Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The News We Have Been Waiting For!

It's hard to really describe what the last several weeks (or even months) have been like for our family.  Trusting in God, most definitely.....feeling a peace.....yes, 95% of the time.  But hard.  Emotional, stressful, draining, doubting, wondering, waiting, wishing, without an end in sight.  Sleepless nights, or at the very least - waking up in the middle of the night, realizing what time it was in Ethiopia, and praying.  The burden I had to pray in the middle of the night was unbelievable!!  Towards the end of last week we heard from another dear family in very much the same situation as us that they received a new MOWCYA date, and it wasn't until May 27.  We knew that if we received a negative from our 4/6 date, that our new date would not be until May 27 or later.  We also knew that all the paperwork we had redone had made it to Ethiopia, but was not yet in the hands of MOWCYA - meaning that it was likely we would be getting a negative on our review if it happened anytime soon.

We had decided earlier that we needed a little family getaway - a respite from all the stress, so we planned a weekend to the Frederick & Hagerstown areas.  We had SO much fun - swimming in the hotel pool, exploring beautiful Frederick (everything you see on this bridge is PAINTED....the ivy, the gate, even the bricks!),
 eating yummy Cuban food,

 Going to a minor league baseball game,
 (where it just happened to be Star Wars Day),

and Carly won the stadium Smile Cam prize....

playing games back at the hotel room, and then exploring Antietam National Battlefield and the surrounding area.  It was a FUN, stress-free family weekend and such a blessing to us.  We almost dreaded coming back to real life!!

Monday morning around 10 my phone rang.  Glanced to see who was calling and it was AWAA.  I was filled with 99% dread and 1% hope, especially since we had just been told the previous week that our letter would most likely be negative.  Then to my astonishment, Lauren told me that she had some good news for us - MOWCYA had written us a positive recommendation.  Even WITHOUT our new paperwork being there.  It was AMAZING the weight that if I could actually feel it!  There were 2 minor issues (not concerns) - the MOWCYA director was not in the office so our file was still lacking her signature.....and the judge was not in his office, so we couldn't be assigned a court date.  No matter - we knew our letter was positive!!!!!  It was so exciting to start telling people the good news!!!  I called Jon right away, and couldn't wait until after school to tell Jackson, so Carly & I took him lunch :)  We have been floating on Cloud 9 ever since.

This morning I received an email saying that the MOWCYA director's signature has been obtained, and our file was given to the court!  We are waiting for the judge to return, and then we will be assigned a court date - most likely in June.  Just in case you didn't realize, COURT = TRAVEL!!!!!  We couldn't be more excited and thankful to be meeting our son SOON!!!!!  Thank you, Lord!!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Updating our Timeline

Just so I can keep track of all that's been going on recently, I'm going to do a little timeline update.  You probably already know that we did not get MOWCYA approval on March 6.  Here's what's been happening since....

3/6 - 2nd MOWCYA Date - received an email from AWAA saying that MOWCYA is closed - no reasons why or dates when they will be back
3/9 - MOWCYA is back open, but behind on their files
3/17 - email from AWAA saying that due to MOWCYA writing negative letters for families, we need to update more paperwork - birth certificates, marriage license, employment letter, unemployment letter, financial statement, and get a few others certified
3/24 - sent all documents to AWAA, also found out we received a negative letter from MOWCYA, but not for any of the reasons we were expecting.  The problem has been fixed and we have been assigned a new MOWCYA date.
4/17 - all documents have their certifications & authentications and are on their way to Ethiopia.....will they be needed in order to receive a positive letter??  Only time will tell!

Praise God that He continues to give us comfort & peace through this very discouraging time.  One verse that I have been repeating over & over is Proverbs 21:1.....I may have taken some liberty with changing a word or two, but the meaning remains the same :)  "MOWCYA's heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases."