Friday, October 31, 2008

Decisions....

We received a call on Wednesday from AWAA.  We needed to make a decision. We needed to decide whether we wanted to stay with Rwanda or change to Ethiopia.  You are probably asking "why would you need to change?"  There was an issue listed on our application that made our situation "risky." Since Rwanda is new, they aren't sure how the government would react.  We could get through the home study, send off our dossier and then be rejected by the Rwandan government.  Or we could not be rejected. This was the decision that we had to make.

Ryan and I have spent the last 3 days praying, talking to people with AWAA, and also counseling with people that we respect their opinion.  Tonight, Ryan and I worked through all of the counsel that we have been given. We trust that God has used these people to let us know His will. We have decided to stay with Rwanda. God has picked out our child and we will get to them.  If we end up being rejected by the government, then we trust that means that our child wasn't ready.  Then we will start the process in Ethiopia.  

So we are calling AWAA on Monday morning to let them know our decision.  From the call on Wednesday, we are approved we just need to pick our country. So we should get our packet the first of next week so the next step will begin!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Some News

Not the news we were waiting for but great nonetheless!

I had asked Amber, our AWAA contact, what the time frame for the adoption process would be. On their literature, they list it as 10 months.

Here is Amber's response:
This is the word I received from the main office on the Rwanda wait time... "3-6 months, though I expect this to continue to increase." Wow, huh????



We are just so happy about this response! Just think, we could have our new little one here next spring or early summer! That is a crazy thought!

We still haven't received our approval letter. Amber said that she sees us in her system though. They will call us then send an email that contains our packet. Good thing I know this because Kaylee and I have been staking out the mailbox!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Memory Verse

This was K's memory verse this week for church. I thought it is definitely applicable to the road we are starting on.  God has a plan for us, a purpose.  

Let us run with perseverance, the race marked out for us.  Hebrews 12:1


Thursday, October 23, 2008

5 Days Down

We have 5 days down out of the 10 day wait before we get our acceptance letter.  They say 10 business days....so just a few more days to go.

A sweet story form Kaylee...
After we told the kids about the adoption, Kaylee and I were driving to OKC to see Pappy.  This is what she said:  "Mom, it doesn't matter that my sibling will be brown. God loves us all the same."  This statement from her is a sweet reminder that God is in charge.  I know that we will have issues come up with our child being a different race than we are.  However, God is in charge and will help lead us through these times.  I know he will give us the right words to say!

Facts about Rwanda:
1.  Kigali - the capital - is the city in Africa most frequently visited by American Christian Rock Bands and stadium-filling Evangelists coming to convert Rwandans to Christianity (despite the fact that almost everyone is Christian already). 

2.  Fried grasshopppers are a delicacy in Rwanda, but you have to keep the lid on the pan while you are frying them alive, or they tend to jump out. 

3.  50% of the population of Rwanda is under 18.  

4.  Rwanda is well known for its Gorilla population - as popularised in the book and film Gorillas in the Mist

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How we think we got here

When Ryan and I look back on our lives over the last few years, we are amazed. We can know see God in every aspect of it.  You don't see the big picture when you are in the daily grind.  It is hard to see it when you have laundry, dinner, kids activities, jobs, etc.  Here is how we think God put all the pieces into place to start this journey.  First of all...boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy and girl get married, boy and girl have 2 little kids, then....

Summer 2003: Internal strife of Sunnybrook. We made a commitment to stay at Sunnybrook and converted our college student memberships to regular memberships.  We went down front on Sunday with PA to do this.  Ashley Weichbrodt was in the crowd but didn't know us.

Fall 2003: We are invited  by Ashley Weichbrodt to join Drew & Kim Henderson's Lifegroup from church. Ashley's son went to Kaylee's school and she thought she recognized us  from going down front at church so she talked to her LG about it and they asked us to be a part of their Lifegroup.

September 2005: Jake & Erin Moore joined our Lifegroup. They moved to Ethiopia in January 2006 to be missionaries.

March 2006: New Orleans/Hurricane Katrina Mission Trip with the Sunnybrook Youth for Ryan.  This was Ryan's first mission trip.

October 2006: Ethiopia Mission Trip with Sunnybrook Ministers & Rande Butler.  After Ryan went to New Orleans, he really wanted to go on another mission trip.  Some of the church staff were going to Ethiopia to support Jake & Erin and they asked Ryan to come along. Ryan fell in love with the continent of Africa.  

March 2007 - Summer 2008: Ryan has gone on several mission trips (I think we are up to 9 or 10).  This is his passion.  He loves helping people as well as getting to know others along the way.  His compassion to helping others is truly inspiring for me.

October 2007: Ryan goes to Catalyst with a group from Sunnybrook. He is truly changed. He struggles to figure out how we need to change so that we can better serve God in our lives.  I have the same realization...is this it? Is this what we are living for? New house, new car, etc...we both want to do something different but don't know what it is.

Late Spring 2008: Rande & Casey Butler asked us to serve on their adoption committee. They are adopting a little boy from Ethiopia.  Rande has a blog that she started.  I love reading their blog and she has other adoption blogs connected to hers.  I have spent countless hours looking at the adoption stories of people and their children from Ethiopia.  Seeing the faces of little ones who were once orphans is just awe inspiring. 

Summer 2008: I feel a burning in my heart to adopt a child.  I have spent so much time looking at other people's journeys and researching international adoption.  I truly feel that this is what we need to do.  I talked to Ryan about it early September. 

October 2008: Ryan and I decided that we do indeed need to do this! We fill out the application and send it in!  

So that in a nut shell is our journey as we look back.  So many pieces had to fall into place, for this to be possible.  God is amazing at his plan!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Our journey begins.....

Who knew this is where we would be!  God has a great way of continuing our story without us even knowing.  Ryan and I have decided to adopt a child from Rwanda. 

We thought our family was complete. We had always said that we wanted 2 kids and we were blessed with K and C.   However, a few months ago, the desire to adopt was placed upon my heart.  I was so scared to tell Ryan...I thought he would for sure say no.  But he did not!  Instead he did his "research" and came back a few weeks later with a "I told Rande we are thinking about adopting."  This blew me away!  And from there we have started the process.  We completed and shipped out our application last Tuesday and got a call from AWAA on Friday saying that our application was complete and they were sending it to the next department!  We should hear back in 10 days. Then we start our Home Study. The home study should take approximately 6 weeks.  

A few facts about Rwanda:
Population: 10.1 million
Has the largest population of orphans in the world
Is know as the "Land of a Thousand Hills" 

Next post...
Looking back, putting the pieces together to see how we started this journey