I know, I know, it's been awhile! The new year has come and it's already almost February. Where has the time gone? What have I even been doing? I don't know! I guess I've felt that I haven't really had much to say lately, as mostly we've just been waiting and taking each day one at a time. It's been... difficult this past month. We've had major layoffs and cutbacks at work and we both were afraid we'd be loosing our jobs. My boss is leaving next week and I was sure I'd be going along with her but thankfully, amazingly, I still have a job. As those of you close to me know it's a bit bittersweet but with the economy the way it is, all I can do is be thankful. I really feel like I've just been in survival mode trying to get through all of the changes. I am encouraged though that I will get back to the land of the living again soon (more on that in a minute)!
We have had some good times this past month too. We were given a gift card at Christmas for a dinner out so we decided to use it one weekend and it was so nice. We hadn't been out to dinner at a "sit down" restaurant in quite a while and we had such a good time. We also used the gift cards we were given at Christmas for Starbucks to buy a bag of their Ethiopian coffee which was really fun. It's very strong but if you use more water to coffee it's really good. I thought it might be like the coffee we had at Queen of Sheba's on our anniverary(it had a sort of cinnamon/spice flavour)but it was a little different. Still good though and I like the fact that we are helping the farmers in Ethiopia / Africa by buying their product. I've been making a few cakes and actually have 4 to make in February so I'm pretty excited about that...lots of practice for my future cake business!! :-)
We're still waiting on our I-171 H form to come. They said it could take up to 12 weeks! I was praying it would come by today but as I cautiously checked the mail when I got home from work today, I realized that wasn't going to happen. I guess God had a different plan! Maybe it's really a blessing because we found out this week that we have to have our 8 hours of online training courses completed before we can mail in our dossier anyway; this is a new rule and we haven't even started it because originally you just had to have it done before the adoption is complete. How will they know if you've done it you ask? Well, once you've completed the course they mail you a certificate of completion that you have to submit along with your dossier! I read that one mom-to-be did her course and they told her that she did it too quickly and made her re-take it... they are very thorough! She said that she works for an adoption agency and had adopted previously so it was all pretty much stuff she already knew which is why it didn't take her very long, but I guess they want to make sure you're really paying attention and grasping what they're saying. I'm cool with that, I just know we'd better get on it!
So we need to get that done and there are some forms that we have to redo because of changes made by the Ethiopian government, so we've still got a bit to do. Honestly it's disappointing that we aren't done with this part of the process yet but I know I shouldn't be trying to rush it too much. I need to just enjoy this part of the process because each little thing we do is one step closer to our dream come true, and without each step the end result wouldn't be the same. The Lord revealed a little bit of His plan to me this afternoon (this is where the encouragement comes in). He showed me through the experience of another mom who recently brought her little girl home from Ethiopia that He's going to do a lot of work in me; He's got a lot of work to do before this is all over. I felt like He spoke confirmation to me that I'm going to know, to really know what it's like to be loved by Him. That's something that I've struggled with all of my life and it was so sweet to see that He's using this experience not only for a child to have a safe, loving home in which he or she can grow, flourish and come to know Christ, but also to open my eyes and teach me more about Him. To deepen my relationship with Him and help me to understand His love and then take that and show that same love to those who need it. Just thinking about it now makes me excited! I know that this will make an impact for others as well, not just our immediate family. I can't wait to see what's in store.
Things will be picking up around here soon, I just know it. So stay tuned!!