Monday, March 31, 2008

Note from Nora

Your children are in the city!!! I am going to help Sue take Yacob to the doctor's tomorrow. I have not seen him yet but apparently she is very concerned about his health. I think I might get to meet your children since we have to go to the guesthouse to pick him up and that is where your children are. If I do get to meet the children, I will definitely take photos. If it helps to ease your mind at all, the women taking care of the children are absolutely wonderful. I was there today when the brought (another adoptive family's) children to them and they were actually crying when they left. I gave them both hugs and told them how much we appreciate them taking such wonderful care of our children and how much it means to us that they love them so much.

Yacob is a little boy who is waiting to be adopted. He is on the waiting child list on CCI's website. Please pray for him to recover quickly without pain and discomfort!

We be travlin'

I got a call from Debbie today saying that we have an embassy date scheduled for April 22. I got on the phone immediately and am getting quotes from two different travel agencies, Susan Parr Travel and another one referred by our agency. I can't believe we are going to be travelling soon!

My e-friend Nora is in Ethiopia right now picking up her sweet daughter Zenha Bethlehem. Nora is adopting from our agency, too. She is such a sweetheart to give me updates as she is travelling. She told me yesterday that Sue (CCI's owner who is also travelling with Nora) will be transporting our babies from the orphanage to Addis while she is there. So exciting! Nora also plans to take pictures of our babies if she gets a chance to see them, so we can get some new footage of their sweet faces.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Orphans and Africa

I don't really love Rick Warren, because he ranks up there with the "Joel Olsteens" of the world in new ageism and "feel good Christianity", but this latest video clip really has a lot of good statistics in it. There are more orphans in this world than half the population of the United States! We as a blessed nation of wealth need to use what God has blessed us with to help those in need. As the Casting Crown song goes,

...If we are the body
Why aren't His arms reaching?
Why aren't His hands healing?
Why aren't His words teaching?
And if we are the body
Why aren't His feet going?
Why is His love not showing them there is a way?
There is a way

Jesus paid much too high a price
For us to pick and choose who should come
And we are the body of Christ

Aren't we basically picking and choosing who should and shouldn't come to Christ if we fail to reach out to those orphans around the world, and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them? Didn't Jesus in the Great Commission call us to go to "all nations" and share the gospel? Do you realize what impact your life would have on a lost and hurting soul through the adoption and discipling an orphan?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Choices

Every day we make choices. Every move we make in life, whether physically or spiritually is composed of choices.

God makes choices, too. The most perplexing, mind-baffling choice He has ever made is the choice to include me in His kingdom. He chose ME! I am so broken, so full of self, so prideful... It blows my mind that He, out of all the people in the world, would chose someone so lowly and undeserving. Yet, He reached down, and scooped me up out of the pit, and adopted me into His family. I am His child. I was once seperated from Him, but He brought me home to Himself. And now, I am whole.

I am perplexed by this fact - Not only did He adopt me as His own, but He chose me (and Kevin) to adopt children. I am not worthy of the calling. I have been chosen to mother two of God's most precious masterpieces... Sena and Eli Simbona. They are precious. They are GIFTS. Yet, He overlooked all my failings and falterings, and He chose ME to be their mother. I am so eternally grateful. I pray that the same Spirit that called me to be their mother will guide me into all wisdom and I strive daily to care for His children in the way He will lead me. I pray that I will be obedient to whatever He has called me to do during this journey of motherhood, whether it is comfortable, whether it comes naturally, whether it required stretching me to a place where I might break.

I pray that this Easter you, too, make the choice to place Jesus first in your life above all else. After all, He chose YOU.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Well, today is truly Good Friday. I woke up this morning to an answering machine message from Debbie, asking me to call her back. We passed court today, and the children are legally ours!

