Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy "One Month Anniversary" Boys!!!

Today marks 1 month since we were able to hold Levi & Judah in our arms. Getting to know them and bonding as a family of 4 over the past month has been such a great joy and we know that the journey has only just begun. Here are some recent photos...we are in awe of what little miracles these guys are!!!

Levi playing with his favorite toy- a measuring cup:)
Both boys slept through their first encounter with Santa!

Judah screaming for more food! He has really loves anything that someone else is eating:)
My husband truly is the best dad ever- such a natural!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Highlights From Kenya

Back Home:)

Hey everyone! We are back home in Michigan and I'm sorry we haven't posted anything, but we are a little crazy. After leaving Nairobi Saturday night, we arrived in Michigan late on Sunday after a nine hour layover in Amsterdam and a delayed flight because of weather (they apparrently don't get snow very often in Amsterdam- weird...) The boys were troopers during the whole process- they slept during both flights and only cried when we were "trapped" on the plane for 3 hours waiting to be de-iced.

Judah pooped about a hundred times on the way home, going through every extra set of clothing I brought...THEN as we were waiting in line at customs and immigration, my arm began to feel warm and I smelled something and yes as they processed the paperwork for the boys, Judah's poop was coming out the neck of his shirt and going all over the two of us. By the time we left the airport he didn't have on any pants and we were both stinky:) It was fun!

Adam's mom has been here helping us since we've been home and it has been truly a gift from God. She wakes up with them in the middle of the night so we can sleep and has been helping us to re-establish a schedule to get the boys on our time zone. Friends have cooked and done laundry for us (washing everything on HOT because of all the poop) and the boys are enjoying meeting all their new friends and family! We head to Chicago tomorrow to introduce them to my side of the family and celebrate Christmas. Adam and I already received everything we wanted and we are so grateful to have our family together for Christmas.

Sending love,
The Dorband 4

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Hey everyone- we are back into crazy mode to come home!!! Levi's test result came back as HIV negative, which is WONDERFUL news and now we have a bunch of paperwork to finish before we can leave the country. Sending love and thanking you for all your prayers.

The Dorband 4

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Non-update updates from Nairobi:)

They boys are saying, "Thanks for the great place to stay- we love it!!!"

Hey everyone- there's not much going on here in Nairobi...we are just waiting for this coming week so we can find out the results of Levi's PCR. PLEASE continue to pray!!! We believe that God answers prayers and He has been so evident during the past few days in Nairobi that we know His hand is most certainly with us as we walk through the unknown. As you know, we were provided with a place to stay while we are here, but even more, we were provided with FRIENDS from Michigan who are staying at the same house as us to complete the adoption of their daughter from Kenya (they have been here for 10 months). Graig and Sarah have taken us in and made us part of their family...sharing meals and conversation has truly lifted our spirits and reminded us of God's presence. I'm sure it is no coincidence that they work with a church at the University of Michigan so we certainly plan on having dinner and play dates in the future when we are all back in the states. How funny that we have a house full of people from Michigan in Nairobi:) God is sovereign!!!

We miss our friends and family so much- as we were in church this morning singing Christmas carols in 80 degree weather, I was honestly wishing we were back in the cold midwest and I had to stop singing so I wouldn't cry, but we are spending time with the boys and bonding is going well so what more could we ask for:) Now if they would just sleep through the night, we might be a little more sane:)-

Here's the detailed info on the boys as of recently...
  • They have both taken a liking to baby oatmeal or rice cereal with bananas- this makes for kind of nasty poo, but their bellies are full and they are happy. Both of them still drink quite a bit of formula as that is all they lived on at the orphanage.
  • Judah is having a VERY hard time sleeping through the night. Adam and I took turns holding him from 2am until 7:30am today so he would sleep, which makes us a little tired, but we want him to be happy.
  • Thank God for mosquito nets- Judah was sleeping with Adam last night and fell out of bed, but the mosquito net caught him and sort of gently rested him on the floor- he still cried, but he wasn't injured.
  • Levi and Judah are both teething which means LOTS of drool and intermittent crying throughout the night as well.
  • Judah is quite a people person while Levi is more pensive and takes everything in. This also means that Judah is a lot more needy and I want to make sure that we spend as much time attending to Levi so he feels loved and secure:)
  • Judah poops at least 4 times a day so we have been going through a lot of outfits, but such is life with 2 young boys!!!
  • Overall, all is going well, we are ready to come HOME, but we are good.
Thank you for walking with us..

