Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy 14th Abigail!

My oldest turned 14 last week! Abigail , Esther and I went up to Virginia on the Thursday and Friday before her birthday. My BFF, Amy and I took her to Breaking Dawn and then we had lunch at O'charleys with Nana and Gramps. Then we drove home and Abby had a basketball game. Pawpaw and Grandma drove over from the cabin for the day and spent the weekend in Kernersville. Nana and Gramps got her a back sac she has wanted for a long time ( since her old one broke)
We went out to Outback with Grandma and Pawpaw and they also took her to the store and bought her a Carhart coat that she has been wanting. She has wanted a new pair of TOMS too and so that is what we got her. I told her you know you are getting old when you ask for shoes and a coat for your birthday!I am so proud to be your mom, Abby. I love you so much, but I really LIKE you too. You are one of my favorite people to hang out with! I can't wait to see how the Lord uses you as you follow Him through your teen years and watch your future unfold. Love you my sweet redhead!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We have MOVED.... Please visit us here

Thursday, June 30, 2011


This blogpost is actually a plea for advice! Please comment here or on FB if you have any advice.

Waiting for the kids to come home I spent so much time reading, planning and seeking advice on how to make Micah coming into our family as easy as possible. We have had a really easy adjustment with him (so far) and I am very thankful for that. I really only thought of Sarah Faith as a baby to love and take care of. I have had three babies problem, right?


For one she was afraid of every piece of baby equipment we have, except the bumbo seat because they have those in the TH. I have gradually worked her into the swing, playpen and exersaucer with 10 min increments daily. This morning she played in her playpen happy for 20 min. She still prefers me, but is getting better daily at being in the floor or swinging.

My issues now are with sleep. Naps, she wakes up 30 min in terrified. Screaming with huge tears rolling down her face. All I have to do is rub her back or head and she will fall asleep again, only to repeat this 30 min later. Her favorite way to sleep is on my chest with both of my arms wrapped tight around her.. so she cant hardly move. Her whole body will relax and she will fall asleep right away as long as I lay and hold her like that.

Night time is the same way. She sleeps about 4 hours ...8:00pm- midnight and then is into a 30 min crying out pattern the rest of the night.

Has anyone else had this problem? Tips on helping her get through it? How long will this last approximately? Any online articles I could research? I am sure there are but my sleep deprived brain isnt having a whole lot of luck researching this!

** I wanted to add that it isnt that I mind holding her and rocking her! I LOVE doing that ( although I would enjoy a little more sleep at night). I waited 3 years for a baby to love on and I am enjoying it SOOOO MUCH! I am just trying to help her not be so afraid and terrified when she does wake up.**

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Micah and Sarah Faith's Adoption video

Here is a video of our adoption story. If you click on the white title on the video it will take you to the full screen version. :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Embassy Date

We have an embassy date of June 16th! We will arrive June 14th and have our Gotcha Day. We will spend a few days enjoying Ethiopia with the kids, have our embassy day on the 16th, get their visas on the 17th and leave the evening of the 18th.
We will fly 17 hours and land in DC Sunday morning. We will be in NC around 6:00 pm

Sunday, June 5, 2011

how I am feeling...

I can't even begin to describe how I am feeling this week. I honestly cannot believe it is finally time to go back to Ethiopia and bring Micah and Sarah Faith home! The best way I can describe my feelings is similar to the week leading up to when I got married
( Which ironically is 16 years ago to the WEEK! Our anniversary is this coming Friday!)
I am terrified and worried something will go wrong one minute and giddy with excitement the next! When I lay down to go to sleep my mind is SPINNING with all I need to do! I have lists for my lists right now and only 7 days to get it all done.

I am so very thankful to everyone that has prayed for us and encouraged us and supported this adoption. I am very thankful to have been able to share so much through this blog and face book. Someone said to me the other day that they feel like they have experienced this with me (even though they live miles away) because of the Internet. It has truly been a journey.

We should find out tomorrow our exact embassy date, but is should be within the week we are there. I will try to post pictures of our Gotcha Day on here from Ethiopia, but sometimes blogger is funny over there and I can only post on FB.

Ahhhhh. .....Only 8 more sleeps till we leave!!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

What I know..

This post may a bit premature, but I am figuring after 27 hours of travel, a new baby, bonding, stretching from a 5 family household to a 7 family household. This may very well be the last time in a long while my thoughts are all clear and running in the same direction. :)

Adoption has taught me a lot over the last two years and I feel like there are some things I need to share.

