Sunday, April 15, 2012


I ran my 3rd ever race today since high school. I ran a 5K during college and then one after college...the world famous Saline Watermelon Festival 5K :). But although I've had plans and tried to schedule 5Ks since then, it has just never worked out. Well, today it did.

It was a really pretty day with perfect weather. And the race was very near our house. There were a couple of friends that ran with me. Shannon (in the blue), my neighbor and instant friend since she moved here last August. She's an MK (missionary kid) from here in Brazil (they lived in a tribe in the Amazon...she moved here when she was 7). She and her husband are with Wycliffe...her husband is a pilot. They have 4 kids, a boy and 3 girls. ;) Mariane (in the yellow) and her husband Guilherme have been church friends since we got here. The first time I met her she was very pregnant and had just worked out...she came to our house without even changing clothes or showering and I instantly liked her (hahaha...that's basically unheard of here in Brazil). She's beautiful and always very well put together, but is also athletic...a great combo. They now have two beautiful boys.

Our city has free 5K races once a month and she's run several in the past year or she was my informant. We tried to all run one back in December, but an Asas meeting conflicted with the schedule. The next few months there was always something...visitors, travel, etc. But, finally today was our day.

Here are some pictures. It was a fun time.

There it is...the sign-up area and the start line. I didn't notice at the time, but that's Guilherme and Mariane arriving themselves, there in the yellow and red.
Everyone warming up as we got there.

I had to go early, so I was excited to see Joel and the kids get there and be able to talk to them before it started.
#822...remember that number. :)

On your marks, get set, GO!! O.K., that's not what they said today, but it was something similar. :)
Note the barefoot runners. Go Brazil with your barefoot running! I would love to use my Vibram FF for the next race...we'll see if I can work myself up to that.
See the guy on the very far left? #833 with the blue shoes? He's the one that a longshot. Joel said that he was all alone on the straight stretch leading to the finish line. He ran it in a ridiculous 16ish minutes. Dang.

There are me and Mariane in the green and yellow.
There's Shannon in the blue right behind us. And her husband, Craig, also ran.

And there we go.
These next 2 pictures were actually taken yesterday from the course. I was curious and decided to walk to the neighborhood next to ours where the course was going to be and walk the course, then walk back home. I literally walked for an hour and a half straight, which proved to not be very smart actually. About at the 3km mark today, my legs were shot. But, it was a very nice and peaceful walk yesterday. :) Thankfully we didn't have to run up this very long and steep hill. It was a great scene though...and some little boys were playing soccer in the street at the very bottom.

And people are starting to make their way back to the finish line.
And my sweeties (remember how my girls call someone's children their 'sweeties'?...I love that) waiting for me... the finish line.
And they spot me in my green shirt.
Getting closer. Grady going to get in his position...he handed me my water as I crossed the line.
My honeys were waiting to high-five me at the finish line. :) Love. So sweet. They were so excited that I was in a race. They went with me to sign up this past week and they asked everyday, "Is your race today?" When I was leaving to go this morning, Grady told me to run like a shooting star and Eissa told me to run like a fast tiger. :) Eissa kept saying, "I hope you win." I assured her that I wasn't going to win...haha...but, she was so cute and encouraging.
So glad to be at the finish line. :)
Tired and being herded down a little corridor to get my number taken down for the records.
Some race talk. :)
I just love my little cheerleaders!
We did it, girls! Mariane, actually, did it with a 29 minute time. Nice. My time was 33 minutes, which I was very satisfied with (and I had even walked the last half of the last couple of hills). :) Shannon came in right behind me (her hubby also, who stayed with her the whole time).
We came home, played a couple games of Memory, I took a shower and took a little nap, and then we had a little party for lunch...complete with pepperoni pizza and a coke. Just for today. :) A great Sunday morning.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Americans, Wanna Adopt in Brazil?

I have no idea what God's doing? What are you doing, God?

I find it very strange that I never found this out in any other way before now, but here it is. Now what?

What is God doing? What is the direction He is taking

As you all know, I've posted about 'the kids' that we went to meet with the mindset that we might just adopt them (we didn't). Since we have children and I sometimes call them 'the kids' :), from now on I'll be calling the kids up for adoption 'KS&D' (their names are Kauan, Samira, and Diego) to ward off any confusion. Anyway, I've posted about KS&D several times now. I also sent out our March update last week which I will post here also in the next couple of days. When you read it, you can just direct your prayers accordingly with the knowledge of this post.

