Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Home For (Almost) Three Weeks

I've been gently reminded that I haven't updated my blog since we've been home....So, here goes:

Here are some pictures because I know that's what you really want.

Daddy came to Ethiopia for Tariku's embassy appointment and to fly home with us!

Tariku loves "helping." His favorite thing to help with is dishes.
Feed the ducks at City Park

Tariku LOVES music. There are a couple of movies that he really likes and he calls them by the name of songs that are in them. Right now his favorites are "Life is a Highway" (Cars), "Goin' Down the Bayou" (Princess and the Frog) and "I like to Move It, Move It" (Madagascar).

One afternoon my sister Rachel and I came home from the gym to find Dad, Tariku and Uncle Tyler sitting in the church's van, rocking out.

He says everything with the cutest little accent. It's hard to get it on video, though. Every time I pull out the camera or the flip he stops whatever cute thing he's doing and wants to be the camera operator.

It really has been a great three great weeks. Eli Tariku has adjusted marvelously. There were only a couple of mornings that we were up at 4am because of jet lag :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Few Really Great Things....

 Things That Are Great:
1. Tomorrow we get on a plane, when we get off, we meet our little man!
2. Our flight actually leaves at 11:30am, not 7:30am like we had in our head - we'll take a couple of extra hours of sleep.
3. Our awesome family, church family and friends - we've truly been OVERWHELMED by the support and prayers.

Things You Can Pray For:
1. Little Man (you can do this for the rest of your life, actually)
2. Safe Travel
3. Our first interaction with Eli Tariku! Monday,1pm Addis time, 5am Central time
4.COURT DATE - FEB. 9TH, 3 pm Addis Time, 7 am Central Time - All of the right documents need to be in place in order to keep the process moving.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Check out this sweet smile!

Can't wait to see it in person!
Okay - sorry we've been so slow to post...I know you guys are all just on the edge of your seats waiting for an update ;)

Here's the latest news:

1. We fly to Washington, D.C. on Feb. 5 (a week from Saturday!!) Dear Burglars, there will be people staying at house and they will be packin'...

2. We fly out of D.C. the next morning - straight to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia! When we land it will be 7am on Monday morning (their time)

3. We will get to meet Little Man!! we'll probably freak him out big time...after all, we've been preparing for him for OVER A YEAR (and we may be a little excited), and he doesn't even realize we're coming!

4. February 9th is our court date - please pray that all of necessary paperwork is in place so that the court date doesn't have to be rescheduled! If all goes well, we'll officially be a family of 3!

5. At some point after court, Eli transitions fully into our custody! Yay!

6. Jon's flies home on Feb. 15, Anna and Eli hang out in Ethiopia until the American Embassy finishes Eli's paperwork and issues him a visa to come home. The expected wait time is 6-8 weeks, but we're really hoping for something sooner. Anna's mom will fly over at the end of the trip, stay for about a week and fly home with them! 

We appreciate your prayers. We have a lot do before we leave - especially since Anna is preparing to be gone for so long. Please keep Little Man in your prayers. Pray for continued health and safety and a smooth transition.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Guess What?!

We've got a court date!!

February 9th!

We're still waiting to hear if we will travel once at the court date and then again to bring him home or if Anna will be allowed to stay the 6-8 weeks between court and embassy. Apparently there is a meeting tomorrow where this possibility will be discussed. We'd appreciate your prayers - we're really hoping Anna can stay.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

New Details about Lil' Man!

So....we were hoping that our next post would be announcing our court date, but we STILL don't know when that will be. We've been told to expect it to be in mid-February, but we're hoping and praying for something sooner! We can't wait to get our hands on our little man!

We did get some exciting news yesterday, though. A family from Baton Rouge is in Ethiopia right now for their court date. They delivered a gift bag to Eli for us and sent some pics! This made our day since the most recent pics we had were from August. He's grown so much - definitely looking like a little boy and not a baby! Too bad we can't post pictures. He. is. adorable.

