The desk is not a heavy one, but it is somewhat large. I made it up several stairs, with my 3-year-old boy cheering me on from behind. Just as I neared the landing where the stairs turn, I lost my balance, my legs buckled, and everything started moving in slow motion.
I was falling. The desk was falling. We were both crashing toward my son. I had the presence of mind to tell Jack to move out of the way, and luckily he wasn't hurt. The desk and I did not fare as well.
|I saw this pin on Pinterest RIGHT AFTER I fell. #Hilarious|
Adoption is the same way. So many of you have come alongside us and helped us and prayed for us. And we are so grateful. So I wanted to let you know where things stand, and how you can continue to pray for us.
Right now there are some crucial things going on here in the USA and in Ethiopia.
First, what's happening in the USA: Our children's papers are being reviewed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Before we can move forward with the adoption, we need their blessing. This process can take 8-12 weeks, and we've been in it for about 4 weeks. According to our agency, the USCIS has been requesting additional paperwork on most cases, and that slows things down considerably. Our agency did everything they could to cross all their t's and dot all their i's, but whether USCIS thinks it's enough to prove the legitimacy of the children's orphan status is debatable. A lot of it depends on the person reviewing the case.
If you are a praying person, we would really appreciate your prayers for a favorable review and no request for additional evidence.
This is also an intense time in Ethiopia. We've been informed that we've been assigned a Guardian Court Date for October 31. We are not required to be at this court appearance; it is for the children's current guardian (the orphanage manager) to state again that they truly are orphans and that they are OK with an international adoption.
But here's the interesting part. Any child being adopted who is 11 or older must also appear in court and state that they want to be adopted.
Our son is 11, so he will also appear.
He and his younger sisters are residing in northern Ethiopia, and federal court is in the capital city. It is not a terribly far distance, but road conditions would make going by car very difficult. So he and his guardian will get up early in the morning, fly to Addis Ababa, where they will be joined by our agency's social worker. They will go to court, and "D" will say whether he wants to be adopted.
I hope he says yes. I think he will, but it is his choice. His sisters have no say in the matter because of their age, and he is very close to them, so even if he has doubts, I think he will want to do it so he can stay with them.
That is pretty big.
But something else pretty big is going to happen on that day as well. Our agency's social worker is going to tell him about us. While he and his sisters know they will be adopted, we don't think they've been told anything about us. At this meeting he will be presented with three photo books we made--one for him, one for his sister L, and one for his sister M. The books contain pictures of our family, our home, and places they will frequent when they live here such as their school, church, downtown area, etc. We also included cards for each child with a personal message.
The social worker will talk through everything with him and explain the books. I don't know if this will occur before he makes his court appearance or after....I'm guessing maybe before so he can be more informed?
I have to be honest. I have that same nervous feeling you get when you're on a first date. I really hope he likes us. It seems silly when I type the words into the computer, but it's how I feel. I want him to like us and want to be a part of our family.
Later that evening, D will fly back to Northern Ethio to his orphanage. He will be given a big responsibility: to share the books with his sisters and explain everything to them.
Will you pray for D on Oct. 31? (No, they don't celebrate Halloween in Ethio, in case you're wondering.) It will be so much information for him to take in. I know as the older brother he feels a certain sense of responsibility for his sisters, and he wants the very best for them. Please pray that everything goes smoothly--from the flight to the meeting with the social worker and, of course, the court appearance. Pray that God will prepare D and his sisters to be a part of a family after a very long time without one. Pray that their young hearts will be flooded with peace and joy.
Someone recently said to me, "I'm sure they will be so happy and so grateful to find out about you!" I hope she is right, but in actuality, change is hard. Change is scary. And some people are resistant to change. It's hard to leave every.single.thing you know and hold dear and venture out to a new beginning. Or at least I imagine it's hard. Actually, I can't imagine it at all. I would be terrified.
He started this process, and we are confident He will complete it for His glory, for our joy, and for the well being of these three children whom He loves so dearly.
Hopefully we will get some news late in the day on the 31st and be able to share it with you. Until then, please keep praying.
Love to you and yours,