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Thursday, January 6, 2011

We're going to AFRICA!!

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{Deep Breath} We leave for Africa in eleven days!! This will most likely be my last, or one of my last, posts published before we leave. I need to use every free moment to get things ready! I will be journaling our entire trip to Ethiopia, and I do plan on blogging a lot of it. So many people have literally walked side by side with us through this journey, and I want for them to experience it with us. I know that in the days waiting it has been an encouragement for me to read other adopting parents' journeys to their children as well, so maybe that will be true for someone reading here. Internet is sketchy in Ethiopia. From what I have heard it can be impossible to log into blogger, facebook is usually accessible, though, so most of my updates will happen there. So if we are friends on facebook - check for status updates from Africa (and if we pass court PHOTOS of Jamesy)!! If I can log into email, I will send my sister my journal entries, and she will publish them here for me. If that does not work, then I will publish them all when we return home.

We have had a lot of questions regarding what this trip entails, when we will bring Jamesy home, etc, so I will attempt to answer those here.

We need to take two trips to Ethiopia in order to complete Jamesy's adoption. This is our first trip. We leave January 17th, and we will be home January 26th. The main purpose of this trip is to go to our court appointment. We will appear before an Ethiopian judge on January 24th. We are praying that this will be the day that the judge declares Jamesy to be our son! However, there is a huge chance that this will not be the case. In order for this to happen - for us to pass court - we need several things to fall into place. Most of it is "red tape", and seemingly an easy thing to have happen. However, in a third world country, who operates on their own time-table; a time-table very different then we are used to in the Western world (ie little to no sense of urgency or obligation), there is a very real possibility that this will not be accomplished prior to us appearing in court. We need the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWA), to write a favorable letter of recommendation for our family in order for the judge to pass us. As of late, this MOWA letter has been missing for most families who attend court. There is absolutely no way for a family to pass court and be granted legal custody of their child without this letter in the hands of the judge. This is a huge prayer request for us right now. The blessing and positive side of this is we only have to physically appear in court one time. If we do not pass the first time, a representative from our agency will stand in our place as many times as needed until we finally do pass. Obviously this would delay us getting Jamesy home.

While we are mainly in Ethiopia for our court date, we will also be able to begin bonding with our Jamesy! We will be able to spend several hours every day with him in the Transition Home. We will not be able to take him out with us this trip, though. I am very excited to see the Transition Home, to hold, hug, kiss, cuddle Jamesy for hours every day, and to meet the nannies who have cared for our son. This will definitely be the highlight of our trip. Please pray that God would begin to prepare Jamesy's heart for us. Our Meetcha Day will most likely be January 19th. I am trying not to build up too many expectations for this day, but honestly my heart feels as if it could burst just thinking about that first moment that he is placed into my arms. Our Meetcha Day will be video taped and documented with photographs. Please pray that these days with Jamesy go well and begin to acclimate him to us. While in Ethiopia we will also be traveling to the city Jamesy was born in and visiting the orphanage that he came from. While I am eager to see with my eyes where Jamesy has come from, my heart is apprehensive at all I will experience. This will take place near the beginning of our trip and most likely be an all day event. We will also do some site seeing and shopping in Addis when we are not spending time with Jamesy. There are so many things that I am excited to do - like tour a coffee factory and stock up on beans!! We are talking about a few other places we want to visit - perhaps The Fistula Hospital. We have heard that is a must-see.

As soon as we pass court, we can be submitted to the US Embassy in Ethiopia. This is the final step to overcome before we can bring Jamesy home! If things go well, and we pass court quickly - the first or second time, we will most likely (although I have come to learn not to expect anything in international adoption!) be scheduled for our embassy appointment on Wednesday, March 2nd (which we have to physically appear for), and would be home later that week with Jamesy. We are fervently praying to that end.

My mommy heart needs prayers as I prepare to leave behind my two children here for longer than we ever have before, and also as I meet, love on, and then leave Jamesy behind in Ethiopia for an indefinite period of time. I am not sure how I will survive the latter, and I guess except for God's grace I will not. I am not thinking much on it right now, and just praying that at the time of departure for home God's grace pours out on me. Somehow I know that will be the case.

We also covet prayer for safety traveling. Neither of us has ever traveled internationally. This is all new to us. I am nervous about the loooooooong plane ride more than anything else. Please pray that we stay healthy as well. People all around us are sick, and I am terrified of being sick for our trip. I just do not want anything to ruin this once in a lifetime experience. I am praying for health in Ethiopia as well. We are packing and preparing as best as we can in order to stay healthy.

I can not believe that we are to this point in our journey! That two weeks from now I will have held my second son for the first time, that I will know what he feels like, that I will have had my feet land in Africa! Oh, somebody pinch me!! Pretty soon I am going to officially and legally be the mommy of a 5 year old, a 2 year old, and a 1 year old - oh, praise God!!

