Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Few Great Updates

Life has been full.
The beginning of the year was difficult for me....I was feeling lonely being 3+ hours away from family, friends, a church cooking class, a lovely farmer's market, a coffee shop with live music, a city that thrives with their music and arts scene, and so much more. I had a lack of joy for life.
We have lived in this city for almost 3 years. Moving here, we never knew if it would become a permanent home or a temporary home. I quickly realized it was temporary. I have really missed the people and activities I once was involved with, and never found replacements. There are several very sweet friends I have found here that will remain life-long friends, I hope.
Colin and I started discussing a possible move. When our adoption was moving at a good pace, we thought a move was not an option due to needing our home study completely updated, among other things. But since there has been a huge slowdown, God told us it was time.
It has not been made official yet, but Colin has received a conditional offer of employment at a police department less than an hour from my family, and only 5 minutes from the above said cooking class, farmer's market, music scene, etc. A dream.
The department is finishing up his background check hopefully this week or next and we will know really soon if he has received an official offer. We would both appreciate your prayers!
We have been looking at buying our very first house, and are excited to prayerfully find just the right one to raise our children in. This has been very important to me, as I just could not see us bringing a baby home to our apartment, for many annoying and distracting reasons, including several neighbors. :)
God has been so good to us. We are so grateful for His many blessings!
I promise to be back really soon with more!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Seven Months Dreaming

We have been on the waitlist to adopt for 7 months yesterday!
Wow, seven months is starting to seem like a long time. That's well over 200 days. To think that this adoption could take 3 1/2-4+ years...well, that's roughly 1200-1500 days.
Yes, that is quite a lot of days.
BUT, that is QUITE a lot of days of prayer for our little girl! We pray nightly for her and often throughout the day as well. We pray for her birthfamily, Hannah's Hope, Ethiopia, Africa, AGCI staff, etc.
She is constantly on our minds!
God is refining our hearts through prayer. We are so thankful to Him for so, so much!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

May Numbers?

I would love to be able to announce that we received our May waitlist numbers from AGCI.
However, there will be no more numbers.
Towards the end of May we received a long e-mail from AGCI informing us of a lot of changes that have been going on and will be taking place in Ethiopian adoptions.
Here are some key points that were made in the letter:
*Ethiopia continues to value adoption for their many orphans and there are NO plans to close adoption in Ethiopia.
*MOWA (Ministry of Women's Affairs) in Ethiopia is in the process of removing the corruption involved in adoptions, child buying, and other unethical practices that are unfortunately taking place.
*Ethical adoption time frames are slowing down because of this, but there is hope of stabilization.
*Currently, families are waiting approximately 2.5 years to receive a referral, but we are told to prepare for 3.5 years or more, depending on how open our age/gender/health parameters are.
*As of June 1st, the Ethiopia program has been capped.
*Families have been given the choice to let their home study expire until approximately 6 months before an estimated referral date. This would reduce the overall cost of the adoption because of all of the updates required to keep it current. However, if a family chooses to do this, they would move appropriately on the list, but they would not be eligible for a referral. At this time, Colin and I are choosing to keep our home study current and are in the process of doing our yearly updates.
*Monthly waitlist numbers have been discontinued due to their inaccuracy (if a family is open to an older child with special needs at number 75, they could receive a referral at that number because no family closer to number 1 is open to those parameters). Most agencies do not give waitlist numbers for this reason.
*AGCI will continue to give monthly e-mail updates and will inform us of referrals. Ex. A toddler boy was referred to a family with a dossier date of February 2011. Our dossier date is November 2012, so we will be on the lookout for when referrals go out to families with dates near ours.
Colin and I remain confident in AGCI's choice in being committed to adoptions that only occur in an ethical manner. We have heard through other AGCI mommas that there have been 3 infant girl referrals in the last 2 weeks! We remain hopeful and in love with our little Ethiopian in our hearts and prayers every single day.
I read on the website Incourage, that there is so much comfort in living life knowing that you are in the care of the One who knows the roads like no one else! NO bumps take Him by surprise. Those unexpected ruts and potholes EXIST on His road map! He knows exactly what lies around each corner.
So we move forward in peaceful confidence, knowing that God knows.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

may letters to Africa

Last week, we sent our May letters to Dominic, Eyouel, and Mugwaneza!
We shared with our children about July 4th--Independence Day.
We used a printout we found on . It is bright and colorful and let us share what Independence Day is and how it is celebrated by us.
We included coloring sheets with both the flag of the United States of America and of their own countries (Kenya, Ethiopia, and Rwanda).
Also enclosed in their envelopes were stickers! We found adorable star stickers at a Christian bookstore that I thought went perfect with our theme of holiday celebration. The stars say 'Shine for Jesus!' and 'I am God's light!'.
It is fun thinking about them opening their letters and little gifts. Unfortunately, we are limited on what we can send them, but we hope they find joy in our ideas.
If you have any resources or ideas of your own for letter writing and gift giving, please do share!