1. You have to be called to do it. There are some people, even friends of mine, that believe all Christians are called to adopt. I disagree. I believe all Christians are to CARE for widows and orphans and that might mean praying for adoptions, giving to families trying to adopt, encouraging these families, but I think you have to feel that it is something God has called you to and on the darkest nights when you wish you had never even heard the word adoption, that is when His calling will get you through the valley.

2. Dont be afraid if your husband doesnt "get it". I have never ever (and I have heard alot) heard of an adoption story where the husband was on board first. I am sure there are some, but the majority is the wife is called first. I am not sure why...maybe the maternal instinct? The more I talked about it, the more Greg dismissed it, BUT the more I prayed about it, the more I saw the Lord use other people's testimony ( in real life, on the radio, in news articles) to speak to Greg and soften his heart. I did show him THIS video when I felt he was close and I am pretty sure that was what pushed him on over to the dark side :)

3 .The only expectation to have is the unexpected is going to happen! Oh my word is this true. We went in wanting a baby boy and to be home by the end of 2010 with him. Our Gotcha Day will be in JUNE 2011 for a 10 year old boy and a baby girl! We have hit every bump in the road! Referral loss, Ethiopia became a two trip country, court hold ups, embassy snafu' name it, it has happened. I kinda wish I would have NEVER set any type of timeline in my head and never been so age and gender specific. I think it would have saved me a lot of heart ache and a lot of questions. ( See tip #1)

4. If you feel called DONT let money stand in your way! There are so many resources out there and God has just amazed us with providing just what we needed when it was due. The Levites had to step in the water before the Lord rolled the sea back....sometime ya got step first and trust Him to provide it.

5. Select your agency careful and pray about it. Alot. I didn't do this and God blessed us with an amazing agency and when I think of how little research I really did on them, I shudder at what could have been. I have heard stories and we watched in Ethiopia other agencies handle families and America World is top notch. Not only that, the families that are with AWAA are amazing. There are at least 10 woman, some I have never met, that I could call any time, day or night and they would pray and cry with me over our children. We have stayed up all night praying, we have rejoiced at kids coming home, at referrals, at court success. AWAA is a family and I am so proud and so glad to belong with them.

6. Dont let all the adoption literature scare you. If you get into this paperchase and start reading books and can scare your socks off! I agree there needs to be some preparation, BUT you also have to A) use common sense. B) trust the Lord for guidance with the children He has given you. If I took every possible symptom of a institutionalized child and compared it to my three home grown, well balanced, much loved children...they would have some of the symptoms! Wanna know why? Because they are kids and kids act like kids..and act out. and explore. and push boundaries. I am by no means saying throw out all the valuable resources, but don't let it terrify you either. There are a lot of worse case scenarios in those books.

7. Be ready to be changed. You wont see people the same any more. Or Race. Or social standings. You wont laugh at racial fact they might even offend you. You wont look at materialism the same way. America drama isn't exactly entertaining after you witness extreme poverty first hand. You will cry more, you will pray more, you will sleep less and hopefully think about yourself less. God becomes closer and the world becomes smaller.

I have asked myself now that I have been through one of the more difficult adoptions our agency has seen, would I do it again if I knew how much it would hurt and how much it would consume our lives??

The answer is yes. One hundred times over yes.


We got the call this morning that we are cleared for Embassy! Less than 24 hours after we stepped out on faith and bought our plane tickets He opened the door and cleared us! Praise God! He really is amazing!

We leave on June 13 and our embassy appointment will be that week ( we should find out Monday what the actual date is.)

We will be back in Greensboro at 5:55 on Sunday June 19th. ( united flight 5690)... Father's Day. :) Anyone close by that would like to meet us at the airport is more than welcome to come meet the newest Mullis kids! :)

Isaiah 43: 1-2

Fear not, for I have redeemed you,

I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters,

I will be with you ;

And when you pass through the rivers,

They will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire,

You will not be burned;

The flames will not set you ablaze.

For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel , your Saviour.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Stepping out of the boat

After finding out that we needed more paperwork for embassy on Friday and pretty much reeling with the news all weekend ( seriously, Lord? Can't at least one part of this go smooth?) We made the decision to go ahead and make our plane reservations for June 12th -19th. We decided that it was time. Our kids have been over there waiting since meeting us in January and its just time. We decided that we would go on faith that God would provide the embassy appointment we need, when we need it.

Greg will fly home on June 19th and hopefully we will all be with him, but if the kids have not gotten their Visas, I will stay with them until they are cleared for travel. It may be another week or just a few days, but regardless they will have their mommy and daddy there in Ethiopia on June 14th for Gotcha Day.
I have had total peace about this... in spite of our agency giving us a worse case scenario ( stuck in country for longer) I still think we need to go. Greg does too and last night I began preparing a list of items needed for additional time in ET, thinking of ways to keep the kids entertained as we wait on embassy, imagining in my mind getting through a 17 hour flight and customs alone. I woke up feeling like, with God's help I can be brave and for the kids, I can do this. We called grandparents and airlines this morning and began planning to leave the 12th.

