Friday, February 22, 2013

Uniting A Forever Family

Our journey started 12 years ago, in the spring of 2001, as a 17 year old girl and a 20 year old boy. We had not been dating but a few months when my (now) husband Brian went on a missions trip to Kenya, Africa. He worked with orphans while he was there and came home a different man. He wanted to bring those children home with him. He told me that he wanted to adopt one day. So from the first few months of our dating relationship, we knew this was a calling for our future. For these past 12 years it was always part of our future plans and we just continued to pray that the Lord would direct us when the time was right to start the journey of adoption. In 2007 we had our first son, and then we welcomed our second son in 2010. When our youngest was not even a year old, we began to feel like the Lord was calling us to start the process of adoption. We were led to the country of Ethiopia and sent in our first applications in October of 2011. 

We were concerned about the finances, but had a indescribable peace that the Lord would provide for us. We knew if he called us to this, He would provide! We refinanced our home, paid off our vehicles. We started fundraising and together with our own savings we were able to pay the first $10,000 of paperwork and agency fees. In the spring of 2012 we traveled for our court date and spent a week in Ethiopia getting to know our new daughter!

It was heart breaking to leave her, not knowing exactly when we would be back to get her. We came home and again started to worry about where the finances would come from for our return trip to bring her home. We had already done so much fundraising and had been so blessed by friends and families supporting us financially we were not sure where the remainder of the money would come from. 

We had applied several months back to Caroline's Promise and they had been keeping in touch with us about where we were in our process and how close we were to traveling. On October 9th, we got a call from Lisa informing us that we were receiving a grant to help with our travel expenses! What a blessing! These funds would almost cover our expenses for our flights. The very next day, on October 10th, our case was submitted to the US Embassy for final clearance to bring our daughter home! It was supposed to take weeks to be cleared ...but instead took 2 months. It was a long 2 months of trusting God that our daughter would be home! 

Our prayer from the very beginning was that she would be home before Christmas and before her first birthday on December 19th. We were cleared to bring her home on December 4th and were on a plane a week later to Ethiopia. She stepped foot on US soil on December 15th just in time for her birthday and to spend Christmas with her forever family! I still am in awe at how the Lord provided for us at the right moment each time we were in need of finances. We could not be more thankful that our daughter is home and adjusting so well! She adores her brothers and they adore her. It is like she has always been a part of our family. We are so thankful for this precious gift that we were given!