Saturday, December 4, 2010

Everything is set!

We leave Monday night late...well, technically Tuesday morning in the wee sma's. We'll get into Addis around 7:30 in the morning on Tuesday. We'll get Canaan and Eden around lunch time probably and spend the rest of the day settling in and getting to know one another...for GOOD!!!! We'll go to the Embassy on Wednesday morning and I have no idea how long that will last. Then we'll chill out on Thursday and Friday during the day...maybe do a little more shopping or just hang out around the guest house and play and maybe watch Christmas movies...then Friday evening we'll head to the airport for our overnight flight to Frankfurt (8 hrs or so?) and then we'll layover in Frankfurt for a couple of hours, eat, and get on our flight to DFW (11hours--bleck!). We'll be in Dallas around 2:30 on Saturday afternoon.

It's nice that we're going to airports that we are rather familiar with...we've flow in and out of Addis before, and Frankfurt several times, as well as that might help us navigate a little better? Here's hoping!

Our family is going to meet us at DFW with a big van (thank you to our home church, First Baptist Hollis, for the loan!!) and we'll make the 4.5 hour haul from Dallas to Hollis!!! Then...we'll be home!!

Monday, the 13th, we start running the gauntlet of doctors, dentists, optometrists, and beauticians...that last is for me :-)

We'll also be trying to work on our legal documents...getting C and E's passports expedited, social security cards ordered, etc. Then we'll start with Italian immigration to get them their long term visas for Italy...we'll probably have to make a trip to Houston again to the Italian embassy--bleck! But hopefully all will work out before we have to catch our return flight home to Rome on January 10th!

Anyway, that's a rundown...I hope I will keep up with the blog during this trip...but you all know that might not be the case.

Please continue to keep our family in your prayers...if you are around Hollis we would love to try and see you at some point, but we will also have to be very attentive to Canaan and Eden's needs in all of this. We cannot overwhelm them with visitors and too much at once. We will probably keep them away from large crowds...which will include church services, I'm afraid. If we do come to church (probably not, but IF) we will slip in the back late and probably slip out early. It's not that we don't want to introduce them...we just have to be careful. We will be home-bodies at James and Jana's house as much as we can be. But hear us when we say that we WANT to see people...we just have to be careful and it would help us to have notice if you are wanting to come out and visit...just a small heads-up, that's all! Thanks guys!!!

We are so excited that our adoption process is winding down and our journey with OUR children will finally be beginning!!!!

Continue to pray for us as we travel. We will need a lot of endurance and good health and patience. Please pray for us all.

We love you guys!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010


Well, this has been wild! We were working with one travel agency that had a lot of trouble understanding what we were trying to do and then they were unable to book tickets for our Ethi kids because we didn't have any passport info for them...even though EVERY family that adopts out of Ethiopia doesn't have that info upfront...but whatever. We switched to another agency and started working with them...SOOO much better! They are very knowledgeable and within an hour we had reservations made for all of us on all of our flights--together! I'm so glad because I didn't want to have to separate the family on such long flights! Instead of flying into OKC, we'll be heading for was considerably cheaper to fly in and out of our trip back to Hollis will be longer, but we saved about $400/person so that makes up for it!

We have no yet paid for our tickets...we're waiting for confirmation from our adoption agency (IAG) head on our flight time to make sure they work with our Embassy schedule before we solidify everything. But we have reservations!!

I joked today on facebook about how our kids won't be going to college now, but we'll all be coming home for's VERY expensive to do this. But the money is there and we believe that God had provided this money for this purpose and He will continue to provide for our family in the future. It's scary to deplete your savings on faith...but He'll prove Himself over and over to us...I KNOW it!

Please continue to pray for us as we scramble to get the kids' schools notified of their extended absence and all the luggage gathered and packed.

Pray for our kids as they enter an extremely chaotic time with LOTS of new things.

We've never taken back-to-back long flights before and we need all the prayer you can sacrifice for patience and endurance!

We'll let you know of more particulars later hopefully.

Thank you for standing beside us in all this!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


That's right! We JUST received word that we can appear at the Embassy in Addis on the 8th! That's 4 days before we need to be on the ground in Addis! WHAT?!?!?

So this is brief but I HAD to gather as much prayer as I possibly could.

We are desperately searching for flights...we have a travel agent working on it with us. We are praying that we can all fly together, even if we can't all sit together, and that we can AFFORD what these last minute tickets will cost! We are flying with 5 from Rome to Addis, then with 7 from Addis to Oklahoma City (or Dallas).

PLEASE PRAY that the details work out. Pray that God shows His sovereignty in a MIGHTY way through all of this...because we all know that there is NO way something of this magnitude will work out without the direction of the Lord!!

We will let you know what we find out!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I feel a name change coming on...

Not for anyone in particular...but for the blog. I feel like the name of this blog would be more appropriately named "Motleys Wait" Because that is the basic definition of our adoption process. It is what takes up the most of our timeline...the waiting. We've been waiting to hear of an Embassy date since, basically, Oct. 12th. Our friends who appeared alongside us in court received their confirmation to travel two days ago (giving them only 7 days to get everything bought, tickets and everything, before they had to be in Addis at the Embassy)...we are still waiting to hear the Embassy's decision on our case. No, we have no idea what the hold up is. They are still working on it, I guess. We'll see.

