Monday, November 19, 2007

Happy Thankgiving, a whole bunch of Elijah pics

Well, I'm finally going to post a bunch of Elijah pics. I know I keep saying this, but we have the funniest little guy. He laughs at everything. That is such a huge blessing when you're kinda crabby or grumpy. I can't believe it's been 2 1/2 months since we've been home already. He is picking up so much new stuff every week. He can totally go from crawling to sitting up by himself now (last Thursday). He is starting to imitate things that we do. Amanda is working on teaching him some sign-language. Wish I had a sponge-like brain like him. Anyways, here are the pics...Have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving. Praise the Lord for everything you have, he always makes sure we have a meal to eat, shelter, and clothes on our back.
So here he is with one of his first crackers a couple of weeks ago. Before this everything was mushy food...mmmm...saltines

This is yesterday after the Packer game, Amanda took a pic of him upside down

This is before demolition of the tower...

His first look at a Christmas tree and lights, Amanda wanted it up early...

Another pic of his first Christmas tree experience

Elijah in mouse ears with his Buzz Lightyear phone...He was extremely tired by this time as you can see.

Here Elijah is feeding Dixie his cracker. Dixie is doing pretty good on Elijah's leavin's

Our friend Carla's kids, Zena (8 yo) and Fonose` (almost 10) who she adopted from Ethiopia. They came over Saturday night to hang-out with Elijah and us. They are so much fun and are great with Elijah. Amanda and I met the girls about 3 months after Carla adopted them and it was a huge reason we chose to adopt from Ethiopia.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving, will post some fun video clips soon

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Finally an update

Okay, so I will really try hard to update this at least once a week from now on. Elijah Abraham has been the best child a parent could hope for. He is funny, silly, happy, and just makes me and others smile all the time. The Lord has gifted this child with bringing joy to those around him. I pray that he continues on this and that he grows up to know Jesus Christ as his Lord, Savior, and best friend.

Elijah learned to crawl last week. He has been frustrated because he couldn't get to different things in the room. Finally he started pushing hard with his legs and can now pretty quickly get to anything. He is eating ers now, regular applesauce, mashed bananas, and anything else we can get down him. This kid can chow-down on food. I have to pick-up a second and third job to pay for the food. *smile* Anyways, here's a pic of Elijah getting ready to go on a trip, though it might be a couple of years before we can go, Lord willing.


He's ready to meet Mickey

One of our first good family pics, Praise God for us being a family, still doesn't seem real sometimes.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Harvest Bible Chapel Franklin launches this Sunday the 23rd of September.

I am so fired-up that this week our core group will be launching Harvest Bible Chapel in Franklin, WI. (southern Milwaukee county) The Lord has been so good to us who have been praying for this the last couple of years. He has caused so many loose ends to come together, and it's finally here. The service is at 9:00 at the Value cinemas on S. 27th St. just North of Rawson Ave. The website for the church is www.harvestfranklin.org, and Pastor Joe Martinez has some messages already on this website. Please come and worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth (John 4)with us this week or any week after.

by the grace and peace of our Mighty King and Lord Jesus Christ

Dave & Amanda

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Some new pics from our trip to Addis...


Elijah and Nathan playing together. His cousin Nathan just turned one in August so they will only be 4 months apart. Also my sister Jamie just gave birth to Jude, so the Duda family side will have three boys within a year of each other, Lord help us.

Daddy feeding Elijah at the airport, notice how he kicks back his legs and chills *smile*.

And with his Auntie Samantha on Wednesday.

This is Elijah with his Auntie Jill Tuesday after we got home.

Here are the Dudas and the Cavitts enjoying ice cream at the Hilton one of our last nights.

Here's Elijah in his stroller at the airport.

Here are just a couple of new pics of us from Addis...Just wanted to put something new up...*smile*. I am sooooo fired-up to not be working. I don't remember the last time I had more than 2 weeks off of work in my life. It has been crazy, but I am completely enjoying it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Back in Milwaukee, and thankful for everything the Lord did for us

Well, sorry it's been so long since I did an update, my internet account at the Hilton ended on Saturday and it was kinda high for one last day. And on top of that we don't have internet at home. So I'm at Starbucks with a lemonade iced tea (pretty good) and doing the WiFi thing. We got through the flights with Elijah being a great little boy on the flights. This was the thing I prayed about the most. The Lord got us home, exhausted, back was killing, but Praise HIM for giving us a beautiful little son. The Word of God says "Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS (emph added), I say it again Rejoice!!!" So we are no matter if we are tired, or hurting after our flight for the trials and blessings the Lord gave us on this trip.

