Thursday, April 30, 2009

Touch, Agree, and Believe

This is a call to action for all of my believing-in-spite-of-what-I-see friends that will join me in shaking the foundations, breaking through, and breaking free. So, here is what I will be singing to myself today, the words are so true. What I'm asking you to do is to tell me what you believe in, what you are hoping, and believing for.

Praise, they say confuses the enemy and I'm wondering if we can drive him stark raving mad. That's my goal and that's my plan. Try to listen to this song a couple of times and see if it doesn't lift your spirits.

I Still Believe
Marvin Winans

I still believe in marriages made in heaven.
And that love will conquer all.
I've been hurt but not deceived.
Regardless of what has happened I still believe.

I still believe in predestination and eternal purpose
All things work together for my good
Opposition comes against me yet still I proceed
Cause no matter what I'm facing I still believe.

Now remember faith the size of a mustard seed
Has the potential of endless possibilities
And if you just keep the faith
The promise of a better day is a guarantee

I've been through enough to make me cynical
Cold-hearted, mean, and just disagreeable
But, I have chosen to believe in a happy day for me
Filled with miracles. Oh just a happy day -- the sun is shining.

I still believe in waterfalls and sunsets
And that dreams really do come true
Hope springs eternal in those who believe
That's why no matter what happens, I still believe

I really do believe
I believe in the good of all mankind
I believe behind the clouds the sun still shines
I believe there is coning a brighter day
I believe that our children will lead the way.
I believe that trouble won't last -- always
Joy is coming in the morning

Every mountain be exalted
Rough places made plain
I believe that the lion will lay down with the lamb
I believe that we will if we will that we can
Don't you ever stop moving towards the promise land
I believe that trouble won't last always
I believe that trouble won't last always

No matter what you are going through
I want you to believe that you will, I want you know that you can
And never stop helping your fellow man
Keep the faith, keep the faith
We're going to make, we're gonna make it if you just keep believing
Keep on hoping, keep on trusting
It's going to be alright, that's what I believe

I believe it I really do
I believe

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Baby Sister Robbin and the Peeps

All of us have to remember when you are given a vision and a dream it is yours and yours alone and no matter how rocky the road gets, how crooked the turns turn, how high you have to climb, or how many times you have to stumble before you make it you have been more than equipped for the dream that He handed specifically to you. Until He takes that desire from your heart or closes every door it is only His saying, "well done" that matters.

When they start getting on that last nerve, put on your best Etta James impression and just tell them it ain't their business. You should be smiling because Tami is Chaka Kahn.

Ain't No Need To Worry

Finding comfort wherever I can, I'm usually drawn to the music that has always been a big part of my life and faith. The message is simple it's the doing that takes more work.

Ain't no need in worrying
what the night is gonna bring,
it'll be all over in the morning.

There's a fear of night fall,
when darkness comes and covers all the day.
Sometimes we feel pain,
but there are things that we can change, just pray.

Ain't no need to worry,
what the night is gonna bring,
it'll be all over in the morning.

Troubles come, but they do pass.
Heartaches hurt but they don't last always.
Sometimes we feel pain,
but there are things that we can change, just pray.

In the morning, the morning,
it'll be all over in the morning.
It'll be all over in the morning.

Makes no different how dark the night,
if you trust in God, it'll be alright;
(it'll be all over in the morning).
It makes no difference how long the day,
trust in God, He'll make a way;
(it'll be all over in the morning).

Weeping will last, but only for awhile,
but when the sun shines,
you'll wear a smile;
(it'll be all over in the morning).

Suns gonna shine on your face
and make you feel like you can run this race
and you can be a winner.
Take the prize and go home.
It will be over in the morning.

Hold on, it will be over in the morning.
Hold on it will be over in the morning

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Were Are My Believers?

I actually have this "cassette" and it is really in my car. Thanks to YouTube I can share the video, song, and words with you. I'm sure you will agree that they fit, though you may enjoy the words better than the song. We have to keep believing.

If You Believe in Me?

Time, of rise and fly, over me, to the sea,
Love is a pride, wait for me, wait for me,

If you believe in me,
I will believe in what will be,
We want the world you've only dreamed of,
Promise of the seasons,
Give us the future please,
That's all we need of you.

Running in circles,
Desperate we hold to yours and mine,
Using my body,
Closing our hearts and eyes.

Oh no, open the door and let the wind blow,
Take my hand, together we stand in the eye of the hurricane.

