Monday, December 31, 2007

Sunday, December 30, 2007

2 year olds...

I love my 2 1/2 year old little boy. You just NEVER know what will come out of a 2 year old's mouth!! Today after church, he pulled some change out of his pocket. He absolutely LOVES change! He has no idea what a dollar is, but he will carry a penny around as if it is his most valuable possession! So Blu's mom saw him pull some change out of his pocket after church, and she sweetly said "Aw, Caedmon, do you give your money to Jesus?" Without missing a beat, my 2 year old said, "No, Walmart." :)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I love the Christmas season!

I promise I do! It's just that I'm the type who likes to experience something, and then move on to the next something. That, my dear friends, is the reason that all of my Christmas decorations were down by 5pm on Christmas Day! :) I know, I'm pathetic..

Anyway, we had a good time..made a whirlwind 24 hour trip to Brownwood to see family and then back here and had family with us for 3 days. Had a day off in between and now more family coming today, since my sweet husband is preaching at church tomorrow!! So today we're headed to the zoo with grandparents! (Don't worry--we'll steer clear of the tigers!)

Christmas was really a good time this year but kinda weird to look at it and wonder if this will be the last "normal" Christmas we have with our family here in the States... very interesting to see what 2008 will hold for our family.

Anyway, I'm kinda rambling today...finding it hard to focus...too much Guitar Hero has damaged my brain and all I see are bright colors...

Cambree and her Paw

Caedmon's new tricycle!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Pre-Christmas Fun!

So this has been a really good weekend! Friday night was our Youth Christmas party at an ice skating rink and huge mall for 8 hours with 25 junior high kids...Ok, there were like 4 high schoolers, but still. Well, guess what I, the youth minister's wife, did??? I disappeared after the pizza and gift exchange, bought myself some shoes and a purse, and then went and got a pedicure! I'm so bad!! :) Then, my college kids (who I LOVE and told to come crash the party) came and hung out with me. :)

So today I went and helped Jessica buy Christmas was the most insane shopping day I've ever seen. This mean ole lady at Walmart totally cut us off for a parking spot, and it's sad when one of your 17 year old youth has to keep you, the youth minister's wife I point out once again, in check!

Then it was on to Date Night tonight. Funny, our last date night was like in March when we decided to move forward with our adoption. (yes, I do realize that was 9 months ago-sad, but true). Lots changes in 9 months...But anyway, we had a gift card to Olive Garden so we ate there, and then went to Half Price Books, and then on to see I Am Legend. What a SCARY movie!! I covered my eyes for like half of it! Blu LOVED it...but def not my type!

So tomorrow is "Christmas church" which means that we all dress up in nice Christmas clothes (sometimes guys who don't have sisters have to be explained things like this--when we first got married he had no idea that you had to have an Easter dress each year!) Everyone got new clothes (but me, but I don't need any!) and I'm so excited! Isn't that silly? Except my babysa little spoiled and she has such nice clothes (from grandparents...) and I bought my little boy a $4 shirt from Walmart! Oh well...I guess that's the way it is with girls. So anyway then we're headed to family for Christmas Eve so that'll be fun!

Ok, now to respond to some of my most loyal blog commenters.. :) CeCe I did get your list of 10 things and I have to tell you that Blu and I both thought your laundry fetish was SOOOO funny!!! Julie, though I love you dearly, Pepsi is like the "Pink Bismuth Liquid" version of's just not the same...
AMBER! I can't believe there's Dairy Queens in Canada! Blu wants me to ask if they still use the slogan "The Texas Stop Sign" for Dairy Queen up there! (and I'm 27 by the way... :( Jessica and Erika, I love you both and you are so loyal to my blog! And my secret blog friend, do you think it's safe to come back yet?? :)

Thanks for letting me be goofy,
Darbi :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Wow that's a really big picture of my face....

Blog Addiction

What is up with me blogging so much lately?! Anyway, I thought I'd post a list of 10 Random Things About Me for all of my very loyal readers :) Some of you know me, some of you don't, so here's some DEEP insight into the Real Darbi...


1) I am a recovering cokeaholic. My life has gotten so much better since I discovered Cherry Coke

2) I am not a recovering chocoholic. I am completely addicted. My favorite dessert in the world is a Dairy Queen Moolatte...surely you Yankees have Dairy Queens up there??? If not, I will pause for a moment of silence on your behalf...

3) My husband's name is Blu, and his brothers are named Cloud and Shade. No, seriously. His parents weren't hippies and aren't Indian (you know you were thinking it!)

4) I'm a PK.

5) I'm really torn about moving to Zambia, because I know my heart is there, but my sister is also there, which means I would be taking the remaining 2 (3 by then) grandchildren of my parents to another continent...

6) I REALLY REALLY love to read Christian fiction and can easily read a book in one evening.

7) I'm not very girly. I wear tshirts, jeans, ponytails, no nail polish, etc. I have recently discovered pedicures, however, which rank up there with DQ Moolattes...

8) My closest friend is 17 (almost 18). I love Jessica! She (and Erika) make me feel young again!

9) People say me and Blu look alike, and on our honeymoon someone thought we were brother and sister. We got married at 19.

10) I'm not who I used to be, but I'm not who I want to be..yet.

OK, hope that was very insightful into the REAL Darbi..gotta go put Caedmon, who is insisting on sleeping in a swim diaper tonight, into bed!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Texas Snow

So I was reading my blog friend Amber's blog today and I saw her gorgeous pictures of the winter snow where she lives. I couldn't let her outdo me, so I had to post a picture of our big 2007 snow. (This was back in Easter). We were SOOO excited!!


Blog Me!

You ever have one of those days that just screams out, "Blog Me!! Blog Me!" That was today....

It began with our 2 1/2 year old, Caedmon's, voice coming through our 13 month old, Cambree's, monitor yelling a frantic "MAMA!!! MAMA!!" We go to the room to find them both in her crib (not unusual) but him absolutely freaking out because "sister" had puked on him. There was vomit in the bed, so we just stripped both kids, realized they had both pooped as well, and stuck them in the tub. Figured it was just too much milk for sister, and Caedmon was possibly jumping in the bed, pounding on her tummy, who knows...

Later, while on the phone in another room, I hear that dreadful sound of paper ripping. I run to the living room to find both kids under the tree with eyes wide open as they had just opened a Christmas present. They picked the biggest one and both looked so excited as they saw its contents!

Lunch was uneventful, but then came naptime... Sister went down like an angel, but Caedmon, who was put in bed at 12:30, finally fell asleep at 2pm...after countless spankings, bribes, etc.

I was looking forward all day to our trip 1 1/2 hours away to see my parent's Christmas choir musical! I got my friend and one of our youth, Jessica, to go with me to help with the kids. We were about 20 minutes down the road when Cambree proceeds to puke about 3 times in her car seat. I had no outfits and about 6 baby wipes with me. We pull over, switch drivers, strip the baby, and I do my best to clean up with 6 wipes. We head back home with the windows down to try to get rid of the smell...

