Sunday, August 30, 2009

Here's to 29

Mark turned 29 yesterday and we celebrated by visiting all of his favorite downtown haunts.
Our friends helped us celebrate too! We were joined by Dave and Holly,
Matt and Kristina,
and Becky and Adam, who blessed us very much.
Mark appears to be a little frightened of being 29, but I think that 29 suits him just fine.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Need Photos?

Seniors? Families? Couples? Children?

Do you have a special event coming up that you would like to have photographed?

I think I can help!

You see, adoption is expensive.
And I have a camera, and a bit of knowledge of how to use it. So we're going to make it a solution to the problem.

For the next 18-24 months, I'll take your picture, then you donate to our adoption fund. It's simple, really.

And you get to name your price.

Whether it's a downtown senior portrait session or a one-hour engagement sitting, I'll be honored to capture your special moments and celebrations.

So to review. I take your pictures. You pay what you can afford. We put the money toward our adoption expenses.

And in the end, you help us bring our little guy home from Ethiopia.

Click here to see some samples of my work.

Email me at Beckylee123 (at) comcast (dot) net for more information.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Little Emmie Goes to College

She's all moved in.
Her room is adorable. I think she will be rather comfortable there.

And I only cried a little.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Guess who... going to college tomorrow.



And finally...

...the most painful-to-answer of the frequently asked is;

How much will it cost?

Well, it costs alot. Alot more than I can really get my head around. So I broke it down a little.

Our adoption will cost;

5,882 Grande Carmel Macchiatos
1,000 dinners for two at Chilis
294 pairs of jeans
100 months worth of groceries
83 Iphones
8 Canon D5 MarkIIs (AKA my dream camera)
2.5 days worth of profit for YouTube
1 2009 Honda Civic.

Or I guess you could say that it will cost $25,000. It just depends on how you look at it.

So, how do you plan to pay for it?
We had a little bit of money saved (about $4,500) and have already applied all of it toward expenses we have encountered so far.

At this point, our financial plan* is to work harder, spend less, save more, apply for grants, get creative, host fundraisers and pray, pray, pray.

*We did not consult Dave Ramsey here, so perhaps we don't have the most solid plan, but we are trusting that the Lord will provide the finances.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

FAQ # 7

What is your timeline? When will you bring the baby home?

In the world of adoption, there are many unknowns, many things that cannot be predicted. The timeline is one of them.

But I can give you a "best guess" of sorts, based on what our adoption agency told us.

We started working on the paperwork in May and were told that the "paperwork phase" takes about 4-6 months.

Once our paperwork is completed and we are approved to adopt, we will be placed on the waiting list. Currently, the waiting list for infants in Ethiopia is about 8-10 months.

When we reach the top of the waiting list, we will be matched with a child and will receive a referral. Once we receive a referral, we will have a court date in Ethiopia where a judge declares us the legal parents of our new little one. The time between the referral and the court date is approximately 5-7 months.

Once we have passed court, we will travel within two weeks (or so) and will spend 10 days in Ethiopia before we bring baby home.

If we add it all up, we can (kind of) expect the entire process to take about 18 to 24 months.

And perhaps we will be bringing a baby home between November 2010 and May 2011.

But really, I'm just guessing here.

So, the most accurate answer to "When will you bring the baby home?" is

I have no idea.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Holding on to the last bit of summer, we headed to the mountains this weekend for some four-wheeling and camping.
There were rocks to conquer,
old mines to explore,

and good food to be eaten.
We enjoyed some laughs,
a little campfire,

and smoked cigars to celebrate the birth of Emily and John's sweet new baby, Harper. (Who, like all good 21st century babies, started her own blog within 24-hours of entering the world.)
Here's to Harper.

And here's to possibly squeezing in one more camping trip before the summer's end.

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

This is our little Micah.
Currently the youngest of the family, and perhaps the naughtiest.
And when you look at him, you might not think that he is very sweet. But I know he is.
You see, this little Micah is constantly giving away his secret - his softer side.

I know he is sweet because he always holds my hand. And it's not just when crossing the street or in crowded places. Nope. Micah holds my hand whenever he is next to me.

And - oh my - it melts my heart.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

FAQ numero 6

The one you all want to know but are too afraid to ask is...

Can you/will you have biological children?

Can we? Well, we're not sure. We've always been (ahem) preventative.

That's enough about that.

Will we? Well, we're not quite sure about that either.
Mark says, "Yes!"
Becky says, "We'll see."

Either way, we have quite some time before we'll need to worry about it.

FAQs 4 & 5

People often ask,

Will the baby already have a name?

Yes, most likely the baby will have been given a name, either by his birth family or by his caregivers.

With a desire to be respectful and inclusive of his African heritage, we will most likely keep his given name as his middle name and then choose a first name for him.

So then, what will you name him?

As this point, your guess is as good as mine!

Here is how a typical naming conversation goes in the Kyle house;

Becky: "Mark, I've come up with the perfect name. I just know this is it! Want to hear it?"

Mark: (With very little enthusiasm and a tiny bit of eye-rolling) "Sure. What is it?"

Becky: (With much gusto, presents an off-beat name that Mark has never-in-his-life heard of and waits, beaming with pride, for his announcement of approval.)

Mark: "I think you need to try again."

Good thing we have a while to figure this out.

Friday, August 14, 2009

And so it begins...

Volleyball season officially started this week with four mornings of elementary volleyball camp and two afternoons of middle school open gym.

For me, this meant 15 hours in the gym. Just the beginning of things to come.

Each day, we held a "crazy" contest for the elementary volleyballers. Thursday was crazy hair day.
Here we have our three winners.
They won candy prizes. Elementary school volleyballers LOVE candy. Take note.

FAQs 2 & 3

A few more of the frequently asked...

Are you adopting a boy or a girl? What age?

We have requested an infant boy - or - infant twins with no gender preference. Depending on the baby's age at the time of referral, he will most likely be between 6 and 18 months when we actually bring him home.

On a side note, Becky is extremely hopeful for twins and Mark thinks there's no chance in ... well you know ... that will happen.

Why did you choose to adopt from Ethiopia?

There are several answers to this questions, actually.

When I started really learning about adoption more than two years ago, I began following the stories of several adopting families. While I was extremely blessed by each family who shared their journey, it was the families and children from Ethiopia who really captivated me.

I started learning more about the country and read a book that helped me understand the culture, the crisis, and the need that resided there. And I was hooked. I knew that Ethiopia would be the country we adopted from.

Ethiopia as a country has a -- shall we say -- humble spirit about allowing their children to be adopted. While they would prefer for their children to grow up in Ethiopia, the government has admitted that they need help and is very cooperative and thankful to have homes and families for some of their 4.6 million orphans.

Additionally, the Ethiopian program is currently one of the most affordable (ha.) and offers the opportunity to adopt the youngest babies.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ef Ay Quez

As Mark and I have opportunities to tell more and more people about our adoption, there are a few questions that we are asked quite often. Over the next few days (or weeks, or months) you are going to enjoy our answers to the questions most frequently asked.

Today, I'll start with the most basic...

Why are you adopting?

This is perhaps the hardest question - of all the questions - for me to answer. Because for me, it just seems so obvious.

There are children, all over the world, living with no parents. NO PARENTS. Think about that. What must life be like as an infant, a two-year-old, a 10-year-old, with no one to call "mom." What is it like when no one rocks you to sleep...or brushes your hair...or bakes you a birthday cake?

I'm pretty sure that none of us can even begin to imagine what these children, and their communities, are facing. The obstacles. The grief. The hopelessness. The extreme challenges of being a child with no family. Of being a community with no parenting adults.

And we just can't let this go on. We can't turn a blind eye. I can't pretend it doesn't affect me.

So, perhaps, the easiest answer that I can give is that I can't imagine NOT adopting. I am compelled and called and I MUST do it.

Because I KNOW that there is a little baby out there WITH NO MOTHER, I can't JUST LEAVE HIM THAT WAY.

I am capable of being his mother, so why wouldn't I be?

It seems strange, but MY baby, MY son has already been chosen for me. MY child is already (or will soon be) living without a family, and is waiting for me like I am waiting for him.

Sadly, there will be millions of other children who do not get adopted. I am not saving the world here. Adoption is a lifeline to ONE child. A lifeline that will make all the difference.

And there is one (or maybe two!) child that is MINE. And I have to work hard, and move toward him, and find him, and give him a mother, and a father, and a family.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I own a purse.
And I own a cell phone.

This morning, I decided that I should carry my water, coffee, and cell phone out of the house with absolutely no need to put my phone inside the purse that was hanging off of my shoulder.

I dropped my cell phone off of our second story balcony onto the downstairs neighbor's concrete patio.

But it still works.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Water Ride

Falling and Spinning and Flipping around

We went to Elitches today. 
We had a blast. 
Caden and I rode the Tower of Terror twice. He loved it. 
Arlee and I tackled the Tilt-A-Whirl and the teacups, also twice.   
Have I ever mentioned that I really enjoy being an aunt? Well, I do. 

Friday, August 7, 2009

Birthday Incline

My birthday started at 5:30 am with a little hike up The Incline. 

If you aren't familiar with the Manitou Springs Incline, it's basically a solid mile of straight-up steppin'. Literally, straight up. And once you conquer The Incline, you are rewarded with a nice little 4-mile jog down Bar Trail back to the parking lot. You can see some great pictures of it here. 

Here we are at the bottom...
...and at the top. I hiked it in 53 minutes. Not my best time, but not my worst time either. 
Shannon (pictured here on the far left) hiked the thing in 37 minutes. Sheesh. Three cheers for Shannon. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Smooth Criminal

Mark and I were fingerprinted today - an important step in proving that we have clean backgrounds and will be good parents. 
Coincidentally, the police station was hosting a field trip for 25 elementary school children. They passed the fingerprint room with wide-eyed astonishment and gaping mouths, watching Mark roll his fingers in the ink and then onto the paper. My guess is that they were told that when a "bad guy" is arrested, the first thing he does is give his fingerprints. I'm fairly certain that each of them went home this evening and told their mothers that they saw an actual criminal today at the station.  

Monday, August 3, 2009

Going on, and on, and on...

I'm attempting to write my homestudy autobiography.

The one in which I elaborate on 83 questions about my childhood, family, marriage, in-laws, school experience, hobbies, long-lost memories, traditions, culture, past dating life, parenting skills, influences, future plans, and on, and on, and on...

Right now, it's coming out like a pile of mental vomit.

The first three questions consumed an entire page.

If I keep us this pace, my final product will be 27.5 pages long.

Anyone have any inspiration to spare?