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We are the Ducommuns! There are 4 of us now-Craig, Laura, Zamara, and now Mahashavah, our 1 year old son. We adopted Zamara from Ethiopia in 2008. Our son is also from Ethiopia and we are hoping to bring him home soon. We live Flagstaff Arizona. We are so glad you found us. Take a look around and don't forget to leave us a message.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

How To Encourage People Who Are Adopting

My America World Adoption Association yahoo group has been discussing both positive and negative comments that we have received concerning our adoptions. A fellow adoption mom complied all our experiences and posted it on her blog. PLEASE, PLEASE go check it out! International adoption is so difficult and it helps to know how to encourage the people you know.

Thank you to all the AWAA moms to be for their honest words.

We have had our fair share on hurtful comments, unintentional snubs, and careless words. I think it is always good to try to understand how other people are feeling. It is so easy accidently hurt someone's feelings. This blog entry gives you a good idea of what to say and not to say. Anyway, check it out. I think it will be helpful!

Love, Laura

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mission Trip Pictures!

Zamara and Laura had a chance to go on the San Carlos Apache AMOR Mission Trip with our church back in June. Laura made all the food for the group while they worked on the construction of a house.

It was a great trip and ZiZi's first mission trip and camping trip, as well. Here are some of the pictures from the trip.

We feel so blessed to have these opportunities! What an amazing trip! Can't wait for more to come.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

LkdDesigns @ Flagstaff Farmer's Market

Hi everyone,

Just a heads up to come out and support Laura at her first appearance at the Flagstaff Farmer's Market on Sunday June 19th from 8am-12pm. Look for the LkdDesigns sign/booth. You, as a loyal follower of this blog, will get absolutely no discount whatsoever. See you there!

Location: City Hall West Parking Lot on Route 66 by the Main Public Library

Monday, May 23, 2011

Zizi and Kate on the AZDailySun Front Page!

Go to TODAY (Monday) to check it out or buy the paper. There's a little slideshow on the Daily Sun website. When you go to the page, it will scroll through the slides. They are #4 in the slideshow. If you miss it on Monday, here's the pic.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Ducommun's are Featured in a new Adoption Book!

Hello Friends and Family! I wanted to let you know about this amazing book that has just been released. It is all about how to fund international adoption without going into debt. It is called Adopt Without Debt.

We were featured (along with several other friends and fellow-adoptive families) for our rag
doll fundraiser (see page 93-94 in the book).

I just got the book in the mail and I can tell you that it is a really great resource on adoption, handling money, and fundraising. If you know if anyone who is adopting (domestically or internationally) I would highly recommend it.

You can buy it on ( but it is temporarily out of stock.

You can also get the book from the author's website:

It is a great book and we feel honored to be a part of it. Thank you Julie Gumm for including our story and fundraiser.

We are currently still fundraising for adoption #2. Please check out my rag dolls at or if you live in town you can purchase one at Babies To Kids (on Steves Blvd) or U.T.O.P.I.A (downtown on San Fransisco St). If you know of anyone who might like one please go and pick one up. They make great bday presents or baby shower gifts. I also make custom dolls to look like any child, just let me know what you want. 100% of the sales will go toward our adoption expenses.

You can also make a tax-deductible donation in our name to Lifesong for Orphans. It is tax deductible and will go directly to our adoption expenses. Make sure to list it is for the Ducommun family.

UPDATE ON OUR ADOPTION: We are still waiting for a referral and trying to keep ourselves busy. We are hoping to get "the call" that we have been matched with a child in the next 3-4 months. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we try to be patient and wait.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Some Good News!

I haven't posted anything in the last few weeks, but a lot has happened in the adoption world. I have been waiting to see how everything is going to play out.

After I posted my last blog entry, we received an email from our agency saying that MOWA, now under a new name, is back up and running in Ethiopia and working on getting paperwork completed as fast as they can. Everyone involved seemed to think there were a lot of positive steps taking place.

Over the last few weeks we have seen several of our fellow AWAA families pass court. That was another encouraging sign that things were beginning to move forward in Ethiopia. It was a blessing and all the families took a big collective sigh of relief.

To make things even better, this week, we got news that there were 6 referrals for AWAA families! It was such an exciting time. Lots of tears and prayers all around. We have a group of AWAA Ethiopia families who all participate in a yahoo chat group. Not all the families in the program are in the group, but a good majority of us are.

We have an informal posting of each family, their dossier submission date, and their child(ren) request. For several months we stayed at the same number...21. Finally this week we have officially moved into the teens! We are currently #17 for an infant boy and #19 for an infant girl. It was great to see our number jump up so much in just a few days!

We are still not expecting a referral for several months, though. It could be even longer and we are preparing ourselves for another 6-9 months. I would rather have the worst case scenario in our minds and be pleasantly surprised with good news.

