Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Who You Are

I love JJ Heller. There’s just something about her songs that always seem to say what I feel deep inside. She is my favorite artist. The Boat Song is my ringtone for KC. 😊

 Her voice is so lovely and melodic, and the songs she writes are just beautiful. 

I haven’t heard her new stuff yet, but while browsing her Pinterest, I saw a video for I Know Who You Are. I haven’t heard that one, so I decided to check it out. I’ve posted the video below for you guys to watch.

I cried. I know, I know, that comes pretty easy for me (especially in this Christmas season) – but there’s a part at the end where she just keeps repeating this line:

Sometimes I don’t know, I don’t know what you’re doing,

I don’t know, I don’t know what you’re doing….

And then, she comes in with the final line that really hit me:

But I know who You are.

Yeah. I know right? This line puts into pretty song what my last few posts have been about. I have no idea what God is doing – and lets face it, the not knowing can really suck – BUT I know who He is.

And that part in the song, at 3:18 when she holds her hands up in worship just reduced me to tears. A combination of tears of joy and tears of surrender.

I don’t know what You’re doing, but I know who You are. And for right now, that’s more than enough.   ❤


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Be honest and brave…

Oh man. Do you ever read something – an email or text from a friend, a verse, or a devotional – and think God, you’re speakingright. to. me. That’s how I felt today on three separate, instances. Yet, they were all three so perfect and each one reiterated a point from the other! I love when that happens. 

I checked my Instagram and saw this quote from Kay Warren.



This is exactly what I try to convey when I post on my blog. “The determined choice to praise God in all things…” That’s where I’m at.


My last post was a bit more emotional than usual, but I knew I needed to be honest and let my feelings pour out. It frightens me sometimes to do that. I feel like that’s when I’ve been hurt the most; when I open myself up and allow myself to be vulnerable. It’s really only ever backfired before I met KC. So it’s something that still terrifies me. I try to remain passive and strong so I don’t get hurt by sharing the emotions battling inside me. I HATE sharing my feelings with others. So many thoughts race through my mind:


What if they think I’m crazy?

What if they’re uninterested?

What if they make fun of me when they get home?

What if they don’t get it?


And then this morning, (in)Courage had this devotional – When Holidays Hold More Sorrow Than Joy. I didn’t think much of it, but read it anyway. I’m attaching the link for you guys to read, but I’m going to attach just a little piece from it, the part that struck me and caused tears to well up in my eyes.


On Living Wide Open and Being Held

…. It’s still okay for the emptiness to feel raw at times.

Because God never leads us through pain apart from a corresponding invitation to intimately experience His nearness.

And in this season, while you ache, this is His heart for you: Live wide open.  

Don’t close your heart. Don’t allow numbness to set in – because to be numb to pain is to be numb to joy. And God has joy for you, friend.

It may come in tiny blips at first. Embrace it as it comes. Smile. Laugh. Play goofy games and eat good food and give gifts and hugs and enjoy your loved ones.

And when the ache feels acute? Don’t run from it.

Cry if you need to. Be honest and brave.Entrust your heart to a few close ones by allowing them to simply be present with you in the aching.

There’ll be times when your heart isn’t handled well by those who love you. Intentions are good, but we humans are sometimes ignorant when it comes to handling each others hurts.

When people fail to compassionately hold our hearts? God extends to us the most precious of invitations:

Beloved, let Me hold you.  

Be gut-wrenchingly honest before Me. Entrust the depths of your pain to Me. Your raw authenticity before Me is the sweetest fragrance to My heart, and this ache is where I’m inviting you into intimacy.

So give yourself permission to just be before Him, friend.

Live wide open.






Let your emotions be what they are, from moment to moment, and allow others into them. Especially Him. There’s no greater gift you can offer – to others or to your Father who loves you – than your authentic heart.


 And then, Beni Johnson posts on FB a portion of her devotional this morning:

"Linger a while in My Presence, letting My Love soak into your soul."


This. This is perfect. All of it. It’s spoken in love. It’s what I was talking about last week. Beloved, let Me hold you.  This is what He says to me. I may still have a hard time opening up to others, but He will always be there.


Choice. That’s what it’s about. Choosing to let Him and others in. Choosing joy. Choosing to praise Him no matter the outcome. Life will be hard – it’s full of brokenness; we’re broken. But choosing Him over all the pain, sorrow, and grief is what it’s about. Choice.


Choose Him. It doesn’t magically take away the hard times. It makes them easier because you have someone to lean on. I’m choosing Him.  ❤






{Click here for the rest of the post from (in)Courage. And I highly recommend signing up for their daily devotional emails  http://www.incourage.me/2013/12/when-holidays-hold-more-sorrow-than-joy.html}



Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Longer We Wait.....

The longer we wait, the harder it is to get updates from our agency…. The kind of updates you don’t want to get. The kind of updates that state that because of new processes, referrals are slllooowwwiing down. Therefore, wait times will be – you’ve got it – EXTENDED.

When we’d get crappy news in the beginning (I tried finding another word, but none fit quite as good as crappy), I’d find myself taking a deep breath and saying “Eh, it’s okay. It’s all part of the adoption process!” I may or may not have naively thought “This is the real deal! We’re even getting bad news! Woot woot!” I know. I realize how foolish I was.

Now, when every we get news like we just got – I find myself staring at the screen. Blankly. Honestly, a lot of times my mind just freezes as I take it in. I’ve gotten to the point that it feels like the norm. Not that it doesn’t suck. Not that it doesn’t hurt. Not that I don’t want to bawl. We’ve just crossed that threshold into “The Norm”.

I know some of you who are new may think “But you’ve only been waiting to be matched for a few months right?”. You are correct. However, we sent in our first piece of paperwork on my 24th birthday. We’d been in contact with an agency prior to that, but we mailed our initial app that day. Two months from Wednesday will be my 27th birthday. It took us A LOT longer to even get to the point of actively waiting for a match. It was 2 ½ years to be exact! So while most people can get to the actively waiting part within 6-18 months, it took u s30 months. Thirty long months of back and forth with our agency of new paperwork, old paperwork, lost paperwork, found paperwork. So you can understand why this is so hard.

We’ve been in the adoption process for 34 months, stretching over 3 years. I am still joyful – because that is something that cannot be taken from me. I still thank God every day because us pursuing Effie is a reflection of how He pursues us. She has no idea who we are or what we are going through for her right now, but some days, it takes everything in me to wake up and choose to be positive.

I praise God for His goodness through many tears. My weakness is made stronger in Him. I run to Him – as fast as my short little Hobbit legs will take me – when I feel like I can’t go on another step. Days when I have the fleeting thought of just giving up.

I try to be as brutally honest with you guys as I can. Whether or not this gets read, it’s a way for me to get my feelings down and off my mind and out of my heart. I’ll fight and fight hard. But there’s always that thought of “Lord, what are we doing?! What are YOU doing?!” And quite frankly, I do not know the answer to the second part of that question, but that's okay.

I have NO idea what He is doing. But the ONLY thing I have through crappy times like today is faith and trust in Him. I have no definite timeline on when my daughter will be home. But I certainly know that He loves me. That he pursues me. That He’s here right now next to me, brushing my hair behind my ear and holding me. He is the ultimate comforter. And just like a friend who will sit next to you, silently, and let you ugly cry – so will He.  ❤


Friday, December 6, 2013

Agency Update....

Today KC and I got an update from our agency. We got some tough-to-digest news shortly followed by some oh-okay-cool news. 

The Tough-to-Digest News:
I'm going to sum this first part up as easily as I can because it involves a lot of legal jargon and red tape... I'm still not caught up on the logistics really. Apparently, a few months ago, a new step was added to the tail-end of international adoption processes. It's called the PAIR process. 

Pretty much, USCIS wants to thoroughly review the case before granting the appropriate paperwork for a child to come to the US. While this is a good idea in that it ensures a child is truly orphaned, it does have a few side affects. 

Once we accept a referral, before the new PAIR Process was implemented, we'd be submitted to court in a matter of weeks. Sadly, with this new process, it could be anywhere from 10-20 weeks before our case is submitted to court. 

In cases you're too confused or shocked to count, that's Five. Long. Months. That we could be waiting to meet Effie after we finally see her picture. While I'm in support of making sure she's truly orphaned, it seems crazy to make families wait that much longer. 

My mind is still reeling from this news. I sat on the edge of the bed and read the update to KC as tears started to blur my vision. I know that I know that I know that He's got this. I know the timing is in His hands. But sometimes, for a split second, it's hard to see the forest for all trees. 

KC kept me from having a breakdown. He spoke kind and calming words and told me that Gods got this. He reminded me of the verse in Exodus 14 - The Lord will fight for you. 