Back home, throw Cambree in the tub, throw car seat cover and clothes in washer, clean up kids toys, realize that sweet hubby made a grilled cheese sandwich for supper and bread, cheese wrappers, etc. are littering the kitchen. Get the kitchen cleaned and the toys relatively put back where they belong..

Head to my computer to catch up on the latest adoption drama..

And people ask me if I get bored being a stay at home mom!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I'm sure there's some more stories out there, but I thought I'd take a break from the funny stories and just share about some of our friends, so you can get a glimpse into their lives.

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We were doing a survey of a village in the bush called Mapanza. Maxwell showed up at a Bible study, and it was seriously like he was waiting his whole life to hear the Gospel. He reminds me so much of Apollos in the book of Acts...he knew he was supposed to be preaching but he didn't quite have the whole story to preach yet. We gave him some materials after he accepted Christ, and he returned the next day. We said "Well, Maxwell, how was your night?" He said, "All I can say is that it was filled with the Spirit...and I know I need to be baptized right now." He was baptized, and he returned home and led his wife and neighbors to Christ. He is now a pastor of a church and just this month completed his 3 year seminary degree. Maxwell's everyday job is that he grows tomatoes! When he moved to the bush, everyone told him that there was no way he could grow tomatoes in this soil, but he had been to agricultural school so he knew he could do it. He grows tons of tomatoes that he sells to bigger cities in Zambia. Many people ask Maxwell, who is so educated, why he would choose to remain in the bush. Maxwell said he knew that this was where God wanted him.

Maxwell's wife is named Priscilla. She is so beautiful, inside and out. She had a baby, about 18 months old, named Chibotu, which means "good." Chibotu sadly died after we left due to hydrocephaly (water on the brain).

This is Maxwell's daughter, Lwiito. Lwiito means "call." Maxwell named her this (2 years before he became a Christian) because he knew he was called by God. We gave her this stuffed bunny and she carried it everywhere!

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Last we heard, Maxwell was doing an excellent job as pastor and had even ventured out to a nearby village to start a church there as well!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Crazy White Man

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Ok, first of all, I realize that many of you reading this love African children, so let me start by saying that WE DO TOO!! That's my disclaimer...

Zambian children are taught to be terrified of white people. To them, white people are the "boogeyman." Their parents teach them from a young age that if they are not good, the white man will get them!

Not many people in Zambia drive cars. Most young children, especially in the bush where we live, have never ridden in a car, much less driven one. We oftentimes had trouble with young kids throwing rocks or sticks at our truck.

One day we were driving WAY out in the bush, where I'm sure few white men had been before. :) We saw a group of about 3 young boys on the side of the road and they all had sticks in their hands. One of them threw a stick at us, and though it didn't hit the truck it made Blu REALLY mad. He slammed on the brakes. They all took off running and my husband jumped out of the car and chased them!! He caught up to the smallest one and picked him up and was holding him up in the air telling him he shouldn't throw sticks or rocks at trucks. This little kid was terrified but was yelling in Tonga "it wasn't me!" Well, the other 2 boys had stopped running when they saw that the other one had been caught, so Blu called the one over that he knew threw the stick. He yelled "Kamuboola!!! (Come!)" The little boy just stood there with wide eyes and Blu quickly realized that the entire front part of his pants was soaked with urine!! Blu went from yelling "Come!! Come!!" to "Stay there!! Don't come closer!!" Blu gave them a speech about throwing rocks at trucks and then turned to walk back to the truck.

It was then that he saw a group of Zambian adults on the other side of the road watching. We have never seen a group of people laugh so hard! I guarantee you that those 3 little boys will be terrified of white people for the rest of their lives, and that they will NEVER throw a rock or stick at another truck again!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Ok, ladies, let's hear it! What crazy nicknames for your kids do you have that only make sense to you??

Caedmon: We originally thought we'd call him Caed, but that hasn't stuck. However, we did start calling him Caeder-Potater. That eventually got shortened, and now he is and forever will be my Caeder-Po.
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Cambree: Her name is Cambree Rain, but for some strange reason, we started calling her Cambree Lu. This became Cambree Lulu, which became Cambree Lulu Bug, which eventually got shortened to Lulu, and sometimes LuluBug. Of course, Caedmon just calls her "Ditter" (sister), so he picked up on the Bug, and now Cambree is and forever will be my DitterBug.
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Let's hear it! What's yours??

Saturday, December 8, 2007


This has been the most intense week of my life in three different areas. And now that the week is over I have a really big headache.. ;)


Well, there's something pretty big happening in our lives right now. First, a little history:

We came back from Zambia knowing that God wanted Blu to complete seminary, so while doing that Blu has been the youth pastor at a church. For the past 2 years, we have been seeking God about our future--do we return to Zambia as career missionaries? Do we stay in the states and pastor? Do we stay in the states and work with youth? Though we haven't felt "release" from Zambia, we haven't had a peace about returning as career missionaries with our mission board. We prayed and prayed and just felt like we got a big fat WAIT from God.

In the past 3 weeks, God has knit things together so beautifully to give us a picture of what our future holds. That sounds cheesy, but I have no idea how else to describe it. Out of the blue, someone approached us about donating a huge sum of money to open an orphanage in Zambia. Specifically, they said that they felt God wanted to use these funds to open an orphanage that was to be run by us, and that God was going to use this to send us back to Zambia. We were in shock, but the more we talked about it, we knew this was God and there was such peace and excitement in our hearts! We knew we could not do it alone, and we doubted that our "friends" (who need to remain confidential at this time) would be along for the ride, but little did we know that God had been preparing their hearts for this as well.. In fact, they have a donor that has been approaching them as well in years past about opening an orphanage in Zambia...

We are all still in prayer about this and all of the details, but it does seem pretty clear that this is the direction God is leading. Our goal would not be to adopt these orphans out (Zambia's adoption laws are crazy) but to take a group of 25 kids ages 5-7, and raise them in this orphanage, educating them as well, and most importantly, teaching them about Jesus. We would live there full-time along with another family, and we would rely heavily on volunteers from the States to come and serve in short-term capacities. Our tentative plan now is to begin in 2008 the process of setting up the non-profit here in the States, and then leaving for Zambia in January of 2009 to set things in motion.

As you can imagine, this is a terrifying and exciting adventure (much like adoption!) Please pray for us. Speaking of adoption, where does our adoption fit into all of this? More posts on that to come in the coming days/weeks...

Monday, December 3, 2007

A Kinda Adoption Update

Tomorrow will be 2 months since we lost our referral of Samuel. Meanwhile, some crazy and exciting things are happening in our lives as God is "kinda" pointing us to a direction for our future and where/how to serve Him. In the midst of all of this, my heart aches for my new little boy...and seeing where he fits into all of this. Here is an excerpt from an email our agency sent out last week:

"I know that many of you are on the edges of your seats, as I am, awaiting referrals...However, earlier this week, I received a list of over 60 children who are in this process of being prepared for referrals. I am awaiting the final steps to be taken and then referrals will begin flowing over the coming weeks."

We are selfishly hoping and praying that we will know who our little boy is by Christmas! Thanks for praying with us!

