Sunday, January 30, 2011

What I am missing

I miss Ethiopia. I miss the warm sunshine and the smell of frankincense. I miss the sounds of the city and our sweet guides and their smiling faces. I miss the gentle calmness of the Ethiopian people. But most of all I miss a little boy and baby girl that have taken over a part of my heart.

I have a blanket that smells like Sarah Faith and every night I take time to hold it and think of her and it physically hurts to smell that blanket and think of her so far away.
I have looked at the 500+ pictures we took so many times and each time I see Micah's smiling face I count 8 hours ahead and wonder what he is doing and if he is smiling still. Does he understand how we so very much want him home with us? Does he understand why we had to leave and that we will come back. I hope and pray he does. I ache to feel those skinny little arms around my neck again.

I told someone before we left that it was a good thing two of my children were still in the states or I would have sent Greg on back without me. That is still true. If it wasn't for the desperate need to see Nathan and Esther, I would have been happy to just stay on in Ethiopia until Embassy.

Our next court date is one week and two days away. I am praying God will allow us to pass and that we will be able to return soon to bring our children home.
The thing is....I think Ethiopia has already taken a piece of my heart and will keep it, long after all five of my babies are under the same roof.

So what's next??

Now that we are back from Ethiopia, we have had a few people ask what the next step in the process is. We knew going into our court appointment that all our paperwork would not be there since Sarah Faith's referral was so recent. We were able to give our consent that we had met the kids and that we did want to adopt them. The judge set a date for a second court appointment..on FEB 8th, 2011.

There are 4 documents missing from our file. Two of them AWAA has somewhat control of and should be there. The other two are our MOWA letters. The Ministry of Woman's Affairs has to write a letter basically giving their sign off on our case. Out of the 11 families in Ethiopia the week we were there, only one family had a MOWA letter...(big, frustrated sigh!)

So IF all 4 documents are there, we pass and everything is sent to the US Embassy and we wait for word that the kids Visa's are ready and we go get them! Probably the beginning of March. If all the documents are not in the file, the judge will issue another date ( about 2 weeks off) and we try again.

So please pray all our missing documents find their way to our file. After meeting Micah and Sarah and giving hugs and kisses. We ARE SOOOO READY to bring them home!

Friday, January 28, 2011

A very funny ( but not at the time) Africa story

On the third morning we were in Ethiopia, I was still waking up pretty early..around 4am. I decided to go ahead and get up and shower. The guest house was full and I was concerned about the supply of hot water for showers. I tiptoed in the bathroom, shut the door and turned on the light and water for my shower. I decided to brush my teeth first and when I stuck my toothbrush in my mouth. I discovered something very alarming. My tongue was black. Coated in a black substance. With my heart racing I tried to think back to the night before..Did I fall asleep with a grape throat drop in my mouth? Did I have any grape soda? Mmmmm no.

I not so calmly got in the shower, on the verge of a full blown, 4am panic attack. I must have contracted some African black tongue disease. They are never going to let me adopt these babies. They are never going to ever let me back in the United States. Did our travel insurance cover black tongue disease? What on earth was an Ethiopian hospital going to be like? Total freak out..Dear God, why me??

So I get out of the shower, brush my teeth and tongue again. This time I really brush my tongue and the nasty black stuff scraped off. OK, so maybe its not as bad as I am thinking. I get dressed and log into my computer. Thank the Lord, I had Internet and googled "black tongue".

It turns out that Pepto Bismal had a key ingredient called bismuth sulfide and a side effect of too much is that it will turn your tongue black. I had read on someones travel tip page that taking a pepto tablet every morning while in country will help keep your stomach settled. Well, overachiever that I am, I was taking one every morning AND night. :)

That morning I was thanking the good Lord for my health and Web MD!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Court Trip Tips from Jan 2011

Courts trip Tips from Jan 2011

We brought a lot of snacks and did not really need them. We were full from most of our meals..they were nice for the airplane though.

You end up taking your shoes off a lot at the orphanages and TH, so it is nice to have on socks for that. On the orphanage visit day, I didn't wear socks and I wished that I would have.

The laundry service at the guest house is awesome. 39 cents to wash a tee shirt and they use the same laundry detergent as the TH so my clothes smelled like baby Sarah’s :)

I wish I would have taken chocolate for the nannies at Kids Care and KVI

Kingdom Vision said that they needed clothes for kids ages 4 -13. They had lots of baby clothes.

They have Kids Care tee shirts when you go visit there. They are $20. We bought two because that is where our son was at.

Island Breeze was my favorite place to eat. The chicken quesadillas are yum.

Bring a blanket to spread out on the grass at the TH. Our group was big so there was not a lot of room on the porch.

The reason they want you to take the nanny gifts to the back is that the night shift nannies were getting upset that they were never given gifts. So now they have a “store” and do a lottery and every nanny gets to chose things from all the gifts.

I love the Guest House workers. They are all so sweet. Abby would take a bag of chocolate down with her every morning and pass them out to all the staff. They loved her. :)

The coffee is so good, but the creamer is boiled milk. It would have been nice to bring my own creamer ( like the individual coffee mates)

There is also hot water all the time and I brought caffeine free tea bags for evening. It was a nice touch of home.

There are no wash clothes in the Guest House, so pack some. They only last about 2 days and start to smell funny. I just threw them in with my laundry.

Take earplugs and sleep meds for sure! The dogs are crazy loud!

Wifi is so slow! We had a full guest house and that could have been part of the problem. I woke up at 3am one morning and was able to upload photos pretty quick. After midnight until about 6am is your best time to be online. If you are a Mac user download firefox. It supposedly works better than safari

We took outfits to try on Sarah Faith and snapped pictures of her every day. It was a fun thing to do with our time. We brought a lot of bubbles, balls, rocket toys for Micah. I didn't bring any art supplies or books and I wish I would have, He needed a little down time during the day when he got tired.

They LOVE electronics! A leapster would have been great. Micah played games on my phone and borrowed a DS one day.

Go to the spa!! A lot in our group chickened out but the massage was wonderful and was only $10! A pedicure was only $7 ..Only be aware if you do not get massages regularly, it will make you feel kinda flu- like the next day. :(

If there is anything you want or need just ask! We didn't have time to go to the coffee factory so Job took up a coffee order for us. Same with Amharic Bibles. They found them for us and we paid in advance and they dropped them off.

The airport has shops that you can buy last minute souvenirs at. They are more expensive than the market, but not by much. So if you forgot to get some things, you can always pick it up there.

Court is really no big deal. You go in a room and wait with a bunch of other people for your name to be called. The judge called our group in by 2 or 3 families at a time. You even answer the questions at the same time. Mostly yes or no and she doesn't even give you time to elaborate. The hardest part was not knowing the outcome. Did we pass? Did we not pass? What was missing? We pretty much knew nothing after court, but we received an email the very next day letting us know what was missing and when our next court date was. Apparently if you pass the judge will say,” He/She is yours.” Thats about all the knowledge you get!

Get some Cipro from you Dr before you go! we didn't need it over in ET, but I got a stomach bug the day I got home ( airplane food?) I am so glad I could start taking it right away and didn't have to go to the doctor as soon as I got home.

We took a day and went out of the city to Trees of Glory ( Children’s Hope Chest) We hired a driver with another family and spent the afternoon there. It was so nice to get out of the city and to see the work going on there. We stopped and bought a TON of bananas and Mangos for only $21! They were very thankful for fresh fruit. If you sponsor a child at TOG you can email them and they will try to make sure she is present. It is just an amazing work the director is doing there with very little. I promise you will be blessed if you go!

If you have any questions about the court trip feel free to email me!

Court day and goodbye

On Monday we got up early and had to be in the lobby at 8:30 in order to get word that our court time was morning or afternoon. Thankfully we didn't have to wait long and soon found out the judge was ready for us. We loaded up and went to the court house. There is a big room you stand in with other families and birth family members. We were able to see Micah's aunt and cousin there. AWAA gave us a DVD the evening before court with history of our child and she was on the DVD, that is how we recognized her. We waited awhile and were finally called in with another family. The questions the judge asked were very straightforward Yes or No answers and she addressed us and the other family as a group not individuals. We were pretty sure that all our paperwork was not there, but we were thankful she accepted the appeal our agency gave to submit Sarah's paperwork on the day of court. I was trying very hard to NOT think about the fact that she could have said no and we would not have been able to give our consent for both children at the same time.
it was a bit hard to understand what was going on and what the outcome was, but our group no one passed because MOWA had not written any ones letter. We all found out the next day when our second court date was. Ours is Feb. 8th.

After court we went back to the guest house and if your child's birth family was there and wanted to, you could have time to meet and take pictures. Micah's aunt and cousin was there and so we were able to meet her and ask a few questions. It was not nearly as emotional as a birth mother meeting would be, but I am glad that we had the opportunity to meet her and take pictures of her for Micah.

After that, we went to lunch at the Amsterdam ( do NOT get the stir fry chicken and noodles..YUCK!) we then went to the TH for our last day with the kids. It was hard. So hard to know that was the last time we would see them for at least a month..more than likely longer. Micah was in very good spirits though. I think going to court, meeting his aunt again and being a part of our "Jan 24th court group picture" solidified in his mind that this is real and he really does have a family. When we said goodbye, he tried hard not to cry. I could tell he did not like seeing me and Abby cry.

We came back to the guest house, packed up and went to the airport for our long flight home. What an amazing week. I am so thankful for this time with our kids.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 6

We went to church yesterday morning to an International church. It was a great service with many many nations representing. The pastor is from NC and has pastored in Winston-Salem and also in West Virginia! His name was Gary Threatt. That made my world seem just a little smaller yesterday. :) For lunch we went to the Island Breeze to eat. My favorite place this week. They have homemade salsa an guacamole that was amazing. They also deep fry their own tortilla chips. After lunch we made our way to the TH. Micah was in pretty good spirits, but he had moments of pouts and seriousness. I think he is realizing we are leaving soon. It is going to be VERY hard for him when Greg leaves. He has seriously attached himself to Greg's arm this week. The only time he plays with me is if Greg is feeding Sarah a bottle and as soon as he is done..mum is forgotten! He even gave Greg a silly band that said I love you on it and pointed to himself and said I love dad. So sweet!
After the TH visit Abby and I were able to go to the spa. She got a pedicure and I got a hour long swedish massage for the grand total of $10! Abbys pedi was only $7..crazy..but so relaxing!

Today is court and we will have to make an appeal in order to present Sarah's paperwork to the judge. Please pray she is understanding. We will then give our consent. We may or may not meet Micah's aunt and Sarah's mom. We will find out right before they arrive. There is a good possibility we will pass court for Micah and not Sarah simply because MOWA has not had Sarah's paperwork even a week yet. I am ok with knowing that and that it shouldnt take to long to get the paperwork finished. So please pray that the appeal is accepted and everything falls into place for us today.

We will then go to lunch and to the TH for a few hours to say goodbye. I am reallllly dreading that part. Then we come back, pack up and fly out tonight. We will be in the plane 17 hours and land in DC Tues. morning at 9AM, we will fly out of DC and be at Charlotte by 3PM. Please pray we can sleep on the plane! That is a long time in the air!

Thanks so much for all the support and prayer!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 4 and 5

Yesterday we were able to go in the morning to the two orphanages that Micah and Sarah were at before they went to the transition house. We found out that most agencies leave the kids in the orphanages until the parents come to get them. I cannot say enough good things about America World and the level of confidence I have in them. They take wonderful care of the children and the professional side is very competent as well. We first went to Kingdom Vision( where Sarah Faith was at for 4 days). we were able to visit with the babies, toddlers and school children. They have newborn up to 13 years old. Thanks to some adoptive families that bought them items like mattresses on all the cribs and diapers on all the babies. :)

We passed out snacks and toys and it was so sweet to see the children and love on them. Then we went to Kids Care (where Micah was located), it was smaller orphanage that we toured. They had a coffee ceremony for us complete with popcorn again! We left there and went to lunch and then spent the afternoon at the TH. Micah is sooooo attached to Greg. He wants to keep him in his sight at all times and is very affectionate. He is affectionate to me as well, but is happy to go play with Greg and the other boys. He will not speak very much to me, but he says things like, "Lets go play dad" and "Lets go see mum" to Greg. He also can count to 10, say his days of the week and his ABC's. Every day he is coming a little more out of his shell. This makes me happy and also sad because we leave soon.