If you believe in me
I will believe in what will be,
We want the world you've only dreamed of,
Promise of the seasons,
Give us the future please,
That's all we need of you.

Every nation, every woman, child and man
Comes on a moment, where they must take a stand,

Oh no, forget what you know, just let the wind blow,
Blown apart, you open your heart, and that's where anything can be.

If you believe in me
I will believe in what will be,
We want the world you've only dreamed of,
Promise of our seasons,
Give us the future please,
That's all we need of you.

Out of control, out of my mind, at last,
Into my dreams, we sailed away.

If you believe in me
I will believe in what will be,
We want the world you've only dreamed of,
Promise of our seasons,
Give us the future please,
That's all we need of you.

Oh sing it children
(If you believe in me)
Got to believe
(I will believe in what will be,)
Tell `em what you want
(We want the world you've only dreamed of,)
World you've only dreamed of
(Promise of our seasons,)
(Give us the future please, )
(That's all we need of you.)

If you believe in me
I will believe in what will be,
We want the world you've only dreamed of,
Promise of our seasons,
Give us the future please,
That's all we need of you.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Too Much of a Good Thing

I found this interesting article and video about a man in Ethiopia with 12 wives and 78 children. Here is an excerpt from the article:

In this remote, densely-populated region of Ethiopia, it is common for men to have multiple wives. In Ayatu's case this tradition has backfired. Years ago, he had enough land and food to satisfy everyone's needs. This changed when Ayatu had to sell land or cattle to make the dowry payment for each new wife he took, usually a sum of between $500 and $1,000. Now, the family compound is almost bare from overgrazing, two of his wives have moved with cattle in search of greener pastures, and two others died from unknown illnesses in the 1990s. The situation is so desperate that Ayatu cannot afford to send his children to secondary school, and he is marrying off two of his 15-year-old daughters to ensure they are fed. Thirteen others are living with their married siblings.

Read the article or you can watch the video:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Each One Teach One

Thanks for all of the responses to my post from April 15 and 16. I was really touched by the things you shared and it made me more aware that how I've walked through my journey and the things that I've shared have had a positive impact on others. Believe me, I learn and grow as much from all of you as some of you have learned from me.

There was one comment left on my blog yesterday that I wanted to post today. Thank you Theresa for the passage of scripture you sent. I know that others will appreciate it as well.

"If it seems slow, be patient!
For it will surely take place.
It will not be late by a single day."
Habakkuk 2:3

This passage brought me immediate comfort when I read it. I checked BibleGateway to find what version of the bible it was from and in the process found other interesting interpretations of this scripture.

The Message: This vision-message is a witness pointing to what's coming.It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn't lie.If it seems slow in coming, wait. It's on its way. It will come right on time.

New Living: This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.

New International Reader: The message I give you waits for the time I have appointed. It speaks about what is going to happen. And all of it will come true. It might take a while. But wait for it. You can be sure it will come. It will happen when I want it to.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My Biological Clock is Ticking

You may have noticed that my court date clock stopped ticking at about 10am this morning, but it seems that my biological clock is still ticking and I thank God for that. As my mother would say if time keeps passing and you're not getting older it means that you are dead. Well, I am alive! I wish that I had more exciting news to share with you today but the waits not yet over. My case was heard and they yet need more information. I was determined to not allow the news to overtake me and I've held together pretty well.

The song that I heard over and over in my head today was, "I Still Have Joy". After all that I've been through, I still have joy. I reflected on my favorite chapter of the bible, Philippians 4 and on days like this I have to remember that the scripture says that I know how to live in abundance and how to live without but for whatever state I am in I know to be content. If I thought it would help, I'd scream and shout about how unfair it is but life is not fair nor is favor. I went through a list of songs like, "Ain't No Need to Worry," and "It's Been Along Time Coming."

I even found myself singing, "I've had some good days, and I've had some hills to climb. I've had some weary days, and some sleepless nights. But when I look around and when I think things over, you know my good days outweigh my bad days so I won't complain. -- And then I ask the Lord why so much pain. But I found out that he knows what's best for me although my weary eyes don't see. So, I'll say thank you Lord, I won't complain."

Then I played my Marvin Sapp stand by "Have you ever had a need that He did not meet or a situation and He did not come through? There's no question of Your greatness, nor searching of your power. Of the wonder of Your glory, to You 40 years is but one hour. Your knowledge is all encompassing and too your wisdom there is no end...Be all glory and honor, dominion and power for ever and ever, amen." I even sang a couple of lines of Mary J. Blige, I'm not gonna cry.

In the end I decided that it is my favorite gospel song of all times that fits me today that says, "What do you do when you've done all you can, seems like it's never enough? Tell me what do you say when friends walk away and you're alone? Tell me what do you give when you've given your all and you can't make it through? Well, you just stand when there's nothing left to do, you stand and watch the Lord see you through. After you've done all you can do then you just stand. How can you smile when your heart has been broken and so filled with pain? What do you do when you've done all that you can and it seems like you can't make it through? You just stand, don't you dare give up. Through the storm, through the rain, through the heartache, through the pain. Don't you bow, don't you bend, don't give up, don't give in. Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on. After you've done all you can, just stand."

So let's not get to down. Let's look forward and shout for what will be! I need you guys to prop me up just a little and let's try to celebrate what will come.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

His Name is Zion

The name Zion is written in the bible 168 times. Zion is a city in Jerusalem, a mountain on a hill and another name for heaven. Zion is what writers call Ethiopia and believe it or not, Tsion (Zion) was the name of the girl who met me at the airport and carried my bags to the hotel.

Zion is, was, and forever will be the name of my first son, born on this day April 15, 2002. I checked into the hospital and after 27 hours of labor delivered, him, held him and had to let him go. I left the hospital the following day with a bag of memories, tokens, and certificates to prove that he was here. I left that day not knowing what my future would hold.

Since April 15, 2002 the days immediately preceding and the days immediately following are sometimes struggle. Without being conscious of it, there have been times that the longing sweeps over me in waves. In 2003, I decided that I each year on April 15, that I would attempt to do those things that I would not have otherwise had the courage to do. That first year on April 15, 2003 I was shocked to find myself sitting in a room coaching the CEO and the entire executive team of a large restaurant chain -- miraculous. On April 15, 2004 I was in New Haven, CT teaching a 3-day class at Yale University -- improbable. April 15, 2005 I was invited to as one of two consultants to deliver diversity training to the executive team at one of those large battery companies that we all know so well -- impossible. I remember how hard it was getting on the plane that day and getting prepare once I landed. It's the day that I sat in the parking lot and heard Mary, Mary singing, "I Cried My Last Tear Yesterday." I can pretty much tell you where I was and what I was doing on this day every since 2002 and it wasn't my taxes. On April 15, 2008, I packed away all of Zion's things for the last time. All that there was of him was still in the bag from the hospital and over the years I would take things out, look at them, read them, and put them away.

Some things in life are difficult to explain like why some children live and others die too soon. Why some born in Ethiopia triumph over all the odds against them and those born here in the states in world class hospital just don't have the strength to survive. All of us have stories and how we found ourselves on this path varies from person to person. It seems that my journey begins and ends with Zion and it's difficult to explain why this long, winding, wonderful, laborious journey could some how deliver me to this date. At first I thought it ironic that God would have my children's lives so intertwined by these dates and then I thought of David who told me last year; that whenever you go full circle you get a new beginning. That must be it, I thought one chapter of my life as a mother is being closed on April 15 and another one opened on April 16. But, then I realize yet one more bit of irony, when my case is heard in Ethiopia I believe that it will still be April 15 here in Chicago.

It's difficult to tell you all this without filling in the details or writing in my more usual style. Forgive me, please I just want to get it down to mark the significance of this day. From the day that I learned that there is a church in Axum, Ethiopia that hold the Arc of the Covenant, and that the name of that church is St. Mary's of Zion I was drawn to that place. Without being able to explain it to you, in August 2007 when I started this journey, I knew that whatever questions and unresolved issues and longing that I had would be answered and filled when my feet touched the soil in Ethiopia. Remember I went there in December and from the moment I touched down, I was drawn into an unexplainable set of events. I think it was the first time that I'd truly exhaled in nearly seven years. It was a release that I will never be able to explain.

When I walked into the courtyard on the other side of that big blue gate, I thought that I would be overcome by emotion. Instead I saw my children and instantly new that all I had believed was indeed true. All of my unanswered questions were answered in an instant and instead of being overcome with emotions, I exhaled again and felt a rush of peace come over me. When I prayed on the prayer bench of the church, I felt peace. When I walked into the palace I felt peace. When I walked through the streets of Addis I was at peace. When I held my children and looked into their eyes I was at peace. When I said goodbye to them that last day, I was at peace. I've carried that feeling with me from that time to this. Rather than feeling the anxiety or anxiousness, I feel peace.

