I can't believe it's been a year!

On July 1st, 2009 we finally passed court in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to bring home Mirak Olivia and Mistire Hope Murphy! What an incredible year it has been! I remember the day we passed court.....we just jumped and cheered, screamed and then started hyper-ventilating! Oh my, this was it.......they were REALLY ours!!! After all the prayer, all the heartache and tears....it was finally going to happen. Then we went about making preparations to travel. We didn't have near the wait or problems that some adoptions had but considering all of our years of infertility and secondary infertility, we were SO happy to have this part of our journey coming to an end!

We have seen them change SO much. Everything has grown! Their height, hair, several clothing sizes, shoe sizes, and them some things that are unseen but heard like language, dialect and their desire to know more about Jesus. About two months after they were here in America, I heard Misrak speaking to Misti in the backseat of our car. She just kept talking and talking to her in Amharic..... and by her tone, I could tell she was asking Misti questions......and Misti was NOT responding. She had lost her language and I was sad. Misrak kept speaking it for another few months but by six months or so, I didn't hear any more. As a matter of fact, there is a boy (13 years old) that is in her school that is fluent in Amharic and kept trying to talk to her but she admitted one day that she didn't think she even WANTED to speak it anymore! Ugh, I had hoped it wouldn't happen.

Enjoy these shots of the days before we knew them!

Too much to cover!

Well, blogging has been last on my list these days. I'll have a few minutes to work on it and realize, there is WAY TOO MUCH to cover in the amount of time I have, so I give up before I start.

Summer is here and the days of sleeping in and staying up late are upon us - BIG smile :) Riley did great in his first year of middle school with a 3.47 GPA and is now, unbelievably.......a 7th grader!! How did I get this old? Seriously, I am SO proud to be his Mom, even if he is officially now too old to hold my hand in public. He decided to give up swimming this summer in order to work on his new favorite sport, Lacrosse! Which he is quite good at I might add. After we signed him up I realized it was a full contact sport. DUH! Thankfully, the contact is not quite as brutal as football. Maybe it will be good for some of his pre-teen angst!

Misrak also did excellent in her first year of school here in America. She really did great especially for someone who began the year not knowing a lick of English! She loves math and is really good at it and her love for reading is growing now that her comprehension is growing. We recently instituted a "chore chart" and her reaction was "FINALLY! Now I know what I'm supposed to do!" She is such a worker bee! Little does she know that due to her reaction, she will be getting a much bigger list in the very near future! ;)

Misti....Oh, Misti! We cannot go anywhere without someone commenting on HOW adorable she is. And boy is she working it! She finished up 3 year old preschool with a bang and already misses her teachers and classmates whom she prays for every night to have a good summer. She truly has all of us wrapped around her little finger.

Here are some pics of our recent family outings! Strawberry Picking, Chimney Rock, Riley and Dad Backpacking in Mt Rogers, The Zoo with Grandma and Easter!!

Chapel rocked!

Recently, Misrak's class performed for her school's chapel service which is held once a month. The kids really look forward to chapel because it is geared special towards them! There were rehearsals and special music to be learned. Each of them even had lines to learn. Misrak's line was "Jesus wants YOU to go fishing for people, too!"

When I thought of Misrak getting up on stage and performing in front of hundreds of people, I didn't even blink an eye because I knew she was born to perform! She prayed (SO CUTE) intensely every night before the big performance that she (and her class) would not be scared and really sing good for God. All went great, everyone remembered their lines and at the very end, the principal asked Misrak to read John 3:16 and 17. She was very proud and felt honored to be chosen for this! Her family was very, very proud of her, too!

Before and After :D

So we've had major dental surgery in our house. Misti was an absolute trooper! She went under general anesthesia for a 2 hour process to remove 5 teeth (2 of them were abscessed) get 4 crowns, 3 replacements and 3 fillings....whew! Poor thing. She really did great though and loved the popsicles afterwards. Check her out, man her smile is so pretty now!

Sledding!! and snow, snOW, SNOW!!

It's been a Winter wonderland for a change here in Charlotte! Nothing like snow in the south! The girls thought it was pretty and loved the IDEA of playing in it buttttttt enjoyed being in it for about 20 minutes. ha!

Birshday Celebration!

A first American "Birshday" celebration was had on January 13th for Misrak Olivia who was turning 7! The girls say "birshday" and so, it has kinda stuck. We had yummy Ethiopian food the night before the big day. Misrak was concerned as to WHEN we would celebrate her birshday. She had seen many children celebrate their birshday at school with cupcakes. (What she didn't know was that those same children probably had a family or family and friends celebration also.) She really wanted to celebrate with her family. She thought it was EITHER OR! She was quite pleased to hear we could do both! So, Mom brought cupcakes to class and the whole class sang to her and treated her like Queen for the day! After school we took a fun detour to Monkey Joe's where the kids jumped and bounced their heads off and then stopped home to open gifts before heading out to small group where we indulged in chocolate cake (albeit a bit too late in the evening) and ice cream with our family and friends.

Happy New Year!

After Christmas at home, we celebrated round 2 of Christmas at Grandma Sandy's in the ATL. Lots of fun was had with the Aunts, Uncles and cousins too! Riley got to stay up and watch the ball drop, a first I think! He's growing up way too fast! Many games of Wii Resort Sports were played, sparklers were lit and playing "dress up" was a new hit with the kids since the girls have come!

Welcome to Our Journey!

Misrak and Misti came home from Ethiopia to their forever family on Aug 21st, 2009. We pray that our story blesses you as much as they have blessed us!!