Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Roller Coaster

The last couple of months have been a roller coaster for us. Around Christmas rumors began circulating that Ethiopia was closing to international adoptions. This was devastating news because we believed so confidently that this is what God wanted for our family.  As we waited for official confirmation, our minds began to run wild with questions like "what next?" "why now?".  Do we consider foster to adopt? Private adoptions? Why did God bring us down this road just for it to close?  Each day was (and still is) a battle to trust that God has our lives and our family in His hands.

As of a couple of weeks ago our roller coaster took an uphill swing as we learned that Ethiopian adoptions are not in fact closed and will begin again soon!!!!!  It has never been the intention of the Ethiopian government to close, but rather to slow things down in attempt to correct corruption.  This news brings great joy but also a realization that things may not always go as we have planned. Please pray that God will continue to protect Ethiopia and it's relations with the international adoption community. Pray for the ethical treatment of orphans and their families. Pray that the process for adoptions will return to its prior pace. And pray for peace as we wait.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

For in this HOPE we are saved

The Christmas season is upon us and every year I am amazed that the reason for Christmas gets lost in the shuffle of shopping and parties and decorations.

Mike and I are Christians. We place our hope and lives in the death and resurrection of Jesus. We believe that we are sinful and in ourselves can do nothing to make ourselves sinless. There is no good deed, no good work that I could ever do that would account for my sin. God in His grace and immeasurable goodness saw that only a perfect sacrifice, a sinless life, would rectify the wrong in the world. At Christmas we celebrate God giving the perfect gift of His Son, who would live a perfect life and yet die the death I deserved to die so that I could be made right with God.

We have nothing, no hope hope for righteousness, without the shed blood of Christ. Thank you God for your perfect gift at Christmas.

"For by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves - it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8

"Because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we are dead in transgressions, it is by grace you have been saved." Ephesians 2:4-5

"For in this Hope we are saved..." Romans 8:24

The Waiting Game

Waiting is hard. We have have now been a waiting family for 3 months and have moved 5 spots. We are very thankful for the 5 spots we have moved over the past 90 days...but 77 still seems like a very big number. For those of you who don't know, there has been a slow down in Ethiopian adoptions. To the best of our understanding, the southern part of Ethiopia has temporarily stopped adoptions with the hopes of cleaning up corruptions and allowing for better treatment of the children who need homes. While this in the long run is a good thing, it has slowed down the process significantly.  We continue to trust God and his timing. We feel strongly that He has asked us to bring one of His children home and that His timing is perfect and sovereign...but waiting is still hard. We have heard from other adopting families that this period of waiting is hard because there is relatively little communication with the agency and relative little that we can do to speed up the process. We would ask for your support in prayer for peace during the waiting process, protection of Ethiopian adoption, and a restarting of adoptions in the southern part of  Ethiopia.

2 Corinthians 12:9
"But he said to me, ' My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Room For Our Boy

If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE a good house project.  Welcoming our son home means a whole new multitude of possible projects!!  Here is his room pre-projects...

Right now, this room is "my office" but over the next two years it will be transformed into our son's bedroom!!  More pictures to follow in coming months...and years!  :)

Children's Hope International

Last week, we went to St. Louis to visit Mike's family.  While we were there, we took a side trip to see Children's Hope International.  It was nice to finally see the building in person after months of mail, paperwork, and emails to this mysterious place.  :)

I know, not my best photography (you can see our car in the window...yes this is where I took the pictures from) but you get the general idea.  Outside the building flies the flags of all the countries with whom CHI works.  The Ethiopian flag is second from the never quite wanted to open up for us!!

A Waiting Family...FINALLY!

After months of paperwork, interviews, and more paperwork, we are FINALLY a waiting family!! We found out (on our anniversary) that we are waiting family #82!!  This number seems really big, but it includes all waiting families in front of us, including those families who want girls, older children, sibling sets, etc.  Our adoption councilor explained that the number doesn't have a lot of significance other than to help us measure progress on the waiting list.  Generally there have been 3-4 placements per month which puts us around a 24 month wait for our sweet boy.  God has purpose in this waiting time, but it still seems like a really long wait!! 

I'm a visual person and needed a way to "watch" our wait get slower so I made an 82 link paper chain...

...this is a daily visual reminder that we are waiting for our son to come home.  It is hanging in the room that will one day be his and reminds me to pray daily for his birth family, his development, his nutrition, his care, and his heart.  I am excited to watch this chain get shorter in the coming months!!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tomahawk Projects...Besides Adoption

Adoption is not the only thing that Mike and I enjoy.  :)  While we wait for our sweet boy, we (mostly meaning me) find lots of ways to get into trouble around the house.  This spring, I had the crazy idea that I wanted a flower garden across the back of the yard.  How hard can this be, right?  HA!  Mike was agreeable to this project seeing as our weeds were taking over his well manicured lawn.  With visions of beauty in our hearts and ignorance in our heads...we began the project...

...this is our yard before 3 pallets of brick, 20 bags of sand, 24 cubic yards of dirt, lots of rain, a little snow, and LOTS of helpful hands from my family...

...and...drum roll please...the final project!!!  Beautiful right?  Missing something??

...yes,  we neglected to realize that we needed LOTS and LOTS of dirt to fill in our "garden".  So this was delivered to our house (on the hottest weekend of the summer)... turns out that 2 dump trucks of dirt is a LOT of dirt...24 TONS of dirt to be exact.  With the gracious help of family and friends, we managed to move all of this dirt in a single weekend.  In case you were wondering, we used wheelbarrows and manpower, not a Bobcat...despite the helpful advice given to us by multiple random strangers who stopped by to admire (and laugh) at our pile.  I have to say that our pups were especially helpful in our process...

...they were primarily supervisors on this "bathroom renovation" as Zoey called it.  But, in the end, it was all worth it and we LOVE our new garden!!  Now the fun begins!!


...Zoey adding the final touches to her bathroom renovation...

...the first fruit of my new garden!!  I transplanted 3 Rose of Sharon bushes this spring thinking they wouldn't survive and here we are at the end of the summer enjoying their beautiful flowers!!