We were majorly blessed by so many family and friends showing up and meeting us at the airport when we got in Monday afternoon. Thank you soooo much from all three of us for making us feel great after about 40 hours or so without sleep. About 5 minutes after we saw y'all I didn't remember the sore back or the lack of sleep. Please stop by and visit Elijah when you have a chance, (call first if ya can *laugh*). We are finally getting back on track. Amanda and I are still figuring out a schedule for the little guy, but Elijah has done great with his new home. He has done really well with our dog Dixie, a golden retriever, who I picked up last night. So praise the Lord for that as well. Any fears or doubts, etc...we really gave up to the Lord and He supplied all our needs as He promised He would in Scripture.

I can't believe what a blessing having Elijah in the house is. It is a completely different life, I just pray that Amanda and I can keep our marriage as a focus while taking care of little Elijah. That is by far going to be the hardest part of this journey. I know it will all work out for God's glory. On the plane on the way to Ethiopia, we got to share the good news of Jesus Christ with a man named Patrick on the plane ride. I just pray that he sees that his sin separates him for the Lord and that only through Jesus Christ, the Bible says, can he come to salvation. (John 14:6 ) Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me."

Only through Jesus, no other way can anyone come to salvation. If you don't know Him, this is the most important decision in your life. I don't care if you don't like me for saying it, because I care more for your eternal soul to care about what someone thinks of me. It doesn't mean doing good, it means turning from your sins and praying to the Lord that you will live only for His glory for the rest of your life. Realizing that the Bible says, " All have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God". It isn't through anything you do except accepting Jesus Christ's free gift, turning from your sins, and realizing only through his blood shed on the cross will you have eternal life with the Lord.

I will update this as I have time, but not daily now. I'll definitely put some new video up of Elijah, especially his first trip to the zoo. Talk to ya soon

Dave

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Day 7 update from Addis

Well, there have been some really interesting things happening here in Addis. Some I can go into, some I can't. We went out last night to a really fun restaurant that was part Art gallery part Italian restaurant. It was some of the best Italian food I've had in a long time. We have been so blessed by the places Girmachew has chosen for us to dine at. We are both getting sick of eating out, which I never thought I'd say that *smile*. I'm looking forward to getting home and having some sugar-free grape kool-aid. It's next to impossible to find a diet soda here and we've probably put down about 20 liters of water between us. I'm not complaining,but it is either sugar soda or water, as we want to be really careful what we drink here.

Elijah has been a little goofball the whole time. He is one of the greatest joys in our life, short of marriage to each other and of course our relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

He keeps tricking us pretending he is tired so he gets a bottle. Then after that he'll stay up and play for like 3 hours. So we are getting to figure out his little tricks *smile*. There are not many kids that smile as much as him though. When he gets in a good mood, which is almost all the time, he just laughs and giggles all the time.

We are off to dinner at an Ethiopian Family restaurant tonight, so I'm definitely going to get some hot (spicy) food. Might as well before we leave tomorrow night. Pray for us as we travel at 8:00 from Addis back to DC tomorrow night. It's about 6 PM here in Addis as I write this. We did get a bassinet that hangs from the wall of the plane for Elijah, so that is a huge relief. Otherwise he's on our lap for 15-16 hours. Will post new pics when we have time.

Elijah and Abby Jane Video

video
This is at the restaurant the other night, they were playing with each other. Was really cute.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Day 6 swimming pics




Here are a couple of pics of Elijah enjoying his first swim. He was so much fun in the pool. He kept giggling and laughing the whole time.

Day 6 in Addis, some new pics


This is Elijah passed out today on the bed in his sweatsuit.

We have some happy pics of Elijah in his sweatsuit. He is a hotbox, always warm, just like his Daddy if you know me well *smile*. We are going down to the pool right now for the first swim as well, so hopefully he does good in there. Anyways, hope you enjoy the pics, pray hard for this country. Uh-oh he's up..gotta run...

A video of Elijah's first haircut (Day 5)

video
Well, here is kinda the middle of Elijah's haircut...You probably need pretty fast internet or it will take forever to play.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Day 5 in Addis, sleeping in after a little bit of a long night


Elijah hangs with Mommy after getting his first haircut

Elijah passed out Wednesday night in his new stroller.

Okay, so we are getting near supper-time on the 30th of August, which is Amanda's 28th b-day today. Elijah and I decided to get her a massage at the spa at the hotel. So while she is there I will update you *smile*. Well, Elijah kept waking himself up a lot last night, at the doctor they found he has an ear infection. So he is on antibiotics, but he is so stuffed up he wakes himself up coughing and gurgling. I got up twice and rocked him back to sleep. Amanda got up with him a couple of times too and gave him a bottle twice. We woke up this morning and I was feeling WAY under the weather, we went to breakfast and came straight back. I had to lay down for a couple of hours. When I woke up I relieved Amanda and we finally got Elijah down for a nap. He is very stubborn, but we are finding out the tricks that work for him. About 2:20 or so he woke-up, I changed his diaper (A nice runny mess), fed him cereal and a bottle. Amanda did that a ton of that stuff the whole morning before I ever did, I don't want it to seem like I'm doing a lot of the work. We went to lunch, and then took Elijah to the salon to get his first haircut (pictures will be on this post) Maybe I will post a video of a little of it later as well. So that's it today, just hanging out, nothing exciting except our son looks completely different. I finally have some free time to get into the Bible for an hour so I'm looking forward to that. We miss everyone, and can't wait for you to see him when we get back.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Look who's talking now?

video
Elijah telling us what he thinks of the new room

Day 4 pics from Addis starring Elijah again!!!!


