Wednesday, March 26, 2008


On Monday we took the kids to the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory. We've been going to see the butterflies ever since Victoria was a baby and the kids love it everytime . . . well, with the exception of Austin. If you look back about a year ago to this post, you'll see that when we went to Wings of Paradise in Cambridge, ON, Austin was not a big fan of the butterflies. In fact, he was paranoid of them. He did a lot better this year, being a little hesitant at first but by the end he loved it . . . until he picked up a butterfly on the ground that he thought was dead. He was going to place it on a rock so no one would step on it. When it started trying to fly away, he was freaked right out! Poor guy. But besides that, it was a good outing and we even did a drive by the Niagara Falls so the kids could get a peek at them too (it was too cold to get out of the van).

Here are a few pictures from our outing:

I love the reflection on this first one.

Before you go into the actual part where the butterflies are, there's a short educational movie to watch. This is the point where Austin is saying, "Mom! There aren't going to be any of those creepy caterpillar thingy's in with the butterflies are there?!?!?"

Victoria was trying so hard to get a butterfly to land on her arm. And Samara was . . . . well . . . you know . . . sucking those fingers! (what else is new!)

Family picture . . . hey wait, someone's missing! (Notice the fingers are out of the mouth)

Aaaah, that's better . . . family picture. (Notice the fingers are back in the mouth)

This is my favourite butterfly picture that Mike took. The flower and butterfly are so clear and focused with the rest of the background being blurry. I actually set it as the background picture on my desktop.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Pictures

Another attempt at getting a picture of the kids together:

The Easter egg hunt:

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Adoption Update

This past November 2007, we shared with you the news that the Carmody family is expanding again. We had begun the process of adopting through Ethiopia. A lot of you have been asking about how things are going and where we're at in the process so this is a bit of an update. Since November, we have been in the paper chasing stage. Medicals, police checks, fingerprints, reference letters, etc. all needed to be redone. Our adoption practitioner came over a few times to gather information to write an update on our previous homestudy. We are happy to say that the documents have been gathered and the report has been written. On Tuesday morning we drove to Cambridge to drop our entire dossier off to our adoption agency (Imagine Adoption). We were able to meet with our case worker to discuss the process and have a lot of our questions answered. Some parts of the process are very different than the process to adopt from China so it's another learning experience. We can officially say we are onto the next step though. On Wednesday, after our case worker reviewed our file, it was sent to the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services for approval. This part of the process can take as long as 8 - 10 weeks but we've got our fingers crossed that it will go faster since ours is just an updated homestudy because we've adopted before.

In case you're interested, here are the steps we need to take and the expected time frame:

  • Approval from Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services - 8 - 10 weeks
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs (legalized) and Ethiopian Embassy (authenticated) - 2 - 4 weeks
  • Dossier to Ethiopia - approx. 1 week
  • Referral time (for an infant boy under 12 months old) - 3 - 5 months
  • Time between Referral and Travel (court date, permanent resident visa, etc.) - up to 6 months

We would like to ask you to continue to pray for us. There's not a whole lot more for us to do at this point with respect to paperwork so now we just wait. That's the hardest part and so if you could specifically pray for patience for us, that would be greatly appreciated. Also pray for the five of us as we prepare our hearts and our home for another little one. And pray for our baby in Ethiopia that he may remain healthy and strong and that he's well taken care of during this time when he can't yet be home with his forever family.

Thank you. Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.

Mike and Karen,
Victoria, Austin and Samara

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A few birthday pics

Thank you for all the beautiful birthday wishes you sent our way today. Here are a few pictures from our day:

Monday, March 03, 2008

Happy Birthday Samara!

Happy Birthday precious one! We hope you have a great day and a fun year being two years old. We can't believe how fast this past year has gone. It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating your first birthday . . . not long after coming home from China.

We love you tons and tons and are so blessed to have such a silly and fun little girl in our family. You have added so much joy and laughter to our lives and we praise God for you.

Happy Birthday two year old!

(Our thoughts and prayers are with Samara's birth mom - this must be a difficult time for her)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

All ready for school

Here are some cute pictures of Samara writing in her journal. She likes to jot down her thoughts every once in a while. :) Notice the concentration. But even more interesting . . . notice how she holds the pencil. Is she advanced or what?? (perhaps I'm a little biased) By the way, don't tell Victoria she was using her pencil and paper.

Here's what happens after a long morning of some serious playing (ok, and maybe a few too many late nights for mommy). Unfortunately we got caught! :)

Fun in the snow

We headed out in the winter wonderland this afternoon for a time of tobogganing. The weather was actually beautiful. Cold enough for there to be snow but warm enough not to freeze. We found a hill fairly close by our house which was perfect. It was just long enough to be fun but not too long that it was hard to walk back up. Victoria zipped right down no problem. Austin was a bit more hesitant and went with Daddy each time. Samara went down a few times with me but wasn't so sure about the whole tobogganing thing. I would basically have to get all settled in on the saucer and then scoop her up at the last minute so she didn't have time to get away. She always had a smile on her face at the bottom so I think she liked it. However, I think she really enjoyed standing at the top of the hill watching Victoria, Austin and Daddy zip down on the saucers. She would point at them and squeal in delight and then start clapping and shouting "yay!" when they got to the bottom. It was really cute.