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Travel Update

I'm sorry for the delay... I know many of you have been wondering if we have heard anything from the embassy over the past two weeks. We have heard updates periodically, but most of them haven't given us any indication of when we'd be cleared to travel... until today. 

We were waiting on one last interview to take place, and we were hoping for an interview date of July 23rd. After this interview, we could be cleared the very same day. If we had gotten the 23rd, we would have jumped on a plane tomorrow, arrived on the 19th, and stayed for about a week. Instead we got an interview date of July 30. If we do clear on the 30th, we'll hopefully have the boys' visas on the 2nd or 3rd of August. Because of the delay we aren't going to be able to leave tomorrow in time for the boys' birthday, but God's timing is always right and we trust him. We've learned enough over the past years that God's ways are better than ours, and we can rest in that.

We are, however, going to hop on a plane next week before the interview and before we are cleared. The weight of waiting and the heaviness of missing our sons has gotten to be too much, and we are ANXIOUS to get them out of the orphanage and into our arms! 

I'm not sure if I'll post again before we leave, so here's how we'd LOVE for people to pray for us while we are gone:
  • Pray for the interview on the 30th and that we will be cleared immediately following it. If we don't clear on this date, our trip will be prolonged until we do clear and we're hoping to only be in Ethiopia for two weeks at the most, mostly because Don will need to go back to work.
  • Pray for the boys' hearts. When we take them from the orphanage, it will be the 4th transition to a new home and to new caretakers that they've had in their first year of life. Pray that God will keep them from fear and that they will feel the great love that we have for them.
  • Pray that God will use our extended time in Ethiopia to help the boys attach to us and to bond our family together before we come home.
  • Pray that we will be kept from sickness so that we will have strength to care for and love the boys in the way that we desire. 
  • Pray that we will be a blessing to all of the people that we come in contact with while we are in the country. We love Ethiopia, and we are looking forward to being there again! 
If we're able to get on our blog while in Ethiopia, I'll try to post another update. Thank you for praying for us and upholding us over all of these months/years. We are so close!


Submitted to Embassy!

The last step is complete, and it came out of nowhere! Our power was out due to severe storms in our area, and we were staying at Don's parents' house. I checked my phone early Tuesday morning to see if I had an update about the power, and there in my email inbox was a letter from the US Embassy congratulating us on our file being submitted. Don was already up and downstairs, so I went running and flailing down the steps as fast as I could to show him the email. We had no previous warning or indication from our adoption agency that this would happen, so we were both shocked!

We were anticipating that we wouldn't be submitted to the US Embassy until the 11th. Last week when we got the medical reports, we still had to have them translated, which we were told could take about a week. Our agency can only submit cases on Wednesdays, and this Wednesday the embassy was closed because of the holiday. All that to say, all signs were pointing to the 11th as the next possible time for submission, but we prayed anyway that we would somehow get submitted this week. The translation would have to go faster, and the embassy would have to make an exception, and both of those things happened. 

All morning, all day, and even now, we are just so thankful and humbled by the love of God for us and for our boys. He is working for us, he is moving on our behalf, he is hearing our prayers!

(*** Josiah peeking his head up to look out the window above his crib. We're coming soon, baby!)

The boys' first birthday is exactly two weeks away, and we are still earnestly praying that we will be cleared by then to go get them! This next week is really significant because the embassy will be doing an initial screening of our case to determine how they want to proceed. They could request additional information, ask to interview witnesses or neighbors of the birth family, or they could clear us for travel. Please pray that we will find favor in their eyes, and that God will move in their hearts and minds to clear us quickly.