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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas & 4 weeks HOME!

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all!  What a totally incredible Christmas was had this year!  Many times, I would just sit back and observe my family.  Listen to what was being said or sung, either in English or Ahmaric...THAT is truly beautiful and music to my ears!  Watch what they were doing, how creative they all are and how they were including one another.  LOVE that we are all together this year!  How my heart sings Glory to God for the gift of His Son and for allowing my girls to be home with us forever!

There are traditions that we do in America that I am becoming aware of since trying to explain many things to our new teenagers.  Many, to me, simply don't make sense and I have to tell them "I have no idea why we do this, we just do."  So, I am rethinking a few things and simply doing away with them to make life simpler and less complicated.  However, I also like to create new ideas and traditions.

My moms name is Linda, whom we call Gramma Linny.  My middle name is Lynn.  Jordan's is Jacklin. Kyah's is Gracelin Marie.  And I really wanted to continue the "Lin" tradition somehow for our girls middle names.  So, introducing:

Bethlehem "Beti" Emeylin Klaasen!
 
Tsinat Rahzlin Klaasen!

Our beautiful crew, plus Kaylie, on Christmas Morning!!



Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Thanks for "Taking Time to Pray!"

I looked back at my blog from 11-19-15, just less than a month ago, and re-read my words of pleading for prayers "that the Embassy would respond Friday and grant us a date for next week!"

Not only did the Embassy respond with approvals, but after receiving a call from our social worker on that Friday, Nov. 20 at 9:30am, we literally booked tickets and left that same day at 2:30pm!  I had our girlies packed already, and completed packing for Todd, Jordan and myself, finished tasks around the house, made emergency lists for kids staying home and was literally floating on adrenaline!  It truly didn't "hit" any of us that we were finally on our way until about half way across the Atlantic.  LOL!  It was such a rush and we played it over in our heads for well over a year.  Ahhh!!  Love how God worked all of this!

We landed in Ethiopia at 7:30am on Sunday, made it thru customs and were transported to our guesthouse. We changed and drove immediately to pick up our girls for church and lunch.  Our girls found out we were coming on that Sunday morning....they didn't have much time to process either!  Although they both were quiet (except for many giggles during church! =) the day with them was amazing!!  We brought them back to their orphanage for their final night there and we headed back to our guesthouse for some much needed rest.  Honestly, they must have thought we were such duds.  We all tried to put on our best face, and although we were really thrilled to be there with them, we were whipped and needed sleep!  

Monday morning, Nov. 23, 2015 a.k.a. our girls official "Gotcha Day" we arrived early and took our girls with us forever!  Teary eyed just thinking of that day!  Our whole trip was simply the best, but driving away from the orphanage with them next to us .... a dream come true!!

Thanks to you all so very much for your prayers to bring our girls home!  YOU are a very important part of these adoptions!  YOU are a huge part of this!  God listened to your prayers!  Thank YOU so very much on behalf of these 2 beautiful girls that I have the privilege of calling mine and tucking in each night!!   

 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Take time to pray

Our girls cases got submitted to the US Embassy on 11-10-15 after all the required paperwork was obtained.  Typically when our agency submits this, the adoptive family is given an Embassy date that same day or the following....well, that is typically what happens. It's been 10 days so far!! Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING has been typical about our processes.  Sure makes for an exciting journey.....I say with much sarcasm!

We are again calling on YOU, our faithful prayer warriors, to call on the Name of Jesus to get this process completed! John 16:23 says "I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name".  Usually it's a 3 -5 week turn-around time, we are over 4 weeks.  Still in the time frame and hoping and praying that we get an Embassy date for next week!  Not really sure why I even hold onto dates and time frames, since they just come and go.  So thankful that my God has this already planed and has this all worked out.  (Although, I wish He's let me in on it already!  =)

Our prayer is:  that the Embassy would respond Friday and grant us a date for next week!  I know, not in our timing, but in God's.  I know He continues to hold this all in His control and that alone is my comfort.  Our dream would be a Thanksgiving with our girls, on a plane traveling, taking them to meet their forever family!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Got the girls packed!

