My Awefull Life » A Pilgrimage of Wonder

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Hi everyone – We have been home for two weeks now, and coming back to the Christmas season has proven to be quite chaotic. The combination of getting back to a very full family schedule with being completely distracted by having our daughter so far away from us has caused us to retreat inward somewhat as we try to find our footing on this unknown terrain. I caught myself a couple of days ago, going to show someone Lulu’s picture on my phone and catching my breath when I saw her face. The reality of the distance between us fell on me, and all I can say to describe how we are feeling these days is that it is as if we are living under water.

So, where are we in the process, and WHEN will we bring our daughter home? Those are the questions you may be asking, and the latter for sure is the one weighing most heavily on our hearts. Following our court date in Ethiopia, in which the judge approved and finalized our adoption (still blows me away to think about it), we then have a handful of steps to wait out before we can bring Lulu home. Once the adoption was finalized by the court, they then issue an adoption decree. This decree is then translated into English, and we are sent a copy. This is the document we will use to add her to our insurance, etc. Once the decree is translated, then her birth certificate and her passport are applied for. She will also be taken to have a VISA medical exam. These three things have to happen, and then our case is submitted to the US Embassy for them to review and ultimately clear us to travel for our interview with them in Addis. Once submitted to the Embassy we are told we could hear news within ten days, or it could be a couple more months. Our obvious hope and prayer is for us to hear within days of being submitted that we have been cleared to travel back to Addis. Okay, so that is what has to happen. Where are we as of today? We received word on Thursday our decree had been received and was now at the office of translation. We are eagerly awaiting a phone call or email with that English decree attached. That document is the key to making the rest of these steps happen – without it we are in a holding pattern.

Got all that? 🙂 Good! Because we would really love to take this opportunity to share a few of our favorite photos of our meeting and time with our youngest, our third child, our second daughter, our baby sister, our Lulu.

Thank you so much for all of your love and prayers and general support through this final leg. You are all so appreciated!

Here’s Lulu!

  • Claudia - How fantastic you two!!! The pictures speak a thousand words….I’m in tears….Love you, ClaudiaReplyCancel

  • Jess - So beautiful!! What a beautiful blessing and glad you finally get to share:). Prayed for you guys this morning that the wait would be short and not grate on you but bring you closer to Him. Blessings!ReplyCancel

  • Marie Bass - This is so amazing!! I love looking at your pictures- she’s so beautiful!! I’m praying and believing for everything to fall into place with supernatural speed! Blessings on ya’ll!!ReplyCancel

  • Bev - She is absolutely gorgeous. Those eyes are to die for. I can only imagine how difficult it was to leave her there, but how wonderful to know that the end is in sight. I wish all the best for all of you…and Lulu’s first Christmas with you in 2012!ReplyCancel

Good morning, or evening- no wait, afternoon! Too many time zones and too little sleep, I have no idea what time it is. Just wanted to update you we are back on US soil- almost home to Tennessee. One more connection flight in a couple hours and we will be home to our sweet blond babies to tell them all about their amazing sister with the dark brown curls.
It was jarring to get off our plane in Amsterdam and hear Christmas music! Lots of life here on this continent to catch up on, but every time I close my eyes all I see is us getting back to Addis to bring our Lu home. We are so elated over the miracle of our court date and are resolved all the more to let God be God and blow us away with a timeline to get her home that can only be explained by His Love and power.
We love you all and can’t wait to see many of you in person to thank you for all your love towards our family. Oh and thanks for dealing with my updates typed out on my phone- there is no telling the typos from thumbs and jet-lag.
-Sarah & Rob

Friends- Managed to find Wi-fi for just long enough to get this out. We have to say “see you soon” to baby Lu today and then head to airport tonight. We then come home and wait for her US VISA. One more huge hurdle then she comes home with us forever! We are dreading leaving her today, but are swimming still in the miracle of yesterday. We can’t wait to share the story with you all. And we will share photos soon!!! As soon as we can get to reliable Internet. Thank you sweet friends- we are coming home!
-Sarah & Rob

Hello beautiful friends-
It is about 9pm Thursday evening here in Addis, and I am sure many of you are sitting down to tables of turkeys, pies and family right about now.

Lulu is absolutely lovely. We have spent a few hours with her the past two days and she is us, we both recognize it and I think she does as well. We hope to share photos and video very soon and will as soon as we are cleared to. Speaking of such, as you will be sleeping tonight (or out shopping!) we will be appearing in court to finalize our intent to adopt. We are still praying for a miracle that our letter from the MOWCYA will be there in court tomorrow for our appointment. Thank you for praying with us!

Our time here has been a huge combination of emotions and been a journey of challenge at times but one we walk by choice, by faith, and as hard as it is to muster at times, with thanksgiving. I can’t even explain how being able to access email and Facebook intermittently has encouraged us. Usually there are many families traveling together on these trips, but it ended up that we have not had any other families along with us. So to be able to get online and read your sweet prayers and notes has been so incredible. It makes it feel less lonely, and that you all are on the adventure with us. We love you and have felt loved by you this week- so thank you.

During our visit this afternoon with Lu I was asking her if she likes music, because it’s kind of a big deal at our house. Rob pulled up a song on his phone and I sang along to her. I don’t know if the song he played was intentional or not, but after a morning of tears and frustration over this process and having to leave our crying baby in the arms of someone else, it was a song I needed to bring me back around to the truth. Hillsong United’s “Take Heart” was Lulu’s first official lullaby as a Richmond.
“Take heart, let His love lead us through the night, hold onto hope, take courage again…”

Happy Thanksgiving- your lives have filled ours with gratitude.