Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Update

Monday, March 31st, 2014

This is a screen shot of the update we received today. It may or may not indicate that referrals are going to begin again soon….but it’s all I’ve got

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Created for Care

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

This past weekend was AMAZING!! I want so much to tell you about all the wonderful truths I have learned and the super cool stories I heard…but alas, there is just way way too much.

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One of the things I do want to share is a nugget I have missed from a story I have read dozens of times. It begins with God’s people being held as slaves in Pharaoh’s land. For hundreds of years they prayed for God to deliver them from captivity and through a series of events (if you don’t know the story please take a minute to read and then come back) God answered their prayers.

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One of the characters in this particular story is a woman named Miriam. She is the older sister of Moses, and at the time of the Exodus she is at least 85-90 years old.

Miriam was born into captivity and had spent her entire life waiting for God to fulfill His promise, and I’m sure by her age it was probably hard to imagine that she would be a part of this story. Yet, here she is and her role is crucial.  Can you imagine this? As she is standing in her little hut wondering what of her meager possessions she is going to take and what to leave behind – that must have been very difficult. How do you pack for a journey when you don’t even know where you are going? How do you pack the essentials and though you are now free, leave behind all that is yours?

So anyway, the story goes on and as they approached the Red Sea they noticed the Pharaoh was in pursuit, obviously he was upset and changed his mind. After all they have went through to get to this point, how could God lead them here? But just as fear and doubt sets in, God parts the waters for them! Miriam and her people crossed the Red Sea on dry land and as Pharaoh crossed behind they were swallowed up and died.

Now the story goes on from here but it’s on this very next point I want to stop and focus. As soon as they crossed the sea Miriam stopped, pulled out her tambourine and praised God. Did you catch that? Of all the possessions she could have packed in her small bag, Miriam chose to pack a tambourine.

tambourine

Now this may seem odd, and before this weekend I never even noticed the significance. But, Miriam had actually done something totally awesome.

See, though Miriam had spent her entire life as a slave and had experienced disappointment after disappointment she still expected God to come through. She knew that when God said He was going to free them, He would do it. So to Miriam, it only seemed logical that she pack an instrument of praise.

So, when Miriam safely reached the other side she had already put herself in a position to praise. And that’s what she did, she sang, danced, and played her tambourine for The Lord for He is always good and always keeps His promises!

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This was huge for me!! I know that we have been called to our adoption journey and that God is in control. I know that God has promised that He will provide for us and will see us through to the end of our journey. But, what I haven’t done is made myself available, or put myself into a position to give praise when those promises are fulfilled.

So don’t be surprised if you randomly see me walking around with a tambourine cause I gotta be ready to get my praise on!

There are so many other stories like this I want to share, but there are just too many and too long to put into one post. Maybe after I’ve had some time to digest them a little more and pull out the most important parts I’ll share them.

Another super exciting and really sweet thing that happened was courtesy of my wonderful husband! I sat down for my first breakout session Friday evening, opened up my notebook and found that Warren had written me this amazing note. It was full of wonderful scripture, encouragement, and well wishes for a great weekend. Isn’t that just the sweetest? A genuine hand written letter, tucked away for me to read at just the right moment. I’m truly blessed beyond measure!!!

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I had a great time, and the weekend of full of laughter and healing. Met some wonderful mothers, made some new friends and absolutely can’t wait to go again next year.

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February Update

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

I’m a little late on posting this update so for those who checked yesterday I apologize.

We received our monthly update from our agency on Monday and as expected we did not move on the list. They did say that they have heard regional courts are issuing referrals again and are very hopeful for more movement this month but things are moving very slow there.

Why the slow progress after moving steadily prior to August? Well, a lot of reasons all of which are way too long and complicated to explain in one blog post and probably way more information than anyone really wants to know anyway. Maybe I’ll post about it one day when I have a little more patience but if you want to know just call me….I do enjoy chats with friends 😉

On a happier note I am going to Created for Care,a retreat for adoptive and foster moms. I am traveling down Friday morning with some wonderful ladies from my agency and we are spending the weekend at Legacy Lodge in Buford, GA. I am so excited for this time away to connect with other women. Women who are considering adoption, women who are currently in process like me, women on the other side of the wait whose children are home, women who love The Lord and find refuge in His Word.

