Thursday, December 23, 2010

Braxton Hicks Contractions... NEWS... Christmas perspective!

This morning I checked email as usual... hoping for a photo or something about our little man. Today I got more than a photo (though no photos for a long time ): We got an email from our case worker saying that we were ready for the embassy and that we could travel for a DECEMBER 29th Embassy date. As you read this many thoughts are filling your heads. You are deciding right now if you were us what you would do... when I tell you what we did, your mind will want to pass judgment on us. I pray that you will recognize our deep prayer and wisdom that went into this decision.

Immediately we sprang into action with phone calls to the guest house, travel agency, parents etc. We heard first from the travel agent and it was still possible to book tickets for Sunday! We then heard from the guest house, and sadly they didn't have room for us for our entire stay. We prayed that God would make our decision very clear, and He did!

We choose to wait for the next embassy date and will travel in just couple of weeks!!!!! This is the best option for us as we will get to see our families, have baby showers, buy what is needed, take down Christmas decos, clean, call Dr's, start taking elevation meds, and so much more. Even though we KNOW it is the best decision, it is hard to be super excited about it at the moment... though hopefully those emotions will come soon! Our time before we head to ET will be VERY FULL so it will fly by!

The January embassy date is the one we have been praying for so please join us now in PRAISING GOD for opening the door for us to bring M home! He is always faithful!

Other good news:
We received a grant from Gift of Adoption for 2500. This is VERY exciting, though we are not sure if we will really be able to use it! It saddens me deeply that we applied for this grant in MARCH and updated our info every month faithfully. Now, after we passed court and paid our final agency fee they are offering us money to go to the agency. Please join us in praying that this money could be used for our airfare! It would be a HUGE help for us!

So it is almost Christmas. It is easy to feel blue if you are waiting for a child this Christmas. Praise God we don't have to wait for THE child! I was reminded recently by a fellow blogger (thanks Heather) that Christmas IS NOT about family! It is almost a novel concept to reflect on, but it is true! Christmas isn't about gifts, about food, about travel, about carols, about cards, about decorations, about classic movies, about cider and cocoa in front of the fire, about snow on the ground, about good health, about wealth, OR FAMILY! No, I am not a grinch... far from it! I actually enjoy many of the things I listed. The thing is... Christmas is about God becoming FLESH in Jesus! God sent His Son to earth... to die... for us! This is amazing! This is the Gospel! This makes every Christmas "awe"some! You see, we can never has a "bad Christmas" because the joy of Jesus coming to earth is so great that our momentary "blueness" pales in comparison so the company of angels proclaiming the birth of the long awaited Messiah!
Happy Birthday King Jesus!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

One Step Closer!!!

We got great news today from our agency! They have received the adoption decree (I am not sure when they received it, but we learned of it today) and things can begin to move forward for an embassy date! If you remember when I posted HERE about this important step!

So, now we wait again!
Here is the document list:
1. The decree needs to be translated and legalized!
2. The new birth certificate listing us a parents will be issued!
3. A passport will be needed for M to come home
4. Background documents need to be translated and legalized.
5. A letter from MOWA is needed (A letter from Ministry Of Women's Affairs is what held us up on the court date)!
6.All of these documents must be submitted to the embassy by December 29th in order to get the January 12th embassy date we are all praying for!

This means we essentially sit and wait until December 29th (maybe) although we might hear of something before that date! We hope so! Our agency closes around Christmas, so we REALLY hope that we will get Embassy confirmation before they close so that we can book our plane tickets!

I also got to see some new photos of our handsome son today! Here he is eating with the nannies! I swiped this photo from a facebook account so I am not sure how it will transfer to a blog.

I have written about a very special Christmas song for the last two years at Christmas time. The song is entitled "Merry Christmas" and is on the Third Day Christmas Offerings CD. The last two years the song has made me cry, this year, I think if any of you who know us well will share in our tears as you listen!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A month ago... a month from now...

A month ago we boarded a plane naive to what one week could do to our hearts and lives! On November 9th we began our journey to Ethiopia. A month later we are at home and trying to get "back to normal" while wondering what exactly normal is! Is it "normal" to have a child who is legally yours live on another continent? The "is it normal" list could go on and on, but I will spare you the pitiful details :)

A month from now... IF God chooses, we could (major miracle needed) be on a plane back to Ethiopia to reunite with our sweet son, meet with the Embassy, and BRING HIM HOME!!!

