Being "anxious for nothing"

It is 5:00 in North Carolina now and no referral has come this week. I am reminded of being pregnant and each night going to bed thinking, “Surely I won’t still be pregnant tomorrow, I’ll probably wake up in labor tonight.” But sure enough, the morning would come and that little baby would still be under my heart and not in my arms. With two of my babies I was a week overdue and it was a difficult time for me, especially with my oldest son who was born in the midst of a heat wave in upstate New York.

Now I wake up each morning thinking, “Surely Sue will call today with news of our children. We’ve been next in line for nearly two weeks, it should be today.” Then as the afternoon approaches, my hope begins to dwindle and by 2:00 I realize that we will have to wait another day.

These emotions are on the surface of my life, but deep in my heart I am “anxious for nothing”. I know that my Lord is perfectly in control and that the details must not be in place yet for our children to be referred to us. We put our trust in Jesus, and we wait in hopeful expectation to hear of the blessings He is going to bestow upon us.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone. If I get more news on little Dimples, I will share it!

Another Update on Dimples

Since I have a nickname for C., “Little Boo”, I couldn’t resist giving K. a nickname too. She is unbelievably cute and has the sweetest dimples on both cheeks, so Dimples seems appropriate – at least for today.

Here is another delightful update from Erin:

well, we spent quite a bit of time with K. today and she is one heck of a kid!!!! she is hilarious. She is absolutely the most outgoing child there…she sings, she dances, she does tumbles, all to show off and get your attention and praise. She has crystal clear English when she says, “Excuse me, what is your name? My name is K.!” She sang to me, counted to 10, sang her ABC’s and was just hilarious. She is definitely NOT SHY and she is just so sweet and full of spunk and life and joy. She has an amazing and very special spirit. You guys are going to be so blessed with her. She is a hoot!!!!
She was very sweet with the smaller kids and seemed to like them a lot. She has lots of friends with the kids her age.
She does have a naughty streak (don’t they all!!!) she ran all the way down the driveway at one point and put her hand on the gate. (She is a very fast runner!!!!!) and three grownups yelled at her not to open it…so she opened it, and then ran all the way back laughing and laughing. She is also quite the daredevil…she was doing tumbles on the cement and jumping off of steps. She was a big show off. Smiley emoticon She sings the loudest, runs the fastest, smiles the biggest…she is happy and sweet and really, an amazingly wonderful little girl.
She is definitely a leader amongst the “middles” (not the babies, not the big kids) and the nannies all like her very much. I think she is just going to thrive in your family…she so very much wants love and attention. I think her age of five almost 6 is just about right. She is on the small side (but they all are over here). I think a 4-5T would be just right now. Her hair has grown quite long (we have lots of pictures that we’ll send you once we get home). She looks very healthy.
I don’t know if we’ll get back over there again or not, and we’ll definitely spend more time with her if we do. Anyway, I wanted to get this all to you while it was fresh in my mind. I’ll get the pictures to you as soon as I can. Winking smiley emoticon

Thank you for reading and for sharing our happiness. To any family members who are reading, it sounds like Dimples is going to do her share to contribute lots of energy to our family gatherings!

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families. Psalm 68:5,6a

Thank you to all of you who prayed for our fundraiser. It was a beautiful evening of sharing about the AIDS orphan crisis in Ethiopia and about the adoption of our children. People gave so generously; we were completely humbled and amazed. God has shown himself to be so faithful to us.

One thing that we had been asked to do in preparation for the evening was to prepare a financial statement explaining the cost of adoption and where the money actually goes. Often when somebody hears the dollar figure they are shocked that it is so expensive and wonder who is making so much money in this process. It helps to see it itemized.

On Friday I finally typed up this information. We had a good handle on how things were going with our little boys’ adoption expenses, but we hadn’t taken a hard look at how things were going with K’s. When we saw it on paper and then added the two amounts together, we were very disheartened. It seemed an impossible figure to cover. But at the time of greatest discouragement, the Lord surrounded us with people who cared and gave sacrificially, they shared our burden and loved us. Our hearts are greatly encouraged!

To add to our joy, I received an email this morning from a mother who is picking up her daughter at K’s orphanage. She had promised me updates and photos of K., but I didn’t expect to hear from her while she was still in Addis. Below is an excerpt from her email.

“I just wanted to send you a quick note to tell you that we saw K. this morning and that she is darling!!! She’s so much cuter in person. The pictures don’t do her justice. Smiley emoticon

We were only there for a short time this morning so we didn’t get to spend much time with her or the other kids, but I recognized her right away. I called out her name and she turned around and flashed me a HUGE smile and then came over and shook my hand. So sweet! She is very smiley and really looks very healthy. She is tiny though…way smaller than I pictured! All of the kids are smaller than they looked in the pictures. I would say a 4T would be just about right right now…she is one of the tallest kids here now and she is very girlie looking. Her hair is really growing out, and it looks to be very fine and soft hair.

She is going to be so much fun for you guys! I promise I will spend more time with her over the next few days and will get some pictures. “

I’ll close with this:

Because your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name. Ps. 63: 3-4

Thank you for reading and for caring about our little ones.

Our Dossier is Done!

Much to our amazement, our dossier for K’s adoption is done. Even as I type these words I wonder if it can be true? Our dossier packet arrived from AAI on the weekend while we were gone. On Monday we looked it over and began to organize ourselves. Russ took charge of the employment letter, bank statement, and gathering our birth/marriage certificates and tax documents. I called two of our previous references, arranged for medical statements, wrote the “family letter to the Ethiopian government”, got our revised homestudy ready to go, FedEx’ed documents to both the Idaho and Washington Secretary of State. We both got our passport photos taken again. I also called the police department and requested two more police clearance letters.

Yesterday and today we began to gather things, going to the police department, credit union, clinic, Human Resources office, etc. Then today we took a stack of documents to our credit union where the nicest woman ever watched us sign them and notarized each one. We laid everything out on the dining room table, checked our dossier list, checked again and looked at each other in amazement. By 3:00 it was ready to go, but the FedEx pickup for the day was already gone, so tomorrow morning I’m sending it off.

God is so amazing! I am completely in awe of his goodness and his love for our little girl and for us. I will admit, I am completely sleep deprived and emotionally worn out, but we are blessed! Thank you to our friends who wrote letters, our credit union friend, our doctor, the kind woman in Human Resources, and our local police department!

Thank you for your prayers.

Next in Line!

At 6:30 this morning, I called our case manager, Tracy, who is in North Carolina. The one time it is nice having CWA in a different time zone is when I remember to call them early. Tracy is leaving for Ethiopia on Monday, so I wanted to check in with her before she left.

She told me that we are next in line for a referral of two children in the age group we’ve selected. They have children to refer, but are waiting for paperwork on them. She ended our conversation telling me not to sit by the phone, but not to get too far away either.

I am both encouraged and honestly, a little bit scared. It is a very vulnerable thing to know that somebody is going to be selecting children for us and then picking up the phone to give us the news. I can’t quite explain what it feels like, but I get tears in my eyes just thinking about it. All of this leads me to prayer. God has led us this far, surely He will be at the very heart of the referral process.

K’s adoption paperwork is in full swing. I’ve spent hours the last couple of days (and nights) typing up documents and letters, calling people to request letters of reference and police clearance letters, checking prices on passport photos (this time we need eight each), and more. The biggest hurdle today is having our doctor sign our medical forms, but they have to be notarized, so I have to try to arrange to have him and a notary in the same place at the same time.

We are also preparing for our fund raiser on Friday night. Last night “Rusty” and our friend Nathan prepared a slide show that will be running throughout the evening. I need to get photos printed of K. so people can see how absolutely adorable she is. In addition, both Russ and I need to prepare brief presentations (5 min. each). Russ is going to speak about Ethiopia and the AIDS orphan crisis, and I am going to speak about our journey of adoption. A friend and fellow adoptive father is going to speak about the process and costs of adoption.

In the midst of all this, life goes on! A. is ready for me to go over her third grade math and practice her spelling words.

I will try to keep my mind on this verse:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths. Pr. 3:5

Please continue to pray for us.

What a Weekend!

We just got home from the Kingdom Kids Adoption Training and it was amazing. We took our five oldest children with us, which turned out to be a great decision. I will write more about it later this week, but suffice it to say that we loved it and are so happy that we went.

In slightly discouraging news, we came home to find our dossier packet from our new agency. This would have been good news except that my middle initial was wrong on each form where my name was typed. I’ll call them in the morning. There are plenty of things we can begin to work on while we wait for new forms.

What I would most love to do tomorrow is settle in for a nice, undisturbed homeschool day. However, dossier prep awaits and until it is done our little girl will be living in an orphanage in Ethiopia. There are so many things that we cannot control in this process, including the time spent waiting for other people to do their part, but I am in control of how quickly I do my share. Thinking of her being there gives me the energy I need to do this one more time.

It’s going to be a full week!