Monday, December 27, 2010

A different kind of Christmas~

Greetings -
Let's be honest - here at the Hammons house this year has been a different kind of year all around - from work to floods to a family made via Ethiopia! So why oh why did I expect the holidays to be the same as in the past! As you know Kenneth and I were in Ethiopia for Thanksgiving so Tariku had the chance to stay with Nana and Papa for a week and than it was off to Nana Pat's and Auntie Kristin's! But before he left we were able to fit in a quick trip to ICE at Gaylord Opryland!


Before I could get Tariku off the sugar high that came from Wisconsin we were off again! This time with 2 days notice we were given the most amazing gift by my parents! A 3 day trip to Walt Disney World! To say it was MAGICAL would be an understatement! Tariku loved spending time on the FAST rides and also with his papa and Uncle Josh!





Stay tuned as I share more of our Christmas in Orlando and what Santa brought to Tennessee!

Wishing you a Magical Day~
Courtney

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Have you heard - GARTH BROOKS is coming!

Greetings -
So our giveaways seem to be going so well we decided to add one more! We posted this over the weekend on facebook but wanted to make sure that our blog buddies knew about it! So for a $25 donation you can be entered 3 times for 3 Garth Brooks tickets! Yep you read that correctly GARTH BROOKS is coming to Nashville and we have the tickets!!! We have 3 tickets for Sunday evening December 19th! So let's get this party started!!!

Wishing you a MAGICAL Day~
Courtney

Monday, November 15, 2010

And the WINNER is.............

Congratulations to Stephanie F. from Alabama! She won the Gaylord Opryland night away giveaway!!!

Wishing you a Magical Day~
Courtney

Friday, November 12, 2010

The rest of the story!

Greetings -
First I want to thank all of you that have joined us on this journey to our other little guy in Ethiopia! Many people have asked for me to share more of his story as there is a piece I left out last week. I was not sure whether to put this information out there but alas it is part of his story and part of how he is coming to our family. So here goes!

Both of the boys were at the transition house at the same time and actually T**** was adopted last summer by an amazing family. Unfortunately when they went to pick him up they realized that they would not be able to care for him they way he should be cared for. They to did the hardest thing I think a parent could do and that is to give up their child. (And we will forever be grateful to them) I do not know them and I do not know their story but I we will be forever blessed by their unselfish love of a child. It has taken a little over a year to get the adoption revoked and in that year Tariku and T**** have grown as brothers. So there it is the missing piece of how they came to be who they are.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we prepare to head back to Ethiopia on Sunday the 21st of November - we are headed for our court appointment to make him a part of the Hammons house!!

Wishing you a Magical Day~
Courtney

Friday, November 5, 2010

Want to check out the NEW and IMPROVED Gaylord Opryland??

Greetings -
As you may recall back in May the Nashville area suffered massive flooding. The flood managed to capture Gaylord Opryland in it's path - now 6 months later this amazing hotel is getting ready to re-open. Sooooo Kenneth and I thought what an awesome giveaway this could make! So starting today and running until Nov 15th (the day the hotel re-opens) we are going to accept donations to win a 1 night stay at the new and fabulous Gaylord Opryland. Similiar to the i-pad giveaway tickets are $10.00 for one ticket and $25.00 for 3! Wouldn't you love a night away or a chance to bring the kids! Some restrictions apply and it is based on availability of the hotel. The winner will receive one complimentary (paid for by us!) night in a standard room. All donations received will go to help bring our sweet boy home from Ethiopia! So hit the donate button and try your luck! We will draw the winner on Nov 15!! Good Luck

Wishing you a magical day!

Courtney

Monday, November 1, 2010

An Unexpected Journey

When, Why, How? These are the questions we seem to get daily when we tell someone we are adopting again!! I thought I would take a minute and journal just how this blessing came to be and also why we are FUNDraising so fast and furious!!

T**** is 5 years old and lost his hearing at age 3 from illness - Shortly after losing his hearing he was placed in the orphanage in Addis - from there he was placed in the transition house for America World and it is there he met Tariku - by all reports those two boys were joined at the hip from day one!! When T**** was enrolled at the school for the deaf in Addis he was scared (and righfully so) so Tariku offered to the teachers to go with him so he would not be alone. When we would receive our monthly updates Tariku would talk about T**** and about the sign language he was learning and how he wanted to keep signing when he came to America. Kenneth and I really did not think much about it other than to say oh that is so sweet he has a friend!

