Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Praying for others

I have been praying for other families that are either traveling to Ethiopia this week, or going to court or getting ready to travel or go to court. Praying for families on the waiting list, or trying to get their funds together to press on. Praying for a family dealing with an adoption disruption and all the pain that is involved. Praying for families adjusting to bringing children home. Praying for families that have had their hearts broken with failed adoptions. I have been burdened for these families (most of whom are virtual strangers). Burdened to bring their needs before God and seek His will for their situations. Praying for peace and comfort. Praying for provision and grace.

Someone once told me that once you enter the adoption world, other adoptive families will share a deep connection with you. Almost like family. Possibly because they have been through similar situations. Possibly because God allows that strong connection. What ever it is, I believe it is true.

I am thankful that God has called our family to adoption. I believe it is He who lays it on hearts. I call it a privilege to pray for these others families and the stages that they are in. I am thankful that they too will pray for us as we journey along.

Sweet Pea,

I am excited as more families are moving through HH - it just means we are closer to you than we were before. God's plan and timing is perfect and I can't wait to meet you.

Love, Mom

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Such a sweet moment that I want to record here for Sweet Pea to read someday. In fact that is why I wanted to start another blog just for the adoption so I could make it into a book when we are done with this and include it as part of their "life book". So, here goes...

We have had to have workers here in the house for about 2 weeks working on our bathroom tile. We found a leak that was from when the house was built and needed to get it taken care of before it became a larger problem (so thankful the builder took care of this). So it has been kind of fun to share with these different guys about the adoption process. One of the workers was here the week we submitted our dossier and got to rejoice in the accomplishment of that task. Yesterday, the last guy was here sealing the grout and as he was leaving, he put some money on the counter and said he wanted to contribute to the adoption fund.

It was just such a tender moment and so very sweet and thoughtful of a virtual stranger to take part in our journey. I am beginning to see how God has weaved together a large group of people to be part of our encouragement and support as we go through this process. It is not my plan, but God's. He is in control and He is trustworthy. I am so thankful for these sweet and tender moments.

Sweet Pea,

Please know how so many people worked to bring you into our family. The family that God designed from the beginning of time.

Love, Mom

Monday, November 16, 2009

waiting list numbers

Just wanted to share that we got our waiting list numbers and we are thrilled to be on the waiting list. They also REALLY stressed not to hold too tightly to these numbers. Families can become obsessed with the numbers and focus so much on them. So we will hold to these numbers lightly and trust that God's timing is perfect for EVERY detail of this adoption.


This picture is very special. Years ago Chuck built a race car with some friends from church and he was number 45 and he called it the orange crush. It brings back fun memories. So this one is just for Chuck - one fantastic daddy.



So there you have it. We will wait patiently on the Lord for our child or children and pray as we wait. Trusting that every detail is in God's hands. Our best guess for a time frame for all of this is 6-8 months before we get a referral (which is when they match you with a child). Please keep praying for our Sweet Pea(s) as we wait on God.

Sweet Pea -

We are so excited to finally have numbers on the waiting list. Praying that the wait will go quickly and looking forward to the day we are number 1 on the list.

Love, Mom

Friday, November 13, 2009

No number yet

Just got a call from our case worker and found out that we won't get our number on the waiting list until Monday. There were about 8 dossier submitted this week and to be fair, they need to review them all and give out waiting list numbers according to the order that they came in. They also need to check to see if any of the dossiers need updated work (resubmitting for any mistakes). On the positive note, ours does NOT need to be resubmitted, it looks like we made no mistakes. =)

So, we will wait until Monday. Isn't that great that so many families are following God's call to bring an orphan into their family? How cool that so many families are all waiting for children.

To keep me busy, I am reading a great book that a wonderful blogging friend mailed me. Thanks so much to Tonya for this book. I am being challenged as I read it and understand more about God's view on adoption. How sweet and thoughtful of you to send it my way. I look forward to passing it on to many friends when I am done.

Sweet Pea

I pray you understand that adoption is God's idea and by His grace we are adopted into His family.

