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Still Here

For those of you who have not been counting down every single day, hour, and minute, these past few weeks may have gone fast. For us... they have been CRAWLING.

We're finally less than a week away from leaving and the anxiety and excitement is really starting to set in. Many people have repeatedly asked/said, "You must be so excited!" and the obvious answer is, "Yes!"; however, it's been a strange, "Is this really happening?!" kind of excitement. 

If you've followed our blog for long, you've heard me moan about the fact that we're 2.5 years into a process that we anticipated taking 1 year, and the delays and set-backs have had a way of wearing us down. 

At the beginning of the process, I used to think about the day we'd enter the orphanage and they'd hand us our baby (didn't think we'd get twins) and cry just thinking about it. Then I had to stop thinking about it because it just kept getting further and further away. 

Then we got the referral for our twins and I began to anticipate that day again. And again, I'd cry just thinking about the day when we'd finally see them and hold them. Then we had some strange delays in being issued a court date that made us wonder if we'd even be able to adopt these boys. 

And now we're about a week away from this all becoming a reality and I feel a little like doubting Thomas in the Bible who declared that unless he saw the marks in Jesus' hands and placed his fingers into the marks of the nails and into Jesus' side, he would never believe. And I feel like until we stand before the judge in Ethiopia and hear her say, "They are yours." I just can't believe that it's really going to happen. 

So, yes, we are SUPER excited, and still a little cautious, and still praying like crazy that God will make this a reality and that he will give us these boys to be our sons. 


Planning a Trip

We've been a little preoccupied over here... in the very best of ways! After 5 months of doing nothing but waiting and praying, it's a welcome change of pace to feel like we're scrambling a little!

Our tickets are booked, and we will be gone for 9 days: in Ethiopia for 7 days, plus 2 extra days of traveling. The major items- our travel schedule, the court date, and our lodging are completely taken care of, so now we're working on the "littler" items, like:

What kind of donations will we take to the care center? Probably a couple of Bumbo chairs, diaper rash cream, wipes, soap, shampoo, clothes, etc. 

Where will we eat? I'm making a list of recommended restaurants from other adoptive families, plus we're planning on bringing granola bars and other snacks... if you know me, I'm pretty picky (though I've gotten WAY better over the years- but I still won't eat the "chicken butts"- long story). It may be a challenge to find places that are both safe to eat and that fit my discriminating tastes. :)

What do we need to pack for ourselves? That list is too long and boring and it changes daily as another idea pops into my head. Of course, we're going to pack light, but I want to make sure we don't forget important things like hand sanitizer, sunscreen, and flip flops for the shower...

What will we pack for the boys? We have no idea what we're doing and don't have the slightest clue of what they'll need while they are with us, so we're going to be as prepared as we can be and pray for lots and lots of help!

I basically have pages and pages of lists around the house, emails that I've sent to myself, and other reminders on my phone to make sure we don't forget anything!

Two special things we are planning for our trip involve visiting the little boy we sponsor through Compassion International and a day-trip to the Blue Nile Falls/Gorge, which is about 3 hours outside of Addis. I got the name of a man in Ethiopia that will probably be our guide for both our Compassion tour and the trip to the falls, so we've been emailing him and trying to work out those details. He is a former Compassion kid who went through their leadership training and now does tours for them and has a small side business doing tours for adoptive families in and around Addis. 

As you can imagine, the highlight will be seeing our boys and wearing ourselves out loving them. I'm envisioning very sore arms because I'm sure once we're holding them, we aren't going to want to put them down very often! 

And this is getting long and random, but since I hardly ever post anymore, I'm going to keep going...

These pictures are from the night we went out to celebrate our court date. We had a really nice dinner and then ended up at Panera drinking coffee and finalizing the boys' names. We've had names in mind since our referral, we've gone back and forth on a few, but now that we're really going, we're really going to see them, and Lord willing, they'll really become our sons, we wanted to make some final decisions. We're very happy with the result and have started using them at home to talk about the boys (no more big guy/little guy- though those names will always be special, too).

We'll share their names and pictures once we pass court. Please pray both for our preparations and for the court case. Pray that all of the letters/documents will be there and that we'll pass right away. Pray that the Ethiopian government will process our court decree right away so that we can begin the process of being submitted to embassy. 

So that we can have them home. Home. Their cribs, double stroller, toy cars, and swings at the park are waiting for them. And so are their mom and dad. 


Court Date

On Friday, we FINALLY received our court date! 

Lord willing, on May 7, these two little munchkins will officially be Jones' boys.

And the first order of business (outside of lots of snuggles and kisses) will surely be a wardrobe change! I'm pretty confident that our "big guy" (on the left) is wearing a pair of shorts for a 3 or 4 year old as his pants and his shirt is more suited to a 70 year old man golfing in Florida than to our happy, silly baby boy. Our "little guy" on the other hand is sporting a yellow terry-cloth blazer and gingham, ruffled shorts with flowers on them. I'm not sure which is worse, but I do know that I'll be packing their dinosaur pajamas and striped onesies for our trip.  

We are so thankful, excited, overjoyed, and even a little shocked- the reality of it all is just starting to sink in. Thank you for supporting us, for praying for us, and for hanging in there with us throughout this very long journey. 

Though May 7 is much later than we had hoped for, we are confident that May 7 is the right day.

"I am well pleased with thy will, whatever it is, 
or should be in all respects,  
And if thou bidst me decide for myself in any affair,
I would choose to refer all to thee,
for thou art infinitely wise and cannot do amiss,
as I am in danger of doing."

- "God the All" Valley of Vision