Monday, October 30, 2006

Today Is A New Day

Dear Friends and Family,

First, thank you for showing us what it means to be overwhelmed by the love of God through people this past week. We received so many emails and phone calls that we were blown away by the amount of compassion shown by the people in our lives.

Well, last Thursday was a bad, bad, bad day for our family and for 10 other families with our agency as well. But, it's a new day and so we choose to keep on walking down this path that God has set before us, trusting in His sovereignty. The problem is that our agency's liscence to operate in Ethiopia has expired and though they have submitted all of the requested documents to the Ethiopian government for the renewal of their liscence, the renewal has just not come throuh yet. Evidently, many agencies have submitted their paperwork recently, which has created much for the government to sort through. Until our agency's liscence is renewed, the judge will not hear our case. Tigist, the woman handling our adoption in Ethiopia, was told to check back with the government later this coming week. Additionally, a portion of our US immigration paperwork is set to expire soon and given this recent delay, we will need to get it renewed. Normally, this process takes three months, but we are asking for God's favor that it be expedited as not to cause even more undue delay in bringing Yosef and Mihret home.

After we recovered from the inital blow of our adoption being put on hold last week, we both still firmly believe that this is a spiritual battle that we must fight with spiritual weapons. We are asking all who would like to, to join us to pray and fast this Wednesday. Just as the Israelites prayed and fasted before Queen Esther approached the King, we believe that Tigist needs us to pray and fast for her before she returns to the government officials on Thursday or Friday.

We are praying 1) that God grant Tigist favor, 2) for the quick renewal of our agency's liscence, 3) that we quickly be reassigned a courtdate, 4) and that our family's paperwork that is expiring will be expidited through our state immigration office.

To all who have sought God on behalf of these children, our heartfelt gratitude doesn't begin to explain how thankful we are that you have labored alongside us for our children.

With Grateful Hearts,

Avery and Heather

Saturday, October 28, 2006

A New Day, A New Prayer

Today is a new day. I would rather stay in bed and cry, but that wouldn't be a very responsible thing for me to do, now would it?! Kaitlyn and Lucas would have to make their own lunch! So, it's time to get back up and keep on going. I like the verse in Ephesians that says, "And when the day of evil comes, having done everything to stand, STAND!" And knowing that we have done everything we can do to see Mihret and Yosef come home to our family, we continue to stand.

I have been so touched by the overwhelming support and love that has been shown to our family since our case was "put on hold" last week. To all of you who have prayed for us, thank you. We have felt your prayers. As difficult as it was to hear of yet another delay in bringing our babies home, God's love for us was very near.

And yet our hearts are still so broken. My babies are 10,000 miles away from me tonight. This needs to be changed soon.

The woman in Ethiopia who handles adoptions for our agency is supposed to check back late next week to see if their liscence renewal has been approved. I am inviting anyone and everyone to join us on Wednesday to fast and pray for her. Her name is Tigist. We're asking that God grant her favor and that when she checks back, she will receive good news. Our agency needs to receive their liscence renewal in order for my kids to come home, so that's what we're praying for. To all who join us in this fast, we are so very grateful. What you do for a child, you do a million times over for the child's mother.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


This is the first time today that I could actually bring myself to get on the computer and check my email, blog, etc. But, because I know there are so many people out there who have prayed for us and are waiting to hear how our courtdate went today, I had to write something...

Our courtdate did not go through today. It seems that our agency is having some problem in getting their liscence renewed in Ethiopia. We are "on hold" as our agency put it. I don't know how long this means...

There just aren't words...our hearts are so broken tonight...

Good news coming soon we hope. Thank you all for your prayers and support.

Monday, October 23, 2006

YaLejochae Manyata Baetoch- "My Kids' Rooms"

What does one do during the last days of pregnancy? Well, you decorate the nursery and make it looks oh so perfect for when the baby comes home, right? I think that Yosef and Mihret might not like it if I decorated a nursery for them, but I think they are going to love their new rooms that they'll share with Kaitlyn and Lucas! My mother-in-law sent Lucas and Yosef an early Christmas present in the mail today. It was the coolest glow-in-the-dark outerspace sheets (both summer and flannel!), comforters, and a bedskirt! She had already given Kaitlyn and Mihret matching Disney princess flannel sheets and quilts.

I had so much fun getting their beds all ready today. It was even more fun than decorating a nursery, as these kids are going to notice the decor, unlike a baby! I can't say for sure that they'll like it or appreciate it, but they'll definitely notice! :)

Kaitlyn, my aspiring artist colored the signs for on their bedroom doors last year. Lucas has been sleeping in Yosef's bed for several months now. He says he's keeping it warm for his brother until he gets here. He was quite upset with me when I made the rule today that he would have to start sleeping in his own bed so that Yosef's bed would stay ready for him to come home. I wish I could get inside his 4-year-old mind and understand his logic sometimes!

To my wonderful mother-in-law, THANK YOU!!!!! Not only for these wonderful beds, but for all the fun I had today in preparing for this soon-to-be homecoming! I cannot wait until I can tuck all four of my blessings, burakaewochae, into their little beds. Soon...

Friday, October 20, 2006

Passing The Time

I'm doing my best to stay busy while we wait for our courtdate to come! For a while now, I've had a compulsive need to check my email multiple times a day, as I knew that when there was news on my kids, it would be sent to me in an email. Well, now that I have a courtdate scheduled, that compulsion has suddenly lifted! What a relief too. I was spending far too much time on the computer and far too little time in "real life."

So, to keep busy, I got my injera starter out of the fridge and successfully revived it this week. My injera is near perfect in appearance and quite good in taste. My only problem is that if it sits around for more than half a day, it gets dried out. It doesn't seem to matter whether I cover it or not. And if I refrigerate it, I might as well forget it. Also, it's darker than what I've purchased commercially. Any thoughts on this?

We invited some people over for Ethiopian food last night and their 4 year old spent the night. When I tucked her into bed, I asked her if she liked the Ethiopian food. She wrinkled up her little nose and said very definitively, "NO!" I asked her why not and she said, "Because it's from China!" At least she gave me a good laugh! Kaitlyn on the other hand has decided that injera is her favorite food now and that she loves Ethiopian food, which I don't think is really true, but hey- whatever floats her boat is fine with me.

I've decided that my life has become completely unstructured. My problem is some sort of adult ADD. It's where adults start one task, get distracted by another, then another, then another, and eventually realize that nothing ever actually got finished, yet work was done the entire day and there's nothing to show for it at bed time. Sound familiar to anybody?! So, I'm going to begin putting some boundaries around how I spend my time. Avery said it's all about prioritizing! :) So, because the boundary I have established for my blog is that I need to finish by 8:30 this morning, I'm signing off with one final plea to anybody who is willing to take 30 seconds out of their day, PLEASE pray that Yosef and Mihret's courtdate goes smoothly next Thursday!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Our Flight!!!!

Due to the fact that our paperwork expires at the end of November, we are going to have to go to Ethiopia to get Yosef and Mihret a few weeks earlier than our agency probably would like. But we're in a predicament of sorts. So, since Ethiopian flights can fill up fast, we don't want to risk not getting a seat. So, we've booked our flights! We are scheduled to leave our house on Sunday, November 12. That means that by Tuesday afternoon (Ethiopian time), November 14 I will be with Yosef and Mihret in Addis!!!!!

This means that we need for our courtdate to go smoothly. So, if you're the praying type, I really hope you'll remember to pray that this goes smoothly. Most of the rest of this adoption has been a terribly bumpy ride, but I think that this would be a great time for the road to even out a little bit! What can I say? God is ALWAYS good!

Friday, October 13, 2006


I asked my Amharic speaking friend in Chicago how to translate "yipeeeee" into Amharic, but she hasn't responded! I think she was too excited about this wonderful thing that has happened in our family!

So, baring any further delays, in less than 2 weeks, Yosef and Mihret will be MINE!!!! We have been waiting for this courtdate for over a year now. And what a difficult, wild year it's been! I've probably cried enough tears this year to fill a small lake. And yet, not one of those tears has fallen without God's notice. I think that as my heart has been filled with anguish over my children, His heart has been filled with anguish for me, His daughter. Yet, in the darkest moments, when I honestly thought I couldn't keep fighting, God always gave me just a little bit more fight in my spirit so that I could continue on. He has given me so many "cheerleaders" who have listened to me, cried with me, and loved me throughout this process. He is so good. And so faithful.

Yet my heart is also broken today, as there are a few kids who have been "stuck" for a very long time, just like my Yosef and Mihret, but their names were not listed as having received courtdates. Please, as you read, just take 30 seconds to pray for Kelem, Bethlehem, and Adonai.

Well, I thought our paperwork expired in January. Guess what?! I got it out last night to double check it and discovered that it expires at the end of November! I'm glad I didn't know about that, as it would have just been one more thing to keep me stressed! However, that puts us in a real time crunch. We can either pay $700 that we don't have, drive 4 hours one way to get our fingerprints done for the FBI, then wait several months for the results. OR, we can make sure we get those kids home before our paperwork expires! We're opting for choice #2 (DUH!!!!). So, that means that EVERYTHING else in this process needs to go smoothly for a change with no further delays!

Yet, as my dear friend Rosa reminded me in an email this morning, God has been so faithful thus far, and I have no reason to believe He would leave us stranded right here at the very end. Indeed, God is faithful to a thousand generations.

AND, this "nesting" instinct has finally kicked in good and hard, and I have miraculously been motivated to paint my upstairs bathroom! I've had the paint for months, but couldn't bring myself to apply it! But, low and behold, it's going on today! :)



Thursday, October 12, 2006

YeLucas Fotowoch- Pics of Lucas

Lucas with my best friend's 3 month old baby. Don't you love the expression?! After I temporarily babysat this baby for about a month, Lucas has decided that he wants a baby. I didn't make the mistake of telling him to "pray for a baby" because I know how God honors the prayers of children and I really don't think I want another baby! I loved snuggling with this baby, but they tire me out too much...Yea, like adding a 5 year old and a 9 year old to our family won't tire me out, huh?! I have to admit though, it does look pretty natural to see Lucas with this little baby...let's just say that it would take a miracle to convince Avery...maybe I should start a blog petition to get Avery to agree to adopting a baby...maybe a cute little baby from the US fostercare system...OKAY SELF!!!! SNAP OUT OF IT!!!!! :)

This is Lucas' latest bathtub trick. The scary thing is that sometimes he does it without holding his nose, so I'll come into the bathroom to check on him and he's just lying on the bottom of the tub with his entire face submerged in water and sometimes his eyes are wide open! Needless to say, I stay right by the bathroom these days when he's taking a "play bath" as he calls it!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hesenae!- "My Baby!"

I just got an email from a family who recently traveled to Ethiopia to bring their kids home. The woman said that school has started again following the rainy season and that my daughter is in school now! She's five and even though I've never met her, my heart feels that familiar sad, excitement in knowing that my baby is growing up! I wish I could have been the one to get her ready for her first day of school. I would have braided her hair with pretty beads. I bought her a new backpack for on the airplane. It's Dora the Explorer. She would have carried it to school with her and taken her lunch in her pink flower lunch box.'s okay though. I have walked this sad little journey long enough now to know that I can trust the plans that God has laid out for me and for my kids. I hope she learns a lot in the short months that she will be in school in Ethiopia. I hope she learns enough that she won't forget her launguage. I hope she learns how to read in Amharic. I've actually lamented the fact that without any schooling, I was afraid she wouldn't remember all of these things. So, truly, it is a burak, a blessing that she is in school now. But still, Hesenae!!!! My Baby!!!!!

Lucas's Wisdom

My four-year-old son is a very wise little guy. Our family prays everyday for our Ethiopian kids. Yesterday, knowing that the courts are now assigning courtdates, I prayed "Lord, please let us get our courtdate this week." Lucas said, "Mommy, we keep on asking God for "one week" and that just makes the time longer!" Not quite understanding, I assurred him that I understood how long it was seeming to take (That's an understatement!). He said, "No Mommy! Praying for "one week" takes a long time! Instead, we should pray for a courtdate tomorrow!" Duh! We're supposed to talk to God truthfully from our hearts, right? Well, my heart isn't really desiring a courtdate this week! I want a courtdate right now! So, we prayed again, this time specifically asking God for a courtdate "tomorrow" thanks to my most wise four-year-old!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Warm and Fuzzy

"Warm and Fuzzy"- I stole this title from Rich over at No More Counting the Cost. I just read this recent post of his, and it moved my heart deeply. This is exactly what the cry of Avery's and my heart is these days. The Mother Theresa quote says it all. I was so angry recently when somebody suggested that Africans are poor because they're not as smart as Americans! What a ridiculous notion! I guess I'm still a little bit fired up about it! Check out Rich's post: Warm and Fuzzy.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

YeKaitlyn Biciklaet!!- Kaitlyn's Bike!!!

On Saturday morning, Kaitlyn came to me an announced that she is old enough to ride a two-wheeler without training wheels now. Well, what can a mother say to such determination?! So, I assurred her that indeed, she is old enough and I took the risk of telling her that "today will be the day you learn to ride your bike." Sure enough, after just a little bit of trying, she was sailing along all by herself! She was so proud of herself too! Now, I do have to mention that we took her around the block on her bike and she was going so fast that she couldn't make a turn. She ended up hitting a car parked on the street and flying off her bike where she landed in the grass. Thank God for helmets! And for good rear bumpers too!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Ferd Bet (Hulet)- Courts(Two)

Well, I finally broke down and called our agency today. I already knew before I called that I'd be told "When we have news, we'll call you," but I thought I'd take a shot. At the very least, I was hoping for some sort of update. What I was told is that while the courts are opened, the judges have not yet returned, therefore, there will be no courtdates! NOT what I wanted to hear! Then, to top it off, I went home and in my mailbox was a picture of one of the most beautiful Ethiopian babies I have ever seen in my life. His name is Daniel, home from Ethiopia with his forever family for just a few weeks. Thank you to Daniel's mom for thinking of me! I'm serious, this is one of the cutest little boys I've ever seen. He's so tiny, just 12 pounds and nearly a year old. And he has the biggest eyes you can imagine. Well, while this is obviously a good thing, seeing this darling little baby with his new family was the last straw for me. The melt down that has threatened for weeks finally came. Now mind you, I think melt downs are good once in a while! All is well again. And I don't care if the judges are back or not; I'm still going to keep my ticker at the top of this blog! I have to have something to mark time and show progress!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Ferd Bet- Courts

Well, supposedly the ferd bet (courts) in Ethiopia that finalize adoptions are reopened now following a two month intercession during the rainy season. We still have not heard anything about the ferd bet or our case from our agency, but I know that families from other agencies are having their cases heard this week. So, I am cautiously hopeful and optimistic about our own two Ethiopian kids. I do know that their paperwork is 100% ready for their case to be heard. I'm about a million times worse than a 4 year old trying to sleep the night before he heads to Disney World!

Take notice of my new ticker at the top of my blog. Somehow, in a very troubled psychological way perhaps, I achieve a sense of satisfaction in seeing each day of this wait counted away by my ticker. Perhaps it's because it validates what has felt like an eternity by adding a day to my ticker each midnight. Well, when we hit the 12 month mark, my ticker ceased to count the days. Rather, it will count the weeks from here on out. But, I need to be validated each and every day! So, I've added a ticker to count the days since the ferd bet reopened. I am hoping that this ticker will only count one or two weeks away. Then, I can make a ticker that counts down the days until I leave to go to Ethiopia to bring my beautiful burak (blessings) home to our family at last!