So I know it's not exciting for anyone--but such is our adoption process...and I'd even venture to say that this is pretty common in many adoptions. It is not about instant gratification for most.

So please continue to pray for a decision to be made. For our hearts to be peaceful with whatever that decision is. and for all the details to fall into place in God's timing.

Also, just to throw this in, I am still really dealing with this pregnancy sickness stuff. It's terrible. I REALLY would love relief from it soon. Please pray for me as well.

We appreciate you all!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

our last step...

So we are still waiting. This should technically be the last leg of waiting for our family. It has been a difficult one. Much more difficult than I anticipated when we started it. I honestly thought that the fact that we had FINALLY met our kiddos coupled with the fact that this was our last long wait would be enough to help me endure the wait with patience and a great attitude...that worked for the first month. Now, it's the end of November. Our travel dates over Thanksgiving have passed and we wait to see if we made the Dec 8th Embassy appointment. Our papers have been filed, we are only waiting for the offices to look over our case and decide if we have all the necessary papers to be eligible for an appointment on the 8th. If they decide we need more documentation, then they will table us until we get the necessary paperwork filed...and we will hopefully get the Dec. 22nd Embassy date.

So that's the waiting update.

We need to hear from the Embassy this week. I would LOVE to hear from them on Monday. If we are granted the Dec. 8th appointment, that would give us a week to finalize travel plans and buy tickets and square things away here in Rome before we leave for a month. One week doesn't give us much time for that either, but it's more than a couple of days! We'll have a lot more details to work out for this trip because...we are thinking that for this trip, we will be taking the whole family to Addis, and then go straight from Addis to the States. We are considering this for a number of reasons. First, we have gotten little to no assurance that Italy will grant our Ethiopian children a tourist visa--and even if we manage to get one, there's still a chance that they will be turned away in Rome. Second, our childcare made other plans and we would have to scramble to get others to fill in, disrupting many lives at the last minute. Third, it would be really great for the whole family to be together when Canaan and Eden join us for good. Who knows if we can make it work out? Well, that's a silly statement, God knows, but you know what I is going to take a mighty work of the Lord to make all the details and the money come together for this--in one week. But we are hopeful. We serve a mighty God.

In other news, I'm still pregnant :-) I go in for my first doctor appointment on Tuesday morning. I've never met this doctor, but I have a friend that uses him and really likes him, so I am hopeful. It will be nice to see how things are going, to get a better estimate on how far along we are (9weeks? 10 weeks? 11 weeks?)...and I think I might even get an ultrasound so we'll be able to see the baby :-)

Please continue to pray for our family. There's a lot we may be facing this week. Pray for the details to come together in amazing ways that richly display the hand of God. Pray for my doctor's appointment: that all is well & baby and momma are healthy. Pray that we receive the Embassy appointment that God wants us to have.

Thank you for holding the ropes for us. We love you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Changes Changes Everywhere...

So now the Embassy has decided that Eyerusalem's name should be spelled "Yerusalem" So we had to do all our documents again. Yipee! :-P Hopefully we'll still be up for the December 8th Embassy date...PRAY PRAY PRAY!!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

when my husband shares his heart...

it blesses me so much.

I hope it will bless you too.

Friday, November 5, 2010

slowly but surely...

We are still waiting for news of our secure Embassy appointment. The passports should be ready by Monday, and the medical exams need to be completed and other things finalized then they will review our file and assign us an Embassy appointment...we narrowed it down to either the day before Thanksgiving (Nov. fitting!) or December 8th.(the day before Jared's 32nd birthday!)

Sorry to not keep you updated, but I've been a bit under the weather...downright puny...and it probably won't lift for a few more weeks...because, well...we found out that, surprisingly enough, we are expecting our SIXTH child...sometime in June maybe? I don't know...I haven't been to a doctor yet. The english-speaking ob/gyn everyone goes to here is now moving to Thailand, so I'm stuck at the moment. I've done this before though and everything seems to be progressing normally so I'm not concerned. I'll get to a doctor soon enough ;-)

The trouble is, that this time I have HORRIBLE "progesterone poisoning" (as my favorite prego guidebook calls it). All day I am nauseous and all evening I'm gurping...I'm really hoping for some relief soon! It's taking a toll on the family--not mention me! So please pray for me in this...pray that my sickness will lift by the time I need to be strong to go to Addis for our kiddos!

