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First Care Package

We got to send our first gift to the boys today! I found out before I went to work that there was a family traveling to Ethiopia on Friday and if I could get the care package to them by Wednesday, they'd be able to take it. So, I threw some things together (thankfully I had already done a little shopping), and shipped it out today during my lunch. And yes, those toys are hideous, but their bellies crinkle, they have rattles in their heads, and you can teeth on their feet, plus they can squish down into a small package. I hope they love them!

We already got to see a little video of them in their crib together from a family that recently traveled! This same family sent us a very detailed email about their time with the boys while in Ethiopia. Here's just a little of what they told us:
We cuddled them a lot when we were there and gave them massages.  The littler one liked it but the bigger one was always distracted by noise and activity. The bigger one can turn over or almost turn over from back to front by himself, and whenever we had him out of the crib on the floor or on the bed, he was really interested in what was going on around him and was twisting to see where noise was coming from.  He also is almost able to hold his own bottle – definitely able to grab it and guide it to his mouth if it’s propped up.
What a gift to get this information! It is so comforting to know that they are being well cared for and loved by so many people already!  

And, yes, we do have names in mind, but we aren't going to share them until we're totally set on them and possibly even until after we have passed court in Ethiopia and everything is legal. For now they are the big guy and the little guy... and we're okay with that!


The Details

I always imagined what it would be like when we finally got our referral. I pictured us sitting at our computer at home, opening the email together, I'd probably start crying, and then we'd spend the next several minutes (hours?) staring at their pictures and pouring over their information. I thought maybe we'd even video tape it so that we could share it with our kids someday. It didn't quite happen that way. 

We actually got the email while we were both at work. I knew there was no way we'd be able to wait until we got home to open the email together... we're both too impatient and the distraction of knowing that email was sitting in our inbox would have been more than we could have handled! So, we decided ahead of time that if we got the referral email at work, we'd just go ahead and open it. Thankfully, I didn't get the email until my students were already out of the room, so I had a little time alone in my classroom to look at everything. Right away I forwarded the email to Don at work and we both began to look over their pictures, and then began firing off tons of emails to each other in response. Eventually we did call each other and talk through all of it on the phone, but our email records show a little glimpse into what was going on. I took these right from some of our first emails to each other: 

Sara (to Don): I forwarded the pics. to you. I think they look great! Really sweet with gigantic eyes!
Don (to Sara): Wow. Yes, they look really great. Really beautiful boys. Huge eyes. 
Sara: Do you think they are sweet?!
Don: Yes. Very much so. They are very sweet. Beautiful eyes. Do you? What do you think?
Sara: They are SOOOO SWEET, cuter than I ever imagined!

We loved them instantly! Seriously. More than I ever thought possible. 

All of the official paperwork and medical records didn't come in until the next day, so we didn't say anything to anyone. Thursday night, we had our own little private celebration and went out for Giordanos pizza and then to pick out a matching set of pajamas. It was so fun to finally have their faces in mind and to know who it was that we had been praying for and waiting for all of these months!

And twins?! Can you believe it?! We didn't think there was any way we'd get twins, and we had long stopped praying for it (though I know many of you persisted on! thank you!). God certainly surprised us and gave us a better gift than we ever thought possible in these sweet little boys.

And seriously (not that it matters), they are BEAUTIFUL. They have the most perfect button noses, perfectly shaped pouty lips, and the most gigantic dark brown eyes. I wish we could share pictures, but until we pass court in Ethiopia, we won't be able to post their pictures publicly. 

There is so much more to share, but I'll save it for future posts. In the meantime, here's how you can pray for us now:

  • Pray that we will get a quick court date. We are hoping that our court date will be in the next 3-4 months. We will travel to Ethiopia at that point, and the adoption will be finalized in Ethiopia, though we won't get to bring them home until the US Embassy clears us for travel (which could be another 3 months or so from our court date).
    • This puts us at about 6 months until the boys are home, but we are PRAYING, PRAYING, PRAYING that it will be sooner! Please join us!
  • Pray that the rest of the process goes quickly and smoothly and that God will continue to sustain us as we wait. 
  • Pray for our boys. They are healthy as far as we know, but they are a little tiny. One is smaller than the other and could stand to put on a few pounds, plus his iron counts are low. Pray that God will nourish and protect their bodies and their health over these next months. Pray also that they will have people caring for them that will love them and attend to their needs (and kiss their sweet cheeks once in awhile!). 
Thank you, thank you, thank you for praying for us over these months and years. We are completely humbled by the undeserved kindness of the Lord in giving us these boys and by the love and support of so many of you! Please be encouraged that your prayers for us were not in vain, God has heard and has given us abundantly more than we could have asked or imagined! 



