Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Why Rayne Dinknesh?

Rayne  - Jeeva, in his wisdom and discernment, came up with her name.  Rain brings life, refreshment, fruit, blessing...and so will Rayne's life. She has already brought so much new life to our family and we trust that she will do the same for many others. Ezekiel 34:26 And I will give the rain at the right time, and I will make the shower come down at the right time; there will be showers of blessing.

Dinknesh  - her given name at birth from her birth mother. We went to Ethiopia not certain how, if at all, we would use this name. Shortly after arriving in Ethiopia, Jeeva and I agreed this was our little girl's name. We answered to this name, and so did she. We heard the nannies look in her eyes and say her name, "DINK-I -NESH" in a beautiful way. We met her birth mother and listened to her heart of naming her baby. This name means, "you are amazing" and her birth mother explained that she knew that this little girl would grow up and do amazing things. Of course, then, this would be her name! When we returned home I felt more natural calling her Dinknesh than Rayne. I still call her Dinknesh in our home at times, and she looks at me and gives me a precious smile when I call her this. Does she remember??? I don't know what she remembers, but it will be a way I call her and let her know ...I know everything about you and I love all of it. I embrace your past and all of you. I love you Dinknesh.....although, I can't quite say it as beautifully as the gracious women of Ethiopia.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Not so Newborn Photos!

We captured some more formal shots of Rayne in her first month here. She was almost 6 months in these pictures. Brothers and all...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Third Child

The Third Child sometimes has to put herself to bed on a dish towel in the middle of the kitchen floor!  

Three kids in another notch...I think a bigger transition than two!  There is something about three...Rayne's grandma summed it up well as she watched me feed Rayne a whole, only slightly peeled banana..."With the first kid you carefully pick out the banana, peel it, cut it in nice little slices and carefully set them in front of your child.  The second kid - you just grab any old banana, chop it a little less perfectly, and hand it to them.  The third child you just grab a banana, slightly pull back the tough peel, and hand it to them whole!!!

With that said, Rayne won't eat a banana now any other way now.  They just adapt, fit in, just do life as they need to.   Birth order personalities are true (which I sometimes wondered before having children) Makes you wonder why you spend so much time the first time choosing the perfect banana and cutting it to perfection!  But, you do...because you can.   Wherever they fall in our family we love them and embrace all that they are all and all that their environment has created them to be!   And no worries - Rayne is not suffering from lack of attention! :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Birthday Girl

Rayne turned ONE today.  Last night she took her first steps when she choose to walk instead of relinquishing her shaky eggs for a crawl!  We celebrate her today.  We love her more than ever.  EVERY day we are overcome with delight and thankfulness she has come into our home to be our daughter.  EVERY day this little girl RAINS joy and love into all four of our hearts.  The boys run to her for comfort when they are sad, cuddles when they are tired, laughter when they want to play...she fills us all.

I woke up today wondering...What time was she born on this day last year?  What did that day look like for her?  How did they cut that umbilical cord?  What was her birth mother thinking today?  Does she know it was this day?  Is she missing her?  Is she sad?   We weren't there...We grieved for the five months we missed in Rayne's life.  Jeeva and I both felt a sense of unexpected sadness today - So much we don't know about this year for Rayne.  Yet, we know that every year after this we get to have and know completely.

This afternoon we went to the park where we met another little adopted Ethiopian girl  - over 2 years ago.  It was after this meeting that we made the decision to move forward to start the adoption process.  Prior to this day, it was only years of discussion!  We went to the park and played, giving thanks for the appointed day, place, and time where our hearts were stirred to adopt our little girl.

Happy Birthday Rayne!

Rayne doesn't like cupcakes....but she LOVES ice cream.  She is my daughter!  (and Caleb's sister!)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Living Life as three!

Costco errands are not that bad!!!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Soccer Season

The boys played soccer this fall.  Rayne picked up the cheer leading role quickly - clapping and even throwing the ball around.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Caleb received a new skateboard for his birthday.  He decided to teach his brother.  Fun to watch them grow as brothers and best friends.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

First Day of School

Caleb started Kindergarten and Nathan started all day pre-K at the Denver Montclair International School. They will be learning in a French Immersion program. Caleb, accustomed to the daily routine of school, embraced the new year. Rayne and mama have the days together just the two girls ...mama loves the time with Rayne, but misses her other two little ones. Both Nathan and mama struggled with the transition. Mama cried at the coffee shop, out on errands, and around the house...at all turns where Nathan filled the days for the past year.  Nathan cried at drop off every day for two weeks. "Mama mama misses lama," and "lama lama misses mama..." but we all have come to appreciate the time away and even more... the time together! First days of schools are always markers...markers of growth and new beginnings.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Olympics 2009!

Our birthday parties are a family affair.  We all get into it, especially the birthday boy - that's why it's all worth it! We dream big, we brainstorm, we plan, we collect, we create, we consider our birthday person, and all that will be coming, and we all set to work.  Since last summer's 2008 Olympics, Caleb has been planning his sixth birthday party.  (Actually, since the day before his 5th birthday party!)  We had an Olympic parade, led by Caleb, we ran races representing our countries - USA, Ethiopia, France, and Jamaica (they run fast!) , we did the hammer throw (only Caleb could come up with that event!), the long jump, the hurdles, the sprints...and enjoyed the flag cupcakes.  Our guests enjoyed themselves, our birthday boy loved the competition and another dream fulfilled.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Caleb and Rayne

Caleb loves his little sister in a gentle and protective way. He teaches her, guides her, sits quietly with her, and exudes a peace and joy when he spends time with her. He seeks her out, and looks fondly on her. Watch out boys...here's her older brother!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Because of July 4th

The United States of America....truly a
land of freedom and opportunity! Some things in our country going well...some not so well, but today I saw all that we have here in this place. If not for the freedom we have, the INDEPENDENCE we experience, the open door we have for foreigners, our little girl would not be able to be here. I have a more thankful heart for this country. July 4th meant a little more to me today. She is welcome here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Other Dinknesh

We wrote about the "other" Dinknesh early in these blogs. She was born on the same day in a village close to where Rayne was born, and they were given the same name at birth. When arriving at the Ethiopian airport to pick up Rayne we had a brief moment of panic as we were chatting with "other Dinknesh" family for fear that we had come for the same little girl. Turns out that it was not the case! Aila's family had gone on the waiting list one day before us, they had received their referral one day before us, and now we have two very different girls. One perfect for their family and one designed perfectly for our family. Cool to get a small glimpse into the intricate timing of it all! Rayne and the other Dinknesh (her name is Aila) lived for 5 months together in a room at the care center. We had the privilege of closely sharing the Ethiopian experience with Aila's family, and since Aila's family lives in downtown Chicago, we knew we would connect again. In late May, we attended her baptism. I am fairly certain they don't remember each other, but as the years go by it will be good for them to connect. Perhaps not remembering specific memories, but sharing in their heritage and their history may be of great comfort and even friendship.