Blu, Darbi, Caedmon, & Cambree

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fire in the Hole...

So I promised another fire story from Zambia. Keep in mind that we had already burnt down almost all of Southern Zambia, and there was a prior incident involving the attempt to set fire under the bathtub in our old house to get rid of some mice, so Blu's track record with fire was not so great....

Our mission agency sent me to South Africa one month before Caedmon was due to be born. Blu followed 2 weeks later, so he remained out in the bush without me for a couple of weeks. Here's the story as Blu tells it:

"So my wife left to go have a baby in South Africa, and I was left out in the bush all by myself. So what is the first thing a boy would do? Go get a flashlight and look down into our bush toilet!! I wanted to see what was down there! So there were tons of maggots crawling and swimming around everywhere and it was pretty sick. So I decided to kill them all by pouring some gasoline down there. So I poured quite a bit down the hole (which was about 12 feet down)and walked out. But all of a sudden I heard some splashing around. I shone the flashlight down the hole and saw a rabbit that was stuck down there trying to get out of the gasoline! I felt sorry for him and decided the best thing I could do was put him out of his misery by starting a fire. I honestly thought that since it was such a big drop, the match would go out before it even dropped a foot. Now, keep in mind there was just a little hole to see down there, and I wanted to see what would happen to the rabbit! So I got a match, my best friend Mulenga, and we got down on our knees and put our faces as close to the hole as possible. I lit the match, and I kid you not, it dropped about 2 inches when there was a huge explosion. All of the gas fumes were rising toward the hole, and when the match was dropped, the explosion was honestly like something you would see in the movies. All we felt was heat and we ran from the outhouse. My face was covered in black (which was hopefully just ash...) and my eyebrows were all singed. I seriously almost died that day..."

Ask any Southern Baptist missionary in Southern Africa about "The Fireman" in Zambia, and they will be able to tell you the tales of the missionary who set a fire in his outhouse...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Family Christmas Pics

So yesterday we sat down to try to do that oh so dreaded (according to my husband) family Christmas pic! Enjoy the progression of pictures below... :)

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Hola from Acapulco

Sorry for the lack of posting...

Blu's very wealthy brother, Cloud, is a part-owner in some businesses in Acapuclo, Mexico and has lived there for 4 years. So we are enjoying a 5 day vacation with he and his wife and BLu's parents. It has been an unforgettable experience. I bungee jumped from 50 meters over Acapulco Bay. Today the girls went to the best spa (my first spa-visit!) at The Princess Hotel while the boys went deep-sea fishing and my husband caught a 120 pound swordfish!!! Man, this sure is a rough vacation.. :)

More to come, and I'm hoping to post a YouTube of me bungee jumping when we get back!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Zambian Policemen

My husband, who has had very few tickets in the USA, got TONS in Zambia, so I feel that I am quite knowledgeable in sharing the facts of how ticketing in Zambia works!

First of all, the policemen (or women) stand on the side of the road (which have NO shoulders--I wouldn't want their job!) with a radar gun sitting on a tripod thing. They clock you, and if you are speeding, they then step out INTO the road waving a flag of sorts. They then hope that you see them and are kind enough to pull over. (They don't have police cars, so if you happen to speed through, they can't do anything about it.) When you pull over they inform you of your speed where you usually ask to see the radar gun (trust no one!). They never asked for our driver's license, they just tell you how much you owe. 67,500 kwacha if I remember correctly, which was about $13. You pay the fee right then and are free to go. Here are a few of our interesting ticket experiences:

1) Once Blu got stopped for speeding and he didn't have any money with him--it was about 2 miles away at our mission. We jokingly told the female cop she could have the pizza sitting on my lap that we were taking to the mission. She left to go talk to the other officer and came back and said that she would take the pizza plus $5. We laughed at the corruption and refused to give her the bribe. So they took Blu's driver's license and held it until we could go get money to pay for the ticket!

2) Another time they pulled Blu over and said they were doing a new system where you go to the headquarters in the capital city to pay. THey gave us a sheet of paper as our ticket. Nowhere did they keep a carbon copy or write down our information. Blu asked, "What if I don't go pay this ticket? How will you know? What will you do?" The officer thought for a minute and said, "Well, then we will just say you did not pay it..." Ok...

3) Yet another time Blu was stopped by an actual motorcycle cop. This time we honestly were doing nothing wrong. He claimed that we had passed someone on the railroad tracks and were driving recklessly around a curve. We assured him that we had not passed anyone and he claimed there were witnesses. We felt that we were being targeted for being "rich", so we actually pursued this and went down to the station where Blu gave his side of the story. They let us go after deciding it must have been another vehicle that was reported...

4) Yes, another ticket. This time we were driving to the capital city to have our brake lights fixed. There are police checks throughout Zambia (especially around Christmas due to bonuses) where they hope to catch trucks that have no brake lights, expired registration, etc. Though it's a pain, it's a good thing because the trucks in Zambia are so dangerous and nowhere near meeting vehicle standards of the US). Anyway, at one of these police checks, the policeman noticed our brake lights were out and made us pull over. He came over and told us he was going to have to impound our vehicle. We started to panic and asked him what that meant. He looked real confused and said "I have just impounded it..I made you pull over and you are now impounded. Now pay the fee and you can go." :)

5) The last one....Blu was stopped for speeding but the policeman told him to go back into town to the police station to pay his ticket. So he turned around and got to the station and couldn't find anyone. Finally someone told him they were having a meeting and he could just leave. He tried to leave town amd told the policeman what they said at the station. The policeman was furious and said "No! You go back and tell them that I said you had to pay your ticket!" So Blu goes back, where they proceed to tell him they are in an important meeting and he can just come back by on his way back through in a few days and pay it then... He goes back to tell the officer this, who is furious still, but who has no choice but to let Blu go... :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Cambree!

My baby girl, Cambree Rain, turned one year old today! We had an Eeyore party and enjoyed watching her celebrate! She is a laid-back, calm sweetheart who adores her big brother. She is such a huge blessing to us!

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Monday, November 5, 2007

Hut Sweet Hut

First, there's no news on the adoption front. However, 2 families got referrals today (congrats to the Avella's and Solt's!!!!!), which leads us to believe that things are once again moving with our adoption agency! Maybe we'll be hearing something soon...

I wanted to give you an idea of what our hut was like in Zambia. After getting some land from the headman, we hired the pastor of one of our churches (a 65 year old man named Robinson, who liked to be called "Master Builder" through the entire process!) to build our hut. Things move slow in Zambia, and it took 3 months for him to get it built. During this time, we camped out in a tent on our land and became very accustomed to bush life! Our hut was a 9 foot by 27 foot building that had 3 rooms. You walked into the sitting room, the left room was our room, and the right was the guest room/eventually baby room.

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This was the "sitting room"
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This was our bedroom
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Our next step was to build a kitchen hut for cooking. We decided to make this a large circular area with short walls to allow the smoke to escape. We did our dishes here, did all of our cooking here, and sat out around the fire at night.
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This is me sweeping the kitchen with a grass broom. You can tell I was in a rebellious "I hate Africa" mood this day because I am wearing pants, which was a big no-no!!
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Something we miss so much is taking showers outside under the stars. We had a large barrel that we had a faucet welded to. Then, we had a welder build us a metal box that had an opening it where we could start a fire. We would start a fire around 4pm each day to heat the water in the barrel. If the barrel was full, it would last us about 3 days. Sometimes we would heat the water too early in the day and it would be boiling and we would have to skip showers for the night! Other times we would forget and have cold showers--I can remember being the coldest I've ever been during one of those showers!
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Something I don't miss so much is our bush toilet. For most of the time we were there, it was just a hole in the ground in a little grass enclosure. This, however, is a nice cement "toilet" that we made since a volunteer team was coming. Oh man do I have some funny stories about trying to show my mom and mother-in-law how to use this.... :) When I was pregnant and had to use the bathroom 2-3 times a night, I was too scared to go outside by myself, so I would wake up Blu and make him take a flashlight outside and guard the door for me!
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There were so many days when I just hated the bush so much. I was tired of the heat, the flies, and the lack of privacy. Some days now, though, when it's really crazy and I rarely see my husband and I struggle to keep up with the American pace of life, I would do anything to go back and sit outside in the kitchen hut with our best friend Mulenga, telling stories and looking at the stars.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Oh what a night!

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The face paint lasted all of 10 minutes!!

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She was burning up in our 80 degree Texas weather!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

They call him the Fireman...

Well, this story has been itching to be told for some time now...

A little background first. After living in "town" in Zambia for about 9 months, we really felt like God was calling us to move out into the bush and live like the Zambian people really do. There was a rural area that was 3 hours from the nearest grocery store that we felt drawn to--Chitongo. We did the culturally appropriate things of going to talk to the headman and request some land to build our mud hut. The "city councilor" (yes, in the bush...Zambians love to be "official") showed us where our land was on July 4, 2004.

As we looked at our 1/2 acre of land, we thought about what needed to be done first. "Well, ya know, the Zambians always burn fires to clear their land!" We knew this, yet we didn't know any of the specifics. It shouldn't matter though, right? We had some matches in the truck and we knew enough to go and grab an axe and chop down some branches to use to beat out the fire once our land was clear.


So, Blu struck a match, and lit a small fire on our land. We noticed immediately that a neighbor girl came by, chopped a limb off of a tree, and stood nearby watching. We wondered if she wanted to help? Suddenly, we realize that the fire is spreading pretty quickly. I (wearing a skirt and big clunky shoes) was not willing to help beat the fire, but I was quite content to point out to Blu "oh honey it's getting bigger over there" and he would then run over and beat it. (see picture below..this is the start of the fire)

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We realized quickly that the fire was out of control. How do I even describe it? Blu was running from one side to the next trying to keep it small. In a period of about 45 seconds, the fire just came alive and we were completely helpless. It was roaring and there was so much heat. We can laugh about it now, but it was the most terrified we have ever been. You see, we look up and see the fire burning as far as we can see..and all we can see beyond the fire are little huts with grass roofs. Blu is screaming and begging people to help us--people are running up and grabbing huge branches and doing what they can to help. I am standing there helplessly trying not to cry!

To make a long and terrifying story a little shorter, the fire reached the huts and there were several men sitting outside. They didn't look worried until they realized that a white man had started this fire. They quickly went to their wells and poured water around their huts in a circle to keep out the fire, then they calmly went and sat back down and laughed as Blu continued to try to beat it out! The fire finally reached the road where it died out. Blu ran over to me pouring sweat, covered in black ash, and his throat was burning and he was hoarse. When it was all said and done, every bit of ground you can see in the above picture was black...

*When it was all over the people who helped us just stood there looking at us. I realized we had some chocolate chip cookies in the truck so I ran to get them and passed them out. They all walked away happy! (Keep in mind, this was only our 2nd visit to the village, so nobody knew who we were or what we were doing there!)

*When the fire was gone, we realized that Blu had started the fire at the END of our land, and because of the wind it had blown the opposite looking back, we had burned an entire field of land that wasn't ours.

*A year later, when we would meet people, they would say "oh! we were talking around the fire last night telling the story of you starting the fire!!" Everyone knew who we were after that!

*2 years later, when we were back in the States, our supervisors were at our village when someone else started a fire that got out of control. People didn't know what was going on, but they knew that our supervisors were there, so they started yelling at them and blaming them for starting the fire again! We gave white people a bad reputation I guess!

*This fire story is just the tip of the iceberg...there is another fire story...coming soon....


Sunday, October 28, 2007


I realized after I wrote this how many of you are reading this who are preparing to travel to Liberia, Africa in the near future!! And here I am writing about getting malaria after 2 days and having worms shoot out of my husband's stomach!!! :) Sorry about that!! No worries--you'll all be ok! :)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sickness in Zambia

We had, of course, been warned about getting malaria when living in Zambia because it is so prevalent there. We were instructed as to how only the female mosquito carries malaria, and she only flies from dusk until dawn, so it is really in the evening that you have to be so careful. We took malaria preventive medicine, used spray, and used mosquito nets. We also learned that malaria takes about 7 days to show itself after you are bitten. We had been in Zambia for 9 days when I came down with "something.." I felt the sudden need to just lay down and it was like I couldn't move. I went from shivering with chills all over me to pouring sweat. I was vomiting, having diarrhea, and very high fever. I seriously thought I was going to die! I remember laying on the cold bathroom floor in some people's house that we barely knew (we had only been there 9 days!) wanting my mama. They decided I had malaria, so they took me to a local clinic. There, I was given a "booklet" that was to be my medical record. As the doctor got set up to do a finger prick to test my blood, I quickly realized that I was having an African doctor poke me with a needle in an HIV country...I was so sick I hardly cared. The test came back negative, as it usually does with malaria unless you have had it for quite awhile, but they started me on meds anyway. They gave me 3 pills in a tiny ziploc bag with instructions to take them right away when I got home. I took them, threw up once, and almost immediately begin to feel better. My mom later asked "what did they give you? what was it called?" "Um, I don't know Mom...just some pills in a ziploc bag..." :) She freaked out! So, that means that I was bitten by a malaria mosquito in the capitol city about 2 days after I got there! Amazingly, during the rest of our 2 years there, I never got malaria, even when we lived out in the bush, even when I was pregnant (when it is especially dangerous!)

I was absolutely addiced to roasted corn on the cob that was sold on the side of the road by ladies who were roasting on their little fires. The kernels were rock hard and it was just SOOO yummy! One day, I asked Blu to bring one home for me and he came back with one from the Ndeke compound. I had never gotten one from there and I noticed that it was cold. But of course I ate it anyway!! The next day, I was literally pooping my guts out. I couldn't even take a sip of water without having to run to the bathroom. It was awful!! Once again, 3 magic pills in a tiny ziploc bag did the trick! And I never ate another corn cob again...

Let's see...Blu got sick a few times...we suspect he had malaria once, and he got sick a couple of times from drinking out of wells that he knew he shouldn't have...but his sickness tops them all...

