It's the little things that mean the most; my friend Paula, recently went to Destin, Fl on a trip and one of my favorite places is there, The Donut Hole. They have the world's best cream horns; they make a chocolate one that is just sheer perfection! She brought me one!!! I couldn't believe it! It was such a nice surprise!!! I appreciated it so much- it's the little blessings in life that mean so much! I needed it this week; all last week I have been down in my back- I finally went to the dr. on monday; he said it was a muscle spasm- so I now have some strong drugs that seem to be working! There were finally some referrals for the month of March posted on our agencies blog, 3 baby girl referrals, but we don't know who they went to; they were "mystery" families- So I remain anxious, wondering when we will get our referral, if we will end up having to go twice, wondering if it will all happen before court closures in August..... lots to pray about- so if you are reading this and feel like it, please pray for our little baby, far far away- and all of the logistics!
Well, we received another email from our agency today saying that the requirement for both parents to travel to Ethiopia for court was being put on hold at this time....... So..... we are just waiting for some referrals. No referrals all of February and March so far.... I am trying to remember- All in God's good time!!! We are back to just making one trip to pick Jillian up after we get a referral, pass court and wait for the embassy to get ready to issue her a Visa to come to the U.S. Lots of steps have to be made to accomplish this.... none of which can happen without the first..... A REFERRAL! I'm not at all anxious.
We just got back from our trip; I should feel rested and rejuvenated, but somehow I don't. I find it hard to relax these days- I totally think it has to do with awaiting our referral. We had a great time, but I must admit it was wonderful returning to my memory foam bed!!! I stole a quote from a blog I read that really hit home:
"My Friends, Adoption IS redemption. It's costly, exhausting, expensive and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed HIM." -- Derek Loux
I spent an hour on the phone today on a conference call with our agency with lots of other families, listening the entire time. I got off of the phone feeling a little frustrated, because I know there were many questions that were not answered. I did find out a few more details about how the first trip to appear in court would play out, but that is about it. The anxiety I have felt over the past few months about leaving our kids here and who to leave them with, is becoming less; I think it has to do with the news that we got yesterday. I am realizing that no matter how much I plan it out in my head, that it's going to happen the way God wants it to happen..... so why worry? I spend a lot of time analyzing and worrying- about most important things in my life. But I feel some peace about this, which is an answer to prayer. For that I am thankful! I can see the pro's and con's of making a second trip- the most important, we will get to meet our daughter sooner! Praise the Lord! That is really all I care about right now- so Bring on the Referrals!!! I guess it's a good way to go into spring break- leave tomorrow to put our feet in the sand for a few days- and enjoy each other. We don't have many plans besides swimming and bike riding around Sanibel Island. I kind of like that- will keep you posted! By the way, I am going to take the laptop, just in case we get a referral......
We received an email from our agency, AWAA today. It stated that starting today- when someone gets their referral that they would need to prepare to travel from 4-8 weeks for the appearance of both prospective adoptive parents in Ethiopian court. This trip will be 5-7 days. After you pass court, then you would plan to travel again 8-12 weeks later, approximately, after the U.S. Embassy investigates the individual case. We both have to travel the first time, but only one parent has to travel the second trip. We will find more out tomorrow during our conference call. Right now, it's a lot to take in, because it's so different than how it has been up until now. I am glad we will probably get to meet Jillian on the first trip, but it breaks my heart to think we have to leave her there. I do know, God has a plan and he is in control and it is the perfect plan-so we are being flexible! I will add more after our call tomorrow! Maybe now there will be a outpouring of referrals (including ours).
It's a busy time- we have a lot to look forward to: Spring, Longer days, Spring Break, Conference call on Thursday from our agency (hopefully they have lots of good news to tell us), and on and on, hopefully eventually a referral, the ultimate thing we are looking forward to! Right now it seems like its never going to happen.... I know it will, there is just still nothing going on with our agency regarding referrals in general. I have been thinking a lot about obedience lately- what I am realizing is that we have a choice- to be or not to be..... obedient, that is- you can listen to yourself or you can listen to God! I am noticing that it is part of the "human condition" to listen to yourself, to hear what you want to hear- but being obedient is listening to what God is saying. He uses the Holy Spirit all the time, and through our "busy" lives, its easy not to "hear" it...... I am trying to "hear" and "listen" and obey. Also, we have to have our mind and heart open to what God is saying, at all times....... be flexible! On another note; a few weeks ago I came across some super cheap airline tickets straight to the sand and surf of Florida- So........ thought we better take this last chance before things get REAL busy after we get our referral. So Spring Break, here we come...... so excited and so much to look forward to! We are going to a quaint little place near Ft. Myers called Sanibel Island...known for shelling! Can't wait! We will post pictures. Hopefully we can enjoy some time off and spend some quality time together.... and relax!
I am so glad March is here!!! So many good things happen in March; Spring starts, Daylight Savings Time starts, SPRING BREAK happens!!! Hopefully this month we will see LOTS of referrals- who know what could happen this month!!! We had a great, busy weekend! We went to a gathering of lots of families, most who have adopted Ethiopian children who live in the greater Springfield area! It was so fun and I was touched by how awesome all of these kids are! They are all so beautiful! I am so glad we have a group to be a part of, that when Jillian comes home she will be able to see and know other families just like ours!! We got to meet some of the blog kids I follow, the gorgeous "world famous" Ari and his great parents and we got to spend some time with our friends, the Belote's, who are right in front of us in line! We even got to see Belen, our friend Cassie's little girl- it was just a fun day!
1. Ethiopia has approx. 4.3 MILLION orphans and the country is only twice the size of Texas.
2. 82% of the population survives on less than 1$ a day.
3. Only 24% of households have access to safe water.
4. 1 in 10 children die before their first birthday.
5. 1 in 6 children die before their fifth birthday.
6. 44% of the population in Ethiopia is under 15 years old.
7. Ethiopia's Doctor to Child ratio is 1 to 24,000.
8. Per Capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any other country in Africa.
9. HALF of all children will never attend school.
10. Because of this : James 1:27 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: To look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
I am Erin, follower of Christ, a wife to Craig, and a mother of three amazing kids, Isabelle, age 8, Harrison, age 5, and Jillian, 1. I spend my days loving amd taking care of my family and longing for Ethiopia.