When we arrived at the transition house and first met Tariku the first thing he wanted us to do was to meet T****

Fast forward 3 months (that is how long we have now been home!!!) After much praying, counsel and thought Kenneth and I decided T**** was to be our son. Now we realize this will not be without it's own set of challenges but we also know that these two little boys that met thousands of miles away are already brothers in their heart!

So why the plea for FUNDraising - well since we have been home such a short time with Tariku the adoption agency is able to use all of our current information (YEAH no paperchasing!!!!!!!) and because of the unique situation around him - we are not going to the end of the line for a court date instead we are going before the judge who has been over this case for the last year. All of this to say we could be headed back to Ethiopia anytime now!!

Since we had not planned on this second child so soon we had not put funds away for a second adoption ( we were thinking number 2 would be in a year or 2) but alas God has another plan for our family and we are following his!

So that's it! That's the when, why and how of this second adoption! Our I-pad giveaway raised just over $2,000 and we are so very grateful to all that participated! If you did not get in on the give away but still wish to donate we would be most grateful!

Our goal is to have T**** home by the end of the year!!!! Imagine a family of 2 to a family of 4 in a year! We are beyond blessed and so grateful to all that are following our unexpected journey

Wishing you a magical day ~
Courtney

We Have a WINNER!!!

Greetings -
Thanks so much to everyone you donated! Here is the WINNER!!!!!!!!!!!
video

Monday, October 25, 2010

FUNDraising Extension!

Greetings -
Do to some requests we are extending the i-pad giveaway to Halloween! Tariku will draw the lucky winner after trick or treating! Thanks so much to everyone that has given! We would not be where we are without each of you!

Wishing you a magical day~
Courtney

Thursday, October 21, 2010

We are FUNDraising

Greetings -
As you know from the last post we are headed back to Ethiopia! No one and I mean no one (Kenneth and I included) could of ever dreamed this would be the road we were to take! Needless to say we are in need of some serious FUNDraising now! You see we thought that when we accepted the referral we would go to the bottom of the list for those waiting for court dates! But alas why would our second adoption be anything different from our first with all kinds of entertaining news! So what is the news - well it seems that due to T****'s circumstances they are taking our case right to the judge who has been involved in the case for over a year! So when the judge has an opening in court we are OFF! So we need to raise some moolah fast fast fast!!! Are first attempt is going to be raffling off an I-PAD! Tickets are $10 or 3 for $25.00 you can use the donate button on our blog! Please share this with family and friends and help us bring home Tariku's best friend! Oh yes this giveaway will take place Tuesday the 26th in the evening!

Wishing you a magical day!
Courtney

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Don't Know

Greetings -
I don't know what it is like to go to bed hungry
I don't know what it is like to sleep on the floor
I don't know what it is like to not have water to drink
I don't know what it is like to not have heat in the winter or a/c in the summer
I don't know what it is like to leave my home and all I know to travel half way around the world to live with people I don't know
I don't know another language other than English
I don't know if this decision is the "right"decision
I don't know where the money will come from
I don't know where this decision will lead our family

I DO know he will not go to bed hungry again
I DO know he will have a safe warm bed to call his own
I DO know he will have safe water
I DO know he will feel the heat this winter and a/c next summer
I DO know we will help him travel 1/2 around the world to live with us
I DO know we will learn his language
I DO know this decision has been tugging on my heart and Kenneth's for weeks
I DO know the money will come
I DO know this decision will make us a family of 4 (or a family of 8 w/the dogs)

After months of prayer, and soul searching we have decided as a family that Tariku's best friend is to become his brother! We have signed the papers and are awaiting a court date!

Friday, October 8, 2010

2 months home!

Greetings -
Tomorrow we will be home with Tariku 2 months! Boy oh boy how the times flies! I really cannot remember life before him! I wanted to give you a quick recap of what he has been up to!!! Soccer (futbol to him!), school, African Reunion hosted at his house, more soccer, feeding the dogs, playing his new WII, working on his language, meeting family from across the country, attending weddings, painting pottery, the zoo, the wilson county fair, helping daddy and pap blue build a deck and a closet, hanging up halloween lights, learning to ride a bike, learning to ride a scooter, visiting Time Square (day 2 in AMERICA!), and most importantly learning how to be a part of a family!!!! I am truly amazed how far this sweet young boy has come in 2 short months! YES we have our moments (he and I particularly) but at the end of the day I remind myself of how his world has changed and I wonder if I would of adapted 1/2 as well as he is doing!!!

So there you have it! A very busy boy in a very busy house!!!! I will post photos soon but until than have a fabulous fall weekend!!

Wishing you a Magical Day!
Courtney

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Many Faces of Tariku James!

Greetings -
So I just realized that I have not really posted much since we have been home! I am still downloading photos and waiting on some photos from the photographer who went with us! But I do have a few from one of the days we were playing at the transition house and I thought I would share!! Enjoy!!





Wishing you a Magical Day~
Courtney

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

We are Home!

Praise God!! We are home with Tariku! I cannot wait to share some stories - let us get a bit settled and than the stories I can tell!!!! Thanks to everyone who prayed us along this journey, and many thanks to all that came to the airport it was truly an awe aspiring trip!

Wishing you a Magical Day ~
Courtney

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Leaving on a Jetplane... Back Aug 9th!!!

Greetings -
Well the time has come!!! In a little over 24 hours Kenneth and I will be on our way to Tariku! It has been a whirlwind of emotion here at the Hammons House! Still so much to do and such little time! But we are beyond excited about this journey and we are taking with us an amazing professional photographer to capture the trip for us!! So for those curious here is our itinerary and for any scary people out there PLEASE NOTE our home will not be vacant as we have numerous friends staying to keep watch of our precious puppies!
Kenneth and Courtney’s Journey to Tariku!
July 29th – Aug 9th 2010


Day 1 – Thursday – June 29
Depart Nashville Airport @ 3:00pm on Delta
Arrive New York (JFK) @ 6:28pm
Depart New York (JFK) @ 11:00pm on Emirates

Day 2 – Friday – June 30
Arrive Dubai @ 7:45pm (remember that is 8 hrs ahead of Nashville)

Day 3 – Saturday – June 31
Depart Dubai @ 8:25am on Emirates
Arrive Ethiopia @ 11:30am
Check into the Yebsabi guest house – www.yebsabi.com

Day 4 – SUNDAY – Aug 1
We believe this is the day we will meet Tariku’s birth family

Day5 – MONDAY – Aug 2
9:30 am Meet in the lobby for paperwork party at the Hilton hotel

Lunch @ Hilton hotel

1:30 – 4:30 pm Visit to Transition Home to meet Tariku!
(Consultation with the Transition Home doctor)

Afternoon Activities:
Ladies – Boston Spa
Men – Guest House

7:15 pm Meet in the lobby for a Traditional
Ethiopian dinner


Day 6 – TUESDAY – Aug 3
9:30 – 11:30 am Meet in the lobby to go shopping

12:30 pm Lunch at Guest House

2:00 – 4:30 pm Visit Transition Home and take Tariku with us!!

Dinner on our own

Day 7 –WEDNESDAY – Aug 4
8:30 am Depart from the Guest House for the Embassy

Lunch- Lucy’s / Blue Tops

Afternoon

Shopping at Piazza (soccer jerseys and jewelry shops)

Dinner on own

Day 8 – THURSDAY – Aug 5
10:00 am Meet in the lobby to depart for Kids Care

12:30 pm Lunch at Metro Pizza/Makush

Afternoon Taking Tariku to the Black Lion Zoo ( our first family outing!!!)

Dinner on our own

Day 9 – FRIDAY – Aug 6
10:30 – 11:00 am Meet in the lobby to pick up visa for your Tariku

Coffee factory tour

12:30 pm Lunch on our own

3:30 pm Meet in the lobby for prayer and group pictures

7:35pm Depart Ethiopia on Emirates Airlines

Day 10 – Saturday – Aug 7
12:45am Arrive in Dubai on Emirates Airlines

2:00am Depart Dubai for NEW YORK CITY!!

7:45am Arrive in New York (JFK)

Day 11 – Sunday – Aug 8
New York City with the family

Day 12 – Monday – Aug 9
Morning with the family in New York City

3:40pm Depart New York (La Guardia) for Nashville on AA

5:15pm Arrive home to NASHVILLE!!

There you have it! We would love to see you at the airport in Nashville!!