Last week I got a message that someone who is hoping to adopt more children soon was interested in more information about KS&D. Today I got another message (a comment on my blog) about someone else who was interested in them. Both of these families are from the United States. I'm actually just going to post here part of the email that I just sent. What do we do from here (and I ask all of you to do this whether you are interested in actual adoption or not; we are all called to care for the orphan...this could be your chance)? For right now, pray earnestly for this to change. And I'm sure that I'll be giving you more ideas of things you can do in the future to help in this. Hopefully there will be even more things that we can do together to get the orphans here in Brazil taken care of. Please pray!

I'm floored to find out what I just found out. Seriously cannot believe it.

I heard back from the social worker who said that we needed to contact a specific Brazilian organization to ask them about an American adoption. I emailed them and was told that they currently do not have a way for Americans to adopt from Brazil. WHAT?!? I just had no idea. And it makes me sick. I mean, I know there are countries you can't adopt from, but had no idea that Brazil was one of them...and for no reason. Thankfully they said that they have chosen an American agency to work with in order to make adoption from Brazil possible for Americans, but that the approval and accreditation of that American agency (which is Bethany, by the way) has not been completed. And honestly, who knows when that will be. This website (the website...Bethany directed me there, see next paragraph about me talking to them) said it could be up to a year...but, in honesty, if the Brazilian people have anything to do with it, it could be way longer than that...just the way things work down here, no rush at all. There are other countries that can adopt from Brazil...Italy and a couple, maybe 'our kids' will be adopted just the same. Otherwise, I'm counting on God to supernaturally approve the Bethany thing quickly or let us go back and get those kids ourselves. We'll see what He does.

This breaks my heart. I asked Joel that if nobody can even adopt them (ok, not 'nobody' but nobody from the states anyway), then why doesn't God just let us have them? He said that maybe He just wanted me to find out stuff like this. I have no idea what God is doing. But, this has got to change. So much about adoption in Brazil, and orphanages and orphan care in general, needs to change. Pray for us.

It is all so very sad and discouraging. To think that there are people who are interested in these children (and others) and cannot begin the process to take them into their family is just heartbreaking. But, I know that God is doing something through this. I'm not sure what that is exactly just yet. But, I can't wait to see it. And I can't wait to see these children in a family of their own for forever.

Italy, France, and Norway are the countries that can adopt internationally with Brazil. But, the orphanages here are full of kids who are *not* being adopted. Once they get to a certain age, kids are almost automatically put on the international adoption list...Brazilians are even less likely to adopt 'older' children than there in the states. But, the orphanages I've visited are just full of older children. Please, us know our part in all this!

Sunday, April 01, 2012

An Interesting Day at the Zoo

We went to Brasilia last week. We had appointments at the American Embassy...had to get Hadley's and Eissa's passports renewed. Since we had to go all the way to Brasilia and our appointments weren't until the afternoon, we decided to take the kids to the zoo. Considering that it was about $3 for all of us to go, it was definitely worth it, even for just a little bit.

We got to the zoo around noon. It's a very interesting drive through it. Of course, you park and get out along the way to view the animals up-close, but, I've never been to a drive-through zoo before, not that I remember anyway.

So, we get there and drive a little down the road, then we park. We spend about 20 minutes watching the kids go CRAZY with excitement, running around from one cage to another...from white tigers to rhinos to horn-billed herons. They've been to a zoo before, but it was 2 years ago. Eissa was 3...she doesn't really remember it. She was leading the pack this time, squealing the whole time. :)

We got to the African elephant's cage. The older 3 kiddos were running ahead of us...ran around the whole elephant pen to the left. We walked along leisurely with Cass to the right of the pen, planning to meet up with them. We got to where we were thinking we'd meet them and then realized that there was no way to get through. And also noticed that they'd headed on to the next attraction. :) So, we were again leisurely strolling down the hill, on to meet up with the kids at the next attraction.

When all of a sudden I hear something (about 10 seconds after that elephant/Cass picture was taken). I look behind me and it was rushing toward me like a tsunami. Joel was about 10 feet ahead of me and I yelled, "Run!! It's coming!!!!" But, it was too late. It caught up to us in a matter of about 2.5 seconds.

It was the weirdest and funniest thing. A huge downpour just came out of nowhere. We were pretty instantly soaked. Poor Cass was not at all thrilled about the situation.

We head to a tree and try to take a little cover at least. The little tree didn't do much for protection. We still didn't see or hear our other kids at this point, so Joel headed off through the soaking liquid to find them when suddenly they appeared from around the elephant pen. Poor Eissa didn't care too much for the situation either and it was very evident. They rounded the corner, Eissa crying and Grady holding her hand and leading her along, Hadley at their side. They were drenched.