My phone rings around 11 and it is AWAA and I am thinking to myself they have gotten the email telling them we are going no matter what and here comes round 2 of worse case trying to talk me out of it. Instead she says, "Your family must have been praying hard last night because the document that should have taken until June 8th to be submitted was actually submitted last night!"

It is a faxed copy of it, but the original is on its way back to the city . Hopefully embassy will take the faxed copy and clear us tonight (PLEASE PRAY THEY DO!!) but either way the document is found and on its way to Addis so they can submit the original if need be! Please pray it is also what embassy needs to clear Micah. Sarah Faith is good it is just one document for Micah they are requesting.

Now, we still haven't cleared and we still don't have an embassy date, but the fact that the Lord allowed the document to be submitted a full week ahead of time is a big deal to me! We are still leaving on the 12th cleared or not, embassy date or not, but I am hoping and praying the Lord will allow us ( and our kids) to know we are cleared and with a solid date by the time we leave on 6/12/11.
If so, we will arrive home on June 19th on Father's Day. How cool is that!? Greg would have all 5 of his kids together for Father's Day and my dad and his dad will be at the airport to meet us. The first time we have all ever been together on Father's Day.

Stepping out of the boat is not an easy thing for me to do, but with God in charge we feel like it is the right thing to do.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Embassy News

So we were hoping and praying that Friday was THE day we would clear Embassy. Well, instead I got an email saying that the Embassy wants more documentation on Micah. ( insert very large SIGH here)
Our agency thinks they have what embassy needs and are going to take it to them Tuesday when they open ( Blast you national holidays!) If so, they should clear us and we should get a date to leave in the next week or two. IF it is not enough then our agency will have to send someone to the region Micah is from to collect the document and since this will be on African time it could take a few weeks.
PLEASE PRAY with us that embassy will accepts AW documents and go ahead and clear us. I know a few weeks is not that long in the scheme of things, but my heart is breaking as Micah has had to wait since January for us to come back and so many of his friends have left the TH to be with their forever families and still he waits. It is hard for me to understand, I cant imagine how hard it is on a 10 year old little boy. And Miss Sarah Faith is growing like a weed and I am MISSING IT! She is 7 months now...I SOOOO want her home by her 8th month birthday.

I'll post what we hear back on Tuesday in the mean time THANK YOU for your prayers!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sarah Faith through the months

Here are pictures of my sweet baby girl through the last few months...Her referral picture that we saw in January. She was around 8 weeks

When we were in Ethiopia for court. Her 3 month birthday

At 4 months in February

5 months in her little baby bed at the Transition home

6 months old and so sweet

7 months old

Hopefully she will be home by June 21st when she turns 8 months old!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

She eats what??

So I asked if it was possible to see a schedule of Sarah Faith's day and also if she was eating yet or just on a bottle. Oh boy!! Is she eating! Can you read this schedule? Fish Soup ? Barley? Pasta? Wow~ I bet those diapers are gonna be nice huh!?? The good news is she is sleeping through the night! :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Our new Family Blog

I would like to invite everyone over to our new family blog, The Mullis Life. I would love for you all to follow me and/or bookmark the new blog. Once we get home from Ethiopia all our bloggy adventures will be directed to here. Thanks!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


We were submitted to EMBASSY today!!! Whooooo Hooooo! What this means is that AW was able to collect all our post court paperwork and they took it to the US Embassy in Ethiopia. The Embassy has 10 days to look it over and either clear us, request more information or do an investigation. There were families last week that were submitted on Wednesday and cleared on Monday! SOOO we could very well be looking at flying to Ethiopia by next weekend! Oh MY GOODNESS!!!!!! Please pray there will be no hangups and we will clear Embassy with no problem!

Here are some pictures of Micah and Sarah Faith that I havent shown on the blog before. I can not begin to tell you how much I am looking forward to loving on these kids SOON!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

So whats next.(.when do we go get them??!!)

