our big {{BIG}} news!!!

What do you do when God tells you to do something that takes you completely and totally out of your comfort zone?

Ignore Him?

…or have faith & trust.


We have chosen the latter.

This is Aberhem, our son. Well, it’s Ezekiel’s rendering of him since we’re not yet allowed to show you photos {cute, right??}.

Yes…we’re adopting again!!!

About a month ago Ben and I saw separate posts about this sweet 13 year old boy.

You read that right, THIRTEEN!

For some reason he deeply struck both our hearts. We weren’t looking to adopt anyone even remotely that old. To be quite honest, we weren’t even actively looking to adopt ANYONE again yet.

But sometimes God plans things out FOR you, doesn’t He?

Not that we don’t still have a choice…of course we do. But why on earth would we possibly choose to go down another path when He has so clearly brought us to this one??

. . . . . . . . . . . . .


Want to know his story?

{we’ve seen Aberhem’s name spelled different ways on different things. For now this is how we’re spelling it.}



What we know as of now is first his mom, then his dad passed away, leaving him with no immediate family. Though he’d been going to school and had gotten aid from some sort of organization that supported children in his area, once his parents died, he was cut off.

Knowing he had no ability for the future he wanted for himself, Aberhem decided to travel to the Capitol, Addis Ababa. We’re not sure if it was his aunt, or simply his mother’s good friend, but this generous woman gave him a loaf of bread for his travels and all the money she had from selling “local beverage” {20 Burr, equivalent to about $1}, which is more money than she earned in a month.

20 birr

He somehow hitched a ride for the 2 day trip to Addis Ababa and {again, somehow} made friends with some officers at the Police Station, who allowed him to take shelter there for a few nights.

During his time at the Police Station, he also forged a friendship with folks who worked with MOWA {the Ministry of Women’s Affairs…the branch of the government who oversees adoptions}. They began to not only advocate for him and try to find him a family {us!} but also gave him $200 Birr {about $11} which is an incredible amount to have been given! Think of that versus what the sweet woman in his village gifted!


{addis ababa, photo taken on our last trip}

MOWA got in touch with our agency, Celebrate Children International and he is now at one of their orphanages, waiting.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

After much prayer and conversation, we are excited to announce that we are gaining an amazingly brave and inspirational son. A few weeks ago, after we thought we’d been given the green light from our agency, we received an email saying that in fact, another family was further along in the paperwork than we and therefore, they had preference.

For about a week, we thought we’d lost him.

After the initial sadness of it, I felt an overwhelming peace. I knew, without a doubt that God would work things out in our favor. Just like the 1st moment I met Ezekiel and felt the Lord whisper in my ear, “this is your son.” I felt the same when I saw Aberhem’s photo. “This is our son, isn’t it, Lord?” my heart inquired. “Yes.” is all I received as reply.

The peace I felt within was indeed from God because just as I felt Him tell me to be patient, He provided the situation to change in our favor…allowing our son to be placed not only into our hearts…but in the next few months, into our arms as well.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .


So here’s the thing…

This time around, we’re having to fundraise. The idea of this takes Ben and I once again out of our comfort zone. Ask people for money???

Technically  yes, but it’s far more than that.

We’re asking YOU to be part of bringing Aberhem home.

Over on the Right Side, toward the very top of our blog sits this button:


donate here button


See it? We would be humbled and so very grateful if you gave as your heart prompts you. Any amount, you feel led to give.

If you prefer to have something physical rather than simply giving toward our adoption however, I invite you to our newly opened Hugs & Punches Shop!

Look for this:


butter-sidebar-shop us



{includes many more items than those shown}

. . . . . . . . . . . . .


Can you believe that this past weekend we got to MEET ABERHEM over Skype?!

The kids, Ben, & I got up crazy early on Saturday morning and were able to have a very excited and giggly conversation with both Aberhem and some of the nannies we remember from when Ezekiel was at the same orphanage {the nannies finally started to translate our conversation with Aberhem after they finished screaming and jumping up and down when they realized it was Ezekiel on the other side of the screen, it was so sweet}.


{half asleep & chilly!}


Gone are the days when our family hopes to sleep in every Saturday morning. Instead, we’ll wake before the sun hits the horizon, so we can spend time as a family.

All 7 of us. And what a blessing that is.


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7 Responses to our big {{BIG}} news!!!

  1. Justine Dec 19th, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Oh my goodness!! CONGRATULATIONS!! I am so so excited for you and your sweet family! I cannot wait to see pictures of your newest addition :)

  2. Jody Dec 19th, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    Congrats! Such beautiful news! SOOOO excited for your family on this adventure! x

  3. Erin LaBarge Dec 19th, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    Congrats!!! This post brought tears to my eyes!! I also have friends who are currently living in Ethiopia and over a year ago had adopted a little girl and just recently announced they are adopting a 10 yr old girl! I just praise Jesus for these children and the families they get to join! Adoption is heavy on my and my husbands heart and we can’t wait until the Lord provides the time and the child :)

    • hugs & punches Dec 20th, 2012 at 11:30 am #

      Oh you’re so amazing Erin. Thank you and yay to your friends for adopting an older child, too! I hope God opens doors for you and your husband as well! It’s not always peaches and cream, to be sure…but it’s so darn worth it ; )

  4. Jessica Dec 19th, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    Congratulations! My husband and I are the ones going over there in a few days! We’ll get to meet your son when we meet ours! Looks like he is going to have an awesome family to come home to!

    • hugs & punches Dec 20th, 2012 at 11:29 am #

      oh yaaaay!!! Are you the ones that Ben sent the package to??? Thank you thank you THANK YOU for bringing those things over for him!!! Give him a big {{huuuuuuuge}} hug from us! Congratulations on your Court appt being on CHRISTMAS DAY! What a huge blessing and best day ever for that!!!!! God bless you and your family and I want to hear EVERYTHING!!!!

      Look for me on Facebook…Teresa Swanstrom Anderson. xo

  5. kim lehman Dec 24th, 2012 at 6:28 am #

    With love! As soon as you know your getting home date we will make plans for some sort of visit with a couple of me guys. They love meeting hew kids their age from Ethiopia. And I am sure Abrhem will too. Congrats guys…I am glad I was honest with you because it frees me up to share the awesome good stuff! I have discovered there is a resilience in the boys who are determined enough to do the hard thongs to survive…a maturity that they shouldn’t have to have at their age but adds to their determination to succeed once they don’t have to focus on surviving any more. Congrats!

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