Thursday, January 31, 2008

Waiting...and Surprises!

It has been an eventful 2 weeks...

the Waiting...for our Certifications to come back from the Secretary of State. It is supposed to take about 2 weeks and it has been at least 2 weeks...when we get all that paperwork back, we can finally send our dossier off to our adoption agency. Exciting! Then the real waiting begins. I also found out that we may not travel to pick our little Ethiopian Reno until Sept or Oct, which is fine. We are enjoying our time together before the baby comes, and Chris needs to finish his thesis for his Master's Degree by August. God's timing is perfect!

the not-so-fun Surprise...2 weeks ago Friday I pulled out of my driveway on the way to Staples and had not been driving for not even 5 minutes when someone came into my lane from the opposite direction and hit me head on. Not fun. Airbags went off, etc, etc. But praise God neither of us was injured, besides the usual back/neck pain (which I am getting physical therapy for). Praise God I was driving a Volvo! We are big believers in Volvos, especially now. Amazingly, my mother-in-law had been praying a couple of days before for God to protect the family from getting hurt in any car accidents. If you had seen our car after the accident, you would realize how graciously God answered her prayer. Since our car was totaled, we are currently on what seems like an unending quest to find the perfect Volvo in our price range. We are super meticulous and price conscious - a car salesmen’s' worst nightmare. Until we find our perfect car, our good and gracious friends, the Tarrs, are lending us their mighty blue Honda. Thank you, friends!

the very-amazing-and-totally-unexpected we received an unmarked envelope in the mail. Inside was this very cute unsigned card and a very generous cashier's check with "for your baby" written in the memo field.
Remember that we have already met our fund raising goal for
our adoption and were planning on saving every month for the very small amount that was left. I am usually pretty non-emotive but when I opened the card, I was so overcome with thankfulness and shock that I teared up. When I rushed to Chris' work to show him, he had the same reaction.
Our good God just keeps pouring blessing upon blessing. Thank you and God bless you to the Saint(s) who sent this. God must be working through you to prepare us for some unexpected expense down the road. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Happy Birthday to the Best Man I Know...

Praise God for 33 years of faithfulness (well, actually 33 years and 9 months)! I am more thankful than words can describe for being able to spend these last 4 years with Chris. I love you, Husband!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Taking Dominion

I attacked our front garden area today. The temperature has been in the 60s the last couple of days, so my gardening itch started.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Our 171H form has arrived!

So I walked into the mail room at school yesterday and a dear, sweet lady named Arlene handed me an envelope with a USCIS return address. I had a little flip out session, dropped everything I had in my arms and ripped it open. We weren't expecting our 171H form for awhile, so this was a huge surprise - I love surprises! This was the last piece of paperwork that we needed for our file.

In case you are wondering, the 171H form is kind of like permission from the Dept. of Homeland Security to bring a non-citizen into the country. Adoption pros - correct me if I'm wrong.

After being in waiting-for-paperwork mode, which basically consists of praying and surfing numerous adoption blogs, getting our 171H catapulted me into "do something!!" mode. So I decided to drive to San Francisco (a 1.5 hour drive one way) to get all of our documents certified at the Secretary of State's office. Long story short, they could only certify 5 of our 23 documents. Haha, funny joke. So, I reminded myself that God puts these minor setbacks (and it was indeed minor) in our path for a reason. I will be sending the remaining 18 documents along with a hefty check to the main Secretary of State's office in Sac. And THEN, after about 2 weeks we get those back nicely certified with the pretty, gold State of California seal, make 2 copies of the whole lovely batch and send it off to our wonderful family coordinator in Virginia, who takes care of the rest.

Then we go into waiting mode again, which is okay. Waiting is good.

Wait for the LORD, be strong and take heart, and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14

Extra t-shirts

We have some extra t-shirts if anyone is interested in purchasing one. We have the following sizes:

2 women's small
1 women's x-small
2 men's medium
1 men's small

If you would like to pay using a credit card, just click on "Buy Now."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Christmas at Anna's parents

Chris looks a little out of it because he woke up at 5:00am and had been fishing all day...