All of the missionaries in Zambia warned us about the "putsie fly" that would attach itself to wet clothes and then burrow itself into your body and make you sick. So, if you washed clothes and dried them on the line, you were supposed to either iron them or stick them in the dryer to get rid of the fly. Our dog in Zambia had puppies, and they sadly got putsie flies when they were babies. The putsie fly isn't really a fly. We would see a big round spot that looked infected on the puppies and if we squeezed it a long worm would shoot out. We would then step on it and squash it. Blu did this on a daily basis to try to help out our puppies (they all later died :( ) Anyway, one day Blu noticed a little red spot on his stomach. He wondered what it was and when he squeezed it he noticed a little green thing shoot out. He put it in his hand and showed it to me and said "Darbi..what does that look like?" Sure enough, you could see a little worm wiggling. That came out of my husband's stomach!!!!!!! He got pretty sick for about a day and was then fine. Disgusting!!

Overall, God protected us so much when we were in Zambia. We were in close contact with HIV, Tuberculosis, Cholera, and tons of other diseases, yet by God's grace we only got minor things that the doctors there could take care of! It's amazing to think that the same things we got, like malaria, are what kills the Zambians, simply because they can't afford the 3 magic pills in a tiny ziploc bag. (which cost about $1.50)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


So yesterday I kept two children ages 3 and 6 months...along with my 2 year old and 1 year old it was a bit crazy!! The 3 year old boy kept pulling toys out of our toy box and saying "oh no...what's wrong with this?!" where I would proceed to tell him "it's broken..." I realized that so many of our toys were broken, and so I got that whole "I'm a bad mom because..." thought, realizing that my kids didn't have any nice toys.

Then, last night, I asked Blu for an idea for a Zambian story for my blog. He said "why don't you tell them about the toys the kids played with in Zambia?" OUCH GOD! What a smack in the face!!

In Zambia, every child has a soccer ball. This consists of "Walmart bags" (there called Shoprite bags) wadded together methodically and secured with tape. These balls were sturdy and the kids could play soccer for hours with them!

We also saw children flying kites quite frequently. These were also made out of Shoprite sacks, wooden sticks, and string. Kids would also roll tires down the road with a stick for hours of entertainment.

My favorite toys were little cars that were made out of wire. Kids used things like plastic milk lids for the wheels, and then they built a huge car contraption around it. It would even have a little steering wheel, and it had a long wire that would come up to their hand so they could drive their car everywhere. This is the closest most of them would ever get to owning a car.

Kids would dig in our trash bin when we weren't looking and pull out things like tuna fish cans to use as "toys."

So some of my kids toys are broken...some of the batteries don't work...oh how we Americans "suffer." Shame on me.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Who is Colored??

So I was reading my friend Denise's blog last night and it was about "colored people." It reminded me of another Zambian story...

One day Blu was outside playing soccer with all of the neighborhood kids. Suddenly, one precious little girl asked, "Meester Bru, what is it like to be colored?" Blu was caught way off guard and said, "What do you mean?" She informed him that anyone in Zambia who was not "completely black" was considered to be "colored." Therefore, they saw Arabs, whites, and people who were considered "half" to be "colored!" When Blu told her that black people used to be called "colored" in America, she burst out laughing and danced around singing "I'm colored...I'm colored!"

It's funny how we all have our own definitions of "colored", yet I doubt that word is even in God's vocabulary!

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Well, my birthday is Sunday, but somehow I have turned this whole weekend into my "birthday weekend!" :) I don't know how I managed that.. So my parents have the kids for 3 whole days!! It is so weird to have Cambree gone since this is really the first time since she was born (because of nursing..) Anyway, so last night, Blu took me to SIX FLAGS for my present!! It was the Fright Fest so it was open from 6-11, and we ended up leaving at 10 because we had ridden EVERYTHING!! It was so much fun, no long lines, nice weather!! We had such a blast!! It was a big sacrifice for Blu to take me because he is terrified of heights, and I made him ride everything since it was my birthday! Tonight we will take advantage of the kids being gone to go play some tennis after a church fellowship. And then tomorrow, we will go eat at Chili's! What a great weekend!

On a lighter note, if you are reading this, can you please pray for our church. Blu is the youth pastor, and I can't say much obviously, but there is about to be a split. Please pray that people's hearts will be softened and that God will have His way in our church. A big vote is Oct 28th, so please keep this situation in your prayers...

Happy Birthday to ME!!!! :)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Language Blunders...

Well, I've already posted about my blunder in thinking that "dote" was a special pregnancy vitamin, instead of DIRT. Here are a couple more blunders to make you smile:

1) One day Blu told our neighbor he was going to the market for madada. (tomatoes) Our neighbor looked really confused and kept asking Blu to repeat himself. Blu told him that he had seen madada in the market around back and that he needed to buy five. Our neighbor looked skeptical and finally just said "ok..." and left. Blu walked to the market and asked someone for the "madada." Everyone just looked at him strangely, and some laughed. Blu finally said "you know! Tomatoes!!" Madede = tomatoes. Madada = ducks. :)

2) We had a HUGE dog when we lived in Zambia. He was a Bull Mastiff and his name was Tanner. Zambians are terrified of dogs, so most people with any amount of money keep one for security reasons. We were quite well-known in our village because of Tanner. Everyone knew about this dog and was absolutely terrified of him. He was probably the main talk of town.
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One day some neighborhood kids came over and stood at the edge of our property. Tanner was chained up so they felt safe to come closer. They began to ask me some questions about him and comment on his size. They asked me why we didn't have a fence, and I told them that Tanner "u la konzya kuluka." (He is able to jump.) Their mouths fell open and they started gasping. One said "Sure??!! U la luka??" I responded with "inzya, maningi" (yes, very high!) The kids eyes were just growing and they finally ran off talking to each other in loud voices. Later, as I relayed the story to our friend, he politely informed me that I did not use the word for "jump." I used the word for "fly." I had told the kids that our dog could fly, yes, he could fly very high!! I'm sure Tanner was REALLY the talk of the town after that conversation!

(Here's another quick Tanner story. Because Tanner was so big, people would always ask us if they could bring their dogs over to mate with our dog. Blu refused and when they asked why he simply said "what if your dog has HIV?" The people just said " are right..." and that ended that conversation!)

Monday, October 15, 2007


Guess what was in the mail today........OUR LONG-AWAITED IMMIGRATION APPROVAL!!!!!!!!!!! :) I was so excited to see it!!! I immediately put a copy in the mail to our agency along with the last part of the first half of our adoption fees!! Now we will be put "in line" for a referral!! When Rachel, the adoption coordinator, gets back from Liberia, we're going to talk to her about special needs kids under the age of 4.

I'm excited! I feel like God heard my prayers and knew how bad my heart was hurting and He knew I needed a lift!! Another interesting thing--the date of completion on our I-171H was October 4, 2007. That was the day we found out that we lost our referral of Samuel. A small reminder that God knew all along what was going on and He remained in control!

Thanks for everyone's prayers! I promise another comical story from Zambia in a post tomorrow!

