Monday, February 23, 2009

God works a miracle again!

The America World families were granted the necessary signature today to get their kids. Micah, Lydia, Josiah and Isaiah will be coming home. God has been both faithful and miraculous - again.

The chaos at our house continues. We now at least have an entire suitcase of toddler munchies and toys ready to go. Thankfully, the girls suitcase never got unpacked after our first delay so that one just had to get zipped up. I must say that we've traveled the world ... but never with a suitcase full of graham crackers, goldfish and Cookie Monster.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

"Mom Shoes" and Prayer Warriors Needed - Again!

We are living in the whirlwind right now as we get ready to leave in just a few days. My dad asked me on the day our court case was approved "What have you learned from this experience?" I told him that would be a long blog post and that it would have to wait until I:

1. buy Goldfish, pretzels, Gerbers puffs, etc. etc. etc. to entertain little girls on the plane
2. figure out about international cell phone service
3. find "mom shoes" that are functionally appropriate for chasing toddlers around in a third world country and yet still stylishly acceptable (this is the big one right now...not sure if these shoes actually exist...)

And the list goes on. But it's a GOOD list to be finally checking off.

I wanted to ask for your urgent prayers this weekend for a group of families at America World Adoption. There are four families who need ONE SIGNATURE on Monday in order to finally get their kids. If they don't get it, they may be delayed for quite some time.

We have learned that God DOES work miracles. Would you join us this weekend in praying for these families to be made whole on Monday?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

We Are Glad

Today, the walls of Jericho fell for our family. It is official. The little ladies are finally ours. We passed court today and leave soon for Ethiopia. So many of you were a huge part of praying these girls home. For that we are forever grateful. Thank you so much. God is faithful and God is good.

With that, here are our daughters - Junia Netsanet and Eden Freweini.

"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad." Psalm 126:3

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Lord Is Faithful

Psalm 27:13 says "I am confident of this: I will see the the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." We have seen that today. We just got word that we have been given a short court date - in TWO DAYS. Our case will be heard THIS THURSDAY, 2/19. We have seen the promises of God fulfilled. We know that this would not have happened had God not "made a road in the wilderness" (Isaiah 43:19) for our family. God and God alone parted our "Red Sea" when all seemed lost. We rejoice in that today and give God the glory for the great things He alone has done. We would now ask that you pray once again for our THIRD court date on Thursday. If we pass, the little ladies will finally be ours.

"Blessed be the Lord,
Because He has heard the voice of my supplications!
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped."
Psalm 28:6-7

Friday, February 13, 2009

No News Yet...

We just found out from our agency that the court has yet to issue a ruling on the request for new court dates. This is an opportunity to keep praying.

I must confess that I am physically worn out from praying about this. Thanks to those of you who have stood with us to lift our girls up. I have to believe that God is listening. That's all we have left now.

"You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You."

Isaiah 26:3

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Prayer Vigil TODAY!

Please join us today as we pray that God will move to expedite the process in the Ethiopian court system so that children can come home now. We'll be praying together at 6:30pm PST - please adjust this for your time zone if relevant. (;

"Assuredly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."

Matthew 18:18-19

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you...He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it."
I Thessalonians 5:16,17 and 24

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ethiopia In My Heart

Thanks to the many of you who have committed to pray tomorrow, Wednesday, 2/11. We look forward to joining with you in prayer throughout the day and at 6:30pm PST.

One day after we failed to pass through court the first time, our dear friend Alison, who is the adoptive mom of two and actively involved in an orphan ministry, left a message on my cellphone. She explained how she thought God had given her a song for us. She then sweetly reminded me that she is NOT a singer with the exception of the occasional "Happy Birthday" but that she was going to sing the song for me on my voicemail. The song she shared is a beautiful anthem of the desire and longing we feel for our children so far away. It also serves as a reminder of how God feels about Ethiopia. He too longs to she her healed, restored and made whole in so many ways.

In honor of tomorrow's prayer vigil, we recorded Alison's song that we are calling "Ethiopia In My Heart". The recording is very simple and certainly not professional but it gets the job done. The images are also not mine. These images are just a collection of some of the many pictures available on the Internet of the beautiful children of Ethiopia. As we prepare for tomorrow's day of prayer, may Ethiopia be in all of our hearts.

If you haven't posted a reply that you will be praying tomorrow, would you please do that? For families with kids in limbo that read this blog, it means a great deal to know that the people of God will be approaching His throne united tomorrow on behalf of our children.

"We must learn to take God at His word and walk straight in obedience even when we can see no way to go forward...If we would only move straight ahead in faith, the path would be opened for us."
from Streams in the Desert

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Join Us THIS WEDNESDAY - Prayer Vigil for Ethiopia

We didn't fly to Ethiopia this weekend but we got as close as we could by going to see an art exhibit by Ethiopian artist Elias Sime at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. If you are in the area, it's well worth the trip. He works in mixed media and uses materials like bubble wrap, yarn and buttons as part of his representations of Ethiopian life. Another part of the exhibit involved ongoing footage from the streets of Addis being projected on the wall of the museum. Seeing this footage was enlightening as it gives you a window into the kind of environment many of our children are coming from. My perceptions of Addis were very different from what I saw in the video footage.

This weekend I also finished the book Love in the Driest Season by Nelly Tucker. The book is a memoir that tells the story of an American couple's struggle to adopt an orphan girl in Zimbabwe. This book was really helpful to me because it gave me a sense of how things work in Africa. I am getting the feeling that what we are seeing in Ethiopia (random delays, unclear guidelines, processes that are inconsistent) is not unusual across Africa. I know for us, we didn't realize the nature of what we would be dealing with when we began this process. Our agency has never really talked about the nature of adopting in Africa. I think that is an important point to be discussed because, as many of us have seen, this seems to be a very different game we are playing here, particularly for those accustomed to American norms for conducting business and legal transactions.

It's been an interesting few weeks. Thanks to all of you have commented on our blog and shared your personal stories with us. I am amazed at how many people are going through the exact same thing right now. There are so many of us who have been delayed multiple times across agencies, particularly those of us adopting multiple children. To me, this is all the more reason to pray for the collective deliverance of our children.

I must confess I have never considered myself one of those "faith people". I am rational and logical to a fault. My head tends to run things more than my heart does most of the time. I have often looked at my father who seems to have a spiritual gift for faith and thought "how cool that he has that kind of faith" while at the same time not finding myself able to relate to his faith-saturated worldview because of the dominance of my own intellect in so many situations. This experience with our girls has caused me to reexamine my own view of faith.

Being at a place now where I feel that my family is being threatened, I have shifted my posture. Given that there is nothing else I can do in my own intellect and competence, I have been forced to turn to God. I have been forced to cry out to God for the deliverance of my children. Through this, I have learned that there are many promises God has given us that I may not really believe if belief connotes action. In my life as a Christian, I have confessed that God is real and His word is true but my practical application of those beliefs now appears somewhat limited.

Jesus said in John "Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it" (John 14:13). Later again in John, Jesus says "Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give it to you. Until now, you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full" (John 16:23-24). I think that for the most part I have written off the literal interpretation of these types of scriptures as the domain of big-haired, private-jet-owning televangelists -not really my crowd. But now I'm asking myself what if these promises really are true in the literal sense? If they are, then perhaps I have been missing something. For the first time in my life, I feel like I am coming from a place of desperation and REALLY asking God for something in faith because that is all I have left. I am asking God to deliver my children and I am believing Him that He will do what I have asked and make our joy complete by making our family whole.

So here is what I propose. If you too are standing in faith interceding for your children or the children of people you love then let's join forces in prayer this Wednesday. Let us make Wednesday a day of prayer and fasting and ask God to hear the prayers of His people as we cry out to Him for the children of Ethiopia. According to our agency, we will find out at the "end of this week" if the courts will give us new court dates. Let's come together on Wednesday and cry out to God to move. I believe He hears our prayers and that He loves our children more than we do. Let us unite as His church - a church that knows no boundaries of state or nation - and ask Him to make a "road in the wilderness"(Is. 43:19) for our children to come home. In our family, we will be praying all day on Wednesday but we will pray specifically together at 6:30pm Pacific Standard Time if you want to join us at the same time we are praying.

