Thursday, May 23, 2013


Praise the Lord! Today we were submitted to Embassy. We are so excited to finally reach that next step. From this point we are hoping she will be home in the next 3 weeks or so. Embassy is actually closed tomorrow and Monday for Memorial Day. Then they are not doing interviews until next Thursday. We are pretty sure that means we will wait at least until June 3 to leave. The up side to that is that Dan's brother is getting married on June 1 so we won't miss the wedding. The down side is Amelia won't be at the wedding.

So now we just wait to be cleared. Once we are cleared we will get an interview date and go get our girl!

If you'd like to pray with us here are a few specifics:
1. Pray for a quick and smooth Embassy process
2. Pray for Amelia as she is waiting to come home and has a huge transition ahead.
3. Please pray for finances to come together. Airfare has skyrocketed, and because Amelia is now older than two we have to purchase a ticket for her as well. We know God will take care of it, but this is more than we had prepared for. Please pray that this will not be an issue and all the financial needs will be met.
4. Please pray for our family as we prepare to travel and adjust to a new member of our clan.

Thank you all so much for your prayers and encouragement. We are so excited to bring home our daughter. God is good.

Monday, May 20, 2013

What happens in Ethiopia stays in Ethiopia

Last week we got a phone call from K (the girl at our agency who is handling our case at this point). It seems that the Embassy has had a stash of tests, and finally they are willing to share. So Amelia was going to get a skin test on Friday. But as is the way our adoption has gone on Friday the clerk wasn't in the clinic. Almost funny at this point...almost.

We were supposed to hear today if they were able to give her the skin test. We got a call this afternoon that they still don't know if she was given the skin test. I am hoping that she did, but sometimes what happens in Ethiopia stays in Ethiopia. As long as all goes according to plan we should be submitted on Thursday to Embassy. Once we are submitted we have no idea how long the wait will be, but it is another step. It could be very fast, but it could take several weeks. We are praying it will be quick though. This momma is so ready for to have her home.
This is how we think Amelia feels about having to wait so long to come home. :)

Not my will...

I love to sing worship songs. It is my favorite part of gathering as the body of Christ. It is beautiful to see God's children all singing out his praises. To me it is a simple glimpse of Heaven. We went to our church service Saturday evening. As I sang along to the songs I was overwhelmed.

We sang songs about what Christ did on the cross for us. When I think about the cross I am flooded with emotion. Joy because of what it means for me. Because of the cross I am forgiven, loved, and adopted. But also gratitude because of what it meant for Jesus. He endured the most horrendous death so I don't have to. The magnitude of that is beyond my comprehension. The longer I am a follower of Jesus the more the beauty of the cross sinks in. The truth that God's only son came to earth to show us how to live, and then died so we can live eternally. That never ever gets old.

The last song we sang is one I really love. However, one of the lines says "Here we stand our hearts are yours not our will but yours be done." It is repeated several times. The impact of that line is so much harder right now than it has ever been. I am so ready for my girl to just be home. I don't understand the hold ups and the errors that are keeping her from our family. I don't understand the timing of all of this. But I do believe God is sovereign. I do believe He has already given me more than I deserve. I do believe He has a good plan for our family.

If I truly believe in what Christ's sacrifice on the cross means to me then I must  let go of my own control. I have to be willing to say "not my will, but yours be done", and really mean it or I am putting my will above Christ's grace on the cross in my life. The hard reality is that even if Amelia never comes home (which we believe she will soon), God has already shown me so much more grace than I could imagine or could ever deserve. I am thankful to be his child. Even when I don't understand his timing.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

It's Mother's Day. It really feels like most Sundays in May. We went to church this morning. We came home and had leftovers. Dan was sweet to heat things up and hand them out to the boys. He cleaned up so I could catch up on the latest Grey's Anatomy on Hulu. The boys are resting and Dan is at soccer. So I have a quiet minute.

I have had eight Mother's Days as a mom now. I realized that this is the fourth Mother's Day that we have been waiting for Amelia. Half of my mothering career has been spent waiting for one of my children to come home.

This week we found out about yet another possible hold up. Because of an error on our daughter's passport we were delayed. The delay caused us to not be submitted before her birthday. All children two and over have to be tested for TB. It is just the way our story seems to go that when they went to the clinic to get her TB test done they are out of the shot. They have no idea how long it will take to get more of them in. Our agency is requesting that the Embassy will accept a chest Xray. If we hear back we may be submitted to the Embassy on Wednesday. Otherwise we have no time frame. If it wasn't awful it would be almost funny. We seem to have issues with each step. The agency said they have never seen this happen before. We are praying that this is over soon. We are pleading with God to bring out daughter home. Only He can. And His word says He will.

I'm so thankful to be a mom. It is the best job in the world. My boys make me laugh every day. I love that I get to wake to their sweet faces and be with them all day. I love watching them grow, teaching them, and taking care of them. I love hearing all their thoughts, stories, and jokes. When they laugh it melts my heart. They are precious gifts. But all of that doesn't take away how much I long for their sister to be here too. I want to rock her to sleep at night. I want to dress her up. I want to kiss her boo boos when she falls down. I want to have tea parties and buy pink soccer cleats. I want to teach her to sing her ABCs, and count to 10, and build puzzles. I want to teach her that Jesus loves her. I want her to know how much we yearn to have her here.

I am excited for next year. I am so looking forward to having all my kids together. I can't wait to snuggle all four of them together. I know God is good and He will bring this adoption to completion. I know we will have her home soon. Please keep praying with us that we are able to hold her here in our arms soon. We are so thankful for all who are praying with us.

Friday, May 3, 2013

We have been keeping super busy around here. Partially on purpose. Trying hard to keep our minds off of missing our girl. Partially because it is Spring and we are enjoying all the fun of the nice weather. So, you ask, when are we going to pick up our sweet girl? That is an excellent question. To which I reply we have no clue. :)

We are waiting for all of her paperwork to be ready so that we can be submitted to Embassy. There was a mistake made on her passport so they had to send it back to be fixed. We just laughed because that only makes sense for our case. So we are praying we will be submitted on Wednesday. Once we are submitted we will then wait about 2-4 weeks to travel to go pick her up. Please join us in praying that all the paperwork will be ready so we can be submitted next week and move closer to getting our daughter home.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Love Her

I was hoping to blog about our trip while we were there, but with limited internet connection and a very busy schedule our time was somewhat limited. So here is a quick run through of our time in Ethiopia.

We boarded our plane a few minutes after 10 on Thursday. I had never been on this long a flight. The seats were tight. We settled into our spots for the next 14 hours. We got off the plane early Friday morning Ethiopia time. We stood in line for visas, exchanged some money, got our bags and made it through customs. We followed the instructions given to us on where to wait for our guide. We were early so we waited about 45 minutes. I was getting a little nervous because we had no cell phones and no real way to contact anyone. Eventually, we were found. We hopped in a van and headed to the guest house we'd be staying at.

We checked in and got our 250lbs in luggage to our room on the fifth floor. The climb up all those stairs was extra fun with the altitude. Our room was great. It was bigger than my first apartment. It had a great view of the city as well. We quickly changed and freshened up. Then it was time to head over to the transition home to meet our daughter!

The van ride over was full of anticipation. We were so excited and maybe a little nervous. As soon as we got there our guide went in and brought her out to meet us. Our sweet girl was confused and scared. She was brave and kept from crying as these strange people kissed her and hugged her and spoke a language to her she didn't know.
We brought few small things to play with her the first day. She slowly relaxed and let us read to her and snuggle her. She was still very hesitant of us.

The next morning we went and explored Entoto mountain. We got to check out some of the oldest churches in Ethiopia. It was very cool to experience some of the history of our little girl's birth country. The view was amazing. The country side is gorgeous.

After lunch we got to go back to spend some time with our girl. This time she was a little more warmed up to us. We played the afternoon away. She loved doing puzzles and blowing bubbles. She was still a little shy, but she was starting to let her guard down. She also called me mama that afternoon. Of course, my heart melted.

Our trip fell over Easter. We were able to worship at a service in Ethiopia. It was such a blessing to celebrate our risen Savior with brothers and sisters in Christ from the other side of our world. After service we got to go to the transition home. We brought an Easter dress to put Little Miss in. She looked beautiful in it. We are so smitten.

The rest of our days were filled mostly with getting to know our newest family member. Each day when we got to her she was more and more happy. Running to us with outstretched arms. Showing us more smiles. Giving us a little bit of sass. Letting us snuggle her. The last few days she cried when we left. That broke my heart.

On Wednesday we went to court. We were there with two other families from our agency. We all passed. No sweeter words could be heard than "She is yours". Legally Amelia is our daughter! Praise the Lord.

We had to leave the next evening. We made the best of the time we had. We snuggled and sang and played. Leaving was so hard! She cried as we dropped her back off to her nannies. We boarded our plane that night already missing our sweet girl.

Now we are home. Waiting again. Praying that the next few weeks go quickly. Hopefully, there will be more news to update on very soon. Thank you for your continued prayers and encouragement. We are so blessed.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Here we go

Today has been a whirlwind of a day. I got up early to get myself and the boys ready. Shuffled 3 boys and our dog out the door and on the road. I met my sister in law at a McDonalds in the middle of nowhere to give her 3 boys, 1 dog, 5 bags, 3 Easter baskets, and a handful of toys. As we drove separate ways I realized that I already missed them.

Then I drove the hour and a half home. Shuffled a few things around until Dan got home and then we got back in the car. We made our way down to Cincinnati. We had to update our finger prints (again) so we stopped in at the Federal building. We checked that off the list and headed out in search of dinner. We found a Panera and enjoyed a quick kid free meal. You'd think we'd have tons to talk about, but I am pretty sure we are still in shock that this is real.

Onward we went toward the airport. We were early, but that never hurts. So we checked in with our massive amounts of luggage. We made it through security. We stopped for some Starbucks. Then we parked at our gate. Dan napped and I played on my phone until our plane arrived. It was the smallest thing I've ever (well at least that I remember) been on. We had a quick 2 hour jump to DC. We deplaned, gathered our immense pile of bags, and caught a shuttle to our hotel. Due to our overnight layover we get to stay the night in a nice hotel. Get some rest and have a good breakfast before tomorrow.

Tomorrow...oh how that word has haunted me for so many weeks. Each day we were promised tomorrow there would be news. Now tomorrow is really here. We will be boarding a plane in less than 12 hours. A plane that will take us right across the world and land us in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. We will land, go to our hotel, and go meet her. We are talking in just over 24 hours.

I am so excited, and yet a little nervous. We are praying that all goes well. We are so looking forward to meeting our girl and learning about where she comes from. I am excited to hold her and snuggle her and tell her I love her. It is so close. We will try to update as internet access allows. Here we go.