Love, Mom

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We mailed our DOSSIER today !!!!

After working on this for almost 2 months, we are done with the dossier paperwork. I made my final copies this morning and sorted and stacked just to make sure it was all just right. I am still in awe that we are done with it. Now we will find out if there is anything we need to redo before we are put on the waiting list.

All that work is done for now. I feel so blessed to have this mailed before Thanksgiving. I had been praying that if it was God's will, we could send it before Thanksgiving. What a huge blessing. Only by God's grace have we gotten this far.

For those of you in the adoption world, you know what a big deal this is. Lots of time and energy and detailed work goes into the dossier. When we took it in to overnight it, the clerk told me I was just like all the other adoptive moms. Very cautious, very careful with putting it into the envelope, taking pictures, giving the paperwork one last "hug" goodbye. Glad to know we are normal in one way. =)

We prayed over it before we mailed it off. Prayed for Sweet Pea (or Sweet Peas). Shed our tears and then celebrated God's faithfulness and goodness. Trusting that He continues to go before us and clear the path. A little sigh of relief will come once I hear that it has arrived and is approved.

Sweet Pea

We love you so much and pray that God blesses all the work that has gone into the paperwork. I am trusting you into God's care each and every day. He loves you more than I do.

Love, Mom


We printed out all of our dossier papers yesterday and had all of them notarized. Really, not much of this is difficult to do, it is just a little time consuming. We have been working hard at getting these last few documents done and it feels good to be almost there. My computer has been having hissy fits lately so printing anything right now is an accomplishment.

Each state is different, and our state requires one of our documents to be county certified and state certified. Really didn't know what that meant but I figured it out and hauled the family around yesterday to get that done.

The girls are good sports as we sit and wait for county workers to help us out. We try and get our school work done while we are waiting.

It is amazing all the hoops you jump through for all of this to happen. Crossing all your T's and dotting all your I's. Hopefully no mistakes.

So excited !!!!! Getting closer. Can't wait to hear that our dossier has been received and get that waiting list number.

Sweet Pea,

It is so exciting to be nearing the end of our paperwork. It has been neat to see how God provides and has made our path smooth. We are working hard to have you home.

Love, Mom

Friday, November 6, 2009


Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

The adoption journey is one that has many ups and downs. In fact, most of life is like that. And yet, whether the day brings mountain high moments or deep valley moments, God is still God and He is still in control.

About 2 weeks ago, when we were finishing up with our homestudy paperwork and looking at the dossier documents that needed to still be completed, God really challenged my faith. You see, when we complete our dossier and send it in to our agency, we need to send it in with the next payment for the adoption. And to be quite honest, we have not had the funds to complete that next stage. Part of me wanted to just wait until we had the money, instead of working hard on the paperwork for the dossier, knowing we couldn't send it in since we were short more than $3000.

But God really challenged my faith. I felt the nudging of the Holy Spirit to keep going on the paperwork for the dossier, IN FAITH, trusting that God would provide. So, desiring to respond in obedience, we have been pressing ahead. Working on our documents, checking things off the list, and we only have about 3 things left to do which will only take a day or so to finish.

Just this week, God blessed us with generous gifts from friends and family and we were so amazed at how God has provided. We are so thankful and humbled by the outpouring of love and support from others. I cried each time I opened an envelope from friends or family. We are just so very thankful for each and every gift. So blessed. So grateful. Feeling so unworthy of your generosity.

We had been asked to share our testimony at church tonight about the adoption and share how God is working in our lives to trust Him. We were happy to share and hopefully give God the glory in all that we do. To share about having a heart for God's children and for the nations. We shared that we have been praying that God would provide just what we need in order to send in our dossier. The pastor said that they have been praying for our family and God laid it on some one's heart to help us with our adoption costs. They presented us with a check for the funds that we needed for this next stage of the adoption. Just what we were lacking to send in our dossier.

We are so grateful for our almighty God, who provides just what we need. He is so faithful. I am reminded again of how He works. Rather than trusting in our own savings. Rather than sitting back and not pressing ahead in faith. Trusting. Believing in God who is the giver of all.