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Please pray that this will be a time of rest and I will come home armed with lots of information and renewed strength and courage. Also, pray for Warren. He’s going to be on his own for a few days and I’m leaving a rather extensive “honey do” list ;). OK, aside from that, he has a lot going on and could use some prayers for wisdom and clarity.

Waiting, molding, praying

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

In the last six month we have moved only one space on the waiting list and this month is not looking promising for movement either. Since the original news that Ethiopia wants to close all international adoptions and put in new requirements we have heard nothing. A lot of families are getting nervous, considering different countries, and pulling out of the program. We have been asked numerous times what we are going to do………

Well, here’s what I know:

1) we have felt a specific calling on our family to adopt since before we married, and since we began this process (other than slow downs) we have not encountered anything that would make us question our decision to adopt

2) we know our initial calling was and is for Ethiopia. I’m not saying that door will never be closed, I’m just saying that as of this moment, we are not supposed to move so we continue to wait on The Lord

3) we know that we may never have biological children, not impossible, just improbable. We know that this current adoption will likely not be our only adoption regardless of how it turns out or rather or not we have biological children. So it’s possible we could begin the process of another adoption while we wait, but again, we are waiting on clear direction from God.

God has a plan and a purpose for our family and each day we are learning more about ourselves, strengthening our marriage, developing our faith, and learning to trust Him more fully. These trials, as hard as they are, are what are molding us into what we are to ultimately be.

Some days I want to throw in the towel, give up on the hope of children, and scream of the unfairness of it all. But, after I calm down and reflect on how far we’ve come, I wouldn’t change a thing. Without these trials, without this pain, without a reason to need God, I would have never sought him this hard on my own.

The really scary part…….knowing all the work that’s left to do.

Click below on Anthony Evans to hear the amazingly uplifting song

Anthony Evans – Wait

Ethiopian Ganna

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Below I have copied a description of Ethiopian Christmas or Ganna from a website, whychristmas.com. How cool is it that we get to celebrate Christmas twice just a few weeks apart!!!

“Ethiopia (and especially the Ethiopian Orthodox Church) still use the old Julian calendar, so they celebrate Christmas on January 7th, not December 25th! The Christmas celebration in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is called Ganna. Most people go to church on Christmas Day.

Many people fast (don’t eat anything) on Christmas Eve (January 6th). At dawn on the morning of Ganna, people get dressed in white. Most people wear a traditional garment called a shamma. It’s a thin white cotton piece of cloth with brightly colored stripes across the ends. It’s worn like a toga. If you live in a big town or city you might wear ‘western’ clothes. The early Ganna mass starts at 4.00am!

The Ethiopian capital city is Addis Ababa. It’s a modern city. Most people who live outside big cities live in round house made of mud-plastered walls which have thatched cone-shaped roofs. Sometimes houses in the country are rectangular and made of stone.

The design of Ethiopian Church is similar to the houses. In the country, they are often very old and have been carved out of rock. In cities, modern churches are built in three circles, each within the others.

The choir sings from the outer circle. Everyone who goes to church for the Ganna celebrations is given a candle. The people walk around the church three times in a solemn procession, holding the candles. They then go to the second circle to stand during the service. The men and boys are separated from the women and girls. The center circle is the most important and holy place in the church and is where the priest serves the Holy Communion or mass.

It’s also a tradition that one of the Wise Men who visited Jesus came from Ethiopia.

Around the time of Ganna, the men and boys play a game that is also called ganna. It’s played with a curved stick and a round wooden ball, a bit like hockey.