Because as I've said before, as hard as we're fighting for her, He's fighting for us. 

The Oh-Okay-Cool News:

Our Dossier has finally been certified and translated. Woot woot! 

Also, we won't have to update our Dossier again until we get a referral. Which is pretty awesome considering we would've had to start working on the 65+ pages of our lives again in about March. Ha!

So please friends - both old and new - keep praying for us. For families still waiting for their kiddos. For kiddos still waiting for their families. The holidays are tough enough without getting cruddy news from adoption agency's. I know all us adopting Mommas n' Daddies would appreciate the prayers.  ❤


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Pains and Promises

As we head into the month of December, it’s hard not to dwell on the fact that another year has come and gone without Effie. I spent a lot of time Sunday having an “emotional purging”… aka: cry-fest. I don’t feel like such a pansy when I say “emotional purging”. I’d feel like a whining-sissy-baby if I said I sobbed and bawled and ate Hershey’s chocolate over my daughter whom I have never laid eyes on nor met.


I honestly cannot explain this ache in my heart. I don’t quite understand it, so I know how hard it must be for those of you on the outside to understand what I mean. Yesterday afternoon, I curled up in bed next to my dear husband and “purged”….. and babbled – somewhat incoherently I might add - and then “purged” some more. As I lay there, curled up under my big soft comforter, my heart ached and yearned for her.


I. Just. Wanted. To. Hold. Her. To look her in the eyes and tell her how much I love and adore her. To tell her how wanted she is. How dearly loved she is. I cannot explain how I can hurt so much for someone I have never met. By all logic, I shouldn’t. But, I do. …… I’m a Mom.


I think of her every single day; some days more than others. And as the holidays draw near, it’s even harder. Not just because it’s another Christmas without her, but because another year of this journey is coming to a close. I know someday (hopefully soon) she’ll be home. She’ll be in my arms. And I’m holding on to that promise.


My hope isn’t in Effie or in her coming home though. My hope is in Christ. And just like His heart aches for those who have yet to come to know Him, my heart aches for her. I haven’t lost faith. I know He will fulfill the promise He gave to KC and I. And I’m rejoicing in Him.


I’m choosing to continue praising Him. This month will be hard – but it makes worshiping Him so much sweeter. Choosing to raise your hands in surrender and give it all up to Him. Choosing joy in the time that you’d rather spend crying. I trust Him with everything. He has never let me down. So I’ll praise Him now just like I will when Effie is finally home. Just like I will when she’s been home and things get hard again because she has pains that I cannot heal. I’ll praise Him from dawn ‘til dusk, through easy and tough. A loud and heartfelt Hallelujah! is all I need to comfort my soul…  


KC posted a great little blip on his Facebook yesterday about this. This is the part that stuck out to me the most:


{These pains are “birth pains” and God’s greatest promises come from impossible births.  ❤}


I also find it’s no coincidence that I came across this verse again this week, as Christmas is drawing near:


“Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord…. ❤” Luke 1:45



Monday, November 11, 2013


In doing my I'm-just-gonna-look-up-one-or-two-adoption-articles things I do occasionally .... Okay okay FREQUENTLY .... I came across this article. Obviously it describes me to a T. Except I'd rather have Hershey Kisses instead of M&M's. 

Saturday marks 3 months of waiting. I know, I know. You're thinking "Eh, it's only been 3 months girl!"

Trust me, 3 months is an ETERNITY when you've been in something for 3 years already. 

So I thought I'd help clue you in to what life is like during WFRS. I'd also like to take a moment to mention that emotionally, I could burst into tears at any moment. Especially as the holidays draw near. This is our fourth FOURTH Christmas without our daughter. So just imagine that from now until she's home, I'm a pregnant momma in her 3rd trimester. Everything makes her cry or wanna punch something. Haha! You've been warned.  ;-)

Adoption: How To Defeat The "Waiting-for-Referral Syndrome"

"Why is it that as we get closer to referral, each day gets longer and longer?

Picture this scenario.

Your Dossier has been sent. You've received notice that it's been logged in at the country's adoption office. You begin your wait.

At first, there is a letdown. You've been so caught up in the paperchase 24/7 that you now feel a sense of purposelessness. What to do with all that free time?

Next, you start communicating with your online adoption groups. You have 6, maybe 7 months to wait before any real chance of receiving your referral. The days come, the days go. You develop a routine with your work and family and the wait seems bearable.

