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