We send our love from Kenya!!!
The Dorband 4

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Totally Unexpected Blessing

Through the kindness of strangers who are part of the body of Christ, Adam and I now have a free place to stay in Nairobi. We moved out of our original guesthouse today because the room was already rented out to someone else for the remainder of our stay and we were looking for an affordable place when a blogging friend (who is a missionary in Kenya) sent a message saying we could stay at her families' house in Nairobi. They are currently in the states and they just decided they wanted to bless us. We don't really know what to say other than THANK YOU! We truly feel the sustaining grace of God with us every step of the way:)

All our love,
The Dorband 4


Thanks Nana and Papa for the warm fleeces- it gets a little cold in Nairobi at night!
Waiting and waiting and waiting at the medical clinic- the boys did great:)

While we were in Rwanda, we learned that a more accurate translation of Levi's middle name, Kwizera, is FAITH. During the adoption process, we hung the word FAITH on the door to the boys' room, and now as we wait in Nairobi for the results of his PCR, it is a test of our FAITH. We are infinitely grateful for these two little lives that have been entrusted into our hands and we know that God is working in this situation. As I'm sure all parents would agree, we don't want our little one to be have to suffer and so we are praying for a favorable outcome- however, in all things we will trust that God gave us these children and we will praise him in all circumstances.

Sending our love,
The Dorband 4

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rwanda Video

Praying for Levi

Hey everyone! The last couple of days have been a flurry of activity with very little time for updating the blog so I apologize. Here is where we are- there is a lot going on.
  • We spent 8 hours at the immigration medical testing clinic in Nairobi on Monday to get clearance for the boys to travel.
  • At the end of the day, the doctor called us into her office (this is never a good sign)
  • She informed us that Levi's tests for HIV were "inconclusive." This means that he had 2 results that were slightly positive and 2 results that were negative (they repeated the test 4 times on the 1st day). He tested negative in Rwanda before the nuns referred him.
  • She asked us to come back the next day so they could repeat the test and try to find more conclusive results. The results for the second day were the same (2 slightly positive and 2 negative).
  • They took more blood and sent it to South Africa to check his DNA.
  • We cannot receive Levi's visa to leave the country until these results are back, which will take a minimum of 5 working days.
  • If he turns out to be negative, we can leave as soon as the visas are processed.
  • if he turns out to be HIV positive, we will have to go through additional paperwork and processes that could take an undefined amount of time in Kenya.
There are many things that can cause the rapid HIV test to be positive, including antibodies left over from the mother and malaria and of course we are praying that one of these is the case. The head of the lab at the clinic says that he is 99.5% sure that the test did not yield accurate results and that he is negative, and the doctor said it is more likely that he is negative than positive, but we have to wait...I hate waiting. Adam and I both believe that God sovereignly placed Levi in our family and even after the short time we have known him, we cannot imagine our life without him. If he is HIV positive, we are glad that he did not test that way in Rwanda because the nuns would not have referred him to us and then we would have missed out on how amazing this little guy is!!! All things considered, please pray that the test results would come back sooner than expected and that Levi would indeed be HIV negative.

We are in Nairobi until at least next week so we send all our love to you from afar!!!
The Dorband 4

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pics from the Kigali airport...

Yes we are still waiting- they don't know when the airplane will get here:(

In the Kigali airport

Our plane was supposed to depart at 2pm, but it is delayed until 4pm and we are now two bottles, three dirty diapers, and one outfit change in and we haven't even left the airport:) This trip is really just dress rehearsal for "the big one", which is the trip back to Michigan. Security confiscated my roll of masking tape that I brought to entertain the boys- they said I could use it to tie someone up (which I thought was pretty funny considering both my hands are full of babies). Right now Judah is sound asleep and Levi is sucking on Adam's water bottle and drooling ALL OVER! Both the boys are teething and Judah"s first tooth officially emerged this morning! Hopefully we will arrive in Nairobi tonight at around 6:30- then it is off for medical testing first thing tomorrow morning. If there are no problems we will be back in MI on Friday and just in time for Christmas:)

If you think of it please pray that our flight is not cancelled...

