Update on our delay

First and foremost, thank you all for the amazing ways you came along side Justin and I to encourage us two weeks ago.  The first 24 hours were filled with tears, frustration and fear; yet over the first two days following that dreaded email and in the week and a half following, we have gained the deepest sense of community and confidence.  Even greater, we have felt the Lord draw us in ever so close, and as we navigate this stage of the process, He is making it clearer than ever that we can confidently trust that He is bigger.  We are not alone in this delay, we have connected with dozens of other families who daily are getting word that their case is being held as well.  As the numbers add up, a community is birthed.  It's amazing how so many people are rallying around this little community.  You guys are awesome!  

On the adoption front....
The biggest development is that we received an email from Immigrations stating that they are coming in to help the U.S. Embassy in Addis and anticipate that we will hear something sooner than 2 months.  (YES!)  We have spoken with our agency several times and they continue to advocate and provided us with important information.  We have also contacted people in Washington D.C. who have greater access and are signing on with us with passion to bring our daughter and all the other children home.  With caution, we share our stories, and each day we learn that someone else is hearing about our experience and they are ready to help in big ways.  These children are going to come home.  We are so thankful for what these leaders are doing.

On the mommy front....
It has been a humbling reminder to me that throughout this, I am not alone.  I know that I realized that in my head, but my heart just wasn't getting that memo.  Insert: incredible friends & family :)  Let me just say, these girls have sent updated pictures of Natalie Degeme, come over, called, taken me out for girls nights out or just time with their families, sent notes, even gifts, all to say that they are here with us as we wait for Natalie to come home.  They have let me cry, reminded me that its ok to feel frustrated and to want to do whatever it takes get this baby girl home. There have been some down right hilarious nights of laughter and fun, and it has been the most awesome time of growing closer to the women God has placed in my life. How important friendships are :)
During all of this, God is deepening my relationship with Him.  He is amazing.  He is honest in His Word.  And He loves our daughter in a more profound way than I could ever experience.  And He is showing me that all this love we have for our daughter, these plans, dreams and incredible longings we have for her.......those are what He has for us.  As I drove through town, looking goofy to the drivers around me as I blared a new song from the duo Shane Bernard and Shane Everette, I began to sense that this song wasn't just written for a daughter from her dad, but for us daughters from their Dad.  I love music [thanks Mom :)] and I couldn't wait to share it with Justin.  These words are beautiful and I know that my dad had these words woven throughout my childhood as his little girl, and that my husband desires for our daughter to hear the same message... So listen to it, girl friend, and realize that this song is as much for you as it is for little Natalie.  :) :) :) 

GNO- photo scavenger hunt: try and squeez to fit us all in something....
GNO--everyone has to drink from the same glass

She's growing so fast!

We love our daughter and can't wait to see this little face again!

Playing with a special little guy who will be a forever friend.  She's fascinated by his picture book that his mommy and daddy sent him....and even tried to take it from him!

My dad and I on my wedding day. I love this picture :) 

The most beautiful picture of our daughter and her daddy.


I wish we didn't have to write this...

Below is an email that was sent out to our family and friends.  We felt the need to share it our our blog because we know just how incredibly supportive people have been through this whole proces. Thank you for coming besides us, every step of the way.  We believe Degeme will be home in God's timing....

Dear Family & Friends,
This morning Justin and I received some very difficult news that we feel we need to update you on. Our case has been determind as having insufficient evidence to allow us to bring our Degeme home at this time. [Please do not ask us to go into details. Thank you for respecting our family's and our daughter's privacy with this.] We have learned that the US Embassy is now forwarding our case to another government entity and we were told that, in about 1-2 months they will notify us that our case has been reviewed and what additional paperwork they want.
We have no idea what this all means. We don't know why our government is making this so difficult, however we recognize that this battle to bring her home goes beyond men's hands. God is true to His word, and we are reminded that He is in controll of all the uncontrollables in our lives. Hopefully, this morning we will be able to talk with our agency to gain a better understanding of what comes next.
Right now, we ask that you would be covering our family in prayer. Please, understand that we appriciate your concern, but it has become incredibly weary to explain what is happening over and over or going into specific details. We know you care, but we need you to support us without all the details. Believe us that we will update you as we feel we can--we very much appriciate your encouragement and prayers. It's the fuel that keeps us going. Thank you for coming alongside us each step of this process. We see God in the details of this network of support He has given us. He is unmistakable. We have amazing family, friends, dear freinds in Ethiopia and a new extended family of other adoptive parents whom we could not do this without.
We have dedicated ourselves to His calling to build our family through adoption and we love this little girl beyond words. Thanks for taking the time to pray for our little family.
Because of Christ,
Kati & Justin