Tuesday, April 27, 2010

a strange grief.

It’s a weird thing. I lost both of my dear grandparents this year- within a three month time span. Within that same time frame we lost the dream of two more daughters.

I always thought that loss and death would be this really hard, constant, ongoing, depressing thing. And don’t get me wrong, it’s hard and depressing at times, but it comes and goes. Some days it’s like any other day. Breakfast, schooling, lunch, laundry, library, park, you know the drill. But some days it’s really hard. I mean really hard. The kind of grief or sadness that lingers on your every thought. Everything has to do with that loss. For me, it’s the loss of our adoption process, of M and G, and of a dream for our family. I become paralyzed with sadness and can’t seem to function at my normal rate. I get sucked into the adoption blogs, message boards, and facebook profiles of people that are adopting, hoping upon hope that I will find some sort of tidbit of info that will lead me to a way to get to the girls. Time passes by and at the end of it all I just feel dried up. Dried up and tired.

There have been moments of breakthrough. Moments of intense emotion and prayer where I feel like I might be coming through something. But a few days pass and I am right back to where I started. Questioning, wondering, and asking WHY!? This is such a strange grief. One that most people will never have to experience. It’s very lonely.

Not only have we lost the dream of adopting the girls but we live with the knowledge that there are 4 other children at Bethel who have been adopted or are being adopted and joining families in the US. M and G will be left behind and probably not even know why. This tears me up. I have absolutely no control over this fact and am constantly giving my thoughts over to God and trusting Him in dealing with the situation. Only He knows the answers to the why’s and the why not’s--- but it would be nice if I could too.

I packed up some of the girls things today. Backpacks, purses made by a friend, shoes, and the two beautiful jewelry boxes made by my dad. They went to the attic. I really don’t have it in me to get rid of them or give them away. There is a tiny part of me that is hoping that some day these material things will belong to M and G.

Slowly we are adjusting to the loss of our dream. It will never feel right, and I will always wonder about the life I had pictured in my mind with M and G. We still aren’t sure what the Lord has for us in regards to how our family is going to grow- or if it ever will. We are still praying that if it is God’s will – we could someday meet M and G and be a part of their lives and a part of Bethel orphanage. Will you pray that for us too? We need it to be clear… because it is so muddy right now. The next step seems SO unclear.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Three months have passed since our world was turned upside down and our adoption agency called and said that they would no longer work on our case. We were dealt with in a rude and inappropriate manner and told that we were "not patient enough and not understanding of the process". Although we have always felt that something wasn't quite right with Hope Adoption Agency, being treated in this manner and having the rug pulled out from underneath us was quite surprising.

That phone call started a whirlwind of filing complaints, making contacts and trying to get some answers. Through all of this, many people have contacted me and the unfortunate and sad side of Ethiopian adoption has been brought to our attention. A handful of families have had less than positive experiences with Hope Adoption Agency and there is evidence of Hope Adoption Agency being involved in accepting bribes for children, allowing children to be adopted with false paperwork, and lying about the origins of a child. I have also received emails from people not with Hope Adoption Agency, stating that their children were in fact trafficked. We recently and surprisingly received our money back. This does not make things better or cover up the lies, mistakes and mistreatment.

We have been in contact with a couple of national news outlets sharing our story and the information that we have been made privy to. We will not stand for this, nobody should. Recent rulings have been passed in Ethiopia to create more transparency and more accountability with adoption agencies. This is such encouraging news and we are glad to see that our complaints and the complaints of others are being taken seriously.

As of right now we don't think that we will ever be able to adopt M and G. The only thing we know for sure is that we will speak out for the orphans of Ethiopia (and of the world for that matter), and be advocates for ethical and upright adoptions. This experience has shown us how bound by fear adoptive families get. We were one of them. So many families are scared to speak out and ask questions, for fear that their adoption would be jeopardized, lose money, or worse have long term effects on the adoption system in Ethiopia or the US. These are all valid concerns- but at what cost are we going to remain silent? Do we enter into this process for our own selfish desires? I pray not.

We will continue to exhaust the options to find out about M and G. We will continue to pray. We will never EVER forget them. We are praying that God would make a way for us to at least visit them someday, and possibly care for them and be a part of their lives long distance. Only God knows what the plan is for our family and for M and G.

Please pray for M and G. Please pray that someone will be able to tell them the TRUTH, and that their hearts would be protected. Pray that they know Jesus. Also pray for us, for our faith to be restored and strong. We know that God is holding us and keeping us in His care, but I have a broken heart. The only thing I know to compare to this feeling is a miscarriage. The dream of two beautiful daughters being added to our family has been ripped away from us and my womb (heart) is empty.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Taking the high road....

Our last post has been removed as we are trying to resolve the matter at hand.

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light.
ephesians 5:6-14

Friday, January 1, 2010

keepin it real....

we haven't heard from our agency since october. frankly I think it is rude and unprofessional. but what can you do? two sweet little girls wait for someone to give them a family. all the way in ethiopia, africa. we are patiently waiting. waiting for someone to tell us, no. or, yes! who knows. we are having a hard time making that decision on our own. the words just won't seem to come to the surface. we don't want to do it.

one family that has been waiting alongside us with kids at bethel, passed court today. this is a VERY big thing. we are so happy for them! their wait is over and their lives can move on with new added blessings! we don't know if that will ever happen for us but we have a teeny, tiny, microscopic glimmer of hope in their news today. (can you tell we have become a bit jaded?)

if you are still following our blog, and you probably gave up a long time ago!- please pray. pray for answers in 2010! pray for the children in ethiopia all the children with no mommas and daddies. every child deserves a momma. and a daddy.

and while you are waiting- watch this. and order yourself a pair of TOMS. I just did.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


*if you look really close... the girls are holding a piece of paper with a picture of them on it... and my name on it too! a small connection... so far away.