A lot of people have asked us what is next with the adoption and when do we get to go get them.
Now that we have passed court ( I have to pinch myself that I actually get to write that!) we are waiting for the staff in Ethiopia to gather all the post court documents which include passports, birth certificates, health examinations and other things.
Once that is all completed they will take our documents to the US Embsaay. They can only submit documents on Wednesdays so whatever the next Wednesday it is they will submit us. (We are hoping this is next week May 18th)
The embassy take about a week to let you know that 1.) you are clear or 2.) we need to investigate a little more into your particular case and make sure everything is ok.
If we hear that we are cleared we can go ahead and book our flights. we will need to be in country about a week, but we get to go get the kids and bring them to the Guest House with us the very first day!
I will keep you posted, but we are really hoping and praying that we can leave the week of May 30th...but we will see.

Here is our latest update from AWAA. Love these babies!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sarah Faith is officially a Mullis!

We got a phone call this morning around 9:30 from Kristen to let us know we had passed court for Sarah Faith! Micah has a court date for this Thursday ( our Wednesday night) Please pray his file will be looked at by the judge and she will pass him too! If so we should be able to go get them bu the end of May!
Introducing Sarah Faith "Mulunesh" Mullis
Born October 21, 2010

THANK you all SO MUCH for the prayers and encouraging words. We are so excited to have her as a part of our family and CANNOT wait to share good news and pictures of Micah too!

Monday, April 18, 2011


We were able to skype with Micah and Sarah Faith last night! We heard that a family over in ET had an Internet stick that worked at the transition house and that they had been able to skype some of the families with older children. Well , they were going to be at the Transition House in the morning ET time and were hoping to pass court. If they did, this could be our last chance to skype.

We woke up at 3:30 AM and as soon as we logged in the Mowens sent us a message saying, "going to find your kids" My heart about beat out of my chest when our skype starting ringing a few minutes later and there was Micah! His eyes just lit up when he saw us and the first thing he said was , " I love you Mum , I love you Daddy"! We blew lots of kisses and waved. Then they brought Miss Sarah Faith out and Micah was holding her and giving her big hugs and kisses. He was holding her like a pro too! He is going to be such a big help on the embassy trip home.

We were able to see Tara Mowen get some big smiles out of Sarah and Micah's friend Josh translated for us that he misses us and wants to come home soon. Oh break my heart! Micah asked where his brother was and we said sleeping, but by then Abby has woke up and was able to say hello, then Greg woke Nathan and Esther up. Micah lit up like a Christmas tree when he saw Nathan. I have a feeling there is going to be some serious male bonding with Daddy and his boys!

We were able to talk to them for about 15 precious minutes and it was such an amazing gift! They seem "real" again to me! Oh, how I want to jump on a plane today and go get them.

We should hear some news on our case this week. Please pray that the judge will look at our file and that we will have a favorable letter from MOWA. I so want to move pass this waiting stage!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Easter bunny

Tonight, before I went to the grocery store to stock up for the week, I swung into Kohls to get a hat to wear to our Ladies Spring Luncheon Garden Party at church in May. While I was walking around, I also picked up this adorable little white stuffed bunny that was half off and thought that I would either stick it in Esther's Easter basket or save it for Sarah Faith.

I was in line to check out and I noticed this little redhead girl about 4 years old in line with her parents and grandmother, crying and saying over and over," I want my baby, I want my baby." Her parents were, for the most part, ignoring her, but she kept reaching out her hands to the shelf of bunnies ( just like the one I had in my hand)... Saying over and over, "I want my baby."

I could tell her mom loved her but she told her that no she couldn't get one tonight and I actually wondered while waiting to check out why her mom wouldn't get it for her. Did she think it would be spoiling her? Did they not have the money for a $4 bunny? Was she going to be getting a bunny in her Easter basket next week? She seemed like a sweet little girl...why not ?

She kinda reminded me of me in that I had a love for stuffed animals and a love language of gifts when I was a child. I paid for my things and walked out to the van. When I got to my van and got in, I heard the Lord speak to me as if He was right there beside me telling me to go and give that child the stuffed bunny in my bag.

Ok that was kinda weird...and not normal for me.

But I got out and started across the parking lot feeling a bit like an angel in disguise ready to bless this sweet little girl with a stuffed bunny.

Then it hit me why God was asking me to do this.

By the time I reached them I was sobbing...crying the ugly cry- the honey, call 911 if this crazy lady tries anything funny- kinda cry . I told the little girl's mom that I also had a little girl, but that she was in an orphanage in Ethiopia and even though I really wanted her home for Easter that wasn't to be this year. I told her that right now there was nothing I could do to get my baby home, but I wanted to give her little girl this "baby" to take care of. She hugged the crazy lady ( yes, that would be me) and I walked away.

As I got back in my van , I knew why the little girl reminded me of myself so much and why she touched my heart so deeply. I have been crying out to my heavenly Father for years "I want my baby." Through unexplained secondary infertility, through domestic adoptions that never worked out and now... as two of my five children are half a world away and we are waiting in the madness of a flawed system to bring them home. "I want my baby".