We are so exhausted and we feel so blessed!
Sending our love,
The Dorband 4

Friday, December 4, 2009


Today we had success at the embassy- the consular had mercy on us and gave us the official packet. This marks the end of our paperwork in Rwanda- the next steps are in Nairobi. We are heading to the countryside today with our POA and his family. We just wanted to pass along the good news!!!
Love from Kigali,
The Dorband 4

Thursday, December 3, 2009


We are nearing the end of our stay in Rwanda and Adam and I have had a wonderful time learning about the country and the two newest members of our family:) The boys are still having a little difficulty with their sleep schedule, which I'm sure will only continue after we come home to Michigan (it is 7 hours different than Rwanda). We now have both Levi & Judah's passports (hooray) and we will head to the embassy tomorrow to try to convince the consular that the paper she wants does not exist for orphans who were abandoned and we have all the other paperwork in order. If you think of it, pray that she has MERCY on us and the other families who will be trying to do the same tomorrow.

We continue to learn the different nuances that are a part of the boys' personalities. For example, Levi gets really hyper at night when it is bed time. He goes on and on, kicking his legs and laughing hysterically at nothing in particular. Judah is more finicky than Levi- if he's tired he just whines and rubs his face and it is difficult for him to get comfortable. He likes to make a clicking noise with his mouth and if you do it, he will just stare at your mouth and then just start laughing. Levi loves having his nose wiped (weird I know), when you wipe it, he laughs and giggles and tries to get you to do it again...this is a good thing considering he has a cold right now. Both boys babble, especially the word dada- we know that they aren't saying it to Adam yet but it is SOOOO cute.

We had our first brotherly altercation today where Levi smacked Judah in the face (I think it was on purpose) and Judah proceeded to cry (of course) and then we gave Judah a wet wipe to play with and all was well with the world. Adam and I are loving parenthood and we are exhausted but OH SO THANKFUL!!! Knowing our children and holding them in our arms is a feeling that is indescribable. Please pray that everything here goes smoothly until Sunday and that our time in Kenya is productive and on schedule:) THANK YOU!!!!

All our love,
The Dorband 4

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Levi Laughs:)

This was so cute I had to post it. The first day we met Levi, I was very concerned because he didn't make any noise and here he is today! What a change:)

Pics from the last few days:)

I know I slacked yesterday in posting pictures so here are some from Monday and this morning. The ones on top are from this morning and the one of Adam signing is from when we officially got to keep the boys FOREVER! It was a little weird- Adam just signed in this ledger book and it was finished. The Minister is the one reaching for Judah's hand and Veronique is standing outside with us. Yesterday was too crazy to get any good pictures, but we'll be taking more. Thanks everyone for the great toys! Levi & Judah are really enjoying them over here:) They really like anything they can bang on something else to make noise...Ian Bacon can we sign up for drum lessons now??? Sending all our love!
Adam, Katie, Levi & Judah

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Travel Papers and Prayer Request:)

We did obtain our travel letter yesterday around 4pm. We actually got to meet The Minister- she held the children and talked with us for a few minutes. Obtaining our letter meant that we could keep the boys with us overnight and it was wonderful not to have to drop them off at the orphanage last night!!! The boys woke up a few times throughout the night, but for the most part- they did great!!! Mom didn't really sleep at all but the boys are happy and healthy, which is all we could possibly want:)

Next we went to the US Embassy in Kigali to file our I600 with the Consular. It was less than wonderful in that she kept asking for this paper that is only issued to children when the birth parents are known. She insisted we needed to obtain this paper before she would process our I600, but it is not possible because Levi & Judah were abandoned. We went back to the sector where each of the boys were found (which included driving around in a hot car for 3 hours with both boys) to try to obtain the paper and correct some minor clerical errors and they confirmed that it is not possible to obtain this document when the children are abandoned. They gave us a phone number the consular can call if she is not satisfied with our efforts. We will go back on Friday with the boys' passports (which we pick up tomorrow) to finish the I600 process so please pray for favor and grace with the consular. Additionally, there are 3 other families here with us and they will not be able to obtain their passports until Friday afternoon and the Consular's office closes at 1pm on Friday- they need an even bigger miracle to be able to leave Rwanda on time.

While we were at one of the sectors, we met the women who were witnesses when Judah was found. They were so happy that he was being adopted. One of the women who works at the sector office had him in her office all day the day he was found and told us about how she went to buy him milk and took care of him. It was wonderful to meet them and see their joy over him being adopted. We learned that Levi was found on a banana plantation and one of our friends who has been volunteering at Home of Hope all year said that he was pre-mature. She said that she didn't think they would be able to save a baby so small, but here he is chubby, interactive, and happy (as I write, the two boys are attempting to "climb" a cement wall).

All is well here- we are tired and happy. We believe that everything will come together by this weekend. Thank you for your prayers. We cannot wait to bring the boys home and share them with you!
All our love,
Adam & Katie

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Video from day 1

We've been having difficulty with our internet connection being too slow to load video, but we managed to get one up so here it is:)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day 2 with the boys...

We just dropped the boys off at HOH and it was more difficult than yesterday. I know that is what they are used to and the nuns are so wonderful to them, but we miss them! One more night without them and then they will be with us (as long as we get our travel letter on Monday). Today was even more perfect than yesterday- here's what we did:)
  • Went to HOH at 8am, but the doors to the infant room were locked. As we waited we were mobbed by 30 or so 2 & 3 year olds. They were all crying and holding on to our legs so much that we couldn't walk. I bet that the care takers at the orphanage were wishing we hadn't shown up right at that moment:) We held a few of them until they let us in to see Levi & Judah.
  • When we saw the boys this morning, they were all smiles and they seemed happy to be going with us. They were fed right before we picked them up and by the time we got back to our B&B, we could tell they were ready for a nap.
  • Levi & Judah proceeded to take a 3 hour nap, which we found out was pretty typical for the kids in the infant room. Another adoptive mom (who has lived here for a year) said that the kids in the infant room spend a large portion of their day sleeping so all the activity over the past 24 hours probably really wore the boys out!!!
  • We enjoyed taking turns laying with them and snuggling- it was a great morning:)
  • When the boys woke up, we attempted to feed them some rice cereal (I think more of it ended up on their faces and clothes than in their mouths, but we tried).
  • After eating, we played with the boys for about and hour and then took a walk down to Bourbon Coffee, which is the Rwandan version of Starbucks. We met another adoptive family there and talked adoption stuff until our driver came to take us back to the orphanage.
  • When we arrived at the orphanage there were 3 other adoptive families that just got to meet their kids- Smith, Spore, & Bower families (they had just arrived from the airport). It was a beautiful thing to see them all holding their kids tight.
Our plan for tomorrow is to pick up the kids first thing in the morning and go to our POA's church where they have asked Adam to preach. We will spend most of the day there doing church Rwandan style, which will be amazing. We are praying for everything to go smoothly on Monday so we can obtain our travel letter and then it is on to working on the Passports. We are also planning on visiting the genocide memorial as well as other cultural sites around the city while we are here. I will keep the pictures coming so if you get sick of seeing our kids, sorry about that:) Lots of love from Kigali!!!
Adam & Katie

Friday, November 27, 2009


We did not get our travel letter today, which means that we had to take Judah and Levi back to the orphanage at 5:30pm. The sister's were very sweet and understanding- they let us lay the boys in their cribs for the night and told us we could come back first thing to help them wake up and get ready for the day. On a side note, their cribs are TINY! Adam and I were both surprised at how small Levi & Judah are because they looked so much bigger in the picture. When we saw their cribs, we realized the scale of the picture was somewhat skewed. The clothes we brought still fit well with a little room to spare:)