We received some encouraging news this week.... the girls paperwork is moving along and "almost complete"! Getting news of "progress" is something we have received before and ended it up being nothing so we are taking it all with a grain of salt. Chris and I were actually getting ready to make plans to travel to Ethiopia within the next couple of months and this has helped us decide to put our travel plans on hold. We aren't sure how fast or slow things could progress but knowing how this roller coaster tends to ride we are keeping our seat belts on for now!

Please continue to pray. Pray for all the kids at Bethel Orphanage, for their safety, health and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Just a quick update...we haven't lost hope and still believe that the girls will join our family some day!

Friday, July 31, 2009

my life. changed.

Warner Bros. new horror movie Orphan proclaims that it must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own. Let me tell you about how an orphan changed my life...

Twenty months ago Chris and I knelt on the floor of our bedroom and wept. We cried out and prayed, asking God if this is what He wanted from us. Adopt? Two!? From Ethiopia?! We wondered what our family would think, our friends, and our church. Two little girls’ faces had stolen our hearts. We prayed and prayed some more, and came to the realization that our family was not complete without them. Money flooded in, miraculously, piles of paperwork though not understandable got filled out, and things just fell into place. We knew this is what was right for our family. God had truly called us to it. Then the clock started to tick. Loudly. And almost two years later here we are. Still waiting, still wishing, hoping and praying. That being said, even though we haven’t met our adopted children our lives have already been forever changed. We haven’t hugged our girls, wiped their tears or heard their laughter. But not a day goes by that we don’t think about what that will be like. Our world has been rocked by the knowledge of the fact that there are over 4 million orphans in Ethiopia, Africa. How can we sit by and not do something? We have no excuse. Not one.

Our journey though, has now turned into something so much deeper than just adoption. In the dark moments of questioning and asking why and why not, our hope remains. When the emails of non-information come and the conversations with our agency that seem to be like a scene from “Groundhog Day”, our faith is strengthened. When we watch and hear of other families bringing home their adoptive children in what seems to be record time, our love grows. What started as a journey to adopt has become a journey to adopt M and G. Their pictures are in frames in the bedroom. Their beds wait empty. The closet is full of dresses, shoes and backpacks picked especially for them. Even two beautiful, handmade wood jewelry boxes wait on the dresser for them. This is about THEM. Our life has been changed for THEM. We won’t give up and we won’t stop praying. No amount of time waiting will force us to forget little M and G. Our lives will never be the same.

...from Tom Davis' blog

...it became apparent to me that this is exactly the opportunity to defend the cause of the orphan. But instead of cursing the darkness, let's put the truth on display.

I want to challenge my readers and friends to write 500 positive blog posts about how an orphan has impacted and changed your life. Post this on your own blog so that when people search for the movie, they are flooded with positive messages about adoption and orphan care.

Just finish this sentence: "Warner Bros. new horror movie Orphan proclaims that it must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own. Let me tell you about how an orphan changed my life..."

This is the heart of defending orphans. Help push back the darkness and deceit here by holding up as an example the powerful love that adoption and orphan care can unleash.

Here's how you can defend the orphan:

1. Write a "positive protest post" on your blog that references the movie, Orphan.
2. Focus on your orphan care or adoption story that is positive, redeeming, and full of love.
3. Link your post here via a trackback or comment.
4. Send out an e-mail, Facebook message, or tweet to get others to do the same on their blogs.

If you don't have a blog, post your story on the Christian Alliance for Orphans Site.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

prepared...or not.

God prepared our hearts and we took the leap of faith...

We prepared our family, by sharing the news and assuring them that this is something we have to do.

We prepared our church and they came along side us, financially and prayerfully.

We prepared our house; painting rooms, setting up bunk beds, rearranging space to make 4 kids fit in our humble abode.

I prepared my mind by reading all the books and made myself aware of some of the negatives of adoption causing me to stand firm in what God has called us to do.

What I wasn't prepared for was still not having two more children in our home...TWO YEARS LATER.

What I wasn't prepared for was being smacked in the face with sadness when I realize that M and G are missing out on another holiday, summer, birthday, etc. with our family.

What I wasn't prepared for was the longing that comes with the knowledge of knowing our family is not complete and two children are missing.

What I wasn't prepared for was wondering if we were really cut out for this.

I pray, I ask why and why not. I wonder constantly WHEN! The one thing I am sure of is that I haven't lost HOPE. Someone asked me today if I was still sure we were supposed to adopt. I know- without a shadow of a doubt that we are. I know that there are two little girls in Ethiopia, Africa waiting for Chris and I to come and get them and become their daddy and mommy. I will wait forever for them. I will pray for them, hope for them and long for them until the Ethiopian government tells me we can't adopt them. Even then, if that day ever comes to pass, M and G will forever be a part of our lives.

We might never know why our adoption story has played out this way. All I can be sure of is how I react and respond. The waiting is hard and frustrating at times but God's Word gives me comfort. "So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

We have no update, we have no news. We are at the mercy of the Ethiopian courts and what they decide, whenever they feel like it I guess. We do get tidbits of information, but at this point, until we get "the call"-- we don't know what to believe.

Praying, hoping, trusting, never giving up!