It has been two weeks now since our case was submitted to the Embassy, and we know little more at this point. We did receive confirmation from them yesterday that our file is in line for screening, but has not been reviewed yet. It seems from the research we have done, the historical timeframe of a ruling on your case within 7-10 days of being submitted to the Embassy, is just that, historical. We understand we are hitting backlog and delays due to the holidays, so we just have to go with the flow to some extent. Any bit of news is welcomed, although to say I wasn’t disappointed to know no one has looked at our file yet would be a lie. Given the time zones, we know any communication from Addis to us will arrive in our inbox overnight, so sleep is scarce at this stage. Following another night of staggered rest, I sat at the kitchen island yesterday morning, waiting on brewing coffee with my head in my hands and the news that there is really no news pressing down on my chest. On his way out of the door for work, Rob, observing my posture paused placing a hand on my slumped shoulder. An act thereby rendering me unable to speak through the lump in my throat and tears stinging those tired eyes. He momentarily tried to help me find words with no success before one more shoulder squeeze and a ‘guess I’m leaving now.’ I understood his uncharacteristic haste in leaving me there collecting tears in my empty coffee mug was merely a move of survival than insensitivity. For the frayed edges and nerves are non-exclusive, and both of us are fighting the effects of the twenty-some months we have spent on this obstacle course. It was…a low point. But a point, is just a point, and not the whole. That is, unless we allow it to be. And as low as we may have been for that point, we also walk with the experiential knowledge of how covered in peace the whole has been. I fully believe it is the constant, honest prayers of our community that allows me to say with all resolve what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, “we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” For in my life I have walked through far less with far more anxiety and fret than these past two years have presented, proving to me the essential piece a community of exhortation and intercession plays in our lives. Adoption or otherwise. To all who have and continue to pray from your desks, or while driving car pool or when a certain song reminds you of our family- we may not fully be able to express our gratitude this side of heaven but some day your eyes will meet the gigantic brown depths of Lulu’s, and you will see the fruit of your faithfulness to us. And together we will celebrate the gift of this beautifully afflicted life.