Sunday, March 27, 2016

Dear Enat ~

Dear Enat ~
My mama heart knows you are thinking about him and wondering about this journey he is on.

He's 10 today!  Can you believe that?!?!?!

He is getting ready to head onto 4th grade with the help and guidance of so many amazing people at his school and at our deaf church.  He knows Jesus and LOVES him with all of his heart.  He is getting more and more confident in his signing and communicating with the hearing world around him.  His love of video games and movies would make you laugh.  His favorite thing to do on the weekend is being able to sleep on the couch!  His favorite color is still blue.  He and his brother Tariku are truly the best of friends day in and day out.  He loves to make people laugh and there is no one in the world that he loves more then his papa.  He's doing amazing with sports and continues to play on a travel futbol club.  He also enjoys basketball and golf. His papa taught him to ride a bike (something we were told he would never do!)

He has learned to be an big brother as we walk this journey of fostering and is always a go with the flow kind of kiddo!

He LOVES unconditionally and with all that he has and he is so incredibly LOVED.  I know you would be so very proud of the young man he is becoming.

Happy Happy Birthday Tewdros Joshua - you are truly the love of our life and we are blessed to call you son!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dear Enat ~

Dear Enat ~
Well its that time of year again.  The time when you are on my mind constantly.  The time of year that I wonder are you thinking about him, are you wondering what and how he is doing, the time I wonder if you miss him as much as I do when he's gone from me for simply a night or 2?

Today our boy turns 11!!  It seems like it was only yesterday that we arrived in Ethiopia to meet a shy, quiet 5 year old and then in the blink of an eye he's 11 and getting ready for 5th grade!

I want you to know he is great - he is thriving at school, loves his brother and his family with all his heart, knows and loves Jesus.  He still thinks yellow is the best color in the world.  His sign language has come a long way as he grows with Tewdros.  He spent this past year with trips to Wisconsin, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, and Mexico.  He continues to play futbol and basketball and his golf game is quite impressive!!  He has become an amazing foster brother as he will tell you that it is our job to stand in the gap and love those when they need it most.

His heart and compassion for others lead him to extraordinary opportunities.  But most of all he is LOVED and LOVES so many.  So thank you - thank you for knowing the worth of his life when you made that decision all those years ago.  And know that we talk about you often.

A few photos to recap his 10th year!

Happy Happy Birthday Tariku James - you are and always will be our greatest love

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A baby @ the Hammons house??

Greetings ~
If you follow Kenneth or I on social media you know by now that there is the sweetest little peanut currently residing with us!!  But you may not know why and you may be wondering about this journey.  So I will do my best to answer the questions we get most often.

Who is this little peanut - Her name is Jayanna Stephanie and she will be 5 months old next week.  We received her into our home the end of October.

How long will she be with you - That's a great question and is really one we wish we had an answer to!  As of today her mom has extended our custody until Dec 20th 2015

If she's a foster why can you share her photos when so many of my other foster friends cannot - We are her host family - she is not a ward of the state instead her mom was in crisis and recognized she needed some assistance.  That is where Safe Families comes in - Kenneth and I first learned about Safe Families over the summer from my friend Chrissy.  We took the class, were finger printed (again), had our backgrounds checked (again), had a social worker create a homestudy (again) and became paper ready the end of Sept.

Aren't you all busy enough - Yes the Hammons house is often a rockin rollin movin shakin kind of place but the truth is not a day goes by that we don't think of the boys 1st families, their moms and their dads - the people who loved and continue to love them more then anything in this world.  And now on this side of the adoption journey we truly understand the importance of 1st families - so if we can stand in the gap for a small window of time and that allows a family to stay together then by all means sign us up!!

What do the boys think - As you can imagine Tariku is in 7th heaven with a little little person in the house - he has loved picking out her clothes each day and feeds and plays with her.  Tewdros well the baby really doesn't mean alot in his world - he cannot hear her and she is not old enough to get into his stuff so if you were to ask him he would tell you she is fine.

Will you host more children - Yes, for our family this was not a one time thing.  We are open to kiddos that are under the age of 1 or over the age of 5.

Could you adopt her - No - she has a most precious mama who we have come to love dearly and she will soon be reunited with her

Does she visit her mama  - Yes we take her to see her mom once a week and we text photos daily to her

Won't you be attached and not want to let her go - We absolutely adore having her but know we want more then anything for her to be reunited with her mom and live the life God intended for her. A recent conversation with Tariku went like this -
Me: will you be sad when Jayanna goes home?
Tariku: yes
Me: but you understand 
Tariku: yes - we loved her and her mama when they needed it most 

So there you have it!!  Our life with baby J in a nutshell!!  We look forward to the day we can share her reunion with her mama with you all but until then keep praying for them both as they get one step closer to forever.

We also want to take a moment and from the top of the rooftops scream how grateful we are to all the friends and family that have stepped in and helped us with this journey.  When Kenneth and I said yes to the social worker we had not a single thing in our house for a baby and within 72 hours we had all we needed to bring this baby into our world.  From baby items, to diapers and formula to friends willing to keep her for bits of time - NONE of this would of been possible with you!!  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for being our village.

Here are some photos from the last few weeks!!  She has been a busy girl with trips to Memphis, Chicago and Milwaukee!!  And countless hours on the soccer fields!