Friday, March 25, 2011

6 Months Waiting!

Today was one of the best days ever!  Mark and I have officially been waiting for 6 months today, and we celebrated with Eli Tariku's homecoming!  It was so much fun to meet up with a group of people at the airport to see the Palmers come home finally with Eli.  He's such a sweet boy and so spirited!
We love you Tariku!

I took this short video of us playing in the backyard.  The pink shirt is Anna (Mama), green shirt is Anna's brother-in-law (Tyler) the other girl is Anna's sister (rachel), and the tall guy is Jon (Daddy).

At the end you can hear Eli yell "Mama!" when he is running to Anna.  So sweet!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mission Ethiopia

This is a small glimpse of one of Ethiopia's villages, Korah - one of the many reasons why we're asking you to pray for Ethiopia and decisions being made right now about adoption.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Please Pray...

I put a bookshelf up of my favorite books!  Shelfari has a great way to track what you've read, what you want to read, and share recommendations to friends!  The ones on my shelf now are my recent "great reads".  I'll try to change it up occasionally to cover different interests, but right now, I tried to include a variety of genres.  I love reading!  (Never thought I say that back when I was 12.)  It's funny how you grow to love things as you get older.  Now that I'm not forced to read books for school, I think reading is one of my favorite pastimes.  

I'm currently reading The Connected Child, by Karen Purvis.  It's about nurturing children and forming healthy attachments and bonds.  I thought it would be beneficial to read for our adoption; however, I'm finding that its enlightening me to the needs of every child, including those in my classroom.  It covers everything from making eye contact with children to empowering children to make choices.  I think it's a must read for anyone who has or works with kids.

Speaking of kids...
the real reason I am writing this post is to give an update of our adoption!  I digress when the subject is unpleasant, and that's what adoption has been for me for the past week.  Because I hate complaining, I will start with the positives of the week.

1.  Mardi Gras was a blast!  My parents came for their first Mardi Gras and we had so much fun visiting and relaxing.  They even helped me paint the baby room a soft seafoam blue.  LOVE IT!
2.  Time with friends!  Because I was off of school for a week, I had time to spend with friends hanging out in the beautiful weather watching parades go by, going to dinner, painting with Becky and other friends from school, getting my hair and nails done, and hanging out with my adoptive mom friend, Kristy!
3.  I learned that our great friends here are adopting another little baby in the next few weeks and another friend's paperwork was submitted to Ethiopian embassy so her little boy can come home soon!

All these blessings are truly reasons to rejoice!

Now, the hard stuff...

Over the Mardi Gras break, we kept hearing rumors via email that Ethiopia may cut back in the number of adoptions they process each day.  Finally, the news was confirmed when they announced a 90% decrease in the number of adoptions to the United States on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website.  Our adoption agency immediately requested prayer and our people organized around-the-clock prayer teams across the country.  (Wow!  Just writing that made me realize what a huge blessing the AWAA support group of adoptive parents is!)  Since the announcement, the U.S. has met with Ethiopia to discuss the needs of its adoption department to understand the announcement better and negotiate a more reasonable solution to the problems they may be facing.  This meeting occurred Monday, March 14th, and there has not been follow-up announcements on that meeting, and all information posted on various websites speculates a possible closure to the country.

Obviously, I have been a mess over this news.  It has really revealed a lot about my trust (or lack thereof) in God.  I have gone back and forth between hope and despair as I read and search the internet for any clues about the future.  I was convicted yesterday when I read on another blog this quote:  "Worry and anxiety is pride because it frequently suggests that we are in control and that God is not active. It is a product of our lack of faith that God ..."  Is that it?  Do I believe my plans are better than God's?  If I do, I have made myself a god in my own mind - I've believed a lie.  

I want so badly to understand what God is doing right now, and I demand to know.  When I don't feel like God is explaining "why", I leave his presence to go figure it out on my own.  Only, I can't figure it out at all.  Who knows the mind of God? I have to surrender and trust Him.  Do I really believe that God is who He says He is?
                     "I am a Father to the fatherless..." Psalm 68:5

Do I believe that He will do what He says He will do?

                     "He defends the cause of the fatherless..." Deuteronomy 10:18

Lord help me overcome my unbelief!

This evening we received good news from our agency that negotiations are taking place in Ethiopia and they are hopeful Ethiopia will increase the number of adoptions they are able to process.   We are thankful for this news, and we are asking all of you to pray with us for the leaders of MOWA (Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs) in Ethiopia to be burdened with compassion for orphans waiting for families and the families who wait for their children.  Pray that they receive the assistance they need to process the amount of referrals they are given.  Please pray for Zane, wherever he is that God will protect him, develop him into a healthy boy, and give him peace.  And pray for all of the other 6 million orphans that go to sleep alone and afraid each night to be matched with a healthy, loving family as soon as possible.

Thank you for your prayers for this special country and for our family.