God taught me tonight that just like the parents of that little girl, He loves me, but He has not given me what I cried for. I cried for a biological baby and he said no. I cried for a domestic adoption and He said no. I cried for a baby boy from Ethiopia and He said no.

He has given me an amazing husband. He has given me three beautiful biological children. He has given me two Ethiopian children that I would have never thought to ask for... yet alone cry for. A 10 year old son? A baby daughter? In His plan, through the pain , He has brought to us the two children He has planned for our family.

Now, if He can orchestrate that.. I can trust Him with the timing to bring them home.

And He will.

In His time.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The short version

In case you have fazed out ( and I wouldn't blame you if you did) Here is the short version of "our Saga":

Jan 24 ~ First court date. No MOWA letter. No Birth mom statement for Sarah Faith

Feb 8 ~ Second Court Date. unfavorable MOWA letter. need homestudy authenticated by state and US embassy. Birth mom statement there though.

March 14 ~ Third Court Date. No MOWA Letter no new court date..waiting on MOWA letter

~ One week of waiting on MOWA Letter to be written...(every single day) ~

March 21 ~ MOWA Letter written

Begin waiting on judge to review for 13 work DAYS! Every single day get a "maybe tomorrow" email. (That is two and a half work weeks of waking up EVERY single morning and waiting by the phone to get good or bad news) .AWAA Makes a formal appeal, judge will see case on April 8th.

April 8th ~ Fourth Court Date. Judge doesn't come to work. Will see case April 15th.

April 15th ~ Fifth Court Date. Judge doesn't get to case. AWAA will appeal on Monday, April 18th for a court date for the SIXTH TIME!!!

NOW there is a case that is very similar to ours that when the judge did pick the case up to review it, the MOWA letter was unfavorable AGAIN because MOWA wanted their embassy form authenticated in the US. Which will take at least 10 days to do and get back to Ethiopia.

I am not sure if that will be the same with our case or not...but probably.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Another week

Play by play of my last 24 hours.....

Yesterday at 11:00 am: We received an email stating that the judge was going to FOR SURE review our case today..yipee! :)

Yesterday at 2:00pm: We received an email stating that if the US government shuts down then the embassy in Ethiopia will not be able to process visas and will stand still all adoptions until they are back up and running.... um.. boo hiss, Washington, quit acting like babies and get your act together. :(

Yesterday at 5:00pm: I check the mail and our renewed USCIS I171h form is there.. Yay no backlog for that! :)

This morning at 10:00am : We receive an email that the judge did not look at our file and will not until next Friday. Even after she said she would. Apparently, she took the day off...I know, right. :(

This morning at 10:30: We find out that the other three families waiting, their file is to be reviewed on Monday not Friday like ours. .. Way to turn that knife in my heart. :(

Seriously. That has been my roller coaster for the last 24 hours. And if one more person tells me it is all in God's timing, my head may spin around and I may spew a green substance.

Excuse me if I am cranky.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Blessed and Broken

We are still waiting..... Our MOWA letter is written. It is suppose to be on the judges desk. It is suppose to be reviewed and passed. Every single day for the past 2 weeks!
So here is how my day goes...I wake up around 1 am and pray to around alarm, I just wake up, count 7 hours ahead and know the judge is up and working. Then I fall back asleep until around 5am when I wake up again and get up. Do my quiet time and pray. Then I try to go about some normal routine with my phone in my hand and my heart in my throat. The poor girl assigned to communicate with me at AW should call by 9:30 or 10:00. So from about 9:15 until 10:00..I really am a bundle of crazy nerves.

BY 10am..I know. IT hasn't happened. No phone call means no passing court. Then by 10:30, I get the dreaded "not today, but soon very soon, maybe even tomorrow" email. This has happened for 2 weeks and 2 days.
I have run the gambit of emotions in dealing with this particular "bump". Everything. From anger to despair to checking flights in order to meet the judge one morning in her office for a little meeting..My will, my time table, my way has been utterly broken.

But... I am blessed. So blessed. Faithful friends who text, facebook and email me daily. Who listen to me whine and wail. My sweet homeschool five in a row family have set up a schedule again today. 12 moms have stepped up to take different hours and stand in the gap and pray my children home. I am reminded of who loves us, of our support system and I am broken, but oh so blessed

.....but aren't we all?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The good news and the bad news

The Good News:
Well, it looks like our MOWA letter is written ( cue loud applause and dancing!) :o

The Bad News:
The judge was too swamped with other cases to review and write off on ours....seriously?? ( cue lots of eye rolling)

We have been told that they should review/approve us tomorrow. We have been told that before though.