Wishing you a magical day~
Courtney

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What does Tariku eat?

Greetings -
This is a question I get alot! How will we make the food transition! Thankfully a loving family just back from Ethiopia took a picture of the menu that Tariku follows!! Here it is - looks like we will be eating alot of scrambled eggs in our future!



Wishing you a Magical Day~
Courtney

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ethiopia Bound................Almost!!

Greetings -
Wow what a wonderful week of surprises! On wednesday (day 24 of waiting for DNA results) we received a call from Anna at our adoption agency! The test results were in and YES the birthmother is Tariku's mother!!!!!!! So all we needed was for the embassy to look at the results and tell us we could come! Well as we have truly learned nothing with adoption is ever that easy!!!!!!!!!!!!!! On friday after having the results for 2 DAYS the embassy told our agency that since the results did not arrive via courier from the lab they would not accept them. So in awesome AWAA fashion they got the courier to the lab and back to the embassy!! Only to be told they would look at the results next week (this week now!!)So we voided the plane tickets we had (to leave on saturday - yes a mere 48 hours after the call!) and have put new tickets on hold to leave July 28th!!!! So now we wait a little more to get the approval to leave! By leaving on the 28th we will have the INCREDIBLE opportunity to meet Tariku's birth family!! Pray that we receive the good news asap!!

On another note some dear adoption friends of ours have just launched their fundraising t-shirts head on over to http://marquezfamilyjourney.blogspot.com and check them out! They are even giving one awesome shirt away this week!!!

Wishing you a Magical Day ~
Courtney

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

June Update from the adoption agency!

Greetings -
We here at the Hammons House hope you had a magical 4th of July weekend! We were busy removing mold from the garage and putting up a swimming pool! I was also working on Tariku's life book. I have about 15 pages done and feel like I have 100 to go and he is not even here yet! We are so blessed with all the families that are traveling that take pictures and share little things about him! This morning we received our update from the agency! So here we go................

Tariku is now 47inces tall (which means almost all the clothes I have will not fit!!)
Tariku weighs 47lbs (he was 42lbs when we accepted the referral!)

When asked what he likes to eat he said CAKE!!! He will fit in with his momma just great!!

He can speak a few English phrases such as “May I go to the toilet, my name is Tariku, please, sorry, etc”.

He can count some numbers in English. He knows A through Z and numbers 1-20 in sign language.

He is very active. He sometimes gets angry when he doesn’t get his way. He loves cats and dogs.

So there you have it! Here are the newest pictures from the update!





Wishing you a Magical Day ~
Courtney

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 13 of Waiting!

Greetings -
So we are glad to know that the testing took place on June 21st in Ethiopia! Birth mom and Tariku were both taken to the lab for the tests! So now we wait!!! We pray each day that it will not take 40 days to get the results, we pray that god moves in ways that only he can but until than we wait. Today while I was in Tariku's room I saw the outfit he was going to wear for his first fourth of july on the lake and it just broke my heart. But we did receive new pictures, new handprint and footprints, and even a video this week from the wonderful Bankers who went last week to pick up their little one! We also received an amazing photo of Tariku's nanny from the Burhanna's and they tell me she just loves Tariku and has lots of pictures of him. My mom told me yesterday that everyone in her office is praying and so are the Notre Dame nuns!!!! So here's hoping to Magical news this coming week!!! I wish you all a fabulous fourth! Take a extra moment and love on the one's that love you! Here for your viewing pleasure are some new photos of our sweet sweet boy!


Wishing you a Magical Day~
Courtney

Monday, June 21, 2010

An Evening of Prayer

Greetings -
Often times during this journey you feel alone and frustrated. If you have not gone through an international adoption it is hard to understand the emotional roller coaster that you spend pretty much every day on! Well apparently my roller coaster ride last week was the straw that broke the camels back for the AMAZING yahoo group I am a part of with this adoption! So one of the fabulous mom's planned an evening of prayer for June 20th (Father's Day) from 8pm - 10pm central time. Now I was not really sure what was going to happen but I knew for those two hours I could pray for all the families living this roller coaster because someone would be praying for us. I had NO idea the number of families our story touched and that they would pray for us but I want to share with you some of the amazing words they lifted up last night for sweet sweet Tariku!