On day 5 ( Saturday) We got up and went to tour the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis. It is a huge orthodox church with beautiful paintings. Behind it is a museum with all kinds of Ethiopian artifacts. After there it was lunch and TH. The weather is beautiful here..50's at nights and sunny and 70's during the day. I am going to hate to leave and say goodbye to Micah and Sarah, but I am missing Esther and Nathan a lot and will be so glad to see them.

Abby is doing great. She has taken up with one of the drivers, David, and he lets her ride shotgun in his van and they play the punch bug game while driving crazy through the crazy traffic. She has just been a wonderful traveller.

We will not pass court on Monday because there has simply not been enough time to have all Sarah's paperwork turned in AND a letter from MOWA written. Hopefully the judge will give us another court date sometime the first of February and since we will have already given our consent, once the paperwork is turned in, we will be notified we have passed and everything can be sent to embassy.

After our court appointment, we will meet with Micah's aunt and Sarah's mother if the are here and wish to meet with us, then we will go to the TH and say our good bye's. I am not looking forward to that. We will leave Addis at 10:15 Monday night and should be in DC by morning, but because of the time difference and head wind it is a 17 hour flight back to the states ( yuck!) We will then leave for Charlotte and should be back in NC by 3:00 on Tuesday.

Thanks so much for the prayers. We so appreciate them!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 3 in Ethiopia

Day 3 has been so many words...amazing, scary, exhausting, unforgettable! We got up early around 4:30am and couldn't sleep and went to breakfast and then off to the Transition Home. There were only us and one other family, the Herwhe's there and it was so nice and peaceful. Sarah was in a happy mood so we changed her clothes and put on a headband, we also stamped her little feet and took a ton of pictures. We got lots of smiles! Micah was in class, but was able to get out when we arrived. He was pretty happy about that! He ran up and gave us hugs and played for a few minutes while Abby was in the toddler room. Micah looked around and said, "where is sister?" When we showed him, he motioned for her to come out and get a hug. So sweet!

He walked us over to the next building where the older children stay and showed us his room, and his bed and all his toys that we had sent him in his care package. He also had an art book he had gotten for Christmas that he had already filled up with drawings. Lots of spiderman drawings! He also had a paper Bible he keeps under his pillow in Amharic. Another little boy, "J" and Micah read there Bible together every night.

We also got to go to his class and the kids sang a song for us and then the teacher ask us ( me, Greg and Abby) to sing a song. So we sang Amazing Grace and Jesus Loves Me and then they sang Jesus loves me back to us in Amharic. They were also learning the days of the week and their letters.

Our time FLEW by today, but we had to leave at 12 and go back to the guest house where we had lunch and then met our driver and a rep from Children's Hope Chest to take us to Trees of Glory Carepoint Center. It is about 2 hours out of the city and it was such beautiful countryside. Abby took a ton of pictures I will post when I get home. Just beautiful! We stopped and Abby bought a TON of fruit with the money she had saved and had been given... just bags and bags of bananas and mangos. The total cost was $21 us dollars! We split the cost with the Herwhes and were just amazed at how much fruit! We plan to buy more for both orphanages we are visiting tomorrow.

The roads though were CRAZY! Between dodging goats and power-sliding the van around one lane blind curves, I finally decided I was better off not watching the road!

When we arrived at TOG, we met the director there. A sweet lady that has given up her job to come and live at the carepoint center full time and take care of the children. We had a Coffee Ceremony, gave her our donations we had taken up at Vacation Bible School this summer and then met the kids. They were so sweet. We gave them suckers, granola bars, and silly bands and were able to paint the little girls finger nails. They loved that. When we got out of the van our driver realized that the van was leaking oil. Lots of oil. So while we were inside, the men were trying to fix the van. They finally decided the driver would walk to get some oil and a gasket that had broken. I was getting a little uneasy as there was no electric, no running water and no bathroom other than a hole, no Holiday Inn....and we had no transportation. And the city was 2 hours away. And it was getting kinda late. But we walked around and took lots of pictures and played with the kids and learned more about the vision for TOG. After about an hour ( and a very memorable trip to the potty) our driver showed up with a gasket and a bag of oil! Yes, a a doubled Walmart bag. Of oil...too funny.