Traditional Christmas foods in Ethiopia include wat which is a thick and spicy stew that contains meat, vegetables and sometimes eggs (sounds yummy!). Wat is eaten on a ‘plate of injera’ – a flat bread. Pieces of the injera are used as an edible spoon to scoop up the wat.

Twelve days after Ganna, on 19th January, Ethiopians start the three day celebration of Timkat. It celebrated the baptism of Jesus. Children walk to church services in a procession. They wear the crowns and robes of the church youth groups that they belong to. Adults wear the shamma. The priests wear red and white robes and carry embroidered fringed umbrellas.

Musical instruments are played during the Timkat procession. The sistrum is a percussion instrument with tinkling metal disks a bit like a vertical tambourine. A makamiya, a long T-shaped prayer stick is used to keep the rhythm and is also used by the priests and a stick to lean on during the long Timkat church service!

Ethiopian men also play a sport called yeferas guks. It’s played on horseback and the men throw ceremonial lances at each other (sounds rather dangerous!).

People don’t give and receive present during Ganna and Timkat. Sometimes children might be given a small gift of some clothes from their family members. It’s more a time for going to church, eating lots and playing games!”

Welcome to our new blogging home!

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

Thank you to everyone who has followed us here to our new location. Even more than that, thank you to everyone who lifts us and our child up in your prayers!

Things certainly are very shaky and uncertain in Ethiopian adoptions. We know that there is a possibility of Ethiopia closing their doors to international adoptions. We also know that even if they remain open there are going to be big changes and with that LOTS of slow downs in referrals and processing.

This is not easy news for us to deal with. After waiting this long it’s so hard to imagine having even more unknown amounts of time added on. However; even with all the unknowns and fear we still feel like we are exactly where we are supposed to be. So, unless God closes this door for us we will remain here.

Urgent Plea

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Late last night the following article was posted on an adoption post I follow. Needless to say I have not rested and today the adoption world is in a frenzy.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201312260586.html/

We, along with many in process have sent in emails asking our agencies for more details but like us they all seem to be blindsided and unsure of what this will mean. Below is the response we have received from our agency in our facebook group (agency name removed due to nature and sensitivity of issue)

(Name Removed) is aware of the recent TV broadcast in Ethiopia, which portrays a generally negative perception of international adoption. This is a documentary type show which has aired for a couple of nights now after the evening news, and is sponsored by the Ethiopian Government. It provides viewers with general information about international adoption, and also strikes claims that birth parents may be unaware that adoption is a permanent placement, and that Orphanages receive money for the placement of children. It also provides opinions that children are better off remaining in an orphanage in Ethiopia, rather than being taken out of their birth country. The Ethiopia First Instance Federal Judge was interviewed, as well as head officials from MOWCYA, an orphanage director, and an adoption agency director. We are unsure as to the motive behind this news story, but ask you to pray for all those involved in adoption in Ethiopia. We understand that the NCFA has also expressed concerns over this recent televised story to the Department of State. We will keep you updated with any new information that may come up. Thank you!

No one knows what any of this means or how it will affect the families currently in process!

We are asking all our prayer warriors to join us and all the families from our agency in prayer tonight at 10eastern/9central. Hundreds of prayers will be going up at this time and the more we can add the better. But please, don’t just pray tonight, pray until we have a clear answer. 

Reminds me of the lyrics to a hymn:

Prayer Bells of Heaven

While we are living in this world of care
Many the burdens that we have to bare
But there’s a prayer bell at the Lord’s right hand
Give it a ring and he will understand
CHORUS:
Prayer bells of heaven oh how sweetly they ring – [Keep Ringing]
Bareing the message until Jesus our King – [Oh Glory]
When you are burdened down with trouble and care – [My Brother]
Ring on and on for God will answer your prayer
Three Hebrew children to the flames were thrown
Because a mortal King they would not own
Jesus delivered and the King then saw
Prayer bells of heaven beats a man made law
When Paul and Silas both were thrown in jail
They did not worry who would go their bail
But on the prayer bell they began to ring
Off fell the stocks and they began to sing
Into the garden Jesus went to pray
Until his sweat became as blood they say
Ringing the prayer bells there in agony
Bringing salvation that we might be free

December

Monday, December 9th, 2013

So I know this is late considering we received our update last week but it took a little time for me to get it together enough to write a post.