This is him after a nice bath and getting clean with a new sleeper

It was a long day for Elijah, luckily he had the scrunchies in his hair to help him sleep.

Elijah and Mommy eating for the last time at the orphanage

This is Elijah and Daddy at the orphanage, the jean jacket is hiding his mischievous grin.

Okay, so my son has big hair, there might be some surprise pics tomorrow dealing with that..*smile*. He's sleeping in his baby cot (crib) right now and fast asleep. This kid can talk too, he never stops talking, Amanda says that he is too much like his Daddy.

Day 4, He's coming home with us today....Pictures on next post

Okay, so here's the scoop for today. It's Wednesday August 29th, 2007. I got up early and took a nice swim (I know everyone cares so much about that), we grabbed breakfast, and then met up with the Cavitt family and got on the road. We had to stop at the grocery store to pick up Ethiopian baby formula in cans (like 5 dollars US a can, not bad).

We then went to the orphanage and had a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony with Esther (I know I spelled it wrong), the woman who runs Kids Care orphanage. She is like the sweetest woman. She seems to have a strong faith in the Lord to provide for all her little ones she watches after. The coffee was very strong, it was only a small cup though, so I did chug it down. After that, we got to go get Elijah (the orphanage had named him Abereham, not the church we found out), who we called Abereham while at the orphanage, so as not to offend anyone. It's hard to say Elijah after calling him that for three days now *smile*. Anyways, I got to wake him up, Amanda took some more pics, you will love the hair in these pics. I won't even comment until I post them after dinner (takes a long time to upload pics here, Scott Himes, you were right on in that). Amanda got to feed him cereal (some rice type cereal) and our boy can crush food. He sucked down a bottle yesterday in no time, and ate his bowl of cereal like nothing. I told Amanda it might go faster if she could hand him the bowl so he could just tip it back and drink it.

Next thing, we had to say goodbye to the nannies and Esther (pronounced Astor) which was really hard. They have cared for him since he was found, so we really thanked them many zillions of times which will never be enough. We went to lunch at this restaurant called Blue Tops. Why Blue Tops you ask? Because the roof of the restaurant is blue. Pretty interesting hey? The kids are both very stuffy and have a hitch in their breathing. Abby Jane was coughing pretty rough as well. So Girmachew is having the girls (Amanda and Pam) take the kids to the doctor so they can get an antibiotic. We think (us doctors here) that they both have upper respiratory infections. We'll see what the doctors say. They are there right now and should be back in less than a half hour I'd guess.

So after lunch we went to the American Embassy for our consulate appts. (Side note: They have pictures here of our President, the VP, and the Sec. of State, Girmachew told me that they took down his picture today that was next to them so he doesn’t get mobbed *laugh*. He is hilarious.) This is to turn in our final paperwork to get a visa for Elijah to come home. And it is for the United States gov't to swear us in as saying we will be his parents etc... So he is ours for good now, Praise the Lord. I'm so fired-up to have a son, I just hope I do as good a job as my Mom and Dad did with me. The driving here has been really crazy, so I've had to take a couple breaks at the hotel to get rid of the motion sickness. But that is all the better for you so I can type up an update *smile*. I promise, if the internet works, that I will post some new pics of our little guy tonight. And I might be able to post a surprise pic. It will be today or tomorrow, we'll see. From Ethiopia, Dudas out!!!!!

Day 4, Elijah is officially ours today (He kinda was before, but now we get to keep him with us)

Okay, so here's the scoop for today. It's Wednesday August 29th, 2007. I got up early and took a nice swim (I know everyone cares so much about that), we grabbed breakfast, and then met up with the Cavitt family and got on the road. We had to stop at the grocery store to pick up Ethiopian baby formula in cans (like 5 dollars US a can, not bad).