Oh and I must say that this whole "there's not an actual birthdate for your child because nobody keeps track in Ethi" really bites. In just 2 weeks our little boy in Addis has gone from being 2 to 3 to now, 4! We've changed his birthdate 3 times according to what doctors in Addis are saying. Having spent time with him, we were very sure he wasn't 2 like his paperwork...but he is very much like Judah, our 3 year old, soon to be 4 yr old. So we gave him a birthdate just after Judah's to keep Canaan Eyasu in his grade level in school, but not shake up Judah's expectation of birth order. And then we get the news that he HAS to be 4 right we gave him a NEW birthdate a couple of months OLDER than Judah. Judah doesn't really care...but I selfishly wanted to get to celebrate Canaan's birthday with him soon after he came home! Anyway, it's all fine...just another of those unexpected 'things' that are typical in this convoluted process. ;-) So now we have a 7, 5, 4, 3, and a 1 year old (she'll be 2 in April).

Just tidbits for you to keep you checking in and not forgetting us!!! Keep praying for the Lord's timing in our Embassy date and for us to get a good deal on last minute tickets (it will take a miracle!).

Thank you for walking with us through this!!! Through your prayers, we are BLESSED!!

Oh and one more fun fact...we discovered that if we ever end up in Hollis again for a school year we'll have Iliana and her cousin Shelby in the same class (they were born on the exact same day) and Canaan, Judah, Blaze(cousin), and Miriam(cousin) will all be in the same class will our new baby and my sis-in law's new baby Charlie (that I mentioned in a previous post)!! CRAZY, huh??? I never got to grow up around family and I think that going through school with your cousins and siblings like this would be SO fun (difficult at times too, of course) but AWESOME!!! So we'll see how all the cousins take to each other, hopefully at should be a riot!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

normally I don't go in for the majorly sentimental but...

...I'm a complete SAP these days!

Here's a poem that one of the other waiting moms shared this week...I just wanted to keep it close so you have to endure it as well. I love my children in Addis and I cannot wait to bring them home to stay. THe waiting is difficult. I wonder what they think, now that we haven't been to visit them for a couple of days. Do they think we've forgotten them? Do they wonder if we'll be back? We asked one of the caretakers at the center to tell them as we told them goodbye the last day that we will be back for them in a few weeks. I hope they understood...but I can't see their minds...anyway...this is for my waiting children in Addis:

Kisses in the Wind (a Waiting Child's Lullaby)

I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.

Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Congratulations...they are yours."

...these are the sweetest words I've heard in a LONG time!

Because this is what the judge said at the end of our hearing. (read: brief dialog about our adoption)

She was very kind, soft spoken and efficient. We went into the waiting room at around 9:30 a.m. and we were in there with about 20 other waiting people. We were called in alphabetically by the name of the orphanage that received our children when their birth father surrendered them at the beginning of this year. We were 'B' so we went in very soon. It was very fast...maybe 5 minutes. We answered her questions about where we live and the preparations we had made to be adoptive parents and was over...she stamped our papers with a flourish and said "Congratulations...they are yours." with a smile...And it was done. Just like that.

this was just after the left the judge's chambers...note the tissue in hand ;-)
just after we walked out of the building with the other families who passed as well! It was a bit windy!

In the eyes of Ethiopia, we are their legal parents...but the eyes of the US still have to be convinced.

So we wait for our US Embassy appointment assignment when we will get our children their US visas (and then we'll rush to the italian embassy praying they give us visas as well).

And so... it gives me GREAT joy to tell you that we are now officially a family of 7!!!!

We are the EXTREMELY happy parents to:

Eden Eyerusalem Joy

and Canaan Eyasu

I'm completely wiped so I'll just leave you with a couple more pictures then I need to go and snag a nap. I can't wait to fill you in on our trip and all of our time with the kids...they are a real joy!!!

Thank you all for your prayers...keep them coming for the Embassy details to be worked out...

We love you and we are VERY happy!!!!!!!!

playing outside at the care center
it took her a while to warm up to us...we had to work very diligently...such is toddler adoption...

she really loves Daddy though...

Friday, October 8, 2010

heading to Ethiopia

So, Jared and I will be leaving tomorrow on a red-eye to Addis Ababa from Rome. It's a 6 hr flight that leaves Rome at 1:00 a.m.
Our friends, Dudley and Janet have graciously volunteered to come and stay with our children while we are gone, taking over parenting young ones again for a few days. They raised 5 great kids here in Italy who all live in the States now.

Will you pray for us please?

Pray for me (Rebekah) to have peace and calm in the travel, since you all know it's not my favorite thing and I struggle with being really nervous. Pray that we will rest quite a bit on the flight so that we are ready to see our kiddos and for the busy days that await us in Addis.

Pray that we have favor with the judge on Tuesday.

Pray that we will have favor with the Italian embassy and that the details for getting the children into Italy after the adoption is complete will be worked out completely.

Pray that we will have good health and safety in all the travelling.

Pray for Dudley and Janet as they care for our children.

Pray for our kids in Italy (and their parents) as we are apart for the longest we've been apart since moving to Italy.

Pray for our introduction to our kids in Addis. Pray for their hearts to be soft toward us and for bonding to start even with this visit. Pray for us all as we have to be separated after only a couple of days together. Pray protection over our children's hearts, that no damage will be done through this.

