2013 was a whirlwind of parenting, friends, paperwork, and fundraising. It was a year that God stretched our faith and showed us (once again) that He keeps his promises. We have been so blessed by the support of our family, friends, and community with our fundraising this year. We have about 40% of our adoption funded. That leaves a lot more money to earn, raise, and save, but it’s a really good chunk to have under our belts. So many people have prayed for us and encouraged us this year. We feel so loved, and we appreciate all of you more than we can say.
2014 is on the horizon, and the future of Ethiopian adoption is so uncertain. In the next couple of weeks, the Ethiopian Parliament will present a tentative plan for international adoption moving forward. This is terrifying for our many friends who already have children waiting for them in Ethiopia, and unsettling for the rest of us waiting families, who have so much emotional energy, time, and, yes, money invested into adoptions from this place that we have grown to love. The most important consideration, of course, is that if Ethiopia disbands international adoption without an aggressive new plan for dealing with poverty and orphans, then there will be literally thousands of children who will never have any hope of having a mother, father, and forever family. The only word for that is: heartbreaking.
We have dreamed of having an Ethiopian daughter for a year now. We have visualized her, and smile so fondly at little girls who may be her age when we bring her home, and who may look a little like her. We have researched Ethiopian girls’ names, learned about caring for African skin and hair, and done countless hours of reading and researching on bringing home a toddler from a broken past and with a different race than our own.
But now we may be faced with a decision. We may be forced to change countries. Our hearts are in Africa, but there are not really any other viable programs in Africa, unless God has a radical plan that He has not yet unveiled to us.
We know that this political unrest was not a shock to Him, and He knows exactly who our daughter will be, exactly where and when she’ll be born, and exactly when she’ll come home to our family. We have to pray earnestly and wait on Him. Right now, all of the information is numbing, and I have absolutely no words to pray.
My word for 2014 is going to be: STILL. Like Psalm 46:10. I want to learn to be still and know that He is in control. My worrying, fretting, frantically searching for every bit of information I can, trying to make my husband talk in depth about every possibly option… do absolutely not one bit of good. I have to learn to be still. It will be a year of praying, fasting, and learning to let go and truly let Him lead.
We appreciate your prayers for the decision-makers in Ethiopia, for the orphaned children there, for all of the families with children waiting to be brought home, and for those of us families with hard decisions to make.