What about the other?

A few weeks ago I introduced you to our sweet Roxie. Since that post we have had several
people ask about our little boy. So I want to answer those questions and give a general
update.
There are many steps to the adoption process which I wrote about here. And even with those
steps there are still many minor details in between, and things that come up unexpectedly. That
is the case for our little guy. We are still very positive and hopeful that he will come home.
However, it seems that his homecoming is not with his sister, as we had expected. There is one
item that is missing from his paperwork in order to be submitted to court. Yes, one. It seems
that one little piece of paper can lead to major obstacles and delays for a life waiting to join his
family. However, we know and believe that God is in control of the perfect timing for his life.  
Unfortunately, until he legally becomes our little boy we cannot introduce him to you. Oh how
I want you to meet him. So just for now I’ll offer a sneak peak of him resting peacefully in his
daddy’s arms.

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Meet Roxie . . .

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
 in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
Psalm 139: 13-16
I have prayed many prayers for my daughter since we received the phone call about her on May 3, 2012.  I always pray for her salvation.  That the Lord will draw her to Himself and adopt her into His family so that she will know an adoption greater than her physical adoption into the Wilson family.  I also have found myself thanking God for knitting her together in the womb of her birth mother.  She is fearfully and wonderfully made!  I pray that she will praise God for that on her own someday, but for now I am praising Him on her behalf.  I am also thanking Him for writing her days before they ever came to be and that those days have led her to our family. 
I will never forget the first time I saw her big, beautiful brown eyes and long eyelashes.  My heart overflowed with love for this tiny creation, God’s creation for our family. I couldn’t wait to wrap my arms around her.  Several months and lots of tears later I was able to do just that.  As I walked into her room our eyes locked.  She was sitting up in a bumbo waiting for us.  Bending down to her level, our eyes never parted and I slowly picked her up trying to gauge her comfort level with me.  She still never took her eyes off of me, intensely studying this white lady that was enveloping her.  As I pulled her close, she comfortably laid her head on my shoulder and snuggled in.  This is where she fit.  Even before the creation of the world it was God’s plan for her to be my daughter and for me to be her mommy.  Tears streamed down my face as I turned her toward B and said, “She knows I’m her mama.” 
Roxie is God’s and He has entrusted her to us on this earth to raise under His truth, teaching her the gospel each day of her life.  We are thankful and honored and oh so blessed to be her parents. 
Meet Roxie . . . she has the biggest, darkest brown eyes, a crinkle in her nose when she smiles, a new discovery of her tongue, and two new teeth peeking out from her perfectly pink baby gums.  She is officially and legally our daughter!

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What does a court date mean?

We have a court date!

On November 28 we will go before an Ethiopian judge in one of the many steps to bring our children into our family.

Let me just give you a brief overview of the adoption timeline, at least for Ethiopia. 
Step 1: Gather A LOT of paperwork (this can be drawn out over several months but is also possible to complete within two months)
Step 2:  Submit Dossier
WAIT
Step 3: Receive and accept referral (depending on the agency this can take anywhere from one month to several years)
WAIT
Step 4:  Court submission (for our agency they estimate after referral for this to take 2-4 months)
WAIT
Step 5: Receive court date (a court date is typically issued within a week or two of court submission)  
WAIT  WE ARE HERE!
Step 6: Go to court (in Ethiopia)
WAIT
Step 7: Receive court decree (approximately 2-3 weeks after court)
WAIT
Step 8:  Children’s birth certificates issued (2-4 weeks)
WAIT
Step 9: Children’s passports issued (2 weeks)
WAIT
Step 10: Children’s medical exam (at least one month)
WAIT
Step 11: Embassy submission (Steps 7-10 must be complete for this to happen so no less than 2 months)
WAIT
Step 12: Be notified of pick up date (at least one month)
WAIT
Step 13: Bring our babies home!!!
There are several more detailed steps in addition to these but these are the big mile markers.  Also, we have learned first-hand the time amounts for each step are estimates and each case is different.  Sometimes the time is shorter but often times it can be longer. 
As you can see, this court date is a huge step for the adoption journey but we still have a long road ahead.  We are taking it one step at a time and praying that God will allow us to eventually bring our children home. 
Just to answer a few questions that we’ve been asked, we will get to see our children while we are in Ethiopia.  They will actually get to stay with us for the time we are there.  We will be there for about a week and a half and then have to come back to the U.S.A.  to wait until notification to pick them up.  

