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! :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Keep Praying

We are still at a crossroads in our adoption process. We're not sure which way to turn . . .wait on Rwanda or transfer to another country? We're praying for God's leading in this and hope we hear His still small voice to answer our call to adoption. We thought we heard Him over the past year saying "adopt from Rwanda" but maybe He was just saying "adopt"! Please keep praying for us.

-- Stephanie

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Praying for all orphans & outreach to orphans

Although the doors to adoption in Rwanda are temporarily closed. . . there is still so much we can do. Watch this heart-wrenching video from Saddleback on Rwandan orphan care as well as local orphan initiatives. (be sure to pause our music player at the bottom of our blog before turning on video)