Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's a Merry Ethiopian Christmas

After a few anxious days yesterday I received that long-awaited e-mail from Sue announcing embassy clearance for this Thursday! Kathy and I had packed on faith the night before believing this would happen. The e-mail was only the beginning as better than half a day was spent securing airline reservations and confirming there is room at Grace Guest House. In just a few hours we board a plane to Ethiopia! We will arrive at 0110 in the morning on the 30th, travel to the guest house and await an early morning trip to Miskaye to get Joseph and Jacob. From there we will travel to the embassy for a brief interview and back later in the day to pick up necessary paperwork saying they are mine and can travel! Just two and a half days later we will begin the journey home. Arrival is scheduled for 5:41 at Nashville International airport on United flight 5924. There will be a group of family and friends gathered at the top of the escalators with a welcome home Joseph and Jacob sign if you care to join us.
I have also made an appointment for their first visit with the pediatrician and planned an Ethiopian Christmas celebration in the 7th. The tree is the only Christmas remnants left in my house..well, and the tons of packages waiting for the boys :) Oh, and I discovered that I had been reading the boy's birth certificates as month/day/year instead of as written day/month/year! This means I was in Ethiopia on Jacob's first birthday 11/7 and will celebrate Joseph's 4th birthday on 5/12. Everything about their development is right on target now that I have this straight!
God is faithful and true to those who wait on his perfect timing. I am so thankful for the prayers and support of so many through the past year and can only re-pay the kindness through the smiles of two little boys. Thank you all! and I am out of here!! Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Waiting for any news

It's been a while since I last updated. For those who don't know, the first anticipated embassy appointment was held up by something requested of the birth mother. So two weeks later I wait not so patiently for possible word of travel at the next embassy date. I know that God's timing is perfect and that Joseph and Jacob will be here as planned, but it is so hard. I fight the tears often as I think of my sons. I have three sons, none of which can I be with on this Christmas. Yet as was heard in church on Sunday morning, I should not grumble and complain at life's circumstances. So this Christmas my daughters and I will celebrate and be thankful for where we are, what we have, and what is to come. We'll remember those who can't be with us, and will look forward to the reunion that is coming soon. As I watch and re-watch the many videos and look at pictures from first meeting the boys I anticipate Joseph running to me with outstretched arms and that smile that lights up the night. Who knows, maybe there will even be a glimmer of recognition from Jacob (or at least a few less tears). So for now, I remember to praise God for this additional two weeks in which I prepared my heart and my home for the arrival of my sons.
Guys, I will be there soon. I love you with all of my heart and rejoice that God will be with you this Christmas despite my absence. Merry Christmas!

Third Day - Merry Christmas - Christmas Offerings

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fundraising activities

There were many events planned to help financially prepare for this journey. Yard sales, a cookout, benefit dinners, and a gold party were some of those I hosted with the help of family and friends. At the first yard sale Kathy held a raffle for handmade baby afghans while Anna Ruth and Rebecca manned a table of lemonade, brownies, and cookies.

The cookout was hysterical as a grill that normally has flames a foot high had but a tiny flicker. Thanks to Becky for inviting me to Big Lots for this fun-filled day!

Benefit dinners were held at the Dinner Bell and Chick-fil-A and attended by co-workers, family, and friends! I was blessed to have my son David home on R & R from Iraq to attend Chick-fil-A. Thanks to Allison and Jason for these events.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Missing these little guys like crazy

Just realized how awful I've been at updating the blog since actually being able to show pictures of the boys. I'll try and spend these next days waiting on word from the embassy to post some of my favorite memories of this journey. This video was made when Kathy and I went for court and depicts the boys personalities well. The waiting is hard but watching the videos and looking at the pictures just makes me smile. Joseph and Jacob, I'll be there soon!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

and it's embassy time!

In just a few short hours my paperwork will be reviewed and plans finalized for a return trip to bring the boys home. I received an e-mail from Sue today which said to be ready to travel for a December 16 embassy date, meaning we will return home the 18th and in plenty of time for Christmas. I know in my head there is a possibility that something will be missing or that there won't be two slots left for the embassy appointment but in my heart I keep hearing December 16th and have for months. I think I may stay up these next few hours in prayer as the clock ticks towards business hours in Ethiopia. Or, perhaps I'll close my eyes knowing that prayers of thanks have been lifted from all parts of the world for what God will do!
Needless to say the next few days will be crazy. I have a shower on Saturday (have already begun receiving cards and gifts!), airline tickets to book, a guest house to reserve, and shopping to be done. Not to mention getting the last items placed in the boys' room resulting from the shower. Oh, and then there is work. How in the world do I wrap that up neatly in a week. I am so excited I can't eat, can't sleep, can barely even think as my mind races toward this homecoming. In the midst of all the joy is a sadness that I will miss Joseph's birthday on December 5. He turns 3 and will be without a family to celebrate. But oh how we will make up for that when he and Jacob are here.
Thanking God for what he will do and praying for my sons...will post again soon.