We are so excited. Soon we will be holding those precious babies in our arms!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Another bad dream

Last night I had a dream that Sena's mother had changed her mind and decided not to allow us to adopt her. I was in Ethiopia, at the airport, by myself. Kevin apparently stayed home to take care of our kids. In my dream, anyone who was there to adopt children had to fill out a bunch of forms while in the airport before uniting with their children. (Gee. Could this perhaps have stemmed from all the documents I've had to fill out and submit over the past week?) :)

I was filling out the forms, someone came and spilled a bunch of water on the table where I was writing. The forms got all wet. I approached the counter to ask the woman if I could get another set of forms, and she looked at me with an exasperated look. Apparently, there was only ONE set of forms for me, and they couldn't be duplicated. (Kind of like how our dossier had to be notarized, authenticated, certified, etc., etc.,) I said, "Oh, well, let's just forget it. They'll dry!"

As I was waiting for my paperwork to dry, I got a call from CCI. They told me that Sena would not be our daughter. I started moaning and sobbing. I couldn't imagine life without her! CCI hung up with me. Then I realized, I didn't know if that meant we could adopt another second child or not! I knew that Simbo would be our son, but we also wanted a daughter! Was I going to have to wait in Ethiopia until another child could be referred to us? Would we no longer be able to adopt a second child because the children's paperwork had already gone through court? Would I have to do another complete dossier? Would I have to travel back home with Simbo and wait to return a second time for our daughter?

The wonderful part of the dream was, that a group of a few women (apparently who were fostering Simbona) approached me in the airport, holding that sweet little Simbo. They taught me how to say some soothing words in his native language. After I learned the words, I said them to him in my most soothing Mommy-voice. After speaking to me only for a few minutes, he turned to me and put his arms out to me and acted like he wanted me to hold him. He was mine at last! That was a sweet moment. (Of course, this is probably not what our first meeting will truly be like at all.)

Well, as you can see, I am not getting much sleep lately. I just PRAY and PRAY that both Sena and Simbo will be ours... SOON! I don't think I could bear it if the children who I already consider mine in my heart could not be mine. Although it would be a wonderful thing for these babies to be reunited with their birth mothers, I don't think I would be able to truly celebrate for them.

After reading this, you may be thinking to yourself, "Where is her faith now?" Well, let me tell you, I serve a BIG GOD with a perfect plan for my life. Although it would break my heart in two for something like this to happen, I know that His plan is sovereign and that whatever He has planned for me is best for all. I have not lost faith, but I am weary right now in this process. I place my full trust in the One who will call all things to be as He has planned. (I just happen to be having a few bad dreams on the side...) :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Court date rescheduled... AGAIN

Well, folks! Let's hope that the third time is a charm. I was expecting to get "the call" today regarding the outcome of the court hearing. By 3:00, I was getting a little anxious. I had been out of the house all day and rushed home to see that little blinking light on my answering machine... No such thing. When I looked at my cell phone, I realized the battery was dead. So, (I reasoned) maybe Debbie tried to call my cell phone and I just didn't receive the call!

So, I called her and asked her the outcome, holding my breath all the time. She told me that apparently there was some type of holiday in Ethiopia, and that the court date had been moved to Friday. AUGGGGHHHH! Why she didn't call me before to let me know this? Not really sure. But, at any rate, here we are, in the wait mode again. Friday just happens to be Good Friday. I wonder if there is any correlation of any kind? :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tomorrow's the day!

Well, tomorrow, when I wake up, the children's case should have already been through court (God willing.) Addis Ababa is 8 hours ahead of Oklahoma time. (So, it's about 7:00 pm here right now, and 3:00 am there...) I just pray that everything goes well, and that both of the birth-moms are able to make it to court.

I have to tell you, I have been under EXTREME spiritual attack lately. I don't know what is going on, but I just feel a heaviness in our household. It really has nothing to do with the adoption. I just feel this overwhelming heaviness on my heart. I just ask humbly that you lift me up in prayer right now. And while you're at it, pray for a successful court date, too. :) (Thank you, Teresa and Danielle, I can already feel your prayers!)

Maybe its because it is such a gray day outside. It's been dark, cloudy, and rainy all day...

I LOVE this!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sending more documents...

On Wednesday, Debbie called me and told me that CCI was asking for more documents from us. They wanted me to complete the I600, the DS230, and the I864 and FedEx them later in the afternoon. Well... after looking over them, I could tell there was NO way that I was going to be able to do that. They were WAY too difficult to complete, and I had to get our 2007 tax packet and make a copy of the entire thing. (I have no idea where it is... Kevin does our taxes.) And, since Kevin is out of town on business (yet AGAIN), he can't help me find the taxes and he won't be able to sign all these forms until he returns on Friday.

