2 Corinthians 10:5

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast,because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:3-4

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Love one more

Introducing our newest family member - Nardos.  Brad and I just recently returned from a trip to Ethiopia.  We sat before a judge and told her that we have met her, we know about all the pain in her past, and yes, we know that this is permanent.  Anti-climatically, she scribbled notes on a stack of papers, looked up and told us with a straight face, "the court declares her as your daughter."  That's it?  No balloons, or bells and whistles?  I know I was probably out of place, but I couldn't help it, I squeaked out a "Woohoo!" 

Just 8 months prior we sat before this same judge and answered the same questions about Micah and Cassidy.  We were not worried, just curious about a foreign process - but when we heard the news from the judge that they needed an approved MOWYCA letter (local adoption approval) before they would become part of our family, our hearts sank.  How could we come so far and get "No" as answer?  Of course, we soon realized that the answer was not, "No," it was "Not yet." 

So, back to August 6, 2013 and this same judge plainly tells us, "We approve your application to bring this child into your family." So, no celebrating in this cold room, just encouragement to quickly move out so the next set of families could hear their ruling.  Fortunately we were able to celebrate with the most important person - Nardos. 

I look at pictures and am amazed at what God is doing in our lives.  There are times when I hear things like, "these kids are so blessed and lucky to have you."  I know it is a well meaning comment and stems from thoughts that I have experienced too.  But Brad and I would be the first ones to tell you, "We are not good enough for these kids.  We don't deserve them."  God has taught us so much about love and being vulnerable, through parenting. 

This was taken in November, 2013.  Cassidy was so excited to introduce me to her good friend.  We had no idea at the time that she would soon be a part of our family too. 

This picture was taken in January 2013.  We brought Micah and Cassidy back to the orphanage to say goodbye to their friends.  We remember Nardos was so sad, her last friend was leaving the orphanage.  She worried that she would never be matched with a family. We asked the agency about her and advocated for her to our friends.  God soon made it clear that she was meant to be a part of our family. 

This is Nardos and one of her favorite Nannies.  I am humbled by the love the nannies have for the children.  Look at the smile on Nardos' face - beautiful!
All the children are gathered around Nardos as she watches videos made by Dad and Micah to tell her about life in Utah.  Most of them know Micah and start saying his name.  They all love pictures and videos. 
I just love this picture - Daddy and Daughter. 
Gotta love us some AWAA porch time.  Sweet bonding time with crafts, games, candy and "Amhenglish" conversations (combo of broken Amharic and broken English to make both parties think that they understand the message).
I just love him and especially who he is in Ethiopia.  I am such a lucky girl ;) 
This was our court day.  Nardos changed her clothes (traded with some of the other girls her size), put on a necklace, nice dress flats (in lieu of the croc sandals) and a pretty headband, all for our outing to the Cupcake shop.  We were impressed with this place - highly recommend it if you get the chance to go.  The service was the best!  It was very modern and updated, not the typical environment for Addis. 
Nardos opened a small birthday gift.  Cassidy picked out the journal for her.  Nardos would turn 15 one week later, we had to celebrate while we were there
Can you believe this is her first cupcake? 
Love is everywhere. 
Next steps - we wait for birth certificate, visa and medical exams so she can clear Embassy and can come home.  Yay!  We expect this should be final the first half of October.  We are in the home stretch.  In the mean time, we are working on final fundraising as we need to raise $3800, and we are preparing to add another family member to our home.