We then went to the orphanage and had a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony with Esther (I know I spelled it wrong), the woman who runs Kids Care orphanage. She is like the sweetest woman. She seems to have a strong faith in the Lord to provide for all her little ones she watches after. The coffee was very strong, it was only a small cup though, so I did chug it down. After that, we got to go get Elijah (the orphanage had named him Abereham, not the church we found out), who we called Abereham while at the orphanage, so as not to offend anyone. It's hard to say Elijah after calling him that for three days now *smile*. Anyways, I got to wake him up, Amanda took some more pics, you will love the hair in these pics. I won't even comment until I post them after dinner (takes a long time to upload pics here, Scott Himes, you were right on in that). Amanda got to feed him cereal (some rice type cereal) and our boy can crush food. He sucked down a bottle yesterday in no time, and ate his bowl of cereal like nothing. I told Amanda it might go faster if she could hand him the bowl so he could just tip it back and drink it.

Next thing, we had to say goodbye to the nannies and Esther (pronounced Astor) which was really hard. They have cared for him since he was found, so we really thanked them many zillions of times which will never be enough. We went to lunch at this restaurant called Blue Tops. Why Blue Tops you ask? Because the roof of the restaurant is blue. Pretty interesting hey? The kids are both very stuffy and have a hitch in their breathing. Abby Jane was coughing pretty rough as well. So Girmachew is having the girls (Amanda and Pam) take the kids to the doctor so they can get an antibiotic. We think (us doctors here) that they both have upper respiratory infections.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Day 3, no new pics yet, maybe later...*smile*

We just got back from lunch and before that playing all day at the orphanage with the kids. It was sooo much fun. I wish we could get all of them and bring them home. Almost every one of them has a bad sinus infection and a runny nose. They got all fired-up when we brought out a couple of soccer balls. I blew up the punching balloons and that was a total hit. Especially with the two and three year olds wow. They were so cute, and they got to bring them inside when they had to go in and eat. It is so hard to see how little they have. I just pray that another family can adopt each of them quickly.

Elijah was smiley as usual. He is terrible at taking pictures though, I'll get him giggling and then Amanda pulls the camera out and he just makes a weird face. She puts it away and he starts laughing again. It's pretty funny. It's been really hard to leave him there, but we know that less than 24 hours and we bring him back to the hotel for good with us. It's so cool how we have such different cultures, finances, but the same King, the same Lord and Savior Jesus Christ no matter where in the world you are.

John 14:16 says:
I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Only through personal faith in Jesus will we ever have eternal life in paradise, all other ways lead to death and destruction.

I just pray Elijah comes to know Jesus as his savior at an early age.

by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ

Dave

Monday, August 27, 2007

More of Day 2 in Addis w/ new pics of Elijah Abraham


Mama and Elijah get some hangout time at the Doctor's office

Elijah with full belly means extreme happiness!!

This is when Daddy first met Elijah, he was like "who are you?"

We went to dinner tonight, did some shopping, hit the grocery store and grabbed dinner at the Elephant restaurant. WHEW...anyways, crazy day, but AWESOME!! The Lord has really blessed us with beautiful son. Can't wait till tomorrow when we get to hang-out at the orphanage and play soccer, and other fun games with the kids. Hopefully Elijah isn't too bumming that he's too little to play. Talk to ya tomorrow.

Day 2 in Addis, w/ the Duda Family starring Elijah Abraham our son

Okay, so this could be in the top 2 or 3 days of my life so far. We got to go this morning to meet our little guy Elijah. We grabbed breakfast at the hotel, very good food, as good as anywhere in the states. Grabbed some gifts for the nannies and the orphanage director from our room, and we went to the orphanage. We got there and there were like 30 kids from 2 up to 8 that I saw. They were adorable and very shy. I said hello in Amharic and shook hands with them as they seemed a little overwhelmed with the 4 in the Cavitt family, and the two of us. The orphanage director came and met us right away. She is just the nicest person, and seems strong in her faith. She showed us around for a couple of minutes (so many kids). And right away she took us to the room where Abby Jane (Cavitt's little one) was. I'll let Pam put it up on her blog which is on the right side of this blog in the links. It brought Amanda and I to tears just the joy on their faces as they finally go to hold their little girl.

The next room was to see Elijah. We walked in and we knew right away who he was. We both completely lost it *smile* in a good way. Amanda picked him up and he was probably thinking what the heck is going on? The funny thing is I had him laughing and giggling right away. He is so easy to make laugh (Laurel, our America World rep was right on when she told us that). He is the most beautiful little child, I can't believe he is our son. I say that, but he is SOOOO our son. The Lord has him chosen for us for a long time, and it just feels so right as a family already. So we just walked around, gave the gifts to the nannies, who were just the sweetest women in the world. They kept giving Abby and Elijah kisses like crazy, as they thought we were taking them to the hotel today. We actually got to take them to their final doctors appointment.