Thankfully, it was a good thing, after all. (Praise God!) Since the agency is so new at the Ethiopian adoptions, they weren't quite sure how the forms were supposed to be completed. So, by Friday, they had it all figured out (I think...) Kevin came home Friday afternoon and I spent all evening and all morning Saturday morning getting these forms finished and ready to be sent off.

These forms are for the children, in order to start processing their visas once the court date is completed. WOW! It looks like things are really starting to move along!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Yay, for my friend, Nora!

One of the "friends" I have made over the internet is an adoptive mom named Nora. She is adopting from CCI as well, and was scheduled the same day that we were for our court date (March 13). Her case went through! I am so happy for her. She will be leaving the US on March 26th to go pick up her little girl!! She has experienced a lot of anxiety throughout her adoption journey. There have been a lot of uncertainties for her, and now she can rest in the peace of God. I am praising God for how He has carried her through this whole process.

This news may be promising for our family, as well. Since Nora's court case went through on the 13th and she's traveling 13 days later, perhaps it means that we will be traveling soon after our court date, as well! I am ready for whatever the Lord calls us to do. I'd better start a packing list!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Court date has been moved to March 19

Hey, everybody!

Well, I got a call from Debbie today, and it seems that Simbona's birth mother was sick and couldn't make the court date. So, it has been rescheduled for March 19th. I have to admit that I was a little bit disappointed for about five minutes or so. But, when receiving the call, I just reminded myself that everything goes according to God's perfect timeframe. He is the One in charge of everything, and that His plan is so much better than mine.

One of the other adoptive mothers from our agency who had the same court date as mine made it through court. I was so happy for her, because she is a single mother and was really anxious about getting through court. She told me that she thinks her embassy date will be around April 1. That's a pretty quick turnaround for travel! (The embassy date is when the child is given a visa in which to travel to the US. Even once the child is declared legally yours on the court date, they can't travel without the visa. Visa processing takes a little while, so that's why there's a discrepancy of time between the court date and the embassy date.) Perhaps if her embassy date takes place in such a short time, that will mean a "positive" for us as well in regards to a quick travel date.

All in all, I am certain what my God is capable of, and I just imagine that He will cause things to move rather quickly. He has done so many miracles and amazing things through this adoption, that I wouldn't expect anything less in regard to our upcoming court date and travel. I just have such a complete peace about the whole thing no matter what. It is so comforting to know that our lives are in such good and perfect hands. Now if I could just have as much trust and total faith in other areas of my life as I've had with this adoption... :)

Great video about adoption by James Piper

God ordained adoption before the beginning of the world.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Look what God has done!

A dear friend of mine (that I've known since puberty and zits) emailed me the following letter...

"Congratulations Julie! I'm so excited for your family. I just have to tell you how you have blessed ours. You know we have been talking about foster care for 2 years, but have not done it. When I recieved your first e-mail in January, I found myself just crying as I read your blog. (My husband) and I talked that very night and I called DHS the next day. We begin our classes to become certified foster parents next week. Not only has God orchestrated this adoption for you, but through your obedience it has also changed our lives. Can't wait to see the children God has planned for us. Hope to see you soon. I would love to get together and talk. Maybe we can get together in March before you travel to get your babies. I'm sure both of our schedules are going to become a little more difficult to get together in the near future!" (I edited the name above to protect her privacy.) :)

I have prayed since the beginning of this adoption process that God would touch lives for His glory! I am so thankful that I get to see some of the fruit of those prayers! I have had friends that have been praying in agreement for the same prayer. What a wonderful blessing to be able to see the impact that God has had on others' lives as a result of this adoption! I mean, it is certainly a privilege that God shared this with us. I mean, after all, He is GOD, and he certainly doesn't have to let us know that our prayers are impacting people behind the scenes. But, what a wonderful and merciful God we serve! I am going to continue to pray that this adoption (and these beautiful angelic babies) are going to change the lives of YET MORE people for the praise and glory of our Lord. YAY!