I've been really procrastinating with this one!  I'm the "get 'er done" type of person...except when it comes to packing for these 2.  I hope what I bought for them fits and they like it.  :) Jordan and I literally went out one day and bought and entire wardrobe for 2 people!  Should have seen all our packages!  It would be nice if I didn't have much clothes shopping for them to do when they get home.  Anyway, whew!  Feels good to have this under control a bit.  

Should be hearing very soon about our Embassy appointment!  So stinkin' exciting to think about flying home with them!  

Kyah, A.K.A. Captain Jack Sparrow, poses in front of "T" and "B's" suitcase...that we hope to be using really, really soon!!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Not 2...but, 3 GIRLS!!




The month of October has been really amazing for our family!  Let me begin by introducing my soon-to-be daughter-in-law Kaylie!  Gabe proposed October 10th and she said yes!  WooHoo!!  His proposal idea was really thought out and planned and totally him!  ....let's just say it had to do with target practicing! 
They are planning a summer wedding.  LOVE this and we are so excited for them!  

October 20th, we passed Ethiopian Court!  "T" and "B" are now official Klaasen's and we long to get them home!  We have all the required documents completed and are waiting for them to be submitted to the US Embassy in Ethiopia to get a date to travel!  (Literally having just completed them at 4am today!...yes, we check our email at all times of the day and night when waiting for international adoption documents and do whatever it takes!) 

Praise the Lord for 3 new daughters!!!

Thank you all for your continued prayers!  What amazing peace we feel.  Our trip went unbelievably well in all ways, thanks to your prayers!  We truly feel them!  Please continue to pray for our girls as they wait.  Days must seem like weeks for them....they do for us!  The girls both long to have families, which was evident by our visits with them.  Although we realize all they must soon leave, it brings me more joy to think about all they will soon gain.  Pray they are at peace about leaving their homeland and adjust well to life with their new family.  Each one of us is so anxious to have them home!  Can't wait for all their "new firsts" here in Michigan!  


Gabe & Kaylie


Literally a minute before meeting our girls for the first time!  =)

Gorgeous Ethiopia!

This day was almost too good to be true!  Jesse totally amazed us in so many ways while on this trip together.  I plan to write about this day in particular later, but will give you a brief description now.  Jesse choose to sponsor a child in Ethiopia, while in Ethiopia!  AND, literally got to meet her 20 minutes later!  Here, she is thanking him =)

Jesse & our guide overlooking the view at Debre Libanos, north of Addis





Mt. Entoto, after court =)
The view from the top of our guest house!
Jesse with our dear friends at the Morning Coffee Guesthouse! 
Jesse tried every food set before him!  Here, he is eating authentic Ethiopian food- which he really liked!  His favorite was shiro eaten with injara.

 

Since we aren't able to share pictures of the girls yet, their hands will have to do!

Friday, October 30, 2015

AHHHH! God is so good!!

WooHoo!  So, so much to update.....first, I need to apologize for not updating since we've gotten back.  Lots of excuses; jet lag, catching up with my kids, laundry, meals, etc...then, repeat....

We literally had entire days without electricity or any kind of Internet in country, so nothing I tried to publish went thru.  I intend to load pictures soon and are they beautiful....meaning our beautiful girls and beautiful Ethiopia.

We were blessed with 4 visits with our darlings!  This is more than we thought we'd get, so were delighted!  We arrived in Addis on a Friday morning and by 5 pm that day we had seen them!  Talk about AMAZING!!  I literally ran to them and hugged them close.  Wow!  All the months of waiting and there they were in our arms.  They took us to their room where we talked thru the interpreting help of their social worker.  They immediately took to Jesse!  They were laughing together and joking around like they knew him forever.  They were a bit shy, but really loosened up quickly and with each visit.  By the 3rd visit, "T" was teasing Jesse and grabbing his baseball cap and telling him it was now hers.  "B" and Jesse had a stuffed animal war and she was joking that her name was Jesse.  :) We found they relied on the help of their interpreter when he or she was with, but really did fine without. They were both unsure of their English around us at first, but that changed quickly and with each visit.  Thinking of when they get home and how much growth in their English language we are sure to see.