My brother and Chris modeling our t-shirts...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Just to refresh our geography in light of current events...

Please see the previous post about Bridging the Gap and this website, Moriah Africa, to read about dear saints working in Africa.

Bridging the Gap

Go here.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Pray for Kenya

This is an email sent Wednesday, January 2nd from some dear friends who are living in Kenya:

Dear Friends,

I have recently received a few emails asking about the current situation here in Kenya, so I thought I would send out a general update. The following are my observations and opinions based on reliable information, sources and many years if following Kenya politics.

Here in Nairobi tension is very high and surreal. The rest of the country is ever worse. The thought that Kenya could be another Rwanda has never crossed my mind until the last few days. Ethnic killings have happened all over the country. Yesterday's massacre of those who were seeking refuge in an Eldoret church is reminiscent to the horror stories from the genocide in 1994 between the Hutus and Watutsi tribes. In Kenya, it is the Kikuyus against the Luos, Luyas and Kalegin tribes. It was mostly women and small children who were died in the burning church. Many who tried to escape the fire were killed by machetes. Some reports said that children who were trying to escape were thrown back into the infernal. A crippled grandmother in a wheel chair was brutally killed.

There is no doubt in anyone's mind that the election was blatantly rigged by the present government and president, who is of the Kikuyu tribe. EU electoral observers confirmed this. Corruption is rampant with the present government - and opposition. However, most of the power is controlled by a small group of elite Kikuyus. Yes, the economy has been improved for the elite, but poverty has increased as well. The bottom line is that the majority of the country is fed up with poverty and corruption and want change.

The opposition was leading in the voting by one million votes and the results continued to be delayed. And then all of a sudden, it changed and the president was declared the winner by the electoral commissioner and was sworn in thirty minutes later. Complaints and proof of vote rigging was presented to him, but he arrogantly ignored these petitions.

Tomorrow will be a defining moment in Kenya's history. The opposition leader Odinga has called for a protest rally of more than a million people here in Nairobi. Of course the government will not sanction this event and the people who show up will "face the full force of the law". Odinga has refused to meet with the president and will only do so if the president resigns which is not likely. It's a standoff and could turn very violent.

It's very sad. I have many friends from all tribes and have talked with them extensively concerning this. Just about everyone is in fear of their lives, particularly the ones who are intermixed tribally in the slums. We have told our Kenya friends that If things get worse and they need it, our home is open to them, even if we need to set up tents in our yard so that they will have a safe place of refuge.

What is going to happen? We don't know. What can we do? Pray. Pray for peace, reconciliation and justice. You who know me know that I'm not an alarmist and would normally say it's all going to be ok. However, this is not the case.

We will be fine as long as we don't get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. We live near the U.S. Embassy, and if need be will go there. We do get regular updates from the embassy and our warden. Our concern is for innocent Kenyans; it’s always the poor who suffer the brunt of these horrific situations. Please pass this message along to those who may be interested, your church, etc....



J. Harmon Parker
Director, Bridging the Gap
P.O. Box 1116-00621
Nairobi, Kenya

"Daraja ilokuvusha, usiitukane."

Don't insult the bridge that you crossed upon.

An African Proverb

Our update that we don't really have an update. We are waiting on our 171H from the USCIS and then we will need to certify our documents (I will probably drive to SF to do that) and then send our dossier on its way. We have had many people ask when our little one will be home and the answer is that we just don't know for sure. We are hoping summertime, which would the best time to travel for us, but only God knows. His timing is perfect.

In the meantime, we have been enjoying watching other families in our agency who are adopting from Ethiopia receive referrals, successful court dates and get ready to travel. Very exciting!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Attention Coffee Drinkers!

If you enjoy coffee or know someone who does visit this blog post. This family made our t-shirts for us and is flying to Ethiopia pick their daughter at the end of January. Please support them if you are able and willing!