Saturday, December 18, 2010

The No News and the Great News

We are so blessed to have so many people excited about our adoption and wondering where we are in the process. The most popular question is obviously, “How much longer until you are able to bring your little boy home.” Unfortunately, this is the “no news” part.

We were scheduled for our third court date on December 15. After pacing around the house for the better half of the day with a phone in each hand, we received a call from our adoption agency letting us know that because the courts were over-booked, they did not even get to our case and we had been rescheduled for the following day, December 16.  Since the other families in our travel group, as well as many families who have traveled after us, have already passed court and are starting to bring their children home, we were feeling quite confident that we would be receiving our happy phone call this week. However, on court date number four, we learned that MOWA (Ministry of Women’s Affairs) still had not submitted their letter of approval, the final piece of paper we have been waiting on since the beginning of November. Why? I have no idea. It’s not that there is a specific problem. It seems they just haven’t gotten around to it.

While this news does not make me want to dance on the kitchen table, I don’t necessarily consider it “bad news”. I believe if you pray about something and trust in God’s timing, then you can’t really sit around the house pouting when things don’t happen exactly as you would like. It is especially inappropriate behavior when you received your referral phone call in only 18 days, which was insanely fast, while others wait for months. So, we are looking forward to court date number five on Thursday, December 23, and hope that we have one more thing to celebrate this Christmas.

Here’s the great news part!! For those who haven’t been following along over the past few weeks, Samantha decided that she wanted to do a GIVE-AWAY at her blog, Little Goody 2-Shoes, to help raise the funds to buy new shoes for all 42 new kids at Kind Hearts in Ethiopia. I felt that 42 pairs of shoes was a pretty darn ambitious goal. Then our friend, Karen Wistrom, with Children’s HopeChest informed us that there are also 18 new children at Trees of Glory who would be blessed to receive new shoes. In order to buy 60 pairs of shoes, Samantha would need to raise $1080 or sell 216 necklaces. I thought we might be acting a little nuts, but she wanted to go for it. The response was incredible!! I really want to tell you how it turned out, but you’ll just have to go read about it here.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ethiopian Orphans

Ethiopian Orphans from Simon Scionka on Vimeo.

I love this video.  I hate the reality of it.  I've watched it too many times to count.  I definitely think it's worth sharing.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Samantha's Christmas GIVE AWAY!!

In celebration of the Christmas season, Samantha has a new blog post, a bold new goal, a bunch of super cute new designs, and is having a fun GIVE AWAY.  You can read all about it at Little Goody 2-Shoes.  Be sure to leave her a comment so you can be entered to win and help her spread the word!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Beautiful People

Many of the things we saw in Ethiopia undoubtedly saddened my heart.  That being said, it is true that Ethiopia is also a country of remarkable beauty. While I know it sounds cliché, I can’t help but say that the most beautiful thing about Ethiopia was - hands down - the people.

If it was up to me, we would have come home with at least ten children and five grown men.  Our guides and drivers were absolutely the best.  Dave and I speculate that job openings at America World must be worded “Only the very best people in the country need apply.” The staff, both at America World and the Yebsabi Guest House, were especially wonderful with Samantha and Toby. They played endless hours of soccer together, engaged them in thoughtful conversations, and would even participate in their nonsensical “made-up” games. I’m still not sure what “Secret Agent Monkey” means, but they sure had fun with it. I liken the experience to going away for summer camp as a child and finishing the week with a whole group of new “best friends.” It really was hard to say goodbye. Toby had no desire to leave Ethiopia and sobbed as we made our way through the airport. Telling an 8-year-old boy that we can keep in touch with his new buddies over Facebook is not consoling.

To the families waiting for their first travel date, you are in the good hands of great men.

Michael Gowin Photography
Our charming guide, Job.  Such a cool guy - fantastic laugh. 
The original "Secret Agent Monkey."

Michael Gowin Photography
Our sweet and sincere guide, Yonas. 
Don't forget that you are staying with us when you visit the States, Yonas!

Tilahun (everybody calls him T), our diligent coordinator.  He managed our ever-changing schedules - always with a smile - and never missed a beat!

Michael Gowin Photography
Our excellent driver David and his watchful eyes. 
Anytime the situation started to get a little sticky, David was right there...making sure we didn't do anything stupid :)

Samantha, Yonas, and Toby in the courtyard at the guest house.

Even the guards at the guest house love on the kids and like to kick the soccer ball around.

I am so grateful for these men. 
It was a huge blessing to spend our time in Ethiopia with them.

Thanks to our friend and adoptive father Michael Gowin
(Michael Gowin Photography) for sharing your  pictures with us.  I've never longed for wealth or fame, but could definitely appreciate traveling with a professional photographer at my side.