Saturday, November 29, 2008

What Now?

Well I think we are about as over as you can be with not passing court. It was incredibly dissapointing not only because we want our little guy as soon as possible but largely due to the two extra months of early bonding time we are losing. There really is nothing we can do at this point except start waiting again, only 48 days!! It's also dissapointing because the families from our agency that DID pass court last week get to travel on December 10th. That day will be somewhat sad as we think it might have been us.

While we would give anything to get to our son as quick as possible we are trying to find whatever silver linings we can. Please don't think that we wouldn't trade any or all of these but if you gotta find the good you try. Airline tickets will be significantly cheaper in February when likely will travel if we pass court. In anticipation of possibly traveling we did all our Christmas shopping early and have the house totally decorated. That gives us the entire month of December to relax and truly reflect on what Christmas means. My work is starting an adoption benefit next year that we might not have been able to benefit from but not might get to due to the delay. I'll get to go to Winter Xtreme with our youth group. Who wouldn't want to be up to three in the morning yelling at kids to quit throwing m and m's down the stairwell?? December is Sarah's busiest time at work and January/February are the slowest. That works out well there. Traveling in February also works out best for my work schedule. You might sense it but we are reaching somewhat here but making the best of it.

As far as not passing court the reason we didn't is totally reasonable. Ethiopia adoption is growing in large numbers and anytime you have increased adoptions in a country you have an inreased risk of corruption. The government is taking extreme measures to insure that there is no corruption. The sad reality is a few bad agencies can really ruin it for the many great agencies. Holt is top of the line and we have never regretted our decision. When we adopt again, (yes we do feel that God is putting it on our heart to adopt again, when we don't know) we would use Holt again without a doubt.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


We did NOT clear court today. A couple of things need to be taken care of and we go back to court on January 16th. Not at all what we wanted to hear but it’s the hand we’ve been dealt and we take it and move on. God is good and has a plan for Malachi even when we don’t know what it is or don’t understand it. We still have MUCH to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tick, Tock, Tick Tock

Time is going by very slowly. Ethiopia is 9 hours ahead of us which makes is roughly 6 am in the morning over there. Sometime in the next 12 hours a judge in a court room in Ethiopia will review our case and say, yes, no, or needs further review. It's unlikely he will say no but it's quite possible that he will say needs further review. The Ministry of Womens Affairs (MOWA) in Ethiopia is the agency that puts together adoption cases and makes a reccomendation on whether to approve an adoption or not. New rules have been in place to make sure adoptions in Ethiopia are free from corruption but with the new rules comes new paperwork. Our agency has not had many cases go to court since the new rules were issued. We are praying all our paperwork is in line and ready to go. Please say a prayer tonight that we will pass court. More importantly continue to pray for Malachi's well being. We are very anxious parents waiting to hear word. Our agency is on the west coast so they will not open until 10 am our time. I plan on emailing at 10:30 to see if they have heard. Hopefully they will hear before the long holiday weekend! There will be an update one way or another tomorrow.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pray, Pray, Pray!

Calling everyone to please pray that we clear court Wednesday. Holt will actually go to court for us sometime Wednesday, Ethiopia time, which is the middle of the night Tuesday. If you wake up in the middle of the night Tuesday please pray. We should find out sometime on Wednesday if we made it or not. It is very important to pass this first time around because if we don't we likely won't get another court date for several weeks. Not passing the first time is not uncommon but it can be frustrating. God is good and Malachi is in His hands and that gives us peace. We do want him home though badly! It's awesome to start looking at travel arrangements and realize it's could be within a month that we hold our little guy. Pray, Pray, and Pray!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

El Salvador

I've promised a post on my trip to El Salvador so here goes.

On Friday the 14th of November I set out with a group of 8 of my fellow church members to El Salvador on a mission trip. Going into it I was not real sure what we would be doing or what I would be doing specifically. This was my 7th mission trip but the 1st one in which I was not in a leadership position. It was a struggle at times to not give my "advice" on how things ought to be done but it was refereshing to just sit back and let God do His thing and not feel a "responsibility" to get everything to work. We did several things in El Salvador from passing out Bibles, holding church services, working at a local Baptist school, and doing VBS type activities with children. The thing that I think was the most important out of the whole week was encouragement of believers. The people in El Salvador are wonderful and while we got way more out of it than we gave them, it was a blessing to their people to have us there and I think we did really leave them encouraged.

