Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Packing and Praying

Mark and I will leave on June 7th for Ethiopia.  Right now, we are packing and praying for our trip.  I've never packed to stay in another country for around three months, so my days have been spent packing, unpacking, and repacking for two days!

Please pray for our court appointment.  MOWCYA is currently behind in writing recommendation letters for families, and this document is a must to pass court.  We need God to supernatural speed up the letter writing, and help MOWCYA get caught up so we can pass court on July 13th.  We also are praying that the U.S. Embassy has favor on Zane's case and that there is no need for further review or investigation.  Pray for clear documentation, clearance, and a favorable declaration within 4-6 weeks of passing court.

Also pray for Mark and I as we meet Zane for the first time.  Pray that he will be comfortable with us and quickly know us as his parents.  Pray for our time together to be a time of bonding.

Lastly, we know that Zane's birthmother will travel soon to Addis Ababa to give her consent to the court before our court appointment.  Pray that she makes it safely to court (a distance of 11 hours), she has courage to give her consent, and that God gives her peace.

Thank you for your prayers!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Long Overdue Update!

I need to back up a bit to catch you up on where we are in our adoption right now.
On May 30th Mark and I sent Zane another little care package in the mail to a family that will deliver it to him the week of June 23rd (that's next week!).  He received his first care package the week of May 26th, so it will be about a month in between his first and second care packages.
Here's what we sent:

Shortly after I mailed this to the family bringing it over, I got an email from our family coordinator that Zane was sick with minor "little kid" illnesses.  Poor thing!  It's really hard to get a call like that when you're on pins and needles waiting for a court date and you just want your child to come home!  

Just a few days after receiving this news, Mark and I saw the "703" number on our phone!  We freaked out knowing it was our agency calling, put it on speaker phone, and answered excitedly, "Hello!" only to be told that our child's home region was requesting a census.  Ahhhhhhh.  Zane had to travel 11 hours in a van with two guides and other children to be counted in the census.  (This story sounds awfully familiar, right? Aside from the fact that our child was going to East Ethiopia in a bus, not Bethlehem on a donkey!  There are things to be thankful for!)  Needless to say we were praying for our little boy's body to be healed, and his time in the car to be peaceful.  

Somewhere in between the call about Zane traveling and the next event my brother came home from Iraq for a short leave.  So I traveled to Houston to spend the week with him and my mom and dad!

A few days later, I was looking on facebook and found a couple with our agency that had posted pictures of Harar!  Much to my surprise, there were Americans there with the children because their child was one of the ones requested for the census.  There court date was right around the same time, so they went to their child's home region with them!  What a great opportunity to get to know their child's home town!  I immediately facebooked the Americans and he reported great things about Zane's travels and health.  I was so happy!  I sent him a photo consent so he could even take a few pictures for me!  I got one of him sleeping in Harar, and several others from the transition home when they arrived back in Addis.  He looked healthier than we had ever seen him!  What a blessing!

During Zane's trip to Harar, we were called with our court date!!  Obviously, this has been an exciting week for us!  Mark was in Amsterdam, so I had to email him with the news and wait for him to respond!  (Longest 10 minutes of my life...)  I should interject here that Mark was out of town when we received our referral as well.  Looks like Mark being out of town brings us good luck!  :)  JK 

Friday we had a wonderful shower at our "parents'" house in New Orleans.  This couple has mentored us and become an extended family to us while we have lived here the past 8 years.  My parents and brother drove back with me to attend the shower, and about 60 of our friends from First Baptist New Orleans came!  It was so much fun!  It was a Friday night couples shower, which I highly recommend.  No games, just conversation, food, laughter, and fun!  Such wonderful memories!  

So now we are rushing to make sure all paperwork in our dossier is up-to-date, reserving flights, creating packing lists, applying for visas, shopping for last minute stuff to pack, setting up Zane's room, washing clothes, writing thank-yous, arranging a place for our dogs to stay, etc.

Our prayer requests are...

1.  For Zane to have an open heart toward us when we meet.
2.  For the court to pass us on the first court date (only 60% of families pass due to missing paperwork) and that MOWCYA (Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs) has our "letter" (very important) ready at court.
3.  For Mark to have a safe trip back to the states and my mom to have a safe trip to Addis Ababa on July 22nd.
4.  For Zane and me to have a safe and productive stay together in Ethiopia between court and embassy clearance after family leaves.  (August 7 - August ?)
5.  For the embassy to see no further need for investigation.
6.  For us to have safe travels home in a timely manner.

Thank you for your prayers!