let us know you're following!

Hey all!  This will be a rather short and concise post this time.  We've heard that family and friends are following along with us through our adoption.  We are thrilled!!  Welcome!!! We value and cherish the authenticity of a community that can come along side us and rejoice over each step the Lord brings us closer to meeting our little man.  If you have a Google account, click on the lower right corner to "follow" us as we post along :)  For those of you who aren't Google users, don't worry go to the trouble of making an account.  We appreciate the fact that many people are praying us through our adoption, but we would be missing the mark if we didn't have the opportunity to know each of you and know how we can be praying for and praising with you.  If you want to leave us a post below, you're welcome to!  Let us know what's happening in your neck of the woods!

So think it over, we'd love to get to know this community that we'll introduce our little boy to someday!

Have a wonderful evening,
Kati & Justin


As I'm getting to know this blog thing, I have accidentally made a few "woops" and "oh crap" happenings along the way.  For instance, why I've put off writing for a week or so now.  I am easily addicted to making this blog cute and creatively expressive of us, and that is where my problem lies... I get wrapped up in editing our blog and then the next second poof, the blog post is gone, or the layout is now different, or I've clicked on something that I didn't really know how to use.  Needless to say, it's 10:30 at night and I am wide awake ready to finally blog away without any alteration of aesthetics.

Some fantastic things have happened over the past 7 days.  We are officially moving at marathon pace to get our paperwork complete!  Last Monday our adoption packet arrived with our official "To Do" list!  For two lovebirds who are driven by crossing off lists, it's just up our ally!  We are anticipating that it will take us about 4 months to get everything gathered up: birth certificates, fingerprinting, government documents, fire inspections, home visits and doctor appointments....just to name a few.  The most important step was for us to find a home study agency in the area that could complete our lengthy report that will eventually be sent off to Ethiopia.  Not having local access to our adoption agency, we were a little unsure of what our next step should be.  Our good friend noticed our uncertainty and made it her goal to help us find a reputable home study agency.  Thank you Lord for how You provide!  Within 2 days we had gotten references from other families and phone calls were made.  Once again, as we prayed for discernment, it was given.  We will be working with Caring for Kids, Inc and it will be wonderful to have them as a resource close by.  Tomorrow morning our paperwork for our home study will be sent off and we'll begin to first major portion of our adoption!!  [I entertain Justin with my free willed enthusiasm-dancing around the kitchen and praising the Lord for these little milestones!!  Nothing like cheap entertainment!]

A few more pretty exciting moments of this past week were one's that we shared with others!  As we've begun to share our exciting news with our family and friends, we've seen an outpouring of support, smiles, hugs, and incredible encouragement!  It's overwhelming!  And it once again confirms that we are being called parenthood through adoption and we will someday bring our son home to an incredible extended network of family and friends :)  Just this week we have rejoiced with friends from church who have sent off their completed dossier, others who just received their referral, and still another family who has just decided to begin looking for an agency to start their own ET adoption.  Our little Ethiopian community is in the making!  And we're marketing for more ;) ;)

Finally, at the forefront of my mind are the AMAZING testimonies and baptisms we got to witness on Sunday morning.  They were JOYOUS, REDEMPTIVE, PROMISE-FILLED, and had JESUS CHRIST written all over them.  I witnessed a woman dance before our Lord and tears came down my face.  As she was transformed, so was I.  We witnessed raw Christianity that means exposing everything for the sake of His cleansing. I am still rejoicing over the invitation to witness those lives transformed!  

What a fantastic week for Justin and I!  We can see God's masterful hand throughout it all, and even then  I am sure we missed some too :)   I am currently reading a fascinating book titled There Is No Me Without You by Melissa Fay Greene.  I'm eager to post about it....it's too late now, but I'll be sharing in the next day or so.  I am only on the second chapter, but still I am silenced by her staggering statistics of Ethiopia.  It blows us away....Stay tuned for more!



We're approved to join CHI!

Wow, the past 36 hours have been a mix of emotions for us, me in particularly!

Yesterday morning our application to CHI arrive at their office (thanks to delivery confirmation!) and there Justin and I began to think, "I wonder when we'll hear from them?" What we were waiting to hear was that we were accepted into the ET program based on a preliminary application. From my conversation with Sharon on Friday last week, I knew it would take 3 days to hear back from them. So we prayed. And trusted. And left it at that.

Yesterday evening I got a phone call from Justin while hanging out with some girlfriends. He said that the Ethiopian government had passed a law that day that now a) requires two trips to ET, where parents must be present at the court date for their child before the adoption is finalized in ET, and b) all children will be required further investigations to prove that they are indeed rightfully placed as orphans. Wow. Let that sink in a bit and all of a sudden we are flooded with questions. (And we've not even been accepted into any agency's program yet!) Looking back I can already see that both Justin and I are beginning to attach ourselves to Ethiopia, adoption, and our future little guy by the way we responded to the news.
Me: "do you think we should still move forward?"
Justin: "yea, of course. We just need to find out the details".
Me: "so this doesn't mean we're not going to pursue our adoption in Ethiopia, right?"
Justin: "No, not at all. It just means we'll have to take two trips, save up more money, and find out what it means as far as passing court the first time, how long each trip is, you know."
Me: "ok, good. because I'm not interested in stopping at all."
Justin: "me either."
And so there it was. Flexibility 101 Class has begun....