Friday, October 12, 2007

A little down...

Ok, I'm one who usually hides how I really feel about things, and I rarely have pity parties, but...

I just read our new agency timeline and it depressed me. They have to have our I-600a approval and half of our adoption fees before we are put in line for a referral. Then, the time it takes to get our child home from the time we are put in line will be roughly 12 months.

We submitted our I-600a 4 months ago and still haven't received approval. It gets so discouraging to hear stories of others receiving approval in a week or two.

Some days it feels like our child will never be home, and I think it makes it harder knowing that just 10 days ago, we thought our child would be home by Christmas. Now we're not even "in line."


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Another story from Zambia...

Things are going ok here. Just moving on with life, potty training, weaning, youth movie nights, etc. We're not really sure what the next step is for us--I guess right now we are thinking we will just wait for a new referral.

So I wanted to share another story about the Ndeke compound in Zambia. (scroll down if you missed my first story) Blu and I would go to this compound every Monday afternoon with 2 huge footlockers filled with all kinds of sports equipment/jump ropes, frisbees, etc. Then, approximately 200 kids would surround us and wait for us to throw the balls and things to them. We would only throw it to those who remained on the grass and waited patiently. They would swarm us and kids would get hurt. You can imagine--10 balls for 200 kids didn't go very far. They then went and played soccer, volleyball, and the other games for about an hour. Amazingly, when Blu blew his whistle, they would all come running back and return the equipment and sit in the grass for a Bible story in their language. During our first year there, we made it through the Creation to Christ Bible stories. They loved them! We then passed out the balls again, let them play for another hour, and returned home. Amazingly, they never stole any of our equipment--I think they saw it as such a privilege to be able to have these things to play with.

Memorable Ndeke experiences:
1) One day, we noticed that all the kids just took off running. It was a cloudy day, but that didn't necessarily mean anything. Blu and I were left trying to gather the equpiment and figure out what was going on. Suddenly, it just started pouring!!! They had all made it indoors or under some shelters, and man did they think it was funny that the white people didn't make it in and were getting drenched! It's like they all had a sixth sense that the rain was coming! Weird.

2) The kids would surround me and hang onto my hands and my arms the whole time we were there. They loved my long blonde hair. They had seen plenty of white people before but had never interacted with any. Sometimes all of the pulling and grabbing on me got to me. One day, I felt something and looked down to see a little girl LICK my arm! I guess she wanted to see what white people taste like! I told Blu it was time to go!

3) Blu, of course, had the same thing happen to him with the kids. He had a lot more energy than I did and would run around and play with them. One day all the kids started petting his arms and laughing. They started yelling "Mbuli ngulube!!!!" We knew that meant "like pig" but we weren't sure what they were referring to. Finally, an older boy sheepishly told us that the kids thought the hair on Blu's arm was just like the hair on a pig. :)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Trust His heart...

We got that much dreaded phone call today that I have heard others talk about. It was our agency, calling to let us know that Samuel's grandmother has removed him from the adoption program. Apparently, the accident was her fault, so she feels guilty and is unable emotionally to give him up. She wants to oversee his "recovery." So, just like that, he is gone.

I'm not really sure how to describe everything that I'm feeling. I go from peaceful one minute to sad the next. Content with it all one minute and my heart aches the next. I had held some of my heart back based on the advice from others, but I'm finding that it doesn't matter much. It still hurts. I ache for Samuel, for what could have been for his little life. He will be in our hearts forever.

I know that God has a plan in all of this, and when I allow myself to really think about it, my thoughts are, "why should I be exempt from pain in this life?" I see other families who have lost three referrals, families much further down the process than me, and I think "why NOT me?" Yet, at the same time, I can't help but think that this process of adoption can be so cruel.

My heart is calmed by the words to a song I have heard in church since I was a young girl:

God is too wise to be mistaken;
God is too good to be unkind.
So when you don't understand,
When you can't see His plan,
When you can't trace His hand,
Trust His heart.

A Story a Day...

Well, I've decided I need something to do to pass the time of waiting to hear about Samuel! Lately, I've been thinking a whole lot about the two years we spent in Zambia. I have so many stories to tell, and there's things I've forgotten that all of a sudden come back to mind! So...for any who may be interested and for my own enjoyment :) I'm going to post a story a day from our Zambian experiences!

I'll save you all the details of how we got to Zambia, but basically God turned our plan of taking a 6 month mission trip to South America to two years in Africa. We went there to work with youth and teach abstinence in the schools, tell Bible stories in compounds, and of course play LOTS of games... Our time there ended up a lot differently than when we started, but I'll get to that story later...On to today's story...

Hildah was one of my closest friends in Zambia. She would take me through the largest compound in our town (Mazabuka) which was called Ndeke (in-deh-kay) and we would visit people and basically everyone would stop to stare at the white girl. I can't even describe Ndeke to you...there were huge piles of trash/waste everywhere where pigs and children would both scavenge for food. Houses were tiny rooms with cement bags thrown across some wood for a roof. There are just no words. Anyway, people set up little booths outside their houses to sell goods. We passed one and Hildah insisted I try this item. She said that it was something that pregnant women eat to give them extra nutrition. I asked the name of it and she called it "dote." She yelled at the vendor and asked if the white lady could try some for free. It was really hard and had a rough consistency. I put a bit in my mouth and bit down. It was so hard I could barely break off a little piece. I began to chew and just felt sand all in my mouth..on my my teeth. I spit it out and all the 14,000 Zambians (exaggeration) that had gathered to watch the white lady try this began to laugh. "Hildah!! What is this called again?!" "Dote."

From then on, I quickly began to learn Zambian English so that I would not make the same mistake again.

Dote = dirt

Happy waiting!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Potties and Weaning and Names..Oh My!

We're pretty busy in the Tidwell household! I decided that now would be a good time to start potty training my 2 year, 4 month old son and weaning my 11 month old daughter. Thought it would be good to start and have these things done before Samuel gets home!

So the potty training is going fairly well. We did have the day where Caedmon pottied 12 times in one day, because he figured out that it was an easy way to get potty treats. He's over that now, and he's actually doing great! This morning he even pooped on the potty! (this afternoon, however, he pooped on a pillow...) But we're getting there!

Cambree is doing well with the weaning thing. Actually, she's really the one who wants to be weaned! She's changing so much so fast! Her newest thing is to spit out her baby food and put it on her fingers so that she can feed herself. Miss Independent!

We are completely undecided about Samuel's name. We had originally decided to name our adopted baby boy Micah. But Samuel is 5 years old, and all he knows is Samuel. So we could name him Micah Samuel, and let him choose what to be called, except that Blu refuses to have a child that goes by his middle name. Because Blu goes by his middle name, he says it was a "pain" and he doesn't want our child to have to do it! So what to do....Micah Samuel and eventually stop calling him Samuel and be left with Micah.... or just leave Samuel. *sigh* Ideas anyone??

