Friday, September 28, 2012

Update-Sept 2012

We never said we would be good bloggers:) It has been over a year and well, we still wait. It has been a year of a lot of changes within the Ethiopian adoption world...lots of highs and lows. There have been months with encouraging movement on the waiting lists and months where it felt like we were moving backwards. As it stands now, our updated numbers are:

Baby Girl List: 56
Baby Boy List: 42
Siblings: 21

We are hopeful we will get a referral in the next year. Our agency has partnered with another orphanage so hopefully that means more children coming home.

So what have we learned from the wait?
Well, #1, we stink at waiting.  We get frustrated, angry, and sad at the drop of a hat and are constantly finding new ways to distract ourselves.  We are a mess.  Which leads me to #2, God is faithful and we need Him ever so much.  He never changes, is always steady and patient with us as we flitter around trying to control everything.  #3, we can live on so much less money than we ever thought.  We don't miss going out to eat and spending without thought (but oh Target, I do miss you some days!).  We have loosened our grip on our finances and are starting (long ways to go still) to see it all as His.  And, #4, we are not alone.  When you look around, you realize everyone is hurting in some way.  This is not our home and we can never be satisfied apart from our Creator.  We have some amazing friends (new and old) who are journeying with us in this, and allowing us to journey with them through their "stuff."  Nothing refreshes us more than spending time with those people who we don't have to put on a happy face for.  You people know who you are.

Also, as we were waiting this last year, we got to know an amazing group of kids called the His Little Feet Choir.  14 sweet orphans who give a face and a voice to the millions of children without families. We were so blessed by our time with them! 

If they are ever in your area, all I can say is GO! You will be blessed.

We will try to update more often but are so thankful for your prayers and support. Pray we would be faithful in this time and pray for the time gets closer, we will still need about $20,000 to pay fees and travel (ha, it's laughable...only $20,000).

Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names.  They are easier to ignore before you see their faces.It is easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms.But once you do, everything changes.
David Platt, Radical

Friday, September 16, 2011


Show Hope (Stephen Curtis & Mary Beth Chapmans' adoption ministry) approved our grant application and are giving us money for the adoption!

Honestly, we weren't expecting anything, so we were shocked! As much as we need the money, the biggest blessing in us receiving the grant was the confirmation that God is our Provider. We have heard all along from people who have been on this road before, that "God will provide." And of course we believed and hoped for that, but when you are staring at a bill you can't pay you start to wonder. We know God has called us to this huge thing, that we aren't able to do alone, but it was starting to feel, well, lonely. So receiving an unexpected letter that people a thousand miles away have been praying for us and want to give us $3000 was just what these lonely hearts were needing.

And in other news, our numbers are moving pretty slowly right now since Ethiopia is in their rainy season and the courts are closed, but here are our September #'s:

Baby Girl: # 105
Baby Boy: # 82
Siblings: #39

"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:13

Friday, July 15, 2011

July's Numbers

As of July 15, 2011 our new spots on the waitlist are:

Girl: 115
Boy: 89


Friday, July 8, 2011

On the List!

Today we got news that our dossier (aka enormous amount of paperwork) has been approved and we are officially on the waiting list. Paperwork phase over...waiting phase begins.

Although the numbers are a little arbitrary since people can be on multiple lists and it is not including people who were referred in June, here are our digits:

Baby Boy List #95
Baby Girl List #122
Sibling Group List #49

That's the good news!

The bad news is adoptions are moving slower and there is quite a bit of uncertainty in Ethiopia right now, so the wait time which was once 8 months, could be as high as 18 months (currently averaging about 12 months).

So we wait, and we pray.

Thanks for journeying with us!

“I am waiting for the Lord, my soul is waiting for Him, and my hope is in His Word.” Psalm 130:5

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Going Public...

We have been using this blog as a place to journal our thoughts, timeline, and costs as we begin the adoption process and weren't sure we would ever make it public beyond family, but here we go...


Monday, May 2, 2011

Paperwork Coma

As May begins, we are in a little bit of a standstill. We have finished our home study, most of our dossier paperwork and all of our training requirements. The paperwork is extensive and annoying, but I kind of love a little binder with tabs and a checklist...I can control that, I can DO this! Knowing the uncertainty that awaits us in this process, I embrace the small part of the process I can control. However, we are waiting on a little form called the I-600A, which is a petition to our government to allow us to adopt and bring an orphan into the United States. It is a quick and easy form to fill out (except for writing the $890 check that accompanies it), yet it takes 12-14 weeks to get your "letter of favorable determination" back from the state department. So we are waiting...

The last couple of months have been emotional. We have had some painful personal things we have dealt with but in the midst of this, though, God has brought people into our life who have served as nothing but encouragement for us. Dear friends and family, other adoptive parents we met at our training, and new friends who we know the LORD has placed in our lives. We have not felt alone and are able to rest in His provision for us.

The money thing has been (and continues to be) tough for us, yet up to this point there has never been a bill we couldn't pay. God has provided through ways we never planned or expected, and also through the generous hearts of people who love us and love God. We are so grateful and humbled. One of our first official donations came in the form of a crumpled $20 bill from the piggy bank of a beautiful girl whose heart and world view is mature way beyond her 7 years. Does she understand the suffering and destitution in Africa? Has she studied the Bible for its teachings on orphans and understand the idea of the "least of these?" Probably not...well maybe (she is a smart cookie), but she surely does know that her baby sister found her way home from Africa. She knows that the love she and her sister have for one another is real, her family is complete, and she will do whatever she can to make sure Brody and Anna can get to their baby brother or sister.

"...for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Cor 9:7

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Usually we want to post/share our thoughts and feelings about the adoption when things are great, but right now things most definitely are not great. So hopefully this will just be a record of one of the deep "valleys" in this process.

Word in the blogosphere, facebook, and news is that Ethiopia is currently deciding whether or not they should slash their international adoption processing from 50 files/day to 5. There is a huge push by "aid organizations" (UNICEF particularly) to keep orphans in their home countries. They are citing isolated examples of child trafficking as one of the main reasons to make the process more "thorough," and it is not too difficult to find news articles about adoption agencies who are getting reviewed for "suspicious practices." (sorry for all of the quotes... I'll try to slow those down.)

I get that, in the ideal world, we could crank up our international aid and get these poor and starving countries the help they need. But even if that started yesterday, it would take YEARS for that to trickle down to the people who need it. And even then, there are still millions of children whose parents have died from AIDS or otherwise, and that would just get them a more comfortable bed and better food in their orphanage.

I know this is a mixture of preaching to the choir and rambling, but I am frustrated. I cannot believe how overtly evil this world is. In the name of "keeping children with their cultural heritage," we are denying THOUSANDS of kiddos each year the right to have a real bed, a real mom to kiss their foreheads, a real dad to hug them way too tightly. How dark is that? How can God stand to let us humans run this world for a single second more? I am still new to this "the world is NOT what we've been led to believe here in the suburbs" thing, and it's getting overwhelming quickly. Our adoption has been a salve for me, letting me believe that we are doing something to make a small difference. But if Ethiopia legislates us out of the picture, what then? What are we supposed to do? Move our adoption paperwork to a different country? Forget all of the stories, images, and history that we have practically lived in this past year?

Our hearts are hurting, I'm pissed pretty much constantly, and these kids might be receiving a life sentence in 2 days, March 10th.

So we'll pray, sign any petition you put in front of me, and tell everyone we know. (Who don't seem to care nearly as much as we do, judging by the FB response. but that's another blog.)

(this was Joe by the way)

UPDATE: There has been an official slowdown, but international organizations have banded together to keep the Ethiopian adoption process running smoothly, while also building increased security and protective measures to ensure that everything possible is being done "in-country" to keep the families intact and protect them from those who would try to obtain a child illegally. Our agency is still processing adoptions and the courts are moving at a reasonable pace, so we continue on...please keep praying.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Smoke Detectors and Kia's

Smoke detectors and Kia's...what could these things have in common?

Well, they are the tools Satan uses against me. Anytime Joe and I begin to really buckle down on the budget and tithing, the Kia (or our other ghetto fabulous vehicle) goes out...and not just goes out, but catastrophically falls apart, always costing a thousand dollars or more. It was the story of our summer. And it happened again the day before we submitted our adoption application. To start the process, it costs right around $3000. To pay for the Kia, $1500. Blah!

The other thorn in my side is smoke detectors. You'd think being married to a firefighter would help me in this situation, but it does not. When Joe is away at work, the chirping starts or even better, the full blown alarm mode at 2 am. Coming from the demon possessed one at the top of the vaulted ceiling. Thankfully my children can sleep through anything, (except my phone alarm vibrating at 4:30am), so they are always untethered. But kid you not, the night before the application was turned in.

Needless to say, although it sounds like frat house warfare, I do believe it is spiritual warfare. My biggest weakness is apathy, which comes when I am tired, frustrated, or feeling small. These attacks, although annoying and derailing at times only prove this is worth fighting for. Caring for "the least of these" has eternal significance, otherwise Satan wouldn't care.

"You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you." Galatians 5:7, 8

My prayer is that I don't doubt what the Lord has called our family to. He was clear in the message and has been faithful in the details. From the moment we stepped out and announced we were adopting, it has been one attack after another. I am not trying to sugar coat it, it has been more personal and deep than stupid cars and chirping appliances, but He is faithful. This is only the beginning and I know Satan is not done, but I am grateful to be serving a God who has already won the battle.

"I know that you can do all things, no plan of yours can be thwarted." Job 42:2

So, despite money being siphoned from our account and the deafening 2 am slap in the face, we went forward.

"We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28