All night I tossed and turned, couldn't stop thinking about what this might mean, and trying to rationalize in my mind that although I don't see the whole picture as God does, I just felt disappointment begin to sink in. I woke up this morning and shared my insecurities with Justin before he headed off to GE. He too is unsure, has questions, and isn't certain what will become of it. I guess for him it's the details, the financial aspect of flying twice, as well as getting enough time off too. For me, I instantly think: wait time. Justin noticed that immediately and mentioned that this probably means we won't hear back from CHI for a bit longer since this is pretty big news that they'll have to share with families, not to mention process all the questions. Both of us agreed that Ethiopia is doing the right thing. It feels good to talk to him and find out what's going through one another's mind. It really put me at ease to know that my husband, the one leading us with such strength and responsibility, would remind me that there's One much greater than us leading us. I emailed our family and updated them. By that time I had allowed peace to start peering into my mind. Then I got a message from my father in law, reminding us of truth:
"His name is Jehovah Shalom, the Lord send peace" (Judges 6:24)
"His name is Jehovah Jireh:, the Lord will provide;” (Genesis 22:14)

Ahhhhhhhhhh yes. That is the noise my spirit made.......and I started to relax.

This afternoon I was so glad to get to talk to my friend Allyson. She is someone I can connect with and I love how she can relate so well to me in this new season our our lives. Allyson and her husband Eric adopted their son Sammy from ET a little over a year ago he has become our tangible link to ET. You can't help but melt when you're around him! Adding to that, Eric and Allyson are in the process of adopting their second son from ET and it is wonderful to have someone in our shoes along the way. We talked for a while and once I hung up the phone I was more confident and glad that this new rule isn't going to stop us from meeting our future little boy one bit! In fact, we were able to see how beneficial this will be and the smile came back upon my face. I came inside and read an email from my best friend saying that she's been praying for me since this morning. ;) I smile and realize that the Lord is near and He's communicating to my soul!

Riiiinnnngggg, riiiiiinnngggg, riiiinnnnnggggg. I look at the number on my cell phone, don't recognize it, but decide to answer it anyway.
"Hi this is Sharon Turner from Children's Hope International, is this Kati?"
"yes... it is" :)
"I wanted to call and let you know that we received your application yesterday and I have approved you and your husband to join our Children's Hope family. But I wanted to make sure you heard the news and that you guys still want to continue with your adoption process?"
"Yes! Yes! We heard the news, and yes we are still on track for this adoption! We're not letting this change our minds."
"Great, because this is tossing you right into the reality of adoption right from the beginning!"
Sharon and I spoke for a brief time about ET and then got the details in line for the mailings we'll receive this coming week and when we'll touch base next. She agreed to take Justin and I on and will be playing the role as our Adoption Coordinator through CHI. After the conversation she and I had last week, I glad she's helping us. Quickly after hanging up the phone I called Justin and shared the good news with him. It wasn't that we were worried that we might not be accepted, but hearing it has solidified it. We are so excited!

People say that pregnancy has a lot of hormonal shifts, mood swings, etc. I believe them, I see it, I work with it.  But I would like to introduce them to adoption hormones. And they happen to last a bit longer than 9 months. Are you ready?! WE ARE!!!


welcome to us

"Well, have you and Justin come down from Cloud 9 yet?" my mom says on the other end of the telephone. My response? "I think we're somewhere in between the clouds and making our soles (souls) feel the soil beneath". We recently announced our something pretty special to our hearts.....we are going to become parents through adoption, and as correctly stated, we are pretty thrilled! But, reality often brings us into the moment and we are reminded that this will be a long, patience-tested process but one that will forever change our lives. We are at this cusp: ready to accept each step along the way.

God's hand has been clearly present in Justin's and my life these past several months, even years, as we have developed hearts for children who carry the title orphan. What we hadn't realized was that while we were nervously navigating our mid-late 20s and the ominous question: when are you guys going to have a baby?, God was quietly developing the script for just how our family would expand.

Justin and I have both spent time in Romania loving on kids who hadn't come to know the consistency that only "mommy" and "daddy" can bring. Granted, we were in our teens and early 20s, and never did we allow it to personify itself within, but we did see the need. So we moved on. However, a mustard seed was all it took. Years have passed and in the time, the Spirit has given us a desire so rooted in our hearts that we cannot help but delight in what is to come.

Yesterday we sent off our application to Children's Hope International, with hearts in tow, and we begin to trust the Lord from this moment on. We have requested a little guy, around the age of newborn to 12 months old, from Ethiopia. Our adoption will take about a year, and during that time there will be many moments of waiting, filing paperwork, meeting with social workers, waiting, making phone calls, waiting, sending in documents, waiting, and most of all finding peace in our Saviour's arms. We can use every prayer that you are willing to intervene on our behalf! Did you notice the waiting part(s). Oh for those of you who know me [Kati]!! I do not doubt that the Lord has some important conversations and lessons coming my way ;) But He knows me best, and therefor I trust.

So, please join us in this exciting, joyfilled time of our lives! We wish there was an opportunity to hang out with each one of you and share this great news with you face to face, but some of you are miles away, and we couldn't wait until the next time we saw you to share. We really value the relationship each and every one of you shares with us, and we also long to have you come be apart of this expanded family of love that our little man will someday know. Many, MANY, many prayers would be appreciated!!!

His grace is AMAZING, that He would trust us enough to take us down the road of adoption. We are so burdened for this woman, and man, who will give us a gift of our [collectively] son. Please pray for her health as she carries this little one, their hearts, for courage, and that she would find support from in the community she knows. We may never meet them, but regardless of that, what they give us has been orchestrated by Christ, and their lives will forever be apart of ours.

With love and excitement,
Kati & Justin

Below is a link to a youtube video made for another great agency, not the one we're using, but it still tells the passion and drive behind our decision.