Well, thankfully, they're not orphans anymore. Hallelujah!! But the title, "I See Our Three Ethiopian Children" just wasn't as catchy. LOL But I do see our three sweet kiddos everywhere. For instance, this morning we were at Cooper's basketball game and I could "see" Bennet sitting there with me cheering for her brother. I heard her voice yell out, "Go Cooper" and saw her jump up off her chair. I know that one day soon she'll really be sitting there, really be yelling, "Go Cooper", really be jumping out of her chair, and I'll have a deja vu moment cause I've seen it before. Can't wait!!
To be honest, this has been a bit of a hard week with not so great news coming out of Ethiopia regarding adoptions. Our Embassy there has decided to require some additional things for almost all cases. We found out that in our case they are requiring an additional document. The document that they want will prove that "the aunt had the right to relinquish the children for adoption". In another friend's case, they want two documents. 1. A life history document. 2. A document stating that attempts were made to find the birth parents of the abandoned child (ie: newspaper ad). Um, have they been to Ethiopia? These sweet people are not reading the newspaper's classified ads. Come on. They don't have an extra quarter to buy the Sunday paper. And if an ad ran in the paper that said, "Please come claim the baby that you abandoned on the orphanage steps", the birth parent is NOT going to come back to the baby because they'd be thrown in jail. They abandoned the baby because they couldn't feed it, and that reality hasn't changed. Oh my, it's just so sad.
Anyway, those are a few examples of the forms that our Embassy is requiring - and there are others. Thankfully, we have an amazing agency who is diligently working with the orphanages to get these documents. It is quite a process since these are documents that have never been required before. I've already told you about the birth certificates and the death certificates, but I just found out that the death certificate actually has to have a picture of the dead person attached to it. Oh gosh. Most people do not have any photographs of themselves. I don't know if they want the dead person dug up, or what, but it's just too much.
Now, having said all that, I DO believe that you want to take precautions so that you keep corruption out. But the guy in charge of this (and it's one particular guy) has got too much power and needs to be deflated. OH, one other thing - they are interviewing some of the children and got ugly with one of the 13 year old boys they interviewed. Not good. I just don't get it. Anyway...just a lot of stuff going on over there right now and I would SO much appreciate your prayers!! Pray for the sweet children who are having to stay in orphanages longer because of this red tape. Pray that the Lord does a convicting work on this man's heart and causes him to see the error of his ways. And mostly, pray that he is NOT able to shut down adoptions in Ethiopia. He is the man who shut them down in Cambodia. Scary! He is out of the position in June, so our prayer is that he will NOT be able to shut it down between now and then.
On a happier note, we are very close to having the rooms all ready for the kids. It's been fun decorating and I so appreciate the friends who have helped us with painting, etc. Gatlin and Bennet's room has mint green paint and cute, whimsical curtains and their names on the big tall wall in black wire lettering. Kaleb and Kali's room is a very cool blue with all black furniture and then touches of red throughout. I've ordered black letters and will put their names on their wall as well. Good stuff.
We are also very close to having all our money together. We've been SO blessed by the donations of our friends - just couldn't have done this without it! We still need a little bit more for our travel to get them, so please feel free to buy a CD or make a TAX DEDUCTIBLE donation to our Lifesong account. The tab for that is at the top, right-hand side of this page. THANK YOU to all who have given or are going to give. All seven of us thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!!
And I have to end this by asking you -- are you seeing orphans? I hope you are. (: And I hope you'll figure out a way to help them, whether by supporting them through an organization or taking the big jump and actually bringing one (or more!) home. A friend and I were talking this week...she's just starting the process....she told me that if she got to the end of her life and had not adopted, it would have been a huge regret for her. It would have been for me, too. What about you?