Thank you for caring about us, our son, our journey. Your love and support has been overwhelming. This would not have been possible without the financial and prayer support of so many of you. Thank you. We have seen Jesus in you.

(I am going to open comments on this post, because I am thinking there will be questions. That will be easier than getting a ton of emails. I will respond to comments in the comment section.)

Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

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18 comments:

Krystal said...

Before you posted this I was already praying for you to be prepared to leave two in NY and then leave one in Africa. As a mom I can't imagine the latter but whatever God has brought you to He will bring you through. Enjoy every moment of the adventure!

Mandi said...

Wow, WOw, WOW! This has been so cool to read your journey! God is good and He will sustain you! Enjoy every second!

Kathy's Kitchen Korner said...

praying, praying, praying!!! And sooooo excited to see this all happen! Praying for the letter to be ready and awesome bonding time!!
So precious!

Redeemed1 said...

Oh wow!!! You will ALL be in my prayers. I'm so excited for you. I can't imagine all the emotions you must be experiencing right now.

{{hugs}}

Tammy ~ Country Girl at Home ~ said...

Tiffany,

Glad to be able to leave a comment! I do check in on you from time to time to see how things are going with getting to Jamesy!

I want you to know I am and will be praying for you for all the things you mentioned! I can't even begin to imagine how hard it will be to come home this time without Jamesy. But God doesn't bring to anything that he doesn't bring you through, but you already know that! Praying God gives you everything you need (and more) for this trip and for your little ones at home too!

Lots of love! I'm SO excited for you!

~ Tammy ~

Amy said...

Praying for your journey! I have been following it ever since we "met" through my etsy shop :) Is there a way we can become FB "friends" so that I can follow along with your trip?

I know you can hardly wait to hold that precious boy in your arms! And don't worry about the travel aspect, it is long but painless if you keep a sense of humor :)

Amy (malot's hope)

The Anglin Family said...

Tiffany--
So excited for you and your family as you embark on this special journey. I will keep you in my prayers. Wow, this is just *so* amazing. God is good and he knew jamesy would be yours. Can't wait to hear what its like to touch him and hold that sweet boy for the first time.
I have heard about the fistula hospital. There was a documentary about three Ethiopian women who lost their babies and it was all about their story and it brought me to my knees.
Lots of prayers and big ((hugs)).
Ps. I miss leaving you comments!;)

Annie said...

Tiffany,

This is so exciting to hear! I am looking forward to hearing about your experiences in Ethiopia and even more to when you have brought Jamesy home! I will be praying for you and your family as this all comes to pass.

And I know that this is completely secondary to the point of your trip, but I think you will love the experience of being in a different country. I always love going to new places, experiencing the culture, meeting the people, seeing the world through new eyes. I am looking forward to seeing Ethiopia through yours!

in Him,
Annie

Candace said...

Tiffany, I have just loved reading all your posts on your journey to Jamesy. I have prayed...and will continue to do so!! I can't wait to see his picture and see your new FAMILY pics!! :)

BARBIE said...

I have been following along in your journey and praying you through the process. I can bet you are bursting at the seems with excitement. I am praying everything falls into place when you arrive in Africa and that will be no holds up and that Jamesy will come home as soon as possible. Thank you for allowing me to leave a comment. Blessings, favor, peace and health to all involved!

Christy said...

Love the new header! Visit usually through a blog list in google so I haven't seen it in awhile, I guess. Praying for your trip to Africa. And yes, the free books are great! I'm in two of them and it's been so nice to get free books.

lila Braga said...

Oh wow!!! You will ALL be in my prayers.I know exactly how you must be feeling now...If you look into my blog,you will see that my life is all about moving around the globe; like a nomad's. Since marrying my husband,30 years ago, I moved from one side of the world to another.Recently we moved from Maldives to Dubai...and even after 30 years traveling I can say that it is never easy on us.
Have faith,God will sustain you.
Happy new year to you and your family.
hugs
Lila

Toyin O. said...

Praying for a safe trip and successful journey:)

jkseevers said...

Praying for you, Tiffany!! This is soo super exciting and we are eager to be at this point in our journey as well.
We will be praying for you, for safety, great bonding and passing court the first time!!

Blessings,
Katie

Tara said...

Tiffany, I stumbled upon your blog some time ago, and have enjoyed reading your heart on your journey to your son. Praying for a smooth trip.

Tessy said...

Praying, praying, praying!

Jackie said...

Hi Tiffany,

I am so excited for you!! I discovered your blog a month or two ago and have been following your journey since then. I will be keeping you in my prayers and can't wait to see pictures of Jamesy!

Grace~ful Family said...

Oh my goodness am I ever so excited for you and your family . . . I'm all teary eyes right now after reading how you long so much to see him, hold him, kiss him and that day will be so so soon from now!!! I'm rejoicing and praying for you!

I hope our meetcha and gotcha day comes soon too! Maybe you, Jo, and I can get together once we all have our babies. . . . I would love that!

Praying you through! Elisha

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