It's crazy how in a single moment, everything can change and turn upside down. We had one of those moment this last week and we're still reeling from it all.
At the end of last week we finally got the call we've been waiting for and were told that we have approval from the Ethiopian government and we've been given a court date to go and make our boy legally ours!!!! It's strange even typing those words. I'm still in shock and can't believe it actually finally happened. We had been waiting indefinitely on this and we really had no idea of knowing when it would happen. It should have happened a few months ago but because of the way things are going with international adoptions in Ethiopia, it could have taken several more months. There is absolutely no rhyme or reason as to why we finally got our approval. All I know is that I'm beyond thankful to God for His graciousness in finally granting our approval.
The process had started to get unbearably hard and I think out of a means of trying to protect my heart, I had started to assume it may be Christmas before we would be able to travel and go to court. We had actually just talked about making travel plans to just go visit him and at least see him sometime in August if we didn't get our approval by then. We knew we couldn't go on endlessly without at least seeing his face and courts close for a few months during the rainy season so we had planned to make a trip during that time to just meet him, hold him and love on him. Well, I'm more than thrilled to not have to make those plans and instead he will likely be in our home, in our arms by then. How big a difference a single moment makes.
I can't even describe how overwhelming it is to have this sudden change in direction. Before "the call" we were just functioning on sheer will power and hard core faith. We knew God is sovereign and we trusted that His plans are best but the pain was still so real and so hard. I had to preach truth to myself everyday because the "unknown-ness" of it all and the pain of watching our little boy grow up in pictures was getting to be more than I could bear. I didn't talk about it much because anytime it did come up, I burst into tears and the waterfall of emotions wouldn't stop. The way things are going in Ethiopia and a lot of negative news we had gotten recently were making things look pretty grim. Most days...most moments...were consumed with thoughts of our precious little boy and wondering if and when we would ever get to hold him in our arms and finally make him ours. But we still knew that no matter what, we serve an awesome God and no matter what the outcome, He is good, perfect and always knows best. And now, in an instant, our thoughts are consumed with the reality that in just a few weeks we WILL get to hold our little boy and make him officially ours. It's surreal. Absolutely surreal. Everything I've thought about and everything we've planned for and hoped for for the last 3.5 years is finally going to come to fruition. It's hard to even describe. 3.5 years of planning, dreaming, imagining what it will be like, hoping, praying, crying, pleading, wishing and waiting....now all coming to pass in an instant. I told Luke that I hope that at some point during the next few weeks before we leave that my heart and head will slow down and go back to normal for a little bit because right now they are FULL of butterflies, thoughts, plans and just a flurry of emotions and excitement. It's all so awesome though. :)
Thank you so much to all of you who have prayed us through up until this point. We cannot describe what it means to us and we are beyond thankful for the part you've shared in supporting us and loving us and helping us through thus far. Please keep praying as we go crazy putting all our plans into motion and pray for our little boy's heart as he's about to experience the biggest change of his life. He's spent almost the last year of his life in an orphanage and now we will be bringing him home to a completely new world. It's going to be scary and hard and unknown. Pray for all of us as we walk this new path.
I'll keep you updated on here what our specific plans are and I'll definitely try and update as we make our trip and see him for the first time. Our court date is June 16th so we'll likely leave for Ethiopia around June 12th or 13th. And we're unsure of how long we'll be gone. We are buying one way tickets and praying our way through...following God's leading as we wait for everything to take place. We will be in Ethiopia for 8 or 9 days and then we have planned to go over to the DR Congo for 4 or 5 days to visit the missionaries we know there and the boys we support through Mercy's Reach. We are thrilled for that opportunity! From there we aren't sure whether we'll be heading back to the states to wait a few weeks to go back and get our little boy or if we will be able to head straight back to Ethiopia and bring our boy home with us at the beginning of July. It's all still up in the air and will be until the last minute. But we'll keep you posted!!
Ahh.....can you believe I even just typed all that????!!! I still can't believe it. But we serve an awesome God and I'm so thankful for His grace and care. He is good....no matter what, He is good.