We remained at number 31 this month. There were zero referrals for like the I don’t know how many months in a row 🙁 
                                                                      

Looking forward to the next few weeks of celebrating the birth of Christ with family, my upcoming b-day, and ringing in a new year!
 
                          

October Blues

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Have I mentioned lately that referrals are slow?

We moved one spot this month…..

I refuse to lose hope! I know were are called to Ethiopia and are exactly where we need to be right now. I know God has a plan and a purpose and in His perfect timing our child will join our family.

That being said, please understand that those are very hard things for me to hear right now. When your heart is desperately longing for that child God is hand picking just for you, you know that while you wait they wait too, only with even less understanding! After all we have been through to get to this point, those are very hard words to hear

So what do we need right now?

1) Prayer! Lots and lots of prayer! Prayer for us, our hearts, our finances, our child, our preparations..everything, please just cover this whole adoption in prayer! Just not patience please….I’m still trying to deal with the last dose I prayed for 😉

2) Patience and Understanding from all of you! Most days we honestly try not to think about our adoption. We “try” to enjoy the time we are being blessed with to grow as a couple before children. But as you can imagine, that’s not always realistic. Our adoption has grown from just a way to grow our family into our family mission to “defend the fatherless”; God has opened our eyes and our hearts are literally breaking for the things that break God’s heart. It’s nearly impossible to not be focused on adoption. So when we seem bummed that our number hasn’t dropped, or we are rambling about adoption stuff in general please try to understand we are just excited about what God is doing in and through us and we really want to share it and for you to be a part of it!

3) We are still in super savings mode to get all our funding. So if you have some neat ways to save money or fun fundraising ideas we’d love to hear them. But please, keep nasty comments to yourself!

Aside from that we are doing well. Looking forward to the upcoming holidays and time with family.

Confessions

Sunday, September 29th, 2013
This month has been VERY trying for us! I don’t know necessarily that it has been the “worst” because there are so many factors that play into any given time frame and circumstance.
When I first started writing this post it was long and emotional. I want people to just “get it”. I want you to share my passion for orphan care, I want you to journey with me, to experience each new wave and revelation, to grow and mature in your faith in the ways that I have! I want you to understand our struggles and our pain. But it just doesn’t work that way! No matter how many ways I try to explain it you can never fully “get it”….and that’s OK!

God is so amazing and He made each person so unique. While we all are sinners in a fallen world and only He is the answer...He uses so many different things in our lives to mold us and to develop our faith. How boring would life be if we all shared the exact same struggles and never experienced anything new to stretch and grow us?
Adoption is HARD! The process is hard, the waiting is hard, the financial aspect is hard, the adjustment once they are home are hard and the circumstances that put the child in the position of needing a new family are HARD!
So, in an effort to avoid the post with TMI about our specific journey I just simply ask that you pray for us. Pray that we have peace that passes understanding, that our hearts would continue to break for the orphans around the world, and that God will prepare and equip us for the journey He has laid before us. And we will pray for you too! We’ll pray that you are being molded and your faith is growing as you walk the path you have been placed on and you fulfill Gods calling on your life.

Wait List Update

It’s the rainy season in Ethiopia which means the courts are closed. Why you may ask? Because when it rains A LOT for a long period of time the roads wash out and you just can’t always get to work 😉

So what does this mean for our adoption?
Children have to be “paperwork ready” in order to be referred to a family and this goes through the court for approval. Sometimes there are children who are referred during court closure because their paperwork was already complete and they were just waiting to be matched with the best family for them. But, this month there were zero referrals 🙁
Courts are expected to re-open in mid to late October. We hope to see an explosion of referrals in October!
Also, beginning with the courts re-opening, the new PAIR process will take effect. 
Our number remains the same: