Monday, August 24, 2009

3 Days to Departure!!!

My mom and I will fly out this Thursday. I have listed our schedule in case you want to follow along daily and most importantly, pray for specific needs each day.

*Thursday- Leave Springfield airport to fly into Memphis
Fly out of Memphis into Amsterdam
*Friday- Spend the night in Amsterdam
*Saturday- Fly to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in the morning
Reach Addis that night
*Sunday- Rest
-I get to meet my daughter for the first time!
-I will also have a lot of paperwork to do in the morning before seeing Belen
*Tuesday- GOTCHA DAY
-My baby girl is forever mine! She will go back to the guest house w/ us.
*Wednesday- U.S. Consulate Appointment
*Thursday- Visit Belen's family (still pending) or the orphanages
*Friday- Receive Belen's paperwork and Shop
*Saturday- Sight-see
Fly out Saturday night (almost 35 hrs. w/ flights and layovers)
*Sunday- Fly into Springfield airport at 8:52 p.m.!!

If you are having a difficult time calculating travel times, that is because Ethiopia is 8 hours ahead of us in Missouri.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Count Down Begins

In one week, Mom and I will be flying to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to bring Belen home. It is an overwhelming feeling. Eleven days from now, I will be holding my baby in my arms. There are no words for the feeling I get when I think about it. I have gone through this process for almost 2 1/2 years knowing I desperately wanted to become a mom, knowing that God knew my child all it is real.

I remember when I first started teaching at the school I attended in kindergarten through my senior year and the feeling I got when my former 1st grade teacher addressed me as "Miss Lane". As silly as it sounds, I felt like I had arrived. There was such respect with that title and now to be called "Mom". For me, there is no greater title. May I live up to everything that encompasses that name. A name of love, comfort, forgiveness, discipline, consistency, protector, care-giver, and so much more. This summer has brought so many emotions I don't know that I have ever experienced before. Tonight being one of those "emotional" nights. I think about my mom and the loving home I was raised in with two wonderful Christian parents. My parents have been such a great encouragement to me throughout the past 2 1/2 years. My mom will be traveling thousands of miles with me, not because she loves flying (far from it), not because she wants to see the world, she is going because she knows even as a grown woman...I need my mom. When I asked her to go, there was no hesitation. It was just another way of showing me a mother's love for her child and grandchild.

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for your unconditional love for me and your granddaughter. Since I can't stop the tears, I might as well continue with the mush. I love you so much Kevin, Melissa, Chandler, Hunter, Kelly, Jerry, Victor, McCallister, Tatyana, Wayne Edward, Kristi, Easton, and Hudson. Thank you for your support and encouragement. I know you are just as excited to see your new baby cousin and niece. I love you.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Winner of the 32" Flat Screen T.V.!!!!

I went to Wal-Mart today and asked a gentleman in the parking lot if his son would pull a ticket from the raffle box (of course, I explained in detail what it was for). :) I appreciated that young man's help. The name drawn was Jenny Davis from Texas. Congratulations, Jenny!!!!! I will contact you to make arrangements to get your brand new t.v. to you.

To EVERYONE who bought tickets, sold tickets, and advertised tickets, THANK YOU SO MUCH!! You helped raise over $1,500.00. Wow!

I have a few prayers requests now that Belen has passed court.

1) Pray that her TB test will come back normal
2) Pray that the U.S. Consulate can give us an appointment for Sept. 2
3) We need traveling mercies
4) Finally, pray that we will begin the bonding process immediately
No matter the outcome of these requests, pray that we will always remember that God has his hand upon us at all times.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

We Passed Court!!!!

View this montage created at One True Media
Click on the picture to watch the video.

I got a call at 9:45 this morning letting me know that the Ethiopian court released custody of my daughter to me.  Now, my mom and I will be flying to Ethiopia possibly in two weeks.  I just feel so overwhelmed and overjoyed.   Thank you for all of the thoughts and prayers this week.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Court Date

B's court date is this Thursday, August 13. It also happens to be the first day of school. As I am introducing a new set of students to the 6th grade, I will be anxiously awaiting a call from my adoption agency letting me know whether B is officially my daughter or not. So, I am praying to hear the words, "Congratulations, B passed court!" If that isn't the case, then she probably won't get another court date until October.

Many people have asked what it means to pass or not pass court. There are many facets to the Ethiopian court system, but it basically comes down to three major parts. The Ministry of Women's and Children's Affairs (MOWA) has to have all of the proper paperwork ready to present to the judge, along with a letter of relinquishment. From my understanding, for my little one's case, a relative has to appear in front of the judge. Finally, the judge has to see fit to relinquish her into my custody. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is 8 hours ahead, so court will be in session as we are sleeping (trying to at least) in the early morning hours, beginning at midnight. Would you please join me in praying for these three aspects of this part of the journey and anything else that may hinder the day of court?

This is also a reminder that this Friday, August 14, is the LAST day to purchase tickets for the 32" flat screen television. I will be having the drawing this Saturday.

Again, I would appreciate all of the prayers possible to pray my little one home.