Thursday, September 29, 2011

Connecting the dots

Ah, little "Z", we just got an update on you.  It looks as though your friends could have some additional entertainment playing connect the dots.  CHICKENPOX!! BUMMER!  I hope you heal quickly and that your Nanny's coat you in Camomile lotion to ward off the itchies!  No fun.  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Travel Companions

Look who "officially"gets to travel with us!  Their long awaited passports have arrived safe and secure.  They are ready to hit the "Friendly" skies.  You can start praying now, though, for those dreaded long flights that they have mystified in their mind as "fun".  You can also pray for the extra cash it'll take to get them ON those flights.  All I know is I have TWO VERY excited kids who are READY to travel!  
Little "Z", you are about to be blessed by your big brother and one of your big sisters.  
They have joined me in the chant ... "OPEN, OPEN, OPEN"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Is their a discrepancy?

It seems their is a discrepancy in the definition of the word "Encouraging".  You see, each week our loving family coordinators at AWA send their families a "weekly encouragement" e-mail.  It always contains a scripture.  Yep, we can agree that that's encouraging.  It always links us to the blog for more information.  Informative .... hmmm ... that can be up for debate on encouraging dependent on the day, the month and the season of adoption with Ethiopia.   It always has a picture of a precious kid.  Who could possibly get more encouraging than that?  End Goal - cute kid - encouraging!  And lastly, it always contains a "weekly update or tip".  Encouraging?  Well, this week you decide.

Today's Weekly update said this:
We anticipate that Ethiopian courts will re-open on Wednesday, October 12th. While it is possible this date may change, this is the information we have been given. If the date does change, we will let your family know. In past years, families have been issued court dates anywhere from a few days before court officially opens to a few weeks after the official opening date. The travel department will inform you as soon as they hear when your family has been given a court date.

Booo hoooo ... that's not "Encouraging"!!  There seems to be a communication error.  The 12th???  That feels like a decade from now and well, there isn't anything "encouraging" about that news ... even if it is candy coated in the "families have been issued court dates a few days before court officially opens" phrase because that too was spoiled by the broccoli thrown on top with a "to a few weeks AFTER their official opening" phrase.  Nope, unless you had a typo and you meant to type "2" instead of "12" ... that's, what we phrase in this family as a,  "What a bummer" e-mail.  


They aren't opening until the 12th, we haven't a CLUE when you'll get your appointment but when we do ... we'll let you know.  Don't call us, we'll call you.  Oh, and well ... be encouraged ... because "it's POSSIBLE this date could change and well, IF it does ... we'll let you know that then too.  Have a great week!  

BOOO HOOO!  I just turned two, am throwing a tantrum and want a NEW weekly encouragement!  I want a do over (kicking me feet, floundering like a fish, busting out that ugly 2 year old cry) HAHA!  

*Disclaimer* I LOVE my agency, my family coordinator and their awesome weekly encouragements.  I don't fault them for not knowing, I just find it comical sometimes what arrives in my in-box.  No one (including them) has any control in this process... but we live in America and that SOOOO bothers us.  Answers ... we need answers and a PLAN darnit!  International adoption -it aint gonna happen, no matter what agency your with!  I just have to find the humor amidst the journey and trials or else, I'll have no hair by the time "Z" comes home.  Laughing commences.  BWAHAHAHAHA!  

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Because he loves me ...

In late 2010 (I can't remember the exact time), the Lord led me to a blog post by the way of a neighbor friends Facebook page.  Seeing the word "orphan" in small print, I clicked the link to find a story of a family who had left all the comforts of "home" to follow the Lord's calling on their lives to serve the least of these in Ethiopia, Africa.  Of course, I was intrigued and excited as I read each of their posts and perused their pictures.  At the time, we were well on our way in our adoption of "Z" and I was preparing for my first trip to Ethiopia with a Visiting Orphans team that February.   I was so excited to meet a family who was serving in the heart of the place that the Lord was drawing our own family.

The fingerprints of God continued to be all over the story as it was through a string of e-mails from myself and Jimmy that led us to learn that we were from the same city, his closest family friend was the now wife of my husband's first cousin, we shared a love and ministry for Somali Bantu's and of course a love for caring for the orphan and least of these.   I quickly felt like these people I had never met were like family.  

Through this connection, a few months later my VO team found ourselves with an invite to join them for the day in a Gov't orphanage where they were serving and loving many children.  Because our itinerary was so full, I was less than hopeful that it would actually get to happen.  But God doesn't work in coincidences and every detail is always HIS!  Upon Ethiopian airlines canceling (at the last minute) all flights going out on the day our team was to depart, we soon found ourselves having one extra day in Ethiopia.  This was perfect!!   When news that we would be arriving one day sooner came, I was ecstatic and quickly began bombarding my team leaders and our ministry leaders with information on how we could "fill our time" and of the invite that Jimmy and Rachel so graciously shared.  I saw the fingerprints of God.

Since then, I have enjoyed following their work through their ministry called "No Ordinary Love".   I have also loved hearing of subsequent VO teams who have been able to join in their work and visit their orphanage too.  

The biggest personal blessing came recently when Jimmy e-mailed to ask if I would like for them to go to the Transitional Home and visit our son.  Would I???  Oh my!  Of course!   I can't even tell you how hard it is to know you have a son 7,000 miles away and not know on a daily bases what he is doing and if he is well.  To say that one must have "trust" and "Faith" during these days is an understatement.  

But alas, the Lord knew this and reminded me that I am not forgotten.  "Z" is not forgotten.  