Six months later, you are chained to the computer with your phone strapped to your hip. All you can think about is "When will the call come?" You can't function at the office. You spend valuable productive hours chatting online with other waiting parents. The days now seem to have 48 hours instead of 24, and they drag on from one to the next.

All you adoptive parents out there know what I'm talking about. It's the oh-so-common "waiting-for-referral" syndrome where the closer you get to your referral, the longer each day becomes.

We all experience some form of WFRS at some point. What is important is how often and how severe it is.

Mild Waiting-for-Referral Syndrome

In many people, the symptoms come and go. They have waves of obsession that come over them every few days or so.

You find yourself counting on your fingers the number of months, weeks, or days until your referral should come.

The calendar pages are becoming frayed because you keep flipping forward to the anticipated "referral" time, daydreaming about what day it will arrive.

What to do:

Relax and remember that the feelings will soon pass. Hundreds no, thousands of parents have gone through this before. If they can do it, so can you.

Think of a useful project related to your soon-to-be child: paint a piece of furniture for their room, knit a cap, start an adoption lifebook some activity that will allow you to think about your child during the time you are focusing on the project without becoming obsessed with it.

Moderate Waiting-for-Referral Syndrome

The next stage of WFRS is commonly identified by increasing anxiety and focus on the length of the remaining wait.

You may begin to have dreadful thoughts about the possible conditions in which your soon-to-be child is living.

You have the child's room furnished, arranged, and all the clothing folded and put away 6 months prior to the referral. You go in and rearrange, pretend you're holding the child while you rock.

You may begin to eat to calm your nerves, especially M & Ms, which seem to be particularly soothing.

What to do:

Continue the useful projects you started when the symptoms of WFRS were in the mild stage. You may have to make a conscious choice to limit the amount of time you spend on said projects.

Be sure to get to bed at a reasonable hour each night. Make a habit of preparing healthy meals for you and your family. Make these daily routines.

Limit the amount of time you are online reading posts and sending emails related to adoption, waiting, referral rumors, etc.

Don't purchase M & Ms, except for the occasional small single serving bag. Key word is "occasional" which means perhaps once every two weeks.

Severe Waiting-for-Referral Syndrome

WARNING: Symptoms of severe WFRS can be debilitating. You should be on alert for these symptoms. You may need to seek help by relying on a good friend to hold you accountable for your daily activity.

On your days off (or if you work at home), you wake up at zero-dark-thirty, stumble to the computer, log in to read the latest posts to see if any new rumors have been started.

The sun rises, the family gets up, you are in the zone reading through the hundreds of emails from across the world, and you are still in your PJs. You just can't tear yourself away, for fear a news flash would be posted saying that referrals are on their way for the next two months' worth of dossiers! Your family rolls their eyes and goes on about their business, hoping that you will snap out of it and live life again.

Your every waking thought is about the referral: when will it come, when will you get the call, do I have my camera ready to take photos, and so on.

Your work suffers because you cannot focus on your professional responsibilities.

What to do:

Remind yourself that this process is something you cannot control. Breathe deeply and focus on the here and now.

Force yourself to wait to check the adoption group email postings until your family has gotten up and you've all had breakfast together.

Allow yourself one hour in the morning, and one hour in the evening MAX (preferably less) to read the adoption group communication.

Go for a date with your spouse. Talk about the weather, current events, football scores, anything other than the latest referral rumor. Remember, once you have that new little one in your home, it'll be much harder to have that precious time with your honey.

Allow yourself a window of time each day to daydream, journal, pray, think about, and talk about your anxiety over the adoption referral. This will then allow your mind to be free to concentrate on your other responsibilities. By setting aside this special, reserved time each day tell yourself that you can then get back to focusing on the rest of your life and your family, because you'll have another special, reserved time tomorrow.

In summary, keep in mind that all this waiting will be well-worth it when they place that little child in your arms. The more you are able to care for yourself during the wait for your referral, the better parent you will be from day one.

Copyright 2005, Edi Sowers



Thursday, November 7, 2013




It’s funny to think, when we started the process to bring our little girl home, Oliver (our youngest) was barely 2. We chose an age range of 0-2 based on the fact that we wanted her to be the same age as Ollie or younger. Oliver turns 5 in just 2 ½ months. Yikes. It really puts into perspective how long and tough this process has been.


