Monday, November 30, 2009

Just testing a new feature i found out about - TK & i having breakfast & reading The Word together this morning. Hope he doesn't spill his cereal again :-)

This message was sent using the Picture and Video Messaging service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, QuickTime� 6.5 or higher is required.

Giving Thanks

We had a great Thanksgiving weekend with friends and family – We trust you did too.

Ashebir’s court date is scheduled for Tuesday…



Sunday, November 22, 2009

Steps in the process...

After the court date, these are the next steps...

1. When the decision is granted, the written court order is drafted and is usually issued within a week

2. Once the court order is issued, a letter of support is requested and received from the MOWA office

3. Once the MOWA letter is received, the birth certificate is issued-this usually takes about two weeks

4. When the birth certificate is issued, CHSFS will receive a scanned copy of it and will verify that the information is correct.

5. CHSFS will advise Ethiopia staff that the birth certificate information is correct and they will proceed to obtain the child’s Ethiopian passport, Embassy medical exam and will prepare the final paperwork to submit to the Embassy.

6. Once CHSFS receives verification that the child has completed the visa medical exam and that the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa has all of the documentation that they need for your case, we will advise your family of a travel date – you will receive approximately 4-6 weeks advance notice before you must arrive in country.

preparation...for something big.

To bring you up-to-speed – you may know by now that the Court Hearing for Ashebir’s adoption did not take place as expected on Friday Nov. 20. So, the Ethiopian Court has rescheduled the hearing again. This time to Dec. 1st.

Ashebir’s aunt still was not able to show up for the hearing, and at this time we don’t know why. Amy and I had a good talk with our Adoption coordinator on Friday after we learned of the rescheduled date. Our agency has been great in this process, and trying their best to get more information from the Ethiopian Government – but they are also at the mercy of their process and decisions.

The questions below are what we’ve asked our Adoption Coordinator to answer for us, hopefully within the next few days.

1. How long would CSHFS allow the postponements before concluding the timeline is indefinite and adoption is not likely to be completed?

2. Is there anything that can be done, especially for Ashebir?

3. What is the longest we’ve seen a case like this go on? What is the longest a family has waited from referral to placement?

4. What type of previous court process occurred to make Ashebir eligible for adoption and why are these things holding up the process now?

We will let you know as soon as we know more. Until then, we would appreciate your prayer especially for Ashebir’s aunt because we don’t know her condition, and why she was not able to attend the hearing on Friday. We would also appreciate your prayer for us through this process as well – patience, grace, understanding, and TRUST that God has Ashebir and this situation completely in His care. We would also appreciate your prayer specifically for Ashebir as he’s been waiting now since early July. He has received some gifts from us including a small picture album and some small toys – so he’s beginning to “know” us. I don’t know exactly what’s going through his young mind and heart, but we are trusting that God is preparing him to be an integral part of our family. Who knows, maybe this is some extra time God is using to assemble the team He wants to bring to Ethiopia to be a part of something big.

If you have any other questions, we’ll be happy to answer them as best we can, but we’ll provide additional updates as we get them!



1Thes. 5:16-18
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

join the rescue mission

Thursdays are my day off. I get to hang out with Tariku, do some housework, read, and try to relax a bit.

I was sitting at the kitchen table this morning listening to Crazy Love by Francis Chan writing some email on my laptop while Tariku was playing in the dish water. After a few minutes TK came over to sit on my lap and wanted to watch me... but that always means pressing buttons - so I successfully redirected his attention to a small fold-able book lamp. So as he sat with me, all of his concentration was on that little movable light and I continued typing. After a few minutes, he laid his head on my arm still sorta playing with the light... and then fell asleep. I let him sleep there for a while. I didn't want to bring him to his bed - too cool of a moment.
... but I did eventually get up and lay him in his crib.