I know that's a lot. But we truly need you to cover us in your prayers. We need your intercession because we very much want this to glorify God and want to see His hand upon us in all that we do-- in the next few days especially. We cannot do this in our own strength and we need you to hold the ropes for us, so that when we are weak, your prayers will be heard on our behalf.

Thank you all. We can't WAIT to post pictures when we get back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

WE PASSSSSSSSSSSSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Everything went smoothly! It was a terrible wait, but we PASSED! Technically we are allowed to share pictures now, but since there's still a very small chance that things might not work out, Jared feels that we should wait until we come home after our trip next ...sorry...if it were up to me, I'd share NOW! Blame Jared if you are impatient.

Thank you for praying!
Keep praying for our trip and our progress through the last step!

P.S. Joy had her baby...Charlie Rio...7 pounds 9 ounces, 20 in... healthy and good-looking :-D
P.P.S. The McNees (our friends here in Rome) are still laboring but are hopefully baby boy will be here sooooon!! We'll have a full house tonight! We love that we got the announcement that we passed court to become a family of 7 while we were practicing doing just that! ;-D

are you praying????

I hope you are because we haven't heard ANYTHING yet...I'm a MESS!! I'm trying to be patient but it's not working...and then there's Jared who is cooly and calmly reading for his class, not bothered at all! ugh. The day is over in Addis (the work day, that is) and I'm stalking my email...refreshing the page over and over...I'm a little nuts.

To add to the crazy of the day, my sis-in-law is having her fourth child this morning and we haven't heard anything from the family yet...we should have heard by now for that too! and then this morning our friends who live near us called and told us they were in labor...we were so excited! We are keeping their two kiddos (4 and 2) while they are 'otherwise occupied' and we haven't heard how their labor is going either....ALL I WANT IS NEWS!!!!!!

So, if you get this, please pray...pray for Joy (my sister having the baby in Oklahoma), pray for Janelle (our friend in labor here in Rome), and pray for us...that we will hear good news soon...VERY soon!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

delayed! never gets easier...

So I have wanted to post new news for so long...but nothing has changed much. Then, one glorious day two weeks ago, we received a bundle of new pictures where the photographer had spent a LOT of time coaxing a smile out of our (hopefully) baby girl--and the hard work paid off in such a BEAUTIFUL way!! But I didn't think it fair to post about pictures that you can't yet I stayed silent.

Today, I was hoping to sign on to be able to tell you of the news of a successful court date for the children's birth family since today, September 30th, was the date they were to appear in court to complete the placement of E and E up for adoption. But I don't get to do that either. Instead I get to tell you that we've once again been delayed...but thankfully this time it isn't months, only days :-). The courts have just recently reopened after the rainy season and they have accumulated so many cases over the break that there was not time to hear them all today--and there is only one judge hearing all of the our case has been tabled until Monday.

God has a big plan for us, for our (hopefully) kids, for our family...we trust His timing. We ask that, if you weren't already since I hadn't reminded everyone of the court date, please be praying for the results of Monday to be completely guided by the Lord. It's a difficult situation for me to know how to pray...objectively, that is. I can very selfishly pray that the kids will be ours with only a fleeting prayer for peace for the family who is giving them up...but I don't want to do that. I want so much for God to be glorified very clearly in the way this plays out and I know, from experience, that God could have a different outcome in mind for our (hopefully) kids and, also from experience, I know this will be for their best. I want that for them...I want that for all of us. So please pray as God leads you. Pray for Monday to be in His hands and for us to trust Him completely with the path of our whole family. Pray for peace for Jared and I as satan really likes to use situations and delays to bring doubt and steal our joy.

We love you guys! Can't wait for the days we can share pictures of our waiting (hopefully) children...

P.S. There's only 10 more days til we catch our flight to Addis for our own court date! Remember us as we prepare for this as well!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

So just a quick update with pictures...Lil Boy E is growing hair like crazy!!! Pretty soon he'll look like his (hopefully) brother Judah!

Lil Girl E has beautiful eyes... solemn but beautiful.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

COURT DATE!!!!!!!!

At about 11:30 Wednesday night, we checked our email as we wrapped up our meetings in Spain and we found an email waiting for us telling us that we received our court date for October 12!!! At first I was really disappointed that it was SO much later than we had hoped, but then my grief turned to excitement that we at least had a DATE! After months of waiting to hear ANYTHING certain we finally have a date to countdown...we are thrilled!

Also, while we were in Spain, we received a new batch of pictures of our (hopefully) kiddos and they are WONDERFUL! Our (hopefully) little boy was all smiles as he has discovered the screens on the digital cameras that the parents took with them...he was making some great cheesy smiles as he looked at himself :-) Baby girl still was stoic, but beautiful and healthy!! I wish so much we could share these pictures with you all!

