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

Friday, December 30, 2011

In a Week From Monday . . .

we will be boarding a plane for Ethiopia. Say what??? It feels impossible. We are so used to waiting and waiting and waiting some more, but with M's adoption everything has been right on schedule and now our court date is even WAY earlier than I expected. M's birth mom has her court date on January 4th. That date feels like FOREVER away. We know that she could change her mind any time between now and when she gives the final word. Yikes!

So, here is the plan. We get on a plane next Monday, we travel across the globe for 24 hours and get into ET on Tuesday night. Wednesday we head down to Awassa to visit the Goose. As it stands, our agency, as well as many other agencies, are withdrawing their support of the orphanages in the south, tomorrow. Therefore, we have no idea what to expect when we get there? Will their cupboards be bare? Will we find they have more than we imagined? Will the kids be happy? Will they be hurting? We have no clue? What we know, is that if we do in fact travel, we will have 3 days to HOLD, FEED, SNUGGLE, PLAY WITH, AND LOVE ON Goosey and the other kids at Ajuuja. I can't wait. We don't know if we will ever see him again, but we will, at least, have those 3 days. THEN . . .

We will head back to Addis and meet M! I'm sure I will be reeling from loving and leaving Goosey, but I am trying very hard to get ready to live this trip one hour at a time. Love the child in front me, whether it is Goosey, M, or any other child that God puts before me.

I got a message from a friend today that met M this morning. She said that she is adorable and that she is full of smiles and giggles (until the camera comes out, of course). I couldn't be more excited to get that kind of a message. I didn't even know she was at the care center yet, so the message was such a fun surprise. I'm sure that M is confused and grieving and trying to make heads or tails of her situation, so to hear she is giggling gives me a little sense of peace about her well being.

I know this is short, but I'm just excited, and have a million and a half things to do before the 9th. One of them, is to collect more formula. Many of you have given so much already, but some of you haven't. Just kidding:) But if you do have formula that you are not going to use, then we would love to take it off of your hands. Like I said, we don't know what they have, but Ajuuja will no longer be supported financially by the two agencies that were working with them. I just can't imagine that they will have much.

In closing, we are still praying for a miracle with N and the southern region. I have more confidence now that we will see a miracle, even though all signs point to nothing ever happening. Please pray with us for that miracle. If I can ask for a couple more things that ya'll could pray for, I would greatly appreciate it. Of course, safe travel and my kids who we will be away from for 10 days! I'm afraid, we'll get some practice with attachment and bonding with Leah, after leaving her that long. She is pretty sensitive about us leaving (as well as choosing the wrong hair tie, asking her to get in the car, giving her the stink eye, etc. . . . ) , so I'm a touch worried about that. You could also be praying for our hearts to be able to handle spending three days with Goosey, leaving him, possibly forever, and then turning around and meeting M. It sounds like too much to handle and it would be, no doubt, if we didn't know the One who could hold our hearts so safely, when we place them in His able hands.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A New Referral!!!!!!!!!

It is with much hesitation, hopeful expectation, guarded hearts, and great joy that we are finally announcing the acceptance of our referral of (almost) three year old "M." It's true - we have a new picture of a Q - T - PIE hanging on our fridge these days. She looks a little frightened in her pictures, but she has these huge brown eyes, a bit of an underbite and the coolest puffy hair I've seen in quite some time:) There is really no other way to describe her than a "lil punkin."

I felt like today was finally the time to post it, because we were actually submitted to court yesterday, which feels like a monumental step. It felt a little too premature to announce it in writing before passing this step. Not that this is a done deal (can you tell we are somewhat gaurded), but it seems like the ball is moving forward with little M. Just for the record, we are still praying our hearts out for Goosey and that someday we will reach this milestone with him. However, this post is not about him - it is a celebration of a new child that will be practically twinning Leah??? Lord have mercy!

While, I'm sure you all can imagine the swirl and complexity of our emotions, I'm surprised at how excited I am about this precious girl. I'm surprised that each time I see her picture, a natural smile draws across my face. I wasn't sure that was how it would play out when we got a new referral, but by God's grace, he's given us, new love for our new little one.

Well, if I don't stop writing now, I'm sure I'll find myself wandering into the "swirl and complexity of emotions," so for now . . . Woo-hoo for little, puffy haired M!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


It's 11:00. I am trying to move. Get ready for the day. Go to the grocery store. Get ready to host a cheery cookie exchange tonight for our Sunday School class. But something has changed since yesterday. At about 10:00 last night, we received an email from another person in our same position. Someone who also has a child at Ajuuja. Someone who talked face to face with our agency yesterday about this situation and the long of the short of it, is that things look pretty grim. The facts are, that our agency gives a surprisingly high dollar amount to Ajuuja each month. Referrals have been moving at a snails pace for the past six months, which has obviously limited the amount of money that has come in, recently. How long can our little agency really support Ajuuja, while the regional government won't release any of these kids. Also, if they don't withdraw their financial support, then this regional Mowa will continue to get the benefits without having to do the work. The hope is that this will drive them to sign the paperwork. Needless to say, the towel is being swirled overhead and is about to be thrown. But as soon as the towel is thrown in, the fallout is severe. Our agency will no longer have the rights to the children in the orphanage. This will all take place fairly soon. What does this mean for the Goose? That is the hardest part. What will happen to him? Where will he land? The orphanage can not survive without our agencies help. The orphanages in the region are already overcrowded and losing funding from other agencies that can no longer support them. Kids are already being left on the street there. There is a famine there.

Everyone knows adoption is often times met with great disappointment. However, many times the disappointment, (which I am in no way, shape, or form minimizing), is hard because birth parents change their minds. In this case, N does not have known birth parents, and he has no known relatives. Who will feed him, hold him, love him?

So, in all these questions, we are asking, "Where are you, God? Do something! You set us on this path. This is the eleventh hour! This is when you are supposed to move!" As we both expressed our anger and disappointment with God, we still knew in our heart of hearts that there is nowhere else to go. Through tears and grief we prayed. Not like we ever have before. There wasn't any, "thank you for this day," "give us guidance," "help so and so." It was a prayer from a place of grief that neither one of us have ever experienced. It was a prayer that was so hard to pray, because we were praying big - praying for a miracle. Praying that the heart of the person who is responsible for signing off on N's paperwork would be moved at that very moment to sign his papers. Praying for N, who is the ultimate sufferer in this. At the end of this long emotional plea with God and after the word "Amen," we both said something that must have been impressed upon us by God. "This is how God must feel when he wants his children to be at home with him." Most of the time when I think of Jesus, I picture him walking around with his arms extended, head slightly tilted, a calm and joyful presence seeping out of him, with a few kids, adults and a lamb or two in his wake. I don't picture him weeping as we were for people to come to know him and "come home" to him. We are separated from N and he is ours. He is our son.

As you can see, our hope in this situation is gone. It feels hopeless. I've thought a lot about hope in light of this turn for the worse this week. I've heard a lot of people tell me things about hope, but I don't think that if I hope hard enough, that N will get to come home. When I was in elementary school, I was in the kids choir at church. Throughout the year we could choose to take on the challenge of memorizing verses, have good attendance and memorize hymns. Since hymns are a thing of the past, I know that the hymns I still have memorized are from the time in my life. So, thank you Ms. Pat for making me memorize them for a time like this:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

We still do hope that N comes home, we hope he is OK, we hope we will get a new referral and grow to love that child as much as we love N, we hope that if we can't bring N home that we can get him somewhere safe, we hope we can see what God is up to in all this, we hope for so much, but we know that the only thing we can really know is the hope of Jesus.