Monday, January 30, 2012

And Now....

.....we wait.

Funny how the initial part of this adoption process was SO hands-on and time consuming and how we hoped and dreamed of the day that it was DONE.  And now that it's done, I often find myself wishing that there was something that I could do. 

But, technically, there really is nothing that I/we can do at this point.

Just wait.

And pray, of course.  We do a lot of that.  (And occasionally, we (mostly I) pick up something girl-ish...that's fun!).

We talk often about what it will be like and what she will think and where she will sleep (and did I mention, every now and then, I buy something PINK?).  We also have spent some time guessing where we will land next month on our agency's wait list.

Until then, thanks for waiting...and especially praying...with us.

As difficult as this part of the waiting is, I know that the next part (the part that starts after we've seen a face) will be even MORE difficult.  We'll need your prayers then too.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Live Out Love

Since, in my last post, I mentioned helping a fundraising family, I thought I'd share a great opportunity to do just that.

I was able to serve alongside Kim over at PUT A LITTLE LOVE IN YOUR HEART when we traveled to Ethiopia together with Ordinary Hero in July. She and her family have just accepted the referral of a baby girl and are attempting to raise the last of their adoption/travel costs by selling chances to win a great prize. A Kindle Fire. For every $10.00 you donate, you will be entered into the drawing for the Kindle. Or you can purchase one of their great tees or hats and be entered twice.

Head on over and take a look; be part of bringing this little girl home.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Adoption: It's A Way; it's not THE Way

The numbers, really, they're overwhelming.

Statistics say that there are somewhere between 147 million - 168 million orphans in the world today. Somewhere I've read that if only 8% of those of us who claim to be Christians would adopt ONE, the orphan crisis would be solved. Seems like simple math.

But, let's be honest, it's not as easy as that. Reason being that of those 147,000,000+ orphans, the majority of them aren't and never will be adoptable. Amazing, isn't it? Did you even know that there are orphans that aren't and never will be adoptable? I didn't; until I went to Ethiopia. The inability to trace and document a child's "true" orphan status, leaves many in a system that they will NEVER escape. Until they age out. Which is another issue all on its own.

Adoption is an amazingly beautiful picture of God's redemptive nature. But it does not solve or even begin to bandage the orphan crisis.

There are so many things that you can do; that WE can do to be His hands and feet to those who are fatherless. We can and should be:

- Contributing to, supporting, establishing agencies that work to preserve the family.
- Sponsoring a child or children. Help to give them food, water, an education, an opportunity to hear the Gospel.
- Support a family who is adopting or fostering.
- Consider becoming a foster parent.
- Mentor an at-risk child.
- Shop with a purpose through places like Ordinary Hero and 147 Million Orphans (just to name a couple).
- Read, learn, PRAY.
- Visit me on this one, will wreck your life in the best way possible.

I know that there are others and I will add them as they come to mind.

We've Been Printed

Today was the official appointment day/time for Jeff and I to be fingerprinted by the USCIS department at their Nashville office. Jordan, because he is 18, has to be fingerprinted as well; however, his appointment date was set for January 26, 2012. We cheated a bit and took him along with us in hopes that they'd process all three of us at once. And they did.

The pictures aren't too exciting; we'd hoped to take pics inside with the USCIS officials that actually did the prints but no cell phones or cameras are allowed. Bummer.

Monday, January 9, 2012

January 2012 Wait List Number

When our dossier arrived in Ethiopia, we were estimated to be #35 on our agency's wait list but we knew that more "official" numbers were coming.

Today, we received an email with our new and official number. We are

on our agency's wait list. Yippee!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Melekame Gena

Today is Christmas in Ethiopia and my heart is there today.

On one hand, I can see the bright white smiles and hear the laughter as they celebrate together. I am so excited for our sponsor child, Teraku, who was receiving a package from us on this day and I am so very thankful that Jesus' birth made a way for us all to spend eternity together. That'll be the day.

On the other hand, the reality is that our daughter is there. Somewhere. And I don't know what her situation is; if she is hungry or cold. I don't know if anyone has or will wish her "Melkam Gena" today and/or if she will even eat today. Going there in my mind is hard on a momma.

It's funny. We don't know her but we already love her; we already imagine our life with her and long to have her here. That's only of God. Only He is capable of planting that kind of love in our hearts. And the best part is that He loves her MORE.

What Now?

The excitement of tracking our dossier is now behind us and many have asked, "what's next"?

What's next is that we wait. Some of us are better at this than others, by the way.

And what we're waiting for is a referral. What's a "referral", you ask? The best way that I know to describe it is that it is the process that takes place to match us with a child. Once the agency has a child that they believe to be a fit for our family, we will receive any information available on that particular child. Pictures, information regarding their surrender, any available medical records, etc.

How long will that take?

Well, unofficially we are #35 on our agency's wait list (we should have a more official number in the coming days; this is just the estimate that our caseworker gave us). This doesn't necessarily mean that 34 children will be placed before they get to us. Reason being that some of those with lower numbers than us are specifically waiting for a baby, or a toddler, or a sibling pair/group. Because we are in the "older child" (3-5 year old is what our parameters entail), we could, technically, be matched before #1 (which, of COURSE, is highly unlikely to happen but just wanted to give those of you that are unfamiliar with the process an example of how it works). We have been told to expect this portion of the process to take 6 months although we are both hoping that that is an extremely conservative estimate. Jeff is being the eternal optimist in this regard and has his heart set on something more like 3 months. I guess we shall see.

I hope and pray that he's right but what I know is that God's timing is PERFECT, so we will cling to that and know that He can and will do more than we could ever ask, dream or imagine.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


As you see above, Abeba (pronounced Ah Beh' Bah) has been delivered to the West Sands Office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at 1:30 pm local time yesterday. Now begins the long waiting process for a referral of a child (prayerfully a 3 to 5 year old little girl). Please remember Woudneh Mulugeta, our representative with West Sands and his family in your prayers as he is an instrument of God's plan in our lives. I have pictured him and given his bio here below. Thanks so much for you continued prayers.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Signs Of Change

As we packed up the Christmas decor and unloaded the gifts from various Christmas gatherings, I couldn't help but notice some items that have made their way into our lives this season that are indicative of what is to come in our family in 2012.

First, an Ethiopian nativity. A sweet gift that we'll forever cherish from the Hulshof family.

Also, an ornament (that I love) that I purchased for our tree.

A frame for Jeff's that
just as soon as we have that referral picture, he has a place to display it in his office.

And, last but certainly not least, PINK! Her very own stocking and a couple of sweet headbands.

Abeba update!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our girl (for those of you who are not in the know, I am referring to our dossier I have named Abeba, which is an Ethiopian girl's name meaning flower) has made it to Addis Ababa and is on the FEDEX truck for delivery today. I have captured the notification to here above...stay tuned for more updates...thanks so much for your prayers.