Anyway, adoption preparation is moving along really well! And at this point we are just a few documents away from completing our dossier!!!!! Our homestudy is complete, our paperwork has been sent off to US Immigrations, the prints of our fingers have been scanned and scanned and scanned, and thankfully friends and family believe in us and our reference letters are complete! Whew!! We've had a couple of hang ups and kick backs with paperwork, but Sharon our adoption coordinator gave us fare warning to "be flexible" and Justin & I have had to remind one another of that on more than one occasion. The pictures below will help tell the tale of the fun adventure we've been on these past 3 months! It could be a matter of weeks until our paper work is sent off to Ethiopia and WE CAN'T BELIEVE IT! Yes, we're preparing for the big wait but this is part of us becoming a family of 3 and it's the only way we can get to our future son!.........so bring it on ;) Little JJ (I've dubbed that for the time being as Justin Jr, it'll work for now) you are SO worth it! <3
Hooray!!! Sending off our I600A form with my mom there to join in the excitement!! This postlady was just wonderful :) Later that week we would get notice from Immigrations that our paperwork needed correction...my immediate thought was oh no, this is supposed to take 2 months as it is, but now this is just going to set us back even longer. To our amazement, a week and a half later we got the letter we were waiting for!! Thank you LORD!
Happy Mother's Day! I totally didn't see this one coming, but Justin decided that he was going to let me fully celebrate Mother's Day and in the card he wrote "enjoy this first and last year of no responsibility but fully expecting a child" and he bought us tickets to game 4 of the Cavs playoff series! I was stoked--never been to a game and it was so stinkin fun--even though we lost pretty pitifully! And this was a gift from my in-laws! The artist at Junk Posse had a great deal going offering by one get one free. So, the necklace above has become a staple for Justin and I :) We're both wearing them as tender, sweet reminders that our hearts are growing already for this little child, his family and his country. The Cross is cleverly located where Ethiopia is in Africa.
Allyson and Eric are waiting on their second child from Ethiopia (so excited for their family) and so at 1:30 am I drove over to their house and tried to be sneaky by leaving a tub of cookies on their door step for their road trip that weekend. Ha ha!! Little did I know Eric, the husband, was up and was entertained by his wife's friend's bizzare tactics! :) They were yummy though! And the cookie cutter came from a blogger friend named Erica, who by the way has a fantastic blog that will get you on board for ET adoption excitement!!! (the original pictures got lost on the laptop crash. This one is posted on Facebook, and since we haven't announced our adoption to everyone quite yet, I didn't post the CUTEST pics of cookies that were Africa with a little heart over ET saying "expecting from ET"... But you get the picture :)...
Empress Taytu is an Ethiopian restaurant here in Cleveland (pretty cool, eh?). Justin was going out of town on business for 2 weeks, and since it fell over Father's Day, I thought I'd surprise him and take him to this place. It's one of the few ways we can start to identify with what we do know about our little guy: he's Ethiopian! We LOVED our time there, our waitresses were outstanding and I felt like we could have sat there for hours and just enjoyed one another's conversation and stories. What a blessing it is to have access to these people and their culture. It was a neat experience and the food settled on our tongues easily. The coffee ceremony at the end was right up Justin's ally--what a fun, fun date we shared! Can't wait to go back :)
Ok, last but not least (I guess this is what I get for waiting sooo long!). The video above is a song that we sang in church a few months back. I cannot tell you why, but it spoke so directly to my soul that I felt like the Holy Spirit and I were in true communion as I worshiped that evening. I started off totally reflecting on the fact that I had been dealing with frustrations over being sick and vulnerable to whatever this bacteria had on my body, and as I sang this song I was reminded that I wasn't alone in this time of resting, healing. As I began to give it to the Lord, praying for peace and knowing that I could trust Him with it all, I got an overwhelming sense to be praying for my son's mother. It came out of nowhere (well, we know where!) but once I was able to get over myself and give up my struggles to Christ, it was then that my eyes were opened to the faithfulness He will show her. Could she, will she ever sing this words as a prayer of her heart? Does she know Christ and will someone introduce her to the Saviour who loves her widely beyond her imagination. The One whom she can be herself, and in that realize that's just who she was made to be. Will she be able to trust in You in her pregnancy, her health, her family, her choices and decisions that she is making at this very moment, He will be faithful to her in that moment when she decides to give her son a life that's more than what she can offer him herself. What about the dad? Where is his heart? Whenever that decision comes, I know that it won't be one that is flippantly made, but one that will take months of toiling, fear, unknown, dreams, and tears. Its humbling to even think through such a choice, but its nothing foreign for some of the women and families I take care of and call my patients. They make tougher decisions than I will ever face, and I through them I am learning how to pray for this our son's family, this mom, this dad, whom I long to meet some day and wholeheartedly desire to have a family in Christ. Be blessed by these words and I hope it encourages you today :)
Because of the Cross,