Our Journey To Ethiopia video
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
So, my sister had hired movers to help with all her furniture that she had stored over the summer from her last apartment. While at the storage unit, they discovered that it had leaked and her brand new mattress had disgusting water damage! So, needless to say, we slept on air mattresses and just as things were getting a little stressful having only 3 females trying to load and unload heavy objects with a little girl underfoot, I get a phone call from Brad around 3-ish on Sunday afternoon asking which complex Brittany lived in because he wanted to show it to Elijah online. I totally fell for it and literally 10 minutes later, there was a knock on Brittany's door! After preaching that morning, Brad hopped in the car with Elijah, and took off for a 3 hour trip to Waco to help us and relieve us (since he had Monday off)! One of the many reasons I LOVE my husband!! He immediately got to work, went to bed very late and very tired, got up this morning and took BOTH kids home with him so we could do some last minute things before we left tonight for home.
So, I am home, I am tired, I am glad I went and spent some great time with just "the girls", but I am especially thankful for my husband who truly has a servant's heart and who is always thinking of what he can do to help me (and others)!
Now, I have a busy week ahead of me full of adoption paperwork to be completed!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Today has been pretty emotional as I have experienced a wide range of emotions. I had already experienced these emotions when we decided to change countries, so I really didn't expect the return of our dossier to evoke such similar emotions. It really caught me off-guard.
Even though I am absolutely beyond words about my excitement and desire for my little babies in Ethiopia, I have deeply struggled with the closing of the "china chapter" in my life. Since I have been blessed with others who have experienced similar events and emotions through this process, I have seen the unexpected in this process. I have witnessed the Lord's plan perfectly unravel in ways so unforeseen by His children. What a blessing to see the demonstration of the Lord's amazing sovereignty! I know He is not only pleased with our decision, but has guided us and has put an even deeper desire and love for our children waiting for us in Ethiopia right now. I am comforted by that assurance. Only the Lord knows if China will resurface in our future, but we do know that we are learning to depend totally on Him. Follow Him, Trust Him, Obey Him. The Lord may never completely reveal to us His plan for every step of this journey, but we are thankful for and confident in the sufficiency of scripture along with the Holy Spirit to guide us.
“If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” -Psalms 139:9-10
Monday, July 23, 2007
In other news, our old agency emailed us today telling us that they have Fed Exed to us our dossier they received back from China! It only took one month...record time! We are hopeful we will be able to use at least some of the documents from our dossier!
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Isabella nicely dug sand up and gently placed the sand into the bucket and then moved to another spot and drew pictures in the sand. Elijah intensely thrust his shovel into the sand and violently threw it over his head with all his might while letting out a loud groan only heard from professional weight lifters! He never tired of this activity....always trying to throw the sand higher! It was hysterical!
Elijah wanted to be a leopard and he walked around the rest of the day growling at everyone!
Elijah begged to go see the dinosaur movie so he could wear the "funny" glasses......
...and this very large seal or seal lion that kept swimming in circles and rubbing his back against the glass! We then ended our day on the Strand. We ate dinner, went for ice cream, and then took a carriage ride which the kids thought was so great except for Isabella holding her nose the whole ride because she said the horse was "stinky"!
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
Ever since Brad has been a father, Isabella and Elijah have always been really too little to express why they love Daddy, so I would write little notes to him "from them" and we would all shout (or babble) "Happy Father's Day!" and call it a day. This year, however, the kids were truly able to tell him really why they loved him and why they were thankful for Daddy. Here are some of the things they said:
- He prays with me every night
- He makes us sausage, eggs and biscuits on Saturday morning
- He always hugs me
- Sometimes when we go to the store, he buys me surprises
- He chases me
- He reads us stories
- He loves me the best
- I love Daddy because he's so much fun
- Daddy tickles me
- Daddy goes on walks with me
- Daddy plays with my trains with me
- Daddy loves me and he is good!
And of course, we took our Father's Day picture with Daddy's hand holding the kids' hands so we could see them grow throughout the years and we place it in our special Father's Day Traditions Album! We also started a new tradition this year! We went to the fabric store and let the kids pick out a special fabric they wanted that reminded them of Daddy. We then got some fabric paint and painted the kids hands and made handprints on their special fabric square. We will keep collecting these through the years until we have enough to make Daddy a "Daddy-sized quilt"! Shhhhhhh! Don't tell Daddy!
Friday, July 13, 2007
"The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you." Psalm 116:5&7
Words cannot express the gratitude in our hearts today! I do not know why I continue to worry over things when He is continually faithful time and time again. I do not know why I am continually shocked when He demonstrates His love to us time and time again. From the very beginning of this adoption journey, He has provided for us in every single area of our life and has been our constant Companion. He is our Guide, our Comforter, our Provision, our Sustainer of Life! He is with us!
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Well, we figured out today that after much talk between the two agencies, that the word "addendum" means two different things with each agency. So, really what we need is a home study re-evalutation. Basically, what that means is that we have to have another home visit from our social worker (instead of using the phone interview we already had), our home study must be rewritten and instead of the $200 fee, we must pay $550. So, now we feel like we are starting over a little bit and are a little anxious. However, both agencies have sent us their "re-evaluation" guidelines and have promised that we will be able to get through this quickly!
Since we are still using are original social worker from our old agency (because we LOVE her!!), both agencies must be involved with this Home Study "step" so it is a little more work. I am so pleased that everyone involved are truly wanting to be the most efficient to bring home these children as soon as possible!!
Oh, and we will be sending out our reference letters in the mail tomorrow and are so thankful to those who are taking the time to fill them out for us!!!
Thursday, July 5, 2007
You are about to embark upon the most frustrating, challenging, and ultimately rewarding experience of your life. I can make you two guarantees:
- If you stick through the frustrations and possible changes, we will find you the child(ren) that is meant to be a part of your family.
- You will not be happy with this process until your child(ren) has/have come home.
The most important thing that you can do is to keep your eyes focused on the goal.
If you remember that the goal is to bring a child(ren) into your home, then the small frustrations will ultimately seems just that - small.
Talk with families who have been placed through Gladney, go to Gladney Family Association meetings, and surround yourselves with people who truly understand what it is like to adopt internationally. The loss of control you will feel in this process is like no other you will ever know and like no one else can understand, unless they have been where you are now.
Most of all, do your best to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
And when you worry and become frustrated with the paperwork or the wait or the many number of little details involved in adopting from Ethiopia, remember to be thankful that you have the opportunity to worry about the small problems, because that means someone else is worrying about the big ones for you.
Let the journey begin!