Praise God he fixed the van and we quickly said goodbye and headed back to Addis. We got back with only about 15 min to spare ( around 7:15) before we took off for our traditional Ethiopian dinner!

It was a really nice restaurant and they had all the tables together sitting family style. There was a stage and musicians and dancers and they brought out big round trays of Ethiopian food. We ate while the performers put on an amazing show. Dancing like I have never seen! It was a great show and great food, but by 10:00 Abby and I were about to fall over! We made it back to the guest home for bed and was so happy to see it!

Tomorrow we go to the orphanages Micah and Sarah lived in before moving to the TH, we have a meeting with the ET director about what to expect at court and the an afternoon with Micah and Sarah. We are all having an amazing time and are so thankful for your prayers for us.

~ Greg , Jackie and Abby

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 2

After an amazing night sleep...(bring ear plugs and sleep meds!) I felt like a new woman! Abby had 12 hours of sleep and Greg was the only one that had trouble. He woke up at 2am and went downstairs to the lobby until 4am. He said he read his Bible while listening to the Muslim chants outside. He came back up and slept from 5-8:30

We had breakfast at the guest house and are now waiting to go to the TH at 11:30. Tomorrow we will go to the Transition House in the morning and go to Trees of Glory Carepoint center in the afternoon. It is about 2 hours away from the city and I am looking forward to seeing the African countryside away from the city. I also cant wait to meet our sponsor child, Kiddist. We will spend an hour or two there playing with the kids and passing out fruit, suckers, granola bars and silly bands. Once we get back to the city we are going to a traditional Ethiopian dinner complete with dancing and music.

Two things I forgot to write about yesterday was that we had the Traditional Coffee ceremony where they will roast, grind and brew coffee beans right in front of you. It was REALLY strong coffee, but I loved it. In fact I think it was what kept me upright most of the afternoon! Ethiopia smells like coffee and popcorn ( they serve popcorn with coffee).( I think my mom would like that..two of her favorite smells!)

I was able to Skype with the kids a few minutes last night and they are happy and seem to be doing well. I was glad to talk to them, even if it was kinda sketchy service.

The other thing was about Micah. When we first started talking to him, Greg ask him two different ways to pronounce his Ethiopian name and said which one is it? Micah shook his head and said , "My name is Micah". :)

That was about the only complete sentence he said to us yesterday. He can understand english pretty good and will shake his head yes or no, but he wont talk a lot. I think he is afraid he will say something wrong. He is pretty popular with the other kids and has lots of friends. We brought him a batman yoyo and he knew how to say yoyo and batman! :)

Everyone is so nice. At the guest house and even on the streets, people smile and say hello. The nannies are wonderful with the kids. They give lots of hugs and kisses to the children there.

I will check back in later. Love from Ethiopia!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

We made it!!

Greetings from Ethiopia!!! After a mechanical delay in Charlotte that put us an hour off schedule, we arrived in DC at the Ethiopian Air gate with about 20 min to spare. We met another couple, the Jurrens from Minnasota at the airport, so it was cool to see a somewhat familiar face on the plane. We boarded the very nice Boeing 777 and settled in for a long winters nap...NOT!
We had a uneventfull flight but there wasn't a lot of sleep involved. Abby did great and even though I think she was about to go stir crazy she didn't complain. We landed at 7:45am ET time, made it quickly through immigrations and customs. We then met our travel buddies and the driver from AWAA. I am going to try to post about our day, but I am not sure I am making sense ( 33 hours with no sleep will do that to ya!)

Addis Ababa is beautiful! The temps feel a lot like Florida in the winter..comfortable with just a long sleeve shirt. There are lots of people everywhere right now because of a Holiday celebrating the baptism of Jesus. We went to the guest house after the airport, went over our itinerary for the week, unloaded our bags and left again for lunch.
We went to a place called Metro pizza. It was a really nice pizza place and we laughed that our first Ethiopian meal was going to be pizza! :) It was a little bit of Ethiopia mixed throughout because they placed some bread sticks on the table with a little dish of what looked like guacamole. We cautiously dipped our bread in it and WOW! It was soo hot. Totally burnt my mouth! We were all laughing because the Ethiopian kids that were there with us, who were getting ready to go home, were spooning it up like jello! They were loving that hot mess!

