Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.

The Family

The Family

Friday, July 30, 2010

Ready to Go

All packed and ready to go.  We are set to depart tomorrow from Dallas arriving in Ethiopia on Sunday. 
Gladney emailed this week a list of the 4 other families traveling at our same time for court.  It was nice to make contact with the other families this week.  It turns out that 3 of us are on the same ET Air flight out of Dulles tomorrow night.  Gladney also called yesterday to review and remind us of all the procedures once we land. We will be staying at the Bjoe house this week.

We are very excited to finally make this first trip.  It is hard to believe we started this process almost 2 years ago.  The Lord has been and continues to be faithful with all the details.  We appreciate your thoughts and prayers during our journey.  We will try to provide updates as communications allow.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Full Steam Ahead!!

Natalie called with great news today.  Reliquishment complete (little sad) and step 1 is a pass!  We are a go for our August 4th court date.  God's timing is amazing.  We are taking our 3 kids on trip #1.  School starts for them one week after we get back in August.  We will leave on July 31 and come back on August 9th.

The bonus for the day is a tenative embassy date of Sept 2nd (assuming all goes well on the 4th).  Did I mention trying to schedule flights with "mabe dates" is a little anxiety provoking!  Either way we are thrilled. 

The other extra bonus is that my fingerprints expire on Sept 16th - hopefully I don't have to actually get reprinted!!!  I concur today with the question, "On what planet do fingerprints expire?"  I myself have tried to change mine 3 or 4 times (just kidding).  I did spend 30 minutes on the phone with NBC (national benefits center) - the new fingerpint and I-171H people about timing of reprinting and expiration dates.  Bottom line - you have to have current fingerprints in order to complete embassy exit / visa on trip #2.

Also got new stats on our son yesterday - he continues to grow well.

Any families out there that want pictures; please let us know. We would love to send care packages, but Gladney has instructed us not to on the first visit because of the number of families in ET.
We can be contacted by email at

We appreciate the comments, support, and prayers.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Moving Forward

Everything is a go for Thursday.  The relative made it to Addis ahead of schedule for Thursday's proceedings.  We are thrilled and anticipate good news Thursday.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mixed News

Gladney called with mixed news today.  The good news is that MOWA offererd a favorable decision. However, there is a difficulty.  Our case is a relinquishment.  The biological relative must be present in Addis to formaly relinquish.  Unfortunately, this didn't happen as scheduled (relative did not show).  The new date for this to happen is Thursday, July 22.

We request your prayers.  Gladney is restricted (Ethiopia rules) in this process with the relative.  The relative must travel some distance despite being poor.  I can't image how hard it is to walk through this process from the relative's stand point.  Joan and I knew when we got the court date and learned of this process, this might be the sticking point for dates of travel.

We bought our tickets about a week ago knowing that space is very limited during our proposed travel dates.  The change fee is minimal in relation to the overall cost of the ticket.  For now, we still hold our Aug 4th court date (our travel).

We stay cautiously optomistic and encouraged knowing that only God has control over the whole process.  Many have written the last part of the process is the hardest, we concur.  It is easier when you don't have a face, writen reports of progress and dates to look forward to.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

1st Visit Details

Word from Gladney today brings some details of 1st visit (at least for us).

Leave Saturday and arrive Sunday in Ethiopia
Monday: 10 am meet child our son in country rep, Noon - lunch with Gladney staff.
Tuesday: 10-11 am - visit cour son at foster care center, rest of day free time.
Wednesday: AM - court time, 3 pm Holy Trinity Church Tour with Gladney
Thursday: Evening - cultural dinner with Gladney staff.
Friday: 10-11 am visitation at foster care center with our son, 1130 am lunch with Gladney staff, 1 pm Government orphanage tour with gladney staff.
Saturday: 2 pm Dreamland with Gladney staff.
Leave Sunday arrive Monday in USA

Few Notes:
Not everyone probably has the same court day. 
Parents must at least see their child or children once prior to court.
Humanitarian Aid goes the first trip.
Total of 3 visits of about one hour a piece to see our child!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The African 3 Step

What a day!  This has been the most hectic and busiest day we have had since the last time Gladney called us!!  Maybe there is a trend here?  The Lord certainly knows how to keep us on our knees.  We are thrilled to here about court dates today.

Step 1:  MOWA gets to here our case on July 19th.  If we pass, we move on to travel and our court date.  Our prayer is that MOWA offers a favorable opinion and all the circumstances that involve Sam go smoothly.  The time line couldn't be tighter - an unfavorable ruling here means no travel until October.

Step 2:  We travel for our court date on August 4th to Addis.  We are thankful that the kids will not miss school for travel.  Again, the time line is tight.  If we don't pass here, then no travel until October.

Step 3:  US embassy and go get the little man for good. 3-6 weeks latter. Hopefully in early September.

We thank you Lord for all his goodness and provision.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Paying It Forward

Complete strangers, joined only through this journey of adoption, are taking our son his first gifts from us. It is a privilege to interact with such people. We sent a baby photo album and a couple of onesies. He'll finally be able to see our faces! I can't wait to be able to pay it forward for other couples!

Still waiting to hear about a court date. It's hard watching the summer slip by with 3 kids in Jr High and High School. But we want to meet our little man all together. The kids are as excited, if not more, than we are. We want God's perfect timing and His perfect plan to unfold.