It got me wondering about Ashebir though. Currently Ethiopia is 8hours ahead of us here in the EST zone. So he's hopefully sleeping soundly now too, but I wonder what goes on in his little mind these days. I wonder how aware he is of his situation. The detailed social report we got a couple days ago reveals a lot about how he's developing and interacting with the wonderful care providers, and his young friends. The report says that he's a strong willed and very healthy kid - but I wonder how he'll adjust to our family and life here. I wonder how he'll connect with his new sisters and with TK.

I'm just thinking about my son on the other side of the world - wondering how much he knows he's loved. I would do anything for him. Just like I would do anything for my three kids that are here now. That leads me to this thought... regardless of how much HE knows he's loved, and how much HE knows he needs to be embedded into a loving family... it doesn't change the truth - He is loved, and he needs to be an intimate part of a loving family.

Regardless if he KNOWS he's "desperate" at some level- it doesn't change the fact that he is- and that I would give my own life to overcome any obstacle on his behalf.... (Don't misunderstand me here, Ashebir is in excellent care... but he wasn't created to live in an orphanage. He needs a rescue, and I wonder if he grasps that.)

I'm a sucker for rescue stories... I'm always at the edge of my seat watching a rescue - whether it's a movie or on the news.
I think it's because there's always sacrifice of something big in a rescue mission...

One of my favorite stories of a rescue mission is in Donald Miller's book Blue Like Jazz... I think it's on pg. 33-34... Miller writes:

A long time ago I went to a concert with my friend Rebecca. Rebecca can sing better than anybody I’ve ever heard sing. I heard this folksinger was coming to town, and I thought she might like to see him because she was a singer too. The tickets were twenty bucks, which is a lot to pay if you’re not on a date. Between songs, though, he told a story that helped me resolve some things about God. The story was about his friend who is a Navy SEAL. He told it like it was true, so I guess it was true, although it could have been a lie.
The folksinger said his friend was performing a covert operation, freeing hostages from a building in some dark part of the world. His friend’s team flew in by helicopter, made their way to the compound and stormed into the room where the hostages had been imprisoned for months. The room, the folksinger said, was filthy and dark. The hostages were curled up in a corner, terrified. When the SEALs entered the room they heard the gasps of the hostages. They stood at the door and called to the prisoners, telling them they were Americans. The SEALs asked the hostages to follow them, but the hostages wouldn’t. They sat there on the floor and hid their eyes in fear. They were not of healthy mind and didn’t believe their rescuers were really Americans.
The SEALs stood there, not knowing what to do. They couldn’t possibly carry everybody out. One of the SEALs, the folksinger’s friend, got an idea. He put down his weapon, took off his helmet, and curled up tightly next to the other hostages, getting so close his body was touching some of theirs. He softened the look on his face and put his arms around them. He was trying to show them he was one of them. None of the prison guards would have done this. He stayed there for a little while until some of the hostages started to look at him, finally meeting his eyes. The Navy SEAL whispered that they were Americans and were there to rescue them. Will you follow us? he said. The hero stood to his feet and one of the hostages did the same, then another, until all of them were willing to go. The story ends with all the hostages safe on an American aircraft carrier.

We all need to be rescued... regardless if we think we do or not.

I'll leave you with this... When we're rescued, what should our response be?
To leave with a handshake into a "life as ordinary/average?"...or something else?
... c'mon, are YOU compelled by ordinary and average?

Were you rescued? Do you live like it?

For those of us that have been rescued, we must position our life in such a way to do whatever it takes - to help rescue others.

Monday, November 2, 2009 a child with a strong personality

Go figure...would you have guessed that Ashebir would have any other type of personality.

That info, came in a detailed report of Ashebir. He's doing awesome. I can't share a lot of detail here now, but I will share more when he's through court. As of now, his court date has been moved back to Nov. 20th. We don't know the status of the lady who is connected to him - she is the one that needs to attend court on his behalf - but please continue to keep her in prayer. We don't know what her health condition is right now, but she had - or still has malaria. We are disappointed that it is delayed more now, but we know that his loving and nurtureing care providers are lovingly caring for him, and ultimately, we know Who's hands he's in.

I fly home tomorrow morning from Brussels... I'll arrive back home around 9p EST. more soon.