Yes, the chance might be slim, but we are "Faith Like Potatoes" people, right? Please join me in praying that every step between court and embassy would be happening as efficiently as possible! Please also pray that our sweet M could stay in his current room as long as possible. While we feel so blessed by the care at "L" we are begging God to allow M to stay in the room he currently is until we return. His nannies are so wonderful, and if he moves he would meet another whole nanny team, have his little routine changed and so much more. This would be a lot to handle one month before coming home to MAJOR changes!

Much more to come on attachment, but if you want to start praying for that it would be great! Our son is very social and we are quite aware that he believes EVERY traveling family is his mom and dad! It will take major cocooning to show him that we are not "some of many" but his actual parents. Please pray that we will transition and attach well, and that those around us will understand the measures we will go to, to provide the best environment for attachment possible!

We know that our son is a gift for us to hold, love, nurture, point to Jesus and much more, but that we must hold him with open hands before the One who sustains his little life and mine, our God and King!

Monday, December 6, 2010

And He Shall Be Called...

Yes, we have chosen a name for our little man. This was so hard for us for many reasons. Even now I sort of wonder if our decision was right, but we are going to walk in it!

Sadly, I will not be disclosing his name of the blog. I will post it on FB, but I feel strange about any random person finding his name in a search. However, if you know us in real life and you read this post you will most likely be able to figure it out.

We have chosen to stick with his full Ethiopian name. No, this isn’t the name we were calling him before court, this is his full name. However, we are changing the way it is pronounced to make it a bit easier for Americans to say. The spelling will remain the same, so if he ever wants to go back to the Ethiopian version that would also be great This ET name is from the Bible, check out the "M" book after the book about the man who was in a fish :)

The reason it was so hard for us to decide on a name was that the name we have really liked now for well over a year was SO close to his ET name. Check out chapter 17 and 18 of 2 Chronicles and read of an “M” who was a missionary true to the Lord.

Many people told us to choose our favorite name as a first name and use his ET name as his middle name. Well, you can see how that would not work out very well.

Because our former favorite name has a unique spelling we decided to stick with the ET name and spelling and pronounce it much like the 2Chron name. We recognize that we can even call him the 2Chron name as a nick name, or a whole host of other nick names that come easily from his name. I am a HUGE nick name fan. Some don’t like them, but I have been a nick name “Shelly” my whole life and I see nothing wrong with it, but appreciate the option to go back to my full name as needed.

Another neat thing is that the meaning of the 2Chron name and our son’s name are the same. I personally believe that if we looked up 2Chron in an Amharic Bible our son’s name might be there. Yes, God has planned for him to be in our home with this name for a long time! We will continue to call him “M” on this blog for privacy purposes, at least until the adoption is final in the US, after that we will re-visit the issue.

His middle name is quite simple. We knew that “M” needed to be matched with a simple middle name, and when a first name ends with a strong “s” sound middle names are hard. Some people like to choose middle names based on a person in the child’s life like a grandparent. I personally have never been a huge fan of this, and will freely admit that while our son’s middle name is the same as my dad’s dad’s middle name and my mom’s, dad’s, dad’s first name, that was not a primary or secondary reason for the name choice. You see, I have long wanted to name our children after people in the Bible who walked with the Lord their whole lives. We are blessed that “J” (the disciple Jesus loved) sounds great with “M” :) The disciple Jesus loved is not the only special J! J is also the one who baptized Him and prepared the way for His ministry. There are MANY special theologians and pastors (Calvin, Edwards, and Piper to name a few) who also share this simple name. The writings and teaching of these men has helped us better understand God’s Word. Then of course there is the oldest son in our favorite TV show (Walton’s) who I have joked for months would share a name with our son. Don’t worry “boy” will not be added to our son’s middle name.

So as you can see, our son was named after

1. His Ethiopian Heritage
2.Men in the Bible who walked with the Lord (first and middle name)
3.My grandpa and great grandpa
4.Godly men who have ministered to us
5.AND (only joking) the oldest son in a certain TV show family!