Monday, September 29, 2014


We are rejoicing!  This morning I finally received the phone call from our family coordinator at AWAA saying that we had all of the needed documents to submit to PAIR (Pre-Adoptive Immigration Review).  PAIR is "the process by which the US can pre-determine a child's prospective eligibility to receive a US Visa before the adoption is finalized in Ethiopia."  It was not difficult to submit - our FC emailed me all of the documents that were needed.  It did take most of the afternoon to print and organize all the documents and their translations.  (Of course it didn't help that I ran out of ink after printing 2 documents and had to run to KMart to get more!)

Everything is now on it's way to USCIS in Texas!  Typically it takes around 30 days to be assigned an officer who will complete our investigation.  The investigation itself may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.  Our FC seems to think our paperwork is in good shape and should not need any more documentation.  As for a timeline, it is still possible that we will travel for the first time before the end of the year!!  We are certainly hoping for things to happen as quickly as possible, butwe are content to rest in God's sovereign timing.

I can't even begin to explain the weight that has been lifted!  Exactly 4 months from the day we accepted A's referral, we are moving forward!!!  Thank you, Jesus!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy Birthday A....and Happy 2007!

The weekend was a little bittersweet for us.  Mostly sweet, thanks to our trust in the Lord and in HIS timing.  It is amazing the peace he has given us through this time of waiting.  We are trusting that all things are working together for good (Romans 8:28), and He has generously allowed us to have a few glimpses of why His timing is better than ours (which maybe I will write about another day).  

We had a lot to celebrate over the past several days - Ethiopian New Year, A's birthday, and the one year anniversary of some wonderful friends arriving in the US.  Carly and I made some cookies to celebrate these special may be able to tell who was on sprinkle duty.  :)

Our local Ethiopian restaurant had a special running for New Years, so Jon and I had a little date and stuffed our bellies full of delicious Ethiopian food, coffee, tea, and honey drink.  We chatted with the sweet Ethiopian owner, who confirmed that we are pronouncing A's name correctly :)  We are so blessed to have an Ethiopian community, restaurant, and grocery that are relatively local.  I was able to stock up on my berbere (common spice in Ethiopia) and it was exciting to realize that most likely the next time I buy it, we will be in Ethiopia!  If you are local and an adventurous eater, try Addisu Ethiopian!  Better yet, invite us to go with you :)

A few days ago, our A turned 7.  Seven seems so old.  Especially when we thought he was 5 just a few months ago!  It was difficult to miss his birthday, but birthdays aren't really celebrated in Ethiopia, and he doesn't even know his birthday, so to him it was probably just another day.  We wanted to do something special to celebrate, so we bought a couple blue balloons (his favorite color) and the kids wrote messages on them and then we took them to a field and released them.  As much as I told the kids they won't make it to Ethiopia, I think they still have in their minds that it's a possibility! 

I was hoping for a sweet, magical time.  Carly did not share my sentiments, and sobbed over having to let "her" balloon go.  Since the best field we could find without too many nearby trees and no other people happened to be a cemetery, we didn't feel it was best to hang around with a sobbing child.  We prayed for A, released the balloons, and hightailed it out of there! 

We love you A, and we hope we don't miss another of your birthdays for a long, long time.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Answered Prayers for Progress!!!

I bought about 80 pounds of tomatoes this morning, and I'm in the middle of canning pizza sauce, my kitchen is a WRECK, and I need to make dinner before I head out the door to volunteer at school, but I just received an email and I'm overjoyed to share some good news!  Everything else will just have to wait!  We received the following information from our family coordinator...

"I got an update today that the social worker successfully gathered documents for A! They are being sent through the regional government for a final signature and then will need to be translated.

I am regularly following up with our staff so you are going to be prioritized with them. They know to keep pushing this paper work along as much as they can!"

So, so happy to hear that all the documents were collected last week!  Now we are praying for that final signature and those translations to be accomplished.  All of the paperwork needs to be done to US standards, so it is not uncommon to to have 2 or 3 attempts at translating!  

On our side of things, we are prepping to have another Home Study update.  We will go in for our 3rd set of FBI fingerprints soon, and once we get all of our clearances back, we will send it all to our new social worker so he can get started!   Thanks for your prayers!