George Mueller said, "Our work is to lay our petitions before the Lord, and in childlike simplicity to pour out our hearts before Him saying, 'I do not deserve that you should hear me and answer my requests but for the sake of my precious Lord Jesus, for His sake, answer my prayer. And give me grace to wait patiently until it pleases You to grant my petition. for I believe You will do it in in Your own time and way.'... Oh the hundred of thousands of times I have found this to be true...When it seemed impossible for help to come, it did come, for God has His own unlimited resources to help."

Let us call upon the unlimited resources of God this week and wait on Him.

If you plan to join us on Wednesday, would you please reply this post? It means so much to know that we are standing together with others in prayer for the children of Ethiopia.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Still Believing...

I just called and cancelled our plane tickets to Ethiopia this weekend. We are still believing God for a miracle next week when the court will rule on whether or not to give us a new expedited court date. Interestingly enough, today the entry in my Streams in the Desert devotional focused on the verse "You will not leave in haste" (Isaiah 52:12). I couldn't believe that when I read it. Talk about relevant to the day I had to cancel plane tickets! The author writes, "You may be sure that God will never say to us 'Stand still', 'Sit still', or 'Be still' unless He is going to do something."

So for today, we are still - waiting for God's intervention to deliver our girls. Please pray with us vigilantly that the hearts of those in power will be softened next week and that all obstacles will be removed to allow our girls (and the many other children affected by this) to "come forth" to forever homes.

It's raining now and today I'm finishing up packing the girls' suitcase so we are ready when God moves. I had to rebook different dates in order to keep the free tickets we got with the donated airline miles. It was hard to know how to approach this given that there are still so many unknowns right now. The airline had tickets available on March 10th and so I booked them. Wouldn't it be cool if that date worked out perfectly?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lazarus and Moses

We continue to intercede for our daughters and are so grateful to the many of you who have committed to stand with us in this process. Thank you for your blog posts, your emails, your texts, your cards and your phone calls. You are giving us the hope we need to endure.

Today I was praying for the girls and I was reminded of two passages in Scripture that seemed relevant to our situation. In John 11, we are told that Jesus "cried with a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come forth'. And he that was dead came forth." I am asking God to call our girls to "come forth" and come home. If God can call a dead man from the grave when all hope seemed lost, He can call my children home regardless of what any official says. I was also thinking of when God used Moses to tell Pharaoh "Let my people go" (Exodus 8). I am praying that God will move in the hearts of the "pharaohs" in our situation to let our children come home. God made a way in the desert for the Israelites and He can make a way for my children to be released to come home. Once again, we covet your prayers as we pray that all obstacles will be removed so that the many waiting children affected by this delay can come home now.

I asked God today to affirm in my heart that He is at work. This evening, a neighbor who goes to our church stopped by to check up on our situation. After giving him our less-than-expected news, he told us had a story to share that might give us hope. He was recently out of the area on business and encountered a doctor who does aid work in Ethiopia. He told the man about us and our experience thus far. The man began to share about a beautiful eight year old girl that he is helping to support in Ethiopia. She is being raised by nuns because her mother is involved in prostitution. He asked our neighbor if he wanted to see some pictures and mentioned how much he longed for her to be adopted by a family. Our neighbor said he felt this was a "divine appointment" because when we looked at her picture he knew they needed to adopt her. He came by to share the good news with us. He and his wife are in the early stages of the process of trying to figure out how all of this will happen. We will have an Ethiopian neighbor for our little girls to play with just a few blocks away thanks to God moving in the hearts of a compassionate family. Our neighbor's 17 year old son even offered to give up his room for her because he wants to do whatever he can to make this little girl his new sister.

So God is at work to redeem and to save and we wait expectantly for news of our deliverance. We need to cancel our plane tickets in two days but we are not yet ruling out a miracle this week.