23 July 2015

Theology by Jack

And on a lighter note...Some gems from a conversation with our 4-year-old this evening:

-"Satan used to be God's best fairy in heaven, but now he's in Satan's place."

-"Mom, did they shoot Satan out of a cannon to get him far away from heaven?"

-"Are there monsters in Satan's Place? What about dragons? What about really scary cows?"

-"I think there are donuts in heaven. I like the pink ones and the sprinkle ones, but the white ones with sprinkles are my favorite. I hope they have that kind in heaven."

09 July 2015

Adoption Update

So many of you have joined us on this journey, and we are thankful. We wanted to give you a brief update on a very complicated situation. We have not given up on the children. Things seem somewhat bleak, but we are still working with our team in Ethiopia to get the three siblings home.

There are letters being written, appeals being made (not to the judge as he won't hear any but other avenues), and meetings being held with key players. The next week is fairly critical as we wait for answers from some government officials. 

If that doesn't turn out favorable, we will wait until October when some new officials will be installed in the Court and hope they will agree to hear our appeal.

We learned today that the children's orphanage expects to close; they have found local Ethiopian families for the other children but not for ours or for one other little girl. (A sweet family in Utah has been trying to adopt her for more than 2 years.)

We also believe there are only 1 or 2 families still trying to adopt children from this Region of Ethipia; the others have all given up. We, however, won't give up until the door is slammed shut, locked, bolted, and barricaded. And even then we may keep pushing. We're not superheroes by any means...we're just a mom and a dad and a brother fighting to give three beautiful children what every child deserves...a family.

20 June 2015

All About Daddy

If you're like me and tend to procrastinate, here's a perfect, last-minute gift for dad. I worked on this with my 4-year-old a few days ago, and his answers are priceless. (I will share them after we present daddy with his gift!)

Just click on the link below and print out the form, then you or your child can fill in the answers with your child's responses.

Click here for Free Printable: All About DAD
(The link will take you to Dropbox. If you don't have a Dropbox account, it will ask you if you want to sign up. You can simply close out that pop-up box if you don't want to. From there just click on DOWNLOAD or OPEN in the upper right-hand corner and the document will open in Adobe Reader.)

18 June 2015

Raw Honest Truth

A friend asked me recently if there was any news on our international adoption because she hadn't seen a blog post in a long time. I was reminded that not everybody is on Facebook, so some people don't get my regular updates.

I haven't blogged in a while because it feels like I'm always saying the same thing about our adoption: we need one more paper (and that paper always is changing); it's out of our hands; your prayers are appreciated.

And that's pretty much where we're still at, but with an added urgency for an expedited process. The Federal Court in Ethio closes every year for a "rainy season" closure. We don't know the exact dates this year (they tend to change from year to year), but most likely they will close from August 6 until mid-October.

So, if we don't get a court date ASAP, we're looking at several more months before M, M, and D can join our family. Typically when the judge agrees to hear a case, he sets a court date about 4-6 weeks later. So it is imperative that we get a date ASAP to beat the August 6 closure.


I was asked recently via email how I'm dealing with the delays, and this is how I responded:  

This morning as I checked email yet again hoping to hear some good news from our agency, I was reminded of back when I was single and obsessed with some guy, and I would constantly check voice mail/email, etc. for a message. It's the same now. I'm addicted to checking for messages.


When I do get a message from our agency--and it's about something other than our kids--I am supremely annoyed. Like how dare they waste my time with info about a conference call recording or a new webinar or a program update! My feelings aren't particularly rational or logical. :) I vacillate between having a great attitude and being fully confident that God will accomplish this at just the right time ... to being all-out angry and frustrated and disappointed with God. Sometimes I ride the roller coaster several times in one day. And wow is it tiring! I've never been so tired in all my life from doing nothing but waiting. My mind feels preoccupied most of the day.


And then there's all the FB adoption groups I'm a part of. Some are super encouraging and informative, but others are like watching a train wreck. It kills me to hear stories of children who were probably trafficked, and the adoptive parents are the last to find out. Or their home becomes a living hell after the child gets home, and they question whether they should have adopted. 


God has clearly only given me grace for today (most days!) but I am not equipped to deal with possible future problems for which I have not been graced-up.

We willingly stepped into this journey knowing it would be difficult, so we're certainly not looking for sympathy. But my best self-therapy is writing, and the best thing for our family is prayer. Hopefully today's raw, honest truth accomplishes both.

Thanks for walking with us. We love and appreciate you.






13 May 2015

We Have a Plan

Doesn't every obstacle seem easier when a plan is in place?