I am including some pictures from our trip to pick up Zamara in Ethiopia of children from Kids Care Orphanage and the AWAA Transition Home. It is a great reminder for us to keep remembering why we are adopting in the first place. Just looking at these amazing little faces and I remember why we were called to adopt in the first place.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Trying to Get My Heart to Listen to My Brain

Hello Friends and Family,

For whatever reason today has been a rough day for me personally. As most of you know, our paperwork (called our dossier) has been in Ethiopia for 4 months now. At that time our agency said to expect a referral anywhere from 5-8 months after sending your paperwork to ethiopia. In my heart I dreamed that since we are open to a special needs child that our referral would come even quicker than that. It was a silly dream and in my head I knew that in reality it was not going to happen like that. As I look at our number in line I don't see us moving up the list very quickly. Last week we were family #21 and now we have moved backward to family #22 again! Grrr! I know there are families ahead of us in line that make changes and that can affect our ranking. With Zamara's adoption we were family #5 for over 3 months! In my head I understand all this, but my heart doesn't seem to want to listen. Looking over our agencies statistics over the last year, it seemed that referrals were coming quickly! Some months there were over 15 referrals! That would mean being number #22 would only last a couple of theory! But since January, the referrals have barely trickled in a few per month.

Since we started our adoption 15 months ago, we have had a couple large hits...

Last March (after being in the adoption program for 4 months) Ethiopia changed their adoption laws so that families now have to travel to Ethiopia twice. It was a huge blow to all of us. Financially the cost of adoption would raise another $6000+ for the extra travel and in country costs. In addition, we would now travel to Ethiopia meet our child and then have to come home to USA and leave him/her for several months before heading back to pick him up. One of the reasons we chose Ethiopia over other countries was because we didn't have to do this. I could not imagine leaving my child in a foreign country for any reason!! Because of the new law, that was exactly what we were going to have to do. It was heartbreaking!

When I look back at our adoption of Zamara I cannot even fathom letting her go for even 5 minutes, let alone having to leave her for potentially several months. But I think Craig and I took it in stride and tried our hardest to trust in God's provision to carry us through, both financially and emotionally. We understand that international adoption is full of unknowns and this is just part of what we signed up for.

Fast forward to the first week of March 2011. Our agency emails us another bombshell. The Ethiopian agency who handles the adoptions, MOWA (Ministry of Women's Affairs) had it's budget cut by 80%. What this would mean for us is a HUGE backup of children going through the system: i.e. fewer referrals, longer wait time between travel, more children left in the orphanages for longer times, etc... Potentially we would have to wait another 12-18 months between getting our referral and traveling to meet them for the first time. It was almost too much for us to even fathom!

Over the last few weeks adoption agencies in Ethiopia have been meeting with various government officials and agencies in Addis trying to find out what is really happening and how we can reverse this problem. At this point, we have no idea what the exact fall-out will be. We do know that this will slow down the program significantly, but since it has only been a few weeks, there has not been enough time for families to see how it will all play out.

As some of you may recall, we had a similar situation when we tried to adopt from China. When we first began the process in 2005 the China program was running along quite smoothly. By the time we had sent our dossier to China the program had slowed down from a 9 month wait for a referral to over 2 years! It was heartbreaking for us to leave this program and start over again with Ethiopia. My heart still grieves over that chinese baby that was never ours. And now it feels as though it is happening all over again.

Up to this point I have held it together fairly well. When Craig would freak out I would say, "Well, it sucks, but there is nothing we can do about it so let's not get upset. And besides, things may change again in a few months" I have been saying this for 2 weeks now, and I almost think I just might believe it. If only my heart could seem to hear it too! For some reason, my brain and heart are not communicating very well. Today I have really struggled with everything that has happened. It is a frustrating feeling to feel completely helpless to change the situation. Of course I know all the right answers, "God is in control", "God wouldn't have put this on your heart if He didn't intend to carry you through it", "God has blessed us in so many ways, of course He will bless us through this situation", etc...etc...if only my heart could hear all of this. All I know at this point is that there are hurting children in Ethiopia who need Mommy's and Daddy's. God does not intend children to grow up in over-crowded, understaffed orphanages. My child may already be born and is waiting for us to come and get her. I cannot bear to be apart from my baby for as long as I may be required to be...and all because a corrupt government is trying to make power play.

In my brain I know we are on the right path. I KNOW we have been called to adopt internationally. When I look at Zamara I know we made the right choices in the past and I know the same thing will happen once we are on the other side of this process.

Perhaps tomorrow my heart will finally listen to my brain...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Zamara is 3!

We had an awesome 3rd birthday party for Zamara. Can't believe she is 3!!!! Tons of friends, a bounce house, cake pops, and musical chairs. It was very fun! Here are some pictures...

A few more pictures

Birthday Pics

More Pics from Bday Party