Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Beau here. So nine days into being home, we are slowly learning the little things that bring us relief...I mean joy to our sweet new kids. So here are the things I am grateful God made.

1. Berbere. The Ethiopian spice. If Beck and Deshi don't like the food, we throw this on, and they all of a sudden like it a bit more.

2. Child Bike Trailer. Beck and Deshi love a ride on the back of daddy's bike...which also give my sweet bride a little rest.

3. Rice. When the kids won't eat anything else, they are always up for rice. And Deshi loves feeding the floor with some of her rice.

4. Swimming Pool. Beck and Deshi love our swimming pool, especially Beck. He loves to throw himself underwater. When we are not up for the pool, we hand him the hose in the backyard, and he goes to town spraying himself.

5. Cowboy burgers. My Texas friends have likely had the cowboy burgers from Central Market. Nice and spicy, full of spices, japalenos, and sausage. I smothered one with onions (and salt lick sauce) tonight, and Beck and Deshi went to town. Yes, they are certainly my kids!

6. Crib Tent. So when it came time for the kids first nap in our house, Nat put them down and went to the living room for a touch of rest. Next thing you know Deshi is coming to her...yep, we have a climber. A click or two on Amazon...problem solved. When it came in the mail today, Caleb said "mom, that means I get to see you at bedtime."

7. Salt Lick BBQ Sauce. My Austin friends know what I am talking about. We buy the spicy kind. Tonight I learned Beck and Deshi like it on their onion smothers burgers...and in their rice.

8. Shopping at Central Market. My Texas friends know what I am talking about. This is Disney World for feed addicts...like me. We put the kids in a grocery cart Sunday and strolled the store...trying every free sample in the store...learning new foods Beck and Deshi like...including sole sole fish sauteed in a sweet sauce.

That's it for now. I am sure we will learn more of God's creations this week...

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Beau here. Over the last few months I have been wrestling through how best to remain plugged in with serving orphans in Ethiopia. This is important to me as part of our adoption of Beck, Deshi, and [God willing] some more in the future.

As I have prayed about this, the Lord graciously exposed me to The Kidmia Foundation, which is an organization some of you may already be aware of. It was started by a small group of folks, including Scott Brown over at Gladney. It's Executive Director is a great guy I have gotten to know over the last two years, Matt Brost, whose wife if also over at Gladney.

So Kidmia's vision is to find Christian families in Ethiopia to adopt children locally in Ethiopia. This is a relatively new concept in Ethiopia, the idea of taking in a child as your own who is not related to you. And when you see the vast number of orphans in Ethiopia and the fact that only a couple thousand per year will be adopted internationally, you can understand why it is important to grow adoptions locally to care for all these sweet kids in Ethiopia. So that is what Kidmia is committed to doing for the glory of God. They have largely built the infrastructure of their first campus in Gunchire, Ethiopia, about four hours southwest of Addis, in the region of the Gurage (aka Guragie) ethnic group. I got to visit the campus on July 5 of this year, and I have included some pictures for you. They currently have about 23 children on the campus, which includes three that have arrived in the past month. I got to play with them for a few hours which was a lot of fun.

I am excited and humbled to say that last Friday I accepted an invitation to join the Board of Kidmia, something I look forward to pouring countless hours into in the years to come.

If you would like to support Kidmia, there are a few ways to do so. First, you can pray for God to raise up families in Gunchire to adopt these children. Second, you can visit when you visit Ethiopia. We have some sweet friends in Addis who would love to bring you to Kidmia and share the story with you. There are also some neat things you can bring with you for the kids. Third, you can join the Facebook group to get updates, pictures, etc. Fourth, you can contribute financially, either at the Kidmia website or by sponsoring me on someone else in their annual golf tournament fundraiser.

If you have more questions about Kidmia, please don't hesitate to ask!

Kidmia 1

Kidmia 2

Kidmia 4

Kidmia 5

Kidmia 6

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Beau here. Got home around 1am last night after our Houston to Dallas flight was delayed. More later, but here is a pic from right after we got them. Some questions for you guys.

Anyone know who the parents are for a girl at Gladney around two years old named Hayat? That is Beksisa's best friend, and I have some fun stories and pics.

Alexander's, Havonic's, and Bradshaw's...I have a camera chip for each of you I need to mail. Includes pics and videos. Please e-mail me your address at bfournet@hbk.com, and I can mail it out tomorrow from the office.

Who gave us a letter from their daughter to bring to Kechne to give to one of her friends? The sweet girl wrote a long letter back in response, and I want to mail it to you tomorrow. Send an e-mail to the above address.

More later!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Latest Update: Embassy Appointment and more

Just got a phone call from Beau today and things continue to go great for them there. He said that the Embassy appointment went off without a hitch and that they were the first family in line, which means that they didn't have to sit in the waiting area very long at all.

Beck and Deshi continue to do great and attach more and more everyday. A couple of stories here . . . Occasionally, you will have a Gladney caregiver come over to watch the kids while you go out for an appointment, an outing, etc. because you are not allowed to take the kids out in public except for a few specific occasions. Beau said that when the caregiver came over yesterday, that Deshi bit the caregiver because she didn't want to leave Natalie. Perhaps her actions were misguided, but her heart is definitely in the right place.

As for Beck, Beau took him over to the Gladney home where he was able to meet Beck's "best friend," a little girl. He said they played together and that Beau got some pictures and video for her adoptive family that he'll be able to give them when he gets back. As they were leaving, Beck said, "Ciao! Going to America!" and proceeded to try to get the little girl to come with them. Very cool. I'm sure the Fournets will do what they can to keep these two in touch back home.