Thank you all so much for praying with us for our trip. It was wonderful!! We had an awesome time with our friends and the AC in Spain provided such a relief to the Rome heat with no AC! We were privileged to be there to watch and celebrate Spain taking the World Cup--an incredible experience--the Spanish are NOT afraid to be exuberant...we took the kids out into the streets to take part in the celebration and was incredibly LOUD and chaotic and so much fun!
While we were in Madrid we also found out that they have many American restaurant chains and imports and we enjoyed these to the fullest!!! :-) YES, we also did tapas, gazpacho, and churros--but we reveled in the American things that we found. TGIFridays was right next door to our second hotel and we enjoyed their menu variety and free-refills!! We also went to the major plazas, the zoo, and the Palace...but squeezed in Dominos, Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks, Taco Bell, KFC, and the aforementioned TGIFridays... most days we didn't eat lunch until 4:30 and wouldn't stop for supper until around 9:30 or 10...the sun sets SO late there and the evenings were amazingly pleasant--we lived it up!!
Our time with our good friends, the Bustrum family, was so precious...our 6 kids had a blast and the fellowship was sweet. I'll get some pictures up soon :-) If you want to see a video of Elijah during the celebration after the World Cup, go to my fb page...I linked it from youtube. He's a nut! :-)

The travel was basically uneventful--the flight to Madrid was VERY turbulent in the landing (causing Elijah to gurp in the provided sack...he has impressive aim, might I add) and as the plane touched down, it tipped severely to the side throwing us all off-balance, but the pilot righted it and we taxied to the gate applauding wildly--which then woke up a sleeping Iliana who promptly gurped all over herself, her seat, the floor and Elijah's leg. We were then the last to disembark and all of the passengers waiting to board looked at our family in loathing and I couldn't help but feel sorry for the person who has to sit in that seat--even though the cleaning crew was on the job...yuck. Our flight home was uneventful, just delayed about an hour out of Madrid...we hit the ground running when we got into town. We had a goodbye party at our house the next day for our friends, the Watts, who are moving to we have settled down a bit and we are going to try and rest :-) as well as look for plane tickets to Addis for the 12th of Oct!

Pray for us to find the right tickets at a good price...and also, please pray for sleep for Jared and has been so desperately hot here that sleeping has been next to impossible for us lately...we have three fans blowing on us but there is little relief...pray for our bodies to acclimate and for rest for us so we don't get sick.

I hope you are all as excited as we are for the Oct 12th date!

Thank you all for walking beside us and praying us through it all!!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

heading to Spain...

So we are off to Spain tomorrow--without any news of a court date. Hopefully we will be able to find internet near where we are staying and keep up with any new Jared has this internet class he has to keep up with as well, so we'll be in touch. I probably won't be blogging though. I have my facebook linked here to this blog, hopefully you can follow status updates for news if you are checking in.

Please pray calm over our trip...that we have a long week of peace and rest and joy in the Lord and in our family and friends who we will be spending time with.

Thank you for walking with us through this tough process!!

We love you all!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Yep, this waiting roller coaster is a big twisty one...and it's a bit longer than we thought...but we continue to ride...

Those extra documents missing did cause a slight (hopefully) delay and now we hope to hear something about dates on FRIDAY.

Please continue to pray peace over our family, especially me. I feel rather overwhelmed at the moment--our family is heading to Spain on Sunday and will be gone a little over a week...traveling stresses me out and that added stress is not needed at the moment. I'm feeling a bit anxious. Please pray for me to be able to focus on the Lord and to truly and miraculously experience His peace. Pray also that our time in Spain is a wonderfully refreshing time and that we come home stronger and ready to GO GET OUR CHILDREN!!!

Thank you all. We love you guys!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

court date soon?

Well, we've been informed that our file was opened in court on Thursday!! and on Friday we were asked to submit a couple more missing documents. These documents are required under the new regulations and our agency didn't think we would need them, but alas, the courts said we did. Hopefully this won't cause any delay in receiving our court assignment.
If all goes as we hope, by Wednesday we will to hear of our court date, set sometime in the next 3-6 weeks...we're, of course, hoping for 3 :-) the sooner the better!

I know this is just a short update, but that's all the info we have for the moment!
Thanks for praying us through this!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

praying scripture

This is the scripture that the Lord has given me for our children who are in Ethiopia...I pray this over them a lot...

The Lord will guide you always;
He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

Isaiah 58:11

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

this brings tears every single time...

Sometimes I can't help but sit at the computer and click through the albums of pictures from the care centers...we have received some pictures that I treasure immeasurably. This picture is from the newest batch of pictures that our friends Neil and Autumn took for us while they were in Addis bringing home their precious baby girl. You might remember them as the couple who stopped through Rome, touring a bit on their way to Addis. They graciously offered to take a package to our waiting children and this picture is of Autumn talking to our (hopefully) son about our picture. Now, I don't know exactly what she was saying and I'm pretty sure he wasn't understanding since he speaks Amharic, but that makes no difference to me, because there she is, pointing out our picture, and specifically in this moment, MY picture... My (hopefully) son is looking at a photo of his family, his momma, for the first time... and right now I can't keep back the tears... tears of joy, tenderness, frustration, anticipation... I pray that God gives him hope through this package--hope for his coming love, acceptance, safety, care, stability, belonging...hope for his coming FAMILY.

