For those who don’t follow me on Twitter or FB, we got an email last week that the wait time for Ethiopia has been increased from 14-18 months DTE to 18-24 months DTE and it could potentially be lengthened again. (DTE stands for Dossier to Ethiopia which means from the time we submit all our paperwork. We are hoping this will be in May or early June.) While this was certainly something we were aware could happen, that’s still not news we wanted to hear. This journey is a bit of a roller-coaster, up one day and down the next, but we know God is faithful. Just wanted to add that update for those of you walking this journey with us.
Last night, we were making progress on our mountain of paperwork, and I came across a form called the I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition. Tears welled up in my eyes and it really hit me for the first time that for a little while our precious baby is going to be an orphan. We will be hoping and praying and waiting and anxiously awaiting the day we get to bring that sweet child home, but for a season this child will be an orphan. As a mom, that is a very hard truth to take in. I don’t know what will happen in those first days, months and year. I pray that our child is loved and well taken care of, but as much as my “control” self wants to kick in, I have to remind myself that this child ultimately belongs to God. Just like L belongs to God and even though I do my best to protect her, I can’t keep her from all pain and loss and grief. In the first two years of EEOO’s life he or she will endure loss, I can’t even possibly understand. I have to trust God as this child’s Creator, Protector, Healer and Sustainer. Because while this child may not have an earthly mommy or daddy for a little while, EEOO already has a Heavenly Father who knit this child together for a special purpose.
Knowing all this gives me the strength to keep attacking the pile of work before us. Yesterday, we began our home study meetings. We have four meetings total, 2 with both of us together, 1 with each of us individually and then the in-home meeting to check out our home and make sure it passes inspection. We prayed, and many of you joined us in praying, that God would give us favor with our social worker and we are overjoyed to tell you that we absolutely love her! She is fun, engaging and we look forward to getting to know her better. Through the t-shirt sales and several extremely generous donations from friends, we had every penny we needed to pay for the home study. Coming up in a few weeks, we are having a garage sale and I’m working on a collaborative cook book. The money from those projects will go to pay the costs associated with submitting our dossier (program fee, translation, international program fee, etc.)
One quick little “God-story” about the garage sale, I was talking with a friend about a project we’re working on and she said she was having a garage sale the next morning. I told her that if she had anything left over that she couldn’t get rid of, we would take it for ours. On the spot, she canceled her garage sale and said we’ll give it ALL to you. I was completely blown away, but then after Matt went to go pick up some of the stuff he came home and said, “Liss, this is niiiiice stuff they’re giving us. Beautiful, solid wood dining room table and matching chairs, buffet and a huge serving piece.” And trust me, my Matt knows his fancy furniture because his mom is an interior designer. She taught him well :) And that’s just the beginning… I continue to be amazed by how God provides. To each of you who has supported us, I pray that when you see pictures or get a hug from EEOO one day, you will know that he is a part of your family too. Thank you for loving us so much.
Tonight, we taught Lyd how to do cheers… you know clink your glasses together in celebration. Yes, mine was a water cup (I gave up all drinks except water for Lent), Matt’s was a Newk’s soda and Lyd was sporting her sippy cup, but we toasted another step closer to bringing baby EEOO home.
Yesterday, I was talking with my longtime BFF Kimmie. We’ve been through a lot together and I can always tell her what’s on my heart. Almost all the time she already knows what’s on my heart. I was having a hard afternoon yesterday just feeling overwhelmed in every sense of the word. Overwhelmed at the mountain ahead, overwhelmed at the encouragement and support we’ve received, overwhelmed at how humbling this all is, overwhelmed at how grateful I am. Overwhelmingly overwhelmed. After our talk and a few tears, I felt much better. I know Jehovah Jireh and I know He’s my Provider.
Last night, our shirts came in and I immediately prayed that somehow, someway we would be able to sell every shirt this week. Because the amount we would get from the shirts is the exact amount we need to pay for our home study which is due this week. And today, in less than 24 hours of having the shirts, we have 105 of the 130 shirts accounted for. Overwhelmed. That’s what I feel.
I know to some it may be just a t-shirt, but I know to others that $20 is a lot of money. We only budget $50 a month for clothes for us (Lyd gets a separate line item, of course :) so two t-shirts would just about be it for our month. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for your support. Thank you for overwhelming us with your love. Because we need you. That’s hard for a type A, Ms. Independent person to say, but it’s 100% true. God is using you to change our family and to change our faith. He’s using you to show me His overwhelming provision. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
We do still have 25 shirts that we’d love to get in the hands of someone.
We have 13 Adult Small, 1 Adult XL, 1 Adult 3X, 4 Child’s 2-4, 1 Child’s 6-8, 2 Child’s 10-12 and 3 Child’s 14-16. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like one or more of those. Thank you again!