Speaking of Samuel, we still haven't heard anything. I'm starting to get a little nervous...."Did his mom remove him from the program?" "Can they not find him or his mom?" and of course, the worst..."is he still alive?" I just want to hear so bad about how he's doing, and I want him to be moved to a hospital or somewhere where he can get better care until we can go get him. God give me more patience please!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Birthday Plus Immigration Update

Happy Birthday to my gorgeous husband :) He is 26 years old today and feels like an old man! Someone at church pointed out that they weren't even married by age 26--he said "I got married at 19!" So anyway for his birthday, I got him some running clothes, some gel rehydration packs, and (drum roll, please!) an entry fee into the Fort Worth Cowtown Marathon in February of 2008! He's always wanted to run a marathon, and I know he can do it!

Anyway, in the mail today, we got an update from immigration. Apparently our file had a "deficiency." Doesn't that sound depressing?! Poor file! I myself would never call it deficient, as hard as I worked on it! But I guess they wanted actual copies of our Child Abuse Registry Check, which was supposed to be in our homestudy. So, no big deal, I mailed them off today. It actually encouraged me that, hey, at least they're working on our stuff right?! So it shouldn't be too much longer...

We're heading out tonight to celebrate!! (the birthday, not the deficient file..) We're going to eat at a restaurant of Blu's choosing, going to Mardel's, and then heading back here to play some tennis minus a 2 year old and 10 month old! Yay for free babysitting from the preacher's wife! :)

Still waiting for a medical update on Samuel and some new pics. Last I heard the internet was down in Liberia. I'll keep you posted!

Friday, September 21, 2007


"I just don't understand how I can miss someone so much...that I've never even met." ~ (Facing the Giants)

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Our Little Boy

We are SOOOOOOOOO excited to announce that yesterday, we accepted the referral of little Samuel. Samuel is 5 years old, and on October 21, 2006 (my birthday) he swallowed a liquid form of bleach that he mistook for a bottle of water. The last information our agency received (Feb 07) stated that Samuel weighed 20 pounds and was 37 inches tall. That is just 2 pounds more than our 10 month old! Samuel is currently living with his birth mother, but it is our understanding that he will be moved as soon as possible to a hospital or to the guesthouse for better care. We have been told that the process should take approximately 4 months to get him back here.

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We have been praying about adopting Samuel for about a month. Several things along the way pointed us in this direction, but we still just weren't positive. We kept thinking that it would be a huge sacrifice for our family. However, yesterday Blu came home from his New Testament class and shared with me a Scripture that was read that spoke to him.

2 Corinthians 8:13-15 (Contemporary English Version)
I am not trying to make life easier for others by making life harder for you. But it is only fair for you to share with them when you have so much, and they have so little. Later, when they have more than enough, and you are in need, they can share with you. Then everyone will have a fair share, just as the Scriptures say, "Those who gathered too much had nothing left. Those who gathered only a little had all they needed."

We were faced with the truth that God has blessed us and given us the ability to meet this little boy's needs. And in return, we are going to be so blessed by his life!! We no longer think of it as a sacrifice!! We are going to come out ahead in the end!

In the next few days, we expect to hear an update from our agency regarding Samuel's medical condition and new pictures. Please be in prayer for our Samuel, that he will hold on until we get there. Please pray for his birth mother, who is making the ultimate sacrifice in giving up her son to save his life.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Just some pics to make you (and me) smile!

Caedmon did his first "craft project" at home today! We made a rainbow fish! But, I have to tell you, my son cannot stand to be dirty! His favorite phrase is "I NEE PAY-PUH-TOW-UH!" (paper towel) So I had to have a rag handy so that every time he put some tissue paper on the fish he could wipe the glue off his hands! The other day, Blu took him outside to play in the sprinkler for the first time and he liked it until he realized there was wet grass on his feet. He started yelling "DUH-TEE!!! DUH-TEE!!" and that was the end of the sprinkler...

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Cambree is 10 months old today! She adores her big brother and lets him drag her around the living room by one leg. She rarely cries, and her new thing is to flap her arms in the air when she gets excited! (when Daddy comes home!) She pulled up to stand for the first time today!

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Saturday, September 8, 2007


Did I say I was GLAD that I had to wait? I don't remember saying that.... *sigh*

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Still waiting...

So we're still waiting on Immigration approval, still waiting to hear back about a special little boy, still waiting...

I realized last night that I'm glad I've had to wait. If all of the answers had come right away, then why would I even need God? I would have done everything in my own strength. But this time to wait has enabled me to call on Him, to seek Him so much, and then finally, to come to a point where I can REST in the fact that He alone is in control, He knows what's best for our family, and His will WILL be done.

I'm glad He has made me wait...

Friday, August 31, 2007

Please say a prayer...

Hey! This isn't an adoption update, but I know a lot of people read my blog, so I have a special prayer request. My closest friend is a 17 year old girl named Jessica. She is in our youth group, but God has brought us together as FRIENDS. Jessica started her senior year of high school on Monday, and on Wednesday she found out that her mom has cancer. Things don't look very good right now. Please lift up Jessica and her family in your prayers (she has 5 siblings..ages 14 to 30) and pray for her mom Gloria. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Name them one by one...

Wow. When it rains, it pours, and right now the Lord is raining down blessings!! This week, I started to have a lot of doubts, mainly because of the financial side of things. I wondered if perhaps this was NOT the best time in our lives to adopt, and maybe we should hold off, at least until Blu graduates from seminary. I prayed for God to help me to trust Him more, and for Him to give us some confirmation as to what we should do!

On Monday, we received a $250 check in the mail for our adoption. On Monday night, we received an email from a person who does not want to be named informing us that God has laid on his heart to PAY for our adoption. (yes, you read that right!!!!!!!!!) Today, a check for $200 came in the mail as an adoption donation. And also in the mail came notification of a totally unexpected $500 scholarship for Blu's seminary this Fall.

God is so good. I am so grateful for the financial help and even more grateful for God's confirmation and gentle "nudging" that "yes, this is really what I called you to do. Now do it!"

Please continue to pray for us as we pray about a special needs child and whether or not he is to be our son. We are DYING to hear more information about him (I have a feeling he could already be referred or close to being referred to someone else...) but currently the entire staff of our agency is in Liberia so we can't find out anything for awhile!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

50s Bash

Ok so tonight was our 50s Back to School Bash for our youth group at the church (Blu is the youth pastor). It was so fun dressing up! My normally blonde husband dyed his hair black--I hope it washes out!! Anyway, the highlight of the evening was when me and Blu were jitterbugging (yes..we danced in our Southern Baptist church!) and his arm didn't quite clear my wig...I think you see what's coming...YEP! The wig flew off my head and across the room! (slight exaggeration) The crowd went wild!! It was good to do something that got my mind off of the adoption for awhile. Although a little sweetheart named Samuel sure has been on my mind a lot lately.. :)

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Immigration update

Well, Immigration updated their website and they are now processing I-600a's that they received May 11, 2007. They received ours on June 26, 2007, so they're getting there!! Probably another month or two before we will hear anything from them..*sigh*

We did hear today from an adoption loan agency that we were denied funds at this time. BUT they are going to profile our family on in hopes that a family who has created a memorial fund will choose us to receive their funds (as an interest-free loan). I think the lady who called was surprised by my upbeat attitude even when she told me that we didn't get the loan right now. God will provide for us!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Call!

