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.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Being Brave

Someone said to me the other day that we were so very brave to be adopting 2 being an older child. Can I just tell you that I am SO not brave. I went from my parents house to college to being married and have never lived by myself. I can probably count on my hands the times I have spent the night at home alone ( and that was with much whining and complaining!)

I am one of the most cautious drivers ever. I will choose a route based on the lack of left hand turns I have to make. I really hate to drive somewhere I have never been before. In fact, I am driving alone to Georgia this weekend to a retreat and have woke up every morning this week reciting the route and my plan of attack to get there..just so I am prepared.

I also HATE to speak in public. In fact I break out in hives all over my neck and face and look terrible. Greg is most assuredly the speaker in our family!

Adoption kinda chose us. God laid it on my heart and I could not stop thinking about it. I just KNEW we would eventually adopt. He planted the seed so long ago that by the time we were able to begin the paperwork, it was as if it was just naturally the next step.

Now, Micah was not at all in the plan, but when I saw his picture for the first time and heard his story, I knew. I just knew that he needed to be part of our family.
Greg, who was less enthusiastic about adoption in the beginning was completely on board for Micah and even has "talked me off the ledge" quite a few times when the doubts and fears of an older child adoption crept in.

In fact, back in July, we received an email from our family coordinator saying that we needed to decide if we wanted to wait for Micah's paperwork or go ahead and take a sibling group under five IF they came up. Greg and I discussed and prayed about it on a 5 hour trip to the mountains. By the time we got there, we knew there was no way we could accept two other children and even go meet them and bring them home and see Micah there at the transition home. He was our son and we would wait on him. So we emailed our FC and told her we would wait. A few hours later a family posted on our Yahoo Group they had received a referral for a sibling group under 5 years. That would have been us, but I tell ya, God had given us such a strong desire and peace about Micah it was ok that we then had to wait through the rainy season to get our referral. Actually it was better than OK because Sarah Faith wasn't even born until after the rainy season. :)
I write all this to say that I am not brave at all. We are letting God lead us and He has showed up in some BIG ways. With Micah. With Sarah Faith's crazy referral circumstance. With providing for the cost of adoption. God has shown Himself so mighty to us that I almost feel guilty when people call us brave. It would be like riding your favorite roller coaster as many time as you want and then people telling you how awesome and brave you are. Not really..all you did was jump on and enjoy the ride.

I want to say that if anyone is feeling God pulling at your heart to adopt or maybe to adopt an older child, I say walk straight forward. He will bless your socks off!

Please don't let age ( I met a couple in there 50's adopting and they were SO Happy!)
or money ( there are SO many resources and hey, we have a BIG GOD!)

or doubts ( just click on the blog links to the side of my blog and read about other families and the blessing adoption had brought to their lives)

or maybe you think you will put it off until you "have your own kids". Can I say I am seeing an increasing number of couples choose to adopt FIRST and I think that is AMAZING! When else do you have more resources and time than before you have other children in the home? The travel part isn't as much of an issue and I just think that it would be an awesome way to START a family.

I have met (on the adoption journey) rich and poor, single moms, couples with no children battling infertility, couples who have chose to begin their family with adoption, couples with many children at home, couples from 20 somethings to 50 somethings. ALL TYPES of people who have been BLESSED by adoption!

Lastly ( man, this post is long!) if you have any questions, please feel free to email me or FB inbox me. I would be more than happy to share more of our story or answer any questions you might have. I will also commit to pray for you and your decision.

I have prayed since the beginning that our adoption would have a ripple affect. I would LOVE to know that our story had been a spark used to lead others to adopt, so if I can help you in any way..please let me know! :)

~ Jackie

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed