Friday, July 27, 2007

Court Date

I just heard from AAI that our court date is set for August 1st. It looks like we will beat the court closure this year, rather than sit waiting until October like we had to do last year. God willing that is the day we become a family of 13. Then we will enter the ranks of what I called medium sized families in this post last year.

I can hardly believe that. Just 3 years ago this month we came home from China with our 3rd child, Joy. She is one of our twins, 7 year olds - Joy and Mary. They were just born on different continents, Joy from China and Mary from Ethiopia.

Thanks in advance if you will pray for a favorable outcome.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Group S

After a month of being computerless, my new Dell laptop came today and I can reenter life...I can't beleive how much of life involves a computer and the internet. Anyway, that and many other changes in life that I will have to tell about later have kept me from keeping this page up to speed on what we are doing.

I am happy to say though that we are in Group S, which means we will be going to court soon, and I think we will be in the last AAI group to go to court before it closes for 2 months. We should be travelling in September, God willing.

Lisa and I will both be travelling this time, and we are so excited. We haven't been away without kids for 17 years now, so our 2 days to get there and pick up kids alone will be unique for us. I am really excited to have her see Layla and AHOPE and Addis and meet so many people I have grown to love. I would have gone alone again, but this will be so much better.

Before sending our paperwork into court, we had to make a last minute decision. As I said before our paperwork was done for up to 4 kids. We wanted to make sure that we would be prepared for any unknown siblings that Terefu and Ashenafi might have. A couple weeks ago we got confirmation that there were none.

Well, with the changes in family size requirements being imposed by the Ethiopian government we figured this may be our last opportunity to bring home kids from there, so we were discussing what to do about our approval for 4 kids. Long story short is that we have added a second sibling set of 2 kids to our case, and hope to be bringing home 4 kids this fall instead of just 2.

We will be bringing home Terefu (13), Ashenafi (5), and hope to also bring home Freweyni (12) and her little brother Alemayehu (9). I know Freweyni from my 2 trips, and know who Alemayehu is but don't really know him. I spent lots of time with Freweyni though.

We aren't sure if the courts will let us adopt them all, but AAI is confident enough to try. They have been so good to us, and have supported all of our many special requests. Thanks Merrily.

When we were uncertain, and praying for God to make things clear for us, this is the scripture that He gave Lisa.

Psa 68:5
A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.
Psa 68:6
God sets the solitary in families;
He brings out those who are bound into prosperity;
But the rebellious dwell in a dry land.

Until that point we weren't sure what God wanted us to do. We hadn't heard anything. My only direction came from a certain theology I have. I believe that in the absence of hearing clearly what God has for you to do at a certain time, while you are waiting, that there are constants that we are to always be living. Loving our neighbors, caring for widows and for ORPHANS. Little things like that. That was good enough for me, and then at the last minute God gave Lisa that scripture, and just confirmed what we had been discussing.
So at this point it is up to Him. If they are all ours He will ensure we have favor in the courts and His will will be done. That is our prayer, and if you wish to join us in that we would covet your prayers.

Friday, July 06, 2007


This is what I see on the outside of one folded letter when I open the envelope from Terefu, and another that says Mom. They know!

We weren't to the point of letting them know, and AAI still had our gift bags in Port Angeles, but according to Terefu's letter Gail told them. Thank you Gail!!! It is so good to know that they know. They know they have a family - and in that instant so much of what they see as their identity changes. And in this case, they really know, because they know me already.

The letter to me went on to say "Habtamu, I know that you are my Dad. I am so happy. Thank you God for this. I tell Ashenafi and he jumps and jumps and says yes, yes!"

Since then AAI sent their gift bags over, and we have signed placement agreements and their paperwork has been sent to Ethiopia. So things are moving along, and we have a shot at beating the court closure although I am not holding my breath about that.

Thanks and blessings to the family who took the above picture.