How I long for the day that I no longer have to type "(hopefully)"!!!!
Please continue to pray for us to receive a court date soon!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

something we've been waiting to see...

I know it's a small picture but I wanted to share...yep...he can grin!!!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

New bits and pieces...

The beautiful eyes of our (hopefully) daughter. Please continue to pray for her. We have yet to see her smile in any of the pictures. She seems to have attached to one of the nannies which is very good...but she still very much needs your prayers. Please pray that she will continue to grow healthy and strong. That her heart will begin to heal, even now, and that she will find peace and comfort in this transition and in her grief...pray that the Lord will be preparing her heart for us.
This is our (hopefully) son. We caught a hint of a smile in one of the pictures, while he was coloring. He looks SOOO much better than the first pictures we received of him. He seems so much more healthy, so much better rested, and a bit less unsure of himself since the last batch of pictures. Please continue to pray for him. Pray that his heart will be softened to us already, that the Lord will comfort him in his grief and confusion, and that he will continue to grow strong and healthy.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

expanding slowly in a small space...

we will put a small mattress down here and some comfy pillows since we took the table and chairs out...and that lamp on the floor will be a great under-the-bed-hidey-hole reading light!!
AND we have a bench at the table so there's plenty of room for all!!!! Come on COURT DATE!!!

celebration gelato in the park...


sending our love...


signing our referral acceptance...

out of order, blogger...go figure...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A special testimony

I hope this blesses you as much as it blessed me when I watched it on a friend's blog...

Friday, May 28, 2010

just want you to know...

that God really IS faithful--just in case you were having your doubts, lacking in assurance that this is IS true.

As you all know, we have been waiting for a referral since February with little to no news during that time. And two nights ago (on the 25th) around 11:00pm I checked my email as we were heading to bed (like I do every night). There was a letter from Susan, our adoption consultant. I knew that it wasn't a referral because when you get a referral from our agency, they call first and send the file a bit later. But, of course, I opened the email, referral or not. Susan acknowledged our long wait (she was gracious to say that we were weathering it patiently--she's so kind in her exaggeration!), informed us that there are still no babies to refer and then said that she was attaching an informal referral she thought we might want to consider-- informal mainly because it is unlike the description of the referral we were waiting for---But, of course, we opened it...

And inside we discovered two of the sweetest children we have ever seen...a brother and a sister, ages 2 and 1...they had come to the care center at the beginning of May (thus explaining the LONG wait since February)! We were definitely taken aback at first and after reviewing the information and talking for a while, we went to bed--only I woke up at 4 unable to sleep...I prayed and prayed, looked over their file, at their sweet faces, and prayed and prayed. I was in turmoil--on the one hand I was elated and confident that these were our children...on the other hand, I was thinking about all the logistical reasons this would be 'pazzesco'(crazy) many thoughts (many trivial) were going through my mind in this chaotic conversation with God...

"But Lord, our car only has one extra seat! and what about how hard it is to make ends meet NOW without dipping into savings each month??" I will provide, I have proven myself so far haven't I? I will provide, I AM Jehovah-Jirah.

"Can we handle older children who have been through, and may remember, pain like we've not ever experienced?"
I am the bringer of Joy in the mourning, the great Healer, I AM Jehovah-Rophe.

"Our friends will think we've lost our minds! It might alienate us here."
I am with you, I AM Jehovah-Shammah.

"What about all the sickness and critters that come home with older children?"
I know your children, I watch over them and you, I truly see you, I AM El Roi.

"What about the baby carrier I bought? and
how in the world will we afford to travel ANYWHERE with 5 children under 8?" I will meet your needs, I am sufficient, I AM El Shaddai.

"Lord, Jared and I only have 4 hands, HOW will we even cross the street????"
I am with you, I AM Immanuel.

and each time with each worrisome question, the Lord soothed me with Himself. He is so good to me, so faithful to our family. We feel so blessed--overwhelmed, but incredibly blessed.

Jared made the comment with a big grin on his face (after I was feebly asking WHAT God could be thinking in changing the 'plan' like this) that this is so like God to do this--to take a good, God-encouraged plan (adoption) and up the ante (so to speak), stretching us outside of our comfort so that we are completely depending upon Him--because up until now, we had made decisions based on what we felt we could 'handle'...isn't that embarrassing, convicting, and reassuring all at the same time? Well, it was for me at least :-) I think I'm becoming the queen of feeling at LEAST three emotions at one time lately.

So we sent in our official acceptance of the referral and hope to wire the money today as well. We are praying now, not just for our (hopefully) children living in Ethiopia, but for us to receive a court date before the rains so that we can go and get them sooner, rather than later.

I know that it can be frustrating to not get to see pictures, etc. But for legal reasons, we are not allowed to share many details like their names, birthdates, history, and NO identifying pictures until after we pass court and they are legally OURS. So have patience and pray with and for us--the sooner we pass court, the sooner you get more information :-)

Thank you for continuing to walk this journey with us...if you have questions, email me at I can't promise I can answer them, but I'll do my best!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

lots of time in between...

