Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Finally FOUR!

Today the courts confirmed what God had already ordained in our hearts. Biruk became our son. Officially. Dirt and I are beaming.

..this also means that we can finally, officially show pictures of our son on our blog. He is ours! (this is the most recent picture I have, taken last month - though he tells me he's grown in the last few weeks)

The phone rang just after noon today. My social worker is out of the office this week, but told me that if they heard anything, another SW would call me. Gladney’s name appeared on my cell phone and I quickly answered. The voice was super up-beat. If it were my normal SW I would have known this meant good news. I had come to discern her good news voice from her bad news voice within the first three syllables. As the woman introduced herself to me, all I could think is if she didn’t have good news, she needed to tone down the happiness in her voice – because she just sounded too chipper to deliver bad news. As my thoughts rambled on I heard her say the word, “approved”.

I interrupted, “Did you just say that our adoption is approved?”

She confirmed.

Praise God!!!!!!!!!

Then I have no idea what else she said. Maybe something about filling out forms and a timeline for our embassy appointment. She’d later need to recap all that in an email. I literally felt the stress drain from my body. I remember saying, “I can breathe again” (she probably found that to be a very inappropriate response to whatever she was saying – but all I could feel was relief and joy).

God, did this really just happen? All those prayers. Did you finally say yes? Today? December 28th was the day you chose for us? Thank you for saying yes.

Okay, who to call first, Dirt or Biruk?

I glanced at the time, it was 12:12…just after 8pm in Addis – Biruk might be going to sleep soon- I figured I’d call him first, then we could try to conference Dirt in so the three of us could chat together. (Brilliant, I know).

When Biruk picked up I immediately blurted out that we got approved. He replied, “What?”

“We got approved, the judge approved our adoption”

“Seriously?”

“Yes!”

…giggles, laughing…”I am so happy”

“Me too”.

Then we tried to conference in Dirt. No answer on the cell or the office number. Impossible. How could he not be available?

Biruk and I chatted for a little while longer, laughing and talking about how today was the best day ever. He said things like, “Am I dreaming?” ,“I was already your son”, and “When can I come home”….but mostly we just laughed and released all the stress and anxiety we had been carrying around for the past several weeks.

We tried Dirt again, but got nothing. I couldn’t contain myself anymore, I wanted to shout our good news from the rooftops – so I called my friend and prayer warrior Heather. She picked up the phone anticipating news from me – when I told her that Biruk and I were on the line and that our adoption was approved, she squealed and cried. It was the perfect reaction.

Biruk and I ended our call with me praying – lots of praises to God and prayers for a quick embassy process. Lord, please bring him home soon.

According to my agency, the current average wait time for Embassy appointment is as follows: Families whose adoptions were finalized recently waited 4-6 weeks on average from time of finalization of their adoptions to their files being submitted to the US Embassy, 1-2 weeks on average from time of submission of their files to the Embassy to receiving an initial response from the Embassy (letting the families know if anything additional is needed for their cases, if their cases have been forwarded to USCIS in Nairobi, Kenya, or if their cases have been cleared), and 1-2 weeks on average between time of clearance from the Embassy and their scheduled Embassy appointments (depending on the Embassy’s available appointments and a family’s availability to travel).

Our agency has 22 families ahead of us that are waiting for an embassy appointment.

We are praying that Biruk will be home soon. I last saw him on March 1, 2011 – when we said “see you later” at the Bole Airport in Ethiopia. I would like to have a 1-year anniversary of that day at the same place.


I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. 1 Samuel 1:27

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Catching Up: December

I guess it goes without saying that I haven’t blogged in a while. This month has been one of the most intense months of my life and I’m not sure how to give a sensible recap.

There were several “I should be blogging about this” moments that took place, but seriously, if I had blogged through this past month you probably would have diagnosed me with mild schizophrenia. Maybe not even mild, perhaps full-blown cat-lady crazy.

Overall it was a pretty crappy month. Things fell apart in a few arenas, I took on the stress of a rent payment (studio), I was beyond busy with a Christmas photo rush, my computer crashed with Christmas pictures of five families on it (photos retrieved by super-hero husband, but computer RIP), oh..and CHRISTMAS (which is a beautiful holiday, but let’s face it - it’s no Labor day – Christmas has a whole lotta prep work!).

…and the adoption debacle. [sigh]

I drifted between anxiety and peace all month. Anxiety = feeling like I couldn’t breathe, difficulty sleeping, sadness, anger, nervousness. Peace = His sweet precious peace that surpassed all understanding – unexplainable.

I meandered in and out of these emotions without any control. One moment I'd be calm and the next I needed to take deep breaths just to prove that I wasn’t suffocating under the weight of the anvil of stress on my chest.

I showed up at a women’s tea only to break down in tears in the parking lot. Once I thought I had it together I bravely walked in and was fine until someone said “hi” to me (the nerve). Poor girl walked into the eye of the storm with that comment. I broke down and began weeping.

..and that was just the beginning. I cried at work, I cried at home, I cried in the car, I cried in bed, I cried in front of my kids, I cried behind closed doors, I cried in the living room, in my office, the kitchen, the mudroom, the bedroom, at church, on the phone, and inside of a mouse’s right shoe. (Not really the last one, I just wanted to see if you were paying attention). I was a big cry baby. And it wasn’t pretty.

Last night I was sharing with Dirt how frustrating it is to pray so fervently for something, only to see the exact opposite happen. That has pretty much been my story this month. I prayed for an early approval of our case and instead, we are sitting here 10 days after our court date with no approval. I am bearing the weight of my own disappointment, and also the weight of B’s disappointment (and fear). It’s a lot to bear. I know it’s not mine to carry; he belongs to the Lord and the Lord loves him more than I do – BUT my heart can’t help but feel that pain with him and for him. If you’re a mom, you get this.

The events of this month have prompted me to examine my life. What is God trying to show me/teach me? Why isn’t He answering my prayers? What do I need to learn so we can move on already? I am reading His word daily, praying daily (constantly?), fasting, trying extra-hard not to sin, and trying to listen for His voice and obey it. I am closer to Him now than ever before, yet He won’t answer my simple prayer….a prayer that would glorify him. So what gives?

Dirt says that THAT is the blessing. Being close to the Lord is what He wants and ultimately what I should want. [stinknuts]

Last Saturday I designed our Christmas cards with a verse that has meant different things to me over the years, Isaiah 40:31, “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Today that verse means that I am thankful that I’m in the midst of the storm. Even though I hate it with everything in me (I hate it, I hate it, I hate it – foot stomp/arms crossed), I know that He is perfect and if I continue to draw near to him, wait on Him, hope in Him, and trust Him, then He will make me strong.

Thank you God for your promises. You are good.

Disclaimers:

  1. I will not be offended if you don’t want to say “Hi” to me for a while.
  2. My thoughts today do not necessarily represent my thoughts tomorrow or any day thereafter. I could revert back to crying crazy again at any moment.