Lord, I lift up the Hammons family to you. I pray that the DNA test result that was requested by the new employee at the Embassy would be performed so quickly that the people who witness the turn around could only say that you and you alone were involved in the process. Father, please give Courtney and her husband patience and a peace that passes all understanding. Father, give them energy and endurance. Help them to remain focused on you and you alone during this time.
In your name, I pray.
Amen.

I pray for the families who have passed court and are waiting on Embassy clearance. Father, I pray that the clearance would come quickly so that these precious children can be united with their forever families. I pray that as the families wait to be united that they would use this time to prepare. Prepare their hearts, their homes, and whatever else they may need to do. Father, I pray that clearance would come this week for these families. I pray that the next Embassy appointment would be full and that these children will be united with their families. I pray that these families cling to you as the minutes turn into hours and the hours into days as they wait to get the phone call that clearance was given, that the investigation has been completed.

Father, I pray for the Hammons, the Elders, the Hemmingsens, the Booys, the Johnsons, the Pattesons, the Slonigers, the Sprengers, and the Tracys. I pray that they would each receive calls this week that they are cleared to travel for the next Embassy date.

Father, I pray that the correct I171-H form gets to Ethiopia tomorrow for the Booys. I know that you are involved in every detail and I pray that you would work this detail out and when you do Father, I pray that you would receive all honor and glory.

Father, thank you for giving us prayer to communicate with you. We love you and give you all praise and honor.
Amen.

Dear God, We especially lift up the Hammons family, their son, and his birth mother. We pray that you would be with T and his birth mom as they do the DNA test. We ask you to get the results back in record time. We ask for patience for Courtney and her husband as they wait for this process to be complete. Just fill them with strength, courage, and anticipation as they await the news that they can go get their little boy.

Amazing what this world of international adoption is. Families around the globe came together over the internet and in their homes to pray for this roller coaster of an experience!

To each family on this journey with us - know that you are in OUR prayers everyday. Thank you for lifting us up yesterday!

Wishing you a Magical Day ~
Courtney

Friday, June 18, 2010

Update Before The Weekend - THANK GOD!!

Greetings -
Just spent the last hour on the phone with the Dept of State and our INCREDIBLE adoption agency. Here is where we are at - Tariku's birth mother has been located and is with the investigators on her way to Adidas (the capital) for the DNA testing! The plan is to bring Tariku and his mom to the lab on Monday (Sun night for us!!) The Dept of State is trying to get the results turned around quicker and has sent that info to the embassy. So now we wait!! Monday cannot come soon enough! Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers. Now we just pray that we can get the results quicker than 40+ days!!

Wishing you a Magical Day ~
Courtney

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Devastating News to us

Greetings -
I was so hoping that as we entered week 12 since passing court (today to be exact!!) that I would be telling you we would be heading out to Africa but alas that is not the case at all. I received a call from our agency this morning explaining that the I-604 investigation was over (PRAISE GOD!)There is someone new at the embassy and although there was nothing out of the ordinary or fishy they have decided a DNA test is in order. So in order for there to be a DNA test a few things need to happen. First we need to locate the birth mother again, Next she needs to agree to the DNA test and come to the capital of Addidas for it. If for some reason she would not agree than we need to get a court order for her to comply. Finally the DNA needs to be sent off to a embassy approved lab (where currently the turn around is 40 days for results) and once all of that is complete than we may go and get our sweet boy. Kenneth and I are beside ourselves at this point and cannot really put into words how we feel. We do know that this is in the Lords hands and we are asking for prayer and guidance. I am awaiting a call from the agency as I type this to answer some questions like can we go visit him, and I will be sure to share with you all what we learn. Thank you so much for keeping us in your prayers!

Wishing you a magical day~
Courtney

Thursday, June 10, 2010

11 Weeks Waiting - His time

Greetings -
I have been away from the blog world for awhile! You see today we are closing in on the end of the 11th week since we passed court. Since we passed court I have celebrated my first mother's day, seen a flood destroy and rebuild a community. I have relocated many many many of my events due to the flood, I have seen my parents celebrate 40 years of marriage, I have met my newest niece Kayla for the first time. I have seen in pictures my sweet sweet Tariku loose his first two teeth and I have heard from our adoption agency that he has recovered from chicken pox and pink eye. Wow alot sure has happened in 11 weeks and yet my heart aches for my sweet boy. Summer is here now and I yearn to take him to the pool and the park, to play with family and learn about life on the lake. But I am comforted by the fact that GOD has the plan and the timing. You see every time I thought he should be here GOD showed me that it was not his time. And so we wait for his time..........

