Monday, May 1, 2017

Love Hard

Hey friends.   So much has happened in the past 5 weeks.  Our breath knocked out of us in joy and in pain. High moments and very low moments.   

To me, MOWA approval was like the equivalent of my water breaking after a 4.5 year long pregnancy.   I was finally laboring and had a scheduled c-section date(court).  This is when you normally take custody of your child and begin the process of birth certificate, passport, and visa.   Days later you board a plane and bring your child home.  The day before we were scheduled to leave, the Ethiopian government issued a suspension of all adoptions.  After receiving the news, I went to my car and broke down.  

My c-section had been cancelled.   

We had no idea what was going to happen.  Our agency left it up to us whether to travel or stay home.  It wasn't even an option...I needed to be with my son more than ever.   

A few days later Josh and I were in Ethiopia, walking up the stairs to meet our son.  I have never been more nervous.   We found him in a room behind a table playing with his ball.   He was as beautiful as I had dreamed.  I knew in an instant he was going to come home.  It didn't matter what we had to do.  He must come home.  

As many of you know we passed court so Townes is officially our son.  The Ethiopian government still refuses to sign our exit letter so we can not take him out of the country.  I am still here.  I am missing my girls something fierce.   I do not know what to do.  We have no idea how long this will take.  Days, weeks, months.  I won't let myself go to years.  I just can't.   

This is by far the hardest thing I have done.  Your prayers are the balm to my hurting momma soul.   I have deeply fallen in love with Ethiopia.   The country, who's government is holding my son captive, is the same country that I am finding my refuge.   These people.  They are the most beautiful people I have ever met.  For many, every day is a struggle.  But yet they always smile.  They walk down the road hand in hand.  Arm in arm.  The children, who do not have a mother or father, give off more radiance than I have ever seen.  Beautiful people.  I can see how much God loves them.  I feel it.  They remain faithful while staring in the face of hunger and pain.   I want their kind of faith.  It's far more than mine.  

I am taking every day here to learn more.  To be better.  To love harder.  

Continue to pray.  I love you.  My village is something awesome.  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Pinch me

Today has been the most surreal day I have ever experienced.   I was in a really low place this morning.   I sat in my bedroom floor and wrote a post about how the last few days have been harder than most.  We still thought we had months left.  I sent our case worker an email telling her how much I was struggling with our wait.   

A few hours later my phone rang.  It was a Washington number.   I only know one place in Washington.  I tried not to panic but they haven't called me in months.  Maybe she was just calling to check on me after I sent that email.   Making sure I was going to be okay.  I mean it was pretty ugly.  

"Mandy, do you know why I am calling?" 

"Umm yeah, no, maybe? Do I???"

"Yes!   You have MOWA approval!!!"

After that we both just turned into blubbering tears and snot.  And I honestly don't remember a single word she said.  

Guys only hours after I posted how much I was struggling, we got the last approval we needed.   This is God.  He knew just when we were ready.  When our hearts were ready.   

What happens next?   We get submitted to court on Monday.  They could tell us a court date then or early in the week.   There's a good chance we could be leaving in the next week or so for Ethiopia!!!   

It's finally happening and it's your prayers that have helped us get here.  I can't stop crying thinking about the love and support we have received.   I will keep you posted when we get our court date!   And don't stop the prayers.  Please pray as we prepare to meet our son and for his heart.   This is going to be incredibly difficult for him.  Thank you tribe!  


Time seems to be my enemy and my saving grace right now. It's odd. 

In one hand, time needs to slow way down.  Our boy is a little boy now, no longer a baby.  That became more evident to us in his latest pictures.   We are missing precious time.  Taylor is less than 2 months away from graduating high school.   Raegan is finishing her last weeks of middle school.   I want to freeze time.  

Then I want to speed it up.  I want to be at the end of this wait.  The faster time goes, the closer we are to him.  On Fridays I find myself saying "Yes!  Another week down!"   I want to get our boy and bring him home.   And more than likely we still have a pretty good wait ahead of us.  

I'm beginning to really struggle.  It seems to worsen daily.  The desire to have my family together is to the point where I find myself crying whenever I am alone.   I need to get my mind right.  I need to settle back in to where I was a few months ago and where I've been for the better part of this 4 year journey.  Knowing that it would be a while before we got the call.  I was for the most part content. Or maybe a better word was prepared for the long wait.  Well, I've thrown that out the window and I need it back.  There are families that have been waiting far longer than us.  They seem to do it with such grace.     

If you find my grace, can you send it back?

Cause my wait is just plain ugly right now.

Okay, enough whining.  I'll leave you with a side by side of the first picture we got of our boy to the latest.  My oh my.  


Friday, February 3, 2017

Happy Birthday

Our boy turns 2 today.   It's a bittersweet day, as a waiting momma.   Another year we have missed.  He is getting so big, and handsome.   He is the same size as his big sister.  He is learning all kinds of new tricks.  One being walking with support.   There was a day when we thought he might never walk.  Learning that he is doing so well makes my heart smile.   He is beginning to lose his baby face.

This is so hard.

Today I am going to try my best to be happy and celebrate this beautiful child God has given us.   Even if He hasn't quite placed him in our arms yet.  I know our time is coming.   When we can finally say this was all worth it.   I have learned so many things during this wait.  I can't say I am thankful for it but I know it is teaching me.  It is teaching me to be faithful, even(especially) when things aren't going the way I want them to.   As fast as I want them to.

We are in the midst of the last piece of this wait.   Only needing one more approval.   The one approval that can be quick or take forever.   We have no idea when we will receive it.   But we will continue to pray that it is soon.  I am so ready to smell and kiss my boy.  I am ready to tell him how much I love him.  I am ready to show him to you.

So Happy Birthday sweet baby boy.   I hope your day was filled with love, laughter, and dancing.

P.S.   He is one dancing machine!