June 13, 2013

1st Missional Community Launched!

We commissioned ourselves 'Missionaries' to our city.  We're trying to see ALL of life as 'on mission', because we are a sent people according to Jesus in the gospel of Matthew.  So we decided to embark on this crazy, intentional journey to reach those in our city who are not interested in coming to a sunday gathering of Christians in a building designed for those purposes...(our former definition of church).  This summer we are experimenting with meeting as a missional community.  a what?!? A missional community is a family of missionary servants sent as disciples who make disciples.  We're talking about the gospel of Jesus.  It's the framework of the church-who we are not where we go, or what we do.  My hubbie explains it in detail on his blog which you can check out here.

Michael teaching at our first Missional Community

sweet gathering in our home
Pray for us as we seek to listen to the Holy Spirit's leading and follow hard after Him to reach our 'not yet family members' with the GOOD news!

June 2, 2013

No More Numbers for us (and our sweet friends referral!)

The dreaded 'program update' email came into my inbox late last week.  Whenever we have gotten a 'program update' on our adoption it has never been good news.  It really means your Ethiopia program has changed in some negative way and here we go again blah blah...  This program update was not a shocker as we already had some ideas that there were yet again some slow downs happening (there hadn't been a baby girl referral in months) and we had heard of Ethiopia discontinuing partnerships with some agencies, and we all know corruption is a part of African govt (and probably most govt).  We participated in a webinar for couples in our program and learned that they will be doing away with our current number system, and instead when we hear of referrals they will be labeled by the date the adoptive family turned in their paperwork.  Our dossier (paperwork) submission date (DSD) is July 2011.  The lastest referral for a baby girl was DSD May 2010-and a VERY EXCITED referral she is!!! more on her in a bit :)  So in pure estimation we have another year and a half to two years of waiting.  We also learned that Ethiopia wants to convert to a centralized system for processing their adoptions.  Right now we have to make two trips because there are two different govt branches that process adoptions.  This is good news.  However, this will take time-and most likely, a lot of it.  we are unsure at this time what will happen to the current system, or even when they will start to implement this change over. Our agency is very trustworthy and they refuse to participate in any unethical situations that are currently happening in our adoptive country.  This is also great news.  However, this means not many children are coming to our orphanage because we are not bribing, mothers are not being paid for their children etc.  Let me try to summarize a bit- Ethiopia is still open to and processing adoptions.  We don't know if that will continue to be the case when they implement a more central system.  We are going to have to wait a lot longer than expected.  Corruption is not going to be part of our adoption process! Our agency provides opportunity for simultaneous adoptions (while we're waiting we could adopt another child from another country) and there is a 'pregnancy hold' in place now that says in case we would get pregnant our adoption could be on hold for a year while we have a baby.  They used to end your adoption during a pregnancy.

So where does this leave us?  honestly, we are not sure.  we are heart-broken in this situation.  Our hearts are pulled in so many ways, but we know that we want to walk God's path for us.  We know He has good plans for our family, and these many orphaned children in Ethiopia, and around the world.  We desperately want to follow Him, and we trust that He will give us everything we need to walk whatever road He has for us.  Would you pray for the voiceless Ethiopian orphans today, and would you pray for us in this?

Now I have to switch gears from heavy news to amazing, super-duper, exciting news!  The latest baby girl referral is our dear friends, Alison and Jody's baby girl!!  y'all this latest baby girl is the much anticipated, Caroline Faith, that our dear friends (and us) have been praying for during the last 3 years!!  I'm brought to tears every time I think about it!  God showed His sweet goodness to me during this referral by giving me this hopeful and happy news the day after we received our program update news!  Can't wait to get this baby girl home!!