In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Goodbye for Now

"Writing in Pencil"seems very fitting for our blog title right now. However, until I can write in something a little more permanent, I think I'll have to say goodbye.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

4 Months Old Today

Today little "N" is 4 months old. I am so proud of him (and his momma) for being one of the few well nourished kids that enter orphanages in Ethiopia. It's really the only thing I know about him, so I'm going to be proud of him for that. The last picture that I saw of him was when he was 2 1/2 months old. I'm sure he is doing so much more now and I'm certain that he is a favorite of at least one of the nannies, if not all. I just know he is! I just wish I could enjoy his little smile and his noises and attempts to roll over . . . both ways! Unfortunately, it's going to be awhile, folks. For this reason, I feel like I'm fighting the good fight to stay out of the swamp called sadness, but my feet are slipping and my hands are losing their grip. I need a boost. I'm gonna need a lot of boosts throughout this indefinite process. So, don't judge me, please, if I take trip to Vegas, even though we have raised money for this adoption. I feel like I need to get on a plane to somewhere. I told Dave today that I'm getting the urge to fly over to ET again. I want to go see him, sooooooooooooo badly. I want to go and put his paperwork in front of the local MOWA that has stopped processing any paperwork and convince them, that keeping my baby (or the 350 other kids in his same position) there, is not in the best interest of anyone on earth!

For those of you who don't know the story, he is in a region where the local MOWA thought it would be a good idea to go through and shut down a bunch of orphanages for a variety of different reasons. That sounds noble if there are orphanages that are violating rules affecting the care of the children, but from what I understand they were shut down for not providing enough humanitarian work outside their walls. In all, 19 orphanages were shut down and then all those kids went into the existing orphanages, thus creating overcrowding. From what I understand, the orphanages are at total capacity and they can no longer accept new kids. It has also caused them to lose track of some of the kids, so I am grateful that they, at least, know where "N" is. This is where it would seem logical for them to sign paperwork, so that they can move kids into care centers in Addis. Logic seems very lost at this point.

I have no redemptive words this time. Just that I'm slipping. Maybe when he is 4 months and a day, I'll be back on top of the rock I've been sitting on the past few weeks.

P.S.-Spence just asked when we are going to get "The Goose" (his nickname). I said "not for a long time." Spencer said, "aren't we gonna die, though?" I hope it won't take that long!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Do we stay or do we go?

In one of my more desperate moments on this roller coaster, I posted that I was looking for connections in Awassa, because I was ready to change this years plans to include a 2-3 month stay in ET. Thank you to all who responded with helpful leads, email addresses, personal stories and even warnings. I appreciated all the input, so thank you.

I have gotten some clarity on whether or not to travel to ET between court and Embassy. Two weeks ago I was 90% sure that we were gonna do it, but after new information and some time to get some perspective, I'm am about 90% sure that we won't. The whole point of going was to intercept "N" before he changed locations and caretakers, again. Initially, he wasn't going to move to the care center until after we passed court and now he will get moved to the care center a week before we go to court. Then, just last week, the US Embassy changed the rules. Even if you pass court, you can no longer take your child out of the care center until Embassy clears you, so again, the main reason for going doesn't even exist anymore. And in the midst of all that, God kept asking me, "Do you trust me?" And I kept basically saying "no." I'm not going to say that I think things will turn out all tidy and neat, but I'm getting to the point where I do feel like I am learning to trust Him with baby "N."

So, in this phase when the courts aren't opened any longer, there is no inkling of a chance of getting a court date anytime before November and we have decided not to travel between court and Embassy, I feel strangely excited about simply meeting "N." More than ever before! I am excited to hold him, rub his fuzzy head and just see what he is like. I think that the turning point from desperation to excitement (and I'm not claiming that this will last, BTW), was at Lakeside Amusement Park, of all places. My kids were riding rides with not a care in the world, contagious laughter and the biggest smiles in the world. (See below). I just thought that next year at this time, "N" could be riding these rides with our kids, with the same carefree laughter, squeals, and excitement. All of this unnecessary waiting and all this craziness with getting submitted to court will be a distant memory and in it's place will be our little "king." Yeah!!!!!!!! I can't wait!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


One summer when I was in junior high, most days you could find me at Nicole Penner's house, carefully crafting our trampoline routine to Amy Grant's Ageless Medley. I bet if you gave me a trampoline and that music I could still perform some of my routine, minus some of the flips. Most kids at that age were NOT listening to Amy Grant, but I loved her and loved Jesus. I didn't doubt that God was real and I had a quiet time nearly every day. I was very serious about my faith and I didn't care that I didn't know the words to "Smokin' in the Boys Room," like everybody else.

I have gone on to love many other genres of music and become a real cool cat, but I can still say that when I hear Amy sing, it brings me back to a time when I had a real innocent faith and trust in God. This adoption journey has been (and at this rate will continue to be) a challenge to my faith and a faith builder at the same time. In the words of my close friend, Kate, "Go Big or Go Home." That is how I feel in my faith right now. I've gotta either Believe Big or Forget It.

I have had a difficult time understanding why he is not answering prayers for so many of us in the throws of adoption in ET. On good days, unanswered prayer has left me scratching my head, and on bad days, it has made me question God. If God cares so much for these kids, then why is it so hard to bring them home? That being said, I also think that if God really did, in fact, call us to adopt, like I think he did, then I really doubt that he is going to jump ship and say, "now that you are half way through, I'm outty." I simply can't believe in God if I don't believe that he will take care of this situation. But it is hard. One of the two things he keeps telling me is, "hold on." Everything I have read or heard or listened to keeps saying, "hold on." So, I'm holding on and leaning in.

I just have to leave you with a newish Amy Grant song that I'm sure will be carrying me through the weeks. Some of you won't have time to listen to it, but if you are in the middle of adopting, you should try to find a couple of minutes. I hope it will encourage you.