Here is hoping and praying that my next blog post is a big fat "we have passed court" post.

Lessons I am learning...

Disclaimer: If you are looking for a sweet story that will give you warm fuzzies about adoption and one you can show your husband in an attempt to get him on board, then just keep on blog surfing , cause this ain't it!

We have been on this adoption road about 16 the time the kids get home it will have been long enough for 2 pregnancies! I am tired. Very tired, like worn down to the nubbins tired. God has used this process to stretch me so dang much I feel a bit like Stretch Armstrong.

It has been a refining process like I have never experienced. Ever. He has exposed sin in me that I would have told you 2 years ago did not exist in me. A few of the UGLY things I have had to learn about myself through adoption... OR to say it nicely, A few of the lessons adoption is teaching me.

My Joy is in circumstances ~ I cannot tell you how many time the phone has NOT rang and my entire day has been blown to shreds. I am depressed, cranky and testy with anyone who crosses my path..all because of a circumstance that doesn't go my way.... for days on in. Adoption has taught me that my joy needs to be in the Lord and not on what is or is not happening in my day.

My Belief in God ~ When I prayed for God to move an obstacle. I mean really ( fasting, begging, praying on my face all night) praying for something and God doesn't move I had to make a decision. Do I either 1. Think God isn't big enough to move. 2. God doesn't care enough to help or 3. God is big, He does care, but He is working something out I cannot see but it is for my good. Now, the "church answer" is 3..I KNOW that, but do I believe it? Yes. Yes, I do, but not after many early morning soul searching prayer times.

Bitterness is always ready to raise its ugly head ~ There are families that traveled with us in January that are already home with their children, some are in Ethiopia right now. Others are going very soon. Some visited after us and now are going back..And here we sit not even passing court yet. I AM truly happy for these families. Well..about 80% happy. The other 20% doesn't understand. Why us? Why do our kids have to wait longer...why? ( See lesson 2..My belief in God) I have to be aware of this bitter root and not let it grow in me. Praying for these families have helped. I do love them and I am happy for them..and when I am not happy, I see my selfishness/bitterness.

My ways are not His ways~ There always seems to be "that family" within our Yahoo adoption group. The one that is having particularly difficult circumstances that are out of their control or the agency's control. The ones every one is praying for while in the back of their mind think "Man, I am so glad I am not that family!" We became "that family " back in November when our baby boy referral was lost..and it took so long to get another referral, right before we traveled. Now we are "that family" again because we cant pass court. I don't want to be "that family" anymore. I have wrestled with this so much. Why would God do this? We are adopting not just a baby, but a 10 year old too..why make us be the ones to wait and wait and have no control. Someone told me yesterday I don't have to understand the mystery, just need to trust the One who wrote it. His ways are not my ways. His ways are not my ways..repeat about 50 times a day.

It is not about what I NEED ~ I know that we don't need anymore kids. I want more kids, but I also realize all we have and what we could be doing with our time, finances and love instead of just continuing to "better ourselves". I know this is true and as long as I can focus on this bigger picture... that God is at work in me, in my children, in our church, then I am able to see just a glimpse of the bigger picture and just the tiniest bit of the gold being refined in my life.

I want to say that when I am tried I shall come forth as gold. I really want to, but the thing is this refining hurts and takes a long time. I can say that I am so thankful He is in control and not me. If that is the only thing I learn..that He is GOD and I am NOT...then it will be worth it. The cool things is...that is not all I get out of this experience. Not by a long shot. The blessings totally outweigh the grief. Already. And they are not even home yet!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

No letter :(

No MOWA letter for us yesterday. :( The US Embassy is meeting with MOWA about the current situation in Ethiopia and so no letters have been written for the past few days. The good news is the judge did NOT set a new court date for us. This means our agency can continue to ask MOWA for the letter and doesn't have to wait until our court date. It also means when the coveted letter appears , the judge will sign off on our case and they will be legally ours.

A few people have asked me what happens next when we pass court. Once the children are legally ours, AWAA will begin collecting after court documents which includes the kids new birth certificates with Mullis as their last name. This usually take a week or two. After that the US Embassy will look over everything and that takes about a week. They will then let our agency know that:
A. Everything looks good, make an appointment to obtain the kids Visa and call us to make our travel plans/book our flights OR
B. Something is missing/doesn't look right and they will request more documentation OR
C. Something really looks amiss and they want to launch their own investigation.

Depending on A, B or C is how long this part takes. We are, of course praying for A and that we can go pick the kids up within a month of passing court. This is when I am SO thankful to be working with an agency the US Embassy respects and works well with.

