The latest update is........Monday morning we found out that the embassy would not accept our case "as is" and decided that whatever the judge ruled should be the procedure that is followed . Of course we were very disappointed as we knew this decision would increase the time that Noah would be away from us. The hardest part of the news was that our agency (whom we appreciate being very honest with us) informed us that they could not predict a time frame for correcting the case and traveling to Ethiopia, given the fact that these new guidelines were so new they had never had to operate under them. Monday we felt very discouraged and honestly didn't have a lot of hope of bringing Noah home anytime this year.
Thankfully Tuesday afternoon our agency contacted us with some good news, Praise the Lord!!! They feel that MOST LIKELY the case can be completed satisfactorily in two weeks, which would allow us to attend embassy on November 17th, and would have us leaving for Ethiopia in a little over two weeks! This is great news as we feared it would take several weeks before we would be able to attend embassy. Of course there is no guarantee of anything, but they seem very positive and we, too, have a spirit of peace and contentment with this news. Praise God!
Despite our frustration and disappointment during the last few weeks, God is truly in control and does have a plan. A dear friend stopped by our home Tuesday night and shared with us what God had been revealing to her about suffering. While I wouldn't call what we have been enduring the last couple weeks "suffering", I think the same wisdom she shared applies to our situation. The last thing most of us want to do when faced with difficult circumstances or situations is to embrace or welcome the hard times. But isn't that exactly what we should do? God's word tell us in 1 Peter that the grief we suffer from various trials have come so that our faith, which is of far greater value than gold, may be proved genuine and may result in bringing praise and honor to Jesus Christ. You see, the more trials that come, the more opportunities for God to refine our faith, and make us more like Jesus. This is such a hard attitude to have in the midst of suffering, I will be the first to admit. Sometimes I feel like the man who called out to Jesus in Mark 9:24, "Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!"
Last Sunday we began revival services at our church. We had our final service last night. I can't tell you how God used these services to speak to my heart, and I don't think anyone would deny that God is moving among our congregation. I have been so challenged, convicted, encouraged and strengthened. And it could not have come at a more pivotal time in our lives, as we prepare our home to welcome another precious child, another son that God has entrusted to us on this earth. The focus of the pastor's sermons were largely on the spirit of God and prayer. Oh how we need to surrender our lives to His spirit each and every day (and for me, each and every second of every day :) I know that I can not be the wife, mother, daughter and friend I want to be without allowing His spirit to have free reign in my heart and mind.
Prayerfully we will have more good news to share soon, and of course some Halloween pictures of Caleb, uh, I mean Scooby Doo coming soon :)