They were just about to put the kids to bed and then head off to "Fasikah", a restaurant that does traditional Ethiopian food along with cultural music and dancing. This is a very cool experience.

They should get the visas tomorrow and then be ready to head home on Saturday. Continue to keep them in your prayers and I'll update as I get information. Thanks for following along!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Day 4: Brief Update

Hey friends of the Fournets! Did not get to talk with Beau today, but got an email from one of his co-workers that he did talk with today with a little information.

One point mentioned was that they were able to get pictures and videos of some of the kids of other waiting families (probably a few of you who follow along). Based on our travels last month, this probably means they spent some time at the Gladney Foster Care center today and got to hang out with the kids there and some of the workers.

They also spent time with Peter Abera of Children's HopeChest that I mentioned yesterday. They visited the Ethiopia Children's Home with Peter and were able to purchase school supplies for about 90 children, which is such a blessing, more to the giver, I think, than to the kids, but obviously great for the kiddos. They also were able to discuss other ways to bless some other orphans in Ethiopia that CHC is involved with and provide a meal for one particular orphanage in the countryside.

The only other thing the email said was that everyone was doing well. I shared yesterday about Deshi being attached to Natalie and crying whenever she left the room. I remembered later the sweetest part of that which is that Deshi is specifically crying, "Mommy!" at Natalie, which I know is just music to her ears (at least for now).

Tomorrow they will spend the morning with the Gladney families at the foster centers, enjoy the coffee ceremony there, and then after lunch head with the other families to the U.S. Embassy for their appointment to get Beck and Deshi's visas. They won't actually get the visas until Friday, but tomorrow is when they do the interview. Pray that all goes smoothly, that their wait time is short (it can take a few hours sometimes depending on how many are there that day), and that there are no hiccups in the process at this point. Should hear something around lunchtime tomorrow in regards to that, so I'll update as soon as I can. Thanks for following along! I know they appreciate your prayers.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Report from Day 3: Fun in Gunchire

Wes again . . .

The Fournets are doing great. Beau, Caleb, and Suzanne made it back to Addis after their trip to Gunchire and spending time with the kiddos at Kidmia. Sounds like it was a great trip. He said on the way there, they were crammed into some sort of SUV with a few other folks and then picked up two pregnant sheep that they were delivering to Kidmia. And of course that means that the sheep rode, you guessed it, in the SUV with them. It was a little difficult to hear Beau, but if I heard right, it didn't sound like the sheep waited for the pit stops before using the restroom. Always an adventure. He said they had a great time playing with the monkeys in Gunchire, and that at one time Caleb was surrounded by 20 monkeys climbing all over him. What a memory!

As for the rest of the family, Beau said they are doing great. He said that Deshi is officially attached at the hip to Natalie and that if Natalie leaves her for a second she goes crazy! That's really a great answer to prayer. He said that Beck will go to anyone and that he's eating like a horse. They've also gotten to meet some of the other families who are there to pick up their kiddos. The next few days will probably be full of time spent with these families, so pray for their time with these new friends as well.

He said that tomorrow, they are planning to hang out with my friend, Peter, who is the country director for the Ethiopia program of Children's HopeChest, and getting to visit some of the orphanages where they are involved. Peter is a great guy and the work that CHC does in connecting churches to the needs of orphans is awesome. You can learn more about them at http://www.hopechest.org/.

You can be praying for their embassy appointment on Wednesday, which will be their final hurdle to clear before bringing the kids home. Shouldn't be an issue, but a matter for prayer nonetheless.

Should have more for you tomorrow. Thanks for following our friends!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Day 2 Report: From Ethiopia

Wes again . . .

Just got off the phone with Beau and it sounds like all is well. While I'm sure a lot has taken place, the most important thing is that Beck and Deshi are now being cared from by their new family. Beau said the handoff went really smooth, that Beck didn't cry at all and that Deshi cried for just a couple of minutes, but is doing great now. It's Sunday morning there, and Beau said that Beck, Deshi, and Hannah were still sleeping while the rest of the crew was up. He did say that Beck and Deshi are eating great, something that sometimes can be an issue as kids adjust. So far, so good. Like you, I can't wait to hear the full story of how it happened!

Beau and Caleb along with Suzanne are headed out today to the city of Gunchire which is the location of the Kidmia orphanage. Apparently, the city is full of monkeys that are in some way tame enough to allow people to play with them, so they'll enjoy doing that and then spend the next 24 hours or so with the orphans of Kidmia. If you're not familiar with this great work, you can check them out at http://www.kidmia.org/.

I asked Beau if there was anything specifically to pray for. He said other than the obvious, not really. His back is doing fine, Hannah is feeling better (although he did say she's had a couple of random minor allergic reactions and they're not sure to what), and Beck and Deshi are adjusting OK so far. So, pray for them and thank God for His grace thus far.

Until the next report . . .

Friday, July 03, 2009

On the way . . .

Wes Butler here (in honor of Beau). I will be your guest blogger this week, keeping you up to date on the Fournet's travels and time in Ethiopia. Beau called around 11:00 this morning and said they had made it safely to Dubai. Sounds like the trip was relatively smooth, that the kids did great, and that Beau enjoyed a good 9 1/2 hours of sleep while everyone else caught 3 hours or so. They will be staying the night in Dubai and then catching the flight tomorrow morning headed to Ethiopia. Just a few more short hours until they get to meet Beck and Deshi. Continue to pray (along with the usual list) for Hannah as she's fighting some kind of cold and for Beau's back which he hurt loading the car before they left. Know they are grateful for your prayers and for checking in. More to come this week, so stay tuned.