Here's the email we got yesterday (with my comments inserted):

Eli is a DOLL (obviously).  A VERY coordinated doll I might add (whew).  Jon will have an athlete on his hands I do believe (Jon hasn't stopped doing his happy dance).  AND he is a LOVE.  He is engaging, warm, and very interactive.

Eli loved the gifts. His absolute favorite was the blue camera which he carried around for the 2 hrs we were there only surrendering it when his hands were too full to balance it all (yep, best parents ever).  S went through the whole 'book' with him (despite the Georgia T-shirt (Go Dawgs!)...Geaux Tigers -- LOL).  WE HAVE VIDEO! (CANNOT.WAIT.)  Actually we have a couple of short videos of him.  They are too difficult to send from here due to the size.  All of the kids were intrigued by the recorded reading.  They gathered/crowded/surrounded us while we gave him your gifts .

I figured this out about him-  He loves balls and interactive toys.  He catches on quickly (hope so - we'll be teaching him his third language! Is your toddler trilingual??) and isn't too reluctant to share (unless it is his new blue camera LOL).  Chu Chu dressed him up in his new SEC duds which fit beautifully.  

Eli has a BELLY on him (yay for weight gain! thanks for your prayers!)!!  He may be able to wear a size up in shirt now so even that much bigger by the time you travel.   This is something I always wanted to know- WHAT SIZE do I BUY?!  

Will fill you in more later.   Ask me any questions and I will answer them the best I can.  He sat in my lap a LOT.  

Eli is going to be a beautiful addition to the Palmer family.  You are blessed.
Yep. We are blessed! Here's a snip-it of our little linebacker!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

That Changes Everything.

For the past year and a half we've been thinking about orphans. Praying for orphans. Reading about orphans. Researching the stats about orphans. Advocating for orphans.

Even though we've known the worldwide orphan crisis is real - it was abstract. The shear numbers were overwhelming. The problem seemed too big. The solution seemed allusive.

Then on Friday, November 5th we were introduced to a little boy. And that changed everything.

The "worldwide orphan crisis" was narrowed down to one little boy.

It is no longer abstract - he is a precious 2 and half year old little guy with curly hair.

The problem of orphan will soon be met with the solution of son. And that changes everything.

We couldn't be more excited to be able to put a name with a face. We're ecstatic and humbled and that God chose us to parent this little guy. Unfortunately we can't post his photo online, but his sweet eyes should give you an idea of how cute he is. We love him already -  and that changes everything.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Everyday 24,000+ children die from poverty related issues like:

unclean drinking water

24,000. Everyday. And we are adopting 1 (2 if we're lucky).

What about all the others? The financial cost of international adoption is significant. There are agency fees and paperwork fees and plane tickets to be bought. It adds up fast. Some argue that the money spent to adopt one child could be used to feed many. And they are right. $30,000 would go a long way in Ethiopia.

But just because a child is fed doesn't mean all his needs are met. Children thrive in families - where they feel loved and secure. A mosquito net may protect from malaria, but it doesn't nurture or teach.

The process may be slow, but we are committed to it. So we wait - not just with a house, health insurance and a pantry full of food, but with arms ready to embrace, words ready to encourage, love ready to give, and basketball drills ready to be taught (seriously).

But, we can't forget about the 24,000.

While we've been saving vigorously for the adoption, we wanted to give to those around the world still in need and we wanted to make sure we didn't forget. God wanted to make sure we didn't forget. And so he gave us rice nights.

One night a week, instead of a full-fledged meal, we eat only rice. It reminds us of the millions around the world who don't have enough to eat. It prompts us to pray for them. And since rice is so inexpensive, we save the money we would have spent on dinner and give it those in need. It's a win - win.

This "journey" has been so much more than we ever bargained for. We're seeing things we've never seen and being challenged in ways we've never before experienced. It's definitely a growing process - complete with growing pains. But it's good.
...join us as we bring baby "Eli" home from Ethiopia and advocate for the 147 million orphans worldwide...