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!

A Timely Gift

A week or so ago we received a package in the mail from our agency. It was while we were waiting for E's lab work to get started. I knew that they typically send gifts to families during their wait, so it wasn't a huge surprise. We opened it and found a beautiful Ethiopian scarf, a bracelet, and a small piece of Ethiopian art.

It was accompanied by a letter reminding us of God's promises and the following verse:

But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day. Habakkuk 2:3

What I didn't realize is how much I needed a gentle reminder that we are still In the midst of God's plan, and as much as we need and want E home now, God has the perfect plan and is busy orchestrating it, even if we can't see it. It still doesn't change my human emotion of wanting E home now, but it was certainly a timely gift with a message of hope attached to it.

We did receive good news on Friday! We received the first 2 of 4 of E's second medicals. Yay! We are now waiting on one test that needs another blood draw, and her chest xrays and doctor's summary report (ok that was 3 things). Her labs are currently with the doctors at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia for review, but we don't anticipate any issues there.

After we get the remaining medicals and approve them, our agency can begin the paperwork process of submitting us to court! The good news there is that the courts and ministry of women's affairs are all caught up on their back log, so we could get a date before the end of the year.... Maybe...! And, we recently found out that if we can get through court in 2011 we may still be eligible for the adoption tax credit (thanks April!). We didn't know that.

In the meantime, we have taken our agency-required travel webinar, and we are heading to an international travel clinic this week to make sure we are up to date on all of our vaccinations.

Please continue to keep all of us and especially E in your prayers. We've heard that she is extremely fond of her one nanny. It breaks my heart that she will be getting moved away from her soon to a brand new place. It's a good move but will be tough on her poor little heart.

Thanks for all of your prayers!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Answered Prayers!

Yay!  Just received word that the reagent that is needed for a certain blood test is back in stock in Addis (the capital city)!  It may be a while until it makes it way to Baby E's orphanage, but nevertheless, it is available. Or, they may consider taking her blood from the orphanage to Addis for this test.  Hopefully they will be able to get blood from Baby E again.  Her 2nd Medicals (so I hear) are beginning to come in, so they must have been successful in getting something from her on Friday.  Depending on Internet connections over there, we may start getting them this week. 

Thanks so much for your continued prayers.  Keep praying!  It's working!

Hopefully things will start to get back on track soon and we can be submitted for a court date!  Please continue to keep Baby E in your prayers while we are waiting for more tests and more labs!!! 

(can you tell I am excited because of all of my exclaimation points??!!!!)

Monday, October 3, 2011

No 2nd Medicals Yet

No 2nd medicals yet.  They are still having problems finding Baby E's vein.  They were going to try again on Friday, but our Case Manager hasn't heard yet if they were successful.  We did hear that it's not due to dehydration.  In fact, the email from the orphanage indicated that it was because she was so 'chubby' it was difficult for them to locate her vein... I guess that's better than being dehydrated :)   The reagent needed for the other type of blood test is not in yet either.  Sigh....  keep us in your prayers.  It's been 3 weeks since our referral and they haven't been able to even start her 2nd medicals yet. 

I'm not sure what the next plan will be.  They mentioned maybe moving her to Acacia Village early to see if the doctors or nurses there are able to draw her blood, but I'm sure that will be a last resort.  Once they do get her blood, we will have to do this all over again when the reagent comes in!  Uggh.. this poor little girl is going to hate needles. 

Keep Baby E in your prayers!  Hoping they can get her medicals started (and completed) soon!  Pray that the reagent comes soon too!