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

April Update

Greetings -
Hard to believe that April has come and gone but alas it has! The computer lines in Africa are not always the best and so it was not until yesterday that we got our April update! So without further ado here is what they are saying about our sweet boy and 2 new pictures!
Apparently Tariku takes after his momma! The nannies say he was most moody this past month! I say it is because he is done waiting for us to come and just wants to come home!! He has also learned sign language to talk to a friend at the transitional home and wants to make sure we knew that he wants to continue his sign language when he comes home! He still weighs 40lbs and is still 42 inches tall! He did loose his first front tooth this month and his hair is growing quickly! Enjoy the pictures!!!




Wishing you a Magical Day~
Courtney

Friday, May 7, 2010

Music City Under Water

Greetings -
I wanted to take moment and let you all know that Kenneth and I are safe and dry. We have been very fortunate in the entire flooding situation here in Nashville. We are asking for your continued prayers as most of you know Kenneth works for Opryland and there was alot of damage to the hotel. Kenneth is still working and we are most thankful for that! We will be sure to keep you posted as things change - we also ask for some continued prayers that our I-171H comes soon! We are still waiting to hear on travel dates and the next possible time to travel will be May 22nd!

Wishing you a Magical Day~
Courtney

Friday, April 30, 2010

What a week waiting!

Greetings -
So last week I went to the doctor to have a csyt looked at! The doctor took one look and said it had to come out!!!! So monday morning Kenneth and I headed to the Vanderbilt Bone and Joint Clinic in Franklin to have the surgery! Little did I realize when I woke up I would have a cast to my elbow!!!!!!! Sorry for the lack of posts this week but me and the cast are still learning to get along. On thursday I made a trip to homeland security in Memphis to look into what is taking FOREVER with our I 171H form. I am happy to report that this will all be cleared up on Monday or Tuesday and than we will just wait for the call to travel. We are super excited for the 5 families that will travel over Mother's Day!!! And in other news we did receive Tariku's birth certificate in email this week! So very very cool to see us listed as his parents! Soon my sweet boy soon you will be with us!

Wishing you a magical day~
Courtney

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New Blog Button

Greetings -
So earlier this week the amazing Becky Burk posted that the first 4 families to reply to her would get a custom blog button made! Well we were family #4 and are sooo excited to share with you what she created! Take a look over to the right and GRAB OUR BUTTON!! Thanks Becky we love it! Be sure to check out her site and grab a button of your own and support their next adoption to the Congo!

Wishing you a magical day~
Courtney

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Week - New News

Greetings -
So as you know I was hoping and hoping and praying that I would be able to tell you today that we would be leaving for Africa on Saturday to get our sweet boy but alas GOD has other plans. After a few tears were shed I headed over to the Mihnovich's to see the amazing sibling set they brought home a little more than a month ago!It was AMAZING to see how far they had come. They were speaking whole sentences in English, they love love love riding their bikes outside and ate the infamous kid favorite "pizza" for lunch! I am so blessed to call them friends and cannot wait for Tariku to play with these amazing children. We will let you know as soon as we hear anything on our travel!

Wishing you a Magical Day~
Courtney

Friday, April 16, 2010

Prayers Please

Greetings -
We found out last night that there is a chance we could travel on the 24th to get our sweet little boy! We ask that you pray for god to move the last mountains that need to be moved so that we may be with our little guy next week!

Wishing you a Magical Day~
Courtney

Sunday, April 11, 2010

3 Weeks!

Greetings -
It is a gorgeous gorgeous sunny day in middle tn! Kenneth is at work and I am working on cleaning my closet! As I was passing through the kitchen I stopped and was looking at the family calendar! Hard to believe that tuesday will be 3 weeks since we passed court! 3 weeks since Tariku James became ours officially and yet we wait! We are still waiting on our travel dates and we are still waiting on our last piece of paper to come from homeland security! If you have a spare moment today I ask that you pray for that last piece of paper to arrive and that we receive some travel dates soon! Well I best be getting back to the closet! Happy Sunday!!

