Friday, October 31, 2008

A Renewed Spirit and Steadfast Hope....

What a range of emotions we have experienced these last few days! Tuesday was a truly tough day for us, and we thank God for all the support and encouragement we received from our family, friends, and our wonderful Yahoo Group (YG). The Lord used them in our lives in a wonderful way and we are so very grateful. We are also grateful for the renewed spirit and steadfast hope that He has given us during this (hopefully) final journey of our adoption process. Honestly, I wasn't sure how I was going to make it until mid-December. Thankfully, my sweet, Godly husband helped me to refocus on God's faithfulness, and God was just that....faithful! Even Tuesday night we could sense a renewed presence of the Lord in our lives and we went to sleep in peace....undoubtedly this only came from Him! Sure, we still feel a twinge of disappointment in our hearts every now and then, but we are thankful for how this experience has strengthened our faith and reminded us that our hope should only be in the Lord our God. That's a tough lesson to learn :)

So, the exciting news! We have a HUGE travel group!! Well, I say exciting, but actually it is bittersweet. Unfortunately, our large travel group is due to the fact that other families also did not pass court. Not only this, but families who received their referrals a little later than us and were to travel before Christmas most likely will now not travel until after Christmas, which is very, very tough news to swallow. Our travel group now consists of the following families: Sloninger, Stager, Witter, Joner, Tenant, Savage and Sparr families. We are praying that each and every one of these families will be rejoicing on December 2 when we all pass court!! Please, be praying!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

News About Our Court Date

Friends and Family,

We have bad news to share about our court date. It was this morning. Everything was in place for Caleb's paperwork, except that there are two children in the transition home with Caleb's Ethiopian name, Bedlu. The approval letter for the other child was sent, and when the judge recognized this, he did not approve our case.

Our new court date is December 2. If we pass, we will travel on Dec. 13th.

The irony in all this is that in some weird way I felt like God was preparing us for this news. I didn't want to believe it, but I just felt it. I am reading a Bible study right now by Kay Arthur, "Lord, Only You Can Change Me". In my study, just last night, I read these words: "Listen, my friend, as difficult as it might be to receive right now, you ought to open your arms and welcome anything that will break you, that will bend your knees, that will bring you to utter destitution before your God."

As I read that last night, I thought, "The one thing that would do that to me would be if we didn't get to go get Caleb when we were scheduled to..."

Also, the song that I was going to play on our video to introduce Caleb to everyone is "Be Still and Know" by Steven Curtis Chapman. The lyrics say:

Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is holy
Be still, O restless soul of mine
Bow before the Prince of peace
Let the noise and clamor cease
Be still
Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is faithful
Consider all that he has done
Stand in awe and be amazed
And know that He will never change
Be still
Be Still, and know that He is God
Be Still, and know that He is God
Be Still, and know that He is God
Be Still; Be speechless
Be still and know that he is God
Be still and know he is our Father
Come rest your head upon his breast
Listen to the rhythm of his unfailing heart of love
Beating for His little ones
Calling each of us to come
Be still, Be still

So, that is what we will do, for the next several weeks. Though we don't know why or how this could have happened....we will be still, and know that He is God.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Erin & Court This Week!!!

We had a great time this weekend in North Carolina spending time with Zack's
step-grandmother and celebrating Erin's (Zack's sister) 30th birthday!
Evelyn, Erin, Zack, Micah, Me, Punky & Mark
The Girls :)

Happy Birthday Erin!!

This coming week we have court! We do not know which day, we just know it is this week. Please be praying for us, the Juvinall family, and the Armstrong family (our travel buddies :) As long as we pass court, we will travel on the tentative dates we were given, November 15-21st. I have been trying very hard to not be anxious or worry about our court date, and to rest in God's provisions for our family. I will admit, it has been tough! If we do not pass court for some reason, the chances that we would get to bring home Caleb before Christmas are very, very slim. This would be very difficult for our family to not have him home for Christmas.
This morning our pastor used a text from Luke that really spoke to me.... "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" Luke 12:25
Isn't this true!! I know that worry is no good, and that God doesn't want me to worry. And really, I have no need to! I know that God is in control and that he is holding my entire family in his hands! I am thankful that we have such a caring and loving God. He loves us more than we can imagine!
I will be sure to let you know anything at all we hear about court!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Preparing for Caleb's Arrival...Baby Shower!!!

The cute and very yummy!
Our " charm" cake....

With my sister-in-law Micah, and Frances and Jessica, my great friends The grandparents (minus my dad...he was a little late:)
Pulling the charm out of our charm cake.

This was a very special moment and we did this just with our family.

The charm....
A little of the chaos after the shower :)
The awesome red wagon Caleb got isn't in here....but it is sooo cool!!!
Caleb, you have a new pal waiting for you!

Today we had Caleb's baby shower! What a wonderful and special day. The shower began with a very special time of blessings. Blessing were read from the Bible by friends and family. The blessings were for Caleb and us. It was such a precious experience as we heard promises from God's word for our family. Next we all enjoyed very yummy food and cake, and finally we opened lots and lots of gifts!! Thank to everyone for their generosity! We are blessed! A very special thank you to my mom and mother-in-law (or as she says, mother-in-love, which I think is very sweet :) They worked so hard, and I had a great time with them this weekend. Caleb is going to have a couple of great grandma's!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Okay people, just got an email earlier today....they have moved us up a week! That's right, our new travel dates are:

November 15-21!!

Praise the Lord!! We will get to meet Caleb (if we pass court) a week earlier, and avoid all the Thanksgiving airline craziness!!

So, we are def. thinking our court date must be the last week in October!!

Also, it seems that all the families with court dates this week have passed!! Congrats Britton, Laughner, Hammond & Nunez families! Now go check out those beautiful babies!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

We'll Be Spending Thanksgiving in Ethiopia!!

Well, looks like we will be celebrating Thanksgiving Ethiopia style! That's right, our tentative travel dates are November 21-28!! I have to admit, I was a bit shocked by the actual dates, as there is quite a gap between the previous travel group and ours (the other group will leave November 1st), but we are very excited to know when we most likely will travel, and to know that Caleb will be with us by Thanksgiving!

Of course, there is always the chance that we will not pass court. We really believe this will not happen, as Caleb was abandoned, as compared to being relinquished, so the paperwork is simplified. Also, our agency has worked very hard in making sure that all the documents needed will be in place. I shudder to think about what will happen if we don't pass, as I don't see anyway possible of bringing Caleb home before Christmas if that were to happen. So, please be praying!

Given our travel dates, we estimate that our court date should be the first week In November, as in the week of November 3-7. It could be earlier, however, we just don't know. But, the first week in November is our best guess.

Thanks for all the prayers, and keep them coming!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

No News Yet....

Still no news on tentative travel dates....maybe later this week? I admit, I have had trouble focusing on "everyday life things" while waiting to find out this news.....this part of the wait is not so fun....well, I guess no part has been fun, but it has been beneficial, I know. God has taught us, despite our resistance, how to begin to rest totally in him...not in updates, travel dates, etc.....just in Him! I have a feeling that this is one of those lessons that you have to be reminded of, or even relearn throughout life. Thankfully, his mercies are new each morning.

The group of families leaving November 1st for Ethiopia have been told that their court dates are this week, but do not know when. How exciting! We are praying for all of them to pass so that they may be united with their children as planned. I can't imagine how much trouble I will have focusing once I know our "court week"!!!

I am also very sad to tell you that another precious child in Ethiopia with our agency has passed away from pneumonia. Please keep the Forrest family in your prayers as they deal with the loss of their daughter.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Travel Call & Families Passing Court!

Yesterday we had a second conference call regarding travel to Ethiopia. During the course of the call, we found out some more information about what our time in Ethiopia will look like. Most importantly, we were told that Monday we will be emailed our tentative travel dates! This is what we have been waiting for!!!

One area of concern that was brought up during the call was the fact that there is a formula shortage in Ethiopia. Our family coordinator told us that the transitional home in Ethiopia is fine, but one of the orphanages where many of the babies come from is running very this point, they only have maybe two weeks of formula left! Many of the families, including ours, are going to send over cans of formula with the families who will be leaving to pick up their children on October 25th. If you feel led to help, please email me ( and I will be glad to tell you how you can help! Also, please keep the entire country of Ethiopia in your prayers. The economic situation there is not good, and this effects everyone, but hits the children extra hard. Costs have risen tremendously, and times are tough. Imagine the economic situation here and multiply that by 100....

Also, an update on families passing court. Congrats to the Lusse, Redfern, Wempe, and Schmidt families as they all successfully passed court on October 8th!! Be sure to check out their blogs (links to the right) to see their adorable children! Unfortunately, due to new regulations that were not fully disclosed to agencies, the VanWetten, Hutchinson, and Wistrom families did not pass court. Basically, if the child has been relinquished, it will no longer suffice for the birthparents to be present to give their testimony. A letter must also be present, and this letter was not present for these families, as our agency was not made aware of these new regulations. They will now to wait around one month before their case can be heard again. Please pray for these families...I can't imagine how their hearts must be hurting as they wait to unite with their children!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What we Know, and What we Don't Know....

Wow! I just realized it has been a while since I posted. We have been super, super busy with events at church, graduate class, updating our fingerprints with USCIS, and lots of other things!

Well, first of all, the courts in Ethiopia opened about a week early, which is great news! Tomorrow is the first round of court dates for some of our AWAA families, so please keep them in your prayers!

We did hear some news about travel at the end of last week. Unfortunately, we will not be traveling with the November 1st-8th travel group. We had thought for sure that we would most likely be traveling with this group based on the information that we had heard and observed, but it was not to be. Last weekend was a little tough in light of that new information, but I think we are over the disappointment now, and we are definitely looking forward to finding out when we will travel and who our travel buddies will be :) We are speculating that our travel dates could be November 8th-November 15th or November 15th-November 22nd....of course we are praying for the earlier dates :)

We have another conference call regarding travel coming up on Thursday, so we should know more then. We also received an update on Caleb last week....he seems to be doing great and is healthy, strong, and interacting with all his buddies in the transition home. Oh, and he is getting more hair! He may have a full head of hair when we meet him :)