Sunday, January 23, 2011

no go

Just to keep you all updated... We are not going to be assigned a February 1 visa appointment. We are still not sure when we'll hear that tiny little word we've been waiting on (GO!), but it could be quite a bit longer than we'd hoped.

For now, we'll keep praying this prayer from 1 Thessalonians 3:11 - "Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you." We'd love for you to pray this prayer for us and all the other families in this waiting stage. Thank you!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

we'll go when we go

Last week we were given a tentative Embassy date of January 18, but after hearing what happened with the previous group of families (they were given a tentative date of Jan 4 but called a few days before and told not to come because the Embassy wanted more documents on all the cases) we did not have high hopes. Today we found out that we were not given a Jan 18 Embassy date... not a surprise, but certainly disappointing nonetheless.

However, there was good news too: our agency has obtained all the documents requested by the Embassy for our case! That is a huge answer to prayer. The reason we weren't given a Jan 18 date is that the documents are still in transit on their way to Addis Ababa where they will be translated and submitted to the Embassy. There is also a small glitch with Zeke's passport, but we're hoping that will be cleared up quickly. Assuming it is, then the documents should be translated in a few days and everything will be in place for us to be given the next available Embassy date, which is February 1.

Knowing our case is not missing any documents is a huge weight off my shoulders. I have been stressing about how much to prepare, but now I feel a freedom to get ready. I know we still may not get a Feb 1 date, but for some reason I do not feel any anxiety about it. We'll go when we go. God has been with us at every turn of this process and he won't leave us now!

For those who have been praying with us and for us, please keep it up! And please also pray for a few other YWAM families who are still waiting for documents, which can be very hard to obtain in a country with so little infrastructure. Pray that God would move mountains to bring the right paperwork into the right hands so that these sweet families can be reunited for good. Thank you!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

tightrope walking

This stage of our adoption process is feeling a bit like walking a tightrope. We are balancing on the impossibly fine line between being logistically and physically prepared to travel at a moment's notice, and being emotionally prepared for the reality that we may be waiting several more weeks. Like a tightrope walker, I am trying to keep my chin up and my eyes looking ahead... but thank God there's a net, because I am falling a lot.

Today a wave of sadness knocked me off the wire after I spent an hour packing some of Zeke's things. As I gathered all the little items we will use to care for him - shampoo and diaper cream and sippy cups, I was overwhelmed by a desire to care for him now. To bathe him and change him and feed him: to mother him. I am his mother, and I want to mother him. The fact that I can't do that yet and have no idea when I will get to... it is a tough pill to swallow right now.

But swallow it we must, and a spoonful of gratitude helps the medicine go down:

Thank you, Lord, that Zeke is healthy, happy, and getting excellent care from the loving and capable nannies at the Thomas Center.

Thank you, Lord, that we have a great team of people from YWAM and CHI working on our case both here and in Ethiopia.

Thank you, Lord, for our amazingly supportive network of family and friends, especially our fellow YWAM adoptive families who are in this with us.

Thank you, Lord, for your promise to be with us every step of the way and to bring our family together in your perfect timing.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

waiting, hoping, coping

So when does he come home??

Six weeks ago I was saying, "Hopefully in about 6 weeks!" Last week I was saying, "Hopefully in about 3 weeks!" And now? Now I am just smiling and saying, "We're not sure."

Along with many other families, we are waiting for an appointment with the US Embassy in Ethiopia where we will receive Zeke's passport and visa -- the very last step before bringing him home. Usually an Embassy date is given about 6 weeks after the adoption is finalized, but lately the Embassy has been making changes to their investigative processes which have added to the wait time. Last week several families were given tentative Embassy dates of January 4, only to be called a few days ago and told they would have to wait because the Embassy had requested more documentation on all their cases.

I don't know how all of this will affect our time-line, but I am trying to focus more on how it will affect our attitude, preparation, and mindset over the next weeks / months. Jon has a mantra he has been repeating throughout our whole adoption journey, through all the typical ups and downs we have experienced: We can't control what happens, we can only control how we react to it. We have been asking God to renew our minds, prepare our hearts, and reset our attitudes as we walk through these last weeks or months of waiting. The other day I had to laugh when I saw this sign on the ferry dock:

Please turn off engine. No-idle zone. God was showing me the coping strategy I will need for this season: turn off the engine of frantic stressing, planning, prepping, and expecting. Look around. Enjoy where you are. Have fun.

So that's my plan: the month of January is going to be fun. I just bought concert tickets for January 22, I'm setting up play-dates, girls nights, and maybe even an overnight getaway without kids. Or maybe I am going to Ethiopia. Either way, I am going to enjoy where I am and what I am doing because it is all a gift from God.

To those of you who have already been through this or are currently waiting with us, what are your coping strategies? I'd love to hear what has helped you stay hopeful and emotionally healthy through the hard stages!