am guessing it will be 2 months out. The GREAT thing we have been hearing is that the court that approves adoption in Ethiopia has hired an additional judge. There are lots of rumors, but I have seen many people get assigned a court date, then see them get their court date moved up earlier! This would be a major blessing!
And I FULLY expect it for us!
It is also common for cases not to pass the first time in court. I have the feeling that our case will actually pass the first time for a few random reasons.
Once we pass court, we are officially the parents! Love it! Then about 4-5 weeks after we pass court, we will travel to Ethiopia for our Embassy appointment and will bring home Little Miss Sunshine!!!!
She is still just a little bitty thing! I am thinking she might be about 7 months old when she comes home! We are so so so thankful for this little child!!!!
Please pray for our process to move swiftly so we can get LMS home. We also have several families in our agency with court dates very soon. One family is waiting right now to hear the outcome of their court to bring home their son Simon. Good Luck Newman family!
Then just a few weeks later we have another group of families heading into court.
I really have my hopes up for more updated pics of LMS... There is a family in Ethiopia now picking up their daughter, another family leaving on Saturday, and yet another family traveling the week after! We ALL hope that these families have the time to take new pics of our babies and when they do it is the most amazing gift!
As I posted a few weeks ago, we got new pics when the Griffith's went to get their beautiful baby girl. They have pics posted so check out their blog...She is a doll!!! And we are still loving those photos!!!
God has been beyond good to us during this journey. He has literally changed people's lives through this little child, who is not even here yet! Hearts have been changed, and all of our eyes have been open to another new life.
We were given an amazing gift by our family this past week to help us in our adoption and I am still so blown away. Your prayers, support, love, and heart for this little child have been overwhelming...
I can't wait to see what God has in store..He really is so big and gives us more than I could ever even conceive.
Here are a few pics of Bianca when she was Little Miss Sunshines age exactly...How tiny!

Much Love & Peace-Chantelle