So we drove to the clinic, and the kids were being adorable, and laughing and giggling. They both seem like they are used to being loved on. Praise the Lord for "Kid Care" (the orphanage) and the work of all the people there. Amanda took Elijah in by the Dr. (not a lot of room for me) and Elijah was happy, and loved being naked as they weighed him...*laugh* He weighs in at a little more than 8 kilograms which is about 17 lbs. This kid has huge hair, as you will see on the new pics soon. I am actually back at the hotel as Amanda and the Cavitts are grabbing lunch. Still feeling goofy from the flight yesterday. So I am going to take a nap for a little bit. We get to visit the orphanage tomorrow and play with the kids there, which will be so much fun. I will post our new pics when Amanda gets back with the camera, and maybe even a small video clip if it uploads quickly. See ya at the next post

Live from Addis, The Duda Family, Day One (plus travel)

Well, it's about 2:30 P.M. in Addis Ababa right now. I had the hardest time figuring out how to update our blog as anything with blogspot.com is blocked in a lot of foreign countries including Ethiopia.

Amanda and I arrived after traveling for about 27 hours total from Milwaukee to Addis Ababa. The flights going to Washington DC went very well. We were very excited that our bags were in DC when we went to baggage claim. Our rep from America World picked us up from Washington National (long story on the flights) and drove us to Washington Dulles. Amanda's sister Sam met us there as well because she was staying overnight at Washington National (she's a flight attendant and was in town). So we had a great time hanging out, had a great lunch at an Italian deli, and Laurel dropped us off at Dulles.

We then checked in for our flights for Addis at Ethiopian Airlines. This went fairly quick and finally we got to the gate area where we would be flying out around 5:00 P.M. We got to meet the Cavitt family at the gate area. The family is Wade, Pam, Christopher (12), and Austin (11). They are so great, and we are so excited to be sharing this trip with them. I won't bore ya on the flight, but it was LONGGGGG. Praise the Lord for having exit doors on planes when it's done. We were on the plane for about 16.5 hours. My back was in pretty rough shape afterwards, as well as Wade's. We got to Addis, and had to get a Visa for each of us right away. Then went through immigration and grabbed our bags. Unfortunately the Cavitt's were missing two bags, which is killer when you are going to adopt. We are praying hard that those two show up tonight on the same flight from DC.

We then went through security and met Girmachew our rep from America World while we are in Ethiopia. He is so cool and hilarious. He's always messing with ya or telling us he owns the Hilton etc... He has a van rented for us for the week, so we stuffed all of us and a ton of bags on the van and went to the Hilton. We all went to our rooms, cleaned up, and changed. We ate dinner downstairs with Girmachew at one of the restaurants. The food was excellent. I felt bad Girmachew had to hang with a bunch of zombies, we were all so beat from the travel.

After that we went to our rooms and crashed hard. Next topic is Day two and meeting Elijah for the first time.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Well, we are two days away...plus new pics of Elijah




We are about 2 days away from flying out of Milwaukee to go get our little guy Elijah. Saying Amanda and I are excited it a major understatement. We have had a few trials in the last two weeks or so, but we just keep trusting that the Lord allowed them for a reason.

Obviously, we have some new pics above. Our America World rep took some pics with him and sent them to us this week. Elijah was probably freaked out by the flash as you can see the surprised look on his face. I hope he can get used to it quickly as Amanda and I will take as many pics and video as we can when we are over there. I will try to update each day as we are there (we'll see if Elijah let's me)

As we are getting ready to go, it's been so hectic that I haven't even had a chance to contemplate becoming a Dad (in full) in 5 1/2 days (when we take him to the US embassy and finish his paperwork). I know the Lord will give me wisdom as long as I stay in His Word and put Him first above everything else. Amanda and I chose a verse for our family a couple of years ago.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.

We will trust the Lord no matter what would happen. Even if for some reason we weren't able to get Elijah, we would continue to trust that it was the Lord shutting that door. I will need to spend some time digging through the parenting Scriptures in the Bible. In society, you have Dr. Phil, Oprah and everyone else giving tips on how to raise children, when the God of the Universe gave us everything we need for life in His Scriptures.

Ephesians 6:4 says
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

We will, by our Lord Jesus's grace, do everything we can to bring Elijah up so he can come to know Jesus as His Lord and Savior. No matter what He does in life, only what Elijah does for Christ will last. Please keep us in prayer as we go to see a people that are hurting, but also have so much more joy because they aren't choked with the worldly things we are. I pray that Christ changes my heart completely to really, truly see what things we need, and what things are in excess.

by the grace and peace of our Mighty King and Savior

Dave & Amanda

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Our Travel Itinerary

Thought some of you might be interested in our itinerary in Ethiopia, it might be subject to change, but here ya go.