Both are very good students and wanted to show us their school books, that are full of little stickers apparently for a job well done.  They are very proud of their school work.  "T" read aloud to us both in Ahmaric and English and is SO stinkin' cute when she laughs and crinkles up her nose!  Every time, without fail!, "B" would start giggling and end up falling over on her bed!  So cute!!  Both have a great sense of humor, as do all the kiddos at their orphanage.

We spent a lot of time with them, but also with their little buddies at the orphanage.  Again, Jesse was a huge hit!  He was loving on all of them.  We joked with them, hugged them, talked with them and spent time just looking in all those beautiful dark eyes and loving them.  Oh, it was better than we could have ever dreamed!


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

PASSED COURT!

We are officially a family of 9!  The judge approved the paperwork on Tuesday, and the adoption is finalized!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Getting closer!

Since it's really too early to pack, the one thing that I am able to do right now is get our donations prepared!   And oh, is that a fun thing to do! I have had a lot of the stuff set aside for months now, and finally put it in suitcases to deliver to Ethiopia.  Mainly clothing, lots of shoes and bed sheets. My brother-in-law has connections to very inexpensive Children's Tylenol and  Ibuprofen, as well as cold medicines which are all things that will for sure be used in an orphanage setting. And thanks to my friend Chris, we have lots of new packages of children's clothing and many school supplies!  One really cool product that is hand-made locally, are washable feminine hygiene products. I just think these are a fantastic pattern idea and cannot wait to teach the nurse about how they are to be used, handled and washed.  Have a feeling that these are going to be an invaluable product to many women!

At this point, I have three large suitcases containing 50 pounds of donations each.  Can't wait to hand deliver them very soon!

I am "nesting" big-time!  I have most everything in my house organized and gone through. (Even the boys closet -- Yikes!) Doing this feels so good and helps me to release some of my energy and seems like the only thing I am able to have control over and do right now.  I am sure that my other five children will help me keep things neat and organized - hahaha!  Just read a quote that went something like: trying to keep your house clean while you have kids, is like raking leaves in a hurricane.  LOL

My husband, well ... his energy release is building a barn!  He  completed it this past week and plans to have our pastured calves in it this week!  So on top of him working his full-time job and having our calf business -- he built a barn in his spare time!  Over-achiever!  Our boys helped him some, as did family and friends when it was time to pour the cement, but mainly he did it all himself. He is my Mr. Incredible!



Saturday, September 26, 2015

Count Down!!!

Oh!  Sometimes I can hardly stand it!  The excitement of meeting my daughters for the first time is overwhelming to even dream about!  Meeting these 2 beautiful angels who I have loved and been chosen to parent for over 18 months.  Emotional, to say the least.  I already have my water-proof mascara, but will try to keep it together since I don't want to scare them!  Ha!  Imagine meeting a strange woman, whom you're supposed to call mom.... Who is sobbing all over you!  Yikes.  Yes, I will try to keep it together.

Just a few more weeks and this will all happen.  Whew!  We are on a huge count down and so are our girlies in Addis.  I keep trying to imagine what is going thru their minds.  Do they fully comprehend what they are leaving?  Do they fully comprehend what they are gaining?  Some days, most days actually, I have a hard time processing all of this.  All I know is that I long, with everything in my heart!, to bring these girls into their forever family and home!

Let the Count Down continue!   

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Faithfulness throughout this past year!

As I write this post, I am reminded of where I was exactly one year ago today and at this time.  I was sitting in the emergency room at DeVos children's hospital with my sweet daughter Jordan, who was about to begin a journey that none of us had ever experienced before. We have all had sicknesses, been through surgeries, ER visits,  etc.... but nothing would compare to what was happening at this very moment one year ago, at this exact time, to my darling daughter.

After much testing it became clear that Jordan had idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP).....which she later joked about getting because she used to go TP-ing all the time,  ha!
This is a platelet condition and for Jordan it meant that her own body was destroying its platelets which resulted in her bloods inability to clot.  As you can imagine, every little bump turned into a huge black and blue mark which was the indicator that there were problems.  We praise God that her condition was ITP and nothing worse.

