Thursday, October 13, 2011

May the love of God surround you . . . Everywhere, Everywhere

It's been ages since I've updated our blog about our adoption, so I will do so soon, I promise. But in the meantime, I couldn't help but think of all the orphans worldwide as our 6 year old daughter practiced her song for worship on Sunday. Please enjoy (and excuse the boxes in our office -- still unpacking from our move back to the great Pacific Northwest). May the love of God surround you! (be sure to pause the music player at the bottom of my blog before playing this video, thanks!)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sweet Bedtime Prayers

Love this song! Thought of it tonight as Kaitlyn (our 5 year old) prayed for her future little brother from Ethiopia in her bedtime prayers! "Dear God, please watch over my baby brother baby 'Xan' in Ethiopia & keep him safe until he comes home to us." So sweet! 
(Be sure to press pause on our music player at the bottom of our blog before playing video). 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Roadblocks & Speedbumps along the way to International Adoption

Last August, we encountered our first "road block" in international adoption when the doors to adoption in Rwanda were temporarily closed. At that time we prayed continuously and felt God's leading to Ethiopia. But, as advised we knew that any type of international adoption is always filled with uncertainties. Here's one more . . . see article below. We are hoping and praying that this will be just a "speed bump" in our journey and not another road block.

This is an article posted by our adoption agency, America World, on Facebook today:

"America World is asking all families to be in prayer for the Ethiopian adoption process. The Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs (MOWA) has stated a desire to reduce the number of recommendation letters they write each day for families in the court process. The number of recommendation letters have already started to decrease and we anticipate this will continue over the next few weeks as the court, MOWA, and other entities meet to discuss MOWA’s desire to decrease the number of recommendation letters they write overall."

"Even as this continues to unfold, we know that the Lord places the lonely in families, and that the enemy does not want to see this happen. Please pray that God will break down the strongholds set up against adoption, and that His Spirit will direct the decisions being made in the coming days and weeks in Ethiopia. Pray for all of the families and children affected by decisions being made and that they will experience God’s peace and comfort through this time."

Keep us in your prayers as we continue this journey to our baby boy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy 2011!!

Happy New Year to all my friends & family! We're so excited to enter the new year with renewed hopes about our adoption from Ethiopia and the prayers that our family will grow through adoption in 2011.

So many of you have asked, "how's the adoption going?" So, I thought I better do an update. I hate to say it, but we still are in the "paperchase" phase. Why?  . . . you ask? Stay tuned for my next update & I'll fill you in.

Our hope for 2011 rests in these divine words, "'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 hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11

Room for another in our family picture!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dreaming, Wishing, Hoping & Praying a Merry Christmas to our future baby son in Ethiopia!

Last year at this time, we were praying for a little boy in Rwanda. We still pray for him, but also hope that he's now been adopted into a caring, loving home! This year as we enter the holidays our prayers now include our future baby boy who is somewhere in Ethiopia. We're dreaming, wishing, hoping & praying a Merry Christmas for him as we prepare our hearts & home for his arrival here sometime in 2011! Keep him in your prayers that he is safe as he waits for us!

Enjoy this video! (Be sure to pause our music player at the bottom of our blog.)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Orphan Sunday -- Nov. 7, 2010

This Sunday is known by many Christians as Orphan Sunday! Churches all around the nation will be setting aside time to pray for the fatherless, visit orphans, and educate their congregations about caring for children that are without families. I had never heard of this until we started the adoption process ourselves, and I think it is one of the coolest things! What a great way to spread the word about the needs of orphans and the opportunities for foster care and adoption.

Watch this video & please pray for orphans worldwide this Sunday! And, our continuing request, please pray for our baby-boy-to-be that's somewhere in Ethiopia waiting for us to bring him home! (be sure to put our music player at the bottom of our blog on "pause" before starting this video)

Why Love Orphans? from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes

With my eyes half way open this morning at 6 a.m., I heard our 5 year old daughter in our master bathroom talking to Daddy while he was getting ready for work. She woke up with lots to say about God, heaven, love, etc.!!! I only heard tidbits of what she was saying, but one line that really caught my attention was this, "If we're not sure what God is telling us, then we need to read His Bible to understand!" Wow, it's that simple! From the mouth of our "baby" was the simplest explanation of how to understand what God is telling us to do!

During our adoption journey so far, we've encountered many ups, downs, highs & lows -- as to be expected. We continue to turn our hearts to God for answers during uncertain times. Many times, we've wondered, where is He sending us? What is His plan for us in this journey? Who is this child He's chosen for us? Many times the questions go unanswered, but we can always find answers/direction in His Word -- the B-I-B-L-E (as my 5 year old would say).

My 5 year old's words reminded me of His words: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." Psalm 119:105

Thanks Kaitlyn for putting it all back into perspective! :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Paper Pregnancy #2 -- 40 weeks to go -- more or less!

Over the past week, we've accomplished much, and yet it's just the beginning!

• Completed and submitted new application for Ethiopia adoption program
• Accepted to AWAA's Ethiopia program as a transfer from their Rwanda program
• Assigned a new family coordinator with our adoption agency. (Basically, she's the one to hold our hand along the paper pregnancy trail so that we don't get lost along the way!) Yeah!
• Given a NEW stack of paperwork to review and sign -- 96 pages to be exact! (These will be merged with our original 128 page stack from Rwanda, so that we can maybe not really start from scratch this time.)
• And, my favorite item (although it really doesn't get us to Ethiopia any quicker) -- we redesigned our blog thanks to Becky at Adopt Africa Digital Designs ( -- love her!
I think the redesign of the blog is a fresh start for a fresh new "paper pregnancy".

So, here we go! We hope you enjoy this journey with us! And, this time, we hope it only takes 40 weeks or less (like a "regular" pregnancy). :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

We're in!

Today we we got the word! We are officially accepted in the Ethiopia program with our adoption agency. All of our paperwork, payments, etc. transferred, so we can get back to our home study and dossier prep. Yippee!  Little baby boy, we're one step closer to you!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ethiopian orphans

A quick video overview of a few of the orphanages in Ethiopia. Just looking at all of these faces reinforces our decision to adopt from Ethiopia. If you have a few minutes, take a look (but make sure you have the tissue box handy) . . . (oh, and please pause my music player at the bottom of the blog so that you can hear the music on the video). More to come . . .

Ethiopian Orphans from Simon Scionka on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

From Rwanda to Ethiopa . . . millions of orphans need loving homes!

From my previous posts you probably know by now, Rwanda officially closed it's doors to accepting new dossiers as of August 31st.  Although it is just a temporary close for them to put in better safeguards for international adoptions, it's unknown as to when they will re-open their doors for new dossier submissions. When we heard this news, we were heartbroken. How could this door be closing when it seemed like that was the direction God was leading?  Over the past week and a half, we've been in agony over which way to turn. We turned our hearts to God in prayer asking for answers too. It seems that along the way we've had a few signs telling us what to do! But the most important fact is that there are more than 147 million orphans all over the world that are just waiting for a loving home to take them in!   I think the message we “thought” we were hearing from God was “adopt from Rwanda”, but maybe His real message to us was just “adopt!” 

So over this brief period of time, we been praying, researching, seeking advice from our agency, friends & family. As of Sunday following church, it became clear to us that we should transfer our adoption program from Rwanda to Ethiopia. We sent our official notice to our agency this week for this transfer and should have a definite answer from them in the next two weeks. Ethiopia is such a different country than Rwanda, but one thing remains the same . . . they have LOTS of orphans in need of loving families. We are learning each day more & more about Ethiopia, but the most striking fact in my mind in that they have 5 million orphans. So we're hoping that by next summer, we'll be able to be a loving family to at least one of them.

We continue to lean on you, our friends and family, as we jump over the new hurdles for completing our dossier to Ethiopia.  Thanks for all your doing and have done to see us through this time!!! Soon, little Xan will be part of our wonderful family! :)