Adoption Travel Itinerary

Saturday, August 25 Depart for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Flight: Cont. 3096 (Departs Milwaukee @ 9:15A, Arrives Cleveland @ 11:28A), Cont. 3155 (Departs Cleveland @ 12:40P, Arrives Reagan @ 1:54P)
Flight: Ethiopia 501 (Departs Dulles @ 8:30P)

Sunday, August 26 Arrive Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (7:00P)
--Obtain Visa in Bole International Airport
--Girmachew will pick-up outside baggage claim. He will hold a sign with family
name.
--Girmachew will escort to Hilton
--Dinner at Hilton (included in travel package)


Monday, August 27 Orphanage Visit
--Driver will pick-up after breakfast
--Change money
--Trip to supermarket
--Lunch (included in travel package)
@ Abesha (Request Coffee Ceremony at end of meal!)
--Afternoon Kids Care visit to meet Elijah Abraham
--Dinner @ Top View Restaurant (included in travel package)

Tuesday, August 28 Tourism Day
--After breakfast, shopping at Mercado or Piazza
-- Lunch @ See list of options (included in travel package)
--After lunch, Lion Zoo
--Dinner (see options)
--Castellis may be a great option for this night, as this restaurant
is not kid-friendly

Wed., August 29 Consulate Appointment
--Morning visit to Kids Care to pick-up Abraham!
--Lunch (see options)
--2:30P: Consulate appointment
--Dinner (see options)

Thursday, August 30 Sight-seeing options

Friday, August 31 Sight-seeing options

Saturday, Sept. 1 Sight-seeing options

Sunday, Sept. 2 Depart for Washington, Dulles
--Church at the International Evangelical Church at 11A
--Hotel check-out time 7:00P
--Leave for Bole International airport at 5:00P, quick dinner on the way
--Flight: Ethiopia 500 (Leaves Addis @ 10:15P)

Monday, Sept. 3 Arrive Dulles, Depart for Milwaukee
--Arrive Dulles at 8:10A, go through customs
--Flight: United 699 (Departs Dulles @ 10A, Arrives Chicago @ 11A), United 7880 (Departs Chicago @ 1:56P, Arrives Milwaukee @ 2:42P)
We are home then "PRAISE OUR LORD JESUS"...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

News about Elijah!


Well, we have some new news about Elijah! We had emailed our rep from America World yesterday asking if she had seen Elijah, held him, etc.. on her trip from the 1st to the 15th of August (she's coming back tomorrow). Anyways, here is what she wrote

I have a picture of me and Elijah...I also have a picture of my fiance and Elijah, so I'll send them you way when I'm home. When I get back, we can talk more on the phone about his little personality, but he's really a doll. It's easy to make him laugh, and he likes to be held, and does not like it when you put him down!!

Now we REALLY want to go. I can not wait to get on the plane and go get our son. He's only 2 weeks away now, and we are sooooo ready. Hard to focus on anything else right now.

We almost have the nursery done. I layed the carpet down a couple of nights ago. Taping that down and stretching it tonight. Amanda and her Mom painted the weekend before. We are getting close *smile*. Hopefully by Wednesday night we will have everything in the nursery. I will definitely post some before and after pics.

Hebrews 4:12
For the Word of the Lord is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.


God's Word is everything. Praise the Lord Jesus for giving us His Word so we know what God's will is for us.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Traveling with the Cavitt Family and flights

Well, we have found out that we will be traveling with Pam and Wade Cavitt on our upcoming trip to Ethiopia. We kinda had a hunch it might happen and had emailed a couple weeks earlier and got talking to them. It is so great how the Lord will let us travel together and meet our kids together at the same orphanage. May the Lord just bless our conversations and time together as we go to pick-up our children. The Cavitt's blog is in the list of Adoption blogs on the right-side of this page. Their little girl Abigail is sure a cutie.

We just finished booking our travel yesterday for our upcoming trip. Pray our bags don't get lost on the way. Also, that Elijah's ears don't hurt on the way home. That is a lot of ups and downs for a little guy to have to go through. That's the thing I will have to really give over to the Lord, as I pray he isn't crying the whole time home.

Here's the flight info for our trip:

Saturday August 25th
MKE 9:15 A.M. CLE 11:28 A.M.
CLE 12:40 P.M. IAD 1:54 P.M.
IAD 8:30 P.M. ADD 7:00 P.M.

Sunday September 2
ADD 10:15 P.M. IAD 8:10 A.M. arriving into Washington Dulles on Sep 3rd.
IAD 10:00 A.M. ORD 11:00 A.M.
ORD 1:56 P.M. MKE 2:42 P.M. Labor day we are back in Milwaukee, Lord willing.

I can't believe we are only about 2 weeks away from getting our son.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Answered prayer, Elijah's paperwork is through the courts!!!

First of all, I just want to give praise and honor and glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you so much for everyone that has been praying for this little guy's paperwork to get through the courts. We trusted in the Lord and He answered that prayer big time.

So here's the scoop, we are as of now traveling August 25th through Sept. 1st. Our US embassy appointment is on August 29th. So in less than a month we will be home with our son. There is still a small possibility that we will be traveling a week later, but either way we are going in a month and not three months.