Looking back, we had four difficult months on this journey with biweekly lab draws, 3 failed medications before a low dose of chemotherapy helped.  And we praise God that we did find a medicine that would work for her blood! 

Through it all, this little trooper of a girl, rarely lost her hope and faith that through the situation , God was teaching her and growing her into what she will become someday!

Yes, September 22 will be always a very important day in all of our lives!  We praise God that Jordan has now had several months of remission from her ITP and our prayer is that she stays this way forever!! 
God has proved Himself once again to be our steadfast Guide and we give Him all the praise for restoring our Jordan back to health!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tickets and JOY!!

WooHoo!  We have our court trip tickets purchased and already know that we are able to visit with our daughters a few times during the trip!  Praise God!  This just seems so amazing to finally be talking court trip plans!  The Ethiopian Team is being very accommodating and more importantly, are working to support our girls in every way!  Love working with Bethany!

And....  Our girls know we are coming!!

We received update videos, pictures and what the girls reactions were to finding out that we are coming!  Their social worker agreed with our idea to show them a calendar with the date circled that we will arrive and have them cross out days until we come!  Again, love working with Bethany, they are great!  This is what "B" and "T's" social worker wrote:





August 24, 2015
The calendar is so much more than a gift for B and T. We have discussed the calendar together and they keep it in their room, next to T's banking bed. October X is circled and T cross out the current day and we count the days together until October X. I have told them that their family will visit them before October X probably over the week end. It is only X days! YAY. They were so excited and very happy. They were curious to know when they will travel with their family and I told them they might have to wait 4-6 weeks after court hearing. I have seen a big smile and relived feeling over their faces. They were shouting, giggling, laughing, hugging and kissing. They were so so happy. B was very happy for the birthday wish and to see you all together blowing out for the candles. I am also happy to see them smiling. 

Amazing!  It feels like we know them and their personalities with how well informed Bethany keeps us.  After watching the 5 videos, both Todd and I said that our daughter (the one who has been struggling with this wait) is back! There is JOY on both of their faces!  As if a huge weight is lifted.  Which it probably is.  Knowing that we are keeping our word, we are real and are REALLY COMING to see them!!  

Friday, August 14, 2015

Birthday & the "Next Step"

Today is "B's" birthday!  The day is here and we celebrate her life from afar!  I thank Jesus for her and for her Ethiopian parents who chose life!  What a gift!  Our little "honey-B" celebrates today and so do we!  Thank you God for taking care of her and loving on her on this special day!

August 14, as I've said before, is my favorite day!  Not only is it my "honey-B's" birthday, it's also the day we went to Ethiopia for our court day (3 years ago) and Kyah became an official Klaasen!  Lots of wonderful things happen on this day!

So, as I stated in my previous post.... "Next step.....Court Date in Ethiopia!!"  
well, guess what!?!  WE GOT OUR COURT DATE!!!

Not sure this has really sunk in yet, but we are thru all processes and have an official date in October to travel for court!  Praise Jesus!!  We feel so amazingly blessed to finally be at this point!  And, although it's a delay due to their rainy season closure, it feels good to be anticipating travel and finally getting to meet our daughters!  WooHoo!!  

Please continue to pray that this continued time of separation is healthy for all of us.  The delays have certainly taken their toll and we ask for prayers for our "honey-B" and "sweet-T" as they process the knowledge of us coming in a couple months and meeting their adoptive mom and dad for the first time.  The anticipation must be overwhelming, I know it is for me just thinking about it!  May God give us all peace throughout the final steps in these adoptions.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

FEDERAL APPROVAL!!!!!!!!

I am thrilled to announce that we received our Federal Approval today!! WOOHOO!!  This is huge and we witnessed God moving mountains and parting waters for us today!  Doing the happy-dance tonight!
                    
                           Thank You JESUS!    


Next step.....Court Date in Ethiopia!!  

Friday, July 31, 2015

Asking for peace from Above

Unfortunately we have not gotten our necessary approval needed before courts close for the rainy season.  Disappointing to say the least.  It seems that we continue to get delays in bringing our 2 beautiful Ethiopian girls home.  HOWEVER, delays and disappointment are part of life and, God willing, we will get them home immediately following the court closure! 