Today on April 15, 2009 I wait patiently to do yet one more thing that I thought would be impossible to do. I wait to hear the words that I thought I'd never hear and wait to tell the world what I thought I'd never say. This impossible thing has been made possible and all things thought improbable have passed away. Now, I no longer wonder what I will do on all the April 15ths to come. I know that I will celebrate this new beginning.

This is the eve of my new beginning and all I feel is peace. I love you all so much thank you from the bottom of my heart for every kind word and every prayer that you have prayed for me. God always sends his angels to protect, shield, and guide, because of each of you, I've come full circle and this is a new beginning. So wherever you are just say a quick thank you to God because it is already written it is already done.

Hebrews 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly.

Peace Be Still
Come on with peace. I'm talking about peace. Peace be still. In your home, peace. On your job, peace. Late in the midnight hour... peace be still. Whenever the Lord says peace, I guarantee there'll be peace. I know that it will be. Peace, oh peace. When there's confusion, whenever the Lord says peace, there'll be peace, you'll have peace. Peace, oh, oh peace. When you don't know which way to turn,
He guarantees that there will be peace. I'm not worried about it. Peace, oh, oh peace. If I don't have nothing else, whenever the Lord says peace, I've got peace in my heart and peace down in my soul. Peace, oh, oh peace...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday Leaves Us With Two Days

I know that I say this every few months but I think I've developed a reputation for being really deep and serious. That is a part of me but I'm also really silly, just ask the girls that call me on the phone. With two days to go (although no one is really counting -- wink, wink) I've been in a very light-hearted mood. I've had a few moments of distraction but mostly I've been humming, whistling, or singing under my breath unfortunately getting a few looks as I pass people by. I've been falling asleep too early which means I wake up too early like 4:00am. My normal wake-up without an alarm clock is 4:30 so go figure. Anyway, since my last song brought up so much teary-eyed emotion, I kept thinking what song could I share that would express how I'm feeling today. Can't really explain it but I found myself singing one song today and then the other came to mind. So, the double play today includes two classics by Diana Ross.

Y'all had better sing too.

I'm coming out. I'm coming out I want the world to know got to let it show. I'm coming out I want the world to know I got to let it show. There's a new me coming out and I just had to live and I wanna give, I'm completely positive. I think this time around I am gonna do it, like you never do it, like you never knew it. Ooh, I'll make it through!

The time has come for me, to break out of the shell. I have to shout that I'm coming out. I'm coming out I want the world to know. Got to let it show I'm coming out I want the world to know I got to let it show.

I've got to show the world all that I wanna be and all my abilities, there's so much more to me. Somehow, I have to make them just understand I got it well in hand and, oh, how I've planned I'm spreadin' love there's no need to fear and I just feel so glad every time I hear: I'm coming out I want the world to know. Got to let it show I'm coming out I want the world to know I got to let it show.

Hit #2 -Sing...

If you need me, call me, no matter where you are, no matter how far. Just call my name and I'll be there in a hurry on that you can depend and never worry. No wind, no rain, no winters cold can stop me babe if you're my goal. Aint' no mountain high enough, ain't no valley low enough, that can keep me from you.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Feeling Like I Do With Three Days to Go

In case you're wondering how I'm feeling with barely three days of waiting in front of me; just listen to the emotions and words to this classic Stevie Wonder song called Overjoyed. It's hopeful optimism with a little bit of cautious defiance. Like Stevie I almost defy anyone to try and turn me back now, it just won't happen.

Over time, I've been building my castle of love
Just for two, though you never knew you were my reason
Ive gone much too far for you now to say
That Ive got to throw my castle away

Over dreams, I have picked out a perfect come true
Though you never knew it was of you I've been dreaming
The sandman has come from too far away
For you to say come back some other day

And though you don't believe that they do, they do come true
For did my dreams come true when I looked at you
And maybe too, if you would believe, you two might be
Overjoyed, over loved, over me

Over hearts, I have painfully turned every stone
Just to find, I had found what I've searched to discover
I've come much too far for me now to find
The love that I've sought can never be mine

And though you don't believe that they do, they do come true
For did my dreams come true when I looked at you
And maybe too, if you would believe, you two might be
Overjoyed, over loved, over me

And though the odds say improbable
What do they know
For in romance
All true love needs is a chance
And maybe with a chance you will find
You too like I
Overjoyed, over loved, over you, over you

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Five Days to Reflect

I am at five days and counting and reaching this point has allowed me to be really reflective. God never promised that the road would be easy only that He would lead us every step of the way. In honor of this Resurrection weekend and the five short days that I have for this amazing life change, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite post. I smile now when I read this.

Where is Your Faith?
Reposted from July 11, 2008

I know that I can't be the only person that has shed a few tears while going through this process. Some of you have cried buckets. First there were the happy tears and the excitement of every little thing like receiving a call back from the agency, getting a package in the mail or even writing one of the big checks.

Maybe you have hit a few snags along the way. Maybe you have faced a mountain or tried to fight your way through a brick wall. I know that there have been days where you've said that it was all too much, that it was taking too long, that you wanted to quit. Maybe you were forced to place your plans on hold because family or financial circumstances have changed so drastically.

Maybe it was days of doubt and second guessing. Maybe it was looking for signs that you were on the right path and all you got were bright flashing red lights or stop signs or detours down one-way streets that led to dead ends. I know that there are families that have had long referral waits, missed referrals, lost referrals, failed court dates, and long delays before travel. The biggest heartbreak that I've heard is of families with referrals and the children passed away before ever reaching them. Then you have to try and wrap your heart around different child and a different picture than the one who's picture you originally fell in love with.

Maybe I'm just talking about myself but there have been times that I have cried out and asked what is all of this for. Several days ago I woke up just in time to hear a television minister say, "God does not respond to our needs and wants, God responds to our faith." We can't bully him into our way of thinking either.

I had to remind myself that hope that is seen is not hope for if I can see it then what am I hoping for? This is a faith walk like no other to me. I know that I have some powerful sisters walking this same walk and feeling the same way. In our lives we have been able create spreadsheets and checklist; write the plan, work the plan, influence others to our way of thinking, and call upon our strong will and determination to make things happen, usually in our favor. I feel like I've met my match.

THE FAITH TO HOLD ON the end of all of this, what He has for us is what we have. The children that we get are the children that were destined for us at the beginning. They are those that were chosen just for us. They may or may not be what we dreamed or hoped in our minds. They may be older, faster, slower, louder, happier, sadder, taller, smaller, or more ill, more stubborn, more afraid or more hurt. They may be wore wise, more astute, more mature, or more intelligent. They may be more loving and more giving, more patient and more kind. More faithful, much stronger, more steadfast, and more sure.

My faith is in the knowing that while we are seeking our hearts desire, God is desiring our hearts to open and our faith to grow. That's not a lesson I'm giving to others, it is the lesson that I've learned for myself. This is not an easy path that we've chosen but it is our path. Everything that comes along the way is exactly what is meant for us. Trusting that is required.

I may wake up every morning with my mind on Ethiopia, but my faith lies in knowing that God's plan for me is far beyond anything that I could plan for myself. That's why I can't seem to understand every little twist and turn. Often I have to remind myself, it isn't about me anyway. It is about children who are hoping, dreaming, believing, praying and waiting.

Maybe, just maybe God is working this whole thing out by their faith so it is the children's prayers that are being answered. Maybe they need one more day in the arms of nannies that have nursed them back to health. Maybe they want more time sitting at the table eating injera and doro wat. Maybe they need more time with parents, sisters and brothers that they will never see again and just need to feel the tender hands of grandparents that have to let them go. Maybe they need to hear how wonderful and special they are in their own language or play in the courtyards with friends who truly understand.

Maybe they are praying for parents that are strong enough, patient enough, committed enough, faithful enough, and loving enough. Maybe they are just not ready to leave the only place they've called home knowing that they may never return. Maybe they are afraid of what lies ahead or who is waiting for them. Maybe just maybe they want to fill their own hopes and dreams and not carry the weight of a country that hopes for them or parents that need them to close their own open holes. Maybe we can learn faith from them that have nothing, who can do nothing but trust all the adults that work on their behalf or have an abiding faith in their creator. Maybe just maybe it is not us that are waiting for them but they that are waiting for us to be prepared and not just ready or anxious.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Time Grows Near

The number SEVEN symbolizes Spiritual Perfection and is found 700 times in the bible. In the Book of Revelation there are SEVEN churches, SEVEN Spirits, SEVEN stars, SEVEN seals, SEVEN trumpets, SEVEN vials, SEVEN personages, SEVEN dooms, and SEVEN new things.

How amazing it is that I sit to write this post, having but seven days to finalize this process. I think back to October 28, 2008 when the bottom fell out and the doors of hell opened wide, the skies got dark, and found myself sucked into some alternate reality and saw the ugliest side of adoption. It took its toll on me and almost consumed me until I realized that I was complicit and although I'd not signed up for it I was playing my part in what was becoming a merry go round of insanity. I decided to get off the ride. I refused to play the game any more and was willing to walk away from adoption all together. The price had become to high and it simply wasn't worth the fight if in fighting I was losing myself, my perspective, my dignity, and my self-respect. It just wasn't worth it.

On December 1, I made a decision and that was to end my pursuit of adoption. I was calm and rational and had decided that my money would have be better spent on a three week vacation and my time better used pursuing a PhD. It was when I finally made that decision to let it all go that a sense of peace and calm came over me and I knew I had made the right decision; it was like a heavy burden had been lifted. That morning I was on the computer looking for vacation trips and I received a call from my adoption nightingale named Robbin asking why I'd not responded to her emails. To be honest I just hadn't read them, they had something to do with adoption and I was finished with that, proud and happy with my choice, feeling a sense of freedom to move on with my life. I told Robbin about my plans and she asked me to first look at the e-mails that she had sent.

The e-mail in my mailbox was from ANOTHER adoption agency letting Robbin know that they indeed had a brother and sister between the ages of 3-7 that they were actively trying to place. Without my knowledge Ms. Robbin had reached out to this agency on my behalf. As I read the e-mail half-heartedly, refusing to be sucked in, the e-mail suggested that if I were interested and if I indeed had a dossier that we could proceed quickly. I'd heard all of this before and I tried to ignore the e-mail. My dossier had been returned from Ethiopia some days before. I didn't want to see pictures, I didn't want to hear stories, I didn't want to open myself up to be crushed again. Why did I get this e-mail today, after I'd decided to let it all go? It took me a day or two and then I thought I would at least inquire, but I made it clear that I was pretty jaded from my experiences. I was cautious and throwing up my own red flags almost hoping that the agency would say, it was too difficult. But, I received the opposite. To everyone of my cautions, I received, "We can work with that." Of course they could, it's always easy in the beginning, everyone is always so accommodating until...right?

I still don't know what allowed me to open up to the possibility but in my heart, I didn't want a new set of kids. I wanted the kids whose pictures had sat on the dresser in their room for six months. I wanted the kids that I believed were coming home in December. I wasn't even sure that I could wrap my heart around these new kids and I surely couldn't wrap my mind around the thought of more paperwork. The agency was making it too easy for me, they decided to accept my documents as they were. Somehow I fought through it all and made it to this point.

As I've told stories about my trip to Ethiopia that began on December 25, I've not said much about why. I just could not fall in love with another picture, I had lost the ability to trust or believe in information that was told to me by a virtual stranger on the other end of the phone. I had to see these new children, to touch them, to talk to them, to see if I had any thing left for them. The rose colors had been completely wiped away from my romanticized view of adoption and I needed to know if they were real and if my heart would be able to love them. I had to know how they would react or respond to me and I could only do that in Ethiopia.

It was with those mixed feelings that I rushed to throw a trip together in two days. After I returned feeling that every single thing about my adoption journey finally made sense and that every hurdle I had was only to lead me to these two special and precious gifts. Sitting on the steps at the orphanage I knew that as surely as I knew my own name. Through all the pain that I'd experienced I sat on the steps and laughed when I looked at them and I knew...these two children had only entered the orphanage in September, 2008 really near the time that my previous adoption began to unravel.

It's amazing how time has revealed this story and how effortless every move has been drawing me closer to these two little souls. From my first knowledge of them on December 3, 2009 to traveling on December 25, to completing a new dossier on January 19, 2009, to getting my court date on February 16 and then having that date moved up so that now we are waiting only seven short days for the court hearing that will finalize this adoption. It's been a life altering experience. It took me many weeks to remove the other pictures from the dresser, it took another couple of weeks to add the new ones, but since that time, I haven't looked back and have no regrets. What I have instead is a spirit of gratefulness.

Were it not for Susan, Robbin, Leah, and most importantly my dad, encouraging me, consoling me, pushing me, guiding me, and holding me up I would not have had the strength or desire to continue. When I resolved to quit they told me that I had to move forward and when my will was not strong enough, they willed this dream for me. For there strong unwavering belief in me, the constant support that they gave me, and the many prayers they prayed for me, I will be forever grateful. You are all apart of an amazing story that I will tell for years.

For all of you who have been so gracious and kind over this nearly two year journey, please keep me and the kids in your thoughts and prayers as the time grows near and we make our way closer to family.

Original Court Date: April 18, 2009
Final Court Date: May 18, 2009
[607 total days & 165 days w/IAN]