Finally get to officially post our pic of Elijah, so here he is.

love you guys, thanks for the prayers again,

Dave & Amanda

Friday, August 3, 2007

A little hang-up, but we will continue to trust in the Lord's timing.

Hey guys,

We just found out today, that our court appointment was delayed from today until Monday. I guess everybody is trying to push their people through. Our rep is over there with our in-country rep and they said the courtroom was crazy with everybody trying to get through before Tuesday (court closing). Pray that the Lord will get us through on Monday or we will have to wait 2 months or more to get this completed. It's just another way to glorify His name and trust in Him. Know that we will be holding tight to our family verse.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.

Pray that we continue to
Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always, I say it again rejoice.

by the grace of our perfect Savior Jesus

Dave & Amanda

Monday, July 30, 2007

We have the greatest Family and Friends

We have been completely blown away by the support in the last couple of weeks as we found out about Elijah. I think he would have 12 outfits for three changes a day if we took everything that has been offered to us. The family on both sides has been so great in helping us out with getting ready for a baby. So many friends, and people we barely know are also offering to help. We have been offered the services of a laptop while we are in Ethiopia to update this site daily, Lord willing.

I just praise Jesus Christ for everything. He is the one that put this on our hearts in the first place, and He is the one that we will turn to in everything with parenting.

I'm amazed at how many similarities there are between adopting and child and the Lord adopting us into his family at salvation. I can't wait to give updates as we get closer and as we travel. Only four more days till we, Lord willing, are able to post his picture *smile*.

Philippians 4:4 says "Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS (caps added), I say it again rejoice." This is not for any other reason than if you have been saved by the Lord. If you are not 100% sure of this, please email or call us anytime (literally). Biblically, salvation is not a blanket thing that everyone receives. There is nothing more important than where you will go when you die on this earth. And you can know as sure as you are breathing, that you will be with Jesus Christ in heaven for all eternity. I say this with love on my heart for everyone's eternal destination. Love you guys

Dave & Amanda

Monday, July 23, 2007

It keeps getting better and better, Praise God!!!

Well, we just found out that we have our court date on August 3, 2007. We do not have to be there for the court date, but this means we will be traveling in August to pick up our little Elijah Abraham. Praise the Lord, He has been so faithful as we have been praying for this. I am so FIRED UP that I'm going to be a Dad and Amanda is going to be a Mom. Please let me enjoy this and don't bring me down with the talk of teething and poopy diapers *laugh*. The Lord Jesus has been so faithful to us this whole adoption and I want to give all glory and praise to Him. He saved this little guy from a very tough life and possibly death. And now the Lord is giving Elijah to us to raise as our own.

Phillipian 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always, I say it again rejoice!!!

And we are...

Wow, what a great week, we have a launch date for the Church

Well, the Lord has given us a great week. We found out about who we were adopting on Monday, and yesterday we found out our church is launching (opening) Sunday September 23rd at 9:00 A.M. It will be at the Value Cinemas in Oak Creek. You would get there by getting off at Rawson Ave. going west to 27th street and going maybe a half mile north. It's located on the east side of the road. Service will be from 9:00 till 10:15-30. The church is called Harvest Bible Chapel Franklin. It will be a Bible-believing Christ centered church. The church will be proclaiming the Word of God without apology, lifting high the name of Jesus Christ in Worship, and a church of prayer and missions (evangelism). To have two things that we have been praying about for so long come to fruition in the same week has been incredible. We are just praying that this church is about giving glory to Jesus Christ in SE Wisconsin. Any questions drop us a line. Praise the LORD!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Praise the LORD!!!! The referral is here

Well, big surprise today (Monday July 16th, 2007), we received our referral this morning!!! Our rep from America World called us both around 10:00 A.M. and told us about the child that had become available. Amanda and I had requested a child between 1 and 3. She said that this referral was outside of the range of ages we had. I'm thinking, "Okay, we are cool with a 4 or 5 year old." Instead the child turns out to be a 6 month old baby boy!!! The Lord really threw us a curve ball on that one. We didn't even know what to say at first because we weren't expecting an infant at all. Our rep asked us if we were okay with that, I was like "Amanda?". We both really knew that this is what the Lord's plan was for us in adopting. We have been praying for a very long time on His hand to be all over this adoption. That the Lord would choose just the right child for us. Wow, what a big surprise, a great surprise!

So I know I told everyone that I would post the picture as soon as we had it. We found that we can't post the picture until we are legally his parents (hopefully less than two weeks). We were sent an email with his picture about 20 minutes after our phone conversation with America World. He weighed about 12 lbs at his Dr's appointment when he was 4 months old. So he is a very healthy little baby (maybe not so little) boy. He also has a ton of curly hair. I told Amanda we should clip it somewhat short (not bald or anything). I think I have her on board on this *smile*.

