Well, we're back from Hawaii. We had such a wonderful time with Todd and Marie, plus doing all the usual touristy stuff. I was sad to leave the island, but also anxious to get home since we have so much going on.
So, the BIG news around here (which some of you figured out from my cryptic last post) is that our family is once again growing! And not in the "usual" way - or even the usual order, for that matter. Emma and Isaiah are getting a big brother! We are once again surrounded by paperwork and in the middle of another Ethiopian adoption.
Some of you are probably thinking "are you crazy?" or "what the heck are you thinking?". I know that, because I have asked myself those same questions. And the answers are "maybe" and "I don't know". So let me give you the whole story.
About a year ago, when we were in the midst of our first adoption, I felt my heart opening and breaking for the "older children" in Ethiopia. The ones who possibly spend years in the orphanage, because they are "less desirable" due to their age. As my awareness of these kids grew, so did a place in my heart for them.
Some of you may even recall that Brian and I prayerfully considered adopting a sibling set which consisted of an older child and a young infant. It was only when a third sibling turned up that Brian and I felt God closing the door on them for us.
After that event I told Brian that my prayer was that God would provide us the opportunity to adopt an older child some day when the timing was right. In my head, I thought the timing wouldn't be until our other kids were older. However my love for these kids was so strong that even as we flew to Ethiopia, I told Brian that if God opened the door for us now, I would jump at the chance.
So, fast-forward to the middle of our time in Ethiopia when we were overjoyed with our new infant son and barely had the desire to be around any other babies. We did enjoy spending time at the orphanage, especially with the older kids since they were fun to watch and interact with. But I was mostly preoccupied with my baby, and content with my complete (for now) family.
Then one afternoon as we were watching some kids play soccer in the courtyard, my eye was caught by a boy wearing a bright yellow shirt and running barefoot, and who was clearly dominating the soccer game. Brian's eye was caught by him too, and we spent quite a while watching him impress us with his soccer moves (although he seemed pretty oblivious to us). I even took a few pictures of him, because I figured a boy like him must already have a family back in America waiting for him, and they would probably appreciate a few good pictures.
Toward the end of our stay in Ethiopia Brian just happened to have the opportunity (divine appointment, actually) to spend some one-on-one time with the yellow-shirt boy, drawing together and playing H-O-R-S-E (Brian lost badly). It wasn't until later that evening that Brian shared with me the boy's name, Benjamin, and that he found out Benjamin didn't have a family. I was surprised, but figured he would get one soon.
As the days and weeks went by after we got home from Ethiopia, Brian and I found ourselves bringing up Benjamin's name a lot. And I would slowly get additional bits of information from Brian about things he had learned about Benjamin, and things they talked about. It wasn't long before we realized we either needed to stop talking about Benjamin so much, or start praying about bringing him into our family.
So we prayed. A lot. Right around that time our Pastor preached a wonderful series on the subject of faith, and obedience and trusting God. It was almost like everyone else at church was wasting their time, because clearly our Pastor was talking straight to US.
So, here we are, taking a step of faith and trusting in God's plan for our lives. We don't know where God will lead us, but we are willing to follow, and are excited for this next step. And yes, we might be a little crazy, too.
Benjamin is around 12 years old, and I will post a picture of him once our paperwork is done and on its way to Ethiopia. We have made good progress so far on the first steps, including having our home study updated. Right now we can only guess as to what the timing may be for bringing Benjamin home, but we are praying that it will be no later than the end of Summer and that we will beat the infamous Ethiopian court closure.