Friday, July 20, 2012

I will get you here!

We are so close. We can feel it. Sleeping has been hard lately. I cannot stop thinking about Moses, him being here with us, and just how surreal everything truly is right now. I have been really reflecting on these last 6 weeks since we have been home from seeing Moses and him, officially, becoming part of our family.

I started this blog in hopes, that by telling our story, others would feel the need to act and respond to the same social injustices going on in the world that are very dear and close to our own hearts, whether that be the orphan crisis or the people all over the world that are in need of seeing the love of Jesus from someone. Over time, my blog has turned into a way for me to just deal and reflect on my own response. Just, an outlet to be able to get off whatever is on my chest, because there is nothing more refreshing to my soul than to let go of everything I am holding onto and feel nothing but the sweet freedom I have in Jesus. And, honestly, having this blog as my outlet has helped get me through this surreal and crazy journey that we have been on. So, it is my prayer through all of my emotional outpours and craziness that God is still using someone like me to be a small part of his bigger picture for one day all to see.  

Honestly, the past few days have been tough.  For the past two and a half years, I have been fighting so incredibly hard for this little boy, for God's will to be done, for our family to be together, and that takes A LOT of strength. Since coming back from Ethiopia, that battle has gotten more fierce and has been requiring so much more strength that I didn't have in me. I have been fighting for so long that I just got to a point where I was so extremely tired, and ALL of my strength was gone. I had nothing left to give. All that was left was pain. It has been physical pain from my health problems and the emotional pain of my family being torn into two different places, which have completely torn my heart the exact same way. On top of all the pain has been these feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. It has been so hard for me to see that hope that I have been clinging to the entire time. I couldn't see it, and definitely couldn't feel it. I had reached a breaking point, and didn't have the strength to get myself out of it.

I have this amazing friend. We have been through so many storms and we sure do know how to weather them together. God uses her in so many ways in my life and thank God for this special person that will get in the ring and fight for me when I have nothing left. It is such a beautiful thing to see how God uses others to show you His hope and love, when you cannot see it on your own. He always finds a way. Talking with her, I felt God taking a hold of me, looking me straight in the face, and saying, "Kristin, YOU have strength. YOU are stronger than you think. I will give you strength. Stop searching for it and use it!"

"May the Lord give strength to His people! May the Lord bless His people with peace!" Psalm 29:11

 In the midst of all of this, He is still here. He is still faithful. Even though my mood changes, my heart wanders, or my life constantly feels inconsistent, He remains the same. Nothing else matters. He has and will always take my weakness, my burdens, my weariness, and give to me in exchange, freedom, peace, and strength. Wow, I serve an amazing God. 

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29

Moses will be home soon, I can feel it. And I know, that my God is watching over him and using His people that He has placed in Moses' life right now to allow him to see that same hope as well. Forever thankful for all of His people in both our lives to walk through life with us whether it be with tears or rejoicing. We still have hope. We still stand firm on solid ground.

We are coming for you sweet boy!!! Very soon you will be home and we will all be together.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Here is our story....

It has been a month since Bayisa has become my son. One of the longest months ever. To say that this has been the hardest part of this waiting game is an understatement. Every day that passes has just been one more day that we all miss out on. I long for the day that me, Jordan, or the kids won't have to say, "I wish baby Moses was doing this with us." I miss him so much it hurts. Some days better than others, but the hard days have been HARD. Pictures are no longer good enough,and it seems like talking about him makes me miss him even more. So the #1 question that we are constantly being asked is, "when is he coming home?" Here is what our ever changing adoption situation looks like right now. Legally he is ours. I can leave right now on a plane to Addis, pick him up from the orphanage,and he can be with us forever. (it is taking everything in my being to not just jump on a plane this evening and do just that.) The one hold up is that we can't put him on a plane right now and bring him to the US, because he still needs his visa. We were approved over a year ago for us to be able to get a visa for him, but they have to double and triple check that everything looks good, and every T is crossed and I is dotted. We finally received his birth certificate this week to be able to apply for his visa. We sent in the paperwork and it was received yesterday by our agency in the US, who will, then, send it to the US Embassy in Ethiopia where they will look over the paperwork, perform another medical on Bayisa, conduct a finder's interview, and then finally email us to let us know we are in the clear to travel and have our appointment to get his visa. So close, but still feels so far. The finder's interview is a new step that they have been taking in terms of clarifying the children's orphan status. According to other families who are a little ahead of us, this has been a little bit of a hold up. Sometime these people won't show up for their interview or can't be found to conduct an interview. Every family's story and situation is different, so this part of the process has been impossible to even guess how long it will be. So, this is our story...or, I guess, Bayisa's story, that I can't wait to hear him tell one day. Bayisa was found by a police officer about 4 hours outside the city in an open grassy field when he was, they think, about 7 months old. Everything before him being found will forever be unknown. We will never know who his birth mom is, his name that his mother gave him, when exactly his birthdate is, or the reason why someone had to lay him down in a field and walk away. God knows all of this, and that is why, we completely trust that this was always Bayisa's story that God had planned out for him. When we learned of Bayisa's situation, Jordan came up with the name of Moses, which means "found by the water." if you know the story of Moses in the Bible, you know, how it correlates to our sweet Moses' story. They were both laid down and abandoned in hopes (I hope) of a better life, and then were found and raised in a family of different culture, and their situation and stories were used and will continually be used to bring glory to God. In Ethiopia, abandoned babies are very common, simply because their mother's can't take care of them. The way our sweet Moses was found, was so comforting to my heart. We have the pictures of this day, that will forever be burned in my memory, but I can only imagine this loving mother having no other choice, but to bathe her baby, dress him in the cleanest outfit she could find, swaddling him in blankets, and then laying him down and walking away never to return. To me, that is a love of a mother much deeper than what we are doing. That is an unselfish love. On our side, after all the sacrifices, we are getting joy through our act of love. This mother gets nothing but sadness and uncertainty after her act of love. Knowing that you cant care for your own child or even knowing that this child may die if he stays with you, because of your inability to care for him, so you put him into the arms of God and hope that he will have a better chance for a hope and a future. It is exactly what God has done to his people. Taken us out of a helpless situation and given us purpose and meaning. We don't want Bayisa to ever think of himself as abandoned. We want him to think of himself as found. We wanthimto be proud of his story, where he came from,and where he is now. I pray for Bayisa's birth mother everyday, praying that she feels a peace that her child...our child, now has everything in the world to be hopeful for and has a beautiful future ahead of him. I will ever be connected with this woman that I do not know, but hopefully,one day, in heaven, we will meet and embrace. We are hoping, since a police officer found Bayisa, he will be more reliable to get a hold of and interview, so our process can go smoothly. We are still for hoping the end of July/beginning of August to go and get him. If we are cleared to travel, we can leave the next day if possible. We need your prayers now more than ever. Pray for the US embassy in Ethiopia, pray for the officer that found sweet Bayisa for his interview, pray for the workers of CWA (our agency) because they have to do a lot of hard work on our behalf as well. Pray for sweet Moses and his health. Last update we got he had bronchitis. Pray for strength and patience for the rest of us Michael's as we wait. Pray for me, medically. Since we got back from our first trip, I have been having some medical issues, and if it doesn't clear up soon, my doctor is talking about a small surgery.(Satan has been fighting hard. He doesn't want to see baby Moses come home to us soon.) Pray for us financially. We are at the end of paying for the process of our adoption, and last minute tickets to Ethiopia are pretty pricey. Last time I checked,which was this morning, (I am a little obsessed at this point) they cost about $2400 per person. We will be having one last fundraiser to help set off the cost for our last trip by having one more garage sale in 2 weeks. Pray over our garage sale, to help it, not only raise funds, but raise awareness of orphans everywhere. You never know how a little seed planted can grow, by someone just coming to a garage sale. Also, if you are in the Austin area, and have any stuff that you would want to donate to our sale instead of taking to goodwill, please let us know, and we would be happy to take it off your hands for you. We want to thank everyone again for all of your love and support during this time. It has been such an ecouragement and all of the prayers have been deeply felt. Please continue pray, even after this journey ends, and we embark on the journey of becoming a family of 5. Hopefully one day soon.