The pizza was very good and really cheap, like $4 a person. After we finished up, we loaded in the van and began our trip to the Transition Home. I was going on about 26 hours with no sleep and the overwhelmingness of it all, I felt like I couldn't breathe. It took us forever ( really about 15 min) to finally pull up to that famous America World gate. The other couple was told that there baby would be brought out first. We videoed them seeing their little boy for the first time..he was so sweet.
After a quick switch of camera, it was our turn. They were suppose to be bringing Micah and Sarah Faith out together. There was a long hall they were bringing them down and we were at the porch/front door. As soon as Micah saw us he took off running and threw himself in my arms! That was the sweetest bear hug and I will never forget that feeling. He hugged Greg next and just jumped up onto him to be held. He was so sweet and not shy at all. He was wearing his Florida Gator shirt we had sent him in his care package. He gave Abby a hug and while he was getting acquainted with his big sister, I turned my attention to the sweetest bundle of pink in the nanny's arms. She looked at me with those big brown eyes and didnt cry at all! She just snuggled in like, "Well, I have been waiting for you to get here".

Greg and Micah went over to the playground to play while Abby and I took Sarah Faith up to a couch on the porch to snuggle. And snuggle we did..all afternoon! She would track our eyes really well and smile and coo and she has a bit of thrush and kept sticking her tongue out so I would be able to see it.

We had an amazing amazing day! Tomorrow is more of the same. More good food and more time with the kids. We are so blessed!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Your blog has been hacked!!!

While my sister, Jackie, is heading over the seas to Ethiopia, I will be helping her post some pictures on here. It's been a very long time since I've blogged, so I thought I would try before she left. Cheese!!!!

Ready for Takeoff!!

We are so excited to be leaving on Monday morning Jan, 17th! We leave out of Charlotte at 7:35am for DC and then DC to
Addis at noon! We will be in the air 12 hours and 25 min, but we will land in Addis at 8:25 am! We will be 8 hours ahead of our time. According to our travel director ,we will land, get our visa's, check in at the guest house and then go meet our children!!! Wow what a Tuesday that will be!

My sister is going to try to keep my blog up, but I will more than likely be able to update from facebook too.
We will spend the week in Addis doing some shopping and site-seeing in the mornings and then visiting the transition home in the afternoons.

Our court date will be Monday, Jan 24th. This is not a court date to decide if we are good parents ( that was what our home study was for) , but a court hearing to see if all requirements of our case are fulfilled. One of the requirements is our testimony that we do indeed want to adopt and we have been given our children's history, have met them etc. Once we have given this, our part is completed.

The biggest reason most people do not pass court is that MOWA ( Ministry of Women and Children) have to write a recommendation letter that all documents are there and they are basically signing off on the case. For some reason, they are very random in getting letters there on the proper day. They are sometimes late or not at all. Not to be pessimistic, but I do not think we will pass court on the 24th. MOWA will have only had our paperwork on the baby for less than a week AND they have to write two letters for us because our kids are not siblings.

God could work a miracle on our behalf, but I am prepared to go, give our testimony and then come home and wait for all the documents to fall into place later on in the next few weeks. The only big bummer about not passing court is that we are not allowed to post pictures of our kids until we pass court and they are legally ours.

Once we have been given word we have passed court, all our files are gathered again for the US embassy. It takes a few more weeks for that to happen and then the US Embassy gives us an embassy date where the kids will get there Visas. They give our agency 10 slots every other Wednesday for embassy dates. So.. We are looking at Feb 16, March 2, 16 or 30th as to when our embassy appointment might be.

If you would like to pray with us, here are some specifics..

Safe travels ~ Greg has been out of the country before, but this will be mine and Abby's first time. We are excited, but scared too. Also pray we have good flying weather to Addis and coming home.

For Nathan and Esther ~ They are really excited to go to Nana and Gramp's house for a whole week and it does my heart good that they are nor homesick about us leaving. Please pray that they keep this attitude! :) And for my parents as they watch them all week.