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Simply an image?

So let’s say you’re at Kroger (or your grocery of preference) for your regular grocery trip and you pass someone on the cereal aisle that has an outline of Africa on their shirt.  What do you think?  What’s the first thing that pops in your mind when you see that shirt?  Or do you even notice?
This is where my kids live, so naturally I’m drawn to this image.  Whether worn on a shirt, necklace, bracelet, sticker . . .  it’s more than simply an image.  To me it’s 
support,
love,
encouragement. 
Several months ago I was meeting my friend Casey at a Murray State basketball game and we decided to have supper before the game.  As we were shedding our coats to settle in for some quality conversation, I saw it.
  
That beautiful image right there in front of me on her shirt and I was overcome with emotion.  That’s for my babies.  She loves them.  She supports them.  She loves me.  She supports me.  I totally was not expecting the emotion, but what an amazing feeling of love and support when I didn’t even realize I needed it.  And time and time again I’m touched and humbly grateful for the love and support others are willing to demonstrate through something as simple as an image.  
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Another

We left our paperwork open.

So they were bound to call.

But the reality of it hasn’t sunk in.

And probably won’t until we bring our TWO babies home.

On August 10 (exactly three months to the day from when we accepted our first referral) we officially accepted the second referral of our son!

How? Why? What? Let me explain . . .

When working through a home study (a required step of the adoption process) a family has many decisions to make.  One of those being how many children you would like to adopt.  We made the decision for our paperwork to say “one or two” children so we could have the option of adopting twins if they became available.

After we accepted the referral of our baby girl we were asked, by our agency, if we wanted to leave our paperwork open for a second child since it stated “one or two” children.  

B and I took this decision very seriously.  There are many “opinions” on both sides of the fence about adopting two children at the same time especially when they are unrelated biologically. After much prayer and discussion we felt the Lord was leading us to say yes and be open to the idea of a second child.
After the unexpected news of our daughter’s possible health complications the hope and anticipation of a second referral escaped my thoughts. My focus was to pray for my daughter and stay updated on her situation.  Later in the summer we received a phone call that our agency had taken in several new babies that would soon be ready for referral.  They wanted to know if we were still interested. Whoa!  I forgot we were still in this!  

Several long weeks later and a few more ups and downs on the roller coaster, B called and said, “Okay, are we ready?” He received a call from our agency saying that there was a child ready for us to review. Oh my gosh, are we ready for this? To go from zero children to two? Knots formed in my stomach . . . nervousness. B asked again, “Are we ready?”
Silence

“I’m nervous,” I said hesitantly.

With the confidence and leadership I love about my husband he said, “Of course, you’re nervous.  So am I.  Let’s wait a few hours and pray about it before we review the child.”

A few hours later my nerves hadn’t gone away . . . but they had changed . . . to be nerves of excitement and confidence that we were stepping out on faith and trusting God for guidance in this journey. When we opened the email for review and I saw his sweet little nose, chubby feet, and two baby teeth (yes, he has two teeth!) my nervousness seemed to vanish.  This was my son . . . and this first glimpse of him reminded me to trust.  In this moment all the worry, anxiety, and nervousness were replaced with belief, thankfulness, and trust.

“Much of the worry in my own life has been a failure to believe . . .
a wariness to thank and trust the love hand of God.”  –Ann Voskamp

Another lesson learned.  Another member of our family. Another baby to love. Another blessing.

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