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Oh, What a Day...

So, I finally finished up the linguistics class that I've been taking. On the last day of class (yesterday) our professor gave us our exam to take home and send to him via email today. This was on top of another 4-5 page language paper, and an 8-12 page research paper also due this weekend. (Wasn't the class supposed to be done- done when we walked out yesterday?!). 

Anyway, the exam was impossibly hard and took close to six hours to finish. 
1. If it hadn't been a take-home, I never would have passed. 
2. If it hadn't been a take-home, I never would have finished in time. 
3. Did you know that disestablishmentarianism has 7 morphemes? It contains a free root and 6 derivational morphemes which have been circumfixed.
4. Is this knowledge ever going to matter in my life? 

Yes, this is the kind of thing we had to do on the exam- 33 of these words. We also had four essay questions, and we had to use a tree diagram to analyze sentences like, "Some of my most deserving students will have been teaching this course to similarly situated ELL colleagues next summer."
A. Who talks like this? 
B. This sentence took an entire page to diagram using the "complementizer" and "AUX" rule (we're not talking nouns and verbs, people)- I teach language arts and never knew such things existed! 

So, I finally finished the entire exam around 1:00am- I was determined to finish before Friday so I could "enjoy" my day off. 


Transracial Adoption

A good quote from Dan Cruver (Director of Together for Adoption):
God promised Abraham that in him “all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). From the very beginning, God’s promise to Abraham encompassed every ethnic and racial group.
Jump ahead 1,800+ years.
When Paul wrote Galatians 3:7-8, Jesus had already completed his redemptive mission by living, dying, and being raised from the dead.
The result of Jesus’ redemptive achievement is the fulfillment of God’s promise that in Abraham all the families of the earth would be blessed: “Know then that it is those of faith who are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed’” (Galatians 3:7-8).
If we’re not careful, we can step right over the significance of Paul’s words. Because of the work of Jesus to fulfill God’s promise to Abraham, a principal identifying mark of God’s family is that it is decidedly multi-ethnic — as multi-ethnic as it’s possible to be!
Because of Jesus, the church is the theater of transracial adoption. It is the place where the drama of redemption — God’s work to adopt children from every ethnicity — is played out over and over again. The church is, as Kevin Vanhoozer writes, “the theater wherein the world sees God’s love played out time and time again” (The Drama of Doctrine, 400).
As Christians, we have the privilege of playing out this drama on both the macro and micro levels. The macro drama, of course, is the church itself. The universal church continually displays the drama of the multi-ethnic family of God for all the world to see. There’s nothing like this macro drama to be found in all of human history.
But there is also a micro drama in which families within each local church can participate. No, God does not call every Christian family to adopt, transracially or otherwise. But the families God does call to adopt transracially have the privilege of being a micro-theater of the macro-drama of redemption for their communities to see.
The earthly practice of transracial adoption is much more than a way to build a family. It’s an opportunity to display the grand story of redemption before a watching world.


Waiting well...

Well, the waiting is almost unbearable, and we haven't even officially begun to "wait"! Completing the paperwork process has been much more difficult (and time consuming!) than we imagined. The first part of our adoption went so quickly and smoothly... our home study was done by March, and I thought for sure our paperwork would be in Ethiopia by this summer. Now it's looking like it might not get there until the fall. 

I was hoping that waiting for our I-171H (approval from the government to adopt and approval for our child to have US citizenship) would only be a matter of weeks, and I've since learned that it can take up to 3 months to receive this form- we're 3 1/2 weeks in right now. This is the last form that we need in order to submit our paperwork to Ethiopia... and, like everything else that we've waited on, there's nothing we can do to speed the process along.  

Please join with us in prayer that this last step would be completed quickly. In our minds, it seems best for us to bring our child home sooner rather than later, but we know that God has ordained all of the details of our lives (and our adoption!), so we continue to submit to His will and trust Him while we wait. 

Speaking of waiting, I've been trying to think of ways to maximize these last months that we have before bringing our child home. Here's what I've come up with so far:

  • Memorize more scripture
  • Pray for our child and his/her/their birthmother- it's likely that she's pregnant right now!
  • Read some good books on parenting
  • Enjoy my husband- this is an easy one!
  • Enjoy our friends and families- another easy one!
These are probably the most important goals I've set, but I have a whole host of others, including:
  • Learn to cook :)
  • Buy more healthy food- or start liking healthy food!
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get in the habit of taking pictures
  • Organize all of the papers we have stored/tucked away throughout the house
  • Paint a few pieces of furniture I haven't gotten around to
It's funny that the first three on this last list have been goals for quite some time... I'm afraid my taste buds stopped developing around age 8, and I haven't been able to get much past pizza and macaroni & cheese! As for exercising, I don't have a good excuse- I'm just inconsistent! 

Can anyone relate? 


Checking In...

Life has been busy, busy. I'm in my second session of summer classes- who knew linguistics would be so hard? I had no idea- seriously, it's insanely difficult, and I'm in over my head! 

We've done a few more things around the house but still haven't gotten our camera fixed to prove it!

We're waiting to hear about our next round of fingerprints from USCIS. They cashed our check, so hopefully it will be soon! Our paperwork could be in Ethiopia sometime in August- then it's a 4-6 month wait for our referral! It feels like this process has gone so slow, and yet it's possible that we'll have our referral by Christmas (at the earliest). Either way, we're getting closer!

On a side note, we're getting ready to celebrate seven years of marriage (more on that later), so for lack of any other pictures to post, here's one from our wedding day back in 2003.


Startling Statistics

In Ethiopia:

• One in six children die before their fifth birthday
• 44% of the population is under 15 years old
• 60% of children are stunted because of malnutrition
• The median age is 17.8 years
• 1.5 million people are infected with AIDS (6th highest in the world)
• 720,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS alone, and there are 4.6 million orphans in Ethiopia.
• Per capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any country in Africa
• In the 90s the population (3%) grew faster than food production (2.2%)• Drought struck the country from 2000-2002 (first year no crops, second year no seeds, third year no animals)
• Half the children will never attend school. 88% will never attend secondary school.
• Coffee prices (Ethiopia’s only major export) fell 40-60% from 1998-2002.
• The doctor to children ratio is 1 to 24,000.
• In 1993, after 30 long years of war, Eritrea broke from Ethiopia and became an independent nation leaving Ethiopia landlocked without any major seafaring ports