I have to admit...I have been a horrible blogger. I love keeping up and reading other people's blogs but when it comes to updating ours - I fail miserably. One of my goals of 2011 is to do a better job of documenting our lives as a family. I especially want to do a better job of recorded and recounting the amazing ways in which God intervenes in our lives and shows Himself Mighty and Faithful.
With this new year comes excitement, but also a deep sense of our dependency on God as we sense new and different journeys and directions that the Lord is laying on our hearts. As we seek His will, we know that He will be and is faithful to lead us in His path. One of the several areas that we are seeking direction is in adoption. This week, we were overjoyed to hear that Baby M is now home from Ethiopia with his forever family. It sounds like he is doing amazing and for that, we are so thankful!! Over the last several weeks we have begun to ask the question, "What is next, Lord?" From the correspondence that we still receive from our agency, we have learned that we will need to completely update/redo ALL of our paperwork, beginning with our home study-dossier-and finally immigration paperwork. The guidelines in Ethiopia as far as the health history of both adopting parents has also changed since we first started the process and so we do not know what that means for our family, especially for Jack.
It seems like there are so many unknowns and it is sometimes hard to answer those people that ask us what our adoption journey will look like now. Honestly, we have no idea. What we do know is that God has laid adoption on our hearts, He has stirred in us a passion for orphans, we will be faithful to His call on our lives to adopt, and we will seek His timing in beginning the process again.
In the meantime, we will enjoy every precious moment that God gives us with Aaron and our new son/daughter. We will treasure our family of four until God moves to grow our family once again through adoption.
We are so excited to let all of you praying friends and family know that our beloved Baby-M has a forever family. (If you are not familiar with our adoption story or Baby-M read the preceding posts.) Over the last several days, we have watched God move mountains and demonstrate his most tender and precious love to place Baby-M in the tender-loving arms and hearts of an amazing family. Not only does Baby-M have a forever family, but his forever family happen to be some very dear friends of ours. Yes, God has been orchestrating a beautiful story for Baby-M and we have been blessed to watch it all unfold. I would strongly suggest that you read this amazing story from Baby-M's new mommy's heart at their blog: http://yearn4surrender.blogspot.com/. You will be truly blessed and will also be able to know how to partner with this amazing family through prayer as they prepare to bring Baby-M home to their forever family.
For the last 2 ½ months I have tried to write this email to you…..but I just could never do it. Now we know why, the story wasn’t finished…God was orchestrating something so amazing and so wonderful for little Baby-M. We just needed to be still until He had finished writing the story. Now, God has given me release to write. As I do, the tears are flowing…tears of joy….tears of sadness….but mostly tears of awe as we consider what God has done for Baby-M.
At the beginning of June, Jack and I discovered that we were once again pregnant – expecting another baby February 6, 2011. At the time, things were not going well with Baby-M's adoption. His paperwork was not in order, his forms hadn’t been signed and court closure was looming on the horizon. Despite these circumstances, God gave us a great peace that He would work all of the details out.
About two weeks later, we received a call from our adoption agency that would forever change our lives. They told us that Baby-M's case was “hopeless” that his case was “impossible” and that we needed to accept another referral. Baby-M would be returned to his original orphanage to spend the rest of his life. We were heartbroken. It took several days for the realization to hit that Baby-M would never come home, that he would never meet his big brother, that we would never get to snuggle him, kiss him and or rock him to sleep. God was asking us to lay Baby-M down…..our Isaac. Even though we shed many tears, we never stopped praying for Baby-M and for his release because we knew that “impossible” was not acceptable because nothing is impossible for our God.
That brings us to today. Last Thursday, we again received a call from our agency…one that we didn’t expect. This time the news was much different. This time with great joy in her voice, the director of our agency told us that Baby-M's papers were in order, his papers had been signed and he was ready to come home! God has done the impossible!! Baby-M has been released – our prayers have been answered and we are once again in awe.
As I talked to our agency about Baby-M's projected homecoming date, she said that if everything went smoothly, Baby-M would come home the end of January – beginning of February…the same time our second baby is due to be born.
