I have inherited Your testimonies forever,
For they are the joy of my heart.
I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes
Forever, even to the end.
Psalm 119: 111, 112

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Here is where the world of adoption has taken us. I have a friend in Homeland Security!
We are STILL waiting for a court date in ET. Sigh... How long, Lord? Yes, I know. As long as You say. Your plans are perfect.
So, now we find ourselves more than two years into the process of adoption and we have important papers ready to expire. We need an updated home study. Oh, yeah. Again. $400. We need an updated I171H. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services  (USCIS) must have on file a "provisional approval" to file an I600A. The I171H is the provisional approval which gets filed so the I600A - orphan petition - can be approved and filed. I just thought you might want a glimpse into what all this paperwork is. Thank you Ms. "J" at the National Benefits Center of Homeland Security! You saved the day when you told me I can scan our papers straight to you! We have to be fingerprinted and processed by May 28 and I realized that the end of May is just a month away.
Time seems to crawl when you are separated from your children.
We are asking for continued prayers:
That our boys are nourished, nurtured, and protected while they wait. They have seen pictures of us and know that we are waiting to bring them home.
That we remain patient and continue to trust in God who has this all worked out already - in His perfect timing.
That we aren't discouraged or beat down by questions, doubts, negativity, costs, etc.
That God's favor is on our paperwork and requests for updates and appointments.
At the end of the day, not a moment has gone by that I'm not extremely humbled, grateful, and giddy-excited about how God is growing our family and what He is teaching us about orphans and adoption. This is an adventure, and sometimes difficult and chaotic journey. I can honestly say it's the best "thing" God has done in and for us! Not just the adoption of our boys. I'm talking about His adoption of US! Yes. Adoption ROCKS.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter... New Life, New Sons!

Aaaahhhh... The colors of Spring. The colors of Easter! I LOVE Easter. I love the vibrant colors and the refreshing outdoor breeze of the season, and the time with family and friends in celebration. Most of all, I love what we celebrate. We remember Christ on the cross and Christ absent from the tomb and alive once again! His body made new and perfect as He takes His rightful place at the right hand of the Father. Alleluia! I love that all the pain, sorrow, agony, and darkness of the torture, spilled blood, and excruciating death Jesus experienced for us is not what we're left with as we break bread together on Easter Sunday; but fervently we remember with joy His resurrection and the new life He gave us. It's this gift of new life I like to set my mind and heart on, especially when I want to break down in sobs when I think of Yeshuah's sacrifice. The price has been paid! We are debt free and will make it home to our Father with a new body and a new, eternal life!

One of the more beautiful displays of color during the holiday is beheld in the rainbows of eggs dyed and decorated by young and "mature" alike. :) I know some Christians choose not to do the whole egg-dye thing, but we do, and we still like to display them, too. Historically, eggs have been seen as a symbol of winter passing and spring and life reemerging from what seemed to be death. In Jewish tradition, hardboiled eggs are eaten when mourning the death of a loved one. They are served during Passover as the Jewish people mourn the destruction of their Temple where Passover lambs were sacrificed. In our home and on our plates, a hard boiled egg serves as a reminder of the Lamb of God, sacrificed for our sins, defeating death forever and bringing new life.

It can't be mere coincidence that we received an email last night (the day after Easter Sunday) that we will be submitted to court in Ethiopia next week! We are closer to bringing two new lives into our home! So, we should know within the next three weeks when we'll be traveling to appear in court and meet our boys. Sigh... We are continuing to celebrate the truth and joy of Easter. Christ died and rose again for each of us and God wants all to know this. He has chosen our boys, and our family, for a new life. This is what He does for those who walk in faith and know truly who He is.

Do these little hands have any idea that God has been holding them since He was forming them in their mother's womb? Now I get to be Mom to them, and hold their hands, and bandage their scraped knees, sing to them at bedtime, wipe their tears, teach them English, and help them dye eggs next Easter. We get to tell them about the sacrifice Jesus made for them and how much He loves them!