The thing I took out of it most was to see how a people in other countries live. With the recent elections and such I've really looked at America as a country and what our value system is. While I truly feel blessed to live in America I do think sometimes our values are out of whack. The poverty in El Salvador was shocking but what was more shocking was how happy the people were. At first I would see the houses they live in and they possessions they have and I would think, wow these people must be unhappy to be living like this. Then you would see how truly happy they were and I quickly realized they are the ones who have it right. I think I truly realized what a rat race we live in America to get bigger, newer, and better but never truly become content. One example is they don't have hot water in El Salvador. Our translator was 23 and had never had a hot shower. We find that hard to imagine and if our hot water heaters go out we freak. These people don't know any better and are content. It made me think back to a poem I read while sitting at Jimmy Johns one day and have included it below.

The Story of the Mexican Fisherman
An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, "only a little while."

The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.

The American then asked, "but what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15 - 20 years."

"But what then?" Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, "That's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!"

"Millions - then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Malachi is Better!

We got an update this week that Malachi is better. He is recovered from his pneumonia and has no lingering side effects. This is a huge answered prayer request and we thank you all for your prayers. God is good and his people prayed and for that we are very thankful. I'll post an update on El Salvador this weekend sometime. Trip was awesome.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Not to leave you hanging....

But I'm off to El Salvador tomorrow morning for a church mission trip. We head out Friday morning and will be back sometime Wednesday evening. Please keep us in your prayers.

As far as Malachi goes we have not go an update. We did confirm that he is not in the hospital and not in respitory distress. We have to truly trust God on this one. Communication is very limited where he's at. If he does get worse we will get an update but for now no news is good news. Thank you all for your prayer and continue praying. Also continue to pray that we clear court the first time on November 26th. Less than 2 weeks away!

I'll give everyone an update on our trip on Thursday. Until then, adios!


Monday, November 10, 2008

BIG Prayer Request

We got home tonight and had an updated child health information update. Turns out Malachi has pneumonia in both lungs. He also has pink eye which isn't a major issue but still pray that it gets cleared up.

We don't have any other information except for that so all we ask you to do is pray. God is good and has taken care of us so far so we will continue to trust in him to take care of Malachi. Also pray that we clear court the first go around and travel quickly.



Thursday, November 6, 2008

In the Spirit of Adoption....

We are putting our 2 wonderful cats up for adoption. Please let us know if you would be interested in taking these 2 wonderful "people" into your lives. The primary reason we are looking to place them in another home is Leah. She seems to be getting congestion and coughing on a regular basis and we've narrowed down our cats as culprits. They are approximately 5 1/2 years old and are litter mates. Their names are Titus and Ruthie. Titus weighs around 2olbs and Ruthie around 7lbs. They are great cats and are extremely kid friendly. They have only been on dry food and water. We would prefer to keep them together and give them to a home that they can be inside cats. Titus must be inside and Ruthie likes to go out occasionally but likes to sleep inside. If you are interested please post a comment or call me. We truly love our cats but feel that for Leah's sake we might be better off to place them somewhere else.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

24 Days Until Court

Sarah and I go to court in 24 days! Actually our adoption agency Holt will go on our behalf. Please pray that all goes well in court. Ethiopia is becoming a popular country to adopt from and as what happens anytime that American money makes it into a foreign country's adoption arena bad things can start to happen. The sad reality is that almost every country where adoption becomes popular, some sort of corruption happens and the government many times have to shut down adoptions and clean up the corruption. While this has NOT happened in Ethiopia yet in any widespread number it is a legitimate fear of their government. As a result they are insituting new requirements and looking at each case indepth. The result is that the courts are becoming backlogged and families aren't always making it through court the first time. Due to the backlog of court cases it takes several weeks to get a court date rescheduled. Worse case scenario would be for us not to pass court and then not get a new court date until after the new year. We are trusting that everything is in God's time but we do feel that we are to be with our son as soon as possible and are praying that God will grant us court clearance and all will go well. Please pray for us over the next 24 days.

I'm getting ready to start a new blog that will be our blog once the adoption is finished. I've tried to keep this blog strictly adoption related and for the most part have. That being said Tuesday is election day so I'd like to encourage everyone to get out and vote. If you know me at all you know where I stand. My prediction is Obama will win the popular vote by 5% and will win the electoral college by 50. The only way McCain can win, and there is still a real chance he could, is if the voter turnout is not what the Obama camp thinks. I do think a lot of the new voters won't wait a real long time to vote. If that happens and the new voters don't turn out things could get close. I personally will stand in line whatever it takes to vote. While I support true absentee voting like we have in Missouri, this early voting in other states is nuts. People will give years of their lives fighting for our country and right to vote but we can't give up a few hours at most every four years to vote?