So for now, we are waiting and praying for that darn MOWA letter. Once it reaches the judge and she signs off, I will be plastering this blog with photos and videos of the newest Mullis kids.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tonight is the night!!

Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, Indiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, Arizona, New Hampshire, Maryland, Florida, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Georgia, Michigan, Colorado, Tennessee, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Alaska, California, West Virginia, Kansas, Mississippi, Illinois, New Jersey, Alabama, Texas, Utah, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Washington, Maine and Wyoming
Ethiopia, Malaysia, Brazil, Canada, India, Slovakia, China, Thailand , Indonesia & Niger

1o countries and 36 states in the US. All have people that have told us they are praying for our court date tonight. My sweet "home on the internet" the Five in A Row message board has a sign up sheet and are praying on the hour around the clock until morning.

Thank you. We are truly touched and humbled by so much love and prayers. Tonight's the NIGHT! Let's pray these babies home!

not today..

No MOWA letters written today. :( The good news is the judge is going to hear Sarah's case tomorrow with Micah's. Soooo praying for GREAT news tomorrow morning!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tonight while you sleep..

While you are sleeping an Ethiopian judge will review Sarah Faith's case. If our MOWA letter is there we should pass court and she will be legally ours. Would you please join me in praying for this. I am so ready to get my kids home and I soooo dont want a 4th court date! Micah's court date will be tomorrow night ( Tuesday in ET) I would ask that you pray for that one as well. Thank you so much. Here is a sneak peak at Miss Sarah Faith! Once we pass court I can show her face.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Please pray with us

A government agency in Ethiopia that writes the letters the court need for children to legally adopted are planning to drastically cut the number of letters they write each day. From 50 to 5. That is a 90% decrease. We have NO IDEA how this is going to affect our adoption, but it probably will.
Our third court dates are March 14 and 15 and if this agency (MOWA) doesn't write our letter we wont pass again!
The families waiting for referrals may see much longer wait times..It is so so so sad.
Here is the information.

We received some pictures of Micah and Sarah from a family that was in ET last week and there was one of Micah looking at the new photo album I sent him with great big tears in his eyes. That boy NEEDS to be home!

PLEASE join me in prayer for our court date , for the court system and MOWA, and for all the panic families in the process are feeling.

Also there is a petition circulating that will be presented in Ethiopia. You can find and sign that here

Check us out!

Check us out..we are in the news!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

11 more days!

We will have our final ( hopefully) court date for Sarah on March 14 and Micah on March 15. If all goes well, we will be able to post their pictures on here! Yay!! Also we will then be submitted for our embassy appointment and hopefully travel the middle of April to bring them HOME!!! Thanks so much for the prayers and support as we come to the finish line of this adoption journey.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A quick update on our situation

So a quick update....We were told on our court date last Monday that MOWA wanted an authenticated homestudy amendment instead of just a copy in order for us to pass court.

SO my sweet hubby got up Wednesday and drove to Raleigh to have it done and overnighted it to AWAA. Today they will take it into DC to the embassy for the required seal ( just like with our dossier) It takes some time to get it to least a week. Well, there is an AW family going through DC this weekend and if the timing works out they are going to carry our document to Ethiopia ( Whoever you are THANK YOU!!) It should get there MONDAY! Yay!!

Now, the judge was suppose to wait until she heard from AW as to how quickly the HS would arrive, but instead she went ahead and gave us a March 14 court date. AW is going to try to talk to her about moving that up since the HS will be there Monday..a whole month sooner that our court date.

If your still following...please PRAY with us that she will accept the document and give us an earlier date ( or even better, just go ahead and pass us!)

Thanks so much! Love you guys!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Minus One

Check out this blog and her very cute shirts! Love them!! They are for all adoptions , not just Ethiopia. Great Mother's Day gift..( hint hint!)

Created for Care Retreat

The Legacy Lodge on Lake Lanier, Ga
I was able to go to Georgia to the Created for Care Retreat this past weekend and it was so wonderful. I really wasn't sure if I was going to be able to go. We were not sure about being in Ethiopia and then being home only 12 days before the retreat, I wasn't sure I was up for it, but Andrea was so sweet to squeeze me in and I have to tell you, I am SO GLAD she did. It was such a good thing for me. So timely right between my two trips to Ethiopia. I told someone there that I felt like there has been a junk drawer in my mind throughout our whole adoption and every hard thing I have just shoved in this drawer. Then we went on the first trip and I took all those images and feelings and shoved them in the drawer too and after 16 months, the drawer was getting pretty crowded and stuff was starting to hang out. God allowed me to get away this weekend and "clean the drawer out." To see what needs to be kept and pondered over and to see what needed to be thrown away and not be dwelt upon. Such a blessing to have the time to do that and in a secure and supportive environment.