Well, we have a plan. [big sigh of relief]

We received our negative recommendation today from the Ministry, as expected. Only 1 day after it was supposed to come, so that is good!

Besides the "you don't have one paper and we still need it," they have also requested an updated license from our children's orphanage director.

The director *thinks* it will take between 10-14 days to get his renewed license.

Once this is received, our team in Ethiopia will file our case at Court. We are petitioning the Court to review the case, as is, and to agree to hear our case without a positive recommendation from the Ministry. If that happens, Ken and I will fly to Ethiopia to meet with the children and to go to Court. (!!!!)

In the past few weeks, several cases like ours have been successful, and we are hoping, praying, and dreaming for a similar outcome.

I feel a little like the widow in the Bible who kept banging at the Judge's door, demanding justice in her case. He finally relented because he was tired of being harassed.

I'm sure some of you are tired of my "banging" at your doors, requesting prayers to "bang" at the doors of heaven. And if that's the only reason you're praying, that's OK. Believe me, I'm tired and humbled to continue asking for prayers.

If it weren't for three beautiful brown children who are in need of a mom and dad, I would've given up long ago.

Thank you, friends. We appreciate each and every one of you so much.

Looking forward to good news in the near future...

Luann

11 May 2015

Tomorrow

So tomorrow is the big deadline when we are supposed to receive our recommendation from the Ethiopian Ministry (MOWA). For some reason, I had it in my head it was Wednesday, and when I realized it was Tuesday, I got all nervous.

Our social worker reminded me that MOWA does not necessarily meet deadlines, so it's possible we won't hear anything tomorrow. And if we do, all "authorities" involved are convinced it will be a negative recommendation that will then be appealed to the Courts. 

Well, I have a Higher Authority who will do whatever He wants, so I'm not throwing in the towel quite yet. 

Thanks to all who have been praying. Addis Ababa is 8 hours ahead of CST, so if you're awake in the night, please keep knocking on the doors of heaven. 

"Expect great things for God. Attempt great things for God." -William Carey


‪#‎FourMillionMinusThree‬

29 April 2015

Impossible

Around the time Ken and I started this thing called "the adoption journey," we were at a party at my cousin's house. Now you have to understand that when Lori throws a party, there are lots of people and lots of good food.

I don't remember the occasion, but there were a lot of people there. A lot. Most of whom I didn't know.

Lori and her "tribe," (friends, family, etc.) are some people of serious faith. They are Jesus- invoking, God-fearing, bursting-at-the-seams-with-faith kind of people. So when a man we met at the party learned we were adopting, I wasn't surprised that he wanted to pray over us.

I don't remember the man's name, what he looked like, or much about him. But I do remember his prayer. Mostly because it lasted for about 15 minutes--while we stood next to a trampoline in the backyard, and also because he prayed big. BIG, big prayers over us. That God would do more than we could ever imagine. That money would come from the least likely places. That God would show Himself through this process.

At that time we thought we were adopting one child. And we needed about $42,000.

On the car ride home, Ken and I were kind of quiet. I think this man's prayers kind of spooked us. Where did his faith come from, and was he prophesying some sort of huge "thing"?

Fast forward to now. We're adopting three kids. THREE. One who is a pre-teen. (Lord have mercy.) We've seen money come out of rocks, and God has supplied all of our needs.

[There were a few bumps along the way, like the time the social worker was coming over to do our home visit, and that morning the street sewer backed up into our pipes and nearly overflowed our bathtubs (sewage, people!) and we were without water all day, not to mention the clean up.]

After all this, we're told the Ministry has a May 12 deadline to write our recommendation, and all the powers that be are convinced it will be a negative recommendation....if they even honor the deadline. And then we'll have to go to Ethio Federal Court and attempt to have them overrule it. Which, quite honestly, I believe they will.

But what a hassle.

I was thinking today that I wished I could get that mysterious praying man back over here to pray for us again. For a miracle positive recommendation from the Ministry. And not just for our three children, but also for a three year girl at their orphanage who has a family in Utah waiting to bring her home as well. For an expedited process. For quick and just and godly decisions by leaders who may or may not believe in God.

But although I don't have that man, I have all of you. So I'm going to throw out a quick challenge. There are 13 days until our May 12 deadline. Will 20 of you join us in praying once every day for a positive recommendation, an expeditious process, and favor with those in authority?

Our 7-year old girl needs a home. Our 9-year old girl needs a home. Our 12-year old boy needs a home. The 3-year old girl at their orphanage needs a home. They all need nutritious food, adequate medical care, a mom and dad, a church family, neighbors and friends who have their best interests in mind.

If you are willing to be one of the twenty, like this post, leave a comment, or send me a message.

<3