Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ethiopia Bound this Wednesday!

We finally got the call we've been waiting for since we've been home from court...We are confirmed for a U.S. Embassy appointment on December 7th! We leave this Wednesday (my 30th birthday) and arrive in Addis Thursday night. On Friday we will get to visit with Amaya. On Saturday we hope to take a trip to the city she is from and meet her birth mother. On Monday, we will attend a Farewell Ceremony at the orphanage and then she will come back to our guesthouse for the rest of the week. Tuesday is our Embassy appointment, we will receive her visa Thursday, and we return home Friday. That Friday is also our son, Logan's first birthday. We will always have much to celebrate on December 10th! Here are some Prayer Requests for this trip
~Pray Amaya reconnects well with us and is comfortable leaving the orphanage.

~Pray for our trip to meet her birth mother. We know this will be very emotional but also a very important part of this journey

~Pray for Logan that he would do well again staying with family

~Pray for the flight home, that Amaya will be able to sleep and that we can keep her entertained

~Pray for the adjustment at home for her, Logan,Ryan and I

~Here is one more prayer request, there are families that did not get into the December 7th date and are hoping and praying for the December 21 embassy date. Please pray that these children will be home with their families for Christmas!

This video by Steven Curtis Chapman says it all...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Embassy Date and One year pics!

Monday night we received the news: Bethany has secured Amaya's birth certificate and we can "tentatively" plan on traveling for the December 7th Embassy Date! This means, we will be leaving Wednesday, December 1st and returning home with Amaya on Friday December 10th. We hope to get confirmation of this date next week! We are so excited to bring Amaya home and after the wonderful shower my sister and friends threw for me last weekend, I think we are well prepared.

Since we will be returning on Logan's first birthday we are planning on celebrating it right after Thanksgiving. My friend, Jenn, has once again captured our little boy perfectly in some one year birthday pics. Here are just a few.

Everyone calls this his "Zoolander" face...we haven't seen the movie, but I guess we need to. :)

We love you so much Logan and can't believe you are One year old already. We are giving you the best present ever...a Big Sister!! ;-)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Still waiting...

We have been home for 2 weeks now and still no word about our next trip to bring Amaya home. The next trip is centered around a meeting with the U.S. Embassy in Addis, which for Bethany, happens every other Tuesday. There is one coming up on November 23rd and we have heard from some families we traveled with the end of October that they have tentatively been assigned this date. They still have not received confirmation and many of these families will be leaving next Wednesday! We are hoping when these families receive travel confirmation, then we will receive our tentative date. We are hoping for Tuesday, December 7th, which means we would leave Wednesday, December 1st, less than three weeks away! Please pray with us that we receive confirmation of this date in the next week (or even today!). Even though we have heard from many families that this trip is usually scheduled with short notice, that doesn't make the wait time any easier. This has definitely been the hardest part of this whole process, having spent time with our little girl, knowing she is now legally our daughter, but still not knowing when we will bring her home.

We did receive some very exciting and surprising news yesterday from our social worker. Someone made an anonymous and very generous donation toward our adoption! We will probably never know who this is, but we are praising God for their kindness and generosity. We have truly been blessed by family and friends through their support from the very beginning when we decided to begin the adoption process. We can't thank everyone enough for the sacrifices they have made to help us bring our little girl home. And especially to the family that gave of their financial resources...THANK YOU!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Back from Ethiopia!

Many of you already know, but WE PASSED COURT!! Amaya is officially our daughter!! Thank you so much for your prayers! We had an amazing trip. We spent the first 4 days in Tanzania visiting missionaries who work for Children of Promise which is a child sponsorship program. On Saturday, they took us on a safari through Tarangire National Park. It was really amazing! We saw so many animals including zebras, elephants, giraffes, wildebeests, warthogs, and even a few cheetahs. Here are just a few pictures. The first is of a Baobob tree and yes, Ryan and I are inside it. These trees are massive and were all throughout the park.

On Monday, we flew up to Ethiopia. Tuesday morning we visited the orphanage and met Amaya for the first time! It was very emotional to see our little girl after receiving many pictures and updates about her for the past few months. She came easily to both of us but she was quite shy most of the day. We saw her every day of our trip for a couple of hours each day. It was so exciting to see how she warmed up to us as the week went on and even called me "Ema" (which means Mama in Amharic) the last day we were there. Here are some pictures of our beautiful daughter! Please pray with us that it won't be too long before we travel back to bring her home, we are hoping for the beginning of December.