Saturday, July 28, 2012


The past few days have been bittersweet for us. We received a e-mail stating that we have a court date on August 13th in Ethiopia which is amazing news. While this news is more than exciting, we are somewhat overwhelmed because of all that is needed on our end with the USCIS/ Dept. of Homeland Security. It simply is not ready.  Long story short as soon as we received our home study we mailed off our I-600a form which had to include our home study documentation to the USCIS office. When they received our form they sent a receipt and now the process is to wait for a date to be fingerprinted and then they will follow up with an approval letter that we will need in court
When we received the receipt we started to call to see if we could speak to the officer assigned to our case because we know that he/she has the authority to hurry the case along if he/she is willing to work with us. Each day when we have called we have been told that our case is still sitting in the bins to be picked up by and officer with no guarantees of when it will be picked up. Yesterday I was finally able to speak to a manager who told us that our documents were in the 7th bin. She then went on to explain that 6 very full bins were in line in front of ours and that she had no idea how long the process would be. She then went on to say that she thought it would be about 70 days because so many officers are on vacation at this time of the year. She said that we just needed to wait for our fingerprint appointment that she couldn't help us.
We know that from our first adoption as soon as we have the paper that gives our fingerprint date and time that we can go to the fingerprint location to be today as I went to get the mail I was so excited to find the notice of our fingerprint appointment! We plan to be at the USCIS office at 8:00am Monday morning with proof of our court date and we hope to have this step of the process complete. Please pray with us that on Monday they allow us to be fingerprinted and that somehow an officer picks up our file and will be willing to work quickly with us to have the needed approval letter to us by August 8th or 9th prior to us needing to leave to be in Ethiopia for the August 13th court date! Thanks for being on this crazy journey with us.
 Who would have thought that in this crazy world of adoption we would be waiting almost two years in one case and completely rushed and behind in another- Our God always knows what is best and as always I am trusting His perfect plan for our family.

You will never know how emotional I have been the past few days! To think that one piece of paper could keep you living without a family for 2-3 extra months really breaks my heart. I am trusting that God has this thing all planned out but I sure can't wait to have you at home with us. We are all waiting for you to be here! I can't imagine how excited you must be to know that after waiting for more than four years a family is going to take you home and give you a family- I am so sorry that it has taken us so long. I want you to know that your siblings have longed for you to be a part of our family for two years- they can't wait for you to be here. One of your older sisters, Kaylee, has Lemme in Henna tattoo on her arm- She loves you so much! Garrett can't wait for you to be here and he is asking everyday how much longer. Jacob is super excited to have another younger brother and he is going to give you his bed as he moves to another bedroom. Megan has had pictures of you in her room for as long as I can remember and she made the first contact with our agency to see about bringing you home to be a part of our family. Your sisters Tia and Lindsay pray for you every night and they both say everyday that they can't wait for you to be home! You will never know how much you are loved and it will take you a very long time to understand what it feels like to live in a family. Dad and I are so ready to start introducing you to what it feels like to be loved unconditionally, forever and always. What it means to be a part of a family- and more importantly than any of this we can't wait to tell you about Jesus and His great love for you! We love you son and we hate that you are going to bed alone tonight- We pray that God wraps HIs arms around you and holds you tight. We promise that we are on our way........We are one day closer to being a party of nine and I just can't wait!
Love you more than you could imagine or dream-

Monday, July 23, 2012

What We Know....

Many have contacted us the past few days asking what is going on and so here is a very brief update: Our case was filed in the courts of Ethiopia last Thursday. What this means is that all of our paperwork was turned in and we are now waiting for the court to give us an actual date to be in Ethiopia to be present in court- The last date given to our agency when they filed in court was for July 30th and so we will wait to see what date we are given. Also a member of Lemme's family will have another court date set for them to appear before the judge but this will not be at the same time that we are in court- (That is different than the day that we were in court with Werke- Tia and Garrett's birth mom) If both of these court dates happen before August 7th or 8th then Lemme will officially be a Henderson before the rainy season court closure happens in Ethiopia. If we were to pass court in August then we would travel back to America without Lemme (at least I think....David thinks I might stay) and wait for our Embassy appointment which I understand would be late September to early October. At that time David and I will travel over to bring Lemme home.  If we do not get a court date prior to court closing then we will be assigned a court date in October when court reopens and then Lemme should be home with us in December. Either way we know that God has got this- His plan and timetable is so much greater than ours and although we would love to know if we will be in Ethiopia within two weeks we will just have to wait to see.
As in all of this anything can change! When our agency called this morning she said that they feel there would be no reason that this couldn't be complete within the next two weeks. Again we are trusting Him and if the truth be told I am somewhat guarding my heart. I remember the pain and heartache that I felt a few years ago when the timeline given went from four months to almost two years when played out in reality.
For now our family of eight (or whoever happens to be home on any given day) is enjoying this season of having dad at home (David is on a 3 month sabbatical which is a blog in and of itself), swimming, playing games, having sleepovers, and just simply having fun. Thanks for praying for us as we follow Him closely and grow our family in the process!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Relaxed to Rushed with one phone call......