Wish I could wrap my arms around my girls and let them know it'll all be OK.  I can't, but God can!  Wish I could assure my girls that they have a family who is trying everything in their power to complete these adoptions.  I'm not there to tell them, but God can send His Holy Spirit to give them peace and hope.  

In the meantime, please pray that all of us feels Gods peace!  I can honestly say that I am feeling that today!  I am sad, but know that God has a magnificent plan to bring them home and in the perfect time!  So, we wait on that perfect time.  Please pray that Todd feels this peace as I do.  This is a difficult place to be, but God lead us on this journey to adopt again, and I know with confidence, that He won't leave us!  He cares deeply about orphaned children as it's mentioned over 40 times in the scriptures!  HE cares about "T" and "B" and will not leave them orphaned and alone.  Praying that both girls feel in their hearts and know in their minds that God is real and He cares for them!  Asking our Lord for peace for all of us as we continue on....

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Continuing in faith

Now that I've have a chance to process our negative news yesterday, a verse keeps echoing through my mind.  It's from 1 Thessalonians 5:18, which says:  "In everything give thanks; for this is Gods will for you in Christ Jesus."  I read that verse each time my Mom In Prayer group meets and know God is speaking to me as the Holy Spirit keeps whispering those words.

So today, I choose joy!  I'm looking for the ways that God remains faithful and they are very evident! Not sure why we continue to get delays, but I'm going to give thanks and enjoy the blessings He's granted me right now!

The Bethany Ethiopia team will try to get answers on Monday and appeal.  Only God knows what will happen, but likely we won't travel for court until mid-October.   That being said.....we are gonna pray like crazy that the decision could be changed on Monday!  God is good all the time and all the time God is good!  I can say that with confidence!

Today....I am working on giving thanks in everything, as I try to follow His will.

Friday, July 24, 2015

I have no words....

We got a negative approval.  Nothing short of a miraculous intervention will allow us to travel before rainy season court closure.  

I have no words.  I am numb.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Review date coming...

Just got an update from our social worker and cases that were scheduled for review this month have been approved (all except 1).  They expect our cases to be reviewed any day, as they are trying to clear their desks prior to court closure.  

Please PRAY that they find our cases thorough, complete, uncomplicated and give them approval!  

I am amazed with all our prayer warriors!  Friends that say they are "praying every time they think of us, which is often", friends that are praying while they are packing for a move, friends that are passing along this prayer request to others, friends that wake in the night and think of our girls and pray.  

THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts! 

  We feel it and better yet, God hears it!!

 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

With God, ALL things are Possible

God can do anything!  We are praying that we get the approval needed by this week Friday and then can get a court travel date before court closure!  I know that God has the power to do this and believe He can and pray He will!! Please join us in praying:

Dear Heavenly Father,
You and You alone, have the control of all that happens.  We ask in Your Sons Holy and Precious Name to allow us to receive the necessary approvals.  You alone can do this, Lord God.  We plead with you to bring our daughters home to us.  We thank you for their lives and for being their Guide, as we already know how much they depend on You.  Keep them safe physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  Help them to remain hopeful and keep the comforting thought that they have a family who desperately wants them home, to get to know them and loves them so very much!  Dear Jesus, we pour out our hearts and cry to You to get this "formality" through and completed so that we can begin being parents to "T" and "B".  A forever family.  Lord, hold those 2 angels close to You.  Give them peace.  Help this time to pass quickly for them (and us!) and we desperately ask that you soften the hearts of those needing to approve this process.  We ask this all in Your Holy Name, Amen.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Fun Stuff!

Our Bethany lawyer delivered the paperwork on Monday and asked for an appeal (as I mentioned in the previous post).  We are now given a date of July 24 for our case to be determined!  We will take that earlier date (even if just a few days)!  At that point, we will either be approved or denied.  If approved, we will get our travel date!  Obviously praying hard for that option and that it happens prior to rainy season court closures!

In the meantime, WOOHOO!, we've gotten fun info on our girls!  Oh, how I can't wait to share photo's on-line!

