Wednesday, November 26, 2014

One year in

This month marks one year on the wait list for us, so that calls for an update! We have moved very few places because there have been almost no referrals since early 2014. There are many reasons for this but mainly the holdup is in Ethiopia. We have known the situation there for a while but honestly it’s been pretty hard to swallow. Our agency sent their founder, head of the program and executive director there in October to talk to key contacts and get a feel for things in Ethiopia. The overall impression is that this slowdown we’ve experienced since earlier in the year is the new pace of things. International adoption is continuing in Ethiopia and the head of the Ministry of Women, Youth and Children’s Affairs (MOWYCA) has stated there is no intent to close international adoptions; however it is a last resort for their children.  Improving the integrity of the process is important and it is good for their children to stay in their culture if possible but the downside is the kids who are waiting without families for so long.  Our agency now estimates our timeline to be 3 years wait time until referral. People have asked us if there is another adoption route we could go and there are, but we are committed to Ethiopia. Ethiopia has really grown in our hearts and we are calling on God to bring this to completion. Our child will be worth the wait!

I looked back at the last blog post and kind of laughed at myself and how positive I was. We, very smugly, thought we’d be super-star adoptive parents and this wait time would fly by with no complaints from us! Very soon after joining the wait list we were drawn into the ups and downs of waiting parents.  An email with good news lifts our spirits, rumors fly about bad news dampen them… goes like that each week or month with shifts in the climate of Ethiopian adoptions all the time! That is what we couldn’t have prepared for even when it is a well-known fact that international adoption is unpredictable and really, uncontrollable. The only thing getting us through, reminding us of our calling, is constant conversation with the Lord. We pray for a miracle, for lots of referrals, for His hand working in Ethiopia, movement even when we can’t see it, for patience, the Ethiopian officials, and the birth family….the list goes on. At times we didn’t know what to pray because no movement seemed to be happening. This is when we feel like our dear friends have stepped in on our behalf—in prayer and in encouragement. It is so uplifting to us when people randomly tell us they were thinking of us or ask for updates. A big thank you to all those who are praying for us/our child! We’re convinced we need to “pray this baby home”.  Right now in the waiting period it is all we can do.

We know that God’s timing is perfect but there are days when we are aching for our missing family member. God is using this time to refine us as parents and Christ-followers. God will see this to completion and His faithfulness is unending.  One day, I’m sure we will look back on this period of time and think how minor it was because of the blessing of our child.

On a lighter note, if you ever get the chance to enjoy Ethiopian cuisine, we highly recommend it! On National Adoption Day and the day after our official 1 year on the wait list, we had friends take us to Altu’s. Altu’s is an Ethiopian restaurant near us and it did not disappoint! Our friends navigated the menu for us (having two adopted from Ethiopia, they are the experts!) and we just really enjoyed the flavors. Injera is a spongey sourdough-like bread that we used to pick up the meat and vegetables. We had to do it Ethiopian style, of course, and shared platters and didn’t use utensils. It was a pleasure and wonderful to learn more about our future child’s culture! We will be celebrating there in the future often.

On a final note, we’re number 44!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ways you can pray for us:

God’s hand on our baby’s situation


Peace with God’s timing of our referral

Regional directors in Ethiopia (signature required on documents)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Latest Happenings

***If you haven’t read the previous blog post, please do! There are still approx. 30 kids still needing sponsors when I last heard.***

This isn’t unexpected that we really don’t have many updates during this waiting period. Our movement hasn’t really changed in a few months which is a bit discouraging but not that all surprising. This is what we knew we were signing up for with international adoption: unpredictable, uncontrollable, can-change-at-any-time. I think we were surprised to see how much of a rollercoaster it really is….getting good news, bad news, awful news, great news….it is changing all the time. Thankfully, the news we are receiving seems to be that the country of Ethiopia is moving in a good direction for their precious kids to improve the integrity of their processes.

Right now we are still at #57 but we are optimistic for the changes that have been happening in Ethiopia. Our hearts go out to the families who have been stuck in the middle of this transition time and have had referrals for way too long but are not getting court dates to travel. Ethiopian officials are aware of those cases that haven’t moved and they are working to resolve them.  We are encouraged by that display of concern for the kids and adoptive families. In other news, effective immediately within Ethiopia orphanages are now required to seek out domestic adoptive families for two months before the child will be considered available for international adoption. This means a child will need to be in the orphanage for a minimum of two months before his/her adoptive paperwork can be generated. This was a bit hard to swallow at first but we realize this is in the best interest of the Ethiopian children and we hope the new way of doing things is a smooth, quick transition.

Even if things don’t pick up and we continue creeping along at this pace, we are confident in God’s sovereignty in this process. Something we have picked up also is that we haven’t met an adoptive family yet who doesn’t truly believe in “God’s timing”. We know there is purpose in the wait and continue to seek what the Lord has for us to learn as parents and individually during this time.  He alone knows the day our child will be brought home and I can trust Him to make the detail fall into place to make it happen. In the meantime, I arm myself with scripture that tells me God’s promises and we know those are certain, true, predictable, and trustworthy.

!!! Attention family, ahem, MOM, grandmas....etc.!!!
Since it is obvious we don't post much and it will probably stay that way until we get a referral/are travelling, you can receive an automatic email when we've posted a new blog post if you sign up on the right sidebar of the full web version. Input your email where there is a box that says "follow by email". Wouldn't want you to miss any exciting news because you aren't checking this daily. :)

For my own records:
Notable things we’ve done in anticipation of our next child:

1- went to a meeting about doing African hair by an adoptive mom/hairstylist by profession- challenged accepted, great tips
2-seminar on attachment disorder by Kurt Ellis-excellent info, highly recommend  
3-introduced to an adoptive family (x2 from Ethiopia) right at our church

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Help Wanted

I’ve been hearing from or reading about adoptive parents who say that once you adopt from Ethiopia you will want to do more to help your child’s country of birth.  We also are at a point where we feel like we are doing nothing for our adoption. The solution to both of those was given to us by other adoptive families with our agency: child sponsorship in Ethiopia.  There is an organization called Children’s Hope Chest that has a sponsorship program just outside of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (where we will travel to). If you join us in sponsoring a child we can make arrangements to go meet them. Yes, you read that right-meet them IN PERSON! How cool is that? We signed up to sponsor a cutie, Abeba.

Troy and I are super excited that we can go meet these kids when we travel! If any of our family or friends wants to sign up, we would love to visit and take pictures of your sponsored child too! Consider this your opportunity to give to us rather than attending a fundraiser! We would love for the rest of the 46 kids to be sponsored who are eligible.  It is only $34. a month ($408 per year). There is a lot more information on the website that gives details of sponsorship…etc. If you’re familiar with Compassion International, it is similar. Check it out at: