Monday, December 28, 2009

because my babies are so great...

Here are a few more Simeon pics plus one of us with Madeline when she moved to her big girl bed right before we went to get Simeon. Today was a fun-filled slightly crazy but wonderful day. We spent the day at home with family coming over and just enjoying our two kiddos. I still can hardly believe it! So thankful for God's goodness to us.

Finally, pictures!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sorry, I tried.

I (Andrew) tried to put a video here, but the internet connection couldn't handle it. Maybe pictures in a couple of days?

In the absence of a working video, just an update to let you know that all is well--we're loving our time with Simeon and learning more about him--things like "scrambled eggs are delicious" and "Walking is great. Nearly as much fun as having someone carry you!"

The only issue continues to be Ashley's health; her sinuses are causing her a pretty good amount of pain. We've been humbled by the amount of prayers offered up on our family's behalf, so that's something specific you could pray for. Also, tomorrow iw our embassy appointment. We don't expect any negative surprises, but we'd still appreciate prayers that all would go smoothly. Thank you!

Looking forward to introducing you to him. Sorry for another picture-less, video-less blog post.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Hello, Simeon!!

The internet at the guest house is more off than on, so we're just going to give you a quick update.

The flights were fine, but it was rough flying overnight two straight nights, so we were pretty tuckered out Saturday night, and slept for 14 hours, waking up 35 minutes before Simeon was due to arrive. We got ready quickly, and then waited outside the guesthouse, as Simeon pulled up (he was sitting in a carseat in the front seat). The Gladney contact warned us several times that he probably would not like us at first, but when he passed Simeon to me (Andrew), Simeon was a bit nervous but didn't cry. Then, we gave him some Cheerios and we immediately bonded. (He didn't get to be Madeline's weight for nothing!)

Since then, he's gradually warmed up more and more to us. He's already calling Ashley "Mama" and will run/waddle to us smiling and laughing. He's gradually talking more with us, and we've learned a few of his words, especially car ("bee bee") and ball ("qwas"). (Of course, we can't tell the difference between babble and Amharic, so we can't really tell how much he's saying). He also seems to like rough play more than Madeline, because he loves growling and banging his cars together. He slept through the night last night and is napping decently well. The bath is about the only thing he doesn't seem to like so far.

The only downer so far is that Ashley's a bit sick—sinus and stomach, probably a mix of jetlag and new allergies and maybe something else. Otherwise, though, we're doing great. Our appointment at the U.S. Embassy is Wednesday, and we'll also spend some time this week at the Gladney Foster Care Center (as well as some government orphanages).

We hope to do pictures soon, but with the Internet, this is the best we have to offer so far. Thanks for your prayers.

Friday, December 18, 2009

On our Way!

Hi everyone! We are sitting in the London airport getting ready to board our final flight to Addis! So far everything has been smooth and we are feeling good. We had a nice, long, leisurely dinner and are ready to get going to go get Simeon! We are so thankful for all your encouragement, prayers, & support and are looking forward to sharing more of Simeon with you all! We love you all!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Simeon Andrew Tekalegn Brill

Family & Friends-we are so thrilled to share with you all that we have been approved by the Ethiopian government and are now legally the parents of our sweet little boy!! It has been a crazy & very full year-we began this whole process on December 4th, 2008 and will get to meet our son in person on December 21st, 2009! We could not be more excited and grateful for all God has done to make this possible. Thanks to you all for your constant prayers, encouragement, and questions as we've made our way. Simeon will be almost 15 months old when we get to him. We have cried and prayed and rejoiced over him and can't wait to have him in our arms. More details to come...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We Celebrate Today

We celebrate today because our little Simeon turns 1! We have never touched him, held him, kissed his ouchies, rocked him to sleep, put our hands over his, tickled his tummy, or run our hands through his hair. At least not in person. But in our minds we have many times. He is far away still but today we celebrate because he has life. Given to him by our Heavenly Daddy. And soon we will celebrate more than we can now imagine when we hold him in our arms and tell him HE is our son & we love him like crazy! Happy Birthday my sweet boy. Love, Mama

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

because she's so cute

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

change of face

So recently I've been motivated to give my blog a facelift. I've procrastinated doing it for a bit because I keep thinking...I don't know what to do, how to do it, what even I want. I enjoy reading others blogs but I realized that it can be dangerous for me because I can get wrapped up in blog land and it gives me blog envy. So, I decided to stop thinking so hard about it & comparing mine to others & just do it. So here it is, along with a new goal of blogging once a week. I know most people who read my blog are's about time seeing as I haven't posted since Juneish. So we'll see if I can do it or not. I promise to keep pictures of my sweet little gal but I'm thinking I might throw in every once in a while some shallow, deep, silly, or thoughtful thoughts. Here goes.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Big Day

Today is a big day for our fam. First, it is our 6th anniversary. I'd just like to say I love my sweet husband more now than ever. And to add to the joy of the day, Madeline says, Happy Father's Day! Daddy-you are the best. Thanks for making me laugh, tickling me, touching my fingers, chasing me around, tossing me in the air, swimming with me, reading with me, teaching me, singing silly songs with me, taking me on walks, loving me & so much more. You are the best!

We love you tons!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pillow Fun

Madeline has so much fun with her daddy. He is always making her laugh & she just loves him so much. Friday night they decided it would be great to pile EVERY pillow in our house up on the floor and play in them. They were right-it was great fun! Madeline would run & jump into the pillows & laugh. Now she still goes up to pillows & tries to start dragging them into the living room.

Car Washing

Last weekend Andrew, Madeline, & I spent the day playing outside. Madeline LOVES being outside, or "side" as she likes to say. Our sweet next door neighbor has a pool which she loves to share so we swim a lot & Madeline has tons of fun. We washed cars last Sunday & Madeline was a great helper. She helped mostly by making sure the sponge & rags stayed wet in the bucket but also used a scrubber to clean the grill! So fun.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Goings Ons

Recently there have been many goings ons in the Brill family. Vacation with the Brills, Becca & Matt's wedding, attempting to buy a house, being on the wait list for our Simeon, enjoying summer sun, and watching our little peanut grow & learn every day. We are enjoying life & super thankful for our blessings. We've been reading a book that is challenging my day to day life-which I really like but tends to make things "harder" for me. It is challenging by notion of busyness, stress, worry, to do lists, and daily recognition (or lack of) God's hand at work in the life He has called me to. I'd love to say I'm growing and changing but it is a slow process. I am thankful that God continues to teach me & trying to follow. The other big challenge Andrew & I have been convicted of lately is complaining. WOW! We do it a lot! And sadly & scarily we don't even realize we are doing it. So we are trying to stop. And so far failing. But still going. Anyway, that is a crazy summary of us for the moment. Enjoy some photos!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Dear Mama,

Happy Mother's Day! I love you so much. Thank you so much for all the things you do to take care of me. That's why last night I called your name in the middle of the night. I just really needed to see you and have you hold me and tell me everything was going to be okay. That makes me feel so much better.

Thanks for not getting mad at me when I make wrong choices like reaching for the hot stove or pulling off my diaper. And you always forgive me so quickly. Thanks.

Thanks for teaching me so much, like where my cheeks are and where to put my dirty clothes and to listen to Daddy. Thanks for singing songs with me, silly songs like "Skinnamarinkydink" (am I spelling that right, Mama?) and songs about Jesus. Thanks for teaching me how to follow Jesus.

There's a good reason why I grin so big when you come get me in the morning. And there's a good reason why I say "Mama. Mama" over and over again when you're not home and rush to the door when I hear you jingle your keys. It's because no one makes me happy like you do. There's no one else I can count on like I can count on you. No one who willingly sacrifices so much simply out of love. No one else who I really want to be like when I grow up.

I love you so much,


PS Simeon agrees with all this. He just doesn't know it yet.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Today I got home & found out we finally got our Citizenship & Immigration approval for our adoption! Yea God! That basically means we are almost on the wait list! It is our last document to collect so we are close to the next phase (more waiting but still closer to Simeon). These pics aren't from today but they do show our happiness.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Playing with Fam

These last 2 weeks while Andrew was gone Madeline & I spent some time at my parents. It is a blessing to have such great family & friends around-especially while Andrew is away! Madeline is growing so much...she is talking a lot, playing more all by herself, trying to jump, eating different foods, and more. With the weather getting warmer, we are outside almost daily. She gets her shoes (su's), goes to the door, and says, bye bye. Many of you have asked what is going on with our adoption...well, it is a slow process. We have almost finished our paperwork and hope to get on the wait list within the next few months. There is still some "officializing" of documents that needs to be done & is in the process. Other than that...we just wait. Thanks for asking...we love talking about Simeon even when it seems like nothing new is going on.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

We are still here...

I make no excuses for my long absence. We are still here and doing well. Madeline has learned to smile when asked-super cute. She is growing & loving life. She explores everything, loves avocado & pasta, and likes to sit on the floor reading books in her lap. She makes us incredibly happy. We are close to finishing our paperwork for our adoption which means we will be on the wait list in a few months. We are enjoying a few spring days & and looking forward to my sister getting married in May.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ice Storm

What a crazy week! We lost power Tuesday and haven't had it back. We've bounced from house to house chasing electricity and ended in Branson on a previously planned family vacation. Andrew & I visited our house and took some pictures-from across the street we could barely see our house through the fallen front tree. No damage was done to our house our cars but there is a lot of clean up coming! Despite the no fun circumstances, several times this week we've marveled over the power of water. And over the beauty and glory of God that can be seen in everything. We praise God for his provision for us.

Welcome Home

When Andrew got back from his trip we were very happy to see him! Madeline just sat in his lap and played. We had a little bit of snow that weeek so Madeline got to "play" outside in it for the first time. She was a cute snow bunny-although didn't care too much about the snow. She always enjoys walking around outside and we had a good time.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

North Carolina

While Andrew was away, Madeline, Becca, & I went to North Carolina to stay with our Mimi. We went to the Children's Museum, ate yummy food, saw a few performances, and had great conversations. We also got to see Christian, Seuli, Asha, & Elizabeth for a bit. The two little girls were great fun to watch!