Wednesday, December 29, 2010

We still mean it!

Below is the Christmas letter we mailed out along with our card this year. And even after the news of yesterday that rocked us and many other prospective Ethiopia adoptive families with our agency, we still mean it -- "And so we march on with the realization that we would wait years if it came to that, do all the paperwork over again, even, for her." Yeah, we weren't exactly counting on God calling us on that one, but with the new delay our fingerprints among other things will likely expire and need to be redone. Yesterday we were a little depressed, but today we say bring it, we're all in! Nobody said international adoption was for the faint of heart!

Text of our 2010 Christmas letter that was sent along with our card:

Hopefully you’re looking at the last official picture of us as a family of five!

We’ve been working with an agency for about 15 months to adopt a child (a girl between the ages of 0-30 months) from Ethiopia. We could have had a biological child in that time, but we wouldn't trade this adoption experience for anything. God has used it to change and grow our hearts in ways we never could have imagined!

There have been many points during the adoption process where we’ve just had to laugh. Like during the many trips to the bank where we had to get documents notarized and both of us had to be present to sign, so we’d take our kids with us and while we waited and they climbed, crawled and ran all over the bank, we prayed that nobody would notice it was adoption paperwork we were having notarized, because seriously, “One more kid is just what that family needs!”

Then my fingerprints that were done for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration came back as unclassifiable after going in for multiple attempts to let them fingerprint me! The fingerprints were for the visa that grants approval to be able to bring the child we adopt into the U.S. It sounds kinda cool to have unclassifiable prints, but in reality? Not so cool. Especially if you are not trying to live a life of crime, but rather trying to adopt a child from a foreign country!

We had no idea our city even had one Dept. of Homeland Security office before beginning the adoption journey but got to visit three in less than three months! The best was the final visit, when I had to take the toddler with me, he took one look at the sea of people sitting on folding chairs waiting for their turn and said loud enough for everyone within about 32 rows to hear, “Why are all these people just sitting here? What are they doing?!!” Exactly!

Within the next few weeks we expect to be matched with the specific girl we will adopt. We don't yet know her name, age, or what she looks like, but that doesn't really seem to matter right now, we wait, pray and love just the same. She may technically be an orphan but to us she is the beloved "Baby Sister" with a family waiting for her. A few months after being matched we will travel to Ethiopia twice, once to meet her and appear in Ethiopian court and the second trip is for our embassy appointment after which we’ll be able to bring her home. We are hoping to take our two older children, one on each of the trips.

Setbacks, delays, and waiting are all parts of many adoptions; they are certainly not unique to our story. And so we march on with the realization that we would wait years if it came to that, do all the paperwork over again, even, for her.

And that love does not come from us! We hate paperwork, waiting, and often are overwhelmed with the three children we already have! This is very much God’s story; we are thankful to be a part and can’t wait to see what He brings in 2011!

Psalm 68:5-6b, "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families"

Find more Thankful Thursday here


  1. Well said! Looking forward to a wonderful New Year! :-)

  2. I had unclassifiable prints too! My prints expire in March so I already requested to be refingerprinted - went to CIS - prayed/begged in the car before going into CIS - cried on my way out when she said they would be rejected - received a call the next morning that my prints were classified this time! So thankful for that because last year it took about 6 months to get CIS approval because of my prints. I did prep my hands with corn huskers and ordered ridge filler that I sprayed on my fingertips immediately prior to being fingerprinted. The ridge filler came in a big spray bottle. I ordered it from a fingerprint company Gladney suggested. I would be more than happy to send it to you if you want it.

    I'm done feeling sorry for myself over the latest news and back to dreaming about our little girl. Even though I don't have a paper picture of her, I have this image of her in my heart and will wait as long as it takes.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Having already adopted, I do understand about the paperwork and so on. UGH!
    However, we had a domestic adoption so didn't have to deal with all the international hoopla.

    Even tho we had a rough adoption, I realize that God was there all along. Now, when telling the story, I see how that rough patch turned out to be a HUGE victory. And to think...God already knew about that before we even considered adoption. :)

  4. Wow. Very powerful post! Blessings to you and yours!

  5. Thanks for sharing this with us. I join you in praying that God will work all of this out SOON but in His perfect timing, and that He will richly bless you all in 2011! HUGS

  6. Looking forward to 2011 with all the hope and promise that it brings. Knowing full well when we have our littles ones home, this agonizing wait will feel like only seconds....



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