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Can you hear my teeth chattering??? It is a brisk 58 degrees in my house today. The heater has not been repaired as of yet, because the repairman has to order the part. (Apparently, having a geo-thermal system is kind of a headache, because the parts aren't just laying around in abundance...) Ugh.

We are using two electric space heaters that my (darling) friend let me borrow, but we just can't seem to bear to light the kerosene heater that she let us borrow. The smell just gags everyone and we all end up with headaches about two hours after we light the thing!

So, I guess until our heater gets fixed, PRAY for us that either (1) the part comes in so we can get our heater FIXED, or (2) that the weather gets much warmer so we won't continue to FREEZE!!! Brrrrrr!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Time keeps on ticking...

Time flies when you're covered in vomit. Keaton is going on his third day being sick. He obviously has what they call "rotovirus"... They don't call it "roto"-virus for nothing! Have you ever heard of "roto-rooter?" Apparently, there is a business that cleans out septic systems named RotoRooter. Imagine that concept in the stomach of a two year old. Pretty accurate description! :(

He is at least not as sick as he was. His little eyes are droopy and he smacks his dry little lips like a little old man, and he is LOOPY! You might think he was drunk if he wasn't two years old. :) He certainly isn't himself lately. I can't really describe his behavior; he is just a little "off" right now. I guess it could be the loss of brain cells (because I'm sure he deposited a few of them into the "barf bowl" with as hard as the poor thing has been heaving...)

Well, at least time is going fast. My days are kindof running together, taking care of the sick. Pray for Keaton's health. He needs them!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Germs, weather, and broken heater

Well, we are officially contaminated today. Keaton had the stomach flu early Sunday morning, and now Rachel has it. Poor thing! It's her 5th birthday. Thankfully, after much prayer and rest, she is feeling better this evening. Keaton, on the other hand, is having a much harder time recuperating. His two year old body is just "plum worn out" from being so sick for two days. I feel so bad for him! His little tummy has NOT been happy AT ALL, and he has been having explosions out both ends. :(

I guess it is a blessing that we don't have the babies home, because they would probably share in the misery around here! Add to that the fact that our Oklahoma weather is really wacky right now, and it's a double blessing! On Saturday, it was 72 degrees outside and BEEEEE-Utiful! On Sunday, it rained cats and dogs, and the storm brought a cold front across the state, along with tornadoes. Today, it is about 40 degrees outside, it snowed, and the wind is blowing about 60 MPH.

We don't have a working heater in our house right now, because our compressor went out on Saturday morning. Thanks to good, godly friends (thank you, Cullens!), we are able to borrow a kerosene heater and two electric heaters to keep us warm. (I guess the broken heater would make it a THIRD blessing that we don't have the babies here!)

We can't wait to see them, but are truly thankful for God's provision in preventing them from arriving in our current state of household chaos. LOL :)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Birthday party for Rachel

Today is Rachel's 5th birthday party. She actually doesn't turn five until Monday the 3rd of March, but we're having her party today with friends and family. We bought her her very own bike with training wheels, and a pair of quad roller skates. She wanted to have a "panda and koala" birthday party, so I ended up having to make her a cake (as I didn't trust the local Wal Mart bakery to do her cake any justice...) It turned out better than I expected! Not bad for a beginner. :)

Rachel was so surprised about her bike. I just loved this picture that my friend Charlotte took when she first saw the bike.

I can't believe my baby is turning five! She was little just yesterday. I keep telling her, "You can't ever get any bigger than four years old!" She just gives me a big smile and says, "I'm gonna, Mommy! I'm going to be five, and then six, and then nine..." Oh, it goes by WAY TOO FAST!

Verse for today

Hi friends!

Well, as you all well know, I am a "doing" type of person. Now that there's nothing to "do" but wait, it gets a little frustrating for a person like me. Today I read a Scripture posted on an adoption Yahoo site that I read. It was very fitting for me, so I wanted to post it here.

"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely,
the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be
patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single
day." -Habakkuk 2:3

God sure is good to have words of truth in His book to comfort me in every need. Hey, at least its March 1st! We only have 12 more days to wait to see if the court date goes through! Yay!