I have a friend who traveled home from Ethiopia last Friday bringing home their new child.  Before she left, she asked about our case (just to get an inside advantage for us, which I really appreciate!)  She was told "the staff was celebrating and jumping up and down with excitement over a case!" 
                                       
                                           OUR CASE!

They have literally been fighting for over 8 months to get that signature!  What a blessed day to finally have it complete and in their hands!

Other fun stuff....within the past month, our social worker asked if we would like to be connected to other families who have adopted children from the orphanage our daughters are currently at.  YES!  I would love to and guessing our girlies would want to connect with Ethiopian friends living in the states.  So, this morning I opened my email and first thing I see is a picture of both of our girls with another little girl standing in between them with arms around each other.  My heart pounded as I read about the family who adopted the child in the photo and has been trying for the past year to find out who got matched with "T" and "B"!  She said she's been praying for this family and can't wait to find them and let them know how much their daughters meant to hers!  Seriously!  What a smile from God!!  How humbling it is to have people praying for our girls and our family, strangers at that!  

Give thanks in everything, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 

                                            1 Thessalonians 5:18

Friday, July 3, 2015

REGIONAL APPROVAL!!!

Praising GOD for the blessed news of Regional Approval this morning!!  Our loyal and faithfully praying social worker called me this morning, on her holiday off, with this amazing news!!  We are beyond tears with excitement, as this one process has taken over 8 months to complete.  
Now, we proceed onto Federal.  Our lawyer in Ethiopia will hand deliver the necessary documents on Monday morning and will appeal our girls cases.  Our girls have been in an orphanage for a long time, we've been held up in Regional matters for a long time and Ethiopian court closures are coming and we really want to get our court date before court closure.  (Courts close due to rainy season usually by the 2nd week or so in August and are closed for 6-8 weeks.  I used to think "really, close courts for almost 2 months because of rain.  Can't they just grab an umbrella!?"  Well, having been to Ethiopia 3 years ago at the beginning of rainy season for Kyah's court hearing, I now understand.  Travel can be virtually impossible in many areas.  It's crazy!)
So, we are praying that we get a travel date before courts close! God is powerful and can make this all happen!  Our social workers are very optimistic that this is possible.  Time will tell...
I feel like a huge weight was just removed and that I should sleep good tonight.  However, now I'm too excited and anxious about the next process!!  Heehee :)
Soon, God willing, I will meet my new daughters!!
Thank you so much for all your prayers!!  God is good ALL the time, all the time God is GOOD!!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Hanging in there

As we receive our weekly updates each Friday, I am always hoping.  Hoping that finally, through no less than a miracle, we have THE signature required and we can move on.  One signature.  Again, I'm more than willing to fly to Addis with a suitcase of ink pens and personally deliver them to the director if this would help!  ✈️ ✏️ And yet, we remain waiting. We have a little glimpse of hope and moving forward in that the director verbally told our Bethany representative that he approved both cases.....but he still needs to sign off on them.  Not exactly sure why he doesn't sign them right on the spot and be done with it.  Perhaps a culture thing and different way of doing things (or not doing things!)? Anyway, they will try again next week and we will try to hang in there and keep our hopes up that it will indeed happen next week!
It is such an overwhelming comfort to have gotten this email from our social worker along with our Friday update.  I just had to share it:  

"Still hoping for THIS summer! :)
Committing to prayer this weekend over the heart of this director that God would move him to sign the girls' papers and have them ready Monday morning! I know this has been an incredibly hard and long road for your family and the girls have also been affected by the numerous delays we have come up against with your case, so I'm also praying just for the peace of The Spirit to wash over you all and provide you with comfort as we continue to work toward the girls' adoptions.  Hang in there!!!"

