19 January 2017

Debunking Childhood Songs, an Adoption Update, and a Prayer Request

No doubt you’ve heard the saying, “God helps those who help themselves.”

I hate that saying.

First, it puts the burden on the one who needs help. And second. it’s contrary to everything I read in the Bible.

In fact, the Bible says God delights in helping those who are weary, helpless, and fresh out of options. His power is made perfect in weakness. His timing is perfect, and no good thing does He withhold. That’s what I read, and that’s what I’ve experienced.

As most of you know, after a 3-year long adoption process, we had a successful court date in Ethiopia at the end of December. We were so thankful when a federal judge officially granted our adoption of Dawit, Meron, and Menalush. But now, 23 days later, we still don’t have custody. These weeks have been emotional and difficult because while these children are legally ours, we aren’t able to be with them.

The reasons are purely political. The region where they are from (and where their current orphanage is located) remains opposed to international adoption. So, while we have a federal adoption decree from Ethiopia, their particular region within Ethiopia is refusing to release them.

Our kids are in the Tigray Region.

Our lawyer in Ethiopia has spent the last few weeks in and out of various court buildings and government offices seeking the release of our children, but he continues to encounter one roadblock after another. The details are far too complicated to share, and if it wasn’t so tragic, it would be comically bizarre.

The next step is a court date next Tuesday. In theory, the judge should force the region to comply with the adoption at that hearing. We are hopeful, but we are also realistic that it may take more time. It’s the “back and forth,” as our agency calls it, of political pawns and powerless puppets.

So we continue to ask for your prayers for our children and our family. Please pray that God would soften and convict the hearts of the governing officials and that they would immediately release our kids so we can finally get our children to the capital city (Addis Ababa), start their physical exams for immigration (another 8 weeks), and then bring them home.

I know many of you are shaking your heads, saying this makes no sense. We agree. It’s hard to explain something we don’t understand ourselves. But we are trusting God to make order out of chaos and to intervene where we cannot. This process has tested our faith, but we have seen so many miracles that we can’t deny His goodness, His love for our family, and His sovereign reign over … well, everything. And everyone.

In the Gospel of Mark, a father who is seeking help for his child says to Jesus, “I believe that with God all things are possible, but help my unbelief!”

That’s how I feel a lot of the time. I believe God, but I’m human. I have doubts and fears like everyone, so I need help with my unbelief. The great thing is that whether I believe or not, the Truth remains.

There’s a song I learned as a child in Sunday School. The lyrics say:
“God said it.
I believe it.
And that settles it for me.”

It’s a cute song…but the middle sentence isn’t necessary. God said it, and that settles it.

He cares for orphans. He loves our children.
And He will work this out for our joy and His glory.


  1. Hope is an anchor, and I'm praying that you will feel secure in that anchor as you wait, even when the waves are raging around you.

  2. I am trusting God with you. The space in time you are now living in is the time between the election and the inauguration - only you don't know how long that time is. But they are YOUR KIDS! That's done! We just have to have the inauguration.

    Blessings and prayers!

    1. Thanks for standing with us, Bryon. And I'm glad our "inauguration" will have a different ending than today's. :)

    2. Bryon, just wanted to say that's a great way of looking at it! I realize that when you wrote it on Jan. 19, it was particularly culturally relevant (and kind of funny). But even months later it strikes me as true. Sometimes re-framing things with an analogy can be so helpful, can change emotional perspective a bit.
      And oh yes, Luann, the "inauguration" celebration that's ahead for your family of three plus three will be the best ending ever.

  3. I'm praying that everything works out in the end Because God is in control

    1. Thanks, Jim! I can't wait to introduce them to Uncle Jim!

  4. Wow - I didn't know that your adoption had been granted! That is such wonderful news.
    Praying for this situation - God is sovereign.

    1. Thanks, Johanna! We appreciate your prayers.

  5. I found your blog through a comment you left on Rage Against the Minivan. My 5 older adopted children were adopted from Ethiopia. My heart hurts for the limbo stage of adoption you are currently facing. My prayers are with you and your family. May your shoulders be strengthen to bear this situation.

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Alyssa. It'a always a pleasure to meet other parents who've adopted from Ethiopia. We appreciate your prayers!