Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Direction

Ok, so I am sure many of you are wondering what is going on. We haven't had an update since the last two hard ones. We were waiting until things were final to make any definitive statements.  And, things are final, so here we go.
When we got the news of the extended wait times for Ethiopia it obviously felt like a total blow, but we are now seeing God had some other plans. We had discussed pursuing a domestic adoption after our Ethiopia one was finalized, but having the wait time increase so much made it feel impossible to do either. So, on a hope and a prayer I decided to email our social worker at our adoption agency and ask if we could pursue both at the same time. I fully expected her to say no. As I was emailing her Andy said "Hey, why don't you email Elise and ask her if we can do both at the same time since we know Ethiopia will take far longer than domestic." Uh......That is exactly what I was doing!! The next day Elise said it was possible, but we had to get approval from our home study social worker, find a domestic agency that would allow it and then we would have to get approval through our current adoption agency. And, we would have to fund both at the same time. It seemed too big but I had hope. Our God is a God of the impossible!
So, today we got the final approval and now we are going to start applying for adoption grants and loans to get funding.
We are super excited. Even though things didn't go in the order we had planned, I know God has plans for us and we will one day understand why the order of our adoptions got shaken up. We still get to pursue and wait on our Ethiopian sweetie and we get to add another boy or girl to our family! We are thrilled that we don't have to shut the door on Ethiopia and that we don't have to wait 6+ years to become a family of 6.

 "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. Isaiah 55:8

This couldn't be more true and I couldn't be more thankful!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Miscarriage....this is the word Andy used to describe how he felt. Like we just had a miscarriage. It's so accurate. I had a miscarriage years ago so I feel like I can say that knowing how accurate it is. We had really felt like there was a specific girl out there in Ethiopia that had already been conceived that we were just plunging head first into praying for, working for and waiting for. It doesn't feel like all hope is lost, it just feels like we lost this one. Yet we press on.
I talked to our case worker at our agency yesterday in depth. We discussed reasoning for the wait, options, direction, money, time....annnnd I cried through most of it. Poor girl had to listen to me cry. She was so sweet. She understood the hurt. She was very forthcoming and even encouraged us to seek out other programs/countries and if we felt led, agencies. She also cautioned me on other agencies working with Ethiopia. Telling me the wait is long due to the country not the agency so to be wary on agencies offering short wait times. There is a lot of crooked people out kills me. Then she said they have so many children in their orphanages in Ethiopia that she would love to just email me a referral to tomorrow, but she can't. It's beyond their control. A lot of it lies on the the government there and the requirements, the rate at which they process things and the strictness of the regulations. The country wants to be sure their children are taken care of, not just shipped out. I can respect that. It takes a long time and she honestly said (which I respect the honesty) our wait is likely to increase consistently. Yet another gut punch.
She gave me details on other programs, other countries etc etc....She also gave me testimony of families who started with one country. Feeling totally led to it. Then, down the road switch programs and get a child that they KNOW God meant for them. Had they never started down path "a" and had that wait time, they never would have had the baby at the end of path "b". She also encouraged me that some people stick out the wait. (The ever long, exhausting, wait.) And know it was right. They get the child they know God intended for their family. There is no wrong answer. There is just the path God leads you down at the cross roads. Now we just need to know what path we take.
We have been through this type of thing before. Feeling led one direction with something, doors closing, and later seeing exactly why God led us that direction in the first place. I struggled for a while. Did I even hear God's leading? Then it felt so clear that yes, we had heard. We followed. and once we got to a fork in the road HE led us to the right and not the left, like we had expected. It isn't always how we expect or plan. BUT, that doesn't mean it's wrong. It is just that HIS ways are higher than mine, HIS thoughts are not my thoughts, HIS plan is perfect mine is....well....mine.
So, we pray for direction. Ask questions, research and ultimately follow the Lords leading. Wherever that may take us. We still have no answer to that. Yet.
And can I just say I HAVE THE BEST FRIENDS IN THE WORLD?! I have had so many women checking in, praying for me, over me, with me, encouraging me, crying with me......We are blessed. And I'm not being cliche. I truly am. Beyond measure. The support is overwhelming. (In a good way of course) :)
P.S. The boys know nothing of these possible changes, wait time etc. We are waiting until we have a clear path before saying anything. We want to be certain before we speak. Nahum's poor sweet heart can't handle too much in this area. He is so sensitive and talks about his sister daily. Kills. Me!

Monday, March 31, 2014


I kind of feel like a broken record. Like every time I blog it is "up, down, up, down, up, down...." I feel like every time It starts with "please pray for...." or "Yay!!! Thanks for praying." Someday this roller coaster blog will say "It's finished!!!" That day however is not today. I will try to keep the long story short.
A couple of weeks ago we were notified that our home study would expire in May. Therefore we had to yet again run through the gamut of paperwork, physicals, in home visits etc etc... My first thought was "How could it have been that long already?! Seriously? Has it been two years?!" However, God yet again provided and the money was there to do it. So, we are in the process of updating the home study, as discouraging as it may be.
Then, Nahum had another rough couple of days waiting for his sister. Or, "missing her" as he says. I still hate how hard this is on his sweet little heart. This of course just adds to the emotions.
Finally, (and this is where the up and down continues) we need some serious prayer. We have some hefty decisions to make. We received another email from our agency stating that our wait time has yet again increased. We are now at 36-42 months wait DTE (Dossier to Ethiopia) This is getting insane and hard to take. When we started this process it was 9-18 months. The continual increase has me beyond discouraged. I keep praying. I keep trying to stay positive through the questions and continual changes, but I'm not gonna lie. I'm over it. I am sad. There is pretty much no other words other than sad and discouraged. Basically we need prayer for direction. Do we wait this out another 3 years??? It has already been over 2 1/2! Do we transfer our dossier to another country? Do we switch to domestic? There are babies every where that need a mommy and daddy. Everywhere! Where do you want us to pursue God?
We are going to spend some time praying over this decision. Please pray with us. We need it!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Great News!

We got a great letter from our agency today! Thank you all so much for praying with us during this time, we are so happy to say that Ethiopia remains OPEN! Praise the Lord! We are thrilled and will continue to wait as we have been for a referral. Keep the prayers coming for that!

Dear Andy & Erin,

We are thrilled to share positive news from Ethiopia.  Earlier today Minister Zenebu, along with other high level MOWCYA officials, met with agency network representatives.  In this meeting it was clearly expressed by Minister Zenebu that she does not plan to work to stop adoptions, but desires to focus on eliminating bad practice and continue to invest in good practice of Ethiopia adoptions.  She reiterated that neither MOWCYA nor the Ethiopian Government plan to shut down adoptions within Ethiopia, and went on to encourage agencies to continue their work as normal.

We know this news comes as relief for many adoptive families in process.  America World will continue to work on behalf of Ethiopia’s orphans and vulnerable children to place them into Christian homes.  We expect MOWCYA will likely hold more meetings in the weeks to come and will continue to keep families updated with any new information.  We are seeing several regions issue clearances for children to be adopted and are hopeful more will start soon.

America World is in full support of improvements to uphold the most ethical practices in adoption. We care deeply about adoptions operating with integrity and transparency.  We will continue to support MOWCYA in their efforts to implement better parameters around adoption processes and safeguards against fraudulent practice.

We are glad to hear this news today, and know it has been a long few weeks for families since Ethiopia’s first statement about adoptions. Thank you for your perseverance throughout this month. Please feel free to contact me with any follow-up questions about this.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

More waiting

Looks like we will be waiting another week. Thank you for continuing to pray with us! We will let you know when we hear more, but for now here is our latest letter from our agency.

Dear Andy & Erin,

As we know families are eagerly awaiting news from Ethiopia’s Parliament, we want to share any updates we receive with you. America World has been seeking clarity and any updates on the time frame for Parliament’s response.  We are now anticipating news from Parliament on Thursday, January 16th. Due to Ethiopian Christmas this week and a Muslim holiday next week, these days will not be counted in the 10 business days originally estimated by Parliament for a response.  Our agency is fasting and praying over the next 3 days for the children in Ethiopia, and we invite you to join us in this.

By Thursday, the 16th, we will send an update unless we receive any news earlier. We do encourage families to hold loosely to the time frames given. Thank you for joining us in prayer.