Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

I-797 Approval!!!

Today I got our approval notice from Homeland Security- the Immigration folks!!! This is a huge step to bring home our daughter. I can't tell you how many worries I had about all the reasons we might not get approved (mostly crazy constructs of my imagination). We even got the approval much earlier than I was expecting.

Now, all of our paperwork goes to Washington DC and then off to Burkina. The wait on that end is typically about 3-4 months. But you know what? I'm thinking it won't take that long. You know why? HOPE.

I asked God for a word to meditate on specifically for 2010. HOPE is the word He gave me. Hebrews 11:1 is the verse.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Saturday, January 23, 2010

God is SO good!

Yesterday we got a HUGE surprise in the mail- bunk beds! We need bunk beds so our new daughter will have some where to sleep when she gets here. I have told many friends to be on the look out for used bunk beds and I have been checking craigslist and another friend has been watching freecycle for me for a few months now.

Yesterday a Fed Ex truck pulled up to the house and delivered a brand new bunk bed to our house. How cool is that?

I love God and I love Christian people who obey Him!

Thank you so much to whoever provided this amazing gift to us!

Friday, January 22, 2010

10 Fun Facts about Ethiopia


Here are some interesting tidbits that I have read on other websites:

1. Ethiopia is almost twice the size of Texas.
2. It is the birthplace of coffee and they have official coffee ceremonies in the home. If you are offered coffee, it is very rude to decline. (what am I going to do?)
3. They claim the final resting place of the Ark of the covenant at a chapel in the holy city of Aksum, which used to be the capital of Ethiopia.
4. Ethiopia has 63 airports. Only 17 of them have a paved runway. YIKES, I hope we pick the right one :)
5. Often women feed the men with their fingers as a mark of love and devotion to them.
6. There are 13 months in the Ethiopian Calendar. Each month has 30 days and the last month has only 5 or 6. New Year is celebrated on September 11th and they are almost eight years behind our western calendar.
7. Homes are a traditionally a round hut called a Tukul. The floor is dirt, the walls are either sticks and/or mud, and the roof is made out of a long grass called Tef. Families like to use magazines or newspapers as “wallpaper” in their homes.
8. Traditionally, parents and children do not share a last name. Most kids take their father’s first name as their last name.
9. Did you know that a large portion of the Ethiopian population claims descent from King Solomon of Jerusalem and Makeda, the queen of Sheba?
10. Ethiopian television consists of just one channel.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

For the past two weeks I had been struggling with worry and anxiety over our next adoption. I was worrying about everything from paperwork errors to when would I be traveling, to leaving the kids, to future surgery outcomes. I knew it was not right to be worrying like this and I wanted to place my trust firmly in Christ, but how? I just couldn't break out.

But then I read this devotion by Sarah Young in the book Jesus Calling, and it just totally set my mind at ease:

"...there are treacherous-looking waves in the distance. Fix your eyes on Me, the One who never changes. By the time those waves reach you, they will have shrunk to proportions of My design. I am always beside you, helping you face today's waves."

Ahh, the relief. The waves will come. They may be big or small, gentle or rough, by they are waves designed for specifically for me. Thank you, Jesus.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

On the radio this morning, the morning hosts were talking about the disgusting fact that cruise ships are continuing to dock in Haiti during this horrible crisis. The cruise- goers get off the boat, have barbecue, dance, drink, party, while the people just feet away are suffering so greatly.

My first thought was how abhorrent this is. I mean who could enjoy themselves? My second thought was, am I really that different than those vacationers? Of course my heart is broken for the Haitians and I've been praying and giving money, but I really have no problem to go on with my day in the midst of it all.

Of course there are many crisis just like this one going on everyday around the world. 5000 children will become orphans today. And tomorrow another 5000. And the day after that.

What should our response be to all this suffering? Christ calls us to rejoice with those who are rejoicing and suffer with those who are suffering. What does this really look like?

Lord, make my heart more like yours. Help me to live the way you want me to live.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Counting the Cost

Lately, I've been opening myself and my home up more and more. I am saying "yes" to God more. And that is an awesome thing. I love the thrill I get when I follow hard after God. I really love it.

However, I must admit that following hard after God does have a cost. It can mean less sleep, going against family member's wishes, being afraid, having less money, less free time.

It is so important be spending time with Jesus, letting him fill our soul, while preparing to do His work. Only then can we have the right motivations and our good works come are an outflow of His love, rather than things done in our own limited strength. When we spend time with Jesus, we will find the courage to endure those things we count as the cost of following Him. Only then will cost not feel so painful, but an opportunity to share in the suffering of Christ.
25Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14: 25-27

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Saturday night we celebrated Ethiopian Christmas at our house. We invited several local families who had adopted children from Ethiopia. We were really looking forward to this night for many reasons, one of them being that Sitota would have a chance to connect with some kids with a similar story to her's. At the end of the night, Sitota asked me, "So Mom, which ones were the Africa kids?".

Love that child.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Tonight we are having a Bible study for couples who are considering adoption. I was telling Sitota about this group, and asked her if she thought people should adopt. This was her answer:

"Yes, because it is more fun to have lots of kids and not so many grown-ups and so Africa people don't have to be so hot."

So there you have it!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Oh dear, I've really let my blog slide! I have so much to post about that it has gotten in the way of me actually posting.

Things on my mind to blog about later:

Ethiopian Christmas
Small Group Study for People Considering Adoption (starts Friday!)
Finally getting Sitota's lifebook done- it is INCREDIBLE
Got some mail from Burkina Faso that has made my week
Fingerprinting date- January 15th!!!
Going Vegan for a Month
Lessons in Healing
...and so much more