Real quick, here's the only backround we have on him. He was found abandoned when he was 3 days old. The church near where he was found named him Abreham (yes, I spelled it right, that was how they spelled it). After this he was brought to the orphanage where we are going to go to pick him up.

Amanda and I have had a name picked out for a little boy for close to 2 years. We both agreed that if the mother of the child had given them a biblical name we would leave the first name. Since it wasn't the mother, but the church or the government that named him we will use the name we chose. We are going to move Abrehem to the middle name and he will be Elijah Abrehem Duda. (get's me all overclempt even typing it). We might Americanize the Abrehem part to Abraham, we'll see.

Last thing, we were asked if we wanted to try to get a court date before the courts close on August 7, 2007. Of course, we both want to travel A.S.A.P. So, we have to officially accept the referral today (they are sending a fed ex package with everything they have on little Elijah). Then they are going to try to get that court date by the 7th of August. We don't have to be there for the court date, but will travel a week or a couple of weeks later. Pray that we can travel soon to pick up our little guy. If we aren't able to get a court date now, we will have one like the third week of October. So it's like 3 weeks or 3 months, a big difference in travel.

And also, please lift up in prayer the mother, or parents that had to give Elijah up. They weren't able to keep him at all. Many orphans are given up in Ethiopia because the parents just can't afford to keep the children. This was making me more emotional than anything yesterday. I just pray that his parents have come or will come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Here is a Scripture about Christ that has fired me up today. He is all there is to this family. And we will raise little Elijah to know about Him as soon as he can understand.

Philippians 2:6-11
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Switching over to a fall adoption now

Well, we were both hoping that we would receive our referral by the end of this week. Because we didn't, we will now be traveling after the 13th of October. The courts close down in Ethiopia from August 7 to Oct. 13th. We both are trusting in the Lord even though it's hard to not be anxious.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.

The one cool thing is we can still receive our referral in the meantime. So we are at the point where quite a few families have received their referrals. I think we are around 9 weeks of waiting. Pray that we can continue to trust in the author and perfecter of our faith, Jesus Christ. He has the perfect little child for Amanda and I in Ethiopia. As soon as we have the referral we will post some pictures and info.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Shots, shots and more shots...

So one of the things we have to do before traveling to Ethiopia for the adoption is to get our vaccinations. Amanda got hers about 2 weeks ago, she is able to get almost all of them (6 shots I believe). Because of a medical condition I have, I wasn't able to get any with live vaccines in them, but they still stuck me with 4 needles yesterday. I received the meningitis, Hep A, Typhoid, and Polio vaccines. Amanda received those plus the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and the yellow fever vaccine. We won't be leaving the city of Addis Ababa, so we won't have to worry contracting Malaria at 8500 feet above sea level. And because we will be staying in a pretty nice hotel, we won't be super-exposed to most of these diseases. But we do plan on visiting the orphanage where we will pick up our child. I pray they don't have this problem, but I bet there are some crazy bugs going around the orphanage at times.

Well, keep praying we get the call soon, we are trying to "be anxious about nothing" as Scripture says. And just trusting that the Lord has a specific child that He will have us adopt. We just give all Praise to Jesus Christ for this opportunity to build a family this way.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Back to school...

This is the only other thing really going on with the Duda Family, but as it will involve where we live probably in the future I thought it is worth putting up here. About two years ago I (Dave) started going to school towards a bachelors in Biblical Studies at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. I'm over half-way done, and Lord willing, I will finish in June of 2010. After that, the Lord will put Amanda and I somewhere to serve Jesus Christ in a church or some type of ministry. It has been amazing taking classes where I get to spend time with the Lord while doing school work. This is probably the first time I've ever taken classes where I actually love getting into my school work.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Finally got a blog site up for the adoption

Well, Amanda and I have been talking about setting up a blog site for quite a long time about the adoption. I finally got a chance to get going on it. As many of you know we are just waiting right now for THE phone call. This is called the referral, which will be the information on the child the Lord chose for Amanda and I. After receiving our referral (which will include pictures) we will travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 4-6 weeks later for approximately a week. So hopefully we will get that call from America World any day. It's so crazy knowing that our child is alive, and playing, and eating, and sleeping on the other side of the world. As soon as we get the info and any pics I will definitely post them on this site with any of the info that I know.

Other Big news

The other big thing besides the adoption this year for the Duda family is we are part of a group planting a Harvest Bible Chapel in Franklin (Milwaukee), WI. We are already meeting on Sunday nights as a core group, and Lord willing we will have our first service in September of 2007. We are just excited to see a solid, Bible-believing church that will glorify Jesus Christ in our area. Also it will be cool to have a church where our little son or daughter can call home if the Lord keeps us where we are. If the Lord puts this on your heart, or if you are interested, let us know.