Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I can't believe it's hear already but we've got the lights up, the tree up and decorated, the presents wrapped and under the tree...I think we're ready. We're going to the Christmas Eve service at church and then back to our place to spend Christmas Eve with the family. I am looking forward to being together and celebrating the birth of our Saviour!

I do find this time of year to be a little bittersweet though too. Around the holidays I always think about our two little ones in heaven that we've never had the pleasure to meet and spend Christmas with. I so wish we could have them here, teaching them about Jesus and watching them open gifts. I know they are at peace, so safe and happy with their Heavenly Father and we will get to see them one day, and oh how I look forward to that. I also know that this time next year we might have our sweet little one home with us from Ethiopia and we'll be enjoying our first Christmas as a family of 3. I am so excited about that and just can't wait! I know our Lord has a plan and is in control working it all out for His glory. We'll never know why our first two babies couldn't be a part of our family here on earth but we are grateful for the short time they were a part of our lives and grateful that we will see them again.

There are several families in Ethiopia right now picking up their babies and several more who are leaving next week for their trip. It's been very exciting keeping up with their journeys and I'm learning a lot about what to expect when we go. All of their babies are so beautiful it's just so amazing. Some of the rules have changed / are changing for 2009 which is casuing some delay in passing court there...we haven't sent in our Dossier yet so we'll have some changes to make to be compliant with the new regulations. We'll do whatever is needed of course so it shouldn't be a problem. Our agency has purchased a bigger Transition House for the kids who have been referred to families so there is now room for more kids at a time...which means more referrals at a time...which hopefully means the waiting list will go faster. :-) There is also a school on site at the Transition House which is really cool. They've hired more nannies since there will be more children and a doctor who comes regularly to check on the kids. There are still more improvements to come!

I hope everyone has a very blessed Christmas and happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

War Dance

Hello out there! I have to share with you about a movie we watched recently called War Dance. Maybe you've heard of it or maybe you've even seen it. It's about a tribe of people in Northern Uganda living in a refugee camp because rebels have destroyed their homes, brutally killed members of their families and left many, many children orphaned. I believe they said something like 200,000 children in Uganda are orphans due to the rebel attacks... and this was filmed back in 2005 so I can't even imagine how many more there are now.
The children in this film are in the music program at their school and are preparing for a big competition with other schools from all over Uganda. I won't tell you everything in case you want to watch the movie, and I definitely encourage you to do so, but I will say that it has changed me. Ever since the Lord has called us to begin this adoption journey He's been opening our eyes and hearts more and more to the circumstances that people are living in and the brutality they are experiencing all over the world, but lately in Africa. Some of these kids have seen things and been forced to do things that no one should ever have to experience. The violence that has filled their lives, for most of them it's all they've ever known, is beyond description. It turns my stomach. Little girls being raped and young boys being abducted, forced to join the rebel army and commanded to kill. It sickens me.

We've seen documentaries on Darfur, Rwanda, etc. All of these places in similar situations...Genocide, devastation. The thing that spoke to me in War Dance was the hope that the music and dancing brought to these kids. A hope for a better future. When they were singing and dancing, they were free! Free from the pain and nightmares of war. Free to just be kids and enjoy themselves. When they start to move and the smiles start to come ever their precious faces, it's like you're seeing a transformation from the Lord. It's so sweet, my heart melts.

I am so thankful for those who are able to go to places like that and make these films so we can see what's going on in the world and realize how much need is out there and how screwed up our priorities are here in America. I mean, people are living in make shift tents with one sheet separating them from the family next to them in camps in places like Sudan while we are putting ourselves and our country into deeper debt every day to have the big fancy house and nice car. While I don't think there is anything wrong with having nice things, there comes a point were it's just too much. I could go on for hours about that, but I won't here.

So basically, watch the movie and see if you don't feel the same. :-)



GOD IS SO GOOD! Yesterday we recieved our fingerprint appointment notice in the mail!!!!! We're going Friday morning to get them done. I am SO excited!!!! After we do that we have to wait for them to send us a form that grants us permission to go to Ethiopia and adopt a child. I'm not sure how long it will take for that to come in but hopefully not long at all. Keep the prayers coming!