Today, the Mister and I spoke with our social worker and decided to up our acceptance age to 5. It’s something we do at about this time each year. We don’t care if she’s a baby or a kindergartener. We just want her home. We received an update from our agency today – turns out there are over 120 families waiting to bring their kiddos home. Of those, only 15 are open to kiddos up to 5. It’s exciting for us because it means out wait may not be as long as the “norm” since we’re okay with the fact that she won’t be a baby.


Of course, adopting an older child brings its own set of challenges – but we’re confided that with God’s help, we can do this. Since she’ll be older, she’ll have memories – both good and bad. Maybe of her parents, siblings, family members…. Good memories that KC and I will do our hardest to keep alive. She may speak Amharic and not a word of English – but getting a dictionary and learning some key words and phrases now won’t hurt us one bit.


We’ll continue to take classes and read bookoos of books – to make sure we’re as ready as we can possibly be. Our International Coordinator is praying alongside us that we’ll be matched sooner rather than later. Even she realizes what a battle this has been! Haha!


So even though things have been quiet on the adoption-front, we could still use your prayers. As the holidays are coming up, this is one more Christmas without my little girl. So please forgive me if I seem overly emotional during Christmas dinner. Pray for our family. Pray for the children still waiting for their families and the families still waiting for their children.


This has been a long and hard journey (a unique one as well!). One that has been filled with many tears – both of joy and sadness. And I’m sure that won’t change any time soon. <3



Thursday, October 10, 2013

The worst 4 letter word ever

Wait. That is the worst 4 letter word ever. I honestly do not think that I am exaggerating that. For serious. The hardest thing anyone can tell me to do is wait. And it feels like that’s all the last 3 years have been about:


I lost my job – gotta find a new one.


We want to have a third child.


We’re going to adopt!


KC’s looking for a new job.


We’re looking to buy a house.


We found a house and everything looks great!



Waiting is hard. And going along with the ‘waiting’ theme of our life, is the ‘ you’ve got to fight really, really hard’ and then ‘wait’.


KC and I were talking about this today. I sometimes feel like that’s all we do is wait and fight and wait some more. You see a lot of people that are like 1, 2, 3 and done! And we’re over here all 1, 2, 3, 4, Q, pony, G, purple, 5, redo 2, 6, 7, do-the-hokey-pokey annnnnnddddddd done. Go ahead and laugh. I had to after I typed it! Now don’t take this as me being all Debbie Downer. Because I’m not, really. I love that God still does things differently with us. KC and I knew that our life would look different than a lot of our family and friends – and it most certainly does.


But sometimes, it’d be nice to have something happen smoothly – no bumps or delays or do overs. KC and I are praying about some big stuff (how can it get bigger than adopting AND buying a house? Trust me, it can. Haha!), and we know we just have to wait for a clear answer. And to be honest, sometimes I’m afraid that His answer won’t be what I want. I’d have to say 95% of the time, I’m like ‘okay God, no biggie, I’ll just do something else’. But guys, this one is a biggie to me.


I know God has this. I know that a lot of aspects of this are out of my control, like so many things in our life. But I’m in this season of ‘just wait’, and while I’m learning and growing, I feel like it’s been like this for a while. I’m ready to do something more.


Do you ever feel that way? Like you have something pressing on your heart and you’re ready to go and dive into the deep? How do you deal with waiting for a clear answer from God?  <3 


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Struggle can be Beautiful

Yep, you read that right. If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know how true that is in mine and KC’s lives. I stumbled across a quote the other day, and it’s been lingering in my head for quite some time:


“One day in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful”


Now, whatever Freud meant by that is his business. But it meant something great to me – it confirmed what I’ve been talking about and sharing with anyone who will listen. Those years of struggle turned me into who I am today: strong and beautiful. Now, before you jump off this blog because you think I’m self-centered or arrogant, I don’t mean physically. Lol.


I’m able to look at myself in a completely new light because of what I’ve been through. I’m able to look at God and others differently because of the battles I’ve fought and the lessons I’ve learned and the lessons I’ve missed. I’m able to see that some battles left me scarred. Those are the ones that I missed the point of, that I missed the lessons behind; most stubbornly I might add.


And then there are those battles that left me stronger, more encouraged than ever. Those are the ones when I rapidly surrendered to God. Those are the ones that helped me bloom in my relationship with Him.


We live in a broken world. We are going to have hard times; moments where we’re not sure if we’re going to make it.  We’ve all had more than our fair share of those moments.