I can't believe I'm finally typing this!!! We got our referral on Thursday for TWIN boys. They are 4 months old and absolutely perfect. We love them already! 

Thank you for praying. It was worth the wait! I'll share more details very soon!!

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness." - Lamentations 3:22-23



14 ways that God has used others to love us during these past 14 months:
  • Our pastor meeting with us and counseling us, listening to us, and providing support and encouragement to us. 
  • Countless emails and messages from friends and family telling us they are praying for us. I could list you all, but you know who you are, and we are thankful for all of you and for each of the messages you have sent to us! (And, Rochelle, seriously, is there anyone more thoughtful than you?! Thank you for checking in on me so often and sincerely caring about how we are doing.)
  • A surprise advent basket last Christmas (that I still don't know who to thank for!).
  • A package left by my dear friend (and sister-in-law). This made my day/week/month, and I still look at it from time to time! I think I cried first when I saw this and then laughed as I read the whole thing! This took a lot of thought and time, and I'll never forget it. 
  • The diaper bag I've always dreamed of (and never thought I'd get) arriving at precisely the right time. Thank you, Elissa. God used you to remind me of his extravagant love on a day when I needed some encouragement. God is in the smallest of details- all the way down to you picking out the exact diaper bag I would have chosen for myself!

  • A letter from a woman in our church who was sensitive to a situation that was hard for me. Your prayers and compassion brought me to tears.  
  • People who bought and proudly wear our adoption shirts. I love seeing them on you!
  • Friends and family who contributed financially to help us bring our baby home. We have been humbled by your generosity. Thank you for partnering with us!
  • Sermons and songs that came at just the right moments.
  • My mom crying over the phone with me more times than I could ever count. Thank you for your listening ear and your loving words that often served as a healing balm for my heart. 
  • People who ask us how we're doing, even though it'd be easier to not bring it up.
  • The women in our church calling a special prayer time for our family. Thank you for seeing a need and responding with such love and compassion. 
  • People who buy us gifts for the baby, even though it's still so far away. You show us that this is real to you, and you help it seem more real to us. 
  • Friends and family that have donated furniture and toys to help us prepare our home. We are so thankful!
Though this has been a long journey, we have been well loved and cared for. Thank you!


Silent Days

Well, today has been another silent Friday. Today marks six weeks that we have been number 1 on our agency's list for an infant boy (which may not have been clear from earlier posts). Referrals tend to be given out on Fridays, though they could technically come any day of the week. Our agency informed us that they would be in meetings all afternoon today and that we wouldn't be able to contact our family coordinators until Monday (which translates in my mind to they will not contact us either), which means it's another silent day, and the cycle continues. The hope and expectation that this could be the week crashes down again until next week when we start hoping again that maybe this will be the week. Throughout this process there have been different lessons at the various stages... the latest lesson: submission to the will of God, whatever that looks like. 

I'm thankful I was able to catch this on the radio today. I was listening to Nancy Leigh DeMoss interview a woman going through suffering and this stuck out me:  

I think what you (the woman being interviewed) are doing is helping people understand the sovereignty of God. It's been an incredible blessing and challenge to me to watch you say, "Though I don't understand this, yet I still trust that God is God, that He knows what He's doing, that He doesn't make mistakes, that He hasn't made any mistakes with my life, and I surrender myself to whatever He wants me to experience and to learn through all of this." 
I think of a number of women listening who have their own issues. It may be another physical affliction or a financial affliction or an affliction in their marriage or with a son or daughter that they cry themselves to sleep over at night, and they're saying, "This is so hard to understand." 
God's heart to that woman is, "You don't have to understand, but you do have to trust. Let Me be God. Trust that I know what I'm doing, that I'm too wise to make a mistake, and I'm too loving to hurt you except that I know that ultimately it will be for My glory and for your ultimate benefit."
Surely those truths mean more to me now than they ever did.