Two nights ago my friend, Marcy, delivered care packages to our boys in Ethiopia. Marcy was there to pick up her son and bring him home to the U.S. She was kind enough to deliver the packages and take pictures of the boys. She also took a few 10-second videos of the boys opening their bags on her phone. Alan and I plan to return the favor by delivering packages for other families when we travel.
When I opened the email containing the pictures and videos, I bawled. It's a good thing I wasn't going anywhere right away and wasn't wearing any makeup, because it would have been smeared all over my face. Alan and I had seen pictures of Y**** and P****, but never their movements or expressions.
Some people have asked me to share more specifics here on the blog. I can't do that right now. Legally, I can't show pictures to anyone other than immediate family members (like our parents) or give any details about the boys until they are legally ours (meaning when we pass court in ET).
We're hoping for a June court date. At that time, the five of us will travel to Ethiopia for a couple weeks. We'll meet the boys and be able to spend time with them each day. We'll visit the orphanages and transition home and be able to bring donations. (More info on donations later.) We can sight see some, but probably we won't do a lot of that because it would mean time away from volunteering and seeing the boys.
About 50% of families pass court the first time. Once we pass court, we still have to wait to be submitted to and pass the U.S. Embassy to be able to bring the boys home. So best case scenario is that the boys will be home by the end of the summer. But it could be much longer.
Would you please consider joining us in prayer? You can pray specifically for a few things:
1) Pray that our paperwork is all in order before our court date so we pass the first time. There's much to be done still- our homestudy update to finish, papers to be certified, approval letters to be written in ET, etc.
2) Pray for our boys while they wait. They have endured SO MUCH loss and trauma, things you and I have never and will never have to endure. They need prayer that their hearts will begin healing and that God will start preparing their hearts and minds to become attached to us as their family when they come home. They are leaving behind everything and everyone they know and love to come to an extremely strange place.
3) Pray for wisdom in our finances. We're going through a rough place that we haven't spoken to many people about right now, and we're trying to figure out where God is leading us (especially Alan) in business- different business? Ministry? We just don't know. God has blessed us greatly in the past by letting us pay our house off, and because of that, we will not have to sell our house during this time or anything drastic like that (God-willing). But when the boys come home there will be lots of medical expenses not covered by insurance (which is now $1200/month for a group plan that we can add the boys to, but it won't cover a large majority of the problems they'll need medical care for when they come home). We know God will provide, but we'd still like prayer in decision making with our business. We do own one thing that's not a quick, liquid asset. If we need to sell it to pay medical bills when they come home, we will, but we want to be sure that's the right thing to do. Wisdom would be great!
4) Pray for Jayde, Alana, and Easton, that their hearts would begin to be molded to their new siblings.
There will be many more prayer requests in the future. Thanks for taking the time to read and pray. We appreciate you all.