Your prayers and texts and emails and sweet words of encouragement covered us last week. Thank you. Because of the type of case E’s is at this court date her file was opened and entered into the MoWA (Ministry of Women’s Affairs) court process. Our agency staff does not have to be at this court date. So, the update is that things went according to the standard plan. While we don’t have any earth shattering news, these small but significant steps are bringing us closer to bringing our girl home.
While this might seem like a tiny step when we were hoping for a part the sea miracle, our prayers were not in vain nor a waste. I can’t wait to tell our girl how on a specific day during Advent, hundreds of people prayed specifically for her. What a display of God’s incredible pursuit of her. And I’m reminded how we have no idea what God is up to beyond our sight in places and people and offices we cannot see. There’s a verse in Revelation that I have in the front of my prayer journal. “And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls of incense which are the prayers of the saints.” Last week, I kept imagining that bowl, and I just saw it getting bigger and bigger as our tribe interceded for E. Our prayers don’t disappear. They continually go before the Lord Almighty because of our Great High Priest Jesus Christ. These prayers you have prayed for E are eternal, and I get chill bumps when I think of how God will use the prayers you have prayed over her life. I believe He is at work right now in Ethiopia in specific and magnificent ways whether we can see it or not.
Yes, it is hard to wait, especially as our five year mark of beginning our adoption journey looms near in January. I’m feeling every one of those months, even more so as we see our baby girl grow bigger and look older with each month’s pictures and medical reports. But this journey has changed Matt and me and even our girls in a way we could never have imagined. In a thousand ways we are learning obedience, trust, dependence, and the never-ending goodness of our God.
“The essential thing in ‘heaven and earth’ is . . . that there should be long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living.”
Quote by Friedrich Nietzsche in Eugene Peterson’s A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
Here are some specific ways you can pray for us in the coming months…
PAIR letter//This Pre-Approval Immigration Review verifies her US citizenship status upon entering American soil. We cannot receive our second court date until we get this. They told us it usually takes 6 months. We were submitted to PAIR late November.
Travel plans//We are making one trip and will be in Ethiopia about three weeks. E will join us after our court date at the beginning of the trip. We will hang out and bond in Ethiopia until her visa is granted by the US Embassy so she can travel. We are taking Lydia with us. Our other girls will stay with grandparents.
Bonding & Attachment//This is a huge prayer need. Our girl is going to go through much loss and separation in the coming months as she moves from her orphanage to our home. We are praying for God to supernaturally knit our hearts together and for the hard and patient work of learning to trust and depend upon each other.
As we enter into the final days of Advent, I read this in Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift, “And when we sinned and weren’t satisfied with what God gives, as if we refused to breathe air and died, when we longed for something different, something more, something better, He came and gave us Himself.”
To know and trust God’s sovereignty means to be satisfied with what God has given me in this moment. Certainly, He invites and encourages me to pray fervently but in the same breath to live satisfied in Him. He came and gave us Himself. May the wonder of that never leave me. May that be the focus of my worshipping heart this Christmas.