And we are still waiting. Before we mailed out our dossier, there were tons of babies. We got emails from our agency urging us to finish up our paper work because there were so many children that some were in danger of going on the waiting children list because there were no paper-ready we scrambled, sent it all in, the papers flew over the big blue ocean and arrived to a full waiting list and no babies...and that's where we have been for 2.5 months now. To be fair, the agency estimation on referral wait times is somewhere between 3-4 technically we are still 'ahead' of schedule. But it seems like we are behind, because so many people receive referrals much more quickly than this--which, I guess is why our agency warns against comparing your timeline to those of other families ahead of you in the process...good advice, impossible, but good.

Here's what we face now: With the delay in referrals possibly being another month or two, that will push us up against the rainy season in Ethiopia, which lasts for several months, somewhere from the end of August to close to December, and NO court dates or Embassy dates are assigned because everything shuts down for the rains. All of this means that we could receive a referral for baby girl in July and not be able to go and get her until December or January! (that is a teeny bit exaggerated as I can't remember the exact rainy season, but...Yikes!) Talk about hard waiting, I think it's hard to wait now and I don't even know who she is...I can't imagine how difficult it is once you have a face, a name, etc.

So please join us in praying for patience and for peace in the waiting...that we will continue to trust God in a big way with the timing of all of this. He has a wonderful plan, the perfect child for us, and it is ALL good...we want to be renewed in our trust and faith as the waiting wears us down. So please be faithful to pray for us. We need your support :-)

Thank you all.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

more hiccups

Ah, yes, the path of adoption is peppered with speed bumps...hiccups, if you will.

The hiccup of the moment comes in the form of government re-evaluation of their country's adoption program, laws, process, and US investigation of the 70-something agencies that adopt out of Ethiopia. Our agency was the first to pass investigation thankfully, but it has, nevertheless, made things go more slowly. All of this will also be changing the process (mainly with the visas) and requirements for adoptive parents (all adoptive parents may be required to travel twice), we are not sure how many of the changes will directly effect us, but since we have yet to receive a referral, we may face the bulk of these as we may not be far enough along in the process to squeak by unaffected. We are fortunate, though because most countries, when facing major overhaul such as this, will completely halt the entire program while they work things out...that could take years. So we are thankful that this has not been the case and there is even a rumor floating around that the Ethiopia government is going to lobby the courts to put all of this off for a year...we will see...there are tons of rumors out there right now.

So that's the latest explanation of why you haven't heard much from me lately...Sorry about that. We wait and we watch the emails and we pray.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dossier IN Ethiopia

Yep, you read that right...the dossier has reached the other side of the ocean and is where it is supposed to be in Ethiopia!

Now we just sit back (HA!) and wait patiently (double HA!).

Our waiting brings both feelings of joy as well as an inspired urgency to be on our knees for our baby girl.

Joy from the obvious freedom from the paper-trail, knowing that things in that area have settled into place!

We were not contacted immediately with a referral because, most likely she is not at the care center yet...which means she has not been found, turned over, or whatever the case might be... so please pray for her as she indures whatever her situation is...pray for her health and for her safety and for her to feel God's protective arms wrapped around her...pray that God will already be working in her heart, preparing her for us but ultimately preparing her for Him!

Sorry I don't have more news...but little by little!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The dossier is ON ITS WAY!!!

That's right, we got the word today from Susan (our consultant) that our dossier has been completed and shipped to Ethiopia!!!!!

We are BEYOND thrilled!!

We know that there are difficulties to come and loads more waiting times, but to have this massive portion of paperwork complete is amazing and relieving! I always wondered if we would truly be able to build a complete dossier while living overseas, and I am so very thankful to the Lord for working it all out!

So what's next? I'm not quite sure exactly, but I think we wait for a referral now. So, with that in mind, I would like to give you a new list of ways you could pray for us:

This settling on a referral process is horribly daunting. It looks to me like 'choosing' your child...and I SO do not want it to be like that. So I'm asking you to pray that the Lord gives us both overwhelming assurance and peace when we encounter our referral-- peace that drives all doubt and fear out of our minds. That we would have wisdom to know the correct questions to ask about the information given on the child and that He would direct us to a good doctor to review their file.

Please ask that we be presented with the perfect child for our family.

Pray for her health and safety--it could be months before we receive any information on her so it could be that she has not made it to the care center yet...pray for her.

Pray for us as waiting parents--bind satan from attacking us with doubt and fear of inadequacy--pray for our family's continued unity. Pray for patience for all of us.

Thank you for holding the ropes for us!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Little by little

So, I got an email this afternoon from our adoption consultant telling us that they have received all the documents from Italy and we are just waiting on the letter that has been mailed from Oklahoma to get to the office in GA. Hopefully we will have a completed dossier VERY soon!!!!!!

Thank you for your continued prayers!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


So I've gone from, two months ago, being on a kind of internet 'fast' to checking the computer every's insane.

I cannot handle the waiting--I must say that this is WAY harder than pregnancy (and pregnancy was not a walk in the park for me). At least in prenatal waiting you get monthly progress reports from your doctor, you know that your body is doing it's job, that you can eat right and exercise and do things to 'maintain' the pace of the process and at the end of nine months, give or take a week or so you will have a baby--the baby that God was growing in you all along, the baby that you talked to over and over while you waited, the baby that you were able to keep safe from harm and well-fed.

This waiting, on the other hand, is torture. You feel forgotten by your agency at times (even though it's not true, they are doing their job wonderfully and appropriately), there are no monthly updates, no set timelines, you are at the mercy of circumstances like slow postal service and bureaucracy and long lines and the waiting list... But I think the worst part of this whole process is not knowing our baby, I don't know who she is, I don't know where she is, I don't know if she is hungry or cold or sad...And there is truly NOTHING I can do about any of it.

I am so very grateful to have a strong, loving, all-seeing God Who doesn't take much of the sting out of not knowing these things for myself--but it calms my anxious heart to know and rest in the fact that God DOES know and He IS caring for her--just as He cared for my other children in my womb, He cares for her...He formed each of them in precisely the way He intended--something that, I have to admit, I had absolutely nothing to do with. It's more difficult to be so very hands-off, but it's wonderful to have the chance to praise God for His sovereignty--that He is and will continue to orchestrate all of this for His glory... That He is taking care of her needs, orchestrating all circumstances to connect our paths--intertwining our lives so that we will, eventually, be together as a family. I couldn't ask for anything more.

But continue to pray us through this process. We have had no news of late, and our time-line is stretching longer and longer...a time-line that God is in control of...I know. Please pray.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Support Ethiopian Adoption!

Hello all! No new news. Sorry.

But in the meantime, I'd like to share another opportunity for you to support Ethiopian adoption! One of my best friends, Jennifer, and her husband (and son) are currently in the process of adopting a child from Ethiopia as well! The Holberts have a fund raiser going on where you can buy T-shirts that promote Ethiopian adoption and the profits from these sales go toward their personal adoption! Please consider supporting her family AND by wearing the T-shirts you may get the opportunity to share with others about the nearly 4 million orphaned children in Ethiopia and their great need for love and family.

Here is the link:

Thank you all!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Documents are out of our hands now!

That's right! Jared was able to pick up AND mail the translations this morning! So they are now on their way to GA. I haven't received any word that GA has received the documents I mailed 2 weeks ago, so we could be in for a very long wait still as our little letters truck their way across the big blue ocean. But at least we are finished (we hope) chasing down and procuring documents.

Please pray that our dossier is completed in record time and that we have referrals start coming in February.

We are ready to see our baby girl's face!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Standing in the Gap

We don't know these people, they are friends of some friends of ours...but I've been riveted following their blog. They are working with an organization like ours, but different. Their family has been living and working in Port au Prince, Haiti for a while-- they were, of course, there during the earthquake. By the grace of God, they are able to find a snippet of time during their day to post as they do all they can to help in the chaos and tragedy and devastation. I'm pretty sure that one of the only reasons they bother with posting on their blog is to remain connected with people who will pray and hold the ropes for please read it, and stand in this vast gap for them and for the people they are in contact with. Thanks.

Monday, January 18, 2010

what's new?

So I know, I know, I said I would try to be better. I really stink at this consistency thing. Sorry guys! I know it's frustrating. We've had an interesting Christmas season and things are just now starting to get back to normal.

To update you all, we are still on the paper trail. We really thought we would be finished before now, but we ran into some snags with needing some documents translated and a couple of other things so we are still working on getting our dossier completed. I am hopeful that we will have it complete by the end of the month though. Jared is out this morning trying to get the documents translated and we have received our missing employment letters and I have been assured that the final reference letter will be sent in soon--so hopefully by the end of the month we will have all of our documents ready!! Will you all pray with us for this?

I'm starting to compile lists of things that we need to buy when the time comes--it's kind of fun to shop online for swaddling blankets and baby carriers and bags--I've had a good time! Of course I'm just window shopping right now-- when I have to think about the money it won't be quite as fun :-)

Also, we are running into timing issues as our time frame gets extended. We have teams lined up to come and work with us in June and we need to be settled back in Rome before that time. This means that we would really love to be finished traveling before the end of May. For those of you familiar with the waiting times for medical and court dates, etc. you know what an impossible request this is. We are confident that our God is in control of our timeline, teams, travel, etc. He knows what is best. We want the perfect timing even if it's not what we think is best--but please join us in praying that God will work things out miraculously!!

Continue to pray for our daughter! She has probably entered the world and I have been really burdened to pray for her health and safety. Please join us in this!

Okay, these pictures have nothing to with our adoption, but just for fun, here you go!

Our kids at Christmas

Judah after opening his birthday presents--roaring like a dinosaur!

Blowing out his birthday candles--he is 3 now!

Elijah with his big birthday cookie!

Waiting for all of his friends to get to the party--playing calcietto!

They all sang 'Happy Birthday"--we were prepared with "Tanti Auguri" but they thought it was fun to sing it in english!

They really know how to do birthday candles here!