Inspire Launch Party!

Last night was an event we’d been awaiting for a long time… the Inspire Weddings & Marriage Magazine launch party!

My dear friend Stephanie (of Inspire Design Studio) made her dream reality & started her own magazine in just SIX MONTHS. And it is seriously GORGEOUS. I may be biased, but really – you need to get your hands on a copy. The purpose of this publication is to “inspire beautiful weddings AND prepare couples for a successful marriage.”  I can’t wait to see how God uses it.  I have had the privilege of being on the Inspire team, editing and writing for the premiere issue – what an honor!

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My little family also got to be a part of the very first inspiration shoot – what a FUN, beautiful, delicious, inspiring experience! We have a little spread in the magazine (let’s be honest, the boys are the best part) but you’ll have to get a copy to see it 😉 They’re available at wedding vendors across the greater Charlotte area or you can go to the Inspire website & order one. Our very own Brian Patnode filmed a behind-the-scenes video of the evening and y’all – it is INCREDIBLE. He is so talented!!  I had to share:

Check out the rest of his work: Whitewash Films. He was the one who did our adoption announcement video, and has done the boys’ birthdays each year as a gift to us (we can say we knew him when… 🙂 ) We’re so proud he’s started Whitewash & is “official” now!

So, in summary, we have some pretty ridiculously talented & creative friends, and we had such a fun night celebrating!

THIS GUY.

We had a great Father’s Day with Jeff, aka the best dad in the world.

We started out with a manly brunch with my Dad/PopPops before he & Grandma left for a long vacation in Florida.  We love PopPops! And Papa too, even if he wasn’t with us!

Then we just enjoyed this guy.  I am grateful beyond words that he is my children’s father.  He loves his family so much and continually works hard to provide for us & care for us.  He is incredibly involved, helpful, and fun.  I pray our sons grow up to be just like him.  He’s just the best!

Two boys and their dad – 

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I love those two little guys too – I’d take a whole house full of boys like them!

ET adoption process update

So today I randomly thought, hmmm, I wonder how long we’ve been “paper pregnant” waiting on this child?  We’re about 7.5 months in- that’s gotta be close to when I had the boys, right?  

Well, after looking it up, I laughed as I found out that as of today we’ve been waiting 31 weeks, 5 days.  I went into labor at 31 weeks, 6 days, and the boys were born two days later at 32 weeks, 1 day.  Sooo… yeah – right. there.  Kind of crazy, right?!  A few more days and this will be my longest “pregnancy” yet  (though I realize that’s not saying much since I skipped about 8 weeks of a normal pregnancy).  However, we’d be thrilled for some news now – without any worry of NICU time. 😉

Anyway…

We found out late last week that the ET adoption process is changing with a new PAIR process.  Really, this should be a good thing.  They are going to “pre-screen” for embassy (the US side of investigations) BEFORE you go to court as pass on the Ethiopian side.  Ethically, that is what SHOULD happen and NEEDS to happen–for all the investigations to make sure your child is a true orphan to be done before you pass court and they become legally yours.  Our agency was even hopeful that it would mean going back to one more extended trip, which would have been awesome.

However… the unfortunate news is that they expect it to double the time between referral and home.  Meaning, it currently takes an average of 4-6 months from when you get your referral/are matched with a child until you land at the airport in the US with your child.  Now, they expect it to take 8-10 months. 😦  That is NOT fun to hear.  When you see your baby’s face, you certainly don’t want it to take any longer to get to them.  They also expect wait times to increase as children won’t be going home as quickly, so the transition home will be housing them for longer (and not able to bring any new children in).

My emotions have been all over the place with this news.  When I first heard it (on Friday we got a lengthy email from our agency explaining the ramifications), I actually felt a peace about it.  And then I started hearing/seeing everyone’s reactions and realizing that this could mean a significant delay for us, and I got really upset.  I’ve poured out my heart to the Lord and to Jeff.  I journaled like crazy and spent a few days trying to get clarity on what this should mean for us.

We have been praying hard about whether or not to pursue a waiting child from our agency’s list–however, we haven’t felt drawn to one CERTAIN child/children more than the others.  A few have been on our hearts, but Jeff & I each seem drawn to different children so far.  We still have a heart for waiting children & children with special needs, so we wondered if we were supposed to pursue one and get in before the PAIR process starts in September.  I can’t tell you how much I begged God to give us a sign, some writing in the sky or something. 🙂  However, we still don’t have that clarity/unity, so for now, I guess we are supposed to keep waiting and praying.

Today I finally gave it up – gave it over to the Lord and decided to do my best to keep waiting patiently.  Maybe we’ll see our child on a waiting list or he will give us a crazy referral in the next couple of weeks and we’ll get submitted to court before this process–but it’s not likely.  I don’t understand why this is all happening, but I don’t doubt his call.  For now, we both still feel like we have a child in Ethiopia, and we’ll wait for her/him, no matter how long it takes.  Maybe he’ll surprise us in the meantime–but if he doesn’t, I know he has a purpose for the waiting period, and I want to learn and grow from it instead of losing my mind with the what-ifs.  We’ll see what happens.

I will wait, I will wait for you… 

Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah 

Psalm 27:14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

7 months waiting

Sunday the 2nd marked 7 months of being “paper pregnant” on the DTE list. We made doro wat, including making our own berbere (ET’s signature spice mix). It was pretty darn good. So far we have honestly really liked all the Ethiopian dishes–glad this cuisine will be a part of our lives!!

In ET adoption news, they are officially starting an embassy “pre-screening” process which means that the US will basically pre-approve you for your visa BEFORE you pass Ethiopian court, instead of after as it is now (which is messed up – it really should be the other way around, but isn’t.) This should definitely make the time between court & embassy shorter, and it sounds like it could very potentially mean only one longer trip to ET instead of two. The best part of that would of course be the fact that we wouldn’t have to leave her there! (if we can’t stay in ET between court/embassy) Big news!! It’ll start in September, so who knows where the process will be when we get our referral, but everyone is encouraged by this new process.

Praying for you, sister… God continues to work on our hearts and open us to WHATEVER he may have for us – we can’t wait to find out!

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