With sweet Alabama friend

Besides the great location, awesome food, amazing speakers and worship time, I was able to meet some of my America World friends. Such a lovely group of crazy women!

Here are my roomies for the weekend, Erica and Debb

My new friend, Aimee Powell

And KJ....aka Lucy Lane's mom. Just as sweet in person as on her blog!

I am already excited about next years retreat! Thanks so much Andrea for your obedience to the Lord and for going all out in thinking of all the things that would make this weekend so special.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Court Date #2

Last night while we were sleeping, Sarah Faith's birth mom made a 14 hour trip to the city of Addis Ababa to consent that she is indeed relinquishing her baby girl. I will be forever grateful for her sacrifice and her determination to follow through and give her consent.
It was my most earnest prayer that she would come. Even if we did not have all of the required letters there, I was praying she would be there and that part of the process would be over. Thank God she was and now that concern is no more.
A letter the judge requested from Micah's case was also there and accepted. Another big praise.
MOWA has now decided though that if you have an amended home study ( like we had to do because Sarah is a girl and our HS said two boys) that the family needed to have this paper authenticated not just a copy.

SOOOOO in the morning my sweet husband will get up and drive to Raleigh to the Secretary of State of NC office for authentication, take it to be overnighted to AWAA, they will then take it to DC to the Embassy and from there it will ( hopefully quickly!) travel to Ethiopia. Once it is there MOWA should write that coveted release letter and we will pass court.
Thanks so much for sticking with us through this journey. We appreciate all the prayers and thank you in advance for all the prayers lifted for us in the coming weeks as we sprint toward the finish line of bringing these sweet children HOME!

The Lord reminded me this morning to "Count it all Joy." We have come so far and are so close to completing this adoption. I will not let the enemy steal my joy or discourage me..not when the Lord has brought us so far and taught us so much the last 16 months.

Monday, February 7, 2011

His annointed one

1 This is what the Lord says to Cyrus, his anointed one,
whose right hand he will empower.
Before him, mighty kings will be paralyzed with fear.
Their fortress gates will be opened,
never to shut again.
2 This is what the Lord says:

“I will go before you, Cyrus,
and level the mountains.
I will smash down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.
3 And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—
secret riches.
I will do this so you may know that I am the L
the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.

Isaiah 45: 1-3

I have read and claimed verses 2 and 3 many times before in my life especially when my life is hard, but this weekend God allowed me to look at them with fresh eyes. Especially verse 1. A few months ago in history, the kids and I were actually studying Cyrus the Great..the king mentioned in verse 1 and we were able to learn about his backstory.

Cyrus was the grandson of a Median King. His grandfather decided that he did not want his grandson to take over the throne ever so when he was a baby he ordered a servant to take Cyrus out and kill him. The servant took the baby out away from the castle, but could not kill the baby. Instead he gave him to a shepherd and told the shepherd to kill him. Then the servant left. The shepherd promptly ran home to his wife and gave her the baby to raise. Cyrus the Great was raised in a poor shepherd's home by two people that were not his biological parents.

When he grew older he was taller and stronger and smarter than all the other shepherd children. On the way to town one day he was seen by the king and the king knew that this was no ordinary shepherd boy, this was his grandson that he thought was dead.The servant that disobeyed the king fled into hiding and Cyrus was allowed to live and did eventually take the throne. He was the king that allowed The children of Israel to go back to their own land after so many years of captivity in Babylon ( remember Daniel, Shadrach, the fiery furnace, the lions den?)

In verse 1 of Isaiah 45, Cyrus is called the anointed one. This is the ONLY time in the entire OT that a gentile is called anointed. God used Cyrus. An orphan boy that was thrown out and should have been murdered. God used him in so many ways and Isaiah prophesied about him MANY many years before he was even born.

Read verse 2 and 3 again:

This is what the Lord says

“I will go before you, Cyrus, and level the mountains I will smash down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron 3 And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness— secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.

It shines new life on these verses. They were prophesied over an orphan boy raised by people that were not his parents. God smashed the gates of bronze for him and cut through the bars of iron. He went before him. He calls him by name.

Makes me rejoice in how much God cares and loves my little orphan boy. How He is going before him, how He knows his name and How He will smash down the gates for Him too.

Our second court date is tonight while we are all sleeping and as much as I desire to hear we have passed court, my greatest desire is that my children know that the God of Israel is going before them, that HE knows their name and that He is giving them treasure. Even in the darkness.

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