for YOU!!!

Gracious thanks to all who prayed for us & with us this morning!!! It was amazing to be one-in-spirit with so many!!! And thank you for your encouraging posts & emails, too! We felt your prayers (always have, and still do)!! We are not looking for anything magical to happen, we just wanted to re-align ourselves with God's will for our adoption...it's easy for us to run ahead & even make assumptions.

Now, I want to do something special for you!

Please, take a moment to post a prayer request , a praise or even just a word of encouragement to be read by those who frequent our blog!!! It would be our honor to pray for you & celebrate with you....not to mention, our blog gets much traffic by many 'praying' people!!! :)

God Bless!!!


Prayer & Fasting

A huge "Thank You" to all who are praying & fasting with us this Monday morning from 7am - noon!

God’s will to be done & His name to be made great!
Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together! … Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, “Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servant!”
Ps 34:3, 35:27

Prayer for Baby Martin:
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.
Ps 68:5
▪swift processing of this child’s paper work in Ethiopia
▪for God to reveal the identity of this child to us…soon
▪for the spiritual, physical, emotional and mental health of our child
▪spiritual & physical peace for our child’s birth family
▪immediate trust & bonding with us

Prayer for Paper Work:
From where, then, does wisdom come? God understands the way to it, and he knows its place. For he looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.
Job 28:20-24
▪our home study update & I-171H immigration renewal to be finalized before we travel
(which could be any time from Mid-Dec to Mid-Jan)
▪favor with Ethiopian judge(s) in court proceedings

Prayer for Finances:
Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it.
Duet 10:14

▪for us to be good stewards with our income, as we make personal financial decisions & continue to save for this adoption
▪we are in the process of applying for grant monies…favor on our applications

We are confident that our God “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” while we eagerly continue to learn more about His character, sovereignty & love for His Children as He grows our family!


e i g h t m o n t h s

Eight months ago today, we mailed our Ethiopia dossier to AWAA...
no news yet...
our agency told us that if referrals are not possible by the end of next week, they will give us a heads-up regarding November possibilities.


...perplexed, but not driven to despair...

Me in my hubby's office at SBC taking notes during our agency's conference call -- yes, I'm also online, so I can simultansously chat via our Yahoo Message Group with the conference call families & also look at pics on everyone's blogs so I know who's talking. Crazy...I know!

Yesterday was a long day. Not only was it my one day-off for the week, but it was also full of emotional events.

We started the day off remembering Andy Brown & celebrating his life during his funeral services -- a 28-year-old Christ-follower who was a member of our ministry at SBC -- he lost his battle with cancer Sunday morning at 9am. He is greatly missed...but...he is with Jesus.

Then after lunch we participated in a conference call with our agency (all families waiting for referrals were on the call). The main topic of interest for most families was our agency's recent fee increase. Ethiopian adoption is becoming increasingly expensive due to the nature of humanitarian work involved with each adoption. Ethiopia's program is the only adoption where the agency takes custody of a child once the child has been referred to a family. That means that the agency is responsible for the housing, food/diapers, medical and staff expenses for the two-three month period before a family can travel to pick-up their child. Most of the children come to the transition home malnourished and sick -- combine this with the famine and inflation in Ethiopia -- the process quickly becomes very costly.

The second topic was related to families who are expecting referrals in October (us!!). This is a long story I will try to shorten: during the court closures (Aug-Sept) families could not finalize adoptions, and therefore could not go get their children. So, because children were not leaving the orphanages/transition homes during those two months, all institutions have reached their capacity -- meaning that new children have not been permitted to move into these institutions due to over-crowding. This problem will correct itself by the end of Oct, as families begin to bring their children home. But here's the issue: it takes about one month to process a child's paper work...so if these new children's paper work cannot begin until the end of Oct, they will not be ready to be referred until mid to late-Nov.