A friend of mine said that God loves His orphaned children. That he works in special ways to take care of His children. I feel so unworthy to even be walking this path and to be blessed in this way. May He receive all the glory.

Sweet Pea,

God is teaching me so much as we are trusting Him. This has been God's plan and God's timing. I have learned to rely on God for each part of our adoption of you. I am so glad that God called us to do this. I look forward to the day we are all together as a family.

Love, Mom

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Let's go out for Ethiopian food tonight !

One of the challenges that our education courses required us to do was try a meal at a restaurant of our child's country of origin. We had never eaten out at an Ethiopian restaurant before. We had read about the different foods and looked forward to the experience. We were able to go with Chuck's parents while they were passing through town.
While we were waiting for our food we enjoyed the decorations at the restaurant. Tristen has here eye on a coffee set for when we travel to Ethiopia. She loves tea sets and thinks that one like these should be in her collection.
We found a "mesob" in the corner of the restaurant. That is like a table top on which the food is traditionally served. A beautiful woven piece.

I should have taken the picture before we made a mess of our food and table. Notice the injera, the spongy bread that the food is eaten with. You use it in place of silverware. We all were able to find something that we like. Most of the food is spicy, but the girls and I really enjoyed the red lentils and Tristen like the beef. Chuck tried a chicken stew and liked the other spicy foods.

One of the reasons we tried this is to fully understand the idea of cultures. Most people like what is familiar to them and here we will be bring a child (children) home to a totally different culture. Our culture here is VERY different than that of Ethiopia, we desire to learn more and grow to love and appreciate it. The meal was a lot of fun, eating with your fingers and trying new things.
My favorite part was the coffee at the end. It was the BEST coffee I have ever had. I will have to share more on another post about the Ethiopian coffee ritual that comes with it. But for now, I just had to share the coffee and how yummy it was. After 2 full cups at 8 o'clock at night, I was wired until all hours of the night. =)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

God provides

We were blessed by seeing this video a few weeks ago at an adoption conference. It was such an encouragement to see that God's ways are perfect and His timing is just right and He is the one who provides.

Also sharing the good news that our HOMESTUDY is DONE !!!! That is a big deal to have that done and off the check list. Yippee!!!

Adoption Education

We have been working on our adoption education courses. I do hope that all of this work we have been doing will give us a better go at having a successful transition into our new family. We have been required to complete the "Eyes Wide Open" notebook. It goes through 20 chapters as you think about many different aspects of adoption. Everything from different experiences you new child has gone through ~to~food habits and sleeping patterns. Some of it was more helpful than other parts.

That was just one part of our education courses. We were also required to take 6 online classes from Adoption Learning Partners (HERE). Those courses have been very helpful and interesting. It gives you different situations and helps you figure out the best way to deal with them. Each class took about 2 hours each to complete. Again, some were more interesting and helpful than others. I am not sure every agency requires these classes, but I am really hoping that it will only help us.

The third part of our education has been the group meetings from our local agency. We have really enjoyed those classes the most. Not only because we have met other families in the same process (some even with the same agency), but many of these families are also adopting from Ethiopia. What a very neat support group that we have been able to form. We had a dinner invite from one of the families that we met at this group and have really enjoyed getting to know them. There were 4 families at dinner that night and all of us with the same agency and also adopting from Ethiopia (one family brought their daughter home this summer). My prayer is that our children will someday have a special connection with these other kids.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A little bit of a change

We are in the last day or 2 to make any changes on our homestudy report. We have wrestled with this one particular decision.

age range


number of children

Not sure why these have been so hard to decide on. But one last call to our case worker to make a minor adjustment. Chuck has been really feeling 2 instead of 1. We applied to immigration for 2 just in case we felt strongly about going for a sibling group. So as of right now, our request is
one child 0-18 months or 2 children 0-5 years old.
We are opening up the age range of the 2 children a little more.

Again, following where we feel that God is leading. Trusting that His prompting is right. Only trusting in God on this one, and not our fear of the unknown.