On a scale of 1-10, this day was a 35 (at least). Here is somewhat of an outline...
  • 9:00 Our POA picked us up and took us to the orphanage (my heart was beating out of my chest!!!)
  • 9:45 The nuns brought Levi & Judah out for us. They had just woken the boys up from a nap so Judah was a little cranky, but he warmed up pretty fast.
  • We headed over to The Minister's office to request our travel letter from Veronique personally. She was very sweet and wanted to hold the boys- she informed us that The Minister was out and may not return in time to sign our travel letter.
  • After The Minister's office we went to exchange money with our POA and then we took Levi to the Dr. because he has quite a chest cold, but the Dr. said he was OK and that we should just monitor him for a few days.
  • Following the visit to the doctor, we took the boys back to our bed and breakfast to feed them and have them take naps. Levi wasn't tired so he went on the coffee adventure (see pictures below) with Adam.
  • The boys' schedules were completely thrown off in terms of eating, sleeping, and their normal surroundings, but they held up like champs. Levi had a little melt-down around 4:30 and then we heard from our POA that we would have to take them back to the orphanage.
  • Our kind driver took us back with the boys and waited while we said goodbye (for an extended period of time). We also met two other families from the US who had adopted from HOH and met the in country representative for AWAA who was so very sweet to us.
  • We ate dinner at a local Italian restaurant with really good pizza and now we are almost too exhausted for words, but so happy.

These pictures are worth a thousand words...

While Judah was napping today, Adam took Levi on an "adventure" to a local coffee place. He managed to get the oh so serious Levi to laugh and giggle for pictures so you all could see his cute smile. We also happen to think that the last picture is priceless- we think he's saying, "yeah, I'm the man."

The Best Day Ever!

Today was amazing...there is so much to write, but I will leave it to the pictures for now.

We have arrived!!!

We arrived safely in Kigali at 1:45 local time. It is now 4:30am local time and we are getting settled in our room. Our POA will be by at nine in the morning to take us to the orphanage and then we will be stopping by The Minister's Office. Please pray for this first meeting- we are total strangers to Levi & Judah and we want this transition to be one that is good for them. We are off to try to sleep for a few hours and then what a wonderful Friday it will be!!! All our flights went perfectly and all of our luggage arrived with us- we feel so blessed and taken care of.

Sending our love from Rwanda!
Adam & Katie

Thursday, November 26, 2009

In Amsterdam

Hey Everyone! We are in Amsterdam and on our way to Nairobi next. We are tired but oh so happy!!! We will be arriving in Kigali at about 2am Friday local time (that is Thursday evening for those of you in Michigan).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


We are leaving our house in less than an hour...clothes for two kids, diapers, wipes, carriers, hot pots, medicine, donations for the orphanage, and on and on (formula is really heavy)!!! The room for Levi & Judah is ready to go and we'll update you as soon as we have more to tell or if we find ourselves bored in an airport:) LOTS AND LOTS OF LOVE!!!
Adam & Katie


Less than 24 hours and we will be in the air on our way to be with LEVI and JUDAH. Our POA will be picking us up from the airport at 2am on Friday and we will go to our hotel, shower, and then meet them face-to-face for the very first time!!! We plan on updating our blog with videos and pictures as our internet connectivity allows. This is our itinerary...
  • WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25th, Depart Detroit 5:55pm, Flight: KL 6242/ *NW 242
  • Stop in Amsterdam and then on to Nairobi
  • SWITCH AIRLINES, Depart Nairobi 11:40pm (THURSDAY), KQ 0466
  • Go to the Beth Shalom Bed & Breakfast in Kigali to shower and change
  • FRIDAY, head to Mother Teresa's Home of Hope as soon as they will let us in!!!
  • Hold Levi & Judah and stay with them as long as we are allowed (If we have travel papers by Friday, we can keep them with us. If we do not, we will have to return them to the orphanage by 5pm).
  • SATURDAY- Hang out with Levi & Judah and see a friend we met on the internet from the states. Perhaps drink some Rwandan coffee:)
  • SUNDAY- Adam is preaching at our POA's church. Please pray for God to speak through him to the body of Christ in Rwanda.
  • 11/30-12/6 (Monday-Sunday)- Finish paperwork, see Rwanda, learn about the country and experience all we can while learning what it means to be a family of FOUR and take care of two little ones!
  • SUNDAY (12/6)- Depart for Nairobi to process visas for the boys.
  • MONDAY (12/7)- Medical appointments for visa approval.
  • TUESDAY (12/8)- Receive results of medical exams.
  • WEDNESDAY (12/9)- Visa appointment at US Embassy in Nairobi.
  • THURSDAY (12/10)- Receive visas for the boys (they have promised me they will be finished on time:)
  • DEPART FOR MICHIGAN 10:50pm- Thursday (12/10)Flight: KL 6253/ *NW 253
  • ARRIVE: Detroit-Wayne County Int'l, MI (DTW) at 11:40AM

Monday, November 23, 2009

Katherine with a K!

We got an update from our POA today and he spent some time with Levi and Judah getting their pictures taken for their passports. He said that Judah is a "very serious boy" and he's calm, not scared of anything. Levi was a little more nervous being out and about and he said that neither of the boys wanted to let him go when they went back to the orphanage. He told them, "your parents are coming this week." Melt my heart!!! I am so thankful for our POA.

Our POA also scanned the birth certificates for Judah and Levi so we could have them in our files and I realized that they spelled my name Catherine with a C instead of Katherine with a K...I immediately sent a message to our POA and we are asking for prayers that this does not cause a major problem and that it is easily fixable because our I know our POA has been running around like crazy trying to get ready for our arrival on Friday.

That's all for now- we will post more as soon as we can. Now I'm off to pack and clean and try to install a gate at the top of our stairs:)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Reality Check

I follow the blog of an amazing young women living in Uganda, caring for the forgotten. She posted this today and it was a stark reminder of what NEEDS to be at the forefront of our minds as members of the body of Christ. As we rejoice in going over to be with Levi & Judah, there is so much suffering and sadness that cannot be ignored. I copied her post below because it is a beautiful and necessary reminder.

This is what she wrote...

"It started a few months ago when my great friends Mike and Suzanne were here to adopt their daughter. In finding out she had HIV, they were obviously broken. Mike made a statement that stirred something within me. He said, "I guess you know that children are out there suffering. You know that children are sick, this sick. But it is different when it is your child. It's just different." And it is. I don't mean this blog to criticize you in any way, Mike, because what you said was true for me too. It is different when it is my child. I spendcountless nights awake with dying, or at least critically sick, children. I love them and I cuddle them. I sponge bath them and give them their medicine and wipe up their vomit. I hold them and pray over them and tell them how special they are and how Jesus loves them. My heart really does hurt for them. But it doesn't hurt the way it hurts when I think one of my own children is close to death. It doesn't hurt the way it does when Sumini's fever just won't go down or when Patricia is up all night coughing with her third case of pneumonia in three months. It doesn't hurt the way it does when Margaret's teeth run into Agnes's eyebrow and I can see her bone, and then watch in terror as the doctor stitches it up WITHOUT anesthetic. Somehow, when it is my children, there is a bit more urgency, a bit more panic. There is a bit more frustration at the lack of medical care we canreceive here and a bit more google searching of what to do. I am not saying that I am proud of this. I am just letting you know that it isn't just you I have held several children as they died of inadequate medical care. It was horrible and I grieve and cried, but I promise you that I wasn't as devastated as I would have been had it been one of my daughters. Its ugly, but its true.

Its just different when its your child who's suffering. But should it be? This is what I have been struggling with. I believe that this is a normal human reaction. I also believe it is WRONG. I believe that each human on the planet is God's child, perfectly made and beloved and cherished by Him. I believe that His heart hurts like mine does, even more than mine does, when my baby is hurting for EACH and every one of the hurting, dying, starving, crying children in our world at this moment. So I HAVE to believe that if my heart was truly seeking to be aligned with the heart of God, that I would have to hurt for each of these children as well. But sometimes, I forget. Sometimes I'm busy. Sometimes hurting for my very own children just feels like enough. I believe that the world says that this is
ok. And I believe it is wrong. And this keeps me up at night.

Angelina is seven years old and barely weighs 15 pounds. You
remember that picture that was made popular in the 1980's during the famine in Ethiopia of that little girl (who looked like a bag of bones) curled up next to a vulture? That girl doesn't look nearly as sick as Angelina. Her mother has not had any food to give her in over four months. When Angelina musters enough energy to let out a cry of hunger (she is far to weak to walk or even hold her head up on her own), her mother gives her some locally brewed alcohol to keep her quiet. For four months, keeping her a little drunk has actually probably been what is keeping her alive. The dirt floor where she has been laying her whole life accumulating bedsores is covered in waste, animal and human. Jiggers burrow deep into her little feet causing them to crack and bleed. She is naked, filthy, and cold. It is far worse than appalling.

I bet right now at this moment your heart is sad for her. Is it as sad as it would be if Angelina were your daughter? Angelina is God's daughter. His heart aches for this perfect, wonderfully made child of His. Her circumstances do not surprise Him, but I have no doubt that they grieve Him tremendously.

And it's not
just children, because we are all children in His eyes. Grace is maybe 60 years old but looks to be pushing 100. She can't weigh more than 85 pounds. Grace is a mother to six children, but 4 have died of AIDS and the other two have deserted her for a better life. She lives in a 4 by 4 foot room that is pitch black, but she doesn't mind; in addition to being to weak to walk, Grace is blind. She NEVER has any visitors. At night her bones ache against the hard dirt floor and her feeble body shivers with cold. A cough racks her body and her stomach rumbles in hunger making sleep impossible.

Its sad, huh? How sad though? Sad enough that we want to do sometime about it? Sad enough that we will
remember Grace tonight as we snuggle down into our beds or next month as we pay the bills? Maybe. But maybe not. Because it hurts, but it doesn't hurt that much. It doesn't hurt the way it would if Grace was your grandmother all alone there in the dark. It does for God. Because Grace is His.

As I snuggle both these sweet girls, as I kiss their cheeks, as I spoon
Pediasure into Angelina's little mouth or watch Grace rejoice over the gift of a scraggly old blanket, I allow the tears to fall. The tears that hurt for these people as if they were my family. Because they are my family. And it SHOULD hurt. It shouldn't be different. I desire for it to never again be different.

We are the body of Christ. But do we know what that means? Do we long for our brothers and sisters to be comfortable and fed and well? Do we long for it enough that we are uncomfortable under our blankets at night or eating our pancakes in the morning? Do we feel the hurt that God feels as He watches the body of Christ sit back and allow these precious children of his to perish? Maybe sometimes. But sometimes, we are too busy, or we forget, or hurting for our own children is enough. We are the body of Christ. We need to hurt. We need to react. Their needs to be the same urgency and panic and frustration and desperation as if these were our own children. They are God's children.

Heavenly Father,
Thank you for Angelina. Thank you for Grace. Thank you for creating them perfectly in your image, your precious, beloved children. Thank you for your beautiful plan for their lives and thank you for bringing them into mine. Thank you that they are YOURS. Help me to hurt. Not just a little, but the way you hurt when your children are overlooked and perishing. me to never be too busy or too comfortable to
remember the people who suffer. Help me to never stop desiring to do something about it. Lord help us to remember that as the body of Christ, this is our responsibility. Thank you for loving us, even when we forget. I never, never want to forget again."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Our Boys!!!

I found out later this week that we actually passed court on Monday and I didn't realize that everything was official at that time so we are able to post pictures. Here are our beautiful boys!!! It is hard to believe that we will be holding them in our arms in just 6 short days. Judah UWIMANA Dorband on the right and Levi KWIZERA Dorband has the cutest, chubbiest cheeks I have ever seen (and he is on the left). We are smitten and in love!!!

*This is their original referral photo- they are a little older now and Judah is all smiles:)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lodging in Rwanda

Hi friends! I know many of you will be traveling to Kigali in the NEAR future (yay!!!) and if you are looking for a place to stay, I would check out Beth Shalom Bed and Breakfast. You can view their website at It seems conveniently located and they are extremely helpful. We e-mailed them over the weekend and they responded quickly to a multitude of questions. They offered to pick us up from the airport and they have a variety of services. Check out their website- the most expensive room is $65/night, which is very reasonable for Kigali. I just thought I'd pass the info along.

Adam and I are still busy making preparations and we just can't wait to hold them in our arms. Please continue to pray for Judah and Levi as they are about to meet these two crazy Americans and leave everything they know. We pray that the adjustment goes well and that all our travels are safe:)

One week until lift off!!!

Adam and I are so excited that in just one week we will be on a plane to meet Levi & Judah face to face. The joy is truly unspeakable. We are busy with preparations and our wonderful POA has been running all over town in Kigali to make sure all the paperwork is in order. He received their birth certificates on Tuesday with new "officially official" birthdays that are different from the earlier ones. According to the documents, Levi was born 1/20/2009 (my dad's birthday) and Judah was born 3/16/2009. I was just typing out our flight itinerary and I thought you all might be interested in our route to Rwanda so here it is...

Depart Detroit 5:55pm on Wednesday, November 25
Arrive Amsterdam 7:55am on Thursday, November 26
Depart Amsterdam 10:20am on Thursday, November 26
Arrive Nairobi 8:25pm on Thursday, November 26
Depart Nairobi 11:40pm on Thursday, November 26
Arrive in Kigali 2:10am on Friday, November 27

We are using Northwest/KLM so we have less flights to deal with (especially on the way home with the two little ones). As we are packing to leave, my only question is this...should we go through the trouble to bring a portable crib or should we rely on blankets and pillows to form a makeshift bed? Also, fellow adoptive families, tell me what is on your "must have" list so we can make sure we bring everything we need!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Court Date- I am so amazed!

Adam and I are shocked and amazed- our POA and Attorney went to court TODAY and finished the court, not just the appointment (those are the words of our POA)!!!! God has answered our prayers for a November court date. Our POA will go back to the judge on Friday to receive the finalized paperwork at which point I will post full pictures of our beautiful boys:) We are planning and preparing to bring Judah and Levi home in the very near future. Just NINE days until we leave. Today is Judah's 10 month birthday and yesterday was Levi's. Happy "birthday" boys- we love you so very much and we can't wait to hold you in our arms.

Thank you for your continued prayers- we are being sustained by them.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Updated Info

The past week has been a process of running 90 miles an hour and after a ton of work by our AMAZING POA- we will be leaving to pick up Judah and Levi on November 25th!!! Due to the kindness of another friend in Rwanda, we also know their official birthdays as well and they are truly almost twins. Levi was born January 15, 2009 and Judah was born January 16, 2009. It is so surreal to actually be leaving in just a week and a half. There is so much to do! My dear, wonderful friends planned a baby celebration for today and we have been so showered with love- THANK YOU!!! The boys are going to be so smothered with love- they don't even know what's coming:) AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH we are so excited!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A little more info:)

We have decided on names!!! For those of you who have seen the pictures, the one with his mouth open will be Levi Kwizera Dorband- Levi means "joined together in harmony" in Hebrew and Kwizera means "confidence & trust" in Kinyarwanda. Baby boy number two will be Judah Uwimana Dorband- Judah means "praised" in Hebrew and Uwimana means "belongs to God" in Kinyarwanda.

Our POA was able to tell us that Judah was found on March 26, 2009 and the nuns believe that he was about one week old at the time. That makes his birthday somewhere around March 19, 2009. He is coming up on his 8 month "birthday". He did not have any additional information for us on Levi.

They are amazing and beautiful and Adam and I are so in love with them!!! It is truly beyond words. Please continue to pray for the other families awaiting their referrals as well as for the other processes that need to take place for us to bring them home!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dorband Party of FOUR

With trembling hands I am writing to let you all know that we have two new additions to the Dorband family. We received a referral for two little boys this morning. It went into our spam!!! They have the most captivating eyes and the most amazing little toes. This moment feels so surreal and while I can't post them on a public forum until we pass court- here is a little sneak peak! The letter only gave their names- no birthdays or ages or anything. We will pass along the info as soon as we know!!! Thank you for walking with us on this crazy awesome adventure. Now we are focusing our prayers towards a NOVEMBER court date so we can bring them home.