Here we go.......I am so unsure of how to put into words what my heart feels, but here it is-
I will start by saying that I know that God's timing is always best, and as I share what has unfolded in the life of our family the last two days you will quickly know why I am continually reminding myself of this over and over and over again!

David and I went away last week to celebrate 20 years of marriage. While we were away we received a family changing phone call. As most of you are aware, we have started the process to bring another son into our family and his name is Lemme. Prior to leaving on this trip we received word from our adoption agency that court would be closing soon for the rainy season (2-3 months typically). We were told not to expect to be able to have Lemme home with us until at least Christmas and that would be only if we were one of the first families to be in court after they reopen from the rainy season.

This information all changed last Friday when our agency left a message on my phone (that I received on Sunday afternoon) stating that he was ready to be adopted.  They told us that they feel very confident we will be in court prior to court closing on August 7th.  AUGUST 7th..........Like less than a month away! David and I rejoiced in the lobby of the hotel at the news that we could have another child in a months time, yet the thought was overwhelming and unexpected. We were both in shock and we both shook our heads in disbelief as we called back to find out more details from our agency.

Here is where I am unsure of what to write or how to write- We are ready in so many ways for Garrett to have his friend become his brother, we know that God has called us to be Lemme's parents, our paperwork is in order (a HUGE thank you to Paula for gathering the last minute papers on Monday for us while we were away), but we only lack one thing- the money to move forward. We have been given and/or have less than one third of what will actually be needed to move forward with this adoption in the time frame that we have been given. Literally we need to have $1,000.00 a day given the next few weeks to make this adoption a reality. There is no way that we can do this without God placing it on the hearts of others to help our family bring Lemme home. We have been here before and He provided every penny of the thousands of dollars that were needed and I know that in His time He will do that again. To be very specific (although we will know exactly tomorrow) we have around $15,000 and we will need around  $38,000-$40,000 to make this adoption complete including traveling  twice to Ethiopia, paperwork (pre and post adoption) and the general fee's that come along with adopting. This amount of money is staggering to me I must admit. It literally takes my breath away to think of the mountain ahead. I have been awake the last few nights quoting scripture in my head reminding myself not to worry or be anxious.

The unexpected speed in which this is happening has caught us (but not God) off guard. We had plans to apply for and receive several grants like we did when we adopted Tia and Garrett yet this time there is simply not time. All of the adoption grants that we were awarded last time must be granted prior to the completion of the adoption and with 3-4 weeks until we could be in court it would be a huge God thing to even get one grant yet we will spend the end of this week applying for them. Usually with grants it takes several months to hear if you were awarded a grant and months we do not have.

Many of you have inquired how you could help us financially when we stepped into bringing Lemme home and we have told you to wait until we are sure- Now we are sure! If you feel led to give please make the check out to University City Fellowship and put Henderson Adoption in the memo line and mail to 4351 Main Street, Suite 207 Harrisburg, NC 28075 or feel free to send a check written out to us and mail to 7944 Woodmere Drive Harrisburg, NC 28075. If you would send us a quick e-mail ( to let us know if you have sent a check so that we can keep track of how much more we need that would be helpful the next few days.

More that asking for you to play a part financially we are asking that you pray for us. For peace in our hearts as we trust Him completely. We know that He has led us to this and we know that somehow He will provide all that is needed in His time.  Many times the last two days I have thought why not just wait until after the rainy season and not rush this- We could have everything in order and not have to write a blog such as this and then I think about a young boy going to bed alone tonight just hoping that one day he will have a family to call his own. I certainly don't want months of nights like tonight to pass if there is any way to get him home sooner where he can have a mom and dad to love him.

So there it is- I have to laugh because in His perfect time we were returning from a trip that we would have never taken had the phone call come earlier. I am so thankful for the week away last week as I look ahead and see our family growing to 9- God knew that we needed a little time to not only celebrate 20 great years but we needed a little rest to get ready for what He has in store for us the next few weeks or months. We will keep you up to date on all that He is doing as we trust Him and walk into the unknown of the next few days- Please join us in praying that God would do the impossible as we step out in faith to follow.