Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

 Merry Christmas!  As you can see, we've been celebrating for the past couple of days!  More to follow later :)  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Prayers Appreciated

While we are all sleeping tonight, our case will go to court in Ethiopia.  This is the first court hearing -- we do not have to be present for it.  Hopefully we will hear sometime tomorrow if we passed this first hurdle.  (yes, there is a chance that we may not pass!).  

If we would not pass our first hearing they could postpone the court hearing we are traveling for.  We will still travel, however.  If they postpone our hearing, we will give consent while we are there, sign something else, and then we would not have to appear for the 2nd hearing. (The reason parents appear for the 2nd hearing is to say that they've met their prospective child(ren) and agree that they want to adopt them).  We are praying that we pass this first hearing and our second one, of course.

Then, it ain't over yet!  After we pass court (which may take a few tries, but hopefully not), it is an estimated wait time of 2 - 4 months until we return :(

Here's the breakdown of what happens after we go over:

  1. An approval letter has to be received from MoWCY. (we need a positive recommendation) and hopefully this has already been received by our first court hearing.  
  2. The courts must give their consent
  3. We must give our consent (which we will do while we are there). 
  4. After we have 1, 2 and 3, they can submit to get our court decrees and birth certificate. (This typically takes several weeks).
  5. Then, after we have 1, 2, 3 and 4, we can request a Passport.  
  6. Next is the Embassy Physical.  Physical results must be back before we can proceed.
  7. After 1 - 6 is all done, with no errors and no requests for additional information, etc., we can be submitted to the Embassy!  
  8. The Embassy may take a few weeks to review our documents.  They may request more information, or they could approve the case right away.  (if they request more information, we could be delayed significantly).  
  9. If we are approved right way, the Embassy will contact us for an appointment, in which we will travel back over to Ethiopia.  I hear that sometimes we would only get a one week notice!!  
  10. Once we travel back over to Ethiopia, we will have our Embassy appointment and then it will take them 2 days (I think) to process E's Visa, then we are free to leave the country.

Sounds simple, right?  Those 10 steps take about 2 months+ to complete.  Where the 4 months or longer comes in is if any of those steps require corrections, more information or if additional delays are encountered.  So, you can see how quickly things can derail and pile up.  I have no idea if we are kept abreast of what step we are in.  I'm thinking not.

Please continue to pray for a clear path to bring E home.  If additional information is requested, please pray that we can get it quickly.  Please pray for the wisdom of those reviewing Elliana's case.  Please pray that Elliana knows we are coming back as soon as we can to bring her home.  Please also pray for our health, our safe travels and protection over our family at home!

We made it this far, and God's timing has always been perfect.  Four months is a long time, but considering how long we've waited, and considering how much we've been stretched, molded and shown God's perfect plan, we can do it!  It's going to really hard though, especially after we meet her, touch her and hold her.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support, prayers, emails, donations and love.  I can't wait to post pictures of Elliana (once we pass court).  You won't believe how beautiful she is!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Tree Pictures

This is our attempt to get a picture of Faith by the Christmas tree.  As the boys would say . . .  epic fail!

She's still a cutie, just a fast-moving one!  Plus, get a good look at her little piggy-tails, because you might never see them again!  I did it while she was sleeping.  They didn't last very long!   Maybe we will have better luck next time.

Donation Pictures

We are so grateful for everyone's generosity in bringing us donations (and funds to buy donations) for the orphanage our daughter is from and to the care home that she is currently in.  We even had 2 suitcases donated, so we can just leave them there!  We still have more stuff coming, so we will have to take those items on our next trip.  It took up our entire counter and bar area in our basement.  As you can see from the photos, we had a lot of stuff.  Over 150 pounds of stuff, to be exact.  We were able to squeeze it into 4 bags.  Our travel agent said she may be able to get us a waiver for the extra bag fees.  That would be awesome!  If not, each bag is $150!  If that is the case, we will probably squeeze them into 3 large bags and hopefully only need to pay for one bag.  (Brad and I get 2 bags each for free, and I'm thinking we'll probably only need one suitcase each).  So keep your fingers crossed!

Thanks again to our friends, family and friends-of-friends. Your donations will certainly be put to good use.  Please pray that we are able to get all of these donations through customs without any issues.  It would be a shame to carry them that far and then have them confiscated in customs.  I am, however, armed with a detailed breakdown of exactly what is in each bag.  Hopefully that will help.

Such cute little outfits of all sizes! 

Some socks, blankets, towels and onsies

Diaper Rash Ointment and lots of wipes

Miscellaneous medicines, etc.

14 packs of diapers

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Little God Moments

We are still in shock that this is finally happening.  Things honestly have been quite a whirlwind for the past 2 weeks.  I mean, we knew this was coming, but most of the things we have to do couldn't be done until now!  {if that makes sense} We have waited for this moment for so long and with such anticipation, but I honestly haven't really had time to sit and think about what we are about to do! Plus, this is Faith's first Christmas so I'm trying to do some of the same "firsts" that we did on the boys first Christmas and trying to make sure my big boys are ok too, all while preparing to go meet #4. Right now it's a juggling act, and we have a lot of balls up in the air.  All of those things happening at once can be a little overwhelming. I imagine once I get on that plane and have time to really sit and breathe and think, tears will begin to flow. 

My main concern is, I don't want to be so busy in all of this, that I miss the little moments that may turn out to be big the God-moments...ya know? 

I can't even begin to tell you about the God-moments that have occurred in just one week in our home.  First of all, donations for the orphanage and care home have begun to flow in from our church family and friends, and friends of friends. It's really awesome.  We have a friend who works for a large grocery store chain bring us a huge box full of formula, diapers, wipes, diaper rash ointments and all kinds of goodies. A few others took the list and literally bought every single item on the list. We have many others who have items to bring as well and who have forwarded the list onto their list of friends!  It's really amazing!  And of course I couldn't resist the sales at the Carter's and the Osh Kosh outlets for some of the cutest onsies, tshirts and such!  I will post pictures soon!  I just hope we can take it all on this trip!  We are going to start packing it up and weighing it, etc. on Sunday!  

We also received a very generous check from friends who organized a secret fundraiser selling gift wrap, candles, home goods, etc.  They were able to make a 50% profit from the items sold.  So many people were involved in this endeavor, and we were completely oblivious to it. Again, such a God-thing and so amazing!  I don't even think I have the words to express our gratitude right now.  We are still in shock!

Then, we had a couple who visited our church for the very first time come up and hand Brad a check. We didn't even know them, but they heard that we were traveling soon to meet our daughter, sought us out, and wanted to contribute in some way. Again, that doesn't just happen.  

All of this in one week! God has certainly been faithful in His provisions for us throughout our journey. We can't deny that!   We have been very blessed with generosity from co-workers, friends, family and total strangers.  

That's why this blog is near and dear to me.  When we started our journey, we had no idea (and still do not) how things would turn out or how we would make the 2 trips and so many other uncertainties (not to mention a bio pregnancy in the midst of it all!).  We just knew we were following the path that God told us to take.  I know a lot of posts are just my random thoughts and ramblings, but I do not ever want to forget (after life gets even busier) the generosity, prayers, help and blessings of so many people throughout this journey.  I want E to know this too.  She needs to know how many people cared for her, without even knowing her face, and to what lengths they went to, to help bring her home. 

Everyone keeps saying how we are going to change her life forever, but it's really the opposite -- she's already changed us forever!  [I know this is similar to the quote from "The Blind Side"... but it's true!]  

More on Court, Embassy and Travel soon!  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's really happening

Wow. Time is flying by since we were assigned our court date.  So many little things to think about, not to mention ... It's Christmas. Good thing I typically work well under pressure. As I previously mentioned, we already have our flights, our accommodations, and this past week we were able to get our visas. (there was literally no line both times we went to the Ethiopian that was great).

I've come to the realization last week that, this is really happening!  I've tried for 2 years to guard my heart in case things didn't happen as expected, but now, I'm releasing my heart to this little girl who totally stole it the moment I laid eyes on her. It's almost like seeing my 3 bio babies for the first time on ultrasound.  All signs may say you are pregnant, but you don't really believe it, until you see them bouncing around like little peanuts on the screen.  It's at that point that you realize this is REAL and I'm going to be a mom!  That's where I'm at right now!

Last week we received an email announcing that she arrived at our Agency's care home. No more orphanage for her.  While I'm sad for her and for her nanny, I know she will be well cared for at this new facility.  This is a brand new facility that is bright, and cherry and clean.  She will have excellent care here until we bring her home. I do worry about how she is adjusting, but it's reassuring to know that many of her orphanage buddies were moved at the same time, so at least she will have some familiar faces. We are now waiting on some new photos of her in her new home.  Her next move is HOME with us!

Please continue to pray for her transition, our upcoming trip, and our 3 kids that we will be leaving home for a week.  It's going to be harder for me, probably more so, than for them!

I have lots more info and answers to some questions you all of been asking.  Promise to post more soon!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Yay!  We finally received our court date.  We will be leaving fews days after Christmas to meet our little girl for the first time.  There is so much to do and time will go quickly!  Luckily, we've already secured our flights, so that is done.  Now we are working on accommodations in Ethiopia. 

After that, Visas.  This will require us to visit the Ethiopian Embassy in DC again.  Heck, they are probably tired of seeing us!  At least we know where it is and we know to get there early before the huge line wraps around the building. 

We finished up our travel immunizations last month, so that's done... but there is so much yet to do, especially with Christmas coming.  We are thankful that we can spend Christmas at home with the kids this year and keep things semi-normal for them.  I know they are a bit anxious about our travels too.   

As always, God has been faithful and has orchestrated this trip beautifully.  We will have 2 days of down time in Ethiopia before our court date (and we won't be able to see Baby E on those days), so that will give us time to explore her country, buy presents, sight see, and take in EVERYTHING.   I think if our court date fell on another day, we would probably spend minimal time there... due to our kids at home, time off from work, etc., so this worked out great (although we are going to miss our kids at home terribly!!).   We've also connected with 3 other families from our agency who are traveling the same time as us, so it will be nice to meet and spend some time with them. 

Please keep us in and Baby E in your prayers.  They should be moving her to Acacia Village in a few weeks, and I'm sure it will be difficult for her.  Also, keep December 21st in your prayers.  This is our first court date (that we do not have to be present for).    Praying that all goes well there. 

Our heads are swirling with excitement!  We are going to meet our little girl.... finally! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

October Pictures

I'm a little bit behind in posting pictures, etc., but thought you might enjoy some pictures from the month of October.  Yes, it snowed here in October, complete with power outages and cancellation of events.  It was still very pretty.  Faith is like her mommy -- not a big fan of the snow!

Umm.. what's all of that white stuff? 

It was hard to get a shot without a snowflake on the lens! 

A "Dylan" Angel

 We didn't actually do Halloween, but we found the cutest little lady bug costume and dressed Faith up for fun.  She was the cutest BUG ever!

Tired little bug!  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Another Coincidence?

I forgot to mention this when I did my post about non-coincidences. . . . The Tuesday before we received our referral, a package arrived in the mail.  It was clothing that I had ordered for Faith for the fall season.  Everything was packaged nicely inside a bag, which was then inside the box.  I noticed when I opened the box, there were two pair of little leggings outside of the bag, just sitting on top of everything, even on top of the packing slip.  I put them to the side and began looking over my purchases, thinking I must have ordered them by mistake.  

One by one I went through the packing slip and compared it to what I had in the box.  No sign of the leggings on the packing slip… That’s weird, I thought.  Then I looked at the size.  They were 24 months.  I thought, wow, it will be a long time until Baby Faith can wear those.  Everything else in the box was 9 months. 

It wasn’t until after we received our referral, a few days later, that it hit me.  Those leggings were a little gift for Baby E.  She will most likely be in 18-24 month clothing by the time we bring her home. 

It made me giggle and think about how God brings the unexpected into our lives. Sometimes good things; and sometimes bad things.  But sometimes, it’s those unexpected gifts that surprise and delight us. It’s those small things that can make us smile. They are tiny reminders from God that He loves us, that He's there, that He’s listening.  Today when I opened the closet and saw those little leggings, I was reminded again that He cares and that His promises are true.  

Faith's Dedication

 Ok, so I know I am way  behind in posting this, but better late than never, right?

Faith's dedication was on September 11, 2011.  What an awesome day.  This was also 2 days after we received our referral of sweet Baby E, so we were able to rejoice and celebrate God's goodness on this day for BOTH of our girls.

We were blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family join us for church and for our little party afterwards.  They came from near and far.  She even had 3 great aunts attend the festivities, as well as Nana and Pop,  and Mee-Maw and Pappy, of course!    We had friends who traveled for hours and even stayed overnight so that they could witness our little girl being dedicated to God.

Somewhere along the line, Pastor Ken gave the mic to Brad, who ended up telling his entire testimony of his experience with 9/11.  Such a humbling moment to realize that Faith wouldn't even be here if there wasn't divine intervention that day.  It was also an awesome moment to realize that the last time we were before our congregation, it was to tell about our heart for adoption, and how we could welcome ONE more into our family.  Only God knew that we would soon welcome TWO and how these two little girls would forever be entwined and connected through a journey of  faith and redemption.  

We know God has BIG plans for both Faith and Baby E.  It's going to be our privilege to watch and help fulfill those plans!  

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11 

Pastor Ken 

Faith's Yummy Cake

The teens enjoyed the moon bounce more than the younger kids! 

Big Brothers are the best! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Submitted to Court!

Our documents were submitted and accepted by the court on November 15th.  Yay!!  This is a very big step forward.

What does this mean?  It means that we now will wait for be assigned a court date, which may take 2 - 3 weeks (hopefully not any longer).  Once we know our date, we can begin making travel arrangements.  There are actually 2 court hearings on our case. One will take place without us; we must appear for the second one.  We are still praying that we could squeeze in the last week of December.  If not, it will most likely be January, unless there has been a large number of cases submitted this week.  Once we have a court date assigned, they will move Baby E from her orphanage to Acacia Village, where we will meet her for the first time.  This is going to be very scary for her, I am sure.  Right now, believe it or not, her orphanage is a very safe place for her.  She's going to be taken away from that safe place of sounds, smells and faces.

We also received 6 new photos this week for our November update. She is more and more beautiful every time we see her.  Those lips and big brown eyes!  It also looks like they are letting her hair grow a bit.  I cannot wait to put a big bow in it!!  She looks very healthy, but please pray for her little heart.  She is looking very sad lately.   I am hoping her December pictures will show her smiling.

We've also sent her October and November updates and pictures to her adoption specialist doctors.  They are very pleased with her overall growth and motor skills!  She still looks petite to me... so I'm thinking her and Baby Faith are going to be pretty close in height and weight.  We cannot wait to actually see her in person!

A few prayer requests:

* that we can get a speedy court date assigned -- hopefully in 2011.
* that Baby E's heart is comforted and that she hears a whisper that "I will not leave you as Orphans.. I will come to you... " 
* that Baby E will do well in her transition to Acacia Village.
* that our 3 children at home will do well with us going away and the transition to come!

As soon as I hear anything, I will let everyone know!

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Gratitude – letting others know you see how they’ve helped you. This is what we are teaching our kids this month at church. Sometimes I think I get more out of the lessons than the kids.

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV
Hmmm.. in all circumstances . . . How many of us really praise God when we are in the midst of a storm, even if it is His will for us? We are quick to say thank you when things are going well, but not too many of us say 'geee, thanks,' when things aren't going as planned.  I know I’m guilty of that. I’m trying to be better and know that He has the master plan and can see things we cannot. I tried to think of that this week as we were waiting and waiting for one test result, which was holding up our court submission. This one test has tied us up for 8 weeks.

I had come to the conclusion that if God wants our test results to be stuck in a machine that is broken down, then that is what He wants. The test is run, the results are done, but the machine is unable to spit the results out. [seriously, I don't make this stuff up!]   But, there must be a reason for it. Maybe He wanted to see if we would take E without knowing the final results of this test? Maybe He needed to delay our travel to avoid a situation that He knows is going to happen (like my husband’s 9/11 “non-coincidence”). Maybe He needs E to stay at the orphanage a few more weeks …. Whatever it is, He knows and we do not.

BUT, Gratitude is exactly what came to mind Thursday, when we were able to approve Baby E’s 2nd medicals!!  Finally!  This happened all by God’s grace, I’m sure of that!!

We were permitted to approve her 2nd medicals ‘as is’ without this ONE required test. It was our decision if we wanted to wait for the test results or approve her 2nd medicals without it. You know what we decided! So, we were able to give our consent to have our case prepared for court submission on Thursday. This, I am certain, is not an Agency standard, but an exception which was based on Baby E’s age and the age requirement of this ONE required test. {Plus I’m sure that the fact that we waited 4 weeks for the reagent to come in, and then 4 additional weeks for the results of this test, had some influence on their decision}. On Friday, we received an email that the lab machine was repaired and we had the test results anyway! Yipee… so now we are back on track.

The process of getting the documents translated and authenticated over in Ethiopia to go to court can take a couple of weeks. Not sure how ‘a couple of weeks’ is translated in Ethiopian time, but at least we are moving again. After we are officially submitted to court, it looks like it takes a few more weeks to hear back with a court date, unless there is a problem with one of our documents. We are praying that everything is in order for our little girl and that we can get a speedy court date. I’m still praying that we can get a court date by the end of the year, but I know it may not be possible. I'm also praying that we can travel with other families in our Agency whose children's test results were stuck in the same machine!  We should all be back on track now. 

My goal is to continue to show gratitude in all circumstances. I know this is just one of MANY hills and valleys that we are yet to go through in this adoption process. Still, I feel like we are coming down the home stretch, sort of.  Of course, this can change quickly with the next detour or road block we come to, but today, I am certainly full of gratitude for a God that cares, and a God that can move mountains and make exceptions to bring His children home.

I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18

Friday, October 28, 2011

Still Waiting

Nope. Nothing again this week. Apparently there is an issue at the lab. Uggh. There are so many roads my mind can go down right now, but I’m trying to remain calm. I'll be honest. It's not easy. I'm so afraid that her original sample is no longer useable so they will have to draw it again, which could take a few more weeks. Or what if they run out of the reagent again ... See here I go again. It's a constant battle for me to stay out of panic mode. That's not cool. I have keep my mind on things that I know as truth:

Philippians 4:6-7. Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

 8-9Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Please pray that these issues get resolved. We need ONE test result to be entered onto her medical report in order to approve her medicals and be submitted for court. ONE. Everything else is complete. My heart hurts for our little girl who has spent most of her life waiting… and stuck in a process that she had no control over.

We are almost 2 years in the adoption process. Granted, we were pregnant and had a baby in there too, but it just seems like we have been waiting for this little girl forever.  This summer, I was hesitant to plan anything for November or December, thinking we would be traveling. Now, November is almost here, and we are nowhere close to traveling. Booh. This is to be expected in an international adoption, I know, but knowing it and living in it are 2 different things.   I still know, however, that waiting is part of God's plan for us.  I don't fully understand it, but I know the waiting is continuing to draw us closer to Him.  That's not a coincidence.  It's part of the plan. 

But, it’s still hard… knowing her face…and knowing a little about her personality. She’s there and we are here. It just stinks.

Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names.

They are easier to ignore before you see their faces.

It is easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms.

But once you do, everything changes.

Radical by David Platt

Even Baby Faith is being changed and molded in this process. Here she is giving ‘kiss-kiss’ to Sissy.  She loves looking at Baby E 's pictures.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Not Yet

Nope, notta, nuttin -- That's the official word from our Agency -- the remaining lab test and corresponding report are not yet completed for Baby E.  Total bummer.  We had thought 'for sure' that it would be done this past week.  But, in adoption world, 'for sure' is never a 'for sure' thing.  Her one test result needs to come in before the doctor can write the final report.  As we continue to wait, I am trying to keep my mind from going into 'panic' mode.  It's hard. 

Sadly, we have already surrendered the idea of traveling this year.  I'm not saying God cannot perform a miracle here... but the reality is, it will most likely be January if not February, until we travel for the FIRST TIME.  (and that's if the rest of the medicals come in next week).  That does not sit well in my heart, but there is not a whole lot I can do about it except trust that this is the path and the plan for Baby E.  Not traveling this year equates to no adoption tax credit for us.  Double-bummer.

The second medical delays continue to push all of our court-travel-embassy date projections further into the future.  I keep figuring and re-figuring weeks, dates, times, etc. that we MIGHT go.  I need to stop.  It's driving me crazy.  I just need to TRUST, but to be honest with you, it's really hard.  Being a mom of 3 kids at home and trying to figure out when we might go, or not go, trying to plan things for 2 or 3 months out.. not knowing... is really hard.  I know this is part of my 'control' thing, so I am continuing to learn and receive grace in this area. 

But, I'm still happy and praising God that the PCR reagent came in 4 weeks, instead of 8 weeks.  After all, we could still be waiting for it come in and medicals could have not been started yet.  Luckily, we are not there.. all of her medicals are done.. we just need ONE test result and ONE doctor's report... AND, we need good internet connections so that they can be sent to our agency and then onto us for approval.  I'm also grateful that our Agency and the Orphanage is keeping us posted on what is going on -- even if it's not the best of news. 

Still praying for good news this week!  Will you join us?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Celebrating Small Stuff

We are still making some small sort of progress while we are waiting.  We received E’s October update on Friday with her weight, height, head and chest circumference and a little bit about her personality.  She is growing and seems very smart!  We also received 3 new photos.  She is so sweet.  We were happy to see in at least 2 of the photos she had ‘girls’ clothing on… not that it matters, but it was nice to see her in pink [now she just needs a bow…ha ha]  She also had her hair in little knots for one of the photos – too cute.  Her eyes are so big, eyelashes so long, and lips so kissable. 

We are currently waiting for one test result, and then the doctor will write up her medical assessment.  After that is written up and sent to us, we can approve her medicals and then move on and wait to be submitted to court.  Our Case Manager said she hopes to have the medical report to us by the end of this week.  Internet connections have been very bad over in that region lately, so that has been some of the delay.  [it’s hard for us to imagine here in the U.S. when we have it on our phones, but it is, nevertheless, the reality over there! ]  Once we approve her medicals, and get submitted to court, we will wait to hear from the courts about our official court date.  I looks like it is taking about 8 weeks after submission to get a court date, and from what I understand, it will take a few weeks to get our paperwork together and ready to submit to court.  [sigh] 

So, judging on the date today, I’m still not sure if we will be able to make a trip this year, but that’s what we are hoping and praying for!  Honestly, I’m just happy that the reagent came in and they were able to get her sample, because we could still be waiting on that!  We are just happing things are moving and we can see some sort of progress. 

So, instead of focusing on things that are not yet accomplished, I’m choosing to celebrate each little milestone, no matter how small, because that's what is going to bring us one step closer to bringing E home.

Please keep your prayers coming.  We can feel them, and we can see their impact! 

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I don't believe in coincidences. A few weeks ago I posted this :
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
Can I just say that I can already see the weather clearing. Don't get me wrong, I know we still have a long haul ahead of us (average time to bring E home is 4 - 8 months), but I can already see part of God's plan unfolding. Some things I can't share yet until we pass court, but there are a few "non-coincidences" I can tell you about.

Non-coincidence #1: we applied and were officially accepted with CWA on 11/09/09; we received our referral on 09/09/11. Hmmm...those numbers look familiar. Wow it's our acceptance date in reverse.

Non-Coincidence #2:  This is a funny one -- sort of.  You know how we have the "Alphabet" Family??  Angie, Brad, Colton, Dylan . . . then we planned on E, and then we had Faith.  After we had Faith, we thought that E would be out of age-order... since we just assumed she would be younger than Faith.  Again, in non-coincidental style, E fits right into our silly alphabet name game.  She is 7 months older than Faith, so her E name is right in sync! 

Non-coincidence #3:  I think I posted before that we were hoping to have our referral by 9/11 (and we did!!).  Why 9/11?  Well, first of all, it was the Ethiopian New Year.  Secondly, it was the day we had Faithlynn dedicated at church, and thirdly, 9/11 is a special day in America, as well as in our household.  On 9/11/01 my husband got up for work, reminded me of an off-site meeting he had that day, kissed me and the boys goodbye, and headed off to work.  Once he arrived at work, he and a few other co-workers were preparing for the high-level briefing 'downtown.'  There were so many of them going that the had to take 2 government vans. They headed to the parking garage to pick up the vans.  As they were checking in, there was a problem with the paperwork.  They waited, and waited, shuffled paper around and still waited.  It was getting late.  Finally, one van was cleared to go and those guys quickly pulled out.  The second van (the one Brad was going in) was still having paperwork problems.  By this time, they were sure they would miss their meeting.  DC traffic is not always so kind!  As they were waiting for their van, they got the news of the Twin Towers.... as they continued to wait, they got the news of the Pentagon being hit.  Guess where Brad's meeting was???  The Pentagon .  Do you think it was a coincidence that there was paperwork problems that day?  I think not

Non-coincidence #3: the day we had our pregnancy with baby Faith confirmed was the same day baby E was born! Only God could have orchestrated that so beautifully.  I remember that day so vividly. We were so surprised and happy to see a little peanut squirming and dancing around on the ultrasound, but I also remember feeling overwhelming sad too..because I felt like I was letting down a little girl in Ethiopia who was waiting for us.  I had a really hard time with that.  It was a bittersweet day for us, but now that I see the plan, I can see God's perfect timing at work. As Faith was growing in my tummy, E was growing in our hearts.  (that's one reason we would have NEVER considered discontinuation of the adoption). 

There are a few other things about E's adoption that are remarkable (not coincidence), but we can't reveal them yet until we pass court.  It's just amazing to see the path so clearly marked, now that we have a few things to look back on.  Although we don't always see it at the time, God's plan is always perfect and never a day off.

We cannot wait to see what He reveals next.

Happy Fall Ya'all

Happy Fall, Ya'all!  Yeah, I know I'm not from the south, but it sounded good!  The weather is turning crisp, the leaves are full of color (and falling), and the pumpkin patches are ready to go.  Here are a couple of pics from our neighbors pumpkin party.  They grow these big pumpkins in their back yard!

I want THIS one, Dad!

Say "Pumpkin!"

This is my 'stink' eye!

It's very bright out here!

Pat the pumpkin!