Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's been a while, and a lot has happened!

Well, it has certainly been a while since I have been at this computer...but a lot has happened!  First, and foremost, there has been A LOT of drama going on in the world of Ethiopian adoptions. I'll do my best to explain it: last year Ethiopia began requiring that families make 2 trips, instead of 1; requiring that the family be present for the court date. Towards the end of 2010, families (not all, but most) began failing court. MOWA, which is basically the Ethiopian equivalent to social services, must submit a letter of acceptance/approval of you as adoptive parents...without the letter, you fail court and must be resubmitted until the letter is present and you pass. MOWA, in the past, has been submitting 50-60 letters per day. Recently they had fallen WAY behind on writing the letters and had fallen under scrutiny saying they don't pay enough attention to each adoption case (as one agency has had its license pulled for bribing) and made a decision to only submit 5 letters per day! FIVE, really???!!!! Thankfully, the Lord used a few organizations to bring light to this would be disaster! With 4.7 million orphans, I cannot imagine what would happen to the children in Ethiopia. Some orphanages had even slowed down in accepting new children for fear they would not have room or food for them. The announcement of the reduction of letters being processed has been overturned! MOWA officials and higher up employees have been changed. My understanding is there is NO cap on how many letters they will write per day and they have assigned MOWA with lots of help to get this done. They even gave them until yesterday to submit ALL missing letters, which some estimate to be 300-500. I know of families that have been submitted to court 3 times since January and have yet to pass. In this recent drama (as it could be a precursor to a country being closed) our agency has started a new "pilot" program in another country in Africa.  (they aren't saying yet where, but I'm thinking DR Congo). This whole time we have had an unexplainable peace about sticking with Ethiopia. We have no desire to change countries and would only do so IF the Ethiopia program was closed before we were able to bring our son home. This topic has been the buzz on our agency group page and this is what I posted:
           Sun Stand Still. This is a book I am about to read. It's about the story of
Joshua and his battle against the 5 Amorite kings and their armies. After being
asked to help, Joshua and his army marched all night to surprise them. After an
all day battle Joshua and his army were winning. With nightfall coming on Joshua
feared the enemy would be able to retreat, regroup, and restrengthen. So, he
asked God to make the sun stand still. Joshua 10:13 "So the sun stood still, and
the moon stopped....The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going
down about a full day." The book is about not only asking God to do things
(supernatural things), but really actually believing He can do them. We aren't
even on the list yet. We are just now finishing our HS, hope to have the report
Monday.  But we just have a peace about staying with ET. I have hesitated to
 say that before in fear of sounding foolish, or worse making God look foolish.
 So, surely, if my God can make the sun stand still; if He can feed 5000 with only
 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish; if He can raise from the dead 3 days after
 death.....He can overcome 5 letters per day.

I wanted to share, not to glorify myself like I never worry and am perfect, but to brag on my God! He can, and did, overcome 5 letters per day. He loves orphans and is not going to allow missing letters to interfere with His plans! Could He have done it before now, when things were looking so bleek? Of course. But He also could have come to this world as a powerful, mighty king, but instead came as a newborn baby. Could he have rode into town on a beautiful horse, but instead chose a mere donkey. His ways are always higher and better than ours...I think so all can know and have no doubt it has come from Him.  I read this excerpt about a week before the MOWA letter fiasco was settled: 1 Kings 18:32-39 
it was summed up in the margin like this "He soaks the wood with water before setting it afire so all will know it came from Him".

Second big happening: Jason and I almost committed to a super cute 6 year old little boy on our agency's WCL (waiting child list). We had seen him on there for a few months and found ourselves going back often to "check" on him. At church we are doing a bible study on Jonah and learning that our plans certainly are not always His plans, so we began praying about committing to this little boy. We spoke to our social worker and got some great advise from her and decided to pray about it while we were on vacation with the kids and would contact our agency when we got back. While I was at the airport getting ready to come home I emailed our director and asked for more info on him and what her thoughts were about us considering him. She then told me a family had just committed to him 2 days before! How exciting!!!  Not only for him, but to experience answer to prayer! All week my prayer was the same "Lord, keep him on our hearts and let it be a match or let him be gone to another family". I wasn't trying to tell God what to do, but we had been so torn about this decision, we needed a definite "sign" (even though I don't like that word I can't think of another) about what His will was for us.

Please continue to pray for us! We will being applying for grants soon and doing more fundraising, as the bulk of the cost is around the corner.  We've paid for everything up until now, and made our first payment to our agency, but will still owe them around $4000. And, when you accept your referral you have to pay the first half of the country fee, which will be around $4500 for half. We hope to be on "the list" by the end of next week and are told the wait should not be long for a toddler boy. Can't wait to have a name and face to go with what's in our head and hearts!!!