Joel met them and they ran to a different tree. About this time, Cass and I ventured across the street to a larger clump of trees...that was better. Joel and the kids ventured farther away to an actual building and took cover there under the roof. At the very end of it all, I noticed a tarp about 30 feet away from Cass and me...we had to wade through a muddy pass to get there, but we went. Joel ran to get the car when it had slacked off a bit and the kids ran to meet Cass and me under the tarp.

The whole thing only lasted probably about 15 minutes, but it seemed like way longer. It happened all of a sudden, but when you are just standing there in pouring down, cold rain, time stands still. Haha. It was pretty miserable. (Pic: It was just so strange. I was like, 'What?!?' And poor, sweet little Cass. :( )

Thank God, Mama was prepared. I happened to have enough extra clothes in the car for all 3 girls. Grady had on a very fast-drying outfit, so he was ok. Only Joel and I had to walk around soaked to the skin all day. Fun times. :/

We drove through the rest of the zoo and called it a day there.

When we went to the embassy, so's such a rarity to find any air-conditioned anything here in our neck of the woods, but oh, where did we have to sit? You a cold, air-conditioned room. Of course, since we were soaking wet. Hahaha. Also there at the embassy, they had hand driers in the bathrooms (our kids were in AWE of those), so I tried to dry my shirt. But, it didn't really work out.

It was definitely a memory-making day.

I loved one part of the downpour though. I got to see Grady in a different that I don't get to see that often. They are almost always just with us. Personality-wise, Hadley has more the 'take-charge' personality...just in everyday life. Not that Grady doesn't ever lead or anything, but it was just really cool to see it that day. I saw them round that curve in the drenching rain, Grady holding Eissa's hand and leading the way, and I knew that he was taking care of things. I asked him about it later. He said that it started raining and Eissa immediately started just wailing. He said that he tried to lightheartedly jump and run and try to "cheer her up" he said. But, he quickly saw that that wasn't working. ;) So, he said he just grabbed her hand and said, "Let's go" and led her all the way. Loved that.

That night when we were going to bed, I was talking to the girls before I prayed and sang to them. I said something about what a great big brother they have, that he was holding Eissa's hand and leading them along. Eissa said, "Yeeeah, he held my hand." And Hadley said, "Yeah, that made me feel like a gold coin." I said, "A gold coin?" Hadley: "Yeah, like really good. Full of peace." ;)'s always so intriguing to me the way kids think and the associations they have. :)

So...yes, it was a very interesting but neat day. I'm all done with zoos and being rained on for a while though. I think the rest of the Ebersoles would agree. ;)

And here are some more pictures from that day...

As we arrived there...and some pictures of our 'dry time' there to begin with.
A little goiaba (guava) snack after the trip to the zoo.

See how Hadley's taking pictures of everything? Her first, brand new camera. It was a Christmas present...and had just gotten here a few days before (after being sent to Brazil, returned by customs, then traveling back down here with a friend in his suitcase...finally making it to us). It didn't survive the torrential downpour. Are you serious?!? Yes, yes I am. :( Grady's survived, and thankfully, ours (a much more expensive model) did too. And...also thankfully, we are going to the states soon (I'll explain more about that new development in a following post) and can get Hadley another one probably.

Joel: "Here kitty, kitty, kitty. I have some good Eissa food to give to you." Eissa: "Huh?"

"Mama, Daddy..."

Cass fell down and skinned her knee up pretty good a few minutes after we got to the zoo. So she spent the next few minutes before the downpour being carried around. Then the yeah, it was an all-around traumatizing experience for little Cass. Haha. :(

It's funny seeing this picture now. This is a different tarp than the one that we used during the last few minutes of the downpour. It is also a tarp that would have been closer...where we should've gone, and would've gone, from the very start of the downpour had we been paying attention. I'm pretty sure that from now on when I go to a zoo, I'm going to be scoping out all the good closest-to-me shelter spots as we walk along. You can see the elephant there ahead of us and our kids going around the left of the pen.
Studying a map of the zoo.
The infamous African elephant exhibit.
And the aftermath.
No matter what we said or did...
...this was Cass' response.
I'm pretty sure she was a bit traumatized and in shock. Aww...
At least we had some alpacas (or whatever that is) to look at as we waited for Joel to bring the car.
Joel came with the car, the girls got all changed, and then we headed around for a driving tour of the animals before we called it a day.
And some more elephants as we exited the zoo.
Those darn elephants...seem to have been a theme that day. ;)