Wishing you a Magical Day~
Courtney

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April Photos

Greetings -
There is a wonderful family in Ethiopia picking up their two children this week and they stopped off to see Tariku! Imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning to new photos of him in my inbox! Of course I just had to share them with you all!








Wishing you a Magical Day~
Courtney

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter

Greetings -
From all of us at the Hammons House we wish you a wonderful Easter!




Wishing you a Magical Day~
Kenneth, Courtney
Oliver, Annie, Touchet and Pepsi

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March Update


Greetings -
One week - One Week ago is when the Ethiopian courts gave their blessing and gave Tariku to us! Now today we get an update from the agency with photos and answers to some questions we sent over! So here are his answers to our questions -

What is his favorite color?- yellow

What does he think is going to happen when we come for him?- he said “ I am happy and I will give you kisses”

Does he like the pictures we sent?- yes

What is his favorite food?-rice

Is he scared or worried to leave Africa? –he said no I’m not scared.

Wishing you a Magical Day~
Courtney

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tonight is Round 2

Greetings -
In a few short hours the Ethiopian courts will open to hear our case for T***** and also another family! We are very excited to wake tomorrow to hear from the agency the good news! In other news a TN family was cleared to travel and it looks like they will be leaving this coming Sat to pick up their little one! Things are starting to move again and it is all in such a good way! Stay tuned for great news!

Wishing you a magical day~
Courtney

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Voices of Haiti

Greetings -
I am super excited any day now I going to receive a print I ordered from Voices of Haiti a daily photo essay by the amazing photographer Jeremy Cowart. I am so excited because the print I ordered is from Day 3 and it represents what I do for a living in such a powerful powerful way. So if you get a chance check out the site! I hope that one picture will move you the way day 3 did for me.

Wishing you a Magical Day~
Courtney

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A New Date Has Been Set

Greetings -
We have just received a call from Anna at the adoption agency! The judge has located our file (praise God!!!) and we have a new court date! We will wait for the phone to ring on March 23rd with the news T***** is ours!!! Thank you for the continued support and love it truly means the world to us!

Wishing you a Magical Day~
Courtney

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Update Court #1

Greetings -
It has been a glorious day! Although we did not pass this morning we were so blessed and honored by the outpouring of love we received all day. As we know it is to be in God's time. I was so excited today that my dear husband had take off of work so we could be together for the call. We spent the morning with Papa Bill working on T***** closet (almost have it built!!) and eating breakfast. When I saw the 703 area code pop up I yelled for Kenneth to come and hear the news. And what we heard was it just was not God's time yet. We have learned there is a small chance that the courts will hear our case tomorrow and so tonight Kenneth and I pray for a miracle, we pray for our son to rest assured that we are coming soon, we pray for favor from the courts, we pray for the 6 other families that did not pass court today, but most of all we pray for each of you - to thank you for standing with us, for loving us, and reassuring us on what could of been a really tough day. Instead we spent it together as a family (husband and wife) We had the opportunity to meet an new life just brought into this world and simply love the journey we are on.

Court Date #1

Greetings -
Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers. Apparently the Ministry of Women's Affairs was closed today so our letter of recommendation was not presented so we did not pass. Our representative from the agency was asked to appear again tomorrow on our behalf (as the judge also misplaced part of our file) so we will wait until later this week to hear from the agency of a new court date.

Wishing you a Magical Day~
Courtney

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tonight is the night!

Greetings -
So the day (night) has finally arrived! In just a few short (really really long for us) hours the Ethiopian Courts will open and hear our case. Kenneth and I are soo excited for the call tomorrow morning! He took the day off of work to be home to get the call with me. We ask for your prayers today and this evening as you go to bed that God is with the courts as they look at our case. We soooo want to wake up tomorrow morning and hear the words "YOU PASSED" T***** is your son!!! Thank you to all of you that are praying and that have been with us each step of the way! We cannot wait to share his photos with you soon!

Wishing you a magical day~
Courtney

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Waiting

What a looooonggg week! I know it has the same hours as last week but really I want it to be Monday night! I want to go to bed so I can wake up and know that T***** is ours forever! I know that 50% of families do not pass court on the first try but I believe in the Lord and his timing! I also believe this is our time!! It has been so many many years of waiting and wanting a child. To have it sooooo close is really the hardest. Tonight I pray for favor from the Ethiopian government. I pray for the families who have not passed court and who will have to wait another day for the words you passed! We received 4 new pictures of our sweet boy today thanks to the Mihnovich's who were able to visit him last week. He looks so happy and loved Elle - I hope he remembers her when he get's here.!

