Monday, March 29

How We Decided to Adopt. . Again

Ever since Jonathan came home from Guatemala in July 2007, we have felt that God wasn’t done growing our family.
Two months after Jonathan came home, Su wrote the following in her prayer journal (inspired by a scrapbook layout she had seen in a magazine years ago):

These 4 are enough. . .
These 4 fill my days and nights and sometimes beyond
These 4 are brimming with my hopes and prayers
These 4 fill my homes with an obscene amount of laundry and mess and dirt and noise
These 4 can't hold any more of my love

But there's room in our home for at least one more
There's room in our van for one more
There's room in our hearts for one more
We have all this extra love that's missing a child

Over the past 2 1/2 years, the thoughts of another child have grown not only in us, but our children as well. One night, Rob and Brooke were driving by a huge mansion. Brooke out of the blue said, “We could have lots of kids if we lived there.” And almost immediately Rob had this overwhelming sense that there were more Soutters to come.
One time during worship at church, David saw a picture in his head of our whole family in a plane flying to Africa.

And then one night before bed, while praying, David asked God to speak to him. David told us that he got a picture in his head of a hand holding up 4 fingers. But he said the thumb was missing.

David said the picture was God telling him something was missing, but he could not figure out what. Su and Rob looked at each other, knowing what was missing.
Anna’s heart broke for the orphan when she and Rob took a missions trip to Guatemala the summer or 2008. They loved on the children in many orphanages including the one where Jonathan had lived.

And then Anna read an article in American Girl magazine about a family that had 20 kids, 5 biological and 15 adopted. And since then, Anna has asked, and sometimes begged for us to have more children.

This is the same girl who was not excited when we told her we were adopting a little boy from Guatemala because it was one more sibling to get into her things.

From September 2007 to February 2010, the desires grew and the confirmations came. We felt we were ready, like we had our bags packed, that we were even in the car with our seat belts buckled, but God had not said go.

On February 2, we talked and prayed and asked God if it was time to move. Neither of us heard anything. The following day, on the way to work, Rob felt like God said “Go. It is time.”

That afternoon we called Adoption Ministry of YWAM: Ethiopia and began the process. As we took the first step, we prayed for the $600 application fee to go with it.

The next day Su’s dad called and left a message on the answering machine saying he had a surprise for her. The surprise was a check; Su’s grandma had recently passed away and Su’s dad wanted to share… the check covered the application fee.

Coincidence? Maybe? But we saw it as God’s perfect timing, God saying, “See, I really did say go. I will provide. I love this little boy in Ethiopia more than you.”

Tuesday, March 23

Another Crisis of Belief

The last paragraph of our most recent post titled Water Walkers was this:

"There will be more obstacles, many. There will be times when it seems there is no way. But that's what it is like when you go water walking."

And indeed today we are faced with a crisis of belief.

We got an email today from our agency stating that although the MOWA in Oromio opened, now the Addis (capital of Ethiopia) MOWA has closed.

This MOWA (Ministry of Women's Affairs) approves all letters issued by the various offices in the Oromia region. This closure means that court dates cannot be issued and children are "stuck" until they can get a final stamp of approval from this office.

And so we are faced again with the choice: do we look at the circumstances or do we look at Jesus?

We sure would appreciate your prayers for our little boy and the other 4.4 million!!! orphans in Ethiopia.

Monday, March 22

Water Walking

If you are familiar with the story of Jesus walking on water, you know that His friend Peter joined Him, walking on the waves. Peter saw God at work and asked if he could join. Next thing Peter knew, he was climbing out of the boat and onto the sea. But as Peter approached Jesus, he got fixed on the wind and the waves. He got scared, and he started to sink.
God could have removed the wind and the waves. He could have made the sea calm as glass, but He didn't.

As we stepped out to start another adoption adventure, God did not remove the waves. 2 days after we signed up with YWAM, the agency stopped accepting families.

The Ministry of Women's Affairs (MOWA) in the region of Ethiopia where our agency's orphanages are located had been closed for the last 6 months while they restructured and restaffed. Our agency kept hearing that MOWA would reopen any day but any day was not coming. So what that meant was no adoptions could be processed, no referrals could be issued, and no new children could be admitted to the orphanages. It was the first time ever that our agency had more families than children-which is crazy because there are million of orphaned kids in Ethiopia (the reasons why in another post). And for that reason, they decided to stop taking new families-2 days after we were accepted to the program.

Like Peter our first reaction was one of fear. Oh no, they are shutting down. Will we be able to get a child? What if we do all this work for nothing? We tried not to worry but wondered if we missed God. And tried to figure out why He would direct us to this agency and then have it "shut" 2 days afterwards.

But just like Peter, God was there to grab us. He quickly reminded us that He was in control. Sure, everything looked hopeless. But this was God's story and we had been here before. We know that when you step out to follow God, you are going to be met with wind and waves. We know that there are no certainties with international adoption (like when we lost the referral of a child during our first adoption). Like Peter we needed to keep our eyes on Jesus. The timing of our journey was no accident.

Last week we received an email saying that the MOWA opened!! We praised God and thanked him for taking care of us and the son we have yet to meet. God's plans are never thwarted by the things that seem too big or hopeless to us!

There will be more obstacles, many. There will be times when it seems there is no way. But that's what it is like when you go water walking.

Sunday, March 21

Why no posts

So I have gotten on this new blog about every other day and I try to post. There is much to share. And I start to type and then I delete. It is too big. . much bigger than me. And perhaps that is it. . here I am in the midst of something so much bigger than me that I cannot find the words to describe or explain or do it justice. Thus I feel insecure at the keyboard.

But oh, I so want ya'll to be a part of the journey. I so want to give God the glory for the things He is doing. There is a battle waging, but I am determined to press through. Come back for a new post tomorrow.

Friday, March 5

Are We Crazy?

I heard it again today, "Are you out of your mind?" As people have found out that we are adopting again and thus choosing to add another child to our family, choosing to raise 5 kids. . .I daily hear some version of "Are you crazy?"

I smile. I am not offended. We are crazy. Rob and I are crazy in love with each other, more so now that when we first got married 17 years ago. We are crazy in love with our four children who are now 12, 10, 9, and 3. And we are crazy in love with God who has changed our lives. And thus we want to be faithful to what we feel like He is calling us to do.

Crazy is a compliment. I see it as synonymous with "Wow, you take this God thing for real!" Or "You are a risk taker for Jesus, or a sacrificer for Jesus, or a servant of Jesus." And that is who I really want to be; I do not want to be a lukewarm, go to church, sing a few songs Christian. So when I hear, "Are you crazy" I smile!!

Oh, I mess up a lot. I am even a little embarrassed to write the above because God is so good and so perfect and so loving and I don't always represent Him well. At the same time, that is the heart of the Bible message. God takes plain ordinary broken people and invites them into a beautiful, adventurous, often crazy relationship.

Wednesday, March 3

Welcome!!

Perhaps you came to this lil' blog because we sent you a letter letting you know that we are adopting again or perhaps you came here thru my other blog The Intentional Home. . .or perhaps you just stumbled across it. Whatever the way. . welcome!!

There are 3 purposes of this blog:

1. to chronicle the story "only God could write" as we launch out to bring home our 5th child from Ethiopia.

We were witness to a beautiful story when we stepped out and began the journey to bring Jonathan home from Guatemala and I am sure I will share pieces of that story as we go along on this blog.

Jonathan aka J-boy is our 4th child. We have 4 kids right now, 3 biological and 1 adopted. Here we are:

I am Su. My husband is Rob. And the kids are Anna, David, Brooke, and J-boy.

So we know there is another beautiful story this time around. . .a different one this time around, but just as beautiful.

2. to keep friends and family in the loop as to where we are in the process and guesstimate how much longer til our son comes home

3, And one more. . to encourage those of you who stop by or stumble upon this lil' blog that God has a story that only He could write for YOU, too.

Click here for my most recent post.

My goal is to post every week. . we will see how that goes :) If you'd rather have my posts sent to your email instead of having to check in and see if I really did post . . . then I would encourage you to look over at the right hand sidebar up towards the top and enter your email address or those of you who are use to blogs. . you can subscribe in a reader too.

Monday, March 1

Contact Me

You can email me at

susoutter at bellsouth dot net

You need to use @ and . I had to write it this way so spammers wouldn't find my email address.