But now that I’m through that season, I can look back and see how important and how vital those moments were to me as a Christ follower; how vital they were to my character. When someone you only interact with occasionally comes up and tells you that “You have the most beautiful smile. No matter when I see you, you’re just glowing with joy. You make everyone around you happy”, it does something to you. You realize that if that same person would have seen you a few years ago, as you were stubbornly trudging day to day, they wouldn’t be able to say that. But I was able to smile, and tell them that it was only by the grace of God that I am who I am today.


So yes, those years of struggle are some of the most beautiful. I’m sure some of you reading this could very well be in the midst of a fierce battle all your own. You’re wondering how you’ll ever make it through.


I just want you to know, you will. But submit yourself to God. Let him guide you through it. Don’t fight Him – keep Him close at your side as you FIGHT your way through. Let Him lead you – chances are, the more stubborn you are, the harder it will be to fight.


Keep your eyes open. You’ll learn something that will most likely come in handy when you face your next battle. God is great like that. We may live in a broken world, but God will give us guidance and “cheat codes” to make it through. Keep your eyes on Him – and you’ll be able to look back on what you’ve gone through and realize that it too, was beautiful.  <3  



Thursday, August 15, 2013

And now, we wait...

If you've seen my Facebook, you know what's been going on the last couple of weeks. But, if you haven't, here we go:

A few weeks ago, we finally completed our Dossier and got to send it to Little Rock (our capital) to be State Sealed. We got it back and mailed it off to our International Coordinator in Michigan to be reviewed. Well, it turns out that our worker in Little Rock got our Dossier authenticated not state sealed. Boo. I mean, really BOOOOOO! So off to Little Rock from Michigan it went - round two.

So about a week later, it was back in Michigan, state sealed and all ready to go to Washington D.C. to be authenticated at the US Embassy. It was mailed to D.C. on August 1st.

During this time, we found out that our wait time starts immediately after our Dossier gets to Ethiopia. We were stoked to hear this! We thought it would be another 3-6 weeks! So this was definitely uplifting news.

Fast forward to today. We got an email from our International Coordinator that our Dossier was back from D.C. and would be sent via their weekly DHL mailing to Ethiopia TOMORROW!! If it would've come back on Friday afternoon or Monday, we would have had to wait until the following Friday for it to be mailed to Ethiopia. So thank you Lord for giving us this perfect timing.

So now, we wait. Now, we are just waiting to be matched with our little girl. It could be 3 months, it could be 18, it could be 24. We know it'll happen when it happens. And we are A-OK with this. It's giving us more time to spend being a family of four and getting her room ready and preparing work for my loooong leave to be home with her.

To put it simply, we cannot wait to meet her. But it's been 3 years already, I'm sure a few more months won't kill us.   :))


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Baby Steps Bob....

Well, I was a bit delayed in sending our final paperwork to be state sealed. I mailed it off last Monday, about a week later than I thought. But that's okay! Because I got our home study papers signed for our updates and mailed them off on the same day. Miss A in Northwest Arkansas mailed our home study to Miss B in Little Rock on Wednesday. Miss B was out last week, so I suspect that our Dossier will be state sealed this week.

Once she's finished with her part, she'll mail it back to us and we'll mail it Michigan. I know we've gone over these steps before and it doesn't seem like we've moved much, but it's baby steps. We have to get excited about baby steps. Lol. (If you haven't watched What About Bob, I HIGHLY recommend it!)

So another baby step out of our way. But once we mail it to Michigan, that's it on our part! We hope we get it sent to them soon and they can get it sent to Ethiopia by the end of July. The courts in Ethiopia close every year for the rainy season at the beginning of August until the end of September/beginning of October. So we know it's unlikely that we'll get a referral/court date until October or November. But, KC and I are at the point that we're okay with it not happening until the beginning of the year.

Year-end is generally madness at work. I don't want to leave them hanging and come back to a big mess after I've been off. Haha! So, I'm totally cool with God working it out to happen in like February. And that'd be sweet because that's when we sent off our very first application to the first agency we contacted.

But, no matter when it happens - October, February, or June - we'll be so darn excited, we won't care what the date is.  :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Almost there...



This is it! We are SO close to mailing off our Dossier. All of our background checks are back, and our home study is just waiting to be “approved”/signed off on. On Monday I’ll be mailing off our final documents to be state sealed. And that folks, is it. From there, our Dossier/BigFatFile heads to our International Coordinator in Michigan. From there, she’ll send it to Ethiopia. Once they process it, we’ll be on the wait list! OFFICIALLY! 