Once again, we were faced with a decision – one that we never thought we would be making. Our agency granted us the weekend to pray about how to proceed. They said that even though we were pregnant that would let us proceed; however, they needed us to be absolutely sure that we could proceed…that we were aware of the fact that both of these children would be arriving in our family at the same time. They wanted us to consider all that that would mean for both of these children and our family.
It is so difficult to write the rest of this email….there were many things that we needed to consider, special circumstances that couldn’t be ignored, we prayed about what would be in Baby-M's best interest, new baby’s best interest….for us the most unselfish thing that we could do was once again lay Baby-M down, but this time it wouldn’t mean him going back to an orphanage….this time it means that another wonderful adoptive family will have the privilege of calling him son.
I have to be honest, I was afraid to write this email….afraid that our decision would be judged, that we would be judged, but I rest in the fact that we are making this decision because we want what is best for Baby-M. We want to be fair to him and his needs. We want Baby-M to be given the care, attention, bonding time, etc. that he will need right away that would be difficult for us to give with his homecoming overlapping with new baby’s birth.
Either way, Baby-M wins! He is coming home….even if it is not to our home. We love Baby-M dearly. Jack told me last night, “Sarah, there will always and forever be a void in my heart for Baby-M.” Yes, there will be. Our hearts and arms will always ache for Baby-M, but in our sadness, we are rejoicing in the miracle that God has done to release Baby-M and allow him to be adopted. To grow up in a forever family!
And so it seems like our journey to Baby-M is complete…with the best ending there could be….Baby-M will have a home…parents that love him and rock him and kiss him and tell him how precious he is. We will continue to pray for the child that God has for us over in Ethiopia and look forward to the day when we will get to meet him/her.
Thank you again for praying and for standing in the gap for Baby-M. We long for the day that we can meet Baby-M and tell him about you and your faithful love and prayers for him, even if it is in heaven.
Then the Lord said to Moses, "Return to Pharaoh and make your demands again. I have made him and his officials stubborn so I can display my miraculous signs among them. I've also done it so you can tell you children and grandchildren about how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and about the signs I displayed among them-and so you will know that I am the LORD."
Would it be that the events leading to Miki's release and homecoming would display the Lord's glory and serve to bodly proclaim to our children and theirs that THE LORD IS GOD!
I am a redeemed daughter of the King, a wife to the most amazing husband in the world whom I love more than words, a teacher, daughter, sister, and mother of our precious son, Aaron. We are expecting our second child the beginning of February.
October 2006 - Began praying about adoption. October 2006-February 2008-Research & Prayer February 7, 2008 - Attending Steven Curtis Chapman concert in town which God used to confirm our adoption calling. March 2008 - Began researching agencies (both Homestudy and International) June 26, 2008 - Sent in our AAI application. July 2, 2008 - Painted Baby Hope's Room in preparation for his arrival. July 22, 2008 - First homestudy mtg. July 28, 2008 - Received more paperwork from our homestudy agency and our Ethiopia dossier packet from AAI. August 8, 2008 - Second homestudy mtg. September 3, 2008 - Third homestudy mtg. September 20, 2008 - Walk for HOPE adoption walk September 26, 2008 - Dossier, I-600A, Grant Application sent in. October 3, 2008 - Found out we were pregnant - Adoption put on hold. October 22, 2008 - Dossier to Ethiopia June 6, 2009 -Aaron Matthew born! October 2008-November 30, 2009 - ON HOLD December 8, 2009 REFERRAL! December 12, 2009- Received Placement papers. December 14, 2009 - Mailed Placement papers to AAI. December 30, 2009 - Case submitted to court. Many months of praying for our Sweet Baby-M while his case was "caught in the middle." June 2010 - Released Baby-M after learning that his case was "impossible." August 2010- Learned that God had done an amazing miracle and Baby-M's paperwork was complete. August 2010 - Again released Baby-M and started praying for his new forever family. September 2010- Baby-M has a new forever family! Thank you Jesus! September 2010-Waiting for God to once again open the door for adoption...