Wishing you a Magical Day~
Courtney

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A New Experience

Greetings -
We are brimming with excitement here is the Hammons House today! The Mihnovich's are coming home today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They have been in Ethiopia for the last 10 days picking up their 4 newest additions. Kenneth, Papa Bill and I are going to our first airport welcome home party!!!! Cannot wait to see those faces. Check back tomorrow as I am sure we will have some great photos to share of the newest tennessee residents!

Wishing you a Magical Day~
Courtney

Monday, March 1, 2010

All in God's time

Greetings -
So as you know we have been waiting for a court date for close to 3 months! The last time I talked to the agency they said be prepared for a few more weeks! Okay life happens and last week was BUSY!! For some reason I decided to move my emails to a exchange server, prepare for a wedding, and have my first speaking engagement in months! Needless to say I did not have the time to be obsessed with a court date! Now the speaking engagement was a surprise and I only had 23 hours to prepare this also happened on the same day as I lost access to emails!! So there was no way I was thinking about a court date! Well the speech was written and given, the bridal show booth was ready and the wedding was fabulous - and oh no I have not checked my business line in 24 hours for voicemails! So as GOD would have it Saturday evening I got a message from the agency saying they were trying to send us an email! Well this morning I called the agency and GUESS WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have a court date and it is next week!!! When we wake up on Tuesday March 9th we pray that T***** will officially be a Hammons! Would I have been able to accomplish all the fabulous work that I did the end of last week had I known about a court date (probably not) So today I thank you lord for reminding me that you have our plan!! Please pray with us this week for favor with the Ethiopian courts and that we can share our sweet boy with the world soon!

Wishing you a magical day~
Courtney

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Congratulations ~

Today we are so excited to share that a family we have been traveling this path with PASSED court! The Ballards now have 2 additional amazing children! We wish them much joy as they savor today and we pray for speedy travel. View their story and see the love of a forever family!

2plu2plus2

Monday, February 22, 2010

It's like Christmas and some disappointing news

Greetings -
What a fabulous Monday! Opened my email to see new pictures of my sweet baby boy!! Many thanks to Karen for getting us such wonderful pictures. It is a fabulous present to receive on this bleak and cold day in Nashville! Now as for the disappointing news we received word from our agency on Friday that the embassy is changing procedures and it may make the wait between court approval and travel longer. Our agency is meeting with the embassy today to get a better understanding of what this means so until than we pray. I cannot wait to be able to share T***** sweet face with all of you. We pray for great movement this week with court dates and referrals.

Courtney

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Monday


Greetings -
I hope you had a fabulous Valentine's Day! Kenneth and I were able to spend some great time together on Saturday just being a couple! It is snowing again today in Nashville and the dogs are actually getting used to it and staying in it longer and longer! Here is a great picture from the first snow this year that the fabulous Joe Hendricks of Joe Hendricks Photography took for us!!
Stay warm and have a fabulous Monday!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Waiting -

Greetings -
So today I sit at the computer and wait! I keep hitting refresh and praying that a email will pop up with our court date! We sent a package to a wonderful family in Kentucky who is traveling tomorrow to pick up their little girl. While they are in Ethiopia they are going to stop and visit T***** (for the second time!!) I cannot wait for them to get home so I can hear first hand how he is! Well time to go back and check the email!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Emotions - Run Wild

Greetings -
So who knew that emotions would run so very crazy last week. We tracked our final paperwork to Ethiopia and saw it arrive via fedex on Thurs. We celebrated as now we are soooo close to a court date for our sweet T***** We also saw another week pass with friends receiving court dates and none for us. We celebrated with the Mihnovich's at their adoption shower as they prepare to bring 4 home later this month. And last but not least we relished in the new photos we received as well as his footprint. It was an amazing week to say the least!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Greetings and Salutations!

Greetings -
So I have not been very good about keeping up with the last blog but as we get closer and closer to the arrival of our little guy I felt the need to start anew and really give this blog thing a try! Many thanks to Elle Mihnovich for creating this fabulous new blog for my family!!! Stay tuned lots is happening here in Middle TN.