Also, we talked with our International Coordinator in Michigan last week about our Dossier. Our agency likes for all Dossier documents to be under 6 months old when submitted to allow for them to be valid for a longer period of time. They are only valid for 2 years before we have to get new ones gathered. Well, ours are about 11 months old. We were worried about that, but our IC was confident that we can just update our forms early next year instead of delaying us any further. She. Rocks.


She said she hopes we get a referral before that, especially since we’re open to special needs and a larger age range. Yes Miss C, we’re hoping so too! That was incredibly encouraging to hear from her. But, even if we don’t get a match before then, we’ll just work on updating our forms next February or March. No problem there.  :))


Well guys, this is where we’re at. I pray that the next time I update you all, our file will be on its way to Ethiopia or that we’ll already be on the waitlist! July looks like it should be the month! Eeeeekkkk!!! Just 2 months shy of our 2 year anniversary of being approved to adopt through the Ethiopia program. 


Please keep praying for us, and for Effie – whoever she is.  <3 



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Oh the crazy month of May

So, at the end of May, KC and I experienced THE most stressful 48 hours. We got a call from our agency asking us if we had the rest of our Dossier/big fat file documents and if so, could we please send them to our agency in Little Rock. I told them that I sent them already, and they're waiting to be State Sealed (so I thought). Our social worker tells us that they only had a few pieces of paperwork and that we must not have sent the rest.  They could not find our Dossier?! ..... !!!!!!!!

At this point in time, I'm FREAKING OUT. I am a very organized person. We had an accordion file with all our documents that has been attached to my hip since day 1. I know, that I know, that I KNOW that I sent them to Little Rock. Our social worker insists that "I really feel like you didn't send them, and could you please just look at home one more time". Obviously, I'm miffed, but KC and I look through the ENTIRE house. Nada. To say we were having some anxiety issues was definitely an understatement. That was 65 pages of our lives, of paperwork, that took us FOREVER to gather. 

I call our social worker back and tell her I need to come to her office to figure out what happened and what KC and I need to do now. Before I left work early, I thought, there's NO way. I know I sent it! And it dawned on me, I document every step in our process with pictures. If you follow me on FB or Instagram, you know this to be true. Lol. So I frantically start looking on IG for a picture. And I find a picture of me putting the big manila envelope in a big blue mailbox - back on AUGUST 16th. They've had our file since late August. 

I get to her office and show her the picture and date. It turns out, they thought the packet I mailed them 3 weeks ago with 4 updated documents was our dossier. I explain everything and understanding spreads on her face. She calls the Little Rock office. They had it the WHOLE time in another file. 

So, 2 days of complete and utter stress and madness and them telling us WE forgot to send it when in reality, they forgot all about it being in another file. This has caused a few more delays than we initally thought. We thought our home study was already updated, but that is still a week or two out. Please join with us in praying that this is it. Pray that we will be on the wait list no later than July. We've come SO far but still have a ways to go. But it'll all be worth it when we see her sweet face.   <3  



Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hard Fought

{I get it now. God takes those “less likely” and turns us inside out if we’ll let Him. It’s breathtakingly beautiful what happens in this great romance between Creator and created…Crucified and called…Lover of souls and the lost. He mends and blends, transforming us and spilling out of our regular lives. God has not forgotten you. Your dreams and passions are not wasted. Perhaps Jesus is asking you to blindly follow…To let the cold of discontent drive you into the warmth of His embrace…}

He trained us first, passed us like silver through refining fires,
Brought us into hardscrabble country, pushed us to our very
Limit, Road-tested us inside and out, took us to hell and back;
Finally he brought us to this well-watered place.
(Psalm 66:10-12 The Message)

I cannot tell you how hard this devotional hit home. I have been pulled and stretched further than what most would consider to be comfortable. KC and I have been in a place where we had nothing financially and were literally digging in the couch cushions – but God ALWAYS pulled us through. I have had seasons of feeling like I have heard nothing from God for months, but kept plodding on. I have had times where I have had to force myself to talk to God – the one Whom was still remaining silent. I have had seasons of powerful “emotional purges” (aka bawling my eyes out) to my husband because I felt like I COULD NOT do this anymore. As KC was finding out more about his ministry and our ministry together, I was hurting inside because I still did not know how God was going to use little old me. Yet still I trudged on. Why? Because I knew, I KNEW that God had brought me too far for me to turn my back on him. I knew that this season wouldn’t last. Deep DEEP down, I knew He’d pull me through.

