Saturday, May 28

We leave tomorrow!!

We leave tomorrow. 4am. To travel 1/2 way around the world and drastically change the life of our family and little Galeta.

Here is a pic of Galeta taken yesterday. . it was after lunch and all the kids were suppose to be taking a nap.

I cannot believe I get to be this boy's mom. . .that I get to love him, and teach him, and disciple him, and be part of his healing. . .it makes me cry. I cannot believe God asked me?? I so wish more could experience this. . .it is crazy!!

We will land in Ethiopia on Monday morning and go get Galeta. We will spend Monday and Tuesday playing with Galeta at the guest house and possibly go shop at the market. On Wednesday all 3 of us go to our Embassy appointment. On Thursday we are supposed to go back to the orphanage where they will have a good-bye celebration. On Friday we pick up Galeta's visa and board the plane that night. After almost 24 hours of travel we will arrive in Raleigh on Saturday afternoon.

Our biggest prayer request is for Galeta. We know he is excited, but this will be a monumental transition. Can you imagine all the thoughts in his head as he enters this strange new land and brand new family? There will be nothing familiar. He has never been on a plane, eaten Cheerios, ridden a bike, seen so many white people... the list could go on for pages. And he won't speak English! So please pray for lots of peace as he makes this jump.

Thanks for sharing the journey with us. . now is when the real adventure begins!!

Friday, May 20

Galeta is Coming Home!!

On Sunday, May 29th we will board a plane and head to Ethiopia.

From Monday, May 30th on, Mommy, Daddy, and Galeta will finally be together!! Forever!

Here's a picture of Galeta that was taken just last week.

We have an Embassy date of Wed, June 1 where we apply for a visa. Our visa will be ready Friday, June 3 and we will leave for home. . all 3 of us that night.

Our plane lands on Sat, June 4 at 1:45pm. . .and that is when the real adventure begins!!

We are busy preparing for travel. . .I will be posting info on the blog. . prayer requests for when we travel. . need of items to take down to Ethiopia. . .info about meeting us at the airport, if you desire.

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More soon. Thanks for coming alongside us.

Monday, May 16

Galeta Gets a Letter from Us!!

We sent Galeta a few pictures and a letter. . . via a couple who is traveling this week to bring their son home. Here is Abdissa, our attorney showing Galeta the pictures and the letter, see it on the desk?

The letter read:

Dear Galeta-

We miss you. We pray for you everyday. We want to be with you.

There is still some paperwork that needs to be done and then we can come be with you. We are praying we get to be with you soon.

When we come to Ethiopia, we will spend a few days there and then Mommy, Daddy, and you will get on an airplane and fly to America.

We love you very much. We will always love you. We will take good care of you.

And then we put a picture of the 3 of us together when we were in Ethiopia,

and a picture of his 4 siblings telling him they were excited to play with him, and a picture of our van since last time we were there he was fascinated with vans and when we told him we had a van, he wanted to see it.

Please pray that we will be together forever soon.

Friday, May 13

Deja Vu: Our Case Was Submitted

So we got an email this Wed (May 11) that said our case was submitted to the Embassy Tuesday, May 10.

NOT last Tuesday as originally communicated.

I am emotionally frazzled.

I have been checking my email every 5 minutes.

I have been getting up in the middle of the night to check my email (because Ethiopia is 7 hours ahead of us).

And then thoughts like "what if my email is not communicating with the Embassy's email and I missed the email" keep running thru my mind.

I have not been able to concentrate on anything. . .and have been glued to my computer.

And I have been like that all last week, now I know. . . needlessly

And then here I am again this week.

So AGAIN, I sure would appreciate prayers that our case passes thru with no red flags. . that nothing needs to be investigated further. . and that we are simply assigned travel dates. We should hear the end of this week or early next week. . .maybe.

And I would appreciate prayers for the grace to "Be still, and know He is God". I would appreciate prayers that I realize who I am really waiting on. . that I am able to look back at God's long track record of perfect timing and faithfulness. Because as my girlfriend reminded me (cause I am barely thinking straight)::

You are not waiting on the Embassy.

You are not waiting for an email.

You are actually waiting on Him.

Tuesday, May 3

Our Case Was Submitted!

We JUST heard that our case was submitted to the US Embassy today.

Sure would appreciate prayers that our case passes thru with no red flags. . that nothing needs to be investigated further. . and that we are simply assigned travel dates.

We should hear in a few days. Thursday is a holdiay in Ethiopia. . .Patriot's Victory Day and commemorates the liberation from Italian occupation by the Allied Forces during the East African Campaign of 1941. . . so perhaps we will hear something Friday or early next week.

For about a month now, we have been praying that God would give us a visa by May 15th, a date we feel like was placed in our hearts. From an earthly perspective, this is not very likely. From the other perspective, our God is the King of the Universe who can do anything.

Either way, we rejoice that we are one step closer to bringing our son home.

Sunday, May 1

Why Are Things Taking So Long? Where's God?

It has been 3 months since we passed Ethiopian court. It has been 3 months since we met Galeta. We were emailed a recent picture. We almost did not recognize him with his shaved head:
We still are not in the Embassy.

The US Embassy is now requesting that all documents from Ethiopia include a lot of information that was not previously required. The US Embassy is also expecting that all names and dates match perfectly, which is not a strength of the Ethiopian culture. Galeta's name has been spelled Galeta, Geleta, Galata.

Prior to these new requirements from the Embassy, it took 6 weeks from court approval to Embassy submission.
Seems like our case is caught between the new rules and the old rules. Seems like we would have been grandfathered in under old rules since we had passed court so long ago, but no, more paperwork is being collected and since Galeta is from Gimbie, a village 12 hours from the capital, each new piece of paperwork, each piece that needs to be corrected is taking a while.

We are weary. We pray that Galeta knows we are true to our word and we will come back. We pray that the fact Galeta is getting lab work done and going to doctor appts. .all required by the Embassy. . .signals to him that our reunion is coming soon.

Sometimes when people hear of all the delays and obstacles, they ask questions like:
"Do these delays make you wonder if you missed God?" "Do they make you wonder if God doesn't want you to adopt?"

The answer is "No. No, the delays, bumps in the road, and obstacles do not make us wonder if we missed God." For starters we are very sure of the call God first gave us. We know the desire he place in the heart of all 6 of us. We vividly remember how the kids jumped up and down shouting for joy when we announced the decision to move forward and adopt again.

We also look at the way God has provided over the last year. How He brought Galeta into the orphanage the day before our dossier was accepted, how He provided $40,000, and how He connected us with a Raleigh family adopting Galeta's friends.

Lastly, we know that obstacles and delays are a part of following God. Many times when we step out in faith, we expect God to open the heavens and pave a clear path. But that is not the way it works. Typically when we step out, trials come. We see this pattern throughout the Bible:

Noah starts building an ark and his neighbors start making fun of him.
Moses asks Pharaoh to let his people go and Pharaoh says "no" (ten times!)
When Peter stepped out on the water, the wind and waves didn't stop. It almost appears as though the wind and waves got bigger once Peter got out of the boat.

No, obstacles and delays don't make us question the call of God, quite the opposite. We know adoption is on God's heart. We also know that satan hates adoption and would love nothing more than to keep us from our boy. We understand that obstacles and delays are a part of following God. We pray that we meet those obstacles with a faith and an attitude that honors Jesus.

1 Peter 1: 6-7 says:

In this (salvation) you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief and all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.