We are SO close and yet many obstacles remain.  Please join in praying our girls home!!  As our social worker suggests to pray "over the heart of the director".  May his heart be moved to complete the signing of the necessary documents for "T" and "B" so we can move to the next step in the Ethiopian adoption process.  It breaks me down to think of my daughters being affected by us not being able to come to them.  God knows I want to!!  God knows I'm trying to!!  My daughters, whom I love so deeply and can't wait to be a momma to, are waiting for God to move mountains and part waters.  I trust He can and is able!!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Blessed, Haiti Trip & June pics

There are days when I just feel so blessed. I want to thank those of you who are faithful in praying for our family!  You are so important to us, we covet and truly feel your prayers!
At just the right time, God put it on your heart to pray, send an email or a card, make a phone call, text me, sit and talk with me (over a cup of java, of course!) or stop over.  Thank you for obeying the Holy Spirits nudge to support me/us in some way.  You know, it is always at the perfect time!  I've had many of these things happen in just the past couple weeks and it is overwhelming how God provides just what I need, just when I needed it.

This journey to bring "T" and "B" home has gone far longer than any of us had ever thought it would, and continues.   What I'm realizing through this process, is that God remains faithful in giving us just what we need, just when we need it.  He has put so many wonderful friends in our lives and I just can't imagine doing this without you!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!  

Nothing has changed in our adoption process and we remain waiting.  Life is difficult to plan.  It's sort of difficult to do life some days.  But, we decided we are going to do what we originally planned for the summer and that is sending Todd and Jordan on a week long mission trip to Haiti!  Jordan set it all up (except for purchasing the tickets - ha!) and they are helping at a medical clinic that sees sick and/or malnourished children.  I'm guessing that although this is what Jordan thinks she wants to do as a career some day, that it's been very difficult week.  I know she and Todd have gotten to love on many children, but the reason they come to the clinic is because they are not healthy in some way.  That's tough to see and it sounds like they've seen many, like over 80 babies in 6 hours!  I'm sure they'll have many stories and pictures to share.

Packed and ready to fly to Haiti!  
  They each packed super light so they could bring 3 large suitcases filled with donations to the clinic.  Love their hearts!! 

My girlies, chillin' in the hammock 
Last day of school!  WOOHOO!!  Jordan will be a Senior, Jesse in 8th Grade, Solomon in 4th Grade and Kyah will begin Pre-School


Sol, Kyah & Jesse are the first ones in our pool!
Kyah & Jesse.  Yes, Kyah is trying to mostly keep out of the cold water by hugging Jesse tight!
Jesse AKA the acrobat!  He is one amazing kid in life, and super fun to watch in motion!Note:  the deck, pool and trampoline strategically set in place where they are...you can imagine what goes on here!  (don't tell our insurance agent!)
Love this pic!  This is Grandpa Lee and Kyah, doing barn chores for Todd while he's in Haiti.  Notice little Kyah following him closely, probably talking a mile a minute, dressed in her pink tutu swimsuit, pink hair bow and of course, pink cowboy boots! 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Here's Hoping!

LOL!  Seriously trying to keep my sense of humor (and sanity!) with never seeming to get any other report than "we will try again next week".  Really should have labeled this blog post "Ditto".

Today's weekly report stated the following:

"..........and they are going to be visiting again on Monday to check and see if the final approval has been granted. The team say that they expect "good news soon", but they have not been able to narrow down a time.
It is hopeful news! Praying to start the next week off well! on Monday!"

Don't want to be upset with this continued news, so I take a sigh, give out a giggle (which tends to be sarcastic lately!) and wait again for another week to come.  Both Todd and I are doing ok.  Yes, this stinks!  However, we have great faith in our Creator, who is able. 

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,  according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Jesus Christ throughout all generations forever and ever!  Amen.  Ephesians 3:20 & 21

I know that He is allowing us to travel this journey for reasons that will glorify Him.  That's what keeps this all tolerable.  Knowing that He is THE one who has control, timing and my beautiful girls close to His side!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

To Be Continued

"The team has also informed us that they have reached out and went to the head office to discuss regional approval today, but the heads of the office are not in. Followed by the election on Sunday, this Thursday was a holiday celebrating the day the current government came into power. The government officials and experts are not available at office with various events going on.

We expect the experts and the head of the offices to be back to office next week. We will follow up on this and send you any updates."

This is what our Friday updates from our social worker have looked like, or at least similar to this, since the end of February.  We are somewhat numb to hearing this same thing over and over and never surprised that nothing has happened.  We are however, NOT giving up hope that one day soon we will get the miraculous surprise that we have gotten our Regional approval!

