Saturday, October 24, 2009

21 days until we travel

Wow! So much has happened since last week. We are getting so excited. We took the plunge and purchased our airline tickets for all five of us going and seven of us coming. The kids on this end were looking at the plane diagrams - making sure there were movies available - looking at the guest house website.

We have also completed Ayana and Sikuare's room - which has become packing central. We have started to sort through clothes for them and donations for the care center. We will be getting the luggage out soon and hopefully producing a packing list, too.

One of the surprises (it shouldn't have been) this week has been the pummeling we have received from Satan. We have taken this journey out of faith in God's plan for us. I think we expected things to be difficult until Ayana and Sikuare were officially ours, but weren't expecting anything on the other side. We so covet your prayers and at this point we especially ask you to pray for our spiritual protection. Without going into details, we found ourselves in the middle of a battle on several levels, before we even knew what was happening. The battle from the outside is doing damage on the inside of our family. I am praying that our relationships with God would take priority and that He would heal and grow the relationships in our family through this. While we are seeking to grow our family both in number and in the grace of God, Satan is seeking to destroy it.

We give God the praise for the great and wonderful things he has done. May our lives glorify him through this. Often we our told how wonderful we are for doing this - for giving these children hope. Sometimes I have been tempted to take the credit. But, after this last week I can see even more clearly that without his plan and his guidance and his strength and his peace, comfort, love, grace . . . we would have never gotten to this point. Praise the Lord!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Meet the newest Hackers - Ayana & Sikuare

Today we heard the awesome news that we are the proud parents of a 5 year old boy, Ayana and his 2 year old sister, Sikuare. It's official!! Woohoo!!!!! We can't wait to travel to Ethiopia and bring them home. Lots of ground to cover between now and then. But for now, we will revel in the joy of these new children for a while.

A friend pointed out today the perspective our 3 and 1/2 year adoption journey gives us on Abraham's life. God said go - Abraham did - he didn't know where - he didn't know how long. I'm sure he was relieved and excited to make it to his destination. I'm also sure there was a joy and contentment knowing that he made the journey God wanted him to. It may not have always made sense; it was certainly difficult and frustrating at times; there were probably wonderful people and exciting events that he experienced that, but for the journey, he would have missed.

While Abraham was called to something very different from what we have been called to in adopting Ayana and Sikuare, we both took an unknown journey that has led us to something very awesome many, many miles from our homes.

Sikuare (Means - My Sugar)

Ayana (Means - Beautiful Flower)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Today was supposed to be the day.

Well, almost. We had our court appointment today, but they found a letter from another government agency contained errors. Thankfully, our case will be heard again tomorrow - hopefully all will be in place.

Monday, October 12, 2009

3 days until court.

Wow! The time has really gotten away from me. Thursday, October 15th is the big day. If everything is in place, we will grow from a family of 5 to a family of 7. We are excited, but cautious. The biggest issue, that we know of, is that on the day of court one of the parents has to be in the courtroom to confirm that they truly have relinquished their parental rights. This family is from a village about 8 hours away from the capital. So, we are praying - that God's will will be done. If it is in his plan, all of the pieces will be in place for the adoption to be final this week. If not, then we continue as we can.

This weekend was extremely productive as far as preparations go. The house is completely painted - the last room to be finished was our daughter, Caitlin's room - bright green with purple curtains. It turned out sooo well. The boys bunkbeds are assembled and the room for our 2 little ones is almost ready for their arrival.

God is good. This entire experience, from our start with domestic adoption to our most likely end in international adoption, has been a difficult, yet incredible journey. When we started this journey the youngest of the 2 children wasn't even born yet - but He knew. The months and years of silence were for a reason. Also, the growth in our bio kids has been amazing especially in the last few months. The responsibility and maturity they are each showing is so encouraging. We know they will be a huge help - much bigger than they would have been able to be 3 1/2 years ago. Also, financially, the ways in which God has provided is remarkable. Thank you to Anonymous who left a very generous money order in our mailbox. Thanks to everyone who has supported this endeavor - through prayer, finances, physical help, donations. We could not have done this without each of you.

One last thought - many have asked us over the past few months if we are excited. In a sense yes, but to be honest this has to be one of the hardest things Val and I have gone through. It has at times been scary, frustrating, overwhelming, tiring, and challenging to describe a few emotions. We still don't know how God is going to provide everything needed to travel and bring the children home. I do know that when God brings these children into our lives and we are able to see them and hold them, the emotions will be high and it will be an exciting time.

Until then, we live the lives God has set before us - parenting, working, schooling, churching, neighboring, growing our current relationships. So, if our answers to the excitement questions have seemed less than expected, hopefully this gives some insight. At times I've thought to myself, why am I not more excited. I have come to realize that excitement is not the right emotion. Yearning is probably more appropriate. Val and I yearn to bring these children home - to complete the family God has intended. I often times tear up with huge emotions when I think of our little ones - when I think of the nightmare they have had to live - leaving their family, living in a huge unknown city, seeing their friends leave, knowing they will be leaving everything they know; when I think of them being alone; when I think of our future together...

Thursday we should hear the news sometime in the morning. Once they are officially adopted, we will be able to post pictures. Can't wait.