Donna, from our agency Acres of Hope, called today! She let me know that they received our dossier (big file of all our important info)! One thing that might be a problem is our income. Because Blu is in the ministry, he qualifies for a lot of tax exemptions. So our ACTUAL income is not reflected on our IRS form and W-2s. Donna said she is hoping that the Embassy will go by the church's employment letter that states exactly what we are paid for the year. If not, though, we just have to have a co-sponsor, which is basically like a cosigner on a loan. But we are praying for grace and understanding from the Embassy and that they will be able to figure all that financial mess out!

Things seem to be happening this week--I like it when things happen!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

An Update...

Wow...we sent out fundraiser letters 7 days ago... in those 7 days, we have raised $1,007. God is so good. We have received nothing but positive comments--lots of curiousity and questions, but nothing negative thus far!

I have really become a bit obsessed with checking the mail. I probably checked it 15 times on Friday, and it NEVER came! I was so upset, because I just KNEW there were orders that had come!! I couldn't figure out why it hadn't come!! The next day, the mail came and our Friday's mail was all marked "mailbox blocked, couldn't deliver on Friday.." Oops.. :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


Well, I got our fundraiser letters sent out last weekend! I've been kinda nervous about it..I mean it's always kinda awkward to just ask people for money, right?! Plus, this was kinda how we announced to our church about our adoption. So I'm kinda nervous about church tonight to see what people have to say! I just don't want any discouragement!! BUT, so far we have received $600...God is so good :)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A little progress...

Well, we got our dossier mailed off to our agency yesterday! Amazingly, our former unnamed agency actually sent us back all of our originals!! So we loaded up another notebook and mailed it off to Acres of Hope! Pretty exciting! I have no idea how long it will be before we hear back.

We also got a letter in the mail from our former agency today. I was so excited, because I thought "maybe they decided to return our original $250 deposit since we feel we were misled about the adoption details/process!" I held my breath as I opened it, but instead I found a letter stating, "Thank you for your charitable contribution of $250 to our organization." Lol oh well.. :)

Friday, July 27, 2007


OK, since Monday I have had 124 hits on my blog!!! That's pretty exciting! That means I have some stalkers out there! Ok, ok, I confess--half of those are probably from me checking my blog to see how many people are reading my blog! :) I confess that I, too, am a blog stalker, so if you are reading this even though we are complete strangers, you are not alone. I read yours too. BUT last night, I actually signed someone's guest book so they would know I was there! I was quite proud of myself. :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Fingerprints Done!

Well today we headed to get our fingerprints done. It was really easy! We didn't have an appointment, they just told us to go during office hours. So we trekked up to Fort Worth with our two little ones. We realized when we got there that the office was inside a Hispanic Mall! No lie, every single thing in this store was in Spanish, all the store names, everything!! So we get there and there are Hispanic people everywhere in a really long line! But wow USCIS really knew what they were doing because it went very smoothly. I'm so excited to have another step down in the process! So what are we waiting for now?

#1 - we are waiting for our old agency to send in our originals!! I'm hounding the mail man every day!!

#2 - Patty at AoH has our homestudy and said she would "proofread" it and submit it back to us for corrections, so I'm checking my email about 876 times a day for that! :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Pics to bring a smile...

I wanted to share some recent pics of my kids!

Cambree Rain - 8 1/2 months old
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Caedmon Luke (2 years) and Cambree

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Daddy and Cambree
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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A God Thing

So yesterday Blu mowed someone's lawn, and today on his desk at the church there was $50 in an envelope! This afternoon, we went to get birth certificates/marriage license and the total was $46. I was blown away. I mean, of course we could have afforded to pay $46 either way. But to me, it was a subtle reminder from God that He is going to provide for us every step of the way. :)

A Boy...

We made a couple of changes to our application....we circled that we want a BOY!! We realize that we could still end up with a girl, but we decided to put our preference as a boy!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Immigration Process

Well, so far we have submitted our I-600A to immigration. This is basically a form, along with birth certificates, marriage license, pay stubs, W-2s, and our homestudy, that immigration will look at to determine whether we qualify to adopt a child. It is basically a 3 part process--1) application, 2) fingerprints (we haven't done those yet), and 3) home study. So far we have step one in, along with the $685 fee!! Once we get all of the parts in, we will wait 3-4 months for approval. Then our adoption will really start moving forward!

And so we begin...again...

Hello! I am creating this blog after reading so many other adoption blogs that have uplifted my spirits and answered my questions! I am also hoping to use this as a spot where family and friends can keep up with where we are in the adoption process! Let me start with a bit about us!

We are Blu and Darbi, and we have 2 biological children, Caedmon (2 years) and Cambree (8 months). We previously served on the mission field in Zambia and lived in a mud hut out in the bush! In Zambia, we loved to visit the House of Moses orphanage. It was there that God first placed the thoughts of adoption on our hearts.

After Caedmon and Cambree were born, we knew that God wanted us to step forward in faith. Of course, this seems strange to many people for several reasons! First of all, our children are young. Secondly, Blu is in seminary full-time, which is pretty expensive. He also works 2 part-time jobs so that I can stay home with our kids. The timing for an international adoption seems a little off! BUT GOD SAYS..."For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," (Isaiah 55:8) This is my adoption verse!!

We knew that we would adopt an African baby, since our hearts have always been drawn to Africa! At this point, we are unsure as to whether or not we want a boy or a girl, but we think we are leaning towards a boy!! We would like to keep the age under 2 if at all possible!

We began the process by choosing a country (somewhere in Africa of course!), an agency, submitting our dossier (a great big pile of paperwork such as physicals, financial info, birth certificates, employment letters, etc.), and completing our homestudy. (This is where a complete stranger came into our house and interviewed us! It was terrifying/exciting!) However, our agency informed us last week that they do not place infants from Liberia, but only those children four years old and above. Well, by this point we felt pretty certain that God wanted us to adopt from war-torn Liberia, and we knew that we wanted an infant.

I was almost in tears as I felt that our adoption was already falling apart before it had begun! It didn't help that our agency made me feel like I had no idea what I was doing and that whoever had done our homestudy was clueless! I called our social worker, who calmed me down, and I quickly began researching a new agency. I stumbled across Acres of Hope a few months ago, and we were tempted to switch to them even then since they were a CHRISTIAN agency, but we decided to stick with what we had started with. This time, however, I knew that God was leading us back to this agency.

I called the agency this morning and actually got Patty, the "boss"! She talked to me for almost 30 minutes and this complete peace just swept over me. I knew that regardless of the fee increase that I can't even begin to imagine how we will ever pay, this was the agency for us! So today it was quickly back to the notary to re-notarize the same documents that we had already sent to our old agency!

We are waiting on a couple of documents but should have our entire dossier submitted to Acres of Hope by the end of this week!

I've heard that adoption is a huge learning process. Well, so far I have learned that God is in control of this adoption, not me!