So indeed, last Wednesday Jimmy and Rachel went and visited our little guy.  They told me on Tuesday they'd be going in the next day so I began to pray for their visit and wait in excitement of anything they had to share.  Late in the day Wednesday, an e-mail arrived and this is what Rachel shared:

"We loved being able to meet your son today!!  He was in school and they happily stopped everything so we could meet your little boy.  I have to say I was impressed with the classroom and the teachers.  To me it seems AWA offers the best "transition" for the children.  Anyway, back to Z.  He is absolutely gorgeous and just as sweet, I love his smile.  He had no idea who we were but we explained in very broken Amharic that we were friends with his anat ena abat (mom and dad)."

Attached to the e-mail was a few precious pictures.  One of them was one of "Z" standing in front of a bookcase holding a book.  Rachel pointed out that Jimmy had given the book to him to hold for the picture and then later noticed what it said "God Knows Everything".  

What a sweet reminder!  Indeed, the Lord does know EVERYTHING.  He has indeed been writing the many pieces of this story, including the families and friends he'd bless us to meet along the way.  

It is so much easier each day to place my trust in this proceess when I can see for myself His "Fingerprints".   He doesn't owe me that ... but because he loves me so ... he allows me to see them anyways.  How great is our God!  

Look closely at the book "God Knows Everything"

"Z" and his special visitor, Mrs. Rachel  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

In case your "wondering".

Is time standing still or is it just me?  I feel like we have had our referral for forever now.  I stare at the most precious face on my refrigerator, on my cell phone, on my computer every day and just wonder.

I wonder if he's well.  I wonder what he likes to play with.  I wonder what his disposition is.  I wonder if when it says "he speaks Sidamo", does that mean he can't communicate with the other kids/Nanny's that speak Amharic.  I wonder if when he saw my picture on Jen's cell phone, that the Lord created a file in his little brain called "Mommy".   Cuz you know, our God is big enough to do that!  I wonder if he'll have a difficult transition.  I wonder if he'll be scared when he meets us.  I wonder if the plane ride home will be a hellish experience.  I wonder when our day in court will be.  I wonder how long the journey will take.  I wonder if he'll make it home by Christmas.  I wonder if he'll love his first CarePackage.  I wonder if he'll wonder who in the world those "feh-rehn-jee's" (what they call white people or "foreigners" haha)  are in the pictures we sent.  I wonder if he and Maliah will be buddies.  I wonder, I wonder, I wonder, I wonder.

The Lord knows I wonder and so a little at a time he sends me blessings along this journey so he can help take away a little wonder I suppose.

  1. My precious friend, as I shared in a previous post, was in Rwanda/Ethiopia when we received our referral.  What a blessing she was to visit our sweet boy and bring us photos and video ... ahhhh, did you hear that, VIDEO.  I don't have to wonder what his voice sounds like ... I heard it and I LOVE it!!  
  2. Recently I posted our little guy's orphanage name on our agency's yahoo.  Two fellow Mommy's e-mailed me personally with blessings!  PICTURES of where our little "Z" spent many months and the other is mailing me VIDEO of the orphanage.  I no longer will have to wonder what it looked like.       
  3. On Saturday, another precious family flies out to Ethiopia and will deliver our first CarePackage.  Inside will be our photo album.  I will no longer have to wonder if he knows he has a family.  I have been assured that his Nanny will sit and share with him "who we are".  Though, I wonder ... will he know what that means and will he likes what he sees so far?
  4. I got to send off our first 5 "update questions".  How blessed I am to have an amazing agency that will update us each month on our little boy.  They will also let us know each week if he is sick etc.  Narrowing down the many wonder's to the first five to ask was tough ... but here's what we decided.
  • What is "Z" disposition and personality?  Is he happy, does he cry  
    often, compliant or strong willed?
  • What is Z's daily schedule?
  • What soothes Z when his is upset?  Or "how does he like to  
    be comforted"?
  • Does Z play with other children and have a special "playmate"?
  • Since he speaks Sidamo, is he able to communicate with the  
    Nanny's or is he learning Amharic or English to communicate?
One thing you may wonder is why in the world I am now using "Z" to refer to "Levi".  Have I totally confused you?  Well, wonder no more.
The Lord gave us the name "Levi".  We know this with certainty that that was to be a portion of his name.  We just never knew, what portion.  When our referral arrived, both Doug and I really liked his given name.  We began to play around with it ... Levi "Z" Martine or "Z" Levi Martine.  yeah, it totally isn't real helpful that I can't actually tell you what "Z" stands for but you'll have to just trust me as I am not allowed to share it on a public site until we pass court.   The kids and I kept calling him "Levi" but I noticed that Doug would call him "Z".  When we had to fill out some paperwork for our travel coordinator, I put Levi "Z" Martine as his name to be.  Doug looked at me and said that he wanted it to be "Z" Levi Martine.  I told him that that was still up for debate.  But, one day, he looked at me and finally said "I don't know what you are going to call him, but I'm calling him "Z".  Hmmmm???  Well, O.K. then, as my spiritual leader, the leader of our family and one who seldom has a definitive position or opinion on things such as decorating, names, etc., it looks as though our Daddy has spoken ... and we no longer need to "Debate" or "wonder".   

So one day I will share his full name ... but until then, when you see me call him "Z", it's because indeed, his official name will someday be "Z" Levi Martine ... in case you were wondering.  

And I LOVE IT!  (Daddy always knows best though don't tell him I admitted it)

© Lead us to Levi

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