For Micah and Sarah Faith~ That we have a good bonding experience with them

For our Health ~ Illness is common when traveling overseas with the strange food and also Addis is a very high altitude. I have a whole pharmacy packed, but I am praying I wont need any of it!

For Abby ~ I can't imagine what a trip like this will be like for a 13 year old girl. I am praying God uses this trip in many ways to mold her heart and life for HIM.

We arrive back in the US early Tuesday morning Jan 25th and then will eventually land in Charlotte around 3:15pm.

Thanks so much for joining us on this journey! I will check in next time from ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA!!

Friday, January 14, 2011


We received the call today at 11:51. The first thing Caitlin said was, "I have some good news for you.." Right then and there I just prayed a big Thank you JESUS! Then after we got Greg on the speaker phone she told us that she had a referral for a 5 month old baby GIRL!!!!! I was so shocked! I really thought that it was going to be a boy! We are so excited! I honestly didn't hear much she said after that! She did say she was very healthy. :)

All three kids, ( but especially the girls) were just running around the kitchen yelling and screaming ," a sister..we have a new sister!!!" :) They all three told me after the call they had all been secretly hoping for a girl..even my mom said that!

We got off the phone and we all five very impatiently waited for the email to come with pictures and when it FINALLY popped up in my inbox we all squealed! We opened the email and oh my..she is just beautiful! So SO SO pretty! She has big brown eyes and the prettiest bow tie lips. Oh I cannot wait to scoop her up and love on her!

We finished up on the paperwork and then went to Target to buys some PINK clothes! All I have is blue! I have some old clothes that I had saved from Abby and Esther, but when I pulled them out to wash them Abby said, "Mom, those clothes are so late 1990's. " LOL :) I really don't think the baby will care nearly as much as big sister.

We are naming her Sarah Faith and my, has this been a faith walk for us, but we are sooo very thankful for God blessing us with this special sweet baby girl.

AND we get to meet her and her big brother Micah in just 4 days!!! Whoo Hoo!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Conference Call Today

We had a conference call with the director of African adoptions and our family coordinator this morning. They assured us that they were doing everything they possibly could to get us our referral as soon as possible and that they are speaking with the Ethiopian director daily about our case.
So here's the deal..there are babies in the Transition Home that meet our request. They are missing a "clearance paper" from the government office of the region they came from in order to be adopted. Until this paper is obtained their file cannot go to court. So really AWAA goes everyday and tries to get this paper... to no avail. We don't know if it is political or backlog paperwork or what, but that is where we are at.

They are very hopeful it will come in next week and everything will go off as planned. If not, we are going to talk again next Thursday and decide if we should not attend our court hearing. Then on the 24th, the judge will hear our case ( without us there) and AWAA will ask for an appeal and a second court date and we will then go and attend that one for two children. She said that more than likely the second court date would be only a week or two later and not into March or April.

Soooo we are still PRAYING HARD that a referral will come in this coming week ( like MONDAY!!) and all will go as planned. If not, it looks like we may be going to ET in February instead in January. (I keep telling myself that...the worst part of this is that we have to wait..the baby is there. Micah is there and ready..we just have to wait...I can do this.)

Thanks for the prayers and the encouragement you guys have given to us as we go through this.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

No News..Prayer Rally!!

No news yet! I have been up since 2AM praying about all this. We leave in 12 days. I just am struggling with do we call our agency, demand answers and fight for this baby we don't even know or do we just rest in the Lord and wait for Him to work it all out for us?

I cant even think about flying to Ethiopia and not having a baby there Or going into the baby room at the Transition House and not knowing which one is ours. Our agency isn't really even addressing this yet and so I don't know which way to even think.

I guess we could just not show up for court in Jan, get a later court date and hope we get a referral soon. OR go and try to sign some sort of power of attorney when we get there for a baby we have never met? But then this leaves Micah in Ethiopia longer too and he is so anxious to start his new life here with us. Oh if we would just get that phone call today everything could fall into place!

Y'all please please please keep praying! I KNOW God has called us to this and I KNOW He wants these children to be rescued and I KNOW the enemy would like nothing better than for this to be a testimony for others to see how hard and not worth it adoption can be. I so want to show others that it is worth it and it is God's heart!

I am clinging to Psalms 37:5 this morning.

"Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it."

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