Helina was finally in our arms as our daughter and now we were beginning the process of bonding as a family. Although we had been staring at Helina’s pictures for 19 months, fervently praying for her and falling in love with her, we were basically complete strangers in her eyes. To her we were the people that took her from the only home she had ever known, so we knew it was going to be a process of her learning to trust us. We bathed her in love and comforted Helina as we knew she was experiencing a loss. She was losing her nannies, her friends and everything familiar to her. Our hearts ached as her’s ached, but we knew the beauty and love that awaited her – she was joining her family.
This season of waiting is so difficult, so painful, but we are beyond grateful to have such incredible friends and family standing with us during this time. For over four years now these friends have locked arms with us, prayed for us, cried with us and lovingly encouraged us. This past weekend, some of my dear friends from church hosted a baby (toddler) shower for me and my heart is still overflowing with gratitude and joy. I was so excited to receive some much needed gifts for baby girl – diapers, wipes, pajamas, super cute clothes, sippy cups and bottles, toys, baby wash products, and adorable hair accessories. Kiley had a blast opening up the gifts with me and imagining her little sister wearing the cute outfits. She is ready to love on her baby sister for sure!
Brett and I were also extremely grateful for the large number of items our friends brought as donations for our daughter’s orphanage. This orphanage has taken great care of our daughter for nearly a year and a half as well as so many other children. Our daughter’s orphanage is in extreme need of numerous items. Brett and I are excited to be able to take a huge suitcase packed full of wipes, diapers, vitamins, medicine, diaper rash cream, rice cereal, nutramigen formula, toys and more! Thank you friends for your thoughtfulness and for having such beautiful hearts for others. Your donations are helping these dear nannies take care of so many precious children.
By far, the most special part of the baby shower was the amazing time of prayer my friends and I had together. We locked hands and locked hearts and prayed some mountain-moving, faith-filled prayers. Together we shed tears and cried out to our Heavenly Father, thanking Him for His goodness and His sovereignty and trusting Him to perform miracles to bring our daughter home quickly. It was a precious and powerful time that I will never forget.
Thank you to my dear friends that hosted this shower and to everyone that was able to attend (I’m so bummed I didn’t think about taking a big group picture). Our family was completely honored and blessed. I do not think I could endure this long journey without your support and love.
For eight months now we have watched our daughter grow up in pictures. She has a head full of beautiful, soft curls, curls that often look crazy like mine. She has gorgeous big brown eyes, long eyelashes and she looks healthy and chunky! She is perhaps our chunkiest baby so far! We have seen her go from always lying down to finally receiving a picture of her standing in a crib. We have noticed new baby teeth that have come in. It is always exciting to be surprised with updated pictures of our daughter however it is also difficult. We never imagined this part of the process would take this long, we never expected we would have to watch her grow and reach milestones a half a world away. But we are finally seeing progress towards bringing our daughter home!
We are thrilled to learn that our preliminary hearing has been scheduled with the Ethiopian courts! YEA! At this hearing, the judge will review our case (adoptive parents are not to be present at this hearing). This is the first of several steps that must happen before we bring our baby girl home, but it is a step! Please pray that our preliminary hearing goes well and that the judge does not request any additional paperwork.
Following our preliminary hearing we will be waiting for our “positive letter/comment” from MOWA, the division of the Ethiopian government that oversees adoptions. This could take months, or this could take several, several months. Please please pray that we receive our MOWA letter quickly! Shortly after we receive this letter we will be given a court date with the Ethiopian courts and we will travel to meet our precious daughter!
Our entire family has been dreaming of the moment we will finally meet our little girl. This journey that we began four years ago has been more heart-wrenching and longer than we ever imagined, but we are so so grateful God has called our family to international adoption. We have clung to, cried out to, and trusted in Jesus like never before. It is always good to need more Jesus! We know our sovereign King is in the details and He will complete this journey. And some day soon, our precious daughter will be in our arms and with her forever family.
“For still the vision awaits its appointed time, it hastens to the end – it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”