christmas rescue

God’s rescue plan that unfolded that special night over 2,000 years ago (for it was really begun before the foundation of the world) is what we celebrate at Christmas.  God’s Son came in flesh to bring forgiveness, restoration, redemption and adoption.

To be right with God the judge is a great thing, but to be loved and cared for by God the Father is a greater.

J.I. Packer, Knowing God

Horizontal adoption (adopting our sweet girl) is a beautiful picture of our vertical adoption brought about by God’s rescue plan.  

You see, our little one was literally rescued last Christmas.  She has been in an orphanage for a whole year waiting for her adoption into our family — her forever family.  We have sacrificed to get her.  We have done this gladly.  
And so while we will celebrate Christmas Stateside this year without our sweet girl, we know the day is coming quickly when we will be asked to come adopt her.  Our lives will be forever changed.  But we will also have to come home without her while final documents are prepared.  She will legally be ours, but the reality of her new status as our daughter will not be realized.  Yet.
Until gotcha day!The day when she leaves the orphanage, never to return.  The day we sweep her up in our arms and bring her home to enjoy all the love of her forever family.Christ’s birth over two millennia ago was wonderful, significant, and necessary.  He lived the perfect life I could never live.  He took God’s just wrath over my sin on the cross.  He bore that wrath and separation from God so that I don’t have to!

Now by faith, I look with anticipation to Christmas Future — that “gotcha day” when the reality of my spiritual adoption and position as a daughter of the King will be fully known and enjoyed.

{Our adoption paperwork cleared the U.S. Embassy on December 4th, and now we are just waiting for the Ethiopian courts to let us know what day to be in country to adopt our sweet girl!  Exciting days ahead for our family in 2015.  Thanks for your prayers and support along the way.}

our adoption process:  an update

We’re still here waiting for our next steps in this adoption journey!  It’s a huge lesson in patience and waiting for God’s perfect timing.Here’s what an adoption from Ethiopia looks like (taken from U.S. Department of State website on InterCountry Adoptions):

1.  Choose an adoption service provider
2.  Apply to be found eligible to adopt
3.  Be matched with a child
4.  File the Form I-600 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to initiate the Pre-Adoption Immigration Review prior to filing an adoption case with the courts
5.  Adopt the child in Ethiopia
6.  Receive final approval of Form I-600
7.  Obtain a Visa and bring your child home

We are currently in the middle of step #4!  USCIS has received our form and they are conducting the PAIR process.  We are now waiting for the PAIR process to be complete and receive our court date!  Then we can make arrangements for our first trip to Ethiopia to meet our little one and adopt her there!  After that, we will need to come home without her and wait for everything to be finalized for our final trip to bring her home.  
It’s a long process, but totally worth it.  Being known, loved, and wanted is so very special, isn’t it?  So many parallels to God’s adoption of me.

Adoption:  The waiting stage

As I walked past our future daughter’s room this morning, I was reminded of how long this wait has been.  We officially started the paper chase for this adoption over 2 years ago.  Our dossier has been in Ethiopia for over a year now.  We have had to update our home study and are in the process of getting the paperwork ready to send into USCIS to ask for an extension of our immigration file with them.  It was nice to have the initial paperwork over, but now we are getting to the point of having to redo it because it is expiring.  When will the wait be over?So many people ask me if there’s any news.  And the answer is always no.  Sometimes the wait seems a burden.  How can we plan for the future if we’re not sure when our trips to Ethiopia will be? Sometimes the wait seems pointless.  But then, I’m reminded that the wait is God’s plan.  His perfect plan.
Maybe the paper chase stage was easier because it was in our hands to get the job done.  Now, everything is totally out of our control.  And in the end, that’s the best place for it to be.

As you wait, tell yourself again and again that you have not been singled out. Remind yourself that you are part of a vast company of people who are being called to wait. Reflect on the biblical story. Abraham waited many years for his promised son. Israel waited 420 years for deliverance from Egypt, then another 40 years before they could enter the land God had promised them. God’s people waited generation after generation for the Messiah, and the church now waits for his return. The whole world groans as it waits for the final renewal of all things that God has promised. In ministry, it is vital to understand that waiting is not an interruption of God’s plan. It is his plan. And you can know this as well: the Lord who has called you to wait is with you in your wait. He hasn’t gone off to do something else, like the doctor you’re waiting to see. No, God is near, and he provides for you all that you need to be able to wait. {Paul Tripp}

Can’t wait to look back and see how God was creating a beautiful picture of His grace in our little lives.