Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Our trip is 3 days away and we are pinching ourselves that this is real. Since we had a month to prepare it felt like it would be a long time to anticipate leaving. If we didn't have three kids at home, it probably would've been real tough but those three made the time go fast. It was good to not have to rush to pack and get all the details together frantically. I had time to clean up projects around the house, host some gatherings and work on the many things we had to do to get ready. Since we are here now, the time was good to balance preparations and quality time with our kids. My emotions are very mixed when it comes to excitement about travelling and finally meeting Semira and on the other hand leaving our three at home for so long.

So many have expressed their congratulations to us and excitement over us going and we are so honored people think and pray for us. We are beyond excited to introduce her to our family and friends when we return. If you think of us while in country, here is a list of prayer requests we have for our trip:

-travelling-flights go well/no issues or hiccups especially since our return flight will be booked quickly and last minute when we are cleared to leave
-safety for our whole family
-our kids at home-being separated from us and from each other some of the time
-Lawson especially-lesser comprehension of why we are gone
-ability to communicate with family while there (internet working)
-prepare Semira's heart to meet us-that she would feel safe, no fear (first meeting Sunday)
-Semira grieving--that we'll know how best to comfort her and build her trust
-political situation in ET-that it would have no effect on our case
-wisdom for us in the first few days learning about our child and how to meet her needs (1-2 days after our court date on Tuesday Feb 27)
-quick bonding to both parents
-smooth transition out of the only home (orphanage) she's known for the last year
-all court, embassy, medical appointments to go smoothly
-quality bonding time in country before we come home and introduce her to her siblings
-long flight home with a one year old! (need I say more?)
-Lawson wouldn't view her as competition and transition well to having another sibling
-all the things we don't know we should be praying for---that we'd feel God's hand on every part of this trip and feel His peace and presence through whatever comes our way

God continues to work in us as we prepare and we continue to praise Him for His work in our lives to bring us to this point. We are humbled that we get to raise this precious child. While we go, we would covet your prayers especially for her during this life changing phase for her. Thank you, thank you!

*We aren't sure if we'll be updating our blog while we travel but we will certainly email family and close friends while in country when we have wi-fi. They're the ones to ask for updates!

Friday, January 26, 2018


This week we were anticipating a court date for our case on Monday and were just a bundle of nerves when we got the call that.....court was rescheduled for the next day, January 23. Arghhh! It's almost laughable now how often things don't go as planned. We breathed a sigh of relief that it wasn't bad news and we just had to wait one more day. Tuesday all went well and we were granted the judge's approval to proceed with our case! This was what we've been waiting on for months! It was an additional day before we found out the actual day we need to be there. February 27 is our court date!

It's been sort of surreal and a slow realization coming over us that this is really happening. After so long I feel like I need to pinch myself that it's here! We are making travel arrangements and will be going a few days early to meet our girl! So, the countdown chain is up and we have about 30 days to prepare to leave.

Our kids have been just amazing considering it's a hard concept to understand for their little minds but to see their prayers answered is special to us. Harlyn has been praying for this adoption for all the time she can remember as well as Asher. She has a sensitive spirit that can easily cry because she wants her sister home. Asher recently said to me sometimes he prays for Samira "before he even gets out of bed in the morning" -- they really share this dream with us. I've been consciously trying to drop calling Lawson the baby since he won't be in about a month and we refer to Samira as the baby. He knows her picture and now points to bottles and babyish things and says "Mira's ______"! His world is about to be rocked but for now he seems to be going along with it! :)

When telling friends and family who have been praying for us we kept hearing a common theme-God is good! We agree--God has been so very good to us! Sharing this news has been what we've wanted to do for so long!

Friday, January 19, 2018

news and prep

If you have seen in the news, a sad announcement was made last week that Ethiopia would no longer continue to allow international adoption as an option for orphans.  (Link to article: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/01/10/577144605/ethiopian-lawmakers-vote-to-ban-foreign-adoptions) The news saddens us greatly as it means some kids will no longer have a chance to live with a loving family. A lot of families are greatly upset and understandably emotional about this decision as they have been waiting in this process a long time like us. As far as we know, our case is secure because of the point we are at in the process and Ethiopia will let those adoptions be completed. Our second adoption process we started with another agency, if you recall, almost 2 years ago now will be ended—which is sad because it means no sibling for Samira that will look like her and be from the same culture. (Not that we were there yet but we were open to the possibility) We are so thankful our case continues to be processed but it’s heavy on our hearts what it could mean for the kids left with no parents coming for them.

As we wait for our court date I have officially been labeled as “nesting” and if it’s much longer, I may have the whole house repainted. Its kept me busy prepping our family/home/lives for a new little one when our travel date has been uncertain. As far as prepping for a one year old goes, thankfully her age is so close to Lawson’s that we don’t feel too out of it as to what a one year old needs, etc. Having Harlyn and Asher 18 months apart helped with being prepared for two crib users…etc.  I have begun gathering things we will need for travelling which is making it all the more real that the call will come and then it will be fast and furious planning. We will be in country for an undetermined amount of time as we are doing this a different way than a lot of families before us. Usually the parents appear in court, visit their child and then fly home awaiting the other steps of the process to be completed before returning to ET and taking the child home. We are opting to do it all in one trip, therefore we buy a one way ticket because our return date will be unknown. The things that have to happen after court like embassy appointments, visa issuance, etc. have a domino effect so if one thing gets held up, the whole timeline shifts. They tell us to pack for 3 weeks—it hopefully will be less but could even be more.  Packing for this trip will be tough but we will try to keep it minimal so we can bring as many donations for the orphanages as we can. Our plan will be to take a large suitcase just filled with donations and donate the bag there and fit our stuff in the others.