In those times, He was teaching me; even in His silence. And with each step I took, I passed another test and became stronger in who I was and stronger in Him. When the trials came, I could fight on knowing that He would be waiting for me on the other side. I was growing. Learning. I was being refined. And you know what? Right now, KC and I – we’re in that “well-watered place”. I’m not going to lie, it didn’t happen easily within a few months – we’ve been “road-tested” for about 2 ½ - 3 years. But man, I can’t tell you how sweet this feeling is: knowing we’ve made it.

Now, I know we won’t be in this level place forever. I’m keeping up my strength for the next season – but it’s amazing to see even what I’ve learned in this place of rest. KC and I are doing well financially (PLT), God is speaking to me more often than not, and I finally feel like I know what my role is. I finally know how my role ties in to KC’s ministry and our ministry together! All these things are appreciated so much more because they were hard fought.

So, for those of you who feel as though you’re being taken to hell and back – stay faithful. He’s waiting for you on the other side with open arms. He’s ready to let the rivers of plenty pour over you. And man, does it feel nice.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wow... 2 months

Yikes! My last post was at the beginning of February. Sorry to leave you guys hanging. It was a crazy couple of months. I’ll continue on with trying to update everyone at least monthly; especially now that we’re getting to the homestretch! I’m finishing up with all the paperwork to update our home study and will get that to our social worker here in the next couple of days. Then, I’ll send our updated information (and notarized home study) to Little Rock to be state sealed and double checked. Then, it’s off to Ethiopia! This should all happen within a matter of weeks.

We can definitely use your prayer as we continue on. God has been so good to us through all of this, always providing. We’ve had a few people ask if we are going to have another yard sale for our adoption, and we said yes. So, if you have a garage or attic full of yard sale worthy items, we’ll be more than happy to take them off your hands. :-P

On a related topic, I’m not sure how many of you remember me posting about little L. A girl on the wait list that KC and I prayed long and hard about. But she was in South Africa, and we didn’t feel like we were able to switch programs. Well, after seeing her month after month on the list and praying for her, I just noticed last week that she is no longer on the list! That means that she has been spoken for! I praise God for answering prayers and sending a family for this beautiful little girl. Each time we pray over a new girl on the list, it’s so exciting to see when she is taken off. You really have no idea how full of joy you are after praying and getting a gentle ‘No, she’s part of someone else’s family’. I mean, in little L’s case, she was waiting for 7 months after we inquired about her. But God had different plans for her and us. So little L is now someone else’s daughter, and I’m glad that all our prayers were answered.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

March, April, May!

Hello to all you lovely readers!

I’m sorry that I've been so quiet this month. January is notorious for being insanely busy. Well, we've not had anything new happen since my last post. We will be able to re-submit our USCIS paperwork in March; so long as we don’t hit any snags. And we've made sure everything is in order because we DO NOT want to do that. Haha! After talking with our family coordinator, right now our time line is looking like this:

·         Bethany sends employment verification letter to JB Hunt
·         Once Bethany receives letter back, they will update home study
·         Once home study is updated, we re-submit our application to USCIS

·         SHOULD get our USCIS approval back by middle/end of the month
·         Will be able to send USCIS approval to Little Rock to finally join the rest of our Dossier/BigFatFile
·         Bethany in L.R. will get Dossier State Sealed

·         Our Dossier/BigFatFile should be on its way to merry ol’ Ethiopia!
·         Approval of Dossier by Ethiopian government


So what happens after our Dossier is approved? We wait. Haha. BUT, all our waiting counts. Right now, it could be anywhere from a year to 18 months of waiting. Possibly longer. But we’re not worrying. We just cannot wait to finally be at that point! I’m beyond excited thinking about it. I mean, c’mon! It’s already February! May will be here before we know it.

Please join us in prayer that everything goes smoothly and we are able to get our Dossier approved by the end of May. This has been a long time in the making – and it’s so surreal to think that we are only a few months away from actually being able to receive a referral. Thank you all SO much for your thoughts and prayer during our journey.

We started this process on my 24th birthday, and next Monday is my 26th. Gosh, it’s crazy to look at it like that. But it’s worth it. This could be the year.   <3