So, a November referral could be a reality for us. But, then maybe not...it's hard to tell. Our agency tends to give us worse-case-scenario, to spare us from utter disappointment. Could we still receive a referral this month? It is possible.

Yesterday, we were emotionally exasperated -- but, today we are once gain hopeful. We have no desire to micromanage or manipulate this process. God knows the specific child He chose for our family, He knew this even before He set the earth in motion. Although the waiting can be unbearable, we steadfastly cling to His will for our family. We are not just waiting for any child, but our child...if that makes sense??

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

We know there is a much larger purpose at hand, even above God uniting us with our children:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? ... Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? ... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

...we ARE more than conquerors....


So, what about China????

BTW, no Ethiopia news...yet :)

Many of you have asked about our China adoption...so let me give a brief update. The following is a statement from our agency's blog:

October 09, 2008
China Wait Time Report: October 2008
The current wait from LID to referral is 32-33 months and increasing. This represents the wait time for families who have a mid-February LID in 2006 and who are next to receive their referrals. For families with LID dates after that time, the wait time trend continues to increase half a month to a full month each month. Families are encouraged to calculate their wait time as a projected estimation, knowing there is no way to predict the actual wait time for each family.The wait time changes as it is based on the number of LID’s from around the world and the number of referrals paper-ready each month. America World will continue to report monthly wait time trends. Families should continue to anticipate a long wait for a healthy referral.America World is committed to uplifting your family in prayer as you wait to be united with your precious child.

So what does that mean for us?
If we continue to wait for a healthy infant female, we could wait, well, forever. OK, maybe that's a slight exaggeration - but we could realistically wait up to 7 years. That's a long time...and our desire is to meet the need of a child who is currently institutionalized & in need of family now.

So what will we do?
Vince & I have been praying about that, and we feel lead upon completion of our Ethiopian adoption to switch to China's Waiting Children list. 'Waiting Children' refers to all children who are not considered to be 'healthy'. The reason could be as mild as a cleft lip/palate, but could also mean the child has a severe/chronic medical condition. We would have discretion to specify medical needs that we are open to discuss....and don't worry, we are aware of our limitations. Based on the fact that most families who adopt Waiting Children still request girls, we would probably receive a boy referral.

Again, this is still a currently prayerful decision -- we realize many things could change over the next several months/years in the world of adoption -- and it is also our desire to adopt from Ethiopia, again, as well. But we've learned that being an adoptive family requires a great amount of proactivity balanced with much flexibilty -- we're excited to see where this journey takes us!


Families through court, and not

We are rejoicing for the AWAA families that passed court today!!! This is a 'big deal' because these families were the first AWAA families through court since its re-opening this month... very re-assuring...paper work is moving!!!

Congrats!!! Click their links to meet their kiddos!!
The Lusses
The Redferns
The Schmidts
The Wempes

On a frustrating note, a couple of dear families who are adopting sibling groups did NOT pass court today...our hearts are breaking with theirs.
UPDATE: The families who did not pass court are each adoption a sibling-group. While the courts were closed, Ethiopia made some changes to the paper work requirements for sibling-group adoptions. The families will be able to provide the documentation that is needed - their next court date is scheduled for early November.


just for fun!!!

some random snap-shots...oh, and, news yet :)

This past weekend my cousin, Susan, and her husband, Steve, were visiting the St Louis area...they actually traveled from Ohio to attend Poco's 4oth reunion...so, we met for lunch in Rolla!

Our niece, Mary Claire, sent a gift for the 'babies'...two rubber duckies! She also picked out the piece of pottery they are perched on...their nest....so cute!

A boy and his dog...well, actually, my dog!
Vince inherited Kobi when we got married...but, they have become quite the duo!


Adoption Is Greater Than The Universe - John Piper

Many of you have seen this before, but it was good for me today to remind my soul that this is God's work, not mine! By the way, Ethiopia courts have re-opened...please pray for the back-log of families to move through court effortlessly so they can be united with their children!!!

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