If you are local and would like to be so generous and help send anything for the kiddos living in Samira’s orphanage, we’d be happy to deliver them on your behalf. If her orphanage does not need them, our agency staff in country there will help distribute to the ones who need the supplies most. We are ready to start gathering these things so keep an eye out for these things and connect up with Troy or myself if you want to send! (Or one of our parents--they can get it to us)

Donations the orphanage needs are as follows:
Powdered infant formula (any brand or kind)
Diapers-disposable or cloth
Pain relief medications
Baby food
New or slightly used clothing and shoes
Diaper rash cream
Scabies cream
Lice shampoo
Powdered Pedialyte
Hydrocortisone cream
Antibiotic cream
Prescription fungal infection medication

I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say this probably my whole life, but thank you for your heartfelt prayers and concern about this journey for us. We value and appreciate it more than you will ever know. Continue to lift up Ethiopia’s vulnerable children and pray about a way you might get involved to help orphan prevention and family preservation. In light of the recent news it will be so much more important, I believe, to support those causes and organizations doing that work on the ground there.  I hope to become more informed on who is doing that type of work there and hope to promote their causes all the more.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

This is the Year

We’ve been a little lower profile on updates since things were not turning out as we were hoping or sharing with others. After Thanksgiving with the big disappointment of that weekend’s events in Ethiopia, December was looming before us and I was dreading it. I had really been mentally preparing to be gone from the country, missing out on many Christmas activities, Troy had saved up his vacation for our trip and so it was a tough adjustment to know we would not be travelling that month. In the end it did go quickly and all the festivities of Christmas probably helped it pass. The biggest heartache was just wanting to be with our little girl so we could celebrate with her and start our life with her!  Last Christmas was hard after losing the referral of Meskerem and this Christmas had another ache because we were missing Samira.

2018 has come and we have renewed hope as good progress has been made on our case. Our agency is very optimistic about our case and we really hope we will be travelling no later than next month. If you were to tell me on March 29th, 2017 that it would be 11 months before meeting our daughter I may have thrown in the towel, been in despair, or just felt hopeless.  It’s crazy to us it’s been almost that long but the little dates we’d countdown to each time we had a court date or something go on with our case have made it manageable. Although I’d always say to know the date we will go would be so nice to mentally prepare for, I see God’s grace in protecting us from that now. It has kept us on our knees, asking God for His hand in every step since our referral. Things not going as good as they could have would get us down but they did give us smaller goals to look toward until the next appointment or court date. Right now we are praying in the next few weeks the judge has all he needs for our case and will set our court date to appear before him.

We hope the end is in sight…..we are feeling very ready at this point and are eager to start bonding with this precious girl!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Here is December

First off, we know there are so many praying for us and we have really felt the support of so many around us. It is very humbling to have so many lifting us up in prayer and so many who ask frequently how things are going with this process. We can only hope that we can repay that and be dedicated to praying for our friends and family when they need it too.

 From now on, however, we've decided it's best to only update the public when we receive certain, positive updates. The progress is slow, sometimes painstakingly slow, and deadlines aren't always met or held as firmly as you might be used to. Most of the time plan A or maybe B, C and D all don't go as hoped.

It is feeling like we are "overdue" in this "pregnancy" and no day can been soon enough that we go. We will be sure to update you in the meantime but are looking to enjoy our family in the present until that call does come with our court date.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Current Status

We’ve had so much happen in the last two weeks, I’ll stop to update! Two weeks ago we were thinking about the next day with a lot of anticipation and excitement. The events that unfolded that week were nothing what we were expecting but so much more than we could’ve hoped for. Much of it is detail that is hard to explain or hard for those not familiar with the process in Ethiopia to understand—so we will just say this: God moved some mountains on our case and the end result surpassed and exceeded what we thought would get accomplished that week. That being said, during that week we probably hit a low in the process thinking everything was falling apart and not working out. At one point Troy asked me when the last time we got a phone call or email with good news was. Things are so unpredictable and always changing! In the end, we found God is trustworthy, as always, and His plan is better than ours.

We received a huge approval Friday of that week along with another huge step forward last week with the embassy. Currently we are waiting on two documents to be obtained (in Ethiopia) and a judge has said once those are brought to court (by 12/8) they would schedule our court date!! It seems within reach now and we are pumped up! We know from past experience though not to count on anything and that may not happen as they say. Considering the past few weeks of emotionally-draining ups and downs, we are kind of used to it but we know God can continue to amaze us by blazing the path before us.

On Thursday an agency representative will be travelling to try to get those two documents. We’d appreciate prayer for his success and that they will be accepted as sufficient to continue to setting our court date. We firmly believe we have already experienced a miracle and continue to embrace God’s timing for this process. She will be worth the wait for sure!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


To let everyone know, Monday did not get anything accomplished on our case. We heard from our caseworker the news yesterday and there is nothing real negative that happened---just nothing happened. I won't go into details as they pertain to Samira's story but it isn't the news we were expecting to hear at all. We are still hopeful and if nothing else it has given us more time to pray. Please continue praying for us-they are retrying this Thursday/Friday. For now, we continue to wait.

Thank you for your concern and care for us!

Since I probably won't post until after we hear the outcome of Friday's [now, third] court date....Thursday is Samira's first birthday. I really dislike reading through past blog posts and don't, until Troy mentioned we've never said her name before last week's post. Well, guess I just dropped that there---we will be sure to explain why it is meaningful later. ;) We will be celebrating here in Michigan, although we were so hoping to spend her birthday with her.

Proverbs 3:5-6 -Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight