Monday, July 26, 2010

We have a court date!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh my word I can hardly believe it.  We were wrapping up a week out o' state with family when the call came...and I MISSED IT.

Because the phone was in my purse, y'all, instead of sewn to my palm where it usually is.  Sigh.

So, of course, I tried to return Anna's call but the AWAA offices had JUST closed.

Yes, she left a message saying we had a date but did NOT say WHEN.  Do ya' think I slept that night?  I think not.

So I finally got hold of her the next morning and we will be going to court October 1st!

In just a few weeks I will be holding Little Sister in my arms and smothering her beautiful little face with kisses.  Her Daddy will, no doubt, get all misty-eyed and choked up and I will probably just bawl.

I can hardly wait.

So now I am waiting to hear from the travel coordinator to begin the process of booking airline tickets, a room at the Yebsabi Guest House, and arranging for droves of sweet friends to keep my 4 babes at home entertained while we are away for the week.

Oh yeah, and have I mentioned we are about to begin homeschooling?  Oh for crying out loud, I would give ANYTHING to be one of those people who thrive on 4 hours of sleep.  

Anywho, we will be leaving a few days before court so we can spend time with her and then we will have to leave her (NOT ok with me) until the Embassy clears her to travel.  I am preparing care package #3, and looking for a creative idea for something I can bring with me to leave with her on our last day there.  I am thinking about going to Build-a-Bear and getting a bear that will record our voices saying "We will be back soon to bring you home" or something similar.  Do they still makes those?

So, Little Sister, the countdown has begun!  T Minus 64-ish days and counting til we see you face-to-face!  We have got pretty clothes waiting for you, and a beautiful bed next to Gracie's.  We have a stuffed bear from the ladies at Emmanuel who are praying for you, and 6 sets of arms that are aching to hold you.  Your brother, who is also 3, asks about you every day.  I asked him what he is going to do when he finally sees you and he held out his arms wide and said "I'm gonna hug her and 'tiss her."

So get ready, sweet princess.  You are going to surrounded by so much love that it may seem overwhelming at first.   But when you realize that you are ours, and we are yours, and that you are forever home, I pray you settle into a calmness of spirit and fullness of heart that comes from the hand of God.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It is WAY past my bedtime...

but I painted my toenails and have to wait til they are dry before climbing into bed and settling between my WHITE sheets.  sigh.

I just had to share quickly that we got more pictures of Little Sister today.  Oh.  My.  Word.  The extreme cuteness of my fifth child is making each day of waiting harder.  In one of the photos she is kissing our picture.

She is kissing her new family.


Please hold while I blow my nose.

It is has come down through the grapevine that the Ethiopian courts will close down August 6th.  If we do not get a court date before then we will have to wait til the end of Sept/beginning of Oct for court.

Let me be clear...I am NOT stressing.  I am choosing to trust the Lord.  I know that He has had her homecoming day planned since he created her in her birthmother's womb.

But I am sometimes overtaken by this longing for her.  It is amazing how my love for her grows though I have never even met her.  Adoption is beautiful on so many levels.  I have always known that, having brought home four precious gifts in the past ten years.  But this is a new experience...knowing that she knows and understands on some level that we are "out there" and waiting for our turn to come get her.  She has the blanket that smells like me and, apparently, wears it wrapped around her head.  She looks at our pictures and, I am sure, dreams of us.  She is only three, but I can see from the photos we receive and from the stories the families who meet her tell us that she is understanding who she is waiting for.

Today a young woman who has been there in the Transition Home with her for 6 weeks left to go back home.  Little Sister had forged a special connection with this precious servant of God, so I can't help but be heartbroken for her tonight as I know she must grieve.  Please pray that the Lord will protect her heart as she waits for us.  Pray that she will quickly understand that, once we bring her home, she is forever home...that we will never have to let her go.  Pray she will know that her heart and trust are safe with us.

Ok.  Going to bed now.  SURELY the nails are dry.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Only God...

This morning I awakened at 4:30 with Little Sister heavy on my heart.  I believe this is the reason why...
There is a precious college student who has been at AWAA's Transition Home since the beginning of June who has apparently bonded with our sweet girl.  The pictures we have been sent of them together are nothing short of breathtaking.  I knew "L" was leaving July 12, and something about that knowledge had me on my face before the Lord this morning.

I prayed that "L" leaving will not harm Little Sister's heart or her ability to trust.
I prayed the Lord will protect her little heart and keep it from breaking.
I prayed He will help her understand that we are coming just as soon as we can.
I prayed He will work out all the details.

We have been waiting on 2 things...the I-171H, which is the approval from US Immigration to bring Little Sister into the United States, and her Ethiopian birth certificate.  We received the I-171H last week, and I sent an email to our family coordinator to find out how I need to get it to her (Fed-Ex?  USPS?  Does it need to be notarized and certified?)  Because of the July 4th holiday I had not yet received her answer.
So...imagine my surprise when I got an email this morning informing us that our paperwork had been submitted to court and that we could be receiving word of a court date ANY DAY NOW!

I called our family coordinator to try to wrap my brain around the speed at which this is happening ask a few questions.  I said to her that I thought they would not submit our paperwork without the USCIS approval and she said emphatically...
"Me Neither"

ONLY GOD could have done this.  Only God can speed up a complicated process like this.  We could be traveling as soon as the end of July/beginning of August.  I could have my arms around Little Sister and be smothering her little face with kisses in weeks rather than months!  Oh, Lord, we are your vessels.  I know He has had her homecoming day planned since before she was born.  I have NO doubt that He will direct our travel arrangements and arrange for my DH to somehow clear a week off his work schedule to spend a week in Ethiopia.  I know He is in control of every detail.

And I know he awakened me to pray this morning because HE knew that email was coming and that my heart would be racing wildly as my brain tried to form a game plan.

And to think we get to be a part of HIS story, a part of HIS plan for her life.  What an honor.  What a sweet journey of faith this is.