We received a beautiful updated assessment on both girls this past Friday, which included many pictures and videos!  They are literally growing up before our eyes and are so incredibly beautiful!  I long to share photos of them!  Their English is improving so much and they are doing well in school. It's fun to hear about their day and see how they pose for pictures to send to their family.  Oh how I love to say that!  They each gave us a greeting in English, telling how they pray for us, love us and miss us.  I actually had someone ask how they could miss us having never even met us.  At the thought of that question, I simply smile and know in my heart!  ❤️

So, for today, we pray that this coming week would be the week we get our Regional approval!  God can make a way, where there seems to be no way!
Praying I do not need to post another "to be continued" and that I can rejoice with some positive news in our daughters cases!!
Thanks for your continued prayers!!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Distractions

You know the saying "God is up to something or the devil wouldn't be fighting this hard"....oh, we must have satan shaking in his boots!  He is trying SO hard to fight against our adoptions!  This all just came to my realization as I was contacting my social worker just now and had a discussion about all the things that are being thrown in our path to slow things down.
There have been so many road-blocks in our case and especially right now.  Crazy things!  He (satan) knows he is up for a big fight and won't win this!  He's scared!  That's right where I want him! He doesn't want these precious souls welcomed into a loving Christian family to be raised to love and fear God!
Pray this fight will be over soon!  The spiritual warfare here is huge!
My girls need a family.  Even if they are in an orphanage with caring nannies, friends, their own beds, 3 meals a day (much more than many children are fortunate enough to receive!), at the end of the day...it's still an orphanage.  No mom.  No dad.  No big brothers.  No little brothers.  No big sister.  No little sister.  How I long for them to be a part of my magnificent family!!
We got a "mini" update on them today.  It's blessed and so pathetically sad all at the same time.  I can't even bring myself to type our daughters words.  It brings me to tears.  Please pray that this fight to bring them home will be over soon.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

No news

Todd spoke with our social worker this morning and there has been no news our case.  Perhaps tomorrow, or we wait for our normal Friday update.  Praying that the meeting did take place as scheduled on Monday, just have to confirm that and our much anticipated approval!
In the mean time, blessed news from my friends to pass along!  I have 2 friends that passed Federal court today!  PTL!!  They are waiting to get their court dates!  That so gives me hope, especially in the light of other local agency's closing their doors to adoptions with Ethiopia recently.  Thankful for Bethany and that we get to have them for our agency again.  They work so hard in country, that I've seen first hand!  Processes and their changes are difficult and challenging, so we pray for those working hard for our girls!
Praising God today for families that received a positive approval!  

Monday, May 11, 2015

Another day.....

Another meeting is set.  Monday (today) is supposed to be the new day that papers get approved.  God willing, this meeting did actually take place and our daughters' paperwork got its needed approval!  We are trying to have a huge sense of humor with this situation since it turns out that our agency's lawyer went to the meeting that was scheduled last Thursday to get these papers approved, only to get another meeting date set for Monday.  Due to Ethiopia being 8 hours ahead of us and communication difficulty some days, we haven't heard if this meeting took place or what the outcome is....

So, we wait another day.  Eh, what's another day, right!?  Well...as a momma in-waiting let me just tell you!  Right now, there is a hole.  A huge part of my life feels so incomplete and there seems to always be this sense of longing for the good news of approval, etc...with our daughters cases.   Which makes me think of my faith in Jesus!  What a gaping hole my entire being would be without Him to save me.  ME!  Just an insignificant woman from East Overisel!  He cares so much that He invited me to be on this wonderful-full of surprises-full of questions-journey and mother 2 more of His children.  ME!  He loves me and I'm important to Him and am a chosen member in His family.  My life would be incomplete without my Lord and He continues to give me strength and brighten my days!

Having just celebrated Mothers Day yesterday, I can say that I am over-the-top loving being a mom to Gabe, Jordan, Jesse, Solomon & Kyah!  Love these kiddos so much!!  What huge blessings each of them are to me!  And, although I am so anxious for their sisters to join the crew; today, this is where God placed me in life.  And, I'm cherishing each moment!