Thursday, October 30, 2008
Dearest friends and family the miracle that we all have fervently prayed for has come! Etsegenet passed through the Ethiopian court system today and she is ours! I cannot express the amazing miracle this is. God has moved and I am in awe. After ten attempts it took us coming to fight for this child ourselves before the hold on Etsegenet was broken and she is set free! It still will take two weeks for her documents to be obtained (birth certificate and passport) in order to get her visa, but very soon you will meet the most prayed for child in all of Africa!!! God be praised and glorified for what he has accomplished for his good will. Thank you all for not giving up and never doubting God's sovereign power. Enjoy the pictures!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Well the day has come to sing our praises to the Lord. Many months ago I wrote on Meseret's garment of praise and today she wore it at her embassy appointment. There were many days when I wondered if this dress would fit our daughter by the time she got to put it on, but it fit perfectly. God is good and we are blessed! Another surprise happened this morning. Rachel our guide came to our room unexpectedly and told us that Aster, the director for Kids Care orphanage, was going to take us to court to appeal for Beautiful E! Apparently this was possible ONLY because Ray and I are in Ethiopia. So after our embassy appointment we were escorted to Kids Care to meet Aster. She graciously offered us an amazing Ethiopian meal. Apparently she was already having guests from Sweden and we were able to eat with all of them. It was delicious. As a side note, Meseret is a BIG eater and she helped herself to the meal as well. After we finished eating we went with the administrator for Kids Care (I can't remember his name, Aster, and the legal aide, Germachew to court. We sat and sat and sat and finally those three had some business to do, then came back and sat some more. All said we were there at court for two hours. Both the girls did great waiting so long. The final decision for the day was that Beautiful E's medical paperwork needs to be translated by tomorrow and we need ANOTHER favorable letter from MOWA stating they approve our adoption. IF all these things are together by tomorrow we will obtain custody of Beautiful E. It will still take another two weeks to acquire all the necessary paperwork for her to travel home. At any rate I am not getting my hopes up until we get through this tangled system. Keep us in your prayers! Continue to pray for Meseret's paperwork as well since she needs one medical clearance to finish this up. We are expecting it to come through Friday morning. Thank you to everyone who is taking such good care of our children at home. We are blessed to have friends like you.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I really want everyone know how much we appreciate your prayers and the love you have shown to our family in our absence. And I also want to thank you for your patience with me as the blogging has not been as frequent or as full as I would have liked. I know everyone has been waiting to hear our news. First, we now have Meseret in our arms! She is even more beautiful than we had imagined. This goes for Beautiful E as well. Beautiful E was given permission to stay with Ray and I this week at the hotel. She has not been able to pass through court this week and there are no allowances on any court appeals. We will not be brining her home until late November. But before everyone feels that this was not the answer to prayer that we wanted, let me correct you….this was the BEST answer for our beautiful daughter. Please understand that our prayers were answered in the most amazing way. We all prayed that E would pass through court, we just did not know when we prayed this that it was not E that needed to pass, but it was Ray and I that needed to pass through the court of a mother's heart. We were given an opportunity to meet with E's sick mother. She is a most amazing, beautiful, and Godly woman and Beautiful E resembles her in all of these ways. We were sanctified through a process that only God could have brought about. In a small dark room two mothers and one father joined together in unity to assure the safe keeping of a child's heart and soul. E's mother was given the gift of eternal peace knowing that she would separate with E for this short time of life only to be reunited with her for all eternity. And God was present in that tiny room. This is E's time to be with her mother in her last days and on November 8 all the paperwork will be at court for the tenth time and we will see if it passes. If not, it really does not matter because it will eventually. God told me was E does not need to pass through court. She needed to pass from one mother's arms right into the arms of another. The paperwork is just a side note in a miracle that God planned long ago when a dying mother sent up a petition to the maker of the universe and requested that her daughter be safe for eternity. I do not understand how I got to be the one to complete this work that God started on the day this child was born, but I am. I do not feel qualified or worthy, but I can see how much God loves this child and I am sure that the tools I need will be provided. This work that was started will be finished as the love of God is revealed fully in the life of Beautiful E…just watch and see!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
We have been here in Addis for two days now and it is hard to describe or process the feelings about what I have seen and experienced here so far. I find it hard to sleep tonight. My mind repeats the images of poverty and brokenness all around: Mothers nursing babies on the roadside with only an umbrella as a home, staring blankly, Old men with one pant leg safety pinned around the stump of what was once their other limb, A blind beggar woman reaching into space hoping for a coin, and the vista from the Addis View Hotel…a shanty town of tin shacks. Yet as disturbing as these images are I have also seen a side of Addis that brings hope: A few, like our guide, a young man of twenty-six, have lifted themselves out of the depths of poverty and despair by shear grit and determination. Step by step they mark a road to a better life for others to follow. As I sat next to him in church today and worshipped the same God who loves this man and these people I felt unity in that place. Yet I cannot understand this puzzle I have experience here. I am sure there is much God wants us to learn. In his time revelations will happen.
In a few hours I will meet my children for the first time. Ray and I will be the first in our group to be introduced to Beautiful E as she is the oldest child meeting parents today. I wonder if she will like me, I wonder if she is as nervous as I am right now. I love her although I have not met her. I have committed my life to this child. It is a lot like an arranged marriage, you choose to become family with a complete stranger and the feelings will grow into an inseparable bond as time goes on. We will have our time with Beautiful E while the other families in alphabetical order will hold their children for the first time. The bonds will be welded together in that courtyard past the green gate. Then it will be Meseret's turn to come home into my arms. I love this baby that came from a difficult beginning into her life of love, and family, and hope, and eternity. How is it that these few precious little ones are the chosen? There a five million people in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia alone, yet only five babies were chosen this day to have a ticket to the land of opportunity. Beautiful E has a family, and a bed, and new clothes, and food, and education waiting for her in America, yet one piece of paper and a rubber stamp keep her back from her future. It is a puzzle I cannot solve tonight. So my prayers have gone up to the God of the universe that loves each man, woman and child on this entire planet and knows each of them individually. I have petitioned, and pleaded, and cried out for a chance that my daughter will be released from her paper jail so that her future is secure. God knows and I await his answer on my daughter, in faith, regardless of the outcome. We are in his hands.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
|We finally made it to Ethiopia! No glitches. All the bags were in tact and the formula is SAFE! We are staying at the Addis View hotel which really doesn't have much of a view, but the room is clean and we even have a little balcony. After we got unpacked we went to a large market that reminded me of Mexico. We found a few things, but mostly we were just tired and overwhelmed by all the poverty and filth. The one highlight though is the beauty of the Ethiopian people. Tonight those of us that are here(Lusse, Redfern and VanWetten families) will go out with Rachel and Barret for dinner. I am looking forward to meeting them. Tomorrow we will go to church and....well I don't know yet! I thank everyone for their care for us and all the prayers you have sent up and all formula you sent! I am sure after what I saw today it will be a huge blessing!|